partridge ornaments

for 12 x 12 silhouette

I designed these to fit into a regular card-sized envelope (A2) 4.5 x 5.75”

there are three studio files: bird, bird wings, and bird body

studio files

(note: there are actually many more files because I just saved everything as I worked so if you want to go through my files and figure out your own cuts, here is the master directory )

I started out really complicated then ended up with just these three shapes.

“bird” has both wings and body and half of them are flipped, so if you’re using two-sided cardstock you’ll have both sides

or you can do body by itself then wings by itself. that’s how I did it, here we go:

  • at least one cardstock for the base
  • at least one two-sided patterned cardstock for the wings
  • adhesive – i used regular paper adhesive for everything except pop foam for the wing and glitter glue for the eye
  • regular scissors
  • deco scissors
  • seed beads
  • (at the time I am writing this, I plan to turn these into ornaments but I haven’t done it yet so I don’t have that step)

ok so cut the bird body like this (I used kraft cardstock but you could use two sided cardstock for this part too)

then cut the wings (two sided cardstock)

here’s my little stack of stuff, see how I have wings from both sides of the cardstock? that’s why I flipped some of the cuts.

how to tell if the wing fits. the round curved part goes down. see how it doesn’t fit the body (2nd image with the yellow wing)

ok so here’s what I ended up doing with the decorative scissors. cut a couple of the wings either along the border or at an angle in half.

and the neck, if you cut the neck once, you can put it over the top of another uncut piece.

like this:

or cut out a strip and let the bottom cardstock show through like this.

couple more ideas for a neck piece. you can use scraps or washi.

I wanted dimension so I attached the wing with small pop foam. here’s my little finished guy. now I’ll do the other side off camera.

for the eye I used glitter glue and a seed bead.

something I noticed but I didn’t do, you could bring up the wing like this. have it rotate at the bird’s “shoulder” (do birds have shoulders?)

here is my inspiration from pinterest


26. November 2017 by arleigh
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making a little folder for the back of your dori

making a little folder for the back of your dori to hold all your little bits and pieces.

how to make a little folder for the back of your dori to hold all your little bits and pieces.

i couldn’t think of another place to put this so i’m throwing it here onto my blog that I have neglected for 10 months. sheesh.

maybe you want to stick a couple things in the back of your standard size cocoa daisy dori. here is one idea for a diy folder.

you can do this with regular paper, thick paper, or cardstock. I prefer regular laser printer paper which is slightly thicker than regular printer paper but it won’t make your dori too bulky.

but for these images I grabbed a piece of cardstock—I hand-folded them without using one of those little folding tools, so excuse the raggedy folds.

anyway, you can eyeball this or you can use a ruler, but in any case, your paper should be 8 x 11.  important: you need to either cut off 1/2″ or fold it in because the dori is only 8.25″ tall and your little folder will stick out otherwise.

and yes I know I need a manicure.

1. first fold is 2″
2. second fold is 4″ (your final folder should be 4×8 or smaller)
3. next fold is 3″
4. that’s it for folding. I had another step here but its not necessary.
5. decide whether you’re going to use a sticky-outy tab or do what I do and punch a half circle.
6. then play around with it to figure out which parts you want to show and whether you want it to open in or open out. I chose to have mine open in. then my stuff won’t fall out.
7. close up the bottom of it. use something that won’t pop open. maybe even sew it. or staple it then cover the staples with pretty washi tape.
8. adhere it into the back cover of your dori. I used scotch tape just to quickly show you where it can be adhered.
9. see that there is more room for something on the back of it. maybe a good place for extra sticky notes.



cut your paper to 8×11 or 8×12


first fold 2″


next fold 4″


next fold 3″


maybe you want a little stick out tab like this — don’t stick it yet, wait until you decide how you’re going to fold it.


I like a little half circle opening, it looks more officey to me


this is what it looks like with all folded pieces going in.


this is what it looks like if I turn the whole thing inside out


just one piece folded back to reveal the B-side inside the folder


or turn just that little piece out like a B-side hem. you won’t have a little tab to adhere it into your dori this way, so you’ll have to get creative.


use that little 2″ piece off the back to adhere into the dori using whatever adhesive you like. easiest to staple, but staple from the back so the smooth part of the staple is on the outside of the dori. then you can washi over it if you want to get fancy. sorry that little blue line is an error in the photo.


