It's Not Just Crafting – It's Expression through Art

I am not a crier – I'm just not.  I don't cry at Hallmark or Folger's commercials, or while reading a sad book.  It takes a lot for me to cry and today it happened.  And I didn't even realize why until I finished this card.

Card making should be a happy thing, right?  I say it all the time.  And it was today too, just in a different way that smacked me right upside the head.  I am going to share a part of myself with you right now, and if this isn't your thing, I understand if you don't read on.  This isn't the type of thing I can call someone and talk to, this is something that can only come out as I write it.

I met a lady almost 7 years ago that changed my life.  It started with my business and spilled right over into everyday life.  We met at a craft fair, she was selling for a make-up company and me, I was there with my stamps.  I was scared.  It was my first craft fair.  It was right after I had quit my job to be a work at home mom when our daughter was only a few months old and I had no confidence that I could make this work, but had all the pressure of having to make it work.  This lady was talking to people and helping them with their issues, and she was really listening to them.  I was amazed and felt even less confident thinking that I could never be like her.

I had always been confident in my previous jobs, but not with this.  I didn't see what I was doing as contributing to others or society as most of my previous jobs had been.

I had all but quit that day in my mind and for some reason, I asked her how in the world she could do what she was doing.  I don't know why I asked her, but it changed everything for me.  She took me under her wing and helped show me that I was helping others, even if it was for “just making cards”.  It was a way for me to provide others with an escape, with fun, with creativity and that I should never see myself as anything less.  She helped me really start my business.

This story could go on for pages and pages.  But you needed to know why she is the topic for today.

About 2-1/2 years ago, she needed to make some hard changes in her life, and felt the need to disconnect from everyone.  I never faulted her for that, I couldn't understand completely, but I was never hurt by it, just sad and missed her.  We had grown into such close friends and she was such a role model for me.

Today we talked.

And talked and talked, and the 2-1/2 years disappeared, like we had talked last week.  In the past, I had tried to tell her how much her influence and guidance and motivation meant to me, but today I wanted to blurt it out at the beginning of our conversation, just in case we got disconnected, the world ended, anything – because she really changed me and I needed her to know that!  And if we went another 2-1/2 years, I needed her to know that she is freaking awesome and how grateful I am!  She opened my eyes and pushed me to be me, and to simply connect with people using these little wooden blocks that hold rubber images.  I am forever grateful to her.

We got off the phone, and I had to get something on my blog for today.  I had no idea what you would see when I started today.  I have spent most of my week being “mom”, as Emily has really needed me this week – that is why you haven't seen anything since Monday.

As I stood in front of my cabinet after getting off the phone, I reached for a stamp set that I have never used before.  I have had it for two years and today it called to me.  The other supplies were coming out, and the tears started falling.  The initial color was pink, and it didn't hit me until after the card was done what had happened.

This card is her.  It is all her.  It is pink, and it has embossing (her favorite technique), it has bling, it is bright, it is fun, it is wild, it is confident, it has a girly scallop and the sentiment is exactly how we started out years ago.

I don't believe that I have ever made a card through this form of expression before.  This is art because it has feeling with a different depth.

And as I sit here and type this, and continue to cry, and try to figure out why I feel this need to share this all with you, it is confusing and clear all at the same time.  It's more than just wooden blocks and rubber images, it is ART!  It is an amazing way to connect with our feelings, our thoughts, our sadness and joy.  It is powerful, it can even move you to tears.

These are tears of joy and happiness of reconnecting with a person, not just clicking the ‘friend' button on Facebook!  I hope that she and I stay in touch as we said we would.  There is now a physical distance between us, but I really don't think that is going to stop us.

Here is the card that moved me to tears today:

expression through art

This is all her, it just is.  If you know who I am talking about because you have met her, you are nodding right now.

If you have made it this far through this posting, I urge you to create today.  Create without a plan, go with whatever you are feeling.  Because it isn't just crafting – it's expressing yourself through your art and I don't want you to miss that opportunity!

If you are a member of Stamping Family, please share what you create in the gallery.  If you don't know how to upload your images, there are tutorials in there and you can also ask me for help.

Wow, I also had no clue that I would go into Stamping Family, but here it is.  This site was started to create a place for people to connect, to share, to laugh, to grow, to play, to inspire, to take pieces of paper, with blocks of wood with rubber images on them and turn it into a community, or better yet, a family!  It is a place for you.  It is a place for you to share you and what you create.  And if you aren't in there, we are missing out.   If you want to learn more about it and connect with others, click here to find out more.

Carve out some time in your busy life to create.  You know you feel better when you do!  Whether you are a brand new paper crafter, or you having been stamping since before stamping was cool, you do it for a reason.  I am off to get a Dr. Pepper and a kleenex, maybe snack, and then I am coming right back in my room to keep on crafting!

My friend, if you are reading this, you are good, you are amazing, you make people feel special regardless of their weaknesses, you are just OSM (and since you haven't been around, you don't know this, but that is how Emily spelled ‘awesome' when she was 6).  That's it, you are OSM!

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