Friday, 26 November 2010

catch this train!

the first time i learned about scrapbooking, i learned about decorative edged scissors. yes. my favourite to this day is the 'deckle edge'. looks just like the edge on the vintage photographs. it was so long ago that they had scissors designed to cut corners. i haven't seen them on store shelves for years. my guess is that they have been replaced by punches. my set of scissors were finicky. the corner punches definitely are a better quality product. those one of a kind scissors are in storage somewhere. you can see how often i use them!

when i first started to make scrapbook pages i added the small corner punch to my tool box. it really is time to replace it because i've used it so much! i do remember seeing the decorative corner edgers on the shelves but the designs were so far from my taste. i liked simple.

my love affair with border punches began almost as soon as i knew what they were. my first one was Threading Water by Fiskars. i still love it! i got super lucky one day and found an embossing/edge punch in a clearance bin at Superstore for $3. i don't use it as much, but i couldn't pass up that deal! it is more intricate and flowery....not simple. i love the punches by EKSuccess. they also take up very little space in the drawer in my desk. my most recent purchase was the Upper Crust punch by Fiskars. very simple. very trendy right now. it gets used a lot. i also could not live without my notebook edge punch. mine was purchased many years ago from Stampin'Up. it is the size of a regular punch, but can go along an edge to create a decorative border. it was one of those orders from a season catalogue. they sell a new version of it, and it resembles the ones you can find on store shelves. EKSuccess and Fiskars have a few now that are awesome.

but my love affair with punch-around-the-page began last Christmas. they drive me crazy. they are addicting. when they are on sale, or if i have a coupon....they are kryptonite! i can't pick my favourite. however, i seem to have a lot that have some sort of loop or scallop. if you see me with another punch in my hands....could you just ask me if i really need to have! one drawback is that your paper needs to be a specific size in order for them to work properly. i use them to make photo frames, so the measurements 5 x 6 3/4 inches work well. they also work well on your standard greeting card. as well as a border on a 12x12 layout. sometimes i think i have the right measurement....then realize i don't. thus i have saved time and know exactly where to place that flower or sticker! ha!!

and now there are punches that can give you a lovely decorative strip. at first they made me look, but i walked right by. until i saw an adorable layout by Christine Middlecamp. sigh. yes, i bought it.

i would hate to be on the same train all by myself.

here are some great videos i've come across this week. as well as some new ideas on using punches.

using 3 different edge/border punches:

using the Punch Around the Page (you can find this on the Martha Stewart website too):

this idea has been around for awhile...using your simple corner rounder to make scalloped edges:

how about using the same punch to make flowers?

how about a new use for your corner punches? using your corner punches on a CIRCLE shape:

and another method to use your corner punches on a circle: click here (no video, pictures only)

i have tried this. not that i have measured or anything, but i have not had the ends meet up accurately. again, a good spot for a flower or button?!

how about using your edge punches to go all around the page? it can be done!

i do remember watching another video tutorial. but now i can't find it!

in honor of American is a cute tutorial using shape punches to make a turkey. great inspiration!

i sure wouldn't recommend to most people getting started in scrapbooking to buy all the tools at once. if only all of our bank accounts could handle that!

when i started i bought:
-- a craft knife (with replacement blades)
-- a good ruler (LOVE the B-1M by C-Thru Ruler and this one by Tim Holtz)
-- a craft mat (self healing) many companies sell this and in various colours too! it does not have to be 12x12, as long as you have one width that is 12 inches you will be good.
-- glue sticks are what we all used in the beginning. they are great! as i started to create more projects i found double-sided adhesive tape runners were more practical for me. at this point i have a favourite glue for adding extra embellishments to a page! (i'll share that list another day. but depending who you ask, we all have our own favourites. mine is the best for me, but not for everyone.)
-- good paper scissors. something to help you cut small flowers or branches, etc. and ribbon
-- black journaling marker. i still have my ZIG marker from 1996. and it still works as great as the day i bought it. i use the American Crafts slick writers for writing on slippery surfaces, like photos.
-- paper for the project you are working on. however i buy a huge pack of 200+ sheets of 81/2 x 11 white cardstock at Staples. great for card backgrounds. printing.

the other thing i would recommend is buying a new tool for the project you are working on. this way you know you will use it. it also helps to add to your inventory without breaking the bank. for example i bought a snowflake punch the year i used it on our christmas cards. it is also the tool that gets lent out the most too!

one year i borrowed a friends' straight edge punch. when you make 40 cards, and have about 3 layers of mats...well it sure saved time. the next time i saw one on sale, i bought it. get one that will cut a 12 inch sheet of cardstock. you will not regret it, even if all you make are cards.

many of us trade and share our supplies with each other. it provides a great opportunity to try new tools and see what we like. or what likes us!

i also took classes. i did learn how to use markers and blending pens to lighten colours. learned what ink pad should be used for what purpose. experience is a great teacher, but sometimes it is just more fun to learn from someone who knows what they are talking about!! the first time i used alcohol inks was in a class. at the time i thought it was a lot of money...probably a $45 mini album. however i got to play with the products after having the instructor give us her tips. in the end i knew what colours of inks i wanted to start with (bought 3 4 years later i have almost a dozen colours....far cry from how many are available!). i also learned some tips on where i could save some money. today, that album is still one of my favourites. i could have googled and searched for videos (that works too) but sometimes it is just more valuable to learn from the instructor and the students around you. did i mention that classes are fun and enjoyable?

above all....ask questions! i think most people who are passionate about scrapbooking or cardmaking will be ready to share all kinds of tips and advice. if you see a technique or design that you can't get out of your mind, ask how the designer did it. we all love having our work admired! doesn't matter if it is the 5th project you created, or if you are a design team member of Pink Paislee (who wouldn't want to be on that team...yum!).

at some point i bought that first border punch and used it all the time. slowly i added to my collection. whether it was points or a gift card or birthday money or coupon. at some point we all have tools we rather regret. like my Big Bite. yes, i have used it. i've been able to share it. but, really, it has not received the use my crop-a-dile or paper punches have. it doesn't mean it is not a great tool. just not something that is useful for me and what i create. sometimes you just don't know until you try it.

i was just reading this week that Christine Middlecamp does not yet own a die-cutting machine. would you believe that surprised me? she does amazing work and is one of those "most-wanted" by companies. (in my opinion! i'm sure Christine loves to hear people say that about her!!) anyways it just goes to prove that you don't have to own every tool in order to be good.

you know i just realized i could have saved me and you some time. all i really needed to say was:
don't buy it all at once. start with the basics. then buy what you like/admire to create what you like/admire!


have a super weekend....yay! no more -100C temperatures!!


  1. I'm on the border punch train with you! And I bought the same MS punch after seeing it on Christine Middlecamps blog!!!

  2. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!! It reminds me of those candy ribbons they used to have....


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