Hordes of inspiration
I used to regularly subscribe to at least nine craft magazines and several of those were published monthly. So I didn’t usually have to go more than two weeks before another issue was due to arrive. The great thing about this was, I constantly received new inspiration and advice on crafty techniques (as well as the wonderful wealth of information available via Pinterest and fellow crafter’s blogs). The downside, not to mention the cost :oops:, was the space all these magazines took up.
To keep things from getting out of hand I have a magazine box file for each of the titles and when it gets full there is a one in and one out policy, for the monthly publications I have about two years of each.
Organising my resources
When it comes time to pulling one out I always re-look through it and if there are any pages I want to hold onto I scan them into Evernote. You can read more about my Evernote Digital Storage here. These are usually pages like inspirations for using the accompanying free gift if I haven’t used it yet, you can see some of the projects I made while evaluating these items in this series of posts. I’ll confess, like the great majority of crafters I know I possess far more stash than I have time to use. tutorial series’ with ideas for things like card shapes and any other inspirations for products I already own.
Discovering the Evergreen Designs
Looking through the old magazine and scanning in content I was struck with two thoughts:
First, there were card inspirations in the magazine that would still look fresh and exciting if they were published again now, perhaps the stamped image could be coloured in a slightly more fashionable shade of colour and no other changes would really be needed. Equally, there were cards in the magazine that very much looked out of date and didn’t in any way hold my attention.
Secondly, once I have looked through the magazine and filed it in the magazine file it doesn’t get looked at again until it is due to be taken out again. Which led me to think that I could gain so much more benefit from scanning it into my system so much earlier.
Changing my storage methods
Therefore I decided to take the plunge and work through my magazines and only keep the newest edition of each then I can reduce the amount of physical storage needed and make the most of the content so much quicker. There are certain magazines that will break this new rule, such as the Hunkydory magazine, which will be kept until I have used all the card kits that go with the edition and the Debbi Moore Bringing Inspiration to You.This will follow similar rules to the Hunkydory, once I’ve finished with the paper kits, but have some pages scanned in quicker if I have a disc to go with it.
So what makes a design Evergreen?
All of this got me on to thinking, how will I know which content will I still want to be looking at in months and years to come and it all became really clear and the answer was the evergreen content.
So, who makes evergreen products? I hear you ask…
The first indicator is when a company says their newest products are designed to work alongside the rest. Unless of course this is a new company and this is only their third collection, then the actual design needs to be taken into account. The second indicator is when the product is vintage, like the forever popular Dickensian Christmas designs. A third indicator is if the design is based upon the natural world around us, for instance flora and fauna.
Brands that are associated with Evergreen Design
Here are some brands in my craft stash that are firmly in my evergreen collection:
- Pollyanna Pickering (from Creative Crafting World)
- Joanna Sheen (many of her paper pads and signature dies)
- Lilli of the Valley
- Debbi Moore (especially the Art Deco ranges)
- Sara Davies (Crafter’s Companion) some of her signature ranges
I know these are just a selection of the craft brands out there (and these are UK centric) but I only have limited space in my craft room and not to mention limited finance.
I’m an Evergreen Crafter!
If writing provides a way of ordering your thoughts, then this blog post really helped me to clarify my style as a crafter. Hopefully, it will help inform my choices of purchase going forward (and reduce my spending). It has also assisted with my productivity, especially the decluttering challenge. These are the tasks I am taking away from this post:
- Work through the majority of my magazines and scan the useful pages into Evernote.
- Work through my crafty stash and clear out the non-evergreen older items I have never used.
- Continue developing my Evernote organisation system to make the most of the crafty research library.
2020 Catching up with myself
My long term readers may recognise a previous version of this post was written in 2016. So as it was more than ready for an edit, I thought I would let you know how I have been getting along with my tasks. It is nearly all Good news.
Many of the cards I have made and sent have featured evergreen designs, you can see some of them on my Pinterest Boards. In fact traditional imagery makes up probably about 60% of my cardmaking supplies.
Decluttering my Craft Stash
In September 2019 we moved house. You can read about this experience in my post Moving House as a Spoonie. The move was an incentive to get on with some of the decluttering and I was a bit ruthless with my massive collection of free magazine gifts. Rather than trying each of them before making a decision, I went through and used the spark joy theory. I still have one container full of those who did spark joy (which I really need to try (and blog about) but the rest were sold as they were.
Reducing my magazine collection
The good news is that my collection can’t get any bigger because I have cancelled all my magazine subscriptions!! This was a tough decision but they were getting out of control and I couldn’t keep up with going through them. Fortunately many are available on Readly and I can still read them there. I talk a bit more about Readly on my Recommended Products page.
The not so good news is the digitising project came to a complete standstill when we moved. Partly because my craft desk is so often occupied by my new craft Diamond Painting. But also because I have not added going through magazines to my task manager. So I have a few on top of my shelving unit and the rest are packed away in boxes in the storage cupboard out of sight. It is maybe time I began to rectify that, don’t you think?
What sort of cardmaker are you?
If you are a fellow cardmaker I would love to know what your style is. Are you drawn to the Evergreen like me? Perhaps you prefer more contemporary designs? Or maybe something altogether more abstract? Drop a message below and let me know your preference, it’s good to talk…
Until next time,