My reviews are based on my personal experience with a product or event. I am not a professional product tester nor do I get paid for any of my blog posts.

The items that I post reviews on, have either been purchased on the internet or through a local vendor. Additionally I will review items that I got on sale, as a gift or as a sample from either the manufacurer or some other source.

Note: always read the manufacturers directions on how to properly use a product and craft carefully. Additionally, I am an Amazon Associate and may earn a few cents (literally) from your clicking on my Amazon links. Since they raised the minimum payout from earnings to $10 I haven't seen a credit for a while but eventually I will get one.

Every penny counts when trying to set a budget to get supplies to use for my reviews, tutorials and hauls. However, you do not have to use my links. You can use your favorite search engine to find the best price for your budget.

Tuesday Morning Store Martha Stewart Crafting Supplies Haul

Tuesday Morning Craft Haul

I was so excited to find out that my local Tuesday Morning store had received a shipment of Martha Stewart crafting supplies, so I rushed over to see what items they got in.  I thought I would share my Tuesday Morning Craft Haul purchases with you.
Martha Stewart Neon Glitters

I picked up two of the Martha Stewart 12 pieces Glitter Sets (they had several to choose from).  I picked up the Neon Iridescent glitter set and the Hexagonal Glitter Set. The Neon Iridescent glitter sets sells for $26.99  on Amazon.  I paid $6.99 for my set.  The Neon Iridescent glitter is really pretty in person and each color offers a fine glitter, a star shaped glitter, a diamond shaped glitter, and a hexagon glitter. The last three shapes are great for making shaker cards.
Matha Stewart Hexagon Glitter Set
The Hexagonal Glitter set sells for $17.22 on Amazon and I paid $6.99 for this set at the Tuesday Morning Store.  I consider that a really good deal.  This size of glitter is also good for making shaker cards, decorating Christmas Ornaments and more.

I also picked up the Martha Stewart 10 piece "Stamp Around the Page" Set.  The 10 piece "Stamp Around the Page Set" sells for $ 11.58  on Amazon and I paid $6.99 at Tuesday Morning.

The "Stamp Around the Page" kit comes with:

  • a stamp base
  • a clear mounting block
  • butterflies, fern, and floral branch design stamps (6 stamps total)
  • and instructions
This set is really cool because it has all the parts needed to create borders on cards, tags, etc.  The Amazon price of $11.58 is actually really good for the number of pieces that come in this set.

Contents of Stamp Around the Page Set
I also picked up a Ranger Dylusions Journal Insert Sheets set for $1.99.  The Dylusions Journal set sells for $6.99 to $8.9 at various stores.  This set contains:

  • 3 Kraft Inserts (single pages)
  • 3 Black Inserts
  • 3 mixed media Inserts
The paper insert size on these "Ranger Dylusions Journal Inserts" is a bit bigger than the standard travelers notebook page but will fit into an A5 Planner.  I just need to punch a few holes in them.

I also picked up some fun die cuts from K&Company from their Smash Collection and some pocket from American Crafts.  These were also really well priced at under a dollar each.

The next items I purchased were some beads form Bliss Beads that were priced at under $2.00 each.

The last item was an amazing deal.  It is a book called 'Substance of Life" that shows some cool scrapbooking layouts done by 25 different artists.  The book was priced at $2.99 but it had an 80% off sticker on.  I think I ended up paying 25 cents for the book.

I did another Tuesday Morning haul earlier this month where I found some great Tim Holtz stuff. If you know of any great sources for find Martha Stewart or Tim Holtz crafts supplies, please leave me a comment below and share your source.


