Tag Archives: Shopping

Paper Source Class – Lifestyle Crafts L Letterpress

I have never taken a class at Paper Source and following my experience in the Letterpress Class, I’m not sure that I’ll take another anytime soon.

A few years ago, I saw the Lifestyle Crafts Letterpress machine on sale for 50% off and almost purchased the platform. Most of the reviews for the machine and the letterpress platform were pretty awful so I passed.

Fast forward to the end of July. I’m in Paper Source and there’s a huge display for a Letterpress Machine and fliers for a Letterpress workshop. Folks on Studio Calico start posting about the upcoming Letterpress class and new letterpress tools. I’m really trying to avoid collecting stuff as fads fly by so I figured that I’d sign up for the class and try out the machine before I invest in any of SC’s awesome letterpress plates.

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Before the class, I got super excited and read this really awesome post from Boxcar Press about tweaks that would make the Letterpress kit produce beautiful images. Unfortunately, I still have no idea if a true letterpress deboss and inking is possible with this machine because the class was pretty terrible. It should have been called an embossing and stamping class. In two hours, I think we were supposed to complete 8-10 cards. But the instructions were not clear, the card examples were pretty cheesy, and each person only had two chances to Letterpress. On top of that, the paper they provided us was super thin so the deboss was very shallow. Save one, the cards looked like beautifully stamped cards but not at all letterpressed.

The card colors were navy, orange, and gray. They were fun and preppy, especially when I started adding a bright green to everything. However, I really didn’t like the class designs so all the cards below are my attempt to jazz stuff up. These are the “letterpressed” cards.

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The images are very impressive and clear; however, there was basically no debossing effect because we used very little packing and relatively thin cardstock,. The only exception is the leaf on the white strip above.

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It’s even easier to see what I mean when the image is zoomed in. Maybe I’m totally wrong, but I thought that when you run your fingers across letterpressed prints, you’re supposed to marvel at how precisely ink is welled up in a noticeable depression.

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No depression although it does look like a beautiful stamp job. Maybe I don’t understand what letterpress is? I wonder if I could just ink up my emboss folder with the ink?

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This doesn’t mean that the L Letterpress can’t create a deep deboss – it’s just that this class did nothing to help me determine if it can. And until I know that it can create a super special deboss, I don’t know if I’m ready to add letterpress-light to my arsenal of goodness. I asked the instructor about using some thicker paper (something with higher cotton content maybe) and just got mumbles insinuating that the machine might break. On a tangent, the instructor’s language that night was an interesting hybrid of theatre geek and self-help guru and it felt a little bit like crafting with Robin William’s character in the Birdcage. A little entertaining but not very useful.

Each person spent on average 7 minutes with the letterpress platform. The other 113 minutes of the class, we played with stamps and embossing powder. Not to be a total product snob but I was also really disappointed by the supplies on hand for the class. All these awesome and inspiring people on YouTube, blogs, and different forums have raised my expectations of craft tools and I thought Paper Source should have much cooler supplies. When someone asked for a way to line up stamps, instead of producing a thingamajig or something like it, they had some cheesy and expensive stamp set that only let you line up the fuzzy letters that came in the set. They didn’t even give us a ruler. The foam tape curled into itself as soon as I took it off the adhesive sheet. Considering we spent 94.2% of the class embossing, the fact that there was only ONE emboss design out was also ridiculous. I know I’m being a brat calculating the time we spent with the machine but with the money we spent on the class, I should have just bought the darned thing.

On the positive side, I did get a chance to emboss my envelopes and the scraps we had available.

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I really liked this “picante” emboss powder against the grey and blue. I added the washi when I got home. I love washi!

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A close up of the embossing. IMG_4597

All in all:

Paper Source workshop = FAIL

L Letterpress = ??

The L Letterpress seems to make cleaner impressions than the letterpress kit from years ago. However, I still really want to know how well it works with thicker paper. My plan to try it out before taking the plunge didn’t work out but I’m looking forward to see how well it works for everyone else.

Homemade Envelope

I have two massive 12×12 paper packs. They are remnants of an early time when I didn’t fully understand that I shouldn’t buy anything patterned or with images on it in bulk because my tastes change so quickly. They’ve been languising in my paper pile until I got the We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board. Turns out paper I would never use in my crafts is paper that I LOVE as envelopes.

See! Perfect for the birthday card I made yesterday.

The punch board is extremely easy. I generally make cards that are 4.25×5.5. There’s no measurement for that size specifically so I used the 4.25×5.5. The card fits nicely and the envelope isn’t too big.

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Mother’s Day Cards

I bought the Hero Arts Everything Flower background stamp when it was first released earlier this year. I was a little worried that it would be too similar to my Flower Bursts Pattern stamp but after playing with both quite a bit the last few months, I find they both have added a lot of different things to my cards.

