this one is really for my local crafty and want-to-be crafty peeps. I'm just wondering if there is any interest in getting together roughly once a month or so and having a little combination Shoebox Shop and Swap our stash gathering?
Now, some of you might not be familiar with the idea so prepare yourself for a long-winded explanation.
A Shoebox gathering basically works on the idea that everyone who comes designs a card or some such project and brings enough supplies (pre-cut papers, pre-stamped images (colouring optional), pre-stamped sentiments, embellishments - in a shoebox, thus the name) for each of the attendees to make the same project. Well, with artistic license of course. You could always choose to make your version of the project different, but you have the supplies! Ideally, the projects would all be simple enough that they could be mostly finished in the time that we had for the get-together.
Of course, the exception to that being if you had images that need to be coloured. I, for one, am notoriously slow colouring my images so I would probably just assemble my card and then colour my images later.
Now, there's lots of ways each Shoebox gathering could be organized. They could be "anything goes" - where we know absolutely nothing ahead of time about what we would be making. They could be themed - so a specific occasion (eg. Christmas, birthday, sympathy) or recipient (little boy, little girl, masculine, feminine, anybody). They could be technique (note that you MIGHT be required to share your supplies if not everybody has them!) based (colouring with Copics, Prismacolor, sponging, masking, unique folds, die cuts). And you don't have to be shy about using "the latest and greatest trendy supplies". Remember, most of the people for whom we make cards REALLY don't "ooh and aah" over the latest papers from (name your fave company). The idea for the shoebox gathering is to USE UP the older stuff we have gathering dust!
I also thought that, in addition to the Shoebox idea, if there was interest we could add a "Shop or Swap" our stash element. SOME of us have been doing papercrafts for a few years now and have more supplies accumulated than some local paper-crafting shops. You know who you are (yes, I am looking into my mirror now).
I know we all hate to part with our much loved stash but, if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes we look at our "stuff" and say "why did I buy THAT?" or "my style has changed, I wish I knew someone I could give/sell this too". Or, if you are like me, you bought a specific stamp or set of stamps to make a card for someone and now have no more use for that stamp. Let's face it - all those little kids for whom we bought those cute stamps are now teenagers and they REALLY won't like getting another cute ballerina or cowboy card for their Sweet 16 birthday card will they? Of course, those of you who do get commissioned by friends, family or co-workers or do craft shows actually DO get to reuse your stamps but, if you are more like me, you make a couple of cards with each stamp and then it is effectively retired from use. Collecting dust. Except, of course, my Verve stamps. I can always reuse my Verve.....
And it doesn't have to be stamps that we sell or swap. It can be that "have to have it" tool that you never used or used just once and didn't like it. Or version one of the tool for which you now have the new and improved version two! It can be your stash of "I'll never use these" embellies (eyelets, brads, flowers, ribbon, chipboard, etc). It can be a partially used paper pad or pack, inkpads, markers, pencils, chalks. Or a particular colour of cardstock, patterned paper... what have you. It can be a Cricut cartridge, a Spellbinders Die, a Cuttlebug folder....you get the idea.
So, why NOT share the love you once had for those neglected stamps or supplies with other crafty peeps? Doesn't matter if they are new, gently used or lovingly used. Doesn't matter if they are in their original packaging or not. Pop them into a ziploc bag, put your name and a reasonable selling price on a sticker. Stick them into a rubbermaid bin, your big ole scrapbooking tote, your laundry basket or reusable shopping bag (or in my case a U-HAUL!!!) and bring them to the monthly gathering. They might not go at one gathering but they might at the next or the next!
Oh yeah - I WOULD like to have this open to both seasoned crafting veterans and newbies alike. I personally have friends that are new to paper-crafting or would even just like to try it out to see if they like it. So, it might happen that, first starting off, some participants might not be able to bring a project for others to do. I would suggest that if we have any newbies that they could bring a snack for everyone instead of a card project or pay a nominal fee for each of their craft project packages that everyone else brings along. Sound like an idea? I'd be happy to trade a ziploc bag of card supplies for a cookie or muffin (doesn't even have to be home-made - I'm good with store-bought) or sell you some of my no-longer-being-used supplies or tools!
Now, have you got the idea about how these gatherings would work? If I've only muddied the waters more, drop me a line via email or facebook and I'll try to do a better job explaining. Interested? Leave a comment here or via email or via Facebook, letting me know what type of papercrafter you consider yourself to be (newbie, seasoned vet, casual, totally without any experience) and we'll see about getting the first one organized. Maybe if we are really keen we could even have one in November. But with the Hallowe'en crunch entering its final week and the start of the crazy Christmas season looming, we might not get started full force until into the new year.
Oh - one thing to remember. Pet allergies for those that might have them. If you have pets at your house and are open to hosting, be sure to mention your fur-babies. If you have allergies to the pets at the host for the month and can't attend but would still like to participate "long distance", we might be able to make arrangements to swap the shoebox supplies all the same.
On that note - I have two cats. I'm mildly allergic to them myself but obviously not that bad. I do seem to have very strong reactions to certain scents (candles, air fresheners, perfumes and the like) so....I don't do well around those but can usually control my itchy eyes with over the counter allergy drugs.