creativity full speed ahead!

Want a peek at one of my Big Idea Festival pages?

If you’ve visiting me from over there – HI!!! I hope you liked my projects + had BIG fun. I love that every summer puts on a free class/celebration. SO COOL.

Know what else is cool? We’re just over 1 week away from starting my next BPS class! Use Your Stash begins September 2! (Info + registration here: I’m so excited about this class- and I’m really hoping that it encourages people to DO. That’s such a key – to actually make stuff.

You see, so far this month I’ve been a lot lower on the “creating” side of things than I normally am. Know what? It actually HURTS my productivity! That’s right. No matter that I was super busy and didn’t have time – the lack of creating in August has slowed me down + made my ideas fewer and farther between. But guess what? I got my mojo back!!! How? It’s really easy.

I make stuff.

Oh it might be a tag or just fooling around with an idea… but I play with products. Then, when I feel relaxed and not all up in my own head too much I start scrapbooking and/or making “real” projects. This lowers my anxiety, helps me be more productive, and guess what else?

The more I create, the more ideas I get, the easier and faster I work.

It sounds kind of backwards, but it’s totally true for me! One thing that really helps me get moving is to look at past projects/favorite pages. Here is the final layout from my last class (Camp Scrap) back in July. LOVE this page:

(most product is the Girls’ Paperie paper girl line)

I am also inspired by having things in my stash that I enjoy using. I’m not a believer in “use it all up” for everything. For example, I have some awesome metal flowers I’ve had for a few years… every once in a while I NEED one of them for a page, and I use it. I don’t fret over having extra – the way I see it they’ll be useful someday.

If it’s going to be useful, if it inspires you, it’s worth keeping.

When I give something away or find it a new home, it’s because I don’t feel confident it will be used up eventually. (FYI – still time to get in on the give-away a few posts down if you haven’t already!) To me there is a HUGE difference between collecting supplies and just being a crafter that has a large stash – but a stash that is used and well loved.

(a week #1 Use Your Stash class peek!)

I’m going to head back and keep creating – I’m working on a few projects to share right here very soon… stay tuned! I’m VERY happy to be working at full speed once again. Feels good!

In the meantime – if you have any questions (about class, a product, my process, ANYTHING!) please feel free to ask here. I’d love to answer! Bonus? I will pick a few random question askers to get happy mail from me… just a little treat to say thanks for leaving a question.

{have a creative day}

43 thoughts on “creativity full speed ahead!”

  1. May, I’m going to be taking your class starting Sept. 2.
    I am soooooo looking forward to it! I really need to use my stash 🙂 What perfect timing that you were teaching a class right up my alley! Whoooo Hoooo!

  2. I am amazed at the little bits and pieces you have to embellish your pages. How do you keep them organized? I would use them more if I could lay my hands on them –

  3. Hi!

    I have the same question as Sandy, how do you organize your stuff? I find that not being able to see it all hinders my process. I have a wall of Ikea cabinets that my “stuff” is in and then subdivided into smaller bins.

    I am taking part in the Big Idea festival. I loved your projects today so much I am going to take your class next week!


  4. Love your projects at BPS today … and you made a card!!!!!
    I’m all signed up for Use Your Stash – can’t wait! Quick question for you: what are your fave colours of glimmer glam, glimmer glaze and chalkboard glimmer mist? They’ve just become available in my fave online store here in Oz and I’d like to get some!

  5. I love how creative you are!! I’d love to know how you keep your scraps organized. I try my best to keep my bigger pieces with the original collection of papers, but the smaller ones seem to get lost in my scrap space, which is not all that big, lol! 😉 I want to get a good system going where I can actually use those great scraps for other things. Any advice would be awesome! 🙂
    – April W

  6. You’ve gone on a lot about yor personal creative journey, which I find fascinating. Here’s the thing though, I really admire your style and others like you, but I can’t seem to get there on my own. I don’t think it’s a case of trying to copy somebody’s style rather than finding my own..I just get lost in the details. I don’t know how to make it all work and I end up really unsatisfied with a lot of my pages whether they are chalk full of ideas going on or really simple, or somewhere in between. Any advice?

  7. Regarding your stash… I’d like to hear your thoughts about paint, inks, mists, that sort of thing. Do you have every color in case you might need it? Do you buy colors as you need them? Do you have just a few and make do with what you have?

  8. Use Your Stash REALLY sounds like something I’d like to try. I have had such a bad year that I don’t really ‘attend’, just keep access to get back to. (Just realized that’s one more issue I have with not using my “stash”). Anyway, I’m keeping the class bookmarked and really going to consider if I will take advantage of it or blow it off. I love the fact that we can converse with you if we have questions.

