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Old 05-16-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
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Arrow What I Have Learned from VSN

Hello Everyone!

As I mentioned in one of the threads, this was my first VSN. It is not even close to being over (yippee!) and I have already had a lot of fun.

I also learned a lot.

I thought it would be interesting hear what others of you might have learned through VSN, whether it was this VSN or a previous one, whether it is craft-related or non-craft related, and I will share what I learned as well. Here goes.

What I Learned from VSN:

(1) I can make a pretty nice card in only 45 minutes (no more excuses!)

(2) Even if I don't like the card I produce for a particular challenge, I might come up with several other ideas in the process that I can use for future cards (this happened during the MAY09VSNE food card challenge - TONS of ideas, knew I couldn't execute all of them in only 45 minutes, but I can later...)

(3) I like food WAY too much

(4) I am not organizing my scraps well. I found there were several occasions when I cut into a brand new slice of cardstock because I didn't want to waste any of my precious 45 minutes digging through my scrap envelope; this could have been prevented if I were more organized. True, when I craft without time constraints I would have the time to dig, but it showed me something in my life I can do to improve it, save time, and reduce waste (every day is Earth Day).

(5) The VSN hostesses and moderators have the energy of a case of Red Bull and the patience of Saints.

(6) You really should take the VSN hostesses advice before you play. This was my first one, I thought 'I'll get what I need out when I need it' - I would have saved more time, which could have been invested in creating more embellished cards, if I had more of the 'beyond-the-basics' items out and easily accessible. Shame on me, live and learn.

I am sure there is more I will learn as the day progresses and I am able to complete more challenges, but this is a lot of insight to have gained in a short period of time ~ 3 challenges.

Hope everyone is having fun at VSN!!
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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Great idea!

1. The hostesses deserve WAAAAYYYY more credit than we give them! They come up with these spectacular ideas, and prizes, and comment on EVERY card for their challenge, and answer the same question several times, and and and and.....KUDOS TO THE HOSTESSES!!

2. I panic when I am under constraints. I do not like this about myself, so I may start working under constraints just for practice.

3. I can make cards that are totally out of my comfort zone (all green? untraditional wedding?) and thoroughly enjoy the process of creating. This tells me I need to move out of my comfort zone more often, and in more areas. (If I moved out of my comfort zone in the exercise area, maybe I would be built for speed, not comfort )

4. I should prep better. I am/was pretty good at cleaning up between challenges, but then I got panicky--OH NOOOO! THEY'VE POSTED THE NEXT CHALLENGE!!!! and I would forget to clean up. I work better in a clean environment, where I know where everything is.

5. Stamping is FUN, not work!!!!

6. You ladies and gents on SCS are the nicest group of people I have the pleasure of being involved with...Thank you.
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Old 05-16-2009, 04:11 PM   #3
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We, the Pit Bosses and Show Girls are so glad that you have enjoyed yourselves and learned something at the same time. Thanks for playing.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:05 PM   #4
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1. Winning prizes is fun!

2. I need to take someone's suggestion of just having your favorite stuff out...I spend so long trying to decide what to use!

3. Cut everything first, then spend time coloring.

4. Don't let your DH get sick on VSN weekend!! Or at least hope that SCS has technical difficulties that end up extending the deadline.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:36 PM   #5
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Smile Still Learning...

Let's see... what did I leave off with... 8?

( 8 ) The paper piercer can be used to unclog Stickles that are stuck (and it really hurts when you drop it on yourself wearing shorts... maybe #8 should be "don't wear shorts while papercrafting if you are a clutz like me?)

(9) Gina K. luxury quality cardstock IS worth the money and DOES ROCK for coloring Copics! (WOW - WHY did I wait to try this stuff?)

(10) Like Heather mentioned above, I too have to move outside my comfort zone more often

(11) Do not hand a card with wet Stickles on it to your husband for approval, unless you are aiming for the smudged look.

That's it for now. We will see if I am able to attempt any more challenges tomorrow and further expand my knowledge base, and my card supply.


Last edited by Crafty Math Chick; 09-01-2010 at 10:45 AM.. Reason: Correct the 8 + ) than turned into a cool smiley. & spelling
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Great thread!

I have learned:

*I don't have to clean as I go, I can put things away when I am done with a card.

*Printing out the sketch challenges so you can flip through a book is much faster.

*For VSN and any time, Grab your stamp and dp first, design the rest of the card from there. The colors and the layout will sometimes be dictated by those items anyway.

