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Old 04-14-2019, 11:48 AM   #1
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Default I Can't Believe I'm Thinking This, But Here's My SU Confession

So it's been about ten years now since I stopped being an SU demo, sold off over 300 wood mounted stamp sets, all my inks, and all my card stock and papers.

In the ten years since that time, I switched to photopolymer stamps, 110 lb card stock, and mini ink cubes. I bought Prisma markers and pencils, COPIC markers, watercolors.

I bought a Big Kick die cut machine (I was a little slow to this trend) and lots of dies.

I bought from one company, and then from another, and another. I currently purchase most of my stuff from about five companies whose style I like.

I sold some stamps and dies and bought some more. I try to keep my craft room in balance, purging occasionally and limiting my purchases.

But here's the thing: I thought I was simplifying my stamping a decade ago, but it feels like it just got more complicated over time.

I look at SU catalogs, and I often find stuff I really like. Sure, it's pricey. But they now offer lots of photopolymer options, clearance rack, and the occasional sale, which used to be so rare. I kind of miss the SU days, with options being limited to the catalog offerings. Less time looking at every company's new release, making wish lists, purchasing more than I need. And sometimes, for me, less stuff forces me to be more creative with what I have.

Ugh.

Has anyone out there gone through this dilemma? For those of you that are SU only, do you put blinders on when other companies' releases flood the galleries? Trying to find the perfect balance in this craft, and feel lately like I'm failing miserably.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:25 PM   #2
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Me, me, me!!! I was an SU! demo for six years and quit just this past January. I MISS it! I loved sticking to just one company - too many choices overwhelms me and I really love their products. The excitement over new catalogs and big announcements, conventions, the quarterly demo magazine, and the community were amazing.

While I faithfully stuck to the quarterly minimums as my craft budget (I even had a system where I ordered two quarters' minimums' worth at a time, twice a year, to maximize demo discounts) I became increasingly uncomfortable spending that money. I didn't need more craft supplies plus we have two teen drivers (and a third still to go) and one off to college in August and our church is moving into a warehouse that needs built out to become a church and we want to contribute to that. Those are the reasons I quit.

I miss it, though! I miss the creativity that came with limiting my choices. I could just shop with a demo and still stay with just SU! I am tinkering with the idea of doing it as a business, though. My family keeps encouraging me. I was a business demo 14 years ago but had to stop when I had three girls under 4 - I found I could not be the mommy I felt called to be and still be a business demo. Now the time feels right, though. My family actually wants to HELP me be a business demo.

SU! may be more expensive but it is also an experience and that's what I enjoy paying for. Plus, sticking to one company and to the quarterly minimums in a strategic way actually had me spending less.

By the way, I am a regular reader of your blog, Mary Rose, and I so enjoy your conversational mix of faith, life, and hobbies. I, too, love to write and my family is encouraging me to begin a blog. Your blog is exactly how I envision mine to be - welcoming, chatty, warm and cozy, and creating a feeling of being good friends!
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Old 04-14-2019, 01:54 PM   #3
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I am not, nor ever have been a demo. But I have stuck to SU for 15 years! I also find it overwhelming to see all the options out there, then to think of matching colours with another company... ink and ribbons and cardstock oh my!

I know I spend less as well, staying with one company, which incidentally, I love. My demo is a friend, not high pressure but lets me know when something is happening so I can plan accordingly. Like the Big Shot and trimmer being discontinued. I will get all the replacement blades I can.
Only you can decide what to do of course and I wish you well in your deliberations.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:12 AM   #4
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I have been an SU! demo for over 18 years. While not 100% SU! only, I buy very little from other companies. There will always be stuff that catches my eye and makes me think I "need" it for a certain project. But, seriously, how much stuff can we use in one lifetime? When a card or sb page sample makes me run to the craft room to make one just like it, I can always find colors and stamps and embellishments that are close just from my stash.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:38 AM   #5
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Nothing wrong with it. I do buy from other companies, but 90% of my stuff is from S.U. I bought a lot from the Occasions catalog and got a lot from Sale-A-Bration . I'm not a creative person so I CASE a lot. Stampin Up has what I need and will continue to get my business.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:43 AM   #6
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I wasn't a demonstrator. I only ever placed 5 orders with SU, and most of it was for paper, inkpads and adhesive. But I've definitely felt the too-many-new-releases burn out. With so many awesome things being released what feels like almost daily, it's far too easy to get overwhelmed (not to mention risk going bankrupt!).

