Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cutterpilla Crop Trimmer review

Today I am going to do something I have never done before, review a product I have bought myself.

 I decided to invest in the new Cutterpilla Crop Trimmer. This is the smaller of the 2 Cutterpilla trimmers that are on the market as I write this review. I say invest because the price is quite high for a craft trimmer but it comes with a lifetime guarantee for the blade which sharpens itself each time you cut with it, so technically you should have this trimmer for many years to come. That is what they say but how good is it ?? Well it arrived this morning and I have put it through its paces.

   For those who don't know me, let me tell you a little of my crafting background. I have been paper crafting now for over 25 years. For the past 10 years it has become my addiction and I craft at least 4 days a week, designing for 3 small companies as well as making all my own cards and anything else I can think up. I will use anything I can get my hands on, crafting mainly mixed media altered art style craft. So as you can see my tools get used a lot and have to cope with many different materials.

 Over the years I have had 5 trimmers which all except the Woodware rotary trimmer I have now, have either broke or the blades have been taken off the market as the trimmers get redesigned.
     I have loved my Woodware trimmer but they have now redesigned that one too The problem with it was the blade housing. It was large and would over time get loose so it eventually didn't cut straight and then falls off, which happened to my first one. The one I have now is starting to work loose too, so I had started to look for a new trimmer. It is very unlike me to be the first to buy something in my crafting group of friends but I was impressed by this new trimmer and so took a deep breath and bought it!

     To replace my Woodware trimmer for the new model would cost between £15 - £20 and you need to replace the plastic cutting strips now and again, they are about £2 for 2 strips, so not expensive.
 
      I paid £62.99 for my Cutterpillar Crop which also came with 50 sheets of 12x12 card from Create and Craft ( I am in their club with gave me my 10% discount. It would be worth you joining if you wanted to buy this trimmer from them ) There is nothing else I would need to buy for this trimmer except the batteries for the light which don't come with the trimmer.

    So the trimmer - Sorry about the dark pictures I took them during a thunder storm!


It comes in its own carry box with a nice handle on the top for storage or taking to your clubs etc




It comes with instructions but to be honest all you need to do it lift it out and pop some batteries in.


The first thing I noticed was how heavy it was! The metal parts are very good quality. I am not sure about the plastic part, especially the arm that lifts out. It feels quite thin and I am worried it will eventually break. Only time will tell with that. 

They tell you not to pick it up by the metal bar, which is hard not to do, as there are gears under it which guide the blade. If you try to pick it up on the side where the arm is then the arm gives way a bit too, so its best to go top and bottom. All little things to get used to.

So then I took it upstairs to my craft room to cut things!!


It has an extremely bright strip of LED lights down the cutting side which shows you where the blade cuts. As I get migraines I am not sure how long I can use those for as they are soooo bright but when you are cutting 12 inch paper it dose help a lot.

So to the cut .......It is amazing! So smooth, a tiny amount of pressure needed and the cut is dead straight. Unlike a rotary or v blade cutter that you use pressure from the top to cut, this one you just push from the side and along. I say push but you need the smallest amount of pressure to make it cut. The blade is well protected too. This would be a great trimmer for you if you have found other trimmers hard to get to cut.

So what would it cut?


I tried - 
Card about 280gsm
scrapbook paper
acetate
wax paper
cardboard box card ( the box it came in )
thick packaging card 
A fibrous decorative paper ( the purple stuff in the photo )
Foam core board

It cut them all like a knife through butter! Even the foam core board which I couldn't believe!!


This was how thick the thickest card I could find, cut no trouble! In one cut.


This is foam core, its a sandwich of card, foam and card. Very light but thick. It's the material they make architects models with. Cut amazingly! Again in one cut.

The reason it can do these thick materials is there is no strip to hold your paper etc down. I have read some reviews that said they didn't like that because the paper slipped when they cut it. I can understand that but it dose have the huge advantage in being able to cut thicker things and I have not had a problem with paper slipping so far.

As I mentioned it has an arm to pull out so you can cut 12x12  paper and card. That locks into place smoothly and is easy to read. What about cutting a particular size piece of card though? How easy is that??


