Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sources of Early Encouragement

I read a post today where a person felt they had to defend themselves for using another person's idea or layout in order to create their own cards.

They gave full credit to the originator of the idea and I always feel that when credit is given, it shouldn't matter that you've gotten inspiration from someone else's idea or layout or colours ... after all, something like this usually happens because the person is so amazed and impressed with what you've created.

I most certainly believe it's NOT right to try to duplicate any person's work and try to own is as my own and enter a contest or some such thing with it.

When I first began stamping in Feb 2009, making some sort of *attempt* at copying a card was the ONLY WAY I could start! 

During my whole life, I always had no creative talent at all and trying my hand at creating from scratch literally scared me so much I was almost afraid to try.  Borrowing ideas from others at least encouraged me enough to TRY doing my own.

Eventually, I was a bit braver and decided to set up a blog and challenge myself ... even if no one else was the least bit interested in what I was doing.

I don't remember just when, but at some point last fall, I came across Susan Raihala's blog and her simple yet amazing style was a huge encouragement to me, as was her comment under the Legal Stuff section in her sidebar -- and I'm quoting here --
  • Content of this blog is intended for personal craft use only. Feel free to copy my cards to send to your Aunt Matilda or Grandma Jane, and feel free to make my day by telling me about it!
  • Please don't steal my pictures or copy my cards for profit or contests or publication.
I also came across Jo's blog when she shared a scalloped circle card that she'd made based on instructions from another persons's blog and just seeing such a sweet card encouraged me to try it myself.  I was so thrilled that although I didn't have the same equipment, my good old craft punch did the same thing!

Without the benefit of classes that I could attend in my local area and not having any *crafty* friends to fall back on for help, what followed was a series of searches for tutorials online so I could learn more on my own and I think that's the main reason I love the various challenges ~ they help to *stretch me* out of my comfort zone!

The icing on the all this cake has been meeting other crafters as delighted and passionate about card making as I am and being a small part of a wonderful creative community!

Blessings to all who have listened to my mini *rant* :o)

The beautiful photo is by Friedrich Strauss courtesy of


Linda Callahan said...

I love your rant and totally agree! I am not artistic at all and learn from everyone else - and I also love Susan Raihala's blog :)

Jacynthe said...

you are so *sweet*! Cyber hug to you :)
Thanks for your kind words.
I was afraid I'd have to stop blogging but I will keep going forward.

Nancy said...

I agree wholeheartedly...thanks for speaking up.
Thanks again for the lovely card, you are a very accomplished card designer (and in such a short time too).
blessings to you,

Amanda said...

Totally agree with you! I so love your 'clean' creations - I still want to try my hand at 'copying' one of them. Love the picture at the top of the post - it is just beautiful.
Have a wonderful week!

Dallas said...


Thanks for your support ~ it was just something I had to share when I read the post I referred to ... if you feel you're not artistic at all, you could have fooled me! Your cards and designs are fabulous!



Glad my words could be of some encouragement to you ~ it's how I really feel and after reading your post, just had to make one of my own :o)



Glad you agree wholeheartedly!

You are so very welcome with regard to the card I sent for April CCC ... I loved doing it and receiving one myself from a far country!



Thanks for your comments on this *rant* as well as on my *clean creations*! Feel free to 'copy' anything you see ... I love that photo as well and use it often, with full credit to the photographer :o)


Blessings and Happy Crafting to all,

Susan Raihala said...

If it hadn't been for copying, I never ever could have fallen in love with cardmaking. I was not very creative initially, and used other people's scrapbook pages and cards as springboards for my own. I always changed something up, but no way could I have done most of what I did without the inspiration of more creative people than I!

Over time, I started to feel more confident and less dependent on others, but I still feel amazing inspiration from the huge community of stampers who share online and in publications. The card I made for today's post on Christmas Kraft is simple enough that I could have come up with it myself, but a few weeks ago, Kelley (keuby) posted her card on SCS. I favorited it and definitely thought of it when I made my version. Even though my card is different from hers, acknowledging her influence was the natural thing to do.

Sometimes we are unconsciously influenced and simply don't remember the source or even that there WAS a source, especially when keeping things simple! But no one should ever feel defensive about acknowledging inspiration. Just think how flattered the original artist will be!

Thanks for your rant!

Dallas said...


I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've shared!!

Thanks for taking the time to offer your comments and thoughts on something that I hadn't dreamed could cause problems in the stamping community that thrives in blog-land :o)


Dotty Jo said...

Hi Dallas, I think that sharing and being generous is part of the joy of blogging for me. I love it when I know that I have helped, supported or inspired someone - what could be better? Isn't that what life and friendship is all about??? Hugs, Jo x

Dallas said...


I couldn't have said it any better than you have!!

Monica said...

Dallas, I admire your honest confession... but you will not be surprised to know that I started making cards when I was eight or ten. And am almost 44 and still look for inspiration!

In the past ten years, I must have churned out over 500 cards and the proceeds have gone to charity.
Do visit my blog again... I am not as experienced as you ladies out there but am trying my luck with blogging.

Dallas said...


I only started in Feb 2009 and seeing other people's creations and layouts was what inspired me and guided me.

I wrote this post because some woman in blogland was feeling very down and depressed about people actually telling her that she should NOT post or have a blog because she often used the ideas and layouts of others as her inspiration! She ALWAYS gave them credit and a link back to their creation that inspired her so it wasn't like she was trying to steal from them.

I simply wanted to have my say and let her know that many others have done what she's done and that she should NOT give up blogging!

Thanks for your kind comments!

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