Tag Archives | Dana Vitek

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY!: Spellbinder Grand Calibur (Day 2 of 2)

Reported by Dana Vitek

I’ve been a Spellbinders customer since the beginning of time. I have one of the original Wizards; it says “Patent Pending” on it. I’ve been collecting the Spellbinders dies since before the Nestibilities came out. As such, I have amassed quite the collection:

I may or may not have a problem.

So when the time came to test out the Spellbinders Grand Calibur, I was the obvious choice.  Kandi did such a great job yesterday describing the contents of the box and such, I’ll just get right down to the business of showing off.

The first thing I wanted to cut and emboss has been hanging out in my craft room for years:

This is Craft-a-Board, developed by Ellen Hutson for use with the Spellbinder Nestabilities. It’s a sturdy board, like chipboard, but nicer. I could never get the Nestabilities to cut cleanly through it with the original Wizard, so I was excited to try it with the Grand Calibur.

I laid out all the dies I wanted to cut. The largest scalloped square there is the very biggest of the Grand Scalloped Squares. I also threw some scalloped paisleys on there because I had SO MUCH ROOM on the cutting platform.

Here they are after one pass through the Grand Calibur:

One piece didn’t cut cleanly all the way through, but a quick pass of the craft knife, and it was ready to go.

Compared to the trouble I had with this stuff using the original Wizard, I was thrilled!
While I had the Craft-a-Board out, I decided to make a puzzle for my daughter, using the Spellbinders Jigsaw Puzzle Die. I traced out the size of the die in pencil, and then went to town stamping and coloring the Craft-a-Board:

I centered the die over the design, and ran it through the Grand Calibur:

One pass through… 

and here it is in pieces:

Most of the pieces came apart with a little back and forth wiggling; I think I had to cut 2 or 3 pieces with the craft knife, and it literally only took seconds to do that. A quick, personalized 20-piece puzzle for my kid. These would be great as birthday party favors!

Now then, I have letterpress on the brain because I just finished up a some letterpress projects, and the packaging of the Spellbinders Impressibilities caught my eye. It says it can be used for letterpressing. Don’t mind if I do!

I pulled out my letterpress paper and ink, and inked up the Paisley Impressibility:

I laid it on top of the paper on the ‘A’ plate. I ran it through the machine using the “embossing sandwich” but there wasn’t enough pressure, and I didn’t get a good deboss.

So I tried it again with the regular cutting sandwich (‘A’ plate, paper, Impressibility, ‘C’ plate), and voila! It looks fabulous!

I was really impressed! Pun intended!

Moving on to one of my favorite media: shrink plastic! I love making little charms for cards and jewelry, and I wanted to see if the Grand Calibur generated enough pressure to cut plastic with the low-profile Nestibilities.

Test subject:

I ran it through the Grand Calibur, and the plastic cut with no trouble at all! I set my old-school Old Milwaukee heat-gun to work, and came up with this cute little dragonfly:

Here’s a fun little card for a coworker’s new baby girl, using the letterpressed paper, the dragonfly charm, and some cut paisleys:

I figured that since it could cut shrink plastic, it could probably cut thicker plastic too, like the ubiquitous clamshell packaging. I swear, I have saved every plastic package since the late ’90s. Really. I refuse to let it go to a landfill, but I’ve never really figured out what to do with it. Well, now I know!

This is actually the packaging from the Grand Scalloped Square Nestabilities
again, one pass through, no problem…

all sanded up and ready to go!

I’ll bet you’re wondering what I made with all this stuff… okay, I’ll show you.

While I was cutting paisleys, I cut a bunch of them, and made a scrapbook layout featuring my kid wearing a dinosaur hat:

this was a happy little accident… 2 paisleys=a heart!
this kid knows what’s up.

I decided my layout needed some rub-ons, but didn’t have the energy to use that Popsicle stick doohicky, so I placed the rub-on where I wanted it, and ran it through the Grand Calibur, just to see if the pressure would transfer the rub-on.

It totally did! What a time-saver!

And here’s the finished layout. This uses the largest (8″) Scalloped Square that I cut from the Craft-a-Board; the smaller scalloped square, also from the Craft-a-Board; that sanded plastic piece that I cut from the packaging, and the Paisley heart: 

Please be gentle… I am not a scrapbooker!

I put the Grand Calibur through its paces, and am happy to report that I never found anything it couldn’t do. EXCEPT. Except it is just not quite big enough to use the regular Sizzix dies. I was so hoping that I could whittle down my die-cutting machine collection to just the Grand Calibur, but I have way too much $$$ invested in regular Sizzix dies, so the Big Shot stays.


