Cheap Trick – Sliding Blade Trimmer.

Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US.  My wish for you is that you enjoy your family and friends on this special day.  Good family and friends, great food, and lots of love and laughter.

After you have risen from your nap after the bountiful foods and drink have a look at this video I have created.  I show you how to use a budget priced paper trimmer to cut a square hole in the center of two A4 size (4-1/4 x 5-1/2) pieces of card stock.  I show you how to get the scored frame around your cut.  I also show you how to use the paper trimmer to score lines along the length of the card stock.

You will see, in the video, that I make a 2 inch square cut out on the card stock pieces.  If you want a rectangle or larger square to feature one of your favorite stamped images or beautiful papers it will be easy for you to do.

Find the center, which I show you the center measurements in the video.  Measure your image or feature element.  Say for example you have a stamped image that is 1-1/2 inches wide by 3 inches tall.  Add 1/2 inch to the measurements to be 2 inches wide and 3-1/2 inches tall.  Your center line measurement will be 1 inch from the left of center and 1 inch from the right of center on the wide part.  For the tall measurement you would be 1-5/8 inches from the top of center and 1-5/8 inches from the bottom of center.

Mark you paper lightly with a pencil and then cut your “aperture” that will feature your stamped image.  There are so many variations you can make with this technique.  Cut out a diamond, square, or rectangle shape that will leave people asking how you did it. 😀

Have fun in your creativity.  Get to know your paper trimmer.  Most of all, if you are a beginning card maker and have limited tools, use what you have to create amazing things.

I hope you enjoyed this video and learned something from it.  I look forward to learning what you do.

Leslie

I got sucked into the world of day planners and my head is spinning.

The world has changed and I’ve been left behind.

Long ago, when I first started using a day planner, the only personal planner was by “Day Timer“.  This was way back in 1979.  The cost of a yearly set up was dear.  $50 for the monthly planners.  Each month was separate.  The cover had a 3 ring binder feature.  Each daily page had a perforated triangle at the top right of each page.  Tear the piece away and that was how you knew where you were in the planner.  The binder/cover was so small that only one month at a time would fit in the book.  When a month was over the pages were held in a specially sized box that looked like mini magazine holders.  One year per box.

I found the “Day Runner” brand in 1981.  A cheaper version of the Day Timer.  Well, only as far as cost was concerned.  A yearly planner was more affordable at a cost of $28 to $30.  The covers were more wider and the 3 ring binder would hold a monthly calendar and a weekly set.  The daily planner set would not fit in the binder along with the weekly and monthly calendars.  Pick your battle on planners.

Back in the early 1980’s there were, believe it or not, “Planner Snobs”.  I kid you not.  The people that carried the Day Timer thought they were hot stuff and looked down their noses as us that had the Day Runner.  I would be challenged by the Day Timer user about the size of my planner.  Women would tell me they could drop their planner in their purse, men would show me how well their planner fit in their shirt or coat pocket.  All the while I stood there with my 8-1/2 by 11 binder.

One man I worked with in a real estate office started my mornings off by declaring the Day Timer is superior and the Day Runner was a “wanna be”.  It was a good natured snipe.  There were some days when the snipe would be a little aggressive.

Sheesh!  It is just a calendar!  I told him to get over himself.

In the mid 1980’s I found “At A Glance“.  That planner featured a bright yellow stripe along the outer edges of the monthly calendars.  I found that I liked that feature because I could use it for birthday notes or work project deadlines when I worked at Arizona State University.  I was in the secretarial pool of the Agriculture Department.  One of the professors selected me to fill in for his assistant while she was on bed rest during her pregnancy.

That was a time in my life that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.  Computers were not common.  The drives were slots for giant 5 inch disks.  One slot held the operating instructions for the computer to come to life the other slot was to run a word processing program.  Once the program was open the disk was removed and a different one was inserted to save all the work done in the word processing documents.  I think that program was called “Star”.

I can’t tell you how many times I lost information.  Stuff I thought I had saved to the disk disappeared.  I had to retype pages and pages all over again.

Now, I have to admit that I am a rather vocal person under stress.  I don’t deal with stress very well.  The halls of the Agriculture building were marble.  The walls and floors were echo-y and sound traveled very well.  Even with the door closed to the office I worked in my frustration was heard on the entire floor.  Classrooms, professor offices, and the different labs.  One professor from the new computer science section knocked on the office door I was behind, then came in.  He asked me if I were alright.

