Monday, 30 April 2012

Big Shot to the rescue!

 by Pete Hughes

This Thursday the 3rd of May, I will be flying off to the Czech Republic to give a series of Sizzix workshops for our fantastic distributor, Davona.

I designed the card to feature a number of different technologies including Bigz, Framelits, decorative strips and Textured impressions. The next job was to get enough card to create 106 workshops, cut it to size and place it into bags together with illustrated step by step instructions which have first been translated into Czech.

Here is the card all ready to go, I've checked and double checked that everything that needs to be done is done and I'm sitting back quite pleased with myself when I realise that I have forgotten one key element....... Sanding blocks, I forgot to order sanding blocks to use with the Co'ordinations cardstock, OOPS!

That's when inspiration strikes like a bolt of lightning!

I've got some 4mm thick foam board and some sheets of fine sandpaper, so I'll stick them together with spray glue and cut my own sanding blocks. I'm not going to use a craft knife and ruler, that would be too easy, so I dug out some of my favorite basic shapes dies and 5 minutes later.....

Thank you Big Shot, don't know how I'd get through the day without you x

Friday, 27 April 2012

Patchwork e-reader cover

 By Angela Southey

This week I decided that I would use some of the fabric from the Cool Brittania range of fabrics I  showed on my last blog, to make a cover for an e-reader. This is a really quick and easy project and makes a useful gift.
I used 2 dies  - 4"x2" finished rectangle Die 657605 and 4"x2" finished trapezoid Die 657615
 I selected 4 different pictures to cut rectangles for the front of the patchwork, and used plain red and the small print on blue for the other 8 rectangles needed. To make the flap I used the Trapezoid die  and cut a 1 red and 1 small print.
I stitched the pieces together in 2 strips, pressed the seams and then joined the strips together.

Using this as a template I cut a piece of wadding, and a piece of plain red for the lining,and layered them with the wadding on the bottom, the pieced coverface up and then the lining on top. I stitched across the straight end

Fold the lining to the back and fold the cover as shown below.

Make a binding - using plain red fabric cut a strip 24" x 2" wide. Press in half down the length, and pin and stitch to the cover as shown in the picture below
Fold the binding to the back, trim the ends and tuck in, slip stitch in place.

I stitched a button on the back, and made a thread loop to fasten.
The size could be changed to make covers for all sorts of things - maybe even i-pads. or i-phones. 
I now have to make another 2 covers for 2 of my daughters, but the good news is that my sewing room is now painted and furnished and I am in the middle of moving equipment into it, and the final task will be to move the fabric in - that might take a while - but I will take some photos so show you progress next week.
Enjoy the weekend - if it rains it just means that you can stay in and sew!!

Leftovers? Pure fun!

 By Anna Dąbrowska

Hi, it's Friday again! 
This week I want to share more inspirations for using your cut-out leftovers as parts of your projects. Being a mixed media freak causes a bit different way of thinking about creating... and lifestyle too. I've started to collect everything starting with old buttons and labels and on tiny scraps of foil, paper and any other thing considered by most of people as junk. I do have a lot of junk in my "treasure boxes"... but when I see any new chance to get something i go for it without a second thought. Working with Sizzix products causes a lot of funny situations, when O can't decide if I like the cut-outs or the leftovers more... and today I will share one more idea, how to turn it into advantage! 
Here is the project I made :) 

In fact, int he background you can see another way of using Sizzix cut-outs as stencils. This time I wanted to use the piece of corrugated cardboard to cut out my beautiful Tim Holtz Sizzix Movers & Shapers Magnetic Die Set 11PK - Cargo Stencil Number Set (657841) and use them on my project...but what I saw after cutting made me change my mind. So, how to make and use your homemade, Sizzix based number stencil? It's easy and fun!  

First you put your shapes on the Sizzix Movers & Shapers Base Tray (657007)  - it is the moment when you decide of the design of your stencil. Then using a thick cardboard you simply cut out the elements. (Of course - you should save it for other projects!). 

Then the messy part - adding texture to your background. Using corrugated cardboard stencils gives you the chance to get really dimensional look! I decided to use super heavy gesso. 

Gesso needs time to dry, but the final effect is just breathtaking:) I love this extra 3D numbers!

When it is more-less dry, you only need to set up your page, adding whatever you wish - papers, paint, ink... the sky is the limit!

I wish you all a wonderful week!

In the Frame

 by Pete Hughes

Well, I tried my best I really did but I can't stop fiddling around with the ecal software on the eclips machine. My good friend and fellow designer Paula sent me a link to a blog which showed a brilliant idea which translates perfectly to ecal.

Imagine never having to buy a Wedding, Christening or Anniversary present ever again! think I'm crazy? then read on......

I had some deep box frames kicking around so I measured the glass and set about creating the artwork that you can see below. My dear Friends are tying the knot on Saturday and it seemed like a perfect gift.

First I created the rectangular frame, then I created and welded the individual words (for all you 'fontaholics' I used Sanford) before playing around with their relative sizes and welding them together within the  frame. Finally,I added the swirls which are part of the shapes library which come with the ecal software; weld it all together and I'm ready to cut. At this point you can still stretch the artwork to fit the proportions of your frame if you need too.
Now all I have to do is attach some cream paper to the cutting mat, press the button and go and make a cup of tea while my eclips does all the work for me. The eclips is just a tool, a high tech pair of scissors if you like, but the real work (i.e. the design) is done before you even press the button.

