Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Blog Address

It's live! My Sustainable Life blog is finally up and running!  Yay!

I would love for you to stop by, take a look around and follow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Purpose

Do you ever wonder what you were put on this earth to do? Wonder what your calling is? Lately, I've been doing a lot of soul searching to answer this tough question for myself.

What really matters to me? As long as I can remember, I've always cared about animals. When I was a little girl I brought home every stray or injured critter I came into contact with, even to my parents' aggravation. As I grew older and learned of environmental issues, I constantly felt the need to step in and do my part there as well.

Another passion of mine, one that also dates back to childhood, is crafting. I love the process of working with my hands to create something beautiful. I used to make greeting cards for Christmas when I was a girl using construction paper and whatever little odds and ends I could find around the house. When I was in my twenties I took up cross stitching and in my 40’s I learned how to crochet. It’s no wonder that after I gave birth to my son Christopher in my 30’s that I discovered scrapbooking and never looked back!

About six years ago I started my first two design team positions in the paper crafting industry with Bella Blvd. and Doodlebug Design. I had been scrapbooking and making cards for many years at this time and wanted to submit my work for publishing and pursue a job in the business. I thought it would be a dream come true to get paid for doing something I love. In time paid positions came along and eventually my job with Fun Stampers Journey. It was so exciting to be offered employment with a fast growing company that allowed me to work from home!

Simultaneously, along my journey to find work within the paper crafting community, I grew more concerned about environmental issues. I realized my family and I needed to do more than recycle, switch to energy efficient light bulbs and bring reusable bags to the grocery store to affect real change.  So, we simplified our lives; we reduced, reused and recycled. We went from putting our trash can on the curb for weekly pickup to once every other year and we are constantly striving to live more sustainably. Just last October we adopted a vegan lifestyle to help end the suffering of billions of animals and the huge impact that factory farming has on our planet.

More recently, I’ve been experiencing an inner conflict between my love of paper crafting and the environmental impact it has. The bottom line is that my support and participation in this business doesn’t coexist with my belief that I (we) must use fewer resources. Our planet doesn’t contain an endless supply to continuously manufacture new product and supplies at the current rate.

So I’ve had to make a very difficult decision to step back from this part of my life, from this blog, from the paper crafting industry. I will always create, but I can do it with less; less paper, less rubber stamps and fewer dies, etc.

I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve loved working in this business and how much I will miss it! I’ve met so many wonderful people and have gotten to travel and participate in work and events that I never had before. I’ve gotten to see my work in print and help inspire people to express their creativity.

Starting now I will wake up each morning and ask myself how I can make a bigger difference in the world? I don’t know yet what that will look like, which is scary and exciting all at the same time, but I plan to start a new blog to help bring awareness to these issues.

When my new blog is up and running I will let you know the address. I invite all of you to follow me on this new journey and hope that some of you will feel inspired to make a difference with me.

Note: The above photo was taken on February, 2012. Squirrels bathing on our deck railing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Water Color & Embossing

Hello! I have another water color pencil practice card to share with you today that includes heat embossing. As I mentioned yesterday, Fun Stampers Journey is releasing a set of watercolor pencils with the new 2016-2017 catalog and I've been spending time this week getting better acquainted with this medium. 

For the sun I stamped this lovely new Stained Glass sun image with Journey Gold embossing powder before coloring and fussy cutting it. My technique for painting was to add a few drops of water to one of our clear blocks and rub my pencil in the water before using a small blending brushes to paint the image. 

The background was done the same way except that I dried it with a heat gun when finished. For the speckled bits of embossing, I spritzed the paper with water from a fine mist sprayer and then applied the embossing powder which only stuck to the fine drops of water. 

I love the results. I think this technique would work great with so many themes...a midnight sky or maybe an under the ocean look. 

Tip: When I was done painting and embossing my background the paper was rather warped! To straighten it back out I misted the back with a little water and then let it dry under one of our acrylic blocks. Worked perfectly! 

Well...time to play some more. It's fun to experiment and see what happens! 

Fun Stampers Journey Supplies:
Stained Glass SS-0314 (available July 1st)
Journey Color Splash JM-0078 (available July 1st)
Clear Pigment Ink IP-0102
Journey Gold Embossing Powder IP-0101
Color Splash Sheets JM-0076 (available July 1st)
Whip Cream CS-0040

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Trying New Things

Hello! Did you hear that the new 2016-2017 Fun Stampers Journey catalog includes colored pencils, watercolor pencils and Panpastels? So exciting! I have very little experience with pencils and never even heard of Panpastels until recently!  And I can't wait until they arrive in my studio so I can play, learn and share my projects and experiences with you! 

This week I decided to sit down with an old set of colored pencils I have and practice a little before my FSJ sets arrive!

I'm always humbled when I work with new mediums! It's not easy to go from one that I've worked with a lot and have success with to learning all over again! I'm remember last year when the new Fusion Blender solution and re-inker system debuted and my first attempt to use them was so intimidating! I smeared things, colored outside the lines, etc. My work looked like a Kindergartner did it! lol 

Today's card turned out okay. I have so much to learn. For instance, I think my flower would have turned out prettier had I used a blending tool. And no matter what medium I'm working with I'm always learning about shading, etc! appropriate sentiment for this card is that "imperfection is beautiful!" It's what I tell my son when he tries things for the first time and wonders why his dad or I can do it better. I tell to practice, practice, practice. Everything that's done well takes lots of patience and practice.

For this card I embossed the image, colored it with pencils and sponged a little Whip Cream ink around the edges.

Fun Stampers Journey Supplies:
Black Licorice IP-0041
Whip Cream IP-0009
Clear Pigment Ink IP-0102
Journey White Embossing Powder IP-0098
Oatmeal Cookie CS-0023

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