Sunday, April 3, 2011

Monday Blah, Blah, Blah and a Card

I've been experiencing a crisis of sorts in my stamping. You see, my 2009 resolution to use all my image stamps is pretty much accomplished. The very few images I haven't used were bought for scrapbooking anyway, so I don't feel it is cheating to leave those out.

What do I do next?


That resolution gave structure and purpose to my stamping for over two years, and now it's gone. Oh, I'm still stamping, but I feel sort of aimless and adrift, if that makes any sense at all. When I'm not in my craft room, I develop all sorts of intentions of purging and simplifying and trying something new. When I actually go to do these things, I find myself whimping out.

I gaze longingly at the A Muse catalog and then tell myself that no matter how yummy that paper looks, it would be silly to buy more cardstock. I'm resolved to use up my colored cardstock, but much of what I make with it won't get posted here, mainly because I don't like a lot of the colors...they just aren't me. Should I just sell the stuff that isn't me and start over? 

That's a rhetorical question.

The truth is, I'm sharing my floating in the doldrums with you not so you will feel sorry for me or offer up advice, but so you will know that YOU are not alone whenever you hit the doldrums yourself. These slow periods happen to most everyone who passionately engages in any hobby. They are not permanent, nor are they unhealthy. They just are. I'm trying out a few new resolutions, reorganizing some stuff, studying magazines, and generally taking it easy, making cards using my Second Theory and plugging away at using up that cardstock!

This card is 7.25" x 3.5" in size.

What do you do when you're in the doldrums?

stamps: SU butterfly, Shady Tree Studios sentiment
ink: Memento
paper: SU pretty in pink; Mark's Finest white
accessories: SU butterfly punch, Fiskar's bracket border punch, rhinestone


  1. So... this is what you make when you're in the doldrums. Note to self: try stamping when in the doldrums more often. :D What a lovely card.

  2. This is my doldrums routine...
    - Stare at my stamp sets for at least an hour.
    - Begin to twitch.
    - Rifle through my patterned papers looking for inspiration.
    - Twitch a bit more.
    - Pull out a variety of stamps, inks, papers etc.
    - Stare and twitch.
    - Declare that I can't do ANYTHING with this and shove them aside. No, I don't put them away, I leave them out so i have something else to chastise myself about later...
    - Stare at my stamps again... in between twitches.
    - Storm from the room muttering incoherently.

    Seems to work for me... ;-)

  3. Beautiful card! I love that butterfly.
    When I'm in the doldrums I ban myself from the Craft Cave for a week. Usually after a few days I'm desperate to get back in there ('cause you always want what you can't have right?) but I make myself wait out the ban. Always seems to unblock the flow of the old creative juices!

  4. When I'm in the stamping doldrums, I have a couple of options. If the weather is nice, I go out and garden instead. If it's pouring with rain or the middle of winter, I curl up on the couch with a good book or my knitting. Then the doldrums seem to pass and I long to get back to the craft room. On the odd occasion that I think the doldrums have passed but I sit in there staring at my paper mindlessly, I go to my Favorites on SCS and scan through for something to CASE - that usually fixes it - thank goodness for SCS and blogs like yours!

  5. When I have the doldrums about card-making (in the midst of it right now) I hit the books! Reading for a few days seems to free up my creativity. I coloured some images today, but have no desire to turn them into the cards I need right now. Maybe a couple of mystery novels will solve it!

  6. I have to agree with Lindsey .... I can't get this level of card when I'm "On"... I need to drag myself to the craft room when the doldrums hit. This is a lovely card, and so open to many sentiments.

    Danielle - ROTFLMBO!!!!!!

    My doldrums lead to shopping ....usually for more stuff I don't need and will never use. I have two boxes of stuff that I shoved on to the top shelf of the craft room closet a few weeks back. My self reasoning for this action?? ........when I leave this earth someone else can deal with it. How pathetic is that?? :D

  7. Sorry to hear you are in the doldrums...sure doesn't show in your cards, but fully understand how you feel. Sometimes for me it is just taking a bit of a break from stamping - a few days, a week, gasp a month or so and quite often I am wanting to stamp again.

    Other times it is doing a few challenges to get things going again, and other times it is CASing someone for a jump start.

    If the paper you have is causing your duldrums because the colours aren't you - sell it on eBay or your blog so you can buy colours you enjoy working with and make you happy to create. Good news is they eventually do leave :)

  8. Boy do I get what you are saying. I usually scan the internet and magazines, get a gazillion ideas stored up in my head and wait until the spirit moves me to put ink to paper.