Humiliated and ashamed of myself for the verbal outburst.  I had to apologize to him.  I had lost one entire section of a document that I had been working on that morning.  The paper was to be submitted the next day to be reviewed by the group of peers to the professor I was working for.  I was TOAST!

Needless to say my introduction to computers was not my most favorite time in my life.  I longed for the days of the IBM Typewriter that I had been using for many years.  Type on paper and everything is there.  You don’t lose hours of work on a typewriter.  The words just don’t disappear into a different world when using a typewriter.

Now, here in the 2000’s, things have changed so much.  Day Timer is still around.  As is Day Runner.  And my favorite At A Glance can still be purchased.  The Day Runner and the At A Glance are available at my local office supply store.

The past couple days I have been online looking at planners and trying to figure out which one I want to use in 2015.

There is MidoriHobonichiFranklin Covey.  It is crazy the different types of day planners that are out there.

I just want something that I can use for my truck driving stuff and my personal stuff.  I’ll stick with the Day Timer style I’ve used for years.  The only thing I don’t like about this type of a system is storing the yearly information.  Being a 7 ring binder type the pages are all loose at the end of the year.  I just put them in a file folder and put on a label indicating the year.

My Day Timer

My Day Timer

My weekly Day Timer

My weekly Day Timer

I have some pocket files with To Do lists for each part of my life that I want to get a better handle on.  Goals for the week.

Goals for the week

Goals for the week

House work using the Flylady system.  I have modified it to fit my physical abilities right now.  Let me tell you.  I did one hour of cleaning in my living room this morning and it has whipped my butt.  I think this Sepsis thing has done a right good job on throwing my butt on the floor.  :/

House work folder

House work folder

Blog post list for my Foolishness & Mayhem site.

Foolishness & Mayhem

Foolishness & Mayhem

Blog post list, videos for YouTube, and my craft room folder for Message In A Fold.

Message In A Fold

Message In A Fold

And finally, a folder with my wishes and goals for getting my Etsy shop working.

Etsy folder

Etsy folder

I think I have been resting long enough now after my cleaning stint that sapped my strength.  It is time to get ready to go create the video on using a Sliding Blade Trimmer.

As a cautionary note.  If you don’t want to lose several hours of your day….DON’T go to Pinterest  and do a search for Day Planners.  Trust me.  You can get totally lost in there.  However, it is quite informative.  Seeing how other people use their day planners and make them work for them.

Now a “Call To Action”.  Leave a comment with information about YOUR day planner and how you like to use it.

Thanks, Leslie

Getting back in the “Swing of things”.

I guess it is time to let you all know what is going on in my world right now.  Usually I blather on and on about the comings and goings in my life.  Lately I have all but abandoned this blog, and my other one.

In August, of this year, I was hospitalized far from home with a pretty bad case of Sepsis after a neglected bout of a Urinary Tract Infection.  The doctor who treated me at the hospital told me it could take  up to a year for me to fully heal.  I thought the guy was plain bonkers.

All of August, September, and October I was home recuperating.  Most days I was dizzy, weak, and stumbled around like I was drunk.  So unsteady on my feet during August and the first part of September.  By mid September and early October I began to feel better.  No longer dizzy and unsteady.  The weakness had gone and I began to feel like my old self once again.

So, I figured that the doctor at the hospital had pigeon holed me as the norm.  I really began to think I needed to push the thoughts of being down for a year out of my head and proceed as if I were normal.

I felt well enough to get some crafting done and make a few videos.  I even felt quite emboldened enough to pretend to be two different people in my videos.  🙂

The first part of November I decided to get back out on the road to finish out the year.  See if I could get back to work.

Well, that lasted all of one week.  Uh, no.  All of one DAY.  The constant bouncing and jostling of the seat back of our pickup driving the 175 miles to get Joe’s trucks out of Tulsa, Oklahoma made my right kidney ache.  By nightfall on the first day I was having a few sharp pains.  I was not going to tell Joe of this.  Getting out of the truck and into a hotel for the night made the pain bearable.  Riding in a semi truck from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Dixon, Illinois was painful.  Hour after hour of the bouncing and jostling.

A couple days later in Dixon, Illinois where Joe’s trucks were delivered the pains in my back had now become intense and involved both of my kidneys.  The sharp and stabbing pains I could no longer hide from Joe and he was about to come unglued.

