Video: Simon Says Stamp Product Release Close-Up + GIVEAWAY

Hello! I am back with another “product release close-up” video… giving a close look at the newest Simon Says Stamp Stamptember product release and ideas on how to use the products. I only take the time to do these videos if I like a release a lot, and this one is a great one. I also have a big giveaway!

[Click HERE to watch on YouTube in HD.]

Yep. Another great release from another great company. It is a fun time in this industry – so many companies are coming out with fabulous products. Something for every one!

I will be back tomorrow with a video using some of these new products… and again later this week. Stay tuned.


As I mentioned in the video, I have a free Ink Swatch Download for these new SSS inks – just click HERE. To see my complete list of Ink Swatch Downloads along with a video on how I use them, please go HERE.


I have a great giveaway for you today! One lucky winner will get a $50 gift certificate to Simon Says Stamp! (This is donated by me… I just gotta share.) For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 9/7/14 telling me your favorite product in this release.


Here are links to the products I featured in the video. You can also find them all HERE. Enjoy!

Video: Watercolor Comparison + Peerless Watercolor Giveaway!

Hello! I wanted to do a video sharing a comparison of three watercolors I have been using lately – Peerless Watercolor, the Hero Arts Watercolor Wheel and the Koi Sketch Box. There are many great things about all three of these.

In this video, I compare three watercolors I use often – Peerless Watercolor, the Hero Arts Watercolor Wheel and the Koi Sketch Box. I really think the best way to compare watercolor mediums is to put them to use. The video shows how they work for watercolor backgrounds, but it also gives you an idea of how they would react for all watercolor techniques. The Peerless is very unique and I enjoy it, but it may not be for everyone. The other two options are more traditional.

Now there are many other great watercolor mediums out there – Distress Inks, Inktense Pencils, Twinkling H2Os, Distress Markers, etc. But for this video I shared my three favorites for basic watercoloring. Over in the Watercolor for Card Makers Online Card Class (which starts today but you can join in anytime for lifetime access!), we will be showcasing these and many, many more.

Oh, and I use a cutting board to watercolor on since I can tape my paper flat and then tilt it, too.

I couldn’t let these yummy watercolor pieces go to waste, so I used my new Paper Smooches Pocket dies to cut a bunch of flowers. And talk about colorful flowers! (You can see all of the newest Paper Smooches products HERE.)

I created two cards with the pieces, adding them to backgrounds embossed with new Tim Holtz embossing folders. (These are so very awesome. I adore the small patterns.)

I also used a “congratulations” die cut and highlights with a white pen. (These were inspired by the lovely Kathy Racoosin.)

By the way, who said you couldn’t use Paper Smooches and Tim Holtz on the same card? I love mixing product styles.

As I mentioned, the Watercolor for Card Makers Online Card Class starts today, 5/5/14 but you can join anytime for lifetime access. There are over 35 videos and some amazing guest artists. You can use any watercolor mediums you have (even inks and water) and MANY more techniques will be covered there than we cover on our blogs. Click HERE for more info.



Interested in trying the fun Peerless Watercolor? I have a Peerless Watercolor 2×2 Bonus Pack for a lucky winner. Leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 5/12/14 for your chance to win.

(By the way, the winner of the $50 Simon Says Stamp gift certificate is Kelly Flaherty. I emailed you!)


Below are the products featured above. Click on the letters below the picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Studio Calico (SC), Dick Blick (DB) and Amazon (AZ)…




(SSS | EH | AZ | DB)



( SSS | EH )



( AZ )





( AZ )


 ( SSS | EH )



( SSS | EH )


( SSS | EH )


( SSS | EH )


New Simon Says Stamp Inks + Papers… Video + Giveaway!

Hello! Recently Simon Says Stamp released their own line of dye inks and papers. I received a whole lot of questions about these inks (and how they compare to Hero Arts Shadow Inks), so I thought I would do a video showing a closer look.

