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Archive for the ‘Product Review’ Category

Washi Tape Madness | Review

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Washi Tapes


I love washi tapes.

What’s not to love?

They are bright and colorful. They are semi-transparent. They are sturdy, yet easily repositionable.

They’re awesome!

There are so many uses for washi tapes:

  • Attaching photos and ephemera.
  • Adding pages to mini albums.
  • Sealing page protectors and envelopes.
  • Color coding.
  • Adding a color or pattern accent.
  • Sealing envelopes (my favorite things to do).
  • Making quick backgrounds.
  • Binding small booklets.
  • Wrapping gifts and fun packages.
  • Labeling odd items.
  • Keeping dies, templates and masks in place.
  • Creating journaling spots.

to name a few…

Having said that, not all washi tapes are created equal…

I do not have all washi tapes of all brands but I’ve amassed quite a few. and I keep collecting more. It’s an ongoing process – all new Washi family members are welcome!

Here is what I think of the different tape brands I own, starting with my most favorite downwards.

[click on each brand name title to find online]

Love My Tapes

This brand provides the best quality tapes. Great graphic designs that can go with many themes and designs. Sturdy – when you stick them – they tend to stay put. Easy to remove without leaving any residue or peeling off the paper. Luf. Luf. Luf them!
P.S. This brand also carries fabric tape and lace tapes. I’ve only tried the fabric tape and it’s awesome – but bear in mind that these are opaque, stronger and will not peel off easily after they’ve been laid down.

Queen and Company

These tapes are called ‘Trendy Tapes’ and they are very reasonably priced. They are just as good as other washi tapes but cost a smidgen less. As for designs – I love some and don’t care much for others – but that’s a matter of personal taste. As for quality – they are very good and have all the properties I love in ‘Love My Tapes’ but sometimes, not always, when removed – the paper underneath will peel off a little bit – which is why they are placed second and not first. [Note that Prima’s tapes cost less, but the rolls are much smaller].

My Mind’s Eye

These are lovely tapes. I love so many of their designs and so I have more of them on my wish list. They are on the sheer side and they stick pretty well, but sometimes the ends will peel off if they don’t have a steady grip on the paper. They may also pick up some of the paper underneath when removed. However, in general they are very good quality tapes. I only wish I could buy them individually and not in packs of 3’s, although I really like all the tapes here and here and in that pack

Freckled Fawn

It was very hard to ‘rank’ this brand. The thing is that the quality varies. Some are more opaque, some are more sheer. Some are sturdier and some peel off easily. Some can be removed without leaving any residue and some cannot. This brand has a quality control issue… Having said that, I must add that this brand also has the best and cutest designs. If you are looking for something a bit more interesting than stripes and dots, than this is the brand to look for. Still, even the sub par tapes are better than some of the other tape manufacturers out there – just not as good as the ones at the top of my list.

Prima Marketing

These tapes are quite nice. They costs the least per roll, but the rolls are about ½ the size of standard washi tape rolls (~5 yards compared to ~10 yards). If you want to collect a few different styles and do not use it as much, than it’s a good choice. They are more opaque than regular washi tapes (especially the black tape). They adhere pretty well, but not the best of the best out there and when removed they may take a souvenir along with them…

7 Gypsies

These tapes are down here only because they are not really washi tapes, they are paper tapes… They are much stronger and completely opaque. You will not be able to remove them from your project after adhering them, but that also means that they have the best grip of all tapes. They are great for journaling – and you have got to check out the sale that’s going on right now – the whole package costs less than $5 on Two Peas. Maybe I should stock up on some more. Hmm….

Tim Holtz Tissue Tape

These are down here for 2 reasons: [1] They aren’t really washi tapes… Nor they purport to be. They are made from a different material – although they have similar properties such as sheerness and ease of tearing. [2] They would not stick… Their ends always peel right off the page and you need to apply some kind of sealant on top to secure them (such as liquid glue or gel medium). They do come in great designs, very characteristic of Tim Holtz’s grungy style. So if you care for spending some extra time, they will make great backgrounds and accents.

Bella Blvd.

