Stamping with Erasers & Paper Smooches

I have always been a fan of Kim Hughes! Not only is she an amazing designer, she's super sweet. Her stamp company, Paper Smooches offers incredibly awesome quality clear stamps, with the cutest designs. She also just released great metal dies this past CHA. Paper Smooches hosts a challenge blog; Paper Smooches Sparks, and I decided to finally play along in the Anything Goes challenge that's open until May 5th. As you know, I have serious issues with towing the line, design-wise. I love stepping outside the box, and trying new things, so it'll come as no surprise that I squealed with delight (my husband even heard me upstairs, and wondered aloud what was going on) that the Anything Goes challenge is just that---open to any project, and design, anything you like, as long as you use at least one Paper Smooches stamp. So, with that in mind, I stepped out of the box---just a teeny bit!
I'm a font girl. I love fonts of any sort, whether they're a lovely script, cutesy hand-writing, or clean and simple sans serif, I'm a fan! One of the things I like best about Paper Smooches stamps is Kim's signature hand-writing. It's a mix of fun, whimsical and cute all in one. I wanted to make Kim's font take center stage in the card's design, so I created a set of miniature cards that used erasers as stamps, working perfectly with the stylized Paper Smooches fonts.
Stamping with pencil erasers is super fun and quick and easy to create. You can design your own stamps anyway you like, playing with shapes and lines to develop your own signature stamp! All you need is set of pencils (plain and simple--I got mine at the Dollar Tree) and a craft knife. I should mention that you should get a box of 12 or so, you may mess up and need an extra or three (like me).

Make sure to also grab your favorite Paper Smooches sentiment stamps. I used Sentiment Sampler and Chit Chat; older sets, but perfectly fabulous.
|1| Draw your design on the pencil eraser with a pencil. Color in the parts (positive space) that you're not cutting out.

|2| Grab your craft knife and stand the pencil vertically.

|3| Trim the eraser with your knife as you cut away the parts that are not colored in (negative space). NOTE: Do not trim the eraser down to the metal, or else the eraser will break apart because it's too weak. 

Avery Elle Inspiration Challenge

I love finding new stamp companies, and one of my favorite new kids on the block is Avery Elle. Their clean and trendy designs are perfect for any occasion you can make a card for, and combining multiple stamps is super easy. So, when my stamps came, I couldn't wait to ink them and design with them. 

I am so loving the ikat pattern that's hot this season. From dishware to throw pillows, this pattern is hot hot hot and trend-i-licious. I knew that I wanted to incorporate the ikat pattern in my card using the Ikat set, but I was a little stumped on how to do this. After staring at the photo, and idea came to me-mask the ikat pattern into a simple shape like the hanging patterns in the photo.  

I created two masks for this project, a mask of the negative-punched circle shape, and a mask of the positive circle shape. Using the photo as inspiration, I then masked various ikat patterns in the negative space, even adding a circle and sentiment from the Picture It set randomly in the design.

Patterns are beyond the days, of having to hide in the background, like a boring after thought at a party.  You can draw attention to a simple pattern and make it stand out in a design. Try looking at your patterned stamps in a new way, thinking of how to showcase your favorite element of the stamp in a way that draws the viewer's eye to it.

What's your favorite way to use a patterned stamp?

Get it Together: Die Cutting to Organize Crafting Products

Yeah, I'm not much of a scrapbook layout girl. I think I can count on both hands the amount of layouts that I have made over the last year. That being said, I do enjoy hoarding 6" x 6" paper pads. The size is perfect for the majority of small scale projects that I create, and they're easy to stack on top of one another. The only problems with my paper pad and embellishment addiction is making the paper pads accessible, but also storing them nicely in our office shelving, since I am moving the craft area to the office area.

Well, I could shove them in a box, but then I would forget that I had them. I could put them in a clear container, but plastic bins are ugly. So, I turned to my Lexington Card making paper pad from SEI,  and voila, an epiphany hit me! Use the gorgeous paper in my favorite collection to design a tabbed divider system that can be used with small baskets. Not only will the baskets fit in the office shelving, but I can switch out the papers from season to season.
First, I gathered and trimmed all my papers to fit inside some baskets that I found at Michael's on sale for 40% off. I trimmed them slightly larger than the inside of the basket, so that when I die cut them, they'd fit perfectly in the basket. Since the tabbed cards file that I cut from had more of a horizontal orientation, I transformed it in the Silhouette software program to fit my basket.
I had a lot of SEI embellishments and paper pads that needed a new home and they fit nicely in the baskets. I decided that the best way to organize paper from one manufacturer was to divide them up by release dates, starting with the most recent collections in the front. One basket is full of SEI paper pads and embellishments, and the other is basket are various paper pads from other companies.
Organization should be simple, yet effective. The best part of this Get it Together solution is that it took me less than 20 minutes to make, and it's a great way to use your larger scraps of patterned paper.

Top Ten: The Young and the Crafty


Okay, sorry about the lo---ong break between this top ten and my last top ten. After the amazing response from the last post, and all the wonderful and heartfelt comments, I wondered if I could ever top it! Well, the short answer is.....maybe. But, with out any further delays, I've finally compiled the results of the Young Crafters survey, which was designed to get a glimpse of how the younger (35 and under) group of paper crafters is changing the industry. And the results are impressive. 
We are NOT old! 75% of the respondents are young women between the ages of 30 to 35 years old. Were either working professionals, or mom's or both, and this is exciting because that means that young women are taking an increased interest in crafting as their hobby; meaning that the paper crafting market is strong and active. If these women continue to craft, then this hobby and profession will continue to grow and develop further---good news to hear in a slow economy, eh?

I was excited to see that 2% of my respondents were under the age of 20! I find this statistic great news! I think that the industry should focus a little more on how to attract this particularly young audience, because retaining younger crafters, bodes well for the market. I for one, would love to see young 20-somethings break into the industry and shine. I wonder what styles do young adult paper crafters like? What do their layouts focus on? What are there passions? Wouldn't it be interesting to find out what drew young adults into the industry?


In terms of results, this by far was the one question that amazed me the most. When I wrote the survey, I put in standard ranges of money spent per month on crafting up to $1000/month.  I didn't actually imagine that any young crafter had that awesome of a crafty budget!! Boy, was I wrong---6% of survey participants spend over $1000 a month on their paper-crafting! That $1000 includes money used for kits, memberships, subscriptions, subscriptions and crafting supplies. Umm...hello, who are you?? We could be friends really fast!! I could take you for a shopping spree at my local scrapbook store, and not have to spend ten minutes at the back counter dividing product  I can afford to buy i to two piles. There is the "I must buy now, because by tomorrow it'll be gone" pile and the other, "It can wait a week," pile; both of which can easily be resolved by the Adopt-a-Crafter program that I will be starting very soon.
Okay, I'll admit to this-Inspiration happens for me in one of two ways. It'll either happen while I am shampooing my hair (and my hands are to wet to write down an idea), or I am driving to work and can't type my idea into Evernote because texting while driving is illegal (must not have been a crafter who made that law). According to survey results, though, I am on the fringe.

27% of young crafters reported that they're most inspired to craft by looking at paper crafting and DIY blogs, while 21% reported social media as a source of inspiration. This is encouraging data for hip, young ladies who want to be inspired and inspire other by sharing their own projects. You could create a blog, and share your work there, or google a designer you like, and be taken to her blog, which is full of creative goodies for you to admire.

The internet is where it's at in terms of inspiration! Whether it be your blog or Pinterest, Facebook vs. Twitter, these social media platforms are where your work is going to get viewed. If you're not taking advantage of these platforms, do so NOW! People don't have a lot of time on their hands, especially young crafters, so sites like Twitter that deliver new content throughout the day are places where others can see your work, even manufacturers! You may also be inspired too, so set up that twitter account, add some cool crafters, and crafty-stalk away!

Speaking of craft-stalking, 56% of young crafters said that their inspiration came from their favorite designer, which is all the more reason us tech-savvy crafters need to follow our favorite designers tweets or blogs. Not only will you not miss one detail of your crafty crush's day, you'll be the first to like her instagram photo, and be able to tweet it on your page before anyone else does.