I cut a 3 inch square, which I found easy as it had a square grid on the trimmer so you can square your card up nicely.

It was also accurate too when I checked with a ruler


How about cutting 12x12 as a full piece??


This is where the light really did come into its own. You could see where it cut easily and it cut the whole length of the 12 inch side, no problem.

What about the quality of the cut though? Dose it feather the card??


I have tried to photograph it, The card I cut is the purple piece, it is as clean as a whistle. I have even got the magnifying glass out to look at it and I can't see any feathering. It sharpens the blade each time you cut with it so it should look like that in 10 years time too.


Well there we have it. There are a few things that will take a little getting used to but that is the same for all new tools. 

Overall first impressions, I really like it. Its easy to cut with, cuts many different things and has a very clean cut too.

Pros - 
*An easy gliding cutting motion using hardly any pressure.
*Sharpens its blade every time so no blades to buy ( lifetime guarantee )
*Cuts straight and clean every time due to gear system.
*Nice grid on bed of trimmer so easy to measure.
*Cuts many different materials with the same clean cut.

Cons - 
*It's heavy but that's because of the quality metal in it
*Difficult to pick up, perhaps I just need to get used to it?
*Quality of the plastic used appears thin and I am worried about the arm breaking but only time will tell on that one.
*You need to measure at the top of the trimmer as there are no markings at the bottom. I have always measured mainly at the bottom of my trimmers but you can't do that with this one due to the way the blade works, it doesn't cut right the way to the bottom of the trimmer bed. Again something different to get used to and as I cut sitting down might be difficult.

So quite difficult to find fault. I admit this is just a first impression review but overall I am pleased I jumped in and bought it and I am looking forward to using it for many years to come.

If you are thinking of getting one and have a question you would like to ask me please email me and I will give you my honest answer. It is quite a lot of money for a trimmer but at the time of writing this review I am pleased I did.

Thanks for staying with me to the end, I know it was a bit of a long one but I hoped it helped.










Saturday, September 10, 2016

Knowledge digital pages

Kyrsty Scrapbook Designs has another new digital kit out. Its part of a regular themed collaboration by all the kit designers at Mischief Circus, This time the theme is Knowledge.
You can find it here at Mischief Circus - http://www.mischiefcircus.com/shop/product.php?productid=23901&cat=&page=

 I am one of Kyrsty's designers and so here are my 2 digital pages for this kit



Friday, September 09, 2016

Rosette card

 It's been a while since I posted last as I have been battling my migraines again. Unfortunately the worst thing for me to do while I am in a migraine phase is look at a back lit screen like a laptop or tablet. Now though I am on the mend and able to post again!

   So today I am going to show you how I made this really fun card using the Craftwork Cards Bohemian Dreams kit for The Fruit Pixie who I design for.


These rosettes are very easy to make and you can make them any size you like. The only thing you need to keep in mind is the larger the rosette the wider and longer the strip of paper needed but you can easily stick 2 strips together to get the length you need. I would do that after you have scored and folded them.

OK, to make your rosette you will need a strip of paper, a score board ( you could use a ruler to measure and then fold but it dose take a bit of patience to do that but it can be done ) and some wet glue.


First cut your strip of paper, this one is about 1 inch wide, place on your score board, I am using a Hougie Board on the cm side.


Score down each mark and then fold up as shown. Now if I wanted a larger rosette I would use a wider strip of paper and score and fold a second or even third strip and then stick them together.


Glue your folded strip into a circle using a wet glue as shown. I do mine so the pattern you want for the front is on the outside of the circle, you will see why in the next step. Then cut 2 circles of card or paper. These circles are the top and bottom of your rosette and give you a base to glue the rosette too. I have the larger one on the bottom and the small one on the top. You can use any scrap card for the bottom as it won't be seen but the top one needs to be from a coordinating paper or card as it will be seen.


Take your larger circle and put a generous amount of wet glue onto it and put it to the side but within reach. Then the bit that some people find a little tricky, take your rosette and using your fingers push gently out and down on the top of the circle. Your rosette will then fold down flat. While keeping your fingers on the flattened rosette bring your glue covered circle in and place glue side down onto the middle of your flattened rosette. If you let go it will spring back up again, if that happens just do the same as you did before to flatten it again. That is why you have the back on the inside of your circle. If you change your mind or forget that bit you can turn them over carefully but they can sometimes fight back!!


