Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Creative Blogger Nomination

Wow.... I have been slipping on my blog postings and just when I thought I'd better get back to it or my fans (the 1 or 2 that I may have) may give up on me!  But evidently I do still have 1 fan and she has nominated me for Creative Blogger!  What an honor!  I've been reading other bloggers who have been nominated and let me tell you.... I'm always blown away at their artwork!  So to be thought of in that category is absolutely humbling and an honor.

Gail Gross who blogs at Greetings from Gail nominated me.   I have admired her work for a long time. She is so creative!  Be sure to go check out her blog!

When you are nominated, you are given some specific questions to answer.  I've really enjoyed reading everyone's answers but now it is MY turn to answer and I had to really stop and think about some of these!

What am I working on right now? 
Right now, my free time seems to be filled up with prepping for classes!   In order to have signups available for classes at my Open House in early September, I planned several events and created the artwork.   Almost all of my classes filled up for September through November!  I have my Annual Christmas Card Workshop coming up the first week of November.  I always offer 2 dates for this and both are full with 36 total attendees.  I expect that shipment of supplies to arrive later this week so once it comes I will be doing nothing but cutting, counting, cutting and counting and then packaging!  Once I get that done then hopefully I will have time to just craft for fun!

How long does it take me to create a project?
It depends on the project.  If I'm working on a card to post for a challenge, it usually takes me a couple of hours.  If I'm working on a project for one of my Girl's Night Out Events, this could take me a few days.  Sometimes I might have to leave it for a bit and come back to it if I feel like I'm stuck creatively. 
I get really excited when I create something quick!  Those are the most fun and really it doesn't happen that often!   
Image credit: Primitives by Kathy the15things.com 
What are my favorite things to create with at the moment? 
This is a hard choice really.  Can I just say ALL things Close to My Heart?  They really have the best products ever.  And since I've been with Close To My Heart as a consultant I've become a CTMH snob.  I just don't feel the need to use anything else!  If I MUST choose one thing then I will choose Compliments.  I love using Compliments for cards!  Sometimes I think people see the compliments and only think of them as 'complimenting' a layout or to be used instead of stamping!  They add so much dimension and make quick and easy cards!  And speaking of dimension..... I LOVE LOVE our 3D Foam tape - in both the regular and thin!  I always make sure that I have PLENTY of these on hand so that I'm not stingy with it.  (I tend to hoard things that I think I will run out of and that's not good at all!)  Ok, see I couldn't choose just one thing so I'll stop here and go on to next question.  Otherwise you will be reading into next morning!

How does my creating process work?
This one is hard to answer.  My answer kind of goes hand in hand with the next question too.  I'm always looking for fun techniques to teach and also more involved projects for my Girl's Night Out Events.  So I am always browsing blogs and pinterest for ideas.   If I see something I like but the timing is just not right for the project, I will make a note in my date book, Annual Inspirations Idea Book or file an email in my Inbox Projects folder.  When I see a stamp set that would work well with a particular technique or project I will note it on a sticky note in the Annual Inspirations book.  (My current book has LOTS of sticky notes!) Sometimes when I do this, I can't wait to try it out and I won't get it out of my head until I create it!  Many times the creative process portion of my brain works at night while I'm sleeping.  I have actually woke the next morning with ideas!  If they don't come right to me (like dreams - sometimes you remember a dream later in the day) they will come to me in the shower!  Crazy.... I know.   But I think the creative section of my brain has taken over other sections - like the sections for housework and cooking.   It's a shame, I know.  Thank goodness my girls are grown and not dependent on me.  My husband learned long ago there are some nights he has to fend for himself.
Image credit:  Not Just a Housewife
How do I become inspired and stay inspired? 
I keep a daily list of blog challenges that I will check first thing each morning.  Even on days that I know I will not have a chance to work in my craft room I will still check them out.  I'm constantly looking for new blog challenges to follow.    I follow many other blogs - most are Close To My Heart Consultants but there are several that aren't.   I keep up with them all by using Bloglovin'.  

What is my signature style?
My signature style?  I'm still trying to figure that out!  I think my style is a hodgepodge styles. Sometimes I see artwork and know immediately who created it because it is their style!  But I'm not sure than anyone could look at mine and immediately say "Oh that is Gina Brandstetter's work!"  I like clean and simple but then there are days I like to pile it on!  I think I will be experimenting with my style for years to come but that is OK..... that just means I will keep on creating to figure it out!

I hope you enjoyed reading this!  Now it is time for me to nominate two people that inspire ME!  

