Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Suzanne's Go To Tools & Products!

We all have certain products, tricks and techniques that we turn to time and time again -- the tried and true (for us) things that make scrapping easier and more fun!  Here are a few of mine --

Tim Holtz Distress Ink    I have always loved using ink on my pages, especially to define and/or distress the edges of paper.  But I was always intimidated by Tim Holtz Distress Inks, I never seemed to be able to get the hang of them.  And though they can be used for the direct to paper inking I favored, the effect was never what I was looking for.  Well thanks to a friend whose inked pages I had always admired and to acquiring a Tim Holtz Ink Applicator Tool, not to mention Flamingo Scraps adding them to our inventory -- these fabulous inks are probably my favorite staple product!!!  The lucious colors can be blended and layered to distess and define papers and they are FABULOUS for altering and coordinating paper, lace, ribbon, flowers -- well, I'd probably use them on the dog if she would stay still long enough!!  Getting a Distress Ink Blending Tool really added to my obsession -- I know people swear by cosmetic sponges and eyeshadow applicators, and to each his own, but I love the control I get from the Blending Tool.  I wash my foam pads with soap and warm water, and though they are stained with the previous colors, they clean up nicely for use with another color!

Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Applicator

3-D Pop Dots and Mounting Tape    I am a self-professed lumpy scrapper, I love to layer and add dimension and depth to my pages with paper, trims, and embellies.  I also love to raise elements like flowers and pictures above the base page.  I am therefore a pop dot addict.  I also find pop dots and tape useful for layering over other dimensional elements like ribbons, trims and laces.  Frankly, this prediliction can get expensive, especially since I favor stacking mounting tape for depth.  Recently, however, my friend (and scrapper extraordinaire) Kathleen shared a genius tip with me.  She uses scrap chipboard layered with adhesive to achieve the same raised effect.  Thanks Kathleen!!!

Sizzix Big Shot and Dies   Susan and I tend to go in together on the bigger toys and one of our first investments was an original sizzix machine.  We still have it, though these days it is mostly relegated to smashing bottle caps.  Later, we moved up to a Sizzix Big Shot and, though we have a Klic N Kut machine, that Big Shot is one of the most used tools in our Flamingo Scraps arsenal.  We have found that we can use it with dies from other manufacturers and it is still the quickest and easiest way to cut that perfect tag.  Long experimentation has led us to use die shapes for much more than their original purposes -- one of my favorites is making flowers for layouts and cards from coordinating paper (only when I can't find the perfect Prima!),  layering the shapes and giving them depth with pop dots and highlighting or altering them with  distress inks (do you see a pattern emerging here?)
The Sizzix Center at Flamingo Scraps

Basic Grey Magnetic Mat  I just love this genius tool!!!  Before I got it, I was really bad about gluing things down and then being really sorry.  With the mat and those amazingly strong little magnets, I can now lay out a layout,  play around with the pieces, even stand it upright to mull over the design without making so many mistakes, uh, I mean, creating too many embellishment opportunities!  And the magnets are great to play with when my mojo is on the fritz!!
Basic Grey Magnetic Layout Mat

Silicone Mat  I don't know how I got along before I had silicone mats!  They are FABULOUS for inking, painting, and gluing.  And they clean right off!!!  Even the toughest adhesive comes off with a little elbow grease and nail polish remover!!

What are your favorite tools and products?

5 comments:

  1. I love your "go tos"! I love to pop dot also so I love the idea about the extra chipboard.

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  2. Great tools! I am a pop dot/chipboard addict too.

    I LOVE my Creative Memories circle cutter ... use it on almost every layout!

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  3. Fun to read about your 'go-to' tools!

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  4. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i would forever and ever and ever be lost without my paper piercer tool...AKA "my pokey stick"...lol lol lol...yes... I love technical terms! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

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