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Old 09-13-2016, 10:25 AM   #1
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Default Spending Freeze

I know a lot of us crafters are on a spending freeze - whether by choice or by necessity, so I thought I'd start a thread about some tips, tricks and details that worked to keep us on track. I'm hoping it will help another reader or 2 out there, or (at the very least) help us look at things in a positive light.

So, here's my story:

I started stamping in 2013 (it'll be my 3rd blog "card-iversary" in October), and I spent a good portion of the first 2 years just building up a stash. I did a lot of research before purchasing my tools, so I could invest in the stuff that would last me years. So, I got a good heat gun, paper trimmer, coloring mediums and adhesive. For the rest of my supplies, I went with a combination of things that crafters recommended and things that caught my eye. I had a loose rule of not buying things until I've seen at least 2 different crafters review it, and I ended up with virtually no purchases that I regretted.

During this time, I essentially let myself buy thing with wild abandon. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of extra spending money, as I'm both frugal and have been fortunate to have supportive friends and family who gifted me a few gift cards for birthdays and holidays. So, I shopped new releases, major sales and indulged in the many crafty "needs". And I built up a rather large crafty stash along with it.

I decided to go on a spending freeze earlier this year because I was starting to feel overwhelmed by all the supplies in my stash. I didn't want to do a destash, but I really needed to get my supplies under control. More importantly, I wanted to build up a stash of cards and other projects that I could use for holidays. I put myself on a pretty strict spending freeze.

The first thing I did was remove my e-mail from several store lists. I knew they'd be sending me special offers often and that it wouldn't make me happy to constantly have to remind myself that I can't (or shouldn't) shop. It wasn't a question of self-control, really, just that I did not want to feel negative about card-making. I wanted the crafty content I see to inspire me, not make me sad.

The second thing I did was look over my purchases over the last year and figure out my shopping patterns. I noticed that I made large orders when sales were going on, that I bought entire limited releases (fear of missing out) and that I shopped a lot when I had 70+ hour weeks at work (something about buying some happy crafting goodies made the work exhaustion more bearable). The problem with these were that I rarely -if ever- used the things I purchased from this.

With sales, I noticed that I bought a ton of stuff because it was cheap - and not because it fit my style or crafty plans. It was never the first set that would pop into my mind when I sat down to design a card. And the longer they were in my stash, the more I forgot about them. So, I made a personal rule to stop shopping sales. If there's a special offer/discount that happens right when I'm about to order something, great. Otherwise, I'll just pay full price. Yes, it means I get less supplies, but it also means I put more value on my supplies and I'm careful to get things I need vs things that are cheap.

My problem with limited edition items wasn't just that it made me rush to order, but that it would be frustrating for anyone that didn't get a chance to buy the item. Retired items are things you can still sometimes find in thrift-stores or on E-Bay. Limited edition, on the other hand ends up for sale for hundreds and doesn't get cheaper as time goes by. The other issue was that inspiration for those limited edition items was very very small. Lots of projects around the release, no projects after release - because companies and designers don't want to tease and frustrate crafters with stuff they can't get anymore either.

Tackling "reward" shopping... I just re-framed it. If I'm too busy and too tired to craft, then I'm definitely too busy/tired to shop. Instead, I'd watch an episode of my favorite show, or spend time catching up on crafty YT videos.

The third thing I did is make a private Pintrest board. Whenever I saw something I really wanted, I'd pin it instead of adding it to the cart. I go through the board once or twice per month, and remove things that are no longer exciting. Surprisingly enough, quite a few things that I felt I "needed" in the moment are things that didn't really interest me two weeks later. I think it's easy to get swept away in excitement of a new release and feel like I really need it all, when the reality is that I only need a couple of things.

The fourth thing I did is go through my stash and start organizing. It's an ongoing process, and I'm tackling it little by little. But one thing I noticed was that I was surprised at how many things I got that I'd completely forgotten about. Some were stamp sets, others were decorative bits and pieces that I now encourage myself to use instead of saving it for the perfect card. There's been quite a few things that made it out of my pintrest board because I found something similar in my stash while re-organizing.

The fifth and final thing I did is create my own personal challenges. From things like re-imagining card designs with different stamps to using one stamp for 3 different cards -- it has really motivated me to continue using up my stash. I recently (this month) started a stash kit project, and I'm really loving it. It's been a great way to get more out of card-making and kept me too busy to think about other stamps that are being released.