When the constant bouncing and jostling stopped, the pain subsided enough that I could stand it.  Getting back in any vehicle was not what I wanted to do.  I had committed myself to being out this time and I was going to see it through.

Tough old broad with thoughts of being tougher than I actually am.

We had to go to Washington, West Virginia to pick up one truck then go to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania for two more trucks.  All three were going to Peoria, Illinois to auction.  During that one week – November 5th through the 12th – I knew I had made a terrible mistake.  My body was telling me so.

Once we delivered the three trucks to Peoria, Illinois Joe made it his mission to get me home.  We had to drive 800  miles to do so but he got me home.

Back to the family doctor and getting checked out he put me back on a prescription antibiotic for a couple weeks to ward off any further infection I may have jostled loose in my body during my ill informed decision to resume my truck driving.

So….now I’m home and off the road for good.  And I find myself adrift.  No looming time frame to be packed and ready to hit the road.

I’m now in the stages of creating a “schedule” for myself that does not include television watching or surfing the internet hour after hour.

Have you tried to find guidance on the internet about planning your day and creating a schedule?

I mean…how hard can it be?  I’ve done it tons of times before when I’ve been home for the winter to get my paperwork done for the income tax year.  Work at getting my house cleaned before I have to go back out on the road again.

I no longer have that in front of me.  Getting back out on the road at a certain point.  I have my entire future staring at me.  This is quite frightening to me.

It is like being on a city street of a dark night.  The only light source is the light post bathing me in its glow.  In the distance is near total blackness, save for a few buildings with light shining through windows before there is no more light.

Crapazoid, I’m scaring myself. :/

This is where my faith is tested.  Do I stay in the pool of light until daylight comes?  Or do I venture down that dark street into the blackness?

I guess I’ll just head down the street.  I’ll make my own daily schedule – even if it does include about 4 hours of surfing the internet once in a while to figure out how to navigate my day of solitude.

You guys are in for a freak show.  I’ll tell you that up front.  I’m going to ride this puppy until the wheels fall off.  Hopefully they won’t fall off right away….like right now.

Leslie

Sample #1 – Sliding Blade Trimmer

First, let us get acquainted with the Sliding Blade Trimmer.  You probably have one of these in your crafting space and are pretty familiar with it already.  For those that just use this tool along the horizontal measuring area at the top of the trimmer, you may  not realize there is also a VERTICAL measuring area on the swing arm.

Sliding Blade Trimmers

Sliding Blade Trimmers

Horizontal and Vertical measuring aids on trimmer

Horizontal and Vertical measuring aids on trimmer

Let’s take a look at the cutting blade itself.  You will notice two “Arrows” on either side of the blade platform, and you will notice an indented groove running through the center of the blade platform.

Guides on the blade platform

Guides on the blade platform

To make the magic happen you will need to make use of these guides while cutting within your card stock.  Depending on whether you use the Metric measurement scale or the Inch measurement scale these handy arrows will help you be precise in your cuts.  Pay attention to the arrow on the swing arm guide that you will be referencing.  Use the arrow along the Metric guide if you need to cut in centimeters.  Use the arrow along the Inch guide if you need to cut in inches.

Now, folks, there is some math that needs to be done here.  Following along with my Sample #1, you will need to have two (2) pieces of card stock measuring 4-1/4 x 5-1/2.  Color doesn’t matter, you don’t need to use orange.  It was the first pieces I grabbed.

2 pieces of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 card stock

2 pieces of 4-1/4 x 5-1/2 card stock

Finding “Center” on the card stock is to divide 4-1/4 x 2 and 5-1/2 x 2.  We are going to be cutting a 2 inch square hole out of the center of the card stock.

Finding "Center"

Finding “Center”

Once you find “Center” it is a matter of determining the measurements of where to begin the cuts along all four sides.

Stick with  me here.  Continue on down through the photos and descriptions.  There is a “Method to my madness” here.  To begin your cut you will need to place one edge of the card stock (4-1/4″ width) on the 1-1/8″ mark of the HORIZONTAL measuring guide.

Line up the card stock to the 1-1/8 inch mark

Line up card stock to the 1-1/8 inch mark

Once you have the card stock lined up properly you will then move on to the VERTICAL guide on the swing arm.  Your blade will be pressed in the card stock at the 1-3/4 inch marking on the swing arm.

