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Friday Focus – NEW American Crafts products

Right before Christmas, I received a box in the mail from American Crafts. Yay! So happy when they send me things to show you guys. In the box were some new items.

For today’s Friday Focus video, I thought I would show you the products and my initial reaction to them. I will admit that did break out the punches before I started filming because I wanted to make sure I knew how to use them before showing you guys. Other than that, this is my first look at everything they sent…

Watch video below | Watch at YouTube

This to That Double-Sided Super Sticky Red Tape

Honesty moment. I have not opened these up and used them yet. I want to wait until I have a project to use it on. When I do, I will definitely share my opinion here. That being said, I do like that these come in three different size widths: 1/4″, 1/2″, and 1″.

WHERE TO BUY: Simon Says Stamp – 1 inch | 1/2 inch | 1/4 inch

Knock Out Punches

I think these are kind of a cool idea, especially for new crafters who might not have a huge stash of edge punches already. I have many edge punches, but probably only use two or three on a consistent basis. I use the Fiskars Scallop Sentiment, Apron Lace, and Threading Waters punches more than any other. In this grouping alone, American Crafts has included similar punches compared to those designs, so for me it’s a great selection. I also like that they are in a case that I could take with me if I was crafting away from home.

Is the swapping out and storage issue a strength of the product? I think so. Especially when you consider that you can purchase the parts individually. Sure, they sent me the “starter kit” or the starter system with the case, but if you wanted to just buy the base and a couple designs you could do that as well. Basically, two of the interchangeable punches take up the space of one traditional edge punch. If you had all 12 AC punches, it would take up a considerably smaller amount of space that 12 traditional punches.

NOTE: The punches shown in the kit above are not the ones I received. I suspect that the image above from their website is an early artist rendering of the actual product. As you can see in the video, the punches are arranged different in the case as well.

WHERE TO BUY: I have yet to see these in stores, although I bet we’ll see them very soon. :)

Flutterbys

From a product design standpoint–and I can speak to this specifically because I was a product designer for two different papercrafting companies–Flutterbys are pretty brilliant. Many manufacturers have tried to economically offer the idea of sewn banners or paper pieces. Most recently, My Mind’s Eye introduced some. However, the American Crafts version is interesting and keeps the price point low for how much product you get (price is comparable to the My Mind’s Eye version). When I saw these, my first reaction was, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!” :)

There is a bit of work on the user’s end to punch out all the little flag shapes, and also to get rid of any notches left behind (as I show in the video), but all in all I think they’re a great idea. To start out, American Crafts has 6 different Flutterby designs. And judging by the speed TwoPeas sold out of them, there are a bunch of you interested in this product as well. Happily, AC quickly shipped out more to stores and Flutterbys are more readily available now.

WHERE TO BUY: Two Peas in a Bucket

Amy Tangerine Daybooks

These have also been in stores for a few weeks and more bloggers and crafters are starting to get their hands on them. My first initial reaction to these was, “Oh, it’s like a Smashbook!”, which might be an unfair comparison after I looked into them a bit more. Yes, they are a somewhat finished book like Smashbooks, and they do offer embellishments or accessories to go with the Daybooks, but I think what sets these apart from Smashbooks is the design and affordability.

(Click HERE to see my video showing my Smashbook)

Daybooks have two basic sizes and are priced less than the Smashbooks. Daybooks seem a bit more like a base for a mini album, whereas Smashbooks are more like everyday notebooks to me. Of course, this changes from person to person and how they use it. I suppose that is one of the appealing things about products like these. You make it your own. :)

AC doesn’t offer as many accessories and embellishments with their Daybooks as Smashbook does, however this product is still new. I anticipate more products like this coming our way at CHA next month (at least I hope so). I think the Daybooks might not need as many embellishments and accessories because of two things: the size of the books (much smaller than Smashbooks), and the design of the inner pages. Not only are the pages designed in one consistent style, but the paper used for the interior pages of the Daybooks is quite thick as well. It feels substantial. Smashbook pages are a bit scattered but I find that equally charming.

Overall, the design of the Daybooks line is exactly what you would expect from Amy Tangerine and the American Crafts product design team–adorable, cute, and clever. I’m saving one of them to take on my cruise in February and I think it will be perfect to document my trip.

WHERE TO BUY (direct links): Simon Stamp Stamp | Two Peas in a Bucket

NOTE: Images are from the American Crafts website, except for the Daybooks image above. Products were sent to me for review and use. All opinions are my own. :)

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