Friday, 23 August 2013

Sophisticated consumerism...oh yeah..

Way back when Mr Holtz had his signature line launched by Ranger it consisted mostly of those grungy alcohol inks.  My admiration for the stuff being made and coloured was huge, but I didn't buy any.  Originally, those colours really did represent seven shades of wee wee to me.  But then of course, demand grew and other products arrived, and with them, the sort of hysteria in purchasing that parallels teenagers and boy bands, frankly.
But..time rolls on and eventually the selection of products and the colours added to the ink ranges suckered me too. I bought the birdcage die almost as soon as hit the shops..I'd of course, seen thousands of things all over the internet in the 'sneaks', the CHA product launch blogging - you know.  The hype.

I still like it. But this card, or a variation of it in different materials and stock and embellishments, is pretty much all I ever do with it.  I realise that there isn't a single die to do all jobs. I realise too that there are many, many TH fans who will take this personally and shouldn't. As much as I like this die, the repetition of the card style has taught  me something.  A couple things actually.  For workshops, this is an invaluable style of card to make when introducing inking and grunging.  And for my personal collection..I should have bought individual dies.  You know, a bird cage or set of, I already owned a set of bird dies and so it's not been the savviest die purchase I've made.   I've noticed myself examining my plans, my stash and my ability before buying these sort of dies recently.  And I often put them back...I am learning to not be too hasty in my acquisition.  It gives me time to think about quite how much use I'll get for my investment.  God knows I've got enough unused 'investments' as it is.
Talking of which:
I bought the brick wall (and shattered glass - in a set) embossing folders in a rush of 'ooh, new folders by Tim Holtz' enthusiasm.  Some of you will know how old this is..I would say certainly a year.  This is the first time I've used it and it's thanks to a Pinterest image that lodged in my brain some time ago.  I didn't Pin it, like a fool; at the time I just passed it over and thought it was time I used my folder.  Not such a sophisticated consumer in purchasing this then, either huh.  Still haven't used the shattered glass folder.  I can't in all honesty to admit to being 'over it' in terms of joining the rush when new stuff does come out either.  But I now wait for it to arrive on these shores.  I no longer look at CHA release blogs or company websites.  I'm now purchasing on the principle that if I like something, I'll get a lot of use from it.  If I'm unsure, I don't. Sounds simple doesn't it. I have several boxes and shelves that will prove that wrong.   But it's OK. Because I know now.  Sophisticated.  Moi?

41 comments:

Julie Ann Lee said...

This is very thought provoking, Julia. I don't have much stuff, as I have no room for it and I didn't start that long ago. I always agonize over 'will I get enough use out of this' and I do tend to 'wait and see' what other crafters have done with something or only buy a die because I have a project - or 2 - in mind for which it would be useful, before committing. I do a lot of putting back or removing items from the basket!!! I just thought I was 'chicken'! Now I feel quite smug, but pride comes before a fall! I must keep coming back to this post to keep me grounded! Julie Ann xx

Linby said...

Wholeheartedly agree Julia!
Linbyx

voodoo vixen said...

Well, I totall admired that card with the brick background the other day when I saw it, so maybe you should use it a bit more!
I, sadly, have to admit I just picked up the alarm clock TH die today... haven't a cokin' clue what I am going to do with it... but the bird cage is my favourite!! I have used it lots of times in various ways... and perhaps that is the answer? We challenge a group of us to come up with different ways to use the dies? Then we could feel a bit better about buying them?

Di said...

Oh how I agree Julia! I actually gave my TH Birdcage die away not so long ago - it was fretting in a box waiting to be used, and that wasn't gonna happen. But, you did make a lovely card - and the brick wall one is beautiful too.

I (ahem) now have a load of new Dylusions sprays - which you know will possibly languish due to my fear of 'messy' - maybe I Dyluded myself?

Hugs, Di xx

Yours Artfully said...

Hi Julia, I couldn't agree more!!! When I had my shop, I felt under pressure to test drive lots of products in order to advise my customers with a personal opinion and experience of a multitude of products. That of course is no longer the case and because I now have to pay retail prices for most of my new supplies, I look at things in a different light. It has amazed me that I actually use the same paints for everything I make, I no longer feel the urge to have the latest range of ink pads. I don't have to have every single TH die or product that is released. In fact, I am not even familiar with anything TH that has been released in the last year!!! And guess what? I am enjoying my creative time far more.

Lin

Leslie Hanna said...

