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CHA Scrapbooking: Basic Grey

Basic Grey introduced four complete collections at this winter show, and by “complete,” we mean these collections include anything and everything you could ever want or need to create any scrapbook/paper project imaginable.

From the delicious paper packs in both 12″x 12″ and 6″x 6″ sizes and the luxurious textured cardstock created for BG by Core’dinations, to the fun assorted embellishments (which include felties and fabric) and the awesome stamp sets (you can make your own backgrounds!) created specifically for each line by Hero Arts – these new collections are everything you expect Basic Grey to be – fabulous.

The Sweet Threads collection is exactly that – sweet with a lovely, soft color palette. The floral and geometric patterns complement one another perfectly.

Look at these cool new paper medallions:

The Hello Luscious collection is a unique blend of fun, bold florals and funky geometric patterns with a beautifully vibrant color palette. 

Take a closer look at the “Ledger” rubber cling stamp. This will make an awesome background! And even better is that these rubber stamps are latex-free!
What do you think of when you hear “Lauderdale”? Does it invoke thoughts of sunshiney days lounging on the beach and ocean sailing? And tropical colors one would only expect to see in Lauderdale? Because that’s what this collection is all about – super fun and super bright.

Our favorite patterned paper in this collection. It can be used for so many projects!

Life of the Party is well… the life of the party! It’s all about ice cream cones and lollipops, birthday hats and pinwheels. It’s all about celebrating with the the most playful collection of papers and embellishments. Imagine the birthday cards and decorations that can be made with this line!

One of the more anticipated products was the Core Impressions textured cardstock by Core’dinations. The designs go hand in hand with the new collections as well as their existing lines.  And oh… to touch and feel.

Also new are these fantastic frames in various sizes and unfinished so you can add your own creative touches. How great would a set of these look on a wall?

Coming soon are these coordinating Card Kits and Page Kits that will be available for each new collection. Combine the Card Kit with the new line of stamps and take your card-making to a whole new level.

Just imagine the endless projects you can create with any or all of these collections! Thank you, Basic Grey.

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

CHA- Paper Lines & More: Basic Grey

A perennial favorite, BasicGrey’s CHA Summer Show release did not disappoint. The company introduced four new paper lines and embellishments.

Here’s Jovial, “a warm celebration in white snow, velvet black, pomegranate, evergreen and emberglow.” Gotta to love BasicGrey’s catalog descriptions!

More adorable snowmen in this line, plus some sweet deer:

The coordinating stamps feature a build-your-own-snowman. That’s a must have for me!


Some cute Jovial examples:


Here is Wander, perfect for travel pages with paper featuring maps, cars and cityscapes:


Here are the coordinating embellies. I love the zig zag road ribbon:


Some more project inspiration:


This is Pyrus, “perfect for the flavor of fall,” BasicGrey says. This paper has lots of fun flowers and super cute pears.


Some samples:

Marjolaine is an everyday line with the popular color combo of blue, brown, green and cream:

And here are some samples featuring the Curio line, that has a vintage, shabby chic look. Flowers, birds and butterflies abound:

Curio and Jovial were hot at the show. What’s your favorite of the new release?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Basic Grey Precision File Set

Reported by Heather Voinski

The Basic Grey Precision File Set is a set of 6 files that can be used on almost every surface, including all those little tight spots that we never seem to be able to get to. The set includes: 1 round, 1 half-round, 1 square, 1 knife, and 2 file boards. All files come with a rubber coated grip for easy use.

I was introduced to this set while attending a class at my LSS. I noticed several ladies filing away at the chipboard album we were making and I was curious! I picked up a set before leaving the store, unknowing that this was the tool I was needing. I am always making something out of chipboard and cardboard. I save all kinds of boxes and inserts from household items to use in my craft area and usually spend a ton of time with my little scissors shaping it. Since getting this set, my little scissors have gotten quite a rest.

