Friday, December 28, 2012

Designer Chat with Karen Ellis & Mark Montano

Designer Chat2
Now this gal simply is AMAZING!!! Not only is she a fellow Canadian BUT she has a {HEART} of GOLD! Karen has been my friend for a few years now and from the first time that I met her….well, what can I say, I was *grinning* from ear to ear!!! Plus, Karen, like myself,  writes articles for the Canadian Scrapbooker and she also carries some of my products at her AMAZING studio,

I would now like to introduce the one and only……
Karen Ellis
My Photo
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Thank you Susan, for inviting me to be a part of the Christmas Love Campaign. What a wonderful thing to log on and read all the fabulous stories and enjoy all the fabulous craftiness.
I'd love to be able to tell you that I got all my artsy traits from traditions past like so many designers but, alas, I grew up in a house full of freaks. And by freaks, I mean a house full of gift buyers - not gift makers. LOL. It's safe to say that, from an early age, I ran to the drips of my own paintbrush. There's not a crafty soul among them. No grandma to teach me how to knit, no Aunt that liked to sew, no cousin who liked to draw. Nope ... nada. So to me, Christmas was not about homemade gifts – it was about doing something together.
When I was young, music was my creative outlet. It was important to my father (and his side of the family) to do something musical - learn an instrument (or 20 ...not kidding), read, write and perform. Thankfully I was always at home on a stage (I know, that shocks all who know me *smile*). I was in bands, performed at countless weddings and celebrations, conducted, and even competed vocally. I'm mentioning music here for a reason ... It was through music that first began to give the gift of myself and through music, one song in particular, that I became infinitely aware of the world around me.
I know it may sound silly, but I was 12 years old in 1984 (and didn't know much about life outside my own community) when Band Aid's “Do They Know It's Christmas”hit the airways. This song amazed and inspired me. I clambered all over the television every time it's video played on Much Music and during it's associated telethons and documentaries. Seeing the images of people halfway around the world literally starved without the things that I had in abundance blew my mind and I had to know more – and more importantly - I had to help. It was the beginning of my charitable life.
Fast Forward to today...
We'll buy (and, yes, now I make) gifts for the kids. My daughter and my niece are the only two kids on both sides of the family and they receive something wrapped. We adults give cards with Christmas wishes and make financial donations to charities close to our hearts. The fun part for me is in choosing where to send each gift. My husband and I always try to make a donation that reflects things that happen to our family that year, research where its going and determine the right fit for us. For example, my parents received a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, my brother and sister-in-law received a donation of school supplies to a third world country when my niece started school, etc etc. We don't just write a check. Thought goes into this process and that's where part of the joy comes from. We are very fortunate and always try to think of others – especially at this time of year. That is what Christmas is about after all, right? To celebrate God's gift to us and, well, pay it forward. Smile Over the years we have worked soup kitchens, made beds for the homeless at our local “out of the cold” program, do up shoe boxes to send overseas, give to local angel trees and food banks...and simply reach out to communities in crisis at home and elsewhere.
This Christmas I encourage you to, as the song suggests, “... throw your arms around the world at Christmas Time”. Make a donation to a charity that supports something that's important to you, make a card and send it to someone you hardly know, get involved in your community - I guarantee you, it will touch their heart.
Art is now the way I choose to express myself, work out my thoughts, feelings, and create joy. After the horrific events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary last week, I took to my weekly USTREAM broadcast to create something to help me deal with my overwhelming emotions. What I ended up creating is a canvas that my viewers would like me to auction off and send the proceeds to an organization in support of the victim's families. They also asked me to make note cards to sell as a fundraiser too. What a wonderful idea – and I'm happy to do just that. The note cards are to be delivered to me this week – if you're interested, please stop by my website for information.
If you are like me, and grieve with the families of Newtown, CT and would like to show your support and offer comfort. Give a gift of yourself and your talents - consider making a card and send it to them this Christmas. The U.S. Postal Service has set up a post office box for the public to send its condolences to Newtown. You can send letters and cards to P.O. Box 3700, Newtown, CT 06470.
Here is the card I created to share with you here – the one I've already sent to Newtown.
Supply List
Pan Pastels (two shades of blue),Stampotique Stamp - “Toni's Kids”,Crafter's Workshop Stencils – Mayan Calendar & Clouds (6x6),Archival Ink,Watercolour Paints (to tint the stamped image),Light Molding Paste,Palette Knife, Sofft Tools,Tinsel
Be good to each other this season (and through 2013 as well). There is too much heart ache in this world but with one little act of kindness you can make it better.
Let them know it's Christmas time again”
With much love, Merry Christmas!
Karen Ellis
Thank-you SO much for SHARING this Karen!!!!!!!!! How COOL was this! And to be honest with you, I didn’t know what video she had included until I just put it in and then I started to get all emotional because i remember when this came out and WOW…… well, what more can I say!!!
I also wanted to let you know that Karen has wonderful online classes and well, the other night she created this --------->

She called it ‘Souls Take Flight’. Isn’t it beautiful!! She has made this beautiful artwork available in card packs and proceeds will be sent to ‘26 souls who died in CT’ , as she so gently writes on her blog. To read the whole wonderful blog just pop over HERE. You see, this wonderful lady truly has a HEART of GOLD!
So BE sure to check out her amazing store, blog, and artwork!
Another special friend, Mark Montano, sent me a AWESOME GIFT…his newest book!!! 
Marcus got a chuckle from the title. *grin* However, the book isn't for me. I am so excited to be able to give this big, GIGANTIC, craft-packed book away to one of you. 
To win a copy, leave a comment at the end of this post and tell me why you love CRAFTING & doing AWESOME things for other people!
Can't wait to hear from you! Mark is SO super talented and his style is super cool..... You won't want to miss this!! All his projects will put a smile on your face for sure!! So be sure to check out his blog!
Mark Montano
You will want to get glittery and glitter everything!!!!
The world is always better with glitter and AWESOME friends like these two super talented people! So GO and check out their BLOGS today and then get CREATIVE and SPREAD some CHRISTMAS LOVE!!! I guarantee you will be {smiling}!


Bird blank for logo


  1. Crafting and making things for others bring smiles to my heart and a little happiness to others.

  2. I find crafting therapeutic and love giving and recieving handmade gifts. Whether it is a card to a hand knitted scarf, a hand painted picture to the quilt sewn with love, giving a homemade gift is giving your heart!

  3. I love crafting especially making cards, I find it so therapeutic. I escape to my craft room and it's just me and a world of possibilities. It takes me to a very happy place that no one can take away from me

  4. Karen has so got this right. Each and every day there are terrible tradgedies that happen to everyday people trying to live their lives. If each and every one of us took time, thought and some effort to reach out "What A Wonderful World" it could be. When we give a little we actually get a lot and if there is some "Bling" well that could be even better!

  5. Hi Karen it was lovely to read your post and so heart felt.
    If we all stop and give a little of ourselves the world would sure be a better place!!
    Giving a handmade gift just makes me plain "HAPPY" and seeing that magic smile on a persons face is thank you enough...for a little time spent creating . . . the feeling afterwards is amazing!

  6. great post today. Karen is a creator of good in the world. Hand made gifts are reflections of our inner hand made is like sharing, just like this RAK, sharing our inner self with those that appreciate.
    ava g

  7. Thanks for sharing everyone!! and your lovely comments. Happy New Year!

  8. Thanx 4 sharing & this awesome giveaway! I luv crafting, b/c I luv taking a few objects/supplies & making s/t amazing! I also luv making/doing things 4 people, b/c it feels good 2 make others feel good:) ~prhmangel(at)gmail(dot)com

  9. I love to make crafts because it takes my mind off of my problems, is creative and fun, and benefits the recipient. I like to make cards for friends, family and neighbors. sharon dot gullikson at gmail dot com

  10. Crafting is good for my soul. I like to give away my creations, but not always. I sometimes give a gift to myself when I need it....natasha dot poteraj at gmail dot com


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