Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Little Tip From Tim

From Tim Holtz's blog....

 you'll first notice that the size of the #8 tag is taller than the texture fades, that's a problem.... what to do?
so maybe you'll just try putting the tag in anyways just to make sure, but wait - the bottom is sticking out.... what to do?
texture fade - meet craft knife!... oh yes, stay with me here people.

open your texture fade and place on to a cutting mat. with a very thin and sharp blade (which is why i love my retractable craft knife) make a cut on the crease of the texture fade about 1/2" from the edge... *all cutting is done at your own risk! (but seriously, don't worry.)

continue cutting along the crease, the knife is pretty locked in the groove so i didn't need a ruler to cut with. cut until you're about 1/2" from the other end... *if you get too aggressive here, a piece of packing tape will help you out - speaking from experience here.

there you go, a nice opening through your texture fade...

now for the tag again and look at that, it slides right through so you can emboss the "important" part of the tag and leave the top plain (it looks better that way i think)...

run this through your embosser of choice and check out that amazing texture!...

this is also a great trick for embossing a border for a scrapbook page, or book band since you can now slide a long piece of paper, grunge, chipboard, metal, whatever through for a more continuous pattern... oh the possibilities!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another Christmas Idea....But A Halloween Idea Thrown In!

This comes from Tammy Tutterow, on of Tim Hotz's designers.  Think how you can personalize these for all everyone on your Christmas list.  Necklaces, key chains and charms for backpacks and albums.

First up, to make the metal pendants like mine, you will need some sheet metal. I used copper sheeting. You can also use aluminum from soda cans. I marked out the sized I wanted on my metal using s Sharpie marker and a ruler. You will need an extra 1/4" on each side of your shape for folding the edges, so for a 1" square pendant you would cut a 1 1/2" square piece.
Cut the metal pieces out using scissors. Depending on your metal you may need heavy duty scissors. I like the Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors for cutting metal. They go right through it with no trouble. Do be careful, the edges can be sharp so handle the pieces carefully.
Along each edge, make two score lines, one at 1/8" and one at 1/4". I used my Tim Holtz Tonic Craft Pick tool to make mine. It's super fine point made it easy to make a nice crisp and thin score line right against my ruler's edge.
Trim about half of the metal away in the space between the edge and the first score line on each side. So you might wonder why? If it isn't trimmed, it will be too bulky when you make the next fold. The original edge will lay right on the fold line and will make the second fold lumpy. So why not just make the first fold line narrower? At 1/8" it is already pretty close to the edge and anything closer would be tricky to hold in place and score. It is really easier to make a wider score line and then trim the excess.
After you trim the edges, cut away the corners along the fold lines.
After cutting the corners, cut two opposite sides at an angle. I will refer to the space between the edges and the last fold line as flaps.
Fold the two side flaps at the first fold line (the one closest to the edge). Press the fold with a bone folder for a nice clean edge.
Fold the top and bottom flaps at the second fold line (the one closest to the center). Press the fold with a bone folder for a nice clean edge.
The folding gives you a nice smooth finished edge with no rough edges that would make a pendant unwearable. The extra framing from the folds also gives the piece added stability and less likely to bend or twist, also making it much more wearable.
Sand any rough edges. I prefer to use a black nail file for this type of sanding. The black files are generally more heavy duty and made for acrylic nails. They will stand up to filing all types of crafty surfaces like metal and wood.
They look awesome at this step, but just wait until you add ink!
Apply alcohol inks with the Alcohol Ink Applicator tool. (For the Halloween themed examples I used Butterscotch, Sunset Orange, and Sunshine Yellow.)
Use Rangers Jet Black Archival ink to apply black ink to the raised areas.
And now for the secret ingredient. . . Glossy Accents! Brush on a thin but complete layer of Glossy Accents over the surface. I squeezed some out on my craft sheet and used a disposable foam brush to apply it. The brushing will wipe away some of the black ink. Archival ink removes alcohol ink so if you brush away the black ink you will have the original metal color exposed. I happen to really like the randomness of it. If you don't, be careful to not brush with the foam brush, rather dab gently.