Phew! Sorry for the wall of text. I just figured I'd share what I've learned and maybe encourage some of you to share your own stories and discoveries, too.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:04 AM   #2
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Well dang, Elle, you were typing/posting this while unbeknownst, I was 'responding' in another thread! lol! We were definitely thinking along the same lines. Thanks for sharing your story, and tips and tricks. I know hearing about how others figured out how to manage is what helped me figure it out what could work for me. and if it's a hobby that's supposed to be fun and give you joy, figuring out this end of it is really important, don't you think?
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Old 09-13-2016, 01:19 PM   #3
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Oh, for sure! I just read through your reply in the other thread and love that we had so many similar ideas! I am really enjoying shopping my stash, too, and discovering forgotten goodies. And I'm really enjoying the feeling of having made a great card I love without having spent anything extra on it.
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:50 PM   #4
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Reward shopping is my downfall.

I have never instituted a freeze, but I am being more careful to watch & pay attention to the kind of things you mention. Lots of good thoughts and ideas. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:39 PM   #5
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Great great common sense advice! And well put.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:17 PM   #6
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The PIF threads here on SCS are a great way to find something new without shopping, and it's a nice way to get to know people too : )

I've been enjoying it.
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Old 09-13-2016, 07:56 PM   #7
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It really helps to have a friend to do a spending freeze with. I went on one earlier this year in advance of my summer vacation; my friend is still on hers. Some details that I think really helped:
  • We both specified an end date and a goal associated with that date-- I picked August because that was when I was going on vacation, she picked a later date because she is planning to go to a craft show.
  • We identified exceptions at the beginning that we COULD still spend money on during the freeze. For example, I was also on the lookout for a retired stamp set, so I wanted to be able to get it if it came up on eBay or BST.
  • Anything you ran out of, like glue or a roll of washi, you could replace.
  • We emailed each other when we were weak and wanted stuff we didn't actually NEED.
  • We were able to grant permission to the other to break the freeze. It seems like a cheat, but we made each other really explain why we wanted the thing, rather than just buying on impulse. There was a lot of talking out of stuff, and a lot of realizing you really didn't need to buy a new stamp set.
  • Paying for crops was okay, because the point of the spending freeze is I HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF ALREADY, and the crop is where you go to use your stuff up.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:24 AM   #8
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When I started card making 10 years $$$ was tight. It took me a couple years before I had a good inventory!

I'm now to the point where I'm starting to feel like i need to stop buying. I don't like the feeling of excess. Lately I look at all my stamps and think whoa! Enough!

I don't duplicate tools...one scoreboard, one, cutter, one cuttlebug, etc.

I buy mainly from one company. SU! I don't buy online often...well stamps anyway. Clothes that's a different story!

It feels good to me to use up my supplies, cut into that dsp, etc. so that's one good thing.

I'm happy to just buy rhinestones, paper, adhesive, etc. for awhile! It feels good.
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Old 09-14-2016, 02:52 AM   #9
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I have been on a spending cutback for years, since kids started college and all our money was tied up with them. Here's what I have done to change my evil ways:
1. stay out of the stores, wandering around with a coupon I felt I had to use was silly
2. stay off the internet, too many temptations
3. whittle the list of must haves down to a few favorite companies and products, I don't have to have or try everything
4. when I go to a crop at my LSS I set a spending limit and take cash, no exceptions
5. keep a list of every crafting penny spent
6. use what I have
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Last edited by lutheran; 09-14-2016 at 02:52 AM.. Reason: missed a word
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:14 AM   #10
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Love this post.

I have 2 main rules...........


1. Ask yourself IF you will use the item more than a couple of times. IF you NEED it. Then take a day to think it over.


2. If you DO need it shop around. Use a coupon. (While I am shopping around I find I talk myself out of a lot of things).
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Old 09-14-2016, 05:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allistamps123 View Post
When I started card making 10 years $$$ was tight. It took me a couple years before I had a good inventory!

I'm now to the point where I'm starting to feel like i need to stop buying. I don't like the feeling of excess. Lately I look at all my stamps and think whoa! Enough!

I don't duplicate tools...one scoreboard, one, cutter, one cuttlebug, etc.

I buy mainly from one company. SU! I don't buy online often...well stamps anyway. Clothes that's a different story!

It feels good to me to use up my supplies, cut into that dsp, etc. so that's one good thing.

