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Ask the Artist


Our Artist in Residence, Dina Kowal, answers your questions


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  • March 22, 2017
    Q: Jennifer wants to know: "I bought a Cuttlebug to experiment with making decorations. Sadly the first die I put in bent badly. It is still usable, but how can I flatten it?"

    A: I have bent a couple of dies in my BigShot by running over them with other dies (twice!) - they are badly dented and they still cut fine. I would think that running the bent die through the machine a few more times might flatten it out - if it's an open die, you can reshape it gently with your hands (they're steel - I don't think you're going to break one). I hope that helps!


    March 15, 2017
    Q: Mary Ann asks: "Is there a way to make a hexagonal card by just using the scoreboard? I don't have the die."

    A: This was fun to figure out! I started with a 6" square piece of paper. Mark at 3" on 2 opposite sides, and on the other sides mark at 1-3/4" and 4-1/4". Connect those lines with a pencil to create the angles for the corners. Before cutting, though, trim off 3/8" from each side with the 3" marked sides up and down. Then cut along the angled lines to create the hexagon. If you're wanting a different size, the ratio of the measurements is 8:5:1 (so above, that translated to 3":1-3/4":3/8" - it may be easier to use centimeters to adjust the size).


    March 8, 2017
    Q: Lyn wants to know: "I don't have a die cutting machine - how can I get the effect of partial die cutting in another way?"


    A: Create your horizontal center line as usual, then instead of using a die for the cut-out shape, stamp or trace an image with a portion extending above the line. Cut around the outline above the center line using a craft knife. If you trace a shape, place your paper on a foam pad and use a small ball stylus to outline the lower portion.


    March 1, 2017
    Q: Debbie asks: "I have a lot of sets of stamps with matching die cuts...how do you store those? I try to keep them together but it isn't working well."

    A: I use Evernote to organize my stamps and dies, so if I have a matching set, I just add a "matching die" tag to both entries - that makes it easy to find them together in a search. I have my stamps and dies stored separately - my dies are on magnet sheets in hanging file folders, and my stamps are on plastic sheets in card boxes, all stored by category. Some people are using durable, clear envelopes to store their stamp sets - in that kind of system it would be easy to cut a piece of magnet sheet to size, put the coordinating dies on it, and tuck the sheet in behind the stamp set.


    February 22, 2017
    Q: Maggie wants to know: "I was wondering if I could be directed to a safe website where I can download different kinds of fonts to use for card making. I always see hand crafted cards that have computer generated sentiments but I don't have the same fonts on my computer."

    A: My favorite site for free fonts is Font Squirrel - I'm generally using fonts for rubber stamp designs so I need to be sure they are ok for commercial use, and all their entries are. (If you're selling your cards, that might be a consideration for you as well.) Another popular and safe free site is DaFont.com. If you don't mind paying a little, Creative Market has wonderful trendy font and graphic bundles for really low prices. You can find more links from our members HERE!


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