Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stamping on a Budget - Day 7

Sorry so late today! I've been out all day doing the grocery shopping for the next two weeks. It's makes for quite a busy day! Here's today's installment, and there's actually one more installment before I post your "homework". Tomorrow's post is for any demos that happen to read my blog... don't know if there are any of you, but I'm going to give some tips that may be helpful.

For today we're going to concentrate on ...


Organize your current supplies so you know what you have. - After eliminating and concentrating comes consolidating - putting like things together - and containerizing - giving each group a home. There are many great ideas on the web for organizing your supplies!!

Decide on your stamping style. -Are you an elegant stamper, or do you tend toward cute cards? Are you a colorer or a bold stamper? Do you love new techniques, or would you rather challenge yourself with following a premade sketch? Don’t be afraid to establish your own style rather than trying to be like everyone else. Then give away, throw away or sell supplies that are just taking up space or that frustrate you when you try to use them. Use the money to buy a set or accessory that you just love.

Isn’t it interesting when you see a set and know instantly that it’s you? You can think of 12 cards or projects off the top of your head. It’s perfect. Learn to choose those sets rather than the ones you can only use a stamp or two and then only if you try hard. If you read my blog you'll notice that I love the little Magnolia girls. Another set on my wish list is the quilting set that Papertrey just released. These are all stamps that are on my wish list because I just love them and will use them over and over again.

We stampers are notorious for buying something simply because Stamper Suzy made a cute card with it, even though it really isn’t a set we care for at all. Am I saying you shouldn’t think out of the box? No. But if you only have limited funds to spend, why spend it on “ok” stamp sets rather than your favorites??

Challenge Yourself. - I have a drawer of designer paper, another drawer of cardstock, another pile of textured cardstock, a drawer of ribbons and a box of retired stamps... but what do I grab first? Anything I’ve just bought.

Challenge yourself to make a card with each of your old stamp sets every month or so. If you find that you dread or avoid using one, then it probably should be sold!

Remember to Bless Others - There are some stamp sets that I won’t get rid of, simply because they are great for stamping with children or groups of ladies.  These sets are stained and probably not in the latest style... but they have been used multiple times for VBS, Ladies’ meetings, 4-H, School Projects, etc, making them very worth the storage space!!


Thank you again for your emails and comments. I do read them all and they mean a lot to me! See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stamping on a Budget - Day 6

So far we've talked about the basics that every stamper should have, and we've talked about ways to budget our money. Today we'll explore a different area of budgeting...


Develop a Stamping Purpose Statement. - Why do I stamp? Is it to make cards for others? To participate in challenges or card swaps? To make samples for workshops? To make cards to sell? Your time should be budgeted in relation to the importance of your purpose. If I need the money I make from selling my cards in order to pay the rent, stamping should be a higher priority than needing to complete this week’s color sketch on SCS.

Make an appointment with yourself to stamp. - As you plan out your day / week / month, make an appointment with yourself to stamp in a way that will line up with your purpose. If I’m making cards for special occasions I might only stamp once a month and make all the cards I’ll need for the next month. If I’m determined to keep up with SCS challenges or a blog, I might need to stamp daily. A demo may schedule time to stamp samples once a week, or she may choose to get together with sister demos in the area once a month to exchange cards. A young mother may be lucky to stamp once a month at a Stamp a Stack, while someone in another season of life may have hours everyday to devote to their craft. Take stock of your life and schedule a stamping sanity break where it fits! :)

Be sure to schedule time for cleanup! - This is one of my downfalls (as I sit next to an overflowing desk.) It’s much easier to carve out a few minutes to stamp if your area is clean and organized!

After you’ve made the cards - make time to write in them and SEND them out. If we cardmakers don’t keep Snail Mail alive, we will soon be overtaken with email and nothing else!! Another idea is to take the cards to a local nursing home or church to be used to bless others. Dont be selfish and hoard your supplies!!

