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PencilPusher's Reviews

  • Review: SugarTree - 12 x 12 Paper - Metal Plate

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Color true to photo (30 August 2014)

    This sort of misty light blue is a little strange. Diamond steel is just fine -- it looks like worn, slightly rusted metal. It's just the blue. If you want a very feminine Steampunk I could really see this go -- Victoriana parasol, one of the geared birds, that sort of thing. I picked this up on sale and I'm sure I'll use it someday, but it's not a favorite. The pattern is very big. You could cut strips and make a border but it might be a little awkward. But sky blue just does not read the usual boy or man colors -- some serious creative thinking might make it work.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Modern Safari Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Four

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Subtle multi-purpose pattern (30 August 2014)

    The very loose, natural pattern is really useful. It suggests plant stems or thin leaves and grass. But I think it also reads basket and even feather vanes. Even with these associations I think there is a whole other level of use. This reminds me of those loose string "lace" curtains and the color goes vintage pastel. Because of this last associate I think this paper would be a stunning wedding, baby, or even prom. This color would also go beautifully with sepia tone photographs on mats in a darker shade of this green. I think this paper is the best in this collection. I know I'll be using it for years, even using the scraps.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Tribal Tie Dye Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Seven

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Triangles are so cool (30 August 2014)

    The whole polka dots thing was fun. Diamonds before that. And, of course, honey comb / hexagon. So that made me perk up when I saw this paper… triangles! I like them. Dynamic, suggesting herringbone action without be quite so busy. There's also a banner/pennant thing going on. Even better is the sort of scribble fill within each triangle.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Congo Caravan Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Four

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    This one's different, too (23 August 2014)

    The background of this card stock is loose weave burlap. Kind of weird. The camp pattern is semi-transparent so you can see the burlap. And more importantly make an addition color where the two camo colors overlap. I like this version of camo, kind of artsy and softer. I also picked up #11 in the series and prefer that. This one is a bit darker but has an odd color shift.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Congo Caravan Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Eleven

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Different (23 August 2014)

    The background of this card stock is loose weave burlap. Kind of weird. The camp pattern is semi-transparent so you can see the burlap. And more importantly make an addition color where the two camo colors overlap. I like this version of camo, kind of artsy and softer.



  • Review: Paper House Productions - Firefighter Collection - Mini Die Cut Piece - Fire Hydrant

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    It's a... fireplug (22 August 2014)

    3-1/2" tall. 2" wide. Card stock. Glossy but not super shiny. Yep, a fireplug die cut. Outside of the obvious dog and fire fighter side of things… what do you need a fireplug for? How about that super super hot Mexican or Chinese food you had last weekend? Or that parking ticket you got because you thought no one would notice? There's something alien going on with fireplugs so it might work into your kid's (or husband's) thing with extraterrestrials. Fireplugs are objects but they are also symbols. There's some milage here just depends on how literal you need to be.



  • Review: Scrapbook Customs - Alaska Cruise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Northern Sky

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Someone has to say it... (22 August 2014)

    AWESOME! Forgive me. It's just beyond pretty. I love auroras and this does that no problem. I picked some more because it also make great abstract color-field pieces when cut smaller. These colors are just electric! So this is not wimpy paper. What you use with them has to be strong and bold. How about astronauts and aliens? Or go magic with Harry Potter or those hairy footed hobbits? Another option is to go with black die cuts and photo matts. Maybe rugged mountains cutout of black with gold and silver stars scattered across the sky? I love paper that "talks" its way into many different layouts and cards. Fabulous paper. You need some.



  • Review: SugarTree - 12 x 12 Paper - Coffee Beans

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Big Big Coffee Beans (22 August 2014)

    The individual beans are more than an 1" long. Big. The color is so good you can almost smell them. The photo is shot from a scatter overhead so there is no orientation and not problems with cutting the page smaller. The only problem? If you've got a photo of a person or group their heads might be smaller then the beans! With a little work you can make this an accent paper instead. I do love the idea of using big coffee cup die cuts as matts and putting photos inside these. Lots of ideas! Big beans.



  • Review: Paper House Productions - Fishing Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - River Rocks

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    I recommend this product

    Pebbles, stones, beach, stream and river (22 August 2014)

    It is actually impossible for me not to pick up smooth pebbles. Embarrassingly, I might pocket one from someone's landscaping if it's next to the sidewalk. There's something so comfortable and natural about a stone in the palm of the hand. I absolutely had to have this paper. No question. The image provided is really close on my monitor, nice warm tans and blues, with other colors that still work. This I'm important since most nature photos are heavy on green and need contrast without going to hot colors like red. Admitedly this is limited use paper but what is does is fabulous.



  • Review: Scrapbook Customs - Sports Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Sports Turf

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    I recommend this product

    So short it looks like a teen's first mustache (22 August 2014)

    The uniform "grass" texture is great because it reads grass without being all busy and distracting. I love that it has no angle. Most grass paper only works from one side that is optically up. This is grass wallpaper. If you work with nature themes this may or may not work for you -- it is stylized and fairly monotone. Sports are obvious here so I'll leave that alone. Nevertheless, Easter eggs and spring flowers need to be the star of the show sometimes instead of the grass But a pair of scissors and a quick wavy cut, presto you have grassy hills ready for die cut trees or flowers. This would also be great for photo or card matts, providing sublet texture read without being busy. I am totally in love with this super short grass. I bought four sheets and will get more. Everyone should have some in their collection.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Safari Tribal Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Three

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    I recommend this product

    Impulse buy (22 August 2014)

    It was on sale, what can I say? I picked up the dark putty version which I like better, but this one is interesting. The tan background is a bit warm but still fairly neutral. The white medallions are accented with a light rust which is nice. The depth of field with this design in unique. The medallions are stacked over and under each other which creates interest without being in your face. I love the design, the color not so much. I think it might be challenging to match to all but a very limited color pallet -- the right rust, green or blue because primary or scrapbook-standard colors will not work. I'd buy one and check it out before beginning a project.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Safari Tribal Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Ten

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Different is good! (22 August 2014)

    Safari is a good fit but I think this goes all sorts of other places. The nice putty gray background is neutral on the warm side. The line are off-white eggshell with some details in a slightly darker shade. There are plenty of medallion geometric scrapbook papers out there, but this steps beyond those. Note that the medallions are under and over each other. This creates a depth of field that is interesting without being in your face. I'm reminded of wallpaper but it also reads as simplified doilies. Of course an African emphasis could take an already wonderful vacation into a super scrapbook page or six. High quality card stock.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Elegant Autumn Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Three

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Nice but... (22 August 2014)

    I knew this card stock was not foil and I'm fine with that. But I want you to know that the "gold" is super textured and obviously behind the sort of frosted red. The texture reminds me of upholstery in a way. It's actually kind of cool but some might have expectations and be disappointed. I'm not sure what I'll use it for, though.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Elegant Autumn Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Four

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Lush rich must have (22 August 2014)

    This card stock is so smokey blues jazz, warm and awesome all at the same time. The shadow side just barely goes to black but it is translucent and fades into a soft beautiful gradient. What takes this from ordinary to extraordinary is that it is all over, no repeated textures. This is a gotta have if sugar sweet is not your thing. This can go Halloween, of course. But goth, steam punk, even a little naughty for Valentine's Day, are all within reach. How about one of those dark autumn days? Or maybe classic music or opera? The scrapbook industry wants us to be happy with bright colors, which is fine as far as it goes. Papers like this address the other parts of our lives and interests. Ann Rice vampires, Phantom of the Opera, and those silhouette die cuts and stamps -- how about a black chandelier dripping down from the dark ceiling? I only picked up one but I'm ordering more for my stash!



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Watercolor Paradise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Seven

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Love those clouds! (22 August 2014)

    This is more atmospheric then the usual photographs which is a strength -- this way it can be used in different orientations and in smaller bits without loosing much of the readability. The color is the closest of this series to the stereotype sky blue but is not -- it's darker and tinge more purple which makes sense since other companies carry the expected color. I picked up #1, #7 & #9. These are three very different blues. I went for all three because there is not one color for sky with different kinds of day, light and year. It's also easier to match to other colors of papers, etc.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Watercolor Paradise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Nine

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    CLOUDS! (22 August 2014)

    Oh yeah. I love clouds. These are much more atmospheric then the usual photographs which is their strength -- this way they can be used in different orientations and in smaller bits without loosing much of the readability. I picked up #1, #7 & #9. These are three very different blues. I went for all three because there is not one color for sky with different kinds of day, light and year. It's also easier to match to other colors of papers, etc.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Watercolor Paradise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - One

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Cloud freaks rejoice! (22 August 2014)

    I love clouds. And not just the stereotype mash potato clouds. This are much more atmospheric then the usual photographs which is their strength -- this way they can be used in different orientations and in smaller bits without loosing much of the readability. I picked up #1, #7 & #9. These are three very different blues. I went for all three because there is not one color for sky with different kinds of day, light and year. It's also easier to match to other colors of papers, etc. The product photo provided lies a bit since the card stock does not graduate from dark blue, it's all shades of one color (as are the rest).



