Thursday, July 22, 2010

it makes me want to wag my tail

MAIL! :)

Yesterday was a good day - well, in the mail arena at least. I ordered my first stamp set from Gina K. Designs. I recently discovered her store and her StampTV site - probably through a youtube video or something. Her style is clean and graphic like mine, but her cards are all kind of the same... the best word I can think of is uninspired... They're lovely and well made but all just layered solid-colored cardstock and stamps. I like more patterned paper and embellishments and stuff. But her videos are great - There's just something about her over-the-top bubbly charm that I'm loving! So I followed their July release and fell in love with the Christmas in July stamp set.
It's called Blessed is the Season... I'm not at all religious, so I don't usually go for stamp sets with scripture and sentiments that mention God. But, on the one hand, if I'm trying to promote my etsy store better, there's a huge market for religious cards. On the other hand, the less shrewd hand, I love this stamp set! The images are lovely and simple and I adore the mix of fonts.

Now, I don't really do enough stamping to be able to give a fair review of how these stamps compare to others. I've only used a couple so far. I had a little trouble with the block of text inking up properly, but when I switched to a different ink pad it worked just fine.

I also bought a holiday themed cardstock assortment to try out Gina K.'s Pure Luxury cardstock.
Here's my biggest complaint with it: The description is "Contains 5 sheets of 5 Pure Luxury card stock colors in assorted weights and textures." OK. Isn't the idea of a cardstock assortment to get you to buy more in the future? What if I love what I get? I won't know what to reorder if they don't tell me what I'm using! And how do I know which of these cardstocks are appropriate for various projects? Pure Luxury has a base weight and a layering weight and they're not necessarily interchangeable. So far I've only used the white, which I'm pretty sure is the base weight. I really do like the weight of it, but it's so smooth that it's almost glossy, which I don't love. It seems to stamp nicely, but I had some trouble getting my favorite Colorbox chalk ink to dry, which led to smudging and having to re-stamp over and over. (Now I understand why Gina K. uses dye ink in her videos!) I'll let you know how the other cardstocks work out, and if I figure out which one's which!

In the meantime, here are my first two projects with Gina K. Designs products. I used emboss resist on both, with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China. (If you're not familiar with this technique, you must check out Jennifer McGuire's Thinking Inking class for 2 Peas!)

This is my favorite stamp in the set - which is a little weird considering I don't usually go for the religious sentiments. For some reason I just love the concept of a "conspiracy of love"... I don't know if it's from somewhere in particular but I love it. Rather than using one focal image, I wanted to make a super simple card with the sentiment as the focus. (The navy cardstock is from Paper Source; I used Gina K. Designs and Bazzill white cardstock.)

On this card I did emboss resist on the dove after stamping the text block stamp in gray. This was where I had trouble with the text stamp, but I think it was really the gray ink. This is more in keeping with Gina K.'s style of cardmaking. It makes me wish I had more Nestabilities so that I could create thinner borders, but I kept the 1/4" border fairly consistent so I don't hate it. But I'd rather have a 1/8" border! The white background is embossed with the paisley Impressabilities.

More to come soon from this stamp set! I'll let you know how I like it as I continue to use it!

Thanks for stopping by!

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