Friday, February 6, 2015

The Grand Finale

Synonyms for grand finale…big finish…wrap up, summit,  pinnacle. Well, this is where we are. I began my card making blog 3 years ago. It was fun at first with lots of experimenting and artistic expression.  I spend way too much time with it, devouring every challenge and becoming excited learning about this community. Somewhere along the way it changed. The joy of the post was lost in the low of the “other” things that come with it. Trying to keep myself happy and keep the viewer happy became hard. I doubted myself and what I thought was a fabulous design. I spent hours trying to make each card interesting. Sometimes it was a knock out and sometimes a flop and I could never judge which was which. There was the roller coaster feeling of blog followers. Up one down 2, up 4 down 1. I still haven't figured it out. I must have a polarizing design aesthetic, I am not sure.  I tried to stop being so attached to the numbers...the comment numbers, the followers, the blog hits. It was difficult. That aspect of it, the competitiveness and such, took some of the joy out of it.  In my heart, despite the few negatives, I loved it. I mean,  really,  really loved making a card. That little canvas and all it's possibilities was amazing. Seeing what other people created was amazing. Winning challenges, getting on design teams, having people visit my little blog...all amazing.

During my journey, I met the greatest people I have ever known in kindness and encouragement. Real friends to me and generous beyond measure. My love for the craft kept me going and I learned that my designs were not for everyone and that was ok. My blog made me happy with stories and other topics that interested me. I became part of design teams of my dreams and reached great personal heights here with my out of the box designs which validated who I was as a designer. I was hitting my stride being known as a person who created fresh and edgy work. Unfortunately, it came at sacrifice to other things, but I didn’t see it. I wanted to make cards and it’s what I became known for, to the blog world and to my family. It was my hobby and where I sought calm, happiness, and peace. My craft supplies grew exponentially and my craft space was a place I could unwind. 

Then there was a hiccup…I moved back home to be closer to extended family in April of 2014. I took a more demanding job that I LOVE, but work more than I have since becoming a mom of four 11 years ago. I moved into a bigger home which requires more time to maintain. I began to cook more and eat more! And in the process gained 20 pounds from all the stress. My kids began school and activities and well, life got busy. There was a struggle to keep going within my heart. I kept thinking it will get better, after all, I love to create. 

But I can’t keep up anymore. I want to visit blogs and see what people are creating. I want to participate in the community which has been so good to me. I struggle to keep my hold on what I worked so hard to achieve. I miss my blog reader. The days are flying by and I just feel more and more behind. Many times I think, I will forget all the posts I missed and start anew, but my organized brain doesnt work that way. In the same way that I can't highlight a book in orange if I started highlighting in yellow, I can't forget all the posts I missed. 

So here I am, writing this post to tell you I made a Wida card for Hero Arts…hopefully you will see the fresh design and edgy look that I adore when you check it out. Layers and patterns and Hero Arts goodness with melted distress inks mixed together with a baby wipe! An experiment in creativity that was a success!  

It is with heavy heart I announce this is my last post for Hero Arts and for my personal blog as well. 
I need to walk away for a 1000 reasons. I won’t bore you with any more details. But know it comes with great pain and sorrow, as well as some relief.  I hope to still create, just not on a public platform, but quietly and will less intensity than I had before. Thank you Hero Arts, and to all the other design teams I have been on for making me feel like my out of the box ways was worthy and thanks to you all for the friendships and visits to my little place of happy.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Winner and Other Chattery

I love reading your answers. Blog folks are my favorite part of this roller coaster ride of a blog! ha! I want you all to know how much you mean to me and I wish I could give each of you a penguins stamp set, sigh...but I can't. Because you know, I gotta feed my kids and and all that jazz ;)

The winner of my 3rd and final blog anniversary is: Richard Breaks! Please email me Richard with your address!

If you haven't visited his blog, you MUST. he is the best writer. I laugh every time I visit. The way he tells the stories of his cards has me in stitches and his work contains the unexpected with the traditional. It's a treat.

Me? I have been busy with sick kids, work, and last friday I got to meet Annette Witherspoon. She was my first non friend or family blog follower. I will never forget how excited I was to see her on that little sidebar.  It was such a high. Little did I realize that over time, there would be lows. Because I realize people come, but then they also leave. I couldn't believe my emotional day depended on this development, but it eventually did. No matter how much I rationalized my way to not think it. So one day, I took it off my sidebar.