  • Wide-format opening allows for 8″ dies to be used.
  • Grand Nestabilities match the smaller Nestabilities, and allow for layering.
  • Easy-to-turn handle, no shooting the sandwich stack across the room like with the original Wizard.
  • Can cut lots of media, not just cardstock.
  • It’s pink. Ish. Kind of a raspberry, really, but I’m down with that.


  • Opening is not quite big enough to allow a regular Sizzix die through.
  • The crank handle takes many revolutions; seems like the gear ratio should be reset.
  • That’s all I’ve got. Really.

Our friends at Spellbinders have given us a set of Grand Scalloped Squares AND a set of Grand Squares (which coordinate) to give to one lucky reader (that’s a $100 value!). Just leave a comment on this blog post answering this question:

Knowing now what different media you can cut with the Grand Calibur and the Nestabilities, what would you try to cut?

One comment per person, please. Winner will be selected on Friday, April 29, 2011.


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

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Lifestyle Crafts L Letterpress and Epic Six (2 of 3)

Reported by Dana Vitek

I have long admired the look of letterpress, and have happily shelled out more than $6 for ONE letterpressed card. Letterpress just looks (and feels) so sophisticated. So I was very excited to try out the L Letterpress and Epic 6 Combo Kit from Lifestyle Crafts.

The Epic Combo Kit comes with everything you need to get started letterpressing. The Printing Plates are clear, rigid plastic shapes that are flat on the back. I applied the Adhesive Sheet to the back of the Printing Plates, and got busy arranging them on the Letterpress Platform.

Printing Plate with adhesive backing

I squirted some of the light blue ink onto the acrylic plate, and rolled it out with the included brayer.

Light blue ink rolled out onto the included acrylic plate

After rolling the ink out, I used the brayer to apply the ink to the Printing Plates, which were attached to the letterpress platform with the thin, double-sided adhesive sheets:

I then loaded the L Letterpress A2 paper onto the platform, closed the lid, and rolled it through the Epic 6 machine:

Tada! That was quick! And painless!

Here’s a shot at an angle; hopefully you can make out the beautiful debossing. It’s lovely in person.

I wanted to try a few different combinations, and discovered a few pitfalls along the way.

See that ink just hanging out there? Clean that up first.

It can be tricky to get the right amount of ink onto the plates. Too much ink and it will splatter or smear; too little ink and the coverage isn’t perfect. I found that erring on the side of too little ink is better.

Not too shabby…

 Here’s an example of both too much and too little ink on the same card. I’m nothing if not efficient. There was too much ink on the “g” of “thinking” and not enough on the brackets around the “you”

 I found that the printing plates with the thin lines work better than the ones with thicker lines or more solid areas. I really had the best luck with this wavy line motif, so much so that I made a bunch of them, swapping out the greeting. I’ll be able to customize them for the recipient, and most of the work is already done!

I also figured that while I had all the stuff out, I would run a bunch of the word printing plates through at once.  I’ll be able to add a touch of letterpressed class to my regular cards just by cutting around the greeting I need:

So now I can add something special to my otherwise lackluster cards!

I wanted to check out whether or not you really need to use the fancy L Letterpress Paper.

The short answer: yes. 

I tried the letterpressing process on two other papers (PaperTreyInk’s White Cardstock, and Fabriano Medioevalis Folded Card (unfolded), and while they look nice, they hardly debossed at all. The L Letterpress paper has a soft hand to it; it allows for compression, whereas the others are pretty compressed as-is… there’s no room for the paper fibers to move around.

Sorry for the bad lighting… silver ink is tricky to photograph at midnight

I know it’s hard to tell in the photographs, but trust me… the L Letterpress paper is the way to go. It comes in several typical invitation sizes, as well as mini-cards, and in both white and ivory.

Another great thing about the Epic Six is that in addition to letterpress, it can also be used for die-cutting. In fact, Lifestyle Crafts has released a bunch of great dies that will appeal to both the trendy, and classic, among us.

The die-cutting function is pretty typical… layer the die, cardstock and cutting mat onto a platform, and roll it through. There’s a great video tutorial on their website that tells you how to not only use their dies, but other companies’ dies and embossing folders as well. LOVE THAT! It’s so nice when a company designs around what I already own!

