A site for my handmade cards, accompanied by my photos and written meanderings which are occasionally witty, often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely profound. Beginning in June 2013, you'll also see lots of NBUS, which is an acronym I coined for Never-Before-Used-Schtuff. Note: my Privacy Policy can be found at a tab below and you can find my NBUS Challenge online. I hope you'll join in the fun there! Thanks for coming by! Have a beverage and enjoy!

August 4, 2014

The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH)

Hello and welcome to a fresh new Monday!

Today's post is especially long and chatty and especially special, IMHO. To be perfunctorily honest, it's the epic-est epic post I've ever done and I've done some doozies, so be warned! I hope you will relax and enjoy your favorite libation while you read along. You'll be pretty well in your cups by the end! Today I'll be talking mostly about meself! (You long-time followers have already seen a lot of this.)

First the Back Story.

I'm here today as part of a hop that's spreading through Blogland called The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH). TCBH is the brain child of some wonderful enlightened blogger. Unfortunately, as TCBH has progressed, the originator's name has been dropped. If anyone knows who the originator is, please let me know, so I can give her/him credit. As near as I can figure from hopping backwards, this hop began among crochetists (crocheters?). Since then it has spread to include all kinds of artists: watercolor, paint, mixed media, and card, as well as writers, photographers, and all sorts of needlework artists.

The idea is for us, as Bloggers, to get to know each other better and it is resembled after a simple game of "Tag, You're It." Each Blogger answers four questions about themselves and afterwards they "tag" three more Bloggers and so on and so on it goes. How fun is that?!

The hop is only held on Mondays.

(Just FYI, there are knock-off hops going around called "Getting to Know Me" and "Blog Hop With a Difference," which is fine. They are structured similarly, but some have different questions, so there might be some confusion as all these hops hop all over Blogland. It's all good as we get to know each other better!)

My Tagger

I'd like you to meet the kind and supremely talented young woman who tagged me. Her name is Bibiana and her blog is Stamping With Bibiana. Bibiana is from Colombia, South America; she has also lived in Mexico and France and currently lives in northern California. Bibiana has been making cards since 2008 and blogging since 2012. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. She is a designer, teacher, and writer for Memory Box, as well as for many other companies, websites, and challenges. She is an award-winner and an educator. She has a YouTube channel, and you can find her on every social media known to man. She is an instructor in card art, Copics, stenciling, and organization, and she also has loads of tips and tutorials on her blog.

Bibiana is so energetic, intelligent, and professional that I could never replicate all that she does in this post, so please do bookmark her website where you can find tabs with more information about her talents, her bio, and her passion for card artistry. To say she brings a lot to our stamping community is a huge understatement!

Bibi tagged me in her post here. Thank you very much, Bibiana! I consider it a huge thrill that you even know my blog exists, so it is a tremendous honor to be tagged by you to carry on this hop! Mwah! 

My Interview.

On the left, I'm in the garage in a 2006 photo. I started making cards there back in 2001 after attending a Stampin' Up workshop. On the right, it's six years later in 2012 and I'm comfortably crafting in my amazing little cottage Playhouse in the backyard. 
My Playhouse
It is a well-deserved haven after making cards for eleven years in that dank, dirty, cold/hot garage, lit by a single overhead florescent light and the wee light that came in from a north-facing curtained window in the side door over by the garbage cans. For more information about the Playhouse, you can click on the tab on my top home bar.

In my nonblogging world, I am recently retired from a lifetime as a legal secretary/administrator. I am wife of the Mister (Kevin), mother of Dan, MIL of Rachel, and doting devoted grandmother of twins, Adam and Henry and granddog, Duke. Here is the most recent photo of all of us:
1.  What Am I Working On Now?

Watercolor Notes B By djkardkreationsHere's a photo to prove that the Playhouse is not always as neat as a pin! I'm working on trying to purge the Playhouse, get my clear stamps organized, cut my 12 x 12 patterned papers to fit in my cabinet drawers, catch up on the cards and letters I owe, write a book about how the universe would be a better place if everyone listened to me and just did their jobs with gratitude and grace, and  finish up the last half of the Online Watercolor Class that I started back ... when was that?

Oh, and I'm constantly working on keeping Hammy, the hamster in my head, from being bored and leaving home, and the same goes for the Mister, who is often very neglected by this absorbing hobby. I'm extremely fortunate that he is supportive of my hobby and he subscribes to the wonderfully old-fashioned and intelligent notion that whatever makes me happy, makes him happy!