I'm happy to just buy rhinestones, paper, adhesive, etc. for awhile! It feels good.

I only buy SU as well. Good to keep it limited!
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:31 AM   #12
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I am not on a spending freeze but have a lot of supplies so I drastically cut back on purchases.

One thing that helped keep the spending down is I no longer try to meet a minimum for free shipping. I buy what I want/need and pay the shipping.

In the past I would "Find" products to spend enough for free shipping and often they were products that were rarely used

After I add the shipping cost to the price of the product I ask myself if I really need it at that price. If I really want/need it -- I buy it .

It is amazing how much I saved by paying for the shipping.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:44 PM   #13
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I really appreciate all that O.P. said. I have unsubscribed to several stamp companies who email with their Latest Release. I found I don't care enough for their style, and some companies never have a sale. Then I am not tempted with new items.
Please tell me: What are Rewards? What is PIF?
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harvestmoon View Post
I really appreciate all that O.P. said. I have unsubscribed to several stamp companies who email with their Latest Release. I found I don't care enough for their style, and some companies never have a sale. Then I am not tempted with new items.
Please tell me: What are Rewards? What is PIF?
I think, when they are talking about reward shopping, they mean going shopping to buy themselves something as a reward for accomplishing something else.

PIF: pay it forward or pass it forward. There are a couple of threads in the swap forums that work with someone offering a list of things they want to send to a new home, someone eventually spots something they want and asks for it, then that person posts a list of things THEY want to send to a new home. (It's a little different from the RAK-- random act of kindness-- thread where people are just giving away things outright.)
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Old 09-14-2016, 04:25 PM   #15
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Oops, forgot to clarify re PIF. Thanks Emily!
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:32 PM   #16
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Some companies give you "points" or site-specific "dollars" for the money that you actually spend that you can redeem at a certain point (like once you reach x number of points, or whatever). Those are rewards, and it motivates some people to spend more to rack up more points or "dollars", and/or to spend more to supplement them...

Other companies offer discounts if you join a subscription, or free shipping if you meet a spending threshold, so those may be considered "rewards", as well...

Emily is also correct in the "reward" aspect of "I'm buying this for myself because I deserve it"...

My spending isn't on "freeze", it's more like "high alert": It has to be significantly different from what I already have; I have to have at least 3 or 4 solid ideas of what I'm going to do with it; I have to LOVE it (not just kind of think it's cute/pretty/whatever); it has to be on sale or reasonably priced.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:47 PM   #17
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This is an incredible thread with wonderful information. Unfortunately, (or maybe it's fortunately) I am not to the place where any of you are. Yet. When I joined SCS I had some supplies.. but I was limited in everything. I had one set of nestabilities, which I used for everything! That was the extent of my dies. I had NO others. My stamps were stamps I had purchased in brick and mortar stores... Joann's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Pat Catan's... various LSS over the years. I had maybe 3 or 4 SU stamp sets... which I'm not even sure how I acquired... As I've never had a SU rep.

So, I'm still on a bit of a spending frenzy. Maybe frenzy or even spree is too carefree sounding... but I am still hunting, gathering, collecting items. I made several purchases from members here in the B/S/T threads. I got tremendous deals. I've bought some things from eBay and Joann.com... but I still feel there are many things I'd love to play with, experiment with, that I just do not have any of. Maybe I'll hit some of those PIF and RAK threads. (Is that greedy? )


On the other hand, I've noticed some stamps I have had for years, that I will probably never use. I bought them because I thought they were cute or whatever... so maybe I should post my own PIF items... Sorry if I rattled on.
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Old 09-15-2016, 12:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardmaker2 View Post
I only buy SU as well. Good to keep it limited!
Works really well for me! I do have some lawn fawn and a couple PTI stamp sets, a few random sets/single stamps from Michael's and HL and of course lots of dollar stamps from Michael's.

I love my dollar stamps for decorating envelopes.

I feel really scattered and anxious looking at lots of different companies and that's why sticking with SU works for me! I love SU for many reasons!
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Old 09-15-2016, 05:25 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInPink View Post

Maybe I'll hit some of those PIF and RAK threads. (Is that greedy? )


On the other hand, I've noticed some stamps I have had for years, that I will probably never use. I bought them because I thought they were cute or whatever... so maybe I should post my own PIF items... Sorry if I rattled on.

