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Friday 25 March 2016

A year in Crafting - March - let's catch up.

Hi crafty peeps.  A bit of a different post from me today, I don't know about you, but for me my blog isn't just a place to showcase my crafty makes, it's also a place for me to share my journey, to document my growth as an artist and a way to remind myself of my experiences.

So I thought I would make a series of posts called 'A Year of Crafting' and actually document within a set time frame all that happens on a monthly basis. Yes I know....I'm already 3 months into the year lol, so let's start by catching up.

So first of all let's start out with ...

Design Teams.

Since I first started blogging my makes I have been lucky enough to be asked to join some amazing design teams, some of which I wasn't even able to say yes to, because of time constraints, and this has given me the opportunity to both create with some awesome products and work with some amazing artists and crafters. 

Sadly, as I work full time, I am out of the house 11 hours a day Monday to Friday and that combined with some other personal stuff means that the time I have left to craft is very limited, 5 - 6 design teams proved too much in the end and at the end of last year I made the tough decision to prune back on my design teams. It was very hard to choose and there were various reasons I dropped the ones I did. I was particularly sad to leave Dies to Die for, who I had been designing for since 2013, not long after I first started blogging, as the team couldn't be friendlier and  Tracy was the nicest most laid back boss ever, but it was a regular card a week and that did limit me in other things I could take on. I still shop from there as my go to place for stamps and dies and the whole experience was a very happy one.

Sadly not all design teams are as supportive and it's worth putting it out there as a warning, be very sure of your commitment, some DTs don't really make it clear up front exactly what is expected from you. If you are asked to send samples for CHA, check ahead exactly how many that will be. I don't think anyone would object to being asked to send a few, (La-La Land asks for 2 or 4 if  I remember correctly and Irina sends so much product nobody could ever feel that is too much), but being asked to send all your DT makes for the year is really unacceptable, (and yes that has happened to me, with one team, In the end I sent 14 finished projects, even after leaving the design team and not only did I not get my postage paid as was promised, but never even got a thank you or an acknowledgment that they had arrived! I only knew they had got there safely when I saw them on Facebook pictures of the CHA booth!). Please remember that it is NOT a job, you should be committing to a mutually beneficial arrangement and it should be fun! That being said, don't take on something and then hold up your side of the bargain, just go in with your eyes fully open and your mind fully informed.

So now I have settled down with 3 design teams and I no longer feel stressed trying to balance my time.
Whimsy is the new one for me this year (though I guested for Denise a couple of times in the past), and I'm loving it. The girls are friendly, Denise is wonderful and I love 90% of all the releases. There's much less pressure on me and I don't have to think too much about what I'm making, I just let the mojo take me where it will!

So what else is new?


Does that mean I have a new family pet? No, but colouring animals used to make me run screaming, it flat out scared me lol. But in joining the Whimsy DT,  I was introduced to the artist Lee Hooper and his images are just sooooooooooo cute that I had to try. You know what? I love it. I still wouldn't say I'm in my comfort zone colouring them, but still I'm enjoying and learning. Of course boy cards still make me run screaming, but that's a whole other story.

While we're on the subject of things that make me run screaming, let's talk about ....


For those of you who are reading this and do not know what CAS stands for, it's Clean and Simple. Meaning cards without lots of embellishments etc. I love CAS, I think there are some amazing makes out there in this theme, but oh boy, CAS did not want to play nice with me. However, in the near future you you will notice a few more CAS projects from me creeping in. I won't say I find them easy, it sometimes takes me twice as long to make one of these as my fanciest card, but I am starting to understand and enjoy them a bit more.

So, change of design teams...check, tackling my nemeses Animals and CAS....check. What else?

Let's talk about .....


I've dabbled in tutorials before, I even made a blog for them way back when and I posted a few step by step tutorials there. But as with everything else I then ran out of time to create them,. My DT commitments took up every spare moment. Now with a bit of spare time to spend, I've re-visited doing them, and this time I did what people have been asking tutorials.  Oh boy.  I was pretty scared to start, even though I've done some showcase videos for my mini albums before, doing tutorials on video was a first for me, scary stuff.
In all honesty I'm loving it now, but it has meant learning a whole new set of skills (and purchasing some new software), in video editing. Very time consuming, not least because we live a long way from the exchange and our internet is VERY slow. Even after editing it takes me 6 - 10 hours to upload to YouTube, so I'm usually having to do it overnight, so these are really labours of love for me. But I'm enjoying sharing my methods with you, and hopefully you will find them interesting and if you also find them helpful then it certainly was worth my time. They are something I will continue to do and build up, but because they are soooooo time consuming, they aren't something I'm able to do on a weekly basis.

Lastly for now, I'm going to touch upon...


Now truth be told, much as I enjoy my job, if I could afford to buy a little place and run it as a craft retreat and give up my current job I would. Currently I can't see how I can make that happen, and with the retirement age going up all the time, I'm likely to be 70 or more by the time I retire and possibly without the fine control of hands and eyes needed to teach people (though I hope I'm still able to craft!). I don't drive either, so I'm not sure I could run classes by myself all over the country; so for now teaching classes seemed something still out of my reach.

But then something very exciting happened, I was asked, (as those who read my posts will know) to teach at a retreat happening in Orlando in September. I'm still not able to reveal all the details, but they have been confirmed so I'm hoping to be able to by the end of next week, so watch out for that. This really is super exciting for me and literally a dream come true. I did not think, when I started blogging my humble makes back in July of 2013, that 3 years later I would be flying to Orlando to teach some classes, I STILL cannot get over my excitement about this, I'm not sure I will even once its all over.

So that's my year in crafting so far. I hope that you've found it interesting, I'll make another post at the end of April....a MUCH shorter one lol and catch up with what's been going on in my crafty little world.

Thanks for reading and for sticking with me :) xx


  1. I have read your post (and hope to have understand all... LOL ...english isn't my language)and want thank you for sharing your big experience with us. In your words there is a lot of wisdom :)
    Your cards are breathtaking, amazing pieces of art, and you use very classy techniques, so I'm sure that your alumni of Orlando classes will be excited as you and very satisfied for your teachings.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read the post, it's a LOT to read when it isn't your first language. As somebody who lived for a year in another country and learned the language there, I can understand how daunting that can be!! xx

  2. thank yo so much for this text!
    Im in some blog challenge teams and I thinkin to take a break because of my health
    Oh I love animals but coloring them is so bad for me.
    I dont know how to color them!
    sometimes is ok sometimes I throw it away because its not good enough.
    Bad Kitty's Craftroom

  3. I see you in blogland regularly Linda but it was lovely to learn more about you. Loved reading your post and I am sure all the bloggers, like me, are loving watching your videos. You are a fantastic colourist and card designer.
    What a blissful life having all the time in the world to create would be but I am the same as you Linda - don't think I will ever be able to retire early.
    Have a lovely Easter.
    Hugs Sharon. x

  4. Such a good year so far for you! Enjoy!

  5. Thanks for your post! Your coloring is beautifully unique and your projects are gorgeous! Thanks for your videos.....

  6. Amen! So much good info here especially for newbies who want so. Much to join design teams! Your work is beautiful and such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your tutorials with us! xxx Ann Marie

  7. Linda, you're an inspiration. I watched your fabulous Video tutorial, and it truly was worth your time for we mere mortals who can only aspire to your fantastic inky skills! Every card you make is truly a little work of art. I can honestly say, I love every one you've ever made (or at least ever shared with us!). You have such a talent, not just for the beautiful way you colour your images, but also how you put your cards together. Your signature shabby chic style is truly beautiful and I swoon regularly over your beautiful work. Be encouraged despite the short hours and on occasion, lack of love from DT's, your crafty skills are admired and valued. Very exciting about the teaching in Orlando. Enjoy that exciting adventure. I believe, where we are supposed to go in life, the doors fly open! So good luck following your heart and dreams. I'll be watching with admiration. Hugs, Wends x

  8. I'm so so HAPPY for you Linda!!! You are an amazing person and crafter. Looking forward to hearing more news and updates about your upcoming trip to the craft retreat.



I love to read your comments and feedback and every one left is read and appreciated. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have, I will always do my best to answer them. Thanks for visiting!

Linda xx