Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Postcard, Some Random Thoughts, and a Give-Away!!

I was walking down the stamp aisle at Hobby Lobby around my birthday last November, and the stamps were 50% off, and this Penny Black postcard stamp just called out to me in such a pitiful way I had to bring it home and give it some inky love.


The part that says "Message" doesn't stamp right (it looks smooshed even with a light touch...this was my second try), but it's also superfluous, so I'm just not going to ink it up in the future.  The postcard is 3 5/8" x 5 1/4". The front is decorated with a StampinUp umbrella and a sentiment from Papertrey's Round and Round Anniversary set.


To finish it nicely, I rounded the corners with scallop scissors. I expect to have LOTS of fun with postcards in the future....

The other night, after thumbing through some stamping magazines, I jotted down some random observations about stamping and thought you might enjoy reading them. Feel free to disagree with me...these are just MY random observations, some of them sparked by cards in magazines and some by sitting in my craft room at 12:30 in the morning when I should have been sleeping. Your feelings on these topics might be quite different, especially if you're not obsessive-compulsive, an insomniac, or weird like I am.

1. Just because something is "original" or hasn't been done before doesn't automatically make it a good idea.

2. Hat pins on cards look dangerous.

3. Loose glitter makes a mess. Stickles does not. Usually.

4. Coloring is harder than it looks.

5. No matter how many ink pads you own, you'll never be able to match all the paper you own.

6. You can never have enough stuff, but you can have too much stuff. I don't understand how this is possible, but it is.

7. Extra postage can be worth it...but not as often as the magazines make you think.

Now, for a give-away! This lovely set of embossing folders has come into my possession from Mark's Finest Papers, and seeing as I don't have a machine to use them, I figured one of YOU might appreciate them.


I will pick one random commenter on this post who shares one or more of her/his own random observations about stamping. The deadline for the drawing will be midnight Eastern Standard Time on SuperBowl Sunday night, February 6th. One comment per person, please. For those of you who read Simplicity in your email, make sure you click over to the blog and leave a comment to be included in the drawing!

And if you're like me and can't use embossing folders, please still comment. I'm really eager to read what you all are thinking about our obsession hobby. Just mention that you don't want the folders.

And because I just can't shut up tonight...if you have a problem getting a comment to "take" on the blog, keep clicking. I've found on many blogs using Blogger that it can take four or five attempts to get a comment to post. If you accidentally double-post, I'll delete the extra for you...no worries.

192 comments:

  1. Love your blog! Could relate to your comment about not enough but too much stuff.

    Heat guns for embossing can accidentally melt other things besides embossing powder.

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  2. 1. I hear ya, sistah!
    2. I am surprised there hasn't been a lawsuit. I bought some little plastic things to put on the ends of those pin things, but haven't used them yet. I really want those metal barrel clutches that SU! has, but I think they only come with the pretties or something.
    3. Agreed
    4. Way harder. Way.
    5. True, but we can keep trying!
    6. Absolutely true. I am the perfect example of this paradox (wow, twice in one week).
    7. Hmm, I don't send a ton of cards, except at Christmas so definitely wouldn't send things requiring more postage then. Might do it for the odd card during the year.
    8. I just received the three latest Paper Crafts special issues and am thrilled to see lots of new "faces". While I am in awe of so many of the designers who appear regularly in the magazine, I get a little tired of seeing the same style over and over again. I had a quick run through all three earlier today and will have more leisurely perusal before bed.
    9. I absolutely love this hobby. Some people really go nuts for cooking and baking (um, so not one of them) but I tend to view the lovely cards I see almost like delicious, beautifully made pastries.
    10. Ha, look who can't shut up! And did I even make a point? Any point?

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  3. Hey, Susan! I totally agree with all your random observations! Especially #6 about too much and never enough stuff! I think that just because load up your card with too much 'stuff', doesn't make it a beautiful card, and can actually be a distraction! I always enjoy your work, lessons, and thoughts! Oh, and I have a postcard stamp that has never seen ink, but am feeling inspired to ink up!

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  4. Holy Cow! Perfect timing!! I just ordered my big shot and will be getting it on Friday :)

    My observation: Its amazing how much the little things magically add up to a bunch of money when you arent paying attention. You can quickly spend a lot and not even realize it until its too late and you cant give anything in your cart up!!

    Loe your blog, its my favorite. I read it every day!

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  5. I can't use the folders, either, but I just wanted to say that comment #6 is a great insight.

    I have no nuggets of wisdom of my own, except maybe that sometimes the best cards come together with no vision, no plan, and completely by accident.

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  6. I frequently think about postage when I see the creations in magazines. I may be the last person on the planet to realize this, but it doesn't matter how much it costs to mail the card, it isn't being mailed to anyone. I am amazed at the amount of stampers who have boxes and boxes of cards just sitting around.

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  7. All very astute observations. #6 is especially confounding and often stops me in my tracks - I get so overwhelmed by all my stuff that it clogs my brain and I can't come up with anything. I then start looking at bogs and magazines and decide that the reason I can't come up with anything is that I don't have this or that item and I won't be able to carry on creating until I get it. Completely ridiculous but it happens a lot.

    Love your blog and your mini tutorials - they've been really helpful and inspiring!

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  8. Thanks for the chuckle. As for my observations:

    - just because the DT members of your fave companies have ALL the stamps/tools/etc from that company, it doesn't mean YOU have to as well. Your pocketbook can't take it. You don't need everything from every new release. You will never use it all. That's why crafty friends are good. You can share!

    - its okay not to have a "style". Kiddie birthday cards SHOULD look different from sympathy cards (in my humble opinion).

    - keep it fun! If you have a full-time "day job" then remember that this thing we call paper-crafting is a hobby - it should bring you joy, not stress!

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  9. It's interesting to me that something centered, horizontal, or vertical needs to be exact, but make it really off-center or diagonal and it looks great.

    I can't use the folders; I don't emboss. I don't even stamp! But I love making cards, and I've learned a lot from your blog.

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  10. I loved reading your observations! I laughed out loud on several of them (the stick pins...I've ALWAYS thought that too!! and the "good" ideas)! My observation has been that "more" isn't always good. If you "over-kill" a card or any piece of art, you lose the focus and then what is the point? You don't want to lose the meaning of the card too. So, I like the less is more philosophy! :)

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  11. I have come to realize that just because I love a stamp set in the catalog, doesn't me I can create with it. Some of my "had to have it" sets aren't really that useful. I now use your technique of waiting a bit to see if I really have to have it.

    I just don't ever seem to have enough saying and greetings, or they aren't in the right size.

    If I leave out any inky sponges the dog will certainly find it and do some distressing of her own. Not sure why she loves those things, but she always finds them if they aren't locked up.

    Although I make MANY cards, I rarely send cards.

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  12. Paper craft magazines are like my cookbooks. Love to read them but rarely ever follow the recipe!

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  13. Another not necessarily stamping related but definitely card related...

    Bright and colourful Sympathy cards. I find them absolutely bizarre.

    What is up with that?

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  14. What fun observations... don't have any hat pins, but I'm sure the children would get carried away with them, so best to leave them be. Love the idea of a postcard... Extra postage is not worth it... having mailed far too many cards overseas, it's not worth the money, make one layer cards instead!

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  15. You're not weird! I agree with everything you said! Here's a couple of mine...
    Cards are CARDS....not works of art.
    You can appreciate looking at cards with a more extravagant style than your own ...but still keep true to a more CAS style with your own creations without feeling guilty or that you should be "adding more"
    Fabulous "Design Teams" do not help-
    they make you feel like not joining in

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  16. Great list! I especially like #1. My observation is that more is not always better. Sometimes there is just too much stuff on a card! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  17. This has been some fun reading. I think that it's ok to leave something if it isn't working for you and come back to it later. Usually it will work out then. If not, scrap the whole thing and start over. The fun is in the creating. Right??!!

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  18. You have hit lots of nails on their heads tonight! One observation I have had is that sometimes more is just more and sometimes more is just right and no two people can agree on either one. ~chris

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  19. I couldn't have agreed more on those points with you, Susan! I'm right there with you. Especially with those hat pins, loading up the cards with embellies like the world was coming to an end and this was the last time I could use my card supplies and trying to coordinate not just your ink with your CS but the embellies with your stamps, paper and everything else!

