This set included a mini stamp set (Time Flies), a mini stamp pad in Caribbean Sea, a bit of twill, and one of their Technique Tiles. The layout is entirely stamped, meaning nothing was pre-printed. How very cool. It was a great way to showcase their products and it totally convinced me of their quality and versatility. Probably the most interesting part was the Technique Tile since I had no idea what they were talking about in their literature when they mentioned these. I assumed it was just chipboard, and in a way it is, but it's also something very different. The surface is a nice clean white (no need to pre-paint), it took ink like a dream, and it's thin, yet sturdy. The price seems comparable to chipboard, too. Overall, I just love the look of this layout. The little extras, like the two step stamped twill ribbon, make this layout, and the "I did it myself" factor rules. I was really impressed with the ease of following their directions, too. Considering how much technique (no pun intended) went into creating this layout, it was incredibly easy to complete. It's hard to see in the photo, but the second page is double mounted. Not a big thing, but a nice touch that makes the layout feel "finished".
This is another layout I really like, but I always expect to like Rusty Pickle projects. The paper rocks, and with an English degree focused on 17th century lit, I'm in love with the names. The background paper is Montague, and I desperately need more! The instructions were all but cryptic, though, and I kind of winged it on a lot of this layout, giving up on the instructions and finally just looking at the photo and figuring it out as best I could, so I apologize to the designers if this doesn't represent them well. Part of the problem was that it gave instructions identifying the paper pieces by design name, but the name wasn't written on the pieces so you had to guess. I ended up with some extra mystery pieces (hey, no problem, I'm happy to have extra rusty pickle stuff to play with!) and I think one completely different piece was missing. But, what confuses me most is how a company with such incredible product design and amazing project ideas (I wanted to take all of their classes but the fees were a bit too rich for my blood.) can have such a lousy website. I'm not kidding at all. It's ugly, it's difficult to find anything you're looking for, and it's completely disorganized to the point of uselessness. The first thing you see when you click it (and maybe it's somehow my computer's fault and if it is, I apologize) is a nearly blank screen with a Crash Bandicoot ad or something. You have to scroll down through some sloppy text before you even get a glimpse of their beautiful papers that should be the focus of the site. The blog is much nicer, but a pain to get to since it doesn't have its own link--every single page on the site has the same URL. The blog has contests, page maps, all kinds of fun stuff, but how do I put it in my favorite's file? It's time to spring for a web designer, guys. I know I sound bitchy as hell, but it's such a waste for such a cool company to display their product so poorly. Would you buy things if you walked into a scrapbook store and saw the most incredible supplies in the world stuffed wadded up in grimy boxes with creepy grease stains on the sides? It's like having a sales person sitting at the front of your store speaking nonsense while picking their nose. You can have the Hope diamond for $5 in there and you won't make a sale. I adore Rusty Pickle. It's just sad.