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About me:

I live in Tempe, Arizona with my husband of 26 years and we have two sons, ages 23 and 25. I have BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M and worked for Exxon in Texas for 7 years before having my first child. After my boys were born, I became a dedicated stay-at-home mom. Once they were both in school, I split my time between volunteering at my sons’ schools and having part-time software support jobs.

My aunt convinced me to try scrapbooking in 1998 and I became hooked on paper crafting. When the first Craft Robo die cutters were released in the USA, I found an entirely NEW passion… digital die cutting. That grew even more after the Klic-N-Kuts were released and I was very honored to be hired by Accugraphic Sales, Inc to write the user manuals for the Klic-N-Kut, ACS, and KNK Zing cutters. I also wrote the Design Master user manual for Graphtec GB.

I provide education and support for Klic-N-Kuts (including KNK Zing) and ACS models (including Eagle and Falcon). I’ve also created both free and purchasable videos for KNK Studio, KNK Studio GE, ACS Design Studio, Design Master, and Make-The-Cut. I teach classes by phone / VNC to cutter owners everywhere and teach at KNK Retreats. That’s another great passion I have… the love of teaching and helping others learn their cutters. Very satisfying.

I want to thank the following wonderful people for their contributions and hard work to support my business:

  • Stacey Briggs for tracking sales and expenses, maintaining the customer database, and helping prepare for the KNK retreats.
  • Michael and James McCauley for setting up the downloadable store, adding products, developing store graphics, troubleshooting problems, mailing packages, shopping for supplies, and all the other dozens of tasks that were required to build this business.
  • Chad Youngblut for teaching me how to cut and everything he knows about KNK Studio. I also want to thank Chad for rebuilding and continuing to provide tech support for this site.
  • Kaleigh Colton for photographing samples for the Gallery
  • Lisa Stewart for getting my blog moved to this site and teaching me to use Word Press.
  • Chris Durnan for urging me to start a blog! Great idea, Chris!
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    143 thoughts on “About/Subscribe

    1. Put in the test pen and put a sheet of printer paper on the mat. Reboot Windows and open Make The Cut that you purchased. Does it pop up a window saying that you are in the trial version? If it does, then you need to enter your original registration number that you bought. Do NOT enter the Activation Pin that came with your Zing because you already own MTC and you can sell that new Activation Pin to me. If you do NOT get a popup window about MTC being a trial, then add ONLY a single shape from the Basic Shapes and then send that to draw with the test pen. Do you get the same thing happening? If so, I need you to take a photo and email it to me so that I can see exactly what’s happening. My email is smccauley45@cox.net. Also, post a comment here so that I know you’ve emailed me and I can make sure I get it. Then we’ll just use email back and forth so that I’ll see you responding faster. We’ll get it worked out! I just need to understand exactly what’s happening! : )

    2. Sandy, I have a couple of questions I just got my ZING and I tried using it (after reading and watching videos), I’m still not understanding things completely..I think the main thing right now is why is it when cutting with MTC I have cuts going across the design at first it was maybe 2 or 3 lines the last one is completely covered with lines. I used MTC that I purchased and downloaded the plugin and I also tried using MTC that came with the machine?? I have to be doing something wrong because MTC hasn’t given me a problem til now? Can you help??

    3. It just means that you need to use Internet Explorer OR Firefox for subscribing. Then you’ll be fine! If you do not have either Internet browser on your computer, I can add you myself. I’ll email you to confirm. : )

    4. Oops, I just noticed the “Google Chrome” statement. I am not very computer savvy. Does this mean that I will not receive this without logging in each time?

    5. I am trying to subscribe to your blog but when I click on the link I get a bunch of gobbledigook. Would you please add me to your subscribers. Thank you.

    6. please contact me at the above email address. I’m home in New Mexico and have a computor crash problem I need to ask you about. thanks
      AZ & NM Zing/MTC buddy

    7. Gracias por publicar. Yo no hablo español, así que estoy usando Google Translate para leer su correo y escribir esta respuesta.

      El KNK son sólo de cortadores, no impresoras. Enviamos el KNK desde nuestro almacén en Londres para España y la fuente de alimentación que trabajar. Nuestro manual de usuario sólo está escrito en Inglés, por lo que puede suponer un problema. Pero usted puede intentar usar Google translate. Además, tenemos vídeos relacionados en el manual.

      Este es el sitio web donde el KNK de se venden en el Reino Unido:


      Por favor, hágamelo saber si usted tiene cualquier otra pregunta.

    8. Hola Sandy vivo en españa y me gustaria comprar una impresora-cortadora para fabricar mis propios wrappers, necesito saber si las impresoras tiene coneccion 220 v para europa y si son compatibles con mac me encataria comunicarme en español no hablo ingles. Gracias

    9. Do not think that will work i need to make single line fonts from line fonts i created that are not closed off.
      I did make a working set with another program but when it changed them over it made them into very shinny fonts not single line i have been using it but it makes a mess i have to clean up in the wood as it is cutting two thin lines when i only need the one single line.