*It's ONLY Paper! You can always go back and make changes later. I have one card I took photos of after 45 minutes then went back and "finished" it better. It only took me 10 more minutes, but I wanted to follow the rules and be fair. I will post both versions on my blog later.

*Chocolate and VSN go together WAY too well.
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
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OMG y'all are making my night, this is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hilarious and 100%v TRUE!!!!

All of it....

I am learning a lot from all the fabulous players and our sweet Hostesses....but right now I'm learning that I actually do NEED sleep and I am going to get some right now

I'll be back to this thread tomorrow

THANKS for making me smile!!
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:06 PM   #8
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I learned that the hostesses do a wonderful job! Kudos to all of you
I learned that I can make a good card in 45 minutes
I learned I can stamp in a mess.......wow is my desk a MESS
What a fun fun time I had and I won a prize doesn't get any better than that!!
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #9
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This was a blast. I did miss the first few challenges but I intend to do them tomorrow and will upload then.
Good night all!
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Old 05-17-2009, 04:20 AM   #10
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I learned...

~you should prepare your husband for VSN weeks in advance (you're making ANOTHER card??)

~how thankful I am to same husband for the wonderful stamping area he created for me so I could have all my tools organized, ready and waiting!!

~I should have more than 1 adhesive available as that one kept getting buried under stacks of cs!

and finally...
~ that leaving a 3 year old alone for a couple of minutes with an open stamp pad and stamps is NOT a good idea
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:48 AM   #11
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This is a great thread, I am laughing since a lot of it applies to me as well.

I learned: my husband actually gets the whole card making thing and took over the boys for the day to let me do this.

I can do cards that I may not have a specific plan for because it's fun and creative.

I CAN use that beautiful DSP that I have been afraid to cut, that's what I bought it for.

Oh yeah, and do not leave a 6 year old alone in my craft room (think construction paper with about 100 brads all around the outside and scraps stuck on with a whole sheet of dimensionals)
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:40 AM   #12
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love this thread!
1. friends to talk to, new and old
2. many techniques in the past and while doing research as a hostess
3. I SHOULD clean my stamp room BEFORE VSN weekend
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:07 AM   #13
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I learned that I can make a decent card in 45 minutes! It is easier to be prepared. I was actually in a bad mood on Friday and was so glad that it was VSN! I still have not gotten back to my desk, but I will! I love to chat and the VSN threads were so fun. My kids actually do like to stamp. In letting them do so, I learned--just because the paper is expensive, I have to let them use it--it does not matter what it costs if it is just sitting in a bin. So what if you get fingerprints on your cards? They do not mind. Colors do not need to match! Just let go and have fun! THey want to stamp again. My little one usually does, but my 10 year old had fun making his card.

Oh and def. start with a clean desk!
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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This is fantastic.

I've learned
1. Don't sweat it -it will turn out alright in the end
2. Mistakes are ideas you didn't know you had
3. Great stress reliever
4. Virtual friends are a blast
5. Great support system
6. Try a new technique - you may just like it
7. Sometimes, simple is best, other times - go for it.
8. VSN is addictive in a good way

Thank you to all the players who made the work of the Show Girls and Pit Bosses all worth it. We learned as much from you and you did from us.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:06 PM   #15
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What I learned:

1. It's a good time saver to use images that have already been colored or have been received through WRAK.

2. Glitter looks much prettier on the card than it does when it's all over me and the table!

3. Learning new techniques is a good thing!

4. Using my hoarded stash of stuff is actually quite liberating.
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Old 05-17-2009, 05:55 PM   #16
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I learned that next VSN I am COMPLETELY clearing my schedule....trying to fit in VSN in between 2 birthday parties, T-Ball and Girl Scouts is NO WAY fun for me!

Everyone did a FABULOUS job...even though I played catch up today, I still had fun and added to my card collection big time! Thanks to all!
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:39 PM   #17
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What I learned:

1) Start with a clean area before doing a challenge. I'm still trying to find the top of my table and I only did 5 of the challenges.

2) Its fun to do these challenges in the evening when the kids are sleeping and DH is out for the evening. Harder to do them during the day.

3) I have a very simple style. I need to think outside the box more and try those challenges that require more bling/layers etc., on the cards.

4) Need to stock up on chocolate before VSN starts!

5) The hostesses DO a fabulous job with the challenges - thanks so much!

6) Getting feedback from other paper crafters boosts my confidence. DH doesn't really get it. So, I need to leave more love in the gallery for others.

