Tag Archives | Scrapbooking

National Scrapbook Day Giveaway – Win Graphic 45 Little Women!

Welcome to National Scrapbook Day on Craft Critique! I’ve got a great giveaway to celebrate with thanks to Graphic 45 – and a simple layout that I hope will get you inspired to scrapbook today!

[Disclosure: Some links below are links to Nally Studios advertisers or are affiliate links that pay a commission at no cost to the reader when a purchase is made after a click.]

Graphic 45 Little Women large

This new Graphic 45 collection celebrates the classic book “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Every young girl who reads the story sees herself in one of the four sisters whose lives share the book’s pages. (Of course, I’m a Jo!) This gorgeous celebration of reading and storytelling is perfect for scrapbooking any number of childhood moments.

I chose a photo of my daughter reading with her daddy to share with this collection. This is an old photo, over ten years old, part of a stash of forgotten enlargements I recently rediscovered while cleaning my mess, I mean studio.

Graphic 45 Little Women layout

Supplies Needed:

The diagonal color blocking is a dramatic look. But it worked great – the photo of my daughter stood out brilliantly against the blue background and then the darker side of the photo stands out on the yellow print. The yellow paper balances the yellow on the layout by sitting opposite the yellow on my daughter’s pajamas.

I did the same color balancing with the pink & green, pairing the two pink elements on opposing sides of the diagonal divide and giving them green accents. The flower die is a Graphic 45 Staple and the layers work together beautifully! I used three graduated shades of cardstock (lighter on the bottom) to create the flower and give the illusion of shading.

The quote card was the perfect choice because it included the word “storybook) and it pulled the blue background print over to the other side of the diagonal.

So, are you ready for the giveaway? One lucky reader is going to win a Graphic 45 Little Women collection pack!

How To Enter: All you have to do to have a chance to be the lucky winner is leave a comment on this entry before 11:59PM US eastern time on Wednesday night, May 9th, 2018. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Craft Critique staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person. Sorry, US delivery addresses only.

But that’s not all! We’re giving away a different Graphic 45 collection on each of our Nally Studios websites today to celebrate National Scrapbook Day! Don’t miss your chance to win them all! Visit the links below to enter the giveaways on our other websites!

Thanks for sharing your National Scrapbook Day with Craft Critique and Nally Studios!

Review | Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Paint

Reported by Patti Sokol

Disclosure: This site participates in the affiliate program. Some links in this article may be affiliate links that pay this site a commission when a purchase is made after a click.

I am a big fan of Ranger’s products and use a lot of different items from their extensive product line in my art journals. I also follow a number of crafting blogs and have seen many of my favorite artists demonstrating the effects and looks that they can get with this new line of paints. So, I am excited to post my review of the Tim Holtz Distress Paint that was new earlier this year, and how I think it can best be used.

The Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Paints are available in 30 of the Distress palette colors, plus 3 metallics. For this review, I worked with a sample in Forest Moss.

Distress Paint

First: I love the packaging! Anything that makes it simple and fast to get right in and get messy (or in this case not so messy) is a big plus in my book. According to Ranger’s website: “Distress Paints have a convenient dabber system for easy and mess-free application.” After you remove the outside protective plastic covering and then the big plastic cap on the top you have to slightly depress the sponge dabber on the top until you hear it click. This allows the valve to open up and the paint to flow from the bottom and into the sponge top. You need to shake the bottle up and you will hear a metal ball inside the container that helps to keep the paint mixed and helps it from drying out. The paint is a fluid matte finish acrylic and is water based so that means it washes up with soap and water and should not stain your hands or clothing.

Second: The sponge dabber top means that it is perfect for painting with stencils, on stamps, and directly onto your project, all without the need for a paint brush. This is another big advantage of these Distress Paints – fewer items to clean up after you craft!

A very important fact to know when using Distress paint is that the blending ability you are used to with Distress products lasts only until the paint dries. Once the paint is dry the results you’ve created are permanent. It seals everything underneath, but you can add layers over it. I feel that this is an advantage as it will not interfere with additional layers compared, for example, to Distress stains which will continue to react and mix with further layers of color that you add to them. So I consider this a third advantage. But you must work a bit quicker (it dries in 3-5 minutes) with this to get the effect you want and have a bit of a plan or you might feel otherwise.

