Tuesday, January 21, 2014

So Long, Joann! Thanks for the Clearance!

As a couponer and frugal shopper, 50% off is a wonderful thing. That's why I refuse to purchase anything in a craft store unless I'm using a 50% coupon. Thankfully, the stores take competitor coupons, so I've been able to build up a good part of my supply this way. What's even better than 50% off is 75% off though! Unfortunately, that wonderful number came at the price of our Joann store closing. I heard about the closing through my friend Joanna when it was still only half off, but this past Saturday, Howard and I were going to be in the area, so we stopped by to take a look. Once I saw that it had reached that wonderful number and saw what they had left in the store, I was a happy camper! I texted my friend to let her know since she was waiting too.

At the front of the store, they had the cages with Cricut cartridges! I took a look and picked up a few like Winter Frolic and Mini Monsters. I wasn't sure if the deduction was on the $14.99 that was on some of them because that would mean cartridges for $3.75! But then as I stood there, I decided it was better to spend that money on other items since I wasn't dying for those images. The monsters would have been cute to have if I didn't have a Silhoutte where I could ask Howard to maybe design even cuter images! They did have one or two Create a Critter, so that would've been an AMAZING buy because it's one that I use most often. But I decided to focus on the assortment of punches from Fiskars, EK Success, and Martha Stewart. They also had Tim Holtz embossing folders and Cuttlebug folders too! I'm surprised they still had all these options available. It was the perfect time for a new crafter to get some basic materials. 

In fact, as I was around these products, a lady with two young kids came up to me and asked me, "Do you scrapbook?" I told her that I did (I don't really scrapbook, but a lot of the tools are the same as cardmaking). She was asking about the Fiskars templates (the orange stencil on the middle right of the above picture). I actually have some of those and the tool with the blade that goes along with it. It was one of the bigger craft supplies that I bought at AC Moore when I was much younger. She also asked me about the punches and the dies because she didn't know how they were used. She was clearly a new crafter or someone who was interested just by seeing the low prices, and I was more than happy to share with her the knowledge I had. I may not be up to date with what new products were introduced at CHA (other than the new We R Memory Keepers punch board for 3-D flowers ... LOVE!), but I know about a lot of the products in the chain craft stores.  


There were tons of options for sewing rulers. If I didn't have my Martha Stewart ruler, I might have purchased one. My MS one is awesome though because I found it in the AC Moore clearance bin, and it has a slightly rubbery material on the bottom so it's not easily shifted when I'm using it to get exact layers. There was some embroidery floss options too. Howard and I both remarked that our moms used this to cross stitch when we were kids. 


Though most of the store was empty and some aisles were blocked off to customers browsing the remaining products, there was one aisle that still had plenty of FABULOUS merchandise! Howard had strolled through the entire store while I was still examining the punches and dies, and he said there were still stamps left, so I made a beeline to that aisle. This would be a great time for some new stampers to pick up a little bit of variety because they had some Memento ink pads in Tuxedo Black and Rich Cocoa (I already have them along with the ink refills) and one StazOn pad as well. Behind the sliding doors, you can see they also had plenty of the Versa Magic Dew Drops 4-packs. I had wanted those a few years ago, and I would have purchased them now, but I wasn't sure if they'd dry out quickly. Howard and I examined EVERY row to find some good stamps. I'm very excited about the ones I found.

There were also packs of David Tutera cards and envelopes, which I thought was funny because I feel that serious crafters score and cut their own card bases. In the past, I purchased card packs, and I still have some of the really large ones that I use on special custom orders that need larger die cuts. But then I realized it's so much cheaper to do it myself. That's not to say I don't like the Michaels card packs because those were the most sturdy and would save time. But I just chuckled that David Tutera has his own products as if they're more magical than the regular ones. 

They still had some individual pieces of scrapbook paper. We looked for Disney ones, but the two options they had weren't good enough to warrant even the $0.25 cost. Looking through these aisles required a lot of patience because things were scattered everywhere. There was chalk and embossing powder sets and markers. It was actually easier that a lot of the aisles were empty because it would've required half a day to go through all of them if they were filled with random finds since we were there for over an hour.

We also quickly walked through the aisles that had the remaining material. Though I don't sew, if there was any super cute Disney material, I would have bought it to make pillow cases or something. They only had Finding Nemo fleece material. For those who like to sew, I think there were still some great options left including animal prints and sports teams prints.

The most intriguing section to Howard was the selection of OttLites! I purchased a task lamp when I first started crafting more seriously because it mimics the light of the sun, which makes it easier on the eyes. There was a change in how long I could craft because there wasn't eye strain. I would actually wake up more using my OttLite too. I used it to photograph my cards since my initial photos used to have the yellowish cast, so it was a fabulous $30 investment. A year later, there was a big sale on them, and I bought another for $20. That one is up high on a closet shelf as I haven't yet needed to use it because my original one has lasted for a LONG time! I haven't even had to change the bulb yet, and I use it EVERY DAY when I'm sitting at the desk. 

Well, because of the store closing, some of the floor lamps would be so inexpensive compared to the $209.99 price tag! Howard looked up reviews and stood there debating for quite some time. It was actually super cute. There was one made out of metal that didn't have a price on it, and so he brought it with us to the front to find out the price. It would've been $76, so we put it back because we weren't in desperate need of it.

Despite there only being one person being checked out at the one register that was open, it took quite a long time because the system wasn't scanning properly. The employee had to split the order for the discount to apply. I didn't mind waiting because I felt that it was completely worth my time to get all this amazing stuff! I also texted Joanna to ask her if she was looking for anything in particular in case she couldn't make it there and I could pick it up for her. She replied and said she was there, so I looked for her and saw her browsing! I talked to her for a while and met her friend as well. She told me later that night that she was there for a few hours! I definitely understand!

