Monday, November 26, 2007

Mostly a Failure

A simple little card that I just love using stamps from SmARTworks (

Here is my story: I have been trying to set up this blog since I started it on a whim a week ago. One of the items I have been going back and forth on whether or not to include is a resume (or list of publications/contests/etc.) as many bloggers do. On the positive side, this allows readers to find their favorite stamp artists in publications. It also allows the blogger to share in their successes (one undoubtedly she worked very hard for!) On the negative side, I wonder if it makes a person seem like she always succeeds when, in reality, most people have experienced many many rejections before they experience one success.

So, then I thought---hmmmm...maybe I should list all of my failed attempts at being published (I guarantee you that list is much longer) or the design team I tried out for and didn't make the final cut. Maybe this would let everyone know that every person has failures no matter what is written on their resume. So remember that when you put someone on a pedestal--they are human--they probably have just worked right through all the rejections until they received success!

Here is one of my rejection stories: In the summer, I "tried out" for a design team (the first one I ever applied to be on!) To my surprise, I was selected as a finalist based on my gallery and some questions I was asked. I was elated, I was excited, I Pennsylvania visiting family for seven weeks!!! Bummer...but so what....I had my stamps sent to me there and designed the assigned number of cards and sent them in and waited for the news. Nope...didn't make the cut. The design team I am referring to was SmARTworks. Susan Trask is the owner of the stamp company which has fabulous stamps and a very talented team of designers. I, of course, was disappointed to not have been selected but I did not let that stop be from refining by skills and trying again.

Susan was so sweet and gave each of us some stamps to play with as a thank you for participating. The above card features my selections! Cute, ugh? You can check out their other adorable stamps and the design team's gallery at

So what do YOU think???? Should I be the first to display a list of failures?

I will post the blog candy winner tomorrow. I checked out and couldn't figure it out so I am going to use Random.Cara (my 11 year old dd)!Lucky for MOST of you I am using that daughter instead of my two-year old who really just favors the numbers 2 and 3!

Have a great day everyone!


Alli Miles said...

You are so darn you know that? I love your ramblings and your real life personality that shines through your blog. As far as the card is is a winner but I hear ya! I think failure is a good thing. Sometimes we need to work from the bottom up. And girl...YOU ARE GLOWING.

Jacque (SCS: Petals) said...

This was just what I needed to hear! I have been working a graduate degree as a technical writer for the past couple of years. In addition, I am a SAHM of two young children and work the occassional odd job. I have been feeling spent and questioning my purpose.

So many of my friends grew up knowing they wanted to be a teacher, vet, dr., etc. Me? The only thing I ever wanted to be was a Mom. Now I am one, only I feel like it takes a back seat so often to the idea that I *have* to earn this degree.

What does all of this have to do with crafting? Well, I have recently decided that I am going to let go of school. I am going to focus on being the best mom I can be. Part of being able to do that will be doing what I need to for myself to maintain balance. Besides my family, the other great passion of my life is crafting.

I love crafts of all kinds, but have really come to focus on stamping in the past couple of years. I believe I have the talent and motivation necessary to be successful at crafting. So, I've decided to put myself out there. Like your recent venture, I plan to start by getting a blog of my own set up. Then, I'm going stamp my little toosh off, and post what I stamp. I'm going to look for design team calls and give them a try. And, well, all sorts of things.

The bottom line is that I am going to give a dream (you know those little girl wishes for when you grow up) a chance. What I needed to hear was that this is okay. I know that's not exactly what you wrote, but it's what I read. It's the, "you may get knocked down ten times before someone will even extend a hand, much less bend down to help you up" kind of statement I needed to affirm that taking the chance is worth it.

Anyhow, I've rambled's late, I'm tired, and a bit sentimental. Okay, anyone who knows me would just say that's me, but it's the excuse I'm using for the moment!

To address your question, do what you want. I know that's not terribly helpful, but it's your blog. Will seeing your failures bring you down or make you stronger? As a reader, failures, especially of people whose work you admire, certainly do add a certain something to the blog. A kind of down-to-earth, "hey, I'm like you," type of feeling. Just my 2 cents.

