Saturday, March 29, 2014

Artisan State Photo Album Review

Have you seen "Artisan State Photo Album" ad on Facebook?  I saw it all the time.  It said it is only $20 for a photo album, so I went to their website and checked them out.  Since I am very into photography recently, I want to have a nice flush mount photo album (not press photo album) for my pictures, but I can't afford to pay over $100 per album.  Artisan State Photo Album is very budget friendly.

Artisan State Photo Album Review

Here is what I found:

The $20 photo album called "Little Black Book" which is 5"x7" and 20 pages with black cover, if you want larger size, more pages, different cover style, it would cost extra.  The shipping is only $5, I think it is very reasonable, they didn't try to rip you off from shipping.

Artisan State also offers difficult styles of photo albums like Hard Cover, Leather Cover and Crystal Cover.  These are more expensive, they are from $35 and up with less pages.  But they offer 50% for sample album.  If you want the album for yourself, not for business, it is the way to go.  Coz you can get the bigger album and just a little bit more expensive than "Little Black Book".

I ordered 6"x8" Hard Cover with 22 pages and thin page.  With discount and shipping, I only paid $27.  It is Super Good Deal. 

About uploading pictures and designing album, Artisan State website is very intuitive, it is similar to most online photo lab websites. You can change background colors, add texts etc.  But there is no "theme" templates like shutterfly etc.  It is ok for me, coz I don't want to have any design or graphics on my album.

About the quality of Artisan State Photo book, here are some pics of my photo album.

You can see the texture of the Hard Cover

There is "Studio Sample, Not for Resale" printed on the back cover of Sample Cover.

The album itself is very nice, it is well made.  The pages are mounted nicely.  The one I ordered is thin page, but it is nice thickness, not really thin.



The binding is very well-build and sturdy.  It is very good quality.

The Artisan State Photo Album is very professional looking and beautiful.  However, I have problem with their colors.  The pictures turn out a little bit off, they are a lot darker than the original pictures. Even my monitor is not calibrated, so I ordered some prints from the other professional labs (like Miller's and WHCC) to test, the prints from the other labs are a lot brighter and vivid than Artisan State, so I am pretty sure that it isn't my monitor. 


If you are not selling the photo album, it is for yourself, your family or friends, Artisan State Photo Album is good enough.  They are a lot better than Shutterfly or drugstore photo labs.  However, if you are professional photographers and selling the album to your clients, you really need to calibrate your monitor well and order sample first and test them out.

I think I will order from Artisan State again in the future, coz my parents and in-laws live very far away from us, they love to have photo album of my son, Artisan State is definitely suit my budget and good and beautiful enough .

I also ordered from "Printerpix", I will do the review soon. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Japanese Bento Lunch Box Accessories and Tools

Have you seen all the cute Japanese Bento Lunch Box pictures online?  I also thought that Japanese moms are so amazing, they wake up early morning and prepare these cute Bento Lunch Boxes for their husbands and kids.  When I was kids, I always wished that my mom would make it for me.  Of course, it never happened.  Now I have a 3.5 years old boy, he goes to preschool, I need to pack his lunch.  I wanted to make all these cute Bento Lunch Box for him.  And actually it isn't as hard as I thought.  Because you can buy all these Japanese Bento Lunch Box Accessories and Tools to help you.

Like this one, you can make a Panda Rice Ball and use the punch to make the facial expressions.  My son loves this set.  It is perfect sizes for little kids, I made 2 Pandas for him, and add some chicken, veggies on the side.  It is available at my Etsy Store if you are interested in buying one.

Japanese Bento Lunch Box Accessories: Panda Rice Ball Mold
You can use the Punch for making facial expression.

Super easy to make a perfect Panda Rice Ball

Panda Rice Ball Mold

Another cute Japanese Bento Lunch Box Accessories and Tools, it is Teddy Bear and Bunny Rice Ball Mold with facial expressions and outfit templates.  You can use the templates to make facial expression and clothes with the templates, it is super easy and quick to make a Kawaii Bento Lunch Box.  It is also available at my Etsy store.

