Monday, September 1, 2014

On Creative Funk, Retail Therapy, and Assorted Craziness

Many thanks to those of you who commented on this post about creative funk. Some of you were extremely helpful, with practical suggestions of other places to donate and sell cards now that OWH is downsizing. I'll still send some cards to them and watch for changes in their supply/demand chain...Sandy does a great job keeping her suppliers informed, and you just never know what will happen with our troops.

You've given me some great ideas to move forward with my creative energy. Thank you!

And now...onto a possible solution for creative funk that, if abused, can become a problem in itself.

I'm talking about retail therapy.

Retail therapy can be extremely helpful when you're in a funk, but only if you're buying stuff to use rather than buying stuff to hoard. When Papertrey offered a pretty free set on orders over $100 for their Stamp-a-Faire thingie (never been sure what that was, actually), I jumped all over it. What a great excuse to inject new enthusiasm into my craft room!

It worked, too.

I not only bought six packs of Papertrey's white card stock (my favorite, although Neenah Solar White is a close second), I purchased a bunch of new stamps.

The three small sets are all from the  Keep It Simple series: Thanksgiving, Thank You, and Thinking of You. The larger sets are Autumn Adornments, Ombre Builders, Embellished Elegance, and the free set Filled with Joy.

I've also placed an order for a Christmas set from StampinUp's holiday catalog...and six packs of dimensionals. SU's dimensionals really are my favorites, and I'm down to one package.

With my birthday and Christmas coming up, you can bet there will be even more goodness arriving in brown boxes and bubble envelopes in the months to come. (And please note...neither Papertrey nor StampinUp compensate me in any way whatsoever. I'm a happy paying customer, not a paid spokesperson!)

I'll have more to say about shopping, hoarding, and productivity later this week. In the meantime, here's my first card with Ombre Builders.

Love this! I used a Kaleidacolor pad, twine, and punched leaf, and some bling. You wouldn't believe how long this took to make because of the leaf. At first, I thought I'd stamp a scrap and punch out the leaf from the same border image. I loved the softness of the stamp and the way it reminded me of leaves that are holey with age. But even with darker colors, I couldn't get enough contrast over the gold and burnt orange of the border...the leaves just blended in and disappeared.

So I finally flexed to SU chocolate chip card stock, and the solid block of brown worked so much better.

And now for assorted craziness. My mother is visiting so she can watch the boys while George and I go to Madison for Ironman Wisconsin later this week. We'll join George's sister and brother-in-law, as well as one of George's coworkers and his family. This is George's seventh attempt at IM Moo, and hopefully will be his fifth finish there. I'd love to hear the official Ironman announcer Mike Reilly butcher our last name again as George crosses the finish line.

You can catch the Raihala Ironman action on my Questioning my Intelligence blog.

George is already registered for Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Canada in August 2015. Yay! I'm so glad he's crazy enough to do these long-distance, three-in-one races. (For those who don't know, Ironman Triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon, for a total of 140.6 miles.)

It really is fun being a spectator...crazy people can be very entertaining!

If things get quiet here on Simplicity, now you'll understand why.

stamps: Papertrey Ombre Builder, Keep It Simple Thanksgiving
ink: Kaleidacolor, Memento cocoa
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: twine, rhinestones, dimensionals, leaf punch


  1. GORGEOUS and oh, SO CAS too


  2. Ooh! New goodies! Can't wait to see them all in action. :-) I LOVE this card, Susan. Just beautiful from top to bottom, and especially that leaf.

  3. I, too, am struggling with Sandy's downsizing. I don't blog, I just make cards and work. I made over 10,000 cards for OWH. I have been with them pre-charity. I was hoping they were going to find other outlets for our cards...maybe not. I just mailed in 500 Christmas cards...loved mailed every one of them. Now what?

  4. Lovely card!! I really need to try out some Kalediacolor ink pads. Need to find the most economical source for them!!

  5. love the card. a lot. sorry I never posted on the creative funk. I kept writing a comment only to decide it was useless. cannot wait to see how you use the new stuff. retail therapy definitely has its place! enjoy the trip!!

  6. It will be great to see what you create with your new items, Susan. How fun to open packages of crafty goodness. The Thanksgiving card is awesome - the colors are wonderful. The leaf is a lovely addition. Best of luck to your hubby in his upcoming endeavors.

  7. Hmmm, I've been debating about Ombre Builders. I like this.


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