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Watercolor Paradise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Thirteen

    Verified Buyer
    I don't recommend this product

    Very strange color (22 August 2014)

    This one is harder to "sell" as a Halloween or gothic card stock. The color is yellow with some olive green mixed in. Strange. But mad scientist and alien planet could work for a science fiction or console game fans. Personally I think this is rubber stamp territory and not for scrapbook photos.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Watercolor Paradise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Fifteen

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Another sort of weird one (22 August 2014)

    This is a '70s dark pastel orange/rust. Weird. But it would work for a cheery Halloween page or card. Not so great for me. Nice heavy card stock, though.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Watercolor Paradise Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Twelve

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Weird color & just what I wanted! (22 August 2014)

    This screams Halloween and gothic, even super hero villain or alien planet. The greenish olive is acrid weirdness. I have no idea what the designers were thinking but this is perfect for some off the wall stuff. Not for everyone, for sure.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Shades of Sand Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Four

    Verified Buyer
    I don't recommend this product

    Not bad but not good either (22 August 2014)

    I picked up four in this series of card stock and am not super happy with any of them. This one is a step-shade off of #6 which is most like white beach sand. It is more tan but orange "grains" of sand shift is oddly. The flecks of different minerals are tiny enough and add visual texture without seeming like non-organic dots. The not so good is the whole page is out of focus, much worse on the edges. This might work for desert sand dune pages with off-road layouts, of it you have orangish-sunburned beach photos. Viewing my needed and the price I'm not so pleased.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Shades of Sand Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Three

    Verified Buyer
    I don't recommend this product

    Pretty awful color (22 August 2014)

    I picked up four in this series of card stock and am not super happy with any of them. This one was put into a photo editing program and had the color levels tweaked to something that is not natural looking. It's very orange and not brownish -- the image suggests sandpaper color which this is not. Worse is the whole page is out of focus, much worse on the edges. This might work for you but it feels like an impression of sand rather then actual sand to me. Viewing the price I'm not so pleased.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Shades of Sand Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Five

    Verified Buyer
    I don't recommend this product

    Disappointment in orange (22 August 2014)

    I picked up four in this series of card stock and am not super happy with any of them. This one is the next shade off of #6 and a bit orange/tan. The flecks of different minerals are tiny enough and add visual texture without seeming like non-organic dots. That is all good. The not so good is the whole page is out of focus, much worse on the edges. This might work for you but it feels like an impression of sand rather then actual sand to me. Viewing the price I'm not so pleased.



  • Review: Ella and Viv Paper Company - Shades of Sand Collection - 12 x 12 Paper - Six

    Verified Buyer
    I don't recommend this product

    A bit disappointed (22 August 2014)

    I picked up four in this series of card stock and am not super happy with any of them. This one is the closest to typical white beach sand. The flecks of different minerals are tiny enough and add visual texture without seeming like non-organic dots. That is all good. The not so good is the whole page is out of focus, much worse on the edges. This might work for you but it feels like an impression of sand rather then actual sand to me. Viewing the price I'm not so pleased.



  • Review: Deep Red Stamps - Cling Mounted Rubber Stamp - Quantum Background

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    100% Nerd (21 August 2014)

    I'm actually math phobic but I love nerdy stuff and this stamp screams geek. The rubber is good quality, deeply etched, moderately deep foam, sticks great to acrylic blocks. This stamp works for math related like engineering and physics. But it also says academic in general. I could see great graduation cards using this as sort of a happy joke: no more awful classes! Or maybe encouragement for someone dealing with a hard, confusion time in their life like a divorce or career change. Maybe you're like me a prefer stamps that aren't the trendy hearts, flowers, or cute animal of the month. I prefer meaty rubber stamps that aren't cosmetic. Do note that this is awesome embossed white on blackboard or green board scrapbook paper. How about lined notebook paper? Fun stamp even if you aren't a math nerd.



  • Review: Prima - Stencils Mask Set - 6 x 6 - Flourish

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Trade offs (21 August 2014)

    The major problem with super detail stencils is getting all the little nooks and crannies to reproduce. Prima makes fairly heavy stencils which keep the design fairly safe from getting bent up and damaged. Unfortunately this means getting really good impressions with anything besides spray inks is difficult. I tried pouncing ink from pads using a blending tool and a cosmetic sponge with spotty results. Using an ink pad direct to stencil was worse. Pan Pastels produce a different effect but also have problems with full coverage. I did not try acrylic paint since that never works with fine details. Spray inks are great but reduces utility for me since I prefer investing in products that I can use in different ways.



  • Review: Lifestyle Crafts - Die Cutting Template - Glasses

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Nice surprise (20 August 2014)

    These two dies are ultra thin with thin white padding. I opened the package and went Uh Oh. But they worked perfectly on my Side Kick even with very thin paper. Cool. I picked up this set because they aren't the usual glasses you're seeing everywhere. Since I've worn glasses for 40 years I'm hyper aware of the styles. The aviator is so retro sunglasses, but I'm seeing a comeback as well. The little granny glasses were so groovy in the '60s, cool in the late '80s, and still read vintage and librarian -- all depending on your context. Love multi-use supplies!



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Walnut Stain

    I recommend this product

    Dark enough to be off-black (15 August 2014)

    What everyone here is saying is true so I'll only add a bit about the importance of an off-black. If this ink pad is used so the application is very heavy it can "read" as black. In other words if walnut stain is stamped over a darkish background. This can be a good thing, black can be too harsh in some situations, and a good dark brown creates contrast without being so obvious. The other thing with an off-balck is burnt edges (offerings? joking!). If you examine real world paper with burnt edges it really isn't true black. There are some good demos out there for recreating this effect with Distress Ink pads.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Brushed Corduroy

    I recommend this product

    Very close to Gathered Twigs (15 August 2014)

    While brushed corduroy is very close to gathered twigs it does have a different color. Brushed corduroy has a creamier base so it's softer and more mellow (but not pastel). It is also a tinge more yellow. If you are a Distress brown fan then this one has to be in there. As I use more of these ink pads to alter scrapbook and found papers I find that I like having a choice of browns to work with. For beginner I still say tea dye because it does on a bit more transparent and has a more stereotypic vintage effect.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Dried Marigold

    I recommend this product

    Pastel orange sherbet (15 August 2014)

    This is a pastel version of spiced marmalade. You can with some work get a pastel version of this darker pumpkin orange, but it's nice to have it on hand and ready to use. If you are a pastel lover dried marigold is a great addition to the usual pink/sky/lavender crowd because it is a nice warm color without being a hard to use pastel yellow. Much to my surprise this is also a great base color for all sorts of brighter and grungier backgrounds. The warmth gives a hint of rust without being dark or harsh. I've built up a real metal rust-look using this pad as first layer. This is not a gotta have color for beginners unless you are a pastel lover, but it does have it's uses for all the rest of us.



  • Review: Sizzix - Texture Boutique Embossing Machine Only

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Fabulous but... (22 July 2014)

    … these little machines are small, easy to store, light weight, and work really well. All the other reviews cover that.

    My only complaint is the slipping and sliding as I use it. It can be really awkward getting to to stay still, shove in the sandwich of plates, etc., and get it to crank at the same time. Anyone with finger, hand or wrist problems is going to struggle with this. I can make it work with my arthritis but fair warning because it can be frustrating.

    Thankfully the results more then make up for the necessary gymnastics. I would not give mine up, especially since the price is so great.



  • Review: Sizzix - Cutting Pad - 13 Inch for Decorative Strip Dies - For Big Kick, Big Shot and Sidekick Machines

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Use with my SideKick (19 July 2014)

    Now that Tim Holtz and others are creating these long narrow dies I'm finally using this product more. Works just fine in my machine.



  • Review: My Mind's Eye - Cut and Paste Collection - Flair - Wow - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Specs

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Eye glasses and the chalkboard (19 July 2014)

    Trendy as you can get! But super fun anyway. The glasses are simple black fronts with no earpieces. The sizes vary in a compact pseudo-random pattern. I go to studious, '80s style, eye doctors, Raybans (just color in a few!), and cute like "Be seeing you" or some such. The reverse is a tonal shades of black that reads as chalkboard but could easily be transformed into a starry night or a snow storm. Die cuts, stickers, or stamps imprinted on other paper and cut out, could become a Halloween night scene. This is perfect paper for me. Depending on how much use you'd get out of one or the other it might be a good buy for you.



