The Myth of Creativity 

In all my years of blogging and teaching paper crafting – and in teaching hundreds of card makers  around the world – the #1 thing that I hear, over and over again is this:

“I am not creative”, “I am not artistic”, “I can’t come up with my own ideas”,  “I don’t know how to take an idea and make it my own”.

Different ways of saying it – but ultimately all saying the same thing.  “I am not creative!”

I am here to tell you that this belief is absolutely, NOT TRUE!

There is a wide-spread misconception about creativity that is perpetuated almost everywhere we turn.

The first definition of creativity you see when you look at the  online dictionary is “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas.”

Below that, it lists the “Full Definition of Creativity” as the quality of being creative, the ability to create. If you dig further and look at “create,” the dictionary states that to create is “to make or produce something, to cause something new to exist”

Most people mistakenly interpret “new” as “original”.  They are NOT the same thing.

When something is “original” it is “the first of it’s kind”

Whereas when you make (i.e. create) something – you are making something new. “New” meaning – you brought it to life, so to speak. It was not in existence, in EXACTLY the same way before you made it.

In the grand scheme of humanity and the billions of humans that populate the earth – there are relatively few things that are truly unique and original.

Let’s bring this a little closer to home. Let’s look at this in the context of crafting. Almost all of our “hottest trends” today – right now – are things that have been trendy in the past – either in exactly the same form, or in a slightly different form. Sometimes from within the same industry, other times from another industry.

Look at Multi-layered stamping – it used to be called 2-step stamping.

Or look at watercolouring or other mixed media techniques – they have taken the paper crafting world by storm in the last few years – but these products and techniques have been around forever in the art industry.

Remember paisley and plaid?  First we saw them incorporated into fashions. Then they made their way into papers and stamps. Then they disappeared, then they emerging in clothing again.

None of these things are “original” or “unique”. Does that mean they are not creative? Or that they are not being used creatively?

Absolutely not!

Creativity is not a talent. It’s not a gift. It is an element of every thing that you do.

It is a part of who you are.

Creativity is not something you learn.

Look at a child. Give them crayons, colour pencils, markers, scissors, glue and paper, and they create.

Certainly you have to teach them how to hold a pencil and how to use a pair of scissors safely,  you have to teach them to colour on paper instead of a wall. You may even have to teach them a few techniques (how to draw a circle, a square a triangle).

What you do not have to teach them is how to express themselves creatively.  They just do.

It’s when people come along and starting giving opinions, critiquing, maybe even criticizing – not necessarily maliciously – perhaps with total love and intent to help. But it’s when that begins to happen that they start doubting themselves and what they are creating.

Over time, that child becomes the adult, who no longer “feels” or believes they are creative.

You ARE creative. Believe it, wholeheartedly.

It is there – inside you – you just need to learn how to release your creativity.

That’s what I am here for.

I have been where you may be now.  Believing that I didn’t have a creative bone in my body.

Look at where I am now – embracing my creativity, and continuing to grow and develop creatively.

How did I get to where I am now?  Trial, error and experimentation, learning, trying, reflecting and then starting over as many times as necessary. Eventually I created a process for myself.

It’s not one step, or two steps, it can’t be accomplished in one day, a week or even a month. It’s ongoing and ever-evolving.

But it can be done, and I will be showing you how.

In the meantime though – this is the truth I want you to embrace – you are creative.

Tell yourself this: “I am Creative”

Every day. Write it out, type it out or stamp it out using some fun fonts and colours. Create multiple copies. Stick it up everywhere you spend time – stick it to your bathroom mirror, in the kitchen, place it on your night table, or frame it and hang it up above your bed.

As many times as it takes – until you stop telling yourself (or others) that you are not creative.

Now go and do it.

Right now!

If you need to kickstart your creativity – join my free 5-day ecourse to help jolt your Creativity Back into Gear!  CLICK HERE to sign up now.

Building a Focal Point

Building a Focal Point

Clean and Simple card design requires one and only one focal point. A clear place that your eye is immediately drawn to.

Look at your card and imagine it in three equal parts, your focal point should be placed in the first or third part or between 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 as shown in the pictures below. Your focal point should never be placed the the center of that 2nd panel, it is said to be unappealing to the eye and does not draw your eye in as a focal point should.

Once you place your focal point, you have more freedom design-wise. Here you can do your embellishing, as much or as little as you’d like. Everything should be built around your focal point, adding to it and not drawing the eye away from it.