So, I made one simple rule for myself and it's really helped out.

Every new stamp, die, paper and tool go on a 6-month wait list. They stay on that list for 6 months, and if I still want them after that time, they go into the cart. I have limited my crafty purchases to twice per year (birthday and Christmas) and I do occasionally get a card kit if it's a great value or fills a hole in my stash.

Putting things on a wait list has so many advantages. For one, it easily filters out those impulse purchases -- things that hop into the cart because they're cute and right there in plain view. It also gives me a chance to figure out how things will fit into my stash. I can come up with card ideas, view a whole bunch of videos about different techniques or even make a folder with card inspirations including more than just release project hype.

Most importantly, though, it's been super helpful in avoiding the trendy fads. Sometimes, a particular product/tool/technique will be everywhere on social media - to the point where you feel like you need this amazing thing too. But 6 months later, everyone's abandoned it in lieu of the next best thing. Waiting for a while helped me avoid buying all the foiling equipment that I'm convinced would just be gathering dust since foiling isn't that "in" anymore.

It has also helped show which products will last the test of time. I was very resistant to buying distress oxides at first. I have some regular distress inks in many colors, and didn't have a ton of issues with blending. But distress oxides are still on the favorites list for many people and that convinced me to give them a try. I do enjoy them and I invested in a few more colors to round off my collection (though not all of them, still).

If it happens that a product is retired before those 6 months are up (limited edition, etc), I take it as a sign I didn't need to have it. Limited edition stamps and dies can be absolutely fabulous, but they become an even quicker fad. Lots of people will use them in projects right at launch, but no one will use them down the line because the product won't be available anymore. That leaves a limited pool of inspiration and techniques.

(Incidentally, that's actually one reason I didn't stick with Stamping Up. I don't like that things get retired and the only emphasis is on the newest release. Stamps and papers will likely last me more than just a year, so having to get rid of them because they're no longer sold doesn't make me happy. To each their own, though! I know a lot of SU demonstrators love the yearly refresher and enjoy not having a massive catalog to wrangle.)

There's a good chance that there will be some sort of sale or discount after the product's been out for 6 months, too. I get a little more bang for my buck. Not to mention I can avoid the "I want this, but it has been out of stock everywhere, so I have to go place an order with the only store that has it - and hey, since they have free shipping at 75$, maybe I should get a few more stamps" thing that used to happen way too often. Things aren't out of stock so much after 6 months.

Finally, the best part is that the wait list means I have a chance to give some love and attention to my stash and actually use the things I bought. I don't just organize and collect things anymore with an overwhelmed feeling of guilt because I have 20 unopened stamps from my last two crafty orders and I just bought 8 more.

Not having the latest and greatest right when it's launched has actually been really liberating. Card-making is a hobby for me. I'm not on any design teams and I'm not running a business (not even affiliate links). But I would still catch myself getting that "keeping up with the Joneses" feeling when it came to social media. On some level, I was competing for attention with other designers and that's really not what I want out of this hobby.

There's room for everyone. We can inspire others with old supplies and new supplies alike. So, I'm going to work on and keep sharing things that I've created - and using my stash instead of buying new shinies is a big part of that.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:52 AM   #7
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Perhaps a different perspective: I was a demo for a couple of years. I got to the point where I had all the stuff I needed. I was never able to generate enough customers to make it into a business. But mostly I saw so many appealing products from other companies, and I decided I wanted to diversify.

