Monday, August 22, 2016

My Review of the Yoobi Stamp Rollers

If you love stamping on cards, paper, journals and planners then you are going to enjoy the Yoobi
Stamp Rollers.  The Yoobi Stamp Rollers are marketed mostly towards back to school crafting supplies. However, I love using the Yoobi Stamp Rollers in my travelers journal.  I recently signed up for a fun 30 Day Bullet Journaling Challenge and was looking for something easy to use to decorate my bullet journal.  I came across the Yoobi Stamp Rollers when I saw them displayed at the Yoobi store in Arcadia, California.  I was intrigued with their company motto:

 "For every Yoobi item you purchase, a Yoobi item will be donated to a
classroom in need, right here in the U.S. It's that simple."

Pennant Flags in Red Ink

The single ink color stamp rollers sell for $4.99 and the three ink color stamp sells for $6.99.  According to the website, the inks are refillable. However, I did not find the refills on the site.  The stamp rollers come with covers that fit fairly securely and that helps keep the ink from drying out.  These rollers are very smooth and I had no trouble using them on my journal pages. I even tried them on my pocket travelers journal pages.

The Yoobi Stamp Roller dimensions are 1.14" x 1.1" x 2.28.  This is a great size for small hands to use to create some great kids crafts.  I lent them to my neighbors kids and they decorated some gift tags with them. 

3 ink color - Winter Stamp Roller

My favorite Yoobi Stamp Roller is the Winter Stamp Roller.  This is a 3 ink colored stamp that leaves the cutest winter Design.  I think it is perfect for creating fun holiday cards.  I am going to use it for an easy kid craft at church.  The rollers area really easy for kids to use. Here is a close up of the stamped image which is so cute!
Winter Stamp Roller

I stamped each roller onto one of my travelers notebook pages.  I love decorating my planner pages with fun designs and these worked perfectly.  The ink is pretty pigmented and does show a little through my Travelers Notebook paper.

The back side of my TN Notebook paper.

Yoobi Stamp Roller on Hobonichi Page.
I tested it on my Hobonichi Planner Page and it rolled very smoothly.  The Hobonichi Paper is very thin so I did get some shadowing on the back side of the stamped paged.
Yoobi Stamp Roller Ghosting on back of stamped Hobonichi page.
I also tested it on the paper of my Happy Planner which is a much thicker paper.  Once again, the stamp roller worked great.

Yoobi Stamp Roller Tested on a Happy Planner Page.

The Yoobi Stamp Roller did not leave any ghosting or show through on the back of the stamped page.
Back side of the stamped Happy Planner Page.

The Yoobi company did a great job with the patterns they are offering in the single ink stamps too.
As you can see, each roller shows the image in the ink color on the actual roller which makes it easy to tell which roller image you are working with.  I have used others that were not as easy to see and that makes me very appreciative that Yoobi took the time to do this for their customers.

Cupcakes in Pink (Magenta) Ink

The four designs and colors are:
Pennant Flags in Red Ink
Trees with Birds in Green Ink
Flowers in Orange Ink
Cupcakes in Pink (Magenta) Ink

I am really happy with my purchase and love that these stamps are kid friendly.  I plan on using them of for some fun kids crafts in this upcoming holiday season.  My family loves all the items we purchased for back to school from the Yoobi store and look forward to their new releases.

Note: I was not paid for this review. I purchased all the items with my own money at the Yoobi store.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review of the Recollections Water Resist Cubes with Folk Art Ultra Dyes

If you are fan of word art and colorful wall decor then you should look into the easy fun craft projects supplies offered by Michaels stores through their new Recollections Water Resist Cubes.  These are really easy to do craft projects that require minimal paper craft supplies and time.  Michaels offers several different sizes in the Recollections Water Resist Cubes, as well as different sayings. So those of you who love word art will find some fun quick word art projects to do with that line.

