Art Journal Book Binding
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The Good & the Bad:
a MISTI Stamping Tool Review
The Cinch is a binding tool by WRMK. It is often used by scrapbookers to make custom sized scrapbooks, but we wanted to know how it would work with our art journals. Here is what we found out.
First, what is the Gemini Machine?
It is a die cutting and embossing machine, like the Big Shot or the Silhouette Cameo. However, it is more acurate to say that it is a hybrid between those two machines. Unlike the Big Shot, the Gemini is electronic and must be plugged in to work. But unlike the Silhouette, you do not have to use a computer to operate this machine. It works with any kind of thin die or embossing folder you already own.
How does the Gemini machine work?
You can watch this quick video by Crafter’s Companion to get a visual demo of how the Gemini works.
Who Is the MISTI for?
The MISTI Ultimate Stamping Tool is for anyone who wants to quickly and easily make cards using stamping techniques.
While it is pretty useful, it is not absolutely necessary. Stampers have been making beautiful art long before the MISTI.
However, if you are serious about making perfect cards to give or sell en masse, then the MISTI really is a must.
In addition, it is also an especially beneficial stamping tool for people with arthritis or any of type of health condition which affects how well you can control your hands.
Do you have trouble using traditional crafting tools because of a health issue?
We recommend that you check out this brilliant video by Sandy Parker, a crafter with rheumatoid arthritis. She discusses her favorite crafting tools on her YouTube channel: Crafting For Almost Everyone
So….what is our MISTI Stamping Tool review?
Overall, we think the MISTI tool has a lot going for it.
- Saves Time: It can help you make a ton of cards in an extremely short time.
- Corrects Mistakes: Also, it is easy to correct stamping mistakes by re-inking and stamping again.
- Magnets: The SUPER strong neodymium magnets keep your paper from shifting positions.
- Laser Etched Grid: It has a grid and ruler for lining up your stamps.
- Works for Many Stamps: Plus, the MISTI works for rubber stamps AND clear stamps. You cannot use this stamping tool for your wooden stamps, unless you peel them off of the wood block.
- 3 Different Sizes: There are currently 3 sizes of MISTI. The Original MISTI, which has a stamping area of 6.5 x 8.5in. The Mini MISTI for card makers, with a stamping area of 6 x 4.75in. And the giant Memory MISTI for scrapbookers. The Memory MISTI has a stamping area of 12.25 x 12.25in.
While the MISTI can be very useful, we do have a couple of complaints.
- Expensive: The MISTI costs a lot of money for what it actually is. Basically, it is two flat pieces clasped together with a hinge. Read more about this point in our Verdict below.
- Special Cleaner: Sweet Petunia strongly encourages you to use a special MISTI cleaner. Otherwise, you might damage your MISTI tool.
- First Generation Problems: Some people who bought the original, Original MISTI had issues with the hinges cracking and the grid lines wiping off. However, the new generation of this stamping tool seems to have resolved these problems.
- Complaints Against the Inventor: Another complaint about the the MISTI is more about the inventor than the product itself. It seems that Myska is extremely litigious and protects her invention doggedly. Here are CraftYourself.de, we want to champion female entrepreneurs and intellectual property rights. But many crafters feel that the way Myska goes about protecting her property is against the spirit of crafting. She has been called out for “bullying” craft bloggers who create DIY MISTIs and share the instructions with their readers. Since these craft bloggers were not attempting to sell their DIY versions, but merely show what they have created, a lot of crafters feel that Myska’s approach is unfair.
On a related note, you can go here to read our review some MISTI alternatives from a few major craft brands.
(How Myska will respond to such behemoths as We R Memory Keepers or Die Cuts & More remains to be seen.)
We think the MISTI is pricey and that is kind of a bummer. But at the time it was invented, there was truly nothing as good (or as pink) on the market.
After several failed attempts at a diy MISTI, we decided that the MISTI Stamping Tool is not something can easily be replicated. Myska and her company have done what many of us struggle with: the math
It is not as easy to get consistent results as it might initially seem. There are definitely plenty of crafters who enjoy the process of measuring and remeasuring, cutting and trimming and aligning all the elements until everything is perfect.
But there are also a lot of crafters like us, who want to just finish our pretty project and then move on to the next. For that reason, we like the MISTI because all of the hard work is done for us. The MISTI works perfectly every.single.time.
Our DIY versions were not as reliable or as cute.
So, we think you should probably just think of it as an investment in your art and spend the extra money to get a MISTI. Or one of these pretty good MISTI alternatives.