I am so happy with that decision. I still buy SU products occasionally, mostly cardstock and ink pads, and that is primarily because I'm on the Color Challenge team, and we use SU colors for our examples. I have some favorite companies whose products I love, and I buy the things that really appeal to me.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoyce View Post
Perhaps a different perspective: I was a demo for a couple of years. I got to the point where I had all the stuff I needed. I was never able to generate enough customers to make it into a business. But mostly I saw so many appealing products from other companies, and I decided I wanted to diversify.

I am so happy with that decision. I still buy SU products occasionally, mostly cardstock and ink pads, and that is primarily because I'm on the Color Challenge team, and we use SU colors for our examples. I have some favorite companies whose products I love, and I buy the things that really appeal to me.

Barbara, your story sounds very similar to mine. I really diversified, and it worked well for a long time.

Perhaps my solution is two-fold: incorporate a few more SU products back in to my mix, and pare down my collection and purchasing a bit.

I get overwhelmed by all of the new products and companies that seem to flood the market. I don't know how those popular stampers keep up with it!

I recently placed an SU order for some of their amazing embossing folders. I like the look, and want to incorporate it more into my card making. It can add a simple element to a design without getting all fussy. I just placed an order for a few more this weekend, as I hear they will be redesigning those, along with some of their stamps.
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Old 04-16-2019, 05:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnsteele View Post
By the way, I am a regular reader of your blog, Mary Rose, and I so enjoy your conversational mix of faith, life, and hobbies. I, too, love to write and my family is encouraging me to begin a blog. Your blog is exactly how I envision mine to be - welcoming, chatty, warm and cozy, and creating a feeling of being good friends!

Aww, thank you so much, my Pittsburgh friend! I do miss da 'burg, and hope to visit this summer. (And Stamp Fanci! lol!)

And yes, Nicole, you should definitely try the blog thing! It may not be as popular as Instagram these days, but I still enjoy sharing life with readers.

Thanks for your kinds words...totally made my day!
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:48 AM   #10
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This is such an interesting discussion. I hadn’t heard of SU until I had been stamping a long time. Once I heard of SU, i was pretty shocked by their prices and have never bought much from them. Reading your stories, I understand better how people can be so brand loyal. I understand what you mean about being overwhelmed.

I think Elle’s advice about waiting is essential. Other advice I would add to that is:

Shop less.

Figure out and shop your style, rather than looking at EVERYTHING. (For example, I don’t like “cute kids and animal” stamps, so I avoid companies tha sell a lot of them.)

Avoid everything having to do with “New Releases”. You don’t need to tempt yourself with NEW. If you get notifications about them, unsubscribe, etc.

Avoid sales, especially clearance sales. I have had to deal with the feeling of obligation to buy during clearance sales.


Shop your own stamps more. Play around more with what you have.

Decide where there are specific gaps in your collection that you need to fill. I’m still (casually) looking for just the right frame stamp. Shop focused on that gap.

Shop other people’s stamps, by looking at their cards online. If you see a stamp that would fill a gap in your stamper’s wardrobe, find out what it is and put it in your waiting list.

Depending on how you function, go to a stamp convention, and shop. You get a great idea of what is out there. Preshop the vendors on line, so you can decide where to focus. Make a list and mark the exhibit hall map. Set aside your cash for the day (no credit cards or checks) and go. The entrance fee is a bit much! About $10, but that covers your shipping fees and upbuying, if you were to shop online.

Limit your set of techniques, which limits the supplies you “need”. (I have decided I love the look of watercolor with stamps and find it no more work than using markers or pencils, and I believe it’s more economical. I’m focusing on that and feeling stupid about all the water based markers and pencils I HAD to have, even though they weren’t the most expensive. I don’t want to mess with other types of paints and pastes and stuff, and I refuse to feel guilty or like ikm missing out.j

Pulling out the big guns: set yourself a budget. Whoa! Nothing helps you refine what you love quite like a budget.

