All the things

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking48 Comments
My recent foray into the cardmaking and stamping world has been both fun, surprising and not without a price tag. And some people are all, “Cathy, what the hell? This is so unlike you.” And I get it. I do.

But last week when I was trying to justify yet another purchase of Copic markers, I realized this excitement and this newness was the exact same thing I felt when I discovered scrapbooking all those years ago.

You know the story, right? It started in 2002 when an Archiver’s store opened near my hometown. I walked in, I took a good long look around, and I was all, “Cathy, what the hell?” More or less. I left that first day with two magazine’s in hand (Ivy Cottage and the inaugural issue of Simple Scrapbooks), and proceeded to return each day for about a week to begin my amassing of All The Things.

Because that’s how it goes. You discover something you didn’t know about and for whatever reason, it seems like something you might just like. And in order to properly engage, you need the things, which often translates to working toward All The Things.

Over the years, I’ve had an awful lot of scrapbook things. I’ve got a very packed dining craft room that’ll vouch for me. I’ve got stuff stashed in places even I have forgotten. But make no mistake, when I started out, I needed to play with the things in order to figure out how the hobby was going to shake out. I did the same thing with jewelry making in the late 90s. That lasted about for about two months and two pretty awful necklaces. But like other crafty things, I had to get at least the very Core Things to make jewelry. And so, I did.

But with scrapbooking, it felt different. It felt like the perfect storm of all the things I loved: photos, words and design. OH, and computers. Playing with computers to make stuff? Fuggedaboutit! I was so all in.

Of course, I found an online community (Hello, Two Peas) and made life long friends and industry connections that remain to this day. Long story short: crafty people can be really great people.

And then it turned into a career when I brought my actual skill set to the table (journalism and graphic design), and here we are today. (To read the complete story of my evolution in this crafty world, read this series.)

But it started with wanting All The Things.

Of course, I moved into a scrapbooking mindset where I realized over time I didn’t need all the things. I just needed real stories, some photos and an embellishment here or there. And maybe once I have some of the core things for cards and stamps, I’ll realize the same thing.

But I have to tell you, right now? Learning about all the things in this new crafty area is really exciting to me. And fun. And it reminds me how integral making shit is to my creative self.

I may end up making the exact same card design six ways to Sunday, but that would be okay. I’ve been doing the same style of layouts for 10 years and I still step back after each one is completed and say, “Daaaaaamn, girl!”

And that is a good thing.

Do I think you need All The Things to actually create? No. Definitely not.

But it sure is fun trying.


Bins in the photo are from The Container Store. I purchased four of these (shown) and two of these (out of the frame but in front of the containers).


Cathy ZielskeAll the things

48 Comments on “All the things”

  1. #1

    Hi Cathy – the card makers around the world welcome you. Just a hint – you have just opened Pandoras box of cardmaking. I think you have already understood that. It NEVER ends – there is always a new cool marker, ink pad, stamp set, technique to try out. I transitioned from Scrapbooking to card making when my boys no longer appreciated having every singly tiny event in their life scrapbooked (the famous teens) to be able to continue feeding my pretty-paper-addiction. And honestly I am completely on the train of Kathy over at the Daily marker – coloring is almost zen-like – who needs yoga when you can color for a while every day!
    I am so looking forward to following this new creative journey of yours!

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, I am pretty aware of the box! lol. But it really is fun stuff. And I love watching Kathy’s videos! That’s the other thing, discovering all of the really talented makers who have such great YouTube channels. It is very zen like to watch for sure!

  2. #2

    I can’t wait to see what you do with your Copic markers and all things stamping. I so want a set of them but not sure I would use them enough to justify the purchase. I would also love to hear your thoughts on your Big Shot vs Silhouette. I have a Silhouette but am loving the idea of the stamp/die cut combination that I have been seeing. As my mother used to say with any craft purchase, at least you will have it when you need it. 🙂

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Christy!

