Tag Archives: Supplies

My Favorite Gold Stamp Pad – Delicata Gold

After the first Christmas mock cards, my gold emboss powder clearly wasn’t going to cut it and I started looking for an alternative. (If anyone has recommendations for an emboss powder that looks like 24k gold, please let me know!)

I’ve seen many people rave about the Delicata gold ink stamp pad. These projects are usually very beautiful, but the gold ink never stands out in pictures. I’ve also never seen Delicata in a store so when I saw it visiting Hobby Lobby for the first time — the one I visited was so enormous and had a fantastic selection! — I decided to try it out.

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It is amazing and looks like gilded gold on stamps.

IMG_4666I was impressed by how detailed the stamps came out. The ink is phenomenal on cardstock in real life, but after taking a ton of shots this afternoon and early evening I now understand why the amazing quality of the gold does not always convey in pictures. I’m not a very good photographer but I think it’s because the ink has a slight holographic quality. See the little glints of pink and green on the leaves?

IMG_4667My mom is visiting from out of town and she’s so enjoyed learning to stamp using this pad. It looks so pretty on dark colors!IMG_4675 She liked the pad so much, she made all her Christmas cards this week!

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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.

Studio Calico’s Inked Class

Inked is the first Studio Calico class I’ve ever signed up for. I’ve been very diligent at COLLECTING stamps, but pretty terrible at using them in my projects. When this class came around, I was sold.

The class itself was pretty good. The techniques weren’t entirely new to me but Studio Calico’s design team has such a distinctive style and it was fun seeing the Studio Calico creative process. I also loved the stamp kit.

The class schedule included:

Week 1 | July 1st – 5th
01 | stamping on patterned paper
02| using glitter or glossy accents to accent a stamped image
03 | using stamp markers
04 | colorful stamped accents
05 | tweaking the shape of a stamp

Week 2 | July 8th – 12th
06 | heat embossed stamping
07 | watercolor stamped accents
08 | ombre stamping
09 | chalkboard effect
10 | using a stamp as a template for stitching

Week 3 | July 15th – 19th
11 | resist
12 | watercolored images
13 | text style stamps in journaling
14 | stamping on transparencies and layering over other images
15 | layered stamping

Week 4 | July 22nd – 26th
16 | creating patterns with a small stamp
17 | kissing
18 | digi stamping basics
19 | masking
20 | adding texture with stamps and gesso

The card below follows instructions from the sixth class and literally incorporates every single one of my favorite products from the crafty products I purchased in July. I can’t wait until my mom comes and we can go over some more techniques together.

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Crafty Things I Loved this Week… and one other thing

Studio Calico curates beautiful kits each month. However, when I had a monthly subscription, I never used up all the papers and embellishments before wanting other stuff. I also ended up buying A LOT of extra stuff — I literally have every Mr. Huey’s color — so that I wouldn’t have to spring for shipping.  Eventually I had to cancel my monthly subscription.

But I still love the style they promote and their products. After seeing the pink ombre washi tape in an Amy Tan spread, I knew I had to have it. First, I tried finding the roll but apparently, some of Studio Calico’s stuff is  limited edition and most people who were selling, were offering one or two yards for 4 bucks. I bit the bullet and bought the whole Outer Banks kit. In a testament to how much I love this washi tape, I also paid for shipping. Ridiculous but TOTALLY worth it. I’ve basically added it all over the place today. For example:

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I have tons of washi and I think it’s fair to say that this one is my absolute favorite. I’m looking at my craft desk as I’m typing this… I have to pair this washi with some turquoise grosgrain ribbon. It’ll be amazing!

Other product I’m loving is the “Kraft” edition kit for Project Life. Project Life came out at some select Michael’s on Friday. The Kraft edition has been sold out online for weeks now so I was thrilled that I could get one at Michael’s and use a 40% coupon. I also really like the Midnight edition but between the two, the Kraft edition is more in sync with the rest of my current book. I’ve been doing Project Life since last September making my own cards. This set really makes it a lot easier to fill out a spread but I really enjoy creating unique cards for every event. They’ll be awesome though for books I make as gifts or vacation books.

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On a completely different tangent, I picked up a pound of Angelcots this morning at Trader Joes. I have already eaten four of them. They’re AMAZING! I love Sundays!

Things I’ve learned about my crafting so far

Looking through my craft photo archive, I realized that even though I have a lot of different sentiment stamps now, I really like the happy birthday stamp. I’ve used it in SO many pieces!

