Monday, January 26, 2015

The Parable of the Trash Bag Prom Dress: Am I Raising a Creative Child?

Let me share with you the parable of the Trash Bag Prom dress. Shown below:

Trash Bag Prom Dress created by Katelyn Gallacher for www.jengallacher.com

Click HERE to pin for later.

I am blessed with three beautiful children who both had and have unique and amazing talents. Sometimes as a parent, you question your child's ability and vision when it comes to their creativity.

My middle child, Katelyn had a Senior Dinner Dance she attended this last Saturday. This particular dance is stag (meaning that all Seniors are encouraged to attend without a date). The Student Council selected a masquerade theme and the dress was semi-formal/formal. For each dance Kate has attended, we have spent a Saturday or two dress shopping in order to find her the perfect dress.

But for this particular dance Katelyn was determined to do something completely different. Ever the one to change the social rules, Kate began talking about a "trash bag prom dress" as early as her Sophmore year. Recognized as the resident Artist at the high school, I am sure many people (including her parents) shrugged off this idea. Little did we know just how determined she was to make this vision come true.

As the date for the dance drew near, Katelyn's discussion about the trash bag dress became more focused. I began to worry. I wasn't any way near as confident as Katelyn has been in high school. I only tried out for things I knew I could successfully accomplish. Kate on the other hand has tried for any number of activities with little to no background in them, and she has been incredibly successful at nearly all of them. She's not afraid to fail, and she doesn't seem to care very much about what other people think. It's a unique combination of courage and creativity that allows her to do many things well.

But as her parent I was concerned. I didn't want anyone to laugh at her. I didn't want anyone to judge her. I didn't want anyone to think less of my beautiful, sweet daughter. And her dad was just as concerned as I. This isn't the first time we've tried to steer her in a different direction. Katelyn often has grand visions, and sometimes we worry enough that we intervene. But this year, Katelyn is now 18; and this is her last opportunity to try something wildly creative like creating a dress from trash bags. So I had to suck up all those anxious feelings and let go. It wasn't easy. And I fretted and fretted and fretted.

The morning of the dance, Katelyn arose at 7 a.m. and worked on the dress for over three hours. She designed the dress from the inside out just like you would real fabric. She has been sketching dress designs almost her entire life so I am sure this concept has been ratttling around her head for some time. The entire dress is held together with staples and includes both white kitchen trash bags and large, black garden trash bags. When she brought the dress into show me, I made some under-the-breath comment about her being "crazy." Her face fell a little as she went back to her room to put it on.

In that moment I realized all the concern and worry were solely mine. She was thrilled to be expressing herself. She had a clear and distinct vision, and she wanted more than anything to have the support and love of her parents. She wanted us to trust her enough to let her go and be happy for her. It wasn't the kids at the school that were putting her down. It was ME!

It was then that I knew I had to look at things differently. I had to accept that she was proud of herself and I was proud of her as well. By the time she had her hair curled, make up on, and made her grand entrance, I was seeing the dress in an entirely new light. It was beautifully constructed. The dress design was sophisticated and fun with an air of fantasy about it. As we taped her into the dress, I realized how lucky I am to have a daughter who both has many talents but pursues them with passion.

While I still worried that others would not receive her openly, I was excited to hear about her experience the next morning. She was happy to report that most responses had been positive, and that her goal of making a statement piece that helped people connect and hold conversations had been achieved. She knew what she was doing. She knows who she is.

What if more of us had this same drive and confident nature? What could I accomplish if I quit worrying about what others think, and did what was in my heart? What if I took more risks and explored more of my creative side?

Kate is constantly teaching me. As her parent you would think it is the other way around, but Katelyn has this ability to make you see things differently. I only hope that someday I can be more like her. She is an amazing example of someone who has learned her own divine nature and embraces all that her Heavenly Father has given her.

The next time your child comes to you with a grand vision of something that makes you squirm a bit, let go. Support them, help them, and then let them know how incredibly proud you are when they give it a shot. They may just come up with something like this that kind of blows your mind:

Trash Bag Prom Dress created by Katelyn Gallacher for www.jengallacher.com

Thank you, Katelyn, for the lesson!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Did You Know I'll Be Teaching with Craftsy?

If you follow me on Instagram HERE, you may have noticed several peeks about how I spent the first part of this week. I was off on a grand adventure that I can't wait to share. I announced a new opportunity I had with an amazing company which required a flight into Denver, Colorado to film an upcoming class for Craftsy.



Have you heard of Craftsy yet? It's this incredible educational website, with online classes you can take on topics such as cooking, cake decorating, crocheting, painting, and more. I was honored to be invited to come and film a class on scrapbooking.

Craftsy is a class act and took such good care of me. Here's a little peek at what it's like to film with them:

My dressing room.

Danica the amazing make-up artist (who I wish could do my make-up every day).

The fun and funky lunchroom at "Taxi," the filming studio.

Chris setting up to take a photo of one of the layouts I created.

My Craftsy "family": Michelle (Switcher), Chris (Videographer), and Cara (Producer).

Craftsy's platform is organized and perfect for the student who wants to revisit the learning materials and engage in the classroom setting as often as they would like. Be sure to check them out HERE! While you're waiting for my class to be released, be sure to check out some of these other titles in the Paper Crafting section by names you're sure to recognize:



You can find all of the Craftsy titles HERE on their website. Stay tuned for the release date and title of my class soon!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Weekly Scrapper Sneak Peek: Burlap Frame

This week for the "Weekly Scrapper" blog I created a burlap frame using paper stitched flowers. Here's a little peek at this project:


Be sure to visit the Scrapbook Expo blog HERE for all of the step-out photos and instructions.



Here's another look at last week's project in case you missed it. You can find the instructions on creating the tissue paper flower HERE.

Look for an instructional video hosted on their Youtube channel HERE next Thursday. Mark your calendar so you don't forget!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Make It Meaningful: Baby Girl Cards

I wanted to share two cards that I created for the CHA tradeshow that feature the Echo Park Paper Bundle of Joy: New Addition Girl version which you can view in its entirety HERE. This sweet release includes some of the most beautiful colors, prints and patterns, and charming elements.

Here is a card that features what I think is going to be a very popular little monkey:

Baby Girl New Arrival Card by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com

And here is a card featuring the farm animal elements from this collection:

Baby Girl Card by Jen Gallacher from www.jengallacher.com


These products are currently shipping to your favorite store so keep an eye out for them!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Announcing the Launch of My Online Store!

I've been thinking about this for some time, and when Two Peas In a Bucket shut its doors I knew that it was time. I am now offering my Ebooks, and printables in one easy-to-find-place: the "Jen Gallacher" store. Here's a peek at the current storefront:



Video Workshops:

In this store, you will soon be able to download my past online workshops (including the instructional videos, and helpful Ebooks). Watch for news on that coming soon! If you're interested in learning more about when these become available (we're currently uploading them one-by-one), please sign up for my store newsletter upon checking out. I'll also be reaching out to former 2Peas students to give them access to the materials they've already purchased.

E-Books:

Because not everyone enjoys watching videos, I'm offering my Workshop Ebooks as separate products. If you simply want the workbooks, which include class instructions, and each project sample (with supply lists, tips, tricks and instructions), you can now purchase and download these separately. You can find all of them HERE. Here's a look at just one of the full-color books that I offer. Please note that these books are included with any previous (and current) purchase of my corresponding workshops so if you purchased the workshop before you already should have these materials:


PRINTABLES


I've also created several FREE printables which you can download and use in your home or for gifts for friends and family. You can find all of those HERE. Here's a peek at one that is now available:



Download HERE!

If you have trouble checking out, please use the store messaging system to let me know. This store is still in its early phases, so please be patient as we work out all the kinks. We're looking forward to providing you with lots of exciting new ideas. Look for some new products coming soon!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day 2013 Recap: Valentine Paper Crafting Projects

Because some of you may not have been part of my blog family in 2013, I thought it would be fun to recap an event I created in 2013 that featured several Valentine projects. In this week-long event, I created cards, Valentine's, Valentine paper crafts and so much more. Click the links below each picture to check out the project. Pin your favorites or share them with friends. These are great for craft clubs, school projects, and more!

Many of the projects include an instructional video!


Valentine's Day Event #1: Valentine Treat Bags
 

Valentine's Day Event #2: Creating a Unique Valentine Gift


Valentine's Day Event #3: Valentine Tags


Valentine's Day Event #4: Valentine Card

Valentine's Day Event #5: Valentine Banner


Valentine's Day Event #6: Valentine's Day Scrapbooking Layout


Valentine's Day Event #7: Teen Valentines

You can pin this image to remember this Valentine event:



For additional Valentine projects on my blog, be sure to search by "Valentine" in my search box. I have several more you might want to check out!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Secret Reveal #2: I'm Blogging with Scrapbook Expo

I'm happy to reveal that in addition to blogging here on my personal blog, I will now also be contributing regularly to the Scrapbook Expo blog the "Weekly Scrapper."

You'll be able to find each of my blog posts HERE on Thursdays. My posts titled "Inspiration Station" are going to include scrapbook layouts, cards, and paper crafting/maker projects so you'll get a chance to make lots of beautiful things. Stop by. Check out the projects by our incredible team of designers (there's lots of familiar faces there). Leave a comment or a question. We'd love to hear from you!


Want a little peek at my first project? Here you go:


To learn more about how I created this tissue paper heart card, be sure to visit the instructional blog post HERE.

Tutorial Videos:

Tune in the last Thursday of each month for an instructional video that will include instructions on how to create cards, layouts, and paper crafting projects. If you want to catch all the videos I create for Scrapbook Expo, be sure to subscribe to their Youtube channel HERE! I'm looking forward to sharing some exciting new projects with you!

Attending a Scrapbook Expo:

Have you had the opportunity attend one of these fantastic events? Be sure to make plans to do so. They offer classes, loads and loads of shopping, and plenty of time and space for cropping with friends. Be sure to check out their schedule HERE to see if there's an event planned near you!
 
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