  • Review: Kaisercraft - Base Coat Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Lace

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Sometimes I do wonder... (19 July 2014)

    …about the folks that decide what goes on the reverse side. But I'm a leather and lace type so what the heck. The lace is totally bridal classic with white open lace on a cream. It's the typical lace cloth you can get in the fabric store. The reverse is this wild almost net-like burlap, very loose and messy. If you have a limited budget and want variety, I guess this takes the cake. I love both of the patterns.



  • Review: Jenni Bowlin Studio - 6 x 6 Stencil - Pointed Star

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    One of the best stencils I own (19 July 2014)

    I love this stencil because the design is small, orderly but not fussy, and works with any color or combination of colors. So many stencils try to "say" something important whether it represents something like a butterfly or is super obvious in its pattern like arrows. In this case the stencil design is just an accent design not a to focal point which is a good thing. Tone on tone is super with this. Try a cream paper with white spray or paint. You can jazz it up quietly for a subtle brocade. You can blast it with Dylusions for some wild scrapbook paper. You can suggest stars with silver on black. I could keep going. This is a must have stencil.



  • Review: Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Texture Fades - Alterations Collection - Embossing Folders - Retro Cirque Set

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    I know, weird... (19 July 2014)

    …but weird has it's place. Anything teen, '60s or '70s, rock-n-roll, op art… all work. The wavy one goes to water with a smeary misty watercolor treatment. And the right humorous get well card could work with either. I think these texture plates are emotional rather then pretty or grungy. I used a subtle tones rust patterned paper with the wavy one and sanded the raised areas which is very interesting. Tie dye paper is a gimme with this set. How about pink or dark navy sparkles? These plates take some courage and creativity, but I think it's worth it.



  • Review: Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Texture Fades - Alterations Collection - Embossing Folders - Burlap and Swirls Set

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Useful textures (19 July 2014)

    I had no problems using these plates in my Sizzix Texture machine. The spirals are nice and read very well -- I'm sure I'll use this one a great deal. The burlap is more iffy. The threads are very wide and widely spaced apart. For me this is kind of awkward. I'm still playing with this one. Ripping the edges and grunging it up helps. I tried it on a christmas plaid and it was interesting. Anyway the spirals are really good for folks who love spirals. The burlap… it depends you what you like, I guess.



  • Review: Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Texture Fades - Alterations Collection - Embossing Folders - Diamond Plate and Riveted Metal Set

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Do not limit yourself to just male uses (19 July 2014)

    Sure the diamond plate is pretty obviously male. It's industrial, after all. But I know women who buy trucks and diamond plate is a practical thing even when it's chrome. But the riveted plates scream crazy quilt to me -- color in the "squares" and add some pen work stitching and patterns and you've got a quilt instead. Another angle on this texture is neon tie dye paper. Weird but it works because the texture become secondary -- sort of a girlz power thing. Back to the diamond plate again. I used Distress ink pads and did a gray background and tipped the diamonds in rust… to die for! Anyway, these are cool textures.



  • Review: Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Alterations Collection - Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die - Vintage Lace

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Nice thin lace (19 July 2014)

    This set of lace comes on one die. There are tiny holes so expect some tedious poking of unwanted bits. But it's totally worth it. I've been looking and looking for a lace rubber stamp or a die cut that would fit in my SideKick. Unlike the photo these are not grungy. Each design is even just like you'd buy on a fabric store spool. What I love is having complete control over how the lace speaks to the viewer. I can grunge it like the photo, or I can use solid colors or atmospheric patterned paper. You can even paint your own paper. Or for a more exotic look how about velvet paper or frosted vellum? With lace you can go girly or vintage, even steampunk or halloween. The only limit is your imagination. Have fun!



  • Review: Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Alterations Collection - Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die - Washer Border

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    This does not have to be a man die cut (19 July 2014)

    Instead of the ever popular dots or circles, Tim goes with washers. And not just perfect clone washers. Each one looks different like they've lived in the bottom of something damp and dirty for a long time. The holes vary in size and the outer edge of each washer are not factory spec either. Then Tim lines them up and they become lace, chain mail, or even those hole reinforcements for notebook paper. Personally I don't think this die has to be a man thing. It reads totally different cut out of white paper. I also did some old book text for a vintage feel. And give it a try with an atmospheric patterned paper in bright or neon colors. I only buy dies that I can use again and again in new and interesting ways. How about that red velvet paper? Won't read like washers then! Great die. Have fun!



  • Review: Sizzix - Tim Holtz - Alterations Collection - Sizzlits Decorative Strip Die - Birds in Flight

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    A little fussy but a lot of bird wonderful! (19 July 2014)

    I can't believe I'm the first review. This is a super cutting die. It fits in my SideKick so it will fit in anything with a 12" long cutting bed. When I say fussy I'm referring to the very thin connections between some of the birds -- they will rip apart if not carefully handled. I don't consider this to be a problem but some might. What I love about this die is the complexity. The swallows (that's the bird species) are all different angles with full profile as well as half and three-quarters. Their wings are pulled back or spread out so they really look like they're flying. Their tails also show different positions. None of the swallows are clones. This is what I expect from Tim Holtz. And finally you can cut these apart to form smaller groups or even individuals. The only reason not to buy this die is if you hate birds. Otherwise they go with so much: bridal, sunsets, spring, fall, marsh, beach (if you ignore the species), or anything that needs a flight motif. Great die!



  • Review: BasicGrey - Oxford Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Magna Cum Laude

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Much like the old-old Basic Grey (19 July 2014)

    Once upon a time Basic Grey was the hip cool paper. Everyone had some in their stash. I miss those days. Today paper is super bright, super cheery, super the same @#$%* thing! Sorry but look around and you'll see what I mean. Scrapbook paper should be an accent not the focal point. End rant. I love this paper because it is very interesting, the geometry is both scholastic and kind of mystical magic. The black lines are not as dark as pictured but they do stand out. The background is subdued and interesting in ways that make it rich rather then distracting. The reverse side? A really weird plaid -- go figure. Not for everyone but perfect for me.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Aged Mahogany

    I recommend this product

    Basically a darker Fired Brick (02 June 2014)

    Aged Mahogany is a dark color. Dark like Chipped Sapphire and Seedless Preserves. But it is still very red. They sometimes stain furniture a "dark cherry" color that is the same as this color of ink pad. You can do Google images to get some idea. My studio storage is stained in this color so I'm biased. Color wise Aged Mahogany ink pad color is closest to Fired Brick -- not a match just close and way more saturated.

    Aged Mahogany is not for everyone. It will stain you rubber stamps, you and your clothes. But there are some wonderful uses for a dark maroon especially edging papers, simulating wax seals, even Halloween blood drips or scatter. Aged Mahogany is great for shifting pink flowers to something more regal or refined when you brushed the flower petals and dye the stamens. And of course certain rubber stamps can only be dark red… hearts! Barn Door red just does not cut it.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Crushed Olive

    I recommend this product

    Perfect match with Peeled Paint (02 June 2014)

    Like Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive is warm but not yellow. Forest Moss is much darker and more old fashioned army green. I like Crushed Olive because is is a much more realistic spring green -- the brand new leaves found on some plants but not brilliant or stereotypical. Some people would call it a light olive but that is a grave disservice. Crushed Olive is a natural color, not drab or gray in any way.

    If you want a pair of greens Crushed Olive and Peeled Paint are a good choice. But look at Bundled Sage and Old Paper first which are lighter and less saturated. It depends on the type of stamping or other that you want your greens to represent.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Peeled Paint

    I recommend this product

    More realistic then others (02 June 2014)

    This is a natural green. Not the primary Mowed Lawn, or the dark green Pine Needles, or the olive army Forest Moss. I think it goes mentally with the olive in a martini but not as… preserved. I would say it is a medium dark shade closest to Forest Moss but not the same shade. Peeled Paint is a warm green without being yellow.

    Crushed Olive is a lighter and brighter version of Peeled Paint. They go together perfectly. Together they would make any leafy situation seem vibrant and full of life.

    If you're looking for the perfect green this might be it. I would choose Peeled Paint over Forest Moss because it's a bit brighter and cooler.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Bundled Sage

    I recommend this product

    Real world herb sage green (02 June 2014)

    If you know the herb sage you know it has a bit of grayish to it because of fine hairs on the leaves. Surprisingly this ink pad captures that cool color really well. I have 9 different greens in the Distress Ink Pad line and this is the most organic and natural looking. (The very different Forest Moss is second).

    Bundled Sage is a medium color, not pastel in any way but not in-your-face saturated either. A good color for leaves, herb bundles, a sophisticated alternative to mint green (ick.!), better then Iced Spruce for a vintage feel… a nice comfortable alternative to the more saturated greens in the Distressed line.

