Welcome new subscribers!

My blog subscribers have been steadily growing over the past few month ever since I introduced English version of this blog (and changed the design to a more modern one) and so I thought it would a good idea to pop in and say hello, introduce myself and tell you a little more about my life. I personally love to know the people whose blogs I read, I hope you feel the same and will enjoy reading this post. Be sure to say HIย the comments below, and feel free to share a bit about yourself if you like.

Yana Smakula - Welcome New Subscribers

this is me ๐Ÿ™‚ (summer 2015)

My name is Yana Smakula and I am a Ukrainian cardmaker and scrapbooker (English is not my first language so please excuse any typos and mistakes you might see here). I started making cards (and then scrapbooking) about 7 or 8ย years ago, I started blogging at about the same time, but I only had my blog in my native language (I still run itย and you can get to it by clicking on a blue and yellow flag in the sidebar, although I don’t post there as much as I used to).

As I was making cards and sharing numerous photo tutorials I decided to try my hand at making videos (I wanted to apply for a Design Team and one of the requirements was to createย videos). Needless to say the first video I made was horrible, lol (and of course I didn’t get that design team position)! But that has inspired me to continue learning and to continue creating videos.


hubby (Oles) and I

I’ve been filming cardmaking tutorials in Ukrainian for about a year (and I’ve been sharing them on my Youtube channel, you might notice that allย of my first videos are in Ukrainian; and this is actually why my Youtube channel has that weird name – Zrobysama. I didn’t plan to have it for English audience) when my hubby, Oles, convinced me to start doing videos in English. And I am very happy he did as it turns out creating cardmaking videos is something I really love and enjoy doing (although it is challenging at times).

This brings me to where I learned English (I get asked this often). When I was a high school student I lived a year abroad in US, I was a foreign exchange student and I stayed withย a host family and attended US high school for one year. This is when I fell in love with the country and people (in case you are wondering, I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada). And if you ever want to take an exchange student from Ukraine – please do!

My family loves to travel and my hubby and I always try to get out and explore as much as we can. We’ve traveled a bit to Europe, Asia and Africa, but there’s still much to explore. I enjoy gardening and whenever possible I try to have a small flower garden on our balcony during Spring and Summer. I never know the names of the plants and flowers I have (at least not like I know my stamps and dies), but I just enjoy it.


my balcony garden

I am also an avid online gamer and I hate to admit it, but I can spend a few hours a week playing on the computer (now lets pretend I never shared that, lol! ). I also enjoy listening to audio books, I mostly listen to classic detective stories.

Hubby and I don’t have children, but we do have 2 kitties, very spoiled, but we love them dearly. They are both black and are a kitty-mom and a kitty-daughter.

Black Kitties

I don’t think there’s more to share (at least nothing that is very interesting) about me, if you have any questions – let me know and do say hi in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚ .



    1. I have been following your videos for about a year. I am from Canada. I love your cards and videos. I check your blog almost every day. Thanks for all the inspiration you share with us. Thank you.

    1. I don’t know how long I’ve been following you but I love your cards and I have “copied” many of them. I am Canadian but I live in the U.S. and we have 6 rescue cats, yes, crazy cat family and 1 rescue dog.

    1. Hi, Yana, I’m from South Africa and have been following your blog for a while now and enjoy your videos and your beautiful cards!!! I really enjoyed getting to know you a bit better and by the way – your English is very good!!! I’m an absolute cat-lover and love your two fur babies!!!!! I would love you to hop over to my blog, http://kaartjiekreatief.blogspot.com and have a look at what I make!!!!
      Keep well and have a great day!!!!

    1. Hi, Yana, I am from South Africa and have been following your blog for a while and really enjoy your beautiful cards and your videos!!! I really enjoyed getting to know you a bit better and by the way – your English is very good!!! I’m an absolute cat lover and your two fur babies are so cute!!!!!
      I would love you to hop over to my blog and have a look at what I make!!!!!
      Keep well and have a great day!!!!

    1. Thanks for the interesting post! Yes, I’ve wondered why your you-tube channel has a different name! Your garden is beautiful. I can only garden on a deck also but make the most of it. I hope someday you will get to visit more of the USA than Vegas. I love Vegas too but there’s more beautiful places! Your cards are awesome. Thanks for sharing your talents.

      1. thank you, Nan! I’ve been to other places in USA, its such a vast and beautiful country, but I do hope to be able to travel much more ๐Ÿ™‚
        thank you for stopping by and saying hi ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi Yana, I have been following your blog for a while. I love every video and card you make. I love how your mind works, I have attempted many of your cards that I have pinned on my Pinterest board. Thank you for sharing your creativity. I the past have been in a few stamping magazine and have taught many classes, but as the community move to technology (videos and online classes) I could not keep up. I’m not very computer savvy I’m afraid, haha.

