(This is a sticky post from the 11th - 18th August 2014, Scroll down for DT posts.)
I'm a little shy about my own crafty makes actually. I never feel I'm 'good enough' for any attention or acclaim. But I love to be creative and so enjoy the process. So these past couple of years has been a whole new world for me. Admiring those of you out there in creative blog land, who make the most stunning cards and other paper crafts. I feel very lucky and blessed to have made some really fabulous 'online' friendships with some truly lovely people who share similar passions for creativity. Had my invite come another way, Elaine would have been one of the first I thought of to share this hop with. Her work is stunning and right up my alley. I LOVE the clean lines of her creations. They're always elegant and understated, allowing her incredible talents with ink to take centre stage. I DREAM one day of being able to colour the way Elaine does. If you've not checked out her blog, then this is your first stop along the way on this blog hop, visit her here at A Technophobes Blog. I totally fell in love with Elaine's amazing ink skills and gorgeous card designs when she was on the Sugar Nellie Design Team, my favourite stamps! Here is a little taste of her enchanting crafty skills using some of my favourite Sugar Nellie stamps.
Elaine and I share a love for Maja papers and Lil' Inkers dies. It's been wonderful getting to know her better this past year. There are some people who you just 'click' with in life, despite all your differences. She's mad about cats, me not so much. She loves Magnolia images, I love the dies. She lives in England, I live in New Zealand. But I feel like she's always been part of my life. The smiles come easily and so does the witty banter! I <3 your style Elaine. Thank you for inviting me to join this blog hopping journey!
Part of this journey is the personal reveal. So here are the questions which you must answer as part of the blog hop.
What am I working on:
I have had the pure joy of being invited onto 3 design teams this past year and to contribute as a guest designer to a fourth. I never expected to be invited onto one, let alone 4, so this has been a full and fun year, adding my contributions to my 3 regular design teams and occasional GDT posts to the fourth. There have been the last minute quick makes and the better thought through pieces, but all have been fun and challenging for me. I am enjoying the process very much and I'm currently preparing two pieces for two different challenges, which will post in this next week, so all will be revealed very soon!
I'm also working on cataloguing my stamps. I seem to have quite a collection building and I'm determined to have them in a more accessible storage, so I can find what I want easily. Otherwise I find I forget I've bought things and forget to use them! So I've chosen the 'laminated pages' approach and so far so good. Big binders with my Sugar Nellies, Saturated Canary's, Lili of the Valleys, Whiff of Joy etc all nicely sorted and protected in sturdy (pretty red) binders. I'm also filling a 'CD storage case' with my smaller metallic dies, on little squares of magnetic card. This is working really well, so I'll be moving onto the next storage brain-storm very soon as there's always more stash to be contained!
How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Something I hugely admire, is crafters who have a strong identity, a particular style and signature look. This is NOT me. I have no particular style and love to try my hand at a huge number of different styles. I admire greatly the stunning CAS lines of some of my favourite crafters and occasionally try to emulate that in some of my makes, but I also love the stunning shabby chic crafters out there, who make such stunning cards with generous applications of embellishments and make it look oh so easy! I have tried, (and failed miserably) to emulate them. My talent lies somewhere between the two. I love to use dies, I have a gazzillion and I tend to use lace and ribbon on most of my creations. But sometimes, I just want to keep it simple, so it's down to a good edge die and some pearls. I do love those flat back pearls! I'm trying to be more adventurous this year and use different shaped cards in my makes, as I've fallen back on the 6x6 square a lot this past year. My style is ever evolving and it's all about the person I am creating for. I don't make cards for challenges without someone in mind when I do. So for me, I'll be led, by their likes and passions as much as my own. I like to 'personalise' a card as much as possible for the person I'm creating for, which occasionally takes me outside my creative comfort zone! But I think that's how we grow in our craft.
Why do I write/create what I do?
I'm a chatty soul. I always have been, so writing about my creative process is great fun for me. I like to share the journey of my creating, the beautiful stamps and embellies I've used and where they've come from, in the hope it helps another crafter, the way it did me when I first joined in this wonderful world of crafty bloggers. Reading others blogs and their creative process has really helped me with my own crafting, and so I share what I can to help others embarking on this fun journey. Blogging my makes, is also a way for me to 'catalogue' my process and progress in my craft. There's a wide gap already from my early days to now and it's fun to reflect on all I've learned. It's also been a way for me to connect with others who have similar interests and creative expression. There's something quite special about discovering your have a 'kindred spirit' on the other side of the world!
How does your creative process work?
