The holidays are nearly over and as I type I am adding to the list of things I need to do before going back to work tomorrow. Everytime I think I must have done everything, something else creeps into my mind! A teacher’s ‘To-Do’ list is never ever done!
I have, however, had some time this week to start to get to grips with one of my Christmas prsents – My ‘Slice’ digital die-cutting machine. I was absolutely over the moon when Mr B gave it to me. I have wanted a die-cutting machine for years and I finally got one!
I won’t lie – the machine has taken me a while to figure out. I was excited to get started but my first few shapes were far from successful. I had issues with no shapes being cut at all then I also had problems with shapes being cut in the wrong place as the blade moved around. The instructions that came with it were very vague when it came to cutting issues so I had to find advice from various online discussion forums and eventually figured out that I was pressing too hard whilst I was holding the machine in place. The trick seems to be not to push it down to hold it still when it cuts, but to simply keep it in one place. Easier said than done! It seems to be a very fine line with some shapes coming out a bit squint because the machine has moved as a result of not pressing hard enough and other shapes coming out with chunks cut out of them beacuse I have pressed too hard. You can buy a hands free magnetic mat which might solve this problem. This said, I have slowly started to get the hang of it and was able to cut some accurate and neat shapes. When it works, the quality of the shapes it cuts is very good and I am really excited about the potential for card making. I made a small thank you card as a way of testing out some of the shapes – nothing fancy, and more of a practise or a test project than something to give to anyone.
There was one design card included in the bundle and I had intended to buy more from Hobbycraft as they have always stocked all the accessories. Unfortunately when I visited in the sales I discovered that Hobbycraft no longer stock the Making Memories brand. I am gutted! Fortunately I managed to pick up a couple of design cards in their clearance section. I’ll have to purchase other items online I guess.
I made the card simple. I tried out a number of the different fonts in the lettering to get a feel for what they were like. Each design card also has some pre-programmed words but there were none here that were suitable for my thank you card. There are lots of different shapes – flowers, hearts, snowflakes etc. to choose from but I opted for the hearts this time. I used sticky pads to attach the letters and make them stand out and decided to hand stitch the hearts. The overall effect is quite nice and the card is cute. If I was making it to actually give to someone I would probably have spent longer on the design but this project was really about testing out my Slice machine.
Now I’m off to try and make some birthday cards for all my lovely friends who have January birthdays! If they turn out well I might just share them!