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  20. Font of You is one of my favorite SU sets in the last few years. When none of the samples on SCS did it for me, I passed on it. Now I'm kicking myself because I *knew* it would work for my style, but let everyone else's style convince me not to make room for a set I loved. With all of the information out there, it's not just DT members that impact our choices.

    2. I've used a few pins on cards and can safely say that they're not safe. Although the crystal ones I won for WCMD make darned cute butterfly antennae.

    And since I don't really need those embossing folders, free blog candy or not, you can pass my chance to win along to someone else.

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  21. Simple can be elegant and classy, or whimsical & fun. Sometimes people put too much on cards or scrapbook pages & you cannot see what it is supposed to be.

    Also, I feel good when some of my tools can be re-purposed or used elsewhere... like defrosting the freezer with my heating gun. Or crop-o-dile on the belt to make it fit.
    Shelley

    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

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  22. kim kimberly_a_bergen@hotmail.comFebruary 3, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    I find it interesting how you can use ANYTHING on a card. Bleach, goo gone, tin foil, shaving cream.

    My BF made a card for his mom's bday tonight and realized that you put a bit of yourself in each card. I told him that is why I love making them.

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  23. Love this post!
    1. So true! Perhaps that's how hat pins on cards came to be??
    2. Indeed. I too like the end caps that SU have. But I've found them here and here, in case anyone is looking for them!
    3. Especially when my 3 year old decides to pour an entire container of glitter over her head. Sadly, it's happened a few times!
    4. Definitely!
    5. Even the ones that are designed to match often don't!
    6. Yep, I'm currently selling the stuff I don't use to buy more stuff I need. :-)
    7. Too true.
    And to add...
    8. Just because Copics are "the" thing to colour with, doesn't mean I have to love them too.

    :-)

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  24. Wow Susan.........love the idea of a postcard stamp!!! I send lots of cards 'home' (UK) from Sydney how cool would it be to use one of these and talking postage.........my pet hate!!!!
    1. Agreed......I'd rather perfect a technique.
    2. Hatpins ...I agree though have used them with some craft glue over the point! (such a fiddle!)
    3. Sort of agree but I get impatient with stickles drying time!
    4. Ooooh but so much fun when you get it just right!
    5. Still adding to my stash so guess this is true.
    6. Is there really such a thing as too much? My trouble is remembering what I have so perhaps that is true!!!
    7. Postage .......see above!
    Lovely embossing folders.......argh postage!!!!

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  25. That is one cool stamp! It would be fun to make a whole series of postcards. I hope you make more postcards. :) I also loved your list of observations and they are very true! I especially agree with #1. I think true originality is a combination of creativity and intelligence: The creativity to think in new, original ways, but the intelligence and thought to recognize if the idea truly works!! Not everything original works!

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  26. I could cry. I just saw that stamp at a garage sale, picked it up and decided I needed another stamp like a hole in the head - and then you created this. WHAH!

    Here's my random thoughts, though not as succinct as Susan.
    1.) Have you ever noticed that if you loose an ink pad on your table, it's always when the lid is off and underneath that last piece of (pick a colour/pattern here) card stock you need to use?

    2. Glitter may be messy but it always makes me smile to see it on DH's face or baby's bum. (How does it get there?!?)

    3. Patterned paper always seems to look better in the store...

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  27. It's 2:35 AM here.. and I'm reading this with wide-awake eyes/mind with great interest on stamping... who am I ? A stamping NUT (LOL)!!
    I agree on all things you had observed! I have hat pins and I used only for the glue tips and that's it! They do not belong to cards , in my humble opinion. Perhaps working in the doc's office got me all worried as it resembles needles--only prettier). and too much stuff is definitely not a good thing (on cards or in the stash). They clutter your minds! I need to purge! I'm starting to have that thoughts...my family told me so, too! I love your #1 observation the best! My little observation is that by applying some fancy techniques doesn't always make the cards look pretty...all I can say is "unique" and that may not be a compliment!

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  28. Adorable post card! put me down as someone who does not want the embossing folders (I'm avoiding extra stuff). I read somewhere that you can use a rolling pin with these btw (just sayin').

    I don't consider heavily embellished cards containing things like hat pins to be cards. I think of them as little works of art. If done well, I love them. I can't make them, but if I got one I'd put it on an easel and enjoy looking at it. When not done well, they are scary!

    Hope the ice and snow melt!

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  29. Your blog is now in my favourites list, love the simple classy style and your list made me laugh, so true!!!!!!!!!!!!I don't need the folders, in the 'tto much stuff' category!

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  30. Hi Susan. I agree with your observations...esp with number 6!
    Love the postcard stamp.
    Love embossing folders...you can`t have too many of these! He he he!

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  31. Some random thoughts from me too:
    1) Postage! who ever thought the idea of cards 5mm thick costing almost twice as much to send was a good idea (in the U.K.)?????
    2) I used to think that less is more but I now realise (see item one) that less really is well, LESS!
    3) I also used to think that not covering your card with "stuff" (whether it be papers, embellishments, sentiments, images) was the key to a super card
    4) I now know 3) is not always correct!
    5) I used to make postcards to send home but I guess I stopped because I didn't have that Hero Arts stamp!!
    6) Loose glitter really does have a mind of it's own and will ALWAYS end up where you don't need it!
    7) Ink pads (like toast) will always hit the deck wrong side down!
    8) I wish I'd discovered the technique of using alcohol markers to colour ribbon before I devoted two entire drawers to ribbons of different hues!

    Enough musings from me . . . . lovely classic postcard too btw.

    Kathyk

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  32. Wow, Susan, I would love to win those embossingfolders, do hope you send overseas! And I totally agree with your observations and also with the obe in the comments that ink pads always hit the deck wrong side down.
    My own observation is that a block of beautiful patterned paper (like the linnen closet) can make you just as happy as a bouquet of flowers, costs about the same, but lasts a whole lot longer!

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  33. Love your observations! I agree with all of them! My own observations is that just because it looks good in your head does not mean it will always look good in real life!
    Thank you for the chance to win the folders.

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  34. It's amazing that you already don't have room for anything else in your craft room but you still buy that extra 'whatever' because 'you know' you can use it... what's with this mental illness called stamping anyways?!? So I fess up... my stuff has stuff. :o)

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  35. lol at your observations, each one of them made me chuckle, as I knew EXACTLY where you were coming from on each one.
    your postcard is lovely.
    I've only recently got a big shot so have only just started using embossing folders, but already I'm hooked. they are like magic!!

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  36. Great postcard!
    Those observations made me smile . . . some in agreement . . . some in guilt!

    My stamps are like my friends, each with their own personality and quirks, and I don't stop using them just because they're "not this season".

    Of course, there are the really good friends, and then there are acquaintances, and perhaps more than a few strangers with whom I'm not quite at ease.

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  37. Having been on a year-long buying freeze since last August has forced me to see that I bought way too much stuff in the past. I could most likely stamp for the rest of my life and only need to buy adhesive and neutral colored cardstock.

    Learning to color is one of my favorite things to do but it does, indeed, take time to get "good" results. Taking a class from Copic has great benefits, even though I'm still learning.

    I happen to like the hat pins. I always put one of the metal protectors on the end but actually, I've only used them half a dozen times. A card which uses them can be quite elegant.

    I love glitter and yes, it can be very messy. I do like Stickles very much, too, though.

    I used to try to buy a complete line of ink pads from several companies and now I hardly ever use it. Except black, brown or gray for stamping a lined image for coloring in with Copics.

    I love coloring tools and had everything Stampin'Up! offered. I finally sold the crayons - never used them.

    Even though I make cards for challenges, I rarely give them to anyone (saving them for the troops). When I want to give a card to someone I make a new card, specifically for them.

    I love embossing in any form and as tempting as it can be to want to buy a Big Shot, I still love my Cuttlebug and must be loyal to it.

    There are many, many stampers that do gorgeous work and are not recognized for it.

    Using good adhesive is ultra important. I have three preferences: Tombo Mono-Multi Glue; Scor-Tape; Stampin'Up!'s Crystal Effects. We each grow to have our own preferences in adhesive.

