New series of card making tutorials using graduated dies.

One of my YouTube subscribers posed a question:  “Which dies are the best to purchase for the first time?”  She was getting a brand new die cutting machine for Christmas and needed guidance.  At the end of this post you can watch the video I made to answer her question.

Choosing dies is a very, no let me emphasize this better, EXTREMELY difficult thing to do.  The paper crafting market is flooded with choices.

  • Stamp and die sets.  Matching dies to cut out stamped images
  • Multi layer dies for 2 dimension creativity (Tim Holtz “Old Jalopy” die)
  • Nested or Graduated dies (Spellbinder)
  • Thick steel ruled dies (Sizzix)
  • Acid etched dies (Sizzlits) with a low profile
  • Wafer thin dies which require a magnetic platform

The list goes on and on.

For the next couple of weeks I am going to be featuring ONE nested die set by Spellbinders titled “Blossom” to demonstrate the many ways to use graduated dies.  Yesterday’s card tutorial was for this card.

OWH Card Sketch #77

OWH Card Sketch #77

Tomorrow’s video will feature this same die set from Spellbinders – Blossom – to make this card.

Original card design

Original card design

So for anyone that is considering purchasing dies for the first time, I hope this video is helpful.


YouTube Subscriber Question Monday – Original Sizzix Machine.

Last week I received a question from one of my YouTube Subscribers.  The question was regarding the “Old Sizzix Machine” and how to use it.  Mary Kim Nance’s question is as follows.

Hi Leslie, I love watching your videos.  They are inspiring!  I have a request to see how to use the original SIZZIX machine.  Lol…the big red heavy one your husband bought you.  I picked one up at Goodwill and I don’t know how to use it or if you can still buy folders/dies (?).  I thought I would give this a try before investing in a new model.  Any input would be appreciated. Thank you for inspiring me!  Take care.  Mary Kim.

It has been a long time since that, once loved, machine has seen the light of day.  Answering this question was an ideal time to get reacquainted with the old thing and get into my stash of dies.

Original Sizzix machine with some of my dies and embossing folders

Original Sizzix machine with some of my dies and embossing folders

Currently, many rubber stamp companies are making coordinating sets of dies and stamps.  They make it easy to be creative.  Stamp an image then use the appropriate die to cut the image out.   The dies for the stamp sets are all super thin, much like the Spellbinder dies.  In the photo above, the Spellbinder dies are above the Original Sizzix nesting together on a magnetic sheet that doesn’t work so great.  :/

I have created a 34 minute video showing how to use each of the dies I display in this photo.  I have included how to use the embossing folders which are to the top right.

Like many old “Work Horses”, they are put out to pasture when the newer versions come along.  :/

There are a few dies that will NOT work with the Original Sizzix machine.  The die body is too wide to fit through the throat of the machine, under the presser head.  Tim Holtz Alterations dies will not work on this machine.  His border dies WILL work with this machine because they are narrower, about half the size of his other dies.

I have used two cameras to create this video.  I found out that I can do “Picture in Picture” using my iMovie program during editing.  I have used this feature to highlight portions of the tutorial on making this old machine work for Mary Kim.

If you watch the video, keep in  mind that most of the time I don’t think things out very well.  Especially the portion using the Spellbinder dies and the “shimming” required to get the best use of the die sets.  I should have cut the shims to the size of the cutting plate making it easier to make the die work correctly.  :/

Oh, well… least the viewer will see what NOT to do when working with this machine.  😀