Falling for you blog hop – with video tutorial

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I’m excited to be a part of the Simon Says Stamp MEGA blog hop featuring their newest batch of releases! Heads up that Simon will be picking one random commenter on each stop for a Simon Says Stamp Prize pack randomly selected on April 28! So when you finish checking out my post, you probably want to leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!

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I went wild with loads of fun stamps + stencils for my project. Here is my You Tube Video of the process!

As you can see, these stamps & stencils look great alone or layered up! I love taking a white piece of cardstock and customizing a background for a scrapbook layout!

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Supplies Used:

This style of layout is so much fun to make!

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But wait – there’s more! I made a card with the exact same techniques:

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Just a reminder that fun techniques can always apply to a multitude of project types!

Remember – leave a comment here (and on any/all stops!) for your chance to win! I’m the final stop in this blog hop, so if this is your first stop, or if you want to continue along the hop and check out all of the great projects and information head to the Simon Says Stamp blog – aka the first post.

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Embrace the fails – they’re success too.

There have been a lot of scary risks and leaps I’ve taken in my craft life. Things like writing a letter to every single manufacturer (over a decade ago) trying to get hired in any form was a great risk for rejection.

Not one person ever replied to those letters.

Applying to design teams and going out for jobs – that can be another risk because you’re putting yourself out there and the feelings of rejection can be overwhelming.

Ah, but here’s the secret to the whole thing: I couldn’t ever do what I do, I wouldn’t be who I am had I not failed hundreds of times. Oh at this point it may be into the THOUSANDS. I promise you that even today, should I go out for a design team I would more likely be told no thanks than yes please. It’s not personal, it isn’t my shortcoming – I just am perhaps not what that particular company needs in a team member. Guess what? That’s ok.

The only way to figure out what you want, what you excel in, and what you would really like to get better at is to put yourself out there. A few months back I decided I hadn’t been taking enough risks and felt kind of without solid focus. I started working on some brand focusing stuff. Watching videos and reading articles and working on some internal improvements here at HQ. I also tried submitting some articles to a huge website/blog.

When I first applied I was asked to make some pitches. That was super exciting. Then I was asked to write up a few. Scary, but still exciting. They never got picked up – in fact they never got a reply which seemed odd given the quick replies to the initial process. But that’s OK. The point of this was that it terrified me in a good “egads! Scary! Vulnerable! what if?!” way. The goal was to push myself, try something new, and embrace that vulnerable space where you’re not sure if success or failure is the desired result because both can be scary.

The actual success or fail wasn’t the point – it didn’t actually matter. It was the doing, the effort, the putting myself out there and trying new things that was the entire focus.

If you want to give this a go (creative industry speaking) I do have a few tips. First of all – never ever be afraid to email a person or contact a company and pitch your idea. I can count on one hand the number of times someone has approached me with an idea/to pitch themselves. People just don’t tend to jump in and go for it! Just follow these three rules:

  • Keep it short/to the point and respect their busy schedule. Cut out all the meandering/long intros/deep detail. They’ll contact you if you spark interest.
  • Keep it focused on what you can provide/do for the company and/or how your idea benefits them in some way.
  • Have something to back it up- if you say you craft a ton, blog regularly, etc… you’d better have the website/gallery/proof to show you are serious!

Just remember – being turned down is not a “fail” or rejection. You’ve got to knock on a LOT of doors, try a lot of ideas, and make a lot of stuff before things start opening up and you start seeing progress. That’s all good – it’s a part of the ever changing process of being a creative person.

This applies to all those who enjoy this hobby of paper crafting in general too – don’t get stuck and don’t tell yourself “I can’t…” because guess what? You CAN do whatever it is you’ve convinced yourself is impossible for you. You just have to do little steps each day, embrace the fails as well as the wins, and go for it.

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Challenge: Due Date (And my fun unplugged weekend of sketching…)

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For this week’s challenge at Simon Says Stamp I thought about making something hours before the challenge – in fact I had a few things started. ah, but then I got to thinking about how all weekend I sketched, played, and generally ignored deadlines and all the daily stress we all so often face. I just doodled and played with Prima pencils + my notebook. I have many pages (above) that are simple and quick and fun. Some (below) aren’t nearly finished! As I moved around Girl Scout Camp and had to reset in new locations sometimes my idea wasn’t finished.

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I’m totally ok with this because it means now at home I can revisit, finish, and keep playing with the inspiration given to me, thanks to the time I took enjoying a camp experience like this. A few times someone came up to see what I was doing and why I was so involved in my book. I got a few compliments too and instead of saying “no this is bad” or otherwise trying to say no – I smiled and said thank you.

The girls and I had a wonderful time – how could we not? Here are a few pictures of where we were…

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Now as I said – stay tuned I want to talk more about my art journal and taking time. For now though – the “due date” fast approaches!

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Simon is offering a generous $50 voucher that will be randomly drawn from the eligible entries each week. Join the fun by creating a project this week – and for your chance to win a $50 voucher you should hop on over and join in the challenge here.

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gel medium + balzer bits stencil

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Put down a stencil. Coat with glossy gel medium. Spray with colors. Remove stencil. Let dry.

This is still a favorite – here’s a card I made using this technique a few months ago that I just rediscovered here on my computer that I wanted to share.

I hope you have a colorful + crafty weekend!

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