Favourite Laser Cut Souvenir from Venice

A laser-cut souvenir pop-up card from Venice.

My favourite laser cut souvenir so far…

Wherever I go my eye is always drawn to laser-cut and laser-etched items, and (as I mentioned in the last post) I was really pleased to see plenty of good quality laser-y products while I was on holiday earlier this month. In fact I was so pleased to see them that I even bought a few laser cut souvenirs.

This is a card that I bought in the Doge’s Palace. It’s got a nice simple front…

venice laser cut souvenir - front
Venice laser cut souvenir – front

…and then when you open it you get the “wow” of the pop-up effect:

venice laser cut souvenir - inside
Venice laser cut souvenir – inside

Here is a close-up of the inside:

venice laser cut souvenir - close up

This is the back of the card:

venice laser cut souvenir - back
Back of card

 

The makers are a bit mysterious – I can’t find them anywhere via the usual search engines – so if you can point me to their website please let me know! You can do that via the contact us page or Twitter (@LaserSister), or Facebook or the comments section below. Thanks!

Laser Cut Fridge Magnet Souvenir

Following on from yesterday’s post, here is another laser-cut souvenir that I picked up on holiday

Laser Cut Fridge Magnet Souvenir – Bucharest

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’d come back from our recent holiday with a few laser-cut souvenirs that caught my eye while we were away. Here’s another one. We visited Ceaușescu‘s bonkers giant palace while we were in Bucharest, and it was amazing and frightening in equal parts.

This piece is a bit more complex than the previous fridge magnet, because it’s also coloured, somehow. I’m not sure how it’s made, to be honest, apart from the shape itself being laser-cut from a sheet of wood. Maybe it’s a transfer/decal applied to the surface of the wood?:

laser cut fridge magnet - Bucharest Romania
laser cut fridge magnet – Bucharest

If you know what the process is, please give me a shout – I would be very interested to find out! You can use the contact us form, or Twitter or Facebook or the comments section below. Thanks!

Dover Books: Royalty-Free Laser Cutting Resources

My current favourite resources and inspiration for laser cutting designs. Dover Books royalty-free illustrations.

Dover Books: Royalty-free laser cutting resources

Dover Books: Royalty-Free Laser Cutting ResourcesLaser cutters are so versatile that sometimes it’s really easy to get sidetracked, and think “I wonder if I could…” and then start on a whole new series of experiments. That’s how I ended up the other day wondering if I could create a birthday card with fairies on it. I’m not brilliant at drawing though, so I needed to try to find some royalty-free images that I could use as a basis for the designs, where I wouldn’t be infringing copyright and/or stealing someone else’s idea. At times like this, I usually turn to the brilliant Dover Books. They might just as well have “Royalty-Free Laser Cutting Resources” written all over them.

These books are absolutely great to use with art and design projects, including (of course) laser-cut and laser-etched projects. The books are specifically created for artists and craftspeople, to allow them to use the designs in their own projects. Once you have bought the book you may use the designs without having to pay royalties, and – more importantly – without breaking copyright laws.

As it says in the front of most of their books, “You may use them for graphics and crafts applications, free and without special permission, provided that you include no more than ten in the same publication or project…However, republication or reproduction of any illustration by any other graphic service, whether it be in a book, electronic, or in any other design resource is strictly prohibited.”

In other words, you can make artworks which include these images, but you can’t (e.g.) copy the images and sell them as stock images yourself.

The books used to just be in physical format, but in recent years they have included CD-ROMs with the artwork on them digitised as vector images and ready for you to incorporate in your own projects. (And now an increasing number of the books are available in eBook format.)

So I ordered a copy of Fairies and Elves Vector Motifs (Dover Electronic Clip Art) from Amazon, and it arrived the next day.

I found three images where I liked different parts of the fairies, and then combined them into one single fairy and added some “Birthday Wishes” text:

laser cut fairy birthday card

Finished design for the laser-cut birthday card:

laser cut birthday wishes fairy card

laser cut birthday wishes card

Here is a link to the “Fairies & Elves Vector Motifs” book.

…and here are some other similar books, but they maybe don’t have vector-format images:

Fairies, Elves & Gnomes

Cupids, Cherubs & Nymphs

Children

 

The A-Z of Laser Cutting

This is what the LaserSister blog will contain in future…

I’ve had a VERY busy couple of months, since attending Autumn Fair! Here are some of the most recent items I’ve made:

Worthing fridge magnets - seagulls
Recent work: seagull fridge magnets

But now November has sneaked up on us, and that means the Christmas rush is about to start…

I’ve got several orders that I need to work on this week, but in the meantime I need to also think about re-stocking my etsy, ebay and folksy shops. And ordering some new business cards. And re-stocking actual physical shops and galleries where I sell my work. And approaching other shops and galleries where I’d like to sell things. And taking photos of products. And updating my website.