Beyond the different sayings, I also love the decorative motifs that each cube offers.  The cubes are made from paper and do not weigh very much.  Keep this in  mind when working on the cubes because if you decide to work with water color crayons, you don't want to use too much water at one time.  The paper cube will buckle a little if you do that.

The Recollections Water Resist Cubes and papers are pretty easy to use, you just paint or spritz watercolor, the recollections spray ink, or your favorite a watercolor product.  I thought they were the perfect project to test out my new Folk Art Ultra Dyes.

So I pulled out a selection of colors which I color tested on some wood to figure which colors I wanted to use.

Once I decided on the colors, I started to brush the  Folk Art Ultra Dyes onto the canvas. I found that the Folk Art Ultra Dyes worked beautifully on the  Recollections Water Resist Cubes.

The colors were bright and they dried very quickly.  I was really happy with the great results I got with Folk Art Ultra Dyes onto the Recollections Water Resist Cubes.

After you brush or lightly spray the color onto the canvas, use a clean damp paper towel to dab off the excess color from the resist pattern.

My Michaels Craft Store had a good selection of this product line which included the Recollections Resist Patterned Canvases, Recollections Color Splash paper flowers (both painted and unpainted), Recollections Resist Color Splash Die Cuts, Recollections Resist Color Splash Paper Pads and the Recollections Color Splash Crayons.  I decided to just purchase a few pieces and test them out with materials I already had at home.

The Recollections Water Resist Paper Flowers

If you like to add to the painting, then the Recollections line also offers some fun "Color Splash" paper flowers which are great to use as accents on your project.  The store sold both the painted and unpainted flowers.  I liked the way the painted one's looked and bought a package of those, as well as the unpainted ones. These are such versatile paper art supplies that can be use for scrapbooking, card making and so much more.

I wanted to mention that while painting my Recollections Water Resist Cube, I noticed a that regardless of how gently I patted and/or brushed the color on, I ended up with quite a bit of pilling on the canvas.
You can see the pilling on the canvas here.
To fix that I found that if I just waited for it to dry a little, then I could gently sweep them off the canvas. So if it happens to you, know that you are not alone and it may be some part of the resist that is coming off when put in contact with the painting medium.

If you have always wanted to create your own wall art and let your crafty self shine, you may want to check out this new line at Michaels.  I think they would make a great base for altered wall art, that you could build on with other ephemera.

Have you tried these Recollections Water Resist Cubes and papers? What type of experience have you had with them?  Leave a comment below and share your experience.

Note: I was not paid to do this review. I purchased my cubes at Michaels and wanted to share my experience with you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How to Save Money on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Reading Program Membership

If you have always wanted to know how to save money on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Reading Membership then you need to pay a visit to Amazon on July 5 - 12, 2016 for their yearly Amazon Prime day. It is like a summer "Black Friday" in the digital world of Amazon. There will be a lot of different deals but the best one is:

Membership to the Kindle Unlimited Reading Program where you can read as many digital books as you want for less than the normal $9.95 monthly Fee.  I figured out that I spend an average of $50 to 75 dollars a month on digital books, so even at the $9.95 monthly fee, I can save a lot of money.  However, right now is the best time to get your membership if you want to save some money on it.

Below is a direct link to the Kindle Unlimited Special Offer.  To get an idea of the savings value, you would normally spend $236.76 for a two year membership on Kindle Unlimited. However, on Amazon Prime Day, you can purchase a two year program for 143.86 which is a significant savings (below is a direct link to the great deal):

Countdown to Prime Day - Save up to 40% on kindle unlimited

For those who are unfamiliar with Amazon's Cart discounts, you will see the regular price in the cart. However, when you go to pay you will see the discounted price.  This only applies to purchases made July 5, through July 12th.  If you don't see the discount, contact customer service before you press "Confirm Order" so that you don't get overcharged.  If you miss the sale, the regular $9.95 monthly price is still pretty good.

If you just want to save money on other Amazon merchandise, like electronic specials

or even a discounted Amazon Prime Membership,  then try the link below and go to the daily special button on the website:

Happy Amazon Prime Day July 12 - Exclusive Deals for Prime Members - Start Free 30-Day Trial

Monday, June 20, 2016

My Review of the New Folk Art Ultra Dyes

Folk Art Ultra Dye comes in 14 Intense colors
If you love rich colorful fabric, art work and table top items, then you are going to enjoy

the new Folk Art Ultra Dyes which can be used on fabric, wood, and other natural fibers.

Beyond the beautiful 14 colors that the Folk Art Ultra Dye is available in, you can also mix the colors to create new colors and for creating Ombre Effects on natural fiber projects.  These colors are rich and a little goes a long way. I decided to paint the dyes on some unfinished wood die cuts to see how they applied and how opaque each color was.  
These are the different colors of the Folk Art Ultra Dyes that were sent to me.

I first saw these dyes in the Plaid Booth Winter at the 2016 CHA Mega Show.  The display for this dye was a beautiful selection of colorful objects that caught my eye as I walked by.
Look at how bright the Folk Art Ultra Dye is on these unfinished wicker balls

Below are some of the beautiful items on display that were dyed using the Folk Art Ultra Dye.
Folk Art Ultra Dye on Fabric

I was so excited when I heard I going to be sent some bottles to test out.
Folk Art Ultra Dye on Unfinished wood

The box came from Plaid and I was so excited to see they had sent me one of each color.
Folk Art Ultra Dye on Wooden Hoops

The dyes are sold in 8 oz white bottles and are available at JoAnns, Hobby Lobby and AC Moore Stores.

The colors that I got are:

  • 5601 Pucker Up
  • 5602 solar power 
  • 5603 Infrared 
  • 5604 Hot Flash
  • 5605 Turquoise
  • 5606 Blue Bayou
  • 5607 Rendezvous
  • 5608 Purple Rain
  • 5609 Hot Pink
  • 5610 Venom
  • 5611 Emerald City
  • 5612 Lady Marmalade
  • 5613 Raspberry Beret
  • 5614 Tantalizing Teal
  • 5618 Satin Varnis (a coat of this will protect the surface of the dyed project)
There may be more colors in the future but I have to say this are a pretty great selection.  The paints come in opaque bottles which is probably to protect the pigment in the dyes but don't quote me on that.  Anyway, these dyes are rich and really pigmented, as you can see below.
Folk Art Ultra Dyes used on a Recollections Water Resist Cube
I used three of the dye colors on one of the new Recollections Water Resist Cubes and it worked great.

Here is what the paperwork says about the dyes:

  • They are self-sealing.
  • Great for dying wood, natural fibers and some porous surfaces.
  • The brush on bold with vibrant color (pigment)
  • They can be used to create ombre Effects.
  • The dyes can be used for stenciling patterns
  • The dyes are non-toxic
I can not wait to get started planning what items I am going to dye to test out some of the above claims.  I love colorful objects and these dyes are perfect for so many different types of projects.  I will be posting some projects using this dyes over the next few months.  Today I decided to test it out on some unfinished wood just to see what the coverage was like and I am impressed.

I found that the yellows were very light on the first application, however the color can be built up by adding more layers of the dye onto the wood.

The Orange color (5612 ) on the other hand, went on very rich and only required one application.

I found that a little goes a long way on these dyes, so in order to control how much dye poured out of the bottle I left the protecting metal piece.  I  then made a small hole in each lid and gently poured out a small amount.

A dime size amount was enough to paint the unfinished wood dye cut, a large piece of wood (24 x24) with quite a bit still left over (I decided to work on multiple projects at the same time to avoid wasting the dyes).

Some of the Folk Art Ultra Dye colors are more intense than others (like the 5607 versus 5603) but I found adding a small amount of water to the color would lighten the hue a bit.

