Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spellbinders Tutorial

Do you ever wonder if you can use a Spellbinders die with your current die cutting machine? I know I have! Here is a great tutorial that was posted on one of my scrapbooking lists. I am sure other can gain some information.

Spellbinders Universal Dies Compatibility

Spellbinders Dies are designed around the Wizard® Embossing & Die
Cutting System and Xcalibur™ Motorized Cutting & Embossing Machine.
However, it has been found that they do have limited compatibility
with other systems.

CuttleBug™ by Provocraft®
This machine is capable of cutting and embossing any Spellbinders
Die. You will need Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat to emboss in
CuttleBug™ machine.

Cutting Sandwich - stack from bottom up
A Plate
C Plate
Spellbinders Die (cutting side up) that means the side with the
paper or card stock
B Plate
Run through CuttleBug™ machine

Embossing Sandwich - stack from bottom up
*Remove C Plate for embossing sandwich
Place A Plate on bottom
Leave die face up on A plate with die cut still in the die.
Place one Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat on top of the die.
Use 2 or 3 pieces of card stock to shim.

*Cautionary note: using more than 3 pieces of card stock to shim
CuttleBug Embossing sandwich will result in B Plate breakage.
When using Spellbinders Edgeabilities card making dies, shim with
only 2 pieces of card stock.

Place two acrylic B Plates on top of sandwich and run through
CuttleBug machine to emboss Spellbinders die cuts.
Turn die over and use like a stencil with inks and chalks for added

Big Shot™ by Ellison Design® (Blue)
This machine is capable of cutting and embossing any Spellbinders
Die. You will need Spellbinders White Spacer Plate and Tan Embossing
Mat to cut & emboss in the Big Shot Machine.

Cutting Sandwich - stack from bottom up
Place the Big Shots™ thick white mat down first.
Place one Spellbinders White Spacer Plate onto the thick white mat.
Place Spellbinders Die, cutting side up (that would mean the side
with the ridges) onto the white space plate.
Place paper over die.
Plate two Big Shot acrylic mats over paper and roll thru the Big
Shots™ machine.

Embossing Sandwich - stack from bottom up
Remove the Spellbinders Spacer Plate while leaving the die in place.
Place Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat over the paper and die.
Place one Big Shot acrylic mat on top of Tan Embossing Mat and roll
thru Big Shot™ machine.
Turn die over and use like a stencil with inks & chalks for added

Big Shot™ by Ellison-Sizzix® (Black & Pink)
Big Kick™ by Sizzix®
This machine is capable of cutting & embossing any Spellbinders Die.
You will need Spellbinders two Tan Embossing Mats to cut and emboss
in the Big Shot™ machine.

Cutting Sandwich - sack from bottom up
Place large platform down first with all tabs closed.
Place Spellbinders die dace up, that would mean ridges or bumpy side
Place card stock on Spellbinders die.
Place two Big Shot™ acrylic mats on top of card stock.
Roll through Big Shot™ machine to die cut shape.

Embossing Sandwich - stack from bottom up
After cutting, remove acrylic mats from card stock and die. Leave the
Spellbinders die in place with paper die cut out still in the die on
the multi-purpose platform.
Plate TWO Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mats on top of die.
With one piece of 12" x 6" card stock tri-fold for a shim and place
on top of the Tan Embossing Mats.
Place ONE Big Shot™ acrylic plate on top and run thru the Big Shot™

*NOTE: This sandwich combination used to cut and emboss Spellbinders
Dies in the black & pink Big Shot™ may also be used in the Big Kick™
by Sizzix.®

Zip'eMate™ by Accucut®
This machine is capable of cutting and embossing any Spellbinders Die.
Use a Spellbinders Die in the ZEM:

Place a Spellbinders Die on ZEM'S platform, blade side up.
Place paper over die and cut in the same manner as with Zip'eCuts.
After cut, do not remove the die or the paper from the platform.
Place ZEM's Embossing Foam over paper and with the ZEM's Embossing
Mat, roll through again to emboss the die-cut.

Original Sizzix® Press
Ellison® manufactures the Sizzix® System Converter. You will need to
use the system converter along with Spellbinders Spacer Plate and Tan
Embossing Mat to cut and emboss Spellbinders Dies.

Cut Spellbinders Dies in the Sizzix® Machine
Place the Sizzix® System Converter into the Sizzix® Machine.
On the Cutting Pad, place paper to be cut, then Spellbinders Die,
ridges down.
Place the Spellbinders Spacer Place over the Spellbinders Die.
Use a 12" x 6" piece of card stock and trifold to use as a shim.
Place ship on top of Spellbinders Spacer Plate.
Push through Sizzix® Machine to cut.