Rethink your blogging, yahoogroups and message boards - If there is one thing that can overtake my day it is this. I can easily spend all morning online and get nothing else done. No laundry, no dishes, no meals, no vacuuming, no dusting... And that didn't even include time to actually stamp! Try scheduling "computer time" - just as you would for your children. Go through your blog list and pick out those that match your philosophy and stamping style. Pare down your groups and message boards, making sure that they fit into your overall purpose. If your family sees that they are more important than your computer friends and stamping time, they will be much more understanding of your hobby!

So on that note, I'm off to pick up my house, make menus and a shopping list for next week and plan my day. I have one more day of budgeting tips for you tomorrow, and then some homework. :) Be sure to stop back!

P.S. Thank you for all the lovely emails and comments about these posts. If I can encourage just one person they will have been worthwhile!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stamping on a Budget - Day 5

Our topic for today is BUDGETING OUR MONEY.

Here are some tips...

Determine a monthly or quarterly spending amount. - Contrary to popular belief, this amount is not determined by how much you can hide from your husband!!

What can you spend that will not harm your family budget? For some people this may be $100 a month, for others it may be $30 a quarter. At my house that amount varies. Some months I might have $30 - some months its only $5. For me, that money has to cover all my fun for the month - cross stitch, quilting, stamping, clothes, haircuts, postage, etc. I usually only get extra to spend if my husband gets a bonus or if I sell something on EBay, so I have to be super careful with my purchases, and I keep a running list of wishes for birthday and Christmas gift ideas. (... and Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day and Groundhog’s day..... You get the picture! :)

Keep a list. - Write down the things that you are interested in. Don’t buy them the first time you see them. For example, if you are at a stamping workshop or browsing some blogs and you see the coolest thing in the world - write it down. Allow yourself a “deprogramming” time before you buy it. You may see something else tomorrow that you like better, or in 2 or 3 days you may know that it is something you really would like and use.

Buy needs before wants. - If I am out of adhesive, buying all the stamps in the new catalog will do me no good! Usually what happens is we’ll pick out a new stamp set or a cool gadget that our demo just showed us with the money we actually have available, then when we remember we actually need things like envelopes or adhesive, we feel justified in putting the purchase on the credit card.

Don’t be pressured by sales. - If you’re like me, the word SALE is a word that means I must buy it NOW - even if I really don’t have the money and even if Im not sure I’ll use it more than once or twice.

Remember, there will be other sales, and if it’s limited edition, chances are it will show up on Ebay if you miss it this time. Of course, if it’s something that’s been on your list and you have the money... by all means, go for it!!

Buy with Cash - If you don’t have the money available to spend, don’t spend it. Even if the money is coming and will be in your account by the end of the month, don’t buy it until you actually have the money. If you do, you’ll always be paying on old things, when there are new things that you really want or need. Trust me. I speak from experience. There is great satisfaction in paying cash for your pleasure!!

Plan your spending - If you know that you'll be placing a large order in October to get supplies for Christmas cards, or that you want to place an order during one of the online sales on Black Friday, you'll need to plan ahead to fit it into your budget. This may mean that you'll have to postpone getting something you've been wishing for or that you may need to sell some of your unused or retired sets and supplies to come up with extra money.

Buy groups when you can - Be sure your supplies coordinate so you can use them. Both Stampin Up and Papertrey Ink carry cardstock with matching ink, designer paper and ribbons. Simply purchase color groups as you can, coordinating them as you go.

Another example of the "group" theory would be to buy a circle punch and scalloped circle punch at the same time, or a hole punch and brads. Its frustrating to start to put together a project and to be missing one supply item. Its like putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle that's missing one piece.

Be yourself - Don’t measure yourself against the other stampers that you see around you. Set your sights on making the nicest cards you can with the supplies you have!

On that same note... if you are on a tight budget, spending time on SplitCoastStampers or visiting a lot of blogs may be counterproductive. Realize that many of these ladies do not buy all the new stamps and supplies that you see. They are given to them to publicize a certain company... and it works, doesnt it!! The - “I want it all, and I want it now” - philosophy is not really very healthy. By spending our time wishing for all the new things that we see, we rob ourselves of the pleasure of enjoying yesterday’s blessings!