These tapes come in really cute designs and great colors (and also in many different widths…) but for me, they were some kind of a disappointment. They do not have the same feel of standard washi tapes, they are mosre glossy and plastic-y looking. They do not stay put very well but they also tend to peel off some of the paper underneath when removed. I also had one of the tape tear on me when I tried to peel a piece of it off the roll… Not the best quality tapes out there but really good looking ones.

Summary

In conclusion, all tapes have some similar qualities and some that are different. These are my personal opinions, based on using the tapes which I bought with my own money… Opinions vary. This is what makes the world an interesting place. Which is why I tried to be as specific as possible – so maybe a brand that I ranked lower for my reasons ranks higher on your personal scale. The important thing is to experiment and have fun, right!?

My current stash

==>Which is still available for purchase, as of now…<==

JM-S1 | Record
Spice up your everyday memories with handmade epoxy stickers.

Just $3.00 per package.
6 stickers in each package.
Each sticker measures approximately ¾” by ¾”.

Buy Now

Washi Tape Madness | Storage

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Washi Tape Storage


I have a confession to make. (Actually two confessions…)

I am completely obsessed with washi tapes.
Although I do not have a huge selection (you can see all my ‘stash’ above),
I do seem to add a couple rolls to each purchase…
For good measure, right?
I am also trying out different brands for a future review (stay tuned).
Not all tapes are created equal…

There is something else I’m nuts about – berries and cherry tomatoes.
I eat about a package of tomatoes a day (!!!) and I also eat a ton of berries.
(Have you ever tried a wild berries smoothie with spinach, vanilla soy milk and ice-cream? Divine.)

Luckily, these two passions converge, as I use the cute little fruit and vegetables packages to store my washi tapes. (…and other bits and pieces.)
They are the perfect size and they are clear, which I love. Plus they are totally stackable.

My Storage System

All I do is: [1] give the tiny basket a good wash (NOT in the dish-washer, unless you want to see a molten basket…); [2] take off the label; and [3] adhere a cute piece of patterned paper on top.

Simplicity is key.

Washi Tape Labeling


As it is important for me to keep track of the brand and product names, I also add a tiny label to the inside of each tape roll.

I use regular label stickers from an office supply store and write with a permanent pen to prevent smudging.

It’s super easy and totally optional.

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What is your favorite storage system for bits and pieces? Please leave a comment with your clever suggestions, I love reading them!

Unleashing The Creative Child Within You
Back when we were kids creativity came naturally to us. Everything was possible and our prolific imagination was the only limit we knew.
Through the years we have grown apart from our inner creative child and along with that – have lost our pristine and utter joy of creation.

In this e-book I will pave your way back to your inner creative child, brick by brick.

“Unleashing The Creative Child Within You” will explain why you became distant from your core creativity and will reveal the secret to getting it back.

With exercises designed specifically to help you find the inner child within you, regain its confidence and unleash it – you are bound to get your mojo back faster than you think.

Get “Unleashing The Creative Child Within You” for your Kindle
for only $4.99.

You can read the Kindle book on Kindle devices, on your smart phones or on your PC or MAC.

Great Deal on Baker’s Twine

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Baker's Twine

Under $12…
[as of 12/14/2011]

Smash Books Are Back In Stock At Two Peas

Monday, June 20th, 2011


Doodle Red Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

Mod Black Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

Pretty Pink Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

Retro Blue Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

But they are selling out fast…

Smash Books – Update

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

About 2 weeks ago I purchased a few items from the new cool concept line by K&Company, called: “Smash Books”. I received my fun-mail last Wednesday and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! There is absolutely no good reason for not updating you guys before, but here I am. Updating. Better late than never, right?


Doodle Red Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

Mod Black Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

Pretty Pink Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

Retro Blue Smash Folio Book (K & Company)

My Review

I got the pink/ pretty book because I am a girly girl.

The cover of the book is fabulous. The floral design is actually embossed into the craft hardcover.

The inside of the book is lovely too. Each page is different. Some come in a double-page-spread and some are individually designed.

