Tiffany here, with an idea that I hope encourages you to get creative!
Last spring, I was talking with some online crafty friends about all the pretty things we had ordered, and how much money we had spent. I went to add up my purchases, and let me tell you, you want to think carefully before you do that. Once I regained consciousness, I realized that I was buying way more than I was using. Sound familiar? Around that same time, one of my favorite YouTubers, GinaBeth1, mentioned that she had so many new supplies, she could make 100 layouts without buying a single thing.
I started thinking about my tendency to shop, and the 50 Projects Challenge was born.
The initial challenge was to create 50 projects without buying anything but necessities. Some participants kept a single kit club subscription, or gave themselves a 'pass' for special occasions. I counted greeting cards, pocket page spreads, 12x12 layouts and even major organizing as projects. It wasn't easy but in the end I felt really good about actually making things, and not just collecting pretty supplies that never made it to a page. I didn't make the dent in my stash I was expecting though!
I learned a few valuable lessons in that first round of 50. The biggest one was that when I didn't have time to sit down and make a whole page, I was more likely to shop. It's easy to whip out my phone and browse through the latest goodies. It doesn't make a mess, it doesn't take much thought, it's fast and it scratches that creative itch. The problem is that it does scratch that itch, and then I'm not as eager to get into my craftroom, and the cycle begins. I also learned that I'm tempted by sales and will buy things that aren't a great fit for my style or needs if I feel like they are a great deal, and if someone I'm inspired by uses something I sometimes feel like I 'need' it even if I'm not sure how I personally would use it.
Now the challenge has a home on Facebook, and though a lot of members stick with the initial idea of 50 projects, some do a monthly goal or choose a more manageable number. The real goal is to encourage each other to pull those pretty papers off the shelf and USE them. To harness that creative energy to actually create, instead of just collecting supplies, however beautiful they may be.
Sometimes I think it takes a challenge, or an encouraging group of like-minded crafters to get us going. It can be hard for me when a lot of my online crafting buddies are enabling and I'm trying to watch my pennies, or even just make time to use the last collection I purchased before buying more.
If that sounds like you, you're welcome to join us! We now have over 1,000 members on our Facebook group, with thousands of projects shared and zero temptation brought about by shared deals and hauls.
And if 50 Projects doesn't sound like a challenge or community that would work for you, I encourage you to find something that is a better fit. But consider a challenge that includes some accountability and encouragement to help kickstart a season of great productivity! I'd love to hear your thoughts on how challenges have helped you dig into your stash and create, instead of just collecting.
Creative Team Member of SCRAP YOUR SCRAPS
I have been a member of the 50 Projects group since October 2013. Since then I have completed 6 rounds of 50 projects! I cannot tell you how much this group has inspired, encouraged, and motivated me. It's the best thing that's happened to my scrap booking hobby in years. I had been in a little slump the past few years. I would look at Pinterest and get ideas, but never followed through on any of them. I had all the supplies and really liked buying them; but the motivation just wasn't there. I had joined another group on Facebook which happened to mention the 50 Projects group. I asked to join and started following the many posts of people's finished projects. That's when the change began! I started to get motivated. I started to see projects that looked like fun. I started to get inspired and really wanted to create. When I started posting my finished projects, people actually liked them and commented on them! I really felt like I was part of a community and that I belonged somewhere. I retired two years ago and had worked from home for years before that. So this Facebook group became somewhat of my connection with the outside world. Not only did I feel a connection, I was starting to use my scraps, papers, punches, and all the embellishments I had been storing! I started to get organized. I created a beautiful space for my scrap booking. I could go on and on, but I don't have time. I have to get back to my scrap booking!
Creative Team Member of SCRAP YOUR SCRAPS
50 Projects - On May 17, 2013 I joined and posted my first project. To date I have completed 5 rounds of 50 projects and have almost completed round 6 as well. When I joined 50 projects I had been on a buying binge for a long time and not really creating as much as I wanted to. 50 projects got me away from loading my " shopping carts" from multiple online stores and back into my craft room to create. All the members are great in that everyone encourages each other and likes and comments on each other's projects which I think goes a long way to get us motivated to keep on creating. It is a great community of kind and talented people. I get motivated by seeing what everyone creates from cards to layouts to organizing all our precious paper crafting tools and supplies. Tiffany is brilliant in seeing a need that I think a lot of us paper crafters can relate to in that we sometimes ( ok... For me it's all the time! Lol) get carried away and buy all the beautiful products out there and then have them pretty in our rooms/ spaces but don't actually create. This group is a great place to start creating and maybe not buy so much or at all until you start actually using up some of your great purchases that you had to have! This group was also the jumping off point for me to start meeting a lot of great and talented people and be part of some great design teams where I have been able to expand my creativity. Thank you so much Tiffany for all you have done for me personally as well as a lot of other paper crafters who are now creating instead of just buying!