Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Tips collected from others, and some from me

I am convinced that there are little spy cameras all over our house, 'cos every time I get what I think is a good idea, I see it instantly somewhere else.  It all goes to prove that there is nothing really new anywhere, just adjustments of old ideas.

I have been having problems recently with blades, cutting types of all kinds - craft knives, rotary cutters, die cutters - you name it and it needed help.  I have an excellent scissor sharpener (Fiskars) which deals with those instantly and returns all scissors to scalpel sharpness (not sure about curved parchment scissors though).  My Westcott rotary cutter was beginning to chew paper rather than cut it, then I looked at the channel the blade runs through - totally choked with glue and other gunk.  The end of the tweezers soon dug that out, but the cutting did not really improve until I found a tip on several other web sites about kitchen foil.  It needs to be the strong turkey type foil.  Run your blade through that a few times and you do not need to hunt out an expensive replacement.  The same type of foil works just as well for that apparently blunt blade on your Silhouette / Craft Robo etc.  Just lay a sheet of the foil on your carrier sheet and set your machine to cut several straight lines and that really helps.  I am told that it also brightens up your punches, although I have not personally tried it, and Shaz Silverwolf reminded me today that punching through wax paper helps them to run more smoothly (Thanks, Shaz).

If you fancy making use of your old photos and transferring them to your cards or scrapbooks, try Barbara Gray's tip, get some nail varnish remover (from Sainsbury's - apparently that works where others may not), a make up sponge.  Do a copy (black and white) using your inkjet printer / scanner (you may need to flip it horizontally to get the final image the correct way round), lay that image on your desired media face down, dampen with nail varnish remover on the make up sponge, rub over with the back of a spoon, carefully lift the paper to see if the image has taken.  If not continue rubbing until it does, then remove the paper from the top and allow to dry.  Again, I have not yet tried this, but it is next on my list, although I did something similar as a centrepiece for an anniversary cross stitch.

Don't splash out loads of money buying new sticky carrier mats for your die cutter, just give it a quick blast with something like the repositional Stick and Spray from Crafters Companion, or some other repositional glue.

After you have run something through your Xyron, just give it a quick rub, and run your nail round the edge to break the glue away, and cut down the amount of unwanted glue from the edge.

If you do get glue in the wrong place and cannot remove it withour damage, just sprinkle a tiny amount of baby powder over it and shake off the excess before rubbing it gently.  Baby powder also helps to destick your hands while you are in the middle of a job.

Other things to keep close are kitchen paper, baby wipes and Crafters Companion Stick away for cleaning up all that adhesive that gets everywhere you don't want it, tumble drier sheets (the dry ones) for lubricating parchment before embossing.

If I think of anything else I have found out, I will post it here.  Now I am off to try out my Silhouette again now it is working properly, and make some Christmas cards.

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