I carefully teased the artwork away from the cutting mat and applied a light coating of spray adhesive. Next, and with equal care, I placed the glass from the frame onto the face of the design and mounted it into the frame. My friends love the work of designer William Morris so I chose a suitable paper to place in the back of the frame and that's pretty much it. One hour from start to finish.

Here's the end result, the design looks like it is floating above the background. I'm going to be playing around with a few more variations on this theme in the coming months, can't wait to see where ecal takes me next!


Thursday, 26 April 2012

A very romantic layout !

 By Karine Cazenave-Tapie

Hello everybody, bonjour tout le monde !

Today my first post in english and french ! Aujourd'hui mon tout premier post en anglais mais aussi en français :)

I wanted to create a romantic layout with a picture about my boyfriend and me :). The photo was taken by a friend photograph, so the camera die was a clearness !
Une création des plus romantiques avec une photo que j'aime énormément de mon ami et moi-même.
J'avais envie de mettre à l'honneur une photo prise par une amie photographe, la découpe photo est donc devenue une évidence !
I used these Sizzix produits / j'ai utilisé les produits suivants :
-Big Shot
-Die 657840 Vintage alarm clock and Camera Set
-657007 Base Tray

Material / Matériel :

Patterned papers : Crate Paper
Overlay : Hambly
Alphabet : American Crafts
Die cuts : Maya Road
Stamps : Aladine, Recollections
Inks : Adirondack, Versafine, Tattered Angels

1-Built your layout with small pieces of papers, ribbons, overlay. You need to concentrate all the elements in the same place.
Construisez votre page avec des petits bouts de papiers, de rubans, de tulle, un napperon, un morceau de transparent. Rassemblez tous vos élements au même endroit.

2-Add some stamps on your background. I used stars stamps with Adirondack Sunshine Yellow and Grey Versafine.
Décorez votre fond de page en ajoutant des tampons étoiles avec de l'Adirondack jaune ( Sunshine Yellow ) et de la Versafine grise.

3-The camera die was cut in a piece of cardboard. The color is just perfect for my creation.
La découpe appareil photo est découpée dans du carton ondulé, la couleur est juste parfaite pour ma création.

To use your magnetic die, it's really easy !
You need to use a base tray and your cutting pad. Add your cardboard and cut with your Big Shot.

Pour utiliser une découpe magnétique, rien de plus simple !
Vous avez besoin d'un plateau bas magnétique et de vos plaques transparentes de découpe. Plassez
votre carton ondulé et passez à la Big Shot.

The camera die is one of my new fav' ! perfect for lots of creations !
Le die appareil photo est un de mes nouvelles découpes préférées ! juste parfait pour  un grand nombre de créations !

And now my creation ! et maintenant place à ma page !

See you next week ! A la semaine prochaine !


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cute Couple Layout

 By Celine  Navarro

When you know your best friends enjoy handmade gifts, you usually SPOIL them with layouts, mini album and steal their photos all the time! Worse! You take pictures of them and say "hey! I'll make a scrapbook for you with those photos!" :)

Well, yes : I do this all the time :)

For this layout, I wanted to create a romantic, sweet, vintage layout for 2 of my best friends, Benjamin and Amélie.

A flowery pink paper along with a wood background one would match perfectly together. Then, I wanted some YELLOW.

I picked two different yellow patterned papers and decided to make my own embellishments with two of my new favorite Sizzix dies.

For this layout, you'll need :

Cut one of your Yellow paper with Harlequin Border die. Glue the strip to your layout and sew on it with your sewing machine.

For the flowers, layer THREE different patterned papers onto your BIGZ die (those BIGZ dies can handlt up to 4 papers at a time!) and run the whole through your Big Shot!

Ink the edges of each flower and layer each petal to make a pretty flowers.

Attach buttons, chipboard buttons, sequins, stickers to the center of the flowers and ta-da! :)



Sunday, 22 April 2012

More smash book: the patchwork technique

 by Paula Pascual

I am back to make more spreads of my 2012 smash book. today I would like to share as well one of my favourite techniques that I use often to save al those scraps of beautiful papers that I am often left over after a big project. I call it the Paper Patchwork technique.

Not all scraps are good for this technique, what is essential is that all corners are cut a square (90 degrees) angles, if they are slightly not square angles it is not going to look good. I am using one of my all time favourite collections from Basic Grey, Picadilly.

You will need for the next step double sided tape sheet. Stix2 makes a very good A4 one, I then trim them to a A6 or similar size. Remove one of the protective layers to expose the adhesive on one side only.

Attach the first strip across.

Then start positioning the next strip right up to the other strip.

And keep on attaching the strips at different directions but making sure that there are no gaps at all between them.That is why it is important that the strips are at proper angles.

Once that the whole adhesive area is filled, turn it over to make sure that it is all covered.

Use scissors to trim the excess. Those strips can still be used, no really nothing goes to waste. On the right photo you can see the patchwork piece. It looks all right but once is die cut it will look much better.

Next step is die cutting. I am using the Mini Hearts Movers and Shapers and the Base Tray. I run it through my Big Shot Pro, but of course it will fit through your Big Shot.

And this is what you get. Isn't it lovely the patchwork effect? Using the same brand of papers means that they have exactly the same heigh and it looks and feels pretty seamless. But you can experiment with textures for a different effect.

Also, they are self adhesive as the adhesive sheets are double sided. Just remove one side and you are done.

Then I added some scrolls that I die cut using a decorative strip, the festive greenery

On the next page I attached some more photos and some memorabilia. My 2012 smash bookis coming along nicely!