S&S Craft

About Me - Why Crafting?

Since I was a kid, I didn't like throwing wrappers or cards or danglers or anything. I felt that it was a waste to throw away those beautiful things. In my mind, i felt like everything can be re-purposed, re-used. I didn't know exactly what to do with it, but my heart told me not to throw it away. I started hoarding greeting and wedding cards, magazine, picture cutouts. Just stashed whatever i had. I have cardboard boxes to store them and place it under my bed. I made sure my mom never threw them away. As it started accumulating, i started to have some ideas. I used to see my friends, decorating their files with really cool, shiny, bling stickers and I used to envy them. Back then my parents couldn't afford this things and since I didn't have money to buy the cool stickers like my friends so i innovated and got my stash out. I remember decorating my paper files with cutout pictures and scribble them with beautiful quotes using markers or colored pens (back then you can easily find blue, black, red and green ball point pens). We always had crayons and water color as it was mandatory for school art classes. I used what i can and I always loved how it comes out in the end. I never stopped there, and I'm continuously making changes in the designs and wordings. This was before the Internet era. Everything you learn is from your family, school, teachers friends, tv or reading books.

In school we have Art classes which they normally ask us to draw. I hated drawing but i loved Crafting and collage, weaving, paper mache and so on. It opened another door for me. I just loved crafting. When I went to high school, everyday for the first 5 minutes we had topics on environmental issue. The more i learned, the more i wanted to run-away and join green peace (this was back in 1992). The knowledge i gained made me aware of recycling to re-purpose, to reduce and do what i can to save Mother Earth. I never bought a single card in my life, even until now. Every birthday card or father/mother's card I have given out, was my own design from recycling Deepavali (Diwali) and Wedding cards. I never really seriously pursued crafting but it always a thing i loved the most. Even throughout this time, i kept stashing anything i could find. It grew from cards to cardboard boxes, tea bags, broken jewelry pieces, wrappers. My mom used to sew clothes for people, so i had leftover pieces of cloth materials, laces, ribbons, buttons. I kept collecting them. By this time i have already finished my studies and moved to my own home.

I am working as a IT consultant which had it's own pressure and I felt like i needed something to rejuvenate my mind and distress. I used to craft off an on and gave cards out to my colleagues. Nothing fancy, just simple ones. I started buying kits, and learning techniques. Being in IT allowed me to meet people across the globe, online. One thing led to another and that is when I met my dearest colleague Gloria Elina Gonzales Guevara, based in Panama. We worked closely and over a time period, we became good friends. That is when i found out that she is a Crafter. Her dad owns a wood crafting shop in Panama and she had been wood carving since she was 5 years old. (I will provide the details of the shop) I was thrown aboard. She said, now she was into polymer clay as it similar to crafting but she can do it indoors. She was showing me the photos and some of the designs she had was awesome. Something kicked inside me. She started asking me, do i have any hobbies and honestly at the time i said nope but I always loved making cards and used to do it of and on. Nothing fancy. I had some of the old photos i did and she said, maybe you can improvise and work on it. you will never know. Those words kept ringing in my ears throughout the night.

Honestly, I didn't know where to start but i told myself, I can never go wrong with Xmas cards, and this was back in April 2016. I pulled my stash and i found some card-stocks and leftover materials from my nephew's 1st birthday, glitter foams, old Xmas deco. I just started to design something which looked like a Xmas tree.

This was my first draft and I did use an old wedding card. It already had that nice design on it..

Since the front of the card was beautiful, i decided to use the inside to do my crafting. I used the glitter foam and added some of the old Xmas deco. I also found some g;itter stripes for the edges and cut out the square

It can be lift off from the base card.

The following Monday, she asked me, have you started, i said yes, but nothing great. She said, take a picture and show me and I gave her the above.. She was like, Sue, that is really good. I felt she was being nice and I told her, nah.. just lucky. Then she said, Sue, if you make something nice, i will buy from you. Make a few and let me know how it goes. My first reaction, I was shocked. I was like, you are kidding me, she said No, i'm not. Create something for me. So that weekend, i did a small purchase of some embellishments to give it an "oomph" and started working on it seriously. I finished the above card and created another one sent her the photo. She said, she loved it.

This was the final design. I addded some stickers and cut the square out.

The inside of the card... with the Merry looking tree.

The second card was More like retro Xmas. The frame is a recycled wedding card. The retro look is an origami paper.. And i added some embellishments and created a snowmen

She said, she needs 4 cards and i said, i don't know what else to make. I am out of ideas i said. The following week, we started doing some brainstorming and she got me links to YouTube videos, Pinterest pictures and so on. That is where I started exploring more and more and had more ideas. I ended up creating 5 cards for her and she picked her favourite 4.

I used a bell shaped wedding card to get this look. This is a dangler and it has bells of them. Santa is made from layering various layers of paper and i added googly eyes.

The back of the card has the wordings and adorned in gold ribbon. I went with pink for the back

The 4th card is very simple. A dangler as well. I wanted to add more things in here and she said, nope.. She wanted this to be very simple and liked it as it is.

Believe it or not, I had been having this for many years, since 1998. It was a brochure for Xmas dinner. I loved it so much that I kept it. I converted this into a card and added embellishments. The ribbons are re-purposed as well. I gave this to her as token of appreciation.

This was initial days of creation. As you can see, it was really rough and rookie but she loved it either way. She said, it was not about the perfection, it was more for the passion and the love i put into this designs and how i incorporated it with recycled items. That's what she loved the most.

I was appalled, i still couldn't believe what happened. That is when she asked me to start selling my work to others. I was first skeptical at first. She asked “what can be the worse thing that can happen?”. All you need is to learn a few more techniques and having confidence in your work. She asked me to setup my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SnSCraftMY/ which i did without a question. Then she told me to setup my Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/sugarshan_craft. I just followed her guidance and her encouragement.

This is how i got started, from this point on, it was a lot of learning and more learning, non stop trials. Since, I never really had a formal Art education, there was many failed attempts before i could get it right. I read through countless blogs, watched hours of videos on YouTube, scrolled through Pinterest. I learned various tools that can help me with Cardmaking like #SizzixBigShotPlus. I invested in that tool. I had to learn stamping, embossing, distressing techniques. I had to learn paint mediums, different type of paints and many more and the figure out which path I really want to venture into.

My passion is Crafting and Cardmaking but i never lost my focus to include recycle materials and re-purposing anything and everything. I had to be very innovative as i couldn't just apply 100%. I learned how to incorporate new and old things.

I used to think that I didn't have any special talent that i can be proud of. The last one year have thought me otherwise. I realised that all of us, have a talent. Some are very hidden and some are right in front of our eyes. In most cases, we just don't give ourselves enough credit and admit to ourselves that we are talented. We are always undermining ourselves. Our creations doesn't have to be perfect to everyone's eyes, it just have to be perfect in our own eyes. I have to be satisfied and have confidence with my creations, I have to believe that i can. She made me realise that every time I create something, i always have create it with the believe that I always have a buyer for that piece. I'm no expert, but since, I do this out of joy and love and passion, I leave a part of me on every piece of work I do and I do give my 100% in all my creations. From then on, i ventured more and more and that is how i ended up finding mixed media technique. In one year i have grown and i know i will continually to grow. Sometimes i look back to my older designs and i laugh at it and wonder what i was thinking.

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