Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Scrapbooking Class

Just a short post today to give a little shout out about Kirsty of Curiouser and Curiouser.  If you haven't already checked out her blog you're missing out on some very inspirational scrapbooking.  I adore her scrapping style and she always has amazing and entertaining stories to tell as well.

Kirsty has put together a scrapbooking class called Just One Sketch which is set to begin in January.   The cost is very reasonable and the best part is that all proceeds are going towards her efforts to fundraise for Girl Guides UK.  It doesn't get better than that.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what Kirsty has in store for us.

I'd also like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rockin' Socks

My scrapbooking may have taken a bit of a hiatus lately but that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy being creative.  After our somewhat disappointing first attempt at sock-making, Jen and I decided to give it another try and that is what we've been working on during our weekly crafting get-togethers.

This next pair knit up with relatively few problems, the main one being that we ran out of yarn just before finishing up the toe!  This left us scrambling to find more of the same wool and I was lucky enough to find another ball at the ridiculously low price of 79 cents!  Unfortunately Jen had to substitute another colour but we finally got our socks knit and had only to finish closing up the toes.

Last week we began with our first sock using a "magical" knitting technique called the Kitchener Stitch in which you sew the final stitches in a series of knits and purls and then pull up the yarn to tighten everything and get a seamless finish to the toe.  Mine worked without a hitch and I have to say it was truly a thing of beauty.  Jen's...not so much.  She ended up with a loopy, knotted-up mess but with a lot of patience, some trial and error, then a break for lunch, we eventually got it all sorted out and she finished her first sock too.  We didn't have it in us to tackle the second toe and put the socks aside until this past week.

Part two of toe-closing and the tables were turned - Jen conquered that kitchener stitch and had her sock finished up in no time at all.  Me...not so much.  I got confused, messed up, had to back-track and ended up with a knotted loopy mess.   I wasn't able to completely fix the problem but eventually managed to make it good enough.  I was happy that things went so well for Jen second time around because it sort of restored her faith in her ability to make a sock and maybe, just maybe, she'll want to knit another pair with me sometime. :-)

These socks still do not have the refined look I'm aiming for but they are definitely a big improvement and they actually fit me. 

I'm really excited with the idea of making more socks and improving my skills and can't wait to use up some of this yummy yarn in the process!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

O Christmas Tree...

I have to admit I'm not a big fan of Christmas.  I struggle with it.  I'm not religious in the bible/Jesus sort of way so there's nothing for me to celebrate as far as that's concerned, which usually leaves me to wonder what it is I'm supposed to be celebrating.  I can certainly see the people that I want to see any time of year - I don't need Christmas for a get-together.  And I can certainly give gifts to people throughout the year if that's what I choose to do so I don't need the insanity of the Christmas shopping season for that either. 

Christmas was easier when my kids were little and got caught up in the excitement of the season but they're grown now and slightly less than enthusiastic about the whole thing themselves.  I noticed this year that Christmas merchandise showed up in the stores about the same time that the Halloween stuff did.  That's early!  It's hard to maintain excitement for an occasion when we're bombarded with it months in advance.  I'm tired of the advertisements telling me that a brand new car or an 80" TV are what my family really wants for Christmas.  Or my personal favourite - the jewellery store which is suggesting that the perfect stocking stuffer is a diamond ring.  How ridiculous is that?  Stocking stuffers should be candy canes, chocolate bars, a bottle of bubble bath.

Last year, because we had just moved to Alberta and into our new place on December 17th, I got away with not putting up the Christmas tree.  This year there was only one thing that encouraged me to get that chore done and that's the fact that Jen wanted to see it.  Throughout our adult lives, until last year, we had never been together at Christmas so she hadn't seen my tree.  Richard and I dragged everything out of storage over a week ago and finally finished decorating this past Saturday morning since Jen and Rob were coming over for supper that night.

Now that it's gracing a corner of the livingroom I'm happy to look at the ornaments which have sentimental value to me but you can be sure that come December 26th I'll be taking it all down and putting everything away - and it won't take me a week to get it done!

Until next time...

PS: bah humbug  ;-)

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's Up With Me?

I realized yesterday that it's been a loooong time since I've done a blog post, so what's been going on with me?  A whole lot of knitting mostly.  I've gone back into knitting mode lately which probably has something to do with the colder weather setting in.

