Wednesday 30 March 2016

Review of the Best Pick Up Tool

Crystal Katana and tanto
       Hi crafters ,Dr Sonia here with a product review post that  is an exciting post  for me as I get  to introduce you to  two awesome tools  which Shalini has brought to India post CHA 2016.It is the Crystal Katana and the Tanto which have been getting rave reviews from crafters all over the world and being recommended left and right by jewelry makers, papercrafters and DIY ers!
Ok what exactly are the Crystal Katana and Tanto?
        In simple language these are "pick up" tools to help pick up any tiny teeny embellishment such as pearls, sequins , tiny rhinestones etc .And so these tools make your crafting easier, quicker and more fun!!
         If you are like me you must have marvelled at how crafters use tiny pearls so extensively in their projects making beautiful eye-catching lattices and borders and wondered how they had the patience to work with those fiddly little embellishments!
       Well you don't have to have super nimble fingers or the patience of a saint or wrestle with tweezers or chase runaway flying pearls!

These awesome tools were invented by Kellie DeFries who works extensively with Swarovski crystals and has used the Crystal Katana to completley cover in crystals some crazily huge stuff such as cars, whole dresses to name a few
Uses of the tools
To easily and quickly pick up and release tiny embellishments such as
  • pearls
  • beads
  • sequins
  • rhinestones
  • crystals
  • tiny bits of paper etc
Video Demonstration of the Crystal Katana  
-to pick up small pearls and rhinestones
  • Apply tiny dots of glue on the places you want to stick your pearls/rhinestones to
  • Pick up tiny pearls using the wax tip of the Crystal Katana 
  • Touch the pearl onto the glue dot- the pearl will release immediately
  • Optional- move it around or press it using the chrome metal end of the Crystal Katana !
Crystal Katana Instruction on its packet

In this video my little girl helps me to demo the Crystal Katana for you....Please do forgive the little errors that inevitably creep in !
If videos are not your cup of tea...keep scrolling down ...I have tried to take step by step pictures
Features of the Crystal Katana 
Crystal Katana
The Crystal Katana has a lightweight wooden body with a special wax tip at one end and a chrome metal end at the other end
Crystal Katana
          The Wax used is specially formulated and said to be much superior to normal wax as it leaves no residue on the pearl/crystal it picks up - an important consideration for professional jewelry makers working with crystals
Crystal Katana wax end
One big advantage over competitor pick up tools is that both the Katana and the Tanto quickly release the pearl/rhinestone when it is touched to a glue drop.
            Before I got the Katana , I had bought a Silhouette pick me up tool which is super for quickly picking up tiny pearls and beads but refuses to let go of it once it picks it up...requiring additional effort of using some other tool to release it !
         The Chrome metal end  can be used to firmly push the pearl/crystal etc into the glue or move it around to get a perfect positioning!
The metal end itself is a two in one tool with two diameter tool options.
Crystal Katana 
It can be unscrewed like a pen tip and you can store the  thinner pointed nib inside and just use the larger diameter tip - an important feature for jewelry makers who  play with teeny tiny crystals and larger crystals/beads !
Crystal Katana 
The photo above shows the Crystal Katana with its fine needle tip attached
Crystal Katana 
On unscrewing you can see the two types of tips possible
Crystal Katana 
You can store the needle tip inside the body of the Crystal Katana

Crystal Katana 
And screw on the large diameter metal tip if you want to work with larger crystals/ pearls etc

Sharing a few simple projects to show you how the Crystal Katana works

2. Working with small round pearls
Crystal Katana
        If you like working with  beads or other tiny embellishment the bead funnel tray is a nice has a screw on cap which you can open once you are done to put away your glitter/beads back into the bottle.
I lined the funnel tray with a piece of foam so that my pearls don't run away  too much!
Funnel tray
Sharing pictures from a Collage Clay Faux Cake I made

With the Katana it hand it was easy  to add tiny pearl bodies to  all the butterflies on my project!

     A thin line of Tombow glue - prefered Tombow mono multi over my usual Fevicol mr in this setting as I wanted to work quickly and wanted a strong long lasting adhesive.Tom bow is nice and tacky and the pearls won't fall off easily.