I like mine facing in so the stuff doesn’t fall out. I used scotch tape just to show you, but you can use whatever you like.


don’t forget to close up the bottom with tape or staples or clips.


26. October 2015 by arleigh
Categories: tips & tricks | Leave a comment

buddha brush for photoshop

december, 2014

this month, I have been playing along with julie’s #carvedecember stamp-carving challenge.

here are a few of the stamps I carved as part of this challenge. if you search for #carvedecember on instagram, you’ll see everyone’s beautiful stamps!

house stamp

house stamp


deer stamp

deer stamp


rooster stamp

rooster stamp

label stamplabel stamp

ornaments stamp

ornaments stamp

today I carved a buddha head and posted it on instagram.

buddha stamp

buddha stamp

I spent the rest of the day working on some photoshop brushes for my client, cocoa daisy, based on some paint spatters by my friend (and also a client), ronda palazzari.

I thought as long as I was making brushes, I’d making one of the buddha stamp and share it!

there are two brushes; one is just a plain photoshop brush, and the other one is a 600 pixel pattern brush. choose a color and paint a line across your page. you should see a row of heads in pretty colors.

here is a link to the brush >> arleigh-buddha-brush

(preview image is buddha brushes over a photo. the sunrise photo isn’t part of the brush set.)


buddha brush

buddha brush


15. December 2014 by arleigh
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how to create an svg file from illustrator

how to create an svg file for your silhouette die cut machine. I don’t know how to do it for any other machine but I assume it’s similar.

create your artwork. doesn’t matter what color it is. I suggest you keep it fairly simple at first.

okay so here’s a clock.


here’s a close up. see, it’s just one shape.


select all, then ungroup.


ungroup until the ungroup option is grey, indicating that it is fully ungrouped.


then to go file > export


and then in the little pull down menu, choose dxf.


I never change these export options. this is the default setting.


now go to  the silhouette studio software, go to your library and choose file > import to library.


go choose your dxf file. I never fill out these things either. I’m lazy.


look! there’s my clock! alphabetically next to cat.


double click it, there it is on the cut document. cool.


now fonts need an extra step. type out your word. then select it and choose type > create outlines.



remember to ungroup it before exporting!


and there it is in studio!



p.s. the clock is from a dingbat font called wmsymbols and the “arleigh” is in duality font.


15. May 2014 by arleigh
Categories: art & design, tips & tricks | Leave a comment

who looks at those dumb marketing emails?

well, I do.

I want to see what the graphic artists at Big Companies are doing. what fonts are they using, what colors are they using, what style is it in? for a long time I was inspired by the inserts that came with my American Express bill. I guess there’s someone in their graphics department who shares my taste in colors and design. I always look at Old Navy’s ads. honestly, I do also shop there, but set that aside for a minute and look at this ad I just received in my email.




29. April 2014 by arleigh
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mac address book to pdf

long story short, I needed to export my mac address book into something I can open and read (not .abbu or .csv). I couldn’t find exactly what I needed online.

so I figured out my own “hack” and I’m posting it here.

if you have PDF as one of your print options (usually bottom left of the print window), use that. if not, then you might need to add a PDF printer as one of your print options.

go to Address Book, All Contacts, select all, “Print…”
then choose
Style: Lists
Paper Size: Tabloid
Orientation: Landscape
Attributes: (check all)
Font Size: Regular

hit the PDF button bottom left of your print window and Save as PDF.

once it’s a pdf, depending on which version of adobe you have, you can then “Save as” and convert it to rich text or whatever.

18. November 2013 by arleigh
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DIY epoxy dots

DIY epoxy dots


INGREDIENTS: scraps of paper, epoxy dots, glue dots, scissors


cut them out


put adhesive on the back


put them back on the epoxy dot backing and you’re done!


