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Old 08-11-2006, 12:34 PM   #1  
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Default Stamp Shopping: How do you decide what to buy?

Do you buy what you need vs. what you like? Is there a formula you use to decide (like supplies first, stamps later)? Do you set a $$ limit?

Every year it's the same thing! I stress out over what to get from the new catalog because I like so many things! I really like one of the new Christmas sets but I can technically make Christmas cards out of sets I already have. Do I buy the new set anyway?

Introduce the holiday mini: I'd love a Halloween set but will I make Halloween cards? Maybe.

I "need" a stamp set to make cards for boys, like the pirate one or the sports helmet. Do I want to buy it? Not really but every time I need a boy card I curse myself!

Any ideas?
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:36 PM   #2  
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This is what is so great about the I-RAK; you can get some images of the stamps you actually think you'll use and not have to buy the entire set.

I try not to buy a set unless I KNOW I'll use it a lot. I'm beginning to get more supplies and less stamps when I order.

Wanda
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:39 PM   #3  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buttons2
This is what is so great about the I-RAK; you can get some images of the stamps you actually think you'll use and not have to buy the entire set.

I try not to buy a set unless I KNOW I'll use it a lot. I'm beginning to get more supplies and less stamps when I order.

Wanda

What's the I-RAK? Sounds great!
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:44 PM   #4  
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I buy according to project. What am I going to be working on in the next month or so? That ensures that I'll have what I need for my cards/scrapbooks/tins/etc., and that what I buy will get used.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't sill see something once in a while that I just have to have, even with no immediate use in mind! Typically I let it sit a week. If I still have to have it a week later, and I can afford it after I have my project supplies, I get it.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:53 PM   #5  
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I buy according to project. What am I going to be working on in the next month or so? That ensures that I'll have what I need for my cards/scrapbooks/tins/etc., and that what I buy will get used.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't still see something that I just have to have, even with no immediate use in mind! Typically I let it sit a week. If I still have to have it a week later, and I can afford it after I have my project supplies, I get it.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:53 PM   #6  
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Sorry about the double post. Silly IE.
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:06 PM   #7  
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That's a hard question - I *didn't* have a system when I first discovered stamping about seven years ago. I'm still weeding out the bizarro collection of images (none of which coordinate - why would I buy a single realistic insect, mini kite background, vegetables...) Anyway, I would say it's better to invest in some sayings (or plan to use your computer) and colors. It's amazing what new life you can breathe into images just by changing up colors!! Besides that, I guess I'm mostly limited by my budget. I now plan out my purchases better, based on what will mix and match with what I currently own. Or what I'm lacking. But my collection of floral images continues to grow anyway
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Old 08-11-2006, 01:16 PM   #8  
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I was looking at the TAC catty online and was very impressed by the number of sports and male-themed stamp sets they carry. they had hockey, football, soccer, volleyball etc (no gymnastics, sorry) as well as some hot rods, nascar-type set, bmx, etc. Very different from all the other themes and styles I've seen to date. Just thought I'd mention that, as male-themed cards are the hardest to come up with.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:30 PM   #9  
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I buy what I love...it's as simple as that! I've found that when I buy sets because I was influenced by designs I've seen on this site I end up not using them as often as the sets that wowed me when I first saw them in the catalog. I've resisted Mixed Bouquet for that reason. I didn't care for it when it was introduced, and even though the girls here have done fantastic things with it, it's just not my taste.
As far as "boy" cards go....you'd be surprised what you can do with some of the sets you already have if you look at them a bit differently. I made a card for my 17 year old grandson using the pig from On the Farm and silver embossed candy kiss shapes....Hogs & Kisses!
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:38 PM   #10  
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My formula is a bit of both, buying what I love and what I need in the way of supplies. I try to always have at least 3 sheets of paper in each color on hand at all times. I started by buying one asst. pack of each family, then as I used the colors I bought the full pack of the colors. If I ran low on 3 or more papers at a time, I bought the asst pack again.