Most emportantly, play with the stamps you have and wear them out. Enjoy them a lot!
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:14 AM   #11
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Default Too many choices

I think I purchase less than I used to because the monthly releases are just so overwhelming. There are way too many choices. I see samples of the upcoming releases that I think are just adorable. I check out the supply lists which rival a Best Buy receipt in length! I try to narrow down my selections to ease the strain on my budget - and end up not ordering anything. I just can’t choose! I, of course, end up binging somewhere down the road - maybe once or twice a year. Even SU’s choices can be overwhelming.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:26 AM   #12
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This is a great discussion and reading all the comments has kept me from placing an order...lol! I have been a Stampin' Up demonstrator since July 2017 and I was totally overwhelmed when the retiring list was posted Monday. 57 of the stamp sets I own are retiring and I am left with 50 that are current. I have drawers full of retired stamps, punches, dies and embossing folders, let alone retired embellishments. I have three people who buy from me once or twice a year. They are shocked when I tell them how many of their stamp sets are retired. I need to use only SU current product in one hop that I'm in weekly so it really does matter to me not to purchase from other companies. However, it doesn't prevent me from looking at other companies. One of the things that sold me on SU is the matching paper and inks and that they usually stick around for 5 years. Many of the things all of you have said are encouraging and it's nice to know I am not alone in my feelings. Patterned paper is my downfall and it doesn't matter what company I see. If I love it, I buy it and then I tend to hoard it! That has got to stop this year!!
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:09 AM   #13
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We have a group of friends that stamp together once a month (usually) - we all share stamps/inks/embossing folders/dies -- many times someone will text a photo, "Do any of you have this (insert product)?" Many times one of us has it and so we share. It has worked well for us and we are really like a stamping warehouse with our sharing.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:13 AM   #14
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This thread hits home with most all of us that love paper crafting..cards, scrapbooks, journal making, multi-media art...you name it. I too have organized my stuff several times since I have retired (I get to use it more often). Purged some things to thrift shops, sold some things on line, donated to teachers, and young people wanting to craft. I also started a written art journal where I take notes on videos and techniques I like, products that interest me (where, product #, price, etc) That information is handy but not always acted upon. Kind of like your 6 month wish list. If I do purchase it or try it, I give it a red check (helps avoid duplication of products). Spending gets out of control...one product at a time!!! I also started listing and visualizing how much is being spent monthly for craft/art supplies...keeps it better under control. I don't set a budget but make commitments to not spend for a period of time..I have enough stuff to keep things going unless it is a replacement glue, etc that is essential. I set goals "No new stamps/dies for ____ Months" and am pretty good at keeping those. It can get out of control, but it is all a fun process. I too go to a convention annually that is a couple of hours away from my house. I take a list and focus on what I might want to look at. This hobby is so visual that it is good to see it and hold it before you buy it! Love reading all the solutions here and knowing you are not alone in this problem....Less is more sometimes, but hard not to look.
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kendel View Post
This is such an interesting discussion. I hadn’t heard of SU until I had been stamping a long time. Once I heard of SU, i was pretty shocked by their prices and have never bought much from them. Reading your stories, I understand better how people can be so brand loyal. I understand what you mean about being overwhelmed.

I think Elle’s advice about waiting is essential. Other advice I would add to that is:

Shop less.

Figure out and shop your style, rather than looking at EVERYTHING. (For example, I don’t like “cute kids and animal” stamps, so I avoid companies tha sell a lot of them.)

Avoid everything having to do with “New Releases”. You don’t need to tempt yourself with NEW. If you get notifications about them, unsubscribe, etc.

Avoid sales, especially clearance sales. I have had to deal with the feeling of obligation to buy during clearance sales.


Shop your own stamps more. Play around more with what you have.

Decide where there are specific gaps in your collection that you need to fill. I’m still (casually) looking for just the right frame stamp. Shop focused on that gap.

Shop other people’s stamps, by looking at their cards online. If you see a stamp that would fill a gap in your stamper’s wardrobe, find out what it is and put it in your waiting list.

Depending on how you function, go to a stamp convention, and shop. You get a great idea of what is out there. Preshop the vendors on line, so you can decide where to focus. Make a list and mark the exhibit hall map. Set aside your cash for the day (no credit cards or checks) and go. The entrance fee is a bit much! About $10, but that covers your shipping fees and upbuying, if you were to shop online.

