Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Cardstock Review, Comparison, and Giveaway

Good morning! I have been excited for this post for a few weeks! I had seen THIS post over at KandRdesigns, and realized how neat it was to be able to see several different colors of cardstock from different companies lined up for comparison. So...I decided to do the same thing, only with all the colors available from each company! 

I went with 4 different companies that I already owned some cardstock from and knew I loved - Papertrey Ink, Avery Elle, My Favorite Things, and Bazzill Card Shoppe. Then at the last minute, I decided to include the new Simon Says Stamp solid cardstock that I kept hearing great reviews on. Several of these companies were kind enough to provide me with a pack of cardstock for my review (thank you!) - and I have put together a pack with some paper from each company to giveaway! Make sure and read all the way to the bottom to leave a comment for your chance to win and play with some cardstock of your own! Every single opinion below is my own) 

First question - quality. Truth is - I think every single one of these five brands is fabulous quality! You simply can't go wrong with any of them! 

Papertrey Ink is 110 lb - which makes it all a great heavyweight solid cardstock that will hold up to pretty much anything you want to do with it. Available in 39 different colors - plenty of variety to work with. They have a multi pack with 2 each of 37 colors for $15 (HERE), which is a great way to try out the many different options available. The two that are not included in that pack are Rustic White and Rustic Cream that are in my photos below.

Avery Elle is 100 lb - although their white is 110 lb. I have been buying their white in bulk for quite a while now - it is a nice pure and true white, smooth, and heavy enough to hold up to anything I want to do with it. Avery Elle's cardstock is available in 25 different colors - and they offer a build your own sample pack of 25 sheets for $8 (HERE) - again, my favorite way to try colors out, and this way you can choose only the colors you are interested in.

My Favorite Things, like Avery Elle is 100 lb, with the exception of their white which is a heavier 110 lb. MFT has the widest variety of colors, currently 43. They also offer a sample pack - 1 each of all 43 colors for $13.99 (HERE). They recently updated the sample pack so that it includes all of the newest colors released - since before it had not caught up with all the new colors they had released each month.

Bazzill Card Shoppe cardstock was all a nice solid 100 lb weight, and available in 28 colors. I found that this cardstock had some of the most unique colors - a great one to fill in with some colors that didn't seem to overlap at all into any of the other companies options. They offer a variety pack of 1 of each color for $12.99 (available HERE on the Simon Says Stamp website)

And finally, the Simon Says Stamp cardstock. This cardstock is also 100 lbs and available in 14 colors currently - although I believe there are more coming out very soon. I loved the unique texture it had! It wasn't quite as smooth as the other brands, but almost had a very slight canvas texture - similar to watercolor paper, only much more subtle. It also had several colors that were unique to it's line, without a similar counterpart from any of the other companies. It also had some of the brightest and truest colors. They offer a sample pack as well, 2 each of all 14 colors for $13.99 (HERE).

And, now I have photos comparing all the colors to the best of my ability. It was very difficult to get a true color on each of them - and computer monitors vary too, so they might look slightly different on your own computer screens! But hopefully it gives you at least a good side by side of each different one, so that you can see the differences and similarities in each brand. For simplifying purposes, I abbreviated each brand, then the name of the color follows that abbreviation. I grouped them as best as I could in color families.

PTI = Papertrey Ink
AE = Avery Elle
MFT = My Favorite Things
BB = Bazzil Basics Card Shoppe
SSS = Simon Says Stamp

First up - the Pale Pinks (very good variety, in all different shades): 


The Bright Pinks (the three raspberry shades you can tell are very similar):


The Deep Pinks/Burgundies (the 3 darkest are very similar, with just slight differences in shades):


The True Reds (this was the first picture, and I lined it up by brand, instead of grouping similar colors together - sorry about that!):


The Oranges (you can see several colors that are very similar, and several that are very unique):


The Yellows (again, several similar, and a few unique colors):


The Yellow-Greens/Olives (one of the hardest to group and photograph - definitely a wide range of hues):


The Greens (some slight differences in some colors, but several that are a pretty close match to other brands):


The Mints (I just couldn't decide where to add these, so I did them in their own group!):


The Blue-Greens (as you can see, several very similar colors in this bunch):


The Blues (Berrylicious made it into this group, but it really was somewhere in between this group and the Blue-Green group above. Kind of unique in its own way. Also, you will notice the 2 SSS colors - don't really fit anywhere in these two either - very unique and pretty colors):


The Purples (I didn't realize there would be so many shades of purple!):


The Blacks (I always though PTI had the truest black, but SSS was definitely darker! BB was very similar to PTI's black - and AE and MFT were almost more of a really deep dark gray to me):


The Grays (the light grays were very similar - PTI's Ocean Tides was a bit blue for this group - but it seemed to gray to go in with the blues, so I added it here):


The Browns (always love a good brown!):


The Krafts (I was very surprised by the krafts - they were all far more similar than I expected, and I loved them all. SSS's Khaki was like a smooth kraft - no flecks of texture like the traditional. Of note - MFT's Natural is a lighter 80 lb weight):


The Rustic/Speckled Whites/Creams (PTI's Rustic white stood out for sure as the whitest of the rustics, and PTI's cream was definitely the darkest of the rustics. The rest all fell in the center with slight variations in tone):


The Whites/Creams (the HARDEST ones to photograph! There was really a very slight difference in these colors - the photo makes it look like their are more. But each one was heavyweight and nice. I really like the smoothness of the AE, and the MFT was very similar in that area. Sweet tooth has a super faint cream/gray tint. AE's Whip Cream seemed to be the most true cream color, although very similar to BB's Butter Mints) :


I hope this was helpful to you! I know I will be referring back to these often! 

Now the giveaway - I have a sample pack of Bazzill Card Shoppe paper (2 each of each color) and an assortment of papers from each of the other companies to give away! (I am happy to ship international - as long as you are willing to chip in for shipping if it goes over $20 US, since this is a pretty heavy bundle of paper!) Here is how to enter (you can do one or all!):

1. Leave a comment - let me know if this was helpful, and what your favorite brand of cardstock is.
2. Share this post on Facebook, Pin on Pinterest, or blog about it, and leave a separate comment letting me know you did so.
3. Be a follower, or become a new follower (by email or Google Friend Connect) and leave a separate comment letting me know you did so.
4. Follow me on Facebook, and leave a separate comment here letting me know you did. 

So that means you have up to FOUR chance to win! I will leave comments open until midnight on February 25th, and then pick a winner and post it here the next day. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful week!!!

109 comments:

  1. WOW what a review. I had no idea there were so many choices out there. My favorite is Bazzill and
    since I have to make a color choice I will choose the purples I am so ready for Spring. I did a pin on Facebook and I am a follower of your blog. What an awesome giveaway thanks for the chance.

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  2. Very helpful! I have a tremendous amount of Basil from previous purchases but I love PTI's white!

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  3. Thanks for the info. I just use any old cardstock basically. I'd love to win and try some of these.

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  4. WOW---This is impressive! Thanks for the info---the only one I have tried was Bazzill...would love to try the rest!

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  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting this cardstock color review! I was just thinking about needing some kind of way to look at colors online...and here you are giving me exactly what I was needing! It makes me very happy to have this prayer answered! I've recently lost not one, but two of my local scrapbook stores, so having this review is going to help me know what colors of cardstock to order from online companies since I can no longer go and see them in person. I just can't thank you enough! I'm saving this post to refer to in the future! Many blessings to you!

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  6. I am a follower of you - recently started (within the last six weeks) - but I always read your posts! Thanks again for sharing this helpful posting! I'd love a chance to win some cardstock! The pinks make me the happiest!

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  7. Wow! That was a great comparison. As a former demonstrator, I have always leaned toward using Stampin Up! Paper because the ink, ribbon and embellishments match. But recently I have wanted to branch out, and I know that some of these companies offer matching products without having to purchase large quantities, which I appreciate. I would love it if you did a comparison of the range of products, quality and other pertinent information (like are stamp pads fabric or foam). Thank you for your great comparison and for the chance to win!

