Monday, August 4, 2014

A Different Kind of Blog - Getting To Know My Creative Side

Hello to all of my wonderful visitors and followers.  This is a super long post; but I think you are in for a real treat today; so I hope you enjoy "A Different Kind Of Blog".  Sit back, relax and enjoy reading about my creativity process.

I was tagged by a wonderful creator and Cyber friend, Lisa Decosse; to participate in this different kind of blog. She created "Path Of Positivity Challenge Blog"; which is a positive uplifting challenge each month.   She has a fabulous Design Team for her challenge blog; and they provide a lot of inspiration for her followers.  Lisa is a wonderful and giving person.  She creates and gives away many wonderful sentiments on her personal blog.   She also has a fabulous monthly Christmas challenge; which you can join at any time; to get a head start on those Christmas cards.  Be sure to drop by any of the links above to check out some of the things Lisa is doing.

Lisa tagged me in her post HERE and if you would like to see what she has created and get to know Lisa a little better; be sure to click the link and read all about it.  Thanks Lisa for choosing me to be part of this Blogland adventure.

I was a Registered nurse for over 30 years; and was forced into retirement before I was ready.  I developed an allergy to all chemical smells; such as perfume, cologne, hair spray, etc.  

I had always worked full time, attended nursing school full time; while raising three kids and never had time for crafting.  I sewed, wrote stories, and lots of other things; but had never tried real scrapbooking or cardmaking until the year 2011. I did keep a picture album that I had with pictures and memorabilia from my years in high school.  My sister in law introduced me to scrapbooking in July 2011; and then cards in Oct 2011.  

I created this blog to enter a card in March 2012; so I could be considered for a Design Team. I did not make it to the DT at that time.  My blog is called purpleglocreations; as I have always been a lover of all shades of purple.  I was trying to come up with a name that fit me.  So - purpleglo for purple Gloria. LOL!   My other favorite colors are pink and yellow.  I love butterflies and flowers.  I drive a bright yellow car.  I would have gotten purple if they had come in that color.

And then a few days after I created this blog; I joined Close To My Heart (CTMH) as a consultant.  I do my best to give back to others; through my clubs and celebration drawings.  I love to teach and to write; so this is a perfect fit for me. I joined CTMH so that I could tell others about the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge I discovered in Feb 2012. CTMH has created 3 other Cricut Cartridges: Cricut Artiste, Cricut Artbooking; and the new Cricut Artfully Sent will hopefully be released in September 2014.  

I have a lot of passions; writing, cardmaking, scrapbooking, reading, teaching people through tutorials and videos; and more.  

What am I working on right now?

CTMH created Picture My Life Scrapbooking; which consists of 3 x 4 and 4 x 6 cards with pretty pictures and sentiments; making scrapbooking easier.  There are five new kits that have been added in the new Annual Inspirations Idea Book; which went live online August 1st, 2014.  My biggest challenge is not having enough time to do both cards and scrapbooking. I create a lot of cards for the two DT that I am on; which keeps me very busy.  I am just starting my first Picture My Life Scrapbook.  I have heard that the new "Cricut Artfully Sent" will have dies of these cards as well.  

Once the new Cricut Artfully Sent cartridge is released; I will make a video of the new Cricut cartridge.  You can check out my videos on YouTube  -Purplego13.  I plan to create one for Picture My Life; once I get mine started.

Here is a snapshot of how the Picture My Life Scrapbooking currently works. Click on this link for more information.  Scroll down to see my pages I am working on.

I have added a few of my pages; which aren't completely done; but at least it gives you an idea of what they look like.  I am new at this; so I am sure I will get better at it with time.  I find it is faster than regular scrapbooking; if you have the correct sizes for your pages.   My biggest challenge is trying to figure out which pictures to use; and getting them printed in the correct size.  At least the kits have a variety pack of 10 Memory Protectors with each one; so I had several options.  I did not include any pictures of myself and my husband; because he is not allowed to have anything about himself on the Internet; due to his job.  

The first two pages are the double sided Designed Cover Sheet; that comes with each kit.  This is from Picture My Life Surf's Up Scrapbooking Program.  I plan to add some of our pictures of the two of us; but as you can see it isn't completed yet.  I am in the planning, creating, thinking stage on these two pages.  LOL!

The following two pages are pictures from our Florida Vacation.  We went to Florida Everglades; and took this air boat ride to see the alligators; up close and personal.  It was very scary for me.  My husband was not afraid at all.  You can see how close the alligators were to the side of the boat; which was very low.  My husband took their pictures.  He never even thought about how they could probably jump up there and grab his arm; while he was leaning over the side to take pictures.  I had to go; just to keep him from getting hurt.  LOL!  

The small 3 x 4 card with the boat, is from Picture My Life Balloon Ride Scrapbooking Program and the other 3 x 4 cards are from Picture My Life Surf's Up Scrapbooking Program.  I like to mix things up; so I normally use whatever fits my pictures or theme.  I am not sure how other people do this.

They had a Exotic Exhibit there as well; so the next page is pictures of some of the animals they had there. One of my pictures didn't take; due to the dark cages; so I used the Panther from Sawgrass Reservation Park website.  I also used the boat on the right (on page above) with the people on it and the boat racing through the swamps, from their website.   I didn't have time to finish it before this post; so I will be writing on those two little 3 x 4 cards later on, to finish this page.

Don't you love that dragonfly on the second row below?  You may have to click on the picture to enlarge it.  My husband was able to get a close up view since it was very close to our boat.  That was the best part of the trip for me. LOL!  I have to admit it was pretty cool to see the alligators; but I would have preferred more distance between them and me.  

I am sure I will become more creative with this process as I learn more about it; but I thought it was pretty good for my first two pages.  LOL!

My first creation was a scrapbook of my dad's life; which I created in July 2011; two years after he died.  I was told that it would help me in the healing process.  I was having a difficult time accepting that he died at 90 years old, choking on a marshmallow.  His health was good; and no one knows why he decided to eat a handful of marshmallows one night; without his false teeth.  He never ate marshmallows; except in hot chocolate.

Here is a sample of my first scrapbook; although my style changes daily.  Please remember I was a beginner when I created this first scrapbook.  LOL!  Also, these were created before I discovered CTMH products and their Cricut Cartridges.  Click on photos to enlarge.

I created two scrapbooks for my mother; then two for my daughter and her family; and stopped when I discovered card making. LOL! There are a few pages posted at the beginning of my blog; if you would like to take a look. 

I belong to two Design teams; which keeps me very busy.  I belong to Digi Stamps 4 Joy Design team (DS4J); which has wonderful digital stamps (as you can see on the three cards below) and also The Squirrel and The Fox Design Team.  I have a few cards in the works; plus trying to decide what to create for the next DT posts.  I have several I need to make for my design teams. Here are two I recently created; which are very different from each other. See the links for these two cards above the pictures. 

                 This Card Link                                                                               This Card Link

Below is my favorite type of card; a side step card.  I won several challenges with the card below; so I wanted to share it with you.  I created it for my granddaughter Gabrielle.  I chose the image because she has an attitude; which I think is common for many teenagers. LOL!  It is DS4J Would I Lie? Check out my blog for information about this card.  The link is above the card.  

Inside of this card

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My friend and fellow DT, Desire Fourie; recently told me that I have developed my own style now; but I don't really see that.  LOL! One thing I try to do when I post; is to share as much as I can about the card; so that others are encouraged to try that style as well.  I include tutorials whenever I find them; and I keep a page on my blog dedicated to tutorials; and another to videos.  I want other crafters to stop by anytime and select any tutorial they need to create something.  

Two things that are different about me than most people who create cards; and that is, I almost always create the inside at the same time as the outside.  The few times I didn't do that were difficult to remember the names of the papers I used when it came time to finish them.  It does take more time; but it is so worth it in the end.  The only downside is if you don't know who the card is for at the time you create it. But it all works out in the end.  When it is time to send that card to someone; the inside is complete.  No searching for the paper you used or something to go with it.   

The second thing thing is that I have started leaving my cards unsigned; so that the person I am sending them to can pass them forward to someone else; if they choose to do this.  I like to write a brief note and insert with my cards using a pretty purple paper with butterflies.  LOL!  I create Thank you cards blank on the inside; so many times you won't see an inside for them.  Most others; you will see the inside finished as well.  My daughters family and my stepson prefer I sign them; so I do upon request. 

Now that I have my new Cricut Explore; I actually create most of my cards on the Cricut Design Space first; and then cut them out.  It has reduced the time it takes me to design a card; plus a lot less waste of cardstock; as I was always guessing the sizes I needed for a particular image.  

