the art of doing my own thing
Non-scrapbooking readers? This post is quite scrapbooky so you might want to sit this one out.
As of last month I no longer subscribe to any scrapbooking kit clubs.
This may seem like no big deal except for the fact that I have been receiving a kit...at times multiple kits for the last 5 years.
When I first started subscribing, I felt a bit at odds with scrapbooking. The industry, the community...I just didn't fit and felt as though I was constantly being reminded every time I looked at a magazine or went to my LSS. I also noticed...even a few years prior, that scrapbooking sites were quickly growing an increasingly active online community.
I wanted in.
It felt fresh and modern. Many new shops were popping up run by independent designers like myself. Scrapbookers in general seemed more diverse and with the growth of social networking...many non scrapbookers seemed a lot more receptive to the idea of documenting their lives through pictures and words.
The first kit I got was from a company that seemed headed in a much more current direction. The product I received in my monthly box was from a mix of manufacturers. I found the variety inspiring as it included lots of bits and pieces I wouldn't normally choose myself.
After a while, the boxes began to accumulate. At a price point between 30-40 dollars it suddenly occurred to me how much money was stacked up in the corner of my office. Not only could I not use it fast enough...but only about half of it was stuff I really loved. I mean, they had to cater to more than just me, right?
But I still didn't want to quit. I couldn't. Truth be told...I felt ever so slightly addicted to that box of paper heaven. Plus, I loved the community...I wasn't much of a contributor, but their gallery was awesome, not to mention that they were increasingly turning to independent designers for products to include in their kits. Bananafishstudio included.
This was all wonderful...save for the fact that boxes continued to be stacked unopened in the corner collecting dust.
A few weeks ago I finally called it quits for a few reasons.
I went though all the boxes and the stack I decided to keep was really only a fraction of everything I received. All the other items were fabulous...just not for me. As both a stamp designer and stamp collector, I have become super picky about the stamps I choose to purchase. Stamps represent a significant part of the cost of a kit...no stamp meant more money I could spend on something else.
As I looked through all the papers, and washi and veneers...I thought, it would be so lovely if I had someone who would pick out exactly what I want just for me every month. Then I thought...you do dummy...YOU. You can pick out your own stuff when and if you need it.
In the beginning I felt I needed the kits to be creative, to feel part of a burgeoning community, to be productive...and now I don't. As a major manufacturer of scrapbooking product I still support the kit company albeit in a different way...their products are now a part of the kits I choose for myself...
Yup! that's right. I now choose my own kit every month...well at least since April:) I know the recipe...5-10 patterned papers...no cardstock because I just don't need it. Alpha stickers., but only if I love them because I have a ton, a roll of washi is a must:) NO STAMPS...unless they are super cute, 6x6 pads for my cards and embellishments, always embellishments...stickers, wood veneer, labels...the items I love from collections that are just my style.
For the record, I'm not doing this to save money. I just wanted to take the budget I set for myself and repurpose it so that I could be sure I was getting exactly what I wanted.
Check out my April and May picks:
All papers except the stripes by Dear Lizzy for American Crafts Lucky Charm Collection
Stripes-Oh Snap by Echo Park
Chipboard stickers- Dear Lizzy
Enamel dots and Label Stickers My Mind's Eye
Stars & Such Woodchips- Freckled Fawn
Grey Alphas- Basic Grey
Pink Chevron Washi- Bella Blvd.
6x6 Pad-Studio Calico
All papers except for the tiny yellow dots and pink cameras part of the Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm collection for American Crafts
Pink Camera-Amy Tangerine
Tiny Yellow Dots-Echo Park
6x6 Pad-Dear Lizzy
Sticker Booklet- Dear Lizzy
Smile Washi- KI
Cloud Woodchips- Freckled Fawn
Diced Denim Alphs- Jillibean Soup
Trendsetter Tape Stickers- Fancy Pants
Both kits cost approx 30 dollars each