Our remodel moves along, the vanity ordered for the bathroom arrived, damaged, but at least it is installed and awaiting the removal of the damaged piece with the new piece that arrived on Friday. The bathroom was painted (I picked a color that was too dark, had a small jar and then mixed the color with some of my own paint, made a pretty good match and the painter then matched that color). The windows are wonderful! Keeping the house nice and warm, and they look wonderful!
The tree is up, and the lights outside are up, however I am not doing much decorating this year given all of the construction, just too much to deal with.
Update on the Elite Slice Review: Sadly the machine is going to be returned, and after much back and forth Making Memories will pay for the return shipping (as they should have done from the beginning).
I was hesitant to have them "repair" the machine and continue to have problems and be required to pay for shipping to their facility. Additionally if they replaced the machine the new replacement machine would not have the same one year warranty as the original one, so I am going to wait about six months or longer to try the machine again, hopefully by then they will have fixed the bugs.
Again, I strongly advise that you wait to purchase the "Elite Slice," as you will need to spend additional money to send the machine to MM, and then if they do have to replace the machine you lose your one year warranty.
When the Slice works it is GREAT! I now also have the hands free 6x6 mat and LOVE it! My old machine is working fine, and while it is a bit slower, louder and does not cut as accurately as the newer "Elite Slice," it works all the same, which is more then I can say about the "Elite Slice."
I wish that Making Memories would perform better quality control with their products, I don't relish the idea that as a consumer we end up having to QA their products, not a good experience. I also have issues with the fact that consumers are required to pay shipping when having to send the Slice back for repairs/return. In my experience companies pay the shipping costs for faulty equipment (as one example: my Kitchen Aid mixer had to be returned and Kitchen Aid send me a new machine, and a shipping label to send the old machine back.)
Ok, now how about some links today? I thought you might like to have a list of alternatives to Copic markers. If you have limited funds consider supplementing your markers with some of the following alternatives, especially for the darker colors. All of the markers below will blend with you Copics, and they are all alcohol based markers. Note that some of the markers have different tips then the Copics, and also that some (like the Promarker) are larger then the Copics.
ShinHan Touch Twin Markers: Great sale right now at Jerry's Artarama on these pens, and check out the price for a set of 60 (though I have yet to find a listing of what colors are included). The set works out to about 1.66 per pen, not bad. From what I can tell these could be a good choice to fill in your marker collection, especially if you want a color that you might not use much. These pens are refillable as well. Consider ordering a few individual markers to play with and then decide if you might want to order more.
TriArt Markers: One review, that I found helpful (many others out there as well). I have a few of these markers and they work fairly well, blend like copics, have an extra tip, and they are refillable (like Copics). The colors tend to be much more intense, so this might be a good alternative for some of your darker colors. These pens are refillable.
Tria Markers: Here is a review of the pens, noting a known problem as well as an excellent customer response to the problem. Bottom line? These may be good pens to use when starting out, or again, to fill in for rarely used colors. The pens are refillable and come with three nibs (bullet tip, brush tip and chisel). I may order a few to try them out. UPDATE: Paul , the online Marketing Director, has left a comment on the Tria Markers (and I might add that I was impressed with the quick information that Paul provided, excellent customer relations)
As you mentioned we (Letraset) make both the Tria Marker and ProMarker.
ProMarker is our entry level marker with two nibs (chisel and fine nib), available in 148 colours. They are great value for money and they do hold a lot of ink!
Tria is our high-end marker, available in 300 colours, has 3 nibs (brush, chisel and ultra-fine!) and is fully re-fillable.
We regret the past problems with Tria, and have done everything we can to put things right. The Tria Design has been altered to fix the problems and it is now an extremely high quality marker.
If you have any questions then please do get in touch with us.
Paul (Online Marketing Executive, Letraset Ltd. UK) http://www.letraset.com
Promarker by Letraset: Non refillable, however the price is amazing, and the pens come with about twice the amount of ink as Copic Sketch markers. Here is one review for you to read, and here is the website for Letraset (which also makes the Tria markers), and check out this nice tutorial on coloring hair and clothing.
Prisma Markers: I had a set of these and found I did not like the tips on these pens, and also did not like the color variety. Having said that, these are still a good alternative to fill in your Copics with darker colors. These pens are not refillable.
Pantone Markers: These look similar to the Copics, but I can not determine if you can refill them. At $3.19 a pen if they cannot be refilled you are better off waiting for a sale on Copics (when you can get them for about $3.87 a pen).
To you and yours a most wonderful Christmas. I am ever grateful for your continued support of my little blog, and hope to have some exciting posts in 2011, including the upcoming Winter CHA!