As I mentioned in the video, the Simon Says Stamp Inks are made by the same USA company as the Hero Arts Shadow Inks that I have always loved. Therefore, they have very similar properties… which is a good thing! These inks stamp beautifully. The more colors the merrier, right? The SSS Inks offer bright and vibrant everyday colors… partnering nicely with the often more muted or soft Hero Arts colors. And both inks are from great companies with generous, industry-supporting, artist-cheerleading, positive people. Yay! I will be using them both here on my blog. I’m in love!

Here are swatches of the Hero Arts Shadow Inks and Simon Says Stamp Inks together. To find the inks, scroll down to the thumbnails below.

Note: These aren’t the best photos – I tried my best – I am not the best photographer. Also, computer monitors can cause them to be off. But I hope that between this and the video you can get a better idea of how the colors compare.

Oh my, this rainbow of colors makes my crafty heart so happy. It’s the simple things, right? :)


Want to try out the new Simon Says Stamp Inks and Papers? For your chance to win my four favorite ink colors and a variety pack of the papers, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 12/10/13. Good luck! (As always, this giveaway is open to those overseas, too.)





































Video + Ink Comparison: Pigment and Dye Inks

Hello! As promised, I am back with a comparison of several newer inks: Hero Arts Shadow Inks, My Favorite Things Dye Inks and Memento Luxe Pigment Inks.

Hero Arts Shadow Inks (which include Soft and Mid-Tone) have been out for awhile, but many new colors have been released lately. They are a must-have dye ink for all stampers. My Favorite Things Dye Inks are a bit newer and have some nice, more intense colors. Memento Luxe Pigment Inks are the newest of the bunch and offer amazing results that I am loving. (NOTE: I only included these newer inks due to lots of questions about them. Please know that I still lovelovelove Distress Inks for techniques – my favorite!)

Instead of typing out a comparison, I did a quick video:

Here is a color comparison. I put all the Hero Arts Shadow, My Favorite Things and Luxe Inks together to make it easy to compare:

(Note: A couple of the newest MFT inks are not included in this comparison as they came out after it was created.)

Many people will ask which my favorite is. Honestly – it is up to you. Hero Arts Shadow Inks work well for all stampers as a basic, no-fail ink. Memento Luxe Inks are pigment and therefore need a bit more care, but give fabulous, solid results and works with embossing and on colored cardstocks. The My Favorite Things Inks are great for getting the results you want immediately. I would recommend trying different ones and deciding which you like best. Me? I will use them all. But this is my job and I need as many tools as possible. :)

People also have asked how the Memento Luxe Ink compares to the regular Memento. I like Luxe better for general stamping – especially of solid images.

By the way, I used my favorite Hero Arts background stamp on these ink swatches – the Leaf and Floral Background. I also used Neenah white cardstock for the tags, along with the Tim Holtz Tiny Tabs and Tags die. (This is an awesome die – cuts through many layers at once!) All these tags go on a ring together with all my other inks.

And a big thanks to my Kay for putting this together. She earned a little extra spending money for college… you all got an ink comparison… and I have my ink swatch ring! :)

Please leave an questions you may have below and I will reply to them here. Enjoy!


Below are the products featured aboe. To find them at Simon Says Stamp, click on the SSS below the thumbnails. For Ellen Hutson, click on EH and for My Favorite Things, click MFT…



Tim Holtz Tiny Tabs & Tags Die (SSS|EH)


Vagabond Die Cutting Machine (SSS|EH)





Neenah White Cardstock 250 Sheets (SSS|EH)


Neenah White Cardstock 25 Sheets (EH|SSS)


