Hello again, before I post my first blog proper I just wanted to pass on some general information that will apply to all my projects. First of all the projects shown here will be about using the kits in ways you may not have thought of and as such are not really about the design process of any of the papers etc. With this in mind I will be concentrating on the actual cutting and sticking etc that happens after the design has been produced. If you do have any questions about the designs or the whole design process please ask and I will always do my best to provide either answers or at least point you in the direction of whatever help I can.
I use a program called CRAFT ARTIST PRO 2 which is by Serif and available from a site called Daisytrail in both trial and full versions - http://www.daisytrail.com/ - this site is not only a mine of information about the program but also has an amazing community of unbelievably talented digital crafters.
All the papers and paper elements etc will be printed from kits designed by Jodi Tucker-Watson and are available from her Etsy store Throwing Some Scraps Away unless otherwise stated.
For those of you that like the technical stuff about the general kit of tools and materials that I use here goes. I am sure that you will probably have a basic set of tools that you use regularly and I have tried to stick to these items - there is nothing worse in my experience than to get part way into a project and find you need a specialised bit of kit that can't be substituted. I would always say that very few tools or materials are totally indispensable you can almost always find a substitute.
I use two printers, a HP purely because of the economy of ink and I like the quality of the printing and a Canon as it handles 300gsm+ card better being a top loader. Whenever I am asked about paper I honestly believe it is a matter of trial and error until you find a range of papers of finishes and weights that suit you and your printer for your particular project. I use a super smooth paper/card that can be printed on both sides, 160gsm for backing papers and toppers etc that are going to be matted and layered, 200gsm for decoupage and 3D work and 300+gsm for construction work but again I would stress that these are just my personal preference and please use whatever works for you.
The rest of my tools are pretty standard to most crafters, (except that amazing tool that was advertised as indispensable and three months later I can't remember what it does, how it does it and moreover why on earth I bought it!!) Briefly I believe that a basic kit should probably have :
Wet Glue - various including Extra Tacky and re-positional, silicone/gel styles for decoupage and spray is always handy.
Double sided Tape - various widths, flat and dimensional foam as well as the strong type usually on a red coloured carrier.
Double sided sticky Pads - various sizes
Scissors - various sizes find ones that you are comfortable using and sit nicely in your hand. I have long blades for general paper cutting, small 3" blades for detailed work and very small nail scissors for particularly intricate work. My top tip for scissors has to be please make sure you have separate ones for cutting anything that is remotely sticky and never try and cut paper with these as you will never get a clean cut.
Cutting mat - either self healing or glass
Score board - I use a 12"x 12" one marked in inches on one side and cm on the other
Ball tools - various sizes for shaping paper
Foam mat - for shaping paper
Metal or metal edged ruler
Cocktail sticks - lots of uses but especially good for putting glue onto small pieces.
Tweezers - I prefer the longer ones with curved ends
Pencil, Pen and a clean white eraser
Corner Rounder Punch - although this is not essential and you could craft your whole life without using one I really wouldn't be without mine
Piece of natural style sponge - again not essential but I find it the absolute best thing for applying inks to edges and for distressing papers.
So there we have it my very general basic papercraft kit. As I said earlier don't be put off if I appear to use something that you don't have, look around and I am sure that in most cases you will find something that does the job for you just as well and indeed it may work even better for you. If you need a piece of equipment that I feel you may not have for a specific project I will always state it at the beginning and where necessary if there is a specific brand or type of embellishment etc used I will mention this although most of what I use is actually from my craft stash and its brand/original place of purchase have been lost in the annals of time!
Most of all don't stress about it remember we are here to have fun - so relax and enjoy your own creative journey remember there are no mistakes just happy accidents! xx