My Favorites of March 2016
Hello there everyone! I’m stopping by today with a different type of post for you; the first of my new series called My Favorites. I’m going to be highlighting all my favorite products and supplies (some new, some oldies) that I loved and used during the month of March!
There were so many stamp sets I used this month, but these are some of my most-loved.
- The Handmade from Me stamp set from Whimsy Stamps (top row) is not only perfect for stamping cute sentiments on cards, but also makes it super easy to stamp extra special touches and greetings on envelopes and the backside of your cards!
- Newton Dreams of London is absolutely darling (top row)! The fun images in this set make me smile and I cannot get enough of the adorable Newton hanging from an umbrella… TOO CUTE!
- Neat and Tangled came out with lots of really great stamp sets during their March release. My favorites however were the Purrfect and Scandinavian Prints stamp sets (middle row). Cats are a soft spot for me, so of course that immediately became an instant fave; I love too how the price point is a bit lower than normal sets because it is smaller. The Scandinavian Prints stamp set is also great because you can build tons of custom patterns and flower groupings with just this single set. A good sentiment is also an eye catcher for me, and the ones included in Scandinavian Prints are really unique.
- One of the most used cards for me are thank you’s and the Reverse Confetti Butterfly Dreams stamp set (middle row) evokes a great whimsical feel that I really love. The sentiments inside the silhouetted butterflies are beautifully done and I’ve been using the Kindness Matters, Thank You sentiment like crazy lately!
- The cutest stamp set of March for me was the Cute Chicks set from Simon Says Stamp. The little chick inside the egg absolutely cracks me up. I mean, seriously; who can’t help but laugh at how funny that poor cutie looks wobbling around inside his egg?
Dies are not only versatile for cutting out stamped images, but also a fun way to create so many unique effects on your cards! Here are some of my current go-to dies…
- The Handstitched Nested Rectangles dies from Whimsy Stamps (top row) are a great way to die cut panels for your cards with a more “handmade” feel. I love the fun, uneven lines of the stitching on these dies. For more selective stitching details, I love using the My Favorite Things Basic Stitch Lines die set; the price point is pretty good too compared to large, shape cutting die sets. For crafters on a budget, you could buy stitched border dies like the Basic Stitch Lines and die cut the stitching detail into paper you’ve cut down with your paper trimmer.
- The felt die cutting trend is HUGE right now and Simon Says Stamp came out with a large collection of Spring Plush dies for their March release. The Springtime Chick (top row) is my absolute favorite and I love how they can still be used with paper for those that aren’t into the felt craze.
- Pretty Pink Posh is known for their unique die sets, and the new Window Frames dies (bottom row) are awesome! I love how there is the added stitching detail along the edges of both the inside and outside cut marks; it adds great finishing touches to your die cut shapes, which I am a huge fan of!
- Scene cards are something I make often and I love having dies that I can use to create supporting elements. My current favorites that I can’t stop using are the Pretty Pink Posh Picket Fence and My Favorite Things Grassy Hills dies. These are both from past releases but still my go-to’s for many of the scenes I create!
TOOLS & EMBELLISHMENTS
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Some of the most important items on my desk are tools, because tools are what help you make your creations go to the next level. Here are the tools I have been using heavily in my craft room this month…
- I have been doing a lot of distress ink techniques and the Perfect Pearls by Ranger (top row) are a fun way to add easy shimmer and shine to your distress inking. I just mix a little bit of the Perfect Pearls with some water in a misting/spray bottle, shake it up and I have a custom made shimmer spray! The subtle glitzy glimmer of the Perfect Pearls are a great way to take your distress inking up a notch. And speaking of shimmer, I cannot get enough of my Wink of Stella clear glitter brush (middle row)! :)
- For stamping, my must-have tools are the new Mini MISTI (middle row) and the Lawn Fawn Stamp Shammy (top row). The Mini MISTI is perfect for just about every stamping need (other than stamps larger than 5 inches, such as 6×6 cling background stamps). I use my Mini MISTI on just about every card I make and I love the convenience of being able to re-stamp something if it did not stamp cleanly the first time. And the Lawn Fawn Stamp Shammy is a great alternative to baby wipes, and more cost effective. I have been using the Shammy exclusively and stopped using baby wipes for the majority of my crafting; I only keep a small stash handy for special reasons.
- The We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 Punch Board has been really handy for me! I used to have the Envelope Punch Board, but switched over to the 1-2-3 Punch Board because of it’s versatility. With this board you can make everything from envelopes (see this post) to boxes (see this post) and bows! I make a lot of envelopes for my cards, so this feature of the board is the most used. However, when I need a special box or bow, I can simply pull out this same Punch Board to do everything, rather than having three separate boards laying around.
- Adhesives are something I get lots of questions on; my go-to adhesives lately have been PPA Matte Adhesive by ArtQuest and Kool Tak clear dimensional tape. I prefer the PPA over other adhesives for a couple of reasons. One, it’s more cost effective for me to purchase the large bottle of PPA than the small bottles of the other glues on the market. Secondly, I find that the PPA seems to have better bonding than other adhesives I have tried (including Ranger’s Multi Matte Medium). I have been using PPA exclusively for almost a year and have been pleased with its durability and performance. The Kool Tak tape is perfect for popping vellum up for dimension. Vellum can be a bit tricky to find the right adhesive for; however, the Kool Tak tape is pretty much invisible under the vellum and provides a nice, dimensional effect for your cards!
INKS, PAINTS, PENS & MARKERS
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Finally, let’s look at inks, paints, pens and markers… Like most of you I’m sure, I have a large selection of these mediums but there are a few that I have been using a lot more than others this month.
- Prior to finding the Simon Says Stamp Intense Black ink (top row) in January, I was using Memento’s Tuxedo Black ink for all my Copic-friendly stamping needs. However, I was never fully pleased with the grayish tint of the Memento ink. It stamped nice but I love crisp, black lines. The Simon Says Stamp Intense Black ink is a new product for 2016 and I have been using this ink exclusively since it was debuted. I love the rich, bold color tone and it even works beautifully with watercoloring (see this post here).
- The new Hero Arts Bold inks (top row) have quickly become a favorite of mine! Hero Arts has always been known for their beautiful ink colors and the Bold ink pad collection is just as impressive! I have been using the Moss and Green Apple inks a lot this month.
- Altenew is another stamp company that has their own ink line and I really love their Crisp Dye inks. I’ve been reaching for their Cotton Candy and Frosty Pink inks (second row) all month long in a variety of projects. Altenew also just came out with a bunch more colors to add to the collection and I’m excited to get some more of them for my stash!
- I use distress inks of many of my cards, but have been using Crushed Olive, Cracked Pistachio and Squeezed Lemonade (second row) on a lot of my cards lately. I love the bright, yellowy tone of Crushed Olive and because teal is my favorite color, Cracked Pistachio is my go-to for anything turquoise colored. For a happy yellow, the intense, neon-like hue of Squeezed Lemonade is super fun!
- Some small items that I have been using lately are the Tombow Sand Eraser, Signo white gel pen, and Pentel Aquash waterbrushes (third row). The sand eraser is great for getting rid of ink marks or fingerprints; I love being able to fix little mistakes like that rather than having to start all over again. In all my coloring – whether it is Copic or watercolor – I love adding white details with my Signo white pen; it’s super opaque and also great for cleaning up coloring that goes outside the lines (yes, it happens to all of us more often then you’d think!). For paintbrushes, I have been enjoying the Pentel Aquash waterbrushes; I use them empty most of the time because I like to control how much water is being used. I love the fine tip end on all three these round brushes since I am usually coloring in stamped images that oftentimes have small areas.
- My final favorite for March is the Prima Watercolor Confections sets; these watercolor paints are very vibrant and are new for 2016. They come in three, 12-color collections; the Classics (primary colors; last row), Tropicals (royal-jewel tones; last row) and Decadent Pies (natural, earthy hues; third row). They have a slightly chalkiness to them if you use less water, but they blend nicely. They come in tins that have mixing wells built in, which make them great for on-the-go painting. The price point is inexpensive making it great for novice to intermediate watercolor artists.
I hope my March Favorites have been helpful to you! Thanks so much for stopping by and spending some time with me… I’ll see you tomorrow for a project I have featuring Newton’s Nook Designs stamps. Happy Creating!
*Disclaimer: I was not asked by any companies to review and share the favorite products I’ve included in this post. All opinions are my own and the intention of this post is to share my thoughts on favorite products I personally use.