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  38. ...designer papers are more insidious than any stamps could ever be.
    ...extra postage or padded envelopes are expensive, but sometimes it's a small price for the joy they bring.
    ...I consider my lack of self-control "retirement planning".
    ...blizzards are gifts of time to stamp!

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  39. Random thoughts, from one weird insomniac to another, - don’t need the folders thank you -

    1.Perfectionism is a handicap when making cards
    2.Simple is not easy
    3.You learn a lot from trying new styles and techniques, even if it’s just that you don’t like that particular style or technique – can be expensive though
    4.Using too much gadgetry when making cards, produces perfect but soulless cards
    5.The best cards are the ones you enjoy making
    6.I read on a blog recently that although the busier cards can be fun to make, the cards that sell best at shows are usually the ‘simple’ ones. My theory is that people appreciate simplicity, they are drawn to the white space, it’s calming, unlike most people’s lives these days.
    6.Craft tools have a mind of their own and they like to play hide and seek
    7.Mess stifles creativity – note to self, must tidy craft room
    8.It’s ok to dislike Tim Holts’ crafting style - have I gone a step too far here?

    Sorry if these aren’t the kind of random crafty thoughts you were looking for, each weirdo to their own. I have lots more, a never ending supply in fact, just apply by email to …

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  40. Your observations are all so true. I find that while i love to stamp, I love the collecting of stamps even more.
    Thank you so much for all your lovely ideas.

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  41. I enjoy reading your blog because I love CAS style.I love looking at all the bells and whistles on blogs but don't feel urged to buy them since money for any "treats" comes after paying bills.I love my folders and thanks for the chance for something new!

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  42. Love how your mind works. Your email is the first one I will read when I look at my inbox.
    Someone else posted a thought that I totally agree with and that is "Simple is not easy".
    But you my dear make it look that way.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Karen (Krenmp1@hotmail.com)

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  43. Yes, I have tons of stamps,,,(and paper). I kept buying here and there so now I'm not that interested in purchasing any more since I have every occasion possible... but once in a while there will be one that just "pops" at me...I'll study it, then sometimes I'll get it,,,,then again I can talk myself out of it. I am tending to buy more tools or adhesives now days to keep me supplied as I keep my hobby going. Same goes with inks...I have plenty and I'm sure there's some that won't match certain patterned paper but the word "contrast" helps me by with that dilemma...

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  44. I appreciate your sharing your creations and yes, you have influenced the kinds of cards I make.

    I would love to win the embossing folders, thank you for the chance!

    bonnie32002 at gmail (dot) com

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  45. First, I love your postcard! I regret not getting that SU set when I could...I do so love fonty goodness.

    Waiting a few days or weeks before buying the hot new item can take the bloom off the rose...and show me that I already have something similar!

    Fantastic coloring should not excuse bad design.

    Neither should crappy coloring (like mine!)

    Every trend will return, but it always changes just enough that those goodies we hoard still don't fit in!

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  46. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
    My random observations about stamping:
    It is just paper after all so if you are not happy, do it over again.
    If you see a card that uses a product you must have!! wait a day or two before you go online to shop. It is just waaayyyy too easy online.
    thanks for the chance to win.

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  47. My observation:

    Designer/printed paper is pretty but not really necessary as there is so much one can do with solid cardstock - use plain or decorate.

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  48. Whenever I go to my stamping area, our cat will plop down right on top of whatever I'm working on at the time. (That's also why it has taken me two minutes to type this small comment!)

    Also, I've learned I cannot stamp without getting ink all over my fingers!

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  49. We made postcards for the rsvp's,for my daughter's wedding. No fussing with envelopes, and the guests all returned them. No phone calls required. :)
    As far as your observations go: Amen and AMEN!
    My favorite cards are made when I allow myself to just play and the quick and easy cards only happen when not worried about making them quick and easy.
    P.S. I was going to mention the rolling pin also ;)

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  50. I found myself nodding yes to all of your observations. Here are a few of my own:
    1) Just because a magazine calls it a trend, doesn's make it one. It may just be a way to sell that advertisers product.
    2)Just because the card is made by [insert name of well known designer here] does not make it worth publishing. Even the best card makers have off days.
    3)If you have a 5 layer card and think it may need something more - step away from the craft table and take a break.

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  51. Great truths there.
    Thinking if only you had more stuff, you would be a better stamper doesn't work. Especially if you don't use it.

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  52. Lovely card, and I would love love love a chance at those embossing folders!
    My random thought is just because someone else can make a great looking card using a certain technique, doesn't mean I can! blah!

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  53. Cynthia M. <>February 3, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    Here's my stamp-thought:
    Designer Paper is highly over-rated!

    I still can't come up with a reason to use the huge stack I have sitting collecting dust in my craft room. I think I'm going to have to start using as plain old wrapping paper - because I'm pretty sure it's NEVER going to get used on cards! :)

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  54. Your list made me giggle, since I have had some of these thoughts myself.
    I am learning patience-that any tool or gadget that "enablers" are touting, doesn't have to be purchased RIGHT NOW. Take a deep breath and wait. If you still need to have it after 3 months or so, then buy it.
    If you have a kitchen scale, weigh your cards. As long as your card weighs less than 1 oz. and fits through a 1/4" slot (I made one w/ chipboard) it requires only 1 postage stamp.
    I have only used hat pins a few times, but after it's on the card I clip the point off with a wire cutter.
    Love your postcard!

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  55. I believe I have too much "stuff" but never enough (or what I actually want) for any givne project! therefore I buy more - just a vicious circle really.

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  56. Wow, I would love to win those embossing folders! That way I can accumulate more "stuff" without robbing the family budget!! I am so glad I ran across your blog. It is a breath of fresh air in the world of stamping. Too many cards are overdone. When I first started stamping, my friends and I had a silly motto: "It's just a card!" when we would stress over making it just right!

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  57. Thank you for the giggle this morning! I whole-heartedly agree with all of them...especially the hat pins and coloring! The only thoughts I can come up with right now are: less is more, simple can be HARD, and when you find yourself saying "it's good enough" without really liking it, it's time to take a break (especailly with scrapbooking).

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  58. 1. I struggle with scale! Are the elements on my cards balanced? Is that "bling" too big? Is that focal image too small? Am I overanalyzing the whole thing?

    2. I struggle with scale . . . the one in my bathroom! :( Why can't stamping be a fat-burning activity?

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  59. wonderful give away,love embossing folders They are lovely for clean and simple cards which I really enjoy making and get a lot of inspiration from your blog.Thank you for the opportunity .
    Pats

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  60. My observation: The less time I have to complete a project, the more time it takes me -- with more mistakes!

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  61. Oh, you are soooo correct! Love your observations! And I agree. Mine is that some of these cards are so over-done. One would need a moving van to mail them. Seriously. Enjoy your blog and thanks for sharing.

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  62. Read your blog every am with my coffee - todays insights were right on - my DH sticks his head in my craft room and just shakes it and comments "what do you do with all this STUFF!!! Although i am not a great color artist I love it - brings back a very happy childhood.

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  63. Even though I have LOTS and LOTS of embossing folders I'll pass on these ones so someone else can enjoy.
    I love ALL the comments here - I can relate to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! hahahaha
    I work at a little stamping store (oh MY) and I very seldomly take home a paycheque. "Simple" is VERY hard to do. You ALWAYS need that precise stamp or the card won't look as good... I love reading all your posts, Susan. Thanks for the support with this little (HA) obsession I have.

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  64. I would have to agree with you ... just because somehting is new or original does not make it a good idea. I'm sure others will disagree ... but zippers just do not make nice flowers!! sheesh!! crossing my fingers as those embossing folders look lovely!! :-)

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  65. Myth: making cards saves money.lol! but it is cheaper than therapy.

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  66. Like your postcard-neat inspiration.

    Some thoughts of mine:

    1. Ribbon needs to be carefully placed. I have seen too many cards that look like the bow was stuck on as an afterthought to take up space.

    2. I have enough ribbon, brads, eyelets, embossing powder to last the rest of my life. New stampers would be well advised to go slowly when buying embellies instead of doing what I did-buying everytime Hobby Lobby had them on sale. Those embellies are now things that I seldom ever use!

    3. CAS and OTT (over the top) cards are hard looks to achieve-some look too plain and others burdened down!

    Thanks for a chance to win as embossing folders and punches are my 'vices' right now!

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  67. My random thought: No matter if it's blog candy or a good deal, when I get new stuff for my hobby my husband will always think it isn't at all necessary to have! (not quite so random, as he says it all the time!)
    Thanks for the chance at these folders, they look fantastic!

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  68. I reluctantly went to a home stamping party and got hooked! I'm no artist (can't even draw decent stick figures) but I AM creative, so stamping really works for me. I've learned that cards are a beautiful way to bless another person's life!

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  69. There should be another post with all the comments to this post..would make for a wonderful read!
    I don't have a machine, so no thanks to the folders, but know of some who use a rolling pin to emboss (me? I won't go to so much trouble)

    I had words of wisdom, and it vanished before I could hit post comment..some other day then!

    off to read all the comments

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  70. Well, I've pondered the never enough/too much observation for a bit. It's so true. I've decided that you can never have enough of the stuff that you use, but since you always end up with stuff you think you'll use but don't, that's how you end up with too much. Thanks for the interesting observations.

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  71. Stamping is a never ending learing experience and just when you think you have "done it all" and new idea comes along and you are off AGAIN on a delightful, fun adventure.

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  72. Natalie WintersteinFebruary 3, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    I so agree with the stick pin comment. They look cute but every time I see one on a card in a magazine I think what if the recipient stuck themsleves on it? That would suck. Lol.

    My random thoughts:

    1. There is never enough time for stamping/crafting but that is often because I am lazy. (so true...)

    2. I am my own biggest critic. So often I create something and then I don't like it. I need to get past this somehow.

    3. I need to be more "focused" when I am creating. I get sidetracked and my craft projects suffer becuase of it!

    Thanks for the chance to win. :)

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  73. I'm obsessed with patterned paper. It's so nice to share RAK's while getting self-satisfaction out of a job well done.

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  74. I completely agree with your comments. Some of the designer cards look like they take far too much time for someone to enjoy and toss.

    I guess my random thought would be if it makes you happy go with it but don't be afraid to try a new (or recycled) technique

    Liz C.

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  75. Your blog is so inspiring and informative. Your rule of thirds has helped me tremendously.

    My random thoughts:
    -Our Siberian Husky does NOT appreciate the glitter she aquires on her paws when she walks into my craft room.

    -Because of all the "stuff" I've bought but, as of yet, haven't used, the average price per card I make is about $6.00!

    Kelly

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  76. I am always questioning the ribbon on a one layer card. Where do you put the ends? Does it show on the inside of the card? Thanks for a chance to win.

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  77. thanks for always offering give-aways!! After recently making an observation of my closet and my most recent SU order, I wonder when I will ever have enough? I have enough to keep myself busy for years, yet I still continue purchasing. Has anyone ever gotten to the point where they have "enough" ?
    Kelly Evans
    kjevans@cox.net

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  78. Just spent 10 minutes commenting and lost it...guess I was blethering anyway...thanks for the chance to win...love this set!

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  79. our stamp club's mantra is ""There are NO mistakes in stamping"" even if you don't like it, set it aside and come back to it later and most times you will be able to 'fix' it or use part of the 'mistake'in another way.
    linda patti tpatti@windstream.net

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  80. I totally agree with your random thoughts, especially the coloring one. Here are a few of mine:
    The most expensive product is not always the best product. But the inexpensive doesn't always work.
    Think long and hard before buying "what's in right now."
    Even when creating a card or a layout is hard, it's fun.
    Clean and simple is the best way for me to go even though I sometimes really admire others more complicated style.

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  81. You are so kind to offer the embossing folders!
    I love reading stamping blogs, and yours is the best.

    a. When I got back to this hobby 3 yrs ago, I bought more stuff, but it still "hasn't paid for itself". I make a few cards, some for the challenges, some to give to groups, but not so many that actually get sent personally.
    b. I have a few other hobbies that help me be creative~quilting, stained glass
    c. card making is one of the nicest hobbies to share over the internet ~ great inspiration
    d. card makers are GREAT!

    Thanks, Susan!

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  82. In the beginning a new stamper buys everything in sight and as he/she becomes more experienced, wonders why there is so much stuff that is never used. I am now very particular what I buy and have found that my taste has changed. I am an absolute fan of embossing folders as they dress up a card without adding another layer. Send those extra cards to Nursing Homes or the Military. They will appreciate them and you will get them out of the house.

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  83. While I love looking at the "busy" cards, my muse would rather do simple - probably because it knows I don't have too many creative genes but I can copy stuff REALLY GOOD!

    And I LOVE my Cuttlebug!

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  84. I'm getting rid of a ton of old magazines and made similar observations. I also had noted (when I originally perused the issue) cards or ideas I wanted to try or use for inspiration. There have been so many new companies, new embellishments, etc. on the market over the past 10 years that my tastes had gone from 'no, I won't do grunge' to 'cute? Ick!' Cards in magazines are often over-rated...how many would you make like that and then send? Only very special people would get some of them and they wouldn't be mailed, but hand delivered. Some of them must weigh a ton and be super thick. But, change is good and inevitable.

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  85. Just because it's a trend, it doesn't mean I have to try it. Have yet to add a banner to one of my cards ;) Thanks for your great blog. Even though I don't comment often, I do come here to be inspired. Thanks for being you :)

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  86. Hi!

    I like your new stamp with the back of the postcrd - and a lot of your previous "simple" cards, too. I haven't got so many stamps, so at the moment I save a few pictures to get inspired but in the meantime I continue making cards mainly using patterned paper.

    I agree on glitter being a mess but glitter glue fantastically not, and that it's hard to have so many stamping pads that you could match papers - never and I haave been collecting only one trademark...

    Charlotta - a fan of your blog since I found it last month only

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  87. LOL!!!...so true my friend, so true! Love all of your observations!!!... One of mine is just because you make a mistake on your piece of art( our cards!) doesn't mean it goes in the trash - fix it somehow and it almost always turns out better than the original plan! :) (that is one of threasons I LOVE this hobby!)

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  88. Susan, I totally agree with you. Especially the one about the hat pins!
    The one thing that I can add is just because it looks like the best thing you've ever seen in a magazine or demo. Wait until you can see it up close and try it if possible before you buy.
    Thanks so much for offering this great give away, I have a cuttlebug and love to emboss a background on a card.

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  89. Had to laugh - guess we are all the same - your sentiments echo mine - my addition - you are never "finished" organizing your craft supplies - all it takes is the addition of a few things to make me rethink my "system" of storage

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  90. I think that less is more and more is toooooooo much! I love your blog!

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  91. I read through each and every one of the 70+ comments before mine. Loved them all and learnt some good lessons too.
    I like to follow two points when I craft-
    ---there are no mistakes, only happy accidents
    ---enough is enough, be it buying more supplies or putting on more stuff on my projects.
    Having said that, I do buy stuff. But I really, really, really think a lot before I do.
    Those hat pins, BTW, never liked them.
    Thanks Susan, for this post....its thrown up a lot of interesting insights.

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  92. So many good comments, and Susan you have had so many inspirational thoughts so far! My observation is just because someone else can make a beautiful card from a stamp set, does not mean that I will/ want to be able to. I hate.. and I mean hate cutting stuff out (you would also know this by how many punches I own). If it is going to take intricate cutting, I have learned not to even bother. The other thought is, just because it is a good deal doesn't mean I need it. If I don't plan to use it a lot, I don't get it, no matter what the cost.

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  93. i love your random thoughts, and, of course, your blog! mine is more in the line of a musing . . . how on earth did an impulsive visit into a stamp store in seattle turn into a habit costing thousands of dollars over the last 8 years?

    Caroline

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  94. Love the random thoughts and I agree with just about all of them. I just commented to my husband this morning that I have an obsession with owning/buying supplies but can't find enough time to use them all. I am going to go with keeping a list and placing orders more juduciously (we'll see how that works - lol).

    My random thought - how do designers mail the cards that have so many embellishments, flowers, pins, etc.? The added postage for using padded envelopes is more than I will spend.

