Tuesday, 21 November 2006

If GAP sold stash, I wouldn't have any problems!

t’s official – there is something wrong with me when it comes to shopping for stash.

I’ve just spent a lovely couple of weeks in the States and along with enjoying the sunshine and beaches of the Sunshine State, I had the chance to visit a few scrapbook shops (only a few, honestly, I was having too much fun to be inside). I visited a couple of the big chains and a couple of smaller, independent shops but the result in all of them was the same: I hardly bought anything.

I don’t know what it is about stash shopping but I seem unable to do it like everyone else does: with gusto. I relish the experience and like looking through the lovely shelves of merchandise but when it comes to committing some money, I become far too practical and choosy: it is all so lovely but do I really need it? The answer is usually no, so it stays on the shelf. Besides, I say to myself, where will I put it when I get home? I don’t have that much room anyway.

Nothing really grabbed me and shouted at me BUY ME. Sure, there are an awful lot of pretty things available but nothing that I saw and thought I MUST HAVE THIS NOW. I ended up buying an 8x8 album (because I knew I needed one for the photos of the trip) and the refills which can be a nightmare to get here in the UK. I got a few sticker sheets with vacation words, one pad of vellum sayings also on the vacation theme and a Christina Cole 8x8 pad which is the closest I got to buying something because it was soooo lush.

On another store I got a box set with an 8x8 album (another one!), matching papers and stickers which I got because it sort of matched the Christina Cole papers and because I felt that I ought to buy SOMETHING. Another store produced a sheet of chipboard letters from Scenic Route (that I’d been searching for here in the UK with no result) and the last store I came out with ONE SHEET of rubons.

That’s it.

I calculate I spent around $50USD in total (which is pretty good for me, actually) but I was almost disappointed in myself. I just can’t bring myself to buy these things! Here in the UK I do most of my shopping online so I thought that maybe that was the issue, not being able to touch the merchandise before purchase, but it seems I have the same problem with bricks and mortar stores! In one shop I felt there was too much choice, in another not enough. One store was a bit too messy and dark, the other was almost too tidy... so it seems I can’t be pleased. I’m sure the problem is me!

Or is it? Because when I go into the Gap, I can happily spend, spend, spend, without thinking about storage or even if I will use something. I happily buy one t-shirt in every color just because I like it. I get three pairs of jeans because... well, just because. So shopping isn't the issue - only when it comes to stash do I become Ms Practicality.

How does everyone else do it? How can you happily commit money to buying things that you don’t know if you’ll use? How do you know what all of this is even for? How do you store it all?

What are your best shopping tips?

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