I have been tagged by Dawn Tidd to be part of a never-ending blog hop called the Creative Blog Hop. I did a google search in this thing and found some interesting blogs featuring all kinds of creative pursuits, including knitting, crochet, painting and refurbishing furniture and flea-market finds, creative writing, and cooking! Wow, huh?!
This blog is pretty much about my paper crafting endeavors, but I do other things as well.
Well, there are 4 questions I am supposed to answer for this hop. Here they are:
1. What am I working on now?
Well, that is a pretty broad question! I always have a variety of things going on. Let's see if I can sum it up.
Last fall, while bored one weekend, I decided to put some feelers out about starting a regularly scheduled blog hop that would feature a single stamp set each time. Boy-howdy, did that take off like a shot! There is now a group of 21 stampers that participate in the twice-monthly Stamp Review Crew blog hops! Incidentally, that is how I met Dawn :) I am continually working on this project as there always seems to be something that needs to be done. I did just finish picking the next 4 months of stamp sets to be featured and posting them. We just had our latest hop today, in fact! I went a little crazy with the projects this time. Sometimes, the creativity just flows!
I am also in the planning stages for a card front swap that is due the end of this month. Yes, I said planning. I haven't gotten anything onto paper yet :)
I made this little card the other day. There is a blog post with the details of this project here.
In the next month, I need to design 3-4 projects for an upcoming Stampin' Addicts blog hop on October 10th. And some projects with the next 2 stamp sets to be featured in the Stamp Review Crew hops.
I am also trying to just stamp more often again, as I have been busy doing summer stuff, like gardening, yard work, working on the house, and visiting family. That has not left much time for the crafty stuff!
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Hmmm... I think the one thing that I do that is different from most other people is that I am obsessed with outlining stuff with my Signo white gel pen! You will notice that about 80% of my projects have some element outlined, and almost always with the white gel pen.
You can see on this project all of the spots I can find to squeeze in some white gel pen.
I also love to stitch on my projects. Dimensionals and embossing are big on my favorite things also. I find lots of ways to use Crumb Cake and burlap. AND I do a lot of masculine stuff. That could be because I am not really a frou-frou girl, and I have 3 sons. My one daughter is as much of a tomboy as I am! I love nature, and incorporating that love into my projects.
3. Why do I create what I do?
For the pure joy of it! I started out as a scrapbooker. I never thought I would get into making cards. But, my kids are all pretty much grown, and my one grandson is only 4½ months old. I quickly ran out of things to scrap! And when my friends at work (in my previous job) asked me to start a monthly Stamp Club, I had to expand my horizons! I would design a scrapbook page, a card, and a 3D project for each month, and that really opened my eyes to the fun of completing a "quick" project. I could spend so many hours on a single scrapbook page, but a card could be done in as little as 15 minutes!
I also love to give handmade cards and gifts. I grew up doing everything handmade, and a purchased gift feels like cheating now, lol!
WARNING: A SMALL RANT
Stamping is also my therapy. I am an Emergency Room nurse, and I see plenty of the not so great aspects of humanity on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of just plain sick or injured people in the ER who I am very happy to care for. That is what I went into nursing to do. But the senseless violence, the self-destructive behavior, and frankly- the totally self-absorbed "fast-food" mentality of some people makes it really hard sometimes to remember that I don't hate people, lol! Yes, I am sorry you have had the sniffles for the last 2 days. And yes, it really sucks that you have to wait your turn. Did you want me to stop taking care of the 10 other people who are MUCH more ill than you so you can get home faster? Maybe the heart attack in the room to your right should wait, or the fella across the hall writhing in agony from an appendicitis or kidney stones wouldn't mind if you got seen first. How about the lady down the hall who has a systemic infection and has no blood pressure should wait a little longer. Yup, I'll get right on that....
The definition of an emergency to an ER nurse: Airway, Breathing, Circulation- Life and Limb- are any of these impaired? Are any of these in danger of being impaired in the next 15 minutes? Are any of these in danger of being impaired today?
