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Author Archive | Heidi Kingery

Doodle Factory: for the fun in all of us

Reported by Heidi Kingery

To me, humor is very important in my cards. Of course I love flowers and other design elements as well, but funny is #1 for me. When I found Doodle Factory stamps over a year ago, I knew I hit the jackpot. Just looking at the images made me smile! I ordered a handful of them at the time and it has been a love affair ever since.

Doodle Factory first started from the brain of someone I believe is pure genius, Irene S. She is amazingly talented at drawing and her imagination is better than any five year old child I have ever met!

I asked Irene to answer a few questions for me for this article and this is what she had to say:

When did you start doodling?
I was extremely introverted and shy as a kid. I immersed myself in the fantasy world of books and eventually found an outlet for expression through drawing. Back then, I drew a LOT of fantasy creatures – unicorns, fairies and goblins inspired by Brian Froud and the art on Dragon Lance novels. Then, I ‘grew up’ and stopped drawing for quite a bit of time. My ‘doodling’ started in my mid-20s when I got my first corporate job and was forced to sit in on these long meetings where I never had to speak and barely had to listen. This is when the creatures and animals started to make their first appearances and they still grace the margins of my meeting notes to this day.

How obsessive are you that all of the details are just the way you want them?
I can be way too obsessive when it comes to turning my doodles into stamps. I think the permanence and the fact that OTHER people will replicate the images over and over sets my OCD off. I’ve been known to draw a character 37 times trying to get it “just right”. Thankfully, only some of the doodles are stumbling blocks and many of the characters roll right off the page.

Do you do anything to get you into a mind set before drawing?
I don’t really have any rituals, except that I seem to love working in front of the tv. I don’t even pay attention to what’s on the screen, but I like to have a DVD playing as background. It also drives my boyfriend nuts because I’ve bought two desks in the past two years and yet I never work at a desk, preferring to hunker down over the coffee table instead!

What is your favorite doodle or set you have come up with so far?
‘Mimo’ – one of the original creatures with the most dejected expression – is one of my favorite characters to see people use, mostly because I love seeing how people color his outfit! I’d also have to say that I’ve seen a lot of excellent cards come out of the Tropics set. It’s funny because I have a lot of un-favorites, or characters that I wish I’d done differently, but then I see someone make an amazing card that makes me think it wasn’t so bad after all!

Stamps: Casual Holiday Greetings, Winter;
Paper: Basic Grey Dasher; Other: Copic markers, chunky glitter

Someone found out how great she was and from there she was partnered up with SunSpiritStudios to sell her work as rubber stamps. The Creatures and Animals were the two sheets for a while and then Grace Girls, Birds and Fish, and Doodle Dads. At that point Tracey Berkey from Starving Artistamps saw the stamps and started carrying them in her store as well. They had definitely developed a ‘following’. Tracey loved them so much that she wanted to see more, new doodles. That’s when Doodle Factory switched to becoming sold only from Starving Artistamps.

Since that move, Doodle Factory stamps have grown to be a very large collection with a new set every few months. All of them being the same size so you can interchange pieces from each set. There are also sentiments for every set out!

You can purchase these stamps by the sheet, some individually, and some even mounted. I had always chosen unmounted because that means more money to get another doodle! They are deeply etched and have always given me a great impression on paper and even on fabric. My only complaint is not enough room to store all of my sets!

There are currently 15 sets of Doodle Factory. They include 3 Halloween sets (2 just released last week)Halloween, Witch’s Brew, and Graveyard Shift, Winter, Valentines, Tropics, Urban, Country, Fairytale, Animals, Creatures, The Great Outdoors, Grace Girls, Birds n Fish, and Doodle Dads. You can find all of the sentiments to match here. Oh, and did I mention that Doodle Factory is so popular in Sweden that Tracey made Swedish sentiment sets just for them!?

Pros:

  • Original, fun designs
  • A stamp can be taken from one set and used with another because they are all scaled the same
  • New sets every other month or so
  • Price is right
  • Sentiments to go with every DF set
  • Shipping is always quick

Cons:

  • The anticipation of the next set

From a personal standpoint, I love these designs and I think they bring out my silly side so I have to give them a 10/10 for quality, design, and fast shipping.

