Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Beginnings

Welcome, 2015! May the new year bring us continued blessings and joy. In the past six months of my papercrafting journey, I have connected with the kindest souls and learned so much about crafting. The goals I've set for the months ahead of me are huge but I can only achieve them one step at a time. In less than five months, I will be graduating with my second master's degree and hoping to become a licensed social worker. The work is challenging but rewarding. At the same time, I will continue to craft.

To all my friends and followers who support me and help me, thank you for your love. My work does not define me. If I were to set one goal for the year, it would be to continue to do what I love and to accept myself no matter what. It does not matter how many challenges you win, followers you have, or comments you receive. Stay true to who you are and keep good intentions. I believe that who you are develops over time as a result of your experiences and lessons. I am a writer, but when's the last time I wrote anything? Writer's block is a deep issue for some. As an introvert who enjoys the richness of the inner world, sharing more about myself on a public platform is no easy task. I have shared my work on here, with some hesitation, and I appreciate that others enjoy stopping by to see what I do and to read what I have to say.

How did I get into cardmaking? My obsession with shopping for books on Amazon led me to discover K&Company Smash Folio back in early July 2014. After ordering and receiving it, I realized I needed things called embellishments, which led me to discovering the world of scrapbooking. My intentions were to scrapbook since I have saved a lot of memorabilia from my past. I think only a few pages were completed in the book because once I discovered cardstock and inks, my life changed. I created my first card on July 21, 2014, which I didn't post on here because...well, I didn't think of blogging my cards at the time. I just wanted to have fun. How fascinated I was with perforations, lol. Here it goes:


I clearly didn't care for how my photos came out back then. I didn't even have stamps at the time. Since then, I've signed up for multiple Online Card Classes to learn tips and techniques. I follow many great crafters on Facebook, Instagram, and via e-mail and enjoy seeing how creative everyone is. The talent continues to amaze me. Sometimes, I feel like it's information overload and so I need to take a break from crafting. It has been such a relief to discover that other crafters, experts or not, go through the same phases I do when it came to experiencing creativity block, craft space issues, and even just having too many products! 

Since then, I have entered multiple challenges to inspire myself to create different kinds of cards and took part in two coffee-themed blog hops. I befriended a few really great crafters. I attended the Mama Elephant 2nd Birthday Party in NYC in October and introduced two friends to the world of papercrafting. I learned so fast that I ended up making and giving away 200 to friends all over the world and submitting 300 cards to the 5th Annual Caring Hearts Card Drive (and won a major prize from none other than Jennifer McGuire). 

So far I have been posting images of my cards and keeping my entries brief. I have followed enough blogs to know that that isn't enough, but I am not trying to do everything all at once. :) Family and school are priorities for me. Somehow, I've squeezed in the time to create and I'm glad I did. Goals for the new year include changing how I post on here by focusing on quality rather than quantity. I still plan on making a lot of cards because I love giving them to people. However, I want to get more involved in the wonderful ways that other crafters give back through their joy of creating and to find my own style. I hope to pick up on writing again, whether it's on an online platform or through a paper journal or both. A good friend gifted me an Erin Condren planner so that's another way for me to organize myself and refocus on important goals. I am truly grateful because of how generous the industry really is - I've won so many giveaways so I know it's only fair to give back to others, too. I had one giveaway for the last blog hop and picked two winners, and I currently have one giveaway on my Instagram

There is a lot to look forward to in 2015, and I hope to share my adventure along the way with you all. Thank you for being loyal readers. Look out for a giveaway post when I reach my six-month mark in late January :)

Here were some of my favorites from 2014:






This is the first card I entered in a challenge and the first challenge I ever won!


Thank you for reading this long post. I hope to bring more to you in the coming year. Feel free to share suggestions or ask questions! I love sharing ideas and helping others out. This month is another busy one full of celebrations - Winnie & Walter are celebrating their first birthday with month-long challenges, and you know I'll enter them all! Take care and have a great rest of the week.

