A letter to my-3 years younger-self
This was 2013, July/August to be exact.
Wasnt it just amazing when you discovered there was a paper crafty circle in your own country? You so wanted to hug every single crafter just out of happiness (the only few that you had come across at that time) and tell them how amazing they were for making gorgeous stuff and for sharing it with everyone.
Wasnt it even more amazing when your eyes were wide open and your heart stood still when you saw those amazing craft supplies all in reach without spending a arm and a leg which you had done previously (through a firm) just to get hold of 2 punches and a speedball linoleum cutter! Which rock were you hiding under??? And then your eyes were watering and you were so sure it was tears of happiness and were jumping with joy (like once ages ago when your Islamiat teacher had commented ‘Maindak ki tarah chalaangain maar rahi hai koi saleeka nahin! haha if only she knew what it felt like :D); even though it was probably because you barely blinked in those 4-5 hours at a stretch till you had gone through every single product that was available at Firely, Artful Crafting (Many-Happy-Returns at that time), Flair Paper Creations, Scraps and at Craft Circus.
Wow! It was like heaven! AND then without a clue and out of sheer happiness and a not so full pocket ‘EVEN’ at that time – *pause* – (justification: thanks to the photography accessories that you had recently spent all your savings on, on a separate note thank God for that, or you would have never have been able to save money for them later!); you placed your first order *drumroll* ‘an embossing folder’ *bigger pause*. What were you thinking?? You were going to use a rolling pin to roll it out? was that your idea of a biceps workout?? Okay glad you figured it wasnt going to work out sooner than later.
Next stop – patterned paper, wasnt it so so beautiful?? why hadnt you come across this gorgeous world before right? wudnt life would have been so amazing?! Second order ’39 sheets of pattern paper’… BTW just so you know, you will still have those 39 sheets in 2016, amongst the hundreds of sheets that you would own. Third order – stickers, a few punches, a few stamp sets (you should have gotten an acrylic block to use them with you know), some flowers, binding rings (wow! you were planning to make an album then?? hahahaha), had to have a few washi too right? and OMGosh moment! got to get a paper pad! add a 6×6 pad to the list too! The paper pad was out of stock so no worries, glad you didnt think of ordering some other one, would have been lying untouched till 2016 as well. Oh well! and then you got the package, btw smart move on getting it delivered to your workplace, and your boss was just staring the whole time at the kid in you opening up a box of candy ignorant of the surrounding (didnt you realize you had a reputation to live up too?). Oh and then you though the ‘freebie’ diecuts were a mix up and wrote an email back just to make sure, thats the sharing happiness part remember? And then the fourth order – had to get some paper, some inks and of course an acrylic block. Oh and then the wonderful Shereen Aftab came to Isloo to conduct a stamping workshop and you could not attend because it was on a weekend?? You know what that was? A BAD Decision *period*.
AND then you heard of The Crafter’s Expo! Another OMG moment! wasnt that the best thing ever! An expo just for crafters?! You were over the moon! AND this was your chance to get to see craft supplies in person too?! NOW or NEVER! You decided to do what you could and sponsor the event and then signed up for a photography pass and planned an entire trip to Karachi just so you could be there. AND then the event that you had your whole trip planned around you could only attend for an hour and a half, you should have spent more time admiring work than zeroing your account balance, with no thought into what you were going to do with what you were purchasing, you just ‘needed’ everything didnt you??
Left: Cant decide what to pick first ? – At the Scraps stall at TCE 2013
Right: Got to tired of shopping so decided to sit and shop in peace? – At the Craft Circus stall TCE 2013
Then came along the gorgeous Teal BigShot, you probably should have thanked Varah a lot more than you did, since that was probably one of your best purchases so far!
Then you decided to set up your own crafty page?! Umm you’re a graphic designer and used to come up with concepts for a few different logos in a day, and it took you a few months to come up with your own logo, which just so you know you will end up changing for the better later.