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  95. I agree with some of your commenters, Susan. My tastes have changed a lot since I began stamping, and i just unloaded a bunch of papers/cardstock that I am not sure why I bought in the first place. My extra cards go to Operation Write Home, the ones with NO glitter, and not too many embellishments.
    I love to look at very dressed up cards, but they are hard/expensive to mail; that's no fun.

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  96. If I could start over, what would I buy? I think I'll start over... It's time to purge, trade, or give away. On my honor I will...try to be wiser. Why do I beat myself for not being as perfect and creative as other stampers. It is starting to be a competive thing. Wrong - wrong-I will like my work and know everyone has different levels of talent. Maybe that's why I love your absolutely simple but classy cards. I just let you in on a little talk I had with myself.

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  97. Sometimes no matter how hard you try - ink ends up where it's not supposed to and sometimes no matter how hard you try ink doesn't end up where it's supposed to.

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  98. A few insights ---

    -Owning more supplies and stamps, doesn't make you a better card maker.
    -I am happiest when I make a card in my style, instead of trying a more elaborate style.
    -It's fun to stamp with a friend, but often not as productive.
    -I agree that you can have too much, but this info (unfortunately) hasn't stopped me from obtaining more.
    -Stamp with a child without "helping them do it the right way", and you will learn new ideas and techniques.

    I enjoy your site and style of card making. Thanks for sharing.

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  99. I enjoy your blog very much! thank you!

    my stamping observations:
    1) Prisma glitter is the perfect assesory for every one of my dear husband's suits when he goes to work at the bank in the morning.
    Jackie from MO.

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  100. Susan, I agree with all your observations. I am trying to settle on my style after several years of stamping. I do like to send my cards and give sets as gifts to family and friends so I am certainly moving to a less layered card. I get sooo much inspiration from your blog. I read it daily. I may do a layered special card for someone who really appreciates my cards and I'm will to pay the extra postage. I do use my EF to give my cards some texture without the bulk. Thanks for sharing and the opportunity to win.

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  101. Hi Susan,
    #6 on your list really grabbed me. I don't understand how that works, either, but it does! My observations: 1)out of sight, out of mind as far as supplies and 2)one does NOT need all the tools and gadgets the magazines would have you believe you need!

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  102. Great observations!

    I might add that when you add the cost of all the materials in a handmade card, it would probably total more moola than we would like to admit. So we need to make more cards!

    Also, more on a card is not necessarily better.

    Thanks for all the inspiration you share daily!

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  103. Hi!
    I love reading your blog, you always make me laugh or smile!
    I love those embossing folders and would love to 'own' them! hehehe

    My observation on stamping....IT'S MESSY!
    I am not a neat, tidy little stamper!
    I hate that about myself!
    I've been trying to use a box lid to keep some of my project-that-I'm-working-on items in there, so, I can clean up fast, if my project isn't finished when I have to stop.
    We'll see how long that lasts!~ HA!
    SherryBee in AZ
    beeson@frontiernet.net

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  104. Love your observations!

    Just because something is a great trend, doesn't necessarily make it right for you!! (this one has cost me money)
    Laurie
    ltborden@admin.nmt.edu

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  105. Hi Susan. I agree with you on a lot of your observations. I find color to be the most difficult aspect of making cards. I understand the color wheel, bought tons of paper and inks in many colors, and still struggle with getting my colors to work together on a card. That said, card making is the hobby I have stuck with longer than anything other than reading.

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  106. Susan, I enjoy your blog and your thoughts so very much. I agree, those hat pins do look dangerous. And copic coloring seems so time consuming, add this color, add this color in a darker shade, add this color in an even deeper shade, blend, blend, blend, now take color off and blend some more. I keep looking at those $5.00 per each marker and I just feel happy with my aqua painter and SU reinkers, so I can spend money on stamps and paper. LOL I did purchase the Crayola 50 pc marker set, just to mess around with and see I even like using markers. I prefer the aqua painter, it's so forgiving and easy! What a nice give away you have today. How on earth have you managed to keep away from the die cutting bug?? I'm a total die-0-holic!! I often wonder if buying precut die shapes wouldn't have been cheaper, but once they are gone, they are totally gone!! I will be making some favor boxes for my daughter's late summer wedding with Accucut's dress and tuxedo box dies, which my son treated me to for my birthday. I try to get dies that will be timeless or very versatile. I figured I could use these boxes for birthday/mother's day and the tux for any holiday suit/father's day, etc. =D

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  107. One more thought. one of the best things i bought recently is cheap little plastic 3-drawer thingee for my stamp table. $3 at General Dollar. it is perfect for scraps and rolls of glue dots and popdots. sometimes the best assesories aren't expensive.

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  108. I do have to agree with your thoughts... especially at the 12 a.m. timing! My observation is this... I started off painting cards and got my Cricut machine to help me put beautiful sayings on them because my handwriting is the pits. That led me to getting stamps and ink and embossing powder and heat gun and glitter and Stickles and markers and beautiful paper and... well you get the idea. If I had just stuck to painting I wouldn't be answering this comment on your blog!! And having this much fun!! I'd love the folders, by the way!

    Kris in Alaska
    funamom at yahoo dot com

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  109. My random observation about stamping?? It always takes me twice as long to make a card as I think it should and I'm usually only half as happy with it as I was hoping. But regardless, my card recipients {usually} love them, even if I can see every single mistake I made (which are usually considerable). But I sit down to try another one the next day anyway . . . :)

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  110. One thing that I have a problem with, is seeing gorgeous cards on blogs, but I can't make them, 'cause I don't have the right sets. So, I go out and buy them, make that one card, and then discover that the stamp set and card really aren't ME. If only I could figure that out a WHOLE lot sooner....!

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  111. I totally agree with your list! My observation is that as I browse through my many stamping magazines whenever I come upon the "shabby chic" style I don't even stop and look, I just keep turning the page. For me, there is too much stuff going on there (although if you saw my craft room you would find that hard to believe). I just love the clean and simple style - you do inspire me.

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  112. Love reading your blog each day. I have to completely agree with your #6. My random observation of cards lately is flowers. Flowers and more flowers everywhere ........ how does one mail a card with all those flowers on it? Thanks for the chance to win the dies.

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  113. I would love to win those embossing folders since adding texture through embossing is really what drove me to buy a Big Shot!

    I agree with all your observations. My thoughts about this hobby are;

    Some people won't get it until they try it; and some people just won't ever get it. There will always be those who think you are "cheap" by giving them a handmade card ( or handmade anything! )...ignore them, and do what you love anyway!

    Scrapbook pages should be about the pictures, not about all the cute embellishments. Sort of like how a good application of makeup on your face should inspire "you look pretty today" comments; NOT "wow, nice makeup".

    More is not always better in terms of layers or bling or other embellishments on cards. However; it's also not easy to create something like this that looks cohesive, so I appreciate the time and effort that goes into the multi-layer creations. I also know I do not have the time, patience, or creativity to create things like that.

    That being said, I still collect WAY TOO MUCH stuff....stamps, embellishments, paper and will probably never use it all!! :-)

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  114. Susan - great post!!! Love the postcard. Have really enjoyed reading all the comments - nodding sagely at many of them:)

    Love purple elf's comment about making cards - have saved that one.

    As for your list - my thoughts are:

    1. So true.
    2. I've always been a bit worried about this - I don't use them!
    3. I love glitter and have a permanent dusting around the house :) Stickles are tidier, but they take too long to dry.
    4. Yes, but I'm learning.
    5. Also true!
    6. I know exactly what you mean!
    7. I try to stick to OL for posting and go mad on hand delivered cards.

    I think this is why I love your blog - lots to think about, lots of ideas and tips - great inspiration.

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  115. I agree with your observations...adding that the new pom pom trim is just another way to add more postage to the card. I have really taken your examples to heart and made many one layer cards. Minimalist, yet beautiful and easy to mail!

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  116. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  117. Here are my not necessarily original thoughts:

    1) You like what you like, not necessarily what is trendy.

    2) It's good to CASE as it helps freshen up your ideas.

    3) Variation on a theme makes for a multitude of cards and a reduction in your stash!

