Wednesday, 26 July 2006

Restraint

Following on from my entry yesterday AND my crop last night, I’ve noticed I do have a lot of restraint when it comes to shopping – in general, but of course stash shopping in specific.

I loooove shopping and have so many clothes that they nearly don’t fit in my wardrobe. Notice I say nearly – in order to try and limit myself, I have always had this unwritten rule with myself that ALL my clothes must fit in the available space. If a new item doesn’t, then an old one must go. I have a limited number of hangers, hardly ever get new ones (and that is to replace busted ones, mainly) so my clothes must fit my hangers. I also have limited space in my drawers, etc so my stuff must fit in.

I’ve always been like this, but I must admit it was hard when I moved from my spacious walk-in closet back home to my teensy-weensy little house in the UK – I couldn’t fit anything! A big help was that almost none of my clothes were suitable for the UK climate so I did have to replace a lot of stuff and as long as it fit into my available space, I was happy. We’ve also always changed our clothes around depending on season, which means my winter clothes are happily sitting in the loft now, clearing space for my blouses and skirts.

We treat our fridge in the same way – if it doesn’t fit we don’t buy it. We probably could do now with a larger fridge, to be honest, but the rule seems to work okay most of the time (except when we have 20+ people round for a BBQ!). My little boy’s closet is the same – if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t get bought. We did get lots and lots and LOTS of gifts when he was born and luckily we could store some of the items he was too little for, to use later, but the rule applied all the time, and still does!

So it’s no surprise that I am the same way about my little scrap cupboard – if it doesn’t fit I don’t buy it. I tend to stick to this even more strictly than I do other areas of life, don’t know why. I guess that with scrapping I realize that in the main, it’s a hobby and not a contest to see who has the most stuff. I of course love looking through all the lovely things but also am able quite easily to say, “I don’t need it” or “it just doesn’t fit”.

Last time I was in the States I went into Michaels and spent a happy hour there, looking through all their lovely things and being amazed at the low prices when compared to the UK. I saw gorgeous things that I hadn’t seen before and really had a good old browse. What did I buy? I bought about 5 sheets of vellum stickers, some letter stickers and that was it! I spent under $10 but I loved the time I spent there. If I wasn’t so practical I would have spent a lot, lot more... but for all the lovely things I saw I would think that I didn’t need it, it wouldn’t fit in my cupboard or I just wouldn’t use it. I’m practical and I don’t regret it!

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Following up from a thread on UKS about scrapping spaces, I suddenly realized that the way I keep my stash very much dictates my scrapping style. I don’t mean that I’m tidy and therefore my style is very clean – it’s more complex than that.

For example, because I don’t have too much stash I tend to know by heart what I have. This means that I am very good at using both new and old stash on my pages. There is nothing lurking out there that I’ve forgotten about. I still use my MAMBI kids on pages, if they suit the theme! I also have lots of borders and they too have seen the light of day recently. This gives my pages a slightly quirky look.

I am not a good hoarder so this means I have no problems using up my stash on pages. While I understand why most scrappers struggle to use their prettiest things, I find that the best way to show off my prettiest things is by using them! There is nothing too precious to use on my pages and I think it shows. Add this to the fact that I know what I own and this explains my clean style: if something is worth showing, it’s worth showing to its full effect and so I would use this one embellishment on its own, rather than with lots of others.

I store all my embellishments together but by types – so one box has metal, another chipboard, yet another inks and stamps and so on. This has meant that in order to minimize the amount of stash I carry to the table, I only grab one or two boxes. This streamlines my pages and means that I only use one or two types of embellishments on a page. True, I do sometimes go and get another box for another page but generally I’m too lazy and end up with three or four layouts made one after another that include mainly the same type of embellishments.

Another thing is that I don’t have a craft room and work on the dining room table. I of course have to clear up after myself every single time, because I just wouldn’t fancy eating off my photos, so this has meant that I just can’t leave layouts unfinished. I have a “thing” about unfinished business also, but mainly it’s a practical issue – I have nowhere to leave an unfinished page! So every one of my sessions ends with completed pages and, thanks to this, I’ve developed a clean and simple style that allows me to finish jobs.

I’d never really noticed but indeed, my storage style has influenced my scrapping style in more than one way!

Tuesday, 11 July 2006

CHA releases to die for?

It’s that time of year again when the manufacturers bring out all their new stuff and try to make us part with even more money: yup, it’s CHA time!

I must admit that the only reason I noticed is that online scrapping forums are full of links to blogs and such that mention some of the new goodies that will be available for us scrapbookers to buy.

Perhaps because I work in marketing, perhaps because I’m a tightwad or perhaps because I’ve been scrapping too long but... none of these things are making me terribly excited or even mildly interested. They mainly look like gadgets and gizmos designed more to part me from my money than to solve a problem or design issue. Or, they are the same old thing as is already available except that it’s in a different color. Nothing that is making my heart beat faster or anything. Even the designs and color schemes don’t seem that new anymore.

My purely personal opinion is that manufacturers are becoming more complacent and business focussed and less creative. It’s all about the money and how they can make the same old look like something new so that scrappers buy it. And let me tell you – I’m usually a marketers’ dream and will buy something just because it’s got a cool box! So for these new things to leave me cold is unusual and symptomatic of something deeper going on.

So I’m kind of pleased – I don’t feel that I want to buy anything and, as I have plenty of stash already, I probably don’t need to anyway.

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