I wish I knew then what I know now... It would have saved me a whole lot of money when it comes to my crafty stash. I have no idea why I keep buying patterned paper and at the same time I can't remember the last card I used any of it. It just isn't my style of crating to use it, but at the same time it doesn't feel right to get rid of it either. As much as I blame my significant other for being a hoarder, and to be fair, the way he accumulates unnecessary stuff really drives me bonkers, but I am filling up my craft room something awfully quickly too. And the most scary thing is that I have a budget tracker on my phone and I can see exactly how much I have spent on crafty stuff. And let me tell you, I could have paid off quite a bit of the mortgage with that money.
So my half penny's worth for anyone starting their craft stash: I have noticed that the stuff I keep using over and over again are my dies, particularly banner dies, stitched rectangles and basic stuff like that. In addition, a good set of watercolours, or whatever other colouring media you feel most comfortable with, along with a few good black inks (a waterproof one and one that is suitable for alcoholic markers if that's what you use). A few basic embossing powders - I usually only use my white, clear and gold ones and a good embossing ink (I love Versamark). The only patterned papers I use are very basic patterns, polka dots and striped ones, I never use the gorgeous floral ones or the ones with funny animal patterns or other stuff. So these days I mostly spend my money on more dies - I love the sentiment ones - and floral stamps because I know I will use them over and over. I have almost the full set of Tim Holtz distress inks as they are perfect for so many things - inking with a foam pad for backgrounds, emboss resist, watercolouring, pretty much anything. Except stamping. If you find yourself stamping a lot in other colours, you want to go for something else, but I can't remember when I would have stamped in anything but black, sometimes a very light neutral for no-line watercolouring. You can really get far with just some basic stuff until you know what your favourite techniques are! I know this might not apply to what you use, particularly if you are into mixed media. But the best idea is to follow blogs or crafters you like and see what they use, I find that's the best way of finding new brands I like and new ideas for techniques.
Anyhow, after that long speech, I'm climbing off my soapbox and although nowhere closer to decide what I will do with all my patterned papers, I have managed to produce a card today based on the sketch over at Retro Sketches. I have had rainbows on my mind ever since my rainbow macarons and I thought the sketch was a perfect chance to use up one more of the rainbow backgrounds I made ages ago (I used my favourite background for this card). I'm also linking up with the rainbow heart challenge over at The Challenge (it's my second entry for this challenge) and Time Out where the theme is Celebration with the optional twist of die cutting or fussy cutting. I have used a lot of my favourite dies for this card - the Stitched Rectangles and banner dies, along with the Scripty Happy Birthday die and my new NBUS Stitched scalloped borders dies. Last but not least I'm linking up with Addicted to CAS where the code word is Rain - my interpretation being RAINbow.
Paint: Tim Holtz Distress Paints
Dies: Lawn Fawn Stitched Rectangles, Happy Birthday Border, Stitched Scalloped Borders and Extra Sentiment Banner dies