Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Reflection...

 Many, many years ago, I was lucky enough to stumble onto Suzanne Dean's youtube channel and discover the world of rubber stamp images and copics. I was mesmerized by the art of coloring and from that point on, I became a voracious student of coloring images!  I found other "copic superstars" and inhaled all their wisdom in an effort to better my work!

When I thought my work was worthy of sharing, as many of us do, I started a blog- how exciting for me to enter contests, challenges, and read so many wonderfully kind comments. Then the next progression, being asked to join design teams. Oh, my, how wonderful to be asked by some of the most creative and generous artists to join with other artists- many of whom became longtime friends- and create together! Truly a dream come true!

     Life dealt me a few blows over the years and sadly I had to resign from some of the teams, and my departure was always met with gratitude and I was sent away with prayers or good wishes to resolve whatever issues prevented me from staying on.  As many of us know, our home and creative life can often clash!  Yet, working on design teams has always been one of the most positive experiences of my creative life.

      I found myself thinking deeply about what separates the really great design teams from others that are fraught with drama?  I came to many realizations and decided it would be worth it to share.  

  •    Good Design Teams are the heart and soul of  a company and can bring images and dies and papers to life. They create inspiration for all to see and emulate and hopefully in the process, help the designer gain a following and an artist (or company) gain sales!  A win-win for both!  
  • Good design teams inspire its members to challenge themselves to grow creatively, to take risks and to contribute all they can to "spread the word" and build a company's following.  
  • Good Design Teams are comprised of people from different parts of the world with different life experiences who become a "family" and they support one another personally and creatively. As such, disagreements are worked out, without fear or reprisals, in the open with input from all.
  • Good Design Teams are about give and take.  When team requirements and rules are changed, they are openly discussed with members and members have an opportunity to share concerns which are heard with respect and consideration.
  • Good Design Teams are led by someone who understands the position is not a paid job and therefore values and shows appreciation for the time, cost and energy of promoting the products.
  • Good Design Teams allow members freedom to choose whom they wish to share a friendship, they do not mandate who a person can and cannot talk to.  
  • Finally, the best design teams are about sharing the ups and downs of life.  They are about sharing laughter and tears, children being born and others moving away, relationships gained and relationships lost, illness, loss, change with people who are genuinely caring.. all while talking color combinations, favorite design papers and the latest tools!
     If, like me, you have been lucky to know many of the finest artists, design team owners and stamp company artists in the industry or work for and alongside someone in any of those categories, count yourself truly blessed for having had the experience
     However, when disturbing and negative situations erupt, it makes you question how something so simple like playing with markers and inks and papers can turn some people so ugly, and whether or not you want to remain a part of it... then you remember the people who encouraged you and mentored you.. you remember the fulfilling experiences shared with the most giving people you met, and you  have faith you will find your way to them once again.  
     I have always subscribed to the belief that the "universe" puts you exactly where you are meant to be, even when it feels you are standing alone. In time, you come to see that with great clarity and gratitude that it was for the best especially when you know you have not forfeited an ounce of your integrity in the process.
     For now, I take a deep breath, cut loose all toxic people and situations, and turn the page.  I have replaced the negativity with positive energy, and the kind words and supporting validation - true gifts- from so many friends have helped me put this experience in my rear view mirror!  
   I look forward to sharing some new adventures and new projects with you...Have a great day!

Sentiment: Create by TLC 
Design Paper: Shabby Vintage Rose, Michele Roos

Friday, May 15, 2015

Moments that take your breath away- Pion Love

     Happy Weekend!!! Hoping wherever you are that you are enjoying this fabulous weather! I am here today to share my card with you.  I have been looking at my sentiment stamps a bit differently these days and am finding it so much fun to create a project using sentiment stamps and die cuts as my focal point.
     Why not look at your sentiments in a different way?   So many of the sentiments  can be used for so many occasions, not just birthdays. This happens to be one of my favorite sayings as well!  The design paper is from Pion, which I distressed with my Zutter distress tool. I added some mulberry paper roses, lace, pearls, cheesecloth, shabby burlap, MS punched butterflies and a lace flower from Petaloo to embellish my card.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. Counting the days down until school ends and summer fun begins. Have a great weekend!
I will be entering the following challenges:
Polkadoodles- Things with Wings
Kitty Bee Designs- In the Garden 
Stempelsonne - Stamp as Main Focus

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sweet 16 Shadowbox..

     And so I returned to work a few months ago after a long hiatus and it feels so good to be back in a classroom with such great kids! It was a rough winter on many levels but I am back teaching 9th grade English this year and just love it!
     I have missed blogging but I have been playing a bit and delving into other creative endeavors here and there while gone!  Oh, to be able to learn all that I see in blogs all over the world!  Despite being away from my own blog, I have NOT stopped visiting your blogs and looking at all the inspirational creations in blogland and posted on facebook sites. In fact, that is how I start every morning, cup of coffee in hand!

  I thought I would share a 10 inch Sweet 16 Shadowbox I just completed for a patron in my ETSY store, which I also need to update. I made a similar shadowbox a few months ago  for a friend's granddaughter, and when I posted it on my store site, I was asked to create another. You can see the earlier one HERE.

This time, I used the blue teal colors that the birthday girl will be wearing and the"Cinderella" theme that was featured on her invitation!  While this does not have any colored image, it does use some fabulous die cuts that I wanted to share with the hope you might be inspired to use them in your creations.

     First, the dress is a Sizzix Bigz L Die Dress that is sold under the "quilting/applique" section of dies. These are just like the other bigz dies and they cut through anything like "buttah" and work on your regular die cut machine.  I have used this die to cut stiff interfacing, layers of fabric (here teal blue satin and tulle) and cardstock with no problem!
    Next, I used my newly arrived Marianne Creatables Princess Carriage die. I LOVE this die because it is an embossed die cut. While I used textured paper to create the texture of a carriage, it does imprint cool embossed effects.
     The "mirror" behind the dress is made with the Spellbinder Heirloom Legacy Card Creator Dies. The outside die makes a perfect backdrop and the oval die in the same set makes a perfect oval mirror! This die has so many uses....I die cut the oval mirror using the Tim Holtz Mirror Sheets.  I linked the Youtube video because if you have not worked with these sheets, you do not know what you are missing. They feel like heavyweight cardstock and have adhesive on the back side. You may have to run them through your die cut machine a few times as they are thick but if you are using the Vagabond, you will get it on the first pass.  When done cutting, peel off the backing and stick down wherever you want. The LAST thing to do when all done  is to remove the protective paper on front and you will see what looks like real glass mirror appear. I say do it last as you can get glitter or adhesive on it or scratch it if you remove the protective paper first and then attempt to work over it (ask me how I know)!
     The dp is also from a 12x12 Tim Holtz paper pad - "Vintage Shabby" .  The edges of the paper were distressed using the new "Mermaid Lagoon" distress inkpad.  The sentiment is computer generated and die cut with a set of shape dies that I never labeled so I do not know the maker of those dies.  The lace and trim are from my stash although the trim around the mirror was a gift from Angie Hunt! Last, my flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts.
     Here is a glitzy view, courtesy of my camera!

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you get to play this weekend! I will be grading papers and trying to squeeze in some play time later tomorrow.  Have a great day and thank you for your kind comments!

I am entering this in the following challenges:
 Anything Goes with a Marianne Designs die
A Vintage Journey - Through the Looking Glass (Tim Holtz)

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Year Blog Candy Winner!

Good Morning!
Thank you all for entering to win my
New Year's Blog Candy 
and sending your kind comments!  Thank you also to
those who became followers and "liked" my facebook page!

To return the kindness, if I am not already,
I am going to click on all the entries
and become YOUR new follower!

I am hoping that for all of us, this year is filled with
even more creativity, inspiration and special friendships
that allow us to share our ups, downs and fabulous makes!

Now, it's time for
to select a winner..(drum roll)

And the winner is..... #19 Penny!

CONGRATULATIONS Penny!!  Please send your full name and address to me
at so I can get this candy out to you!

Thank you all for entering! xxx

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Happy Saturday! Hoping your New Year is off to a great start.  With CHA just around the corner (next week), I know exciting things are on the horizon for so many us who cannot wait to see all the new products coming out!

