Silhouette tutorial: How to add crochet to the edge of page elements


To add the lovely crocheted detail around the circles on this page about our 17th anniversary, I turned to my Sihouette Cameo.

I wanted to create a really special look for this photo of us on our 17th anniversary, so I decided to crochet around the edges of all the circles. Crazy, I know! But it’s really not that hard, and I just love the soft, feminine look. I thought a tutorial would be helpful to any of you who want to try this on your own layout.

The tutorial

For me, it almost always starts with a sketch. In this case I chose to use this circle-filled Paper Camellia sketch. If you want to base the shapes you will crochet upon a sketch then you need to start by placing the sketch image in the Silhouette design software:

Step 1: Open sketch in software

Step 1: Go to File :: Open :: Folder holding your sketch :: Open sketch. Size the image to fit the 12×12 Cameo mat in the Silhouette software.

Start drawing the shape(s) to be crocheted:

Step 2: Draw the shape

Step 2: Use the ellipse tool to draw a circle and adjust it to match the size of the circle on the sketch.

Copy/paste the first shape and reduce it:

Step 3: Make a second smaller shape

Step 3: Select the circle and CTRL + C to copy then CTRL + F to paste on top of the first circle. Use the scale tool to reduce the top circle by 0.25 inches.

Turn to the rhinestone tool to create holes around the edge of the shape:

Step 4: Use the rhinestone tool

Step 4: Step 4: Rhinestone tool settings: Rhinestone Effect = Edge; Rhinestone Size = 6ss; Rhinestone Spacing = 0.112

Cut out the shape(s) and crochet!

Step 5: Cut and crochet

Step 5: Follow these steps for each of the shapes you want to crochet around. Cut on your paper of choice and crochet using crochet thread and a size 7/1.65 mm hook.

Product/technique notes

The patterned paper I used is from Crate Paper’s “Close Knit” 6×6 paper pad. I also used my Silhouette to design and cut my title.

I really hope you will try this technique on a page of your own (and that it’s fun for you)! If you do, will you leave a comment with a link to your page because I would LOVE to see it.

One is silver, the other is gold


Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.

I thought I had just about finished this layout with a photo of me and my baby brother in front of this cool gold artifact wall in downtown Austin. Matt and I had just picked up Phil from the airport for his week-long visit from Durham, NC, and whisked him to Torchy’s Tacos for lunch. As we were leaving we stood for a few minutes marveling at the work that went into making this artist’s vision a reality and then decided to snap a photo in front of it.

It was when I sat staring at my almost-finished project that I realized what it needed—a gold artifact border! Burning with the desire to see this happen, I pulled out a slew of old rubber stamps and started stamping in gold pigment ink. Yes, it was time-consuming, but it was also lots of fun. I just don’t stamp on my pages often enough, so this felt great.

Once my border was finished I started rethinking my plan for a title. It had been my intention to go with something about keeping Austin weird. But focusing on the gold motif made me think of that little children’s song, “Make new friends.” Remember it? Well, I went looking for the words to it and decided it was just perfect for a layout about my bro because he’s my oldest and goldest friend.

Make new friends
Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.
A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.
A fire burns bright,
it warms the heart.
We’ve been friends,
from the very start.
You have one hand,
I have the other.
Put them together,
We have each other.
Silver is precious,
Gold is too.
I am precious,
and so are you.
You help me,
and I’ll help you.
And together
we will see it through.
The sky is blue,
The Earth is green.
I can help
to keep it clean.
Across the land,
Across the sea.
Friends forever
we will always be.

Product/technique notes

I had such a good time creating this layout. I followed the sketch below from Creative Scrappers and used patterned papers from Crate Paper’s “Snow Days” 6×6 pad. Then, because I really loved that crazy artistic wall of gold artifacts in the photo, I pulled out a ton of old rubber stamps and created a border of gold icons around the whole page. I also pulled out my gold lame Heidi Swapp Color Shine and created the ampersand in the title block and the Christmas tree in the bottom left.

Creative Scrappers sketch #259


You can see where I pencilled in a border on my kraft background paper as a guide. Then in the interest of time, I decided only to use rubber stamps because cleaning and putting away clear stamps would take a lot more effort. I gathered a group of larger images from my collection and stamped those first.


After stamping with the large rubber stamps, I filled in around them with smaller ones.

There’s always room for ice cream


I know it's hard to believe, but I actually do love these two more than ice cream.

I thought I would share a Silhouette technique today. I had a lot of fun concocting this layout in my head, then in my Silhouette Studio software and finally in physical form.

