Saturday, March 5, 2016

Retiring from Designing (yeah, that happened)

In 2009, I decided to take my 7 and 5 year old kids into Michaels and picked up a couple of little clear stamps from the $1 bin to make our our own Easter cards.   Those little clear stamps started multiplying like bunnies after I was bitten by the card making bug.   I spent hours watching tutorials online to learn new techniques and I learned how to color with Copics.

I discovered SplitcoastStampers and was obsessed with checking out others work in the galleries, learning from the tutorials, and playing along with the challenges.  I stalked the "Dirty Dozen" and wanted to learn as much as I could so that I could create the beautiful cards they were creating. 


By July of 2011, I landed my first design team position and things just took off from there!  In May of 2013 I became a member of the SplitcoastStampers Dirty Dozen and joined the elite group of paper crafters that I had admired for years.    I had the honor of designing for some amazing companies such as There She Goes Clear Stamps, Kraftin' Kimmie, Tiddly Inks, Stamping Bella, C.C. Designs, My Favorite Things, and of course, SugarPea Designs. 

I have met so many wonderful people along the way in this crafty little world of ours!  Wendy Ramlakhan is one of them.  Though I live in MA and she lives in FL, we became real life friends and I have hopped on a plane 3 times so far to see her in person.  I had the honor of being part of the development of SugarPea Designs.  I can still remember the day that I was sitting in my car at a field watching my daughter's softball practice while brainstorming with Wendy about how to make SugarPea Designs come to life.   SugarPea Designs is now celebrating its 2nd birthday and I am SO proud of Wendy for the success that she has achieved! In December I stepped down from my position of Creative Coordinator for SugarPea Designs and after the January release, I told Wendy I was stepping down from the design team.   It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.  

At one point, I was on 6 design teams at a time.   Honestly. I simply became addicted to the success I was having with my hobby.  Over the past few years, I started giving up some of my design team responsibilities that were sort of taking over my life.  In 2015, I limited myself to 2 teams.  By the end of the year, I was down to one,............and now I have retired from designing.

Why?  Perhaps it is the 7 year itch and I am just looking for something new?  I don't think so.  Honestly, I think that my hobby became an addiction and my addiction became a job........and that job became work and I lost my passion for it.   In April of 2015, I took on a new job as the Memory Care Director at Brightview Senior Living's Country Club Heights.  Honestly, I have never been happier at a job and my job has become my passion.  There is nothing more rewarding than shaping a memory care  program into something special by educating the staff, by educating the family members, and by ensuring that the residents experience moments of joy throughout the day as they navigate the world doing the best they can living with dementia.   I am driven by goals.  I was once driven to be a member of the elite group of designers that make up the SplitcoastStampers Dirty Dozen.  CHECK!  I was once driven to design for My FavoriteThings.  CHECK! I was once driven to help my friend launch a new stamp company called SugarPea Designs.  CHECK!  

I am now driven to make a difference in the lives of those living with dementia and the family members who are watching their loved ones as they progress through the stages of the disease.  I am driven by the dreams of advancing my career into upper management at Brightview Senior Living.   I am driven to never miss one of my kids' field hockey games, basketball games, and football games.  I am driven to be the best mom I can be as my kids begin to navigate the teenage years and begin to spread their wings.  I am driven to have date nights with my husband and to nurture our marriage.   Sometimes, I will be driven to shamelessly sit and watch 4 seasons of "The Killing" on Netflix  in less than 2 weeks time. CHECK! 

Does this mean I will never create a card again?  Hell no!  I'm sure I will and I am sure I will post it here on my blog, BUT my blog is likely to turn into a mish mosh of random postings as I venture on to the next stage of my life.   Being without a hobby is strange at first.   What's my "thing?!"  I am without a "thing" at the moment.   In the past, I worked for a wedding photographer and that later blossomed into my own little business photographing children and families.  I ditched that hobby when I caught the card making bug.  I kind of caught the photography bug again after doing a little photo shoot of my kids for our Christmas card this year.  So, maybe you will see me post some of my photographs here on my blog now like this:

Lauren - 13 yo

Jack - 12 yo

Lauren & Jack

Lauren, Jack & Cavin (8 yo)

I also recently dusted off the Silhouette Portrait that I bought roughly 5 years ago and never used.  I just didn't really have the time to figure it out.  My mom asked me if I could make something for her that she saw online and I thought, "I could do that if I could figure out how to use the Silhouette Portrait".......and so I did.   So maybe you will see me post things like this:

And once I figured it out, I had to make something for my own house so I made this for the bathroom:

I have a friend who is into wood working and creating projects out of pallet wood.  We have talked about some ideas.  He will do the woodworking and I will do the finishing.  So maybe you will see something like that on this blog.   I also plan to refinish my server in my dining room this spring so you will likely see that here as well.   I love to cook.  Maybe a successful recipe or two will show up here. Who knows?!

This blog will be something new.  That I know.  I am retiring from designing for stamp companies.  This blog will be filled with what interests me at the moment.  I may not post as often.  In fact, I am sure I won't.  I won't disappear from the blogging world.  I am sure of that as well.  I will still admire all of the cards created by the crafty people I have come know and love who live in my computer in my crafty world.  Wendy Ramlakhan, Tracy Valure, and Jenny Peterson, you will continue to be my "real life" friends that I have adopted from my crafty world.  I look forward to our next get together........hopefully in the fall! 

