Learning Curve!

So, it’s late and I’m sitting up in bed…in the dark…to type this post. My little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, “Kiwi”, is curled up beside me. She doesn’t like the light from my laptop (in fact, she hates my laptop! LOL), so she moves to the foot of the bed, asleep in minutes. My husband is wrapped up in the comforter, sound asleep and snoring softly. And here I am:

It’s like learning a new language!

Right now I’m attempting to learn a new program, and have no experience whatsoever in blogging-web-building-design-whatever-it’s-called, and I feel as if I’m butting my head against a wall (see pic, below). My brain has been inundated with this new computer language. I mean, where is this field it talks about, and does it have pretty flowers? And what in the world does it mean by a parent? Are there also children? Learning something new can sometimes be frustrating! Gosh, I feel as though I AM trying to speak a foreign language that I’ve never heard before. And yet, I’ve heard that the more I do something unfamiliar to me, the easier it gets. If I’m honest (and I am), I can tell you that tonight, I’m already 100 times better at manipulating some of the program than I was two days ago! BUT… instead of focusing on my small design successes, of course I’m stressing out about all the other commands that I don’t know yet (whew…big breath…don’t wake Hubby or Kiwi…relax shoulders…another breath… find out where the text disappeared to…try again…).

I’m of the opinion that frustration can also crop up (ha ha) while learning new techniques in cardmaking. I think we, as artists, have the ability to see the end result before we ever begin! That happens to me sometimes. Long before I pull out the cardstock and try to find where I left my scissors, I know what I want. I sit down with one part confidence and one part trepidation, my Crafter’s Apron tied, and my tools at the ready. Then come the details:

  • Ink-Blending (oops, too much pressure, or, I didn’t know those colors would make brown);
  • Stamping (stamping tool or acrylic block? Kiwi, come back here with that stamp!);
  • Die Cutting (I thought it was about ham & cheese on rye when the instructions mentioned a sandwich!);
  • Heat Embossing (what, exactly, do I do with this antistatic pouch? Is the paper supposed to curl up like that?);
  • Glue (not a technique, but oh my goodness! I had no idea there were so many types of glue!);
  • Interactive Cards (wait…the iris is supposed to close without those pieces coming out, too??) ;
  • Matting (seems I can’t ever get them glued straight); and
  • On and on and on it goes!

Many times, while I’m learning a technique, and because I get caught up in all those details, the end result looks NOTHING like what was in my head before I began!

Yes, learning new stuff can be frustrating for me – at first. It may even be frustrating for me “at second”. But I know that if I don’t give up, I will eventually learn. Now, I said “learn”; I didn’t say “become perfect”. After all, there is no “perfect” in art is there? Most importantly, though, I’ve discovered that I need to have (a) some patience, (b) a sprinkle of positivity, and (c) grace toward myself, because mastering a technique involves a lot of practice. And here’s the silly thing: even if I think I have it “mastered” (I don’t), I can still find fault with it somewhere (“Gasp! I messed up the edge of this card by 0.005 nanometers?? OMGSH, it’s JUNK!”). I mean, really?? LOL

My friend, you and I may get frustrated while learning a new cardmaking technique (or a new computer program), but the good news is that we, as artists, are a determined lot. We may bang our heads against a wall for awhile while learning something we’ve never seen before, but we also have the uncanny knack, and amazing ability, to take the one thing that didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, pull it out of the trash, and turn it into a different, but quite satisfying, masterpiece!

Well, it’s time for some rest. Have fun crafting!! And let’s be KIND to OURSELVES, and to EACH OTHER! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and that it brought a smile or two to your face!



IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE ABOUT A TECHNIQUE THAT CHALLENGES YOU, PLEASE REPLY IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. I would love to hear about it, and I’ll bet some readers will acknowledge being challenged by the same technique!

Kiwi and I say “Nighty Night”

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