"". Cut Two Pieces: 2009

Monday, 9 November 2009

Two sets of nested shapes - Scalloped Diamond.

Two sets of nested shapes ranging in size from 2" to 5.25" in 1/4" increments. The scalloped diamonds are stacked as a nested set and both sets are on the one document. One set has a lattice oval cut out and the other set is designed as a backing mat.
I cut by colour and the shapes are nested. You may have to open them in Inkscape and resave if you are using different software.
- Cut out projects can be sold.
- The digital file cannot be sold. 
- Please do not repost the digital file on any other website or forum and refer people to this post to download the file.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Free files

I was bored today, so I decided to go through my folder of Inkscape files and found these two circular shapes. I cut them out and decided they might look okay if they had words embossed in the centres. I do not have many stamps and could only find a few that would fit.
Each file consists of two parts, the white part and a coloured backing mat. I cut them out 100mm (approx 4 inches) wide but they can be resized to suit your project.

- Cut out projects can be sold.
- The digital file cannot be sold. 
- Please do not repost the digital file on any other website or forum and refer people to this post to download the file.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Craft Robo owners can cut directly from Inkscape.

You can now design your files in Inkscape then cut to your Craft Robo or Silhouette directly from Inkscape. Angela at Cards U Like has posted a very easy to follow pictorial showing the steps involved.
Think of the time you can save. You do not have to save as DXF and import into Robo Master to cut. You can design and cut from the one program, Inkscape. Go and have a look and give it a try.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Loading a Font Temporarily.

Did you know you can use a font without having to load it into the Windows fonts directory? The following instructions work on computers running Windows and make it possible to use a font temporarily in Inkscape, Funtime and Robo Master. It will probably work in other programs too.
The following steps have to be completed before you open the software. I will show an example of how it works in Inkscape.

Do not open Inkscape until you have completed the following steps.
1. Locate your folder of font files on the computer or external drive.
2. Open the folder of the font you wish to use.
3. Right click on the font and select Open with and then select Windows Font Viewer.
Click on the image for a larger view.

After selecting Open with>Windows Font Viewer the selected font will open in a folder like the example shown below. The font will be available as long as this folder is open.
Open Inkscape and open Text and Font, as you can see by the screenshot below, the font is now available. This is a great way to use a font without having to load it, or use a font management program. Of course, if you use a font frequently it will be worth loading permanently.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Birthday Boy

My son Carl's medieval themed 21st party was a success. I haven't posted for a while as I was exhausted after the party and it took a week to remove all the props we used. Not to mention the two dust storms that hit Brisbane in the week we were trying to pack everything away.

I would like to thank my brother and his wife, Jayne for taking the photo's on the day. They have a Facebook page, "Photography by Jayne and Steven" as they are wedding photographers. I am sure I will be in trouble when Jayne spots this post as these are the unedited images. As soon as I get the edited images I will be making Carl an album and will post many of the files I design for free downloading.

Carl with his wooden bowl and spoon which he made us all use and cutting the cake with his version of a knife.
The jousting horses made out of cardboard.

Sword Fighting with swords made out of lightweight wood.


Some of the great costumes worn to the party.
 The photographers. Jayne and Steven.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Sites with Inkscape Tutorials

If you don't have Inkscape, follow this link to download the free program. Here. The download link is at the top right for Windows users.

Here is a list of sites I know have Inkscape tutorials. Many of the sites listed have video tutorials and I have watched very few, as I have internet that runs slower than dial up speed most of the time. When I do have a good connection and can watch videos I go to screencasters.heathenx.org. The following list of links are the sites I know about and I am sure there are many more. If you know of any good sites I have missed let me know and I will add a link to the site.

The first links are to manuals. These are the sites I visit regularly to learn Inkscape.
 A Quick Guide to Inkscape. This link is great, especially for people new to Inkscape. It very clearly shows all the basic steps you need to learn and is very easy to understand.
Inkscape - A Guide to Vector Drawing Program. A great easy to read and understand manual for Inkscape written by Tavmjong Bah.

