Friday, June 23, 2017

Sizzix University - Leather Travelers Notebook Advanced Techniques Class Review

I recently attended the Sizzix University TN Advanced Techniques class, hosted by Tammy Santana, where I learned how to make my own embossed micro leather travelers notebook using a Sizzix Big Shot, some Sizzix dies, and Sizzix Embossing Folders.  This was such a fun class and I learned some new leather techniques that I can apply to my jewelry making projects using these cool tools.
Sizzix Floral Dies that can cut thin leather.
We also got to use some of the new Sizzix Foral Dies on different types of leather to create flowers to decorate our travelers notebooks.  Below is a closer look at the spine of the leather travelers notebook that Tammy Santana made using the Sizzix Floral Dies (by Jill Mackay) with black and white leather to make her flowers.  It is so pretty.  By the way, Tammy made the traveler's notebook using the Sizzic Scoreboards XL Die - Journal by Eileen Hull (661906).  The Sizzix leather cutting dies can be used on various types of thin leather to cut it into flowers and other shapes.

So the afternoon started with us going in small groups to learn how to use the adjustable leather edge groover to carve a channel in the leather.
leather edge groover tool

This makes it easy to line up the diamond chisel to make the initial holes in the leather.  Then we punched the leather with the diamond chisel. I punched the holes twice to make them slightly larger.

They then taught us to use the awl to make the holes bigger and easier to stitch with.

At this point, I should have then embossed the leather.  However, I was busy conversing with some of my fellow attendees and missed that tidbit of information.  So instead I started stitching.  They had us use some wax thread which we measured the length and width of the piece of leather (x2)  and then added around 24 extra inches to the length. We then threaded a needle to each end of the wax thread and began to stitch the leather.

One tip we got is that is the holes were too small, we should use the awl to make them bigger. Stitching the leather is really time-consuming and not without a bit of risk.  I managed to injure myself with the awl while trying to make a hole better.  I have renewed respect for leather artist's who hand stitch their traveler's notebooks because it took me a quite a while to stitch the entire micro tn. Some of the ladies in the class did it rather quickly but I did not.

The next step I took in the process was to emboss my leather (I should have embossed it first) using the Sizzix Textured Impressions Plus #661340 Embossing Folder and the Big Shot.
Sizzix gives great instructions on their packaging for this folder

One of the instructor's at the class had me moisten the leather with water and then place it in the embossing folder and feed it through the big shot.  might sound easy but it is not.  However, it This can be done. Since this leather is fairly thick, I had to really force it through the machine but once it got started the rest was rather easy to push through.

The results was the above beautifully patterned piece of leather that can be linked or dyed.  I might even just leave it natural.

I also wanted to decorate my travelers notebook (fauxdori) with some leather flowers using the Sizzix Movers & Shapers Leather Dies in a couple of floral patterns.  For this project, we used a much thinner Italian leather.

Then we put the pieces into a smaller embossing folder to give the leather a little more texture.  This made the flower petals look so pretty.

Then they used a leather rotary punch to punch a hole in each layer of leather flowers and the traveler's notebook.

The flowers were attached using decorative gromments and a drive punch to set them.

I really love how my micro leather travelers notebook came out.  The flowers added an extra bit of sparkle that just makes me smile.

Below is a sample of a leather piece using a different embossing plate and some leather stain in a dark Burgundy color.  It really shows off all the intricate designs in this piece.

I learned so much at this class.  It was $35 well invested.  They also let us keep our leather kit which is worth far more than the cost of the class.

They also provided some templates for cutting leather in alternate sizes.

Tammy Santana did a great job in organizing this class. The folks at Sizzix were amazing and a lot of fun to learn from.  Tammy will be organizing future classes which you can follow on through the meetup board, her Facebook Page, Instagram and/or her website.

Disclaimer:  I am not associated with Sizzix.  I paid for my ticket with my own funds.  These are my own opinions which can vary from others.  The best way to see if you like Sizzix University class is to take one and see for yourself.