Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 - A Year of Ups...and Downs...and Ups!

WARNING:  LONG POST.  Go grab a cup of coffee.....or a glass of wine.
Whatever floats your boat.

As one year comes to an end and a new year is upon us, it makes sense to reflect upon the ups and downs that you've endured as you set your sights on the new year.  As I was heading into 2014, I was convinced this year was going to be one of the best, yet it proved to be a challenging year for me.   


When January began, I was FLYING HIGH with excitement.   I started off the new year with my first official post as a design team member for My Favorite Things!

If you have been a long time follower of your blog, you know this was my dream team.  I worked my tail off to make this team and it was definitely a dream come true!  This was the highlight of my crafty career for sure!

On January 2nd, I started my new job as the Dementia Program Director at a skilled nursing facility.   This was a BIG move for me,   I left my job as a the Senior Clinical Social Worker at a privately owned free-standing psychiatric hospital.   I had been in this position for the past 5 years and I was part of the crew that helped to start up this new psychiatric hospital.    I left behind many good friends as I moved onto new adventures in my career for the new year.   

And this wasn't it for new beginnings either!   My good friend Wendy Ramlakhan opened the cyber doors to her brand new clear stamp company called SugarPea Designs and I was holding the reigns as the Creative Coordinator.   Wendy I had spent HOURS on the phone talking (thus the card below featuring the Tin Can Chat stamp set) and researching the hell out f everything to make this dream come to life.   She had the financial means to get this business off the ground and I was right there with her helping her to spend her money,  :)


My term as design team member for Splitcoaststampers had come and gone and I was now able to start sharing some of my work that I created for that term here on my blog.  Here is one of my favorite creations from that term featuring the
  Stamping Bella's Uptown Couple Brett and Brenda Get Married.  


Ah.  March.  This is the month I distinctively remember as the time when I started to crash and burn from the high I was on.    I was not loving my new all.   I missed my old job.   I was the master of my domain there.  I was like a fish out of water in my new job.   Honestly, I just wanted to RUN, but you can't leave a job after 3 months so I had to stick it out.

My son made the tournament team for basketball and suddenly I was overwhelmed with all of my design team responsibilities, my responsibilities as the Creative Coordinator for SugarPea Designs, and being the professional chauffeur and cheerleader for my son and his basketball team.

Here are a couple of my favorite creations this month:

This card features products by SugarPea Designs


This card features products by My Favorite Things....and my new found stenciling skills.


April is when it hit me.  HOLY CRAP!   Designing for My Favorite Things could be a full time job by itself!   My energy level was dwindling because I was becoming depressed over the fact that I did not like my job.   My calendar of design team work made me break out in hives.   I was grouchy.   I apologize to my family and friends.   I was definitely grouchy.

Here are a few of my favorite creations this month:

This card featuring products from My Favorite Things

and this card featuring products by SugarPea Designs.


By May I was drowning.  I stepped down from my position as Design Team Coordinator at SugarPea Designs and crossed my fingers that my good friend Wendy would forgive me.   Something had to give.  I was so overwhelmed with my job, my family life, and my design team work that I had to shed the responsibilities of the extra duties that being the Creative Coordinator demanded of me.

This card features products from SugarPea Designs

This card features products by My Favorite Things.


Crash and burn!  I hit rock bottom.  I remember receiving that huge stash of stamps and dies and inks from My Favorite Things.  At one time, it was like a piece of heaven was delivered to my mail box.  Now that package looked like a giant bundle of stress wrapped in bubble wrap.  I literally stood in front of my mail box looking at that big package shoved into the mail box and it hit me like a ton of bricks.   I officially lost my love of stamping.  I felt like a stamping robot.   I no longer found crafting as an outlet of stress.  It BECAME my source of stress.    The folks at My Favorite Things were leaning towards keeping me on for another 3 months before deciding my fate as an MFT Designer.   I didn't have an ounce of energy left or even the desire to do it. I had crafted myself into oblivion.   I told them so and they canned me.   Can't blame them.  I basically invited them to can me because I could not get myself to say the words, "I quit."  Who wants a designer who tells you they have lost the love of stamping?!  They did me the favor and set me free and I am thankful for it.  I learned SO much about myself over the course of the 6 months that I designed for MFT.  You can read more about that HERE in my goodbye post to MFT.

Here is my goodbye card to MFT.


