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Old 03-08-2017, 03:24 PM   #41
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Kathy, your friend reminds me of a story I heard. Someone was cleaning out their deceased relative's garage. They found a box labeled: "Pieces of string too short to be used."
Oh wow hahaha! That's got to take the cake on frugality. I feel very balanced and sensible in comparison! Thanks for the giggle
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:28 PM   #42
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Marg - I'd say your collection exactly is the right size for you. It sounds like you don't own anything that you don't love.
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Old 03-09-2017, 01:12 AM   #43
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I am a proud frugalista crafter. Dollar Tree is my ultimate favorite craft store. Oh my then Ebay. Let's not get me started on Ebay, lol. I am a trendy crafter too. I have rules for frugal crafting so I can have my beautiful trendy things without breaking the bank.

My #1 I will buy quality over quantity. Quantity is Dollar Tree. I will buy a nice electronic die cutter to make my own stencils, stickers, die cuts, printables, etc... I buy nice quality tools and art supplies that will last me a lifetime. Every trend can be remade with a few pieces of recycled material and a nice quality tool. I will not buy overpriced overhyped tools or craft toys. I am an artist first and consumer last.

I won't buy a trend tool unless it fits my high quality standards. I will wait a year for it before I buy. I wanted a WRMK Fuse more than anything in the world when it was introduced at CHA. I waited and waited until I knew it was a tool for me. Now, I really love my Fuse instead of having another trend nightmare in my room that ended up in the declutter pile.

I always look for alternatives. I always try to make my own versions before buying. Lot of times I like my own version better. I am not trying to be elitist but my versions were made for what I wanted so that's probably why I like them better, lol.

I recycle and take apart everything and reuse it. My friends tease me I am the lid queen because I save so many lids to use in crafting. I find beauty in my recycled items. I really don't find a lot of beauty in expensive purchased items. I find pressure. The "Oh, that isn't inspiring as much as I thought it was but now have to use it since I spent money on it." My bookcase with the shelf full of beautiful jewelry I have taken apart to reuse is probably the most thing I am proud of in my art room.

I stay away from Design Team sites. That is so detrimental to your wallet and self esteem. The other day I watched a DT video. Haven't watched one in years. She used the most beautiful flamingo stamp background. I got the wantsies until I saw the price then I felt bad. Like I could not afford that. No matter how good you feel about yourself we have all been there. It is a let down. I had to remind myself DT girl got it for free she probably wouldn't bought it or could afford it either. Give me the bloggers and vloggers whose biggest loves are Apple Barrel paints and junk mail. I love you girls.
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Old 03-09-2017, 04:48 AM   #44
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I love looking for things that can be used for crafting in hardware stores, scrap junk mail, food packaging, tin cans for storage, glass jars for embellishments, etc. I too love gelli printing and use all kinds of normal throw - away stuff to create with. I use magnetic heat register sheets (cut to size) to store my metal dies on. So much cheaper at hardware stores than the craft version. I insert them into plastic CD style case that I do purchase from craft supplier (inexpensive) and then it holds my metal dies that I can stand up in a wicker basket which makes it easy to flip through to find the one I want. I cover all my re-used cans for storage with Gelli prints that I have made. Great for pens, colored pencils, paint brushes, all kinds of tools. I put the cans in an old wire milk bottle carrier I found at flea market. Holds all my tools. I too purchase items from dollar stores, make-up sponges. I save my money to purchase the die set I can't live without. I too wait on the newest items to come out. I record the ones I think I will use or want in a little notebook and go back a few months later and review (several are never purchased). I save scraps of ribbon. very useful on cards and mixed media projects.
Love reading all the ideas to save...the hunt is part of the fun.
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Old 03-09-2017, 06:01 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by buggainokView Post
Kathy, your friend reminds me of a story I heard. Someone was cleaning out their deceased relative's garage. They found a box labeled: "Pieces of string too short to be used."
This is hilarious!!!
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:38 PM   #46
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I have a few things that I like to do to save money. First, I buy most of my new dies from China on eBay. I wish I didn't have to resort to buying from China but let's face it, the American made ones are ridiculously expensive! I don't mind waiting for them and it is fun to receive a package more often because I can afford them. I also started making my own stamps from die cuts and fun foam. They work beautifully. Another thing that I do is recycle old cards and make them my own. Sometimes, I will just use the blank card stock from the back (if it is handmade). I too, have the Absorber [https://www.amazon.com/Absorber-Synt...drying+chamois Amazon ] and cut it in smaller pieces to clean my stamps and other things. They clean better than almost anything else that I have used and don't ruin the stamps. I keep the damp shammy in a clear plastic container with a screw top lid. When it gets really ugly, I throw it in the wash with my dark clothes. Sometimes the ink will not come completely out but it still cleans the same.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:50 PM   #47
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Since gelli printing has become my latest passion I'm on a scavenger hunt and enjoying the journey (loosing my mind, lol)...
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Old 03-16-2017, 04:52 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by gobarb26View Post
I have a few things that I like to do to save money. First, I buy most of my new dies from China on eBay.
Most dies sold in America are made in China or other countries anyway!
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:26 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Louisa MayView Post
Most dies sold in America are made in China or other countries anyway!
I know...I was going to mention that but forgot. I mentioned about the die cuts from China to my stamping club and they all got on the band wagon. We are a large group and I think the Chinese must really love us!
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:42 AM   #50
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Aliexpress has cheap dies and is from China. I too hate the fact that I am buying from China but dies are so costly!!!
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Old 03-28-2017, 09:55 AM   #51
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I have a few things that I like to do to save money. First, I buy most of my new dies from China on eBay. I wish I didn't have to resort to buying from China but let's face it, the American made ones are ridiculously expensive! I don't mind waiting for them and it is fun to receive a package more often because I can afford them. I also started making my own stamps from die cuts and fun foam. They work beautifully. Another thing that I do is recycle old cards and make them my own. Sometimes, I will just use the blank card stock from the back (if it is handmade). I too, have the Absorber [https://www.amazon.com/Absorber-Synt...drying+chamois Amazon ] and cut it in smaller pieces to clean my stamps and other things. They clean better than almost anything else that I have used and don't ruin the stamps. I keep the damp shammy in a clear plastic container with a screw top lid. When it gets really ugly, I throw it in the wash with my dark clothes. Sometimes the ink will not come completely out but it still cleans the same.
Just bought a bunch of dies from China specifically because the price was so good. Very happy with my purchase.
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Old 03-28-2017, 10:20 AM   #52
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I did a review of my experience in buying cheap dies directly from China - and what I ended up getting.
Here is a link to my blog post for that review:
Buying metal dies from China ? my experience | Seaside Creativity
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:02 PM   #53
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NancyK, I also did a review of the dies I have bought from China, with pics on the cut shapes quality. If anyone is curios, you can have a read here.
I just had a look at your blog post, and I agree, all mine came with minimal packaging, which I liked as well.
The prices were amazing, I think the most I have paid for a die was 3.65, for a 5" square background die. Most of the others cost me less than 2 each.
Some of those I know have an equivalent over here, but would cost me in the region of 10 each.
I try to always get the most for my cash, not just in crafting, and I cannot justify paying 5 times what I can get something for, no matter where it comes from.
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Old 03-30-2017, 09:14 AM   #54
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It's kinda funny. Being frugal is what got me started making cards in the first place. I couldn't see spending $5 on a card when, if I liked the image then the sentiment was wrong or vice versa. LOL I should have just sent an e-mail!

