I hope all of you had a fabulous holiday season! I have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my family, but I am really looking forward to getting back to my stamping as well!
I thought it would be fun to do a little post today going back over some of the details surrounding Nestabilities. This is the number one product that we receive questions about, so I think the information merits a little review. (Click HERE for details on the project pictured here.)
First, a little about how they work.
They are made out of metal and look like a frame of sorts. Very different from other dies on the market, especially since they do not have any ejection foam. Because of their frame-like design, the interior edge can act as an embossing template when "cushion" is added to the sandwich of plates run through your machine. The photo below shows a close-up of how the die is actually constructed.
The base of the die is a very thin piece of metal and flat. Running along the center of the base is a raised strip of metal. This raised strip acts as your "die" and is what cuts your cardstock. If you want to emboss the edge of your shape after you have cut it, you simply do not remove the shape from your die after you have completed cutting, and run it back through the machine with the appropriate cushion. The cushion provides the pressure needed to "push" the cardstock through the inner opening of the frame (base) of the die. This action is what leaves the pretty embossed edge around your die cut shape!
Embossing with Nestabilities
Many of you have been asking more about the embossing features of the new Nestabilities dies. Especially the details as to whether you can just cut without embossing the image. And what is the process if you did want to emboss the image? It's all about your "sandwiches"! (mmmm, turkey on sourdough is my favorite. Is it lunchtime yet? *wink*)
In this photo I have just completed running a standard rectangle die through using the "cutting sandwich" appropriate for my machine. (See our Compatibility Chart to see what is best for your machine). After you have peeled away the perimeter "scrap" that surrounds the die-cut image, you are left with this. Notice how nicely the die-cut cardstock lies within the boundries of the raised cutting strip. It is at this point that you are able to make the decision to emboss or not. If you just remove the cardstock from the die now it will be a plain rectangle with no embossing.
If you decide to run the die BACK through with your "embossing sandwich", you will end up with this. Notice how the center of the cardstock has been "smooshed" into the flat base (frame) of the die, creating an embossed rim, just inside the cut edge. There was no need to line my basic rectangle back up within any boundries to perform this task, because I had left it in place after I had completed the cutting step.
So basically, there is a very simple technical explanation for all this. If you press your die against a solid surface (your cutting sandwich), it will cut through the cardstock. If you press your die against a soft surface (your embossing sandwich), it will emboss the cardstock. This makes it so easy to make the BIG decision- to emboss or not to emboss?!?!? The choice is yours!
What is the difference in size between the large & small sets?
The next thing that people often ask is what size dies are included within the large set vs. the small set. Here is a photo of both the LARGE & SMALL scalloped rectangle sets combined, from largest to smallest.
In order to seperate them into the LARGE and SMALL sets individually, I pulled EVERY OTHER die from the group, starting with the second to largest. The top row (which begins with the largest die) is considered the LARGE scalloped rectangle set. The bottom row (which begins with the second to largest die) is considered the SMALL scalloped rectangle set. So essentially, the two sets are very similar in the range of sizes they cover. It just means that if you own both sets, you have more intervals between the largest and smallest dies.
How do you know what size scallops to pair with the standard shapes?
Next up is looking at how the small & large standard shapes look with the different sizes of scalloped dies. Truth be told, it really matters what your personal preference is and what look you are going for. Here it is broken down visually to help illustrate what I am trying to say...
Here are the LARGE standard ovals, die-cut from white cardstock, layered on top of the LARGE scalloped ovals. You can see that pretty much just the scallops extend from the edges of the standard oval.
Here are the SMALL standard ovals, die-cut from white cardstock, layered on top of the same LARGE scalloped ovals. There is a lot more space around the standard oval exposed. So you see, it is really a matter of what kind of look you prefer. A lot of scallop or a little? Here are two identical cards I created.
While this card uses a SMALL standard oval and the same LARGE scalloped oval. So, if you like a little scallop to show, you want to order LARGE scalloped & LARGE standard (in any shape, not just the ovals). If you like a lot of scallop, go with the LARGE scalloped & SMALL standard.
If you want further information on the Nestabilities Dies, you can read all of the posts contained in THIS countdown that I prepared when we first began carrying them. I will try to answer questions posted here as well. Have a wonderful New Year!