Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Finally!


I apologize in advance for such a long-winded post. I warn you it contains quite a bit of poor poor pitiful me, with, hopefully, a glimmer of hope at the end. But it's also a bit boring, so if you don't read all this, believe me, I will NOT be offended. :)

My first Finally! is because I have finally made THE card. You know the one. The one that you've wanted to make since you'd discovered the art of making cards, but have never quite achieved. The one that makes your heart skip just looking at it because all of the pieces, inside and out, are dancing together in perfect harmony. The one that is your Starry Night, Cherubs and Mona Lisa all rolled into one. 

I have finally made that card. Okay, it's not the Mona Lisa, but the card that I am absolutely satisfied with has eluded me for so long, it comes awfully damn close!

Honestly, clever does not come easy to me and I'm not really very creative. What I am good at, however, is being able to look at something and know whether or not it works. I say this because the things I love most about this card were actually ideas I saw elsewhere, and I am very grateful to those who generously put their ideas out there to inspire the unspired masses, like me.

 For example, I got the idea for this little birthday circle from My Mind's Eye. I had bought some embellishments from its Lost and Found Christmas collection, which contained something almost exactly like this one. It was incredibly easy, and I think it's cute as can be, but it's not something I would have thought of on my own. (Yeah, I know MME makes a profit from putting their ideas out there, but I LOVE the ideas, so I am still grateful.)
My second Finally! is that I finally got all of my glitter--gobs and gobs of glitter--to stick where I wanted it to! Well, except for the glitter that's in my hair, my diet soda, and the dog's poop, that is. :) 

I absolutely LOVE glitter, but rarely use it because I've never been able to make it stick, especially when I want it to adhere to a stamped image. But I recently discovered the stupendous Scrap Happy Sheer Glue. It is the crack cocaine of glue in that it thinks it is ALL POWERFUL and can lift vst amounts of powdery substances with its little finger. Well, guess what? It can! That's because it dries sticky and stays that way until you stick something to it--like the tons of glitter I used on this card. Seriously, I've spent a small fortune on adhesives just for glittering purposes, including Sticky Stuff and glue pads, with very limited success. With the discovery of the Scrap Happy glue, my next project will be huge, gorgeous swirls of glitter--all over my bedroom walls!

In keeping with how others inspired me, my third Finally! is because I finally distressed a card, and it worked! I've tried distressing a number of times, but for some reason, it's always just looked like someone took a pair of scissors to the paper and then shoved it in mud, so I'd given up. But then I got very, very lucky and  happened upon  Clare's Creations. Seriously, my jaw is out of joint because I spent so many hours with it stuck to the floor while taking in one gorgeous work of art after another. Eventually, I began to see how I could combine the way Clare distressed her cards with some of my ideas, and voila! No more mud! I really think this took my card to the next level, and I am so grateful to Clare. If you're looking for inspiration, drop by her blog. You may not be able to chew for a while afterwards, but it will have been worth it.

My fourth Finally! is because I was able to finally stitch something close to a straight line!. I stitch by hand, and have thrown away a gazillion cards because the stitching always looks wonky. But this time, while the stitches aren't perfect, the overall effect is of straight lines, and I am ecstatic about that! :)

My fifth Finally! is that I finally decorated all sides of the card, inside and out. I utilized stamping techniques I've always been to nervous to try, like stamping layers of multiple images, and though it's hard to tell from my poor photos, they turned out very pretty. I also made a ton of embellishments and stuck them everywhere. (I purposely placed the black frame off-center, but it's not as out of kilter as it appears in the photo.) There are even flowers on the back of the card, which is probably a bit weird, but it works. The thing is, I've decorated the inside of cards before, but it wasn't until I saw how Clare did it that I realized I needed to step it up a notch. This is yet another example of how inspired I was by others who so graciously share their talents with peons like me.

My last, and most important Finally! is that I finally feel like I've gotten some of my Mojo back. I am disabled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia, both of which are extremely debilitating. I lead a very lonely, isolated life because I am unable to get out and about like normal people. I've been ill for eleven years this month, with the vast majority of that time spent full of despair and depression, and obsessing about how to end it all.

Then, about a year and a half ago, I discovered paper crafts, and for the first time, in literally a decade, I felt enthusiastic about something. Even though I had to craft from my bed, it was just so much freakin' fun I happily slept with the glitter, scraps of paper, ribbon, ink pads, more scraps of paper, punches, markers, and yet more scraps of paper, not caring a bit. All I knew is that I had finally found something to do other than being stuck inside my head feeling dead, and I was content.

Then a couple of months ago my illness got much worse. Other things happened as well that dragged me down that I won't go in to. But the pain has been unbearable, so much so that all I am is "pain." One of the symptoms of FM/CFS is a severe reduction in cognitive abilities, and I always struggle with that. But when my illness gets as bad as its been these last few months, I can't think at all--it's just one huge black fog of pain. This led to the loss of my enthusiasm for crafting, and I crashed. Bad. Scary bad. Suicidal bad. I know that sounds ridiculous, but making cards has been my life for over a year, and if I can't do that, I don't know what I'll do.

So, when I was able to pull this card together, and actually enjoy doing it, that was HUGE. I was very afraid I'd lost my love of creating permanently, and frankly, I'm still worried. Perhaps that giddy enthusiasm for it is gone, forever, which was probably inevitable. But I felt exuberant again as I watched this beautiful card come together in my hands, and that encourages me that I will again.

I have no illusions that things are fine. They're not, and I'm grasping at something to hang onto every moment. But the fact that I spent an entire day outside of my head, happily getting glitter everywhere, means something, and I just want to shout Finally!

Recipe:

My Mind's Eye Lost and Found Union Square papers
My Mind's Eye Princess stamps (birdcage)
Heartfelt Creations Bella Rose stamp
Fiskars Make a Wish (Lincoln quote)
Stampin' Up Circles of Friendship "Sending You Birthday Wishes" stamp
Stampin' Up Bliss stamp
Autumn Leaves Cling Rubber Stamp (Vintage Birdcages)
Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels One dies
Spellbinders Donna Salazar flowers
Spellbinders Heartfelt Creations Bella Rose die
My Mind's Eye Lost and Found Christmas brads
Scrap Happy Sheer Glue
Lots and lots of red glitter
Black Pearl Cotton Floss

Challenges:

Anything Goes~anything goes
Cards and More--red, brown and cream
Scrap Creations~anything goes
Die Cut Dreams~at least five flowers 
Incy Wincy Designs~distressing
Kaboodle Doodles~lots of layers
Nettie's Digital Gems--anything goes
Ooh La La Creations--punches/dies
Pollycraft Monday Challenges--swirls and pearls 
Stamp with Fun~anything goes
Stamps & Fun = Creativity--shapes and/or die cuts
There She Goes~Birthday with Pizzaz 
Corrosive Challenges~punches and/or dies
CES Challenges~Use at least four different types of embellishment.
Di's Digi Designs~anything goes
Easy Craft Projects~at least six different patterned papers
Crafty Ann's Challenge Blog~something out of your comfort zone (Mine was distressing and stitching.)
Cute Card Thursday~anything goes
Paper Play Challenges~punches/dies cuts
Ruby's Rainbow~for a girl

48 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVE your card.....so many fine and wonderful details. After reading of your illness I have great admiration for your creation, living in chronic pain is VERY difficult and I am so glad you have paper crafting to use as an outlet. I am going to jump in and follow you as well...blessings and hugs to you my sister in crafting.

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  2. WOW! For a minute there, I thought I was reading a post I'd written myself! I can relate to you in so many ways (although I don't suffer from fibro/YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHY!! I CAN'T IMAGINE!!) I do get the chronic fatigue and battle depression. I feel the same way about papercrafting. YOU KEEP YOUR CHIN UP AND FIGHT LIKE HELL TO BEAT YOUR ILLNESSES! Your card is GORGEOUS, and I'm following your blog FROM NOW ON! Keep it comin' and KEEP ON TRUCKIN'!!

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  3. Yeah! You found the mojo for this one right enough - it's a simply gorgeous card and well worth all your hard work. Thanks for your nice comments about my blog makeover - the photo gallery is fixed now, it wasn't you, it was me, computer dummy!
    hugs
    Enfys xxx

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  4. Very beautiful card and stitching ! Thanks for joining us at ATS. Christa.

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  5. Beuaitful card you've made! =)
    Thanks for joining us at NettieG's Digital Gems!
    Hugs, Elenor

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  6. wow, what a fantastic arrangement of flowers!

    GREAT look and GREAT job!

    thanks so much for playing along with us at Ruby’s Rainbow Challenges!

    hugs and kisses from germany,
    silvi xoxo

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  7. Just gorgeous!

    Thank you for joining us at MAWTT, Crafty Sentiments & CES this week, good luck!
    Hugs Shell xx

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  8. You won't want to part with this card, it is stunning! Thank you for sharing it with us at Crafty Ann's
    Ann x

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  9. Beautiful card, thank you so much for joining in with our stitching challenge on Some Odd Girl.
    Caz
    x

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  10. I think you should hang onto this card as a symbol that you can achieve anything you set out to do (even if there are a lot of false starts along the way!) and as a reminder that "this too shall pass" and you can see light at the end of the tunnel. I am so inspired by your post and your determination. Thanks for joining us at Ruby's Rainbow.
    Tracey
    x

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  11. WOW this is soooooo beautiful, I love your glitter swirls!

    Thanks for sharing it with us at MAWTT this week and good luck with the challenge

    Hugs Laurie x

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  12. Beautiful card, lovely flowers and I just love the bunting stamp, I think I need one of those! Thanks for taking part in Ruby's Rainbow Challenge xx

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  13. Gorgeous card, what a beautiful mix of papers and embellies that you've used here! Thanks for joining us at the SOG challenge! :)

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  14. Beautiful card!
    Many thanks for joining in the Cute Card Thursday Challenge this week!
    Have a great day, happy crafting, Debxx

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  15. This is a fabulous card. Love all the detail and how well it all gels together. Thank you for sharing it with us at Crafty Ann's this week.
    Jen x

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  16. Wow this is utterly stunning! Love the flourishes, beautiful sparkle!
    Thank you for joining in the SOG challenge
    love tasha xx

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  17. I think your card is stunning, so much attention to detail. Crafting is a life line to so many for so many different reasons and the friends we make along the way are a wonderful bonus. Thanks for sharing your amazing creation wth us over at Crafty Sentiments this week

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  18. Amazing card!Elegant,classy and very very beautiful!
    Thanks for joining us at ATSC,hope to see you again!
    Hugs
    Dodici

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  19. What a great card! I love the flowers and colours thanks for playing along with us at The Squirrel & The Fox - hope we'll see you again soon!

    Hugs, Linda x

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  20. awww this is gorgeous , thank you for joining our embellishment challenge at CES.
    Hugs Kaylou xx

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  21. WOW, what a gorgeous card! Thank you for all the tips...you know I'm going to go out and by that glue! I too suffer from depression (etc.) and cardmaking has certainly improved my life greatly. Thank you for your lovely comment on my "Free standing pop-up card" (although I think we should come up with a better name for it!). It's really pretty easy to put together, and then you can embellish it to your heart's content! There's a great tutorial at splitcoast stampers: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/resources/tutorials/freestandingpopupcard/

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  22. I love your card! No wonder you're so proud of it!
    Good Luck in your challenges!
    Thanks for letting me know about the broken link on my blog post! It's fixed now!
    Hugs
    Dawn xx

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  23. A very beautiful card, love all the elements, thanks for joining us at CES this week, Karen

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  24. beautiful card. thanks for playing with bows and berries.

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  25. This is a brilliant creation. I'm so glad you're sharing it with us at DCD this challenge!

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  26. Wow this is so beautiful - fab embellies, beautifully arranged!! Thanks for joining us at CES challenges this week! Juliexxx

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  27. Thanks for joining Die Cut Dreams challenge with this great entry, good luck.
    Happy crafting
    Tracy x

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  28. Bbeautiful! Love all of the little finishing touches that you added. Great use of your embellishments!
    Thanks for sharing your "Vintage/Distressed" with us a GingerLoft.
    :) Gale

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  29. Ms Peterson, this is AMAZING!!! All of the details came together beautifully and I just adore your layout! So professional!

