Sunday, January 14, 2018

Little Florals and Some Chat about Dies

Yesterday's card featured what I think is the largest die that coordinates with the Hero Arts set Little Florals. I adore this set. Today's card uses three die-cut stems from the set to make a little bouquet.

The flowers were colored with Copics before being cut. Copic coloring for small images like these perfectly suits my lazy efficient style, and is well within the very modest limits of my Copic expertise. In a few days, I'll show you a card that took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to color and made me vow never to color the stamps from that set again.

But these bitty stamps can be colored quickly. So yay!

I wanted to use a soft yellow or pink ribbon for the bow, but it turns out I don't have either color. So white it is. That keeps the attention on the color of the flowers, though, and covers up the ugly overlap of the stems, so it's a win.

Now, this card could be made with stamping and masking. This would eliminate the slight border on the die cuts and would look more natural. But these petite images in their super-simple setting work for me as die cuts.

While my experience with dies is extremely limited, I've found that Hero Arts' dies are consistently easy to use, work well every time, and cut cleanly. They are open dies (just the outline, not a solid piece of metal) which allows you to stamp and color and THEN cut very easily. I use washi tape to hold them in place.

Finally! A use for the thousand or so rolls of washi I own!

I've bought some Papertrey dies and am less pleased with them. They often leave a slight residue around the edges of the die cuts, making them look dirty. I've washed the dies in Dawn and warm water, but they still leave that residue. Apparently, this is a common problem as I found many irate outbursts on threads and blog posts on the subject. Any suggestions?

Also, Papertrey's are mostly closed dies, so it's easier to cut, then stamp and color, which can be awkward.

What is your experience with various manufacturers' dies? I'd love to hear your recommendations to buy and to avoid.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Hero Arts Little Florals, Summer Garden
ink: Memento black
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: coordinating dies, Copic markers, glue pen, ribbon


  1. That is what I use my washi tape for too!

  2. Love this card. So simple yet pretty! I agree with you on the die issue. Most dies are now open and cut cleanly. PTI's tend to be cheaper but I've tried wax paper, etc to avoid that dirty mark and have not found a solution. This used to be a problem with almost all closed dies from any company -- I still have some --but the open ones are either made by a different manufacturer or material or ??? No clue!!!

    1. Thanks, Joan. This helps me greatly. I'll avoid closed dies in the future.

    2. Susan, with PTI dies, it's not just the closed ones leaving this residue, it's all of them. No more PTI dies for me - see my response below.

    3. I posted a response below, but it's not showing up. Probably just as well.

    4. uncbballfan, I got an email with your longer post. Thank you.

  3. Very cute card. With respect to open/closed dies, I believe originally it was a copyright type of issue that prohibited companies from designing open frame dies. Also, I've been following some recent blog chatter (and frustration)that PTI products are slipping in quality; it seems you are experiencing this as well. I have a variety of dies from many other manufacturers/companies and all seem to perform well. A few that come to mind - MFT Dienamics, Gina Marie Designs, Your Next Stamp, Frantic Stamper. Happy Shopping and Experimenting! P.S. You could use your Copic Markers to color the white ribbon next time :-)

  4. Hey, Susan. So happy to see that you are using dies like the rest of us (addicts) enthusiasts. Of course, I use mainly SU dies since I am still a demonstrator for them, but I have a stash of others. The dies I have the most trouble with are Spellbinders, which leave a faint coppery residue around the edges. I either scrape this off carefully with a fingernail, or rub gently with my glue eraser. Of course, I'd rather not have to do this, but sometimes their dies are the ones I need/want for a particular project. Sorry to hear about PTI because I just received two of their dies last week. I'll hope for the best.

  5. I often use my Copic markers to color ribbon to match a project. Dries quickly, too.
    I also have issues with some dies leaving a residue. Wish I knew an answer for you. At first I thought maybe I'd inked through them and it was ink residue. I've even tried cleaning them with stayzon cleaner. Might try alcohol to see if that works. I'll let you know!

    1. I've tried to color ribbon with copics and made a mess. Perhaps I should try again.

    2. I found the Stampin' Up organdy white ribbon and sheer white ribbons the easiest to color.

  6. Concerning residues from diecutting: first of all let me state I don't use diecutting. However, it seems to me that this residue sounds a lot like it comes from aluminum. With that in mind I would recommend trying a spray silicon on them and see how that works. Should be a very inexpensive thing worthy of trial especially if you have a large number of dies that cause this residue. Just my two cents. Thanks for all the great helps you've shared on your blog.

  7. I agree with Marcia about using the glue eraser. That has worked for me in the past. (My PTI dies are older, however.) My Lawn Fawn, MFT, and Simon Says Stamp dies have all cut well for me. (And I have a very...ahem...considerable collection...)

  8. I have had the same problem with PTI dies. I've tried using parchment paper or wax paper layered on top of the cardstock that I'm cutting, but I don't recall that it worked particularly well. I usually end up using an eraser. A tip for closed dies - die cut the shape from typing paper and use the negative space in the typing paper to line up the die over your stamped and colored image. The die will slot right into the negative space and the typing paper will not add much bulk to your die cutting sandwich. I adore this card, by the way.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!