Recently I used the file set when making a mini book about our dogs. My front and back covers were both made of cardboard, from a box waiting to be recycled in my garage.

After cutting my pieces of cardboard, I wanted to round the edges. If I could find my corner rounder (we recently moved and it is still lost) I wound have tried to use it, but I don’t think it would have even fit. The flat board filer made it easy for me to do though. I marked off my corner using a ruler and then cut it with scissors. Then I used the flat board filer to round the edges of my cardboard. The whole process took me about 5 minutes.

For my inner pages, I cut my pages from a piece of 12 x 12 chipboard.


I wanted cute fancy edges that you get from some of the new chipboard books you see in the stores. I took a piece of left over paper with a edge on it and traced it on my chipboard.


I used my scissors to cut off the most I could, and then filed and shaped it with a flat board file and the half round file. It was simple to do, and I think the pages came out great. It certainly looked like one of those fancy albums that I would pay a lot for in the store.





After making all of my pages out of chipboard, I covered them with paper. After they were all covered, I used the flat board file and the half round file to file my edges. This is what I saw the women at my LSS doing.


If you file the edges of your chipboard after covering it, it makes the edges look nice and clean, like the paper was on it all along.


I love the way it makes the edges look. It makes them look finished.

Filing Tip: The important thing I found out, when filing paper on chipboard, is to go in one direction. You want to make passes over the edges in one direction, and then flip your page over and do it again to the other side. If you don’t do this, your edges will become a mess.

My mini book included acrylic pages in between my chipboard ones. The one thing that bugs me about acrylic pages when I cut them myself, are the sharp edges that they can have. I wanted clean edges like my chipboard so I trimmed the edges again and used my flat board file on them.

Filing Tip: Using the files on the acrylic were a little different. What I found is that you need to file in one direction like on the chipboard first and this will produce excess acrylic on the edge and then turn your file on the edge and file off the excess. Doing this will give you a nice smooth edge.

I finished off my mini and embellished it and then tried the flat file on the backside of my staples. A few passes of my file and my edges of the staples were smooth.

Pros:

  • Simple to use and the rubber grip makes them easy to hold. Plus… the rubber grip on the file boards can be removed so that you can reverse them to extend their use or replace them.
  • Great price
  • Durable
  • Can be used on multiple surfaces
  • Can be used on more than paper crafts. I have a friend that put a wooden dollhouse together for her daughter and used the set to file the entire thing. (this is where the durable come in….she is still using them and they still don’t need replacing)
  • Instead of using them to smooth, you can also go in the other direction with these and distress!!

Cons:

  • Would love to see them packaged differently, maybe in a case that closes and holds them better
  • That I didn’t find them sooner 🙂

The Basic Grey Precision File Set can be purchased at many sites online and can also be found at most of the chain craft stores.

Overall I can say I am more than pleased with this file set. Definitely gets a rating of 10 out of 10 from me. It has been more helpful than I could have ever imagined, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who crafts. Here at Craft Critique we love to hear what you think of this product and if you have it, please leave a comment and tell us how YOU are using it!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

The Best of Craft Critique and a Giveaway…

Today we wanted to bring you some of Craft Critique’s best articles from back in the day… and heck, let’s giveaway some stuff while we are at it!

This week I have been focusing myself on coloring techniques and related products. So check out these in depth past reviews on the topic… plenty to read over the long Labor Day weekend!

Watercolor Crayons from Stampin’ Up!
Colored Pencil Comparison
Journaling Pens: Copic, Zig, American Crafts
Copic Airbrush System
The Best Black Inks

Now, a Giveaway!

Basic Grey
is tops on our list and yours in the paper business. Frankly, you can’t beat them in the quality department, and this latest release is fashion forward and on everyone’s must have list whether you are a scraper or card maker.

