Tips and Tricks

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.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Using your own photos

There are lots of ways of using your own photos, whether they are old family portraits or modern snaps.

If you fancy making use of your old photos and transferring them to your cards or scrapbooks, try Barbara Grey'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, but that was done using a special kit.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Cutting blades

My Fiskars finger tip blade was beginning to chobble the card, rather than slicing nicely.  Eventually, I looked at the blade itself and found the whole tip was worn right away.  There was no alternative but to fit a new blade

Rotary Cutter

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).

Cutting blades

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).