Tag Archives: hero arts shadow ink

Custom Gold Foil Gift Card and Box

custom card close up

I spend so much time figuring out how to make custom paper craft items that it never ceases to amaze me when I hear that people spend a ton of money on plain die cut images. The other week, I was showing my mother-in-law all the things she wouldn’t have to buy anymore if she had the Silhouette or a similar device. From titles to images cut in the perfect size and shape for her layout, she was really blown away by the idea that she could create her own titles and use it right away rather than waiting a week to receive an item after finding someone on etsy or ebay to customize it for her.

I know that the Silhouette software isn’t for everyone, but learning some of the most basic functions can save you so much money and create something very unique. For example, the card below is for one of my dearest friends. I’d created a mini-kit of papers and embellisgments and coordinated a color scheme for this card long before her special day. When I found the perfect font, I was able to whip this card up in less than 20 minutes from start to finish.

custom angel card

Inside the card, I mixed three different stamps from Mama Elephant and American Crafts. IMG_0035

I also used my homemade kit to create a custom gift box for her gift, which was a necklace. I love these bows and save them for special occasions.
IMG_0024 custom box gold foilI love my Silhouette and I’m so happy I could introduce my MIL to it. Hopefully we can help her master basics that will help her customize her layouts AND save money!

on a tangent…

The ink for the “—THE BEST—” sentiment is Hero Arts’ new Ultra Pink. It’s my favorite ink pad from the entire Shadow line. I recently got some Epson Ultra-Premium paper and I can’t believe how different this ink will appear on different types of paper. The circle camera image and the “You+Me” bird were both stamped in the same ink but on different paper — the bird is on the Epson paper. The circle image is in a page protector but the color is just the same in real life. Isn’t that awesome?!

photo (1)

Hero Arts – Christmas Ink Cubes Pack Swatches


I still don’t know how to use the Gold ink with stamps effectively, however, it creates a beautiful burnished gold color when stamped directly onto paper. There’s a slight shimmer to it as well.


NOTE: I didn’t make any additional swatches for Red Royal. If you want to see a swatch, it’s available in this post.

I really love the ink cube form factor. Too bad they didn’t come out earlier this year – I would have saved a TON of money when I learned about the Shadow Ink pads. The size is quite perfect for the accent stamping I do on Project Life and greeting cards.

Forever green is a really great holiday and nature color.

IMG_5788The silver is okay – it’s a shadow ink so I wasn’t looking for a bright metallic.

Hero Arts Silver


Another pic to try and capture the subtle sheen.Hero Arts Silver - sheenI’m not quite sure what I’ll do with the gold in this pack — it’s just very odd to me. It’s very splotchy and unlike other shadow inks, it doesn’t fill in solid images very well. I’ve stamped it MANY times, making sure it’s very inky on the stamp, but it looks so odd when stamped. Maybe I just don’t get the aesthetic Hero Arts was going for or I have a defective one. I have heard awesome things about Unicorn though and will probably pick up one of those next time I visit my LSS.

Hero Arts GoldIMG_5784

Tips – Acrylic Stamps and the Arm Trick

IMG_5061I love buying solid stamps but I’ve never been able to create the smooth solid image I see on blogs all the time. I’ve bought all different types of stamp inks to try to achieve that look to no avail. The first example below is using Versafine in Habanero. The second uses the Hero Arts Shadow Ink Green Hills – both stamps are from Mama Elephant. As you can see, they make my inner perfectionist cringe so I don’t use them in projects.

This all changed recently after reading about the “arm trick” on the Studio Calico message board.  After trying this trick on almost every solid acrylic stamp I own, I can say with confidence that this trick creates the solid smooth results that inspired all my stamp purchases.

Before you ink up, rub the stamp on your arm a few times. The stamp will pick up some type of gunk from your arm – I noticed a thin film of skin on the stamp. This is gross but the results are awesome. I stamped on top of packing material, another technique a fellow crafter taught me.  The arm-tricked versions are on the right and the non-tricked versions are on the left.


IMG_5063For the first time, I can EASILY replicate the solid stamp look I’ve been yearning for since I bought my first stamp set last year. I’m so happy I just had to share this. If anyone else has another tip that doesn’t involve rubbing skin, please let me know! In the meantime, I’ll just convince myself that I’m not doing anything unhygienic like transferring skin onto my ink pads because the results are so worth it.