Graphic Designers
The next list of links are tutorials written by graphic designers who use Inkscape. All of the tutorials are great but if you are designing files for your cutter remember a graphic artist only needs to make images look like they are in one piece, if you plan to cut items they need to be in one piece. Follow the tutorials to learn how to design in Inkscape but go one step further and make the files suitable for cutting.
screencasters.heathenx.org Very easy to follow and understand video tutorials.
Learn Digital Design  Another site with easy to follow video tutorials.
Very Simple Designs Very easy to follow tutorials. There is a great one on Spiro swirls.
Inkscape Tutorials Weblog - Features tutorials from various sites. A lot of these are only suitable for graphic designers but well worth a look for sourcing new sites and new information.
You Tube - this link will take you to over 60 video tutorials. Some are from people who are graphic designer and other tutorials are from people who own cutters.
Graphic Tip another site with video tutorials from both graphic designers and owners of cutters.
Nicu's How-to Inkscape, Gimp and Open Office tutorials. The post on postage stamps is great as it shows three different ways to achieve to look. 
The order of the stick avatar with Inkscape. You can learn a lot about Inkscape by reading this tutorial as it explains all the steps involved with screenshots.
Inkscape Tutorials  A different way to trace an image using live path effects and butterfly technique showing how to create mirror image designs.
Penguin Pete's showing how to use a lot of the new features available in Inkscape version 0.47
Chris Design Blog  graphic design site, great if using Inkscape for digital stamps or digital scrapbooking.
Raikar Designs easy to follow tutorials.
Inkscape Tutorials  Tutorials showing how to  draw cartoon animals. Very easy to follow instructions. 

Tutorials from owners of die cutting machines.
The following sites are owned by people who use Inkscape to design files for their cutters.

Of course my site has tutorials. Look at the labels to the right.
Or visit my channel on You Tube here.
My Adventures with Cricut, SCAL and Inkscape

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Welding Text in Inkscape

The following instructions are for owners of electronic cutters who want to weld words so they will cut out in one piece. If you only want to print the text you can skip step 5.

There are two methods that can be used to weld text in Inkscape. I am only showing how to use text kerning in this mini tutorial. As you need to use the ALT key on your computer keyboard this method is not suitable for owners of Mac computers. The big advantage of using kerning is the ability to change the font at any stage until you apply Union.

1.Type text, you will notice the cursor is at the end of the typed text, use the left arrow key on your keyboard to move the cursor to the left. Move the cursor left until it is between the first and second letters.
2. Hold down the Alt and and the letter on the right will move to the left. Keep moving the letter left until they slightly overlap.
3. Release Alt and use the right arrow to move the cursor between the next pair of letters.
4. Keep repeating steps 2 and 3 until all the letters are slightly overlapping each other.
5. Path>Union.
6. Save file.
Image showing the stages of the first word. Click on image for a larger view.

Image showing the stages of the second word.
A list of the key combinations to move a letter in a given direction.
Alt and to move letter to the left.
Alt and to move letter to the right
Alt and to move the letter up
Alt and to move the letter down
To rotate individual letters place the cursor to the left of the letter you wish to move then:-
Alt and [ rotates letter anticlockwise
Alt and ] rotates letter clockwise
Ctrl and [ rotates letter 90degrees anticlockwise
Ctrl and ] rotates letter 90 degrees clockwise
The [ symbol is located to the right of P on the keyboard.

If you are not happy with the look of the word to undo all changes and return to the word prior to any kerning changes – Please note this cannot be done after applying Path>Union.
Text > Remove Manual Kerns
To view a video showing how to move individual letters there is an easy to follow video at Screencasters Heathenx and the same video is also on You Tube

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Inkscape - Objects to Pattern

I use Objects to Pattern to create my own background papers and to create unusual lattice type designs. Any bitmap, vector or group of images can be used.
If you look at the pattern in outline it will not be visible and if you try to change the colour it will fill the entire area. The pattern is visible but is not editable, it is like a mirage.

Examples showing a shape drawn in Inkscape and Objects to Pattern applied.

Examples showing a photo imported and Objects to Pattern applied.

- import or draw an image.
- select image.
- Object>Pattern>Objects to Pattern /or Alt i on the keyboard.

The shape should now have a selection of nodes around it.
If it doesn't, double click on the shape.

- select the shape and change the measurement, the example is inches.
- change the width and height, the example is 12 x 12.

Now you can play around and modify the pattern.
The circle node at the top left rotates the pattern.

The circle node on the right hand side can be dragged down to round the corners.

The square node at the top left can be used to rotate, resize and skew the pattern.

The node on the bottom right can be used to resize the canvas size.

I use Object to Pattern to create designs to print. If I create a particular pattern that I wish to cut I make a bitmap copy Edit>Make a Bitmap Copy and then trace the bitmap.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Paper Dolls - links to sites with free patterns

Sonia Delaunay
One Pearl Button
Berenstein Bears Dress-up Dolls
About section with themed paper dolls.
Gail's Paper Dolls a large range including characters from tv shows.
Caitlin's Paper Dolls click on image for larger view to see the download information.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Pattern along Path - Single stretched.

To design files for your cutter Path Effects can help you make great looking files easily. I will post a few examples and this is the first instalment. I am only showing the basics to get you started. The aim of this tutorial is to encourage you to explore Inkscape and make the most of this great free program.
- Draw an oval, then Path>Object to Path.
- Copy the oval.
- Draw a spiral.
- Path>Path Effects to open a new menu.
- Ensure the spiral is selected before applying path effects.
- In the new menu, select Pattern Along Path.
- Click Apply. More options will be available.

- In the section pattern copies select Single, stretched.
- Next click on the icon of the clipboard.
(If nothing happens, select the oval, right click and copy. Then select the spiral and click on the clipboard icon). The oval must be copied and stored to the computer clipboard for this to work.
- The copied oval is now applied to the spiral and can be further edited at this stage.
- The spiral can be edited as normal by moving the nodes.
- After any alterations Path>Object to Path.
- Colour fill if required.
- Save.
The image below shows the sequence.
Click on image for a larger view.

The above example works for open and closed shapes, except when a square or rectangle is drawn. If you wish to use a rectangle or square apply Path>Object to Path and it will then work.
Example showing how the path effect can be edited.

My example shows an oval for shape and a spiral for the path. Other shapes and paths can be used. This is just a basic summary to show you this feature in Inkscape. Play around and you will be surprised at some of the great shapes that can be created.

Click on the image below to download a fully editable copy to have a closer look. Please let me know if it is useful and I will add an editable example with any new tutorial.

- Draw a shape and apply Path>Object to Path.
- Copy the shape. Very important or the effect will not happen.
- Draw a Path then Path>Path Effects.
- In the new menu select Pattern Along Path then click on Apply.
- In the section pattern copies, select Single, stretched.
- Click on the clipboard icon to apply the shape to the path.
- Edit shape if required.
- Path>Object to Path.
- Colour fill if required.
- Save file.
A few more examples showing different shapes and paths.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Inkscape - Making lacy circles

I have been having fun playing with stars in Inkscape. Below are some photo's of my cut items, they are 11.5" in diameter.

A screenshot of some of my results.
All of the images are based on an 11 point star.

A video showing how I use a star with stroke to create these designs.

Written Instructions.
To draw these shapes start by selecting star from the side menu bar.
- Draw a star and choose number of corners (my examples have 11).
- Open Fill and Stroke and change the following settings.
- Fill > No Fill
- Stroke paint > Flat colour
- Stroke style > Increase width to thicken the line.
Screenshots below showing the settings. Stroke width will vary to my setting depending on the thickness you want for your shape and the size of the star.