42 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, these are all so fabulous!

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    1. Happy New Year, Holly! Thank you for your sweet comment. Have a blessed day!

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  2. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful post I sometimes feel the same and then I get on Instagram and see how positive and supportive you are and it just makes me smile and think I need to be more like her! You are an inspiration! I can not wait to see what 2015 brings! Cheers!

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    1. You ARE positive and supportive. :) It is comforting to know that it's natural to go through the downs sometimes - we deserve breaks. Thanks for the love, Jessica! Enjoy your prize ;)

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  3. Such a fun post...love reading everything. So glad that a smash journal introduced you to this awesome paper crafting community!

    I love the cards that you've featured and I look forward to seeing what 2015 will bring you!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Amy! You're the Blog Commenter Superstar ;)

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  4. Hi Ruby! I am fluttering over from Debby's Favorite 5 link-up... and am delighted that I happened upon your lovely blog! This post is beautiful and your favorite cards are gorgeous. Each design is stunning and surely was cherished by the recipients. :o) I'm happy to be your newest follower and look forward to seeing your future creations! Have a blessed and sparkly day!

    Hugs and blessings,
    Karen

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    1. Hello dear Karen, I so appreciate you stopping by here and for becoming a follower! That made my day. Thank you for the kind words. Hope you have a blessed day as well :)

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  5. Love all the cards youve've shared and am soo impressed by you!! You inspire me with your creativity! Hope 2015 brings you lots of happiness!! Happy New Year! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, my new friend <3 Someday I hope we get to meet! :-)

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  6. LOVE all the cards you shared!! Happy New Year to you and keep up your amazing work! Thank you also for your sweet comment :)

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind response, Simone!

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  7. Happy New Year, thanks for sharing your journey and work...

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. And Happy New Year to you as well! Sorry I'm late :-) I'm getting my mojo back!!!

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  8. Your cards are gorgeous! I've just started to dip a toe into this whole world of planner deco and scrapbooking...I don't even have stamps yet ^_^ But for the past couple of days I've been obsessed with watching card making videos on youtube! I think I'd like to make cards for my friends and family, too! One day at a time, though :) I am so happy to discover that there's a whole community out here who loves this stuff as much as I do; I have so much to learn, but I'm loving all of the inspiring crafters I'm stumbling upon, such as yourself. Congrats on your upcoming graduation!

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    1. Hello, Lexi! I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I appreciate your comment and I'm so glad you're discovering ways to expand your creativity. It just pulls you in, right? I started to get into planning but it's really hard right now. Maybe when I get a secure job and have somewhat of a routine. :-) Thank you for your kind comment here <3

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  9. Loved this post---- it has been so nice getting to know you and can't wait to see more of your creative side this year !!! Absolutely LOVE your Angie girl card with the umbrella !!

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    1. Thank you, Debra! You've been such a good friend to me! <3

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  10. Happy new year! All your cards are gorgeous. Amazing how easy it is to get addicted to paper crafting, huh? :-)

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    1. Happy New Year! Sorry I'm late in responding... thank you so much for your sweet response. I appreciate it. It's totally an addiction! LOL

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  11. Ruby this is a stunning series of creations, a true showcase of your wonderful creative talent. Its hard to pick a favourite. Thank you so much for sharing them with your bloggy friends. Also wishing you a 2015 filled with tons of love and happiness xxx
    Hugs
    Desíre
    {Doing Life – my personal blog}

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    1. THANK YOU, Desire. What a beautiful comment to read. I apologize for the late response and hope you come back soon! Wishing you a wonderful 2015, too <3

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  12. Oh my goodness, I wrote a huge long Comment, but for some goofy reason it got erased when I hit the "Publish" button! :( Overall... wonderful post! You sound a lot like me in your history of discovering cards. Your work is STUNNING! Happy 2015,and I look orward to seeing more of you in the crafting world on-line! xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much, Valerie!!! Hope you come back <3

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  13. What a great set of cards from the past Ruby. You are doing amazing work! Just keep it up! Wishing you the best in 2015 and hopefully you will achieve your goals.

