Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Star Box - Review and Extra (Easy) Enrty {#MadeInMichigan}

This is a review for one of my sponsors of the Made in Michigan Blog Giveaway Hop, which will take place from October 28 – November 2. I will be offering my readers the chance to win a (Hand)Made in Michigan prize package worth nearly $200! Please take a moment to read about this wonderful Etsy shop and then fill out the Rafflecopter form below for a very easy extra entry into the giveaway.

I've been waiting for the item that The Star Box sent me to review, but it is in the hands of the USPS and I'm just not sure when it will arrive, so I'm going to tell you about this really cool Etsy shop right now and, hopefully, I'll be able to add my own review later!

If you are crafty in the least (or know someone who is), The Star Box is a shop to check out. Debra, the shop's owner, creates these stamps by hand, carving the rubber for each and hand sanding the wooden blocks they are mounted to. Now, I don't know how many of you have ever attempted making your own stamps, but I can tell you it isn't easy! I always skip over those neat and creative kids' crafts that I come across that include the word "stamp" in them - whether you make them from potatoes or Styrofoam, I cannot got them right. In high school, I had the opportunity to try to create stamps from rubber. Yeah. That didn't go well, either. One wrong move and the entire thing is ruined! And the time I put into very slowly and carefully carving them was too much for me to want to pursue the art any longer.
Look at how intricate the carving is for these Dragonfly Wings!

So, I have the utmost respect for anyone who has the skill and patience for making stamps. You really have to love your work when you do this! While I may not care for the actual making of stamps, I do love using them! Stamps aren't just for adding a little embellishment to a handmade card or scrapbook. I've seen tutorials that use rubber stamps to decorate clothing, for handmade wrapping paper, and to include as images in art. Check out the use of this Fancy Bird Cage Stamp, for instance:

In addition to single stamps, The Star Box offers stamp sets. These can be used in any number of ways. For this review, I'm waiting on a set of Art Doll Paper Doll Stamps. The set includes the five stamps pictured below, along with an entire kit to make a ton of little paper dolls for playing with or using for crafting:
  • (4) 4"x4" squares of light weight, up-cycled cardboard for the doll body parts

  • (10) 4"x4" sheets of assorted decorative papers

  • (4) metal bottle caps ( these are real used, clean bottle caps, not the shiny new ready made caps for crafting)

  • Assorted Paper Ephemera - this can include book pages, vintage images, tags, paper stubs, tickets, etc.

  • Assorted Embellishments - this can include tinsel pipe cleaners, metal letters, assorted beads, assorted buttons, fabric pom pom ribbon, small amounts of jewelry wire in various colors, sticky back label strips in various colors with words punched on them, etc.

  • (12)- mini brads for moveable arms and legs
I cannot wait to get my hands on this kit! I'd love to make my niece a set of paper dolls with family members' faces on them. I'm thinking of even creating a diorama of a dollhouse from a big box so she can play with them like that. The Star Box has this really cool set of Retro Kitchen Appliance Stamps that I think would be really neat to use in the background of the kitchen section of the house. Think of it: a pretty much flat dollhouse in which she can store all of her dolls and slide it under the bed when she's through! Not only would it be a gift, but a much-needed creative venture for me, too. Check out what Debra has done with this kit:
Today only (ends 10/30 at midnight EST), if you're a Twitter follower of The Star Box, you can get in on the Buy 1, Get 1 Sale! Buy one stamp or set, get one of equal or lesser value ABSOLUTELY FREE! So, head over and follow and get your order in ASAP. Oh, and if you follow, make sure to claim your entry in the Made in Michigan Blog Hop. You can win one of the above Art Doll Paper Doll Kits (including all of the extras!) or a $35 gift certificate to The Star Box as part of the HUGE prize package! 

In addition to The Star Box's Etsy shop and Twitter account, you can find the business on Facebook. Also, if you didn't make the connection, Debra is the owner of Michigan Spinning Company! You can find out more about that on my review post HERE (it was my favorite review so far!)

Disclosure: I will receive an Art Doll Paper Doll Stamp Set and Kit, as described above, for the purpose of review. No other compensation will be received. All opinions are 100% my own.