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Old 06-12-2010, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default What I've learned about different tools and expectations...

Ok... so when I first started, I had strong opinions on what I thought I'd love and what I didn't think I'd like at all. I thought it might amuse you to see my journey.


Stamp-a-ma-jig- wasn't going to buy it. After all, it's just a plastic "T". Surely I can learn to stamp straight without adding work and spending more money on "tools." Finally caved in and bought it. Love it.

Score board- wasn't going to buy it. I watched several videos on the Scor-Pal and couldn't justify 40 dollars plus tax, license, and extortion fees for something that I assumed would mostly be used for creasing cards. I thought about creating "embossed" lines etc, but I hated that the lines weren't equidistant, so I decided no. Then I saw the Martha Stewart board for 20 dollars and with equal lines. Read reviews, found one for 10 dollars plus 5.00 shipping. For 15, I was willing to try it. Love it. Love it.

Big Shot- Didn't know if it would be used enough to make it worth the investment. It is. Just sayin'.

ATG- Wasn't going to buy something so expensive that would probably be a pain to use. Did the math when I couldn't buy my runners at the .99 store anymore. The ATG is cheaper once the gun cost is made up, so I bought it. L.O.V.E. it...

Punches- I decided that I wanted to use my Big Shot in lieu of buying punches. Snort. Yeah. Laugh now. LOVE my nestabilities and other dies, but um... yeah. Punches are fast, easy and paper savers!

Trimmer- So, before I ever made cards, I was working on a journalish book as a blog prize for my "blog opera." The ladies reading it all wanted a "Willow Journal" (not to be confused with stamp Willow). So, I went to Staples, bought a nice Carl trimmer, and it works great for what I bought it for. It has served me well. I like it. Except when I need something narrower than 1.5" Then I hate it. H.A.T.E. I swore I'd just use my rotary cutter and quilting mat/ruler, but today, I decided to read up on trimmers. Finally found one that I didnt' find anyone saying they didn't like. Rock Paper Trimmer. I go to Amazon. 90 bucks. Um, not happening. I don't need an mp3 dock for my trimmer for heaven's sake. I don't need SPEAKERS for my trimmer. I don't even own an mp3 player! Then I found it on clearance for 40 bucks. Ok, that I can swallow. Speakers and all. So, the verdict is out on that one.


Stampin' Up! This one is probably heresy. I only started stamping because I saw invitations a friend made, and it looked like fun. So, I did something I NEVER do and contacted a local demonstrator, whom I had never met, and asked if I could buy a catalog. She agreed. Smart lady. Then she invited me to a Stamp Club as a guest. I went. I had fun. That I went is bordering on the miraculous. I knew I'd have fun. After a year of doing almost all my stamping at her house at card clubs, she suggested being a hobby demo. She was certain I'd save money. Yeah. I'd already started hoarding. Hee hee. So I did. And, in order to keep myself reined in, I decided I'd only buy SU stamps and ink. I assumed I'd buy other designer paper, but I planned to only buy SU solid color card stock. Less temptation, right? Yeah. Well, le demo sent me here. I met an ippity gal. Fell in LOVE with ippity. Guess what I buy too much of? Yep. Unity too. Oh, and I bought a Gina K too, but I'm not sure how much I'll like hers. I have to dig out hubby's killer scissors to cut the things apart. That wasn't in the plan. So, this SU demo is branching out. I still buy a LOT from SU (obviously), but my original plan to stick to them nearly exclusively flopped. Huge. I am not sorry.

Crop-o-dile- I couldn't see the point. Then I saw a video. I could finally use the eyelets I had. Found a cheap one on eBay, and bought it. Loved it. Then I learned that there was a bigger one that went all the way to the middle of a page. EEEK. I almost regretted buying it, but then I read that there are those who don't like the bigger one. Who knows. IF I get to where I need one, I'll buy it and see for myself.


So far I haven't given in to...

Copic- At first I said, no way. Too expensive. Then I did the math comparison to SU's markers. Cheaper in the long run. So, I decided that it'd be a good move in the long run. Then I found out you can't color directly on the stamps. No go. Now I learn that you can color on the stamps but you have to use alcohol or something, so it's back up for grabs again. My husband is going to HOWL at me. (he's always saying, "Just try it." I'm always saying, "these things add up to big bucks!)

