To die for

Die Cutting

Paper Crafting 101 – To die for 10/28                            Picture

Dies can be used to cut everything from your favorite papers and cardstock to thin metals and light-weight wood. They can be used to emboss a border and used as a mask.
A die is a piece of metal that has been manipulated into a specific shape. The metal die can be wafer thin, perfect for use with paper, felt or fabric and the thicker ones can cut through dense material like cardboard. Some dies are simple shapes like circles, ovals, squares. Others are intricate shapes like lacy circles.
There are many die cutting machines on the market that do basically the same thing and use some of the same dies. Some are electronic and others are manual. The Cuttlebug by Provo Craft, The Grand Calibur by Spellbinders and the Sizzix Big Shot are a few of the machines. One of the main criteria that should govern which machine you buy (in addition to price) is how many times you will use it and what type of dies you are likely to buy. If you are a scrapbooker, then you will need a lot of labels, frames and titles. If, on the other hand, you are a card-maker, you will want a machine that makes a lot of frames, images and background paper.
To start, you make a “sandwich” of the cutting platform, the paper or other material, the die, and the top plate. You have to create the right pressure to cut the material.
Buy the dies you love and buy the simple shapes. In the beginning, I concentrated on embossing folders (Sizzix) and made my layered cards that way. I liked the Swiss dot folder, which I sanded and raised the dots on white-core paper. I then bought the various shapes – squares, ovals and rectangles. I discovered that I could make my cards into the simple shapes (like squares and rectangles) and the dies fit the shapes. Then I discovered Spellbinders and started buying their shapes. One of my recent discoveries is that the Sizzix Large circles work especially well with my Marvy Punch Circles, eliminated the need to buy more circles.
What folders and dies do you buy?
~ Ssllie

Adventures in Card-Making

Paper Adventures – 10/22/13

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Well if you remember last time, I made a Halloween die-cut centerpiece? I decided to make one for Thanksgiving. I only used 2 picket fence Sizzix die cuts. I cut them out of the thin cardboard but covered them in light brown paper. I used a small green syrofoam circle this time and covered it with silk fall leaves.

I have a large scarecrow rubber stamp from a discontinued rubber stamp company called Azadi Earles. I love that company. Their images coordinated so well together and were perfect for the youngsters i used to teach. I stamped, embossed and colored the scarecrow and glued it to a brown colored craft stick. I then used the same method of gluing the craft stick into the styrofoam as before. I also found some wooden corn stalks left-over in my stash. The fence pieces were set at an angle behind the scarecrow. Perfect!

Of course, my next adventure will be to find what Christmas images will work and oh, yes, I still need to sketch out my holiday cards!


PaperCrafting 101

Paper Crafting 101- Adhesives

PaperCrafting 101  10/14


     There are several ways to adhere the elements of your card together. Some of them are: double-stick tape, Fray Check, Fun Craft Foam Glue, Glue dots, Glue Sticks (Permanent and temporary), foam Tape, Mod Podge  and Xyron adhesive.

So now that you know that there are many choices out there (and many more to come!), how do you know which one you need? The following is a BRIEF synopsis of some of the choices you can factor in when choosing your particular need.:

Foam tape:

  • Can be bought in bulk (Staples, Office Depot)
  • Best for 3-D effects

Fray Check:

  • Use as a finish or on fabric edges seams,
  • Use with ribbons or laces

Fun Craft foam:

  • Use with the ever-popular foam shapes.
  • Can be used on paper

Glue Dots:

  • Comes in various sizes and liner shapes
  • Adhesive is very strong

Glue Sticks:

  • Versatile
  • Inexpensive
  • Sticks well


Mod Podge:

  • Water-based
  • Designed for decoupaging paper or fabric
  • Available in both gloss and matte finishes
  • Can use on paper, wood, glass and Styrofoam

Xyron ( )

  • Is a sticker, label and magnet maker and laminator
  • Works with no heat, electricity or batteries
  • Change adhesive cartridges easily
  • Stickers, die cuts, stenciling, gift wrapping, ornaments, school projects, magnets, cards and more can be made.
  • 2 styles available – larger table-top version and small hand-held for buttons, ribbons, small die cuts, thin cardboard

Till next time,



Halloween Sentiments

Halloween Sentiments  – Seasonal Post Picture

     Here’s a little greeting that always bears repeating…

Happy Trick or Treating!

Spiders, bats and a ghostly brew

Are all in this Halloween wish for you!

May your costume be scary.. your cat be black, and buckets of candy fill your sack!

Happy Haunting!

Have a spooktacular day!

Best witches to you.

I’m bats about you!

A bat, a cat, a bright-eyed pumpkin too

A Happy Halloween and best witches to you!

Monster manners

  • Only spook when spooken to
  • Avoid biting when a simple hello will do
  • Keep your spells to yourself
  • Brush your fangs, no goblin your food, and cover you mummy.
  • Treat every batty with respect
  • Never serve your friends stakes or sandwitches
  • Don’t eat the trick or treaters.

Ghoul Talk

  • Make time for your ghoul friends
  • Candy corn and jelly beans are vegetables
  • You can never  have too many shoes
  • No bat kissing
  • Hair belongs on spiders, not on your chin
  • Everybody picks a pumpkin that is pleasingly plump
  • Don’t wait for the invisible man. He won’t show up.
  • It’s ghoul night out, so if the broom fits, fly it!