From masks to magazine ad collages, I’m papering all over Scoutie Girl. Today is no exception because I am talking with scrapbooker extraordinaire Vicki Oster. At Vicki’s shop, Paper Pieces by Vicki, you can find all sorts of pre-assembled albums for keeping or gifting your favorite memories. This lady uses all sorts of materials in making her books, but I
forced asked her to focus on just one or two.
Vicki Oster: HMMM…this is hard to decide because I have several! I guess my Cricut Expression and Crop-a-Dile are the ones I use the most and find most valuable.
Janice Bear: Okay, I already feel like you are speaking a foreign language.
VO: The Cricut is a digital die cut machine that I use to make letters, die cuts for my books and when I plan crafts for kids in a language group (I substitute teach for kids with special needs). It’s really a lot of fun and so diverse in uses.
The Crop-A-Dile is indispensable for punching holes in chipboard and cardstock and for setting brads.
Die cuts are shapes,letters,tags,boxes, etc. that I layer, outline, distress or customize for my album pages and covers. They are especially nice because you can make your own embellishments with color coordinated papers, chipboard, cardstock.
JB: How did you find out about these crazy cutting, punching doodads?
VO: I found out about the Cricut through infommercials on tv, and then did research online and with other people who scrap. The Crop-a-Dile was something that I saw demoed at Archiver’s, a scrapbooking store, and knew some other people who owned.
JB: What other tools had you tried?
VO: Before the Cricut, I used the die cut machines at stores and had a sizzix die cutter. However, these were pretty limiting and didn’t allow much for custom die cutting and they were time intensive. With the Cricut you dial/type in what you want and can usually walk away from it to do other things while it cuts, plus it outlines your die cuts. I also bought die cuts at scrapbook stores which ended up being pretty pricey.
Before the Crop-a- dile I used regular hole punches but they did not work with thicker materials.
Check out the cute accordion album here. You can find out more about Crop-a-dile products at We R Memory Keepers.
JB: Do you have just one of each tool or do you have multiples on hand?
VO: I have one of each. The Cricut is very expensive and you have to purchase cartridges to use with it so it is a major expenditure for scrappers. I only need one Crop-a-dile as I do most of my work in my studio.
JB: What should someone look for when buying this tool?
VO: When buying the Cricut, look for sales or try eBay, and make sure that you will use it enough to justify the expense. Also, I only buy the cartridges through eBay auctions because they can cost sooooo much. I NEVER buy them from craft stores or Cricut online because their prices are ridiculous!
When buying the Crop-a- Dile check out the newer, huge (golden orange) version vs. the small, pink original, and try to decide which meets your needs. If possible, use a Jo-Ann’s or Michael’s coupon for 40% off as they are sort of pricey, too.
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I agree, Vicki, coupons are always a good idea! I can see any number of scrapbookers and multi-media artists getting a lot of mileage out of these babies. Am I right?
Does anyone else use a Cricut, Crop-a-dile, or something else they like even better? Tell us about it!