I had felt guilty about not using my rub-ons much lately, so I sorted through them and found a frog holding a balloon. My son had received a frog Pillow Pet for his birthday, so I had the inspiration for my birthday layout. (I won't even mention how ancient those cloth brads are--but mixed with current stuff, they don't look so old!)
I remembered those rub-ons when I worked on my Color Room layout for the week. The colors matched the left-over rub-ons, which went with a recent photo I'd taken of my sons and their friend, so I put it all together into this:
I tend to be an inspired-by-story-and-photo gal, but I find getting inspired by product sometimes leads to greater creativity (and more satisfying layouts). This process of inspiration-by-product meade me ponder: I think we ALL want to use up some old stuff. We bought it, so we hate throwing it away, but it's hard to go back to old stuff when that new stuff is so...delectable.
To help dig into the older stuff, I'm dedicating myself for the next few months to using my stash. Not all of it, of course, but I tend to shop in stores for inspiration more than shopping in my stash--and limiting myself helps increase my creativity.
So here's my categories of stash:
- die cuts
- buttons and brads (I have tons of these)
- patterned paper (ditto)
- overlays and acrylic
- digi products (the worst organized part of my stash)
- tools: rulers, die cut machines, templates
- Each layout I look at my list (it's in my idea notebook), I think about one product that might be good for that page, and I look through that product in my stash for inspiration.I limit myself to just one product to search through in my stash, and I try to pair it with my imagined page.
- If I get inspiration for another project during my search, I take out the product, leave it out, and jot down my idea. Here's an example: I saw these remaining animal rub-ons and thought I'd use the pig on my Chinese zodiac sign; the stars I'll use as a mask for a 4th of July LO; I can always use a pretty white rub-on flourish; and the dresses (which are new from my Studio Calico kit) I thought I'd use on a LO about how I NEVER wear dresses. Much to my husband's chagrin.
- I also consider my page in process and think of how I can use similar products that I haven't used recently. Case in point? Substitute eyelets instead of brads:
- If I feel mojo-less, I organize one supply to get inspired by product. It usually works.
- If I have a product I want to use for whatever reason but I don't have an idea for it, I leave it on my table. I'm a tidy person--not Poirot tidy, but it offends me to see this orphaned product so much that my creative juices inevitably get flowing just to get that sucker off my table.