Kit Unboxing · New Products

My Monthly Hero August Kit Unboxing

Oh happy day! My August Hero Arts kit arrived today!!! Let’s get right to it!

This month’s kit includes the following:

6″ x 8″ Clear Stamp Set

► 11 Coordinating Frame Cuts

► 1 Fancy Window Cut Die

► 1.5 oz Celestial Sequins

► 1 Metallic Blueberry Mist

► 1 Gold Shimmer Mist

► 1 Stencil 5.25″ x 6.5″

► 3 5″ x 7″ Assorted Patterned Celestial Paper



I am so excited for this kit! I loved every single bit of it! Even the tissue paper is a beautiful color!


This is how it comes out of the box. I saw a sneak peak of the ribbon on Instagram and fell in love with the color! I wish they had cardstock in that shade! The stamps and dies are on the left, and the paper, sequins, spray and stencil are on the right. I took pictures of the items as well.


The 6″ x 8″ stamp set. These sentiments are great!


The coordinating dies, and the fancy window die (love it)!


The gorgeous patterned papers!


Stars and Moon stencil.


The ink sprays and sequins! I can’t wait to play with those sprays.

This release was so cool, I couldn’t resist some of the add-on items!


I grabbed the Dream Big 4″ x  6″ stamps and coordinating dies (my daughter loves space and the planets). Again, I love the sentiments. I also purchased my first true background stamp, the Pretty Moon Spiral Bold Prints. I love the poem or verse it contains, and the design.

I can’t wait to get to work on these. This week is also MFT’s second session of Camp Create, so I’m not sure if I will get to these this weekend. I skipped the first Camp Create session, so I want to take a crack at this one. But I’m sure I’ll find a way to fit these in! I will most definitely write a post about those sprays, once I see what they can do.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great rest of your week.


New Products

Black Ink? And a look at Altenew’s new Permanent Black Ink

As a new card maker (which honestly, it’s only been 5 months…), I did a lot of research about black ink. Particularly when I decided to take the Copic marker plunge.

First, a real quick disclaimer: I am NOT a card making expert. I just started making cards in March. I’m still very much learning. But, like I said, I did a lot of research. I don’t have endless supplies of money, so I have to be as careful as I can with what I spend.

Ok, back to the ink. What I read indicated that Memento Tuxedo Black ink was the one that a lot of people used. Since Memento is available a Micheal’s, I started there. My first attempt didn’t work for me. But really, I think that was because I didn’t wait for the ink to dry.

Here is the card I made with my first colored images. You can see where the black ink ran.


Then I turned to Jennifer McGuire, who I am obsessed with, and she mentioned My Favorite Things Hybrid Black Licorice. So I tried out MFT’s ink, and have been using it ever since. I’ve had this ink pad since the end of April. I’ve always had to stamp the images twice to get a good, dark impression, and recently i’ve noticed it’s not very good with detail. Particularly the floral images from Hero Arts July kit.

Because of my issues with MFT’s ink, I decided to try the Memento ink again this weekend. I stamped the Hero Arts images using both inks. The Memento image did seem to handle the details a little bit better. I wish I had thought to take pictures.

The thing is, neither of these inks stamp as well as Altenew’s Jet Black dye ink. I LOVE this ink! Granted, I haven’t tried any other black dye inks. Why would I? I do like the way Versafine black onyx ink stamps, but I always smear it….. Because of that I only use it when I heat emboss.

So, imagine how happy I was to see that Altenew released a Permanent Black ink Pigment to color with alcohol markers!!! I order it this week and it delivered today! I thought this would be a perfect time to test drive some black ink. We are going to take a look at Memento Tuxedo Black, MFT Hybrid Black Licorice, Altenew Permanent Black and Altenew Jet Black.


I am going to stamp the same image using these 4 inks. I am stamping on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80 lbs. cardstock and a heart balloon image from Clearly Besotted’s Hot Stuff, because it has nice, clean thin lines. Then I am going to take a light colored Copic marker and color over the lines.


First up in Memento Tuxedo Black. I only stamped this one time. Look at how clean and dark that is!


Next up is MFT Hybrid ink. The MFT stamp on the left was stamping just one time. The one on the right is stamped twice. You can see how it’s not solid with one stamp, but two stamps is not as clean.


This is Altenew Jet Black. It’s perfect! Unfortunately its a dye ink. You’ll see how it runs when I show you the Copic pictures.




Altenew Permanent ink. This is my first time stamping with this brand new ink pad. I was kinda bummed. The one on the right was just one stamp. Its shows more detail but its not solid. I stamped twice on the left. Just like with MFT, you lose detail. But, like I said,  this is my first time stamping this brand new pad.


Here are all 4 of the inks in one shot. I have to say, out of the 3 Copic friendly inks, I really think Memento is the one. Ironic it’s been sitting on my shelf all this time…

Since the Altenew Permanent ink is so new, I am going to stamp a bunch of images this weekend to color. We’ll see if it gets better with use. Does that happen?!?!

Now let’s see how they stand up to Copic markers.



I went over the side of each image using a fairly light color (E93). The only one that ran was the Jet Black, which I knew would run. It’s not made to use with alcohol markers.


Here is a close up of the new Altenew Permanent ink with Copic marker.


This test was a bit difficult for me. I love MFT, and I really want their ink to work for me. I also really wanted the new Altenew Permanent Black ink to work. But it seems to me that pigment ink is not capable of doing what I want. Well, unless I use Memento. I am going to test drive the Altenew ink more this weekend and see what happens. I’ll write a quick post to let you know how it goes.

Thanks for stopping by!


New Products · New to Me · Techniques

New Products! Concord and 9th Hooray Ribbons and Sunshine Turnabout

Hello! Today I wanted to show you a couple of new items I got from Concord and 9th’s July Release. I also want to talk about Concord and 9th’s turnabout stamps, another awesome and handy item to keep close by.

First off, lets take a look at the items I purchased from the July release: Sunshine Turnabout stamps and dies and Hooray Ribbons stamp set and dies.


Don’t they look like fun?! They arrived just in time, as I was in need of a masculine thank you card. A co-worker is spending this weekend fixing my daughter’s car, and I need to make him something spectacular!

I really like the Hooray Ribbons stamp and die set because it not only cuts and embosses the top of a ribbon, but it also has accessory stamps to gussy up the ribbon. I decide to use my favorite Blue Raspberry cardstock (Gina K Designs) and to use the stripped stamp to accent the ribbon top.

For the center of the ribbon top I used Neenah Metallic White Silver cardstock to stamp the sentiment in Versamark ink and embossed with Wow Pacific Wave Embossing Glitter. I layered the sentiment on the circle that was die cut  from the center of the ribbon top using foam tape, and adhered to the top of the pleated ribbon top (Jennifer McGuire has a video that shows how to do it here). I used scor-tape to ensure a good hold, due to the uneven surface.

I used the “v” die to cut the ends of two strips to hang from the top of the ribbon, and scored them down the middle. I adhered the ribbon to a panel of white Neenah cardstock die cut with a Simon Says Stamps Stitched Rectangle, and adhered the white panel to a Blue Raspberry card base. I stamped “Thank you,” from Concord and 9ths Many Mandala set on the inside of the card, and the “Thanks!” from the Hooray Ribbon set on the front of the matching envelope. I finished it off with some Silver Confetti sequins.


I love how it turned out and I know Steve will appreciate it!

Next we have the Sunshine Turnabout. I had so much fun playing with this last night, and ended up with three backgrounds!

I was a little hesitant to get another turnabout, as I have not had good luck with the first one I purchased (the triangles), but this one looked like it would be a lot easier to use. My first attempt with it went so well, I got out the triangles to try again!

There is a trick to these turnabout stamps, where you mark the center point of the stamps on the back, and use a  piece of 6″ x 6″ cardstock as a jig. The packaging that comes with the stamps has a square on the back that will help you find the center. You line up the stamp with the square on the packaging using the landmarks indicated, and use a marker to draw out the lines from corner to corner on the back of the stamp (the side that you do not use to stamp). I recommend using a thin marker, and you’ll understand why if you keep reading.

