Amongst all the different projects I’ve been undertaking over the last 6 months – one of them has been cleaning and organizing my studio. The sheer amount of stuff I’ve accumulated over the last 5 years since I started running my online business is absolutely astounding – both supplies I accumulated as a former Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, as well as from my current business – Paper Crafter’s Library. That’s why I decided that it was high time I “cleaned house”.
The photo above is the back of my van with all the seats down – what you’re looking at is over 20 boxes of paper crafting supplies – stamps, inks, paper, punches etc!
In past years (typically every couple of years) I would have a massive craft sale. This year I thought I would do something different – so I donated ALL of these paper crafting supplies to Cambridge Christian School (CCS) to be sold in their upcoming Mom-to-Mom sale. Cambridge Christian School is near and dear to my hear – my oldest just graduated from there last year and my other 4 kids currently attend the school. As a private Christian School they receive NO funding from any level of government – they are dependent on tuition and fundraising. Our children, and we as a family have been SO blessed by CCS so we want to do what we can to help.
ALL (and I mean 100%) of the proceeds of the sale of my paper crafting supplies will go to Cambridge Christian School to help them purchase new sports equipment for the school.
Along with all the paper crafting supplies they will also be selling gently used children’s clothes, toys and accessories as well as a plant sale with an assortment of annuals, perennials and hanging baskets.
Here are the details – so please be sure to mark your calendar:
Date: Saturday May 25, 2013
Time: 8 am – 12 pm
Where: Cambridge Christian School
229 Myers Road, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Hope you can make it!
What do you see when you look at the people around you? This question has really been penetrating my spirit and echoing in my thoughts since the baptism service at church this past Sunday. As part of the baptism service, each person shares their testimony, which includes sharing a bit about their life and their journey towards becoming a believer and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Among the first few people to be baptized were a young couple (mid-twenties) who we see every Sunday. They sit in the back row of the balcony at church, directly behind us. We've never talked to them – only shaking their hand as the congregation greets one another after the worship (just before the sermon).
I've always thought of them as seeming quiet, not overtly friendly, but not unfriendly either. I do remember that the first time I saw them, I noticed that the man had a fairly deep scar very close to one of his eyes, which made me think he was awfully blessed not to lose an eye. And of course I wondered how it happened (sometimes I'm way too curious!). As we sat and listened to their story I was so deeply struck by what a difficult life they had had for two people who are so young. But it wasn't only them…person after person, ranging in age from 14 years to over 50 years old – each of them had a story to tell. And each of them, looking at them – you'd never guess in a million years the stories that lay beneath the surface.
It made me realize that all too often I allow myself to get distracted by a person's outward appearance and demeanour and I find myself making assumptions – sometimes positive, sometimes (and I admit this with shame) negative. Assumptions which are most likely totally different from reality. The irony is that I've often been incredulous/flabberasted/frustrated/angry/upset when people have made assumptions about me which are totally incorrect. My first reaction is always “you know nothing about me and my life !”
This whole experience was such a powerful lesson and really brought clarity for me – and that's what I was trying to portray in my artwork today. With the light and bright colors I was trying to depict what we see on the “surface” – and with the dark, intricate pattern (created with a stencil) – I was trying to portray how deep and complex each of us are. I deliberately kept the lines of the portrait simple and bold. I wanted it to serve as a reminder to look beyond the surface and to respect the unspoken stories, because what we see on the surface is rarely a reflection of what's inside.
- Surface: Dylusions Art Journal (Ranger)
- Mediums: Diarylide Yellow, Transparent Pyrrole Orange Fluid Acrylics (Golden), Stream Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber (Ranger)
- Other: Diamonds Stencil (Crafter's Workshop); Aquash Medium Brush (Pentel); 30 mm Catalyst Blade Shape 5 (Princeton); All pencil (Stabilo); Pilot Permaball Pen; old credit card
I also wanted to take a minute to thank all the wonderful people who left comments on my last post. My blog is just starting it's evolution right now to encompass the things I talked about a little white ago – more about my life, my thoughts, my paper crafting, my business and my artful journey. I am working towards a goal of sharing here with you more often – I just have to get a few things sorted out first. As part of what I share, I will be talking about specifics and how-to's of my art journaling and mixed media work for those of you that want to incorporate this into your own lives.
If I had to describe myself and my approach to life I would have to say that I am a very reflective person. I think a lot – about who I am as a person, and who I am becoming. I think about my life, and about what impact my life has on those around me, and what kind of impact I want my life to have. I think about the past – sometimes re-living things, sometimes regretting things and sometimes trying to remember the lessons I learned. I think a lot about the future too – my hopes, my dreams for myself and for my family. I struggle with “today” – I don't immerse myself enough in the present, and in the moment.
I tend to be methodical, meticulous, analytical. I like structure, I like planning – the unexpected scares me. My husband and friends say I tend to overthink things. I love to learn, to explore, to push my boundaries. At the same time though, I have very high expectations of myself. In fact, I expect perfection – each and every time. Sometimes these perfectionist tendencies paralyze me and keep me from even starting. Other times, I give myself over to the experience. It's always a fine balance. Sometimes I am accepting of myself, my foibles, my mistakes, but too often (according to my husband), I am too hard on myself.
Sometimes I am brimming with self-confidence, other times I care too much about what other people think, and I let that influence how I feel – about myself and about my life.
As I read over and reflect on what I'm writing, I feel a bit like a teeter-totter. I can see that on the one hand, many of my qualities have helped me me get to where I am now in life. On the other hand, these exact same qualities have hindered me and kept me from living my best and most abundant life as well.
Somehow, I expected that at 41 I would be more….sure. In grade school, in high school, in University/College I would often think and talk about what I wanted to be “when I grow I up”. The crazy thing is that I'm still asking myself that same question. I still feel like I'm not “there”, wherever “there” is.
That's where art has been playing such a huge role in my life. I started exploring mixed media and art journaling 3 years ago, quite by accident actually, I signed up for a workshop with Donna Downey – not really knowing what I was getting myself into. It was completely unexpected – not what I had envisioned at all. It was intimidating, but it was also exhilarating…and I've never looked back. Like a caterpillar that slowly morphs into a butterfly, I have found that creative discovery through art is helping me shape myself into the person I want to be. Like the process of metamorphosis, it's slow. And often hard. And I don't know what kind of butterfly I will be, but I know I will someday be a beautiful one. If anything I shared today resonates with you, then I invite you to join in my journey as I begin sharing my thoughts, my processes, my learning, my mistakes, my life.
Sheesh! I honestly don’t know where time goes. Just when it seems like everything is going smoothly and is under control, the craziness seems to start again. Everything seems to take waaaaay longer than anticipated. I think somehow I’m going to have to learn to adapt to craziness on an ongoing basis, otherwise nothing will get done.
Today I thought I’d share a quick and easy card with you that uses Stampin’ Up!’s Lacy and Lovely stamp set. I have to say I really love the look of Calypso Coral with Basic Black. I don’t often turn to Calypso Coral – in fact I can’t even remember the last time I used that color – but it sure looks striking against the black. Here’s how to make the card:
- Take a 4 1/4″ x 11″ piece of Calypso Coral CS and score it at 5 1/2″. Fold it in half with a bone folder to create a 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ card. Set aside for a moment.
- Stamp the largest medallion image from the Lacy and Lovely stamp set in Calypso Coral Classic Ink onto a scrap of Whisper White CS.
- Stamp the “wish big” sentiment onto the center of the stamped medallion in Jet Black Staz On ink using a stamp-a-ma-jig if necessary.
- Center the medallion image in the window of the 2 1/2″ circle punch and punch it out.
- Ink up half of the flourish image from the Everything Eleanor stamp set in Jet Black Staz On ink and stamp it in the top right corner of a 5 1/8″ x 3 7/8″ piece of Whisper White CS.
- Center and stick the Whisper White CS piece to a 4″ x 5 1/4″ piece of Basic Black CS.
- Lay a 6″ piece of the Basic Black Scallop Dots ribbon across the stamped Whisper White CS piece so that the ribbon covers the edge of the stamped image. Bring the ends of the ribbon around to the back of the black CS and stick them down using double-sided adhesive. Center and stick this piece to the 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Calypso Coral card base.
- Place some Stampin’ Dimensionals at the top and bottom back of the punched-out medallion image. Remove the backing from the Dimensionals and then stick the medallion over top of the ribbon, towards the left side of the card.
- Add a strip of rhinestones from the Rhinestones Basic Jewels underneath the ribbon, to the right of the medallion image. You’re done!
I hope you enjoyed today’s card.
I need to apologize as life has been really crazy around here and I haven’t had the opportunity to post as much as I would like to. This week I released another Creative Inspiration Collection – this time featuring the Betsy’s Blossoms stamp set.
The Creative Collection features four beautifully designed pdf’s featuring project ideas using Stampin’ Up!’s Betsy’s Blossom stamp set. The projects are easily reproducible (or adaptable to the supplies you have on hand) and feature a host of different techniques as well as some some out-of-the box ideas for using your stamp set.
Perfect for Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators as well – use these Creative Inspiration Sheets singly or together as a gift when they purchase the featured stamp set or a gift with any purchase…. build an online stamp of the month club around them….use them for a monthly stamp club….use them individually as a workshop card….They are THE perfect way to enhance your business at the LOW price of $5.00 CAN (international orders accepted) per set.
Prior to the release of Betsy’s Blossoms Creative Inpiration Collection, I released the two Creative Inspiration Collections below: Established Elegance Creative Inspiration Collection and Everything Eleanor Creative Inspiration Collection. I apologize again for not posting these as they were released.
To see our currently available Creative Inspiration Collections, and for more details about the Creative Inspiration Collections click HERE.