An Invitation to Crash Your Stash


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never even used, bought with typical American acquisitiveness, and bought with the best of intentions, but constantly superseded by newer, shinier, cooler toys grabbed on that last shopping trip or e-commerce session.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.


2 responses »

  1. i think there are a ton of us crafting over-consumers, Kristen! I was of the same mind as you and started the same kind of resolve mid-year last year with my NBUS challenge to use up that never-before-used schtuff! I not only have brand new schtuff that is virginal, I have ten-year-old schtuff that is virginal and that just got to me finally. I hope your blog works to motivate you as NBUS has worked for me. I’m up to NBUS#103 already and often I use more than one NBUS on a card, but I don’t give every little thing a number. I’ll be way dead before I get to it all, but at least I’ll have died trying!! I won’t say I don’t still buy more schtuff, but it HAS helped me cut it back a lot Best of luck and I hope you’ll come and visit my place some time! Hugs, Darnell

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