Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Some random thoughts


I've been pondering my cards and what I like about them, what other people say they like about them, which ones get visited when they're first posted, and then which ones gain attention in the more anonymous world of Pinterest.

I've almost given up on making cards with a view to pleasing anyone but myself. I would never be able to predict which cards will end up being popular, so I just play with my stamping for my own satisfaction these days. :-) It's quite liberating. That doesn't mean that I'm not still attempting to be published, or that I don't plan on entering challenges (I LOVE challenges), but it does mean I'm not second-guessing other people's opinions and tastes while I create.

What I find a little frustrating sometimes is when something I submitted for publication is not selected and then it goes on to be loved by my readers, loved on Pinterest, loved everywhere, except by the publishers. (It's okay, I know that lots of AWESOME projects are not accepted, it just frustrates me that I haven't yet cracked the challenge of publication even once.) I'm not going to tell you which ones were not selected and then became popular. ;-)

So let's talk about cards.  Here is one that I don't think I shared yet. It was submitted for Paper Crafts Magazine July/August issue (and not selected).
It's simple, but I really like it. :-) It still appeals to me as much as when I made it. That's the good part of creating cards that I like myself.

Now let's look at the card that has been repinned so many times I couldn't tell you where it now lives in the internet. It keeps coming back. It still sits at the top of my traffic count every week most weeks. It is the top post of all time on my blog, thanks to Pinterest.
I loved it when I made it, but I wouldn't call it my best card ever, and yet here it is, my most popular card ever. Go figure!

The next most popular card is this one. It took a while to take off, but again it was Pinterest that brought in the traffic, and it is still being pinned, crazy!
This one was a CASE of Laura Bassen, (who I would CASE everyday if I could get away with it) and I'm still in love with it. I just LOVE this card. I'm glad other people like it.

A couple of other cards that have gained attention are... Most recently this one.
I do like this card. I love how the glitter adds texture and interest. I love the black stars on the bright orange watercoloured background.

From last year this one.
I do like this card. I really love the watercoloured butterflies. But, the card as a whole never really grabbed me. But other people LOVE it. A lesson in "always share your work, even when you aren't totally happy with it".

And before I go, some cards that I like most from my collection (but not all of them, I do like quite a few).

Yep, definitely a CAS girl at heart. I'd better stop there, or you'll get worn out with all the scrolling.

Anyway, it is way past my bedtime, so I'll sign off for the night.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope I'll be back with something new very soon.



Debby said...

Hi Michelle, what a wonderful post! And I totally agree too as I find similar things myself. I love seeing a fab selection of your cards like this and I'm definitely drawn to the CAS ones but that's no suprise! Thanks for the tip about the widget on my blog; I will try and take it off and see if that helps :)

Ardyth said...

Were we separated at birth? Your thoughts mirror mine almost exactly (I have no desire to figure out how to get published. I would have to know which stamps I'm using (they would have to be current) and it just seems like too much work for questionable reward, especially since, as you do, I get lots of feedback on my blog and Pinterest (I have one of those cards, too - 2900 views on my blog, the next one has about 500!!)). I have 'settled' for pleasing myself and if others like it, that's great! I look forward to seeing your next creation (and the one after that.....)

~amy~ said...

I love this post...such wonderful card...I definitely LOVE your style :)

Laurie said...

All gorgeous cards! I loved reading your post!

Marlou McAlees said...

I loooove every card here, absolutely beautiful :)

Leigh Penner said...

Beautiful cards, Michelle! I think my favourite is the Baby Makes 3 card-- super sweet!

Lynn said...

Michelle, what a great post. So many amazing cards. My favorite is the Merry Christmas card. The soft pastels are beautiful. I remind myself all the time that I create cards to relax and to give them to others. I do submit for publication but try to only submit to those categories that I like. I think it is the most satisfying when you send a card to someone and they appreciate that it was made for them. Great post!

Kelly Griglione said...

Hi Michelle! Such a fantastic post! Love hearing your "random thoughts" especially since they echo mine : ) I was just thinking the other day how it's interesting that cards I love are often very different than cards other people love. In fact, from a recent post I was surprised to see a particular card pinned many more times than the others because I had almost left it out of the post. Didn't think it was good enough to share. Shows what I know!

So here's a thought ... do you think that perhaps the cards that are popular on pinterest are those that are others think are easy to recreate, vs. cards that they absolutely love? For example, with your happy birthday text card, you've already though of the FANTASTIC idea to tilt the "a" so it's readable for both words. Now that people have that idea, it's fairly easy for them to recreate the card, so they pin it as a reminder to do so. But, a card that you love and put a lot of work into and might be more technically advanced might not get pinned because although people like the card, it's not something that they see doing.

Just some random thoughts of my own : ) Anyway, really great post, Michelle. Loved reading it and seeing your popular cards.

Barb said...

Love this post, Michelle! I have never even submitted a card for publication. At first it was because I didn't think I was good enough, but now I think it's because I'm just plain lazy - it seems like an awful lot of work for the "hope" that it gets chosen. Maybe someday . . .

I think you are so right - card making should be done because we love the hobby, not because we want to please others. Your cards are always fabulous! Love each one you shared today! :)

Jennifer Rzasa said...

This is a great post! I'm happy that my all-time favorite card of yours is in this list, and that it's one of your faves too! Do you know which one it is?? :)

Tracey McNeely said...

Michelle I loved your post today and I love that happy birthday card too. Other favourites are the bicycle and love you forever. Heck I love them all. I am with you on the frustrating part, of the cards that I find the most thrown together of mine are the ones the draw the most attention. Lots of interesting random thoughts today!

Suzanne Russell said...

I loved the little trip down memory lane through your beautiful cards! Only a couple did not immediately ring the "Oh, I remember that one! Love it!" bell. : ) Wouldn't we all like to grow up and be Laura Bassen? LOL The Wish Upon a Star is truly brilliant! Keep 'em comin'. Your work just gets better and better.

Tenia Nelson said...

What an awesome post!!! Keepin' it real.....LOVE IT!!! These cards ALL rock!!!

Virginia L. said...

Aw... Michelle! I hear YOU! I understand how cards are received in all different levels and popularity!I think that's why they can never tell which movie is going to to blockbuster/flop because there are so many factors (time of the year, story, audience age/gender...) involved! SAME thing with the card-making for publications and challenges. I think as long as you create from your heart, I know YOUR time will come. I adore your CAS and sweet style!! It. WILL. HAPPEN! PS: So glad that you stopped by my blog and entered the giveaway!

Marybeth said...

Wow…. Love them all! Your Make a wish one is gorgeous! All of the cards you posted are wonderful! I have only submitted a few times to no avail. So I rarely do it. I know what you mean sometimes I post a card that I am a bit embarrassed about but want to enter in the challenge and then it's a huge hit! Go figure!

Joyce said...

Hi there. What an interesting and thought provoking post. I love participating in challenges, because it helps me think of what I want to make. And, I have vowed to stop participating in challenges if it means making a card I don't want to make or don't even like. And, I have no desire to try to get published, as I don't really see the point. I am loving all the eye candy in this post, too. I first visited you after seeing your bicycle card, which was also my first CASE of you. It's fun to see more that I can CASE as well. And, I'm impressed that you can figure out all these things about who is liking and pinning your cards. I have no clue how to do that.

Wida said...

well what a fun post...just up my alley! I mentioned in another comment that you just never know what your fans will like. This blog land is so unpredictable, totally emotional, and completely NOT understandable! You never know what card will resonate with the audience and even if anyone will come check you out! You also can't tell what a publisher will like, but if it is something you want, you gotta keep trying. What I do know is that you are a fantastic cardmaker and I am glad to have found you...though now I am not sure where!

Tasnim said...

Great post! Loved reading it. Seeing so many of your amazing cards in one place is such a treat!
I hear you about making cards that makes you happy! I couldn't do it otherwise...I never got myself published (I only submitted once) but I can tell it is not an easy process. We have got to keep trying though :)

Jocelyn aka JoBear2 said...

I found your blog via Pinterest - in fact, via the card with the stars which had been pinned. I would publish all of these cards in a heartbeat - they are so beautiful!

I know there are lots of things that can make it hard to get published as from what I have read, you need to use up-to-date products - nothing retired - and do something that makes your card stand out from the crowd like a new technique or a new spin on an old technique - and all the layers matted evenly and ribbons/bows tied really nicely. But sometimes I see cards published using a retired stamp (and it will say so in the write-up) so it's a little confusing. At the end of the day, I think it's good to just make cards because you love to and because you enjoy the creative process. Making a card for a special person you care about and adding special touches which come from your heart is beautiful. That's what I try and do. Keep sending your cards into the publishers as I feel absolutely sure that one day you will get published. Even try for some of the other magazines in the UK or Australia as here in Australia our mags often have cards published from overseas cardmakers. Perhaps it is the sheer volume of submissions which makes it difficult?

So glad I stopped by today :-) Have a fantastic crafting day -

Instead of Ironing Blogspot

Jen W. said...

Awesome post, Michelle! You echoed a lot of my thoughts here. I am constantly shocked by which of my cards win challenges (always the ones I least expect) and which get published (same thing). Pinterest has added a whole new angle to the game. I have a card from November 2011 that's had over 6000 views and is still always in my top list every week. It's one I threw together last minute for a challenge. Go figure. Don't give up on submitting because your work is amazing. Seriously. You are incredibly talented. At first I spent ages trying to make something for every submission category and I started to hate it. Now if a category appeals to me then I go for it but I try not to sweat it. It is what it is.
Love the stroll down memory lane and was happy to see my favourite Baby Makes Three card! :)