June Crafty Challenge

Earlier this week, I had an epiphany that I have personally been spending too much money on crafting and planner supplies. I spent some time during Memorial Day weekend making online purchases because of some great sales. I was eagerly waiting for my items to arrive and to get some inspiration, I went on YouTube to watch some of my favorite planners, bloggers and crafters use these new items I purchased.

I was watching one blogger show all the viewers her massive stash of planner supplies where she admitted a lot of it was unused and that she had multiple duplicates of certain products that were still unused… but she proceeded to share she purchased MORE items! I watched another video of one my favorite crafters light-heartedly share she purchased some supplies that will just be a part of her collection and hoarded stash that “I’ll probably never use but that’s okay, it’s pretty to look at”.

I think we live in a very materialistic and instant gratification consumerism society that it’s easy to get caught up in buying the latest and greatest. Crafting supplies aren’t cheap and it seems like awesome products are being released on the daily that all our favorite people and friends use. FOMO or Fear of Missing Out can be a real feeling that causes you to take on the mentality of Keeping Up with the Joneses splurging on products we probably don’t need (or at least RIGHT NOW). I totally get it and I’m guilty to some degree of just the two examples I gave above.

The reason I may be more sensitive and having this epiphany is that recently my husband and I revisted our goal of buying our first home. We are in a rental home until early 2018 and with how fast 2017 is passing us by, I’ve realized we need to really buckle down and get into better financial health to be able to do it when this lease is up!

As of June 1st, I started a No Spend on crafting supplies. The items I see or really want have to be on my “Wish List” for a minimum of 30 days.

Some things I’ve thought about:

  • Not only will this help me decrease my impulse buys but it’ll also help me think about the importance or prioritization of this product versus another thing on my list (new nifty tool or new package of cardstock?)
  • One by-product of this challenge is being able to personally challenge myself to dig through new and old supplies I already have! I’m guilty of having supplies I haven’t used in months or having new stamp sets or inks I haven’t played with collecting dust.
  • How about trying those new techniques I rushed out to get supplies for?
  • How about using up some of my old paperpads and cardstock before getting new ones?

I’ll keep you posted!

PS- No new projects recently. I caught a nasty headcold and I am still getting over it. I hope to return to crafting later this week!

Advertisements

Musings on the Crafty Community | Card- Confessionals

As I’ve shared before, I’ve only been crafting for a relatively short time… since the beginning of 2016. One of my favorite things about crafting that I totally didn’t anticipate was the friendliness, support and sense of community in this hobby!

Perhaps this is a no-brainer but to be honest, I’ve never had a real and consistent personal hobby until card making. I have always been into my academic and professional pursuits, it was rare for me to do anything consistently or passionately “for fun” in my down time.

I write on my blog and I also share my crafty things on Instagram. To get my daily dose of inspiration, I follow and subscribe to many diverse crafters, letterers, planners, and paper crafters. For the superficial perks, it allows me to keep up to date on brands, companies, new releases, trends, and items that go on my never ending “To Buy” wish list.

But my touchy-feely reason for loving this crafty community is how wonderful everyone is to one another. Yes, I’m sure you notice the trolls and haters on social media and you think to yourself, “How can you say that about so and so?!”. I’m lucky that I haven’t encountered a troll or a Negative Nancy yet. But the encouragement and support I witness daily outweighs all the negativity and reassures me that the crafty community is so awesome!
I love how people “like” and comment on one another’s content, do shout-outs of one another, and promote one another’s projects and products. I love when our favorite crafters have “real talk” and reassure us that crafting isn’t always perfect or eye appealing; that you may end up abandoning or scrapping a project you started. Or you end up unsure of your project but when you reach completion, you end up loving it a lot.

Sometimes I become unsure or discouraged by my crafting or photo taking abilities. It’s also easy to want to compare myself to others and feel like I’m not as talented. Real talk, sometimes I feel vain thoughts like I can’t create a quality card because I don’t have or can’t afford certain supplies.

It’s in our human nature to have the desire to feel a sense of belonging and community, and it’s the little things like interacting with one another that can make a difference and bring a smile to someone’s face (yours and the recipient). We all have something to offer or share. We all can inspire and learn from one another.

I have a small following and occasional comments left on social media. The likes, the comments, and occasional company repost of my IG photo lifts my heart up and instantly puts me in a good mood that boosts my crafty confidence. I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes at my cheesiness, but I felt inclined to encourage you today to give back to other crafters.

Please take the time to support and encourage your fellow crafters by interacting with them on their social media accounts, taking the time to write them a quick e-mail if you feel inclined to ask a question or give encouragement, or participate in the blog hops and challenges.

I’m so thankful to be a part of a community like this and reassures me that this hobby is worth the time, effort, and money I’ve invested in it so far.

Card Confessionals | 2017 will be more Crafty!

Hello!

