In my recent epic “sort out my flat” project I came to realise that alongside all my craft hoardings, I was also proving to be a serious magazine hoarder. I used to buy weekly celebrity or style magazines… I spent years buying heat! and Look magazines. I did keep up to date with them and read them weekly, but I guess in reality I probably only actually read one or 2 articles, flicked through a load of crap and only stopped to check out the odd piece of information that actually interested me. Monthly magazines were another story. I would occasionally buy a woman’s beauty magazine, maybe when I had a bit of travelling I’d buy a few more, but I did always buy a craft magazine or two and I would NEVER throw them away.
A couple of years ago I stopped with the weekly gossip magazines, I couldn’t understand why I was still wasting my money on them; I didn’t like who I was reading about, I thought the ‘tips’ I was getting in them were useless and nothing related to me or the world around me anymore (maybe it was because I was growing up?!) But I did shift to picking up magazines that were, shall we say, more grown up and interesting. I found something inspiring one day whilst reading Stylist magazine… and in true Lauren style, I subscribed (yes I know its free… but I rarely travel into town to pick one up!). So I began to receive a weekly copy of Stylist though my post box and soon enough I had a massive pile of the magazines that I hadn’t read and another massive pile of Mollie Makes that hadn’t been touched either. Why on earth was I spending money on these magazines when they were not being put to any use whatsoever?!
I quickly deduced that this was all because social media had taken over my life… when in doubt blame social media! In the ‘good ‘ole days’ I loved nothing more than sitting down for twenty minutes and flicking though a magazine, now I am more obsessed with sitting down for twenty minutes and scrolling though the vacuous Facebook or the more inspiring Instagram (can you tell which one I prefer?). Pinterest has become my go-to place for crafty ideas too, so easy to type in something I want to see and pin what I want and organise it into relevant boards. As much as I love social media, it was very clear why I wasn’t getting though the magazine piles as much as I used to! I missed the tactile magazine that had no built in light and required me to use my hands to turn the page.
I used to read (and keep) Making magazine until they stopped publishing it at some point over the last few years. I loved it. I read it cover to cover, every page, each advert and used to find so much inspiration under that luxurious front cover. It was full of really beautiful pictures, it had an easy to follow layout and the ‘how-to’ projects were so easy to follow. It was like a little oasis of inspiration each month. It stopped and I needed to find an alternative. Bring on new hoarding fodder… Mollie Makes! A lovely magazine full of colourful ideas and lovely freebie kits each month. Perfect to hoard away with all the rest of the craft stuff I have knocking around… hmmm.
I needed to do something about this.
I collated all the magazines that I have and looked at the massive growing pile and sat on the sofa trying to decide if I should just throw them out. I didn’t want to get rid of all the ideas that are shut away in the magazines. I knew there were some great ones in the magazines I’d already read and I wanted to give them some more thought… who knows what was in those that I had yet to read?!
So I spent some time flicking through all the piles and started ripping out any projects or ideas to use in the future and considered creating a scrap book or scrap box that would be easier to store and help me when I find the urge to make something interesting.
I spent a delightful day or so flicking though magazines! Stylist magazine ignited an interest in women focused current affairs and was perhaps the more ‘grown-up’ version of reading the trashy weeklies of my younger years. The pile was full of interesting interviews with celebs like Elizabeth Moss, star of The Handmaids Tale (which I’ve been loving of course!) and I just love the weekly Stylist list, because… you know… I need to shop more! I didn’t see much in these magazines that I wanted to keep, but I really enjoyed the time out to read something that actually makes me think about the world and my position within it. In reality it is a magazine that speaks to me and my lifestyle right now.
The old Making and Mollie Makes magazines was more profitable. I was rip, rip, ripping! I found lots of turned down corners in the older magazines of projects that I clearly liked the look of and thought about making. However the most interesting part was that many of the projects I had previously considered doing, I was not really interested in keeping in my new scrap-spiration folder (my new technical term for the folder I found to fill). I know tastes change, but I always thought crafting was pretty timeless… maybe I was wrong. This task turned out to be a bit like a spring clean for my creative mind. I was getting rid of old ideas and focusing on the new, all with visual aids… perfect! It felt so good to get some fresh inspiration, as someone who relies on my creativity in most aspects of my life, it is sometimes really helpful to take a step back and have a think about your own creative direction. For me I was thinking specifically in two directions when going though the magazines:
1. How do I want my home to look and feel?
2. How do I want my blog and freelancing work to look and feel? (More on that another time, or perhaps you will just see it yourselves as you browse!)
I was thinking a lot about projects I can do, but also images and colours that make me really happy, that I wanted to include in my life. Mollie Makes have 2 regular features in their magazine that I love and ripped out of every one I had, a selection of patterned papers by some lovely designers (will make great backgrounds to pictures) and an article about how to include creativity in your life or work (great inspiration for days when I just feel stuck).
I collected all my bits of ripped out visual inspiration, punched some holes in the edge and shoved them in my reclaimed, jazzed up folder that used to hold some teacher training notes. Et voila – a physical Pinterest board, a folder ready to feed my creative brains, no more magazines lying around and a new found desire to take half an hour away from TV and social media to recharge my creative mind and plan some new things.
Please let me know if you have any top tips for a creative declutter below, on Instagram or Facebook!