If you have a design with a lot of grooves, be sure to use the brush to dab the GlossyAccents into all of the nooks and crannies. You will probably get a foamy effect from the brush. That is okay, just continue to dab into the grooves. You want complete coverage with the Glossy Accents.
Once you have the piece covered, a few straight passes over the top should take care of most of the foamy bubbles. If you miss some, don't worry, they won't show after you add the crackle layer.
Once the thin layer of Glossy Accents is dry, it leaves a nice finish over the metal and seals it nicely. (Note: Let the Glossy Accents dry thoroughly before moving on. I let mine dry for at least one hour.)

If you like the look, you could stop there or. . .You can add some crackle. Brush a nice even layer of Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint over the piece. I would estimate that my layer was about 1/16" of an inch thick. Make sure you cover the entire piece getting the crackle down into any grooves.
This piece uses the Rays Texture Fade. It uses the same three colors as the Halloween pieces.
On this piece I used the Retro Circles Texture Fade and then added a Sprocket Gear and Game Spinner. The colors are Stream, Sail Boat Blue, and Cloudy Blue.
Finally, this piece used the Sheet Music Texture Fade along with the same combinations of blues as the circles piece. I added an Adornments charm that I added just a bit of alcohol ink too (the same color combination from the Halloween pieces). I also added a pearl Bauble on the jump ring.
To create a hole for the jump ring, I used a small diameter metal jewelry punch. You could also use the small hole punch in a Crop-a-Dile tool.

Part 2

I have been doing a little more experimenting and have a little bit of info for you-
I decided to play a bit with aluminum and see if the techniques from yesterday's tutorial worked the same on different metal. Yes, it does work. The type of metal does not seem to matter. What does matter is that you shouldn't be as gung ho with your embossing as I was with mine. Sometimes when I run stuff in Texture Fades through my Cuttlebug I back it up and do it twice. I don't know why, I know that I don't need to. But something in me thinks that if it impresses great once, imagine how good it will look twice? Or, uh, three times. Guess what, once works, trust me. Texture Fades can actually cut through thin aluminum if you run them through too much (see above). Since I was mainly experimenting anyway, I just put some scotch tape on the back to hold down the pieces and used them as is. Trust me though, especially if you are making your own blanks like I did here, don't ruin them by over embossing. Once works.
Okay, so how about the source of my aluminum? The trash can. Luckily for me, I have a never ending supply of these in my house thanks to my insane addiction to Dr. Pepper. Just be careful cutting the can open, the aluminum is very, very sharp! (wink)

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Little Halloween Treat

Who does not love Martha Stewart?   This little treat box is from her website.  It is so simple and so cute!

Stop by The Page to pick up all your supplies and make them for your child's class, trick or treaters, office friends or just because.

Tools and Materials
Decorative paper
Black cardstock
Large glue stick
Plain printer paper
Bone folder
Craft knife or scissors
Paper clips
Halloween stickers
Rough twine, at hardware or craft stores
Coffin box top and bottom templates
Full-sheet double-sided adhesive (optional)

Coffin Treat Box How-To
1. Fully adhere decorative paper to black cardstock with a large glue stick or full-sheet double-sided adhesive.

2. Print top and bottom coffin templates on regular 8 1/2-by-11-inch paper. Place one template on each sheet of lined cardstock and staple around the template to hold in place. Do not staple inside the lines of the template, as this will create holes in your finished box.

3. Using a bone folder and ruler, score on the dotted lines of each template, pressing through to the paper and cardstock underneath.

4. Using a craft knife or scissors, cut on solid lines of templates, working from the inside out.
5. Fold sides and tabs of both top and bottom where scored. Using a glue stick, glue tabs to inside of box bottom and lid as shown in the template. Clamp with paperclips to secure until dry.

6. Fill bottom of box with candy. Add stickers to top of lid and place lid on top of box. Wrap a 1-yard piece of rough twine around the coffin a few times, and tie to secure.

From The Martha Stewart Show, October 2008
Read more at Coffin Treat Box - Martha Stewart Crafts

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Make a Custom Print and Cut Tattoo from Silhouette

The first thing you will want to do is, import your shape from your library. It will automatically come into your document.

