Well, let’s get started!

I see that when I wrote my post in December 2015 I mentioned the ability in Embird to save SVG files (and JPG files) so that you could use them with your Silhouette Cameo.

I am going to chat a little about that to you today.

I have the original Silhouette Cameo 1 and since I bought it there have been two new Cameo machines. There’s both a 2 and a 3 now – but I have stuck with my original Cameo as its still working fine and does all I need. So anything I write here will be with me using the Cameo 1. There are, of course other little Silhouette machines as well but I have not had anything to do with them – I haven’t even seen them. So no questions please about the Cameo 2 and 3 or the other machines – unless its something easy that I can answer. I’ll try my best but cannot guarantee that I’ll no the answer. AND, please bear in mind that I am still learning the Silhouette Studio software as well. There might be other ways of doing what I show you – even easier ways – but as these lessons are coming to you free I figure that you get what you pay for. LOL!!!

If you are going to use Embird Studio to create any SVG files and export them into Silhouette Studio (all these Studio names gets confusing doesn’t it?) then you will need to buy the licence for the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition. Its just a code that you need to enter into the Silhouette software and well worth the money. I have gone one step further and bought the code yesterday for the Designer Plus version of Silhouette Studio as that allows you to open some embroidery file formats. (That will be interesting too but as I only got that yesterday you’re going to have to wait until I get that figured out). I will keep my brain active with scheming about all the things we might be able to do.

You might not have a Silhouette machine but I can highly recommend them – they’re so much fun and you can do such a lot on them. Not only cutting vinyl for t-shirts but you can use outdoor vinyl for decorating lots of stuff – like your car, coffee mugs, wine glasses – almost you name it and you can do it. You’ll end up like you were when you first started embroidery – everything will be covered in it. However there’s even more stuff that you can do – not only vinyl – you can cut applique shapes to use with your embroidery machine using Embird and the Cameo and you can even cut your fabric pieces and then vinyl the edges without using your embroidery machine. You can use vinyl edges instead and attach them with your domestic iron or a heat press if you have one. A friend of mine makes the most beautiful cards and decorations using her Cameo. I will add a photo here of some flowers that she has made just to whet your appetite and give you some ideas.

IMG_8513 Barbara makes exquisite items with her Cameo. She is very much into Card Making and other beautiful things whereas I’m a bit boring and just make things like images to put on my grandchildren’s clothing. There are loads of SVG designs around that you can use with your Cameo – just like there are loads of free and purchasable embroidery designs. But as you know, there’s always the time when you cannot find what you want as a design and you have to resort to creating it yourself. And that’s where making your own SVG designs in Embird Studio comes to the fore.

Here’s a couple of my designs I’ve used and then you can see how different mine are to Barbara’s.

Here’s Eevee – a little Pokémon character. Yes, I know that she is a licenced character but I am NOT selling these designs or the clothing that they are on. They are for my Pokémon crazy grandchildren and I’ve never found clothing with these more obscure characters on anyway. The same goes for the sports logo that I created. The hoodies cost over $150 NZD here and for me to make my basketball crazy grandson one cost me $25 for the hoodie and my time and vinyl for the design. I will never sell the design or the clothing if they are licenced. Its all for purely personal use.



I used a JPG in Embird Studio, created the shapes and saved it as an eof file (a must if you want to use it again) and then exported it as an SVG and opened it in the Silhouette software.

Personally I find the Silhouette Studio software not so great if you wish to create your own design – its a bit clunky – and that’s when I use the easy option and pop back into Embird Studio and create my design there. I have written a tutorial about how to create designs into Embird Studio before and how to save them as an SVG. Its available at Secrets of Embroidery. The Silhouette software is great for lots of other things like preparation of your design etc, etc but actually creating your own design in there isn’t as intuitive as Embird Studio.

When you open an image in the Silhouette Studio software you must “Trace” it first to convert it to lines for the Cameo to use as a guide for the blade to cut. Basic shapes are really easy to trace but when you come to a file with outlines then its not quite as simple and even though I have checked a lot of information I have yet to find any information about how to “Trace” a design with an outline and get a good trace. Maybe I’ve not been looking in the right place – and maybe you can point me in the right direction but I’m going to show you how to work in Silhouette Studio – primarily using Embird Studio to create your design in the first place.