Hero Arts Garden Party Shadow Ink Cubes – Mint Julep and Fresh Peach

They’re here! They’re here!

I’m so excited that the Mint Julep and Fresh Peach Hero Arts shadow ink cubes finally came in! They came in a set with two other colors I already have. I really like having duplicate colors especially because I often fall in love with them and want to share with my sister. Here’s a pic of the pack. At a recent crop, I found the simple plastic holder convenient for bringing over other colors.


This is what they look like stamped with my Evalicious “love” stamp. I stamped the Fresh Peach first and it took me many stamps before I could get a pure representation of the Mint Julep. Looking at this picture, there might be little traces left along the outline of “love.”


I love all my shadow inks but I think Mint Julep and Fresh Peach just became my absolute favorites! Here’s a zoomed out picture – Fresh Peach is very similar toSoft Cantalope and Pale Tomato but they’re all slightly different hues. As always, these inks create beautiful images.



So that's what you do with long skinny pattern stamps!

Many stamp sets I buy often come with a 6 inch strip of repeating patterns. I never know quite what to do with them. They’re actually all stored in a separate container that contains all the stamps I don’t know how to use.

But recently, Youtube recommended I watch some videos about the Stamp-a-ma-jig. I know it took a while but the light bulb finally went off. I didn’t want to invest in the Stamp-a-ma-jig until I was sure that I would use it. So I experimented free hand with some of those long pattern strips to make a card for my dad’s birthday. I love the look – it took me a while but now I understand how to use those types of sets!

Embossing Bonanza Part Two – Water color edition

I’ve been very fascinated by water color techniques after watching several videos by Kristina Werner and others using Tim Holtz distress inks and inktense pencils.  This next slew of cards exhibits the depth of my newfound obssession passion with watercolor and continuing love of emboss folders. I created the following cards using various Quik Kutz emboss folders, a craft sheet, and Tim Holtz distress ink pads.

Tim Holtz Water Color card - with sympathy


For the center strip, I tried out a braying technique that is supposed to mimic the look of letterpress. It was my first go around and although I definitely need to work on my technique, I think it’s a cool look.

IMG_2496 When I’m learning a new technique, sometimes the whole of the card doesn’t really turn out the way I want it to aesthetically. But man, I love this water color technique. It’s so organic and alive.  IMG_2494

Something about this just screams “under the sea” to me – in the best way possible.


Hero Arts Shadow Ink Cubes

UPDATE March 24, 2013

I added an additional pic of the ink cube’s ink pad so folks can see it in detail. Hope this helps!


Apologies in advance for the quality of the pictures – my beloved S100 finally experienced the dreaded recall lens error and is in repair. I just couldn’t resist sharing my love for these great little ink cube packs so I used my cellie’s camera.

I knew I had to get the Hero Arts Shadow Ink Cubes as soon as I saw them in the Hero Arts catalog. I’ve been collecting the large ink pads a few at a time since last September and these cubes are a perfect size to try out new colors, take up very little space, and are a perfect size for all my Project Life mini image and word stamps.

The packs were not available from Hero Arts’ online shop earlier this month. My LSS put the order in right before CHA 2013 and I didn’t get them until this past Wednesday, but they are totally worth the wait!

Shadow Ink Cubes

These 8 are from the AF 239 “Just Beachy” and AF240 “Field Notes” packs. They’re super juicy and although I have some duplicates (Pool, Green Hills, and Wet Cement) I find these super easy to use and very convenient. They’re very similar to the Versamark cubes in shape and size, although I prefer the nothced top of the Versamark cubes, which better enable stacking. That said, these came in very handy plastic packaging which is perfect for a crop.


I also picked up the Neon package. I’ve never used neon in my crafts before and I probably would never have invested in the full-sized neons. But  this the AF 241 Neon Pack is a the perfect sampler. I also picked up a large Neon yellow.


I started creating a reference page so I could compare these colors to my Stampin Up pads. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but I think my Stampin Up pads (which are all the new ones reformulated in 2012) have similar qualities to the Hero Arts Inks – they both go on darker, dry lighter, and seem to magically fill in solid images. After playing with both the last few weeks, I love both and now have more than enough ink pads to last me a lifetime… right after I get the Bubble Gum and Raspberry Jam shadow inks. 🙂 TTFN