Before I jump in and get started, I want to introduce myself.  Warning – this is going to be a VERY long post, so grab a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy the ride (or just skip my ramblings and go straight to the photos!).

Some of you already know me from my other blogging adventures or message boards or somewhere out in cyberspace or real life.  But do you know how crafty I am?  LOL!

My name is Pam and in 2010 I’m going to be 40 years old!  Holy cow – when did that happen?   I live in mid-Michigan with a cat that I don’t like very much in a house that perpetually needs to be cleaned up. Since childhood I’ve been an artsy fartsy type of gal.  In fact, as a child my parents started this tradition at Christmas time that we’d all MAKE each other a gift that we’d open on Christmas Eve.  Imagine the creations a 7 year old kid could come up with for her family members.  In my 20’s I worked with my mom doing craft shows and bazaars — in fact, if I counted up all the years I’ve done craft shows it’d be about 15 or so.  Then for the past 5 years I’ve stopped making my own crafts to sell and just helped my parents with their craft show booths – they are so successful it takes 4 people to run their space.  So crafting and creating is part of who I am, it’s in my blood and essential to my character.

First, a bit about why I’m starting the {Create} blog.

Like everyone else, my life is very busy.  I work full time as an executive assistant (aka: kindergarten teacher some days) and I have a horrendous commute of about 15 hours a week.  I’m also going back to school to get my degree in graphic design and I’m taking a full load of classes.  And I lead a local support group for other people who are on a path to weight loss too.  So yeah… busy, busy, busy.

The problem lies in the fact that I’m right-brained. Work, commuting, school – it’s a lot of left-brain stuff and if I let those things rule my life for too long I start to go a little bit insane.  I need a creative outlet in my life in order to keep a healthy balance for my spirit.  But who has the time for a silly little thing like arts and crafts?  Right – and that brings me to my point.  I want to TAKE the time for creative pursuits and make it a part of my daily life.  And by starting this blog, it’ll help me stay focused on this goal that is so important to me.

Silly Arts and Crafts?

Ok, so what will you see here?  Is it really about “silly arts and crafts?”  Gee, I hope not.  LOL!  Well, it’ll be about art and craft and creating and inspiration and projects and expression…. but hopefully it won’t be too silly.  Want to know what things I can do and hope to share here with you?

About 3 years ago I bought a digital SLR (Nikon D40) and I’ve been hooked every since!  Last year I joined a photography club that meets once a month and each month we have photography assignments to help develop our techniques.  In the past year my photography has improved SO much and my passion has continued to grow.  You can view my latest shots on my Flickr account anytime (add me as a friend and you’ll be alerted when I upload new stuff!).  Here’s a photo I took at the Dow Gardens (Midland, Michigan) Butterfly Exhibit this past spring.


One of my “New Year’s Goals” for 2008 was to learn how to knit.  And I did it!  Thanks to YouTube and some online knitting tutorial sites I was able to master the knit and purl.  Unfortunately I haven’t progressed much beyond the novice stage, but I want to learn more!  I immediately got hooked on knitting tote bags and purses using 100% wool and then felting them in the washing machine.  Did I say hooked?  I meant … full-out addiction!  Seriously, how much yarn can one person own and actually expect to use?  Ha!  In fact, I’ve got about 6 totes knitted that need to be felted — so with this creativity challenge, those bags go on the list of things to finish.  I don’t have a good picture of my knitting right now, but I’ll add one later.

I have been a scrapbooker for many years – maybe 15 years or so – and I even spent about 3 years of my life as a business owner making scrapbooks for other people.  But that business venture quickly burned me out and I had to give up the business and my love of scrapbooking.  I still have the supplies and I have an amazing scrapbook studio in the spare bedroom of my house (see below), but I rarely scrapbook anymore. BUT, there’s a whole other world besides just scrapbooking, right?  Papercrafting can include any number of things like making mini photo albums and bookbinding; card making; creating 3D shadowbox frames; altering mundane items into works of art and any number of creative ventures.  I have a gallery of my projects on Scrapjazz if you want to take a peek.

These pictures are:

  • An altered recipe tin I made for my Grandmother to hold her Christmas baking recipes.
  • An altered notebook that became an address book
  • A couple pictures of my scrapbook studio – these were taken right after I remodeled the room and before it got too messy.  It definitely do not look this neat and organized right now!
  • A couple scrapbook page layouts.  One of my nephew and brother playing XBox and the other of my Beautiful Grandma.

Scrapbook Studio & Papercrafting

I’ve always wanted to be an outstanding artist, but the drawings in my brain don’t match the drawings that land on the paper when I attempt to create them. This past semester at college I had to take a drawing class and learned some basic techniques that helped me get moving in the right direction.  I’ve also recently acquired my first Moleskine sketchbook and I’m determined to fill it – with much inspiration coming from online Moleskine communities and art galleries as well as how-to tutorials on new techniques (Mandalas and Zentangles are two recent discoveries).  Below are a few cartoon drawings from my class last semester.

Some Cartoon Drawings

This one is old and new for me.  As part of my job (and past jobs) I’ve often found myself as the resident graphic designer.  For the past 12-15 years I’ve used Microsoft Publisher to make posters, postcards, newsletters, advertisements, annual reports and any other thing that needed to be made. And now I’m in the process of learning the Adobe Creative Suite programs – Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.  I love the process of creating something out of nothing with a few clicks of the mouse.  And now that I’m going back to college to get a real degree in graphic design, I know my skill level will increase over the next several months. And aren’t you lucky that you get to see some of that progress?  Hopefully at this time next year I’ll either be done with my degree, or very nearly done – so this coming year is going to be a whirlwind of learning and creating.  I’m excited about it.

I’ve also dabbled in Digital Scrapbooking and have collected a TON (maybe 2 or 3 tons?) of digital scrapbook elements from various online designers.  As I learn more about how to use Photoshop, I’m sure this love of digital scrapbooking will also grow.  In the meantime, here are a couple layouts I’ve done in the past – these were my first ever created, I hope to improve my skills in the next year!

Digital Scrapbooking

This post is getting pretty long, so I’ll put a bunch of things in this category.  Other stuff I’ve done includes: woodworking, toile painting, jewelry making/beading, cooking (yes, it’s art!), sewing and general crafting. As we go along with this new blog venture, I’m sure you’ll see a few bits and pieces of lots of different things – consider yourself warned!

If you’ve made it this far, I’m impressed!  Thanks for checking out my {Create} blog.  Let’s create something together!