Crystal Katana
Gently picked up a pearl using the wax tip of the Katana

pearl on katana
See how the pearl stays stuck to the tip.

wax tip
On touching the pearl onto the glue on the butterfly , the pearl is easily released from the wax tip

chrome end
If you want to fiddle around with its position you can use the metal tip end

Yes easy peasy without struggling with  clumsy fingers and flying pearls!

One more butterfly dressed up....Such a lovely touch a few pearl add on isnt it!

Added lots of pearls on my collage clay cake using the Crystal Katana and you can see the full project here : Faux Rainbow Cake

 3. More uses- Making or repairing hair accessories and jewelry with pearls and crystal
Hair clip repair
Some of my favorite hair clips had lost some tiny crystals and pearls and I had been postponing even attempting to repair it  till I got the Crystal Katana !
Crystal Katana Use
 Used jewelry grade Modpodge wonder glue and the Crystal Katana to repair it and now they are as good as new!
Crystal Katana use
4. Easily and quickly adding pearls/sequins/rhinestones to a project

5. Nail art - sticking on tiny rhinestones and sequins to a small area
nail art
The Crystal Katana is extremely popular with nail art artists and you will find innumerable videos on you tube about its use in nail art. 
Being a surgeon I dont grow nails and mostly even avoid nail polish for that matter as that is what we have been taught in medical college! But my daughter is one girly girly child and you can see the nail art she created using the Tanto

 What is the Tanto ?
The Tanto is the economical version of the Crystal Katana .
Features of the Tanto
It looks like an eyebrow pencil
It is lightweight and easy to handle without stringing your hands
It is made of wax and works as well as the Crystal Katana in picking up tiny embellishments
There is a protective lid on the tip so that you can store it without damaging the soft tip
You can actually sharpen it just like a regular pencil when the tip blunts
It will last a looong time!
The difference with the Crystal Katana is that the Tanto does not have a metal tip to move around and firmly press the pearl/crystal onto your project
Here is my daughter's nail art using the Tanto

Nail Art with Tanto
Unlike your fingers both the Crystal Katana and the Tanto can pick up tiny embellishments from tiny storage spaces like in this picture below
Tanto in Action
Nail art with tiny plastic flower sequins
Nail art with Tanto
Using tiny sequins

Nail art with Tanto
Nail art with Tanto
Using tiny rhinestones

Nail art with Tanto
Nail art with the Tanto using rhinestones, pearls and sequins

Nail art with Tanto

See this link for the  whole range of Crystal Ninja Products 

I hope you enjoyed seeing this luxury tool in action!

Other products you have seen in this blog post
Modpodge Wonder Glue
Tombow Mono Multi
Collage Clay
Bob N Betty Papers
Bead Funnel Tray

Sunday 27 March 2016

Playing with dies

Hello Friends,

Hope you all are doing fine. I am sharing some cool techniques with dies. It doesn't require any particular die but I will link to the similar dies you can use for the similar outcome. It is good old inlay die-cutting. I found it very interesting as it gives flat, single layer look even after layering so many die cuts.

Here is the first card.

I have used  Speech Bubble dies but you can use any solid shape like circle, square or any Spellbinder's nested label dies will work just fine. You can check such dies HERE, HERE ( these balloons will work excellent), HERE , HERE and HERE.

 Let's check the process:

First, lay you dies in a desired manner and take a quick picture with your phone. (please don't mind the messy background. I was working on something and forgot to change the paper before I click the pic)

die cut all the elements you want to inlay.

Now, refer the picture you took and use the die which is at the bottom of pile. Cut out a shape from your main card panel using it.

Now, inlay the colored shape and tape it from the back.

Repeat the process in order of your lay out in picture - from bottom to top. (Save those tiny pieces while cutting with sentiment die. You will need while inlaying) 

Check the flat look....:)

For the second card, I have used spellbinder circle nest-ability, some branch die and a memory box bird die. I have also used pattern paper for added interest. You can create similar look using THIS, THIS and THIS die.

For next one, I used very intricate die and inlay all those tiny blue pieces. Yes, it is labours but you will love the look once you are done.  You can use any of these dies HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

The last card doesn't fit into this post category but thought of sharing anyway!

I have used Altenew stamp, koi water colors and gold foil with glue to create this. Those vibrant colors and foil is a perfect match. I wish you can see it personally... it looks just wow!

a close up :

Hope you will try these techniques and please share with us. We love to see how we are inspiring you all!
That's all for now. Keep crafting. Hugs.

Products from store