For the jig, you take the 6″ x 6″ piece of cardstock, and using a ruler draw lines from corner to corner using. Then you mark a 1 in the upper right corner, turn the jig clockwise (you can counter-clockwise just make sure you keep turning in the same direction) and put a number in that upper right corner. Repeat this until all 4 corners are marked. I took a picture of mine, but not until after it got quiet a work out. You can barely see the numbers in the corners.


To use the turnabout stamps, place the jig in a stamp tool, like a Misti or a Stamp Perfect. Then lay your stamp with the back side up and line up the lines on the stamp with the lines on the jig.

You can see in this picture how wide the lines are on my stamp, and also that on the upper right corner, my line is not in the right location (its supposed to hit the tip of that triangle, but go into it as it does). And the line on the lower right corner should go through the center of that triangle tip, and it doesn’t. No wonder I had difficulty with this stamp lol! Sorry, I got distracted. Back to the instructions!


Then you close the lid on the tool to pick up the stamp. Next you use a removable adhesive to stick your cardstock to the jig. You don’t want it to shift around.

Now ink it up and stamp away! After you stamp once, you turn the jig so that the next number is in the right corner, clean your stamp and ink and stamp again. Repeat as many times as you want! Make sure you turn in the same direction.


It was so easy, and I had so much fun combining ink, that I ended up making three of them!


I used Distress Oxide ink for all of these. The first one is Worn Lipstick and Picked Raspberry, Peacock Feathers, Seedless Preserves and Cracked Pistachio for the middle, and Worm Lipstick, Picked Raspberry, Fossilized Amber and Spiced Marmalade on the last.

I also figured out why I was having such a hard time with the triangle turnabout, as you read above. The lines I made on the back were just a little off and I used a thick Sharpie to draw them. With the triangles, they are so tightly placed that you can’t even be a little off.  Here is a card I made with a section I was able to salvage from my first attempt. This was the only useable part of a 4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″ piece and that cat is hiding a rough patch!


The panel on the right was the panel I made last night, trying to make the adjustments for the bad lines manually. On the left is a panel I made today, after I redrew the lines. This one only has three layers, and I heat embossed the last one. My apologies on the pictures, it was getting late when I took them.

Concord and 9th also has Dot, Hello and Flower turnabout stamps. These are all on my wish list!

Here is a video from Concord and 9th on how to set up and use the turnabout stamps.

I’m so glad I was able to figure out my issue with the triangles. They make great backgrounds and are really useful for masculine cards. Plus, seeing cards made using this stamp on Pintest was driving me crazy!

So, what do you think about these new items from Concord and 9th? Let me know if you’ve taken any of these stamps for a spin!

I have little teaser for you guys. I decided to re-do my craft space last weekend. It was a long time coming, as I’ve been killing my back bent over a computer desk the last couple of months. I’m going to write a blog post, once I get the last few pieces in. Hopefully it will be within the next two weeks.

Thanks for stopping by!


Making Cards · New Products

Hero Arts July Kit-Cards

Hello! I hope your week is going well! I wanted to share a couple of cards I created with the new Hero Arts kit. I’ve really enjoyed working with this set!

The first thing I did was to stamp and color all of the flower images, and a lot of the containers with Copic Markers. Then I played around with pairing up the images.

My first card used the large Sweet Pea image, along with the mason jar.


Instead of stamping and masking, I used an X-acto knife to cut along the lines on the jar around the top, so I could slide the stems in. I cut the large white panel from the MFT Stitched Rectangle Scallop Edge Frames and the smaller Sno Cone panel from MFT Stitched Mini Scallop Rectangles. I adhered the large white panel with fun foam, and the Sno Cone panel with a tape runner. The flower images where adhered with foam tape. I stamped the sentiment from the HA kit with Altenew Jet Black ink. I finished the card off with Wink of Stella clear shimmer on the flowers and Grape Jewels from Lucy’s Cards. I also covered the mason jar in Glossy Accents. You can see all the shimmer here.


The next card is rather similar to the first one. I used the large Lilac image and wrapped the bow around it instead of using a container.


The main difference on this card is that I stamped the single lilac image and the butterfly on the white background in MFT Gray Grout ink, and I used vellum for the smaller panel. I also stamped the sentiment from the set in Versafine Onyx ink and heat embossed it with the Wow Hologram embossing power. Check out the color below.


