Thursday, April 20, 2017

Plaid Paint Products Unboxing & Review

Plaid Enterprises recently sent me some of their paint products to sample the include some bottles from 2017 new product line. I was thrilled to receive a boxful of Plaid Enterprises Paint Products in the mail to unbox and Review.  There is an excellent sampling of a variety of paint products and a portable loom kit.

The first item in the box is the new FolkArt Stencil Sprays which were released in March 2017.  These stencil sprays come in a plastic 2 oz tube that has a spray pump on the end.

I like that it is long and skinny because I can put sprays into a jar to keep them together on the go.  Anyway, the colors I got in my box are: Bright Red (6186), Yellow (6182) and Brown (6195).  There are a total of seventeen colors in this new line.

I used a Waverly Inspirations Laser Stencil called Floral (60514E).  I find the Waverly stencils are perfect to use in my watercolor paper journal because they are a flexible plastic that lets me place them on a variety of surfaces.  Plus they are super easy to clean up after use.  I decided to test them out on a journal page to see how they worked.  These FolkArt Stencil Spray paints work great with stencils but you have to remember to hold the spray bottle at least 8 inches away if you want to get a fun splotched paint look like the one below.

If you spray closer then you can also achieve different looks just by adjusting how hard to spray and where you spray the paint.
The clean up from using these paints is pretty easy. I just wipe off the paint from the stencil with a wet paper towel.

The second set of paints in my box were 5 bottles of the Plaid Fabric Creations soft Fabric Ink in yellow (25985), Poppy (25977), Tangerine (25983), Carnation (25974), and Shamrock (25988).  The Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Inks are really pigmented inks that can be layered to achieve more opaque effects.  I wanted to test out the fabric inks that came in the box, so I used a brush to add some of the paint onto my journal page which is a cold press watercolor paper.

I set aside to dry and decided to see how well it worked with the Wavery Stencils.

I wanted the page to dry faster, so I decided to put a paper towel onto the page and I think the results are pretty cool.
The page came out great and these inks work great on the watercolor paper.

I wanted to test the fabric ink on some fabric so I grabbed an organza flower hair clip which had a bit of paint that had stained part of the flower.

As you can, the Plaid Fabric Creations Ink worked well on the organza fabric and the paint stain is a lot less noticeable.

It will be even less noticeable once I spray a bit of glitter onto it.

The third product line in my box were a set of four 2 oz bottles of the new FolkArt Pickling Wash in Driftwood (5824), Champagne; Stormy Sky (5825) and Papillon (5821).  These paints create a transparent wash of color on wood and other natural surfaces that are natural and porous (baskets, unfinished wood, straw, etc).  The instructions for use are pretty simple, just shake and paint onto the porous surface.

Allow to dry for 20 to 30 seconds (depending on how much color you want the surface to absorb) and then wipe with a soft clean cloth.

According to the bottle, it will cure within 24 hours. The FolkArt Pickling Wash were released in March 2017 and will be available at Michaels in June 2017.

The fourth product included in my box was 2 oz bottles of the FolkArt Glaze in Cafe Noir (5799) and Cream Puff (5798).  The FolkArt Glaze creates an antique finish on wood and other natural porous surfaces.

I decided to test them on the piece of wood frame that I had painted with the pickling wash (once it had cured for the 24 hours).  the Folk Art Glaze is pretty easy to use. I shook the bottle and just painted the surface with the glaze.  I used a piece of soft fabric to soak up the excess and set it aside to dry.  I found that the wood surface sucked up the glaze fairly quickly.   Once it dried it left a really nice satin finish on the piece.

The fifth product included in the box was 2 oz bottles of Leather Studio Acrylic paint for leather and vinyl.  The colors included in my box were Ruby (71435), Cobalt (71433), Yellow (71417), Metallic Pure Gold (71430) and a high gloss finish (71451).  I did not get a chance to test them out but when I switched the paint onto the watercolor paper, it was pretty pigmented.  I will post a future review and project using these paints in the future.

The last product included in the box from Plaid is a "Weave It n' Leave It" kit from Bucilla.  I am especially excited about this kit because I have always wanted to learn weaving but I did not know enough about weaving to figure out what all I needed to purchase to create anything. These kits are completely inclusive and have everything you need to create the featured project.

This kit contains:

  • mini wood oval loom
  • plastic needle
  • 100% acrylic yarn in various colors
  • 100% cotton warp string

and easy to follow instructions with great step by step photos.  I also like that they include some tips for newbies in their directions.  I will do another post in the future showing how I made the kit and the final piece.

