Tuesday 18 September 2012

Shiny Shiny Die Cuts

First of all, I'd like to thank all those of you who gave me feedback on the podcast.  I'm really touched that you took the time to listen and let me know what you thought and it's been a big reminder of just how friendly, supportive and generally lovely the scrapbooking community is :D

I am going to make another one, but if you missed the first one, you can find full details here, and it's available as a download for free from iTunes.  Just search for Journal of Curious Things.  I'm going to aim to do one each fortnight and see how it goes from there.  Do email me if there are any topics you'd like to hear about or if you have any ideas or thoughts! My email is journalofcuriousthings at googlemail dot com.

Today, I have a page to share with a bit of a die-cut theme and I thought I'd share a step-by-step of how it came together.  I don't actually own a die cutter.  But I do own the following things.  This, in fact, is my die cutter.

Start off with a bit of squirly writing on rough paper.  I go for pencil so I can correct the wobbly bits.

Snip it out with a pair of scissors - I find little ones good for detail and the sharper the better.  Then I choose the patterned paper I want my finished 'die cut' in.

Trace around the shape, and cut it out!  If I had an Uncle Bob, I would be telling you his name right now.

I find this process doesn't take as long as I think it will.  I'm not particularly tech-minded and I think it would probably take me longer to set up a machine and convince it to do what I want.  And persuading machines is harder than persuading people because they're less susceptible to tea and biscuits.  As anyone who's ever tried to pour tea into a machine that wasn't a teapot will testify.

Die cut cheat the second: a lovely pack of die cuts from October Afternoon.  These are from the Woodland Park range Flower Sack.  There are so many delicious bits and bobs in the pack and they coordinate beautifully.  

A few foam squares help to build up the layers and add some dimension.

Then it's a matter of figuring out what goes where.  I opted for quite a basic design with my shapes stretching across the middle of the page.  I left a gap as I know the photo is going to go there as the focal point.

Everything stuck into place, butterfly wings popped up, and embellishments added.  It's nice to add a bit of interest to a circle by using a button or badge or little wooden bird that you found under your bed that must have got stuck to your pyjamas.  Ooops.

Then the photo, paper, words and title can go on top.  These are all clustered together to draw the eye and emphasise their importance.  The design is quite unclutered as there's lots of white space and a few droplets of mist finish it off.  And lo!  Another page for the Armenia album is done.

Journalling reads:

The state of our hair after four days at camp minus a shower, was admittedly a bit grim.  A wash was needed.  So we got up specially early one morning and through a complicated towel-over-shoulders, hose-over-the-river manoeuvre, managed to get cleaner.  It made so much of a difference.  Look how happy!  

So while I'm not anti-die cutter, I did just want to point out that it's still all good if, like me, you don't have one.  Got scissors?  You're good to go!

Kisses xxx

P.S. Trying to work out how to add an iTunes button to the blog.  Failing.

P.P.S. Anyone else watching the Great British Bake Off?  So dramatic!!!!

P.P.P.S. 300th post is coming up soon.  Trying to think how to celebrate.


  1. Thanks for the easy tips! Will def be trying this one!

  2. Another lovely page, the layering is beautiful! And thanks for the tips about DIY die-cutting - I really must try that out :D xx
    P.S. Also LOVING the Great British Bake Off, fab stuff!

  3. I've just been admiring this layout on the class forum :) I love it muchly!

  4. I don't have a die cutting machine either and I haven't hand cut a title for years, am now completely inspired to have another go. I love this page, its so pretty. Looking forward to the next podcast.

  5. I do have a shiny new die cutter and I adore it. I want to hold classes so it will be economical in that sense. As I haven't held a class it is not, but I still love it. Having said that, I think you are brilliant promoting scissors, I used to do that and it is extremely satisfying and should be a regular scrapping workout.

    Great layout and looking forward to the next Miss Smith podcast :)

  6. I am seriously impressed!!! As the owner of an ancient electronic die cutting machine (the original silhouette), and one who just learned this year how to use it properly (its sat around for ages), I can't imagine getting along with it. My patience has run thin the older I get so hats off to you for doing all of that. I used to but patience is something I am short of now. Great job!

  7. WOW! Your cutting out is so neat! I'm another fan of the scissors, mainly for paper piecing but I also like die cutters for ease. Love the layout.

    BBO, FAB stuff! poor guy last night with his glove, I bet he was gutted (not giving details incase peeps havent watched it yet & want to)

  8. This looks just lovely and you are a dab hand with the scissors - I am learning loads from you about layering: must try this!

  9. I'm so glad I have found someone else who "die-cuts" like me! I too have no machine (I am student- enough said) and always use scissors! Works a treat! Beautiful page too!

  10. I quite like hand cutting bits like this as it is something I can do fairly mindlessly while chatting to others or watching something etc. As for the celebration... how about a nice cup of tea? :-)

  11. I am most impressed. I am scissorly challenged and therefore need a die-cutting machine to be able to cut anything that resembles anything. I shall stand on the sidelines of your scissors and admire your cutting edge skills. :)

  12. Another fab page and a great story! Yes, the GB bake off was very dramatic this week - glad they didn't boot anyone out though :)

  13. Hey, Just read your comment on my blog! Wow! Thank you for mentioning me in your upcoming podcast! What an honour- can't wait to listen to it now! xx