Challenge… Yourself!


It is challenge month here on the ScrapHappy blog. Our team has done a great job of reminding you how challenges can be fun and boost your creativity. April’s post focuses on a color challenge, but she also compiled a list of challenges both on her blog and on Pinterest. I encourage you to check out her post!

I think our team has done a good job of covering preexisting challenges, so I want to mix it up just a bit. Take a moment with me. Think back to some of the products you’ve purchased in the past. I bet you still have some of those supplies sitting around untouched, right? So here is my challenge to you: do a stash dive. Go to your supplies, set a timer if you need to, and just start flipping through things. Grab items that you have never used, or haven’t used in a very long time. Don’t worry about them “going together”. This isn’t the thinking part of the challenge, it is the gathering part. Grab anywhere from 5 to 10 items.

Here is my list of supplies.

  1. Stencil Paste
  2. Stickers
  3. Corrugated cardboard letters
  4. Chalk pastels
  5. Brand new liquid watercolor paint
  6. An old gold marker
  7. A newer, unused stencil that I grabbed partway through playing

Now sit down with those things. Put them up on your desk and just look at them. Why did you buy each thing? Did you “just like it”? Did you see it used in a cool way? Did the colors “go with” something else you have. As you think about these things, also think about which ones could fit together. How do they fit — theme? color? texture?

These are my thoughts around each item.

  1. I loved the shimmer of the paste and I wanna be a mixed media queen. Haha. But am I really a magenta pink user? Heck no. What do I do with this color NOW?
  2. The color and shine of these stickers just made my heart pitter patter. I bought them just for that reason. Zero ideas on how to use them.
  3. I don’t even remember acquiring these letters. But they are pretty neutral and have fun texture which is something I often turn to.
  4. I was a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator once long ago and chalk was a must-have demo item. But do I really use ’em? Not so much. (May be a good item to consider purging??)
  5. Brand new liquid watercolor. I was supporting a local store and was excited they were carrying Concord & 9th products. But do I really need more watercolor supplies?? No. But they are so pretty, and right there…
  6. Saw a gold marker demo once upon a time. Had to have one. I hope it still works since it is so old. And why don’t I use it more after all. I love penwork, doodling and a marker that works on dark colors is awesome. How did I forget about this little treasure in my stash?
  7. Stencils are so versatile. I should use them more. I need lots of versatile patterns. Dots are good!

Do any of these items require a play period?

A lot of my items were mixed media things that I needed to apply to surfaces to let them dry. If that is your case, go ahead and do that. Once I made some mixed media pieces, that is when I actually started to see how some of the items could work together, like the gold marker and the stickers.

Of all the things I pulled and played with, I got very lucky that those stickers matched the colors that I played with in both the watercolor and stencil pastes. Honestly I did not plan any of that. I just played. But since I am attracted to a lot of the same color combos, my purchases reflect that, so things often will coordinate.

Time to think of a layout.

Now that you have some items that can fit together, do any events or stories or photos come to mind? Go grab those. Honestly, I still didn’t have any ideas what I was going to do with this pile of stuff. But I sorted through the pieces and started seeing some layout forms come together with design principles: contrasting papers, the pint/quart/gallon concept, framing and visual triangles among other ideas. If all else failed, at least I could put together a design and come up with a story and photo later!

I wasn’t ready to call it quits just yet. I opened up my story binder (a place where I save printed photos and notes for layouts I want to make) and started flipping. I was nearing the end when I hit on this photo. 

I almost passed it by since it is one of a series of layouts I want to create and I thought they would all need to have a similar feel for a cohesive series. But I couldn’t let this photo go. After all the subject has paint dripping down her neck. What better photo to use on a messy mixed media layout?? I had to let go of my previous idea of a series of layouts, and just let this photo be its own art focus. That was a challenge in and of itself!

And the final result…

Here is how it all came together. It was so good to just let my mind wander and pick and choose things as ideas clicked into place. You’ll notice that I did not use all the initial items I pulled off my shelves. That isn’t the point! The point is to use some of those things we’ve been hoarding.

If you enjoy process videos, I’ve got this whole challenge posted.

I hope this gave you some ideas on how to challenge yourself to use up your stash. If you create anything from this challenge idea, we’d love to see your work! We have a Facebook page where you can share things, or if you are a ScrapHappy member, use our Share Your Creativity area in the Circle community. 

I hope to see your projects! Until then, have an artful day.

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