PRT204 – Glorious Shopping Skillz

This week we’re talking about shopping!

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  • Gretchen Henninger

    Hello and thanks for another fun episode. It makes my hour-long morning commute so much better.

    With the Amazon Wish List feature, you add a link to your favorites bar or menu and whenever you’re on a site and see something you want to add to your Amazon wish list, you click on that link and a pop up will appear that will let you add the item to your Amazon wish list. (A lot like Pinterest).
    This link should have the information:
    I find that this is useful for my family and friends that won’t otherwise go to scrapbooking sites to look for the wish lists I keep there.
    A third scrapbooking store that I really like is They carry new releases and a solid selection of basic supplies.

  • Charity Donaldson

    GREAT episode! I have now officially ordered from the “big three” (in my mind anyways) TwoPeas, and Simon Says Stamp. The show mentions some downsides to TwoPeas and, I used to have a bit of trouble with the Simon search bar, but they just redid their website and I’m liking the new search more. I have been pretty happy with them all, but as far as the speed at which my merchandise arrived I will rank them in order from fastest to slowest:

    Simon Says Stamp (by far the quickest)

    I would order from any of them again, but I have to say I was really impressed with Simon Says Stamp.

  • First off, Thank You for having me – it is always completely delightful to be on the show ? I love PRT ?

    Couple other things I wanted to mention:

    1. Digital Scrapbookers: Many digi scrappers have a system of buying new products on Friday nights because that’s when the digital products are generally released. While I’m not a digital scrapbooker, this is one more reason I’m a bit jealous of them – the supplies are less expensive and are released more often and the trends hit the digital scrapbooking products lightyears before they hit paper scrapbooking products.

    2. Scarcity is Gone: Stacy Julian has a whole spiel (def: a long or fast speech or story, typically one intended as a means
    of persuasion or as an excuse but regarded with skepticism or contempt
    by those who hear it.) about how photographs used to be valuable because of scarcity – there were less photos in the days of film, people took pictures less often and they were more expensive; and now, as a result of the digital photo revolution, photos are much less valuable – so you can even do things like throw some of them away (gasp). But she makes a lot of sense and I think this same sort of reasoning can be applied to scrapbooking products. Tami mentioned the olden days of scrapbooking when there were feeding frenzies for products because they might not be released again so you had to get it and get it now! But nowadays, there is an abundance of supplies – even with some companies going out of business and the scrapbooking industry being past its peak and on the downward trend – there are still a gazillion choices – we aren’t just seeing one style; plus you can print or cut your products at home if you are hybrid/digital and depending on what kind of equipment you have; and many scrapbookers already have a stash – so that tiny box that Tami was describing that held all of her scrapbook supplies may have contributed to the need/want to get more – whereas now many scrapbookers have an overabundance of “scrapbook stash” and are looking for ways to get rid of their old stuff – the desire to overbuy sort of goes away (unless you have hoarding tendencies – which maybe all scrapbookers get a tinge of from time to time).

    3. On Trends: One other thing I wanted to mention about trends – they change in ways we don’t always expect. For example, we can expect that the colors and motifs on patterned paper will change over time like colors and hemlines change in fashion. But we don’t always expect revolutionary tools, like the personal use electronic die cutters, or whole new categories of products: Think about embellishments: Way back when we had buttons, eyelets and ribbons – there were even magazine articles about how to organize ribbons; and nowadays we have embellishments we hadn’t even conceived of back then: wood veneers, colored epoxy dots (because I think clear ones were a thing a long time ago), flair and washi tape. So when you jump on a trend, do it in moderation. Personally, I can remember getting the old school red manual Sizzix die cutter that Sandy Genovese recommended and thinking I would never have to buy another letter sticker ever – that I’d just use that “Lollipop Shadow” font for everything forever-after – and now I wouldn’t use it on a page if you paid me, and I’ve spent lots of money since on Thickers and electronic die cut fonts.

    4. Rotate Your Supplies: There is a fashion/organizer blogger who advocates a system called Project 333 for your wardrobe – you pick 33 items and wear them for a month and then rotate out your clothes – a lot like limiting your supplies in the world of scrapbooking. One way to avoid over-buying is to rotate your supplies so that you are only working with a limited set at a time. Often times the less stuff you have, the more productive you are (and same deal goes in your clothing closet – if it is overstuffed, it is likely that you’ll have nothing to wear whereas if you limit your options to items that you actually use, you have many more wardrobe options).

    5. Why You Buy: We hit on this a tiny bit – Tami mentioned that sometimes she is buying to replenish the basics or because she is working on particular project – but other times, she is shopping to gain inspiration after a few weeks off from scrapbooking. I think it is important to think about why you are shopping so you can differentiate the impulse shopping from the intentional shopping (go back and listen to PRT #6 with Aby Garvey). I think impulse shopping can be very gratifying and inspiring – but it shouldn’t be the only type of shopping you do.

    6. iNSD: international /National Scrapbooking Day is this weekend and I’ve seen message threads on different scrapbooking forums titled “iNSD Shopping Strategies” – so I think a lot of scrapbookers really do think ahead and create a strategy or philosophy about their scrapbooking purchases. I think if you haven’t thought about they way you buy or your “purchasing style” you might want to give that some thought – the same type of way you might think about your scrapbooking style. ie. Do you want the trendiest? The best bargain? The most unusual? What your scrapbooking friends are getting? etc.

    7. Where to Shop: We mentioned Two Peas,, Simon Says Stamps, Amazon, the discount stores, local scrapbook stores, kit clubs, Etsy, Craig’s List, Ebay and yardsales. I did an informal survey on another message board and scrapbookers said they love to shop at: Hobby Lobby, Meijer grocery store (I have seen threads about scrapbooking supplies at grocery stores but I haven’t personally seen this trend). A few mentioned that they were sad to see Archivers and/or Creative Memories go away as well as many local scrapbook stores. And on the local scrapbook store front – one commenter (Gretchen who commented below too) said that there are no scrapbooking stores in NYC! (so weird right?)

    Ok so I think that’s it – I am glad you put the feature in the comments that only shows the first paragraph – so that I can feel more ok about these longer posts as I do tend to go on and on.

    Thanks again! :) Katie.

  • krizbee

    Sometimes the silhouette store goes 50% off too!

  • Oh my – I had no idea – Thanks for the heads up!

  • Teresa S

    Sadly today my six month membership ends, but happily, I am renewing! Thanks for offering high quality videos that focuses on processes versus products. Always look forward to the new and refreshing ideas you provide via the podcast and membership!

    Also, if you are on the fence about Noell’s Romantic Scrapbooking Course, jump on off and purchase it! The way the class and ideas are presented opened a flood gate of ideas! It was so easy for me to tailor her suggestions to suit my own personal relationship.

  • Robinww

    If you just need one or two things, like the wood veneers, do a search on etsy. Lots of sellers have those kinds of items and shipping isn’t too bad.

  • Robinww

    Wish List on Amazon: you have to download the wish list button for your toolbar in order to add stuff from other sites to the wish list on amazon.

  • Marissa

    I just ordered from A Cherry on Top and was REALLY impressed with their speed and product availability. The only downside was that I had to pay for shipping even with a large order. However, I did get my percentage discount on my WHOLE order INCL shipping.

  • Marissa

    I LOVE this feature!

  • Gretchen Henninger

    No scrapbook stores in NYC is probably an over-broad comment on my part . . . or Manhattan centric. We did get a Michaels a few years ago (but its small compared to those elsewhere in the country, and often badly stocked). I believe there are scrapbook stores in some of the boroughs, but it would involve extensive amounts of travel time and possible a car to reach them. And there are a few stationary stores in Chelsea that carry scrapbook supplies . . . but it’s a limited and dated selection. So, for my purposes, there’s no LSS in NYC. (There’s the lawyer in me, hedging everything, lol).

  • Bethany Rielage

    I had to pause the show to let you know about one of my favorite things that Becky Higgins offers on her website – card design reference PDFs. These are PDF files that have all the card designs for almost all of the core kits and mini kits that they sell. I love being able to see all the designs before I commit to buying a kit. Sometimes it takes a little while for the newest kits to get added, but most of them are there. Hope this helps!

  • Awesome episode! Like most, I give some of my stash to family/friends but lately I’ve started selling in the local, kids consignment sale that we have twice a year. The consignment sales have really gotten popular in the southeast and is a great place to buy kids clothing, gear, toys, etc but the craft items I’ve taken recently have been my most popular stuff. I never have trouble selling my stash and it gives me a small return on what I’ve spent. Hopefully more scrapbookers can start doing this. It’s been a great saver for me!

  • ldmccarty

    Thanks to Katie & Tami for their great tips on shopping. I learned a lot!

