HAPPY BIRTHDAY | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen on the blog today, I hope you have all had time to be creative this weekend. I’m here with a new share, a sweet page that features my daughter on her 10th birthday.  I’ve been meaning to scrap this one for a while now so when I saw the latest CSI Challenge number 306, it was like it was meant to be!

If you don’t know, CUT to YOU is a Prime sponsor for the CSI Scrapbook Challenge this year! We are teaming up with the fab girls over there to get you inspired and help you win FREE CUT FILES! Yep, every month this year you could win yourself some CUT to YOU digital files along with lots of other wonderful prizes, so be sure to pop by and check out the challenges. There really is something for everyone and I for one, LOVE them!

Now, onto the layout…. As soon as I saw this Case, I immediately thought of the ‘Wedding Cake‘ cut file with its floral elements and details. I cut it on white cardstock and then backed it with some pretty paper scraps. Most of these are from Maggie Holmes Crate Paper, some are also from Felicity Jane. I mixed and matched what I had and just kept in mind the soft tones featured in the Casefile.

With my cut file-backed, I positioned it right in the centre of the page… for this design, I just wanted to work from the centre outward and had planned to keep things pretty simple so I didn’t even mount it. Next up, I backed my photo with some pretty lemon cardstock and then had a think about my title. I’ve mentioned a few times before, I feel like once I have my cut file element, photo and title positions locked in, the rest of the page comes together really quickly.

For my title, I’ve mixed some Simple Stories alphabet stickers with some Thickers from my stash and a cute little puffy sticker from Paige Evans and really just played with their position (along with the position of the photo) until I was happy.

From there, it really was just about adding some extra elements to the page. I didn’t want to add too much, I didn’t want to cover up my pretty cut file and all that work I had done to back it. I pulled out some floral elements and a cute little butterfly from the depths of my stash as well as a cute paper bow, some sequins and enamel dots and called the page complete.

I love how this sweet page came together, so I hope it inspires you in some way and you get a chance to play along with the Case over at CSI. As always, I really do love seeing what you make so please keep sharing your projects with me!

Until next time,

Christmas Giveaway – Holly Jolly Christmas Day 12

Hey Creatives,

Welcome to DAY 12  of our 12 days of Christmas GIVEAWAY!  I hope you have enjoyed all the file shares we have had over the past 11 days, I certainly have enjoyed sharing them with you and seeing the wonderful DT creations.  I’ve left the best for last because today’s file is a brand new design, so I know you gals won’t have this one!

Our last design for you is the ‘Holly Jolly Christmas’ cut file.

For this page, I started by cutting out the file super large.  The plan for the page I had was to have the words running down the left-hand side of the page with my portrait photo running down the right-hand side.  I am loving working with non-traditional Christmas colours this year and have chosen this fun collection by Pink Fresh Studio.  I’ve backed the file letter by letter alternating fun patterns from the collection.

Now that my cut file is backed, I’ve added some foam tape behind each of the letters as I did want it to be lifted off of the background.  I then sorted out the placement of my photo and then added some pretty pale blue watercolour to my cardstock underneath the position of the title.

Once my background was dry, I’ve added my cut file and photo on top and secured.  It was now just a matter of adding some fun embellishments.

To finish the page off, I’ve added a sweet and sparkly fabric navy bow.  I love how the cutfile really helped to get this page done quickly and I really do love the colours in this page.  I love how such a large bold cut file design can bring a page together.

Inspired and ready to create!

Simply enter the code: HOLLYJFREE at checkout to get this design for free.
No additional purchase necessary.
This code is only valid until midnight AEST on December 12th, 2019.  **No exceptions – Please check your time zone against ours here in Australia as we are a day ahead.
 
Coupon code must be entered to receive this item for free. No refunds will be given. The design will still be available in the CUT to YOU Cut file store for purchase after the discount code expires if you miss out.
 
AND… that finishes up our 12 days of Christmas.  Thanks so much for joining in and I hope you love all of the files! As always I would love to see how you are using them on your projects so be sure to share on any of our social media channels and tag #cuttoyou
 
Until next time,

HAPPY CHRISTMAS | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends!

