A New Use for an Old Tool – Card Making with a Sewing Gauge

A New Use for an Old Tool – Card Making with a Sewing Gauge

sewing gauge 2

I have had my sewing kit since high school home ec. class (I’m not going to tell you how old it is!), and one of the tools in it is a sewing gauge.   Recently, I discovered that this tool is very useful for making sure panels are straight on my cards.  I am usually a pretty good “eye-baller” but have a little trouble when positioning/adhering long, skinny panels that are kind of far from the edges (they always end up crooked!) or very small panels that have lots of space on all 4 sides (I have a hard time centering them). What is great about this tool is that once you determine how far away from the edge of the card you want your panel, you set the “sliding measure” and you can very quickly check all points on your panel to see if the distance from the edge is uniform.

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(Check two points on same side to see if the panel is straight.)

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(Check both sides to see if the panel is centered on right and left.)

A sewing gauge can be purchased in your local fabric store or online and is pretty inexpensive.  I’ve been using mine often; it has become one of my favorite tools!

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I’m Loving This Scoring Stylus – with my scoring board.

I’m Loving This Scoring Stylus – with my scoring board

scoring stylus

I just discovered a new tool that I love.  (I know…I’m not using it as it was intended, but…)

I have been busy making a BUNCH of cards (individual cards and sets) for a craft show in December.  I make my own card bases which requires a lot of scoring and folding.  I had been using a Martha Stewart Scoring Board with the bone folder/scoring tool that came with it.  After a while, my finger really started to hurt as I applied pressure to the top edge of the tool to score the card stock.  The problem is that the tool is fairly flat, and the edge digs into my fingertip with repeated use.  The other problem with this tool is that it is wearing out because it is made of plastic; I am not getting great score lines with it anymore.

ouch!

I had purchased and tried several replacement bone folder/scoring tools and had not really loved any of them. Some are too big to fit in the storage compartment on my score board.  Some have really sharp tips that cut my cardstock when I try to score it.  Some are too wide and jump out of the channels on the score board.  Others are just not real comfortable.

I was recently at the Scrapbook Expo in Somerset, NJ, and I discovered a tool for scoring that I really like – the Cricut Scoring Stylus.  It is meant to be used as an attachment for the Cricut Explore machine, but I just use it by hand with my scoring board.

           tool in cricut
(as Cricut attachment )

    wDSCN8902     holding tool

(I use it for hand-scoring with a score board.)

It is so comfortable because it is smooth and shaped like a pen.  I just started using it so I cannot speak about how long it will last, but the tip is metal, so I am guessing it will last longer than the plastic tools I’ve been using.  The tip is pretty pointy if you hold it straight up and down, but if you hold it at an angle like a pen and use moderate to light pressure, it works great.  And it fits in the storage compartment of my score board along with the bone folder so it’s always right there when I need it!

I still use the bone folder to flatten my folds, but this is my new score tool of choice!

You can check it out on Amazon.com (HERE).

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*Most of the images used in this post are from google images or from the amazon listing and are not my own.

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12 x 12 inch Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter with Large Base – updated 3/15/16

12 x 12 inch Tonic Guillotine Paper Cutter with Large Base

Tonic Large Base Trimmer

3/15/16 – This is an update from my original post.  

I had been told that these were no longer available when I first posted this in Dec. 2014, but they seem to be back!  I am seeing them in several places now:  on amazon.com HERE, on jet.com Here, and on tonic-gold.com Here.

trimmer

This one has a 6 inch base with detachable extension arm to make it a 12 inch cutter.  This also seems to be available again on amazon.com HERE.  

I own both of these models, and they are both great cutting tools.  What I particularly love about the one with the 6 inch base and extension arm is that it takes up much less room on my desk or shelf than the 12 inch base model since the base is half the size; I attach the arm when I need it, and store it under the base when the 6 inch base is enough.  The smaller base also makes it so much easier to move around and use.

However,  it is worth noting (with both models) that the ruler along the top edge doesn’t go all the way to the right edge and starts at 3/4 inch.  My second complaint (with the 6 inch base model) is that there is a gap in the ruler along the top when the arm is attached so the ruler on the left end of the base ends at 6 inches and the ruler on the extension arm starts at 6 3/8.  When I need to trim things less than 3/4 inch or between 6 and 6 3/8 inches, I either need to grab another trimmer, or I need to subtract that amount from the width of the paper and cut off the difference – an inconvenience indeed!  However, I own quite a few trimmers, and I still find myself grabbing these trimmers first because they cuts so well, are so easy to use, and usually have the measurements I need! 

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ORIGINAL POST 12/2/1014

I have been looking all over for one of these trimmers.  (This is the one that Gina K (StampTV) said she used and used to sell through her site.  Check out the description and reviews at  http://stamptv.ning.com/page/our-amazon-store.)

