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Posts Tagged ‘Crafter’s Companion’

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Crafters Companion; Boxer Board

Crafters Companion; Boxer Board

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Crafters Companion; Ultimate Pro: The Boxer
  • Item number; 185716 Box
  • RRP at time of writing: £ 15

Reason For Buying

I haven’t got the Ultimate Pro set from Crafters companion, as I’d bought the individual box maker and envelope board just weeks before it was launched. This board is different to the Box making board that was previously available from the company but as I didn’t have the Ultimate Pro as a base to put it onto, it wasn’t a board I was going to go for. BUT I did want the Envelobox Creator, and I bought when there was a buy one get the other board free. So as a freebie it was worth a try.

Purpose

Scoring board. Quote: Create custom size and shape boxes or score accurate metric and imperial measurements with The Boxer board. One side is imperial up to 8″ in one eighth inch increments. Other side Metric up to 20cm in half centimeter increments.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Light weight but robust
  • Compact, easy to store
  • Metric and imperial measurements on opposite side of the board.
  • SUPERB embossing tool. Great if your dexterity isn’t what it could be.
  • Versatile
  • Step by step photos and written instruction leaflet.

There is also a separately available DVD with project ideas and tips to help you get the best from this board.

Cons

When demoing and asked on C&C, ‘Can this board be used alone.” Sara said “Yes”.

Without any stop blocks to butt your card against, at either edge of the board, this proves difficult and unreliable.

Quote;

When the board is used slotted onto the Ultimate Pro. When scoring lines beyond 7″ or 17cm, the longer pieces of card can become deformed on an opposite scoring edge. The instructions to over come this say to add a ‘padding’ to your Ultimate Pro by placing a spare board under the Boxer. This results in no raised edge to but your card against as it will lie flush with the top of Ultimate Pro.

Build Quality

Excellent. Sturdy plastic which makes it light but it is still robust. Watch out for moulding marks though, mine was prominent and if you aren’t careful, could scratch the card as you use the board. Luckily it didn’t distort the scoring lines. The hand tools are excellent, very ergonomic and comfortable to use.

Value for Money

I cannot comment as to how well this performs in an Ultimate Pro, as I don’t have that board. Without an Ulitmate Pro, for me, it can’t do what it’s designed for accurately, without any stop blocks at the edges.

Would I buy it Again?

Sorry but without the Ultimate Pro, there are no stops on the edges of the board. For this reason ONLY I would not buy this as a standalone product. They say you can use it budged up against other things, but that isn’t the way to get a reliable enough stop to measure against.

Summing up

  • Well made
  • Great quality
  • Excellent embossing tool

This seems a good idea, that perhaps needed more work IF, it is being sold as being able to be used as a standalone board as well as on the Ulitmate Pro.

The leaflet that comes with the board, and the instructions on the separately available DVD both show that to avoid creasing larger card, when using the board with the Ultimate Pro you need to put an extra board underneath to raise it up. Then admit that you will lose the raised butting edge (lip that you hold your card up against, to keep your measurements straight and true) when you do this.

A secure and accurate 90 degree edge is essential to the whole process but used alone or raised to avoid damaging longer card in an Ultimate pro you are without it.

This is the first product of its kind from Sara that I’ve not had success with. I had her earlier version of this board which had box bases on one side and lids on the other. That worked as a stand alone product and had raised edges.

A great shame, adding raised long edges like on the design of the earlier Box making boards from the company and this would have worked better in and out of the Ultimate Pro. Perhaps that could be included in v2 ;)

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Ultimate Pro: Advanced Construction Techniques

Ultimate Pro: Advanced Construction Techniques

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Crafters Companion; The Ultimate Pro; Advanced Construction Techniques for use with The Boxer & Envelobox Creator Boards
  • Item number; 185717
  • RRP at time of writing: £15

Reason For Buying

I’d seen several finished projects created from this DVD, that I wanted to try, shown on C&C. In the past when I have bought boards of this kind, I really didn’t do that much with them. So I thought getting this DVD would encourage me out of my comfort zone and help me get more from the boards.

