THE FRUGAL SCRAPPER COACHES CARD-MAKERS ON CHEAP ALTERNATIVES

I have to admit, being a card maker, I’m not so hung up on the “acid free; lingen free” last-forever mindset that page layout crafters embrace.  I mean, face it: no matter HOW pretty the card is that you /we make, chances are it’s going to be opened, exclaimed over — and then relegated to a dark drawer somewhere, until it eventually gets thrown away.  And so *my* way of thinking is, “who cares if it doesn’t last forever?”   I just try to make it as beautiful and appropriate as I can, for the time being.  And THAT means that yes, I have been known to use paper that ISN’T AF;LF, or maybe isn’t necessarily even scrapping papers / cardstock.  It could be typing paper, wrapping paper, or even elements recycled from cards ** I’ve** received.

Case in point are some cards I made recently.  I was asked to make a 50th anniversary card, which I did.  Lots of gold, shiny paper, with a thin matte of red behind it.  Just a touch.  Turned out beautifully.   But before I gave gave the finished product to the asker, she phoned me and asked me to make TWO more!

Drat!  I had used ALL of my shiny gold paper in making the first one.  What to do?  Well ….. I could go to Michaels and buy some specialty paper at $3.49 a sheet.  Or, I could go to WalMart, and buy a whole PAD of sparkly specialty papers for $9.97. But no — the Frugal Scrapper in me cringes at the thought of laying out all that money for just a small project.  There MUST be alternative ……

The alternative made itself known the other morning, just after I got up, and as I was going from my bedroom to the bathroom for my morning ablutions.  I looked into my spare bedroom while “in transit” and what did I see?  A sparkly — prismatic, even! — gold gift bag. Aha! A wink is as good as a nod to THIS scrapper, and I took that bag with me when I went down to my scrapping room. 

It was a very LARGE gift bag: after I trimmed off all of the extraneous “stuff”, I still had the same amount of paper as two 12 x 12 sheets, plus more besides.  My cards turned out pretty good, I think — and the “paper” I used cost about $1.25 at the Dollarama.  

You can bet that the NEXT time I need special papers for a card, I’m going to peruse the gift bags at the discount stores, to see what’s available.  

Scrap on, friends!  50th Anniversary card

 

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THE FRUGAL SCRAPPER ENTHUSES ABOUT EMBELLISHMENTS

We’ve all been there, I’m sure: that point in time where we’re putting the final, finishing touches on THE BEST PAGE yet, and all we have to do is add the lettering / embellishments. SO exciting!!! And, as we’re popping out the letters we need, we discover– oh, the horror! – We’re short an M ….. or a B ….. or ….. (insert letter here.)

What to do, what to do? Do we rush out and try and find that EXACT same set of alphabet? (Have FUN with *that* ….. ) Do we put this set aside, and go with some OTHER type of lettering (which probably won’t be *nearly* as perfect as the set we intended to use, and we’ll never be happy with it)? Do we want all that expense of buying another whole set of lettering, for ONE letter?!?!? The Frugal Scrapper in me yells, No! No! NO!!!!!!

Before you pull all your hair out in frustration, consider making your OWN letter / embellishment, to fill the gap. It’s probably a LOT easier than you imagine!! Of course, everyone knows the “if you don’t have an M, use a W upside down.” But there are other combinations you can use, also: if you don’t have a uppercase B, use an uppercase P, plus a lowercase q, turned upside down and put on top of (or below) the capital B. (You MAY have to trim a bit of the tail of the q off, to make it fit better.)

No capital H? Take a capital E, cut it in half, along the middle arm, and then butt the two short sides together. OR use two U’s, bottom flat ends together.

One of the simplest and cheapest way to make embellishments is to stamp two copies of a particular stamp, colour them both exactly the same, then cut them both out, trimming a bit more off one of them. Fix them together with the use of foam popdots, and voila! An embellishment with depth. The beauty of THIS method is that you can make as many of them as you want, as long as you have popdots and patience.