After filling my basket, I did go through it again and pulled out about 4 items that I chose not to get. I had time to think about the products. Even at such cheap prices, I always think about how I can get entire CVS hauls for so little, so I want to watch the amount that I spend anywhere. My final out of pocket cost was $45.95 including tax. I saved $126.60! It was an amazing score.

Goodbye Joann! I'm sorry that you didn't survive here on the island. I remember when this location used to be Creativity where I purchased some stamp sets as a kid. I wonder what is going to take its place. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying my new crafting goodies! To help keep our apartment neat, I took pictures and immediately opened the packages so I could put the items away.

I picked up foamies sheets because I'm almost entirely out of the foam adhesive that I purchased from Oriental Trading. I don't want to repurchase them because I had some dud sheets where the glue was dry, and I don't like to use the thickest ones. I figured I could purchase foam sheets and just use my ATG to make my things pop off my cards. My intention wasn't to get bright orange, but that was all that they had, and I wasn't going to pass on it for $1.49 a piece. With the liquidation discount, each one was $0.37, which was fine by me because they're really big sheets (12x18in). They had a few more sheets, but they were covered in glitter, and I wasn't about to deal with it when it wasn't from my own project! They also a few white sheets, but it was MUCH thinner, and they were dirty.

Out of all the Fiskars punches, I only chose two of them. I was so delighted to find that they had two different sized hexagon punches! I see so many designs of cards with different hexagon patterns, but I just didn't want to spend the money on them with a 50% off coupon. These were $10.99 and $17.99, so with the sale I only paid $2.75 and $4.50. That's an AMAZING price for these punches. I didn't even care that the larger box was slightly opened. These were designed so that it's easier on your hands to punch (I have a heart one already), but they do take up more space to store. That's what I explained to the lady who was asking me questions about the products. They're perfect though for mass producing cards or when punching out pieces of leftover cardstock/patterned paper.

When I was searching through the supplies, I hadn't even noticed that they had Cuttlebug folders! Howard fond them hanging. They also had one Swiss Dots one, but I already have it. The smaller ones were Juli's Garden and Mr. Maverick, and they cost $5.99 ($1.50 with the sale). The larger one was Honeycomb and cost $7.99 ($2.00). The only disappointing thing was that the mustache one didn't scan, and the cashier scanned the Honeycomb one again instead of Juli's Garden. Oh well, I didn't notice it until we got home. I knew she had to scan some of the same items twice, but I wish she was a bit more careful about what she double scanned because that would've been an extra $0.50 in my pocket. I guess I can't blame her because at this point, she's not necessarily caring as much. The lady in front of us had asked her if she was out of a job, and she said yes.

As you saw in the picture above, there were a good amount of rubber stamps available, but I absolutely wanted the flower stamps. When my mom asks me to make cards for her, she likes a lot of the floral ones because they're basic but can be very colorful too. I had actually seen some great stamp techniques using the tall flower too, so I was ecstatic to be able to grab it. The one on the far left is also one I'm excited to use because I can use some different colors of inks with it. Lastly, that duck was just too cute! The stamps ranged from $5.99 to $9.99, so that meant $1.50 to $2.50 a stamp. If you're a stamper, you know that's a steal for intricate wood mounted, red rubber stamps. I use clear stamps more often these days, but when I do go back to my red rubber stamps, I always ask myself why I don't use them more often because the quality is amazing.

I was incredibly thrilled when I found bottles of Glossy Accents! Originally $6.99, I only paid $1.75 for each one! I already own one bottle, and I've only used it on a few cards because I didn't want to have to purchase more. However, now that I have plenty of them, I'm going to use it even if I have to mass produce cards! For those of you who don't know what it is, you basically squeeze the liquid on the card or image, and it dries with a slightly raised glossy finish. If I had these bottles, I would have used it on the goggles for the swimming bears on the cards for my sister-in-law. Those goggles were big though, and I would have used a LOT of my one bottle. Now I'm looking to see where I can use this! There were 3 bottles in the stamping closet, and I happened to find one more near the register that I snatched.

The last two items are shown below. The balloon punch was with a bunch of other large punches in a random aisle. Howard and I looked through every single one, and if I had the money, I would've purchased more, but this balloon punch was definitely the cutest one! I will have to figure out what I can do to make a simplistic yet amazingly punched card. The Paper Crimper was one that made my eyes widen when I saw it. Years and years ago, I saw this item in my rubber stamping books (you know, before you could just find everything on the internet and still had crafting books as resources!) and was intrigued. Then I went through a phase where I knew it wouldn't be worth it because you don't use crimped paper on many cards. Then I came back to loving the idea of throwing a textured layer (more textured than just embossed) on a card. These items were must haves for just $5 a piece when they were both originally $19.99.

Since I opened all the packages so I could put my new tools away, I tried the crimper and laughed and giggled like a little school girl. I even had Howard try it. Haha, I'm so easily amazed.

New goodies make me a happy crafter, and I can't wait to start incorporating these things into my cardmaking. I'm sorry, Joann, that I got so happy at your expense!


  1. Holy moly, that's a great haul! I went to a Joann's last week on Long Island, but the sales weren't all that great. Too bad it was closing, but you were lucky on those prices! I have never heard of Ottlites, but seriously, the lighting in my room is atrocious! I was JUST complaining about it last night. I will definitely look into those lamps! Thanks for that tip. Have fun with all your goodies and happy belated to Howard! =)


    1. I very rarely went to Joann because Michaels was just more convenient. It's just sad not having the option anymore.

      It's totally worth getting an OttLite! The task lamps are the greatest! I can't imagine crafting (or grading papers when I was still teaching last year) without it. The bulb has lasted years at this point with continuous, almost daily use!