Lots of love,



  1. You will be missed! I have cut way back myself and struggle with crafting mojo myself. I have considered doing this as well. Best of luck to you donkey :) Beautiful kids by the way!

  2. Good for you Miss Kim! 😃I have cut way back myself. And am likely fast on your heels, lol. Just so many other things I am drawn/driven to right now, setting up our new house. I have done And want to do more Home decor and refinishing projects here too. Re establishing Date night with my Hubby and getting to take trips and time together has become more important and a priority for me.. So I feel you Girly!
    Big hugs!
    Shannon <3

  3. I so understand Kim. Beautiful pics of your family. You go girl!

  4. I am so happy I got to know you through card making. I will miss seeing your gorgeous creations but totally understand your decision. Enjoy the extra time with your beautiful family!

  5. Kim, we are going to miss you in the crafting world with your beautiful creations, being on the same teams, I will think of you often, but please know I will haunt you on FB so your really not going to far! Good luck with your new job, I know you will be perfect at it! I have been told I am at the very beginning stage of dementia. It's hard and I know right now I am doing good and still functioning quite well outside the home. Another story! Love and Hugz

  6. What an excellent post and I completely understand! I'm happy that your job is your new passion! That's fabulous! I often think about stepping away but my craft room still calls me back. I am so happy I had the chance to design with you! You were one of my crafting heros when you designed for TSG. Your children are beautiful! Such great photos! Hugs.

  7. Find your new passion and do what you love. I somewhat went through some of the same stuff. Cut out all designing and found my new passion that became a business of essential oils and I am loving it! I hope that you enjoy your new passion of photography.

  8. Kim, thank you for sharing your decision and exciting new journey with all of us and for expressing it so eloquently! I can TOTALLY, 100% relate to each and every word and, I too, decided a while ago, to cut back on spending $$$$$ on stamps/dies like it was a competition of some sorts to have it all, to cut back on card-making and design team work. I wanted to create what I want, when I want, and to rediscover the joy for my hobby that I had in the beginning. I became way to obsessed and addicted to some weird need to buy all this stuff and have it all (and didn't even use half of it), for recognition from others and getting a sense of acceptance by making a DT. I then realized that it was becoming all-consuming, obsessive and rather unhealthy, mentally and physically. I needed to focus on my health, so I started on a journey to loss weight (lost 12lbs and kept it off) and exercise (something I always thought I hated to do but found I really enjoy it). I also wanted the luxury to just sit on the couch (if I wanted to) and binge watch a TV program or watch a movie with my kids, or go for a walk without that nagging guilt that I should really be making a card for this or a card for that or typing up a post etc. etc! For the last 3 years we have been dealing with my husband's health issue...this has been the real wake-up call! I can just say, that for me, this is when it became crystal clear that there are way more important things in life, like my husband and children and other family members and spending time with them making real memories. This is where I want to spend my time, put my undivided attention and energy.
    Congrats, Kim, and thank you for sharing! I look forward to seeing your new projects on your blog. and I love the adorable sign you made for the bathroom...too CUTE!
    Big hugs,t

  9. Kim,thank you for sharing your story. I am really going to miss your beautiful design work which has influenced me greatly. Thank you for that. I'm a new Widow
    (2yrs)and this creative hobby has held me together, so I totally support your decision to concentrate on family and new passions. Good luck and best wishes to you!

  10. You will definitely be missed in the card making world, but I totally GET where you are coming from. This hobby can become a job and even stressful. My life is so busy now I have to squeeze in the time to make my cards. I wish you the best in all the adventures you decided to try and most of all with your family. They should be #1. It was a pleasure to serve with you at There She Goes and SugarPea. Hugs!

  11. I get it. I will miss your crafting posts, but I get it. And you are moving on to something that is near and dear to my heart because of family experiences with dementia. You are moving on to something that will be most rewarding to you and valued by the families you help. Best wishes for much success. I will continue to follow your blog and look forward to future posts.

  12. Oh, Kimberly, I am going to miss seeing your work but I understand.
    All the best in your new endeavors!

  13. Kim wow your post has blown me away. You have pointed out things that we all in the crafting community thrive on. Being recognized for our work, having all the "new" releases and gaining friendships along the way. However when we start to lose ourselves and miss those moments in life we can't get back, walking in a different direction is life rewarding. I admire you and your strength. I am so glad your company has you. My Dad has dementia and I wish he had someone like you fighting for him and the memories he still has. God bless you Kim and I can't wait to see where this new journey takes you. Hugs and love to you! 😘

  14. Oh, Kim, while I feel a jolt go through my mind about your decision, I can understand what you are saying. You have refound passion again and that makes it worth living. That's the way I felt and still feel about being a registered nurse. Although I am too disabled to work myself, the love I had for it is always there, in the background. I am happy that I found cardmaking, coloring and painting while stuck in bed though. I cannot imagine life without it. Wishing you the very best in your journey! You will do a world of good for others - sisters thru caregiving!!!! Aloha for now ♥

  15. So THIS is why I haven't "seen" you lately! I will miss all the images you brought to life with your rockin' coloring skills. But, oh my - what a wonderful reason to leave it behind. My step-dad doesn't have dementia, but his Parkinson's does compromise his cognition skills. With him in PA and me in IL, I so depend on the staff at the community where he lives and so appreciate all they do to allow him to have as rich of a life as his body and mind will allow. They have become my extended family. So I KNOW how worthwhile what you are doing is. You are an angel sent down from Heaven. Hugs!


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