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Old 11-18-2007, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default OK, Now I'm afraid!! Where do I start?!

I've been lurking in the background for a little while now, getting instructions from the downloads and perusing all the wonderful blogs. I think cruising this site has become my new hobby!!

Every time I visit, I find more things to covet. Originally, my thought was to post for suggestions on what to buy first. Then I read the thread on how much people average spending in a month. That's when the fear set in. So if anyone would like to share, I'm going to phrase my question thusly:

Knowing what you know now, if you had to start from (almost) scratch and only had $50 to spend, what would you buy? I say almost because I dabble in hoarding scrapbook supplies, so I do have some cardstock, a few inkpads, 2 Fancy Pants 12X12 stamp sets, (which I love to look at but almost never actually use), and a Cricut with 2 font cartriges, also virtually unused.

Right now I'm drooling over Papertrey and Verve stamps, and I'm feeling like I MUST get a scallop circle punch soon or die. I'm not very familiar with SU!, but I'm intrigued by how they seem to have a matching ink for every color of cardstock.

Any and all answers are appreciated.

Thanks,
Dawn in Atlanta
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:52 PM   #2
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My answer is from the Stampin' Up perspective because that's all I use. I would start with a set of Stampin' Spots (12 square inks in one color family) and the matching assorted cardstock, and a stamp set that I really love.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:01 PM   #3
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Dawn, here would be my suggestion to get a lot of bang for your bucks:

Stampin' Up:
Rich Regals Classic Spots - $22.50 (all 12 colors)
Rich Regals Assorted Cardstock - $7.95 (3 sheets of all 12 colors)
Scallop Circle Punch - $15.95

Total - $46.40
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:04 PM   #4
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Figure out first, for which people and occasions you are most likely to want to stamp cards:

Girlfriends?
Children?
Men?
Family?

Birthdays?
Get Well?
Thinking of you?
Friendship?

OK.

Now, what style do you like?

Do you want to be able to color them in once they've been stamped to paper? Or, would solid be more your style, where you ink the stamp, stamp to paper, and bam--you're done. ?

What artstyle do you gravitate to? Elegant? Whimsical?

OK.

Do you have a preference for wood-mounted/red rubber stamps (referred to as WM)? Do any starter kits, such as those featured in the front of SU!'s catalog appeal to you? I highly advise consulting your local demonstrator. She should be able to assist you.

Also consider attending or hosting a workshop with her; you'll learn a great deal, and they are free.

Or, you could take a class at your LSS (Local Stamp or Scrapbook Store). You'll learn a great deal.

Do you have limited funds or storage space? Perhaps UM would be more suitable. UM = unmounted, and rubber and clear stamps fall in this category. They are typically used with clear acrylic mounts, as opposed to wood mounts, and, while they take up less space, they must be mounted and dismounted for use, due to the limited number of acrylic mounts (WM stamps each already on their own mount, so no mounting/dismounting is involved) Some consider this inconvenient, and others do not mind; personal preference, as to which one is "best" for you and your needs/wants.

Welcome to SCS and to stamping! There are *many* helpful threads here, and you can use the search engine to find similar threads on this topic.

And, if you can't find it, just ask; someone will more than likely know the answer around here, or can lead ya' to it--we're a pretty helpful bunch.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:20 PM   #5
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Well, I can no longer afford SU!, but I did discover The Angel Company. Their stamps are RUBBER, however you use them with acrylic blocks. They are VERY affordable. Our stamp sets run from $5.95 -$19.95, with most being in the $7.95-$10.95 range. If I knew about TAC when I first started, I would have saved a LOT of money in the long run.
Check us out!
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:24 PM   #6
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Quote:

Originally Posted by allee'sView Post
Dawn, here would be my suggestion to get a lot of bang for your bucks:

Stampin' Up:
Rich Regals Classic Spots - $22.50 (all 12 colors)
Rich Regals Assorted Cardstock - $7.95 (3 sheets of all 12 colors)
Scallop Circle Punch - $15.95

