Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Card: Eat, watch TV, sleep ... arrange your 'bits bag'.

Hello, hello.

During last week's posts about art journaling I mentioned how I might write about the kind of items I make journal pages from, along with how and where I store them. Since then I've taken a few photos and put it on the list of 'things to blog when I get chance' list.

Similarly I've also been asked for posts on how to use the 'Interesting Bits' kits [from my shop] which I must admit, I've found a little trickier. Not because I can't use the kits [there's nothing in them I don't already use myself] but because each kit is one-of-a-kind and the contents are so far-ranging it's hard to show a project which is representative of any single kit without me actually using the kit ... and then I can't sell you it! So I'm still thinking around how best to do that one!

However ... I did come across this card, made a few weeks back, and realised that it's actually related to both the topics I've already mentioned:
Apart from the grid design washi-tape which a friend let me use, everything I used on this card came from one of the zip-lock bags I keep 'bits' in.

'Bits' in this instance can be:
  • stickers:- like the section of tape measure sticker on the bottom of this card and the little blue cloud.
  • ephemera:- the bingo number paper background.
  • leaflets, postcards etc:- like the 'eat, watch TV, sleep' card which was cut from a video game promo postcard.
  • anything which isn't a standard, branded scrapbooking supply: - the panda die-cut came from a pack I found on sale at TKMaxx.
  • supplies I've had for a while and think need using in a new way:- like photo corners. I'm on a mission to make these interesting again ... I'm bringing photo-corners back ...
Then all such odds and ends get thrown into a bag together to fend for themselves.

Really the only rule I put on these 'bit bags' is that they must weigh slightly less than my body weight just so I can drag easily pick one up to carry to my work desk, the crop or to the sofa [the places where I do all my crafting].

And really, this is how it's a bit like using an 'Interesting Bits' kit as because I know there's a little bit of everything in there, I know I'll be able to pull something together from just that bag, a blank card and some adhesive.

Also - the kits are colour-themed already for you, which was actually the only criteria I had when selecting bits for this card. I started with the bingo card and pulled out everything else that co-ordinated - no matter what it was.
I love this way of working:
  • of only using what's in the bag;
  • of not having any pre-conceived ideas of what I'm going to make [I mean, really, imagine me sitting down proclaiming "Today I shall make a card featuring a panda and a bingo card and some clocks and a cloud and washi tape and ancient photo-corners. Oh I do hope I have precisely all those things in my stash". Wouldn't happen.
  • of taking my inspiration from the materials and interesting bits in front of me;
  • of making it work;
  • of using up oddments, scraps and things I've had for a long time.
I find it so serendipitous and inspiring and I think the key to it working is that you're only using a little bit of any one thing:
  • some of those old items of stash might be super-ugly when viewed with the vast set of matching items it came with ... but lift it out ... move it to a safe distance .. and then you can judge it on its own merits. [If it's still ugly then .. you might want to put it in the paper recycling bin ...]
  • lots of vintage style ephemera can give a vintage/grungy feel to a project - which is fine f that's the look you're going for - but I prefer mine mixed in with brighter kitschy kitsch bits for a lighter, modern feel.
  • it makes each project unique, stand-alone, one-of-a-kind. You won't see a million replicas of it on Pinterest in the same month.
  • it makes creating in an eclectic style easy. A no-brainer. If your base materials are a bit of this, a bit of that, drawn from various interesting sources ... then the end product can't help but be a bit different and unique too.
I hope that insight into my bit-obsessed mind was of use to at least one person out there!

Now that I've finished jotting all that down it's suddenly struck me as an odd thing to have just spent a morning writing about ....

I'll be back soon with some exciting magazine news ....

Soon, soon.

Julie :-)


  1. Funny, insightful and gorgeous as ever :o)

  2. Lovely!!! One of these days I will make up my own zip-lock bags of bits and try your technique.. absolutely loving that idea!

  3. Definitely with you on bringing photo corners back - I got a MS photo corner punch as a Mothers Day present and it's pretty nifty. Nice post!

  4. You have re-invented "bricollage" --working with what is at hand! It's a wonderful exercise in seeing parts a new way. Congratulations!

  5. Love the card - especially the Panda. Looking forward to using up my interesting bits!

  6. Another witty post! Love your paragraph on not having any pre-conceived ideas :). And have my hands poised for clapping at the magazine news ...

  7. The insight of your 'bit-obsessed' mind was of use to me! Thank you!


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