The third card is very different. I knew that I was going to have a hard time wrapping my head around putting flowers in a rain boot. So, I didn’t. Instead I used the image on it’s on. Well, I added the butterfly.


I used one of my Distress Oxide ink panels for the mat. I tried some patterned paper, but this was the best fit. I stamped the sentiment from the kit in Fossilized Amber Distress Oxide ink to tie in the color. Both the boot and the butterfly are ahdered with foam tape, and I adhered the Distress Oxide ink panel with fun foam. I covered the boot in Wink of Stella clear shimmer before covering it with Glossy accents. The butterfly also has Wink of Stella clear shimmer. I used a kraft card base. Orange and yellow Lucy’s Cards jewels finish it off. I love how the rain boot turned out!


My last card features one of the add-on items. This is the Butterfly Confetti Fancy Die and it was love at first sight! There are so many options with theses card size dies. You can use it for confetti for shakers, use the negative space for a quick background, or inlay some of the die cuts.

Here I used one of my Distress Oxide panels. I die cut the butterflies and saved the butterflies (always save the confetti!). I also die cut the butterflies from Silver Sparkle Paper and from white cardstock. I used MFT ‘s Mini scalloped Stitched Rectangle Frames to trim down my main butterfly panel. That was tricky as the frame ended up with butterflies that overlapped, and I had to put it back together. A lot of this card was like a puzzle!

My plan was to put some of the butterflies back, inlaying them. I wanted to use the original butterflies and some of the silver sparkle die cuts. The reason I cut out an extra butterfly panel from white cardstock was because I wanted to layer some of the butterflies to add interest and dimension. Some of the butterflies were just inlaid, some had 2 layers, on up to 4 layers! I ended up putting a strip of silver sparkle up the center of the card. 

I added Wink of Stella Clear Shimmer to the  colored butterflies and stamped the Thank You from the kit in Versafine Black Onyx ink on vellum and used Wow Hologram embossing powder. I love how it takes on a purple color when tilted.

I had planned on the sentiment strip spanning the width of the card, but my first attempt failed (the embossing powder flaked off the vellum because I was handling it too much). At that point I was tired and already a couple of hours into this card, so I took the easy way out. I think next time I will use white embossing powder. Even though I love the Hologram powder, white would have been a better match. 

Now to figure out what to do with the rest of the images!

Thanks for stopping by!


New Products

New to Me-Mica Spray

Hello! Today I would like to talk about Mica Spray. Yana Smakula has used mica sprays in her card making and I loved the results! She made a card with Simon Says Stamps’ Seeing Stars that is just gorgeous! I recently noticed that Micheal’s carries some of the sprays, so with coupons in hand I decide it was time to take the plunge!

I was able to get the Tim Holtz set and the Dylusions set:


The Tim Holtz kit includes Brushed Pewter, Antiqued Bronze and Tarnished Brass. The Dylusions set has Bubblegum Pink, Vibrant Turquoise and Crushed Grape. The first thing I did when I got home was to “swatch” them on black card stock. They are gorgeous! I could totally see just spraying the Pewter on black card stock and using that for the night sky (thanks Yana).

I had been meaning to make a card with MFT’s Heart Shaker and Window Frame. After I cut the heart out, I decided to spay the card stock with the Bubblegum Pink and Brushed Pewter. I used Neenah Solar White card stock and had no issues with excess moisture. I used a shallow mailing box, and misted the card stock from about a foot away. You can see the box below.


As you can see, its like a spray paint effect. The coverage is pretty good from about a foot away and it did saturate the card stock. I think I sprayed it two or three times tops. You can also see the pearliness in the last picture.

Then I had this great idea to try masking card stock and getting a more concentrated color. I wanted to use the turquoise as it’s such a pretty color. So I cut circle out of masking paper and placed it over the paper. I put it in the box and started spraying, only a couple of inches from the card stock.


I don’t know why, but all that happened was that I soaked the paper. I was sure to shake the spray up, but it just didn’t show up on the card stock. I wiped off what I could, and hit it with the Brushed Pewter instead.


