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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free Cutting File - Fun Fish

I'm having fun with the smiley animals, so here's a happy little fish for you to cut and add to your scrapbooking and cardmaking projects. He would make a great addition to a child's bedroom wall if you cut him in vinyl too! Click on the preview to download the cutting file. MTC and SVG files are included in the free download. Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Cutting File - Dinosaur

This smiling dinosaur will be perfect on scrapbook pages about trips to theme parks or the zoo, birthday cards and lots of other fun projects. Click on the preview to download the cutting file. MTC and SVG files are included in the free download. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Create a Silhouette Cutting File in Make the Cut!

I saw a request on the MTC Facebook page for tips on how to take a photo and make a silhouette cutting file out of it, so I took it as a challenge to create a little tutorial. The screen shots from Make the Cut! are from the most recently released version, which is available for download here.

Taking the Photo
  1. Position your subject in a shaded area with a very bright light source in the background.  A darkened room with one window that has daylight coming through works well. Try not to have any dark colored objects near the subject, so they don't end up touching in the photo.  In my sample photo, my daughter was standing in an underpass tunnel with the light coming in from one end.
  2. Adjust your camera settings so the camera is exposing for the light, not your subject.  The method to do this will vary with different cameras.  With a point and shoot camera, this will likely happen automatically, as long as your flash is turned off.  With a SLR camera, take your light reading from the brightest area of light, and again, don't use flash.
  3. The resulting photo should have the subject in silhouette as shown, with good contrast between the subject and the background. For best results, your subject should be as dark as possible and there should be no facial features showing.  
  4. If you have access to photo editing software, you can increase the contrast between your subject and the background, if you choose, for even better results.  The photo I'm using as an example is straight out of the camera, the only software I used was Make the Cut!
Creating the Silhouette Cutting File
  1. In Make the Cut!, click on the Import Objects icon, then select Pixel Trace, as shown to the right.
  2.  Select your silhouette photo from the folder window and click Open.
  3. Adjust the trace settings until your traced silhouette is how you want it. Each time you change a setting, click the Apply Changes button to see how your changes affected the trace. The screenshot below shows the settings I used to get my results. Once you are happy with the results, click Import to add the silhouette cutting file to your mat.
 That's all there is to it!  Here is my finished result.  Her hair is a little rough on top due to flyaways, but if you are planning the photo (this one was taken before I even knew MTC existed!), you can ensure that everything is nice and smooth for best results.

A Tractor for Father's Day

My dad is a farmer and loves his John Deere tractors, so I decided to make him a card with a John Deere tractor on it. Well, ok, maybe it's not a John Deere, but it is green so that counts right? :-)


You can also grab the cutting file for the tractor here. Click on the preview to download the cutting file. MTC and SVG files are included in the free download. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Free Cutting File - Smiley Sun

We've had a week of nothing but rain here, preceded by a week of snow, but the sun is finally out this weekend! This smiley little sun is sure to add a spot of sunshiney happiness to your projects. Click on the preview to download the cutting file. MTC and SVG files are included in the free download. Enjoy!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Make the Cut! Video Tutorial - How to Make a Wedding Cake

Since it's June and wedding season is almost upon us, here's a video showing how to make this pretty wedding cake sitting on a plate, entirely in Make the Cut!.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Beta version of the new Make the Cut! is here!

There's a great deal of excitement in the Make the Cut! forum today, as the beta version of the new Make the Cut! was released last night.  If you already own MTC and would like to play with the beta, you can download it here. Scroll to the bottom of the first post for the link.
There are lots of new features, and I hope to get a video out very soon showing some of them, but there are also a couple functions that have moved in the software.  One of the moved functions is the Custom Shapes tab, where you can import SVGs, trace images, etc.  To access those functions in the beta version, click the Import Objects button shown below and then choose what type of object you would like to import from there.
 
Many of my tutorials reference the Import Basic Shapes option, which I also have circled. I will be editing my previous video posts to indicate any other changes with the beta version that would affect your ability to follow along with the tutorial.
In the meantime, have fun playing with the new version, I know I'm going to!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Make the Cut! Video Tutorial - Building a Ladybug

Here's another video in the Make the Cut! Projects Tutorial Series.  This one shows you how to create this cute little ladybug entirely in Make the Cut!, no other software is required.  Have fun!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Free Cutting File - Apple

We had a fabulous time in the Big Apple, so in honor of my trip, I thought an appropriate freebie would be an apple.  And since the end of the school year is coming up fast, it might come in handy for teacher cards too. Click on the preview to download the cutting file. MTC and SVG files are included in the free download. Enjoy!

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