Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crafty Chica Products REVIEW PART 2

Yesterday, I reviewed several of the new Crafty Chica craft products (by Duncan) which are now available to us, the crafting rabble including her glitters, loteria game and decorative papers.

Today, as I promised, MORE product reviews! WOO HOO!

Glossy Gloss Varnish

It's a clear, non-yellowing brush-on high gloss varnish with just a touch of iridescence.

why I like it: Sure there are a million varnishes out there, so I'm sure you're asking what's so great about this one, right? With sealants, like adhesives, each has its own 'special purpose.' In the case of the Chica varnish, I love the sheerness, extremely fast drying time (not just to tacky-dry, I mean D-R-Y) and the VERY LOW ODOR of this product. The product has a non-viscous consistency that is great for projects calling for thin layer of finish (versus the thicker 'dimensional' glazes like Aleene's Paper Glaze). I've varnished just about everything that didn't move out of my way with this and I still have my first bottle (from March). I've used this on papers (without excessive wrinkling or cracking!), plaster sculptures, mixed media on canvas and wood, all with excellent results. Want more shine? Just layer on a few coats (remember? I told you it was fast drying!)

what I wish for:
a big-ass vat of the stuff

Inspiration Cards


There are three collections (uno, dos and tres, of course) and each pack contains 24 double-sided 4.5" x 6" cards. The fronts depict full-color reproductions of original Kathy Cano-Murillo and Patrick Murillo paintings featuring Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), collage work and Crafty Chica personalities ("What kind of Crafty Chica are you?"). The reverse side of the cards are loaded with crafty tips, inspiration, anecdotes and more.

why I like 'em:
They're fun. They're silly. They're inspiring. They're bilingual.

I purchased all three collections and have already gone through them once or twice, putting my favorites aside, reshuffling, picking new ones, reshuffling, etc. Since I've been a fan of Patrick's work as long as I have of Kathy's, it's just plain ol' fun to think about painting a bunch of wooden frames, sticking about 10 of his DdlM drawings in them and hanging them around my studio. Then again, I might NEED to put a few of Kathy's inspirational drawings and collages on my work table to keep me going.

Check out what our friend Miss Belen did with some of her inspiration cards - just paste some white paper on the back & insta-awesome-snail-mail-surprise!

Originally uploaded by TiaBel

Other ideas:
  • make a notebook for art journaling or jotting down ideas for future projects - get some paper cut to size, use a card for the front and back of the notebook and have it bound at your local print/copy center - or just decorate a composition book!
  • use them as love notes or leave them for your roommates/friends to find in their stuff during the day
  • use various transfer techniques to incorporate them into collage work or even textiles
  • decorate your coffee table (or serving tray or ...) with cards and some self-leveling super-thick varnish (check out Kathy's books for projects)
  • ____________________________ (you tell me).
what I wish for: umm... nothin' that I can think of - except maybe more ideas of what to do with the cards!

Chica Paints

overview: The official Crafty Chica color palette is now at your fingertips! This pack includes seven water-based acrylic paints work on wood, fabric, canvas art, paper, murals, jewelry and leather, and can even be thinned down to act as watercolors and fabric dye. Colors include black, white and Kathy's versions of green, purple, yellow, red and blue

what I like: OK, I have a huge selection of artist fluid acrylics already, so I didn't spend part of my budget on these little babies. HOWEVER, I will say that I used these paints on the cruise for every single project and was thrilled with the coverage and brightness of the colors. The texture is a creamier than artist fluid acrylics while maintaining the high level of pigment found in those "professional" paints, but not as thick as soft or heavy body acrylics.

The colors in this pack contain bright primaries and secondaries and mix together perfectly without becoming muddy. We even mixed various "flesh" colors on the cruise out of yellow, red and a little black (each in varying amounts depending on how far north or south our 'people' came from). I found I was able to do multiple coats, blend and work the paints without them getting gloppy or too thick. Pretty dangded awesome for less than $2 a tube!

what I wish for: metallics and iridescents! Maybe next year, huh?

That's all for today, but be sure to stay tuned for the next installment: BOOK & PROJECT REVIEWS!
  • The Crafty Chica Collection (also available at the Crafty Chica display at select Michaels)
  • Collage Journal - Workshop in a Box
  • Empowerment Shrine - Workshop in a Box
  • Empowerment Guardian - Workshop in a Box
  • Market Tote