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Other things I’m learning as I’m gradually acquiring the experiences and craft toolkit that are quickly moving me out of the nube category:

  • Yellow, turquoise, and brownish greys pop up in almost every single of my cards – even the project life ones!
  • There are many things I won’t do because I’m lazy and don’t like to clean up mess but that doesn’t seem to extend to creating my own background patterns – even if it’s for a little strip of background paper for a sentiment!
  • I tend to pair muted subtle colors with only one pop of color.
  • I gravitate toward images and patterns that imply movement.

Learning this is really focusing my craft purchases. Now I know that background stamps and distress inks will never go to waste because I love water color techniques and embossing . On the other hand, I am learning about the supplies I’m likely to use only once or twice. For example, I have over 20 mists — when Heidi Swapp’s line came out at Michael’s, I bought six of them in two weeks — and I almost never use them. I also love buying line image stamps in specialty scrapbooking stores but rarely use them. Recently, I bought the Paper Smooches Chubby Chum Pals set. That night, I made one card using the crab. Since then, I haven’t even thought about the set until I started writing this post.

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It’s going to be hard because these sets are so cute but in the future, I’m going to try to stick with purchasing the digital version of individual line stamps — as I need them — rather than buying a set of images. I think this will work better for me because I really don’t like fussy cutting images. I know other crafters use dies but I’m not a big fan of those either. With the digital version, I can use the Print-and-Cut feature on Silhouette Cameo to get a perfect image outline and border. Then all I have to do is color in using my Copics!

Mama Elephant Stamp Review

I first heard about Mama Elephant from a Two Peas In A Bucket newsletter. But I wasn’t really inspired to buy anything until I saw this blog post by Kristina Werner. She made a hysterically simple card using the Good Times set. I loved it so much that I tried to recreate Kristina’s card with my own stock of stuff. My best friend and I had a great laugh over the card’s sentiment.

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It was difficult deciding which sets to purchase. They’re so versatile – at one point, I had 8 sets in my basket. But I decided to pace myself and settled on four sets. My order included So Breezy, Good Times, Believe in Magic, and Smitten. The customer service and shipping were superb – I received an email just a few hours after I ordered on a Thursday morning and the stamps arrived on Monday. (The stamps came from NY and I’m in the DC region). They came packaged in a bubble wrap envelope and wrapped in some paper sealed with a Mama Elephant sticker.

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I love these sets and can’t wait for more to come out. The font combinations and cleverness of the sentiments makes it really easy to create simple cards that have a unique style. The details are excellent – look at how the finger gaps are even clearly articulated!

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I’ve bought many stamp sets since last September (I call them start-up costs since I just started stamping last fall) and these sentiment sets are in a class of their own. A lot of my stamps are versatile in a nondescript way – they don’t compete but also don’t add very much style to my cards. I’m not sure how to describe it but these mama elephant stamps really seem to enhance cards with their wit and humor. I can’t wait to use all of them, especially the snow globe in the Believe in Magic set!

UPDATE May 10, 2013

A Project Life card using the So Breezy set and Hero Arts Shadow Inks (the boy is in Soft Stone).

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Mini Books are awesome

We adopted our dog Domo about a month ago from a relative. He’s brought so much joy to our lives that I wanted to find a meaningful way to thank them.

Enter Amy Tangerine’s mini book. I bought the “Hug Life” book. I’m new to all this so I’m not entirely sure but the mini book seems designed as an easy base for embellishments, photos, and journaling. The papers inside all have different weights which I have begun to pay attention to because my Hero Arts shadow inks definitely sink into paper. Though I wouldn’t expect the shadow inks to provide the crispness of Stazon or Versamark, the edges of the stamps using the shadow ink were very fuzzy and indistinct. Some of the pages were a little crinkled, particularly the scalloped half square and the yellow graph paper with a typewriter, but I think it just adds to the whole aesthetic.

I’ve seen these on the shelves at Joann’s for months now and didn’t think much of the format. But after getting some 8.5×11 scrapbooking experience under my belt, the mini book seemed the cutest and most achievable way for me to show that we appreciate and love Domo dearly. I love this book so much I want one for myself now. I guess I’ll just have to settle for pictures and the real thing :).

Lots of pictures below.

The caption on the second to last page references my 2012 vision board (not 2011 – I corrected it). Essentially, in January of this year, I chose pictures to reflect an aspiration for more warmth, innocence, and nesting. I put pictures of dogs on my board never thinking that we’d actually adopt a dog. Yet… here we are. The power of intention is mysterious and strong. Thank you universe.

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