I am a creature of habit; so taking the leap to join Design Teams has pushed me to learn more techniques/styles and to encourage me to work outside my comfort zone.  I had never heard of a digital stamp, Copic markers, a side step card or how to merge digital stamps.  I am a little slow to try new things.  My two Design teams have given me that additional nudge to help me to grow in my creativity.  I feel very blessed to be part of such a wonderful group of creators.

Here is one of my cards that I used a lot of images from my Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge; for both inside and outside.  The image on front is DS4J Santa's Letter.   This is for a fabulous monthly DS4J Christmas challenge.  Each month that I use their free image; I get the next month free.  What a great way to get a head start on Christmas cards.  

Why do I write/create what I do?

I normally create from a place of feelings and love.  I am always open to my creations letting me know who they belong to; so that I can honor that person with my gift.  Sometimes I plan a card for someone and then I realize it is meant for someone else.  There are other times where my creation is designed and given to the person I created it for from the beginning.   I feel very blessed that I am able to create my cards and scrapbook pages; and I have to share them. It isn't about bragging about them.  My hope is that they motivate someone else to try their hand in creating.  I was someone who didn't think I could create anything; so I am still amazed that I can do it.  LOL!

I know there are a lot of people that can create more beautiful cards than I can; but creating isn't about being the best.  It is about each of us creating from our heart and sharing that creation.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  I love the people in Blogland; and I feel this group of people is very encouraging and an accepting group.  So; don't be afraid to share your creations. We all love to see them.  

How does your writing/creating process work?

For my cards; I choose the digital stamp or CTMH stamp; cut it out with a die or by hand.  I measure to see what size it is; then choose size/shape of the card. Before my Cricut Explore; I wasted a lot of cardstock cutting out different sizes to see what worked the best. Now I create most of my cards on Cricut Explore first; then I choose my paper.  (Sometimes I choose my paper before I create on Cricut Explore.)  I cut everything out either with dies or with my Cricut Explore.  I then lay all the pieces where I want them; add adhesive or foam dimension and there it is.  Using Cricut Explore has helped to reduce the time it takes me to create; but it may still take me a week to finish the card.   It also cuts .1 increments; which the other Cricut machines did not do.  I can figure out my sizing before I design the card.  This really helps to reduce the creativity time and very little paper waste.

I normally do research on whatever I am going to color.  My last card was one I had to do research before coloring it.   I needed to color the hair black and it was my first time creating black hair; so I watched a few videos first.  I may also research online or in my notebooks; to find sketches I like or to get ideas.  It may take me a week or more to create one card.  Then, there are times I can create a card in a few hours; but most of mine require a lot of time.  

I select my colors I am going to use after I choose my card design and paper.  I try to use several different papers from one or two paper packs; that are interchangeable.  CTMH has 6 different patterns in each paper pack; so that makes it easier to match the colors.

I use a lot of dies; many of them from CTMH Cricut Cartridges.  I love that there are 700 images on each cartridge.  It is fun to find things that aren't normally used on cards; like the mini album pages; and use them on my cards.  I like being able to choose such a wide variety of dies from one place. CTMH created a 4th cartridge "Cricut Artfully Sent"; which we hope will be released in Sept. 2014.  I have heard that it is mostly geared towards cards; including the ones used in the Picture My Life Program.  

My Scrapbooking starts by choosing the digital pictures on my computer that I want to use.  I then print the sizes I need.  I start looking through my CTMH Cricut Cartridges for images I can use on that particular Scrapbooking page.  It is a very long process and takes me several days normally to complete one page.  I am hoping it will be quicker using the CTMH Picture My Life Scrapbooking Kit.  I just need to get started.  LOL!

As noted above; I am just starting to try CTMH Picture My Life Scrapbooking Programs; which you can see above.  It started 6 months ago; but like I said I am slow to start something new.  

Sometimes I am slow to think of something to get started; but once I start thinking; my creative ideas seem to kick in gear.  I guess I am just a slow starter.  I write the same way.  

How Do I Stay Focused and/or Motivated?

I usually create for just a few minutes here and there.  It is hard to get away from the computer; emails, etc.  I am motivated by reviewing other peoples work; the comments I receive on my blog from other readers, and the need to create.