I hope you are all well!  Gwen up on the blog today with a new share, and yes, it’s a Christmas layout! I am feeling so festive already and am loving all of the Christmas ideas I’m seeing at the moment.  AND, yes… I am still considering doing December Daily this year! Every year I really want to and then I don’t think I’ll take enough photos so I skip it. I just love the idea of it though for sure! For now, I’m all about Christmas layouts…. and this one features a sweet little pic of Miss C from Christmas 2019 when we were on vacation.

The design of the page started with my photo. I always aim to get last years Christmas photos scrapbooked before the next Christmas as I’ve found come January, I’m not really in the Christmas creating mood. It’s so nice in the lead up to the festive season to be making Christmas themed pages so now’s the time I get them all done! I also wanted to use a couple of the new Christmas designs. First up the stocking ‘Christmas Stocking‘ and secondly, the title ‘Happy Christmas‘.I’m working with the latest Christmas collection by Pink Fresh Studio and began by backing both of the cut files. I had in mind that the stocking would be on the left of the page and the title on the right with my photo in between. I just mixed and matched the pattern papers until I was happy. Then, backed my photo in coordinating colours.

With lots of patterns in the cut files, I wanted to make my background white but found even with foam, the files weren’t popping off the page. So.. I got brave and added some watercolour to my background. I’m so so happy with how it looks, it’s still in my subtle style but really gave the page the dimension and pop it needed. Watercolour done and positions of the files and photos sorted, it was time for some embellishments.

This one was a little tricky to embellish actually, as there was a lot going on with the two cut files so I just wanted to add a little more detail. I started by adding in two of the sweet little deer icons and really just built the clusters around them. I’ve gone with the main cluster above my title and then some smaller ones to lead the eye around the page. I’ve then finished it off with some enamel dots.

I really love the cool and fresh vibe of this page and all the details of the pattern papers and of course the cut files! I hope you are getting your Christmas craft on and as always I love seeing your pages – be sure to tag #cuttoyou on your creations so I can find them AND they may even be featured on the CUT to YOU Instagram!

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,

5 Essentials for Cutting Digital Cut Files

Hey Creatives,

Gwen with you on the blog today, I hope you are well.   I get asked all of the time about what I would recommend to anyone looking at getting an electronic die cutting machine for the first time.  There is a lot of info out there and it can be overwhelming, so, today I thought I’d share my personal recommendations for starting out; what you DO and don’t need.  Here are my 5 essentials, get these and you’re ready to get creating!

First things first, you need a cutting machine!

My recommendation will always be a Silhouette and in particular a Cameo.  I personally cut with a Cameo 3 however there is a new model recently released –  Cameo 4.  I haven’t heard enough reviews at this stage to confidently recommend the Cameo 4, but I’d definitely recommend the Cameo 3.    You can see the Cameo 3 features here.  I’ve found specifications for the Cameo 4 here.  You will want to have a think about the types of projects you will be working on to make your choice.  Currently, the Cameo 3 is doing a stellar job of meeting the needs of CUT to YOU and myself.

Also, you will need a computer of some sort as well as the FREE Silhouette Studio Software which you can download here.  A great idea is to download the software before you even buy a machine and have a play.  Check out the features and see if its right for you.

Next, cutting mats.  Now if you are under warranty, you should not use anything but genuine Silhouette parts.  Doing so will void your warranty!  Once you are out of warranty, I’d recommend the Universal Crafts 12 x 12 inch sticky Cutting Mats.  Currently, these are $6.99 compared to the Silhouette mats at $17.99, so a great cost-saving especially if you are cutting a lot like I do!

Next, blades.  Now, this is tricky because I’m still on the fence about the auto blade.  Cameo 3 and 4 now work with an automatically adjusting blade called the Autoblade (Side note! **The Cameo 4 auto blade is different to the Cameo 3 auto blade) and in theory, it’s great in that you don’t have to adjust the blade to different settings for your different materials.  My experience though is that it is fickle… it’s very sensitive and I have had a couple last only a few weeks!  I pretty much only cut on white card so I don’t need to adjust blade settings much at all, so, I’m personally thinking of switching back to the Premium blade.  The Auto blade is $17.99 and the Premium Blade $26.99 but the Premium blade does last 3 times as long as the regular blade.  Deep cutting and fabric blades are also available, you don’t need these to start… but hey, if you are feeling adventurous go for it!

