Craft Life Hack – DIY Magnetic Platform

Getting into card making, scrapbook layouts, or the Project Life series of documenting our daily lives can be over the top expensive.  Especially if you spend any amount of time watching craft videos on YouTube where every new tool or convenience is displayed for you to drool over and covet.

Die cutting is one such tool.  The machines themselves are over $100 and they come with the bare necessities.  Extra items are all add-ons and can destroy your budget quickly.  With the advent of wafer thin dies that serve dual duty, cut and emboss, the industry has been finding more ways to deplete your budget with these tools that we “Just Have to HAVE”.

Sizzix created a “Magnetic Platform” just for the wafer thin dies.  This acrylic pad with a magnetic top has allowed the paper crafter to do more with their dies.  That Magnetic Platform will set you back $30 or more.  The good thing about this tool is that you no longer have to fuss around with dies shifting on you through the cutting process.  You no longer have to tape everything down to get a good and clean cut without wasting a lot of paper while keeping track of where the die is before it goes under the pressure rollers.

I have not gotten into the wafer thin die aspect of paper crafting.  Mostly because of the initial cost of the die set.  These dies come in sets, or “Nested” sets.  Each die is graduated in height and width from smallest to largest and ideal for layering on your card fronts or your scrapbook layouts.  One set of dies will cost over $25 and it would be really easy to get to the check out with a total of over $100 just for three or four of these sets.  Add on the cost of the magnetic platform and your crafting budget will be gone in seconds.

Storing these wafer thin dies can be a challenge in itself.  Keep the packaging they came in or find an alternate storage solution.  One of my friends, Maureen Criss Mathis, told me about her purchase of Magnetic Vent Covers from her local hardware store to use for her die storage.  This was a few years back.

While in my local Lowe’s Home Improvement Center I went to the heating aisle and right to the section that sells the vent covers.

Vent covers at my hardware store

Vent covers at my hardware store

Magnetic Vent Covers are sold in this section.  When you want to block air flow over one or more registers in your home it can be accomplished with these covers.  The cost is $4.97 at my store for a set of 3.

Magnetic vent covers

Magnetic vent covers

These magnetic sheets cut easily with a pair of scissors.  So I had to see if I could make my own “Magnetic Platform” using this product on my three Sizzix machines.  The Big Shot, Original Sizzix Machine, and the Side Kick.

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

Sizzix Big Shot, Original Die Cutting machine, and the Side Kick

I was able to use the magnetic sheets on all three of my machines successfully.  The cuts I got using this home heating product were clean without any mistakes.

So, if you have been thinking about getting the Magnetic Platform from Sizzix for your wafer thin dies then head on over to  your local hardware store.  Spend your craft budget money on the acquisition of more wafer thin dies 😀

Here is my demonstration video for this new tool in my paper craft arsenal.

Leslie

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

How to use Spellbinders – Label Six – dies to crop photos.

I have to go in my closet to use my Big Shot.  BUT AT LEAST I CAN GET TO MY CLOSET!  I’m having so much fun making this mini album for my granddaughter.  It’s like I have mojo on full tilt now 😀

Okay, now to get to the best part of this post.  Using Spellbinders Label Six dies to crop photos.

Using Spellbinder dies to crop photos

Using Spellbinder dies to crop photos

Lay the die over the photo and adjust it until you have it lined up the way you want.  This can be done with any Spellbinder dies not just this Label Six set.

Place the die in the desired location on the photo

Place the die in the desired location on the photo

Run it through your die cutting machine and you will have an instant triumph 😀  I used the next to the largest die for the photo and the largest die for the mat.  My granddaughter’s favorite color used to be black so I’ve used black on each page in some way or another.

Awesome results

Awesome results

The shape of this die calls for BLING!  I found my long forgotten stash of half back rhinestones from Stampin’ Up! in my room clean up.

Must add BLING!

Must add BLING!

Half backed rhinestones

Half backed rhinestones

I need to have a pocket element on this page to hold a journal spot.  This pocket will do double duty.  It will hold the sticker I chose for these photos and be the place to write her memories of these days.

Using some scrap paper from the background of this page I cut a piece to measure 4-1/2 inches by 3-1/4 inches.  Using my score board I scored 1/2 inch from the edge on three sides.  Cut out the two bottom corners where the score lines intersect.  Cut away at an angle to the flaps so they don’t bind up when folding the flaps over on the back.

