Tools of the Trade

Everyday Tools
These are some of the tools that I prefer to use. There are many on the market, I'd love to hear what you like as well!
  • General Adhesive: The ATG Advanced Tape Glider (buy here on Amazon or at your local craft store!). Refills are inexpensive - and come as "general purpose" and "photo safe - acid free"
  • Inking Paper Distresser: Ranger InkEssentials Ink Blending Tool (favorite Distressing Ink is made by Tim Holtz)
  • Physical Paper Distresser: Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Paper Distresser
  • Embellishment Accessory: Glossy Accents by Ranger
  • Favorite Permanent Ink: Staz On brand - it dries quickly, and I've never had it smear!
  • Ribbon-adhesive: The small "X" by Xyron
Provocraft Products

Cricut Explore (latest release machine)
  • I've recently sold my expression to help fund this new machine, which you can read all about in my Cricut Explore tab.
  • This machine can cut and write in one step, which has added awesome potential for Cricut crafters. The best part is uploading your own JPG files.
  • There are new tutorial videos being posted regularly that are helping us use the new Cricut Design Space, so I will post some helpful information there.
The Cricut Expression (first model)
  • My favorite accessory for virtually any project is my Cricut Expression. This version is the Breast Cancer Edition- hence the pink color. It also came with three cartridges- Pink Journey (exclusive to this cricut model), Plantin SchoolBook, and Accent Essentials. My husband bought this as a Christmas present, and now it's the gift that keeps on giving! If you are looking to purchase one, I suggest you watch for sales on these products. particularly ones with a "bundle"; the more cartridges, the better! You can also purchase machines at select BigLots stores, and have found them to be an economical option for cartridges.
  • This is another investment that I am loving. I found it on black Friday at a deal I couldn't resist. This machine embosses using "embossing folders" of various sizes.
  • The best part about this machine is its ease of use. It's not only very straightforward, but does not use electricity or heat.
  • Over the years, I've found embossing folders from The Paper Studio, Darice, and Sizzix that work flawlessly in these devices - so you're not limited to Provocraft's selection.
SOME INFO: Although Provocraft is no longer manufacturing the gypsy device, it is still something regularly sold second-hand. Once you've "linked" your cartridge to this device, it can never be linked to another. Thus, if you sell your gypsy, you are also selling your rights to that particular cartridge.
  • This handheld device is easily one of my favorite investments. It truly is remarkable how much more you can accomplish with your cricut when you use a gypsy. I save so much paper, waste no time guessing what size I need to make something, and can multitask on different projects at once. Not to mention it fits in your purse and you can design anywhere. Truly amazing. However, I will warn you that there IS a learning curve. I found the best way to learn was from videos posted by Creations by Christina. Her videos show step-by-step how to's of every function of the gypsy. They were so helpful, I highly recommend checking them out! Here is a link to her site: Creations with Christina Gypsy Video Series
Internet Photo-Editing
  • This is a very handy website that allows you to edit your photos (or other image files) with endless possibilities.
  • My favorite features are their "collage" layouts and adding text. This truly is a great site! Check out iPiccy!

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