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!! 😀

Victorian clip art provided by Graphics Fairy


Cards, Scrapbooking

Corner Rounders

Way back when I got started scrapbooking (those were the Creative Memories days, thank you, L.C.!), one of the first tools I bought was a corner rounder. On photos, matting paper or other materials, it’s seen a lot of use.

Recently, though, I’ve been wishing for a tighter corner. I wanted my corners rounded but not quite so circular, if you get what I mean. While some scrapbooking supplies manufacturers have *many* different punches, none had quite what I was looking for, a simple corner rounder with a smaller radius. Continue reading »