Two comments on yesterday's post really stood out for me. Take a gander:
Marty: "good news and bad news. good news...i LOVE these cards. bad news...i need BOTH of these sets and that is going to mess with my "no more ordering new stamps till i use the ones i already have" project."
Yoona: "My initial reaction: I wish I had those sets. My better judgement: Susan, you are actually showing me that I should and could use what I have to make totally different cards. And that's truly CREATING!"
Despite the fact that these two comments are polar opposites in meaning, they both reflect what I consider to be an essential truth about papercrafting: new product is both everything and nothing.
Whatever do I mean? Well, on the one hand, very little in papercrafting is as inspiring and satisfying as getting a cardboard box of new product on your doorstep. New product, if we have the discipline to use it rather than just collect it, is fun and necessary to keep us excited about what we're doing. It's like the rush we get when we buy new clothes...we feel pretty and hip and happy when we put them on. What a lift that is to our ego and sense of style! After a while, however, clothes stop being so wonderful and fresh. They start to look dated or shabby or ill-fitting. We get bored with them and start looking for something new, and the whole process starts over again.
On the other hand, creativity doesn't really need new product. Instead, seeing new product can make us look at our old product differently. What do I have on hand that would work in a similar way to the new stuff out there? How can I take something old and languishing and make it look fresh and new with a new color combo, embellishment, or layout? That's the essence of my Variations on a Set strategy: pull out old stuff and play around with it in fresh new ways.
My purchasing has slowed down considerably in the past two years. Partly, this slowdown is the result of my having accumulated a stash of stuff so big it stands as a lasting tribute to my obsessive nature. When you already have a bazzilion flower stamps, it's hard to keep buying more and feel fiscally and morally responsible at the same time.
But when too much time lapses between purchases, I find myself getting bored and creatively stale. It's time for an infusion of fun new things to stimulate my creativity.
The key, I think, is balance. After a couple of days playing with my new A Muse stamps, for instance, I found myself pulling out some paper that I haven't messed with in over a year and doing something completely different with it, something inspired by a set of cards in a magazine. The creative flourish that resulted will show up here, soon!
I guess the point behind these musings is to enjoy new stuff but don't forget about what you already have.
Now that I've typed that, it sounds pretty trivial. But I still think it's important.
Anyway, today's card using Papertrey's Dot Spot (an old set for me) really made me happy, mainly because it could be sent to a guy even though it has bling on it. The dark colors (Memento Rhubarb and Danube) work pretty well with all the white space, I think. Plus, the design is stable, solid, balanced, symmetrical, and somehow oddly serious. Just like guys can be.
How-To Tips: To line up the dot circles perfectly, use a gridded acrylic block. Stamp the center circle first, then the two smaller circles, and finally the outside blue circles. The sentiment is a horizontal one, so I stamped the Birthday first, then the Happy over it, also using the gridded block to get everything nice and straight and centered.
stamps: Papertrey Birthday Basics, Dot Spot
accessories: rhinestones, corner chomper