Cathleen Torina - ctorina
Melrose Park, IL
Are you kidding me?! That’s what I said to Lydia when she called and invited me to join the Dirty Dozen. I am so excited to be here and still can’t believe that this is really happening.

My name is Cathleen Torina, ctorina here on Splitcoaststampers, and I started stamping about four years ago when my daughter Sara was away at college. She would always ask me to send her mail, so I would spend hours in the card stores trying to pick out just the right card for her. Then one day I was in Michaels, looking for something in the cake decorating section, when I turned the corner I saw a card kit (you know, the ones where all you do is stick on the embellishments.) I thought that was the coolest thing ever and had to buy it. I was so proud of the cards I made from that kit, but I still needed cards that would suit Sara’s style, so I Googled “Homemade Fashion Cards.” The very first card that came up was one by Dirty Dozen Alum, Cindy Haffner, using the “Say Charge” set from My Favorite Things. I think my eyes popped out of my head—it was just the prettiest card I had ever seen! I immediately got my credit card and purchased my very first stamp set. As I searched the web for more cards, the name Splitcoaststampers came up over and over again, and I eventually found my way here. I spent hours in the forums and gallery learning everything I could. Now I am addicted to the daily challenges (waving hi to all the challenge girls); they really helped me grow as a paper crafter, not to mention all the fantastic friends I have made over the years.

Sara has since graduated college, but my passion for stamping and cardmaking has only grown over the years. Now that I no longer send cards to Sara (she lives at home again), my focus has shifted from making fashion cards to trying new techniques to challenge myself as a paper crafter. She and I work as a team – I make the cards, and she manages the technical aspects of my website. When I’m not stamping, I take care of my husband, Phil, who also has Parkinson’s Disease. We have been married for 25 years and reside in a suburb of Chicago. I also enjoy babysitting my great-niece, Brooke (3), and great-nephew, Tommy (1) during the week. Brooke has already shown an interest in paper crafting and makes me punch out shapes for her!

I am incredibly grateful and honored to be a part of the Dirty Dozen. Thank you so much, Lydia for this wonderful opportunity!