Sizzix University - Leather Travelers Notebook Advanced Techniques Class Review

I recently attended the Sizzix University TN Advanced Techniques class, hosted by Tammy Santana, where I learned how to make my own embossed micro leather travelers notebook using a Sizzix Big Shot, some Sizzix dies, and Sizzix Embossing Folders.  This was such a fun class and I learned some new leather techniques that I can apply to my jewelry making projects using these cool tools.
Sizzix Floral Dies that can cut thin leather.
We also got to use some of the new Sizzix Foral Dies on different types of leather to create flowers to decorate our travelers notebooks.  Below is a closer look at the spine of the leather travelers notebook that Tammy Santana made using the Sizzix Floral Dies (by Jill Mackay) with black and white leather to make her flowers.  It is so pretty.  By the way, Tammy made the traveler's notebook using the Sizzic Scoreboards XL Die - Journal by Eileen Hull (661906).  The Sizzix leather cutting dies can be used on various types of thin leather to cut it into flowers and other shapes.

So the afternoon started with us going in small groups to learn how to use the adjustable leather edge groover to carve a channel in the leather.
leather edge groover tool

This makes it easy to line up the diamond chisel to make the initial holes in the leather.  Then we punched the leather with the diamond chisel. I punched the holes twice to make them slightly larger.

They then taught us to use the awl to make the holes bigger and easier to stitch with.

At this point, I should have then embossed the leather.  However, I was busy conversing with some of my fellow attendees and missed that tidbit of information.  So instead I started stitching.  They had us use some wax thread which we measured the length and width of the piece of leather (x2)  and then added around 24 extra inches to the length. We then threaded a needle to each end of the wax thread and began to stitch the leather.

One tip we got is that is the holes were too small, we should use the awl to make them bigger. Stitching the leather is really time-consuming and not without a bit of risk.  I managed to injure myself with the awl while trying to make a hole better.  I have renewed respect for leather artist's who hand stitch their traveler's notebooks because it took me a quite a while to stitch the entire micro tn. Some of the ladies in the class did it rather quickly but I did not.

The next step I took in the process was to emboss my leather (I should have embossed it first) using the Sizzix Textured Impressions Plus #661340 Embossing Folder and the Big Shot.
Sizzix gives great instructions on their packaging for this folder

One of the instructor's at the class had me moisten the leather with water and then place it in the embossing folder and feed it through the big shot.  might sound easy but it is not.  However, it This can be done. Since this leather is fairly thick, I had to really force it through the machine but once it got started the rest was rather easy to push through.

The results was the above beautifully patterned piece of leather that can be linked or dyed.  I might even just leave it natural.

I also wanted to decorate my travelers notebook (fauxdori) with some leather flowers using the Sizzix Movers & Shapers Leather Dies in a couple of floral patterns.  For this project, we used a much thinner Italian leather.

Then we put the pieces into a smaller embossing folder to give the leather a little more texture.  This made the flower petals look so pretty.

Then they used a leather rotary punch to punch a hole in each layer of leather flowers and the traveler's notebook.

The flowers were attached using decorative gromments and a drive punch to set them.

I really love how my micro leather travelers notebook came out.  The flowers added an extra bit of sparkle that just makes me smile.

Below is a sample of a leather piece using a different embossing plate and some leather stain in a dark Burgundy color.  It really shows off all the intricate designs in this piece.

I learned so much at this class.  It was $35 well invested.  They also let us keep our leather kit which is worth far more than the cost of the class.

They also provided some templates for cutting leather in alternate sizes.

Tammy Santana did a great job in organizing this class. The folks at Sizzix were amazing and a lot of fun to learn from.  Tammy will be organizing future classes which you can follow on through the meetup board, her Facebook Page, Instagram and/or her website.

Disclaimer:  I am not associated with Sizzix.  I paid for my ticket with my own funds.  These are my own opinions which can vary from others.  The best way to see if you like Sizzix University class is to take one and see for yourself.


Sephora Favorites 2017 Sun Safety Kit Review

2017 Sephora Favorites Sun Kit Contents
If you are concerned with skin damage from the sun then you may be interested in knowing that every year Sephora offers a "Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit"  raises money by donating $20 from the sale of each kit to the Skin Cancer Foundation.  I purchase these kits every year to test out new products.
The Sun Safety Kit is made up of various products that are specific to sun safety and offers a variety of spf protection from the sun.  I experienced sun damage to my skin.  The experience of having a dermatologist remove potential melanoma cells from my skin is an experience I hope to not repeat. The removal of the melanoma cells was painful I have some rather large scars as a result, so I am always on the lookout for new products that provide additional sun safety.

