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Friday, April 18, 2014

Little princess puppy girl

Look at what we found in bed tonight!  Baby girl here sometimes likes to go to bed early... now we know why.  Guess who wants first dibs on the big comfy beddies?

"No daddy, please don't make me move!"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Little washers - tutorial

Sometimes you need little washers when you are riveting.  They sell them too - but they are often decorative ones in cute little shapes like flowers and stars, for when you want them to sit on the front of the work, and they are a ridiculous price for like 10 of them.  But I have found that when I want to attach a piece to a leather cuff or something like that, that the leather, when worked or manipulated, can stretch, and the rivet pops out.  Putting a little washer behind it helps to hold it in more securely.  Before, I made some by hand-cutting little bits of scrap metal, filing them down, and hammering them.  They were irregular, and not as nice looking.

These are better, and make use of scrap little bits of metal that are too small to do anything else with.


Power hold punch with various sized punch dies
1.8 mm hole punch
scrap metal (22-24 gauge brass or copper is my usual material)
metal shears
cloth work surface
small needle nose pliers

I like to lay a cloth or towel on the work surface because little bits of metal can go flying, and this helps to catch it better.

Wear goggles, because little bits of metal do go flying, even if you carefully aim the punch down, and you don't want a 1.8mm piece of metal to end up in your eye

Set up your power punch with a 4 mm or bigger die and punch small circles of metal from your metal.

This one is made by Bead Landing - and bought with a 50% off coupon at Michaels.  I am sure there are better quality ones out there, but this one does the job and if I find I use it frequently enough, I may invest in a better quality one in the future.

A good time to do this is when you do have to punch larger holes in a piece - save your punched pieces and punch extras - it is always good to have extras, in case some go flying and get lost, or get warped/broken. Also, punch in 4 mm or larger because the base of the 1.8 mm hole punch is about  3 mm and anything smaller than the 4 mm, will be hard to remove from the smaller punch.

This is the smaller hand punch - great for punching smaller holes that jump rings will fit through.  I found that the 1.8 mm size is great for most store bought rings and rivets.

After you punch the 4 mm piece with the larger punch, centre it (you will see a divot in the little metal round from the larger punch, aim for that, and I found it easy to do so with the curved surface facing down - it helps to centre it better, and the punch seems less likely to slip.

It takes good hand strength - I find it works best if I use both hands to squeeze the punch - but it will pop out a small piece of metal (remember - goggles!) and here you have a wee little washer.

You may need to the pliers to wiggle the washer off the smaller punch, or to hold it while you trim off any sharp uneven bits like you see above.  If the washer is curved too much, you may even want to flatten it slightly with a couple of gentle taps of a hammer on a bench block - not too much though, or you will flatten it and thin it out too much.

This is how I use my little washers - to securely rivet a metal piece onto leather.

These are the micro punched holes - I am saving them for a purpose - just trying to figure it out.  Perhaps some texture in a resin piece?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Updated thin die storage...

I had most of a box of magnetic business cards left over and thought I would upgrade my thin metal die storage.  I had strips of magnet to hold them before, attached to a plastic document folder.  I thought maybe I could do something more sturdy.  I still had the information cards that came with the sets, because I wanted to keep some of the information like the style codes and the sandwiches to be made with different machines.

I adhered a couple of the cards on the back of the information cards and attached the dies right to the card - it makes for a better, more compact, yet sturdy system than how I had it before!

I am able to fit two of the standard sized cards into the folders, which I slipped into page protectors for easy storage in a binder - easy to see and flip through, and access.  I am picking up many of these on clearance, with coupons (especially if they are 50% off and I have a 25% off entire purchase, including sale items, coupon - love those), and stores like Marshalls have them too for great prices - I got several sets for $4-5 recently that way.

I love the scalloped ovals - I am hoping to use those to make clouds soon....