Cricut- I started to buy the Expression two years ago. My problem? I couldn't decide if I'd really use it. I wanted to KNOW, before chucking 300 at a gizmo. Then I discovered the Silhouette. Decided, for me, it was a better option. Cartridges aren't really my friend. From what I could see, I liked 1/4 of the images on each. I thought it'd be cheaper to go the Silhouette route. Then, I discovered the Big shot. Wasn't sure about it. I mean, all those dies, right? That's like having to store cartridges! BLECH. Then, I discovered the embossing folders etc. Something the Cricut couldn't do (probably do now, haven't checked, but then, no.) Sooooooooooo I decided if I used the Big Shot enough, I'd let myself buy the Silhouette or Cricut. So far, I'm satisfied with what I have. Don't know if I'll go digital on that one or not.

Craft Spots- I did have the "brilliant" idea of buying all the Craft Spot colors so I'd have any color I needed, AND I'd be able to emboss, change the color of hardware etc. Then I read about them drying out. EEK. Decided not to... JUST before I learned about the color change. WHEW. I am still tempted, but honestly, I don't LIKE Craft Ink. It's blechy.

Cutter Tool- The verdict is out. I can't figure out why I would want it. So far, a steak knife is fine for roughing up edges. If I see something that shows me why I should buy it, maybe. But I'm in the "no way" zone right now. Then again, most of my "no ways" have become favorites, so what do I know?


Was sure I'd love and didn't?

Circle Cutter- I was sure this would be the best thing for me. Why buy dies, punches, and the like when you can cut any size circle you need with a nice flat thing that stores easily. Brilliant. Hate it. H.A.T.E. with a passion that can't WAIT for the day I can toss it in the garbage. Despise. Evil. E.V.I.L. Just sayin'.


SU White Card Stock- The pits. Just sayin'. It's fine for layering a stamped image or something, but they don't even offer a base weight white. Grr. So much for my sticking to them for solid colors. I am LOVING the thicker stuff I've seen from Gina K, Neenah, and Papertrey. I'm sold... even on colors. *ducks head in shame* Snort.


Flower embellishments- Was SURE I'd use tons. Hardly touch them. Who knew? I'm still convinced that the two tins full of them that I have will eventually see paper.


One rule I try to remember for myself is, "The third time you wish you had xyz, you can order it." It does work. A few things I've wished for once... maybe even twice, but not many have hit three-- yet. Hee hee. Kraft envelopes were one. I got sick of seeing cards in ivory envelopes when they NEEDED craft.


There you have it. That's all I can think of... for now. We'll see what comes up next.
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Last edited by Chautona; 06-12-2010 at 12:23 AM..
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:14 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing - a lot of that sounds familiar. Glad to see you're frugal - always looking for input on frugals, LOL. Isn't amazing how much our opinions change once we "get into it?"
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:11 AM   #3
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Thank you, really enjoyed reading your take on things, which was quite similar to my take - love the big shot, hate my circle cutter! However, I do love my copics (once you've sorted out what paper works with them!) I agree with binx - my views on tools have definitely changed as I have 'matured' as a card maker.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting this -

Stamp-a-ma-jig- Love it.

Score board- I bought the Score-It because it made tight score lines and loved it until I got the Martha Stewart version and I Love it.

Big Shot- Best investment ever - love it

ATG- L.O.V.E. it...

Punches- Love them but I'm careful to buy the ones I know I'll use again

Trimmer- Love hate relationship and am using one that cost $20 that works for me. The big thing for me is I like a trimmer (small, portable, and lightweight). I don't use my large platform papercutter enough to jusify spending mega bucks.

Stampin' Up! This one is probably heresy. Not to me - I'm a hobby demo but am not SUO. It's my hobby first and demo second so I buy what I like where I like. I think knowing a variety of products makes me a better demo so I can give souond advice.

Crop-o-dile- I bought the Big Bite and love it. It's easier to figure out than the little one and I love being able to reach into the center of a page to punch a hole. The best is how it cuts chipboard and acrylic. Cuts like butter.

Copic- I only have about 50 and don't feel the need to get more. I love the ability to blend. I'm kinda of marker-ho when it comes to the types of markers. I don't expect one style of marker to fit all situations. Currently, I have 8 differt types of markers and I consider Copics just one more.

Cricut- Have Expression and kind of regret it. You are so right on liking a small percentage of the images on the cartridges. Where the Expression comes in real handy is on production work. I recently cut 120 graduation caps using the Expression - I can't imagine cutting them by hand.

Craft Spots- love them for edging cards to get an aged look. Great for color coloring naked chipboard.

Cutter Tool- I like it for traveling (I don't ue a steak knife and I don't know if I want to travel with one - would be funny in the airport - tee hee) . I don't use all the things on the tool but it's handy.

Circle Cutter- It looked like something that would never used - passed it up, glad to hear I was right. I do like my glass mat for cutting with my craft knife.

My rule is be wary of the hype on the next "holy grail" - Just because a bunch of people swear it's the best thing since sliced bread for "them" it may not be for me.

thanks again for posting this was fun.
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:48 AM   #5
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You will LOVE your Rock Paper trimmer!! I got mine brand new on ebay, or I wouldn't have bought it either. (for those shopping, if you can't find a good deal on this, they sell a black version that has extra blade storage instead of mp3 dock. I think it's around $55.) I had a really great guillotine trimmer that I loved. But it was big and bulky, and my cropping location changed so that I needed something more portable. So I bought the RPT. I was shocked at how large it is, but it is SO easy to use!! And the bonus is that I can cut teeny tiny pieces that I never could do on my guillotine.
Seriously, I recommend this trimmer EVERYtime I see somebody wanting a trimmer! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:13 AM   #6
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Stamphappy & Binx- I'm glad to know I'm not alone. It's funny how stuff like that happens. Hee hee.

Erin- I'm so glad to hear I'm going to love it as much as I hoped. I think mine is that garish pink. Oh well. My 5 year old will LOVE it. I'm tempted to buy a stupid mp3 just to use it. Snort.
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Old 06-13-2010, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:

Originally Posted by ChautonaView Post
Stamphappy & Binx- I'm glad to know I'm not alone. It's funny how stuff like that happens. Hee hee.

Erin- I'm so glad to hear I'm going to love it as much as I hoped. I think mine is that garish pink. Oh well. My 5 year old will LOVE it. I'm tempted to buy a stupid mp3 just to use it. Snort.
Mine is the teal/green. I have a teeny craft space right now, and I'm not always so careful with my RPT, and I knock it over and kick it a lot (it stands up beneath my table) and I noticed a piece had broken off of the blade housing. I still cuts fine, but I was worried if it somehow started to mess up, could I buy another of the housing? So, I e-mailed Fiskar. She didn't tell me where I could get another one (wish she did!) but she said, "I'll just send you one. It will be black, though." I said great. If black is all I can get, than that's fine. Well, it ISN'T black at all. It's ORANGE!!! I haven't replaced it yet, because it still works fine. ANd I don't look forward to putting a touch of that bright orange on my beautiful teal/green trimmer! Oh well. It does EVERYTHING I ever wanted a trimmer to do, and I love it, so what if it has a garish orange on it?
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:59 PM   #8
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I love that kind of customer service. Better orange than broken.

You could, however, spend a couple of bucks on spray paint for plastic and paint it... (the piece, not the whole trimmer. Even black would be better...
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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Hey all...

I love this thread. I have an addition.
CRICUT...bought it, had to have it as both my sisters have one. Accumulated 36 cartridge, extra blades, mats, deep housing blade, wheeled tote etc. Never used it so sold the whole shot......bought:

SLICE..love this..have almost every card offered for it, have the little desk organizer for it and all the goodies and I love this cutter. The footprint is much smaller so I can keep it out and in reach so I use it. This was a great choice for me.

blessings.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:13 AM   #10
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*fingers hover over the google keys.... to search or not to search...*
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:57 PM   #11
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Stamp-a-ma-jig- Know I need one, haven't bought it yet.

Score board- Not convinced i need this yet..

Big Shot- Soooo glad I bought this one!

ATG- Haven't invested yet, seems inevitable though. Had a project I did last year not hold together, so I need a better adhesive.

Punches- Have always been addicted to these, trying to convince myself I don't need more (not too many more)!

Trimmer- My Fiskars works ok, been eyeing the Tonics, but not ready to spend the $$ yet. Why do they keep changing these things? I had a little Xacto I absolutely loved, but Staples dropped the line and I couldn't get new blades.

Stampin' Up! Never connected with a demo. Don't understand the devotion. have a CM demo friend, but their products are just too expensive.


Crop-o-dile- Almost bought one when a local WM had it for $10, but couldn't think what I'd use it for.

Copic- Have to take a class to try before I rush in. Thinking I'd rather invest in Prismacolor pencils. But the samples I've seen by other copic users do look pretty.

Cricut- Best craft tool I ever bought. I love the versatility of cutting in whatever size I want. With Design Studio and the abiliy to combine images, there isn't much I can't make with it. I have the BS for the rest. I do feel like I have to slow down on the cartridges, although the new Lite carts are sooo cute! And I was just going to buy it for the Disney stuff!

Craft Spots- Not sure what this is, but I mainly have Tim Holtz Distress Inks and love them!

Cutter Tool- Nope, don't want it.

Circle Cutter- Use it occasionally, have an oval one too, actually like the CM ones when I am not using my Cricut.

[B]SU White Card Stock- Never tried, I am not into designer CS (gasp!). If I'm putting in an album, I don't care how think it is.

Flower embellishments- Really like these, need to use them more.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Erin in OkcView Post
You will LOVE your Rock Paper trimmer!! I got mine brand new on ebay, or I wouldn't have bought it either. (for those shopping, if you can't find a good deal on this, they sell a black version that has extra blade storage instead of mp3 dock. I think it's around $55.) I had a really great guillotine trimmer that I loved. But it was big and bulky, and my cropping location changed so that I needed something more portable. So I bought the RPT. I was shocked at how large it is, but it is SO easy to use!! And the bonus is that I can cut teeny tiny pieces that I never could do on my guillotine.
Seriously, I recommend this trimmer EVERYtime I see somebody wanting a trimmer! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I do mine!
Ok I have read serveral favorable reviews for the Rock Paper Trimmer in the past, so I just googled it on Amazon and found the teal one for $35 including shipping...sounded like a good price as compared to the sale price of $39.99 I saw a month ago so I took the plunge and ordered it. I actually sometimes want to play my ipod while I am stamping but am using too many outlet plugs to plug in my speakers...and I love my CARL but can't cut under 2 " widths ...so this might be right up my alley. This will be my eight trimmer in as many years... I hope this one sticks!
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:30 AM   #13
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i love the look/size of rock paper trimmer. but i don't want nor need speakers
can someone link one the is atleast 6'' on platform.
i hate opening & closing the ones that can't do 6'' cuts
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Old 06-15-2010, 07:58 PM   #14
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Stamp-a-ma-jig- Nope. I mostly use digi stamps. Lol, I was printing my own stuff ten, twelve years ago.

Score board- Bought the big Scor-It-All for half price, and it is a great tool.

Big Shot- Have the Cuttlebug instead. Got a good price for a used one on Ebay, and I like that it folds up. I only use it for embossing, and I love that I can make my own embossing mats with the Cricut.

ATG- Didn't like the size or the price of the gun but wanted the inexpensive tape. So I have a Glue Glider Pro with ATG tape.

Punches- I only have a corner punch (and whatever I can cut with my Cricut!)

Trimmer- I'm making due with a Cutterbee until I can get a Dahle for my birthday. I will have to look into the Rock Paper Trimmer, though.

Stampin' Up!- Sorry, nope. I can find similar stuff for less.

Crop-o-dile- I have the big one. It was on clearance at Christmas so my hubby got it for me. Love the ease of the hole punch. It is worth it just for that alone. I had to punch two holes in fifty booklets, each with 10 pages. I would have killed my hand with a traditional hole punch, but the COD (lol, like that?) made it no big deal.

Copic- Bought the 48 Prismacolor pencil set and Gamsol instead. Paid 1/3 of the regular price on Ebay.

Cricut- Best (i.e. most fun!) purchase of my life. I mostly use SCAL with it, and I do know I could have bought a better cutter for that purpose, but Cricut is leaps and bounds beyond everyone else in the design department. Sometimes I do want to pop in a cart, and they have the best stuff. I have gotten so much use out of the Paper Doll carts alone. And I would have never had the time to design all that myself.

Craft Spots- Nope, but I do have a bunch of Clearsnap's Cat's Eye Queues. I put tabs on them, and they hang under a shelf by my desk. I use them for inking edges, stamping, etc. Love them. And if you get them with a coupon, they are only $5.

Cutter Tool- Nope.

Circle Cutter- Nope.

SU White Card Stock- If I were to buy some good stuff I would get Papertrey. They have much better reviews.

Flower embellishments- Have never bought any. But I do love to make them. Why buy what you can make?
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:56 PM   #15
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LOVING this rock Paper Trimmer. AMAZING
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #16
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Oh you girls are a crack up. Love this!!! Its great to see how devoted everyone with to the hobby!!! I just wish half of the products that you talk about are as cheap as they are there as in Aust!

oooo I just checked out your blog Chautona, and i LOVE IT!!! You are just so creative! I was looking at the Vintage friends set from SU that you have used in a mustard yellow card. So cute!!! Have only seen ppl use it in purples before!

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