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30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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Entries in xyron (1)

Monday
Dec152008

Something Shy of a Tutorial

Well, I really, really wanna show you, the Internet, what I did this weekend. Not the part where my entire diet on Sunday consisted of chocolate chip cookies. The other part. Where I made something really, really cool. I want to, but I have to wait because, of the six people who read this, four are likely to receive said nifty thing or a variant as a gift this year.

Instead, I have decided to show you a couple of other things. These are not so much tutorials as suggestions for things you may have forgotten you already knew or something, right? What I mean is that if you already have the tools for these things, you should be good to go; if you do not already have these tools, I don't anticipate a run on the craft stores at the end of this post. You follow?

So. I believe I have mentioned here before the awesomeness that is the Xyron laminating machine. I have a big one (a 900?), which, aside from laminating 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper can make stickers and magnets from all sorts of things you find around the house. I think most people who have these are really into scrapbooking. Me, not so much. I have never so much as "scrapped" a page. Just not my thing.

I digress.

Nifty Thing #1: Snowflake Magnets

Among the myriad cool things about the Xyron is that you are not limited to using it with paper. I've used fabric, cork sheets, lace, and even tinfoil! Yes, tinfoil. So the first wee thing I thought I would show you is that you can make cute little snowflake magnets with your Xyron.

  1. Rip off some tinfoil.
  2. Run it through the Xyron with a magnet cartridge
  3. Use cute snowflake punches to make snowflake-shaped magnets. Push hard. Those suckers take elbow grease!
I made a bunch of these, and they look sweet scattered on the fridge or dishwasher. I also made a colorforms-esqe christmas tree with tiny hole-punched red magnets for my little boy to decorate--it's cute-ish but not ready for primetime.

Nifty Thing #2: Patterned Tape

Over the last year or so, I have seen cute patterned tape promoted in lots of places. People in whose taste I put a fair amount of stock positively swoon over it. It's cute as an idea, but I just don't use that much tape. Am I doing something wrong?

Anyway, my minimalist tape habits notwithstanding, I do think there are some cute applications for this stuff, but I wanted more flexibility. And to not pay like $10 for a roll of tape. Enter: tissue paper. I have been known to stockpile swell printed tissue paper. Like all things flat, I have run it through my Xyron. And I have discovered that if you cut it into strips, you get neato patterned tape!

  1. Cut off some tissue paper.
  2. Run it through the Xyron using an adhesive cartridge, being careful, if you are neurotic like me, to keep it from wrinkling on the way in.
  3. Slice your sticky tissue paper into strips (I used a rotary cutter with a pinking blade. Because, why not?)
Et voilĂ ! I have only done this with the permanent adhesive, but it might work just as well or better with the repositionable flavor. Although the adhesive does give the tissue paper a little more strength, it is still fragile stuff, so don't use it to secure packages in the mail. I used it today to seal boxes of cookies I took to the sherrif's deputies at the courthouse. Because, you know, they are really at the center of the patterned tape demographic.

The Thing Where You Start to Feel Better About Yourself

It is the holiday season, a stressful time for many. A time when people can feel frazzled and inadequate. Well, consider the feeling of superiority about to wash over you a Christmas gift from me to you. I took some pictures tonight of my workstation. Which is to say my dining room. I am an itenerant crafter--I have to pack up all this junk every few days to let real life happen around our house, so clear plastic bins are what pass for organization. And because I have the attention span of a drunk mosquito there are always somewhere between three and ten projects in various stages of completion strewn around the room and lots of empty plastic storage bins. Also, in the shot where you can see into my kitchen, you can see that I have conceded the battle to keep crap off of the refrigerator, a battle which I waged successfully until my son started bringing home drawings from school (thus my embrace of seasonal magnets in this post).

I keep thinking that if I just had a space where all my stuff could be spread out it wouldn't be such a mess, but my husband says that there is no such thing as a room to contain my projects. I guess he is leaving out the padded alternatives. He must really love me.