So Craft Critique is giving away 3 full Basic Grey paper collections to three lucky readers. All you have to do is tell one friend about the giveaway! Post a link on your blog, Facebook page or Twitter… then just leave a comment below on this post telling us your favorite of these three collections. We will pick a winner on Tuesday, September 8th. at midnight CST.

Sorry! this giveaway is closed…. come back tomorrow to see if you won!

Eskimo Kisses
Indian Summer
Eerie

Thank you all for reading and have a relaxing weekend!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Connect and Win New Basic Grey!

Because it’s almost Valentine’s Day, and because love our readers, and because we know our readers LOVE Basic Grey… here is a little giveaway for you all.

Maybe you’ve already noticed… or maybe you never go to the website because you just get our emails… or maybe you are like totally new to this whole webby-bloggy thingy and don’t understand how the *interwebs* work… but we are trying to connect with YOU, our lovely, crafty readers.

We are trying to do this in a number of ways…

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Email Subscriptions

Blog Carnivals

We would like to connect to you and help you connect to us! This helps us stay on top of current trends, see what you are crafting and keep you informed of our activities!

So… we have two collections to give away… FULL NEW Basic Grey Collections… each pack includes 18 sheets of patterned paper, one sheet of coordination alphabet stickers and one sheet of coordinating card stock stickers. One lucky person will win BOTH collections!

The Wisteria Collection; like a day at the spa,
a walk after the rain, or a crisp set of new sheets,
let Wisteria ease you away to a peaceful, creative
terrace of veranda inspired florals. Our garden blooms
in summer shades of sky blue, mint green, deep plum and delacate golds.



The Marrakech Collection; a visually arresting
collection of Moroccan inspired patterns and prints.
Fiery crimson, fresh basil, patina green, curry yellow
and peacock blues burst to life in a spicy anthology of robust colors.


What do you have to do to enter? Get connected! Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Email Subscription, or by playing along in our current Blog Carnival.

All of our blog carnival submissions (including future submissions) are already entered in the drawing. If you have already joined us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or via Email, just let us know by leaving a comment. If you are connect in multiple ways just leave multiple comments!

We believe in the honor system… 😉

If you are not yet connected to us then GET connected… somewhere, somehow. Just click on the links above to find out more… it won’t be scary… I promise! Then once you join us leave a comment here.

UPDATE:
A winner has been chosen! Thank you for playing!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

BasicGrey Wassail Greeting Card Kit

Reported by Suzy Haghighi
In a perfect world, you know the one, that alternate universe run by Martha Stewart where we all wear lace aprons (hand sewn) and create, cook, clean, raise kids and husbands in between work time, we would have all the time in the world to make Christmas cards for every relative, friend, and co-worker. In this universe, however, we often end up in a time crunch and stressed out as we try to do everything. Enter our crafty superhero to save the day: Captain Card Kit, or as he is known to us mere mortals, the BasicGrey Wassail Greeting Card Kit (named after the traditional mulled cider drink served at Christmas time). For around $15.00 you get almost everything you need to make 8 different holiday cards in about an hour.

My assembled cards. Tacky reindeer plant not included

Included in the kit are:

  • 2 Sheets of Wassail patterned paper die-cuts
  • 8 sheets of printed and scored cardstock (2 each in 5×7, 5×5, 4×5, 9×3.5)
  • 2 sheets of BasicGrey rub-ons
  • 1 sheet of printed self-adhesive chipboard
  • Step-by-step instructions with pictures
  • 8 envelopes sized to match the cards (4 different sizes)

Not included in the kit but needed to complete the cards as instructed:

  • your adhesive of choice
  • black permanent ink pen (I used a dark brown Tombow marker)
  • white opaque pen
  • dye based inks (I used Memento in Rich Cocoa and Rhubarb Stalk)

Merry & Bright Card

I am a huge fan of BasicGrey – I have almost every pattern of paper currently in production. This Christmas I have been leaning toward non-traditional, brighter colors of pink, aqua, red and white in my card making. The Wassail collection, with its muted, warm shades of berries and olives, and vintage/country patterns did not excite me. I wasn’t sure what to do with a lot of the patterns like the Spruce Toile and French Hens. Thanks to this kit I now love the Wassail collection. The kit taught me to see the patterns in a new way, and to combine those patterns, which I found kind of tired, dark and boring on their own, into modern, fresh and cheerful cards. That pattern mixing is a lesson I will take with me beyond the kit and to my own card designs.

