Hi there, and welcome to my stop on Day 2 of the Hero Arts 45th Anniversary blog hop! I’m so glad you’re here! We’re having a THREE day blog hop to celebrate this milestone and plenty of prizes, too!
I can’t believe Hero has been in business for 45 years! That’s just so amazing. Happy, happy anniversary, Hero Arts — and many more!
A Walk Down Memory Lane
I have a bunch of cards to share, but first I thought I’d take a little stroll down memory lane, so here goes — you can skip over this part if ya like :)
As you probably know, Jackie Leventhal, founder of Hero Arts, started the company from her home in Berkeley, California. Here’s something I bet you haven’t heard tho — I’ll never forget her telling me about how one time she was working on stamps late at night and the police showed up due to a noise complaint! She worked at a high school woodshop classroom in the evenings after that. :)
Jackie is an amazing woman and I’m so glad to know her and call her friend. She founded the company back when there were few women starting businesses and I really admire her for that. Just think of how hard it is for women even today. I’ve learned so much from her.
As for me, I first found out about Hero Arts in the late 1990’s. I was working as a software engineer and I’d make cards in the evenings to relax. It’s always been big stress reliever to me to play with paper — and still is! There’s something so satisfying about it — and if you mess up it’s only paper — just stamp some more.
I started entering Hero Arts contests (back when you had to physically mail your entries in) and to my utter astonishment I started winning! I couldn’t believe it…
Then in late 2004 I got a call from Louise Burns, the Hero Arts marketing director, asking me if I’d like to make cards for them. I remember my jaw dropped open and I couldn’t speak! Yep, speechless. I was that excited! Louise said something like “If you need some time to think about it that’s fine…” and I was like “no no no I’d love to! I’m just so excited I can’t talk!”
I worked for Hero full-time from April 2006-November 2015 — that’s almost 10 years! I’ll never forget my first day there, I flew to Hero from here in Austin for a sales rep show. The sales manager and I then drove from the Hero warehouse to Sacramento, about a 2 hour drive. We stopped at Starbucks and the barista didn’t put the lid on my coffee right and when I went to take a sip and the lid came off and I spilled coffee alllllllll over my shirt! I had to keep my jacket on for the whole show. So embarrassing! How’s that for a first day?!
While at Hero my official title was Designer and CTO but I got to do so many things — no two days where ever quite the same. Loved that.
I primarily worked on the Hero websites (wholesale and retail) from the ground up — both the hardware and software sides. The website was hosted here in Austin at that time and I could ride my bike over to the data center to swap out backup drives.
I also did the photography for many catalogs, taught classes/did make and takes and took orders at trade shows, did some marketing and I got to do product development, too! I have a little page about a few of the products I worked on here if you’d like to see more.
In 2015 I decided to take a break to travel and I’ve been self-employed since. What a journey — and it’s not done yet!
The very best part of working for Hero? The lasting friendships that I made. I’ve been sitting here struggling trying to come up with the words to describe what these friendships mean to me, but all I can say is that it makes my heart happy to be a part of this tribe and to have found these wonderful humans. I feel so very fortunate.
Alrighty then — hope you enjoyed my stroll down memory lane — now let’s get on to the cards!
Howdy, Happy Happy Anniversary!
Of course I had to make an anniversary card, right? Right! As soon as I saw the new anniversary die I thought of the “I’m stuck on you” sentiment in the Stamp Your Own Cactus set – and the rest of the card just took off from there!
Then I die cut it and heat embossed it with sparkle powder — because yeah, sparkle!
Side note: I was super surprised to see that the backer card for the new anniversary die has a photo I took of some cards I made, also featuring that Stamp Your Own Cactus set — great minds think alike! :)
Then for the saguaro cactus I used key lime fizz and green apple — these look so good together. I just swiped some ink on my water media mat, spritzed it with water, and then dragged a piece of watercolor paper through it.
Once again I swiped some ink on my trusty water media mat, misted it with water and then swiped some watercolor paper through it, but this time I loaded up a brush with some of the leftover grape slush ink and dropped it here and there on the paper. Love how this turned out!
