I'm heading to a three-day crop in New Jersey this weekend. Three days of unlimited creative time sounds so lovely and exciting, but it also means packing. Ugh. How do I take my whole studio with me in two suitcases? Well thinking about packing has made me think about what I can't stop using lately. So today I thought I'd share ten products that I'm currently reaching for all the time! (And yes, I'm thinking I may have to bring the sewing machine to the crop....)
I was kind of dismissive when this came out. But I bought one because I thought it would be an easy way to take gel medium with me when I travelled. And it definitely is! But recently I have discovered that it is the perfect thing for adhering "self-adhesive" letters! It has a precision tip and it's easy and neat and your little letters stay exactly where you want them to!
I have a Bernina Virtuosa 155 -- it was my college graduation gift (though I received it about six years after I graduated from college, but that's a longer story). Lately it doesn't seem to matter what I'm making, it involves stitching! It's gotten so bad that I'm kind of afraid to leave the house to craft because I'm so dependent on it for that little bit of extra texture and the way it makes just everything look finished!
3. Caran d'Ache Neocolor II Artists' Water Soluble Crayons
OMG! These things are so creamy and the colors are so darn intense. I've used them for backgrounds in my art journal for a while, but I just started to really use them to create paintings on canvas and I am hooked. The intensity of color, range of colors, and ability to use them wet and/or dry is just too fabulous for words! Love, love, love them!
Is it weird to have two gel mediums on this list? Truth be told I have (and use) three different kinds of gel medium on a regular basis. And Liquitex Matte Medium is the newest one to the party!
I love this matte medium because it's so fluid and thin. It's fantastic for collaging light weight papers and the finish on top is so matte and wonderful. It really allows you to write and paint on top of it in a way that other gel mediums I've tried don't. I bought a large bottle about a month ago and it's almost gone! I am going through it like crazy!
It feels a little bit like I'm cheating on my beloved Sakura Pigma Microns...but I have to admit that I'm hooked on the India Ink in these pens! I've used a nib pen that you dip in India Ink for a while now. India Ink is great stuff -- writes on virtually any surface and is so deep, deep black in color. Having the India Ink in a pen (so there's no washing the nib and dealing with a bottle of seriously potent ink) is fabulous!
As you can see China Markers (also called grease pencils) are not markers but pencils. They're called China Markers because they "mark china" -- as in porcelain. I love them because they're waterproof pencils! You can erase them with an eraser on some surfaces -- and rub them away on others, but splash some paint or water on top and they stay put. After all grease doesn't like water. I've been using mine to put in the details on paintings. I like the soft pencil-ly line they provide, as opposed to a firmer and darker paintbrush line. I want to investigate the other colors, as well as some of the other brands!
Not exactly a craft supply, but I use one every single day! These skewers are long and pointy and perfect for holding little things in place while you paint them. They're great for scraping away excess glue or paint that bulges out. And they're so cheap that when the tip gets gunked up, you just toss them and move on to the next one!
In an act of full disclosure, I did receive my Scor-It free from the manufacturer. In another act of full disclosure I was grateful when I received it but kind of lost as to what the heck to do with it. I didn't think of myself as a person who did a lot of scoring. I'm not a card maker and I'm not a perfectionist. But in the year or two that I've had it, I find that I use it constantly! It's great for bookmaking and all sorts of altered paper creations. And I can't say enough about how much better the score line is from this contraption than from using a bone folder and a ruler (at least the way I use it). It even scores transparencies!
9. Tiny scissors: Cutterbees and Fiskars
I have two pairs of tiny scissors that sit on my desk and I use both pairs multiple times every single day. The Fiskars scissors (orange handle) are my fabric-only scissors. I use them to cut threads and through fabric. The Cutterbees (black and yellow handles) are my every-single-day-hardest-working-scissors-in-show-business scissors. They're practically welded to my hand.
These small detail scissors make cutting effortless. I remember when I used those big clunky scissors to cut everything. What a mistake! The tiny tips and powerful blades on these scissors make cutting a breeze! Seriously, you will be a better cutter with better scissors.
I will admit that I buy a new pair of Cutterbees every year because the blades do dull after all that cutting after a while. I could have them sharpened, I suppose. But they're inexpensive enough that a new pair every year is a nice treat and it feels like when I was a kid getting that new box of crayons at the beginning of the school year!
In an act of full disclosure this is another product that was provided to me free-of-charge from the manufacturer. And when I saw the Sakura folks at CHA I did tell them that this marker has become my new best friend! Pigment ink in a dual tip marker (chisel tip and bullet tip). It's waterproof (yay!) and I love to use it to doodle, color edges, write my name on my tools...lots of stuff! I'm working on some new projects for Scrapbook Soup and I have to stop myself from using the Permapaque is every single one. An awesome black marker is one of those crafty basics that everyone should have!
So there you go! Ten products I'm in love with right now. Every single product on this list is something that I use (at least) on a weekly basis and most of them, on a daily basis. How about you? Do you have some products that you want to send a love letter to?