StoryPatches Review and Giveaway!
Mike from Stkr.it reached out to me a few weeks ago, and I would first like to thank him for being so patient with me. It's been a crazy few weeks at the Pricked Pinkies castle, but I finally had some time to sit down and play with this interesting new device.
StoryPatches seem to be a way for crafty types (not just bloggers) to bring together both digital and physical messages in our creations. As a quilter I see a lot of potential in this kind of product--more than once I've written out a message on a quilt label, only to find I don't have enough room for the message I want to share, or can't quite find the words when I have the perfect picture to communicate my thoughts.
Enter the StoryPatch.
The directions are easy enough--to attach the patch, you simply position it on the fabric you want to attach it to, lay a piece of cotton on top, iron for a few seconds, and it's attached!
The patch itself is very small, only about the size of a dime. When it attaches it's a very firm bond, one that I couldn't pick apart despite giving it a very good try. I suspect that it will prove to be just as firm an attachment as any of my fused creations, though I do wish I felt more comfortable sewing it on for additional security.
On that topic, the patch itself is very smooth, and feels almost like plastic. It's very flexible though, so no worries about it tearing away from the quilt label or backing. It's probably closer to a laminated piece of paper in terms of stiffness.
So while the physical product is rather unassuming and seems to do its job admirably, what about the digital side of things?
The website was easy enough to navigate; I was greeted by a cheerful welcome and invitation to create an account. After doing so, I was presented with two options: Play or Create. When I clicked on the create button, a little box showed up asking for the code on the sticker. A few key-presses later, and I was given full reign to create.
As you can see, you have a huge variety of options here! I think this would be a fantastic product for crafters--you could easily include a nigh-indestructible, small, and discreet way to direct people to your website if they're admiring a friend's handbag or scarf or what have you. Or if you're at a craft fair and want to give away a pattern, you could attach it to an example of the item and allow people to download the pattern right from the finished product.
As for me, I decided to create a slideshow. I do have a final plan for my sample, but alas that won't be ready for some time yet. Instead of the end product, I decided to share a few pictures from the Lancaster Quilt Show yesterday with you guys.
Uploading the photos was easy-peasie. My one gripe about the process was that I had to upload pictures one at a time; I really wanted to share all the raw pictures, but seeing as how I took pictures of 30+ quilts overall, it got very tedious and annoying. A bulk-upload feature would make this much better, but I did get a few of my favorites up for viewing.
http://www.stkr.it/SYCYHNJSXC <-- Click here to see my StoryPatch!
I also had the option to attach an audio and text component; not having any music on hand, I settled for a simple caption explaining where the pictures were from.
After saving, I was given the option to share my creation in a number of different ways, including the ability to print it out. This is probably the best decision the creators could have made--with this I only have to create the message once, but I then have complete freedom on how to share it. I can print out multiple copies of the QR code, as many as I choose, or share it on Facebook or Twitter. This is great, if only because it wouldn't have surprised me that they might have charged me to print it out.
I have a few suggestions for improving the product--I'd love the ability to order the iron on patches in bulk to attach wholesale to all of my crafting creations, which I would set up to link back to the blog. As far as I can tell there isn't a way to order them, but I'd highly recommend it in the future. A bulk upload is a must for the photo feature, though I understand hosting the images might be a pain or problematic. Perhaps something can be worked out to allow me to host the images externally, but have them appear in the slideshow?
I'm also not 100% clear on ownership. To 'claim' my sticker I just had to enter the very visible code from the sticker itself; I am curious about whether someone would be able to claim my sticker if they entered that code again. I suspect not, but as a product owner I would appreciate more feedback or an explicit "This patch has now been linked to your account" to make it perfectly clear.
In any case, I was very impressed with the product, especially given that I hadn't heard about them before. The product is of very high quality, and I don't doubt that it will hold up to many washes and general wear and tear.
So now that the review is out of the way, let's get on to the giveaway!
As always, I will never share or sell your information. Winners will be chosen next week on March 22nd, and announced in a blog post at that time. This contest is open to everyone, including international readers, so please enter and share this with your crafty friends!
Again, I'd like to thank Mike from Stkr.It for sharing his product with me, and I hope you will consider this for your next quilt label!