Wednesday, August 23, 2017

DRAW A HIPPO

WATCH IT NOW!

Have a little fun today and see just how much fun digitally drawing clipart characters can be.  The actual time it took to complete this hippo was 8 minutes and 32 seconds so I sped things up a bit for you.  You'll find more hippos along with many other lineart jungle characters in my Safari Animals Jamboree linework pattern book.  Enjoy!

Friday, August 18, 2017

JUST CUT IT OUT

Annie Lang shares creative vinyl cutting ideas, free projects and patterns for use with a Silhouette Portrait electronic cutting device.
Now that I've had a chance to play with my Silhouette Portrait electronic cutting device over the summer, I thought I'd share a few of the designs and projects I created.  I'm still a novice and like any other skill that is learned, mistakes will be made and I've discovered a few 'work around" tips that I've added to the end of this blog article.  Now let's have some FUN!
Use Annie Lang's Ideas and Free Pattern to make decorative candles with vinyl cutouts


This is a SUPER EASY project that's perfect for beginners.  Need a decorative candle for the bath, knick knack shelf or for the dining table?  Dress up any jar, battery candle or glassware with a pretty flower and voila!  You can adjust the size to fit any item.  You can also use this idea to decorate fancy soaps and lotion bottles...just package them up in a decorative box along with a lidded candle jar and you'll have a delightful hostess gift on hand when you need it! Here a FREE printable for you...just right click and save to your computer.
Use Annie Lang's Free Pattern to make decorative candles with vinyl cutouts

Annie Lang shares creative ideas to create a vinyl leaf border for a table tray using a silhouette portrait
I found a pair of these tables at a summer clearance sale for $5 so I grabbed them up to use on the patio or as indoor snack trays.  Just measure the border area you want to create and then print as many motifs as you need!  This super easy design is perfect for any beginner to work with.
Make Annie Lang's vinyl cutout refuse container labels with a Silhouette Portrait electronic cutting device

This is a project I created out of necessity after a recent party.  Tape does not stick to plastic bins and printed paper ink bleeds when wet so vinyl labels seemed a logical solution.  I wanted the labels large enough for people to read yet small enough to be unobtrusive.  Since they'll be kept outdoors, I'm anxious to see how well they hold up through a Michigan winter.   I'll let you know next spring! Here's the pattern I created for the labels...
Make Annie Lang's vinyl cutout refuse container labels with a Silhouette Portrait electronic cutting device



































Annie Lang shares creative ideas on making pencil grabbers for Back to School projects using a silhouette portrait electronic cutting device

It's almost time for the kids to head back to school so why not print up a batch of pencil and straw grabbers to send them off in style!  These are also great for using as learning rewards or packaging up to sell at your next school bazaar. I've included a free sample for you along with the template.  You'll find the complete downloadable School Set Paper Clips Project activity sheet on my website for only .99
Grab On with Annie Langs Back to School Pencil and Straw Grabbers





















Annie Lang shares creative ideas on what you can make with vinyl and a silhouette portrait electronic cutting
























If you love your morning coffee as much as I do, you can use vinyl cutouts for both plastic (bean grinder) and glassware items.  I was unsure as to how well these would hold up on hot glass surfaces, but they are performing beautifully! Both glassware items have been put through my dishwasher cycles at least a dozen times and there are no signs of wear and tear.  Amazing!
Annie Lang shares creative ideas on what you can make with vinyl and a silhouette portrait electronic cutting device
I got this little red wagon for my Birthday last year from my granddaughter and have always wanted to paint something on the side rails. Vinyl cutouts were the perfect solution as they are very durable and easily adhere to wood surfaces with little effort.
Annie Lang shares creative ideas on what you can make with vinyl and a silhouette portrait electronic cutting device













This is the perfect way to tour the neighborhood in style. Maybe next time I'll take the grandkids with me!
Annie Lang shares creative ideas to decorate a child's tote set with vinyl cutouts using a silhouette portrait electronic cutting device


I fell in love with this set of cardboard suitcases I found in a local boutique shop. One suitcase will be left at my granddaughter's house for her own treasures, one box will travel back and forth to my house and the largest box will be kept at "Grandma's" house to hold lots and lots of creative supplies and surprises for her when she visits. All labels were created with printable vinyl and were personalized to make each one special.  It was also a project I could use as a visual "Fix It" tutorial so keep reading if you've ever experienced similar "Silhouette Quirks" of your own!

