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Tag Archives | Ranger

Review | Ranger Foil Cardstock

Foil-CardstockI love working with Ranger products, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this product. Ranger Silver Foil Cardstock has a shiny, mirror-like quality, and it’s sturdy enough to run through an embossing machine (such as the Big Shot).  You can use mediums like alcohol inks and acrylic paints to embellish its surface.

I decided  to go ahead and bring out my Big Shot – along with some dies, embossing folders, and some Prima chalk inks – to see how well they worked with the foil cardstock. You can see the results in the photos that follow. Continue Reading →

Review | Introduction to Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Glitter

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress GlitterHere’s another winner in the deep product line from Tim Holtz and Ranger Industries, which is always well thought out with perfectly matching colors and attractive packaging.

Distress Glitter comes in 24 different colors and coordinates with the nostalgic palette of other Distress products . Somewhere between a fine glitter and a glass glitter, the blend is best described as a vintage mica creating a unique glitter product. MSRP is $5.49, in my opinion a good value for a quality product that will last you quite a long time! Continue Reading →

Review | Tim Holtz Distress Glitter

Tim Holtz is know as “The Man” in the scrapbooking industry for many reasons. He is the most famous male name in the scrapbooking community. Tim’s Distress line of color mediums manufactured by Ranger Industries is immensely popular with all styles of crafters from the shabby chic artist to the clean more graphic style artists, and he also creates products that are gender neutral since they appeal to both males and females.. Tim is also know for his innovative products that advance the industry toward more user friendly multi-functional products. For that reason alone, I knew his new Distress Glitters were going to be something special and they did not disappoint!

The Ranger Ink website describes Distress Glitter as a nostalgic pattern of unique glitter that mimics the look of vintage mica. A quick Google search gave me a better understanding what mica is:

Mica is a mineral that comes in a variety of colors and can be easily separated into thin transparent sheets.In addition to being beautiful, it’s non-toxic, tough, chemically inert, transparent, and waterproof. via MicaSnow.com

Based on the images I found online, vintage mica was used largely to represent snow or provide shine in Christmas decorations and other crafty projects in the early 1900′s. I remember seeing it on the edges of pine cones in the winter. I may even remember using it in an arts and crafts project in school.

Distress Glitter very much resembles mica because of its shine properties. I found that the Distress Glitter, unlike traditional glitter, has a color cast shine to it. What does that mean? It means when you tilt your project it doesn’t reflect silver as traditional glitter does. It, instead, gives off the color that it truly represents in a beautiful subdued glimmer.

Distress Glitter MacaronUp

Continue Reading →

CHA Winter 2013: Innovations Showcase Products (Part 1)

Each show, CHA holds its Innovations Showcase, which serves as a combination media event and buyer preview. The top 20 entrants in the Innovations Showcase (as pre-determined by  a panel of celebrity media judges) take part in a speed round of presentations to the audience, and then attendees get a few minutes to visit each entrant’s booth around the outer edge of the room to talk to the various manufacturers about their products. (At CHA Winter 2013, Craft Critique’s own editor Nancy Nally was one of the celebrity media judges!)

CHA Winter 2013

Needless to say, we arrived with our cameras and notebooks in hand to get the most information possible in the short amount of time allowed for our readers. Our first stop was to see Julianna C. Hudgins demonstrating her new jewel loom from Beadalon.

Beadalon Jewel Loom by Juliana Hudgins

Beadalon Jewel Loom by Juliana Hudgins

Continue Reading →

CHA Winter 2012: Ranger

Everyone is all a buzz about Ranger’s newest lines…
Distress markers by Tim Holtz.  As usual Tim had a huge crowd gathered around him.  The markers look great, we can’t wait to get our hands on them to test ‘em out.
Patina Inks.  Designed to go with the Vintaj metals.  More on these coming soon!  Comes in 15 hues.  Paint on metal with ease, no chipping or peeling, and once glazed will be safe for jewelry!  Dries really fast too!