Using scrap to create a pocket

Using scrap to create a pocket

Fold the flaps in on the back

Fold the flaps in on the back

Using 1/4 inch Scor-Tape I applied two pieces to each flap.  Peel the backing off and attach the pocket to the page.

I used Scor-Tape

I used Scor-Tape

Apply adhesive to three sides

Apply adhesive to three sides

Create the journal tags to go in your newly created pocket.

Journal tag back

Journal tag back

Journal tag front

Journal tag front

Attach all the elements on your page.  I needed to have something a little extra on this page, especially at the tabbed area.  Some newly found items was my stash of Tim Holtz Adage Tickets.  An embossing folder from Stampin’ Up! and some Walnut Stain Distress Ink were used for a texture feature on this page.  I don’t know what the embossing folder name is.  The design looks to be like a damask print.

The cropped photos and journal pocket

The cropped photos and journal pocket

A Stampin' Up! embossing folder

A Stampin’ Up! embossing folder

Tim Holtz Adage Ticket

Tim Holtz Adage Ticket

Another sticker from the sheet I purchased and the page is now ready.

Using Spellbinder dies to crop photos

Using Spellbinder dies to crop photos

I hope you have been inspired to take a second look at your Spellbinder dies in your scrapbook layouts.  After all….these dies are quite pricey at almost $25 per set.  It is time they begin paying for themselves 😀

Leslie

p.s.  Tomorrow’s layout will feature a famous quote!

 

 

Check out the clearance bin at your office supply store.

A few years back I found some 3″ x 5-1/2″ journals in the clearance bin of an Office Depot.  I think near my home…but it could have been in Jacksonville, Florida; Baltimore, Maryland; Rancho Cucamonga, California; or some other place where we had to stop to get work related papers copied or replenish supplies.

These little notebooks have covered fronts and backs which are constructed from some heavy duty chipboard.  The binding is like the Bind-It-All but not exactly.  The holes are too close together.

Small notebook

I nearly passed up on these after taking a good look at the image.  There must be a “Super Shopper” that I am unaware of.  This masked woman might have super powers.  Or not, since many of these were in the clearance bin.

Super Shopper?

For 50 cents I can overlook the odd image on the front.

Bargain at 50 cents

The inside has lined paper to write notes or use as a Password Journal.

Lined pages for notes

I was in need of a Thank You gift for one of the people we do business with.  I had to make a rather large request for past documents.  Information dating back to June on through October of this year.  For some reason I have difficulty receiving these documents when they are mailed out to us.  I get some but not all, thus the request for old information.

Since the binding of these notebooks is not similar to my Bind-It-All I could not take the book apart without damaging the binding doo dads.  My option was to cover over the image.  Squares of orange, brown, pink, and beige all over the front of one notebook.

Altered notebook

All items used to cover over the notebook front are from my paper scrap stash, seldom used ribbon stash, and newly found stamps from my rubber stamp stash.

Are you in need of a gift and find yourself short on time or money?  Maybe you just don’t know what to give someone.  Nearly everyone could use a small notebook that has been personalized by you.

Leslie

Club Scrap’s Assembly Line Cardmaking Idea Deck.

Card making is not my forte.  This is something that I struggle with all the time.  You want to talk about “Writer’s Block”?  I get it every time I think to make a card and begin looking at my papers.

Another crazy problem I have is scrap paper.  It drives me absolutely bonkers when I have half sheets of card stock left over having used only a portion of an entire piece.  To my loopy head, card making means waste.

Several years ago I purchased Club Scrap’s Assembly Line Cardmaking Idea Deck after it first came out.  When you consider the cost of the item, after looking at their site, you will probably click yourself right out of their website.

The Cardmaking Idea Deck is fashioned after a deck of playing cards.  There are 52 cards.  Each card has a sketch on the front of what the finished cards will look like.  On the reverse are the cutting directions.  The skill levels are noted on the Idea Card by the use of stars.  One star is easy, two stars are a little bit more complicated, three stars the complication factor goes up a notch, and four stars will challenge you.

Club Scrap's Cardmaking Idea Deck

Club Scrap’s Cardmaking Idea Deck

I have chosen three (3) Idea Cards from the deck to make a total of 12 cards.  Six (6) sheets of 12 x 12 card stock and two (2) sheets of 8-1/2 x 11 card stock will be used in total.

