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 :-)