Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Cure for Choice Overload

Whenever I take a long break from stamping, it always take a while to find my mojo. My preparation for vacation, time away on vacation, and week of chaos following vacation constituted a reeeeally long break, and my mojo was nowhere in sight last week. Hours spent at my craft desk yielded nothing but pretty trash. 

I had two responses to this frustration: 1) a spending spree and 2) a purge. 

The spending spree was completely crazy and unnecessary, as y'all must know. My craft room overflows with stamps and ink and paper and stuff...some of which I never even use. There's plenty of choice already in my craft room, and no need to add to the choice overload that was clearly crippling me. 

Choice overload is a real thing, and studies show it inhibits creativity. I blogged years ago about how I felt more creative when I artificially limited myself. For instance, I might say to myself, "You can only use this randomly chosen stamp set, a cool color palette, and three pieces of bling." And my creativity inevitably took off. 

Months ago, I pulled all the stamps in my cold storage out and integrated them back into my stash with the mistaken goal of testing them all out. This turns out to have been a spectacularly bad idea. Last week, the sheer quantity of stuff in my craft space--with new stuff added!--left me flailing. I couldn't even generate randomly chosen limits. My mind was completely overwhelmed.

Sunday afternoon, frustration peaked, and I purged. 


All this stampy goodness now resides in my unfinished storage area. You, kind readers, won't be shocked to know there's still plenty of stampy goodness that survived the cut in my craft room. What matters, though, is how I felt after the Great Purge of 2017. 

AWESOME!

I immediately pulled out a random, relatively new punch and four Tim Holtz Distress inks, and went to work. 


The greens and blues are calm and hopeful, and the confetti punch makes wonderful irregular mosaic tiles. Two different arrangements came to mind...a rectangular cluster with the sentiment integrated as the "cornerstone" of the construction, and a straight-ish border.


Aren't those colors beautiful?





These two cards took a while to make. I laid out the tiles first and then used tweezers to pick them out and glue them into place. But this construction was incredibly relaxing. No need for precision...just pleasing organic variety. 

Picking warmer colors would add a ton of energy to this idea, but I needed some soothing cards for my own stash. The next step with this punch will be to fill in large punched or perhaps cut shapes using my Fiskars ShapeCutter system.
Whatever happens, I feel rejuvenated and have made a number of cards in the past two days. Mojo's back and it's never felt so good to have fewer choices.

Have you ever experienced choice overload? What are your tricks for overcoming it if you have? If you purge, what do you do with those things you get rid of? (I plan on selling grab boxes soon.)

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,
Susan


Supplies
stamps: Technique Tuesday (top card sentiment), Clearly Besotted (bottom card sentiment)
paper: Papertrey white
ink: Archival black; Distress Inks salty ocean, mowed grass, broken china, peacock feathers
accessories: Tim Holtz mini inking tool, confetti punch, glue pen, tweezers

25 comments:

  1. Fabulous fun card! My favorite colors ever 😊 I don't purge, I ignore lol

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  2. Great cards, love the look of this punch! No purging but I can relate to being overwhelmed by too many choices, tidying up and putting things out of sight helps...slightly lol, Cathy x

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  3. I need to purge,but I am very bad at it!

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    Replies
    1. Practice makes it easier, I promise. But it's definitely an ongoing process.

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  4. I need to purge,but I am very bad at it!

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  5. I occasionally purge. Giving away or selling what I know I will probably never use.

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  6. I do know how that feels, and I'm not sure if my overload comes from too much stuff or looking at too many blogs every day. I have started keeping anything new in a separate container and waiting to integrate it into my regular storage until I have used it at least 3 times. I look through my stamps and dies every so often to see if there's anything I can get rid of, and if there is I try to sell it either online or at my local LSS semi-annual stamp sale. It's an ongoing battle, I think. There is so much inspiration on blogs and it's hard to resist wanting all of the new things out there.

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    1. Ongoing battle...or simply the journey of a crafter. I wonder!

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  7. Love these cards, the colours and the tiles. I'm not sure I could do this...too much of a perfectionist.

