Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting Started

Hi everyone,

Today I'd like to talk about the basics you must have to get started with your craft. Your craft might be scrapbooking, cards, quilling, painting or sewing - anything you like. This applies to all (or most) crafts.

1. Scissors.

You'd be surprised by how many people don't have a sharp pair of scissors handy when they are crafting. IMHO, you need about three pairs - a large pair of 'shears' for cutting cardboard and cloth, a medium pair for most of your work, and a small pair of 'pocket scissors' for delicate work. Dull scissors and safety scissors won't work, neither will nail clippers. My set of 5 pairs cost me $12.50 (two were ruined by a builder trying to open the silicone to fix my sink and one pair by the plumber, so cheap scissors are a good idea) and are available from your local El Cheapo store. A good ideas (although not a necessity) are scissors that cut a pattern into the paper. They are available from craft stores for about $3-$4 a pair. Note - patterned scissors do not work on cloth, they'll shred the fabric.

2. Stanley Knife

A good sharp stanley knife is important for those fiddly little bibs and bobs that scissors won't work on. I bought a packet of 4 stanley knives in various sizes for $2 from my local El Cheapo. Disposable ones are a good idea as they can be thrown out instead of taking the time and expense to sharpen them.
If you look carefully at the blade you will notice some grooves or lines on it. This means it is disposable. Once the point is blunt, you are able to snap it off and you are left with a fresh, sharp blade.

3. Cutting board

A Craft Board is hugely important to any crafter. They are made out of thick, hard plastic, are flexible and most importantly, you can never cut through one. This protects your craft table from cuts, burns, glue, paint, and various other craft-related hazards. They come in various sized, from approx 30cms up to 1 metre.

4. Glue, Double-Sided Tape, and regular Sticky Tape

You're going to need glue, and lots of it. I prefer a clear craft glue in a bottle as I can squeeze it out as required. It's also easier to control how much you use. Double-sided tape is great for making objects 'stand up' on your craft to give it a bit more of a 3D effect. Sticky tape is good for pretty much everything.

5. Tweezers

Not many people think that tweezers are important in a craft kit. I think they're one of the most important parts of a craft kit. They're perfect for those fiddly little jobs such as beading where your fingers are just a little too large (or when you manage to give yourself splinters). If you can't get your hands on craft tweezers normal ones will do.


This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Eventually, you're going to cut yourself, it's going to hurt, and bleed, and you'll kick yourself for not having bandaids.

I personally don't care what kind you get although I really like the skull ones!

So there you go, you're off to starting a craft kit. In my next post I'll cover some other things you should have in your craft kit (although you don't have to, but they're good!) and as always:

Happy Crafting!

Ideas? Email me:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where did you buy that?

Hi, and welcome to the second installment of Simmi's Craft Cave. Yes, I know the banner looks odd, I'm still trying to figure out how to fix it. Any advice would be appreciated.

This post will be all about where to find different supplies. It seems daunting thinking about all the different things you'll need, but remember - if you buy smart, you won't pay through the nose. Now, my favourite supplies centre is RIOT! Art and Craft - they have pretty much everything you can imagine. And then some.
RIOT! in Burwood, Australia
RIOT! is my favourite haunt, but there are some things you can get so much cheaper elsewhere. For example, I buy my stanley knives from my local thrift store. This might be a Hot Dollar, Red Dollar, Top Bargain, etc - regardless of what it's called, you can get a good bargain there if you know what you're looking for.

The best rule of thumb for craft supplies is if you're not sure, buy it anyway. One day you'll need it and you'll kick yourself if you don't have it. Also, you can never have to many supplies- and if you do get a whole lot of odds and ends floating around you can create something to use them up.

Ebay is a good idea. Ebay allows you to buy items at low cost and you have access to a variety of things you can't get in your local shops. Just remember that there is normally a delivery cost associated with Ebay items so it can in fact end up costing you a lot more than anticipated.

Also, a great place for supplies can be Kmart, Target, Big W, Spotlight, and other larger variety stores. Obviously, you're not going to buy and chop up a large shirt for craft supplies - no. But think of the wrapping paper, ribbons, pens, pencils, textas, paper, paint, glue, cloth, sequins and so many other things! Oh, the possibilities!

Last, but not least, one of my favourite haunts is Bunnings. Why? I'm not sure yet. I think it has something to do with the massive amount of money you can spend there and still not have anything useful. I've bought everything from paint to frames to sandpaper to christmas presents.

Bunnings in Ashfield, Australia

Bunnings is and always will be my source of the unexpected. I've found basic frames for many things, such as a tissue box and flower-shaped mirror. The sheer amount of possibilities will send you dizzy with delight. Warning: I do not recommend visiting Bunnings until after you've paid all your bills and your mortgage/rent for the month.

So there you are - my top sources for craft supplies. Note that these are only some ideas, to realise your full craft potential you need to keep your eyes open at all times and view everything as a possible craft item. Over the next few days I'd like you to have a search and write what you found in the comments - the best find/s will be noted for the world to see!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It begins!

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog. I've decided it's time to share my.... 'expertise' *cough* in all things craft.

I'll try to post new ideas and items about three times a week at this stage. If you need to contact me, feel free to email me at - this means your ideas, your questions, and if you see something you like on this Blog I may be able to recreate it for you.

I've been working on a few different things, so you'll get a variety - from cards to picture frames, from paper to beading to quilling.

Apart from that, I really hope you enjoy!