August 16, 2007

Spellbinder's Wizard and High School Musical 2

Today is a very exciting day at our house! If you have any pre-teen daughters, you know what I'm talking about.......HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2 IS TONIGHT!!!!!!!! We have been waiting all summer and tonight's the night. My girls are having 4 friends over for movie night so I have some fun things planned, which you'll see at the end of the post....don't peek yet, you gotta see the Wizard demo first!!

Many of you have been asking what kind of die cutting machine works best for the Spellbinder's Nestabilitiy Dies. Since working with the Spellbinder's Wizard, I have to say that THIS is the machine I recommend. My only other experience with die machines is the Cuttlebug. I like how it works just fine but there are a few drawbacks to my Cuttlebug. For one, it's a cheap enough machine money wise BUT I have spent so much money in replacement spacer plates that have broken that it was becoming a frequent trip to Michael's to get new plates. And that added up dollar wise too! And the machine is made up of a lot of plastic so there was a LOT of cracking noises going on.

So why the Wizard for me? The main points that sold me on the Wizard are it's durability and that it is truly a universal machine. The Wizard is the only all metal machine on the market with NO PLASTIC and it accepts any other dies on the market! That means that this machine is gonna hold up for the long haul. The pressure in the Wizard is 3,000 pounds as the paper and die pass through the rollers. That's a LOT of pressure and it helps tremendously when embossing too. The embossed edges are crisp and clean and look STELLAR!! And you can also do things like flatten bottle caps, how cool is that! I couldn't believe it but it works!!!!! And the plates are very thick and durable, they WILL NOT crack, no way. The system works like a ratchet slide your plates in and crank it back and forth, feeding the plates through the machine. And it works for both left and right handed people. The Wizards are available through Ellen's online store, along with the Nestability Dies and some other fun Spellbinder's Dies too. It is well worth the price if you are looking for a new machine.

Now onto my photos. I wanted to show you a few steps as to how to cut and emboss with the Spellbinder's Wizard and Nestability Die Templates. This first photo shows you how to create a *sandwich* with the various plates. You will hear me talk about sandwiches a lot and I'm not referring to your favorite PB&J. A sandwich is the way you layer your dies before placing them into the Wizard. To cut a shape (I'm using a scallop rectangle Nestability Die Template for this demo), here's the first sandwich layers you'll need: Starting with the bottom layer, you'll need the Cutting Mat, the Spacer Plate, the metal Die(cutting edge UP), cardstock, and the other Cutting Mat. See photo labels for a better visual. You sandwich this all together. You with me so far?

Then you place this sandwich on the flat purple surface of the Wizard. To get the sandwich to feed through the *wringers* (think old washing machine), you slide the sandwich into the wringer bars and then use the palm of your hand to manually turn the wringers. This catches the end of the sandwich and starts to feed it through. It's the slickest trick and works every time. The sandwich will go in about an inch and then you can work the handle back and forth until the sandwich slides out. Let me say that this sandwich will shoot out like like a cork gun if you're not careful. There is so much pressure that you need to be sure to hold the sandwich as it comes out.

What you'll have when you open your sandwich is your cardstock cut with the shape of the die. You can peel away the outter scrap of cardstock and discard. There you have it, your die cut shape. If you don't want to emboss your shape, you are done. Simply poke the shape out of the die and continue with your project.

But if you want to emboss your shaped cardstock also, here's the next step of sandwich making. Anyone getting hungry yet? Remove the white, thin spacer plate and grab the tan rubber mat. Here's the layers starting with the bottom layer: Thick Cutting Mat, Metal die with cardstock still in it (cutting edge UP), Tan Rubber Mat, the other Thick Cutting Mat. Make your sandwich and insert into the Wizard as I've shown above.

When you're all done, you'll have some fun cut and embossed rectangles like the ones I've done below. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the combination of cutting and embossing! So there you have it! It's easy peasy once you've done it a few times.

I also wanted to show you how I store my metal die templates. This photo below shows two sets of dies housed in one CD case. Each side of the CD case can store an entire set of dies. This means 5-6 dies on each side!! I use a magnet strip to hold them all in place. Try storing ten big punches in ONE CD CASE!

