Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Under The Mistletoe

Before Christmas I bought a few of Lisa Horton's 'own brand' products and finally found time to have a little play with a couple of the items:

How very strange, the card looks as if it's behind gauze - yet the sentiment is clear as day and not out of focus. The green of the mistletoe is brighter and the embossing is much more crisp in real life - bet it's that shining silver that confused the camera!

I used:

- A5 white card blank, side opening (not made an A5 card for ages!)

- first hurdle was the 3D embossing. It took several attempts and the whole lot, including the Cuttlebug, almost went through the window at one point. I used white card for my final try which I sort of bent and fondled to break down the fibres a bit and then gave it a good spray of water on both sides using a mini mister - that gave the most successful result

- the slimline embossing folder is called 'Under The Mistletoe' by Lisa Horton and it also comes with a die to cut one sprig of mistletoe

- once the main panel was embossed, I then die cut the mistletoe twice - once from a snippet of pearlescent green and then from a snippet of pearlescent white card

- then embossed both sprigs by sitting them back into the embossing folder and running them through the Cuttlebug before fussy cutting the white berries and gluing them in place onto the green sprig. When I did that gluing step I sat the sprig on the convex sprig outline on the embossing folder so I could press the berries on without fear of distorting either the sprig or the berries - then kept the assembled sprig and berries for later use

- trimmed the mistletoe white embossed panel and layered it onto a slightly larger backing of silver mirri card

- then added the slimline panel to a piece of silver and white trimmed paper from Chloe's 'Crackle' foiled paper pad - my advice, don't expect to find the actual  colours you see on the cover inside the paper pad. - avoid if you expect them

- glued that full panel to the front of the card and, using a glue pen, added the single green sprig of mistletoe   

- thinking my trials were over, I moved onto another Lisa Horton product for the sentiment. It's a very clever idea but loads of issues. It's called 'Festive Banner Sentiments' and is a stamp and single huge 'multiple banners' die 

- having, after a struggle or three, come up with a die cut sentiment I then stuck it in place using very thin sticky pad pieces where it adhered to the embossed panel and thicker pieces where it adhered to the silver 'crackle' paper - to keep it on the same level

- and being a glutton for punishment, I made two at the same time of course! 

Lisa Horton's really great idea with the multiple sentiments stamp and the multiple banners die has even more worrying issues. The stamps appear to be cheaply made of acrylic (too stretchy to risk removing from the acetate backing sheet and no smell - a sure sign, the better quality photo polymer stamps used by larger companies have quite a pong). I left the stamp on the acetate and used removable tape runner on the back of the acetate to stamp, using the Misti. The widest part of the die for cutting the banners is a smidgen over the 6" width aperture on many smaller cutting machines, including mine and despite alignment marks, it still goes 'off kilter'. Almost impossible to not have one or two sentiments cut slightly adrift.

All in all - it's what is NOT said on these products that I have issues with - no definition of the materials the stamps are made from and also absolutely no mention of the overall dimensions of either the width or length of either the stamp or the die, as well as the mis-alignment. And the mis-represented paper pack cover, when I queried it, was blamed on 'photography limitations'. The normal gold and supposed 'rose gold' paper are almost impossible to tell apart - and the rose gold is depicted as a pale metallic rose pink on the pad cover. I actually thought I'd been sent a 'dud' pad of just normal gold and silver but was told pretty sharply, when I phoned to check, that wasn't the case. From the attitude I met with, I bet I'm by no means the first customer to query the discrepancy. 'Null point' for customer service! Buyer, be careful - I could well be wrong but I do smell the aroma of 'overseas production cost cutting' at work.

I suppose the lesson is to drop companies such as those like a hot potato once you find out their true 'modus operandi'.

This is only my personal opinion, but it was born out of bitter experience. To think that one card design would throw up so many problems.

I did want to enter this card into a few challenges such as NBUS - but am now so sickened by what I discovered during the crafting process, I really was hard pressed to even write this post - mostly as a reminder to self!

BTW, I do like the cards I ended up with - it was the journey to get to that point that gave me grief!


  1. Your card looks gorgeous, and you can't tell you had any trials at all -- I'm so glad you got something out of the session. Trials like you've experienced can really make you want to quit, but you overcame with a wonderful card

  2. Your festive card turned out great despite your trials and tribulations. It’s very disappointing when you get lousy customer service and inferior products.

