January 3, 2013

Finding your own style + creating your own product kits...

I've been wanting to share a post of this nature for a while now and a fresh, new year is the perfect time.  When I knew my one year term with Becky's Project Life Creative Team was ending, I was left thinking what now, who will I identify with in terms of my Project Life?  Then it dawned on me that this is the perfect time to just be me.  Although I'll be using some Project Life kit products from various companies this year, I'm really looking forward to having my own creative style shine through in my albums + my cards & packaging and other crafty ventures.

With those thoughts, I want to do two things to start off this new crafty year:

1.  First I want to find out what my style really is, or do I even have a style? It's sometimes so hard to look at our own creations and nail down a certain style or type of design or category that we think we should fit into.  

2.  Secondly I want to make sure that my Project Life pages and other creations reflect my style.  I want my creations to represent the things I like, the colors & patterns & products I love, my artistic/design style.....the way I roll.  I want to make sure that my creations aren't dictated too much by kit items or a certain type of product.  

So first off I set out to find my style.  Hang with me because this is where lots of photos come into play.  I went through my photo galleries and Pinterest boards and picked out my favorite photos.  
Mish Mash
 It was amazing how you can get your style to shine through if you do this little exercise.
Mish Mash
 I started off with inserts from my Project Life pages.
Mish Mash
 The same colors kept popping up...aquas/robin's egg blue, peaches, pinks, greens, chartreuse, yellows, oranges.  Every color of the rainbow showed up.  But I noticed they were all in muted, toned down colors.
Mish Mash
 I noticed that I like to use nature as inspiration like flowers, butterflies, birds and natural fabrics and linens.  I found that I like to add handmade touches that give a homespun or maybe a country feel.
Mish Mash
 I found that I like to use lots of layers and machine stitching. And that I love pattern.
Mish Mash
 I found that my style really is a mish mash of this and that.
Mish Mash
 I then picked out some favorite greeting cards that I created last year.  The same was true as above.  I love to mix and match colors and patterns.
Mish Mash
 There were lots of layers.
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There is lots of little details scattered here and there.
Mish Mash
Nature and floral prints were a favorite.  
Mish Mash
A mixture of rainbow-y colors are all splashed together onto paper.
Mish Mash
And lots of vintage items and papers like phone book paper, ledger paper, and old grid papers find their way onto my projects.
Mish Mash
I found the same rang true when I looked at photos of items I gathered together for kit items for my shop.  Lots of softer colors + neutrals were used.  
Mish Mash
I used the same style on gift and packaging type items like tags and bookmarks.  Lots of colors that maybe wouldn't be normally grouped together but I threw them all into the mix.
Mish Mash
Keeping with the layers and little details.
Mish Mash
Soft whites and neutral Krafts were used to keep the patterns and colors from becoming too busy.
Mish Mash
More florals and some bolder patterns + layers.
Mish Mash
Some favorite photos were selected for this mini album I need to finish.  Lots of vintage items and small details.  
Mish Mash
Then I moved on to my Pinterest boards.  Checking out what you pin is a great way to discover what you like and what your style may be.  The same colors and floral designs kept popping up.  
Vintage items, lots of color and muted tones. 
 Bits of handmade items showing through.
A mixy matchy style of combining patterns and colors.  
Pinterest Link
Mixing a rainbow of patterns and colors together just to see what I come up with.
Pinterest Link
Loving the handmade touches and the attention to the little details on so many projects I pinned.
Pinterest Link
Loving the handmade embellishments versus using all packaged items.  
Pinterest Link
Putting it all together in a fun way.
Pinterest Link
The neutrals always pop up, especially natural linen colors, tans, browns, greys and all colors of whites and creams.
Lately fine linens have become inspiration for color schemes and textures.
Pinterest Link
Household items that are more neutral in nature are also very inspiring to me lately.  These beautiful ironstone pieces have such a variety of whites and creams.
Pinterest Link
Taking the time to sort through lots of photos was so helpful in pinpointing my style.....I'm not sure my style has a name and it certainly isn't for everyone....but now I have an actual view in front of me of what I like and what appeals to me.  

So now this brings me to part two of my post today....making sure that my style shines through on my projects.  To do this I'm creating my own product kits and am building a stash of items that really represent my style.  I'm planning to mix and match these handpicked items in with other kit items.  I'll use these products on not only my Project Life but for greeting cards and packaging too.  I want to be surrounded by products that I really love.  This means I'll be doing a lot of purging this year of products that are great but maybe don't fit my style anymore.  

