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This blog is dedicated to stamping, tips, musings, and whatever I want to post.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Just Ordered Rock A Blocks--but....

I am so miffed by the demonstration put out by the company in the video (click the title of this post to see the ad) that I almost wish I hadn't. Notice how she purposely does not even ink up the wooden stamp? Notice how she purposely gets ink all over the edges of the acrylic block and then actively rocks it on the paper to cause smearing?

Wooden blocks and acrylic blocks generally work fine with most stamps if you pay attention. I ordered the Rock a Blocks last week for a few of my larger acrylic stamps and particularly for stamping when I stamp lots of cards with the same image (Christmas cards, cards for my students, etc.) because you can work faster without messing up.

I hate this sort of advertising which implies we are all too stupid to make sense of an honest demonstration. It really bugs me!

Cuttlebug and Chalks

Friday, February 27, 2009

SU and PTI Black Cardstock Comparison

I finally got my PTI card stock. The SU and the PTI are absolutely identical. I even took them outside to see if I could see a difference in color.

That being said, the PTI card stock is a much sturdier cardstock.

Sunbonnet Sue

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Glass Jar Frames

Another really cute idea! Click the title of this post.

90 Seconds to Make a Brownie in a Mug

Gotta try this!! Click the title of this post for how to bake a brownie in 90 seconds in a mug!

Wonderful Ribbon Border

Check out the instructions for this very cool ribbon border by clicking the title of this post.

Red Roses

Monday, February 23, 2009

Excellent Copic Information

Elaine at GW posted this wonderful link today and I wanted to share it with my readers. It is the best explanation of the Copic products I have seen. Click the title of this post to go to the information.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Card by Heather



This card was designed by my friend, Heather, using SU products. We made this at stamp group.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Aloha by Lizzie Anne



This set is by Lizzie Anne. I used regular markers and some flowers I had sitting around. The sand is done with paper coated with Stickles. The center of the flower is Liquid Pearls.

I am going to be taking a few days of rest and relaxation and so I may not get to post for a few days. I will return!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to Make Heart Shaped Clips---

--in an instant! This is too cute. Click the title of this post for the photo showing how simple this is.

Valentine Box



I used my Nesties to make these boxes. I used a basic box shape and then put a die cut from Labels One on top and bottom. The ribbon is from Papertrey and the image is from Peggy Loves Vintage (click the title of this post to go to her site). You will just love her stuff and I see that she has some new image CD's available. If you scroll down for a few pages you will see a couple of other things I have made using the Valentine CD.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Martha Stewart Heart Punch



I fell in love with this punch when I saw it at Impress in Seattle. They had done several wonderful sample cards with it and for some they used it as a border. The hearts stay attached in 2 teensy places when you punch and you can leave them in or press them out. On this card I pressed out the white hearts and attached them to the red that had been bordered with the Threading Water Fiskars punch. Easy, fast card. I used a Cuttlebug embossing folder along the bottom.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearts on a Ribbon



Another really quick card. I stamped a background of X's and O's (source unnknown) on pink paper with red ink and then punched them out. The larger letters are done with my Martha Stewart set. Sentiment is SU and the border is a Cuttlebug Border. The ribbon is not attached to the paper at all.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quick Valentine



Cuttlebug and punches does it. The Curly Label makes the little backgrounds for each heart. I used the Cuttlebug on the white layer behind the hearts. Ribbon by Papertrey.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Librarian Frog Valentine



Since my son is in a master's program to be a librarian, I am always looking for book theme stamps. I found this little adorable Penny Black frog for 1/2 price (forcing me to buy a wood mounted, LOL). The sentiment and ribbon are Papertrey. It is colored with Copics.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Papertrey Challenge



This is the first Papertrey Challenge I have ever done. The image is from Peggy's Vintage (click title of the lamb vintage Valentine below to go to her site). I used hearts instead of dots for the trio. Hope that is OK.

Puppy Love



Not sure where I got the stamp. It is one I use with my kids at school though. This was fun to do. I did this with a little girl who came to visit and who loves puppies. She wanted a Valentine for a special little boy.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Check out Tara's AWESOME Studio

Way to go Tara! Amazing Studio. Readers, click the title of this post for a 19 picture tour.

Vintage Valentine



This is a card using the Valentine CD images from Peggy Love's Vintage (click the title of this post and you can see all her gorgeous stuff). Additionally she makes this a breeze with all her personal help for those of us not good with the technical stuff. Ribbon from Papertrey. White border is a punch from Martha Stewart. 2 largest hearts are Nesties and the center heart is a punch.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

High Hopes Update and Mystery Solved

The stamps I ordered at the end of my Christmas break from High Hopes (see previous post on this issue) arrived today, about 5 weeks later. When I inquired about them on January 18 she told me "Your order was shipped via Canada Post Airmail/Insured this morning (direct quote from her email). I inquired again on January 29 and got a not so nice email acting like I should not expect so much from them (due to being a young company, due to having only 2 employees, due to needing a new facility, due to the fact she was a month behind because she took the whole month of December off, etc). She then went on to say that the Canadian postal service was probably holding them in customs for 28 days. They arrived today, Feb. 5 postmarked January 29. She had not shipped them despite what she told me. In other words, this had nothing to do with the customs or the postal service.

I have had a number of emails from other customers saying they have had the same experience. 3 of these people told me to check the date on the shipping and bet me that she had not shipped them at all until I asked for a refund. I would never have thought to look at the postmark had they not told me that their packages had also not been mailed when they had been told they were. Mystery solved.

FOR SALE

All are brand new and unopened:

Eastern Blooms Stamp Set: $18.50 plus shipping
Eastern Elegance Rub-Ons: $8.50 plus shipping
Certainly Celery Dye Pad: $4.50 plus shipping

Or all of the above 3 for $29 plus shipping. Insurance optional. Email me at rubyslippers@neofast.net

Owly Winter



It is still coldish and foggy here and quite frosty in the mornings. I am ready for spring!
This card is done with all Hero Arts stamps.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An Almost Valentine



I figured I could add a Valentine sentiment if I wanted to turn this into a Valentine. I really love this MFT BoHo Blossom stamp, although it can be a challenge to be creative with it. The ribbon is from SU.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pros and Cons of Vendors

About once a year I do a summary of the companies and retailers I have dealt with throughout the year and give my opinions. This year customer service really became an issue for me. With all the chatboards it is pretty easy to see those companies that get the most complaints for consistent problems and those who rarely get a ding from anyone. I had some wonderful experiences this year and some really awful ones.

SUPERIOR experiences this year were:

Merriartist.com--This is where I buy my Copics. Not only the best price I have found, but she ships almost instantly after you order and I always get them within 48 hours. Customer service is fabulous and she wraps things well.

2nd Childhood--Cherylynn is just tops in my book for trying to please her customers. Her prices are more than reasonable to begin with and she has frequent sales that FORCE you to buy, LOL! She ships immediately and is a total sweetie to work with. I cannot say enough about what good service she provides. She answers emails immediately too.

Cornish Heritage Farms--Superb service, fast shipping, free shipping at $35 and cute, cute stamps. A good source for EZ Mount too. Nice people to deal with.

Stampingcottage.com--This is where I bought my Just Rite stamps (most of them) and while I stumbled on this place due to their especially good prices and wide range of selection, I have to say their customer service, fast shipping, etc. have put them in this category.

Impress--While you will only get the occasional sale, Impress has the freshest ideas. Everything on their site is inspiring. I have shopped regularly at their Seattle stores and am ALWAYS met with helpful clerks. I had to return an item and they took it no questions asked with the sweetest attitude. They have ribbon to die for and shopping in their stores is heaven. Additionally, they ship immediately if you order online. IMO, this is the way a brick and mortar store should be run. The clerks KNOW the products, are happy to demonstrate, and want you to leave happy---which I always do.

Just Rite--a big thumbs up for this company. I had a font set with a missing letter. I emailed, got an answer within an hour, a ship notice an hour later, and my letter was here in under 48 hours. The email I received was clearly a "we will make you happy and fast" kind of email and I really appreciated it since I was making Christmas cards and needed it soon.

VERY GOOD experiences:

All That Scraps: I continue to enjoy the selection online. Shipping is reasonable although it went up this year. I used to get orders in 2-3 days and now it usually takes a week or a bit more. Not sure if that is the shipping option the company uses or the slowing in postal service. Again, this company takes care of issues immediately and to customer satisfaction. This is my second choice of a retailer to buy Copics from. She is more expensive than Merriartist, but sometimes has colors I cannot get elsewhere. She is often backordered on things though.

Papertrey: Their second year was better for avoiding mistakes and handling them more professionally. They continue to produce excellent product and I LOVE their cardstock and matching ribbon. I am getting more picky about sets and am finding that either I am jaded or the sets this year just did not float my boat quite as much. I think it is probably me. I did not come close to an Anniversary Set this year (free if you buy 12 sets in a year). Price of shipping went up and again, I used to get my orders in 2-3 days and now it takes a week. Sometimes slow in answering email.

Jacksonbelle Embellishments: Good service and fast shipping, but a rather limited selection which is why I don't order often. I tend to order from places where I get the most bang for my shipping buck.

SO SO experiences:

My Favorite Things: While I raved about this company last year, I don't find as much this year that is appealing. They came out with some "sexual innuendo" stamps and I have seen some cards that are downright vulgar made with them. Not the company's fault, but I sure do miss their really fun stamps from before. Prices also went up.

NOT GOOD experiences:

Hanna Stamps: If you were the recipient of Kristi's "mistakenly sent" email you probably know what I mean. This retailer showed her true colors a couple of times this year. I don't think she counted on people making her nasty emails public and it has made me leery. Additionally, some are calling her latest stamp sets "Barbie Meets Anna Nicole Smith" and I do miss the Hanna stamps that represented her daughter not such bimbo-ish looking sets as of late. I am not saying I won't order again, but I will be very hesitant to do so. I loved her teacher set and that is the style I am looking for.

TERRIBLE experiences:

High Hopes: Ordered over a month ago and still no stamps. I contacted the owner and got a not so nice email telling me she took the month of Dec.off for a holiday and is running a month behind. She went on to tell me she is a young company of only 3-4 years (young?) and has only 2 employees. She further said her facility is too small. Honestly, I just want my stamps!!! Her excuses made it sound like her customers should just accomodate for her. I was not impressed and will NOT order from them again. Between the poor service and the whiny attitude, I am done with this company.

So there you have it--from best to worst. In this economy I think we will see many companies failing shortly. I believe that those with the poorest customer service and with bad attitudes will fall first. These companies are discussed all over the internet and it is not hard to see which ones have pleased customers and which ones are always dealing with disgruntled customers.

I have had my eye on trying Sugar Nellies, Paper Pretties, WhipperSnapper, but postage is very high on single stamps and so those will wait until I can pick some up on ebay.

WOW!! Readers immediately noticed that I had not mentioned SU so I am adding this note now. Here is why: I still love their colors and their ribbon and some of their designs, but I find them high priced, even for wood mounts. Additionally, since I am completely UM now, I immediately tear them off the wood anyway. Since SU has chosen not to offer UM or clear, they have pretty much lost my business when it comes to the stamps themselves. I am not the only one as many customers feel this way.
I am not "boycotting" them, they just no longer meet my needs or my budget. I cut back on stamp spending this year and ended up with more new stamps than ever because I only bought a total of 7 wood mounted stamps on sale this year when I found really good deals. I am not saying that if they had a "to die for" stamp that I would not indulge, but for the most part I am not looking to SU anymore.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inkadinkado Rose



I keep coming back to this rose stamp. So much fun to color with Copics. I also used my Fiskars border punch to do the lace. Background is red ink on red cardstock with an Impress background to give it a bit of texture.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

For You Sweetie Pie!!



Main image is SU. The pie and part of the sentiment are Papertrey. The stamped vertical border is a stamp I have had for years and I don't know the source. Colored with Copics.