Aside from the cool page design that includes: flowers, maps, wallpaper design and more they also have many pages that include journaling prompts and other graphics that encourage and inspires to use the book on a daily basis. I LOVE that!

I am not crazy about each and every one of the page designs. Some are really awesome and some are less awesome.

For list lovers, this book also has several list type prompts, such as: current memories, top ten, highlights of today and a book list. I think those are fantastic too.

I also bought a couple of the smash pads and I really like them. The designs are cute and the prompts are wonderful. I just wish there would be different designs instead of 4-5 pages of the same design but for $1.90 it is more than what I have expected (not to mention that other brands also sell duplicates of the same designs for more).

The pen/glue thingamajig is wonderful. The pen has a fine Sharpie-like tip and it writes very smoothly and the glue is great too. The idea of having them both together on the same stick is downright genius.

I would recommend these books to any one who likes to capture and record memories, stories and ideas. It’s perfect for that.

I would not recommend buying that as an alternative to a traditional scrapbook or a mini-album. For that purpose I think picking the colors and designs a-la-cart would be a better choice.

Now I want to try the doodle, retro and mod designs too!

IT IS ADDICTING.

On the inside flap of the book protector it enumerates all the things you are encouraged to tuck inside the book, I think it’s inspiring, so I’m going to write it down for you guys:

  • Wish Lists
  • Magazine Clips
  • Cookie Fortunes
  • Feathers
  • Recipes
  • Ticket Stubs
  • Favorite Movies
  • Snapshots
  • Doodles
  • VIP Passes
  • Postcards
  • Kid Quotes
  • Love Letters
  • Paint Swatches
  • Notes to Self
  • Jokes
  • Favorite Quotes
  • Project Ideas
  • To Do Lists
  • Business Cards
  • Favorite Songs
  • Cocktail Napkins
  • Souvenirs
  • Newspaper Clips
  • Reading Lists
  • Sketches
  • Poems
  • Design Ideas
  • Fabric Swatches
  • Life Lists
  • Fan Club Stickers
  • Greeting Cards
  • Swizzle Sticks
  • Wrappers

Now, even if you do not have a Smash Book [though I highly recommend it], you can uses these smash prompts and make your own book on a plain composition notebook.

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What do you think? Do you love this idea too? Do you have a Smash Book? Share by leaving a comment.

Make Your Own Planner Workshop
Check out Creativity Prompt’s self paced workshop: “Capture Your Dream”. In this workshop you will capture, follow and make your dream come true as well as document your journey in a fabulous mixed media mini album.

Book Review – Save On Scrapbooking Now

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Save On Scrapbooking Now

I was honored when a reader sent me a copy of her new e-book “Save On Scrapbooking Now” for review. It means a lot to me that my opinion matters to you guys and I truly appreciate it.

So here I go, without further ado.

I love the premise of the book. I too believe that scrapbooking is a precious hobby but shouldn’t be as expensive as it may get.

All it takes is a pinch of creativity and a sprinkle of freebies and you are all set.

In this book, Kaye Grieve is offering an extensive overview of the world of scrapbooking, from the tools of the trade to stretching your supply and getting some more bang for your hard earned buck.

I love the thoroughness of the book and the ease of use with links outside as well as inside the book, for a quick reference.

I think the book is extremely useful to novice scrapbookers and also provides many great ideas for savvy ones.

You may think of it as a scrapbooking-encyclopedia => It’s wide-raging, useful and sports a utilitarian design that is good for scrapbookers who do not have time for extra frills.

I was not compensated for the review nor am I using an affiliate link of any sorts. I am just giving my genuine opinion on it.

Enjoy!

On The Catwalk – Tape Adhesive

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Tape adhesives review

I have been accumulating tape runners for a while, trying to find the best one for me.

Now that I have used the three major “actors” in the adhesive arena, I wanted to make a short review for your benefit.

In this review I will go through the ease of use and the environmental footprint of each tape runner. You will also be able to appreciate the difference in size of each tape runner. In general all three are very good adhesives, but the above points varies amongst them.

I have paid for all the adhesives myself and was not asked to make this review by any company, this is my honest opinion based on my own experience.

