Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet Stop Challenge 88 & My Learning Curve

My first entry for a Sweet Stop challenge.  I've been checking the sketches out each week for a couple of months now but this is my first attempt:

Supplies:  Card blank:  Handy Hippo;  Card Stock:  Paperbilities;  Patterned Paper: No clue!;  Stamps:  Hero Arts bird, Elzybells sentiment; Ink:  Versafine black & Vintage Photo Distress ink;  Die:  Woodware; Other:  Ikandee twine

I don't love it but I decided to post it anyway and here's why:  
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I often get overwhelmed by too much craft stash to choose from and end up freezing up and not making anything.  My other problem, or maybe it's really part of the same thing, is my fear of screwing up.  I know that there's no right and wrong when it comes to art and creativity but I  have spent my life being crippled by a fear of imperfection.  School was torture for me - the specter of failure was always looming over me.  I was a top student but I certainly never felt like one.  I was always waiting to be "found out" - not as good as people thought.  I haven't done a lot of things in my life because I didn't think I'd "do it right".  I've never been any good at practicing or training at things to improve - if I couldn't do it right the first time I didn't want to do it.  
Recently, I've been working hard to overcome this.  Back in June a friend started dragging me to her rugby club's pre-season fitness sessions.  I have never been fit or sporty - rather I have always been on the chubby side.  I've joined gyms and tried other activities occasionally but never stuck with anything.  I don't know what made me hang in there this time but I did.  At that first session I couldn't run once around the track at the stadium.  When I stopped training in November (due to injury) I could run 2 1/2 miles - on a hilly route no less!  The first time I completed it I was ecstatic.  I had finally set myself a goal, worked towards it and reached it and it felt great.
I am now turning that goal setting to card making.  Instead of not making a card because I don't think I'll be able to execute my vision I am going to just do it.  If it doesn't come out as I had hoped then I'll use it as a learning experience and hopefully the next one will be a little closer to what is in my head.  As with the running I will only get better if I just keep making more cards.  I would love to feel that all my cards are perfect but they won't be no matter what. So I'm going to continue to post cards that I love and also those that I don't love so much.  If nothing else, I want to be able to look back in a few months and see some general improvement in my skills and hopefully that will continue to spur me on to keep learning and experimenting.   

Moxie Fab World Tuesday Trigger: Strictly Stripes

I love the bright colours of the striped gloves in this picture for Moxie Fab World's Tuesday Trigger.  It has been cold, windy and rainy here for the last few days so this cheery picture was a welcome sight.  The colours made me think of birthday parties so I went with that idea and came up with this birthday card using the colours from the gloves:
Supplies:  Card blank:  The Stamp Pad Co.; Card stock:  Paperbilities; Stamp: Elzybells sentiment; Ink: Vintage Photo Distress Ink; Other: CPE letter stickers, Copics, brads 
Looking at it now I'd like to retake the picture with the card sitting on a different coloured surface so it doesn't blend into it quite so much.  I still have a lot to learn in terms of presenting and photographing my cards.  I didn't realise how different the card can look depending on the display.  I'm constantly looking at other crafter's presentation styles and am trying to adapt mine to be more effective.  Watch this space! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Challenges - Curtain Call 62 and Card Patterns 96

Lots of firsts for me today!  My blog received it's first comments from Lynn and Dallas and it's first follower - Lynn!  I'm feeling very chuffed at the moment and have a silly grin on my face.  :)

These will be my first ever entries for Curtain Call and Card Patterns.  Also, it's the first time I've broken out my Stampin' Up goods.  If anyone could have seen me trying to open up my first Stampin' Up ink pad they would have had the best laugh of their day!  Even with the picture guide on the back of the ink pad it still took me a while to figure it out (serious blond moment) but I conquered it in the end.  So here is my entry for CC62 and CP96:

Supplies:  Stamps: Hero Arts sheet music & Fiskars sentiment; Ink: Stampin' Up! Whisper White & VersaMark; Cardstock: Stampin' Up! Early Espresso. Baja Breeze, Pear Pizzazz & Whisper White;  Other: Cardmakers ribbon & Nestabilities Lacey Circles

