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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Investments

In taking this Online Card class, Creative Chemistry, with Tim Holtz, I am re-evaluating my craft "stash". The list of supplies that I want and don't have vs the list of supplies I currently have and no longer seem to use only raises my awareness of my artsy journey.

I began as a scrapbooker. So I purchased what was available some ten years ago, patterned paper, decorative punches and scissors, stickers, and acid-free glue sticks. As the industry boomed, more tools were needed, like paper cutters and corner rounders. Then, I became aware of the differences in paper and cardstock as well as the differences between manufacturers. But I was greatly pleased by my scrapbooks. It satisfied that creative need I seemed to have. I found myself taking photos JUST so I could do a scrapbook!

That's when I began to get into card making. I began making greeting cards to use up excess scrapbook supplies. Since I had all the paper crafting tools, why not make something else with them? But then I began to buy smaller sized papers, 8X8 and 6X6. I replaced glue sticks with tape runners of double stick tape. I started a small supply of rubber stamps and a few inks. My letterboxing hobby made inks and markers a handy tool to always have anyway. I bought more cardstock in order to cut my own cards rather than purchasing them to save a few bucks. This also brought me great satisfaction. But what to do with the many cards? I sold some of them but still had way too many to give away to family and friends. I needed some other outlet for this creative need.

I started doing more ATC (LTC) work. I began making altered books. Again my supply list changed. I tended to use more inks, paints, markers. Fewer stickers and patterned papers. My cutters were still important but my punches were not. I migrated back to a glue stick as it had a better more permanent stickiness than the double stick tape. It worked on thinner materials like dictionary pages (torn right out of the dictionary) and magazine clippings.

So where am I at now? I am using rubber stamping techniques mostly. I love playing with inks and spray colors like Glimmer mists, Smooch Spritz, and Dylusions. In taking this Creative Chemistry class, I have rediscovered a love of Distress Ink and water based dyes. Letterboxing had me investing in pigment inks for it's ability to resist water. I've found a new fascination with using the stamps that I carve in making artwork and greeting cards rather than relying on ones that I can buy. Simple images with layered backgrounds pique my interest. COLOR! I LOVE COLOR! Give me a rainbow! And yet, I also like the stark contrast of white and black; opposing factions that work together anyway.

What does that mean for my supplies and my budget? It means, I can dump a lot of older materials. I can use up what I've got and supplement with items that support my evolution. Those items that will enhance the rubber stamp images, the need to play with books, and the love I have for "little" projects like tag books and ATCs. So I will be investing in a good heat tool. The one I own is excellent for embossing but I use it more for drying paper, now. Perhaps, a new waterbrush or two. Those two new ones of Tim's look pretty special (and they should be for the chunk of change it will cost!). Perhaps, a stamp set or two of his as well; I really like the Mixed Media backgrounds and maybe a Splatterfly! My big purchases will be a set of Distress Markers (yes, I will indulge and just get the whole set, why try to pick out which colors I'd use?), and the Dylusions Ink Sprays, again the whole shebang (except maybe the brown and black). I might throw in a set of Dyan's stamps as well as I like her toadstools and I may have to invest in one of her stencils in the perfect size.

Supplies tell me where I've been and where I'm going. It's an investment in a future I can't quite see. I'm investing in something that isn't scrapbooking or card making anymore. I'm heading toward art.

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