Monday, August 25, 2014

Getting to Know Me Blog Hop...

Think back to a couple of weeks ago…Do you recall hearing, in the distance – say, Canada direction, more specifically, Alberta, Rocky Mountains – the echos of what sounded like claps of thunder, whoops of joy, and raucous rounds of happy dancing?  If so, that was me, reading a note from the amazing, talented, mom-to-be (we’re talking mere days!) Bev, from Uniko Studio, ‘tagging’ me to be part of  the “Getting to Know Me” blog hop.  With absolute glee, honour and delight, I fired off a note to Bev, accepting her warm invitation. Not too long after, similar invitations came from two more sweet gals: Kimberly, from  Wienerhoneymooners and Tracy McNeely, from In My Creative Opinion.  To know that I’ve inspired three top-notch designers, each with a heart of gold, had me in tears. Such heart-warming gestures and I simply don’t have words (amazing, that!) to express how deeply touched I am.

If you’re looking for outstanding inspiration, I guarantee you’ll find it at Bev’s, Kimberly’s and Tracy’s blogs.  Please go visit; dazzles and delights guaranteed!  I’ll also be tagging some crafters who have inspired me over the past 16 months of my blogging/crafting journey, so stay tuned…they’re coming right up!

On to the “Getting to Know Me” part….

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on, and simultaneously ‘thinking about working on’ a plethora of projects, ranging from design team (I’m so fortunate to be designing for Inkspirational Challenges and Addicted toStamps and More) and guest designer cards, to challenge entries, to figuring out some Halloween ‘countdown’ cards for my niece and nephew, who, as many of you know, are bright lights in my life, to making cards for my mom and brother, who celebrate fall birthdays. Sets of Christmas cards for the seniors’ residence where my mom volunteers is also on the agenda, as is making Advent calendars for the kiddos.  Ideas are brewing...
Broadening my card-making techniques is also on my radar; I have a hankering to try mixed media, become more proficient with water-colours and generally ‘enhance’ my repertoire by trying new things. We’ll see how these intentions come to fruition in the next while. A new set of Twinkling H2Os are awaiting attention and an order for texture paste (and perhaps maybe a couple more items…) is in place. In a wonderful twist of crafty-product fate, I just this past Friday connected with a retailer in Edmonton (where my family lives), so my purchasing opportunities have just sky-rocketed.  You may hear – and feel the vibrations – of some exuberant happy dancing in the very (just in case my husband reads this *grin*) near future.

2. What inspires your designs?

My name is Carol and I’m a challenge-aholic. It’s just that simple. Challenges inspire me. Without a challenge or two to guide me – sketch, colour, theme - I’m helpless. Seriously. If a technique is included, I’m likely to add that as well, if I can.  I believe most of us enter challenges not only because they encourage us to stretch our styles and our stash, but more so, because of the wonderful, warm supportive community we become part of when we place our cards in Mr. Linky’s hands.  I count the friendships I’ve made through card-making some of the best treasures in my life, and I know many of you are nodding your heads in agreement.  Like-minded people coming together over a shared passion; it’s just mathematically logical that deep friendships result.  And sometimes, we receive the added bonus of meeting these people in real life.  Challenges: a creative vehicle for meeting some of the most amazing, inspiring people ever!

Hand in hand with challenge-inspiration is other bloggers’ inspiration: my friends, the challenge DTs, the product pros…you name ‘em.  Anybody and everybody can catch my eye and pique my interesting. I find inspiration in the most, and seemingly least obvious, of places; a well-placed sequin on one person’s card, a unique colour combination on another, a cool layout or die on still another. Anywhere and everywhere. One of my cards, a while back (and a “yikes” card it is, in retrospect), was inspired by the tire tread on my husband’s road bike…
3. What method or process do you apply to each creative project and how long does each project take to complete?

I’m pretty ‘haphazard’ with my approach, which leads to a very happy recycle bin, frequently rubbing its bulging tummy with glee.  My methods depend on what I’m creating, how I’ve been inspired, what the challenge calls for.  Often, what I ‘envision’ doesn’t marry with the execution.  Usually, I work ‘conceptually’ – thinking ‘this’ will work with ‘that’. So I give it a go; some are hits, others (many others) are misses.

I spend inordinate time on some of my cards, and especially the ‘projects,’ like calendars or sets of minis (have I mentioned: I love x love mini cards). I persevere: once I start a card,  I finish it, even it evolves into different iterations from what I initially imagined. A few of those spill into another day (or two). I can’t think of a time – aside from calendars or ‘bulk creations’ (the 90+ Christmas tags I made for my sister-in-law last Christmas) – where I have more than one card going at once.  I’m focused that way; an idea is worked to fruition, or if the time becomes too zany, it’s abandoned.  A more organized approach is on my ‘do’ list J
4. If you had to describe your 'signature' style what would it be?

My signature style? I have no idea, since I jump around in trying new things.  Over the past while, I’m leaning more to CAS.  I think.  The best description of my style comes from Bev: eclectic CAS.  I like the sound of that; sticking with it!
5. What three crafting tools/products can you not live without?

