On The Edge

Last night, I finally got around to playing with some of my new Tim Holtz ‘On The Edge’ dies. You will recall that these new dies are part of a collaboration between Sizzix and Tim Holtz for a new line called “Tim Holtz Alterations”. This die is unique in several ways. First, it is a new size and shape for the Sizzix line. The dies are 6″ x 2 3/4″ in measurement and are designed to cut a perfect 5 1/2″ border (which of course is the standard A2 card size). Each die (with the exception of one) actually features two cutting edges–one on each side of the steel rule die. You can use them in tandem–or simply use only one cut. For this project, I experimented with the die called ‘Ornate’.

I chose to use Stardream So…Silk! mica cardstock in Fair Blue for my base (cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4″). The decorative paper I chose for the front is from Cosmo Cricket’s “Material Girl” collection (cut at 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″). I adhered the decorative paper before I began to cut with my ATG 714.

I used my Cuttlebug and On The Edge Die on each end of my cardstock, making two decorative cuts by simply reversing the die on each pass.



Flipping the cardstock back to the front side reveals the shape my card will take. I really love this set of coordinating cuts. They remind of the top of a pagoda.



For the embellishment of my card front, I combined some velvet leaves from 7 Gypsies with a felt flower from Heidi Swap. I also used a sequin, silver bead and crystal floral center from Prima Marketing. I adhered the pieces of my floral embellishment together with Glue Dots and then used All Night Media 1/2″ pop dots to adhere the piece to my card front. I used a piece of Pebbles grosgrain saddle-stitched ribbon to complete the effect. The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up! and was stamped with Papertrey Ink’s Enchanted Evening ink. The final touch was a Jenni Bowlin journaling block to the card’s interior (as the color was very deep for writing to show up clearly).








There are a total of six (6) Tim Holtz Alterations ‘On The Edge’ dies released thus far. Of course, I had to add them to my craft tool collection. From a card making perspective, I would highly recommend these dies to anyone. They are versatile with dual cuts. They’re easy to store and use. They work with your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. But most importantly, they give you the ability to really jazz up the look and edges of your cards for a very unique look. The dies released thus far are: Brackets, File Tabs, Ornate, Plaque & Postage, Scallops, and Scrollwork. Each die retails for $13.99.

I hope you all have an incredible weekend ahead. Don’t forget that the next Giveaway (see sidebar) will close this weekend. As always, Keep Crafting!

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Leftovers

I had some pieces left over from the invitation project I shared with you yesterday. These were scraps of one of my favorite paper collections of all-time: Basic Grey’s Sublime collection. The sheets I used for my invitations were from the original release of Sublime (as I am a paper hoarder. However, if you are as big a fan of Basic Grey as I am, you will be thrilled to know that for a limited time Basic Grey has released four older paper collections under the banner of Basic Grey Vintage. The collections of (18) sheets to be re-released include: Sublime, Black Tie, Phresh & Phunky, and Fusion. (Of course, I’ve already ordered all four of them.) Look for them in your local stores or your favorite on-line retailer–as I’m not sure how long they will be available.

So, here is one of the cards I made with the scraps from yesterday’s project. The twisted knot pattern of the paper immediately made me think of pearls. I used graduated sizes of half-back pearls to heighten the visual and dimensional interest of the card. The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up! and the cardstock is Stardream So Silk! in Shocking Green. The decorative edging is a Martha Stewart corner and border punch called Deco Fan.





Borrowing Inspiration

This weekend on my rounds of the weblogs I visit, I came upon a great project and video tutorial on Bryan’s (ScrapGuy) site. While his project was designed to display photos and journaling blocks, I had a slightly different use in mind. So, I borrowed his idea, messed with the sizing a bit, and came up with what I think is an elegant invitation to a dinner party. I ended up making twelve of these. The photographs I’m sharing with you are blank on the inside (as I really only have enough food for twelve people, lol). But, I added some lovely vellum slips to the interior and hand wrote the relevant information (date, time, place, occasion, etc.). It is a bit of work getting all of the elements for each piece together, but once you have your pieces it becomes a process of having a thoughtful and succinct assembly line to achieve your finished project.

For my project, I used the following materials and tools:

  • PAPER: Basic Grey decorative cardstock from the “Sublime” collection, Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock;

  • EMBELLISHMENTS: 7 Gypsies velvet flowers in Eggplant, Stampin’ Up! 5/8″ satin ribbon in Old Olive, Prima Marketing Monarch Flower Center in Maple; ColorBox Fluid Chalk Ink Cat’s Eye in Chestnut Roan;

  • TOOLS: Making Memories paper trimmer, Zutter 1/2″ Round-It-All corner rounder, ATG 714 adhesive gun, Scor-Pal scoring board;










  • Giveaway #7: Give A Hoot!

    With yesterday being the annual observation of Earth Day, it only seemed appropriate to make my next giveaway environmentally friendly. Up for grabs in Giveaway #7 is a brand new ProvoCraft Cricut cartridge entitled ‘Give A Hoot’. It celebrates Mother Earth and all her creatures–as well as providing recycling/Green themes along the way.

    To enter for a chance to win it, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post sharing with us your best tip on recycling/repurposing/reusing something you use in your everyday crafting. It can be a tip about a product, an idea to use something in a non-traditional manner, a storage tip–any idea or information that will help us all think about being more “Green” in our crafting obsessions.

    The winner will be chosen via random draw from all comments. The deadline to enter this Giveaway is Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. MST. Good Luck Kiddies…and in whatever you do, always give a hoot! 🙂

    Caged Bird

    For my second exploration with Tim Holtz’s new Alterations line, I decided to use the Sizzix Bigz die entitled “Caged Bird”. I also wanted to make a home décor piece instead of my usual card. I have to confess that I’m actually not through with this project, but I was so excited with the results thus far that I couldn’t wait to share it with you. I will be framing this in a thick dark wood frame as it is meant to be a small wall hanging.

    The “Caged Bird” steel rule die will cut three pieces when run through your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. You will get the birdcage frame, the bird’s body on a branch, and a bird wing. Instead of working with cardstock (and since this was intended to be a home décor piece and needed to be a bit sturdier), I chose to use a piece of thick chipboard as my base and Tim Holtz Grungeboard to cut my pieces from. The chipboard is a very sturdy piece from a Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) assorted chip board stack. The 4″ x 6″ chipboard is covered on both sides with a textured cardstock in a dusty rose color. The Grungeboard was a 4″ x 6″ sheet as well, though it had a “dots” texture to it. I would have preferred a plain piece when I started, but in the end, the texture added some nice highlights to the elements.

    With my Grungeboard pieces cut out via my trusty Cuttlebug, I used some Tim Holtz Distress Inks and my applicator to color the pieces. The cage was colored with Black Soot distress ink. The bird body and wing were colored with Mustard Seed; The legs and branch were colored with Walnut Stain. I was pleased with the look of the cage. The Black Soot gave it the look of an ornamental iron piece that had seen some use and wear. The bird’s body, however, just didn’t pop enough for me with just the inking. I decided my caged bird needed to be a focal point. I used some adhesive and canary yellow glitter to coat the body and wing. After they were completely dry, I used some Smooch ink to accent his eye and his beak.

    One of the main reasons I chose to use Grungeboard was for the pliability and dimension of the material. All along, my theme was to have the bird “breaking out” of his cage to leap to his magical flight. That’s why I sort of threaded his body through some of the bars of the cage and made sure his wing was exposed from captivity. This type of manipulation would have been difficult without a material that had some give to it and did not permanently bend or crease. The wing and the cage are attached to the backdrop chipboard using Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals–which again emphasizes the dimensionality of the project.

    The die for “Caged Bird” punches out five holes on the bottom of the cage as a decorative detail. In my mind, I had already pictured hanging some crystal chandelier drops from the holes. But as I worked on the project and developed the theme of the bird breaking out of his cage, I though some Tim Holtz typewriter key charms might be a better bet. With the sentiment of “FLY” in mind, I chose three charm backings and used the circular alphabet stickers for my word. Originally, I wanted all of the charms to be the creme color. However, I couldn’t find a “Y” in that coloration and had to use a black sticker. At first, I was disappointed with the look. But upon further study, I really like the off-kilter lettering. Not only does it tie into the cage color, but it sort of identifies that “breaking out” theme by achieving your goal no matter what it takes (like the wrong color letter). Once you place the letters in the charm frames, you use an adhesive acrylic bubble to cover the charm. I used some Tim Holtz jump rings to attach the charms to the cage. For the two holes that did not have dangles, I covered them with rhinestones.


    The final touch on the project was the hanging chain atop the cage. Again, the chain is from Tim Holtz. I attached it to the cage with another jump ring. To anchor the chain, I chose a fabric and crystal covered brad from K & Co. to complete the look. I pierced a hole through the chipboard and inserted the brad. I think once I mount this piece in a frame, it’s really going to set off the look. I will try to remember to photograph the finished piece and share it with you later.






    Fanciful Flight

    Yesterday, I received an order of some of the new Sizzix dies in Tim Holtz’s new Alterations line. I only had time to play around with one of the dies, but I can already tell that I’m going to love exploring the possibilities with these highly versatile cutting tools. Most of the dies introduced are comparable to the Sizzix Bigz line of steel rule dies. (Only the new “On The Edge” dies–which I will explore in a later post–are a completely new size to the Sizzix range.) The casings are a nice tan color with the Tim Holtz imprint on the top (as well as the label) of the dies.


    The ‘Fanciful Flight’ die cuts five individual pieces in one pass through your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. You get: (2) solid wing shapes, (2) cutout wing shapes, and (1) body piece. To construct a four-winged butterfly, you will have to cut your pieces twice. I chose to use a piece of decorative paper from the Tim Holtz Shabby Chic paper stack for my solid pieces and a piece of Stampin’ Up! textured cardstock in Chocolate Chip for my cutout pieces.


    I used a Zig 2-Way glue pen to assemble my wing pieces. Simply apply the adhesive to the backs of your cutout wing designs and adhere to the solid decorative paper pieces. A rub-on tool or brayer comes in handy for smoothing your layers together.

    To assemble the actual butterfly, I found it helpful to use a small piece of Scotch tape on the reverse side to hold all of your pieces together until you get them positioned just how you’d like them to lay.

    I glued one layer of the body piece in the decorative paper to the top of solid cardstock piece to give it added dimension. I used Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals to adhere the body piece to the wing assembly. I found some black waxed cording in my stash and cut off small pieces to make antennae for my creature. A knot at one end and I glued the stings to the back of the head layer.
    For my A2 sized card, I chose to use a piece of Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″). The decorative mat is a piece of SEI cardstock from the Poppy collection (4″ x 5″, corners snipped with 1/2″ rounder).







    Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a one-note die. For instance, you can use just the large wings at the middle of the body piece to create a dragonfly. Or use one large and one small wing to create a side profile of a fluttering butterfly. The wings can be used alone to create faeries or accent photographs. Beyond the capabilities of the die itself, explore your materials. Try using grungeboard, grungepaper, clear transparencies and alcohol inks, fabrics, sandpaper, and other materials. When you getting around to playing, you’ll quickly realize these investment pieces are well-worth the addition to your collection. They’ll last for years and the only limit is your imagination.

    Until next time, Keep Crafting!

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