Miscellaneous

A Pressing Matter of Romance

victorian woman

Late to the party, that’s me. I only got excited about hexagons last year, months past the point when the rest of the scrapbooking world had moved on to brush-stroke fonts. In school, I always ended up getting the glasses-style trend too late to be cool. Yeah, tortoise-shell frames! Wait, everyone else is wearing wire rims???

Expensive crafting machine ownership has been no different. I got my Cricut towards the end of its primetime trend life. By the time I started getting a decent cartridge library, the Cricut people had moved on to electronic diecuts and various impressive (haha, pun not intended) and expensive letterpress machines with names that sound like Victorian era artwork, but that nevertheless run off one’s computer.

As a fairly recent convert to card-making (after years of scrapbooking), I have only in the past few months begun a love affair with embossed paper. This romance has so far been nurtured in the scrapbook “special” paper section at my local Big Box Craft and Fabric Store (BBCFS).

Along with my Cricut, I also have the first Sizzix, for you young things that’s the big (heavy!) red one. My crafting area is full, full, and there is absolutely no room for an embossing machine. Nor do I want to shell out the dollars for another plastic toy.

What’s an Embossed Paper Romantic to do?

Howsomever, just since the new year, I found out that my neanderthal-era Sizzix can work as an embosser. Light Bulb Moment!! Why didn’t I think of this before? I already have the System Converter, a heavy, magnetized metal plate that lowers the pressing plate for thinner dies from other manufacturers, such as QuicKutz.

The Embossed Paper Siren was calling my name. All I needed was a few embossing folders.

mermaids

On the BBFCS website, I ordered some. I was using a gift card, too (Thanks, LC!.)

My order arrived pretty promptly, and I as quickly fired up my Sizzix and tried my #1, Could Not WAIT For It, Embossing Folder WANT: Dots!!

Oh, joy, it worked like a charm.sizzix-dots2

So far I have embossing folders for dots, vine-and-flowers, woodgrain, and sort of art-deco/India-themed flower design. The latter was an impulse purchase; I expect the first two will be used often.

Some tips:

We long-time Ol’ Big Red Sizzix owners know that depending on the die, you need more or less pressure. The same goes for embossing folders. Even though all four of mine are by the same manufacturer (Darice) I found that effective embossing wasn’t the same for each. For the Dots folder, I press almost all the way down on the lever. For the others, they seem to be thicker, and I only need to press about 1/4 of the way. Indeed, using the woodgrain folder, I pressed too hard and the embossing actually perforated the paper at point.

sizzix embosser

The surface area of the Sizzix that embosses at any one time is about 5″x2″. My estimate. That means to get the whole piece of paper embossed, one must press, advance the folder and cutting surface, press, advance and press. It takes 3-4 times. Of course all should be at the same pressure.

Ol’ Big Red is not that wide. This embossing option does not produce anything wider than the Sizzix. That means your embossing folders can’t be wider, either. Duh. The biggest folder I ordered is the Dots, and it is exactly 5″ wide. It fits under the pressing surface with a small amount to spare.

If you want to emboss 12×12 paper the Sizzix will not help you. You will have to buy another expensive, plastic machine.

Okay, now, go dig out those Big Reds! Or scour for a used one on craigslist. Have fun, and no pressure!! :D

Victorian clip art provided by Graphics Fairy


Cards, Scrapbooking

Scrap Strips: DIY Embellies

emb-thumbScrapbooking can be an expensive hobby. Like fashion, scrapbooking trends shift with the prevailing wind. Keeping up with those Hot Trends is not cheap.

If you’re like me, I am always watching for DIY solutions, especially for Embellishments. I haven’t descended as of yet to making my own paper.

I have some wonderful metal drawers, in two of them I keep Neutral Colored strips and Colored Strips. But the drawers were getting too full to be useable; time to do something about this.
emb-drawer Continue reading »


Cards, Scrapbooking

Wooden You Like some BARC Tape

barc-tape-thumbIt would no doubt be embarrassing to see the list of the craft supplies I’ve bought on impulse over the years. I grabbed a good one this week, though. I’m confident it will be worth it, plus it was 30% off. What’s to worry?

BARC tape packageIt’s a new product called BARC tape. It comes in a blond color called White Birch, and the one shown, called Cherry. It looks closer to maple to me, and it a light medium brown. The rolls are 1 inch wide and fifteen feet long. It also comes in sheets.
Continue reading »


Cards, Scrapbooking

Searching for embellishments in new places

snowflakesThanks to a chance comment by a friend of mine (AJT, that’s YOU), for some months now, I have been watching for embellishments outside the scrapbooking aisle. Found a good one today, so read on: I’m sharing!

I was at Joann’s, buying fabric. I am making pillows for my son and DIL. It’s actually their Christmas present: I will make a set of living room pillows, their design. One thing led to another, and I only received their final design and fabric choices last month. Since its summertime, I’m not in any rush, and so have been buying the fabric either on sale or using one of the weekly coupons. Hey, I’m cheap. Continue reading »


Scrapbooking

“Happy” Sketch Contest Entry

happy thumbnailOf course you’ve seen those contest entry on scrapbooking sites. Sometimes they are just free for a comment, and sometimes you have to enter with some work. I’ve done both. Haven’t won yet, but I figure my turn will come someday.

I got one done yesterday.  Here’s the contest page:

http://www.pagemaps.blogspot.com/2014/07/vacation-sketch-contest-with-fancy-pants.html

I use PageMaps a lot. Yes, other people provide layout sketches but these just seem to start up my scrapbooking mojo better than others do.  It’s always interesting to see what other people do with contest using sketches. Their inspiration goes really far afield sometimes!  I’m such a rule follower… but this time around, at least I adapted the ideas and changed them somewhat. Continue reading »


Cards, Other Crafts, Scrapbooking

Echo Park Idea Books – FREE

echo-park-ebooksRecently, following up on a new paper line at Echo Park, I found out they offer a number of Idea Books, no cost! You can find them on the Echo Park Blog.

I downloaded several of them, two Holiday ebooks, not just for Christmas, and two general themes.

  • Create and Celebrate
  • Happy Holidays (2011)
  • ‘Tis the Season (this year!)
  • This & That.

Those I’ve looked at tend to be more about cards and small craft projects with a few scrapbooking layouts, but there is a lot of inspiration packed into these 25-30 page books.

Continue reading »