Last year, I wrote a list of "Ten Tempting Treats": five craft-related products that I love and recommend and five that were on my holiday wish list. In honor of Black Friday, here's the 2008 version:
ON MY WISH LIST...
This is a serious sewing machine. Don't get me wrong, I love my Bernina, but I can't stand the idea of attempting to sew another large quilt with it. It's just too hard to manage the fabric and I end up hating my stitches. The Mega Quilter offers an enormous arm area (9"x6") and the option to convert it to a long arm machine with a portable table. Of course, there's no price anywhere online, which certainly means that it's ridiculously expensive. Sigh. Someday...
I have long touted that cutting on a glass mat is significantly better than cutting on a self-heating mat. There's little to no drag and it just cuts like butter. I have also been using the glass from a $1 picture frame for the past three or four years. About a year-and-a-half ago, that sheet of glass broke. I still use it. Sad, really. I think it's time to upgrade. For $19.99 I can get a glass mat with grid lines that is actually bigger than my 12x12 piece of paper. Definitely on my wish list.
I've been wanting to experiment with all sorts of printing these days, and a screenprinting kit is high on my list of desires. This one from Speedball retails for $139.99 and includes 2 screen frames, an instructional video, and all the ink and tools you need to get started. I'm a little afraid to start playing with screen printing because I think I'm going to love it and become a total addict. And can I really afford to start a new hobby? I'm running out of room around here as it is! And yet, I really, really, really want it!
It's no secret that I love making mini albums. But this book takes the idea of a mini album to the extreme. These teeny tiny wonders just fascinate me. I also like the sound of the following: "The authors share innovative, unique, and previously unpublished binding structures that incorporate scrolls, flaps, folders, and more. In addition, some book projects are made from unusual materials or found objects, such as a book out of a ukulele, a real accordion book, a book diorama in a cigar box, and other experimental creations." That's from Amazon.com where the book is currently on sale for $14.95.
I know the box on the left says CS3, but that's the photo I could find. CS4 just came out and I've been playing with the free trial download. Illustrator is a vector based design program. This site does a nice job of explaining the basic differences between Photoshop and Illustrator. Essentially, Photoshop uses pixels, which degrade as you edit. Illustrator uses vector objects, which don't degrade. This is important for logos, maps, illustrations - non-photographic things. There is a serious learning curve (and I'm still in the infancy stages of it) but most graphic designers and professional artists do use Illustrator. However, at $499 I fear that it will remain on my wish list unless I can figure out a way to get it at a steep discount.
I LOVE MY...
Well, first of all, I love my Inkssentials Ink Blending Tools. Of all the stuff that came out of Ranger U., it was the Distress line and these ink blending tools that blew my mind. The spinner holds eight blending tools - one for each grouping of Distress Ink color - so you never have to change out the foam! My spinner sits on my desk and I just grab what I need and keep going. It's easy to use, doesn't take up a lot of space, and I use it almost every time I sit down to scrap! The spinner is $20 and the ink blending tools are $5/each.
This book is a bible. Whether you want to create beautiful digital pages in Photoshop Elements, or just become better at photo editing, this book is a must have. Patty writes in plain English. She covers the smallest details and provides fantastic screenshots and photographs. Well worth the $39.99. I will also add that I'm on a Mac and the book is written for the PC, but I didn't have any issues translating it over.
I have switched over completely to using these 12x12 binder-style albums. No more post-bound albums for me. It's so much easier to be able to mix up my page sizes and the order of the pages with these D-Rings from American Crafts. I particularly like that they're customizable. I tend to paint mine. I know other people like to use patterned paper. If you're not feeling up to that, American Crafts does sell corduroy and cloth versions for a bit more. I've seen the "Modern" album (pictured at left) online for as little as $11.55!
I have the Epson PictureMate Deluxe. It has been discontinued and replaced by the PictureMate Dash. I'm assuming that the Dash is just as good as my Deluxe, if not better. I literally can not scrap without my Deluxe. The prints are very high quality (just like you get from the photo lab), waterproof and scratch resistant, and the color is *gorgeous*. Also, it's a workhorse. I drag it to crops and events and generally abuse it and it's still ticking. It's a great little printer and totally worth the $149.99. I've even used it to print my journaling at a crop!
Everyone loves American Crafts' Slick Writers because they write on slick surfaces. But have you discovered Sakura's Permapaque pens? They write on glass, plastic, pottery, vellum, metal, etc. They come in a variety of tip widths, colors (including metallics), and are archival (meaning no fading). I particularly appreciate that when you do write on paper, they don't bleed the way the Slick Writers do. This makes it easy for me to go from photo to paper and back again. I also love them for general craft use. I found some prices online: You can buy them individually ($1.64) or in a pack (pack of 11 - $11.88). Try them out. I think you'll really like them!
Let me know what's on your holiday wish list! I'm always excited to find out what other people love!
Thanks for stopping by!