Inspired By…Artists

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxFriday — we meet again!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our week of Inspiration Celebration. It’s been such a pleasure to have the opportunity to share our passions and influences. What a wonderful way to reflect on the good things in life!

To round out the week, we want to take the time to concentrate on the inspiration that we find in the beauty that surrounds us. As creaters, makers, and crafters, we obviously find great joy in beauty. Painters, sculptors, illustrators, tattoo artists, fashion designers, architects, graphic designers, crafters, interior designers, cartoonists, musicians, and a long list of other creative types can inspire us in so many ways. So let’s give them a shout out today!

Inspirational Artists

Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh employed much beauty and emotion in his paintings. His passion is obvious in some of his most famous works like Starry Night and The Bedroom. Our pinnable quote of the day embodies the spirit of his intense focus on his art and life.

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After a trip to Michoacán, MX, last fall, I became fascinated with Mexican self-portrait artist Frida Kahlo. Her tumultuous and colorful life led to passionate paintings ranging from dark to wild to beautiful to bizarre, yet all of them end up being incredibly thought-provoking. She, like van Gogh, embraced a life full of passion, and her fiery, lively, and tragic nature turned into colorful and iconic commentaries on life.

As a parting gift, we have gathered the quotes from this week (plus Kim can der Sanden’s favorite from Patrick Overton) in a downloadable PDF that you can print and use in any way you like. They measure 3″ x 4″, so they are PERFECT for pocket scrapbooking! Click HERE for the color version and HERE for the black and white version — great for use on the insides of cards.

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Now let’s take a look at this inspirational prize we’ve gathered. One winner will take away the Vertical Greetings stamp set, Blueprints 13 Die-namics, and an autographed copy of Melody Ross’s book Choose Happy which is sure to inspire you for a long time! All winners will be announced next week, so stay tuned for the announcement!

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us what artist inspires you and why.
  2. Subscribe to our blog.
  3. Follow us on Pinterest.
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Nine members of our various creative teams have taken up an art-inspired challenge. Visit the blogs of these ladies to see projects that they’ve made inspired by a famous work of art. I’m sure you will find great beauty in every single one!

FrancinePrintJulieKayPrintStephanieTeriPrintYoonsun

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Now it’s your turn to Tell Us What Artist Inspires You and Why!

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

Inspired By…Historical Figures

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxSo far this week we’ve shared stories about influential teachers, coaches, and mentors, and a whole bunch of inspiring quotes that run the gamut from Winnie the Pooh to the Bible. It’s been so fun getting to know you through your heartfelt answers. We are always so glad to hear what you have to say!

Many of the quotes you shared on Tuesday came from the annals of history. With such a vast landscape of days gone by there is MUCH to learn from those who have gone before us. From our grandparents to world leaders to those who forged new paths where no paths were to those who lived through adversity to heroes and heroines of all kinds — the lessons they learned can help us to embrace and understand our lives.

Inspirational Historical Figures

All of our lives we have learned from history, gaining knowledge and insight and shaping our outlook on life. Today we want to celebrate those historical figures who have inspired you to be the best that you can be.

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Like many girls, when I read Anne Frank’s story The Diary of a Young Girl my life was profoundly changed. Her passion for life (even a life cut so tragically short) and her deep insights stemming from some of the most unimaginable experiences made me want to be a better person. Another powerful quote from her is this one, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Thank you, Anne Frank, for teaching me how to live.

Now let’s take a look at this inspiring prize we’ve gathered. One winner will take away the Clearly Sentimental about New Beginnings stamp set, Blueprints 12 Die-namics, and an autographed copy of Melody Ross’s book Choose Happy which is sure to inspire you for a long time! All winners will be announced next week, so stay tuned for the announcement!

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us about a historical figure who inspires you.
  2. Subscribe to our blog.
  3. Follow us on Pinterest.
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Now it’s your turn to Tell Us about a Historical Figure Who Inspires You!

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

Inspired By…Coaches and Mentors

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxI don’t know about you, but I’ve been enjoying hearing your stories and seeing how you are inspired this week. We all have so much to share and that is an inspiration in itself!

