Monday, January 15, 2018

Tip (update 1-16-18) - Removing Paper Bits from Thin Metal Dies

I have an inexpensive tip for you on a way that I came up with to remove paper bits 
from a thin metal die after you have made the die cut.
This applies to any cutting machine.
I own a Sizzix Big Shot.


I recently participated in a "round robin" die cut swap that involved quite a bit of work
because of the number of die cuts required and the number of participants.

I'm using Cheery Lynn Design's Border #2 for this example.
Here is my actual die.


Most of us know when using intricately designed dies, it's best to:
1. Add one to two pieces of cardstock in between the bottom cutting pad and the platform.
This will increase the thickness and thus produce more pressure for the roller to make a cleaner cut.

2. Place wax paper in between the die and the paper. 
This adds some 'slick' to be able to remove the die cut from the die more easily.

(note: I buy interfolded wax paper at Sam's Club.  Comes in a two box pack-500 sheets/box).  
These are generally used to wrap sandwiches/poboys.  
They are much cheaper than wax paper on a roll.  1000 sheets costs me around $9.
I cut the sheets to the size I need, so it takes "forever" to use them up! 

update: 2a. You can also use plastic grocery bags instead of wax paper.  
Just cut it to size for your die.  
I just learned this from my friend, Melissa.  
I tried it out and it works beautifully.
The only draw back is that static electricity causes the tiny plastic pieces to jump back onto the cutting pads and it takes a bit to get them loose - ha!
But I think this is an excellent alternative and also inexpensive (FREE).
Here is my 'sandwich' -
Magnetic Platform on bottom / Cardstock shim  / Acrylic Cutting Pad / Paper /
WAX paper / Die FACE DOWN / Acrylic Cutting Pad on top


Some of my dies have a 'gazillion' tiny bits of paper that remain in the die 
even when performing the above two steps!  I really needed a quick solution other than 
simply using a die pick because I had a BUNCH of die cuts to make for all of the participants!  


Soooooooo - here is what I did that worked beautifully for me!
To remove those tiny bits of paper, you usually rub the back of the die 
with your thumbs and they begin to fall....well, not always!  
With this 'technique' in mind, 
I remembered that I had stipple brushes which have very stiff bristles!!
They are very inexpensive...much more so than an all-in-one tool.
So, if you already have a die pick, save your money and buy a stipple brush or two instead!
Stipple brushes cost around $4 versus $15 for the tool.

These are the stipple brushes that I have.

I personally don't own an 'all-in-one' die tool, which I didn't know even existed!
I do already own a die pick, but I had to improvise.  
What I learned in this die cut swap is that the brushes on the all-in-one don't work that well.  
I'm certainly not wasting my money, especially since I have this technique figured out!


Here are photos showing you the process I performed using a stipple brush.

In this example: The die cut is made and all of the paper remains in the die.

 Turn the die over, holding it over a trash can. 
(very important so that your lovely craft room doesn't become riddled with tiny bits of paper!)
Begin briskly rubbing with the stipple brush (with some added pressure) 
to the back of the die and then hear all of those 
tiny bits of paper just rain down into the trash can!
It takes just a couple of minutes, if that.

This is the result after stippling the backside of the die and then removing the die cut off of the die.  
There are barely any paper bits left!

To the remaining 'stuck' paper bits, use your die pick to remove them.

Separate the wax paper from the paper die cut.

Voila! Here is your beautiful, intricate & completed die cut!

Thanks for reading my tip and I really hope it helps you!
Have a wonderful day, Lisa : )

Thursday, January 11, 2018

12-13-17 Remember this Day

I'm so very proud to show you my gorgeous Miss Gali!
She's on the love seat looking out the window on a bright sunny day.
Isn't she just stunning?!

Man oh man what a gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous new Remnants collection from Blue Fern Studios!

Miss Gali's regal look is beautiful on this paper!
I've been dying to use this fabulous BFS chipboard "Kevin's Frame".  
It's heat embossed in Stampendous Fran-táge Aged Ivory.



I'll be honest with you, 
it took some practice to get the stunning Remnants Collage stamp to look the way that I wanted it to.  
I wasn't at all happy with the stamping I did in the bottom right corner of the page, 
so I covered it up with beautiful Wild Orchid Crafts flowers!  
This is definitely one of those "happy accidents"!

The Remnants printed chipboard I used as part of the layout title tucks in nicely with the beautiful flowers!


Once I got the gorgeous collage stamp (and myself) to do what I liked, 
I randomly stamped small areas around the layout.  
It really blends in nicely with this page!

I completed the layout with a smaller flower arrangement in the upper left corner. 
This is where I placed the date that is part of the title.  
As you can see, pieces of reindeer moss tucked in with flowers adds great texture!



