Sparkleberry Industries: Premium Wood Burning tips, Soldering tips and Stencil Kit Review

DSC_1748

 

Crafting is something I have been slowly trying to get back into and it has not been easy. Not having the energy or time can be a big obstacle, as can be having the wrong tools. I had to research long and hard to even find a dependable wood burning pen because many would not work correctly, to just give out after just a few uses. Finding tips I thought was the easy part, but later I found that it was not the type, size, or style that would become the problem, it was the tip actually lasting. I had one tip from another manufacture just bend out of shape from the medium heat setting on the pen. I literally watched it just warp slowly as the pen heated up. Not a great start!

When Sparkleberry Industries offered to have me try a kit, well I have the pen and even the nice plastic box to carry all my essentials in, so why not. The kit includes:

  • 15 Pyrography Tool Tips (Brass colored tips, plus silver colored “stamps”)
  • 10 Soldering Tips (Silver colored tips)
  • 2 hot knife tips
  • 2 Plastic Stencils and
  • 3 Metal Stencils

I know, that is a pretty comprehensive list and the perfect starter set or even one you can compliment your collection with!

 

DSC_1749

Retail Price Point: $13.97 via Amazon and if you are a Prime member, shipping is free.

 

DSC_1747

 

Verdict:
From the get-go, Sparkleberry Industries lists what each tip is used for and does not leave the consumer just guessing. Any of the silver toned pieces are softer, so less pressure is advised when using. I heated up the first tip, which was a heart shape and the tip warmed evenly and allowed me to stamp a perfect heart on the scrap of wood I was using. I then went down the list and tested both the Pyrography and some of the soldering tips. Again, none took a different shape or did I have issues when using them. I did not test the hot knife ones and it was mostly because I have no current need for them, but come Halloween, these knives are great at shaping tombstones for the holiday, which we make out of Styrofoam that is used for insulation/noise dampening. I tried pricing the kit and you add the stencils and I have a need for them not just for outlining but just for simple labeling, plus all the other accessories and it really is a great deal. Not complicated, as all tips twisted on and off with ease and they are true to their shape and remain that way during use. My wood burning box is now filled with so many tips that I just need to score a wood crate on sale and get crafting!

 

DSC_1746

 

Connect with Sparleberry Industries at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sparkleberry Industries. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Advertisements

Bstean Industrial Syringe applicators w/ Blunted Tips and Caps

How many times have we tried to apply glue, lubricant, water, or alcohol to a very specific place only to have it spill over, dribble, or miss and nearly ruin what we were trying to protect, clean or preserve? It’s happened to me countless times, but it won’t be happening again in the near future thanks to these wonderful Bstean Syringe applicators.

DSC_1707

Content in the past with being inaccurate or buying those cheap, disposable bulb applicators, or even a cotton swab or Q-Tip, these syringe applicators are a crafter’s DREAM! I never again have to worry about slopping glue or oil or even droplets of paint, I can now apply them all with laser accuracy! With blunted tips to keep from accidentally jabbing yourself, you still get pin-point application or whatever viscous liquid you want to apply. Hubby even swiped a few because let’s face it, gun and knife lubes are not cheap, and you don’t want to be slopping oils on parts that absolutely don’t need it or could damage the tool. Need to apply a light grease to a hinge? Problem solved. Need a few drops of that expensive, fancy Benchmade lubricant? Got you covered. Want a single drop of glue for a delicate crafting project? Yup, Bstean’s syringes are up to the task. Single droplets of paint on a project? Done and done!

BStean actually took some of the criticisms to heart and have included rubber caps or stoppers for filling your syringe applicator from the back with particularly viscous fluids. Still lacking, though, is the notice on the Amazon order page that all the syringes come printed with “Single Use” on them. Hubby disregarded that, and stuck his for his knives and guns in a zip top baggie and squirreled them away with his other tools for his “stuff”. No problems to report from re-use, though. The ones used for glue are almost always single use anyways, because the glues will harden in the tubes. But at only $9.89 shipped for a pack or 10, you get four different sizes, too: 1ml x 3, 3ml x 3, 5ml x 2, 10ml x 2  with needle gauges ranging from 1.5” 14Gx2, 1” 18Gx2, 1/2” 16Gx3, 20Gx3, and color coded for your convenience. Really sturdy, industrial grade, really well-made with metal needle syringe applicators, I plan on buying more in the future as my old ones get used up. Great product all around with a multitude of uses, and a fantastic price.

