Sunday, October 18, 2009

fond farewell and favorite things

if you've been over to caardvarks today, you've already heard the big news: the challenge that begins on tuesday, 10-20, will be my last as a caard crew member. it's a bittersweet moment for me. it's been nearly 2 1/2 years, and wow--what a fabulous experience! i've met people from all over the world, made dear friends, been inspired and challenged and astonished by the sheer amount of talent out there! not to mention learning countless things about papercrafting and computering and...well, it's been one heck of a ride and i'll treasure the memory forever.

but one of the things that makes caardvarks truly GREAT is the fact that they never rest on their laurels: there are always new challenges to be set, new ideas to explore, and fresh faces to be discovered! wait'll you meet the new team on 11-1: TRUST ME, you'll be blown away!!! as for myself, i am excited at the prospect of free time, creating without a deadline, and just generally seeing what comes next!

flicking through my personal archives this morning to choose a few faves, an informal count reveals i've made 169 caards and half a dozen projects for a total of 87 challenges and special events. i've done regular challenges, micro-challenges, the massively awesome 10-day, 10-k (two weeks after i made the team!), cardmaps' holiday special, lovefest, sketchfest, 2 blog hops (in the space of a month!), and over a dozen product-sponsored galleries. sheesh. no wonder i'm a bit tired, eh?! and it all happened, like most of the best things in my life, pretty much by accident.

i stumbled upon caardvarks one afternoon in june, 2007. at that time, i'd never done a challenge; i didn't even have a blog. i was excited to find 'varks because the only challenge blogs i'd seen (like the effer dares and "how much is too much") were for scrapbookers, not card-makers. i wanted to join in, but i didn't--and don't--really scrap, as such. as it happened, the day i found caardvarks was the day before the deadline of their first ever design team call. as i read the qualifications and responsibilities i got more and more excited. "i think i could DO THAT!" i said to lovely husband jeff, "i think i would LOVE THAT!" of course i knew i'd never be picked--i mean, i hadn't even participated on the site yet--but it just seemed waaaaaay too cool not to try. in a fit of the most astonishing chutzpah, i wrote in and sent links to my lifetime moments gallery. several days later i went back to see who'd been chosen and what the new challenge was. i was *literally* speechless staring at the screen and seeing my name.

i owe a GIANT thank you to caardvarks' owner and head designer jenyfur pohl. not only did she devise this whole magnificent idea in the first place, she works constantly and tirelessly devising challenges, securing prizes, finding sponsorship, recruiting fabulous talent, spreading the word and sharing the love! choosing me for the team was a magnificent and tremendously generous leap of faith on her part, and i cannot thank her enough!

then there is ms. nathalia castellon. believe me when i say to you that it's impossible to overestimate the vital role of this lovely lady. in addition to all the fabulous techno-wizardry she does to keep the site going, on any given day she also supplies incalcuable amounts of help, advice, inspiration, organization, problem-solving, question-answering, mojo-kickstarting, pep-talking and den-mothering to both crew-members and readers. it's not for the first or last time that i send a hearty, "thanks, n!" her way.

finally to the rest of my fellow crew-members past, present and future...and each and every one of the fabulous caardvark readers, i am enormously in your debt for the boatloads of inspiration, encouragement, and friendship you have extended to me on a daily basis. it is TRULY the very best part of this whole wonderful experience and a genuine treasure to me! i won't say goodbye...and you won't have a chance to miss me...'cause i'm not GOING anywhere!!! i'll still be here makin' stuff and postin' it and generally rambling and being silly; and i'll still be around to see what YOU are doing (hopefully a bit more OFTEN, even!); in the meantime i will just say from the bottom of my heart,


ps: tune in tomorrow...if ya like...CANDY...


  1. A rest is as good as a ... errr .. no, hang on.

    A holiday is as good as a change ... ummm .. just give me a second.

    How about 'a nudge is as good as a wink to a blind bat'???

    Enjoy the break from your responsibilities. :-)

  2. Yes, enjoy your no-pressure design time! Or do you have another one in the works? Hmmm? ;-)

  3. I am so glad I found you via the Vaarks blog! It's been a pleasure seeing all your creations - and even though it was jaw dropping to see all the names that are leaving, I am happy to have your blog in my reader!!!

    Thanks for all you have done!

  4. quite frankly if it wasn't for your wonderful DT gig over at Caarvarks I don't know if I would have'met' you...I always love your posts...they are sooo full of creativity and joy...laughs...oooohhhss and aaaaahhhhhs....

    don't you worry...I'll be stalking your blog:)

  5. Lauren, I absolutely and without a doubt LOVE you! And as I told you before I REFUSE to say good-bye. I'm thankful to Caardvarks for bringing such an amazing, vibrant, witty and creatively brilliant friend into my life for now and always. xoxox-N

  6. great stuff!!

    thanks for sharing.


  7. Wow -- I don't even know where to begin! Awesome doesn't do these projects justic; you have quite the impressive portfolio.

    I'll be waiting to see 'free time' creations!

  8. Lauren.
    Thankyou for lovely comments in my blog and I'm looking forward to see future creations made from you in your spare time.
    ♥ Linda

  9. So bummed! I love seeing what you so with the challenges. I guess I'll live... But dang I love how you are a Caardvarks ninja! Can't wait to see the new team and of course I'll be here at your blog checking out your cool stuff you do!

  10. Hi there,

    Have a good rest and I am sure you will be back. Can't keep a good crafter down!!

    Ali x

  11. well they will miss your creations that is for sure - you are a TRUE ORIGINAL! but i am selfish and knowing you'll still be here with your fabulous cards etc... well that's all that matters. i don't have to do without my lauren :-) AND i am eternally grateful :-) oooooh and think of all the time you'll have to MAKE SHTUFF!?!?!?

  12. What a lovely and thoughtful blog post, Miss Lauren. I am so grateful to know you. Having you as a friend is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Love you!

  13. Oh, Lauren... you are so super fab. I love peeking at all your wonderful creations and you are oh-so-crafty! You'll be missed on the 'vaarks site, but I intend to keep up with you here.
    Change can be good and usually when you get settled into a nice break of relaxation, something BIG happens! ;)

  14. Lauren: You were so sweet and kind to me when I submitted my very first vaarks challenge a year ago and you continued to be the same since. So thanks for all your kind words (even when the cards didn't deserve them), funny comments and for the miles and miles of inspiration with your wonderful creations. I loved your blog from the moment I found it, haven't been able to visit for some time due to our move, but will be back not that I'm settled to get some inspiration and when I need a mojo charge. Will miss you over at vaarks!!!! karen

  15. Love the gorgeous recap!

    I think one of my very favoritest things about being a Vark was getting to meet you!

    (-: Heidi

  16. Hard to believe it will be the same without you! You always do the most fabulous projects and cards (as evidenced by those in this post!. Enjoy your free time....


the *BEST* part of blogging is the comments, dontcha think? thanks for taking time to leave one! ~♥~