This photo below shows ALL of my sets of dies stored in ONE small metal basket! That's 50 or 60 dies all in one little basket!! I can't believe it hardly but it's true.....the storage factor HAS to sell you on these dies girls! Try storing 50-60 hand held punches. I know I don't have the room for that kind of storage!!

Well, I hope you will benefit from the tutorial of how to operate the Wizard and make Wizard Sandwiches!! Have fun and ask me any questions, I love to help!

Now onto my High School Musical project. Here's what I made with all of those scallop cut and embossed cardstock shapes. They are movie passes that are attached to a blue lanyard. I got the lanyards for free at Walmart. They were giving them away to promote HSM2 and had the little tickets attached. But at my Walmart they only had ONE ticket left. So I got the freebie lanyards and color copied the tickets at home onto white cardstock. I cut them out and adhered them to my blue recrangle scallop shapes. Then I attached them to the lanyards. I'm also going to cut some more scallop shapes in fun colors and let the party girls cut out magazine photos of the HSM2 cast, glue them on and then they'll have trading cards to attach to their lanyards too!! How fun, I can't wait!

Here's the ensemble of party decorations that I'll set up later today before the girls get home from school. We'll do the craft, then eat pizza and we'll have snacks and popcorn during the movie. I'm going to be in my stamp room but will probably be watching the movie too! By osmosis of the tv being on all day, I absorb all of these now I'm curious to see it too!!

Now I know what you're all thinking so I'll just answer your question now. YES, I AM THE COOLEST MOM EVER!!!!!!!!! Bwa ha ha ha!! I think I'll wear my lanyard tonight too!!

Here's the recipe for the yummy party mix that's shown in the party ensemble photo. I make this all the time for school parties, teachers, holidays. The kids LOVE it!

Microwave Sweet Party Mix

6 T margarine
3 T light corn syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 large bag plain M & M’s (seasonal if you want it for the holidays)
1/2 jar honey roasted peanuts
4 cups Corn Chex
1 cups Rice Chex
Melt margarine, syrup and brown sugar in microwave for 1-2 minutes. Add baking soda and stir. Pour over cereals. Stir and cook in microwave for 3 minutes. Pour onto waxed paper and let cool. Add ½ bag of M & M’s and ½ jar of peanuts. I usually double the recipe so that I can use up all the M & M's and peanuts. Enjoy!!
Note: Use a glass dish if possible, as the liquid mixture gets really hot and will melt your plastic me.


Anonymous said...

How cool! I love what you made for the girls for the BIG event tonight! I have a 14 yr old and she is having 5, yes, 5 girls here overnite to watch the movie, swim and have snacks. I will be watching too for this is all she has talked about for months! Have fun & enjoy the movie!

mnhyrkas said...

My dd's are 7,5 and 3. I told the older girls they could each have a friend over to watch the movie. We're gonna make homemade pizzas beforehand. Nothing too fancy. Have fun at your party- I'll bet the girls will just love what you've prepared for them!

Mimi Hornberger said...

Wow! You really are the coolest Mom ever! Why didn't I think of that!? Now I have to call the hubby and ask him to run by WalMart to see what they have. We have been anxiously awaiting the show too. TiVo is all set. You Rock!

Beth said...

Thank-you for that wonderful tutorial! Your projects for tonights "big event" are adorable and oh so clever! I work this evening so I had to limit DD (age 10) to 1 guest (didn't want to push DH over the edge)!

Well Said Cards said...

holy smokes! Is that what I have to do when my two year old is a pre-teen? Goodness, that's amazing. You are the coolest mom ever!

Bethany Paull said...

I saw Nichole Heady storing her Nestabilities in a cd case too, but I love the magnet idea to keep them from sliding around. Thanks for sharing. And, yes, you are the coolest mom! Hope the girls have fun tonight.

Charmingdesigns said...

Thank you so much for answering the questiion of Cuttlebug vrs Wizard. I have been debating. In the long run that Wizard sounds like the best investment! Thanks for showing your sandwichs!! yum lol

Dawn said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial on the "sandwhich" for these new dies. I have read up on them and have a pre-order in, but was still wondering...did it cut and emboss at the same time?? Or was it a two step instruction?? Now, I know! I have the cuttlebug and have read the compatibility with these dies, but thank you for your opinion...I think I'm going to invest in the correct die cutting machine to go with these:) I find you are one incredible, gracious gal showcasing your talent and lending loads of useful information for us "newbies"!!