USE what you have! (I think I've heard this somewhere.... hmmmm....) We have wonderful supplies around us, but we love to hoard them. We seldom use them up before we see something new that wed like to play with, and then our stash just sits because its no longer the lastest and greatest.

If your demo or a blog personality has made something with supplies you just “have to have” - focus on the sketch or technique to try to recreate it with things you have on hand. Could I use a scallop scissor instead of this punch? Could I punch my holes the old-fashioned way if I cant afford a CropADile right now? Is there another color scheme that would work? Another stamp set?? What if I - GASP - used last year’s designer paper instead of the new design? If you really want that particular card, but can't afford the supplies, then book a workshop, go to a class or ask if you can buy it! :)

Participate in image swaps - Wanting more stamp sets than your budget allows? Check out the Wish RAK image swap on SplitCoastStampers!! You can list 3 wishes of sets you would like stamped images from. You earn more wishes by granting wishes yourself. Very, very fun!! :)

OK... enough for today. Come back tomorrow when we'll talk about budgeting our time. I know this is an area that is a constant struggle for me. Maybe it is for you, too?? See you then!


It's hot and muggy here today, so I decided to play along with the Papertake Challenge to cool myself off. Besides, I joined a Christmas card swap and I need to get started!! :) I colored Sledding Tilda with Prismas and OMS and added lots of Stickles. You *need* Stickles - in case you're wondering. I'm just about ready to get rid of my glitter. Stickles stay were you put them... Glitter goes everywhere!!!

I'll be back in a few minutes with the next installment of the Stamping on a Budget feature - be sure to stop back!! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stamping on a Budget - Day 4

As stampers, we have a lot of fun "toys", but there is always something new that would be great to add to our collection.  Copic markers are all the rage on the blogs, along with Cuttlebugged backgrounds and Nestabilities.  There is patterned paper galore and there are wonderful ribbons.  There are Bind-It-Alls and Twinkling H20's.  Not to mention that TAC just released a new catalog, Stampin' Up's new catty comes out in a few weeks, and there are at least 50 other companies with cute stamps constantly bombarding us.  How do we stamp on a budget??

Here is a quote that I have been trying to internalize...  "Happiness is in wanting what you have, not in having what you want."

Look at the supplies that you have gathered.  Do they make you smile??  Are there things in your drawers, totes, rooms, etc., that you just had to have but have never used??  Here are two words that will help those of us who need to stay on a budget.  Eliminate and Concentrate.  (Yes, I did borrow those from Messies Anonymous!!)

Eliminate - What kind of a stamper are you?  Do you need 17 birthday greetings if you only use two of them?  What is the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of them?  Do you have twelve flower sets, but always reach for a certain one?  Has your taste changed over time?  Do you have 25 background stamps sitting in order on your shelf, but always use patterned paper instead?  Are you always looking for a certain size saying, but don't have any that size?

Sit down and take inventory of your stamping style.  Look at your cards.  Which ones do you just love?  What have you seen on the blogs that you like and that would be doable for you?  Now look through your supplies.  Are there things you could sell to get some of the product for the looks that you admire?  Or are there things you could *use* - GASP - before buying something else??

Concentrate - Think about it.  If your entire stamping room was burned up in a fire, what would you replace or buy new?  What things would you have to have??  Concentrate on setting aside money for those things, then USE them when you have them!!


Come back tomorrow for ideas on Budgeting our Money... :) & I hope to even have a card for you then as well! :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stamping on a Budget - Day 3

Found some more storage space??  Let's talk today about the...


The file box stamper has a little more room available.  There are a few things that I would suggest that will multiply your stamping options...

1.  A good 12" paper trimmer.

2.  8 1/2" x 11" packs of cardstock - both neutrals and colored.  I use this smaller size often because it is easy to store and because a normal invitation size card uses a 1/2 sheet of cardstock for a base.  I also use textured cardstock which comes in 12x12 sheets, as well as a lot of patterned designer paper.  A nice 12x12 plastic craftkeeper box solves the storage problem nicely!!