I then put something on top of the rosette immediately to hold the base in place for it to dry.


Once it has dried you can turn your rosette over and glue the other circle onto the top. I still put a small circle onto my rosette even if I am going to add a button or other decoration as it helps stabilise the finished rosette.

So that's how you make your rosettes, all I did to make up my card is make several rosettes in different sizes using the different papers in the pad, of course the are all double sided which gives you so many choices!


I used a couple of the papers as a background and then layered up the rosettes and added some buttons.


To finish off I also added some of the Candi that comes in the kit using tiny foam pads and one of the sentiments from another of the papers.

I was really pleased with this card, so bright and summery!

You can find the Craftwork cards Bohemian Dreams paper kit in The Fruit Pixie shop here - 
 http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/craftwork-cards-8-x-8-collection-pack-bohemian-dreams-25673-p.asp

A wonderful selection of buttons here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/buttons-34-c.asp

3D foam that fit the Candi here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/stix-2-3d-foam-pads-black-2045-p.asp


  







Friday, August 26, 2016

New Beginnings digital pages

I have been designing for Krysty Scrap Designs for a while now but the owner and designer has taken a break for a time. Now though she is back designing digital kits again and her new kit New Beginnings is out on Monday

  I have made 2 digital pages for her using this kit -



           
 You can buy the kit through Mischief Circus here                             - https://www.mischiefcircus.com/shop/product.php?productid=23873


Friday, August 12, 2016

Craftwork cards quick cards

 I have been using the beautifully summery Craftwork cards Bohemian dreams paper kit for The Fruit Pixie. I really, really love this kit. Its right up my street.

    What I love about Craftwork cards and I have been using their products for many years now, is they give you plenty of each paper design so you can cut them up without feeling that you are wasting a design.

 So this is what I have done with these cards, they were very quick and easy to make but I think look modern and fresh.

 For the first 2 cards all I have used is the papers. So if you have never made a card before you could easy make these cards and I promise you will be up and running.


For this card I cut a square of the wheelbarrow paper around the pattern on the paper and then just cut out some butterfly's from another of the papers in the pad. The sentiment was also from one of the papers. All you need to make this card and in fact all of the cards in this post, is this paper pack and a pack of cards and envelopes. I will add all the links below.

For card 2 - 


Again a super easy card, just using the papers from the pack. I cut the typewriter out from one sheet and then used some of the other paper designs ( remember they are all double sided so have a different pattern on the reverse ) to cover the bottom part of the card to "ground" your main image. I then punched some little hearts out of the red paper using one of my heart paper punches and added one of the sentiments from the papers which is full of little sentiments. So there you have it, another card just using the papers.

Card 3 - 


As well as the wonderful papers in this kit you also get some lovely pre-cut toppers. I have used one of them for this card. Again very simple, I started by rounding off the corners of my card, you can buy a punch to do that for you but you can also just round them with scissors. I then cut a square of the paper and also rounded the corners there. I cut the red scalloped circle from one of the red papers using one of my dies and added one of the borders, again cut from one of the papers. Again a nice card made just using the card kit and a card blank.

As well as the papers, all double sided and the toppers in this kit, you also get pretty butterflys and bunting, all cut out for you and of course the Craftworkcards famous Candi!

You can find this lovely kit in The Fruit Pixie shop here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/craftwork-cards-8-x-8-collection-pack-bohemian-dreams-25673-p.asp

The card packs here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/card-blanks-374-c.asp

A set of the scalloped circle dies here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/spellbinders-die-petite-scalloped-circles-large-25815-p.asp


I hoped you like my quick cards using this lovely kit from Craftworkcard and will give card making a try if you have never tried before. I promise you can get this great results with this quality kit.

If you have any questions just ask below and I will be happy to help. 





Friday, July 29, 2016

Chemistry cards

  Now, I have lots of mens cards to make for our family, my sister has two teenage boys and as their birthdays come around I find myself searching for something I can use that they will like. The youngest, Luke had his birthday yesterday and as he is doing his A levels which include sciences, I thought these stamps and stencils from IndigoBlu from The Fruit Pixie would be perfect.