Tim Holtz Ink Palate and Water brushes.  The palate has a hinged lid, and the water brushes are also unique.  one has a typical brush tip, and the other has a wider brush!

Ice Stickles… in 12 new bright colors

Stamping paper, in ATC size and 81/2″ x 11″.  designed especially to accept inks and make them pop!

Dylusion products by Dyan Reaveley.  Amazing stamps influenced by Zentangle, stencils and sprays in bright colors!

Collage Artist Claudine Hellmuth who’s delightful kits just debuted on HSN offers new stamps!  Gotta get ‘em all!

Samples by Claudine…

I think I’m gonna go broke!  I want all of these new products!  What are you going to rush out and buy?

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CHA Summer 2011 | Innovation Showcase Favorites

Today was the start of the Craft and Hobby Association Trade Show Conference and we got a peek at some new products at the Innovation Showcase. Celebrity judges Terri O (PBS-TV’s Super Simple With Terri O), Ana Araujo (WhenCreativityKnocks.com), Maria Nerius (FaveCrafts.com) and Torrie Nelson (Creative Retailer Magazine) judged the CHA’s 20 Hot Products; a great start for this year’s show. Each show, the Innovation Showcase features some of the most unique products about to hit the craft aisles.

Here are just a few of the products that caught our eye and we can’t wait to put to the Craft Critique test…

Little Pink Ladybug has come out with the Brilliant Bowmaker Ultimate Kit. With 19 templates, 3 instruction booklets, and a stapler, this kit has everything you will need to make almost any kind of bow. This system is designed to achieve bow making simply and quickly, allowing crafters to mix and match templates creating a distinct bow style.

With the popularity of die cutting systems, it is no surprise that we selected this next product as one of our favorites. Paper Layerz from Worldwin Papers is crafting paper that makes coordinating die-cut shapes and layers from any die-cutting machine faster, cheaper and easier. This paper is lightweight enough for your machines but strong enough to layer and use dimensionally.

The C Thru Ruler Company’s Let’s Face It stencils are not just for illustrators or artists, these are going to make drawing faces for art journals, mixed media project, and more a breeze.

When you say the name Tim Holtz, people’s ears perk up. Well, here’s his new Picket Fence Distress Stain by Ranger Ink. This stain will turn fluid water-based dyes for papers and other porous surfaces, into unique opaque colors.

Here is a little video demonstration of just what this product can do…

Organizing your craft stash has always been a challenge; here’s a new product with a great solution for all those ribbons you’ve been collecting. The Ribbon Carousel by Cropper Hopper will organize and dispense up to 54 spools of ribbon. And the coolest part is that each layer spins independently to assist you with finding the perfect one for your project.

We know how the kids love their Silly Bandz, but we think these Twistz Bandz are definitely gonna give them a run for their money. This cool kit creates rubber band links in a variety of styles and designs. This will be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Faber-Castell has some new Mixed Media sets, as well as colored pencils and artist pens that are going to catch the eye of all kinds of crafters. Whether you are an illustrator, mixed media artist, scrapbooker, or cardmaker, these new tools with their wide array of colors are going to get those creative juices flowing.

Epiphany Crafts has added charms to its already wildly popular Shape Studio. With handmade jewelry being all the rage, this easy-to-use product makes it simple for anyone to make rings, charm bracelets, and necklaces.
And finally the product we were most excited to hear about is the perfect marriage of tech and craft. STKR.it Stickers allow crafters to use QR codes on their projects so that they can attach digital memories to all their projects. Whether you have a great video of the event, audio, or just more photos that won’t fit on that scrapbook layout, this little sticker will allow you to include them all. With your smartphone, media tablet, or computer, people can access this additional data allowing you to include every part of that special memory.

And here’s STKR.it to explain how it all works…

So, that’s a few new products to get us started with our CHA coverage. Remember to check back daily for all of our articles; we will be bringing you the best of the show! And we can’t wait to test out these products firsthand and let you know what we think.