In the meantime, it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The idea is to spend 30 days writing a 50,000 word novel. But rather than write a novel, I might use the time (and words) to update this blog, instead.

As well as NaNo, I’ve decided to participate in Jeff Goins’s “500 Words” challenge, where the idea is to write 500 words per day, no matter what. So with the combination of NaNo and “500 Words”, I’m looking forward to writing a lot more about lasercutting in future.

Jeff Goins’ 500words challenge

Over time I’m aiming to create a resource for myself and others, where I can collect as many laser-cutting-business-related links as possible.

Some of the posts will have an alphabetical theme, and will focus a lot on products that can be created with a laser cutter. And some posts will contain a mixture of tips on saving time, saving money, and getting the most (and best) out of a laser cutter.

It’s not just all about me, though! I would really appreciate your help in creating the ‘library’ of resources. So if you’ve found a great article or technique or business/time/design hack, then please share it by leaving a comment, or tweeting @LaserSister. I’ll also look into setting up various other wiki-type resources, that can be added to by the lasercutting community as we all learn from each other.

Along the way I’ll try to create tutorials or articles on how to make money via a laser-cutting business. If you’d like to receive the articles and tutorials via email to make sure that you don’t miss any of them, please subscribe or sign up for the newsletter. That way you’ll be the first to hear about any new tutorials, tips, or downloadable files etc.

Screenshot from LaserSister tutorial
Screenshot from LaserSister tutorial

In the meantime it’s time for me to go and work on some more designs for customers. This week I will mostly be working on family trees for people who have ordered them as Christmas presents. Next week – who knows? 🙂

Save

My Own List of Top 20 Laser Cutting Blogs

Top 20 laser cutting business blogs

Following on from yesterday when I was excited to find my blog in the top 40 of laser cutting blogs, I have been checking out other blogs on the list and here is a digest of my own favourites (along with the country they are in, in case you are looking for laser cutting services):

Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts (USA) is a lovely blog, with regular updates and lots of craft ideas. They sell laser-cut craft items.

Dragon Powered (UK) has got laser cutting files for sale, to save you having to spend hours designing your own. The blog includes interesting and original information, and technical advice.

Nice Cuts (UK) provide a laser cutting service, and have ideas about how you can use laser cut designs for your own business. They also occasionally have guest bloggers, who share their own experiences of using a laser cutting service.

CUT-TEC (UK) are a laser cutting service and they create really varied laser cut items – including in metal.

Mekkit.com (UK) are another company who produce really varied laser cut products, and have some great photos of their work.

The Altered State (UK) have got at least one great big laser and can cut and etch reeeeally big items.

LaserSister (UK) That’s me! I provide a laser cutting and etching service, but the blog also has technical information about laser cutting, plus news and trends from the lasery world. And will shortly include links to cutting files.

MBJD Laser (USA) seem to pick a different font colour and overall style for every blog post, but I forgive them because they are real people and giving real news about their laser cutting service and products.

Laser Flair (UK) have a laser cutting service and look like they can etch metal and giant pieces of wood for you.

Dot Laser (UK) produce really nice-looking and varied work for clients.

Bespoke Laser UK also produce great looking products, and do an especially nice line in laser-etched bespoke rubber stamps.

LASERCUTIT (UK) have a laser cutting service, for wood, acrylic, paper and card.

Just Add Sharks (UK) have got an article on making a totally mind-blowing ‘phenakistiscope’.

CutLaserCut (UK) work with artists and other businesses to make some really original pieces.

Ponoko (USA, NZ) allow you to upload your artwork, get an instant quote, and then cut and ship the item on the same day. WOW.

Reddit (www) has a thriving laser cutting community and this is a great place to browse and/or ask questions. It does contain quite a bit of spam, but you can easily lose hours just browsing if you are really into laser cutting.

MLC (AUS) have a laser cutting service in Australia, and the blog includes latest trends and news from the lasery world.

Able Engraving (UK) have a traditional engraving service as well as laser engraving, and are experts in signs and awards.

Google News (www) chews up and spits out laser-related news for your information and delight.

 

(OK, there are only 19 in my current Top 20 list. But the Top 40 list only had 33, so I win!)

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve Hit the Top 40!

Aaah, the sweet smell of success. (And the sweet smell of laser-cut wood. Mmmm.)

Well, this is turning out to be an interesting (and busy!) week.

Checking out my blog stats, it appears that my laser cutting blog is in the top 40 of a list of laser cutting blogs!

Medal saying 'Awarded top 40 laser cutting blog'
Woo – some automated software has given me an award!

Disappointingly, there are only 33 websites on the list (I am currently number 30) – so it appears that at the moment if you have a laser cutting blog then you are automatically in the list. On the other hand, (1) I only moved to this website a few weeks ago, and (2) at least I’m actually on the list!

I will start to celebrate if I reach number 20 🙂