Setting Yourself Up For Creative Success

Yes, these are Valentines. And yes, the picture was taken just a couple of days ago. And yes, there is a method to my madness. I promise.

In the past, when the time for buying a certain seasonal card or gift passed, I would tuck away all the supplies I used for that season. Then, a few months before that holiday or when people would be ready buy that season, I would pull it all back out and make cards and journals and paper crafts until the season was over.

That was a lot of words to explain that I still have Christmas paper from approximately 10 years ago in a box in the craft room. I’ve never used it, I want to use it but there never seems to be a way or a time to use it.

So I’m stopping this trend with Valentine’s Day. I already had paper, stickers, embellishments and other Valentine goodies out on my work table from when I was creating and listing for our Etsy shop. Timing is super important online because, especially with cards, there is a very definite window of time to buy and use them. No one will be buying Valentine’s cards online the week before the holiday because there is no time to get them shipped, received, written in and sent out. For that reason, I stop listing holiday items at least two weeks before the day.

So here is where my thinking changed a little this year. Instead of putting away all of that paper and all of those stickers, I used all of it to make some very basic cards. I cut scraps into blocks and matted them on coordinating card stock. I made about 20 card bases and covered them with card stock as well. The largest pieces of decorator paper became the backgrounds for the cards and I fussy-cut some of the larger images. It took part of several days to get to this point, but that picture speaks directly to my heart.

Because in October, when I begin to think about Valentine’s Day posts and listings, I will have the bulk of my work done. If you look closely, you’ll see that very few of these cards have embellishments on them. I now have something to look forward to - the best part, if you ask me - when it’s time to decorate the work I’ve already done. I don’t have to worry about the first steps of card making because I’ve already done the layouts. I’ve saved myself some time at the other end and set myself up to be creative and do all the fun stuff when the time arrives. And now that box that was packed full of Valentine’s bits and pieces is full of mostly-done cards, ready for a little inspiration.

What can you do today that will set yourself up for creative success tomorrow?

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