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    1. Thank you Sue! I will keep that in mind - would love to do something like that!

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  8. I'm with terriavidreader in that I use whatever is available when I need it, but have bought a bit of StampinUp lately and love what I have used of it. I would LOVE to win...and it seems I am always looking for blues

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  9. This is great! I'm a PTI user and have wanted to fill in other colors for a long time, this certainly helps. Thank you so much for putting this all together and for a chance to win. Would love new goodies!

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  10. I have subscribed to your blog for ages, but just not started following your Facebook page. YOU ROCK!! Thanks for sharing and for the opportunity to win.

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  11. Very informative--it was great seeing all these colors from different companies together. I guess I don't have a favorite brand--I use from a variety of companies including some of the ones you compared plus Stampin Up, GinaK, Marcos--I like their cougar white and we have a local paper company called Hollo's where I go to occasionally to stock up.

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  12. I am a follower by GFC and email. Also I just found that Michaels carries a base weight white called Recollections--just bought some but haven't tried it yet.

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    1. I have also recently heart about that and would love to give it a try! Unfortunately, our nearest Michael's since we moved to Wyoming is 3 hours away, so I haven't made it to one in quite a while! I will definitely be grabbing some of it to try though!

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  13. OH wow! thank you for doing this super detailed post. i never even thought about buying AE cardstock but I liked quite a few here so that is pretty cool... And I was not sure about SSS but I just loved all the colours and the way you described the texture totally convinced me to get them all.

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    1. i generally use Bazzill and Recollections, but I also buy bulk pads of White and Black from American Crafts on sale, I like their texture but I was not super happy with The colours. However, if you alter them, as I often do, they are fine.

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  14. I just signed up to follow your blog through GFC, and I am glad Ribbon Carousel posted The link to your blog on their FB page. really enjoyed this comparison article, very well done.

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  15. Pinned it and will definitely refer to it again! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/1337074864200692/

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  16. tweeted https://mobile.twitter.com/BeaLawson27/status/435786921977999360?screen_name=BeaLawson27 and posted on FB: https://www.facebook.com/beatrice.c.lawson/posts/624773457571790?stream_ref=1

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  17. Wow! Thanks for doing this review, Heather! Seeing the colors side-by-side is fantastic. I'm going to pin for a reference. (Please don't enter me--someone else needs the cardstock more!). :)

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  18. This is a great review, Heather! Thanks so much for doing this. It'll be very handy for future reference. No need to enter me in the draw either. :)

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  19. This was AWESOME...now I want some SSS paper ASAP! Thanks so much!

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  21. What a great review! I'm bookmarking this so I can check out all the links when I have more time ( and look around your blog). I've used Bazill but not the others.

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  22. Great review. I have used several of the lines, but SSS is the newest that I'm not familiar with and that black and the brown sure look to be keepers. I'd love to try them out for sure. Thanks for going the distance on the review, it was most helpful and it's almost a passion just looking at them all together. I have way more paper than I care to admit. LOL I've followed your site and have created a board on my Pinterest here http://www.pinterest.com/imjnett/heather-houses-built-of-cards/ so I can keep this info close at hand as I'm sure I'll be referring to it again soon. I've also followed by email, but I can't get anything to be able to pin it to my board on Pinterest. I use both Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for my browsers, not sure if that's the issue or not. I'll keep trying.

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  23. you opened my eyes to some brands I haven't tried before - thanks!!

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  24. This is incredibly helpful, Heather! With shipping costs for cardstock being so high, it's great to have the full comparison to help make an informed decision before investing in one brand over another. Thanks!

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  25. P.S. I am definitely pinning this for future reference.

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  26. I've just added my self as a follower. ;)

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  27. Hi Heather. This is very helpful. Thanks for sharing. It is going to be a bookmark for sure. Following your blog and fb fan. :)

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  28. I had to google to learn how Bazzill Card Shoppe is different than regular Bazzill cardstock and I'm still not really sure. Since there are hundreds (thousands) of Bazzill colors, there is obviously a difference between their regular lines and this. While I've used lots of different cardstock brands, I haven't used most of the ones in your comparison. Very informative!

