Top

Tag Archives | Ek Success Brands

Giveaway: Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

EKSuccess Brands and Michaels, North America’s largest arts & crafts specialty retailer, are getting into the holiday spirit a little early this year, all to support our troops. The creative consumer products company and craft retailer will be sponsoring a booth at the Wrigleyville Block Party during the Cubs vs. Cardinals game where visitors can stop by and make holiday cards for U.S. and Canadian service men and women deployed overseas. Read on to see how you can enter to win a pair of tickets to the Friday Game!

From Friday Aug. 19th, to Sunday Aug. 21st, the booth will be open for passersby to create cards using K&Company™ paper and embellishments and EK Tools™ pens and adhesive. All of the cards will then be sent to the Operation Christmas Cards organization, where they will be forwarded to military bases in Afghanistan, Japan, Iraq, Egypt and Germany. According to the organization, these cards will be the only correspondence that about half of these service members will receive during the holidays.

The event is part of EKSuccess Brands’ approach to collect 25,000 holiday cards for Operation Christmas Cards. Other efforts include Michaels in-store card making, an online Spotted Canary School™ class, and community initiatives. Operation Christmas Cards itself has a goal to send 175,000 cards this year.  Join Craft Critique at this fun event this weekend and support a good cause! 

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Friday, August 19th game.  Just leave a comment below and tell us why you love the Cubs!  We will select one random winner to receive a free pair of tickets to the Cubs vs. Cardinals Game this Friday at Wrigley Field in Chicago!

Vendor Spotlight: Martha Stewart Double Edge Punch

Reported by Morgan Novak
When I first saw the Double Edge Punches from Martha Stewart I wasn’t so sure about them. I’m a pretty big card maker and love edge punches for the ease with which they add fun shapes to an otherwise angular card, and since these double edged punches cut the strip completely off your paper, I didn’t think that I was really interested. But, leave it to Martha to win me over and get me totally hooked on a whole new range of punches!

Just like the Martha Stewart Edge Punches, the Double Edge Punch has arms that fold down when you are punching, but fold back up for easy storage when you are done. They also work exactly like the Edge Punches, with a guide that shows you where to place your partially punched paper for an easy continuous line.


I really love this particular pattern, “Bangle Chain Trim” and couldn’t wait to start playing around with it. I made my first double edged strip out of Bazzill Swiss Dot Cardstock and the punch worked really well through this regular weight cardstock with next to no wonky edges.

I decided to make a quick little “belly band” for a mini apple pie with some easy layering and a little stamped image that I colored in and then foam taped onto the band after I wrapped it around the box. Be sure to cut the band about half an inch longer than needed so that you can easily hide your adhesive under the overlap when you wrap it around your box, bag, treat or gift!

One of the first things that sprung to mind when I started brainstorming what could be done with the strips punched by the Double Edge Punch was making a good old fashioned paper chain like the ones we used to make in pre-k, but amped up a little bit. I chose some tone on tone patterns from my stash of heavier double-sided patterned papers and got to punching.
The punch did have some trouble punching through these heavier papers, and on a couple of occasions I found myself having to trim off some shredded edges. The handle also got stuck locked down a couple of times, but as I was punching I realized that this was probably happening when I didn’t sweep the excess paper and little bits out from under the punch every couple of punches. It also helps to blow the tiny paper bits out of the punch every now and again, kind of like blowing the dust out of an old Nintendo game cartridge.

I hung my crafty little paper chain in our dining room and I really like the look of the intricate punched pattern way more than just a solid strip of paper. This could be a great decoration idea for all sorts of parties and special occasions.

While I was punching all the strips for my paper chain I got the idea to cut the strip in half and then stagger and layer the halves to create my own pattern. I used strips of paper that were about an inch longer than I wanted the final pattern to be so that I had the freedom to stagger them to create the pattern, and then trim off the excess. I cut my strips in half after they were already punched so that I could see exactly where I was cutting them in half.

I cut a strip each from 3 different colors of tone on tone pattern and cut them in half for a total of 6 half strips. It was really easy to line this particular pattern up, and then adhere it to the page before I trimmed off the excess edges. I would suggest using a clear dot adhesive for the most even adhesive application on the back of these intricate strips.