The photo below has a piece of wood I painted with the dye and below it is a canvas that I painted with the same color of dye.
Folk Art Ultra Dyes painted onto Recollections Water Resist Cubes and Unfinished Wood

The difference is the intensity of the color.   I added water to the dye to lesson the intensity of the hue, which worked great. I love the lighter shade and it looked great on the Recollections Water Resist Cube.  I found that the Folk Art Ultra dyes are really versatile dyes and so easy to use.  Plaid recently put up a free ebook on how to use the Folk Art Ultra Dyes, so if you want to read more tips on how to use the Folk Art Ultra Dyes or see some Free Easy Folk Art Ultra Dye Projects, go check it out:  Plaids Beginner Guide to Ultra Dyes

Hint: Wear gloves while working with dyes to keep your hands from getting stained.  Also, clean up as you go so because these dyes will sink into any porous surface.  I used just a bit of water, paper towels and a baby wipe to keep my work area and tools clean while I tested the paints. Don't worry I did not throw out the paper towels, they are currently drying so that I can use them for a future project (why waste a now beautifully stained surface). The colors looks so great on the paper towels, I just knew I could use them for other projects.

They don't look like much in the picture above, but once I opened them up to let them dry, I realized these would be great for back grounds on cards and other projects.


Monday, May 23, 2016

A Nautical Themed Fathers Day Project Idea: An Anchor Shaped Coat Hook Tutorial

If you are looking for a fun and creative gift for Fathers Day easy craft project idea for personalizing an unfinished wood monogrammed anchor and turning it into a decorative robe hook, then this is the perfect gift idea for the nautical person in your life.

This project is pretty easy to make and just requires a little planning if you want to order a wooden Anchor like the one I am using here.  The anchor is from the Unfinished Wood Co. in Georgia.  Their products can be found online and in some craft stores.  If you are unable to find the monogrammed hook, you can find any similar shaped hook and monogram it yourself, using paints and your favorite font.

For this project, I am partnering with Plaid Crafts who have supplied the paints, brushes and anchor for this easy to do project.

·      Anchor Monogram
·      Folk Art Home Decor Wax Paint in White
·      Folk Art Outdoor Gloss Acrylic Paint in Pure Gold (1654)
·      Natural Jute Cord
·      Robe Hooks
·      2 Screws
·      Drill
·      3/32 Drill Bit sized to the screws
·      Medium grit sandpaper or sanding sponge
·      Fine grit sandpaper or sanding sponge
·      Pencil
·      Screw driver

Step 1:
 Using a sanding sponge or sand paper in fine grit, sand the entire surface of the wood piece (this hook was pretty smooth and only needed a little sanding).

Step 2:
 Before painting the surface of the anchor, remove any dust or sanding residue left on the surface of the wood.  Paint two coats of the Cascade Chalk Paint and allow the paint to dry between coats.

Step 3:
 Take the medium grit sand paper and sand the areas of the hook that you want to look worn.  I did all the edges of the anchor that I wanted the wood beneath to show through and some of the surface.

Optional: If you want a more worn effect, use the screw driver to leave some dents onto the surface of the anchor.

Step 4:
Paint the monogramed center of the Anchor with the Gold Paint.  Apply enough layers to make it opaque. 

Step 5:

Using the small wax brush, apply a thin layer of the Folk Art white Wax on the outer area of the anchor (make sure not to get any on the Initial) and immediately remove any excess wax with a clean soft cloth.  Make sure you are careful during this process and allow the white to remain in the surface recesses.  Set aside and allow it to dry.

Step 6:
To seal and protect the anchor project, apply a very thin coat of the clear wax paint to the entire surface of the anchor, let dry for about an hour. Then use a very soft clean cloth and work a small area at a time to buff it out to a nice shine.  Allow the wax to cure for seven days before taking it outside or exposing it to moisture.

Step 7: 

Place the hook in the desired location on the anchor. Using a pencil, mark the hole locations.  Using the 3/32 Drill Bit, make pilot holes.  Then remove any dust left on project from sanding and drilling the pilot holes.   Then attach the hook to the anchor.