I've been knitting for charity...

Starting a new pair of socks...

Then there's the hat I've been trying to make for Richard who seems to have an unusually large round head that's hard to knit for.  I'm on my second attempt at this hat, adding more stitches so hopefully it'll fit this time...

I've been making some cards too...

And on the scrappy front, the only thing that's new there is that these two wonderful paper packs have found a home in my ever-growing collection, thanks to my sister, Jen.  I absolutely LOVE these two paper lines!

And that's a little bit of what's been going on in my corner of the world.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

I recently completed another one of Shimelle's weekly sketches.  This one is from the week before last and it is such an original design that was perfect for a butterfly photo which I had taken quite some time ago.

I loved working on this page as it is very different from what I normally do.  You can find the sketch here.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Behold the Sock!

The big sock.  The really big sock.  Definitely not a thing of beauty but a sock of sorts nevertheless.  When Jen and I first started on this project together, I envisioned weeks and weeks of hard work to produce a finished item.  I figured if our instructional book "I Can't Believe I'm Knitting Socks!" failed to teach us, we could perhaps write our own book called "I Believe I Can't Knit Socks".  But we followed the advice of the nice lady at the fancy wool shop, did whatever the pattern asked us to do without thinking too much about it, and just as she told me - it all worked out fine in the end, and in only a matter of days.

My sock doesn't really fit me very well.  We should have opted for the smaller size.  It's loose in the heel and long in the toe, however, I enlisted the help of Chris as a foot model.   He has rather large, wide feet which we've often referred to as hobbit feet.  Seeing that sock on his foot made me feel proud.  It looks great and now I know how it would fit me if only it was the right size.  Too bad he's not interested in owning this pair of socks.  Whaaat?  Goofy-looking, hand-knit socks are not all the rage with twenty-year-olds these days?  Oh well.

As I knit my sock I would sometimes burst out laughing at how funny it looked and I couldn't help but think of how much it reminded me of a funny picture that Chris once drew as an assignment for Grade 7 English class.  The girl in his drawing is wearing socks which look amazingly like mine.

His teacher, Mr. Greenberg, wrote on the back of the paper, "Is she dressed for winter wearing those socks?", insinuating that they wouldn't keep her warm.  Yes, Mr. Greenberg, if those socks are anything like what I just made, they would definitely keep her warm!

This has been such a great learning experience.  I will eventually knit the mate to my really big sock but for now Jen and I have decided to move on to something different.  We'll probably search for a more refined sock pattern - perhaps even using the superfine wool which we originally purchased and even smaller needles.  It would be nice to create something that resembles a real sock with a grafted toe and not some pointy-toed medieval stocking.  And, shock of all shocks, there are even whisperings of knitting sweaters...

I'm proud of us, Jen, really proud.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

10 Things - My 10 Favourite Music CDs

The 10th of the month has rolled around yet again so it's time to have a bit of fun with Shimelle Laine's "10 Things on the Tenth of the Month".  This month I decided to keep it simple and go through my iTunes library to put together a list of my favourite albums.

2428 items - 7.2 days - 12.20 GB of music and here's what I chose:

 1. Coldplay - X & Y

 2. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

3. U2 - All That You Can't Leave Behind

4. The Smiths - Meat is Murder

5. The Tragically Hip - Yer Favourites

 6. The Dears - No Cities Left

7. Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark

8. Blue Rodeo - Greatest Hits

9. Matthew Good - Live at Massey Hall

10. John Mayer - Heavier Things

And that's it for me this month.  For more lists check out Shimelle's blog where you'll find links to plenty more.  It's so much fun to see what everyone's been thinking about and what types of lists they've compiled.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Awesome Adventure in Sock-making

This adventure has definitely taken a turn for the better.  After all of my mishaps of Monday, I did manage to complete my sock leg, all 8 inches of it, by yesterday evening so I was ready to move on to the next step with Jen today.  I arrived at her house this morning with this...

...and yes, some apprehension about what was to come next - the heel!  The dreaded heel.  Making a heel has always seemed like a daunting impossibility to me but we worked together to understand the pattern.  First we made a heel flap and then amazingly we both knit a heel!  Truly a thing of beauty to behold and to be honest, it wasn't even hard to make.  I can't believe I just said that!

