Hi everyone! Happy Wednesday!
I’m here today for a *very* special event. You should have made your way over here from the one and only Jennifer McGuire’s blog.
A few weeks ago, our crafting world was devastated at the breaking news that Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking would be closing its doors. The event I’d dreaded for quite some time was finally coming to pass, and I felt so empty and broken.
I couldn’t let that feeling overwhelm and consume me though. I knew I had a mission to carry out.
Last year I was involved in organising a massive Blog Hop for Cath Edvalson (who you’ll be seeing more of later!) when she stepped down from the Moxie Fab World blog and Paper Crafts Magazine life. As soon as the news broke that the magazine itself would now be ceasing, I knew that I wanted to do the same again, but for Paper Crafts & Scrapbooking Magazine.
I started a group and very quickly found that I was not alone in wanting to express my love and gratitude to this magazine and all who were behind it. Our group swelled with participants, flocking from all corners of our community, coming together for this one purpose. I spent time contacting friends, friends of friends, people and companies throughout our crafting world, and was overwhelmed with the response. The fact that many more wanted to participate but couldn’t, is testament itself when you see how many people have managed to come together today.
So, before I go on, some words, a story, from me, and some words to those wonderful friends of mine at this most beloved of magazines.
I started out in papercrafting as a hobby, several years ago. I quickly grew tired of all the ‘kits’ and Victorian-era style cards in the UK, and looked overseas to America for inspiration. I found a few companies I liked, and purchased supplies. More and more through my investigation I came across fantastic designers, talented individuals and countless sources of inspiration. The one vein running through it all was Paper Crafts Magazine.
I learned that this magazine, was not like the others. For a start, unlike its UK counterparts, it featured real cards from *real* designers in our industry. True talent and amazing inspiration. I decided to set myself the goal of one day being published in the magazine.
I was a nobody in the papercrafting world. Until Paper Crafts Magazine.
I strived and I strived to get published. My work wasn’t good enough, and I was frequently disappointed. I doubled my efforts but was still left wanting, still lacking. My work was getting better, because the magazine challenged me to be better.
I was despondent, but in the midst of my disappointment, a message. From one Susan Opel. She told me I was getting closer, and that my work was good, and not to give up. I listened. Summer came, and I visited CHA in Chicago. I met Susan and we embraced and she reiterated to me not to give up. She introduced me to Cath, saying ‘This is Taheerah. She is very talented and she will be in the magazine soon.
Not too much after that, the first Happy Mail came. Susan kept me waiting until the party was nearly over, before sending it. The tease. I can still remember how my heart almost leapt out of my chest, and how I screamed the house down and scared my cats.
This was my first card published in Paper Crafts Magazine, in 2011:
I experienced that feeling several times after. I’m incredibly lucky to have. I can’t believe I’ll never experience that feeling again.
Anyway. 2012 came, and, thanks to Paper Crafts Magazine this happened:
And then my life really did change.
Not only did Gallery Idol give me an amazing ride that I’ll never forget, and some awesome prizes to boot, but also a kickstart into seriously starting to get my career going somewhere in this industry. It helped push my creativity to the max, an ethos I’ve carried with me to this day.
It also gave me something else that is truly priceless: 19 truly wonderful friends, whom I still speak with daily and have become close to and would not be without. And over the years that followed, hundreds more friends, all becoming known to me through this hobby, from connecting through my blog, from Googling names I’d seen published in the magazine with me. Design Teams, competition wins, any and all of it – none of it would have happened had it not been for this magazine.
I even managed to secure the hallowed invitation to a private call, a publishing call where only certain designers are invited to submit. It happened twice, and both times I was published; the first instance I had 5 cards picked up (the second time I’d managed it):
Fast forwarding to now. I’m still a (relative) nobody in this business. But I am also a (relative) somebody. There are far bigger fish than me. But, I’ve come a long, long way. There are still ambitions I want to achieve, some of which were to do with the magazine. None of which will become a reality now. I’ll never be a cover girl. I’ll never be crowned Stamping Royalty. I’ll never write for the magazine (Susan, I never told you, but several times I nearly wrote to you asking if I could, someday).
When I heard that PC&S would be no more, I felt like my gut was being ripped out. Along with my heart. I cried. I felt empty. I felt sick to my stomach. I felt lost. But that wonderful community that I am part of, that the magazine helped build, were all there for me.
And now here we are, all of us, here for YOU, Paper Crafts and Scrapbooking Magazine team.
We’re all here today to honour you, to thank you, to see you out with a bang. To tell you that you will always be loved and appreciated and that you will never be forgotten. That we know just how much we owe to you, and that we will never forget all you did for us.
Here’s a card I put together, just for you:
Gold, watercolour, thanks. Hopefully trendy enough!
I hope you all like it. I tried to put to use everything you’ve taught me, and everything that will stay with me. You are all my friends, and I love you so, so much. I owe you everything.
We also put together this little video, featuring lots of your extended family!
I hope you’ve got some time to set aside, because a LOT of friends are here and waiting to share what you mean to us:
Your next stop is Veronica Zalis.
But before you go, I just want to pass on my thanks to everyone who has participated in this Hop, to those who helped me with graphics and video and inviting others to join. To those of you and more, I owe my thanks, and give you my love.