If I'm creating for a challenge. It starts with the image we've been given (if there is one) and the challenge theme. I usually am creating for a specific person too, so I take all these things into account and go from there. I usually start with the image and use whatever I'm drawn to colour wise often forgetting to first match my papers! If I'm being clever, I first pic the papers and then colour accordingly. I have an utter paper fetish. I love pretty papers and I do have a few (including my Maja Design papers) which are 'stroke only'! I very rarely use them as I can't stand to cut into them. Loving paper as I do, does often influence my layouts, as I want to show as much of the paper as possible. So I tend to be reserved with the number of embellishments I use or design the layout to showcase a part of the paper in particular. The birthday card I made for Elaine this year is case and point of this. Knowing she loves her kitties, I chose a paper with a sweet cat duo on it and kept this area of the paper clear of embellishments to show this off. Here's a sneaky peek, so you can see what I mean. I'll be blogging this properly soon.
Now all that remains is for me to introduce the three crafty pals I'm tagging for this blog hop. They will be posting their Creative Bloggers post next Monday, but go check out their sites in the meantime. They are all amazing! Be sure to pop back in next Monday for their instalment in the Creative Bloggers Hop.
First up is the multi talented Annette from Netty's Cards. I came across Annette's talents a couple of years ago in my early blogging days. I was hunting for a sentiment I could use on a card as none of my rubber stamps were quite fitting the bill. Good old google took me to her wonderful site. Where I not only found a fabulous sentiment to work with my card, but Annette was offering them 'free to a good home'! I have been so taken with her talents over the years, as she is often trying and doing new things I've not seen before. Stamping on canvas, making bags, clocks, off the page creations I could only dream about! Her style is one I love, with pretty papers and just the right selection of embellishments to really showcase a pretty stamp. Here's a little line up of her gorgeous talents.
Next up is one of my favourite 'Shabby Chic' crafters and my lovely blog-buddy Becky from Cards by Becky, AKA Attic Crafter (Extraordinaire!). Becky's talents with Frantage, Gesso, Lace and pretty blooms is legendary. As is her skill with ink. Her cards always look effortlessly cool and her ability to cut into Maja papers without even batting an eyelid have me in total awe! LOL. If you've never discovered Becky's amazing blog, get on over there, you won't regret it a minute! Her talent is awe inspiring and she has some really fabulous video tutorials she's done lately which will have you falling for her sweet North Eastern English accent too. Here's a little line up of her stunning creativity using another of my favourite stamp companies - Saturated Canary.
Plus a close up of a gorgeous card Becky sent me earlier this year. I was so excited when it arrived and it still graces my craft room in the hopes that some of her magical crafty mojo might one day rub off on me! LOL. I can't bear to throw away letters from friends, but even more so when they are little works of art like this! Thank you Becky. I love it to bits!
Finally, my lovely Kiwi pal and Blog-mumma on the Southern Girls Challenge Blog is the very lovely Louise of PunknScrap. I was super excited when she invited me to join the Southern Girls Challenge Design Team earlier this year. I heart this crafty Kiwi mama big time. She is a down to earth Kiwi mama with a big heart and I love her mad talent with Project Life layouts and Scrapbook layouts in general. I have wild ambitions of being able to keep a Scrapbook of all my kiddos adventures, but Lou actually does it! She makes it happen, captures the memories and in such style! She somehow finds time to have those fun adventures with her kiddos, capture them in wonderful keepsake layouts and run the fabulous Southern Girls Challenge Blog too. Check out this talented Kiwi mama and all her crafty adventures on her blog. Here's a snippet to wet your appetite.
Another thought before I finish this blog post, is to mention three other crafters whose work has hugely influenced mine and whose blogs I really enjoy reading. I discovered them early in my crafting journey and owe a lot to them for their inspiration and quite often for the awesome tutorials they've offered. First, Bev Rochester, who I found first in one of my favourite crafty magazines in the UK and hunted her down on the net when I finally discovered blogging. Her style is utterly fabulous and I have gained huge inspiration from her. Secondly, Pops Morfitt, who has just taken a break from blogging, but deserves my thanks none the less, as she has been a huge influence on my crafting and a really lovely friend in the blog world. I already miss her amazing creativity. You can see an example of her gorgeous talent here. Finally Lou Daubney, who is quite frankly one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet in blog world. This crafty mama has a piece of my heart. Her wit and humour and her fabulous crafty makes have made her one of my favourite people in blogworld. So go check these gorgeous crafty girlies blogs out too. I've no doubt you'll be as inspired as I have been.
Thanks for visiting today and congratulations if you made it all the way to the end of this mammoth post! I hope you've found some crafty gems along the way, you are sure to if you visit the wonderful blog buddies I've linked to today. Hugs to you all, Wends x
P.S. If you've done this Creative Bloggers Hop before and would like to show this in your sidebar, I came across a button for just such an occasion that was made by a lovely crafter called Darnell Knauss in the States. I'll be posting mine. This will identify you as having joined the hop to those who might be yet to post. Pop on over to Darnell's blog for some backstory and a bit of a giggle, she's quite the wordsmith!