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Old 05-10-2019, 05:36 PM   #1
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Default Monthly Kits Comparison

Over the past few years I have tried Paper Pumpkin, Simon Says Stamp, My Monthly Hero, Catherine Pooler Stamp of Approval, and this month Tonic Kits.
I am wondering if anyone else has "tried them all" and what your thoughts are about them? Here are my general thoughts:

Paper Pumpkin - has gotten better, but quality of adhesives, and paper included is not SU quality. Very small stamps an a small ink pad. Reasonable at about $25.

Simon Says Stamp - lots of product, good ideas, 6 x 8 sheet of stamps, no dies, usually part of a pad of 6x6 paper, and some embellishments. Reasonable at about $35.

My Monthly Hero - Fabulous product, very good ideas, 6 x 8 sheet of good stamps and lots of matching dies and the opportunity to purchase coordinating "extra" stamps and/or dies. Usually not much paper. Reasonable at about $35.

Cathering Pooler Stamp of Approval - very good in the beginning, the card ideas that come with it are outstanding. Usually includes 3 or 4 stamp sets, a couple of die sets, a stencil or background stamp. And a surprise - ink pad or acrylic block etc. It's pretty pricey though at around $100.

Tonic Kits - no card ideas, for very advanced creative people, a great way to try new tonic products. Good stamps and significant amount of dies and a stencil, and good storage system. A little pricey at about $40.

So what do the rest of you think? And if you know of others, please list them and a description if you can.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:12 PM   #2
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Tonic Kit addition. Forgot to mention the luxurious papers that are included in the Tonic Kit. Really unusual, embossed, metallic, glitter, all 8 1/2 x 11.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:32 PM   #3
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None of them are really worth the value if you don't like what's in them.

I had paper pumpkin for a while, but I want card kits, not treat bag kits or wreath kits or journal kits or home decor kits. So now I only get them when there are good clues as to what's going to be in them. And I don't consider getting one at all unless I'm certain it will be a card kit. I think the quality is fine, though.

Simon, I never subscribed to, but have bought a couple of kits after they were released and I could see all of the contents. That, of course, is not a foolproof plan because some kits do sell out, and they are often more expensive to buy as a single purchase. But Simon, at least, makes most of the stamp sets available separately, so I have often ended up just buying the stamps from a kit because I didn't like the whole kit, and getting just the stamps saves me money.

Hero Arts looks impressive, but I know me, and their kits are generally above my skill set/patience level for crafting.

My Favorite Things also offers kits, but they are too expensive for me. (And the last kit was just a big stamp set, a big die set, and white cardstock, which seemed strange.)
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNacho View Post
None of them are really worth the value if you don't like what's in them.

I had paper pumpkin for a while, but I want card kits, not treat bag kits or wreath kits or journal kits or home decor kits. So now I only get them when there are good clues as to what's going to be in them. And I don't consider getting one at all unless I'm certain it will be a card kit. I think the quality is fine, though.
Simon, I never subscribed to, but have bought a couple of kits after they were released and I could see all of the contents. That, of course, is not a foolproof plan because some kits do sell out, and they are often more expensive to buy as a single purchase. But Simon, at least, makes most of the stamp sets available separately, so I have often ended up just buying the stamps from a kit because I didn't like the whole kit, and getting just the stamps saves me money.

Hero Arts looks impressive, but I know me, and their kits are generally above my skill set/patience level for crafting.


My Favorite Things also offers kits, but they are too expensive for me. (And the last kit was just a big stamp set, a big die set, and white cardstock, which seemed strange.)

Ditto for me regarding SU Paper Pumpkin. I only want card kits, not crafty kits. Plus I found I didn’t care for a lot of the styles of the stamps or paper. The unknown factor of whether I would like it or far outweighed the surprise factor. Plus the Canadian price keeps going up. I haven’t subscribed for year and a half.