FIXING REGISTRATION MARKS
Annie Lang shows you how to fix incomplete registration marks for cutting with a Silhouette Portrait














This has been a consistent problem with my Silhouette...Incomplete Registration Marks when the file prints.  Since the cutter software needs to know where to make the necessary cuts, it is absolutely essential that the complete registration marks be printed plainly and cleanly on your printouts so they can be read by the cutter.  Otherwise, your project will be stopped dead in it's tracks until you get it right.  If you are using cardstock, it's an easy fix.  I just use an old plastic gift card as my ruler and then carefully complete the line myself with a black pen.
Annie Lang shows you how to fix incomplete registration marks for cutting with a Silhouette Portrait



However, I found that vinyl can be a bit more problematic because it often smears or the pen won't write cleanly on it's surface.  My solution is to make a test print on cardstock and once again, complete the bottom registration mark with a pen.  Snip off the cardstock registration marks.  Use a glue stick to apply a bit of adhesive to one of the corners and then attach it in place to the vinyl printout.  I save the remaining corner for the next vinyl printable project because as I stated above, this is a consistent problem with the Silhouette.
Annie Lang shows you how to fix black border cutout edges for cutting with a Silhouette Portrait

CLEANING UP BLACK BORDER EDGES
As a designer, I've always created motifs with a black border edge outline if they are intended to be used for papercrafts.  This allows a little "wiggle room" for those who are cutting images by hand.  Although cutouts made with my Silhouette are VERY close to accurate, I often get a few that are just slightly off a bit, leaving just a slight hint of white around my black border edges.  The fix is often quite simple...just use a black marker to make necessary corrections BEFORE removing the cutout print from the cutting mat.

I hope you enjoyed these projects and I'm really looking forward to future postings as the Holiday Crafting Season approaches!

Did you miss other related BLOG posts?
Making the Cut and Any Way You Cut It

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

ANY WAY YOU CUT IT

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images

Whether you just want to make one project or a dozen...Annie's Paper Clips Printable Project Sheets are easy and fun to use.  Here's a step by step tutorial to show you the most popular options for cutting and printing my downloadable .jpg image Paper Clips Project Sheets.

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images

















Not everyone has an electronic cutting device, but no problem!  EVERYONE can print and then manually cut Annie Lang's Printable Paper Clips Project Sheets!

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images














Here's a fun option if you have a PixScan mat and a camera or a smart phone. You just print, crop, place it on the PixScan mat and take a snapshot.  You can then import the camera image to your Silhouette Library for cutting.

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images



I'm always looking for a shortcut when it comes to spending more time creating and less time formatting files.  I like to remove all unwanted printed areas of my image before importing to my Silhouette Library for tracing and printing tasks.

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images




I am a lifelong Photoshop designer so it's only natural that I edit my importable sheet images BEFORE sending them to be traced with the Silhouette software.  I edited this image by cutting the black outside line borders and both text boxes and then saved the file to my Silhouette Library in a very speedy 27 seconds!

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images





Since most of you may not work with Photoshop, edit the file in the Silhouette software.  Click the file folder icon, select "Open a New Project" and select "Print & Cut".

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images


When you go to your Library, select the image and double click and it will automatically open in the editor for you.

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images



Don't Panic!  This file image will look absolutely GIGANTIC! Just click the image viewer icon (magnifying glass) and resize it to fit within your printable area. If editing the original file with Silhouette, you may want to resize it even smaller so you can edit it more comfortably.
Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images




To edit it in the Silhouette software, you'll need to select each unwanted area with by tracing, moving and deleting them.  This took me about 17 minutes so you now know why I prefer pre-editing the file in Photoshop! Once the image is edited, you can resize it to fit within the printable area guidelines.
Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images
Before you send your file to be printed, you have to prepare the file by tracing the image to create cutting lines and by adding registration marks so your Silhouette will know what to do with your printed image. This might be a bit tedious, but once you do it, you can save the image with the settings so you'll be ready to go when you need to create this project in the future.

Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images


























Follow this step by step tutorial How to by Annie Lang for options on how to use Paper Clip Printable Project images
These are GREAT Printable Projects for your own personal use, making rainy day activity kits for kids or for creating finished items for your small resale business. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to share this tutorial with your family and friends!

MEDIEVAL PARTY 3

Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.comAfter months of planning, we finally held our 2017 Medieval Themed Family Weekend Gathering.  Whether you're planning a Knights Party, Halloween Party or a Renaissance Faire of your own, I hope you'll find these ideas and activities as much fun as we did!
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com









There were plenty of games for everyone!  One of our family members made this water balloon game from pvc board that she cut out and painted.  The guys mounted it on sturdy posts that were staked into the ground. The little folks needed a chair and "kids" of all ages had a blast with it!  Next year's theme will be Super Heroes so we'll adapt this as a beanbag toss game and mount Super Villian faces to it.
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com






This activity was a BIG hit with the adult crowd and was actively used throughout the entire day.  A family member constructed 2 wooden targets by attaching round wood table tops (Home Depot for about $7 each) to hinged wooden legs.  Targets were then stained with a red target circle painted in the center.   The game was set back in a corner of the fenced in yard and out of the reach of children.
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com













No Medieval themed party should be without a jousting event! We purchased a Swimline 9084 Log Flume Joust Set from Amazon and it was an overwhelming success! They are challenging to get on and stay on but for those who couldn't, the "boppers" were used alone to have fun with and logs were used to float on. They were a safe party activity choice because even the strongest jouster couldn't injure you with the inflatable "boppers".  Babies, toddlers, kids, adults and onlookers ALL enjoyed this fun poolside activity.
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com

Gypsies are always welcome at any Medieval themed party and we were lucky enough to have a family member volunteer for this fun activity this year!  Best of all, she had a mini "Gypsy Girl in Training" to help her out.  The line was long at the Fortunetelling Tent with participants of all ages.  The tent we used was actually a Pop Up Pod Privacy Shelter Tent decorated with scraps of leftover plastic table coverings tied to the tent poles with cutout stars stapled to the makeshift ribbons.  The "crystal ball" is a ball wrapped in foil which sat on a candle pedestal base.  The Fortuneteller provided a prediction along with a choice of clever prizes for each participant.  Our party guests just LOVED it!
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com
Every Medieval Party needs a musical song and dance show and that's exactly what we got when we brought out the Karaoke Station at sundown! 
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com
Event participant photo footage was taken from the air with a drone. Meanwhile, on the ground, a video camera captured each and every Medieval party guest as they walked by the camera single file while marching in the King's Parade.  
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com
And now for the COSTUMES!  Most family members made their own or purchased them for pennies on the dollar after items went on sale after Halloween last year.  King's Parade family members lined up for group photos and individual shots before moving on to night swimming, snacks, chatting and singing activities.  The photo above shows just how "costume diverse" party guests can be.  The dark knight costume on the far right was created piece by piece by hand out of black foam rubber!
Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.comBoth of these impressive Knights of the Kingdom are wearing handmade costumes...or maybe one was dreamed up by his "genie"! Medieval themed party projects,decorations and fun ideas by Annie Lang to make your event memorable.   Find more fun ideas, medieval art, books and more at http://anniethingspossible.com
We also had more than a few family peasants and clergymen of the Kingdom who wholeheartedly joined in the Royal celebrations and had their fill of turkey drumsticks and wine as well! 

