Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year, New Challenges!

One-Layer Simplicity Challenge: The OLS monthly challenge continues for 2015 with eleven new challenges, each beginning on the first of the month and running through the 24th.  On the 28th of the month, the Design Team--Ardyth, Karen D., Cheryl E., Heather T., and I--will share our favorite details of the month's entries. Click over to the OLS blog on January 1, 2015 for the first challenge of the new year!

Use Your Hoard: Starting January 1st, I'm kicking off the follow-on to my Use-Your-Stamps Challenge. Use Your Hoard has three motivations behind it:

1. Clutter Clearing. Too much stuff clutters up our stamp spaces, making it hard to find the stuff we really love and use. As we Use Our Hoard, we will made decisions about what to keep and what to clear away, making our spaces much easier to work in.

2. Creative Karma. As we show our unused supplies love, hopefully they will love us back with refreshed and renewed creativity and inspiration.

3. Style Savvy. Sometimes, our style doesn't suit our supplies. For instance, I hardly ever do lumpy-bumpy cards, but I have a LOT of supplies (buttons, hardware, etc.) hanging around taking up space and weighing me down. Does my style need stretching or does my hoard need pruning? If we try to play with stuff, we might learn something new...or we might learn how to say goodbye more easily to unnecessary crap.

If any of that sounds good to you, join right in!

Step 1. Start by making a list of all the products and tools you have in your hoard. This might take a while, and if you're like me, you'll keep finding new things to add to the list as you open drawers and peek in boxes. You may see my list on this page HERE.

Step 2. Pick an item from your list and get started! Play around with it, search Pinterest or the interwebs for ideas, try new stuff, don't be afraid to screw things up or waste things. The whole point is TO USE YOUR HOARD. So use it. No apologies, no regrets.

Step 3. Reflect on and evaluate the product as you go. Is it fun to work with? Did you find it easy to use in ways that made you happy? Did you feel like it was fighting you the whole way? Was it too fussy or not fussy enough for you? Do you like the idea of it better than the application of it?

Step 4. Make a decision. Either a) keep it and store it for easy access in your craft space; b) toss it into a donation box that will go somewhere else when it's full; or c) keep it stored away from your craft space for future use or to re-evaluate at a future time. The third option is there for those who have a tough time letting go of stuff or who might have very legitimate reasons for holding onto things. For instance, even though I rarely use my Bind-It-All and accessories these days, I KNOW I will use it again. It's not going away permanently.

Step 5. Repeat Steps 1-4 until your whole list is finished! For some of us, this might take a while.

Now, some of you might not have a big hoard to use. You might have joined the stamping world recently, or perhaps had to downsize, or just have a small budget that makes you highly selective and careful with purchases. Watching what others do with their hoard can be very helpful for you, too! You'll see products in action, read honest evaluations of them, and can make better decisions of what might be worth your space and investment.

And now for another card using Doodlie-Do and some enamel dots.

And I mean that. You're amazing!!! Thank you so much for reading and supporting Simplicity, and for encouraging me as you do. And Happy New Year!!! I'm so excited to be starting another year with you and hope we all have a simply spectacular crafty year together!


  1. This is amazing! I'm definitely going to try this. My hoard has gotten so big that I can't find all the goodies that I have... Bring on the challenge! Also, Love this card! Very lovely.

  2. Great post, Susan, with plenty of food for thought. Those enamel dots really finish "You're Amazing" card nicely. Happy New Year!

  3. Looking forward to joining in some of your challenges in 2015!

  4. Great post. I am an avid follower, and seldom commenter, but you are fantastic, and i love te way you approach your art.

    1. Thanks, Richard. You're pretty fantastic yourself!

  5. Those are really good tips Susan. I do find, if I don't see it, I forget I have it. A List is a good idea. I really love how you used enamel dots on this. It breathes life into that image. Happy new Year to you.

  6. Love todays card! That gorgeous pop of color me likey! :) Your challenge sounds interesting....... I just might have to join in. :)

  7. Love your challenge, Susan! Got a real point there. I need to do this...vowed not to buy any more until I use everything I have...which will be hard, but now, with limited funds, makes it a bit easier. Think I'll accept this challenge and start that list. Adore this gorgeous card and definitely keeping my enamel dots, they DO make a difference on a card {such as your lovely one here!} and don't take up much space.
    Happy New Year to you, too!
    Hugs and keep smiling...
    Sunshine Sharon

  8. I'm definitely taking on your challenge. My husband and I are giving up our 3 bedroom home and moving to a much smaller, 2 bedroom senior apartment later this year. The second bedroom will still be my crafting space, but will be much smaller than the space I use now, so I've already started purging, but I have a looooooongggggg way to go. This challenge is a perfect way to to figure out what I really want to keep and what can be donated. Most of my donations go to a local nursing home where a good friend uses them in the activities she does with her Alzheimer's patients. Thanks for the challenge and Happy New Year!

    1. Best of luck to you on downsizing! At least your old stuff will go to a very good cause.

  9. Very pretty - the sentiment is well highlighted. Your challenge is one I should join. Hope to do so :)

  10. LOVE this! And yay for using what you've got.


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