I love YaYa challenges. Since we are all sisters of the heart, you'd kind of expect some uniformity of thinking in the group. But, nooooooo! It is truly amazing what happens when you give YaYas the same materials and the same concept and say, "Go! Create something!" No two Yas ever approach the task the same way. This diversity makes every challenge "reveal" a surprise and delight.
Kimberly is a goddess of swap organization and the queen of the 2008 YaYa challenge. She's become well-known on Splitcoaststampers.com as "keagle," the inventor of keagle paper and a swapper extraordinaire. Even though she's a database administrator by day (or sometimes 24 hours a day), Kimberly pours enormous time and energy into keeping other artists in touch with each other and busily creating and trying new things. I think what drives her--besides her gift for organizing complex tasks--is that same surprise and delight in diversity. Well, whatever drives her, those of us who get to participate in her creativity fests are grateful.
As a YaYa, Kimberly regularly opens her home and fabulous home-studio for group events, which she thinks up, puts together, and hosts with charm and casual elegance. For example, Kimberly and Mel (aka Crafty Pig) struck up a friendship through Splitcoast, getting to know one another virtually and by mail. When Mel came to visit a few months ago, Kimberly organized a YaYa get-together so we all could meet Mel and twist her arm to become a long-distance YaYa. I'm not talking about tea and cookies, here. Kimberly thought this was a perfect time to have a birthday party for all YaYas. So everybody brought crafty gifts for everybody else and met at Kimberly's home for a day of group crafting and extreme potlucking. Kimberly made sure we all got mementos honoring Mel--Pig themed--including porcine fake snouts. And she found someone to come take group photos. Amazing day, due to an amazing woman.
Near the end of 2007, Kimberly announced to the YaYas that she's got some big stuff going on in her personal life in the coming year that may prevent her from physically hosting our get-togethers. Consequently, she came up with an idea for a monthly swap that will keep everyone in touch, whether or not we're able to meet. That is, she came up with 12 monthly themes and technique challenges, put together a packet of materials and instructions for each month, and packaged the entire year's worth of stuff beautifully--all at her own expense--and distributed a "YaYa bucket" to each of the 18 participants. Yes. I said 18. I told you: She's a goddess.
The January swap is in progress, and photos of the swap cards are beginning to pop up on the Art YaYa Yahoo site. The samples, so far, are as surprising and delightful as ever. So many variations to "trees, snowflakes, and smackin' acetate."
Here's the card I received this month from Debbie (who happens to be Kimberly's sister and deserves her own ode). Today, Linda P. (our Massachusetts YaYa) said that, having now seen examples of others' work, she feels like starting over on her January card. I hear you, girlfriend. Me, too!
If this isn't enough to make you want to be a YaYa, then you just don't have the gene. If you do want to be a YaYa, e-mail me at email@example.com. We'd love to have you. But don't count on a bucket from Kimberly this year. That girl has done enough!