Contents

Run time 2.5 hours

12 Step by Step Projects

Beginner;

  • Envelobox
  • Stepper Card
  • Tealight holder
  • Accordian box File

Intermediate projects

  • Swing Card
  • Mini Desk Organizer
  • Treasure Chest
  • Hinged Box

Advanced

  • Set of Drawers
  • Tealight Basket
  • Stationary Case
  • 3D Scene Card

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Clearly explained projects, how to use the boards and their tools show as you create projects
  • Any products used are listed at the end of each project
  • A variety of projects to suit all skill levels and ages

Cons

Not really a con, just a niggle. Something to be aware of ;)

Check the title, because although this title is mainly about the two new boards; The Envelobox Creator and the Boxer board, some of the projects shown require the Ultimate pro or other add in boards. Mainly just for embellishment but extra boards are part of the construction for; Swing card, Treasure chest, 3D Scene card.

Build Quality

This is an excellent quality DVD, not just for the content which I covered earlier, but the production quality is superb. The tutorials are well-lit, perfect sound and superb camera work too. No busy distracting backgrounds. The only music is during the gallery or during some assembly when there is no other dialog, so no struggling to hear instructions over music.

Value for Money

Excellent, Even if only a few of the projects appeal, it would cost far more than that for a tutorial class for just one project ;) I have turned into a DVD convert, it was easier to watch how to do techniques than trying to read how to construct things.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, and if you have bought either the Enveloboxer or the Boxer board you will get a lot further, much faster with your boards when you watch the tutorials on here. Highly recommed this DVD to crafters of all abilities.

Summing up

Great DVD, beautifully made and projects shown from start to finish. Inspiration, education and fun to watch, well done Crafters Companion, a job well done! If you are a more advanced crafter, once you have understood these techniques, you can easily modify the projects to your own style.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Crafters Companion; Envelobox Creator

Crafters Companion; Envelobox Creator

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Crafters Companion; Ultimate Pro; Envelobox Creator
  • Item number; 2428403
  • RRP at time of writing: £14.99

Reason For Buying

As regular readers will know I love to make hand-made books. Although I have other boards which allow me to make boxes to present them in, when I saw this product demonstrated on C&C, I knew I had to get one. This makes dimensional envelops up to 1″ deep, in a very wide selection of sizes. These would make nice presentation/gift wrap alternative, for my hand-made books.

Purpose

Scoring Board, creates flat or dimensional envelopes from 3″ to 8″ in any size combination of these two. Depth options on envelopes; Flat, half-inch, three-quarter inch and one inch.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Light weight but robust
  • Compact, easy to store
  • Metric and imperial measurements on opposite side of the board.
  • SUPERB embossing tool. Great if your dexterity isn’t what it could be.
  • Makes flat envelopes as well as half-inch, three-quarter inch and one inch in depth.
  • Really versatile
  • Envelopes from 3″ up to 8″ and in any combination of both
  • Smaller envelopes can be made on A4 (European size or US Letter), some need can be made from 12 x12 and for the largest sizes you will need larger card.
  • Portable
  • Includes step by step photographs and written instructions

Options of a DVD with project ideas and instructions available separately.

Cons

Not really got any, I struggled with the printed instructions ( but I’m dyslexic, so easily muddled). I would recommend the separately available DVD,  from the same company to get the most from the board.

Build Quality

Excellent, light weight making it portable, but still very robust. The embossing tool is superb and great if your dexterity isn’t what it could be.

Value for Money

Excellent. You get full printed instructions, complete with step by step instructions. It will make flat envelopes as well as half-inch, three-quarter inch, and one inch. In any combination between 3″ through to 8″.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes.

Summing up

If you like making dimensional cards or other projects that need a deeper envelope, don’t make do with plain office envelope styles, get an Envelobox Creator. By using beautiful papers and cardstock you will create the most beautiful way to present your projects. You can embellish your envelopes to your heart’s content, for even more personalization.

This board will be a great asset to any craft room.

Links

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Here is a project I made using the Crafters Companion Envelobox Creator.

Set of Gift cards in dimensional Envelope box

Set of Gift cards in dimensional Envelope box

Within the dimensional envelope is a small set of cards with coordinating envelopes.

Products used

Pearlescent card, Anna Griffin Stamps, Crafters Companion Envelobox Creator

Inks; Versafine Onyx Black Ink, Pewter Cats Eyes ink, Zig Art & graphic pens for the hand drawn flowers and trees.

Hope you like it, its quick to make and ideal for a nice little something for someone special.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post, I’ll let you know how I got on using the Crafters Companion Stick n Spray adhesive, with The Slice Elite.

I really struggled to apply sufficient glue to the 12″ x 12″ glass mat for the Slice Elite using its own liquid glue. My paper would lift during cutting and destroy the die cut as it went round. A friend (Glitter Monkey) recommended using the Crafter’s Companion Stick and Spray glue as an alternative adhesive. I gave this a try and here are my results.

Using Crafters Companion Stick & Spray with the Slice Elite Glass Mat

Using Crafters Companion Stick & Spray with the Slice Elite Glass Mat

Pros

  • Much quicker and easier to apply an even coat of adhesive, compaired to  The Slice own paint on glue
  • I have had no problems cutting even the most detailed design with my Slice since using this adhesive
  • Any smell from the initial application of adhesive, quickly dissipates as the glue dries.

Cons

  • I highly recommend you use this spray outdoors if you can, as its quite smelly.
  • There is a small amount of sticky residue left on the back of the die cut, it is minimal and since I tend to stick the resulting die cut to a project, it hasn’t been a big problem for me. Reduce this by using a piece of scrap card and stick it to the mat and peel off repeatedly for a few times just to take off the access sticky from the mat, before you use your favorite card/paper.

Tips

***If you have pets indoors, especially if you have birds, then apply spray outdoors.***

  • Spray into a box to catch the over spray
  • If you have a flat glass mat for your slice, cut a piece of acetate to lay over it for storage in between uses. It will keep ‘fluff’ off the mat and help the glue last longer. The Glass mat with the hands free kit, had a drop over cover in with the packaging, put that on when you put your mat away to protect the surface for those.

Links

Crafter’s Companion is a UK-based company but their products are available in many countries. For more details please follow the links below.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Before you run in fear from the above title, read on….you just might find that digi crafting isn’t as scary as it first sounds.

There are a lot of different kinds of digi crafting, just like there are many kinds of paper crafting.

  • You can buy CDs of images and background papers, print them and use them just as you would paper from a shop.
  • Software is available for you to layer images together on your machine, so you create your card on your computer and just print out the result.
  • Or a blending of the two, where you create/modify images on your computer and print the various elements out so you can assemble them ‘In Real Life’

So why am I encouraging you to try this kind of crafting? Well apart from the fact that it is a lot of fun, you can also save a lot of time and money printing your own papers, but the CDs often include embellishments, to print and layer as well.

I admit I did learn one of the more tricky pieces of software for my digi crafting journey, by choosing Photoshop Elements. Mainly coz it was on DHs computer and I could play, I took Free online classes run by Hewlett Packard the printer people and learnt how to use the program for digital scrapbooking. Thanks to that class I can now use their shapes, textures, bevel’s etc to make realistic looking embellishments, either to print or to use within the program to create an entire page.

Like a lot of us at the moment, funds are tight and paper crafting can get expensive. Pretty papers, stickers and embellishments soon add up and the downside for them is, it’s a use once and they are gone kinda thing. I fancied trying scrapbooking but the expense of putting each page together, mixed with the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ have always put me off. By using software like Photoshop Elements I can colour pic a colour from within my photograph to create a coloured background paper, add textures, drop shadows and have lots of fun. If I like the result I can save/print it. If it all goes a bit wrong, I can play with colours or position of things without having wasted a lot of money. Of course you can do the same with making cards, tags, invitations all kind of things.

Beginner’s

For the newbie, I’d suggest starting out with the kind of CD where you just choose an image and print. No need for lots of prior learning for those ;) You can get CDs of background papers, some specialise in cards and you have the option of printing background papers, a main image and then a decoupage sheet to add dimension to the project. Going digi doesn’t mean you never get to play with the paper, you can get as hands on, or hands off as you like.

If you have a particular kind of style that you like have a look online, there are often people selling CDs with particular themes. Cute, heritage etc. Here are a few sites worth investigating for the kinds of print and play kind of CDs.

  • Artylicious; Glenda Waterworth form Graphicus, makes the most stunning CD ROMs of printable papers and designs. Do check them out.
  • Crafters Companion Flower Fairy’s, Beatrix Potter, from classic illustrations to cute. If you are a Pro Marker/Copic pen fan, you’ll love her matching stamp ranges too.
  • Joanna Sheen; Joanna has all kinds of different styles of CD, do check out her online shop

 

Intermediate

If you are happy playing with software on your computer then you can get dedicated programs for creating Scrapbook pages. These often require a bit of time to learn what tools do what and how to get the best from them, but its worth the investment in time as you will get more flexibility over what you can do.

