Video: Hero Arts Soft and Mid-Tone Shadow Inks + Giveaway!

Hello.

Today I have a video I put together for the sweet Simon Says Stamp folks. In it, I show Hero Arts Shadow Inks - including the original Soft Shadow Inks and the new 2012 Mid-Tone Shadow Inks. These inks are very unique and incredibly awesome… perfect for getting a smooth, solid stamped image. Here’s why:

Basically, this ink is unique because it slowly smooths out and dries into the perfect stamped image. It is the best ink for images with lots of solid space, such as the hearts I used here.

I threw together this very quick sample of colors for you to compare each. A few of my original Soft Shadow Inks are older than the hills (in packaging from three designs ago!) and therefore a bit light… but it should give you an idea. All of the colors starting with “Soft” are the original Soft Shadow Inks. All the others are the more vibrant Mid-Tone Shadow Inks.

And here is a look at just the new Mid-Tone Shadow Inks

These inks are lovely, I tell you. And they go nicely with my other favorite ink, Distress Ink, too.

Now I know folks are going to ask me which my favorite colors of the new inks are. Ha ha ha… well… just get them all. :) In fact, you can get all the new Mid-Tone inks in a bundle HERE. But Wet Cement and Cup ‘O Joe are must-have in their lovely grey and brown colors. And the others? They are all great – just depends on what colors you use the most.

And big cheers to Shari Carroll who was the mastermind behind the new colors. Nice work! And she put a video about them together HERE that shows how the inks go together with the whole Hero Hues color line.

Hope this helps explain the inks! Be sure to head over to Simon Says Stamp’s blog for more info.


And the sweet folks at Simon Says Stamp said I could give away a set of the new Mid-Tons Inks! Just leave a comment here by Saturday 11:59pmESTS for your chance to win. Good luck!

Day 6 (and Last) of Holiday Gift Guide

(This is the 6th and final day of my Holiday Gift Guide. Hope you are finding some fun ideas!)

6a00e550ccd8ce88340147e04313b1970b-800wi
Here are my last ten ideas for you. I hope you found something you think your loved one will love. Remember, if you click on the links to head over to Simon Says Stamp, you will get 15% discount and free shipping over $75. A big thanks to them! Here we go…

Every cardmaker looks for new and different ways to make cards. Something fun? Clear cards. Clear cards are such fun. I have lots of examples on my blog (search on “acetate”) – I use them a ton. The pack comes with clear cards (super thick and oh so nice), white inserts and envelopes. (Click HERE for more info.)

Ps454

Here is one example of a clear card I have done. So much fun to use.

6a00e550ccd8ce88340133f4c26e6f970b-400wi

12×12 patterned papers can sometimes be intimidating with loud and large patterns. This is one reason I love 6×6 paper pads and use them almost exclusively. They are fabulous for cardmaking and scrapbooking – the perfect gift. (Click HERE for more info.)

3037CURIOPACK


Sometimes the simplest gifts are the best. I am loving these simple Stardust Glitter Pens. They are super fine tip and add just the tiniest bit of sparkle. Nothing over the top – just a little. Perfection. One of my favorite things to use these for is to trace a stamped greeting with this pen so it shines a touch. Your crafty gal will love it – and it is a steal. (Click HERE for more info.)

Stardustt


I get a lot of people asking what notecards and envelopes I use. I always use Hero Arts Hero Hues stuff. The cards are nice and thick and white on the inside. And the paper packs are great for cutting the vertical 4.25″x11″ pieces to fold into a card. I especially love their envelopes – they have a unique flap that I adore (see the photo). A great gift would be a box full of these – colorful goodness. (Click HERE for more info.)

Ps617

I find myself using Mini Misters a ton. I keep a few with water (who wants to stop creating to refill?) and several with different colors of Perfect Pearls. So, I really like having these little organizers. And it comes with 12 misters – perfection! (Click HERE for more info.)

Riminimisterblockwithmisters


The black enamel? Perfect for cute little eyes on stamped animals. The white enamel? Perfect for little dots to accent cards. When you squeeze out these White and Black Enamel Accents, they immediately go into a tiny perfect ball. A must-have. And it is costs close to nothing. :) (Click HERE for more info.)

Rangerenamelaccentsblackwhite

OK. You have to admit – Doodlebug’s Buttons are so stinkin’ cute. I can assure you that every crafter would love some of these. The colors and quality are fab – yum yum yum. (Click HERE for more info.)

