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Posts Tagged ‘Making Memories’

Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Making Memories Slice Elite

Making Memories; Slice Elite

Making Memories; Slice Elite

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Making Memories Slice Elite Cordless Design Cutter
  • Item number; #36236
  • RRP at time of writing:£150

Reason For Buying

I have to admit to loving my Cuttlebug, its quick, simple and reliable but, because I am such a fan of alphabets it is expensive to buy those as metal dies. Of course with those you only get a single size per pack. The advantage of The Slice is that you can cut the designs on the cards in up to seven different sizes, and with additional tools you can emboss or draw the designs too.

What’s in the Box?

  • Slice Elite Cordless Design Cutter
  • Power Cord
  • Blade adjustment wrench
  • 5 replacement blades with blade replacement tool
  • 6″ x 6″ glass cutting mat
  • Repositionable adhesive
  • Foam brush
  • User manual
  • Quick start Guide
  • Basic Elements SD Card
  • Design card Booklet.

Pros/Cons

 Pros

  • Portable, if you like to travel with your crafting the small size make this excellent
  • Lots of options; with add-on products you can do a lot with one machine
  • Compact size takes up less desk space than other electronic cutters on the market
  • Design Cards; Lots of brilliant design cards on all kind of themes
  • The packaging is sturdy; You can store the machine back in it when not in use.
  • Reasonable priced Design cards. Most contain an alphabet as well as words and images. Depending on the card.
  • With Seven sizes available to cut from 1″ to 4″ in half-inch increments. (Measured on the diagonal of the image).

Cons

  • Expect to need to buy additional items to get the best from the machine.
  • The 6″ x6″ mat is adequate for cutting a single image, or for crops and classes but if you want to use large card efficiently and make repeated cuts, you are better off with the 12″ x 12″ mat so you don’t have to constantly move your card around. The more you move your card the more you are wearing off the glue.
  • The glue in the box is little more than a tester, I struggled to get good coverage with the little bottle.
  • Keep the Basic Elements Design card safe! Even if you aren’t keen on the designs on it, it has a Calibrate setting on there, that you will need if you are struggling to get your machine to cut correctly.
  • I would not recommend this tool to newbies, it has a steep learning curve. The product is simple enough, but getting it to work as you expect takes a lot of time, practice and wasted card.
  • Getting a good coverage of adhesive is key to good results. This is tricky to perfect.

Build Quality

The tool itself is very well made, from quality materials. Very ergonomic and is easy to store in its own packaging. Heavy enough to be robust, light enough to be portable. The handle and edges of the machine where you hold it are a slightly rubberized plastic which makes for a good grip.

Value for Money

It is a considered purchase. If you use a lot of alphabets, or like the intricate shapes, then once you get the hang of it, it is worth the investment if you use it a lot. You get a lot of designs on each Design card and the seven sizes of each makes for good long-term value.

Would I buy it Again?

Ask me in 6 months. I’ve had it about three months and still working with it. It’s like Adobe Photoshop Elements, really good but it has a lot of quirks. If I had a friend with it, who lived near me, I’d like to have tried hers first.

Summing up

This is a superb product with a lot of potential. If you buy the embossing tips you can emboss the designs on your design cards too. If you buy the pens, you can draw the designs from the cards in the colours available. My advice is READ every review and comment on this machine that you can. Be aware that there was an earlier model just called The Slice, which was slower, however by using the MS+ Design cards they have a speed upgrade on them. If you can do a class with a Slice before you buy or can try a friends first, I would highly recommend that you do so.

My problem is that I over stretched my budget to get this and its extras, so this put a lot of pressure on expecting fantastic results. I immediately bought the 12 x 12″ hands free glass mat, as I could see the 6″ x 6″ one would be too small for day-to-day use. The Hands free version, due to my limited dexterity and the built-in foam on the back meant it would be fine for the embossing heads, should I go for them at a later date. By this point I had made a substantial financial investment in the product and expected it to get going easily, as soon as I got it out of the box.

What actually happened was, I struggled to apply the glue properly with the foam brush and later on, it seems I applied too little of the adhesive but I had overspent and couldn’t afford to get another bottle of glue straight away as I thought what was included would be enough. (Bear in mind I was applying this to the 12″ x12″ mat, not the little one included in the box).

My die cuts were coming out in strange shapes, wonky or with sections missing. Often the paper/card would lift and the machine would eat the die cut (this turned out to be due to not enough glue on the mat). What was most annoying was the fact that the machine would cut nicely sometimes, then the next cut of the same shape, same size would go all over the place, the cutter would trace back over the design and thereby sever part of the design. It drove me NUTS.