But, like all Bloggers, I struggle to find balance. Especially if I get an inner ear infection or my dicey left knee starts acting up.

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?

If we are talking about card art as a genre, specifically clean and simple (CAS) cards, then honestly, I don't think my work differs from other card artists all that much. In fact, more often than not my cards are designed solely as a result of stealing inspiration I have obtained from other CAS card artists on their blogs, or through Pinterest, Splitcoast Stampers, Flickr, and the many wonderful and fun card challenge blogs available to us. 

I realized some time back that my purchases were accumulating in the Playhouse at a faster rate than I was using them and quite often what I purchased was being put away and forgotten. So I coined NBUS (never-before-used schtuff) and started numbering each time I posted NBUS on a card. It was a personal challenge to myself and it has definitely helped me take a look at my schtuff and not automatically reach for the tried and true images I've used before. It has been very fun to see the movement and the aaackronym picked up and embraced by other Bloggers.

I bring humor or whimsy into most of the cards I make, 
Genny Giraffe, a Happy CardGoofiness Tripled!Halloween Bat Droppings!
but I can make serious and beautiful cards, too, if you don't mind my saying. My Pinterest cardboard is here.

Vellum flower charmer.Loads of Love By djkardkreations

Harvest Berries, like big fat snowflakes on a winter night


Now if we are talking about blogging as a genre, since this hop is all about featuring Bloggers, I will say that my blog differs from some other card hobby blogs in that I have my own style of, erm, creative and appalling writing. It's kinda hard to describe, you just have to be a regular reader and then decide if you like my plays on words and playing with words. You can read more about it on the tab on my home bar called "Away With Words."

I think my blog is one of those things that people have a strong reaction to: they ether like it a lot or they don't like it tall. And I'm kewl with that. I enjoy being silly as often as possible on my blog and in real life. Like so many of you, I have serious health issues, so I want my blog to be a place of lightness and joy for me and for you. A place to share my cards and my humor with my friends.

I recently saw a television program where two thirty-something career ladies were jogging through a park. The conversation went something like this:

Persimmon: "Well, now that you aren't doing that job any longer, what are you going to do?"

Mango: "Oh, gosh. I don't know. [pause] But I've been thinking ..."

Persimmon skidded to a halt. Facing Mango, she grabs her arm and gasps:

"Oh, God, please don't tell me you're going to start writing one of those old-lady blogs!!"


And there you have it. For some reason blogs have been given a bad name and we are all swept up in the same dustbin. It's unfortunate because it's such a positive hobby to have and many young woman are spectacular card artists and bloggers. As for retired "old ladies," it can be difficult to leave one's lifelong profession or have your children grow up and leave home; we are often left out to sea with ourselves. Even if we live in cities, the days of women's groups and hobby groups getting together is not as common as it used to be. So if we can share our hobby and join an online community of like-minded hobbyists, I think the resulting friendships, validation, inspiration, and brain activity are all positive aspects of blogging that should be celebrated, not made fun of!

I need to make another aside real quick. Most card blog hobbyists I know don't just engage in this hobby and blogging for frivolous and self-centered reasons. We make cards for specific charities and/or for people who need to know they are being thought of or cared about. It's a simple act of kindness that can have profound results.
. . . to the end.
When I first started blogging in late 2011, I just flipped through blogs, looking for ideas, as I used to flip through magazines. But very soon I realized that I felt a human connection with the people behind these sites, a connection that I didn't feel from flipping through magazines, so I took the time to get to know the individual bloggers. In that way, conversations started and friendships quickly developed. 

As lovely readers started reacting positively to my conversational format, I became more comfortable being myself and putting myself out there both in terms of my cards and my writing. I had no idea where my blog would take me when I first started and it has evolved over time just like my cards. In fact, I often shake my head in wonder that I had the guts and (somehow) the ability to even start a blog! But I'm so glad I did! It's been wonderfully satisfying to receive so much positive feedback and to hear from so many people that they are uplifted by my posts, look forward to them, and always leave with a smile. In turn, that keeps me smiling and blogging!

It's also been extremely satisfying and complimentary to watch other Bloggers identicate my format and style of blogging and my way of introducing new followers. I especially love traveling through Blogland and seeing more and more supportive commenting going on.
Old Broads LOLOL!
If you are in a hurry and in a serious search for card inspiration, I think you can find that on my blog. You can easily spot my card, hopefully leave a quick comment, and then zip away. But if you are looking for a blog that is a comfy place to sit and visit for a while, take off your shoes, pour a beverage, and possible have a giggle, I'm that blog. The Playhouse door is always open.