Bonappetitebbdoodlebug

Here is a fun necklace I made this them. Love these buttons…

I love die cutting. And if your crafty loved one has any kind of die cutting machine, you will want to get her some My Favorite Things Die-namics. These are the cutest, most inexpensive dies in town. They can be used with the Cuttlebug, Big Shot – anything. Another great thing: They used to offer some dies in a stamp+die combo, but now offer them all separately! My favorites? The Framed Greeting label, Notched Tag (adore the small heart and star), Polka Dot Greeting, Well Worn Greetings (great to layer – so lovely), Layered Labels (again fab for layering) and Rolled Roses. Oh, and this company is based in Florida and the owner is so very nice. (Click HERE for more info.)


I mentioned earlier this week my love of Memory Box Dies. I wanted to point out one in particular – the Round Buttons. I love the idea of creating faux buttons. Buttons work on just about any card, but can often add too much bulk for shipping. This is a great solution! (Click HERE for more info.)

This gift idea is the cheapest (free) but definitely the most valuable. Give your crafty gal a card promising hours of “creative time” – where she can create and forget about all the craziness that is life. She will love ya for this one.

Hope these help. Happy shopping. :)

Day 5 of Holiday Gift Guide + A HUGE Giveaway

(This is Day 5 of 6. Hope you are finding some fun ideas!)

6a00e550ccd8ce88340147e04313b1970b-800wi
Here are ten more ideas for you. Remember, if you click on the links to head over to Simon Says Stamp, you will get 15% discount and free shipping over $75. What a great deal. Here we go…

Earlier in my gift guide, I mentioned how fabulous the Ink Blending Tools are. And if you really want to impress your crafty friend, get one of the Spinners too. This guy holds 8 inking tools, making it so easy to reach for a tool inked with the right color. Love it. (Click HERE for more info.)

Rangerinkssentialscraftspinner

Now, if your crafty loved one is as crazy about these inking tools as me, you could get her multiple Spinners to hook on top of each other. LOOOOOVE this…

6a00e550ccd8ce883401347f9ae8d5970c-800wi-1

Yes, I have issues. And the worst part? Since taking this photo, I have added three tiers. :)

I am sure you have noticed that your crafty loved one often has inky hands. (Mine are usually a lovely shade of blue or brown.) I finally found the ONLY way to clean off this ink – the Craft Scrubbie. You just wash your hands with this and liquid soap and your hands will be back to normal in no time flat. It truly does work. It’s inexpensive, it’s cool and it’s great for the stocking. (Click HERE for more info.)

Scrubbie
The Martha Stewart Scoring Board is a must-have for any cardmaker. This guy is inexpensive but works like a charm. I love that the lines are spaced out evenly. Honestly, I never thought I needed a scoring tool until I met this one. Love it. Oh, and I also like the Scor-Pal products, but they are harder to find. (Click HERE for more info.)

Ms4205002
One gift idea that can never go wrong is a gift card. This is especially great this time of year since the new 2012 Hero Arts stamps come out later this month! Simon Says Stamp will get them all, so a gift card for there is perfect. And get this?! If you request it, Heidi at Simon Says Stamp said they will mail you an actual gift card. That way you have something tangible to give on Christmas morning. Fabulous! (Click HERE for more info.)


Here is a cleaning product your loved one would LIKE to get under the tree. :) There are a million stamp cleaners out there, each to remove a different type of ink. However, the only one that works for everything is the Ultra Clean Stamp Cleaner. This even cleans of Staz-On and other inky things, and I even use it to clean up my Craft Sheet. Ultra Clean is a staple for any stamper. And to make it even better, you can get the Scrubber Pad to go with it. Perfect gift. (Click HERE for more info.)

0a_1_bl_8297_1

One of my favorite ways to add a bit of sparkle and color to projects is with Twinkling H2Os. The colors are delicous and they are super high quality. There are a ton of colors, but a great place to start is with one of the sets. Yum. (Click HERE for more info.)

26375basicrainbow


With all these great inks and paints, ya gotta have the perfect paint brushes, eh? By far the best are Claudine Hellmuth’s Brushes. In the set you have all the different sizes you could ever need. Perfect for under that Christmas tree. (Click HERE for more info.)

Chstudiobrushes

I have already suggested several online classes. I have one more to mention – the Spawn of True Scrap event. This was a big event in October. However! You can now buy each teacher’s individual video classes for $9.99. You can go HERE to find them all. Here is a peek at mine, a 35 minute video jam-packed with techniques and 2 layouts, 6 cards and a jewelry piece. (Click HERE for more info.)


If you are looking for a great die cut machine in a lower price range, the Big Shot is the way to go. This guy is durable, consistent and high quality. And Sizzix is a good company with great customer service. (Click HERE for more info.)


