Friday, January 28, 2011

How much does your cardstock weigh?

I decided it was time to define my goals a little.  How would I know, beyond keeping track of my spending, whether I had managed to "spend less, craft more"?  I broke the goals down by deciding I would aim to:
  • update this blog regularly
  • do something creative every week
  • complete at least 2 challenges a month
  • complete a scrapbook page a week (single or double)
  • work through my "projects" box with the aim of completing each item or considering getting rid of it.
  • knit my way through my wool stash 
  • make a list of my scrapbooking supplies (by group) and mark each time I use each item
  • be prepared to cull unused items, and 
  • weigh my cardstock, and compare in 12 months.
That's right, you read it correctly, there was no way I was going to count every single piece of cardstock I own, let alone all the scraps I have accumulated, so I decided to weigh all my cardstock, patterned paper and scraps!
weighing the small scraps box
I was quite stunned to discover a that it came to a whopping 21.58kg!  Now admittedly that included some boxes and folders that I keep them in (which I will obviously weigh them in again at the end) but even so, that's something in the vicinity of 20 kilos.  What more evidence do I need that it is time to speed up the creating and slow the spending down.

Today I finished a page based on scrapbooking challenges sketch 234  I continued my vellum theme by creating stars out of vellum and edging them with kindy glitz. quite a nice Christmassy finish. (but beware, if you'd like to try the idea yourself, the kindy glitz made the vellum curl A LOT).  I flattened them under some books once they were dry, then sewed them to the page

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meet Pete.

First a bit of history.  When I found out that my second baby was going to be a boy (he is turning 10 this year) I decided to take up dollmaking as a way of injecting something girly into the house of males I would be living in. (this was a year or so before cardmaking, and then later scrapbooking, came into my life). 
A few years later I bought a pattern for "Pete's Garage" by Jane Coughlan.  It's like a soft sculpture dolls house which can fold away.  In the same series is Pete, his friend Pippi, and they both even have cars!!!  So my plan has always been to make the dollshouse, a boy and girl (adapt the Pete pattern rather than buy a separate one) and then track down one of the car patterns and make that too .
Well, finally, my children too old to play with him now, I have finished Pete.  See how tiny he is!  Apparently my sewing skills are a bit rusty as I forgot a few basic things like "right sides together", and his bum looks so strange he'll need to keep his clothes on forever, but I'm still very happy with him.  Will he ever get a house?  I hope so . . . I've spent quite a bit over the years on the bits and pieces for it and could probably make it totally out of the stash.  Maybe this year . . . ?

The other crafty thing I did today (my family's away remember) was to challenge myself to a scrapbook sketch.  About 18 years ago my husband went skydiving with some friends and sketch 237 from scrapbook challenges was perfect.  It has a bunch of photos clustered in the centre of the page, and cloud-shaped accents around the outside.  I haven't posted it because it has a whole lot of photos and names of people we haven't seen in years, but here's a little gllimpse . . .

I used papers, stickers and a tag from the oldest Basic Grey set I have, and made hand-cut clouds out of vellum, which I swiped a bit of white paint on the back of  for dimension.  I love using older products on older pages! I think that it gives them an appropriate retro vibe.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A budget holiday scrapbook

Last year our family bought a second hand camper trailer and took the kids out of school for a 5-week holiday to Queensland.  This morning I finished the album!! Although it was largely finished last year, I thought I would write about it because it encompasses a lot of the "spend less" philosophy.  Originally I had planned to only use items from my stash (other than the base white cardstock) but ended up buying some patterned paper when my local scrapbook store (you guessed it) was having a sale.
 I started by printing out contact sheets of all my holiday photos, and dividing them by date.  I decided that every page would have the same basic layout, filling a rectangle across the page, using patterned paper where there were no photos.  I planned the pages as I went, so I knew which photos to print and what size. I was able to plan which pages were double and which were single, depending on the number of photos I wanted to use. 

 I used some of my alphabet stamp sets to make the headings, and the bottom of every page had a punched border.  By lining each page up on the cutting mat, lining up and attaching the elements was quick and easy.
Journalling was handwritten on tags which slipped behind photos, with a pull tab using ribbon or fibres from my stash.
It was a great moment when I realised I didn't need to buy a new date stamp (the one I own only goes to 2008) but have a whole printing kit - date stamps for the next millenia!

Finishing the album raises what I am sure is the first of many dilemmas regarding what should be included in the $5 pw budget.  In this case it's page protectors.  With all my heart I want them not to be included, I need 8 more just for this album, plus the same again for other finished pages waiting to be put away . . . and that's not even thinking about the many more pages I hope to make by the end of the year!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

While the cat's away . . .

Rob and the kids have just left to visit the grandparents in Canberra for a few days, so my plan is . . . a little bit of cleaning, walk the dog every day . . . and a whole lot of craft!!!!!
I had a go at this week's colour queen challenge . . . now what you need to know about love-to-spend-money-on-craft-me, is that I could quite happily go out and buy cardstock in every colour, just so that I would be stocked up and ready every week  . . . but that's not really the plan this year.  So even though the new 2011 spend-less-craft-more model me initially thought I didn't have the right colours, I managed to pull it off.  I was largely saved by remembering this K&Co scrap pad, with colours that were pretty near perfect . . . I didn't really have the saffron colour, so I improvised by swiping a white inkpad over the closest yellow I had.  Add some wire and braid from the stash, the old favourites of kindy glitz and magic mount, and I'm pretty happy with the result!

I didn't make a whole lot of cards last year - apart from the last minute kids birthday party kind - I think I just ended up with two many cards in the stash . . . however I am enjoying these challenges and plan to continue for a while, I think the discipline of the deadline is good for me, and I like being given colour combinations I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.  I may try a scrapbook sketch challenge as well at some point - as long as it keeps helping me focus on the creative use of the stuff that I already own!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Enough is enough!

It's not a new years resolution or anything (those things are doomed to failure!) but this year I am determined to take control of my craft spending habit.  I've also decided to try keeping this blog to hopefully make myself a bit more accountable. Loosely, my goals are:
  • limit spending to $5 per week, or a total of $260 for the year (considering the huge amounts of craft supplies I have loaded up in my room that really should be plenty)
  • and try and create something (scrapbook page, card or whatever) at least weekly
  • to have a smaller stash by the end of the year.
Sadly, before I had come to this decision, I came across a sale at a scrapbooking site. Although technically ordered on 30 December and therefore not this year,in the spirit of the challenge I have decided the spending should be included.  I have therefore spent already $38.38.

Step One, I have decided is:
Focus on what inspires you to create, not on what inspires you to spend.
With this in mind,I have decided to try and spend less time browsing the internet, and have cancelled my Ebay  searches (the ones that send you an email every time something comes up that matches).

On the other side of the coin, I am giving  colourQ a go.  They post a colour scheme each week, and you make a card using that scheme.
I loved this week's bright colours, and the "so tweet" card was a direct reference to the picture on the cute bloomers. The flower card was made using my brand new stamps, (the leaves are actually just petals cut out) and other  than that it's all straight from the stash.