Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

April 7, 2009

Three Things: Personal Favorites


In going back over some of my past layouts recently I noticed a few product trends that are used over and over again. We all have them – things we stock up on, things we can't seem to make something without. There are certain products I go through phases with (like the scallop punch I keep using recently), but these products don't seem to phase out, just in.

American Crafts Precision Pens : These pens have been my favorite since I first started using them. My pen tip preference is .03. I have branched out a bit and now use some fine-tip Slick Writers (love the red – used in the layout below) in addition to the Precision Pens. They remain top of my list for craft pens.

Tim Holtz Retractable Craft Pick : This is a tool that was recently added to my supplies and I find myself using it all the time for punching holes for the silver mini brads I tend to favor. In the past I used the old metal paper piercer from Making Memories – it's now used on a regular basis to unclog my bottle of Glossy Accents.

American Crafts Thickers : Letter stickers have been a go-to product since I first started scrapbooking in late 2002. I remember loving some vellum letter stickers from Mrs. Grossman's (see the blast from the past layout below), a black font from Sharon Sonneff's Sonnets line, and another one from Liz-something (I can't remember the actual brand name). I used those three over & over again. For the last couple years the letter stickers that I grab most often are Thickers from American Crafts. I especially love these (Subway) and these (Rockabye). They are great for titles and for initials. FYI : Thickers are the "deal of the day" today at Peachy Cheap. A great assortment of different fonts at a really great price. Check them out here

Here's a couple layouts using American Crafts Thickers and Precision Pens/Slick Writers:


From Studio A : Creating Keepsakes January 2009


From Studio A : Creating Keepsakes October 2008

And a classic from March 2003 just for fun (I am pretty sure this was a Becky Higgins sketch – hence the tilted photo – I don't normally tilt much):


What are three things you use over and over?


[ Three Things is a weekly product series : check out the archives here. ]


  • 1.
    HeatherC said…

    I am with you on the Thickers — love them! I also love my Creative Memories tape runner and my Cricut — I love how I can taylor my lettering specifically to my page in size, style and color.

  • 2.
    Lynsey said…

    Precision Pens, AC letter stickers (love Roosevelt and Milan as well as Thickers), and my corner rounders.

  • 3.
    Moira said…

    Yep, it’s all about the Thickers for me. Also love Slickwriters/Sigmo Uniball for white. And foam tape for mounting things with a little dimension. Layouts just don’t seem complete without one of these things on them!

  • 4.
    Katie said…

    Thanks so much for the Peachy Cheap link. That’s a great price on Thickers, even with the high shipping cost. I am in a Thickers frenzy right now…can’t get enough of them.
    My other #1 item is that Making Memories paper piercer. I use it every single time I scrap — and like you, it’s often to unclog my glue bottle!

  • 5.
    Bonnie said…

    Love seeing your “Classic” layout and Simon too(he was so little…sweet).

  • 6.
    alexandra said…

    I’ll have to try the American Crafts Pens – I’m always searching for the right pen – amazing how the pen affects the flow of my writing!
    Love ‘Thickers’ too – will keep my eyes open for ‘subway’ and ‘rockabye’ next time I’m shopping – they’re fun!

  • 7.
    Nikki Love said…

    thanks for the heads-up on the thickers! Just placed my order for them :D

  • 8.
    Wisneski said…

    I need to find the precision pens. And thanks for the “deal of the day”!

  • 9.
    Em said…

    I constantly use a zig millenium pen (in black), bazzill cardstock (black and kraft most often, but also red, various blues, pink and white), and chipboard letters (always a mishmash of various fonts and sizes)

  • 10.
    Karen Kennedy said…

    Hi Ali!
    I just got hooked onto Thickers and I love them! I also love the white signo uniball pen to write directly on pictures and lately I am really enjoying the Sharpie Fine Tip Pen for journaling.
    I love your blast from the past LO with Simon! I can see he has always been a cutie pie!

  • 11.
    Maureen F said…

    Thickers are also one of my FAVORITES, my ATG gun and my corner rounder – (such a little tool that makes a big impact sometimes)

  • 12.
    {vicki} said…

    My three go to’s
    zig millennium pen .05 black
    creative memories cutting system
    alphabet stamps (I use several different sizes and fonts)

  • 13.
    anna said…

    brads, rub ons & ribbon.
    now that i acutally have some letter stickers, {and i also love the thickers}, i want to add those to my list. :)

  • 14.
    mary rogers said…

    since I have gone digital I find myself needed to add to every layout: stitches of some sort, texture brushes and ledger/journaling grids..I find that my layout is not complete until I have added these.
    hope you are well ali : )
    thinking of you!

