Baby Lock Jubilant review

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant.

Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. In this post, I’m going to share my review based on using the machine regularly for four months.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. My sewing machine sponsor is Baby Lock and this post is part of our ongoing collaboration. Baby Lock provided me with a Jubilant sewing machine, accessories, and Madeira thread. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant.

Why Baby Lock?

If you came to this post hoping to find the perfect machine for you, I think I can help! Last summer, I started looking for a new sewing machine and I found myself searching for “best portable sewing machine” and “best light-weight sewing machine” online. I found a lot of really interesting posts, but I noticed right away that none of them were written by people who had actually USED the machines they were recommending! Instead, these posts were a bunch of affiliate links to sewing machines sold on Amazon or elsewhere online written by bloggers hoping to earn commission on each sale.

This was super disheartening to me because not every sewing machine is as good in reality as it sounds in its Amazon or big box store description! I started doing more and more research and I kept coming back to Baby Lock. I have been the proud owner of a Baby Lock Quilter’s Choice since the mid-2000s and I’ve used other Baby Lock models in sewing classes at the Snap conference.

How to Make a Fabric Basket class | Snap! conference 2016 wrap up on Underground Crafter
Some Baby Lock goodies from a class I took at Snap!

I love my Quilter’s Choice, but I bought it when I lived alone in a larger apartment and had a quilting table set up. Once I moved in with MC, the machine was used less and less because I just didn’t have the space to set it up. I do most of my sewing outside of my apartment now, and the Quilter’s Choice was far too heavy to be truly portable for someone like me who relies on public transportation. And, thus, I sewed less and less each year.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant with thread and presser feet

I reached out to Baby Lock in the fall and they agreed to provide me with the Jubilant, several quilting accessories, and plenty of Madeira thread if I would write an honest review and share several sewing posts during the year. You can see all my sewing posts where I used the Jubilant here. In case you’re wondering, my Quilter’s Choice has found a new home as my mom’s sewing machine. It still works great!

About the Jubilant

It turns out that the Jubilant is quite literally the “perfect” machine for me, according to Baby Lock’s Match Maker.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Match-Maker screen shot

You can take the quiz to find your perfect Baby Lock here. The Jubilant is one of seven machines in Baby Lock’s Genuine Collection. This collection includes affordable machines, portable machines, and beginner-friendly machines. You can see them in action in this short video from Baby Lock.

While all of Baby Lock’s machines are sold through local sewing machine dealers, most of the Genuine Collection machines (except for the Brilliant and the Accomplish) are also sold online through Nancy’s Notions and other retailers, like Sewing Machines Plus (and, yes, that is an affiliate link).

So what makes the Jubilant special? It’s very light weight at under 15 pounds/7 kg. The Genuine Collection machine tote is what I use to carry my Jubilant around. Here’s I am on the bus with my Jubilant.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant in tote

I can fit the machine in the tote comfortably on my lap. Inside of the tote, there’s enough room for my fabric (which is in the canvas tote bag), the manual, and a project book. The tote also has a large front pocket where I can keep my fabric scissors, thread, and other supplies like fabric markers.

You can watch my unboxing video to see what’s included in the Jubilant box and the other accessories I have, like the extension table and Quilting Foot Kit. Even though I just posted the video last week, it was actually filmed about four months ago (#becauselife). If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on YouTube.

In spite of its light weight, the Jubilant has a lot of features. Here are some of my favorites.