Emboss Spellbinders in the Sizzix Machine:
After cutting Die in Sizzix® Machine, remove paper shim and spacer
Leave paper die cut in the die.
Turn over Spellbinders Tan Embossing Mat on top of Spellbinders Die.
Place paper shim on top of Tan Embossing Mat.
Push through Sizzix® Machine to emboss the Spellbinders Die.

NOTE: It may take several presses to cut larger Spellbinders Dies.

Revolution™ by QuicKutz®
This machine may be used to cut and emboss Spellbinders dies.

Cutting with Spellbinder Dies:
Place die onto Revolution™ platform (cut side up).
Place paper or card stock on top of die.
Place acrylic cutting mat on top of die.
Roll through Revolution™ machine.

Embossing with Spellbinder Dies:
Remove acrylic cutting mat.
Leave die in place with die cut still inside.
Place Spellbinders Tan Embossing Pad on top of die.
Place Acrylic embossing mat on top of tan pad.
Roll through Revolution™ machine.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winter Card Swap:

I have been very busy today. Tonight is my last night home, so I decided to make the most of it. I handcrafted 16 holiday/Christmas cards this evening.

Below are my resutls:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shrink Plastic Ideas

I found this wonderful article on shrink plastic. For those of us who love a bargain, check out the idea of reusing deli plastic containers!

~*~ Courtesy of :

For art fun cheap, we like to find, salvage, and experiment with the commercial shrink plastics that you can often get for free. The more you look around, the more you will find examples of heavy shrink plastic that is used commercially and then discarded. Often you can save the plastic, decorate it, and reshrink it.

You can find many products, sometimes for free, that are actually made of or packed in shrinkable plastic. Always check the recycle mark on plastic containers. (Remember the deli container lid that started it all.)

Check the plastic containers in your pantry and at the grocery store, especially picnic supplies. If the number in the center of the mark is a 6 (in the U.S., at least), you should be able to safely shrink it with a heat gun or in an oven.

The mark in the picture below is a 5. That means it is not shrink plastic, so don’t heat it!

Recycle mark on bottom of cup. Oops! This is a 5, so don't shrink it!

How to Shrink Plastic

To safely and evenly shrink plastic, you can use your kitchen oven. Put the pieces on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. The smoother the surface, the more evenly the plastic will shrink; so place the foil shiny side up.

Or you can use the kind of heat gun that rubberstampers and other hobbyists use to activate embossing powder. Those are just the right temperature. You can buy them in hobby stores such as Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, and sometimes other places. The price ranges from about $10 to $20 in the U.S.

Caution: Always be careful. Work in a well-ventilated area. Do not overheat. If you smell anything, if your eyes water, or if you notice anything odd, stop. Never try to shrink any plastic you can’t identify. Even fumes you can’t smell could cause long-term damage. Never heat Styrofoam!

Clear Shrink Plastic

As mentioned earlier, the tops of many deli containers are Type 6 plastic, which you can use as shrink plastic. So are some of the large, clear clamshell containers that deli sandwiches come in.

Most embossed features, like the recycle mark and any borders, will shrink out, so experiment and see what you can do. After all, it’s free.

Some clear drink cups sold in grocery stores are also shrinkable plastic. After a party or picnic, you can wash them and use them for shrink plastic.

However, because of the way they are stretched into cup shape, they will shrink drastically in the vertical direction and only a little horizontally. If you plan ahead, you can use that as a special effect, but don’t plan on using the cups as you would regular, flat shrink plastic.

Stained Glass Colors

Many stores sell Type 6 plastic cups in transparent colors: pink and blue all year ‘round, and red and green around Christmas.

Colored plastic cups made of shrinkable plastic

It is worth figuring out how to deal with the uneven way the cups shrink, because their deep, rich, stained-glass-like colors make wonderful embellishments for paper arts or beads for jewelry-making. They can be used in assemblages or attached to canvas in acrylic paintings.

I recently found a package gorgeous purple shrinkable cups at a dollar store. They also had other colors, such as blue and green. Always check the Recycle mark, however, before shrinking.

Solid Colors

Solid color cups made of Type 6 (shrinkable) plastic are sold in many grocery, drug, and discount stores. I haven’t tried the solids yet, but they are basically painted opaque white shrink plastic, so they should work.

Preparing Cups for Shrinking

Here is how I prepare shrinkable plastic cups for shrinking into a flower shape:

1. Use kitchen shears or other strong scissors to cut the cups vertically from top to bottom.

2. Cut the ends into a rounded shape, cutting off the rolled edge. They should then look like this:

Plastic cups cut from top to bottom, with the cut ends rounded off.

