Like a Box of Chocolates – Creative Kit Review

I recently bought a new mixed media  kit called the Metallic Textures by Design Memory Craft/Faber Castell.  I had watched a video of a woman demonstrating using the kit.   The video was just OK, but the seeing all the stuff in the kit that was inspiring.   It was full of stuff I wanted to try and for just $20 I could try all sorts of goodies without making the commitment to full-sized full-priced product.  So after checking the local stores for it and finding none, I was off to the internet to order one from Simon Says Stamp.

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When the kit came it did not disappoint me.  It was like a box of mixed chocolates and each piece was like a different chocolate in a box.  Each of them different but wonderful all the same.   The kit has a total of  19 items in it.   This kit has given me four sample sized tubes of the Texture Luxe to try in copper, silver, gold and pearl.   It included two tubes of Gelato in green and blue metallic, more iridescent to me.   Six different sheets of medium to work on, with only one duplicate type. There were two coated boards one with silver and one with gold detail, one sheet of canvas texture paper, one cork sided paper, one Kraft paper, and one manila paper sheet.   Each of the pages of medium had a grommet in the upper left hand corner  They gave you a silver colored split ring to hold the pages all together when you are finished.    There were two sheets of pallet paper, which I looked forward to trying.   Two paper stencils that could be used with the Luxe or the Gelatos and possibly incorporated into the pages. It included the sorriest excuse for a pallet knife I have ever seen.   In a  first-class kit, the skimp on the pallet knife made absolute no sense.   Lastly there was an full color glossy instruction and/or idea book printed in three languages.   The instructions were sufficient, but the photos were not fully instructional.  The photos were a little collage across the bottom of the page for the steps.   They were OK for me but for a first-timer I think that they would have been lacking.

 

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The top one is a pallet knife from my collection and the bottom one is what was in the kit. I can’t imagine the cost of mine would have broke the bank.

I have am working on my journal from this kit and have discovered that the Texture Luxe is an animal all onto itself.   It is not like molding paste, texture pasted or embossing paste. It is an opaque acrylic paste.   It is easily colored by shaving some color off of a Gelato into it and mixing it with a pallet knife.   That is an upside because it can be any color you want.   The video also showed how you could glob some of the Luxe onto a pallet paper, let it dry and then cut the skin into something for your work.   I tried this and it works. I cut it with a wafer-thin die.   I put the skin between wax paper because I did not want to ruin a good die on this what if?  I would do this again but the more delicate the die the more likely you will not get good results.   I would not do this with anything more delicate that the die I used.   I in retrospect wish I had mounted it on Scor-Tape to make attaching it easy . IMAG2105

I think one of the shortfalls of the kit for a person is the indication that you would likely want to have a few additional items to make the experience better.  In my opinion a person would have appreciated a note that other items you may wish that were not included.   I chose to add only the most basic of items because I really wanted this to not only be a test of the supplies, but also the kits completeness.   I added a stamp pad and a couple of stamps, a Pitt Big Brush Pen, other Gelato colors I borrowed from a friend, a die cut to match my quote and my own pallet knife.

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The project surely could have been completed without the extra gelatos and the die cut of the world.   However I would have been lost without a real pallet knife and I think the stamps really kicked it up a notch.

Here is my finished project. A six page multi-media journal featuring a favorite quote of mine.  I have bound it using the little split ring included.   I think I may dress up the ring with some jazz and charms but right now I have nothing that jumps out at me from my stash.

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Here are all the pages bound.

The cover page was a chipboard with one shiny white side with the gold design pre-printed.  The background was created using the two Gelatos that came with the kit in a metalic blue and green.   I  used the scalloped paper stencil and the Luxe pastes on this.   The video I watch talked about adding iced coffee colored gelatos to the silver to get a sort of pewter color.   I could not come up with that color but a friend lent me her kit and the brown did a really nice job of doing what I was looking for.    I used my personal stamps with Ranger Archival Black for the images and the Go.    I highlighted the heart with and the hand with borrowed Gelatos. My quote I printed out on the computer.

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The second page I made used the Kraft paper.  I struggled a bit on this page because it was easy to get it too dark to feature the product or an idea.   I stamped the background with a coffee stain stamp using Ranger Archival – Potting soil.   I then put the kit’s Gelatos on the top and bottom.   It was just way to dark, so I put some acrylic paint on the top and then put the Gelatos over it.   Much better.   I used the scallop stencil again and this time put gold and the custom mixed pewter Luxe on it.    I left the bottom as was, no paint to brighten it up.   I put some copper Luxe on with just a pallet knife.   I stamped on a skyline and then use some Pitt markers to color in the windows and a white gel pen to further define the buildings.  The quote was printed on computer paper.

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The third page. was the page was an easy medium, manila paper. In spite of the paper being easy, I  struggled with this page lots, and yet had lots of fun and discovery.   I use the blue kit Gelato  to help create the sky, along with a little Distress Ink to give it a little of the warm undertones.   The bottom I used the kit green Gelato .   I then used the borrowed gelatos to mark up a stamp, spray it with water and then stamp it for a faux watercolor look.  My test was much better than the one in this journal because I got too much water on it. One of those lessons learned.    I took my Pitt marks and gave it some detail.   I used the circle stencil for the first time with the Pearl Lux to create circles in the sky around the flowers.   At this point the ground was getting lost, so I added the green kit Gelato and some borrowed green gelato to the Pearl Luxe and put it on the page with a spatula creating some texture. When I look at his page I see a glorious and fantastical huge bunch of mistakes, so the words fit perfectly.

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Page four was the hardest because how do you show “Break Rules” ?  The page I used for this one was the linen texture page.   It reminded me of books, so I made a run with the rules and rule books.My base was the blue kit Gelato.        I used my Archival ink and alphabet stamps for the text.   It was too bright so I put a thin layer of the Pearl Luxe on it to sort of put the rules in the background.   I once again used the scalloped stencil and mixed the Luxe metallics in a random fashion. I was done with the dot stencil so I tore it up another salute to rule breaking and attached it.  I used my big Pitt pens to create some shadows and highlights in this all.  This was the last page I completed.

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Page five was the cork page.  I knew from the get go what I wanted to do on this page.   I colored the cork with the blue kit Gelato.   I cut a circle and made the moon using pearl Luxe.  I stamped the stars using white pigment ink.   I tried two kinds and both faded into the blue Gelato.   I then had a die cutout of the  world cut.  I covered it with assorted metallic Luxes from the kit using my pallet knife.   I attached it to the cork base.   It became lost.   I tied to get some of the blue off the back under it, but really to no avail.   I then used a white gel pen to set off the world and my Pitt big brush pen to set off the edge of the world.

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Page six was another chipboard piece, but this time it had silver on it and big flower.   It said ugh to me.  I used the kit green and blue Gelatos for the background. I used the dot stencil and copper and silver Luxe from the kit and covered all that silver stuff on the top and bottom.  I used the borrowed gelatos to color in the flowers.   Then decided later  to cover them up with the blue kit Gelato as they added nothing to what I was doing.     I used the circle/dot  stencil and a baby wipe t remove some of the background.   I had planned to stamp the word Art using an amazing alphabet stamp I had, but I forgot and there was no good way to take off the word once it was attached.   I used Archival and stamped on the paint brushes to give it a little something.

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I am so glad I bought the kit.   I had more than $20 worth of fun and learning.  I have a little of the product left over that I can use on other projects.   The company has a convert on their Luxe product.   I would surely add some of them to my collection of things I use.   They have a lot of additional kits and I must say that the one called City Brights is calling my name, but I have two online classes I must finish first.   Stay Tuned.

 

 

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