Currently in my part of the PNW, outside temperature is in the very low 30s and snow/ice are covering most of the roadways. I’ve lucked out and I don’t have to commute to work today (my work education class got canceled!) and my next shift is Saturday.

I get to enjoy the day doing whatever the heck I want… so I’m writing this post and will probably work on my next craft project or blog post for the rest of the afternoon… bliss. This is my first of many that will be lumped into “Card Confessionals” (more on that below). I have to warn you, this may be a longer post so I apologize in advance!

This winter season has been a WHIRLWIND so far and I cannot believe how 2017 is almost upon us. I know that changes and resolutions can happen anytime in the year, but call me old-fashioned, but January or even September (due to the numerous years I’ve been in school for a majority of my life so far) symbolize fresh starts, new beginnings, clean slates, etc. Yes, I fall into this camp and I love spending time reflecting, planning, and initiating new changes during these times.

 

For Paper Tokens, I have spent spurts of time in the past few weeks to scribble down new ideas, goals, and hopes for my blog and crafting endeavors for 2017 which I wanted to share with you.

For those of you who don’t know, I started papercrafting within this past year, including having a crafting Instagram and blog. In just the past several months, I have spent tons of money buying all these fun products and supplies(the struggle is real). I have gotten hooked on crafting. It’s been a stress reliever from my daily nursing grind, challenging different parts of my brain and personality, and so fun participating and interacting with others in the crafting community.

I’ll be honest… I didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself because I had this gut feeling if I treated all of this as a big looming obligation instead of a hobby, I’d lose interest. All I knew was that I wanted to create, craft, share, be inspired by other crafters, support crafting businesses and brands, and learn from others. Very broad and generalized goals for myself and Paper Tokens.

In terms of blogging and Instagram, I wanted to create 4 cards  or so to share monthly. I’ll be real, I didn’t have a formalized plan or a planner for this because I wanted this to be fun, not a chore. What I realized though is that if I didn’t make a cognizant effort to create,share and blog… competing interests would take over. Real talk… some weeks I didn’t create, craft, or share because of those competing interests and not prioritizing this crafty time for myself.

Do you know what I realized? When I went a long period of NOT creating, I realized that I became unhappy and restless. The truth of it is, I LOVE cardmaking because it’s a stress reliever, creative outlet, and something satisfying that my professional life and other hobbies don’t satisfy me the same way. When I was younger, I wanted to be a writer. I love writing and I think that’s partly why I am hooked on this hobby because I can continue this form of self-expression and reflection.  I NEVER would have thought this possible when I started cardmaking. These past few weeks I’ve realized that  I have  to prioritize this crafty time in 2017 as a part of my self-care.

Which brings me to what I want to work on and do in 2017:

  • Continue to craft and write
  • Continue and be consistent in blog posts and Instagram posts
  • Brainstorm new content that will be fun and meaningful for those that support me
  • Share more about myself and my Paper Tokens journey
  • Share my other “paper” interests: Memory Planning and Planner related topics
  • Experiment with new products, new brands, and new techniques
  • Utilize my new Recollections Planner (more on this in the future) to keep me more accountable and organized regarding this hobby
  • Participate in cardmaking challenges
  • Apply for design team opportunities
  • Continue to engage and support other crafters
  • Possibly consider a YouTube channel to share my creations
  • Possibly create small volumes of cards to potentially sell for residual income
  • Possibly consider affiliate marketing like other crafter bloggers

This is just a rough sketch of what I thought about, especially the last three. Please know that if I choose to do affiliate links, I would definitely be transparent in this on my blog. It is something I was told to think about by other bloggers and friends.

One of the points was brainstorming new content ideas. Well, “Card Confessionals” is one of those brainstorming ideas that I plan on introducing to my blog.

As a newer crafter, I looked at social media accounts and YouTube videos lamenting that I was such a “newbie” and not a great crafter compared to so and so. I had crafting sessions that I envisioned having a wonderful card after all of it… and finding that I wasn’t in love with what I was working on and had to scrap it.

But I know for a fact (and thanks for those crafters that keep it real and admit this) not every project is picture perfect or satisfying. Or feeling like it’s worthy to share on social media because other crafters have better pictures or posts showcasing a similar technique or product. But the reality is, there are a lot of crafters and bloggers who only choose to share the pretty and curated  videos, projects, and pictures. This can be discouraging or confusing to new crafters or bloggers.

So when I title something, “Card Confessionals”, it’ll be blog posts where I share  projects that didn’t meet the “pretty” cut (but still were created). Or, maybe to write about topics that crafters/bloggers don’t always share with others… like having technique difficulties, “what was I thinking?!” crafting moments, having a crafty funk, a relevation, a rant or rambling, etc.

What about you? Any new 2017 crafty goals? Suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading such a lengthy post! I hope all the rambling I did will manifest into worthy content for Paper Tokens accounts!