Why do you craft?
I was introduced to paper crafting when my friend took me to a Creative Memories workshop in 1999. First impression: NOT for me. Although I did warm up to it more over the years, I didn’t get into it until M was born. There was a reason to scrapbook after she was born and so I became a scrapbooker then card maker (I had to do something with my scraps of paper).
I’ve always blogged. I’ve had a website since 1999. They’ve all been mostly about me/us since I/we live far from our family and in 2007 I decided to add my paper craft work into the mix (and moving to this domain name). This decision changed the way I crafted. While I alway make sure my scrapbook pages were personal and meaningful my cards, or other projects, were mostly created for this blog. Don’t get me wrong. I loved creating each piece but I have no personal attachment to most of them. After getting into the paper crafting blog world I started learning about publications, DT gig, kits, manufacturers, current trends and products, folks active in the industry, etc. I also discovered different challenges and by participating I got comments. Who doesn’t like comments, right? So I actively participated in different challenges and actively commented on other’s work. There were pros and cons. The biggest con was time. The greatest pro was that the blog friends I do have now I met through those challenges (and the prizes were really nice too).
Creating for my blog wasn’t enough. Everybody was getting published it seemed and so I had to try it out. Coincidently I got published on my first try and since I was ambitious (sarcasm there) I quit trying. My goal was to get published. I got published, I could check it off my list of things I want to do, and the novelty wore off. I did get published a few more times after but they were by invitation (I think back then not too many people submit their work for publication).
Then I created to get DT gigs. Everybody I knew was in a DT and so I felt like I had to be in one… or two or three… too. Quite smug on my part in this department I think.
Time as a paper craft blogger got me wiser and while I have off days I got to the point where I have some sort of style. I then knew which company I could work with (before knowing I used to buy every stamp I liked… I didn’t realize that the blue ribbon I got in 3rd grade for a coloring contest wasn’t going to do it) and while I like looking now and then I avoid purchasing and using things that I know I cannot use (or use well).
Moving to the UK has also given me a new meaning in life. I realized that there are great things outside of this blog. There are places to see, friends to make and most importantly my family, the girls first and foremost. I now have this opportunity to be with them 100%, to be their supporter, teacher, cook, mom and my latest big gig: Chauffeur. My move has also made me a bad blogger. I quit commenting regularly on my friends’ blogs and replying to comments left on my blog.
While I still love the teams I am in and I still love to spend nights crafting, blogging has taken a back seat. Of course I can just post my project, list the materials and be done with it but I never meant for my blog to be just that. My blog is suppose to be my daily (non private) life journal that I can look back and read while sharing the crafty things I do (and to see how I progress there too). Most people don’t read anyways (if you’re one who got this far I congratulate you!) and that’s why I always put the photo of my craft project first so that photo viewers can just flip, look and move on to the next post.
So why all the rambling? A few weeks, could have been a month ago now, I came upon a site where there was a question on my ability to inspire and quality of my work. The question itself, or the person questioning, didn’t bother me any but it did make me think. Why do I craft? Why do I blog? Do I need to change? While before my lack of posting were due to having a busy life the last few weeks have been because of me questioning the purpose of my work and blog posts.
After much pondering I’ve decided to craft the same way I have been crafting and posting the same way I’ve been posting. While I know that I have a few companies I represent, I don’t want to have to feel like I have to share only my best on my blog. I figured that it’s only paper, glue, stamps, and embellishments. It’s not fixing the US deficit or saving the starving kids in Somalia. I can only hope that whatever I post makes my readers’ eyes happy. BUT if not, hey, I created, experimented and it turned out ugly. My bad. Often time I wrote on the post how I felt about the work I did. If you read you’d know I hated the color for example. If I didn’t post the card I wouldn’t be reminded (12 months from now) that using those colors was a bad idea.
I know people expect DT members to inspire and to show only their best work but every DT has off days and we’re all humans after all. I know I like trying new things and as you and I know, not all new things are for us or as cool as they seemed to be.
I craft because I love it. I blog because it’s great to click on February 2010 and see what I did that month. This is my tiny space in this very big world.
Paper, tag, embellishments and more embellishments from Jessica Sprague