A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Note: my Privacy Policy can be found at a tab below and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

February 12, 2024

February 12: D is for Dies

Hello Stamplings!

I hope you are doing well, wherever you are! I've got a photo/text-heavy post for you today, so let's get this party started!

In keeping with my I.D.E.A.S. schedule this month (see sidebar), today's post features Dies/Die-Cuts. Because this is the week of Cupid's appearance, I went to my drawer filled with hearts and hugs and kisses. (Aren't I the lucky girl?!) I came across two NBUS heart dies! 

The first is this incredible "Etched Swirl Heart" from SSS:
You know how difficult it is to photograph anything wrapped in gold like this! The card base is white, covered by a piece of vellum dotted with gold hearts. I added the sediment and a gold frame. [SSS Wednesday and Cut It Up.]

In real life that heart looks like a piece of jewelry. I haven't cut one yet from silver, but I'm sure it will be just as gorgeous. Here it is cut from a piece of red fun foam: 
Remember fun foam? The coils wanted to unfurl, but Hammy's little paws were able to furl things back in place.❤ [Addicted to CAS and Just Us Girls.]

I have quite a bit of this vellum with gold, silver, and white hearts. If memory serves, it was from Stampin' Up. Here's another Valentine I made, this time using the silver vellum and a Penny Black xoxo die, cut from more fun foam:
[I'm linking to the Inspiration Station. I was inspired by the XOXO in the photo.]

And the second NBUS heart die, also gracing a very simple card front:
This die is "Hugs Heart" from poppystamps and I added a strip of embossed hearts for some dementia and interest. I love that this heart can be used all year long for many occasions where a hug would be welcome. [Double D and poppystamps PSC#113.]

Also, the letters pop out nicely so they can be used on a second QACAS card:
I have several friends with Febwoooary birthdays, six of which fall on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of the month, so I made a few birthday cards with hearts on them:
For the card on the left, I used the same heart vellum and for the card on the right, I used some pretty heart tissue paper I've had for ages. In order to attach the special papers in a way that hid the adhesive, I put them in a "channel" on the card front. I taped the strip of special paper to the card base and then attached the two front panels to either side of the channel using double-sided tape. Mary's your aunt.

The sediment die is "Big Happy Birthday" from SSS. The sediment on the right is actually cut from a beautiful snippet of glimmery shimmery foosha glitter paper which was a gift from a friend years ago. And that's when the trouble started.

Before die-cutting, I checked the paper to make sure it wasn't adhesive-backed already. When I peeled back the corner, it was just paper, so I added it to a sheet of double-sided adhesive. Turns out the pretty pink stuff is paper that doesn't want to be cut, especially not with a layer of adhesive added. So I ran it through my machine several times with this shim and that shim, turning it this way and that way. Finally, the machine and I, and the paper, were all worn out and it appeared to be cut through.


I sat down and started to fussy-cut the parts that weren't cut all the way. As I worked, it was clear more parts of it weren't cut, than were cut, but by golly by now I was into it and I wasn't going to stop until I won and I got every little bit of it cut, even if it meant I needed dental work from clenching my teeth so hard for so long and even if I had to use every one of the snippy scissors and cuticle scissors and craft cutting blades I own and even if it took me 53 minutes of my life I was never going to get back. Breathe.

After all that, it looks war-torn in places and who can blame it? And even though I specifically set aside the part of the die-cut that held the dot for over the i, when I finished, I furiously threw everything in the trash and then discovered that the dot was missing. Of course it was. And, yes, I then spent several more minutes going through my trash, to no avail. 

I burst into tears! No, that's a lie. But the neighbor did call to see if everything was okay after my vulgar outburst. No, that's a lie. My neighbor is used to it.

I was going to add a little ❤ in place of the dot over the i, but I forgot. I think I just didn't want to look at it any more. I hope you enjoyed and could relate to the trauma and adventure surrounding this card's creation! I know the person who will find it in her mailbox will be amused!


Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy! LITS!* 

See you next Monday! Let me know in the comments if you play with your dies any time this week and I will add your design to the I.D.E.A.S. board on Pinterest!

As always, thank you for coming by to visit the Playhouse and special thanks to you if you take the time to join as a follower! Happy Valentine's Day whether you celebrate with lovers, friends, or your own best company!

Wait. What? LoverS? 🙊

*Life is too short!


Julie B said...

As always you made me smile Darnell. A fab array of heart themed cards but how could you not have cut out that fab swirly hearty before this! I should talk though, I've made it my task to use up my stash of stamped when friends came to play, sadly the pile isn't getting much smaller. I can certainly sympathise with the tricky to release die, lost track of the number of times a certain die has caught me out like that, then I swear I will remember for next time then go through the agony all over again!! :)

Carol L said...