That being said, May PP sneak peaks look right down my alley so I am getting this one. Then unsubscribing again. It is going up to 30.00 Canadian and even my demo said she would rather put 30$ into a stamp set she loves, than into a surprise she may not like. And I completely agree!
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:45 PM   #5
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I find this post interesting because I've been wondering the same thing. Although I've only gotten the Paper Pumpkin, Tonic Studios and Hero Arts kits, this is what I've found:

Hero Arts kits, although cool looking, have a lot less in them than they did even a year ago and the price is the same. For that, I just can't bring myself to purchase them. But I have bought the individual stamp sets I've liked.

The Tonic Studios kits are fantastic. Lots of product, different types of cardstock (mirrored, cotton, sparkle, weave) it all depends on the them of the kit. I do agree, this is for an advanced crafter. The dies alone are usually worth the cost of the kit. The only problem is it makes you hungry to buy more and their USA website is lacking. They only carry about 1/4th what the UK site does and I just can't bring myself to pay the conversion prices to order from the UK. Plus, I've run into the USA site being out of stock on items they say are in stock and when you contact customer service, they always say its supply issues from the UK. Over the past year, that's been a drag.

I like the sneak peak we now get for Paper Pumpkin so I can choose to suspend if I want (and I have!). I do agree, the paper quality this past year, is just not SU quality, but beyond that, they are still a good value. I like the card kits best of all, and take a pass on the other types of kits. Especially the calendar ones, which to me, are pretty useless.

I'd love to hear input on other companies. Is Club Scrap still around? I remember wayyyyy back when, they used to have the coolest kits! If there was ever an all Tim Holtz kit released...I'd snap it up in a heartbeat!
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:41 AM   #6
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Whimsy Stamps has a monthly kit that is available on the 10th of each month, called Paper Door. You get to see exactly what you're getting, stamps, dies, 6" X 6" coordinating paper pad (24 sheets), and either an extra stamp and/or die set for scene building, and sometimes a coordinating stencil. 10 half-sheets of black & white cardstock are included. I think a very good value for $29.95; no need to subscribe.

They started this in January this year. I just found out about it a month or so ago, and I want that January kit so badly. I NEED IT! I'm a penguin lover and this kit was called "Penguin Farts." The paper pack is available, which I've ordered. Because there was a set released (not part of a kit) that is called "Penguin Poop". I have it. They say individual items from a kit may or may not be released at a later date. My heart is set on their re-release of that stamp set!
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:01 AM   #7
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Gina K has really nice kits and her dies include a magnetic sheet. She includes quite a bit of paper and they come in a storage box so they are sort of zero waste.

I've been a big fan of the Hero kits since the beginning - I still have the very first one and it's way less than half the size they are now - they are very die heavy and always include a fun medium - a liquid watercolor or ink or embossing powder etc.

Tons of great options out there.
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:40 AM   #8
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**Question ! Is Paper Pumpkin having sneak peaks from now on, or just this May one?
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:51 PM   #9
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Fran’s Frantic Stamper began selling kits recently. Kits are tempting but aren’t usually a great fit, but bought her first one and was impressed. There’s a lot of product, and her website provides a list plus photos. So no big surprises. She’s such a nice person with outstanding CS, that I also wanted to support her new venture.

Frantic Stamper Monthly Card Kits

I’ve purchased two Hero Arts kits, one long ago because there were items I’d use. Scott (cardcutups.com) enabled me to buy another one, darn him, after watching one of his videos.

He makes ten cards from a kit - Hero Arts and Love From Lizi - which is in the UK so shipping to the U.S. is spendy. Love From Lizi kits are packed - and more expensive. There’s a lot of ephemera, always Nuvo drops and maybe embossing powder. Watching Scott’s end results has taught me to look at products more expansively, since I love his work and Lizi kits tend to be more traditional while I lean more contemporary.
LFL Monthly Card Kit - Products

When I began stamping I subscribed to Studio Calico’s Scrapbook kit, not that I scrapbook, to build up a stash. The kits were terrific but as I drilled down to what supplies fit best, I ended donating an awful lot of it. (They stopped selling card kits or I would have subscribed to those.)

Nice thread, Karen.
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:33 PM   #10
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I’ve never purchased from Whimsy, but went to look at their kits and saw this. Nice.
https://whimsystamps.com/pages/adoptdontshop
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Old 05-11-2019, 03:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncbballfan View Post
Whimsy Stamps has a monthly kit that is available on the 10th of each month, called Paper Door. You get to see exactly what you're getting, stamps, dies, 6" X 6" coordinating paper pad (24 sheets), and either an extra stamp and/or die set for scene building, and sometimes a coordinating stencil. 10 half-sheets of black & white cardstock are included. I think a very good value for $29.95; no need to subscribe.

They started this in January this year. I just found out about it a month or so ago, and I want that January kit so badly. I NEED IT! I'm a penguin lover and this kit was called "Penguin Farts." The paper pack is available, which I've ordered. Because there was a set released (not part of a kit) that is called "Penguin Poop". I have it. They say individual items from a kit may or may not be released at a later date. My heart is set on their re-release of that stamp set!
Oh my goodness, I need that January kit, too!!!
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:15 PM   #12
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I get the Graphic 45 monthly kits and although they are not just cards (mini-albums, books, journals, frames) they often include a card which can be fairly elaborate - you receive all items you need to make the project(s) and card, except for normal papercrafting tools (scissors, glue, etc.). Their papers and projects are stunning and include very detailed instructions, papers, embellishments but do cost $50 a month. If you do not get the monthly kit subscription, there is usually a chance a kit will sell out and you may not be able to get it at all, even on ebay, etc. I have never regretted subscribing to Graphic 45; there are also online detailed tutorials on how to put the kits together. Their products are beautiful and high-quality.
Another similar company is Heartfelt Creations - I have taken their classes at a craft show and they are beautiful cards and sometimes another item (picture frame, etc.) You can purchase card making kits on their site but I don't see that they have monthly kits. However, there are free videos and online classes you can purchase. Very nice quality papers and products.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:33 AM   #13
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"Pepperann - you said," If there was ever an all Tim Holtz kit released...I'd snap it up in a heartbeat!"


Me, too. Maybe we can get a petition going and Tim will respond with kits..Yay!!!


I, too, have had Paper Pumpkin kits and then, because of the kit contents not being anything I'm interested in, I unsubscribed. I'm glad you said they have a sneak peek now and that just makes sense. I might check them out again.


I haven't been aware of other kits but, thanks to this thread, I now am and will check them out-online, at least.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:37 AM   #14
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They’ve been running a lot of small hints and peeks the last few months. There’s no hard, fast rule about it but it has been more common the past year or so I’ve thought.
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**Question ! Is Paper Pumpkin having sneak peaks from now on, or just this May one?
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:39 AM   #15
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I love LOVE SSS kits. To me it’s the best out there. I also love Tonic as well. I am not fond of paper pumpkin or Stamps of Life. I think Hero Arts is nice but I don’t like the themes (Paris, Roaring 20s, Ocean, etc)
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:43 AM   #16
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I love LOVE SSS kits. To me it’s the best out there. I also love Tonic as well. I am not fond of paper pumpkin or Stamps of Life. I think Hero Arts is nice but I don’t like the themes (Paris, Roaring 20s, Ocean, etc)

What are SSS kits?
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:51 AM   #17
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I buy just the ones I want based on the release so that leaves Paper Pumpkin out. I’m finding that the Spellbinder kits have a LOT of things in them. ...and you can opt out if you don’t like the kits this month. I am currently getting one that includes 3 kits together - one being foil dies. I have been happy with these!
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:53 AM   #18
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What are SSS kits?

Simon Says Stamp.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:17 AM   #19
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Club Scrap does have a scrapbook kit, and a cardmaking kit. Unmounted stamps are an add-on item, so it isn’t really a stamping kit. I have seen a few people here who want to make cards, but don’t feel confident stamping or designing the cards, and I think this card kit would work for that type of person.

My scrapbook-only friends love their kits because they use all of the paper in the layouts with just tiny little scraps.
I have purchased their stamps separately and they are good quality unmounted rubber, and some different designs than you see elsewhere.

I have occasionally purchased card kits from Close to My Heart, which is not a subscription, but a quarterly catalog of kits. I find them to be a pretty good value if I like the stamp set.

I have purchased a couple of the Hero Arts kits and really like them.

I have seen, but not purchased, Queen and Co kits (heavy on shakers and embellishments), Scrappin’ For Less has some Flavor of the Month kits that are interesting and are kind of a mix of smaller card kits, so you aren’t inundated with a huge supply of one theme. I have been tempted by that one.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:37 AM   #20
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I'd love to hear input on other companies. Is Club Scrap still around? I remember wayyyyy back when, they used to have the coolest kits!

Yes, Club Scrap is still around! As an employee of the company, we are celebrating 20 years in business on June 1, 2019.

We offer scrapbooking kits, card making kits and rubber stamps. They offer monthly subscriptions, or you can simply shop the online store. We'd love it if you checked us out: home - Club Scrap
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:40 AM   #21
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Belonged to Club scrap for a yr. But stopped as I did not always like what was in the kit. NOw I follow Simon Says. If they have dies or stamps I like for my card making i buy it. Kits aren't always supplying what everyone wants so decided to go it along and just keep on trucking with the stamps and dies I like.
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:56 AM   #22
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Spellbinders has 6 different kits and a variety of combos to save even more. They have Large Die (set), Small Die (set), Foiling Kit, Card Kit, Stamp (set) and Amazing Paper Grace (elegant dies by Becca Feeken). The prices vary but are very reasonable. I’ve gotten them for a few months now and love them.

One other thing to consider about any kit is whether or not you can skip a kit you don’t like/won’t use. Hero arts only allows that if you sign up for more than one month at a time. SSS allows you to skip any kit, no limit. Spellbinders allows you to switch, pause or cancel any kit at any time. Of course if it has shipped you pay for that one.

Echo park recently started a new bi-monthly (6/year) kit that looks amazing. Don’t know much except you cannot skip any kits.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:22 AM   #23
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Paper Pumpkin. I like them. Though I do agree I'd rather they keep them cards, the alternative videos are quite good when they decide on other projects.

Simon Says Stamp kits. I'm a fan. I have some of them. I don't subscribe, but haven't had trouble getting one I liked.

Love from Lizi makes a nice kit even though I don't see it beforehand. She does drop hints on her social media, but I don't keep up with it. Shipping costs across the Atlantic are..well, we all know. There are substantial products in the kit. There are not inspiration sheets, but plenty of inspiring videos. I enjoy them.

Queen & Co. have adorable shaker kits. I've gotten an couple of them and haven't been disappointed.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:34 AM   #24
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Default SSS - you can be choosy

You can pick and choose which Simon Says Stamp kits that you receive by simply paying via Paypal rather than giving them a credit card that they would automatically charge each month. With the Paypal option,
SSS "invoices" you for the kit then you have 2 or 3 days to authorize payment through Paypal. Since SSS sends out a preview of the release about a week before, I can be selective. Over the last year, I only bought 4 kits. I found some of them not to my taste and others too similar to stamps I already own. As to other monthly kits, I've tried Paper Pumpkin (too many decor items), Tonic (dies/stamps not to my taste, but products are nice), and Studio Calico cards (no longer offered). For possibilities, I'd like Tim Holtz items, if offered.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:35 AM   #25
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None of them are really worth the value if you don't like what's in them.

I had paper pumpkin for a while, but I want card kits, not treat bag kits or wreath kits or journal kits or home decor kits. So now I only get them when there are good clues as to what's going to be in them. And I don't consider getting one at all unless I'm certain it will be a card kit. I think the quality is fine, though.

Simon, I never subscribed to, but have bought a couple of kits after they were released and I could see all of the contents. That, of course, is not a foolproof plan because some kits do sell out, and they are often more expensive to buy as a single purchase. But Simon, at least, makes most of the stamp sets available separately, so I have often ended up just buying the stamps from a kit because I didn't like the whole kit, and getting just the stamps saves me money.