The 2017 Sun Safety Kit is made up of 15 product samples with most of them providing an  

spf of 15 or more which include lip products, facial products and body products produced by various companies. The kit has a fold out that gives a brief description of each item included, along with an ingredient list.

This year's kit comes in a great water resistant orange plastic pouch that is perfect for taking to the beach.  The size of the bag is perfect for my to use for holding art supplies for my travelers notebook.

The 2017 Sephora Favorites Sun Safety Kit contains the following (I will include a penny in each photo so you can get an idea of the actual sizes of each sample):

1.  St. Tropez Tan Tinted Body Lotion (1.6 fl oz) that is supposed to give the user a gradual tan while moisturizing the skin.  This is one of the larger samples included in this kit.  There is plenty of product for the user to try.  As for the product itself, the Sephora website states that the use of the this product is supposed to give an instant bronze look to the skin.  Personally, I have found that most tinted body lotions do not work on really pale skin.  I used it for a few days and it turned my skin a shade of yellow orange that kind of looked like I had healing bruises which is not the look I am aiming for.  However, it worked on my daughter who is lucky enough to naturally tan in the sun instead of turning a bright shade of red (like I do).  The product does take a long time to dry so I found that using a very small amount and really rubbing it in did help a bit.  Again, this is a self tanning type of product and like most products in this line, it may stain use it wisely.  This product does not provide any type of sun protection.  

2.  Vita Liberata Body Blur Skin Finish ( 0.24 fl oz) in the shade Latte which is a BB like cream that minimizes blemishes, covers some imperfections and provides a sheer coverage.  The sample I got was too dark for my complexion so I get a could not get a good idea of how well a coverage the cream really provides.  However it I did use it to make my arms, chest and neck area look slightly tanned.  It stayed on pretty well but I kept worrying that it would rub off onto my clothing which it eventually did.  I did try it on my face but it is a fairly sheer coverage and I prefer full  coverage so it is not a good match for my needs.  The creme does have a lovely scent that reminds me of the beach and sun oil. Also, this product does not have an spf listed on it which makes me wonder why this and the tinted boy lotion were included in this kit. 

3.  MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Cream (0.25fl oz) with an spf of 30.  I try to not wear cosmetics on the weekend to give my skin a break so having this product was great.  It is fairly sheer and blends into the skin giving a very subtle glow without looking like you are wearing makeup.  I love that it provides me with an spf of 30 and is light enough that I can re apply it as necessary with out it leaving a build up of product.  The Sephora website does state that the product has an 80 minute water-resistant formula and can be worn under makeup. Also this product does not have much of a scent.  I will be purchasing the full size of this product the next time I go to Sephora.  

4.  Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist (0.5 fl oz) with an spf of 50 is the perfect size to fit in my purse. The Sephora website states that the Defense Refresh Setting mist that is supposed to set makeup, control oil and shine, and protect against photoaging UV rays.  It is also supposed leave skin with a matte finish.  Personally,  I did find it left a slightly sticky feeling on the surface of my skin which I adjusted with a light brush of translucent powder. It has a really pretty scent that is not overwhelming but may annoy those who are sensitive to scents.  I find that using setting mists in the summer helps keep my makeup in check with the rising humidity.  It does not work as well as the Urban Decay Oil Control Setting Spray or the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray but it does have the added benefit of having some spf in the product. The Urban Decay product is priced lower than the Supergoop Mist.

5.  Cover FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen gel (0.10 fl oz) with an spf of 30 is a clear sunscreen that easily blends into the skin.  I am a fan of the Cover FX product line so I already knew that I would probably like this product.  I used it on my face and did not have any break out problems with it. It easily blended into my skin and did not interfere with the primer and other cosmetics that I applied over it.  It does have a slight fragrance, so I recommend sampling it at the Sephora store before you purchase it to make sure the scent does not bother you.   

6.  Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield (0.17 fl oz) broad spectrum spf of 30 is a antiaging primer that provides uv protection along with ingredients that help minimize the signs of aging.  I found that a little of this product goes a long way. I used a pearl size amount to cover my entire face.  I could have added a bit more around the lines near my eyes but I have a special primer for that area.  Plus, I am very picky about what products I use near my eye area.  I did not read anything on the Sephora website that would indicate that it is appropriate for use in the eye area so I thought it best to not test it out there.  It works well as a primer. The price is $65 for an ounce, however, Sephora does have a gift pack that includes the same size and some additional products samples for the same price.

7.  Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion (0.5 fl oz)with a spf of 30.  This product was also included in the Sephora Favorites 2015 Sun Safety Kit and I really liked it. It is a much thicker product that the Cover Fx Clear Cover and the Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield.  I did have to work into the my skin.  I use a lot of products from this line and have yet to be disappointed.  

8.  Clarins UV Plus Anti-Pollution Sunscreen (0.3 fl oz) Multi-Protection broad spectrum spf 50 lotion.  This product is supposed to protect skin agains UV rays and help to prevent the appearance of dark spots, redness, and the premature signs of aging.  They had me at preventing dark spots.  I am testing this out on my hands. I spend alot of time driving and often wonder if the windows in my car are causing me to get more freckles (even though I wear sunscreen).  It would be nice if it does what it claims to do. I have used an eye cream from Clarins which worked really well for me, so I have high hopes for this product.

9. COOLA Suncare (0.17 fl oz) Daydream Mineral Makeup Primer with a spf of 30 is an very light weight primer that includes spf protection.  It left my skin with a nice matte that helped hold my makeup in place.  Also there is very slight scent to it that reminds me of the beach.  I really like how this product left my skin. It left my skin so smooth that my base just glided onto the skin.  It is a great product to try.  If you are a member of the Sephora VIB, you can go to your local Sephora and request a small sample of the product to be made up for you so that you can test it out on your own skin.  I really like this product and will probably purchase the full size.

10.  Amorepacific Resort Collection Sun Protection Cushion (0.17 oz) with a broad spectrum spf 30.  If you are familiar with Amorepacific then you already know they offer a great line of cushion cosmetics which are applied with the included puff to provide a nice buildable coverage.  Their line offers products that have all types of Asian botanicles which hydrate the skin.  This particular line also offers spf protection. The active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, along with the botanticals. I do like the coverage that this product provides me because I can control how much I use.  My package came with a fair shade that worked well for my skin tone.

11. Shiseido Ultimate sun Protective Cream (0.6 oz) with broad spectrum of 50 is a water resistant  (80 minutes) sunscreen that is perfect for hot and humid days.  This product is a little different from most water resistant sunscreens in that it becomes more effective once it is exposed to water for at least 15 minutes.  It has WetForce technology that allows it to be so effective.  The Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protective Cream is created for use on face and body so it is a great lotion to keep on hand during the hot humid days of summer.  The full size (3.3 oz) of this product sells for $40.  At that price, I think I would still be more inclined to use a more affordable product that offers similar coverage.  I may have to apply it more often but until I know more about WetForce technology, I will use what I know works for me.

12.  Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sunscreen (0.17 fl oz) with an spf of 50.  This is another Korean Beauty product that offers botanicals to protect the skin from the harsh rays of the sun.  The Neogen Dermalogy Sunscreen is a lightweight lotion that can be applied to the face and body which also offers hydration through the use of the botanicals in its ingredients

 13.  Fresh Sugar Nude Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen (0.07 oz) with spf of 15. I already use this product and love it.  I was so pleased to get a smaller size that I can fit into the pockets of my jeans to keep it with me.  The Fresh Sugar Lip products are great and have really good quality ingredients.  Sephora offers a great selection of their line. I am looking forward to the holidays when Sephora offers Fresh Sugar gift packs of several colors from the product line.

14.  Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer (0.16 fl oz) with a spf of 47 is a facial moisturizer that is made up of natural ingredients.  Josie Maran is known for creating quality products that help support skin health.  The particular product has Argan Oil, green tea, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  It provides the skin with sun protection while moisturizing it.  It is a slightly thicker consistency that most facial lotions that assists in hydrating dry skin.  

15. Dr. Brandt Skincare Pores No More Multi-performance stick (0.067 oz) broad spectrum spf 45.  This is more of a portable tinted primer/moisturizer that you can use to touch up during the day.  It is supposed to blur visible lines, minimize pores and even out skin tone.  As much as I like Dr. Brandt's products, it did not do any those things for me. It is possible that my skin was too dry to benefit from this product.  However, it was too small a sample for me to pass onto my daughter to see what she thought of it.  It is supposed to provide up to 80 minutes of sun protection.

I still feel that the price of $32 is really reasonable when I consider the quantity and quality of the samples provided.  Out of the 15 samples, there were really only two that I felt did not serve a purpose (at least for me).  The rest were fun to try and allowed me to decided if I would like to purchase any of them in the future.  Additionally, it does raise money for a good cause.

Disclaimer: I purchased this kit with my own money and these are my own opinions. My opinions and personal experience with each product may vary from others.  It is always best to sample the products for yourself to see if they meet your own expectations.  Thank you for stopping by.


Tuesday Morning Scrapbooking & Paper Crafts Supply Haul

Tuesday Morning Paper Crafts Haul

I love using scrapbooking and memory album supplies in my traveler's notebooks and planners, so I decided to stop by Tuesday Morning to see what they had in stock.  Sunday is a really good day to visit my local Tuesday Morning.  I have gone during the week but it is usually not stocked and the craft supply shelves are fairly picked over from the weekend.  This time I found some cute items that will work well for using in my travelers notebooks and personal planners.
The first item I bought was a really cool Memory Planner Embellishment Kit for $5.99.  They had three different color schemes in stock but I really liked the pink set.  This kit came with 5 planner clips, some die cut journaling cards, a washi sticker page, 6 clear numerical sticker sheets, a colorful clear floral themed sticker sheet, 1 gold alphabet sticker sheet, 6 self-adhesive page tags, 3 assorted size frames, and 8 individual cling stamps that are great for use in my planner.  This is an amazing deal for the price.  I found the same kit on Amazon for $18.00
Contents of Kit
The second item I purchased was a 3 piece page divider set by K&Company.

I really like these dividers and still have some unfinished Smash Books that I could add them to. This was a great deal at 99 cents.

The third item I purchased was a really pretty 8" x 8" Serengeti paper pack by 7 Gypsies. This pack was a bargain at $3.99 for 48 Sheets of double sided paper. The prints are perfect for me to use in my traveler's journals.  I found the same pack on Amazon for $15.75.

The fourth and last item that I purchased was a 12" x 12" Paper Pad by American Crafts.  This pack is called the Country Rustic pack and has 48 single sided pages.  These are perfect for backgrounds and for me to use when shooting Instagram photos.   I paid $6.99 for the Country Rustic Paper Pack which is a currently selling on Amazon for $14.08.

I love to shop at Tuesday Morning.  It can be challenging to shop there because each store is stocked differently.  I have two by my work and one by my home, so I have a few choices when I decide I want to visit one.  The deals there are often really good.  I tend to use my phone and compare prices with Amazon to check and see if an item is priced well or not.  It is also a great way to read reviews on products before I make a purchase.  Also, since I have a small crafting space I give myself a budget of $20 to shop with (this includes tax).  I seem to be able to find all types of deals there without exceeding that budget.  I would love to know if anyone else gives themselves a budget before venturing into that store too.

Disclaimer: I don't work for Tuesday Morning (thank goodness because I would probably buy too much paper from them) nor for any of the companies mentioned in this post.  

Prima Nomad’s Traveler’s Journal Review

The new Prima Nomad's travelers journal is a beautiful brown bonded leather cover that features a side zipper pouch to securely hold small items.  The mixing of the leather and other materials to make the bonded leather gives this cover make a visually appealing texture and feel. It is the cover I like for everyday use, since it has a more classic appearance. This is just one of the new Prima Marketing Travelers Journals that I purchased.  If you want to read my review on the Prima Jet Setter Travelers Journal then just click on the name.    The prima travelers journals all come in a plastic box that helps protect them during shipping. 

Here is a view of the back side of the clear shipping box.

Bonded Leather Protector Piece

The Prima Nomad's Travel Journal starter set that I purchased includes:

  • Bonded Leather Cover is 16.256cm x 21.844 cm folded (click here for conversion to inches
  • Bonded Leather Protective Piece (6.36 cm x 3.85cm) attached to the outer elastic band 
  • 4 Interior elastic bands, 
  • 1 Journal Charm, and
  • 2 blank smooth white colored paper inserts (notebooks)
  • 1 Zippered Pouch
One of the best features of the Prima Nomad's Traveler's Journal is the zippered pouch which securely holds coins and other small items.  
Side view of zipper pocket
The zippered pouch features a zipper pull and has the Prima Travelers Journal charm attached to it.
The Nomad's travelers journal includes two non lined paper journal inserts. These journals are stapled so I recommend putting some washi tape over the staples to protect the elastic.

The Prima travelers journal itself measures 10"x6.5" (16.256cm x 21.844 cm) when folded.   The Prima Jet-Setter travelers journal starter kits sell for around $34.99 to $ 39.99 on Amazon and other online sources. This journal is beautiful. I love how the pockets on this one are layed out.

I was able to stuff this travelers journal with four inserts, a ruler, credit cards and some sticky notes and it stretched to approximately 2" inches(4.5 cm) and it held up very well. 

You can add more than the four books to the Prima Nomad's Bonded Leather Traveler's Journal by using the "Travelers Notebook" connecting Bands in the standard size.  I tried them out and they fit these journals well.  
Additionally, the pockets on the front cover of the Nomad's journal are quite unique.  
Jet Setter Front pockets vs Nomad's Front Pockets

You can see the difference in pockets between the Prima Nomad's Travelers Journal and the front inside cover of the Prima Jet Setter Travelers Journal in the photo above.  I really like the unique pockets on this one.

As you can see in the first picture (above)  I have laid out a Hobonichi stencil so you can get an idea of the length of the two top pockets.

I can actually fit the entire stencil in either of those two pockets. So it would hold a ruler or other similarly length item without any problems.

In case you wondering about the quality of the paper, I did an ink test on one of the inserts which is in the Jet-Setter Review.  I found that my pens worked great on the paper.  The ink just went on so smoothly.  Some of the inks did bleed through a little on the back side of the paper but over all it is pretty good. I don't mind the shadowing from the inks onto the back side of the page, since I tend to add ephemera to my pages anyway.  The Prima Marketing site states that these papers are great for mixed media.  I decided to run my own test to see how well these papers would do. In the first photo I used the Prima Watercolors on the paper.

Here is a look at the back of the page.  As you can see there is a very slight shadowing of the watercolor on that side.

I also tested the paper using my Tim Holtz Distress Stain. I choose a pretty bright color to see how much of it would bleed or shadow through to the back side of the paper.

I think it did really well.  I can hardly see the shadowing of the stain on the other side.  

The Prima Marketing Company offers 11 different paper inserts that suit a variety of needs which include mixed media paper, monthly, daily, and even weekly inserts. The paper insert notebooks are pretty reasonably priced and can be purchased on Amazon and other online stores.  They also have a line of stickers and stamps that were created to use with the travelers notebooks.  

Disclaimer: I do not work for Prima Marketing. I purchased these Travelers Style journals with my own money.  Also, these are my own opinions which can vary from others.  My best advice to do a bit of research on the travelers journals that you like and make sure they meet your own personal needs.