January 19, 2018

Intentional Shopping - My Experiment

It's always very tempting to do a little shopping for scrapbook product, isn't it?  I have a hard time resisting certain items (I'm looking at you puffy stickers...and stamps...and patterned paper...I could go on and on), especially when manufacturers release new lines.  I seem to want almost everything in the most-recent collections.

However, I have a very decent supply of products already.  And when I say "decent", I really mean that I could probably scrap for a couple years with what I currently own.  So how can I reconcile my love for shopping with the desire to use what I have?  I'd like to be able to indulge in just a small purchase that would satisfy my wish for something new but would also be budget-friendly.

Back in August, I got the idea to do a little "intentional" shopping.  I spent some time on scrapbook.com, and added products to my cart without regard to quantity or price.  Then, I examined every item in my cart, deciding whether it was something I just liked or was something that I'd actually use.  I'm sometimes lured by all the shiny, pretty things and then when I actually own them, I realize that they aren't my style and so they languish in a box or closet.  I was really honest with myself and removed anything that fell into the pretty-but-I-won't-use-it category.

So what was left? Christmas puffy sticker circles from My Mind's Eye, a few sheets of black & white striped paper, and five assorted sheets of patterned paper.  Not too bad, considering what I'd originally had in my cart. 

Before I clicked the "complete purchase" button, I took one more look at the patterned paper and tried to visualize how I would use each piece.  I wrote notes and made a couple of sketches of my ideas and then made my purchase.

I didn't save my notes but I would like to share the items I bought and how I used them.  

First up is this paper from Shimelle's "Glitter Girl" Collection:

"Keep Your Cool - B side" via Scrapbook.com
I was intrigued by the ombre pattern, though a little unsure about that busy pattern.  I thought that I could cover it with a cut-file to tone down the busy-ness and that's exactly what I did with this layout:

Next is a paper from Maggie Holmes' "Carousel" collection:

"Radiant" via scrapbook.com
I was interested in the "b side" which isn't completely visible here but it consists of large squares with letters that spell "love this day".  My plan for this paper was to cut apart the squares and reassemble them on a page.  Here is the layout I made:

I'd originally planned to use "love this" but ultimate chose "this day", which leaves me with a much more usable leftover in the word "love".

I also purchased this paper from the same Maggie Holmes "Carousel" collection:

"Festival" via scrapbook.com
In all honesty, I really didn't have to think too hard about this purchase.  I love labels so I knew I could make good use out of this one.  In fact, I actually started cutting out the labels but stopped to leave two rows intact to use as a border on this page:

I also purchased two more papers from Shimelle's "Glitter Girl" line.  I loved this paper with its rainbows, hearts, and clouds:

"Level Up" via scrapbook.com
My plan for this one was to use a circle punch and then stitch the circles into wavy lines covering the bottom two-thirds of the page.  Here's the result:

And the last paper was this one:
"Embrace Chaos" via scrapbook.com
This was such a cute and fun pattern and my initial plan involved punching out the circles and then using them to border a layout.  I used a variation of the plan and ended up stitching the punched circles in vertical rows to cover the background of this page:

As far as the two other items I bought are concerned, I've used a few of the puffy stickers and have stored the rest of the sheet with my December Daily supplies.  I'm pretty certain I'll use them up next year.  The b&w stripes are one of my favorite patterns to use for matting layouts so I'm confident I will make good use of them as well.  All in all, I'm pretty pleased with the results of my experiment.  I spent less than $20 including shipping, made five layouts and have plans for using the remaining items I bought.  

With all the new lines set to release and ship soon, I think I'll try this experiment again and I'll share the results in an upcoming post.

So how about you?  Are scrapping supplies hard for you to resist?  Do you have any tips to share about how you balance what you buy with what you already own?


  1. Oh, I'm definitely guilty of being lured by all the beautiful papers, kits, and embellishments out there -- especially when I see all the gorgeous creations people post using those products. It sort of feels like a "club," doesn't it, when everyone is having fun using the latest and most popular releases in the scrapbook world. But you are absolutely right -- having a plan or project in mind before you hit that purchase button is a great idea. Otherwise, we'd all be buying everything because it is all so appealing to crafters. If I buy anything new, I try to keep those items in a basket out on my desk to remind me that I want to use them currently. If I file too much away in bins or drawers, I forget I have them. I keep my current stash of pretty patterned papers near to hand, also, so I see them and can think about how I want to use them.

    1. Out of sight, out of mind is definitely true for me too. But as bonus, it has been nice to rediscover some old favorites as I organize. I've pulled some pieces out in the hope I'll get them on a page soon.

  2. I think one thing that has helped me is to not buy anything right away. Kind of like your "put it in the cart and wait" method. Usually after I give myself some time, I find that I either have A) similar stuff or B) it's not really my style. Isn't it odd how we can get so excited about stuff that isn't really us?

    1. It really is, Jane! I get swept up in the "it's new, everyone loves it so I should have it" mentality and don't realize that it's something I would never use. And the waiting game on the shopping cart is a big help too - I'll sometimes wait a few days and then go back and get rid of almost everything I "had" to have just a few days earlier.

  3. OMG I know what you mean... I am constantly shopping and could probably still make lots of projects from my stash even if I didn't shop for the next 5 years! Ugh! I love shopping in general though and especially for Scrappy Goodies! They always have so many cute new things! That's why I try REALLY hard to mix my new w/ my old on every project; to find a balance! I love your pages... I actually have one of those papers in my stash and one in my SB.com cart, LOL! My favorite is the one you created w/ the rainbow PP: I just love circles and the look of stitching (though I don't know how to stitch myself)! Great post! Have a wonderful day!

    1. Scrappy supplies are almost irresistible aren't they??! I'm with you - I have enough supplies right now to last me a few years but when the new releases come out, it's hard to stop myself from buying a few things. I guess as long as it's just a few things, it's ok to indulge sometimes.

  4. Oh I have fallen for the trap of liking the newest thing, mostly because it is the newest thing, and looks so good with all the other newest things. I have pared down a lot of my paper in January because when I look at it now, I know I just won't use it. I hope to be more intentional about only buying a sheet or two of new lines I like. I have a short attention span, so I rarely ending up using more than a few sheets of any one line before I am ready to try something else. I did control myself on a recent trip buying only 8 sheets, 3 sets of 2 coordinating pieces and 2 single sheets.

    1. Your first sentence expresses it perfectly - I am easily lured by new and pretty! I've definitely gotten much pickier about paper because most of the time my background are white cardstock. Great self control on your shopping trip - I have a harder time passing on things when I can actually touch them (and put them into my shopping basket).

  5. I like your thought process and is something I've been trying harder to do recently. Going to the shop every week (nearly) I've been through the " I have to have everything new" stage and am now trying to be more intentional. I used to buy whole collections but now I pick the papers I know have my name on them and really look at all the embellies before picking the items that work for the style I have now or want to try out. IT helps a lot. I also have a lot of stash here even if I use a lot of it up through LOAD months but it's definitely not growing which is a great feeling. Great post and what gorgeous layouts. As always!

    1. I don't have a local scrapbook shop nearby (the closest is about an hour away) but I'm sure it would be very hard to resisting purchasing items when they're right there in front of me every week! Our big box craft stores seems to have the same inventory all the time so I usually only purchase essentials like adhesive and white cardstock when I'm there. And what has really helped me lately is looking at the large amount of product I already have - that makes me feel too guilty to spend any more money!