Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Sitting Duck . . .

As paper crafters we need to face facts . . . we have all bought products that the crafting industry sells, expecting the moon, but in reality getting products that do no more for us than collect dust and take up valuable real estate in our craft spaces.

Letterpress comes to mind. . . textured plates . . . detailed dies that don't cut . . . burlap that won't stick to anything with any adhesive, and so it goes. "If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is" or something like that . . .

With crafting experience comes questions. . .  why don't all embossing folders have the titles pre printed on them? They all have the manufacturer printed on them, never to wear off, so why not the folder title? Punches that you need to cut card stock to a certain size to fit yet there are no size markings on the punch. . . and so it goes. The more experienced crafter is less likely to leap into buying a new product until they see it used a few times and maybe can read some reviews on a product as too much of our crafting dollars and time have been wasted.

"You make a fool of me once, shame on you. You make a fool of me twice, shame on me." Or some such saying -- but things have changed for us crafters in the past few years concerning dies and the die manufacturer. Dies are no longer squares, circles, ovals. They are shapes, large, and small. Many of the crafting companies now sell stamps with matching dies available. Which brings me to Sizzix.

Sizzix now has many designers for their new thin metal dies and one of my favorites is Stephanie Bernard. A few months back she introduced "Drop-Ins" for her Sizzix line. Saw the product, watched her video, and although it seemed like a good idea I did not know if the 'drop-in' word dies offered in this set would get much use by me.

"Drop-Ins" are what she calls the word dies she offers for this line. Her two or three basic starter sets, (you would need to buy one of these starter sets to use the Drop-Ins), come with the dies for the card stock base, the card front, other pieces and accessories, as well as various words or sayings you would drop-into the die. Here is the package front of this die set:

On the packaging you see in the lower right corner of the card front the word "cheers". This starter set comes with other words and sayings. Not knowing if this would be a one time die set or if more accessory products would be available in the future I did not buy it. . .  until....

Saw that Sizzix/Stephanie Bernard are offering more drop-in dies to work with this set. I believe her new drop-in word dies are $6.99 per set. So of course, now I wanted a starter set so I could buy the new word drop-in dies to try it out. But knowing not everything works as well as we would like. . .

Decided if I was going to buy a starter set I would buy it off  Ebay and save $$ and see if it would work as well as they say it will --- this die set has 15 pieces and well worth every dollar to buy it. Here is my card I quickly made up with this die set that arrived today and I will honestly say it took me longer to pick out my Hobby Lobby printed card stock I used for the card front than it took me to cut it all out:

Here is a closer photo of the word "hello" so you can see it is not all "hairy":

All card stock pieces came right out of the dies and I did not use any shims or a metal plate when I used the Big Shot.

Stephanie Bernard and Sizzix have combined to offer us crafters great products at great prices -- 15 pieces in one die set certainly gives a crafter much to play with as well as many die pieces to use to decorate your cards and projects -- both inside and out.

If you have been thinking of getting this starter set, as well as additional drop-in dies, go for it. These products work as well as Stephanie shows in her videos -- head over to Youtube and in the search bar type in Sizzix Drop-Ins and the videos will come up. Happy Sizzix is offering products for us crafters that give us the most for our crafting dollars AND the products work!  TFL and YOLO


H L O'Neill said...

Hi Candee,

I thought I was the only one that bought stamping supplies only to find they were worthless!! I recently purchased "plate" for my Big Shot that a demonstrator raved about, only to find it might have been "wonderful" for her, but didn't work any better cutting dies than without it. That's only my latest "worthless" purchase!! I guess there's always a thorn or two in a rose garden!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good morning Candee, I have just started to read your latest posting and already I am smiling from ear to ear and chuckling inside. I totally concur with what you are saying.
The sun is shining brightly this N M morning and you have just made it shine brighter. Love reading your posts and sharing your suggestions with my daughter and granddaughter. Have a wonderful day.
Hugs and smiles, Reva

MaryH said...

Good to read this review of this new Stephanie product. I've seen it on websites, but no videos as yet. Your card turned out beautifully though, and I'm a word die addict, for sure. One comment on the die cutting that you have to shim. I've not had the greatest luck with the metal shims - especially with intricate dies, and even using wax paper or dryer sheets to lubricate it. I bought the sizzix precision plate, and it has been worth every penny. I can even cut the Cheery Lynn doily dies that I used to have so much trouble with (even using their shim & turning the qtr turns, etc). If you know anyone with the plate, ask to borrow it. I've been very pleased with mine (and accidently cut on the wrong surface of it the other evening!) Other than cutting into the directional surface, immediately realizind what I was doing as it rolled through too late for me to reverse it where the die was placed) has not harmed the plate. Again, it's worth the money to me. I have been using it in place of most of the bottom cutting plates. TFS & for the good review. Hugs

MaryH said...

oops, I see an earlier commenter must be talking about this plate. All I can say is that I'm highly pleased with mine (the sizzix precision plate) and I got it when I got the B/Shot Plus machine. I'm not sure why your first commenter didn't like it, as everyone around here that has it, raves about it, just as I do. I have not had to use a metal shim one single time since beginning to use the plate.