  • 80 built in stitches. While I will probably never use all 80, it does have my favorites including straight stitches in 3 different positions, 4 types of zig zag stitches, and 4 types of overcasting stitches (like the one I used for the Simple Stamped Napkins). Some of the stitches that I haven’t used yet but plan to try out soon are the hand-look quilting stitch, some of the 8 buttonhole stitches, and the decorative cross stitches and satin stitches.
Simple Stamped Napkins, free sewing pattern with Ann Butler ColorBox Crafter's ink and Unity Stamp Company stamps by Underground Crafter
  • Free arm capability and retractable feed dogs. I like that I have the free arm if I want to work on sewing sleeve cuffs or hems (yes, I do aspire to one day sew garments!) and that I can lower the feed dogs if I want to do some free motion quilting. I can also add an extension table for quilting.
Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant with extension table
  • Built-in needle threader and lighting. My eyes are not what they were 20 or even 10 years ago. Having help threading the needle is the difference between sewing or not sewing for me. Having the light is great because even if the room I’m sewing in is dark, I can still get illumination around my stitching.
Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Jubilant with light
  • Start/Stop Button and Reverse Stitch Button: I’ve been so spoiled by Baby Lock machines for the past 10+ years that I didn’t realize all sewing machines don’t come with a Start/Stop Button until recently. If you’re new to a Start/Stop Button, it is amazing! Basically, you can use this button to control your machine instead of the foot pedal. It’s great if you having pets or young ones underfoot, or if your feet hurt, or if you want to make your Jubilant even lighter for your next trip. The Reverse Stitch Button is great for securing your stitches at the start and end of your project.
  • 7 included presser feet, plus many more available. The machine comes with 7 presser feet. I use the J zigzag foot the most. I also have the Baby Lock Quilting Foot Kit. You can see a complete list of compatible presser feet and accessories here.
  • Portability. It’s not just the light weight that makes the Jubilant portable. Other portability features are the handle; the measurements on the needle plate that help you see your seam allowance; the accessory compartment where you can store extra bobbins, seam ripper, presser feet, etc. when traveling; the built-in lighting that lets you sew even in lower light conditions; and the Start/Stop Button that lets you leave your foot pedal at home. The LCD screen also tells you which presser foot to use with a particular stitch so you don’t need to carry the manual with you.

Since every sewist is different, the Jubilant may have other features I haven’t mentioned that are perfect for you. You can read more about it on Baby Lock’s website.

So far, I haven’t come up against any problems with the Jubilant. I keep the manual in the tote and the troubleshooting section has covered every question I had. Baby Lock also has online classes that help you get to know your own machine and how to maintain it and understand its features.

Finding the Right Machine for You

I’ve been sewing for years, but when bought my first sewing machine back in 2005, I had no idea what I was looking for. I ordered several machines online and ended up having to return or resell them because they didn’t have the right features, were too hard to maintain, or were not in good shape. Now I know enough about my preferences to take a quiz, but how do you find out what’s right for you if you’re new to sewing?

One of the best ways to find your perfect machine is to talk with a sewing machine dealer. Dealers know A LOT about each machine they stock and they will ask you questions about how you plan to use the machine, your budget, and your preferences. Last week, I visited one of my local Baby Lock dealers, Pieceful Quilting.

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Pieceful Quilting collage

Check out the Facebook Live I did in the shop and you can see what it’s like to speak with your local dealer. If you can’t see the video below, watch it here on Facebook.

Buying from a local dealer also connects you to the people who will help you maintain your machine. Most sewing machine dealers offer free classes or one-on-one lessons to help you get to know how to use your machine. And, many sewing machine dealers sell fabric, books, and notions, or offer sewing classes, or have fun events, or all three!

Baby Lock Jubilant review by Underground Crafter - Whether you’re looking for a portable sewing machine to take to classes or craft nights, or a small but full-featured machine that doesn’t take up too much space at home, or a sturdy, yet affordable sewing machine, you’ll find something to love about the Baby Lock Jubilant. - Pieceful Quilting collage
At Pieceful Quilting. Clockwise from top left: the Baby Lock demonstration area, cute notions, beautiful batik fabrics, books, quilt patterns that are local, and more fabric.

You can find your local dealer by clicking on the “Find a Retailer” button at the top of Baby Lock’s website.

What If I Don’t Have a Local Dealer?

Not everyone lives in a major metropolitan area with several local dealers to choose from like I do. As I mentioned before, five of the machines in Baby Lock’s Genuine Collection of affordable, portable, and beginner-friendly sewing machines (and a serger) are also sold online through Nancy’s Notions and other local sewing machine dealers, like Sewing Machines Plus. If you buy online from a dealer, be sure to email your questions or call and talk to them. They will give you plenty of recommendations and suggestions before you place your order online.

I hope this post has helped you to see why I think the Baby Lock Jubilant is the best portable sewing machine on the market today for sewists and quilters. If you have any questions about the Jubilant, ask me in the comments, via email, or on social media.