  9. I ask my best friend to come over and spend the afternoon stamping with me. She usually brings both her great ideas and her toys and once I get started, the momentum carries me through...

  10. True to my nature, I don't have a set routine when I'm in the doldrums. I do whatever strikes my fancy. Right now I'm tearing my stamping area apart in hopes of getting it better organized. This is going to take a couple more days. I may show photos on my blog sometime this week.

  11. I happen to have lots of doldrums... but usually after lots of blog browsing & SCS gallery looking... I'd get my mojo back... most of the time.

    Your card here is simply sweet! I love that sentiment... so true~

  12. Hard to imagine you are in the doldrums when you make such a beautiful card. Mmmm - on the paper issue; I agree with one of the above comments to sell off/donate what you don't like/need and get the new 'stuff'. I too love the AMuse catalogue but it is not available in my country. Paper looks yummy. I don't have a blog so apologies for signing in as anonymous.

  13. If I get into the doldrums, I usually watch Barbara Gray from Clsrity Stamps and by the time I have watched her for an hour, I am bursting to try all the things she does, and to use what I have to try to emulate her brilliance. I was like that yesterday, and after watching her program on Create and Craft, I managed to use the computer in conjunction with her stamps (which I already had) to make a special card for a birthday coming up. I am now desperate to finish all my chores and get back to have a go at something else. I have set myself the target of emptying my bits and pieces box (using it not throwing it away) and making up a kit that I have no idea why I bought. After a struggle with those, my brain is flying with ideas to avoid the stress of keeping up with those resolutions. Hope you soon get your mojo back in full. In the meantime, your cards are so lovely, anyway.

  14. I stamp some flowers and color. sometimes it is a big mess or I have no way to use what I made but at least I'm practicing technique!

  15. I totaly sympathise . . . we all get the doldrums from time to time. I have to walk away from my desk and go read a good book, or if nothing takes my fancy . . . I make my bathroom GLEAM! Shiny bathrooms make me happy!

    Your card is fab anyway . . .

    Hugs, Sandra

  16. Har har i have lots of those with days racked in pain and my answer is get crafting and loose myself in blogland works wonders Luv Sue x

  17. Gosh there's no doldrums about this card at all!

    I have a hard time occasionally keeping going as I make cards to order and I don't have the luxury of taking a break. Where I have a customer who has had so many cards I struggle to come up with something completely different - I will design in my head while trying to get to the morning I'll try it, invariably it doesn't work...I may try three or four designs before I get a pleasing result. The end card is usually very far away from the design in my hard sometimes you couldn't be paid for it. Colour is usually an issue with some cards so I'll start with card, as I personally write the sentiments and usually a long verse inside I sometimes need to mix gouache to create the right colour of 'ink'.....a lot of customers leave the choice of verse to me...I keep ring binders for each occasion and choose from that....sorry, I'm rambling on too much is hard when you don't feel much like creating but have to 'keep calm and carry on'.

  18. This is where I am at, at the moment. Whilst at work, would love to be home stamping. Get there, and then nothing AT ALL. I have contented myself with a few must do jobs, ho hum!!! and then abit of copying (no other word for it). I wish the urge to clean the house would transport me out of this!!

    By the way, great card, as others have said, I wish my doldrums looked like this.

  19. You? With the doldrums? Please! I can't tell by looking at your card.
    My doldrum / lost mojo rehab usually involves some form of chocolate and a huge cup of coffee. I stare at my stamps while listening to a movie, and then start watching the movie. After the movie is over and the chocolate and coffee are gone, then I blog hop. No stamps have been inked, no paper has been cut, but I do feel a little better!

  20. Ay.... Susan.... si yo tuviera la décima parte de todas las bellezas que tienes para hacer tus tarjetas..... Creo que nunca me sentiría deprimida. En mi país nada se consigue, ni un sólo sello de esos tan hermosos que veo cada día en tus tarjetas. Bueno, hay algunas chicas que venden cositas que traen de USA pero eso es en la capital de mi país, que está muy lejos y por eso hay que pagar costos de envío muy elevados. Por eso no puedo comprar nada y sólo me dedico a pasear por tu blog y por otros a maravillarme con las cosas que ustedes hacen. Mi trabajo es muy pobre en comparación. Por eso... noooo, no tires nada!!!!!!!! lo pones en una caja y lo mandas a mi casa!!!!! jajajaja.... Bella tarjeta amiga, como todas las que nos muestras. Bendiciones para tí.

