My Very First Post – Ever

Let’s travel back to 2005 for a little while. 

I had been stamping for several years but had only shared my cards with friends and coworkers – I purchased a green, fabric-covered box that I carried around everywhere I went.  Everywhere.  I attended classes and crops with friends on the weekends and signed up as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator at my first chance.  I didn’t host workshops – I sold to a couple of coworkers and funded my own habit for several years.  I was actively a hobby demonstrator, although the term wasn’t used at the time.  It was my way to get my discount – and I loved it! 

I had “peeped” Splitcoast Stampers for quite some time but didn’t post anything there until this year (remember – we are in 2005 – please try to keep up!).  As far as I knew there were no demonstrator blogs in cyberspace – Splitcoast Stampers was it.  I thought I’d give a challenge a try, so I participated in a color challenge that used brown and pink, and here’s the card I came up with:

So, here’s the thing:  the card is nothing to scream about.  Remember, I had been making cards for several years at this point, and THIS is what I chose to “go public” with?  Eeeek!

Back to 2013.  Not only have my photography skills improved since 2005 (can you see the paper snips in the bottom, right corner holding the card shut?), but I think Stampin’ Up!’s products and styles are vastly better.  But that’s not why I post this card.  I post this card to show you that we all begin somehwhere.  Again, this is the first one I shared online.  I think the layout is kinda’ unique, but there’s nothing amazing about this card.

Are you struggling with layouts and card designs of your own?  Just keep playing around with the shapes and colors you like.  I suggest that you try some of the design challenges out there.  I participate regularly in the Pals Paper Arts challenges and am currently a Guest Designer for The Paper Players.  When a card challenge defines one of the card elements for you, it takes some of the pressure off your back.  Go with it.  Enjoy it.  You don’t even have to share the card on the challenge site to benefit from the challenge – although I suggest sharing.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.


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  1. very nice to know,thanks for sharing your opinion.encourages beginners like me,

  2. So proud of you Brian. I like this card and can see how far you have come. Hope your feeling better and hope to see you soon.

  3. Well, I’m no expert by any stretch of the imagination, I struggle a lot when it comes to putting the card together. I have no problem with the main image, I love coloring it but, after this is done, there comes the trouble because I can’t find the right combination of colors and layouts to frame it. You did a great job with your first post, this card is very pretty and I can see that you have always had fantastic paper snipping abilities. Thank you for this post Brian, it’s great to go back to where each of us started so we can appreciate how far we’ve come.

  4. Lauren Winemiller

    The first Christmas cards I made (and mailed to everyone!) used night of navy, chocolate chip, and crumb cake/kraft. (winter wonderland meets dark and dreary–yikes!) But after all these years, I still keep a copy to remind me of where I started…..and why it’s ok to CASE 🙂

  5. You had a fabric covered box — I had a plastic tub! Now we have rooms! Lol! I love your first posted card; that’s a very modern retro graphic. You are such an inspiration and a great teacher.

  6. The first thing I did after reading your post today, Brian, was go over to SCS to look at the first card I posted over there. Yikes! Besides the “Yikes!”, there wasn’t any SU! used on the card 🙁 I started making cards in late 2002, I think. My first SCS post wasn’t for another 5 years. It is so interesting to see how far someone has come with their designing as well as with how they’ve evolved with ALL the products out there. For me personally, I’m so glad that I’ve finally settled on SUO. It fits me perfectly! By the way, Brian, I definitely remember a big pink and brown phase in the papercrafting world … was it really 2005? Thanks so much for taking us on your stroll down memory lane! 🙂

  7. This was fun ….I have my first card also and I think it looks pretty good considering . My problem was in comparing my card to other seasoned cardmakers in my stamp group . So I was always reaching to get better and I found out that doesn`t really matter to a person who just loves getting the card . Thank you for sharing your “starter” .

  8. As the saying goes – You’ve come a long way baby! It’s so nice to know that someone that produces the amazing cards we see on your blog all the time started pretty much like we did. Thanks for sharing Brian.

  9. My first card was in the 80’s. I had been to a stamp shop in Saluda NC (may have been the one you went to Bryan….it is near Hendersonville ) and bought an angel stamp and gold embossing powder. I embossed the image on a white card—no layers— and had to do the heat embossing over the burner on my stove!! I am not sure heat guns had even been invented yet for crafting! I was so proud of them….and that is when my stamping “bug” began. I am so glad I found Stampin Up in 1996! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Just curious……wonder what kind of cards the Stampin up catalogues were showing at that time. Your card was probably in line with what they were demonstrating at the time. I got a card set or two in a grab bag a couple of years back and when I made the cards up I was thinking how far designs have progressed. For the fun of it I may play around with your sketch and see what I come up with. I don’t have my first card to look back at….it was that bad. Again thanks for sharing. I love to start my day with checking out your most recent post.

