Friday, February 20, 2015

My Fun New Custom Sizzix Die!

Today I have a very exciting blog post. It's the story of how I ordered my own die from Ellison, probably better known to crafters as Sizzix, makers of the Big Shot die cutting machine. Some of you know I used to make a lot of artists trading cards. But I always got hung up on being precise about the measurements and cutting all the cards from different materials. Thought was killing action! So, I thought, I'll just find a die and crank out tons of cards.

Well, it turns out that it's very hard to find a die with the right dimensions. If it exists, my Google-fu is severely broken. I could find rectangle dies for sure, but none were the same dimensions as an artist trading card. The closest I came up with was 2.25 x 3.25". The size of rectangles seemed pretty arbitrary. So I just happened to be on the Sizzix website and saw a Thanksgiving sale on custom dies. I sent off an email and found out that they only made custom block style and not wafer thin dies. Not a problem though! I put the order through, approved a proof and a few weeks later, my die arrived through FedEx.

I couldn't wait to try it out and got a piece of scrap paper. It cut a perfect crisp Artist Trading Card. Look at all the cards I cut from old brochures, paper scraps and maps. It made dozens of dies in minutes.

It's true that I have a digital die cutter, but it uses sticky mats, and delicate materials like thin paper and fabric wouldn't work very well. I really enjoyed the friendly and prompt service from the Ellison rep, and yes, they ship to Canada. It was wrapped in a bubble mailer inside another bubble mailer. I promised the rep that my next order would be far more exciting than a plain rectangle.
Probably something with a horse or a bird, you know me!

Now I just have to get into action and make some completed ATCs and ACEOs :-) Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Some years are upgrade years

Over the past few years we have been doing little renos to our house. It's almost twenty years old and we've lived here for twelve. Last year we got a new sidewalk, and thanks to a hailstorm, a new roof. This summer I am hoping to have the wood trim replaced. 2015 is really going to be an upgrade year for my business too. I just got in a big order of display supplies, ordered new business cards, made some postcards, and updated my brochure. My last brochure was made in 2008, yikes! But, finally, I have a nifty vinyl banner for my business thanks to the good folks at Ingraph. A banner was something that I had been promising myself for years. After passing by some websites, especially one that a too good to be true vibe, I picked Ingraph and the helpful staff produced my banner for under the cost of the quote. Their turn around was extremely fast. The banner is made on heavy duty, grey backed vinyl and looks fabulous! This banner is going to last for years to come before I need to upgrade it :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two Scherenschnitte Cards

Scherenschnitte - what the heck is that? It's one way of saying papercuttings! I really enjoy making silhouettes and over the Christmas break I made a whole bunch of them. Drawing and cutting a silhouette is harder than it looks, because of the lack of detail. Here's the first one I made, a moose (click for larger):
And the second, a pegasus flying over a rainbow. You will notice it's a three legged pegasus, doh!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Here's to 2015!

For many years now, I haven't been good at sending Christmas cards. I think a few trickled out though. Over the holidays I made a lot of special cards for friends, and you'll be seeing more of them soon. Here's one for a budgie friend of mine:

I really enjoyed making the cards. Truly, my friends inspired me! Best of all, I didn't let thinking get in the way of doing. I just went with what I felt and didn't worry about being perfect. I would love to do a giant disco Muffin down the road. In terms of 2014...well, for the Year of the Horse, I felt more like the horse was dragging me through the mud and gleefully running under trees instead of me riding it. Hopefully I don't get headbutted by the ram next month :-)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Lucky Loot

It's been a while since I blogged about the fabulous British papercraft magazines that I load up on every time I visit Chapters. The loot that a whole bunch of Christmas issues came with was crazy! Even more impressive was that the Christmas issues were on shelves before Christmas. One issue of Papercraft Inspirations came with a wafer thin metal die. Super cool, but the little pieces do get stuck in the die pretty easily.
The goodies below are from Crafts Beautiful are hilariously awesome. I'm ready to try paper quilling with the strips, tool and shape board. PaperCrafter one upped them with a giant card making kit that included fold up birdhouses and bling. The magazines are always a little pricier, but I think it's well worth it, especially if I didn't want to invest too much in a new technique beforehand.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

An Old Favourite!

Yeeesh, sometimes I forget this blog exists :-D Preparation for Christmas craft sales has kept me busy, plus I bought Adobe Lightroom last month. It's given my older photos a lot of new life and easy to use, plus it's surprisingly inexpensive - $149 for the perpetual licence.

 Here's one picture from our trip to California that I felt really lucky to capture because the line up was crazy. Don't go to Disneyland on a Saturday, folks! You can buy this image on cards and stickers from Zazzle.

King Arthur's Carousel

Sunday, September 7, 2014

At the Mopar Show

Sadly it feels like we didn't do much this summer, mostly due to some mystery health problems that I was having, and I hope to have solved soon. There's nothing worse than being a high energy person with no energy, and the waiting is a little long. I feel like I could be a patient on House ;-)

One thing we did finally get out to was the Mopar Show back in August. I have been wanting to go for a few years but the timing was always wrong. It was a little overcast, but still a good turnout, even if the exhibitors occasionally looked upwards for signs of rain and hail. I took a lot of photographs that I haven't processed yet, but naturally did get a few snaps with my cell phone. There were lots of beauties, old and news, from the 1920s to the 1990s. My favourites were all the 60s and 70s muscle cars though!

How fabulous is this Barracuda? It's totally my style! At first I thought it was a Challenger, but my husband knew all the small details that made the difference.