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    1. Hi Cindy! I think the biggest difference is that it is a smooth texture, unlike a lot of the other Bazzil cardstocks - and it is a nice heavy weight as well, so it holds up to a lot.

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  29. YES this was a helpful post! I have book marked it for reference.
    PTI and BB are my favorite at the time. I just won some SSS and am looking forward to testing it out.

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  30. This was very helpful. I have only tried BB but the PTI and AE colours look awesome too. Thank you so much for the great review and the chance to win!

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  31. My favorite cardstock is PTI. This is a very helpful post. I pinned this post and also "liked" you on Facebook! Thank you!

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  32. I already LIKE you on Facebook. jean.bullock.148

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  33. I shared on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. (Pinterest lets you share automatically to Facebook and Twitter.) http://www.pinterest.com/pin/415386765603099588/

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  34. I DID find this review helpful. I think you did a great job describing the papers and the colors and textures. I especially like that you mentioned the weight of the paper and the prices. I haven't really tried any of these brands yet, so I am really hoping I win, so I can see the difference between these and the paper I normally use.

    One thing more I would love to see reviewed is how well certain brands can be cut with craft knives, punches and dies, AND also handle repeated bending. Card stock that is strong yet flexible is a must for pop-up cards and paper sculpture crafts. I think it would probably be tricky to review this aspect because you would need a new craft blade for each trial, but if you ever plan to try it all, please let me know. I would love to read it and get your opinion.

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    1. Jean - since it sounds like this is something you do regularly, maybe I could just send you a small little leftover piece of each of these five brands and let you try it for yourself! You wouldn't have to try each color I would image to test each brand! I'll try to send you an email and see if you are interested!

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  35. I had no idea the differences in the paper! I like seeing the weight. Such variations in color! I do not really have a favorite - I just get what I need. This has helped me look at cardstock in a new light.

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  36. I follow you by email! Thanks for another chance to win.

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  37. Fabulous amount of time and effort you put into this Heather. It is appreciated.

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  38. My favorite card stock is stampin up.

    scrapbooker1317 at gmail dot com

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  39. Shared on pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/pin/558727897492886021/

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  40. I follow. scrapbooker1317 at gmail dot com

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  41. I've been wanting to try the new SSS paper so I'm glad to hear their colors are so great.

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  42. I follow you through Google Friend connect.

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  43. What a variation in the shades of colors. thanks

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  44. Great give away. Thanks for the chance o win. I usually turn to stamping up paper

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  45. Thanks for taking the time to do this review! Very helpful. I use Bazzill mostly being it's convenient to get for me. I also love Gina K. Designs paper. I will try some of the companies you reviewed

    I am a follower by google. Also added you on FB. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  46. Wow this is awesome post. Best one I have seen on stamping in a long time. I loved being able to see the comparisons - wish Stampin' Up could have been there too just because this is what I use for the most part now but I have been considering other companies because I have wanted a heavier wt cs, so this really helps me out a lot. So many choices and weights - WOW - I didn't have a clue. In the past one of my favorites have been Bazzill so I will add that one.

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    1. Thanks Deborah! I have only tried 1 or two Stampin' Up colors - and didn't have a full set of them, but you are right, I have noticed they seem to be much lighter weight than these other brands. Maybe somewhere down the road I can try and compare those too!

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  47. I shared this post on Pinterest - need this for future information. I also shared on FB

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  48. I am now following by email and google friend connect.

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  49. Hi Heather. I am already a blog follower.

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  50. I am so glad that you did this. I do not have a favorite brand. I have only used Bazzill out of these four brands. I have been wondering about whether or not to invest in better card stock from any of these companies. This is a very helpful comparison, although I still think that I will have to eventually get a sample pack of each because it is still so hard to tell an exact tone until you look at it in good lighting with your own eyes. Thanks for the pictures!

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    1. I know what you mean! It is so hard to get the colors to show up true - I mostly hoped it would help someone who had some of these colors see how the others might line up in range with them. Sample packs are a great way to get a little bit of all of them though for sure - then you are guaranteed every possible color you could need! Good luck!

