Rubber Art Stamping & Card Making.

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All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If they have been inspired by someone else, I have credited them in the info. Please feel free to use my designs, I just ask that you provide a link back to my blog, Thanks.


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

WOYWW #441

Yes, it's Wednesday again. Where are these weeks going? Time to pop over to Julias place, The Stamping Ground, and add your link to the best blog hop there is!
I've been playing with stencils & paste again, with the intention of doing some more foiling on some of them. I'll probably do a few more before I do that though.
 Of those in the picture, the snowflakes have a multiple of blue glitter EP on them, the bottom one is another Tim Holtz stencil( so was the snowflakes) , this one has blue through purple glitter on it.
 The white snowflakes are done with a White Sparkle Puffy Powder from Stampendous.



I like the idea, but not the order I used the EP in. I'll try it again, but swap the order round.



This one worked better.






This is the white puffy one, I stood it up so the light would show the dimension better.
 You can see along the top where my 'Low Tack' tape wasn't so low tack! Good job it'll be trimmed down.





I picked this up in Tesco yesterday. I saw it last week, on BJ's desk, I think, and kept an eye out for it.
 The two penguins are, indeed, adorable.



So thats me done, I'm doing this Tuesday afternoon and scheduling, as my desk won't change tonight.
 For starters, Doug doesn't work nights anymore, so we have the evening together, which is lovely. I used to do my blog post after he'd left for work, and have to keep remembering I don't have that time now. It's lovely that he's off nights, we get to spend more time together, and he doesn't have to have an afternoon nap on a Sunday, then stay up all night to get back into his shift/sleep pattern.
Then, tonight we are off out to see Alice Cooper at the Arena, Birmingham. I've been a fan of his since the 70's- had all his stuff back then. We saw him about 4 years ago, and he was great.
Amusing story about Alice Cooper- like I said I was a fan of his back in the 70's, and had all his Vinyl LP's, as they were back then. During the late 80's, early 90's, he dropped out of sight for a while.  Anyway, my Eldest son Ant came in from college one evening, raving about this great new band I was going to love. It was, of course, Alice, and the single was Poison. You should have seen his face when I said, oh you mean THIS Alice Cooper, showing the aforementioned Vinyl!

And finally seen on Facebook yesterday.........................

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

WOYWW #440

Hello folks, and here we are at another Wednesday, over at The Stamping Ground, Julia is attempting to keep us all organised. I actually blogged a couple of times over the last week, Dies from Aliexpress Here, and the NEC Hobbycrafts Show, Here.
 Be warned, if you like dies, the Aliexpress one may cause you to visit, & spend money! But they are ridiculously cheap, as you'll see.
 So, back to the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC.
 Here's a long shot- yes, some stash was bought. I blame the stallholders, they just have so many fab inspiration pieces on show, and far too many goodies.









 Talking of inspiration, I bought some pots of gilding wax, due to these samples.
 I also bought 3 embossing folders(!) but they were 3 for 2, and it gave me great ideas to use with my existing ones too. There are some more gorgeous examples in my post.
These came from Pink Frog Crafts, as did another purchase, some glitter card. Now, for those who like glitter, but not the shedding, this glitter card is totally non shed, and super smooth. And you can do this with it:Yes, colour it with markers and even stamp on it. Cool, huh?
 He gave me a small sample to play with when I got home, to try it out before committing to a bigger piece, and I coloured mine with Promarkers,(right) and even Distress Oxides- Lucky Clover, another buy on Saturday. And it still has a glitter look to it.



 I bought a couple of dies- couldn't resist the Polar Bear & cub, and a lovely Snowflake Border.
 Heather Marshall   made a comment on how to store dies on the Aliexpress post, so I thought I'd quickly share my method here.
   
Mine are all stored in an A4 Really Useful Box, with homemade dividers, labelled with the contents of that section.The 3 Bigz dies at the front just keep them upright. I used chipboard type card- the sort on the backs of notepads etc.
 I buy A4 magnetic sheets off Amazon or E-Bay- whoever has them cheapest, and cut them down to fit the Large Avery Elle pockets.
 How many dies to a pocket depends entirely on die size. Some have half a dozen, some only one.



I did start out putting them on A5 magnetic sheets stored in A5 binders, but those quickly got heavy and unwieldy.
 I'm liking this system, it's easy to flick through and find what I want, and I don't have dies dropping off sheets in folders! The box stays on the table I use for die cutting, so I don't have to lift it either.
 Right, I think I'm done, just finish off with this- you can tell how much better I feel, my endpost funny is back!








