Friday 20 February 2015

Mix & Match the Birdies!

Isn't it great when different craft products in your stash go together, almost as though you had plannned it?
Birdhouse Tall Birs Card Tonic Studios, Spellbinders, Hunkydory
Card Recipe:
Tools: Spellbinders Labels 18 Diet Set , Tonic Studios Birds on a BranchBirdhouse DieLayering Rectangles and Layering CirclesGrand Calibur 
Paper and Card: HunkydoryStardream Pearlescent Card
Embellishments: mulberry flowersMay Arts ribbon
As you will have noticed, I do like a lot of layers on my card!  For this card, I wanted to use a Hunkydory card toppers and cardstock set that I had in my stash, as the pink/purple colours were a favourite of the card recipient. The focal topper came in the set, and although I don't have an exact shape match in my dies, I was unabashed. Spellbinders Labels 18 echoed the shape of the topper and it shows perfectly that you do not need to have an exact match to still create a harmonious arrangement on your card.
I've also mixed and matched patterned cardstock and papers with coordinating plains and pearlescents.
I carried on the theme of the card with my die cut accent - a bird house cut from the same pink stardream card as my card base, mounted onto a pre-embossed strip of Hunkydory Adorable Scorable card.  I then used sprigs from the Birds on a Branch die set to create some final accents, picking up from the embossed foliage pattern on the card stock. These tucked behind the mulberry flower and floral organza ribbon as I often think a card is not finished if it doesn't have flowers and ribbon, I get kind of twitchy if I make a card without them!

Hope you all have a great a weekend and happy crafting!

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Sunday 1 February 2015

Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles

Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles Step-by-Step Tutorial
This is a useful tutorial on how to get more out of your Square Dies by extending them to cut rectangles.

With this method, you can extend the length or the width, but not both!

At the end of the project, you will find a downloadable PDF of these instructions.

You will need some:
Square dies (eg Tonic Layering Squares)
Die cutting machine (eg Grand Calibur)

Step 1
Measure the outer edge of your square die.  In my example (excuse the slight blurriness of the first photo), my outer edge measures 9.8cm and I know that this cuts a 9.3x9.3cm square.  I know need to cut a piece of card that's length is exactly 9.8cm+the extra length I want to acheive. So if I want a rectangle that is 2cm longer ie 11.3cmx9.3cm, I need to cut a piece of card that is exactly 9.8cm+2cm = 11.8cm.  The width doesn't matter as long as it is a bit wider than the die.
Step 1 Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles Step-by-Step
Step 2
Butt the edge of the die to the bottom edge of your piece of card and tape into place.  Place this on the cutting plate so that the other end of the die comes off the end of mat (below left). Cut and then emboss this piece (below middle).  You will now have a piece of card cut along thrtee sides (below right).
Step 2 Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles Tutorial
Step 3
Remove the card from the die, and re-allign the die flush to the opposite end of the cardstock. Manoeuvre  the die so that the cut edges slot into place (this can be a little fiddly but you will feel it when it gets seated correctly, and I find it helps if you trim off the outer flaps).  Tape into place, making sure the it is now the end that has already been die cut that is off the edge of the cutting mat.  Cut and emboss again.
Step 3 Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles stages

You should now have a perfectly die cut and embossed rectangle.

You can download a pdf of these instructions here.

Please do let me know if you have found this helpful, I love to read your feedback.

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Sunday 25 January 2015

Buttons Galore!

It's my little niece's first birthday soon and I wanted to share with you a Button Initial Name Picture that I've made for her new bedroom using an inexpensive photoframe and lots of buttons!

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Tuesday 13 January 2015

Pillow Box Owl Step-by-Step Tutorial

This is a step-by-step photo tutorial for how to create a cute pillow box owl using the Tonic Studio Dies.  At the bottom of this blogpost, you will find a downloadable PDF of these instructions.
Step 1 - Die Cut your Cardstock
First of all, you will need the following dies (all by Tonic Studios, shown in picture above left)
  1. smallest layering circle die
  2. smallest layering scallop circle die
  3. second smallest layering circle die
  4. smallest love arches die (the heart)
  5. pillow box die
You will also need the following pieces of card stock:
  1. Brown textured cardstock cut to 9.5cm x 20.5cm, 2 pieces of 3.5cm x 8cm and 2 pieces cut to 3.5cm x 3.5cm
  2. Black textured cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 3cm x 3cm
  3. White textured cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 4cm x 4cm
  4. Watch the Birdy double-sided patterned cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 3cm x 20.3cm
Cut out the following (shown in picture above right)
    A. The complete pillow box die from brown card 
    B. 2 sets of the central eclipse shape from brown card
    C. 2 sets of hearts from brown card
    D. 2 sets of second smallest layering circle die from white card
    E. 2 sets of smallest layering circle die from black card
    F. 6 sets of smallest layering circle from one side of patterned card and 6 sets of smallest              layering scallop circle from other side of patterned card

Step 2 - Trim the Wings, Score the Beak and Shape the "Feathers"

You may be wondering why I made you die-cut two pieces of brown card from the central eclipse section of the pillow box die.  You are going to use these pieces to make the owl wings! Using a pair of scissors, carefully snip around the perforated edge of the eclipse to reveal a perfect wing shape.  For a really professional finish, lightly rub a piece of fine sandpaper around the edge to remove any nibs left behind after trimming.

You are also going to convert one of the brown cardstock hearts into the owl's beak.  To do this, score a T-shape on the back of the heart, running vertically from centre top-to-bottom and then across the heart to form a "T".  Fold the heart along your score lines.

Finally, in terms of preparation:
  • Fold and shape the pillow box die cut, but do not stick together
  • Stick the smaller black circles slightly offset onto the white circles and add the googly eyes
  • Curl the patterned scallop circles by running them over a boning tool
  • Cut 2 of the patterned circles in half, then curl all of the patterned circles with the boning tool

Step 3 - Assemble the Owl

Starting at the bottom of the front of the pillow box shape, apply a small blob of glue to the back of the point of the un-scored heart, and stick this to the middle bottom of the pillow box die cut (as shown above left).  These are the owl's "feet" and help ensure you can stand your owl upright once assembled. Adhere the top edge only of three of the small scalloped patterned circles in a row along the bottom of the front of the pillow box shape (as shown above left).  For even spacing, I find it easiest to place the middle circle first, and then add the other two on either side.  

Next, again working from the middle out, apply the next row, this time with plain-edge circles, and offsetting them from the row below.  This means that you will need two of the half circles, one at each end, to complete the row (as shown above middle).

Repeat another layer of scallop circles.

For the final row, adhere the two full circles into place.  Then glue the beak into place as shown (above left photo).  Finally, glue the wings into place and add the final two half circles to finish the final row of "feathers" (above right photo).
Next, apply glue to the bottom half of the back of the eyes and stick into place.  Set the owl aside for 5-10 mins for the glue to dry and firm up.  Finally, glue the sides of the pillow box together and tuck down the top flaps.  Once dry, stand your owl up and admire your handiwork! 
Please do let me know if this tutorial has been useful, or if you need any clarification on my description or any of the steps.

Here's a PDF version of this Pillow Box Owl Tutorial

Enjoy your dies and happy crafting!

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Thursday 1 January 2015

New Beginnings

Perhaps one of your New Year's Resolutions to use up more of your crafty stash?  If so, this card may provide some inspiration as it shows what you can achieve with just 2 sheets of card and a small offcut of vellum from your stash when combined with your existing dies and punches.

Card Recipe:
Tools: Tonic Window Die, Tonic Studios Window Box Die,  Tonic Studios Gothic Square Die, Tonic Studios Simplicity Dotty Border Punch, Tonic Studios Butterfly Border Punch, Tonic Studios Corner Rounder, Kushgrip Art Knife, Tonic Craft Tacky Glue, Grand Calibur, 
Paper and Card: Stardream card, opalescent vellum

Many followers of my blog will know I have a bit of an obsession with my domed window die, and this time I've combined it with the coordinating window box die. Unusually for me, I've kept things very clean and simple with just two soft shades of cardstock.

I made the blind from a small offcut of pearly vellum, punched with the Simplicity Dotty Border Punch, and pleated a couple of times, then trimmed to fit the window. 

Although this card is simple to make, just a few added details, which take moments, I think makes all the difference.  In this case, it's been achieved by adding a small scattering of tiny butterflies and flowers (the "waste" from, respectively, the Butterfly Border Punch and Daisy Circle Die, and cut from offcuts of card).
Here's one final look at how I've used dies, punches and old stash to make this week's card....
Happy Crafting!

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