Friday, September 17, 2010
Hey there…Kathy back with you again…yay! It has been one heck of a summer here, and I cannot lie, I am happy for fall and all that it brings. Yesterday was my Nalley girl’s first day of Preschool…*choking back tears*…I simply cannot believe it! My kiddos are growing so fast and I am reminded of why I love scrapbooking so much…it is a way to preserve our memories and share them…for me, a way to hold on to the times that are slipping by far too quickly.
Today I’m bringing the last installment of my Hybrid Product Picks series to you…a more “advanced level” spotlight for some of my favorite “toys”! I am a gadget girl, no doubt. My husband gasped at all of my kitchen gadgets when we met, wondering what in the world one person would do with them all. What can I say, I love tools that make a job easier. So, it was no surprise to him when I started collecting scrapbooking gadgets. I don’t use all of them all the time, but when I need them, I am sure thankful that they are in my craft room.
I loves me some punches! I have LOTS of punches…and they are probably some of my most frequently used scrapbooking tools. They are quick, easy and can pack a pretty serious punch when layered or used creatively. I have tried several brands, but hands down my favorite are E.K. Success. They make all of Stampin’ Up!’s shaped punches, along with Martha Stewart’s line, as well as many basic shapes that can be stacked or nested.
Another tool that I use all the time, is my Scor Pal. I used a stylus and the groove in my mini Fiskar’s trimmer for many moons, until I got my Scor Pal, and I just LOVE it. However, Martha Stewart has come out with her own version, called the Score Board…and I must say, I wish I had it instead. There are a few big differences, in that the MS one has grooves at regular (and small) intervals…where the Scor Pal only has them every half inch (and a few others thrown in at commonly used measurements). The other being the width of the scoring tool. The MS tool is thinner and gives a more crisp score (or so I’ve seen demonstrated in a comparison). Either way, a dedicated scoring board is a must on my list.
My go-to (small) scissors are Stampin’ Up!’s Paper Snips. They are compact, super sharp and do a GREAT job cutting out intricate shapes that must be trimmed by hand. I love them! For punching holes and setting eyelets, a girl’s gotta have a Crop-A-Dile…a pink one at that! It is something I use regularly, and does its job so well. I also have the Making Memories eyelet setting tool, and use it when I need to punch holes or set eyelets somewhere that my Crop-A-Dile can’t reach. If you’re a crazy nut like some I know…you might also have the Crop-A-Dile Big Bite, which will do the job of it’s little sister, but will reach anywhere on a 12×12 piece of paper.
Another tool that I don’t use all that often, but I just LOVE, is my Bind-it-All. It was one of the first book binding tools on the market a few years ago, and I just HAD to have it. There are several similar products on the market, including the 7 Gypsies Binderie (drills uniform holes but doesn’t bind) and the We R Memory Keepers Cinch (haven’t used either of them) that do basically the same thing. The Bind-it-All will punch holes in paper, chipboard, acrylic, tin, etc…and them bind all of the pages together using O-wire coils. I have used my BIA for making minis and several other projects…and I always have fun using it and embellishing the coils with ribbon…aaahhhhhh…ribbon….
Saving the BEST for last…my die cutting machines! What can I say other than I am obsessed. It must have something to do with my perfectionist tendencies, but I go NUTS for the perfectly clean crisp shapes of die cuts. Something that I just cannot achieve with my unsightly mediocre hand cutting skillz. I bought my Big Shot a couple years back and have used it SO much. The dies themself are an investment, but well worth it for the right ones. I just adore that I can cut chipboard shapes with one little crank of the handle…so great! BUT……my absolute, without-a-doubt, hands down most favorite machine of all has got to be my Cricut Expression. Yes, I know, they have just introduced the Cricut Imagine (which prints and cuts all in one machine…for an astounding $600)…but I have found a way to use my own Cricut and some add on software to print and cut anything I want to. Besides, I have found my “sweet spot” setttings for my beloved Epson printer…I don’t want to have to figure anything out again.
I started using Sure Cuts a Lot software a few months back. It is a software program that will allow the Cricut machines to cut any font or .svg file (scalable vector graphic) instead of being stuck with buying the really expensive cartridges. I don’t like being limited to what comes on the cartridges, and I don’t like paying for lots of graphics I will never use, just to get a few that I would. Just this past week I purchased a different software that will do the same thing, called Make the Cut. I like it soooo much better…a more user friendly interface…more crisp and detailed cuts (not sure why that is)…and lots more functions than SCAL. I will probably still use SCAL on occasion, or maybe not…I just might be converted. One thing stays the same, I use my Cricut ALL THE TIME…whether I’m just tinkering or making cards, or a hybrid project, it gets a regular workout.
I know, I know…I have totally sounded like a paper scrapper, but trust me, I have only done ONE paper scrapbook, my first and last. Digiscrapping is certainly my idea of scrapping. But I just adore paper CRAFTING, and there is simply no denying that cutting paper is therapy…when you’re stressed out, just go punch some paper or die cut some chipboard…you’ll feel lots better…LOL!
I hope you’ve enjoyed a “look” into my craft room (thank God not literally…I’m SO not as brave as Trish) supplies, I hope you’ll use some of the these tools in your next hybrid project, they make my fun a lot MORE fun! Join me back here tomorrow for my pick for the LOTW!