Saturday, December 20, 2008

Other creative endeavors

I write about my paper crafting quite a bit. That's where I express my creativity the most. I'm a very tactile person (hence not really getting into the digital rage for scrapbooking) and love touching the papers, cutting them, manipulating them into works of art. Lots of people think I'm crazy when I do some of the hand cut items I make because there is a lot of tedious hand cutting involved, but I LOVE it. It relaxes me. I get into my own little zone and can forget about what is driving me crazy, can let my mind wander and problem solve kind of on it's own. But you already know about all of that...

So what else do I do to be creative? I take pictures. I've always loved having a "record" of things and people. I've always loved looking back at pictures and saying "oh remember that!!" I loved looking through my Grandmother's photo albums, so it made sense to want ones of my own. Now I have scrapbooks of my own.

I've jumped from taking pictures for the purpose of visual memories, to beautiful visual memories. Now I don't just want a picture of my friend's little boy I want a beautiful picture of my friend's little boy that tells a story!! (This is where scrapbooking takes over other parts of your life and you get a little crazy LOL!!)

So now I work at taking beautiful pictures and thanks to digital photography I can keep the good, the great and delete the ugly!! I enjoy the process of finding the great shot and what I've learned, especially with children is pick a sunny day and let them play. Here are some great pictures of my friend's kids that they have NO idea I took. I mean they know now (and yes the mom knows...I'm not a like a kid stalker or anything) but I put on my telephoto lense and took a step back and let them be kids. I just kept snapping and after a couple of hours, and 80+ pictues I got around 50 good shots and some of them were GREAT!!

How do you not love this picture?!! Isn't he just a cutie?!! There's more of him too...

And his sisters were total cuties too!!

So, that's another way I'm creative. I love taking pictures and then giving them to the people I take them for. For Christmas I gave their mom a collage frame that holds three 5x7s and put a black and white of the little boy laughing, the blonde as you see above and a different one of the brunette. (If you are wondering why I'm not using their names, it's just because this is a public blog and and while I don't worry too much about posting pics on here, putting kids names with the pictures --especially when they're not MY own kids, I think may not be the smartest thing to do.)
Anyway, I get a lot of enjoyment out of taking pictures as well. Eventually you'll see some of my scrapbooking on here as well, which showcases my photography!!
Enough rambling from me today!! I'm off to shower (I know TMI) make some cards and hopefully put up our little bitty Christmas tree!!
Go make something!!!
God bless and if I'm not back by Christmas, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My answers to you from my previous post

I hope I'm not boring you with all the posting. But, I'm off of work with my son being sick and that means computer time I don't usually get. I guess I'm trying to get all the stuff out here that I can before I go back to work tomorrow and lose my computer time LOL. Can't wait until I get my new laptop!!!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.

How do you "close the door" and if you do WHY, and if you don't, why NOT?
Okay, sometimes I "close the door" and sometimes I don't. You already read in my last post how I close it when I do. Sometimes I need the "door closed" as I am using my crafting as "therapy." Sometimes that time is "my time" and sometimes I'm just plain crabby and it having that "door closed" keeps me from taking out my mood on others. There ARE times that I don't feel the need to "close the door." Lots of times I don't listen to my Ipod and enjoy the conversations that are going on around me. I often have a friend over to scrapbook and then we are chatting away and listening to the radio. My daughter is often busy at the extra table we set up in the living room for crafting as well and then we are comparing what we're working on (and she's borrowing my stuff....which is a topic for a whole different blog!! LOL!!)

