How to Make Quality Cards without Breaking your Wallet

Disclaimer: This is advice on how to navigate paper crafting with wisdom. In future posts I will have a little more detail on the products I have chosen to use, but I think this is a more important topic than the paper crafting products themselves.


How to Make Quality Cards without Breaking your Wallet


Be content with who you are & exercise self control

One of the first things I had to do with myself is become content with what I have and use self control. I don’t have the latest and greatest, but I have what I need to create stationery I like. I am happy with where I am in my journey and who God made me to be.

Before I became a believer in Christ, I over-indulged and didn’t use half of what I had.  Sometimes marketing makes you feel like you are missing out on the next big thing. Trust me: you’re not missing out on anything if you decide not to get that next die cut or stamp set on the market. It’s ok to say no and say no often.


Do your research

Do your research! Before I upgraded to the Cricut Expression 2, I waited until I returned to the United States and then I waited some more. Once I finally bought the Expression 2, I realized it wasn’t the right machine for me. By then I had advanced my computer skills and needed a machine to accommodate those skill sets.  I sold the Expression 2, then Cricut did something awesome and came out with the Cricut Explore Machine. Before I even decided to purchase the item I waited… and waited some more…. a few months later they released the Cricut Air machine.

Before I decided to buy the Cricut Explore I researched other companies that did the exact same thing. I realized since I invested so much of my time and money into the Provo Craft company, I didn’t want to invest in a different machine.

There are smaller consumable items like water color markers and inks that unfortunately did not work well for me.Some of those item I researched and some of the items I just wanted to try.  Although an item works well for someone else’s crafting needs they might not be the best for your specific artistic goals. So outside of doing research consider your skill level at the time and personal preferences.

I am not a glitter person so I don’t buy glitter, instead I found a product that gives a little shimmer without the mess.


Focus on Your Artistic Goals Not Fame or Vain Pursuits

God’s word says over and over that He is our provider and we should not worry about our life or what we will do and have. So I stopped worrying about what others were doing and focused on what God wants me to do with my time. I just stopped caring about all the products that will come out, all the new styles and techniques, and stayed content with the tools I really wanted to use. By doing so, I really was able to articulate and enjoy crafting as well as develop new skill sets.

There was a time when all of this went to my head before I gave my life to Christ. ( Truth be told: I wanted to be the next Hallmark- I talked about it all the time. I obsessed over social media status, creating better cards to outshine others, and obtaining more sales.) Now I am a completely different person. It took me some time and prayer to start a blog and open up shop again; however, I am confident that The Lord was able to fix the mess I caused without casualties. ( I have a right relationship with The Lord, I am secure and loved, my marriage is fantastic, and I am a great mom.)  All of the work you see on this blog and the skills took YEARS to develop.  Please don’t misunderstand,I don’t think I am better than anyone else- I have chosen not to let someone else’s success cloud my assessment of the abilities I have been given. For all the time I spent obsessing over being on the front listing pages of major search engines- I probably would have been a better artists. So in short, all this hoopla of fame and fortune is a waste of time and energy.

Please make sure not to put people on the pedestal of your heart. Not one person on this plane of existence can handle that much pressure. That place belongs to God.


Pray About it before you buy it !

The Lord cares for His creation. He wants to have an open dialog and personal relationship with His people. So talk with Him about your crafting goals and what season you are in. It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment at Michael’s or Joann Fabrics and buy a bunch of stuff you may not even need or use. Sometimes I look for certain items and it turns out the store doesn’t carry it. If I really need it, I will ask the Lord for the provision at a reasonable price. I rarely ever go to the store and buy in bulk unless there is a serious sale.

I pray every time I am in the parking lot. If this helps you this is what I pray about:

Heavenly Father- Help me to have self control while I am at the store. Please help my children listen and follow directions while we are there . Thank You Lord, Amen.


Pick Quality  Over Quantity

Ever since I was little my mother emphasized on the quality of something rather the quantity. I’d much rather pay a little more for quality than buy a quantity of something and end up with cheap looking results. I had to learn the hard way with certain stamp materials- not all stamps are created equally. However, there are exceptions to this concept. Currently I can afford puffy paint  for embellishments on the flowers I create.  The results are the same as the brand name liquid embellishment drops. I am comfortable with purchasing a large quantity of puffy paint to embellish my cards knowing the quality of my cards won’t be compromised. Personal preference.

Over the course of my artistic life, I had only purchased items that I wanted to try once or use continually. I still have ink pads from 7 years ago and will continue to have them until I can’t use them anymore. This is my mentality. Before I began paper crafting I did a lot of writing and sketching. Growing up in a single parent home I did not have everything I wanted and it truly made a positive impact on me as an adult, especially while navigating this hobby.

There was a time when I penny pinch so much I tried to re-invent the wheel of crafting. For example:  I have seen several videos on Youtube where the Cricut Explore Machine could use various thin markers to replace the Cricut specialty pens. I tried using the water based markers I own and a few of my fine liners and it was a bust. I spent more time researching for an adapter than enjoying my machine. Needless to say, the search for me was just a waste of time. I turned to husband in the parking lot at Michael’s and said-  Why am I going to reinvent what was already done by the company? I will just wait until we can afford to buy them.  I am glad I waited because I am not sure if I will need them.


Save Save Save

If you have an item on your list that you want to purchase but don’t have the funds right away. Please do your future self a favor and just save up for it.  As believer’s in Christ we are called to  “Owe no man except to love him in Christ Jesus.”

Don’t get yourself into credit card debt over craft supplies. It’s not worth it!

The Lord reminds me frequently that this is all just paper and I can tend to my life.

So to sum up all the preaching to myself as well as you….

Here are some break down tips

Be Content with who you are and what you have 
Exercise self control
Do your research
Focus on Your Artistic Goals Not Fame
Pray about it before you buy it
Pick Quality over Quantity
Save Save Save

But the most important thing to navigating this hobby is attending to the life God has blessed you with.  Your children will grow up, your relationship with your spouse is more important, your community needs you, and lets not waste time idolizing someone else gift.. Let us use the gifts we have in Christ to Glorify Him!

Many Blessings in the Messiah,

Kristal

 

About the Author:

I am a born-again Christian and I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am also a wife, mother, and stationery enthusiast. I am creative in everything I do: whether it is preaching the Gospel of Christ, home- making, home schooling, paper crafting, or mixed media. I enjoy having a Christ- centered home and exploring the gifts- talents God has given me through His son Jesus Christ.

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