For one card set I have chosen two 12 x 12 pieces of card stock in a rich brown and a turquoise.  The brown card stock is a light cocoa on the reverse with a darker brown and a print on the front.  By the way, all of the card stock I’m using on these cards is from Club Scrap.  Stuff I’ve had for several years and it is high time that I use it up.

Dark brown and turquoise

Dark brown and turquoise

Once all the cuts are made – following the directions on the reverse of the Idea Card – I will have four (4) cards with an assortment of pieces to use on each card.

Four (4) cards with pieces to be used as suggested

Four (4) cards with pieces to be used as suggested

The next Idea Card will also use two (2) pieces of 12 x 12 card stock.  I have chosen a lavender and a cream.  Now the cream piece is the reverse of a light brown print.  I can used either side of the brown on the cards.

Lavender and cream

Lavender and cream

Four (4) cards and pieces to be used as suggested.  In the photo below you will see the light brown print that is the reverse of the cream card stock.

Four (4) cards with pieces to use as suggested

Four (4) cards with pieces to use as suggested

The last Idea Card calls for two (2) pieces of 12 x 12 card stock and two (2) pieces of 8-1/2 x 11 card stock.  Both the bright yellow and the deep blue have prints on the reverse side.  The yellow piece has a print and a resin type coating over the print.

Idea Card using two 12 x 12 and two 8-1/2 x 11 pieces of card stock

Idea Card using two 12 x 12 and two 8-1/2 x 11 pieces of card stock

This Idea Card creates four card bases.  You can see in the photo the print on the yellow paper.  There is a raised and embossed print on the darker blue as well.

Four card bases and pieces to be used on the card fronts

Four card bases and pieces to be used on the card fronts

The sketch suggestions shown on the front of the Idea Card are there to show you how they used the cuts of paper.  You are free to use their sketch ideas or wing it.

Use the sketches to mount the cut pieces or not

Use the sketches to mount the cut pieces or not

The other products I will be using to make these cards will all come from my stash of scrap papers, a 2004 Stampin’ Up! stamp set purchased by my neighbor from a yard sale which I bought from him :D, an unmounted rubber stamp set from Stampin’ Up! from last year or the year before (I don’t know if it is still available), and some knock off mica water colors (knock offs of Twinkling H2O’s).

2004 Stampin' Up! stamp set from a yard sale

2004 Stampin’ Up! stamp set from a yard sale

2010 or 2011 Stampin' Up! stamp set

2010 or 2011 Stampin’ Up! stamp set

Knock off mica water colors

Knock off mica water colors

Using the 2010 or 2011 Stampin’ Up! stamp set, a Spellbinder Scalloped Square die, gold embossing powder, and green glitter glue I have created this Thank You card.

Thank You card #1

Thank You card #1

Once again, using the 2010 or 2011 Stampin’ Up! stamp set I have made another Thank You card.  I’ve colored the flowers using the Knock Off mica water colors, and I dug around in my embosslets to find the butterfly embossing die from Stampin’ Up! – this is several years old and I don’t know if it is still available.  I’ve also used a Spellbinders fancy die “Labels Six” and some black brads from my stash.

Thank You card #2

Thank You card #2

This next card is one I finished today.  It is supposed to be a masculine card.  I’ve used the very same sentiment stamp but separated the “Thank You” from the sentiment.  This is the “yard sale” stamp set.  I’ve also used a Spellbinders “Curved Rectangle” die on the top part of the sentiment and a label punch from Stampin’ Up! for the “Thank You” part.  I’ve used a Sizzix/Tim Holtz embossing folder (“Gears”) and three of the Tim Holtz gear thingys along with some black brads from my stash.

Thank You card #3

Thank You card #3

I have one more to finish from this one Idea Card using the four (4) sheets of card stock.  I’ll be working on that one tomorrow.

When I’m finished I will show you my left over scrap pieces from the cut card stock.  Maybe on the next set I will use the sketches that accompany the Idea Card instead of winging it 😀

These turned out pretty good and I would not be embarrassed to give any of these three cards to someone.  I just need more practice at making cards….and using things from my stash 😀

Hope you all will have time this weekend to get crafty.

Leslie

 

 

 

A Dragonfly card

Well, it is Friday.  This week has gone fast and it has had a plethora of problems that have required my full attention.