Thanks so much for visiting and have a great day!
Stay warm my Northern friends!

Products used:


Blue Fern Studios

Chipboard - Kevin's Frame

Stamp - Remnants Collage



Sizzix 

Big Shot

Magnetic Platform

Sizzix BigZ Die
Tim Holtz - Garden Greens

Tattered Lace Die
Meadow Leaves (used small one)

Spellbinders Die
Victorian Tags (used the 2nd inset)

Stampendous! Fran-táge EP



Maja Design - It's Christmas Time collection - "Wrap the Gifts" backside
used with Garden Greens die


Wild Orchid Crafts Flowers
Deep Red Gardenias - 6cm



Cream-Deep Red Daffodils

Green Mix Lilies

Earth Tone Cottage Roses 25mm

Green Mix Wild Roses 30mm

Earth Tone Trellis Roses 35mm

Red Mix MINI Sweethearts


Michael's Store
Recollections
Black Glitter Stickers

Ashland
Basil Green Reindeer Moss


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Every Moment Matters - Even when Marcy has an Opinion

What better way to end the year than with a layout of a cat!  
This is no ordinary cat either!  
She's my Grand Kitty, Marcy, who I passionately love!
 This wonderfully glorious photo of her was taken Christmas Eve Day Dec. 24, 2017. 
She's telling me that I've entered her space just a bit too close - ha ha! 
I did get 'slapped' once by her.  Literally slapped - no claws; just paw. LOL!

She's a talker and definitely lets you know where she stands!  
I respect this little doll.  She loves me.....no matter what she says!  HAHA!

***important note: because Marcy's nose is pale pink means that she's not upset.  
If she was upset, her nose would turn a bright cherry pink!  She's not fooling Gwamma at all!**

The paper I used is the new Remnants collection from Blue Fern Studios!  
It's quite stunning and gorgeous!  
I love the rusty browns with jet black & olive greens that match Marcy's hair color and eyes so perfectly.

Along with this stunning collection came new stamps!  
Here are some close up photos to show you how gorgeous they are!
Large butterfly from the BFS Remnants Butterflies Stamp Set


Beaded Flower Vine from the BFS Remnants Butterflies Stamp Set
 Also, I finally bought a new die set that I've been so anxious to own for quite some time!  
Cheery Lynn Designs Doily Dies - Horizon French Flair Boutique.  
I absolutely LOVE them! 
The beaded flower vine is one of the new BFS Stamps for the Remnants collection that  
I dressed up with amber colored rhinestones and on the larger die cut, I used black paper 
from BFS Sanctuary collection and decorated it with copper nailheads. 
(along with cat hair if you look closely - ha ha) 


Blue Fern Studios started adding printed chipboard to their collections not that long ago
 and I decided to get the one for the Remnants collection.  
Here I placed a circle butterfly printed chipboard with some pink chrysanthemums 
(pink to match Marcy's nose >^..^<).

Lastly, a few close up photos to show you the flower arrangements I made.
This one with the printed chipboard title from the Remnants collection is placed on one of Blue Fern Studio's Mixed Chains chipboard that I heat embossed in Stampendous! Fran-táge Shabby White Embossing Enamel.  
I love the Fran-táge shabby EPs because of their metallic flecks.    

I'm sure most of you remember 5 years ago when Prima came out with these wonderful wooden clocks!  
Tucking in some natural reindeer moss sprayed with Lindy's Stamp Gang's Starburst colors
Saxifrage Olive Copper (olive green with copper highlights - unfortunately now a retired color) 
and Cowabunga Copper worked perfectly with the color palette of my layout.

Thank you for stopping by!
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year in 2018!
Lisa : )

Products used:

Blue Fern Studios:
Main layout

Backside for Torn/Distressed & Accent Corner Pieces

Printed Chipboard - Title & butterfly circle

Butterflies Stamp Set for Remnants collection

Sanctuary-Birdsong Melody
Backside for large die cut

Chipboard - Mixed Chains



Cheery Lynn Designs
Doily Die Set - Horizon French Flair Boutique

Rose Leaf Strip


Stampendous!

Sample of Shabby White


Prima - Decorative Wood Clocks

Lindy's Stamp Gang - Starburst sprays - Saxifrage Olive Copper (retired color) & Cowabunga Copper
Michael's - Ashland Natural Reindeer Moss; Bargain Bin White Daisy flower with green beaded center
Ranger - Archival Ink

Mark Richard's - Copper Nailheads

Wild Orchid Crafts flowers
Pale Pink Chrysanthemums

Green Mix Sweetheart Blossoms

Earth Tone 25mm Cottage Roses 

Earth Tone Hip Rosebuds