Year End Round Up

organization, other crafts, Personal stuff No Comments »

This won’t be much of a round-up but I thought I’d end the year with a blog post.

I’ve had this week off and it’s been a relaxing and somewhat productive time.

I’ve read 6 books (3 that I got for Christmas and 3 that I bought after Christmas), crocheted a new throw for the tv room, baked bread, made lots of meals in the Instant Pot, did a half-decent gutting out of my craft room (I could do better but I love my stuff!!!!), and even made a quick wood sign for my kitchen this afternoon!

In other news, my older brother sent me a heat press so that’s exciting!  Rich (DH) had bought me a Cricut Easy Press for Christmas but this unexpected gift has a few more bells and whistles.  I returned the Easy Press and bought a piece of furniture to hold the larger heat press as it weighs about 60 lbs and I didn’t really have appropriate real estate in my craft room.  Special thanks to DH who came to the rescue when I started to put the cart together – the parts were well-labelled but there were a zillion pieces!  I went with a mobile cart as the press is the swing-away type and I wanted to make sure there was plenty of room to move the hot plate out of my way while using the machine.

I haven’t used the press other than to test it to make sure it functions but it did a fabulous job melding the heat transfer vinyl to a scrap of cotton and it was MUCH faster than using the iron.  Should be a very cool toy!

That’s about it for my last post of the year.  I hope everyone had a great Christmas break and that 2018 brings you much health and happiness.

A Few Reviews

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Now that Christmas is over and I’m back to my usual routine, I’m doing my annual craft room clean out.

This is the time of year where I gather up the supplies I don’t/won’t use anymore and sell, toss, or donate them as applicable.  Like most people, I don’t find it easy to get rid of things that I’ve spent my hard-earned money on but there’s no point holding on to things that take up valuable space in my craft room.

Because I do find it hard to edit the room, I take frequent breaks (i.e. procrastinate!)  My latest break had me trying out my new flush cutters and I though I’d take a moment to “review” them.

Xcelite General Purpose Cutter (170cm/5″)  THUMBS UP!

xcelite

I asked for these as a Christmas gift because I have a lot of trouble separating cutting dies without leaving a lot of sharp little “barbs” of metal and I sometimes can’t even fit my regular wire cutters between two dies to snip the joins.

While the cutters don’t cut all the barbs completely flush, they do cut them enough so that the remaining bits of metal are not sharp and I also found it relatively easy to fit the blade between dies so I’m quite pleased with the purchase.  The cutters were less than $9 CAD on Amazon and I think they are well worth the time I’ll save and the frustration I will avoid when separating dies.

Taylored Expressions Little Bits Snowman and Penguin dies (Penguin not pictured): THUMBS DOWN.

little bits

When I saw these dies, I thought they were so cute and would make great magnets for Christmas gifts but the pieces are so tiny and fiddly that they are not particularly fun to work with and I doubt I’ll ever use them again.  Unless you enjoy working with teeny, tiny pieces of cardstock (and trying to pry them off the plate of your die cutter without damaging them), I’d give the whole “Little Bits” line a miss.

Doodlebug Sweet Things Collection: THUMBS UP!

sweet things sweet things stickers

These are adorable!  I haven’t started crafting with them yet but the colours are so cute and I can’t wait to make a batch of little notebooks/cards with the stickers (they are flat paper stickers – not puffy or shiny – but the price is very reasonable)

That’s it for reviews today.  Must get back to organizing the room so I can use it again.

Enjoy your Saturday.

New Marker Storage!

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marker banner

While I am working on the cutest Valentine project, the marker storage system I ordered (compliments of my younger brother who gave me a “universal gift certificate” for Christmas!) arrived this morning.  I think I had it 10 whole minutes before heading to my craft room to “install” it.

The system I ordered is the Spectrum Noir Marker storage trays.  You get a set of 6 trays in a box and each tray holds 12 markers (yes, 72 markers per set).  The trays are stackable and can be staggered at a slight angle or aligned vertically.  There are channels on the side of the trays so if you wanted them side by side (think 2×3 trays instead of 1×6) you could do that as well.  The channel system keeps the unit sturdy and stable.  While I do have a handful of Spectrum Noir markers (picked up during a trip to the States a couple of years ago – they were on super sale at Archivers and I wanted to try them out) I use Copic markers – which do fit in these trays.

I actually ordered 2 sets of trays as I have just under 144 Copic Markers.  I’m not really planning on expanding my collection – I’m currently focused on refills – I probably only have refills for 15% of my collection – so the 2 sets of trays should be fine for my needs for quite some time.

Previously, I kept all my markers in a $3.00 USD metal tub that I bought at Target (during the same shopping spree while in the US).  The tub worked until my markers outgrew the space.  Once there were too many markers in there, they tended to pop out of the tub and sometimes fell down into the tub which made finding the right marker a bit difficult.

Here’s the old “system” (apologies for the quality of the picture…My Ott lamp was on):

marker storage before

As you can see, a handful of markers are popping out of the tub and they’d fall out on to the work top as I was digging around for the right marker.

…and here’s the new system.  I chose to connect them on an angle and I stacked all 12 trays in one tower as my horizontal space is sacrosanct to me.

marker storage after

If you look at the bottom tray, you’ll see a few Spectrum Noir markers (the purple array) and a Copic “Ciao” blender directly to the right of them.  In the trays directly above, the 3rd and 4th marker are regular Copics (I use Sketch but got the regular Copics and the Ciao as part of my package during my certification course).  So, whether you use Spectrum Noir, or Sketch, Ciao or regular Copics, this system would work for you (Wide Copics won’t fit in the trays).

…and here’s a sneak peek at my current project:

sneak peek valentine



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