Secrets of a savvy scrapper. Part one.

Hi everyone!! It's been a long while since my last post around here. There's been much going on in the real world.

We started and finished our playroom remodel - before and after photos to come. The kids and I started school in late August. Sawyer is at daycare/preschool during the day; Harper is a kindergartener this year, and I am working on my third year as a Master's student. I'll be wrapping up that degree next year, probably around winter. I am and I am not looking forward to that.

In the meantime, Gavin and I started and finished another remodel - our hallway, so that will get its own little post with before and after pics, and now we are beginning our master bedroom remodel. We've started, but it's stalled currently due to the lack of hours/sunlight in the day. Also my school is really kicking into gear with reading assignments, papers due each week, a presentation in a few weeks, and now I'm working on a big class project to develop a poverty simulation game. Eek! Luckily, I love being in school, so it is fun and stressful all at the same time.

For today, I'm sharing a post that I wrote for the Memory Lane Inn blog. Be sure to check them out if you haven't already. I love, love staying at their retreats. I'm looking at the calendar now and thinking about booking for a weekend retreat in December, if I can find some extra time. I'll really need the break from both work and school.

A few months ago I shared a post about how I plan, prep, and pack for a retreat or crop, over at Memory Lane Inn and on my personal blog, I've often talked about how I save money by building my own scrapbook kits and of course, couponing (I'm kind of an amateur coupon queen, or at least I like to think so...).

As of late, my stash is getting pretty thin, and it's probably time to buy some new paper, thickers, washi tape, embellishments and maybe even some scrappy tools. I'm not a scrapbook supply hoarder by any means.  Scrappers that know me on a personal level, know that I get rid of stuff pretty frequently.  When my scrap space feels cluttered I get creative constipation. Seriously. I just said that. I can't get the creativity out.

Believe me, I want to make stuff, and I feel inspired when I look at other people's wonderful work online, but when I'm in a creative rut; it's really hard to get out of it. So I purge and build kits with whatever is leftover, so I can scrapbook easily on the go.  I LOVE to crop. Invite me, and I'll totally be there. I haven't cropped with my girlfriends in a while, and well I'm feeling it. Creative constipation.

Now onto the good stuff. I have a few secrets to share, so this is going to be the first in a series of blogs about shopping for scrapbook supplies. In today's post, I'm going to talk about scrapbook deal a day sites.

These are the sites that I have the most experience with. I've ordered from them, sometimes even spoken to their customer service staff, and over the years, I feel that I've saved money by ordering supplies with them.

1. Crafty Steals

Crafty Steals has been around for a few years. I first stumbled upon them and of course, placed my first of several orders around 2010. Over the years their website has received a facelift, and they've incorporated some other features like a blog and a basics line. They offer a multitude of products such as paper, embellishments, twine, tapes, and tools. Some of the brands they are carry include: American Crafts, October Afternoon, Echo Park, Theresa Collins, and Heidi Swapp, among others. Shipping is flat rate at $5.00.
SECRET: Crafty Steals has their own line of inexpensive products including twine, washi tape, stationary and party decorations. They also give you the option to shop their "past steals" that did not sell out. Additionally, they have a sister site: Simply Steals, another deal a day website that offers home decor, women's fashion and accessories.

2. Peachy Cheap

Peachy Cheap is another online outlet that sells one scrapbook product per day. I found out about them in 2010, and they too recently got a facelift. While they don't offer a blog, they are involved in social media with Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest accounts. Some of the lines they carry are Little Yellow Bicycle, American Crafts (but who doesn't really?), Hazel and Ruby, My Minds Eye, and October Afternoon as well as a host of others. Shipping is a flat $3.99. A steal in my mind. Did I mention that their prices are up to 95% off. Now that is crazy cheap!
SECRET: A Side of Peaches is their sister site. On it you can find VERY inexpensive women's accessories like scarves and jewelry.

3. Pick Your Plum

Now what's with all the fruit?! Pick Your Plum has been a staple of mine since 2012, when I first stumbled upon them on Facebook. Now they don't ALWAYS have scrapbook items per se, but they have a ton of flippin' cute stuff. In addition to fun stationary and home decor (cheap and perfect for scrapbook rooms), they also sell a number of other items per day including women's fashion, children's accessories, and lots of other stuff. It's kind of like a smaller version of Zulily.
SECRET: Pick Your Plum tells you when stock is running low, just pay attention to how many plums are listed in the product information. Also, flat rate shipping is $4.99. Woot!

4. Blitsy

Honestly, I'm only a little familiar with this site. My mom has actually ordered from them more times than I have, so she is the expert. Despite that, I like Blitsy because they offer several steals for a couple days if not more. They are just like Zulily except they offer only craft, scrapbook and other hobby types of products. I've seen a wide range of brands and tools offered up at Blitsy. I'm on the email list, so of course I see it all, all the time. I think the last thing we ordered from them was adhesive pens. They were great and came in a pack, so I still have some that I use even though my order was several months back.
SECRET: Blitsy's sales last an average of 4 days. They sell products for every kind of crafter and artist from paints to organizers, from yarn to duck tape, seriously A LOT of stuff. They also sell craft machines, like the Cricut die cutting machine and cartridges.

5. Scrapbook Steals

Scrapbook Steals is part of the Steals Network. First there was Baby Steals, then there was Kids Steals, and so on and so forth. I've purchased from all of the Steal Network sites except She Steals, but mostly because I've never seen anything that I wanted or needed to buy.  BUT, I have purchased a lot of things from Baby and Kid Steals such as cute shoes for my kiddos, a sweet necklace as a gift to a friend, and tons of other items.  I've also purchased scrappy items including paper and embellishment packs. Brands found at Scrapbook Steals include American Crafts, Little B, Bo Bunny, We R Memory Keepers, Echo Park, My Mind's Eye, Carta Bella, Studio Calico, Xyron,  Tim Holtz and several others.
SECRET: They have a wonderful blog with super talented group of designers to steal inspiration from. Also they have a whole network of Archived Steals.  They have an archive available on each of their steals sites. So go ahead and get that deal or what they refer to as a steal! Oh I almost forgot, shipping rates depend on the item purchased and how fast you want to get it. One item priced at $2.99, shipping was $3.85.

6. Flowers to Flourishes

Now this site has been around a while. I know this because I've been checking out their steals and purchasing since about 2009.  Their style has never changed although I have a theory that if an item doesn't sell out, then they leave it up for a few days until it's gone. Don't quote me on that... I've purchased flowers and collection packs through them, but I've noticed that they carry a lot of Spellbinders dies and Tim Holtz stamps. Those are the times that I've seen featured on the site lately.
SECRET: Nothing special, but this site often sells items that you can find in stores, just a lot cheaper.

Well those are all the secrets that I have to share for one evening. Thanks for reading, and be on the look out in a couple of weeks for another post in this blog series. I'll be talking about local scrapbook supply stores and shops. Now get to scrapping or buying... or BOTH!!