Saturday, December 3, 2016

My Cardmaking Journey: How I Found Happiness Again

    Well, it would seem that getting back into blogging after being out of it for so long is much harder than it would appear but I will be back to regular posting (hopefully) soon.  But today, I do have a post for you and it's about my journey as a cardmaker and where I started and where I am now.  I would like to do a post like this every few months just so I can document for myself how far I've come and what I've changed for the better, and sometimes the worst.
     I started helping with holiday cards when I was little and my mom would buy the ones from the store and she would let me stamp with the 'original' rubber stamps.  You know the one I'm talking about, the ones with the wooden block on the back.  Yet, that was pretty much the extent of it for a long time.  I started doing my own store bought cards when I was in Missouri for college and I wanted to send holiday cards out except instead of stamps, I would decorate most of the envelopes with stickers.  That's around the time I started to enjoy sending cards out again and now I send out cards all the time, nine times out of ten they are homemade though instead of store bought.  The only cards that I routinely buy for myself now are my Christmas cards and that's only because I send out A LOT of holiday cards and I still feel a little daunted at the idea of making them all from my own head.
    I got into true cardmaking after I had been in the planner world for a little bit and noticed that all of these planners I was watching were really creative with paper in other ways too.  I wanted to be like that.  So, very slowly and then practically snowballing, I started collecting supplies.  My first love was, and still kinda is, beautiful patterned scrapbooking paper.  If I see a pretty page or pretty pack, I just have to get it... and come up with a use for it later.  I started getting into stamps, clear and cling stamps that is, when I bought my first issue of 'Cardmaking and Papercraft' which is a UK based papercrafting magazine that has a free goodie with every issue.  This issue came with a beautiful fairy stamp and some sentiments.  I also picked up some Alpha stamps since those were my favorite stickers to have I figured it would be good to have them in stamp form.  For a while that was all I had, no fancy machines, no score boards, no favorite stamp companies, none of that.  That all changed when I had surgery on my left leg and needed something to do while laid up.  Well, the left leg quickly became both legs and a few days ago I just had the third of fourth surgery since July.  So, needless to say I needed something to occupy my time while I was recouping at home and in bed and not really able to go out anywhere.  June is when I started getting all of the 'tools', inks, stamps, dies, embossing folders, seriously a lot of stamps guys, sequins, gems, and the mother of all, the Sizzix Big Kick.  Now my tools have grown even more to a Misti and an envelope punch and needless to say my supplies no longer fit into one box.  Yet, I am happy. So, so, happy and it's been a long time since I could say that and truly mean it.  I'm not happy because of the stuff I have, I'm happy because I have something to do and usually I am making a card for a reason and not just making to make (although it is still fun to do that sometimes).  For lack of a better way to say it, I have purpose again.  I have friends again, friends who share a common interest, I go out and enjoy myself, I have a little cardmaking business on Etsy and Facebook; simply put- I'm having fun with life again.  I love my little business and I am loving what I'm doing.  I've discovered the world of Pocket Letters as well and I've made so many friends that way as well.  Cardmaking has brought me the happiness and joy that I thought I had lost when I couldn't perform due to my legs.  In essence, it has given me meaning again.  Granted there will always be new and shiny crafting things I want but that's not what is at the heart of my happiness.  It's seeing people's faces when they open the card and see that it's personalised and homemade.  It's being able to answer questions that I had myself when I first started. My happiness, in root, is other people's happiness.
    I hope you enjoyed this very long post. As always, my links are down below, but I have also pictured a few of the cards that I've made that I'm most proud of, so take a look and tell me what you think!