The paint also acts as a resist when using it with Ranger’s Distress Inks or Stains. For example: I use the paint and dab it onto a stamp and then apply the stamp to my project. I allow the paint to dry completely. I get a very detailed clean look as if I used ink. I even have the option of using it with embossing powder when wet. I dry it with a heat gun or allow it to dry itself which should take 3-5 minutes. Once it is dry I can go back over with my distress stain or ink and the two mediums will not interact at all. In fact, the paint will resist the ink or stain to create a beautiful and layered effect.

Stamped Image with Distress Paint

If I want a watery or mixed color background, I shake the bottle up, turn it over, dab as much as I want out to cover the area and then use either a spray bottle with water or a paintbrush filled with water to flick as much or as little water as I want. I can allow the paint to flow, mix with another color, or use a paper towel to dab in certain areas and or a dry stamp to pick up paint with a ghost image or an object to get cool effects.

Any fluid acrylic paint will give you the same effect, but the easy-to-use dispenser and the coordinating Distress product line set Ranger’s Tim Holtz Distress paint apart.


* Convenient packaging

* Easy to use

* Widely available

* Coordinates with other Distress products


* Price

The MSRP of Ranger’s Tim Holtz Distress Paint is $4.99/bottle. It is widely available from local and online craft stores, such as Simon Says Stamp,, and

Review | Scrapbooking and Papercrafting Adhesives

Reported by Susan Reidy

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the affiliate program.

During a recent scrapbook room reorganization, I was alarmed to find my adhesive storage had overflowed. I clearly needed to purge what wasn’t being used.

But as I emptied my basket, I realized I used nearly every item in it, depending on the project. Some adhesives were meant for paper, some for ribbon, some for fabric, others to provide dimension, and still others that would act as a sealer, either glossy or matte. I needed them all.

So while I searched for a bigger storage basket, I thought it would be the perfect time for an article on some adhesive basics for scrapbookers, and papercrafters in general.


Tape for me is by far the go-to adhesive. If I was trapped on a desert island with my scrapbook supplies, I would want a never ending supply of permanent Tombow Mono Adhesive at my side. It took a little trial and error, but I finally found the perfect tape runner in this little blue package.

In all my years of using it, I’ve only had one refill break on me before the tape ran out. The runner is easy to use, the adhesive comes out smoothly, it holds well (kind of important in an adhesive), it’s easy to refill, and it’s relatively inexpensive, especially in larger packs and with a coupon. It’s also readily available at big box craft stores.  I use it for basic scrapbooking, like adhering paper, photos, some embellishments, and occasionally ribbon.

My only issue is the little boogers of adhesive that build up in the corners. They can impact the smoothness of application, if you don’t do a little pickin’. You can see them here.

Annoying, and a little sticky, but no big deal.

A new love of mine also comes from the Tombow people — the Stamp Runner Dot Pattern Adhesive. This is a tape runner, but you can also apply just a stamp of adhesive, kind of like those old-school adhesive tabs that used to annoy me with their tiny little paper tabs.

When you turn it on end and push down on the pink part, it makes a little square of adhesive in a dot pattern. The blue version makes a solid square, no dots. Awesome.

I did find that after using it as a tape runner for awhile, it took a few pushes to get a nice even adhesive square. On a side note, this type of dispenser was  indispensable when crafting after breaking my shoulder blade. I couldn’t seem to master the pulling motion of a tape runner (without denting my photos), but I could easily use the stamp function.

Like the Mono, it is easy to use and refill, and readily available. It’s also good for basic scrapbooking uses, paper, photos, etc.

When I really want things to stick, whether in scrapbooking or on an altered project, my go-to adhesive is Scor-Tape. You can read a review comparing it to redline adhesive here.


