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Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Faber-Castell Mix & Match Mixed Media Sampler


Reported by Julie Tiu


Faber-Castell
has provided a variety of products for crafters, artists, designers and the general population for generations. In recent years, I’ve seen Faber-Castell come out with more kits for art journaling and crafting, including products in their Creativity for Kids line. How easy and convenient is that for busy, crafty people? So, I am eager to share with you my review of their Mix & Match Mixed Media Sample, their collection of five different media that they’ve formulated to work reliably together. This media sample from their Design Memory Craft line comes in four color schemes: red, blue, yellow and green.


I’ve long admired mixed media artwork, and it’s been a while since I’ve experimented. What better way to get back into it than with a color-coordinated set that includes an Art GRIP Aquarelle Watercolor Pencil, PITT Pastel Pencil, Metallic PITT Artist Pen, Stamper’s Big Brush Pen and a Metallic Gelato (which incidentally makes me want to have a frozen treat every time I use it). The first four media are pretty self-explanatory. Their Gelato is a creamy metallic pigment stick which blends with or without water.


Let’s take a look at the media’s color and coverage on regular text-weight paper.



The pictures don’t do the colors justice; the colors are vibrant and rich. The metallics are shimmery, but I found the Rose Metal PITT pen less shimmery than expected.


The products can work on their own with simple drawing and shading techniques, and a wet watercolor paintbrush for the watercolor pencil and gelato. The gelato will dry blend nicely, too, with a little tissue paper. The pens, pencils and gelato are great to use on paper and fabric, the two surfaces I tested.

Artist Trading Card series: Watercolor pencil on cardstock

Mini Asian Scroll: Stamped image (Stampington) on cotton

Trying the Stamper’s Big Brush Pen on my stamps, both rubber and clear, gave decent results. There is definitely a lot more control brushing ink onto stamps, as many of you know, but you may find it slightly tricky to brush this India ink-based pen on clear stamps. You may not get even coverage, or your ink may pool in certain areas of your image.

Better inking with rubber stamps

Uneven inking with clear stamps

Stamped images (Donna Downey) with blended pen, watercolor pencil, pastel and gelato on paper

The pastel pencil is fun to use in the sense that you don’t get a chalky mess all over your work surface and the “lead” doesn’t break, but you still get a nice soft pastel. Blend with your fingertip, blending pen or stump. It erases easily too.

Stamped image (We R Memory Keepers) on watercolor and gelato

Using metallic pen on clear stamp results in good coverage

Stamped images (We R Memory Keepers and Paper Source) in metallic ink over watercolor, gelato, ink and pastel

The metallic blue ink shines over the Big Brush ink. Love that color!

I find that the pencils and gelatos blend so nicely. When you try it out, be careful to adjust the amount of water that you load onto your brush. The beginner that I am, I flooded a few areas and the color faded quite a bit, but the main point is… the color was still where I wanted it.

Featured Projects

This mixed media project is a series of artist trading cards ready to be cut. (I can’t take credit for the words. I heard it on a newscast or morning show actually.)

ATC series to share.

Here the Mixed Media red collection starts off an altered book project. (Stamps by Donna Downey, embellishment from We R Memory Keepers)

A mini Asian scroll made with stamped images and various coloring, ready to hang or frame.

Faber-Castell’s idea of color coordinating is perfect for the beginning mixed media artist. They’ve put together a great sample pack, and you won’t be disappointed if you give it a whirl on your next project!

Pros:

  • The pens are odorless and won’t bleed through paper.
  • Stamper’s Big Brush pen ink stays moist while brushing onto rubber stamps.
  • Fantastic blending between the different media.
  • Color coordinated kits take the guesswork out of creating a color palette from scratch.

Cons:

  • When using clear stamps, India ink from the Stamper’s Big Brush pen goes on unevenly
  • The sample pack contains a great variety of media, but would also be nice to have a textural tool included.

The sampler retails $12-$15, online or at your local art supply store.

GIVEAWAY
The cool folks over at Faber-Castell are giving a set of these cool Mixed Media colors to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment on either of the Faber-Castell reviews today answering the question in the Comments section of either article to be entered to win!

What color(s) of the mixed media sets would you most want to win? What would YOU create?

One comment per person, per article, please. Winner will be selected on Saturday, June 4, 2011.

Disclosure

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

The Stampers’ Sampler Magazine

Reported by Heather Strenzwilk

For this review I purchased the April/ May 2008 issue of The Stampers’ Sampler magazine for $6.99. This is a special issue according to Managing Editor, Christen Oliviarez because it is the premiere of an improved design and format for the 15-year-old publication.