Video Review


[Go here to watch on YouTube and while there, please rate, comment and subscribe.]

Recap

  1. Tombow Tape Runners
  2. Pros: Easy to use, adheres well, smooth application.
    Cons: Shorter refill (39 feet), not environmentally friendly due to many disposed plastic parts.
    Get it:

  3. Glue Glider Pro by Glue Arts
  4. Pros: Adheres well, smooth application and a larger refill (60 feet).
    Cons: Not environmentally friendly due to many disposed plastic parts.
    Get it: Scrapbook.com

  5. Scotch Advanced Tape Glider (ATG)
  6. Pros: Easy to use, adheres well, smooth application and the largest refill (36 yards or 108 feet – comes in a package of two which totals in 72 yards or 216 feet) and most environmentally friendly because it has the smallest plastic waste.
    Cons: More difficult to replace refills (though it takes a minute instead of a second) and it is more expensive to get the dispenser, though the refills are cheaper in the long run.
    Get it: Scrapbook.com

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Did you find this review helpful? What other products would you like me to review?

Welcome Little One Workshop
Check out Creativity Prompt’s new and unique self paced workshop: “Welcome Little One”. This workshop will provide you with everything you need, and then some, to make a fabulous handmade mini album to record the first moments of a new born baby.

Video Tutorial – How To Make A Mini Book Out Of Soap Wrap

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Recycled Mini Book

The Story

You know how much I love recycling and turning my trash into treasure so it’s no surprise that I came up with this project after my bathroom got filled with empty boxes of soap.

When Amy from Mod Podge Rocks e-mailed me and asked if I wanted to use some of the Plaid products on my future projects I knew this mini book idea would be perfect for the test run. The funny thing is that just before Amy e-mailed me, I already bought a huge bottle of Mod Podge Gloss for paper just the week before so I had a chance to try out 2 other products that got sent to me by the company: Mod Podge Hard Coat and Mod Podge Sparkle.

I really, really, really loved the Mod Podge Hard Coat. I initially chose it for another project. I accidentally ruined a set of coasters I had and thought the Hard Coat formula will be perfect to restore them. However I used this as a top coat for the mini book and it is amazing. It is a bit thicker than the original formula and it dries clear into a hard coat (just as its name suggests…) that seals the cover and secure the binding of the book. I really recommend this for book makers.

The Sparkle formula has fine glitter in it and it adds a fun glittery top coat to any surface. What i like about it is that it adds the glitter without the mess that usually goes with it… You just need to apply it with a foam brush and the glittery particles doesn’t rub off of it after it dries up.

The recycled mini book can be made out of any box, of any size, so I purposefully left out exact measurement, so you can use the same technique on any empty box that comes your way.

So if you feel like playing along and learn how to make this recycled mini book, keep on reading.

Tools and Supply

This project uses MINIMAL supply, as it’s mostly recycled.

How To


[Go here to watch on YouTube and while there, please rate, comment and subscribe.]

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Flatten the box by carefully disconnecting the connecting flaps at the bottom and inside the box. You may also use a craft knife for that.
  2. Use your scissors to cut off the flaps, as well as the inner flap and the short edge attached to it, so you are left with 3 sections: 2 cover sections and a spine, already creased for you…
  3. Measure the width and height of the cover sections and the spine and cut pieces of patterned paper at the same size for the cover. If you want to conceal the binding you will need one piece the size of the cover section and the other size larger by the width of the spine plus an additional inch. If you choose to conceal the binding, adhere the outer cover papers at the end.
  4. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the cover section and the spine, lay the pattern paper on top of it and apply an additional layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it off. Put it aside to dry.
  5. Take a plain copier paper, the same width and height of the spine and mark 3 horizontal lines on it – one at the center and two additional ones, about an inch apart. If you work on a larger box, you may want to add more lines, equally separated from each other.
  6. Next mark equally separated vertical line, each line stands for one signature. I used 5 signatures, so I drew 5 vertical lines, one at the center and the rest in ¼” intervals.
  7. Cut your signature inserts to double the width of the cover section and the same height and fold each signature of paper inserts in half.
  8. Line up the paper guide with the inner crease of the signature and poke holes on the crease next to each of the 3 horizontal lines. these holes will help later with the binding process.
  9. After the inner cover is layered with paper with a base and top coat of Mod Podge and completely dry, line up the paper guide with the inner spine and poke a hole at each of the intersections of the horizontal lines with the vertical lines.
  10. Start binding the signatures together. Take the first one, insert the needle through the center hole and into the center hole of the signature, than to the upper hole and back from the bottom hole, into the center hole to the outer cover – repeat on all the signatures.
  11. Once you finish binding all the signatures together, weave the thread through the center line of threads until it meets the initial loose end and tie them together in a tight knot. Cut the excess thread and tidy up the knot to look as smooth and straight as possible.
  12. Lastly, apply a layer of Mod Podge Top Coat on top of the outer cover and the spine, it will secure the binding as well. You may also apply an additional layer of Sparkle Mod Podge if you want a fun glittery finish to your mini book.
  13. Enjoy!!!