I've recently started using alphabet stamps along with words from other sets to create mixed-font sentiments. There are stamp sets on the market that will have a large word (like happy) and then smaller font words to go with it (birthday, so, graduation). I've been able to recreate this look using supplies I already had! I know many of you print out your sentiments; that must save money, too.
Do you have any favorite alpha sets? I am in the process of creating some cards with Italian sentiments. There are so many to choose from. I love the large scripty look, too. Thanks
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:24 PM   #55
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I am lucky to live close to a Goodwill by the Pound store. I usually stop there once a week or so. At this store anything electronic is .30 per pound, plastic storage is .30 per pound and general "stuff" is 1.30 per pound.

Some of the things I have found there are:Silhouette Cameo (works but was missing the power cord), a brand new 9" Xyron machine with full adhesive cartridge, a laminating cartridge for the Xyron, Prismacolor pencils, Arches watercolor paper, a hot/cold laminating machine, stamps, ink pads, paper pads, a Boston guillotine paper cutter, Sizzix dies and two closets full of Rubbermaid/Sterlite type storage drawers and container. I have also found lots of embellishment type things.



Like many of you, I am constantly reorganizing my stash and I enjoy making things myself to help. Instead of buying Avery Elle stamp envelopes I make my own with page protectors from Goodwill and my soldering iron. Instead of using refrigerator bins ( which would have cost around $100), I use thrifted 6" plastic magazine holders.


The other thing I do is share with my papercrafting buddy. We often split paper pads and are very generous with our thrifting finds.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:14 AM   #56
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There has be a bit of talk of purchasing stuff direct from China and I recently bought a bunch of clear stamps to try out. They are silicone, not polymer and I did not have high hopes for them based on my experiences in the past with silicone.
I ended up doing a review on my blog on these stamps and you may find it helpful.

Here is a link to that post:
Buying clear stamps from China?my experience | Seaside Creativity
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:33 PM   #57
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I have to be frugal with space (as well as $). I have decided not to buy any solid colored ribbon; WHITE ONLY! Then I color it with my SN markers. Perfect match every time and only one roll of ribbon for my 2 year old to unspool!
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:50 PM   #58
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Check your stores that sell wall paper. They periodically are getting rid of discontinued demo book. Free. This means FREE designer paper for your cards and scrap booking!!!
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:54 PM   #59
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Don't forget to ask your Stampin Up demo friends (and their friends) when they are doing retired garage sales. Nearly all my Stampin Up stuff is bought this way.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:58 PM   #60
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Kathy, your friend reminds me of a story I heard. Someone was cleaning out their deceased relative's garage. They found a box labeled: "Pieces of string too short to be used."
This reminds me of my grandmother. After she passed we cleaned out her home and found lots of boxes like this. I was really proud of her, to some degree. We live in such a "must buy now" world it actually is refreshing to see how simply they lived, and how happy they were. A great life lesson for all of us to learn from.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:43 PM   #61
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Most dies sold in America are made in China or other countries anyway!
You're right, quite a few are, but at least we are giving small companies in the U.S. business when we buy their brands or from them.

I realize it's a personal decision. : )
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:41 AM   #62
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I just want to thank Nancy K for her awesome reviews on her purchases from AliExpress. I do like to help out my local businesses but spending $30+ on ONE die set to me is just too much.
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