Thursday, February 16, 2012


Happy Thursday! I hope you had a great Valentine's Day! This week is my first anniversary of my blog--woo hoo!

The last couple of months, I've been thinking more about publications, challenges and my abilities. This is not an "I want reassurance" post...I just wanted to share my thoughts and what I've realized.

I wish I could say that being rejected and losing challenges isn't disappointing. I wish I could be a better card maker/stamper/designer. I wish I could say I didn't sometimes feel intimidated when I see other designers' blogs and how gorgeous their cards are. But I can't. I do feel disappointment, I often make hideous cards (which, hopefully, don't make it onto the blog), and I do feel discouraged at times at my lack of natural craftiness.

With all that said, I made a conscious decision to change my approach to submitting cards for publication and to cut back on the challenges. I thought about what I do well, what I like, what makes me different:
  • I'm never going to be a top stamper...technically, I cannot seem to do what other stampers do (even getting stamps straight on the card can be hard sometimes!). But, I have gotten more interested in digital stamps/brushes and digital elements. I'm by no means an expert, but I think I'm getting better at using them. I know a lot of card makers don't like the hybrid world, but I think I've found something that works well for me.
  • I like certain colors and patterns. I realized that I was using designs and colors I didn't like just to fit a challenge or a submission. While I really believe in trying new things, I want to make cards I love and will love to give. I hate being stuck with a card I can/will never use.
  • I love when I find products I haven't seen or haven't seen often. I'm finding that I'm having better luck at getting projects accepted when I use less common products. Of course, this goes back to my first cards aren't going to be as great as DT folks for big companies who are also submitting, so using unusual products has helped me.

The bottom line is, I work hard enough at work....I don't want my hobby to become laborious, too. I want to make cards I like and can use, and I don't want to get overly frustrated in the process. I've found that I've become happier lately with these realizations about my card making...kind of like when I first started blogging.

With all that said, I wanted to share a card I made for the Paper Crafts Magazine's Stamp It! Cards call that was rejected:

Hello, Shopping!

I ran across the "OUTRULED" digital stamp and laughed for a little while over the images (there's a whole series). I asked my bloggy friend Glenda if the image was too outrageous for a publication submission (I didn't want to promote/make fun of violence, but I thought it could make a spunky card). She reminded me why not try it? Yes, why not try it? If it was accepted, that's awesome, but it wasn't, and that's okay, least I tried.

My best friend helped me come up with the sentiment (she came up with some good "out with the old," break-up themed sentiments, too). I don't have a "hello, shopping" stamp, so I made the sentiment in Word. I also made the patterned paper in the background (the dots are stamped onto some paper from Print Candee). Like I said earlier in my post, the card turned out very "me," and even though it's a little out-there, I still love it. And while this card wasn't accepted, I did get some awesome happy mail from Susan Opel. Yeah!

Thanks for indulging me and letting me blather on (and if you didn't read all that, I totally understand!). I really appreciate everyone's support. It's been a great year of blogging!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Butterfly Camouflage

Happy Monday! Today the Print Candee Creative Team is having a blog hop-woo hoo! You can start at the beginning at the Print Candee blog:
We have a local butterfly house, and when you're inside, the butterflies are so thick, they look like camouflage at times. The place is very inspiring! We're going with a die-cuts theme, and I came up with this card:

Dream Big.

I used Adrienne Looman's Photoshop Brush Butterflies available at Print Candee to make the background. I started with a white background in Photoshop and layered the butteflies to make my own patterned paper. I changed the colors, sizes, types of butteflies, and rotated the brushes to give the appearance of flight. When I finished, I printed two copies of the paper.

For the die cuts, I used the second paper and die-cut three butteflies. When I told my husband I had more than one buttefly die, he replied, "Why am I not surprised?" ;) I carefully layered die cuts over the first paper and popped them up with foam dots. Here's a close-up:

I finished the card off with a a die-cut banner, and I stamped the sentiment from Unity. I thought I would enter the card into the Moxie Fab World Die Cutting Challenge. The challenge ends tonight, but there's still time to enter if you get a chance!

As part of the blog hop, we're giving away a couple of prizes: a $10 gift certificate to Print Candee and a set of Spellbinders Lacey Nested Pennants--perfect for making party banners! To enter, you can leave a comment here and all along the blog hop. You have until the end of Saturday night to leave comments to win, and the winners will be posted on the Print Candee blog.

Next up is the fabulous Marion! Thanks for taking the time to visit. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Love Monster

Happy Wednesday! I'm excited to share my projects today for the first ever Print Candee kit. The kit includes coordinated papers, clip art, borders, alphas, journaling tags, and a few other goodies. You can check out the kit on the Print Candee blog.

A while back, by blogging buddy Heather started making square bookmarks--so cool! I searched for a tutorial on how to make a square bookmark and found one here. I used her super cute template to make a monster bookmark and also made a corresponding gift bag with the Print Candee February kit:

For the bookmark, I used some of the Print Candee papers. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the bookmark on an actual book, but the teeth overhang the corner of a page. Here's a close-up:

I also made a gift bag using several papers in the Paper Pack, banner pieces in the Alphas & Bits pack, and one of the border strips. You can see how the banner and photo corner were used for teeth, although any patterned paper would work. Here's a close-up:

Using Photoshop, I layered the striped paper in the background added the red polka dotted paper below. Then, I added the "be mine" border on top of the polka dotted paper. It was a good way to add a sentiment, although a tag would be cute, too. Here's a close-up:

I finished the gift bag off by punching holes in the top and threading some Doodlebug twine.

The Print Candee February kit can be purchased as a kit or in parts. For the first week of February, it is available for 35% off, too. What a deal!

Be sure to check out the other DT projects! We also have a new DT member--Lisa Arana--woo hoo! So excited to have her on board with us. She'll be joining us in a couple of weeks for a blog hop.

Thanks so much for the comments...I really appreciate them! Have a great day!
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