So Where Have I Been?

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I’m scared as I write this blog post.  It’s been so long since I worked on Crash Your Stash.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I posted on this blog.  How time does fly! So where have I been?  What have I been doing?

When my mom died of cancer in late 2016, my creativity, art and writing, pretty much shut down.  It was how my grief manifested itself.  Ever since then, I’ve struggled to reclaim it, and it still isn’t all the way back.

And for most of that time, I’ve been concentrating on my fiction writing instead of serious crafting.  I actually published a book in 2017, Daughter of Atlas, which you can learn about right here.

But now, having done National Novel Writing Month for the seventh time (and won!), I need a break from writing.  And so my spirit turns once again to papercrafting, which in its own way, I love as much as writing, and it means as much to me.  Thus, renewed attention to this blog.

Not unalloyed attention, though.  My crafting has some issues that need to be addressed.  To wit, hoarding and obsessive buying.  I have so much stuff now, I can’t find what I want, when I want it, because I can’t remember what drawer, box, or pile it is in.  I really need to weed and de-stash a lot of my hoard.  Give some of it away to people, donate it, maybe sell some of it if I can be arsed to.  I have so much stuff that I have bought things, and then bought them again, because I forgot I ever have them in my vast stash. So all those duplicates need to go.

And I have to also just plow through my stash.  Just use things up!  If you followed the blog back when I was regularly posting, you know I barely scratched the surface of my stash list that I based this blog around.  And now there’s even more stuff.

So I have come up with four strategies that I think will help me actually use up and enjoy some of my stash, instead of just staring at it all the time:

  • Kill the kit — I have many, many, many card, papercraft , jewelry, and just general craft kits that I have picked up along the way, by subscription, or one-offs, or from Barnes & Noble or Michaels.  Most of which sit untouched, unopened.  A good way to clear out some of my craft room mess would be to actually use some of those kits!  Make the projects! Use the supplies!  Then keep what I like, and toss out the packaging and the scraps.  I have struggled with this in the past, because I’ve found one thing I enjoy most about my crafting is novelty — always having a new stamp, paper, medium, or technique to try.  (I will write more about this in the future.) I get bored staying with the same papers and stamps long enough to work my way through a kit — which is why I no longer subscribe to kits anymore.  But if I approach it as a challenge, I might find new interest in it.
  • Throwback stamping — this is what I call a philosophy that I hope will guide my crafting in 2019. Basically, the idea that I already have enough stamps and supplies in my stash to replicate most any project I see and admire, without having to buy the new materials showcased by that project.  (Because design teams, brand ambassadors, and You Tubers, are all there to do one thing — push new product.)  I already have enough butterfly stamps, enough leaves, enough flowers, enough medallions, that I don’t need to buy anymore.  Likewise, enough watercolors, enough inks, enough markers, enough embellishments.  I would be hard pressed not to find something in my stash that closely matches a project that I like — because at this point in my craft journey, I know what I like, and I’ve bought it. I’m unlikely to be stricken with a sudden hunger to make many projects full of cutesy animal stamps a la Lawn Fawn, or creepy big-eyed human images like Magnolia, or gingham paper or what have you.  What sparks my interest is usually some new take on a theme I already like — leaves, butterflies, Art Nouveau, henna designs, and so on. So, the goal is, to CASE or near-CASE a project I like with stash I already have, instead of buying all new crap I don’t need.
  • Stamp-a-Day — this is a project I’ve been doing the last couple months that I’ve had some success with — just pulling a new unused stamp or stamp set from my “to be used” stash, and quickly making a card or ATC with it.  Just using the stuff, instead of hoarding it.  I have been posting these on Instagram, which I like for following papercrafting, with the hashtag #stampaday2018.  (Soon to be 2019, hopefully.) I’m on Instagram as kmcorby2. (I have no idea who the original kmcorby is, but rest assured I hate them. I’m not used to sharing my name!)
  • Note Card sets — As I said, I love novelty with my crafting.  Almost every card I make is a unique one-off that I don’t feel the need to replicate.  I love that about cardmaking!  Every card is a unique and special piece of art that I share with one person only.  But, if I do make some card sets, of the same or similar cards, that I can give away to people as gifts, that will help use up some of my supplies.  Plus also, gifts.  People admire my cards, and I’m sure at least some of them would like to receive a set of their own to use.

So these are the ideas that I hope will help me focus my crafting in 2019, and make a real dent in my craft stash.  I am also declaring a buying moratorium through at least the first half of 2019 — no new stamps, no new papers, no new mediums. I have enough!  All I will allow myself to buy is basic supplies like adhesive, black or VersaMark ink, scored cards, and white, black and kraft cardstock for bases.  Basic supplies only!

I know I’m not the only crafter who struggles with hoarding and acquisitiveness.  It is the topic of conversation for the New Year.  If this strikes a nerve with you, I’d like to hear your thoughts, and strategies for combatting hoarding in the comments below.

One response »

  1. I’m a year behind–i just discovered Birch Press and you! Prayers over your grief and the loss of your mom. I hope you’ve come through that season of your life. Honor your mother through your creativity–you’ve got phenomenal talent. As an accountant living in my logical brain, this (art and creativity) does not come to me naturally. It is through people like you that I can springboard and develop confidence where once I had none. For you I pray the following: Breathe. Live. Peace. Dream. Create.

    Thank you for sharing your truth and vulnerability. Many of us are cluelessly digging and clawing our way out of our own abyss’ (is there a plural?) and share your pain.

    Rochelle in Central Texas

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