I'm not sure if I'll do a monthly kit or perhaps keep a small crate full of items nearby my work table that I just keep adding to.  I'm  thinking I will allow myself a monthly budget to purchase a few new items here and there.  I thought it would be fun to share some of those product picks here on the blog so that perhaps you can be inspired to create your own kits too.  

To keep ideas flowing of products I want to add to my own kits, I created a private Pinterest board.  There, I pin products that I like as I see them in online stores or on blogs.  When it's time for me to place a fun order, I'll just open up that Pinterest board and add a few of those items to my online shopping carts.  My goal is to use my stash then add just a few items here and there and keep my kit full of a rainbow of colors, patterns and accents. I'm not looking to purchase full lines of any products but rather collect a mixture of this and that.  This way my products all mix and match.  Any scraps that I collect are going into a tray where I'm planning to create fun thank you tags for my shop customers.  

I'm very excited to have taken the time to check out my style and I'm really looking forward to creating my own creative kits this year.  I hope I've sparked a few ideas for you as well.  Stay tuned as I'm working on some product organization posts + I'll be sharing my new ideas for my Project Life process this year too.  :)

28 comments:

Lisa House said...

I am really looking forward to seeing how you create your kits. Creating my own is how I am tackling Project Life this year as well but I am having a hard time narrowing down what products I want to use in my kits. Like you I am a vintage inspired, muted colour girl and love homespun touches. You are an inspiration to me and all that I create so I can't wait to see what you are up to with Project Life in 2013!!

Terrie Dodd said...

Can't wait to see what the new year holds here on your blog...Love coming "home" to see what you are creating. Love your style too...

Terrie Dodd said...

Can't wait to see what the new year holds here on your blog...Love coming "home" to see what you are creating. Love your style too...

stephanie said...

Your post full of these amazingly beautiful photos was the perfect inspiration for me this afternoon...

Thank you.

Sherry Eckblad said...

I too am excited with where you are going with your Project Life and other items this year. I am not committing to any kit either, but rather going with different things that I like. I love muted, country chic things with a little bit of white and cream mixed in.

justasiam said...

This year, I have challenged myself to use up my existing stash instead of buying more stuff. So I am very interested in putting kits together and will be back to see how you do this too.

Candy Bryant said...

I just had to LOL when you said your were trying to find your style. I've looked at thousands and thousands of scrapbook pages, project life layouts, and things on Pinterest. I can always tell which ones are yours. I don't even have to look for your name to know I'm right. I can close my eyes and see your color palette. Wahine, you have got it going on. You are country chic with a dash of whimsy. Only you would add snow to confetti! I love seeing how you live, how your redheads are growing, and good boy Charlie!?! Remember that you are appreciated even from us living far away. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou or Happy New Year Hawaiian style. Hugs & Aloha.

Rosie Lilya said...

I am on the same page as you! I think it started with Dec. daily. It all was too much, almost a chore. I have started purging too :) I got rid of TONS of paper and even my cricut expression (only cuz I got a new cutter!) But I totally agree, I have learned what I like and actually use. I love your style too!! I look forward to this NEW Perspective journey of creating- Thank you for always sharing

Kristy Hansen said...

What a great post. I don't do PL....but I do 12 x12 pages and make cards...so these ideas will come in handy. I really need to stop buying for the sake of buying just because I see one card made from a paper or special stamp. My year ahead needs to stay with what I like. I purged a bunch of stuff to give to an afterschool program near me. I first looked at it and thought "all that money"...so your post came at the perfect time. I am going to really think twice before buying this year. I have created a bin of papers that I have used and still love but it is no longer available. Perfect for cards.....it is labeled USE THIS FIRST....so hopefully the bin will go down as the year moves forward...then I can add to it when I use some of the newly acquired paper. Some companies I just have to have--for no special reason--just love their stuff-such OA...I can't tell how much Make it Merry I have.....Again thank you for the great ideas in your post today.

crazymom said...

You are truly amazing and inspiring!

Muriel.A said...

I'm french girl and you are my best inspiration for my Project Life, for one year ! Thanks !!

sharrilou said...

Beautiful and inspiring post. Love it all, can I come live at your house?

Emma Miya said...

I seriously think I am going to do this. thank you so much for a great idea!
Love your style!

Maureen said...

