How's your 'Comfort Zone'?

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Posted 3/30/2014 by looser in General Stamping

The Craft Curmudgeon

PeaNut 256,594
April 2006
Posts: 14,669
Layouts: 365

Posted: 3/30/2014 1:33:31 PM
One of the many benefits of belonging to this creative community @ 2Ps is being challenged to go beyond my usual way of doing something crafty.

With some modesty I like to believe I've done a few 'outside-the-comfort-zone challenges, but I'm certainly not unique on this.

Any of us who've hung out her @ 2Ps already knows the names of members who challenge us & themselves to do something different.

So here's a challenge for all of us... Share your experience with working outside your CZ that is a direct result of being a member of 2Ps. Links to examples are welcome, but not required.

Grab a beverage & let the discussion begin.

Daniel R. Boone

The Craft Curmudgeon

PeaNut 256,594
April 2006
Posts: 14,669
Layouts: 365

Posted: 3/30/2014 1:44:55 PM
My personal CZ as a crafter is pretty broad, but I do find myself being stretched by those challenges/swaps that require me to use inks & more in ways that I am unfamilar with. The SNDs have been a good example of that.

And LeighAnn's current way of doing her monthly tag swap is another example of requiring me to sometimes work outside my CZ.

For me, outside my CZ is not always doing something brand new. Sometimes it's the nudge I need to get out of a creative 'rut'.

Daniel R. Boone

Far North

PeaNut 188,311
January 2005
Posts: 4,358
Layouts: 397

Posted: 3/30/2014 2:39:34 PM
I started actively stamping back pre-internet days when the only embossing powder available was black. Living is this isolated location I pretty much was on my own with only a few tips here and there from others.

Once I got involved with the Papercrafts site and 2 Peas the doors opened for lots of learning. But I still recall the frustration of spending day after day trying to do a challenge using the Joseph's Coat technique. Several times I came back to the discussion board explaining my experimental trials and would receive suggestions. Finally on the fourth day and after lots of invested hours someone asked me about the ink I was using and mentioned dye ink.

I had no idea that dye ink didn't refer to all ink. After all doesn't all ink dye the paper?? No where had I ever heard about different types of ink...but finally after several years of stamping I learned pigment ink was not the one. This was my first time out of my comfort zone...but I very thankful for all the voices that shared in helping me solve an issue I couldn't get through alone. I am also thankful for the passion it created in me to learn as much as possible about what inks do and can not do so I can take full advantage of their features.


The Craft Curmudgeon

PeaNut 256,594
April 2006
Posts: 14,669
Layouts: 365

Posted: 3/31/2014 11:05:01 AM
LOL, Jan. We share some common experience as long time satmper/crafters. I, too, hear 'voices', but when I take my meds, they quiet down.

Kidding aside, ITA that having input (& commiseration) from others definitely helps me when I'm in an 'un-comfortable' zone creatively--whether it's a technique, material or composition.

One thing I find useful? If I can 'hook' something I'm familiar with to the thing I'm unfamiliar with, it gives me just enough confidence to keep trying to figure out what is giving me problems.

Daniel R. Boone


PeaNut 356,430
January 2008
Posts: 3,249
Layouts: 158
Loc: TN

Posted: 3/31/2014 11:17:35 AM
This whole board has made me step out of my comfort zone, and that's a good thing.

I love participating in fests and challeges, it has helped me figure out techniques I like and use often and ones I don't.

Daniel, you've often made me step out of my comfort zone.
Your masking challenges come to mind. But now, I enjoy doing masking. Gotta admit, I used to hate it! But with practice I've got much better at it and enjoy the technique.

Back to participating in fests and challenges, I've learned color combos I enjoy working with, using household supplies with my stamping and ways to get more use out of my supplies. All things I probably never would have done of I hadn't stepped out of my CZ.

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PeaNut 249,470
February 2006
Posts: 3,000
Layouts: 176
Loc: South Carolina

Posted: 4/1/2014 3:32:47 PM
I do not like masking either. But it IS easier than I make it to be. I just need to practice more. This is definitely out of my comfort zone.

I am usually comfortable about learning a lot of new techniques and will plunge right in. I DO like challenges that push me out of my crafting rut. That is why I love the fest we have here on the board.


The Craft Curmudgeon

PeaNut 256,594
April 2006
Posts: 14,669
Layouts: 365

Posted: 4/3/2014 10:50:17 AM
Interesting posts--as usual.

Other than having a natural bent for wanting to experiment outside my zone-of-experience (aka CZ), is the knowledge that when I remain content with what I do in 'comfort', I am doing myself a disservice (& robbing my adoring audience).

Seriously, tho', I go stagnant when I stick with just what I know. That said, however, I like those challenges to my CZ that don't require me to invest more than just time & effort. The less something is connected to finding/purchasing specific tools & materials; the more apt I am to noodge my CZ. How about you?

Daniel R. Boone
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