Saturday, June 29, 2013

State of the Stash #20: In Search of an Aux Cable

My intentions were good, I swear. I went to bed on Friday night thinking I needed to go out and buy an aux cable in the morning, so that I could connect my computer to my monitor's built-in speakers.

I don't remember exactly how I came to be on Craigslist this morning, but once I was there it was fairly inevitable that I would check out the arts & crafts offerings. These are generally safe, actually, as it's pretty slim pickings for papercrafty supplies.

However, I happened upon a listing for a place called "DaFinds Antique Shop" or something of that nature, which said they had got some craft supplies and were selling them cheaply. It was a bit of a drive, but I was in the mood for a bit of a drive, so I decided to go check it out.

It was more of a consignment shop than an antique shop, which I guess explains the craft supplies. They were mostly stickers, so I was mostly able to resist, but I did end up with some neat cutouts, wizard hats, border strip stickers, and an alligator in a purple hat:

He just seemed like such a jolly alligator, you see.

DaFinds haul (well, the ones I could find to link to):

I returned to my good intentions and told the car's navigation system to find me an audio/visual sort of store. I was going to find a local shop and support the local economy! With my, um, roughly $10 aux cable purchase.

Where I ended up looked pretty residential. "Oh well," I thought, "try again." I had the car find another place more-or-less on my way home. Again, I ended up in a residential neighborhood. I don't know where the navigation system is getting its shop data from, but at least in this category it doesn't seem to be very good.

Feeling rather defeated, I drove roughly homewards... and took a sharp right into the parking lot of a Joann. I confess my intentions were no longer pure. There was very little chance that a Joann was going to sell me an aux cable, and quite a large chance that it would sell me some craft supplies.

I am in the process of moving, and without my supplies at the moment. But I'd just bought stickers and paper, so I figured I could get a stamp set and some ink and maybe something to cut with and scratch the create-things itch. It was an excellent excuse to pick up these Brilliance inks, which I've been thinking about trying out for a while.

I wandered a large portion of the store, but this Joann was definitely tilted towards fabric crafts rather than general crafts. I've got no problem with that, as that's really just how it ought to be.

There were a couple of minutes where my basket was quickly accumulating cheapo acrylic dollar stamps, but I was very stern and put most of them back, keeping only this fun woodcut-y pair of cats:

All in all, I was doing pretty well -- until I found clearanced stuff near the registers: a great big 12x12 stack of DCWV's "All Chalked Up" paper and a bunch of loose paper from The Paper Company.

I know I have no use for 12x12 stacks, but I bought the darn thing anyway. Now that I'm actually at home and looking at it, well... yeah, it's definitely too big for me. So instead of putting a picture of it in this post, I've put it up for sale on eBay.

And then I bought several clearanced glue sticks, too, because there are definitely times when I run through glue sticks pretty quickly.

Joann haul (though I couldn't find most of the papers to link to):

Saturday, May 18, 2013

State of the Stash #19: Hurrah for Rainbows!

I had a very promising interview on Monday. By very promising, I mean it ended with "Tomorrow we're going to make you an offer."

After I disconnected from Skype, and jumped around in excitement, and hugged my boyfriend really hard, I said: "Let's go buy crafty things!" He acquiesced.

In ordinary circumstances I would not have bought this trimmer. I don't particularly need it, and I'm well aware that what actually attracts me is the pretty rainbow all the cutting heads make. But! This was not a practical trip. This was a "Yay, I'm getting a job offer!" trip. So I bought it.

I also finally picked up the Green DCWV mat stack; it's been "maybe next time" for a while now.

Continuing in the rainbow theme, I got this stack of neat "fiber" papers. I do wish the sixth color had been violet or purple rather than pink, I must admit.

I'd like to say I got this kraft-y boxboard-y black-patterned stack as an antidote to all the bright colors, or (heaven forbid!) that I had a project in mind for it. But I gotta admit, mostly I got it for that swirly pattern. The other patterns should come in handy too, but I'm a sucker for doodly bits.

I'm a sucker for craft supplies, really, but allow me to maintain the pretense of some discrimination between them.

And that was my celebratory craft store trip.

(My boyfriend bought a Cricut. I don't like the closed cartridge-based ecosystem, so I haven't wanted one; he found one deeply clearanced and bought it to mess about with it. It's pink, but he doesn't mind: to him it's just another CNC ("computer numerical control") system. He's already plugged his computer in and tried to make it do tricks for him.)

Joann haul:

Saturday, February 2, 2013

State of the Stash #18: Dry Embossing and Grammar

I mentioned last week that I had ordered some Sizzix stuff from Joann while it was on sale. It arrived on Tuesday.

What I was really shopping for was the "Solo Thin Die Adapter", which you'd think they could have thought up a catchier name for. For which you'd think they could have thought up a catchier name. (Did you know that there's actually no grammatical rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition?)