Is there anything you ALWAYS do while you are creating?
Okay, this is strange, but I ALWAYS have a drink in my drink holder for one. It's usually Mt Dew or a white tea mix (the kind that you mix with a bottle of water) or coffee (cappachino) from the gas station. It's funny but I don't drink a lot of fluids normally...none of that 8 glasses of water for me, but when I'm at my craft table I drink like a fish---good think no alcohol is involved!! I also like to snack when I craft, but I have been trying to break that habit as I've been trying to lose a little weight:) And another thing, though not a complete always, is there is usually an audio book playing in my ear or a podcast...but that's only when I'm crafting alone. OH and there is this one, and it IS an ALWAYS...I get MESSY!!! If I'm inking, it's all over me, if I'm using acrylic paints, it's all over me, if I'm using liquid glue, it's all over get the picture!! LOL!!

If you don't have a designated crafting room with a door to close, would you like one? WHY?
Yes I would like a designated crafting room with a door. BUT I have basically had that before and my requirements for that has changed after having my first one. I'd like it to be very close to the center of the activity in my home, so now right off the living room (my daughter's room would be perfect.) I like the door so that those time that I need the solitude I could have it with a closed door (people are less likely to bother you if they have to go through a door.) I would like to have a designated room for the space as well. It's hard to not make the living room look like a craft room when I have taken over a corner of it, and it's hard not to make my craft corner look like a living room....know what I mean? I like organization and I would love to be able to organize a whole room to fit with my crafting style and be able to "decorate" it to inspire my creativity further.

Is solitude important to your creativity?
Absolutely!! But, with that being said, it doesn't mean that I need solitude to create. I find times of silence and solitude and a lot of those times feed my creativity. I spend time alone quietly reading in my bedroom and that feeds it (usually one of my many magazines or idea books.) I sometimes get up early in the morning before anyone else so I can sit in the quiet and think. I can physically create with chaos around me, but sometimes I need the solitude to think through the creative process. And sometimes my solitude isn't being totally alone or in the total quiet, but being without my family and friends. Weather permitting I like to walk and listen to the birds and look at the trees and flowers. I have pictures of flowers, squirrels, birds and the like I never intend to scrapbook (unless I do a layout about my creativity LOL) but that I like to just LOOK at because they remind me how incredibly creative God is and how beautiful the world can be. (Great, I just had a fantastic idea for a mini book for all those pictures to keep on my desk...ANOTHER PROJECT!!!)

I hope my answers gave you a bit of an insight into me. I believe the creative process is an incredibly personal thing. The process can be so different for everyone and there is no wrong way to get your creative juices flowing. Find what does it for you and USE that to the fullest. I know that if I'm stumped and I'm on a deadline, all I have to do is pick up one of my magazines and that's it, I'm back in the game. Find your muse and use her!!

God created you, so go create something!!
God Bless,

Questions for YOU

I have some questions for you today. I really want to hear (read) your answers, so please feel free to leave many comments!!!

Okay, I'm a card maker and a scrapbooker. While my "studio" is in the living room amidst the hub-bub of my family life; I've found a way to kind of "close the door" when I need solitude to create or for a break. I scrapbook and make cards 90% of the time while "attached" to my Ipod. I also don't just use regular headphones, or ear buds, I use the ones that go inside your ears like ear PLUGS so whatever I'm listening to is all I can hear. -----I've been known to miss phone calls and be startled by someone walking up behind me talking to me LOL!!

I typically listen to my favorite podcast (especially DIVA CRAFT LOUNGE) or audio books. Sometimes it's very upbeat music. I have to be careful with the music though, I like to sing along and that tends to irritate the other people in the room!!

So here are my questions to YOU!!
  • How do you "close the door" and if you do WHY, and if you don't WHY NOT?
  • Is there anything you ALWAYS do while you are creating?
  • If you don't have a designated crafting room with a door to close, would you like one and why? Is it to be able to close the door or just a designated place to store you things and to be able to leave your projects out?
  • Is solitude important to your creativity?
  • Would you rather craft alone or with others?

Okay, that's all the questions for today...oh, do you want MY answers? Next blog, so this doesn't get too long. Just know that I'm creating everyday and am a better person for it.

