This month I am featuring another favourite cutting file designer, Shirley Clark. You can buy Shirley’s designs at Paperthreads.com and she is featuring a Father’s Day sale 45% off all her files until Midnight on Father’s day. This is a FANTASTIC deal- Shirley has some of the most innovative designs I have ever seen. She does some amazing 3-d work that you will not find anywhere else. Fro example her All Occasion Purse Treat/Gift Box and I love her Christmas: A Treat Box Collection.
All of Shirley’s work is top notch and she takes great pride on her designs. I do not say this lightly and very proud to have her featured as s featured designer in my Designer Profile series.
10 Questions with…. Shirley Clark
Name: Shirley Clark
Location : Cross Plains, Texas
Where can people buy your cutting files and designs?
Shirley Clark Designs at Paperthreads.com
How did you get started cutting and then designing files?
It all started with paper embroidery and card making. Then I thought a few die-cuts would be a great addition for my cards. But they are so expensive and it took the fun out of it! Then my step-daughter called and changed my life. She told me about a machine called a Wishblade. Her husband had bought her one for Christmas. So, I sweet talked my husband and ordered one! I joined Paperthreads Forum and began learning how to use my Wishblade and make my own files. I hated Inkscape, so I did all my designing in the Wishblade Software. About 4 months later, I wanted to be able to do more. I bought Illustrator CS2 and the rest is history! The added perk to having Illustrator was being able to cut to my Wishblade from Illustrator. It turned my Wishblade into a quieter, faster and more efficient machine.
What kind of projects do you like to work on?
I like cardmaking and designing 3D items such as purses, treat boxes, etc. I’ve just started stamping and enjoy that as well. I’m awaiting the arrival of my first set of Copic Markers, so I’m sure that will enhance my stamping addiction. Did I say addiction? I don’t have any addictions. Okay, maybe I’m addicted to paper and anything you can make with it. So that’s considered one addiction, right?
What was your first digital die cutting machine?
My first machine was the old blue Wishblade. I still love that machine!
What machines do you have now?
I still have the Wishblade. I upgraded it to a KNK Element, but when the KNK Maxx came out, I sold the Element and bought the 15 inch. The KNK Maxx is my dream machine.
If you could only have ONE cutter- what would it be?
I would have my 15 inch KNK Maxx. I love it!
If someone new to cutting was looking at buying their first digital cutter what entry level digital cutter what would you recommend and why?
I would suggest they go for the KNK Maxx (or the KNK Groove-e). I think it is a great for entry level. I see so many buy other machines and eventually end up trading up until they end up with a cutter that can do more than the one they had. So I suggest a cutter newbie start out with what I consider the best then you don’t have to worry about selling your old machine to get what you end up wanting later.
Why a KNK Groove-e or KNK Maxx?
I started out with my Wishblade. I found it was too limiting in cutting width and I wanted to cut chipboard. So I bought the KNK Element because it would cut wider paper. I assured my husband that I would never want to cut anything wider than what the Element could do. But as time passed, I wanted to cut and design some 3D items that needed even more width. So, I’m now on my 3rd machine and I have the cutting width and pressure I want.
Another reason I would buy KNK Cutters is because they are quality machines. I have had excellent company support from Paperthreads and Accugraphics. There is also great support through the KNK Yahoo Groups.
Often when buying one of the cheaper machines, you need additional software in which to design, and even cut through. Even though I don’t use the software for KNK, I have played with it a little bit and find that it is pretty easy to use. It has a great manual for setting up and using the cutter and the software. There are step by step instructions that will help you design just about anything you want. If the great manual isn’t enough, there is excellent support through the KNK Yahoo groups and at the Paperthreads Forum. I’m thrilled with my KNK Maxx? After having the machine for several months and knowing what I know now, I would buy the same machine all over again.
What software do you use to design and cut?
As mentioned earlier, I started out using the Wishblade software. Then I purchased Illustrator CS2. I recently upgraded to CS4. I love Illustrator for designing. I can easily take my Illustrator files and convert them to GSD, KNK, WPC and SVG file formats. Illustrator is what I’m comfortable with and I doubt I will ever change to anything else. But after playing with KNK software some, I think the KNK software would be my second choice.
Although I design in Illustrator, I do my cutting through the KNK software. It has a lot of great features for cutting that I love! My favorite feature it block nesting. It places your pieces in such a way to best use your paper. It is a great way to conserve our precious paper!
What project are you working on right now?
Currently I’m working on some files for a fundraiser at Paperthreads. One of our designer’s husband is battling cancer for the second time. He won’t be able to work during his treatment. So some of the designers have decided to offer a membership club where you get 50 plus files for $15.00. All proceeds will go to Carrie and Scott Schwartz. Here’s a link to the membership!
Here are a few of the files I’ve finished for the fundraiser.
Do you have a favourite file or design? Why?
My favorite design? Oh my. I have so many favorites. My all time favorite is probably a card file called “For God So Loved the World II.” I just love how this card cuts and how it looks when finished. Jesus looks so realistic and has piercing eyes. This file is a testament to my faith.
What are your three favourite scrapbooking/papercrafting tools?
I love the Color Box Fluid Chalk. They are small and easy to use. A little fluid chalk can change the entire look of your project.
I love the At You Spica Pens. They give just the right amount of sparkle to a project. The clear one is truly clear and lets the underlying color shine through while adding glitter. They are great for adding a little bling to your project.
I also love my Purple Cow 2-in-1 Trimmer It’s easy to use, cuts great and locks the paper in place. It has a rotary and guillotine style cutting edge. The rotary blades come in many different edges. I use it a lot and I get great cuts every time.
Note from LISA- I HAVE to get one of these! I have never seen them in Canada tho 🙁 !!!! )
If any of you are ever in the Cross Plains, Texas area, stop by Clark Park. We’d love to meet you! But here’s a word of caution. You might not want to leave! We love it here!
Shirley’s Exclusive Free Purse Cutting File:
Shirley is offering one of her designs free to Quilling Patch visitors for a limited time. It is FANTASTIC! She is letting us download have a free 3-D purse/gift bag cutting file- great for party favors, wedding bombonieres , showers and more!
Free Purse Treat Box Cutting File in WPC GSD KNK AI and SVG Format
The cutting file is Round purse and the zipped file contains detailed instructions and files are avialable in WPC, GSD, SVG, AI and KNK format.
Download Shirley Clark’s “Round Purse” HERE