Let me tell you this: I had high expectations for this machine and it did not disappoint!! In fact, it surpassed my expectations. Sizzix has really hit a home run with the Eclips - offering precision cutting with 12" capability and the convenience of cartridges with fabulous Sizzix designs. Check out what I have cut so far:
[click to enlarge]
*The Eclips machine is extremely user friendly. I was up and cutting within minutes of unpacking the box. The remote control is very intuitive and easily became second nature to use. I was worried it may take a while to get used to but that was not the case at all. It is amazing to me that the machine has so much capability but is so easy to use - typically a machine with this many features would have a steep learning curve, but Sizzix has done a great job in making it very user-friendly.
*The screen resolution on the remote is great - very clear images but easy on the eyes. No guesswork whatsoever and that saves time. I'm all for crafting efficiency!
*The images on the cartridge samples are not an exhaustive list of shapes on each cart - they are just the base images, but each one has various creative features, many of which include other shapes.
*When a shape offers embellishment pieces you can choose whether to cut one piece or all of the pieces - so no need to cut three times if you want three different colors of paper. I did not expect that option and it is so convenient to have!! Rock on!
*Almost every shape has a shadow feature which is fantastic in my book! I'm a shadow girl.
*The creative features are applied on a shape by shape basis, not on a cartridge by cartridge basis. In other words, on any given cartridge you may have one shape that has a border feature, while another shape has an embellishment feature. Sizzix looked at each image to determine which creative features were appropriate for that shape. Awesome!!
*I love that many of the images offer a traditional steel-rule die cut design with dotted lines for detail, but also offer layers ('pieces') so you can choose to make a layered design or a traditional looking cut. You can get multiple looks with one image. Fabulous!!
*The feel of the machine and the cutting mechanism is very solid and sturdy. It definitely has a high-end feel to it and it even sounds cool (according to my 7 year old!).
If you're attending the show this weekend be sure to stop by the Scrap-Mart booth and say Hello! I'd love to meet you and show you how amazing this machine is in person. I might cry when I need to give it back, but I am totally excited for the official release!!