Experimenting Once Again


Wooden Tags

Wooden Tags


I’ve heard the Sizzix dies and machines can cut through many things that are fairly thin.

I’ve had an idea floating around in my head for quite a while but had been a bit hesitant to try it.  Especially if I damaged my Big Shot in the process.  Who wants to take the chance of damaging a very expensive tool?  Not me.

My most recent trip to Michaels got the better of me.  I purchased some 1/32 x 6 x 12 Birch Plywood.  My practicing was done with an old tag die from Sizzix and some garden stakes purchased in a package of six.

I would caution using the wood inside your scrapbook or mini albums.  Wood, with the natural lignin present, will eventually damage your photos by turning them yellow and causing them to crack and fade.  If you think you want to try this technique then use the wood embellishments on the outside of  your albums.

For Joe’s birthday last year I made him a bulletin board.  I’m not totally thrilled with it because the cork part is so very thin.  Still, I wanted to create a very personal piece of his “former” life when he was a Crop Duster.  During the many years he did low level flying and spraying fields he felt the spray nozzle needed a bit of tweeking.  Spray more uniform drops of the chemicals being applied to the crops.  He holds a Patent for the Uni-Mizer Spray Nozzle that he designed and built.



Joe's bulletin board

Joe's bulletin board


On the left side of the bulletin board are items I found on the internet and printed off.  His mechanical drawings of the Uni-Mizer (top and bottom left) along with the technical specifications detailed in the publication located middle left.

He is also mentioned in various other places on the internet during  his flying years – they are on the right.  The airplanes he has owned and there are documents held in a museum in Kansas that pertain to a prominent (at the time) person that was the authority on all things related to crop dusting.

The small photos are not of Joe’s flying but images I found on the internet that would remind him of his many years as a crop duster and a business owner.

I’m in the process of creating a book for his current life as a truck driver that will hold the information he requires for our Day Job.


Mileage book cover

Mileage book cover


I’ve used the Stampin’ Up! Top Note die to cut out the birch plywood.  I’ve used my “brews” of Not Quite Navy, Cajun Craze, and Always Artichoke to color the background and kind of make it look like the sky and ground.

The stamp set is Plane & Simple from Stampin’ Up!.  The letter stamps are from my stash and say “I’d rather be flying”.  I had to use a heart stamp for the apostrophe in “I’d” since my sets didn’t include a comma or apostrophe.

Basic Black Classic ink was used for all the images stamped – the airplane, goggles, and the compass – all from the Plane & Simple set.

I’ve used both Clear Embossing Powder (SU) and gold embossing powder from my stash.  The gold is around the compass and the clear is on the goggle lenses and the airplane.


Note pad cover

Note pad cover


I’m also making him a note pad that will fit in his shirt pocked.  Both the note pad and the mileage book will be bound with my Bind-It-All when they are ready for assembly.

Once again, I’ve used an old Sizzix die.  This one is a frame set that resembles a postage stamp on the frame.  I’ve covered the frame part with Basic Black card stock from Stampin’ Up! and then did a dry brush (using my fingers) technique with gold acrylic paint to make the black not quite so sharp.

I’ve used the Notes & Details stamp set from Stampin’ Up! on these two pieces cut from the birch plywood also.  I’ve left the inner part of the frame sets unaltered except to add some Champagne Mist Shimmer Paint from Stampin’ Up! to give the wood a bit of a glow.  I’ve also used black embossing powder – from my stash – on the words and small flourish stamps.

One note of caution.  When using heat embossing on the wood with black embossing powder, be extra careful with the heat tool.  The longer you leave the heat on the more the embossing powder has a tendency to migrate through the wood grain and cause it to bleed and distort.

The  next part of the assembly of these two books is to cover the wood with some Triple Thick Gloss stuff to protect the work I’ve done on these two.  I’m only going to put that thick stuff on the wood and not on the entire cover.

Over my years of paper crafting I’ve picked up beads and charms.  Since I’m not into jewelry I don’t know why I’ve even bought them but I have.  Seeing all those beautiful pins being made lately I thought I’d give it a try.

Woof woof

Woof woof

Can you say “Woof Woof”?  Not on purpose, but by total accident I’ve created a poodle and a wiener dog.

I have a bunch of star bead things and decided to use them on the corsage pins along with some beads.  This is the result of my going where I’m not comfortable.

How far down the pin do you go when adding the beads?  I’ve got a few where there is barely any pin left.

That required a bit of research.  I spent a little over an hour on YouTube finding enough videos showing how to create the pins.

My beaded corsage pins

My beaded corsage pins

I think maybe I should leave this up to others.  Although, after many hours of chasing beads across my work surface, scrabbling on hands and knees after the “escapees” and drawing blood from all the pin sticks I did come up with several that I thought looked fairly good.  At least no more dogs were in evidence.  I still am having a bit of difficulty in knowing when to stop and when enough is enough.

I don’t think this is where my philosophy of “If one is good then five would be better” applies.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tracy
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 22:04:39

    This is a fun discovery, using thin wood with your dies.
    Nice projects you have been working on.


    • Message In A Fold
      Mar 24, 2011 @ 08:04:49

      Thank you Tracy. I appreciate you reading my blog and leaving a comment. I was reading through your blog entries yesterday and I had to stop to get something to eat….all the soft pretzels you wrote about and posted photos of. Yum.


  2. Lynn Claridge
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 16:49:08

    Loved your experiments with thin wood in the BigShot. This machine amazes me with what it will cut. I had a tomato puree tube that has the most gorgeous colour on the inside – I cut off the top and bottom of the tube and split it open and washed it out and the inside is a goldy colour. Using one of the Tim Holtz dies the Bigshot coped wonderfully with the tin.

    Also love your corsage pins and you made me laugh with your poodle and sausage dog pins too 🙂 Your pins have turned out well, you have some lovely beads. Now I have a collecton of beads, I can’t resist those beautiful colours and shapes but I hardly use them!! We are a daft bunch aren’t we?

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxx


    • Message In A Fold
      Mar 25, 2011 @ 08:16:53

      Boy Howdy, you got that right. We are a daft bunch.

      I’ve cut the top and bottom off of cola cans (tins) and split them, just as you did with your tomato tin, and put some through the Cuttlebug embossing folders I first had. That turned out really great and one of our daughters really liked the piece. I’ll have to do that again. That was so long ago.

      Sometimes I think I have a touch of ADD when it comes to this crafting stuff. Maybe that is why I like this because there are so many things to do and it keeps my interest.

      Thank you for your comment on my pins. I sure do wish Pati were still talking to me. I’d get her advice on how to do these. Oh well, I guess I’ll just muddle through until I figure it out 😦

      Love you – Leslie


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