I would like to thank Plaid Enterprises for their generosity in providing me with all this product to do some future projects and posts with.

Note: I do not work for Plaid Enterprises. These products were sent to me for my honest review and use.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sephora Play Monthly Box - April 2017 Unboxing

I just received the Sephora Play April 2017 monthly subscription box and they have really outdone themselves with the great sample size products they have included in this months box.  I also really love the theme of this box which is "Step It Up".

 The illustrations on this month's product sheet are so cute that I am going to cut them out and use them to decorate some pages in my travelers notebook.  As always, the Sephora Play monthly subscription box includes a card that gives me an additional 50 Beauty Insider bonus points on my next purchase which is great timing since the VIB sale is starting soon.

I also really like this months fabric bag with the cute illustration.

Each month the Sephora Play April 2017 monthly subscription box includes a fabric bag and they materials, colors, and illustration change each month.  I just think the bag for April 2017 is adorable and these are perfectly sized to store my travelers notebook in to protect them from dust.

The first Item in the Sephora Play April 2017 box is a .25 oz sample of the Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Creme by Peter Thomas Roth.  This cream is supposed to moisturize my skin for up to 72 hours.  I have pretty dry skin right now, thanks to some medication that I am on, so that will come in handy.

The second item in the Sephora Play box is a .84 fl oz bottle of the Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover.  I already use this product and am so happy to have a travel size that I can put in my travel bag.

The third item in the Sephora Play monthly subscription box is .25 fl. oz sample of the Smashbox Photo Finish foundation primer.  Again, I already use this product and love it.  It goes on very easily and I find that a little goes on a long way on this product.  I find it works especially well on hot humid days to help my make up glide on easily and stay on place (along with the use of a finishing powder).  This little travel sized sample is perfect for my on the go lifestyle and fits into my makeup bag.

The fourth item in the Sephora Play April play box is .25 fl. oz sample of the Kate Somerville Exfoliate which is an intensive exfoliator that uses fruit enzymes to help polish the skin.  This one is created for use on the face to help smooth out the skin.  I have never purchased it before so it will be great to try it out.  I don't tend to like harsh exfoliators so I hope this one is gentle on my skin. Anyway, the packaging says to use a very small amount of this product one to two times a week. So this sample may last a while and give me a chance to fully evaluate how it works on my skin.

The fifth item in the Sephora Play April 2017 subscription box is from Make Up For Ever and is a .001 Aqua XL Eye Pencil in black.  I have never tried this particular eye pencil line from Make Up For Ever before.  However, I have tried others and have not had much success with it.  I have found that their eye pencils lines start to splotch after about an hour of wear (including the ones that are for the waterline).  I will give this one a try but I don't hold high hopes for it.  I have found other brands that have worked better for me a the Sephora store.

The sixth and last item in this month's box is a .o4 fl. oz sample of the Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume, which is a lovely light flowery scent that is perfect for summer.  According to the Sephora website the notes on this perfume are:

  • Top Note: Violet Leaves and Wild Strawberries
  • Middle Notes: Violet Petals and Jasmine
  • Base Notes: Musk and Vanilla.

I like this sample but I am pretty sure my daughter will like it more. It is perfect for a teenager, since it is not too overpowering and has such a pretty scent.

Note:  Once again, this is not a sponsored post.  I am not affiliated with Sephora.  I have paid for the box with my own funds.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sephora Play Monthly Box - March 2017 Unboxing

If you haven't had a chance to order the Sephora Monthly Play Beauty Box, here is a peak at the contents of the March 2017 box.  The theme for this box is "the shine is now" which hints at the products being included in this box.  Each month Sephora sends out it's Sephora Play box in a well constructed box that protects the contents very well.  They also package the items in a cute bag that varies in fabric and sometimes color each month.  I love getting these bags each month because I found that they are great for storing my travelers notebooks and protecting them from dust.

Additonally, Sephora includes a product sheet that informs the reader what each product is and some tips for using the product.  It also includes a bonus point card that applies an additional 50 Beauty Insider points with my next purchase.

The first item in the box is a .24 ounce Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer sample.  I am a huge Glamglow fan and love all of their face masks, so I am excited to try out this new product from their line.  The Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer is supposed to boost the look of dry skin and dull skin by moisturizing the skin with botanicals and giving the skin a boost visually with the light reflecting formula.  The packaging suggests applying it directly to the face and wearing it alone or under makeup.  I am still recovering from Bronchitis so my skin is really dry at the moment.  So when I tried it, I found that for me I still needed to apply moisturizer first and then layer this product on top of it.  The Glowstarter sample gave my skin a nice subtle healthy glow.  I find that I do not like how some highlighting products look heavy over my make up.  So I decided to use just a tiny amount of the product on top of my makeup base over my cheek bone area to see how well that would work. I am happy to say that it gave me a really nice light highlight that was not obvious.  Highlighters tend to give a bit of flashback in photos which are shot with flash.  So I decided to test the Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer to see how much flashback it would give me.  I found that is had enough flash back that I would not recommend using it if you are heading out to an indoor or night event where you will be photographed using flash. Otherwise, it is fabulous for regular day or evening use.

The next product is a .08 oz sample of "Watts Up" by the Benefit cosmetics company in San Francisco, California.  The Watts Up sample is a solid high lighter than can be used to highlight and define facial features.  I love that it is a solid stick which makes it easy to use and take on the go.  Now this product provides a much more dramatic highlight.  Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, this product is pretty versatile.  I used it just under my eyebrow, over my check area and around the outside area of my eye duck to high light those areas.  It worked very well.  Again, this product does have a lot of flashback so if you are going to be photographed using a flash, be very careful on the application of the product because it can affect how the finished photo will look.  I recommend taking a test photo using the flash on your cell to check and see if your application is just right for the look you are trying to achieve.

The third product is by Josie Maran and is a .1 oz sample of the Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm.  Once again, my skin is really dry right now so this sample could not have come at a better time.  I layered it over my moisturizer and my skin quickly absorbed it.  The Surreal Skin Argan Finishing Balm is a primer that gives a really subtle glow to the skin.  Like all the Jose Maran products that I use, the Surreal Skin Balm is free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.  The product itself is not oily nor sticky.  I dislike primers that leave my skin sticky or make my makeup base start to pill up.  I also was impressed that a little of this product goes a long way.   Since I applied it before my makeup base, I did not find that this product had any flashback issues for me.  The full size is .5 ounces and sold at Sephora for $36.  At first I thought that was a bit steep for the amount of product you get in the jar.  However, once I started to use it, I realized that a little of this product goes a long way.

The fourth product is a .06 oz sample of Urban Decay's Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion.  I was first introduced to the Urban Decay's Original Primer Potion product when I took a makeup artistry class at my local community college.  The instructor swore by this product and used it on all of the brides she put make up on.  This primer is sticky which helps adhere powder shadows to the eye lid.  It also works well with cream eyeshadow.  I have found the use of this primer makes a difference when I apply makeup on someone who needs to have it stay on for 7 to 10 hours.  It is a great product.  Personally, I have been using it for years and have yet to encounter a product that works as well as the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion does.  Urban Decay also offers a long wearing anti aging primer potion that works well with dry skin.  I use that one when I go to the desert to give my eye lid a bit of a boost.  The .16 oz tube of the Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion sells for $12 at Sephora.

The fifth Product is a .57 oz bottle of Verb Ghost Oil which is a hair oil that helps smooth down frizzy hair and give it a nice shine.  It has moringa seed oil to moisturize the hair so it can be detangled easier.  It did a really good job of smoothing my hair and controlling the fly away hair issues I usually face.  I also really liked the fresh clean scent that this oil had. I have tried other brands in the past that had a really strong scent and/or were sticky.  I have pretty thick hair and shy away from sticky hair oils.  This product immediatly soaked into my hair quickly and did not leave a sticky film.  It was really easy for me to brush my hair and finish styling it.  Also, the price on this product is really reasonable too.  Sephora sells the 2 oz bottle for $14. The .57 oz bottle in this kit is really a good size sample for me to be able figure out if I will purchase it in the future.

The sixth product is a vial of Clementine from the Atelier Colonge collection.  I am not a huge fan of perfumes, since my work and school discourage the use of it (allergen reasons) for the sake of clients and fellow students.  Thus I don't often have the opportunity to use it.  However, I have to say that I enjoy citrus base scents because they tend to be lighter. This is a nice scent this is not overwhelming and a little goes a long way.  So even this little vial will last quite a while.  According to the website this perfume has:

  • Top Notes of Clementine, mandarin, and juniper berries,
  • Middle Notes of Star anise, Sichuan Pepper, and basil
  • Base Notes of Vetiver, sandalwood, and cypress
The cost of the monthly Sephora Play box is $10 which includes shipping. The deluxe size of the 5 samples in this box provide enough product for me to try them out and see if they work for me before I commit to a full size product.  They are also perfectly sized for travel, so I enjoy it when I get products that I already use.