Vertical guide at 1-3/4 inches

Vertical guide at 1-3/4 inches

Slide the blade down to the 3-3/4 mark on the Vertical guide.

Cut down to the 3-3/4 inch mark on the vertical guide

Cut down to the 3-3/4 inch mark on the vertical guide

Your cut will look like this.

Your first cut

Your first cut

Now flip the card stock over and place the other 4-1/4 edge along the 1-1/8 in HORIZONTAL measure guide and repeat the same cut you just made along the VERTICAL guide.  You will now have this.

The 2 vertical cuts

The 2 vertical cuts

Now rotate your card stock along the 5-1/2 inch edge.  Along the HORIZONTAL measure guide line up the card stock with the 1-3/4 inch mark.  You will see that the top of the cut you just made is centered within the blade guide.  Look for the black arrow of the second photo to see what I’m referring to.

Along the 5-1/2 edge measure to the 1-3/4 inches

Along the 5-/12 edge measure to 1-3/4 inches

The top of your first cut will be seen within the cutting blade groove

The top of your first cut will be seen within the cutting blade groove

Your blade will be pressed into the card stock along the VERTICAL measure guide at 1-1/8 inches and you will cut down to the 3-1/8 inch mark.  This will connect your two cut lines.

Line up the card stock to 1/34 inches HORIZONTALLY

Line up the card stock to 1-3/4 inches HORIZONTALLY

Begin your cut at 1-1/8 inch and move down to 3-1/8 inches

Begin your cut at 1-1/8 inch and move down to 3-1/8 inches

Your cut will now look like this.

This is the result of your 3 cuts

This is the result of your 3 cuts

Flip your card stock to the other 5-1/2 inch edge and repeat this step.  You will then have a centered square cut out of your card stock.

Repeat the previous measurements and cuts

Repeat the previous measurements and cuts

There you have it.  Centered square

There you have it. Centered square

Now…repeat this entire process to your second piece of card stock.

Repeat the steps.

Repeat the steps.

Now we are going to move on to the Scoring Blade.  Notice this tool has marks a little different from the cutting blade.  You will be using these indicators on the scoring blade to press scores around the box you just cut out.  This will frame the box.  This step is how you will get the “Frame” around the cut similar to a Spellbinder die.

Guides on the Score Blade

Guides on the Score Blade

I have given myself a 1/4 inch gap between the top of the cuts and out on each side.

Score 1/4 inch away from the edge and sides of your cuts

Score 1/4 inch away from the edge and sides of your cuts

Your cuts are now framed

Your cuts are now framed

You can score panels of lines down your card stock if you want to add more dimension and texture.  Line up the 4-1/4 edge along the HORIZONTAL measure guide the width you wish and score down the length of your card stock.

Score lines down the length of your card stock

Score lines down the length of your card stock

The square hole in the card stock will feature a spinning stamped image.  Choose a stamp that will fit in the window with at least a 1/4 inch reveal all around within the square.  You will need to stamp 2 (two) images.

Stamp two images

Stamp two images

Test fit the images to make sure you have plenty of room on all four sides.  Making sure the stamped images won’t get caught on any of the edges or it will not spin properly.

You will need some clear tape, a length of cotton thread – about 10 inches long.

Clear tape and cotton thread

Clear tape and cotton thread

It doesn’t matter if your stamped image is crooked.  IT DOES MATTER that your cotton thread is perfectly straight and centered on the back of one of the images.  The other image you will add the adhesive of your choice to sandwich the cotton thread and hide it.

Attach the cotton thread to one image.

Attach the cotton thread to one image.

Your sandwich will look like this.

Your stamped sandwich

Your stamped sandwich

Now tape the cotton thread tales to the back side of your front piece.  Make sure to have the cotton thread straight before you attach it with the clear tape.  Crooked placement will not be your friend. :/

Center your stamped image

Center your stamped image

Tape the thread tales

Tape the thread tales

Cut off any excess cotton thread that is higher than the top or bottom of your card stock.

Add your favorite adhesive to the other card stock cut out and place over the cotton thread.  You will see that my cotton thread piece is not straight.  My butterfly image is off center.  Thankfully there is enough space around the image and the cuts it will spin freely.