OK, this is the most expensive gift idea I have but I assure you it is worth it. The Vagabond is a new die cutting machine from Sizzix and Tim Holtz – and it is a new love of mine. This bad boy can cut through anything and will replace all the other die cutting machines. It cuts everything like butter, I tell ya. A big step up from any other machine. To top it off? It looks like a suitcase. And since it is from Tim Holtz, your lady will love it. (If you didn’t know, I can guarantee your crafty girl has a secret crush on Tim. Hee.) Any dies can be used with this fabulous machine. Since Simon Says Stamp has free shipping on it, plus 15% off, it is a deal that can’t be missed. (Click HERE for info.)

Vagabond1

And guess what?!? Heidi from Simon Says Stamp said I could do a VAGABOND GIVEAWAY! That’s right… just leave a comment here by Monday night for your chance to win a Vagabond! Good luck… it is one great treat.

Day 4 of Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway

(It is Day 4 of 6 of the my holiday gift ideas. These are a repeat from my gift suggestions from last Christmas. However, I decided to include them again because they are still my favorites!)
6a00e550ccd8ce8834013489a9a983970c-800wi

Here are some more ideas! Lots of good ones here. If you click on the links to head over to Simon Says Stamp, you will get a 15% discount and (always) free shipping over $75. Let’s get started…


Every crafter needs a great trimmer – one that will cut straight. And this Fiskars one does it, and also has a great wire guide that shows just where you are cutting. Hands down – this is the best trimmer out there. You can’t beat it. (Click HERE for more info.)


So here is a bonus idea for you. If you are getting this trimmer or already have it, you gotta get the new Titanium Blades for it. These bad boys last so much longer then the regular blades. It is amazing how well they work and they cut like butter. (Click HERE for more info.)


Here is another must-have tool that costs only about $10. These Tim Holtz scissors are great for everything from crafting with ribbon and paper to wire and metal. I even use these to prune my garden and my husband steals them often. Fabulous, I tell ya. Non-stick and self-sharpening. (Click HERE for more info.)


Many crafters already have one, but this baby is the Merecedes of heat guns. This heat gun from Hero Arts gets super hot and does a fabulous job. For about $30, it is a great gift idea, too. It will last forever – I have had mine for 10 years. (Click HERE for more info.)


I am sure you non-crafters have no idea what this tool is. However, this Ink Blending Tool is awesome. You use it with Distress Inks (which would also be great stocking stuffers) and for so many techniques. For under $5, who can say no? (Oh, and you might as well also get some additional foam pieces – they are reusable). I promise your crafty loved one will smile. (Click HERE for more info.)


Check your crafter’s room. Do you see a kraft-colored piece that she works on? If not, get the Ranger Craft Sheet. It is an amazing work surface that is perfect for inking and painting and all that good crafty stuff. I use it for everything and you can see it in action in all of my videos. A great gift. (Click HERE for more info.)


This gift idea is a hard one to explain if you have never stamped before so you are just gonna have to trust me. :) The Stamp Press (or as I call “Stamp Thingy”) is great to use with clear stamps and cling stamps. I find it so very helpful and for about ten bucks, you can’t beat it. (Click HERE for more info.)


This next idea is something your crafter likely doesn’t have but sure would love. It is the new Sticky Back Canvas. (Self descriptive, huh?) It now comes in white and natural. Get both! There are so many fun crafty things you can do with it… you can even stamp on it. (Click HERE for info.)


Every crafter needs adhesive. And I have tried them all! In addition to the two I mentioned yesterday, there are four other adhesives that are the best of the best: Mini Glue Dots, American Crafts Dot Runner, American Crafts Foam Dots and Glossy Accents. All of these goodes are under $5. (Click on each product name listed for more info.)

Miniglue Acdotgluerunner61713 Acfoamdots61709 GAC27898MINIGLOSSYACCENTS


Speaking of the best of the best, Hero Arts stamps are incredible. Since they are made in the USA, you can be sure the quality it top notch. They make a TON of great products including stamps, embellishments, papers and more. (Click HERE to see all of the newest Hero Arts products.)


For today’s last gift idea, I would recommend any of the Tim Holtz Alterations Dies. These can be used with ANY die cut machine (even the Cuttlebug) and can cut through everything, including many layers of paper. My favorites? The Ornamental, Mini Ornamental, Styled Label, Baroque and Mini Baroque. (Click HERE to see all of these dies.)

Thsizzixminibaroque Thsizzixminiornamental

And for today’s giveaway, I have these Mini Ornamental and Mini Baroque Tim Holtz Dies! Just leave a comment here by Sunday night for your chance to win. Good luck.

