Lately at the Library
Book Note: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye

The Return of Use Your Stuff!

It's been a good long while since I wrote a Use Your Stuff post. Since March of last year in fact. What happened is that last March I redesigned my Textuality class and made a bajillion new layouts, and every ounce of my creativity went into that project. I made a lot of layouts and used a lot of stuff! And then I made some other layouts for a different Big Picture class that either may or may not ever come to fruition. Which means that while I was making a lot of layouts, I wasn't really sharing any of them.
And then I found this blog, the Use Your Stuff Challenge Blog, which exists solely to encourage you to use your stuff.
I felt redundant.
Because, you know: same name and everything!
I considered changing the name of my challenge, just so that no one would think that I was copying. This means I looked up the word "stuff" in the thesaurus, and then I had some epiphanies:
Stuff as in "transportable items" or "items needed for a task" (the kind of stuff I mean) isn't even the first definition of the word.
That is: "a skill, an ability, or knowledge that makes a person able to do a particular job." As in: you've got the stuff to use your stuff.
I very, very rarely use the word "stuff" in the above manner.
Stuff also refers to the basic elements of a thing, in the sense of both the raw materials and the essence.
scrapbook stuff = what you use to make a scrapbook layout, but also the essence of scrapbooking. (Well, only part of it, unless you're grouping photos and journaling into your stuff.)
All of which is to say: I didn't create a new name for my challenge. Partly because, yeah: I could call it "dig in your drawers" (which is what a similar thing is called in my Textuality class) or, I don't know, ambush your accoutrements, or manage your materials, or some other alliteration-rich title, but "use your stuff" is simple. And it means exactly what I intended.
Also because I started my scrapbooking challenge before the use your stuff blog was created, so I'm not copying. (I really didn't discover it until last December.) (I'm fairly certain they didn't copy my idea, either, as A--it's not exactly unheard of and B--my blog gets almost zero traffic.)
But mostly because I'm too lazy to go change all of my post titles and categories.
That said, I haven't stopped using my stuff—all of it, as much as I can, old and new, trendy and classic. In fact, three weeks ago I looked at the cluttered, overflowing mess that was my New Stuff Box and said, that's enough. (Just to myself. But outloud.) I'm not buying any new stuff until I've made 50 layouts with the stuff I already have.
Here is #12, along with a use your stuff challenge:
03 march no6 amy at 41
 (This is my layout for the April WCS Gallery.)
I used a lot of scraps on this layout. (Also it made me realize that I might look like an Amy Tangerine groupie. Those watercolored solids are just such great neutrals!) (Also, I confess to this thought: is Amy Tangerine a fan of Amy Tan's novels?) So this could be a challenge to use scraps out of your scrap container, whatever shape it takes. But it's not!
Today I'm challenging you to use markers.
I love drawing titles/embellished quotes, but it's not something I do very often because it takes some time. I'm nearly always happy with the results when I'm done, though. Even though these things never come out perfectly in my creative world. ("Artsy" is not a word anyone could apply to my skill set.) 
I confess to tracing.
But who cares when it is so fun, right? So, the challenge:
  • Find a quote that goes well with your photos or story.
  • Use markers to turn it into a page embellishment.

Just for fun, my favorite markers/pens:

  • Zebra Sarasa Clip. These are pens, not markers. My favorite pens! There is a wide range of colors and widths, but most importantly, the ink runs smoothly. Love! (I have to hide these or Nathan, who also has an affection for pens, will "borrow" them.)
  • Yes Please markers. (Those come from...Amy Tangerine. I'm so embarrassed.) The colors! The colors! My only wish is that they were double sided with a fat and a thin nib. Also, I bought mine this winter at the American Crafts warehouse sale (which happened to be just down the street from me!), so I'm not sure if they'll be available always.
  • American Crafts Memory Markers. Lots of colors, and dual tips. Perfect!

That was fun! I should do this more often than once a year. So, to motivate me, you should link me up to a layout of yours using markers. Or, if you're not a scrapbooker (why are you not a scrapbooker?), tell me: what is your favorite kind of pen? 


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