Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Reflection on My Stamping Journey

Hello friends! 

Today's post is a little reflection on my journey to stamping and blogging. I apologize for my frequent posting over the years. For those who have stayed and followed me after all these years, thank you so much for accompanying me on this amazing journey. These days I still post cards nearly daily! If you told me 10 years ago that I would stamp full time, blog 24/7...I would have given you a funny look! I can't explain... It all comes down to one word: crazy, obsession, "passion."

A close-up of my most recent orchid card.
DSC_0098 (4)
With this post, I want to encourage those who are beginners in stamping/card-making. You see, I am not a natural born stamper. It took me over 3000 cards (check my Flicker here) in 8 years to get to the level I am at today. I do not proclaim to be a super stamper, but I sure am not a spring chick either.

My stamping journey does not read like this: 
"Virginia discovered stamping just over a year ago and has since made many awe-inspiring cards. She has won major card-making contests, challenges, and recently became a stamping artist in demand."

Instead, my stamping journey reads like this:
"Virginia discovered stamping nearly 20 years ago and has been fascinated by it. She has entered countless challenges and contests, with many failures. But no matter how good she feels about each card, Virginia strives to make the next one better! She is passionate about trying new techniques that intrigue her...blah blah blah." 

You see? I am not a natural born stamper!
I want to leave you with this quote as it is just the perfect food for our stamping thoughts:

Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good.”
- Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

Now for a little trip down memory lane....here's my first upload over Flickr (circa 2008).
Orchid flowers
Back in the day, there was no MISTI and I certainly did not have any stamping positional tool nor did I know of any. All I could rely on was a well-designed wooden stamp. I even attempted Generational Stamping! Boy, I thought I was pretty clever!

My cards today (April 2016).
 you brighten my day 
 Since my tools and supplies have increased in leaps and bound in the last few years I can do some fancy stuff with my dies, inks, embossing folders, and paper.
lots of love
Things have changed quite a bit since 2008. Dies are so popular now and they sure make everything "easy." The only stamping I did here was the sentiment. It may look CAS, but it is definitely more sophisticated than my earlier work.
Here are the steps I took: 1) spray paint, 2) make die cut, and 3) assemble!

I hope that by sharing my stamping journey you will be encouraged to take your time and hone your skills!

 Stamp on and have fun! Remember to enjoy the creative process!
- Virginia Lu, a stamper

Thanks for stopping by!


Lynn said...

Love reading about your journey Virginia. I too have been stamping for about 20 years! it all started with Creative Memories and Stamping' Up. Love, love, love to stamp!

Dawn Turley said...

very thoughtful post Virginia. I never tire of visiting your blog. You are inspiring to me. Keep going Virginia.

Suzanne said...

I love your cards, they are very beautiful and your blog is inspiring. Thank you for sharing!!!

Susi K. said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, Virginia! I've been a follower for some time, and will continue to be, because your blog has a personal touch to it that I enjoy. Your blog is not always about cards - it's about life and the passion you have for your hobbies and family. It's amazing when we look back at our first attempts at making cards, as we get to see just how far we've come. Yet we look at other crafter's card creations, and realize how far we still have to go. What a wonderful journey to share together, right?

jan metcalf said...

Love your new orchid card! Thanks for sharing your passion with us!

Tracy Freeman said...

I am a new follower and loved reading this, it was like my stamping journey...it's nice to know i am not the only one who wasn't a natural stamper. I love your creations and hopefully will get to see lots more.
Have a great day xxx

Happy Dance said...

As a child and young person, I was good at 'stick people.' Anything else, not so much. I started out scrapbooking, and had friends who made cards, but that wasn't for me, lol, I was sticking to scrapbooking! Years later, when DH spent way too much $$ on Valentines for SOME of the grandchildren, I knew I had to start making my own cards. You're so right about practice. Once you find your niche, or style, it's all about keeping at it. After a while, new tools and techniques aren't quite so intimidating. And to find this card making world out here in blogland has been a blessing. Thanks for sharing your path, and it's always a pleasure to visit your blog and see the wonderful creations you've made. Today's orchid card is no exception; it's lovely! Bev

Harriet said...

Your post is very encouraging. I do think we often forget this "craft/hobby/obsession" is a journey. Thanks for reminding us .. like all journeys it's step by step. It is so easy to become frustrated especially as new and unique items are introduced. These items often require more technique than many of us are capable of doing. However, this blog installment reminded us all that the first step is the beginning of the journey and the end isn't in sight. Thank you Virginia. I love your cards and have learned a lot from you.

janice hilton said...

Oh, what a wonderful journey for you to share. There's no greater inspiration then a story about "where I was, and where I am today". Thank you sincerely for your ideas, tips, troubleshooting and most definitely, your gorgeous creations. :-)

Lisa's Creative Niche said...

Yay! And we sure Re happy you just keep sharing all of your wonder fullness with us!

Anita in France said...

What a lovely journey down your card making memory lane, Virginia ... I think so many of us can relate! As long as our passion for our craft continues, the practice, practice, practice advice is also fun, fun, fun! Thanks so much for your continuing inspiration ... your orchid card is, as ever, beautiful! Hugs, Anita :)

Jessica Frost-Ballas said...

Wonderful post and reflection Virginia! I have loved seeing your journey over the last three years since I discovered you on Flickr! I can't wait to see your next 20,30,40 years!! 😊

conil said...

Practice has certainly made you perfect...as always, love it when you reminisce and remind us that it truly is a journey. By the way, you are definitely rocking this orchid stamp.

misty said...

Wow Virginia,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It's so encouraging for someone like me who is trying to get going in this business.


Your journey sounds familiar. This is my second year creating cards. I'm getting there......it's fun to try the techniques all you gals on various design teams teach me. I am also an avid scrap booker which I have created 19 scrapbooks of and for my grandchildren. I've got two more years to scrap my granddaughter....junior and senior years of high school. Then I will be solely a card maker. I'm doing both at this time.
And Virginia...don't apologize for blogging....I love that you do. I've yet to try that, I feel I'm too old to learn...(age 72). HA! I just better stick with cards and leave that blogging alone. I give my cards away as gift sets and I'm complimented every time. Thank you Virginia for all that you create and share. Also I love DR. John's photos...so I hope he continues to share. Btw....where's this springs birdies?

Patt H. said...

Your cards are awesome, Virginia! Thanks for telling us about your journey. I have been stamping since 2002 & ,boy, have my cards changed! I think having lots more great toys to create with plus all the inspiration from awesome blogs like yours is a real game changer. Thanks so much for sharing all your wonderful creations!

alexandra s.m. said...

Thank you for this very interesting and introspective post Virginia.
I have been and always will be your biggest fan and you know what?
I love the "older" cards you have just shared with us. You had the eye and the ingenuity right from the beginning!


foleysfriend said...

Thanks for this post, Virginia. You give me some hope. Although, I really like your "first" attempts, I can see how your skills and talents developed. I love your creations. I'll continue to practice; good thing paper is recyclable!