Well anyway, back to Annette. We met at City BBQ. Good food and good chat. Then we went to a scrapbook store for craft time. She was real...and fun! What a full circle moment for me to meet the first follower of my blog at such a pivotal time in my blog life.


Here is a project I made for Crate Paper a while ago. I think it didn't work for the intended project. It is a teacher gift. The HANDMADE part is the tag and card and NOT the candy and cookies ;) I got the cookies from the HARTVILLE KITCHEN. A FABULOUS Amish restaurant and store in Hartville, Ohio. just a hop and skip away from me!

The apple is from the Silhouette. 

The tag is from THIS file. 

The box is also found on the Silhouette HERE. When you use 2 sided paper, it makes it beautiful from all angles. Sadly, I had to replace to chocolates because I ate them all before I could give the gift. NOTE TO SELF: Don't make the project too early! 

I have major news coming February 6th...I hope you will join me then.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sympathy Card and a Giveaway


This card was lots of fun to make. I found this card base with splatter already on it (A failed project from the past which I kept because I like the way the splatter looked even if it didn't work for the project I was working on at the time). It is splatter made with REAL PAINT--watered down a bit.

Then I found some greens that I thought looked great together. They are HERO ARTS in Neon Chartreuse, Tide Pool, Green Hills, and Mint Julip and I stamped a new set by HERO ARTS with them. A beautiful leaf set that will be coming out in February. The sentiment is also from HERO ARTS called um...With Deepest Sympathy. It's a wooden stamp and of course I stamped it using versafine onyx black, it works great! The leaf die is Lawn Fawn-the embossing makes it looks so real. The leafs look 3D by using a pop up between the layers and creating shadow with a darker green color.

That's it! pretty easy.

Lesson Learned: Don't throw it away, it might be perfect for something else later ;)

Want a free Arctic Penguins stamp set by Mama Elephant? Enter my 3rd anniversary giveaway HERE.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Want A Penguin Stamp with Your Card/Giveaway?


Ombre is best when it just comes ready made...Thanks CP! I love this pretty little bouquet. I "colored" it with water colors. Don't look too close, it's very sloppy. I meant it to...kinda. I was trying to be Danielle Flanders.  I wish I did it with more whimsy. Mine seems forced. Maybe I should have just been me!

January marks my 3rd year anniversary of blogging. I am going through a "thing" right now with blogging. Lots of internal dialogue about what my journey is right now, and why,  and all that. I spent a lot of time on this little blog and it's been incredible but oh my gosh, things have changed. But more of that later.

In celebration, I am giving away a Mama Elephant stamp set ARTIC PENGUINS (I ordered at midnight and somehow I ended up with 2 of these and's time to share!) Just leave a comment here commenting on who made your favorite card of 2014....and/or what one card making skill you wish you did better....or/and one thing you are grateful for.  Comments end Saturday Jan 31st.

Lovely Stamp set by Hero Arts/Basic Gray
Year Round sentiments by Hero Arts-Operation Write Home
Paper-Crate Paper
Staples-Tim Holtz tiny attacher
Stars-A gift from Anya ;) 

Friday, January 16, 2015

When You Aren't Good At Coloring...

Today I am on the Hero Arts Blog showing what to do when you can't color...

Here is a sneak peek showing off a card using the new 2015 collection! Oh my there are so so many good things coming, I can't wait for you to see.

So did I mention we didn't build the house we planned on? We ended up buying one that was already built. Building when you move and start new jobs, new schools, new life is just too much. It was too stressful! Although I am sad for the house that will never be, I am grateful for the one we now have. Its a bit more masculine than I would have liked, but has lots of nice upgrades and I am happy for that. The 2 of the kids and I went sledding on the hill behind our house today and I thought to myself, this is really wonderful! In my mind I always wanted a home that backed to trees...that's just what I got...trees, a pond with geese, a golf course, and well even a pool. God is good. Looking forward to making this place home. 

I hope you will check out my card on the blog! See you there!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guest Designer on Fusion Challenge

I was asked by the talented mechanical engineer of card making to be her guest on the first fusion challenge of the new year. Fusion is celebrating their one year anniversary! OF COURSE, I said Yes!

Fusion challenge gives you a photo inspiration and a sketch and you can use one or both images to jump start your creativity. Anyone who knows me knows I don't do well with sketches, so I focused on the photo which was whimsical and fun...

The line up of guest designers is pretty fabulous, I hope you will go check out all the beautiful creations HERE.