02 July 2011

Buy Nothing Summer: Conquer the Want

Let me tell you: my bank account balance is LOVING this Buy Nothing Summer challenge that I have issued for myself! Since most of my purchases are generally art or craft supplies, I've hardly touched my ATM card since the challenge started. I even paid off half of my credit card balance, since I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be tempted to go on a craft binge.

That being said, it's not all easy. The hardest part of buying nothing, I think, is conquering the want. Every day I get all these emails about new products being used in new ways. Sharpie just released a line of fabric markers called Stained. Julie Balzer did a blog feature about sun printing with fabric paints. Somebody else used fabulous images from Frankie magazine in their art journal. I want it all!

But, no! I am determined to bust my stash, and the only way I'm going to make a dent is if I don't keep bringing home new supplies. So I deleted the email from Sharpie, bookmarked the sun printing blog entry for future reference, and ordered a free catalog from Peruvian Connection, which might not have images quite as cute as Frankie's, but still great. (In compliance with the Buy Nothing Summer rules, I added another magazine from my stash to the recycling bin.)

If you are battling your own greedy craft demons, you might want to check out artist Leslie Herger's series of blog posts called "The Cult of Stuff." Here's an excerpt:
It’s so easy to pick up a rubber stamp that fit my needs. So much easier than carving a wine cork or an eraser. Or what about some of that premade ephemera? It’s ACID FREE and ARCHIVAL! Why cut my own stencil when I can buy one? Look at all the rolls of shiny tape! I could make my own with plain white or colored but it’s so much easier to just buy a roll.

This is how we end up with totes and drawers full of stuff we don’t really use, stuff we bought on a whim like those really cool looking sandals that ended up being fabulous to look at but were hell on the toes.
Visit Comfortable Shoes Studio to read the whole series (plus a bunch of great art journal ideas, videos, pages, and inspiration!) Also, my interview with Leslie is here.
See all of the Buy Nothing Summer posts here.
For those of you playing along, how are you avoiding shopping overload this summer?


  1. Kudos to you, keeping money in that bank account! When I start getting tempted by all kinds of new products, I add them to a "shopping list" in my planner (I'm old school and have a planner calendar, rather than using a Blackberry, etc!). I use the list to make birthday and Christmas wish lists, and if I decide I want to splurge on something new. But lots of times, when I look back at something I wanted months before, it's lost its luster over time; it doesn't feel nearly as pressing as it did when I first wrote it down.

  2. I'm old school, too! I love making lists so this is a great plan. I already do the same for books on Amazon, so now I'm going to start one for art supplies. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Glad to see that your determination held strong against the evils of newletter emails (I myself am trying my best). I haven't bought anything since my starting binge! And I've used up some stuff. I'll have to make a new "Buy Nothing Summer" post when my life gets back to normal!

  4. Ohhh!
    What a pretty little blog you have here!



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