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  118. I have two random thoughts:

    1. Retiring and going from a salary to a pension means you have to live on less money but it also means you have more time to stamp which translates into "needing" to buy more stamps, paper, ink, etc. even though you now have less money to spend on this hobby.

    2. When you start stamping, you don't know your style so you spend a lot of time making cards you don't really like and a lot of money buying things you don't use. It takes about three years to figure out your style and then another three years to decide you can indeed get rid of those things that you don't need now that you know your style.

    So putting these two thoughts together makes you really annoyed that you wasted all that money on the things you won't need in the long run.

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  119. As usual, great insight into our lil' world we like to think we only share with a few dozen people that *might* be as obsessed as we are... hah.

    Observations?
    1. We are like the cobbler's children who never have shoes..as many cards as I make, all year long, I am constantly scrambling to make a birthday card or finish the Christmas card list.

    Oh, well, this tends to make the cards more CAS, and I come visit your blog for inspiration, so it all works out. :)

    2. Glitter used to scare me. Now it's my friend, thanks to watching younger folks be fearless with it. Actually, that goes for most bling embellies. Courage will never allow me to think I should stick a hat pin on a card. Don't care how cute that pin is, or how perfectly it matches!

    Love your blog, and your fresh, no-nonsense approach. Keep up the amazing work!

    and yes, if I get picked, I DO want the embossing folders! :)

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  120. while not being able to purchase nothing crafty for a while, its been hard to get creative. I see a bunch of new things that I know I can't buy, but I saved a couple of dollars and used a michael's coupon on my total purchase and it's amazing what $30 can do to my creativity :)
    I would love to win those embossing folders, thanks for the chance to win!

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  121. I agree with all of your statements, with the addition to #1 that quite often (not always, I admit) 'original' ideas are ones that have been tried before, and discarded because they don't work. Just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD. (A rule I'm trying to instill in my son!)

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  122. Though glitter is messy I still love it for some reason :). It always seems to me that just when im about to use a certain ink pad it happens to have magically have dried :(. I have tons of stamps and i dont use them as much as i would like. I think I am now starting to realize (running out of space) why some people unmount their mounted stamps and store them in a binder.. :) thanks for the chance to win i love your post card super cute!
    -jamie
    babyblueangel_30@yahoo.com

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  123. My random thoughts:
    ~ What works for others may not work for you and that's OK! I truly struggle with coloring images. I do ok but not as well as I'd like with the shading. I don't stress myself over it anymore and truly I LIKE solid images better anyways! :)
    ~ Sometimes, 8 million layers of cardstock, DSP, Ribbon, brads, eyelets, & the kitchen sink (well, you get my drift) is way overboard!
    ~ I never seem to have enough birthday cards! Everything else, yes but never enough for birthdays.
    ~ While it's fun to have all the latest gadgets, you really truly do not need them to make fantastic cards.
    ~ A little creativity and a tad bit of ingenious tweaking can make any technique work for you even if you don't have the "right" tool.

    Thanks for the awesome blog candy giveaway! I <3 embossing!!! :)

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  124. This addiction is similar to hoarding.....not that I have to keep everything.....but the stash just keeps growing......can you tell I'm cleaning my stamping area?

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  125. You are so right.

    especially #6. You can never have enough stuff, but you can have too much stuff.

    I love you blog. The craft magazines are full of over-done over-embellished cards. Your cards are simple and elegant.

    I've been wanting to try the embossing folders because I think they can add a subtle detail without looking "too much".

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  126. I am having fun reading all these postings, but I scrolled down to add mine or the giveaway might be over before I finish reading! I love your simple cards. It is so much easier to adapt a simple design to something I might have. My observation is that I started stamping thinking I would save money by making my own cards. What a joke! Everytime I buy a stamp I calculate how many times I have to use it to break even. So I had to get over that notion and just enJOY stamping for the creative outlet it is and not what it costs! Paper Doll

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  127. Love your random thoughts....and I agree with all of them!

    I wonder how a person can describe a stamp set as both trendy and timeless. By definition, isn't it one or the other?

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  128. As a beginninger, I find that I have more fun organizing my stuff than I do using it. See this changing as I play with my stuff more.

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  129. Reactions to your thoughts:
    1) Hee! Too true.
    2) Thank you. I don't really "get" hat pins on cards.
    3) That's why I like loose glitter in the summer, outside on the deck! And I wish I could be precise and perfect with stickles in teeny spots.
    4) Practice makes better. (Not perfect, but...)
    5) So true, but don't you love it when supplies from different companies serendipitously match? :)
    6) And that paradox's corollary that the more space you have, the more stuff you collect. Sigh.
    7) I have yet to make a card that can't go regular postage. Advantage of the CAS style! :P
    A cuttlebug or similar is on my wish list, so I would happily take your lovely blog candy should I be so fortunate.
    Last but not least... I love this post card!

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  130. My random observation: You'll always be one item short when making the perfect card, and you'll have to make do or improvise.

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  131. I totally agree with every point you made.

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  132. My random observation is when every I go to buy something pratical like a tool, I always end up leaving with something pretty.

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  133. I don't know how random this observation is but . . . clean and simple is way harder than frou-frou and embellished. I try to CASE your great designs and my cards look like I forgot to finish them. But I keep trying . . .

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  134. I have been trying to make more CAS one layer cards and find that they are more difficult than they appear. Precision seems to be the key. BTw, my cardmaking group would love the embossing folders since we recently all chipped in and purchased a big shot.
    Vicci (vtrugrade2@hotmail.com)

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  135. No matter how hard I try, I still get ink on my fingers! ps. I love embossing folders.

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  136. I really enjoy your blog and your CAS cards. I love embossing folders. I saw a comment about using rolling pin if you don't have a machine. Looked like it would be hit or miss on how well it worked. I have commented on several blogs using Blogger and my comment never showed up. Maybe I should just keep trying until it works.

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  137. I am so glad that I stumbled onto your blog a while back--your CAS cards are always striking and often inspiring to my own work. It is amazing how the craft has become so cluttered by some. I agree with your comment that you can have too much stuff but never enough--after 14 years of paper crafting I am pushing maximum capacity and yet....I still find things I need! I do not need the embossing folders as they tend to fall under the category of nice to have, but not my style most of the time, but wanted to post to let you know your blog is fun and appreciated!
    Kelle (kellestamps@gmail.com)

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  138. Oh... this post was so funny. May I offer my compliment - I consider you the Erma Bombeck of card making!!

    I agree (with a smile) about most of your observations. I'd like to add a 5A...

    And no matter how much cardstock you have, it's never the right shade of {pick a color - for me it's green} that you would like to use.

    Thanks ever so much Susan for the chuckles.

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  139. I jotted down my random thoughts and took time to read your comments (over 100) and had a good time chuckling!!
    My thoughts-
    - only a stamper can understand all the different thoughts stampers have and agree with most of them
    - even though you have hundreds of stamps, you still find one more that you think you absolutely have to have
    - some cards look like they should be framed instead of mailed and how do you mail them without ruining the card
    - I wish I had more time to stamp but I have to work so I can afford to buy more stamps and supplies!!
    I laughed at the comment about glitter and the husband's suit!

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  140. Love your blog! Here are my two observations:

    --A silver-embossed sentiment is a thing of beauty.
    --Getting sentiments straight is hard.

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  141. Hi ~ I do agree with most everything you said, Susan, and everybody else too. Funny, I have some hat pins and the postcard stamp and never have used either.

    My observation is that you can get along fine without Copics. Today I finished a card image coloring with watercolor pencils mixed with markers and a water pen.

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  142. I agree with purple elf. I save no money by making my own cards and I make no money by trying to sell them. this doesnt stop me from making way too many cards and enjoying every minute! I would love the embossing folders.

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  143. Great fun reading the various thoughts. You've touched a hot button with many. If card crafters need that all important "more" in order to create the perfect card, I would challenge them to start a "more" jar in which they put cold, hard cash in the amount of half of what they spend each time for the latest stamp, tool, embellishment, whatever--with the intent to donate that money at year end to a worthy charity. Sometimes seeing this visual perspective of spending makes "more" seem less necessary.

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  144. Enjoyed reading all the comments. Stick pin on a card...not a good idea.

