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Friday, 21 January 2011

...welcome to the party!!


Good morning and welcome to the party! Usually at this time of the month we are having a release, but this month we're doing something a little different!! We are celebrating!!

What are we celebrating? Well, we are celebrating our good fortune, we got something rather special for Christmas, we were blown away to receive Spellbinder Grand Calibur machines!!

If you have visited me before you might know that I am ADD.IC.TED to Spellbinders die templates. All of them. I dare not admit in public how many of these things I actually possess...and if you tell my DH I will strenuously deny mentioning it...just kidding, he regularly packs them away for me after I have a craft explosion.

Right before I get on with the card deets let me tell you what's at the party for you! Opportunities to win free stuff!

The Party will last from today (Friday) until Sunday. 3 days.

• Folks who purchase anything during the 3-day event (8.00am this morning 21st Jan to midnight Sun 23rd - all my time) will be entered into a draw. One person will be randomly picked at the end of the 3 days to receive their shopping basket free!

• We will also draw one random winner per day from comments left on one of the DT blogs just like we do for regular releases (only there will be three days of winners rather than just one!). Each winner will receive a free stamp set of their choice!

• We will also be holding a special challenge after the party. At the end of the event, we will invite all you folks to CASE a card/project from the 3 days. You will have one week to link your entries to the WMS blog post and then we'll pick a random winner for a prize. You may enter as many times as you like. One random winner will receive a set of Grand Nestabilities Dies - Grand Labels 4 and a set of stamps of their choice!

DT ladies at the party with us today are:

Mona and Carly
 
Don't forget to leave the ladies a comment for a chance to win!

Grand Calibur - the low down!!


Soon as this was released I wanted it. I wanted it so bad. Turns out I have a fairy god-sister, because my wish was granted!!! I could not believe my eyes when this baby landed at the doorstep!

I have a purple wizard which I have always loved, and nothing on the planet embossed like my little purple dude, but the truth must be told, I live in a tiny house, and the crank was a little bit noisy for dead-of-night craft sessions. I also have a cuttlebug, and it's fine, the embossing is nowhere near the wizard, but it is quiet.

Then came the Grand Calibur. This machine is the answer to my current problems. I have found that the embossing is a lot crisper than my cuttlebuddy. And the Calibur is quiet. ahhh. The side handle features a generous grip, which I found very comfortable to operate. There is a suction plate on the bottom that actually sucks. And at last I am no longer rowing the wee cuttle across the table...lol!!

AND can you see the plates? They have the names printed on them. This thing is pretty fool-proof. Cutting and embossing sandwiches can be mixed up easily and the simple action of having the names printed on them is genius.

Huge tan embossing mat. Fab.

Living in a small house, I was a little worried that the Calibur would be a monster, but here you can see it beside my wee green thingy. It's actually not that much bigger, which makes the difference in cutting capacity so much more striking. Also there are no wings to fold out, just a little white 'tray' piece at the front which only needs to extend out about 2 inches at most. It's quite neat really, I was surprised by that.


The cutting capacity is huge. Here I have laid out two full sets of label die templates on the one cutting plate so that you can get an idea of how much you can cut all in one go.

I found that the Calibur cut all of these cleanly in one pass.


The opening on the Calibur is wide. UK ladies will be interested to note that A4 sheets can fit easily in the opening with no need to trim.

I tried a piece of standard US cardstock through the opening and had to crinkle the edge up slightly to feed it through the tray, I didn't mind this as i was interested in the die cut shapes and the edge was going to be scrap. If I was making a project using US cardstock, and I wanted the edges of the paper to be smooth, I can simply remove the white tray, 8.5 inch paper will then feed through no problem

There are a couple of methods for doing this and here is a link to a video showing how.


For today's card tho' I didn't even get as far as die cutting! lol, I used the tan embossing mat and a couple of little paper doilies to make a simple embossing on a piece of plain cardstock. You know how when you buy doilies there are sometimes 3 or 4 sort of stuck in a layer together? well, I didn't separate mine. I just laid them on the base plate. Put a piece of cardstock over the top and layered on the tan mat and the pink embossing plate, and ran it through.


