Estella Banks
Chief Creative Officer & Founder
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator
To e-mail me, click here
(714) 264-0026

Monday, April 21, 2014

Vision Casting

I think about vision. A lot.  Probably because my Pastor encourages us often to live a life of purpose, and well, frankly, in order to do that, you kinda have to have a vision for how things will play out. You know?

So, how important is vision for one's life and business?  I believe it's critical to both life and business.  Besides, when living life of purpose, the two areas will, ideally, be in sync.  A couple of my favorite scriptures point to its importance...

  • Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18, KJV).
  • Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. (Habakkuk 2:2, KJV).
The mission of Planet Creative Studios: Inspire, Nurture and Share Creativity, has remained constant. The vision of how to implement that mission, however, has morphed slightly to allow for growth -- specifically, growing INTO the huge vision for Planet Creative Studios.  As Habakkuk 2:2 states, writing the vision is an important part of helping the vision come to life.  I'm sharing my vision and hoping that you will support the vision in some way.

In order to grow into the ultimate vision for Planet Creative Studios, there are several incremental steps.  One of those steps is to create opportunities for my friends, family, and customers to be creative in a small group setting.

Over the past few years, I have offered paper crafting and sewing classes at my church in Whittier, as well as classes in fellowship halls (at other churches), friends' homes, garages, covered patios, covered driveways, & businesses, and I want to continue offering these and other types  of classes/workshops.

I'd like to enlist your help. 

I am very interested in identifying classroom or conference room venues in parts of Los Angeles and North Orange Counties.  The area around the 91 freeway (from Carson to Fullerton) is fair game.  

I have held classes in Norwalk, which is very centrally located, especially if the venue is close to the freeway.  A classroom-like venue is the ideal, but, as I mentioned before, I've held classes many types of environments. 

Any well-lit place where we can set up a few tables and chairs, protect ourselves from the elements, have a little snack and maybe some electricity for the "power tools" is great! Hey, we are all about being creative!

If you know of a business/organization that is willing to rent an affordable space, preferably on a Friday evening, Saturday, or Sunday afternoon, or if you are interested in hosting a class, let me know!  It's so much fun to connect with new creative friends and that helps Planet Creative Studios grow!

Of course there are other incremental steps, so stay tuned for updates! ;-)

When our vision is fully implemented, we will host you at our own venue, uniquely designed to Inspire, Nurture and Share Your Creativity.

Estella Banks

Chief Creative Officer
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Who Likes Quickies?

Now that I have your attention... This post is about quickie cards... heehee.

Recently, I was inspired to make some very quick thank you cards. I can find inspiration all around, if I just pay attention and take notes for later.

The inspiration for these Thank You note cards came from the Stampin' Up! Sale-A-Bration brochure. Sale-A-Bration is an annual event in which Stampin' Up! offers a selection of exclusive free product with every $50 purchase. When I first learned about Stampin' Up! back in 2003, it was during Sale-A-Bration... and, well, needless to say, I was "hooked!"

So, I've perused this little brochure quite a few times while deciding which free items I wanted when I placed my order and the samples on page 5 captured my interest. Could it really be that simple to make these little note cards (or the normal 4-1/4" x 5-1/2," depending on the supplies that you have on hand)? I'm here to tell you, "Yes!"

I "simply"drew lines on the cards with the thicker end of the marker.  I drew diagonal lines on the corners of one and one of the others I left about 1" of the card plain and used Washi Tape for a quick accent.  I was surprised how much I liked the way the greeting looked stamped with the Baked Brown Sugar ink.

Supplies will you need (everything is pictured in the image):

Friday, January 3, 2014

The 2014 Calendar Project

Each year, either in December or January (depending on when our schedules converge), a friend and I get together to make ...
"The Calendar."

The Calendar project started a few years ago as one of the "Santa's Workshop" projects, or perhaps a class I dreamed up after seeing the calendar on a blog.  It's a beautifully useful gift for friends, family and clients. The project can be as involved or as simple as you choose to make it.  (wink!) The finished size of each month's page is 3-1/2" x 5" and is designed to fit into a bent acrylic frame of the same size.

This version of the calendar yields calendars in batches of 5 because we used the "One Sheet Wonder" technique and Whisper White card stock in 8-1/2" x 11". (If you want to make a "simpler version" of this calendar you can use patterned scrapbook paper or Stampin' Up!'s Designer Series Paper.)

If you decide to use the One Sheet Wonder technique, you will need various stamp sets representing the seasons and/or events occurring each month. We also carefully selected our color combinations to reflect the seasonal or special event themes for that month.  Of course, creative license is heavily utilized throughout this project. Here are some themes for each month to get the creative juices flowing:

January - Winter Theme/Snowflakes
February - Valentine's Day
March - St. Patrick's Day and/or Easter, Windy, Green, Beginning of Spring
April - Spring Flowers, Easter
May - Mother's Day, Flowers
June - Father's Day, Cherries, Beginning of Summer, Beach, Picnics
July - Independence Day, Fireworks, Picnics, Swimming
August - Summer Vacation, Cameras, Back to School, Summer Activities
September - Fall, Labor Day, Back to School, Leaves
October - Harvest Festivals, Fall, Pumpkins, Cats
November - Thanksgiving, Leaves
December - Christmas, Hanukkah, Gifts, Trees, Menorah

The rest of the details about this project, including a list of supplies and cutting instructions can be found on this Google Doc.

#PlanetCreative365 entry for January 2, 2014.

Estella Banks

Chief Creative Officer
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Happy New Year!

Welcome 2014!

Only a few hours from the last year, a new year is exciting and holds much promise for creating something new and different for our lives. It feels so refreshing to have a blank canvas on which to design the next 365 days.

As 2013 drew to a close, I had been reflecting on my own life and creative practices.  I had a little more free time during December since my dear friend and favorite No Weapon Productions CEO gave me a little costume creation break. I took advantage of the opportunity and used the time to make some of my Christmas gifts.  I made a cute crochet beret for my daughter and some Happiness Jars for my family and friends (still in progress - smile - photos are forthcoming). I also have a fleece robe in progress for my daughter. It has been fun to create fun and useful items (my mantra when I create is to make sure the item is useful as well as beautiful) and I always yearn for more time to just be creative. I was careful to maintain a calm attitude toward the timing of the completion of my projects, but I did have a big goal in mind and did not set aside enough time to complete everything in "timely manner."  My take-away from this experience is that in order to accomplish the goal of giving unique hand-crafted gifts, I must start a little earlier!

And so I've decided to challenge myself to be creative everyday. #PlanetCreative365 is my way to learn and grow creatively and stretch myself with respect to the daily discipline of creating.  As you may know, discipline and routine can be a challenge for creative types, yet the most prolific creators have an established routine of working on their craft EVERYDAY.

Will you join me?

The rules are simple...make something each day and document it with a photo. Some projects will be bigger and take more time to complete, so document your progress. Some of your creations will be "top secret," so feel free to photograph only what you are comfortable with the public seeing (i.e. a corner of the item, an artistically blurred version). Occasionally I may post an inspiration for your creativity, just to mix things up a bit.  Use the hash tag #PlanetCreative365 when you share your creations. I will feature some of them here on the blog.  You can follow my daily progress on Twitter and Facebook and weekly progress here on the blog.

What will you create today?

Estella Banks

Chief Creative Officer
Inspiring, Nurturing, Sharing Creativity

Something to think about...