Since the card stock was already pretty wet, I didn’t want to spray too much more. I ended up with the card above. It still gave a dense coverage, but not as solid as I had planned. As I wrote earlier, I used the panel for the Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge.

I”m going to watch some You Tube videos on the Mica spray and see what other techniques are out there. I can’t wait to use this more. The colors are really vibrant on black card stock, and I like the effect. I’ll be sure to share what I find!

Thanks for stopping by!


Challenges · New Products · Techniques

Simon Says Stamps Wednesday Challenge-Stars and MFT

Happy Monday! The Simon Says Stamps Wednesday challenge for this week is Stars, and using MFT products. It’s almost like they knew I just bought that adorable star shaker window and frame die set!

I actually have two cards for the challenge this week. I just so happened to make a card using Simon Says Stamps Seeing Stars kit, with mica spray and a sentiment from MFT’s Counting Stars. There are also some Liquid Perfect Pearls dots in Pewter, and Sparkling Clear Confetti sequins from Pretty Pink Posh. The black panel was layered on the Gray Grout card base with black fun foam.


The second card is a card I made for my Niece’s 16th birthday. I used the new Star Window and Frame die set from MFT, along with the star pouch. I used the technique where you adhere acetate to the back of the shaker element, to make it easier to line up. I did this because I wanted to use the piece cut from the inside of the frame as the background for the shaker.


I also used the Celebrate die, and the Number Confetti dies to cut out 16. The were a little bit much for the shaker size, but still worked out. I glued one each of the 1 and 6 to the shaker background so at least one set of the numbers would be readable.


I decided to use small confetti sequins due to the size of the numbers and the lack of room. Plus, they are tiny stars :). I finished off the card with some Pool Jewels from Lucy’s Cards. I used MFT’s Silver Sparkle paper for the numbers, and Cornflower Blue Sparkle paper for the celebrate, which I layered on three white die cuts first.

Oh, the panel I used for the shaker frame and background was one of the panels I made with Distress Oxide inks. My Niece’s favorite color is green, so I used the Cracked Pistachio and Broken China panel. And the white panel was mounted on the Sno-Cone card base with fun foam.

Both cards came together pretty quickly. The shaker elements from MFT really speed up the process. I’m glad I had the opportunity to use it this weekend.

Thanks for stopping by!


New Products · Techniques

MFT New Items and Shaker Cards

First off, Happy Birthday MFT!!!

I’m afraid today’s post is going to be a looong one! I wanted to do something special for MFT’s new release, but I can’t review the whole release, as I didn’t purchase everything (must stick to budget, must stick to budget). Since this release was full of shaker elements (and I did buy all of them), I thought I would go over the shaker items, and different methods to use for making shaker cards.

These are a couple of the shaker cards I have made, using different techniques. Let’s look at some of them.

Foam Tape

Let’s start out with the method you’ll see the most when you search for shaker cards on the internet, foam tape. This method involves cutting an opening in your cardstock, using acetate to cover the window, applying foam tape to create a gap for the sequins to move, pouring in sequins, and then sticking it all onto your card base, or any background images you want to use. There are a couple of different variations on this style.

1. Using one layer of foam tape. You do not get as much movement, as the space is narrower. But, your card isn’t as bulky as if you used two layers of foam tape.

​See, the sequins doesn’t really move around.

img_2845            img_2844

2. Two layers of Foam. This provides more room for the sequins to move around, but it results in a really bulky card.


3. The amount of sequins you add can also affect the amount of movement with your sequins. Lots of sequins means little movement, fewer sequins means more movement. Sequins size plays a part as well.

4. You can use Tulle instead of acetate, but be sure to use sequins that won’t fit through the tulle.

5. You can use vellum instead of acetate.

6. A tip I learned recently (thank you Simon Says Stamps) is to use acetate on the back of the shaker instead of adhering it to the card base. It helps the sequins to move, and it makes it easier to line the shaker element up on your card base or background (I did this with the pink and blue Hugs card).

A down side to the foam tape style is that the cards can be really bulky, and you use a lot of foam tape. You also have to be very careful about the sequins sticking to the tape (I have yet to make a card with this method and not have sequins stick to the foam border, even after buying the EK Success Embossing tool just for this).