No, it's not greedy at all - that's what they are there for. Also, since you have things that you're willing to let go, you could post in the B/S/T forum that you'd like to trade, rather than buy/sell (that's what the T stands for, anyway)...
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Old 09-15-2016, 10:19 AM   #20
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Thanks Sue. I checked out some of the PIF boards last night. Oi, lots of rules and it seems quite complicated.. having to post new items everyday until someone else comes along to take something. I think I'll pass on the PIF. There was one that piqued my interest though, the 'Pass the stash around'... seemed fun! xD


I do need to go through and decide what I want to get rid of, yes. I am just getting everything all organized in my craft room, so soon.
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Old 09-15-2016, 01:12 PM   #21
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Thank you all for sharing your tips! I loved reading them.

@Jennifer (DreamsInPink):
I think you're on the right road by trying out different stamps, techniques and styles. I'm not saying to go broke, but it does help to have a stash of things to play with so you're not tempted to shop for more. It's a lot easier to resist spending if you know you have a stamp or paper you can use instead.

The three pieces of advice I can give you is:
1) Use it. Don't just buy and store like I did for a while (not for too long, thankfully!). It's a good way to build up a stash, but it gets overwhelming quickly and you end up buying things that aren't necessarily "you".
2) Keep it organized. Not just because you want to avoid doubles, but because you want to shop smart. It wasn't until I got organized that I realized I had 2 baby stamps and 50 "thank you" sentiment stamps. I'm really drawn to sentiment stamps, so now I have to watch what I buy for those a lot more closely.
3) Record it. Keep a personal journal, a blog or even a simple computer document where you share what you've created (a photo for example, or a sketch) and how it went. Every card is a learning experience, so if working with a stamp made you frustrated or if it made you want to make 20 more cards, you want to record that somewhere. It's easy to forget that sort of thing over time, so a written record helps.

Oh and sneaking in #4: Challenge yourself.
I've seen incredibly gorgeous cards - the kind I personally would probably need years to master - that were made in a hotel room using a piece of watercolor paper, a paintbrush and some instant coffee. Likewise, I've seen people make amazing colorings using those cheap markers we're told to avoid. A small stash is just the invitation to be more creative and more inventive. It's a wonderful thing to embrace.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:03 PM   #22
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I agree with Elle - you can do incredible things with very few supplies! In fact, I'm of the opinion that excess stifles creativity (mine, anyway)...
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:08 PM   #23
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Thanks Elle, that's all some really great advice. And Sue, I wouldn't say I have excess of anything.. yet. lol Except maybe snowflakes. I seem to think I need every design of snowflake ever known to man... haha. But I think that's about all I have excess of... my bf says paper.. and I do have a lot of papers... but, I like to make a lot of different styles of cards... so... that's why.
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:25 AM   #24
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I am so glad there was a link to this in this week's newsletter! I started cardmaking a few years back (probably 2013) and bought stamps of every sort thinking I would find a use for them. A year ago I became a SU demonstrator so I could buy stuff at the discounted price AND because they had coordinating embellishments. Since then, I have really limited my shopping with other stores. The friend who helped me get started is semi-retired so she has started to inventory her stamps and found she has so many she "will never have to buy any more." So I am following suit (the inventory part, not the stamp buying part) and I am concentrating on acquiring paper and embellishments. I'm a hoarder so it's hard for me to use my DSP (and even my cardstock - I find that I cut a smaller rectangle out of a background layer to save for later, as my DH is retired and I hope to retire in a few years).

My inventorying (is that spelled correctly) is not in any special order, per se. I do have my birthday stamps together and I'm trying to keep my sentiment stamps together, but other than that, I try to fill the page with whatever will fit in the extra spaces - as long as I can get the whole stamp set on the page. When I get done, I hope to draw lines between the stamp sets and write a notebook number (for now, maybe get a better storage system later) in alcohol ink so I can erase (I think) it later if I decide to move the stamp set to another place. If that fails - page protectors aren't extremely expensive and will be a lot less expensive and time consuming than restamping all my stamps!


I love everyone's ideas and am very glad I found this thread! I've never looked at the PIF or B/S/T or RAK threads. I haven't deleted myself from any store emails (I just hit delete because I'm afraid if I unsubscribe I'll forget about them). I do have a favorite few stores that have free shipping with a certain $$ order, but one has a limit of $25 and that's not expensive and I can usually find something I really want to make that limit. Another has a $50 limit but she sells mainly dies so I usually ask a friend if she wants to order something at the same time.