For my Mother’s Day cards this year, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to use the same background stamp in different ways. To control the growth in my scrap pile, I decided to use up my existing supplies.  This first card really surprised me. I am always surprised at the creative process, especially when I use scraps. For example, I started quickly by embossing the stamp on the lavender card stock but then it took about 30 minutes to piece together the color scheme and colors. Something about the patterns and color combination makes me think of Japanese gift wrapping.

IMG_4016For this next card, I embossed the background stamp in white on top of some water color paper that was transformed using Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads and my craft sheet. (You can learn more about my obsession with this technique here.) The grey-blue cardstock that frames the water color paper is such a beautiful color. Everything really poped against the white.

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I used less conventional Mother’s Day sentiments on these cards because they really fit the notes I wrote inside. I’ve experienced many milestones the last few years and I really wanted to thank the ladies in my life for supporting and loving me all these years. I’m very blessed and grateful.

Flower by Drew Barrymore Shine On Lipgloss and Lipbutter

UPDATE March 24, 2013

I have to amend my review of the packaging. After about 3 weeks sitting inside my makeup bag, the cap of the Lip Butter cracked and won’t stay closed. The lip butter formula is still amazing but alas, it’s much harder to use now.

ORIGINAL REVIEW

After seeing this positive review about the new Flower makeup line by Drew Barrymore nail polish, I decided to take a break from rearranging my office and making cards and try out some of the lip products.

I LOVE sets of everything and have a tendency to collect things in multiple colors so I went in with a limit of one item per category. Last time I got really excited about a drugstore brand, I ended up with multiple Revlon butters. I wanted to love them as much as everyone else online seemed to but alas, they made my lips very dry.

But I am super excited about the Shine On Lipgloss and Lip Service Lip Butter because they are AWESOME! While waiting for some gluten free takeout from PF Chang’s (egg drop soup, lettuce wrap, and sauteed snow peas), I decided to see if my Walmart had any products in stock. We had many of the lip colors, mascaras, and nail polish. Based on the review I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t surprised that the nail polish section was nearly out of stock. I decided to get a lip butter and lip gloss.

The lip gloss was fairly easy to choose; I got “Baby’s Breath” which is also labeled as LG2. For the lip butter, I hesitated between the “Princess and the Peony” and “Haute Honeysuckle” colors. I have a thing for lip products with an orange undertone even though they look quite awful on me. Fortunately, common sense prevailed and I picked the “Haute Honeysuckle.”

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In addition to being dressed like a bum in sweats, my lips were also super chapped so I had pretty low expectations as I swiped them both on in the car. But amazingly, they are both awesome on and my lips feel moisturized a full two hours after application. On my lips, “Baby’s Breath’s” color is in between LORAC’s Couture Shine Liquid Lip in Haute and Chanel‘s Praline lipgloss; I’ve purchased both many times.

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As for the lip butter, it just might rival my holy grail Dior Addict lipstick.The texture is light but very moisturizing. I love it. IMG_2380

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Some reviewers expressed disappointment in the packaging – I think it’s alright. As long as it’s not terrible, doesn’t smell funny, and doesn’t break and spill all over, I’ll live. Great packaging may have led me to purchase less than stellar products in the past, but it has never prevented me from buying something. In this case, the product quality completely outweighs any other factor.

I wanted to like all the great drugstore releases last year but outside of the nail polishes, they were mostly a bust. These two products are awesome so maybe I’ll have better luck in 2013. Go Drew!

Home Made Embellishments – Silhouette Cameo, Chomas Pen Holder, and Sakura Pens

These cards are from about a month ago, when I made the huge discovery (for me) that making every embellishment by hand is a very effective impediment to finishing a whole scrapbook page. That aside, I LOVE using the Silhouette and Sakura pens to create embossed tags.

Making these tags is pretty easy – it just takes patience. I design everything first in Silhouette Studio. After that, I make my cut-line selections, align the Glaze pen in the Amy Chomas pen holder, and position everything properly in the Silhouette. After “cutting” the written layer, I let it dry before I cut out the subsequent layers. For me, the primary downside of making tags like this is the fact that I rarely make more than two of anything (this was an exception because I was so excited at how cool the raised part turned out!) so I’m not mass producing these. But as I recently learned first-hand handmaking my sister’s bridal shower invites, the Silhouette is AMAZING when you want to create something multiple times that is very intricate and has many component parts.

Cowabunga Christmas Cards

Fell in love with holiday paper pack at Michaels in September and was inspired to design some holiday cards.

This first one I call “Cowabunga Christmas.” Something about the font (it’s called “Cookies”) and the cow makes me think of the California Christmases I grew up with.

I used the same font in the next card and cut out some shapes like the mittens and the background from a digital pack I bought at Lettering Delights. My favorite part of making this card was the way that I was able to use my Gelly Roll pens to add dimension and interest to the otherwise plain shapes. The Gelly Roll on the mittens is from their Glaze line and creates a raised outline.

Finally, something completely different. I was still learning how to use my Amy Chomas Silhouette pen holder at the time. The Uni-ball Signo white pen delivers such a thick line but I have so much trouble getting the spacing centered in the large Chomas pen holder.