I wanted to show you that even something as fine as a few paper doilies can generate a lovely embossed image to use on a card. I picked out the embossed detail with a little sponged distress ink. I dressed my image very simply with a button, a piece of ribbon and a couple of rows of faux stitching, done with a gray pencil. The sentiment is from Say It with Style, which, incidentally, was our first Spellbinder compatible stamp set, released in August 2009!!!


Later on, I had a go embossing whatever I found to hand - here I ran some pieces of tinsel through the Calibur and got a rather interesting rope effect, I hope to use this on a card tomorrow! I love experimenting!



Hope it tickles!

69 comments:

  1. Ooooh! How fun! I got one of those from my mom for Christmas. Haven't tried it out yet but I bet after seeing yours and the DT's projects this weekend I will want to! Howdun to use non-traditional materials too.

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  2. LOVE your card...can hardly believe the embossing was done with a doily, and I never would have thought to try embossing over tinsel! Brilliant! I was gong to try to resist the Grande Caliber...don't see how I can after seeing all of that! You sold me! Just lovely!

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  3. Wow Claire, I'm envious of your caliber! Beautiful card, and woo hoo for competions!! So nice to see you creating, can we have some more please?! Xx

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  4. Wish I had seen this before buying the Big Shot. I too was a huge Wizard fan but finally decided the crank handle had to go.
    Sigh - not buying another machine for a long while. It does look fabulous though.
    Ann xxx

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  5. Hi Claire!

    Oeh, you're back and I am truly enjoying it!! Amazing how you thought of putting the doily under the machine, this looks awesome! Inspires me to try more of that - FUN! Looks awesome your card! And it's a party, yihoe! I will quickly head on over to Carly and Mona! All the best!

    Hugs, Wendy

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  6. Heavens I LOVE new toys and now you have me wishing I had this one in addition to my Big Shot. Will have to start saving my coins.

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  7. Sitting here with my mouth open!! You can actually emboss doilies!!??** Unbelievable ... I have to investigate this baby ... Thank you for sharing!!
    Oh and your card is stunning!!

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  8. Claire that card is so pretty! The calibur is amazing! I can't get over the embossing that you did with a paper doily.

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  9. Ohhh that's cool, Claire! Can't wait to see all of the projects this weekend! Thanks for the chances to win, and also for that excellent pictorial about the Wizard!

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  10. Well, that does it! I have been trying so hard to avoid going down this road. Convinced myself that buying the 'longer' plates sold for my C'bug would be enough for me, that this was just one more "gadget" to fill up my crafting space. And then, you proceed to let me know what I am missing without this lovely "tool" at my disposal!!! Guess I am going to have to sell a whole slew of cards and make sure that one of these little babies takes up residence in my house--ASAP!
    Love what you have demonstrated with your post today, Claire, I think it should be called "justifiable enabling"--think DH will go for that??
    Thanks for some truly wonderful info on a great product. Luvs ya!

    Sandy

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  11. Love your card. Thanks for the how to on the Grand Calibur.

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  12. This is just a beautiful sample Claire. It's so soft and elegant. I'm really looking forward to all the fun!

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  13. This post almost makes me wish my Big Shot would give out so I'd have an excuse to buy this! It looks fabulous. Thanks for showing and describing some of its features! Your embossed doily is so cool!

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  14. Thank you for the in-depth coverage of the Grand Calibur. I was wondering about those same issues (size) myself so I'm glad to see that it doesn't take up much more space. Thanks!

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  15. Luvin it! The card, the emboss anything that you run across in your home...that GC is what I would love to win...missed it on the SB hop! Off to go partay with Mona and Carly! Can't wait to see the tinsel/rope card!!!

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  16. Ok, using the non-traditional materials -- brilliant! :) And fabulous overview of the tool!

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  17. What a wonderful idea!! Love your run down on the GC :)

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  18. it does look like but it's out of my price range at the moment :( I do hope you enjoy yours and can't wait to see what goondess you'll be creating with it

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  19. Oh, you smart whipper-snapper!
    I have the C-bug and have tried (read hoped not to break another C plate) embossing different things. It'll have to do for now but I do envy your new toy. I really like that long shapes can be done in one swipe.
    Love the doily effect- must try it!