Today I am sharing a card I made using a sentiment stamp as a focal point. Love how inspirational a card can be with a sentiment at its center.

Also for those who do not color stamped or digital images, using sentiments as a focal point allows one to create equally lovely cards with all the embellies and die cuts as cards/projects that feature colored images.  These stamps are also great for altered art, canvas and journals.   

    The papers are from Pion "Lilies" 6x6 paper, and the die cuts are both Spellbinders and Cheery Lynn Designs. The little butterflies were made from a Martha Steward three butterfly punch. The flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts and my stash. Hand dyed seam ribbon is from Live and Love Crafts.  All edges of the design paper and die cuts were distressed with Distress Ink in Brushed Corduroy, Peeled Paint and Weathered Wood.  The little flourishes all around the sentiment are from Stempelglede Vintage Garden.

Thanks for stopping by. Remember I am posting BLOG CANDY so please do enter your name in the INLINKZ HERE for a chance to win. Have a great day!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year & Blog Candy!

     Happy New Year! While I have been blessed with so much for which I am truly grateful, this year has also been a difficult one, and so I am a bit excited  to turn the page to a new year, Happy 2015!

     To mark the new year, I decided to call a "time out" for those things on my "to do" list - both personal and creative- that I could let go of for a while, and focus on finding balance which seemed to get away from me. Balance brings peace, and peace brings creativity and joy back in to my world. So, "balance" will be my mantra for 2015!

      As many of us are "ambi-craftitious", I recently added a new "passion" to my craft life- beadweaving jewelry! It is as close to meditative as meditation! LOL!  A few months ago, I stopped in to a local bead shop and I was just mesmerized! And, they offered classes- one of which I took as a birthday present to myself, and that was it!  I managed to carve out some time here and there to make some earrings and bracelet!  (pics coming soon)...So now I have added another passion to my list which includes crochet, quilting, and my beloved papercrafts.  Can you have too many?

    I also wanted to redesign my blog header to a simpler style; one that symbolizes the balance that so eludes me- the calming and ever present "lotus" has always been an image that speaks to me, always reminding me to breathe and, when life knocks me down one way or another, the lotus makes me aware that out of the darkest experiences, beauty and peace can emerge. Thank you Karen Valentine (Valentine Designs) for creating this for me.

    Know that my wish for all is that you, too, find the same balance in your life - a time apart from the "to do's" to play and learn and create whatever moves you! I also wish you all peace and good health and the love of family and friends.

    So, let's ring in the New Year with some fabulous "Blog Candy".  There are NO "have-to's" to win. Just enter in the Inklinkz below. If you want to follow me here or on my Facebook page, that is up to you-the links are below.

Here's to another year of inspiration! 

-If you would like, follow My Eclectic Spirit on Facebook HERE 
- If you would like, follow by blog by email or Bloglovin (see sidebar)
-Enter your NAME in the Inlinkz below

I will announce the winner on January 16th... Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Give Thanks"

Just posting a card to wish all my friends and family,
 near and afar, home and in blogland,
a Happy Thanksgiving!  How neat that this month begins my fourth year 
blogging (yes, blog anniversary candy coming soon)!
I have been blessed with such support and friendship and it is among those things 
for which I am so very grateful! So in the spirit of saying "thank you" 
for your kind comments, inspiration and friendship, 
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you are spending the day
 surrounded by those you love and who love you!  

For my card, I colored up one of my favorite oldies but goodies Fall stamp, 
CC Designs Swiss Pixies "Fall Hansel". He was colored with copic markers.

 The design papers are all from Simple Stories, "Harvest Lane" 6x6 inch pad. The last few pages have great tags and banners you can cut out that coordinate with the full page papers.  The brown mat cardstock is from PaperTrey Ink. Last, I added some twine,
fall paper leaves, burlap strip and stamped a "Give Thanks" sentiment
with a Stampin Up sentiment set stamp.
All edges of the paper were distressed with Rusty Hinge distress ink.
The "sky"  is always created with Pebbles Iridescent chalks (blue).

Thanks so much for stopping by and always for your kind comments.  
Happy Thanksgiving!  xxx

I will be entering this card in the following challenges:

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