3. Why do I create what I do?

It gives me great pleasure. Pure and simple. 

Even in today's age of instant technology, who among us doesn't like to shift through the bills and unsolicited adverts in the mailbox and find a card? To receive one that is handmade makes a person feel very special. As a card artist, it makes me feel very special to send such a card, knowing it will bring a smile to the face of the recipient.

4. How does my creative process work?
  • Sometimes my card is born from a need for a specific card for a specific person. Then I'll check challenges.
  • Sometimes I will see a challenge happening that I simply "must" play in and I'll start with that.
  • Sometimes I'll have an item from my huge Mt. NBUS that I really want to ink or use, so I will start from that and then find a couple of challenges that spark an idea:
    • Often I will start with finding a sketch that appeals to me.
    • Next I will look at theme challenges.
    • And finally, I will look at color challenges.
    • (Or vice versa.)
  • At that point, one of three things happens:

    • I just take my card base and start stamping and the whole card comes together QACAS (quick and clean and simple), or
    • I will use a piece of scratch paper and stamp or layout dies this way and that to make sure that what I'm trying to design will work and then the card comes together, or
    • even with all the inspiration help, there are times when I can't get my focus button to work. My thoughts are scattered all over the place. That's when I call for help from the hamster I mentioned above. He's very brilliant with ideas, but more importantly, he has the ability to slap some sense into me and bring my thoughts back to ground where I can complete the design and make my card.
  • Then I write my post and link to the challenges.
After that, my spare time is spent visiting and commenting on other blogs. I firmly believe in the Golden Rule of Blogging. If I want other Bloggers to visit me, follow me, subscribe to my blog, and leave me wonderfully encouraging and engaging comments, it's only right if I do the same for them at their blogs.

I'd like to say thank you to all the other Bloggers who share this philosophy, as well as all the faithful readers who do not blog. I would not have been able to keep up my blog with over 700 posts if it weren't for the support, love, and encouragement from all of you in my little corner of Blogland. Bless you! 
The End. 

The Future Story.

Please meet my three "Tagees":

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the three fantastic bloggers that I have tagged. These wonderful artists will continue the hop next Monday, August 11th. Please make a note to return to their blogs and follow the hop next week!

In Alpha Betty order, please enjoy these bios:

LISA ELTON of My Paper Tales:

Lisa's profile photoHi, my name is Lisa Elton. I'm a former floral designer/instructor, current stay-at-home wife. My husband and I are high school sweethearts who are blessed with a very handsome son, his beautiful wife and soon-to-be first-time grandparents to their baby girl who's due in December! In my free time, I enjoy long walks with my ridiculously adorable mini-schnauzer Max and adventurous photo-taking journeys with my husband. I'm hopelessly addicted to polka dots, pretty papers, and all things related to card making! My blogging journey brings me joy and I hope to inspire others with my designs. 
     Many thanks to you, Darnell, for tagging me. Your creative cards and witty way with words bring a smile to my face every time I visit your blog. I'm honored and so very humbled that you thought to include me in this hop!
Lisa consistently inspires me with her designs and her joyful and enthusiastic passion for our hobby. We are all fortunate that Lisa is a member of several design teams which gives us many opportunities to read her posts and see her beautiful card art!

     Hello! My name is Alexandra Sirugue Macleod. Born and raised in Paris, I'm currently living in the Windy City with my husband Mark and our youngest Gallianne Lily. We have two older children, Gabrielle Rose (almost 21) and Keelan Ange (19). Both are studying at McGill's in Montréal.
     I have a profound love for arts and crafts in general, but my favorite medium is paper. I consider myself as much a scrapbooker as a cardmaker although when I think of it, this whole adventure did start with a love for stamps so I'm probably a stamper at heart!
     I started a blog called art scrap & more back in May 2006. I needed to share my passion with fellow scrapbookers and cardmakers and was craving for a creative platform with no bounderies. My blog is a form of creative journal, sometimes I share a card, a page, a recipe or a tutorial and sometimes it'll be more personal. It has allowed me to meet wonderful friends from all over the world and given me job opportunities through various design teams and publications.
     I'm a Project Lifer and have been keeping two types of weekly albums. I think that alone tells you I'm a little obsessed with time passing. I try to capture the essence of our daily life so our children and hopefully children's children will have an idea of what it was like to live in Chicago in a bilingual family of five.
     I would like to thank Darnell for picking me, I'm surprised and incredibly flattered! Darnell is a complete artist. She inspires me and cracks me up on a daily basis! I so wish I could visit her in her studio. I've already decided that I would bring a chilled bottle of Veuve Cliquot and some freshly baked Gougères for a special Happy Hour in front of her studio! [Just say when, Alexandra! It would be such a pleasure!] 
Not only is Alexandra incredibly talented in card artistry and techniques, scrapbooking, journeling, and photography, she is one of the most generous bloggers I know when it comes to sharing how she makes her beautiful works of art! I always learn new tricks along with being inspired!