Next up.. Accessories.  The only one I think you 100% need is the scraper.  You can buy them individually or as part of a tool kit.  The weeding tools are handy if you are planning on cutting vinyl but if your machine is just for papercraft, you absolutely don’t need them.  The scraper, on the other hand, is a must-have to help get your files off that sticky mat.

And lucky last cardstock…  I have been using American Crafts basic cardstock but I am considering changing over to their new Precision option once I’m out of my current stock.  I am getting some issues with the paper splitting as I pull it off my cutting mat and I’ve heard this will fix that.  You can see more about that here.  I’ll update with my thoughts once I’ve had a chance to fully trial the Precision card.  Remember too you can cut on any pattern paper as well which is always a really nice effect.  My favourite pattern paper to use are by Cocoa Vanilla Studio and Pink Fresh Studio – both beautiful quality and nice and thick.

And that’s it… the 5 things you need to start cutting your own digital cut files.

Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to the CUT to YOU Newsletter.  Every 2 weeks I send everyone on the list a FREE digital cut file.  Not on the list? You can sign up here.

Until next time,

SWEET LOVE | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

I hope you all have a creative weekend ahead planned.  Gwen with you on the blog today with a new share, a sweet page that features my hubby and daughter.  This photo was actually taken very recently on a family lunch for my recent birthday.  Part of my birthday gift request was a quick family photoshoot so you’re sure to be seeing more of these photos in upcoming projects.

The design of the page for this one started with the cut file – this one is called ‘Floral Bouquet Set‘.  This was released recently and being the floral lover than I am, I just had to use it!  I’ve cut it out quite large as I had planned for it to be the main element of my page and then went about backing it.  I’ve gone with quite plain pattern papers and blocked the colour on the leaves and petals.With that done, I then just went about positioning the cut file and my photos on the page.  I was really keen to get both photos on this one, something I don’t do a lot and would like to do more!  I love how they both tell the story of their sweet relationship.  I just kept shuffling things around until I was happy with the position of everything.I’ve positioned the bottom cut file (the largest one) flat on to my background and then raised on foam the second cut file piece.  I love how I now have beautiful layers in my cut file and lots of details on my page.I’ve also raised the photos up with some foam for added dimension.Next, I’ve added in my title.  I wanted to pull a pop of black from the photos into my embellishment features and found this chipboard word ‘sweet’ in black that was perfect.  I also found a bold white and black word ‘love’ so my title has become ‘Sweet Love’.    This is one of the things I really love about working with cut files, you can pull older embellishments from your stash that are not quite enough to make a page and stretch them into a full layout.  The cut file pulls the few extra elements together.I’ve also pulled from my stash some sweet puffy hearts, some photo corners, and a soft pink bow.  I’ve also used some Epoxy Flairs from Scrappin Happy Studio and I just love how they finish off the page. I love this sweet page and it actually came together pretty fast, so I hope it inspires you in some way and as always, I really do love seeing what you make so please keep sharing your projects with me!

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,

TOGETHER FOREVER | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen with you on the blog today with a new share using my very first Travelers Notebook cut file!  I’ve made a stack of these for the TN peeps out there, (you can shop them here) and always said, these are great for scrapbooking too and today I thought I’d show you!  This photo was taken at my wedding 18 years ago and from memory is the 2nd or 3rd wedding photo I’ve scrapbooked.

I started with the ‘TN Together Documented‘ cut file and resized it quite large knowing I was working with a 6×4 photo.  I’ve backed the design with pretty paper from Cocoa Vanilla Studio ‘Midnight‘ Collection, it really is beautiful for Wedding photos.  I went with a darker paper to fill the hearts in the design and something lighter and soft for the letters.

I’ve then backed my photo with just a single mount for this one and stitched around the edge as I normally would.  I’ve also added 3D foam behind for added dimension and then decided on the position of the cut file and the photo.  I like to nut out this part of the design early so that I have a direction for the page.

