Here are the crafting tools that I've tried for the first time this year in no particular order.
Sharpie Liquid Pencil
I was a little more excited about this than a "normal" person should be. A pencil that writes like a ball point pen and you can erase it until it becomes permanent after 24 hours? Wowie zowie that's for me! It's not quite as amazing as I had hoped but it is still pretty cool. It erases cleanly but doesn't write quite as smooth as my favorite ball point pens. It also has a tendency to rub off a little too easily before it has become permanent.
Martha Stewart Punches
I bought these with coupons (big surprise, right?) because I wanted to use them on Contact Paper in order to make stencils for my new-found glass etching mania. It took a little practice and finagling to get them to do what I wanted them to but on paper, they punch beautifully. I do plan on collecting more of these but there are so many great designs to choose from it's difficult to be rational. Oh Martha, our love/hate relationship continues.
Fiskars Paper Punches
I bought a couple of these punches around the same time I picked up the Martha Stewart ones and was pleasantly surprised to find that these are comparable in quality. These are nice and small and come in lots of simple shapes that are great for my stencil-making purposes.
Takumi Bamboo Knitting Needles Double Pointed by Clover
A few years ago I had a bad, frustrating experience with a set of circular bamboo needles and assumed that every subsequent attempt to use them would yield similar results so I ditched the bamboo and went back to my trusty plastic Lion Brand needles. I honestly can't remember why, but I decided to give bamboo another chance, this time in the form of double pointed needles (DPNs) instead of circulars. I ended up loving these and buying a couple other sets in different sizes. I still knit a little faster on metal DPNs but there is something very appealing about the natural feel of bamboo. They are lighter and they make a nicer sound when they click together. If you do ever purchase a set of these, I recommend examining them closely for jagged tips. I had to exchange one of the sets I bought because it kept snagging my yarn. The new set is perfect though.
Needle Punch Stuff
I have enjoyed the few moments I've spent with these tools. I hope to do a little more with them in the future. I want to try and come up with some of my own designs because the kits cost a little more than I want to spend every time I do a punch needle project. We'll see how that goes.
Needle Felting Stuff
If this fun little pile doesn't make you a little curious, I'm not sure what will. Needle felting is another fun craft that I just wish I had more time for. I have also been a little turned off by the price of roving wool- a key ingredient (maybe I'm just not looking hard enough for good deals). Anyway, practicing this craft is on my list of things to do this coming year.
Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream
This stuff was recommended to me by a friend who has done lots of glass etching so I was pretty sure it was going to work but I was a little nervous about a possible learning curve. Turns out this stuff is a cinch to use! I love it, a lot. The first small bottle I bought (with a coupon) has lasted through over twenty baby food jar candle holders. Yay for value!
Thermoweb Heat’n Bond Iron-On Vinyl
This stuff is way cool. It is easy to use and adds that, "How did you do that?" element to even the simplest sewing project. Unfortunately, it's not machine washable (I guess that would be too good to be true). Also, since it's vinyl, it's basically like coating your projects in poison (according to some). I'm still wrestling with the idea of whether it's safe or not but for now, I've decided to not use it on anything that will come in contact with food or the mouths of small children- I figure that's a decent compromise. I am currently searching for an eco-friendly alternative so if anyone out there has any ideas, let me know.
Dritz Quilting Chalk Cartridge Set
I have never been quite satisfied with fabric marking tools in the past but decided to give this one a try because, guess what, I had a coupon. I was immediately hooked the first time I used it. The chalk holder is easy to use and works great. The chalk itself marks fabric smoothly and precisely. I also love that it comes with several different chalk colors to choose from. If you've been searching for an efficient, non-permanent way to mark your fabric pick up one of these. I'm pretty sure you'll love it as much as I have.
Let me know if you want more info about any of the above items or if you have questions about a tool or product I have mentioned in the past. Obviously, I love discussing this stuff.