Saturday, 8 December 2007

What's going on your wish-list?

What are you going to put on your wish-list of scrapping goodies this Christmas? To help with the choice, we've done some playing and come up with a list of possibilities.


Cutting letters and shapes and embossing - this little marvel does them all. Just place the die and your card or paper between the plates and turn the handle and you have a perfectly cut letter or shape. Slip a piece of card into the embossing folder and turn again and you have a really well-defined design.

Opening the front and back of the Cuttlebug operate the suction pad in the base of the machine which holds it firmly on the table and stops it moving around as you wind the dies through. This is very effective and really did hold the Cuttlebug in place.

I tried a border die set first. It cut perfectly first time, no messing about. And it even cut these little bitty flowers at the same time so I had everything I needed for this card in one turn of the handle! I added some seed beads to the flowers and called it done.

Then I had a go at embossing. It was just as easy! I heat embossed the swirls for a snowy effect and then cut some trees from a sheet of The Paper Company Christmas Fun Trees paper to set on top.

The Cuttlebug will also accept other manufacturers dies using the adapter plate included in the package. This gives it a great versatility and means that if you already have a die cutting system, you won't need to buy all the dies over again.

Artbin Tote Express II

If you like your crop tote to be capacious, this is the tote for you. Two cavernous compartments take umpteen Artbin (or other) storage boxes. Mine holds a 7000, 7 x 4000, a 5000 and a 3000 all in the bottom section. Then I have a Super Satchel and four more 4000 boxes in the top. Plus my scraps folder, folders of foam stamps and a few other bits just for good measure. Thankfully the two parts separate very easily for loading into the car and then go back together just as easily for wheeling into the crop room. Where it sits by my table keeping everything close to hand.

Basic Grey Precision Cutting Mat

This has become my all-time favourite, must-have tool for scrapbooking. The set includes the 15' x 15' mat, a magnetic ruler and eight magnetic tacks. The size of the mat is fantastic when working on a 12" x 12" layout. It allows for diagonal cutting without the risk of running off the edge of the mat. And cutting without measuring is such a time saver. Just place the item on the mat, line it up on the grid, secure it with the magnetic tags and then use the grid or perimeter marking to cut the exact size you need. The magnetic tacks hold the card or paper firmly in place so it doesn't move as you cut.

Making Memories Trimmer

I don't know how many trimmers I've tried since I started scrapbooking way back when. It's the holy grail for anyone who cuts paper and likes it be square to the edge and straight. The Making Memories trimmer looks quite the beast. It's much lighter than it looks and is very portable thanks to its innovative folding platform. The trimmer can be used folded or opened so you won't have to leave it behind if cropping space is going to be tight.

My first test for any trimmer is to cut a strip of paper. I look at the cut edges to check that they're smooth. I then fold the strip to see whether it's the same width at both ends. The MM trimmer passed this with flying colours. I then use the grid on the trimmer to cut a square which I fold diagonally to check whether it really is square. Again the MM trimmer came good with a perfect 6" square.

The feel of the cutting action is also important. The MM trimmer blade glides along its rail very smoothly with little resistance.

That's 3/3 then. Vanessa, you weren't in a hurry for this one back, were you?


The Quickutz may be the ultimate portable cutting system. Just the handle and dies is all you need to be able to cut out a vast number of alphabets and shapes. Lightweight, compact, easy to use and no power or laptop required.


If you need to make a hole, there's nothing like a Crop-a-dile to make it with. Quick, silent and oh so very easy. It'll punch either a 1/16" or 3/16" anything from 1mm to 30mm from the edge. Need an eyelet set? The Crop-a-dile does those too. And it's just as quick, silent and easy as making the hole was. I set a couple of eyelets in the side of this decorated pot in no time at all.

Basic Grey Precision File Set

You're using an emery board or sandpaper to distress your photos, right? Works like a charm, yes? But what do you do when you cover a monogram and there's that really awkward bit at the top of an 'm' or 'h'? Or the inside of an 'a' or 'e'? The Basic Grey Precision File Set was made for this very situation, riding in like a knight in shining armour offering six different files for the job.

Making Memories Tag Maker

What on earth would I want with one of those was my first thought. Then I played and came up with these. Nifty.

The tags come complete with a template which is used to cut out the shape you'll be putting into the tag. Photos, patterned paper, fabric, vellum and card can all be used. The cut shape is simply placed into the tag which is then put into the jaws of the tag maker. A quick press and you're all done.

With this much to choose from, you should have no trouble answering the "What would you like for Christmas?" question. We do hope Santa comes good!

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