Joe had another incident with the front bumper of his back truck,

Another torn bumper

Another torn bumper

high winds blew our new shingles to flapping in the breeze.  Lifting up like they were in a stadium doing the “Wave”.  That was the week before but this week it got even worse.

Flapping shingles

Flapping shingles

The contractor was back to have a good look at the job he had hired others to do and has diagnosed the shingles were old and their sticky patches were no longer sticky.

Our old pickup truck that was taken to Colorado for our daughter is acting up and leaving her stranded frequently enough that Tiffany has found the most direct route to where she needs to go but off the major traffic ways.

And if all this wasn’t nerve wracking enough we have our bank doing some investigating.  Someone hacked into our accounts and totally emptied one of them.  They suspect it was either from an online purchase one of us made or from one of those darn machines you have to sign at the check out when using a card.

Okay, enough of the troubles that will all be righted in the coming weeks.  On to my card.

Dragonfly card

Dragonfly card

The card base is a 5-1/2 x 4-1/4 Brocade Blue (or something like that from Stampin’ Up!

I rummaged through my scraps to find the rest of the pieces used on this card.

Scrap papers

Scrap papers

I chose the blue double sided printed paper from Stampin’ Up!.  It was one of their pads I bought last year – 12 x 12 in the various color lines they had.

Blue DSP (Designer Series Paper)

Blue DSP (Designer Series Paper)

These were used as the front pieces.  The stripe is 1″ x 5-1/4″ and the other is about 3-1/2″ x 5-1/4″.

I used a Splitcoast Stamper sketch as my inspiration.

Splitcoast Stamper sketch

Splitcoast Stamper sketch

I also drew from the book I have from Becky Higgins on making your own embellishments for scrapbook layouts.  I saw the Dragonfly paper pieced one and remember from my inventory work I had three of them I could use.

Becky Higgins inspiration

Becky Higgins inspiration

I used a small punch, a Sizzix green die, and a Spellbinders impression die.

Punch, Sizzix, and Spellbinders

Punch, Sizzix, and Spellbinders

More scraps pieces were used for these punch and dies.

More scraps

More scraps

The little guy from the punch I used the brown area of one of the scraps….the thin long strip of paper.  The Spellbinders Dragonfly I used the green paper in the forefront.  I used the polka dot vellum and the green mini polka dot paper for the medium size Dragonfly from the Sizzix green die.

Small Dragonfly

Small Dragonfly

Medium Dragonfly

Medium Dragonfly

Large Dragonfly

Large Dragonfly

I’m not over the moon with this creation but I’m pretty happy with how it came out.  The stamp set is an old “Sale-A-Bration” set from Stampin’ Up! “Whimsical Words”.   The Splitcoast sketch indicated a ribbon bow was to be put to the bottom left of the stamped image area.  I wanted to use the Dragonflies instead.

I did get one thing totally accomplished this week.  The card.

Life has a way of getting in and taking the stage from time to time in everyone’s life.  I chose to deal with the problems we’ve been plagued with head on as much as possible.  When the sun goes down I have found myself watching Makeup Tutorial videos or playing online games until past midnight.

Between telephone calls, running around town to talk to various people who are helping, and getting my mind otherwise occupied with Heather and her creativity blossoming which is so exciting, working on Tim’s things, and keeping Joe in the loop has kept my sanity in check.

Oh, ya.  I forgot.  Joe blew out both front tires on our pickup as he was traveling to his next load.  He sat beside the road for over six hours waiting for the road service truck to come, then leave with the tire rims, then come back with the new tires mounted on our rims.  Joe stopped the guy from tearing up our rims and damaging them while he was trying to take the rubber off, hence having to wait.

I have a website class today, Heather will be over for more fun.  Do you remember my little friend Katy?

Katy

Katy

She and her family moved away during the summer while I was out on my “Day Job”.  She stopped by, with her Mom and her sister, to sell Girl Scout cookies last week.  Katy wanted to take part in the contest to tell her story of how she got into crafting but was unable to.  She and her sister, Elora, will be spending time with me on Saturday.

In honor of Katy I will put up another challenge for next week.  A “Coloring” challenge that will run through the month of February.  Katy is very excited to show me her Fairy she will color for this challenge.

Life’s problems are just that.  Bumps in the road.  My life is totally blessed with the people who enter, stay a while, leave, then come back.  Daily I am filled with gratitude for each and every one of you all, my friends who keep me focused on what is really important in this life.  Being grateful for everything, even the problems that arise.