DIANE WRAY of Pixie's Crafty Workshop:

First of all, I'm delighted and very honoured that the lovely Darnell asked me to join in The Creative Blog Hop - all the more when I looked back and saw so many talented people joining in, sharing their amazing work and stories about how they create. As for me, I don't get overly serious about my art and only craft because it is very relaxing and enjoyable. 

My main love is card making and I got into that whilst wheelchair bound after an accident back in the early 1990s. In those days everything for crafting was bought either in a shop you visited or via 'paper' mail order catalogues - how things have changed with the arrival of online shopping!

I started my little blog in Spring 2010 and have made so many wonderful friends, some of whom I've been lucky enough to meet in 'real life' and they have proved what a fabulous community we're a part of. 

In addition to my blog, for the last two and a half years I've been looking after The Pixie's Snippets Playground, a weekly fun challenge where all you have to do is to use up some snippets/scraps and just have fun. And that's what I think crafting is all about - fun!
The Pixie's Snippets Playground was one of the first challenges I joined when I started blogging and Di immediately became a friend and even kindly helped me with a technical issue with my blog layout. She is not only an extremely talented and self-effacing card artist, she is a true and steadfast friend who's a whole lotta fun!
Wrap Up:

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know me better, even though it was a three-beverage visit! I would love it if you visited the four bloggers spotlighted in this post today! Also, please remember to return to my taggee's blogs next Monday the 11th to see how they answered the questions and to become better friends with them. Afterwards, it would be great if we all continue to visit the blogs that are tagged down the line! It's an easy and awesome way to make bloggie friends and be filled with inspiration!

TCBH Buttons:

Because several of us have already been asked more than once to participate in The Creative Blog Hop, I have created this button, with the help of my friend Nikki, which I am placing here and at the top of my salad bar. This button will identify me as a participant which will save my fellow bloggers the trouble of emailing and asking if they can tag me.

If you have already been tagged or if you are tagged in the future (and I hope you'll say yes!!), please feel free to copy and paste this button on your own salad bar at any time. Also, please feel free to use the TCBH button you saw at the beginning of this post. (I got a kick out of making that one all by myself when I couldn't found one on any former TCBH hop posts.)

Again, thank you so much for this wonderful honor, Bibiana, and thank you to all of you for making it to the end of this megapost!! I'm sure we all need a lie down!

Enjoy your day! No, seriously, enjoy.  LITS!* 

*Life Is Too Short!

To open the pop-up comment box that let's you jump to the end w/o scrolling:
Click CTL + Home. 
Click the Home tab under my blog banner which resets the post.
Click Page Down to reach the end of the post.
Click Comments and the pop-up box opens.
Click Jump to Comment Form; no more car pool tunnel!


vic said...

Aww love this post Darnell and great to read up about you ;) as always gorgeous cards and your playhouse is just amazing!!!!!
Have a great day
Vic x

Redanne said...

Your post today, my lovely friend, is just amazing! I loved reading through it, you are the kindest and most giving of bloggers and it has been a real pleasure following you and getting to know you over the last couple of years. You are one of life's treasures! Big hugs, Annie xxx

Kathyk said...

A marathon post indeed .... but fascinating, Darnell and thank you so much for sharing your talent (and thought processes) for those of us without an inner hamster!! Keep on doing what you do!


Sue said...

I loved reading all about you today Darnell. Thank you so much for sharing and I agree with Annie - you are one of life treasures.
hugs Sue xx

Sue said...

I loved reading all about you today Darnell. Thank you so much for sharing and I agree with Annie - you are one of life treasures.
hugs Sue xx

Aileen said...

Always enjoy a read here, Darnell. Your sense of humor is so familiar that sometimes its scary.

Jessi Fogan said...

Darnell, I did finish my coffee halfway through but couldn't get up to get another as I had to read the rest! You've echoed so many of my favourite things about blogging - it's true, there's a personal connection reading others' blogs that just doesn't happen in other formats. I've made some amazing friends this way - and even my husband has come to know who I'm talking about when I tell him what's up with my bloggy pals :) I love that you're comfortable being your crazy self here, because I'm crazy too :) NIce to have a kindred spirit!!