Let’s look at my sample…

140219 - Building a focal point


I have placed my focal point between the 1st & 2nd panel. My butterfly serves as my focal point. The contrast of the Powder Pink cardstock against the Early Espresso and Whisper White really makes it pop.

Now, I kept my focal point simple, but you could do so much here …embossing, patterned paper, a row of rhinestones, a few small flowers…as long as you keep the rest of the card clean (white space!) you can go crazy on your focal point! You can even stamp your sentiment on the card base leaving you more room to add interest to your focal point, like I have.

The card above uses one of my fall-to-layouts! I use this design often, moving my focal point to different areas. Here are a few sketches to help you get started.

Your sentiment can be placed on the strip, just below the circle or in the circle.

I hope I’ve helped you define a focal point in CAS design!
If you have any questions, please ask!

Smart Shopping

Smart Shopping 

Do you consider yourself to be a smart shopper? I have one thing I always keep in mind when I do my smart shopping and it’s a secret I call  “5 before I buy”.  Before I buy something I make sure I can think of five (5) ways of using it.  This way I can make sure I make wise choices plus it also helps me with my creativity.

So here’s the secret, whenever I get a new catalogue and find a stamp set that I  like … I often will put a sticky note on it with some ideas including sketches on how I want to use it.  So this is great for when my creativity is just out of whack  I can grab this off the back and I know where to start.

Smark Shopping

I put the sticky note on the back of the product before I put away, so that when I’m ready to create I just grab it out and I have some ideas ready.  Again, I don’t always do the post-it note trick but I find that when I do it, it really helps me to use that product, so I’m trying to get into the habit of doing it every time I receive my order to add a post-it note with ideas.

5 Before I Buy

Here are 5 tips to help you come up with 5 ways to use a stamp set or product before you buy.

  1. Can I alter?  The first one is can I alter this product, can I do something to change the look of it or can I use it to alter something I already have?  Then I can get more uses from it and other products.
  2. Can I use with a tool? Can I use this in combination with a tool I already have.  Can I use this in combination with my die cut machine, or an embossing folder, a punch or my Stampin’ Blends.  I find I can get more uses if I combine my tools.  Because tools never go away.  Say the product I’m considering is a tool for example a die, I try and think of different ways to use that die.  If I can use it with things other than paper, like maybe felt or fabric, so I try  to get multiple uses out of it.
  3. Can I use a technique?  I love techniques, they’re a great way to stretch your product and stretch your creativity, so I try to think if this product would be good to use with a technique
  4. Is it my style? Sometimes its fun to buy things that ain’t my style but sometimes that limits me creatively.  Or if its something that feels like it works with me, I know I will use it alot more in the future.
  5. Do I LOVE it?  Sometimes you just gotta get something because you absolutely love it.  But this tip I usually put on the back burner I try to think about how I can use my stamp set with the other tips I’ve given.

So what better way to show this than with an example.  I’ve taken one stamp set and share with you five (5) different ways to use it.  The stamp set I’m using today is “Birthday Wishes for You”  


Creating a Watercolour Wash with ink pads and aqua painters.


Colour blocking – stamping across two solid colours of cardstock


Colouring image using Stampin’ Blends


Stamping directly on patterned paper


Watercolour Pencils and Blender Pencils


Next time you’re looking to purchase a new item, brainstorm multiple ideas.  Use the five tips I’ve shared to help come up with new ways to use your stamping products.



How to Clean Your Stamps

Back to Basics: How to Clean Your Stamps

One of the best habits to get into, is to always clean your stamps in between colours and once you’ve finished using them  before putting them away.  By taking that extra little time you will ensure you don’t contaminate your ink pads and/or get muddy images when you stamp.

I’ve created a video series to help share with you different methods for cleaning your stamps

General Tips for Cleaning Your Stamps

Getting into the habit of cleaning your stamps is essential – in between using different ink colours as well as before you put them away. This video will share with you the general things you need to know about cleaning your stamps.

Cleaning Your Stamps with Baby Wipes

In this video you will learn how to clean your stamps with baby wipes as well as the pros and cons of using this method of cleaning.

Cleaning Your Stamps with a Paper Towel

In this video you will learn how to clean your stamps with a paper towel  as well as the pros and cons of using this method of cleaning.

Cleaning Your Stamps with Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub

In this video you will learn how to clean your stamps with Stampin’ Up!’s Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub.

Click the images below to purchase your Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Mist in my online store.

I’ve shared a few different ways you can clean your stamps.  Comment below and let me know which method your prefer to clean your stamps,