Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gettin' Punchy with Coloring, and a Few Questions

I decided to color using Copics, Bics, and Sharpies.

Why do I feel the need to announce this? Well, perhaps it's because it almost never happens.

I need to order more Gina K card stock...it's hard to believe I've used an entire pack of it! Guess I color more often than I think. Anyway, for one-layer cards, it's best to use Gina K's 120# Deluxe White card stock. It's coated and the markers will not bleed through.

The banner stamp is from Hero Arts Leaves Autumn clear set. To make the punched leaves, I colored on a scrap of card stock and punched out of the scribbles. Doing that, rather than punching leaves out of colored card stock, makes the whole card feel more unified and cohesive.

And now on another note....

Have you ever felt uneasy in your crafting? That's how I've felt lately. Every time I sit down to stamp, I feel...a lack of focus? ...overwhelmed? ...bored? ...restless? Honestly, it's hard to find a label for how I feel.

This has happened to me before, and not just in crafting. I'm at a crossroad, a fork in the road, due for a course correction. This particular course correction has probably been prompted by Operation Write Home's announcement that they need fewer cards, that the military draw-down is reducing demand.

I'm thrilled our troops are coming home. I'm thrilled for them and their families. Sandy has asked that we focus on quality, not mere quantity, with the cards we send to OWH.

Yes, ma'am. Will do.

But with CAS cards like mine, some of my best work takes way less time than my worst! Where, then, will all the creative energy flowing compulsively through me go?

That is the question.

What else can I do? I've got the itch to finish writing that book I keep talking about and making snail's pace on. THAT will be a good focus for the new school year, don't you think? I suspect the book might result in a little less posting of cards here, so don't be alarmed if I drop off on posting a bit.

Also, I pulled out my Christmas craft notebooks last weekend and began strategizing what--if anything--I will make for the holidays. The Stephen Ministry ornament is already planned...just need to get more supplies. (If you want to learn more about this, last year's ornament is on THIS POST.) I plan on setting up my artificial tree in the basement again and decorating it with paper ornaments. I'm also planning on making this year's Christmas even more minimalist than last year. 

More minimalist? An oxymoron?

You be the judge.

Anyway, I'm curious to know if any of you A) get a crafty restlessness and what you do about it, and B) have already started planning Christmas crafts? If so, what?

What say ye?

stamps: Hero Arts
ink: Memento cocoa
paper: Gina K
accessories: Bic and Sharpie markers, leaf punch


  1. Hi, Susan,
    First let me say I enjoy the CAS cards you post and the design tips. I just retired last year and felt the same lack of focus. I was a school librarian who crafted so many displays and bookmarks over the years, and now had no audience. I made, and still make, birthday cards for every adult at my school. Someone else distributes them, but I have the fun of making them. You might consider making cards for your church or Stephen ministry. It's always nice to have someone to give to, and this helps. I also joined a Christmas craft show, and have gone overboard making crafts for that. This pushes me to focus, too. Good luck!

    1. Brilliant! Our church has a craft sale at our small town's Christmas festival. Excellent idea!

  2. I'm also at a loss with OWH's request for less handcrafted cards. I walk into my art room and wonder what to do. We'll figure it out. Best to you....

  3. To answer your questions...if I get restless I do nothing...sad but true. No, to planning of Christmas crafts as I don't observe calendar holidays with gift giving.

    I have found an outlet for card donations...I take 15-20 simple cards that won't require extra postage to the little hospital in town, the cards are given to the Infusion Bay area for patients to take free. I asked that the hospital not use them for their auxiliary gift shop as I did not want anyone to profit from my donation other than the patients!

  4. Absolutely, and my strategy is to change crafts!!! I've now made very few cards since May because I've gone back to my first love, sewing. However, back pinning lots of cards so perhaps the mojo is kicking back in!!
    Good luck with the crossroads, they are a challenging opportunity!

  5. I always get crafty restless. Think "is this the beginning of the end" as so many other crafts I've done ended by just falling by the wayside. But that has yet to happen. After a few days away from stamping, I always come back, craving the creative outlet, loving it just as much as ever, with new interest, new zeal, new inspiration. That inspiration comes from everywhere.

    Sometimes I ask myself 'why make so many cards when you send so few?". Well, because I enjoy the process. Being a person who needs to have a purpose for the things I make--I don't like making for the sole purpose of making---I had to come up with a better reason than that.

    And I did. I decided I will use my cards as gifts---make sets to gift to family and friends. Everyone can use cards. And considering how much they cost to purchase (I was quite shocked to recently peruse the commercial cards and discover many are $5 and $6!!!! CRAZY) most people would love beautiful handmade cards as a gift.

    So, I love it, and there is a reason to do it. And when I'm in the desert I just wait it out knowing the restlessness will soon pass.

  6. Don't worry -- there's always someone in need who would greatly appreciate your magnificent cards. My favorite is http://projectgivethanks.me/ -- set up by a cancer survivor to make cards available to others who spend time in the hospital. *hugs*

  7. I get that crafty restlessness from time to time too. Sometimes it is because there are too many projects I want to tackle and not enough time, but often it is just because something is off. When it happens I find myself reading for pleasure more until it passes. Once and while I have "must do" projects to make and I fuddle through them. Usually they ended up being remakes of something else I've made. I've really learned to embrace the creative muse in whatever form it takes. I wanted to make some Halloween cards this past February and denied myself and got in a funk over. Now I realize just make whatever you want when you want. Or if you don't want, don't make. Or if you do want but can't, well hang in there; it will all work out.

  8. Lovely coloring, Susan. I have tried some new things lately - small things, but new to me. That has helped my attitude, which has been off lately. I'm hoping to come out of it soon...


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