I only used 6 half strips to make a little patterned area, but imagine how a whole background would look, or a patterned section on a card, or a half strip lining the edges of a cupcake stand!
Despite some hiccups with heavier weight papers, I can really see myself embracing this new line of Martha Stewart punches. I had a lot of fun creating with the “Bangle Chain Trim” Punch, There are lots of possibilities with this punch alone, never mind all the other designs in the Double Edge Punch line!
Pros:
  • Sides of the punch fold up for easy storage.
  • Versatile Designs that can be used with many different styles of project.
  • Really minimal amount of paper waste left after you punch, only about 3/8″ with this particular punch.
Cons:
  • Punch sometimes gets stuck closed when working with thicker papers, if not cleaned out often enough.
  • Some issues with shredding the edges of the punched design when working with thicker papers.

Are you already punching away with these new Double Edge Punches? What have you been making with them? And if you don’t already own them, what projects can you see yourself using them for in the future?
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY – American Girl Craft Kits

Reported by Christian Tamez


Like any crafter who likes American Girl dolls, I was pretty excited to find some American Girl Crafting items at Michaels, and even more excited to get to try some of the crafting kits available. The American Girl Card Making Kit was one that I received, and it wasn’t long before my kitchen was filled with stickers, glue squares and very cool American Girl cards.


The card-making kit is advertised as being able to make 21 cards, but I found that if you really wanted to do a good job decorating the cards, you’ll really be able to make closer to ten. There’s fourteen doll punch-outs you can use; the first one I chose was Addy. I used some of the included glue squares and placed them right over the purple marks on the back of the punch outs to securely adhere them to the card. Following the purple marks, I placed my adhesive squares and placed the Addy punch out right over the area as directed on the card. Then I proceeded to decorate the front with some of the stickers included.


As I moved on to the second and third cards I wanted to make, I realized it would be a good effect to layer some of the flat stickers with the included bubble stickers for texture. Most of the bubble stickers were round and fit nicely into the center of some flower stickers for Kit’s card, and then I used the same idea with the stars stickers when I created Molly’s card.


Each character is divided into a theme, with different coordinating collections of stickers, even though they all can be used interchangeably with any of the characters or cards. One of the nice things about this kit is the included message sticker you can use on the inside of a card to create a personalized message for the recipient.


For Molly’s card I used one of the included punch out messages which included things like: Thank You, Happy Birthday, Good Luck, Thinking of You, Get Well Soon, and a few other little sayings along those lines.

Putting these cards together was simple enough to not even need to read the directions, and the cards are fairly small, so they can be completed quickly without become boring to an easily distracted child. If you want to add a personal touch, put in a picture of one of your own beloved dolls in place of a punch out! Plus it’s all stickers, how can you go wrong?


Pros:

  • Nothing extra needed to complete this kit, other than a pen or pencil to write something in the card. No glue, or messy adhesives, markers any of those dangerously messy kids crafty things.
  • High quality stickers and materials included, the cardstock is firm, and the flat stickers have a nice matte finish. The bubble stickers add a cool dimension when layered on
  • Envelopes are included so you can send these out, if you just happen to be using these on a trip with your kids, or you could make them in advance and send them out, either way the envelopes are handy.

Cons:

  • The cards are made to be used for specific characters and even have a little saying on the back of them about this intended character. I’m not a fan of Rebecca Rubin(she replaced my beloved Samantha) and I didn’t use any of the cards SHE was on the back of.
  • Some of the stickers were really stuck to the page they were supposed to easily peel off of, this resulted in a few torn stickers. If I had problems with them a child definitely would.
  • I would have liked more stickers or fewer cards, because you can’t decorate all twenty one and have them all decorated enough with the included amount of stickers. More bubble stickers please!

I was lucky enough to get another little craft kit a try, and did a video demo to show you just how fun these kits can be! I hope you enjoy it!

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at EK Success are giving away a kit to one lucky reader. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.

Have you ever tried any of the American Girl Crafts items? Do own an American Girl doll? Are you excited to give one of these kits a try? Be sure to write a comment and let us know!

Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!

Disclosure

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