Life Reset Button?

Can I just let the whole world know I have NO CLUE what I want to be when I grow up.

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This empty-nest thing, (yes, it’s A THING!), is really tough.  If you are younger than 50, I know you are not interested in this subject, but you should be.  In the past, I NEVER listened to women who were of this age and what they were dealing with.  Darnit!  I was too busy to listen to them complain about all their FREE time.  I could only dream of all the fun things I wanted to do when I could finally be released from the trenches of the daily JOB.  As a teacher, my colleagues and I were counting the years to FREEDOM.  Freedom to pursue our interests on our own time.  Well, here I am.  Free.  Free to do whatever I want within my confines of a household and finite amount of money.

I’m not complaining by the way.  For me, it’s staying committed to a project that is so hard.  I have all the time in the world right now, but I lose my focus easily.  I bounce from one thing to the next.  At times I get very creative and so focused I can’t see the forest for the trees.  I look up and my entire creative room looks like it blew up.  I have such a mess I can hardly function.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Clean up, get organized, create, get buried in the mess, repeat.

Now this brings me to the feeling of needing a RESET button.  Several month ago, I launched a YouTube channel because I decided I could share my cardmaking to promote my independent business as a Stampin’ Up consultant.  It was fun and exhilarating to be on that path of learning something new.  But then Life happened and I lost my enthusiasm for it all.  I don’t identify myself as a Stampin’ Up consultant and I don’t want to work to be at the top of the heap in that company.  Sigh.

I like creating.  I like making cards and scrapbook pages. These photos are my latest creations.

I like working on digital scrapbook pages to be made into a hardbound book.  Oh, and if you need a great class to get you started with digital scrapbooking for a nice book, I highly recommend Cathy Zielske’s “Scrapbook Your Year” self-paced class. You can find her here. I like sorting photos.  I like sharing with other people how to get their photos organized and in a safe place for posterity. I want to encourage you to check out the only PERMANENT online storage for photos and other media.  It is the best thing since ice cream!  You can take a look here at the FOREVER site. I also enjoy other mixed media projects like art journals, and canvas work.  It all fascinates me.  I find great joy when I’ve completed a project.  Granted, those long-term projects are tough since I have a tendency to put them on a shelf for months at a time.

It’s hard not being on a schedule and so loosey-goosey with my projects.  Maybe a JOB would be easier?  Tell me your story of being an empty-nester and how you are handling your time.  Oh, and just for the record, I’m not one to go out and volunteer.  Yes, I’d rather stay home after all those years of being “on” a job. This last meme is how I feel.  Yeah, Retired.

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Learning can be FRUSTRATING!

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Learning can be fun and frustrating!  I love to challenge myself by exploring new things.  My latest has been learning the ins and outs of Adobe Premiere, the video companion to Adobe Photoshop Elements.  I decided if I were going to be serious about my new venture as a ©Stampin’ Up! demonstrator I would try my hand at videotaping my craft.  It’s amazing how so many YouTubers out there make this look like such an easy process; but, it’s a learning curve that can be quite frustrating.

It took me a total of 3 days of trial and error to produce my first YouTube video.  Why? Because I wanted to use what I had on hand and not use my phone.  I have owned Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 and it’s companion Adobe Premiere for years.  I enjoy using Adobe Photoshop Elements for most of my photo editing.  I hadn’t had a project that made me want to use the Adobe Premiere until now.  So what do I do?  I learn, my friends.  I went into the depths of a program I knew little about and just did it.  But, it was not easy.  It was a far cry from easy.  For someone who loves trying new things, this had to be one of the most frustrating projects I challenged myself to in a very long time.

It took 3 days; 3 LOOOOONG days of trial and error with lots of errors! I managed to get my first video completed and uploaded to YouTube.  Ahhhhh.  Well, sort of.  Ha!  As I viewed it on my phone I noticed all kinds of hiccups.  Especially the audio.  It wasn’t bad; but, it wasn’t crisp like other YouTube videos I follow.  If you are curious, you can take a look at my very first YouTube video .

I’m still working on learning how to manipulate the audio during the editing process in Adobe Premiere.  I don’t have the PRO version, so I may be limited to what I can do.  If you have any suggestions on how I can improve my audio, please leave me a comment.

