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Wednesday, 22 February 2017


Last week I showed you how to Calibrate your phone to your software, and this week we will work through actually using the Pixscan mat on your machine to do your fussy cutting.

Step 1:

Using the patterned paper and the images I wanted to cut out, I cut out the cards and stuck them to my pixscan mat.

Step 2: 

I took a photo of the mat with my cell phone and then emailed it to myself (you can also use your USB charging cable and connect it to your computer and transfer the image to your desktop).

Step 3:

Now click on the 3rd icon on the top left, if you hold your mouse over the icon it will say "Open Pixscan image", you will now have the screen below open in front of you.

On the right hand side the Pixscan window will open up, click on the down arrow saying "Import from file > Import pixscan image from file".  Now find where the image is saved on your computer and click open.  (If you emailed it to yourself, download the image and save it on your desktop, then open it up from your desktop)

Step 4:

Now you will have the image below.  We are now ready to trace your images.  

NOTE: Do not move the images on the Pixscan mat after you have taken the photo otherwise you will not cut in the right place.

Step 5:

Click on your trace window (if you don't know how to trace please refer to my previous lesson on trace & cut -

Step 6:

I have traced the image as best I could (believe me every single trace is different), this one because of all the colours involved became a bit tricky so I have a bit of cleaning up to do and also fix a few cut lines that were not great.

To do this I clicked on the trace lines > right click > release compound path

Step 6:

You will have now broken the trace lines up into pieces as seen in the image below with all the individual cut lines having there own block.  This now allows me to work on each section individually and delete what I need to.

In order to delete I select what I don't want > right click > delete

Step 7: 

I then zoom in using the "Zoom in" icon with the "+" sign along the top and go to the areas that need fixing, for instance the birds tale

Step 8:

Double click on the lines and you will see all the "edit points" open up as per the image above and below, Now click on the one point that you need to fix so the line goes dark red and then right click > delete, you will notice that that shifts the cut lines and allows you to get a cleaner cut by deleting all the unwanted hooks. 

If you need the cut line there but it just needs to shift in slightly, hold your mouse on the red line and you will see that your mouse pointer changes to a diagonal line with a dot on it, that means you can move that section of the line.  

If you need to curve a section slightly, on the right hand side click on curve, you will notice that the system automatically curves it ever so slightly allowing you to manipulate a bit more.

Compare the image cut line above to the image cut line below and see that the hooks that were traced on the tail have now been straightened out and it follows the actual image and not a shadow.

Step 9:

Fix up what ever else you need to fix and you are now ready to either trace your other images or cut your image out.

As per the image below, I traced the other images, some of which were a bit more complex but I will cover that in an advanced lesson of tracing in a few weeks time.

We are now ready to load the pixscan mat into the Silhouette machine with the arrow pointing towards the machine. 

Choose your blade settings according to the paper you are cutting and cut.

Below is a snippet of the actual layout scrapped after the Silhouette machine did all the cutting for me, the bonus is I also have cut files that I could use some other time as well.

You will notice that the cutting is as good as if you had bout a pack of Kaiser Craft Collectables, at a fraction of the price....we get such beautiful paper, with amazing images on, but not everyone likes to fussy why not let your machine do the horrible work for you.

I hope you enjoyed the lesson today, and would love to hear back from you, by leaving a comment.

Till next week


Friday, 17 February 2017

SINGLE PAGE KIT - incl Pixscan cut file

My latest single page kit using the Silhouette Pixscan mat to do all the fussy cutting.

Included in this kit is the cutting file to fussy cut the patterns out of the paper...You will be creating your own "Collectables"

You DON'T need the Silhouette machine to do this kit, you will just have a few items to fussy cut.

Now available @ Beautiful Scrapbooks for R183.50
or call
011 425-4817

to BOOK your kit now.
(Collection of kit or payment on order)

 Images below were cut out on the Silhouette machine, alternative is to cut by hand :-) 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the Pixscan mat & asked yourself, how do I use it or are basically to scared to attempt it.  Well let me put your mind at ease, it's not difficult and just takes a few minutes to set up.  Once you have done the calibration you are set to open a whole new world with your Silhouette.

The reason I love the Pixscan mat so much is that all that fussy cutting becomes a thing of the past, now isn't that worth it?

So lets get started...

Step 1:

Open your Silhouette software and click on the 3rd icon on the top left hand side as seen in the image below.  If you hold your cursor over the icon it will read "Open Pixscan image".  

On the right hand side you will see the "PIXSCAN" window opens up.

Step 2:

a)  Click on the down arrow "IMPORT FROM FILE"
c)  Click on A4 using the down arrow and then click on the "SHOW CALIBRATION TEST CARD"

You will now see this dotted paper appear as per the image below.

d)  You need to print this on your printer

Step 3:

You now need to take a photo of the printed image using the images below as a guide.