Gerrina said...

Even though it was a long read, I enjoyed reading todays post again! What a great initiative! Wish you a fun week, Gerrina

Di said...

Wow Darnell - ain't no way I can follow that! A fascinating read as always (thank you for the very sweet words) - and I can't believe there are two camps. We all love your blog honey! Problem is, I daren't have a drink near me lest the screen gets a little shower.

Were you teleported between your garage and your Playhouse in those photos BTW?

Off to check out your other ladies now!

Hugs, Di xx

Suze Bain said...

Your blog brings joy, laughter and tears (in a good way!)to so many people Darnell. There's lots of lonely folk out there who have gained a new sense of family and friendship through blogging and for those of us who are lucky enough to have friends and family nearby, we still love the interaction with like minded folk who can appreciate the time and love that goes into crafting. Keep up the good work. Now ... I'm gasping for another cuppa! Lol xx

Bev said...

Darnell, you are a superb crafter and word smith, and your light hearted view to life is one to admire. I am very envious of your little cottage, it looks like a place where you could easily loose yourself in crafting all day!
Keep up the great work, and thanks for becoming my newest follower.
Bev x

Lisa Elton said...

Beautifully written Darnell and what a pleasure to read! Though we all have similar outcomes in the cards we make, it's interesting to me to learn of the processes and inspirations of my fellow crafters. You never fail to bring a smile to my face and I'm grateful to have met you through this blogging community of ours. I'm honored and humbled to have been tagged by someone as special as you ~HUGS!!!

Sarn said...

Hi Darnell . . . loving this long newsy blog post. Very interesting indeed.

Hugs, Sarn xxx

Lynn said...

I was going through my feedly this morning...saw your lead in and waited until last to read your post today. I loved learning more about you. You are definitely a gift to the blogging community dear Darnell. xoxo

Ros Crawford said...

Well I'm one of those bloggers who like to sit and read everything you write ... I LOVE your sense of humour and your up beat way ... plus you are very talented and definitely inspire me. Reading your post I totally echo a lot of your comments ... about blogging ... For me it was a life saver in so many ways at a time I felt so lost and broken ... It's given me confidence, friendship, creativity I didn't know I had and so much more ... and like you I am amazed that I even found my way around the computer to set up a blog ... Thanks for the lovely post!

Sheila H said...

Thanks for sharing so much about you, your blog, your crafting and other bloggers, Darnell. I love your cards and your writing.

Carol L said...

You perfectly describe how I feel about blogging too, and I'm so happy I found you through blogging! I love that I'm able to contribute my cards to causes that bring smiles to so many, and the rewards are better than the hobby itself - even if I don't hear personally from those recipients! You keep me smiling every time I visit here, and life truly is too short to not smile every day, so keep up the wonderful job you're doing of inspiring us all! MWAH!!

Shelly said...

This is such an inspirational and wonderful post! Loved reading about you and how things are from another persons view. I'd have to say, your work is always lovely and your posts are fun and certainly, can make one smile! ;) Thanks for sharing!

Marcia Hill said...

LOVED your post today Darnell, and I didn't mind it being loooooong at all! :0) You always bring a smile to my face with your wonderful (and a little crazy) words, and I'll forever be indebted to you for your NBUS as I have SO much of it in my playroom too! And even though I don't feel that old (57), thank you for letting it be known that blogging is something that we all do for different reasons (I started after losing my job due to the economy, and needed something to do to keep busy and share the love of my hobby!!), and not just because we're old! OK, I've rambled on enough...just wanted you to know I appreciate all the time you put into your blog and the happiness I feel after reading it! You're a gem Darnell! :0)

I Card Everyone said...

Thanks, Darnell for introducing us to this concept... what a great one it is! You've surely described to-a-tee how many of us feels about blogging. I am so happy to have found so many like-minded, creative friends along the way... you my friend have been a most generous hand-holding new friend.
=] Michele

Jeanne said...

Hi Darnell, it was so nice getting to know you a little bit more. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful and engaging spirit (and cards) with us!

alexandra s.m. said...

Apart from being an amazing and generous artist, You most definitely have a gift for writing Darnell!
Thank You for this post and everything you share ;)

Pat said...

Wow Darnell, that was a marathon, but in a nice way. You are so clever and funny and your cards are fantastic. It is a great community we have and we all share the same aims - to have fun being creative and have lots of like minded people to be creative with. I have been blogging nearly a year now and I find it fascinating just how many people there are out there doing the same thing. Thank you for giving us an insight into how and why you create. I just love your playhouse and I would just adore to have one in my garden. I will now go and visit your tagees. I know Di of course but the others are new to me. x

Stamping With Bibiana said...

