Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Latest swaps

I'm actually quite pleased with myself, I've got off my butt and finished two sets of cards today.  Yeh at last I'm ahead of the game.

Finished the cards for the BQLPC group 'Fresh October brings the Pheasants', the calendar swap based on the poem "The Garden Year" by Sara Coleridge.   I know the next line is "then to gather nuts is pleasant" but the title reminded me of the song "The Pheasant Plucker" - do you know it, not one to sing while under the influence.  So my cards are based on this song.  I created them in Photoshop which I suppose makes them digital fabric postcards.  I printed them out on prepared for printing cotton.

If you are brave enough you can sing the chorus which is on the card....... lol

My second set of cards has a theme of Winged Things and for this I've used my new Brother ScanNCut.  Bit more about the ScanNCut later.

 It took me a while to decide which 'winged thing' but finally decided on a winged goddess.   I used the free template from Stampington but didn't want to cut them all out separately.  I made several attempts to create an fcm file (format used by Brother) but none of them were truly successful.  Then it dawned on me that I was making the whole thing far too complicates.  So I just drew round the template with a black pen, scanned it, saved it and let the ScanNcut cut out multiple bodies.  I drew a pair of wings and did the same thing with that.
 They were cut from a piece of pelmet vilene which I'd previously spray dyed,  and printed with a gelli plate.  It was sitting doing nothing so I put it to work.  Did the same thing with a piece of yellow dyed and embossed piece of pelmet vilene.
Finally I re-purposed a piece of patchwork that I had screen printed and then over-dyed at some time in the past. This became the background.  What doesn't show on the photos is the slight shimmer the background piece has, I must have used a shimmer spray on it.  Each card is slightly different but I have only put up two of them, these showing the most contrast.

I have been playing with my Brother ScanNcut machine for some time now and have made lots of cards and stencils.  Now I have bought the pens for the machine so have yet to find out what I can do with them.  

Although this machine is earmarked for the quilters I doubt I would buy it just for that. I have a Sizzix Big Shot and an Accuquilt Go, both of which I think are better at cutting out fabric.  However the one thing the Brother has over the other machines is the ability to alter the size of an object giving a variety of sizes without having to buy new dies.

I have found difficulty cutting out stamped images.  The image with strong lines connecting each piece, the lines must be a very good contrast to the background.  So no blurred images, fuzzy edges or very fine extended lines. Otherwise the machine will not recognise the whole image and you will end up with either bits missed or a whole heap of tiny pieces.   This isn't insurmountable problem, there are ways round them but I found it just as easy to fussy cut the pieces some images. 

The cutting mats loose their stickiness very, very quickly.  You must clean them after each session by scraping off the fluffy bits with the spatula and wiping the mat over with an alcohol free baby wipe.  If you forget to cover the mats with the plastic sheet (it comes with one) then you'll find your mat covered in fluff in no time and who betide you if you drop your mat on the floor without dusting it off first.   You can take off all the 'sticky' using an alcohol based wipe then restickying (is there such a word) using a basting spray.

For mixed media crafters the ScanNcut is a great asset but if all you want to do is quilt you can buy an awful lot of dies for other machines with the cost of this machine. 

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