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Tag Archives | Embellishments

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Imaginisce i-rock Tool

Reported by Julie Tiu


Imaginisce
recently announced their newest product, the i-rock, a handheld heat-setting tool that will affix studs, crystals, rhinestones, pearls and mirrors to paper, fabric and more. I was lucky enough to test drive this innovative tool, and found it to be quite useful.

The tool itself comes on its own (gems are separate), and you will need 3 AA batteries. Cordless! Very convenient.

Check it out on the kitchen scale: One-quarter pound. It’s fairly light… and easy to hold.
Okay, we’ve established some stats, but does it work? Yes it does, and pretty well. The instructions are easy to follow and also online, however, I did not like that it made no mention of a little red light that is on the tool. Does the light indicate that the tool is hot and ready to go? No, it doesn’t. The light only turns on twice: 1) when you flip the switch on, and 2) when you depress the button as you hold the tool to affix a gem. I would almost prefer that the light stay on, so you know the tool is hot.

Otherwise, it’s simple to use. Because it is a heat-setting tool, be careful that you don’t lay it too close to plastic or paper while you are working. And keep a small bowl of cold water nearby in case you do accidentally burn yourself, just like when working with a hot glue gun. This is definitely not a child-appropriate tool.

The i-rock has a good variety of accessories, the studs and stencil kits

Plain crystals and Multi-colored crystals in Hot Rocks Compacts

Glam Rocks Rhinestuds in five different styles (picture courtesy of Imaginisce.com)

Along with the i-rock and accessories, I received a fantastic assortment of paper, embellishments and stamps. The style is so reminiscent of childhood birthday parties, but with a contemporary twist.

Animal Crackers collection by Imaginisce

Reverse side of the pages


Let’s get testing

Instructions say to heat the i-rock for at least 15 seconds. I found that was not enough time, more like 30-45 seconds. The stud (first on left) is the quickest setting at 2-3 seconds with a completely heated tool. As you continue right, the glam rocks and smaller crystal adhered quickly also at 4-5 seconds. The larger crystals took as long as 10-15 seconds to adhere.

Sizes range from 2.3 mm to 6 mm.

Love the added dimension and texture!

Projects

The stencil kit in place on a child’s cotton t-shirt

Working with the template is easy!

Rhinestuds fit perfectly in the template

Pulled off the template after marking remaining spots with a pencil. The crystal sizes left in the kit (in that color) were too large for the template.

Finished t-shirt for a special little girl

Backside of the t-shirt: adhesive can melt through, be careful and use a protective layer (brown paper bag, for instance) when applying the studs or crystals on your fabric projects

Store-bought cards embellished with rhinestuds and crystals (Cards by Paula Deen designs)

Cute card with studs (paper by Imaginisce: Animal Crackers)

Stamp by Imaginisce

Hard to imagine just how tiny those studs are!

The paper was cute enough, but the studs just add a little more dimension.

Taking a simple, business card sized foam frame and decorative paper and turn it into something cute… will the Glam Rocks adhere?

“Glam-ming” up my foam frame…

Voila, finished! (flower embellishment by Imaginsce)
More studs on foam (sticker and ribbon embellishments by Imaginisce: Animal Crackers)

Studded magnets “rock” the refrigerator

Pros:
  • Easy to maneuver in small projects
  • No mess
  • Quick heating time
  • Lots of accessories
Cons:
  • Exposed heating tip poses a safety hazard
  • Even though heating time is quick, it didn’t seem as fast as quoted in the instructions
  • Preferred tweezers to the jewel-setter stick that comes with Glam Rocks
MSRP
I never would have thought this tool would be as versatile as it is, and would recommend it for your embellishing needs!

GIVEAWAY!
Want to win this great product? Our friends at Imaginisce are giving away an iRock Tool to one lucky reader. To win, just leave a comment on this blog answering any or all of these questions, we love to hear your opinions!


Will the i-rock tool rock your world? Do you use gems and rhinestones on your projects and how do you adhere them? What do you love or hate about your current method? Share your gem-tastic projects and stories!


You have until Friday, February 18th at 6pm CST to comment.