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If you have any question, suggestion or remark – don’t hesitate to contact me – either leave a comment here, use the contact form or start a new thread on the Creativity Prompt Flickr Group!!!

I would also be very happy to see your own creations, so don’t be shy and share :)

Make Your Own Planner 2012
Check out Creativity Prompt’s new and unique self paced workshop: “Make Your Own Planner”.
This workshop will show you how to make a beautiful handmade planner for the year 2012. Not only are you going to get the entire meticulously designed planner kit for instant download, but you will also get a high resolution video tutorial as well as step-by-step instructions to guide you on each step of the way. Either treat yourself with a fresh and creative start for the coming new year, or get it to create wonderful gifts for your family and friends.
Join now

Make Your Own Planner Workshop
Check out Creativity Prompt’s self paced workshop: “Capture Your Dream”. In this workshop you will capture, follow and make your dream come true as well as document your journey in a fabulous mixed media mini album.

Book Review: The Skinny On Creativity

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Michael Cassidy of Rand Media Co. and asked whether i would like to receive a pre-released copy of “The Skinny On Creativity” for review.

This book is part of a series of publications entitled “The Skinny On”.

To better understand the idea behind this series, let me quote from the introduction to the book:

“In our time-starved and information-overload culture, most of us have far too little time to read. As a result, our understanding of important subjects often tends to float on the surface – without the insights of writings from thinkers and teachers who have spent years studying these subjects.

Our series is intended to address this situation. Our team of readers and researchers has done a ton of homework preparing our books for you. We read everything we could find on the topic at hand and spoke with the experts. Then we mixed in our experiences and distilled what we have learned into this skinny book for your benefit.”

The book “The Skinny on Creativity” is no different.

It is well written in a very clear and concise way.

At first glance I thought the book is too simplistic because of its unique style. However, I quickly understood the book is designed to be perceived differently by each individual who reads it.

I can either read the snippets as they are conveyed and move on quickly or I can pause after reading each notion to ponder and contemplate about it.

In other words, I can read it either very fast or very slowly, depending on what I wish to get out of this book and I absolutely love it. Not to mention that I may want to read it slowly at first but have the option to go through it quickly later on.

Before writing my own book, “Unleashing The Creative Child Within You”, I conducted an extensive research on creativity. I read a ton of books and essays and covered the subject of creativity from A to Z. Therefore the ideas presented in the book The Skinny On Creativity were not new to me, but still I could find a fresh outlook on these ideas by the connections the author made between them and the order he decided to put them on.

I also enjoyed the humor the author injected to the otherwise very theoretical book. It made my reading much more joyful and several times it led me to an entirely different outlook on the subject matter.

In Short

I think this book is perfect for someone who is looking for an extensive overview on the subject of creativity but without having the time for the extensive reading required.

In addition, the wittiness and pithiness of the book are very inspiring and were actually honing my creativity while I was reading it. I kept coming up with new project ideas which is always a delightful characteristic in a book on creativity.

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Have you read any of the “The Skinny On” books? If so, what did you think about them?
Have you read another good book lately that you’d like to recommend? Please share by leaving a comment on this post.

