New Tool: Scor-Buddy

From the very beginning, let me just say that his review may be slightly biased. I discovered the original Scor-Pal several years ago and it quickly became one of my favorite MUST-HAVE tools. If you are a cardmaker or paper crafter of any kind, the Scor-Pal is, in my opinion, the best scoring/folding tool on the market.

A while back, I did purchase the Martha Stewart Score Board. I gave it the old college try–and as much as I love Martha Stewart products–I just did not like it. It’s been relegated to that scary pile of “things I might use one day” in my storage room. The main advantage (and improvement), however, was the availability of 1/8″ score lines. I just did not like the scoring tool or the depth of the scoring channels.

Now the lovely folks behind the Scor-Pal have introduced what could be considered the “baby” version of the Scor-Pal, with the Scor-Buddy. Obvious influences from the Martha Stewart Score Board have been combined with the best of the Scor-Pal. Ideally tailored for cardmakers, the Scor-Buddy measures a compact 9″ in length and 7 1/2″ in width. It is configured with 1/4″ score lines across the entire board. However, the first and last inch of the board have been further broken down into 1/8″ intervals. The right side railing has been removed. The normal size Scor-Tool is included in a snap-in holder. There is a small magnetic spot on the left upper side for holding paper clips or miscellaneous metal accessories and embellishments. Also included is faux ultra suede zip storage bag. It’s the perfect little tool kit. While the Scor-Pal will be always be my first love, the Scor-Buddy is really a must-have tool as well. It get’s a total thumb’s up from me.


A Compendium Of Curiosities

Yesterday was all about Mr. Tim Holtz for me (and my pocketbook). First, I received my copy of Mr. Holtz’s new book, “A Compendium Of Curiosities”–which I’ll get to in a moment. Secondly, I ordered nearly $200 of his new Alterations line. I am in awe of the versatility of some of the new Sizzix Bigz dies and edge dies he’s come up with. If you haven’t visited Tim Holtz’s blog as of late, I highly recommend you take a look at the set of new videos he posted describing his intentions and examples of the new Alterations line of products. Needless to say, I’m hooked (line and sinker). I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Holtz’s tools and products (a fact my craft stash would attest to in a court of law). I suppose his aesthetic may not appeal to all crafters, but I have to say I love the grunge look of his style and his methods of repurposing objects and trinkets. It’s also one of the few craft lines that is very male and teen friendly (in my opinion). Among the dies I am eagerly awaiting: Caged Bird, Fanciful Flight, Gadget Gears, Tattered Florals, Hanging Sign, Ornamental, Keyholes, Styled Labels, Three Hole Punch, and File Tabs. (The sad part is there are still a few more I want–but they weren’t in stock at the moment. So, I’m sure I’ll be placing another order on down the road.)

But enough about my shopping habits…and on to the book. Can I just say right up front that this book belongs in every crafter’s library. Whether you are a Tim Holtz fan like me or just interested in new methods, techniques, and ideas, this book is for you. The hardcover book (with interior spiral binding) measures approximately 8 3/4″ x 8 3/4″ and has 77 pages. But don’t be fooled by that number. The book is bursting with information and wonderfully rendered color photographs presented with Mr. Holtz’s usual panache and flair.

Beginning with a brief introduction to the man and his studio–as well as a list of products he has developed or helped to develop and their intended uses–the book wastes no time getting to its essential core. It’s broken down into three major sections: Ideas, Techniques, and a Gallery.

In the Ideas section, Holtz explores different elements and embellishments and how they can affect your projects–whether they be layouts, cards, mini-books, etc. Among the topics he discusses and shows examples of:

  • ornate plates
  • foilage
  • corner
  • tags, tokens, & sticks
  • type charms
  • gears, sprockets, & timepieces
  • numerals
  • keys & keyholes
  • adornments & vintage buttons
  • curio knobs & foundations
  • film strip & ruler ribbon
  • fasteners & washers
  • mini clips & pins
  • trinket & memo pins
  • hitch fasteners
  • hinge clips & D-rings
  • swivel clasps
  • ball, bead & link chains
  • tickets & stickers
  • paper stacks
  • grungeboard & grungepaper
  • fragments

