Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy Birthday, CSI! {CSI Case File No. 269}

We've got a brand new challenge live at CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration. (Actually, we have two challenges live--you can read about some changes to CSI on this blog post). Here is the page I created.


Anastasia's gorgeous page gave me the inspiration for this page.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling

This is our Case File:


Here are some details.  I wrote some milestones on the Case File image with the intention of writng a few more on the tag, but I had so much more to say that I decided to journal and tape it to the back of my page (you can read my journaling at the bottom of this post). I really tried to use most of the traditional Case File clues, but I only managed polka dots, plaid, floral pattern, chevron, banner, hearts, camper, string, hang something, cursive font, bow, birthday accents. The brad was for the plaid clue.


Tracee gave me that magnifying glass stamp, and I've wanted to use it ever since. I found the perfect opportunity here!


All the papers I used are pretty old. The banner, camper, and happy birthday are all cut files from the Silhouette store.


And I can never resist adding clouds to my layout when the opportunity arises! These were cut from a Bella Blvd patterned paper/


My journaling on the back of the page:

CSI is my brainchild and has been a labor of love for the past seven years. The history of CSI is tied closely to my history as a scrapbooker.

From the first day I learned about scrapbooking challenges, which was back in Two Peas in a Bucket's heyday, I was hooked. At first, I played in lots of them, and then I started creating my challenges, which I posted on Two Peas. At one time, I had numerous challenges running simultaneously, including an alphabet challenge, a use our stash challenge, a scrap your childhood challenge, and an extreme makeover challenge, to name a few.

After a while, I got onto some design teams for different scrapbook challenge blogs. Eventually, a few of my favorites became defunct, and I was left wanting them back. I decided to resurrect these challenges, in a way, by creating my own challenge. I always loved creating with colors as a starting point, as we did with Color Combos Galore, a team I was on and helped run for three and a half years. I also loved the sparks of inspiration I got from Creative Prompts for You, which was the precursor to moodboard challenges--they were way ahead of their time, and I adored being on that team from 2010 to 2011. And I loved trying to fit lots and lots of *stuff* on my pages from when I was on the How Much Is Too Much team for four years. Plus, I always loved telling stories on my pages.

So I was trying to figure out a way to include all of those elements in one challenge, when the idea of CSI was born. I kept saying "color story" in my head, but for some reason, I thought there had already been a challenge called Color Story at one time (that may or may not have been my imagination). And then I said Color Story Inspiration to make the name of my challenge different, and Eureka! I saw those initial letters and CSI: Color, Stories, Inspiration started forming in my head. I'd have a crime scene theme for my challenge website, which was on Ning back then. I'd call our design team "Detectives." I brainstormed a whole bunch of crime scene/detective/forensic-related words and they became the different parts of my challenge and my website.

I launched the challenge in January of 2012 with some of the most awesome ladies I knew in the scrapbooking world. Over the years, we've had so many amazing, talented ladies (and one man) on our team--people who have gone on to be on the design teams of some of the biggest manufacturers in the industry, some of whom have gone on to open their own scrapbooking product companies. And we still have an amazing team of inspiring designers, most of whom are on manufacturer, store, kit, and challenge teams.

Besides my design team, other people have helped me along the way to make Ning such a wonderful place. Lydell Quinn, who ran a "competing" color challenge (The Color Room), helped me set up my Ning site and created the graphics for our site and Case File template. Later, Michele Singh, a wildly talented digital designer, started playing at CSI and offered to start updating my graphics. She also created CSI Coordinates, which were printable elements that went with our Case Files. Later, Em Stafrace, another wildly talented digital designer, started playing at CSI and approached me about collaborating with her sketch challenge. She came onto our design team and created sketches for our "Major Case Files" every month for a couple of years. At the time we were doing a new Case File every Friday, plus special Case Files for collaborations with other challenges! I started doing those so I could help other challenges get more exposure, as I love challenges and want to see them all thrive.

One of the more exciting collaborations later on was with Scrap365, a print magazine. Ali Parris, the editor, approached me about featuring CSI in their magazine, and it became a year-long collaboration. What a thrill to see our Case File on the pages of a magzine!

The Ning website ran for about 5 years, and the price kept going up and up, until the cost was about $600 per year. Folks were donating to the cause, but at one point, the Ning platform kept going down and people were getting frustrated that they couldn't get into my challenge. And I was getting frustrated too. That's when I decided to move the challenge over to Blogger. It broke my heart because I had put an incredible amount of time and work and love into that website, but the troubles just weren't worth it in the end.

Our challenge is still going strong, and may be one of the longest running challenges in existence. I keep trying to keep things fresh by making changes here and there. Last year, I introduced Freestyle, which gave players the opportunity to either use our "clues" or draw their own inspiration from the Case File images. I love CSI. I love the ladies on my team. They inspire me, and I've grown so much as a scrapper by working alongside them. I can't wait to see what CSI holds in the future. I hope CSI will always be a challenge that people love.

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1 comment:

aussie aNNie said...

Brilliant design...love the added from the Silhouette store.x
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