In Embird Studio today, lets just create a simple shape and save it as an SVG for cutting.

Open Embird Studio and go to Shape/From Library/Basic and choose the Heart1.eof.

Click Open.

22-05-2017 3-40-32 PMSelect and Delete the Outline shape so that only the Heart fill remains.

Generate the stitches.

22-05-2017 3-42-37 PMGo to Design/Save As and save firstly as an EOF file. If you don’t do this your file will only save as the SVG and if you need to return and edit it as we often do, then you wont have an EOF to open as you didn’t save as that format.

Now go to Design/Export and Save in your preferred folder as an SVG file.

Great! Got that! Now open your Silhouette Studio Software. This only works if you have the Designer Edition upwards, remember – but well worth the upgrade fee (around $30- $50 I think)

Go to File/Open and move to the folder where you sabed the SVG file.

Select it and click OK. The SVG file will be on your Design Page

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Select the image using  the Select Tool and move to the right side and click on the Color Palette icon. 22-05-2017 3-56-00 PMClick on the Black color and the heart will change to black. This is necessary to get a good trace for cutting.

Move to the right of the screen (I’m using the newer version 4 just released) and click on the Trace Tool 22-05-2017 3-52-57 PMThe Trace screen opens. Click on Select Trace Area and, holding down your left mouse button drag over the heart on the Design Page. The Heart should turn Yellow. This is what you want.

This is just a quick and simple intro to creating your own design, please bear in mind. I’m not going into too many details here today.

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Once the design/heart is completely filled – as above – click on Solid Fill in the Trace screen and then click Trace near the bottom of the Trace Screen. You could also click on Trace and Detach seeing as you don’t need the original heart any longer.

Your file is now ready for your cameo to cut. You can select and right mouse click and delete the black fill if you used the Trace only option but if you used the Trace and Detach option then the file is now a Cut file. I only delete the black fill when I use Trace just to confirm that the cut lines are there. Your choice! 22-05-2017 4-04-56 PMNow move to the Send screen, choose your fabric/vinyl etc, select your blade settings, decide if you need a Test Cut, load your media and/or mat and click Send.

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My Cameo wasn’t turned on so I have an error message on the screen saying it wasn’t connected but as I am only writing this and not cutting I don’t need the Cameo on.

Depending on what media you’re using you may have to flip your image. If you’re use Heat Transfer Vinyl for clothing then you need to flip. If you’re using Oracal 651 Outdoor Vinyl then you don’t as you use a transfer tape to attached it to your objects. For fabric (applique) then your design doesn’t need flipped if the fabric is right side up.

This is just a wee taste of how to create your design from Embird Studio and get it to cut in the Silhouette software. I will do some further wee lessons as I go. I cannot promise when but I will as I find the time. This is something else that you can get addicted too……


I hope that you enjoyed my come-back! I will write as and when I can. There’s so much more to show you all.

Take care for now.


Long time, no chat!

Crikey, I cannot believe that its been two years since I’ve written on the Hooplah blog! You must be wondering if I’m still around or even alive and kicking! Well, yes, I am. I am mostly quite well however my lasting legacy from my brain aneurysm is that I cannot concentrate for very long and this makes it difficult to type for any length of time on the computer.
But after a few enquiries from some of you I thought that I might do free little snippets on here from time to time to do with Embird, embroidery, craft and whatever! I’ll try and add stuff that I think might be of some interest. But if its not of interest then you can bypass it but if you do like what I am writing about then feel free to tell your friends – let them know that they can come here for a “looksee”.