You can find Doodle Factory at Starving Artistamps, along with lots of other beautiful stamps, accessories, and must haves like Copics. You can also view the company blog here (she runs blog candy with every new set) and the DT and customer gallery here which is filled with great samples, even some from Sweden!

If you have read this article and fallen in love with Doodle Factory just like I have, then you can use this 20% discount code that Tracey has so sweetly given to all of you Craft Critique readers! It is valid for 10 days and is good on all Doodle Factory and Starving Artistamps stamps. The code is:

craftcritique

Thanks so much for reading and tell us what you love about these kooky stamps!

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

Lowe’s…not just for tools!

Reported by Heidi Kingery

How many times has your hubby dragged you to Lowe’s or Home Depot to pick up a few simple things like screws or a new set of pliers? It’s happened to me more times than I can count and just like we are with stamping or scrapbooking stores, men can stand in home improvement stores for much longer than it takes them to grab those screws and pliers! Funny thing is, afterwards my home doesn’t ever seem ‘improved’! That’s a whole other story though.

After figuring out pretty quickly that my husband can stand and stare at wire cutters for 30 minutes straight without even realizing that I am still standing next to him, I decided to venture off on my own and see if I could find anything interesting.

Amongst the rows of wall putty, paint (of which I have snagged a few paint swatches also!), lumber, and tools is my favorite place in the whole store: Home Organization. I swear, light from the heavens shines down on it every time I walk past. I am a seriously organized person and in my house just about everything has a tote to go in and a label saying what it is (even though my sisters make fun of me because the totes are clear and don’t really need a label).

So, when I found these units of tiny drawers my heart skipped a beat! I could put my brads here, and my eyelets could go there, oh, and I can’t forget my sponges. My mind was racing and I was trying to decide if buying one of these would do or if I needed 10! Come on, you know how crafters think! I decided one would work for now and sat it in the cart only to find another sweet storage solution just a few pieces down. My first thought was ribbon rolls! I wanted a nicer way to store my ribbon which was currently housed in, yes, a clear tote. Into the cart that one went to. Around $30 or so later, I now had a efficient way to store a mess of supplies!

(There are 2 ribbon bins pictured here. One on top of another)


Right now, my embellishment drawers carry all of my eyelets and brads (separated by color), rhinestones, bookplates, charms, small tubes of glitter, Fiskars blades, and much more. A few of my drawers don’t have labels because I have recently switched things around and haven’t re-labeled. The covered bins are the home to my ribbon rolls and even some loose ribbon.


The smaller drawers on top measure about 2″ W, 5 3/8″ D, and 1 3/8″ H. The larger drawers on the bottom measure about 4 1/4″ W, 5 3/8″ D, and 2 1/2″ H, but there is a lip at the top where each drawer goes in that about 1/4″ long so the height is really about 2 1/4″. There is an option to add in drawer dividers to give you 2 sections per drawer but they are sold separately.


On the unit I store my ribbon in, there are 12 openings with 3 openings in each row. The openings measure 4 1/2″ W, 4 7/8″ D, and 3 1/4″ H. This storage is a little tricky because although the outside opening is only 1 1/4″ high, it dips down once you get past the opening so there is more room once you get past the lip of the bin. They have self holding lids which means all you need to do is lift the lid and push it back a little and it stays up on its own. I had been wanting a ribbon tote but I like to be able to get the whole roll out and wrap it around my project instead of measuring how much I need and then pulling it through a slot and measuring that. This works perfectly because you can see all of the ribbon you have, reach it easily, yet it stays out of the way of your work space.

*Closed*

*Open*

Pros:

  • They seem to hold every small embellishment that I have!
  • Both units have places on the back so they can be hung on the wall.
  • Nice price in my opinion
  • Sturdy
  • You can store things other than scrap and stamp (and tools) stuff in them (I have a small one in my kitchen cupboard that has band-aids, Cortaid, hair pins, fingernail clippers, toothpicks, etc.. all in their own little drawer)
  • They can stack on top of each other (the ribbon bins could fall if someone were to bump my table hard enough)
  • The bins have ‘doors’ so your ribbon won’t get dusty.