I completed this look by building the page as much from the back as from the front. Here’s how:

I was looking for a novel way of highlighting my main photo, so I started surfing my Silhouette library for ideas. When I saw this “Folded Sunburst Card” shape, the light bulb went on. Why not cut the sunburst aperture from my background paper and put the photo behind it?
the Silhouette shape I used to highlight my main photo

So I opened the file and deleted all the card bits, leaving only the sunburst. I re-sized the shape to be a little smaller than a 4 x 4 photo and dragged it to the top third of a full 12 x 12 page in Silhouette Studio.

To add to the building from beneath theme, I set up my title to cut from the background paper as well. So that I would be sure to leave enough room between the sunburst and the title for the other photos I planned to use, I added those to the design in Silhouette Studio but I set them to “no cut.” Like this:
How my file looked before cutting

So that’s it. I laid down my patterned paper (from My Mind’s Eye “Cut and Paste: Flair” collection), cut this out all at once, backed it with white card stock and then built my page on top of it. And now I have a layout that has lots of depth and texture without lots of bulk.

Oh, and the photos are from a stop we made at a neat little ice cream place in North Carolina while I was home visiting Mom and Phil this August.

Why we are vegetarians


For World Vegetarian Day I decided to sit down and document why my husband and I returned to a vegetarian lifestyle last October.

When I found out that today is World Vegetarian Day, I decided that the best way to recognize it would be to do a layout about why Matt and I have become vegetarians.

We actually tried a vegetarian lifestyle several years ago, but we didn’t do enough learning about how to do it well. We replaced way too many of our meat-centric meals with carbs because they’re so easy. But because of that we gained weight, which certainly didn’t improve our health, which was the original reason for starting the change in diet. So we eventually gave it up.

Then, last October, as Matt was getting more into running and losing weight, he began to read more and more about the benefits to an athlete of being vegetarian. So we decided to try again, but this time we did more homework and it’s been a much more satisfying change.

The rest of the reasons for being vegetarian apply to us as well. It started to become harder for us to be passionate animal rescuers and not question our continued willingness to eat meat. We also believe that it’s better for the environment not to allot so much of our land to raising cattle, etc.

There’s a ton of information out there that can convince you to give up meat if you’re interested, but my real reason for doing this layout was to document in our scrapbook album this part of our lives and why it’s important to us.

The journaling

Back when I first saw these bags from Chipotle Mexican Grill, I really wanted to recreate the look with the journaling on one of my layouts. Then, when I thought about doing this page, that idea came back to me. The organic feel of it seemed like the perfect fit for my “granola” message, so I hand-lettered my journaling in the same style.

The design of the Chipotle bag that I used as inspiration for my journaling on this layout

Product/technique notes: I found the amazing photo I used on my page on the Mercy for Animals blog. The patterned paper is from the BasicGrey Konnichiwa collection.



I swear I heard a rattlesnake while we were on this walk into hell.

To be fair, it was my idea for us to go for a hike on July 4th. There’s a trail running along Brushy Creek Road that I see lots of walkers, runners and cyclists using, but we had not tried it yet. So we agreed to go first thing in the morning to check it out. Then, first thing in the morning turned into noon, and I suggested we wait for another morning. But Matt insisted we’d be fine. So we slathered ourselves with sunscreen, filled our water bottles and headed out.

That path. Went on. Forever. And I swear that ninety percent of it was in full sun. Did I mention that it got to nearly 100 degrees? And there were vultures circling overhead? Yeah.

My repeated requests to turn back fell on deaf ears; Matt really wanted to see where that path led.

Just as I started feeling sick from all that heat, and we were about to run out of the water we had been rationing, it appeared. I actually asked Matt if it was a mirage or an oasis!

He said, “It must be an OASIS because I can see it, too!”

It was a lovely little community water park…with families picnicking, kids playing and squealing and wonderful, cold, restorative water spraying everywhere. We looked at each other in amazement. And then ran in.

Matt is enjoying the splash park.

What could have been better than to find this?

I think it's awesome that this free splash area is offered by the park system.

Product/technique notes: I saw this distress ink watercolor technique over at Kristina Werner’s card blog and decided I wanted to use it on this layout because of my water theme. I pulled out this piece of patterned paper from Little Yellow Bicycle (I’m using both sides of just one piece of paper on this page) and thought it would be a great way to represent both the searing sun and then the bright colors and fresh feeling of the splash park. So I chose colors of distress ink to match the stripes in the paper (wow, did they match well!) and created swatches of splotchy watercolored paper. Then I cut out each letter of my title from a different swatch.


Just look at how my swatches match the paper!