So, thank you everyone for sharing your ideas. Time is a precious commodity and I find I use too much time looking at Pinterest - I need to MAKE instead of just save them to a board.


I'm rambling (a habit) so I'll stop now. lol
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:13 AM   #25
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With no LSS in business in Denver finding trendy things is left to the Internet. When Archivers closed I was sad. Michaels & JoAnns now have limited paper, embellishments and other tempting things so they cut my spending way down! I do use lots of paper to cut stuff in my Silhouette and love making different designs from their store. They are about 30 cents each with a subscription so they are a lot cheaper than dies!
I do make a trip to Colorado Springs about once a year to their LSS to view things. I love to see things and touch them! The Internet doesn't allow that.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:38 AM   #26
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I know a lot of us crafters are on a spending freeze - whether by choice or by necessity, so I thought I'd start a thread about some tips, tricks and details that worked to keep us on track. I'm hoping it will help another reader or 2 out there, or (at the very least) help us look at things in a positive light.

So, here's my story:

I started stamping in 2013 (it'll be my 3rd blog "card-iversary" in October), and I spent a good portion of the first 2 years just building up a stash. I did a lot of research before purchasing my tools, so I could invest in the stuff that would last me years. So, I got a good heat gun, paper trimmer, coloring mediums and adhesive. For the rest of my supplies, I went with a combination of things that crafters recommended and things that caught my eye. I had a loose rule of not buying things until I've seen at least 2 different crafters review it, and I ended up with virtually no purchases that I regretted.

During this time, I essentially let myself buy thing with wild abandon. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of extra spending money, as I'm both frugal and have been fortunate to have supportive friends and family who gifted me a few gift cards for birthdays and holidays. So, I shopped new releases, major sales and indulged in the many crafty "needs". And I built up a rather large crafty stash along with it.

I decided to go on a spending freeze earlier this year because I was starting to feel overwhelmed by all the supplies in my stash. I didn't want to do a destash, but I really needed to get my supplies under control. More importantly, I wanted to build up a stash of cards and other projects that I could use for holidays. I put myself on a pretty strict spending freeze.

The first thing I did was remove my e-mail from several store lists. I knew they'd be sending me special offers often and that it wouldn't make me happy to constantly have to remind myself that I can't (or shouldn't) shop. It wasn't a question of self-control, really, just that I did not want to feel negative about card-making. I wanted the crafty content I see to inspire me, not make me sad.

The second thing I did was look over my purchases over the last year and figure out my shopping patterns. I noticed that I made large orders when sales were going on, that I bought entire limited releases (fear of missing out) and that I shopped a lot when I had 70+ hour weeks at work (something about buying some happy crafting goodies made the work exhaustion more bearable). The problem with these were that I rarely -if ever- used the things I purchased from this.

With sales, I noticed that I bought a ton of stuff because it was cheap - and not because it fit my style or crafty plans. It was never the first set that would pop into my mind when I sat down to design a card. And the longer they were in my stash, the more I forgot about them. So, I made a personal rule to stop shopping sales. If there's a special offer/discount that happens right when I'm about to order something, great. Otherwise, I'll just pay full price. Yes, it means I get less supplies, but it also means I put more value on my supplies and I'm careful to get things I need vs things that are cheap.

My problem with limited edition items wasn't just that it made me rush to order, but that it would be frustrating for anyone that didn't get a chance to buy the item. Retired items are things you can still sometimes find in thrift-stores or on E-Bay. Limited edition, on the other hand ends up for sale for hundreds and doesn't get cheaper as time goes by. The other issue was that inspiration for those limited edition items was very very small. Lots of projects around the release, no projects after release - because companies and designers don't want to tease and frustrate crafters with stuff they can't get anymore either.

Tackling "reward" shopping... I just re-framed it. If I'm too busy and too tired to craft, then I'm definitely too busy/tired to shop. Instead, I'd watch an episode of my favorite show, or spend time catching up on crafty YT videos.

The third thing I did is make a private Pintrest board. Whenever I saw something I really wanted, I'd pin it instead of adding it to the cart. I go through the board once or twice per month, and remove things that are no longer exciting. Surprisingly enough, quite a few things that I felt I "needed" in the moment are things that didn't really interest me two weeks later. I think it's easy to get swept away in excitement of a new release and feel like I really need it all, when the reality is that I only need a couple of things.