A few in between packages that would give newbies to digital crafting more options with their images include

Scrapbook Factory Deluxe; Pre made pages you can just drop in your own photos

My Craft Studio; has its own themed images that you can layer on the screen and print a finished card, or print elements to layer ‘in real life’ for more dimension. These also allow you to add your own images, in some cases. Their latest version of the software, includes the option of sending your finished card as an E card. They are moving more towards a simplified version of the more complex programs like Photoshop, but are still easier to navigate if you are new. If you follow the link, click on the ‘shop’ button for a listing of the themed CDs.

Advanced; that computer doesn’t scare me

If you are already confident on the computer the most versatile, and there for it will take a while to master, is Photoshop Elements by Adobe. Within this program, you really are in charge, you can edit your own images and create whatever you like, with so many effects like textures etc. If you are bewildered (as I was) do check out the free online classes by Hewlet Packard. They do a digital Scrapbooking class, every so often and it takes you every step of the way.The classes expect no prior knowledge and really teach you a lot.

The best thing about crafting like this, is that you never run out of that special paper! No more long drives to the craft store, if you mess something up, you just print another one. Need another sheet for the morning??? Craft Store closed? No worries, just press print and carry on ;)

Here are a few of the CDs/ DVDs that I use for Digi Crafting.

Digital Crafting Software

The larger programs often have free 30 day trials, so you can get started and see if you like them without spending a penny ;)

Do you have a favorite CD or digital software programs that you, like? Do leave a comment and tell me about it. This blog is all about sharing and it would be great to share programs from around the world with the readers of this blog.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I would like to share a tutorial for an exploding box. It’s still a paper craft project for those of you getting worried!

The finished box will look like this;

 00154p003

00154p004

You Will Need

  • Template. I created templates for 3cm and 6cm Boxes with full instructions. You will need to download these to follow this project, links at the end of the article.
  • A4 card stock that will go through your printer
  • A printer
  • Steel Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Cutting mat
  • Scoring tool

If you only have plain paper use craft CDs to create the patterned paper that will suit your finished project.

The template has been designed to fit within an A4 sheet. For the 3cm box, print one A5 background from Artylicious CD, the box and it’s lid will fit within it. The 6cm box with the lid and inserts will require 2 sheets of A4 backgrounds from the CD.

Method

  • Open the PDF of the size of box you wish to make.
  • Read through the instructions on the screen.
  • Print your designs on to your chosen card, then put the card back into the printer and print the box template directly onto the card.
  • Follow the instructions within the PDF for how to cut, fold and assemble your Exploding box and it’s lid.
  • Add additional images as toppers to your basic box, and embellish you box to your chosen theme.

Ideas for your box

I am using these one’s as place settings for our Christmas table. These are also ideal for anyone with dexterity problems who can’t manage crackers :) Due to RSI I cannot pull a cracker so it will be nice to be able to join in with these instead. I’m sure there are shops that sell paper hats and you can print your own jokes if you really want to use these as alternatives to crackers. You could add a special small gift or the confectionary of your choice to the smaller inner box. If you have larger gifts, come back next Friday for the next installment of Exploding Boxes, there I will show you how to make these boxes without templates and you can modify them to the size of your choice ;)

00154p002

If you made this box in different styles of card, it could easily be adapted for;

Birthdays, Weddings, Christenings, Baby showers. It is a perfect size for place settings and enables you to tailor your choesen gift to the person you are giving it to.

Links

Here are a few suppliers who produce CDs of papers and toppers that you can use to create your background papers.

  • Graphicus;  I used their Season’s Greeting’s CD from their Artylicious range to create the sample shown in this tutorial. http://www.graphicus.co.uk/brokerage.asp?SubCatID=43 Check out their full range of CDs inthe CD section from the home page. Artylicious is a truely wonderful range of artwork that is even better when you see it in real life.
  • Joanna Sheen;  Joanna has a wide range of CDs on all kinds of topics, they all include bacground papers, as well as toppers.
  • Crafters Companion;  All kinds of images on a variety of CDs

The Templates

Here are PDFs of the templates you will need for the Exploding Boxes.

Angel policy on templates

These templates have been made with love and given to you for free, they are for your own personal use. Please do not print them to sell.

You are welcome to sell any projects you make from these templates.

I’d love to see the projects make.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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