The toughest part was picking up stitches and then knitting the foundation round before continuing on to the foot.  However, Jen and I have discovered that we function great as a team.  The things that she doesn't understand, I do.  And what I don't understand, she does.  It works out beautifully.

Despite our success today, there is one downside to these socks - they are BIG!  Really big.  Regardless of how big the circumference of my ankle is, we now see that we should have opted for one size smaller than what we chose.  These are like socks for giants.  I think I'll just consider them to be a hybrid - a cross between a sock and a slipper - and I'm going to call them "sloppers".  If you could see this sock in person you'd know how truly fitting that name is.  Here's my REALLY BIG sock in all its glory.  All that's left to do now is finish off the foot and toe.

There were a few minor mistakes made along the way today but if I had to pick one word to describe our experience.......nirvana.  Pure and simple sock-making nirvana.  Who knew socks could be so exciting?

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Misadventures in Sock-making

Yesterday was the start of my journey into the world of sock-making with Jen.  I should probably start off by saying two things.  First, this was all my idea.  Second, a "cankle" is defined as: the absence of a defined ankle on a person - whereby the calf of the leg merges directly into the foot. The calf appears to replace the ankle - hence the term "cankle."

"We can do this, Jen", I said to my sister, who's not always as keen in taking on these projects as I am.  "Let's prove to ourselves that we can knit socks."  Besides, we've heard that if you can do a knit stitch and you can do a purl stitch then you can basically make just about anything.  That, plus the nice lady at the fancy yarn store advised me to just do whatever the pattern asks you to do, no matter how strange it might seem, and it will all work out fine in the end.

First step was to measure our ankles to determine what pattern size to use.  Jen came in at a tidy 8 inches, and me?  9-1/2 inches!  Could that possibly be right?  I measured again.  Yep, definitely 9-1/2 inches.  I know my ankles have never been my best feature but 9-1/2 inches?!  I believe a flush of embarrassment crept up my face as we looked at the pattern and discovered that the largest size was for a 9" ankle.  Luckily logic kicked in that something was amiss here and a third measurement determined that (a) I don't use a tape measure very well and (b) my ankles are only 8-1/2 inches around.  Phew!  For the rest of the day there were lots of "cankle" jokes tossed in my direction.  And we laughed...and laughed.

With the pattern size finally settled we cast on our 56 stitches, divided them onto four needles and that's where the adventure really started - for me anyway.  Everything seemed to go rather smoothly for Jen.  An apparently important first step was to "wrap" the first stitch in order to produce a smooth upper edge on the sock.  Hmmm...okay.  Jen mastered this easily.  I wrapped the wrong stitch, resulting in a weird bunched-up knot.  No smoothness going on there.  I quickly realized that my best escape from this situation was to simply start over.  I unraveled, cast on again, divided stitches onto four needles.  Jen waited patiently.  I got the first stitch wrapped into relative smoothness.  Yes!  We were ready to really roll now.

Next step in the process - knit 1, purl 1 until the sock cuff measures 8 inches.  No problem.  Easy.  We can do this.  But...the wool is thin, all those needles dangle and are hard to manage in the beginning and they make an incessant "clink clink clinking" as you work.  Twice Jen forgot to use her empty needle to knit with and had to backtrack but that seemed to be the extent of her troubles.  I, on the other hand?  It wasn't long before I'd somehow managed to create two extra stitches.  Not to mention the fact that when you're laughing and talking a lot, it's quite easy for "knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1" to become "knit 1, purl 1, purl 1, knit 1" or some other equally wrong variation of those stitches.  At least for me, that is.  And that's definitely not a good thing when what you're looking to create is a ribbed sock cuff.

I believe it was at this point that Jen looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Do you want to quit?  I'm fine with quitting, you know".  If you've been a reader of Jen's blog for any length of time, you probably know by now that she's the first to admit that she has no problem giving up on projects.  And she's fine with that.  But no way, I could not allow it to happen, not this early in.  We forged ahead.

The needles became easier to manage, they didn't seem to clink as much or maybe we just got used to the sound of them.  I found a way to "lose" my two extra stitches by knitting stitches together (nobody'll notice, right?) and our sock cuffs began to really take shape.  Jen plugged away, effortlessly it seemed, no mistakes at all, a nice even cuff in the works.  Mine on the other hand appeared misshapen somehow, irregular in size and really wide.  No matter.  My big socks might pool around my cankles but at least I'd be able to say, "I made these", with pride.  We laughed some more.  And we kept on knitting.  Jen flawlessly.  Effortlessly.  And me?  Well, basically okay...until this...

"What is that?  How did this happen?" I said.  "Let me see!" said Jen.  "No, I can't show you!" I answered, as I sat there howling with laughter.  What IS that loopy thing, you ask?  A few moments of analysis led us to the conclusion that at some point (most likely while I was laughing hysterically about my droopy socks pooling around my cankles), I completely skipped knitting the stitches on one needle and dragged that tail of yarn across to the next needle.  What to do, what to do?  Robert suggested that I use it as a sort of bootstrap - a "sockstrap" we could call it - which would aid me in pulling up my socks.  Clever, I had to admit and we all laughed again.  Lots.  But, after a few minutes of reflection I realized that my best escape from this situtation was...ya, you guessed it - to just start over again.

So, I unraveled and Jen knit on - knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1.  Flawlessly.  Effortlessly it seemed.  She was amazed at how calm I was considering I'd just spent the better part of six hours knitting, only to end up with this... accomplishment of the day - a ball of wool with some of it now wrapped around the outside.  Oh, and four empty needles.

I did learn three valuable things however -

1. I am definitelly a much more patient person as I age.

2. They say that laughter is good for the soul and if that's the case then I'm going to keep knitting socks because I haven't laughed so much or so hard in a long, long time.

3. Our families need not worry that they'll all be receiving "lovely" hand-knit socks for Christmas.  There's no way that'll ever happen!

And now, I've got work to do.  I need to have a sock cuff finished by tomorrow.  I'm going back to Jen's place to knit socks!  Wish me luck. ;-)

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

"A Walk Through History"...

I seem to be on a bit of a knitting tangent lately.  I'm like that.  I get totally wrapped up in something and let all my other hobbies fall to the wayside while I focus on that one thing.  But after making three hats and countless dishcloths, my fingers are achy and my hands are dry from handling all that yarn so I turned back to scrapbooking and got another layout done.

We visited Fort Edmonton Park this past July.  This is your typical heritage park where you visit old houses and buildings and look at old furniture, household items, farm implements, etc. and learn how everyday life worked a long while ago.

Jen loves Fort Edmonton Park.  I don't know exactly how many times she has visited the park with Robert, but I know it's enough to make him groan when somebody mentions Fort Edmonton Park.  I did the tour of the park with Jen and Rob in the summer of 2010 when I came to Edmonton on vacation before moving here.  This year we went back to the park because Richard hadn't been and Matthew wanted to come along for the trip as well.  It was a good way to spend the day but I think I've had my fill of Fort Edmonton for a while.

I used this sketch from Sketchy Thursdays:

Jen talked about how much fun it would be to have a season pass but somehow I don't think she'll be able to talk anybody into joining her on that one!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Little Houses Cross-Stitch

Often now, during my Crafty Tuesday get-together with Jen, we spend the day working on our cross-stitch projects.  What could be more relaxing than spending the day together stitching, chatting and having tea?  Not much.  I also do some of my stitching at home otherwise it would take me forever to finish this project.  I've been trying to take photos now and then so I'll have a record of my progress.  It's fun to see how this pattern is slowly taking shape.

So this is what it's looking like so far...

I'm totally enjoying working with the Monaco fabric that I chose and counting threads has become second-nature to me.  I love the refined look it produces.  I have to say, there's something extremely satisfying in the simple act of making tiny x's with thread on a piece of fabric and seeing a beautiful design emerge.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Celebrate"...a birthday page

A quick post to share a layout I've done with photos from my mother's recent birthday.  I used a sketch from Inspired Blueprints and followed it very closely.  Banners might be a bit passé now but I had fun adding one here.  It's only the second time I've used one and it seemed fitting for a birthday page.  This was also the perfect time to pull out my glittery Pink Paislee vermillion alphas that I found on sale a while back!  They appear very orange in this photo but in reality are more of a red tone. 

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shimelle's Sketch of the Week

I've been following Shimelle Laine's blog very closely for well over a month now.  The members of my family have become very accustomed to hearing me talk about Shimelle.  It's Shimelle-this and Shimelle-that on a daily basis.  But honestly, I've never come across anyone who has inspired me so much to get my photos scrapped.  A lot of it has to do with Shimelle's basic scrapbooking philosophy.  Scrapbooking  is not a competition, it's not about spending a lot of money on supplies, it's not about having the biggest, best scrap room.  Scrapbooking is about telling our stories, however big or small they may be, and presenting them on pretty paper in a way that pleases us, whether we're creating our pages just for ourself or to share with friends and family or posting them on our blogs for the whole world to see.  Now that's a philosophy I can live by and one that inspires me to tell our little life stories.

This layout was done using Shimelle's sketch of the week which you can find here

Luckily for me, my family is still listening to me gush on and on about Shimelle and so far nobody has asked me to be quiet.  Maybe they like to see me inspired.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Project 365 - Week 13

I'm still plodding along slowly with this project but happy to be able to say that I'm still plodding along.  Yes, it's a tad uninspiring to work on due to the restriction I put on myself not to use buttons, brads and all things of a bumpy nature - although I have to say I'm happy with the result as far as how flat these pages are laying in the album.  Twenty-six pages in the album so far and it still closes beautifully without needing to add spacers or post extensions - a fiddly, time-consuming task which I really don't enjoy.

Anyway, I recently came up with a good idea to get myself scrapping these photos.  Since Jen and I have not been doing any scrappy projects during our weekly get-togethers and don't have plans for any right now, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to work on Project 365.  It motivates me to choose my sketches and pull out the supplies I need before going over there, and then I work on my pages while Jen does her own scrappy thing.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to get a good start on Week 13 and then finished it up here at home.  As a sidenote, our scrapping came to an end when Robert came home with cranberry-lemon scones from Starbucks and we decided to have tea instead!  But, had I not committed to working on my project at Jen's, I know these photos would still be sitting on my desk gathering dust!

I used this double-page sketch from Inspired Blueprints:

And with Week 13 finished that means I'm officially one-quarter done this project!  Here's hoping I can turn out some more pages in the near future!

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've Been Making Cards

I recently spent a bit of time creating some cards for my mother as a gift for her birthday.  I thought it would be nice for her to have a small stash on hand so she wouldn't necessarily have to make a trip to the store if she needed a card. 

I always enjoy the finished result but it still amazes me how long it can take to make one tiny card in comparison to creating a 12x12 layout!  I also learned a valuable lesson.  If you plan on heat embossing a stamped sentiment it is preferable to do this before glueing the front of the card to the card base.  I ended up with four rather warped cards which I had to take apart, flatten and then reassemble.  I won't be making that mistake again!

I cannot take credit for the design of any of these cards.  The turquoise cards with the large flower are designed by Aphra Bolyer using the Cricut Mother's Day Bouquet cartridge.  The remaining ideas came from several different issues of Paper Crafts magazine.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pretty Paper Birdcage

I recently stumbled across a blog called KesiArt.  It is a French-language blog but even if you don't understand the language there is still lots of inspiration to be found there just by looking at the photos that are posted.

They featured a tutorial on making decorative paper birdcages which looked so adorable that I figured I'd try my hand at making one for my mother as a birthday gift.  I was lucky that my limited knowledge of French allowed me to basically understand the directions although I couldn't relate to the measurements being given in centimeters and had to convert those.

It took me about two hours from start to finish but a good deal of that time was spent looking through Cricut cartridges to find the images I wanted to cut out.  Having completed one birdcage, I know it would be quicker next time to create another.  The finished cage stands about 4 inches tall.  The objects inside the cage are attached with glue dots to a strip of acetate which gives them the appearance of being suspended in mid-air.  Very clever!

Seriously cute and very easy to make!  You can find the complete tutorial here.  If you decide to make one and need help translating the directions I'd be happy to help.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


We all have our weaknesses, don't we?  And when it comes to scrapbooking supplies my biggest weakness is alphas!  I love chipboard alphas, alpha stickers, teeny tiny alphas...basically alphas of any kind. 

Yesterday I stopped into my LSS because they were having a sale - 30% off everything in the store.  Hard to resist a sale like that!  In addition to some cardstock, patterned paper, glue dots and a new colour of distress ink, I bought three sets of alphas - grey and white Thickers and a cute set of tiny MME Lime Twist letters.  Of course, this prompted Richard to comment on the fact that I'd brought home yet more alphas and he asked me how many I have.  My best "guesstimate" was around 100 and seeing as I like to count things, we decided to do a tally just for fun.

Taa-dah!  My complete collection of alphabets laid out in all their glory!

- 2 sets of corrugated
- 1 set of wood veneer
- 15 Thickers
- 18 other assorted chipboard
- 59 sheets of letters stickers in a variety of sizes
- 25 packs of teeny tiny letters :-)

That's a grand total of 120 sets of alphabets.  Yikes...that makes me feel a little bit embarrassed!

The only thing I can say in my defense is that we need a good variety of alphas because you never know what a layout will call for as far as colour and style.  That's my excuse anyway.  ;-)  Having said that, I don't think I'll be buying anymore letters any time soon.  And, I think if I'm ever going to use up this huge supply then I'd better start coming up with some reeeeaaallly long titles for my scrapbook pages!

How about you?  How does your stash of alphas compare?

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4x6 Photo Love Project

I had heard of Shimelle's 4x6 Photo Love series over at Two Peas in a Bucket but have to admit that I hadn't paid much attention to it until I saw September's edition.  What a fantastic idea for scrapping nine, yes nine, 4x6 photos on just one page!

The secret is in making a pocket on the page into which you can insert two double-sided cards of photos.  Very ingenious idea, indeed.  I knew this would be the perfect way for me to document my parents' recent 50th wedding anniversary while being able to include several of the photos we took that evening.

Here's how the page looks when it's all together:

I opted for using a Hambly overlay to make the pocket, as Shimelle did, because I really like the look of the photo cards peeking through from inside the pocket.  I bought the transparency a couple of months ago with no particular plan for it and it turned out to be exactly what I needed for this project.

The front side of the photo cards look like this:

And when you turn them over you have more photos and journaling on the other side:

I absolutely loved this idea the minute I saw it.   It's a great way to document an event where you have many photos but don't necessarily want to be doing multiple scrapbook pages.  For all the details and to watch Shimelle's video on putting together a layout like this, just click here.

Until next time...
Susan :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

10 Things - My Scrapbooking Essentials

It's that time once again - time to play along with Shimelle's 10 Things on the 10th!  This month I thought I'd list my scrapbooking essentials.  Patterned paper's a given so I didn't include that!  These are the items that I routinely use while creating layouts and don't think I could do without.

In no particular order...

1. Tim Holtz Distress Inks - a recent discovery for me.  I love the look of inking the edges of my page elements.  I currently have Frayed Burlap, Vintage Photo and Black Soot and am slowly building my collection as the need for different colours arises.

2. DMC Floss - I love to stitch on my layouts and it's rare that I don't include a tiny bit of stitching, even if it's only to sew on a button.

3. Inkssentials Foam Ink Applicator - the perfect tool for applying distress ink!  No messy fingers.  The ink goes on very softly and you can intensify the colour by adding additional layers.

4. Chipboard Alphas - actually, I have a huge weakness for alphas of any kind but the chipboard variety such as Thickers are my favourite. 

5. Bazzill Basics Piercing Tool - this little piercer is so comfortable to hold and gives you such control in making holes for stitching.

6. Tim Holtz Idea-ology Ruler - This is an amazing ruler.  One side is a regular ruler while the other is a centering ruler.  But the best part for me are the tiny holes that run at 1/8" intervals along one edge - ideal for piercing evenly spaced holes for stitching.  

7. Martha Stewart Starburst Punch - I love this punch and use it all the time whether layering it up with other items on the page, using the starburst as a flower center or just tucking a starburst under another page element to add a bit of colour or detail.  Love it!

8. Olfa Rotary Cutter - my method for cutting paper.  I guess it comes from years of quilting and using a rotary cutter to cut fabric.  Seems to be the only way I know how to cut accurately.
9. Foam Pop Dots - after finishing my Embellished Paper Doily project I truly understood the value of these little dots for adding dimension to a page and now they've become a part of my regularly used products.

10. Buttons - Buttons of any kind!  Plain and simple or fancy and elaborate, I love buttons and probably use them on every layout that I make. 

Would you like to read more 10 Things lists?  Hop over to Shimelle's blog where you'll find her list as well as links to many others.

Until next time...
Susan :-)