The changes begin with the cover! Gone is the famous 2×2 grid and its place are up close and personal artwork. The new look is more contemporary and similar to its sister Stampington & Company publications like Somerset Studio. Larger photographs appear throughout the issue so the reader can see more detail.

Here is a breakdown of the departments in each issue:

  • Mail Call– Read letters to the editor and see some of the unique envelope art from submissions to the magazine.
  • Take Ten– View simple and fast cards that can be created in 10 minutes or less. This month boasted a 7 page section featuring assorted styles of cards sorted by color. The Take Ten format is so popular that it is also a quarterly publication. Some of the pages were punctuated with tips such as, “Customize your own paper by using punched circles to make polka dots.”
  • A Touch of Inspiration– The outgrowth of “Inspirations”, a once quarterly publication which is now a yearly publication as a way to highlight the newest stamp lines. Each issue features a 4-page spread from their talented Artists-On-Call. This issue featured artwork created with Angela Cartwright’s “The Unruly Girls Club.”
  • Noteworthy– This is a new department featuring a 2 page spread of artwork that caught the eye of the art department during the selection process. This issue featured altered art by German artist Ilka Wilczek.
  • Editor’s Picks– Brief descriptions of new products by the magazine staff. Included in this issue were banners and felt bird shapes, an ATC revolving holder, new trims, repositional adhesive and the Ott rechargable task lamp.
  • Different Point of View– Multiple samples created with the same stamp. This issue featured 4 very different birthday cards created with the same cake stamp by Inque Boutique.
  • Feeling Themeless– A department for submitted artwork that wasn’t for a specific theme or call. This 3 page section featured a wide variety of artwork.
  • Tempting Template– For this challenge, artists use a template published in the issue or online HERE. The results are published in a future issue. This month’s 8 page section of Tempting Template Results featured a dressmaker’s form and previous templates include: purses, interlocking cards, crowns and pinwheels to name a few.
  • The Place to Be– This informative section features listings for conventions, expos and other paper art events. Most listing also feature website addresses for further information.
  • On the Horizon– Catch a quick look at the next issue. The next issue will feature 4th of July, guest artist Cassandra Russell, the turquoise color challenge and techniques featuring white gel pens.
  • We Challenge You/ Submission Guidelines– This is the source for upcoming challenges, art calls and submission guidelines.
  • Online Connections– This section highlights online retailer websites. One of the retailers even offered a 10% discount code.
Features for this issue included:
  • Guest Artist Ali Duffy
  • Easy Slider cards by Kathy Torrance
  • Jo Capper-Sandon creates a gallery featuring artwork utilizing transparencies
  • Project ideas for coasters
  • Using large puzzle pieces as a stamping surface
  • An art apron created with stamps an various transfer techniques
  • A gallery of cards created using Distress Inks to make unique backgrounds

Challenge Results for this issue:

  • Celebrations- Card ideas for any occasion
  • Child’s Play- A gallery of cards incorporating children’s artwork
  • Template results (as mentioned earlier)
My observations:
  • Overall, I found the magazine to be well organized and supplied a wide variety of styles and stamping levels. “Something for everyone” definitely fit the bill here and I think any stamper could find some source of inspiration from the array of eye candy. This issue featured cards almost exclusively and while I preferred that, others might not.
  • If there was a “dominant” stamp company in this issue, it would have to be Stampin’ Up but I also saw stamps from several smaller stamp companies. I also recognized some designer papers and embellishments that I have in my own stash. I always find it interesting to see how others use supplies that I already own and I did note a few ideas for future use.
  • This magazine is definitely geared more toward displaying galleries or samples more than providing detailed instructions or tutorials. Artwork appears with brief summaries which my be adequate for a more experienced stamper but could be confusing for a less experienced artist. Starting in the next issue there will be a new department called, “You can do it too!” which will offer detailed, step by step instructions for more complex pieces. I think this is an excellent idea- especially for new stampers.
  • As an avid blog reader, many of the artists I follow frequently use designer paper for their backgrounds. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of stamped or handmade backgrounds that I saw in the magazine.
Bottom Line: This magazine has been around for 15 years because it stands up to its name- it offers a wide variety of stamped artwork. I definitely recommend it if you like to peruse eye candy for ideas and inspiration. If you prefer more detailed instruction and technique, you might want to try another publication.

Are you a Stampers’ Sampler reader or subscriber? What do you think of the recent changes to the magazine- an improvement or a disappointment? Please share your thoughts with our readers.

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