I do actually have a use for the thin die adapter, because I own some thin dies. I know, my purchase was made the wrong way 'round. But mostly I bought it because Lawn Fawn is coming out with dies to fit around their stamps. And I will want them, precious. And I don't want to just own them, I want to be able to use them! So I had been looking for a reasonable price on the adapter.

(You may notice I also pay very little attention to the convention of not starting sentences with "And", "But", "So", etc. While it's not good practice in formal writing, it's not ungrammatical.)

Then I went looking for other Sizzix stuff I might like -- mostly embossing folders. Of course, I found rather too much that I liked a little bit, so I had to narrow it down. I bought a set of embossing folders with abstract designs that should look good on bookmarks.

I also found one of the Texturz "starter kit"s for a very good price. Now, I received an "Impressions Pad" -- half of the texture plate embossing sandwich -- for Christmas. But I didn't get the silicone rubber half. So I figured, hey, why not get a whole starter set? It's got the silicone rubber, three 2-sided texture plates, and the impressions pad to boot. (And since I haven't used the impressions pad I have, we can return it!)

I'm not sure about the whole texture plate system. It gives a more shallow and less crisp impression than the folders do. However, I think that while the embossing folders produce things that look better to my eyes, the plates might be better for paper I'm going to use in bookmarks -- because the shallow impression leaves the paper flatter. So I'll try them out and see.

Joann Sizzix haul: I don't see bloggers talking about embossing plates at all, just embossing folders. But Sizzix is still making them, so presumably someone is buying them. If anyone else has tried both, I'd love to hear your opinions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

(The RNG at) Creative Inspirations Paints liked Cheery Cherry Snowman!

I've been not terribly active in the whole reading-blogs-and-posting business lately, so I've only just now seen that Cheery Cherry Snowman came out of the hat as a Top 3 entry in Creative Inspirations Paint's "Case It!" challenge.

Random or not, it's always a thrill to see something I made show up in a winners post!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

State of the Stash #17: Weak to Paisley

I wasn't planning to buy anything this week. I'm trying to be a little more conservative money-wise -- it's not as if I don't have plenty of stuff to mess about with already.

Two things happened that lured me off this wise and narrow course. First, Joann had an online sale of Sizzix stuff at 40% off -- which is pretty good. I kept that order under control, and it should arrive next week.

Then Michaels sent out an email announcing that all their stores were having clearance events. So I thought I would go check it out. And now I have a lot of new stuff:

I like the idea of the Stamper's Big Brush pens, but their price seemed a little steep. Today, however, they were $3 apiece, so I grabbed all the colors left in stock.

Down the aisle from the pens and inks is the stamp section. I'm fairly sure that already having stuff in my basket made it easier to add more, but the $3 price tag on the Recollections stamp sets didn't hurt either.

And there were paisleys! I'm disturbingly weak to paisleys. I wish I knew why.

Normally I'm not all that into butterflies, and I've resisted this lawn gnome set for quite some time. That resistance disappeared in the face of the $3 price tag.

And then I saw a set of Christmas stamps which nicely complements one I bought last month. And I noticed that this Paris set was a) photopolymer, b) a good deal at $7, and c) had a couple of thank-you sentiments, which I find useful. So into the basket they went.

This pretty much exhausted the clearance stamp sets, so I turned into the next aisle to look at the stacks and cardstock. There were lots of good deals on full-size 12"x12" stacks, but those are way too big for me. I did find this foiled cardstock matstack on clearance, though. (Thankfully, the actual foil is much much shinier than the color representations on the cover.)

It wasn't until I looked in a completely different place that I found these cardstock packs. Why they were not with, y'know, the rest of the Recollections cardstock packs back in the paper aisle, I do not know. My Michaels seems to have a tendency to hide good deals away from their proper places.

At this point I announced to my boyfriend that I'd "found everything I could possibly buy" and headed for the checkout... then immediately went past it into the Area Of Dollar Stamps And Neglected Merchandise.

Presumably the Stamping Gear stuff was hidden back there and clearanced because it isn't selling well. But it's certainly not going to sell if no-one ever sees it! I didn't buy any of the gear stuff, but these branchy stamps seemed useful, so I rescued them from obscurity. Or something like that.

And then I finally did head to the checkout counter. (This is why my boyfriend brings something to read when we go to a craft store. I am not really sure why he comes at all, but it's nice to have him there.) The lady working there was clearly a papercrafter too -- she was excited about the Big Brush pens, and all the cheap stamps, and told me that the Stamping Gear was lots of fun. She let me know that this Michaels has crops on the first Saturday of each month. It was a very friendly checkout.

Michaels haul (I can't find the stacks online to link 'em.):