      Well, that’s a good question. I’ve never had a manual die cutting machine and I guess the thing I love about it is a) quick and easy and b) all the stamp and die sets that are out there.

      However, I know you can print and cut with the Cameo, too… don’t get me wrong, I LOVE My Cameo. Best money I ever spent. I’ve been using a ton lately working on my new design class that is coming soon, mostly to make titles and other things to fit what I’m trying to teach in each lesson. It was money well spent and I totally recommend it to anyone who likes using their computers when creating.

      But my Big Shot is just fun. I have it on my table (there is presently no place to store it other than my table!), and I’ve been loving cutting out alphas (I have one set from Lawn Fawn that I love!) and other things like the dotted and stitched looking frames (some from Stampin Up! and some from Lawn Fawn.)

      I think it just goes back to having All the Things. Lol. I love having both.

    2. #2.2
      Beth Quiroz

      Christy – I have both the Silhouette and the Big Shot. The main difference is that you can’t do embossing stuff on the Silhouette (at least as far as I know). Also, I love the dies that do the fake dots or stitching – another thing you can’t get with the Silhouette. So, when I’m looking for dies to purchase, I always ask myself if it’s something I can do with my Silhouette. If not, the die set is mine.

      1. #2.2.1
        Pam M.

        Beth – you actually CAN get the Silhouette to do the stitching look – so you can save on buying those dies. I have adapted many of the things the dies do to the Silhouette – but some things the dies are better for – matching stamps for example. I weigh each purchase very carefully – and only get dies that I think I can’t accomplish with my Silhouette machine.

    3. #2.3

      I must remember what your mother used to say – “you will have it when you need it”. That seems to be the impetus for my shopping. I have so many stamping related items that I only use every now and then but it is THERE. I can rationalize my purchases now. 🙂

  3. #3

    I can’t wait to see what you do with the Christmas Light dies….I really think I NEED them. lol

  4. #4
    Kimberly O.

    Nice!! It’s so much fun to hear the enthusiasm in this post!! You should also check out Joann’s as they have some Mama Elephant smaller stamp AND matching die sets for $9.99. Like the Party Animals set in your first picture… there’s a small set of different animals plus the balloon and string and a few little stamps and matching dies!! My Joann’s in Fargo has a little dog set, a little panda set, plus a unicorn set. (And the dies included.) <– just so you don't forget that the dies are included. LOL I think Mama Elephant is one of my favorite stamp sets at the moment. Well, Avery Elle too. 🙂

  5. #5

    I have taken a long hiatus from scrapbooking – just haven’t gotten into it lately (although I want to and I keep amassing product) and I think making some cards might be just the remedy I need to get me back into the groove. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve decided to do the 100 days project and I will be stamping something every day. It seems that cardmaking would fit in quite nicely to this goal.
    I’d love to see some Cathy Zielske cards…will you share?

  6. #7

    Hi Cathy, been in a slump for the past year and was about to sell my Silhouette Cameo as I didn’t use it to it’s full potential. However, after reading your post, I decided to back out of selling the machine and dive myself back into what got me started in stirring my creativity….cardmaking. Thank you for being my lifesaver! 😘

      1. #7.1.1
        Kathy Meredith

        I think I’ve taken every Kerri Bradford Silhouette class there is. She is wonderful and it really opened my eyes too all the possibilities you can use the Silhouette for. I’m newer into the die cutting arena, but it is great to just whip out some smaller things quickly or shapes, etc. when you are making cards.

  7. #8

    I too enjoying collecting all the things. And use them regularly. My critical mother said to me “you can scrapbook for a long time without buying a thing”. To which my dad replied “you could knit for longer”. Ha! Is it hereditary?

  8. #9

    It is so fun following your new foray! Reading all your updates makes me smile! I am not 100% sure of the timeline, but I think my scrapbooking and card making adventures were roughly simultaneous and definitely involved coveting and collecting “ALL THE THINGS” and then dreaming about how to store ALL THE THINGS. Your teachings have helped me learn to limit ALL THE THINGS but now….you are enabling again! And I thank you for it, don’t get me wrong. So fun! I hope you enjoy all of it…and please continue to keep us posted!