I used the From the Vault Aged shadow stamp to create a background on both the front + the inside.
And then! I just had to add a little bling with these old Hero Arts flower sequins. I found them one time when I was visiting Hero — they were gathering dust in the warehouse and they had to come home with me lol! The date on the package is 2006, but I think they fit right in! (Similar sequins here.)
And that’s it for this card!
As soon as I saw the From the Vault Bullsh!t stamp I just had to have it!
This has gotta be the most clean and simple card I’ve ever made. And I like it, just like this. :)
I think the key is to use heavy white cardstock, and you can’t go wrong with a kraft envelope. I’m gonna make a stack of these to have on hand — I can think of so many ways to use this stamp:
- Cancer is bullsh!t
- Got laid off? That’s bullsh!t
- Broken leg? Bullsh!t
I could go on and on…and I did with this next card! :)
First up, an apology — this card features the poppy from an old Poetic Prints set that I have in my collection — I saw the poppy image in the summer catalog and thought it had been re-released, but here it’s only the daisy, doh. Anyhow, you get the idea and can swap ’em in and out! I think this poppy would be great for this card + technique too.
To get this look, stamp your image with reactive inks and then use a wet brush to pull color away from the select areas.
It’s as easy as pie — no bull! :)
I decided to keep this card on the simple side and finished it off with some splatters of ink. I love how the delicate poppies contrast with that bold sentiment. :)
Hero Arts is so generous — they’re giving away 3 $145 Gift Certificates and 3 $45 Gift Certificates to 6 lucky winners. There are also 13 awesome companies/friends who are celebrating with Hero Arts, and they are offering the following prizes:
- Altenew: $50 Gift Certificate
- Art Impressions: $25 Gift Certificate
- Ellen Hutson LLC: $50 Gift Certificate
- Gina K: $100 Gift Certificate
- Jennifer McGuire Ink: $100 Hero Arts Gift Certificate, 5 Share Handmade Kindness goodie bags
- Laurie Willison: 2 Card Hanger Dies
- Lawn Fawn: $50 Gift Certificate
- My Sweet Petunia: 1 Prize Bundle (Original MISTI, a set of Creative Corners, a Cut-Align, and a bar magnet)
- Online Card Classes: 5 spots in the Stamp Happy In Good Company: Hero Arts class
- Pink Fresh Studio: $45 Gift Certificate
- Scrapbook & Cards Today: 3 copies of Scrapbook & Cards Today Summer 2019 Issue
- Scrapbook.com: $50 Gift Certificate
- Simon Says Stamp: $50 Gift Certificate
Winners will be drawn from people who leave comments along the blog hop over all three days – so the more comments you leave, the more chances you have to WIN! Comment by Sunday, June 2 at 11:59 pm PST, and Hero Arts will announce the winners on the Hero Arts blog the following week.
Your next stop on the hop is my friend and fellow Austinite, Lydia Fiedler! I can’t wait to see what she’s made!
Here’s the full list in case you’re just now joining us or encounter any broken links:
- Hero Arts
- A Blog Named Hero
- Amy Kolling
- Cheiron Brandon
- Clare Prezzia
- Donna Mikasa
- Jana Millen
- Jenn Shurkus
- Kathleen Graumüller
- Laurie Willison
- Lisa Spangler < you are here! :)
- Lydia Fiedler
- Nichol Spohr
- Scrapbook & Cards Today
First off, some links for items that are harder to come by these days! Full disclosure, if you make a purchase by clicking the links to Ellen Hutson or Amazon I’ll receive a small commission at no charge to you — thank you!
- Prickly Pear Paper Layering die at Amazon or Hero
- Desert (Saguaro) Paper Layering die at Amazon or Hero
- Stamp Your Own Cactus from Hero
Now for the rest of the supplies:
Happy, happy anniversary to Jackie, Aaron, Laura and everyone at Hero Arts! Here’s to many (many!) more! Thank you so much for asking me to be a part of the celebration, and thanks to YOU for stopping by my blog! Hugs all around! xoxo