Next up, I’ve pulled out some co-ordinating embellishments, most of these from the Die Cut Ephemera pack of the collection as well as my foam Thickers.  I decided to add to the ‘Together’ in my cut file to make the title ‘Together Forever’.

I’ve now added in some more floral elements and this cute navy bow.  I’ve worked in my usual loose, flowing clusters to help draw the eye around the page and finished it off with this sweet flair from Felicity Jane.

And that was the page done AND as you can see, even though it is a Traveler’s Notebook design as such, it is also perfect for layouts.  The rectangle format would also work super well with the 9 1/2 x 11 size, so if you love those, the TN designs are for you!

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,

LIVING THE DREAM | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen with you popping onto the blog today.  I have a new share with a file I’ve been meaning to work with for a while.  It’s called ‘Quad Frames’ and when I designed it, I had in mind the grid design scrapbook pages that I love the simplicity of.  Funnily enough, though, my first page working with it turned out to NOT be a grid design at all!

 

As I mentioned above, the idea for the page actually started with the cut file ‘Quad Frames‘, I had this one on my list for a while now to create with and had planned to make a grid design page.  I also had on my desk the latest collection by Cocoa Vanilla Studios which I am crushing over right now, and this picture of my husband, daughter and myself in a helicopter flying over the Grand Canyon!  I have had this photo in my pile to create with for years now and just couldn’t get the colours to work, until ‘Unforgettable’ came along, it was a perfect match.

The Quad Frames design was cut as large as I could on the 12 x 12 cardstock. I then pulled out some Shimmerz watercolor paint.  I’ve coloured each block of the design in a new colour and initially was thinking of keeping the blocks and doing something in a tone on tone look for each square.  Pink elements on the pink block, green elements on the green block etc.

It was at this point that I realised that the photo was just too large (width ways) for that to work and I didn’t want to reprint smaller or crop it any further, so I changed plans.  I decided on a vertical design with the photo in the center of my page.  I mounted it on a pretty floral paper and stitched around the edge.  As always I’ve added stitching here too.  This same paper I’ve used for the outer edge of my page and added stitching around the edge as well.  I do this a lot because I feel it really pulls the elements of the page together.

Next, I stuck down the cut file keeping everything really centered and then added my photo on top.  I’ve then gone ahead pulling out lots of elements from the collection and adding pieces working from the top to the bottom of the page down the centerline.

I’ve just kept auditioning elements until I was happy, being careful to consider how the eye will be directed around the page and how all of the elements tie together.

I’d really loved the sentiment ‘Living the Dream’ because this America trip was a dream come true for me, I had always wanted to go to Disney Land and the Grand Canyon for a white Christmas and it was so good to be able to go and do that and give that gift to our daughter.  Lots of journaling on the back of this page for this one!

And that was the page done!  I love how the cut file frames the design for this one and that even though the page wasn’t what I had initially thought to do, I still love how it turned out.

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,

WORK SAVE TRAVEL REPEAT | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen with you up on the blog today with a new share today featuring one of the newer designs and playing with some more new scrappy goodies!  I’ve been itching to scrap this pic of Miss C and me for a while now and this cut file was perfect for it!

I really wanted to design some cut files that would help us all document our travels.  Rather than creating specific ones for locations we might visit, I wanted some that could be broadly used for any kind of travel no matter what the destination and this one ‘Traveler Background‘ is one of my favs!

I’ve blown up the world shape super large and positioned on the background of my page, overlapping one edge.  I’ve also added some stitching along each of the lines just for some extra detail.  Next, I went about backing the title.  For this, I’ve done it in blocks of colour, I felt like I needed to help it stand out from that watercolor pattern on the background, and figured this would be a good way to go about doing that.  I feel like the colour blocking also helps you read the title.

I’ve mounted the title up on foam as well which helps separate it from the background, especially when viewing the page in real life.  I then mounted my photo and positioned the photo and title piece onto the background.  You’ll see it’s a perfect fit edge to edge! (No, I didn’t plan that when sizing the title, it just worked out that way).

The page was really coming together now, it was just a matter of adding in some embellishments.

