Posts Tagged ‘Silhouette’

New things in Hawaii


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!


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. 


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


The Purrfect Valentine


Penelope found my Paper Source catalog last month and basically flipped out when she saw the front cover featuring these little Kitten and Puppy Valentines. It didn’t look like they had pockets, so I thought it would be fun to DIY our own version.


Instead of having 6 parts that need to be assembled, I made it into 3 parts (including googly eyes) with a pocket for a special treat.


This one I made for my sister-in-law who is heading out to Spain soon as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I included some stickers, postage (’cause I want mail from her!) and a temporary tattoo.

I didn’t do any calligraphy for Penelope’s handouts. I wanted Penelope to have artistic control over assembling. She ran with it! She decided to give the kittens winky faces. Then she grabbed spare hearts from the kittens to use for eyes. She had fun. And she owned the project!

I used Illustrator, my Silhouette and My Mind’s Eye paper (paper provided by MME) to complete this project. Side note: MME plain cardstock takes ink remarkably well! WIN!

Silhouette Promotion: Print and Cut feature


So. . . Exciting news for anyone who makes artwork in illustrator and cuts with Silhouette. Silhouette has a plug-in for that. Now you can cut directly from Illustrator or Corel Draw using Silhouette Connect!


It’s quite convenient. I spent a total of 20 minutes designing, cutting and ironing Penelope’s little heart decal last week. It’s a much faster process! Also, the software detects the size of your artwork and sends everything to the cut program in-tact. No resizing necessary.


There are a couple of bugs that need to be fixed with the software: no where on the cut settings does it tell me at what position I should adjust the knife (I end up opening the other silhouette application just to get that information or I guess) and there have been a couple of connectivity issues where I have to turn off and on my machine and disconnect and reconnect the USB in order for the software to detect the machine. Annoying? Sometimes. Dealbreaker? No way.

This month’s promotion, we’ve been asked to highlight the print and cut feature. I don’t like it, to be quite honest. I wasted several hours trying to get my printer and silhouette to play nicely. And all I got out of it was 1 alright fake return address label out of it. Here’s the breakdown of my personal experience (please pipe up if you’ve had a great experience with the print & cut feature! I really hate to dwell on the negative around here):

  • 1st sheet: Didn’t cut all the way through, even though settings were for “printable foil”- I also discovered that the Silhouette doesn’t cut anything outside the registration marks (good to know)
  • 2nd sheet: I accidentally printed the cut guides (user error)
  • 3rd sheet: Silhouette didn’t line up at all with printing. Even with adjusted cut settings, still didn’t cut through gold foil paper
  • 4th sheet: Registration marks weren’t printed all the way by my printer, so cutter didn’t detect cuts properly
  • 5th sheet: Registration marks and printing came out perfect on kraft sticker paper. Cutting started off right, but then got slightly off as the cutter continued down the page.

My studio has been a disaster zone full of half-completed projects, so there may have been some serious yelling and throwing of paper and craft supplies at that point. The mechanics of the feature were easy enough to figure out without the user manual (although it can help with troubleshooting), but I couldn’t trust the precision of either printer or cutter to get anything spot on.  I want pixel perfection!

Despite all that negativity, I still love my Silhouette cutter. Why? Because I don’t tend to use that feature in my projects. I’m sure I could think up something more clever than return address labels if I ever get out of my creative slump, but knowing how frustrating this whole process has been to get one half-decent label will likely squash anything clever that comes along. I may keep trying to get that perfect recipe of machine harmony to try and get this feature to work together. Until then, I’m going to continue doing my happy dance that I can cut directly from Illustrator for everything else.


This month you can get great deals on machines and 30% off all specialty media! Click here for more info. Use code: MELISSA at checkout. Valid through March 31, 2014.

I am a Silhouette affiliate. I wouldn’t blog about their products unless I really loved them. And I do. I receive a portion of sales made with the promotional code MELISSA, so thank you for your support!!