It comes in several different widths as well as sheets, but I use the 1/4 inch the most often. It’s super simple to use, and I love that you can tear it instead of having to use scissors. I use it most often when covering chipboard sheets with patterned paper, or creating a mini book or other 3-D project from scratch. I know everything is going to stay stuck.

I love how it works with glitter, and that I can also pour on embossing powder and heat it up. It even works great on ribbon.

Foam adhesive

Through the years, I’ve used several different brands of foam adhesives to add some dimension to my projects. A few years ago, I finally settled on my favorite, Stampin’ Up’s dimensionals. What I like most about them is the lack of waste; there’s only a tiny border around the edge of the backing sheet, which you can cut up and use.

With other types, like pop dots, there’s all that extra foam. Now, I know you can cut that up and use it, but it still annoyed me that one sheet contained so few actual dots.

The down side of Stampin’ Up is that you have to order from a demonstrator or online; they’re not available in a store.

I recently bought my first box of American Crafts This To That Foam Adhesive. These little guys have no waste at all. They’re also more readily available, and come in circle and squares.

Wet glue

Wet glue is a category that I could write six articles about. But I’m only going to highlight my top three, go-to, must have at least two bottles of, in this category.

The first, I think is safe to say, is a favorite of many crafters:  Glossy Accents. It is super sticky, has a fine tip applicator, and dries to a nice, shiny clear finish. I like that I can use it as a glue, but also use it to add shiny dimension to stamped images, die cuts and more.

One drawback, and one that frustrates me constantly, is the clogging of the tip. I have one bottle that drove me so batty, I cut off that fine point tip. I use that one when I want to fill in a large area. I’ve since learned that keeping a pin in the top will help eliminate the clogging issue.

You should also avoid shaking the bottle because that will create bubbles, and bubbles on your project are bad, unless that’s the look you’re going for.

Another liquid glue that I always keep nearby is the Tombow Mono Aqua Liquid Glue. I use this as my multipurpose glue when papercrafting. It works great with paper, ribbon, buttons, paper flowers, chipboard and more.

I love that it has a precision tip (which I use the most) and a round tip, if you need to apply glue to a larger area. It dries clear, and has a super strong hold. I’ve heard that the Aqua is just like the Mono Multi Liquid Glue, except the Multi Liquid can also be used as a repositionable adhesive.

I’ve used both, and tend to favor the Aqua. I don’t need a lot of temporary adhesive, and I’ve found that when the Multi gets low, it’s hard to squeeze out the last few bits. I’ve not had that packaging problem with the Aqua.

My last, but not least, in my top three liquid glues is the Inkssentials Glue N’ Seal in matte. I started using this several months ago, instead of Mod Podge, and I have to admit that I like the Glue N’ Seal. It’s not that I don’t like Mod Podge, because I do, but I’ve just had better success with the Glue N’ Seal.

For one, it has a thicker texture, which makes it easy for me to apply an even coat. The 1 oz. size has a built in brush, which means less mess. In fact, I now fill my smaller one from the larger 4 oz. size so I can keep using that brush. It comes in matte or glossy.

I like to use it for adhering patterned paper to chipboard. I find I have much fewer air bubbles using the Glue N’ Seal then when I use Mod Podge, and better adhesion overall. It’s also great for attaching doilies, which seem to be all the rage now.

One more often-used adhesive for me, that isn’t really a tape, a wet glue or dimensional (although it can be) is Glue Dots. These little gooey drops of goodness are great for bulky stuff, like buttons or metal, and they stick right away, no need to wait for glue to dry. I’ve seen some people use them for photos on layouts, but that’s too rich for my blood.

They come in a range of sizes from micro to mini, some are dimensional, some are removable — there’s tons of choices. You can get them on a roll, on a sheet or even in a dispenser. I’ve used both the roll and sheet varieties, and find I prefer the sheet method. Somehow, my rolls always seem to come undone, and I have a hard time seeing the adhesive dot. Plus, with the sheets, you can tear them into individual dots, say if you’re doing a craft project with your Girl Scout troop.

After assessing my stash, I feel confident I have the right adhesive for just about any job. But I still have a storage problem.

What are your go-to adhesives for papercrafting? What can’t you go without?