Thank You Cards

The veterinary hospital where I work is blessed to have a large number of very generous clients (who seem to think we all need fattening up by the amount of cookies, chocolates and gift baskets they have bestowed on us!)  Usually we buy a few boxes of Thank You cards and try to get them written and sent out before the New Year.  I decided to make some myself for us to use this year and was pleased with the result:

Supplies:  Stamps: Hero Arts wreath, Stampendous paw print, PTI sentiment; Ink: Colorbox green & scarlet, Versafine black; Cardblank: The Stamp Pad Co.

I wanted to keep it CAS as I had quite a few to make and I knew I wanted to use the Hero Arts wreath.  Then I had the idea of using red paw prints in place of berries to get the animal theme in there.  Hopefully the clients enjoy them!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

There She Goes Challenge 86

This will be my first challenge entry via my blog.  (I've entered a few before from my flickr account).  The challenge is at There She Goes which I discovered through Angela's Sparkle and Bling blog and the entries have to utilize buttons.  I tried to do something a little different and use the buttons to make an accent.  It didn't quite turn out the way I envisioned it initially but it's given me a jumping off point for a future card.


Even More Cosmo Cricket!

I'm probably beating a dead horse with these Cosmo Cricket cards but I'm still having fun with both the Early Bird and Garden Variety collections so as long as it's fun I'm going to keep on going!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Cosmo Cricket

I realise I'm being a bit of an eager beaver bogging twice on my first day but I don't think I'll get back on here in the next couple of days.

I carried on with my exercise of seeing how many cards I could make from one paper collection and came up with a few more from Cosmo Cricket's Garden Variety collection:

Cardstock: The Stampin' Place card blanks, Bazill Basics, Paperbilities  Stamp: Paper Source  Inks: Palette, Ranger Distress Tea Dye  Other:  Jillibean Soup Journalling Sprouts, Doodlebug Design rub-ons & buttons, I-Kan-Dee twine  

I'm really having fun with this and it's definitely helping me produce more cards.  Hope you enjoy the results!

Joining The Blogosphere

I have spent the last few months perusing multiple card blogs and not only loving them but wondering how everyone keeps up with them. All these busy working moms manage to produce these gorgeous and fun blogs on a regular basis - I really doubted I could do that. The more I read them though the more I've been wanting to get in on the fun so here I am. Not sure I'll be as prolific as some others but I'd like a place to post my cards and my random thoughts!

I've been dabbling in card making for about 3 1/2 years now. Initially I used my photographs to make note cards and then I discovered a few card making magazines and started to explore that a little further. To be honest, I've spent most of the last few years "collecting" card making supplies and not making all that many cards! I've filled up a room (my Craft Cave) with all sorts of goodies and it's only in the last few months that I've really made some progress in actually creating cards. I seem to have just as much fun collecting and organising my goodies as I do putting them to use! I figured if I set up a blog then it might help to spur me on to make cards as well as just oohing and aahing over everyone else's - and also to finally make use of all my goodies! So here I am.

One of my problems is that I have so much stuff that I'm often overwhelmed as to where to start and what to use. Sometimes too much choice is not a good thing - especially for indecisive types such as myself. So I recently decided that I would pick one thing (a stamp or a paper collection) and see how much I could come up with using that as a springboard. I started digging around and found the Early Bird paper collection from Cosmo Cricket. It came with patterned paper, chipboard and stickers. I love the retro look and quickly produced 4 cards:

Carstock: The Stamp Pad Co. card blanks, Paperbilities cardstock  Other: Nestabilities Labels One

Simple, quick and cute!  It was a good exercise for me as I can spends hours and hours dithering over just one card.  This forced me to focus and work with what was there and not keep wandering off to look for something else.  I then pulled out Cosmo Cricket's Garden Variety collection to try the same exercise but only got one done before I had to dash off to other things:

Other:  Jillibean Soup Journaling Sprouts

I'm definitely looking forward to trying this some more and will let you know how it goes!