Limit your set of techniques, which limits the supplies you “need”. (I have decided I love the look of watercolor with stamps and find it no more work than using markers or pencils, and I believe it’s more economical. I’m focusing on that and feeling stupid about all the water based markers and pencils I HAD to have, even though they weren’t the most expensive. I don’t want to mess with other types of paints and pastes and stuff, and I refuse to feel guilty or like ikm missing out.j

Pulling out the big guns: set yourself a budget. Whoa! Nothing helps you refine what you love quite like a budget.

Most emportantly, play with the stamps you have and wear them out. Enjoy them a lot!

That is an lot of great advice! I couldn’t agree more, and have the same philosophy.


I don’t ‘look around’ other companies, I don’t shop online and blog hop. I don’t receive emails from companies. I don’t spend more than maybe 250.00 all year, at the most it’s might be 250.00. I generally get a couple new stamp sets and a die set, cardstock and such like. I do have to have pearls, dimensional and linen thread at all times.

I host a fall workshop, ordering then when I have hostess dollars to ‘spend’, and I order during saleabration when I get a free goodie or 2!

And I love and use what I have . I am happy with my system, it doesn’t consume me, I consume it haha
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Old 04-17-2019, 09:29 AM   #16
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I started with CTMH, lost that demo, and went to S.U. I have shopped (and do shop) other brands. I have maybe 50 S.U. sets and a dozen from other companies. I'm not into the latest and greatest. The most important advice I've heard here and from popular vloggers is know your style. I know exactly what I like and don't go much beyond. I don't get into embellishments, patterned paper, critters, or cutesy. I follow 3 bloggers who are not S.U. related. Their blogs are technique oriented. I follow my S.U. demo who post a weekly video or two. After I see something that I MUST HAVE, I wait at least a week before purchasing.


If I could shop only one company, it would be S.U. Is it pricier than other companies? Maybe a bit. But worth the quality.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:06 AM   #17
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This hits home because the amount I’ve recently spent on stuff surprised me when hubby totalled it up. I won’t admit the amount. I used to be a SU! demo (2004-2008 but I didn’t find buying from them freeing. I actually found it limiting. Back then I could spot a SU! only card online instantly. It’s better now as they have a wider variety of products. But the styles of stamps are still very similar. I looked through a catalogue just recently and all I ended up ordering was 3 packs of cardstock and 2 basic (wood grain and music) background stamps. I did want some more colours of cardstock but restrained myself as I typically stick with one company for cardstock and that’s PTI as their prices and quality are excellent.



But I can’t imagine sticking to one company for stamps, dies and patterned paper. If I had to pick one company for stamps and dies it would be PTI or more likely Concord & 9th. The latter has AMAZING and far beyond expected customer service.



But I do understand the impulse to pare down. I subscribe to 3 card kits and some die kits from Spellbinders too. And my recent shopping spree (don’t know what I was thinking) has me with enough new products that I haven’t even begun to use them all once.



I don’t shop new releases often and do have a wish list on Pinterest (I don’t even browse often). I even have a board for cards or projects I loved, using specific products, to help me remember why I bought something after I get it. (I have a horrible memory) I have toyed with the idea of unsubbing from all company blogs and emails but I get so much inspiration from them even if it’s for other products I own.



I think I really just need to do two things. One, make sure I really want something before I buy it. I have a bad habit of adding things to my cart during sales just because it’s cheap. Also I have to keep track of what I’ve bought, including kits which are set to auto-charge which means I don’t always get a receipt so they are easy to forget. I love my craft but I agree, it can easily get overwhelming.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:30 AM   #18
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Maybe I follow too many Fan pages, where people are ordering entire releases every month...oodles and oodles of stamps and dies and papers. I'm a lot pickier, and have a tendency to be patient. I can wait for someone to get tired of their stamps, and buy them a year or so down the road at a greatly reduced price. I actually buy a lot more from the buy/sell forums than I do the new products these days. I also stay out of craft stores, because they rarely have what I want or need.

I'm another crafter who has chosen to only buy card stock and ink from Papertrey Ink. I don't own all the Tim Holtz products, and I manage just fine without them. The PTI colors never retire, the card stock is heavy 110 lb, not flimsy...I hate to tell some of my crafty friends the terrible condition their cards arrive in after they get mailed. The heavy card stock makes all the difference.

This year, I've purchased quite a lot of Concord and 9th, too. The designs are really fresh and innovative.

I think what I probably need to do is take a "subscription" break from a few companies. I don't need to see every new product. I just need to play more with the products I already have!
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:32 AM   #19
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This is a great discussion and reading all the comments has kept me from placing an order...lol! I have been a Stampin' Up demonstrator since July 2017 and I was totally overwhelmed when the retiring list was posted Monday. 57 of the stamp sets I own are retiring and I am left with 50 that are current. I have drawers full of retired stamps, punches, dies and embossing folders, let alone retired embellishments. I have three people who buy from me once or twice a year. They are shocked when I tell them how many of their stamp sets are retired. I need to use only SU current product in one hop that I'm in weekly so it really does matter to me not to purchase from other companies. However, it doesn't prevent me from looking at other companies. One of the things that sold me on SU is the matching paper and inks and that they usually stick around for 5 years. Many of the things all of you have said are encouraging and it's nice to know I am not alone in my feelings. Patterned paper is my downfall and it doesn't matter what company I see. If I love it, I buy it and then I tend to hoard it! That has got to stop this year!!
As I understand it, some of those "retiring" stamp sets will come back in a newer cling version, right? It did feel like a huge list this year. I don't know how demos can keep up with it!
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:39 AM   #20
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I started with Stamping Up and so of course I owe them my love of stamping. That being said I quickly tried out other stamps from other companies and some were great and some were just crap and those companies I stopped buying from. I still buy SU cardstock as I have two friends who demo and it is convenient. I have tried GinaK, MFT and Paper Trey cardstock and they are incredible as well but for me living in Canada the shipping is not worth the extra money. I love most dies I have purchased from other companies and recently bought a few directly from China. You have to be very careful with the quality from China as they are cheap and there is not much Q & A but I have not had a problem with getting a refund when some dies are not "right". I do miss the design papers and cardstock colours from 10 years ago but I guess SU felt the change was worth it. I still remember my first SU demo saying that SU would NEVER not do wood mounted stamps, lol. Never say never.

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Old 04-17-2019, 08:01 PM   #21
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I started in a Stampin Up group and was a customer for a couple of years, then became a demo for a couple of years. I quit as a demo not long after Papertrey went into business. I have never been tempted to rejoin SU. The products are nice but expensive, plus I like having the freedom to order from other companies without having to worry about meeting SU minimums. SU is too high pressure and restrictive for me.
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:29 AM   #22
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Wow!!! I am loving this chat!! I too was a SU demo. Loved it and loved teaching classes, but I could not keep up with the retiring lists/changes! I have moved on and tried trendy things. I feel like I have come FULL circle!!! I know what I like and more importantly what I USE!!! I have developed a method that works for me. I use different companies for different things!

SU ink & paper, Sunnystudio stamps, MFT stencils, EK punches, and clearance rack emblisments!!! Oh and I can't forget NO dies!!! Bought a ScanNCut♥️!

This has simplified everything for me and really helps with the spending and the doubles!!! If I see something I like I go back to my FAV companies and find/buy the closes thing, than I know I will LOVE it & USE it!!!
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:49 AM   #23
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Yes, yes, yes!!! And I couldn't resist. I re-joined SU! as a demo about 1-1/2 months ago. And am so happy I did. It's their product and color coordination that keeps pulling me back in.
I would go broke if I shopped from too many other companies!
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Old 04-18-2019, 09:10 AM   #24
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Great discussion! I was a die hard SU customer for years, then became a hobby demo for the discounts until the quarterly minimums got too high for me without a base of buying customers. Plus I felt like there were other designs and products from other companies that were more to my taste.