These are the cards I made as I filmed my video.

 

I hope you will consider becoming a Paper Pumpkin subscriber.  It is an affordable papercrafting kit that is easy and fun!  It’s especially great for new crafters who want to explore new things! Please use this link to order your first kit.  You can cancel at any time or place your subscription on hold if your life gets too busy.05.11.18_JUNE-BROADWAY_IMAGE-SHAREABLE2_US

Please use this link to order your first kit.

One more promotion I have to share—the brand new (c)Stampin’ Up! annual catalog went live yesterday, June 1st.  It’s full of beautiful stamp sets and other crafty goodies. IMG_7288 If you would like a catalog, please contact me.  It’s FREE with a purchase of $50 or more in my (c)Stampin’ Up store here.

Ahoy! April 2018 Paper Pumpkin

YOU ARE MY ANCHOR, April 2018’s Paper Pumpkin kit did not disappoint.  This is my second Paper Pumpkin kit since I became a ©Stampin’ Up! demonstrator this past January.  I had already seen postings of the kit and even a couple of YouTube videos showing the assembly of the kit project.  Even so, it was still so much fun putting together.  The kit, YOU ARE MY ANCHOR, makes four gift boxes that hold 5 cards each and their matching envelopes.

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I have found that many ©Stampin’ Up! demonstrators will make an alternative to the instructions for those who want to stretch their kit.  It is a fun challenge and of course it is perfect fit for me.  I love dreaming up new ways of working with a kit.  So, I am featuring 3 alternative A2 card designs for you today.

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The first card I created is made with a card craft background.  I was thinking sandy beaches when I put this one together!  I used ©Stampin’ Up’s cardstock color ‘Crumb Cake’ cut to 5.5” x 8.5” then scored to make a side folding vertical card.  I always make side-folding cards because I like the way the stand up when displayed.

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The technique to add the ‘starfish’ stamp to the background is an easy one.  I used a watermark stamp pad by ©VersaMark, which is a sticky clear ink pad, to simply stamp the starfish randomly on the front of the ‘Crumb Cake’ cardstock. You can always stamp with VersaMark ink whenever you want the background cardstock color to show through; just leaving the stamped image.  I used one of the small envelopes for the striped paper edge; yep, I cut apart the envelope to reveal that wonderful blue and white nautical stripe.  Then I attached the two punch-out die cuts and added the provided rope-looking twine behind the life-preserver and down the side of the striped paper edge.  The stamp set that is provided with the kit had several sayings, plus a few extra words like “Thanks” which I used to create banner.  This card came together very quickly and looks so fun!File Apr 26, 10 17 13 PM

The second card is made using ©Stampin’ Up’s ‘Calypso Coral’ cardstock cut to 5.5” x 8.5” then scored to make a side folding vertical card.  I added a white panel using ‘Whisper White’ cardstock by Stampin’ Up cut at 4”x 5.25”.  I cut one of the provided box tops in half then laid it across the bottom.  That stunning 3 x 3 gold foiled card did the rest of the work for me.  All I had to do is add the lighthouse die cut, 2 tiny gold foiled hearts and some rope again.  Even the gold foiled banner was part of the punch out dies!  All I had to do was stamp a sentiment using that lovely ©Stampin’ Up inkspot color, ‘Island Indigo.’  This card makes me so happy!

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And lastly, my third card was a small artsy adventure!  Again, I used the inside of one of the small envelopes to reveal that gorgeous blue wonky striped paper.  I decided to ink up a 4’ x5.25 white card panel by sponging on some light blue ink.  This is a dry sponging technique that I’ve seen many card-making experts do.  It doesn’t have to be perfect because all the layering of the paper and little elements steals the show!  The sponging gave me a soft sky background I was after.  Next, I went digging for those shaped scissors from the olden days.  I snipped the waves paper from the insides of another envelope.  I just had to play with it until I had it laid out to balance the bottom.  After that I stamped ‘Ahoy’ and the ‘wheel’ image onto a foiled accented round die cut.  I added the punched-out orange die cut anchor and tied the round tag and anchor together with the rope. Lastly, I stamped the ‘seagulls’ image using black and added the tiny clear sequins for extra interests. I glued this card panel to an A2 sized white card base.  I had so much fun putting this one together. File Apr 26, 10 28 13 PM

I’m hoping to create a couple more cards from this April 2018 Paper Pumpkin kit before the next one arrives.  Please leave me a note if you decide to CASE one of these alternative cards.  I would be so appreciative and flattered.