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  8. love how these came out. all that fun color makes me happy. well, as you know, I purge on a regular basis and could not do this hobby otherwise. I cannot handle too much stuff. I feel guilty and overwhelmed. I usually give the stuff away to blog readers or hold a giveaway on the blog. The ONE time I sold a box of mystery stuff the person complained that it wasn't good enough. UGH

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    Replies
    1. You're an inspiration, Joan, in more ways than one!

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  9. Your cards are lovely! I have never purged but like another person, I keep all my new stuff in a separate box until I use it. I too go into a slump when I haven't stamped for a long time. I was off Jan to Apr and it was hard to get my mojo back. The new Tim Holts Oxide inks saved me. Good luck!

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    1. New stuff to play with is often helpful! Happy stamping, Pat!

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  10. Love, love these cards and colors! I think they're incredible with just the right mix of organic and organized.

    Too many choices. Oh yeah.My main methods of coping, which I'm not really successful at, are going through periods of purging and denial of purchasing new stuff. Because:
    1. My memory isn't great, so I forget what I already have and buy duplicates.
    2. I have stuff I've never used because at the time I thought it was neat but never learned how to use. And then I've forgotten what I have. (See No. 1)
    3. Pinterest and Youtube are much too distracting—but fascinating. I watch, get enthused, then forget to use the technique or how to find it again. (See No. 1) Or need to buy new stuff.

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    1. None of the rest of us has ever experienced what you have. Not at all.

      Bwaahaaahaaaa! All the time. Possibly. ;-)

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  11. I haven't needed to purge. For me, when I lose my mojo I can usually bring it back by either just flipping through my stamps or conversely starting with a technique I want to try, then looking for a stamp set that lends itself well to the technique. Usually works. Maybe I start with a stencil, embossing folder, or a background stamp, then look for a stamp set that coordinates for a focal image and sentiment. Like bluejeannes problem #3 above, my problem is the internet. Blogs, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, emails from craft stores and manufactures... I'd make *way* more stuff if I wasn't always looking to see what everyone else was making! I would also buy less stuff if I wasn't always seeing what everyone else was using! But, I also wouldn't know as many cool techniques if I wasn't checking out all the online inspiration. It's hard to find balance because once I get on the computer I don't walk away until I absolutely need to be doing something else... feeding the family, going to bed, leaving the house. It's a time suck for sure!

    Susan, if you are parting with Doodlie Doo I would gladly pay you for it! It's been out of stock for a long time at PTI and I can't find it on ebay or Splitcoast either. I have coveted it for so long and when I was finally ready to pull the trigger it was no longer available :-( I'm happy to take a whole box of stuff as long as DoodlieDoo is in it, if that works better for you :-)

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  12. I love these cards! They remind me of a stream with all those blues and greens moving.

    I sometimes get stuck feeling like there's too many things in my craft room. I've always been very judicious in what I bring in because I can get overwhelmed easily with too many choices -- of anything, let alone crafty goodies. And I've got a lot less than I could have if I bought every time I saw something cute on a blog... I've been inspired by you and for the past year and a half I've been doing a Use It or Lose It challenge of my own; I listed all my stamp sets on a spreadsheet and I'm watching what I gravitate to over the course of several months. With the ones I'm not touching, I'm trying to be really honest with myself and deciding do I really still like it or would it be better off in someone else's craft room. Knowing that I have that challenge going on, and the choice to keep or de-stash, takes a lot of pressure off me to keep everything.

    I love coming to your blog because you love to use things that you've owned for awhile. Plus you are exact with grammar and punctuation, and that makes this grammar nerd feel very welcome here! ;-)

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  13. I love these cards and the colors. thanks for sharing.

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  14. I am in the process of decluttering the stuff in my basement and I feel as though my craft room will be next. Thank you for the words of wisdom on choice overload. :-)
    April

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  15. I started ridding myself of paper and stamps because I wasn't using them. I'm sure some lucky person at Goodwill was thrilled. Two months later I signed up, again, with SU and now I'm having fun again with my stash...new is good!

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  16. CHeck with your local preschools that meet in churches, churches, schools, and senior centers - a lot of times they are happy to receive these types of goodies!

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  17. Love that fabulous mosaic design ... I do giveaways on my blog by filling flat rate boxes and share the wealth.

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment!