Author Archive | Jo-Anne te Raa

Vendor Spotlight: Sharpie

Reported by Jo-Anne te Raa

I am a huge Sharpie fan. It’s not a pen we can buy here in Holland so it’s the FIRST thing in my cart when I visit Target! If you understand my Sharpie love then you will know what I thought when this little beauty fell through my door:

In a sleek stainless steel casing, to all intents and purposes it looks like a VERY expensive pen. It looks cool in my bag and funky in my scrap tote! I can’t really judge, from a pricing perspective as to me most things craft wise are cheaper in the USA compared to where I live. Priced at $6.99 and the refills at $1.99, I do think it’s competitive. I do love the idea that it’s refillable, giving the “green” amongst us another reason to buy!

To test it out I decided to go back to my roots – scrapbooking. I started using the Sharpie range, originally, because of my love for photo altering. It’s a great pen to use when you want to put a pen through a little more than you average black marker can handle.

For this layout I scratched the background of my photo away, using a Tonic tool (this works better on cheaper photo prints). I then added color with water-soluble, pastel crayons.
With a baby wipe I smeared the color into the scratches, creating a perfect journaling background. After letting this dry and settle I added my journaling.

The rest of my layout was all based on my “blue” journaled photo.

What I really like about this pen is the amazing ease at which it flowed across, what is in fact a very difficult background. My regular Sharpie wouldn’t struggle but would need a great deal more manipulating and time. I expected that this pen, being a thicker nib, would take longer to dry but it really didn’t. It’s a pen I would order via the internet to have here in Holland. I really have taken to this pen and have used it in a million different scrapbooking tasks. I do hope it comes in different nib sizes as I would like some finer pens too, to use daily at work. This one is too thick for that as it does soak through the paper.
Overall I would give this pen an 11 out of 10!

I also got to play with the paint pens. Well I got to take the lid off!
I was covered in “paint.” So was my table and a layout I was working on. I don’t want to give this a bad review as it might have been the shipping of my pens or even that these were new samples. But I was not happy. I think the review of these, out of commercial fairness I should leave to a fellow reporter!

So based purely on my stainless steel Sharpie:


  • Beautiful casing, sleek, trendy and enviable.
  • Refillable
  • Not your regular Sharpie, so I do think its competitively priced.
  • High performance and long lasting finish.
  • Perfect for altered journaling techniques
  • Efficient and seems to last forever!


  • I hope it comes in more tip sizes
  • It’s so attractive you will need to guard it…..someone may try to steal it!
  • Some might find the price a little steep

Overall I loved this product and was very impressed. It is definitely on my “need to refill” list!

Try it out and let us know what you think! Visit the Sharpie Blog, it’s a great way to keep up with all the new releases….have fun!!!!

Follow up: There was a comment in one of our articles about the Sharpie Water Based pens no longer being available. I am happy to announce from our contact with Sharpie that they are continuing to be made, there was only a packaging change. So go get some today!!
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Vendor Spotlight – Kitschy Digitals

Reported by Jo-Anne te Raa

It scares me! But I so want to try! What better way than with the most amazing set of digital kits. Kitschy digitals is designed by Danielle Thompson. Her vision inspires me and makes me want to create. Her blog is so much fun and its her fault I am addicted to Blythe dolls!!! I am lucky to have played with her kits before so I do have some knowledge of what elements are in what kit and I can tell you there are lots!

Ok, so these are multifunctional kits. I wanted to try my hand at all the possibilities (but I will apologise now to the digi scrappers out there for my “attempt” at my first digi layout!) from digi to embroidery. I started with a digi. Using the fresh feathers kit and Olivia, I used my very basic knowledge of Photoshop to create these.

I am actually quite pleased with them but I know its way from perfect, but I tried hey?!
For my second layout I went with a route I am quite familiar with and that’s hybrid. I printed out my elements, this time from the Kawaii fruit kit. I used cardstock, but also played with transparencies. I even printed my own rub ons, which I admit I am very proud of.

Using a paper punch and a green floral oasis I made a funky cake, which I plan to send to Danielle, adding a kitsch bird to the top! This was made with several different kits, including Skyler, all printed onto watercolour paper and then punched out and set in place with floral pins.