17. November 2013 by arleigh
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I’ve been learning how to carve stamps.

arleigh rain cloud 1

I just finished this rain cloud/sun/rainbow set tonight. click the image for a larger view.

arleigh rain cloud 2

07. November 2013 by arleigh
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what to do with the “preview” image in your digital scrapbooking kit

apologies, I only know how to do this with a mac. please leave a comment if you know how to do it on a PC.

update! thanks to mary kay, here is how to do it on a PC: facebook link

first, here’s the quick version. then I will post illustrated steps.

1. open the folder.jpg or preview.jpg

2. select all, copy

3. select and control click, choose “get info” on the folder icon you want to change

4. click once on the little folder icon at the top of the get info window

5. paste

okay here’s the illustrated version.

see how the folder is just a plain folder? there’s usually a preview image inside there. if not, you can use any of the jpg or png files. double click to open. on my mac, it opens in preview.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.01.01 AM

select all, and copy. this places a copy of the image into your clipboard.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.01.17 AM

go back to that original folder, click it once to highlight it. right-click or control-click to get the mini menu. choose “get info.”


Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.01.32 AM

this is what the get info window looks like.

click the little folder at the top. just one click to select it.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.01.49 AM

see, it’s highlighted when it’s selected

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.01.59 AM


then paste. the contents of your clipboard replace the folder icon.

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.02.13 AM

and now, see? your folder icon has changed!

Screen shot 2013-11-02 at 8.02.23 AM


this kit is sweet inspiration #9 by studio basic, from

02. November 2013 by arleigh
Categories: art & design, tips & tricks | Leave a comment

Creating a custom color palette from an image using Image Trace in Illustrator

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 7.54.53 AM

I do this all the time. Today I saw a photo of President Obama on my Facebook Newsfeed and was struck by the blues in the background. So I tried a few online color palette generators, but I wanted a larger palette, which I will edit until I get a palette I love. So I decided to take screen-shots as I go, to show you how to do it.

Grab an image you love and drag it onto the Illustrator icon.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 8.13.34 AM

It doesn’t matter if you hold the shift key down to maintain the ratio, and it also doesn’t matter if your photo gets blurry or pixelated—We’re only looking at the colors. You’re going to throw this file away when you’re done. Just make it big.

Next, with the image selected, open the Image Trace window, and turn on “Preview.”

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.01.26 AM

Make sure you are in “Color” mode.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.03.09 AM

Then play with the number of colors. With mine set to “Limited,” I’m only getting 30 colors and I don’t see enough blues in the window. So I’m going to choose “Full-tone” and go for 40 colors.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.03.20 AM

That’s more like it. Open the Advanced menu by clicking on the little triangle and choose “ignore white.”


Now expand it.



And ungroup it.


Open your Swatches palette.


Drag a selection marquee across the windows so that part of the image is selected. IMPORTANT: there’s a size limit on new color groups, so grab sections of your photo instead of the whole thing. I like the blues of the window, so I’m grabbing that section.

select window

Click the little folder icon on the bottom of the swatches palette. Choose “Selected Artwork”, click OK.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.33.45 AM

Click somewhere on the white page to deselect your artwork while you edit this palette. I’m going to delete the browns, greys and whites from this color group so I end up with mostly blues.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.28.12 AM Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.43.57 AM

Shift + click on the swatches you want to delete, then hit the trash button at the bottom of the window. Option + click to single out lone swatches. You can drag them around to rearrange them. If you see swatches that are similar, delete them. This is the fiddly part that defines whether you are a color-lover or not.


Okay I’m almost done, just going to delete that first swatch that looks like white.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.48.13 AM

Click on the folder icon. Choose “Save Swatch Library as ASE…” (By the way, where there is an ellipses—the three dots—it means there is another menu after this.)

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.49.38 AM

I’m going to save mine right into my Illustrator Swatches directory, but you can save it anywhere.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 9.52.37 AM


Now it’s one of the User Defined Swatch Libraries. Or, if I had saved it somewhere else, I could have chosen “Other Library” and just loaded the ASE file.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 10.00.53 AM

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 10.34.53 AM

Here is the final version of the color palette I developed from this photo.

Screen shot 2013-10-26 at 11.20.48 AM

Click on the image or here to download the ASE file for yourself.

26. October 2013 by arleigh
Categories: art & design, tips & tricks | Leave a comment

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