It is no secret that in the world of card makers I feel an unworthy participant. I marvel at the creations my fellow papercrafters put together with apparent ease and what must be some kind of divine inspiration. When I receive my monthly swaps I'm often left open mouthed with awe at the fabulousness that arrives through my door.
Here's the card that won. A simple design using Crumb Cake base, Real Red mat with a strip of black shimmer ribbon and a sentiment from the Pretty Labels bundle stamped in Basic Black and cut out using the punch.
Rather than shy away from the card making challenges which the community presents I decided that if I was to leap in, have a go and just enjoy it I might also develop some skills and techniques and find my own personal style along the way.
That's something I didn't really appreciate before, but the seasoned hand crafted card magician often does have a certain style which comes through in a lot of their creations. Not to say that the card creators don't demonstrate versatility because they do of course but there are often styles which emerge and which they may not even be aware of. But then we all have our go to's I guess in whatever craft we pursue. I didn't really realise that before and perhaps I just needed to find my card making style instead of considering my simplistic, unfussy attempts to be amateur and not worthy of public display. I definitely didn't think they were put out there as serious competition for the more adept and experienced card maker.
So I've joined in swaps and challenges and because of them I can see that I've improved and I can also see that my style is emerging and the reason I found really elaborate cards so daunting was perhaps because they just were not 'me'. Trying to make one would leave me frustrated and disappointed and wondering how I could possibly make such gorgeous materials look like something fit only for the shredder. I didn't even register that they were just not the kind of thing I make and that was OK.
I find that I love the elegance of crisp colours and clean lines, I enjoy accenting classicly simple cards, just a little to add something special rather than filling the space with pattern and colour. This is my emerging style and to find out today that such a card which I'd forgotten I'd entered into a competition run by The Joy of Sets Facebook group last month had actually won, really blew my mind! Well at least it made my day. I feel so humbled that one of my peer card maker's chose my card out of the amazing designs which were submitted.
I've learned a lot from this challenge and that is that no matter how meagre you feel your attempt is, no matter how basic your offering seems, as long as it is made with good quality materials and some thought it can stand out amongst the very best as a fabulous creation to someone. Maybe not everyone but someone and perhaps a few more someones too.
I've remembered that the world would be a pretty imagineless place if we all created and appreciated the same things and so there is a space for everyone to put their work out there. Be brave have a go and you may just be surprised at what comes back at you. Even if you don't win, you will definitely learn and to me learning something new, especially about yourself IS winning.
Have a great week. Hope the sun is shining where you are.