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Tim Holtz Design Ruler

Reported by Susan Reidy

 

I hate measuring. In fact, in 12 plus years of scrapbooking/papercrafting I’ve never had a real ruler among my tools. But as my crafting started getting more complicated, and I was using my craft knife more, I decided it was time to buy a ruler. But it had to be cool. So naturally, I chose the Tim Holtz Design Ruler, because anything by Tim is cool, right? Right.

 

designruler1_horizontal

 

Aside from Tim’s name, what sold me on this ruler were the holes for punching. The more I used, the more useful I found it to be for more than just the dreaded measuring.

The clear acrylic ruler is 12 inches in length and has a grid printed on the surface. One side has is numbered 0 through 12. It has metal edge, making it perfect for use with a craft knife.

The other side has a tapered edge, which makes it easier to draw lines. That side is a centering ruler with a zero in the middle and numbering from 1 to 5 on each side of the zero. That same side includes the piercing holes, which are spaced 1/8th of an inch apart.

Check out this video where Tim talks about the ruler.

Let me share my experience. First up I did some old fashioned measuring and cutting. The metal edge worked great, and thanks to the grid printed on the ruler, I made a straight cut. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time lining up rulers so they’re straight. And no matter how straight your ruler is, if it’s lined up crooked, your cut will be too. I used the grid to make sure I was level from the top to the bottom of my paper.

 

 

Next up, I did some piercing.

 

 

Now, I don’t have the Tonic tool Tim used in his video. I have the piercer from Stampin’ Up. I found it was a little thick for the holes. While it did go through, it didn’t go very far, and it would stick slightly in the holes. Pulling it out, coupled with the slickness of the ruler, caused it to shimmy a little.

You can see how the bottom row of my piercing goes a little crooked. Still, I really like this feature of the ruler. It can be so hard to get holes evenly spaced; the ruler is a great help. Plus, you can skip holes to put your piercing as close or as far apart as you want.


The ruler also made it super simple to line up two rows of pierced holes next to each other to do some stitching, like on the left side of my card.


Next up, I decided to try the centering part of the ruler. You use the grid to line up the zero in the middle of your paper. Then you can precisely space embellishments, doodlings, journaling boxes, etc.

I decided to give it a try for spacing my bling. It was super simple to find the center and adhere my gems in an orderly fashion.

Here’s my simple finished card.


Overall, I’m glad I chose the Tim Holtz Design Ruler as my first ruler purchase. Even better, since it’s so multi-functional, I’m pretty sure it will be the only ruler that I will buy.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $6.99. It is available at major craft retailers and online.

 Pros:
  • It looks cool.
  • Multi-functional with a metal edge for cutting, a tapered edge for drawing, holes for paper piercing and a centering ruler for precise placement.
  • It’s see-through, so you can see what you’re doing. Plus it has a handy printed grid to ensure you line it up straight.

Cons:

  • The piercing holes where a little small for my piercer, which meant my ruler shifted a little when I wiggled it out of the holes.
  • It’s a little slippery, so hold on tight when using it for cutting with a craft knife.

Have you tried the Tim Holtz Design Ruler? What do you think? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Kristine’s Wish List

by Kristine Fowler

As a kid, the holidays were so much simpler, as soon as Halloween and Thanksgiving were over, the TV ads started for the hottest gifts every kid ‘needed’ to see under the tree. Your senses were filled with the must-haves, the hard-to-finds, and the most exciting products. The hard part wasn’t making your list, it was paring it back to something reasonable so as not to seem greedy.

Today though, things are different – for me anyway. It seems that each and every year making my holiday wish list gets more and more difficult. I am so busy making the holidays merry for everyone else: planning, baking, shopping, wrapping and so on, that it’s hard to find the time to focus on myself for even a moment. That’s why I love Craft Critique and the annual Holiday Wish List feature! It makes me take the time to think, sit down and write it down. And then……my list get’s published for the whole world to see…….so let’s face it, my husband can never again say that he doesn’t know what to get me! {hint hint}

So what’s on my list for holidays 2009?

1) The Creatopia by Zyron

I have to admit that the first time I saw this video, I was literally drooling (well maybe not literally). This truly professes to be an all-in-one machine! With it you can apply edge-to-edge adhesive, laminate, emboss and cut (both straight or decorative edges) on items up to 12″ wide and you can die cut shapes on paper up to 6 1/2″ wide! With this much functionality, it could replace several of my current tools!

Once I started looking into this a wee bit more (that first video is just a teaser, believe me), I found a pile of how-to and project demonstration films on YouTube. I think because the product is relatively new to the market, most of the videos currently loaded are authored by XyronCorp, but there are a couple as well from some creative crafters.