Total - $46.40
Thanks! That's the kind of advice I'm looking for. I've never seen an SU! catalog in person, just online since I joined SCS. I'm going to see if there is a demonstrator near me.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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You know, you don't have to have everything at once! I've been stamping seriously for about 5 years, and only last month finally purchased the last of the SU! punches I wanted! There are many of us on a budget who only buy a little at a time. You'll be surprised at how fast your stash of stuff will add up even on $50 a month.
Start with the basics and then add a little each month.
For great deals on stamps, or to swap images, you can always check out the BST forum here. You can also join the WISH RAK group to get stamp images you don't have but want to try.
Welcome to the addiction!
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:

Originally Posted by allee'sView Post
Dawn, here would be my suggestion to get a lot of bang for your bucks:

Stampin' Up:
Rich Regals Classic Spots - $22.50 (all 12 colors)
Rich Regals Assorted Cardstock - $7.95 (3 sheets of all 12 colors)
Scallop Circle Punch - $15.95

Total - $46.40
Thanks! That's just the kind of advice I'm looking for. I've never seen a SU! catalog in person, only online since I joined SCS. I'll have to see if there's a demonstrator near me.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:34 PM   #9
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Don't be overwhelmed! I was an occasional scrapbooker last fall when I went to my first SU workshop. I was a bit overwhelmed with my first glimpse at the catalog - I ordered one stamp set that I loved (it was on special that month), one stamp pad and one marker that coordinated. I continued using the inexpensive cardstock at my local craft store (Michaels - and always got it on sale). Then over time, I got some vanilla cardstock and then a multipack of the in color card stock. My first order was well under $50. Then a few months later I hosted a workshop. I placed a small order at my own workshop, and I got a free hostess stampset for holding it (I picked riveting which had a whole bunch of different greetings in it for different occasions) and with my hostess credit I got another stamp set some more ink and paper.

Then last winter I was invited to a stamp camp by my demonstrator. She charged $5 but gave a credit of $5 then if we ordered too. I placed a small order and built on what I had...also I learned a bunch of new techniques. Also it turned out it was sell-a-bration with SU, so I got to choose a free item for my order. Then toward summer I went to the party where SU is retiring products, my demonstrator gave a small discount on retired items, so I ordered my alphabet stamps at a savings.

This fall I joined a stamp club. We meet once a month and learn new projects and ideas. There is no charge, but we do each have to place an order of at least $25 each month. Every month a different one of us gets to be the hostess and gets the benefit for that month's sales. Most months I don't spend much more than that minimum amount, but occasionally if I have some birthday money or something, I splurge on something I really like. Also, some of us girls group together to order - like last month Tara wanted some Always Artichoke cardstock, so she ordered it and we split it 3 ways. We also regularly share ribbons and stuff.

This month was my month to host the club - and so I am getting the hostess benefit - and that's amounting to 2 hostess gifts and $120 (Cdn) of free stuff. I'm finally getting my first set of spots, a set of markers and a set of watercolor crayons with that. I always try to use the hostess benefit to get things that I might not normally spend full whack for myself on. I was blessed that there was a good special this month, so my club sales were good, but I also let some friends look at my stuff and brought in some outside orders which helped.

My point is - start with what you like and feel you can afford and then go from there. It's ok to use cheaper paper at first, but once you try the SU cardstock, I feel there is nothing like it. Go slow...and don't overextend yourself. The bottom line is - this is a creative outlet...and I think that because it involves creativity, it doesn't matter if you have all the gadgets and the latest and greatest stuff...you have your ideas, so play with what you have and see what you come up with!! I'm sure it will be great!
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:

Originally Posted by AnemoneView Post
You know, you don't have to have everything at once! I've been stamping seriously for about 5 years, and only last month finally purchased the last of the SU! punches I wanted! There are many of us on a budget who only buy a little at a time. You'll be surprised at how fast your stash of stuff will add up even on $50 a month.
Start with the basics and then add a little each month.
For great deals on stamps, or to swap images, you can always check out the BST forum here. You can also join the WISH RAK group to get stamp images you don't have but want to try.
Welcome to the addiction!
Thanks for the welcome! Intellectually, I know I don't have to have everything at once. But there's a 3 year old inside me somewhere throwing a tantrum because she needs instant gratification! The funny thing is, I don't have to DO anything with the stuff after I buy it. Just knowing it's there for all the wonderful projects I know I'll never get around to making is comforting. I like to take it all out, pat it, ooh and ahh over it, re-sort it, and (try to) put it all back.

