The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
—Eleanor Roosevelt
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I see that many of you have been enjoying the giveaway of the This & That series over on Lisa’s blog. See some new friends here and that’s just plain exciting! Welcome! The contest ends today though, so if you haven’t entered, hurry!
I’ve noticed a couple comments and thought I should address them.

So, the first item on the agenda is:

How to use the This & That Pieces if you don’t have a digital cutter.
Many of the pieces are a simple cut so you can still create some of the layers on your tray. However, there are pieces like the chandelier, the haunted house, the date, the pumpkin, etc., that I would not recommend cutting by hand. But you can use your photo editing software (like Photoshop or PS Elements) to create the illusion of layers with the pieces.

Here’s how to do that.
First, I’m using Photoshop, but what I’m using are basic features and should be in Elements as well. Other programs should have similar ways of doing this. You’ll need to read your manual or Help screen to find those steps that don’t match up. The principle is still the same. And if you don’t have Elements, you can download a free trial version from the Adobe site HERE. It’s good for 30 days. You can do the same with any of their programs, which is pretty sweet.

Open one of the composite PNG files. I’m using tt_halloween_print1_PNG_0009 for this example. You can add your dimensional layers to the file as it is, or work with them individually as I am doing here–just because I’m rotating images and such so that it’s easier to work with in the right orientation. Select the background piece for the image that contains the chandelier and crop it.



Rotate the image 90 degrees clockwise.



Open the Chandelier_PNG_0009 image which should be located in  your PNG_Other directory.



Select the Paint Bucket tool and make sure your color choice is on white. Then, click on the chandelier with the little paint bucket and change it to white, so that it looks like this.



Click on the Selection tool (arrow), click on the chandelier and drag it to your other screen with the background on it. Hold down the Shift key to keep the sizing proportional and click on the bounding box (the little “handles” on the corners of the image) to size the chandelier to fit within the background.


Now here is where you would add the shadow by selecting the “fx” button on the bottom-left (shown above) and choosing Drop Shadow (I just used the default settings). However, with this particular shape, you can’t really see the shadow because the background is basically black.

Open the halloween_title_PNG_0009 and  card_PNG_0009 files and repeat the same steps you did for the chandelier–changing the color for the Halloween title as needed. Use the Color Picker tool (okay, so it’s called the Eyedropper tool) to pick out the orange color from the flourish to have your title match it if you want. It should now look like this.


If you’ll notice, I still added the shadows to everything and you can really see it with the Halloween title as it hits the white of the chandelier and the card. Even where the 13 card overlaps the one edge of the chandelier. You could take it one step further into the 3D world and punch two little holes on each side of the card (once it’s printed) and tie a black string around it similar to what I’ve done with the individual piece version.

And just remember, many of those pieces can be cut by hand and layered, even the witches boots could be cut easily and then use a paper piercer to punch the tiny little shoelace holes. I would just avoid cutting things like the letters & numbers, the haunted house, chandelier, spider web, pumpkin, tree, fence, and clock hand . . .  unless you have excellent hand skills with an X-acto knife. ;)

Okay, the second item on the agenda.

How do you get the right size SVG files for Make The Cut (MTC) or Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL)?
OH MY GOODNESS! It didn’t even occur to me that that would happen. Duh!!! lol They are all sized correctly when they are saved. I don’t know why those programs bring them in so small and then you have to resize them.

If you are using a Silhouette with the GSD files, the sizes do remain in tact though.

Therefore, here are all the sizes of each cuttable shape as they appear in the cut file. Width x Height
BLACK
tree: 1.5 x  2.8125
clock hand: .3557 x 1.5514
candlestick: .9133 x 3.8837
“Don’t Look Back”:1.5999 x 1.3251
grave stone: 1.1358 x 1.6596
witch boot: .8398 x 1.0279
haunted house: 1.4368 x 2.1792
pumpkin: 1.6778 x 1.8661
bat: .8534  x  2.0688
fence: 1.2376 x .9077

WHITE
moon: .4971 x .581
3: .7074 x 1.3011
1: .6501 x 1.2839
chandelier: 2.0783 x 2.1424
fall: 1.0898 x  .3627
RIP: .5542 x .2346
star: 1.286 x 1.4072
PUMPKINS: 3.948 x .6701
web: 2.7812 x 1.0587

TAN
leaves: 1.1487 x .5254
trick or treat: 1.6716 x .7321

GREY
grave stone: 1.1358 x 1.6596

ORANGE
BOO: 1.3517 x 1.0625
O: 2.2335 x .8377
C: 2.2421 x .8377
T: 2.1732 x .8257
pumpkin back: 1.4975 x .9482
halloween: 4.1237 x 1.0564

I hope that helps! :)