I didn’t want to do too much and take away from the work I had already done so I’ve kept the embellishing really to two small clusters, one at the top right-hand side of my photo, the other on the bottom edge of the photo.  I feel these do help lead your eyes down the page and finish off the page nicely.

I am in love with this collection and this cut file and will definitely be using it again for more of my travel pics!

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,

OH SO LOVELY | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen with you up on the CUT to YOU blog today with a new share playing with some newly purchased scrappy goodies!  There is nothing quite like new supplies and fresh-cut cut files to get you inspired right!  Here is what I’ve created.

The idea for this page actually came from my photo and the sentiment from Pink Fresh Studio which says “You are my favourite notification”…. Miss 12 is ALL ABOUT her photo at the moment so it was very cute to document her on her phone instead of chatting to me on a recent ‘coffee date’ and that sentiment said it all 🙂  I’ve teamed it with two cut files, the first was the ‘Open Leaf‘ which I really just wanted to use a background layer and interest for my page and the ‘Oh So Lovely‘ sentiment title which yes, I’ve used as a title.

I’ve simply backed each of these in the pattern papers, I’ve chosen quite plain designs as I really wanted this page to have a clean and simple look about it.  I knew I had the four photo collage as my photo to work with and didn’t want those four images cluttered by bold pattern papers.  Oh, I did add some stitching, along the centre of the ‘Open Leaf’ design.

I’ve created the page as I normally would, first starting with the cut files, backing them and then nutting out the layout design.  Normally that means positioning my photo first, but in this case, as I knew for sure I wanted to use that sentiment, it was a matter of positioning the sentiment, my photo and the cute Open Leaf cut file.  Next, I positioned my title.

I like to lock in the position of larger elements first when designing the layout for page as I find if I leave these bigger pieces until later on, they rarely fit.  Using them first up really guides me in the design.  With all that locked in and looking good, it was now just a matter of adding in the smaller elements to finish off the page.

Here is a close up of the title… I have backed it here on foam tape for added dimension and love the shadow it creates when I do this.The extra embellishments rounded out my page nicely and I’ve called it done.  I love the softness and clean lines of this one.

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,

SO FUN | GWEN WRUCK

Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen with you on the blog today with a new share!  I’ve been absolutely itching to use the new Butterfly Cluster cut file for a sweet page of Miss C and me… I just love this cut file so much!  I love how versatile it is and how you can mix and match the layers and parts of the cut file to suit your project.  Here is what I’ve made.

To start my page, I’ve cut the cut file out twice.  Firstly with a pale pink cardstock and the second time with white cardstock.  I had an idea to use the white as my background and the pink as the butterfly inserts for the page.  You could absolutely mix and match here with pattern papers or even vellum for lots of different page themes.

I’ve backed the white cardstock with a bold print, this one from Maggie Holmes Crate Paper.  The idea for choosing something bold was to help the block shape of the butterflies stand out.  I also wanted to make sure I made a contrast between the background, the backed paper design and the pink sections of the butterflies.

This cut file is super fast to back, so if you are new to using them on your projects I would definitely recommend this one!

Once my cut file was all sorted and looking good, it was time to back my photo.  For this, I’ve used the same pink cardstock.  I wanted to make pink my highlight colour and using it around the photo really helps draw your eye to it.  It’s one thing to have a pretty cut file on your page, but you don’t want it to be so detailed or distracting that you are drawn to it over your precious photos!

It was now time to stitch!  I’ve hand stitched the elements in the die cut with some embroidery thread, again, using pink.  I’ve also stitched with my sewing machine around the edge of my photo and my layout to bring it all together.  I’ve then mounted my photo onto foam for dimension and added to my page.

At this stage, the page was really coming together.  It was now time for a title and some finishing touches.  I’ve gone with a chipboard title from the same collection as my pattern paper for consistency.  I’ve also just had a big dig through my stash for anything in the blue/green tone that would match.  Another great reason to invest in cut files…. they really do help you bust the smaller elements of your stash.  Adding a cut file to a small selection of embellishments really does pull a page together.

 

Once all of my elements were added the page was done!  This really did come together quickly and I just love how it turned out.

You can see the latest designs from CUT to YOU here, ohh so many options to choose from.

Until next time,