They are now discontinued and extremely hard to find.  I just stumbled on one at http://www.nationalartcraft.com/subcategory.asp?cid=+311&gid=16&scid=1522 and placed an order. They have it listed at a discounted price of $45.50 (the original list price was $59.95), and with the shipping, my order total was $58.45.  According to Lobi in their customer service department, they have 2 more in stock (as of 12/2/14), and she confirmed that they are discontinued and will no longer have them when these go.  IT APPEARS THEY ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT THIS SITE (updated 12/26/14)

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MISTI

MISTI

I must confess that I am a bit of a “craft tool addict” and get much pleasure in purchasing and trying out all the latest tools and gadgets that I can get my hands on.  I see a project I like, and I immediately check out the supply list and the tools that were used!  Anyway, I recently discovered a tool that looked very interesting.  (Thanks for sharing this, Verna!)  It is called the MISTI (Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented).

MISTI

Very briefly, you use this by placing your stamp (clear or red rubber cling) on the acrylic lid.  The paper is placed on the black foam (or in that section with the foam removed).  When the stamp is inked up and the lid is closed, the stamp comes in contact with the paper and your image is produced.  If you open the lid and close it again, the stamp hits the paper in the exact spot it did the first time.  You can see the You Tube video describing and demonstrating it HERE.


Why the MISTI looked interesting to me:

I often have trouble fixing a less than perfectly stamped image when parts of the image did not stamp or when there was uneven ink transfer.  This can happen with any stamp, but I often have trouble with large frame and background stamps or with larger solid image stamps.

I use a stamp-a-ma-jig a lot when I need precise placement of my stamps, and I really like it and get great results with it.  I use it to try to fix poorly stamped images as well.   However, because there is a small amount of human error involved with lining up the stamp against the stamp-a-ma-jig positioning tool, my stamped image sometimes ends up less than perfect when I need to go over the image a second time.  Sometimes it works great, and sometimes I get an image that looks a little blurry because it is just a touch off.  The MISTI works like a stamp-a-ma-jig in that the stamp is placed on and remains in a fixed position on the acrylic block, but the hinge keeps the acrylic lid from changing position so you know exactly where the image will end up no matter how many times you stamp it. Because re-stamping is so easy, you get great results when trying to get a darker or more solid image with the solid stamps as well because you can stamp and re-stamp as many times as necessary to get the desired results.

I also have a bit of trouble using the stamp-a-ma-jig with the really large acrylic blocks; I find it hard to line up these blocks against the positioning tool properly.  With the MISTI, you line up your stamp using the grid marks provided (or by initially placing the stamp right on your paper where you want it), and then it stays in position on the acrylic lid until you are done with it.

There are several videos demonstrating how to use MISTI for perfect placement of stamps, for creating backgrounds and for general stamping tips. Check them out at http://mysweetpetunia.com.


Here are a few of the images I stamped using the MISTI so you can see how it works.

This first example is with the bride and groom stamp from Gina K Designs “Always and Forever” duo stamp set.  It’s a large, solid stamp that  makes a silhouette type image.  Because this is a red rubber cling stamp, I’ve removed the foam insert from the left side of the MISTI.  I placed my paper in the lower left corner, although you can place it anywhere as long as it stays in the same place until you are done stamping the image.

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I stamped the image by inking up the stamp and closing the acrylic lid.  Without moving the paper, I re-inked the stamp and closed the lid again.

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For comparison purposes, the image on the left was stamped the traditional way using an acrylic block on foam on a table, and the image on the right is the one from the MISTI, stamped several times.  Both were stamped with Gina K Christmas Pine ink.  (There is nothing wrong with the left image.  It is beautiful and could be used as is, but if you want a richer image, it is easier to achieve it with the MISTI because you can stamp it and re-stamp it.)

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For this next sample, I am using a clear stamp so I put the foam insert into the left side of the MISTI.  (I ordered additional grid paper that can be place on top of the foam if needed for placement, but there is also a built in grid on the acrylic lid.  I also just discovered that there is a downloadable grid on the site where this is sold as well.)  I am using the optional magnets I purchased to hold my paper in place.  For this sample, I intentionally stamped the image very lightly to get an incomplete image.  The stamp is from the Gina K Designs “Fabulous Frame” stamp set.

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Leaving the paper in place, I re-inked the stamp and closed the lid again.  Perfect!

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Here is one more comparison where the image was stamped traditionally using an acrylic block on a table (pictured on the left) and with the MISTI (pictured on the right, stamped several times).  This stamp comes from the Gina K Designs “Inspiration Mosaic” stamp set.