    My favorite section has to be the Technique section. In it, Mr. Holtz teaches us to use some of his famous techniques, tips and tricks. What’s clever is that most of them are done is six simple steps with accompanying full-color photographs. Among the techniques highlighted are:

  • wrinkle free distress
  • scribble stain distress
  • water stamping
  • blended batik
  • dabber resist
  • perfect distress
  • inking grunge
  • double distress
  • rusted enamel
  • distress crackle
  • distress powder
  • chipped enamel
  • rusted grunge
  • distress stickles
  • rock candy distress stickles
  • altered metal with paint
  • shabby chic
  • weathered wood grunge
  • alcohol ink monoprint
  • alcohol ink splatter
  • alcohol ink agate on grunge
  • industrial grunge
  • tinted vision fragments
  • altered metal alcohol inks
  • colorful layered fragments
  • masks basics
  • inking and stamping masks
  • distress misting masks
  • extreme masking
  • fragments basics
  • dimensional collage fragments
  • fragment charms
  • grungepaper flowers
  • multi-medium collage
  • design details

    The final section is a wonderful gallery of projects done by Mr. Holtz that incorporate many of the techniques, tools, and examples used throughout the book. What really surprised me was that even someone like myself who has used a lot of Holtz products can still find new information on how to use products that you hadn’t thought of or didn’t realize you could do. I was really excited by the fragments projects (and will be working on some of those in the near future.

    “A Compendium Of Curiosities” retails for $24.99 and, in my opinion, is worth every single penny. I highly recommend this book to anyone with even a faint interest in papercrafting.

  • Spotlight: Scor-Pal Mat & Tote Bag

    Any of you who have read this blog before know that I love my Scor-Pal. It was another of the many purchases that were enabled by the members of the Cricut Message Board. As someone who loves cardmaking and paper folding, I’m not sure how I ever managed without a Scor-Pal. I know there are several brands and types of scoring devices out there–and in the end, there is a degree of personal choice and what works best for you–but, I highly recommend the Scor-Pal to any of you who may be in the market for a multi-purpose scoring tool.

    So, I’ve had my Scor-Pal for a while now. But, Diana Crick and the great folks over at Scor-Pal have recently introduced two handy upsell items for the Scor-Pal.

    The first is a handy and beautiful colored teal tote bag to safely store and carry your Scor-Pal. The water-proof nylon material is very sturdy and some obvious thought went into the design of the bag. It has a detachable black adjustable web carrying strap. It’s designed with a large front zip pocket with the Scor-Pal log screenprinted in white and gray on the front of it. It also features a front pocked ID window for identification and personalization.

    The inside is surprisingly roomy. It feature two large elasticized pockets on the back wall that will easily hold a 12″ paper trimmer and a bulky tool such as the Crop-a-Dile. The Scor-Pal fits in there with the mat nicely and there’s still room for current projects, paper pads or other supplies you might need to take to a crop or friend’s house. The overall dimensions of the tote are 14″ x 16 1/2″ and it sells for $16.00.

    But, the real treat is the Scor-Pal Mat, which is designed to be perfectly seated in the tray area of the Scor-Pal. It also is a reversible, double-sided dual-use mat. The translucent teal mat is nearly 12″ x 12″ and features a self-healing cutting mat with inch markings done in black and 1/8″ increments marked in white. The reverse side features a shiny worksurface with a slight amount of cling to keep papers from moving or slipping. Now when you are through using your Scor-Pal for scoring or folding, you can put the mat on top and continue working on your project. The mesuring scales are extremely handy and the work surface is fabulous for stamping and working on your current page or card. At $15.00, it is must-have tool for your arsenal.

    Buying a Scor-Pal (sells for $39.95), the mat and tote is a bit of an investment for the savvy crafter. However, it pays off in dividends. You’ll find yourself reaching for this tool set constantly. I’m always coming up with new ways to use my Scor-Pal–and the mat just gives it all the more possibility and flexibility.

    This is a five-star (*****) winner! You won’t be sorry