Amanda A. said...

I LOVE it! You ARE the coolest mom ever!!!

Lorie said...

OMGoodness! I love the party decorations!!

We have been planning our HSM2 party all summer!! Cannot wait!

Jenny K said...

You are the best mom ever. I don't have girls, so I don't throw parties for High School Musical or the Cheeta Girls--which makes my boys ages 7 and 4 jealous of all of the girls around. My boys are so excited for HSM 2, but are ticked off at me because we have a birthday party to go to. Good thing we have a DVR so we can record it all and not miss a single moment--when daddy isn't home.

Joan said...

I guess I'm clueless. What is High School Musical? A movie? Duh. Anyway, great explanation of how to use the nestabilities.

Jenn in GA said...

thanks SO much for the detailed explanation of the pros and cons of the various diecut machines. it was really helpful, and now the spellbinder's version is going on my Christmas list!

you ARE the coolest mom! i wish we had cable so that we could watch the movie tonight, but, being the only girl in the house, that probably wouldn't fly, even if we were wired to get the show! ENJOY!!

Dottie K said...

Wow you are the coolest mom!!! Have fun and the snacks look yummy. :)

EllenH said...

Mish, you definitely ARE the coolest mom ever! I showed your treats to my girls and sadly I sat around watching them do all the work yet again for their adventures today and tonight. Your explanation is so thorough and I LOVE your party treats. I can hardly wait to hear about the fun you will have!!!

Sarah said...

O.K., I think you totally deserve the 'Best Mom Ever' award!! Those lanyards are awesome! I'm sure the gilrs loved them. Thanks for sharing these with us!

Rose Ann said...

Your "Coolest Mom Ever" lanyard takes the prize! You ARE the coolest mom ever. *wink* No really...everything you did was awesome. My kids are a bit younger, but we've been seeing all the ads for the special as well. It was a big deal, and you made it bigger.

Thanks for the Wizard tutorial as well. I can't wait to get my dies from Ellen!

Julie Masse said...

Such an awesome post Mish - tons of great info!! Thanks!

Alexandra said...

that is awesome Michelle! I know your daughter and her friends just love it! My 10-year old girl (and my 17-year old girl) is crazy for HSM2 as well, I may have to try your idea *smile* TFS! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

Anne Marie said...

OK, I haven't read the whole post yet, but your first 2 paragraphs answered a question that has been burning on my mind for months. I deliberately held off buying any die-cutting machines because i wasn't reading anything compelling to sway me towards one machine over another ... until you mentioned the plastic-y sounds of the CB. That's the compelling comment I need to make my decision, Wizard & nestabilities are now on my Christmas wish list! Thanks, Michelle!

Toni said...

OMG, I love that idea, my daughter loves HM and she was with my parents when HNM2 came out, I might have to try something like that so we can watch it together. I love doing things like that with my daugher. This is something that your girls and their friends will remember forever. You are the coolest Mom!

Anonymous said...

I cannot let my daughter see that!! I'm reading this late, the party is over, but it was nothing like yours. You are definitely the winner of the super-cool mom award!!

Lynn said...

What a great tutorial, I think I need to go shopping. Your daughter is a lucky girl!

Staci said...

Great party! I made your party mix last night for my stamp camp and it is really good!! Thanks for the recipe and a great blog!

Etha said...

Nice Wizard tutorial!!
My question is: how do I get the different sizes of dies apart from each other?? I bought one set and am stumped on how they are supposed to "snap apart"

Lynn said...

I'm thinking of asking my husband for a set or two of the Spellbinder dies and was wondering if I could use them in my Cuttlebug machine and what set of dies you would recommend purchasing first?
Thanks for your time.

Mom22RedHeads said...

Michelle,Do you have the image you scanned that you would share with me? My 6yo wants a HSM bday party, I have bought a lot of decorations, but there is nothing like this available anymore because it is not new. My e-mail is Thanks love your stuff. My memory was taxed on remembering when I posted this.

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