Tool Review - Crystal Katana and Tanto

Crystal Katana and Tanto
Hi  friends delighted to see the enthusiastic participation in my Celebration Events...Thank you so much !
         When Shalini [owner of Crafters Corner] asked me what product I wanted to work with for my DT post .....I had no hesitation in choosing 2 tools from Crystal Ninja... the Crystal Katana and the Tanto which have been getting rave reviews from crafters all over the world and being recommended left and right by jewelry makers, papercrafters and DIY ers!

Crystal Katana and tanto
         If you are like me you must have marvelled at how crafters use tiny pearls so extensively in their projects making beautiful eye-catching lattices and borders and wondered how they had the patience to work with those fiddly little embellishments!
         I don't have super nimble fingers or the patience of a saint ,neither do I like to wrestle with tweezers and a tiny sequin or chase runaway flying pearls!
        So I was just itching to get my hands on a tool which will help me use all those tiny pearls and crystals in my projects!
         And was thrilled when Shalini  brought a whole series of Crystal Ninja products to her shop Crafters Corner post CHA 2016

Ok what exactly are the Crystal Katana and Tanto?
        In simple language these are "pick up" tools to help pick up any tiny teeny embellishment such as pearls, sequins , tiny rhinestones etc .And so these tools make your crafting easier, quicker and more fun!!
         These awesome tools were invented by Kellie DeFries who works extensively with Swarovski crystals and has used the Crystal Katana to completely cover in crystals some crazily huge stuff such as cars, whole dresses to name a few ...there are several you tube videos showing her cover a Ferrari in Swarovski crystals using her tool the Crystal Katana for the Guinness record!
Uses of the tools
To easily and quickly pick up and release tiny embellishments such as
  • pearls
  • beads
  • sequins
  • rhinestones
  • crystals
  • tiny bits of paper etc
Video Demonstration of the Crystal Katana  
-to pick up small pearls and rhinestones
  • Apply tiny dots of glue on the places you want to stick your pearls/rhinestones to
  • Pick up tiny pearls using the wax tip of the Crystal Katana 
  • Touch the pearl onto the glue dot- the pearl will release immediately
  • Optional- move it around or press it using the chrome metal end of the Crystal Katana !
Crystal Katana Instruction on its packet

In this video my little girl helps me to demo the Crystal Katana for you....Please do forgive the little errors that inevitably creep in !
If videos are not your cup of tea...keep scrolling down ...I have tried to take step by step pictures
Features of the Crystal Katana 
The Crystal Katana has a lightweight wooden body with a special wax tip at one end and a chrome metal end at the other end
Crystal Katana
          The Wax used is specially formulated and said to be much superior to normal wax as it leaves no residue on the pearl/crystal it picks up - an important consideration for professional jewelry makers working with crystals
Crystal Katana wax end
One big advantage over competitor pick up tools is that both the Katana and the Tanto quickly release the pearl/rhinestone when it is touched to a glue drop.
            Before I got the Katana , I had bought a Silhouette pick me up tool which is super for quickly picking up tiny pearls and beads but refuses to let go of it once it picks it up...requiring additional effort of using some other tool to release it !
         The Chrome metal end  can be used to firmly push the pearl/crystal etc into the glue or move it around to get a perfect positioning!
The metal end itself is a two in one tool with two diameter tool options.
Crystal Katana 
It can be unscrewed like a pen tip and you can store the  thinner pointed nib inside and just use the larger diameter tip - an important feature for jewelry makers who  play with teeny tiny crystals and larger crystals/beads !
Crystal Katana 
The photo above shows the Crystal Katana with its fine needle tip attached
Crystal Katana 
On unscrewing you can see the two types of tips possible
Crystal Katana 
You can store the needle tip inside the body of the Crystal Katana

Crystal Katana 
And screw on the large diameter metal tip if you want to work with larger crystals/ pearls etc

Sharing a few simple projects to show you how the Crystal Katana works

2. Working with small round pearls
Crystal Katana
        If you like working with  beads or other tiny embellishment the bead funnel tray is a nice investment...it has a screw on cap which you can open once you are done to put away your glitter/beads back into the bottle.
I lined the funnel tray with a piece of foam so that my pearls don't run away  too much!
Funnel tray
Sharing pictures from a Collage Clay Faux Cake I made

With the Katana it hand it was easy  to add tiny pearl bodies to  all the butterflies on my project!

