Tuesday, 18 August 2015

New Mexico NBUS!

Slap my wrists, I haven't used this lovely stamp since buying it almost three years ago in the fabulous store called 'Guadalupe' in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Time to put that right, and I made three little cards all the same whilst at it - to enclose with Snippets Playground prizes:
I used:

- 4" x 4" square white card blank

- then used the NBUS stamp, made by Stamp A Mania 'called 'Framed Window' and Black Archival ink to stamp with

- then I coloured the image using first of all Distress Markers - deeesaarster dahlings!! The colour ran beyond the nice permanently stamped lines as soon as they caught sight of any water, a much too intricate design to take well to Distress Markers - lesson learnt and it went in the bin

- so, I tried my Whispers Markers, much better! I usually just use Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink with Whispers Markers but found that the Archival ink (which I'd used due to my intentions of colouring all the images with water based Distress Inks) was much better when colouring a whole image, more about this below :) I deliberately kept the colouring a bit patchy/rustic like a few paintings we saw in New Mexico, honestly!

- then trimmed the image down to the fine black lined edge, ran a black marker round the edges just to make sure no bits of white could be seen

- mounted the image panel onto a snippet of thin black card stock

- added the word 'hello' to the bottom right hand corner of the card using Memento 'Tuxedo Black' ink and a sentiment stamp from the Stampendous 'Happy Messages' set

- then just stuck the image panel onto the card front using Collall All Purpose glue

Some low down on the Whispers pens.

I've had my set of 36 pens for well over 10 years, long before I had Twinkling H2O's, Aqua Markers, Pro Markers or TH Distress Markers. I think they possibly preceded those products in the crafting world, although am not 100% sure of that. They came with their own stand and sit permanently on my desk within easy reach.

After I'd made these little cards I Googled 'Sugar Loaf Whispers Strokes' pens and found out some interesting facts. First of all, they're water based! Who knew? I certainly ought to have known as I've successfully used them to colour actual stamps and 'huff' before stamping - so no wonder Memento stamped images had a tendency to bleed if I did much more than just add a tickle here and there.

They most probably will 'pill' card stock if you don't work with very light strokes or if you go over the same area more than once or twice, I certainly find this and it applies to even the best of card BTW.

Then I went looking to find where the markers could be bought and also the cost of them nowadays. First of all, the cost - from what I could glean they're not readily available and even when I found them in the UK, they can cost about £3 each - more expensive than Pro Markers. I did find what seems to be the same product, marketed by Darice and costing around a dollar fifty each in the USA - quite a difference huh?

They can be purchased from Amazon but the reviews are very off putting. The 'pilling' was an issue that invariably annoyed folk (possibly not being gentle enough) but more seriously the quality of the product seems to have totally nosedived :( Peeps were complaining about the flimsy and shoddy construction, the brush ends being frayed and even pens being already dried out when they arrived after purchase!

Things have obviously changed since I bought mine all those years ago - so my advice is to be very wary if you're ever tempted to buy Whispers. After all this time, mine work as well as when I bought them - but given the little bit of research I did the other day, if they do go to the great pen cloud in the sky at some point, I won't try to replace like with like :( Such a shame as I would have loved to be able to write more positively about Whispers pens but things move on, and not always for the better :(

Making these cards really set me off hankering to return to New Mexico where the doors and window frames truly are that wonderful vivid blue in many of the old (and newer) adobe buildings. And the light there is just amazing - an artists dream to paint in 'The Land of Enchantment'. No wonder Barbara Gray loves it there!



  1. Thanks for the review, Di--good to know! Your card is so lovely & I'm not all that far from New Mexico, so I think you should plan that return trip!

  2. Oh, Lovely card! So beautiful mexican stamp and very sunny coloured!
    I haven't yet founded good pens at low cost... crafting is a very expensive hobby :(

  3. A beautiful card !
    Great coloring !

  4. Ah a touch of Meccican sunshine . . . thank you.

    Thanks for the info on the Whispers pens. I love my Tombow pens . . . would be similar I think . . . bullet tip one end, brush tip the other and water-based dye inks in the middle!

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  5. Fab card Di, and I'd so love to visit New mexico too. Mostly because I love sunshine and we don't get much here, lol. x

  6. Fabulous card and a super NBUS stamp xx

  7. This stamp is delightful Di and certainly needed to be inked and so beautifully coloured too. If you have ever been to St Ives the light is fantastic there too and painters love it though not as exotic as New Mexico and the weather certainly not as hot. x

  8. Fabulous little paintings. You can almost feel the Mexican heat oozing from the card. Hugs Mrs A.

  9. Gorgeous coloring of an adorable image, Di. I love it.

  10. Adorable card and a good review, although I've not heard of the Whisper pens.

    I have found the same truths about many of the things I use, that I have had for ever, and then try to replace....UGH! This new an improved stuff is for the birds!
    Prisma colored pencils have been my absolute favorite for more than 20 years. Now they are no longer made here, but in Mexico and the lead is much harder, not the soft bendable leads they used to be...bummer!!

    So thanks for the "heads up" on these pens, I've been looking for a set that I could actually fall in love with......so far I just have a lot of pens......LOL

  11. So sweet Diane, love your colouring
    hugs Jacee
    Simply Paper Card Design

  12. Love the way you have coloured these and it does look like a painting.

    Kath x

  13. Great image. The card design and colours you've chosen give it a real South American feel. Lovely card. xx

  14. I remember your post on your trip to New Mexico, Di. Made me wish I could visit there some day too. And I also recall you showing us some of the crafting goodies you brought back too. Isn't funny how we fall in love with stamps and yet never get round to using them. Still, it is so nice to know they are just biding their time :) Reading about the Whispers pens run a little bell in my head. I haven't got them but I do have some Whispers ink pads - found at my local craft store - I wonder if they are from the same manufacturer. However, they are not water based but waterproof. I'm impressed that your pens haven't dried out after more than 10 years! Hugs, Elizabeth xx


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