I am a big advocate for play-testing.
I often invite new paper crafters to set aside some time to come to an open stamp in my craft-room. Where else can you try out the clear mount stamps versus the wood mount stamps, play-test such animals as the Big Shot Die Cutter, and the variety of embossing tools that it provides, experience all the colours in the Stampin' Up! rainbow - in all its matching paper, inks, and embellishments - BEFORE you dive into and succumb to the impulse buy of everything?
The allure of picking up an unusual die or unfamiliar tool, or product and being able to turn to the demonstrator and ask how this works and get a personal demonstration. To be able to try it out yourself so that you get the hands-on feeling of how to use it so you can make a better informed decision on what comes next. It cannot be beat!
Though I have collected and accumulated a vast collection over my years as a childcare provider, scrapbooker, rubber stamper, paper crafter, and now demonstrator - I always come back to the same mindset that started it all. I was a crafter first and foremost, my budget would never have allowed me to get it all, all at once. I'd have LOVED to have had somewhere that I could bring my projects and partake in a library of crafty goodness.
That's not to say that I didn't have crafting opportunities but in the area we were living in at the time transportation was an issue - it just didn't happen very often.
I'm not saying that had I had the opportunity to play with everything first, that I wouldn't have collected all I have, but I do think I'd have taken a more informed, practical approach, rather than the feeding frenzy that it could sometimes tend to be.
Being aware also of your crafting circle and who has what, and what might be shared between you is also a consideration. If 2-3 of you normally craft together, purchasing different stamp sets or different dies (for example) that you all can share, makes sense. Of course it's likely that everyone will want their own adhesives and cutters.
How many times have you gone out and bought a tool at one of the local craft stores, only to get home and realize in order to use it you now need to spend MORE money to get accessories or supplies that you hadn't counted on.
I would much rather send you home with a $40 purchase of items that compliment items you have, or get you started on a particular project, than to sell you $100 (or more) of items that you cannot do anything with.
Drop me a line to plot a play-testing session or to join us in an upcoming class or event. Watch for upcoming Crop Opportunities and Open Stamp Events - Your chance to tackle those Unfinished Objects (UFO's) and get caught up on your craft time!
I look forward to seeing you around a craft table very soon!
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Tammy Wilson 613-655-1010