Smart Shopping

Smart Shopping 

Do you consider yourself to be a smart shopper? I have one thing I always keep in mind when I do my smart shopping and it’s a secret I call  “5 before I buy”.  Before I buy something I make sure I can think of five (5) ways of using it.  This way I can make sure I make wise choices plus it also helps me with my creativity.

So here’s the secret, whenever I get a new catalogue and find a stamp set that I  like … I often will put a sticky note on it with some ideas including sketches on how I want to use it.  So this is great for when my creativity is just out of whack  I can grab this off the back and I know where to start.

Smark Shopping

I put the sticky note on the back of the product before I put away, so that when I’m ready to create I just grab it out and I have some ideas ready.  Again, I don’t always do the post-it note trick but I find that when I do it, it really helps me to use that product, so I’m trying to get into the habit of doing it every time I receive my order to add a post-it note with ideas.

5 Before I Buy

Here are 5 tips to help you come up with 5 ways to use a stamp set or product before you buy.

  1. Can I alter?  The first one is can I alter this product, can I do something to change the look of it or can I use it to alter something I already have?  Then I can get more uses from it and other products.
  2. Can I use with a tool? Can I use this in combination with a tool I already have.  Can I use this in combination with my die cut machine, or an embossing folder, a punch or my Stampin’ Blends.  I find I can get more uses if I combine my tools.  Because tools never go away.  Say the product I’m considering is a tool for example a die, I try and think of different ways to use that die.  If I can use it with things other than paper, like maybe felt or fabric, so I try  to get multiple uses out of it.
  3. Can I use a technique?  I love techniques, they’re a great way to stretch your product and stretch your creativity, so I try to think if this product would be good to use with a technique
  4. Is it my style? Sometimes its fun to buy things that ain’t my style but sometimes that limits me creatively.  Or if its something that feels like it works with me, I know I will use it alot more in the future.
  5. Do I LOVE it?  Sometimes you just gotta get something because you absolutely love it.  But this tip I usually put on the back burner I try to think about how I can use my stamp set with the other tips I’ve given.

So what better way to show this than with an example.  I’ve taken one stamp set and share with you five (5) different ways to use it.  The stamp set I’m using today is “Birthday Wishes for You”  


Creating a Watercolour Wash with ink pads and aqua painters.


Colour blocking – stamping across two solid colours of cardstock


Colouring image using Stampin’ Blends


Stamping directly on patterned paper


Watercolour Pencils and Blender Pencils


Next time you’re looking to purchase a new item, brainstorm multiple ideas.  Use the five tips I’ve shared to help come up with new ways to use your stamping products.



Tips & Techniques: Carve A Little Time

Tips & Techniques: Carve A Little Time

My best tip for any card maker (new and old) is to practice. Carve out a little time in your busy life each week to get creative. It’s good for you. Every card you make is a learning experience. You might be trying a new colour combination, a technique or a challenge of some kind. I prefer challenges without a prize because I don’t want to compete—I’d rather just play when I create.

Challenges are a great way to learn because they stretch you to try new things or look at things you’ve done before in new ways. If I get in a slump and need a jump start I usually create myself a challenge. Here are couple challenges I like to create for myself

  • Colour Challenge – punch out 1/2″ circle of each colour cardstock place them in a bowl.  Randomly pick out 3-4 colours and create project using them
  • Sketch Challenge
  • Limited Supplies Challenge – Select 3-4 items from stamp sets, paper and embellishments and create project using just those items
  • Stamp Set Challenge – Create a project using a stamp set that you haven’t used yet or haven’t used in a long time.

I always seem to find something that wakes up my creativity. Like everything else in life you need to work at your craft a bit to get better. Make a card in a different shape than you normally do. Try new techniques. Try new colour combinations.

Relax and have fun while you create. Through the process you will become a better card

Here is a look back at a card I made in 2013 when I first started my blog. Not Bad!

Birthday Basics, Teeny Tiny Sentiments

Here’s one I created just last month, a great improvement.

Whole Lot of Lovely
Don’t give up, keep creating and challenge yourself.  You can only get better.

Kickstart Your Creativity

When you find yourself stuck in an inspiration slump, where do you turn to quickly jolt your creativity back into gear?

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