ArtBin Yarn Tote Review

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground CrafterIf you like to crochet (or knit) big projects using several colors of yarn, I may have found the perfect project bag for you. Read my detailed review of the ArtBin Yarn Tote for more details!

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free sample of the ArtBin Yarn Tote was provided to me by Flambeau, Inc. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground CrafterMy dad is an artist and my mom works with commercial artists, so ArtBin is brand name that I’ve known and trusted since childhood.When I first saw the ArtBin Yarn Tote at Creativation, the annual trade show for the craft and hobby industry, back in January, I had high hopes.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | ArtBin booth at Creativation 2018ArtBin’s parent company, Flambeau, reached out to me after the show and then sent me the ArtBin Yarn Tote to review. I liked it right away, but I’ve been fooled by project bags that fall apart with a little use before, so I decide to put it through some serious usage before sharing my review with you. After using it regularly for six months, I can definitely say that it’s as solid as it appeared when I first received it!


Let me tell about the what I like about the bag. There’s a removable yarn sleeve that you can fit 8 large skeins of yarn into with each skein in it’s own pocket. This sleeve has bag handles, so if you have a smaller project, you can take out the sleeve and carry it around by itself. Since I only have 4 skeins in the sleeve in this picture, the other pockets collapse into the side so they don’t take up extra space in the tote.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | ArtBin Yarn Tote removable yarn sleeveThe base of the tote is flat, so it doesn’t sag and cause the yarn to roll around. Instead, it provides support for your yarn and project. There are grommets for each skein of yarn on the sides of the tote, so you can work on a large, multicolor project, like an afghan or blanket, tangle free.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | ArtBin Yarn Tote grommetsThe front pockets are really deep, which is helpful for packing sharp scissors, your wallet or even the semi-enormous smartphones of today for easy access when you’re traveling with your tote.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | ArtBin Yarn Tote front pocketsThere’s a magnetic closure on the top, so your yarn doesn’t get snagged on the fastener.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | ArtBin Yarn Tote magnetic closureThe tote is made from a lightweight canvas, so even though it’s super roomy, it isn’t heavy. In this picture it’s holding 4 skeins of yarn, another small project with yarn in the small bag, a crochet pattern book, and my folder and it still has plenty of room.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | Inside of ArtBin Yarn Tote with 4 skeins of yarn, pattern books, and suppliesOk, so how did I put this to the test? All the features I’ve described are great and they have lasted. I’ve worked on several multi-color projects with no yarn snags and few tangles. But the real test was when I used this bag because of its larger size and flat bottom to help me carry stuff around New York City that is much heavier than yarn. I’ve used it to carry my Cricut Cuttlebug and EasyPress 2 (at separate times) while still in their boxes to another location to film an “unboxing.” I’ve used it to carry yarn, paint, tripods, camera equipment, my laptop, quilting mats and rulers, and more to do photo shoots. I’ve used it to carry nearly completed blankets on the subway so I could finish crocheting projects during my commute. Through it all, the bag has held up and the straps have stayed strong.

If I had a magic wand (because I’m me), the ArtBin Yarn Tote would be available in a few more Caribbean-themed colors. The grays are a bit drab and just call out for customization. On the other hand, if there’s only going to be one color, it’s better that it’s neutral! I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about padding for the straps. When I’m carrying yarn projects, it isn’t needed at all. But when I’ve carried big boxes in here (because they fit), padding would have been nice. However, it would just add to the weight of the bag, so in the end, I feel like the folks at ArtBin made the right choice by keeping the bag as lightweight as possible. If you have 8 skeins in there and half a blanket, you don’t really want any extra weight.

ArtBin Yarn Tote review by Underground Crafter | ArtBin Yarn Tote on chairIf you like to crochet or knit large projects, or if you do a lot of crafting on the go, I think you’ll love the ArtBin Yarn Tote!

Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Unboxing and Review (with Video)

Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Unboxing and Review with video by Underground CrafterI recently got a Cricut Cuttlebug Mint, a portable, hand-cranked, die cutting and embossing machine. In today’s post I’ll share my unboxing and review, along with my thoughts about how it compares to electronic cutting machines.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free Cuttlebug was provided to me by Cricut. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

About two years ago, I was introduced to the world of cutting machines. As a mostly yarn crafter, I’ve always been intrigued by (but not very gifted at) paper crafts. Then in 2016, Cricut sent me the Cricut Explore Air (reviewed here). It’s a pretty incredible machine, and I loved the ability to make my own iron-on projects and more. You can see many of the projects I made with the Explore Air in this roundup of answers to the 12 most frequently asked questions about Cricut.

