Taking the Scenic Route

I love what I do. I love meeting the awesome enthusiasts across the world who share the passion for paper crafting with me. I love seeing the creativity that other artists (yes, you’re an artist too) release on their work. I also enjoy shopping for the supplies I feel inspired to use when I create. The supplies I use are not always found within the standard paper crafting arena, and I find that using alternative supplies spur my creativity to places I hadn’t dreamed of.

Wednesday evening, a package arrived from Scrappers Bliss loaded with new products I had been drooling over. One of the lines I was most excited by was released at CHA Summer by Scenic Route – specifically the Cape Town line. The “Which Way Black” and “Table Bay Floral” were two that as soon as I saw them I immediately wanted to have. I decided to shoot a message over to Sarah Milne (Scenic Route Creative Genius and owner) to share my excitement and thrill over them. They really are incredible papers.

The following morning, with my new purchases on my mind, I looked at their site, and realized how much of the different Scenic Route products line I love and own. I love to create. I love to create for manufacturers. I decided to enter their Design Team contest. The deadline for submissions is today, yes the day after I decided to enter. To submit, three layouts need to be sent in.
I sketched out 5 layouts, and decided what elements I wanted to incorporate into my design from work (all on break and lunch time - of course). I went home after work, got dinner ready, ran a few errands with Kimberlee and got my Sonic groove on (Large Diet Coke, extra ice) so that I’d be set to jam on my layouts.

I sat down in my studio, popped in a movie (The Producers), and started my marathon. I finished the first one (Loving You) and loved it. I finished the second one and started on the third. As I was cutting my papers down to match my sketch... I had the most unusual thought – at least for me. “Why are you doing this?” was the thought I had. The other was, “Why are you entering a Design Team contest?”

Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find an answer to either question. I know that for many, it’s the free products that draw them in for design teams. Although the free (or discounted) products are a great bonus, it’s the joy of seeing the products and my work together in a way that promotes the product that rings my bell. The free product just isn’t a draw for me. It’s not the notoriety either. I know that for some crafters, it’s seeing their name on the manufacturer’s or online store websites – though it is nice, it’s not a draw for me. Sometimes it’s the thought of (and sometimes imagined) prestige that draws them in. It’s not something I crave either.

Realistically, don’t have a lot of extra time. In fact, if you’ve read my blog recently, it’s something I really don’t have at all. I’ve started to lose the passion for paper crafting over the last little bit. It saddens me. It’s something I love – something I have a true passion for . Sometimes, when you’re focused on creating for others, and you don’t incorporate yourself or your personal life into your work – the work you want to do for yourself tends to go by the wayside. So, you’re focusing on creating for them and not for you. Your albums sit empty. There isn’t anything created for yourself.

With this new found thought on my mind, I finished the third layout, turned out the lights, and went to bed. I didn’t submit for the team.

I’m going to focus on creating for my family – for us. I’m going to focus on our life, the different little memories I have of us, the memories we share and that if they don’t get documented will go by the way side. I’ll continue designing for the companies I currently work with, but I’m not going to look for additional work. If it comes to me, I’ll think about it, but I’m not going to search anymore.

I will continue to love products. And I will continue to purchase the products I love that inspire me. I will continue to create and share my love of this incredible hobby with others. I’m going to change my focus – the focus I imposed upon myself – and create for a different reason. This is something new for me – something I haven’t done (my own fault) in at least 3 years.

If it just so happens to be that something I’ve created fits a publications call – FANTASTIC. If it doesn’t – FANTASTIC! I’ll have albums loaded with layouts and memories that I love. Albums I can look through with my family and friends and relish the fun times we’ve had together, and the fun memories we share. I'm going to work on taking the scenic route through my albums!

The End.
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