A little birdy told me the countdowns to ND2020 are making people nervous. That maybe they can’t do it.

You can! You really, really can! I’m baring my soul & sharing my own humble beginnings… way back in 2008. I’d only been designing for about six months, and just bits & pieces at that. But I saw this contest & I was hooked.

Round one was totally up my ally! JulieO (then-owner of Stone Accents Studio) said:

With the anniversary of September 11th approaching is seems appropriate to start this designer contest with the theme of “Our Heroes” The kits that are submitted should contain some elements that can be used in layouts to honor the men and women around the world that serve others in various ways. Some suggestions might be flags of your country, military medals or other memorabilia, firefighter or police hats/uniforms, plaques, banners and so on.

The kits should have 8 to 12 papers and the 8 to 12 elements. Keep in mind that making one paper and recoloring it twelve ways will not get you many votes.


That first round was easy. A simple challenge. In my wheelhouse. I knocked it out & was immediately happy. Then round two happened. The round two challenge was simply overwhelming!

Each entry must include:

  • Two cluster elements
  • One 12 x 12 Quick Page
  • There must be two previews for each kit.
  • Ten to twenty papers, re-colored papers each count as a paper
  • 15 to 20 elements, re-colored elements each count as an element.

The palette was a dream. These colors were everywhere back in 2008:

I am cringing as I share this, the overwhelmingly heavy shadows are killing me, but back in 2008 I was super proud of my design:

Round three took me completely out of my element. These are not now, nor have they ever been, my kind of colors.

I am going to take us back to our roots with this challenge. The kits designed for this round must contain some elements that would be suitable to be used in Vintage/Heritage layouts and use the provided color palette. Use your own discretion in deciding what to make and the members will be the judges as to how well they fit the theme.

Each entry must include,

  • Two cluster elements
  • There must be two previews for each kit showing whatever you choose to show.
  • You may use metals if you want.
  • You may use tints and shades that are lighter or darker as long as they are the same hue (color.)
  • SPECIAL NOTE- Do not use black and white in the round

I do love my layout of my mom, as a baby.

Round four brought the competition full circle, back into my comfort zone with a, relatively, easy challenge that let me be me. I still love the Alpha I made for this round.

The theme for round four is “Show your Style.” Contestants can design any size, style and color kit that they want. They should use this round to show what they can do when there are no restrictions other than quality. So, have at it, show us your style and your best.


I went full Fall. I love Fall! It’s my favorite season. It was Fall, this was in September of 2008. And… I won! I won third place, but it was enough to get me a store of my own. The rest is history.

Will you be our Next Designer? Will you join our team? I’m so excited to see what everyone creates! My patience has flown out the window, and over the mountains. I so wish it was next week.

It’s audition time for our ND2020! All auditions must be posted no later than 6:00 a.m. on Monday June 1, 2020.