My First Creatopia Page &WOYWW!

Happy Wednesday folks! I spent a lovely rainy day yesterday playing with my new Xyron Creatopia. Here is the page I made:

 

Stamp by About Art Accents/Art Neko.

I used the large embossing rollers to emboss an entire sheet of kraft cardstock then dry-brushed pastel yellow paint over it. I used the rotary cutters to cut scalloped strips and the smaller embossers to emboss the dots on the strips. I used the die cutter to die-cut paper, cardstock and burlap. I tried out everything except the adhesive because that would require me to look at the manual since I have not used so much as a sticker maker before LOL!

 

Tip: I saved the burlap bag that my basmati rice came in and cut a strip to make the ruffle under the main photo. I painted a piece if burlap to keep it from fraying before I die cut it in a heart shape. Place the burlap between a piece of wax paper to keep paint from transferring to the die and to keep fibers from unpainted pieces from going everywhere.

 Since it is WOYWW I snapped a photo of my desk during my creatopia experiment:

 

I have since cleaned it up and found a permanent spot in my craft room for the machine (it is about the same size as my Cricut expression!) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

And Yet Another Way to Make Stamps…

Happy Weekend! I hope you have a bit of time to fit some crafting in 🙂 Yesterday I showed you how you can carve your own custom stamps. Today I am going to show you another way to make stamps and yes, I made ANOTHER cameo:

Isn’t she pretty? I used thin stamp material in my electronic die cutter to make this. I found a pretty dingbat font called DB Cameo Busts for $3 from Lettering Delights and used my SCAL software to alter it a bit for cutting. Basically I removed a few nodes (there was a detail cut into the neck of the cameo that would not cut well from this material) and cut it with my Electronic Die cutter (OK folks, I cut it on a Cricut but you can’t buy SCAL for Cricut anymore and I used the Cricut stamp material but I bought it long before Provocraft bullied SCAL into not selling Cricut compatible software, phew, thanks for letting me get that off my chest LOL!)

There are a few things you need to know about using the stamp material:

  1. It is a clear thin (1/16″) film you can cut with an electronic die cutter.
  2. You need a deep cut blade & holder and a brand new sticky mat or the stamp material will shift and move.
  3. Don’t try to cut anything too small or detailed. I had to go in with scissors to clean up this cameo stamp.
  4. This materail is much thinner than traditional stamps so you have to be careful not to get ink on your stamp block because it will easily smudge on your stamping surface.

Keeping that in mind it is a fun product to work with. I bought a pack of 2 6″x6″ sheets for $6 last year from JoAnn Fabric. It was regularly $10 but JoAnn let me use a 40% off coupon (at that time anyway-I’m not sure about now because I have not bought a cricut product since they sued SCAL.) I think I might try and use the other sheet of the stamping material as a faux gelatin printing plate, I’ll let you know how it works;)

Here is another fun tip, I needed a frame to stamp around my cameo and I remembered this Stampin Up sentiment stamp I got years ago, I used a marker to ink only the frame up and stamped it, then stamped my cameo on top. I think I am going to cut that stamp apart now that I see how pretty the frame is on its own!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Want to hear something funny {and win a die cutter?}

Howdy folks, I was on facebook yesterday and saw the most hilarious video! By know you have heard (if you are a Cricut user anyway) that they won (OK settled out of court) a lawsuit against Make The Cut (MTC_a software company who makes software that lets you cut computer fonts with your cricut.) Anywhoo, someone made a super funny music video about it:

I laughed my butt off when I saw it! BTW if you are using MTC with your Cricut now do not update the software, the new update blocks it I am told but if you already have it you should be fine. You can still buy Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) and it will let you cut fonts and SVGs with your cricut, they are being sued too but for now all is well, BUT you might want to get it while you can…

So, who wants a die cutter? Lettering Delights is giving away a new Silhouette SD Die Cutter,  all you have to do is enter a project in their gallery before April 20, it has to contain at least one Lettering Delight product (your choice-you can even use a freebie) and the winner will be selected by random draw so the more times you enter the more chances to win you will get! You can read the details here.