    PS: I chucked out a 3D embossing folder that kept cutting right through my card/paper despite spritzing with water! Can’t be doing with stuff that’s frustrating to use!!! Xxxx

  3. Well you got there in the end but what a journey and I'm sure the actual cards look even better 'in the flesh'. It was very interesting and helpful to read all of your comments and you certainly ought not to have those sort of problems with what should be good quality products. Top prices = top quality should be the way of things but sadly that isn't always the case. Top marks to you for perseverance though 😉

  4. This is beautiful Di it’s turned out beautifully sometimes it can be the glossy paper Di l found that out so l try not to use to much of it it’s a pity though because you do want it to look as it is there’s no confusion though it’s still very pretty xx

  5. Dispite all of your problems you've made such a beautiful card Di, I love it.

    Sue xx

  6. LOVE how your card has gone out, and I'm sure it look also better in real life! A very elegant creation and the mistletoe is just fabulous!

  7. Hi Di your cards are gorgeous. I love them. I am sorry they were such a trial to make. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  8. I love your card Di...its very classy. Shame you had all those difficulties though and so frustrating. For me the bin would have been full too before I got one I was happy with.xx

  9. A beautiful elegant card Di. It's really disappointing when you buy something new and then struggle with it for one reason or another, I've been there :) x

  10. Your card is lovely Di, but I do feel your pain with inferior products.

    I'm currently looking for an Impression Obsession die (which is out of stock everywhere) but people tell me it's for sale online, although unbranded often means it's a copy!

    Kath x

    1. Hi Kath

      What is the name of the Impression Obsession die you're looking for? Di xx

  11. Well, despite all the problems the card is beautiful Di and the 3D Misteltoe is very pretty with the added die cut sprig, and the silver crackle paper makes a fabulous background. I have quite a few different stamps of the cheaper clear variety and the first time out they are difficult to take off the acrylic sheet and you have to hold the backing firmly before peeling them off, but I haven't had any tear or go completely out of shape. They do stamp better using a stamp positioner but I have used some of the sentiments many times now and they are still doing well. I have also had problems with 3D EF's as it is very difficult to get the thickness of the sandwich just right so that you get a good deep impression but not so much that the card tears or creases around the embossing, so I sympathise as it can be very frustrating, and the photos of packing not being sufficiently well produced so that you can see the colours properly is something else that happens a lot. Nowadays there are many companies that have their products produced abroad and it is a sign of the times unfortunately. x

  12. First off Di, I have to say that the end result is really, really lovely and your perseverance has paid dividends. Thank you for your honest appraisal of her products though, you have almost certainly saved many of us some pennies because without your review I am sure many of us would have been filling our baskets with the products in an attempt to recreate your masterpiece. It is always a disappointment to find that products really are not fit for purpose xx

  13. Your trials and tribulations paid off, Di, and you ended up with a truly gorgeous card. I love the dp on the right hand side. Thank you for being so honest about the products. It's good for the rest of us to have warnings about what to avoid.

  14. Well done Di on getting this card (and it's twin) finished. What a disappointment to find you had bought faulty/poorly performing product :( Thanks for your honesty
    Stay safe

  15. Your persistence paid off Di, your card is gorgeous! I'm just sorry you got inferior product, then to top it off...bad customer service. It's shame as the folder and die is so pretty. Thanks for the warning though, as I do think people should know what they are getting if buying these items. Just sorry you had to go through all the torments to find it out. Hugs, Brenda

  16. Your card is beautiful, Di. Sorry to hear that you’ve had so much trouble with the products and customer service. (No idea if this comment will appear as anonymous, as I’m still having trouble with my Google account.)
    Liz 🌻 xx

  17. Thank you for your honest review and details, Di. It will save someone else a lot of trouble and money. As well, you deserve high marks for sticking to it and ending up with a very lovely mistletoe card! Hugs, Darnell

  18. oh goodness and this is supposed to be fun! I have to say the end result is simply stunning despite your rocky road to achieve it.

  19. Your card is lovely Di despite all your tribulations. It’s such a pity that the products are not such good quality , something I’ll bear in mind if I get tempted!

  20. Even though you had a lot of issues getting this card made ... it doesn't look that way. Your card is beautiful and perfect. That is a tribute to your perseverence to battle through the issues and still have a lovely finished product. Thanks for the warning. There are so many companies that are in the stamp and die game now ... it's overwhelming. Always good to know what ones to avoid. xx

  21. Whew! You deserve a medal just for all the extra work that went into this card, and my eyes are in a permanent squint with the thought of you double embossing, and then fussy cutting those berries! What a shame that the products gave you so much trouble, and then to add insult to injury when you called customer service. There's never an excuse for bad customer service, especially for an item that is discretionary to begin with. I love reading an honest and thorough review of a product, as there are so many manufacturers out there. It sounds like these had multiple problems that can turn our enjoyable hobby into a chore. Who needs that?! At least you ended up with two beautiful cards


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