Cricut Explore Air unboxing and review on Underground Crafter
My first project using the Cricut Explore Air.

Last August, Cricut introduced the Cricut Maker and it immediately went on to my wishlist. I was lucky enough to be sent one as part of a series of posts I wrote about Cricut’s new Scoring Wheels. Finally, I was able to tackle my fear of paper crafts! You can find out more about the Scoring Wheels in these three posts (here, here, and here).

Get To Know Cricut Maker Scoring Wheels with Underground Crafter - Cricut Maker
My Cricut Maker in all its glory.

With all of this technology in my hands, why would I be interested in checking out the (relatively) “old school” Cricut Cuttlebug? A few reasons. As my long-time readers know, I live in New York City and I often craft on the go. I don’t have a car and carrying around a Cricut Maker on the subway isn’t really ideal. Also, there are times when I like to “unplug” and the Cuttlebug doesn’t hook up to anything. Finally, it’s small. That makes it both portable AND easy to store in my one bedroom apartment.

Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Unboxing and Review with video by Underground Crafter - Cricut Cuttlebug MintLet me tell you about my first experiences using the Cricut Cuttlebug.

Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Unboxing and Review with video by Underground Crafter

What’s in the Box?

The Cuttlebug comes with three Plates, the A Plate and two B Plates, and a Rubber Embossing Mat. All three Plates and the Mat measure 6” x 8.” The Cuttlebug surface area is 6” wide, but if you are using longer dies, you will also want to get the longer, 6” x 13” Plates or Mats. It also comes with two metal dies (I used the “Thank You” one for my first project) and an embossing folder. By the way, these Plates are sometimes called Spacers, so don’t let the lingo confuse you.

How Does It Work?

Just like when you buy a fancier machine like the Cricut Explore Air or the Cricut Maker, Cricut tries to make things easy for you right out of the box. With the dies, embossing folder, Plates, and Mat that come in the box, you are ready to make your first project… sort of.

Unlike the electronic machines, though, the Cuttlebug doesn’t come with materials for your first project. You’ll need to supply your own materials to cut or to emboss. I didn’t realize this and I did do the unboxing and my first project away from home. I happened have a scrap piece of Gold Adhesive Foil left from my DIY Christmas Tree Decoration tutorial and a small notebook that I got for free at a conference with me, and that’s how the idea for the gratitude notebook was born.

Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Unboxing and Review with video by Underground Crafter - Gratitude Journal ProjectAlso, because the Cuttlebug doesn’t require Cricut Design Space (or a computer/tablet/smartphone, or internet access), you also don’t have the helpful prompts and videos to guide you through your first project. Since I had never used a die cutting machine before, I was a bit confused by how to position the Plates, if the die needed to face up or down, etc. Cricut does include a brochure, but if you prefer video help, I recommend this short video by Anna Griffin.

Once I figured out the order of things, it was pretty easy peasy. You can see my unboxing video and my first project, a gratitude journal, below. Besides the Gold Adhesive Foil and the Plates, Mat, and “Thank You” die that came with the Cuttlebug, I also used a small notebook and my Cricut Essential Tool Set to trim down the foil and to weed out the little holes in the “o” and “a”  after it was cut.

Pros and Cons of the Cuttlebug

I’ve had the Cuttlebug for a few months now (and, yes, there are more projects on the way) and there are a lot of things to like about it.

  • It’s affordable. At a suggested retail price of $89.99, it’s at least $100 less than another Cricut machine.
  • It’s small, light weight, and portable. It’s very easy to pack it up, set it up, and carry it to your latest craft event, even without a special tote or a car. And, the suction base helps to keep it anchored while you’re working.
  • It’s simple to use. With no electronic parts or connections, you basically just need to crank that baby!
  • It lets you “unplug” while crafting. If your wifi is down, or you want to turn off your screen, you can still make projects.
  • It cuts AND embosses. While you can use your Cricut Explore or Maker to emboss (just check out this tutorial by Clever Someday to find out how), embossing with the Cuttlebug is very straightforward.
  • You can use a lot of dies and embossing folders made by other brands in the Cuttlebug. If you’re not sure, check the Die Cutting Machine And Dies Compatibility Chart from Scrapbook.com before buying anything new. You can also review the Cuttlebug Sandwich Guide by Personal Diecutting to find out how to position the Plates and Mats with dies and embossing folders from different brands.