Two of the Bloom dies

Epic Six in action!
perfect cuts through Stampin’ Up cardstock

Here are some of the finished cards. The beauty of letterpress is that less is more. Of course, a little bling never hurt anyone!


  • I can letterpress my own cards. That’s HUGE!
  • Letterpress paper is available in multiple sizes and colors, and is really, really nice.
  • Epic Six is a multi-tasker; die-cutting AND letterpress!
  • Can use other companies’ dies and embossing folders in the Epic Six; it comes with different base plates to make the sandwiching easy, and there’s a video tutorial to help.
  • Modern, trendy, and traditional printing plates and cutting dies available.
  • Lifestyle Crafts has an option for Custom Printing Plates! You can letterpress your own design! Epic! (pun intended)
  • The new cutting mat for the die cutting system is not clear, it’s made of self-healing material and won’t crack like other clear plastic plates.


  • Hoo-boy, letterpress can be a mess.
  • The ink is sticky and can be hard to clean. USE THEIR WIPES… they work. I tried baby wipes… they don’t work.
  • The new cutting mat for the die cutting system is not clear, it’s made of self healing material; I can’t tell when I’ve moved the cardstock off of the die until it’s too late.

I have so many ideas brewing, and can’t wait to spend some more time getting inky!

You can buy the L Letterpress kit and dies separately if you already have an Epic Six, or you can purchase the Epic Combo Kit.

Special Deal for our readers:
Use the promo code: CRAFTCRITIQUE – for 20% off through the end of April!

Our friends at Lifestyle Crafts have generously offered an Epic Combo Kit as a giveaway to one of our readers! Answer this question in the comments below to be entered:

Take a look at all of the Cookie Cutter and Nesting dies that are available…. which ones are your favorites? What would you make with them?

One comment per person, per Vendor Spotlight: Lifestyle Crafts article (there will be three). Winner will be chosen on Saturday, April 23, 2011.


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

Hottest New Crafting Material!

Reported by Dana Vitek

Earth Day is right around the corner, and with it comes a plethora of DIY Green Crafting ideas. So-called ‘Green Crafters’ from the four corners of the interwebs come out on Earth Day, waving their recycled egg cartons and toilet paper tubes, thinking they’re saving the world by crafting with crap.

Well let me tell you… they’re right! We CAN save the world by re-purposing trashy things (and no, I don’t mean folding origami flowers out of smutty books… or do I?). No friends, I’m talking about the lowest of the low. The thing in your house with zero redeeming qualities. That stuff that makes you turn your nose up with disgust every time you touch it. That’s right. I’m talking about dryer lint.

This stuff is crafters’ GOLD! Really! There’s so much that can be done with dryer lint, and it’s FREE! You were just going to trash it anyway, so why not try these fun crafts instead?!

Any color you want, as long as it’s gray.

Dryer lint makes terrific flock… and who needs velvet ribbon with a little double-sided sticky tape and some dryer lint around?

lay out your sticky tape…

pounce that dryer lint on… don’t be shy!

look at that coverage!

a stripe of a different color?! why not!

no, thank  you, dryer lint, thank you!

Velvet Thickers?! Who needs them? Not me!

Throw some glue down…. you want something that dries sticky

You know you have a brayer. Go get it!

This photo is self-explanatory

fuzzy cardstock

die cut your letters
flocked, velvety letters! For free!

Dab on some alcohol inks (these were colored with Copics) to change the color!

Moving on to nail art… here’s an easy way to get that fab suede finish all the fashionistas are buzzing about…

before… boring…

slap on a clear top coat and some dryer lint…

brush off the excess, and voila! Epic, right? I know!


  • You can’t beat the price of dryer lint.
  • Money saved on fancy crafting supplies can be put toward chocolate.
  • You’re saving the planet!


  • Limited range of colors in its natural state, unless you dry your clothes in separate color batches, and who has time for that?
  • There can be, um, impurities in the lint. In my house it’s dog fur, but that just adds to the charm, really.
  • Recipients of your handmade dryer linted items might think you’re cheap instead of an Eco Warrior. Forget them.

Think this is all flocking ridiculous?

You’re right!

April Fools!

Speaking of flocks… check out our favorite trendy parody: Put a Bird on it!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight and GIVEAWAY: PSA Essentials (2 of 2)

Reported by Dana Vitek

I came across the PSA Essentials booth at the Summer 2010 Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show & Conference. They were literally the last booth I stopped into, on the last day of the show. I’m not gonna lie; it was the big posters of Hello Kitty that stopped me in my tracks. I love Hello Kitty.