The fourth thing I did is go through my stash and start organizing. It's an ongoing process, and I'm tackling it little by little. But one thing I noticed was that I was surprised at how many things I got that I'd completely forgotten about. Some were stamp sets, others were decorative bits and pieces that I now encourage myself to use instead of saving it for the perfect card. There's been quite a few things that made it out of my pintrest board because I found something similar in my stash while re-organizing.

The fifth and final thing I did is create my own personal challenges. From things like re-imagining card designs with different stamps to using one stamp for 3 different cards -- it has really motivated me to continue using up my stash. I recently (this month) started a stash kit project, and I'm really loving it. It's been a great way to get more out of card-making and kept me too busy to think about other stamps that are being released.

Phew! Sorry for the wall of text. I just figured I'd share what I've learned and maybe encourage some of you to share your own stories and discoveries, too.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:47 AM   #27
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I had to unsubscribe to a number of designer blogs because their cards are so gorgeous and I just knew if I bought the same items I would be a great cardmaker too. And the buying links are just so handily placed right in their posts! Now I find my inspiration in places like the SCS gallery and use what I already have. I am just such a sucker for a pretty card....
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:57 AM   #28
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"So, I got a good heat gun, paper trimmer, coloring mediums and adhesive."
Do tell! I have gone through five paper cutters in my eight years of card making, and cannot find one that cuts true consistently, doesn't go through blades like crazy, or isn't a piece of junk I got sucked into buying because of a coupon or sale. Please let us know what you use and consider a good find.
I liked your suggestions, and am pressed by your willpower, btw.
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:22 AM   #29
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Oh my gosh - I JUST realized, a month or so ago, why I disliked limited releases SO VERY MUCH; although the product might be great, my crafty friends might not be able to get the product when I show it off - that drives me bonkers; so although some of my fave companies offer limited releases, I just don't buy them.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:30 AM   #30
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I have also unsubscribed from crafting company emails. I have enough stamps and supplies to make cards for the rest of my life and beyond - and all the cards would be originals (not a mass production). I had to put the brakes on after discovering that a great deal that I bought was because I thought it was cute or the advertising and card galleries were making me feel that without that stamp/die my craft room would be incomplete.
The only online company that I buy from now is Stampin' Up. I like their products and it is sufficient for me.
My family and friends don't know what is the latest and greatest in card making and they don't care. They love getting handmade cards, but more importantly they love hearing from me and knowing I'm thinking of them.
My style has changed numerous times over the years and for now I am happy with CAS style - uncluttered (which is where I am with my life in general). I am a firm believer in "Less is More."
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:58 AM   #31
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When I started scrapping and then card making I was working full time and earning a decent wage. I have no children, there is just me and DH so there was disposable income. I bought what I liked and enjoyed using it. As time went on I knew that I would be retiring so I kept buying, using coupons and ordering from the states.( I live in Canada). So I have a good stash of stuff. Well, I am now retired and living on a pension so now I have to be careful with what I spend and I too think twice about ordering just for the sake of having the latest and greatest. The Canadian dollar is very weak now so it is very expensive to order from the states and shipping prices just seem to keep going up and up. I have got rid of the emails from retailers from other than Canada so as to lessen the temptation and I, like so many others now shop either my LSS or Stampin' Up!. I lovingly call my catty my other bible and enjoy imagining which sets and embellies I would like to have and more importantly, use. I recently moved and have a wonderfully large craft room with a walk in closet so I have taken the time and organized all my stash!! Whew!! had no idea I had so much!! but I am thankful and happy that I have lots to choose from now that I am retired.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:51 PM   #32
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Limited edition, on the other hand ends up for sale for hundreds and doesn't get cheaper as time goes by. The other issue was that inspiration for those limited edition items was very very small. Lots of projects around the release, no projects after release - because companies and designers don't want to tease and frustrate crafters with stuff they can't get anymore either.
I wish I read this two weeks ago!

I have also learned not to hoard the papers and embellishments that I love. In a few months or years it's no longer loved and doesn't inspire creativity - so it just sits and collects dust.

What great advice everyone has offered - thank you!
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:05 PM   #33
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Oh, I'm so glad to see this thread hopping! Thank you all for sharing your stories, advice and encouragement.

