Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Butterfly Blues

Ninety-nine percent of the time, my decision to eschew dies and die cutters fills me with minimalist satisfaction, for I know without a doubt my need to have EVERY DIE OUT THERE to justify the cost of whichever die-cut machine I purchased would exceed rational, healthy boundaries.

But one percent of the time, this decision makes me blue.

This one-percent blue was sparked by seeing a number of cards on Pinterest that use dies to cut out a wide range of interesting shapes so a pretty background can show through. While I'm able to achieve the look of this technique with punches, it's neither easy nor entirely satisfying.

Punches just don't give a stamper the range to reach all over a panel...even a small panel like this. The negative of the punched shape must stay near the edge of the panel. Martha Stewart makes some "anywhere" punches, but I've not purchased them because they are a dozen more things to buy.

My blue background was stamped with a variety of splatter stamps in three shades of blue. Those blues do make me so very, very happy.

Tomorrow, I'll have recovered from my moody blues, but today, I'm feeling a tinge of regret for my minimalism.

But the blues sure are pretty in the negative space of that butterfly, aren't they?

And a 99 is still an A+. I'm happy with that grade!

How do you feel about the supplies you've chosen not to buy? Where do you draw the line? Do you draw a line!?!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,

stamps: Papertrey (sentiment) and various splatter stamps
ink: various dye inks
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Martha Stewart butterfly punch, square punches, dimensionals 


  1. Love the card!! I rarely buy patterned paper and limit myself to 1400 kinds of adhesive!!

  2. The blue background showing through the butterfly cut out is very pretty. I draw lots of lines regarding my craft purchases. I'm always behind the trend, almost never buying the "in" stamp sets and inks. For instance, I don't have a lot of regular distress inks and have no oxide distress inks. I just try to use what I have until the next trend comes along and I can find older stuff marked down somewhere. It works for me.

  3. I draw the line quite frequently... any stamp company that frequently retires or has a vault, I want every ink line ever made but I resist (barely... as I just purchased 12 Impression Obsession inks), and *most* dies. I own some, but it has to have a good reason for being here. I own a Silhouette and can make for free or purchase for $1 or less most anything I can think of or find in the store. Its the few exceptions that I have dies for, or Spellbinders label dies that I can stencil with as well that have found a home in my stash. You can even create a stitched border with the Silhouette, so I'm not tempted by those dies, especially since they limit you in size and dimension. For the cost of 15 dies, you can buy a Silhouette Cameo. But you have to be willing to use the computer to create your die cuts. For me, not an issue. I love that I can create my own stencils and most die cut techniques ala Jennifer McGuire can be applied to electronic die cuts too. Occasionally though, I do have die envy when there is something really trendy out.

  4. You are wise not to feed the die monster. I have found it to be a real rabbit hole and kind of guilt inducing.

  5. Love the blues ... the butterfly ... and the card ... these are a few of my favourite things!
    That you ask questions and make us think about what we are doing (and buying) is one of the things I so enjoy about your blog. I have recently been vaguely thinking about this, but now I need to come to some conclusions.

  6. I've recently become an SU demo and the urge to purchase a big shot die cut machine is big....my reason for not getting one is space. I live in an RV and we do travel. Weight is an issue as is storage of supplies. And I'll have to keep my punch collection small also
    That's why I love your cards!

  7. I've resisted the copics/alcohol markers coloring supplies! However, I can't resist paper. Any paper, from every color to all kinds of designer paper.

  8. I was given a Spellbinders Grand Caliber embossing machine, so I have succumbed to buying embossing folders (which can also be used as stamps). However, I refuse to buy a die-cutting machine, as I think that would make my cards less creative and more fussy. I prefer to use other methods to get similar results, as you did with your butterfly punch. It is a challenge, which I enjoy.

  9. Awesome card. I love the blue.I brought a die cutting machine. I have a love hate relationship with it. I am limiting myself on stamps and dies right now. It seems every week some stamp company is coming out with new stuff. I am going to try to say no for the rest of the year. Wish me luck. I am asking for a MISTI for my birthday with some of the new Concord plus 9 stamps.

  10. Love your blue butterfly, or rather the blue peeking out from the butterfly.

    I had to read what everyone said in response to your questions. I do have a limit but it is rather fluid. For instance, I'm not an ink person. I had my Marvy pads and they fine for years and years until clear stamps were a thing. Then I had to switch to Memento. Memento has been fine but now I'm a SU demo so I'm slowly switching to those. I do downsize the ink I'm moving on from.

    Other limits include knowing myself. I don't like background stamps so I don't pay attention to those. I'm not a fan of thin line drawings for stamps so will reject things based on that. The latest fad I'm resisting is fussy multi-piece stamp sets with lots of matching dies. They are so time consuming to use. I love much of what I see but I know with my limited craft time that if I had them I would pass over them time and time again.

  11. I love this card in its elegance and simplicity. I too resisted die cut machines for years, but finally caved and bought a Big Shot a couple of years ago! Mostly use it for large sentiment dies as they are easy and very effective...and I know I won't mess up my finished card as I've done when stamping! The Big Shot really energized my mojo as it opened a whole new world of dies, which I find kind of magical. Love to mix stamping and die cutting. I don't like cards with bunches of dies stacked on each other...find them boring and not creative. Right now, resisting the new Oxide inks...sort of. Actually bought a couple to see what the fuss was about, and I'm underwhelmed so far with the matte/dull finish. So I guess that means I don't have to buy them all!!

  12. I did resist the die cutting machine for a long time, but finally caved 2-3 years ago. Can't say I'm sorry, but I'm one set away from obsession. I have drawn my line with coloring media( is that correct?). I don't color well so I use any old colored pencils that I've had for years & I've not purchased a single Copic. We can use that example to justify the dies I bought after a class yesterday. And I find your minimalism awe-inspiring, today's card being no exception.

  13. I limit myself by sticking to one main company (Papertrey Ink) for stamps and dies. I place one SU order a year, mainly new ink colors and a few other things. And I might do one order a year with stamps/dies/ink from other companies. I also don't buy patterned paper.

    But I have to say I love using my Cuttlebug. I bought it for half price about 8 or 9 years ago, and I greatly prefer dies to punches. Once you're over the initial die machine cost, dies are much less expensive than punches and take up a lot less storage room. They are also way more versatile. For me, it is totally worth it to have dies, but to limit myself on techniques, patterned paper, and other companies.

  14. I can usually resist the current trends and fads. I've been stamping for over 30 years so have seen a lot of trends come and go... and come back again. Thanks to a limited budget I've always made it a point to only buy things that I know I can use several different ways. For the past two years I have limited myself to only buying paper (mostly white), envelopes and glue. Having a blast playing with old stamps and trying newer techniques with what I already have. Yes, I still love and use some of those 30 year old stamps. Back then, an expensive stamp was about $5 or $8. My, how some things have changed.


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