You have a brilliant idea for a paper-craft project. You round up the supplies and begin. The process is going smoothly … until something goes wrong. The stamp didn’t leave a clean image, or the die-cut machine flubbed on your last scrap of metallic-violet cardstock, or your paint/glue/drink spills onto your work. The damage is not pretty. Do you start over?
I’ve had my fair share of instances like these, and sometimes I trash my work and begin again. Most of the time, though, I reassess. I find creative ways to work around the problem. I call these events “happy accidents.” This story is about one such event. The facts are real, the crafter is real and the damage was very real.
I haven’t done much embossing with my trusty Slice. I’ve successfully embossed on foil cardstock, and I know from a past experiment that plain cardstock is not the best material. The machine tears through it.
A good friend of mine celebrated her birthday this week. For her card, I wanted to make something colorful: a background of cardstock strips in a gradient of one color to another. I decided on fuchsia to very light orange.
I wanted an embossed “happy” in big letters on the gradient. Based on my prior experience, I decided to adhere my cardstock strips to a piece of copy paper in hopes that it would add enough thickness for the machine not to tear through it. I cut the strips, adhered them to the copy paper and placed the piece, copy-paper side up, under my Slice. The machine was set to embossing mode, “happy” was set to a mirrored effect (so the word would be in the right direction), and I pressed the button to begin embossing. Things seemed to be going well … until the process was done, and I lifted the machine.
What I saw was not a perfectly embossed “happy.” The embossing tip went through the copy paper and tore into the strips in a few places. As I discovered the damage, one of the Halloween decorations in my house, a “Grimm Hotel” that plays sound and music, let out its scream. “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Good timing.
I’ll spare you, dear reader, an image of the horror. Refer to Exhibit A above, and find comfort in the fact that the damage was not as bad. Also, I didn’t think of taking a photo; I was too preoccupied with thoughts of “Oh, no! No! What do I do?”
Overall, the embossed effect was not as raised as I would have liked, anyway. Maybe the embossing tip I used, the smallest one, was too pointy. I wasn’t willing to risk using a larger tip on a recreated piece. I weighed my options: trash it and start over, or, as Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work!”
Using my Slice in cutting mode, I made die-cuts of “happy” and its shadow. I rubbed out the embossing with my bone folder, then used dimensional adhesive to stick my new “happy” piece over the damage. I think the result is far better than my initial plan. The recipient can’t see the chaos beneath the creation and never would have known about it had I not shared this frightening tale.
Happy World Card Making Day, everyone!