Antique Sheet Music & Flourishes

15 February 2011

Life and Card Kits

I have been prompted to share some personal stuff with you today after a message from a follower wondering where I have been.  This is what I love about the paper crafting industry - complete strangers being aware of the fact that you have not been around for awhile.  Unfortunately life has been in the way.  If you have the time and want to listen to me having a moment then read on, if not then skip to the good stuff at the bottom of this post.

Four and a half years ago I began a journey of self, self, self!  Mostly it involved me going through a crisis of never following my dreams, of never indulging in my own needs and of me never having the courage to take a chance.  Besides my children and family the one thing I am most passionate about is paper crafting and so I decided it was time to start turning some dreams into reality.  My sister and I decided to open a specialty scrap book shop together.  Not just any shop.  A shop where woman could come and escape, create, enjoy good coffee and great company.  A beautiful shop with fantastic service, awesome lessons and up to date stock.

It was a huge leap of faith opening the shop and with absolutely no money in hand and many declined loan applications I convinced my husband to loan the money on our mortgage.  It seemed like a good idea at the time but brings me to my current situation.  Despite the fact that we have managed to keep our doors open, the shop has not made a cent of profit and it has been so stressful trying to keep the doors open.  At some point I think we both realised that it was time to let go but we just could not walk away.  It is so hard to come so close but at the same time be so far.  My sister and I have worked hard, made many mistakes, laughed, fought and cried.  This business has proved to be a true test of all the relationships in our lives and a real challenge to our own well being.  It has been the most difficult road that I have ever travelled and at the moment it is completely breaking me down.  It has also been one of the most fulfilling things that I have ever done and we have met the most incredible people and friends along the way.  I am so proud of our shop and in many ways feel like it really has been a huge success and personal fulfillment for me.  However, the financial situation just keeps getting worse.  Online stores offer prices we cannot compete with, the economy keeps getting worse and the bills are mounting.  We cannot sell the business under the current conditions and our debt is overwhelming us.  My passion for creating is buried under all the stress and I just feel completely numb over the current situation.  I know this is unrealistic and I am so grateful for my health and for all the blessings I have in my life but unfortunately money is evil and creeps right into your spirit.  It keeps you up at night, makes you feel nauseas, causes strain on your marriage, turns you into a very grumpy mom and steals your creative mojo.  It is time to let go.  It has been on my mind all week and I am now at the end of the road and not sure which direction to take.

We have another 5 months left on our lease and we are doing all we can to keep it going.  There is a little crafting happening in between though so now that my therapy session is over (thanks for being such great listeners) I can show you what we have been up to.

This set of cards was created using the American Crafts Botanique range.  The collection was on sale and although it is not a range I would normally gravitate towards I like the end result.

We used the Tim Holtz Alteration Paper Rossette die which really is such a pleasure and well worth purchasing.  I think I am going to get lots of use from it.

The sentiments were printed onto the paper and cut with Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Small.

We kept the cards simple and just added a few pearls, buttons and ribbon.

Of course we just could not resist adding a little Tim Holtz Tea Dye to the edges even though it really did not need it.

There are six cards in total.

Wow, that must be the longest and most emotional post I have done to date.  I am off to work tonight.  We packed 32 of these card kits and the classes are more social than work.  Everything is pre-cut and ready to stick.

Thanks again for stopping by.