And this was the month that the tides started to turn for me.   I suddenly felt free to BUY lots of crafty goodies from other companies that I had been admiring.  How had I NOT bought a bunch of dies from Lil' Inker Designs?!  Such beautiful stamp sets from Clearly Besotted Stamps! And oh! Simon Says Stamp!  I was falling in love with the Simon Says Stamp line of stamp and dies!

I had learned to use stencils and embossing paste while on the My Favorite Things design team and now I was trying my hand at Tim Holtz Distress Inks.   I was definitely a littte late to the game with this obsession, but July was when my collections of distress inks was born!

This card features stamps and dies from Simon Says Stamp.

I was honored to be a guest designer for Reverse Confetti and participated in one of their blog hops.

This month I also went into mass production mode to make these wedding invitations for my brother and now my sister-in-law for the wedding that was in October.  There are very few people for whom I would do this and they are are two of them!



My blog was noticeably quieter as I soaked up the summer sun and enjoyed the freedom of fewer design team requirements.  I did continue to design for the Deconstructed Sketch Challenge which gave me a reason to do some crafting with more new products.   I fell in love with the "A Random Fan" line of rubber stamps sold at C.C. Designs.

This card features an image by A Random Fan.

This card features products from Simon Says Stamp


This was the month that I had the honor of being the Simon Says Stamp Designer in the Spotlight! What an honor!  HOLY blog traffic!   I was BACK!   I was regaining my love of stamping and people were noticing!  It was around this time that changes were happening at work and I was no longer dreading going to work every day.  Things were starting to look up!

This was also the month that this world lost a very talented designer with whom I had the honor of designing on a few teams and with whom I became friends.   Amanda Reed passed away suddenly.  I was and still am rattled by this.  You can read more about it here.

Here is the card I made in her honor featuring products by Hero Arts sold at Simon Says Stamp.

This card features products from SugarPea Designs


This month I was thrilled to been invited by Heidi Crowl, owner of Simon Says Stamp, to be one of the designers to help kick off the release of their "Cold Hands, Warm Heart" line of stamps and dies and stencils.  What a line up of designers!   I can't believe I got to be part of that!  WHO AM I?!?!  That was such an honor!   This year was definitely starting to look up!

The Ugly Sweater stamp set was right up my alley!

My brother married the love of his life and gave me the sister I have always wanted.  Congrats to Bobby and Stacey!   It was a beautiful wedding!

Photo credit goes to the amazingly talented Doug Levy!


This month I had the honor of doing a little guest designing for i {heart} papers.    Once again, I got to ink up some products from other companies  that I had yet to try.  This month I also decided to step down from the Deconstructed Sketch Challenge design team after being on that team for 14 months.  It was a fun ride and Jen Shultz is an awesome designer and an awesome person and I am proud to have been on her team.

This card features products from Winnie & Walter.........and the distress inks I have come to love!

This card features products from SugarPea Designs.


December has been a time of rest for the most part for me.  My blog has been very sluggish.  More than a week has gone by and I had not crafted a thing.   I was resting.........but gearing up!  Wendy Ramlakhan asked me to return as the Creative Coordinator at SugarPea Designs and I accepted.....but not until January.......because I am still resting.   I was invited to re-join the C.C.Designs design team and I accepted.......but not until January.......because I am still resting.   But am looking forward to both of these adventures!

This card features products from C.C.Designs.

This card features product from Avery Elle.

2014 has been one hell of a ride!  I was flying high at the start of the year and crashed and burned by mid year.  I lost my love of stamping,but gradually found it again. I was so excited about my new job at the start of the year. I was miserable and wanted out of it by mid year, but stuck it out.  I gradually found my groove at work in my new role and discovered that I am pretty damn good at what I do.

I was SO consumed with paper crafting and got such a rush from the success I was finding with it over the past 5 years that it definitely took over my life.   I still love paper crafting,  I do.  But I love spending time with my family even more.....even if we are just cozied up on the couch mindlessly watching TV or sitting silently around the fire pit together.   THAT is a form of relaxation for me, too.  I no longer hear the copics calling my name when I am "doing nothing."  I realize I CAN "do nothing" and it is OK.   I can just sit and be present in the moment.

Moving in to 2015, I have some new goals in mind.  Nope, They don't involve paper crafting goals this year.   It's been years since my goals for the new year have not included any paper crafting goals!

