Last week I was tagged by Anita from "Neet and Crafty" as part of a "getting to know" blog hop. I've been following Anita from her early days in the blogging world, I found her site after she commented on a couple of my posts. I really like Anita's style and it's evolved very rapidly over the last 12 months or so- she's definitely got the trick of colourful but clean and simple cards. So I was really delighted that Anita asked me to take part in this little hop. Below is a bit more information about me and my crafting and some links to two of my own favourite bloggers.
What creative projects are you currently working on?
As you may already know I am a teacher, and as it's the holidays at the moment I am getting a lot more crafty time than normal so I'm being a bit more creative and adventurous. Inspired by Caryn Davies from "Glitter me Silly" I've been playing with some wooded veneers this week that my mother-in-law gave me a couple of months back.
I found that with a bit of patience they will cut using my thin metal dies, and as a result I made this "fake marquetry" picture which I framed and is currently on the wall in our hallway.
I used the MFT Dienamics Floral Fusions Cover-up Die. I used three different shades of wood to create the design which I mounted on some double sided adhesive sheets. I really love using my paper crafting supplies for something a little different like a gift or home decor project.
What inspires your designs?
I find inspiration from lots of different places but some my favourite ways to get my mojo following are;
- Browsing Pintrest- I follow quite a few bloggers, manufacturers and fellow crafters as well as using it to search for a particular product I own if I'm looking for a new way to use it. I also use it to store pictures of my own cards along with storage ideas etc.
- Reading posts from my favourite bloggers- I use Bloglovin to read blog posts and I check it a least a couple of times I day, it's like reading a magazine but all the content it specifically tailored to me! Just some of my favourite bloggers include;Jennifer Maguire, Kristina Werner, Jen from "The Tiny Blue Butterfly", Ardyth from "MASKerade" and Taheerah, from "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart" BUT if you read on to the end of this post you'll see another couple of my favourites!!!
- Trying to enter some of my favourite challenges- a keep an eye on lots of different challenges and I even have a list of some on my blog (although I'm certain it needs updating now) but my real favourites are those which encourage CAS (clean and simple) designs such as "Less is more", "CASology" and "Addicted to CAS". Finding CAS card makers, bloggers and challenges has changed the way I make cards and continues to influence my own (mostly) minimal designs.
Hmm, this is a tricky one to put in to words really. I don't think I apply any one particular method or process really. It depends on the particular project I'm working on at the time and what mood I'm in. If I'm feeling really creative I'll often just "play" and see what happens but if I need to make a card with a particular theme I'll plan what I want to work with and how I want it to look in advance.
Sometimes I will use sketches, they're quite useful when I feel like I'm in a bit of a rut and keep using the same layouts over and over again. I personally don't sketch my cards out before hand, but I do keep a pad of A6 sized paper handy so I can quickly practice the placement of stamped images or the colours of inks etc. (I always use an A6 pad as that is the same size as most of the cards I make).
As for time, again it depends, I rarely complete a full card, including photos for blogging in under 30 minutes and sometimes it can take a few hours. The fake marquetry projects took a morning to complete but then something like the felt quiet book I made a few months back took weeks. I'm very lucky that I have long holiday periods when I can take my time over crafting projects, whereas during term time I'm often working to a very tight schedule.
If you had to describe your 'signature' style, what would it be?
Definitely clean and mostly simple, sometimes I add a few more layers and fussy detail but I'm very rarely a "shabby chic/vintage", "freestyle collage" or "classy and elegant " crafter- why not have a look at the definitions of card making types on "The Card Concept" challenge blog and see where your style fits.
What three crafting tools/products can you not live without?
Ohhh another tough one, to pick just three is quite difficult. I guess I would have to say,
- 3D foam adhesive- I use it on pretty much every card I ever make, it's perfect for adding a little bit of depth to an otherwise plain card.
- White card stock- I know it's boring but without card you can't make cards! :-) At the moment my favourite white card stock for die cutting, stamping, colouring and making card bases is the "Wedding Inspirations" 300gsm smooth, white card stock. I also like the cream one too. I know every card maker has their own preference but I really like how strong a study this card is and it's also a good all-rounder for inking, colouring etc. as well as being pretty affordable so you don't have to worry when you make a mess of your stamping etc. which I often do.
- Memento Tuxedo black ink- I have several pads in different sizes and I use it on 90% of all the cards I make. It's a great, fast-drying ink which stamps clear, crisp images and works with various colouring mediums including my Promarkers. I do have other black inks such as Stazon, Impress, Ranger Archival and Verafine Onxy Black which I use for stamping sentiments or when I'm working with watercolours but my Memento is the most used.
And finally, as promised, two of my other favourite bloggers who I have "tagged" to follow on the "getting to know" blog hop next monday. As soon as I'd accepted Anita's invitation I immediately knew who I wanted to tag, so it was very nervously that I sent out emails to these two bloggers crossing everything in the hope that that they would accept, and I can't tell you how delighted I am that they both replied with in a few hours saying yes! So here's a little bit about them and why I picked them- if you don't know these lovely ladies I'd recommend that you pop over and take a look at their work, I'm sure you'll love them as much as I do.
Michelle from "The Card Grotto" was one of the first bloggers I started following shortly after starting my own blog nearly 3 years ago. I was drawn to this Christmas card in the Less is more entries and was so amazed by how little was on the card but his fantastic it looked. Since then I've been an avid follower of her blog posts and videos. Michele has introduced me to lots of new products, manufacturers and storage ideas. She is one of the design team members for Clearly Besotted stamps, which is one of my favourite companies, and always makes such stunning cards with their products. Over the past 3 years she's really perfected her minimal style and continues to be an inspiration for me and lots of other card makers.
Beverly is not only a card maker she is also the designer/owner of "Uniko Studio" who produce beautiful clear stamps and dies. I think I now have all of their sentiment stamps (along with many other designs) as I love the style and size of them- I also really like that they come in a DVD-style storage box! However, I didn't tag Beverly just because she makes wonderful crafting products, she also makes really inspirational cards. She has such a talent for making colourful and often quite graphic-styled CAS cards, something I think I could do to work on myself. Nearly all of her cards use at least 3 different colours, but they always work together so well, Beverly is also a whizz at making her own stamped backgrounds- again something I've not really nailed yet.
Phew, well thanks for sticking with me through all my waffling- I hope you enjoyed finding out a little bit more about me and my crafting. Don't forget to visit Beverly and Michele next Monday when they will be following on and telling us a little bit more about themselves.
See you soon,
Rebecca x x x