So until next time...keep creating, go make something, go play with your supplies and


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just a quick message

If there is anything you think that would be interesting for me to write about, please leave a comment or send me an email at so that I can oblige. I want to make this blog interesting and useful. I don't have all the answers, but if I don't have the answer I might know where to look. Besides, I just like feedback in general!!

Waiting to hear from your readers!!

God Bless,


I actually wrote this blog out in long hand Tuesday night. My husband is a big World of Warcraft (WOW) player and I was kicked off the computer. So I sat down in my quiet bedroom and wrote in my little idea notebook so that when I finally got to sit down at MY laptop again, I would have a blog to post. Hopefully, when we get our taxes back the first of the year, I'll be getting my OWN laptop (funny how both are supposed to be mine) and then I won't have to wait to use it anymore:) Anyway, on to the Inspiration blog.

Inspiration can be found anywhere. Because of what my interests are (scrapbooking/cardmaking) and because being creative in those areas makes happy, I subscribe to A LOT of magazines that cater to those crafts. I subscribe to Creative Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Memory Makers, Scrapbooking Ect. (my mother-in-law gives me this subscription every Christmas) and Papercrafts. (I think my sister-in-law is getting me a subscription to Cardmaker for Christmas!!) To be honest, the magazines and books and websites I look at for inspiration are really just the easiest place to look (for me) and feed my creativity with the smallest effort on my part. (It doesn't take a lot of work to look at beautiful cards and scrapbook pages and be inspired to try to create beautiful cards and scrapbook pages!!)


Sometimes inspiration isn't even in the form of something I've SEEN. Sometimes I get inspired by listening. It could be lyrics on the radio, one of the wonderful podcasts I listen to, or even an overheard conversation.

Inspiration can come from anywhere!!! All I need is that little spark and BANG
I'm at my table, off and running with an idea.

A perfect example is that we got something in at work a couple of months ago, with brown paper packing on top of it. I saw that paper and immediately (BANG) saw "primitive" cards. I haven't used it all up yet, but I've made many focals for cards with it and so far everyone has liked them. Now the irony is, "primitive" is not a natural style for me, but for some reason I saw the paper, the possibility of crumbling and wrinkling and ironing and inking-----now the rest is creative history:)

Seriously, don't limit yourself when looking for ideas and sometimes you get the best ideas when you aren't "LOOKING." I wasn't looking for crafting materials at work. It just so happened I got the packing paper and was hit (BANG ) with the idea and away I went. I guess what I'm telling you is don't just open your eyes and ears, open YOURSELF to find inspiration.

Here are some things I find very inspirational...
If you have an Ipod:
*look up the Diva Craft Lounge. I listen weekly...and I think with them, you don't actually have to have an Ipod you can listen on your computer. I personally like to download them and listen while I'm working on a project.
*look up other craft podcasts. I find it very inspiring to listen to them while I work on projects. I also listen to them while I go for walks or work out at the gym.

For the internet:
Now I could go on and on and list a million sites, but if you are internet savvy enough to have found my blog, you probably have a list of your favorite sites already. I'll just add a few that I'm very fond of in case you haven't found them yet.
* they have webisodes every Friday that will blow you away and you will fall in LOVE with Tricia and Michael right away (I own EVERY one of Michael's stamps!!)
* this one has a webisode every Wednesday that shows how to use their products. Some would say it's a "commercial" for what they sell, and maybe that's what it is, but I love it because it shows me how to USE what they sell. I love to buy stuff but often get it home and go "now what do I do with it?!" Paulette Jarvey and Sara Nueman walk you through many card making and scrapbooking ideas with whatever their feature product is (I own ALL the templates they sell!!)
* I think everyone knows about and I like that place as I feel comfortable browsing the gallery there.
* I just joined Technique Junkies. It's a subscription only kind of deal, but if you are looking for new ways to use your supplies and get AMAZING results it's worth the money. They have incredible designs and it's not really the designs that are amazing but the techniques you'll learn. Go to Just check it out and see if it's for you.
* there are also many GREAT yahoo groups out there that will help you get inspired. There is one just for Michael Strong stamps and so on. You can browse by topic in the groups and find one that you like. Or email me and I'll tell you the ones I belong to and you can see what you think.

Don't forget that the world holds inspiration just by what God has put in front of us. Go for a walk and look at the colors and the sounds and EVERYTHING. Look at your significant other, your kids, your pets (I so want to do a layout about my cats) your siblings, your parents, your friends, YOURSELF!!

If you have something that inspires you, please leave a comment, or if you have a favorite website, podcast, magazine, anything like that that you go to a lot for inspiration, please leave a comment so we/I can share it.

I'm off to be creative....well, actually to finish a Christmas card order!

Now go be CREATIVE, I know you can!!

God Bless,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Crafty Chistmas

This isn't my typical blog post, but I got this in an email and it was cracking me up so I had to post this to share with anyone that isn't on my email list!!

Twas the night before Christmas, I'm glued to the tree. I'm wondering what Santa brought just for me. Could it be cardstock or chipboard or lace? Or a Cricut, I said, with a smile on my face. And that's when I heard him, "Hi Santa, " I said "You know....good little girls should be in their beds." "I know I should Santa, and now I've got caught. But I was just so excited To see what you brought." "Well, let's take a look in this room where you work. He shook his head quickly, And left with a jerk. I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear. "You've got enough crap, I'll see you next year!"

Now tell me you aren't cracking up!!

God Bless,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I want to hear from you

I had this crazy idea, while this is a blog where I write to you, I wanted a little feedback...if you feel like giving it. I'm going to write about some of the things that inspire me to be creative, and I'd really like to hear back from you about what are some of the things that inspire YOU to be creative. You can respond to me here, in the "comments" section, or if you don't want your comments to be seen out there by everyone, you can respond to my email and I'll just paraphrase you and you can remain nameless! I love to hear about people's creativity and where it comes from.

First off, let me explain to you that outside of a few scrapbooking classes here and there and maybe a card making class or two, I've had no art education. I've never taken a graphic design class, a color theory class, or anything like that...I don't think I even took an art class past elementary school. I cannot draw a stick figure, decorate my house or even really match my clothes (those that know me know that I wear khaki or jeans...everything matches then!!) My point in explaining that, is just the fact that there is no formal training in my creativity.

To become "inspired" I read magazines about what I enjoy doing...card making and scrapbooking. I think I have a subscription to ALL of them LOL!! I've learned a lot from all of them. I also watch a lot of webisodes and (thanks to my dad who video tapes them for me) PBS shows on my paper passions. Whenever I feel "out of ideas" I go to my favorite websites and browse the galleries and see what everyone else is doing. Sometimes it's a color combination or the way they used a picture, a stamp, or even a piece of paper that gets me going. I've been known to clean up my work table to get me "going" or even just rearranging or reorganizing my stash (that's my crafting stuff to those who aren't die hard crafters) to get jump started again.

Sometimes I see a picture of one of my kids and I think...."this is PERFECT for a layout" and that's all it takes. Sometimes I have a product I'm dying to use or a technique I want to try.

I will be honest, I don't get scrapper's block or card maker's cramp (okay I made the last one up) very often. I seem to have more ideas than I have time, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a rut (everything looks the same) or that I could "do better." Those are the times I go to my "inspiration" websites, magazines, idea books, DVDs and so on. There are also a few friends I have that inspire me as well. Here's another thing that tends to get the ideas someone ELSE do a layout or make a card. It seems like when you are teaching/helping someone else, you forget about what YOU can't do while you are encouraging them in what THEY can do. Does that make sense?

So enough about what I do...what do YOU do? Let me hear from YOU and tell me your tricks to get motivated, to get inspired, to get CREATIVE!!! Leave a comment or email me at

God Bless,