11 February 2010

More Love from a kit...

Happy Thursday to you :o)

I'm showing you a lot of Valentine's Day cards this week. Considering that most of us only have one Valentine, well...it might be overkill, but I'm going for ideas here.

Basically that's how it goes over here in Australia - one card to your Valentine. We don't do the friendship Valentines or the giving-out-to-school-friends Valentines either, do we?

Told you we're laid back - very laid back. Passionate, but laid back about it. :o)

All these cards were made from a Papermania kit (from the UK - a part of the Do Crafts line). The kit was $9 and I don't usually work from kits, but I thought I'd try this one because I liked some of the papers and wanted to use them.

When I sat down to make some cards though, it didn't go so well. I got a bit frustrated and things weren't working.

We all know what it's like when things aren't working...they're just not working!

After a while a I realised why - I was trying to fit to the kit instead of making the kit fit me.

We all have our own style when doing things and when I made the kit work with my style, things started to fall into place.

You know the feeling - frustration, frustration...ah, happy and peace and this is working! Yep, that feeling...

My style is generally fairly simple. I like results, people, so we have to get some within a reasonable time frame!

Plus I like clean lines and uncluttered stuff. Oh, clean lines, that sounds so cliche. Okay, I like a clean look - that's why punch art suits me, it's clean.

This line is not what you'd call clean (it's not dirty either!), but I made it clean for me by keeping one to two embellishments on each card.

My point? I manipulated the kit to fit my style.

And that's what craft is all about. You manipulate it to fit you, you don't manipulate to fit it. Who wants to try to be something they're not? Not me.

Are these cards overly fab? Not really.

Were they me at the time? Yep.

Sometimes you just have to work with what's in front of you and get the best out of it.

It's like life really, sometimes you have good days, and sometimes you have bad days, but the consistent thing is that all days come to an end and there's another one tomorrow "fresh, with no mistakes in it" (Anne of Green Gables).

I put one embellishment on this card and tied the ribbon.

I then said, is this done? Does it need anything else?

I knew I wouldn't add anything else if I was just making it for Andrew let's say, so I called it good and moved on. And that's not because I wouldn't make a good card for him, it's that I know I wouldn't make it overly complicated in the first place.

There's such a temptation to over-do things. I'm just so not into that at the moment.

Have you ever noticed a direct correlation between your life and your art? That is, your art serves as your therapy for what you need in your life at that time?

If things are difficult in your life, your art probably gets a bit simpler and you make easy projects.

If you're busy and your mind is full, your art is probably simple, simple and easy, easy.

If you're on holidays and haven't a care in the world, you may find yourself doing the most complicated project ever or reading very dramatic books. That's because your brain has room for it. When things are difficult/busy in your life, ain't no room in your brain for more thinking and stress!

Makes sense, hey?

I remember a time in my life when things were just so difficult. I was classroom teaching and finding it so hard to face it each day. Oh, man, I can still remember it. God brought punch art into my life to help me through that time. Paper and glue and the characters I made with them made me smile and just made me feel better. Punch art is a gift He gave me. I know that for a fact.

(Ever given a gift to someone because they needed a bit of cheering up? Well, that's what He did for me with punch art. He gave it to me to enjoy and to love. Nice of Him, hey? God's like that. He gets us and gives us what we need, even when we don't know what that is. Particularly when we don't know what that is!)

So! That's why art, creativity, and of course, punch art are important to me. They're more than paper and glue, they're a piece of happy in my life.

I reckon they're a piece of happy in yours too, hey? I know I'm talking to the right people, you get all this.

It's interesting too when I watch others on the shows on telly - the singers, the cooks, the dancers. I don't feel what they feel, but I get the passion they have for something. I know the stuff I put out there is me in a card - it's me on paper, so to speak. They use the same words - the dancing is me, the cooking is my heart on a plate. Oh, I get that! It's hard to put yourself out there and show your heart to people because what if they don't like it?

But you know what? If you just show love, however it comes, they'll get it. And if they don't, they're the ones missing out, not you.

So, give people. Love isn't given for how it'll be received. Love's just given because that's the way it works. Talk to the Lord about that - He knows all about it.

Where'd all that come from? No idea, but it feels right to have shared it. Thanks for listening.

Back to the cards - here's a couple more to finish off today. That dotted background was one of the papers that drew me to the kit in the first place.

Note the use of envelopes. I made the cards and then used the leftover papers to make envelopes to match. They're a good way to use up the papers in the kit, that's for sure. I used the leftover stickers for the front of the envelopes too.

(It's okay to put word stickers on the front of envelopes. I know Andrew's my Valentine, so I don't really need to write his name on the front of the envelope...know what I mean? :o) And a blank envelope looks a bit...well, blank. The stickers worked, so I used them)

Last card for today - I like this sweet one. It's small (about half an A5) and the edges were chomped with the We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper - the Purple one. Once again, the card is simple and easy, just the way I like it.

Hey, interesting post today.

Guess this Aussie isn't that laid back and is very passionate about some stuff. I knew that. I've always known that. I guess you know it now too.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my life. Even though we all don't know each other, I believe we do in some way because we all get each other on this crafty level. And what a level it is. One that I love and know you do too.

Yay for us, that's all I can say.

And yay for Him for thinking of it all in the first place. Honestly, Lord, you amaze me. You have my heart, and you always will.

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