Sep 4, 2010


When you want to cut an image that has several colors, it is often difficult to find the exact color of cardstock for your project. If you do find it, many times you will only use a little corner of it. For this tutorial we will learn how to print a single sheet of white cardstock that will contain all the colors for your project. We will use the 'Tweety' image that we used in the 'AN EVEN SIMPLER WAY TO SEPARATE COLORS'. You can get the image and instructions on how to download it HERE. You will also need the free software program PAINT.NET. When you have downloaded the image and opened it in PAINT.NET, your screen will look like this:

Click on the 'Color Picker' tool, it looks like a little eyedropper. The cursor is now an eyedropper. Click the pointy part of the eyedropper on any yellow part of Tweety. The primary color of the palette will turn to yellow.

Now open a second instance of PAINT.NET by clicking 'File' Then 'New' (upper left corner of screen). Then be sure the 'Maintain Aspect Ratio' box is unchecked and the units are set to inches. Set the width to 8.5" and the height to 11.0" then click 'OK'. Notice that the 'Primary Color' is still Tweety's yellow.

Let's say your finished Tweety needs to be 4" high, you will need yellow cardstock about 5" high by about 3" wide. Using the 'Rectangle' tool, select an area about 3" X 5". You can just estimate this but be sure the area you select is big enough for all of Tweety's yellow part. Remember the area you are working with is 8.5" X 11.0". Now select the 'Bucket Fill' tool and click inside the rectangle area that you selected. Voila! Enough cardstock for the yellow part of Tweety.

For the black area (the outline), click on the black swatch in the color palette. Select an area about the same size as the yellow area and using the 'Bucket Fill' tool, and paint it black. Next, click on the 'Tweety' image (top right) to bring it up. Use the 'Color Picker' again and click on the orange area of the feet. Click the cardstock image, select a smaller area for the feet and beak, and paint it orange.

Repeat the steps that you used for orange to do a smaller blue area for Tweety's eyes.
The image is now ready to be printed. Leave the white area. You will need it to cut the white part of Tweety's eyes if the finished image is not going to be mounted on a white background. The image is now ready to print.

After the cardstock is printed, make a note of the dimensions of each area and its position on the sheet. Using SURE-CUTS-A-LOT or whatever software your cutter uses, lay out the pieces to be cut on its appropriate color. Depending on your printer, you may have to flatten the printed sheet before cutting. Using this technique has the added benefits of saving time (you only have to cut once) and the scale is always right.


Apr 3, 2010


Have you downloaded and installed the latest 'INKCAPE' release yet? If you haven't, you may not want to. While there are some really good features (i.e. 'Eraser'), there is a bug that affects users of some craft cutting machines. If you use DXF files with your cutter software, the DXF files saved in INKSCAPE Ver. 0.47 do not open properly in some programs. This bug has been reported and hopefully will be fixed in Version 0.48 which will be released soon.
If you have already upgraded and can't find a link for downloading 0.46 don't panic! This article will show you how to get Version 0.46 back onto your machine (using Windows).

Step 1. - Open Control Panel > double click 'Add or remove programs. When the 'Add or remove....' window loads (this might take a couple minutes), scroll down to 'Inkscape 0.47 and click it. The list will expand and then click on 'Remove'. The uninstall dialog will appear. follow the instructions given there. The uninstall will take several minutes.

Step 2. - When the Inkscape software has been uninstalled, you must remove the Inkscape directory from your computer. To do this, right-click the Windows 'Start' icon in the lower left of your screen. Then left-click 'Explore'. The 'Explore' pane will open. Next locate the Inkscape directory. It will most likely be under 'C:Program Files. Now right-click the file folder labeled 'Inkscape' then click 'Delete'. Inkcape is now completely gone!

Step 3. - The trusty old Inkscape download file can be found HERE . Scroll down until you find a file called 'Inkscape-0.46.win32.exe'. This file includes the installer package for Windows. Click on the filename and save the file when prompted. After the file is saved navigate to it and double click. The install will begin, just follow the instructions. After Inkscape 0.46 is reinstalled your back in business! *NOTE* If you use any Inkscape plug-ins or extensions they will have to be re-installed.