Embird and Cut files and my nine lives

A month or so ago Embird released its latest version (a free update for Embird 2015 users) that now creates cut files for the Cameo Silhouette (svg files) and the Brother Scan and Cut so that you can send those files to your machine and have them cut the files. I haven’t had a chance to play with this new command yet but I have heard that there are still little glitches with it. Like anything it takes time for something new to run smoothly. As soon as I can I will have a play and see how I get on with it. However for those interested I do have a lesson available at Secrets of Embroidery that shows you how to use the Silhouette Cameo in both Embird Editor and Embird Studio that will create the correct files for you. I wrote this lesson last year before the latest release of Embird and this method still applies.

Now, here is the reason that I have not had time to play with the latest version of Embird. On April 1st (Aprils Fools Day) 2015 I suffered a stroke. I will not forget Aprils Fools Day ever. It certainly was no joke! I had been out to dinner with my hubby and we walked home – about 500 meters – and when I reached home I didn’t feel well at all. I thought I’d got food poisoning as I had a stinking headache and felt really sick. My neck was aching and I couldn’t stand the lights on in the house nor any noise. I went to bed but got up again and started vomiting. This happened again during the night and the next morning, when my headache hadn’t gone away (I don’t generally suffer from headaches) I decided to check it out with my doctor as we were about to go away for two weeks holiday. I walked to the doctors surgery and didn’t come home for two weeks. The doctor checked me over and called an ambulance. I was rushed to hospital, had an MRI and then operated on the next day. It was a subarachnoid haemorrhage. The surgeon told us that approximately 50% of people do not survive. I had a lot of people praying for me and I am sure that’s why I made it through.  And of course, the surgeons skills.

I remained in hospital for two weeks while they waited for the danger period to pass. It was so nice to go home after I was released. But I was told not to drive my car for six months and I have to have another MRI after six months as well. My mother, her cousin and her cousins mother also had the same condition so it is apparently hereditary and now my children need to be screened as well to see if they have the same condition. Genetics, eh?

Anyway I was very fortunate as I had no signs of  any long lasting effect. No speech problems or any paralysis at all. Very lucky. I have 23cm of coils in my head to clip off the blood vessels to prevent any further bleeding from that area and I’ve also got to have a 30 minute nap every day to refresh my brain. I think I escaped very lightly and now that I’m in “the system” I will be checked regularly for further problems. Its taking me a while to get going and working on the computer is a bit tiring but I’m doing my best.

Keep me in your prayers please. I really appreciate your prayers and kind wishes.

On a lighter note I’m down to seven lives now as I’ve lost two of my nine lives so far. After escaping that rock fall last year while walking and now the stroke this year I’m down two lives. But I figured that two down after 65 years I should make it through okay. 🙂


Take care everyone –


I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by…..

Dearie me,

The older I get the faster the time goes by! Anyone else notice that?? I cannot believe that’s its been a whole year since I last wrote a post. So much has happened!

My grand-daughter who turned three in my last post is now four years old and will be starting school at the beginning of the year 2016. Here is what my grand-children look like now. How they have grown! Ben has the green shirt on. he is nine years old now! Jack – 3 years – (blue shirt)and Daisy- 1 year -(red dress – which I made) are brother and sister and are the children of my son. And Ben-9-, Henry -7-(grey shirt) and Casey -almost 4 – (blue and white dress- which I also made) are my oldest daughter’s children. And lastly is Ruben -14- at the back in the white shirt – is my youngest daughters stepson – my lovely oldest grandson. I’m so proud of them all. Christmas

But if you’re reading this to just find out about Embird then I will disappoint you once again because, even though there have been updates to Embird and small additions and alterations, none of the eagerly anticipated BIG changes have yet taken place. We are still waiting for Mac integration. But all good things take time and I’m sure that the Embird “boys” are working very hard on making the Mac thing happen. Just like those eagerly anticipated presents at Christmas, we’ll just have to wait. But knowing my past predictions, I’ll only have to say this and lo and behold in a few days the new versions will most likely be released. Just when we weren’t expecting it. That’ll be my luck! But rest assure we haven’t even had a beta version to test yet so I don’t think my theory will hold much water. 🙂 I think it will be a while longer before we get out hands on a Mac version!

However if you are an Embird Cross Stitch user I can tell you that there is currently a glitch in the Program which will be fixed in the next update. Cross Stitch is currently not allowing you to open your saved Cross Stitch designs – ECF – in the program to make any changes. Ladislav is aware of this and will fix the issue.

