We all have things that we go back to time and time again. Be it our item on a menu at our favorite restaurant, a song that perks us up, or even a TV show or movie that we pop on when we can't find anything else to watch. Those favorites often translate over to our artsy fartsy crafty side, too, and I'm no different. So let me share a few of those items with you here. I might expand on these later with some full on reviews, but for now, here's a list of my favorite crafty things.
Online bead shop - Fire Mountain Gems. I've been ordering from FMG for close to two decades. Their selection is amazing, and, if you need a lot of items, their quantity pricing helps keep your total down. FMG also hosts annual jewelry contests, with gift certificates as prizes!
Craft store - I lived in small towns in Kentucky for most of my life, and with Covid, it was hard to explore small crafts stores when I moved to Virginia last year. Currently, it depends on what I need as to where I go. For jewelry supplies, I hit up Michaels. For yarn and fabric, I run to Joann. With things opening back up, I hope to be able to explore more local yarn and bead stores.
Yarn - I recently discovered Cotton Kings Twirls yarn and am in LOVE with the color transitions in this yarn. I order this yarn online from Hobbii in Denmark.
Beads - If I'm doing peyote stitch or something with beads that need to click together, Delica by Miyuki is my go to choice. They're uniform and come in an amazing variety of colors. If I'm creating something more in the realm of bead embroidery, soutache, or freeform work, then Preciosa seed beads are high on my list.
Crochet hooks - Like most folks, I started out with aluminum hooks when my mom taught me how to crochet. After years of creating and working several jobs at a PC, I tend to suffer from carpal tunnel symdrome. One of the ways I've combatted this is by purchasing ergonomic crochet hooks by Yoker. I was so impressed with them that I bought a set for my mom for her birthday. Complete wrist and hand saver!
Beading thread - For bead embroidery and weaving with seed beads, by choice is Nymo. For the same with crystals or other sharp beads, Fireline. Both threads come in a variety of colors and weights, making it easy to find the perfect thread for your project.
Resin - I've used a few resins now, both two part and UV. Let me tell ya, resin has come a long way since I first started playing with it! Right now, my favorite has been Limino UV resin. I'm still playing with other resins to see if there's something out there that I like more, but I've used Limino resin and dyes and have had success with both.
Local gallery - I'll be honest, this is part self-promotion, but also a big hunk of truth. If you're in the Hampton, Virginia area, stop by Blue Skies Gallery. BSG is a staple of the area, being around for over two decades. With over 5,000 square feet of space, a variety of artists working in an array of media, and offering classes, BSG is amazing. I'm proud of be represented by BSG and hope to see you there if you're in the area!