Enroll Today!

There are a also few things to consider before buying a Cuttlebug.

 

  • Cricut doesn’t make as many dies and embossing folders as they once did. I don’t really see this as a problem because I’ve been able to find a lot of compatible dies on Scrapbook.com, but it is something to be aware of.
  • It’s not a Cricut Explore series or Cricut Maker machine. This may be obvious, but it needs to be stated. The Cuttlebug is a manual, die cutting machine that can cut and emboss paper; cardstock; poster board; thin metals, woods, leathers, fabrics, and felts; and some other materials that are less than 1/8″ thick. It isn’t able to cut hundreds of materials and there is no Cricut Design Space to prompt you about what to do next. If you’re new to manual cutting machines, you’ll need to do some research, but there are tons of resources online, including Cricut’s Cuttlebug FAQ page.
  • It makes a “crunch” when you crank past the die. I was really afraid that I broke the machine when I first used it. But then I learned that this sound is totally normal.
  • Your Plates will look very beat up, right from the start. Again, as a die cutting newbie, I was afraid I was “doing it wrong.” This is the natural order of things, so just breathe and it will be ok. That Anna Griffin video I embedded above gives a great tip for helping your Plates to look their best.

Cricut Cuttlebug Mint Unboxing and Review with video by Underground Crafter - Plates CloseUp
You can see the imprint from the “Thank You” die on my Plate when I’m preparing the next project using a totally different die.

I hope my review has helped you decide whether the Cuttlebug should join your craft room. I’ve been loving mine and I’m sure you will, too.

 

Gift Guide: 4 Subscriptions for Creative Types

Gift Guide: 4 Subscriptions for Creatives - Subscriptions are fun gifts because they keep on giving throughout the year. Creative types love to make things, so gifts that are filled with creative ideas or supplies will keep them inspired. This roundup includes digital subscriptions and subscription boxes. Includes gift ideas for foodies, crocheters, knitters, sewists and quilters, and crafters of all kinds!I’m sharing a gift guide of four subscriptions for creative types. Subscriptions are fun gifts because they keep on giving throughout the year. Creative types love to make things, so gifts that are filled with creative ideas or supplies will keep them inspired. This roundup includes digital subscriptions and subscription boxes.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. I was provided with products by Darn Good Yarn and Nonna Box for review. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

4 Subscriptions for Creative Types

Gift Guide by Underground Crafter

Gift Guide: 4 Subscriptions for Creatives - Subscriptions are fun gifts because they keep on giving throughout the year. Creative types love to make things, so gifts that are filled with creative ideas or supplies will keep them inspired. This roundup includes digital subscriptions and subscription boxes. Includes gift ideas for foodies, crocheters, knitters, sewists and quilters, and crafters of all kinds!I’m sharing my list in alphabetical order because ranking was just too hard! My four subscription recommendations for creative types are:

CreativeBug

CreativeBug is an online platform with thousands of classes in crochet, knitting, sewing, quilting, papercrafts, and more! Classes are available for a variety of skill levels, including beginner, for your creative friends who want to branch out into new crafts. And, CreativeBug donates 5% of every dollar earned to non-profit organizations that support art education.

3-, 6-, and 12-month gift subscriptions are available. If the recipient is already a subscriber, your gift will add more time to their subscription.

Darn Good Yarn Fabric of the Month

Darn Good Yarn is an awesome company that brings ethically sourced, environmentally friendly, and beautiful yarns and other products to crafters all over the world. I first experienced their products when I designed the Silk Elegance Shawl. The Fabric of the Month subscription is just one of Darn Good Yarn’s subscription options and it’s an affordable way to gift gorgeous and unique fabrics from India and Nepal to your favorite sewist or quilter every month.