      I have been searching for a way to make true single line fonts they cut 4 to 10 times faster in wood with a CNC.
      This is the font i made it is all single lines (well it started out that way) and cuts very fast but it is still cutting 2 lines very small the way the font got converted over to be used. I designed it in ACS one letter at a time and made it into a working font with sigmaker 3 not a fun program to use.

    10. Hi i have ACS you helped me a lot a few years back We moved and have a new business now I am using ACS now for editing wood sign designs.

      I need help with a feature in ACS i can not get to work – under a search in the help file for font it says i can turn any object into a new font.
      I want to do this badly but no matter what object i bring up i do not get the edit font option in the edit menu i only get that when i try to edit a font that is already made and typed in.

      I need to take a custom font set i made that is all EPS files and turn them one letter at a time into a new custom font set.
      I want to make many new sets of fonts doing this but can not seem to get it to work.

      Can you please help me with this i have searched and can not find any info on this.


    11. Hi Dani, Since I’ve only tested bookbinding leather, the best thing to do is send me some samples and I will cut the shapes you are interested in cutting yourself. For these more difficult materials, it’s important to test them so that you can be assured of getting the results you need. I’m sure the MA can handle it, but I’m not sure about the Zing. I’ll send you a private email with an address for sending test materials to either myself or to KNK USA.

      The bonus package changes depending on availability of certain items. It always has 10 extra blades and then an assortment of crafting tools and cutting materials. I can obtain a more precise list from KNK USA right before purchase if you want more specifics.

    12. Hello I am interested in getting a cutter mostly for cutting leather and suede that is between 1mm and less than 2mm in thickness. I really have no intention of using it to cut paper. I am initially interested in the Zing but am having a difficult time finding people who have used it to cut leather. I really would like to find out if it’s going to be able to handle what I’d like it to do or if I need to look at the Maxx Air and even then I’d like to find out what the limits are with the Maxx because for the financial investment I need to make sure it’s worth it! Are there things pertaining to leather that the Zing vs Maxx will or won’t be able to do? Oh and what exactly is part of the $300 bonus that the Maxx comes with?
      Thank you!

    13. Thanks Sandy! Just a quick heads up, I sent you an email late last night with a couple follow up questions. Thanks again :)

    14. Hi again, Elias,

      You’re welcome… happy to help!

      To fully utilize the large cutting mat on the Maxx, you need about 28 inches from the front edge of the table/desk to a wall(or other restriction) at the back. Now, since you have about 23″, you could just set your material further back on the mat… and then have about 16 – 17″ of cutting depth to work with and then the 15″ in cutting width. Did you note the difference in width? The Zing is about 24″ wide and the Maxx is about 25″ wide… very close, but just making sure you have that available.

      The 25″/sec speed on the Zing doesn’t come into play because you can’t cut fabric that fast. You can’t cut most materials that fast! The 25″/sec speed is used for engraving or drawing with a pen. So, practically, the Zing is probably still only cutting about twice as fast as the Cameo, based on what you want to cut. But there are other reasons to pick the Zing, including the fact it has a more powerful motor, so you won’t be exerting as much strain when cutting fabric.

      The Zing is far more portable than the Maxx. It doesn’t have bolt-on tables like the Maxx and that’s one of those “must haves” if you were into really high volume cutting. Since your shapes are not extremely detailed (as I see in your other comment), either model should be able to handle doing the cuts you need in a very timely manner and without putting much stress on the machine at all… as in the Zing would be able to keep up with the Maxx just fine. : ) The Maxx is over twice the price but comes with a $300 bonus package including 10 free blades, which could be all fabric, since that’s your main need. Again, the Maxx has the bolt-on tables which are great for both keeping the cutting mat horizontal during the cut (but that doesn’t apply much in your situation) and then the Maxx has adjustable pinch wheels if you’re ever cutting rolled materials that might not be wide enough fitting under the Zing rollers… again, I don’t see that applying to fabric cutting.

      My conclusion is that the KNK Zing is probably the right choice for you. If you like, you can email me at smccauley45@cox.net or we can talk by phone if you have more questions. Or you can always call KNK USA and talk to Chad about your planned application, as well! His number is 800-268-3672.

    15. sorry forgot to mention that my shapes are not very detailed, mostly letters and simple silhoettes

    16. thanks so much for the help sandy!!! I just took a look at the comparison chart from paperthreads and it seems like the zing’s max speed is 25″ and the silhouette’s is 3.9″. I’m not sure exactly what those numbers mean but its seems that is over 6X faster! I’m not sure if that is right because you said 2X faster, but I went ahead and cancelled the silhouette order anyway.

