Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hero Arts Layering Colors stamps, ink and die sets

Never reviewed a stamp set nor really felt the need to... but I was sitting here frustrated and not loving what I since I know that my ones of viewers and reader may wonder....

I bought the pineapple and hibiscus color layering stamp and die and ink sets from Hero Arts last week.  I took the day off from work on Friday (also have Monday and Tuesday off... ) I really need to not be working so much and need to take the "me time".  Also I wanted to get some card making done and just chill out. I have to get my birthday card and hello card stash back up into action.... I thought having a full supply of what I needed might help me get inspired so was excited to use these sets.

Every year I buy my Mom a birthday present on my birthday because well.... she did allllll the hard work with me not only to get me to that day but to where I am today as well.  Seriously my Mom might be the most amazing lady I have had the fortunate ability to spend all of my life knowing.  She is my rock.  

So I usually am lame and get a gift card to Amazon but this year I thought I would make her a kick ass set of cards she can use for thank you notes... as she is really good about writing them and sending them out .... I mean seriously I learned from the best!

So she LOVES pineapple and hibiscus so when I saw the sets come up for sale I waited and waited... pulled the trigger and bought the sets last week. Ordered directly from Hero Arts and they shipped super quickly! 

I made the pineapple thank you cards on Friday and will work on the hibiscus sets today.  I gave her the Thank Yous yesterday because well... not just proud of the results.... and wanted to move on.

and here is why: 

Opened up the packages and stood there trying to decide what I was going to do.  Picked the pineapple set.  At first I didn't like it at all.  It seemed a little too "precious" I suppose.  The ink cubes are really super wet, the stamp (they are poly) stained immediately when using their ink or any ink (dye or pigment I realized).  I have to say for someone like me, who likes things to clean up completely... with little staining...this is a complete nightmare.  I think honestly I let it bring me down a little.  The sets are not at all cheap but after the first use they looked it because they stained so badly.  I am bummed.  I am letting it get to me.  NOW I get it if you use the heck out of your stamps and over and over and with black dye ink only... sure sure... that I get, but first time out with pigment ink and blammo the poly is bright yellow and won't clean up clear?  Really disappointing.  I was bummed.  

As an aside: It's a very common comment I have seen and read. Glad that it's not just me.  I am guessing it is probably due to a manufacturing process and supplier.... seems very common for everyone. It is a complete ick factor and frustrating to me as I feel like I am going to stain my next ink pad. I know that I won't but I want to make sure any one that may see this knows about the staining. 

I mean it's really harsh y'all.  Be prepared.  DO NOT ANTICIPATE CLEANING OFF THE STAIN.  It won't happen.  

And I am claiming full responsibility for it making be a little meh about the set. Yes I let it get to me.  Yes I know it's silly.  Yes I know .... I own it. 

So.... back to the pineapple body.  The layers felt a little weird to put down. I mean I don't need a full on ARROW telling me what edge to line up against but a little guide would be helpful, the pictures on the back of the card are really small.  

There is a simple edge to follow but it's just a little odd feeling and doesn't line up 100 %.  I feel what they are working for... imperfection can be perfection.  But...a little bit of a guide with a bigger picture would totally be helpful.  Then I did the leaves/pineapple top... it felt weird and the look didn't feel good.  I had no idea where the second and third layer were supposed to sit.  I just didn't love the results out of the gate.  Really didn't. There was just a big but.... 

Note sure what it is.  

I stood there and then I went to die cut out the pineapple with the supplied die.  Yeah that was a huge issue... it didn't line up at all... for my needs it worked out but really a bummer.  

 I wanted to stand there and feel in love.  But I was just not.  I thought well it looks nice.  Sure. But .... again... just not loving.  

I then went and looked up some other videos and found that others actually die cut their shapes out first and stamped second.  I did do that with the hibiscus set and it worked out better. So keep that in mind.  I will have to try that with the pineapple next time I use the set.  I mean there will be a next time for sure.  

Anyways.... put together the cards... they are nice. Not at all what I intended at all.  I wanted to do something really fabulous for my Mom... instead I feel like they are just mediocre. I think I was just so not loving the stamped and died results that I just wanted to get the cards made, packed up and out.  

This is my issue for sure and I get that.  

I have three hibiscus card fixings sitting on my work table and will do something with them this afternoon... again... note that it does work out so much cleaner on the edges of your cuts to cut the shapes out first, use a little edge of post it tape and stamp those cuts after diecutting... at least it worked out better for me... so I thank the blog that mentioned that and I am bummed that I can't call it out.  

I really wanted these sets to be my new favorites.  I wanted to fall in love and use them until they wore out.  I really did.  I like them alot and know that there are a ton of options for what I can do with them... and I will... but not just in love.  

I do though reserve the right to change my opinion. 

I will up date this post with pictures later this afternoon when I figure out what I am going to do with the hibiscus cut outs.

I also bought the gold fish set.  Didn't even open that up at all.  But there wasn't anything as timely for me on that set.  

If you have any advise or design ideas I am all ears because not just loving as much as I wanted to.  Maybe it's the ink color combinations that I used... even though I used the inks with the sets.... had to add a color... maybe I will stamp off the middle layer for the pineapple.  I don't know.  just not wow'd.

Give me a week and maybe 10 more cards and I will feel better about it. But out of the gate... great idea... very realistic layers on the pineapple... and cool but not just what I was hoping for.  

So not the worst but not my most inspired work....

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