Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review of DYMO 160 Label maker

Hello everyone...Another quick review for today!

I am usually not the one to spend on expensive gadgets, but when my DIY hacks fail, I end up buying them.

So in this post (Stamp Storage and Labeling), I swore, I would never  buy a label maker. And that I would use my regular printer and I could use all the fonts I can find.
 Well, I eat my words. I had a slight laziness issue with my first idea.

I had to wait till I had enough new stamps so that I could cover a full new sheet of label sticker. I could not print 2-3 labels and save the paper..I tended to waste the paper, or the printer would not accept smaller paper. If I wasn't lazy enough, I could have made it work..but sadly I am lazy.

So I went to search for label makers. Asked a hundred questions around the forums and finally narrowed onto something that would not make me regret, if it did not work.

So say hello to my new Label Maker DYMO 160. I got it from Amazon.in. Funny story...The local store here carries this same product for Rs.3800 and I was able to score this for Rs.1700 on Amazon.
Keep a watch on the prices, they fluctuate once in a while.
( I got from the vendor called "Amazingly Fab")

NMP - Source Google Search

Its small, fits into the palm of my hand.

Of course this is not as awesome the Brother P200 that Jennifer uses, but this will have to do for now.

There are a few pros and cons...but then not everything can be awesome right?? Then you have to pay the price for it too..I rather buy a few more stamp sets with the money I saved here..

Lets start with the negatives first..

  • Only one font.
  • It uses 6 AAA batteries. Which is a lot..if it was AA, could have been a bit cheaper.
  • Finding the cliparts and symbols, is a little tedious, but not impossible.
  • I wish there was a way to save the tape when printing, it puts a lot of white space in the 
  • front and back to the label..which is where I feel it wastes the tape.  
  • No instruction manual is provided. But it is easy to use right out of the box without a manual. You can download one from the website .

Now the Positives according to me

  • Prints two lines with the 12mm tape and 3/8th inch tape. (Score!!)
  • Same machine can accept 3 widths of tape.. 1/4th, 3/8th and 1/2 inch.
  • Has fonts from 8 point to 24 point.
  • Lots of symbols and cliparts are built in
  • The tape has split backing, so easier to remove.
  • Feather touch buttons
  • QWERTY keypad..makes it so much faster to type.
  • Refills tapes come in packs of 5, which costs about 350 per refill. {About 1750 for a pack of 5 & has 7m (about 23 feet)} of tape per new refill, the box comes with 3m of trial tape)
  • You can Underline, go italics, print Bold or print in boxes.

Basic but suffices for my use for now.

Since I am just starting to use it, I will update in a few days how it performs to my expectations.

And here is quick view of how it prints.


This works for me for now...so now, lets get labeling! :)

Hope this post is of some help to you...
Do not forget to check out my Stamp Storage post here


( affiliate link are used..in plain English it means, that every time you buy something using my link, I get a tiny bit of money..at no extra cost to you. And it helps me to continue finding such crazy stuff for you)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The best stamp Cleaner

Edited to Add

Now this post has a video too...
Do check out the video ... and while in there, you may get a sneak peek of something else coming in the next few days too..



 Or you can head over to my channel and watch it in HD.. here 
Links to find the cloth AMAZON

( affiliate link used..in plain English it means, that every time you buy something using my link, I get a tiny bit of money..at no extra cost to you. And it helps me to continue finding such crazy local stuff for you)

 
My older post
I had been meaning to share this hack/tip/product a long while ago, and never go around to it.
So finally I decided I should. Since I have now been using this for over 3 months.

I think most of us use either an old rag, an old T-shirt, wet wipes, baby wipes, scrubber, and what not to clean your stamps after inking. This one thing will make you throw away everything.

Of course you will still need your stamp conditioner, like Cleans it All or Hero Arts Ultra clean for cleaning off traces of Archival inks, or stazon but other than that dump everything.

I used to use a water spray mister and an old T-shirt and wet wipes before I found this. Tshirt used to leave stray fibres and wet wipes dry by the time I finish a project... and then another wet wipe.

So what is it? Its a faux chamois cloth that is usually used to clean cars and is super super absorbent.

When you order, you will get a long roll stuffed in a plastic bottle. Almost the size of a baby towel.