I still buy some SU products (mainly ink and some card stock) because we use those for the SCS Color Challenges, but there are several other companies that also have high quality matching ink and card stock (Hero Arts, Papertrey Ink, Altenew, Simon Says Stamp, Lawn Fawn, WPlus9 to name a few), so don't feel there aren't other options if you're thinking of buying outside SU.

Love the idea of a 6 month wait list! I do find myself susceptible to new releases, so that is a good way to control impulse purchases that I later regret.

Thanks for starting this chat Mary Rose!

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Old 04-18-2019, 09:42 AM   #25
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Interesting discussion. I became a demo 20 years ago when my demo left town. And there was no such thing as online ordering! Fast forward to now - I just find it easier to organize and coordinate my supplies by sticking with one product line. And since I can make money as a demo, it works for me. I know other companies make gorgeous stuff, but I'm still pretty crazy about coordination and organization. I haven't posted in a while - greetings from the first SCS member!
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #26
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As I understand it, some of those "retiring" stamp sets will come back in a newer cling version, right? It did feel like a huge list this year. I don't know how demos can keep up with it!

That's how I understand it. The ones which will come back as cling are marked with an asterisk.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:40 PM   #27
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When I started stamping more than 20 years ago, I used SU and CTMH (DOTS back then) because I had friends that were demos. I also bought stamps and supplies from the many stamp stores that were plentiful across the country at that time. I decided I liked the SU paper better than the thinner white core CTMH, so gradually got rid of the paper, inks, reinkers and markers from CTMH (although I still have many of their stamps). I stopped buying stamps from CTMH when they became larger and seemed more appropriate for scrap booking. So now all my paper, ink pads, reinkers and markers come from SU only. I think they are high quality and I like that everything matches. That being said, I never buy any of the "In Color" products. I can find everything I need from the current core products, or the things I have left over from retired products. While I still buy SU stamps when I can find something I like (very few these days), I continue to buy stamps from other companies that have been favorites over the years. Since I have been stamping for so long, I have most every kind of stamp in my stash, with very few "holes" so I only buy stamps that I can see fill a special need, I know I can use in many ways and that I really, really love. I'm really old school, preferring wood mounted stamps, a simple stamp positioner, a few texture-type EFs and basic shapes for dies and the rare punch. I love my Dahl guillotine paper cutter, my Score Buddy and still use my ancient Friskers paper trimmer and original Cuttlebug. I stamp by theme---each month's cards following a theme or even using only one stamp in as many different ways I can come up with. I am also a stamp purist. I use stamps predominately on every card. Seldom use designer paper (I stamp my own), don't buy pre-made embellishments (stamp and fussy cut my own) and stamp my sentiments/greetings rather than die cut them. I have no idea what the difference is between a Cuicut, Silhouette, or any of the other machines out there, and don't want to. I love learning new stamping techniques that use stamps primarily. I do have lots of stamps and supplies, but I have been collecting and repurposing for many years.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:09 PM   #28
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I have never limited myself to SU. I started stamping way back many years ago with stamps I bought at arts & crafts shows. When I married and moved 1000 miles, I found my next door neighbor was a SU demo. For several years I participated in her monthly group, which had a minimum purchase required (it was pretty low, like $15-20). Even when I was going to the monthly group, I never stuck to just SU. There are too many other fun, gorgeous, and intriguing products out there to try. I know so many stampers who HAVE to have SU because everything has matching components. I don't need that for myself- I can tell when colors work together or don't, and the experimentation (for me) is part of the thrill when a project comes together. Trying new and different products is so much fun! When I discovered Cosmic Shimmer Pixie Powders, I fell in LOVE! (OK, after the first six colors bought from a US catalog, I had to go international, and order them from England, but I found a fabulous company to buy from with great pricing and really reasonable shipping!) I'm currently waiting for Cosmic Shimmer Opal Polishes to get here from that same company in England- somebody posted a video here on SCS of those, and they just called my name!!!
If I stuck to SU, I wouldn't have experienced Mirri cardstock, and I am such a sucker for mirror cs. If I stuck with SU only, I'd never have tried Spica glitter pens, which I adore. I wouldn't have tried the Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils, which are out of this world! I have a real metallic cs fetish, and to get great colors, one has to go beyond SU- they seldom carry any. There are too many wondrous things out there for me to be strictly SU, and yes, many times the price of SU makes me wince. I've been able to find so many things elsewhere at lower prices.