DSC_1706

Connect with Bstean:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BStean. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation for this review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

U.S. Art Supply’s 40″ Professional Quality Mat Cutter

usas_logo

U.S. Art Supply has single-handedly re-awoken my crafty nature. From painting to framing, airbrushing and more, the only thing I needed to have done professionally was my matting. No more, because U.S. Art Supply has made a mat cutter that puts the one I saw being used at Joanne’s to shame.

DSC_1611

With solid, strong aluminum hinged guide rails and aluminum mat channels (with 2 production stops) mounted securely to a solid, heavy premium MDF backer, it’s build like a tank and designed for heavy-duty use for years and years and years. There’s also a fold-able 27″ 90 degree 27″ squaring arm to keep things even and straight, and you get both straight and beveled cutting heads that use a simple razor blade to cut, so keeping a fresh, sharp blade in there is a breeze and the cost is minimal. It’s so simple to use that I can’t imagine I ever having paid someone to do this for me. Quick, sharp, precise cuts every time, and perfectly square too. And I love that I can set the bevel I want and not just have flat edges. The unit comes mostly assembled, so the box is huge, and even though I saw that it’s a 40″ unit I was still in awe of the sheer size of the system. You’ll need an extremely long counter or table to operate it on, and thankfully it has non-marring feet on the bottom as well.

DSC_1613

Gone for me are the days of hoarding framing discount coupons for my art projects, because with U.S. Art Supply’s Professional-Quality 40″ Mat cutter, I’ll never need to rely on someone else to cut mats for me, or pay an exorbitant or ridiculous price for pre-cut mats. after a few projects, this mat cutter pays for itself, and with U.S. Art Supply you’re also getting top-notch customer service, soup to nuts. They only want 100% satisfied customers, and always go above and beyond to get you there. I recommend this product highly!

DSC_1612

Connect with US Art Supply at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from US Art Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Bstean Industrial Syringe applicators with Blunt Tips

How many times have we tried to apply glue, lubricant, water, or alcohol to a very specific place only to have it spill over, dribble, or miss and nearly ruin what we were trying to protect, clean or preserve? It’s happened to me countless times, but it won’t be happening again in the near future thanks to these wonderful Bstean Syringe applicators.

DSC_1375

 

 

Content in the past with being inaccurate or buying those cheap, disposable bulb applicators, or even a cotton swab or Q-Tip, these syringe applicators are a crafter’s DREAM! I never again have to worry about slopping glue or oil or even droplets of paint, I can now apply them all with laser accuracy! With blunted tips to keep from accidentally jabbing yourself, you still get pin-point application or whatever viscous liquid you want to apply. Hubby even swiped a few because let’s face it, gun and knife lubes are not cheap, and you don’t want to be slopping oils on parts that absolutely don’t need it or could damage the tool. Need to apply a light grease to a hinge? Problem solved. Need a few drops of that expensive, fancy Benchmade lubricant? Got you covered. Want a single drop of glue for a delicate crafting project? Yup, Bstean’s syringes are up to the task. Single droplets of paint on a project? Done and done!

DSC_1377

One thing I wish they came with was a needle cap for when one is filling the syringe from the back. Another is the lack of notice on the Amazon order page that all the syringes come printed with “Single Use” on them. Hubby disregarded that, and stuck his for his knives and guns in a zip top baggie and squirreled them away with his other tools for his “stuff”. No problems to report from re-use, though. The ones used for glue are almost always single use anyways, because the glues will harden in the tubes. But at only $9.89 shipped for a pack or 12, you get three different sizes, too: 5ml x 8, 10ml x 2, and 20ml x 2 with gauges from 14 up to 25, and color coded for your convenience. Really sturdy, industrial grade, really well-made with metal needle syringe applicators, I plan on buying more in the future as my old ones get used up. Great product all around with a multitude of uses, and a fantastic price.

DSC_1376

Connect with Bstean:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from . I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Blissful Lotus: Lotus Flower Incense Burner and Votive Tea Light Candle Holder #Review #LotusIncenseBurner

DSC_1205

When it comes to candles and decor, I am always seeking something unique that adds both beauty but usefulness too. A double-duty item!

DSC_1206 DSC_1208

Blissful Lotus offers a lotus flower shaped incense burner, which is cast from plastic (poly-resin) and hand painted. The lotus center has holes, which would hold the incense sticks. You can also use the holder as a tea candle/votive holder, so it has several different uses.