It is packed slightly damp. Don't panic.  That's how its supposed to be kept. Cut it up into a tissue size or a small handkerchief size.
Find an old plastic box, any small box with a lid. And dump in it. That's it. That one small piece of faux chamois will last for almost 3-5 months depending how heavy you stamp. I used my Faux Chamois cloth for all my swatch samples. And I still use it. Its black, its dirty and it still cleans like a dream.

Why the box?
You need to keep the cloth moist for it to clean. If it becomes dry, it becomes like a stiff cardboard. Plus if you wipe and keep on your desk, the moist cloth may dampen your papers. So clean your stamps and dump it back into the box.

How to clean?
I simply wash with plain water and let it air dry. Once dry, it re-dampen it and put it back into the box. Where it will stay damp for almost a week.
Some times you may get a funny smell. If so, just let it air dry and the smell will go away.
You can even machine wash it if you want, but not necessary.

What Else??
Do you know when you use wet glue and it seeps out? And if you wipe with your hands, you get a long streak that well, shines once it dries? I hate that. So I tried once to clean with this cloth, and what do you know. The glue came off and there was no damn shiny streak left on the paper. Super happy me.

Anything more I want to add??
Oh yes, It cleans glitter off you table like magic. But getting the glitter off your cloth, well that's another story!!! (Bwahaha!!) 

So if I have convinced you to try this, jump right here and buy it. It's available in large and a small size. Check the size before you buy.
I got the large (66 X 43 X 0.2 cm) and it will last me a year for sure.
The small one is (43 x 32 x 0.2) Don't buy anything smaller than that size.

It does come in funky colors. On Amazon I see only yellow, but luckily I got a green one.

Run and get one...this is almost the same as the Absorber that the crafters in the US are using.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Trio of PTI -The Sweet Life cards

I love my PTI - Sweet Life stamp set... The day I got it, I think I fell in love. My love for Altenew's Vintage flowers is diminishing by the day, because these are so so easy to line up...and the dies are so reasonable. PTI is 11$ vs Altenew's 26$ (so it does have 14 pieces but still !!!!!!!!)
Altnew is somehow making me more frustrated by the day, because I need them to line up perfectly, which does not happen even with a Misti (or I am loosing my vision! )

Anyhow, back to this trio of cards... I got inspired by one of Brandy's videos. And I took my measurements from her card. Except I just replaced the flower with one of my own. And instead of crimping my cardstock, I just stamped it! I love her channel...especially the old videos. These are so quick to mass produce.

I love the black and white with a pop of color...I am going to make a ton of these combinations soon! :)





Hope you like them...here is the supply list for those interested.


Background stamps - PinStripes and woodgrain background from MFT
Rose stamp - Papertrey ink - The Sweet Life and Die
Sentiment - Polka dot parade #12 - Papertrey ink
Inks - Memento Rose bud, Rhubarb Stalk, Angel Pink.
          PTI Simply chartruse, Memento Pear tart, Cottage ivy



Friday, March 11, 2016

Trio of Three amigos

Here is another set of cards that I had made in December - January.

I  had decided to make multiples while my set is still out. So I stamped a bunch of images and colored them, fussy cut them and then they were ready to be made into cards...So today I am featuring my Mama Elephant, Three Amigos stamp set.
I simply love the little rascals...and I love the little notes I can put into them.



All images are colored with Prismacolored pencils and Odorless thinner using paper stumps.
The background in this first card is made with distress inks. Cloud dies are PTI and the grass and the stitched hill die (actually a speech bubble) is from MFT.

This background is with distress inks and then I flicked some white paint across for some interest.
Stitched rectangle die is from Lil inkers.

This card has an embossed brick background (Darice if I am not wrong), circle die from Lil Inkers again.

So that was a quick share of my Mama Elephant Trio cards....

Let me know if you have any questions about products used. Or just leave a quick hello..I love hearing from you all!

Toodles, till we meet again!

Monday, March 7, 2016

You are Awesome!!


So I begin my posting in March...Trying to do a lot of intentional work here..and hopefully sticking to it. Wishful thinking does not work..Planning and writing it down, works!

