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Tag Archives | Cricut Expression

Event | The Scrapbook Expo

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
The Scrapbook Expo has several shows across the country; each one features a fun crop event where folks get together and crop the day and night away.
For those who have never attended a crop, here is how some of the crops work.  Each person rents a table workspace and brings all of their supplies and pictures that they may need to work on their projects.  
The point of this type of event is to create the opportunity for an individual to work in a very creative atmosphere with other folks who share their enthusiasm to create memorable pages.  The shared creative ideas are a lot of fun, and people often make new friends at these types of events.
Each day of the crop part of the show has a different theme.  In the one I recently attended,  Friday was a fun “Old West Crop Party” theme.  There prizes for creativity, enthusiasm and more.  The show also offered attendees of the crop event some great equipment like die cut machines, paper trimmers, scrapbook software (compliments of Kodak), cricut machines, and more for croppers to use during the crop.
They even had pre-packaged scrapbooking kits that scrappers could order to make during the event.
The Expo also offered a broad selection of classes in digital scrapbooking and media.
On the show floor, there were many “Make & Take” opportunities for attendees to participate in. the projects were varied and had a wide range of appeal.
There were also plenty of free Technique Demonstrations to watch throughout the show, one of which was at the JudiKins booth.
Judy was on hand to demonstrate her technique of combining cool stamps with other products to create fun mini works of art. My favorite stamp was her new “Galaxy Spiral Stamp” which is from her retro collection.
For this project, she combined dye-based inks, glitters, and
Diamond Glaze to create a fun effect on glass and plastic.  The soda can lid (project on the right in the picture below) is stamped, then the color is heat set before adding the diamond glass (which is allowed to air dry).
The JudiKins booth featured a vast assortment of new rubber stamp images.  Here is a sampling of some of the new images 
and the sample card project.  She has more project ideas , directions, and instructional videos on her website.
The next booth to catch my eye was the Button Farm.  I just loved their wall of products, which included 7 Gypsies,Tim Holtz, and some very interesting curios. 
They also offered pre-packaged altered album kits.  All the supplies need to complete the project are in the kit.  They offered some fun designs.  I like the fact that I would not need to hunt out various unique products on my own to finish the kit like the one below.  For those who do not have time to plan a project, the complete step-by-step directions are always included in these kits.
My next stop was the Little Windows Brilliant Photo Jewelry booth.  Their display of photo jewelry just made you want to stop and look closer.  
Their fun jewelry making kit includes an epoxy resin that is not toxic and does not have the usual strong odor that most epoxies have.  Plus, it is created to work well with photo prints.
Here is a sampling of the different types of pieces you can make with this product using a variety of techniques.
Quick Quotes had a fun “Make & Take” that featured their flip flop shoe book.  This kit features a real pair of flip flops as the album cover.  Then the pages are attached in accordion style.  This is a very fun and cute kit.
They also had a fun display from their Club Q which offers crafters a choice of either a page kit or an altered art kit.
Technique Tuesday, featured ideas and kits that were geared towards toward the busy crafter.  They had page layout kits, chip board, clear stamps, and more.
Another booth that caught my eye was the Charity Wings.Org booth.  They were hosting a fund raiser “Make &Take”  event at the show, where they were making cute cards to raise money for charity.
Charity Wings is a non profit organization (California Non-Profit Org. 501(c)(3)) that empowers creative people who want to make a difference in other peoples lives and help raise funds for various charities and organizations (this show raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society).
I enjoyed the wide selection of “Make & Takes” mini workshops,
scrapbooking classes, and digital media imaging workshops.
This show offered an abundance of paper craft supplies.  The selection of embellishments was more tempting that you can imagine.  They also had basic rubber stamping supplies, chip board books, altered art supplies, stencils, embossing powders, glitters, adhesives, and incredible deals on patterned paper.
It turned out to be a great mix of altered art, stamping, and scrapbooking combined.  One of the things that really stood out at this show is that the “Tim Holtz” line is extremely popular and people are finding lots of creative ways to use the products.  I also noticed the pre-packaged scrapbooking and altered art kits were widely available.  No matter what your experience level is, there was a kit to suit your needs.   For more information on upcoming workshops, 2011 show schedule, discount coupons, or vendors,  I would recommend checking the Scrapbook Expo show website.

Have you attended any scrapbooking shows?  What was your favorite project or workshop? We would love to hear your thoughts on these type of shows?