On Monday, we paid homage to the teachers who have touched our lives. Chances are that during your formative years you participated in other activities before or after school, whether it was sports, music, drama, cheer, dance, scouting, youth group, volunteering, academic clubs,  etc.  Or maybe you’ve been involved in clubs or programs as an adult that have enhanced your quality of life. Your coaches and mentors had a hand in molding you into who you are today.

Let’s take a moment to reach back into the recesses of our memory (some of us have to reach farther than others!), and remember the coaches and mentors who mean so much to us.

Inspirational Coaches and Mentors

A good coach or mentor likely did or said things that helped you to understand, to acheive, to pursue. There’s nothing I love more than those inspiring speeches that coaches give before the big game. I’ll admit I’m a sports movie junkie. Check out this great quote from famed Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi:

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I’ve always been a cheerleader at heart. I cheered in 7th and 8th grade, and drove my mother bonkers practicing routines in the grocery store and generally coming ALIVE on the sidelines. As an incoming freshman, I attended the meetings for tryouts in high school. I remember being SO intimidated. I came from a tiny school, and there were all of these lithe girls who could jump higher than me and do the splits. I totally bailed and joined the pep club instead.

Enter Lenore Lemanski, the cheerleading coach. I had cheered with her daughter in 8th grade, and she knew how much I loved it. At the end of my sophomore year she approached me and asked me to give it another shot. So I worked hard hoping to snag a spot on the JV team as a junior. And you know what? I made VARSITY. And the next year I was voted captain by my peers. Without Lenore’s prodding, I would never have done it.

Years later, I became a cheerleading coach, and I took a page from Mrs. Lemanski’s book and personally approached many girls. It paid off! And one of those girls went on to coach at the same school and did the same. A wonderful cycle was created!

Whew! That was long-winded, but a story I love to share.

Now let’s take a look at this fun coach inspired prize we’ve gathered. One winner will take away the Be Original stamp set, All-Star High Tops Die-namics, and an autographed copy of Melody Ross’s book Choose Happy which is sure to inspire you for a long time! All winners will be announced next week, so stay tuned for the announcement!

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us about an inspirational coach or mentor you once had.
  2. Subscribe to our blog.
  3. Follow us on Pinterest.
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Now it’s your turn to Tell Us about an Inspirational Coach or Mentor You Once Had!

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

Inspired By…Inspirational Quotes

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MFT_DT_SusanOpel_200pxWasn’t it fun to share stories about the teachers who inspired us yesterday? If you can, write a letter, send a card (ahem!), email, tweet, or Facebook those inspiring teachers and let them know your feelings. I’m pretty sure they would love it!

People who have directly touched our lives (like teachers) tend to give us nuggets of advice and wisdom that we cling to. It’s likely that your parents and grandparents shared insightful words that you remember to this day. It seems like parents are VERY good at that.

But sometimes we can find wonderful examples of inspiration from people we’ve never met — philosphers, historians, poets, authors, religious leaders, fitness experts, artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and the like. Today we want you to share your favorite words to live by, whatever source!

Inspirational Quotes

Sometimes our favorite quotes can bring us comfort. They give us permission to dream. They make us feel as if we are not alone in this great big world. They inspire us!

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One of my favorite places to find quotes is on Pinterest. If you’re like me, you’ve gathered an entire board filled with  words of inspiration. One of my favorites comes from the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. He said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” What inspiring words! If we spend our lives comparing ourselves to others, we will sink into a pool of inferiority. Words to live by, indeed.

Before you go, let’s take a look at the inspirational prize we’ve gathered. One winner will take away the I Love You More stamp set, Sun, Moon, & Stars Die-namics, and an autographed copy of Melody Ross’s book Choose Happy which is sure to inspire you for a long time! All winners will be announced next week, so stay tuned for the announcement!

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us your favorite inspirational quote.
  2. Subscribe to our blog.
  3. Follow us on Pinterest.
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The My Favorite Things Creative Team is obviously an inspired group of talented ladies. Head to their blogs today to see their favorite quotes and some pretty projects, too!

PrintJodiJuliaJulieKimberlyPrintStephaniePrintYoonsun

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Now it’s your turn to Tell Us Your Favorite Inspirational Quote!

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Susan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

Inspired By…Teachers

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Inspired By… An Inspiration Celebration. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

I’m going to wager a guess that you love finding inspiration. I mean, you’re here, right? You cruise around Pinterest, scroll through Instagram, snap photos on shopping trips, and leave comments on blogs. We all have the ability to teach one another, and THAT is inspiring!

This week, we are going to take some time to celebrate Inspiration in many forms. We’ll have inspiring quotes for you to pin. We’ll tell our stories and celebrate diverse sources of inspiration. And prizes? Of COURSE there will be prizes!

We’ll be honoring teachers, coaches, and mentors. We’ll give you the opportunity to share your favorite inspirational quotes. You’ll be able to pay tribute to inspiring historical figures and artists. It’s sure to be a week to connect with one another and say, “thanks for the inspiration!”

Inspirational Teachers

As the school year hurtles toward the end and right on the heels of Teacher Appreciation week, it’s the perfect time to remember those teachers who have touched our lives.

When I was a high school English teacher, the Henry David Thoreau quote below was one of my favorites to share with the graduating class (along with this one from Dylan Thomas). Teachers spend hours molding children and young adults to go boldy into the future.

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I want to tell you about a teacher who inspired me. He was soft spoken but firm. He would randomly burst into song  and could quote long poems from memory. He loved geography, art, history, and music. He was a man of God. And another pretty cool thing? He was (and still is!) my dad. Yes, my dad taught all four of his children in the 7th and 8th grades, and he was the principal too. Talk about pressure! HA! But I think we all turned out OK.

Now let’s take a look at this fun teacher inspired prize we’ve gathered. One winner will take away the Office Space stamp set, Office Supplies Die-namics, and an autographed copy of Melody Ross’s book Choose Happy which is sure to inspire you for a long time! All winners will be announced next week, so stay tuned for the announcement!

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us about an inspirational teacher you once had.
  2. Subscribe to our blog.
  3. Follow us on Pinterest.
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Now it’s your turn to Tell Us about an Inspirational Teacher You Once Had!

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blank dividerSusan R. Opel, Creative Ambassador for My Favorite Things

Tickled Pink

Before we get to today’s guest post, we have our randomly selected New Product Launch winners. Both of these lucky ladies have won $100 Vouchers to the MFT boutique. Enjoy!

from Lisa’s blog: Birgit

from Torico’s blog: Lisa Page

Congratulations to you both! Your Gift Vouchers will be emailed to you sometime later today, so keep an eye out. And thank you to everyone that commented on our Design Team blogs. We appreciate you all!

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Please join us in welcoming Deb Duty to the blog today! Her fabulous flamingos card features a color scheme that screams tropical weather and a fantastically fun scene.

Handmade birthday card from Deb Duty featuring the Flamingos Die-namics and Tickled Pink stamp set from Laina Lamb Design.

Hello everyone! I’m happy to be guest blogging today. I’m sharing a card featuring the fabulous Flamingos Die-namics! I cut them out with watercolor paper and used distress inks to paint them with shades of pink and orange blended together. I placed them on blue patterned paper cut with a cross-stitch oval die. I used the same pink and orange distress inks to watercolor stripes on my background and then added a fun sentiment from the Tickled Pink stamp set. To finish the card I stitched around the edges with my sewing machine.

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So charming, right? I know a lot of you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the May Release. We’re so excited to see these flirty flamingos on your own cards and projects! Make sure to tag #mftstamps with your uploads so we can properly ooh and aah.

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Aw, Shucks.

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Audrey Tokach is joining us on the blog today with some Birdie Brown cuteness. Thank you so much for sharing this sweet look with us, Audrey!

Handmade card from Audrey Tokach featuring Green Pastures stamp set and Die-namics from Birdie Brown.

The Green Pastures girl is simply begging for some paper piecing and Audrey happily obliged with a sweet country check patterned paper. This month’s Free with $60 Grassy Fields Die-namics provides an inviting spot to nestle her into. The unexpected element on this card? The Sweater Stitch Background Audrey used to add a bit of texture to her card front – it looks fantastic, doesn’t it? The lesson here is not to relegate those “seasonal” items to the back-burner – there’s always a new way to incorporate them into you projects year round!

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You’re the Sweetest

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Joy Taylor is back with us today sharing a delectable design inspired by an image she discovered on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and inspiration with us Joy!

You're the Sweetest handmade ice cream cone card from Joy Taylor featuring  the Sweet Treats Die-namics from Lisa Johnson Designs.

When I first saw those cute little ice cream stamps and dies, I was like “these I just have to be used on a card.” I must admit my excitement was greater than my mojo at the time, it wanted to go on hiatus and even though I was determined to have these cute ice creams on a card, I was going through product trying to work out exactly the process and approach I was going to take and failing.

I decided to run ideas through my head to see if that mojo would shift into gear. I thought of the summer for us here Down Under that had just passed and the ice creams we would pull out of the freezer to eat so we could cool down a little. I knew by this stage that I was going to have 3 ice cream cones on this card and bright colours as I think of summer with brightness.

Choosing then to sit and peruse Pinterest, I found this photo you see below, then it was like a light bulb moment that went off in the head! I loved the stripes that this little stand had and I knew I could use lots of the lovely colors from the MFT Card Stock collection.

DIY ice cream stand via iheartnaptime.net

Starting with the background as my starting point, I went about cutting strips of Summer Splash and Sno Cone Card Stock, adhering it to a trimmed piece of white card stock. I then went about die cutting several colors of card stock to find the right matching pairs, settling on Banana Split, Razzle Berry and Orange Fizz as my fun summer colors. With additions of stars cut from Blueprints 24, clear sequins to add as sprinkles to my ice creams, and a sentiment added to a banner also from Blueprints 24, I completed my simple but fun summery card.

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Gnome Says Hello!

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You were as wowed by Jocelyn Olson’s gift wrap suite last week as we were, right? She graciously agreed to come back for one more post today because she gnomes how much we adore her work <3

Hello handmade card from Jocelyn Olson featuring You Gnome Me from Birdie Brown.

I was strolling through Pinterest and ran across these gnome hats. They are adorable, and the picture inspired me to make my own gnome hat (and matching card).

Birdie Brown’s You Gnome Me is the cutest set! I started by die cutting eight Precious Polaroids (probably my very favorite My Favorite Things die ever.) I stamped the gnome images and sentiment, and colored them with Copic markers. To add just a touch of dimension, I layered the four remaining Polaroid frames on top. Using the You Gnome Me Die-namics, I added the sweet mushroom.

Here’s a close-up:

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I finished the card by adding a vellum Modern Blooms flower, and layering the Polaroids over a panel embossed with the Polka Dots Cover-Up.

For the hat, I started with a party hat template I downloaded and ended up adjusting the template to get a slimmer hat.

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I cut the hat out of the Red Hot Felt. The My Favorite Things felt is so luxurious! I love that it holds its shape. Wouldn’t the hat be fun at a gnome or woodland birthday party? My hat is full-size, but mini hats for decorations would be adorable, too.

Thank you so much to MFT for asking me to guest!

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Introducing the My Favorite Things 2015 Creative Team

Our team is growing and we couldn’t be happier. You’ve come to expect exceptional projects from the My Favorite Things team and with the introduction of ten new team members, there’s even more reason to get excited about each new challenge and release.

We have three teams to satisfy all of your inspiration cravings. Our Design Team will continue to create incredible projects for our monthly countdown and variety of monthly Design Team challenges. Our Challenge & Inspiration Team leads the charge when it comes to weekly Sketch Challenges and bi-monthly Color Challenges. Our new Contributing Design Team will be joining in Design Team activities, sharing a project with us weekly. And of course you’ll get to see projects from everyone for special projects we occasionally share.

Behind the scenes, we’re watching the May Release shape up and I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. You’ll get to see the entire team’s work starting on Friday when the May Countdown begins so stick with us!

I encourage you to follow all of our team members – you’ll find links to their blogs and social media accounts in the sidebar for easy access, anytime. So much inspiration to be found there!

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I’m sure you’re already familiar with many of our additions but I encourage you to get to know them a little better by jumping over to their blogs.

Welcome to all of our new team members and thank you to all 28 of you. We make a pretty excellent team!

DonnaFrancineIngeJuliaKarolynKayLaurieMayuriMelaniaYoonsun