Blog: Bloggiversary Week: Competive Crafting

January 24, 2012

Another day. Another post to celebrate one year of blogging! I’m gonna hijack your attention for a little bit as I pontificate about this whole crazy crafting thing. 
Really, I’ve got just one question – When did papercrafting become a competitive sport!? When I think about it, I have this vision of a bunch of ladies – adhesive in one hand and die cuts in the other – crafting to the death. Kind of like Gladiator – where the king will give a thumbs up to the best card and the others are carted off, never to be seen again. Of course, I’m being facetious…sorta.  
I remember how shocked I was to find out how competitive the hobby could be. Who’s on what design team. Who’s a “name.” Who’s won what challenges.  It’s really quite crazy-making! And in all honestly, there was a decent amount of time when I got sucked in the crazy competition of it all – and soon after – I wrote this Cards & Confessions post. 
Thankfully, since that post, I’ve stuck to my word and been a lot less hard on myself and a lot less competitive about this hobby. I post things that I love and if others do too – it’s a bonus. 
As I’ve grown into my own crafting style, I’ve also found myself being much less competitive and much more realistic with myself. Truth of the matter is – there are some things I’m good at and there are some things I just can’t do well. For example, no matter how many times I try to do shabby chic – it’s just not gonna work. No matter how many vintage inspired stamp sets I purchase – Melissa Phillips, I will never be. If I need something shabby chic – I’d better case it or just give up.  I feel comfortable in my niche and if I create something shabby – it’s purely by chance, not because I put the pressure on myself the do it.
With this change, I’ve noticed that I participate in far fewer challenges. I find much more enjoyment in creating the projects that just pop into my head, rather than the ones that are dictated by a color scheme or a particular theme. I enjoy the creative freedom of making whatever I’d like to make!  I’m sure I’ll get back into the challenge thing, but for now, I’ve got lots of ideas that I’m so excited to share!
Now- with all that said – I do still hold myself accountable for the atrocities that I’ve posted in the past…which brings me to today’s “do-over.”  When I searched through the last year of posts, this card stood out as one of my absolute least favorite. What was I thinking! I’m embarrassed to even post it again here! YOWZAS!
All that embossing and fussy cutting and vellum and more embossing and gold ball things and distressing – geeez! Entirely. too. much. happening. here. And for the love of God, why did I think it was a good idea to photograph this against a neon green background. Funny thing is – Andrew loves this card and another one of my girlfriends said she loves it too! I guess we each have our own taste, huh?
Well, I needed to rectify this shambolic mess of a card…so here we go…

I pulled a few elements from the original and created something much more clean, simple and true to my current style. This layout would be great for a masculine Valentine’s Day card – just change up the sentiment.

Phew! I feel much better about this! I’ll sleep better tonight!

Now – I know I said there would be a giveaway today, but I’ve changed things up a bit thanks to a great suggestion made by Rochelle. I’m gonna have a little Do-Over Blog Hop!

We all have a few of those “what was I thinking” projects – and now it’s time to make things right by recreating them in a way that makes you happy!

On January 31st , I’ll randomly select THREE blog hop participants to receive a prize package full of papercrafting goodies! I can’t wait to see your makeovers!

38 thoughts on “Bloggiversary Week: Competive Crafting”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with what you said! I even went backt o read what you wrote in your Cards & Confessions post. I started getting stressed about trying to keep track of what challenges I could do and should do. And I actually enjoyed it a lot because I did win a few here and there. However, the fun started getting sucked out of it, and I’d get upset if I didn’t win and try to analyze what my card was missing and what I could have done better. I also didn’t think it was as much fun trying to fit my card with a particular color scheme or sketch (I only like using sketches if I hit a roadblock, and I need some inspiration). From that point on, I just stopped crafting for challenges. The fun returned! I craft when I want without any deadlines. I don’t have to worry that my Copic coloring isn’t as good as others and that I don’t even have the right paper to try to blend properly.

    I do, however, have to say that I actually like the original card that you chose to do over! I like both of them!

  2. I started a “challenge-a-week” new year’s resolution this year and it is not working. I got through week 1 and just could not get into week 2. It’s not that I have not been making cards — just not the ones for challenges. I think I am going to change my new year’s resolution (I can do that because they are MY resolutions :)) to a make over challenge. I’m going to take one of my ugly cards (although perhaps I thought they were great at the time) and do a re-do. I think you proposed a wonderful challenge. Thanks, Amber.

  3. Love the new card! The old one was great too, though 🙂 you’re right about the cringe factor of having a blog… I’ll definitely be joining in your hop… As soon as i narrow down a choice of horrific card :). Love everything else you said, too…. Crafting is my happy place, and i won’t get competitive and feel anything but calm and relaxed while doing it…

  4. hehehe I love your post today! And I do love your re-do! I am amazed at the competitiveness too, and I try not to get too bogged down with only doing challenges and not what I want to do, but sometimes it is so hard to just walk away from that and just do whatever I want, crazy huh? Thanks so much for the challenge I’m going to have to dig up some really goodies and see which one needs the most re-do! Can’t wait! And thanks for all the inspiration you give to the rest of us, I truly enjoy coming to your blog whenever I can!
    Lisa

  5. I totally agree. A few months ago I was driving myself crazy trying to do as many challenges as possible. I had so many challenges going on in my real life, I just gave up and I don’t regret it. I will do one here and there maybe 1 every week or less often, but something that I want to do not because I feel I have to enter so many. Love your do over card, gorgeous! 🙂

  6. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for summing up what I have been thinking for quite some time now. About a year ago, I decided to craft and blog for me and if anyone likes/loves my projects then that is a bonus. I too, worried, about everything (ie-best products, stamps, inks, svg’s, software…) and put too much pressure on myself (wanting it ALL). I narrowed it down to 1 stamp club and 1 SVG site. I follow 400+ blogs (what?!) for inspiration ;)..and well, if there is a contest out there that fits to something I have already created, then I will join in the fun. 🙂 Glad to know that I am not the only one out there (I was ‘worried’ about that too!) 🙂 Hugs!

  7. This is so interesting, because I feel like cardmaking is one of the least competitive things I’ve ever done. I know what you’re saying about knowing who’s who, etc., but I feel like people are so genuinely supportive of others in this hobby that it’s actually refreshing (and one of the reasons I like it so much). I’m loving your do-overs, though. So fun to see how your style has evolved (and your photography!). And just in case you didn’t know (although I think you did), you are one of my who’s who for sure! 😉

  8. Well said!! I agree, it’s been hard sometimes to compare what I do against others work who I love!! And yes, Melissa Phillips is one of them!! I even compare mine to my friend who has a completely different style than me!! I adore her work and she loves mine, so why bother trying to reinvent the wheel?? I’m not one to enter a ton of challenges either, if something happens to fit a challenge, I may do it! I’m pretty happy with what I create and that’s what counts!!
    Love your second card by the way, although I also liked the first one!!!
    Teri

  9. Amber,
    I have been following your blog for a few weeks and am amazed at your talent. I am so happy that you were open and honest about this situation. I myself would try to make cards based on challenges with rules and was even on a DT this past few months and have learned a great deal from it and that is “I don’t like constraints”. I am now DT free and focus on making cards because of inspiration and not requirements. It has brought me back to a sense of “happy”! I love this idea of do-overs, because lord knows we all have one. I look forward to participating friend! Here’s to your new outlook in life and may more people realize this.
    Hugs,
    Brandi

  10. So true! There’s no harm in throwing your hat into the ring if you make something that YOU like and YOU’RE proud of – that’s my philosophy anyways 🙂
    I’m loving the peace, calm and tranquility that your new card oozes – so beautiful!
    Hugs,
    Aimes
    x

  11. What fun comments, I don’t feel competitive with my cards, but then I exactly won any grand prizes (hello Ms. Royalty), but maybe my personal agendas are all I need? But I love challenges, they make me think outside my comfort zone so often… I don’t think I’d think to put certain colors together or certain themes… Will have a look through some redos…

  12. Phew…. I could re-do most of them.. not sure why I feel the urge to blog nearly everything I make!! Always love reading your posts and LOVE the new card!
    Robin

  13. I know exactly what you mean, the number of cards I’ve made and not liked or enjoyed making just because they ‘fitted in’ is ridiculous! So I’m going to take a leaf out of your book and chill out!
    By the way, I really like your first card! Hee hee! I can see why you prefer your ‘do-over’ though, it’s stunning! I might even re-visit on of my early cards! Arrgghh!!! Noooo! 😉

    Love Beth xx

  14. Hi, Amber – I’m a relatively new follower yet I am already so very impressed by 1) your immense creativity (your cards and projects are always beautiful), 2) your generosity (you share your talent with everyone, giving great instructions, templates, do’s and don’ts, etc), and 3) as this post exhibits, your depth as a person (you recognize this hobby is about the joy we get from a creative outlet). For those of raising kids, please do a future post telling us your parents’ secrets! They did a great job. 🙂

  15. Amber, you are my newest favorite blogger and card artist! Your creations are SO creative and fun! Today I am blown away with your dual (flip-flop) birds on woodgrain. Thank you for all the inspiration and sharing!!

  16. I love your do-over Amber! I’s gorgeous! I’m excited about your idea of giving us a chance at a do-over. I have many I’d love to redo; even recent ones. I’ll have to pick one out, and older one.

  17. LOL! Amber, you cracked me up with your description of the “old” card. I like the old card, but I LOVE the new version!