  21. Wow, I guess I'm lucky that mojo is always visiting me. Sorry if it leaves you and is here instead.
    Just a thought... just because you're not in love with certain colors, I bet others will be enamored with them. Operation Write Home would be very grateful for donated cards.

  22. Well, that's a great way to work yourself out of the doldrums! Use a lovely bright color of CS, totally change the size of the card, and put a beautiful butterfly on it --- who can't just love what you've come up with? You know, I never think outside the box in card sizes --- I just cut the sheet to get 2 cards out of it. BUT if I cut it larger and got just one card out of it, I could still use the leftover piece for scrap for another card, so it wouldn't be wasted! Your card gives me a whole new avenue to explore. Thank you! And I never get in the doldrums --- I just look up one of your cards and pretty much copy it!

  23. Brilliant card to produce from the doldrums Susan but I know exactly what you are experiencing. The light bulb flash of inspiration, that satisfying snap of a great idea coming to fruition, Oh yes I know it's absence too. No matter, it will return have no fear:0)
    I have a theory that CAS cards eventually need a little more so I veer away from time to time with fussy crowded work and enjoy that for it's own sake. When I return to CAS I'm refreshed.
    I hope you're freshly invigorated soon:0) xxx

  24. Oh how I identified with all of these comments. I've noticed that when I hit deep bottom doldrums it is because my brain is tired or on overload from some other reason. Although I may not physically feel tired, the creative juices are just in suspension. Cleaning usually works to free it up! Either reorganizing my craft table, or major cleaning of the house. It's as if the sorting and tossing also get rid of the cobwebs in my brain... Kraftyaunt

  25. I have had an extended period of the doldrums
    recently and am just seeing the end of the tunnel.I agree with you that it is part of the process and so mostly I just ride it through. This time, it seemed to last longer and I wondered if I would ever get back. I longed to ever day but just couldn't. Sometimes, I think it is from overload--seeing too much product or
    even too many ideas. Anyway, what finally
    worked this time was setting three simple and
    specific goals of techniques or card layout to
    try. Actually, I credit your second rule for
    getting the ball rolling.

    Be patient with yourself. You are so creative;
    your mojo will return!

  26. For me I do a lot of blog browsing and seem to find something to inspire me, usually to much! Then I start several projects and make a mess of my small space!

  27. I commend you on accomplishing your "use every stamp" effort. Now if this were me, and thankfully for YOU you are NOT me, I would challenge myself to use only remnants of patterned papers; no virgin papers should be cut into. But you don't use patterned papers, so forget it.

    What about challenges? There are scads of sketch challenges out there. I've found a lot of inspiration from them, and it definitely sparks the creative flow.

    And I agree with the others: if this is a doldrums card, I want in! :)

  28. The doldrums stink!!! I am there right now and have been for a is driving me nuts! I want so badly to create and when I finally get the time I can't. All of the statements above are soooooo relatable, I am actually glad to know that it does happen to others (sorry!), it feels like you are the only one when you are in the midst of it, don't you think?...such a lonely place to be for a crafter! lol! I get books from the library on crafts and my reg. fiction reads too, then page through them ravenously hoping for inspiration to hit, scan the blogs (yours, of course!) and SCS ~ all of that usually works...not yet this time.... :(

    Your card is wonderful, not like the ones I make when I am desperate to create! ha!

    I like your idea on getting rid of the colored cardstock you don't like, I need to do that (what was I thinking when I bought the in colors that year! ie: razzleberry,curry)...anyway, sorry for the babbling, as you can see this post hit home... :)

    p.s. LOVE your blog!!!! even with the doldrums! :)

  29. Rainy, snowy March and rainy April lead to doldrums in many aspects. Your daily email is something I really look forward to so I can get away from the doldrums. I have a Simplicity folder in my email account and move many of your posts to it.
    I have not made a card in two weeks, but I read a book, made a baby quilt, baked up a storm, and began spring cleaning.
    NOW I am finally ready to get back to stamping. AND I have a folder of ideas ready for me. Thanks for all the help.

  30. To get out of the doldrums, I have to get fired up. And that usually happens when I find something new to me: a great idea, a technique I haven't tried, an unusual color palette, fresh paper, or new stamps.

