Monday, February 24, 2014

A Funky Layout and Some Musings on Unintended Stupidity

Here's a layout that popped into my head one day. No idea from whence it came, but I was glad it did!

What makes this work for me is how the horizontal sentiment is the focal point, while the vertical accent contains diagonal lines and curvy hearts. There is so much going on here, but it's taking place in such a small area surrounded by so much white space that it has a clean, fresh feel to it.

Happy sigh!

And now for unintended consequences stupidity. If you're not interested in my blatherings, feel free to quit reading. You won't hurt my feelings.

Well, maybe a little. But I'll survive.

Anyway, one of my favorite "rules" I imposed in my craft space is this one: no stamp set will every be put away in my stash until every image in it is used. This is such a good rule, don't you think?

Yeah, I thought so, too, until the past three months.

After years of very limited stamp buying, I went a little nuts and bought a whole bunch of new stamps during and after the holidays. This indulgence was planned and budgeted for, by the way, so don't think I fell off some sort of wagon. I had fun spending money again!

But using all those new stamps has felt like a chore, not a blessing. It's not the stamps' fault at all. While I in no way regret my several-year spending hiatus, I do wish I'd spread out the several-month spending spree more. For some stupid reason, I felt like I had to use all those new stamps before I could do anything else.  And it has dragged out so long that I feel rather burned out.

I know, I know. First-world problem. But there it is.

Does anyone else ever feel this way? It's not buyer's remorse, exactly, because I truly love most of what I got. But the pressure (self-imposed and stupid, I know) to use all that glorious goodness took away some of the fun. I think I need to find some sense of balance, but honestly, shouldn't I be smarter than this? Please tell me I'm not alone. Perhaps some of you on design teams will feel the same when you get a big shipment to work with in a short period of time.

stamps: Papertrey (sentiment), Lily Bee Memorandum
ink: not sure, maybe Hero Arts...probably Hero Arts, but maybe Memento...I can't be sure...sorry
paper: white
accessories: not a one


  1. You are not alone! I'm very careful now to not overextend myself with design teams and/or new stamps. I have some that have never been inked, and that feels most sinful to me. Working my way through them, slowly, but surely! Hang in there, Susan, and don't be so hard on yourself :)

  2. I always enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your creations no matter which stamps you use. ;-)
    Perhaps you could set a goal of using a minimum of one new un-inked stamp a week. This would leave you with lots of extra time to create with any stamps you'd like to use.

  3. Love your card and all the action in a small space! I try to avoid too much new stuff at one time. It's kind of overwhelming for me. I too keep the new things out till I use them, because once I use something, I feel like I'll remember to use it again. But it's fine with me if it takes me awhile to do that.

  4. Interesting problem, Susan. But I, too, think you shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You'll work through your stamps in a way that works for you. And your readers will certainly enjoy what you create. Happy crafting!

  5. First of all, this card is AMAZING! I adore the fabulous layout and the fun mix of elements! Secondly, YES. I have done this...recently. And, yes, it's a first world problem, but YES it is awful! It really isn't buyers's over stimulation! ;) Just know that you aren't alone and I can't wait to see what you make next!!! HUGS! Mynn xx

  6. Love this card Susan, the colours, the layout, everything! You are definitely not alone, this is supposed to be a hobby, not our bread and butter. Take your time, we love what you create.

  7. haha love the cards and your blog -cheers up my day and makes me smile :).I am the worlds worst at over buying all because I see beautiful cards /layouts and think "ooo i must have that"they arrive with great excitment and then reality strikes -I dont have the time to sit and make a card ! but the joy when I can have a gulit free card day !

  8. I have the same self imposed "rule" about new stuff, but I have a new stuff bin that I keep it in so it is close at hand , but not taunting me by sitting on my desk! It works! and I love the inspiration of new ideas.PS I really like this card!