Now for the fun part.
- Double click on your shape and two nodes will now be visible.
- Drag the nodes to change the shape.
- To change the star further, change the number in Rounded. Rounded can be increased to 10 and decreased to -10. Location is shown on screenshot below.
- When dragging the nodes do not worry to much about the size of the shape, it can be changed later. The aim is to get a shape you like that will be suitable for cutting. I cannot give exact settings, as it varies greatly depending on the location of the nodes.
- Width of stroke can be thickened while working if you want to change the look of the shape.
- Basically drag nodes, change stroke width and change value in Rounded.
A word of warning if you like a shape save it, as it can be very hard to repeat. Duplicate the shape, move it aside and continue working on the original. I often have lots of shapes on the screen as I duplicate any suitable shape.
- After all the changes Path>Stroke to Path must be applied.
- After stroke to path is applied the shape can be saved, resized and edited as normal.
- Edit nodes. Have a look and remove any tiny clusters that will result in a pinprick size hole when cutting.
- Save file.
Click on any image for a larger view.

When I learn how to make videos I will redo this tutorial. It is very hard to show in a few images. Play around with the settings, it is easy to get great results and it is fun.
Draw a star.
Open Fill and Stroke. Turn fill off, stroke > flat colour and change stroke width.
Double click on the star and drag nodes to change the shape.
Change line width while designing shape if necessary to give a good cutting width.
Path>Stroke to Path
Resize and edit nodes.
Save file.

Great results can also be achieved by turning fill on and stroke off. The designs are entirely different. I will do a tutorial later on.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Using Grid to Draw Objects in Inkscape.

To draw objects with straight lines such as diamonds and zig zag lines, turn on the grid feature in Inkscape. The advantage of turning on the grid is the pen will follow the lines and nodes will snap to intersections on the grid enabling accurate straight lines and corners to be drawn. If the lines and nodes do not snap, just turn on snap by View>Snap. If further editing is to be done it is often necessary to turn the snap off but leave grid on.

Click on any image for a larger view.
View>Grid or (# which on my keyboard is shift and 2)

Settings for the grid can be changed in Inkscape Preferences if you would like to change the size of the grid squares.

- Select the bezier tool to draw.
- Left mouse click to draw first point, release mouse button and move to next point, then left mouse click
- Repeat until the shape is complete.
- If drawing a closed shape it will close when you return to the starting point.
- Alternatively hit the return key on the computer to finish the shape.
- A line is green when drawn and red while being dragged.

- Shapes can then be colour filled.
- Select the object to be changed and select a colour from the colour bar.
- Save file.
If cutting from Sign Cut, remove either the fill or the stroke, as Sign Cut treats them as separate paths and will cut the shape twice.
Other users of Inkscape for digital cutters, save the file as normal.

Using grid to draw open shapes.
- Select the bezier tool to draw.
- Left mouse click to draw first point, release mouse button and move to next point, then left mouse click.
- Repeat until the shape is complete.
- Hit the return key on the computer keyboard to finish the shape.
- A line is green when drawn and red while being dragged.

To thicken the lines, path outset often give untidy results and dynamic offset rounds the corners. I do the following instead to thicken the lines.
- Open the Fill and Stroke menu.
- Select object.
- Select flat colour in the Stroke paint tab.

- Open the tab Stroke style.
- Increase the Width as shown below.
- Select a style for the Join.
- Select a style for the Cap.
Below are three examples on the same object.
Many combinations can be used, select and try different options until the shape suits your requirements.
Example 1.
Example 2.

Example 3.
- After making the above changes, Path>Stroke to Path.
- Path>Simplify to remove extra nodes that are added in the process.
- Save file.
Example showing View>Outline after all the changes.

Please leave a comment if you find this useful or find it difficult to understand.