I also have winners from past posts. The Scentsy winner is Kris in Alaska, the winner of the Mementos giveaway is Robin Schaefer and the Maggie Holmes photo class lucky one is Betty M.

See you soon with more gift ideas!

Day 3 of Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway

(Here is Day 3 of 6 of the my holiday gift ideas. Will be back soon with more!)
6a00e550ccd8ce8834013489a9a983970c-800wi

Here are some more crafty gift ideas for you! Lots of things here – big price range. Remember, if you click on the links to head over to Simon Says Stamp, you will get a 15% discount and (always) free shipping over $75. Let’s get started…


Nothing looks as fabulous as a bright white image stamped on colored paper. And no ink delivers this better then the Colobox Frost White Pigment Ink. Of all the inks I have tried, this is the best. I love it most on kraft cardstock… yum. (Click HERE for more info.)


Every cardmaker needs lots of greetings. And what can be better than a greeting that is playful, cheerful and fun? Check out the Paper Smooches Stamps. I love their sentiment stamps, including Chit Chat, Pretty Phrases, Sentiment Sampler and Word Up. So adorable. (Click HERE for more info.)


Ever heard of the “jelly of the month club?” Well this is the same idea… but much much cooler. :) Studio Calico is a kit club that is incredible for scrapbookers and cardmakers. Each month you get a box at your door filled with papers, embellishments and stamps. These products are from favorite companies in the industry and are all designed to work well together. Marvelously well together, making crafting easy. So if you want to truly knock the socks off of your crafty loved one, consider signing them up for the Studio Calico Kit Club. (Click HERE for more info.)


This is another seems-silly-but-really-is-a-great idea – the best watercolor paper ever. This is what I use *every* time I create a piece where I will end up spraying it with water, painting with watercolor, etc. I use it a ton! And I have tried many brands and qualities and this is by far my favorite. It has the best texture, is nice and thick and absorbs color amazingly well. It is hard to find, but it is HERE. Go ahead and get a few packs while you are at it. Oh, and here is a card I created with this paper… (Click HERE for more info.)


Sometimes it is fun to add something other then paper to our cards. Felt is the answer! You can cut this felt with dies (including Sizzix, My Favorite Things, etc.) making it a great embellishment for a card without a lot of bulk. (Click HERE for more info.)


Stampers are crazy about Copic Markers. They are amazing tools! They can blend and color unlike any other marker… a HUGE step above the rest. However, they are a bit pricey. That is what makes them a real treat as a Christmas gift! Get her a few in her favorite colors in the Sketch Copic Marker, following some of the combos I suggest HERE. Want the perfect starter set to give her? Get these: YG25, YG17, YR21, YR15, R24, R29, B02, B04, and 0. And if you want a complete gift set, get some Neenah Paper (mentioned on Day 1) and Memento Tuxedo Black Ink, too. (These work best with Copics.) She will love you forever! (Click HERE for more info.)


I have another must-have background for any stamper. It works with many of the coolest techniques but also with many styles of cards – the Hero Arts Large Fabric Design Background. (If you visit my blog often, you know that I use this one a lot!) It is great for inking with Distress Inks and misting with water… it is great for tone-on-tone backgrounds… it is great for everything. Get it. I promise you will love it. (Click HERE for more info.)


I always use pre-made notecards for my cardmaking so I can have color on the outside and white on the inside. However, sometimes it is fun to use a patterned paper, too. I recommend trying Hero Arts Designer Papers. These papers are 8.5×11 (just cut in half either way for a notecard), heavy enough to be a notecard and white on the other side. Perfection. There are three tone-on-tone patterns per pack and my favorites are Pool, Foliage, Earth and Blush. (Click HERE for more info.)


Yep… these stamps are backwards. The Tim Holtz Reflection stamps are reverse images. Why? So they can be used for fun techniques such as kissing! (Ask your loved one what that is.) SO much fun to use. If you took Inspiration Showcase, you saw these guys in action. (Click HERE for more info.)


Last year I shared some of my favorite adhesives (and I will share them again in a few days). But since then I have discovered two more that I love dearly. One is the Thin Plus Adhesive. This guy puts down dots that can be rubbed away (yay!) in a narrow strip (that is unique and good for small pieces). The other is the Tombow Stamp Runner. This one also does lines of dots that can be rubbed away, but also can be held differently to put down quick squares of dots. So cool. Both are worth having. (Click HERE and HERE for more info.)

And for today’s giveaway, I have a few of these favorite adhesives for a lucky person who leaves a comment here by Saturday night! Good luck.