     A thin line of Tombow glue - prefered Tombow mono multi over my usual Fevicol mr in this setting as I wanted to work quickly and wanted a strong long lasting adhesive.Tom bow is nice and tacky and the pearls won't fall off easily.

Crystal Katana
Gently picked up a pearl using the wax tip of the Katana

pearl on katana
See how the pearl stays stuck to the tip.

wax tip
On touching the pearl onto the glue on the butterfly , the pearl is easily released from the wax tip

chrome end
If you want to fiddle around with its position you can use the metal tip end

Yes easy peasy without struggling with  clumsy fingers and flying pearls!

One more butterfly dressed up....Such a lovely touch a few pearl add on isnt it!

Added lots of pearls on my collage clay cake using the Crystal Katana and you can see the full project here : Faux Rainbow Cake

 3. More uses- Making or repairing hair accessories and jewelry with pearls and crystal
Hair clip repair
Some of my favorite hair clips had lost some tiny crystals and pearls and I had been postponing even attempting to repair it  till I got the Crystal Katana !
Crystal Katana Use
 Used jewelry grade Modpodge wonder glue and the Crystal Katana to repair it and now they are as good as new!
Crystal Katana use
4. Easily and quickly adding pearls/sequins/rhinestones to a project

5. Nail art - sticking on tiny rhinestones and sequins to a small area
nail art
The Crystal Katana is extremely popular with nail art artists and you will find innumerable videos on you tube about its use in nail art. 
Being a surgeon I dont grow nails and mostly even avoid nail polish for that matter as that is what we have been taught in medical college! But my daughter is one girly girly child and you can see the nail art she created using the Tanto

 What is the Tanto ?
The Tanto is the economical version of the Crystal Katana .
Features of the Tanto
It looks like an eyebrow pencil
It is lightweight and easy to handle without stringing your hands
It is made of wax and works as well as the Crystal Katana in picking up tiny embellishments
There is a protective lid on the tip so that you can store it without damaging the soft tip
You can actually sharpen it just like a regular pencil when the tip blunts
It will last a looong time!
The difference with the Crystal Katana is that the Tanto does not have a metal tip to move around and firmly press the pearl/crystal onto your project

Here is my daughter's nail art using the Tanto

Nail Art with Tanto
Unlike your fingers both the Crystal Katana and the Tanto can pick up tiny embellishments from tiny storage spaces like in this picture below
Tanto in Action
Nail art with tiny plastic flower sequins
Nail art with Tanto
Using tiny sequins

Nail art with Tanto
Nail art with Tanto
Using tiny rhinestones

Nail art with Tanto
Nail art with the Tanto using rhinestones, pearls and sequins

Nail art with Tanto

See this link for the  whole range of Crystal Ninja Products 

I hope you enjoyed seeing this luxury tool in action!


Giveaway from Bob n Betty and Crafters Corner

Giveaway from Crafter's Corner and Bob n Betty
         Hi friends posting the final giveaway [Giveaway No 14]of my 5 million page view celebrations. Knowing that the  majority of my readers are papercrafters I bet you will love this giveaway sponsored by a new Designer Paper brand called Bob n Betty owned by a brother - sister duo  Rishabh and Deepika Sharma. 
          I have already told you about the amazing Shalini Mittal, who owns one of the leading craft supply stores in India, Crafters Corner. Well Shalini is a huge brand by herself and she has literally taken the young Bob N Betty Company under her wings and formed a partnership with them to sell their gorgeous designer papers! Shalini stocks some big big brands of the papercrafting industry in her shop and a big "thumbs up" to Shalini for supporting local talent in such a huge way! Love how the crafting industry is evolving in India!
        The papers designed by Deepika are  of fabulous quality and have such gorgeous pretty designs. I have already showcased some of her papers in this post  : Mixed Media Book tutorial  
One lucky winner anywhere in the world will win
3 huge 12 x 12 inch stacks of their latest release:
  • Ornate Annie
  • Floral Logs 
  • and Voyager

How can you win the giveaway from Bob n Betty [ will ship worldwide]

Be a follower of this blog 
Anyone can follow ...you just need to have a gmail account in order to "Follow My Blog" [that is you need to log in to your gmail account and while logged in to your Google+ profile click the blue "Join this Siterectangle bar on the widget with all the lovely faces on my sidebar]
2. Post the giveaway picture shown above  or my celebration banner picture on your blog sidebar or if you don't have a blog, share to facebook with a link back to my blog. For newbies : Here is How to Add an Image to the Blog Sidebar
3.Comment on this post before April 2nd

For Extra Entries 

  • Go to the main Celebration Page and Link up projects inspired by my posts/ tutorials [deadline is April 2nd ].Please mention and link to the post / tutorial  which inspired you in your post.

    You have time till April 2nd to  comment on the sponsor posts.
    Winners will be chosen completely randomly from the linked-in entries and comments on the blog
    I will announce all the winners here on the blog on April 8th - and there will be 14 lucky winners !
    Here is the main link 5 Million Page Views Celebration [Main Post- everyone can comment to increase chance of winning]


    Giveaway from Zarabeads and an Update

    Giveaway from Zarabeads
            Hi friends announcing the next giveaway which is from  a store specialising in Jewelry Making Supplies Zara Beads owned by Mr Raja.And ooh just look at all those gorgeous beads, findings and quilling supplies one lucky crafter is going to win!!
            Zara Beads was recommended to me by my long time blogger friend and super talented  quilling specialist Shylaashree ! Thank you so much Shylaashree for introducing me!

    How can you win the giveaway from Zara Beads [ Indian Address  only]

    Be a follower of this blog 
    Anyone can follow ...you just need to have a gmail account in order to "Follow My Blog" [that is you need to log in to your gmail account and while logged in to your Google+ profile click the blue "Join this Siterectangle bar on the widget with all the lovely faces on my sidebar]
    2. Post the giveaway picture shown above  or my celebration banner picture on your blog sidebar or if you don't have a blog, share to facebook with a link back to my blog. For newbies : Here is How to Add an Image to the Blog Sidebar
    3.Comment on this post before April 2nd

    For Extra Entries 

    • Go to the main Celebration Page and Link up projects inspired by my posts/ tutorials [deadline is April 2nd ].Please mention and link to the post / tutorial  which inspired you in your post.
      UPDATE for my International Followers
              Seeing the amazing response to the celebration events and the enthusiastic participation and comments from crafters worldwide Ms Rashmi the owner of Itsy Bitsy  contacted me today and said they will ship the prize worldwide so my dear friends from outside India do comment on the Itsy Bitsy Giveaway post link in case you have not done so : Itsy Bitsy Sponsored Prize[Worldwide eligibility] as you don't want to miss a chance at winning that one!

      And if you have landed here for the first time ...Dont forget to comment on the main celebration post and giveaway posts already announced to increase your chances of winning prizes. Here are the links:-
      5 Million Page Views Celebration [Main Post- everyone can comment to increase chance of winning]

      Mixed Media Mini Book Cover Tutorial

      Mini Book
               Hi friends my daughter finishes 4th grade this month and will be bidding farewell to her "junior school" teachers .She wanted to make Thank you gifts for  five of her favorite teachers and the mini book you see in this post is one of the 5 we made to gift her teachers!        
               These 3.5 x 3.5 inch mini books are very easy to make and only requires embellishing on the book cover.
      I first made the mini books using Jess 's tutorial and here is the link to a tweaked Mini Book Tutorial  : Mini Book Tutorial and here is the link to making the pockets of the mini : How to make Pockets for the Mini book  
      Mixed Media tutorial 
               Another mini book I shared earlier[ Mixed Media Mini Book] was extremely popular here on the blog so I thought with the current mixed media craze I will share some tips and tricks on how to make a mixed media book cover in a simple and easy way.
      Book Cover
      Tip 1 : Choose your adhesives wisely :If you are making your own album / mini book cover and plan to do some mixed media work on it ...adhere your pattern paper on the chipboard using a good strong adhesive such as red tacky tape
             The problem with wet adhesive is if you use more you can wrap and wrinkle your paper and if you use less your paper can lift in places later if you add heavy embellishments on it. 
      More on Red Tacky Tape : 12 Uses of Red Tacky Tape
      Bob n Betty Paper
      Tip 2: Use good quality pattern paper. Unless you want to spend extra time decoupaging tissue paper or thin paper on your book cover the easiest option is to use good quality thick pattern paper which will take on all our texture paste, ink spraying, heavy embellishments without tearing or crumpling.
               For this project I used gorgeous papers from Bob n Betty [sold at Crafters Corner] and these "made in India" papers have such lovely designs, are nice and thick and have a smooth semi glossy finish!

      Mini Book
      Tip 3: Add interest to your background with inks or texture media
      Whipped Spackle
      Stencils are a wonderful way to quickly and easily add a subtle yet interesting background . You can use store bought Stencils  or make your own with punches, dies or by hand cutting.
      Example of using Die cuts  as Stencil: Die Cutting Fun
      Sponge on your stencil using ink from an inkpad or a bottle of ink, spray ink on it or smear some texture paste. 
      If you are new to using stencils, here is a link to Basic Stencil Art tutorial 
      In this project I used a Memory Box Stencil and my favorite Whipped Spackle
      You can read more about Whipped Spackle and another texture media Glass beads Gel here : Mixed Media Box tutorial ,Texture Media Experiments , Altered Heart tutorial 
      Mini Book
      Tip 4 : Add different Elements
      Mixed Media Mini Book Cover Tutorial
      Using a mixed variety of elements is the hallmark of a mixed media project. The most popular are metallic charms , resin embellishments and chipboard
      Alternative Fun choices : 
      Mini Book
      The beautiful butterfly you see was fussy cut and inked from a butterfly pattern paper which was sent to me as part of winnings at Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge .
      Tip 5 :  Add a sprinkling of really tiny embellishments!
      Nail art  rhinestones and sequins
      One way to really jazz up your project is by adding some really tiny elements such as glitter balls , tiny pearls, chunky glitter or even cheap nail art decoration items. A sprinkling here and there adds so much visual appeal!
      Glass Cabochon
      Tip 6. Add a really cool extra something which makes you want to reach out and touch !
      This can be a piece of fabric , the pearl mat in my project , an attractive large crystal or a glass cabochon as shown above! 
      I made the glass cabochon in this project by sticking a circle of pattern paper from the same Ornate Annie pattern paper set on a glass dome/cabochon and here is the detailed tutorial : Glass Cabochon tutorial 
      Heat embossed Flower
      The 3 dimensional layered flower was made by stamping and heat embossing on parchment using Heartfelt creations Botanical Wings stamps.
       Tip 7 : Use Inks to ink and bring a cohesiveness to different parts of your project
      Unless you have a really huge stash of craft supplies ,chances are you won't have matching papers, flowers and other embellishments  for a particular project. Using a single color of distress ink to ink areas of your pattern paper, flowers and other embellishments can bring on a look of uniformity.
               In this mini book I used worn lipstick Distress Ink to sponge the  pattern paper on my book cover and the parchment flowers and the  butterfly .
      Mini Book
              The actual mini book  was made using a single 12 x 12 paper from another Indian brand Papericious but since I sponged both the book cover and the inner papers with the same colored distress ink ...they gel well together!
      Here is the video tutorial

              All those green tags were made with my favorite Poppy Stamps die and I later on inked them to tone down the bright green[ but sorry forgot to take a picture].
      Mini Book
      I hope you liked my mini book and hope some of these tips will be useful in your crafty adventures!
      Supplies : Papers:  6 x 6 "Ornate Annie" by Bob n Betty from Crafters Corner, Papericious The Flora Season,
      Dies : Poppy Stamps Pinpoint Main Street Tags , Heartfelt creations Botanical Wings 
      Stamps : Winnie and Walter In Bloom Elsa's Flora Stamp Set ,Heartfelt creations Botanical Wings
      Misc Supplies : All from Crafters Corner : Whipped Spackle, Chipboard embellishments, Resin Embellishments, Glass Cabochons, Red Tacky Tape

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