This week there is what I think of as "the perfect storm" in the quest for Martha Stewart punches at a more reasonable price. ACMoore has a 50% off coupon, Michael's will honor competitor's coupons and the everyday Martha Stewart punches are not on sale at Michael's. For extra bonus points, the ACMoore coupon is good all week (sometimes it is only for Tuesday). If you don't have an ACMoore in your area I am sorry to tease you with this information!
I really liked the floral vine deep edge punch I got a couple of weeks ago (here is a LINK to the post about that punch). I stopped at Michael's today on the way to a family dinner (at the home of the triplets) and chose another punch that is similar in style but different enough to be useful (and may work in combination with the first one).
Here is a picture of the punch - one drawback is the size of these punches - they are gigantic! I just bought a couple of extra shelves for my "Billy" bookcase at IKEA, so I will be reorganizing the punch storage to accommodate a few more of these.
It is often important to center the punch on a strip of paper to get the most attractive results. I thought I'd show you one way to help do that. One of my most used tools is the layout and centering ruler at the top of this photo. I use the clear grid to help align items on a page or card and to get nice even spacing on my projects. They are inexpensive and can be found at most art supply stores.
There are measurements in standard sequence along the ruler but there is also a "0" at the center with measurements working out from the center to the ends. If you get the "0" aligned with the center of the punch and then place your paper in the punch so that the ends are equally distant you can start punching in the right spot and work your way from the center to the edges.
The punch has the pattern printed on the base and to get a perfectly even border you simply check to be sure that the silver design shows through the newly punched holes as you work your way punching along the edges.
Here are a few examples that I did quickly when we got back tonight. For the first one, the original strip of cardstock was 3 inches and I matched the location of the punch on each side of the strip.
This example is from a strip that started at 2 1/2 inches - if you start with a narrower strip the holes will run into each other in the center. This on is just a touch off center but I thought it looked fine.
This strip started at 2 1/4 inches and is my favorite from these quick experiments. I offset the design on opposite sides to get a zig zag wave effect.
One more shopping tip - I found this set of scissors at Costco for less than $10. The scissors are comfortable to hold and very sharp. The package includes a combination sharpener and letter opener.
The smallest pair of scissors is great for paper work - the blades cut cleanly right to the tip. I have a pair of scherenschnitte scissors that I use a lot for fine details but I think these will also do a great job on some of the delicate "clean up" I sometimes need to do on a project.
Just a note about the Design Studio classes - Jen was away on a trip and now has had some changes in her son's schedule which we are trying to work around. With Thanksgiving just around the corner we know many people are busy with family plans so we are on a short "hiatus" while trying to put together a new schedule. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in one-to-one private classes you can contact either of us to work out the details.