Adventures in Card-Making · PaperCrafting 101

New Finds

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Don’t you just love it when you discover new things? Recently I went to Hobby Lobby to take advantage of their sale and found these amazing Sizzix accessories:

The following find is a set (2) of mini cutting plates. These are perfect for the small die cuts I have.

Sizzix Accessory – Cutting Pads, Mini, 1 Pair
Item #654559

Originally designed for use in the Sidekick Machine, this pair of Cutting Pads also works in the SophistiCut, Big Shot, BIGkick and Vagabond machines.

Constructed of high-quality polycarbonate plastic, these see-through Cutting Pads allow for easy die-cutting and embossing of Sizzix chemically etched dies and embossing products (Clearlits, small Embosslits, small and medium Sizzlits and Simple Impressions) in the Sidekick machine. Simply sandwich the die and material to be cut between the Cutting Pads and roll through the machine.

Add a Sizzix Adapter (sold separately) to create a sandwich for accommodating competitors’ wafer-thin dies.

Each Cutting Pad measures 4 7/8″ x 2 1/2″ x 1/8″ and lasts for thousands of cuts. All Sizzix Cutting Pads are meant to be used on both sides. When both sides of the Cutting Pads are worn out, it is time for replacement . CuttingPadsConstructionPC PlasticProduct Weight0.06 lb.Packaged Weight0.140


The second item are Release Sheets .#663575 Release sheets:

Sizzix Making Essential – Release Sheets, 4″ x 6″, 25 Pack
Item #66357

For the easiest die-cut ejection, Sizzix Release Sheets offer a clean, no-tear ejection of the die-cut from a Sizzix chemically etched die—including intricate designs. The 4″ x 6″ sheet size works with most Thinlits and Framelits dies. Made from top-quality coated paper, each easy-to-use sheet leaves no residue behind for a fun, no-mess experience.

To use, place the Release Sheet between the material and the die before creating the Sizzix sandwich. (Please note: The shiny side of the Release Sheet should be facing the material.) If the Release Sheet embeds itself into the die, it can be used for easy ejection of multiple die-cuts.


PaperCrafting 101

Make your mark

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Chances are, if you sell your hand made “widgets” , you have a business card. I have had 3 different ones in the last 24 years ranging from a simple one which featured my business name, PO box and a space near the top of my card in which I hand stamped a design which I then colored in making each card unique; a card that featured my website (now defunct) and my current one which has my logo on the front of the card and my information on the reverse.

According to the “experts”, all the business card requirements are your business name, brief description of what you sell, website url, and contact information. However, if you want to make your mark in the competitive world we live in your business card should be seen as a mini bulletin board. Your identity should be the boldest element on your card.

Next, and this is seldom overlooked, the type of paper the business card is printed on and the shape, colors, fonts and wording. These elements convey not only the type of business you have but who your customers are – men, women or children.

Your business card should “tell” the person where to look first and what’s most important. Using bold colors and larger fonts will help highlight what your important products are.

Contact information is important so put your website information front and center with other social media platforms playing a secondary role. An email address should be included.

Some new ideas to keep your business card from landing in a forgotten drawer include:

  • Use your card like a punch card. When your customer buys so many items they get a free gift.
  • Double as a gift tag with room for to/from.
  • Use as a coupon for them to present to you at a craft show for a discount.
  • Put a magnet on the reverse.
  • Hole punch the top of the card to use as a bookmark.

~Happy Crafting,









PaperCrafting 101

Halloween Mason Jar

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Below is my tutorial on creating a spooky Halloween Mason Jar which I hope you enjoy.


You will need a large Mason Jar, preferably one without etching on the side. Also the following Sizzix die cuts: Ghost die set, Border fence, Haunted House, tree branch. A piece of Styrofoam cut in a circle to fit the bottom of the jar, Halloween themed ribbon, washi tape, black, light and dark brown card stock, white glitter paper.Also a battery powered votive candle and glue dots.

Cut a circle of black paper to fit atop the Styrofoam and using Styrofoam glue attach the paper. Set aside. Die cut the house out of the black paper, the fence of light brown, the tree out of dark brown and the two ghosts out of the glitter paper. Finally, glue a length of ribbon or Washi tape to the base of the votive and neck of jar. Put glue dots on the bottom of the base and slide the base into the jar. Set the fence around the outside of the base with the house and tree on top of the base. Position the ghosts on top of the house. Light the votive candle and enjoy!


See copyright page.

Adventures in Card-Making

Unleash your creativity

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Sometimes it’s easy to become bored and sometimes you can’t find inspiration. Here are some “tried and true” solutions. Some I have tried myself.

Change your thinking from ” I can’t” to “What if?” Grab  a piece of paper and pen and write down the following statements: ” I can figure it out.”  “There is always a way.” And “What if I ?”

Sometimes the answer comes fast and other times it comes when you are doing mundane things like washing dishes. Then BINGO!Your answer!

Take a break. Listen to an audio book in your car. Visit an unique store. Take a walk during lunch. Exercise. Go to the gym or walk around your neighborhood.

Open yourself up to nature. If you’re feeling confused go to a place where the colors of blue and green surround you. If you’re looking for inspiration, try a stroll through a garden center or a flower aisle in your favorite craft store.I

Read a biography of an inspiring person. I have always been fascinated by the lives of first responders. I admire their bravery of course, but what inspires me is how they molded their lives into a life of service. I am reading such a Story now entitled “Into the raging sea.”


Adventures in Card-Making · Perspectives

Are you an artist or a craftsman?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

There is a weekly TV show that is aired on our public tv station called A Craftsman’s Legacy”. The host Eric Gorges travels around the US in search of those artisans who practice and teach unique arts such as blacksmith, needle artist, glass blower, boot maker, hatter and many more.

Under the watchful eye of the master craftsman, Eric becomes an apprentice and tries his hand at making the particular item featured on that particular show. He always asks insightful questions and the audience learns more about the craft. Two of the questions asked usually are: “Do you consider yourself a craftsman or an artist?” And “How do you want to be remembered?”

More often than not, the answers always feature the love of the craftsman for their particular craft. They talk about their struggles to learn and adapt. They talk about the different schools they went to or the country they traveled to and the years it took to get to this place in time. They  have a reverence for their tools and talent  and the joy they get when sharing with others. They love to see their own designs being born of the materials they work with, and they hope that they are remembered not just for their art they made but for the traditions they passed on to future generations.

In an interview a few years ago, Eric said that “we are all creative. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to take a concept (say  greeting card or clay bowl) and get the materials and ultimately loose ourselves in the creative process. When we are done, we can’t wait to give it to our love one”.  I have been saying that for years!

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