As a crafter, I think all of us are to some extent, obsessed with supplies and buying stuff that we can use in our craft room. Not too surprising actually, seeing that the craft industry does so much marketing, and new products are released more than once a year. So amidst all these new release of products and all, how do you know what is the right thing for you to buy? For me, I always want to get the most out of my money, be it spending the least money on what I buy, or making the item I buy worth it through the amount of usage. Here, I’ll share some tips that I have as I reflect from my own experience in crafty shopping.
I was sorting out my photos recently, in an attempt to keep my photos in order and clear my backlog of photos. I have left most of my photos unsorted since last year when I went on exchange, and what was on my computer was just folders and folders of photos as I continually import them from my camera, but did nothing more than that. I have also been neglecting photo printings for years; since 2012 to be exact so that’s a really long time.
There’s a lot of reason why I haven been “on task” with my photos: a mental block that it takes a lot of effort to settle them all, even more effort require to pick out photos and send them for printing, taking too much photos, not being able to find a good photo printer service, not having a system that works the way I want it to. Right now though, I know that some of these are false, or that the problem has been solved. Or sometimes, all it needs is a sudden motivation that brings you to settle them all. In my case, it was a really good deal for photo printing during this holiday season, hence I wanted to get it over and done with while saving money in the process.
I’m not sure if every crafter is like me but my idea of shopping is almost always to shop at a craft store, scrapbook store or stationery store – I can spend hours just browsing through everything in the store, comparing prices, making mental notes of things I might want to buy in the future, basically just window shopping, before I start to feel tired or have the urge to leave the shop. That patience is much much short-lived compared to say shopping for clothes. Anyway, today I will share my last crafty haul with you to give you a glimpse of the things I buy and why I buy them.
The list of things I got:
Reeves acrylic tube paints, set of 18 from Art Friend: I wanted some new acrylic colours, but couldn’t choose which colours i wanted to get so I decided to get a multi-colour set instead. I do like the Reeves brand quite a bit, I think that they have good pigments in their paints (I own their watercolour pan set), and their prices are rather affordable. Plus, the entire brand is having a discount at Art Friend’s once a year sale. The set also contained viridian hue, which for some reason I am attracted to (as well as all sort of greens as the moment), and apparently viridian hue cannot be found in separate acrylic tubes.
Chinese calligraphy ink from Popular: I still have my old calligraphy brushes and paper from old school days and one day (one fine fine day) I am intending to break them out and use them in my crafts. Perhaps some chinese calligraphy writings (though my calligraphy was never good), and to use the ink like india ink perhaps? There is never anything wrong with having all sorts of black mark making tools in the craft room.
Pilot Juice gel pen in Coral Pink from Popular: Pink is a colour I reach for pretty often because it tends to align with my emotions a lot. Coral is a really pretty shade of pink, something not so bright and rather sweet. I do recommend the Pilot pens and Juice gel series because it has good pen qualities. The pen writes really smoothly across the paper, and discharge an optimal amount ink in the process – meaning it doesn’t smudge as you write. It has a nice comfortable grip as well, so if you are looking for some coloured pens, the Juice series offers quite a lot of colours for you to pick from, as well as sets of multi-colours.
Staedlter Lumocolor permanent marker from Popular: This is another brand I like to use because there’s mileage in the inks, and perhaps also a pinch of brand bianess there. Unfortunately, the refills are not available in Singapore or it will give even more mileage. Seems like the refills are only available in Germany (on Amazon, no less) and it is regretful that I missed my chance to obtain them when I was away in Europe for 4 months.
Rubber carving block from Paper Market: These are Japanese rubber carving blocks that were on sale 2 @ 60% off so I thought I will get them to give stamp carving a try. I have never used carving blocks before, and till now I have not open the packets to give it a try so I can’t say much. But stamp carving has always been one of those things I’ve be drawn to because I like stamps, and I like the idea of handmaking something that you can call your own. It was just unfortunate that the tools require for stamp carvings are not cheap, and I am not prepared to invest in them just yet when I am not fully sure this is something I would like to continue in the long run. I do have an old set of woodcarving tool that looks like they were from my parent’s school days, and there are some similarities in the carving heads of the tool so this is what I will use in the meantime.
American Crafts Thickers from Popular (Urban Write): If you ever want to get some Thickers, always get them from Popular. I repeat, always get them from Popular because they are significantly cheaper. Granted, they do seem to offer less variety than scrapbooking stores like Paper Market, especially “limited edition” ones that American Crafts comes up with every new line/collection. But if you can find what you like at Popular, then get them there! Thickers are rather versatile, and one thing I really like about AC Thickers are the greater abundance of commonly used letters (e.g. ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘r’, ‘s’ etc) instead of like having the same number of letter stickers for each letter. This means you can use them more effectively for you don’t run out of the letters to form words that quickly! You can see a close up at the Thickers I got; I picked versatile fonts and colours so that I can use them for different kind of scrapbook layouts.
And once again, I find myself typing more things than I intend to. Sometimes I wonder if I should film myself instead but I’m still not confident of that, finding myself tripping over tongues and words and forgetting the actual thing I want to say. Just a note on the links on the blog post: they are not linked to the places where I bought them because the stores I bought them from either have no online presence or have no online shop. They are linked so that you can see more about the things I have bought, and I am in no way affiliated to the links.
And as the title also mentioned an update on my organising space from the previous post, I am pleased to say that I am currently in a much happier state of my cupboard once I have cleared out a space elsewhere to be used as a storage space. So bulky things like reams of cardstock and stock of page protectors have been moved out of my cupboard and out of my room to somewhere I can’t see but know it is there when I need to reach for them. This small little action had made all the difference because what is in my cupboard now are things that I would reach for and use. So if you are finding your craft room cluttered, identify the things that are merely in storage and move all of them somewhere else so that they do not interfere with your crafting.
And that’s all for now! Thanks for sticking to the end if you had reach through everything – took me more than an hour to write them! I got to admit that I am rather longwinded. Virtual cookies to you for sticking to the end (: