For those of you reading this in email (which is now over a thousand of you...I'm still not able to process that number), you'll get it on Monday. So Happy Valentine's Day! For those reading it on Sunday, Happy Day-Before-Valentine's Day!
I love you all no matter what day it is. You know that, don't you?
Anyway, here's a very traditional red Valentine, with velvet ribbon no less. Now that I see it on the screen, I'm wishing I'd put a red rhinestone on top of the cage, even though in real life when I contemplated that, it seemed egregious. Oh well. I still love the velvety, romantic feel of this.
Although I do have to ask...why is it that two birds in a cage symbolize love? Love is a prison? Is this just a prettier version of ball-and-chain?
I'm not going to think about that too much.
Warning: If you want to read the following lunatic ravings that definitely result from thinking WAYYYYY too much and four days of non-stop cold medicine, please read on. If not, have a lovely Monday. I understand. Really. I do.
I've been contemplating the fact that there are so many wonderful options for stamping style for a long time. Despite the fact I am all about extreme CAS, I adore that there are so many fabulous options for stampers when it comes to style, and I enjoy perusing the different styles in magazines, at Splitcoast, and on blogs.
But there are times when it all becomes overwhelming. That's why, about five years ago, I decided to limit myself to two stamp companies: Hero Arts and StampinUp, mainly because they both had large catalogs and warned you when they were discontinuing product. I was still trying to define my style, and it felt easier to limit my choices. It was easier, and I have no regrets about that choice.
Since then, I've gradually added stamp companies, such as Papertrey, Mark's Finest, Shady Tree Studio, and Clear and Simple Stamps. I feel like I now know who I am as a stamper, and branching out feels right. I like experimenting, trying new things (even if sometimes some of you don't think those new things look like LateBlossom, LOL!). Trying new stuff and playing are integral to artistic growth...how stale and boring it would be to get in a rut and do the exact same thing over and over again!
Papertrey's anniversary festivities have left me feeling overwhelmed, though. I find myself scanning Nicole's blog posts rather than reading every word as I used to. At first, I thought it was the huge and diverse product line that PTI has developed, especially in the last year. There are so many designers that I can't keep track of who is who anymore. Many of the products they've introduced are products I simply can't use: the dies, for instance, and all the products that go with them such as felt. I participated in a PTI button share run by the fabulous Krystie Lee a few years back, and found that buttons are not exactly my thing. I love the look, but they're just too bulky to be practical.
And I'm nothing if not practical.
As I thought more about this, however, I realized that I also skim the Hero Arts blog now, though I still carry the catalog around like a blankey, seeking comfort and inspiration in its pages. And then it hit me...my brain needs repetition to feel comfortable. When a million things come at it all at once, there's no time to process everything. It's totally visual sensory overload on the internet. I can peruse a catalog at my leisure, over and over again. That's hard to do when the internet is overloading you images and new product scrolling down the screen as fast as you can finger the roller on your mouse, and each new click brings an avalanche of new stuff for you to look at.
A few days ago, I had over 300 unread blog posts in my Google Reader. I'm not keeping up with the contests at PTI because there are just too many of them, too many details, too much information. I would LOVE to win free PTI stuff. I could keep what I wanted and give the rest away on Simplicity to you wonderful readers who could use it. How fun would that be?!?!?!
I cleaned out my Reader, which now shows just two unread posts...one by Nancy at Shady Tree that I want to respond to and kept unread while I process what she has to say. My apologies to any bloggers whose stuff I missed in the rush to unload and clean out. I'm so happy when I can keep on top of things and comment when I can. Heck, I still haven't commented on all the OLW39 cards, and they were AMAZING!
I guess what I'm trying to say, in a convoluted and cold-medicated way, is that we are beyond blessed to have so many wonderful choices in our hobby. We just each have to find our own way of coping with the choices.
And it's all good. It really is all good.
stamps: Papertrey Ink Love Birds
ink: Memento black, SU real red
paper: PTI white
accessories: velvet ribbon, rhinestones