I’m working on a project with the Fabric of the Month sample I received, but until then, you can see what a typical delivery looks like. It comes wrapped in a beautiful project bag…

…with a note about the subscription, 3 pieces of fabric (each of which is at least the size of a fat quarter), and a sample card of yarn or ribbon.

If you like the story of Darn Good Yarn but your friends and family don’t sew, you can also try their two subscriptions for crocheters and knitters, Yarn of the Month and Premium Yarn of the Month, or their subscription for jewelers and other crafters, Beads of the Month.

Subscriptions are available on a monthly basis and are auto-renewed on the first of each month, so you can create your own gift subscription of your preferred length. To gift a subscription, just enter the recipient’s shipping address at check out.

Nonna Box

Nonna Box is a monthly subscription box perfect for foodies, those with wanderlust, and Italian-Americans hoping to get a taste of the home country every month.

Each box has a regional theme, stories about the region, artisanal treats, and recipes.

I wish I could tell you how good everything tastes, but this box went pretty quickly in my house. I didn’t even eat all of it myself! I loved the corn cookies, which were a treat I had never tried before. The instructions for making the mushroom risotto are very straightforward.

Nonna Box has gift cards that can be used for tasty Italian goods a la carte or so the recipient can order a subscription.

Unwind by Melody’s Makings

Melody is the talented crochet and knitting designer behind Melody’s Makings. She just launched her own subscription box, Unwind. Each box includes yummy treats, inspiration, and yarn, so Unwind is a great gift for crocheters or knitters.

Shipping is free within the U.S. One-time payment gift options are available for 3- and 6-month subscriptions if you’d like to gift a subscription.

 

TUL Planner Review

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.I’ve always been a big fan of stationery and I’ve never gone completely digital, so when the planner craze hit, I was excited to have more and better options for organizers, calendars, and note-taking. While I love getting crafty to customize my planner, I wasn’t loving some of the overly cutesy covers. I guess I’m old school, but I don’t feel like I have a powerful negotiating position in a meeting when my planner says “I am Special” in gold glitter script. I recently reached out to Office Depot and they sent me a collection of products from the TUL Custom Note-taking System to review. I’m excited to say that I was able to get the best of both worlds with TUL! Read on for a more detailed review.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. I was provided with several products from the TUL Custom Note-Taking System by Office Depot for this review. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.As I mentioned, I love planners but I’ve been looking for one with a more understated cover. For the past year and half, I’ve been really in love with discbound options. Discbound systems are great because it’s easy to remove and add pages, but, unlike with hole-punched paper, you do not have to loudly snap open a binder to do so. Also, your paper is less likely to rip because of the way the discbound pages work. I love to add and remove paper from my planner, so discbound works best for me.

I’m also pretty hard on my planner so I wanted one with a sturdy cover. The TUL Custom Note-Taking System Junior Sized Leather Cover has a classic look and is available in a variety of colors. I prefer the Junior Size because it fits into all of my different bags, but if you like a larger planner, there is also a Letter Sized option available.

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.In addition to a classic cover, the inside pocket also includes a place to store your writing equipment.

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.The cover comes with 60 lined pages for note-taking and the 8 discs you need to keep things together. I also received some additional products that transform the TUL into a completely customizable planner.

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.The 2018 weekly/monthly refill planner pages are a must if you actually want to use this as a planner and not just for taking notes. I use the monthly pages for my blog editorial calendar…

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.… and the weekly pages to organize my daily schedule for work and life. (Blank calendar pages are also available if you buy your TUL in the middle of the year.)

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.If you’re like me and your life has a lot going on, you’ll love the tab dividers, which allow you to separate different sections of notes to stay organized. The pocket dividers are great for when I’m between work and home because I can store small scraps of paper, business cards, and other important bits of paper that aren’t punched to fit the discbound system.

And, if the leather is too plain for you, there are more colorful and lighter covers available in the Student Edition. Now, if you REALLY want to get crafty with your TUL, invest in the hole punch. It works with all TUL sizes (and other discbound options). I use it to add some funk to my planner. I punched holes in some Animal Print Paper from Oriental Trading to add a more personal touch to my note pages.

TUL Custom Note-Taking System Review by Underground Crafter | TUL makes an awesome planner that any crafter can customize. Learn more in my review and find TUL products at Office Depot.You can find the entire line of TUL note-taking and writing products here on Office Depot.