For me, the feature of this tool that really draws me in is the 12″ embossing platform. Now, I absolutely adore my Cuttlebug by Provocraft and use it almost exclusively to emboss, but the one drawback in my opinion is that the embossing folders, and the platform itself are designed only to emboss ‘card front’ sized paper. The Creatopia on the other hand has a 12″ platform, which means that I can emboss a full-length border on a scrapbook page, or even an entire sheet of 12″ x 12″ scrapbook paper that I can either leave as-is or cut down to make smaller items. And….it embosses items up to 1/2″ thick! How cool is that?

At present it looks like the number of Creatopia Patternz and Border Patternz available for embossing are pretty small (with only 2 available patterns for each), but once this tool gains popularity, I’m sure that the more and more will be introduced regularly.

The MSRP for the Xyron Creatopia is not terribly unreasonable at $149.99 USD (remember it’s a multi-use product), and the machine comes stocked with 25 feet of permanent acid-free adhesive. Even with just this adhesive cartridge, many projects come to mind as it would certainly make adhering paper to altered art type projects super easy.

To get each and every advertised function though, the investment is much higher since each component is sold separately. Here’s some pricing info from the Xyron site (in USD).

  • Xyron® Cutz MSRP $44.99
  • Xyron® Cutz Cartridge – Deckle & Postage MSRP $14.99
  • Xyron® Border Patternz™ Starter Kit MSRP $24.99 (includes Floral Border)
  • Xyron® Border Patternz™ – Hearts MSRP $8.99
  • Xyron® Patternz™ – Fleur-de-Lis & Floral {no pricing given at Xyron.com but are $24.99 according to Ain’tSheCrafty?}
  • Xyron® Shapez™ {no pricing given at Xyron.com but is $69.99 according to Ain’tSheCrafty?}
Just think with all of these components — not only could this be on your holiday wish list this year, but additional items could go on next year’s list, and then your list for 2011 and so on.

Still looking for more information on the Creatopia? Check out this story at
Ain’tSheCrafty or visit Xyron.com.


As my office/craft space construction nears completion (the drywall is up, with flooring and ceiling coming soon), I am really starting to get focused on how it’s going to all come together and trying to make
smart storage decisions. We all know how difficult it can be at times to get organized and stay that way, so I’m hoping that by ‘planning’ instead of ‘reacting’ I can find the solution or combination of solutions that will work for me.
The one storage product I am loving the idea of right now is the Making Memories Embellishment Centre!


Now I know this one isn’t new, but it’s still pretty exciting if you ask me. I just love the idea that it holds ribbon and displays it beautifully, and also has shelves to hold & display some of your other crafting gems. On top of that you have the drawers which you can decorate and use to corral all those little items that may not look quite so nice but you want to have handy.
The product comes fully assembled (love this!) and is available at most craft specialty stores for around $80 (even less if you have a coupon) – so that’s pretty reasonable I think. It’s already painted too, so it’s literally out of the box and ‘in-use’, no fuss. It can be mounted on the wall or can sit atop a desk (although I would probably recommend some type of stabilizer) and assembled measures approximately 31.5″ tall by 25.5″ wide by 3.75″ deep. I’m sure you could paint it or otherwise alter it also – to make it your own.

Here’s the specs from Making Memories.
  • Made from Sturdy MDF
  • 6 sides, each with metal label holder
  • 6 drawers with metal handles and magnetic closures (now that’s smart!)
  • 10 compartments
While I’m not generally an open storage kind of gal, I think that by incorporating this shelf unit into my space will be ‘inspired’ by what I display and what is displayed will get ‘used’ because it will be serve as a constant reminder! Even the product pic from MM makes me smile since they have everything sorted & displayed by color which is so my style!

{Funny thing….as I write this, I think it should have been in my number one spot since with each sentence I’m getting more & more excited as I think about the possibilities. I’ve even seen pics online of how individuals are altering the Embellishment Center to hold even more items! This gal added a strip of steel to the bottom of the unit and put magnets on the bottoms of her Stickles bottles so that they hang upside down to prevent clogging! Now that’s thinking!}

Tim Holtz Design Ruler
The third must-have on my holiday list this year one that’s quite a bit simpler than either of the above, but is definitely just as functional: the Tim Holtz Design Ruler.


Now admittedly, I never thought I would ever get excited about a ruler, but after seeing a couple of reviews right here on Craft Critique, I’m sold.
I won’t go into a lot of details on this one since Heather and Mary did such fantastic reviews in Nov 2009 and April 2008 respectively, but here are the basic features.
  • Made of Clear Acrylic
  • One metal edge
  • Surface grid to make evenly spaced lines a breeze with no fussy measuring.
  • Over-sized numbers
  • Holes to use as guide for perfectly spaced piercing/stitching
  • Center Measuring Guide
The ruler generally retails for around $7 (USD), and there is a great video featuring Tim himself on YouTube where he details some of the ruler’s unique features. Check it out!

