I know, I know. You've probably noticed a few changes, most notably the lack of Designer Challenges and no sneak peeks or hints from me about new products.
After three years of licensing Pop it Ups dies, stamps, folders and stencils to Elizabeth Craft Designs, the contract is up and we've mutually decided not to renew. This means there won't be any new Pop it Ups collections with Elizabeth Craft Designs, but existing products will be available, inventory-permitting, throughout 2017.
I've been designing and licensing craft products for fifteen years and have been blessed to work with many companies. I've designed and licensed hundreds of products. Before product design, I worked in the creative side of the industry, including design team work, magazine and idea books and freelance teaching at events throughout the world.
My goal when I turned my crafting hobby into a career was to earn enough to fund my kids' college accounts. John and I put ourselves through school on scholarships, grants and loans. I remember the day, 10 years after graduating, when we paid off our last loan. John's mother framed the payoff stub for us and we hung it on the wall. When our twins were born 18 years ago we made the decision that, if we could, and with provisions for their contributions of hard work and decent grades, we would pay for our kids' college educations. We met that goal and their college accounts are fully funded. Yay!
Now don't worry. I didn't tell this story to announce my retirement or anything. Perish the thought! I love creating with paper and now that my kids are young adults and starting their own journeys, I'll have even more time to devote to it.
No, I tell this story to explain why, when it became obvious that my journey with Elizabeth Craft Designs was ending, I didn't feel the need to immediately pursue a replacement licensing deal, as I've done in the past. To explain why I chose instead to take my time and weigh several options of where to best focus my particular set of skills in this ever-changing industry.
What's next for me is in development, but there is something coming and it will be great!
During this transition period, I won't have work for a Design Team, so there is no longer an official Karen Burniston Designer Challenge Team. After years of working together, though, we've become such good friends that we've formed our own little club and are considering putting together regular challenges just for fun. You'll see in the sidebar that my former team members are now linked as "Super Talented Designer Friends" and I encourage you to bookmark their blogs so you can keep up with their crafty endeavors. There aren't enough words to properly praise and thank them for their years of friendship, talents and support. Thank you SO much to Shelly, Raquel, Kelly, Karen, Fran, Frances, Summer, Caz, Sandy, Donna and Helen. I also must thank all of my readers, viewers, students and fans who have supported this passion I have for interactive paper crafting.
While I work on what's next, I'm going to continue to enjoy creating YouTube videos and tutorials for my blog. I'll continue to post on my Karen Burniston Designer Facebook Page with links to projects made using my products. I'll continue to teach at stores in South Texas (next class is at Scrapp'n Savvy in March) and I'll be attending the Creativation show next week in Phoenix to walk the show with my friends and to celebrate, gratefully, the blessings that this creative industry has provided.