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  20. Hi, Claire! I am HUGELY impressed! Your card is absolutely adorable and I am so envious of your new toy! I want one! I wonder if I could persuade my hubby to buy me one for Valentine's Day! Fingers crossed, eh! :D

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  21. Absolutely lovely card Claire! The soft muted colors are so pretty. Embossing the doily was a brilliant idea. I can't wait to see what you create with the rope effect embossing.

    Thanks so much for the party! Maybe it will add some warmth to an otherwise bitter cold weekend - we have -16 degree C temps right now and it was much colder than that overnight.

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  22. Claire--I love your doily card, it is so soft and pretty! And your new toy looks like so much fun! Thanks for the great introduction!

    Chris L.

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  23. What a lucky girl you are to have a fairy god-sister -- I need one of those as I too am in love with the GC. I keep checking my doorstep, but no fairy has shown up yet -- LOL! Love your inventive embossing -- too fun -- will have to try that again myself!!!

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  24. Hi Claire,I'm so very excited to have discovered your stamps and will be placing an order for the first time! Thanks so much for sharing all the info about the Grand Caliber-I'm new to the diecutting machines(never paid much attention to them)but now I'm SO hoping for a fairy godsomebody to bring me one too! :)Linda K

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  25. Hi Claire.Just like you I needed the GC the moment I saw it. It´s great and the big dies are fabolous, cut one, fold it over and you have a nice and special card. Can´t wait to see what you and your designteam comes up with.
    Ansa

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  26. Wow! Way to think outside of the box! I love what you did with the doily and I am super impressed by how many of the nesties fit on one page!

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  27. I love all the tips about the Grand Calibur!

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  28. You're a lucky girl - such a wonderful present. I really think I have to get one of them! I do so like the big (huge) dies!

    Such a pretty card - I like that you've shown us it can emboss all sorts of everyday stuff!

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  29. Cindy Holshouser21 January 2011 at 20:21

    Your middle name should be 'clever'. I would never think to use a doily to emboss. But it's so beautiful. Thanks for this neat idea!

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  30. Ooooh, I'm like you Claire! I soooo wanted one of these, and now that I see yours in action I want one even MORE than I did before!!! My birthday's coming up soon, so maybe I should pass a few blunt hints - like tattoo it on my foreheAd.

    It's just ace, I can't get over your doilies! What a simple idea, and how well it worked. It's lovely!

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  31. Lovely card, and great competition - but I'm gutted, I ordered 2 sets of stamps last night!!

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  32. Wow, congrats on your new toy! I was worried about size, too, because we live in a small apt so thank you for the comparison photo! What a fun celebration and I'm happy to join in!!

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  33. Claire, you're BRILLIANT. I can't believe you even thought to emboss doilies, let alone that it turned out so wonderful!! I LOVE IT!

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  34. I too have the purple Wizard and love it. I have been trying to resist the Grand Calibur but it is getting harder with all the positive remarks. Love your Valentine card -- I will have to give that a try seeing as how I have some of these doilies hiding in my stash.

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  35. What a perfectly soft and perfectly sweet card! So excited to see a shake up with the release too!

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  36. Thanks for showing us your new toy and your experiments with it.

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  37. I love the card - your descriptions always put designs and ideas in simple terms and your tutorials are so helpful. Thanks for the great ideas and opportunity to win more goodies!

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  38. wow Claire, I am so completely jealous! I need one of those grand calibur thingies.... PS your card is gorgeous as always!

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  39. Such a pretty card Claire! Love how you stenciled the paper doily and your faux stitching looks fab!

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  40. I also have a limited table/studio space, but my Grand Calibur really fits in nicely. I agree, it does a much better job than my trusty Cuttlebug, though I'm not about to give it up. Love the idea of embossing doilies and other materials. Don't think I would have ever thought of that!