Each of the eight cards is layered and uses the die cuts and chipboard shapes or letters; most of them use the rub-ons as well. The cardstock, which is the card base, is scored for you and has a lovely, fine pebbled texture with patterns on one side, while the inside is smooth and white. I am guessing the weight of the cardstock to be about 110 lbs – it is nice and sturdy. I really wish BasicGrey would sell this stuff separately, it’s amazing! The size of the patterns on the cardstock are equivalent to BasicGrey’s 12×12 patterned paper. I prefer the smaller scaled size of patterns available on the 6×6 paper pads for my card making, but that is a minor detail, as the larger patterns still look great on the cards.

Normally I add bling of some sort and ribbons to my cards, so I was very hesitant to even buy this kit. I was not prepared to like how they turned out as much as I did. I kept thinking to myself, Self, am I crafting, or am I assembling a puzzle? Then I thought, shut up Self, this is fun either way!

Noel Card

The number one reason I have never bought a card kit is that I like to design my own cards. With all the inking, stitching, lining, scrunching and tearing, you will feel very actively involved in the process, and that you have created something, not just assembled it. The style of cards created is very different from my normal style – these cards are a lot “scrappier”, i.e. geared towards a scrapbooking style, with no rubber stamping involved.

The instructions were easy to follow overall, but there was one persistent frustration: the black & white photos on the Instruction Sheet were dark and very hard to see. I had to refer to the color photos on the back of the packaging (so don’t throw that out!) but cards Two
(Deck the Halls card) and Five (Noel card) are concealed by company graphics and writing.

Noel Trees Card with Optional rub-on inside

One of my favorite cards from the kit is the Merry & Bright Card (see first photo). I loved the cheerful patterns and the dimension of the fun stars that I got to stitch and line with pen. It was fun to scrunch up the strip of paper and stick it under the star. But those tiny chipboard letters *shakes fist at them*, they were a huge pain! The adhesive would not stick and I ended up having to glue each teeny tiny letter to the paper.

I was lulled back to loving this kit by the dozen or so bonus sentiments, which come in a black, casual cursive font. You get 12+ different sentiments, some of which are holiday neutral to send to those who do not celebrate Christmas.

Pros:

  • You can make 8 layered cards with chipboard and layers in under an hour – perfect for those on a time crunch who still want to hand make cards.
  • Good instructions overall that are easy to follow for all skill levels.
  • 12 extra black rub-on sentiments to add where you wish (I put mine inside the card) and a few extra white rub-on snowflakes.
  • You get to play with a different style than yours, and learn new tricks just like a card class but on your own time.
  • Good value – to buy each product separately would cost a lot more than $15. This is a nice way to try out a range of BasicGrey products.

Cons:

  • The black & white photos on the Instruction Sheet are dark and very hard to see, so you are not always sure what piece you need to use on a card.
  • The patterns for the cards are from the 12×12 larger scale print, which is more for scrapbookers. I do not care for large prints when I make my cards.
  • Some people may not like step by step directions during their creative process – but this can be said of any kit in general: it can feel like assembling rather than creating.
  • It would be nice if BasicGrey told you the extra supplies you need to create the cards on the outside of the kit’s packaging as not everyone may own what’s needed.
  • Some odd sized cards i.e. the long thin card may require extra postage.
  • The perforation marks of the die cuts show – easily remedied by sanding the paper, but this is nitpicking as when you ink the edges the perforation marks disappear for the most part.
  • The adhesive on the chipboard stickers is very weak – I recommend using additional adhesive or your tiny letters and small pieces will fall off.

