Friday, August 22, 2014

Product Reviews: Memento Ink

I've been in the habit of using Tim Holtz Distress Ink for a long time and I do confess to loving it.  But that doesn't mean there aren't great alternatives out there, too.  I recently had a chance to experiment with Memento Ink (another dye-based ink) and wanted to see if it behaved in a similar manner to Distress Ink.  So I tried out two of my favorite Distress Ink techniques with Memento Ink to create this little "life lesson" tag:

Both Distress Ink and Memento Ink pads are smooth and firm, not spongy.  The first technique I tried with Memento Ink was to stamp the pad onto my craft mat, spritz the ink with water, then mop it up with a couple of tags to create a speckled effect.  I do this technique with Distress Ink all the time.  So how did Memento Ink do?  I used the shade called Teal Zeal and as you can see, it beaded up nicely when I spritzed it with water and was bursting with deep juicy color. 

I dragged two tags through it and really liked the splotchy look I achieved, which was pretty much the same as the look I get with Distress Ink.

My second favorite Distress Ink technique is smudging ink onto my projects with sponges.  I got out my sponges and Memento Ink in shades of Pear Tart, Pistachio, Lulu Lavender, Elderberry and Paris Dusk.  Here's how my tag looked after some smudging fun:

In terms of Memento Ink's smudgability, I was very pleased!  It blended nicely and gave me the type of shadowy weathered look I wanted.  I proceeded to use Memento Ink to stamp on some pattern using the Honeycomb Texture stamp from 100 Proof Press.  Once I had my background done, I finished the tag with this great villain stamp image, called Evil Man, also from 100 Proof Press.  I heat embossed it in black and then added the white scribbly circle around my villain's head using acrylic paint.

I added a touch of pink Memento Ink (Rose Bud) to lighten it up just a bit and then hit the edges with black Gesso.  Once it dried, I sewed some Prima flowers to the side.  At the top, I used alphabet stamps to make my sentiment and topped it with a Hero Arts flower and some yarn.

Another thing that I really liked about Memento Ink is its packaging.  The ink pads are labelled so conveniently and the lids fit very well.  You can almost feel a slight bit of "suction" when you put the lids back on so you know that your ink is going to be protected from drying out.

So how would I rate my Memento Ink experience?  High marks for ease of use, brilliant bold colors and stamping versatility.  I absolutely look forward to using Memento Ink again and think it's a fantastic product.  It's a great alternative to Distress Ink and it was good for me to get out of my rut and see what other amazing products are out there.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Other Creations: "Growing Up Adorably" Onesie

This week at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog, the theme is Anything Goes!  Such freedom!  I decided to get my "infant wear" vibe on and decorate some Onesies:

I have been absolutely loving Memento Luxe ink lately, which is permanent on fabric when heat-set.  I used Memento Luxe to stamp the floral image and sentiment, then I set down some stencils and dabbed on more ink using sponges.  After I was done, I ironed each side of the fabric for two minutes.  I put it through the wash just to double check how color-fast it was and it did great!  The ink didn't wash out, bleed or fade.

The possibilities are endless with a handful of Memento Luxe ink and some white Onesies.  I thoroughly enjoyed my experimenting this week!
Here are some of the supplies that I used, which are available from Simon Says Stamp:

With a theme of Anything Goes, there's no reason not to upload your masterpieces to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog for your chance to win a $50 voucher to the Simon Says Stamp store!  I can't wait to see what you come up with!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tutorials: Washi Tape Roses

"All Scratched Up" is this week's theme over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog.  Not that I'm one of those pessimistic "glass half empty" people, but the second I heard "scratched," I couldn't help but think of roses and how they've left their mark on me more than once when I've helped my mom prune her gorgeous rose garden! 

I decided to make some non-scratch-hazard Washi tape roses to adorn this tag with its Tim Holtz sentiment.  

There are lots of tutorials out there on how to make Washi tape flowers, but some of them were more labor-intensive than I was wanting to go.  So here's how I made my roses:

Start with a flower die, such as the Sizzix 3D flower die.  I used simple white office supply paper (like the kind you'd put into a typewriter--if anyone knows what typewriters are anymore ;) and cut it big enough to cover the die cut shapes.

Next, I got out my Washi stash and started covering the white paper with strips of Washi tape.  You can even use holiday Washi because the pattern won't show up enough to distinguish shapes.  I just went with colors I liked.  Because my flowers will be dimensional, I covered both the front and the back of these white pieces of paper with the Washi tape.

Note!  If you layer Washi strips on top of each other, you may need to add some additional adhesive because Washi doesn't stick to itself very well.  When I rolled my flowers into their flower shapes, I noticed that the overlapping Washi was peeling up a bit.  It sticks to paper just fine, but next time I'll use glue to stick down any overlapping Washi strips.

A great way to cover a lot of ground quickly is to use Washi that comes in thick rolls, like the fat Washi strips from Hazel and Ruby, or the fabulous big sheets of Shape Tape from Lifestyle Crafts. 

Once your area is covered, run these through your die cutting machine.  If you don't have a flower die, you could also just cut them out in the shape of a circular curly-cue.

Roll your flower into its 3D shape.  I've found that a quilling tool works great for this.  If you don't have a quilling tool, you can also use a bamboo skewer or a screwdriver to help turn your shape into a spiral.

Glue the flower down in the middle using your medium of choice.  I used good old hot glue on these.

Are Washi roses harder to make than just using patterned paper?  Yes, but I love the random patterns and colors you get from the varied strips of Washi tape.  Totally worth it, in my opinion!

And remember how I cut out the die shape?  I saved the leftover paper from that cut
(the negative space around the flower) and re-used it as a scalloped frame on my tag.

Washi tape roses are fun because no two ever come out the same.  They're also a great way to use up all sorts of random Washi you may have lying around. 
The rest of my tag is made from cardstock, which I inked and used stencils on.  I also added some other Washi here and there for good measure.  I heat embossed the Tim Holtz sentiment and added yard and fibers to the tag to finish it off.

Here are some of the supplies I used for my project that you can find at Simon Says Stamp:

I'm excited to see what you come up with for this week's "scratched" theme!  Be sure to upload your creations to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog for your chance to win the $50 gift voucher to the Simon Says Stamp store!