  • 15.
    mrsgeek said…

    I too love Thickers. I also love the little alphabet stickers from Making Memories along with my QuicKutz.

  • 16.
    Samara Link said…

    Those Thickers are great. And thanks for the tip on the pens. I really struggle with journaling pens and have yet to find any I actually like. I’m going to pick these us this week.

  • 17.
    Amanda N. said…

    My 3 go-to products are:
    -Fiskars Scalloped Border Punch
    -Making Memories Mini Alphas
    I actually have been avoiding Thickers until yesterday because I knew once I started using them, I wouldn’t stop! :)

  • 18.
    Andi M said…

    Two of my 3 go-to products are the same as yours. I use Thickers on nearly every layout, the American Crafts precision pen in size 3, and mini Glue Dots.

  • 19.
    Kim Ket. said…

    Thank you so much for the heads up on the Thickers deal. I just went and purchased 2 grab bags….that’s 8 Thickers! Yippee!

  • 20.
    Shelley said…

    I love my Zig Millenium pens, AC letter stickers and all sorts of rub ons.

  • 21.
    Ginny C. said…

    My 3 favorites right now are:
    Thickers (I love them & can’t get enough)
    Scallop border punch with the apron lace one a close 2nd
    Sassafras Lass papers (I’m into layering embellishments right now & I seem to use to every little bit of the sheet of paper.)

  • 22.
    Noell Hyman said…

    I am so close to you in the things I use all the time. My paper piercer works on almost every layout, and like yours it’s become my glossy accents/diamond glaze tool as well. Maybe I should think about getting the one you showed as an exclusive paper piercer.
    I love Thickers, but I admit they come second to my very favorite…I still love those basic Creative Memories letters with the classic font. They have the perfect two sizes and I use them on almost every layout.
    I also use pens on every layout but I’ve never tried size.03 and I I’ve never found one I’m perfectly happy with. I don’t think I’ve tried that line of AC pens you showed…may have to try that one out, too.
    I love it when you show layouts on the 3 Things day. Thanks for doing it when you can. And yes, that older one looks more like a BH layout than a classic Ali one. =)

  • 23.
    Linn Woodard said…

    I love seeing the progression of your layouts. Sometimes I’m tempted to “redo” my old layouts, but I always stop myself…it’s neat to see growth as an artist. I use the AC pens now, too, and love them. I don’t use letter stickers much, as they’re always running out of the letters I need. Instead I use my letter stamps and inks. Much better for me!

  • 24.
    jenn vb said…

    i love thickers! thanks so much for the link to peachy deals. just placed my order =)

  • 25.
    Noell Hyman said…

    Hey, Ali, I would love to see you do something on all the diff. types of metal pieces you like to use and who makes them. You often use metal that I’ve never seen (although I think you used Tim Holtz’s spinners recently and those have been a favorite of mine for the past year).
    Anyway, I’m always wondering where you find your metal and what it is. Thanks!

  • 26.
    Monique said…

    Mine would be zig millennium pen .03 black, a corner rounder, and bling!!!

  • 27.
    Christine F. said…

    I tend to use die cut letters (Quickutz),3D embellishments – usually simple, and I like to use ink.
    It’s so interesting to see how our styles change through the years!

  • 28.
    Allison M. said…

    A Zig pen, a scallop circle punch, and lately my 2 Martha Stewart butterfly punches.

  • 29.
    Cathy said…

    My 3 favs also include alphabet stickers… I use them on just about every layout! I also seem to be hand journaling a lot, so my gel pen is always on hand. The other one would be patterned paper… I use this a lot more than cardstock… maybe just because I have a bigger pile of it!

  • 30.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Great suggestion :)

  • 31.
    Michele Bailey said…

    The three things I use the most are my paper cutter, glue, and punches. Thanks!
    Michele Bailey

  • 32.
    EmmaJ said…

    My Basic Grey rub-on tool
    My Dot-n-roller (thanks for turning me onto that. I love it!)
    My ZIG double sided .5/1.2 writer in black. It is the best pen I have found for writing on Bazzill’s textured cardstock.