I do still occasionally buy SU, but not often, usually only when something sings to me.


A whole lot of people are content with just SU, and that's fine for them. A whole lot of others prefer a wider range to choose from, and that's fine, too. Everybody can make the choice that's right for themselves. Yay!
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:20 PM   #29
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Looking at your gallery Mary Rose (nice!) you don't seem to use a bajillion types of matching embellies? I didnt open them in favor of surfing them all. You favor ribbon most? So there are several companies you can hang with that do matching ink and paper.

Unplug from subs. Give yourself a rest. More time to play. Your inbox will thank you.

Watch techniques on YT instead of bloggers. I find I hardly want product that way-they are often using what they have vs what is new.

The gallery is my trouble area. When I see beautiful cards by everyday people I feel like that is doable vs bloggers who are way over my talent range making it look easy. Been down that rabbit hole too much. I hope that made sense and did not offend anyone-a lot of people in the gallery are over me too.

Just do what people here do in challenges-punt. I see it all the time-people sub whatever color or image they have for the challenge one. The cards are great.

I love the sharing idea and the comment about wear out what you have.
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Old 04-20-2019, 06:39 AM   #30
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Great discussion. My secret is no online shopping! So I have a friend who is an SU! Demo and I order monthly. If I want embellishments, I check out acmoore and Michaels brick and mortar stores.

Since I don't shop online, I don't get tempting emails!
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Old 04-20-2019, 11:14 AM   #31
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This is so timely for me. I have been an off-and-on SU Demo--rejoined twice. I tried the business demo route but I'm no salesperson, so I'm really just a hobby demo.

I was pretty much SU-only but have recently (past 6 months) become interested in other brands (Lawn Fawn items are cute and they have very inventive dies, I liked the Corcord & 9th turnabouts but found some aren't as smooth for me--operator error?).

However, all of a sudden I found myself getting into that "must have it ALL" mode after watching some Jennifer McGuire videos and it's burning me out. I'm actually thinking of dropping my SU hobby demoship as I no longer want to pay the minimums ($300 per quarter).
I do think it makes good sense to find one line of colors you like and stick to that for paper and ink, so that you have a good variety and yet they work well together--I think I will stay with SU for that.

To me, a big problem is the issue of coordinating products. Each company makes dies that often coordinate with a single specific stamp set, and then they often make other items that coordinate with either or both, so you end up buying so much from them.

I think finding universal dies and wide-use stamp sets is a good idea. I want to downsize so I don't need more--I need to fill gaps and let go.

It makes good sense to have a few universal items that can either work with lots of products (a picture wheel die that works with lots of stamp sets, for example) and stamp sets that can be used in a variety of ways and still feel fresh.

I'm also cutting WAY back on the embellishments--I just don't use them much. Better to get a few basics that can be colored with ink as needed.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:47 PM   #32
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I am new to this group I am a hobby demonstrator with SU been with them just over a year now, but before that I would buy from lots of different companies I did find the choice so hard as I loved it all! I sold all of my craft supplies and joined SU I find it better as I only buy what I love and have lots of stamps and paper that no longer in new catalogue and I know I should sell them but I love them I keep buying what I love, I did get to sliver but only because my mum joined to get me my Xmas gift then end of year be bronze elite Again unless can find real person to join under me! Lol! SU is bit more then other companies with prices but it is very well made and everything matches so makes it easier for me and with new catalogue coming out dare say I be treating myself to few new things!
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