Off My Creative Game


I’ve been off my creative game lately. I’ll blame it on the fact that life is just getting exponentially busier. I’m not complaining, but making more of an effort to carve out creative time seems to be a must these days.


We didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day like I  had hoped: with a trail of candy leading to a warm breakfast. I did it last year and just loved Penelope’s response. This year, it didn’t happen. As disappointed as I was in myself for not making it happen, Penelope didn’t care. I hope that she’ll be surprised and excited when I get around to doing fun things for holidays, but not ever feel entitled if they don’t happen just the way she envisions. I think that’s a hard balance to strike, especially with the driving force of over-celebrating that Pinterest sometimes brings (anyone read this article that’s resurfaced the last few weeks?).


This shirt I decorated yesterday would have made for the perfect Valentine’s touch LAST MONTH, but it doesn’t matter. What matters to me most was her reaction when I gave it to her. It didn’t elicit a reaction of “Mommy, I should have worn that for Valentine’s.”, but “WHAAAT?? Mommy!! Is that for MEEEEEE???”. This girl’s reactions to even the smallest gestures are the best thing in the world. They remind me why I longed to be a mom in the first place.


  • Shirt: Walmart
  • Heart design: Me, using Silhouette Iron-on material
  • Velvet pants: Walmart
  • Shoes: Amazon

I finally got around to sewing this week! I’ll be sharing those details with you tomorrow.

Letter Lover Calligraphy + 30 % Off Silhouette Promo


Chris keeps asking me why I’m going to such great lengths on preparations for Alt Summit. He’s very supportive; buying me more decal material when I mess up the one sheet I have, meeting with one of my friends to pick up the surprise for this year’s business card (still not done) and feeding kids while I’m sewing and lettering like a maniac.

As I was planning my outfits, I decided I needed to do another printed shirt as a “resume” of what  I can do (see last year’s). I was trying to come up with something cheeky like “this is what a calligrapher looks like”. Alas pretty words, not clever ones, are my expertise. So I opted for a simple “Letter Lover” in the shape of a heart. A nod to Megan’s brilliant heart sweater.


I struggled to figure out if I should go with a black decal or go blingy with a shimmery metallic. The metallic won out.


I’m loving the mixed metallics trend I’ve seen pop up here and there, so I decided I need to roll with that next week. This will be part of my Wednesday outfits at Alt Summit. I can’t wait to go! Oh wait! I can! There’s so much to do! I haven’t even started printing my business cards (letterpress plates coming tomorrow!).

Yesterday, I designed and finished this shirt, sewed another shirt and tie dye skinny jeans from scratch. All that’s left are cards, signage, one shirt and two skirts! Totally doable in 7 days.


As I was working on the design for this sweatshirt, I was thinking about the actual time it takes me to write a post like this. Just an FYI (since we’re all about blogging and prep work at the moment), here’s the breakdown:

  • drafting and designing the decal: 90 minutes
  • cutting and ironing: 30 minutes
  • minor fixes to the fit of the sweatshirt: 5 minutes
  • hair, make-up and styling: 60 minutes
  • shooting and editing photos: 30 minutes
  • writing the post: 30 minutes

That’s just over 4 hours for one of my smaller posts (no tutorials included). I’d like to get faster in these processes, but I don’t know how much faster I could really get sometimes. Blogging just takes a lot of time. I still love it anyway.


Outfit details:



Also, Silhouette is offering 30% most items in their shop. This basically applies to supplies and extras like heat transfer and vinyl (my two favorites), stamps and more. Use code MELISSA at check out for the discount. Click here to shopThe 30% discount does NOT apply to the machines, gift cards, $10/$25 download cards, shapes, out of stock items or subscriptions. 


I am a Silhouette affiliate. I wouldn’t blog about their products unless I really loved them. And I do. I receive a portion of sales made with the promotional code MELISSA, so thank you for your support!!
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