Step 8:

To finish the project, I wrapped some of the anchor with natural jute cord and added a bow that was embellished with shells that my kids had collected on one of our trips.

TIP:  You can change out the bow for each season, to change the look of the anchor.

Monday, May 9, 2016

10 Reasons to Shop at the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire is going on now and it is an event where you can shop at a variety of vendors who sell handmade jewelry, 

Crystaline Glass by Jon Price

pewter ware and other unique handmade collectibles.  

So here are my 10 Reasons to Shop at the OriginalRenaissance Pleasure Faire:

1)      If you want to experience a unique, entertaining and very interactive shopping experience, then you should think about visiting the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

2)      If you love dressing up in costume, Cosplay and/or role-playing a character from the same time period, then you can gig with the merchants while you shop.  

      It only adds to fun while you search for some unique finds to add your collections.  

      Or some fun items to add to your child's costume like the wooden swords and shields below.

       Plus you can get your picture taking with a variety of other faire goers from different time eras as well.

3)      If you are looking for some themed clothing, then there are also a great selection of clothing vendors who sell renaissance themed clothing 

       and festival wear.  

      Many of their items can be worn to other similar type festivals, Comic Con and other such events. 

4)      If you have ever wanted to shop while eating a Turkey leg, then you will find the Turkey legs are freshly cooked and quite tasty.  If you are a messy eater, bring a bib.  The Turkey legs can be a bit juicy.
5)      If you love handmade jewelry and want to add something unique to your collection then this is the place to be.  Here are some of my favorite merchants:
pale-moon makes jewelry for men and women

a.    Pale-Moon – where customers can find some beautifully hand carved bone pieces by Christopher Miller.  
             You can pick out your favorite pieces and have them strung to 
      create your own one of kind necklaces.  I have a large 
      collection of necklaces that I add a piece to each year.

b.    ArtoFactoryWearable necklaces and art pieces that are made of old engine parts that are up cycled into beautiful jewelry by the artist Eghan Thompson.

6)      If you have ever wanted to take a shopping break and attend a live “Joust Tournament” while drinking cold ale then you are at the right place.  The Joust takes place several times a day. The ale and food stands are conveniently located nearby to serve you.  Pick a knight you like, and be prepared to cheer him to victory.

7)      If you have wanted to try out archery but just don’t have time, then you can take a break from shopping and for a small fee you can give it a try.  There are also games booths that offer axe throwing, fencing, fishing wells (for the kids) and other fun activities.  There  is also a hidden gem called "Kids Kingdom" where Children can find craft activities, shows geared especially for them and so much more.

8)      If you get tired from shopping you can also find a lovely hay bale to sit on and watch a variety of shows, which vary from belly dance performances to audience interactive shows like “MooNiE the Magnif'Cent”.  

      Where you may be lucky enough to be picked from the audience to be his onstage assistance. 

9)      If you love freshly handmade soaps, oils and creams, there are several vendors at the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire who offer these types of wares.  You can find lovely herbal soaps and even soaps made with honey and oats. There are also live demonstrations by some of the guilds on the process of making soaps, drying herbs and more.
10)  If you have been searching for that perfect color of yarn to knit something fun and unique.  The Guild of Saint Cuthbert’s has live demonstrations on spinning yarn. They also make available for purchase, some beautifully hand spun and hand dyed yarns for faire goers.  

       If you want to spin at home, they do have hand turned drop spindles for sale too.   And if the experience of going back in time to the Renaissance gives you an urge for a cup of tea, the Guild of Saint Cuthbert’s also offers a daily “Tea with the Queen” experience which can be quite fun to attend. 

      You never know who you might run into.

So all in all, if you like to be entertained while you shop, consider visiting the
Orignal Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, California and spend the afternoon shopping in an atmosphere of playful fun and entertainment.

These are my ten reasons for shopping at my local Ren Faire. What are yours?

Note: this is not a paid post, I just enjoy going to the faire, meeting new people and above