Cons:

  • Ribbon rolls that measure larger than 3 1/4″ you have to push in, either that or turn it to the side when you put it in and then stand it back up once you get it past the lip.
  • I wish it came with the dividers for the drawers because you can only buy those online.
  • This system might be a pain for those to ‘travel scrap’ because this isn’t a pack and go kind of storage.
  • Each of the drawers have a small hole in the bottom that might have to be covered with tape depending on the size of your embellishment. (you can see the size in the picture of the green brads)

You can find similar set ups on Lowe’s.com, Organize.com, and even in a plain white here at The Container Store. There was a much better selection at the actual Lowe’s store and I even found some of the small drawer ones at my local Meijer in the tool section.

Do you have any Lowe’s pieces for your storage solutions? Share with us what you do use! We’d love to hear!

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

Teasury of Tips and Tricks

Reported by Heidi Kingery


Today I’m going to give you a run down on Paper Crafts & Stamp It’s ‘Treasury of Tips and Tricks‘. This book is 288 pages long with over 650 projects and ideas included. All of the samples are taken from pages from the Paper Crafts and Stamp It! magazines throughout the years. I found some of them familiar because I have had a Paper Crafts subscription for quite a while.

The book is very organized and had 34 different sections. Here they are:

Stamping Basics
Color Tips & Techniques
Watercolor
Chalking
Background Stamping
Quotes & Alphabet Stamps
Foam Stamps
Stamping on Fabric
Embossing (with several sub chapters for all of the different types of embossing)

Ink Lifting
Bleach Stamping
Stamping on Clay & Dominoes
Making Stamps
Dimensional Media

Glitter
Crumpling & Tearing Paper
Layering
Stitching
Accents
Shrink Plastic
Paper Finishes
Aging
Decoupage
Collage
Patterned Paper
Vellum & Transparencies
Handmade Paper
Card Swap
Books/Albums/Journals
Tags
Altered Projects
Design Challenge
Tips & Tricks

Whew! That’s a lot of chapters! Each one covers their tips or tricks with full color, fantastic photos. But then again, you wouldn’t expect any less from the makers of Paper Crafts. You get several samples on each page and you will find lots of names that you might not recognize and quite a few that you will! That is going to give you a nice array of styles to peek at. The title of the chapter will appear on the top outside corner of each page that way you can skip to it pretty quickly. If you’re anything like me, time is always an issue!

Some of my favorite chapters were Watercoloring, Stamping on Fabric, Embossing, Stitching (teaches you how to make silk ribbon rosebuds), and Patterned Paper (shows you how to make paper beads and paper bows). The Design Challenge sections even shows you how to make little treat bags! Another thing I really love about this book is the fact that on the very last page it divides the projects shown in the book up into themes like Christmas, Friends, Thanks…and so on. I think they really covered all of their bases with this one.

Here is my try at stamping on fabric. Yes, yes, I know I ended up putting it on a card anyway, but at least I tried the fabric right? Baby steps. It stamped surprisingly well.

{Paper Trey Ink and smARTworks stamp used}

Pros

  • Lots of samples and ideas
  • Nice price for the quality
  • Helps you remember all of those ‘cool things’ you wanted to try but never did or forgot about!
  • It has over 650 samples! Need I say more?!

Cons

  • A little outdated. Some of the samples were from years ago that don’t really follow the current trend
  • Might not be necessary for someone who keeps all of their magazines {yes, I’m talking to YOU!}

The retail price for this book is $18.95 but you can find it online even cheaper at Amazon, JoAnn’s, and Scrapbooking Warehouse.

All in all, I have really enjoyed looking through this book and marking things that I want to try or try again. Do you have a copy that you’d like to talk about? Wanna recommend it or wish you hadn’t bought it? Let us know!

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