Yesterday I needed to fit something in my drawer of brown embellishments. I dug around a bit, found what I needed, and then started paying attention. Because, you know: holy cow. There's a lot of brown stuff in that drawer. And there's a lot of stuff in my pink drawer, too. And the yellow one. Even the red (my least-favorite color) drawer has, yes, lots of stuff.
I found myself staring at my color drawers and imagining what it would be like if I used up all my stuff. How many layouts could I make? I daresay that, barring adhesive purchases, I could scrap well into the next decade of my life without buying anything.
When we were growing up, my mom had her sewing room. It was a basement bedroom that had a whole wall lined with built-in cabinets that held bottles of food. (She was a domestic goddess who could preserve nearly every food item you can imagine.) Food, and also fabric. Yards and yards and yards of fabric.
Some of it, I believe, is still down in the sewing room. Most of it, I'd dare say.
Because just like when you clean out your fridge and find a whole bunch of good intentions moldering away in the produce bin, crafty supplies are all about what we intend to do. We have every intention of using the ___________ we just bought (adorable flannel, perfect wool yarn that was 50% off, or, in my case, probably a sheet of alphas). We know just what we'll do. But life, alas, doesn't allow for unlimited crafting time. And good intentions, no matter how certain, just don't always get fulfilled, and then you forget why you bought that ___________, or you fall out of love with it or think it is embarrasingly dated, and your stash either builds and builds monumentally or drains your creative energy.
I don't want to leave this world with a teetering tower of unused scrapbook supplies.
I do want to leave this world with a good representation of my family's memories put down on paper combined with photographs.
So I reminded myself: the whole point of scrapping supplies is, you know, scrapbooking. Using the stuff! And then I used some of the things I found in my brown drawer. One of them (the alphas that spell "thanks") are from 2005. Like...way back when I was pregnant with Kaleb! I remember buying them for a layout I made with photos of Haley riding a horse at my friend Sophia's house, but when I made the layout I did something completely different.
Maybe here is a good place to point out that one way to use your older supplies is to combine them with something newer. (Eight-year-old alphas + those new-ish little Studio Calico hexagons, for example.) But really, the main point is that while I was sticking those old Scrapworks letters down I was asking myself Is it embarrassing to use a product that is eight years old? And then I also answered: Gah, who cares? I keep thinking of something Stacy Julian said in a Paperclipping podcast a few weeks ago: something about how it doesn't matter at all, really, when you've made layouts and layouts and layouts for years, what the layout looks like. It doesn't matter. And she is exactly right: it doesn't. Because while the cute stuff is fun to use and to look at, all that matters is the basics: the photo, the story. Why do I make it so complicated?
So here's my challenge to you this week: use your stuff. Use some of it. It might not be the perfect stuff for that layout. Who cares? What matters is that you got it out of your drawer. What matters is that you use the stuff to tell the story.
(Also it matters that you don't go out as the crazy lady who hoarded paper and stickers, but probably that is a different post altogether.)