Stuff, stash & spending

I was treated to a bumper parcel of beautiful scrap treats the other day from my lovely friend Tiffany.

And it’s been funny to notice how, since adding lots of fresh beauty to my little stash, my creating has felt rejuvenated.

Here are a few observations on stuff – the joy of a small stash and the thrill of the new…

When you’re working on a budget, recycling layouts can actually work a treat.

Sure, you need to be doing this for the creative joy (though if you photograph your pages well, they could still form the pages of a beautiful photobook), but pulling pricey embellishments off of old pages and popping them back in your stash to be played with again, can make really good sense when the pennies aren’t there.

After all, there are plenty of other creative outlets where the created thing doesn’t last forever: think flower arranging, music and theatre performances, baking, ice and sand sculptures, make-up and hairdressing… I’m certain there are loads of others.

I’ve been on a spending freeze so far this year and I won’t pretend it’s been at all easy. In fact, I’m about to spectacularly ‘pause’ it when my birthday rolls around… no gifts other than scrap product please, lol!

It’s occurred to me that being on a spending freeze can have the effect of making you feel quite deprived, envious and suddenly wanting every new thing desperately.

I guess it’s about balance: keeping our stashes topped up and healthy is part of the fun.

But that spending needs to be kept an eye on – it’s so easy to convince ourselves that those purchases don’t add up, isn’t it?

But receiving the beautiful treats from Tiffany did make me newly aware that new things are lovely and help inject inspiration and energy into your creativity no end… I’ve suddenly found myself wanting to make *all the things* now I have fresh new pieces to play with.

An argument for subbing to a kit club, if ever there was one!

I think it’s worth reminding ourselves from time to time that creativity doesn’t need to cost much at all.

I love to keep an eye on how the tweenies in my world create their own versions of things they see on Pinterest, using what they already have.

It’s inspiring and I love how they instinctively know how to have fun with their creativity without focussing too much on the results.

Between generous gifts, printables (loving the new printer!) and a whole load of layout surgery (!) my stash is actually as healthy as it’s been in a long while.

Yes, that’s it in it’s entirety (see above photo) but there’s actually plenty there.

I think the tricky part is trying to stay feeling inspired by products that have already seen a few pages… I have plenty of favourite embellishments, but each time they’re pulled off a project they lose a little of their original freshness.

Some are just plain grubby, if I’m honest!

One final observation on this topic is on gratitude and appreciation.

When I was on Design Teams and had lots of beautiful product coming in each month, I was delighted and thrilled to get it, but not half as appreciative as I am these days of having very little.

I definitely prefer the new depth of gratitude and joy I experience in having pretty things and being given more, now that it’s a rarity.

10 thoughts on “Stuff, stash & spending

  1. Ooo new shiny things!!! I am also on a budget but had a little injection of stash for Mother’s Day from my understanding children!! I don’t recycle layouts though (not a minimalist but a memory keeper) so my stash gradually dwindles. I must admit, I’m getting down to the point where most of what I have left I’m not that keen on so to challenge myself to use it gets harder and harder – I’m even running low on scraps (which I save conscientiously). It’s true though that I am more grateful because I don’t get too much new stuff atm and even the new stash is being stretched so that it will go further – one sheet of Pinkfresh will feature on at least 3 layouts! I do find cutfiles help to give a fresh look to old stash. Enjoy your birthday and your new goodies – looking forward to seeing what you do with them.

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  2. Oh, I so relate to your comment! It does get harder to use the things you’re not so keen on…

    I think we actually need very little patterned paper, as you can use white yardstick and ‘patchwork up’ pretty scraps and still get a lovely effect, but as for embellishments and stickers… wish those were a little bit cheaper sometimes! xxx

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  3. After having my daughter (4 months old this week!) I’ve been on quite the budget, so our end goal can be to travel more. Your digital prints are on my wish list, because they’re the perfect solution to staying on track with spending, and so pretty too! And it works out too that I find cutting things out rather soothing. After taking a break on IG and only signing in to check specific accounts, I feel less influenced and less of a need to constantly buy and compare. And when I do get a few new things once in a while, I am so grateful and always feel so motivated to create. This article and many others of yours really resonate with me. That not everyone out there is desiring huge craft rooms full of things and constantly buying. 🙂 Thank you!

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  4. Aw, I love this comment Anna! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it – it cheers my heart.

    I actually struggle with this from time to time… that feeling of being a little left out because so much product is so pricey. But that said, I have found ways to create and stick to my budget.

    I think not looking is very good advice… just not advice that I’m very good at taking! I’m so nosey about this industry of ours that I’m always watching for new lines and keeping an eye on the kit clubs: it’s a bit of a compulsion 😉

    But luckily having a very limited colour palette like mine, there aren’t very often lines that really grab me… the exceptions are the Felicity Jane ‘springy’ collections and Heidi’s brights – so those are always worth looking out for for me 😉 xxx

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  5. Suse
    I just love your blog and your thoughts. I read them all but this is the first time I have ever commented. Oh how i would love to sit down with you and have a big long chat in real life.
    Thank you for being you and being different.
    You inspire me in so many ways.
    Alicia xxx

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  6. Ah, what a fabulous comment! Thank you, lovely friend.

    I’m actually terribly awkward in real life… or perhaps work very hard at hiding the discomfort I feel, ha ha.

    But thank you for your sweetness and for following along with my often random writings! xxx

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  7. Ooo I’m delighted that that little package I sent you got your creative juices flowing. It’s interesting what having something new does to us. It’s like I remember as a kid, a new toy was my entire world until the next new thing! There’s just a pure joy in the new. It’s sort of the same with starting something new that you’ve never done before. I love that feeling. It always inspires. I don’t know what it is about it, but that feeling is wonderful and if it were so easily obtained like buying new supplies, I’d probably be so addicted to it. XD

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  8. Yes, that’s so true! They say with toddlers, don’t they, to rotate toys – actually tuck boxes of them away in the cupboard – so it’s like getting a whole new set of playthings each week. 😉 xx

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