My need to create is just as important as my need to breathe.  I have to do it.  I feel lost; stressed and feel something is missing; if I stop creating for more than a few days.  Plus, I love to give my creations to others.  I prefer giving them to people who appreciate them.  My daughter has a place for my cards on top of their entertainment center.  She use to have an entire display for them in the hallway of her last home.  Her children (4 of my grandkids) really look forward to getting another card from NaNa.  It is a joy for me to give to her and her family.  They provide my greatest support in all aspects of my life; and are such a blessing to me.  

I tried to find three people who were interested in joining this special blog hop; but life gets in the way; and Claire was the only one who followed through.  

I am tagging one person at this time for this "Different Kind of Blog Hop".  Her name is Claire.  She has a fabulous blog; which is very positive and upbeat.  You can click here to find her blog.  I found her blog while searching the web over a year ago. We don't really know each other; but I appreciate her wonderful creativity.  She designs for several teams; which I am sure keeps her very busy.  I know she loves rubber stamps, has a son, two dogs, Benji and Barney; as well as an Amazon parrot named Sammy. I can't wait to get to know her better.  Be sure to check Claire's post on August 11th to learn more about her.  

Thanks for joining in "A Different Kind of Blog".  I hope you enjoyed it and learned more about my creativity process.  You can trace the blogs backwards to see others before me.  It if fun to read about other bloggers; especially ones you have seen in the past.  I will be glad to answer your questions by email, Facebook messaging, texting or by phone.  My contact information is on one of the tabs above. 

I would love for you to join as one of my followers and register for my celebration.  Just click "Home" to find my celebration and directions on linking.  I love giving away free CTMH products; and I have several terrific sponsors as well.

Have a fabulous day!  

Gloria Shirr
CTMH website -

Remember - Keep On Creating!!
It's Good For Your Health!! 


  1. Wonderful post Gloria! It's interesting that we started our blogs in the same month and year. I was tagged for this hop and my creative process went live this morning. Feel free to stop by!

    1. Thanks Andrea. I left you a message on your blog post. Hugs, Gloria

  2. It's so fun to get to know you more and to know how you have come to crafting! Sorry to read about your serious allergy but glad that we have had the chance to see you crafting! :) Here's the post you were looking for

    1. Thanks Vicky! I love reading about how everyone got started and what influences each of us. I can't believe you started your blog March 2012; which is when I started mine. I started scrapbooking in July 2011 and cards in Oct 2011. So happy to know you and have you in my life as well. Hugs, Gloria

  3. This was really fun to read, Gloria. Thanks for sharing a different kind of blog :-)

    1. Thanks Jayma. I think it is a great idea. Maybe Mandy will do one for her team. I have learned so much about others that I know in Blogland. It was fun. I would love to read about all of our team and their creativity. Hugs.

  4. Very enjoyable reading Gloria! And I will check out your utube videos. Sounds like you live life to the fullest!!!

    1. Thanks so much Darcy. I am so happy you were able to read my blog. I wish everyone would do one; so we could all learn about each other. LOL! That would be one big blog hop! Have a fabulous day! Hugs, Gloria

  5. At last I got to take a seat with a cuppa in front of my computer to read this very special and personal blog post from you. It was such a wonderful insight into you as a person as well as your awesome creativity and the giving person you are. Gloria it must have been very hard for you to stop nursing, as I am sure it is what you like doing the most i.e. helping others xxx But, it is just so fabulous that the crafting world has sucked you up and that you have become such an integral part of us here in blog land. You know you are one of my very special blog buddies. And, its no laughing matter, you definitely have developed your own unique style in cardmaking - your design papers always have such small and elegant patterns and the dies you use are also very you as well as your colouring. I just adore your wonderful scrapbook pages and its great to know that you are also an enthusiastic scrapper, just like me. For me scrapping is still my first love and then cardmaking. Thank you so much for sharing this Gloria special with us.
    {Doing Life – my personal blog}

    1. Thank you so much Desire; for your wonderful, loving comments. You have been a special person in my life for a long time now; and I appreciate you so much. You are such a blessing to me Desire. I am so inspired by you and your creations. I want to be just like you when I grow up. LOL! I am older than you; but I have a long way to go to reach the creativity that you have developed over the years. You are one of my very special blog buddies as well. I am so grateful for you being part of the wonderful Digi Stamps 4 Joy DT. Thanks for always being there for me; and for giving me inspiration and help along the way. Hugs, Gloria


Hi to all you wonderful bloggers!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate your comments and support. I would love to have you as a member. Thanks so much. Hope you enjoy my blog. Gloria