Oh, I hear you, and I'm the same way. I used to hang on the edge of my seat waiting for sneak peeks, then pre-ordering, then by the time they arrived I was all "meh". I seriously think about how much use I'd get out of something before I buy it now. My expenditures are way down, and I'm trying to use what I actually HAVE, first. So far, it's working. :)

mamapez5 said...

You are son right. I have far too much stuff, some of which never gets used. I always got carried away at the shows so perhaps it's a good thing I can't get to them now. I certainly think much harder these days before I buy. So well said! I believe most of us can identify with this. Kate x

BJ said...

Know exactly what you mean, although I never went in search for stuff until it came over here. I have quite a few ink pads but only a selection of other products. Have a few dies but all considered purchases so no birdcage at all - LOL. Am going to the Tim Holtz workshop next Thursday so we'll see if I like anything before I buy - still don't have any distress pens! LOL BJ

Kirsty.A said...

it's a lovely card, anyway

Krisha said...

Well, thank you Julia for posting this. I love many of the TH products but have to ask myself "Just how many ways can I use that?" The Gelli plate is one of those in the "now moment" that I cannot justify. (I hear booing) I have been at this for almost 20 years and have seen many new spins on old items. Embossing folders, I have about 15 of them......I use the same two over and over, the others the GDs use so I don't feel too awful about that one LOL!

Belinda Basson said...

I guess because I teach both card making and scrapbooking, I use my same dies in so many ways. I have to get creative with what I own. Even though I am a partner in a store, I still don't have it all by any means and sometimes I will buy for the store what I would like myself, but don't take it home with me, I stroke it, price it and put it on the shelf! I am an avid Tim fan as his stuff is available all the time and is not once off like the other companies. I know I can wait for a Tim product because it will always be out there, but the other stuff I do buy sometimes on a whim as it will never be available again once stock is sold out!

misteejay said...

I love what you did with the brickwork background and the colours used in the stamping are fab,

I bought the poinsettia embossing folders with the intention of getting the matching die but everywhere had sold out. Have just managed to get the die and now I can't find where I've put the embossing folders LOL

Toni xx

House of Bears said...

I did exactly the same with the bird and cage die, I think I've used it twice!

Helen said...

We could all learn a lot from you, for sure... i did check out the latest CHA releases from Tim, because that's what I still do... but didn't really like much of it at all, so that's going to save me some money!! I love the birdcage die, and use it - was going to say a lot - it goes in fits and starts ... but I love how you've used it here. Hope you have a great weekend.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

When my friend Kathy gave me her old Sizzix, I had no dies. I did NOT rush out and buy any, because I knew I could always visit her for a weekend of fun if I wanted some die cuts. She offered to cut me a few of the birdcages, and Annette sent me one or two when she lived in Canada, so that was enough for me.

My problem is, especially with the TH products, there are SO many people using them, it's hard to find anything original anymore. And the way he pushes his products, it's hard for me to visit his site.

When I offered my AB lessons, I explained I would never advocate any one product over another. I believe what we have is more important than what is new and unusual. Sure, I'd like to own some of those new dies, inks, and other products, but I'm thrilled with what I have. And if I can find a new and unusual way of using something that's a "moldy-oldie," that makes it even better.

I applaud this post. You are so good at what you do, and your thoughtful comments were right on the money. I DO love that brick embossing folder, though. It is beautiful, and I can see lots of uses for it in many, many settings.

Monica said...

I promised myself not to buy any more of his stuff and just posted a photo of his products that i will use as i have very few stencils. When I met him at a show I was impressed with his ease in using all the stuff. I do find his stamps over used. They go into the category of pointy hats and wings, in his case or that of his fans vintage business men cars ticket and so many more. Ah cocktail hour.

Cathy (aka CrafteeCC) said...

LOL - great read ;-) you have articulated exactly what I have been thinking ;-) Having said that, I think I am one of the last people on earth to purchase a Scor-Pal :-) I was put off by all the hype initially. I just got it yesterday, and I have already made two mock up boxes with it - will post about it on my blog later today ;-)

Maudieroff Roffey said...

Oh so agree - financially I cant buy what I see first up - but I wait and see what happens - how many people use what I like - can I do things differently to what they have done? Usually it goes on a wish list and if I ever get the money then I will consider it - my dream would be to win everything on every wish list I have out there on the internet - I would be inundated and prob never use half of it - but its fun creating lists LOL... I also beg 7 borrow friends stuff and love using it - even then only 1 or 2 creations get made so money saved not buying them myself... I do like the birdcage and the brick cards tho... Mxx

Nan G said...

