Thursday, July 26, 2007

Essential Tools for Scrapbooking – Number 1

We all talk of stash… the huge mountain of stuff we have acquired since we began to scrapbook. The reference is usually referring to papers and embellishments is it not?

Sometimes it includes the odd “special tool” but stash mostly refers to our lovely bits and pieces that make the visual experience we like to call a Scrapbooking Layout.

Well we often overlook and frankly, take for granted, our trusty tools – those tools that we use every day without thinking about them. So I have decided to dedicate a little blogging space to discuss these various bits of essential equipment and I am starting with my trusty…

pH Tester pen

Oh how that has come in handy over and over again. Now if you are like me and feels it’s all part and parcel of crafting to find the bargain alternatives to the “official” supplies, then you too will have delved into the depths of various non-scrapbooking supply shops and found little gems of possible scrapbooking embellishments and papers or cardstock.

Or, even better, have found various bits that you already have in the house.

The pH tester pen comes into it’s own for the budget scrapper. There have been many a material that I have thought worthy of adhering to my scrapbooking layout, only to whip out my pH pen and watch the colour go from purple (which means it’s not acid) to transparent (which means it is VERY acidic) in a split second! “Blink and you miss it” sort of thing!

“Woah,” I say to myself, “can’t use that then!” Which isn’t strictly true, because if it is a particularly attractive piece of paper or something, then I decide to use it on a greetings card instead - not as much longevity in their lifetime is there?!

An eye opener for me was the item in which I was storing my paper and various other “flat” items. This was an expanding file. It was foolscap size and was brilliant because I could put all my paper in there (12x12 included) separated into one colour for each section. I could pull it out to sit on the desktop for easy access when in use, but I could also squeeze it together to a reasonable width to transport to a crop. By the way, I like the fact that the paper sticks out above the top of the container because it’s much easier to flick through the contents – with a 12x12 paper container you have to keep lifting everything up slightly to view it.

Anyway, I digress…

The storage solution was great apart from one thing……it was made of paper (Manilla), and yes, you’ve guessed it was REALLY acid – I hadn’t even taken the pen from the item when the mark disappeared! It couldn’t have been more acid!

The upshot of this is that I bought two smaller versions (couldn't find one large one for a straight swap) of the desktop expanding file (from Woolworths at £2.99 - 13 pockets each) but this time they are made of plastic! My paper is safe!

My trusty pH pen also showed my mum that all the “swatches” of wallpaper she had collected (for something else initially) that she was giving me for scrapbooking, were mostly too acid to use.

The solution to that was to use a photocopy of the original wallpaper!

And some of the paintings my daughter “paints” (ha ha) at nursery, come home on acid paper and others are ok. Significant because I occasionally use them as backgrounds.

So, if you don’t already own one… go get a pH tester pen, it can be revealing!

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