Sunday, 7 March 2010

Flight of the butterflies and Circles - Circle Scissor tips for use

I had a lot of fun playing with my Circle Scissor tool (new in the Summer Mini Catalogue) to make the set of circles on this card. I am yet to actually take step by step pics of what I have gleaned from my Circle Scissor (CS) practice (one day, one day) but I can give a few tips on how to get great results every time:

* You really do need the GLASS MAT to go with the CS, there's no getting away from that. A traditional green OLFA style cutting mat is too soft and 'grippy' and will catch the blade so it drags and stutters, giving a rough result. The hard slippery glass surface allows the blade to glide smoothly.

* The principal secret is judicious use of a good removable adhesive, such as Dotto (#103305 page 154 in the main Idea Book and Catalogue) The paper or cardstock needs to be firmly attached to the glass mat so it won't budge while cutting. But, you do want to be able to extract your perfect circle without ripping it to shreds, hence the 'removeable' aspect!

* Next, have a close look at the CS tool and glass mat, and notice a few features

- Note the large rubbery black grip along one half of the tool

- Note the blade holder hole has a little arrow which is pointing anticlockwise

- Note the concentric rings and 'cross hairs' on the clear rotating section

- Note the grid on the glass mat, there are standard card sizes in bold and also a grid pattern

* Firstly, cut the cardstock into a square or rectangle about 1/2" bigger all round than the circle you would like to cut, and apply a small 1cm-ish splodge of dotto on each corner and in the centre. Firmly smooth down onto the centre of the glass mat, and rub to make sure it isn't going to slip. The reason for cutting first into the approximate size is that it saves both cardstock and adhesive - it's much more useful to have square bits and rectangle scraps than A4 sheets of cardstock that look like swiss cheese, and you don't need to apply yards of dotto to hold the whole sheet in place!

* Now place the CS over the centre of the cardstock, with the rubber hand grip between 6 and 12 if you were looking at a clockface. Rotate the clear plastic centre until the (empty) blade holder is at 9 o'clock, and use the black centre dial to adjust the scale to the desired size.

* Swing the clear plastic centre around, while looking at the pointer to make sure your cut can be completed without going off the outside of the cut piece, adjust the base position if necessary so you have clearance on all sides.

* Insert the spring loaded blade knob into the holder, lining up the little ridges so it fits smoothly. Note that the blade knob is springloaded, but this doesn't mean you need to use a lot of pressure to make the cut.

* Holding the black rubber grip with your left hand spread apart and the blade knob with your right, press down moderately and rotate 360 degrees ANTICLOCKWISE from 9 o'clock to just a tiny bit past 9 o'clock - you will feel the cut complete itself.

* STOP! Don't move anything yet, if you wish to cut a frame you have just made the first, smaller cut of the two. Without moving the base, adjust the dial by the width you want your frame to be, and make the second cut just as the first. If you try and make the larger outer cut before the smaller one, there will be insufficient adhesive to hold the circle while the second cut is made.

Ta da!! Now you can repeat again and again, and have lots of fun with circles! It's a good idea to periodically remove the dotto residue from the glass mat, with either your adhesive remover or some goo remover liquid. And slide the blade cover back onto the blade, because that tiny sucker is SHARP when you find it on the floor with your foot!

I hope you find this useful, and drag out your CS tools for a good practice - it's certainly the easiest and best circle cutter I have ever tried :)

1 comment:

Karen Rogers said...

love the card & great explanation