    I read your original post at the time. It resonated with me. I don’t think the competition is between people so much, the stamping community is very supportive of each other, in general. I think the competition is within ourselves – wanting to do better, wanting to be noticed, wanting the positive feedback, wanting to be published, argh! It can drive you crazy. Especially when you are a perfectionist and just KNOW you can do better, haha!

    I’d love to join the do-over blog hop. I hope I can find some time. I know I have plenty of cards to work on. 🙂

  18. Amber, I am so very proud of you! And you have totally inspired me! I agree with what you and most of the other commenters above have said and know it’s true! I am feeling the same way and as soon as I get off some design teams I will do all my cards for myself…I will definitely take your do-over challenge because I need to do this for ME. Thanks so very much! I am also a new follower of yours and you are my favorite of all – you have my favorite style – CAS, rock on!! ;D

  19. Amber you rock. I love what you said. So true! We have to remember why we started doing this and it wasn’t to one up the next girl.
    Also you rock in your designs. I get so much inspiration from you.
    Thanks!

  20. you are so funny!! i can see where you are coming from…and do my best to keep away from those types of feelings! i love your work…you are awesome!!

  21. I find your remarks here and on your
    original post to be very true and
    refreshing. It is so important to
    find the right balance in this hobby
    to keep it both creative and a source
    of pleasure.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your immense talent!

  22. This post really hits home with me. Since I have started my blog I have had to check myself a few times and remind myself why I love making cards. I have a request for your bloggiversary. Without trying to sound stalkerish, you fascinate me! I am amazed at all of your success in a year! You are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but how did you do it? I would love to hear(read) your tips. How many cards do you send in to Paper Crafts for their submission calls? Were you a part of the papercrafting world before you started your blog? How do you stay up on all of the latest and greatest? I would love to know! Happy Bloggiversary!

  23. I just love your blog, and I’m not only talking about the cards. I like your writing style, the way you express yourself. It feels like I’ve been knowing you for years! I wish you all the best and many years of blogging!!! I will certainly participate in your blog hop!!

  24. Thought I’d throw in my 2 cents here…I agree wholeheartedly with your comments; although I feel some of the competitiveness comes from myself – to be as good as Debbie Olson or Maile Belles or Dr Amber! ;o) I choose to do challenges to get me to work with all the supplies that I just have to have. I chose at the end of 2011 to give up being on design teams. I loved all the ‘free’ product, but the constraint of a deadline each week to produce something that I thought was good enough, scratch that, great enough to post was really stressing me out. Sometimes I really didn’t like the stamps that were sent to me either, so creating with an image you don’t like is kind of hard to be proud of. This year I’ll be able to get back to coloring the flowers that I love and just creating for me. I’ll be looking back through my blog to join in your challenge – I just hope I can do it in time! lol

  25. Totally and completely understand where you’re coming from with the competitiveness thing, I used to feel it and actually get stressed out about it. Then I thought for the love of stamps, it’s just a hobby and I used to love it. I have taken a few steps back in the past year or so and when I do create now it is fun again. Love what you do so I hope you keep it up, you’re work is definitely an inspiration!!

  26. I’ve been right there with you and completely understand. It has ruined my “fun” at times and stolen my “joy”…and have searched to get it all back. You are not alone and I’m so glad you have found your niche and place of comfort. I wish I could design like you…see things how your mind does…stop globbing on the ribbon and buttons. Your style is unique and beautiful and I’m so glad we don’t all have the same style…diversity is what makes this world so beautiful and interesting.
    Melis

  27. I actually like your first card-I guess I like alot going on. LOL. 😉 But, I DO like your second too. Thanks for sharing your heart,Amber, I think that’s the HARDEST thing to do in bloggy land. 😉

  28. I’m totally obsessed with crafting stardom…and not in a good way. This post just re-affirms my feelings about why I need to constantly re-evaluate and remember why I make cards.
    I remember seeing that first card on the Embellish blog as “What’s Hot”. I think that’s about the time I discovered your blog (and was subsequently blown away). But…thanks for shouting me out in your post. I actually liked the first card but, I LOVE the re-do! Great card (and post) as always.

  29. this is my first time here and reading over some later posts, ran into this!!! i am so there ~ in my first year blogging i entered 4 challenges and didn’t even make the top 10’s…so i felt that my stuff wasn’t good enough (although i sell a ton of cards @ work). needless to say, i quit the challenges, do some ATC swaps cause they’re quick and i love getting other peoples art to look at up close and personal…but i make cards to make me happy, my hobby, my escape from work, in the colors i choose and the textures i want. yes, i follow the big names but just for inspiration…i view them then turn my computer off and click into MY mojo 😀
    this was a great post…i’ll be back for sure…and i love that redo card…both versions!
    ~victoria~

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