And, since I'm not 2 or 3 on the comments for the blog candy, by all means, I am thrilled it will be your older daughter choosing!

Thanks for the thoughtful post, ADORABLE card, and, if you've made it this far, for taking the time to share my dream.

Good night!

Wendalyn said...

LOL You are funny, would love to see your failures... your cards are great.

Erika H. said...

Thanks for sharing this post, Carolyn. Congrats on your win for your scrapbook page of your dd you created for the SCS Scrapbook Designer Diva Challenge 01. It was gorgeous! I guess that is life- you win some and you lose some.

carole (TruCarMa) said...

Been there and done that more than once! : ) But I think it's good and humanizing to share not only our successes but also our rejections. Not quite sure I'd call them 'failures' (even though they feel like such) -- that's a little too harsh. I know you, girlfriend, and I know your submissions were beauties w/o even having to see them! Unfortunately, though, rejection is much more common than selection, when you consider the number of stampers who apply for open DT and publication calls. Still, it doesn't feel good, regardless of how character building we try to tell ourselves it is.

Opening up and sharing like you did is a great thing -- everyone else gets to know you're human, and it helps get that monkey of perfectionism off your back. If all the world knows of is your fabulousness, well, that's kinda boring, don't you think?! Kinda like those Christmas newsletters that only tell how wonderful and accomplished the family was this year. YAWN!!! : )

Chris Scrappin and Stampin in Texas said...

Your post was so heartfelt, and I agree with alli, your personality really shines through. I am so happy that you started to blog, and it is nice to know the "human" side and feelings of crafters. I think of our "failures" as a little push to go for what we want or let go of something our heart was not in. I had a hard time with my divorce in 2005, after 17 1/2 years of marriage, because I did not want it...but after 2 years I have come to realize that I deserved better than to stay in a marriage that only I wanted. I knew that I was a good wife, mother & person, and all that did not matter in the end. I could go on, and on..but to answer your question, since this is your blog, I say go for what you want to share. You are a super talented artist and it sounds like a great friend to many!!!Hugs, Chris

Julie Masse said...

Cammie this post is great! We so often forget that EVERYBODY fails! One of my friends & fellow DT member's Kristine Reynolds has a quote on the bottom of all her emails: "It's not how many times you try and fail, it's how many times you fail and try again!" Love that! Thanks for the reminder . . .maybe a little tally list would work - this would be an example of mine(LOL!) Acceptances: 2, Rejections: 500 :)

Cathy I. said...

Awesome post Cammie!!! I'm glad you started a blog!! You're right, sometimes we only see the success and not the tough road that was taken to get there. It's easy to forget that we all have ups and downs. Thanks for the reminder!! Good luck with your blog...doing your own thing, is the best thing!
I look forward to visiting again...

Christina Fischer said...

Your honestly and humor are so great! You said it perfectly -- it's hard not to get discouraged as we try to "make our way" in the papercrafting world! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on "failure", although you are far from it! :) BTW, your card is darling!!

Cheri said...

First off, I've got to tell you how glad I am that you started a blog. I love your work and am really enjoying your personality that is so evident. You're the best kind of blogger! On to the rejection list. . .just can't tell you how encouraging it is to hear that someone whose work is FABULOUS also went through some rejections first. It gets a bit discouraging when you try and feel like your work is really good and then you're told "no". So, yeah, I'd love it if your Design Team list also included the times you weren't selected. It just encourages me to keep trying! Thanks so much!

Shannan said...

You crack me up. Love the card, and if you'll post your list of failures, I'll join you!

Melissa said...

Fabulous card and I love the sentiment!

I say go with your heart - perhaps listing both successes and failures will speak to someone else's heart!

Many Blessings,

Deb said...

Thanks for sharing. This is totally adorable!! They are crazy to have passed you up!

twinks said...

Oh, this is adorable. Thank you for sharing yur story.