Lately I’ve been thinking about creativity. I’m inspired by so many things, and often feel impelled to try my hand at creating something lovely myself. Sometimes that “something” is a savory dish in the kitchen; other times it’s a vignette on our bookshelf; most often it’s a small card or other paper-craft.
When I first started card-making, there seemed to be a precise formula one was to use: colored cardstock base; a layer of cardstock in a contrasting color, most likely stamped all over in a repeating design; another layer of cardstock; top layer with focal image and sentiment. Lather, rinse, repeat. Over the years, this formula became more and more elaborate – 5 or more layers of cardstock, sponging, distressing, ribbons and baubles and rhinestones and tags… So of course that’s how I wanted my cards to look. Things all changed, however, when we moved overseas. No longer could I afford to use layers and layers of my precious stash of cardstock on a single creation. Intricately shaped or bejeweled brads? Not gonna find those here! All of the things that had become the go-to elements of a “fabulous” card design were suddenly unavailable. And so, my designs veered away from the mainstream norm, at first out of necessity. I began striving to make big visual impact using minimal amounts of product. I started examining my personal style, and realized that in everyday life I’m drawn to clean, retro-modern design, from my home décor to my clothing. Why shouldn’t my paper-crafting reflect that, as well? What started as a change born out of necessity has actually put new life into my creativity. I’m breaking from the norm, and loving it. I’m much more selective in the rubber stamps I buy, whereas before I would buy a set because “800 other people have made cards with it, so it must be good.” I’ve found I don’t need expensive products to express myself– I can rock a set of clear $1 stamps like there’s no tomorrow. I see it as a challenge to myself. A challenge to creatively work within my budget (I can only afford to have the occasional small package shipped over here); a challenge to find products that reflect my design aesthetic (not just whatever the masses have deemed popular this month); a challenge to find creative replacements for the things I just can’t get. And I’m having FUN.
DCWV patterned paper; adhesive-back fun foam; Cuttlebug / Red Tag Sale alphabet; DYMO labelmaker, wood-grain label tape; foam dimensionals