  9. Your card is STUNNING! Love the design!!!

    I haven't given myself that rule or I would REALLY be stuck and behind because I am such a slow crafter BUT I do impose rules on myself that make me feel boxed in, anxious and or tired. Why do we impose rules on our art? I dunno....but I do it too, you are not alone!!! :) You have given me something to ponder though. I want my art to be full of life and movement, if I box myself in by self-imposed rules does that result in stifling my creativity and art? Good thoughts!

  10. Hey Susan

    I love, love, love your blog. And as for your first world dilemma, you made the rule, you can change the rule.

  11. Susan -
    I just emailed my daughter yesterday about "biting off more than she could chew" at work and then questioning her decision. I told her she needs to have a serious talk with her Self.
    Sometimes Self just kind of takes over and makes decisions without thinking things through thoroughly - we need to say "Self, let's just slow down here - I'm smart enough to know I need some balance. There is already enough stress and regulation that I CAN'T control - I really don't need Self-imposed unnecessary rules and conditions. So let's chill out and enjoy the ride........ OK, Self?
    Laura Holt

  12. You've created a lovely card filled with interest and movement.

    Between you and your readers' comments I am glad to know I am not alone in self imposed rules. This year I've decided any "rule" or "obligation" that stifles my creativity or stresses me out over what is to be a fun hobby is to be ditched immediately.

    I stack stamps I want to use on my desk--some are new purchases, some are ones I hadn't used in a long time, some are ones that just struck my fancy when I was digging through my stash. Most of them would sit and sit and sit. They would get moved back and forth and make me sigh heavily when I saw them. I recently gave myself permission to go ahead and put them away unused after they've sat out for a bit. The "bit" is an undefined length of time and does vary from stamp to stamp, but definitely once a stamp starts irritating me by being there it is time for it to go home.

  13. You are definitely not alone. I too make "rules" to craft by and sometimes it helps me focus in on all the fun and sometimes it feels to confining. Since the 1st of the year I've been trying eliminate the "should's" and "have to's" in the crafting part of my life and gently telling myself over and over - "this is about having fun and expanding my creative energy". But the other thing that I think makes your current dilemma challenging is that sometimes it feels like you "have" to order multiple stamp sets at one time if you want to take advantage of the free shipping. There are so many times when I only really want one new stamp set to play with but it's hard paying the extra $6-$8 for shipping for just one $10-$20 item. Guess that's the cheapskate coming out in me. So I too end up with a box of new toys and then find myself getting overwhelmed and not playing with any of it. I'm not sure what the solution is other than just being gentle on ourselves and avoiding setting confining rules that mess with our heads. Thanks as always for the blog posts. Take good care.

  14. You are not alone -- I've tried to use every stamp (umm, yeah - not really) mentally tried . . . really -- but anyway, I digress. Perhaps try a new technique with the new stamps -- something out of your usual comfort zone - water coloring, emboss resist . . . if that doesn't work, put them under something until you are interested in them again. Good luck, but mostly have fun -- that's what it's all about!

  15. I know letting it go would be a stretch for you, so how about a hiatus? Mark the calendar, give yourself a "vacation" and you know you will have the discipline to return to the project. Me, not so much... Keep it fun, that's what is important.

  16. Love this layout. It's sharp.

    Even when I go hog wild, I do still put my new purchases in a basket to be used before putting away, but I've never imposed any kind of timeframe on it. I have a few things still in there from 3 or 4 orders back. If there were newer things I was more excited about, I prioritized using those first. I will get to to others at some point!

    I think it's true in all areas of life that most of our anxiety is self imposed, by creating arbitrary rules/deadlines that no one else gives 2 hoots about. I see this in my workplace on a routine basis. There are a few drama queens that twist themselves up like pretzels trying to meet unrealistic goals that are completely unneccessary. But I digress!

    I'm with you. Ditch the "rules" that don't work. Everyone should endeavour to make stamping as much fun as possible!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!