Cardstock Comparison

Reported by: Erin Bassett
With so many brands of premium cardstock out on the market now, I thought it would be nice to really look closely at some of the major brands and see if there was any big differences between them.
I decided to compare the ones I use most often: American Crafts, Bazzill, and Stampin’ Up. Here’s some of the similarities and differences you’ll find when purchasing them. You can download the chart below here:
Since I’m comparing them using the stash I have on hand, I don’t have all of the same textures for them. So, I was curious to see if that would play a part in my testing. I used the “orange peel” textured Bazzill cardstock, the “smooth” Stampin’ Up cardstock and the only texture that the American Crafts cardstock comes in (which is similar to a canvas texture).
Now as far as actual use goes, I didn’t really notice any major differences between them when I cut out some die cuts with my Cricut. I cut out the same shapes using the same settings and they all cut out about the same….not really a surprise since they are all the same weight of cardstock. (Although the Stampin’ Up cardstock seems a bit stiffer then the others.)
I also tested how Copic markers would work on them. As expected, I didn’t notice a difference.
One other test I preformed on the cardstocks is how well they folded. Nothing ticks me off more then paper that cracks when it’s folded. -It can make cards and other paper crafts look a bit tacky. Well, I’m happy to report that none of these cardstocks did that!!
Basically I think one’s choice between these cardstocks would boil down to the color and texture of cardstock needed for a craft project and how much it costs.
Pros:
  • American Crafts cardstock tends be the most inexpensive
  • Bazzill cardstock has a huge variety of colors and textures
  • Stampin Up has smooth cardstock that is perfect for stamping on
  • All three cardstocks preformed about the same
  • All three cardstocks are available for purchase online.
Cons:
  • With so many great papers you may run out of space!
Resources:
Do YOU have a favorite cardstock? Tell us what it is and why it’s your favorite.
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Provo Craft Transfer Tape

Reported by Jessica Ripley

Every so often I run across something in a craft store that I didn’t realize I needed until I saw it. For quite awhile now, I had a supply of Provo Craft Adhesive Vinyl just waiting to be played with, but I was a little intimidated about using it. Though it came with adhesive already on the back, I wasn’t quite sure how to go about applying it to a project in the best way. Then, while perusing new vinyl colors I happened across something I hadn’t noticed before, Provo Craft’s Vinyl Transfer Tape. After a short “Ah-ha!” moment I left the store with my new find in hand.

I am so glad I did. After using it with the adhesive vinyl I’m not sure the two should ever not be used together. The instructions that come with the adhesive vinyl in fact recommend it, and there is a “For Best Results” disclaimer about using the transfer tape on the vinyl packaging, I just hadn’t noticed.

The following is my experience with using it for a wall project that I’ve long been wanting to tackle.

Step one is to simply cut the vinyl using a Cricut machine. Though I’m not reviewing the vinyl in particular I have to mention that it is very easy to work with. It comes in 12″x 24″ sheets, in an array of eye-pleasing colors that will go with just about any home decor.

Once my design was cut, I set about using the transfer tape. Like the vinyl, the transfer tape comes in 12″x 24″sheets. There are 4 sheets to a package, and they are easily trimmed using a regular paper trimmer or scissors to fit your project.

Each sheet has a grid style backing which I thought would be very helpful, until I discovered that the part of the tape you actually use doesn’t have these grid lines. I found that a little odd. I wished that the helpful grid was actually on the tape itself so I could utilize it when laying out my design. Instead the instructions say “For best results use a ruler to make sure image is straight.”

I also found it difficult to use in large pieces. When it is peeled away from its backing, it tends to curl in on itself and become stuck. Due to this I trimmed it down to a more manageable size and that worked fine, but if you wished to create one large design at once (like they show in the example photo at Provo Craft’s Website here) it might be a little tricky.


Here’s an example of how it curls in a bit, even on a smaller piece.


That aside however, the tape worked wonderfully at allowing me to arrange my vinyl pieces. If a letter was a little crooked, I could easily peel and place it again until it was just right. Without the tape, I probably would have gone through a few ruined letters by having to remove them from the wall and start again.


Once the vinyl letters were applied, the backing to their adhesive is removed. And then the design can be placed on your project (in my case a wall in our hallway).

Using the tape made it easy to move my design around until it was the way I wanted it. The sticky side doesn’t lose any adhesive as it’s being moved around, and there is no worry about damage to the paint either. It is a very gentle adhesive when stuck to a hard smooth surface like a wall or glass (but it would not work on paper, it would stay stuck!).


Once the design is finalized, you must burnish the letters onto the wall with something like a rub-on tool (one actually comes with the package of vinyl). And then the tape peels very easily away to reveal the finished project. I had no issues with the letters staying stuck to the tape instead of the wall.


The completed design:


When all was said and done I was so happy I ran across Provo Craft’s Transfer Tape in the Cricut aisle at the craft store. Could you use the adhesive vinyl without it? Well, yes, but I would highly recommend using the two together. At a MSRP of around $10.00 for 4 sheets, it’s a wise purchase in order to use the vinyl you have in the best possible way.

Pros:

  • Facilitates using adhesive vinyl in your design placement, there is less of a chance of ruining a letter and having to cut it again.
  • Doesn’t harm the project it is applied to, adhesive is just strong enough but easily removed.
  • Stays tacky after use, could probably be reused at least once, stretching your dollar even further.

Cons:

  • Large pieces can be difficult to work with. If it gets stuck to itself, it’s almost impossible to un-stick without needing a new piece.
  • I wish the grid-lines were on the actual tape, this would be very helpful in placing a design. Instead you must use a ruler to make sure your design is straight.
  • You might not know you need it until you’ve started a vinyl project! I’m hoping you read this review first.

What about you? Have you used this tape in any of your vinyl projects? Or are you now inspired to do so? Let us know what you think!

Disclosure

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