3. Be sure to trim off any splinters, such as the one shown in the picture below.

This splinter, created while cutting the cup before shrinking, should be trimmed off.

While soft and harmless when cut, they can be hard and sharp after shrinking. It is best to get rid of any sharp points before you shrink.

4. For some purposes, such as assemblage, you may want to punch one or more holes in the round center, which was the bottom of the cup, or in one or more of the “petals.” I recommend using a strong, cheap 1/4-inch metal hole punch. It will take some strength.

Note: To sharpen the punch, use it to punch holes in aluminum foil first.

4. Use a heat gum carefully. Do not get it too close to the shrink plastic or any other plastic surface, such as carpet, that can melt. (Ask me how I know this!)

Note: If you have some metal kitchen tongs or insulated tweezers from a tool kit, it’s easier to hold the plastic without burning yourself. Or you can shrink it on a cookie sheet (covered with a sheet of aluminum foil) in the kitchen oven.

Here is a scan of some cups that I shrank hurriedly to illustrate this post. I have had better results in the past.

Three plastic cups, shrunken with a heat gun.

My current scanner has a very shallow depth of field, so only the parts of each cup that actually touched the glass scanner bed are in focus. Still, you can see the effect.

When you shrink cups in the oven, the shapes should shrink very flat. Remember, that you can always reheat and reshape shrink plastic even after it has been shrunk.

5. Some artists use wooden spheres, wooden eggs, and other shapes from hobby stores to shape the heated plastic. You can also use a block of wood to flatten shapes while they are hot.

Note: The purple cup turned out to be Recycle 5, but I tried shrinking it anyway. It did not so much shrink, as shrivel. But I think it is interesting and could be used in a mixed-media painting or an assemblage. I would NOT recommend heating any plastic that is not labled Recycle 6, however, especially in your cooking oven. Who knows what toxic gases I released by shrinking that cup?

Making Shrink-Plastic Leaves

One of the amusing things about shrinking plastic cups is how much they shrink vertically. Instead of cutting petal shapes, you can cut out long slender leaves (like willow leaves), running from top to bottom of the sides of the cup. When you shrink them, they become round, fat leaves, because they shrink only in length.

Have Fun Shrinking Plastic…and Let Us Know What You Discover

Chocolates Box

Wow! I just love this idea posted on another blog. Click the picture to see the steps to this project. It is amazing! What a great idea for Christmas, Valentine's Day or a birthday! Design and copyright by Claudia Rosa, but she does share her step-by-step instructions on her blog.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Football Swap

Let me know what you think so far. I have two more to make. One Raiders Player and One Jets Player.

Well, I thought I only had two more to do, but one more person joined the swap so I did another three players.

I am working on a Football Swap for a scrapbook list I belong to and I am making paper pieced football players.

Attaching Buttons to a Layout or Card

A question was posed today on one of my scrapbook lists asking the best way to attach buttons to your layouts or cards.

If you want the true sewn on button, you can pierce the paper with the needle and then sew your button onto your layout or card. The problem I see with this is the greater possibility of your page actually ripping over time.

I personally suggest putting your threads on your button, and the attach it to your layout using one of the following:

Glue dots
Embellishment Adhesive (Making Memories or Pioneer make embellishment adhesives)
Diamond Glaze
Beacon 3-in-1 glue
Aleen's, Martha Stewart, JoAnns or any brand of Tacky Glue

While this is not an ll inclusive list of adhesive methods, it does give you ideas on how to add buttons safely to your paper crafts!

Keep on Crafting!

Friday, October 10, 2008

2009 Calendar Templates

Since we are all starting to think about Christmas and making family calendars, here is a link to a freebie calendar print out. It is landscape and uses 2 standard sheets of 8.5 x 11 paper.

Enjoy ladies!

Calendar Template

Dog Swap Items

For this swap I made peek-a-boo tear dogs and stamped images - pictured here.

I also made frames, and then didn't like what I made so....see next picture,

So I made some more frames, and some new stamped images on die cuts.

I hope my fellow swappers enjoy my work.

~have a great day!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Difficulty with Acrylic Stamps?

Are you having a hard time getting a good image with your acrylic stamps?

