Thursday, May 7, 2009

Today's Shopping Trip & Frugal Tips

My sweetheart had an eye doctor appointment this morning, a follow-up to the two cataract surgeries he had at the beginning of March & April (one eye each time). All is well with that, thankfully, but while we were already that far from home, we decided to continue on to the next larger shopping center to pick up some things we needed. Since this town is over 45 miles from our home, we don't go unless we have enough money in the budget to make it worthwhile, with things we need to pick up. When we got there, Tim asked if I wanted to stop at Dollar Tree. Of course, I said Yes! I love looking for cardmaking supplies at Dollar Tree, where everything costs just $1. I found 4 sheets of scrapbooking stickers: a sheet of pink baby girl stickers, a sheet of blue baby boy stickers, and 2 sheets of different flower stickers. They're in the photo above, though you can't see them very well. I also picked up a pair of decorative-edge scissors that I didn't already have. You could say the price was right! I didn't need any of these things immediately, but I like to add to my stash of cardmaking possibilities whenever I come across something I know I would use.

We also stopped at WalMart, where I picked up two 1/2 yd pieces of 100% cotton to make into new scarves for myself, showing in the photo above. I will also scan each piece and possibly print them out on paper to use on a card. Fabric scans print out really cool! You can even see the threads! One of these days I want to make a card with a quilt design, using printed fabric scans. I've already used printed fabric scans on some of my cards, either as a background paper or to make an embellishment, such as the prairie points which I put on this card:

Before we left the town where Tim saw the eye doctor, we stopped at the liquidator store that is there. I picked up another pair of the scissors I like to use. They are a good, sturdy metal 6" pair of scissors made by Eberle. They cost $1.99. You can see them in the first photo. I didn't really need them, either, but wanted to pick up another pair while they still have them just in case I need to replace the pair I'm using. I also picked up a skein of this beautiful fluffy multi-colored blue yarn, Red Heart Kiss, for 69 cents, also in the photo. I know it will look cool on a card! And a skein will last forever!

I know you can buy special fiber collections to use in cardmaking, but I prefer to add to my own fiber stash with deals like this. I have lots of different yarns now, as well as colored & natural hemp cord purchased on clearance at WalMart, ribbons purchased at Hancock Fabrics, JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts & at WalMart, and all the laces, trims, ric-rac, fabrics, & other stuff in my sewing stash. I have the advantage of a sewing room full of stuff that I can now use in cardmaking, as well as lots of embroidery floss from cross-stitch projects, acrylic craft paints from other craft projects, and on goes the list.

I know everyone doesn't have a stash of sewing supplies to snitch from or supplies sitting around from other crafts, but anyone can take advantage of clearance sales and all those stores like Dollar Tree or liquidator stores. I've picked up some great cardmaking supplies at Big Lots, for instance. One of these days I'm going to check out the 50/50 store that sells party supplies; I just know I'll find SOMETHING in there that will be a great addition to my stash of cardmaking stuff.

Another store where I pick up cardmaking supplies is Menards, a home improvement/supply store, similar to Home Depot and Lowes. Menards sells their discontinued wallpaper sample books for $5 each--and that's a LOT of paper for cardmaking for not much money! They also have small cut samples of their in-stock wallpaper rolls that I've taken advantage of, as well as paint chip cards.

But the thing I can't do without, which I buy at Menards, is double-sided carpet tape, shown in the first photo. They sell Duck brand carpet tape for light traffic, 1.88 in x 75 ft, for about $3.49. (Check in the carpet/floor covering area.) Do you know how far that roll of double-sided tape goes? AND it sticks everything, at least paper-wise! Since I love to use wallpaper samples on my cards, this is important. Not all tapes will hold on vinyl wallpaper. The only caution I must give is that it is NOT re-positionable, so be sure you have things lined up right the first time or be prepared to work with whatever way it lines up once you have things stuck together. This light traffic carpet tape is not thick, not much thicker than other double-sided tapes, and doesn't add a lot to the total weight of your card, unless you totally cover all surfaces with it--which I am learning I don't have to do. Besides using it almost exclusively to stick my cards together, I also like to make my own stickers with it. This is something I started doing years ago when my children were still young and we were homeschooling. You can cut designs out of giftwrap paper or use computer-printed graphics that are no wider than your tape; unroll the carpet tape a small section at a time and lay your design on the sticky side, smoothing it out & adhering it to that side. Then cut it out. It works better if you leave some excess paper around your design when you stick it down, then cut it out after it's stuck to the carpet tape. Voila! You've made your own sticker. Just peel off the other side of the double-sided tape to adhere it to whatever surface you like. Here's a card I made using butterfly stickers I made with this method:

This card also uses a paint chip card, a strip of torn cardstock and ribbon.
Well, I think I'll wrap up this post and get my 3rd Mother's Day card posted, then go work on the rest that I need to get done. This shopping trip today messed up my plans for the day, so now I have a time crunch. What is that old saying about the best-laid plans?

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