The “Power of Practice” Blog Hop

Hello friends! I’m so excited to be sharing a special collaboration blog hop with my fellow crafty friends collab FB group as we share our own personal progression on how practice over time can help to increase your confidence and skills within your crafting journey. (blog hop links are at bottom of post.)

So please grab your favorite beverage and join us in this fun and informative blog hop that shows how “the power of practice” can be utilized in your own crafting! (highlights are done in red.)

  • I would like to start off by stating each person’s experience is their own journey and will run on it’s own pace which is something that we all need to be aware of and patient with.  Some particular skills will take much longer to grasp than others and you need to take it easy on yourself without harsh judgement.  Just enjoy the process and have fun with it!  (That was and still is the hardest thing for me to learn.)

Although I’ve been paper crafting for the last 20 years or so, I’ve been involved in several different crafts throughout my entire childhood or since I could hold a crayon in my hand!  My grandmother as well as my mother has passed down their experience with crafts which I learned from and picked up many others along the way including what I love today.  So some things I do may already come naturally for me without recognizing where it came from because it was taught to me long ago.  There are some things, however, that I’ve had to spend the time learning.

Now taking classes aren’t the ONLY way to learn something for sure!  Good ole “Trial and Error” are great for learning and gaining personal experience from…which I tend to learn the most from actually!😁  Another thing that helps is new tools/products to help make the process easier or look more “finished” or “professional” in nature.  When I first started with my stamps, there was not a common heat tool for instance.  I had to heat emboss over a stove!  So times have changed as well as techniques and inspiration. Inspiration is EVERYWHERE over the Internet too!  Many people have so many clever ideas…I wish I could keep up with them all!  Some things may not be of interest to you and others may intrigue or intimidate you.  Find what interests you the MOST..at the time…and work on it because you will love learning about it which means you will gain more knowledge from it.  You don’t have to share with others what you do as long as YOU enjoy what you’re doing.  Do what feels right to you and your journey.  It’s never about others, it’s about YOU!

 

I feel like I could write an entire book on just this matter, but since this is a visual craft, it’s better to “see” with your eyes sometimes or show how things can come together…or not!🤨

I’m starting with a photo of a card I had made back in 2007 when I had already been a year into having a blog and was still a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator at the time.  Even the technology of simply taking a photograph has improved tremendously over the years…

crafting encouragement singleNeighborhood_by_basement_stamper

I no longer have most of the products used here and I had to lift the photo from my Splitcoaststampers gallery as they have stored my oldest photos I have anywhere.  This was the first place that I shared anything I made online. (There are 124 pages of my gallery and if you look through, you will see the progression over time.)

 

Now I could really criticize myself and pick this all apart, but it was part of my process at the time.  And at that time, I was happy with it.  It looks like I’ve colored with ink pads and a blender pen, cut out the images with scissors as well as cut fringes of the grass border. (tools have improved since and many purchases have been made as well!😊)    As we move forward, I can share how I updated that design today:

Vicki-CraftyChefs and POPhop

What I have decided to do was to take the photo of the older card above and make an updated version of the same design, but with the mindset and techniques that I’ve learned since.  You can see that my coloring has improved as well as the different tools and items that have been updated to help with my design execution.  I still used similar colors, similar layout design as well as coloring an image, but just maybe updated the look from the practicing of not just the coloring over time, but the practice of just cutting the layers and putting things together as compared to years past.  Just meerily putting together card after card has helped me with the practice and made me better aware.  So you can see how just putting together a card in general, with practice, can help improve skills!

  • Another tip I find helpful is to join your fellow crafty friends in groups and collaborations like this blog hop as well as other groups which is what I’ve also made this card for, called “The Crafty Chefs“, where we take turns coming up with a new “recipe” to follow each month.  There’s no pressure, just a group of friends coming together, learning from each other through challenges, and inspiring one another as we enjoy our love of crafting!  For me, this is a huge deal.  Check out the link above if you’re interested in joining with us!  It’s still fun to craft, but it’s even better when it’s shared with someone.  So here’s the September Crafty Chef’s recipe that our head chef Linda has come up with for us to use:

Crafty Chefs Sept recipe

(I have used ALL of the “must do” items and then added a couple of pearls from the “can do” items.)

I have found that within the last several years, many people enjoy watching video tutorials on You Tube..which makes sense because seeing someone actually doing something or putting something together is a better way to learn rather than just seeing a finished photo of a project.  So to see how I’ve made my latest card for my son’s birthday, check it out below or CLICK HERE to view on my You Tube channel:

Hopefully through the video you were able to learn a few things that you can incorporate into your own card making.  Sometimes we can improve upon ourselves by even trying to recreate something we’ve done in the past and add some new things you’ve learned along the way.  It’s a great way to see how far you’ve come along and not be so critical of yourself to remind you that you are always learning, as I still am right now as well.

 

I have to chuckle at this card for my son’s birthday as he is a fun-loving jokster that will appreciate this along with the fact that it’s a bear image.  He was nicknamed “Bear” in his school years, so I thought these Big Grumpy products from Taylored Expressions would work perfectly for this!  I’ve also used the Big Grumpy Birthday stamps to go with him along with the other products used in my video above.

For the sparkle, I’ve taken some Stickles Star Dust glitter and added to the birthday hat as well as the center of the bow in the present.  I used a glitter brush pen over the balloon and bow.  I added dots to his cheeks, hat and the present with a white gel pen.  I forgot to mention in the video that I’ve added a couple of brown pearls to the blue strip so that I added something from the “can do” list for the Crafty Chefs recipe!😉

I really hope that this post was helpful as well as enjoyable for you and that you received some benefit for taking the time to read over it.  I know that I will be looking forward to seeing what my other crafty friends have to share and inspire me with!  I think there is something to learn from everyone no matter how long you’ve been doing it.  

  • The power of practice simply means, to me, being able to refine your skills into something that you want to be better at, take in more information or take it to the limits of your ability.  This is done by repeating often and over time to increase or add to your knowledge of what you’re trying to improve upon. If we are not trying new things, then we are not learning or growing as individuals.

Please be sure to check out the following crafty friends’ blogs below to see their take on this blog hop concept:

Thanks so much for stopping by my friends and I’ll be seeing you again soon!

Challenges:

  1. Inkspirational – Birthday PhotoChallenge221
  2. Crafty Friends – Anything Goes
  3. Crafty Calendar – Anything Goes
  4. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends – Anything Goes
  5. Dragonfly Dreams – Happy Birtdhay Traci!
  6. The Corrosive Challenge – #9 Sept Anything Goes
  7. Creative Moments – #198 Anything Goes optional:  Make it Funny
  8. AAA Birthday – #17 Animals & Critters#17 bottom badge
  9. Creative Craft Cottage – #133 Include and Animal
  10. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge – Humorus/Fun Card

51 thoughts on “The “Power of Practice” Blog Hop

  1. It amazing how much we learn and how far we come without realising it. Allowing yourself to make mistakes is the biggest part of learning and growing and not being too hard on ourselves to strive for perfection. Love the new and updated card but they were both great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh what a fun idea. I like both cards very much. I think one thing that I didn’t learn right away was matting. It really makes a difference in how professional a card looks. However, I think people commented on how much they liked my cards earlier when they were more amateur. Maybe they are just used to them now. Not that I am professional, I have a lot to practice still.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Heidi for sharing that! I used to think that I “needed” that feedback for someone to tell me it looks fine, but just enjoying the processes and what you like for your personal tastes are what counts the most of all. Having crafty friends are a bonus!! 🙂 HUGS

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    1. Thank you for dropping in Katy! Although I’ve been doing this thing for 20 years, I’m STILL learning and I’m sure will continue to do that! There’s just so many things out there not to! 🙂

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  3. I don’t go kn blogs often because all I have is a tablet and some of them are too small for me to see! After watch g the y ou tube video I just had to come to your blog…Fantastic post and adore the cards!!

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  4. I don’t usually go to blogs as I only have a tablet to use and sometimes it is way too small for me to see! After watching your youtube video I just had to come to your blog! Fantastic post and cards!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post Vicki – I always learn so much from you. We all started somewhere and we’ve learned as we go and gathered essential tools along the way. Love this fun little card and how it came together for your son’s birthday. We all find inspiration from somewhere, and you’re a great teacher for all of us! May you have many more crafting years ahead of you! Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carol, I appreciate your kindness so much! I’m honored to have crafty friends and people stopping in to let me know that I have inspired in some way. This is the only reason I’ve bothered to share anything online. If I can inspire or help out a fellow crafty friend, then it’s worth it! 🙂 So glad you’re with me! HUGS

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  6. Great to be on the hop with you my friend! Your card is fabulous, and it is so fun to see how everyone has developed over their time crafting. You have so many great tips in your post. And that Crafty Chef group sounds like fun – I’ve sent a request to join 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s so fun to look back and see how far we’ve all come with our card making adventures… Awesome post and what a cute, cute card!! I love that image and your coloring is absolutely gorgeous my friend!
    Hugs, Tammy

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You know, Vicki, when I read your post it was as if I am reading a motivational book. Where I am being asked to address the points that I need to work on. And then you said I could write a book and I was like oh my god this is exactly what I thought ‘she can write a book! she writes so well and she put the point across so nicely’ After every sentence of yours I stopped and made a mental note and I am so glad that you said few things which are absolutely essential that to remember- Do what feels right, for you! Absolutely adorable card and a great take to your previous make. Though I loved that as much, that fringed grass is a cool idea, but yes now no one will think of that with dies available. Sometimes I feel, more products kill our imagination and capabilities of experimenting 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ishani, you’re such a sweet person! Thank you so much for your kindness! I truly appreciate that and I’m thrilled to have gotten to know you recently through our shared craft jouney! I’m thrilled that it was somehow helpful to you! Crafty hugs! 🙂

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  9. The most awesome and fun card. I love that sentiment! Thanks for playing at AAA Birthday, hope to see you join in with future challenges too. Stay safe and keep crafting!

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  10. I love the journey, Vicki! I’m not sure I’m willing to share my creations which go back to the early days of card making. I look at them now and just shudder. lol So glad to be part of the Crafty Chef group with you. It does inspire me to reach for things I’ve not yet mastered (or even experienced in many cases.)

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  11. What an incredibly motivating, inspiring, from-the-heart and confidence-building post, Vicki! The evolution of your crafting journey is a joy to read…and it’s great to know that, no matter where we are on the path, we’re on it together. Thank you for sharing and, especially, for caring enough TO share, to encourage others!
    Your card: oh my stars! LOVE LOVE and LOVE! I don’t have any grumplings in my collection but after seeing yours, they’re getting moved higher on my wish list! Delighted to see this smile-making gem in the Inkspirational gallery!
    hugs~carol

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  12. Super card, I’m sure it made your son smile when he received it! Thank you for joining in the Crafty Calendar Challenge this month. Good luck!
    Liz xx

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  13. I know many crafters who have made that journey from newbie to confident stamper always on the lookout for new skills to learn and master. As a teacher I always encouraged my students to strive to be life-long learners as that is the key to a happy and successful life in my humble opinion. I know it has brought a great deal of richness and joy to my life.

    I love your fabulous grumpy card! It is awesome. I am always inspired by the amazing work you do, Vicki! Keep on keeping on! The things you share are part of my learning!

    Like

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