BTW, sorry for the double post earlier. My computer had a glitch and let me to believe my first response didn't take.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:45 PM   #11
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Thanks, Les' Girl. That stamping club sounds fun. None of my friends are crafty, but I've just become friendly with a few ladies I met at my local HL. We were always bumping into each other in the stamp and cardstock aisles.
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:53 PM   #12
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Welcome!

Start out with a very versatile stamp set....or two.
Have some nice colors of paper on hand and a good paper cutter. Select some inks you would like (black plus maybe some classic spots (smaller but you get more colors)

Then just play around. You will quickly learn what you like and gravitate towards adding that stuff to your collection (markers or pencils, stickles or stickers or bling, and ribbon!!!)

for now just buy some ribbon that will go with lots of designs (black gingham or something like that!)

Good luck!
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Old 11-18-2007, 01:54 PM   #13
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Quote:

Originally Posted by deejai1922View Post
Thanks! That's just the kind of advice I'm looking for. I've never seen a SU! catalog in person, only online since I joined SCS. I'll have to see if there's a demonstrator near me.
Love that advice as well as the hint from Julie about deciding your style. I would only add one thing and that's a basic black pad! The one I have is 13 years old and still going strong (with a little reinker every now and then)... taking your total up to $50!

As soon as you get your stuff, force yourself to make something, even if you have to directly copy (Copy-And-Steal-Everything) a card from the gallery. Idle supplies get harder and harder to use. Creativity often has to be prodded.

$50 is a great start! It's the humble beginning that many of us had and now... well... I have lots of stuff (and I never spend $100 a month, probably more like $150 a year), but, to my credit, I do use and enjoy it all.
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:20 PM   #14
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First let me welcome you to our addiction!!!! Isn't it wonderful???? I'll make a list in order of importance (?)...at least it's the order I would buy things if I were just starting.

Sounds like you already have a couple of stamp sets, inks, and some papers...of various brands....so at least you can play!!

1) Tonic guilltine paper cutter. Won't cut children's limbs off. SU sells, it's also online. If you get one that doesn't cut perfectly, just return it until you get a nice sharp cut. This cutter will SAVE you so much money, because you don't have to replace the blades. Don't waste your money. Just go Tonic. (you want to see all the brands I've tried? Just go Tonic!)

2) Now decide on a line of matching ink pads, papers, and markers. I wasted a lot of money buying C R A P (sorry) at Michaels. Had stuff of poor quality, that I kept passing over...and stuff I wanted to use that wasn't quite the right color. I choose SU. You might want to consider CTMH. You could work with Brazzil....but that would take more effort.

Buy at whatever rate you can afford. You have to have the paper and a matching ink medium. So take your pick. Some people think the ink pad is the most important. Others would buy the marker first. Others might buy the ink refill first. I think I would buy the ink pad first, because you can pinch it, and get a little ink on the inside of the lid...then dip your aqua brush in it, and color your stamped figure. Actually, now that i think about it....you could make do with just the stamping spots....that would save money. Eventually, you will want every color in classic and craft ink. I have classic pads...and there are some I've probably never even opened. I also have all the craft in stamping spots...and that has been ok. When I first started stamping, I couldn't have lived without my markers. Now I use my markers very seldom. I usually use my aqua brush.

3) SU scrubber!!! I thought I'd save buying with a 40% coupon. Wrong.

4) Versamark ink pad

5) Embossing powder (first buy black, then if you own craft inks buy clear, then later gold and silver) and an SU Heat gun. It really is better than ones available with your 40% off coupon.

6) SU mulitpurpose scissors, if you have to trim rubber
and Tonic scissors (with your 40% off coupon) that has the short blades
and the spring, so the scissors open themselves after you squeeze them
closed....and HIDE these!! don't let your kids borrow them.

7) ribbon, brads, eyelets, rhinestones that match colors you've started collecting.

a couple new stamp sets!