Left: Original Logo
Right: Updated and much more ‘mature’ version
I dont think you need to be reminded of the craziness that followed, you do have pretty good memory and you certainly werent dumb. Dont you think you should have researched what you were buying? But seriously like 3 sets of the same paper pad and for a dozen designs??? Like what on earth were you thinking? The world would run out of them and you wouldnt have enough to stare at all your life? or these were the only designs that would ever come out? Okay probably not, what were you planning to do then??? Make one album design and then copy it what 3 times and sell it off and become miss richie rich??? HAHAHAHA
Just so you feel a little better, they’re still not amongst your ‘stash’ 3 years later, you did end up selling most of them in the following years, probably have one or two lying around still, and you did sell them at a loss of course so you’re not any richer than you started infact its the other way around!
The first album you started working on……only saw these two work in progress photos and never the light of day!
OKAY so you had all this gorgeous stuff and you could not find time to craft?
Brainwave – QUIT THE JOB. Freelance + crafting + be your own boss = dream come true = eternal bliss.
Bravo! Bravo! Have to hand it to you there! Probably the worst decision of your life!! How on earth did you expect to maintain your shopping pace with no regular pay and a few years of saving?? You knew freelance takes time and effort (the amount which you didnt put in) and doesnt kick in from day one right??
Then what follows is an analysis of every item and reflection on why you purchased it, decision to sell some stuff off, cant handle so much of ‘cant use stuff’, seeing it everyday gives you a creative block. Then you carefully research all the products online, decide what to purchase and what not too, make a smart wishlist with of course ‘a few’ must own items and cant resist the gorgeous paper collections, while all the time trying to land more work to get more money to spend on more supplies.
AND the never ending cycle which will follow to date: received payment for design assignment/craft order > match which of the 1000 items from wishlist can you get > place order > relaxation + happiness for the next few days > check emails + store account for dispatch info > try to be patient for a week > when on earth will it come? > ‘ab aa bhi jaiy’ > packet arrives > OMG OMG *big grin* > remove packaging > pack neatly in ziplock baggies/organize > admire > forget you have to use it too > next payment > *turn repeat on*…
Wish you werent so overexcited back when you started and had made smarter choices and had bought stuff for their utility and actually used what you purchased, you would have been happier, more content and not so broke…
Anyway, ‘I’ need to get back to working on that crafty order where im actually going to use the newest papers and the newest stamps and dies I purchased and add pictures to my facebook page (The Creative Element) and on my Instagram Profile (@thecreativeelement) and add it to an online challenge too, in the ‘hope’ that I can get another order soon or win a gift certificate so I can cross off some more items on my never-ending wishlist.
The journey ahead will be smoother if God wills…
Amna – in 2016
AND for my wonderful Readers:
Amna is a paper crafter and loves craft supplies.
She reflects and researches before buying anything/everything.
Hence ends up making ‘some’ smart choices.
She is using her supplies more often.
Amna is working on being a good girl now.
Be like Amna.
(Adapted from a version made up by the wonderful Amina and totally inspired by the “Be like Basheer” series :D)
My apologies for the awfully long letter, hope you all enjoyed and had a few laughs along the way :P Everyone makes mistakes and I hope all the newbie crafters dont make the ones I did and trust me im certainly not dumb or anything, even though now sure does seem like I was back then lol. Im a perfectionist by nature and most of the time am too critical of myself. If you possess this trait my advice to you would be, let go, experiment lots, dont think too much on it, just get to it and then create some more and more and more. The first 5 or maybe 10 or maybe 20 projects wont make you proud but you will certainly find that your next project leaves you happy. AND most importantly, find your own style. No one is perfect and if you try to take ‘too much’ of inspiration from other crafters, you will either never discover your own style or will end up discovering much later than you could…
Those of you who have subscribed to my blog, need to have subscribed to the other 4 blogs as well or you wont qualify for winning for anyone of the 5 vouchers to the wonderful Artful Crafting store. Yes thats right, we will be handing out 5 of them, one from each of us :D Now who wudnt love to cross off a few items from their wishlists, and just for subscribing to 5 blogs and leaving a bit of comment love?