      Right now I think I may want to order the zing, but I would like to hear some more about the pros and cons of the zing vs. maxx. Also, I’m not sure that the maxx would fit on the space I had planned on putting the machine, it is a tabletop that is 18″ deep with about another 5″ in space behind it to the wall and then some more space in front of it. Would that even work? I am really short on space unfortunately. I would love to hear your thoughts, as well as some info about how to proceed to purchase.

    17. 200 cuts a day wouldn’t be stressful on the KNK Zing at all, so that could work well for you, if the Maxx is a bit out of your price range. The KNK Zing cuts fabric roughly twice as fast as the Silhouette, so it would take a lot less time. But the amount of time it takes may not be a consideration, after all. When I read your words “high volume” and “speed”, I immediately felt you had chosen the wrong cutter.

      How detailed are your shapes? If they are very fairly basic, then the Silhouette should be able to cut them from thin cotton fabric with decent accuracy and relatively quickly. if your shapes are detailed, then you really need to make sure you’re using a fabric blade and that the cutter can handle them. I’m happy to cut your shapes from the KNK models to show you what you can expect. Unfortunately, I don’t have a Silhouette for testing.

    18. Thanks for the response! I appreciate your help with this.

      I am actually pressed for space so the footprint of the zing or the silhoette is one of the things that make them more attractive. The lower price is also a big plus, especially since I am completely new to cutting machines and still not 100% convinced that I need to switch over from manually tracing and cutting with scissors. A smaller financial commitment in case I decide I do not like/need it would be ideal.

      Also, in terms of cutting all day long, I guess people might have different definitions of all day long. I am thinking that right now the approximate daily workload that I currently need to be able to do is about 200 cutouts 2″ to 3″ in height and width.

      Not sure if this new info will affect your answer in any way but if so please let me know your thoughts. Thanks again.

    19. I do think you need a higher quality cutter because you want to cut in a production mode. The Silhouette cutters are not designed for cutting all day long. I recommend the KNK Maxx and Maxx Air models for anyone needing to cut “all day long, plus the wider cutting range and larger thicker cutting mats are better suited to your needs, as well. You might want to call KNK USA at 800-268-3672 to discuss whether the current KNK Maxx or the new Maxx Air would be a better model for your needs. You can have the 10 free blades in the bonus packages switched to all fabric blades, which I would highly recommend! : )

    20. Hi Sandy,

      I just purchased the silhoette on amazon earlier today before I found out about all the other cutters out there. I plan on cutting cotton fabric with heat n bond in high volume so speed, durability, accuracy and ease of use are of the utmost importance to me. Do you think I made a mistake with going with the silhoette? Should I cancel and purchase a knk zing or maxx instead? Please let me know. Thanks!!

    21. I’m very happy to help! First of all, have you accessed the Zing UM and gone through the first two chapters? Also, what file formats are you trying to use? You are more than welcome to also email me at smccauley45@cox.net.

    22. I purchased the zing and i have no idea how to get any fiiles in the proper format to use the machine and i am interested in finding someone to help me understand how to use this machine. I am at a loss at how to find someone to do this for me, I would appreciate it if you could help me with this.
      Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

    23. Hi Bernice,

      Yes, the yellow KNK works just fine with Windows 7! I recommend starting with getting it re-installed and watching some videos. If you still want to purchase a class after that, then just buy one through my store and I will be happy to help you learn whatever you need.

      I’m going to email you privately since I have a long list of stuff to help you get started. : )

    24. Hello, I have an old around 2006 yellow commercial grade KNK. I have never used it. I did calibrate and had the pen write a word then…off to a very busy job. Now I want to use it and it is old. Do you know about this machine? Can you help me use it? Does it work with windows 7? I am happy to sign up for lessons. Please let me know if I am at the right place.

    25. Hi Ashley,

      The KNK Groove-e is no longer sold. Since you want to cut heavy leather and do embossing onto heavy leather, I would urge you to consider the new Maxx Air. It has a lot more force than the Groove-E and can handle these things. Email me, if you like, and I can answer more questions! I’m at smccauley45@cox.net.

      Also, the KNK’s can now cut from Make The Cut, on a Mac. :)

    26. Hi my name is ashley,

      I was interested in the knk groove e 13″, can this machine cut heavy duty leather and multiple types of fabric? Also I have seen mix reviews on whether it can operate with a mac computer, can it?

      Lastly it can also emboss and engrave? If it can emboss can I make my own emboss folders? Lets say that I have a logo that I would like to emboss on a leather or fabric material? Can I do that? Also does the machine come with any die cuts or do you guys make die cuts? Thanks in advance for the answers

    27. No problem! Go to Cut>Plotting Defaults and, first of all, make sure you have ACD Design Studio Eagle MS selected… not the “MS” at the end is VERY important! You should see two choices in that menu. Also, in that same window, make sure Axis Swap is marked. That will make images that you see on your main screen cut the exact same way on your Maxx. If it’s unchecked, then images will be rotated 90 degrees and cut landscape style. Click on Apply in that window before closing it.