Welcome Little One Workshop
Check out Creativity Prompt’s new and unique self paced workshop: “Welcome Little One”. This workshop will provide you with everything you need, and then some, to make a fabulous handmade mini album to record the first moments of a new born baby.

On The Catwalk – Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Blending Tool

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Distress Inks and Blending Tool The grunge, vintage and distressed look seem to have always been “in style”. this look adds a fabulous touch to a project and makes it look like an handmade, one-of-a-kind piece of art (which is a great look to have, don’t you think).

Tim Holtz is well known for creating wonderful altered art with a characteristic distressed look. Therefore it isn’t surprising that he came up with a line of products for Rangers Industries designed to help getting this one of a kind look.

On this post I am going to review Tim Holtz’s distress inks and foam blending tool.

Overview

The distress ink is an acid free dye ink with an agent that delays drying, which makes those inks more blendable.

The foam applicator is basically a tool with a wooden handle and interchangeable foam applicators, designed to absorb the distress ink and apply it moderately and with more control to the altered surface (paper, cardstock, chipboard, fabric etc.).

Using these tools together you can conquer the world create a special distressed look, tint photos and apply a color wash to porous surfaces.

I like :)

Pros

  • Gorgeous colors. The designers at Ranger Industriess really did a great job at picking up the colors for the ink pads. They are absolutely beautiful.
  • Compatibility. Ranger has an entire line of distress inks, paints and embossing powders and all the colors matches perfectly, which makes our life easy when coordinating colors on our projects.
  • High quality. Those ink are really excellent. They are vibrant and won’t fade. When you apply the ink it appears to be very vibrant and gets more subtle once it’s dried. However, after the color is set, it stays there magnificently.
  • Inexpensive. For their size, the ink pads are really inexpensive. The blending tool is also inexpensive if you have more than one ink pad, as the interchangeable applicators are coming in a pack of 10 (The basic handle comes with 2 applicators as well)!!!

Cons

  • highly addictive. After you get a couple ink pads, you start developing an appetite and although these ink pads are inexpensive individually, the price does add up when you start a collection (and you need a different foam applicator for each color). I wish they had small queues, like Clearsnap’s colorbox chalk inks.
  • Staining. Once you’ve got some distress ink on your fingers, it doesn’t come off. No matter how long you are going to wash it with soap and water… I’ve been trying to avoid contact, but it’s impossible. You have to touch the applicator in order to replace it… If you have any tips on that matter I’d love to hear them!
  • Packaging. The ink pads are designed to stack together on top of each other, which is great, BUT the cap seems to have a will of its own and it magically opens all the time. It wouldn’t be such a big problem if the ink wasn’t that powerful (and staining => see above). A larger inking surface will be appreciated too, as this ink is PERFECT for background stamps.

Tips

  1. Foam applicators storage. Ranger does have a special Craft Spinner for storing the applicators. But it works only for the tool itself, and doesn’t answer the need to store the applicators themselves and it’s also a bit pricey.

    I came up with a nifty idea that I want to share with you. Just cut a small Velcro piece with a self adhesive back and adhere it to the base of the ink pads. The applicator will stick on it and you can easily know what color ink the applicator is for. (Just make sure to store the ink pad upside down so it won’t stain your drawer or shelf and it will also keep your ink juicy).
    Storage Tip

  2. Ink application.
    • For inking up the edges of your paper or cardstock, tilt your applicator in 45 degrees and gently pass it across the edge. The harder you press on the applicator, the thicker and less precise the inking will get – so instead of applying pressure on it, just repeat the application over and over until you get the desired result.
    • For distressing the surface itself, hold your applicator straight down, start from the outside and go in with swirling motions.
    • You can also cut the applicator to smaller pieces if you want to ink up smaller surfaces or ink with more control – this technique can also help if you want to add a tint to a black and white photo.

These are some cards I have made, using the distress inks:

Cards - using distress inks

This review is unsolicited. I paid for the products I was reviewing here in full.

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Have you ever used distress inks? If so, how did you find them?

I hope this review has been helpful for you, I’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment on this post :)

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