I have a budget each month and I make sure that at least 1/3 of that is supplies.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:44 PM   #11  
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Since we started the IRAK forum, I buy mostly paper and supplies. Lots of punches/CS/adhesive/embellishments...
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:45 PM   #12  
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Even as a demo I buy what gets me excited. When I buy what I think will please customers it just doesn't work. Now I limit myself to more greetings sets and finally I like a sympathy set in the new catty - I've been waiting for about 5 years for one I like. Little boys are tougher - I like some of the suggestions here already. I keep resisting the skunk set - but dang it's cute.
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Old 08-11-2006, 02:57 PM   #13  
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I buy what I like of stamps and try to balance it with other supplies, so I don't end up with a bunch of stamps but no CS or PP etc.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:25 PM   #14  
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When the catty first comes out, I make a list of things I want. Then I buy according to the season coming up (I will buy harvest/Halloween this month and next month, and then winter/Christmas. I also plan for birthdays coming up. I buy supplies according to what projects I am working on. This is the easiest method for me.
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:32 PM   #15  
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I make a list of stamps I want
then another list of accessories I want
and yet another list of items needed ......like card stock or inks...that I'm running low on......

Then I have to make the ultimate decision on how much I'm spending......and what stamp set I will use the most..........

then I try to spread out the spending over a period of time......so as not too hard on the budget......and go from there...

When the catty first came out......I got one new set......a few items in the accessories......I kept it under 100.00

now I'm gearing up for another purchase.........maybe this time it will include for Christmas winter cards.........

hope this helps!
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:51 PM   #16  
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I started out by buying everyone that I liked. Not I am a little more conscious about what I buy. I try and only buy ones that I know I will get a lot of use out of. It is hard though. I occasionally buy one here and there that I just love, but never really use.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:09 PM   #17  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by buttons2
This is what is so great about the I-RAK; you can get some images of the stamps you actually think you'll use and not have to buy the entire set.

I try not to buy a set unless I KNOW I'll use it a lot. I'm beginning to get more supplies and less stamps when I order.

Wanda
Can you please tell me what I-RAK is? Thanks in advance! LM
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:18 PM   #18  
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I also tend to buy by project. It is just too frustrating to start a project, and not have something I need, and half to wait until my SU Demostrator has the next Stamp Camp.

When I started I did the same thing as someone else here said, I bought all 4 of the color families assorted papers so I had three of everything. And then I bought full packs as I used up the different colors.

I bought all the markers before I started buying stamp pads, because I find them so versatile.

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Old 08-11-2006, 06:18 PM   #19  
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If you join the RAK group, there is a forum where people "RAK" each other with images that have been requested. Say somebody wants 6 stamped images of the lion from "Wild About You." She posts a request and somebody sends some to her.

Go to the home page and on the left hand side you should fina a link to user groups such as the RAK group. You'll see how to join the group.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:22 PM   #20  
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Someone once said you should have some sort of ratio, such as twice as many accessories as you do stamp sets, or three times as much, or some such number. That way you can do more with what you already have and create new looks.
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:27 PM   #21  
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You won't get far without supplies, lol. If you have 50 different stamp sets but very little in the way of paper and ink, you'll have a hard time.

If you are just starting out, I'd suggest things like purchase assortment packs of paper so you have a good variety to choose from. As you use the colors up you'll figure out which ones you use the most of and then can order by the single pack.

Same thing with inks...try purchasing the spots, maybe. Maybe try ordering by color family in coordination with the assorted paper packs. Or buy the water color crayons...it's less expensive than buying all of the markers or all of the ink pads, and you'll have all the stampin up colors.

As for buying limited use stamps, such as Halloween stamps...I don't tend to because I just don't send Halloween cards, lol. I might think they're adorable, but unless I have an excess of cash, I spend money other ways.