So I know this girl called Priya Sondhi...an amazing girl, totally inspiring crafter and one of the most sweetest person I am lucky to call a friend ..So she sent this Aaaaamazing background stamp from MFT called All over Roses...(I still don't know how she knew it was on my wishlist) but once I got it, I had to play!!

I made two backgrounds with it.

You have already seen the card I made with the Pink in this post


 
 This is the other card I made.
The sentiment is from Lil Inkers, Embossed in Platinum Sparkle Powder.

Pretty simple, but had to wait till I sent it out to someone who made me shout out with joy!!
I am so blessed to know people like her. I am not a huge fan of surprises, because not everyone gets it right with what I love. I am pretty weird that way.
But this girl...oh!! She found out that I am a fan of Amish Tripathi, the author. And she just happened to know him. What are the odds!!
And she sends me the whole set of books, personally signed by him. I was on cloud nine that day...and to this day, every time I see those books I have a huge grin on my face!! Thank you Anang for being the one person whose surprise I totally loved!! Big big hugs to you girl!!


I have a lot of scheduled posts coming up...and many trios and duos of cards using a single stamp set..
As I am making more than one card with my supplies already out! Why not!!



Thursday, February 11, 2016

Quote Calendar Album


 Hello everyone! I am back!
It is like a rule..I will say I will post and then I don't. But my Bujo obsession is going to help me be regular. Bujo= Bullet Journal..which I thoroughly love more than my actual planner system. But let's talk about that in another post.

Today I am sharing another Standing Quote Calendar..a picture of which I shared on my page a few days ago. Rather than sharing each page separately, I made a quick collage of the front and the back pages...

Here is the album as it stands! I love the Wooden papers from Papericious .. really good papers...

Here is a collage of quotes on the front side of the album...Feel free to open the picture in a new tab and see it full size.Some of these are printed straight on Fabriano Cardstock. And some on my favorite Campap paper...(which is increasingly becoming hard to find!!)
I print everything on my Epson L210 printer, which has now become the Epson L220 .One year on, no need to refill yet.

These are the pictures of the back pages of the album. I have to say, I am truly blessed with patience. When I could not set up my cameo to cut that particular silhouette of the family, I printed and fussy cut it. Oh yes...it is fussy cut!!

There are some pages that I truly love, so sharing those separately. This is the last panel on the front facing pages..

 This is the absolute back page of the album.

Well that's it for now...I do hope you enjoyed a peek into the album ..
Waiting eagerly for your comments and reviews and questions!

Till we meet again!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hello 2016 ..

WOW!! That is some long absence. But I guess that's what happening...Social media is like microblogging and that's why I never feel the need to pen down my words here. But as New Year arrives, my resolutions also arrive..and one is to blog more often.

But some things deserve a blog post..and hence I am here..

To say hello to new challenge blog in town and to support a friend...
Say hello to Paru's Card Making Challenge Blog..

And here is the key for this first ever challenge...I hope I can keep up with it each month..



Here is my card...


This has everything new..well almost everything..

The "Awesome" script die is from Lil Inker's as well as the sentiment stamp. (NEW)
The background stamp is brand new, a RAK from Priya sondhi.. (how did you read my mind btw!!) I totally love it.. It is an MFT All over Roses background stamp (NEW)
And of course, my most beloved, the Stitched rectangle dies...Also from Lil Inker..(Can you say I shopped a lot at black friday??) :P (NEW)

I was  playing around with my stamp and heat embossing and new Nirmal watercolors..(if you are not on Facebook, you may not be up to date with my antics..will do a post soon on it!)


To the left is the Nirmal watercolors and to the right is distress ink colors. Distress inks that I used are Spun sugar and Picked Raspberry and for the greens, Mowed Lawn.

By accident, I got the most amazing Pearl finish embossing powder from Hero arts..it is white, but embosses shiny satiny look..and when you pair that with Wink of stella Glitter..it gives amazing results..

It may not be clear, just enlarge the pic to see it. It is the White Satin  Embossing powder from Hero Arts.

To finish up the card, I scribbled Wink of Stella Clear on the roses, as well the Awesome word. And coated the word die cut in Glossy Accents. I am sorry I do not have a better photo as this card is already with a dear dear friend!

If you need any more info, do not hesitate to ask me!

