Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Warm Hello from the Sunshine State :)

Hi everybody!! I've really enjoyed reading through all the posts. It's fun to learn a little bit more about everyone. Here's a little bit about me.

I’ve been married for a year and a half to my husband, who is an economist. We got married on a riverboat, because we both feel at home on the water—my husband grew up in the Dalmatian Islands and Sydney and I grew up along the beaches of Florida’s east coast. If we are away from the water too long, we both get a little cranky, lol. I named my blog “Simply Sunshine” after my lifelong connection with Florida, the Sunshine State. I feel like no matter where I may go in life or where I may live, that Florida will always be my home. There is nothing more calming to me, then floating in a small boat down a Florida river with mangroves, pelicans and palm trees gliding past.

During the day, I work as a graphic designer at an architecture firm. The partners at my firm have a philosophy of architecture as art, and so they've designed some pretty cool and diverse buildings, everything from Gothic to Mediterranean to Modern. 

Is there anybody who inspires you? If so, who?
I’m really inspired by Nichole Heady and Kim Hughes. Their styles are really amazing and filled with emotion. Nichole has a really elegant simplicity to her cards. Everything she makes looks really sharp and clean and I really like that. Her recent “Through The Trees” cards were absolutely stunning and so soulful. I'm also really inspired by Kim Hughes. She has a playful yet meaningful spirit about her cards. They are so full of feeling, sincerity and sweetness. I just love everything she makes! Both of these designers have really inspired me to pay attention more closely to emotion in cards, and to try to portray feeling in what I make. Here are a few cards that have inspired me lately (from Kim, Nichole and other designers): By Your SideLittle OneSweetheartFeel Better SoonSunshineBoatThank YouJoyOccasionsThrough the Trees

What got you into papercrafting/stamping?
I discovered papercrafts and stamps when I went into Joann’s craft store to buy a wedding album; I somehow walked out with stamps instead. :) Discovering stamps wasn’t an easy process though, lol. I remember my first moments walking down the stamping aisle; I was pretty overwhelmed!
Back then, stamping was filled with so many baffling mysteries. For instance:
Clear ink (why in the world would you want clear ink? Don’t you want the stamp to show up on your paper, lol?)
Embossing powders (how does that possibly work? Won’t that hairdryer thing just blow the powder away?)
Clear stamps (you're supposed to stick it to a block thingy, huh? Clear stamps confused me the most, lol.)
Dye ink vs. pigment ink? (Why are there different types of ink? One kind isn’t enough??)

I really didn’t have a clue! I think I stopped every poor soul who walked down the aisle and asked them for help. I was determined to figure out stamping because it was so fascinating! I think I’m kind of drawn to things that don’t make sense at first, because I’m so determined to find logic in everything. Looking back on those early days, I am amazed by how much I’ve learned! I really feel like I’ve come a long way and I’m kind of proud of myself for that. I probably owe a lot of that to PTI, because reading the blogs and forum, helped me understand stamping and crafting even more!

What is your favorite technique in papercrafting?
My favorite crafting technique is embossing. I can never tire of seeing that powder melt onto the card. It’s really mesmerizing for some reason, lol, and I love the effect. Just wish I could get rid of those annoying little flecks. They are quite persistent! My favorite crafting technique that I have no idea to do myself is sewing on cards. When I see beautiful patterns sewn onto cards, my jaw drops every time. I swear it’s like magic to me. I can’t imagine being able to do that myself one day, but hopefully will.

What do you hope to gain from joining the PALs?
I’m hoping to form some great friendships and also to grow as a cardmaker. It’s so wonderful to have a small community of people that we can all go to for inspiration, questions and advice.  


  1. Curt and I cannot stay away from the water either!!! I read you are a graphics designer ...... I really want to learn more on my Mac in this area. I have a master plan when we move to NC and I will for sure need to have a better handle on how to create more on my computer. I am heading out to Apple today to check out some lessons!!!

  2. Hi Monica! We too are big about being on the water. My daughter had her first boat ride in a car carrier! It's great to hear a little about your life and I look forward to stamping together.

  3. Hello Monica! I loved reading about your first experience in that stamping aisle :) You've come a long way baby ;)

  4. Monica - Jon and I love the water, too. We got engaged on a bridge over the Mississippi River, and then got married on an island in the same river. We have kayaks and while we've taken a few years off, we're anxious to get back out on the lakes of Minnesota! We even have a little seat for Boo to ride in daddy's kayak!

  5. I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida so I know what you mean about the water. I look forward to getting to know you better!

  6. It's awesome to learn more about you, Monica! :)

  7. Monica I totally enjoyed reading your post and learning more about you. And the mystery of the clear ink just had me laughing out loud!

  8. I enjoyed reading about you, and learning a bit more about you, Monica. If we ever go on holiday to Florida (which is on our wish list) I'll ask you for advice. ;-)


Thanks for commenting! :)