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Thanks, Shaz XX

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat- unboxing

Ummd and Aarrd  about one of these for a while, but after watching Jennifer Mcguire- that woman is SUCH an enabler!- talk about it in her review of her favourite tools recently, decided to get myself one.
Up until now I'd been using one of the A3 cutting mats on my desk, and while it's done the job well, does get very tatty over time, and of course has lots of cuts into the surface.

 So, to the unboxing.

It arrived very well packaged, the smaller box on the top was the Toolkit for it, which is sold as a separate item, and I'll get to that in a while.

 By the way, I ordered mine from Crafty Devils Papercraft, which at £31.99, was the best price I found,as the price took it into the Free Shipping level. I was going to add a link, but it seems maybe I had the last, as it's not showing on their page right now. I'd advise doing a thorough search if you want one, as prices vary considerably.  I saw them priced as high as £45, and unsurprisingly, Amazon seems to have the next best price, at £32.83, with free shipping.

A sturdy outer box, inside is the boxed product, and the outer box is a tight fit, so it doesn't move about inside. At the top is the Toolkit.

Here it is out of the box, and I liked the corner protectors it came with, they are a soft rubber as opposed to the hard plastic type/polystyrene usually on these sort of things. On the right is a Non Stick heat resistant non slip mat. Replacements for this can be purchased.

Flip it over, and you have a good amount of non slip feet on it- I especially like that there are feet in the centre, as well as the corners.

If you are familiar with the Tim Holtz ruler, you'll be happy to see the markings on the Mat are very similar- every ¼ of an inch, and dotted lines on the ½ inch. This was one of it's biggest pluses for me- and a downside for the old mat, in that it didn't have small enough measurements. I personally love that the products have Imperial measurements, but there are also metric ones too if that's your preference. I'm just old school, and 'see' Imperial measurements better, plus, I work in the Aerospace industry, and that is Imperial in it's measurements, so sort of reinforces how I think.

 Anyway, along the bottom and up the left hand side are standard measurements, going left to right and bottom to top.
Along the bottom the work area is 14", or 36cm, and from bottom to top, 12", 30.5cm.The rulers themselves are marked in 1/16ths, and 1mm.

 Again, like the Tim Holtz ruler, the top and left side are marked from the centre- so 0-7" or 15cm either side of the thicker centre line along the top, and 0-6" or 15½cm at the right side.

On the right hand side you have a white working area, marked into a grid so you can put individual colours into each one, whether that's paint/ink/marker etc.

The beauty of it being bright white is that you get a true representation of the colour you are using. Just wipes clean with a baby wipe/cloth afterwards.

The Replacement mat can be taped over this area if you wish to use other mediums/gels etc for Mixed Media work.

Now to the toolkit. It comprises a scraper, which has one soft rubber edge, and one hard plastic, to enable you to scrape off anything that has stuck to the glass mat, and also a ruler.
 Now the 'ruler' does not have any markings, it's effectively a T ruler, that butts up to  any side of the mat, and gives you a straight edge/straight line to work from.

Hard to show this, but hopefully you can see that one end has a lip that rests against the edge of the mat.

Meaning you can line it up with a line in the measurements, making sure your project is square to them first, and you will have a nice straight edge to line up stamps/layers etc.
 It also has a metal strip down one edge to cut against, and the opposite side is tapered as in a normal ruler.

 So overall, I think a great purchase. I found cutting on it with a scalpel is really easy- although I have the Clarity anti slip Groovi Grip on the back of my rulers anyway, but I think you would definitely need to add that to any rulers you wanted to use on here, as obviously the glass surface is super slidey. It may also help to hold any cardstock down with a little repositional tape runner first, I think.

 Another plus is that the mat is heat proof, so you can heat emboss directly on it, previously I had to get out a wooden chopping board to go under any heat embossing I wanted to do, as the green mat would have melted/warped.

Now, nothing to do with the glass mat, but a use for those old Cutting mats. I'd seen videos of people using them as replacement Cutting Pads in various die cutting machines, mainly Big Shots and Cuttlebugs. You can often pick them up in Pound/Dollar stores, which makes them way cheaper than the Branded replacement plates, and they don't warp. My 'Bug died before I could test it out in that, but I've been using one in my Big Shot Pro for a few weeks now, and I must say it's working great.Pretty much everything cuts without a problem so far.
Now, as all machines vary in what sandwich they will accept, trying this may involve some trial and error- especially as there can be some variation in the thickness of these cutting mats too. So try to check if the mat and your pads are the same thickness first, and err on the side of too thin if adjusting your sandwich to try this. Never force through a sandwich that your machine seems to be struggling with.
When I checked mine out, it seemed that the original pad and my mat were pretty identical in thickness, and that seems to be the case.


Kathyk said...

Thanks for the test drive of the Tim Holtz mat ... I'm still hovering on the edge of making a decision!


carefreestamper said...

Great info! Thank you.

MaggieC (Silvercrafter) said...

Good review, Shaz. I have had a glass mat for years now. In fact, I have two, A4 for carrying to workshops, and A3 for home use. I would not be without them. Paul Church put me onto them before he went to Clarity. Although folks say they blunt your blades, I don't think it makes much difference, and it avoids messy cutting from when you hit the cuts in the so-called self heal mats. You will wonder how you ever managed without it. xxx Maggie

Julia Dunnit said...

Great works here Shaz. I should like one, but my existing glass mat is perfectly OK really, if not as useful in terms of the toolkit. Glad to reward that there are feet under the middle too....bloody annoying when things bow for the want of a cou0le of sticky feet.

Heidi MyLittleStampingBlog said...

Thanks for the info. I have been considering this, need to see how much it is!

cuilliesocks said...

Great review of the mat Shaz and so helpful. I've been thinking of purchasing one myself, so your reviw has come at the right time, thanks so much, Kate x

Lindart said...

I'm struggling with this too, at Amazon.ca it is around $70 CAD or 41£, which seem a bit high to me. I will have to do some research - maybe E-Bay? Lindart

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