Note:  This is not a sponsored post.  I paid for the box with my own funds.


Monday, March 13, 2017

The Difference Between Planner Meet Ups, Planner Cons and other planner events.

Planner and Travelers Notebook Stack
A few of my readers have emailed me and ask what the difference is between Planner Meetups, Planner Retreats (like the Marion Smith Planner Retreat), and Planner Con type of events are.
Planner Sticker Supplies

Planner Meetups, Planner Retreats, Planner Socials, and Planner Con are similar
Elite Planners Club

in nature since they usually have pop up vendors, games,
Example of a pop up vendor

An Example of a prize I won at a Planner Event

product demonstrations
click chick creates stickers
and other related planner activities. Additionally, some of the planner events have themes.  The Marion Smith Retreat had a circus theme.  I have been to events that have a "Hello Kitty" theme, a holiday theme, a color theme, and more.  There are also manufacturer sponsored events like the Prima Marketing Launch Party where the theme was based on their new planner line. The presentation of their new planners was so well thought out.  This is a picture of one of the place settings

which included a new planner,
Juli Nutting Planner by Prima Marketing
a swag box full of Prima Marketing products, and other fun items.

The prima event was held at their new event house in Temecula which is stunning.  One of the mini projects was to make an insert page like the one below.

I love Prima Marketing Papers and accessories so making this page was so much fun.  Plus I got to meet Frank Garcia who is so talented.  He taught a planner charm class at the event.

Planner Cons, Planner Retreats (like the Marion Smith Planner Retreat), the Prima Launch Party and other large venue planner related events usually have large crowds that exceed 50 people.  The Prima Marketing event was large but so well organized that we all had an opportunity to do a class (depending on which planner you wanted), do some "Make and Take" mini workshops, shop, plan, eat, and make new friends.

  I also did a watercolor "Make and Take" where I learned some helpful techniques

and got to try out the new Prima Marketing Watercolors.  The Prima Marketing event was worth every penny I paid for my ticket.

Another large scale planner event that I also attended had around 150 people.  That turned out to be  too large a group to work within the schedule the hosts had posted.  There were too many people there to have time to visit each vendor, participate in the "Make and Takes", gift exchange and other activities.  The wait to check in was around 20 minutes (there was only one person checking all those people in).  That particular event had about 16 vendors, and two "Make & Take" workshops. One of the workshops involved working with polymer clay which can be tricky.  They only had one toaster oven and one table that seated eight people (which included the teacher).  Needless to say, not everyone who attended got to do that particular activity.  Another issue that was a problem was the gift exchange.  If you consider the amount of time it takes to process two hundred people participating in the gift exchange which is approximately 2-4 minutes per person to walk up to the stage and choose their gift (4 minutes multiplied by 200 is 800 minutes), it will take all day for the process to be completed.  And yes I this happened.  It took over two hours for them to finish the gift exchange (possibly more since I did not participate I took advantage of the opportunity to shop at the various vendors).  Needless to say, some of the other planned activities were ditched due to time constraints that day.  One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to check out the sponsors of each event. Go on YouTube, Facebook, and even google to see what other people who have attended their past events are saying.  It is a good way to measure whether or not this is the right event for you.

The Swap process went far faster at that large event, than the gift exchange, because everyone just walked around and swapped with whomever they choose too.  That was really fun because I got to see a wide variety of swap items and enjoy the creativity of so many individuals.

I did not make 200 swaps, that would have been really expensive to do. I made about 70 and traded with the same amount of people.  Due to time constraints, I swapped rolls of washi (I had a large collection and this was the opportunity to give them to folks who would appreciate them), instead of making anything.

The shopping at the larger events are usually crowded but fun.  I have been able to see some unique products that I had not been able to find at my local stationery supply stores.  So I really enjoyed that part.  Also since the larger events are held at venues that can accommodate 100 or more people, the ticket prices will usually be far more expensive than some of the smaller events.  One event I attend was well over $125.  Comparing that to the fee for one my local planner meet ups which is $15.  That is a significant amount of money.  However, the bigger venues are great way to meet a lot of new people.  I meet so many lovely ladies who shared my enthusiasm in using planners and travelers notebooks.

Planner meet ups tend to be smaller. I have attended some in West Covina, CA that had a limit of 30 people.  This event had a disney type theme which I loved.  Below is a picture of the adorable swag bag that the sponsors of the event made for us.

It was held in a scrapbooking store which had a great sticker selection.  Plus the owner of the store designs her own planner stickers.

The smaller meet ups like this one are great.  I have found that groups of 30 and less tend to be the perfect size for my personal preference. It gives everyone a chance to do the "Make & Take Projects".
This event had two projects which were so much fun to do. One was to make a micro travelers notebook.

The other project was this adorable Disney themed jar to hold washi tape or candy.

Additionally, they also had someone from Sizzix demonstrating dies like the pineapple planner clip die from their newplanner collection.
These planner page has some of their other dies on it.

The event also provided actual time for planning. It was a lot of fun to see how other people set up their planners and travelers notebooks. Each person has their own style and it is always great to learn new tips from others on how to stay on schedule.

Additionally, since there were only 30 people, it was a lot easier for me to actually make something for the swap items.  Below are just a sampling of some of the swap items that I traded for.

This is one of the fun things about themed events.  Many of the swaps will reflect the theme and are so creative.

I also participated in the gift exchange where I gift some "Hello Kitty" dies and stickers.  I picked a package from Connie who fed my washi addiction by giving me a huge box of washi tape that I did not own.  Luckily for me, she picked my package and I was able to feed her "Hello Kitty" addiction in exchange.  They also fed us a really nice lunch at that event and provided beverages throughout the day.  This event was around $30 which included supplies, a swag bag, lunch and activities.

I also attend a Planner Social event that was smaller and located in Buena Park, CA. It was a fun event that featured some fun pop up vendors and a great set of sponsors.  Here is a peak at what was in that swag bag.  I think this one was around $25 to attend.

Another fun way to meet fellow planners is to attend Planner Meet Ups, where you meet up with fellow planner enthusiasts to work on your planners and do actual planning.  The Orange County Planner Meet Ups in Southern California usually include some type of tutorial and a lot of sharing between members on planner layouts, stickers and more.  I attend one that meets at the Rancho Santa Margerita Michaels store and at the local JoAnns store.  The last one I attended at the Michaels store, we made planner charms for our various planners.

There are usually 12 -20 ladies present at these events.  They are free to attend and a great way to put aside some actual planning time.

Planner events like Planner Con, and other Manufacturer Sponsored Planner Events, are usually fee based to cover the cost of the venue, snacks and the swag bag.  Each one will vary in cost and in accordance to what company is sponsoring the event.  Additionally, most of the bigger events will post information on their websites that tells you what activities they have planned and any rules for swaps and gift exchanges.

Spending time decorating my planner and getting to see how other folks set up their planners and travelers notebooks in one of the reason I like to attend these types of events.  Plus, I have made some new friends who share my love of planning.  It is can be so fun to meet other people who share your enthusiasm for planning, and journaling.  Some of the meet up groups have changed their meet ups to accommodate those interests.  Each meet up has a different focus (like journaling, scrapbooking, planning and more).  Below is a sample of one of the pages that I decorated in my travelers notebook at one of the events (this stickers and wood bits are from @mydecoratedpage)I attended.  The washi tape used on this page was from the Hobonichi website.  They are still carrying that pattern.  I like it because it is die cut and a bit different from what I normally use.

Once again, these types of events do vary in costs, while I paid around $125 for the Marion Smith Planner Retreat (and that is not the most expensive one I have attended), there are many other events that are priced to suit various budgets.  I recently attended a really fun planner event that was around $15.  That event had some really fun tutorials, pop up vendors, snacks were provided, a swag bag, and we got to do some planning.  Additionally, the times for each type of event will differ in accordance to the size of the venue.  One event I attended was 8 hours long which was a little too much for my schedule.  However, the smaller events tend to be between 1 to 5 hours which is better for my schedule.   I recommend joining planner Facebook groups in your area to get the inside information on the various planner events being offered in your area and to read their tips, recommendations and personal experiences at various planner events.

Note: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for my tickets to these events just like everyone else did.  Also this is just my opinion of the events I attended.  Others may have a completely different take on the same events.  The best way to figure what is best for you is to just check out a few and see which kind of events you enjoy the most.