When it comes to paper crafting, I have two passions. One is for stamping, which I have been doing for over half my life, since I started when I was seventeen years old!
My other paper crafting passion is for my Spellbinders dies. I have over thirty different sets, and a weakness for every new release. They just keep getting better, and I just never seem to have enough! I just got a set of the Resplendent Rectangles dies, and they are beautiful! I knew they would make a lovely anniversary card for this week’s Playing in Paradise challenge at Scrapbooker’s Paradise.
I had to use the word “forever” even though that may sound more wedding than anniversary. I am so thankful for a husband who meant “forever” when we spoke our wedding vows, and he knows I have the same commitment to him. I wish that kind of love for every married couple.
About the card: There are four different yet complementary die cut shapes on this card, all from the Resplendent Rectangles set. I die cut each one from white cardstock, and then inked and misted them to get the colours I desired. Sometimes that is just easier than trying to find the right colour of cardstock for a project, which usually has me pulling out my hair.
The stamped image is another new treat – a pretty pile of poppies and bells from Cosmo Cricket’s Art Angel stamp set. I stamped it in black ink and then coloured it with Copic markers. I’m no Copic expert, but even part time Copic artists like me can get a lovely effect with a few markers and a blender pen. I layered some Copic Spica glitter pen as well – Spica pens add a fairytale fine shimmer that is so addicting! I much prefer Spica to chunky, gunky glitter glue.
A few things I’ve learned about die cutting using Spellbinders dies:
- You can use Spellbinders dies with all manual die cutting machines. When I started using Spellbinders, I could confidently cut with them after watching a YouTube video that outlined how to “sandwich” my cardstock and dies for my specific machine.
- After die cutting, use a rubber mat between cardstock and cutting plate, and run your sandwich through again. This optional second embosses (or debosses) the textured part of the die and I nearly always choose this step since it adds such a classy, finished look. It’s a look you don’t get with digital die cutting machines.
- After die cutting and embossing, you can use the die as a stencil to ink the areas of the die cut not covered by the die, or mist with ink, or brush with paint. This can add subtle or dramatic colour to your die cut image.
- Spellbinders dies come in coordinating sets. I especially love the Nestabilities because they come in graduated sizes. It’s fun to die cut several sizes and layer together to give the look of matting. I also love to layer a circle die with a scalloped circle die, for example – they have been designed to fit together well.
- Spellbinders also offers embossing plates. I love to ink these before embossing to get a letterpress look on my cardstock. The cardstock can be die cut before or after inking and embossing.
- Don’t be afraid to cut, fold or otherwise manipulate your die cut image. Intricate designs can be twined with other shapes to create entirely new looks. Becca Feeken of Amazing Paper Grace is a master of this technique. Spellbinders also has a line of Cut – Fold – Tuck dies that are actually made to emphasize this ability.
- Use wax paper between your die and cardstock when cutting out intricate designs. This will help the cardstock detach from the die a little more easily. It still can take time and patience to carefully remove very detailed designs from the die without tearing.
- If a die doesn’t cut all the way through on the first time, rotate it and move to a different position on the cutting plate, and run it through again. Older cutting plates especially can hinder a clean cut on the first pass.
- Store your Spellbinders dies on a magnetic sheet inside a DVD or CD case after opening. So far this is the best organization tip I’ve seen for storing thin metal dies.
- Spellbinders frequently pairs up with stamp manufacturers to create dies that coordinate with a variety of stamp designs. This stamp & die pairing is a match made in heaven for someone like me! My all time favourite stamp & die union is the Blossom Stackers dies and stamp set (there are three projects using these stamps & dies in my Best of 2011 post!).
So, that’s ten things you may not have known about my favourite dies, and ten reasons you should try them! Reason #11 is that Scrapbooker’s Paradise has a sale on right now – 20% off AND free shipping until November 7, 2012 – it’s the perfect time to stack up some Spellbinders!
And of course this is also challenge day on the Scrapbooker’s Paradise blog – the impetus for the anniversary card I’ve shared above. Why not create your own anniversary project, and link up to win? Have a great weekend!