9) some textured cardstock and/or designer papers.

10) layering tool and stamp a jig will help you turn out more precise work...
since you're getting to be an accomplished stamper!

11) more ink colors

It is WONDERFUL when you reach the point that you have all 48 colors (I buy SU)...papers, inks, markers, ribbons, brads, etc.... When you sit down to create, you actually have the things you want to include in your design.

I buy 8.5x11 and 12x12 papers because I do a lot of card making and scrapbooking. My girlfriend mainly scrapbooks...with an occassional card thrown in...so she only buys 12x12

If you could only spend $100 to get started, then $25/month...you would do great, have lots of variety, and lots to work with. Focus on new techniques, and enjoy the things you have. I probably went WAY faster than I needed to. I spent $100 the first month...then $25 for a couple months....then I got frustrated not having all the colors at my fingertips...and spent $1500? the next month...and just bought all the papers, inks, refills, markers. But don't run up your charge card...buy what you can afford when you can afford it. You'll get everything you want eventually. ENJOY THE JOURNEY!!!!

Now I'm to the point that I either need to start actually acting like a demostrator to help me meet my quarterly minimums...because I've got a really big stockpile of SU papers...and own everything else they sell that I want. And I'm now off buying Fancy Pants, Papertrey ink, Art Gone Wild, etc. I'm trying to limit it to $50/month....but you add that to my quarterly SU requirement...and a couple of local odds and ends...and I'm at $150-200/month. And that's a LOT of money in my book.

sorry for the novel. have fun with it!!! i haven't done anything in YEARS that has given me this much satisfaction and enjoyment! and believe it or not, but I found out I AM a tiny bit creative...I think we all have it in us!!!

kathy
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:21 PM   #15
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Dawn
It can get very overwhelming very quickly. Before you purchase anything decide what you want to stamp first and for whom. Are you going to do Holiday cards, stamping on your scrapbooks - what ever it is - decided that first. And it can and will change as you progress with stamping. But narrow it down now so that your first purchase if for a specific project. So that project and work from there. You will have the left over supplies from that project and you can start building on them! Go slow and steady.
Enjoy and welcome to SCS. I look forward to hearing how you are doing with your stamping and your first order!
Good Luck to you!
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Old 11-18-2007, 02:22 PM   #16
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Quote:

Originally Posted by deejai1922View Post
Thanks for the welcome! Intellectually, I know I don't have to have everything at once. But there's a 3 year old inside me somewhere throwing a tantrum because she needs instant gratification! The funny thing is, I don't have to DO anything with the stuff after I buy it. Just knowing it's there for all the wonderful projects I know I'll never get around to making is comforting. I like to take it all out, pat it, ooh and ahh over it, re-sort it, and (try to) put it all back.

BTW, sorry for the double post earlier. My computer had a glitch and let me to believe my first response didn't take.
Well, at least we don't have to take bets on when you'll get the "disease". You're clearly already infected! Welcome to the club!
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Old 11-18-2007, 04:50 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the great responses. Here's what I (think I ) want to make: I have it in my mind that I'll create all these wonderful, most likely CASEd holiday cards. Then I realize that there are only about 10 people to whom I'll realistically send cards. Of those, only half would warrant and appreciate a handmade card.

I do already own a paper cutter, which most likely needs to be replaced soon, so thanks for the Tonic suggestion, Kathy. I also have clear, black, detail silver, detail gold, copper, holographic, emerald and red embossing powder. They look so cute in their jars! I have lots of random stamps, purchased mostly at Michael's or HL. I have quite a few stamp pads, mostly chalk and pigment. I just bought and haven't opened one of those Colorbok (?) sets that have 8 colors in the shape of a flower.

As far as my style, I think I'm more drawn to elegant more than whimsical. I can't see me doing much coloring after the fact, either. I am coveting the SU! baroque set and the Papertrey Ink Holiday Wishes and Snowflake Serenade after seeing so many lucious creations in the gallery .

We're house hunting, so I don't have a craft room yet and space is definitely an issue. One reason I posted this thread is I remember when I started scrapping I bought lots of random "stuff" just because I liked it. Then I got a little more sophisticated and now looking back, I still have all that garbage and will probably never use it.

Is it best to go online and just randomly contact a demonstrator or is there a better method?

Thanks again for all the great advice,
Dawn
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:21 PM   #18
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Welcome!!! You've been giving a lot of great advice! Good luck on your stamping adventure!!
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:41 PM   #19
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Dawn ~
It is really up to you regarding finding a demo. I have many long distant customers and I love them. They participate in my clubs and classes. I have Long distant kits for them and love sharing tons of stuff with them. I talk to many on the phone and they have become good friends. Others like to stick with email contact.
SO it is really up to you - your demonstrator does not have to even be int he same state. Orders can ship directly to you! No extra shipping at all.
You sound like you are well on your way.
I am eager to find out how you do on your first purchase and see your cards!
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:48 PM   #20
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Dawn,

I'm going to suggest you take a couple of classes...they save a lot of frustration and money when you're starting out. An experienced stamper
can show how, why and when in a short time. They also can tell you what supplies are good to have, and which ones can be put on the 'later' list.

Sounds as though you have a good 'stash' going, so you won't need too much more stuff to begin playing all the time!

I know some Atlanta Michaels stores have classes; here's the blog of one instructor at a Michaels in Atlanta.

http://thecardcastle.blogspot.com/

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Old 11-18-2007, 06:56 PM   #21
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Hey CASED holiday cards are perfectly valid. The design for mine this year is heavily based on inspiration from the gallery. I only have around 10 people to send them to and I still do. I think the card making is more for my enjoyment than anything else really. If they don't appreciate it then oh well you still got to enjoy creating and I bet that more people will appreciate it then you realize.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:43 AM   #22
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Thanks, Nancy. I sent Jacki an email to find out if she teaches anywhere near me.

I appreciate all of the encouragement. Now, another question. Which scalloped punch is best? I've seen one in the SU online catalog and also one by Marvy. I even tried the tutorial I found showing how one can fashion a scalloped circle from a plain one using a corner rounder. Unfortunately, either I'm an idiot or I don't have the right kind of rounder, because my attempts were woefully pathetic!!

Also, I've salivated over the embossed backgrounds I've seen credited to the Cuttlebug embossing folders. The lustful temptation to run out and buy one is a little tempered based on how I just HAD to have the Fiskars texture plates after I saw them on HSN a couple years ago. I still think they're pretty nifty, but I've only used them a few times. I'm wondering if I can use them to similar effect as the Cuttlebug...at least to start.
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by deejai1922View Post
Thanks, Nancy. I sent Jacki an email to find out if she teaches anywhere near me.

I appreciate all of the encouragement. Now, another question. Which scalloped punch is best? I've seen one in the SU online catalog and also one by Marvy. I even tried the tutorial I found showing how one can fashion a scalloped circle from a plain one using a corner rounder. Unfortunately, either I'm an idiot or I don't have the right kind of rounder, because my attempts were woefully pathetic!!

Also, I've salivated over the embossed backgrounds I've seen credited to the Cuttlebug embossing folders. The lustful temptation to run out and buy one is a little tempered based on how I just HAD to have the Fiskars texture plates after I saw them on HSN a couple years ago. I still think they're pretty nifty, but I've only used them a few times. I'm wondering if I can use them to similar effect as the Cuttlebug...at least to start.

Here's one solution to fancy-edged shapes (circles, ovals, squares, rectangles and triangles):

http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com/20...oes-it_10.html
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:33 AM   #24
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Quote:

Originally Posted by deejai1922View Post
Now, another question. Which scalloped punch is best? I've seen one in the SU online catalog and also one by Marvy. I even tried the tutorial I found showing how one can fashion a scalloped circle from a plain one using a corner rounder.

Ease of use + least expenditure? SU!'s scalloped circle punch.

However, you are limited by size (it measures 1 3/4" diameter), and reach.

Marvy punches have more scallops, and they're not quite as deep. They have even less of a reach than the SU! punch.

If you have a personal die cutting machine, you could get the Cuttlebug scallop circle dies, which can cut through medium weight coaster board and lightweight chipboard, felt, thin sheet metals, etc., but even the largest of the set of 4 dies isn't as large as the SU! punch.

Alternatively, you might consider the Nestabilities Classic Scalloped Circle dies; they are not limited by reach, and are cross compatible with a variety of personal die cutting machines (not just the Wizard) on the market, including the Cuttlebug and the Big Shot/Big Kick.

For your $24.95 investment (roughly the same as the largest Marvy Scallop Circle punch), you will end up with 6 graduating sizes of scallop circles. They are lightweight, and store flat, consuming very little space, when you compare the number of punches it would take to achieve the same variety of sizes--which you couldn't because there aren't 6 different punch sizes--at least not that I've heard.

HTH,
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:41 AM   #25
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When I started I just used black ink and colored it in with pencils.

Figure out what kind of stamper you are. I love pencils so invested in those. If you are a purely rubber stamper, then ink spots would be the way to go.

Each month I would alternate between tools and stamps. And I would get the cheaper unmounted clear and rubber stamps to get the most bang for my buck at first.

Watch for sales online carefully. Buy at Michaels using the 40% off coupon. And here is the best thing- find a company that has a monthly kit. Everything you need and ideas to boot in one price. The Stampin Up kits are quite costly and not really worth it to me. I do really like Better Homes and Gardens Christy Thomlinson's kits found here:
http://www.scarletlime.com/

Now they are supposedly for scrapbookers but they also have a papercrafting kit AND these all come with her exclusive stamps each month. I am a card maker and intend to use her kits mostly for that. Problem with the kits is that they are always out of stock - took me two months to even get to subscribe monthly LOL
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:42 AM   #26
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JulieHRRView Post

For your $24.95 investment (roughly the same as the largest Marvy Scallop Circle punch), you will end up with 6 graduating sizes of scallop circles. They are lightweight, and store flat, consuming very little space, when you compare the number of punches it would take to achieve the same variety of sizes--which you couldn't because there aren't 6 different punch sizes--at least not that I've heard.

HTH,
I just looked at the Nestabilities tutorials on Papertrey Ink and I must say I'm leaning in that direction. My only problem is that the only die cut system I own is the Cricut. (Neither of the two catridges I own, George and Base Camp, has a scalloped circle. Drat! That would have solved everything!) I'm thinking I could use the Nestabilities as templates though....yes?
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:09 AM   #27
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You've gotten so much wonderful advice!!

While there are many, many SU demos on this site (myself included) I think it is best to start out with a local demo. Why? For the classes, workshops, etc. You can use the demo locater to find up to 10 local demos. Call them. - call more than one! Find out what their schedules are like, how often they do classes, etc. Do they have stamp clubs? Not all demos have classes and not all have clubs. Find a demo. you like, not necessarily the same style as you - you'll be amazed at how your style evolves. On the web you WILL find many demos giving away the farm, all their discount, etc. Sounds good at first, but you do need to factor in customer service, etc. Will they help you learn? Will they give you ideas?

While I am a demo, and I think SU's cardstock, ink and stamps are the best, that doesn't mean that I don't buy from other companies. The most important thing is to buy what you love!!! And to have fun!!

And don't underestimate your friends/relatives. It's amazing how many people really DO appreciate a handmade card. You never know 'til you try.

Have fun on your journey!
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:29 AM   #28
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Have you looked on ebay under Stampin Up stamps? All the products, paper, inkpads, etc are available for sale at very reduced prices! The other companies' products are for sale online too. Sometimes a whole color range of stamps pads (all soft subtles for example) are offered in a lot for much less than buying new from a demonstator. Start there, you're already infected. Take classes to learn techniques, but you are not obligated to buy things at classes, decide what you want to do, find the stamp sets, or individual stamps from a set, and begin.

"It's not she who dies with the most stuff wins", that's only for my last hobby--sewing. Stampin is different. She who does the most with her creativity wins here!
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:06 AM   #29
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Don't forget about SU's Sale-a-bration that will be held in Feb. and the first half of March. You can choose a free stamp set or scrap kit (from the Sale-a-bration brochure) for every $50 spent. This promo is a great way to stretch your $$ and get more bang for you buck!

HTH!
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