Here are a few suggestions for better images:

Try cleaning the stamp with alcohol, then loading it up - really loading
it, putting your card stock on a hard flat surface and redoing the stamp.
Acrylic stamps do not like uneven surfaces, and while they look inked
then will come out "faded" if not really loaded. Hope this helps. - Renee

Maybe try your mouse pad flipped over to the softer side under the image. Some stamps come with a little cushion thingy (sorry for lack of technical term) to put under the paper you are stamping on. This has worked for me. - Micky

and from me:

Take a regular old pencil eraser and erase over the stamp image. Sometimes the clear stamps don't hold ink well. See if that helps to get the ink to stick to your stamp. Clean it really good after you rub it with the eraser and try again.

Christmas Organizer

Christmas Pocket Planner/Organizer:

(Sample made by Nicole in Texas ~not my work)

Christmas Pocket Planner:

Have old file folders laying around the house and you want to make a great little Christmas gift?

Grab your old file folders, Christmas paper leftovers, and any bling, stickers, ribbon and other embellishments you wish you use up!

This is a great project for those hard to buy for folks~

Check out the video and start scrapping away!

World Card Making Day

Wow! There are some talented people in this world! For world card making day, a website was set up for people to share their creations! It is amazing! The card shown is not my creation, but was done by Christine - her blog at typepad is noted on the picture.

If you are looking for greeting card ideas, check this link out!

It continues to grow! There are pages and pages of beautiful cards! I am sure you will find something to inspire you!


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Altered CD's

I decided to try my hand at altering cd's~

Here are my first attempts:

Let me know what you think~

Distressing Techniques

Here is a great list, too:

Don't you love it when you look at a page and it just looks perfectly finished? I decided to look through many of my past layouts this week. I found that the pages I love the best are the ones that look "finished". They all just have the final touch that says, "I'm done!" And you know what many of mine had in common? They all had some form of distressing involved in the process.

Distressing seems like maybe a new trend, but it is a new trend based on the past --which is what our photos are all about. There are several ways to achieve a distressed look on your existing patterned paper, cardstock, photos, embellishments, and more. I would like to challenge you to try a new one this week from my list below.

1.) Sandpaper: Gently sand the edges or areas you want to look more antique. If you have never done it before, all you really need is a nail file (emery board) or small piece of sand paper. I actually buy large packs of sand paper at the store for furniture projects and I use the left over pieces for distressing. Keep in mind that you can do this to any paper or embellishment or even the photos themselves. Use it on embellishments that you don't use or like the color of - like colored brads or eyelets - this exposes the metal underneath.

2.) Wrinkle and Crinkle: You can wrinkle and crinkle dry papers and cardstocks with no cost at all. I like to wrinkle them, ink them lightly or heavily (you can really use any color of ink - I like the browns and blacks or distressing inks), making sure your ink pad just grazes the raised surfaces of the paper, and then spray them with a fine mist of water to spread the ink and help it to blend into the texture of the paper. Allow to dry completely before using. Iron flat on backside of paper on low heat, if needed.

3.) Steel Wool: This is kind of the same idea as the sand paper, but it works a lot better for distressing embellishments and photos. You just rub the steel wool across the desired areas to get the effect you want.

4.) Tea or Coffee Staining: Make yourself a cup of regular tea and use the wet tea bag to stain your paper. Lightly dab the paper until it reaches the shade you wish your paper to be. Blow-dry the paper and you're good to go! For coffee, you can just soak paper in the coffee. Pour coffee into a cake pan and gently lay the paper flat. Soak a minute and take out. Or you can crumple it into the coffee cup and carefully lay it flat afterward. Rubbing dry or damp coffee grounds onto crinkled paper works well too. You can also distress items with colored chalks, colored pencils, ink pens, and household items, such as strawberry/apple juice, and much more.

5.) Tearing & Curling: Yep, tearing is another way to get that distressed look. To make a more "real" look, try tearing the paper and then inking the edges. To get the rolled look: just moisten your fingers with water and roll the edges in the direction you want them to go, then let them dry. This is a fantastic way to add texture.

6.) Paint: Craft paint seems to be coming back, but full circle. Use the paint just like you would distressing inks. Use a brush, sponge or piece of cloth to apply.

If want to make distressing easier, Making Memories sells a kit with almost all of the supplies for the above ideas all in one. Make your layouts shabby chic or get an aged/weathered/heritage style. By distressing your scrapbooking endeavors, you will get that "finished" look.

