Richard Garay – Hello Note – A review
I don't usually review products, but I got this set recently, luckily before it sold out. Richard Garay, for those of you who are not familiar with him, is a former Stampin' Up! demo, who became a concept artist for SU! then left to work with Spellbinders, founded his own direct sales company, Fun Stampers Journey, and now has debuted his own retail line, and this set is part of that debut. As such, I thought I would give you my impressions of these stamps. I paid for these myself and did not receive them free.
I actually met Richard briefly at the SU! convention the year he won the Artisan Award, though he probably doesn't remember me at all. I have to say I was very eager to try these new stamps, and I loved the designs in this set and the fact that the dies were included.
First, I will say that while I love the designs in this set, I was a little disappointed with the material these stamps are made of. They are not photopolymer stamps. They are "clear rubber" according to the packaging, and they are either exactly the same or a similar material as some older Autumn Leaves sets I have, which is not the greatest material for clear stamps. You can't store them in CD cases, which is the way I used to store my stamps, because they will become nearly impossible to remove from the plastic.They don't seem to cling that well to the lid of the MISTI or to my clear blocks, but the envelope stamp was large enough that it didn't matter that the stamp didn't stick completely. They also don't seem to take ink very easily, even when rubbing the stamping surface on the heel of my hand to try to rough it up. I ended up using the MISTI to double stamp to get a good impression. That could be because I was using Distress ink, so I will have to try again with regular ink and see what happens.
Secondly, the packaging was a little disappointing as well. This is too tall of a set to fit in the Avery Elle storage system, but the packaging is not such that you can store the stamps in the package. You pretty much have to tear it apart to get the stamps on their acetate out, and the backing sheet has some tape on it to hold the dies in place that I found nearly impossible to remove nicely. I used Goo Gone trying to remove it, and I ended up with a smeary result that I wasn't too happy with. This is a minor detail to me, though.
I really do love the images in this set and the matching dies. I can see that one could churn out multitudes of cards using up tons of patterned paper, easily and quickly making great cards, mostly of a similar design, but great for making up sets of cards to give away or sell. I can see using other greeting sets and word dies with it, and so while I am not totally happy with the packaging or the stamp material, I still really like this set. I really wish they were photopolymer, though. The dies, however, seem to be of a good quality and cut well.
So, overall I would recommend this particular set unless you are picky about the material your stamps are made from.
That said, it's time to show you what I made with it. Lookie:
GOJUS! (YILM!) The paper I used is a Bo Bunny 6 x 6 pad that is hard to find now, but I tracked it down on a website and have linked it up below. Both the "envelope" and the background paper came from this pad.
I stamped the greeting in Versamark and heat embossed with gold powder. I then die cut it plus 3 or 4 more layers so that I could stack them all up to pop the greeting up. I also paper pieced the envelope.
I used some more of my new favorite gold ribbon.
Some little green rhinestones over the ellipsis makes a nice touch.
All in all, I am very happy with the way this turned out!
Below is my list of products that I used, and I have used affiliate links where they were available, as I now participate in affiliate programs for Simon Says Stamp, Amazon, Ellen Hutson LLC, Scrapbook.com, Ribbon Resource, and Blick Art Supplies. Buying through these links costs you nothing, helps support my blog and my artistic endeavors, and I thank you. Stampin' Up! product links lead to their webstore, so please be sure to indicate your preference in demonstrator if it doesn't come up automatically!