So, here it is.  I want to FEEL healthy again.   Yeah, I want to lose weight.  Who doesn't.   I am not setting a certain goal for myself in terms of a certain amount of weight to lose or a goal of fitting into a certain old pair of jeans.  Nope.  I just want to feel good in my own skin.  I want to feel energized when I wake up every day,  So, this means I need to exercise.  I hate exercising.  Am I going to try and get into running like all the cool 40 somethings do?  Nope.  I tried that.  I even stuck with it for awhile.  I hated it.  It was my own primary care physician who asked, "Why are you doing it if you hate it?   Why don't you just go for a nice walk with your kids and the dog?"  That sounds so much more enticing.   Duh.  My doctor looked at me like I was a moron.  I want to eat better.  I don't want to eat perfectly.  I just want to eat better.   I want to take vitamins and supplements that my body needs.   I want to drink more water.  I just want to feel happy and healthy.

I also want to try my hand in a few DIY renovations.  I am obsessed with Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I spend too much time on Pinterest looking at pieces of furniture that has been restored and kitchen make overs.   I have already bought a coffee table for $25 from the local online yard sale in my town and I plan to try my hand at a little renovations.   Ultimately, I want to give my old lady kitchen a face lift and re-finish my dining room furniture.  Now, these goals will require the help of my dear ol' dad and his mad woodworking skillz, so hopefully he will be up for the challenge!

HOLY LONG POST!   If you made it to the end, thanks!  I am thankful for each and everyone of my blog followers and I hope you continue to find my blog to be a source of inspiration for all of your paper crafting adventures...............and soon to be furniture makeovers and DIY projects!

Happy New Year!
Bring on 2015!


  1. This was absolutely fun to read. I feel like I can relate so much to everything you went through except it took me a whole year to find my love of crafting again. I'm so happy to see you back in your element. It was quite the ride!

  2. Congrats on the new/old teams. Sounds like you've gotten to a place with a lot more balance and joy and that it's a good place for you! Looking forward to all your work in the new year, enjoy your last few days of rest!

  3. Great post, Kim. So glad you regained your love of stamping. Can't wait to see what you share in 2015. We all need to remember to find balance and happiness with all that we do. Cheers on finding yours!

  4. oh Kim, thank you for your honesty in this post. I wondered what had happened to you at MFT. I first found you on FB and loved your work and started following your blog sporadically. I enjoy your work which ever company you are designing for. I'm glad you recognize your feel good feelings when with family and down time. The sweet family goes away so quickly you must enjoy them now. Best wishes to you in the New Year and I hope you meet your health goals in particular.

  5. Kim, thanks for this wonderful post! It's crazy how such a wonderful, creative outlet can turn our lives upside down! Thanks so much for sharing! I crashed and burned middle of last year myself. RESTED in December and am gearing up again........but I am watchful....not sure if there will be something more to give up in the near future. My kids are 18 and almost 15 and the time is so precious! Hugs to you. I have admired your art for a good while and I am glad that we will continue to be treated to it in the future (in between rests) :)

  6. Kim, I totally enjoyed reading your post.. what a ride! Glad you are back to what you love to do, your talent is extraordinary and would hate to see you leave it. Happy New Year and enjoy all the little things we sometimes over look, which in reality are what makes us happy:). Hugz. PS! How did you make the Uptown couple? It's gorgeous

  7. Good for you- knowing what you want and having the courage to do- or not do-it!
    I love your work, stalk your blog daily, and am glad your love of crafting is back in full force!

  8. hey old buddy! Loved your post!! I think we might just be soul sisters after all ;) I am about where you are!! <3 Thanks for the honesty, as always!! Looking forward to all the 2015 has in store for you! maybe I might be one of those things!! :P

  9. What a great read and incredible ride! I appreciated your honesty and could relate on a number of levels. No matter how sporadic your posts and whether they are for pleasure or for a team, I love seeing what you create. Thank you for taking the time to blog and share. All the Best for 2015!

  10. You are "real". I can relate. You had highs, lows, and wisely made adjustments. The best thing we can do is admit we are not perfect super-people. I wish you the best for happiness in 2015, and you have inspired me to do the same.

  11. Holy good post donkey!! Loved every bit!! Have a great New Year!!

  12. Long post, yes -- but heartfelt. Am honored that you shared it with us, your adoring fans. May your 2015 be a year of joy and health and balance.

  13. AMAZING cards!!! Hard to pick a favorite. Thanks for the chance to win!

  14. All adorable cards. Hard to pick a favorite.


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