About a year ago, Stampin' Up! offered this neat product as a trial run and it sold out incredibly fast. The model last year looked a little different than the picture here – this one is the new one that has been re-dressed by Sizzix into the Stampin' Up! look. The appearance has changed, but the functionality is exactly the same. Stampin' Up! released this at the end of January and they will be offering the product in the next main catalog that starts in June. As a forewarning, they have added a number to inventory for now, but if they sell out, they are not intending to purchase more until they are gearing up for the big catalog. So, if you are inclined to buy it, I suggest that you not dilly-dally or you could be waiting until the summer cheeky. I purchased one so that I could try it out and let you know all about it. Here are my thoughts – the good and the not-so-good.

The good:

  • It is light and very easily portable.
  • The embossed image comes out very nicely.
  • The price point is nice if you want to incorporate the beauty of embossing into your projects without the bigger investment in a Big Shot.
  • The footprint in your work area is small, so it is handy if you have limited space for crafting.
  • If you purchase this with three embossing folders, your order will qualify for an item from the Sale-A-Bration flyer (until March 31st).
  • It is a bit easier on the hands to crank the cardstock through than with the Big Shot.

The not-so-good:

  • The tool is a "uni-tasker", you can't use it for anything else beside embossing.
  • You can't partially emboss on one side of a vertically oriented piece of cardstock;  the opening isn't wide enough to run the folder through in a way to achieve this.

So, here's my overall summary: If you are on a budget and have been holding off on the Big Shot because of the cost and you really want to incorporate embossed images into your projects, then this is the perfect tool for you. If you have a Big Shot, or have been seriously thinking of purchasing one, then I would suggest that you stick with that because it is so much more versatile.

All that being said, I'm glad that I have one now. It will make things a bit easier in classes and workshops because I won't have to re-configure the Big Shot platform to switch between cutting and embossing. Most of the projects that I design use both, so I expect that having the Texture Boutique will make classes more efficient.

If you want to check it out more closely, Stampin' Up! has created a video that you can watch here.