It's really gratifying to know that friends scattered around the country can keep up with my creative endeavors. I've pondered going pro as of late, and it's something that still might pan out, but whatever my crafting future holds, it's nice to have a record of the last two years of my crafting life.
And because birthdays cause one to ponder and reflect, I'm going to share some of the crafting things that I think everyone should own in order to be able to whip up creative projects in a jiffy:
1) Happy Tape. This is from Japan and it's brightly colored masking tape. How does this help your life? I'll tell you. A million ways. If you wrap a package in newspaper, happy tape makes it look like you put forth effort beyond just wrapping a package with garbage. On an envelope, it looks so fun to just slap a few pieces of tape along the seal. It's like stickers for grown ups. If you bring someone some cookies in a paper towel, it looks like you really went the extra mile with fancy pants tape. I love this stuff.
2) Fishing line. It's invisible, it's uses are infinite and if you buy one roll for less than five bucks, you will do twentyfivethousand projects and you will still feel like you haven't made a dent in the spool. I use it to string garlands, hang wreaths, tie plants to supporting sticks...
3) A standard-sized stack of paper that you think is pretty. I have a stack of 6x6" paper squares from all kinds of places. Some was originally sold as decorative paper, some came from magazines or catalogs, some is used wrapping paper and others are just scraps I've collected along the way. And the reason I think it is important for you to keep the size standard is easy -- it can be stored best this way. If you just keep stacks of randomly sized papers, the stack becomes a mess so quickly, you'll just throw it away. With the standard sizes, you can find a perfect box for them or just some corner where you can let the stack grow. For a quick homemade greeting card, a set of homemade place cards, unique gift wrap for small packages, etc., I just go to my stack and I always find something fun. When I get a catalog in the mail, or am handed a magazine that I know I don't want to keep, I scan the pages quickly for tear out sheets and then slice and dice the pages into squares.
4) Razors. I use these constantly! I have a couple of good holders for straight-edge razors (a comfort grip and a mini-blade holder that I use in tight spaces). You know, if you are dealing with a mess, you can often use a blade to clean it up. Because the blades are disposable, you can add some oil or grease to them to take the remaining parts of a sticker/label/price tag off a piece of glass or plastic. I've even been known to use a razor blade to get a tough stain off a dish if I'm in a rush! And what's better for cleanly taking candle wax drips off wherever they've dropped themselves? Learn how to use a razor and you are on your way to accomplishing your crafting tasks with such greater time efficiency. Also, the manual dexterity you'll learn from wielding your razor well will help with other creative tasks.