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Tag Archives | Westcott

Review | Westcott Titanium Non-Stick 5″ Microtip Scissors

Let’s face it, all crafters want when we go to cut is a good pair of scissors that work. That’s what I get when I use my Titanium-bonded non-stick scissors by Westcott.

t390_91fee57bfa808f0d2d86df09891b5899I’ve had a chance to use these petite scissors recently and am pleased with their cutting ability. I’ve laid them out in classes as well so students could give them a try and the feedback I’ve heard from the students has been favorable too. Continue Reading →

Review | Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium Scissors

I thought I owned all the scissors I needed for my crafting projects but then I received a pair of Westcott Extreme Edge Titanium Scissorsto try.  I had lots of projects going on using a variety of products so I put these to the test.

I needed to cut some burlap strips and muslin pieces and was delighted at just how easily these scissors glided through both types of fabrics. They really did cut “like butter” – I felt no pressure at all and both fabrics were cut with nice clean edges.

Westcott_linda_neff_craft_critique_3 Continue Reading →

CHA Winter 2012: Westcott Scissor Mouse

I must admit, I was concerned when I saw this new product from Westcott.  I love their trimmers and scissors, but I have used “quick cut” tools like this before with great disappointment.  Usually they catch on the paper, don’t cut straight, or only work with a cutting mat.  This tool, on the other hand, does NOT disappoint.
The Scissor Mouse is the size of a computer mouse.  It’s easy to handle and comes in 5 colors.
Cutting paper is a breeze with the Scissor Mouse!  You do not need a cutting mat.  The paper is grabbed by a little tab under the tool that cuts the paper.
The front of the tool has a measuring guide that is very accurate.  Just line your measurement up with the edge of the paper and push straight.  You can cut narrow strips with ease!
Use the Scissor Mouse to cut any lightweight papers.  This would be a perfect tool for the Quiller who needs to cut multiple narrow strips.  Or great for making paper beads.
What do you think?  Would this be a tool you’d like to add to your craft arsenal?
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CHA Summer 2011: Westcott

There’s one thing we can all agree on, the world needs better paper trimmers!  Here’s hoping that Westcott Brands has designed one.  Our reporters can’t wait to get their hands on this to test it!

Designed with a low, stylish platform, this trimmer won’t bend or slip during use.  It features a cutting and scoring blade and the way the blades snap in and out of the track ensures the track won’t bend.  We love the non-slip grip on the blade sliding element, and look forward to testing its accuracy!

Whoa there… what’s this?! These new scissors have an adjustable tension, so no matter if you are cutting denim, or cutting silk, your cuts will be clean! Genius!

We love this new handheld craft knife. It’s pink, it comes with 5 unique blades, and a safety cap, too? Fabulous!

And we love Wendy Russell!  She was making these cute clutches using the new Duck Tape sheets.  The sheets come in multiple colors and patterns and make all your duct tape projects easier! We bet you didn’t even know you had duct tape projects… well duct tape is hot and getting hotter! Check out that flame print! The Westcott blades cut through this stuff like a dream come true.

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CHA Supershow Contests: America’s Next Top Crafter & Fashion Fever

Two exciting contests kept the crowd entertained while wandering from booth to booth at the CHA Supershow on Saturday.

The first of which was America’s Next Top Crafter hosted by the Modern Surrealist, Marisa Pawelko, sponsored by Westcott.

This fast-paced competition pit three crafters against each other in a race against the clock to decorate a scissor holster in the way they felt best represented their crafting style. Each individual had an array of supplies to work with, but only 10 minutes on the clock before each piece was judged by a panel of celebrity judges, which just so happened to include Craft Critique’s very own Editor-in-Chief Sarah Moore! The Double Stitch Twins were also there to lend their expertise as well as Stephanie Girard, author of Sweater Surgery.

After 10 minutes had flown by, each of the contestants explained a bit about their piece. And the winner, Cami, explained that her holster was representative of her home in Mexico. She went home with a very generous prize from Westcott. Great job Cami!  Here’s a shot of all the participants, judges and host of America’s Next Top Crafter:

Another contest that actually began way before the Supershow even started was Fashion Fever. Sponsored by the National Sewing Council, this contest involved having a great imagination and concept of design, not to mention some killer sewing skills. In the months proceeding the show, 7 finalists had been chosen to compete during the show for the grand prize of a trip to Los Angeles for the Winter Supershow in 2011, including hotel and airfare.

Their mission? To create a fantasy themed clothing piece in under 48 hours with just $100 to spend. The piece was to represent Macy’s upcoming Glamorama Fashion Show which will take place August 13th at the Chicago Theatre. This year’s theme for the show is Fashion.Fantasy.Music.Magic. and will star Macy Gray. The finalists were to design a piece with this theme in mind, and imagine the final product being worn on the runway by Macy herself.

Each of the finalists remained hard at work right throughout the show (they began at noon on Friday, and had to be done by 4:00pm on Saturday):






While a couple were professional seamstresses, most were just starting out in the fashion world as students.

Once the pieces were complete, each contestant either wore her own piece or had a model wear it for a highly anticipated finale fashion show before the winner was announced.







After the fashion show all contestants came out for the big announcement. I am in awe at all the designs, what a wonderful job.


The grand prize went to Vanessa from Evanston, Illinois for her dragon inspired design. She said the billowing fabric pieces on the side of the dress represent dragon’s wings. Congratulations Vanessa!

There was so much more to do at the Supershow than I had thought, these contests made it all the more fun. I can’t wait to see what they come up with for next year! What kind of contests would you like to see or participate in?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA Craft SuperShow: Giving back

Along with a whole lot of creativity, crafters also have a lot of heart. Just ask the charitable organizations that participated in the CHA Craft Super Show over the weekend in Chicago.

Several groups reached out to crafters at the event and asked them to share their talents to help others in need by creating a card, sewing a pillowcase or making a donation. And the crafty attendees were more than willing to help out.

Westcott opened its booth to Scrapbook Royalty, which is changing and expanding into CharityWings.org. For a donation, crafters could make a scissor holder and also receive a pair of Westcott scissors.

The money collected was given to Charity Wings, which helps non-profit organizations host unique creativity-based events online and at venues across the country.

Elena Lai Etcheverry founded Scrapbook Royalty in April 2006 with the idea of helping organizations host crops to raise money for their causes. She’s now expanding the volunteer-run, non-profit group to include other types of creative events.

Along with Scrapbook Royalty, the Charity Wing umbrella now includes Creative Wings (mixed media and fine art), Lil’ Wings (a place for kids), Club Royalty (a club that’s all about charity, crafting and sharing) and Brave Girls Club (Brave Girls Camp scholarship fund).

So far, the group has hosted more than 80 events and fundraisers, and collected more than $310,000 for 46 different charities including American Heart Association, Autism Speaks, Boys & Girls Club and Cancer Coping Center.

Charity Wings provides a web site, online registration, donations, silent auction and goody bag donations for the events it helps host.

“We want to raise money and awareness for good causes,” Etcheberry said. “We’re here as a resource.”

During the Super Show, Charity Wings hosted a crop for Crops of Luv, which makes albums for children who were granted a wish through Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The group ConKerr Cancer also was at the Super Show, asking crafters to sew pillowcases to give to children who have cancer or other serious illnesses. During the two-day event, attendees sewed 200 pillowcases for the group.

The Chicago group has sewed 9,000 pillowcases, while nationally the group has delivered more than 200,000 pillowcases.

“We’ve had excellent response. People are saying they don’t know how to sew, but in five to 10 minutes they have it sewn. They’re smiling at the end,” said Susan Abraham with the Chicago chapter. “They’re happy to be sewing it for a kid.”


ConKerr Cancer hosts sewing events or crafters can sew pillowcases in their home and give them to the group. They will also bring sewing machines and fabric to hospitals so children can sew a pillowcase for themselves and for a family member.


The group is sponsoring its first Miles of Pillowcase Smiles the week of Sept. 13-19 with events being planned throughout the country. In the Chicagoland area, an event is planned from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 18 at Our Redeemer’s United Methodist Church in Schaumburg. Check the web site for events through the U.S.

Who wouldn’t smile after seeing all these bright, colorful fabrics?


The local American Cancer Society chapter also had a booth at the Super Show. They were asking attendees to make cards to be given to breast cancer survivors. The cards were left blank so survivors could use them as they’d like.

Over the two days, crafters made 200 cards. They will be given to survivors during the 11th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer five-mile walk that is Oct. 17 in Montrose Harbor.

Look at this basket of card goodness:






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Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight: Westcott Multi-Purpose Trimmers

Reported by Susan Reidy

In the scrapbooking/papercrafting tool arsenal, probably the most used (besides adhesive) is the paper trimmer. For a crafter, finding the ideal trimmer is like finding the Holy Grail.

My tried and true trimmer was starting to cut wonky, so I was more than willing to try out three of Westcott’s multi-purpose trimmers. I affectionately call them Papa Bear (12 in. trimmer), Mama Bear (9 in. trimmer) and Baby Bear (9 in. trimmer that fits in a 3-ring binder).


All three are a lovely shade of aqua blue and are titanium bonded, which Westcott says adds to the performance of its cutting products. Compared to stainless steel, Westcott says titanium is three times harder, stays sharper longer and resists adhesives better.

Let’s start with Papa Bear (12 in.). First off, I like the size and sturdiness of the trimmer. It has a fold out ruler that extends all the way to 17 inches. The ruler locks in place when folded in so you don’t have to worry that it will swing out at an inconvenient time (say like in your bag on the way to a crop).

I also like that the swing out ruler is equally sturdy and stayed straight. The ruler on my previous trimmer would bend too far back, sometimes leading to uneven cuts and measuring.

Speaking of measuring, you can get rather detailed with the Westcott trimmer. Both the cutting arm and swing out ruler are marked in 1/16th increments. The surface of the trimmer is marked with a 1/2 in. grid.

One minor annoyance — the promo material inside the package was taped to the surface of the trimmer. When I lifted it off, some of the tape residue stayed behind. A quick spray of glass cleaner took care of it.