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    1. Thank you, Monika <3 I wish you a wonderful 2015 as well!!!

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  14. I love your cards!!! Thank you for sharing! Please visit my blog too: http://jessicalynnoriginal.typepad.com/blog/

    Jessica

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    1. Thank you, Jessica!! I'll check out your blog. <3

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  15. WOW - simply amazing and YOU do indeed scatter sunshine and creativity wherever you go and whatever you do!! These cards are all just amazing and I thank you for linking them up!!

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    1. Thank you!!!! That was so sweet <3

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  16. Sounds like you had a great year and I love that you have goals for the new year, but are maintaining a good balance. Your cards are lovely!

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    1. Thank you for visiting, reading and for leaving such a sweet comment, Miriam! <3

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  17. 500 cards in five months?!?! HOLY MOLY!!! You are a card-making MONSTER!! I am so glad you found this hobby and are clearly excelling at it since your cards are LOVELY!! It was so great meeting you at the Mama Elephant Bday Party! I hope to see more of your writing because this post really flowed smoothly and it rang with such earnestness and sincerity. Here's to an AMAZING 2015!!

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    1. Thank you!!! I know, right?!?! I feel like I have to make LOTS of cards to make up for all the spending! But I'm also trying to learn new techniques (that's a bit of a slower process). I appreciate you visiting and for being soo supportive! <3 I hope I can write more, too! I'm loving the feedback to it!

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  18. Wow! Your cards are beautiful and it's hard to believe you have only been doing this for a short period of time--Big things are definitely in store for you! And that Mama Elephant party in NYC sounds amazing! :)

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  19. Great post! Being relatively new to card making myself, I really enjoyed reading about your journey and the challenges you've experienced thus far. You're incredibly talented and I look forward to see what you create in 2015. And congrats on your second Master's!

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    1. What - no way?!? Your work is incredible, too!! Hope we get to know each other better this year. Thanks for visiting! <3

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  20. Ruby, I came over to see you again as I'm going to be introducing you on my next post. First of all, your cards are really outstanding! Your sense of style is top-notch and your execution is flawless.

    This post was beautifully written! You sound like a young woman with a lot of common sense and as the old-timers would say, "a square head on your shoulders." (That's a very good thing, lol!) You obviously also have a huge heart in terms of caring about other people through your generous contribution to the card drive. Your writing style is engaging and I look forward to both reading your posts and seeing more of your beautiful cards in 2015!

    You are so smart to put family and work first and not to get caught up in the followers/numbers addiction. I know that may sound weird coming from me, but it was slow-going for me in the beginning for at least a year. There were times when I let the whole follower/views thing get to me. Once I let go of that, and was just myself, everything grew at a steady rate and I love all the friends I've made - not just numbers, but true friends!

    Congratulations on your second master's and on your chosen career of social work. You are an asset to society and that is a wonderful accomplishment / career! I wish you all the best in the new year! Enjoy your break, but don't be gone too long!! Hugs, Darnell

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    1. I am so glad I came across your blog! The fact that you take the time to learn about your visitors and followers and then introduce them on your own blog is so sweet! Your support and appreciation of my work and my journey is really touching! I do hope we get to know each other over time. The response to your third NBUS was AMAZING! I can't wait for the next one. You are SO generous and helpful. Thank you so much for all that you do and for all the joy you spread!!! <3 Thank you for subscribing!! That totally made my day!

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  21. I loved reading your post and look forward to what 2015 will bring for you! Congratulations on your second master's and on your chosen career of social work. I wish you all the best in the new year! Your cards always rock and I can't believe you submitted 300 cards to the Caring Hearts card drive. That is awesome. Hugs, Kristie

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    1. Hi Kristie!!! You are a superstar! I don't know how you get to craft so regularly and you have all those homeschooled kids! Thanks so much for your support of my work, too. I hope we get to know each other better this year! HUGS!!!!

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