      You might want to watch a video I made called “Controlling Where Images Will Cut” at this link:


    28. Hi Sandy, I have an issue with ACS studio where my MAXX 24″ always cuts shapes at 90 degrees to what is shown in the cut preview – this is really weird. would you have a solution to this? I’ve watched your videos regarding setup but no solution found. I am using the ACS Eagle driver. Thanks in advance. anton

    29. Hi Karen, I sell MTC here under my Shop tab and the user manual, with videos linked within can be downloaded under the Support tab and under Zing support. I’ve also sent you an email with the links.

    30. I purchased the KNK Zing in August. I have not had the opportunity to use it. I don’t have the MTC software or user manual. I would like to purchase user manual and MTC software.

      Thank you,
      Karen R Marchbanks

    31. Hi Nina, The problem with a lot of materials is that you can cut in one pass if the shapes are simple OR if you slow down the cutting speed. Now, let’s assume your shapes are definitely not simple, then the savings in only cutting in one pass would probably be offset by the need to slow the cut.

      One thing we can try is for you to send me some of the Mylar you are cutting along with a sample file and I’ll see how it goes! Let me know if you are interested in that test!

    32. Hi Sandy,
      I’m looking at getting a KNK Maxx but have a question for you. I mainly use my cutter to do reusable stencils from .01 mil mylar. My current cutter requires 2 passes to get through the material. Do you know if the Maxx will require the same? Looking to cut down on my production time!
      Thanks so much!

    33. Hi Sandy,
      I’d like to make some rubber stamps with my KNK zing. I was wondering if you know which rubber is best to use ( and works) and where I can buy it.Your link in your 2008 post is not working anymore:-(

      Cheers Helke

    34. I’ll send you an email and provide you the info you need! I assume your email is a yahoo.com acct and not an aahoo.com?

    35. Hi Sandy,

      I was finally installing the Make the Cut software and my computer crashed. I know I read that I can request the MAC Version. Can you help me in getting the MAC version or do I have to contact someone else.

      Also, I still have my silhoutte cameo and am not able to use any of those fonts and cliparts with this cutter. Is it possible for me to transfer some of the files I purchased and use it with the Zing cutter? Do I have to purchase files similar to the way i do with the silhouette cameo to be used with Zing?

      I also purchased the Artistic full version upgrade but am not sure how I can use it with the new cutter. I truly appreciate any advice or guidance you can provide me.


    36. Hi Nanci,

      Here are the answers to your questions: There really are no advantages to have so many more speeds. I use, at the most, 4 different ones on the two cutters. Yes, you do slow down on really thick materials, but both cutters have a slow speed for that. The Zing can go slower than the Groove-e which helps offset the fact it has a little less force.

      The laser and alignment are equally accurate: both will give you perfect PNC’s once you calibrate. The laser is a little faster since you do not need to push down on a pin to see if it’s dead center on each registration mark.

      Distress tool: Neither cutter has one at this time. If we do get one for the Zing, then it will work in both cutters. It’s used to scratch the surface on materials, such as white core cardstock, for a particular look… that’s all.

      The Pause can be useful for changing settings. But oftentimes, if you’ve started the cut and something is going awry, it’s better to just abort the cut and start again, rather than have part of your cut unsuccessful.

      Repeats does not refer to cutting the same shapes two times (or more) within that particular cut. It means that once you are finished a cut, you can reload new material and repeat the last cut without returning to the software. With the Zing, you simply send the cut to the Zing again from within MTC versus having a button on the control panel to do it.

      The extra force on the Groove-E allows for fewer passes on a few of the difficult materials. So far, I’ve been able to cut the same materials on the Zing, as on the Groove-e!

    37. I’ve done a lot of research on the internet for a die cutting machine and have narrowed it down to the Zisng and the Grove-e. Since I know NOTHING about die cutting machines, I’m not sure if some of the options are worth paying for. Hoping you can help.

      # of speed settings = Zing 20; Groove-e 12 What’s the advantage of the additional 8 more speeds? Does it have to do with the material that you are using?

      Laser Alignment = Zing YES; Groove-e NO Is the alignment tool on the Groove-e easy to use? Is the laser that much better/more accurate?

      Distress Tool = Zing YES; Groove-e NO What would you use this tool for?

      Is the “Pause to adjust settings” important?

      Repeat Function = Zing n/a; Groove-e YES Why is the Zing n/a…can it not do repeats?

      And lastly…if both machines cut all the same types of materials, is the extra pressure on the Groove-e needed? (750 vs 950).

      Thanking you in advance!

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