Craft Product Review: Royal & Langnickel Soft Grip Paintbrushes


As a mixed-media artist, I find myself using a lot of different paintbrushes, for a lot of different techniques.  A couple years ago, I picked up a Royal & Langnickel Soft Grip brush at my local Michaels – paying no attention to the brand, not really knowing anything about brushes or bristle-types or anything – but just knowing that it was flat and kind of big, and most importantly, had a nice, soft cushion for my weak, sore hands.  Having […]

Craft Fave: My Mind’s Eye – Follow Your Heart: Be Happy

Stamp set from MME - Follow Your Heart: Be Happy

It’s no secret that I love paper, and pretty paper lines with great embellishments just draw me right in.  So you can understand why I got sucked right in by Follow Your Heart: Be Happy line, by My Mind’s Eye, right?  It was designed by Rhonna Farrer, whose work I always love too. I loved all of the pretty embellishments and stamps that came with this line!! You can see all of the papers and other embellishments from the Follow […]

Craft Product Review: ScrapBands

ScrapBands - available in two sizes - go to

I’ve been away from scrapbooking for a while…years, really.  And while I’ve been making a valid attempt to return to the craft, I have yet to complete any scrapbooks.  But that didn’t stop me from being intrigued by today’s new product, ScrapBands.  These stretchy bands – which come in plenty of decorative designs or in plain ones you can decorate yourself – are totally versatile and can be used on scrapbooks, art journals, Smash books, handmade books and journals to […]

Getting Inky: A Comparison Of Color Sprays, Spray Inks and Mists

comparison of color sprays, inks, mists and dyes.

One day, a few weeks ago, I was playing around with some of my spray inks.  I happened to spritz one kind on top of another kind, and realized that they didn’t want to mix together.  It made the mad scientist in me come alive with wonder…and I started going crazy, spraying various ink sprays with each other, just to see how well they played together…did they LIKE each other, or not?  And really, how WERE they different? In a […]

Craft Product Review: Scissor Mouse by Westcott


When I first saw the Scissor Mouse by Westcott, my first thought was “genius!” – and as someone with disabilities who often has difficulty manipulating regular scissors, I was especially excited about the possibilities this new product presented. According to the website description, the Scissor Mouse: Cuts paper fast, easily & safely Cuts straight lines or long waves Blade is not exposed safe for adults and kids to use on any surface Won’t harm surfaces Great for cutting paper, coupons […]

Craft Product Review: Spectrum Noir Markers from Crafter’s Companion

Spectrum Noir Markers

I need to admit up front that I am an alcohol marker virgin.  Yes, that’s right.While everyone else has been playing with those *other* brands – you know what they are – I’ve been sitting here happily coloring with my watercolor crayons and pencils.  But I’ve still been wanting to know what the buzz was about, wanting to try these fascinating markers that everyone seems to love so much…and I do love to color!  So I was pretty excited when […]

Craft Product Review: Decou-Page by DecoArt


I use a lot of decoupage type mediums in my art…whether as glue or as a sealer, or sometimes for other creative ideas…and there are LOTS of different kinds on the market.  A few months ago, I was given a couple bottles of Decou-Page by DecoArt to try out, and I’ve enjoyed using it. Let’s talk about what the product is.  From the DecoArt website: Product Description: All-in-one product.  Use as a sealer, glue, and/or finish.  Use for all types […]

Craft Product Review: Liquid Pearls by Ranger


I’ve really been missing out all this time.  At CHA in January, the folks at Ranger gave us some of the new colors of Liquid Pearls which they released, and I have been playing with them for the last few days…and now I am wondering why it took me this long to find out how versatile these wonderful paints are! According to Ranger’s website, here’s a bit of info on Liquid Pearls: • New brilliant pearlescent formula • 30 new […]

Kids Craft Product Review: Glam Art kits by Dot Art


I have two little girls who love making art projects with their mama. And while I love sharing my stuff with them, sometimes it’s nice to be able to pull out something special just for them. This Glam Art kit from Fubulous Wubulous (part of Dot Art) is just the thing to keep your little artists joyfully occupied for a morning or afternoon of creative fun! Glam Art kits contain “3 art boards to decorate with sparkling sequins and glistening […]

Kids Craft Product Review: Do-A-Dot Art Markers from DotArt

Do-A-Dot Review - 08

My 3 kids love to make art, and between my art supplies and theirs, we have a ton of arts and crafts products in our home.  Somehow, though, we hadn’t managed to acquire anything similar to today’s product, and I have no idea why…because it’s a win-win for everyone…no mess and tons of fun! Do-A-Dot Art sponge-tip applicator markers are what you would commonly think of as “bingo markers.”  But they’re not quite the same.  Let me share them with […]

CHA-Winter 2012: More Booth Eye-Candy…Prima!


