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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Using What You Have To The Max

Shopping in your own stash ~ and keep your cash!

Well, I did have something written down and once again, somehow, I managed to loose it!! Now if it were only that easy to loose a pound or two, BUT OH NO, THAT requires mucho work....oh well, can't have everything...and that is my point, so I'm trying to use what I have to the max...and so can you! Better grab a cup of joe...ya, I'm long winded today ;)

Ever start organizing your crafting space only to find long forgotten treasures? Perhaps even doubles? That is the #1 reason to make an effort to go through your stash often! Like each time you find a must have product and you feel you just have to have it...ya, it could be a daily thing with most of us!! lol BUT in the end I bet you will be able to come up with either the same look or very close to it....and being creative people, well, need I say more?

See some lovely new paper ~ go through your stash and start pulling out similar paper ~ please, do not tell me that you don't have something that is close to it!! Even I, who have such a small stash can find very similar paper to make a new project...or purchase a single paper/cardstock in the nouveau color just to add a hint of new...kind of like a wedding ~ something new, something old, something borrowed? mmm, borrowed, don't think that will work well for this, but maybe?? That's another story, another day.

Pick one day a week, or every two weeks and literally go through either your paper and co~ordinating cardstock and embellishments....you know, those things we continuously buy thinking it's oh so cute and I just have to have it...but it sits in a corner collecting dust....bring them out!! Start playing ;)

Why not pick at least one or two days a week and make it a point to come up with one project using your 'old' stash or incorporate it into the new project. If you used just one or two items from your 'old' stash, each time a new project came up, it would help make the pile go down and in no time you it will become a habit to look and see before you buy...of course, I can see you shaking your head and thinking ~ like we don't already use some of what we have in new projects ~ duh~ yes, but how much do you use? Paper? Embellishments?? and why would you have soooo much if you did use it each time?

Gather a group of crafting friends, bring along your loved but done with stash and have a swap party...followed by a little game of  5 cards in 5 minutes using up your un~swapped (mmm, don't think that is a word...being creative here ) just for the fun of it, then drop off your cards to a nearby nursing home, hospital, rehab centers...and what you really don't want to drag back home to sit and collect dust, make a donation box and drop it off at a daycare, after school programs and again nursing homes ~ both the elderly and the little ones will love all the bright papers, scraps and all. Everyone comes home with a smile and new craft supplies.

Your stash could be anything from ribbons, paper, cardstock, bling, punches even your cartridges ~ how and what you bring is totally up to you and the group.

If you have basically a 'store' in your craft room with wayyyy too much, why not offer once or twice a week craft sessions. Decide on a project, pull out the products you will be needing, and get busy letting people know you are offering this service for a fee. Have your 'kits' done up and take them through it step by step. Not everyone who loves to scrapbook or paper crafts feel confident when it comes to trying something new ~ many people like smaller groups, one on one and just the chance to come in empty handed and leaving with a project. No fuss loading all your supplies to take with you...come with your coffee or soft drink, have your project picked out, no guessing what color goes with what patterns it's all done for you....and Voila! Now you are not only using up all those 'must haves' and making money on the side ~ probably to buy more!! lol ....no I am not encouraging you to buy more! Just saying ;)

Not your style to offer classes or workshops? No problem. Why not use your excess stash by selling card kits? Page kits? or grab co~ordinating papers, embellishments and make an album without photo's and sell them? I know many a busy mom who loves the looks of scrapbooking but doesn't have time to actually get it done.

Have a ton of Cricut Cartridges? or any cartridges, dies ~ cut out the popular shapes and offer them in packages. Pre~cut embellishments are flying off the shelves, why not make the most of what you have? Make some embellishments ~ flowers, stamped verses onto embossed mats, use your nestabilites or faux nestabilities, layer them up and offer them as ready to use embellishments/sentiments.