Hope to continue blogging..there are a ton of cards that I do need to post though!

See you soon!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stamp Storage and Labelling

Gm Everyone!!

So by special request, this post is moved from Monday to Sunday. Since hubs is away for the day, I was able to sit and type it out!

So after my ink swatch book, I took on my stamps in the organization mode. I had been running out of space to keep them in my files. Files were getting bulky and cumber some.

Pic Source - Jennifer Mcguire.
This was an older Jen Mcguire method. It worked for a while and then I ran out of space. 
They could only expand so much and I had no more room for files.
So I decided to go the newer Jennifer Mcguire way. You can see her  original video here


Now I could find the exact same things here, but they cost a bomb. And I'm all for alternatives. I would not pay 600 bucks for 25 plastic sleeves, when I can find an alternative that gives me 100 bags for 100 bucks!

I kept searching for an option for Avery Elle storage sleeves. I did think of using plain plastic sleeves, cutting the top and making flaps. But I was not convinced the flaps would stay closed. And one of my blog buddies just convinced on that part. She needs to use a glue dot or a velcro sticker to keep the flaps closed. They don't seem to stay tucked in.

So my option was the ziploc bags. The size you need to look for is 6x9 size. Look for a good thickness. It will fit a stamp set easily and will fit into the storage box easily. It even fits the long MFT stamp sets. It won't fit the 8x8 stamp sets from fiskars or Altenew layering stamp sets. For that, I have to go and check other bag sizes. It's still a work in progress.

Then comes the labelling part. I was not going to spend 4k on a label maker and another 2k on its refill tape. I cannot simply justify that cost. Plus with my own label sheets, I can use whatever font I want!! :D


 I already had some A4 size label sheet. It was just one whole sticker sheet in A4 size. So how to go about creating those perfect looking labels that you saw on my post! Or you could buy the sheet that has 84 labels precut on it. But it comes in a pack of 100. Maybe you could divide with a friend??? I'm linking all the products I've used below. 

Go to this website, Tech Nova Imaging .Go to this page. On the right top side is a download button. Click on that and download the template. Open that template in Microsoft Word.

Something like this will open up in your MS word screen. Start typing the names in the template. And put your sticker sheet either the precut 84 or A4 sticker sheet and print.


NOTE - If you are using the A4 sticker sheet, type two lines less than what is on the template. This is because, the A4 sheet is smaller than the 84 sticker sheet.  
Hope fully this should work on the 84 sticker sheet. I will be getting one soon and trying it myself. But it works perfectly on the A4 sticker sheet.

If you are using the A4 sticker sheet, you will have to cut the labels with your trimmer. That is a 5 minute work. Which is what I did. And stick.

Finally the dividers. Ran to my stationary shop and bought some cheapo Solo files and cut them up. There were some plastic pockets inside which I ripped out. You should have seen my husband's face. "You brought them up to cut them up??What is wrong with you!!"
Sigh!! Who will explain to these men how far our obsession will take us??


And finally my storage box. It fits 50-60 stamp sets easily. I have a few rubber background and other cling stamps to do. Which should be this week.


Sorry for the weird lighting on the photographs. Its a dark hazy day today.

So I really hope it helps those who are planning to organize. Trust me, if you see it , you use it. 

Product links (Affiliate links used, helps me earn a little extra something so I can do better research)

Lock&Lock Fashion Basket, Gray (HP265)
Solo CC- 101 Conference Companion (With Pen and Pad) A4 - Blue
NOVAJET 1 Label (Per A 4 Size Sheet) Multi Purpose Self Adhesive Labels (100 Sheets)
NOVAJET 84 Labels (Per A4 Size Sheet) Multi Purpose Self Adhesive Labels (100 Sheets)
 Plain SOLO CC-101 Files (set of 3)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

White Cardstock Comparision

Hello Everyone and Welcome to a long long post today!

Well, a few weeks ago Neha Gala (A-one craft) asked me if I could review some  white cardstock she had..and well that set the ball rolling. I already had a review of  Neenah white cardstock pending ( so Sorry for the delay Priya!)... so I combined all the white cardstock that I own.

Note- I am not including any watercolor paper in this review because, well those are completely different papers. And I am not trying any coloring with water because none of these papers are meant to hold water. They will all curl, wilt and lose shape if I use water with them.

So the papers I have with me are

 Neenah Solar White 230-250 gsm (not sure)
Brustro Sketching papers 200 gsm
Iris 170 gsm
Iris 270 gsm
Ivory Smooth 300 gsm


I will talk about individual papers at the end of the post. 

So whatever techniques I've tried, I've tried equally with all the papers. I have used the supplies which every beginner could have. I did not try Copics, Bic-it Markers, Prisma Pencils because not everyone has them. If you want I can do a separate comparison later on.

1. Distress Ink Blending

So far I used to use Brustro Papers for creating my inked backgrounds. But couple of people told me to try Iris paper for ink blending. So finally I gave it a go...And what amazing results. You can see for yourself.


The Iris paper 170 gsm was a little hard to hold down while blending, but 270 was just perfect. Out of the other 3, I think Neenah blended better than even Brustro.  Ivory was just okay.

So for ink blending, I will whole heartedly recommend to go for Iris Paper or Neenah Solar White.
One thing to remember though, Iris paper being a coated paper, will not absorb ink. So it takes a long while to dry. I suggest over night drying time, And it will go one shade lighter as it dries.

So if you want a dark background, go one shade darker than you want because overnight as the ink dries, it will go one shade lighter. As you can see the color difference between Brustro and Iris papers. Same colors, Same ink foams.

2. Stamping And Coloring.

Being a stamper, this was my foremost requirement. The Paper had to stamp well. So I tool 4 kinds of inks and went to town stamping with them. And here are the results.

I used Versafine Onyx black, Memento Black, Memento Ladybug red and Distress ink Abandoned Coral.

The top red ink is Lady Bug Memento and bottom is Distress ink. As you can see, most of the places it smeared and gave splotchy images. Distress ink is anyways not meant for stamping, You will always get a splotchy effect, unless you want that kind of a result or are trying a technique, avoid stamping with Distress ink.

The stack of books was with Tuxedo black. On the Iris paper, you have to be careful while stamping  else the image shifts while stamping. (see last paper) Since its a slick surface.
(Click to see image in detail)
Rest all inks stamp exceedingly well on every paper. Neenah Solar White had more crispness to it than others.

This is with Versafine Onyx Black on all the papers.  (Click to see image in detail)


Versafine did not dry quickly on Iris papers. Since its a coated paper, even after 24 hours, I could not get it to dry on Iris papers. I did not use a heat gun or heat emboss it. You can see the shine on the image below. This is after half an hour of stamping.

Coloring
I have used my favorite medium to color here... the Faber Castell Bi-Pencils. And I love blending with my blending tool and Odorless thinner. If you want to know how to use it, I do have a video showing how exactly I use these. These are fabulous colors and work exactly like Prisma Pencils. And easily available in every stationary store! :D Click here for the video



Neenah was the best in giving me an effortless blending. Followed by Brustro. But Ivory was a little tough to blend..but not impossible. It just took a little more time.
But But But, Iris didn't so well. Being a coated paper, the ink sat on top of the paper, and when I blended with the solvent, the ink itself smeared.
So Iris Paper + Versafine ink + Odorless thinner = smeared image.

However, if you stamp with Memento Tuxedo black on Iris paper and let it dry for a while and then used the same method to color it. No smearing!! So you can try that if you wish.

3. Flower Shaping

     Lastly I decided to see if I could die cut these papers and shape them into flowers. Die cutting is easy on every paper. Ivory takes a bit of extra pressure since its thick, but cut out well anyways. But when it came to shaping, it just fell apart. That's why you only see four samples below.


Aren't they just gorgeous???  Even in creating these flowers, I found Neenah and Brustro to be the best. Iris shaped well, but it wouldn't take on the darker shade. No matter how much ink I applied, after every half hour, it would turn a shade lighter. So I left it at that. That will be my go to paper when I need pastel flowers.

Phew!! So that's how I did it. Now to summarize in terms of the paper...

Right off the bat you can see that Neenah Solar White is the only true white among all the samples here.
Rest all are a pale cream.