Fuse Tool

Another method used is utilizing the Fuse Tool by We R Memory Keepers (Project Life has a tool as well). This tool heats up, allowing you to melt plastic sheets together. You can use page protectors, or I think acetate as well. I’ve only used page protectors and stamp storage envelopes.



The fuse tool comes with two different types of tips (one to seal and one to seal and cut at the same time), a metal ruler to use as a guide, and a stand for the tool. I purchased extra tips for the tool, which leave different patterns when it seals (you can see them in the picture), and a heat resistant mat.

This method is great because you can create any shape (I’ve used metal dies as “guides,” such as the star die in my picture). You use the tool to seal the shape you want on three sides, leaving one side open so you can add the sequins. Once you add the sequins, you seal the pouch shut.

Once you have the pouch made, cut the window in your cardstock, and then adhere the plastic pouch you made to the back of your cardstock.

The down side is that there isn’t a lot of room for the sequins to move around in the plastic pouch. I don’t have an example to demonstrate the movement, just a picture of a finished card. But you can see how the plastic in the window is flat towards the outside. And the sequins look a bit squished.

This tool is great for making individual plastic pouches. Make sure you get a good seal with the tool and don’t trim the excess plastic down too close to the seam. It does take practice. This pouch below ended up splitting open on me when I kept playing with it, but it was my very first one.

You can also use the tool to seal pictures or paper as well. I recommend Googling this tool and techniques. I used it to modify some of my stamp storage pockets to fit my storage bin, after I bought the wrong size bin and didn’t want to spend money on a new one (that’s stamp money!).

Preformed Pouches

A third method is to use preformed plastic windows that stick out from the front of the card, and allow sequins to move around. MFT originally only had these plastic pouches in circles and squares. They added hearts last month, and stars and balloons with this release. I think they are absolutely fantastic!!!

These pouches make shaker cards so much easier to create. Instead of using all that foam tape, all you need is some good double sided tape. This means that the cards aren’t as bulky as when you use two layers of foam tape. And you get really good sequins movement.

MFT also makes frames to fit around the pouches. I skipped the frames on the cards I made, but you’ll want to use the frame for the balloons.

Here are the frame and window die cuts, as well as the pouches themselves. I do not have the circle window and frame dies yet, and I only have the Stitched window for the squares instead of the window and frame.

The downsides are you are limited by the available shapes and the pouches stick out from the front of the card, if that bothers you.

I decide to walk through the process with the balloon die. It’s so easy!

1. Run the balloon window die through your die cutting machine

2. Then run the balloon frame die through the die cutting machine

3. Put double sided adhesive around the lip of the plastic pouch that faces up (with the protruding part of the pouch up)

4. Remove the release paper on the tape, and adhere the pouch to the back of your cardstock, with the pouch part sticking out of the front

5. Use double sided tape to adhere the frame to the front of your card

With this release, MFT also added Number Confetti dies, which are perfect for the shaker pouches. The number dies cut out several of each number at one time, so you don’t kill yourself running one tiny die through the machine a ton of times. Below I cut out some confetti numbers, as well as the shaker elements that are included with the balloon die set (cakes, stars and ribbon curlicues). The balloon die set also includes dies for the balloon strings and a little ribbon curlicue, which I did not die cut, but I included in the picture, to the far right.

MFT also has a maze shape that fits into the circle pouches. How fun is this?! Add the metal spheres and you have an instant, interactive card! These mazes have been around for a couple of months, but I just now got my hands on the new rainbow colors. A friend asked me to use them for invitations to her son’s birthday party. I’ll be sure to share the finished cards with you (it’s my first time making invitations yikes).



The sky is really the limit with shaker cards. Between the different shapes, and the different kinds of sequins, there are so many options. There are micro beads (don’t use with tulle), 6 mm and 4mm sequins, shaped confetti, glitter, and card stock confetti. And shaker cards aren’t just for kids. Adults love them too!

What is your favorite method for making shaker cards?

Thanks for stopping by and sticking with the long post!


P.S. I almost forgot this gorgeous thing! MFT has a flower frame for the circle pouches!