New Toy

The Scrapbooking craze is just so amazing. It has encouraged millions of people to become little historians, recording moments in time. It has allowed people who otherwise thought themselves as non-creative types to experience the process of art making. But most of all, I LOVE that it has made tools available to the mass population that before were non existent.

I used to be a scrapbooker, but since I enjoy so many other creative outlets like painting, graphic design and sewing, I don’t have much time to scrapbook any longer. But when I started out scrapbooking, the industry was just starting to take off.

As a kid, I grew up in a rural area of Maine. I often begged my mom to drive 45 minutes to the local hobby store where they sold some art supplies, doll supplies, and miniatures. It was definitely not like the super craft stores of today.

I was the kind of kid who created paper dolls from clippings of Christmas wish books. I made houses from shoe boxes, and canned foods for my barbies from metal pencil tops (minus the eraser). And if I was lucky, sometimes I would make the crafts following directions from Highlight magazines. Then, the materials were simple and basic.

Now, because of the scrapbooking craze, crude tools have become obsolete. Fancy papers can be found in almost any design wished for and those that you can’t find, you can create for yourself with printers that print pigmented ink. Every do dad imaginable has become an embellishment for scrapbooks. Buttons, washers, metal brads, eyelets, gears, if you name it, you can find it in a craft store. I love and embrace this new era of crafting excess.

So when I was talking with my friend Allsion (see her blog Creative Bliss) I was amazed to hear there are electronic die cutting machines that actually cut images you make on your computer. Silhouette by QuicKutz is much like a printer but instead of printing, it cuts. I was in awe and looked into purchasing one. I’m happy to say my Silhouette machine arrived this weekend and I’m just loving it!

There is no need to purchase cartridges since I can design shapes and sayings using Photoshop. One of the projects I’m working on is a silhouette mobile of our family members. I’ll hopefully be able to share some free templates that you too can use with your Silhouette machine and some projects as well. It’s another tool that would have never hit the market without all those scrapbookers out there.