Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Something New - so much fun!

I have been having so much fun playing with a new product!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Mandy from Western Australia. Mandy and her husband Chris have a thriving home-based business selling Cricut and other scrapbooking products. Here is a LINK to their Australian site.

One of the products that Mandy and Chris offer greatly expands the possibilities of the Cricut machines. Their company, Scrappy-go-Lucky (don't you just love that name?), is the exclusive authorized distributor of the cricut Gelly Pens. This product is not made by Provocraft - they are made by cricutGelly.

Mandy asked if I would like to try the pens and let her know what I thought of them. I have enjoyed using my Cricut markers for some projects, but I don't pull them out nearly as often as I might because the lines they make are generally too thick for the intricate patterns I like to create using Design Studio. They also have a tendency to spread or "bleed" on my paper. I was very interested in trying out this new product.

The pens arrived quickly. Even though Mandy is located in Australia, Scrappy-go-Lucky has a US website for selling these pen sets and orders are shipped (free shipping) directly from the manufacturer in Utah. In the box are twelve different colors of gel pens, the aluminum pen holder and a helpful instruction sheet.

Here you can see the twelve colors of pens in the set. Mandy tells me that there are many more colors, including glitter colors and metallics, coming soon.

The pens are very similar to some available in some office supply stores but there are a few very important differences. The cricutGelly pens are shorter and have been magnetized to work with the precision holder. The magnetic feature means that the pens will always fit securely into the holder - there is nothing to wear out.

Here you can see a pen in the aluminum holder. The pen slides in easily and makes a little "click" as it is properly loaded into the holder. It is very easy to load and unload - to take the pen out you just place your thumb over the pen in the window and slide it out.

The magnet holds the pens securely - they will not slip out until you take them out so there is no concern about having the pen drop out while you are loading it into the machine.

The aluminum holder is beautifully made and virtually indestructible. It is lightweight but very strong and there are no moving parts to wear out. It is designed to hold the pen at exactly the right height so you do not need to fuss with adjustments - just pop in the pen and "cut" which, in this case, means "draw"!

I was so eager to try the pens and the holder that I did my first trials without using Design Studio (my laptop was upstairs). The pens worked beautifully and made a lovely thin line. The recommended settings for using the pens are pressure 3 and speed 2 - the height is standard and controlled by the holder. If you use too high a pressure the pens might be more likely to skip. The slower speed produces a more perfectly even line.

The height of the holder is definitely taller than the Cricut blade housing but, as you can see, there is plenty of clearance at the top - no worries about bumping against the body of your machine.

The holder fits into the carriage exactly like the blade housing and the diameter is the same so you just tighten the swing arm as you do when you change blades or use the fat Cricut markers.

The next thing I wanted to do was to put the pens and holder to a bigger test - to try to draw one of my more intricate Design Studio files.

I decided to test the pens with one of my first designs - the intricate doily that was featured in the "Chirp" last year. This is a very complicated design and it takes about 15 minutes to cut or draw the full design. It was interesting to be able to watch the pattern the machine followed as it drew the design.

The Cricut worked from the outer edges to the center and then added the inner cuts (all of these were silhouetted shapes).

Here is a closer view of the completed design - there was only one tiny skip in this very complicated cut and it is simple to fill the gap by connecting the lines by hand. All gelly pens have a tendency to skip so it is a good idea to scribble on a scrap paper before loading the pen into the machine to make sure you have a good flow of ink.

Since Design Studio removes the ability to adjust the speed of the cut there was a tiny bit of irregularity in some of the lines when examined at very close range but this was so slight that it did not detract from the overall effect. When I cut/drew at the recommended speed and pressure settings using the machine alone the lines were perfectly smooth.

Here is the completed design - it looks amazing in person!

These pens and the holder are a great asset for expanding the versatility of the Cricut. I love the fact that they are "goof-proof" - there is absolutely no fussing over getting the height right and the holder should last forever. When the ink runs out on this set of pens, replacement pens are readily available. I can't wait to see the new colors!

I have started making all sorts of things with these pens and I will post some of the projects over the next few days. The pens open up a lot of possibilities for designs that I have created that I thought would be too detailed to get a clean cut in card stock. I can also decorate the inside of a shape and then cut it for a totally customized result.

For more information about the pens, here is a link to the US site



  1. Diane,
    Once again you have convinced me to add to my cricut collection yet another new item that will enhance my creativity! I love your samples and explanation of the Gelly pens they are beautiful. I went to scappy-go-lucky and checked out the site. The pen package is great and to have refills available is fantastic. Therefore, this product has been moved to the top of my wish list and as soon as I have the funds I will be going to get it! Thank you for sharing and making this new fun product known.
    Smilin' Sher

  2. Diane, these are really cool, and I love markers and agree with your review of them. I will absolutely look into these and as always thank you for posting a concise and thoughtful thread. Sandi

  3. Diane, I received my pens about 2 weeks ago but haven't had the time to play with them. Once again, thanks for test driving! eileen

  4. Diane:
    I ordered these gelly pens after seeing Robyn's video on them (The Pink Stamper) - she drew a shape and then even cut it out! How super is this going to be? I did use them just once for practice and can't wait to use them again! Thanks for your input also - now I really know I got a good product!

  5. Where did you get the case that holds the gel pens? I did not see it on the site where you got the pens.

  6. Hi Lynne,

    I am not sure what you mean by the "case" - the pens come packaged with the precision aluminum holder in a clear box.

    This direct link takes you to the page where the pens are sold and there are small pictures that change as you hover your mouse over them - you can then click "enlarge" just below the photo to get a really clear view of each.


    I hope that helps - let me know if I didn't answer your question.


  7. Wow!..I never heard of these before!!..How cool that you got to try them out and why couldn't Provo come up with this..?...hmmmm...


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