I will announce winners from past posts soon. Stay tuned. See you soon!

Day 2 of 2011 Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway

(Here is Day 2 of 6 of my holiday gift suggestions. You can find all the products HERE.)

6a00e550ccd8ce88340147e04313b1970b-800wi
Since you adore your crafty loved ones so much, I am back today with 10 more gift ideas. Remember, if you click on the links to head over to Simon Says Stamp, they will be 15% off and free shipping over $75. What a great deal. Or you can contact your local stores. Now… on to the ideas…


You may be wondering why I am suggesting giving masking tape to your loved one. Ha… this one is quite different and so useful. Eclipse Art Masking Tape is basically a large roll of sticky notes – with the whole back being sticky. I use this product for two things. One is to make the masking technique super easy. The second (and much cooler) use is to cover the back of my cards while I ink and stamp to prevent it from getting messy. It works like a charm and is a must-have. Love. (Click HERE for more info.)


I adore high quality tools that can be used over and over. Memory Box Dies fit the bill. They are made in the US of steel and cut the most intricate of shapes like butter. My favorites are the Butterfly Delight, the Maribelle Butterfly + Selena Butterfly (die cut two and put them together to create a butterfly-shaped card), Puffy Clouds and Crisp Bows. Love them all. Oh, and Memory Box is a great company. (Click HERE for more info.)


Yesterday I talked about how great Distress Inks are. Another fabulous ink is the Hero Arts Shadow Ink. This is a soft ink that dries smooth and beautiful. It is perfect for the faux letterpress technique with embossing folders. This ink is also the best choice for subtle backgrounds and stamped images with lots of solid space (since it doesn’t end up splotchy). My favorite colors are Soft Pool, Soft Sand and Soft Leaf. Or you can get them all HERE for a discounted price. (Good choice. She’ll love you for it. Click HERE for more info.)


This is my newest obsession and something I think your crafty gal will love. Ranger has these great Foil Tape Sheets that are an excellent way to add shine to a project. The are big adhesive sheets so you can die cut a shape from it and add it to your project. So easy and fun to use. (HERE is a card where I used it. Click HERE for more info.)


Whether your crafter is into bling or not into bling, these silly-yet-cool embellishments will work for them. They are little Hero Arts Dots and they look frosted. The perfect amount of subtle shine. Just put one Mini Glue Dot or dot of Glossy Accent on the back of them and you are set. I highly recommend these dudes. And believe it or not, the Earth Dots are my faves. (Click HERE for more info.)


So, there are a lot of black inks in the market. But one stands above the rest. The Hero Hues Black Dye Ink (also known as Memories Black) offers crisp, dark, black images every time and doesn’t bleed with watercolor, distressing, etc. This is the ink to use with everything… except Copic. (For Copic, you need a different ink, but it isn’t that great for other things. More on that later.) This ink is a necessity for every stamper. (Click HERE for more info.)


Recently two of the best companies teamed up – Hero Arts stamps and Sizzix die cutting. They now have stamp + die and stamp + embossing combos. These are a delight. I highly recommend these! Once you use them, you will will be an addict. My favorite combos are the Artisan Fern, Silhouette Vines, Antique Flowers & Butterflies and Floral. Here is a video sharing how they work. (Click HERE for more info.)


Background stamps are a great tool for every stamper to have. But even better are background stamps that work for any style of card. They are hard to find! But this Hero Arts + BasicGrey Flower Dot Pattern is the answer to any card background. If you ever visit my blog, you know I use it a lot. (And it never gets put away in my craft room. I don’t even bother.) So pretty! (Click HERE for more info.)


You many have seen your crafty loved one use mists or shiny sprays before. However, nothing compares to the “pearlized water” that you can create on your own with two products. Just get an Inkessentials Mist Bottle and Perfect Pearl Pigment Powder. Put this in a box under the tree along with a note that says: “Put one teaspoon of Perfect Pearls in a Mister bottle full of water and shake like mad. Keep on hand for pearlized water techniques and sparkly finishes.” It will be a big hit. Promise. (Click HERE and HERE for more info.)


Crafty folks love to watch videos of other crafty folks creating. Nothing is as inspiring. I mentioned some online classes on Day 1, but here is another video gift idea for you: Hero Arts Hero Hues Technique DVD and Hero Arts Technique Garden DVD. Both are packed with videos, card ideas, downloads and more. (Click HERE for more info.)

And for today’s giveaway I have one of each of these Hero Arts DVDs to give away! Just leave a comment by Wednesday night for your chance to win. Good luck.

I’ll be back in a couple days with Day 3 of my Gift Guide. Have a good one!