Saturday, September 25, 2010

Inspiration: A Fable

Once upon a time, there was a blogger who decided to spend an entire week talking about inspiration and asking her readers to share their feelings about inspiration, all the while giving away stuff to inspire people. Our blogger loves to give stuff away. It makes people so happy!

She shared good stuff about inspiration on her blog, and her readers shared even better stuff. For instance, she learned that many people both enjoy using and are inspired by patterned paper, although she herself usually ends up cutting it into little pieces and throwing it away in frustration. She has even been known to swear--just a bit--over lovely mangled sheets of Basic Gray.

But no matter.

The blogger loves that the world is made up of people who love different things. If everyone preferred apple pie for dessert, for instance, there might not be enough for her. She is happy to eat apple pie and let the patterned paper lovers have all the patterned paper they want without sharing any with her.

When the week of inspiration was over, our blogger felt very good about bringing all these different people together to share and discuss the one thing they most certainly all agreed on, which is that papercrafting is fun. Although she suspects a lot of them like apple pie, too.

So Friday, when our blogger needed to get to work making cards for the next week's blogging fun (what a surprise she had in store for her readers!), she sat down at her craft desk and started to work. After two hours, she realized that she had made six cards that were all crap.

Well, perhaps she was being a bit hard on her efforts, but truly, after a week of writing about inspiration like she knew what she was talking about, she had to admit that she was...uninspired.

Years ago, she would have beaten herself up as a total failure at life, the universe, and everything for something as negligible as two wasted hours. But not this time. Experience had taught her how silly such melodramatic over-reactions were. Instead, she grabbed a stamping magazine and her notebook and a pen, and she sat at her kitchen table to drink a Mike's Hard Pomegranite Lemonade and study the latest issue of Take Ten, while her husband sipped his beer and studied a new triathlon magazine called Lava. When she observed his magazine, she made no comment but totally understood the title as a reference to the location of the Ironman World Championships at Kona.

She then realized she knew entirely too much about triathlon and needed to focus on her Take Ten if she was to knock herself out of her slump, while at the same time noting that the layout of Lava might possibly, one day, provide inspiration for a card. But her husband was reading it and didn't want to share, so that would have to wait.

She sipped her Mike's and jotted a few notes and saw about fifty cards using a similar idea that she'd seen a thousand times before when inspiration struck! She got all tingly--and not just because of the Mike's--because a card popped right into her head, a card she was excited about, was willing to waste any amount of paper to create even though it would require doing things to paper that she doesn't normally do to paper. She didn't care! She immediately ran right up to her craft room to create her brilliantly brainstormed art!

This is NOT that card.

In fact, this card bears absolutely no resemblance to the miraculous card inspired by Mike's and Take Ten. This is, in fact, a card she made over a week ago with a left-over punched butterfly that accidentally got tossed on a piece of sahara sand cardstock. She liked the look of the black, white, and sand, but thought it needed something with umph. So she searched her red embellishments drawer and found this flower-shaped bling and thought, "What the heck?"

And it was good.

You'll just have to wait until next week's Mysterious Five Days of Fun to see what Mike's Hard Pomegranite Lemonade and Take Ten--and a little patience--inspired her to create. She and Mary Dawn have been conspiring again, and seriously, you will love the results.

At least, she hopes you will.


  1. This blogger enjoyed reading the fable of the other blogger and assures her she is not alone in this dire situation. And that this blogger is intrigued by the card that got inspired from Take ten...waiting in eager anticipation.
    Having said that, she also wants to mention that any card made with butterflies will steal her heart and that she adores this sweet and simple card...Thanks for sharing the fable of the Simple blogger!!

  2. And we are very grateful for you Susan. Can I tell that fairytale to my daughter tonight, got to be better than some of the stories one must read.

  3. Thanks for the "what inspires you" week. I really enjoyed it. Thanks for the chance to win blog candy, too!

  4. Well here's another blogger who enjoyed your week of Ispirational 'chat'. I love the way you write your story then throw in the word 'crap' which just made me giggle!!! I'm so please to hear that you too suffer from lack of inspiration, and on occasion use less than ladylike language! I find it hard to believe though when every day you showcase a card I would kill to have made.
    Looking forward to seeing 'the' card next week and will now be stalking our supermarket shelves for your drink of choice!!!! Have a good week end!

