Saturday, January 25, 2014

Winterberries and Chickadees • DIY Shadow Box

I designed a new shadow box last week.  I have had winter shadow boxes bouncing around in my head for months but they got pushed to the back once Christmas crafting took over.  Last week I again thought about it and decided to use red winterberries as the theme.

Winterberries are just about the only color in the woods this time of year. I did a search on winterberry images only to discover that it seams to be a very generic term for anything that has red berries that stay on the branches in the winter.  I followed the growth pattern of the type above because that is one that abounds in the wetter areas around here. There were a plethora of images of others types as well. 
Photo of Winterberry in snow, courtesy of the 
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, 
from the Web site of Brookside Gardens (Wheaton, Maryland).

I am not at all certain what is officially a winter berry! I harvested a bunch of these branches with the red berries from a nearby swamp back in December and have created several arrangements with them for winter color on the door stoop and in the sunroom.  They last beautifully in unheated areas.  I liked the contemporary combination of the simple spray-painted recycled bottles with the bright red berries.

And then I used it as the design inspiration for this new shadow box. Along with a pair of chickadees!

I thought about hitting the layers with a shot of spray snow but didn't because I just love the color as is.

I have posted the Silhouette cutting files up on the Silhouette online store here so you can get them as well.  For those of you with other cutting machines, I am actively exploring getting my files (especially Ledge Village) transferred to SVG format. It does look like the easiest method requires redrawing. Does anyone have good information about preparing and marketing SVG files? And what cutting machines use DXF? Looking for resources here. Thanks.

Happy crafting!

Previous posts of interest:

© 2014 Marji Roy, Ashbee Design

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

DIY Valentine Centerpiece • 2014

It is a little early for me to have a Valentine centerpiece on the table but this one required a little DIY time. I figured you would need a little advance notice if wanted to try a similar idea yourself.  I am sure it is no surprise to my regular followers that I combined a little Swedish inspiration with paper and my Silhouette to create these luminaries for my red and white table scape.

I combined the handcrafted paper luminaries (use only LED tea lights!) with white candles. My daughter and son-in-law gave me a supply of washi tape with colors for all seasons for Christmas. I used the red to accent the white pillar candles. The red and white hearts bring to mind the Swedish hearts used so often in their folk design. And yes, it does also remind me of the Queen of Hearts!

I have made the cutting files for these Valentine luminaries available at the Silhouette online store but have also posted a complete assembly tutorial on my other blog as well.
    • 3D Valentine Luminaire - Tall here.
    • 3D Valentine Luminaire - Medium here.
    • 3D Valentine Luminaire - Small here.
    • 3D Valentine Luminaire Tutorial here.

I also have uploaded the cutting files for the Valentine Trees I made last year. These were one of the first projects I completed on the Silhouette.
    • 3D Valentine Tree - Open Hearts  here.
    • 3D Valentine Tree - Solid Hearts here.

I just did a little back file exploring looking at projects from Valentine's Day past.  Here are a few reminders.

Happy crafting everyone!

© 2014 Marji Roy, Ashbee Design

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DIY Valentine Cards

I just adapted my Christmas Card concept to two new Valentine's Day Cards.  Do you send handmade Valentine's? I generally don't but this year I have a stack that evolved as I created my Silhouette tutorial.  I will send a few, not 70 like I do for Christmas!  This particular design can be hand cut if you don't have a cutting machine and I have included a few directions at the end to assist you.

The card is built on the Accordion concept layer two cut sheets of card stock together. I designed two versions - the heart accordion card......

And the XOX concept.....

Here is a photo from a different angle to give you a better idea of the construction. the back is a sheet of red and the front is a sheet of white but because of the cuts and folds, the red pops through.
 I also created the XOX card without the added words. If you are cutting by hand, this would be the easiest pattern.

To cut these design without the Silhouette Cutting Machine:
  • Download the free Silhouette software here.
  • Purchase the cutting files from the online store. The Heart Accordion Valentine is here. The XOX design is here.
  • Open them in your Silhouette Software. File Menu to Download Pending Orders.
  • Click on the library icon and the downloaded file should be there.
  • Open it.
  • Select all and UNGROUP - Object Menu to Ungroup.
  • Remove the text - click on both text items and delete. Also remove Hugs & Kisses from XOX design. That would be impossible to cut by hand.
  • Change all cut lines to print lines. Silhouette cut lines have no thickness. To change them, select all and click on the line icon. (Black lines in upper right). Increase the line thickness from 0 to .50.
  • Print the design. This gives you a pattern to follow and cut using a sharp xacto blade. Place this pattern over your card stock and cut through both layers at once. 
  • The dotted lines are fold lines. Use a scoring tool and a folding tray to help create the fold lines.
  • Follow my tutorial here for how to assemble the card.
Have fun creating!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ledge Village Grows • More Little Houses

I haven't posted about my Ledge Village in a long time, since July of last year in fact. 2013 was a milestone year for me because I started earning income through my blog and craft world and it was via an avenue I had not predicted. In June I started selling my cutting files via the Silhouette online store, and almost weekly I have added new files to my growing portfolio. The largest group is my Ledge Village series which started as a small project to make an awkward ledge in my laundry room a little less awkward. People keep asking for more additions to Ledge Village and I keep having more ideas.  Last week I added a Ski Chalet to the expanding collection. All this January snow has mer thinking in that direction!

My village now stretches almost 2/3's of the way across the sunroom ledge.  Here it is shortly after we got the tree decorated - and it doesn't include the ski lodge yet! I can't photograph the entire village up close anymore but you can see the scope here.

Since that July post I have expanded the building variations for Ledge Village to include a second store front with park bench.....


Tower home. This was adapted from my Haunted House.

 The Fullerton House patterned after the Sears and Roebuck kit house from 1923...

 And a winter tree to match the changing seasons.

One of my goals for 2014 is to figure out how to transfer these files to SVG format so I can sell them to people with other brands of cutting machines. Anyone discover a .studio to .svg transfer method yet (one that doesn't require redrawing or reassembling everything?)

Wishing you all a very wonderful 2014!

© 2014 Marji Roy, Ashbee Design

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