If I can give you a few tips:
1)  Take the photo in a well lit area but don't have any shadows over the page when you taking the photo.
2)  Make sure your camera lense on your cell phone is clean.
3)  Go close to the image and try line up the sides of your cell phone screen with the dotted lines and take the photo as straight on as possible without shaking
4)  Don't have any background area showing

It's sounds like a lot of trouble for just one picture, but believe me it's all worth it.
The image below is a good example of a we are almost ready to play

Once you have take the photo (I tend to take a few just in case), connect your cell phone to your PC using your USB Cell phone charging cable and transfer the photos you have just take to your desktop (or save it somewhere that is easly found as you need it in the next step), alternatively email to yourself and download those photos onto your computer.

Now go to your Silhouette software and click on the "+" sign as circled in red below and that opens up a pop up screen whereby you can now go and find the picture that you just saved.  i.e: on your desktop or folder that you chose.

Once you have found the picture, click "open" and the Silhouette software will automatically start to Calibrate your cell phone to the software.

If it doesn't like the picture a red screen will open up saying it doesn't like the picture and you must simply try take the photo again or use one of the others that you took.

If it likes it you will see that your cellphone description will show up in the box above the "+" sign.

That's it...that's how easy it is to Calibrate your phone to your Software.

In part 2 of this lesson, we will go into more detail about using your pixscan mat, so be sure to watch out for Part 2 of this lesson.

Pixscan mat available.  On special with this lesson from Liane Van Harn designs
Normal Price R337.45
Now only R290.00 while stock lasts
to order yours now.
Proof of payment confirms your order

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Freebee just for you in time for Valentine's day

Last week I showed you how to trace an image so you can cut it on your Silhouette Machine, so this week I will share a bunch of "Valentines" cut files, I created by tracing various images I found on the internet.

I hope you enjoy creating a masterpiece with these cut files.

Click on the link below to download the FREE files.  Should you battle with the link, copy and paste the link into google.

There has been a lot of interest for classes all over South Africa, I have my first roadtrip to Polokwane coming up soon.  We have a few spots open so book TODAY to avoid disappointment:

Then for the Cape Town ladies Snippy Sisters are launching there first workshop soon.

Book directly with them.

Ladies lets support our local talent and teachers.


Wednesday, 1 February 2017


With NSD last Saturday, I was a busy lady designing kits that were launched.  We have a few left so if you would like to secure yours, please contact Beautiful Scrapbooks asap on 011 425-4817 or as stock is limited.
School Snapshots R313.50 (This kit has a pocket for reports or certificates

Family is ... R276.00

Family made with love R235.80

The Beach is my happy place R250.00

Trace and cut for beginners

Ok so you have bought a Silhouette & you are wanting a specific design & you can't find what you are wanting in the Silhouette store OR like me you just want to know how to get the most out of your machine after all that's what it's designed to do right?

Well here are some basic step by step instructions on "HOW TO TRACE"...

First off you Google an image that you are wanting, in this instance I went to google and typed "Valentine png" in the search bar, I then clicked on "IMAGES" but that give you a whole bunch of coloured images which the Silhouette can trace but to start with I always prefer to find black & white line drawings as it is usually alot easier.  So once you have clicked on "IMAGES" then click on tools & then on "TYPE", you will notice a drop down menu opens up, then click on "LINE DRAWING".

You will then end up with the images below.

I chose the 6th picture for this example, being the black heart with the flourishes/swirls in it.  Click on the image and save it.  (If an image has a watermark, it means you need to purchase the image, alternatively look for something else that is free)

Now open the saved image in your Silhouette software & click on the icon on the top right hand side that has a yellow square with a blue butterfly in it.

Now you will see the TRACE window open up on the right hand side as per the image below.  Click on the top line that is hightlighted in blue in the picture that says "SELECT TRACE AREA", now you will move your mouse over the "Heart" image & you will notice the pointer of your mouse is a "+" sign.  
Now starting in the top left hand corner drag & highlight the entire image of the heart until it is covered with a lowlighted square/rectangle, once you are sure you have covered the entire area release the square/rectangle you just dragged over the image. 

Once you release the image it will have this yellow line around the image, but when tracing it is ideal to rather get a complete yellow image of the black area, so on the right hand side where the "TRACE" window is, you will notice that the "HIGH PASS FILTER" is ticked, so in this instance you need to "UNTICK" the High pass filter.

Once you have unticked the High pass filter you will notice that the image changes yellow.  Some areas look a bit rough, and you can try use the "THRESHOLD" slider & adjust that slightly, but in this instance, I am pretty happy just as it is.

Now click on the "TRACE" button that is highlighed on the right hand side.

Once you have clicked on the Trace button you will be left with the heart & a fine red line around the image.  If you now click on the black heart and drag it off into the grey area, you will notice a red trace of the heart being left behind, that is now a cut line and you can go ahead and size it to the size you want & send to the Silhoutte machine to cut it out.

I trust you enjoyed this tutorial on how to trace, until next time have fun.  I would love to see what you have designed so feel free to share it with me.