What a beautiful collection of hearts and cards. I love them all and I love your schedule for this month - how creative and fun. I feel your pain with that finicky die-cut and can relate as I've had many of those crafty mishaps myself, but that was yesterday. Today is a new day and keep smiling - it's all worth it :)

!neke said...

Great cards Darnell !!!
groeten Ineke

Gerrina said...

I love that first 2 cards with that heart; so different and beautiful in both red and gold! Fun other cards! Must say that what you describe is what happened to me too (and more than once over the years)! And after a session like that I mostly didn't touch any die cut for a very long time! Nowadays I am much strickter: if it doesn't go in 2-3 times I throw it in the bin... Of all the things I try and make are that the pieces that I will throw away; the others I almost always can use on another project... Hope you are your lovely self again and wish you a happy Valentines day! Hugs, Gerrina

designbydonna said...

Great selection of hearts and die cuts. I can relate to the glittery paper not cutting well. I have done the same thing. I'm sure your friend will be honored that you spent so much time on her card.

Faith A at Daffodil Cards said...

Wonderful cards and designs. As for the "I", I know how you feel, although I am drooped over my desk with lack of mojo. Happy Valentine's Day x

Pat said...

Oh Darnell, I love all your cards, you have certainly been on a mission and I think the mission was accomplished even if it was with a some amount of stress finishing the pretty bokeh style heart card, and I love the bright pink sentiment even if the dot over the 'i' is missing..lol. It looks wonderful with the gold heart vellum strip and birthday sentiment too. I adore that SSS etched heart which is so stylish in both the gold and the red, and the fun foam works well. The PB xoxo die cut in pink looks great with the silver frame and heart covered vellum..the strip of embossed hearts is very pretty too with the other super glossy red heart and the 'hugs' die cut sentiment..simple but very pretty. I have a card which I put up today featuring some die cutting so I have completed Week 2 also, though not in such a full on way as you. x

Bonnie said...

I believe you have been inspired, Dolly! Your hearts are all beautiful! That first one is breathtaking! I feel your pain with the cutting and have done the very same thing, determined not to let it beat me. Since then I've learned to just trash it. LITS! And those pesky dots over the i's, rarely make it on a card!

Alice (scrAPpamondo) said...

Such amazing heart with the weaves in the first and second card! I would love a gold necklace pendant as this! Or a pair of earrings! Or both...!! :D
So beautiful cards, also with foam the heart looks wonderful.
Lovely vellum, it looks great also in the third card.
Fabulous hugs heart too, your NBUS really deserved to come out from the drawer!!! And no vaste! :)
The birthday cards are so cheerful, and the gold in the first one makes it very elegant.
It seems that the pink sentiment was really a nightmare for you, but I'm glad to see that you both survived :D
Happy Valentine day :)

Marcia Hill said...

Awesome cards Darnell and you know I was snorting through the tears as I read about your die cutting woes...too funny and totally relatable! (except I wouldn't have spent 53 loooooong minutes before trashing it...you obviously have more perseverance than I do!) Fun post my friend and thanks for the morning chuckle!! Hugs. :0)

JoAnn said...

Wow, what an array of fabulous cards Darnell. I love the swirl heart cards. The big birthday sentiment is pretty and I know what you mean with it being hard to cut through with the adhesive sheet on it. I have had the same problem before, but perseverance paid off. Thanks for sharing these lovely cards.

Jenny L said...

Hi Darnell,
such an amazing array of beautiful cards and gorgeous designs too.
Love those different hearts used they are fabulous and all the other super elements used on them.
I managed to comment on a few Nbus cards by right clicking on them as it wouldn't work again normally for me.
Lots of crafty love and hugs from my house to yours.Jenny L.

brandco2450@gmail.com said...

Magnificent, awesome, hilarious post! You always make me laugh at
least once while I'm reading, and thinking to myself "that could be me", especially with the dots for the i! All the cards are terrific, especially the heart swirl!
xoxoxo Sharon

Linda W. (ScrappinBari) said...

Gorgeous inspiration with your D for Dies, Darnell (say that last bit several times fast-lol)! That swirly heart is stunning and I'm betting it would make fabulous jewelry! Beautiful in red too! Love the framed XOXO & the sweet hugs heart - yummy texture with the raised dots! Lovely bday cards too & I feel your pain with the sentiment that didn't cut. Well done on fussy cutting rather than binning it (that would be my method of dealing)!!

Di said...

Wow Darnell - I needed to lie down after reading your adventures with that fabulous pink paper! I can see why you persisted - a match made in Heaven, but don't tell me you didn't ditch any leftovers?! As always, I love every single card - and, most of all the one that almost broke your spirit!


Di xx

Loll said...

