Book ’em … the Easy Way

I love making little books for various occasions — some I keep, many I give away. But I also love taking the easy way, which I found using two machines: the Cinch by We R Memory Keepers and the Zutter Bind-it-all. Both are good and easy to use.

Here are some projects:

First, this one was made using the Cinch and coasters I picked up for $1!

Cinch strong coffee book 345 DSC_0311

Here’s a look at the inside and a close-up of the cover:

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(I used a lot of scraps to make the inside pages — yay for using scraps!)

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Stay tuned for a Zutter-bound book!

Thanks for visiting.

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CHA Highlights — We R Memory Keepers

The engineers at We R Memory Keepers  deserve medals for constantly coming up with the best crafting tools I didn’t know I needed. Let’s look at a few that debuted at the 2016 Craft & Hobby Association MEGA Show (and some old ones that need to be noted).

Two on my must-have list are the Alphabet Punch Board and the Goodie Bag Guide.

WeRMK alphabet punch board

WeRMK alphabet punch board

The Alphabet Punch Board (coming in February) creates any letter or number up to 3×5 inches in size with a few simple punches. (Don’t worry, there’s a guide book.) Use them for signs, cards, on scrapbook pages or create a banner. For banners, you’ll also want the Link Punch, which punches out a paper link. Here’s a great video link.

Goodie Bag Guide: This acrylic tool looks a bit like an oddly shaped ruler. It guides you in tearing and folding goodie bags. And if you want to add food to the bag, make it from their food safe, grease resistant glassine paper. It’s a treat you’ll want to repeat.

WeRMK party bag finished

WeRMK party bag finished

The Magnetic Staple Board (coming in April) let’s you staple ANYWHERE! The board comes with a small, medium and large stapler. You move the magnetic board into position on your paper, insert the desired stapler in the slot, and press away.

WeRMK anywhere stapler

WeRMK anywhere stapler

And here are some random things I love:

I love the look of letterpress, but hate using the thick oil-based letterpress ink. Ta da! Letterpress ink in a pad! Be still my heart! There are even gold and silver inks. Can’t wait to try this.

Get your foil on with the Heatwave tool, a battery-operated wand-like tool that lets you apply foil in your designs, using heat to transfer foil. Simply go over the foil, drawing your own designs or working through a stencil. Magic.

Confetti Punch – I don’t know why I need this, but I do. Have you ever spend hours punching out tiny bits of confetti? This punch makes it easier because it punches out multiple dots of various sized pieces. Shaker cards anyone?

Another kit I didn’t know I needed is the Mini Piñata. Especially the donkey.

Other cool tools include the Laser Square and Mat, a boon for perfect aligning (coming in March); a gem die that cuts out two gem shapes, a popular trend today; lots of 3D projects; more Next Level deep embossing folders; a snappy storage system (literally – there’s a bar and snaps and you just snap on the containers); ruler décor (yes, you create wall hangings with these rulers); and … maybe the oddest thing … a DIY teepee kit.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Find — Embossing Plates

I love these new embossing strips from We R Memory Keepers. Unlike a larger plate that does an entire card front, these plates emboss small portions, offering great versatility. And they have a nifty grid to help keep things straight. We R Memory emb folders Here are some ideas: WRMK emb camera 627 DSC_0587 Isn’t the camera wonderful? I used it three times to create the background. Then I took the  “thank you” plate, embossed it on scrap paper, cut it out and used it for the greeting. Here’s a detailed shot: WRMK Emb plate camera 627 detail DSC_0591 I made a tag with the “just for you” plate: WRMK emboss plate 627 tag DSC_0592 I used Core’dinations paper then sanded the raised portion to get a more distressed look and really show off the embossing. This is the first card I made using the plates: WRMK 627 emb plate cloudes DSC_0588 One always has to be the experiment, right? It’s a little hard to see the embossing on that particular paper, so here is a closer look: WRMK emb plate 628 detail DSC_0589 The heart was made by gluing scraps to another scrap sheet then cutting the heart shape using a Spellbinders’ Media Mixage Hearts One die. (This is one of my favorite ways to use up scraps … affixing them to larger sheets and die cutting shapes.) Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Evolution Revolution

Oh, my, how the Evolution die cutting machine has evolved!

The new and improved version, the Evolution Advanced, has several performance-enhancing features (and it still does letterpress — yay!). One thing I really love is the smaller footprint — the platform folds up so the machine is more compact, making it easy to store (you can also remove the handle.)

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I must admit, I found it tough to pull down the platform panels. But once I did, I found that the bottom suction cups (which become engaged when you pull down the panels) were nice and strong. And I LOVE the storage compartment in the platform.

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The machine still has all the features that make it a wonderful tool — it die cuts and embosses and is compatible with most other dies and embossing folders. The Evolution also has a letterpress kit, sold separately, but a valuable addition. I love the look of letterpress and am anxious to try my letterpress platform in the Advanced.

The Advanced has a new dial system that adjusts the height of the rollers, changing the pressure. The idea is that you don’t have to bother with a variety of mats (just the base plate and one mat). I found the dial stiff and hard to turn, but I’m hoping it will be easier the more I use it. The dial is supposed to eliminate the need for extra mats and shims, but we’ll have to see if mine gets easier to turn. Once I figured out the right dial level, the base plate ran through like a dream.

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One other cool option — a motor! Yes, you can buy a plug-in motor that runs the whole shebang for you. This will be a boon to anyone who has hand issues.

Here is a quick tag I made using the dies that come with the machine and an embossing folder I’ve had for a while:

evolution 583 tag DSC_0574

The Evolution was originally sold by Lifestyle Crafts, then by We R Memory Keepers, and now by American Crafts.
Here’s a good video that shows what the Evolution Advanced can do:

What are your thoughts on die cutting machines?

Thanks for stopping by!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Crafty News

Today, some news from the craft world.

We R Memory Keepers, makers of such great tools as the Crop-a-Dile, Envelope Punch Board and much more, has purchased the Lifestyle Crafts brand. Lifestyle makes the Evolution machine, which does letterpress, die cutting and dry embossing.

To celebrate, We R is having a giveaway. Check it out here.

Next week, I’ll show off some new dies. Have a crafty weekend!

Cards for Soldiers

Last Friday I posted some info on Operation Write Home — an organization that sends handmade cards to troops so they can send cards home. I am also having a We R Memory Keepers paper give-away on my blog (deadline for entries is Father’s Day. See my Friday blog for more details.)

Anyhoo…. I have made a bunch of cards to send to WRMK and Operation Write Home. Here are a few:

Many soldiers have children back home, so I wanted to make some child-centric cards. I thought it would be fun to make some “interactive” cards — cards that children can color! (It didn’t hurt that I just got some gorgeous bright papers from Die Cuts With a View!) So I ran few sheets through various embossing folders (the pink embossed design is from Lifestyle Crafts), stamped some owls (Hero Arts) and a two-word instruction (hee hee … stamped with a tiny Hero Arts alphabet set). Fast, easy, and I hope fun!

Here’s the boy version:

Almost all the same stuff, but the embossing folder is by Sizzix (maybe a Tim Holtz design?).

One more color-me-in design:

This was a fun background. I started with a diagonal embossing folder (Lifestyle) and then turned the folder so that I created a cross-hatch pattern on the top half. Here’s a close-up:

Isn’t that fun? The elephant is an old one from Magenta …. the sentiment also an old one from Hero Arts.

Thanks for coming by!