I’m Jan Tinklenberg, aka JanTink, aka Janine Tinklenberg. There haven’t been many times in my life when I haven’t been making something. Starting in school with the inevitable school projects, art became the subject I cared most about, starting in first grade when I drew a picture of Snoopy from the Peanuts that actually looked like Snoopy. “Wow!” I thought, “I can draw!”
In fifth grade, I made clay figures of a hobo and his dog and cat. A lady from some art education group bought them from me. It was the first time I had ever sold anything I had made, and I thought, “How cool!”
Somewhere around the same time, I remember standing at the window of my grandparent’s house looking out at the farmhouse across the street. It was just a white farmhouse against a blue sky, but I remember thinking, “I want to paint a picture of that. I want to be an artist.”
After that, I dabbled in many arts and crafts, and there aren’t many I haven’t tried. In high school I did paper sculpture and macrame. In college, I started as a theater major with an emphasis in costume design. I decided, though, that I didn’t like sewing enough to want to do it all the time. I had imagined, quite wrongly, that costume designers had staff that did all the sewing. Maybe in big costume shops, but most costume designers do their own. So I switched my minor to be my major and my major to be my minor and became an art major. I got my Bachelors of Art in art with an emphasis in watercolor at Western Michigan University. Before that, my husband and I had married while we were both still in school, and the idea was that once we finished our degrees, he would teach and I would paint. It didn’t work out that way. I got my degree first, but he was still working on his so I had to get a full-time job to have money coming in so he could finish. I put off my plans to paint for a year while he finished.
My husband’s first teaching job was in Illinois started in the middle of the year, which did not allow him to spread his pay over the summer. We moved and got an apartment. He started his job. I started my painting career, but homesickness, lack of inspiration (it was so flat there!), and loneliness took it’s toll. I took to going to the grocery store just to talk to someone during the day. When summer came, we had no money coming in, so I had to get a full-time job. After that, it was just one thing after another. I still painted but not very often. By the time we had moved back to Michigan where his second teaching job was, I was finding as much satisfaction doing different crafts as I could, including cross-stitch and knitting. I did some weaving. Then we bought a house and had children. Painting got pushed off further into the future.
I found card making at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting where someone had brought in rubber stamps for us to stamp on card stock, color with colored pencils, and make Christmas cards. “Wow!” I thought, “I could save so much money on Christmas cards and have fun too.” Famous last words. I somehow never saved any money on my Christmas cards. But it’s still fun! I’ve gone on to enjoy scrapbooking, making gift packaging, and making home decor projects, but making cards is really my main thing right now.
I spent some years as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, from 2003 to 2015. I have enjoyed helping people learn about stamping through my blog since 2006. I started out on Blogger, moved my blog to Typepad, and now I have moved it yet again to WordPress. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer and will subscribe!
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