    I'm not fond of Shabby Shutters after buying this ink pad. Shabby Shutters is more yellow but not a spring green. Bundled Sage is a better buy.

    Interesting note: Bundled Sage goes really well with Old Paper (which is green not tan). Old Paper is pastel version.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Weathered Wood

    I recommend this product

    Not Gray! Nice blue instead (02 June 2014)

    I knew I was getting blue from reviews here and elsewhere but I did not know I was getting a close match to the Stormy Sky ink pad. The color are different so you may have a preference one way or the other but until you see real stamped solids side by side you really can't make an informed choice.

    I'm still with Stormy Sky. The color is more open then Weathered Wood and more of a worn denim. Weathered Wood is a bit more gray and somber -- but only a bit. I don't have a full collection of Distressed Ink pads but Stormy Sky goes with more of my 28 colors. See my review on this site for my opinions of Stormy Sky.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Scattered Straw

    I recommend this product

    Not straw colored (02 June 2014)

    Even if you go to real world straw this ink is not dead grass of any type. Nor is is a shade of the photo shown here.

    That said, Scattered Straw is a complex color. It most closely sits next to Wild Honey. It has the same orange tone but absolutely none of the brilliance. Wild Honey almost glows because it has elements of bright bright yellow in it. Scattered Straw is much more laid back, a medium tone that seems ultra flat in comparison.

    What's most interesting about Scattered Straw is it almost is a stereotypic skin tone. It's a bit orange but I think it would work for that purpose… if you don't want the typical pink pastel color.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Old Paper

    I don't recommend this product

    Not the color of old paper (02 June 2014)

    I was unsure if I just got a bad batch but there are others who find this color more green then aged paper. In fact it is a lighter shade of the Bundled Sage ink pad (the two go together beautifully).

    If people really are getting that light aged tan color of real world aged book paper then I must have gotten a bad batch along with other people. I'd be wary of this purchase if you are pinching pennies.

    As an alternative consider Antique Linen which is an off-white with a tiny bit yellow, a tiny bit gray, and a staple for anything vintage.



  • Review: Lifestyle Crafts - Die Cutting Template - Carrot

    I recommend this product

    Tiny but cute (02 May 2014)

    This die cuts out at 1-3/4" from carrot tip to top of leaves. Check a ruler. It's small. The die has two parts. One part is the carrot and top combined. Right next to it on the same plate is a duplicate top. The die is not deep -- it cuts scrapbook paper and card stock fine, but just barely does a shipping tag. Do a test cut first. Because of the size and the low cutting profile I've rated this 4 star. But it is cute. A die cut rabbit or some Easter eggs and instant card. If you can find other vegetables or make your own you've got a summer garden card. I plan on "filling" a rubber stamped mason jar with a lot of tiny carrots.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Tea Dye

    I recommend this product

    Absolute must have ink pad (26 April 2014)

    This is a magic color! That's why everyone loves it. Tea Dye was designed to darken the edges of artwork with a blending tool created by Ranger. Tons of demos on-line. What it does is smear thin misty layers without harsh solid color. The technique takes a little practice but once you have it down you will never never go back. Originally Tim Holtz was going for a vintage, distressed look, and this does all that. But it goes on to do a whole lot more especially since the ink pad line was originally designed around this color. Combining other colors with the blending tool create some fabulous results. Honestly Tea Dye is not for use with rubber stamps because the color is too transparent (tone-on-tone stamping is o.k.). If you like the aged look of paper and photographs this is it (yes Distress Ink Pads can color actual modern photographs!). If you love rusty iron you can get there with a few other colors in this line. If you want a more "dirty" background with other colors Tea Dye will help you get there as well. If you buy only one of these pads this is the one to get.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Antique Linen

    I recommend this product

    I had specific goal and mostly got there (26 April 2014)

    I was looking for a ink pad that would darken the edges like tea dye does so well but isn't red brown rust colored. Unfortunately I went with the lid color and the extolled virtues of various artists on-line. Antique Linen is a neutral off-white and a little cool (instead of warm like tea dye). It is very light and because of this even more transparent. On the plus side it does knock back white-whites which I love, and I've saved some blending near mistakes with a top layer of Antique Linen… but it is not the edging ink I was hoping for. I've gone to Gathered Twigs for a cooler brown but I have to be super careful not to use too much or it gets really dark really fast.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Spiced Marmalade

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Orange but not the standard orange (26 April 2014)

    Orange on the color wheel is smack in the middle between red and yellow… and Spiced Marmalade is not it. But that's a good thing. The standard orange is like the citrus fruit, super bright and obvious. This ink pad is just a tiny bit deeper and richer. Personally I think of this color as pumpkin which are orange but not the neon citrus version. If you go with that you can see how much of the Distress line goes better with a little Spiced Marmalade. The rusty vintage browns like tea dye, many of the blues (especially Stormy Sky), some of the greens (even Peacock Feathers), and the reds of course. This ink pad is a very good investment because it blends with so much without being monotone -- but it is a strong color so have some courage!



  • Review: Prima - Stencils Mask Set - Sublime Screens - Mix 3

    I recommend this product

    Prima makes nice stencils (24 April 2014)

    [Begin rant] But I hate hate that they are bundled together. I cut them apart as soon as I get them. Makes jagged corner but I can't use stencils the way they sell them -- I'd need three hands to hold the stencils still and spray or whatever. Stupid design. [End rant]

    I happen to love wrought iron style patterns and pick them up whenever I find them. The designs are so different then all the background stamps and stencils. More detail and more geometric. Not a big flowers and swirls type. I use these primarily for tags. A nice background of whatever then these over the top in something shimmer, metallic, or contrast. Lots of fun. I'm always certain to get something sophisticated or maybe even sexy -- victorian, steampunk, wedding, vampire.... These are not an all the time stencil set but they are are fun to have around



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Fired Brick

    I recommend this product

    Barn red (24 April 2014)

    In my experience barns are not painted primary red. They use a type of paint that is darker and a bit more maroon. The lid pictured here is NOT the color of the ink pad. The color is not pink or rose in any way. This is more the stereotype of a darkish brick red. I consider this a more realistic poinsettia flower red (which are not bright primary red at all). For all that I don't use it all that often. As strange as it sounds this is a coolish red even though it is so dark. At a glance you might think Fired Brick goes with Vintage Photo but when you put them together they don't mesh. That's because Fired Brick has a bit of blue which pushes it toward the purple side (NOT purple or wine though!). Reds are so powerful and strong that they stain everything given the chance. But Fired Brick does make a nice red apple which are not primary, while Barn Door is for stop signs and fire trucks. This stamp pad in my experience is only for specific projects.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Broken China

    I recommend this product

    Similar to Peacock Feathers (24 April 2014)

    Broken China came before Peacock Feathers but is has the same level brightness just a different shift of color. Broken China is blue blue, a darker shade of Tumbled Glass, and very cool. Its not a classic jewel tone but it fits within that family. Peacock Feathers is a bit more green therefore more teal. I know Peacock is trendy right now but Broken China is a better buy. Once everyone's tired of this sort of teal it'll be set aside and ignored. How many things in the natural world are that color? Not many. Broken China color is everywhere: water, sky, boy stuff, etc. Its such a calming, clean color, that we keep using it in our lives. The Distress line has a number of blues, I'd suggest Broken China for a cool color and something like Stormy Sky for a warmish darker one. But it all depends on what stamps you have and what other colors you want to blend with.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Mustard Seed

    I recommend this product

    Super cool yellow! (24 April 2014)

    This is a high octane yellow. The reason why it works is it has a little little shift toward orange. Most would not see it at all. Yellows are always so transparent which makes it so hard to get a bright color. Mustard Seed is the perfect solution for a yellow that pops, holds its own, yet stays true. The lids on this stamp pad vary wildly -- some are even pastel -- do not be fooled because this is a bright almost neon color. In case you need specifics the mustard you get out of the squeeze bottle is yellower but not by much. I use the stamp pad primarily for blending with Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, and Rusty Hinge. If you do Tim's trick of smearing the pad on a craft mat you can paint in lemons, suns, and the like. I also love to make blended sunsets for all those popular botanical silhouette stamps (checkout YouTube). Mustard Yellow is a nice ink pad to have around, maybe not a primary buy since so few things are bright yellow.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Forest Moss

    I recommend this product

    Pretty much a dark olive green (24 April 2014)

