Out of this World

This card is for my son’s friend who is having his 6th birthday! I mixed Lawn Fawn and Queen & Co. products to make this shaker card and Ranger Distress Oxides to make the background.

I made the galaxy background a long time ago so I am not sure the colors of Distress Oxides I used but I applied them using an oval blending brush to black card stock. I applied a speckling of VersaMark with Brutus Monroe Milky Way embossing powder and speckled it with white paint. You can see a video tutorial of my methods here. I used Lawn Fawn Large Stitched Rectangle die to cut it out.

For the earth, I started with a piece of white card stock cut with a large stitched circle die by Rubbernecker Stamps. I used the Distress Oxide colors Pine Needles, Salty Ocean and Ground Espresso to make rough land and ocean forms. I used a small amount of Brutus Monroe Alabaster white pigment ink for the top to hopefully make it look like the Arctic. I speckled it with white paint for visual interest.

The sentiment is a mix of two Lawn Fawn Sets. “HOPE YOUR DAY IS” is from Reveal Wheel Sentiments and “OUT OF THIS WORLD” is from the set called Out Of This World. I cut the sentiment using Lawn Fawn Extra Sentiment Banners and layered it on top of another banner in solid black.

Lastly, The Rocket is from Queen & Co.’s Space shaker kit and is filled with Queen & Co. ‘Rubble’ style toppings. I used Craft Perfect satin silver card stock for most of the rocket and a sparkly red card stock for the flame.

I accented the card with some iridescent star gems that I’ve had hanging out in my embellishment drawer for a while (so I have no idea where they came from).

Hope you like this one!

Blending Brushes: do you get what you pay for?

If you keep up with paper crafting trends, there is no way you will have missed the introduction of brushes like these to the craft supply market. Supposedly they blend ink smoothly, are easy to clean and you don’t need a brush for every color ink you own.

I first saw these at Stamp and Scrapbook Expo in the summer of 2018 and while I was initially going to buy them, the price made me put them back on the shelf and walk away. I believe they were about $49 for a pack of 10 and at the time, I had no idea if I would even like them. I’ll just stick to my daubers and sponges for that price.

A few weeks later I was out shopping and I noticed similar brushes in the cosmetics aisle at Walmart. Of course – makeup brushes! I went on Amazon and searched for ‘oval makeup brushes’ and what did I find? Brushes that look ‘almost’ identical to the ones being sold as ink blending brushes within the crafting community. Here’s the thing though, these ones were only about $12 for a set of 10. I compared photos to the expensive brand name crafting ones and the size and shapes looks the same for each brush in the set. See this photo above of the brushes I bought and compare them to the brand names brushes for yourself if you wish.

Let’s go back to the part where I said these are ‘almost’ identical. I want to be clear that I say ‘almost’ because I didn’t have both kinds to compare side by side and I would like to give the benefit of the doubt to the craft brand (which I am not naming here) that their version was in fact something more than cheap makeup brushes. I would like to believe that they were not buying $12 packs of makeup brushes and sticking their label on them to sell for $50. I eventually did buy a sample pack of two from the craft brand so I could compare them side by side and I found two differences. First, the Amazon brushes are a little more flexible in the handle of the brush. Second, the more expensive blending brushes have a slightly more rounded/convex shape to the bristles compared to the Amazon brushes which have a flatter surface. Do these things make a difference? Do the cheap ones work just as well or should you splurge on the expensive version? Watch my video to find out!

Ok, so you’ve watched the video! What are your thoughts? Do you also have both kinds and do you find any difference in how they blend? Have you bought makeup brushes for blending ink and do you like them? Please leave comments at the bottom of this page!

One last thing that I want to make clear. I do not support buying knock off craft products. I do not buy unbranded dies or stamps because the designs may have been illegally stolen from small businesses and sold by companies overseas who are not licensed to reproduce them. This is wrong on many levels and I only buy from reputable craft companies when it comes to my stamps and dies. I strongly believe that you get what you pay for and I respect copyright law. In this case though, this style brush has been around a lot longer as makeup brushes and the craft community has only recently taken notice and started selling them as a craft product. Lots of products have multiple uses and I don’t believe that any craft company independently came up with the idea for these brushes that just happen to look and feel just like makeup brushes. If you have the money and want to support small craft business, by all means – buy the branded blending brushes! Your independent craft retailer and the craft brands that sells these will thank you. In my case, I would rather buy cheap makeup brushes and spend the rest of my money on other craft supplies.

KISS: I’m a Lamp

This week’s ‘Keep It Simple Sunday’ (KISS) feature is this card featuring Art Impressions stamps, that I gave to a good friend who is recovering from surgery.

This card front features Art Impressions stamp sets called ‘Catastrophy’, ‘Wall Texture 5019’ and ‘Foliage Set 4051).

I’ll admit that watercolor is not my thing. I would love to be good at it but so far I haven’t been able to get the results I desire. With that said, Art Impressions stamps make water coloring simple and I learned this technique from their class last summer at Scrapbook Expo in Santa Clara, California.

To make a stamp look like water color, all you need is a water based marker or ink that will run when water is applied. Color the stamp with the marker and press it to your watercolor paper. Take a water brush and go over the ink, moving the color where you want it. Any stamp will do this to an extent, but rubber stamps (as opposed to clear or photopolymer) work best for coloring directly onto the stamp with marker. Art Impressions does a much better job at explaining this than I can, so check out their YouTube channel to learn more about this technique:https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtImpressionsStamps

The inside of this card features Art Impressions ‘Catastrophy’ set and Lawn Fawn ‘Wavy Sayings’.

Shining Star

This card was made for my husband and loving father to our kids. He is the reason this blog exists and the biggest enabler to my crafting ‘habit’ (lets just go with habit for the sake of argument).

I started by making a galaxy background with Ranger Distress Oxide inks and used stamps from Lawn Fawn ‘Make A Wish’ stamp set for the rest of the scene. The grass was made with Lawn Fawn ‘Stitched Hillside Border’ die and the whole thing was matted on a black background. Very rarely do I stick to one brand for all stamps and dies in a card but here it is!

Thinking of You

Some brands just go nicely on the same card and others are completely different from one another. In this case, I combined brands that I would typically never consider putting together: The Ton (large florals and more realistic stamp.

Here are the elements that make up this card….

The Ton “Sweet Folk Hummingbird”: large floral stamp and hummingbird.

Lawn Fawn “Wavy Sayings” & “Fancy Wavy Banners”: sentiment and banner die cut

Lawn Fawn “Fancy Lattice Backdrop”: background piece

Copic Markers: Y15, RV11, R83, RV34 (flowers). G05, G14 (leaves and stems). E71, G02, BG13, BG49, YR21 (hummingbird).

Stampin’ Up!: Very Vanilla cardstock

Other: A shimmery cardstock similar in shade to very vanilla – this was used for the backdrop die cut. Also a slight hint of shimmer from a Nuvo Gloss marker on the body of the humming bird. Momento black ink.

What brands have you mixed together?