Saturday, June 4, 2016

Scrapbook Saturday: Using a Kit as a Shortcut to Overcome Product Overload

This is the third piece in a series about overcoming creativity killers. You can read about creativity killers and story prompts by clicking on the links.

One challenge I face that inhibits my creativity is product overload. Like most scrapbookers, I have a respectable (read, overwhelming) scrap stash. There are many times when I waste time looking for paper, the perfect sticker sheet, or the right embellishment. This drains my creative energy as well when I have to make endless choices about what paper or embellishment to use.  My scrapping time is precious so I must maximize my time while reducing the decisions I have to make. 

When I lived in Sweden, I had only the most basic of supplies. I discovered that limiting my supplies sparked my creativity. Too many options overwhelm us and drain our decision making energy. (Don't believe me? Consider this. While living in Sweden, we had about five different cereals total to choose from. Grocery shopping was actually pretty simple and quick for me. When we returned to the United States, I literally could not shop at stores for a long time because I was so overwhelmed by the choices available, especially in the cereal aisle.) 

Even experts agree that too much stuff and too many choices is overwhelming and paralyzing. Barry Schwartz discusses this concept in his TED talk, "Are We Happier When We Have More Options?"  I highly encourage you to listen to his talk and consider how too many choices paralyzes you when you scrap. 

I think the simplest way to deal with this problem is to subscribe to a kit club such as The Hip Kit Club, Gossamer Blue, Felicity Jane, Studio Calico, Paper Issues, etc. or make your own kits from your stash. Then once you have a kit, just scrap from the kit. Let go of your desire for perfection. Stop sorting through all your supplies when getting ready to create. Just grab your kits and start.

I used to subscribe to a kit club. I loved getting happy mail every month. I used those kits well and ended up with wonderful layouts I loved. However, my budget has changed and I can no longer afford to buy kits. 

I also wanted to use my supplies more efficiently so I learned how to make kits my own kits from my stash. A kit can be really quite simple to put together. First, what goes in a kit? Cardstock, patterned paper, stickers, and stickers. If you stamp, you can also add stamping and multi-media supplies to your kit. 

First, look through your stash for an inspiration piece. I found my inspiration from the yellow and turquoise flowers and some Basic Grey stickers. I noticed that the basic grey stickers had a pops of navy in the color pattern. So I pulled embellishments and stickers with similar colors to the two inspiration pieces. I also grabbed some Project Life cards for journaling spots. I found a bag of leftover fibers and added those to the kit.   

I have had some of these stickers and border strips for a long time. I love them and now it is time to use them.

The navy blue reminded me of some new papers I purchased of Shimelle's Starshine line. I liked how Shimelle combines orange, pink, and navy. I looked for coordinating papers in assorted pattern sizes and colors. It's not too matchy-matchy but it does coordinate.

Then I packaged everything up in a plastic project envelope. It looks pretty-almost like a real kit from a kit club, right?

I think the best part about this is that everything is ready to go when I want to create. I can just grab it and start.

So to recap... To make your own kit you can do the following (add or delete steps to your taste)

1) Find an inspiration piece that determines color scheme or a theme.
2) Find coordinating patterned paper that works with your inspiration piece.
3) Find matching cardstock.
4) Look for letter stickers and other stickers that work.
5) Find embellishments that look good with your inspiration piece.
6) Add bits and pieces that match your style of scrapbooking.
7) Combine and store in an envelope.
8) Pull out your kit and start making stuff!
9) Feel accomplished because you are busting your stash.

Do you subscribe to a kit club? If so, do you use your kits? What prevents you from using your kits? Do you make your own kits? How does that work for you? How has your scrapbooking changed from using kits?

Edited to add: Today, I listen to the Scrap Gals Podcast with Nicole Mackin about making kits and scraplifting. She says many of the same things I talk about in this blog. It was interesting to me because I had never listened to her before or seen her videos and yet we are clearly on the same wavelength--she is just cooler than me! She has a YouTube channel and it seems that she really has a handle on kit-making. I highly recommend her!

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