Archive | November 14, 2011

Operation Clean Slate: Week 2 – Identifying Road Blocks

In week one of Operation Clean Slate, you compiled a list of the projects from 2011 that you are behind on. Then you picked one to work on completing before 2011 is over. And you started work by gathering all your supplies together.

But there’s a hitch in the plan. One you probably don’t realize is there.

Why haven’t you finished this project already? I’ll bet in the time you’ve been working on your Operation Clean Slate project (whatever it is) you’ve finished many other things. So why haven’t you completed this project?

We’re going to figure out why.

Take a good hard look at your project. So what is holding you back? Are you short on content? Are you trying to force yourself to work with supplies that aren’t right for you? Are you pushing yourself to do complex techniques that you really don’t want to do? Once you figure out what the road blocks are, you can figure out how to get around them! (Because doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is, after all, the definition of insanity – right?) Continue Reading →


Review | American Crafts Cutup Cartridge Trimmer

What is the first tool I recommend a new scrapbooker start with? A paper trimmer.

The staple of every crafting stash, this most frequently used tool is very rarely the star of the show – but today it is going to get some time in the spotlight. From my time working as a scrapbook store manager to the years I worked with Fiskars, I have seen a lot of paper trimmers. I have given demonstrations and done educational events (with Fiskars), and I have my preferences for sure. In fact, I am still using the same desktop rotary trimmer that I have been since 2006. It’s not perfect – but it is a wonderful tool I have been recommending since I first got it from Fiskars.

When it comes to paper trimmers, I strongly believe one with a rotary blade is the way to go. The initial investment is always more, but the quality is worth the $40-$60 the average rotary trimmer costs. A rotary trimmer has an effective blade that rarely needs to be changed, will always cut straight thanks to the usually metal cutting bars that won’t warp or bend, and can cut through felt, chipboard, fabric, and other materials easily. In short, I believe a quality trimmer that utilizes a rotary blade is a great investment for any paper crafter.

American Crafts invited me to try their new Cutup Cartridge Paper Trimmer, and today I’m going to talk about its features and benefits, as well as less desirable traits. Over the last two weeks, I have crafted heavily with this, even used it to cut paper for several classes that I taught at a local store. Having heavily field tested the trimmer, I am ready to share with you my findings. Continue Reading →