So what do you think? Which of these products are you most excited about? Which would you like to see us test drive for you?

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CTMH Spray Pens vs. Inkessentials Mini Misters by Ranger

Reported by Kristine Fowler

It’s no secret, that like other industries, as things evolve, so do the tools of the trade.  Even the simplest of tools see improvement over time, and the Spray Pen by Close To My Heart is a great example of such an evolution.  Similar in form and function to the Inkessentials™ Mini Misters™ by Ranger, you can use the Spray Pen to ‘mist’ your projects and create visually interesting techniques with ink, paint, colour washes, alcohol, or other liquid media.  Or, if you just need a handy alternate dispenser, you can even fill the Spray Pen with your favorite stamp cleaner (although you have to admit, that’s not very exciting).  If you’re not already familiar with the mister tools, you can always pop over and read a 2008 article by Heather Strenzwilk where she gives the low-down on the Ranger Mini Misters.

So at this point you might be wondering, what I consider to be the big evolution?  How could such a simple product be so drastically improved?  Well, to start, let’s take a close up look at the two products side-by-side.

The most obvious difference between the two products is their size.  The Close To My Heart Spray Pen is about a third larger overall affecting the relative size of both the cap and the liquid storage compartment (the barrel).  The benefit of the larger container should be obvious….with a larger container, you can mix more media, and that’s definitely a good thing.  (I’ll talk about the cap in a minute).

Now let’s take another look.
 

You might notice, that on the flip side of the CTMH Spray Pen, you’ll see measurement lines – a very handy feature that is missing from the Ranger Mini Mister.  With the measurement lines clearly marked on the barrel, you can more ‘scientifically’ mix your media (think 4 parts water to 1 part paint, or 2 drops reinker to 6 parts water).  This also means that it will be much easier to duplicate a mixture that you absolutely love at a later date.  No more guess work.  Pure genius!  The Ranger Mini Mister on the other hand has product logos on both sides of the barrel, no measurement lines.

Next, let’s look at the cap/nozzle area as there’s a couple of major differences here.  On the Ranger version, the entire barrel is smooth.  The smooth finish extends to cover the part of the barrel that you ‘twist’ to remove the nozzle and fill the compartment.  In contrast, this ‘twistable’ section of the CTMH product is textured, in order to give you better grip.  This textured finish is particularly helpful if your hands are damp.

And now the cap…..again, there are a couple of differences.  First, the CTMH cap is made of essentially the same material as the rest of the unit.  The Ranger cap is quite thin in comparison, and might not stand up quite as well to even a little abuse.  I’m thinking that if it drops on the floor, and I step on it, it’s likely going to crack, rendering it essentially useless.  The CTMH version on the other hand is more substantial, and although I’m not willing to put it to the test (sorry), I’m pretty certain I could step on it without hurting it too too badly.

Secondly, there is a series of holes in the top of the CTMH Spray Pen cap, and the Mini Mister doesn’t have these.  We’ve seen this type of thing before, and it serves a dual purpose.  First, the holes allow air to be pushed out of the cap as your closing it to ensure that it closes snugly, and second, it’s a safety feature.  If for some reason a child was to put the cap in their mouth and swallow it, the vent holes in the cap could prevent asphyxiation.  The other major difference in the caps, is the presence of the ‘pocket clip’ on the CTMH version.  While I probably won’t be carrying the Spray Pens in my shirt pocket any time soon, it is beneficial.  Not only can I use the clip to secure the Spray Pen to the inside of my crop bag, but by virtue of it’s existence the ‘pocket clip’ stops the Pen (when capped) from rolling off the table, and stops the cap rolling off the table (and under my feet) when the Spray Pen is in use.  Once again, a small improvement in design has what I consider big benefit.