7) Challenges really do expand your knowledge - I learned two new techniques and had a chance to revisit a favorite.

I really need to spend some time on 3-d crafts - boy - do I stink at those! LOL!
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:35 AM   #18
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This was my first VSN. I stumbled into it when challenge 'L' was posted so I was a bit late to the party, but I quickly jumped in the deep end and just went for it. What I learned was......

1. Get involved
2. Get ready for the next one.
3. Tidy and organize supplies.
4. A quick game is a good game.

Next time I hope to have a stamping friend with me and we'll make a party of it!! So I guess I'll need to get organized with drinks, food and snacks to keep our energy levels up.

..
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:45 AM   #19
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1. I have learned that playing along with VSN is like going to card college. I feel like I learn something new every day on SCS, but especially during challenges like VSN where I am forced to think outside my comfort zone to create something unique.

2. I learned that is is MUCH easier to participate when your in-laws take the kids to their house for the weekend.

3. I have learned that you have to show love to get love.

I have never been a big poster on SCS, more of a lurker and a "favoriter" (is that a word?). I look at the galleries and add cards to my favorites all the time but rarely post replies to the cards I like. I never intended to ignore great work, I would just add cards to my list of favorites for future reference and keep looking. Now I am noticing that the less you respond to other people's work, the less people will respond to yours. I often wonder why most of my cards receive minimal love in the gallery. After this weekend, I realize that you have to give encouragement to get it. I am going to make a concerted effort to let people know when I have enjoyed their creations, since, when people do that for me, it gives me a boost.

Thank you for all the challenges and inspiration- I had fun!
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StampinAimeeCT View Post
1. I have learned that playing along with VSN is like going to card college. I feel like I learn something new every day on SCS, but especially during challenges like VSN where I am forced to think outside my comfort zone to create something unique.

2. I learned that is is MUCH easier to participate when your in-laws take the kids to their house for the weekend.

3. I have learned that you have to show love to get love.

I have never been a big poster on SCS, more of a lurker and a "favoriter" (is that a word?). I look at the galleries and add cards to my favorites all the time but rarely post replies to the cards I like. I never intended to ignore great work, I would just add cards to my list of favorites for future reference and keep looking. Now I am noticing that the less you respond to other people's work, the less people will respond to yours. I often wonder why most of my cards receive minimal love in the gallery. After this weekend, I realize that you have to give encouragement to get it. I am going to make a concerted effort to let people know when I have enjoyed their creations, since, when people do that for me, it gives me a boost.

Thank you for all the challenges and inspiration- I had fun!

I was like you too, not a big poster. Thats why I thought it was about time I got involved. I've been lurking in the dark corners here, now it's time to come out and mingle. I think that was what I got to biggest buzz from -socializing!!
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:12 PM   #21
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I learned two things tonight! All of the posts in this thread are right on the money...you ladies rock and thanks for sharing and 2) if you get too busy in the garden and don't log on to SCS for a few weeks you miss VSN!! Wahhh (I will pay more attention FNO)
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:18 PM   #22
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WOW - you ladies are all so much fun.

I learned that:

a) being involved on any level of VSN is always fun
b) that there are two sides of every piece of cardstock for a reason
c) that you never make a mistake in stamping, it's just a different way of being creative
d) that the time difference between the US and Australia DOES matter - LOL!!!!

I'm so glad that you all had a great time in this VSN and I so hope you continue coming back for more in the future!!!!

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Old 05-23-2009, 07:52 AM   #23
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this is fun - one more "pearl of wisdom"
-don't put the stickles on before all the layers are glued and put together (especially if you have only 45 min.)
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:28 AM   #24
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What a fun thread!

I learned:
• Keeping card sized scraps of patterned paper by manufacturer is great for grab and go. Knowing what I've got there is even better.

• Likewise, keeping pre-cut, pre-scored, and folded cardstock in my "go to" colors is also great. Remembering where I store them, even better.

• My system of keeping my most used stuff within arm's reach really paid off.

• Do anything that needs to dry first, then move onto the next step while that piece is drying. I cut an old frame down, painted it, and let it dry while I stamped and colored the image for one challenge. I stamped, colored, cut out the image, and coated with glitter and let that dry while I assembled the rest of the card.

• Do NOT lose track of time and start a card before needing to make dinner. I did end up making the card in 45 minutes, but that 45 minutes was spread over three hours. Stamp, run down, stir. Run back up, color an image. Run down, stir. Run back up, mat images. Run back down, stir. Serve, eat, clean up dinner, finish card. Then sigh loudly.

