Creative Blog Hop continuing…one post at a time.

Greetings and welcome to another edition of the ongoing and ever active Creative Blog Hop.

Not your usual blog hop format as each week a blogger posts a project, answers 4 specific questions about their artistic process and has also invited a couple more artists to join in a set of follow on posts a week later.   A sort of creative chain of posts that appear one at a time in a variety of branching chains but without a long menu of participants at any one time.

You can follow the chain back by clicking on each link from the post the week before and discover a wonderful new set of blogs and projects to inspire you.   The hop is not confined to any one companies product though if you know me well you know that I’ll be using my beloved Stampin’ Up! products.  Lots of CASEing possibilities on the hop as you follow along.

My thanks to my dear friend Miss Marsha Reed who hails from Iowa with her Coffee Pot Stamping Cafe Blog.  Here’s the link to her Creative Hop Post that I’m honored to follow.

Birdhouse Dreams - CASE by Jean Fitch of Jackie Topa

Here’s my project…a CASE (copy and share everything) from another wonderful stamper Jackie Topa.   You can see Jackie’s original post (and a smashing video that gives all the details) here.

February is the month for hearts and not just because Valentine’s Day falls within its scope. Winter is half done (in most parts of the country – lol) and the fires of life, love and a wish for Spring come springing up (yep…that pun was intentional).  The perfect month for dreams of every sort.   I found the Stampin’ Up! small paper stack “Moonlight” the perfect expression of that feeling with its warm and vibrant colors with coordinating patterns on both sides of the paper sheet.

If you are not feeling quite so “heartfelt” here’s another simpler version.  You can send as is or add a sentiment when the card is ready to send and you have a better handle on the sentiment required.

Moonlight Birdhouse - a CASE by Jean Fitch of a Jackie Topa original

and the interior still waiting for it’s added sentiment and message:

Birdhouse Interior

Supplies:

(combined for both cards but easy to tell which is which…only the punches and roof and heart cardstock are different…the Designer Series Paper is the same paper stack.)

Stamps: Loving Thoughts (ret.)

Ink: Blackberry Bliss, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake

Paper: Natural’s Ivory (3-3/4” x 11”), Blackberry Bliss, Old Olive Cardstock (3”x 3”), Moonlight Designer Series Paper Stack.

Punches: 1” Circle, Small Heart, Large Heart (ret), Bird Builder, Itty Bitty Punch Pack (ret), Word Window, Modern Label.
You can substitute the newer Sweetheart Punch or the Heart Collection Framelits for the large heart and the current Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pak has a small heart in it.

Other: Big Shot, Stripes Embossing Folder(ret.), Simply Scored Scoring Tool, Diagonal Scoring Board.
The Woodgrain, Argyle or other folder can be substituted if you don’t have Stripes folder.

I’ve also provided my own set of written instructions that include the following close up pictures to help you see how the folds go together.

Bird House Shaped Card CASE by Jean Fitch

Birdhouse 1  Birdhouse 2

Birdhouse 3

And now…to the interview questions…I’ll try to keep it short.  LOL:

1. What are you working on now?

A set of projects for next Saturdays Stamp Camp in Central Point, Oregon that will highlight a variety of specialized stamping tools such as the Gift Box Punch Board and a Ttrifold card with a die cut window to show off my newest stamp set Sheltering Tree from the Occasions Catalog.  A group affair with my upline and Sideline (we run our monthly events in partnership) and our customers – a fun group of ladies (and the occasional gent) who love stamping and fun food (thus our famous potluck!).   A tad tricky to plan since the event is on Valentine’s Day but doesn’t specifically focus on that occasion though we will be making the latest Paper Pumpkin Valentine Treat that should be very fun as one of the bonus projects.

Of course I always have projects from a variety of sources and schemes in progress.  Just hopping from blog to blog seems to add to the inspiration.  Not to mention viewing catalogs, videos and the many inspiring stamping products out there.  In the back of my mind I’ve been working on a new fold idea but that’s still in the trial stage in odd moments.

2.  How does your work differ from others in your genre?

I’m not entirely sure that it does overall.  Though in general I go for simplicity of line and fairly uncluttered in style.   I love to work in so many styles and with so many techniques it’s always a guess what you will find on my work table.   I find inspiration online, in catalogs and just dreaming at night – surely at least one of you reading also dreams stamping and stamp project designs right?  Please tell me I’m not the only obsessed stamper who can’t stop designing when the eyes close and slumber begins.

My friends will tell you that one of my favorite things is to have someone ask…what can I do with….(insert stamp set, die or other stamping equipment)…and I’m off to the races with ideas.  Some practical…some not so much but always a fun endeavor.   Another favorite thing is to see what’s sitting on my table in the way of unused bits and pieces and see what I can create…rather like one of those Craft Wars shows with limited supplies.

At the moment I’m entirely enchanted with folds and different die cutting techniques not to mention trying to see original ways to use every image in a stamp set for any and all occasions.  Trust me…it CAN be done!

3. Why do you create what you do?

Joy.   The joy of the creative process and the rush it brings as well as the joy found in sharing that same creativity with another person.   I’m also a spinner and weaver among many other fiber crafts and the sheer joy of working with color and texture (whether fiber or paper or other medium) makes me happy most days.   I never thought of myself as a creative artistic type person since I can’t paint or draw worth a darn though I do a mean doodle in the margins of many papers if you won’t think I’m bragging.   Writing yes…or music…that makes me feel creative but art…nope that wasn’t me.   Then I discovered my passion for color and texture in the fiber arts and I was on my way.   A troll through a magazine introduced me to Stampin’ Up and the world of paper crafting planted itself in my heart and mind and I’ve never looked back.   I’m still growing in all my creative endeavors and mediums.  If you’d seen my early work compared to today you’d see what I mean and hopefully see the joy involved.  Whether starting out or continuing down the road it all comes back to joy!

4. How does your creative process work?

Very, very messily.  And most often when I’m up against a deadline there is a certain amount of stress involved if I haven’t cleaned up the previous creative mess making session.  That’s the practical side of my process.   The overall process begins with the mind, the eyes and an assortment of inputs whether conversations, dreams, a troll through my shelves of stamps and dies or catalogs and a seed of an idea that I want to accomplish.  A broad outline such as…it’s March…and Easter will be coming up though I’m not ready to part with the Christmas holidays just yet but I must move on.  LOL

If an original idea doesn’t spring to mind I may surf through various online galleries, blogs, Pinterest and so on and see what that sparks.  That may end up with my doing a direct CASE (with a few changes of stamps, punches and so on – or not) or seeing something that sparks an aha moment of original or semi original creativity.

Funny thing is, I’ve discovered over the years that just like knitting where I think I’ve come up with a brilliant (and original) new stitch pattern…I discover it was out there all along I just didn’t know it.   It’s still satisfying to make something to your own design, believe it’s yours, share it with the world and then discover that others had the same thought at the seemingly same moment.  How cool is that…perhaps a collective unconscious that brings it to the top all across the planet?  However you want to explain it…it happens more than you might think and each person has experienced the creative original moment many times with no other inputs than their own imaginings.   In a world of CASE that may not always be easy to verify but I believe it happens…because I’ve experienced it.  In a sense the wheel was always there waiting to be brought forth…whether from a scientists mind or the mind of one who has watched a rock roll end over end and said aha…and it has been created and recreated in one form or another, in one culture or another…over and over again.    Hm…was Eve a CASE of Adam…or a totally original creation…or just descended from a chimp template…you decide.   However it worked…there was a creative impulse that allowed for unique differences and was an expression of Joy!

**********************

I hope you’ll go out today and discover your own creative impulses that lead you to joy.  In whatever medium you choose…remember the fun of those early days when finger painting anything and everything was all about the paint, fingers and a certain amount of creative mess on the paper that could be anything you dreamed.    I don’t know about you…but I still have one of my kindergarten finger paintings (my Mom framed it) and I still see many things in it’s now fading colors and curves and it brings me joy to connect with that younger self who didn’t worry about ART in capital letters but was busy learning the art of creativity and joy at it’s simple best!

The next participants in the hop are my good friends and former hop buddies (anyone else remember the Hanukkah Hop with fondness from a couple of years ago?) Miriam Permut and Andi Potler.

Both will be posting their amazing projects on February 16th.  I can’t wait to see what they have to share.

Here’s where you will find them.

Miriam’s blog – My Ink Pad

Andi’s blog  – Absolute Kreations

Trust me…if you aren’t blog followers now…you will want to sign up with both these talented ladies after perusing their blogs.   Enjoy the rest of the ongoing hop.

Blessings and joy –

Jean Fitch in pink

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4 Responses

  1. I am loving your bird house card, thanks for the link to Jackie’s tutorial and video and for your wonderful tutorial!

  2. This is so darling and clever. What a fun card. Love the use of the striped embossing folder on the house. Too cute!

  3. […] blog hop, which features different creative bloggers each Monday. If you aren’t coming from Jean’s blog, please do be sure to stop by and see the adorable birdhouse cards she created, complete with great […]

  4. I love these adorable cards, Jean. Such a fun fold, and the hearts look so sweet. I always appreciate your beautiful pictures and clear instructions.

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