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Gansai Tambi Watercolors
These palette watercolors are fantastic. They are more opaque than your typical watercolor, so they give vibrant and intense color. White, black, silver, and gold are included in the set. Amazon has the best regular price as of this writing, but if you have a coupon code, you might get a better deal at Ellen Hutson or Simon Says Stamp.
Zig Clean Color Real Brush Pens
I started with the 12-count set. I loved them so much I purchased the 48-count set! To learn more about these fabulous watercolor markers, see my review and tutorial. Amazon has the best price by far.
I asked for the 36-count set of Inktense Pencils for Christmas a few years ago and my husband got me the 72-count set! I love, love these pencils. You can use them wet or dry. Add a lot of water for a watercolor effect, add a little bit of water to blend with vibrant color. These pencils are easily one of my favorite products. Once again, Amazon has great pricing. Dick Blick also has good pricing, especially with their coupon codes.
These markers are also a great option for watercoloring, especially for beginners. I posted a marker comparison, if you’d like more info on that. You can find good pricing at Amazon and Scrapbook.com.
I mostly use these watercolors for backgrounds, similar to the Gansai Tambi watercolors. The Peerless colors are a little more transparent than the Gansai Tambi. The great thing about these watercolors is that they are very portable. They are just pieces of colored pigment paper, so they travel very well. The colors are easy to layer and look gorgeous. I posted a product review, which also includes an explanation on how to use them and store them. I recommend purchasing both the basic pack and the bonus pack. With these two sets, you’ll have all the colors you need, and then some. 🙂
Simon Says Stamp: Basic pack and Bonus pack
Ellen Hutson: Basic pack and Bonus pack
Finetec Metallic Watercolors
If you’re looking for some watercolors you can use on black cardstock, here they are. Absolutely fantastic… the most gorgeous shimmer you’ve ever seen. I recently compared these to the Gansai Tambi metallic watercolors here. They aren’t cheap, which is what makes them a great gift idea! I got mine at Simon Says Stamp.
A lot of people ask me what colors to start with. To answer this question, I went into my craft room and evaluated all my markers. I asked myself, “If I had to start over, what would I purchase?” I really like 3-color combos, as it gives you enough color variation to blend. So, I pulled out my favorite combinations and colored some examples for you. I would choose the combos you like below and start there. As far as E’s go, I would choose your favorite. And, I would get either the W or C set to start. You can purchase them for great prices as Ellen Hutson and Blitsy, especially when you take advantage of coupon codes.
Click the image to enlarge:
I also recommend getting the Colorless Blender. You’ll also need Copic-friendly paper and ink. I use Neenah Solar White cardstock and Memento inks, Tuxedo Black (at Ellen Hutson or Simon Says Stamp) and Rich Cocoa (at Ellen Hutson or Simon Says Stamp).
A Stampin’ Up! Ink Pad Collection
If you’ve already checked out my dye ink comparison post, you know that Stampin’ Up! inks did extremely well in my experiment. I own most of the ink pads and use them often. I would start by purchasing the Brights Collection, which contains most of my favorite colors. After that, I would move on to the Subtles Collection and the Regals Collection. Just really great quality inks.
Distress Oxide Ink Pad Collection
I used to recommend the regular distress inks here, but I’m switching my recommendation to the Oxide inks. Although I still love my regular Distress inks, I think the Oxide inks are a great buy. They blend better and they stamp better than the regular ink pads. However, they don’t watercolor as well. They can’t be perfect! For more detailed information, view my Distress Oxide Product Review. I find myself reaching for these way more often than the regular ink pads. These ink pads are sold pretty much at all online retailers, so I would just shop around. I purchased mine at Blitsy, and I consistently see them on sale there. If you’re planning to buy them individually and not as a set, my most used colors are: Candied Apple, Picked Raspberry, Spiced Marmalade, Fossilized Amber, Cracked Pistachio, Lucky Clover, Peacock Feathers, and Wilted Violet.
Fiskars ProCision Trimmer
I’ve had this trimmer for 2 years and I still love it. It cuts perfectly every time. It’s not without its faults, but I have no regrets about my purchase. I pretty much use it every day. For much more information, see my Fiskars ProCision Product Review.
Stitched Dies Set
I researched a lot of brands before settling on Simon Says Stamp for my Stitched Dies. I chose them because of price and also because they have stitching on the inside and the outside of the die (so you can get a negative with stitching as well as the die cut itself). These basic shapes are a staple I use all the time.
Stampin’ Up! Ink Pad Storage
I store most of my inks in this 48-slot Stampin’ Up! ink caddy, and I store the caddy on my back table. You can turn it easily, and there is storage at the top for other items (I use it for things like Glossy Accents, glue dots, pencil sharpeners, masking tape, etc.). Obviously, Stampin’ Up! ink pads fit perfectly. But… so do Hero Arts, Memento, Adirondack, and Versafine! I actually store them upside down so the ink drains to the top. The Stampin’ Up! ink pads are already labeled on the side so you can find the one you want easily.
Distress Ink Pad Storage
After many hours at Container Store, I discovered that this nailpolish holder is absolutely PERFECT for distress ink pads. For more details on how it works, you can view my ink pad storage video. Don’t worry about storing the ink pads on their sides – it’s okay, per Tim Holtz.
Other Ink Pad Storage
I store many of my other ink pads in these vanity trays. They have little vertical compartments that keep your ink pads from falling down. No more labeling the sides! You can view the tops as you flip through them. You can see them up close in my ink pad storage video.
Heat Embossing Supplies
Ready to get into heat embossing? One of the greatest techniques ever. You’ll need a heat tool, Versamark ink, and some embossing powders. I would recommend getting white, clear, gold, and silver. You can use the clear powder on top of pigment inks (including Versafine Black and Distress Oxide inks) to get colored embossing. I tend to go for the “fine” powders, as those give a more crisp result.
I have the Stampin’ Up! heat tool, which I love. For the ink and powders:
Purchase at Simon Says Stamp: Versamark Ink, White, Clear, Gold, and Silver.
Purchase at Ellen Hutson: Versamark Ink, White, Clear, Gold, and Silver.
Purchase at Stampin’ Up!: Versamark Ink, White, Clear, Gold, and Silver.
Sizzix Big Shot and Magnetic Platform
Do you want to enable yourself for an entire year? Get a Sizzix Big Shot. I cannot live without mine – I love it. There is an endless supply of dies, embossing folders, and plates to use with this machine. You’ll find the best prices at Amazon, Scrapbook.com, and JoAnn’s. Also extremely useful is a set of Mylar Shims for those detailed dies and the Silicone Rubber Pad for dry embossing.
And please don’t forget the magnetic platform. I’m telling you this is a lifesaver and one of the most useful things in my craft room. I resisted buying it for awhile but was so glad when I finally did. The best prices again are at Amazon, Scrapboook.com, and
A Ream of Neenah Cardstock
Hands down, my favorite paper. I use it pretty much on every card. It’s the perfect thickness for a card base, plus it handles Copics and colored pencils beautifully. I buy it by the ream: 250 sheets. It comes out to 7 cents a sheet – a pretty good deal considering I actually finish these reams! I always buy mine from Ellen Hutson. There seem to be several labels for it at different retailers, but the one I get at Ellen always works great for me. As far as paper goes, the Hero Arts black notecards (black on the outside, white on the inside), Simon Says Stamp white woodgrain, and Stampin’ Up! Whisper White (for SU inks) are all winners.
You see me use this thing every single video, right? I used to use the little hand-held tape runners and still do occasionally for small tasks. But, it gets pretty expensive if you make a lot of cards. I swore off those giant guns because they seemed so bulky and heavy. But, economically, you really should invest in it. It doesn’t take long to get used to. Check prices: Ellen Hutson, Simon Says Stamp, and Amazon.
Acrylic Block Set
I debated buying this set of blocks for quite awhile, but I’m so glad I did. I used to have a drawer of miscellaneous blocks of all different qualities and sizes. It seemed like I needed a lot of them. I now only need the blocks in this set. I keep them in the Clear Block Storage caddy, permanently open, inside my main craft table drawer. Before I got the caddy, I just stored them in a box on my craft table. The blocks are thick, very clear, and have a smooth groove on the sides to make them very easy to grab and hold onto.
What wishlist would be complete without the MISTI? I use it daily for aligning stamps as well as cardstock panels. You can watch my video review of the MISTI HERE. If you’re deciding between the large and the small, get the large, as it’s more practical for all sizes of projects. Ellen Hutson usually has it for a good price.
Color Burst Powders
Many times I will purchase a product based on member suggestion. Usually I am skeptical at first, which was the case with these powders. However, I have reached for them multiple times, even after the novelty wore off. They are fun to play with and the results are beautiful. You can watch them in action here, here, and here. Personally, I own the Brights collection, which you can find at Scrapbook.com and Blitsy.