New Gadget

Remember these?

Okay, I made them a long time ago. Kerri, a friend and fellow Craft Day attendee, has long admired them and expressed a wish to make some (or for me to make her some). So a few weeks ago I took a couple of circle punches to her place and she, her daughters and I made a few. I think she is now addicted, and wants her own circle punch. I told her to get a 2″ inch one.

Why? Well, the 2″ circle cutter I used for the original paper balls was the scissor kind, with blue handles. It didn’t make a smooth, complete cut and eventually went blunt. No amount of cutting fine sandpaper or using a sharpening stone revived it. I wasn’t able to find a replacement. Instead I bought 1 1/2″ and 2 1/2″ circle punches.

The 1 1/2″ punch makes circles that are a bit too fiddly to glue together and the 2 1/2″ punch makes balls that are a bit too large and need stiff paper to feel rigid enough. The 2″ cutter was juuuust right.

Yes, I am the Goldilocks of circle punches.

After our paper ball making session and another fruitless search of local craft shops I decided to buy one online. I found this at

It is the most solid, clean-cutting circle punch I’ve bought so far, and for a good price. Of course, the peril with online shopping where postage is free when you spend over a certain amount is you go hunting for other things to buy. That’s when I stumbled upon this:

Well actually, it was a bit more complicated than that. I saw a different machine on the website and got excited by the idea of cutting circles at any size I wanted. So then began many hours research on paper cutting machines, reading product reviews and watching YouTube demonstrations, and searching for retailers in Australia.

Not all paper cutters are created equally, that’s for sure. Most lock you into buying cartridges with shapes and fonts pre-designed by the manufacturer. 😛 to that. I’d already seen a model on Alisa Burke’s website, which included a scanner so you could draw your own shapes, scan them and it will convert the file into a design.

But then I stumbled on the Silhouette Cameo, which came with a program that allowed you to import and alter images as well as use shapes from their library – and use any font you have on your computer. I got to wondering if CraftOnline stocked it. Yes, it did! And not only that, but it had a smaller, cuter sibling called the Portrait with all the features of the Cameo, but can’t be operated without a computer. It still could take A4 sheets, so I couldn’t see much sacrifice in getting a smaller machine. It also happened to be on special…

But it was out of stock, but the site promised ‘new stock arriving soon’. Every few days I checked to see if they’d arrived and soon I had one in my eager crafty hands. And the next day I made my first project with it.

It’s a perfectly sensible gadget to have when you have RSI, right? Right?