#394

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Another present for me! I’m getting spoiled lately!
I saw this mega die set in a closing down sale last week, and despite its massive markdown, I had nowhere near enough money for it, so had no choice but to leave it, and hope that it hadn’t been sold for another week waiting till payday. Luckily, I have an awesome family, and they went back to the shop, early the next day, and bought it for me.
I can do so many things with this set, but what excited me the most is being able to make my own cardboard buttons, by layering three of the cutouts and gluing them together. I can then paint them, and use them as buttons for embellishments. There are a great range of flower dies, too, that can all layer together nicely. The only issue is that I may have to butcher the biggest die, so it will fit through my machine, as it wasn’t shown on the packet, so I didn’t know it was in there. We were a bit confused about what to do with the ‘thank’ die, as there is no ‘s’ on the end, or a ‘you’. I guess I could stamp that out or something.
This set has certainly inspired some ideas, between my drawings, for some upcoming cards and projects.

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#386

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More mail!
This time, I received a die set, and some superfine white embossing powder, that I bought.
I haven’t gotten to trying out the embossing powder, as I don’t really want to use the heat gun while we’re in a heat wave. I’m actually surprised that it hadn’t heat set itself in the post, hehe.
As for the dies, they are Sizzix thinlits by Tim Holtz, called shape strips (660226.)
I was looking for a die set that made small hearts and stars, preferably in the same set, with multiple dies, to save time. I spent so much time looking through three different online stores, trying to find one that would be suitable. Just when I was ready to give up, I found this die. It’s originally to make a line of cutout shapes for border like strips, but the pieces that come from it are perfect for tiny embellishments.

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This set comes with ten dies, including hearts, chevrons, stars, numbers and two types of arrows. Six of the dies come vertical, and the rest in a horizontal layout, making them more versatile for your cards. You can use either the positive or negative shapes on your projects, and they don’t cut out the edge of the strip, so it can be put anywhere on the page when you run it through your machine. This would look great paper pieced together, with different colours creating a custom strip for your piece.
Now, I have a few things to go try before I start sounding more like an advertisement. I just really like this die set.

#359

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After the developments of the foil paper, I was finding all my foil card in my stash, and I came across a packet of scratch paper. If you read my blog a while ago, you might have seen me use this paper to draw on. This is usually in the kids art section, or you can make it yourself, by covering a pages thick with waxy oil pastels, and covering it with black acrylic paint. I remember doing this is early primary school, as one of my earliest arty memories.
Since I was using the embossing folders in my big shot machine, I decided to try out this scratch paper. I had completely expected the black to come off so easily, and be all scratched when it came out the folder, but it didn’t.
When the paper came out embossed, all the black was still intact, and so I was able to scratch the top of the embossed image to bring out the colour. I spent a long while scratching each individual star, until I thought of using a kitchen scourer to gently scratch off the black and bring out the design in a very shabby, scratchy look. This sped things up a lot, and I discovered the slightly different looks depending on if you brush the paper one way, cross hatching, or rubbing in circles.
I was very impressed with the look I achieved, and would like to try it out with some homemade paper.
I think the most fun part is not knowing what colour you will uncover next.

#248

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HEXAGONS!
Shopping day, as you may have noticed. I didn’t get a lot. Half because they didn’t have what I wanted, half because I got tired, half because there’s a craft market this weekend, and half because my fractions are wrong…
So, I bought my replacement big shot cutting plates. I haven’t used them yet, mainly because I heard that it’s better to use your more worn ones with the bigz dies, and save your nice, straight ones for thin metal dies. I’m not sure it matters, but it might keep them nicer for longer.
I’ve been looking online for some nice and small stamps, things that I can’t make myself, or print easily. I’ve had a hard time picking any, even in the shop, I saw some, but they were quite expensive for the few stamps that I liked in the pack. I ended up finding a stamp set in a completely different aisle to the one with the stamps in it, which was half the price, and twice as nice. It seems to be designed as a marriage set, but aren’t so strongly themed, that they could be used for a lot of things. There’s a dress that I tried colouring in red, which turned out lovely, and the diamonds will make great embellishments. There’s a bike leaning against a lamp post, which would be lovely to colour in with water colours, and banners and flourishes which I love to use.
When I went out today, I had dedication that I wanted to buy a die set. They had nothing of my interest in the die section and not even many punches to choose from. I’d given up looking, when in the fabric section of the store had the dies designed for fabric. When I first received my big shot, these weren’t released, but I was looking for a bigz die with a hexagon for making a quilt. Today I found exactly what I had been looking for. Apparently, the technique of making a quilt with hexagons is called English Paper Piecing, which I didn’t know. I’ve never been great at quilting, and hexagons might not be a great place to start, but I like a challenge.
Plus, hexagons 🙂

#242

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Well… Today was interesting. I put up my second bookcase, I cleared a space for it in my craft room, made labels for boxes and broke one of my big shot acrylic plates. Oops.
I wasn’t thinking and put three sheets of felt on a big die, thinking it’ll be fine, and forgot to pull it back when it got hard to turn. I’ll have to pick up a new one when I can, although I can still use the larger piece in the mean time.
I used one of the tags dies and made a whole bunch of tags to tie to the handles of boxes for sorting my craft room. I made about 24 tags and I’m still thinking of boxes that will need labeling. At least by hand making them, I can make more as I need them and not worry about losing files or printing things.
I’ve recently begun my weight loss journey (for real this time, hehe) and cleaning this room is surely a workout – I’ll kill two birds with one stone.

#200

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I have circles! I’ve been wanting to get them for ages, but the only ones I could find were expensive or online. There was stars and label ones, but I’ll probably get them another time.
There is so many opportunities for creativity with these simple shapes such as stacking, framing, windows and layering. These cut through paper and felt beautifully.
My partner was laughing at my joy and excitement as I made circles.
I can tell this will be an essential tool in my crafting. So fun.

Day #36

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So, I went shopping today, on three hours of sleep which was probably not a good idea. Luckily I had enough brain power to decide that glass and I dont go well together, because I’ve seen a lot of nice storage ideas with buttons and bits in glass jars. So I brought $50 worth of plastic containers to carry home in three bags. Lucky it wasnt heavy, since I was already wobbly from the lack of sleep. So now I have containers galore, then went out and bought two five drawer units for more craft sorting. I should be set. Once I have some time and sleep.
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I did a couple of run throughs of my big shot. Thought of making the bear into a top folding card. Might need a hat or bow to cover his flat head, though. I also cut two out of felt to make into a doll, except the eyes get cut out of the back of the head. I thought of making a reversible one, like girl on one side and boy on the other, but for now I just glued some felt on there.
I also tried embossing a card front, but discovered a few bits of the white core showed through. I tried covering it with gold, but it was tedious and not a great effect. Then I sanded it back a bit to bring out more of the white, and liked it even more 😀

Day #33

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Hey, not my best work. Was putting together random bits while I was at my mum’s. Wanna know how I cut them out? Yes. Good. I GOT A BIG SHOT MACHINE 😀 😀 😀
Happee. I only bought 3 cutting dies and one embossing folder. I got a dog, flowers and circles. In the dies. Not for real. That would be awkward.
I also bought some paper and tiny cupcake stamps and a cute roll of jungle animal washi tape.