After chatting the fine folks up for a bit, I got a quick demo. This system is super quick and easy. The stamps literally do “peel & stick” and the ink pads click in and out like a dream.

 I make a lot of bulk cards, (meaning lots of the the same one; invitations, birth announcements, etc.) so I’m always looking for something that will speed the process along. The PSA Essentials System is it! I never realized how much time I spend with traditional stamps, lining up the stamp on the block, tap, tap, taping the ink pad, inspecting the stamp for any missed areas of ink, tapping the ink pad again, lining up the image, and then, finally, stamping. With this system, it’s (almost) all done for me. Line up the stamp, press down, move along. Done.

I received a custom stamp (I chose the Gillian model), and got to pick the words that went around the outside. I’ll be using this stamp a lot; and I LOVE that I can switch out the middle if I want to. That outer ring fits right into my 1 3/4″ circle punch.

Ca-Chunk! Ca-Chunk! That’s the sound the stamper makes. So satisfying!

Today is my son’s 8th birthday (happy birthday, Max!), and we always give out something little and fun to his classmates on his special day. It took less than half an hour to whip these up, including the cutting and scoring.

I printed up a couple of sheets of cardstock that I cut up into ATC (2.5″x3.5″) sized cards


Back of the cards

This is the outer ring from one of the Hello Kitty sets. Don’t tell Max.

1 3/4″ circle punch

All done!

We made 20 in all.

My daughter didn’t want to be left out (naturally) so she got in on the game and helped me make a card and a little book to keep her stickers in. She did the background on the card below. She’s 4.

This is what a middle stamp looks like loaded in the handy stamp assembly guide. There’s a notch on the top of the stamp that lines up with a doohicky on the guide. Then you fit the stamper down on top, and ca-chunk. It really couldn’t be any easier.

Hello, kitty.

And then I quickly whipped up a card & party favor. I could knock out a bunch of these in no time. Not every project has to take 3 hours. Or 3 weeks. These took about 3 minutes.

PSA Essentials has lots of Peel & Stick stamps to choose from, and if you’re collegiate and/or Greek, it looks like there’s a few options, with lots more to come.


  • EASY! Easy to change the stamps, easy to change the ink, easy to keep clean. Easy.
  • FAST! Whip out those bulk projects in no time. Valentines for 40 kids… hello! 
  • Ca-Chunk!


  • The black ink comes loaded in the stamper, but there doesn’t appear to be a cover for the pad included, so when you swap out the ink, you’ll need to remember to swap the black ink back in when you’re all done.
  • Learn from my fail: don’t try to stamp an already punched circle. The stamp is sticky enough to snatch that bad boy off your work surface and transfer it to the ink pad. Ask me how I know. No, don’t.

I highly recommend the PSA Essential Stamps, and look forward to adding to my collection.

Here’s a list of where you can find PSA Essential Stamps in your neck of the woods. Or, throw your hat into the ring for our…

Our friends at PSA Essentials are giving away a set of stamps to one lucky reader. Just answer the following question in the comment section to be entered:

Which is your favorite line of PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps?

You have until Thursday,  January 27th at 10 pm CST to comment.


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

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Flip Pal Mobile Scanner (2 of 2)

Reported by Dana Vitek

I first laid eyes on the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner at the Summer 2010 Craft & Hobby Association Trade Show. There was quite a buzz about it during the Innovations Showcase for new products (I was a part of that buzz… I leaned over to Executive Editor Simone Collins and told her I wanted one, pronto). I was not surprised at all when it won for best new product. So, when the review opportunity came up, I was the first to raise my grabby little hands.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner is small and portable, but that’s not what makes it awesome. It’s awesome because you can remove the lid, hold it up to stuff, and scan it. Just think about the possibilities: you can scan objects and photos that you can’t remove from the wall, say like vintage wallpaper or cool graffiti. Or maybe a tile motif.

Or, say you need to make a bunch of name tags for your next high school reunion, and can’t face the thought of wrangling the yearbook onto a flatbed scanner and scanning whole pages that you have to break down into a bunch of little pics.

Here I’ve removed the lid and flipped it over to scan

This is the display screen on the back of the scanner


surrounding photos  were blurred for privacy; they were crystal clear on the scan

My hair has changed, but my attitude is the same.