Remember, you still have until May 10th to order your first 2 Paper Pumpkin kits for 50% off!  What a great way to find out if you can meet the challenge of creating an alternative design with the kit.  Please go here to get your 50% off kit!

 

March Paper Pumpkin

It’s almost time for another Paper Pumpkin kit.  I can hardly wait to see what is coming next!  But as promised here are my creations from the March Paper Pumpkin kit.

The first two cards I used the instructions from the kit.  I followed the instructions exactly since this was my very first kit to assemble.

 

Below are my alternative designs using the kit supplies.  I had fun making use of the envelope scalloped flaps.  The envelopes are beautiful, but I knew I wouldn’t use them, so I cut them apart and waited for some inspiration to come.  It’s funny how I need to touch the pieces many times before an actual idea comes to mind.

I had fun with this kit and now ready to get the next one.   Order your kit HERE  

There’s a great promotion to get your first 2 kits for 50% off!  Hurry!  Offer good ’til May 10th.03.11.18_SHAREABLE2_50OFF_PP

Springtime brings a New LOVE!

springI have a new LOVE.  Yes, a new LOVE for card making.  I’ve been scrapbooking for the past five years working with the physical products and doing a little digital scrapbooking, too.  I have a FAVORITE online group, http://www.ScrapHappy.org that inspired me to tell stories through scrapbooking.  ScrapHappy is a group of ladies who share the passion of this art and storytelling.  It’s more than just putting photos on a page with a few stickers.  It’s creativity with depth.  Yes, I love it.  As a member of ScrapHappy, I volunteered to post the group’s birthday announcements on the group’s Facebook page.  It makes sense to add more than just WORDS when you’re a “crafter”, so, to show off the group’s talents we ask members to share birthday cards they have made.  I use these created cards to help celebrate the group members’ birthdays.  I’ve overseen this task for over a year now, and there have been times when we ran low on cards to share.  To fill in the gaps, I began making cards myself.  I love the small canvas; 4.5”x5.5” is the standard A2 size.  The more cards I made, the more I enjoyed making them.  It was fast and easy, plus I didn’t have to add a story to my creative layout. Then I found Jennifer McGuire, Laura Bassen, and Kristina Werner on YouTube.  Oh, MY, GOODNESS!!!  That led me into a whole new world of card making in which I consider these ladies to be ‘holy grail’ of card makers.  After a year of practicing card making, I was approached by my friend Kristina Rees about becoming a demonstrator for ©Stampin’ UP!   ©Stampin’ UP! as I learned has been an international leader in card making for over 30 years.  Who knew?  I did my research and decided to take the plunge into the world of ©Stampin’ UP! and launched my own home based business.  This is SO fun!  Did I tell you I’m a former school teacher?  Well, I am, and this teaching is so much more fun than teaching math!  Ha! I love the creative side, plus this gives me an outlet to get to know more ladies.  As a retired school teacher, I couldn’t think of anything that gives me more pleasure…a reason to get together with like-minded women and create something to give away! It’s a perfect fit for me.

Now that Spring is in the air, I’ve decided to have an Open House in my neighborhood.  We’ve only been in the neighborhood for a year, so I want to know more of my neighbors anyhow.  I put out a FB invite on our local neighborhood site inviting ladies, their kids and/or teens to come make a card FREE of charge with NO sales pitch.  Truly, I want to meet more ladies.  You can never have enough friends, right?!  Anyhow, it is scheduled for Wednesday, March 21st from 10am-6pm.  I’m very excited and look forward to the creating and planning of such an event.  Wish me luck!

If you would like to take a peek at the ©Stampin’ UP! catalog and possibly place an order, go here: shop Use WORKSHOP code:   28822541  (good thru March 31st) when placing your order.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.  I hope to be sharing my card making adventures with you along the way.

Jeanette Collins