Teddy Bear and Bunny Rice Ball Bento Lunch Box Accessories and Tools
Japanese Bento Lunch Box Tool

Teddy Bear and Bunny Bento Rice Mold and Templates
Last Japanese Bento Lunch Box Accessories and Tools, this set comes with 3 rice ball molds: Rabbit Bunny, Dolphin and Sunflower Rice Mold.  The rice ball is a lot bigger than the two sets above, they are perfect for older kids or teens.  It also available at my Etsy Store.

Bunny Dolphin Sunflower Japanese Bento Lunch Box Acessories and Tool
Aren't they cute? 
Not are "Rice" person!  More "Sandwich" person!  Don't worry!  I have cute Japanese Bento Lunch Box "Sandwich" mold/ maker as well.    Please check back my blog, I will post some cute Sandwich Mold and Makers soon.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Shabby Chic Flower Hair Clip/ Hair Accessories

I always wanted to make Shabby Chic Flower hair clip or hair accessories, but I really don't have how to make them.  I saw a lot of them on Etsy, but I am more Crafty Person (Can you tell??).  So I decided to make my own, I google search how to make fabric flowers, I got some basic ideas how to make fabric flowers, and I came up my own version of Shabby Chic Flower with my Sizzix Flower Die (Sizzix Original Die - Flower Layers #5).  Actually I didn't really like this die, I was thinking to sell it on Craigslist or ebay.  But I am glad that I didn't.  Because this die makes perfect Shabby Chic Flower.

Shabby Chic Flower Hair Clip

I bought some Lace Fabric at JoAnn, you can find a lot of lace fabrics at Bridal-inspired fabric section.  And I used Vintage Button for the center.  I got these vintage buttons years ago, I think they are from 70s, there is some scratches on it, but it added a special touch.  Also, I bought a yard of "Pearl Lace" Ribbon for the top of the clip.

Shabby Chic Flower Hair Clip
The picture above you can see the "Pearl Lace" Ribbon better.  I really love this ribbon.  It looks very pretty, it is perfect for bridal stuff.

Back of the Shabby Chic Flower Hair Clip
After I made this hair clip, I made another bigger shabby chic flower, but it is too big for hair clip, so I made it as a Ponytail Holder.  I bought a Ponytail Holder base, so it secured the back better.  I bought a bunch of them, if anyone interested, please let me know, I will list on Etsy, so you can purchase.

Two Tiers Shabby Chic Flower Ponytail Holder
The big Shabby Chic Flower Ponytail Holder is two tiers.  I used the softer Ivory Lace Fabric for the bottom tier.  I really love how soft it feels and I like how it looks with two different texture of laces together.  Of course, I decorated with vintage button.  I just love vintage buttons, they add special look and feel on the finished products.

Two Tiers Shabby Chic Flower Ponytail Holder
Here is the back:

You can see that I used the plastic back for holding the elastic band.
I like the plastic back, it makes my ponytail holder look more professional and neat.

If you like my Shabby Chic Flower Hair Clip, now I offer a DIY Shabby Chic Flower Hair Clip Kit, it included the fabric (precut), ribbon, hair clip, template and instruction.  So you can make your own.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Little Birdie Measuring Tape Cover with Sizzix Fluffy Bird Die

I found the Sizzix Fluffy Bird Die clearance, so I just got it (I can't resist when it is so cheap).  I didn't have any projects in my mind.  Then my hubby suggested me to use it to make a measuring tape cover.  I thought it is a brilliant idea. 

Here is the Little Birdie Measuring Tape Cover:

Little Birdie Measuring Tape Cover with Sizzix Fluffy Bird Die

Little Birdie Measuring Tape Cover with Sizzix Fluffy Bird Die

Little Birdie Measuring Tape Cover with Sizzix Fluffy Bird Die

I used some scrap fabrics from my stash, good thing about this project is that it requires very small piece of fabrics, so I don't need to buy any fabrics, just dig through my fabric stash.  For the base, I used wool blended Felt that I got from JoAnn a while ago.   I just hand stitch the base and glue the bird on the top.

Because it looked very bland.  I dig through my embellishment and ribbon stash, I found that cute measuring tape ribbon that I bought years ago.  It matches perfectly.  For eyes, I used buttons.