This was a cinch. Really.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner is also great for scanning cool textures that you definitely wouldn’t be able to use a traditional scanner for:


yes, this is my nappy carpet

Dog Fur:

this is my not-so-nappy dog

And with a little Photoshop magic, you can use those textures to create digital elements for your scrapbook pages… there’s all sorts of things you can do:

A plain flower

A wooly flower, a “felted” digital image, with the carpet scan used as texture
my dog’s name
my dog’s name, written in her scanned fur

Here’s another thing that the Flip Pal is perfect for… tattoo artists.

What? Hear me out (and thanks to Editor-in-Chief Sarah Moore for this idea)… traditionally, when a person goes into a tattoo shop for a cover-up of say, someone’s name permanently inked on her shoulder:

who thought this was a good idea?

the tattoo artist would have you basically do a backbend over a photocopier, to photocopy your tattoo, so they could design something snazzy to cover it.

I don’t know about you, but my backbend days are long past. Here we used the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner to scan my tattoo.

Here’s what the scan looks like:

Into Photoshop for some design work:


my old tattoo is going to get all swirled into that luscious hair!

My new tattoo is going to be so epic. You’d better believe I’m going to glitter him up so he shimmers when I go out on the town.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas of how you can use the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner for more than scanning old photos (although there’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and I plan to do that as well). This is one of those pieces of technology that I’m going to use in my daily life, and I LIKE that. A lot.


  • Very portable. This will fit in my purse.
  • Being able to remove the lid to place the scanner flat against a wall or photo album: genius.
  • I’m looking at the world in a whole new way; now I can scan pretty much anything!


  • It’s not pink. I prefer my tools be pink.
  • Hey Flip Pal…I could use a little carrying case for it! 
  • That’s it, really.

The Flip Pal Mobile Scanner retails for $149.99, and I definitely think it’s worth the investment. Be sure to visit their website for some demos and other ideas.

The fine folks at Flip Pal are giving away one of the Flip Pal Mobile Scanners to one of our lucky readers. Leave a comment on any “Vendor Spotlight: Flip Pal Mobile Scanner” article (this is the second of 2), and answer this question:

What would you scan with the Flip Pal Mobile Scanner? Don’t be afraid to think outside the “old photo” box!

One comment per person, per article, please.  You have until Monday, December 20th at 6pm CST to enter.


* in the interest of full disclosure, “Curtis” is my husband, Curt,  and that “tattoo” is Sharpie markered on. But the idea holds, for sure!

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

Vendor Spotlight: Jacquard Tie Dye and Indigo Kits – Editor’s Follow up

Reported by Dana Vitek

 Not one to let Susie and Sara have all the fun, I broke into my Jacquard Tie Dye and Indigo Dye kits with vigor. Both Susie and Sara said that they didn’t realize that the Tie Dye kit contained 2 different colors of ink; I just wanted to point out that it does, indeed, say it right here in the directions that the package contains a main color and an accent color.

Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way; let’s get down to business.

I’ve been wanting to dye yarn for the longest time, but didn’t want to deal with the mess and fuss that comes from dipping and mixing and stuff. So, I figured this Tie Dye kit would be just what I was looking for. It definitely was. I just added water to the pre-filled applicator bottles, and I was was good to go.

Here’s what I started with (it’s 100% cotton):

This is a lot of yarn (14 oz). Maybe too much for one kit.

Soaking in the soda ash pre-dye bath:

I added water to the bottles and tested them on a paper towel:

Now the good part… first the red:

then the pink:

I stuck the whole thing in a trash bag and let it sit for about 20 hours. Then I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed it. The water eventually ran clear.

There’s no good way to dry this much yard without getting it all boogered up. First I put it in a lingerie bag and put it in the dryer on high. For a long time. No dice. Then I attempted to dry it using my hair straightener. My husband took one look at that operation and suggested I put it in the oven. 200 °F for 2 hours, and it’s pretty close to dry. Finding the end is another story.

I crocheted up a quick swatch to see how it would look in my typical baby blanket pattern… I love it! I’m a little afraid that the color might run (reds are like that), so I’m going to wash the finished blanket several times by itself, before I give it to an unsuspecting baby girl!

While the yarn was in dye purgatory (i.e. the 12-24 hour waiting period), I mixed up the batch of Indigo dye. Included in the package was all this stuff:

including a really cool informational booklet about the history of Indigo. Pretty cool stuff. Anyway…

4 gallons of water + 1 tiny little jar of powder:

This does not smell very good

I know nothing of tieing things up to dye. There were directions included, but I pretty much winged it. That’s the beauty of tie dye… anything goes!