I love your style, Mish, no matter what it's called. I find it difficult to define my style too. I love the way you use patterned paper and bakers twine. You've got me leaving long tails on my twine :) Happy New Year!

Tami McBeain said...

Love, love, love this post. I agree with some of the other posters in that I can always spot your cards and projects right away. I love your mixie matchie style and you are always an inspiration for me to look at my supplies differently. I am so looking forward to what you'll be adding to your little store and thanks for the inspiration to take another look at my own style!

Dawn said...

Great post! So hard to not try to be someone else when there's so much out there!

Elizabeth V. said...

Thank you (again!!) for all the inspiration. I snorted just a little when I read you are searching for your style. I can tell a glance that the work is yours when I see it in print or on Pinterest. You have a style that is uniquely and beautifully yours! I appreciate the motivation to shop my stash. I am starting Project Life for the first time and have been busy pulling stamps to make my own journaling cards. Wishing you a blessed New Year!!

Sandi said...

Thank you for this post. I too have spent several months revamping my "stash" i.e. "store" after beginning PL last year. I now look at both products, and processes differently. This way of telling and preserving our family memories suits me to a tee. I also gave away loads of stuff, still really nice and unused, but I now knew that I would not use it either. It gave me such a pleasure to know that others who could not afford to purchase the items, would love using them. It also gave me a collective sigh of relief to have less "stuff" in my space. I need order and organize-reorganize continually, but when there is too much in the space, I literally cannot think and creativity is blocked. SO, thanks for the OK to do just as you are: purge, organize, and use my stash. I love this project!

Unknown said...

Looking forward to your PL posts this year - your style is amazing and you have inspired me so much! Thanks for continuing to share your creative genius with us!

Unknown said...

Looking forward to your PL posts this year - your style is amazing and you have inspired me so much! Thanks for continuing to share your creative genius with us!

Unknown said...

I am looking forward to seeing what you do this year given this post. I use to subscribe to a couple of big company card kits but stopped b/c most of the time the products were not really "me". So I struggled to use them. Now, or at least this year I am going to do the same thing you are doing and that is stick with colors, patterns, stamps, ect., that make my creative heart sing. I just loved reading this post b/c it reminds me that this is ok.
I check your blog daily b/c your style is similar to mine, so you keep me creative and challenged with your projects.
I do know that PTI products and October Afternoon products are my consistant favorites, so I typically make a budget for their releases and buy b/c I know it is my style and it will be used.
Looking forward to spending the New Year with you and your blog!--Diana Finlay

Stacie said...

fabulous! was thinking much the same for this years PL...just don't want to be tied down to one person's KIT!

Green Velvet Box said...

First year doing PL and I'm also hoping to do my own PL kits since I can't really find something I love and I'm all about using my supplies that I've bought in the years past. But since it's my first year, I'm kind of unsure of what to do exactly so I look forward to seeing your take on it! I did sign up for Studio Calico PL kit because I like the mish mash of products and hope when I don't get a chance to do my own, I can subsitute with them. I love your blog and I check it almost every day! One of my crafty goals in 2013 is to let my favorite bloggers know I love them! ooh, and I love your junkin' blog post too!

Peggy Lee said...

Simply chic with a heartfelt touch, I so love your artwork, your blog and your style...and yes I always know your artwork anywhere....thanks for sharing this post I am been working on creating my own style and working on being brave and stretch myself into making my own kits so I can earn a little at home with using up my stash. thanks so much and always a joy to read your blog and follow you. hugs
Peggy Lee

Jan said...

You do have a style that I recognize on other people Pinterest boards! I really miss your card creations. I get very excited and inspired when you do post one.

Addie said...

I too thought this was a great post! Thank you for sharing your thought process and your conclusions. I'd call your style pert-country. Love the contrast between your contemporary floral patterns and your vintage elements. For me making things for others according to what they like interfered with understanding my own style. Also, it's difficult not to be product driven instead of imagination driven. Using what I already have that wasn't geared toward others' taste will be my starting place. Thanks so much for all the inspiration!

Eli said...

wow, it is a longest post :)
Thanks for inspiration, I love your blog.

Desw2331 said...

I have been following your blog for a while now and just checked out your Pinterest page (will admit I am addicted to Pinterest). And I SWEAR SWEAR SWEAR you and I would be BFF's in real life! Love your blog and your project life inspiration. And now your Pinterest inspiration! thank you for being you! ;)

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