My new fave tool right now is the Fiskars Shape Xpress Tool. I don't have any of the templates—I've been using it for free-hand cutting of patterns, flowers, and flourishes from patterned paper. It works so easy once you get the hang of it. Using a craft knife, my hands are usually on fire or totally numb from my carpal tunnel within minutes. With the Fiskars tool I don't have any of those issues.
Tonight I was using the Shape Xpress on a class sample I am designing and Xaver says, ” I told you you would like that thing.” It took a few attempts but about a year ago I caved and finally bought it. I had seen it in action at CHA Winter 2007 as the lovely Cheryl of Fiskars demonstrated it. Several times Xaver had told me to buy it and each time I had looked at it and then put it back on the shelf. I had forgotten I had it until I went to that Fiskars training Amyre did last week. I dusted off the cobwebs and have already used it on several projects!! Woohoo! I'm loving this tool. Sometimes I guess it just takes someone else showing you what to do to get your creative juices flowing.
Here's a pic of a sample I did for a class at Collective Journey (Berry Sweet mini book class in May):