  5. There was another blogger who very much enjoyed the week's inspiration. She was very much frustrated by said blogger's post as she always tells her children that it's not nice to tease!


    Nor could she believe said blogger had such a lack of inspiration, she felt that it was being said to make the rest of her subjects feel better about their inspirationless moments.

  6. There are Bloggers over the pond who find you most inspirational, oh wise one :)))) Seriously, I've found this week really interesting. I've taken part in OLW21 - the first time I've done one of your challenges. And found it really hard. Out of my three attempts, I'm very pleased with one. Susan, thanks for sharing. And I love today's post - can't wait to see the resulting card.

  7. looking forward to next week for sure now!

  8. Sometimes I just wanna be you -- just for a few hours - LOL. Your blog is so much fun and I can't wait to see your inspiration card! Thanks for such an interesting and inspiring week.

  9. That was one of a kind blog post lady :D Enjoyed it thoroughly!! looking forward to next week anxiously!!

  10. Interesting little story....I just entered my FIRST "one layer Wednesday" card in challenge number 21 for Nature and I SPELLED MY FIRST NAME there anyway you can fix that for me?
    Nothing like proofreading:)....I tried to re-do it but it said this link is already there, etc.
    If you could please take the L out of Cynthia:)
    that would be cool,,,if you can´t well,,I will just have to go on being recognized as either Clynthia or a person who cannot type:)
    Have a great Saturday!

  11. What a lovely story... I'm bet you're the best night time story reader- do your boys soak up every word? Thanks for a great week of inspiration...

  12. Looking forward to it.
    And a lovely tale.

  13. You had me smiling (I am grateful for that) and have inspired me to get into my studio which is such a mess that I can't create in it. Hi ho hi ho it's off to tidy I go . . . so that I can create tomorrow (or even tonight if I'm industrious)

  14. can't wait until you write your novel...this end of chapter tease it terrific..see ya Monday!!!!
    patti moffett

  15. I love "TAKE TEN" also and really looking forward to your cards next week. I enjoyed inspiration week and it has reminded me of the many ways to get inspired. Thank you for your wonderful blog and clean and simple cards.

  16. Oh, you taunt us so!

    My fave line: "she had made six cards that were all crap". Still chuckling here. ;)

  17. @Cassandra: Of course you may tell your daughter this fable. Just don't publish it anywhere or enter it in a contest, LOL!

    @Sue W: Please do NOT mistake Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade for the Pomegranite. The black cherry tastes like cough syrup and is the only Mike's that tastes icky. Be wary, though. Mike's doens't taste alcoholic, so more than one puts our blogger in a state of sleepiness not conducive to handling sharp craft knives or thinking clearly.

    @Heather: Our blogger tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. She makes crappy cards she won't share with the world, and there are times--occasionally long periods of time--when she feels uninspired. Fortunately, her OCD directs itself toward problem-solving: see the problem, fix the problem. Feeling uninspired is fixable, with patience and fortitude and a good beverage (mocha in the morning, a bottle of Mike's or glass of wine in the evening...not too much because being hyped on caffeine or drunk or does not make our blogger more creative. Being drunk just makes her slur her words, throw up, and go to sleep, so she's only done it once, many years ago, when she suffered a major disappointment at the hands of the USAF.... But that's another fable on her OTHER blog!)

    @Debgem: Welcome to the OLWs! And so you know, our blogger loves English literature with a passion and wrote her Master's Thesis on Chaucer's Wife of Bath.

    @Clynthia, I'll try to fix your name! LOL, I know exactly how frustrating that is, which is why I'm laughing with you and not at you. Oh, how I know!

    @Everyone: You all are the BEST!

  18. Can't wait to see what you and Mary Dawn have up your sleeves. Thanks for the inspiration this week!

  19. You are too funny! You make me smile, girl! Love that simple card, but can't wait to see the "other" card!

  20. #1 I can't believe you made 6 cards that were all crap-just in your eyes!!

    #2 I have never heard of Mike's Hard Whatever but sounds like a good thing!

    #3 Love your pretty, simple butterfly card even though I am one of the designer paper lovers-I embrace it all-well maybe not all.