IRIS PAPERS
  • They are the best for distress ink blending.
  • You can shape them well into flowers, but colors of inks may be subdued. You can try with non-distress inks and see how they do.
  • the 170 and 270 are excellent for die cutting as well. 
  • I wouldn't recommend them for exclusive coloring.
  • Few things to remember, it is a slightly coated sheet of paper. If you hold it to the light, you will see slight shining areas on it. That coating is what makes the distress inks move so well on it. But because of the coating, no ink will dry on it quickly. 

IVORY PAPER 300 GSM
  • Ivory paper doesn't blend ink well, nor does it shape well into flowers. 
  • It is a somewhat hard paper to color on. 
  • BUT BUT it is an excellent base for your  CARDS with multiple layers, SCRAPBOOKS and EXPLOSION BOXES. I scored it multiple times and absolute no cracking of the paper. They Ivory I used to buy, used to crack on every score line and eventually the paper used to tear. I am so glad this paper does not crack...And it is fabulous thickness!! 
NEENAH SOLAR WHITE
  •  Blends well with distress inks
  •  EXCELLENT FOR COLORING IMAGES
  • EXCELLENT for shaping the paper into flowers as well.
  • Perfect White to be used as a card base, (though a higher GSM would be better, say 280gsm)
       Quick peek of some earlier bookmarks. All coloring on Neenah Classic white



BRUSTRO SKETCHING PAPER 200 gsm
  • Good for blending distress inks but needs a bit of effort. 
  • EXCELLENT for coloring images. 
  • Die cuts superbly
  • EXCELLENT for shaping into flowers. 
  • Good for solid image stamping (sorry did not click any pictures, but all my ink swatch images on this post are stamped on Brustro paper)

So that's it. Hope this review helps you to make a choice when you are deciding papers for your next project.

One paper will never do everything. Know what you want to do in your project and select your paper accordingly.




Friday, August 28, 2015

An Invitation Card


Darn, I'm posting almost after a month and half..and I have so many projects to share!! So lets start the show with one of the cards that I have absolutely loved making!!

So the card was requested by a fella who wanted to invite his sisters over for Raksha Bandhan festival. Now this was new for me...as a sister who is estranged from her brother for almost 3 years now, this tugged at my heart strings. My parents were in town, my back was hurting but I simply could not say no to him. As someone who sheds a silent tear whenever anyone posts something about their brother, this was something I just could not refuse! And it wasn't just one. I had multiples to make. But I had decided, I wasn't going to say no.

 So here it is!
 It's a gatefold card, with a Vellum/Parchment flap inside. The card is closed by a band. This was a big card..about 5.5 x7.



Since the request was for something traditional, I went to town with Gold embossing!! And I must say I love love the combination. It was hard  at first to think of using all these modern supplies to create something traditional looking...because he said no to almost all my Cards!! (imagine that!) But once I was able to achieve it...Aah the damn good feeling sunk in!


Here they are with some of the envelopes. I used some lighter color Cardstock to make the envelopes. Envelopes are 1/4th inch box envelopes..so that the card doesn't get smashed in the mail.



Frame stamp is Inspired by Stamping, YOU is from SSS, ARE word from Winne and Walter, Invited Lawn fawn.  Vellum Border cut from Spellbinder Scallop Border dies.

So this is how it opens up and the Vellum Flap lifts up to reveal white CS for his personal message.

And when I gave him the cards, his WOW!! with a sigh was all I needed to hear!! The monetary compensation was no comparison to that WOW I got. 

I so have to thank Dr. Sonia for her tips on using a border punch to get those freaking amazing and perfectly aligned borders on my card.

So there you go...hope you loved it as much as I loved making it. Do leave your comments..and questions if any.

See you soon with another post..Hopefully pretty soon! :D


SUPPLIES
Fabriano Dark Green Cardstock
Hero Arts Flower Dot pattern (used on the front of the Card)
Inspired by Stamping - Fancy Label 18 stamp on Band. The small set used inside on Vellum
YOU stamp on Vellum - SSS
ARE stamp from Winne and Walter
INVITED  stamp made from Lawn Fawn's Harold's ABC's
Scroll punch From Ek Success
Ranger's Embossing Powder - Queen's Gold. 
Spellbinders Label 18
Spellbinders A2 Scallop Borders 2
White Gel pen
Diamond Stickles

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