First I'm nominating my creative friend Mandy LaCroix.  We are always sharing our work with each other - through texts or emails.  Mandy has been my "Challenge Partner" ever since we came up with our daily check list for challenges!   Sometimes we will even text each other to say "Did you see......".   She is so very creative and she's not afraid to try new techniques!  She is becoming famous in the crafting world because she has been published more times that I can remember!  Not only is artwork great but her posts can have you in stitches as well because she writes in a way that we can all relate! Check out her blog at Scrappity-Doo-Da.

Next, I'm nominating my dear friend Krista Hershberger.  We first met when we both won a Spa Getaway in 2010 from Close To My Heart. The following year she was selected as one of the Extravaganza teachers at our Close To My Heart Annual Convention.  The following year she was selected again as well as I!  It was an exciting and scary time for me and she was so encouraging along the way. We have always stayed in touch getting opinions and ideas from each other.  Krista always amazes me at how she can really really think outside of the box.   Check out Krista's blog at Krista's Crafty Corner

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall is here.....

and yes, I'm still here too!  I believe this is the longest that I have left my blog "postless" since I started blogging!   So what is up with me?  Life.... it snuck up on me and started interfering with my fun time!  I've been doing what I need to get done for my classes but have had little time left for anything fun.  

My husband and I have been working on trying to get his mom moved closer to us (she lives 3 hours away).   This has proven to be a difficult task.   She has lived in her home for over 20 years and as you know..... we ALL accumulate stuff in that time frame.   And, when you live in a large home you might find LOTS of places to store stuff that you no longer need rather than actually getting rid of it.  My Mother In Law was a AVID crafter several years ago.... she loved trying every kind of craft you could imagine. She has all the tools and supplies one would ever need - from quilting, scrapbooking, book binding, painting, embroidery, smocking, french hand sewing.... you name it and I guarantee she has tried it at least once!   My girls loved to go visit her because they knew they would be doing something fun!  But her crafting time went by the wayside when my Father-In-Law was diagnosed with Parkinson's.  As the years went on his condition deteriorated and so did her desire to craft.   My father-in-law passed away a few years ago and she has finally decided that she is ready to move to be closer to us.  But even though she is ready to move, she is not ready to part with many of her things. This is a long slow process.  My husband and I have been traveling to her home over the the last several weekends to clean, sort, clear and get things ready to sell.  (I have spent the last two weekends just trying to sort through her craft room!)    In the midst of that we also working with a Realtor here to find her a nice small home that will be near us.  

This weekend we brought back one of her big crafting tables that she said I could have.  As happy as I was to bring it home, I knew that I must clean and re-organize my OWN craft room to get it in!  So, after working in her craft room all weekend, I came home and worked in mine.  After about 3 hours of moving things around I finally got things situated.  I'm anxious to get back at it!

Here are some pictures of my 'new to me' table.  I used to use a 5 ft folding table to craft on so this is so much better!  The sides can fold up or down (I'll be leaving them up).   I moved my white cubes to the front side and I really have just enough room to get an additional cube set which I think will make it much neater looking.    The wooden shelf on the left side is one my husband built that used to be along a wall.  

I apologize for the messy table but as soon as I got everything in place I began cutting and prepping for this Friday's Girl's Night Out event!

Check out my REAL Dental Assistant's chair!  It is a leftover from my Father In Law's Dental practice.   It's just the right height and its comfortable!  And when I don't want to sit, the table is the right height for standing which I chose to do when I was cutting for my event! AND I have plenty of space to lay things out (obviously by my mess!)

I love the drawer in the middle!  I've put my blocks and my remotes in there!  I used to spend at least 15 minutes looking for the darn thing! Now I'll know right where it is!   Also I now have a shelf to put my ATG on and another one to slide my paper trimer on when I'm not using them rather than throwing them on the floor!  

I hope you enjoyed my pictures!  It was the ONE highlight of my stressful weekend.  Hopefully I'll have a chance to do something fun in my 'new' room this week!   If I do, I'll be sure to share!

Monday, October 6, 2014

ShinHan Touch Twin Marker Blog Hop

Welcome to our ShinHan Touch Twin Marker Blog Hop!  This hop is featuring artwork created with the brand new ShinHan Touch Twin  markers from Close To My Heart.   If you have come here from Michelle Loncar's Blog you are on the right path! The blog hop is a great big circle, so you can start here and work your way around. If you get lost along the way, you'll find the complete list of participating consultant's HERE.

I used one of my favorite stamp sets for this blog hop - Rainy Day (Z1597) .  I'm certainly not a coloring expert but I have to say, that coloring with the new ShinHan Touch Twin markers is so easy! I only used 2 colors on this card - Cerulean Blue Light Marker (Z2449) and Pastel Green (Z2459).

I used the Sketch from Clean and Simple Stamping for my card.

Now it is time to hop on over to Heather Schmuckal's blog and see what she has to share!

Check out my Free To Be Me Pinterest Board!

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