Recently I got an email entitled "Help! I'm stuck." I love the question in the email because it really sums up one of the goals Wendy and I had when writing "The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker"—preventing scrapbookers from getting stuck — especially the kind of stuck that comes from too much scrapbook product. There are so many fabulous products on the market today, it's really easy to get overwhelmed. But, when you have the right things in your scrapbook stash, those that help you create scrapbook projects that are in sync with your reasons for scrapbooking, and when those things are organized in ways that support your scrapbooking process, well, that's what being an organized and inspired scrapbooker is all about.
Here's the question:
"I love scrapbooking, card making, rubber stamping and photography. But over the past few years I have accumulated a lot of product. Now, my productivity is nearly zero. My passion has taken a backseat, leaving me stuck in neutral and unable to move forward. I want to get back in the driver's seat creatively, and I know I need to pare down my resources. But I don't know where to start.
Which supplies should I keep on hand, and what do I need to get rid of or put away "in the trunk" for later? I have an ample supply of basic and specialty tools; paper, vellum and cardstock; kits and albums; die-cutting systems and equipment; computer, printer, and software (scrapbooking and photo arts); books, magazines, DVDs, videos and other resource materials.
Thank you for any guidance you can give to help me reclaim my creative drive. I know there are many others out there who, like me, find themselves at a standstill."
This is one of those questions that doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer ... and therefore is a bit tough to answer concretely in a blog post. Each scrapbooker has her own reasons for scrapbooking — from telling her stories, to showcasing favorite photos, to creating things and playing with product. Getting clear about your goals for scrapbooking and what you want to create can help you decipher what tools in your tool box — from alphabet stickers to Xyron machines — will best help you accomplish your goals.
But here are some ideas to help you get un-stuck, and then let's see what ideas all you great bloggers have tucked up your sleeve (right up there with your fabulous crock-pot recipes!)
1. Get back to basics. What are your real reasons for scrapbooking? What do you want to create? And then, what tools and supplies are needed for this?
2. Flip through some of your completed scrapbook projects looking for your favorite pages. Just flip through your books and put a post-it flag on some of your favorite layouts. Then, go back and list the supplies you used.
3. Think back to a time when you were in the driver's seat creatively. What were you doing then? What supplies and tools were you using?
4. Clear out the clutter. I love the analogy of putting some things in the trunk for a while. It's a great concept. By eliminating some of your choices you'll get back to stretching your creativity. Pare down to just basic items. Here's what Simple Scrapbooks Magazine recommends for a basic tool kit.
5. Scrap-lift! I'm a huge fan of scrap-lifting to get out of a scrapbook rut. One of my favorite new resources is Album Shortcuts. It's loaded with simple scrapbook projects that you can finish in a snap...which does wonders for lifting your creative spirits.
OK...so what ideas do all of you have for our stuck scrapbooking friend? What do you do when you get in a scrapbook rut? And what about basic tools and supplies...what are your can't-live-with-out-em-scrapbook-basics? I can't wait to hear what you all come up with!