Memory Keeping Q&A | Product Questions

I'd like to start off the Memory Keeping Q&A series with a look at questions related to specific products. Thanks again for asking!


WENDY | I’d love to see more detailed pictures of what’s on your desk at the moment (ex. products you reach for most often and or your most recent go to favourites).

AE | Here's a look at what my desk looked like last week. When I'm in the middle of a bunch of projects I tend to leave myself just a little "working space" with the rest of the area taken over by product. It's a little bit cleaner today, but some of the same things are still there. I've got a page set up here on my site called "Ali Recommends" - it can be found under the About Ali tab along the top. That page lists my basic supplies - the ones I use consistently - like my paper trimmer, scissors, adhesive, etc.

Lately I've been doing a bunch of paper layouts again (hoping to share soon) and have been buying new supplies from Two Peas and

From the photo above here's a few things I've been using and loving:

  1. Maya Road Kraft Shipping Tags | I pretty much just love tags. Always have.

  2. Avery Manila Shipping Tags | A couple of these came in my Studio Calico kit last month (I'm a subscriber) but I also usually just buy them at an office supply store.

  3. Life Stuff | Obviously this is not a product you can go out and buy but it's what I really love to incorporate into my pages. Project Life has been great for this but I've also continued to use papers, etc in my other layouts. Check your kids backpack, their bedroom, grab your shopping list or your to-do list and use those sorts of things to tell your story.

  4. Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher | Still use it all the time.

  5. Tim Holtz Scissors | I just used these the other day to cut some metal-rimmed circle tags in half. Awesome scissors.

Some other new things I've ordered recently that I'm excited to use include:

  1. Great little tags from Bananafish Studio (looks like she has a shop update coming on the 6th). Most of the ones I grabbed are sold out - I especially liked the Ledger Cards With Faux Label.

  2. We Are Memory Keepers Sew Easy Stitch Piercer Tool with this attachment | I haven't tried it yet but it looks totally cool and it's on my desk just waiting for some action.

  3. Hero Arts Word Pops Cling Stamps | Just looked cool.

  4. After chatting with Ronda about these cool templates/stencils (not digital) from Crafter's Workshop I knew they'd be something I'd like to check out. Definitely excited about this clock and these circles. Fun video available here with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer demoing these stencils (she's inspiring).


ALICIA | I bought the See and Stamp Jumbo upper and lowercase set because I really like the font and how you use them in your LOs. But I realise they seem pretty big and in some of your LOs they dont seem so big at all. Did you use the See and Stamp Upper and Lower case (not the jumbo ones?) Perhaps I can let my 2 sons play and stamp all they want with the jumbo ones LoL!

AE | I didn't even know there was a jumbo set! I think I need those now too. The ones I use currently are the See and Stamp Uppercase Alphabet Stamps and Educational Insights See and Stamp Transparent Stamps - Lowercase. The uppercase are blue and the lower are red. Love those stamps.


PIEK | Do you ever use your Silhouette in your projects?

AE | I don't - yet. I've actually got a new one coming my way and I'm excited to try it out. I got one when they first came out and at that time there were extra steps involved to make them compatible with Mac computers. Now that they've worked that all out I'm excited to test it out. I'd like to investigate using my word art and play around with that a bunch more. Look for a giveaway coming soon.


SAMANTHA | I love when you use your typewriter for layouts and am interested in getting one. Does yours work well, does it ever need repairs, and do you have to replace your ribbon often?

AE | I love my typewriter. If I remember correctly I found this one at an estate sale. It works great, has not needed any repairs and I've needed to replace the ribbon once. I think it's a really fun tool to have as part of my team of tools. Mine has had a ton of little fingers messing around with it and it's still going strong.

SHELIA | I’ve been meaning to ask about the typwriter too. My mom has a suitcase style 1960s typewriter that she has kept for sentimental reasons and is just sitting in her basement. You’ve inspired me to see if I can store/use it but am wondering where you get ribbon these days. Do you have a source you’d recommend?

CHRISTINE | I scored an old typewriter–where do you get ribbon, or how do you ink yours? This one has a ribbon, but it is dry, and when I tried stamp ink. it didn’t work. Thanks!

AE | I think when I first went looking for ribbon I just googled Smith Corona Typewriter Ribbon. I ended up ordering through and they were fine. Also, just wanted to mention that the one I have was originally in a suitcase too - I just took it out so I could display it in my office (which is how things actually get used around here too).


TINA LEE | How do you like your Brother sewing machine? You mentioned ordering one like Mary Ann Moss’ from Dispatch from LA.

AE | I'm loving that machine - it was a great recommendation from Mary Ann. It's simple and easy to use and goes through paper, photos and other layers just fine. In the past I'd been using my Mom's Singer from the 1970's - that worked just fine too (it's just taking a little break). After signing up for and watching Mary Ann's videos in her Remains of the Day class (totally recommended) I was sold on the machine and how she uses it for "gorilla sewing" - lots of free-form lines, circles, etc. Love that look.


SUSAN | Wondering what pens you use to write on photos and if they are archival safe—or if that matters anymore??

AE | Most of the time I use archival pens. American Crafts Precision Pens (especially in .03) have long been a favorite. In my Project Life album I tend to grab whatever pen is closest to my album - that's usually a Uni-Ball Vision Elite or a Sharpie. I also just recieved and am testing out some of the Copic Multiliner pens.

This post is part of a 2011 Memory Keeping Q&A series. Additional posts in this series will be listed below as they are posted. Past Q&A posts are available via the Category Archives here.

Products | Photos | Inspiration | Motivation & Time

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43 thoughts

  1. Tracey O says…

    Hi Ali,
    I took your recommendation for FJA Products to purchase a ribbon for an Underwood Champion typewriter I purchased at an estate sale. I have had the typewriter for almost a year and not been able to utilize it, so I was so happy to read your post! Thank you for sharing the information and FJA Products was so helpful over the phone. Looking forward to creating with the typewriter. THANKS!

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  2. Danelle says…

    Enjoyed reading this post Ali. I find a busy desk to be very inspiring...:)

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  5. Deirdre says…

    It never occurred to me when I first read this post, as I'm a hybrid scrapper and rarely go looking for digi products, but none of your products here or under Ali Recommends are digi products. Thanks to the quarterly sale, and Katie's Power Scrapping class, I am looking for digi basics to do more digi scrapping. I don't like kits---too much stuff. I'd love to know the digi cardstock you use over and over and the basics you'd recommend for a newbie. Love your templates and word art. Thanks!

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