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My MISTI just arrived in the mail yesterday, but here are my initial thoughts:

  • I can see this tool being really helpful for use with stamps from which I often have trouble getting good images and for re-stamping when needed.
  • I can see this tool being really helpful for making multiple copies of a stamped panel by leaving the stamp in place and replacing the paper in the exact same spot.
  • It works great with clear and red rubber cling stamps.  You cannot use it with wood mounted rubber stamps as they are too thick and the wood can’t cling to the acrylic lid.
  • I am not sure if this will replace my stamp-a-ma-jig or will be an additional placement tool; that remains to be seen!
  • I have not had this tool long at all (a day!) so I cannot comment on its durability.
  • My MISTI squeaks when the lid is opened and closed, and I noticed that it squeaks on the You Tube video as well.  I’m not sure if that will go away with use.  (Not a big problem for me at this point, and she claims it will stop squeaking with time in her FAQ section on her blog.)
  • The part where you place your paper is not large enough to hold a whole piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper (or 12 x 12 for scrapbooking) so the paper must be trimmed before you can stamp. (REVISION (1/13/15):  CHECK OUT BANJO58’s COMMENT BELOW FOR A WAY TO USE LARGER PAPER – AWESOME SUGGESTION.  THANKS FOR THE TIP!)

Overall, the positives seem to FAR outweigh the negatives at this point, and I look forward to using this tool a lot!!

ADDITION TO POST (1/13/15) – I’VE BEEN USING THIS TOOL A LOT SINCE I’VE GOTTEN IT AND ABSOLUTELY LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT.  I AM ACTUALLY CONSIDERING ORDERING A SECOND ONE AS THERE ARE MANY PROJECTS I HAVE WORKED ON RECENTLY WHERE SEVERAL STAMPS WERE USED ON PROJECTS THAT I WANTED TO DUPLICATE (LIKE CHRISTMAS AND THANK YOU CARDS).  HAVING MORE SURFACE SPACE TO KEEP STAMPS POSITIONED WOULD BE AWESOME. DEFINITELY NOT NECESSARY, BUT REALLY NICE.  BIRTHDAY, MAYBE?….. 🙂


To order a MISTI, go to mysweetpetunia.com or amazon.com.

At this point, she sells out quickly.  I signed up to follow her blog by email and received word that she was going to have them available for sale at 9:30 (central time) last Friday.  By 9:33 she was sold out! I’m not sure how many she had to sell, but I was lucky enough to get my order in before they were gone!  I actually put the additional items I wanted (grid paper, magnets to hold the paper in place, and the recommended cleaning solution) in my cart earlier in the day and kept the page open and up on my computer until it was sale time.  I had set a timer so I wouldn’t forget or lose track of time (am I crazy?!), and at 9:29 I started refreshing the page until the item became available.  At this point, all I had to do was add it to my cart and pay which was done with paypal so I just had to enter my password and was pretty much finished.  A little stressful, but worth it!  (Reminds me of the Tickle Me Elmo and Wii frenzies!!)  I placed my order on Friday night, and it was delivered on Monday.  Pretty awesome!

UPDATE (March 20, 2015): IT APPEARS THAT THE MISTI IS NOW IN STOCK (AND MUCH EASIER TO ORDER!) AND AVAILABLE AT mysweetpetunia.com or at amazon.com. (March 20, 2015)


This really may be the Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

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Art Glitter Designer Glue with Metal Tip (Art Institute)

Art Glitter Designer Glue with Metal Tip (Art Institute)

I really enjoy creating 3-D projects with paper like the ones found on svgcuts.com.  If you look under my “Paper Crafting Projects” tab in the menu bar above, you will see some of the projects I’ve created. These projects are made with lots of pieces of paper glued together.  You need a good, strong glue that dries pretty quickly when assembling these projects.  I want to share two products that work together that I just discovered and think are great.


The first is the glue which is called “Art Glitter Designer Glue” (dries clear).

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…and the other product is the “Art Glitter Metal Tip” that you add to the top of the glue bottle.  (The pin serves as the “cap” when not in use.)

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The metal cap is removable when the glue bottle is empty so you can put it on a new glue bottle when you need to.


This glue bottle works without the addition of the metal tip, but the metal tip creates a pen-like tip for great control allowing you to apply thick or thin lines of glue as needed.  It also allows you to get into really small spaces with the tip because it is long and skinny.

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And this glue dries pretty quickly so you don’t need to waste a lot of time holding paper together while you are waiting for it to dry before moving on to the next step in assembling your project.

Both of these products can be found online at the Heartfelt Creations website or at amazon.com .  I originally bought these at the Heartfelt Creations booth at a scrapbook expo I visited in September. (I’m not sure if local craft stores carry them; I’ve not checked since I haven’t needed to buy more glue yet.)

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