Hero Arts looks impressive, but I know me, and their kits are generally above my skill set/patience level for crafting.

My Favorite Things also offers kits, but they are too expensive for me. (And the last kit was just a big stamp set, a big die set, and white cardstock, which seemed strange.)
Same here on the SU paper pumpkins! I only want CARD kits!!! Not treats and other things!!!!
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:35 AM   #26
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I totally agree with the PP SU kits. I ONLY want cards -- I don't craft -- I make cards and I use the cards I make. That said, I was excited to note that if you don't like the kit you get, you can call them and SEND IT BACK. As a result, I subscribed prepaid for a year, but if I know it isn't cards, I opt out of that month and if I get a kit I don't like, I am going to call them and tell them. I don't care how much it costs, if you don't like the contents, it just isn't worth it.

I would NEVER pay $100 for something someone else chose for me. I am a very choosey stamper and want to choose my own stamps, paper, etc. I loved the idea of the Catherine Pooler kits but at that price -- no matter what is in it, it isn't worth it for me. I'll choose my own for $100.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:37 AM   #27
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I only do kits when I can see what is in them so I will not buy them ahead of time. I really like SSS kits but choose them only now and then, and have bought some of the MFT kits. I'll do a HERO Arts every now and then but didn't know Tonic had kits. They need to do a better job of advertising. I signed up for Spellbinders kits for one month and was really disappointed. Didn't like them at all. It is nice when you can check kits out from a company each month and them jump on them but I don't like the idea of having to subscribe since you just never know what you are going to get.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:13 AM   #28
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I used to subscribe to the SSS kits but got a few that were not my style, so it is worth it to me to spend the extra $5 to purchase only when I like the contents. They generally come out around mid-month so you can preview and decide if you like them. This month's kit was just released and I think the stamp set is gorgeous but the paper and ephemera are not my style, so I won't be indulging this month LOL!

I've also bought a few Hero Arts kits but I don't use them frequently because the stamps are often very small and silhouette style rather than line stamps. But they always include other products that I think are cool and often include coordinating dies.

Thanks for sharing the names of other companies that have kits. I do like them if you get a lot of bang for your buck.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:45 AM   #29
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I got tired of the different kits I tried so I decided to make a smaller order once a month and make my own monthly kits!!!!! I don't waste any money on duplicates or things I don't like and my card making stays FRESH!!! So so FUN!!!
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:22 PM   #30
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Same here on the SU paper pumpkins! I only want CARD kits!!! Not treats and other things!!!!
Do they ever want to know what we want.? I have filled out a survey at least once and SAID CARD KITS ONLY! Please listen to your customers I unsubbed quite awhile ago... signed up for the May kit though. And unsubbed yesterday again...
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:24 PM   #31
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Default Crafters Companion Subscription Boxes

My bet favorite are the Crafters Companion Subscription boxes. Only available on HSN during craft week, you can subscribe and choose to skip any month you wish. Always enough materials for about 2 dozen cards, the educational videos really add to the value. Each month is a different topic and is like a master class for under $25 with all supplies included!
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Old 05-14-2019, 03:37 PM   #32
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**Question ! Is Paper Pumpkin having sneak peaks from now on, or just this May one?

Since the popularity for Paper Pumpkin is now so high, they have full time staff for this program. I listened to some recent video updates. They will do some sort of sneak peek every month and tell whether it is cards or projects. (June's sneak peek has already been posted). They know people like cards best, so other projects will mostly be around holidays such as Halloween and Valentine's Day and will be announced ahead so you can opt out if you want. I'm so impressed by the kits this past year, especially compared to the beginning 6 years ago. You might want to catch the Facebook live they do each month on the corporate Paper Pumpkin page. They show ideas for the current kit and sometimes give away a few of the next kit.
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:25 PM   #33
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Since the popularity for Paper Pumpkin is now so high, they have full time staff for this program. I listened to some recent video updates. They will do some sort of sneak peek every month and tell whether it is cards or projects. (June's sneak peek has already been posted). They know people like cards best, so other projects will mostly be around holidays such as Halloween and Valentine's Day and will be announced ahead so you can opt out if you want. I'm so impressed by the kits this past year, especially compared to the beginning 6 years ago. You might want to catch the Facebook live they do each month on the corporate Paper Pumpkin page. They show ideas for the current kit and sometimes give away a few of the next kit.