Because I am making this a tattoo for a costume, I am wanting to cut it into a few pieces to allow for a nice placement. My shape is already grouped together so I will use the knife tool and click on the first point I am wanting to cut and drag it to the end point of the cut. You will be able to click on your shape and drag the "pieces away from each other. They will split at the knife line.

You can see in this picture that I split the butterfly in the middle and at the two sides allowing me to have 4 pieces created from the wings.

My next step is to ungroup the wing sections so that I can fill each individual piece with a color. I used the gradient fill because it adds nice dimension to the print and cuts.

Once I am done filling in all the ungrouped pieces I will select the entire image and group together. That way non of the little pieces will move as I resize to fit the face. You can also resize before you start any of this process, I just like to resize once I have it just how I want it.

Now we are ready to add the registration marks. These marks will print onto your paper allowing the sensor in the Silhouette to detect and align perfectly with the print and cut.

There is one final step you need to check before you print. Because there are so many pieces in this shape I want to make sure that the outline of the butterfly is the only thing that gets cut. The Silhouette automatically defaults to cut all the lines in the shape. So you will need to click on the cut line settings and change the cut lines from "cut" to "cut edge". Again this will allow only the outline of the wings to be cut out. You are now ready to print your document.

Some of you may need to change your printer settings before you print.  You can do this when you click on the printer button.  It will take you to a pop-up box that will allow you to change the properties of the printer.  I chose to use the photo quality print option and I also needed to change my paper size to 8.5 x 11.  So I made all of my adjustments and then clicked print.
Now that the document is printed, place your paper on the mat (carrier sheet) at the lined markings on the mat. You will then need to "feed" your mat and printed paper into the Silhouette.  Make sure your Silhouette says "load w/ carrier".  This will feed the mat into the Silhouette a little farther than if you were to simply "load media".  The mat will feed into the Silhouette just above the registration marks.
Once that is completed you can click on "cut" and watch the show. And there you have it, a custom print and cut! Now you are ready to print and cut until your little hearts content!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All These New Tim Holts Products....What To Do, What To Do

You have seen all the fabulous Tim Holtz Products and you are proabably thinking, "...I love those, but what an I going to do with them?" 

Well, Tim has put a little thought into it and here is one of his ideas.

from Tim's blog...

well these very easy to make halloween luminaries could certainly be used for a variety of decor ideas. indoor or outdoor, used for party decor, or even in the kid's room for a fun nightlight. once you see how simple they are to make, no doubt this idea will be put to good use throughout the christmas holidays too. let's get started...t!m

supplies: paper lunch bags, cardstock/chipboard (use any recycled or leftover supplies for this), dry adhesive (glue stick or double stick tape), battery operated tealights, your favorites dies and dies cutting system (i used my alterations dies and vagabond machine)
step 1: place material to cut on to die. here i'm using chipboard sheets i've been saving and this project is perfect for using up old papers, chipboard or recycled materials.

step 2: die cut a variety of shapes and elements. i've used the following alterations dies: bewitching hour, raven & scaredy cat, on the fence, rickety house

step 3: gather up some lightweight paper lunch sacks

step 4: open bag and adhere cut shape INSIDE the bag. i prefer to adhere the elements more towards the bottom of the bag. *also be sure to use a dry adhesive like a glue stick or double-stick tape for this step. (liquid adhesive could bleed through the paper bag and we don't want that)

step 5: fold down the top of the bag by rolling it back.

step 6: repeat the previous step to have a more sturdy roll on the top of the bag. this will keep the bag open and standing tall.

step 7: get a battery operated tealight and turn it on. *if you want more light simply add 2 per bag

step 8: drop it inside the bag. *if you're putting these outdoors, fill the bag with a little dirt, sand, rocks, etc. before adding tealight to keep the bag from blowing away.

step 9: my favorite part of creating these this way is during the day it looks like an ordinary paper bag, but when night falls, enjoy the flickering of these festive and spooky luminaries.

Check out the finished products!