For boy cards, though, I do try to get things that aren't normally my taste, because I DO like to send those. Keep in mind, though, that a lot of images can work as "guy" cards depending on the colors you choose, kwim? A tree stamped in browns is masculine. Or just geometric shapes, maybe. Try stamping a greeting and layering it on a piece of patterned paper that looks "guy-ish."

I suppose I should mention that if you saw my stamp room, you'd realize I can give all this wonderful advice simply because I learned the hard way. I have stuff coming OUT OF MY EARS, lol! That's from a good 10 years of impulse buying....
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:23 AM   #22  
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Ditto what Betsy said. When I first started stamping, all I focused on were stamps. Took me a while to figure out I could do more things with more accessories and supplies. What I love about SU! is that the colors coordinate so beautifully and I don't waste hours trying to match up paper with ink from seven different companies. Now that I finally have paper, ink pads, and markers in all colors, making cards is much more fun.

I'd say this year I have an even balance of stamps and accessories. I'm still missing a few punches and other things in the back of the catalog I never even used to look at. I blame the gallery though, wink, wink. So many things you see and just *have* to have, he he...
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Old 08-12-2006, 04:24 AM   #23  
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I purchased alot of stuff in the begginning that I can't believe I bought.

Since then I have gotten to know my style and buy what I know I will use.

I really don't like to color (can you imagine that) so I tend to buy solid stamps or two step stamping (my all time favorite kind of sets).

I am also very big on supplies. I bought all the colors of cs and inks early on. I don't feel like I can really play if I don't have the supplies that I need to create.

This past year I focused on embellishments and background stamps. I am purchasing things that will go with my existing collection stamps.

I take into consideration if a stamp has longtivity to it. Will it stand the test of time. For example, I have the retired coast to coast stamp set for stampin up. It will stand the test of time and will never go out of style.

I tend to mull over what sets to buy for quite some time. I often will wait to see what new sets from SU seem to be more versitle and fit my personal style before I purchase them. I try not to impluse buy if I can help it.
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:57 AM   #24  
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I'm a paper slut so I go overboard on paper - just ordered all the new colors.
I tend to go in stages - at the moment I like the retro (50's) look, so I am buying stamps that have that feel. At one point I was into florals, another was holiday.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:58 AM   #25  
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Not long ago, someone posted the best advice when it comes to choosing a stamp set. Go to the gallery and view the cards there before purchasing. If I think I may want a particular set, I go there first to see what cards other people have created. Since I case alot of my cards, I try not to buy a set unless there are several in the gallery I want to duplicate! I will even sit at the computer with a catalog in hand and view the gallery for sets that don't necessarily catch my eye but then when I see the cards, I HAVE to have it.

I place a SU order once a month and I will usually order 1 stamp set (ok, so usually I HAVE to have more than 1) and some kind of accessories like punches or CS. (And by the way, I do not consider glues or tapes as an accessory because you have to have them.) So I guess my buying habit is 50/50 stamps to accessories.
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:11 AM   #26  
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I have a different formula NOW then when I first started stamping, and also when I was a demo --

Now that I am just a customer, and I HAVE all the ink pads, all the colors of cardstock, all the accessories that I need to do just about anything, I concentrate on stamp sets.

When I consider a stamp set I now figure - is it similar to one I already have? Is it something I can use for more than one project? Do I love it, love it, or do I just like it a little? Is it the whole set I like or just one stamp that I can find elsewhere that is similar?

LIke the fairy nice set last year. I could kick myself for not getting it but I already had princessish and girly stamps that I figured I could make do with. I would only be using for my DD's cards or scrapbook pages and figured I had enough to make do with those -- now in retrospect of course since I have seen things in the gallery that I just LOVE I wish I had looked in the gallery first and gotten the set.