You made a LOT Of lovely V-D cards and birthday cards using your new dies. Great work Dolly. As for that last card ... isn't it always the last one that drives us crazy??!! Of course, because after it's done, we have to walk away from our crafting desks!! Been there, done that! :) But you are always so good at expressing the total anguish ... I needed a laugh - thank you! Love, Lolly

I Card Everyone said...

D, your die-cut creations are to DIE for! I'm especially loving that gorgeous swirly heart! You can't imagine how much I covet that heart-y vellum!! No doubt it has long been discontinued - seems the way with all the fun stuff, right?
Just so you feel better about all that time spent - I have that die and have NEVER had it cut properly! xx

HilaryJane said...

Oh yes, I can definitely relate to your trauma with the die cut. It usually happens just when you think you can get something done quickly. Well done for persevering. All your cards are great and beautifully CAS. Thank you for all the inspiration. I look forward to Mondays now xx

Jeanne H said...

Love all of these cards, Darnell. TFS and hugs to you. Happy Valentine's Day to you.

Carrianne said...

Beautiful card! Love the gold, very elegant! I took a peek at the rest of your cards and they are GORGEOUS! Thanks for sharing with us at Cut It Up! I hope you will join us again in the future as I would love to see what you create.

Karen said...

Oh, goodness! Who hasn't been there with trying to correct die cutting gone awry? I hate to admit I laughed out loud at your description. It was so "right on!" How did I ever miss that swirly heart? This is the first time I've ever seen it and I am smitten! Gorgeous cards, Darnell--all of them. (And you certainly cannot see the the issues with the "happy birthday" and no one would ever miss the dot on the i on top of that gorgeous paper.

Bobby said...

You have a lot more patience than I do, Darnell. Every bit of that pink paper would have been in my trash basket. Your heart cards are all lovely and I'm glad to own the pink and silver one. How great to own all that heart vellum. It makes such beautiful cards. Thanks for sharing the red foam one with us at Just Us Girls.

Lisa Elton said...

That you for sharing all of the love and hugs with us! These are all fabulous, Darnell. Hard to pick a favorite but I do love the red hugs heart with the little flower cutout! I think we all have dies that give us fits. Your documentation of your experience is a hoot!

Leslie Miller said...

Oh, yes, I've put myself through that die cutting misery many times and I don't know why I persevere. I have some glitter paper with a plastic-like backing that won't cut for love nor money, but sometimes it's just the die, grrrr. Your last two cards have given us all a brilliant idea that I probably would never have thought of. LOVE the channel trick. Mary's your aunt for sure! Is she married to Bob? From golden elegance to the simplest hug, your cards are all fabulous. I don't know what you did to the hugs heart to make it look so amazing, but it's pretty special. I have that one and use it fairly often and it never looks all puffy and awesome like that. Is it fun foam. too? Anyway, happy upcoming heart day. I sure enjoyed all your cards as well as the story at the end. You are not alone, my friend. You are not alone.

TK said...

SO many great cards, Darnell! Love the swirly heart, but not the unfurling for you. Maybe it started the trouble, and the last card kept up with it! Sorry for your struggles, but we do get to acknoledge your great accomplishment!

Cheryl W. said...

Oh, boy, can I relate. Just today I cut (or tried to cut) a happy birthday die from three different glitter papers before I got one that MOSTLY cut. I was able to use my hunting knife (just kidding) to cut off the parts that weren't completely severed. I hate throwing glitter paper in the bin, but sometimes that's all you can do to a mangled die-cut.

Anyway, your crds look fab - no sign of a struggle at all. Now go have a cocktail and take a few deep breaths. Tomorrow is another day.

Susan said...

Wow, did "D for dies" ever get you to be productive! Five Valentine cards and two birthday cards - I am so impressed!! Love that etched swirl heart - especially on the gold and white card. Roared with laughter over the story of die cutting the Happy Birthday sentiment - I've done the same thing only to have it rip at the last minute after all that tedious work! Happy Valentine's Day to you!

LesleyG said...

Wow what a wonderful card fest! That first heart is GORGEOUS! We can probably all relate to the uncut die and lost eye dot 😂. I was so exhausted reading about it, I couldn’t figure Mary.’s your aunt, please help! 🤪😃xxx

Aquarius said...

A beautiful array of heart themed cards - the recipients are sure to love them. I think a special award for 'Percy Vera...nce' would be in order too, well done for hanging in there 🤣🤣.

Jeanne said...

Your system for cardmaking appears to be working well, when it is not traumatizing you! Wonderful cards and a fun, if frustrating and very relatable story shared. Thank you for always delighting!

Jeanne said...

Your new system for cardmaking appears to be working out well for you. I love the cards you shared. I appreciate your struggle with the one card. Been there, done that, or something similar. Thanks for hanging in there! The card is a winner. Appreciate you and all you do!

