Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Oh Brother... How Art Thou?

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Next month will mark the one year anniversary of my ownership of the fabulous Brother ScanNCut machine. I have the original, base model and it can do SO MANY THINGS!

Now, before I get into the nitty gritty of this post, let's chat a bit about why I chose the Brother ScanNCut. When it comes to designing, I am a tangible, paper and pen kinda gal. When I think of an idea, I want to sketch it out, stamp it, color it and then make it happen. I do not want to get out my computer and use a special software to convert my idea to the appropriate digital format. 

Don't get me wrong... there is NOTHING wrong with that. It's just not what floats my boat. I spent many years plugging away in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Quark... etc.... as a professional Graphic Designer. That was not a good fit. Let's just say it was like trying to put a round peg in a square hole. At any rate, all of this yammering is simply to say that I don't want to be dependent upon my computer when it comes to my "let's make something tangible" creative time. 

Enter Brother ScanNCut. It is completely self-contained. Sure, it has online software that you can design in, import files, and convert SVG (a type of vector graphics file). BUT... the machine does NOT depend on it. What does this really mean for me?

It means I can create a doodle, stamp and image, or grab a favorite patterned paper, scan it in and cut it out! HELLO!?!?! Amazing! Oh, and fabric. It cuts fabric, and foam, and wood veneer, and, and, and...

Like I said before, it can do so many things!

Ah - but there is a problem. Or, there used to be. You see, I never really took the time to learn all the fabulous things it could do.

Oh, don't get me wrong... I used it. A lot, actually. But, all I really did was download cut files and cut them out. It is GREAT at doing that. But, like I mentioned above, that is truly not why I chose this machine. I wanted more than that. And, I knew the ScanNCut could deliver. More importantly, I knew that I had a machine full of un-tapped potential sitting on my desk.

Well, with a little free time in my back pocket, I decided to change that!

So... how did I do that? Well, I embarked on a self-guided tour of videos and blog posts, with my notepad at the ready. Basically, I became a student in my own little "ScanNCut 101" class. 

First stop?
Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. She blogs here and you can find her on YouTube here. 

What's so great about her ScanNCut videos?

  • They are short and to the point.
  • She has created a ScanNCut playlist within her channel so you can just click "play all" and watch to your heart's content.
  • She is fun. Really, she is perky and bright and you can tell she is having fun. And, if the teacher is having fun... well, the student is sure to as well!
  • She explores all facets of the ScanNCut and really does show it's diversity while thinking outside of the box and beyond the scrapbooking page, if you will.

Here I am ... all set up to learn with Julie:
Oh boy - was she indeed inspiring!
I took so many notes. I jotted down tips, tricks, blade settings, a wish list of more supplies, a projects to try list, and more!

Next up?
The fabulous May Flaum, of course!
You really can't go wrong with a May Flaum video and these are no exception! You can find her on her website here and on her YouTube here. Also worth noting, she is the BEST periscoper around. Want a quick watch that is casual, yet delivers real information? She is THE PERSON to follow on Periscope. I promise.

What are the best parts of her ScanNCut tutorials?
  • She also has a handy playlist set up for easy watching. 
  • Mixed Media! Oh, how I love her fearless, messy play. She shows how a simple piece of paper, cut from a digital machine can easily be transformed into a finished piece of art. 
  • Her creative mind. She takes something that is so simple and turns it into something jaw dropping. Making a stencil with the ScanNCut to then decorate cookies with? Hello??? LOVE IT!
  • Her ingenuity. Her video of how to cut out a more complex image is life changing. Seriously.
And my note paper continued to fill up... so many ideas!

With the knowledge I gained from these two fabulously talented ladies, I set about playing...

I cut out tiny stamped images...

And made masking pieces...

And cut out my favorite Cocoa Daisy stamps....

And made GIANT flowers...

I created my own doodled dots and turned them into a stencil!

And welded shapes!

And turned lots of scraps...

Into pinked circles!

I've always wanted a messy pie chart stencil. So...

I made one!

Oh, and stamps. I made some of those too!

Can you tell how much fun I have been having? So, what did all of these fun little lessons turn into...

Lots of finished projects, that's what! I will be sharing them, along with some tips and tricks, with you over the next couple of months in this new series I've decided to affectionately title "Oh Brother..."

Stay tuned... 

Some, not all, of the products I used...

1 comment:

  1. Very cool. Great to hear you learned about your machine. And you made some super great things. That's awesome. Michelle t


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