BTW, I need to figure out a place to keep my adhesive or buy one of those huge honking things so I don't keep burying the thing under massive mayhem. I wonder if I could make a necklace and wear the darned thing -- kind of like those glasses keeper necklaces.

Thanks again. I'll most definitely will do a VSN again, though hopefully it won't be the same weekend as inlaw visits, baby showers, and other family stuff.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:13 PM   #25
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Such a good thread I just had to bump it up
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Old 08-14-2009, 03:44 AM   #26
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I just had a brilliant idea after reading repeatedly about things getting buried under other things: I'm gonna go to Home Depot and get one of those little half-apron things that the carpenters use for nails and stuff and keep my adhesive, small scissors, paper piercer, etc., in the pockets so they don't take up valuable space on the table and/or get lost! Plus, I'll be able to grab them quickly and keep movin'!
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:38 AM   #27
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Love this thread! Such fantastic ideas! I've learned the clear paper holders full of scraps and "oopsies" are my best friend during VSN.
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:01 PM   #28
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Smile Still Learning...

Learning implies growth, which is good right?

12) Those who do not learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them (i.e. - I still haven't organized my scraps - however, in my defense, I have been working on unmounting all my stamps (almost done) and indexing all my stamps as well (also time consuming) so that is on the to do list, I have just been busy)

13) Having a stamping index DOES make coming up with ideas quickly MUCH easier! So glad I finally started one (thanks Meg!)

14) My puppy is more likely to stay in my craft room will me if I put a pet bed in there for him

15) Glue dots adhere better than the SNAIL. (note to self - buy more of these)

16) The location of my long lost crimper.

17) VSN Hostesses still have the patience of saints and the energy of a Case of Red Bull. How do you ladies do it?
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Old 08-22-2009, 05:55 PM   #29
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I learned that VSN is fabulous for helping me get organized. Somehow I never finish more than 4 or 5 challenges but this time round I organized all my scraps. The last VSN before that I managed to unmount all my stamps and EZmount them. I need another VSN soon to clean up my embellishments!
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Old 08-23-2009, 05:02 PM   #30
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I learned that VSN is fabulous for helping me get organized. Somehow I never finish more than 4 or 5 challenges but this time round I organized all my scraps. The last VSN before that I managed to unmount all my stamps and EZmount them. I need another VSN soon to clean up my embellishments!
I worked in the opposite direction Christine -

After the last VSN I worked on unmounting my stamps and a stamp index to help me come up with ideas fast (thanks Meg!). Now that this one is over I will have to organize my scraps now - I have them all in one big expandable envelope right now.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:57 PM   #31
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I've learnt that it's a blast to be a hostess and a coordinator

I totally love this thread.....keep the amazing tips coming ladies!!!
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:44 PM   #32
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I have learned that, in a pinch, you can make a great card in a short time. Today I used the retired SU Simply Circles set, circle punches, textured basketball paper scraps, scissors and a white gel pen to make a card in 10 minutes (the scissors and gel pen were to make a football). The card was for a friend of my son who was celebrating his 8th birthday today. We hadn't picked out a gift yet, but after my son signed the card, he announced "let's get him a football"!

I learned that many techniques can be done quickly enough to complete a fabulous card within the 45 minute VSN time limit!
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Old 09-20-2009, 07:27 AM   #33
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...
I totally love this thread.....keep the amazing tips coming ladies!!!
Well, it was a very educational (and FUN!) experience for me, so I thought it would be fun to share what I learned and find out what others discovered in the process as well.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:09 AM   #34
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What a fun thread!


BTW, I need to figure out a place to keep my adhesive or buy one of those huge honking things so I don't keep burying the thing under massive mayhem. I wonder if I could make a necklace and wear the darned thing -- kind of like those glasses keeper necklaces.

WHAT A GREAT IDEA !!! I never thought of putting my adhesive on a lanyard around my neck !
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:15 AM   #35
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This time around I learned that you should either have two stampin' scrubbing pads ready to go or wait to create the card that uses white craft ink first - because once you clean that off you have to clean your scrubber pads.