Memento Luxe Rhubarb Stalk Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Love Letter Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Rose Bud Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Angel Pink Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Morocco Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Dandelion Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Olive Grove Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Pistachio Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Northern Pine Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Pear Tart Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Teal Zeal Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Bahama Blue Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Nautical Blue Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Danube Blue Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Elderberry Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Sweet Plum Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Lilac Posies Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Espresso Truffle Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Peanut Brittle Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Toffee Crunch Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Gray Flannel Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Tuxedo Black Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Memento Luxe Wedding Dress Ink Pad (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Raspberry Jam Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Red Royal Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Bubble Gum Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Pale Tomato Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Fresh Peach Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Orange Soda Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Butter Bar Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Forever Green Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Field Greens Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Green Hills Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Tide Pool Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Pool Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Mint Julep Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Navy Blue Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Cornflower Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Stone Wash Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Grape Juice Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Passion Flower Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Cup O Joe Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Wet Cement Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Charcoal Mid Tone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Blossom Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Pink Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Cantaloupe Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Yellow Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Leaf Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Olive Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Green Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Stone Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Pool Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Sky Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Lilac Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Purple Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Brown Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Sand Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)


Hero Arts Soft Granite Shadow Ink (SSS|EH)

























Inktense Pencil Giveaway!


One of the questions I get the most…

“Which Inktense Pencil colors do you use the most?”

Well, I talked to Heidi over at Simon Says Stamp and (since she is super cool) she put together three custom sets of my favorite colors. Yay! (And keep reading… I have some tips about these pencils for you. Inktense pencils are a unique pencil that are a cross between watercolor, paint and ink. Very unique. And very awesome.)

The first set is the Rainbow Collection. This has all the basic colors. You can use less water on your brush to make them more vibrant, or more water to make them softer. Love that option…

If you like “less bright” colors, check out the Jewel Tones Collection. Again, these can go darker or lighter…

And finally, we have the Brights Collection. These are fun, playful and trendy. And that grey in there is a must-have…

(Oh, and thanks to Sarah, Jana, Stephanie and Heidi for your input on these collections! And of course to Heidi for making them happen.)

If you want to see all of the Inktense sets, you can go HERE. I have the big momma set, but keep in mind this is my job. Otherwise I would have gone with one of the ones above. :)

And while I am talking about Inktense Pencils, there are a few things worth mentioning. First, don’t be intimidated if the color on the top of the pencil looks super dark. Any color can be made lighter or darker, depending on how much pencil you use and how much water you use. I took this picture while it was still very wet – you can see the color moving…

Also, Inktense Pencils can trick the eye. For example, the tip of this Mustard pencil looks very green. However, when you use it, the color is a gorgeous yellow…

Therefore, I recommend making ink swatches to help with making sure you have the right color for your project. Here is mine. I used a Tim Holtz die to cut the tags from my favorite watercolor paper and “painted” with my favorite water brush. And I keep in mind that each color can easily go lighter or darker…

Finally, if you wanted some videos and examples showing how to use Inktense Pencils, check these out:

Time for a giveaway! Leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 3/18 for your chance to win the Rainbow Collection of Inktense Pencils! Good luck. :)



New Fiskars Trimmer + BIG Giveaway!

There is one tool all crafters need more than anything else: A really good paper trimmer.

Today, I have a video sharing my favorites – including the new big momma Fiskars ProCision Trimmer….

Here are the products I feature…

The ProCision trimmer really is amazing. It is heavy duty, but does not sacrifice precision and fine cutting…

That blade? That blade cuts like butter. Even through many layers.

I have the Procision Trimmer sitting on my side desk and use it on every card. But I still have my ol’ favorite SureCut Trimmer right in the thick of things on my workspace. It is smaller and good for quick cuts while I am in crafting action…

I still love that wire guide. It is perfect for cutting out strips of already-stamped greetings. I know people have said the wire has frayed on them, but I have several of these trimmers and use them daily and it has never happened to me. (Fiskars has great customer service, btw!)

I know many people like guillotine-style trimmers. However, with kids around (and the fact that I am clumsy), I don’t feel comfortable with them.

So there you have it – the tale of two great trimmers.

* I was not asked to do this post by Fiskars. I did it because I finally found trimmers I love and wanted to share my discoveries. I get asked about trimmers quite often. *

And since I like to share, how about giving one of the big bad momma paper trimmers to a lucky winner? Just leave a comment here by Saturday at 11:59pmEST for your chance to win a Fiskars ProCision Paper Trimmer! Good luck.