  31. It's a beautiful card! I couldn't possibly produce anything this nice when I'm in the doldrums...feeling bereft of name it.

    When I'm like that I have to just stay away from stamping. Otherwise I just waste materials and time. Even if something I made was half decent I wouldn't know it and it would end up in the trash.

    I will usually consult a magazine, or a blog ( like yours! ) or the gallery at SCS and try to copy a layout or a color combo to get myself going again. Sometimes it works, sometimes it just means I made one fairly decent card but am still empty of any of my own creative spark.

    I know you didn't WANT opinions on what to do with your colored cardstock; but I'm giving you one anyway! :-) When SU did that huge color reorganization last fall, it gave me the freedom to rid myself of all the colors I didn't really like in the first place! I had been a demo so decided I NEEDED every color; but many of them were barely ever used. I not only sold off retired colors I didn't like but pulled out one or two that are still current and sold them too!

    SUCH FREEDOM! It really felt refreshing to only be dealing with colors I loved. There is ALWAYS someone who LOVES a color that leaves you cold. Even if you only have the paper ( not ink pad and marker ) you can bet someone will snatch up whatever is gathering dust in your craft space. I say get rid of it, get a little money and free up some space to invest in new colors that you love. ( like that new amuse studio FALL color still my heart! )

  32. I love to see your theories in action! When I am not feeling crafty, I don't force it. Instead, I read!

  33. 1) I case something, trying not to change a thing...harder than you'd think sometimes
    2) Stamp up a kit or attend a class
    3) I stamp basic layouts (the go to, no brainers that I use over & over) using whatever papers move the emotion meter (make be happy --- pXXs me off).
    This gives me options but makes me feel productive until I'm back to "normal" (I think that's a moving target...).

    Love this layout.

  34. I look on SCS, blogs, and video tutorials for inspiration when I'm have the crafting doldrums.

    As far as your not so lovely cardstock is concerned, it sounds like it is stressing you so just get rid of it. Put it in a yard sale, give it away or donate to Goodwill. Just get rid of it! I enjoy looking at magazines when I have time, but that's just it -- I never have time. All the magazines piling up were stressing me so I am letting all the subscriptions run out! No more for me! :)

  35. When the stamping doldrums hit (as in where I am right now), I do other crafty things. I have been sewing, crocheting, and wrapping up some projects that have been waiting too long for me to finish. I've tried stamping a couple times and just ended up staring at everything, so I pick up my crochet hook and go to town. You don't have to be particularly creative to crochet a doily or a pot scrubber!

    Loved your 'doldrums' card. Your color theories are right on, too. Wish I could think like that!

  36. I mope around, mostly. I'm a big believer in moping. Not very helpful, right?

  37. I've got no advice for the doldrums, I just want to tell you I look forward to a new card every day on your blog. I think your style is great! you are an inspiration to me, Sandy

  38. So sorry to hear you are in the doldrums. If it's because you don't have a goal like you did from 2009, why not make another goal. You know like make cards and combine stamps from at least two sets in one card, or use your stamps for something other than they were intended for, or take that paper you don't like and make cards to give to others, like random acts of kindDness. You could also send cards you make to different people. I got through the SCS Need a Lift forum and find lots of people who are worse off than me and I send THEM a card. I look through the galleries and challenges on SCS or blogs to see if there are 3-D items I'd like to make. It takes the stress off of not feeling like making cards. The 3-D items could be filled with candy and given to someone. Every time I feel down I try to find something I can do for someone else. That always makes me feel better.
    May God help you get out of the doldrums and help you to create and be an inspiration and a light to those around you.

  39. This too shall past. I find it always help to surf other blogs or get a new papercrafting magazine, or take a break. We will understand if you skip a day or two, girl!

  40. Susan, we must be in the same state of mind. This year I proposed to use every stamp in my collection and that is A LOT of them. I am marking them with a red dot as I use them so I know they have been used. I too have an excess of papers and have REFUSED to purchase anything but white and basics that I run out of. I am in a use it up mode in every area of my life. It feels good. Happy Days ahead to you.

  41. Hard to imagine you having the doldrums, Susan! Your card is lovely!
    When my mojo takes a vacation, I read. I just lose myself in a book, or two and don't even go near my stamping room! It works for me. I also page through my old magazines. Sometimes a color combo or a layout will send me into a stamping frenzy. :)


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