  I ended up making 3 different cards, all using everyday card blanks. I decided to use my Gelli plate to make the backgrounds using acrylic paint.

 For my first card ( and the card I ended up giving to Luke ) I used the IndigoBlu wierd science stencil for the boarders along the top and bottom. Then the IndigoBlu periodic table stamp to make the background.




The Albert Einstein quote came from the IndigoBlu Chemistry Lab stamp set which I stamped and then cut apart for the card.


The test tubes are also from the Cheistry Lab set which I have stamped onto card I have painted using my Gelli plate and cut out .



For the second card I used a DL card blank but have used it landscape instead of portrate. Again the base colour was applied with my Geilli plate.


I used the Wierd Science stencil to add the dotty border.


The stamp for the background was from the Chemistry Lab set.


I used the Periodic table stamp again stamped onto Gelli platted card. the little flasks were also stamped onto painted cardstock and cut out.


The final card, another 6x4 card blank painted using my Gelli plate.


I stamped the Periodic table onto the card.


Stamped the flasks onto 2 different painted card and cut them out compleatly from 1 of the card colours but only cut the liquid in the flasks out of the other so you could layer them to look like the flasks have liquid inasde


I then stamped the second quote from the Chemistry Lab stamp set, cut it apart and applied to the card to finish.

These stamps and stencils from IndigoBlu are so different, I really like them and think they are perfect for thoses sciency people in your lives.

You can find the stencil in The Fruit Pixie online shop here - 

http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/indigo-blu-stencil-weird-science-26201-p.asp

The stamps I used here - 

http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/indigoblu-rubber-stamp-plate-chemistry-lab-26171-p.asp

Card blanks here - 

http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/card-blanks-374-c.asp























Seaside Zine

As part of my design team duties for the Tangie Baxter and Co Art Journal Emporium I write a blog post each month. This month Tangie had this wonderful idea, members of the emporium would make and share little Zines with each other. I loved this idea and so wrote my blog post about my Seaside Zine.

  These little books are so easy to make and I had such fun making mine, all cut and paste work. I made the background using my Gelli plate. All the images are from Tangie Baxter and Co

  You can find out exactly how I did it with step by step photos on the Tangie Baxter and Co blog
here - http://shoptangiebaxter.com/blogs/news/oh-i-do-like-to-be-beside-the-seaside-zine-by-katrina-rollings

 Also information about the Art Journal Emporium, which is fantastic value here - http://shoptangiebaxter.com/

  Finally here is my little Zine -






If you like to art journal or would like to get started, I can recommend the Art Journal Emporium, I was a member for many years before I joined the design team and it really is lots of fun.


Friday, July 08, 2016

Tiney fairy book

 I have another little project to show you using the beautiful Graphic 45 Enchanted Forest paper collection and the sweet little Woodware Chippies Tiney books chipboard set I have made for The fruit Pixie online shop.

  Woodware Chippies are blank chipboard shapes you can paint or cover, depending on what you are making. I have used the Tiney books set, well half of the set, to make my little book.


For the base of the book I just covered the book pages, both sides, with some of the Graphic 45 Enchanted Forest background 12x12 paper and cut the ribbon slips. Remember to do this before you cover the reverse side or you will never find them!


I then used the images from the Dazzling Damsel 8x8 background paper to collage my pages.


All of the word strips are from the Gilded grandure 8x8 paper, as well as the cute little stamps on the front cover too. I believe in fairies is a stamp from the Enchanted Forest stamp set 1.


I then used some ribbon to compliment the book to tie it all together. 
TIP- For the ribbon ties, place a pencil on the ribbon before you tie the knot so you have room to turn the pages.


As you can see its a sweet little book and great fun to make.

You can find the Woodware Chippies Tiney books here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/woodware-chipboard-414-c.asp

Graphic 45 Enchanted Forest papers and stamps here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/enchanted-forest-696-c.asp

Ribbons here - 
http://www.thefruitpixie.co.uk/may-arts-ribbon-410-c.asp

I think this would be a great project for the children to make and the summer holidays are just around the corner too!