So, if you’re reading this and you’re not a crafty person, but maybe have a crafty person on your list of people to buy for – this next part is for you so listen up! These are items that pretty much every crafter would love to receive.

1) More Time To Craft

Now, this is a tough one since it’s not generally available at retail. But……if you can swing it, the crafter in your life would love you if you could figure out how to deliver.

Here are some ideas to make this happen:

  • Purchase a gift certificate for a crop or class that they can attend in the New Year. Check with your local craft/hobby store for a list of upcoming events.

  • For scrapbookers, search the web for “scrapbooking retreats” where the crafter can actually have uninterrupted time away from home to create. These retreats often come with other luxuries like spa treatments and lots of pampering, so it’ll be almost like 2 gifts in one! You’ll of course have to pare down the search list to suit your geographic needs, but here’s a couple of links for you to check out that will give you an idea as to what is out there.

  • “Create” (now if you’re not crafty I realize this could be a stretch!) your own coupon book, giving your crafter ‘coupons’ or ‘passes’ that can be redeemed for uninterrupted time at home to craft. Plan on taking the kids out for the day, giving your crafter time off from cooking, cleaning and all those other mundane tasks that take up valuable crafting time.

2) Basic consumable supplies:

Think adhesives and/or adhesive remover for the photo historian or cardmaker, floss and aida cloth for the embroider, yarn for the knitter….you get the idea. Snoop around and try to figure out what gets ‘used up’ regularly as your crafter creates, and then put a gift box or basket together. They’ll thank you, believe me. There is nothing worse than running out of a favorite supply when your mid-creation. A gift of basic consumables can help avoid that.

3) If you’re not comfortable deciding what your crafter will need, let them decide for themselves. Pick up a gift card from your local craft or hobby store – wrap it up and you’re good to go. {If you want to really impress them, you could even package the gift card in a hand-made gift card holder! Here’s a great tutorial posted by Cambria Turnbow for creating one that takes only an 8″ x 8″ piece of fancy paper that you can make in 10 minutes or less. But I’m not crafty you say? Trust me….even you can do it!}

So I’ve talked about my top three must-haves for the holidays and I’ve given those non-crafty people some crafty gift ideas. What’s on your list? Am I way off mark? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Tim Holtz idea-ology Design Ruler

Reported by Heather Voinski

Tim Holtz products happen to be a favorite of mine! I need to admit now that I am in love with all of his Distress Ink pads and Distress Crackle Paints…they are absolutely my favorite products in my entire craft area. (OK…enough gushing, you get the picture)

Tim Holtz has a full line of Inks, Paints, Stamps, Tools, Fasteners, Findings, Books, and Grunge board that he has created for the artist in all of us.

The Tim Holtz Design Ruler is a 12 inch clear acrylic ruler “with a straight edge and grid for drawling lines and measuring lengths, a metal strip for cutting, and evenly spaced holes for piercing.”

What attracted me to this ruler first were the gridlines. I am always using the gridlines on my paper trimmer and on my craft mat that covers my desk, but they are both a pain to use for drawling lines. I picked this ruler up with hopes that my problems were solved.

I frequently make my own journaling boxes (I love making little handmade notebook paper to journal on) and drawling the lines using this ruler could not have been simpler. It was easy to do thanks to the gridlines, and was wayyyy faster than my old way.
The second thing that attracted me to this ruler were the holes for piercing!! I used to stitch a lot on my scrapbook pages and handmade cards. Over time I have not done it as much because it was time consuming getting my holes lined up right and getting it to look evenly spaced. I put this ruler to the test to see if it could help.

Using my paper piercer and lining the center of my stitching area up with the “0” on the ruler, I was able to evenly poke my holes for stitching. This ruler definitely made it a much quicker process and I have to say I love the way things come out using it. I’m going to try it on my scrapbook pages next!

After using this ruler in my craft area I removed the others that I had there because this one does the job of all of the others. I am that pleased with it, and urge you to try it for yourself.

The Tim Holtz Design Ruler retails for $6.99 and is available online and in your most of your local chain craft stores.

Pros:

  • Made of clear acrylic for durability
  • Low price makes it very affordable
  • Large numbers for ease of use
  • Gridlines make it easy to measure accurately

Cons:

  • Length…I would love it to be a little bit longer

So what do you think? Are you going to give it ago? Don’t be shy, leave us a comment and tell us what you think…and if you already have this ruler we would love to hear your thoughts!

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