I think this little Birdie Measuring Tape Cover turns out very nice!  I am glad that I found a good use for this Sizzix Fluffy Bird Die.  I think this die can make a good pin cushion, Christmas ornament, paper weights, fabric weights etc.  It is really endless.  My next project with this die will be Fabric Weights or Christmas Ornament.  I already have some ideas in my mind, I can't wait to make it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My First Sewing Pattern - Baby Shoe Coin Purse

Baby Shoe Coin Purse Sewing Pattern

I finally finished my first sewing pattern - Baby Shoe Coin Purse.  I am very proud of myself.  It is a very long process.  The most challenging part is for the tutorials/ instruction.  It is hard to take a clear instruction pictures.  And I have no one to help, I have to do all by myself.  But the result is amazing!  The tutorial looks very good. 

The Baby Shoe Coin Purse is not a super easy project, but it is not hard either.  If you know how to sew curve and zipper, then it will be easy and quick project.   It is definitely an "Afternoon Project", it will take about 2 hours or less for experienced sewers.  If you are new to Zipper or Sewing Curve, it will take longer than 2 hours.  But isn't it nice to learn some new techniques?  I love to do difficult projects, because it is how I learn new techniques.

Baby Shoe Coin Purse Sewing Pattern

One thing I love this sewing pattern is that I can show my creative side!  I can decorate different way, like bows, fabrics flowers, lace etc.  Below is some of examples.

Another variety Coin Purses

If you like the Baby Shoe Coin Purse, you can purchase the pattern at my Etsy store.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Japanese Craft Book: DIY Teddy Bear Book

I love reading different DIY Teddy Bear books from different countries, because it is so cool to see different styles of different bear artists.  I own American Bearmaking books and Taiwanese Bearmaking books, and now I got my first Japanese Bearmaking Book.

Japanese DIY Teddy Bear Book
I really like this book, it has a lot of teddy bear patterns for different materials like mohair fabrics, quilted fabrics or just regular fabrics.  Also it has different sizes of bears as well.  The best part is that it comes with Full Size patterns, I don't need to resize it.  And it teaches you how to make clothe for teddy bears, but it doesn't come with patterns, I wish the book comes with the cloth patterns as well, not just showing you how to make it.

Japanese DIY Teddy Bear Book

Fabric Teddy Bear and Miniature Teddy Bear made of Towel and fabric

More miniature bears

Teddy Bear Backback

More Teddy Bears

Teddy Bear Family

This Japanese Craft Book: DIY teddy bear book is available at my ETSY Store.

Mini Shadow Box Made of Sizzix Shaker Box Die and Pattern Paper

My son's teacher's birthday was last week.  I wanted to give her something special.  And I just bought the Sizzix Shaker Box Die and I saw a youtube video that a lady using that die to make a shadow box, I think it is super cute and cool.  So I decided to make a mini shadow box made of a vintage looking pattern papers that I bought at Tuesday Morning couple weeks ago.

Here is the youtube video:

Because the teacher is original from UK, so I used Hero Art Stamp Set which has a London and British Flag in the background.  I handpainted the stamps into different colors and stamped on the muslin fabrics which has an interfacing on the back.   Then I glued on the cover of the shadow box.  I also put  a "Happy Birthday" Sticker (which I bought at Marshalls) on it.  At last, I glued a flower embellishment.  I think it looks stunning!! hehe...  I really love the pattern paper I used, because the paper is so think, so I used two sheets of paper.

Mini Shadow Box made of Sizzix Shaker Box Die
Another view of Mini Shadow Box
Side View of Mini Shadow Box

I used "velcro" for the closure.  The velcro I used is the type that they have adhesive.  It works out very good.  I think it is more convenience than using ribbon to close the shadow box.

For picture, I chose a funny picture.

I think it is super funny picture!
 I also used leather heart which I made few weeks ago for decoration.

My son's teacher loved it!  She loved the UK Stamp and the picture.  She loved it so much that she wanted to make these mini shadow box for Christmas gift to parents.  I am very glad that she loved it.  It really made my day.