Luckily I am on a couple of forums and I begged my forum buddies for help. Thanks to them I found out that using the Design card that comes in the box and pressing the ‘Calibrate’ design on there fixed the wonky cutting. Trial and error suggested the design getting bunched up under the blade was due to lack of glue on the cutting mat. If you read other comments on the machine, I heard people having to spend a long time cutting and adjusting the blade to get it to cut correctly on different thicknesses of card. I’ve been lucky in that respect and it hasn’t given me any trouble in that area.

My best advice before you purchase this machine would be

1. Read all the reviews and forum discussions on The Slice Elite that you can find. Be informed rather than resentful later

2. Try it just with what’s in the box, before you buy all the extra’s.

3. Expect to write off a lot of card while learning how to use the machine. Get a pile of printer paper or scrapbook card in a sale rather than risking your nice stuff in the early days.

I have learnt during the last three months, and have now just bought some alternative glue to try on the mat. I’ll let you know how that goes. It is a good machine, if you have friends with it let them show you how it all works and you’ll probably be ok. In fairness to Making Memories people who have registered their machines and requested help have been very very pleased with the support they received from the company. So if you are still struggling get in touch with them.

Sorry this review has got a bit long, I needed to explain the struggles I had and that some may have been down to me, not the product. I don’t love mine yet, I see a lot of potential but I’m still learning. I do think this may be a good long-term investment and the designs on the design cards are fantastic. Like Adobe, when it works nicely it is a joy, but the learning curve to get there is frustrating.

I try to give you as much information as I can, to help you make up your own minds on whether this machine is for you.

Links

Forum Discussion on the machine

Now some of the discussions in the following threads were started in 2009. Still lots of VERY useful advice for those new to The Slice or struggling but bear in mind that 2011 is when the New Slice Elite was launched in the UK. Some of the problems mentioned may have been fixed by the updated Slice Elite machine.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Slice Tool Kit

Slice Tool Kit

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Making Memories Slice
  • Item number
  • RRP at time of writing: Around £30

Reason For Buying

 My primary reason for buying this kit, is because I have limited dexterity, getting hold of small things isn’t easy. I figured the tools would help me remove die cut shapes from the adhesive mat, with less chance of ripping them. Also given the cost of replacement blades and a spatula tool that was included it wasn’t a great deal extra to pay to get something to keep them all in too.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • Keeps all your tools needed at hand.
  • Easy to find the tool you are looking for
  • The dense foam lining keeps everything in place
  • Handy if you travel with your Slice machine

Cons

I haven’t got any issues with this kit, it has some quality tools, well laid out and a superb quality case.

My only request if they ever do a redesign, is a request for a little space to put the wrench that comes with The Slice. I have put mine lose in the little gap in the case where the handles of the scissors sit. This is one of those fiddly little tools that is far too easy to lose! That wrench is not included with the tool kit, it comes with the Slice machine itself. But there is nowhere on The Slice itself to store it and its something I didn’t want to lose.

Build Quality

Excellent, everything is well made and finished. The case is well padded and everything stays in place. I was impressed that the case itself is made of a denim/twill type fabric which is beautifully lined and the zip works well too. The case also features a pull tape with the word ‘Tools’ on it. Great if you have several similar kits on your shelf and especially handy in this case as the case for the design cards looks identical on the shelf.

Value for Money

Good. It is an investment but for keeping everything together and for quality tools it is well worth it. I’ve had Making Memories tools in the past and they last well.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes!

Summing up

Some would say this in an unnecessary add-on, but if you have limited dexterity or are good at loosing small tools, then having a case with everything together makes life much easier. It also takes up very little space on your work top.

Links

Although this tool kit and The Slice, are made by Making Memories, all information about it are on the Why Slice website.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

In today’s post I will be reviewing;

Making Memories Slice Hands Free Kit with 12" x 12" Glass Mat

Making Memories Slice Hands Free Kit with 12" x 12" Glass Mat

Product Details

  • Manufacturer/Brand; Making Memories/ The Slice
  • Item number; #34854
  • RRP at time of writing: Around £40

Reason For Buying

I have limited dexterity due to tendon problems, I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold The Slice still and that even if I could the vibration would cause me pain. So I went straight in with the hands free kit. I chose the 12 x12″ double-sided glass mat as I figured I could cut more than one thing from a piece of card without having to keep removing and repositioning the card for each cut.

Pros/Cons

Pros

  • As I’d hoped the 12 x 12″ mat works well for not having to reposition card so frequently
  • This size mat also make positioning the Slice just where you want it easier
  • Clear bright surface
  • Plenty of room to allow you to use a smaller scrap and still get your Slice into postion.
  • The magnet is very strong and works on both the glass side and the foam embossing side of the mat.
  • Double sided, one side is glass the other foam to allow embossing if you have the embossing tips for your Slice.

