Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Scrap‘N Easel Review – UK Premiere

Scrap'n Easel
Do you remember a week or so ago when I said that I’d received an e-mail from Marlo L Letterle, owner of ContainYa Crafts and creator of the new Scrap’n Easel, asking if I would like to review it?
I didn’t have to think long about it, of course I said yes and now it has finally arrived! I am overwhelmed and honoured that I am the first person in the UK to have and to use one!  And …… oh my life, am I impressed, and I’m not just saying that, this piece of kit is really going to change the way I work when I make my cards, I just hope I can describe it and its capabilities well enough to do it justice.
I have cheated a little and have copied the information about the Easel directly from it’s website so that I can be sure all the details are correct and as the Marlo intended.
Scrap's Easel is a Magnetic, Portfolio Style, Double Paper Craft Easel.  You receive 16 super strong neodymium magnets and a magnetic ruler with your Scrap'n Easel.  Imagine!  Work on Two Pages At The Same Time!  A perfect work angle and two 12"x12" removable grids!  Removable because when you flip Scrap'n Easel over it becomes a "Display Piece" to display your newly created items or use it to take photographs of your work!  We don't need those lovely grid lines when in display mode or when photographing!  Scrap'n Easel also holds about a half inch of 12"x12" paper.  Just lay the paper in and close!  Velcro tab closure too!  Weighs about 4 pounds.  Made In The USA!!
Initially I was worried about the size of the Easel, two 12 x 12 sides seemed huge to a cardmaker like me,  especially as I work on one desk and my paper cutter is on and off my it all the time, but I found that I could angle the Easel perfectly out of the way, and its weight meant that it stands firm and the items placed on it cannot be displaced easily.
Picture 203 Scrap 'n Easel 2
Elements for a project are held in place by magnets, they are fantastic, they are unbelievably strong … I really put them to the test on the project below as I needed to keep several large plastic toy tools in place.
Scrap 'n Easel 1
They really do hold everything in place and just don’t budge, plus the Easel was big enough to hold all the papers I wanted to use in such a way that I could see how they worked altogether, at an angle and from a distance, as well as up close
Picture 206
Above - Scrap’n Easel in working position.
I was also curious to see how easy it would be for me to write and/or doodle on a card in a slanting position, something I have never done before, again, it’s brilliant.  I tend to press down quite heavily and the Easel just doesn’t move and took all the weight I put onto it.  I also loved the way that when I was doing some faux stitching the magnet was so powerful that I could move the card round smoothly as I worked and there was no fear of the card or my pen slipping.
To prove the point I made a short video, I was holding the camera with one hand and writing with the other, that’s how secure it is! (Please excuse my horrid fingernails, I am a terrible nail biter and that isn't peeling skin on my fingers ..... it's peeling PVA!)
As you know, I have been having terrible problems taking good pictures of my cards for ages, the Easel is the answer to all my prayers .
Scrap'n Easel Display Position
Above – Scrap’n Easel in display mode.
Scrap 'n Easel 6
I just remove the plastic grid and replace it with the background of my choice
Card for A handyman
I can now photograph a card at any angle perfectly each and every time.  I usually take pictures of my cards from directly above and  have struggled with lighting and shadows ….. well that’s a thing of the past!! After using the Easel for only a short time I would buy it for this one feature alone.
   Picture 189
When I am not sure if a card is right, I usually put it on the window sill to ponder,  now I can leave it on the Easel, on my desk, and when I come into the room it really hits you and anything that doesn’t look quite right is easily spotted and sorted!
Scrap'n Easel 6
I am not really a scrapbooker, but I’ve put together a group of items so that you can see how easy it is to build up a layout. You can work on two pages at the same time or use one side to keep your pieces (even really small pieces) safe until you need them.  What Marlo stresses in particular in all her information is that the angle at which you work when using the Easel eliminates the need to stand up to see your work (something I must do 5/6 times when I am working on a card), it makes it possible to sit comfortably and still be able to view your work clearly, how brilliant is that?
As well as having two moveable plastic grids the Easel also comes with a flexible magnetic ruler, which as great for me especially as I do a lot of free handwriting which  needs to be equally spaced and level.
I know I have not covered every feature of the Scrap’n Easel,  so I would really recommend that you click on the link below and watch Marlo’s videos as a back up to this review http://www.cricutcartridgestorage.com/videos.htm
I am so full of praise for the Scrap’n Easel, but to be honest the proof of the pudding will be if I  keep it on my desk and continue to use it on a daily basis, which I fully intend to do,  for this reason, I am going to come back and review it again in a months time, which I hope would further validate my opinions in this review.
Caution: Scrap’n Easel comes with 16 small magnets, which if swallowed can cause serious infections and death, therefore it is vital that they should be kept out of the reach of small children and pets.