  9. Hi, May! I just signed up for UYS yesterday, and I’m so excited about the class! I also took Camp Scrap, and I have a question: will the new class be similar in structure to CS? Will we have sketches and recipes and journal prompts each week?

    Camp Scrap really inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things I’d never tried before, and I totally loved the results. In fact, one of the layouts I created for CS has become one of my favorites ever.

    Is it September 2nd yet? How about now? ; )


  10. Love your project in the festival at BPS! Your layout about your hubby was funny. Thanks for sharing.

    Great post today! I felt kindred about the metal flower section. I have some old product but I love it. Glad to hear that you do the same.

    I love how open and accessible you are to your pubic. You are cool that way!

  11. Hi! I like your style! i have a big stash of sb supplies i have been collecting for 12 years! I need help using it all! WHat is your best tip? thanks !!!

  12. I have taken a couple of your classes and loved them. What are the steps you take when starting a LO? Do you get inspired by products first and then find pictures to match or pick your photo’s and try to match products? I spend ENTIRELY TOO MUCH time deciding what to do with my papers and embellishments. I have started using sketches and that has helped me.

  13. My question is similar to Melissa L’s… how similar is this class structure to Camp Scrap? I love that I can go back and use the recipes for a variety of pages. I am just worried that with school starting I will be too busy to keep up. I am hoping it is like Camp Scrap and the Recipes class where most days were not creating specific pages, but instead were ideas for using any paper or any embellishments. (I hope that makes sense… It seems a litttle confusing now that I read it over again!)

  14. I am enrolled in “use your Stash” class and so looking forward to it. My question: Have you ever shown photos of your studio ?- I love seeing how others crafters organize their stash

  15. Hi May! Loved Camp Scrap & sooo looking forward to Use Your Stash. My question: how did you go from a LSS manager to writing reviews & articles for Scrapbook Update and teaching classes at BPS? Thanks for the inspiration & constant reminders to stay true to our own creative vision.

  16. What I’m curious about is how to use some papers in my stash, specifically the Whitewash Collection. I bought this for your self- paced class Extraordinary Paper and love it. Yet I feel as if there’s more I could be doing with it. I would love to see some more of your ideas!

  17. I will be taking your class as well and feel like I had a breakthrough this weekend. I freely created two layouts which I LOVE and went around the house all day saying “don’t box me in!”. I feel like I have been creatively boxed in for years, and I am now liberated! I will create pages that are *ME* and not lifts of other artists I thought I needed to be like. Thank you for your inspiration! My question is, how did you celebrate your inner self when you discovered you had your own style?

  18. I love your projects at the Big Idea Festival today! I’m also looking forward to UYS starting next week! My question–do you have any plans to write another book?

  19. hey May! Got a recipe? I love the fun things you come up with, the bonus handout from the Recipes for Scrapbooking class was SO awesome! Love the pot roast and the kicked up brownies! And I’m still craving your lemon cake with walnuts and cream cheese! (yes, I’m hungry this morning!)

    Share something new, will ya? I see you’ve working out and stuff but come on, I know you’ve got something good to share!

  20. How often do you tend to go hybrid with your scrapbooking?

    I took your class and created several hybrid layouts then. But not many since even though I love all the stuff you can do by being hybrid.

    I guess my biggest question is how to you combine it with other things like a kit club for instance and how often do you do it?

    Can’t wait for UYS still plugging along organizing trying to find my counter and floor hope to see it by the weekend. ;o)

  21. Hi May!

    I’m pumped for class to begin in a few weeks. I will actually be on vacation out of state and have packed up some of my stash to take with me. I’m particularly excited about it because it is going to “force” me to really use my stash!

    Anyway, my question for you is about purging: How often do you do it?

    Thanks for being one of those crafters who truly inspires me!


  22. I would really like to learn more about your process of putting a layout together. Mainly when and why you use paint – do the pictures/story call for it or is it your mood/ want to play, and how do you pick from your stash when there are a couple items that would work (example tags) that would work but none work just right?
    Can’t wait for class.

  23. When is your next class once Adventures in Scrapbooking: Use Your Stash is over? I like to have something to look forward to!

  24. hi again May! and YES i’m coming to see you from the BIG IDEA Fesitval…it’s so full of great inspirational ideas ! TFS the sneek peak…is that ‘stash’ you’ve used? it looks awesome…specially the butterfly…where did you get that or is it a punch? I cant wait to see…I hope you’re pleased to know that I’ve finally ‘won’ something! yes I am the SO LUCKY winner of the JBS prize pack from the BIF and I’m so looking forward to receiving it ‘downunder’ LOL; and I cant wait for 2nd Sept…OMG is it really that close he he he {happy craftin back to u} Mazz xxxx

  25. Love your creations! How do you find time to do everything you do? And how do you store your ribbon?

    Can”t wait for “Use Your Stash” to start.