    Greens are a little tricky. The lid pictured here is not the color of the stamped ink. Instead Forest Moss is an old fashioned, world wars, olive army green. Darker and oh-so-slightly yellower then the primary green of Mowed Lawn. Personally I find Forest Moss to be more of a pine green -- not a stereotype Christmas green -- but a real grows-in-the-forest, pine trees overhead in the sunlight, color. I picked up Forest Moss to go with Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs which make wild, dark blended backgrounds. Otherwise I use Forest Moss for leaves of all kinds when I don't want the usual bright greens and am reaching for a more nature effect. You can stamp the stem and leaf of a pumpkin in Mowed Lawn or Pine Needles just fine, but Forest Moss is more natural looking. Thanksgiving themes are better served with non-Halloween colors as well say Rusty Hinge, Forest Moss and Vintage Photo, even Fired Brick. Bright are not for everything. In my opinion, of course. Forest Moss is a good buy but only if you're looking for a dark, warmer green.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Pumice Stone

    I recommend this product

    Just like it says (24 April 2014)

    This ink pad really does match the pumice stone I've got in my cleaning supplies. It's gray gray but a tiny bit dirty. Most pumice stones sold are actually rock they cut out of the ground (pretty cool) so it makes sense that the real deal has that bit of brown in it. Bit tiny bit. I would not not call it a warm gray. Pumice Stone ink pad is going to be neutral gray to most people's eyes (but we are all artists here and fuss over colors). As for saturation this ink pad is pretty much in the middle, maybe a tinge lighter. I find it a little too dark for shadow stamping, but as a blended shadow it's super. I've also used it for edging lighter paper to great effect… flower pedals and the like. Finally Pumice Stone is a wonder at knocking back colored paper -- when you love the patterned paper but it's just too light bright -- without going to the vintage Tea Dye thing. Good stamp pad color to have.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Rusty Hinge

    I recommend this product

    Rusty as a solid color (24 April 2014)

    If you know what I mean rust is never a solid color, has to do with the way the iron oxidizes as a natural process. That said Rusty Hinge is a step toward the brown side from Spiced Marmalade (pumpkin orange). I was less then enthused when I picked up with ink pad but it has grown on me. The blended effects you can get with Tea Dye, Vintage Photo and Gathered Twigs are out of this world. These colors keep going together in new ways even through I've made so many different backgrounds. Fabulous. Rusty Hinge also does edging with some colors and papers when Tea Dye just doesn't work. I also like Rusty Hinge with some of the oranges and yellows in the Distress line -- the vintage feel drops the brights down making the blends less in your face. If you do some YouTube research there are people who show you how to make believable rust patterns and effects with Distress pads -- takes a bit of practice but its really cool.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Barn Door

    I recommend this product

    Red Rover Red Rover (24 April 2014)

    This is the primary red of the Distress line. Personally I think it the stereotype fire engine red. Barn red is darker. Red stamp pads are not for everyone. Red ink does stain -- any red ink -- fingers, tools, stamps, clothes, some plastics. It all depends on how freaky you are with stained stamps. If you need the virgin rubber or clear stamps stay away from any red ink pad. That was my community service message. Now about the Barn Door ink pad. Love this red. Strong, no nonsense, stop sign, red light, warning in capital letters, red red red. Only other comment… can't seem to get it to blend nicely. I've got some great effects but none of the usual misty or darker layers. This red is angry and strong which I guess is good enough reason for it to not play nice with others.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Tumbled Glass

    I recommend this product

    Sky Blue Forever (24 April 2014)

    Yeah, that kind of blue (depending on where you live, of course). Sky blue and water blue and glass blue (like the popular mason jar stamps). It blends with just about every blue I have, goes with Milled Lavender, Shaded Lilac, Victorian Velvet, and more. Even if you aren't a light blue person this is a color to consider because it makes really good blended backgrounds. Tumbled Glass is light enough to still stay "white" bright so other colors pop out. While not a primary, I still recommend this stamp pad for beginning collectors.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Wild Honey

    I recommend this product

    Might be a tangerine, might be a yellow orange (24 April 2014)

    Might? This is an interesting ink pad. It responds differently then all of the other Distress pads I own. Every other one is a consistent, solid color. Wild Honey seems to glow as if it were two colors at the same time. Sounds weird, I know, and maybe it's just me and my eyes. Wild Honey is between Spiced Marmalade (pumpkin orange) and Mustard Seed (yellow). Wild Honey is more on the orange side but not by a long ways. These three make super cool blended background with a light hand, too heavy and you loose the color differences. If you were to pick-up just one of these three I suggest Wild Honey because it goes with a lot more colors -- like Rusty Hinge and Vintage Photo -- and you can still stamp pumpkins, suns, and bright flowers.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Stormy Sky

    I recommend this product

    Fabulous Blue! (24 April 2014)

    I love this medium blue! In my review of Faded Jeans I go into why I think Stormy Sky is more of a faded denim -- it has more of a washed many times look. In a way the color is a little "tired" but not in a bad way. You know how old jeans get that little bit of grayish-white thing going? Not when they are torn up and totally bleached out. Before that. When they are at their peak softness and comfort. That's what I mean about Stormy Sky. I love the name of this ink pad but I've never seen a sky this color. It certainly is not the color of this photo here. Stormy Sky is one of my absolute favorite blending colors -- it carries its own without being over powering or getting lost. Good buy even for a novice collector. Must have for a serious one.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Victorian Velvet

    I recommend this product

    Classic Rose Pink (24 April 2014)

    Hard to get any more rose pink then this. Not light pink. And not bubble gum. A victorian rose. It is very much a vintage color -- my great aunt had barrel chairs upholstery in this color from the late 40s. It's also a really common color for flowers when you don't want pastel or brights. This is one of the colors men will wear on occasion as a dress shirt to tie. Pink anything usually isn't my thing but I prefer this over pastel any day of the year.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Chipped Sapphire

    I recommend this product

    This pad is navy blue (24 April 2014)

    I've seen quite a bit of variation in the lid color with this Chipped Sapphire stamp pad. But it is really just navy blue. Not dark navy. Not light navy like denim. At the same time it is not a dark primary blue because there is a tiny tiny bit of red which give it a super slight shift to purple -- which is a good thing since it goes so well with Dusty Concord. Chipped Sapphire is right in line with Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans, together they make great blended backgrounds. As wonderful as this color is I find that I use black more often for stamped images then this navy blue… black just pops more. It all depends on how you're going to us it and whether it makes a good buy for you.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Shabby Shutters

    I recommend this product

    An off green (24 April 2014)

    This is a bit of an unusual color. The photo here is way way too yellow. Shabby Shutters is mintier, tiny bit sage, and a bit old fashioned. I'm guessing people are investing in it for certain color matches or to be used for things like leaves with pastel flowers. It's much too light to be a usual floral green and certainly not a spring green. I invested in Shabby Shutters as a blended background color -- it antiques very well with Tea Dye, and I happen to like it with Spiced Marmalade. This would not be a first buy or a casual buy as far as I'm concerned. The color is a little too unusual.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Dusty Concord

    I recommend this product

    Classic grape purple (24 April 2014)

    It's hard to get any more purple then this stamp pad. Not too blue, not too red, just right in the middle. For comparison Seedless Preserves is more red. Less red means that it goes with the Distress line blue like Broken China, I even like Peacock Feathers with it. This pad is a base line, got-to-have purple once you have the primaries of red, blue, and pads like Tea Dye.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Milled Lavender

    I recommend this product

    This is classic pastel lavender (24 April 2014)

    This ink pad fits right next to Dusty Concord just with different saturation. I rarely go for pastel anything… too prissy and fussy for me. But using the blending tool really works great with a base color that is really light. Milled Lavender goes with Tumbled Glass and a smudge of Victorian Velvet. But it's much more fun with medium blues like Stormy Sky or dark like Chipped Sapphire. I've got a lot of stamp pads and this is nice to round out my collection. If you are a more traditional stamper Milled Lavender would be a great pastel for flowers, girly stuff, and anything that isn't quite boy or girl (blue and pink make purple).



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads - Pine Needle

    I recommend this product

    This is classic Christmas green (24 April 2014)

    Christmas tree and wreath green, but also ivy and holly. If you're looking for a standard green ink pad this one is it. All that said this is not a primary green which is more like the Mowed Lawn ink pad. And it is on the darkish side. Personally I don't think this is a floral green because it is darker and stronger then the usual light flower colors everyone uses (Prima, etc.). But it does look good as leaves with a dogwood flower punch I have because the dark green just makes the white flower pop. I do have a good sized ivy rubber stamp that comes up really nice. Just keep in mind all the things you might use this pad for and you'll know you're making a good investment.



