When I started thinking about this post I had a hard time coming up with just five of my favorite things. But the more I thought about it, I narrowed it down to those items that have really helped me to be creative. So let’s get started.
1. Silhouette Portrait
I absolutely love this machine. Evidently Ace does too!
This machine is great for paper crafters. You can download lots of designs or make your own to use on cards or in scrapbooks. However, since I play mostly with fabric my reason for buying this machine was to make my own stencils. It has worked great, and if you have been reading my blog you have seen many of those stencils. Silhouette has been having a great sale on this machine and the bigger Cameo, so if you are at all interested, now’s the time to get one. I bought the smaller one because I didn’t know if I’d really use it, and I also liked that it was smaller and could fit on my already crowded desk. However, If I had known I’d use it so much – there have been times when I’d like to have a 12 x 12 stencil – I would have probably bought the Cameo instead. However, for the price it is worth every cent.
Not part of my count, but if you are making stencils on one of these cutters, I recommend buying precut freezer paper and slide and bind report covers.The precut freezer paper works great and you don’t have to fight with curling and freezer paper that doesn’t want to play right. The report covers are sturdy, but flexible.
2. Brother Label Maker
Dave decided to buy one of these machines recently. I thought it was a great idea for all of his gardening stuff and for the pantry. Then I got to thinking about all of my supplies. I have printed and hand written labels on boxes, but they peel off and I can hardly read most of them. I have to tell you – this machine is great. I am looking forward to being able to find stuff!
3. Panasonic Cordless Iron
I have been thinking about this ever since I saw someone using one of these irons. I love my old Rowenta, but I really liked the idea of cordless. I have so much trouble with the cord being in the way.
There is a bit of adjustment from a corded iron. It’s a bit lighter than the Rowenta, and it doesn’t stay hot for very long. I am terrible about plugging in my iron and then working on other stuff. I’ll come back to it and it will be cold. This cordless iron will shut off, but even with that, it doesn’t take long for it to heat up again. And you can look at the controls when it’s sitting in the dock and tell what’s going on. With my Rowenta I ended up touching it which wasn’t always a good idea. Another thing I love about it is the retractable cord. So far, I think it’s one of the best things to come along!
4. Padded Printing Board
I got this padded board when I took a class from my friend Kathy Sands. She made all of the class participants these wonderful boards. They are 24 x 24 plastic covered insulation board.
I have several pieces of fabric that become interchangeable covers to work on. I absolutely love this board and I like that I can carry it to my dye studio. Also, it doesn’t take up my whole workspace. When I am finished using it, it goes on the floor and my cutting surface is available again. I had no idea how much use I would get out of this board. Thank you Kathy!
5. Thermofax Screens
I absolutely love thermofax screens. In addition to screen printing inks, I like to use them with water based resists and Color Magnet. They give me a sharp image. If you have never tried them, you are really missing some fun.
You can buy lots of ready-made screens with a variety of images or you can email your artwork to artists who make them. The ones in the picture are all art that I sent in to have screens made. Lynn at Smudged Textile Studio makes screens and you also can buy some of her images. She’s having a 10% off now on screens and everything in her etsy shop. She also provides detailed directions on how to prepare the artwork so it can be made into a screen.
Those are my five favorite things, at least for the time being. What about you? What are your favorites?