Again, my personal crafting style is on the outside fringe with this question. My style is more of a freestyle/collage, shabby fresh look where I like to layer and pull together seemingly unrelated products and combine them into a pleasing overall design. However,  that's not the style the majority of young crafters craft in. 

According to the results, 32% of young crafters characterize their design style as clean and simple ( a non-cluttered look, with a strong focal point, simple design and clean aesthetic), while another 24% of young crafters consider their style fun and cute (characterized by cheerful prints and motifs, bright colors, cheerful sentiments and cutesy fonts with an overall happy vibe). And, as I think about these design styles, it makes a lot of sense that so many young women are attracted to the them, and enjoy crafting in these genres.

For one, the styles are appealing. A reader or subscriber to a craft magazine is a visual connoisseur, so first glances at a card will take in a lot. With CAS, bold designs POP! With fun and cute, happy and cheerful motifs get you to take notice and feel good. Also, CAS and fun and cute cards are easy to replicate, which may mean that they're time-friendly. A busy young crafter who works full-time or takes care of little one's doesn't have time to spend slaving away on a technique-heavy project. They want to make something fabulous in a short amount of time because they've got things to do, places to go and people to see. Me? I have no life---I can easily spend two hours on a card design. I am very slow when it comes to crafting.

What say you? If these are your preferred styles, tell me why in the comments below--I'd love to know! 

Every time I hear the term, 'professional development', I think of long and boring meetings where we sit around and talk about curriculum, common core standards and how to incorporate more literacy into our subject matter. Bleh, that is the torture segment of the teaching profession! But, professional development in the paper crafting industry is anything but boring hours of tedious and torturous forced share-out activities with your colleagues.

For a paper crafter, you're always looking to learn the newest technique, be on top of the latest trend and educate yourself on what's happening in the paper crafting world around you. For the young crafter, half of the respondents said that the best way to develop their own talents was through blogging and using social media. 

Now, more than ever anyone can be a someone by using the internet. You could be a superstar with your own youtube channel, and a series of crafting videos that you share on your blog. You can then post those videos to the most widely used forum in the paper crafting industry; your blog! Young crafters are not waiting around to be "discovered." They're putting their ideas and content on their blogs, and using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to drive people to them, so they can share their knowledge. A beginning paper crafter is no longer left alone in the dark to figure out how to create handmade embellishments from felt, they can visit a crafter's blog for a step by step tutorial. Now, how's that for professional development?

No, were are definitely not talking mundane items like tape rollers, and ink pads. Those are staple products, and the intent of this post is to entertain you, not bore you to death. We are talking about that $1000 a month crafting budget and what it is spent on (Again, who is that fabulous crafter?). Young paper crafters are not only hip and trendy, but they're also pretty frugal and are willing to spend a little extra time to scope a deal or figure out the best deal for their buck. So, when it comes to crafting, young crafters want to get the most bang for their buck. What products do you think offer that?

Well, according to my lovely survey participants, Almost half said that stamps are their most purchased product, while the other half responded that paper crafting supplies like cardstock, paper and tools were their most purchased product. Now, you may be thinking, umm duh--stamps are reusable, but chew on the following interesting info.  Over the past year or two,  I have noticed some very hip, cute and trendy stamp companies come onto the scene, and really take off among younger paper crafters. Sweet Stamp Shop, Avery Elle, Mama Elephant and Neat & Tangled are just of few of them, but notice something else-The ladies who started these companies are young and trendy paper crafters as well! I think it's awesome and very encouraging that young entrepreneurs are marketing to the younger paper crafter demographic with styles and designs that are fresh an on trend.
Ikat designs. Sequin clusters. Triangles. What do those all have in common? They're some of the latest trends in home decor and paper crafting (at least at the moment). And, according to the survey results, we young crafters love trends, and like incorporating them into our cards, layouts and projects. Whether you find a quatrefoil pattern on a pillow at a lifestyle blog, or find ikat prints on platters at Target, you can be sure than in a month's time they'll hit the paper crafting design world full-force. 