While I was rubberbanding, I let the bucket of dye rest for about an hour, and came back to find this:

(this really doesn’t smell very good)

Apparently this is exactly what it’s supposed to look like, based on the pictures included in the kit.

The liquid part of the dye is actually a yellowish-green color. I dipped my fabric in (I was doing a whole bunch of white 100% cotton flannel) and gently squeezed while keeping it under the surface of the dye. The directions make a point of saying to not drop your fabric in the bucket and let it touch the bottom. That’s too bad, because that would have been way easier. But, that’s the nature of indigo.

Some action shots:

Here’s the cool part; after taking the fabric out of the dye and unwrapping it, the indigo reacts with the oxygen in the air and tada! Blue!

I rinsed out the flannel, and threw it in the dryer for about 1/2 an hour. Then I ironed it, and started cutting it up to make a quilt.

I LOVE the way the fabric turned out, and had a hard time cutting into it! The flannel was still super soft; the indigo dye didn’t change the texture at all.

Since I had all this dye left over, I stuck the bucket in my laundry room until I could decide what else to dye. And then it came to me… my favorite jeans. These jeans were purchased back when the light wash look was still in. I haven’t had the chance to overdye them yet, but I’ll be stylin’ again soon!


  • Kits come with everything you need to get started, right down to the gloves and rubber bands. Which is great because then I didn’t need to steal any from the office.
  • Jewel tone kit had just enough for a small project; two t-shirts is a perfect amount.
  • Indigo kit is great for larger projects or lots of shirts.


  • Okay, it’s messy, or has the potential to be. But really, I’ve trashed my kitchen way worse than this.
  • I probably should have used two kits for the yarn; now I know.
  • The indigo dye smells yucky, so says my 4-year-old daughter, and I agree.

All in all, I loved these kits, and will definitely be using them both again. I still have an Emerald Tie Dye kit, although next time I think I’ll crochet the blanket first and then tie dye the finished product.

So what do you think? Are you hankering to get your hands on some tie dye now? Leave us a comment and let us know!


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

Vendor Spotlight: Jacquard Pinata Color Alcohol Inks

I’m no stranger to alcohol inks, and have more than my fair share in my stash. So when the opportunity came up to test out these Piñata Alcohol Inks by Jacquard, I jumped at the chance.

I received the Piñata Exciter Pack. Somebody sure named that right… I was very excited! I started right in on some glass ornaments:

Dripped ink on the inside:

Two colors of ink, swirled around:

I had some Jacquard Lumiere (a sparkly paint) in my stash, so I thinned that out with some rubbing alcohol, and added it to the mix:

Spray glue + glitter:

Here they are on my tree:

I love how true the colors of the Piñata inks are. The red is a true red, the blue a true blue. It can be difficult to find alcohol inks with such vibrant hues. Not anymore!

Next up, I pulled out a bunch of metal ornaments that I picked up 90% off last year. They’re okayish as they are, but I knew they could be better.


I added blue, green, brown, and the blanco (white) ink to this flannel pad, with a couple of drops of the Claro Extender:

And pounced it all over the ornament:

Here’s a pad with red, yellow, orange and white Piñata Inks:

And those ornaments:

Group shot!

Aaaaand, on the tree:

You can used cotton balls or pads, but they can leave fibers in your ink (like what happened to Susan), so I find a layer of flannel works best. And you can definitely make your own pouncer tool by sticking some Velcro onto a wood block. But you don’t even need to. Inky fingers never hurt anybody!

And, you don’t even need to have an ornament blank to start with.

Crumpled aluminum foil (this is a large sheet, folded into eight layers):

Pounce on some blue and white + extender:

Use a sanding block to take the ink off the high spots and reveal the texture:

I used my Big Shot and a Sizzix nested star die:

but you could use anything, including a pair of scissors and a steady hand (although, if you do that you’ll need to glue the sheets of foil together; here the pressure from the Big Shot squishes them together).

6 inches of fishing line and 6 glue dots later, we’re in business:

It occurs to me that this might make people think I’m a Dallas Cowboy fan. I am not. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Unless you’re in Philly like I am.


  • Rich, vibrant, true hues
  • Easy-to-use nozzle top
  • The Exciter Pack is a great value, especially if you can use a 40% off coupon at a big box store.


  • I don’t really have any cons. They behaved exactly the way I wanted them too.

Jacquard’s Piñata Inks are a fabluous addition to my alcohol ink collection, and I will definitely be reaching for these often.