    Two add’l things to consider:

    1. There are sites that are somewhat like Groupon but for scrapbook supplies:; etc. are two that I’ve found lots of great stuff on. As Katie says, it’s mostly “last season”, but I really don’t care about the latest & greatest as long as I like the styles.

    2. I agree w/your assessments of some of the difficulties in using the TwoPeas site & the Simon Says Stamp site. I use SSS a lot more, but use all of the “big three” at various times. They all seem to have drawbacks. At SSS, you can’t easily see what’s on sale. At Two Peas, they’re great at letting you filter down in lots of ways. But, for example, if you ask to see things 50% off, it will show you just that: Things that are 50% off. It should show you things that are AT LEAST 50% off. So, show me the 50%, the 60%, the 75%, etc.

    I too use Amazon a lot, but I’d rather support the smaller corps, if only they would help me to help them by polling customers to see what their stores’ shortcomings are. You HAVE to be able to search, filter and SEE details of the items.

  • Just jumping in on the Silhouette Library question.

    If you have bought from the Silhouette store your files CAN be recovered from within the store. I’ve done it when I got a new computer.

    If you have saved custom files into the library (as the mail writer mentioned) Silhouette says

    “Using the recovery feature will not, of course, recover any user-created designs. Such may be backed-up by simply locating where the STUDIO file was saved and then backing them up onto an external memory device (such as a USB flash drive or SD card). If files have been saved directly into the library without making a back-up STUDIO file copy, you may wish to open the user-created images and then select File > Save As in order to save a copy of the file that can then be backed up.”

    Hope this helps!

  • Another upside to doing this is that I’m forced to go through my stash and purge twice a year so it keeps space freed up as well as moving product I’m no longer using or excited about without feeling like I’m out the money I spent. :)

  • KathyinMN

    Fantastic show. Love how everyone shops differently. My pet peeve is when I want a few things but need to shop at different stores because one store doesn’t carry the two brands I’m looking for (grrr!). I too buy most new products based either off CHA videos or from stuff I see posted on blogs I follow (Jennifer McGuire hurts my wallet the most). ???? funny how inspiration used to come from going to a local store and either taking a class or looking at samples. Now it’s creative blogs and design teams.

  • londoncuppa

    I think I can answer the Silhouette backing up question. Before Silhouette Studio Version 3 (I use the Designer Edition), backing up your library was an elaborate undertaking.

    HOWEVER, Silhouette introduced a “backup” button in V3, which came out recently. This feature will backup your entire library, including files you create. Personally, I backup to 2 external hard drives, plus have cloud syncing (you want to make sure your backup isn’t to your computer’s C: drive in case of a loss).

    When you get a new computer (or if the one you have crashes), you can restore from this backup. There isn’t a need to contact Silhouette to get them to reset your downloads and/or lose the files you created.

    If you are running prior versions of the software, this backup feature doesn’t exist, and you have to play around with some system files, which isn’t pretty. Since Version 3 is a new release, they are putting out updates fairly often. Even with this, I highly recommend the upgrade. There are a lot of new features that make it worth the effort.

    – Margaret

  • londoncuppa

    Just finished listening to the episode…..zarf….too funny!

    On the Silhouette 20% sale (no, I don’t work for Silhouette… ; ), I’ve noticed that it seems to surround holidays/seasons. The 20% sale applies only to files related to those themes (i.e. Easter, Spring, Passover files were just on sale). It’s a good time to go through your wish list and get those files.
    – Margaret

  • Awesome! Thank you so much!

  • Such a great show! Had a lot of thoughts running through my head.

    -After finally figuring out my stash in terms of what I don’t use, I made a blog post to my future self reminding me what not to buy. Hopefully before I buy something, I’ll remember that post and make sure I don’t end up with a room dedicated to buttons I don’t use.

    -I love Peachycheap &, but they don’t always offer the LOWEST price. I cross shop items that pop up that I love and many times I find it cheaper.

    -I love that lets you put things on a wishlist. I can click on something and add it to my list getting the feeling I’ve bought it, but then I can go back a week later and say.. nope, I don’t need that.

    -A major pit fall are the $1 bins at the big box craft stores and Target. I continually get sucked in and I have to keep telling myself, you get what you pay for. The quality is not great at all and I feel like they end up in a donate pile. Just because it is a $1 doesn’t mean it is a deal! :)

  • Oh yeah, I’m big on quality!