Thanks for that info! I might be interested in them again I will watch for sure
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:29 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by ckstampcrazy View Post
I got tired of the different kits I tried so I decided to make a smaller order once a month and make my own monthly kits!!!!! I don't waste any money on duplicates or things I don't like and my card making stays FRESH!!! So so FUN!!!

I like that idea ckstampcrazy! In fact I may take that idea a step further and make my own kits out of my own stuff! Then when I want fast and easy, I can just grab a kit and go for it. I figure I'll save money, use my stuff so I can buy more, and end up with things I like...lol!
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:30 PM   #35
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My bet favorite are the Crafters Companion Subscription boxes. Only available on HSN during craft week, you can subscribe and choose to skip any month you wish. Always enough materials for about 2 dozen cards, the educational videos really add to the value. Each month is a different topic and is like a master class for under $25 with all supplies included!

Wow, that sounds awesome! What is HSN?
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:30 PM   #36
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Wow, that sounds awesome! What is HSN?

Home Shopping Network. It was originally a television shopping channel, but of course now you can access them online, too. I'm not sure whether you can see it in Canada, or if they will ship to you from their website.
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Old 05-14-2019, 06:33 PM   #37
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Since the popularity for Paper Pumpkin is now so high, they have full time staff for this program. I listened to some recent video updates. They will do some sort of sneak peek every month and tell whether it is cards or projects. (June's sneak peek has already been posted). They know people like cards best, so other projects will mostly be around holidays such as Halloween and Valentine's Day and will be announced ahead so you can opt out if you want. I'm so impressed by the kits this past year, especially compared to the beginning 6 years ago. You might want to catch the Facebook live they do each month on the corporate Paper Pumpkin page. They show ideas for the current kit and sometimes give away a few of the next kit.

Thanks for posting that it's up! I really like that one. I think I will have to grab it!
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:11 PM   #38
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We have the chance in Oz this month, today in fact, to order Shelli's Paper Pumpkin box. At the moment it is a once off so I just had to order one. It sounds like good value for money at AUD$37. Can't wait to see what's in it.
I'm so excited!
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:37 PM   #39
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So no one has tried Hedgehog Hollow's kits? Also, I just saw that Pink and Main started a monthly kit too but I don't know the details yet. Honestly, I think monthly product releases are bad enough but now we are doubly inundated with new products with everyone and their brother having monthly kits too. Hedgehog Hollow appealed to me when they first came out as they made it a collection of multiple brands in one box, but haven't tried one yet. They have changed it to be one brand featured per month. The reveal of the June under-the-sea themed box is on the 18th and the brand is Tonic. Cost is $39.99, has over $45+ of product (June's says $75+). Subscribers (3 months or more) get coupon codes to the brand and Ellen Hutson (at least for June) and a bonus product. Some items in the kit can be exclusive to HH and not available elsewhere. Doesn't look like you can skip a month if you pay for 3. Oh, and shipping within the US is $3.99.

I haven't tried the others because I need to see what I'm getting before I fork over the $ for it and so far I've opted to get a single item rather than a whole kit from SSS and MFT. MFT seems to release their kit products the following month or so. I can wait Might have to look into the Flavor of the Month kit... hadn't seen that one yet. Echo Park could have promise too! Ah, forever hopeful!
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Old 05-15-2019, 12:37 AM   #40
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Betsy Veldman designed most of the kits for Papertrey Ink. Now that she has started her own company, The Greetery, I'm hoping she will offer kits there.

https://thegreetery.com
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