Monday, February 12, 2018

Thanks For All You Do

I have an amazing friend who gives of herself to others so selflessly (I have a number of friends like this, and count myself very lucky). I recently asked her if she would help me make a portable ironing surface. She sews beautifully and I do not. She was very gracious in doing so, and also in providing everything I needed. Scroll down in this post to see what we made (and keep scrolling to the end - I will show you a tip that helps me keep my cutting plates from getting warped).

In my friend's studio, she had the most beautiful quilted panels with bamboo images, so I made her this card with one of the Oxide backgrounds I had previously made.

To make this card, I first took my green Distress Oxide inks (Twisted Citron, Cracked Pistachio, Peeled Paint, and Lucky Clover) and pressed them onto my craft mat. I spritzed the inks with water and then dragged a piece of Neenah Solar White 80# cardstock through them. (You can see more about this method in my previous post here). After this panel was dry, I flicked Peerless Gold watercolor all over it.

I die cut the panel using Memory Box 30038 Stitched Square Layers. I then die cut the Memory Box 99915 Bamboo Stitched Circle Frame from Curious Metallics Super Gold cardstock and glued it to the square panel. The panel was adhered to a base card of Neenah Solar White 110# cardstock.

I die-cut the "thanks" sentiment using Simon Says Stamp S202 thanks die. This die and coordinating stamp set was actually designed by Memory Box as part of the Simon Says Stamp Stamptember celebration last year. The "for all you do" was stamped in Lucky Clover Distress Oxide ink. This stamp is from the coordinating stamp set SSS101347 Thanks, designed by Memory Box for Simon Says Stamp. I embossed the sentiment with clear embossing powder.

This is another shot of the card, trying to show how pretty the Peerless watercolor flecks are on the Oxide greens.

As promised, here is more about the portable ironing surface that we made. I wanted this surface because I wanted to be able to sit at my craft table to do ironing on small things. Specifically, I like to iron foil onto sticky surfaces, such as acrylic paint (I will show more about this in a future post).

To make the portable ironing surface, my friend cut pieces of 3/4" plywood into smallish pieces. The one I used was about 10" x 12". We covered the plywood with quilt batting and then covered the batting with fabric, using a staple gun to adhere everything down. This is the front of the piece

My friend sewed a little handle for it. She did it so fast that I didn't even see her do it! I greatly admire people who can sew.

This is the back. I stapled down a thick piece of cardboard and then glued on a piece of felt to cover it.

I love it so much, and have already used it quite a bit for ironing foil. I also have used it to protect my craft desk from the heat of my heat tool when I am drying watercolored pieces. I have some wood boards that my husband made for me that I tape my watercolor to, and when I was drying my oxide panels, I put them onto one of these boards, on top of the ironing surface on my desk. 

I felt comfortable that nothing on my desk was getting too hot.

OK, one more thing I wanted to tell you about before you go today. Some time ago, I read a tip on how to prevent cutting plates in a die cutting machine from getting bowed or warped. I cannot remember where I read it, but at the time I thought it was worth a try. I do a lot of die cutting and I have had to discard a lot of plates because they became warped and no longer worked well.

Using my label maker, I labeled each side of both cutting plates with an "A" on one side and a "B" on the other. These were brand new plates, and this will only work if you start it from the beginning with new plates. 

The labeling helps you remember which side of the plates you used last. EVERY TIME you do a die cut, you must then turn your plates to the other side.

The letters on both plates should be the same. Use the "A" side of your plates, then turn them over the next time you make a cut and use the "B" side.

You can tell that these plates have been very well used. I have used them for months and months, including through Christmas cards and tags, and there is NO warping at all.

If you have trouble with your cutting plates warping, I hope you will try this. It has worked very well for me, and it might work for you also.

Products used on Bamboo Thanks card:
Memory Box die 30038 Stitched Square Layers
Memory Box die 99915 Bamboo Stitched Circle Frame
Simon Says Stamp S202 Thanks die by Memory Box
Simon Says Stamp 101347 Thanks Stamp Set by Memory Box
Distress Oxide inks: Twisted Citron, Cracked Pistachio, Peeled Paint, Lucky Clover
JudiKins Clear Detail embossing powder
Peerless Gold liquid metallics watercolor
Curious Metallics Super Gold cardstock
Neenah Solar White 80# & 110# cardstock
Various sequins


  1. I'm so glad you're still posting. I was saddened to hear about Art 'N Soul. I've Bern through a lot since we moved from Washington. I'd like to catch up with you. Did you have access to our email when we signed up for news letters?

    So when I read this post tonight I got pretty excited. I finally broke down and got five of Ranger Distress Oxide inks tonight. I should have got that whole set when you were taking orders. So now I can try all those techniques you've told us how to do. I'm going to start with this post. I don't have a craft mat yet so I'm hoping wax paper will work for now.

    The only place to by craft supplies here is Joann, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby. I have to order everything on line. You ladies spoiled us.

    Have you heard of the Couture Creations Go Press machine and the hot foil stamps? I just got a video in my inbox about those products. I like what I see, but its an investment.

    I sure miss all you ladies. I do love Minnesota. I don't miss the rain and dark skies. We got here in June. We've experienced summer which I loved the heat. Fall was gorgeous and mild. Winter is just plain cold. If it gets out of the negatives and hits 30° its warm. The snow makes everything bright.More days then not the sky is some shade of blue. We are looking forward to experiencing spring. We love the outdoors and there is always something to do.

    I hope you've been well. I look forward to learning more from you. Tomorrow I'm going to get to trying this post.

    Sending Love and hugs ❤

    1. Hi Robin! It's so good to hear from you and I hope you're doing well. I will see if I can locate your email, but in the meantime you can email me at my blog address at the top of the page. We do love our Oxide inks and hope you do also. The wax paper should work fine for you for these techniques. A glass surface is also good to work on. Besides this technique, the Oxides stamp and blend like a dream. This is due to their pigment properties.

      We have heard of the Couture Creations products, but have so many foiling possibilities in the products we already own that we have not yet tried these.

      All the best to you Robin!


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