Sunday, 5 November 2017

NEC Hobbycrafts Show, November 2017

As I said to Doug, I don't know if the show really was better this year, or if it was simply that I walked around it without struggling at all just made it seem that way. He thinks it was not really any different to the last time we went, so it must have been my not struggling meant I enjoyed it more. As usual, my main complaint is the way the stalls are mixed in together- I get irritated by walking half an aisle, past crafts/ Hobby Associations that I have no interest in. But that's just me, lol. My second complaint is of course the prices! £12 to park your car is disgraceful.
So, first off, an overview of all my purchases after I unpacked my bag onto my desk.
 We'll start of with the shiny stuff, shall we?



Some glitter, a few new colours and a couple, the gold & silver, that I use a lot. Some ultra fine in the bottle, some bead mixes, and lots of acrylic stones, which I liked the look of for flower centres and such.




Those bead mixes- Again I use this sort of thing for flower centres, and I thought a couple of them will work well with Poinsettias.




Hot foils- I really got into this with Stencil paste & a Laminator, and of course glues. Got a nice selection of colours here, especially that coppery one in the middle.




Glitter card, and the really great thing about this stuff is that it's totally non shed, and absolutely super smooth.
I got a couple of packs of the silver, because this sample on Pink Frog Crafts stand, totally sold me.


All the different colours it comes in? No, all the colours you can achieve with Markers!
 Yes, it's so smooth, you can colour the silver with your markers, and as you can see in the bottom right sample, you can even stamp on it.


He gave me a sample to try out the colouring on before I committed to using it on a big piece. On the right, Promarkers, on the left, I've inked it with a Distress Oxide Lucky Clover, also a purchase yesterday.

3 pads of assorted glitter paper, which at a £1 a pad, was great value.


I admit to going a bit mad at the WOW! embossing powder stall, all lovely glitery powders, apart from one which is a Puffy Powder. Some of them were reduced, as the colours are being discontinued. But you get the little storage case with each 6 pots, so I'm going to sort out these, and ones I already have into cases by colour.


 The last of the shiny stuff is this gilding wax.








I got sold on this, by some samples of embossing folders, again at Pink Frog Crafts.









Just take a look at these, aren't they stunning?


 


The Embossing folders were buy 2 get one free, so obviously I bought three folders as well! I got the floral one, the Flourish Edges, and a Christmassy frame. It's also given me ideas to use some of my other folders.



So we move on to the basic stuff- DST,A couple of pots of Collall glue,the Oxides pad, some really fine glue nozzles,A Perfect Medium refill that was reduced, and a couple of odd Pixie Powders, also reduced. Oh, and a pot of Translucent Stencil Paste.








The paste was from a visit to the lovely Lucy Ellis, of Sweet Poppy stencils, where I also bought 3 stencils, and as I'd bought 3, got the NOEL one free.I think it's being discontinued.






Two Indigo Blu stamps, also reduced.



Next was a visit to Inkylicious, and I was really pleased to see the two Buddha stamps. I've been looking for a really nice Buddha stamp for ages, the nicest one I had seen was an old PSX design, which sells for stupid money, when they ever appear for sale. Two cuddling kittens, and I thought the cat with butterfly holds many possibilities- he could be ginger & white, grey and white, maybe even a tortoiseshell.

And just look at those bats! How could I not?




Honey Doo and their gorgeous florals- although they do make others besides-and I was particularly taken by the sentiment one, bottom right. Bee Yourself, Bee Happy etc. The small stamp was a freebie for buying 5 packs.





Now I do have a few stamps from this company, Circa Design,but I rarely pay them much attention at the show. This time, I wanted some verse stamps, not just to stamp inside the card, but also to be able to make a feature of on the front.






On to Lavinia stamps, and I wanted the Sacred Tree we used at the workshop a few weeks ago, and the hares are a smaller version of the ones already available. The squiggly vine one is a new one to the line, as is the fairy.






I should have put this one further up, but forgot! The kit is from Inkylicious, and contains all you need to make the project.

Stamp, card, Inkpad, Stickles & a White Gel pen, along with the bauble outline stencil.


 I also have a couple of Bauble die sets, of different shapes to the kit, so I can cut out some of my own stencils and make some more.







Last item is from Cardio, and this pack has four sets in it. 3 definitely Christmas ones, (Bells, snowflakes & fir branches) but the fourth could be used all year round.


So thats my lot, and will be my last Craft show attendance until Happy Stampers next year.It's a chance to meet up with fellow crafters, and chat to the people who own the companies. It's a great show if you've never been.  Dedicated to papercrafts, all the stalls are to do with the card making/canvases/mixed media/journaling side of crafting, so you don't feel half the show is not your thing. Also, the parking is free- they have a small car park, but there is plenty of on street parking, and it doesn't cost you £12 like the NEC! Also, and this is another big plus, the tickets are £2.50. You have to buy them beforehand, as you cannot purchase on the door on the day.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Cutting Dies from Aliexpress

I have a feeling it was on SCS ( Splitcoast Stampers forum) that I saw mention of Aliexpress, on a thread about buying cheap dies from China. All the people who had used it had favourable reports of the dies, and the site itself. So, as you do, I went for a browse. I had originally bought some of the cheap China dies off E-Bay, but the selection of dies available on Aliexpress is incredible. I'm pretty sure there is every type of die you'd ever want on there, including some which are clearly direct copies of some from famous brand names.
 However, I think in all the dies I bought- yes, I did go a little mad- I've not seen any of them elsewhere. Apart from the tree frame, which is similar to a Memory Box die, but that's now discontinued.
 I'm a little late with this review, as they arrived when I was feeling poorly, and haven't been unpacked till now.
So, 12 separate dies, 1 set of four dies, and an embossing folder.
 Any guesses as to the cost?
 It was an amazing £24.97! Shipping was free, and I was very impressed with the packaging too. They were in a poly bag, and wrapped up in a large sheet of foam.


You can get an idea of die sizes, as each square on my cutting mat is 5mm.
 Right, on to individual prices:
The ballerina, 79p
Hot Air Balloon, £1.75
Christmas Lampost, £1.34
Mr & Mrs, £1.16
Set of 6 cats, £1.09
Spider and web, £1.56
Tree Frame, £2.65 ( the most expensive die)
Motorbike, £2.00

 Embossing Folder, £1.31 .

The 'Mixed Media' type dies.

Circles Cut Out (Middle) £1.86
Flower style cut out, (Right), £1.77
Honeycomb cut out, top, £1.89.



Set of 4 cut out dies   £2.58



So I have to report no issues with ordering, delivery or prices. As a number of these dies are ones that I will use only very occasionally, I'm very happy to get them as cheaply as these.


The only thing to do now is probably the most important issue, and check on the cutting standard.

First up is the set of 4 Mixed Media type dies. They gave a clean cut, with just a few bits to poke out. I'd usually help this process by using either Waxed paper, or a Tumble Drier sheet, new or used, both work fine, between the die and the cardstock, but for the purpose of trialling the cutting ability I wanted to use them 'as is'.
 Impressed with the cuts, especially on the tiny squares one.



The Honeycomb corner completes the set, and I had no cutting issues at all- all cut cleanly and needing no shimming, just the standard cutting sandwich on my Cuttlebug.


Followed by the circles and the long narrow Honeycomb. As before, clean cuts, no shims.



 This is the flower-like cutting die, again, good clean cuts, no shims.



















Next up, the spider & web. This one most definitely would benefit from waxed paper/drier sheet, as while it cuts cleanly, the 'bits' do need poking out, and the web is very delicate to remove from the die. But like the others, clean cuts and no shims.




The set of 6 cats cut cleanly and popped straight out of the dies. No shims. This set came all joined together, and that was how I cut them, and I think I shall leave them joined.







The motorbike, and the first one that needed shimming to get clean cuts. You can see here a few parts, particularly on the wheels, did not cut all the way through. Shimming with a single sheet of cardstock fixed this easily though.








Top die cut is after shimming, bottom one before.You get some nice embossed engine detail too.
















The ballerina cut and popped out of the die easily.


















The hot air balloon also cut cleanly and needed no shimming.This will be a great one for paper piecing, I think.




The  Letters cut cleanly, as did the little hearts that came with it.











Almost done, the Christmas Lamp Post. Like the others, a nice clean cut with no shims.


The eagle eyed amongst you have probably noticed cut marks on my 'C' plate- evidence of the times I've put the die and cardstock in upside down!












The bunch of balloons, a clean cut, no shimming, another one which will work well for paper piecing, and the front balloon cuts all the way through, so could have foam pads/silicone glue put behind it and give some dimension.





The final die, a tree frame. I'd been looking for one of these, a Memory Box die, which is oval rather than oblong, but it seems to be discontinued. However, this is a perfectly fine replacement, and cut perfectly.

You can see my well used 'B' plate underneath! But it still works just fine.





  
So that's all the dies trialled, and only one, the motorbike, needed shimming. Some, like the Mixed Media type dies, would definitely benefit from the waxed paper/ drier sheet, as although they cut cleanly, you do have a few bits to poke out.

 So, if you're wondering if the Aliexpress dies are worth a go, my answer is a resounding Yes. I have no complaints about either the shipping times, the cost, or the cutting.A total of 16 dies,and an embossing folder, at a cost that you'd normally pay for a couple of 'Big Name' dies works for me very nicely, thank you.😀
 Just so you know, there are 49 pages of dies, with 36 dies to a page! Plus, they obviously update & add dies regularly, as I've just been back and there are loads of new dies since I last visited, about 6-8 weeks ago.



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