  • Review: Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad - Faded Jeans

    I recommend this product

    Not all that faded (24 April 2014)

    This is an interesting blue. If find Stormy Sky to be more of a faded denim color because it's slightly lighter like jeans that have been washed a lot. I'd say this Faded Jeans ink pad is a light navy color… faded but still more saturated and substantial… and a tiny, tiny shift toward purple (which denim does not have). If you were to put them in an order I would say Chipped Sapphire was dark navy, Faded Jeans next, followed by Stormy Sky. No collection should be without Faded Jeans but if you are just looking for a nice medium blue with some character this is a good choice.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Iced Spruce

    I recommend this product

    Very gray green but not dark (24 April 2014)

    This is a super nice winter color. It's still green but with a lot of gray tones. Google images has photos of Blue Spruce branches that match this ink pad. I like it because it is such a frosty green, not Mowed Lawn primary or Pine Needles dark or even Forest Moss olive. It really is a distinct color. It really makes nice blended backgrounds with Stormy Sky and Faded Jeans. If you are just starting out with a Distressed ink pad collection this is not an early buy because the color is unusual, but for my 31 pad collection Iced Spruce is a great addition.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Mini Ink Blending Tool - Round

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    A great alternative to the original (23 April 2014)

    I love using blending tools to create backgrounds and edging. The only problem is I'm impatient and the original rectangle version ends up leaving darker corners all over my papers. I was trimming the pads which helped but did not solve the problem. I jumped on this round version and I'm super glad I did. I still get darker areas but they aren't harsh angular marks -- they're nice smooth rounded, cloud-like, quarter moon puffs. The round shape also doesn't catch on rough areas or collaged edges quite as much. I wish Ranger made this version in a larger size because I'd buy that one too!



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Ripe Persimmon

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    This is a weird color (13 April 2014)

    I love color and I love Distress ink pads. But this one is a little weird. First it isn't anything persimmon but that's just marketing. Basically it's an orange red and not a typical one. As far as I can tell it was developed to go with specific colors instead of a range like all the others. I've found that it just looks odd when I stamp or use the Ranger tool. I did not rate it lower because I think there are uses for an orange red. It's just not one for me.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Gathered Twigs

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Glad I picked this one up (13 April 2014)

    I hemmed and hawed about this pad for awhile. When it went on sale and snapped it up and I'm so glad I did. This is the nicest brown. Tea dye has been a staple forever -- I love the rusty tones. Gathered twigs could not be more different. This one is a lovely earthy comfortable medium brown. I find I use it for an entirely different kind of color "feel". It does not go with as many of the other Distress pad colors so that may matter to you.



  • Review: Graphic 45 - Steampunk Spells Collection - 6 x 6 Patterns and Solids Paper Pad

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Steampunk trend and more (13 April 2014)

    This clearly an attempt at going steampunk without being exclusive. I choose it because the patterns are small and in rather neutral colors so I can use them as backgrounds for collage. The dots, herringbone, check patterns are very useful for creating texture without being in your face. Paper with words on it are popular but I'm no fan. The gear pattern is unusual and note worthy. The gears float with some in the background and overlapping. I like that there is both a black and tan version. This paper pack is a good choice.



  • Review: Reminisce - Real Magic Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Magic Stars

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Reviewing paper is a little... (13 April 2014)

    …silly since it is only a single sheet. But. I'm doing it anyway because this one is super fun. I love astronomy and all things stars. I usually have a real life nebula photo as my desktop pattern. So I'm always looking for paper that captures my passion. This one is above 90% because the pattern seems random, swirly, and fun. Most star patterns are evenly spaced, same color, boring, boring, boring. Not this one. Pick-up several. You'll find lots of uses for them.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Seedless Preserves

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Is a more red/purple (13 April 2014)

    This is a logical but unusual color. It is not a straight up purple. It has a lot of red in it without getting to maroon or getting muddy. But when I compare it to the other Distress pads it doesn't have a lot of matches. When Tim uses it in the vid it really pops and goes crazy cool. I love that and the color combination he uses. But. I want my products to work with lots of others and I'm less then happy. Would I buy it again? No. But I'm keeping the one I bought.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Salty Ocean

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Not really salty but they had to call it something (13 April 2014)

    The blue is similar to the lid picture above but a little more brilliant without be lighter. It's not neon but it has that sort of energy. I like this blue because it is in the middle, not light, not dark, yet not boring either. I'm not fond of it with most rubber stamps, though. The color does not have enough punch to hold on its own. I suppose you could do something nice with a tone on tone rubber stamp. But I do love to use this pad for creating backgrounds with the Ranger tool or a cosmetic wedge. I think this is a nice addition to a collection but not as a first buy.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Picked Raspberry

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Shocking Distress Ink Pad Color (13 April 2014)

    Absolutely shocking! Almost neon. Oh so cool! It's like Dylusions cross pollinated. I'm sure the grunge traditionalists cringe when they see this color -- but shaking folks up sometimes is kind of fun. I use this pad for '60 style flowers and for making the psycedellic dye effects. It also goes with valentines and easter if you hate pastels like I do. Watch Tim's vid and you'll get some great ideas.



  • Review: Karen Foster Design - Auto Mechanic Collection - Mini Screw Brads

    Verified Buyer
    I don't recommend this product

    Tiny-tiny brads (13 April 2014)

    These are the smallest brads I've ever seen. In fact they are so small they are difficult to install with my fumble fingers. I needed to use a pin to pierce a hole in my paper because me paper piercing tool is too fat. Also the screw indents are very shallow and wide for the overall size. These are really cute but is cute enough to make-up for these three problems? Not for me. --The larger size screw brads from this company are absolutely perfect. They're sold on this site.--



  • Review: Karen Foster Design - Auto Mechanic Collection - Screw Brads

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Non-traditional brads (13 April 2014)

    Sure male themes, steampunk -- pretty obvious. How about victorian, grunge, antique, holding down metal name plates or latches, fake state license plates, or even mending a broken heart? I wish the screwdriver indents were a little deeper but that's a quibble. A touch of paint and these age up nicely. Or is shiny brand new fits your theme some super chrome silver or even brass gold paint. I've always got these brads in my storage box to have on hand.



  • Review: We R Memory Keepers - Stickers - Tab - Index

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Super high gloss (12 January 2014)

    These tab protectors are very high gloss. I prefer matt everything because I like a more natural or grunge look. Hopefully they will hear my plea and make a matt version.



  • Review: Deep Red Stamps - Cling Mounted Rubber Stamp - Cheeseburger

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Fun & Funky Stamp (28 December 2013)

    There's not mistaking this image. Bugers are icons now. One look and you get all sorts of commercial and family associations… not to mention the munchies.

    The only reason why this stamp is priced as low as it is is because it is not trimmed. The rubber extends beyond the well incised image in a flat plane to form a rectangle. Not trimming this excess rubber saves time and money, hence the savings. I immediately got out my sharp heavy scissors and cut the excess off. As long as your scissors are sharp this is an easy fix. If you don't trim you will sometimes end up inking the excess and stamping it on to the page. Ugh.

    Besides this little factor, this is a great stamp. The image is good and clear, still detailed without filling in. The tomatoes are a little odd but when you color them in they "read" just fine. Note that you don't have to use this with black or brown ink and the usual colors. A nice bright border of different color burgers would spice up a page or card as well.



  • Review: Stamper's Anonymous - Donna Salazar - Cling Mounted Rubber Stamp Set - Lightbulb

    Verified Buyer
    I recommend this product

    Unusual rubber stamp (28 December 2013)

    While this light bulb has a vintage or steampunk feel to it, it also reads as a light bulb in a modern context. The lines are good and clean. The rubber is fairly deeply etched. The cling foam is trimmed close to the image. In all it is a quality stamp.

    With little effort you can make it appear to be on with colored pencils, a pastel marker, and Pan Pastels. This is an unusual image for mainstream rubber stamping which is part of the reason why I love it.



  • Review: Heidi Swapp - Color Shine Iridescent Spritz - 2 Ounce Bottle - Navy

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    I recommend this product

    Nice dark cadet blue (28 December 2013)

    This color is not a navy but it is dark enough that it would pass if necessary. But it really is a cadet blue which was once upon a time a military uniform color. The color base is quality in Heidi Swap line but the super fine sparkle is what puts it over the top. The mixing ball inside the bottle makes sure the glittery stuff is well mixed, yet another Heidi benefit. I find Glimmer Mist to not have as uniform of sparkle but it does have a more pearlescent effect, so I think there is room for both these product lines in a collection.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Mowed Lawn

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    I recommend this product

    This is the classic green (28 December 2013)

    On the color wheel this is the standard green. It's a nice mid-tone nothing fancy color. My lid color is slightly brighter then the pad color itself but that may vary. Compared to the other greens in the Distress line this is middle of the road basic color while the others go into olive, sage, or some other tweak. This is definitely the stereotypic Christmas green.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Shaded Lilac

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    I recommend this product

    Really cool color (28 December 2013)

    This lilac is on the red side, unlike a violet which is on the blue side. (Red and blue make purple if that helps). If you were to see them side-by-side it would be obvious. The lid is actually representative of the color but might vary with your monitor. I love this version of purple because it's less girly even though it is a lighter shade.