    I love a pretty card, but I often see cards that are SO frou-frou that I know that a padded envelope is a must have for mailing.

    I make a lot of cards and I scrapbook. I make cards for my very large family (who now "expect" to get a handmade card and are excited when they get it).

    I'm amazed when I read that people make tons of cards and never send any...what's up with that? If you aren't going to send them out...send them to Operation Write Home...our soldiers overseas would LOVE to get cards to send to their loved ones.

    I definitely have TOO many stamps...many that have never seen ink...and yet I never seem to have the stamp/sentiment that I need.

    I love your postcard stamp...guess I thought postcards were a thing of the past.

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  145. I love your observations, Susan, especially the one about the hat pins; I've never understood that trend. My observation is this: Organizing craft supplies can be just as satisfying (and sometimes more) than actually making cards. It seems counter-intuitive, but it's true!

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  146. Just because 4,893 other people can make cute cards with that stamp set, doesn't mean that I can. Knowing my style, and more importantly, what's NOT my style, is useful.

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  147. Loved all the comments I had time to read. Right now, I've made up my mind that one embossing machine is all I need. I don't need bigger, i.e. Big Shot, Grand Calibur, or electric, i.e., Tim Holtz' Vagabond.
    My other issue...I don't sew and I'm not buying a machine just so I can sew on cards...tho' I've been sorely tempted. :D

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  148. Last night I ended up with glitter all over the kitchen floor. I'm not sayin' any more...

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  149. No matter what a color wheel says, some colors just do not belong together - Red Riding Hood, Rich Razzleberry, Celery. Red & purple don't do a thang for me!

    Also, I was thinking about your recent request for what we might like to see from you and I came up with this: cards using Kraft card stock instead of white!

    Thanks for the opportunity to win some goodies - I look forward to your posts every day!

    d

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  150. Susan, once again you nailed it (both the card and the random observations). You have certainly inspired your followers, I've really enjoyed reading all the comments!

    Here's mine:
    There is a fine line between hobby and obsession.
    And:
    If you're a perfectionist, there is a finer line between relaxing hobby and self-inflicted torture.
    But, it appears as though I am in good company!

    As for the embossing folders, before I got my Cuttlebug as a gift, I used an old crank pasta roller that I got at a garage sale for $3...worked great!

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  151. Right on the money, as usual. I've learned to stamp the inside of the card first. There's nothing worse than spending lots of time on a card only to stamp the inside sentiment all crooked. I know I can cover it with a sentiment stamped on cardstock, but it still bugs me when it happens.

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  152. I would love to win those embossing folders. My observations:
    On person above said "My stamps are like my friends." I often feel when I spend time on a card trying to get it just right, the card itself ends up feeling like a friend and I have a hard time parting with it. Especially when I think that someone might not appreciate the time that went into it and just throw it out.

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  153. Susan, I loved this post and enjoyed reading a lot of the comments...didn't get through them all. A few of my thoughts:
    Stick with one company for your ink pads, ribbon and card stock. It makes life much easier. I try to stick with Stampin' Up and an occasional Hero Arts chalk stamp. When I buy supplies from other companies, I am never as happy because they don't match well.
    2. Only touched Copics once and don't want them. They scare me.
    3. Read the title of magazines first before purchasing to make sure you are buying something you want. Cards magazine is all types of cards....not just stamped cards. PaperCrafts is paper crafts! I lve stamping so I try to buy the stamping focused issues.

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  154. As always, love your observations and find truth in each one! My observation: No matter how much paper you have, there will be one piece in the store that you absolutely can not do without. And truth be told....it will probably still be in the stash a year from when it was purchased.
    Lu C

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  155. I totally agree with #6. I am sooo there.

    I'd like to add that we are the FRIENDLIEST people on the planet. I have new customers come to a class and they are instantly "at home" and accepted by the other ladies. Some of them have even become instant best friends outside of class! I have never seen anything else like it, but that's one of the things I love about this gig.

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  156. PS: I am leaving a second comment to (1) disqualify myself because (2) I forgot to tell you I DO NOT WANT TO WIN! I do not need more stuff!

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  157. I am from India - where card making is still not very popular - maybe since its quite expensive. But what I see is - the 15 or so fellow stampers here in India show so much love to each other - eager to shaer tips, stuff, RAKs and send hand made cards. the sheer affection they show to each other is wonderful! Cheers to paper crafting :)

    And.. thanks for the chance to win. Love love your blog - with the many many blogs I "follow", this is the one of my 5 in the "Favourites" folder. I am always eager to see what you have to share. Thanks for sharing your skills and time. God bless. xxx

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  158. Not enough but still too much stuff... Amen!
    My own stamp-related vision is that that if I was organized, stamping would become much more fun and enjoyable. I find it so frustrating to search and search to find what I forgot to put away last time I used it...
    Thanks at the chance on the folders! They are gorgeous!
    DeniseB

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  159. I felt like I was at some sort of stamp revival... All I wanted to keep saying was "Amen, sister!!" Love your blog, read it every day.

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  160. Hi Susan,

    So generous of you to share the embossing folders, which I would love to win!

    I like to mass produce cards since I send so many to friends and family so I really do wish cards would not cost so much when you can add up all the embellishments on cards posted on manufacturer blogs and in magazines. lol...

    But you don't need a machine to use them. when the Cuttlebug embossing folders came out, some resourceful crafters had posted about substituting the diecut machines with rolling pins or pasta machines. So you don't need a machine to use them! (btw, the swiss dots one is my favorite.) So I have searched online and found these links:

    Rolling Pin - Here is a link with a step by step tutorial. On another thread, someone commented that it works better with spraying the cardstock with alcohol instead of water:

    http://www.allthatscraps.com/index.php?main_page=page&id=17&chapter=0

    http://community.provocraft.com/Cricut-Community_postsm257080_Are-There-Options-ti-Use-Embossing-Folders.aspx

    Pasta Machine - http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/tool-product-talk-f128/pasta-machine-worked-t355197.html

    HTH,
    Josiane

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  161. Thanks Susan for the insightful post. My only random thought is that I know I've had a good time stamping when I still find glitter on me 2 days later.

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  162. My take on #1 is "just because you can, doesn't mean you should." And I also do not understand hat pins on cards, and don't have a die cut/embossing device. love your blog!

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  163. So many profound stamping statements...I will add that it's never a bad idea to send a card to a friend.

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  164. Gwen said...
    I agree with everything you said.
    I have so much ribbon but never the color or right width or texture to use on the card I am making at the time, same with paper it is never quite the right color to go with the designer paper I want to use. Just when I think I have enough spellbinders there is another one I think I just NEED, same as cuttlebug folders I just need more '!!! Since making cards I send many more cards then I ever did before so hopefully it blesses those that receive them.

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  165. its great to be able to personalize every card i give.

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  166. A fun post.

    I've noticed

    1. When I plan a quick card, it's usually not that quick at all.

    2. At least a few of my "must have now" stamp purchases have not been inked up (yet).

    3. The stamp I think would be fun to create with right now is the one I just loaned to a papercrafter friend.

    Love your postcard and thanks for a generous giveway with these gorgeous folders. I love embossing.

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  167. I totally agree with all of your insights! I also agree with Yvonne's comment. It so fits me!
    I guess the only thing I can say is the more things I have the more overwhelmed I feel on what to use! However, I could use those folders! LOL!
    Thanks for the chance to win and for being so generous!

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  168. 1) if i dont' fall for the "hype" i save a TON of monies!

    2) your cards should most definitely be in magazines, dude

    3) making pretty things makes me very happy

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  169. Love your blog Susan and agree with your randomn thoughts, especially #6! Just sorted through my stuff (as have relocated craft desk - we'll see if it works!) and it's amazing the amount of things I just had to have yet have only used once and some things that I wasn't that excited about but have used over and over again.

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  170. I am excited about your giveaway ! Two things changed my stamping habits for the better:

    1. Creating a display case on the wall. Simple shallow wooden shelves were mounted in my craft room so I could display my wooden stamps. Not only does it look great but it encourages me to use stamps that had been forgotten because at a glance I can see what I have now!

    2. I enjoy keeping a self-healing cutting mat on my desk at all times. Not only is it handy for cutting, and keeping my desk safe but it asks as a cushion for stamping resulting in a very crisp impression. Soft foam mats do this as well as long as the foam is larger than the paper and the stamp.