Here’s a little sewing/embroidery project that I completed before Christmas for my last grandchild – Daisy. I have made Santa bags for all my grandchildren and as Daisy wasn’t yet born the previous Christmas I had to make her Santa Sack for this Christmas. I used Embird to create the DAISY applique. Using Embird to create the applique makes it so much easier. there are two options – if you have a Silhouette Cameo you can create the lettering in Embird and then send the design to the Cameo to cut the fabric – or you can use the manual method and create the applique in Embird Studio and then use the stitch, trim and stitch method that we’ve used for years. For those new to the Silhouette Cameo and Embird Studio I do have a step by step lesson which is available at Secrets of Embroidery FullSizeRender

The rest of the design was a Christmas panel that I used Vlisofix on the back of, trimmed and ironed onto the red fabric. ThenI used my Bernina to do a manual applique stitch around the tree, Santa, reindeer and presents. The bag is lined in white satin with a white fur around the top. Its very cute and fits loads of presents. It would probably even fit a small sewing machine! Now isn’t that an idea?

On the sewing/embroidery front I have taken up teaching ladies how to sew. I have wanted to teach sewing for years and even thought about going back to Teachers training college just so that I could get a degree to teach. But I figured that I was too old for that lark – attending lectures when all I want to do is teach sewing – and having to learn amongst school leavers. And most people seemed to be of the opinion that I wouldn’t enjoy the teaching of school students much anyway as most don’t really want to learn.  I wanted to teach people who WANT to learn to sew. Anyway, I did come across some younger women with children who wanted to learn to sew – so that they could make garments and accessories for their children. Fun stuff!

I told these ladies that I was happy to help them-  and so my little group was born. The ladies now come to me twice a week for their sewing sessions. It’s so much fun. They are so adventurous. They just turn up with a picture of what they want to sew and we go from there. They learn how to draft their patterns or adjust existing ones and “off they go”. Nothing is daunting to them. They’ll have a go at anything. I am amazed.  Here’s a Ballet and Ballet shoe bag that one of the ladies completed in an evening

Jodis daughter 2

And here is a little jumpsuit that one of the ladies completed in another session. Pin tucking in an inset yoke. Beautifully sewn.

Jodis daughter

It’s so much fun hanging around with people in the 20’s and 30’s who actually want to sew. If you know me, then you’ll know that I LOVE to sew and I really enjoy passing on some of what I have learnt over the many years that I have been sewing..

Now – on a slightly different note – Casey, my grand-daughter decided at Christmas time that she would like to sew on Gran’s machines. I thought “why not” and set up my Pfaff machine for her.


I had to lower the chair right down so that she could reach the foot pedal.  She had a ball of a time. Hopefully she will continue to want to sew. if she does then I’ll be there!


Well, I think that’s enough from me at the moment. I have yabbered on enough! Next time I should tell you about my trip to Europe last year and about our cycle ride down the Danube – with some photos!

Take care

My little grand daughter is three….how time flys

Can you believe it? My grand daughter is three years old. And she loves dressing up. She is always trying her clothes on and then pretending to be someone else. And what better thing for me than to make her a new outfit for dressing up in.

A Snow White costume. Casey and Gran. (me)

I know that you can probably buy something like this online as “cheap as chips” but I love making clothes for my grandchildren. Come the day and they wont want me to anymore, I’m sure. So I am enjoying it while they want things from me.

I have to say that the costume took hours to make. It has an embroidery on the front with crystals attached and sleeves that had the wee red shapes stitched on – reverse applique – and then cut out (carefully) and then an applique stitch used to stitch the edges down. Embird is great for doing this sort of thing. Aren’t we lucky to have such a fabulous program to use for our sewing and embroidery. All it takes is a little imagination and patience.

Now, I really should mention that I now have two grand-daughters. My newest grand-daughter was born last month. She is my son’s second child. Her name is Daisy Ruby and she is named after both her great great grandmother and her great grandmother. I’ll post some photos later!