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This beautiful gold and ivory Empress Die Cutting and Embossing Machine is designed by Anna Griffin. This is an electronic machine that includes all the plates and mats you need to get started in the die cutting and embossing crafting art. This machine measures approximately 13" in length, 6" in width, and 6.1" in height. This machine will not take up much room in your crafting space. There is a power cord included with this machine. You get two A plates which measure approximately 8.6" x 7", one magnetic mat which measures 8" x 6.4", one embossing mat which measures 8" x 6.4", one metal shim that measures 8" x 13". You get an instruction manual. There is also a manufacturer's one year limited warranty included in the instruction manual. There are four cutting dies included, a frame, a butterfly, a birthday die, and a Flourish die. There is also one 3D Embossing Folder, Lattice Ornamental which measures approximately 5" x 7". This machine accommodates dies up to 13" long and 8" wide. The plastic plates will wear out over time, so you may need to purchase a new pair (sold separately). This small machine is designed for people with dexterity issues with its simple plate stacking system. It is motorized, so no hand cranking. This machine is designed for use with all the Anna Griffin folders and dies (sold separately). This machine cuts paper, cardstock, poster board, glitter paper, iron-ons, vinyl, light wood, wrapping paper, stabilized fabric, deco foil, crepe paper, thin craft foam, and other materials (all sold separately). This machine will emboss paper, cardstock, poster board, envelopes, vellum, ribbon, tissue, paper bags, and other materials (all sold separately). This machine is only compatible in the US and Canada only. It does not run on batteries.
I make albums, boxes and bags, and other 3D projects for craft fairs. Because I do so much bulk die cutting, keeping plates in decent shape without going broke buying new ones was a continual struggle. I flip plates, move dies around, all the things you're supposed to do, and still. Took less than a week for my Platinum plates to look like a soup bowl. Granted I do a lot more die cutting than many people, but still. (Side note, iCrafter makes a platform that is quite helpful if you're not able or interested in this machine)
And then... *chorus of angels* the Empress. I bought it on the recommendation of Jennifer McGuire. I waited a year to see if she's still using it and yep. I had to get it from HSN as that was the only available outlet, and boy am I glad I did. What makes it great?
1. The magnetic mat. I hesitated to jump on the Gemini background because I saw so many people having problems with the magnetic mat getting "squished" and stretching after a while. The Empress mat is very thick and hasn't budged a millimeter (I marked it). The other benefit is the magnetic hold is extremely strong - I rarely have to tape anything anymore, even dies inside of frames that need to not shift. Saves a lot of time and hassle
2. If you use the smaller (6" wide) plates you can run them through on an angle, the regular way, or perpendicular. This gives you lots of options for alternating and helps keeps the plates straight
3. Speaking of that, I don't know what these plates are made of, but the only time I've had even the slightest warping is when I first got it and kept forgetting to alternate positions. Even then, it was just the tiniest bit and it corrected itself once I regained my sanity and started changing positions
I did buy another full set of plates when I bought my machine, honestly I was really just hoping the plates would last a bit longer than other brands. I've had it over six months now, doing several craft fairs during that time, and am still using my original set. And they're not warped! Highly, highly recommend!
I love this machine! It is easy to use. Takes a minute to figure out your sandwiches, but that is any machine. It works great.
right out of the box the machine I got made a very loud whistle. I contacted Scrapbook.com customer service and had to take a video of the machine making the whistle . I was told the company felt it was not defective and since I had used it , it was not returnable. I am a long time crafter and die cutter and I have never had a machine make this ear piercing whistle. my empress mini is so quiet you can't hear it at all. All my sizzix and spellbinders and Gemini have never made this sound either. I am sad my Christmas present ended up with so much hassle and disappointment. The Scrapbook.com customer service was great (except for not getting a replacement machine) and I realize now Scrapbook .com was put in a difficult position. I will put this on the shelf until I am too old to hear the whistle and then take it down and use it.
Works like a dream!
I have only been using the Empress a week. I am enjoying the ease of this machine. I love the metal shim and magnetic pad, which the Big Shot doesnt come with. It cuts slightly better than my manual Big Shot and is so much easier on my wrist. The acrylic and magnetic pads seem to scar easily and it subsequently transfers some of those images onto the paper i am cutting.
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