3.  Envelopes

4.  Adhesive - monoadhesive, glue stick, double stick tape...  Everyone has their favorite!

5.  Dimensionals or foam mounting tape

6.  A good pair of Craft and Rubber scissors - imperative for cutting out stamps!

7.  A roll of neutral ribbon of your choice - white or ivory is a good choice!

8.  Gold Brads

9.  A set of punches that would enhance your stamps - perhaps a circle and scalloped circle set?

10.  Stamping sponges to add color to the edges of your work

11.  A paper piercer

12.  A pack of designer paper in your favorite colors.

After this... the sky is the limit!!  Most of us can't stop with just the basics.  We enter the world of blogs and catalogs, websites and stamping stores and see more and more new things that we'd love to try.  How do we stay on a budget??  Come back tomorrow for more!!! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Whiff of Joy Sketch Challenge

Look! I made a card!! :) I thought I'd try my hand at the sketch challenge that Katharina has on her blog to celebrate her new stamp line - Whiff of Joy. I used this cute little Hanglar & Stanglar boy with his red truck and colored him with Prismacolors and OMS. The patterned paper is from a K & Co mat stack that I picked up a month or so ago, and the ribbon was a find from the $1 spot at Target. What a fun sketch! OK... back to packing now!! :)

Stamping on a Budget - Day 2


The sweater box stamper is usually a newer stamper who wants to start acquiring the basic supplies necessary to stamp, without breaking their budget.  They would really like to try it out before they really take the plunge.  Here are a few things you'll want to be sure are in your box...

A stamp set - Choose an all purpose type stamp set with greetings that you will enjoy using for many different occasions.

Ink - Look at the stamp set you chose.  Is it a coloring book type set?  One that you will want to color inside the lines?  Or is it mostly a solid image?  If it is a coloring book image, you'll need a black ink pad.  My favorite black ink is Palette Noir.  I find that it stamps cleanly, dries quickly, doesn't smear and works with most coloring applications.  Staz-On is another good option, but I'm not fond of the smell.

If the stamps you've chosen are mostly solid images, you'll need colored ink or waterbase markers.  Markers are less expensive and work well for occasional stamping.  It's somewhat frustrating, however, to have to use a marker if you're mass producing.  If you choose colored ink you will need to choose between ink spots (1" cubes of color) or full size pads.  I have personally gotten rid of all of my full size pads, except black and brown, and purchased a number of colored ink spots from different companies.  They fit perfectly in my drawer and work well for me, as most of my stamping is the colorbook style.  I'm happy to put up with the slight inconvenience of the size in exchange for more room and lower cost, however, if you do a lot of stamping with solid stamps, this might not work for you.

Notecards with Envelopes - Many companies offer precut notecards with envelopes in different sizes.  These are a good choice if you don't have much room.  We'll look at other paper choices in later levels.

Coloring Medium - If you have chosen a color book style image, you will also need to have a coloring medium.  Here are some options...

Chalks - soft color applied with a q-tip.  Not much preciseness working with detailed images.

Watercolor Pencils - My favorites are Staedtler and Prismacolor.  These are more precise.  They are applied dry, then blended with a watercolor brush or blender pen.

Watercolor Crayons - I think you either love or hate these.  Not as precise as watercolor pencils, but usually have a richer color.  Not my favorite... :)

Reinkers - As you acquire reinkers for your colored inkpads you can watercolor with a few drops of the ink from the bottles.  This is a vibrant form of watercolor.  Very striking.

Markers - Both waterbased (Tombow or SU) or alchohol based (Copic).  Copics are better than waterbased markers for detailed images.

Colored Pencils - This is my favorite form of coloring at present.  I use artist quality colored pencils (Prismacolor) and blend the color using Odorless Mineral Spirits and blending stumps from the art section of a craft store.  This is great for open or detailed images and is very precise.

Finally, be sure to add a cleaning mat and some stamp cleaner to your box, in addition to your adhesive and scissors, of course. Keeping your stamps clean and conditioned will extend their life and maintain their stampability.

Questions so far??  If you need product suggestions or have comments or questions as we go, feel free to email me!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stamping on a Budget

Over the next couple weeks - since my stamping time is v-e-r-y limited right now - I'd like to share some ideas about Stamping on a Budget.  This will be a continuing post, so be sure to come back each day for the next installment if it's something that interests you.   :)

So, without further ado, let's get started...


