Friday 15 November 2013

A Birthday card and some extras about yesterday's card

Whilst piling Len's recent Birthday cards up I was looking for upcycling potential - here's the result of one card I cannibalised:
I used:

- 7" x 5" white card blank

- image from shop bought card, trimmed down then mounted onto SU 'Smoky Slate' grey and then Wedgwood Blue card stock (yay, I found a few more snippets of that lovely blue!). What I loved about the image is the way it was divided up on the original card with faint chevrons behind

- the white backgrounds are one plain white card and then one embossed white panel, using SU's 'Chevron' folder - and then strips of blue and grey ribbon popped across . ...... to hide the join in the embossed panel :)

- the Birthday sentiment is also SU, stamped onto a strip of the faint chevron pattern from the original card using 'Smoky Slate' and mounted onto grey and blue card

I wish I could say this was quick and easy to make. It certainly should have been but every movement was painful here despite sitting with huge cushions to support me back :( And taking the photo from a half bent position was a nightmare.

So, back to yesterday's card - which if you remember was like this:
A few folk asked questions so here goes:

First of all, for Darnell, the blue background was die cut using a solid die which matches the swirly Memory Box 'Winterland' tree - I think it's a fairly recent release:
Here are the two dies together - with the solid one on the left. Now, although the solid die is a bit cheaper, it does almost double the cost of the original die - plus it's specifically for the 'Winterland' tree so can't be used to back other MB tree dies, clever move huh?! BUT, to be able to use a die I was shying away from I think it was worthwhile - imagine gold on green, gold on red - the list goes on.

Of course, you could trace around the outline of the swirly die and trim just inside the pencil lines if you have patience and a very steady hand - and you don't really need to include the swirly top bit at the very top of the tree on the backing.

So, that's the die cutting secret.

Then, Carol says she has the swirly tree die and it doesn't cut well. I might not have the solution but here are some thoughts anyhow. If the die truly isn't cutting through the card properly, leaving the die in place, run it through the machine again. You might have to move the die carefully across the cutting plate or perhaps add a shim of paper - one sheet at a time though 'cos you don't wanna overstress the die cutting machine. Taping the die in place to the card before you start can help to hold it firm. But, occasionally some dies, even from reputable companies, just aren't good cutters and it's worth checking back with the manufacturer or retailer. When you think how finely die cutting machines are calibrated I guess now and then there can be a bad apple or die in the barrel.

Another issue might be removing the cut out card from the die - and this die is a really tricky one - probably the trickiest one I have. Some people advocate candle wax rubbed onto the die or even a tumble dryer sheet rubbed over supposedly helps. I now swear by waxed paper between the die and the card - huh, although then you do have to carefully peel the waxed paper from the front of the beautifully and easily released die cut of course, most folk don't tell you that part! The swirls do take a bit of of poking out anyway, a pokey tool plus a teeny pair of scissors are what I use. The teeny scissors are because the swirls you want to release and discard can get tangled around the actual die cut image so careful snipping sometimes helps to release them from their determined cuddles!!

Another thing I learned the hard way - originally this card was going to be the pearlised white on the silver metallic backing card I used. Nope - not such a good idea. To adhere the swirly tree to a die cut or even plain background you need just little touches of glue/adhesive - I use a Quickie Glue pen here. And glue pens do not like shiny surfaces, they just won't stick, full stop :( Any thoughts of using the Xyron were also discarded - that machine does have limitations and this swirly die would mean far too many bits of excess adhesive to remove, and from metallic card you will actually get smears. Trust me, I've been down that road before. Hence the switch to the blue matt card background where it worked like a dream.

So do be aware that perhaps matt backgrounds and shiny swirly toppings are best for this tree die. Even adding double sided self-adhesive sheet before you cut would probably mean a nightmare when you try to remove all those excess pieces from the cut out die.

Pfffft, I bet you wish you hadn't asked now :)

Have a nice day - I hope I wake up feeling easier, getting fed up of being bent over looking at my feet for the first hour of the day!



  1. Your new card is an excellent cannibalization...I love that word!
    It is a lovely image and well worth saving!

    Great explanation o the MB dies...They have you coming and going with the sale of the two dies...neither of which is interchangeable with their other fancy tree dies! Bottom line marketing, I guess!

  2. Good bit of cannon balls going on there Miss. I can surface again now cos the calendars are finished the Elf has been told to sit on his ands and behave (or else), the presents are all wrapped and just got the card insets to print out tomorrow and then up and away to visit FLuff & Co.
    Sorry to hear yer back is not much better. I have the back clinic tomorrow morning but this cold weather is not helping any.
    Hugs Mrs A.