Ah yes this has a familiar ring to it dear Julia! I too am taking a hard look at a stamp set, dies or e.f. before I buy. How often will I use it? Once twice, no sale. Some I've purchased this year and used in my card class and immediately sold to the attendees! And my stash is getting a good purge this fall. I may be a TH fan but I'm right there with ya, girl! Hugs

Avril Ann said...

Do you know Julia, this will ring a bell with most crafters, I love the die, but as you say, takes up most of a card, etc etc...I bought all the inks and pads, and do you know I never actually use them...when I did, I always ended up with the same "Greeny blue" colour anyways....love your cards, love and hugs xxx

fairy thoughts said...

Hi Julia
Mm very thoughtful I too have quite a lot of his stuff and he is very good at what he does but there is a lot of hype I don't but into usually the stuff where you don't need imagination, that said I have the brick wall and the bird cage and I have used it a lot. But a lot of products I haven't used either. I agree with Elizabeth maybe we should set up a swap system ...... Or is that too organised Mmm maybe
Janet

Carmen said...

I did a Jane Dean workshop a while back and we prettied up a wooden box. She trimmed the birdcage down and used it as a skirt on the mannequin - something I doubt I would've thought to do. I'll see if I can locate it on my blog... Here we go. 3rd picture down. Maybe another idea for the die?

As someone short on both space and pennies I really have to think before I buy new tools and I do think sometimes that's a plus. My Dad gave me some money a few Christmasses back that allowed me to splurge a bit and in all honesty - some of the stuff I splurged on is gathering dust. So I don't think it's a bad thing, in my case, that I have to sit back and save and save before I can shop. I do find it annoying though with mediums and paint that I can't just go buy what I want - I feel held back in that way in some senses so it goes both ways. My wish/shopping list however is fun to add to ;)

I remember buying 3 of the Tim Holtz ink pads when I first started and I hardly ever used them - Devvie has adopted them now and is always using them - she uses them with a brush and kind of paints with them - again, never would've thought of that :)

Ali Manning said...

Oh my gosh, I couldn't agree more. I have so much stuff that "I just had to have" at the time and then it never gets used.

Shaz Brooks said...

So agree with you Julia- I have a room full of stuff that 'I had to have'-and the awful thing is that some of it has never seen the light of day yet!Re the dies, have a browse on e-bay- there are lots of people selling packs of Tims die-cuts. Thats what I've been doing lately, if I like a die, but truthfully can't see myself using it too often. Hugs, Shaz xx

Neet said...

I know just where you are coming from. This week acquired a bird cage die, then realised I have two already - now you remind me I have the TH one. Four of them!!! And I thought I had finally learned to be "selective".
The thing is too, I 'outgrow' stuff. My tastes have changed over the years and now my unwanted stuff is so dated I cannot even sell it.
I did resist the latest products from TH, and the Gelli plate, but I so want the chemist stamps. Will I use them a lot - probably not, but "I want!"

Belinda Basson said...

Thanks for the WOYWW desk visit. I am just back from the market which was a roaring success. Sold 70 of 110 cards! Thankfully we had a fabulous sunny winters day. Hope your weather gets its self sorted, you guys are supposed to be in summer...Autumn is not for another week!

MaggieC said...

I guess we all have SABLE's (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy). I know I do. I resisted the Gelli plate until this week. After having a masterclass at Barbara Gray's workshop, and a chance to see just a fraction of what it can do, I gave in and got one. I absolutely love it, and you don't have to use dull and dismal colours. The things I am going to get rid of are most of my rubber stamps, just keeping the polymer ones, especially the Clarity ones, which are the best on the market for me. I have to admit that I am not a great fan of Mr Holtz, apart from some of his inks - I know that is heresy, but we are all different and should remain so. xx Maggie

Cardarian said...

I really love this post - I have started to be more selective and sensible with my buying too but sometimes I stll get sidetracked! TH doesn't impress me as much as he used to! The market for crafty stuff has become so big now there are really so many options! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject - a really good read! :-)
Lots of hugs
Cardarian

MiniOwner said...

Quite! And the seven shades of wee made me laugh out loud. :o)
Sue x

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Julia,

Oh yes, I'm right there with you sister! Like you, I'm not sure what the hype is about TH. Granted, I do like some things in his line, and have bought more than i care to admit. The little scrapbooking store is going out of business so I bought some dabbers - silly me thought they were sprays.... yikes.

Peace,
Kay

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Before I buy a stamp set I like to think of 3 ways in which I'll use it before buying. I know people who seem to buy the TH products just to 'collect the set' and never put it to good use, which is a shame.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Julia, can't disagree with a word you say! I'm in no position to what with all the 'bought just because it's the latest and greatest' items in my stash. That was in the beginning, now I like to think that I'm a wee bit more circumspect and less likely to buy something without thinking long and hard beforehand.

However, got to say your cards are lovely, so it was worth buying the TH die set and embossing folder after all :)

Hugs
Elizabeth xx

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Dude! I can relate to this post on all parts-the ignoring Tim (and other widely hyped companies), trying a few things, buying things just because they are cool, and now putting deep consideration into my purchases. Okay, not always, I still can be impulsive and compulsive. I also have been weeding out some of the lousy purchases. I'm running into a snag for all those things I've never used... I feel bad not at least giving them a try, but if I've had them this long and never used them then maybe, just maybe I don't need them. I have the Tim bird and cage die and a brick wall folder (not Tim though). I use the die, the bird mostly, never touched the brick embossing folder.

Mrs.D said...

Guilty as charged Mrs Dunnit. I have so much stuff that I buy in a rush because I see something on a blog or Create and Craft and it arrives and I think either 'Oooh I must use that now' or 'Why did I fall for that?' and unfortunately it seems to be the latter more than the former.
I am conforted to see I am not alone, but will take note and stop next time I rush to buy something.
I do love your brick wall though, and the flowers growing up it, very attractive, but I won't be rushing out to buy the folder quite yet......... but then again, where did you get it?
Chris

Carolyn Phillips said...

Oh I know what you mean - not with regards to the ink pads, I love those, although do wonder just how many shades of blue/brown etc we need and if we really need ink pad, reinker, stain, paint, pen, etc all to match. When it comes to dies and stamps I am very careful as I don't think either are worth the money unless they will be used over and over again, so while things like the typewriter and phone appeal to me, I will never buy them as I can't think how I would use them enough to make it worth it.

Jackie said...

Yep...... Me to
However I never feel like that about stamps, I have some I have had twenty plus years, some I haven't used yet but I don't have any regrets about them.... Strange
Jackie
Scrapbangwallop

sara j said...

So interesting reading all the comments. I kind of reached that point last year sometime, when I took another drastic turn in my crafting into paints. I have too much. So now I am more selective. This is tough because I am a very good consumer. So what I do now is look at a bunch of stuff at an internet site, put it in the basket and then never buy it. The digital equivalent to turning down page corners in catalogs. I will say however, I still realllllly like some TH stuff. I think that Christmas paper is going to be gorgeous. I'm waiting for it to arrive at my local craft store, but they'll be holding it for me! The ones I gave up on totally are Memory Box. They used to make beautiful paper, but now they are totally concentrated on dies and they are spendy and to my mind difficult to use. Just movin' along. It's State Fair time here, and I am a total fair-a-holic so I won't be back at WOYWW until next week. Enjoy!

Dianne said...

Hello Julia, well I have no machines but my DF gives me a lot of die cuts cut out for me, I could never afford a machine never mind the cost of all the dies and embossers,I'm lucky enough to have a friend share. Good lesson for all to learn here, thanks for sharing, I'm sure it will help a lot of others, and your cards are lovely I especially like the embossed one with my favorite wild flower, see ya tomorrow...

Winnie said...

Enjoyed your post Julia. I am a big fan of Tim Holtz and my hubby says it is an illness, and I need help, but he also enables me... I have slowed down in the die dept also as I have some that I never used. The bird cage one is one I used this month for my tag, so that made me smile. My little niece loves that one as she likes to lock the birds in a cage (not sure what that says about her at age 4..but she uses it each and every time she stamps.. Funny thing, those embossing folders, I wasn't able to find, so I didn't buy them....But I adore all the inks, paints, stains etc. Must take the time to use the stuff that I have...thanks for the nudge and reminder.... (PS. Love your card!)

Patsy Paterno said...

As most things are not available here in the Philippines, and if they are, they are exorbitantly priced, I have absolutely no temptation to buy dies, and inks, and pan pastels, etc. And there are just so many things to make without all these tempting things. :^) patsy

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