Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sites and Things to Avoid

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Things to avoid if you are trying to crash your stash.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some websites you might want to avoid while you are trying to crash your stash, so you are not constantly tempted to buy new things you don’t need.

Blitsy — you definitely want to stay away from this crafting “daily deals” site, which puts up a whole new raft of good, desirable crafting supplies for sale every single weekday.  Everything from Distress inks to Spellbinders dies to Avery Elle stamps — stuff you actually want, and would pay money for.  Quantities are limited, and some things sell out fast, which increases the sense of urgency.  But the sale prices really aren’t all that great, and that, coupled with the fact they they take PayPal and you don’t have to fuss around with credit cards, means you could easily bankrupt yourself.

You’ll want to stay away from the other crafting “daily deals” type sites, too, like Crafty Steals and Peachy Cheap.  The temptation is just too great.

Scrapbook.com — Scrapbook.com is a great site, where you can buy almost anything you want under the papercrafting sun, and which hosts forums and a community to show your work, and has good sales on a regular basis.  But you at least want to avoid the homepage, which has a “new items” link right on the front, where they list items new in the warehouse every single day. And they carry a LOT of product lines, so you can waste quite a bit of time (and money) just on the homepage.  If you use the gallery and forums, I suggest bookmarking them and then accessing them on your computer that way, and avoiding the homepage altogether.

The Moxie Fab World blog — No onus on Cath Edvalson, who lately wrote this blog, or the staff of Paper Crafts magazine; it’s a good blog, with lots of giveaways and inspirational posts.  But Moxie Fab World is specifically a trend-watching blog, which means they’re always featuring new things.  Things that you’ll want to buy.  New stamp sets, new paper collections, new embellishments, new everything.  Trend-watching I think is something you want to avoid if you are trying to use what you already have. Because trends change constantly, which means, if you want to stay on trend, you have to buy all new stuff.  If you are on a design team, or are submitting your work to the papercrafting magazines, you’ll need to be aware of and use trends.  But if you are just a hobbyist like me, save your money and get inspired from the treasures you already have.  That’s the whole idea of this blog.

These are just the things that came immediately to mind when I thought of sites that would tempt us away from crash-stashing.  If anyone has any other ideas, please add them in the comments!

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The Stash I Want to Crash

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So, when I say I have a lot of stash to crash, I really mean it.  It is shocking.  What follows is a list of all the items I own that I have only used once, or a few times, or even not at all, and that I plan to mine for the “Crash Your Stash” project.

  • Dazzles stickers
  • A turquoise Inkadinkado ink stack
  • several Recollections cardmaking embellishment packs
  • Embossing folders
  • Glitter pre-folded cards (DCVW, I think)
  • Assorted Punches
  • Inkadinkado Stamping Gear Deluxe Set (round)
  • Shrink Plastic
  • Twinkling H2Os (a kind of iridescent watercolor paint)
  • Foil cardstock
  • Inkadinkado Scene Builder stamps, Space theme
  • Tim Holtz Distress markers (and other markers for different techniques)
  • Distress Stains
  • blue and green coordinating embellishments in bottles (forgot the name, but I got the set at Michaels)
  • Bo Bunny decorated brads
  • ERA Graphics Petroglyph stamps
  • Hero Hues layering paper in Foliage color scheme
  • Hero Arts Shadow Stamps
  • Sakura Glaze pens
  • Sakura Souffle pens
  • Spica glitter pens
  • assorted packs of Studio G shaped cards
  • Studio G one dollar sentiment and image stamps
  • Recollections distressed cardstock (different from Tim Holtz, just generic cardstock with a distressed finish)
  • Acetate sheets
  • Distress Stickles
  • Martha Stewart jewel-tone dry glitter
  • hexagons (stamps, dies, chipboard shapes, etc.)
  • assorted wafer-thin metal dies
  • almost the complete line of My Mind’s Eye Indie Chic papers and embellishments
  • assorted birthday stamps, papers and embellishments (you can never have too many birthday cards)
  • washi tape
  • washi sheets
  • Tim Holtz Fragments (little acrylic shapes for stamping and jewelry)
  • Peg stamps, assorted sets
  • Vellum
  • glitter tape
  • American Crafts self-adhesive ribbon
  • sundry blank ATCs in all sorts of media including wood veneer and sheet metal
  • watercolor pencils
  • various colored embossing powders
  • wood veneer embellishments
  • enamel dots
  • mistable chipboard shapes from various vendors
  • eyelets and an eyelet setter
  • various unused Cricut cartridges
  • Inka Gold pigment
  • Martha Stewart matching metallic pigment inks and markers
  • alcohol inks
  • a sumi-e (Japanese ink painting) kit my dad gave me for my birthday last year
  • Bo Bunny Serenity Collection Kit
  • Vintaj Patina inks and metal blanks for jewelry and charms

See, this list is just crazy.  I never meant to be a hoarder, it just ended up that way. I’ll bet there’s other stuff, too, that I’ve completely forgotten about.  If I find anything more, I’ll add it. (UPDATE: And I have, several times.)

But the good news is, if I work with just one of these products a week — and plenty of them I could use for more than one week — that should take me clean through most of the year, up to the holidays as the plan requires.  Stick to the list and I should be too busy to worry about buying new things.

I’m actually excited to work with some of these things that I’ve had for so long, and neglected. Onward!