  3. Sorry to hear about your back but glad you were able to get it together and snap a photo since it's so very pretty! Loving all that blue in this.
    I also use wax paper in my dies! I think that helps so much.

  4. You always give so much to others with all your help and advise Di...this time it's my turn to give you a little something. :-)
    Please pop over to my blog to see the results of my quiz.
    ps I love your latest card. x

  5. Hi Di . .. so sorry to learn that your back is giving you gip again. Naughty back. Hope you can get some relief very soon.

    Loving your upcycled card. Brilliant use of that image.

    Gentle hugs going your way,
    Sarn xxx

  6. Hiya Di sorry I have not been around to stop by, oh wow you have done a great job with your card and great explanation too :) hope your keeping well

    vic x

  7. I absolutely love your 'recycled' card Di. I really do hope your back gets better soon - sending you healing hugs! Anne xx

  8. Hello Miss. Sorry your back is still giving you gip but that means that we can be even naughtier as you cannot catch us!
    Lovely recycling - cannot spell cannibalisation, and yes I agree with Mo - bottom line marketing! For my fiddly sticking I do find that Cosmic shimmer glue is the best for everything, including shiny! Or 3M if you can get it! My adhesive of absolute choice.

  9. Sorry to hear you're feeling so bad Di, get some rest and I hope the back is better soon. A lot of the MB dies are very intricate I think that's part of their appeal, but it does make them tricky to cut. MB have their own metal shim plate that's very thin, and they recommend using this. I don't have one but could do with one! Perhaps Andrew can cut me something from thin metal, if not, I'll be investing in one soon!


  10. Di, your 'cannibalised' card is lovely, such a pretty scene, and the chevrons look very smart!

    Thanks for all the details on the die, I rub mine with a tumble dryer sheet and roll it back and forth several times, turning it 90 degrees easch time. That *usually* works!!

    I hope your back gets better soon!

    love Mags B x

    PS Raymond Chandler 'cannibalised' earlier stories when he wrote his Philip Marlowe Private Eye books, so it's definitely an artistic tradition lol!

  11. Hi Di, Great info about the tree dies, thanks, love your card a little holographic is my idea of heaven :D Hope your back feels better soon,hugs Gay xx

  12. Fab cannibilised card Di :) hope your back is feeling better I really know how that feels huggles Sue xxxxxxxxxxxx

  13. Using snippets and upcycling - you are a girl after my own heart! The card is gorgeous!
    Hope your back gets better really soon!

  14. I love this upcycled card, such a restful scene and lovely colour scheme.
    I too favour waxed paper when using intrcate dies., and a glue pen or cosmic shimmer glue for sticking them.
    I hope your back is feeling better soon.
    Jean x

  15. Your up-cycled, 'cannablized' card (how brilliant you are!) is stunning! The shades of blue with gentle pops of colour...swoon! Gorgeous! Now your tips about how to navigate (since we're on a bit of a nautical theme here) around this die: how awesome! You've dedicated time, energy, thoughtfulness AND great advice about the 'what to do' associated with this swirly tree companion set. In fact, I almost 'want' to order one, just to try out your suggestions (sitting on my hands so as not to!). Have I mentioned what an awesome place your blog is?? Hope your back improves soon; sending healing vibes your way!

  16. Wonderful upcycling Di, love the background texture and the ribbons you've used are fab! xx

  17. Fab post, Di! Lots in there! I have to start by saying I missed the bit about your back giving you fits and putting you in pain again. I'm so sorry! Thank goodness it didn't happen while you were on your wonderful holiday. I pray that it settles down where it belongs very quickly!

    Secondly, your "remake" of one of Len's cards, while prolly not worth the pain, is stunning! But please don't use the word cannibalize to refer to one of your lovely works of art! That's just wrong.

    Thirdly, thank you for the tute on how you made that exquisite tree and all the extra tips you provided - again, especially since it hurts to sit and type! I definitely did not gather that it was two different dies and now I fully get the picture ... and a couple of additions to the Wish Book!

    Take it easy, please, little one. If you need to skip the Playground write-up, please do so. We all love you and would totally understand if you just skipped this week! Mwah! Darnell

  18. You made a wonderful new card from the boat picture. It's awesome, and love it lots. Clever girl you. Also many thanks for all the swirly tree tips. Most helpful and 'preciate the time taken to think & write 'em here for us. Now what did I miss about the looking at the feet bit? Hope you are not sick, or under the weather. TFS & Hugs


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