Where do I start???

Before we get into tips on budgeting we need to cover the some of the basics.  What kind of a stamper am I?  How much storage space do I have?  What are the basic supplies that I need?

Here are a few questions to help you as you choose stamps and supplies to add to your collection...

1.  What do I use - or plan to use - my stamps for?  

Making cards?  Stamping on fabric?  Decorating my home?  Scrapbooking?  

2.  Are there certain occasions that I will stamp for more than others?

Will I be making notecards to write to friends or do I always use email?
Will I be sending birthday cards or do I send them online?
Would I make or buy a wedding card?

3.  How much room do I have to store my collection?

No matter how much you love them, stamps are just another "thing" to collect if you do not use them.  Let's pretend that you have a certain space available to store your stamping supplies and see what are the most helpful and useful ways to spend your stamping dollars.


The shoebox stamper doesn't have much time or storage space.  Usually they are busy people who would love to make cards and projects, but can't spare a lot of time and don't want to buy something that they may not use.

There are a few options for the shoebox stamper...

1.  Attend a stamping class.  Classes are wonderful ways to do a complete project in a structured amount of time.  Your supplies are provided, you have minimal distractions and you go home with completed projects or enough cards for a month.

Don't have a teacher in your area?  Feel free to contact me with your wishes and I'll send you a class by mail! :)

2.  Buy a kit.  I offer card kits every month or so (edited 2011... hmmm - would this help anyone?  I could start it up again!),Taylored Expressions offers a kit each month, Stampin Up has Simply Sent card kits.  Kits offer you another opportunity to sit down and make a number of cards or finish a project in one sitting.  You will need to carve out a little time, of course!! :)  Prices can vary from $10 to $60.

3.  Basics for the Shoebox Stamper?  Adhesive - permanent double sided tape works well - and a scissors, to start with.  Other supplies will vary - depending on which kit you choose!

Stop by tomorrow when we'll talk about the SweaterBox Stamper!! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And *more* Magnolia Blog Candy!!

Here's another Magnolia blog candy that I'm sure you'll want to enter... plus you'll help Donalda reach 10,000 hits on her blog!! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Animals Galore!

I finally had a minute to sit down and stamp. It was fun!! Time is at a premium at my house right now because.... we're buying a house! Praise the Lord! It's a beautiful house - just perfect for our needs, and it's a foreclosure, so it's in our price range. It's truly a miracle from the Lord. We're just waiting for the financing to go through - but we're planning on closing within a week or two. Then comes painting and cleaning and recarpeting and reroofing, so if you don't see me very often for the next 6 weeks or so, you know where I am!!

I have a card and an ATC for you today. The first is for the CCT challenge - Only Animals... I used that adorable little dog from TAC that was a stamp of the month awhile ago and then made a card inspired by Mish's here. The papers are TAC's Juliette line. It's definitely one of my favorites!!

My ATC for this weeks Tilda & Friends challenge also needed to use an animal, so I used Tilda's cat sunning herself by the fence.

I'll be popping in and out as I can over the next few weeks - so you might want to put me in your Google Reader to help you know when I post. As soon as I get moved in and somewhat unpacked, I have a big blog candy planned. Don't miss it!! :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

More Blog Candy

Wow!  This is a fun blog candy! :)  Lots and lots of Hanglar & Stanglar stamped images. What fun that would be!!  Stop over at Maya's blog and have a look!  I'm hoping to have a card or two to show you a little later, so be sure to stop back tonight if I'm not on your Google Reader!! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Magnolia Blog Candy...

Be sure to check out this link to see Andrea's blog candy.  Too cute!!  Sorry no pictures lately.  I've been too busy to sit down and stamp.  Hopefully I'll have a little time this weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stamp Sale Updated!