When it comes to function, these pens are virtually identical.  Both pens ‘pump’ easily, and with neither version have I experienced ‘clogging’.  I do find the CTMH pen a bit easier to operate though because it feels more substantial.  When spraying, the Mini Mister feels almost ‘consumed’ by my hand, whereas the CTMH version does not.  This is perhaps a matter of personal preference, and if you’re used to the feel of one version, you may find it initially awkward to make the switch, but it’ll be easy to adjust either way.  Looking very closely at the actual nozzles of the two pens reveals a minor difference, in that the little plastic piece which is responsible for directing the spray on the CTMH Spray Pen is angled downward ever so slightly whereas the Ranger version is completely straight.  I’m not sure if this can really be considered a benefit, as I’ve not noticed any functional difference.  I can only assume that the nozzle was in fact engineered this way for a reason, and presumably to provide some benefit – that’s the best explanation I can offer you on that one unfortunately.

Before I get to the creative stuff, you’re probably wondering about price.  Does the price tag reflect the ‘improvements’ I’ve mentioned?  Well, I think that you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the CTMH Spray Pens are priced very similarly to (if not better than in some cases) the Ranger Mini Misters.  A 3-pack is available for just US$3.95 / CAN$4.50.  Even once you add the shipping and taxes (if applicable in your area), these are definitely not going to break the bank.  The Ranger Mini Misters I’ve purchased, I’ve always paid around CAN$5.00 for the 3-pack, regular priced, at various locations.

Now the fun stuff…..here’s how I’ve used misters recently.

Using my CTMH Spray Pen and a mixture of reinker and water, I misted a 3×3 inch acrylic block and then used it like a stamp on my paper.  This created the pink/white background for my focal image.  I love the way that with this method I was able to get a nice solid pink in the middle, surrounded by what looks like over-spray.

Stamp Credit: “Baby Love” by CTMH

For this second sample, I combined CTMH Create-A-Shade Paint, Water and Reinker and used the mixture to ‘mist’ the large green panel which was previously embossed (using a Tim Holtz Texture Fade), and then inked with both brown and juniper colored inks.  Unfortunately, if I do say so myself, this photo does not do the card justice.  I hope though that you can at least catch a glimpse of the shimmering splotches.  Adding the pearl paint to the mixture, your spray takes on an iridescent look, and it’s actually quite shiny!  It’s similar to the look you would get with commercial mists that are designed to sparkle.

Stamp Credit: “Find Your Style” by CTMH


So….to wrap this up, here’s a quick summary of how I view the product differences (red indicates distinct product advantages). Remember from the perspective of function and price, the products are virtually identical.

CTMH Spray Pen

  • 10 mL barrel (allowing you to mix more media)
  • measurement markings on the side of barrel
  • textured ‘twist’ for better grip
  • the cap is substantial, should resist accidental damage
  • holes in cap for safety and ease of use
  • pocket clip on cap to prevent pen rolling & to secure in bags
  • sold only in packages of 3
  • not available via retail, must be purchased from a CTMH rep
  • only available in one color

Inkessentials Mini Misters by Ranger

  • smaller barrel (not sure of the exact measurement)
  • no measurement markings
  • smooth ‘twist’, less grip
  • the cap is weak in comparison
  • no holes in cap
  • no pocket clip
  • sold in packages of 3 AND individually
  • widely available via retail
  • 3 different colors available

The one fact that I have not tested is whether the CTMH Spray Pens fit in the (very compact) Inkessentials™ Mini Mister Organizer storage block by Ranger.  Both the CTMH Spray Pen and the Mini Misters appear to have the same circumference (although I don’t have a micrometer; if there is a difference it appears that minute), and so I would assume the Spray Pens would fit, but I would love it if somebody out there could put this to the test.  CTMH does not currently offer a storage solution for the Spray Pens, and it certainly would be handy.

As always, we’d love to hear what you think and we welcome your comments.  Have I missed anything in my comparison?  Have you tried the CTMH Spray Pens or are you a die-hard Mini Mister fan, and not willing to make the switch?  Let us know!

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