A Tour of My Stash

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So I thought I would show you my stash that I intend to crash, to give you a better idea of what I am talking about..  This is a tour of my craft room.

This is my craft room/office. I am fortunate to have it.

my craftroom/office

PC on one side, craft desk on the other.  This works very well for me.  The pink rolling cart contains most of my tools that I use regularly — adhesives, inks, embossing powders, glitter glue, and various embellishments of which I have too many — three drawers full!

This grocery bag contains all the stamps and stamp sets I have bought and have yet to use.

a whole bag of unused stamps!

Filling this bag was a big part of my decision to go on a stash-crashing, supply-buying moratorium.  This is just crazy!

This gray rolling cart contains the bulk of my wood-mounted stamps.

an overflowing cart of rubber stamps

Please don’t call Hoarders on me!

It is so overloaded, the drawers are falling off the tracks.  I really ought to upgrade, but to what?

These clear shoeboxes hold my clear and cling stamps.

Shoeboxes full of clear stamps

This system works well for me.  I tried binders, and just didn’t like the way I had to pull a whole binder off the shelf, and they way the pages flopped around while I searched for individual stamps.  This way, I can see  what’s in the individual boxes, and just grab the box I need.  I labeled the boxes by theme with clear packing tape.  They also stack nicely.

a huge stack of paper pads

Here are my all my patterned paper pads.  It was quite a job hauling all these out!  Wait, no, actually, this isn’t even everything — it doesn’t include all the 6 by 6 pads.

This is just a taste — there is even more stuff crammed into my office I didn’t dare show you.  (Luckily the picture of all the crap piled on the sofa didn’t come out.)  But I think this is enough to make the point — I have too much stuff. I need to use it, and use it up!

That’s what this whole project is about.  I’m sure you agree — it has to be done!

What’s in your stash that you’d like to use up?

An Invitation to Crash Your Stash

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This is a new blog, so I should introduce myself.  My name is Kirsten, I’n 48, I’m a librarian and a writer, and papercrafting is my hobby.

Oh, dear.  That sounds a little too much like an introduction in a twelve-step meeting. Well, that is not entirely inappropriate, I guess, as this blog is an attempt to deal with something of a compulsion of mine — my compulsion to buy stuff for my papercrafting hobby.  And it really is a compulsion.

Any artist or crafter has a “stash,” their collection of materials and art supplies that they use in their art and draw upon for inspiration.  Well, my stash is enormous. I mean really enormous.  I have spent hundreds, probably thousands of dollars over the last several years on art supplies for my papercrafting hobby.  If you’re like me, you probably have piles of supplies and tools you’ve never even used, bought with typical American acquisitiveness, and bought with the best of intentions, but constantly superseded by newer, shinier, cooler toys grabbed on that last shopping trip or e-commerce session.

Let me give you some examples. For embossing and die cutting, I have a Sizzix Texture Impression, a Big Shot, and an eBosser.  Not to mention a Cricut Create and a Cricut Expression.  I have a Theresa Collins Stampmaker for making photopolymer stamps that I have never used, because I am terrified of the thing — it seems really complicated, and it uses ultraviolet light to cure the stamps, and I am very fair skinned, so I am irrationally afraid it is going to burn me.  But it was on sale on Black Friday, so I bought it.

Alcohol markers: I have sets of Copics, Promarkers, Spectrum Noirs, even a set of American Crafts Chromatix.  God, not to mention a complete set of Bic Marks-Its.  I have two sets of Faber-Castell Gelatos, and I don’t even particularly like them.  I have all sorts of cutting dies I have never used.  Twelve-by-twelve paper pads, and I don’t scrapbook.  Stamps I have never stamped with, tools I have never taken out of their packaging. I have so much crap in my craftroom it’s getting hard to clear a space to work.  I daresay some of you out there can relate.

So, enough’s enough.  My new year’s resolution is to stop buying so much stuff, and look within, and use what I already have.  To crash my stash.  I am going on a buying moratorium for nine months, from February to October, and I’m hoping to rediscover all the amazing tools and art supplies I already have.

I’m hoping the blog will help me with that, as I make a plan and track my progress.  If you’re interested, I invite you come along with me and crash your stash as well.  If I can help myself, maybe I can help you too.

One note: when I say a moratorium, I don’t mean on everything.  We’re allowed to buy basic supplies as they run out, like adhesives, cardstock, basic inks like black dye ink or Versamark.  But stamps, colored inks, papers, embellishments, and gadgets, are right out.  We have to use what we have.

There are ways to make do if you run out of things.  If you don’t have the right color of rhinestones or pearls for a project, you can tint clear or white ones the right shade with matching alcohol markers or inks.  You can make your own patterned paper of a sort by stamping plain paper with colored inks, or coloring stamped images with pencils or markers — enough paper for a single project, anyway.  Tone-on-tone heat embossing on colored paper makes nice background paper.  You can color white ribbon to match projects with alcohol ink or dye ink, in the same way as rhinestones.  If you need paper embellishments, you can fussy-cut and layer them out of patterned paper that you have on hand.  If you don’t have a certain color of embossing powder, stamp with colored pigment ink and clear-emboss over it — it works fine.

If you’re like me, though, it’s going to be a long time before you actually run out of anything. 😉

So let’s get started.  Next up on the blog are a tour of my actual stash, a list of supplies and materials I plan to use, and some suggestions for things to avoid, and things to cultivate when you are trying to crash your stash.