1. My Cuttlebug – it’s close to worn out (I have an almost year-old Big Shot, currently in NBUS status, sitting in wait), but still hanging in.  My plates are crated and warped, the rollers  are loose, but my Cuttlebug and I…we love one another.
2. Double sided foam tape. A *need*.
3. Butterfly stamps and dies *grin*

Narrowing the field to tag two others who are inspirational, enthusiastic and talented bloggers is a monumental task, as so many people come to mind.  As is usual, I’m doing my own spin on this, going with one ‘group’ of amazing people and one individual.

Last year, I was absolutely honoured to be on the receiving end of a surprise birthday blog hop, orchestrated by the Queen of Blog Parties, Bev, of Happy Dance fame.  All the people who made cards for me, they are my ‘inspiration team’.  Their continual encouragement and support, from the time I started blogging to the present day, brings joy to my heart.  In the midst of my early card-making days, they always found a ‘nugget’ of something to admire – and trust me, looking back (and sometimes, even  looking now), that was not always easy!  Thank you, ladies, for sticking with me!

My ‘special’ inspiration is someone who has been with me since Day 1. She is the Queen of Sweetness in every sense of the word, and even though I’ve not met her – yet – in real life, we’ve had phone conversations that are nothing short of fabulous! This gal is such a gift and blessing in my life – upbeat, sparkling, effervescent, compassionate, funny, brilliant, with a heart the size of Everest (x 1,00000000). Without further ado, I introduce my best blogging friend EVER: Shannon, of Chuchee Chu fame.  She works absolute magic with her style that is a unique combination of cute and elegant.  Her comments, as many of us know, are spirited and uplifting.  At present, life for Shannon is hectic, hectic and more hectic.  She hasn’t blogged recently, but once things settle down for her, I know she’ll be back, and when she returns, look out…she’ll come back with WOW, WOW and WOW creations guaranteed to knock our socks off!  Shannon, you’re awesome.  LOVE you!!



I’ll be connecting with my “inspirees’ soon – and come next Monday, hopefully you’ll learn a bit more about some of the m, depending on how busy their schedules are.
Thanks for wading through this rather epic post (I know.. .nothing too new, as many of my posts are epic), and I hope you enjoyed “Getting to Know” a little bit more about me.



14 comments:

  1. I always enjoy your posts, Carol, epic or short and sweet ... and this one's a beauty! Full of energy, enthusaism, humour, fun and appreciation for our wonderful bloggy community! Just splendid! Hugs, Anita :)

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  2. I loved reading your epic post and finding out more about you, Carol! Your posts make me smile and I love your 'eclectic' CAS style :)

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  3. Loved learning more about you!

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  4. Oh Carol this was a fabulous post and I have enjoyed learning more about you my friend! I was going to "tag" you, but figured someone beat me to it and I was right. lol You are awesome and sometime sell yourself short. Your work is next to amazing and I love your style, which I have pinned many of your cards cause I want to be like you when I grow up. lol I love to see a new post from you in my email box, it takes me a little while to get over here but I make it eventually. It's like coming home coming here. Thank you for your awesome spirit, kind heart and fabulous blog that inspires so many of us, me included. Big hugs, Brenda

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  5. I cannot believe how much I adore and admire you - someone I have yet to meet in this life!! I am crazy about your butterflies and your all over the place style!! I love how positive and upbeat you are - and funny here on your blog and in all your wonderful, amazing comments you post n others blogs. I have decided that when I grow up I want to be as cool, talented, and genuinely sweet as you are!! Loved reading about you and your processes and about your love for challenges!! I am really thinking hard about where challenges fit in for me - I will figure it out and YOU, my friend, are an inspiration to all who know you - and that includes ME!!!!

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  6. Always love learning more about the person behind the cards :) Eclectic CAS - love it :) I can't live w/o sketch challenges as I need somewhere to start and they are perfect for that.

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  7. YOU are the inspiration my sweet, amazing friend! I am the one who is so lucky to have met YOU!! I don't know what I did right to not only begin this journey with you, but at the same time begin a friendship that will last a lifetime! I count my lucky stars every minute. Your positive spirit, your encouragement, your way of always knowing just what to say, your way of making me and so many others feel like a million bucks, your compassion, thoughtfulness and your true friendship, are just a few of so many things that I love about you!! You are a gift and a treasure and I could not feel more grateful and lucky to have your friendship!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! Love ya sweet friend!!!! Xoxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxo

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  8. Wonderful Carol, loved reading this, so much sounds familiar! I never have more than one card on the go, that is enough focus !!

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  9. Such a great getting to know you post, Carol! You are such a darling!

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  10. Love reading more about you :)

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  11. Carol I have never met you in real life, but your sweet spirit and cute personality comes through loud and clear in this post and in all of your blog post, and the kind comments you leave on mine and other's blogs. I so much enjoyed reading about you! You are most definitely a treasure to this wonderful card making community! ((Hugs))

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  12. So glad you're one of my friends, Carol--always inspiring & so encouraging to those you visit--thank you!

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  13. This was such a fun post, Carol! I loved learning more about you and what inspires you with your creations! LOVE this charming card, too! I think it speaks volumes about your creativity and sweetness!
    Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself with us ~ Hugs, Barb

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  14. Carol!! Awesome awesome post!! So interesting, I love getting to know you better!!

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