Hello My dear Darnelle
great great post, what else I can say UMM!!! so many things. 1st thanks for the button I will use it, thanks for the wonderful description of me and what i do! I love visiting and reading , your style is awesome and so original I am so glad to have found you!
wonderful description and clarification of the 2 hops going on. good to know more about you and your family and very useful way to describe how you create...well I have to stop, otherwise this comment will become a whole story book...in a few words awesome post!!!
hugs from California

1CardCreator said...

Being a late comer to your blog I enjoyed reading all the background on you. I will pop by the blogs of those you tagged too. Isn't Blogland wonderful? ~Diane

Anonymous said...

This was a lovely read, Darnell, thank you so much for sharing!
Smiles, Deena

Deepti said...

Loved to read about you :) you are such an inspiration for all of us !

Carole Z said...

Super post Darnell, great to read about you and loving your playhouse, it looks about the size of mine..thank you for sharing, hugs Carole Z X

Pia S said...

Love the concept of this hop. Nice reading!

Patti said...

Sweet hop! Wonderful idea and most definitely I will be visiting these bloggers!

I find that it takes an effort to build meaningful relationships and blogging takes time too. You sort of get what you give in most relationships and giving to this fun community is FULL of delightful "perks".

I, like you, enjoy blogging and blurfing as reprieve from some areas of life that are less rewarding and simple : )

Wonderful post Darnell!


Casandra Bennett said...

I think you should call your Playland "dream cottage". Thanks for always leaving me sweet comments. I enjoyed reading more about you. You have a very endearing personality. *Hugs*

Marisa said...

Best part of blogging is being able to know the person behind the cards :) Was wonderful getting a history on you - legal asst is one busy job! Was an Exec. Asst. for years and had to deal with some LAs and it was always a pleasure to have one that was incredibly organized and efficient. Love the little cottage you have!! So fun and what a great way to be able to "get away" and leave a mess if you want to LOL! Brilliant :) Much nicer than a garage too! Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing :)

MaryH said...

This was a totally delightful read. (and I found another acronym to add to the Blog-initions file!) Really enjoyed learning more about what makes you tick, and create all the marvelous cards. Also very nice to finally meet Hammy. Give him a big hug (er ...maybe just a pat on the head. He might not like being hugged too much). Your blog was one I found early on, liked your way with words, just as much as the inspiring cards. Our friend Bernie told me about the Layers of Onions philosophy, which I've shared with so many people whom I felt it would uplift. The rest is history. I don't get here every day, but when I do, I leave with a smile, and a good feeling in my heart. Ole lady bloggers?! Hmph is what I say to that. (don't mess with seniors...they been around a long time and picked up a few things along the way). I've enjoyed blogging - which I entered hesitantly - because I've met so many generous, talented & just plain ole kind - people. For that alone, blogging is a wonderful way to spend one's time. This should be a truly _fun_ hop, and I'll check out your taggees, one of whom I've already had the blessed good fortune to get to know (Diane at the Snippets Playground). I've enjoyed Bibiana's blog too, but Alexandra is new to me. Thanks for such a super post - even better than it usually is! Sorry you can't eat tomatoes now...I'll eat an extra one just for you!!! Hugs, Hugs & TFS

Sue said...

Always love reading about other crafters.

Hope your week has started well.


Kristine Chubb said...

Darnell, I look forward to your posts popping up in my email. A nice time of day to sit back and enjoy your musings and makings. I stopped my personal blog a little over two years ago. Mayhaps I will reopen that venue soon when my teens are absent more often than present. You are right that a gal needs a place to belong and chat. Thanks for the many smiles and the often out loud giggles.

Vicki Dutcher said...

Wow - You go girl! :)

Wendy Nicola Jackson said...

Darnell, I happened upon your blog today after being tagged by one of my lovely blog buddies. What a great read! I'll take you up on the buttons option too, thank you very much! I'll be back to visit again, and BTW, you are a true wordsmith, fab read. Hugs, Wends x

Petra Swart said...

WOW, Darnell, you are really such a special person here in cardmakers' Blogland and I so enjoyed reading this post of yours!!! What a great joy to know you!!! (I would love to add a lot more, but then I'll have to switch to my home language, Afrikaans - too difficult in English for me!!)

Have a super day!!!

Jasleen Kaur said...

Currently, I'm on a short break from my routine life and I'm spending time with my parents and siblings, just manage to sneak in to my blogger sometimes to see what my crafter friends are upto. I couldn't resist reading your complete post and I'm so glad I did. I agree with you that blogging and crafting are such positive hobbies to have. So lucky to have made some lovely friends here. You are the sweetest person I have come across and undoubtedly one of the most talented one, in more than one ways. You already know how much I admire you, don't you Darnell. Just keep rocking always!

Rebecca Hoy said...

Hi Darnell, really enjoyed your blog post, I'm so nosey, I love reading about other peoples crafty processes and thinking. Thanks, Rebecca x x

Kay Miller said...

I just loved reading all about you Darnell! Much of it I already knew, but it was fun reading again and learning more! I really enjoy your blog, the cards and your wonderful way or expressing yourself through words! You're fun! I was tagged in the other one of these blog thingies, and now I feel like mine will be so lame compared to yours! haha!

Kathleen said...

Good grief, think I need another holiday now, well it couldn't happen to a nicer person, carry on the good work.

Kath x

roffeycreations said...

Hi Darnell,
Yes its me LOL - am finding myself with a little time to visit - and boy did I choose a doozy of a day heehee - love the TCBH badge you have created - if I get back into the blogging I will remember where to get my badge MWAH!! - And stalking / profiling Di - what a great compliment.... am hoping to get back to WOYWW & T for Tuesday and Snippets Payground real soon - hugs to you - appreciate your words of encouragement and support in my efforts... Mxxx

laurie said...

I had alot of fun reading your post today! It was interesting to learn more about you and your philosophy on blogging and cards. I think many of us feel the same way!

Bobby said...

I don't need to be forewarned because your doozies are delightful. I always enjoy reading your blog. I just don't know how you find the time to make cards, write a blog, visit a humongous number bloggers, comment on them, send private emails and still cook and clean. You do cook and clean don't you? LOL LYLAS. Bobby

MackieMade Paper Creations said...

It was so nice reading about you today!!! You are truly a gem!!!

Susanne Vargas said...

Beautifully written, Darnell! I am so glad I found you! We are all so lucky you started a blog!

Kim Heggins said...

Darnell...it is always fun to read about what makes a crafter crafty and you are so amazing at this. What a fun hop too. See you soon.

Tracey FK said...

Darnell I loved the epic post and learning more bout the way you work... Especially as I have been the recipient of so many of your gorgeous creations and I can attest to the smiles and joy they bought, and actually continue to bring to me... They are treasured moments full of positivity and joy all wrapped up between two pieces of card, which kind of sums you up in my head actually... Great post...xx

sandie said...

Morning Darnell....well morning for me! This was a wonderful read and such a good start to me day, you are a treasure xx

Shona Chambers said...

Well, what a lovely read that was and enjoyed every minute of it!! So funny to see where you started in the garage to where you are today, snug as a bug in your Playhouse. I'm hoping I will have my own Playhouse one day..hmmmm. I've had my blog for nearly a year now and love everything about it, especially meeting people who love to craft and love life in general. Its been a pleasure getting to know you and I always know if I need a laugh and a pick-me-up, just to head over to the Playhouse!!

Carol Cel said...

Congrats on your "tagging" and the post. I thoroughly enjoyed this with my morning cup of coffee!

Hettie said...

Great fluffy post Mrs. I need a lay down now after reading all that!

Debs Willis said...

What a lovely, chatty, pull up a chair & a coffee post! Enjoyed reading it & getting to know more about you & your crafty bloggy friends :-)
Debs x

Anonymous said...

What a great post, I loved it and I agree with everything you said :-) I have met the most wonderful people and even if they are taking a rest on card making were still friends and write to each other. It dosent matter if we have never met in person I still feel that great friendship and that's what its all about right?

Happy Dance said...

I'm late to this party. Seems to be happening a lot lately... I'm so glad Bibiana tagged you. It's a worthy honor for you, and it allows your friends and new visitors to know you a bit better. Oh how I wish I could give you a hug in person!! I've found that being an 'old lady blogger' is a pretty darn nice thing to be. Some of us, and for some of the reasons you've mentioned, are not able to be out in the 'real world' as much as we would like. Blogland has been a place to meet new people and make new friends. I'm blessed to count you among them! You've really said it all, and darn well I might add, so if I ever get tagged, I'm going to copy and paste everything you've said, edit a little (I have no playhouse), and give you credit! You're the best! Maybe someday I'll fly to Cali and we can actually meet in person! Wouldn't that just be fun???!!!! Later, dudette! Bev

Greta said...

Great post, as always, Darnell & how totally you to have a badge made when you saw the need! 3 bloggers I know, but was fun to read their bios & to learn a bit more about you, who I consider one of my friends. I've visited Bibiana only now & then, so fun to read about her. You are totally unique in my blogland & I thank you for always brightening my day as well as giving me inspiration!

OH Babs said...

What a great post, so full of interesting information and humor.

LauraJane:) said...

Enjoying this post tremendously!
I admire your way with words:)

Taunya Butler said...

Absolutely treasured this opportunity to know you better and to understand the passion behind what you do!! You definitely walk the walk!! You are a tremendous force for good and I admire you!!

Donna Nuce said...

Congratulations on The Creative Blig Hop nomination. I loved reading your story. You are a gem in the crafting world and it is an honor to call you a crafty friend. Have a great day Darnell!

Brenda said...

I love this post Darnell and you have summed it all up perfectly!! I remembering finding you a long time ago when I didn't even know how to do a comment. I remember drooling over your playhouse and then I lost you. I got a new computer and didn't have my "saved blogs" anymore plus I was busy raising my 6 sons so my time was very limited on the computer. But then my kids grew up, I had to give up the job I started after they grew up and here I am. I found you again with the help of Mary H and I love, love, love coming over to visit for a while. Your blog is awesome inspiration, funny to ready and just plain enjoyable! It is pure joy each time I stop in-so thank you for all that you put in this blog, for your wit and humor and for your beautiful cards. Hugs, Brenda

Bonnie said...

Wowza, Darnell! Keep it up! You are loved!

Anita in France said...

You encapsulate everything that is good in blogland, Darnell ... warm, welcoming, enthusiastic, generous, constant, entertaining, fun, hilarious, talented, creative, skilled and ... well, you! A shining example to us all ... I'm blessed to call you my friend! An truly awesome post ... enjoyed every little *hic* drop of my chosen libation! Hugs, Anita :)

G Peplow said...

Fabulous post again Darnell, so much info and general chat :D Always good to read your posts, lots of great, inspiring cards and I follow you on Pinterest already :D Have a wonderful week Hugs Gay x

nwilliams6 said...

Wow! Am I glad I stopped by and got to read all this! Love your thoughts and descriptions - how nice to read more about you! You definitely have a pull up a chair and a beverage kind of blog. Love what you said here! Hugz!

Vicki said...

Wonderful post, Darnell! So nice to learn more about our fellow crafters. Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I am now a follower of yours also!

Geri said...

I'm in awe of YOU dear friend! Congrats on this tag! Truly an honor that you are so deserving of!

Your post seriously makes 'old lady blogging' COOL....and cuz you're cool, those of us who never want to miss any of your posts, now think we are cool too! I think this trend is referred to as CBA or "Cool By Association"...

Amazing post - the best ever!

Sharron said...

The time just flew as I read today's post. Every time I visit your blog is such a joy! Love your posts which most often also provide a giggle. I am known to share bits with hubby too! You are such a blessing to the blogging community!

Barb Ghig said...

Well, I am so embarrassed to be posting so late, so please forgive me...Firstly, CONGRATS on your induction to The Creative Blog Hop, Darnell! No one is more deserving, especially with all the time and love you put into your posts! Thank you for ALWAYS sharing yourself with us, and ALWAYS making us smile!

The universe would definitely be a better place if everyone listened to you, my friend! Thanks so much for a really fabulous post!!!

Tracey McNeely said...

LOVE this opportunity to see inside the world of Darnell and your Darnisms! It is always a treat to see the personal side on you and the inside of the Playhouse! ;) Wonderful post! xoxo

shirley-bee said...

What a fabulous post, Darnell! It's always a joy to read your posts and see your cards. It's no wonder you were chosen for this hop, you (and Hammy) have a special place in blogland. Mwah!

cm said...

I believe the award for "consistently commenting late' has my name engraved on it. Catching up, with this post: pure awesome! Your commitment to cards, or rather 'to us', is genuine and heart-warming. Indeed, your post evokes the gamut of emotions: your signature hilarity had me laughing aloud; your expression of your passion had my eyes brimming with tears. Through it all, mega watt smile planted smack dab on my face. You're such a gift, Darnell, to your family, this community and especially to me! You are a bright light in my life!!

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Darnell,

Very cool post! What a wonderful way to meet new friends. I love reading about your journey and also introducing me to some new bloggers (I've actually met Di when she and Len were here on vacation a few years ago).

I've been tagged for a future time. So glad you asked Nikki to make the button. How cool is that!?!