Tuesday 17 April 2012

Can you tell what it is yet?

 by Pete Hughes

In recent weeks I posted a couple of blogs featuring the wonderful ecal software which works with our eclips electronic cutting machine, I can't tell you how easy it is to get to grips with and the seemingly limitless creative freedom it allows.

After all that electronic wizardry I thought it was time to strip everything back to basics. The most basic shape in the die cutting arsenal is a circle, which, with a little creative fairy dust can become pretty much whatever you want it to be.

Now I know what you are thinking " a circle is just a circle!" well, lets see what we can do with a Crop-a-Dile, a set of Framelit circle dies (657551), some quality cardstock (Inspire Me Papers) and a pair of scissors. Today, we will attempt to make a Toucan.
1. We will start by using the Big Shot and the circle Framelit dies to cut two different sized circles from black card. 2. Next, place the die cut circles back onto the cutting mat and position the same dies roughly half way across the black circles before running through your Big Shot again.

3. You will end up with two crescent shapes and two leaf shapes in different sizes. This is the fundamental technique that you will need to create new exiting shapes, the thickness of the crescent/leaf shapes varies according to where you place the die. 4. Use the dies to create a selection of shapes, the small white circle was made with a punch and the small black circle with the Crop-a-Dile ( any standard office hole punch will work if you don't have one)

5. Use PVA to attach two leaf shapes together to form the head and body. Cut the large crescent shape in half and use the scissors to snip a little triangle in the end before attaching to the body. 6. Add a small black leaf shape to the body using a 3D foam pad after gently curling it and add a section of a thin crescent to the tail.

 7. Attach a white leaf shape to the body to form the tummy and a large orange crescent to the head to form the beak. 8. for the finishing touches snip a couple of bits of yellow and green card to decorate the beak and mount the punched circle with a 3D foam pad to form the eye. Use your scissors to snip a wedge of card from the tiny black punched circle to create a highlight before attaching to the eye. 

 If you like the techniques used why not go to the Community section on the Sizzix website, click on Die Cutting 101 and go to the Simple Shapes projects to find many more creative ways of using circle dies.

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