    1. I’m a big fan of your talent. I started following the ukr.part of your blog. And i bought a lot of dies and stamp sets after looking at your card ds,Yana))

      1. thank you, Marina! Haha, its dangerous (for our valets) to follow me ๐Ÿ™‚
        thank you for stopping by and saying hi!

    1. Hi Yana, I’m an RN who enjoys spending time off reading mysteries and crafting. I look forward to your blog and videos, which are always fun to watch! The diversity in your card making is inspiring, sometimes CAS other times intricate but always beautiful. Thank you for sharing you creativity and talent.

      1. aww, thank you Yvonne! By the way, I love your name, my mom used to have a friend from abroad and her name was Yvonne, I always thought it was such a beautiful name.

    1. Do enjoy your creations
      on your blog and the other
      blogs you present on. Thanks
      for sharing a little more.
      Carla from Utah

    1. Hi Yana. Thank you. Nice to know about you and your life. I am from Denmark and I have followed your blog and I love to watching your videos. I am not a Big user of stamps, but I get better and more and more stamps. I love making card with Spellbinders dies and I have a lot of them. You inspire me to try stamping and I enjoy all of your videos on youtube. Thanks to your hubby that he told you to make the videos in english.
      Looking forward to see your next post and video.

    1. Hi Yana, I enjoyed your blog post about yourself. I live in Georgia. I also enjoy your video’s. I think you are very talented and creative. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hello Yana from Mesa, AZ; not to far from Las Vegas. I am glad your hubby talked you into doing videos in English. I found your blog a few years ago when you were part of a blog hop and I actually won the prize you were giving away. I have since kept following your blog and love all your clean and simple AND beautiful cards. Thanks for sharing about yourself, your hubby and your gorgeous kitties.

      1. hello, Debbie! Its nice to meet you! We’ve been to Arizona, but never to Mesa (we loved Sedona with all the red rocks). Maybe one day ๐Ÿ™‚
        And I’m so happy you enjoy my creations, thank you!

    1. Began following you from Jennifer McGuire and really like your style. It always amazes me that non-English speaking people make such great videos in English and I can understand so well. Nice to hear about your background and supportive hubby and two beautiful cats! Thanks for sharing and so glad you have expanded into English blogging.

    1. Hi, Yana. Thanks for the introduction. I love your videos and the innovative ideas you have. I started stamping in 2003 but fell out of it until I discovered all the craters sharing their creativity, knowledge and tips on YouTube. This got me excited about all the new stamps, products and techniques. I truly love how global this craft is and that the Internet let’s us reach one another.
      PS I have one cat and enjoy cat cameos in YouTube card making videos!

    1. I love your videos and please do not apologize for your English it’s wonderful. My husband and I had n exchange student for a year from Finland it was the best experience for us and our two children. He became part of the family and we all cried when he had to return home, but we keep in touch!

      1. yes, it was very hard for me to say goodbye as well, I still remember that morning.
        My host father passed away a few years later and I don’t keep in touch with the rest of the family as much as I wish.
        thank you, Nancy! I’m happy to know there are others who take exchange students out there. thank you for that!

    1. Hi Yana, it was great getting to know a little more about you. I have been following your work for about a year & a half and it is always amazing. I never miss a post or video if I can help it!
      I am from Nova Scotia (Canada), born and raised. Probably the exact opposite of you. I have been to the U.S. a couple of times and hope to be going again soon. Other than that (because we can drive there) I am no traveller. However, I was a SAHM to 2 children, both are now married. Our oldest has 2 young sons so I am totally loving my new status as Nanny! LOL
      I don’t have a blog but due to the number of cards I make I do have a private facebook group for my card loving friends to see what I’m making and share their projects. (I think I was boring my non-card making friends as I posted more cards than anything else on my personal fb page! haha)
      Anyway, I totally enjoyed learning more about you and as always I am looking forward to what’s coming next! TFS all that you do!

      1. thank you, Teresa! I know you are a regular here ๐Ÿ™‚ I always love reading your comments.
        I wasn’t big on travel until I started dating my hubby, its he who introduced the joy of traveling to me, although it is exhausting at times.
        its so nice to read about you, I’m so glad I published this post and got to connect with my readers. Thank you!

    1. Hi Yana. I am an American living in Pinellas Park, Fl. It is between St Petersburg and Tampa. I started scrapbooking around 10 to 12 years ago and moved on to card making. I’ve been watching your videos and blog for a few years now and really enjoy it very much.

    1. Hello, Yana! It’s wonderful to learn a little about you. I live in Pennsylvania, in the eastern US, and began card making three years ago. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months and really enjoy it, and the beautiful cards you make. I will look for some of your videos, too, I saw one a while back. As we say in the States, “Practice makes perfect!” You will do very well in a short time I’m sure!

      1. PS. I forgot to say how much I liked your cats’ photo! They’re gorgeous! I love cats, at one time we had two Siamese. At this time we have no pets, as we are now retired and wish to travel.

    1. Hello. Thanks for sharing. I’m in the USA and have been following you for a while. Love your style. I think your videos are great, do thank your husband from this subscriber for encouraging you. I’ve even set up a Pinterest board that is just your work I enjoy it so much.

      I will continue to eagerly watch for my emails that you’ve got a new post!

    1. Hi Yana! I just recently found you and love your videos and cards. I’m a retired grandma to two boys and love crafting. I make cards, scrapbook for my family and make gifts. I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California.

    1. You are one of my favorite designers! Thank you for posting in English!!!

    1. I loved this! Thanks for sharing more about you! You are such an inspiration and I love learning through your videos!!!

    1. Hello Yana,

      Lovely to read a little more about you! I have no idea how I came across you, but it was some time ago, and it is safe to say I am always to eager to see your work. Your videos are amazing – informative, concise and oh so inspiring. I have been a card maker for about 16 years – It takes me hours to make one card – LOL
      I also dabble in scrapbooking and actually in a ‘Scraptherapy” group every week for the parents of our NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) – they love it and for dads, I call it paper engineering.

      I am from the UK but live in Texas, US.

    1. Hi Yana, Thank you for sharing your creativity, inspiration and talent as well as an insight into your personal life!I have been stamping/cardmaking for about 20 years, but was sidelined for a some time when I suffered a stroke 14 years ago that left me unable to use my left hand and arm which makes it difficult to use scissors and to stabilize my work; although I am trying to perservere!

      Thanks again and keep the videos coming

    1. What a lovely post Yana! It is always great to get to know a bit about the people you follow. I have been a great admirer of yours, ever since I started blogging and found your You Tube channel and blog! You are a true artist, I love everything you make! Thank you for sharing some of your life with us. Have a truly wonderful week! Hazel xx
      My Card Attic

    1. Hi Yana thanks for letting us know more about you and your life. I enjoy your videos so much. Your cards are works of art but somehow you make it seem possible for me to do. Thank you

    1. Hi Yana ~ I’m from the USA and live about 90 miles NW of NYC. I don’t get to the city much because I’m more of a country girl!! My husband of 32 years and I have vegetable, fruit and flower gardens and I love them all. I’ve been crafting pretty much all my life (my Aunt owned a craft store when I was about 5 years old) and stamping for over 20 years. Love it!! We have 3 grown children and are planning our first wedding!! We have one rescue pup, Milo, who thinks he’s a human. LOL…he is very spoiled too. Thanks so much for sharing your story and I love following you and watching your YouTube videos! ~HUGS~

      1. hello Maggie! Oh wow! This sounds so very exciting! Thank you for sharing a bit about you, its nice to meet you!

    1. Hello, Yana. I have been following your blog for quite some time. I absolutely love all of your beautiful cards and look forward to receiving notifications of a new blog post from you, especially if they include a video! Love, love, love your videos!! By the way…congratulations on becoming a new design team member for Pretty Pink Posh!

    1. Thanks for the introduction, in have been following for some time and really enjoy your videos and tips .
      Good job

    1. Yama, so nice to know more about the person behind all the creative and talented cardmaking. I love your work. I am Canadian but my grandparents originally came from Chernovitsi. Are you close by??

    1. Hi Yana, I’m from the U.S. In Michigan … I’ve been watching you for about a year and have to be honest… Jennifer McGuire was my #1 favorite BUT you have taken over the #1 slot now!! I LOVE your eye for design…everything you make is stunning! Thanks for sharing your talent!

    1. Hey, Yana. I’m Cindy and I’m from North Carolina, USA. I love watching your videos and listening to your voice. It is so different from my southern “accent.” Your cards are beautiful and I’m glad you chose to share your talent with all of us!

    1. Hi Yana. I’m one of your new subscribers & I’m from Ireland. I love all your beautiful projects.
      Loved this post. It’s nice to know the person behind the camera.

    1. Hi Yana,
      I must have started following you soon after you started your English blog and have enjoyed your blog very much. One of the first things I notices was how wonderful your English is. You must have a great mind for language because you speak our challenging language very well. I am a card and papercrafter as well as calligraphy and some sewing items I make for my Etsy store. I used to follow many blogs but found out I was watching much more than doing, so I unsubscribed to most of the blogs but kept yours and a few others I really enjoy. Your layered cards are just beautiful. It was nice to “meet: you and get to know you more. Keep inspiring us!
      God Bless,

    1. It’s was so interesting to read this post. I knew your story but still ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Following your blog since I was a customer of your store back in Ukraine. Enjoyed seeing your scrapbooking projects (even though I don’t do scrapbooking now still haven’t rejected the idea to replicate one of your mini-albums).
      Now when you turned into cardmaking you are the number one crafters I watch every day ๐Ÿ˜‰
      And as we all are telling about ourselves, I’m Ukrainian too as you know of course. Moved to NYC 5,5 years ago. I was scrapbooker back then but one day tried CAS and now it’s everything I do ๐Ÿ˜‰
      You’re a great inspiration for me. Not only your cards that are fantastic, but also your productivity and professionalism. Wish I could make a videos as you do one day ;))

      P.S. love your kitties!!!

    1. As you know, Yana, I’ve been following you since I found you. I love all your work, but especially your videos. Your English is outstanding also!

    1. Hi Yana!!

      Love this post! It was so nice to read more about you! Your kitties are adorable and I love your garden! So pretty! I love plants and flowers too! You are a gem! I’m so glad you started doing videos in English too! You are a quick study for only doing this 8 years, your videos and work are consistently amazing!!

      Simon Says Stamp!

    1. Hi Yana,
      I have reduced the number of blogs I follow as I am a busy Grammy who watches my 17 month old grandson (I get tired just saying that). I have no plans of giving up your blog. I love it and the videos. I think I found you on YouTube and then started subscribing. You are amazingly talented and adorable.

    1. Hi Yana,
      It’s great to know more about you. I’ve been following your blog for about 4 or 5 months. I really like your creativity and your videos are very informative. Your blog is good inspiration.
      I like listening to old detective stories and gardening too and I live in California.
      I really enjoy your color choices in many of your cards.
      Thanks so much for introducing yourself.

      Take care,

    1. Hi Yana! I love your videos. Top Notch and I loved you already. LOL. I do enjoy the personal side to the bloggers I follow too. It’s like we who stamp are all connected in so many wonderful ways. I also love gardening and I used to know the name of so many plants (indoor and outdoors), but I just have time for that after I became Nana to my grand babies 4 years ago. I have 2 green thumbs, but can not keep Aloe Vera alive to save my life. But have a kitchen window FULL of African Violets and I propagated most of them (only in the dark of the moon or the cuttings will rot). I was a room mom, Moto Cross mom and Cheer mom while my kids came up through school. My mom sewed everything by machine and I started sewing when I was 10 and we did lots of DIY at home. My mom baby sat while I was growing up and it’s benefited me every day with my grand babies. I’m part time daycare for them. I love murder mysteries, but haven’t read anything since the Twilight series. I’m too busy to read as a stamp and die-0-holic/blogger. I also enjoy watching Moto Cross (Ryan Dungey is my favorite, he reminds me so much of my son), NASCAR (Dale Jr. Is my favorite I love how down to earth and caring he is, even his emotions, he’s so real). I love Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines and their home renovations (I love everything they do!). Joanna’s style is SO totally my style. LOL. Okay, that’s enough for now. Bye!

    1. Hi Yana! I’ve been following you for about 6 months (I found you on the Altenew site – love them!) and now I see you everywhere!!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am from Austin, Texas. If you love music, this is a city you need to come check out as Austin is considered the live music city capital of the world and known all over the world for South by Southwest which just ended. I love your videos and your cards. I always look forward to your posts. You have provided a lot of inspiration for me when I create my cards. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us fellow crafters. Kim in Texas

    1. Yana! I love your talent and thank you for sharing it! I am so so so glad your hubs talked you into an English version of your blog – I love to see what you create! I am from US – Washington State (just outside of Seattle) and am married with 2 adult children and 3 cats. Your cats are a-dorable! =^..^=

    1. I love how the Internet allows us to make friends all over the world. Your cards are always full of inspiration! Thank you for creating an English blog for those of us in the USA.

    1. Aloha Yana-

      So great that you took the time to share more about yourself. I really enjoy your blog and visit it daily to see your creations. Your videos are educational and inspiring and I have learned a lot from the information you provide. I especially found the copic coloring chart helpful. I have a very small collection of pens and my goal to create combinations with basic colors. Keep up your great work!

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