Monday, July 27, 2009

{Thoughts} One Year Today.

Yahoo! One year ago today I started this blog. My creativity, craftsmanship and design have improved tremendously through my participation in challenges, guest design spots and swaps over the last year.

Since last summer, I have started teaching workshops for both scrap booking and card making. I have taught demonstrations at crops and home gatherings on techniques. I have started a club for my stamping friends so that we can swap cards once a month.

This blog has encouraged me to move my creative space out of the corner (nobody puts baby in the corner!) and I have literally taken over the spare bedroom as my studio. By following other crafters and reading about their daily crafting experiences I think about creating something every day. Generally, I don't actually make something daily...but weekly...and if I am lucky, I get to spend several hours in the creative zone every week.

{Close to My Heart}
Being a personal consultant for Close to My Heart has changed my life. Last summer my amazing upline encouraged me to start this blog. The company is so supportive of consultants and the training academy is incredible. Through the training academy, I found personal, business and creative development. Jeanette Lynton is a creative genius. I am proud to be part of such an amazing organization. I love sharing the art of stamping with people. My favorite part of being a consultant is when I am teaching a workshop and people have that aha-moment and I can tell that they have learned how to do something they had never imagined before. Having a successful business has supported my ever-growing collection of tools and supplies and I can justify buying new paper, stamps and embellishments because I really do need them!

I have gotten back into photography as a serious hobby since last summer. I bought a couple of new cameras and I appreciate the art of taking pictures.

Having a place where my cards, layouts and designs are appreciated makes everything I do worthwhile. I am truly inspired to make things that make me feel good and having a sincere audience is a driving force behind my motivation. Knowing that my readers are wondering 'where I am' is enough motivation to get me into the studio to produce quality creations.

Having said that, I must delve into the argument of creativity and criticism. In my life I meet lots of women that are self-labeled 'not creative' and I get quite a bit of opposition and jealous attitudes because of my talents. I do not try to rub it in or brag that I create art, but the snide comments about the fact that I 'made' something do hurt. I don't know if people are as harsh towards knitters or quilters...but whenever I complete a painting or mini-book I always note the hint of disdain in comments that follow "Oh, you made that...." Usually, the comments are sweet enough, but the jealous and annoyed undertones are definitely present.

The thing I don't think they GET is...I NEED to make stuff. I HAVE to paint. I HAVE to make collages. I HAVE to do it...I don't get a break from creativity. I can't turn it off. Just like an athlete who has to train and work out, it is ingrained into my very being. (Speaking of athletics, I must admit that I reflect a jealous attitude towards the naturally gifted and athletic women that I meet so I am guilty too!) But as far as creativity, I have chosen a career that lets me flex my creative energy every day and I hope that I am always able to be creative in my hobbies and career.

{Paper Crafting as a career}
Seriously stepping into the world of paper crafting and following different companies, designers and editors has changed my perspective on the hobby. I read a variety of blogs, and I love seeing the behind the scenes stuff that goes into great design. I don't know a lot about graphic design or photoshop...but I really wish I had a background in that (I NEVER thought I would say that in my life...we always made fun of the graphic designers in college because they weren't 'real' artists!) Some days, while I am teaching about color mixing (AGAIN!), I just wish I could be at home making a card or writing or learning. I love kids and being in the classroom, but this blog has encouraged me to think beyond education and keep my possibilities open.

I have several goals including getting published, (I submitted a bunch of stuff this month to paper craft magazine) being on a design team, (still searching for the perfect thing....) maintaining my Etsy store (I posted my first 5 items this week!), and signing up new consultants who love doing what I do as much as I do (anyone interested?).

{This little blog of mine}
This little blog of mine has changed the way I view the world around me. I spot layouts, color combinations and patterns everywhere. This blog has encouraged me to embrace the artistic experience in a way I never thought I could after my college art classes. By no means has it turned me into a perfectionist...but it has changed my perception of my work and elevated my opinion and ability to recognize what is good and what is crap. My style is always evolving and changing and I appreciate the talents and efforts of those gifted artists that I follow every day.

This little blog of mine has helped me to be a more reflective artist and I enjoy that aspect of the creative process almost as much as actually finishing something.

Thanks for reading!
I will post the winner of my blog candy tomorrow morning!


Penny said...

Awww.. this is such a sweet blog post. Well congrats on your one year of blogging and all of your accomplishments. I am sure that one of your creations will make into the magazine, how could they not???

Jessica said...

Congrats on your one year anniversary! Keep up the great work!

Sarah said...

Nellie! You are a wonderfully gifted and talented artist, crafter, photographer and writer! You are also an incredibly sweet person.
Am I jealous of you..heck yeah LOL!!!
But never in a snide or mean way...I admire your talents. I can't believe there are people out there who would begrudge you that! Keep on doing what you are doing and I will keep on checking it out and loving every minute!
I just wish my buisness would take off some. Oh well!
Take care my (cyber) friend.

Ann said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've just celebrated my one-year blogoversary, too, and you expressed many of the feelings I have about blogging and creativity. We also have some of the same goals as well. ;)

Lori said...

Congratulations on your one year anniversary and your artistic ability. It is truly a gift. People are jealous of things that others have and they can't have. Try to not let them bother you. Enjoy sharing your work and maybe you can show them how.

~amy~ said...

great blog post and super cute cards....happy blogoversary!

Carla said...

What a great post!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts . . .and congrats on your 'one year'!!

Krista Ritskes said...

Love your post. You've always got great things to say. I've got something for you on my blog.

Lindsay Harrison said...

Love the first few cards you have posted in this blog. I bought the same paper pack a few weeks ago! Thanks for sharing how you do what you do and inspiring others to be more creative, too.

BTW, graphic designers have to take PLENTY of REAL art classes in college, at least for a BFA, anyway. I always enjoyed ceramics and printmaking and drawing way more than photoshop/dreamweaver/flash/etc. I thought I'd be able to find an artsy job more easily... now I know better!

Lisa Brown said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Nellie. It's always a pleasure to visit "this little blog..." Awesome creativity!
Looking forward to the day we actually meet ---in person!
Love ya!