We want our friends and family to enjoy and cherish the hand-crafted gifts that we give them, so the young paper crafter seeks incorporates their favorite trends into their projects, and 70% of respondents stated that they will buy product based on trends. Favorite trends are still the tried and true design elements of  bold motifs (florals, birds, etc) and classic patterns (quatrefoil, stripes, dots, etc). And why not? Classic patterns are timeless, so shouldn't are  projects that we make and give to others be? 

Young paper crafters are a talented group of women. Not only do they take chances, try new things and  manage a blog, they are also fiercely competitive for opportunity when it presents itself. You've heard the phrase, "you never trade in a classic" Well, ladies--look out! Young paper crafters have their sights set on some cool creative goals. 

According to those surveyed, 54% feel that there is not enough turnover in the paper crafting industry. Young paper crafters want to see fresh faces at the forefront of design, and they long for new ideas to take center stage again. Respondents are hopeful that sooner rather than later, there will be chances for them to shine; to be noticed by their dream design team, maybe even get a position that's long been occupied. 


But girls, it's not enough to hope for turnover, to dream that one day a spot on the top team will open, and that you'll fill it. If young paper crafters are seeking to be the next big thing, they need to step up their game. Yeah, that sounds great, but how do I do that? Do I wish for the the magical scrapbook fairy to make my dream come true? Well, you could, or you could do what the rest of us do, and brand yourself.

To be the next best thing, you need to put yourself out there. Creating original content, consistent blogging and professionalism are a few ideas to get you started, and they'll help you establish yourself as authority in the paper crafting realm. It may take time to do this, but when people know who you are, what you deliver and how amazing of a crafter you are, they'll take notice....and you'll get noticed!

I think it's a pretty good generalization, and one that most people can agree with. But, if were hoping for changes in the paper crafting industry, we should be the change we want to see. If you're hoping that your favorite challenge blog will finally take notice of your work, don't sit around week after week dreaming about it---make up and host your own unique challenge blog, and encourage others to join in on the fun! If you wish that there was a platform for such and such, don't wait around for someone else to come up with that idea, and take off with it, implement it yourself!

Young crafters are at an advantage-we have fresh new ideas to share, way more tech knowledge than the previous generation of crafters, and for the most part, we've got the time, energy and motivation to put ourselves out there and do something awesome with our talent and ideas. I have friends who tell me they wish that this would happen, or that would happen. Well, if those things are so important to you-make it happen!

Change is inevitable. Don't you want to be a part of it when it happens? Take Becky Higgins for example. She had an idea to make scrapbooking more accessible, easier to manage and a part of daily life. So, she created Project Life-- an idea born from something that she thought would change the industry, and it has. Thousands of scrappers take part in it. All you need is one idea, and you too can change the future of paper crafting.

Finally, the most important thing I learned about young paper crafters is also the easiest thing that one can do to change the industry. What's that you ask? Blogging, pure and simple. Blogging is the vehicle that takes the young and the crafty from making projects in their craft space, to sharing projects with the world. There's no better way to tell others who you are and what you're about than to write a blog that offers great ideas, cool tips and techniques and something special about you that distinguishes you from everyone else. If you're not blogging, what are you waiting for? If you have started a blog, but you're unsure of what you need to make it pop out amongst a sea of other blogs, check out this post that offers five tips on how to better your blog design to attract an audience. 

The Young and the Crafty are taking the paper crafting world by storm. Whether it's running a successful small stamping business or gracing the pages of the coolest crafting publication, young paper crafters are changing the way crafting is done, shared and viewed! 

A special thanks to the following young crafters for taking part in the survey. Make sure to check out their amazing talent.
Amanda Adam

Get it Together: Chalkboard Memo Board

I don't know about you, but I like to take advantage of any opportunity to organize and clean that I can find. Tidying up, labeling and making sure the house is in order, is a neurotic trait that my dear husband claims is one of the many reasons why he fell in love with me. Hmm...is that a good thing? 

In my quest to the get my craft room together, I noticed that I have a lot of loose bits of paper laying around my craft table, on surrounding shelves, and basically strewn about the place. Some of these loose papers actually had important information on them that could have been...ugh, useful if I had known where they were at the time. It's amazing the things you find when you're cleaning, things that you didn't  even know were missing! 

For today's Get it Together post, I created the perfect solution to my craft room dilemma; a chalkboard memo board using paper from SEI's Mia Bella collection.
All the materials used to create my memo board were supplies that I found while I was purging my craft room. Ha, who knew all this prettiness was so easily accessible to me? I painted some clothes pins with white acrylic paint, and covered them with strips of  Kiss in the Rain, Sightseeing, and Hotel Suite paper, and adhered them to the painted wooden plaque.
Since, I needed an area where I could write notes, I pulled out my chalkboard paint and applied two even coats to the wooden plaque. To make the chalkboard lines super straight, I masked the edges with washi tape. Make sure to paint the first coat of chalkboard paint in one direction, and the second coat in another direction. And, if you're like me and simply can't wait the 24 hours required in-between coats, (Who are they kidding? No one is going to wait 24 hours in between coats), pull out your heat gun and dry the paint in a snap!

Ooooh, it looks like I need to submit some cards, better pull out my other lovely SEI paper collections for the next call.

A Clean and Trendy Card with Mama Elephant

One of the best things about selling old stamps, is getting money to buy new stamps. I have been following and loving Mama Elephant, a new clear stamp company. Not only are the stamps cute, clean and trendy, they produce a clear and brilliant image when stamped. Seriously, this is a stamp company that's got it going in terms of design and trendy sets. You're going to want to buy it all the  minute you see it. On their blog, they have a weekly sketch challenge, and I had so much fun playing along! I'm a fan of geometric shapes, so I pulled out the Trifecta set, and created this fun little card.
I flipped the sketch on it's side. I stamped the border of triangles across the top to bring more attention to it, and then combined stamped images with patterned paper triangles. For the cluster and sentiment, I stamped some more triangles on the cardstock, and then layered elements like thread and the sentiment over it.


I had so much fun playing along in this challenge! You can play along too! The sketch challenge will run to Monday, April 14th at 3pm EST. Winners of the challenge will receive two new sets from the upcoming release, and will design alongside the design team in the monthly stampede, as well as being featured on the blog throughout the month! How much fun is that. 

Get it Together: Paper Crafted Storage Solutions

Okay, so why is that all desire to purge, clean and organize my craft room always occurs in the middle of the night on a wednesday? I don't get it. But, far be it for me to deny my craft room of the annual spring cleaning that it so desperately needs. After hauling out boxes of unused product to be sorted, organized and stored in my classroom storage closet, (or to avoid dealing with the excess craft product), I surveyed the space and discovered a very important truth. How do I organize and store what's left? Simple....use craft products like patterned paper to organize all the teeny little paper-crafting products that don't have a home or tend to get lost in the whirlwind that is our crafting.

SEI's newest release, Mia Bella was made specifically for my craft room. My husband loves maps, globes and all things of the nautical navigation. When we got married he graciously offered (eeehh--mm....was forced) to move his map and navigation decor into our office, which is now our shared craft room/office. I am moving my craft area into the office part of our shared space, so storage solutions need to be appealing and accessible, for which the Mia Bella is perfect for. Mia Bella features some beautiful vintage map paper like Kiss in the Rain and Sightseeing, which will not only store my products, but will also blend perfectly with the map decor on our office shelves.
I decided that I needed some small boxes to hold tiny trinkets, embellishments and bits, that tend to get lost in larger drawers or cubbies. The one and two-drawer boxes are cut files from the silhouette store, and can be sized perfectly for whatever type of storage that you're looking for.
The perfect thing about the Mia Bella collection is that it's elegant, it showcases soft and muted colors that can work with any decor, and that it's full of such beautiful patterns, that you're not going to be able to stop using it, especially once you realize how easy it is to create these miniature storage boxes for your crafting goods.
Since, I like options, I needed two different storage solutions, one for larger SEI embellishments like chipboard pieces, and a smaller two-drawer for little trinkets like brads, buttons and little sundries bits. The boxes stack nicely together, but can also be stored side-by side.
My brads got a new home to live in.
All you'll need to do is download the templates, and cut them with your electronic die cut machine. Make sure to down load two of the drawer templates for the two-drawer template. The file doesn't mention it, but you'll notice that you are only given one base and one drawer when you download the file.
 
materials: Kiss in the Rain | Sightseeing | one and two-drawer templates

|1|   Fold the drawer at all the perforations on the template.

|2|   Fold the drawer sides over leaves.

|3|   Gather tape, and begin adhere to drawer leaves.

|4|   Secure all drawer sides with double-stick tape.

|5|   Fold in all sides, and secure with tape.

Wasn't that fun and easy? I am definitely a fan of these little drawers, and will be making more!

An Honor to Try Out


I've been debating about whether or not to share this, since I've had a lot of mixed emotions over the past few months. But, I really feel that my experience can encourage my readers and fellow crafters to keep striving for their paper crafting goals.

I began reading Paper Crafts Magazine in 2004, when I was still in college. It was a new magazine, and I was awed by it. I had just started dabbling in paper crafting in my early 20's, and was thrilled when my parents gifted me a subscription to the magazine. Every day when I road the shuttle bus to campus, I would meticulously study every card, each material and all the little steps to make a paper-crafted work of art.  I often thought to myself, these projects are so cool, what would it be like to be in this magazine?

Flash forward five years later, three changed majors since, a career as a middle school art teacher, and my first summer off (oh, yeah did I mention I was a newlywed?). I spent the summer mornings watching re-runs of 90210, trying to absorb the chaos of my first year teaching. My husband, who worked at home couldn't stand my loafing around anymore, and encouraged me to get a hobby. "Well, then....I'll get a hobby!" I thought.

I thought back to my left over paper crafting supplies from my single days as an art student, I rummaged through some boxes in our overly packed garage (which, ended up taking nearly two hours) until I found a little box full of Stampin Up stamps, dried out ink and K & Co. paper. I laid everything out and started putting pieces together with rhinestone accents and decorative punched edges to make a card. I realized then that I still liked it, and maybe with all this free time on my hands I should try to attempt my goal of getting published. 

After a few depressing rejections, I got two cards picked up! I remember rolling over in bed one morning, grabbing my phone and seeing the email from Susan Opel.....I believe my initial reaction, which woke my husband was, "Oh my gosh---is this a joke?" From then on, I totally fell in love with the challenge of submitting cards for publication. Who knew what it would lead to? Sure, I thought it would be awesome to be a Go-to Gal for the magazine, it was a paper-crafting dream to me, but I never imagined I would be asked to try out. 
Well, I thought wrong. Two years after my first submission, I was coming home from a particularly miserable day of managing middle schoolers. Annoyed and cold, I bypassed the mailbox and headed straight to the office to forget my day by crafting. I got a message from Susan right as I was sitting down, asking me if I had checked the mail yet (She didn't know that our mail man delivers mail around 6pm every night, so I wasn't in a rush to check it), but since she asked me, I put my shoes back on and went to the mailbox. Sheesh, what was the big deal? 

Oddly enough, she must have had a radar to mailbox, because in a little envelope was something I never imagined I would ever see....an invitation to try out for a Go-to Gal spot! I ran in the house, grabbed my phone and told her that I received the bestest mail ever!!

I was so nervous as I worked through the challenges. I struggled with thinking, "Is this what they want?" "Should I have included something else?" "Am I sounding professional enough?" Some of the challenges went through the holidays, and even though I was making gifts for family, desinging  projects for DT assignments and publications, I worked diligently on the challenges. 

As the deadline approached for the first round, I felt a pit in my stomach. I didn't want to get excited, and then receive bad news, but on the other hand, I found myself daydreaming about this dream of mine, a dream that started when I was 23.

The deadline for emails that notified you if you were moving on to the next round came and went. I spent two hours past the deadline anxiously checking my phone every five minutes, refreshing my email hoping that any minute, I would get a happy email. Finally, I couldn't stand the stress of waiting and I emailed Paper Crafts.

I heard back instantaneously after I sent the email, and it wasn't good news for me. They were wonderfully cordial and I thanked them for the opportunity, but my heart was crushed. I spent the evening crying, and feling incredibly dejected. I replayed what I could have done better, and wondered what I had done wrong. Was it me? Was it my style? Was I not innovative enough? Would people not like me? I went to bed moping with puffy eyes  and a heavy heart.

To make matters worse, two days after I found out the news, I was set to fly to CHA, and I was concerned about how I was going to be able to smile, put on a good face and network with other professionals in the business, when a dream that was so near and dear to me had come to crashing halt. The funny thing though, was that CHA was the best medication for a crushed dream.

At CHA, I met up with dear friends like Latisha Yoast, Vera Yates, AJ Otto and Susan Opel, and met great new friends like Amber KG and Kalyn Kepner. We laughed, talked together and shared together. We roamed the floor, and scoped out all the new lines together. Friendships made through paper crafting reminded me that not moving on to the next round, wasn't the end of my paper crafting dreams. 

I begun to realize something that I had so easily forgotten in all my wallowing. In only two years, I had not only had made great friends, but I created and grew a blog, earned DT spots with some great manufacturers, and had been published in one my favorite magazines, which at one time had been the number one goal of a certain 23 year old.
I'm not going to lie, sometimes the paper crafting industry is tough. You can be passed up by another designer so easily, or miss out on an opportunity that you really wanted. Maybe you won't win that challenge you've been entering projects in for over a year, or your favorite card won't get picked up for publication. If you have ever felt this way, you're not alone. Every paper crafter, no matter how big of a name they are, have had let downs. To deal with my let down, I had to get up, brush myself off and keep designing. Why? Because, I love to craft! Although, being a Go-to-Gal would have been amazing, I have other goals and dreams to work towards. 

The most beautiful thing that came out of the Go-to-Gal tryout process was that a sweet friend of mine, Kimberly Crawford was asked to be a Go-To Gal, and I couldn't be happier and prouder of her! I know her, and the other two crafters will do a fine job. 

I don't know what other opportunities are out there for me, but, I do know that I enjoy crafting, I love submitting, and I totally enjoy challenging myself and growing my brand. I hope that if you're reading this, and have been through difficult times in your paper crafting career or experienced disappointment, you'll remember that you're not alone, and that you can move beyond it, by staying true to yourself, your crafting and your goals.

Pop Off the Page with Jen Jockisch

I am so thrilled to share with you great news! I was asked to contribute to a fantastic class led by the super talented Jen Jockisch as a follow up to her popular layering class! On May 20th I'll show you three great ideas for layering  on your cards, my personal favorite paper crafting project! Read below for the complete details, and sign up quick-space fills up fast!

Here's the deliciously fabulous class kit!

Join layering expert, Jen Jockisch and a list of super talented contributors for  the sequel to last year's popular class, and learn how to layer your paper and embellishments to add detail, dimension and visual  interest to any project. If you missed Jen's first class, don't fret, this 2.0 class will begin with a refresher PDF reviewing ideas shared in the first class, and will also include four PDF's discussing a lot of great concepts regarding layering. When you complete this online class you'll have access to five PDF's filled with 28 projects, two videos and tons of new Pop off the Page tips and tricks.

Jen is joined by a amazing groups of talented contributors and designers, who have a diverse range of styles, but all have mad skills when it comes to layering product. Becky Novacek, Celine Navarro, Dawn McVey, Debee Campos, Me, Jill Sprott, Kim Stewart, Lilith Eeckels, Lisa Spangler, Marcy Penner, Patricia Roebuck, Sasha Farina, Shanna Noel, Stephanie Bryan and Stephanie Dagan. All of these ladies will share with you their personal approach and tips to layering for a variety of projects! What a deal! 

Not only will you get access to all this great content, but if you're stumped with a project or need to ask a question, you'll be able to do just that with Jen in a private message board. Here's the course syllabus, it looks like so much fun!

May 1: Layering Refresher with layouts from Jen, Marcy, Becky, Lillith and Sasha.

May 6: Layering with Mixed Media with layouts from Jen, Jill, Celine and Shanna; with a bonus card from Lisa.

May 13: Layering with Paper Techniques with layouts from Jen, Patricia and Kim, with a bonus card from Dawn.

May 20: Layering in Other Projects with three tags from Jen, a mini album from Stephanie, an art piece from Debee and three cards from me!

The class wraps up on May 27 with Jen's layering tips and tricks including four of her layouts and a card.

Sign up today, space is limited! I am so thrilled to e a part of this great class!
 
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