Adventures in Card-Making · craft stores · Perspectives

The Disappearing Act

Dear fellow Crafters,

Over the holidays, a disturbing force came over the land. It was the announcement that two craft stores in our state were closing their doors. (A.C.Moore and Joanne’s Fabric Store) Then, amidst the hue and cry came the news that these closings were national!

According to news reports the 145 stores failed to adapt to the changing marketplace.Some of A.C. Moore stores were to merge with Michael’s. Then on the heels of that news came another bombshell -Joanne’s was closing nationwide also. Now it seems that both of these retailers failed to realize the changing dynamic of today’s consumers. The target crafter with the most disposable income was either not interested in making something from scratch -wanting to buy items already made or simply did not have the time to pursue the craft.The other thing was that the core dynamic of both stores stayed much the same. Oh, some new vendors were added  but mostly both the layout of the stores and the merchandise (seasonal and trending) remained the same. Discounts were routinely offered in print and on-line but we’re ever changing and so many items were excluded. From a corporate point of view closing made sense as apparently a fair to middling number of stores were not meeting their quotas.

To the crafter though -you and me – our crafting world just became more complicated.We were faced with the dilemma of shopping online directly from the manufacturer or Amazon or Wal-Mart.

Here’s my question for you – if you’re an American crafter where are you going to shop for your supplies?

Please share your comments below. We are all in this together!

Adventures in Card-Making

Craft store sales

Dear Fellow Crafters,

If you’ve been anywhere near a craft store lately, you will notice that Fall-themed items are on display as well as Christmas! It seems that retailers are jumping the gun in pushing the seasons at us before we’re ready for them but many of us are delighted anyway.

It’s still to hot to craft in my state but new craft items are making their way onto shelves for our perusal. As for me, although I really wasn’t looking for anything, I found several embossing folders and die cuts along with jewelry items for sale. In one store, the sign boldly stated ” buy one clear, cling, rubber stamp at the regular price, the second is 60% off!”  Who could resist that! Another had 3-D stickers at 50% off  (older ones and newer Christmas ones) and paper stacks at 40% off.

At first I wondered if the store was going out of business or if they weren’t going to sell my favorite items but no, the store clerk assured me, that they were just clearing their shelves. How lucky for us!

Happy Paper Crafting,


craft stores

Craft Stores

Craft Stores

Dear Fellow Crafters,

     When I was getting ready to retire from my “day job” as a Senior Customer Service Rep for a large manufacturing firm, my co-workers started asking me which craft stores I shopped in. Now, they all knew I rubber stamped and die-cutted (is that a word?) because they had received greeting cards over the years. They didn’t really know where I shopped. My guess at the time (which proved correct) was that they wanted to give me some gift cards.

     I think we all have had that experience. My favorite “Brick and Mortar” stores are (in no particular order)  are Joanne, Michaels, Hobby Lobby and A C Moore. Each of these stores carry different inventory. For instance, my local Michaels, doesn’t carry a lot of rubber stamps, while Joanne’s does. Hobby Lobby carries different card stock and A C Moore has a lot of dies. Joanne’s carries Craft Magazines and Michaels does not. And the list of differences and similarities goes on.

     What motivates me to shop are several reasons – I’m running out of some particular item; I’ve got an occasion/holiday coming up; I’ve been commissioned by someone; a new die or stamp has been advertised.

     One tip for all of you is to set up an on-line account with your favorite store. A lot of time, that item you can’t find on the shelf is actually “on-line” and sometimes (Yeah!) it is on sale.  Please share your comments in the box below.

‘Til next time,


PaperCrafting 101

Paper Crafting 101

Paper Crafting 101 Jan. 13th 2014
Embossing Powder
Embossing powder is a fast melting powder compound that is applied to wet pigment ink and when heated (with a heat gun) causes a raised design to appear. The powder, usually sold in small jars with lids, can be found in most craft stores. There are many web sites you can research for directions on how to emboss. My tips are:
1. Be sure to liberally apply ink to the stamp image.
2. Sprinkle embossing powder all over the design.
3. Gently tip the paper up and tap off the powder onto a scrap paper and funnel it back into the jar.
4. Use a heat gun to heat the image until it melts. Leave the image to cool.
Type of Powder:
1. Standard Embossing Powder (EP) – if you’re a beginner – use this type.
2. Detail powder – use if you have an intricate image.
3. UTEE – is a large particle type of powder that is extra thick and usually used to create jewelry.
4. Transparent _ clear is one of these types.
5. Opaque – the color of the powder dictates the final color.
6. Puffs – creates a fuzzy image or snow effect.
Colors: Vary from black, white, clear and black detail and others. Semi-transparent (use with colored paper) colors range from antique gold and silver to gold or silver pearl. Opaque and hologram create other types of looks.
One of the best sources for embossing powder is Stampendous for more information. You can reach them at

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