By R. M. King

Tussie Mussie Instructions

Tussie Mussie Flower guide and instrustions:



power, dignity, silver moonlight, sentimental recollections, unceasing remembrance

love, betrothal, best wishes, ­hatred

success, personal accomplishment, glory, achievement in the arts, reward of merit

bee balm
compassion, sweet virtues, your whims are unbearable

courage, bluntness, directness



cheer, most lovable

a merry heart, joy

health, joy, remembrance, ­constancy, the sun, affection, disquietude, grief, jealousy,­ ­­
misery, cares
for prevention of infidelity

energy in adversity, comfort, patience, help against ­wearisomeness, plant physician

good luck, good education, hard work, industry

justice shall be done you

home sweet home

skill, capability

irresistible, soothing



worthy of all praise, force, strength, thinness

good health, warmth, you light up my life

true love, hope, remembrance, do not forget me

insincerity, a wish, decision, I am not ambitious for myself but for you

protection, strength, courage, good luck

preference, gentility, comfort

safe, pleasant, comforting, warming

mirth, rest, sleep, beer


happy thoughts

support, softness, gentleness

devotion, luck, success, ­happiness, distrust, soothing the passions of the heart, ardent attachment

sharp wit, understanding, healing, love, fun, relief, rejuvenation, sympathy, social inter course

attractive to the opposite sex, responsibility


warmth of feeling

virtue, homeyness, cheerfulness

hospitality, welcome

travel, to overcome fatigue, ­conception, comfort, be not weary

marriage, love, married bliss, fidelity, passion, peace, home, joy


cruelty, slander

perplexity, embarrassment, ­independence, prosperity, kiss me twice before I rise

festivity, feasting, thanks, ­gratitude, useful knowledge


warmth, cordiality

role reversal

lively and pure affection, ­fascination, sweetness, boldness, newlyweds, dignity, taste

forgetfulness, sleep, oblivion, evanescent pleasure

remembrance, devotion, fidelity, wisdom, good luck in the new year, your presence revives me

domestic virtue, wisdom, skill, esteem, to mitigate grief

pride of ownership, earthly ­delights

hospitality, esteem, virtue


aggressiveness, pursuit wards off evil

mental powers


parental affection, joy

jest, bantering

warmth of sentiment

never-ceasing remembrance

gladness, sincerity, rejoicing, comfort

blushes, mirth, consolation, joy, happiness, kindness, courtesy, distrust

eternal life and rejoicing, cordiality, athletic victory

hope against miscarriage, I ­declare against you

activity, bravery, courage, strength, manger herb

accommodating disposition, drunk and blousy

good fortune, wishes granted

modesty, faithfulness, humility, simplicity, loyalty, I return your love

affection, absence, bitterness, protection for travelers

health, to dispel melancholy and heartache, sorrow, healing of wounds, war


Step by step


Fresh roses, herbs, other flowers, and leaves
Waxed floral tape
Pruning shears or scissors
1 finger cut from a cotton-knit glove
Tapestry needle
Elastic thread
2/3 yard 3-inch-wide lace
1 yard double-sided satin ribbon about 1/2 inch wide to match or complement one of the flower colors

2. Trim all the stems to 5 to 6 inches long and strip the leaves off the lower half of the stems.

3. Choose a rose or other prominent flower for the center of the tussie-mussie, surround it with sprigs of herbs, and bind the stems together with floral tape. The warmth from your hands makes the waxed tape stretchy and able to stick to itself.

4. Surround the center flowers with concentric circles of herbs alternating with flowers, securing each circle of stems with floral tape. Take care to keep the tops of the herbs and flowers even, forming a mounded or mushroom silhouette. Continue to add circles until the tussie-mussie is 4 to 6 inches in diameter and all your floral symbols have been included.

5. Frame the tussie-mussie with a circle of larger leaves (such as lamb’s-ears, ivy, or scented-geranium leaves), overlapping them evenly around the outside edge. Bind these in place with floral tape.

6. With the pruning shears, trim the stems to 3 inches long, or about the width of your palm.

7. Slip the glove finger up over the cut stems to make a smooth handle by which the tussie-mussie may be carried. Because it is absorbent, it will hold moisture around the stems and help to keep them fresh. I use inexpensive cotton-knit gloves from a photography store, at a cost of a dime per finger.

8. Thread the tapestry needle with the elastic thread and sew a running stitch along one edge of the lace. Then tie the elastic to form a circle. Pull the resulting stretchy collar up over the stems and tuck it under the frame of leaves. Real lace is not only beautiful, but it is also more durable than paper lace doilies, which tear when wet. Antique lace may be used, or the lace can match a wedding gown or party dress. Even the most inexpensive lace looks lovely.

9. Finish the tussie-mussie by tying the satin ribbon around the stem handle right below the lace. Tie a bow. You may also tie overhand knots in the ends of the streamers for good luck, slipping a sprig of rosemary or statice (remembrance) into each one.

10. Write out a little gift card listing the plants and their meanings.

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