Karen Joy Strickland - karebear51
Richland, WA
I grew up in Idaho, were it is very cold in the winter, but beautiful because it's not far from the Teton Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. I have four wonderful younger sisters, a big brother, and an adopted younger brother. Our house was filled with love. Family is very important to me and I love our yearly family reunions. My father taught Secretarial Science at a local college and I was bound and determined to learn shorthand so that at Christmastime I could tell which presents were mine (before Christmas morning he wrote our names in shorthand under the bows). I was in the secretarial/administrative field for over thirty years, but currently I'm retired and loving it!

I met a wonderful man one summer when participating in a summer stock theatre. Every day I am grateful I married a man who is still the love of my life. We will celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary this May. We have four amazing children and six beautiful, smart, and loving grandchildren. I am blessed.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, but on the dry side of the state of Washington where things are not green. It is a desert climate, but the winters are mild, there is plenty of water and sunshine, and my roses grow beautifully.

I have always enjoyed creating things with my hands. Several years ago a friend asked me to join her at a once a week Stampin' Up Club. That was my first exposure to cardmaking, I still have some of those stamps. At that time though, I was more into scrapbooking my kid's lives. I bought all kinds of paper and supplies, so much that my husband calls my craft room a craft store, and he is probably right.

About five years ago I really got the stamping bug. I started watching YouTube videos and ran across Gina K. Designs' StampTV and was inspired to try new things. Eventually I stumbled across Jennifer McGuire, Nicole Spohr, Amy Rysavy, Kristina Werner, Kelly Latevola, Online Card Classes, and Splitcoaststampers and was hooked. I look back at my original cards and see that I've come a long way and developed a style of my own. I love this craft. I love when I hear how much someone loves one of my cards and they're keeping it forever. That's what inspires me and why I keep making them, for the joy of creating and letting someone know they are loved.