Saturday, December 27, 2014

Plans for 2015




'Tis the season to think about resolutions and goals, and last night, while everyone else in my house was peacefully sleeping, I sat at my craft desk and reflected on crafty plans for 2015. Earlier in the day, I spent several hours cleaning out and straightening my craft supplies, moving a few to the unfinished area of the basement and putting others within easier reach.

I still haven't decided what to do about the ribbon stash.

You see, for me, my craft space organization helps guide my creativity. Clutter--unnecessary or unused supplies taking up visible space or labeled drawers--drains my creativity, while useful things energize and inspire me. Ribbon used to be useful; now, it's just pretty, arranged in rainbow display in glass jars on a shelf. And it's pretty uselessness is starting to annoy me.

Either I need to start using it, or stash it out of sight, or get rid of it entirely.

At the same time these organizational thoughts rattled around in my head, I remembered Ali Edwards' encouragement to create a crafty manifesto, a motto, or some sort of mantra to encourage creativity, and also to have "one word" for the year...an experiment I've tried with varying degrees of failure over the past ten years or so.

As I cleaned off the cork board over my desk earlier in the day, I pulled off a 3" x 5" card with the following written on it: "Do Simple Things Well." I read this on Joan B's blog several years ago, and it stuck with me.

That's my crafty mantra: Do Simple Things Well.

Put that together with the reality of dozens of different craft supplies...an abundance flirting with the border of pathological hoarding...and we have a bit of a contradiction, don't we?

Simple is good, but the sheer quantity of crafty crap inhabiting my space argues against simplicity. Sometimes, tension between two things can be good...a way of maintaining balance and harmony. Sometimes, such tension creates unnecessary stress. The key, for me at least, is to keep the tension healthy and productive.

Hence my plans for 2015.

In past years, I've emphasized using your stamps, and even have a page on this here blog dedicated to a Use-Your-Stamps Challenge. Last night, it occurred to me that I have totally aced the UYS Challenge. No stamps enter my stash until they've been used productively on a number of cards or crafty projects. I no longer buy piles of stamps and hoard them, uninked, like Smaug guarding his gold. Nope. I'm good. The habit of using them before adding them to my stash is firmly engrained to the point of being annoying, and every stamp in my stash has been well-used and justifies the space it takes up.

Now, it's time to use the OTHER stuff in my space. Use it, and decide whether to keep it or move it out. Stuff like colored pencils and watercolor crayons (both rarely used) and stuff like metallic markers and Stickles (both often used). Without trying too hard, I made a list of such supplies and came up with thirty-six items hoarded.

That's when I got tired and went to bed.

So 2015 is my year to Use My Hoard and figure out what in it will help me Do Simple Things Well.

Perhaps you'd like to join me, or perhaps you'd like to expand your hoard and do complicated things well. Doesn't matter. Like the card above says, "Start where you are, but don't stay there."

Let's get moving, folks!

What will your crafty focus be for 2015? Please share in the comments. What you share might give other stampers helpful ideas, and that's always a good thing!

27 comments:

  1. For a few years I have been using one word for the year...this year my word is going to be "responsible"...that will apply to more than just in the stamp room! Being responsible is also about not taking on responsibility that isn't my responsibility.

    UYSC has always overwhelmed me and today I realize it is because I have too much still. I'm going to sort the sets to decide what I prefer then decide what to do with the rest. I've done well at not purchasing new stamps during 2014.

    Thanks for your blog, I was glad to read your thoughts today.

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    1. I started the UYSC about seven years ago, and just now feel like I finished. Don't feel bad for continuing to work on it!!!!

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  2. I hate when I write a comment, and then realize that the "comment as" needs a choice, and when I choose Google, it erases my comment!!

    Anyway, I don't even know where to start with a goal for 2015!! Today I want to take some photos of my Maelstrom for a local organizing contest, and then I plan to start sorting like with like in cardboard boxes. I need to at least know what I have before I can start organizing it. For today I'd love to clear enough physical and mental space to make some thank you cards!

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  3. I am being "forced" to move out of my apartment for 3 weeks as the remodeling of the building gets underway. They will set me up in a furnished one nearby. So, I am in the process of organizing and re-evaluating my crafting supplies hoard. But, it is so hard to get rid of things I "might want to use sometime". I can only take some things with me as I won't have a desk, so this is a perfect time to do this. Thanks for the inspiration, Susan. I like all your ideas. Not wanting to copy you, my words will have to be "USE IT!". Yes, I have to shout at myself. :-)

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    1. That sounds really frustrating, but hopefully the remodel will make your place better!

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  4. great post and thanks for the mention. this is such a great time of year to set goals. I'm still working on them!

