Crissy Armstrong - #1artist4highhopes
Northern Ontario
Serendipity. It happens to all of us occasionally; those events that come from out of the blue; events that change your life for the better, and give you something wonderful; events that take you by surprise because you never even thought to dream they could happen to you. This aptly describes how it felt when I got a letter from Lydia inviting me to join the Dirty Dozen Team. Serendipity sat patiently on my doorstep, just waiting for me to believe it had actually come to visit with me. But eventually, I did believe... and then, ... I opened the door…

At another moment in time, I received my first serendipitous gift of being born in Canada, to parents who would encourage my artistic bend. Drawing, colouring and creating crafts was something I loved to do and excelled at, even at a young age, so I suppose one could say that I was made to do this; to create, to express myself artistically. It is a part of my soul; it is who I am at my core.

I make my home with my husband (of 30+ yrs) in Northern Ontario; home of many moose, deer, black bears and blueberries. There is natural, untouched forest close by our house, so we often get to see much of the wildlife that lives around here and we really enjoy that.

We're in a small town, and our four children are all grown with families of their own. We are blessed to be grandparents. It is a wonderful life!

About twelve years ago, in another serendipitous moment, I fell in love with card making and stamping. I never knew it would become such a big part of my life; but ever since the first time I held a heat gun and embossed a sentiment on a card, I knew I had fallen in love. From that day forward, I immersed myself in the card making world!

Not too long after getting into the hobby of card making, I got a job illustrating stamps with High Hopes Stamps (thus the moniker, “artist4highhopes”). The owner at the time introduced me to Splitcoaststampers. My jaw dropped when I read the stats and saw thousands of members. I never knew such a place existed! All these people, from all over the world who loved stamping and card making as much as I did, all in one place! Yipee! What a blessing!

When my job finished with High Hopes, I illustrated for Kraftin’ Kimmie Stamps, Wags n’ Whiskers, Squigglefly, and then Whimsy Stamps. It was a daunting schedule to keep up with, juggling that many contracts. Eventually, after too many fourteen hour days at the drawing board, I got wise, and whittled it down to just the one, Whimsy Stamps, for whom I am still currently illustrating. They have used my illustrations in their line of red rubber, clear polymer and digital images, as well as metal dies. My childhood wish of being a professional artist has come true, all because I fell in love with stamping.

I know I would not be nearly as good at card making were it not for Splitcoaststampers. It was through studying the amazing cards I saw on this site that I honed my crafting skills. The inspiration found here is endless. From the tutorials to the challenges to the Dirty Dozen gallery - there is a constant flow of creativity and genius ideas that inspire me time after time. The people who provide the inspiration are also very generous with sharing their ideas, and are happy to help. I have not met an unkind soul here. We are all sisters and brothers in creativity, all helping one another. It is truly a beautiful place to be!

I am extremely grateful to get the chance to be on the design team. I never, ever thought this would happen to me; but then again, that is the nature of Serendipity. You never know when it will show up at your doorstep!