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  51. I pinned this!

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/166773992425468294/

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  52. I am following you on facebook now.

    (by the way...I assume that you mean February 25 as your deadline instead of January 25 :-)

    Thanks again!

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  53. I found your review very interesting and helpful - thank you!!!
    There really is a "rainbow" of differences between the brands. It is especially interesting with the blacks and whites, sometimes it is so hard to find one that goes with my papers that I end up using a coloured contrast instead.
    Dare I confess that I have not used any of the brands you have reviewed? My favourite brand is Kaisercraft - they have a great range of colours in textured card stock.
    It was mentioned by Jean Bullock earlier, but I would be really interested in learning more about how they perform, especially when cutting with a knife (I don't use a trimmer) and when punching, because I have found that some brands tend to tear rather than cut with a neat edge.
    Thank you for the chance to win too :)

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    1. Thank you Tracy! I haven't tried Kaisercraft - that might we one I have to test out sometime! And I mentioned it on Jean's post as well, but if you would be interested, I could send you a small leftover piece of each of the brands so that you can test them out for that! I don't imagine you would need each color, so it wouldn't be that hard to send you 5 little pieces of cardstock! Let me know if you are interested in that!

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    2. THANK YOU Heather - that is very generous of you!!!
      Sending an e-mail your way :)

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  54. I shared with all my crafty friends on Facebook :)
    https://www.facebook.com/tracy.moloney.71/posts/800646359963743?stream_ref=10

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  55. I shared on Pinterest :)
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/247275835764799563/

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  56. This is a wonderful post Heather. Wish we got all the brands here locally, just to try these. A good cardstock can make such a big difference in the outcome :)

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  57. I am pinning it for future reference.

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  58. FABulous colors! And very helpful post, tfs :D my favorite brand is Bazzill, I always find the colors I need.

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  59. Wow... what a great overview of these papers! I am definitely going to bookmark it for future reference! I mostly use Bazzill or other brands of paper, like Neenah, that I can buy locally. I have been wanting to try out some of the ones you mentioned so now I have a great comparison to help me choose!

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  60. This is very helpful! I am newbie and this is so great to know kinds of card stocks. So far I have been using Close To My Heart and Neenah card stocks. Thank you so much for this post!

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  61. I pinned your post :)
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/131730357825046571/

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  62. I joined your Google Friend Connect (Helen Gullett) :)

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  63. And... I liked you on Facebook too :) (Helen Gullett)

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  64. I liked your page on Facebook!

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  65. Following through email and google+

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  66. I am a new follower of your blog!

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  67. I especially appreciated the variety of brown papers shown! I had no idea that the companies even existed! The SSS dark chocolate is a good rich tone.

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  68. Fantastic review Heather! I started with PTI, but bought a MFT sampler pack to help fill in the colors when looking for a mid-tone gray and darker brown. I love seeing where AE, BB and SSS fit in.

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  69. I have pinned and plan on blogging about this post in the next day or so :)

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  70. Not sure what time it is where you are.......but it is not midnight here yet, so I will risk commenting. :)

    I don't really have a fave cardstock. I am new to the different designer types and so your comparison is VERY helpful!!!
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    brand-new blog: HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

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  71. Already a follower of yours by Google Friend: J. Woolbright
    New subscriber by email to keep your blog in front of me!!!
    Yippee!!!
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    Brand-new blog: HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

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  72. Well, nuts! I wanted to Pin on Pinterest for another entry, but it appears that the images from your blog are not pinnable....for some reason. ????
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com
    Brand-new blog: HerPeacefulGarden.blogspot.com

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  73. Hi Heather - just thought I'd let you know I linked to your blog in this post http://jacquiesouthas.blogspot.com/2014/02/aeiu-1-ric54-cardstock-comparisons.html - thanks again!

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  74. Whew! Thanks so much for this comparison! That was a lot of work!

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  75. Thank you for the post! Could you recommend a Kraft cardstock that would be good for making gift tags, color and weight wise?

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  76. Just came across your colour comparisons, thanks for sharing all this with us!

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