Sunday, 12 February 2012

Valentine Hearts

As usual I am running late, and with a very short deadline… It will be a miracle if my hubby gets a Valentine’s card at all this year, but he will have to console himself that I did go rather over the top with stuff for him last year!!

Last year I took part in a digital scrapbooking challenge and came up with this design for Valentine’s, created in Serif CraftArtist digital scrapbooking software.

I’ve been working all evening to try and come up with something based on this design, working in Inksccape, which is still pretty new software for me, and I’m still finding my way. This is the first basic heart I drew.

I then created three nesting hearts from this, and put them in a square. Each shape is in a different colour, so that SignCut (the software I am using with Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine) can cut each colour separately. I will end up with 3 squares, each with a different sized heart-shaped aperture cut in it, which I shall layer with double-sided foam squares to create some depth.

I spent some time searching through various Inkscape tutorials (thank you Carolyn!) on the Inkscape Cutting Design forum and also on Youtube, and eventually learnt how to make a scalloped border around a heart. It is relatively simple round a circle or a square, but using “add pattern along path,” the small shape which becomes the border was always distorted. However, I was eventually directed to use “Generate from path>Scatter” which worked absolutely brilliantly!

This is the first one I did – combining the basic heart shape with a small circle:

This one went very well, without distortion, using “pattern along path,” but what I really wanted was an open scallop, using a small circle with a hole in the middle, and this is where the problems began. Using “Scatter” I managed to get this result:

The final touch was to add some text:

The idea is to cut this as small as I can, to make a sort of charm to attach to the card. The letters will be cut out in a stencil effect. It would be fun to cut it in shrink plastic, but I’m not sure I’m up to that with Sheba yet – I am still struggling to get a good, consistent cut, although I have had some success with regular cardstock rather than mirror card or the very dense navy blue card I started with (and used too much force and blunted my blade by cutting too deeply into my mat… grrrr).

This small piece will hang loose on the bottom of the card. I also want to make up some paper flowers and leaves to embellish the front, and some ribbon, and maybe a few feathers. The final touch will be to add some small hearts on acetate strips so that they move, emerging from the centre aperture of the card.

I really want to do this!! I’ve got so little time, and since Christmas my health has been such rubbish that I haven’t been able to spend the time in my ARTHaven that I would have liked, and I can’t depend on being well enough over the next couple of days either… We shall see. If I really can’t do it, I shall do a print-out of the digital layout and make that into a card for him. It won’t be quite the same, but it may have to do!

All these heart drawings have now been uploaded to my SkyDrive (see link in my sidebar) and can be freely downloaded.

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