THE KING'S BUFFET was served from the GREAT FEASTING HALL
As for the food table ...we smoked turkey drumsticks and chicken legs for the main course.  Served alongside fruits, vegetables, salads, bread and other healthy delights, no one walked away with an empty stomach! For beverages, we served The Jester's Berry Lemonade, The Knight's Iced Tea, The King's Rum Punch, The Queen's Sangria and the last but not least...Ye Olde Margaritas. Boxed cupcakes (served by the Queen herself), ice cream, popcorn, cookies and snacks were served after dinner...much to the delight of all the children running wildly about throughout the King's Castle. 

All the Peoples of our Kingdom shall have happy memories for years to come!

Read the MEDIEVAL PARTY SETTING THE STAGE POST










Read the MEDIEVAL PARTY PLANNING IDEAS POST



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

DRAW A SILLY BIRD

See how Annie Lang draws a digital character in this YouTube video!  https://youtu.be/jtA1ChhOs1o

If you've ever wondered how I make my sketches into digital art, just watch this video to see how I do it!    When it come to artwork, I know "There's an App for that!" out there.  Most will take your sketch and instantly render it into line art or finished color art, but let's face it...there's very little challenge in only needing to know how to click a button when it comes to creativity, developing our skills and making something to call our very own.
In the upcoming months, I'll have lots more "Let's Draw" character art videos to keep you creatively inspired.  You can subscribe to my Annie Lang Art YouTube channel so you won't miss a single new video!  You can also subscribe to this BLOG which will also keep you notified of every new release.

You can use any of the art you find in my themed Line Art Pattern Books to practice your digital art sketching.  If you have the .pdf edition, simply import the art into your image editing program.  If you have softcover books, you can manually trace the line art and scan it into your program.  As per copyrights, as long as you use the art for your own personal finished work and don't lay claim to my copyrights, free share or sell the image files...we're good!
Happy Digital Drawing!    

Monday, July 10, 2017

SHOWERING BABY

Fun ideas and decorating tips for a Nature Themed Baby Shower


Looking for fun Baby Shower ideas?  Here's a few ideas you may want to try...
The theme of this shower was Nature after the new Mom-To-Be chose to decorate the nursery with a deer and dandelion design she discovered on a crib bedding set.  Invitations/Thank You cards were handcrafted with yellows, white, soft greys and natural brown colors with a mom and baby deer modeled after the bedding design.  Tabletop creations were made with a birch paper covered pot with a beaded tree branch and paper cutout deer ornaments. Simple silk flowers, vases of baby's breath and jars filled with rosemary, sage, thyme, lemon and lime slices added an inviting fragrance to each tabletop setting. Chairbacks were decorated with wide burlap ribbon and sprigs of "naturals" lending a light and airy ambiance to the room for guests to enjoy.

A new book by Annie Lang about a new baby homecoming!  Find it at http://www.annielangsbooks.com/something-weird-going-on

In lieu of gift package bows, the hostess (aka my sister-in-law!)requested guests bring a book for the baby to get a good head start on early reading adventures.  This was overwhelming accepted by all the guests, much appreciated by the Mom-To-Be and kid tested by the preschoolers in attendance!

Shower the new dad a bio-hazard kit along with some diapering advice!



Meanwhile, the Dad-To-Be was showered by the menfolk with boxes of diapers and presented with a bio-hazard kit.  The boxed kit contained a bio-hazard sign, a pair of goggles, a package of disposable masks, a large pair of rubber gloves, a set of goggles, baby wipes and a clothespin to complete the set!  For the grand finale...the Dad-To-Be was given a set of diapers by the guests with words of advice on each one like "It stinks to be You" and "This too shall pass...oh wait, it already has!"