ScanNCutDX: Which Model?

There are several models of the ScanNCutDX, so which is right for you? In this article I will go into each, and who I would recommend it to you. Now note – the usual disclaimer I do work with Brother as a paid consultant, but all ideas and opinions are my own. The short version is this: ANY of the models will work great, it’s a matter of what your own budget and preference is!

Above I am pictured with the ScanNCutDX SDX125 model. This is the model you’ll see me demoing whenever I am at an event (such as GenCon, above) and this is the model you’ll see available widely online and in shops such as scrapbook stores or chain craft stores too. It is often seen on HSN, and you can even (affiliate link) get it on Amazon.

This is the least expensive model, and the key differences are that it won’t read PES embroidery files, can’t 24″ scan, and it doesn’t have as many built-in files. Often it does not have as many “extras” come with it as far as accessories, but the bundle can vary depending on where you buy it and if a deal is going on.

Next up – the machine you see used in most of my videos and projects: the SDX225 innov-is edition. This machine does have more extras, can read PES embroidery files, can scan 24″, usually comes with more accessories, and this machine is also only available from authorized Brother dealers.

Third – the SDX230D aka the Disney ScanNCut has its own bundle of extras including exclusive Disney cut files, and is only available through authorized Brother dealers.

So who should get which machine? It depends on how you craft, and if you’ll use the extras of the dealer exclusive models or not. I rely heavily on built-in patterns and I do a fair amount of 24″ scanning and intricate work so for me, the 230D is a DREAM machine as I also scrapbook and create a lot of Disney inspired crafts. The SDX225 is equally capable – just minus the Disney!

The important thing to remember: They all have a built in scanner, they all cut up to 3mm thick, and they all do pretty much all of the wonderful things you see me craft. So depending on budget as well as how much you’ll use the added designs and features of the dealer models, there really isn’t a wrong choice all 3 machines are super fun to craft with.

I LOVE the ScanNCut for many reasons- from the built in scanner to being able to work it stand-alone without a computer or tablet. I happily work with Brother specifically because I use their machines (I don’t use their machines because I work with them- its mutual love!) and I mention that because I want you to know what I do and share here is always truth!

A few resources before I head back into the studio and craft some more:

Did I miss anything? Have questions I ca answer? Do let me know! I am always happy to share tutorials and ideas with you here and on my social media channels. Happy Crafting!

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Scrapbooking 101: What is the goal?

We’ve talked about workflow, supplies, and the why of it. Next up? Let’s talk about having a clear goal with each scrapbook album or project that you take on.

Why you scrapbook, what format you take, and what style you prefer are all personal preference with no wrong answer. The only thing I regret and wish I’d done differently? I wish I had a clear goal or plan going into each album vs simply making scrapbook pages and “figure it out later”.

Having a goal changes things because it sets up an end game. It says what direction you are headed and helps to guide some of your creative choices.

For example – if I know I am working on a “one year in one album”, I can adjust how many pages (or how many stories to combine!) knowing I need 12 months to fit inside. Some years are quieter and I can stretch out, while others are packed and I take multiple stories and fit into single pages. This is true for any album project though – having parameters will help ensure full album success vs pages that won’t fit or half empty albums.

The point, goal, or end game does not have to be restrictive or hinder your creativity – simply create a framework for you to operate within. I will note as well – it can be flexible!

For example, if I wish to make a mini-album of a particular event or create in some other way I absolutely can! In these instances I can vary from the norm and create a side project- with its own goal.

Some of my current and past “scrapbook end game” include:

  • Specific long vacation album created
  • Mini album for event, topic, or vacation
  • Annual 12×12 album with assorted styles of pages within

My current goal? I want to go through and actually remove and put into storage the pages that I have that serve no purpose. The pages there because I had some idea or assignment and made a page with a photo – but no particular story or sentiment. A page that holds no special place now. This will help me narrow down my shelves of albums as well as better organize and show me what I have.

I do not intend to go backwards scrapbook wise and fill gaps or “fix” things – just organize into a far more cohesive and manageable past. This project will be done probably more in winter on dark/rainy days when I can’t film projects or as spare time allows. I’ll be sure to post how that goes! In the meantime I’ve got 6 open/in progress albums to work on when not working on my other projects.

So do tell: what are you working on? And what subjects would you like to see me cover in scrapbooking and beyond?

Apple Walnut Bread

Every so often I find myself with leftovers and in need of baking. On this particular day I had a few too many apples as well as some leftover (homemade) applesauce in the fridge. What to do? I made up my own recipe for apple bread on the spot, and today I want to share it with you.

Combine (in order listed) in a bowl:

  • 1/2cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sugar (depends on your preference!)
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce (flexible! A bit more or less is fine)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • walnuts (to taste – I added about a cup)
  • apple chunks (I added 2 small apples cubed to around 3/4″ cubes)

Bake at 350 in a buttered (the butter is key! adds crispiness!) loaf pan it makes 2 smaller or 1 large loaf of yum. About 55 min- test that it is fully cooked of course.