One final tip: Save the leftover chipboard cutout sheet and use it to trace shapes onto patterned paper – instant tree, star and holly leaf template!

Overall, I really enjoyed the BasicGrey Wassail Holiday Card Kit. It is a great value for the money, and perfect for people who want to give hand made cards but are pressed for time. I love the modern style combined with vintage patterns and colors. The quality of the paper and rub-ons is fantastic; my only hesitancy on the chipboard is that the adhesive doesn’t stick. I would rate this product an 8 out of 10.

BasicGrey kits are kind of hard to find in general – I am not sure if that is because retailers do not order many, or that they are just in high demand and sell out quickly. Local scrapbooking and retail stores that carry BasicGrey will often carry the card kits, or be willing to order them for you. The kit is no longer posted on the BasicGrey.com website, so it may be a limited edition kit. I found a few kits still available on eBay.

As of December 15th the only on-line retailer I could find that had the kit in stock was: Embellish-Online.com – on sale for $13.50 U.S. (they do ship internationally)

So what do you think of card kits in general – are they a great time saver and a way to learn new tricks, or are they “cheating”, and just assembling someone else’s work?

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

BasicGrey….a love affair

Reported by Heidi Kingery

I remember hearing the buzz surrounding BasicGrey on Splitcoast Stampers years ago. I saw the paper and the patterns and instantly fell in love! I wanted it *oh so* badly! Well, that is, until I saw the price! The only place I could find it was online scrapbook stores, and at around $.70 a sheet, I wasn’t buyin’! Call me what you may, but I prefer to call myself ‘thrifty’! I tend to only buy things that are on sale to some degree, or if I can get them with a coupon. I’m sure there are a lot of you ‘thrifty’ shoppers out there! Be proud! Okay, I am getting a little off the point here so let me jump back
.

You can purchase the 12×12 paper by the sheet or in the collection packs that include eighteen single sided papers, along with one sheet of tags and one sheet of alphabet stickers. The collection packs run around $18.00 each. Although, I started my stash by getting them half off once Hobby Lobby started carrying them. You can also buy the very clever 6×6 pads that include the same paper from the 12×12 packs, just on a 6×6 scale which is perfect for card makers! The 6×6 pads that include 36 sheets (2 of each design) run $6 each and seem to be easier on your wallet. Well, that is unless you’re me and just end up buying more to make up for the price difference! They haven’t started carrying those in stock at Hobby Lobby just yet but I am keeping my eyes peeled!

BasicGrey can be described as versatile, colorful, exotic, fun, and beautiful all in the same breath. They have five new lines coming out this month and one dubbed ‘Two Scoops’ that is also a recent release. In addition to the new lines they have over twenty other lines to choose from. The styles range from total boy, to pastel swirls, to bright and bold Christmas. And the plus side is, not only do they have paper, but they also have ribbon and fiber, chipboard albums, embellishments, rub-ons, and now even acrylic stamps! And even better than that, it all matches!

Not only do I love the look of this fabulous paper but I also love the weight too. It’s 80lb. paper which makes it perfect for layering and also for projects like card boxes, candy sleeves, and bags. The paper has a white core so when it comes to dry embossing and distressing or using sandpaper to roughen the edges, it works perfectly.

If you are reading this right now and do not own a single piece of BasicGrey {or just NEED more}, immediately go to your favorite web store {I like http://www.allthatscraps.com/ due to great service and free shipping over $10} and get a few 6×6 pads to see how you like it. You aren’t going to be overcome with happiness with every line. I’m not. Remember to always buy what is going to make YOU happy and what appeals to YOU. Go with a few of your top choices and I guarantee you’ll be going back for more! Thanks for reading and as always, please feel free to leave a comment whether you are in love too or even if you {gasp} don’t like it. Tell us why! We like to hear from our readers!

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!