    Thanks for getting us talking about this !

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  171. Loved reading your (and other's) observations. Mine is this: Just because "they" say a technique should be done a certain way doesn't mean that doing it a different way (your own way) makes it wrong.

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  172. Along those same lines, no matter the size of the room it's never big enough.

    There seems to be a direct correlation to the number of hours I have to play and the inspiration I have - totally inspired equates to no time and all the time in the world seems to equate to zero inspiration.

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  173. My random thought: I can have anything I want but I can't have everything. In other words work with what I have!

    I do not need to be entered in the drawing, but thank you for the inspiration and the give-away.

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  174. Not sure my comment got posted so this will be my 2nd try!
    Love your postcard! Love reading your blog!

    My random thought:
    I have to remember that just because it's made to look easy in the magazines it's not always that easy!

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  175. Love your postcard and your design style! My random thought about stamping is: Most of the folks who receive our cards are not stampers, don't read the latest magazines and have no idea what colors/stamps/tools/embellishments have been retired or not...so why not just have fun by using what you have?

    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  176. I like your Simplicity. Keeping a card simple is NOT all that easy...at least not for me... but, I have learned a lot just by reading your posts. Really enjoy your style. Keep ti up!
    Oh, yes...I do have a Big Shot and I don't have those folders! - Micki D.

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  177. I am new to your blog, so will become a follower - my cards are mainly simple ones.
    Why do other people get perfect stamped images, when mine always have a blemish on them?

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  178. I have learned not to save cards made at workshops "in case I ever want to make another one just like it." I never do. I want to try new stamps, papers, inks, and lay-outs. Brighten someone's day by giving it to them.

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  179. I don't know if anyone has already said this, and I don't know if this will earn me a kick in the pants, but I think there's a lot of stampers who buy products just because of the brand. True most of the high-end brands are good quality, but when you buy a bunny stamp just because such and such came out with one even though you have a perfectly good bunny stamp by a little-known brand that you never use... well it seems a bit stupid to me. That's just my two cents!

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  180. Expanding on your thoughts about coloring....we were taught to color IN the lines however, creativity makes you think OUTSIDE the box.

    I enjoy your clean and simple style as well as your ramblings!

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  181. I enjoy your blog, and in particular, this post. I do enjoy "over the top" cards for Christmas - somehow lots of embellishments for Christmas seems perfect. The rest of the year, my cards are simple. A random thought - organization of card supplies does make the card making process easier,or so I am telling myself as I sort though tons of paper, card stock, embellishments etc.

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  182. Well! Your post and 182 comments later, I must say this is great and thought provoking! Agree with all those comments...esp messy glitter! If it doesn't come in glue or pen form...forget it! Some observations of mine...

    1. No matter how much ribbon I own, I NEVER have the RIGHT one.
    2. Why do I keep buying patterned paper if I never use it?
    3. Why do I keep buying background stamps to make my own patterned paper if I never use patterned paper?
    4. Why do the "5 Steps or Less" cards in magazines always have more than 5 steps?

    Btw, your postcard is brilliant! Really love that SU umbrella stamp...can you share the name of that set so that I can stalk ebay??

    Thanks for the great read!

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  183. What a great post!!! And postcard. I’m really enjoying all the comments.

    I think having a limited budget has saved me from making many costly mistakes. It’s proven to me I don’t need one of everything available and most importantly if it doesn’t make me happy it’s not worth my time and effort.
    I’ve found hundreds of stamps, a lot of ribbon, tons of paper and card stock, a Sizzix machine, a few dies and a craft closet full of storage containers at thrift shops and yard sales.
    I make cards for my very large family and friends who now "expect" to get a handmade card. They have no idea what the latest trends are and they don’t care that colors don’t match precisely but they are always happy to receive my cards. What matters to them is I took the time to make a card especially for them.

    I would really LOVE the embossing folders!

    Blessings Bernie

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  184. Susan, I totally agreed with your observation, esp. # 6 (You can never have enough stuff, but you can have too much stuff).

    Here are some of my suggestions:

    1. using one sketch might be helpful, trying to make a card that fits on 5 or more sketches is definetely stressful

    2. the best time to stop making a card is already 10 minutes left

    3. using another two layers of paper doesn't fix any problems

    4. even if a stamp is on sale for only one Dollar (or EURO here) it will be a waste of money if you have no idea of how to use it

    5. even if everybody is using a trendy stamp/embellishment/tool, you don't need to buy it if you have something similar or don't like it at all

    6. wrong colors (colors that don't fit together) can ruin hours of card making process

    7. the knowledge of better not use these colors together (see #6) always comes 5 minutes late

    8. don't believe people who says "Stazon and stazon cleaner will not harm your clear stamps" as long as these people haven't bought the stamps by their own (did you realize that all who said this them get them for free?)

    9. CAS does not mean FAE (fast and easy)

    I'd definetely love to win the embossing folders, but as I live overseas it might be to expensive to send it. So it's ok, if you'd prefer sending them within the u.s.

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  185. I love your list of things from the magazine, as well as your take on "style". I, too, have tried all the extras on cards and trying to emulate others with layers upon layers and have determined that clean and simple works best for me. I still make some multi-layered cards from time to time, but much prefer the CAS look. Would love to have the embossing folders, too!

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  186. I love embossing folders. I use them all the time. I like all the lovely texture they produce. Musings on stamping: Hmmm...I know that it is a heck of lot of fun. I especially like making cards. I get a double whamy of fun from cards. One when I make them and two when the person who receives it loves the card. Congrats on the design team spot over at Mark's finest! They have great stamps. Have a great day!

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  187. Your random observations are spot-on! I'm still working my way through your archives, enjoying the fabulous cards, fantastic tips, and sharp wit! I've learned that, like ink, no matter how much card stock I own, I never seem to have the right color to match the specific piece of scrapbook paper that I have to use. And that usually results in yet another shopping trip, which in turn results in more "stuff" for my craft room. Thanks for the shot at a very cool pair of embossing folders (I'm off to check out MFP website, as I didn't know they carried these) and for your continuing inspiration!

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  188. Well Susan, I have a lot of observations, but it wouldn't serve any positive purpose to reveal them all.
    1)I have often wondered about the cards that appear published that seem to have no useful purpose whatsoever. They say something clever (or not), but would never be mailed to anyone for anything. I don't understand why people take the time to make cards like this. I like to stick to birthday, sympathy, anniversary, wedding, etc. If I can not use it, or give it away- I'm not making it.
    2) I have also wondered about the hat pins. They DO look dangerous. I recently (and for the first time) added one to one of my cards, but it came with a cover on the end of it.
    3) I seriously HATE some of the color combinations on certain challenge blogs. Some colors seriously were never meant to be combined, ladies. Really.
    I could go on, but I will make this my last comment...
    4) Can we slow down in the production of new and beautiful stamps. Or maybe we have to slow our purchasing power. It annoys me that before I can get a new set in the mail, and inked up- it is time to move on to the deluge of the next new set. There is SO much talent in this blogging world, but as someone stated earlier...we just can't own it all. I like that the ladies at PTI introduced a time for returning to ink up an old set. They all should... That's it for now. Thanks for the forum, and your inspiration. I do follow your postings almost daily. TFS!

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  189. Being older is no guarantee of being any less needy of acquiring more stamping/card making supplies. The demand exceeds common sense. I have no idea who to will family heirlooms to, and now there is a room full of crafting necessities to deal with.

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  190. Your random comments are so true - especially the hat pins; I've never used them on cards and have only just tried on scrapbook pages.

    Here are some of mine:

    1. Just because you can write or draw it doesn't mean you can't buy that gorgeous stamp.
    2. Layers can be with inks, not just paper.
    3. handmade cards are like snowflakes, no two are ever truly alike
    4. rubber stamps still seem to make a better impression than clear/polymer ones (esp. designs with really fine details)
    5. choice of ink matters; not just in terms of colour

    cheers,
    Malyn

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  191. All true! But I enjoy a glittery mess. I love, love, love your blog! When I grow up I want to make beautiful cards like you! Lol
    Elizabeth

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment!