First quick impression
I really like the overall theme of strawberries. The featured stamp is delicate and pretty and the die is intricate. The design looks quite versatile and a wide range of projects can be made from it from traditional to modern. Within the magazine, there are sample cards made by Sue Hughes to inspire you and they certainly got my creative juices flowing.
Testing the Stamps
The first things I tried were the stamps. Using my trusting stamping platform and Nuvo Black Shadow Hybrid ink. The focal image did need a second ink application to perfect it but then I was using new stamps. The bee with its trail stamped beautifully in one quick press. I can’t wait to use this bee with this stamp set and others, I think it will become a favourite when working with, well pretty much any floral project. The sentiments all stamped cleanly and I like the fact that the words can be combined for so many different occasions.
I then stamped the accent leaves and strawberries at the top of the image. The traditional style strawberry stamped nicely and I grabbed a couple of my Spectrum Noir markers to see how it would look (DR2 and LG3) The modern style strawberry stamped pretty well too and I think it would look even better in red. The leaves I was less sure off – they sort of looked like black splodges.
I then tried stamping them again in colour lower down using the spectrum Noir markers rather than ink pads. Once again the traditional strawberry stamped nicely (I deliberately tried not to include the leaves at the top. The one on the left went totally wrong, it may have still been a little bit wet from the baby wipe I used to clean it. Note to self (and any others fairly new to stamping) make sure the stamp dries before reinking with other colours or products. The leaves stamped cleanly but didn’t look very leaf-like. I think I may have to try these over the die-cut image.
Testing the Die
As with the majority of my die cutting, I once again used the Gemini to cut it as I can’t get enough of this machine. It has allowed me to keep crafting after the Fibromyalgia diagnosis. I regularly talk about this machine. You can see one of the main posts here. I used a scrap of black card stock that was quite thick (probably 200gsm or more) and it cut cleanly like butter. The cutting and embossing are simply beautiful and by cutting it in black you can see every detail.
I am a massive fan of this die and I’m already thinking of projects I can use it for. The next thing to do was to cut the die out in white and try the strawberry and leaf stamp with it to see how they look on the die.
Using the Die and Stamps Together
As I mentioned above my next move was to cut the die out in white. It seemed even more delicate and intricate in white and I could also think of uses for the die just as it is. There is such as innocence to it don’t you agree?
However, the plan now is to try the stamps with the die-cut. I decided I wanted a soft look and chose to use the Dreamees Dinky Inkies. Rather than using the stamping platform, I decided to snip the stamps into individuals and use a Majestix Acrylic Rod to stamp the leaf and strawberry elements of the die. I’ll be honest I was not that happy with the results. I use the acrylic rod’s with small stamps like the Card-io Majestix’s ones with no problems but stamping over the die was tricky to line up and I don’t think the stamps actually did the die justice – what do you think?
Colouring in the Die
My next step was to use a white die-cut and this time colour the image in instead. I used the same two Spectrum Noir markers as I used earlier. Colouring the leaves and the strawberries in but leaving the vine white. This was the result of that:
I quite liked that but decided to see how it looked in full colour, please bear in mind the images are quite close up. The actual die looked fully coloured in but when I see the photo I have missed bits. If you saw my last post you will be aware that I am currently in a massive Fibro Flare-up. Probably the biggest I have had to date. This “quick” colouring post took me (on and off) a whole day to do – be gentle!
I really like this set. The die is fantastic and a total hit. The featured image, bee and sentiments are all great stamps which will complement the die well. I do not have any other strawberry themed stamps or dies (that I have found yet!) so my decision is that all bar the two little leaves and strawberry stamp to match the dies is going to make it into my curated and reduced craft stash. It is a bit like that X Factor stage where the contestants need to keep their chairs. My craft stash needs to win draw space. In case you missed the last of these posts you can find it here. You can see all the posts where I have “auditioned” craft items by going to the category menu and choosing the free magazine gifts link.
Do please check back with winning items as I will be adding images of cards I have made to the posts. (When I am well enough to be making cards rather than very limited playing and dabbling).