  26. Truth?

    I don’t cook in summer. Salads, meat cooked outside, cold sides… I AVOID my kitchen in summer. It’s toooooo hot!!!

    Come fall you’ll see some new recipes. Heck – I work out SO I CAN cook!! 🙂

  27. May, I’ve always admire your use of your own handwriting on your pages. Do you ever use computer generated journaling? What tip would you give to a person who doesn’t feel comfortable using her handwriting for fear it will mess up the page?

  28. I’ll confess, when I feel like my Muse is AWOL I resort to a scraplift; it’s amazing how that coaxes her out of hiding and I’m off and running. It’s certainly true that creating every day keeps the ideas flowing.

    I’ve been on a stash-busting kick since we all started talking about UYS at Camp Scrap. Here’s my Q: how far back does the stuff in your stash go? I’ve still got plenty from 5+ years ago; there’s not much I look at and know I’ll honestly never use. I just did a LO on the weekend, and except for the cardstock base everything on the page was older than my grandson in the photos, LOL.

    I’m really looking forward to class starting – bring it!

  29. LOVE the page! And I’ve been struggling with the “use it all” mentality, too–I have a decent sized stash, but I regularly purge things I don’t love, and I just love having lots of bits and pieces to choose from when I create!

  30. I am on the fence about the Use Your Stash class and I was hoping you could help push me over the edge : ) I have found that I really like the inspiration I get from BPS classes but ultimately want the layouts to be “mine” and tend to stray away from scraplifting the layout presented in each lesson. How much of the class is focused on techniques for using your stash and how much of it is creating specific layouts?

  31. Hello May,

    Love your style. My question is can you show photos of your workspace and also give us some tips on how to organize our stash. I find I spend a lot of time looking for stuff I know I have but don’t know where I stashed it. I try to be organized. Would love to see your workspace and organization tips.

  32. Hardware store purchase: a bin with lots of little drawers and things (meant for nails, etc) is perfect for my buttons and bits! 🙂


  33. Any suggestions for my habit of saving all the new stuff? I save it for something special and then before you know it it isn’t new anymore! I’m working on using my stash more quickly since there is always something newer I’ll love.

  34. have you tried glimmer glam and glimmer glaze? is one better than the other, and if you have tried them, what would be a couple “go to” colors that would be good to have?

    p.s. thanks for the tip about Tim Holtz Rock Candy. watched the video. bought it. used it. LOVE it! 🙂

  35. I’m kind of embellishment challenged. Perhaps Use Your Stash will help me with this! Here’s my question: When you’re at the embellishment stage of a layout, do you think, for example, “I need a button and a butterfly,” and then go look for those things? Or, do you just look through your stash and use whatever catches your eye?

  36. Hi May, just wondering how many layouts etc will there be each week ? I really, really, really need to use up my stuff, lol!

  37. ok then :O) i love this idea about scrapping my stash and i guess part of it is for ‘us’ to have the ability to change things out if we don’t have a certain thing that you are using? i noticed chipboard buttons…….. i could use another real button?
    and how long is this class? sometimes :O) when i am responsible for myself :O) things don’t get done when they are supposed to!!!!! :O)
    i would like to blame that on the fact that i work at a high school, but rumour has it, i have always been this way :O)
    will check out more of your classes today at the website

  38. Do you organize your stash by color, theme or product type. I go around and around about this. somethings I organize by theme – Halloween, Christmas, Beach etc. Most things by product – box with all my journaling spots, all brads in one tin, all buttons in another, Ribbon is all together, all my stickles in a bowl… When I make a page I don’t think “Oh I need something blue here.” I think “I need something masculine, metal…” or “I need soft , pretty, ribbon…” So then I look in that thing’s container and look for the right color and texture.

  39. HI May, I took Camp Scrap and loved it. Was debating about the Use Your Stash Class. But, I have signed up for the Book of Stories. I need a way to store my stories and get them told. That being said, my question is about your journaling. How do you keep your stories in mind? How do you journal?

  40. Hi, May. I took your scrapbooking with kits class and loved it! My question is such a simple one, but I am sure there must be at least one other person like me. LOL I have such a hard time coming up with a title for my pages. Consequently, I have many pages with no title. There are also lots of pages with no journaling. I realize that not all pages have to have journaling, but somehow it seems as though something is missing if I don’t have any. Sometimes the journaling just comes naturally and I have to stop before I write a book and other times I just can’t seem to get into it. Occassionally when I go back to a page I can come up with the journaling, but not always. The title is the hardest for me though. How do you come up with your titles.

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