Once it is cooled you can enjoy! I sliced mine up and froze it in parchment paper so that there are single servings of yumminess just waiting in the freezer. If you have a favorite fall bread- do share! I love simple baking!

HTV (heat transfer vinyl) basics

If you work with any electronic die cutting machine (or have access to one!) heat transfer vinyl can be one of your best friends and go-to materials! Why? What is it and why do I love it so? In this article I will cover the basics, my favorites, and when I use it.

HTV (heat transfer vinyl) is a material that comes on a transfer (clear) sheet in matte, glossy, flocked, glitter, and other finishes. To use it you simply apply it to a fabric surface and use a press or iron to heat set it. That easy!

There are a lot of brands available, and the quality can vary quite a bit. I have found Siser (found at Michaels, Amazon, etc – here’s an amazon affiliate link) to be an excellent choice for quality, getting good consistent results, and variety of colors. I am picky about color!

The only ‘hard’ thing about HTV is weeding. For this you’ll need some kind of needle or pick tool, and some patience. You see you will weed or remove all of the bits you do NOT wish to transfer off. This leaves you with your design on the transfer sheet, held beautifully in place. This transfer sheet/backing is VITAL to designs (like above) where there are tons of intricate bits and pieces that would move and wiggle without it. It is possible to transfer without it (if you ever needed to) – it’s just harder in general.

When might you do that? Well I had a sheet of glitter iron-on and I was just doing simple sturdy hearts. That material runs thicker, and I wanted to use every single bit of it so it made sense in that example. Most of the time (like the above design!) it would be a nightmare to attempt.

So when and why would you want to use it? Well any time you want to add a design to a fabric item without sewing is the short answer. Here are a few projects I’ve used HTV on:

  • pillow case
  • t shirt
  • sweatshirt
  • skirt/dress
  • apron
  • table runner
  • placemat/napkin
  • quilt/blanket
  • wall hanging
  • chair covering
  • curtains
  • luggage/purse/bag
  • scrapbook album cover

Essentially, if you can heat set the vinyl on, you can use HTV.

Your advantages? Speed and precision. While the above top took me several hours to create for Rebecca, it would have taken days and been nearly impossible for me to get the level of cut detail with most any other medium. I have created custom gear bags for Elizabeth for sports, personalized my luggage, and of course created one of a kind aprons and attire for myself and family.

Essentially you cut a design, weed it, and then apply to your surface. Here are few tips on the process:

  1. Never EVER touch your iron or heat source to the vinyl directly. I have melted more than one element on accident. It isn’t fun!
  2. Feel free to layer/heat over time multiple pieces, but always make sure the previously set vinyl is covered/not directly touched by iron
  3. Some vinyls are tougher than others! For example, I find most of the glitter to be really hearty vs some matte finishes that are very finicky
  4. Don’t do this in a hurry! Be relaxed, take your time.
  5. If all goes wrong you can work over and put new vinyl over the top in most cases.

I have added some favorite vinyl colors, the felt mat I use, and a few other products I recommend to my amazon craft page if you care to check out more here is the link.

From text to characters, custom to working with .svg or cut files that are pre-designed there is a lot of fun to be had with heat transfer vinyl! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Also, if you have any suggestions or favorite projects I’d love to hear from you and see them!

And then it was fall!

The summer flew by in a whirlwind of trips, family time, Elizabeth winning a championship in horseback riding (!), oh yes and Bandit needing emergency (most definitely life saving) surgery… but he’s all healed up and better now. So now it’s fall – what’s going on here?

I have been revamping my content schedule. To make a long story short, I’ve been trying to figure out how to share more with you, how to keep things organized, and how not to bomb with one type of project at a time. While at the same time how to be happy myself and make time for the projects I am most passionate about.

You see I tend to create in batches. 6-12 scrapbook pages, then I’m all embroidery, then maybe cross stitch for a while, scoot over to painting, then on to card making, then… well you get the point. This style of creating works well for me in general, but then I go to share and well it gets funky because it’s all of one thing that you may not see me do for another 3 months! So quietly behind the scenes I’ve been letting myself do my thing, and now I’m setting up a schedule I hope you’ll enjoy.

Here on my blog I am thinking that about once a month I will post a round-up to the YouTube, Facebook live, and other videos that I have shared but not blogged. The blog content in general will be more article/needs typing vs video content from now on, and about 1-2 times a week.

Above you can see some of the things I created this week. Fun stuff!

I really love sharing my ideas and also how-to create similar projects with you, and hopefully inspiring to create some of your own fun stuff! I’d love to hear from you any requests, questions, or what you’d like to see any time at all. I am really excited to be jumping back into more creative time and I hope you like what I’ve got to share- it’s such a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful creative community.