@JaniceFJ:
I am a HUGE paper (DSP) fan! I have literal towers of it, and I can honestly admit I would often rather buy 3 6x6 paper pads than one stamp. I used to not use any of the favorite papers unless I had a back-up. But both my storage space and budget are limited, so I had to give myself a little push to use it all.
I've discovered that I actually enjoy using the paper even more than buying and looking at it. It makes my creations look fantastic, and each piece becomes a part of something even greater. I remember the process of making the card and the joy on the recipient's face when they got the card - those make me feel so much happier than just the pretty paper itself.
So, don't be afraid to give yourself a little push and start using your paper. You can always take a photo of it before you cut it or leave a little section of it for inspiration. I have a Smashbook where I adhere small strips of patterned paper I liked - things that are left over when I trim the paper to A2 size. It's my way of making sure I still have the pattern that inspires me.

@ladyofcards:
I totally understand! Nothing beats being able to pick up a supply and see how it looks and works for you. One of the most frustrating things about buying online is that you sometimes don't see the actual size and detail of a product. I've bought things in the past, not realizing they were much bigger or smaller than what I needed them to be.
So, I'm a bit more mindful when buying online now. I look and see if another crafter showed the supply in a video, or I order just one item from a new company to try out. That way, if I'm not happy with the quality or style, I didn't immediately invest a ton of money.
Great tip about your Silhouette! I don't have an electronic die-cutting machine, but I do use my Bigshot to cut out scraps into shapes I can use on cards as embellishment.

@MN_Stamper:
That's another great point! I used to pin cards that caught my eye because they were pretty, and it always made me want to buy the products they used. Now, I try to figure out what about the card caught my eye. Sometimes it's a color palette, other times it's a layout, or even how the photograph of the project was taken. There have been a few pictures recently where I liked how the card looked against the woodgrain background, and that inspired me to dig out some woodgrain paper.

@Teachybaby:
Tonic Studios paper trimmer. I bought the Tim Holtz one (8.5x6") that was somewhat recently released. It's small, portable and cuts perfectly every time. I'm investing in the 6x12" next so I can cut my top-folding cards. It's a guillotine style, but it's precise and - most importantly - cuts things straight.
I also have a Fiskars one with titanium blades. I only use it to cut my cardstock to 4.25x11". It does go through blades quickly, but it works fairly well.

@Whimsey:
Absolutely! Or you feel like you're rubbing it in that you got a special product and they didn't. It always feels a little awkward to me.

@from the heart:
I'm from Canada, but living in the US currently, so I can definitely sympathize about having to pay extra to get the same goodies you see everyone else enjoy. Thankfully, there are some new stores popping up in Canada that carry stamps from the US and there's a few companies going strong that have great releases (I love Your Next Stamp, for example, super adorable stamps).

@partyof5_123
It's ok! I went through a few different limited releases before the info clicked for me, too. It's easy to get swept away in the excitement of a new release, and limited editions make you rush to buy because you won't get a chance later on.
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:50 PM   #34
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When you need a "reward/shopping spree" hit your Goodwill. Was there today, found a gorgeous roll of navy ribbon and am cranking out beautiful cards tonight mixing it was DSP and other supplies on hand. Cost=.99 cents. Cards=Priceless! Lol
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Old 09-22-2016, 05:24 AM   #35
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CreativeCardsea said:

The third thing I did is make a private Pintrest board. Whenever I saw something I really wanted, I'd pin it instead of adding it to the cart. I go through the board once or twice per month, and remove things that are no longer exciting. Surprisingly enough, quite a few things that I felt I "needed" in the moment are things that didn't really interest me two weeks later. I think it's easy to get swept away in excitement of a new release and feel like I really need it all, when the reality is that I only need a couple of things.

I like it. That way I can think about my purchase and find it. Also it helps in shopping around for a better deal....Thanks C!
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:28 PM   #36
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I think one of the best things you can do it be thrifty with what you already have. I try to save as many scraps as I can and use my MISTI a lot so I don't have to remake things. I have lots of Other tricks too but i can't remember them right now.

ETA: I remember one! I put almost all of my card fronts on cheap white Cardstock card bases. That way I only use a quarter sheet of expensive Cardstock for the background. And if my Cardstock is mostly covered with patterned paper or another layer, I cut the middle out to use for sentiments or die cutting.

Last edited by Rebecca Ednie; 09-22-2016 at 08:33 PM..
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Old 09-23-2016, 05:38 AM   #37
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CreativeCardsea said:

The third thing I did is make a private Pintrest board. Whenever I saw something I really wanted, I'd pin it instead of adding it to the cart. I go through the board once or twice per month, and remove things that are no longer exciting. Surprisingly enough, quite a few things that I felt I "needed" in the moment are things that didn't really interest me two weeks later. I think it's easy to get swept away in excitement of a new release and feel like I really need it all, when the reality is that I only need a couple of things.

I like it. That way I can think about my purchase and find it. Also it helps in shopping around for a better deal....Thanks C!
I do something similar - I have wishlists at companies that I like to purchase from. Like you, I also regularly delete things that no longer interest me. If something has survived multiple rounds of deletes and goes on a good sale, those are the things that I actually purchase...

One thing that I noticed recently: I had a wishlist going for Unity (my latest obsession) and they have sales every week! If one item from my wishlist was on sale, it was VERY tempting to find friends to put in the cart with it that were NOT on sale to make the shipping worth it (which is only $3.95, so not that big a deal, really). That kind of thinking leads to real trouble, so I had to give myself a stern talking-to and not do that thing, lol!
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:26 AM   #38
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I'm not on a freeze but I have been practicing a reality check. A couple of years ago after a major purge woke me up to being out of control. My steps to stopping the "madness" are:

#1 rule - shop my supplies first. When I see something I want to make, I challenge myself to see what I already have on hand. It's a lot of fun to see just how creative I can be finding substitutions

#2 Stop collecting! I used to want it all (colors, product line, etc.) and I had so much I just never used. I now only buy a color I like if I don't have something close.

#4 Never shop sales for the sale of the sale. If want something I'll shop around to see if I can get a bargain, but I never buy just because it's on sale

#5 No reward shopping...ever

#6 If there is some hot new product everyone is ranting about I wait for quite sometime and read the reviews. Usually, by the time I think I'll take the plunge I find that I don't really want it anymore.

#7 I stopped getting some emails but others I automatically reroute to a Stamp Store folder and I only read the emails once in awhile. Most of the time I delete it all

#8 Stamp stores/Michaels/JoAnns are not on my list for when I want to wander around a store. If I don't go - I won't spend.

#8 I don't subscribe to blogs - not one. I do subscribe to YouTube videos

My purchases are now only things I need for a specific project where I couldn't make anything I have work. I just bought all the new Tim Holtz dwelling dies using birthday money because they will made into gifts that would have cost as much. No guilt over the purchase because I haven't been buying very much. I love guilt free shopping
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:24 AM   #39
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My downfall is spending to get out of a mojo crisis. When I am in a creative phase, I spend less, or at least my spending is less frenzied. The trouble begins for me when I am not being creative. I invariably go stand in my craft studio and say "Look at all this stuff! And I'm not doing anything with it! And I spent so much money on all of it! I can't just turn around and shut the door, this stuff has to be used! Maybe it's just that I need to pivot in some way, that if I had ___________, or _________, or every color of ____________, I would feel like crafting."

And so I get _________, which changes nothing, and I get ___________ and every color of _____________. And then I've spent a lot of money and still, the room sits unused.

You would think I would have learned my lesson. You can't buy your way out of a creativity crisis, because a creativity crisis has nothing to do with supplies, or even with the actual act of crafting most of the time. It's always some other issue (you suddenly feel like you make a lot of cards but have few people to send them to; you have begun to feel that no one really cares that you sent them a hand-made card; you are actually not interested in cards and want to branch out into some other form of art; you are depressed about something else entirely and so it's hard to feel any kind of mojo; etcetera), and until you figure out what's really going on and address it, no amount of supply shopping is going to do anything.

Can you tell I'm just coming out of a period of frenzied spending? I bought such beautiful stuff! And there it sits. Time to figure out what the real problem is.

Good thread. It made me think.
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:34 AM   #40
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#8 Stamp stores/Michaels/JoAnns are not on my list for when I want to wander around a store. If I don't go - I won't spend.

My purchases are now only things I need for a specific project where I couldn't make anything I have work. I just bought all the new Tim Holtz dwelling dies using birthday money because they will made into gifts that would have cost as much. No guilt over the purchase because I haven't been buying very much. I love guilt free shopping
Glad to know I'm not the only one who gets the urge to wander around a store sometimes.
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