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REVIEW: Hunkydory stamps and dies

A fun thing happened to me the other week - Hunkydory emailed me and asked if I'd like to review their stamps and dies.

Because they like my blog! Wow! So of course I said 'Yes'. I even got to pick which items I wanted to review. I've chosen the Beautiful Birdcage dies, and Happiness Blooms and Sketch Background Tiles stamps.
I have to say, I haven't used Hunkydory products before, as I thought they only did die cut decoupage with foiling - so I was highly surprised to find they also make dies and stamps! I had a good look at the site before replying to accept, and spotted these immediately.

First, the goodies...
This is what I chose. First, the front of the packaging...
and the back, so you can see the actual sizes...

The die set...
Maybe a silly thing, but impressed me - little outlines so you can stick the dies back onto the carrier sheet again (so you know if you've lost one) which will suit me well until I sort all my die storage out again. I also slipped this carrier sheet back inside the plastic sleeve again, for safety.
This really made me happy! Using my Big Shot Plus - one single pass through, and all the detail is there. No need for a shim, or rolling back and forwards etc, just ONE run through, and you can see the dies are just dropping out the card.
The card is 250gsm smooth white card/
Closeup of the very very detailed bird cage.
No need for an embossing mat - all the edges are beautifully rounded with just the one pass for the cut! Incidentally, I just flexed the birdcage a little, and most of the 'bits' just fell out. I only needed a pokey tool for the finest bits (tiny little circles) and same for the chain and the floral spray etc. Bye the way, the little birdies have detail markings already: wing markings and eyes. So they really have thought of everything! Birdies need eyes, and you can guarantee trying to dot them in, in the right place, it would all go very pear shaped, lol.

The stamps...
First, the script stamp from the Sketch Background Tiles - I used Brilliance ink (Starlight Black, which is a deep charcoal grey with a slight sparkle) on vellum. Heavyweight vellum is a really good test, as you'll see straight away if something doesn't stamp nicely (card is more forgiving). I've used Brilliance, which is a pigment ink and also doesn't give such a sharp image as Versafine (it spreads a little) so I was delighted with the detail I got. None of this 'sanding a clear stamp before you use it' rubbish either - these came straight off their index sheets, got inked, got stamped. Job done, which is exactly how I like it.
Next, the sentiment - from the Happiness Blooms Sentiments set. Again, stamped with Brilliance in Stalight Black, and embossed with Nuvo powder in Clear. Again, on vellum.
I created a background with the three colours of Distress Oxides, smooshed on a glass mat and sprayed with water. I used a heat tool to dry in between layers, to add a little contrast.

It's the little things in life ...
I used a very pretty brocade effect card I've had in my stash for years (finally got to use it) and folded it in half to create an A5 card. Next step, a piece of torn vintage dictionary paper, then the card I tinted with the Distress Oxides. On top of this, I glued the birdcage, then the sentiment (layered onto torn white card) and finally the floral sprays (also die cut from white card).
The little girl (Tim Holtz Paper Dolls) is sitting on another floral spray die cut - this time in vellum. She needed something to sit on - you can't just leave a figure like this hanging in mid- air, as it simply looks odd. You can just see solid flowers (from the same die set) tucked under the floral spray - they fit exactly! So you could layer on top, or underneath as you see here.
Finishing touches were the birds - I love that they don't all face the same way. I think they are hummingbirds (shape of the beak) so I cut the beak down on the one sitting on the girl's hair bow, and turned it into a dove instead.
I just had to add her - the expression on her face is priceless! Definitely 'Oooh, err.... MUM!'

Just for you...
Here, I've used the hessian stamp from the Sketch Background Tiles, and stamped it twice on smooth 250gm watercolour paper, using Versafine ink in Smoky Grey (waterproof when dry). I glued another Tim Holtz Paper Doll over this (boy and his dog) then got out my watercolours.
I used the 'Decadent Pies' watercolour set by Prima, and painted the background  in Blueberry using lots of water, then added shadow around the figures with Blackberry. I grounded the images with Apple mixed with a little Blackberry and painted a stripe of colour so they looked like they were standing on something, not suspended in mid air.

I cut several birds from the Beautiful Birdcage set, and painted them with Banana Cream (also from the Decadent Pies watercolour set) and edged them with a black pen. Again, this just helps the image to pop. The top edge and the left side are torn papers from my vintage dictionary, and where there are two layers on the left, I've also painted a little Banana Cream to add shadow on the lower layer, making the top layer pop as well.
Putting it all together...

I splatted the background with Apple and a touch of gold from my Gansai Tambi Starry Colours set. I left the section to the right plain white. Next step, I stamped the script from the same Sketch Background Tiles set, using Versafine in Black. I held the stamp in my hand, so I just stamped sections of the script, running down the side of the paper. I stamped Just For You onto white card, and edged it in black by running the edges of the card along the ink pad, to make it stand out a little more, glued it down and added shadow underneath with more Blackberry watercolour, then added the birds using a silicon gel so they have dimension.
Finally, I mounted the whole lot to black card, and added a phrase from the Tim Holtz Idea-ology Small Talk stick-on booklet.
So there you are! I totally enjoyed making these cards, I love the birdcage and little birdies, and I love the stamps! Win win all around.

Hunkydory products used:


Disclaimer: I have not been paid to do this review, and all the opinions expressed here are my own.

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