  • 33.
    Kimberly said…

    Thanks for the Peachy Cheap heads up!! I had to run and get mine b4 they were all gone…especially since you mentioned it, I’m sure they’ll sell out in a heart beat! I have never tried Thickers and this is the perfect opportunity to!
    That paper piercer looks awesome. My daughter broke my last one that was on a wooden handle (brand?). She stuck it all the way into the fabric in our kitchen chair and then it snapped off. I’ve missed it dearly :(

  • 34.
    Kimberly said…

    Oh my 3 fave items I’ve been using right now are a
    scallop circle punch (Martha Stewart)
    ribbon/lace (any kind or type)
    flowers (usually Prima)

  • 35.
    Sharon said…

    Look at little Simon! What a cutie!
    patterned paper

  • 36.
    Sam said…

    I have a set of zig millenium pens in various sizes that I always use. I also use stamps and opaque gel pens (on darker paper). Amazingly, I don’t have a paper piercer and I really like the idea of a retractable one. Thank you for sharing!

  • 37.
    Jes said…

    ooh, i too am a huge Thickers fan. i think i use them on practically every layout or mini i do. my other 2 necessities are Zig’s Millenium pens (my fav are the .005 for detailed doodling and .03 for writing/journaling) and my pink paislee vintage pop stamps, which i got in a kit from SIStv last year. oh, and i have to throw in Staz-on ink in charcoal grey, for when i’m using my pink paislee stamps :)

  • 38.
    Stephanie Cunningham said…

    The 3 things I used ALL the time:)
    Zip Dry Glue
    American Crafts Precision pens – LOVE THEM

  • 39.
    Sandi Malloy said…

    I wasn’t aware of thanks for the link. My 3 things are my Signo uni-ball white pen, American Crafts slick writers and my cutter bee scissors.

  • 40.
    Becky P. said…

    I am also a huge fan of precision pens and Thickers (any alphabet stamp or sticker really). The products I seem to use the most are ink for the edges of my pages, patterned paper and Bazzill cardstock, and arrows.
    Love the old LO from 2003…it’s always fun to see how people’s styles and pages evolve over time! :)

  • 41.
    Suz said…

    2 out of 3 are my faves too. I love thickers (though I try to use my cricut more since the thickers just don’t have enough letters in each pack & I’ve invested in that machine) I also love the AC pens. They don’t last all that long but write better than any others. I haven’t seen that other tool you like… I use my little paper piercer & tweezers all the time.

  • 42.
    heather said…

    thickers, scallop borders, zig writer. i can never have enough thickers!!!! i am so addicted!

  • 43.
    Alyson said…

    Zig pens for sure, letter stickers (I haven’t actually tried Thickers, I’ll have to get some) & my ATG tape gun.

  • 44.
    Kirsten H said…

    Thickers, always a thicker girl.
    Love the AC pens too, #3!!
    And page usually isn’t complete without a stickle or a pearl drop.

  • 45.
    Kaylyn B said…

    American Craft pens, Quickutz(well that is more then one thing…lol) and Ancient page Chocolate Ink

  • 46.
    Rachel Smith said…

    Ali, I noticed that you have stopped using the Link Within app. Did you decide that you didn’t like it?

  • 47.
    Rachel Smith said…

    Nevermind, I see that you are still using it. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.

  • 48.
    Colleen said…

    I really want to find those AC pens since one of my favs would be the coloured AC pens I have! 2 others would be my Tim Holtz Design ruler and my Thickers!

  • 49.
    Maegen Jenne said…

    glad to know that even Ali “the Scrapbook Goddess” Edwards has even evolved as a scrapper. It is refreshing to learn that we all evolve as scrap artists. I wish more beginners knew that. I think a lot more people would start and enjoy the journey of finding their niche, their style along the way. It took me about 10 years to find mine, and it is still changing. I have been scrappn’ since 1998. I have come !A LONG WAY! and my sister and mom are just starting. I get tired of hearing them complain “it is just not as good as yours…you are so creative…how did you know to put that there?”. I am going to show them than even the pros started somewhere and have become great though patience and practice.

  • 50.
    Beth Akins said…

    Oh my gosh, I loved those vellum stickers! I still have some and use them from time to time. I made an atc holder for some artist friends and I used those in various colors for the words on the front!

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