ElizStewart said...

Darnell... loved your post. I am still smiling. I am also loving all your CAS masterpieces! That swirl heart is gorgeous. As always, thanks so much for joining and sharing at Just Us Girls this week. Happy Galentines!

Lynette said...

I love the simplicity of all of these cards, Darnell!! I am especially drawn to the second one. And I can TOTALLY relate to your story of the die-cutting!!! So frustrating, for sure.

Brenda in IN said...

Beautiful Valentines and pretty birthday cards. I don't think I'd have the patience to do all that snipping away, just would have thrown it away and cut from other cardstock! Good for you for persevering.

Vicky Hayes said...

What a lovely post Darnell, full to bursting with card inspiration and chuckles! Oh that Etched Swirl Heart! Looking gorgeous in the gold but the red is also stunning. Yes I can relate to your die cutting adventure. LoverS? No. Behave yourself! Vicky x

Viv said...

I have gone for a lie down and a large gin as I am so traumatised after the tales of woe - now you know why they call it 'DIE' cutting!!!

Lovely cards Dolly - a darkened room will help! xxxx

Donna said...

Beautiful cards and thanks for a laugh!

Linda said...

Darnell, all of your cards are so beautiful. You were certainly on a roll. I really enjoyed your post and laughed out loud about your struggles. There is no way I would have fussy cut. That is not in my wheelhouse. Lol. BTW thank you for the pretty friendship day card. So lovely, my friend.

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

Oh yes, it's certainly true.. dots do send us dotty... especially when they go AWOL.
Dots are apt to do that I do like dies where it's incorporated neatly into part of design..
So many beautiful cards, you and Hammy excelled yourselves!
That first heart die is beautiful, in really an amazing array of cards.

I chuckled hugely at the frazzled lady collapsed at her desk. That's me soooo often!
Thanks Darnell too for snail mail in my letterbox today it also made me 😃 smile, with one from Florida friend, too so both are saved for Monday.
It's summer here so will enjoy visiting my sister at her beach front home, we will no doubt swim while there too.
Hopefully no big seas!

Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you and keep you and all whom you love safe and well for 2024!
Prayer hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

{Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
{Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

Sandra H said...

Ooh wow Darnell your posts are always a good read and your array of cards are beautiful as always x

Linda W. (ScrappinBari) said...

Back with thanks for the beautiful birthday card with the heart tissue - such a lovely effect, Darnell!! And again - sorry for your struggles with the stubborn sentiment die! I appreciate you for the time spent making it work!! Hugs!!

Donna Walls said...

All of your CAS creations are just lovely Darnell! Thanks for playing along at Inspiration Station Challenge. We hope you'll share again soon.
Donna xx

JD/ Jill said...

What a bunch of fabulous cards that you have on your blog today!

Yes! I think most of us could relate to your card story. I remember many of them. One of the ones that frustrated me the most when I was making a card... Is a missing piece that I needed for my card. It was something that I could not duplicate and I thought it really made my card. I searched and searched for it. It's like it flew away by itself. I finally found it many days or hours later...too long ago to remember. while I was crafting it fell into my Jacket pocket. I never thought to look there.

cuilliesocks said...

Hello Darnell, what a lovely selection of romantic cards, such beautiful designs, all so different too, Kate x

sandie said...

wonderful set of cards-I adore the first 2, what a fab die and wow does it look great in gold. Thank you for your lovely comment on the blog-not been around so nice of you to visit me-sending hugs x

Sue - said...

Fabulous selection of cards Darnell! I feel your frustration with the die not cutting, been there so many times and as for the dot for the I……….. mine never have dots now! xx

Neet said...

That etched swirl heart is just absolutely gorgeous. What a beautiful die that is when cut out. I love it in gold and thought it would not look as good in anything else but the red is equally wonderful. Glad Hammy was on hand!
Hugs Heart is equally lovely and - as you say - can be used at other times of the year.
Lots of loveliness abounds on this blog age and I just adore the tissue background the way you have done it.
Hugs, Neet xx

BożenA said...

Beautiful Valentine's Day cards, Darnell. I love their diversity. You mentioned some minor problems when cutting out the pink HAPPY BIRTHDAY... all the letters are perfectly cut out, so maybe you just made up the story about the blunt die :-)) Both birthday cards are wonderful!

Jeanne J. said...

You outdid yourself with all these wonderful heart themed cards! I know we all have days like this! At least you got something amazing out of it. Some days I just trash it all! Heartbreaking! :P

Birgit said...

Your die cut cards are die-lightful Darnell! So happy that you linked one of your beauties up with the Poppystamps challenge. Best of luck to you!

frommycraftroom said...

Beautiful. And I can so relate! there is nothing worse than losing the dot from an "i"!