Posts Tagged ‘Silhouette’

2017 Thank You Printable

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The time of year has come where it’s time for the annual Thank You freebie! I love doing this because it gives me a chance to work on styles and techniques I don’t always get to do on a regular basis. For this year, it meant I got to put the watercolor floral classes I’ve taken from Natalie Malan to use. I wanted to go for a slightly muted palette, but it only worked slightly. It’s like a bright, muted palette. ;)

Also, I feel like I must mention that this month completes the 10th year I’ve been blogging! I can’t believe it’s been that long. So much has changed: 6 moves, 3 children and a few career changes to say the least. I didn’t know I would be blogging this long. But here we are! ‘Tis the season for gratitude, so I may as well express that I’m so grateful for the opportunities that blogging and social media has given me. I’ve made dear friends, I’ve traveled, I’ve learned so much and I’ve felt the creative inspiration through the connections that I’ve made. It’s been pretty awesome. Will I still be here, writing in another 10? We shall see! 


This year’s Thank you takes on two forms. One is a plain, 5.5×4.25 rectangle with cut lines for you to follow, the above is a suggestion. You can download the JPG and use Silhouette’s print & cut feature to make a gorgeous full-bleed card with a scalloped edge. See below for the tutorial! 

You certainly don’t have to have a Silhouette in order to take advantage of this printable. Just click The download link below with the description “hand cut”. :) Just giving you some fun options.

DOWNLOAD SILHOUETTE FILES HERE

DOWNLOAD HAND CUT FILES HERE

But I’ve got TONS MORE ‘Thank You’s. Check out the whole list of past years’ printables below!

Want to learn calligraphy? Like the brush lettering I use here? Check out my class on Calligraphy.org. I’ll give you one-on-one instruction to help you get there. We start from the very basics, but because of the personal nature of the instruction we offer off-script learning for the more advanced letterer. Use code BRUSHLETTERING for a 10% discount on the class. :)

Materials used for this DIY: 

This printable is free for personal use only. Any redistribution or commercial use of this printable without written consent is prohibited. © Melissa Esplin 2017. Affiliate links used, by purchasing through an affiliate link, you support MelissaEsplin.com and the free content provided here. Thank you for your support! 

 

All Kids Are Artists with the Silhouette Mint

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A couple of months ago, I did a video interview for Silhouette for their Mint. It’s now up on my YouTube channel. Check it out here or the embedded video below.

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In the video I mention that anyone can be an artist with the Silhouette Mint. It’s so true! I volunteer as a youth leader for 8-12 year old girls in our congregation. We meet twice a month to talk about spiritual doctrine, learn new skills, socialize and do fun activities. As a learning activity, I taught them about the design process and had them come up with their own stamp designs. I was so impressed with the skill and focus of each of these girls! A few of them had me help them with their word art. I was a little reluctant to do that because I wanted them to have full ownership, so I made them trace and add their own personal touches to do that.

This was perhaps one of my favorite activities as their leader. Seeing them thoughtfully come up with a design, draft and draw it out was so satisfying. For best results when making your own stamps:

  • Use the brightest paper you can find. Premium laser paper is smooth and solid white.
  • Use a black, black marker. I love Pigma Professional markers for this.
  • Draw graphic at a larger scale.
  • Scan your work at 300 DPI or snap a photo under natural light.
  • Adjust your image to make your blacks blacker and your whites whiter. I adjust in my photos setting, or use your favorite image editor.
  • Open into Silhouette Mint software & make!

If you’d like to get your own Mint, now is definitely the time!! Right now they’re only $49.99 (down from $129.99)!!! That’s a steal. With Christmas around the corner, I think it’s a no-brainer.

FREEBIE: Silhouette Mint Designs & Valentines

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! I swear it was just Thanksgiving. This time of year just flies right on by. I’m teaming up with Silhouette (my favorite, as you know) to provide you with some fun printables in time for Valentine’s Day!

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The Silhouette Mint is one of my favorite new gadgets of all time. I can create a stamp in minutes. Literally. If you haven’t seen my youtube video on the process check it out here. It’s super slick, which makes card making, gift giving and label making so much more fun and customized. I wrote out a few little sayings and drew up a little banner. All these things are available to download free at the bottom of this post. If you don’t have a Mint, no problems. Feel free to use the graphics for personal use.

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This Wednesday, we had an intimate gathering to learn calligraphy and make Valentines. I wanted to allow these awesome people to use their freshly gained calligraphy skills, but also give them the opportunity to put calligraphy on something if they didn’t feel comfortable writing something out. Each guest got a calligraphy kit and a card making kit with card stock (Thanks to my favorite My Mind’s Eye peeps! We used the dark grey from this line.) and piles and piles of stickers, washi tape and stamps for everyone to deck out their cards to the gills. Because a gaudy valentine is an awesome valentine. Totally channeling my inner Schin Loong.

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These little stamps are so fun to use. See below for what size stamps I used for each design.

  • banner: 90×45 mm
  • Be Mine: 30×30 mm (on the diagonal)
  • You’re Hot: 30×30 mm
  • I Freaking Love You: 15×60 mm

If you’re interested in purchasing the Mint. Use code: MELISSA for $20 off a Mint machine! Wouldn’t it be so darling to have your kid design their own Valentine’s card? So adorable. Click the link to read more about the workshop and download the free artwork.

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How to Make A Stamp With Silhouette Mint

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CHECK OUT my instagram for details on how to win your very own Mint™ machine!