  • Review: Ranger Ink - Tim Holtz - Distress Ink Pads - Peacock Feathers

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    I recommend this product

    Brilliant peacock color (28 December 2013)

    This teal on the blue side of blue/green is a bright happy color. It is a slightly deeper color then shown on the lid of the pad. This is an unusual color for the Distress line and a nice addition to any collection



  • Review: Prima - Julie Nutting - Mixed Media Doll - Skin Tone A4 Paper Pad - Buff

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    I recommend this product

    Very nice assortment of neutrals (28 December 2013)

    These papers were created to be used making paper dolls and I can see where they would be great for that. i bought them to increase my collage paper pallet with neutral colors. I love the range from a rich chocolate brown, to several shades of tan, and a pinkish tan at the lightest. This set of colors are great backgrounds for other collaged images or rubber stamps.

    Note that these papers are not uniform solid colors. They all have subtle handwriting on them. In some places on a single sheet the text is almost ghost-like transparent, in others it is distinct. While the text is tonal to the paper this may be a stopper for some projects. I personally like the texture of the writing.



  • Review: Fiskars - Squeeze Punch - Medium - Hexagon

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    I recommend this product

    Goes with the large hexagon punch (25 December 2013)

    I picked up the large punch when it was on sale here because I thought it would be fun. But I quickly realized that I needed another size to go with it. The medium seems quite a bit smaller but it works together beautifully. It's so easy to get a dynamic tumbling sort of look.

    This size fits in a 1" circle and is easy to use on standard paper and card stock. It will not punch heavier weights like tags.



  • Review: Fiskars - 3-in-1 Corner Squeeze Punch - Well Rounded

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    I recommend this product

    Nice selection of corners (25 December 2013)

    This unusual punch allows you to turn a dial-like knob to select three different corner punches. Cool idea. Mine cut nice clean corners with little fuss but only on paper and standard card stock (like most punches) -- in other words not tags or anything heavy. I'm fine with that. What I'm not so happy about are the different radius curves of the corners. The graphic exaggerates slightly because the difference between the three curves are not that great. I punched each in a different color of card stock and held them up next to each one. There is a difference but it is not that pronounced. I'm still keeping this punch but I would probably have researched other brands had I known I was not getting what is pictured.



  • Review: Fiskars - Paper Cutter with Built In Ribbon Curler

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    I recommend this product

    I got mine free but I'd pay full price! (15 December 2013)

    This little tool is everything Fiskars says it is in the video and more. Smooth, easy cutting. You know how a very sharp pair of scissors can be used to zip through paper without chopping the handles? That's what this does and much easier. Wrapping paper is a breeze even when it's curling all over the place. Same with paper, newspaper, magazine pages, etc.

    Even better is that it works on those awful shipping bags that clothes are mailed in. Those bags slip around and a pain to cut open and hold onto at the same time. Just line this tool up and zip along one side! Easy, safe, fast! Something tells me I'm going to find other uses for this tool!

    Oh. I also does curves, not circles or scallops, just nice smooth organic waves. Kind of cool.

    You can trust Fiskars to make great products. No I don't work for them. I've just used their spring loaded scissors for 20 years.



  • Review: Prima - Ingvild Bolme - Chalk Fluid Edger - Dry Sand

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    I recommend this product

    Perfect skin tone (15 December 2013)

    This stamp pad looks just like make-up. It's that creamy light tan color without any orange tones. I'm using mine to work with Distress sprays and ink pads for that little something extra. So many times I've wanted an earth tone version of a light cool grey and this is perfect.

    In addition, I think anyone who does paper dolls or mixed media portraits would love this pad as well. I hate color mixing flesh tones!



  • Review: The Crafter's Workshop - 6 x 6 Doodling Templates - Mini Ribcage

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    I recommend this product

    Love them bones! (14 November 2013)

    This stencil is not for everyone that's for sure. But if you love Halloween, dark goth (as opposed to bubble gum), are in the medical profession, have a heart or lung condition… well I can't imagine you won't pick it up.

    The stencil is very detailed. The cutouts are super sharp and clean. But you need to either accept happy accidents or take the time to tape everything down and have a steady hand with the ink spray or paint dabbing.

    Note that this is a stencil not a mask. The bones will the the color you apply, so if you want white bones you have to use white gesso or paint. I just did a little piece with the bones a transparent black for dark misty effect next to some fine green leave skeletons. I titled it "The Fall" after a line in a Mary Oliver poem.



  • Review: The Crafter's Workshop - 12 x 12 Doodling Templates - Flying Geese

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    I recommend this product

    This a fabulous stencil that everyone seems to miss (14 November 2013)

    I have no idea why this stencil is not showing up everywhere. Nature scenes are in, especially silhouettes. It is also very versatile since it's super easy to put small pieces of tape over individual birds or sections and get a totally different distribution. They work great tone-on-tone with the birds embossed. They can be any color against a whole host of background colors such as dark pink against a blazing sunset paper or a rich juicy milk chocolate against a solid pine green. A sky full of birds says outdoors, freedom, changing seasons (how about a subtle fall page?), and more. Do not hesitate picking up this stencil, it is well worth the investment.



  • Review: We R Memory Keepers - Alphabet Collection - Clear Acrylic Stamps - Letter A

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    I recommend this product

    This alphabet set is a steal! (14 November 2013)

    It's a pain to order since you have to pick-up one letter at a time but there is no better deal out there that gives you four different heavy fonts for each letter in all different sizes. Several notes though…
    - This is not a uniform letter set so you have to accept that words may be kind of funky (which I like)
    - When I ordered mine Scrapbook.com did not have all 26 letters. I ended up going to the manufacturers site and paying more per letter to complete my set.
    - Even with the extra hassles this alphabet set is a fabulous deal. Price it out. You'll see what I mean.



  • Review: Spellbinders - Shapeabilities Collection - D-Lites - Die Cutting and Embossing Template - Wrought Iron

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    I recommend this product

    Now this is a cool die! (14 November 2013)

    I have a little Sidekick machine that can only do dies 2.5" wide. Thank goodness that one works! I love gothic sorts of things and getting something to show up behind an iron fence is such a pain. Now I just whip out this die and I've got black, rusty or even white washed fence in no time. Love this die!



  • Review: Fiskars - Squeeze Punch - Large - Hexagon

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    I recommend this product

    Great punch! (02 November 2013)

    I've had a few issues with Fiskers punches in the past so I was a bit concerned… but not at this price! You've probably missed the sale though :-( . Even then this is a great punch. Mine cut cleanly and perfectly right from the package. Hexagons are the new circle which were so popular for so long. I like that they can make columns and rows, bee hive patterns, or just a scatter. They work tone-on-tone really well creating subtle texture. You can also put a die cut letter or number on one at a time to date or title something. Tons of uses. I know you'll be happy with this punch.



  • Review: Jillibean Soup - Fresh Vegetable Soup Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Mushrooms

    I recommend this product

    Realistic herringbone basket weave (not mushrooms) (05 September 2013)

    This a super paper. The quality of the photograph on the paper is so realistic you just have to touch it see if it's real! I'm not kidding!

    It works great for summer themes but it would also work for vacations with Egyptian, Morrocan, or even African themes. I'm planning on using with watered down gesso for a white washed look for my next project. I'm also going to try a thin layer of texturized matt medium to increase the realism.

    Great paper! You won't be disappointed.



  • Review: Fiskars - Squeeze Punch - Large - Cloud

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    I recommend this product

    i love this punch! (13 July 2013)

    What I like about this punch is they are an icon anyone can recognize anywhere. Icons have a sort of power in art. They say something in shorthand. A cloud punched out of shimmery white paper says bright happy things. A cloud of dirty grey or black something else. I've got clouds in patterned paper now even blue with white daisies waiting for a pink sunrise on some future page. I've got Basic Grey grungy clouds waiting for create a storm on a dark difficult day. O.k.... wait for it... the sky's the limit with this punch!



  • Review: Fiskars - Squeeze Punch - Medium - Cloud

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    I recommend this product

    I love these little clouds! (13 July 2013)

    These are so cute and I do NOT do cute. Well, not normally. What I like about them is they are an icon anyone can recognize anywhere. Icons have a sort of power in art. They say something in shorthand. A cloud punched out of shimmery white paper says bright happy things. A cloud of dirty grey or black something else. I've got clouds in patterned paper now even blue with white daisies waiting for a pink sunrise on some future page. I've got Basic Grey grungy clouds waiting for create a storm on a dark difficult day. O.k.... wait for it... the sky's the limit with this punch!



  • Review: Fiskars - 9 inch Bypass Paper Trimmer

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    I recommend this product

    Noisy little critter but I'm fine with that (13 July 2013)

    This cutter is perfect for my needs away from my studio. The size is good and I like the arm action rather then the rolling blade options. It cuts well as long as you use the clear plastic piece that holds down the paper as you cut -- if you forget your cuts might come out a little off straight. It does cut slivers of paper so if you forget you might be able to correct your cut. All this is good and fine with me and my needs. But... it is noisy! The cutting action itself makes a metal on metal noise. Not screeching or scratching that would raise the hair on your neck. But certainly loud enough to wake someone up in the middle of the night.



  • Review: 3L Scrapbook Adhesives - E-Z Runner Permanent Tape - The 6 Pack Bargain Pack

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    I recommend this product

    I use this for collage art (09 June 2013)

    I've been doing collage for 20 years. I've used glues, acrylic mediums, glue stick, staples, brads, you name it and I've tried it. When tape runners came on the market I used them with scrapbooking and was smitten. But it's with my collage that I LOVE this tape. No more wet paper. No more unwanted wrinkles and folds. No more ooze around the edges. And it sticks to almost everything! Nothing heavy or bulky, of course. I've even had it work on most slick papers and foils. I've tried other brands but this one is the best.



  • Review: We R Memory Keepers - Doodle Stamper - Stamper Attachment Head - Circle Doodle

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    I recommend this product

    This self-inking stamp works but... (09 June 2013)

    This cute little self-inking rolling stamp is a great idea. You can roll it in straight lines or curvy ones. A cute little retracting cover keeps the ink from transferring when not on duty. Perfect for borders as well as draw-the-eye embellishments (like arrows only a line of dots). I just used mine for some cards and am happy. I know I'll be using it on artist journal pages.

    Now for the but... The ink is not permanent or water proof. It's a nice dark black which is good, you're just limited with what you can use it on top of as well as underneath. This is not a problem if you plan ahead (which I rarely do). A more serious matter is the construction. This stamp is not sturdy. The roller slops a tiny in the housing. The plastic shell is not very high grade. Because of this you will need to treat it with more care then the rest of your rubber stamps.



  • Review: Therm O Web - Memory Zots - Clear Adhesive Dots - Singles Small

    I recommend this product

    Tiny-tiny sticky dots (31 January 2013)

    I love all of the Zots but these are my favorite. I don't know about you, but my fingers have all sorts of problems with anything smaller than dime. Rhinestones? Thin die cuts? Brads without posts? Ugh. Zots! These guys are small enough that they work everywhere. If you're desperate you can cut them in half before you remove them from the backing. Even better they are a dry adhesive. Me and wet glue are not close friends. What's the absolute best part of this version of Zots? The clear plastic backing squares -- you can actually see where you're putting them! Can't do that with rolls or white squares!



  • Review: Fiskars Softouch 5 Inch Micro-Tip Scissors

    I recommend this product

    Left Handed? Arthritic? REJOICE! (31 January 2013)

    This product made the impossible possible. I spent 30 years using right-handed scissors or poorly made left-handed ones. I love collage but all the cutting, snipping and trimming kept me away from it. Same with scrapbooking. Fiskars made the first trimmer that worked and they made these. If my arthritis is bothering me I can still use them with ease because they are simple to hold and the spring does half the work! The blades are very high quality. They can be sharpened professionally once or twice (I do a LOT of cutting) but keep the edge a very long time. They also have a super sharp point perfect for tiny-tiny snips or super detail work. The quality also allows these to work on more that paper -- I've even cut thin leather. This is the best out there. You won't be disappointed.



  • Review: 3L Scrapbook Adhesives - E-Z Runner Permanent Tape - 33 feet

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    I recommend this product

    Here's why this is the best (31 January 2013)

    There are lot of tape products on the market but frankly this is the one I go back to every time. The cartridge fits in the hand well enough, it takes some getting used to just follow the graphic and you'll pick it right up. The real trick is getting to the end of where you want your tape, stopping, and then twisting to the side to end the line of tape. Don't let me scare you off. These two aspects are actually what makes E-Z Runner the best. Most cartridges are too small which means they are hard to hold and run out too soon. And most tape runners are a total pain to end the line of tape. In my experience refillable runner are a rip off! This product is bomb proof with paper, card stock, photos, die cuts and other lighter weight embellishments. I do most of my collage art with this product, as well as my scrapbooking. If you're worried about the weight of something go with Zots or GlueDots. I've got six of these in my adhesive drawer right now, they travel with me, I use these in front of the t.v. (nothing wet or sticky), and I use them in my artist journals all the time. You can't go wrong with all the E-Z runners but the basic one is the best.



  • Review: Fancy Pants Designs - Rough and Tough Collection - Glitter Cuts Transparencies - Thunder

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    I recommend this product

    This is so fabulous! (19 January 2013)

    It's a transparency! How cool is that? The cloud is grey but you can still see through it so it comes across more cloud like. The lightening is a fabulous sparkly orange jag of energy. I just love this! I'm going to pickup a few more. How about a rainy day card? Even a "I hear you're feeling under the weather" get well card? I could see several of these floating around a journal or scrapbook page for a playful dark mood or a rained out event. I wish there were more images in this same vein.



  • Review: We R Memory Keepers - Hall Pass Collection - Clear Acrylic Stamps - School Supplies

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    I recommend this product

    Really cute but awfully small (19 January 2013)

    I try to measure out before I buy stamps to know what I am getting but I find these are really small.The books are about 1" wide. Tiny. But they are so cute that I am sure to find uses for them. A back-to-school theme card. I was also thinking that I could use the scissors to symbolize a cut here graphic with tissue pattern collage bits.



  • Review: We R Memory Keepers - Red White and Blue Collection - Clear Acrylic Stamps - Firework

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    I recommend this product

    Fireworks / Flower / Sparkler / Energetic Pop (19 January 2013)

    Loads of ideas for this nice stamp. Prints clean with nice lines and not as heavy in the center as shown. Works fine in black but how about white on dark blue as a snowflake, or tone on tone as a background? This a good buy at this price. And you can't go wrong with all this versatility!



  • Review: The Crafter's Workshop - 6 x 6 Doodling Templates - Mini Messy Circles

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    I recommend this product

    Dots maniac (19 January 2013)

    Julie Balzer (the designer) calls these wonky circles because none of them are perfect geometric shapes. I just love this! Like stones on the beach or creek bed they are all different sizes and shapes. Great fun!



  • Review: The Crafter's Workshop - 6 x 6 Doodling Templates - Mini Circle Explosion

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    I recommend this product

    Very versatile stencil (19 January 2013)

    What I love about this stencil is that you can use just a potion and get entirely different pattern and size of dots. Just a spritz or a dab of paint in one area gives texture and movement without being overwhelming. I also love that the dots are a random spray which gives a more energetic and interesting pattern then stencils with a carefully lined up progression. Cool product!



  • Review: Inkadinkado - Clear Acrylic Stamps - Gadgets

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    I recommend this product

    Great steam punk style stamps (19 January 2013)

    I have a soft spot for interesting hardware bits and the latest steam punk trend really works for me. Note that the ruler is really long -- I had to use a very large acrylic block diagonally to get this to print all at once but getting a partial may be just what you need. The lines are strong without being heavy. I'm not fond of the large round gauge because it is so solid but it stamped well. I recommend this set if you have the same hardware gadget compulsion that I do. It might be useful for some male oriented cards and pages.



  • Review: Reminisce - Signature Series Collection - 12 x 12 Double Sided Paper - Happy Birthday

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    I recommend this product

    Really love the random polka dots! (19 January 2013)

    What I think is so cool about this paper is the randomness of the dots -- size and placement as well as color. I have no interest in the title so I trimmed it out. But I love the pop of this pattern!



  • Review: K and Company - SMASH Collection - Decorative Tape - Black Dots

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    I recommend this product

    Love those dots but... (12 January 2013)

    Washi tape is not completely opaque which mean the white dots are not super bright white -- I happen to like that but others might not. The dots are not grey or transparent, but they are not tiny blobs of gesso either. Otherwise this tape is just like the rest. You can rip or cut it. I also like ripping pieces long ways for a more grungy look. What I really love is the pseudo random pattern of dots because it make the design more lively, sort of dancing dots! Good buy.



  • Review: Prima - Stencils Mask Set - Sublime Screens - Mix 4

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    I recommend this product

    Nice clean stencils but... (12 January 2013)

    I hated the rivet on the top corner so I used a sharp pointed pair of scissors to cut them free one at a time. I don't like maneuvering all those stencils around at the same time because when the one I'm using gets wet from ink or paint I have to somehow keep the others from dragging, smearing, picking up, or acting as an unwanted image. Super easy fix, though, so I still rate this high. Especially like the leaf pattern.