As an avid frugal scrapbooker / card maker, I’m always willing to share my knowledge, so if you have any questions or comments, please drop me a note. Until next time ……    Scrap on!   🙂

 

The Frugal Scrapper Cops a Cartload of Copic Markers

As a child, I did NOT like to colour.  Loved to draw, and to create “stuff” out of cardboard, popsicle sticks and string, but HATED colouring.  So I find it ironic that, now that I’m over 60, I suddenly have developed a love affair with colouring with my Copic markers.  Go figure!

(Even more ironic — and I get a little grief for it, from my scrapping friends — is the fact that, even though I HATE green, I have MORE different shades of green Copics than any other colour: 12 in all! Whereas I only have THREE different shades of purple, my favourite colour.  SOME day, it will all even out, I’m sure.)

Which brings me to the main thrust of my post, and the “deal” I got on Copic markers. While the local Michaels sells them for $6.99 each, I got the bulk of my Copic collection from Art Supplies Direct in Calgary, Alberta at only $3.99 each.

Mind you, they are the older-style, square markers, but I actually like them *better* than the more modern style. I find, for my arthritic fingers, that they are easier to hold.

If you decide to order, bear two things in mind: #1 – this is discontinued stock, so they may be out of certain colours that you want.  #2) I found the shipping cost was a bit pricey, so I advise that you get together with some friends, get a bulk order of the markers you all want, and split the shipping costs.

That being said, I found the folks at Art Supplies Direct to be friendly, helpful and the service was fast. Contact them at:  Art Supplies Direct:        www.artsuppliesdirect.ca
1-800-600-6928

Join me in enjoying the colour rainbow!  (Hmm ….. I think I need a few more Copics ….  LOL!)   🙂

THE FRUGAL SCRAPPER – The first post on Low Cost Scrapbooking

Sometimes, we make the most momentous, life-changing decisions in the most casual of ways.

I got into scrapbooking about 10 years ago, with my best friend, gal-pal and sista-chick, Julie. It was one of those things where one of us said, “You know, I thought I’d like to try scrapbooking sometime” and the other one said, “Yeah! Me, too!.” It wasn’t long after that that the local Michals store advertised that they were having a $5 Crop Night and we said “Let’s DO it!” So, we phoned, registered for the event and, when the night came, off we went, with high expectations.

In we walked, to a small room crammed with about 10 women, scads and SCADS of scrapping equipment and paraphernalia, and a smiling, friendly instructor named Sandra. We had each taken some paper, scissors, glue and other small scrapping trinkets, but — guess what? — NEITHER of us had brought any photos!! (In all honesty, we had ASKED if there was anything we had to bring, when we registered, and they said “No – we provide everything.” And we were rank beginners, so never even thought of bringing photos!)

We were soon ear-deep in mysterious scrapping terms we had never heard before: matte, Cricut, Sizzix, crop, snail tape, distressing — it fair boggled the mind! Everyone was doing such interesting stuff — and here we were, with nothing. Not to worry, though: Sandra soon had us using the punches, and the dies on the Sizzix, and we spent the time cutting out all KINDS of neat shapes and stuff. (Do you know — 10 years later, I STILL have some of those shapes. I’ve never used them. But they were just so darn *cute* …..) We had a *blast* — and we were well and truly HOOKED on this scrapbooking thing!

It was also on that night that we discovered the joys of the $1.50 bin, and all the great things for scrapbooking that could be had for an inexpensive price. I was in heaven, having always been a penny-pincher on a limited budget.

Times change; people change; our in interests change. One thing that has NOT changed with me is that I’ve always had to pinch pennies, and “extra” money for scrapbooking has had to be stretched as far as it possibly can.

I’m the first to admit: I got a LOT of my scrapbooking stuff at the Dollarama (and other discount stores). A penny saved, and all that …..

And that, in a nutshell, is the idea of this blog: to highlight / spotlight ways to save money, while getting the most enjoyment from our hobby. Here you’ll find money-saving ideas, links to good deals, book reviews, some give-aways, and perhaps even just some scrapping “drival.”

If you’ve found a good deal, or have made a great penny-pinching discovery, let me know. We’re all in this together. 😉

Scrap on, friends!