So, as I was preparing my photos for another round of Winter CHA 2012 “booth eye-candy,” I realized that I had taken a LOT of photos in the Prima booth!  Um, in fact, I took SO many pictures of SO many gorgeous products and projects that I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorites.  So I had to make an entire post of *just* Prima photos!  I should probably be more specific…I fell in love with the new […]

CHA-Winter 2012: Booth Eye-Candy!


Since I know you all can’t get enough pictures from Winter CHA 2012, I went through some more of my photos today and thought I’d dedicate a couple entire posts JUST to some gorgeous booth eye-candy for you all.  Here’s the first post…enjoy! LOVE these photos from Authentique’s booth! Super happy that Heidi Grace has come out with a new line – clever handmade! The new kraft-paper from Graphic 45 will be so versatile! These sweet baby-themed projects at the […]

CHA Winter 2012: My Faves


Now that I’m back home (all 100 miles away from Anaheim) and scrolling through the hundreds of photos I took during my two days at Winter CHA 2012, I’m trying to think about what my absolute FAVORITE new releases were.  There are a lot of things I’m excited to get my hands on and play with, to be sure, and there was no shortage of eye candy at the show. I’m a huge fan of Christy Tomlinson, so I was […]

CHA: Winter 2012 – Craft Test Dummy Super-Star Haley Pierson-Cox, Live!

Coaster made from bumpers, felt and Mod Podge

Craft Test Dummies’ own Haley Pierson-Cox, also of The Zen of Making, has been spending her time demonstrating fun, easy-to-make crafts at the Waxman booth here at Winter CHA 2012. Using simple hardware store finds, she has shown crafters how to make headbands, pin cushions and more. I visited her at the Waxman booth on Day 1 and took a few photos of her projects, and also did a short video of her explaining one of the projects she was […]

Craft Product Review: Scor-Buddy by Scor-Pal

Scor-Buddy 1

I’m ashamed to admit that with my vast array of stamps and art supplies, I have great difficulty getting handmade cards created in time for birthdays and holidays.  That said, it is one of my goals to work on this year.  In fact, this pin on Pinterest caught my eye and gave me some motivation!  And if I’m going to be making a lot of cards, I definitely need a good scoring tool – so I was excited to give […]

Craft Product Review: Sizzix Embossing Folders & Texture Fades


So what is an embossing folder?  My non-crafty friends think I’m speaking Greek when I use words like this!  Embossing folders are made of hard plastic, have a front and a back, and have some sort of design on the inside.  One side of the folder has the design recessed, and the other side of the folder has the design raised, so that when pressed together, the designs fit into each other. When you place your paper, cardstock or other […]

Craft Product Review: Darcie’s Ink Jet Printable Shrink Plastic Project CD

Darcie's Printable Shrink Plastic

About 6 months ago, I played with “shrink plastic” for the first time in my life. I was awed, amazed – totally fell in love with the stuff. I’ve since tried several brands, and have played around with different mediums on them. But I am COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY by this one…I think you will be too! Darcie’s Ink Jet Printable Shrink Plastic Project CD (yes, that’s a mouthful) is a package that comes with a CD filled with over 150 […]

Craft Product Review: Tim Holtz Distress Stains by Ranger

Distress Stains 16

A year and a half ago, I had never heard of Distress Inks, or Tim Holtz, or Ranger Ink. Distress Stains hadn’t even been invented…but even if they had, I wouldn’t have known anything about them. It’s hard to believe, given how much I love all things “Distress” now, but it’s true. At a fateful weekend with Donna Downey in July 2010, my art world was changed forever, and I’ve never looked back. When Tim Holtz introduced his line of […]

Craft Fave: The Crafter’s Workshop Stencils by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

The Crafter's Workshop 1

Earlier this year, both Jenny and I gave you our opinions on the undeniably wonderful stencils made by the great folks at The Crafter’s Workshop.  We loved them so much that Jenny even gave them the “Craft Test Dummies stamp of approval.”  Well…you may recall that during the summer, Jenny posted a brief update about some new stencils released by The Crafter’s Workshop.  Not only did they release new stencils of their own design, but they had teamed up with […]