Friday, May 25, 2012

Blog Launch! (Beware: It's a Doozie)

Have you ever thought about doing something new, and then dismissed it because you thought you weren't "good" enough, or that you couldn't commit to it? That's how I've felt about the prospect of starting a blog for the past few months. But this morning I was explaining to my kiddies (girl, 12; boy, 9) tomorrow's huge Huge HUGE bloghop event at Operation Write Home (hey, my very first embedded link!), and when my boy asked if I was part of it, I had to say no because I don't have a blog. He then told me I should start one, and I guess something clicked, because here were are! I think it has to do with that thing about how an idea becomes more "real" once it's spoken out loud...

I chose the title "Every Page Counts" because it's a play on two of my favorites: card-making and literature. Paper stacks have pages and books have pages, and every page has its own worth (even if you have to turn it over and use the white side). My love of literature helped me find my profession, and I'm very proud and excited to be graduating from Saint Joseph's College next week with a B.A. in English, a minor in Philosophy, and my initial certification to teach grades 7-12. While I'm job hunting and playing with the kids this summer, I'll no doubt be making a ton of cards for America's servicemen and women, which in turn gives me plenty of content for this blog. I expect posts to die down come September, however, because I'll be teaching. I consciously don't use the word "hopefully" here because that supposes a possibility that I won't be teaching, and with the job market the way it is, I can't afford to entertain the idea that I'm not good enough to get hired. But enough of that...

I've been making cards for Operation Write Home for a little over a year, and before that, I was pretty much on my own for the six months I played around with the Cricut Expression I inherited from my grandmother. There was about a month in between where I was religiously following Kristina Werner, who I found through a Google search for "homemade cards." Yes, I didn't know how popular card-making was as a craft - but boy do I know now!

One day she mentioned OWH in a post about where she donates some of her cards, and when I followed the link... well, let's just say I might as well have been born again. There were design sketches ("You mean I don't have to spend 10min per card just for rearranging components anymore?"), adhesive tips ("What is this foamy stuff, and where do I get some?"), galleries ([Swoon] "I hope one day I'll be able to pair 3 different patterns of paper like that lady does"), and new ways to use ribbon ("Ok, no more true bows for me. The ends won't cooperate!").  Well, after I all but starved K and D because I was either glued to the computer or up to my elbows in paper and ribbon, my cards started getting incredibly better. I posted a few on the FB OWH page (I can't get over these embedded links!) and the ladies were more than supportive, which got me motivated to try other new things, which necessitated a crafting budget, which didn't work and ended up putting us on the streets. Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but I have had more than my share of crafters guilt in the past year... just enough to put the stuff I buy to good use... only to run out of it and need to go get more. It's a vicious cycle, isn't it?

So in celebration of my blog launch and to show what the ladies and blogs of OWH has done for me as a growing paper-crafter, I though it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane. Here are some of my original creations pre-OWH and a link to my more recent ones. Feel free to pat my head and say "Aww, Rachel... you're so cute" as you laugh. Trust me, I'm laughing too. But hey! I didn't know! ;)

10/2011 - The top two are mine, the bottom are DD K's. Yes, I tilted the g's on purpose to make them fit. AND I sent them out to relatives for the holiday. Also, that turkey isn't cockeyed, he's dead. There's a pencil drawing of my sister (now a sergeant in the Army) and her "machine gun" next to it. Very creative, K!

4/30/11 - Still trying to figure out the ideal card size and how to use border stamps. Actually, I'm still working on the latter.
Spring 2011 - Yes, I did this. I knew it wasn't great but I couldn't figure out a better way. Come on... we all make mistakes!

5/4/11 - It's a good thing my mom loves me. She was very gracious.

7/19/11 - The first card I was really proud of because of the mixed patterns. I still have it as a keepsake.
4/30/11 - All designed by yours truly. I don't remember how I used the space to the right of that grass, but those are yellow stamped birds... ill-proportioned ones too!
8/2011 - Now I'm getting somewhere!

Whew... are you still with me? I hope you're not scarred for life, either from laughter or really, really horrible art. Some of my more recent ones I posted to Flickr in reply to various OWH challenges. And I guess from here on out, this is where you'll find the rest of them. There is so much more for me to learn. For instance, I showed my man a video on heat embossing and we both oohed and ahhed [hint, hint, honey]... then there's the stamped images I'm too scared to color ... and  to be completely honest, what I'd really like to be able to do is merge my too passions and design some digi's with classic literary quotes. Whether they'll be appropriate for OWH or if I'll get over my design handicap is unknown, but I guess time tell!

Happy Memorial Day weekend and thanks for visiting!


  1. Congrats on your new blog! Nice job embedding links. I enjoyed reading your post. Don't be hard on yourself when it comes to card making. The more you make the better they will get. And don' t spend a fortune on supplies. Add a little here and a little there. I would have a bucket of money if I could repay myself for stuff I have bought and never used.

  2. Welcome to blogging! I got my blog as a Christmas present last year and it took me until this month to do my first embedded link so "Good for you Rachel! You're on a roll..." For me, part of the appeal of a blog is the history it is leaving behind, ie: my lagacy. Never underestimate the importance of your words and art to the generations to come. Happy blogging and we will visit again... :)