The definition of an emergency to a large number of people I see every day at work: I am uncomfortable in some way, shape, or form and it is most convenient for me to come to the ER so I don't have to plan ahead by making an appointment. "And why is it taking so long! This is the emergency room, it is supposed to be fast!" I have actually heard those exact words at least 4 times in the last month, and every single one of those people were in for something so minor, they needed NO treatment, not even a prescription or a bandaid!
OK, RANT OVER
So, in paper crafting, I find peace, and joy, and if I screw up I can just add more embellishments. Or throw it away! There is absolutely nothing life or death about it, and no right or wrong, except what fits my vision for the day. The people I come in contact with in paper crafting are already in their happy place, and don't need my TLC to get there. The problems are all small, and easy to fix, and nobody dies!
4. How does my creative process work?
It starts with a spark of an idea. It could be some colors I want to play with, a technique I want to try, or a new "toy" I want to play with. I might use a sketch, theme, or color challenge, or I might wing it. Really, I just start playing and things generally evolve along the way. Once in a while, I will get a picture in my head of the finished project, and it will actually look like my original vision at the end! That is pretty rare though :)
I either put on some tunes (Adele, Nora Jones, K.T. Tunstal, etc) or watch some dark and twisted stuff, like Criminal Minds, Bones, or something Sci-Fi! I am such a geek!
OK, that is all I have for you, and I am sorry it is not put together better. I hope this peek into my brain didn't scare anybody away!
Now, of the 6 people I asked to participate, only 1 was able to sign up! The others were already asked, or did not have the time to do this hop... bummer!
"Let's see my name is Holly. I am a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. I got into crafting when my grandma asked me to help research her ancestors; let's just say I got bitten by the scrapbook bug and as they say the rest is history! I love sharing my creative with others and making gifts for family and friends. Nothing gives me much more joy than to give someone something I made and it brightens their day!!"
You can find Holly here: http://rubberredneck.typepad.com/
And in case you missed it on Dawn's blog, here is my "short" bio.
My name is Tanya Boser and I have been a DIY person my entire life. I grew up on a farm in Central Minnesota with horses, pigs, chickens, cats, a couple of steers for butcher each year, and dogs that we raised and sold. We also had a HUGE garden. We canned and froze our produce, butchered our own meat, did MAJOR remodeling to our 90 year old farm house, re-upolstered our own furniture, built lawn furniture and wooden childrens' toys and sold them at a large Farmers Market. I learned to cook, bake, and sew by the age of 7, and made my own clothes all the way through school. Even my wedding dress was homemade (as were the cake, the flowers, the invites, and all of the decorations, and the food for the reception). My parents are clearly very crafty people, and until my mother had a stroke 8 years ago, she painted (artistically) too! How could I not become a stamper?! I no longer live on a farm, although I still have quite the menagerie with 4 dogs, 1 cat, and a rabbit. I have been married for 24 years to my very first boyfriend and have 4 wonderful children, and now 1 grandson! The kids have all turned into adults....ok the youngest is 18 but he is a Senior in high school and such an easy kid! I work full time night shift in an Emergency Department as a Registered Nurse (which I love but is a stressful line of work), and on my days off, between other pursuits and responsibilities, I stamp. It is wonderful therapy :) I was introduced to stamping through my sister-in-law way back in the 90's when she sold Stampin' Up!. I fell in love immediately, because despite the fact that I have an artistic mother and daughter, I can't draw to save my life, lol! After I finished my RN, and my kids had almost all become teenagers, I started selling Stampin' Up! myself. I did it for the discount in 2006 and am still selling, loving it as much now as when I first started, but I have a LOT more toys to play with now :) Apparently I can't stand to be idle, as I will fill any available time with a task or project, which my family can attest to, lol! Last fall, I got bored one weekend and decided to see if I could get a new blog hop together. A hop where everyone used the same stamp set, to highlight some of the current-but-not-new sets that get lost in the fervor for the new. And I was shocked and thrilled with the response! There are now 22 people that participate in this adventure with me, and I have loved getting to know them all! We even got to do an entire Display Board at Convention this year! We call ourselves the Stamp Review Crew, and that is how I got to know the wonderful Dawn Tidd, who nominated me for this hop. Thank You Dawn! I hope to meet Dawn in real life at Convention next year!