Eastern Beauties, Variations

I love the versatility of Stampin’ Up!’s Eastern Beauty stamp set and matching dies. I posted two cards here, but have many more to go because … say it with me … there are so many variations in this set!!!

Here’s a quick sample of the different looks you can get simply by changing the paper color and size:

SU Eastern 849 white with diecuts DSC_0882

For this card, and the one below, I used the dies to cut various shapes into a cover card. On the white card base, I dabbed on various Ranger Distress Inks (Victoran Velvet, Tumbled Glass, Seedless Preserves and Iced Spruce), then layered the die-cut piece on top. The dots are from the Robins Nest.

Using a black cover piece gives a dramatically different look:

SU Eastern 849 black gelatos DSC_0891

(This card is a 4Bar (roughly 3 1/2 x 4 inches, smaller than the A2 size above).  I used the same technique, but using Faber-Castell Gelatos Highlighters in Starfruit, Dragon fruit, Clementine and Dry Ice. Nuvo Crystal Drops added some texture and a strip of glitter paper (Paper Source) added sparkle.

Here’s a detailed look:

SU Eastern black detail 849 DSC_0892

Thanks for stopping by! I have one more set of cards using the same stamps and dies, coming soon!

Fabulous Fiskars Fuse

I needed a quick gift for a friend and decided some letterpress-like gift tags would be just right.

Using my Fiskars Fuse, I was able to make more than a dozen tags in a about 20 minutes:

Fiskars Fuse machine w tags DSC_0595

The Fuse (which I wrote about in this post) cuts, colors and creates a letterpress impression in one fell swoop. I use regular inks — pigment or dye (although a well-inked pigment pad seems to give better coverage).

Here’s a closer look:
Fiskars Fuse tags detail 658 DSC_0599

The bad news is, Fiskars is no longer promoting the Fuse and I couldn’t find it on the Fiskars Web site. The good news? The Fuse is still available online, just search for it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday … Spellbinders and More

There are several Fabulous Finds in the craft world today, including two new die cutting/embossing machines from Spellbinders.

First up is the Sapphire, a small, portable manual die cutting/embossing machine aimed at beginners who want to try die cutting but don’t have the budget or the space to invest in larger machines. It handles dies up to 2 1/4 inches wide. There are also some new blue dies designed for this machine, although other dies will also work. It is sold at JoAnn fabric stores.

Sapphire_Photo_3

For those looking for bigger, better, bolder, get ready for the new Platinum, a heavy-duty machine deep enough to handle steel rule dies. This means it is also powerful enough to cut up to eight layers of various materials. It can cut more than 40 types of material, just about anything you might need in paper or fabric projects, including leather, bubble wrap, shrink film, magnet sheets, burlap, cork, thin acrylic, chipboard, balsa wood, craft metal and more. (Bubble wrap??? That would be cool!)

Platinum_Machine 2

It weighs a sturdy 14.7 pounds and has an 8.5 inch cutting base, which folds up for storage. Spellbinders is also introducing 16 steel rule dies. The machine will be available in September with a MSRP of $199.99.

To find out more about the Platinum, check out this video.

If you are a Spellbinders fan (and even if you are not!) check out Spellbinders’ The Creative Cafe, billed as “the place you come to feed your craft curiosity…”

Every Friday, there are new “menu” items featuring “back to basics” with tips and tricks; a designer spotlight (with creative stars such as Seth Apter http://thealteredpage.blogspot.com/, Becca Feeken from Amazing Paper Grace, http://www.amazingpapergrace.com/, Scrappy Cat’s Kim Roberto http://www.scrappycat.net/  and, of course, Spellbinders’ own Stacey Caron. https://www.facebook.com/SpellbindersStaceyCaron?fref=ts
There will be new techniques, too, and a “Weekend Workshop” feature.
In other crafty news ….
Ranger Industries has joined forces with Susan Lenart Kazmer and her ICE Resin® brand of jewelry products. Ranger will be manufacturing and distributing Kazmer’s products. ICE Resin is a two-part epoxy resin great not just for jewelry making, but for other mixed media artists as well. I’ve used it to make jewelry as well as other embellishments, including a cool resin-preserved paper. (See one of my early posts on ICE Resin here.)
And a look at my first attempts:
ICE resin 524 CHA IMG_0957
Stay tuned for more Fabulous Finds, sure to get you through the summer doldrums!
Thanks for stopping by.

Fabulous Finds Friday — Evolution Revolution

Oh, my, how the Evolution die cutting machine has evolved!

The new and improved version, the Evolution Advanced, has several performance-enhancing features (and it still does letterpress — yay!). One thing I really love is the smaller footprint — the platform folds up so the machine is more compact, making it easy to store (you can also remove the handle.)

evolution 583 closed DSC_0570

I must admit, I found it tough to pull down the platform panels. But once I did, I found that the bottom suction cups (which become engaged when you pull down the panels) were nice and strong. And I LOVE the storage compartment in the platform.

evolution 583 storage DSC_0568

The machine still has all the features that make it a wonderful tool — it die cuts and embosses and is compatible with most other dies and embossing folders. The Evolution also has a letterpress kit, sold separately, but a valuable addition. I love the look of letterpress and am anxious to try my letterpress platform in the Advanced.

The Advanced has a new dial system that adjusts the height of the rollers, changing the pressure. The idea is that you don’t have to bother with a variety of mats (just the base plate and one mat). I found the dial stiff and hard to turn, but I’m hoping it will be easier the more I use it. The dial is supposed to eliminate the need for extra mats and shims, but we’ll have to see if mine gets easier to turn. Once I figured out the right dial level, the base plate ran through like a dream.

evolution 583 dial DSC_0573

One other cool option — a motor! Yes, you can buy a plug-in motor that runs the whole shebang for you. This will be a boon to anyone who has hand issues.

Here is a quick tag I made using the dies that come with the machine and an embossing folder I’ve had for a while:

evolution 583 tag DSC_0574

The Evolution was originally sold by Lifestyle Crafts, then by We R Memory Keepers, and now by American Crafts.
Here’s a good video that shows what the Evolution Advanced can do:

What are your thoughts on die cutting machines?

Thanks for stopping by!