Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tips, Tools and Techniques Tuesday!

Welcome to the first of my new weekly segments! If you remember from my post last week, I mentioned that I would have at least two weekly segments going. I also complained about the graphic I made! So, I fixed that...I like this one better. Anyway, my goal here is to not only be consistent, but also to perhaps help you have a more enjoyable crafting experience. I know! Can we stand any more fun!! (yes yes!!)

Over the years, I have learned a lot of interesting tips. Sometimes those tips come from others. Other times they are born from a need to adapt due to the fact that my nails are REALLY long (you'll see in the pics) and I have no desire to cut them. Then there is just those times when I need to find a more efficient way of doing something. I'll be sharing some of those tips with you.

I am also a tool lover! Any kind of tool...from a simple skewer to power tools! (much to my dad's delight!) I'll be showing some of those here as addition to how I use them.

Of course, with just about everything one uses, there is some sort of technique. Which brings me to today's post. It's a kind of three for is a tool...that I will give you some tips for...and a technique that I use. Let's get to it, shall we?

Today I am featuring............

TA DA!!!!!! Decorative scissors! Ok, so some of you are thinking....."wha?!!? All of this build up for this? I was expecting something more exciting!" Lemme just say...yes, they may not be glamourous...but I bet you have several pairs tucked away in a crafting drawer or box somewhere. I'm right, aren't I? Come can admit it.

I have found that many beginner crafters have bought a few of these decorative edge scissors, quickly became disillusioned and then put them away...never to be seen again... (cue creepy music). So let's start with what is so frustrating about them. Here are a few issues. First, some of them are just plain hard to use. Second...lining the scissors up properly so that when you move the scissor, the pattern continues. Finally, if you can't cut a straight edge to save your life...well it can be down right scary to attempt with scissors that create a pattern.

No worries my pretty lil crafters. Here are some of my suggestions and thoughts regarding these issues. Maybe they will entice you to go and find those scissors! They are really worth using.

Not all decorative edge scissors are created equal. There are some that are just plain not worth a buck. My favorites are Fiskars and Family Treasures. These come in a wide variety of patterns (which will will discuss in a minute) and they are easy to manipulate. Believe me, if you have a pair that are just hard to pull open and closed, don't keep frustrating yourself.

Now for patterns. The more intricate the edge of that scissor, the harder it will be to keep the pattern repeating. One of my favorite patterns is the scalloped edge because it is bold and easy to line up. My other favorite is the deckled edge because there it doesn't matter at all if I line up my edge properly! One word of advice when cutting...don't close your scissor all the way while you are cutting. When the tip closes, it could tear the paper.

To address the issue of being able to cut in a straight line, I like to use a ruler and pencil. I make a light line on the REVERSE side of the paper.

Then, when I begin to cut, I follow that line. This helps out a lot as I can not only line my scissor up with the pattern itself, but I can with the line as well.

See how great that scallop just lines up?

If you just take your time and use these simple techniques, you can get a really fantastic looking edge on photos and mats. Whether you are looking to make your project look fun, flirty or sophisticated you can find a decorative edge to meet your needs.

Artfully yours,

1 comment:

  1. Love the tip about lining up the scissors with the drawn line. Great idea! BTW - wish I had your nails, mine suffer from "beader hands" lol!

    In Beads and Happiness,
    Suzann Sladcik Wilson


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