Disclosure

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

CHA Embellishments: Craftwork Cards

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

Craftwork Cards was on hand to display their cute  “Candi” line of paper products that will help designers and crafters to create colorful projects with these dots.

These are like brads but without the legs. They are made by a company in the UK, and are available in a multitude of colors (including metallics).
The idea is that it would be easier to use the faux brads for a multitude of applications.  
They can be used for making cards, invitations, home décor, gifts, and memory projects.

You can even make paper roses for hair clips with them.

This is a wonderful addition to anyone’s craft supplies. It has potential for some fun lightweight jewelry projects.  The metallic dots would be cool to use on altered art projects.  I think they would work fabulously for kids craft projects, as well.

What would you make with these?  

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

Creative Metal™ by Walnut Hollow

Reported by Lisa Fulmer

Creative Metal™ is a selection of tools and texture plates for embossing or debossing soft metal sheets. You can adhere the decorative metal designs you create on to frames, boxes, vases, etc. My first thought when I saw this product at Winter CHA 2010 was to create my own metal embellishments for greeting cards and artist trading cards.

The beginner kit comes with a TON of stuff, including 2 pen-sized handles,18 different interchangeable tips, metal scissors, a ruler, a paper stump tool, a texture plate, and a foam work pad. It came with only one 3.5” square piece of practice metal…I definitely could have used another sheet or two to practice on, before opening up my pack of “good” sheets (sold separately).

I spent about 30 minutes with the instructions and the piece of practice metal, trying out all the different tools and parts to see what they did. I was surprised at how heavy my hand was; I tore the metal several times. After a little while, I got the hang of using a lighter touch. I found the paper stump tool to be easier to play with first, then I graduated to the metal tool.

I also played with two additional packs of texture plates. I found these to be a bit challenging to keep the sheet in place and feel my way around the pattern as I pushed the metal into the crevices. Could just be that I lack patience and I was trying to move too fast…you definitely want to work slowly to prevent the tool from slipping and denting the metal in the wrong places. I found if I pressed the metal sheet all around the texture plate with my fingers first, I could see a trace of the pattern, making it easier to start using the tools. Once you have debossed the pattern, then you can turn the metal over so the design is now embossed. Either way looks nice!

Using different tips, you can make the edges of the design nice and crisp, or smooth the metal around the edges to “erase” stray dents. My boo-boo’s were still noticable…but with some practice, my skills improved! I actually liked the smaller patterns best; it was easier to control the debossing.

I really liked the “ball and cup” tip sets that came in two sizes. First you dent the metal with the ball on the foam pad, then you turn the sheet over onto a hard surface and seal it into a cute little raised dot.

All the different border wheels were fun and super easy to use too, with or without a ruler.

My favorite tip of all was the one for writing and drawing…I love the look of freehand lettering and doodling in the metal. The metal is soft enough that your normal handwriting comes across nicely as a debossed image. If you can write backwards, the letters look even better embossed.

Tinting the metal with alcohol inks was really fun, too! I doodled an embellishment for an ATC…I used one of the rollers to add texture to the petals of a punched flower for a greeting card…then I went all crazy, cutting and debossing petals that I painted first with red and gold alcohol inks to make a big flower for a holiday wreath. And I’m saving all my metal scraps to make a cool mosaic one of these days!


Pros

  • The instructions for each piece in the kit are informative and free projects are included
  • Metal sheets come in a variety of sizes and colors—small squares, strips or larger pieces on a roll…in aluminum, brass or copper
  • Lots of cute project ideas on the Walnut Hollow site
  • Metal is soft enough so that the edges are not sharp
  • Plenty of accessories in the line, including different project kits
  • Reasonably priced – the beginner kit I used is $30, but you can get started with a tool, a few tips, a pad and some metal sheets for under $20

Cons

  • The paper texture tool (aka “stump”) came unglued after a few minutes of use and started to unravel…but a little gaffer tape fixed it right up
  • The soft metal sheets are fairly fragile…hard to handle without denting them
  • The smoothing tools don’t completely restore the surface
  • Working with the texture plates takes quite a bit of practice (and patience) to get a nice design without the metal slipping around, or tearing, or getting dented in the wrong places


Have you used the Creative Metal™ set by Walnut Hollow? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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