Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DIY Doilies or How Cool is the Replicate Tool

Punching buttons and pulling levers to see what will happen makes me happy. (You'd think I'd like slot machines but losing money makes me unhappy but that's a story for another day.) I also like to play with software to see what if will do and those icons on my newish Silhouette needed investigating. In the course of my investigations I learned a few things made a couple of discoveries and I thought I'd share them with the world, or at least those of you kind enough to read my blog.

First things first I am using the Silhouette Studio software version 1.3.0. If you are using an older version consider upgrading, this version can do some pretty cool things.

Introducing Mrs. Armot
The tools I will be discussing today can be found in the upper right hand corner of the Silhouette window. I wanted to show you what they look like because I figure some of you are probably visual people like me. When I started labeling the icons I realized they spelled out Mrs. Armot and so I have named my Silhouette Mrs. Armot. Say hello everybody.

The functions behind the icons are:
M1 - Move | R1 - Rotate | S - Scale
A - Align | R2 - Replicate | M2 - Modify | O - Offset | T - Trace

I was comfortable with many the icons in this software from the very beginning because they are similar to icons in other programs I use. Rotate, Align and Scale didn't require too much investigation. 

But what the heck was replicate and how do you use it. Well Duplicate would have been a good term too because that is one of the functions hiding under this icon. Not only can you duplicate up, down and side to side with this tool but you can also make rows and columns. (See the DIY Stencil tutorial I posted here.) Be the tool wonder we will be investigating today is Rotate 5 copies. I understood the Rotate One Copy - great if you want the same image copied and turned 90° on the center axis of the image you already have.

But why would I want to do that 5 times. It seemed insane. I tried it with a few of the images that come with the machine. I tried it with the second leaf image and it took that lovely branch of leaves and turned it into an overgrown forest. It just looked like a mess. Then I tried it with the third frame (see highlighted image below) and I understood the power of this tool.

I had an interesting shape, something akin to a doily. The center was open and it needed to be welded together but it looked like a doily.
I added a simple circle so the center would be solid, use the Align tool to Centralize everything (aka center all) and welded everything together and got this.
I cut it out of vellum and put it on a card.  

If I make a doily again I will not be using vellum OR I will not be adhering it around the edges. I don't like the way the adhesive shows through but the nice thing about making your own doilies is that you can make them any color you want as often as you want.

I experimented with other shapes and discovered that you need a open, symmetrical shape to make it work. I discovered that if you copy the image and scale it down to the size of the center circle in the doily above that it's a fairly complex and beautiful design.

I also discovered that I need to spend a bit more time learning all the ins and outs of the Modify too. Welding some shapes didn't work and I got a large solid so I will keep experimenting

When I play in new programs I find things that I'd like to see improved. If the folks at Silhouette America are reading this maybe in version 1.3.1 you could 
  1. make it so user can determine the point they want to Rotate/Replicate images from. I would love to be able to click on the edge of an image and rotate 5 times. 
  2. give us the ability to Flop an image with one button so we can draw one wing, flourish or whatever and get the second one in a flopped, or flipped if you like, orientation by hitting one button.

So let's see your   DIY doilies.
The particulars
Paper: Ruby Red Stampin' Up! paper
Stamps: Free Papertry Ink tag, colored with Prismacolor pencils and Gamsol, Italian Poetry background stamp from Hero Arts.
Embellishments: DIY Doily, Sentiment printed from computer.

Happy Crafting,


susies1955 said...

WOW what an awesome tutorial. You sure know how to find things out.
Glad I'm following you,

jill said...

clever! ty for the inspiration