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  5. In 2015 I will organise my crafty stuff. My desk is ridiculous. For a CAS stamper, I sure have a cluttered work space! I like your motto "Do simple things well", it really resonates with me. It's raining here. Second day of rain with a week of it forecast ahead. I think that is my signal to do some crafty organisation. :-)

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  6. As I read your post, Susan, I'm taking a breaking from cleaning/purging/organizing my craft supplies. I am overwhelmed by the task. I have so much stuff, and while I have a room, I am very unorganized. My word had to be ORGANIZE, with an emphasis on USING what I have. Like you, I have loads of ribbon that I seldom use. I must start using it or get rid of it. It's a huge undertaking, but I am determined. Please contine your inspirational and encouraging posts. Thanks!

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  7. I have been on a bit of a crusade in using up all the patterned paper I have, that is on going (could be for quite some time). Like you, I had a tidy up just before Christmas, well, it really was a clean out. I love/hate it when I find things I had to have, then never used, but astoundingly have just the right idea in mind for it to be used up. So now that my inks are all organised and labelled a la Jennifer McGuire, I plan to use said inks a whole lot more with afore mentioned had-to-haves.

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  8. I have been organizing my crafty supplies a lot lately, and in the process I'm purging. I have two piles for stuff I don't plan to keep: Sell and Donate. I just finished organizing my dies, and pulled a bunch that haven't been used in YEARS and they hit the Sell pile. Other things are hitting the Donate pile. If I don't use them, they go. It's all very cleansing. :)

    It's like cutting your hair. That first cut is the most difficult. Then you find yourself saying, "what's another inch or two?" I've found my hoarded 12x12 SU papers are no longer necessary, and they are in the Donate pile. See? That was easy.

    I applaud you in your continuing effort to use your stuff. You've successfully used ALL THE STAMPS, and now you're moving on to other piles. May your Donate pile be large and make someone else very happy.

    PS: I don't want any of it. :D

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    1. LOL! I desperately need to get my hair cut.

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  9. Awesome post, Susan, and good food for thought. Even though I'm only stamping since 2013, I've also applied your rule of not entering a stamp or die or stencil into my stash until it has been used at least once. Shamefully, some of my "new" supplies sit in the "bin of shame" for almost 6 months until they finally join their _experienced_ friends ;)

    So, my word for 2015 is "Restrain".

    I found myself buying stuff because it looks nice and I see awesome cards on the web made with it, but I personally don't have any original ideas on how to use it. Therefore, I need to be more restrained when buying stuff, applying the Jennifer McGuire method (coming up with at least 3-5 designs I want to create with a thing before I decide to buy it). And it will also help me not to spent _all_ my money on crafty stuff but leave some for, you know, living (like, vacations etc.).

    As for organization – I rock that, I'm super organized, but I find that I tend to procrastinate organizing. I also realized that most of my organizational "problem" arise from me having too much stuff I neither use nor will use in the future. So I'm rigorously purging my stuff and selling seldom used or even unused supplies. No point in keeping them. It's better to restock my budget and to make another crafter happy by offering cheap (yet still high quality) supplies.

    Thanks so much for making me think more of what I should (and shouldn't) do next year!

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  10. I think my word this year will be RELEASE. Maybe I'm inspired by my daughter singing "Let It Go" all over the house at full volume... and in different languages... I do need to let stuff go, but I also need to let go of the guilt and fretting about not liking or using things I've already bought.
    I would share one tip that has considerably reduced my ribbon stash; I use it on wrapped presents. It looks prettier than regular curling ribbon, and when the gift is for one of my crafty friends, they freak out about what pretty ribbon it is and get all excited to save it and use it for crafting!

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  11. I craft in a small box room, which stores things we cannot fit into the rest of the house we rent including the tumble dryer. On a cold wet day it isn't possible to craft with the tumble dryer on and window wide open. A great device for spewing out dust and fluff too! I am de-cluttering what supplies I have. If I haven't used it in the year it is going. I have closed my blog, chucked a lot of things away and am now wondering what to do with my surplus stamps. I have no organisation o persons to give them to. But what liberty and freedom in having a clear out! My son and I went through his toys, books and games yesterday and he decided what he wanted to give away. He couldn't wait to show his Dad what he had done and of course some of the books will go to his school. So no doubt he will be praised by his teacher! There is a value of letting go, Corrie ten Boom once said 'Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” I think we also become more appreciative of what we have and stop thinking about what we don't have. Just because you can buy more things, doesn't mean you have to. Happy New Year!

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  12. Love your CAS beauty Susan. I can relate to your thoughts. I just organized my ribbon and twine today, using a carousel I got years ago and just today put it to use.

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  13. Great post! I have some things I never use but am afraid to get rid of because someday, SOMEDAY, I may use them..That's my biggest hurdle. I still use my ribbon. But I never use my Versa Magic Dew Drops. I have a tiny space in about a third of our small living room, where I stamp. Right now it's cluttered. I like to begin stamping in a clean area. I'm really not good with making goals (like I'll use all of my stamps this year) because I give up and fail. Maybe I should make short-term goals that are reachable or one-time things. I also begin way too many projects and don't finish them. Right now I'm reading 3 books and haven't gone back to them for weeks. I began crocheting two scarfs. One of them I'll take completely apart because I can't remember what stitch I used. I'm thankful I'm able to do all of these things. I just need to downsize and then actually use what's left.

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  14. Very encouraging post, Susan. Thanks! I used my Christmas vacation to completely gut my craft room. And it has taken the whole week to complete. (Man, am I a hoarder!) I have two full boxes of supplies that I'm donating to our local Boys & Girls Club. Some of the stuff has never even been used or open. I've decided that no new stamps will come to my house until I've used the ones I have. (Unless, or course, Lawn Fawn has some kind of spectacular Valentine inspiration week!) I solemnly swear that I will clean up my mess before starting another one, meaning, ALL of my supplies will be put away at the end of my projects. It's so much easier to create in an uncluttered area, with the full desktop on which to spread out. So my mantra will be: K.I.S.S. Keep It Ship Shape. Have a wonderful 2015!

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  15. ahhh -- where to start - I love your post, and can relate so well to it and to many of the other comments posted. I am a hoarder with my crafting supplies -- not anything else. My beautiful room is becoming a cluttered mess, but I don't have the will power to throw away (or donate, or sell) anything. And there is a scrapbook club in my school that would love the donation. And I continue to buy! I've tried the method of keep new purchases out to use before putting away. But the pile gets bigger, and then I put them away, many to never be used. I need an intervention!

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  16. What a fabulous response to today's post - I think you are on to something here Miss Susan! I'll just say it -- While I do not consider myself a hoarder, I can not bring myself to give my stuff away. Every time I have done this, I have needed said give aways. That said, my motto will simply be Make It Work. Rather then buy that image that is used so awesomely..... find a similar stamp and Make It Work. Yep, I think I am liking my motto :). BTW congrats on accomplishing your goal - that is seriously awesome. I look forward to your 2015 posts - you always get me thinking...

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    1. Good plan, Vicki. And I've noticed that people who do lots of challenges have a much harder time letting go of stuff. The ONLY times I've regretted getting rid of things were when I had to do a challenge and thought, "Dang, that thing I gave away would have been perfect for this!"

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  17. Very invigorating post, Susan - THANK YOU! I did start to "get organized" earlier this year but fell off that task (with relative ease, unfortunately) - hoping to get right back on soon. I have been somewhat better at being more selective in what I buy this year too - and echoing Vicki above, I have tried to make similar stamps work when inspired by others' work!

    Wishing you and all your readers a wonderful and very successful 2015!

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  18. Here is a way to use some ribbon...an idea posted on Pinterest that took me to your website! I chuckled... http://simplicitybylateblossom.blogspot.com/2011/05/inspired-goodnessand-way-to-use-ribbon.html
    and your opinion of pears goes way back I see...

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    1. Yes on the pears. I've been a medieval literature fanatic far longer than I've been a stamper!

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  19. Oh my, is it very wrong of me to be the first to say that my goal for the year is to move my craft hoard into a bigger room of the house so I can stretch out and not trip over my supplies?!? Seriously, when we moved into this house 8 years ago, the plan had always been for me to set up the guest room as a craft studio and downsize the guest room to the office I've been using. I just need to bite the bullet and make it happen. So much work, it scares me. I'm very indecisive and there will be a billion choices to make. I'm so intimidated by the idea... and yet I can barely think in the room I'm in. And so, only "have to" projects have gotten done in the last 4 months. Maybe my motto should be Strength... or Decide... or Do It. Dang, I can't even decide on a motto!!! Sadly, my husband is a woodworker that has offered to make any cabinetry or furniture I want for the craft studio. I need a good kick in the butt to just start. Hey... START. There you go, motto decided. :-)

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    1. Not wrong at all, Karen!!! Some people may very well NEED to enlarge their spaces and/or their hoards in 2015.

      As for your indecision, may I remind you that no decision you make needs to be permanent. Of course, you want anything you ask your husband to build to be "right," but why not just move into the space with what you have first? Get a feel for the space before you buy/build any new fixtures or furniture. Then you can make informed decisions about what the space needs and how you work in it.

      Some food for thought as you START!

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment!