I honestly could never have imagined that what I began would ever lead me on the journey it did. That one day I would be trying to explain to ‘non crafters’ that I teach people to color with ‘Textas’, expensive Japanese markers thank you… teehee and yes I have even flown all the way over to the United States to show people how to color. Honestly you have no idea how special I feel for little ole me to have been able to do that.
When I first began, I actually began selling craft supplies and one of the things I did was make little combination packs of copic markers that I thought would blend well together. I was still learning to colour well myself mind you so it is quite amusing ‘now’ to think I could make such suggestions. Haha
I also used to sit at my desk and make ‘hat pins’ with pretty beads and offer them for sale. There was a period of time where it was trendy to add pretty jewels to cards. I’ll need to see if I can find an example.
hahah here ya go…
Side track: After looking up this image from waaaay back in 2010 I am butting in here to share a couple of really early Copic attempts. When I first got Copic markers I bought them from my local craft store and they only had the ‘original’ markers. NO brush nib! I only had about 6 colours too and would mix them with pencils and markers I had at home. Haha here’s two cards from my early days of colouring. Of course it was a Magnolia stamp and even a Mo Manning stamp that I fell in love with at the craft shop.
Ok let’s get back to the memories…
I had also wanted to make my own rubber stamps and a good friend of mine was an amazing illustrator and so he began drawing for me. The little fairy house, mushroom house and boot house were some of the very first stamps I offered. At the time ‘digi stamps’ began to become popular and with my background in design and technical knowledge, I was quick to jump on this idea and began offering digital images too.
I soon realized that I didn’t want to be an online craft store selling other people’s products and so I transitioned into selling my own range of digital and rubber stamps. My pride and joy, my laser cutter, etched my first range of rubber stamps!! Later, I was able to have them beautifully made in America with red rubber. I am sad when I reflect back that I didn’t try clear stamps due to my own bad experiences with them because they really did end up becoming more popular than rubber stamps with their ability to ‘see through’ them.
My laser cutter also gave me the opportunity to design some beautiful embellishments too! I first began with grey cardboard and had so much fun designing all sorts of frames, flourishes and even a 3D animated Ferris Wheel! But being a Copic colourist, I always found it frustrating that I couldn’t colour the embellishments with my markers and so a few years ago, much to my excitement, I found a new card to use which allowed me to colour it with Copic markers! I could finally match my embellishments to my characters – and you got to benefit too! Hahaha
Over the years I have been fortunate to work with a variety of illustrators. Often I would be scouring the art communities looking for new talent or I would have a requirement that I would go hunting for. It was one of my favourite things to do and I would get excited to bring you new styles and images to colour.
But one of the most rewarding and memorable times of Make it Crafty was the era of the colouring challenges and the amazing people it enabled me to have in my life. My design team. Cue the tears… As much as I would like to say that these challenges were for you… They ended up being for the MiC Gals. We pushed each other beyond our limits. Strived to colour beyond our capabilities and then were surprised when we would achieve great results. I am honoured to say that some of the best ‘colourists’ in crafty land out there today… were once an MiC Gal.
Boy… there is just so much swirling around in my head. So many people to thank, so many people I should mention and then the fear of hurting someone’s feelings if I miss them. So I am going to chicken out and not mention names. You know I had considered contacting the past design team members to see if they would like to come together for one last challenge… and when I began going through the names and I reached over 50++++ amazing people who had been on my team at one stage or another I realized it would be near impossible. Hence why I can’t even begin to list them here.
One of the crazy colouring challenges between friends.
Through the colouring challenges, the fun banter between friends and my expert level of pushing people AND myself beyond our boundaries, (teehee) helped me to lead the way in bringing you beautiful folds on clothing, gorgeous long hair techniques, fun and imaginative backgrounds and I guess my most ‘famous’ contribution to the colouring world – No Lines. The day I thought up that idea was a bit of a game changer and took the crafting community by storm. I can’t believe that you can even buy ‘stamp pads’ promoting they are designed for the ‘No Line’ coloring technique now. Hah! Who’d have thunk it?! I should have trademarked it! BWHAHAHA
These coloring experiments lead to writing colouring tutorials for the Magnolia Stamp magazine and then on to writing in depth coloring ebook tutorials that have been so rewarding. To read the feedback and see the results so many of you have achieved through following those guides has made me incredibly proud.
Oh the memories. The live coloring on both Facebook and Periscope. Boy they were fun!! We had so many laughs. The opportunity to meet amazing crafty people from around the world at craft fairs and retreats! You know, I even had two customers many years ago drive a number of hours just to meet me when they heard I’d be flying into Sydney. <3
And as I mentioned earlier, the opportunity to meet some amazing people in America with my first retreat in Texas with the amazingly talented Barbara from Little Miss Muffet Stamps AND Christy from Tiddly Inks came too! And then to be invited to join Jennifer Dove in Arizona to assist with her Copic Boot Camp which is now so popular because SHE IS AMAZING that she holds THREE each year! It is an incredibly memorable experience and I highly recommend attending if you can.
The hardest part for me to let go has always been members on my design team. They are like family and have made me feel special arranging beautiful flowers and gifts for birthdays and one year they were so organized they arranged one of the MiC gals, Andrea, to fly from interstate and deliver them personally. I was in shock.
As I sit here and think about all those good times, I would be lying if I didn’t admit it makes me second guess my decision to close. Sadly though, my heart knows that this feeling will die again. I have tried to relight my desire a number of times over the last couple of years but I fail to sustain the enthusiasm. I realized that I was living in the past, rather than working towards the future and that it was time to let go.
So it is with sadness that I do say Good Bye to Make it Crafty, but I will hold onto those wonderful memories with a full heart. There is a piece inside me that feels it won’t be good bye forever. That with some time away, time to reflect and time to consider, I may return in a new light. I think it will be hard to completely pull away from teaching and sharing so we will see how time travels.
I am struggling for words to express how grateful I am for so many of you who have joined me on this journey and helped to make Make it Crafty possible.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for sharing your creations. Thank you for joining the challenges. Thank you for laughing with me and AT my goofy self.
Thank you for being a friend.
And that brings me to a special gift I have waiting for you. Three beautiful little fairies.
Place an order of any value before the store closes, and these three little fairies will automatically jump into your cart ready for you to save, print and colour. The MiC Gals have wielded their magic one last time, sharing their amazing creations using the fairies to inspire you.
PLUS I am colouring one of the fairies on live video and will try my best to make it available on YouTube to be watched in your own time.
Meanwhile… here is one I coloured earlier. 😉
Skin: E000, E01, E11
Hair: BG01, BG05, BG07, B39
Dress: RV06, RV25, RV29, R56
Background: 0, Y11, YG41
All colouring has been defined further using matching prismacolor pencils and then I used gel pens on top to add the ‘sparkle’ effect.
PLUS, if you follow the blog hop, leaving a comment along the way – be sure to read as some of the gals may ask you a question – I will be sending out seven surprise gifts, one winner from each blog stop. Winners will be announced on this blog post on Monday 2nd December.
I hope you enjoy the hop and I’ve decided that instead of ‘Good Bye’…
I’ll end with, See ya later mate!