The holiday season is fast approaching and if you are thinking of holiday shopping in the near future I thought you might like a few ideas. I’ve wracked my brain recently thinking of top tips for gifts from stocking stuffers to those that are a bit more of a splurge. While thinking of what to include, there were plenty of pretty, sparkly, new things I could have put down but I kept coming back to the things I use all the time. These are the ones that have stood the test of time and as such the ones I reach for on almost every project. In fact as I sat there thinking I looked around myself as to what products qualify for the top real estate on my desk and easily reached draws.
- Simon Says Stamp dye inks
- Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine
- Scotch blue tape
- Versamark ink
- Neenah Solar White
- Versafine Onyx Black ink
- Scotch foam tape
- Martha Stewart mini scoring board
- Misti Stamping Tool
- EK Success powder tool
Products aren’t in any particular order, but if you haven’t got any of these I’d highly recommend them. There are a few inks in this selection; Versafine Onyx Black (6) gives crisp deep black stamping even with a detailed image and once dry can be watercolored over. Versamark (4) is the ink you need for embossing powders and giving that tone on tone watermark look. A good set of dye inks will stand you in good stead such as the Simon Says Stamp dye inks (1) and another great alternative are those by Hero Arts. Talking of inks, I’d also add in Memento Tuxedo Black for when you want to Copic color.
Moving on to tools and as I love dies so much a good die cutting machine has to be on the list – I use the Sizzix Big Shot (2). The Misti Stamping Tool (9) is great for stamping out multiples of your projects but I mainly use it to double stamp my images to get a really nice black outline or a fully stamped solid image. The EK Success Powder Tool (10) is an essential for clean heat embossing; swipe the powder over your project before embossing to stop stray powder sticking where it’s not wanted. Talking of embossing you will want a good Heat Tool too. For nice crisp folds you can’t go amiss with a score tool and for creating my card bases I use the Martha Stewart Mini Scoring Board (8).
One basic I’ve not mentioned yet is a good white card. Neenah Solar White 80lb (5) is very versatile being a good thickness for die cutting, great for Copic coloring and a nice bright white. The 110lb weight is my go to for card bases. Another great thick white card is the 120lb version from Simon Says Stamp which is so thick that you can even Copic color without the marker showing on the back.
Finally I’ve got a couple of tapes on my essentials list; I love to add dimension to my projects and Scotch foam tape (7) comes as a great value, massive roll so you never feel the need to scrimp. Then we have Scotch blue tape (3) which is the only tape I’ve found so far gentle enough to not tear card yet strong enough to keep it taped down when watercoloring.
- Simple Stories Carpe Diem planner range
- Simon Says Stamp mystery box
- Heidi Swapp mini Minc
- Wink of Stella clear glitter pen
- Winsor & Newton pigment markers
- Card Kit subscription
- Staedtler triplus fineliners
- Arc wood envelopes
- Tim Holtz color of the month
- Gansai Tambi watercolors
Again not in any particular order, actually the order was determined by trying to jigsaw the collage of images together! As my first attempt at this type of post I now have a lot of respect for those that do these collages more often LOL.
I can see a theme appearing with my choices – more tools and supplies rather than individual stamps and dies. I think this is partly as it is so hard to choose, but also we are often wowed by the latest stamp and die releases whereas I’ve tried to pick products which will be reached for again and again through the whole of 2016.
So jumping in with something which would bring joy throughout the whole year and that is a kit subscription such as the Simon Says Stamp card kit (6). The Carpe Diem planner range from Simple Stories (1) would come in handy to plan when the kit is going to arrive. Although I often choose muted colors, color is very important to me and I like including it where ever possible so having a rainbow of pens such as these Staedtler Triplus Fineliners (7) available makes even writing a shopping list more interesting and helps me color code in my planner.
For a while I’ve watched with anticipation the arrival of a new product to me – the pigment markers from Winsor & Newton (5). Founded in 1832 the Winsor & Newton name brings to mind quality and tradition but the new markers initially grabbed my attention for their ultra modern design. The pigment markers have been creating quite a buzz in the artist community and I’m anxiously awaiting delivery of the above set and planning a video review as soon as possible :D
My next suggestion is one you are going to have to be quick to get your hands on. While watching Simon Says Stamp on Periscope the other day Heidi mentioned they are going to do one of their popular mystery box sales (2) at midnight EST on Friday. I understand that last year these sold out in no time and I can understand why as Heidi showed how packed the boxes are with product – seriously a huge bargain. So watch out for those going live.
I’ve really been enjoying the warmth that adding wood elements adds to a project having recently got some of the Arc wood envelopes (8) and the matching wood tape. This next one is on my wish list for Christmas if I’ve been a good girl LOL. I’m slow on the uptake of this trend but have loved seeing all the foiling going on and the Minc mini (3) I think will be just the right size for me.
To finish how about some tried and tested staples; you can’t go wrong with the Distress range from Tim Holtz and the recent Lucky Clover color release (9) is right up my street :D I think I’m on my fourth or fifth Wink of Stella clear glitter pen (4) – love the subtle sparkle and shimmer it adds. I couldn’t complete this list without adding in at least one watercolor supply. Through 2015 I’ve experimented with a range of watercolor media from tubes, to pans, to Zig clean color, to Gansai Tambi (10) and back to tubes. I’ve loved them all but for a good selection of colors, nicely packaged and their creamy texture is great to work with, the Gansai Tambi set makes a great gift.
Phew, I only picked 20 items and yet this is one long post! I could have recommended so many more too, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snapshot.
Please leave comments below by Monday 30th November at 11.59pm for a chance to receive one of my crafty parcels in honor of #sharehandmadekindness. I will draw a winner on Tuesday 01 December :D I would be delighted if you would subscribe to my posts so keep up with winners posts too.
One More Thing
I’ve just had an email from Creative Live saying that their Black Friday sale starts now so if you want to spruce up your skills then check them out :D
Where available I use affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. However, all the items above I would recommend regardless of whether I was receiving a commission or are on my own personal wish list.