  • LegalScrapper

    Thank you for dedicating an entire show to my shopping topic! It was really fantastic. I learned a few new things and I think your guests shared great strategies. I love the fact that you asked the budget question, Noell. I would love to see an anonymous poll where people talk about how much they spend a month. I have no idea if I am in the low, middle or high range, and obviously we all have different financial situations, but it sure would be interesting. Over the years, I have definitely learned not to spend too much at one time and that there will always be another great product that I will want. I also loved Jennifer’s advice a few weeks ago that you should consider how many different ways you will use a product before you invest in it. Great stuff.

  • Julianna

    there is Paper Presentation on 18th b/n 5th & 6th Ave. Primarily a stationery store but *huge* and they have a substantial scrapbooking section. Good mix of recent stuff and some older things. I found the 12×12 pp too overpriced but would get punches, washi tape, letter stickers, etc.

    also The Ink Pad on 13th St & 7th Ave. Mainly a stamping store, with a pretty good selection of stamps but also a spot to find things that cross-over scrapbooking & cardmaking (like white cardstock, markers, small embellishments, etc).

  • Cindy_deRosier

    I had to pause and comment about the descriptions at online stores. Most of the descriptions you read were sent to the store by the manufacturer. If you see a huge variation in quality between the level of detail and helpfulness of the descriptions across the store, it’s probably because the store just popped the manufacturer’s description in without revising it. Some manufacturers do a great job providing descriptions, some do a terrible job, and some don’t provide a description at all. Several months ago, hired me and a couple of other people to undergo the massive job of rewriting every single description to be clearer, more informative, more easily searched, and more helpful to consumers. We take what the manufacturer provides and do our best to improve it. If you run across one that’s especially poorly written, it’s (hopefully!) one we haven’t redone yet. When you do run across one that is confusing or missing some important detail, it really helps both other shoppers (and us) when you add to the comments under that item asking or offering clarification.

  • Jennifer Campbell

    Another really interesting show. The only thing I would have liked to have heard that wasn’t mentioned/discussed was info for those of us NOT in the USA. I realize a large portion of the audience is in the US, but many of the problems you mentioned with regards to pricey shipping, etc are compounded for anyone outside the continental US. For that reason, I rarely shop at peas/Simon Says Stamp. International shipping is just crazy!

    I have had luck in the past getting reasonable shipping on embellishments from Etsy. I also tend to order adhesives, etc from some of the home-based scrapbooking businesses (for example Stampin’ Up sells glue dots, so I stock up from them – especially when they have free shipping specials!). With the demise of many local stores I have also gone back to subscribing to a monthly kit-club. I would prefer to be able to choose my own products, but the combo of expensive shipping and not being able to see/feel products when shopping online, leaves me with few choices, so I settle for a high quality monthly kit (Studio Calico).

    I would love to know if anyone else has any other tips specifically for international shoppers though! Thanks again for a great episode!

  • Jennifer Campbell

    That’s great to know!

  • Marie

    I’m listening to the recording and need to make a mid-podcast comment to Katie….
    Katie, I love, love, love your haul videos! I especially love when you show things from Tuesday Morning and just wish my Tuesday Morning had the wonderful selection that yours does! Your haul videos help me to realize if I like something but don’t absolutely have to have it “right now” to just wait a season or two until it’s in the discount stores or even Michael’s. Keep up the great work!

  • Gypsy Stockley

    Thank-you!!!! Awesome- I don’t use my cards enough because I hate shuffling through them- these will be great.

  • Alison

    I’m weighing in on the back up Silhouette library question…..Izzy was right! There IS a file that you can copy and back up that will back up everything in your Silhouette library, including files purchased elsewhere. The file is “com.aspexsoftware.silhouette_studio.8” and can be found in the program data file on a PC and in application support on a Mac.
    Just copy the file completely and you can paste to the same location on another computer to transfer files or paste to an external HD or flash drive for back up…’s fairly easy and quick!

  • Pepper

    So do I understand it as , I have to save it as a .studio file in order to backup those cuts I bought from places like twopeas and studiocalico? Thanks for sharing this!!

  • Pepper

    Thanks for sharing . Does this mean I can backup my files that i created myself in a silhouette catalogue like what Izzy says or does it actually export the cut files in the library to a folder in the form of .studio file? This is so technical and I guess I better clarify :D thanks so much for your input once again!