BTW Lettering Delights is still having their Dollar DAys sale so now is the time to stock up on some new goodies like fonts, clip art, doodlebats paper packs and SVGs.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Homemade Letterpress!

I feel like an evil genius! I figured out how to make my own letterpress contraption to use with my Big Shot Die Cutting machine, lookie at what I made:

Some cards made with my homemade letterpress and printing plates from Lifestyle Crafts.

Here I debossed the images without ink then used a brayer to add ink over the debossed designs.

You may be thinking “what’s the big deal? It looks like stamping” but that is only half of it because when you letterpress it debosses too! You can just plain emboss, ink the plate first and have a colored debossed image or you can run your paper through uninked then brayer ink (or swipe it with an inkpad) over it to highlight the raised design. It’s totally cool!

This is how it looks without inking. I like it!

Here I inked the crown with purple ink before printing. The card base was pressed uninked then I used the same purple inkpad to rouge the edges.

When I saw the home letterpress kit from Lifestyle Crafts I was intrigued but I wasnt about to spent $150 on a whim especially since I had a die cutter and zillions of rubber stamps already, they also have a starter kit that has the contraption that you use the printing plates with, ink and paper for $70 but that is still a lot of money in my book. So I took an old plexiglass cutting pad from my Big Shot, a piece of Masonite and some duck tape and made this:

I hinged the plexiglass plate to a peice of Masonite with duct tape to make my press.

The results of my Homemade snowflate printing plate.

I purchased the Everyday letterpress printing plate at AC Moore, I just about fell over yesterday when I saw that they had the whole line of products (and I had a 50% off coupon in my pocket.) The plates sell for $24 a set but with the coupon they were $12, a reasonable price for a few hours of fun and experimentation I think 😉

Here is the set I purchased, I really like it!

For my first experiment I used Rives BFK printmaking paper because you need soft thick paper to get the full effect. I used the adhesive that came with my plates (double-sided tape will work too), stuck a printing plate to the plexiglass side, put my paper on the Masonite side, closed the contraption and ran it through my Big Shot. The debossing was gorgeous!

Then I inked up the plate with a pigment inkpad, it looked OK but I got a much cleaner result when I used a soft rubber brayer to ink up my plate.

Then I tried the plates un-inked again and used a brayer to apply ink over the design. I like that a lot.

So then I thought I would try to make my own printing plates. I used thick stencil plastic that my SIL who is a quilter gave me and my Creative Hot Marks (woodburner) with the tapered stencil tip on it to cut my own plates. I made an Asian character, a frame, and a snowflake. I printed the Asian design on paper and placed it under the film so I could see it as I cut and the others I just took die cuts from the Cricut and cut around them, both ways worked equally as well. I had to use a craft knife to trim away some of the plastic burrs on the plates but they were quick to make and worked nicely.

Some homemade letterpress plates made with stencil plastic and a woodburner.

I used my homemade Asian plate for this. the background is a LC plate inked with gold before pressing.

I experimented with paper and it seems that the ticker the paper the better it worked. Watercolor paper and printmaking paper worked the best, DCWV textured cardstock worked very well too, I wasnt as pleased with regular cardstock and paper though. If you try this and don’t get any embossing you may need to shim (or pack as they call it over at Lifestyle Crafts) your contraption. For my homemade plates I place a sheet of rubber gasket under my homemade letterpress before cranking it through, for the purchased plates I used 2 sheets of cardstock under my press for a shim. Do not over pack it or you my crack your plates, I noticed little stress cracks on one of my plates when I used too thick a shim. I have been “making art” for a long time so i had a lot of supplies like brayers, ink and paper on hand, if you don’t it might be cheaper to get the kit if you are dying to try this craft.

I would love to try the Lifestyle crafts kit to see how it compares to mine, my niece is getting married and I have been asked to help with the invitations and I think these designs will be beautiful for that. If you try this let me know how it goes, I sure did have fun playing with this today 😉 Till next time happy crafting!

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