Monday, 2 October 2017

What I Love About Papercrafting Challenges

In case it's slipped your notice, I love to enter papercraft challenges and swaps. I thought I'd explain why and what it is that I get from them considering that I really don't have time in my day to enter them but I find it. I get more from entering the challenge than I would if I didn't take that little time out to make something and so I do it.

This card was an entry into a green themed challenge at the Joy of Sets Facebook Group


Firstly What is a Papercraft Challenge?

It's just what it says on the tin. When one papercrafter or even a company or a group of paper crafters set out a challenge to other paper crafters to make and share something which meets specific criteria. Sometimes there are very loose criteria like make a card, other times the criteria may specify something like the stamp set you must use or a colour that has to be included. Have a look around the crafty blogsphere and Facebook and see what there is.

My first winner in a red themed challenge


Why Do I Take Part in Them?

The main reason I take part is so that I can practice and develop my skills. I'm not a paper crafter with years of experience I came into paper crafting late through other crafts. It was a way of making gift bags and boxes unique for my customers who purchased other handcrafted items such as candles and crocheted goods. So the more I practice the better I get and the higher quality products I can package up my other creations in.

I'm not a card maker, in fact my attempts are still very basic and I acknowledge that I'm a novice. To be honest I stopped sending and receiving cards personally a long time ago and so for me to now be making them is quite a turnaround. I do enjoy making cards to develop skills and techniques but more than that I take inspiration for colours and pattern for my 3D projects by trying my hand at cards. I love sending and receiving them now more than ever before so the bug really has got me. I think in a world where everything is mass manufactured and everyone is striving to be the same and to keep up with trends it's good to be unique, different and to put something of your personality into something hand made.
A Pootles Hop Challenge To Make a Card Using Only Stampin' Up! Current Products

Another reason I take part is to hopefully inspire other people who are not very good at card making or paper craft to give it a go. So that the challenge sites are not filled with perfectly exquisite creations which most of us would take a long time and lots of patience to even come close to replicating let alone designing on our own, I enter my amateur creations hoping that other amateurs feel more inclined to have a go.

I love crafting. I've always loved crafting since I was a little kid. My family are quite artistic, especially the boys and even though I could never produce anything of their standard it was fun to just get involved anyway. Crafting has been a big part of raising my own children and now they're grown up I need a reason to do it really. I love a bit of gluing and sticking and find that the activity really releases stresses caused by other aspects of my life and challenges give me a reason to get creative and test out my emerging talents.

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator I have quite a stash of products to showcase which I've acquired quite quickly and there could be a real danger that I'd never take a lot of it out of the packets and give it an airing if I didn't enter challenges. Making boxes and bags can become quite samey but through challenges I stop myself from sticking to one tried and tested style, I offer tons of variety, something for every occasion and am really familiar with my stash as in I don't leave anything untouched because the challenges inspire me to dig deep into it and make use of it.
A Happy Stampers Team Swap Challenge, Summer and Texture Themed


Finally, I'm all about not only encouraging people to craft as a stress buster and life cushion to rest on a while but I love the development of online communities, I love how technology has brought our world to our doorstep and how we can network with people around the globe with a common interest. I enjoy participating in the online community and again challenges give me that opportunity to get to know other crafters and to form online and sometime real life friendships and bonds. I also love being involved in local communities in person but do really love the online element of crafting and how that world filled with inspiration and talent opens up.

It's all win win. Even if I don't win the challenge (which to my surprise I have done a couple of times now) I win anyway because I gain so much as a crafter and as a person from taking part.
A wedding card using a Just Married stamp for a J themed challenge


You can flick around my posts and see the challenges I get involved in and if I had the time I would definitely do more, hopefully in the future I'll not only have more time but I'll have some killer skills to display. For now I'm a happy amateur and I don't care if my layers aren't straight or my embellishments are a little out of kilter or I get a bit of ink where it shouldn't be or have to stick a bow on something to hide a smudgy gluey finger print, none of it matters to me when I'm making something just for fun, it's the taking part that really counts and I just love taking part. I save perfection for commissioned work.

An exotic themed card


Thanks for dropping in. I've littered this post with some of my entries from previous challenges which I hope you enjoy.

Andrea x

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