Then I moved on to sewing. For this I printed out elements from Woodland printable stuffie kit, but this time onto printable cotton fabric. This is washable and doesn’t have any “plasticy” feeling. I added wonderweb and ironed my elements in place on a fleece blanket. I then added french knots and blanket stitch, and voila, a cute blanket!

You could do this on a duvet cover or even a baby crib set.
Embroidery is a huge passion at the moment. Baby Amelie arrived in our lives 3 months ago and her mum allows me to create to my hearts content, so what better than a Kitschy inspired dress! Danielle’s patterns can be purchased in a PDF or a paper form via her store.
Using a pattern for a pillow case dress I made my basic dress and add an embroidered cup cake – Kawaii cute cupcake, from Danielle’s collection.

To transfer the image I traced over the pattern with a transfer pencil, turned face down onto the fabric and pressed with a hot iron. After embroidering I added Bonda web and cut the image out with a sharp pair of scissors and ironed in place.

  • Cost effective, you get a lot of possibilities for your money
  • Funky fresh designs
  • Really pushes your creativity
  • Allows you to print off multiple copies, in the colours you desire on the medium you want to use
  • I wish Danielle would bring a new kit EVERY week!
  • Cost involved with printing ink, but I think compared to traditional paper it would still work out cheaper.
I have to be honest and say I do love Danielle’s product. I never tire of it, and it has really encouraged me to look outside my crafting comfort zone. I plan to make some funky Blythe dresses this weekend, complete with a Kitschy Digitals gnome applique……

So go have a play and tell me what you think, you might even surprise yourself!

Giveaway Time!!! Danielle has generously donated prizes for 2 winners. One winner will get digital kits and one will win print kits/embroidery patterns. All you have to do is leave your comments letting us know what you love about Kitschy Digitals on any of the Kitschy Digitals posts. You have until Friday at Midnight to enter and the winners will be announced on Saturday!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight: Meyer Imports (day 2)

Welcome to day 2 of our Vendor Spotlight: Meyer Imports! We have two more articles in store for you today, including this one from Jo-Anne… a real, live European perspective!

Reported by Jo-Anne te Raa

I got the most cool package in the post from Meyer Imports.

It was really securely packaged and had some fun postcards and a cool extra set of woodland animals! It was so exciting to play with this, something different.

I wanted to play with the Glass Glitter and Charms……but I ended up playing with the glass glitter and animals!!!

The charms however are beautiful. I had the cutest Dutch ladies and men and windmills! Which is quite appropriate for me living here in Holland.

The quality is very high indeed and they were packaged in individual boxes with cotton wool, so they remained secure. I also had some cool kitsch red hearts and some more traditional golden hearts. I plan on making a cute charm bracelet, adding some other dutch treasures I have collected over the years. A sort of keepsake for my grandchildren of the future!

The “suprise box” instantly bought back memories. In the summer we would always visit our grandmother, in Germany. Near her home was a forest with huge dioramas. You would put a pfenning in and the puppets would move. This box was like that. (I apologise for the picture but the glass refection was crazy!)

I decided to make a mini diorama for Samuel’s room.
I layered Sassafras papers, added the Glass glitter and fixed the tree, a deer and a million toadstools. The glass glitter sparkles so beautifully and is already starting to tarnish and turn all old and vintagy. Finally a little blue bird in the tree, just to add the last memory!

I started a new project today, a skirt for my Blythe doll….and a Meyer ladybird finishes it off a treat!

I have to say I would definitely order from this company. The whole “atmosphere” that this box provided was so comforting, old fashioned good quality product perfectly delivered. Next on my list are the beautiful ballerinas.
  • I am a big purchaser of glass glitter and this was high quality with a good selection of colours which were a true representation of those on the website.
  • Nicely packaged, secure and individual elements were also in packaging that you could save and store the elements.
  • Great variety of product, nice European feel.
  • Product was high quality and finely detailed.
  • I didn’t find the website quite so easy to navigate, the product is so cute and I thought it was a shame the website didn’t have a “cuter” and less business like presentation.
  • The Glass glitter was is a bag. I would rather pay a dollar or so more and have it in a bottle.

Be sure to look for our next article, which focuses on the Glass Glitter! And don’t miss our other Vendor Spotlight: Meyer Imports articles here & here. Leave a comment on any of our Meyer Import articles to be entered in our GIVEAWAY, scheduled for Friday afternoon (one comment per person, per article, please 🙂

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