Cons

I’m still struggling with glue at the moment. I have used the weenie tube that came with my Slice machine and not sure I’ve got a good enough coverage with it.

The magnets are VERY strong though, and with limited dexterity I find it hard work to remove the Slice.

Build Quality

Excellent. Really dense foam, on the embossing side, looks like it will last well. The glass side of the mat is very thick and sturdy. The coloured edging is also a sturdy plastic. A well made tool, that Making Memories do so well.

Value for Money

Good, for the quality of the tool, it is fairly priced.

Would I buy it Again?

Yes. A a friend of mine said if you don’t have dexterity problems you may not need the hands free kit and she may be right, but the 12 x 12″ mat does make life easier.

Summing up

The 12 x 12″ glass mat makes life much easier than the 6 x6″ one, as you don’t need to constantly reposition your paper. It is fairly priced for the quality of the product. Having the hands free option is really useful if you have dexterity problems as you don’t get the vibration through your hands/arms as you would if you were holding the machine in place.

One thing to be aware of though, is that the magnets sure are STRONG. Even by rocking the Slice to the side to lift it up once its finished cutting, it’s still quite a pull to remove it. You probably wouldn’t struggle with normal dexterity, but it is a lot of effort if you have weak hands/wrists. 

Links

  • Why Slice The manufacturers dedicated website to all things Slice related.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back  

Originally this project started out as a way to collect together memorabilia from a holiday, it then evolved into a handy storage journal for hand-made cards.  

Card Storage Journal; Cover

Card Storage Journal; Cover

This is my first major project with the Bind It All machine and after working out how to make a cutting template so I got the holes just where I wanted them I was much happier. I used mat board for the covers (the kind picture framers use for layering) and added my own stamped papers to decorate the pages.  

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

Card Storage Journal; Inside Cover

On the inside cover I added a pocket to hold stamps, and then each envelope pocket holds a different month’s cards. I made little tab labels to easily navigate to the month I was looking for and the Making Memories Calendar stamp set made a nice finish to them. On the note page on each envelope I’m going to write the date and name of the person who needs a card, then when I’ve made a card I just pop it in the envelope ready. No more scrabbling around at the last-minute. I was going to add a ribbon closure then forgot when I pasted on the end papers DOH, now I’m waiting as I’m saving up for one of Tim Holtz Sizzix dies and hope to make a fancy closure with it and some grunge paper.  

Card Storage Journal; Inside Pages

Card Storage Journal; Inside Pages

This would make a great present for a friend and if you would like a detailed tutorial on how to make one leave me a comment and I’ll try to get one up in good time so you can make some as holiday gifts for friends and family.  

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon  

Billie :)

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Welcome Back 

In today’s post I will be reviewing; Making Memories Clear Stamps; Card Making Set 

Making Memories, Clear Stamps, Cardmaking Set

Making Memories; Clear Stamps; Cardmaking Set

Purpose

I admit it, these were an impulse buy as I really liked the designs. In the past I have not had a good experience with Clear stamps and generally avoid them. These looked good quality and styles that would suit many occasions. 

Pros/Cons

Pros 

  • Self Cling to acrylic blocks, no need for extra cushioning. (I use funky foam under the card I stamp onto, for the cushioning)
  • Clear design allows for precision positioning
  • Very fine detail
  • Easy to use, don’t need as much pressure to stamp the image as you do with rubber stamps.
  • These do work ok with Dye based ink as well as pigment ink
  • Self storage on clear sheet, includes a printed index sheet for reference and also a folder so you can store them in a ring binder.

Cons 

  • I wouldn’t use permanent ink with clear stamps as the cleaners are likely to damage the stamp.
  • I wouldn’t use this style of stamp for ironing techniques i.e Fantasy fibres/films. The excess heat would damage them
  • Keep them out of direct light as this will damage the stamp. (Also true of rubber stamps so not a big disadvantage)

Build Quality

Excellent! I lifted just the edge of the stamp and then ‘walked’ it off the backer sheet to avoid stretching the stamp and it behaved wonderfully. My previous experience with another brand, was that the stamp stuck fast to the sheet and tore when I tried to use it for the first time. Use gently when you stamp and the image doesn’t distort. 

Value for Money

Excellent, especially given the storage sheet, index sheet and storage folder insert that the set comes with. 

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, I’m looking out for other designs in this range too. 

Summing up

As with many items, products that look similar are NOT created equal. I had a big ANTI thing going for clear stamps as the previous set I tried; repelled dye ink, tore when I tried to remove them from their own packaging and stained badly. There seems to be a very wide choice of clear stamps available, it seems you just have to try various brands till you find one that works for you. Some stamps in some brands are very soft and squishy, if you press them like you would for a rubber stamp, the clear stamp squashes and you get a terrible result. 

The Making Memories Clear stamps are excellent quality and stamp really well, keeping the fine detail of the design. Come back on friday for some top tips for getting the best from clear stamps. 

Links

Making Memories Manufacturers site. 

Making Memories; Clear stamps including a video Demo 

If you can’t see a direct link to these stamps,  type ‘clear stamps’ into the search box on the Making Memories site you should get them come up on the list. 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie :)

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Welcome Back   

In today’s post I will be reviewing;   

Making Memories Magnetic Stamp Alphabet & Handle sets.   

Making Memories Magnetic Stamps

Making Memories Magnetic Stamps

 

Purpose

I bought this stamp set to give me options for the words I could create. The font style is perfect for grunge style that I enjoy so much. The size is ideal for ATC’s and the A6 & A7 size cards I create.   

Pros/Cons

The Pro’s of these products are;   

  • You can make any words you choose, from the letter sets
  • Additional font styles and word sets available
  • You can position the letters on the handles, where ever suits the project
  • Rummage is a nice vintage/textured kind of font
  • Excellent storage! The handles and font sets are supplied with their own sturdy boxes

The downsides of this product are;   

Handle Set for Making Memories Magnetic Stamps

Handle Set for Making Memeories Magnetic Stamps

 

  • The weight of the handles, the wide one weighs; 119 grams, the narrow one weighs; 76 grams, and the small one weighs; 28 grams. Not a problem if you have only the occasional word you want to make, but for batch making cards, if you have limited dexterity, then these handles are heavy in the hand. Due to the fact they are metal blocks for the magnetic letters to adhere to.
  • When you ink up the stamp, the letters sometimes shift around and you often need to re position them before you stamp.
  • Only one set of stamps comes with its own tweezers. That’s fine, but have a set of tweezers to hand as they do make it much easier to use & position the letters, which can otherwise be very fiddly to get hold of.
  • The stamps need to be separated from each other. They are supplied in two sheets, the sheets are part cut through, but need to be accurately cut to give a good finish. My DH cut mine apart for me, my dexterity isn’t that good. You may need to trim back any overhanging ‘bur’ after you cut them out, otherwise they don’t sit so close together on the tool.

Build Quality

Excellent, if you are struggling to get your letters close to each other, trim back any bur left by separating the letters from each other, and they should align well.   

Value for Money

Excellent, for the versatility of both the font set and the options of single letter, single line or multiple line of lettering possible with the handles, the kits are a great price. Also the fact that the sets come with their own storage is brilliant.   

Would I buy it Again?

Yes, and would recommend these and the rest of the series to anyone who wants versatility and the options of personalizing their projects.   

Summing up

It would be nice if there were some kind of groove or similar, to would stop the letters moving around while you ink the stamp up, but that is really the only ongoing niggle with the set. I accept that I need to reposition the letters, after swiping on dye ink, or if you are very gentle dabbing on pigment ink, you might get away with it. This is a much more affordable set than the Just Right sets of positionable stamps. I’ve had no problems with ink collecting on the edges of the stamp around the outside of the letter, as they are deeply etched. I look forward to collecting the other stamp sets in this series.   

Links

Making Memories   

Making Memories; Magnetic Stamp set   

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon   

Billie :)

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Welcome Back 

Now that I’m getting into Art Journaling, it is difficult to find rubber stamps that have the right phrases. I have individual wood mounted alphabets, but these are tricky to line up nicely. Whilst searching in the local Hobby Craft store, I found Making Memories Magnetic Stamp sets. 

Like other font systems you need to buy a hand tool, to mount the stamps onto, but it is a one-off added cost. The hand tool has three space options for stamps; single letter, one line and two line.Once you have a hand tool, to mount the stamps on, you just choose the style that suits your project. I chose the Rummage font. 

Making Memories Magnetic Stamps

Making Memories Magnetic Stamps

 

Rummage is a slightly distressed version of a classic typewriter style font. When I’ve had a play with this system, I’ll write a proper review. Hope it works well, as there is a good-looking date set and a few word sets that look good too. The stamps and the hand tool, all come in their own metal storage boxes, making them easy to stack and store. 

Links

Here is a link to the Magnetic Stamp system I’m talking about, on the Making Memories site. There is also a video demo of the date stamp set on the site too. 

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon 

Billie :)

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