I’ve had my Silhouette Mint for a little bit now and I’m crazy in love with how quickly and accurately I can make a stamp. The below stamp design took under 20 minutes from design to stamp. The bulk of the time was spent waiting for the ink to dry so I could scan it in.

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This new-fangled miracle-worker should be on every calligrapher/designer’s list this year. It’s not terribly expensive and it cuts a lot of time out of the stamp-making process.

The stamp itself is a different technology than traditional rubber stamps. It creates a recessed area where the ink holds. Because of this, you can create super-fine hairlines and still get a great impression! You’re “limited” to 7 standard sheet sizes with the stamps, but they cover just about every range, it doesn’t feel like a limitation at all.

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See below for a step-by-step video on how to make your custom design into a stamp.

Use code: MELISSA for an exclusive discount on the Silhouette Mint for amazing Black Friday deals. I get an affiliate fee on each purchase made with the discount at silhouette.com. It helps fuel the content over here. I honestly wouldn’t be hocking Silhouette’s products if I wasn’t absolutely obsessed. I hope you like this fancy gadget as much as I do! Deals start at 12:01am MST on Thursday, November 26!

  • Free Shipping on orders over $50.00*
  • 40% off almost everything in the Silhouette America store
  • 20% off Silhouette Design Store Subscriptions*
  • Silhouette Mint $99.99
  • Portrait & Mint $189.99
  • CAMEO $199.99
  • CAMEO & Portrait $289.99

*Deals end December 4th. Free Shipping applies to Contiguous United States. For 20% off subscriptions, use code BLACK.

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Right-click on the image above to download for your own Mint making!

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By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

New things in Hawaii

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My pals at Silhouette asked if I wanted to go to Hawaii for an upcoming launch. I was more hesitant about booking the flight than Chris was since I would be leaving him alone with 3 kids for the majority of a week. That didn’t scare him! He’s so used to the family schedule (with both of us working from home) that he urged me to go and stay an extra day or two to really enjoy Oahu. It wasn’t a hollow offer. I took him up on it and lived it up Aloha-style!

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All of this fun was because of Silhouette Summit. The Silhouette team launched a slew of products last week and we who were in Hawaii, got to see it all in action first. And let me tell you, it’s amazing. 

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Image via Silhouette

July 2015, Silhouette will be launching their Curio machine, which will have the capabilities to etch, cut, stipple and most importantly emboss! I’m thinking of all of the calligraphic possibilities there and I’m nerding out just a little.

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Image via Silhoutte

Then, September 2015 (which can’t come soon enough, if you ask me) Silhouette will launch Mint. It’s the first desktop DIY stamp maker. OH yes. All calligraphers rejoice! It will use a companion software that will be compatable with fonts, the silhouette library and your own designs. Instead of 2-14 day turnaround for a custom stamp, try two MINUTES! I showed everyone on periscope, but I have no idea how to find the link to that. I’m @melissapher if you want to check out past videos and see how it works.

Through thermal printing, it exposes the “plate” and the exposed portions allow ink to saturate. And once inked, the stamp will last up to 50 impressions! Perfect for return address stamps or stamping your own business cards (which I’ve done in the past more than a few times – here, here, here). More on all this as I get to experiment with the machines themselves. Stay tuned!

But it wasn’t all business all the time. 

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Silhouette had a tour bus waiting for us Wednesday so we could explore the island more. Heather, Kierste, Linda, Cindi and I decided to go off the beaten path, rent a jeep and tour the island by hopping from one food stop to another.

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And the food in Hawaii was amazing. One of my favorite treats was a pineapple malasada I had the first day. It’s like a doughnut. But better. And filled with pineapple cream. Rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

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Image by Sarah Hearts

Then there was the shave shave ice! I got Waiola’s Passion Orange Guava with cream on top. We have shave ice in Utah during the summer months, but I’m not sure we have the ice shaved as finely as you can find at Waiola. It was remarkably refreshing.

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This is the water on Lenikai beach. A private-ish beach found on the east side of the island. A ton of beautiful homes are backed up against the beach. There are a few people lingering on the beach, but not crowded like Waikiki.

Funny thing: I’m not a beach person. They’re beautiful, but for heaven’s sakes get the sand off me!! I have insane texture issues. Needless to say, I brought my swimsuit, but I really only got up to my knees in the water. A shame since it’s Hawaii.

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This may be completely odd, but the highlight of my trip to Hawaii was teaching a calligraphy workshop at South Shore Paperie. We partied with brush markers, ate some delicious pastries and joked that I sounded like a chain smoker.

I lost my voice through the course of the trip. Something that had been working its way through my system since before I left, perhaps. I felt fine despite my voice sounding terrible, thank goodness.

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Image by Bradley & Lily

We spent considerably more than the 2 hours I budgeted for the workshop, but we all couldn’t tear ourselves away from the learning. We also couldn’t help but drool over the gorgeous Bradley & Lily stationery line. They just launched a new feature on their website allowing customers to essentially complete their own invitation design. Sometimes I wish I could get married all over again simply so I could use all of the wonderful resources out there like this one. I digress.

I was incredibly impressed at how well everyone did during the workshop! Great focus, good positioning and neat practice! My favorite part of my job is seeing other people catch the calligraphy bug and run with it. That enthusiasm really pushes me to work harder on my own craft. Follow along here and instagram for a Utah brush lettering workshop coming soon.

This post isn’t sponsored by Silhouette. I just really, REALLY can’t wait for these products to launch! They’re both game-changers. 

 

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