Thursday, May 24, 2012

use your scraps week 2 | spellbinders m-bossabilities

Welcome back to today's second post on using scraps to fill in the negative spaces left by die cuts and punching (if you missed that post, you can find it here)! This afternoon we're going to look at a new tool introduced by Spellbinders at the CHA Winter 2012 show that can help add a bit more impact to your projects.

Filling in those negative images with pretty patterns is such a fun technique, but sometimes it leaves a big field of plain cardstock that could use a little dressing up. That's where Spellbinders' new M-Bossabilities embossing folders come in- they're a great way to add a subtle bit of pattern and texture to your projects without taking away from the main focus.

M-Bossabilities folders come in two sizes- a standard A2 (4.25" x 5.5") and a 5"x7", making them perfect tools for cardmakers.

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If you're familiar with embossing folders, then you've probably seen similar tools before (and if you're not, no worries because I'm going to show you exactly how they work). Spellbinders' M-Bossabilities are unique, though, in that they actually include two totally different embossing patterns on a single folder. Choosing a pattern on an M-Bossabilities folder is as simple as folding the hinge in the direction of the pattern you want to use. M-Bossabilities will work in almost any roll-through die cutting machine. I've used them in my own Sizzix Big Kick, and in today's tutorial I'll be demonstrating the folders in Spellbinders' own Grand Calibur.

The photos below show my absolute favorite M-Bossabilities folder from the new line. It's called So Trendy, and I love it because one side of the folder sports this awesome chevron pattern...

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...while the reverse side is covered in hexagons. No wonder they call it So Trendy!

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M-Bossabilities folders are very easy to use- just cut your paper to size (or not, for cases where you only want to emboss on part of the paper), slip it into the folder, and line it up with the edge of the folder's pattern.

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Fold the M-Bossabilities folder shut over your paper...

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...place it on the Grand Calibur's base plate...

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...then cover with the Grand Calibur's Raspberry plate. Just a word of caution- the Raspberry plate doesn't come with the Grand Calibur and must be purchased separately. The Raspberry plate is necessary for using M-Bossabilities with the Grand Calibur, and attempting to use them with the Pink embossing plate included with the machine may damage your die cutter as it makes the sandwich too thick to roll through the machine.

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After everything is sandwiched up, roll the stack through the machine as usual.

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Once the sandwich has been rolled through, remove the paper from the M-Bossabilties folder to reveal the gorgeous design!

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Photos really can't convey the depth and detail of the embossing. It has a great look in person as well as a rich feel.

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Here's the other side of the sheet- both sides are totally usable, so really every M-Bossabilities folder is four designs in one.

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Now let's take a look at one of the 5x7 folders, which work in exactly the same manner as their A2 counterparts.

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Such pretty designs!

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Now that I've covered basic M-Bossabilities usage, let's have a little fun! You may recall my massive series on letterpress last fall at Scrapbook Update (which shall hence and forevermore be known as "the series that nearly killed me"- my dining room looked like a photo studio for a month!). As part of that series I looked at Spellbinder's Impressabilities templates as letterpress tools, so naturally I was curious to see how M-Bossabilities would work for letterpress, as well.

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I didn't even give this a test run before starting to take my tutorial photos, so what you're seeing here is my actual first try ever at letterpress with M-Bossabilities!

I started with an ink pad (I found during my previous letterpress adventures that a pigment ink such as Tsukineko's VersaColor works best for this application) and rolled a brayer (my absolute favorite is Speedball's 6 inch soft rubber model) across it until I had a good, even coat going.

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I then rolled the brayer across one side of the M-Bossabilties folder, making sure that I got nice, even coat across all the detail in the design.

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And then I added paper and ran the sandwich through the Grand Calibur, just like usual.

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The result was amazing!

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I had one tiny little smear that you can see on the bottom of this piece- I failed to hold to paper totally still as I closed the folder, and it shifted across the ink and picked up just a little bit of it (which was totally my fault). But on the whole the M-Bossabilitiy folder worked amazingly well as a letterpress tool!

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I'll leave you with two cards that I made while playing with these folders, and of course they make use of paper scraps!

This first card uses one of the die cut elements that I made on Tuesday, and it also includes the negative space technique that I talked about earlier today.

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The M-Bossabilities folder comes into play on the card's background and helps to really dress the whole thing up. I simply ran a piece of Core'dinations Kraft Core paper through my die cutting machine using one of the embossing folders, then lightly sanded the raised portions to reveal the kraft base underneath.

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For this second card, I first die-cut a "window" using one of Spellbinders new Labels Twenty-Four dies, then used an M-Bossabilities folder to create the hexagon pattern on the entire card front. This card was looking a little drab before I added the embossing, so these folders are a great way to dress up otherwise plain expanses of cardstock.

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Throughout the course of creating content for both this and my previous Use Your Scraps Week series, I found time and time again that they key to using my scraps effectively was to have the proper set of versatile tools on hand. Spellbinders M-Bossabilities folders (and also the Edgeabilities border dies I looked at yesterday) are two tools I'm very glad to have in my arsenal now!


Supplies (click on images for product links):