Other sets like Loads of Love where I just thought I was going to die if I didn't get it, I ended up finding just the little truck at my LSS so instead of buying the set I just got that one truck and it satisfied me for the moment. Of course now I am thinking I might need to get the loads of love accessories set to fill this little truck so maybe it didn't fill my total need, LOL!
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:13 AM   #27  
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Oh and as far as "need" versus "want" LOL I don't think I "need" just about anything I need, so it is all an I WANT factor here -- except when I realized I didn't have ANY background stamps so I had to focus myself on those and get a few of those once (wished it had been during the SU sale though!!)
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Old 08-12-2006, 10:55 AM   #28  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by raestamps
Do you buy what you need vs. what you like? Is there a formula you use to decide (like supplies first, stamps later)? Do you set a $$ limit?

Every year it's the same thing! I stress out over what to get from the new catalog because I like so many things! I really like one of the new Christmas sets but I can technically make Christmas cards out of sets I already have. Do I buy the new set anyway?

Introduce the holiday mini: I'd love a Halloween set but will I make Halloween cards? Maybe.

I "need" a stamp set to make cards for boys, like the pirate one or the sports helmet. Do I want to buy it? Not really but every time I need a boy card I curse myself!

Any ideas?
I TRY to be sensible when deciding what new sets to buy. If I've got something close, or plenty of stamps in that category, I'll usually talk myself out of something new. But I'm not always successful. I've got hundreds (not kidding!) of Christmas stamps and think buying more would be silly, but that didn't stop me from getting The Snowflake Spot on my first order from the new catty! I love it and am not going to apologize for it!

I think the best plan is one that gives you some structure to your buying (i.e., making sure you have fall themed stuff as fall approaches), doesn't put you into debt, and allows for flexibility when the set you absolutely love comes around.

As someone said above, when I first started six years ago, I bought whatever I liked off the shelf and ended up with all sorts of stuff that didn't coordinate with anything else I had. No plan at all and boy, do I regret that! In the past two years, I've weeded out those singles and committed to buying only SU! and Hero Arts. I find it is so much easier to put cards together now, esp. since I bought SU! ink and paper about 6 months ago. No regrets yet.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:23 PM   #29  
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I'm really glad I asked!

Thanks for all of your replies. Believe it or not, I made my list and I'm ready to place it.

City of David is still on the list!

Since I've been stamping for a few years now, I do have a bunch of stuff. I think I'm going to start doing the seasonal thing.

I also really liked the idea of getting everything you need for one project.

I'll let you know how it works out when I get my order!

Thanks again!
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Old 08-12-2006, 05:03 PM   #30  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by laurakj
My formula is a bit of both, buying what I love and what I need in the way of supplies. I try to always have at least 3 sheets of paper in each color on hand at all times. I started by buying one asst. pack of each family, then as I used the colors I bought the full pack of the colors. If I ran low on 3 or more papers at a time, I bought the asst pack again.

I have a budget each month and I make sure that at least 1/3 of that is supplies.
Excellent idea! I'm getting ready to place an order, thanks for the help!
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:28 PM   #31  
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i like your idea. Is there away to search the gallery by SU Set, so one can see all the cards made with a particular SU Set?

LM

Quote:

Originally Posted by daisyboo
Not long ago, someone posted the best advice when it comes to choosing a stamp set. Go to the gallery and view the cards there before purchasing. If I think I may want a particular set, I go there first to see what cards other people have created. Since I case alot of my cards, I try not to buy a set unless there are several in the gallery I want to duplicate! I will even sit at the computer with a catalog in hand and view the gallery for sets that don't necessarily catch my eye but then when I see the cards, I HAVE to have it.

I place a SU order once a month and I will usually order 1 stamp set (ok, so usually I HAVE to have more than 1) and some kind of accessories like punches or CS. (And by the way, I do not consider glues or tapes as an accessory because you have to have them.) So I guess my buying habit is 50/50 stamps to accessories.
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:32 PM   #32  
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Can you tell me what LSS means? Thanks! LM


Quote:

Originally Posted by pigfingers
I have a different formula NOW then when I first started stamping, and also when I was a demo --

Now that I am just a customer, and I HAVE all the ink pads, all the colors of cardstock, all the accessories that I need to do just about anything, I concentrate on stamp sets.

When I consider a stamp set I now figure - is it similar to one I already have? Is it something I can use for more than one project? Do I love it, love it, or do I just like it a little? Is it the whole set I like or just one stamp that I can find elsewhere that is similar?

LIke the fairy nice set last year. I could kick myself for not getting it but I already had princessish and girly stamps that I figured I could make do with. I would only be using for my DD's cards or scrapbook pages and figured I had enough to make do with those -- now in retrospect of course since I have seen things in the gallery that I just LOVE I wish I had looked in the gallery first and gotten the set.

Other sets like Loads of Love where I just thought I was going to die if I didn't get it, I ended up finding just the little truck at my LSS so instead of buying the set I just got that one truck and it satisfied me for the moment. Of course now I am thinking I might need to get the loads of love accessories set to fill this little truck so maybe it didn't fill my total need, LOL!
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:20 PM   #33  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by leanerme
i like your idea. Is there away to search the gallery by SU Set, so one can see all the cards made with a particular SU Set?

LM
Absolutely!! Click on Gallery and a list will come up with the alphabet divided up (A-C, D-F, G-J, etc.). Just click on the beginning letter of your set and scroll down to that set!
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:44 PM   #34  
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When the new catalog comes out, I sit down with a latte and start my list. It is usually really looonnngggg.... Then, before I ever put an order in, I go through all my stuff and see where I need to fill in. Next, put in first order and wait a month to see what I need next, next month repeat......... until the list is empty. I find that my tastes will change over the year (usually because of all your examples) and I add more to the list or add to it from the mini catalogs.

Just gotta love SU! and stamping. It is a great creative outlet for me.
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Old 08-13-2006, 03:05 AM   #35  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by leanerme
Can you tell me what LSS means? Thanks! LM
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Old 08-13-2006, 02:04 PM   #36  
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I ask myself the following questions - 1) Am I really going to use this stamp? 2) If so, how? 3) Does it go with/work with stamps I already have? 4) does it require a new technique or supplies to use the way I think I'm gonna use it? 5) Do I really like it? 6) Does it look like it fits in my style? (Styles can be very broad) 7) Is it a fad (I still might want a fad stamp...)
Do I already have something like it? Is this my zillionth flower stamp and I would have more used for background stamps that look like fabric...

Those are some of the thoughts I have going through my head, except when I am at a stamp show, and then I don't know what the heck I'm thinking! (Maybe thinking what my VISA bill is gonna look like...)

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-13-2006, 04:28 PM   #37  
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WoW everyone puts so much thought into this hobby!
If I like it I buy it. I have 2 packs of every color (I like) on hand. I have all the classic/craft ink. I am a huge hoarder and keep my accessories well stocked. I just buy what I like and thats that. I don't think about it too much. I am getting better w/my purchases, and am trying not to get sets that are too similar. I want to start using what I have more but sometimes get sucked into more sets. hey, you can never have too many stamps sets, and you can certainly have too little accessories.

Did I mention I have a serious case of retail therapy?
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:16 PM   #38  
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Hmmm, according to my dh, I don't 'think' when I buy! LOL

Basically if I like it, I buy it. It's rare that I actually 'need' it unless it's paper.

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Old 08-14-2006, 04:32 AM   #39  
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Since I am extremely practical, most of my SU orders tend to be for items I "need" for a certain project, a certain audience, etc. So when I place an order, I choose one additional item that's all about fun or tying new things. (I try to keep it to the less expensive items.) Sometimes it's a stamp set I've been pining for or speciality paper or embellishments. Whatever strikes my fancy that day. It's a good balance for me because it keeps me in check. I stay in budget and get what I need without going crazy because I know I still get a fun little treat.
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