  9. #10

    To repeat my Instagram comment…Welcome to the Dark Side. I figure my cards cost me more in supplies than the most expensive Hallmark but it’s rewarding and the oohs and ahhs on your friends faces when they receive an original is priceless. Can’t wait to see everything you make!

  10. #11
    Tammy B

    I have been cardmaking for years and I still find it exciting! New stamp companies and stamps and dies and paper and embellishments…the list goes on. It’s also fun to try to amass all the things until the credit card bill comes and I’m like ‘damn exchange rate’!! 😬

    On the enabling side of things though, you should check out Your Next Stamp. Lots of great sets for practicing your Copic colouring!

  11. #12

    And along with “all the things” I have already have I went and checked out “Mama Elephant” . . . probably didn’t need to do that. LOL!

    1. #12.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, really cute stuff, huh? You know, I’m a good type designer, but I can’t draw or make all the cute things that people are out there designing. It’s so fun to see these companies that are putting out such fun stuff!

  12. #13

    oh Cathy…I am so glad you are back! I was one of your most loyal followers in the early 2000’s as I was just starting to scrapbook myself and I loved everything you did. Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us!

    1. #13.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Sue! What is hilarious is that I’ve been here blogging for the past 10 years, teaching classes, designing and selling products, but… I forget that there are people from the older times who thought I dropped off the face of the planet back when I quit blogging in the fall of 2006. It was short lived, but I think I lost some folks along the way.

      For now, I ain’t going anywhere. 😉

  13. #14

    Cathy I have loved your work for so long and I am so excited to see you dive into card making head first! I will be following along watching your journey. I love stamps and dies because I feel like they are tools that I can use over and over again to make pretty things to make people smile at least that’s what I tell myself and my family LOL.

  14. #15

    I got in the same trap last month. The “here take all my money” trap.. but it is so cool! But small question, what is with storing the stamps? I store them sideways up, like they were delivered to my in the box. Not good?
    kind regards, Jessica

    1. #15.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Apparently you can store them anyway you like! Just heard that from Jennifer McGuire, and she knows all! 🙂

    2. #15.2

      I think the stamp pads need to be stored upside down so they don’t dry out as fast. That’s what I’ve been told by my Stampin up friends, anyway. The stamps themselves can be stored any way you want so long as you don’t compress them too much, get them too hot, stretch them, or do anything else that can cause damage to the stamp image.

  15. #16
    Tara Hall Galger

    loving all of this!

    I am trying to deepen my stamping skills and try and use them, I have bought a few new sets in the last few months, and am trying to stamp regularly and use them in my scrapbooking more.

  16. #17
    Amy Ulen

    I love the small canvas of cards. Makes me feel so accomplished when I finish one. 🙂 Love watching your creativity unfold on Instagram. Does this mean you are going to start designing more stamps for card makers?!

  17. #18

    how are you supposed to store the stampin up inks??? maybe I need to pay attention for storing all the new I had to have yet not opened inks….

  18. #19

    I hear ya, Sista! All The Things! I did that with scrapbooking and then when my youngest left for college last year – and I didn’t have as much to scrap about – I started a new hobby…crocheting. And I had to get lots of things – hooks, yarn, books, more yarn and yet more yarn. And all the little tools/gadgets you need to really be able to fully immerse yourself in the hobby. To date I have made baby blankets and stuffed animals and hats and scarves. Gifts galore and lots of donations. So, I am right there with you on All The Things! Here’s to creative people!

    1. #19.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I do wonder how it connects to having only one teenager in the house… less stories to save? I mean, there are so many stories I haven’t put down on paper and honestly, I have never been a prolific scrapbooker (which might seem surprising to some.) But I still love the process of scrapbooking… of finding the photos, the words… the design. It still makes me swoon.

      But this card stuff? Also swooning!