Add adhesive to the cut out cover

Add adhesive to the cut out cover

Place the card stock pieces together

Place the card stock pieces together

Now, using your fingers twist the stamped image around and around until the cotton thread is twisting well.  Let go and you will see your image spinning in circles within the square cut out you just made.

Front of sample #1

Front of sample #1

Back of sample #1

Back of sample #1

This sample will help you to feel confident in working with this kind of design element.  You have the extra boost of confidence knowing that you have not screwed up a perfectly good card base while you are trying something new.

I, generally, try new things out in this way.  If the piece turns to crap then I have not not wasted about 5 card bases trying to get it right. :/

Okay.  It is your turn to try this technique.  Leave a comment below and let me know how you did.  Also, if you are one of those that are masters of the sliding blade trimmer and have other tips to pass on I would love hearing from you as well.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  Leslie

Sliding blade trimmer – Cheap Trick

I have had this idea ramming around in my brain for several years.  I have many excuses for not getting this posted or a video made….I’ll blame it on the time constraints of my old Day Job.

Now seems like an excellent time to discuss this technique, with Thanksgiving and Christmas looming, and since I am no longer a truck driver.  My poor kidneys can’t handle it any longer.  Plus, Joe freaked out on my last trip out with him at the start of this month and he made the decision for me to get off the road.

Okay, enough of that.  Here is what you can do with a Sliding Blade Trimmer.

Sliding Blade Trimmers

Sliding Blade Trimmers

For a budding card maker, with limited room and finances, I can show you how to use your $25 Sliding Blade Trimmer to get this result.  Mind you, the three examples I have for you are practice runs….because I had to reacquaint myself with the awesomeness of this essential paper tool.

Have a look at the three samples I have here.  You can see what can be accomplished with the Sliding Blade Trimmer, some stamps and ink, and some markers and glitter glue.

Back of sample #1

Back of sample #1

Front of sample #1

Front of sample #1

Sample #2

Sample #2

You can’t see the 1/4 inch wide score marks on the Sample #2 because of my bad lighting.

Sample #3

Sample #3

Not everyone can afford to purchase a $100 die cutting machine, the $25 to $50 cost of a Scor-Pal or a Martha Stewart Score Board, nor the cost of the dies at $15 to $25 a pop to make these kinds of cards.

Some people may not have the space in their crafting areas to accommodate a large tool like a die cutting machine or the scoring board,  nor the storage space for the dies.  Cost may not be an issue with them, only the space.

New paper artists may not want to invest in the die cutting machine, scoring board,  nor the dies right now because they might think about waiting a little while to make such a financial commitment toward something they may not use much.

Whichever the reason, all of them valid, you can achieve the same results with the Sliding Blade Trimmer.

The sliding blade trimmer is like the “Swiss Army Knife” of the paper cutting tools.  This trimmer is a true “Multi-Tasker”.  Many new paper artists pick this trimmer because of the low profile and easy portability.  Plus, there are a ton of YouTube videos showcasing this paper trimmer as it cuts through card stock and text weight design paper with ease.  The cutting guide on the trimmer base is used, along with a bone folder, to score the papers.  So, since everyone else uses it then it must be a good product.

There are many drawbacks to using this paper trimmer exclusively.  The one major problem is with the cutting blade.  You have to purchase replacement blades for this trimmer.  When the blade goes bad your paper cuts are no longer clean.  The other drawback is the plastic guide the blade slides along.  After changing the blade many times the guide stretches out a bit and your cuts are no longer true.  They get a bit of a wobble in them.

Over the next couple days I will take you through the steps to create Sample #1 so you get to know your paper trimmer and not beat yourself up about screwing up a perfectly good card base.  Once you master the Sample #1 you can then take on a regular card base to create your own design imagery.

I need to warn you ahead of time….the posts for the Sample #1 item will be PHOTO HEAVY!  That is why I am going to be splitting this up.

I will be making a full video and hope to have it uploaded to YouTube by Saturday – November 22, 2014.

This technique can be used for many occasion greeting cards.  Use stamps featuring a birthday cake or a stack of presents for the birthday person.  Use a stamp featuring a baby stroller to welcome the new little one into a family.  Use a stamp that has a large sentiment, such as “Thank You” or “Congratulations”.  Make a feature window, such as in Sample #2, with a bouquet of flowers or a favorite scene you like to color for a “Get Well” or a “Sympathy” card.

Your imagination, creativity, and card making supplies are all you need.