Hello and Welcome! My name is Amanda and I've started this blog to allow me to share with the public my crafts, in particular my newly formed LOVE of card making and other paper crafts.
A little about me. I'm 32years YOUNG!! and am a single mum of a GORGEOUS 14yo son, whom has Autism. I am a Div 1 Nurse and up till 3.5 years ago worked in a busy regional Australian hospital casually in acute care. Unfortunately I was injured on the job, and even though I was able to get surgery done on my injured shoulder, and complete rehab... just as I was ready to return to full time work a year later I was REALLY unlucky to be struck down by a chronic vestibular disorder (balance disorder) which turned my life upside down and inside out and twirlllllllllllyyyyyy whirlllllllllyy... LOL. I experience severe vertigo on a weekly, sometimes daily basis, along with many other frustrating life altering symptoms leading me to have to give up the job that I loved, the life that I used to lead and to discover a new, less stressful, more home bound lifestyle...
But the good news!!! This is what led me to find PAPER CRAFTS....DISTRESSED INKS and COPICS!!!!!!!!
Brought up in a very talented crafty and arty family I have been around art and crafts all my life, and have done a variety of things over the years, when I have had the time!! including making stuffed felt owl and parrot mobiles, crocheting and cross-stitch... but I have not picked up a brush and painted since I was in high school.
Being chronically unwell and stuck in your house gets boring... REALLY BORING!!! and depression rates amongst people with vestibular disorders are some of the highest out of all chronic illnesses... and so after 2 years of being unwell and stuck at home, and realising I probably was NOT getting back to work, I started looking for something to amuse me... something that would distract me on my bad days, and give me some joy back in life... because Home and Away just wasn't cutting it no more :/
I visited my parents house one morning mentioning my dilemma to my mother... the QUEEN of crafts!!! LOL and she immediately set out into ONE of her crafts rooms to find something for me to do. She pulled out some rubber stamps and I ho'd and hummed... cause i didn't think "stamping" was "my thing"... but i sat there am fumbled through some of them and came across the most GORGEOUS stamp I had seen... nothing like the crappy old wood mounted ones I had previously known and seen before... This was SOOOOooooooo cute!!! A set that my mum hadn't even opened or used yet, that she received in a card magazine. But... stamping wasn't my thing...right!!! plus. What was I! going to do with a stamped image... So I put the stamp back and went home.
Bored that arvo, I rang my mum back and asked what the name of that stamp set was because I wanted to look up. "Wee Stamps" by Whimsy Stamps. So off on the internet I trawled looking for everything WEE STAMP related, and my goodness, did I find them!! The Whimsy Stamp store where I wanted to by EVERY stamp Sylvia Zet of Wee Stamps had ever designed, but I didn't!! and a heap of beautiful cards that were designed with these images.
So now I had my answer. THIS is what you did with stamped images!! A saying in my family used to be "The wheels turning, but the hamster is dead!... well my friends. my hamster was opening his eye's and twitching!!! Now I wanted to learn how to COLOUR these pretty little pictures!!!!
So onto the most advanced education system man has ever known!!!
YOUTUBE!!! -----------How to colour Wee Stamps-----------
*slaps forhead* yes people... a three year degree and this is what I wrote into youtube!! but it was now UNGODLY hours and it gave me EXACTLY what I wanted: Heathers Hobby Haven!
If you haven't visited Heathers Hobby Haven I thorouhgly urge you to do so. She is an amazing teacher of copics and distress inks... So it was 2am in the morning was when I finally dragged my eye's away from the computer now with a resolve that I was going to start STAMPING and I was going to paint with Distressed Inks.. :)
Well... That of course led to a WHOLE new internet search!!! , Now I did mention I have no job!! and I have a chronic illness, so I'm home on my own BORED a lot... so the internet is "often" *coughs..(always)* in use... to find out the costs of distress inks.. cause I was going to buy me a set. My mother owned Copics.. and I knew I had NO MONEY for them :( so the inks were def the cheaper option.
Once again visiting my parents, both who are traditional watercolour painters, they convinced me to NOT buy the inks yet
"Amanda step away from the credit card...do NOT press the paypal button on your computer!!" :)
and suggested that SURELY watercolours are similar to the inks, and within moments I was stacked up with a basic set of watercolours I could have, some brushes they didn't use, some papers of different textures, colours, sizes!! and told I could spend the day stamping with my mum's stamps and inks so I didn't have to lay out any costs to work out if i did in fact ENJOY this craft BEFORE spending money on it....
and that's it folks.... the start of a very expensive !!! LOL journey that led me to paper crafts. because I LOVED it, but of course wasn't 100% happy with the watercolours, they just didn't work the way I had learnt, from Heathers Hobby Haven Video's!!! :) and so one late evening in January after working with the water colours for about a month, I bought the whole set of distressed inks (or what I thought was the whole set at the time) and at the same time, I purchased my first lot of 10 rubber cling stamps... and ironically, after all that Internet trawling for Wee Stamps, my first stamps were from a completely different artist named Mo Manning. :)
Since then there has been many purchases...and an extremely empty savings account! but I WAS starting from scratch with this hobby, and whats the point of having stamps and inks, if I couldn't make a card, which led to the purchases of card stock, and patterned paper...and a Grand Calibur die cutting machine! complete with a variety of dies of course!! :) and the luckiest purchase of all in early February, a second hand set of 155 Copic markers at least then half the retail price. So while my bank balance is now empty, my heart is full of joy, and I now have something to talk about and share with my friends other than how ill I feel, and in the end, that's what the whole point of this was.
So Thank you for popping over. I PROMISE my posts won't be this long normally! although if you ask any of my friends and family they'll probably tell you I'm lying and I talk as much as I type, but I hope this gives you some insight into how I got started in paper craft!. I am extremely new to this all but hope to share my growth in this craft along with you.