Also, when I first started doing VSN challenges, I was SO convinced I could never finish a decent card in 45 minutes that I rushed - now I am discovering that I can create a decent card in as little as 15 minutes, so I can glam my VSN cards up a bit more and STILL meet the 45 minute deadline!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:11 AM   #36
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This is an awesome thread. I participated in my first/last VSN in February 09 - so I am so happy I can plan to participate in the upcoming VSN this month. I totally loved it the first time. I hope I don't repeat the others.....there are so many I still have to read...but are my lessons learned and best practices (smiles - I'm such a geek):

1. I CAN make an acceptable entry in less than 30 minutes (but it seems like another 30 minutes would have made it perfect....but who as an hour to make a single card anyway?!) This is great training for real life! My best card from my last VSN I did only took 10 minutes ! See here

2. To pay attention to the SHOPPING List. The hostesses let us know what we need ahead of time and those things should be 'visible' (not in a box or draw) during VSN. Run out to the local craft store in advance to find substitutes if necessary, and swap with friends for them if your budget is low. Be careful though....don't use a key product before it is requested...cause you won't have it for the challenge it's intended for. It helps that they sometimes put them in the right order; this way you know that once it's been used you can safely go back and use the rest of it for another challenge later on.

3. To be very aware (or reminded) of what stamp images I have....and the various ways they can be used. So in preparation, open all the draws and the boxes and look at what you have....make amends with forgotten older stamps and practice with the newer ones not yet used. Play around with what you have (with no intent to succeed) just to get to know your stash well! So whether you have 2 stamps or 200 stamps - this can be a helpful exercise and get you using what you might be wasting (lol). Ditto for paper products lost behind the closet door! You'll be surprised what this exercise will do for creativity.

4. To set up my photo studio in advance; assure that camera, and materials needed to transfer from camera to computer, are all charged up, handy and ready to get going at a moments notice.

5. To remember to have fun. After all, this is really a game.

I hope you win a prize too - always makes it all the more fun !
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:21 AM   #37
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Default GREAT IDEA!

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I just had a brilliant idea after reading repeatedly about things getting buried under other things: I'm gonna go to Home Depot and get one of those little half-apron things that the carpenters use for nails and stuff and keep my adhesive, small scissors, paper piercer, etc., in the pockets so they don't take up valuable space on the table and/or get lost! Plus, I'll be able to grab them quickly and keep movin'!
That is such a great idea, I have a carpenter in my life so I can probably just borrow one!

thanks!
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #38
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...
What I Learned from VSN:

... (4) I am not organizing my scraps well. I found there were several occasions when I cut into a brand new slice of cardstock because I didn't want to waste any of my precious 45 minutes digging through my scrap envelope; this could have been prevented if I were more organized. True, when I craft without time constraints I would have the time to dig, but it showed me something in my life I can do to improve it, save time, and reduce waste (every day is Earth Day).

...
I FINALLY DID IT! I ORGANIZED MY SCRAPS!

Granted - they aren't perfect - instead of having all the scraps collected in a single 8 1/2 x 11" envelope, I have them separated into SIX (count 'em SIX!) 8 1/2 x 11" envelopes, separated by color families (bold brights, earth elements, rich regals, soft subtles, neutrals, in-colors) with a quart sized ziploc baggie inside each one holding the smaller pieces. Will still require a little digging, but hopefully I will be successful in finding more of what I am looking for and will result in cutting into fewer new slices of cardstock. This previously seeming 'daunting' task didn't even end up taking that long at all. BOO-YA!

And in the process, I learned:

- I have not used 'Mint Medley' cardstock in over two years.
- Red is my most frequently used color (I have the most scraps of it)
- I don't think I have ever used Not Quite Navy (ZERO scraps of that)
- I need an eye exam soon as I had difficulty distinguishing Only Orange from Pumpkin Pie unless it was next to one another, the same thing for Wild Wasabi and Garden Green, and maybe I need a cat scan as well since I sat there looking at a slice of 'Pacific Point' cardstock for a good 3 minutes before realizing what is was.
- I want a soft lemon yellow that has some brightness to it - Barely Banana doesn't cut it for me - maybe that will be a new in-color this year or I should check our Gina K.'s Lemon Drop.

Guess you can learn a lot from scraps huh?

I feel refreshed and ready for VSN - BRING IT ON! WOO!

Last edited by Crafty Math Chick; 02-26-2010 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:48 AM   #39
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Everything has been said, but this is what counts to me the most:

That no distance or time difference can stop us ladies to have fun together. Through VSN/VSBN, we can play with crafters from anywhere in the world, and share each other's talents, and get inspiration from each other.

I'm ready to play!!! Woot!!!
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Old 02-26-2010, 12:16 PM   #40
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this was an awesome thread....

Congrats to Crafty Math Chick for organizing her scraps! I have yet to attack that catastrophe!

See you tonight!
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