Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ten things about "Using what you have"

Based on Shimelle's "10 things on the 10th" today I thought I'd share with you ten things about what this year's motto means to me:

"Use what you have in a way that makes you happy"

1. Challenging myself to look for fun ways to use what I have.  When I do on-line challenges I tend to be drawn to sketches and colour challenges, which allow me to use the products I already own, rather than product-based challenges which require anything that I don't already own!
I had a bit of a light-bulb moment with Chapter 2 of Shimelle's hitchhiker class, which is about "Starting Points".  I have to confess that prior to this I hadn't really "got" starting points and had only attempted one.  But Shimelle points out that they are just like sketches, but more versatile, because you can add the photos, journalling etc where-ever you want.  Lightbulb time!  I can decide where I want my photos to go before constructing my "starting point"!  Hey presto! Just like a sketch!  Here's the page that I did for the class:

If you know me at all, it will be no surprise that my first thought for this starting point was: offcuts!  which brings me to my next point:

2.  I tend to look through my off-cuts first, for smaller pieces.

However, this was a little bit at odds with another thought that my new 6" pads might work really well for this page, and guess what  . . .

3.  Use what's new while it's still new could almost be another motto for the year for me.  After all, I don't want to go to all the hard work of finding creative ways to use my old supplies, only to discover in another 5 years a bunch of vintage pages circa 2012 that feel old and dated!

I'm proud to say that this page ended up being a happy combination of both - the first 3 stripes are offcuts but from new papers - the third time they've been used each in the month or so I've had them!  All the other papers are from a 6" pad.(I love how the Echo Park ones are a little bit taller, so you can use them to mat a photo!)

4. Make it don't buy it.  I don't tend to buy a lot of embellishments, preferring to make my own when I can.  The hand-cut clouds on this page are a simple example.

5.  I find that  Sneaking older-products doesn't always date a page.  The scrabble letters I used in my title are amongst the oldest items left in my stash, but I think they go just great with the kraft background.  Likewise, the ribbons I used would hardly qualify as new.

6.  Having said that, I think a perfect time to use older products is on older pages, like the flowers on this page, about an event back in 2004.

7.  Getting value out of your supplies doesn't always mean using every last particle.   After making this flower girl page, I decided I am getting quite tired of  these Kaisercraft flowers, of which I still have many colours and sizes.  My $1 per use guideline I set for myself means that a pack of flowers that cost, say, $3 or $4 needs to be used 3 or 4 times for me to feel I have "value" out of it.  That means I do not need to use every flower in the pack!  I've decided to keep a certain number of each, and plan to offer the others up to crafty friends!

8.  I am trying to banish "reasons" to hoard
I have loads of buttons (don't think those jars at the top of my blog are the only ones I own!), for example, but I sometimes come across mental barriers like, but what if I want those ones for a sewing project one day, or what if I run out of those nice red ones?  I'm trying to say to myself, so what!  I'm pretty sure they still sell buttons at the shops!

9. Inspiration is everywhere.  In just over a year I've gone from someone who hadn't read a blog or attempted an on-line challenge to someone who belongs to a number of challenge websites, follows more blogs than I can do justice to, and is an avid Pinner on Pintrest.  But like my motto of last year, I try and focus on what inspires me to create.  Another way of thinking of this is focusing on technique, rather than product.

10. Finally, I try to stay flexible.  I don't get too hung up on "rules" and worrying about breaking them.  As they say in the first Pirates of the Carribean movie "they're not actual rules, more like just guidelines.

If you stayed with me through this very long post, thank you!  I don't expect too many of you to choose to follow my example (and what is probably a tiny budget compared to many!) but if I've inspired you in any way, I'd love to hear about it!


  1. First I love you page at the top. I love how you did the different papers and I love the journaling in the cloud. It looks great!

    Second I did stay to the end because I am going through the same journey! I started my blog in June and a few months later found challenges and now I can't stop. For Lent I pledged not to buy anything-not even pictures-for scrapbooking. It's helping because I am using stuff. As I read your post I make excuses for hoarding too! Which I am getting better at. And I can buy new stuff so I need to use my old stuff to make room! I am really out of room!

    So thank you! This has helped me and thank you for taking the time to write it all out! :)

  2. I try to buy stuff in sales or on offer and rarely buy 'the latest thing' (I have a similar approach to clothes LOL!). I like your reasons not to hoard - I must work on that one myself!

  3. Love your "guidelines" and the $1 per use rule is a great idea. I have set myself a challenge to not buy any scrapbook product for six months. I am almost through my first month now only 5 to go.