So many crafty goodies this holiday – I am so excited!
Today, I finally got a chance to play with Papertrey Ink’s Type Strips mini alphabet stamps and die. I absolutely love it! I’m forever running out of letters in the right color and this set changes everything.
The process is very straightforward – stamp, then die cut. My new MISTI tool made things even easier. I have always been obsessed with getting even coverage. With MISTI and a few magnets, the solid stamp image comes out perfect each time. I haven’t had a lot of time to craft recently but I will definitely write up a review of the MISTI with some of my initial impressions soon.
This Papertrey Ink set will definitely be a workhorse for me, especially with project life. How awesome is it that I’ll now have an endless supply of vowels and all the other letters that always seem to disappear first on my sticker sheets! Love mini alphas!
After a crummy experience with Paper Source’s letterpress class, I wanted to show my friend Wendy that paper crafting really can be fun. So we had a letterpress class at my house last weekend. I recently received a lot of Studio Calico’s letterpress plates but after looking through my supplies, Wendy decided she really loved the designs from my emboss folders so we used those instead.
We tried the letterpress on different paper weights. Last year, my friend Eloise brought me to Ink and Paper, a paper store in LA that sells amazing scraps of heavy cotton paper. These scraps are left over from large letterpress orders. Though they may no longer work for the letterpress machines, they’re definitely large enough for paper crafters. You can learn more about the store from this really neat Vimeo video. The owner is so kind and you can tell he really loves paper. He also sold me so many scraps for a pittance. The paper is thicker, plusher, and cheaper than the thickest Lifestyle Crafts paper and I tried to pay him more for the supplies I purchased but he declined.
After our lunch break, we started assembling cards using the Studio Calico kits I got back in February. To avoid fussy cutting, I stamped all the stamps we liked in black versamark ink onto a white sheet of paper, scanned the sheet, and used the scanned images to create a cut file.
It’s probably super obvious to others but just in case, please note that this stamp-scan-cut method works easiest with see-through stamps. For example, it was not easy aligning the Amy Tangerine’s new Plus One woodblock Happy Place stamp on the die cut. Luckily, it still turned out pretty awesome.
The design below is from my favorite lifestyle crafts emboss folder. I’m always so thrilled about how crisply it embosses – it makes even the simplest cards look amazing.
This week was frigidly cold. My dog wouldn’t go out the first few days for his walk. After day three, something changed and now he will play everywhere in the snow for at least 30 minutes. From a project life standpoint, I so enjoyed using the Project Life Coral Edition and seeing how well all my existing supplies and embellishments fit with it.
Early this month, I had the great fortune of finding four of the Studio Calico stamp sets that I missed out on. I had so much fun using them in my layouts this week.
So excited about Project Life this year. I took full advantage of the Two Peas sale and stocked up on many fun supplies including the new Becky Higgins Coral Kit, a ton of alpha and puffy stickers, and washi.
Flipping through last year’s PL books, I saw a huge positive difference in the look and feel of my weeks after I started using the Project Life kits. I like creating my own cards but pre-made cards make it a lot easier to focus on my journaling and the stories I want to remember from a given week.
My favorite new products are the Glitzy woodgrain washi tape and the puffy stickers from Daily Flash. I love the designs of the Glitzy Tapes and they always add texture to my projects but I don’t really think of them as washi. They feel more like printed glossy strips of paper than washi.
I made a ton of labels using a free print-and-cut design I found on Pinterest using Epson’s Ultra Premium Matte Presentation Paper! I’ll create another post soon to show I customized the labels and also created some homemade alpha stickers!
This summer, I started seeing blog posts using WPlus9’s Fresh Cut Florals set everywhere. All the cards were so lovely and I waited a long time for the set to come back into stock. I stamped all the tiny pieces in black, scanned them in, created cut files and used my Silhouette to make a large amount of die cuts for each stamp. I thought if the pieces just needed to be stamped, I’d be more inclined to use them.
As lovely as projects may be using this layering/paper piecing method, its a lot of work even though I have pre-cut shapes! Note to self – you will only use sets like this twice a year!
A while back, I fell in love with some cards blogger Lisa made and posted on sideoatsandscribbles.wumple.com. Even though I LOVED the card that inspired the version above, at the time, I decided that I needed to hold off on buying more stamps. I got so caught up in the hype around the Hero Arts Stamp Your Story line earlier this summer that I have tons of stamps I don’t even use right now.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I bought some Silhouette America stamp material. After watching a few reviews on YouTube, I created a rectangle and triangle stamp to see if I could use the same techniques. Rather than buying the new dedicated stamp mat, I used the regular cutting mat. I had no problem using the regular mat but if I end up creating more stamps, I might try it out to see if there’s any difference.
The stamps are pretty thin and flimsy. It was hard for me to get ink on the stamp without also getting it on my acrylic block so I ended up having to wipe the block before each time I stamped. Even though I used the Hero Arts shadow inks, which usually fill in missing spots, it was pretty difficult to get a good image and I ended up stamping the same area two or three times – yes – many of the blocks on the card are still spotty after multiple restampings. All in all though, I really like the effect although I’m not sure I’ll be able to successfully use her layering techniques with such flimsy stamp material. The image quality didn’t improve even after I used the arm trick.
I really like the stamping material. For five dollars, I have enough material for probably 100 stamps. Although the quality isn’t the BEST, the stamping material makes it fun, easy, and more affordable to experiment with new stamping techniques.