DSC_1207

Verdict:
The item came nicely wrapped and in a white colored box. Upon opening the box, the first detail I noticed, was that the bottom of the lotus has a painted flower too (almost like a brand emblem) however the glaze/coating used to protect the paint, was only applied about 3/4 of the way. You can actually notice the brush stroke and color change, since a clear coating tends to give that “wet look” when the sealant is applied. Yes, it’s the bottom of the holder, however this also means as you move it, use it and/or place it in different rooms, the paint will begin to flake off the plastic and leaving black colored flakes behind. It’s the small details that only took one more second when the sealant was applied. Next, comes the holes, which represent the center of the lotus flower. Some are bigger in circumference and depth. This means my incense sticks do not rest properly in some and only at a slant in others, while some holes are just too small. This limits how many holes I can use because of how the uniform shaped incense sticks rest in the uniformed holes! Some of the holes look like the form used when the plastic was injected, had debris and you get that look of clumping when casting (old material mixed with the new injected one). Yes, the item is plastic and a small drop will not break it, however I don’t plan to be careless and especially with an item that most times will have a slow burning incense stick or candle going. Last but not the least, the paint job. When the original image does not represent the care the final piece was made with. Okay, if the product retailed for $4.99 or something, not okay when it retails for $13.99! Yes, a plastic flower that really the only thing it has going for it is weight, meaning no worry of tipping if you are even are able to use 1/2 the holes with incense sticks that are a little fatter than usual but that is about it. Real wood or glass items cost less and some of the wood ones even come with brass metal details…….it’s hard for me to just tell you buy it, it’s cute. I will be drilling the holes to at least have a matching size so my sticks rest evenly too, and then painting it. Again, a craft project where the items costs almost $14 is not something I can push even with the positive spin I am sharing here because I dislike just throwing something away if I can save it.

Connect with Blissful Lotus and they sell just this one item, at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Blissful Lotus. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

US Art Supply: Large easy to carry, Art Supplies and Storage Wooden Box, with removable Drawer #Review #USArtSupply

DSC_1027

I started in 2015 getting back in to doing crafts at home and that means I needed to replenish my art supplies. This meant letting go of dried out paints from the early 2000’s and buying everything from new acrylics, water colors, oils, pastels and you name it. I have built a large collection and I figured a clear plastic storage box would do the trick. I then outgrew the box. Bought a second box and when I outgrew that, I noticed that my plastic boxes really did not satisfy me in how it kept things, to the point sometimes I avoided getting something out to not mess with how the box was sorted. It was time to think of a better solution.

DSC_1026

I have reviewed for US Art Supply in the past because it’s a crafter and artist dream store. You think of a project and you simply visit their warehouse store on-line to see what you need. No gimmicks when it comes to what they carry and every set or item comes with details attached, so you know what is included before you place an order. Then comes the quality of their products……phenomenal and economical. Two words, which I love. I love to save but I also want good quality, something that is sometimes sacrificed by the budget you wish to keep but US Art Supply does not make me feel guilty for trying to save. They actually encourage it! They post deals all the time and I found that when I open my craft boxes and trunks, I see their logo on everything I own. I like that because I am finally where I want to be when it comes to the supplies I have. An idea hits me and I finally have the supplies to make that idea come true. No limits or constraints…..or waiting to save to be able to afford doing a project.

DSC_1028

When US Art Supply offered to send their large storage wooden box, for storing art supplies and crafts, well I did not pass it up. When I ordered the box on Amazon, it was an artist’s dream. You have a wooden shelf that is removable, so you can easily access the items underneath and/or have them right next to you when you are drawing or painting. Everything I have from the metal objects I collect to the paper goods, and even frame hanging materials……well, it’s small in size. I can’t use plastic baggies for everything and being able to label one box as my “metal objects” carrier and another for my fabric, like ribbons to left-over material from past projects, keeps everything dust-free and also ready to use. I don’t throw anything out that can be re-purposed. Even the smallest fabric cutting has served me well in the past, so I keep until I need it again. The wooden box is what I call “naked wood”, so it’s a project in itself if you wish. I will be staining mine and then using a Damascus style stencil to add more beauty to the box. A project is always easy when you have a good beginning and this box is built well and made of wood. No plastic! Just real wood that if taken care of will last for years and years. You have a handle for easy carrying versus my plastic totes that tended to pop open when a finger accidentally poked up and lifted the lid while I was carrying them. None of that here! You have real metal locks (latches) that snap close and keep everything in place. Nothing was overlooked here. Even the bottom of the box has been used wisely. You have sections, a total of 7, which are divided on the bottom. You can keep everything from jumbling when storing or carrying easily. The removable shelf I mentioned also has a divider, which makes it 2 sections that fits brushes to color pencils, and keeps them from rolling everywhere when stored. I love this box and I love that even though it’s a light weight wood, the cost is fair!  You can make this box into anything you want from storing make-up to even making it look like a mini trunk by removing the handle.  The possibilities are endless!