    Thank you for sharing your story - life must seem very hard some times. I love the crafting community - they are so supportive and kind so I hope you are getting a lot out of it too!

    Thx for joining us at Pollycrafts Monday!

    Mary J x

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  30. This is so beautirul! I love all the elements. Thanks for joining us at SSDS and please do so again.
    Way to go on all the challenges.
    Linda
    http://cardsbylinda.blogspot.com

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  31. Well done!! Not only I admire your beautiful beautiful card and all the little crafty challenges you have achieved with it, but also your perseverance and the fight for life. Keep going, you are doing great!!
    Thanks for joining the Punches and Dies challenge at Ooh La la; we hope to see you again soon x

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  32. Mal ganz etwas anderes und sehr edel....

    Vielen Dank für Deine Teilnahme bei Cards und More.

    Einen lieben Gruß von Andrea

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  33. WOW! What a gorgeous card! I love all of the elements that came together to make this. :)
    Thanks for playing along with us at Bows & Berries.

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  34. Gorgeous card. Thanks for playing in this weeks anything goes with going grey with scrap-creations!

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  35. what a gorgeous card love the colors thanks for joining us at SFC......

    Hugs
    Bella

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  36. gorgeous card thanks for sharing with us at Anything goes challenge, Gaynor DT :)

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  37. What a gorgeous card. I really love the papers you've used and the colours are so pretty! Thanks so much for joining us at Anything Goes this week, hope to see you again soon! x

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  38. Gorgeous card I love all the elements you have put together. I'm glad to hear that your crafting helps you to deal with the pain you suffer in everyday life.
    Thanks for joining us this week at Incy Wincy & good luck.
    Jenny x

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  39. Utterly stunning card - love everything about it!Keep your chin up. Thanks for joining us at Pollycraft this week, Sheena xx

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  40. Love your card. Thanks for joining us at OLLCB this week

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  41. Beautiful card, love all the flourishes and those handmade flowers. Thanks for sharing with us in our Anything Goes challenge at Crafty Ribbons this time. Hope to see you again next time.
    Hugs
    Dawn xx

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  42. Your card is gorgeous and I'm so glad you achieved your 'WOW moment'! :-)
    I'm so sorry to hear about your health. I was just about bedridden with CFS for 2 1/2 years but am one of the few fortunate who've got better. Ive been free of it for about 13 years now. But I feel your pain.I don't think I'll ever forget those years, in fact I try not to think about it, almost afraid it will come back if I do. It is not something we'd wish on our worst enemy, is it.
    On a positive note, I’m so glad you could play with us at Bunny Zoe’s this month!
    Hugs,
    Dorcas
    Ps) I have some ‘no strings attached’ blog candy up if you’d like to take a peek.

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  43. This card is stunning and you should keep it always! Your story was touching and it did not sound ridiculous at all. I think more of us than you know have been in a very dark place for one reason or another. I am so happy that crafting is something that brings you joy! Stick with it - you have talent! Love those glitter swirls and your beautiful flowers! Thanks for joining us at The Corrosive Challenge for "Punches and/or Dies"! :)
    {hugs}
    Regan

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  44. Clare sure does have fab style! Love your glittery detail! Happy World Cardmaking Day!! Thanks so much for playing with Bows and Berries!! There is a giveaway and coupon in the at the blog as part of the celebrations!
    Robin

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  45. it is great, so wonderful, thanks for enjoying us at Cards und More, good luck and best wishes from germany and patty

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  46. Gorgeous card, what a beautiful mix of papers and embellishes that you have used here! Thanks for joining us at the SOG challenge, hope you enjoyed lot.

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  47. I love all the glitter and swirls on this card and how you decorated the inside of this card. Now I'm going to have to get some swirls into my cards !!!
    Trish Munro
    http://trishandtreasure.blogspot.com/

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