  11. You inspired me to go look at the first card I was inspired to share online. Yikes! Also explains why SU retired Earth Elements and Close to Cocoa….

  12. OMG I still have that stamp set. I really need to thin out my old supplies.

  13. Excellent post and funny replies! From plastic tub to a room! LOL!
    I gasp when I think about the first card set I gave as a “gift”, I can see them clearly in my minds eye, triple yikes! I also remember how fun it was then with just a few “toys”, and now, ccasionally overwhelming with all the choices. But still a joy.
    Happy Stamping internet friends, beginner or advanced!

  14. Brian, thank you for sharing. I have been a demo for 8 years and have never posted anything except for on my DBWS, & that is even sporatic. After reading this post you have inspired me to do more. It’s not that I don’t think I do good work. I just need to make the time to use my camera (a good one at that), and do more postings. And you are right…we all need to start somewhere/sometime…and now is the time. Thank you!

  15. Brian, you are so encouraging. It really is a gift to all of us. I too began with a plastic tub and now have a room. Oh, and I too am an accountant. There are plenty of us in paper crafting. It must be our release, to play with paper. And funny you should post this because recently I have had several comments that my cards look “so professional now”. I did go back and check and cringe at some of my early stuff. I almost gave up because I wasn’t getting the results I wanted and I’m happy I carried on because I do get a great deal of pleasure with this craft. I recently read an article that said that most people do give up, just before they get really good at something. We all need a Brians to encourage us in our walk.

  16. Brian, wow! This post speaks straight to my heart. It’s as if you knew about my creative struggles before I shared them. It is so good to know that everyone is constantly growing and changing. Thanks.

  17. Thanks for the look back and encouragement to go forward. I first started with SU in 1999 and had to drop after a couple of years, then re-upped in 2006. Wow, lots of growth there!

  18. I’ve said it before, you inspire me so much. Thank You!

  19. There is hope for me. I think your first card was a pretty nice one, although, your cards now are amazing. Since I have only been doing this for about 6 or 7 months, I truly do love it. I am pretty much mimicking what I see others d. I will try different colors,or tweak it in some small way. I do love learning new techniques and new layouts. Love the tutorials too. I check in with you everyday, so thank you and all those who leave there comments and advice.

  20. Love it, Brian – the honesty, the “basic beginnings”, the paper snips – shows us all that we have to start somewhere.
    I do know what your card was lacking… dimensionals!

  21. How fun to see the first card you put on Splitcoast Stampers. You’ve come a long way Baby! I look back at my early cards from time to time for a good chuckle but it’s a great way to let beginners know that it is a process. The tools we have today help also. My early tools were scissors with different blades and plastic templates. Cuttlebugs, Big Shots, embossing folders, framelets and paper trimmers sure have helped us along. Thanks for sharing and for the walk down memory lane.

  22. Thanks for sharing. You are always such a wonderfully encouraging teacher!

  23. It is a very sweet card…and great colors (though know not your favorite combo!)….and we all had to start somewhere…I would cringe to see how I started compared to today….and I totally agree that SU!’s products and accessories have made all of us look so much better and appreciate what we are able to do these days. Great first blog!

  24. Thank you for the encouraging post. I remember that a few posts back you showed how a blue and orange card went from ho-hum to WOW by adding this and that. Your “eye” has been apparent from the beginning, but knowing you didn’t just “EMERGE” as a super stamper, but practiced your way to the top makes me feel more able to maybe improve as I practice more and more.

  25. Brian, Thank you so much for sharing! Once again, you inspire me! I am a “CASE hobbyist” and enjoy making cards as gifts and to send. I figured all you “great idea people” have natural talent. Here’s to hoping that I will one day graduate from “insecure newbie”. 🙂 Keep doing what you do!!!!

  26. I still keep my cards in a small plastic bin that looks like a shoe box! I signed up with Stampin’ Up! in 2009 under my girlfriend and my starter kit included Big Bold Birthday. It was a great starter set with 11 stamps, if I recall. The first cards I demo’d with this set were in one color (one of the many blues) and whisper white for the sentiment with four different designs (two portrait/two landscape). Although I am weirdly attached to all of my card designs, I don’t feel that the www is ready for those cards! Ha

  27. I like your post today! It’s interesting to see and hear about your stamping/ blogging journey! Really cool!

  28. Fab share. I still struggle with my own designs, even though I can case another with relish. You have made me feel better.

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