  19. #20

    On the acquisition of “all the things”: Keep in mind that if one wants to make one’s budget go farther, you can choose to spend the money on just the stamp rather than buying the stamp/die set and then use tv time or other time for the rather mindless yet relaxing task of cutting out the image or spend it on a die that will be used more frequently used or be more versatile. If one isn’t production cutting out a design for an event etc, a great many of the stamped figures are very simple to cut out. I like to spend my budget on shapes/edges/tags/frames etc that have embossed details or have intricate edges. Also a big help for those dies with lots of detail/perforations is using KaiserCraft’s die release paper. It even has a printed script design on it so that some of the “waste” can be used as a design element. I also usually cut an additional tag/banner/frame shape or two when making a project and then file the extras in an unused album of photo pages. Saves time when making a card and racing the mail carrier to the mail box. Another hint is to leave the smaller alpha dies attached together and cutting as one, saving the unused letters and filing in one of the compartmented floss boxes. I do like to mix/match alphas for another design element. I love card making as it satisfies my need for a little bit of art in my day that can be accomplished in a small space of time and at the same time provides some pleasure to the elderly NH residents and grandchildren who are the recipients. Looking forward to sharing your journey into card making…I’ve certainly enjoyed all of your scrapbooking (and other) adventures.

    1. #20.1
      Cathy Zielske

      All good tips, Karen! I love hearing how people “do” this because I truly am very new at it all!

  20. #22

    “And it reminds me how integral making shit is to my creative self.”
    SO THIS! Decorating, furniture redoing, painting walls, scrapping, card making. It’s putting beauty into the world and that is what my soul needs.

    1. #22.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep! We are wired to create. Even people who feel they are not creative… they do create in their own ways. 🙂

  21. #23

    You ladies are making me reminisce…all those stores, websites, magazines I loved so much…

    Gotta love the Container Store, it is to me what the hardware store is to my husband! I secretly like the hardware store, too. I use their wire mesh baskets to store my stuff in.

    1. #23.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh, I could go nuts there… I love it, too. Good thing it’s about a half hour drive from my house. Not as easy to just pop in! lol.

  22. #24
    Stacy A

    So I definitely fall into the “buy all the things” – including stamps and Copic markers – but then I never do anything with them! So here’s to hoping that your adventuers inspire me to bust the markers out and “do all the things”!

  23. #25

    Love this post and love your talking (vocabulary) – you sound just like me!!!! Hahaha. And I get having to have all the things. I discovered card making when my doctor told me I had to do therapy on my hands and arms after a stroke and I didn’t want to go out to any more therapy places – so he said I could find something to do at home – enter card making. I have been doing it since October and I’m addicted! It’s helped a lot with my rehabilitation as well! I have a blog and a YouTube and it’s fun!!!! I may- or may have not – bought way too many things (including your PERFECT two new sentiment stamp sets!!!! Lol. So glad you’re doing this!!!!

  24. #26

    Enjoy this ‘addiction’. Card making/stamping is an ever changing craft. So many new techniques, tools, and ideas. It is so much fun albeit expensive 😄

  25. #27

    Just chiming in now (puky flu weekend….). What I realized was “scrapbooking” was something I did way back in the day, with those wonderful albums with the adhesive pages. Oh, my high school and college days were filled with those glorious albums. Then, in 2007, I was invited to a Creative Memories party. I was a wee intimidated, but still started a birthday album for my elder child. Then, curse you, Stampin’ Up! I went whole hog into cardmaking. It was much more instant gratification for me at the time. And I have SO MUCH STUFF, it is ridiculous. Now I can’t buy a card, because I know people are secretly thinking, “What, you couldn’t MAKE me a card? I see how I rate.” But I have fallen in hybrid, pocket LOVE with scrapbooking as of late. I do MUCH more scrapbooking because I do not have to agonize over every little choice. Photoshop and the digital elements related with scrapbooking have made a routine archivist out of me! So, I say, welcome to the slippery slope of stamping (insert evil laugh). Glad to see you!

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