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  41. Your embossed doily idea turned out great! Now I want a GC!
    DeniseB

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  42. Can't do with out mine aswell. Just like you I had to have it as soon as it was released..long live the preorder!! I hardly use my bigshot any more. Can't wait till the release of the new spellbinders..and hopefully your matching stamps!!

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  43. How lucky are you! Thanks for the comparison with the cb. I like that it can do A4.
    I also enjoyed seeing how it works with everyday items. Looks great, with good impressions. Enjoy playing with it!

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  44. Oh no i was busy yesterday and missed this post naughty me lol. the GC looks amaazing thank you for your information and your card is super Claire love it.

    Better go catch up and spend some money too :D

    thanks again

    Ali x

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  45. Congrats on your new toy!! I love your card and how you embossed the doily!!

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  46. That is soooo pretty! What a super idea with the embossing!

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  47. WOW! Now I want one too!!! Birthday and x-mas seems very far away!!!
    Enjoying the party! Cheers, Karin

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  48. WOW! very useful!
    Love your card,
    Sandra ltb

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  49. I am very jealous of anyone who has the grand calibur. I have a cuttlebug and a big shot so I won't be getting one anytime soon. My money is already set aside for the new dies. Love the card today.

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  50. Congratulations on your new toy! Your card is beautiful! I never would have thought to feed random things through for texture. Thanks!

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  51. Beautiful card. I love what you did with that doilies. I have a cuttlebug and have a Grand Calibur on my Wish List. Drooling

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  52. How exciting for you to receive this Grand Calibur! After you detailed photos and explanation I can see that I NEED this! Love the impression you have on the beautiful card. TFS!

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  53. It certainly DOES tickle Claire!!! Love your card!!! And I must definitely have this grand calibur!!!!

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  54. Your card is beautiful, I can't wait to try this out too! TFS your techniques!

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  55. WhaT A GORGEOUS card. TFS. I would love to have a Grand Calibur. There is several new dies that will only fit in this machine and without the machine I can't order the dies. boo hoo.

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  56. Thanks for showing us the features of the Grand Caliber, and sharing your idea of using unusual items for making impressions!

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  57. Oh my dear Claire, you never cease to amaze me with your creativity. If only God had seen fit to give me one teeny tiny bit of your talent. I always look forward to your next creation. Congratulations on your current success and continued rise in the stamping and paper crafting world.Thank you for generously sharing your talent. However, now I'll have to put the Grand Calibur on my wish list. Blessigs to you Judi Farr
    PS So happy that you're getting a wonderful new stamping space!

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  58. Hi Claire,
    Spellbinders and you too, are so generous with your team, they all received a Grand Callibur each!! wow what a nice toy. I too thought that the Grand Callibur would be much bigger, when you put it next to the CB it really does not look that much better. Think I might have to sell my bug and my Wizzard to get one. Thank you for the great product low down.

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  59. Thanks for the tips and congrats on your new toy! I do love Spellbinders! Thanks for making your stamps compatable! My wish list grows!

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  60. Claire,
    Just love your card with the soft pink embossing! So sweet and pretty. Wonderful to see this new machine at work! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  61. Love what the calibur can do! Thanks for sharing!

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  62. Wow!! The embossing capabilities are FABULOUS !! Cool !!

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  63. omgosh, this looks like so much fun! I must have a Grand Calibur now! lol ...even a doily??? That's amazing!
    Thank you so much for sharing this info and your gorgeous card Claire!

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  64. The doily embossing is an inspiring idea. Have all sorts of projects in mine now....

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  65. Love the way you experiment with other items to emboss with. I have never thought to do this, great idea.

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  66. Your card is lovely! Embossing the doliy is very clever. You are inspiring!!

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  67. how fun! I'm gonna have to get one of those someday!

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  68. Wow! This new machine looks so great! You are indeed blessed to have received one for Christmas. I just ordered my first set of WM stamps, and I can't wait to get them (all the way to Texas).

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  69. amazing! i am as impressed as everyone else-your card is beautiful and that grand calibur sure would look nice sitting next to my cuttlebug...so it's on my must have list now! thanks for all the information!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment, :) I read them all and I appreciate you taking time to visit!