 

DSC_1029

Retail Price Point: $26.96 via Amazon and if you have Amazon Prime, the shipping is free.  The box measures 16.1 x 8.6 x 6.4 inches.

US Art Supply has a large array of wooden boxes, again if the one above does not enlighten you, well they have others that will. I told you they thought of everything for artists and even an artist needs a way to keep their tools and materials in place, so find the storage solution that fits your needs by visiting US Art supply below.  I have been using their boxes to keep my sewing materials, so it does not matter what your art is, they have a supply solution that will meet your needs!

Connect with US Art Supply at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from US Art Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Eunectes Watercolor Paint Set with Travel case, Palette & Brushes


I’ve been wanting to try a watercolor set of paints ever since I rediscovered my “crafty” side, and have been holding out for a decent set at a fair price that would meet my, admittedly limited right now, needs. Eunectes happened along and offered me a chance to try and review their set, so I saw it as kismet and said “You bet!”

IMAG3772 (1)

And I’m extremely glad I did. So far, this is a very high quality set with bright, rich, vivid colors that have extremely high pigments that absolutely ensure that whatever you paint is coated in a luscious wash of color. With 24 colors available in this set, there’s nary a color combination you can imagine that you cannot produce. These Eunectes watercolors come up off the block easily and spread evenly for uniform coverage and saturation of color. The color blocks are first ground to fine powder and are “made from the best available pigments and gums” and are non-toxic, with conformance to ASTM D-4236 and EN71-3 standards.  The included travel box ensures that you can store or transport your watercolors safely with no right of hihgly pigmented dust staining the floor or furniture, and the set even comes with a white mixing base paint, and plastic mixing palette, and a starter set of brushes so you’re good to go and start creating the moment your Eunectes Watercolor set arrives!

A quick note, Amazon did it’s usual atrocious packing job and a few of my watercolor blocks were cracked, as well as a rainbow of paint dust from jostling during shipping covered everything. Should you have the misfortune of getting Amazon’s ubiquitous “Stupid Shipping Gang” treatment of your set as well, be sure you thoroughly wipe everything down beforehand with a damp cloth, because these are extremely high pigments and will very vividly stain almost anything it comes in contact with, possibly permanently. Overall I’m thrilled with the quality of this Eunectes Watercolor set, and I highly recommend this set for beginners and experienced painters alike.

IMAG3776

Connect with Eunectes:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Eunectes. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

U.S. Art Supply’s Wooden Artist’s Brush & Tool Box

usas_logo

To say that I’m a fan of U.S. Art Supply would be a gross understatement. Everything they make is quality, affordable, and they provide everything that a professional artist, or a weekend art warrior like me, could ever want or need. And it’s all just a click or two away. And then they go and offer me this amazing Wooden Artist Tool and Brush Box and make me fall in love with them all over again.

DSC_0509

Hubby, bless his heart, has fully embraced my rediscovered crafty-ness. He’s bought me brushes, pencils, pens, paints, and tools, and I was just about out of places to stash them all. He even donated his old plastic art supply box from high school, but it was woefully under-equipped to handle my supplies. And you could probably imagine the “decorations” a bored 13-year old might doodle on there in art class. So it didn’t exactly look stunning in my little craft closet. Thankfully, U.S. Art Supply’s Wooden Artist’s Tool & Brush box looks so spiffy, I don’t think I want to hide it away in the closet anymore! With 4 separate easily-accessible sections, 3 of which are accessible from right outside the box, you have plenty of room to store all your supplies but also keep them within easy reach! The top hatches slide open, the bottom drawer is generous, and the compartments that are under the top hatches are deep enough to hold just about anything! Made of 100% solid wood, no particle board or verneers, and with wonderful craftsmanship, it’s built to last for years and look awesome doing it. The leather-wrapped handle on top is really a gorgeous accent as well, and the brass fittings and hardware are a nice touch.

My first box was slightly damaged from shipping and the bottom drawer was permanently, hopelessly stuck. Not to worry, U.S. Art Supply’s staff is so courteous and helpful they had a new one out and in my hands in a matter of days. No muss, no fuss. I love U.S. Art Supply’s products and service, and this Artist’s Brush and Tool Storage Box is a winner!

DSC_0510

Connect with U.S. Art Supply at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from U.S. Art Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

RichCraft Products Premium Burlap Roll with No-Fray Edges

cropped-header1

I’ve been crafting with burlap now for about a year, and if there was one thing that really chapped my bottom, it was the fraying edges of most standard burlap. It’s messy, it’s nearly impossible to mend a straight edge to it, and consequently keeping straight lines on projects was a futile effort. And then RichCraft came along and offered me their Premium Burlap “Table Runner” roll with “No Fray” edges. It’s like the clouds parting on a cloudy day and feeling the sun shine on your face.