But, it’s a trimmer you say, so how does it cut?

Well, I ran into some difficulty there. I found the blade does not glide smoothly down the track. After a few cuts, I noticed that where there hadn’t been paper while trimming, the blade had actually cut the plastic of the bottom track.

This happened repeatedly, so I have several cuts, and even a few slivers of plastic, out of the track. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to have impacted the trimmer’s ability to cut a straight line. However, I do believe it is part of the reason the blade is a little hesitant going down the track.

I tried the trimmer on several different weights and brands of cardstock including Georgia Pacific, Stampin Up! and Papertrey Ink. It does equally well with all three, making a clean, straight cut.


I like that it cuts accurately, meaning that it cuts where it is supposed to cut. Sounds basic, I know, but I have had other trimmers that cut just a tiny bit left or right of where it looked like it was going to cut. I think it helps that the cutting blade is on the far edge of the cutting arm instead of running down the middle.

Accuracy is especially important for trimming photos. I have piles of school/professional photos that have to be cut apart. The cutting arm holds the slick paper firmly so the blade cuts exactly where I want it to.


The Papa Bear trimmer made it easy to measure and cut these 2.5 in. x 3.5 in. elements and photos for the page above from my Week-in-the-Life scrapbook.


Let’s move onto Mama Bear. It’s appropriate I designated this as the female trimmer, since I think it works best of all. The cutting surface is 9 in. long with a swing out ruler (which also locks in place) that extends to 12 in. Measurements are also in 1/16th increments.

Unlike Papa, the blade glides very smoothly and doesn’t take cuts out of the bottom track. She can slice her way quite nicely through the various types of cardstock and photo paper, just like Papa. Although the cutting arm is smaller, it still holds paper in place so my cuts are accurate.

However, it can’t handle 12 in. x 12 in. paper, a standard scrapbooking size, nor is she big enough to cut an 8.5 in. x 11 in. sheet of paper lengthwise.

Both Mama and Papa come with a scoring blade, which is conveniently labeled as such. It’s also the same shade of blue as the rest of the trimmer, while the cutting blade is green, for instant identification.

Scoring on both sized trimmers works well — both make deep enough indentations for a good fold for card making without cutting through the cardstock. Here’s a card I made, utilizing both the Mama and Papa trimmers.

I found there is enough room to keep the scoring and cutting blades on the trimmers at the same time. However, it is easy to remove the blades and snap them back on, if you’re afraid you’ll cut when you want to score and vice versa.

After a few cuts, I did notice that both Papa and Mama created a tiny lip of paper at the cut line on the back side of the paper (the side that touches the trimmer surface). It’s not big enough to cause me any issues, but it is there.

Last but not least is Baby Bear. This little guy measures 9 in. long and has no swing out ruler. It does have holes so that it can be added to a 3-ring binder for maximum portability.

Baby comes with two cutting blades (bonus!) The cutting arm only lifts about a quarter of the way, which seems odd, but doesn’t make it any more difficult to use. You wouldn’t want to do any significant, detailed measuring on this one because the ruler on the cutting arm is only marked in 1/4 in. increments.

I like that it is big enough to handle an 8.5 in. x 11 in. piece of paper width-wise, which means it can still cut apart those aforementioned piles of professional photos. It also does a nice job cutting some 4 in. x 6 in. photos into wallets.

Don’t let its compact size fool you — this little guy cuts smoothly and is just as accurate as his parents. I like the small size so I can keep it handy in my junk drawer (we all have one, right?) for cutting photos and other quick household stuff (coupons, anyone?).

Overall, I like the Westcott trimmers. In the three plus weeks I used them, the blades didn’t dull, cutting just the same as they did fresh out of the package.

For crafting purposes, I find myself reaching more often for the Mama Bear (9 in.) trimmer. It is big enough to suit my purposes, can handle whatever cardstock I throw at it and cuts smoothly.

Pros:

  • Accurate cutting; sharp blade that lasts
  • Cuts through several weights of cardstock, photo paper and patterned paper.
  • Smooth cutting on the two 9 in. trimmers.
  • Sturdy swing out ruler that locks in place when not in use.
  • Scoring blade included with the 12 in. and 9 in. Two cutting blades with the 9 in., 3-ring binder option.

Cons:

  • The 12 in. trimmer’s blade did not move smoothly and actually cut the blade track.
  • The 9 in. trimmer isn’t large enough to cut an 8.5 in. x 11 in. sheet of paper lengthwise.
  • All trimmers left a tiny lip of paper at the cut on the backside of the paper (the side of paper that touches the trimmer surface).
Westcott’s multi-purpose trimmers are available at major retailers such as Costco and Target.

GIVEAWAY!
Westcott is giving away a prize pack filled with $150 in products to two lucky readers.

To Enter
Leave a comment on this post or any Vendor Spotlight: Wescott and answer one or all of these questions…

What trimmer are you currently using? What do you love or hate about it?

You have until Sunday, May 16th 6pm CST to enter. One entry per person, please.

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!