Father’s Day Father & Son Silhouette Project DIY

June 12th, 2013

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I asked my very crafty friend (and landlady) Katie to create an awesome father’s day project for my blog. She came up with this great idea to do a father/son silhouette. I suppose if you have a daughter you can do a father/daughter silhoutte, or a father/pet one etc. I’m not sure how you’d do multiple children, maybe a really long frame. I’m sure there’s lots of ways you can play around with this idea.

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I just love how the silhouette turned out. The script paper in the back makes for a super elegant art piece for your mantle or gallery wall.

The first step is to get a photo of your guys. Good luck keeping them still for that one second it takes to hit the shutter button.

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Then you’ll need to import the pictures onto your computer. Katie used Adobe Illustrator to build her silhouettes in. If you have a wacom tablet, you could also use photoshop or some similar program. The benefit of using Illustrator is that your silhouette can become a cuttable file for your Cricut or Cameo pretty easily. If you’re just not computer savvy, you can create a silhouette the old fashioned way by projecting light past your subject and onto a surface –  hand-drawing while they sit there, or you can take photos and print out the photo the correct size, and trace/cut your silhouette from the photo.

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In Illustrator you’re basically making a line with points that define change in direction. You want to have as few points as possible in order for your shapes to be as smooth as they can be. Create a new layer, and use your pen or pencil tool to follow the outline of the faces. You can see here that the lines are white so that they show up against the photos.

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Once the silhouettes are complete, you can switch the white line to a white fill to make sure that they look correct.

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When you’re happy with the shapes, you can delete the photo layer, and turn the white fill into a black fill.
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Then you can figure out how you want the project to be composed.

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Katie tried the faces nested, but it created some visual confusion. So she settled on them overlapping.

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To keep the necks from having odd starting and stoping spots, Katie created an oval and used the pathfinder tool to make the shapes fit perfectly together.
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She sent me her illustrator files since I have a Cameo (which I LOVE and highly recommend). I saved each silhouette in it’s own file, and exported as a .DXF (make sure there are no groups). Then I imported into the Silhouette Studio (Cameo’s free software), and cut each of the silhouettes out with my Cameo. Katie cut the background circle by hand, and then we glued the silhouettes onto the background and mounted them in the frame.

silhoutte_table1This turned out to be a pretty quick project, and the results are stunning. Thanks Katie!

Polka Dot Barn – Featured Sponsor

May 11th, 2013

My adorable and incredibly creative friend Alicia King recently opened an etsy store with her adorable paper goods and vintage finds. She also sells at local boutiques including one this weekend at Bliss Boutique in Pleasant Grove Utah (105 S 100 E). Her shop name is the polka.dot barn: paper goods & vintage finds.

Here are some  awesome photos of her booth and cute products. Visit her website: thepolkadotbarn.com, etsy shop: thepolkadotbarn.etsy.com,  and blog:  aliciaking.typepad.com for lots more eye candy. You can also add her on Facebook to get updates about what boutique’s she’ll be showing at:  facebook.com/thepolkadotbarn.

Now onto the drool-worthy photos:

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Isn’t her booth just so amazing! I want her to come and decorate my studio… if I had one right now. Maybe in a few months… Seriously cute stuff though – so check out her site and shop to get your hands on her adorable creations!

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Halloween Decor 2012 + DIY Chalkboard Type Art How To

October 1st, 2012

Well I kind of went crazy this year… I know I haven’t posted about this yet, but a few months ago we tore out our old fireplace surround and Mr. Project built a whole new set of built-ins plus a new mantel. We also had some snazzy new tile installed as well. So this year I had almost 3 times as much mantel space to decorate, so I focused my efforts on a big Halloween mantel display. I’ll post about the mantel later.

I reused all my decorations from last year, and added a bunch of new jars and some new artwork to the space. I also finished two projects that I tried to get to last year – a chalkboard art piece and an urn with branches and ravens.

My banner from last year stored really really well and was quick and easy to re-hang. If you’re interested in building a similar banner, it might be easier now because these Lost & Found Halloween papers have been manufactured by My Mind’s Eye and are available for purchase at most any scrapbooking retailer.

Here is the overall pic:

I tried to mostly incorporate my existing shelf decor though I did remove a few things here and there. I’ve still got a little bit of filler to add, but I like to pick up clearance items after Halloween, so you’ll have to wait till next year to see it more fluffed up. Here are a few detail shots:

(I have already been informed that I spelled Werewolf wrong)

You can see my Doctor sign and my apothecary shop sign. I designed and printed these and placed them in frames that were already on top of the shelves. I’ll probably have these printables available to purchase in my Digital Shop sometime this week along with my new apothecary labels (the labels from last year are already available).

I also took some of my Lost & Found Halloween papers (with orange glitter) and cut them to fit in some of the smaller frames I had already in the bookshelves. I just placed the images over the glass, so they’ll be really easy to remove and store for next year.  I found some old western ephemera type photos online and printed them to fit portrait sized frames to give a little spooky feel to the space.

And then this year I finally got around to my chalk art piece. Last year I bought the chalkboard (with the lace edging printed on it)from Grandin Road. I loved it and wanted to do something cool, but just ran out of time and energy. This year, since all my decorations were pretty much done, I spent the time to create some chalk word art.

It looks so fun in the space, and hopefully will last years to come!! Here’s a quick tutorial on how I did it.

This is the board to begin with (notice the creepy baby hand prints on the bottom lol):

I designed the type and layout on my computer (using illustrator), and then printed it out. The finished size is 18×32 – I printed on three 12×18 sized papers and then taped them together.

Once I knew it all fit and looked good, I did a very elementary transfer by rubbing graphite pencil lead on the back of my printout. Some sort of opaque projector would work really great, but I don’t have one of those and I figured that this would just be the easiest way to transfer my image over and prepare it for the chalk. You’ll want to tape this in place with the correct side showing (not this ugly side).

Here you can see I’ve done some of the chalk work, but more importantly you can see the graphite transfer. So if you don’t remember from elementary school, you place the design right-side up and then just hand trace with a pencil (or other hard instrument – pen, embossing tool , etc. ) and the graphite that you rubbed on the back will transfer over to the chalkboard anywhere you trace.

I did mine in sections. I’d trace and then pull back my printout and do the chalk work. I used a white chalk marker instead of chalk, and was really pleased with it. I tested some chalk sticks and since they were brand new, they just didn’t go on the surface very well, also it could be the quality of the chalkboard etc. But either way I was really happy with how the chalk marker worked. I had tons of control and it does not smudge at all once it’s dry. So I didn’t have to worry about any mistakes after I was done with a section. It will come off with water though, so watch your kids and their sippy cups! I’m going to pick up some spray fixative to hopefully keep it looking good for many years to come.

I used a ruler to do my straight lines – worked like a charm!

And here is the final outcome! I would say start to finish (not including the design work), it took me about 5 hours to do. Really not that bad, and no hand cramps afterwards. I did only use one marker, but I kept thinking it was going to die after the first section, so definitely stock up if you are doing a big design.  Oh and it was way easier to draw cursive then block lettering, so if you’re doing the design, use a lot of cursive type!

Happy Halloween!