  • Pepper

    Oh my, so sorry Izzy I made the comments so difficult to read! I do not write perfect English ! >< But thank you Noell picking my comment and thanks for the discussion.

    Scrapbooking is my hobby, scrapbook shopping is my second hobby (sometimes it can be confusing which one comes first haha!) I stay in Singapore so I do not have the privilege of shopping in those huge stores like Joanns, Michaels, Target and Walmart. Most of the time I shop online at SimonSaysStamp(SSS). I like ti that they offer free international shipping which is a huge thing for scrapbookers outside the States. Me and a bunch of scrapbook friends will fill up the cart each month to hit the free shipping bench mark :) Places like Twopeas and gets the new stuff faster the SSS , but their international shipping is not affordable . SSS also have very cool wishlist system as they recently revamped their site :)

    I agree with what the panellist mention about pinning the wishlist. From the show until the release of the items, alot of things are just love at first sight, but when we wait a while, those "not so true love" will slowly fade away and what remains are the products that we absolutely love. I think that experience in scrapbooking helps us to understand how to shop . The more we scrapbook, the more we understand our own style and the less "unwanted" stuff we will buy :)

    I will buy in my local stores those items that I want to use right now. But most of us have enough to last us a lifetime, so unless the items are my really absolutely favourite, I will not waste the money (because items sold here locally are really really expensive, even after huge discounts). While SSS is where i get most of my stuff, I only buy 12×12 paper and paper pads locally as they have lose sheets unlike SSS, so I can take my pick :) And the paper will sit there until I get my embellishments from SSS :)

    Thanks for all the great tips!

  • Pepper, to back them up in the simplest way (without moving your library), yes, you will a copy of the files in your own computer somewhere.

  • Glorie Alvarez

    Great shopping tips and great show!
    Scrapbook Generation online store has a program called BANKIT. They offer free shipping on orders $75 or more. So if you have a small order, just input the coupon code BANKIT, and it will deduct the shipping cost from your total. Then, the store will keep your order and put them all together, and ship it when you reach the free shipping amount.

  • Jennifer Campbell

    Hi Pepper! Thanks for letting me know about the free shipping at SSS! I didn’t realize that and have never shopped there. Next time I’m in need of supplies, I will definitely check out their site!

  • Pepper

    Glad to share ! Do check them out ! They have near 20k products(i think, haha) in store !

  • Natalie (QSOgirl)

    I’m a little late to the party listening to this episode, but I wanted to pop in with an answer the question Noell asked during the mail segment.
    I recently transitioned from an old laptop to a new one, so the Silhouette library transfer was a very important issue for me!
    I found this little gem of information about the manual library backup– which is only available in the newest software version (3.0, available for free on the Silhouette website)!!!!– from Silhouette to be helpful for moving my cut file library to my new computer:
    One thing I must note: not all of my files were transferred, somehow–files that I’d downloaded from the Silhouette store. However, I contacted Silhouette support, and they told me to perform a “recover all” through the Silhouette store, and that seemed to fix the issue. I was glad it wasn’t my self-made library items, or items I’d acquired from other sources!

  • Great information. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • geezee

    I rarely shop for this reason. I live in Hawaii and used to live in Alaska. We have USPS in both places. (That is the regular post to explain for other countries.) We get charged overseas shipping as though we are another country so just for the benefit of padding their pockets I don’t add another $5 so that they can charge another $15. I have been so angry every time this happens.

  • :) thanks!

  • Kelly Boran

    I don’t know how many other people use this online store because I don’t hear many people mention it. I’ve bought things from A Cherry on Top as well as the others mentioned, and Two Peas. They have a lot of stuff and the storefront is pretty easy to use. The products come super fast too. It’s worth sharing their name.

  • Terri Torrez

    Great episode. I live near DC and have no LSS nearby. I mostly shop online but love to see new paper collections in person. I have two solutions:

    1) Scrapbook Conventions – We usually get Great American Scrapbook Convention or Scrapbook Expo here in DC once a year. And sometimes I visit my mother and we hit shows in Orlando. The vendor floor is usually a good mix of new products and discount stores. Workshops are also a great way to get your hands on new product. I’m taking a class with Jenni Bowlin at Scrapbook Expo next week.

    2) Shop on Vacation – I’m not generally a big shopper but our family vacation planning always includes finding the local scrapbook stores. I found two on our last trip, and came home with some great new paper lines I hadn’t even seen online. One tip – always call ahead; when stores go out of business, they don’t always remove their websites.