Don't forget to check out the stamp sale.  I've updated it with what is left.  :)


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Lavendar & Old Lace

The challenge for last week at the Tilda & Friends ATC challenge was to use the theme Lavendar and Old Lace on your ATC. I made the ATC with Tilda and Lilacs and then decided to turn the ATC into a card. I love the effect the finished card has. It's even prettier in real life. And I love the verse stamp. I know I use it all the time. It must be because I need to be reminded. I love the rest of the verse.... "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God concerning you." It's not just God's will that we give thanks. It's God's will that we give thanks for this - whatever it may be that you're struggling through or rejoicing over. I'm so thankful for the gift of salvation that makes it possible to give thanks no matter what the circumstances. And I'm thankful for each of you who stop by my blog!! You are an encouragement to me!!
Here's the ATC by itself...
Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bloom Where You are Planted

At the beginning of the year, I chose a word - "satisfied".  My goal was to learn to be satisfied right where I was.  I love the little saying - "Bloom Where you are Planted"or, as  Dr. Ollila from Northland always said - "Be where you are".  Don't always be looking back at better days, or always be wishing you were somewhere else.  Just be.  This house, this family, this husband, this church, these children, this job - this is where you're supposed to be right now.  As Oswald Chambers said, "God can change your circumstances in two seconds if He chooses."  And He does.  Ask me.  I've seen it happen today in an incredible way, but I can't share it until all the details are finalized.   Isn't that mean!! :) 

Today's card is a little Hanglar and Stanglar girl and fits the OCCC Sketch Challenge.  I pulled out my sewing machine, but I ran out of thread, so rather than rethread it, I just left my cardstock paper-pierced. :)  She's colored with Prismacolors and OMS - and has Stickles sparkles, of course!! :)

Be sure to check out my rummage sale on the post below.  The prices are pretty good, I think! 

Thanks for stopping by!! 

Stamp Sale!!

Ok, gals!  Here's what's for sale.  First come, first serve.  I'll take paypal or check, but I may hold your item to be sure the check clears.  Shipping is $4.75 if I can fit it in a Priority Envelope or $9 to ship a box.  If you'd rather I ship first class, let me know.  Then it would be actual shipping.

Hopefully you can click on the pictures to get a better view.  All of the stamps are in good, used condition.  There may be some staining of the rubber, but they should stamp fine.  I've tried to price the stamps pretty reasonably, but if they're going for a lot on EBay, they'll be a little more here.  Let me know if you have questions!

Assorted - $1 each (Baby set gone)

Assorted Stamps (triangle shadow stamp,"L", invitation) - $1/each

Little Girl Set with butterflies - $3

Soft as a Feather - $20

Spring Bouquet - $6

TAC Happy Birthday / You made my Day
Snowman  / Just thought you might need a little pick me up

3 Things that make me Happy / Thank You 
$1 each

Scripture Stamps $1/ea  "This is the day" - sold

Stamp of the Month - June - missing 2 stamps $5

Creative Memories Square punches $5 Sold
Creative Memories Fancy Square punches $5

Ladybug stamp - $0.75

TAC RagDolls - $3.00

Word Stamps - $2.00 each

Word Stamps - $1.00 ea

Pink Cat Studio Stamps - $5.00

CC Designs Queenie  - new - minus words - $4.00

CC Designs Jack - $4.00 - new - minus words 

CC Designs Stripes Background - $3.00

Neverending Joy - $6

TAC sentiments - $4

CC Designs Butterflies - $5

Stampin Up sentiments - $1.50 each

Heart Background - $4

That's it for now!  Click on my profile and you can email me from there.  You may want to describe the stamps if you're getting single ones. :)

Check back in a little bit for today's card.  Thanks!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Blog Candy!

Almost forgot... Check out Claudia's wonderful, wonderful blog - Pretty Pressings for some inspiration and a chance at some fabulous blog candy!! :)


Here are a couple of cards I made a week or so ago with some Happy Hoppers that my SIL gave me.  I haven't stamped at all this week!  We've been busy house hunting, visiting with family and praying over a possible business opportunity that the Lord may bless our family with.  Today I'm sorting through my stamps and supplies again... time to bless others with stamps I'm not using as much!!  I have CC Designs, Stampin Up (sets, individuals and ink pads), and TAC stamps available.  Let me know if you'd like a list!! :)  Prices are very, very good... Like a rummage sale.  

Off to do some more decluttering!