Own several different crafting tools? Cricut, Silhouette Cameo, Big Kick, Big Shot, Texture Boutique? Embossing plates ~ many crafters are on a strict budget and can't afford to buy these large ticket items. Offer a crop night, day, weekend, whatever time suits you, invite people to come in for lessons on these machines, and offer the use of them for a fee. If you have different die cutting machines, or embossing machines why not set up something for mothers who want to create their little one's birthday party themes? What about Bridal Showers, Weddings, Baby Showers, Birthday parties (I'm sitting here and thinking, ya, a scrapping birthday party for the 'over the hill' theme!!) ~ offer scrapping parties for these events...for a fee ;)  specially if you have a huge amount of crafting supplies, this would be an awesome way to bring a group together to celebrate the special occasion.

It's fine to surf the net and follow all the 'new' and 'in' things but how much time are you spending surfing for new ideas and then hitting the 'put in your cart' button without a seconds thought of what's sitting right under your nose? Each and every time you get the urge to 'push that button' get up, go check your stash.

New stamps? New must have images? Then check and see if you have a stamp that is in the same category...how many characters do you need? Stamp in layers to change the look of your stamp, use markers to color it in, or just use black and leave it 'naked'....oh no! Naughty Nanny!! lol I mean, how many cutesy rabbits do we need? Trees? Really?? and again, keep your stash organized and by pulling out what is 'in' and similar, you will max out what you already have...and isn't that why you purchased it? Because it was obviously something you liked, it caught your eye, right?

Digital stamps are a great way to expand without spending anything. Bring up coloring pages and you will come out with a variety of shapes, animals, people, cars, trucks, trees, bees...o.k., I'm sure you get the idea. Print them up in different sizes, color them with pencil crayons, markers, or print them up in color and fussy cut them.

Do you have a card making/scrapbooking software? Dig it out and start checking out what images, shapes are in it and can you use them as is, or manipulate them into what you are looking for?

How many punches do we need? Looking at all the punch art and what you can create with just a few basic shapes is amazing. Not that good at coming up with the how~tos? Google it! Punch art ~ unlimited FREE how~tos. Many of us who started way back when, probably have a few fiscars paper edger scissors, what better way to snip buying more punches...use what you have and it will amaze you just how much you do have.

Make a bundle and sell it on Ebay, Pinterest, Kijiji. Many first time scrappers love to get their hands on bundles. They feel they are getting a little bit of everything and don't get overwhelmed trying to purchase everything at once. They can get a taste of what it's like without spending a fortune.

You could do up a kids crafting packages for birthday parties. Mother's are always on the look out to make their child's birthday extra special. Packages could be made up for various age groups and themes.
For the bundle, pick and choose paper, cardstock, stamps, punches, scissors, buttons, bling and a printed instructions for a simple project. It could be a card, photo cube, mini album ~ something fun, easy enough to do.

Teens or betweens also love art, but most have a limited budget for crafting. Perhaps offer classes geared to that age group for a fee. Again, they don't have to make purchases that they can't afford but they still can enjoy creating and bringing home good memories and a project...or a mother daughter night, mother son, father daughter/son...well, you know...offering the time, space and products all in one spot.

Too much of anything does become overwhelming and mixed with procrastination can become a problem. No space, cramped crafting area, spending too much time searching for items that are not well organized...clutter. If your not using it ~ then it's time to get rid of it. Machines, punches, paper, bling, you name it. Make it your priority to be a responsible crafter, use what you purchase but ask yourself ~ do I need it or can I make~do? Make it a game, see who can come up with the best project using only your own...call it a Donna Make~Do Day and get busy crafting.

Still thinking, ya, that's all wonderful BUT it's time consuming to go through my stuff...yes, and that's why you are reading this!! lol and only YOU can make the effort to ship up or ship out!! ~ as in look it up in your own stash first, ship it out if your not going to use it...and get paid doing it.

Lovely, now I have to go and check out my stash!! and get off the computer so I won't be tempted by the latest 'hot' item....darn, why did I write this?? lol Now I have to live up to it ;)

Go shopping in your stash and keep your cash ;)

Hugs,
        from Nanny Donna's Corner