    #4. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us-always a treat.

    #5. Enjoy your weekend. It is family reunion weekend around here-went to a fish fry at a cousin's last evening. Enjoyed seeing cousins from 'out west' that I hadn't seen in years.

  21. Thanks for the giggle this morning Susan...especially after a tough week. I also have enjoyed reading all this week. I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one who spends great chuncks of time making a card only to feel like it is a piece of 'crap!'....

  22. I have enjoyed your week of inspiration and loved reading your fable today. Made me laugh. Looking forward to seeing "the card" next are such a tease. That drink sounds good too.

  23. You made me laugh with this blog. Can't wait for next week's cards. You are so inspiring.

  24. Love the the suspence! Looking forward to another inspired card!
    Also looking forward to trying Mike's pomegranite lemonade. Sounds good!
    Have a blessed weekend!

  25. crikey!! love your "fable" and your description of how you got your inspiration back! (your blog is such fun to read!) so enjoy your CAS style and can't wait to see what this next week brings and the appearance of the "card"!

  26. Boy, there's nothing like the intrigue you've left us with today! :) Can't wait to see the final result!
    It is reassuring to hear that even the pros get stumped for inspiration at times, but knowing your work, it's a rarity for sure! This has been an amazing week...very thought-provoking and inspiring within itself! Thanks for bringing it out!
    Enjoy your weekend! :)

  27. I am so glad I found your blog and now realize I'm not the only one who struggles with designer paper and who sometimes spends two (even three) hours in her craft room and comes up with nothing decent.

    And I am so looking forward to seeing next week's cards!

  28. I thank you for the great fable reading while I had my morning coffee. I love that you shared that you too have times when your "mojo" goes missing. The ways to find inspiration that we all shared this week give me hope that I won't have to hire a "Search & Rescue team" to find my "mojo" when it wanders next time.

  29. well this blog.reader loves the start to her morning, again!!
    she loves the tale of the creative.blogger, and she loves this butterfly card, and she is soo excited for next week's fun as well.
    thanks for sharing :)

  30. This week has been wonderful Susan! I so enjoy your writing style and can always count on you for a giggle or two. Thank you.

  31. I really enjoy reading your writing. What a way with words! I also liked the card.

  32. This blogger looks forward to your daily posts and thoroughly enjoyed your fable. To make it even more entertaining, this blogger discovered that even the Queen of one layer cards can have an "off" day and create what she believes is crap! No doubt in this blogger's mind that you are wrong.

    It is good to be able to look at one's work and determine what inspires us. It's been a fun week for me. Looking forward to next week!

  33. Hi there, lovely fable enjoyed every word, thank you so much:)
    Love the butterfly, lots:)
    I'm afraid this blogger has lost her mojo too, so I'm making................... boxes :)
    Looking forward to next week, Have a wonderful weekend :0) xx

  34. Susan, I don't often post comments but after reading your post I just had to. You always make me smile with your choice of words and how you arrange them! I appreciate you and your creativity. But sometimes I just really enjoy what you write, even more than the pictures you post. Not that I don't like the pictures you post. I do. Am I digging myself a deep hole here? Just thank you for being YOU!

  35. Susan, loved the fable. I was riveted. What a let down to not get to see your creation right here and now. I am so curious, I hope I can make it to the unveiling. - grins -

  36. My old favorite used to be Mike's Cranberry but now it's Mike's Pomegranate, when I can find it. Loved your fable.

  37. I'm so excited for next! I can't believe I missed inspiration week in the present. You can be sure that I will go back and read it now. I have fixed my problem and just completed my e-mail notification of new posts on your blog!

  38. Yesssss! Hard lemonade is good, and flower-shaped bling is even better. The end.

  39. I believe this blogger went on to live happily ever after as did card makers throughout the kingdom after enjoying and relating to her tale.

    One lowly non-blogger in the kingdom sipped her extra-hot, non-fat latte, dreamed of the apple pie she surly did covet, looked through her paper for some inspiration and wondered just what cards could possibly be unworthy...

    She also stayed tuned for the future unveiling of the Mike's - Lava card...

  40. Where's the "like" button? This is the best post EVER.


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