DSC_0343

RichCraft uses a tightly-knit, super premium natural burlap fabric that isn’t patchy and full of holes, but retains that rustic charm inherent to burlap fabric. But they went the extra mile and sewed over the edges to insure you don’t have little bits and strings sticking out all over the place, which had become my number one complaint working with burlap. The texture is uniform, unlike most industrial or low-grade burlap, and you get 10 yards of 12″ premium burlap to work with. They call it a “Table Runner” roll, and I have no doubt it would look stunning as a table runner, but there’s so much more you can do with it, because it’s made so well and doesn’t make the same mess you’d be used to with normal burlap. You can even make placemats to go with the table runner, the possibilities are endless!

DSC_0345

There’s a lot of burlap fabric out there, and some of it is terrible to work with. It’s messy, poorly woven, with jute thread of varying sizes throughout, making any project a little bit harder to complete. RichCraft’s Premium Burlap Roll is one of the first I’ve used with sewn edges, and I’ll have a very hard time going back to my other burlap rolls after this. RichCraft has spoiled me! It’s a little pricey, but you have to balance quality with price, and I feel RichCraft has hit that sweet spot with both. I highly recommend their Premium Burlap Table Runner Roll!

DSC_0344

Connect with RichCraft:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from RichCraft Products.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

U.S. Art Supply: Chalkmaster® Liquid Chalk Markers 18 piece set #Review #UsArtSupply

 

DSC_0143

When the craze of chalk markers hit, I was so happy that they finally came to be. I even bought chalkboard paint and made my own boards, tags, place cards, and you name it. I then go to open my $7 dollar pen and I was disappointed. Let’s say the pen could barely write and when it did, it would ooze marker paint all over than where I wanted to write, that it made my writing look like I was in kindergarten. I tried everything from shaking the marker really well to trying to write in the only goofy angle the pen would allow marker fluid to flow…..but still I was unhappy with the results. Then came the clean up and everything I had attempted to write on was left with a green colored film, the same hue as the marker! Talk about having high hopes and just being left with black boards and going back to crumbly chalk sticks.

DSC_0144

U.S. Art Supply, is a company I have reviewed in the past and you know from reading my reviews, I love them. I enjoy many make-up brands and U.S. Art supply is the what I call the make-up for my crafts! Every product I have tried from them works and performs as designed. When crafting a project is sometimes only as good as the product you are using, and not always can talents or imagination save it if the core product just does not deliver. These like others from U.S. Art Supply, delivered!

DSC_0145

Retail Price Point: $19.96 for a set of 18 markers. Each pen comes with a chisel point on one side and a bullet point tip on the other end (just flip the ends) and it comes with free replacement tips. Double duty and performance to make sure every writer can deliver their messages in beautiful print and colors!

DSC_0146

Verdict:
Get the chalk board paint out because these guys are just what you need if you are seeking out chalk liquid markers. Don’t have chalkboards? Well, these markers go beyond writing on other surfaces from glass to metal, to plastic and even paper. The colors are vibrant and beautiful, but most importantly, they work! You can write flawlessly and not one of the pens was temperamental when using. Every time I picked a picked a pen up, it performed and glided smoothly over any non-porous surface. Clean up was easy and if you want your writing to stay, you can opt to seal the project with a light spray from a varnish can. I wanted chalk markers to use to write on all the boards I created and also to decorate all the mirrors I have up around the house. It’s a great way to decorate for a party and easy to clean up, plus I don’t waste ink and paper from a printer. I have written menus on mirrors for guests to know what will be served to celebration messages. The ideas are endless, to decorating for the holidays to even having guests write messages for the guest of honor. You then can then take a picture of the creations to save for memories, clean the mirror off, and it’s ready to make new mirrors again. The ink leaves no film or residue, easy to wipe off because it’s water based and also non-toxic. You have electric neon colors that pop to vibrant primary colors that are deep with color. The cost for an 18 set of markers is economical and because you saved some money, it does not mean you don’t get quality because with U.S. Art Supply products, they stand behind what they make with a 100% Money Back guarantee. Not that you need it because when they placed such a guarantee, it was with the intent that the products aim to please the consumer and I am always pleased with everything I have tried!

DSC_0147

Connect with U.S. Art Supplies and Satisfy your Creative Hunger at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from U.S. Art Supply. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: