Today I’m taking part in the Getting To Know You Blog Hop! As you probably already know, it and it’s cousins The Creative Blog Hop and The Unique Blog Hop have swept blogland during the summer. I’ve been thrilled and honoured to have been invited by a number of lovely friends (thank you so much ladies, you know who you are!) to take part over the last few months, and would have loved to have joined in on each occasion. Life (as I know it!), though, kept getting in the way. Now, it’s moved over ever so slightly to allow me a little breathing room and give me the opportunity to very happily accept a tag from the amazingly talented, quirkily creative, WCMD winning, delightful Maria from Riesling Mama. You can check out Maria’s GTKY post here … or p’raps that should read … you really need to check out Maria’s GTKY post here … it’s fun, entertaining, interesting, enlightening and there are links to some of her fantastic cards you can drool over. Plus, of course, if you take a picnic, you can spend as much time as you like enjoying an inspirational meander around.
BTW, there’s a length warning on this post … but I typed it fast so you could speed read it with no problem! So … want to Get To Know Me? ETA: Thanks to the delightful Darnell, who spotted a glaring gap (none of my own card highlights!) … I’ve now added some, with links to the original posts and with a little extra commentary … thanks, my friend!
What creative projects are you currently working on?
I recently joined the lovely Time Out Design Team so am busy getting cards ready for future challenges. I like to have them made well in advance … and be comfortable that if my other major creative project (a time gobbling, large and very long term house renovation) throws a wobbly, there’s a little wiggle time built in.
I can’t show you unposted ones yet (obviously!), so below and here is my latest super CAS one (the shading on the apple had me particularly happy), and my ‘Designer To CASE‘ card from before I joined the team (first try at watercolouring an embossed pattern I think) …
What inspires your designs?
Just about anything really … it can be one of you talented and innovative card makers, maybe the theme of a challenge, p’raps a stamp or stamp set. There’s also Pinterest, which is a new-ish adventure for me, advertising, catalogues, nature … the list goes on. With all the inspiration out there you’d think that pings would come thick and fast … hahaha … so not so!
This card is one of my very early ones and it has a special place for a number of reasons. It was the first time I CASED anyone (Ardyth‘s seal (here) was my inspiration … thanks so much, my friend!) … it was for CASology, which remains one of my favourite challenges (playing with words and card making, such a fantastic recipe) … it was the first time I won anything with a card (an Honourable Mention) … my first try at doodling … and the start of really ‘playing’ with my card making!
Sometimes, you can’t always explain why a card is particularly pleasing … it just is. Design, colours, balance of individual elements, a successful play with a new technique … or maybe because of the person you were thinking of when you made it. Like this next card … for me, it captures the essence of the supremely special someone I made it for … my Mum. There are others, it’s just that this one has that certain something that can’t always be put into words. There are also cards I’ve made for wonderful bloggy friends that are like that … if you’d like to check them out, they’re in the ‘Friends’ category of my side bar.
What method/process do you apply to each of your creative projects and how long does each take?
My pile of guillotined, card sized printer paper is my saviour! I use it to sketch out ideas, play with stamps, match colours, try out techniques … all with the aim of coming up with a card I like. Sometimes, it works a treat and a card will appear as if by magic … other times, it doesn’t … and the paper bin gets well fed!
I’ve been known to create a card in less than ten minutes … but those occasions are very few and far between. The longest time I’ve spent on a card is four days … not constantly, you understand, just coming and going in marginal moments. On occasion, the perfectionist in me makes an appearance, which means I spend far too long looking for that perfect spot for a sequin, deciding if a sentiment is just the right colour, or wondering whether a 2mm difference in the placement of an image/panel would look better!
Of the few and far between quick cards I’ve made, this one on the left here is a goodie … it was one of those that just pinged … and was as dreamy and airy as I’d hoped. Whilst it wasn’t an under ten minute card, it was under twenty … and was one layer! The one next to it is also one layer … and light and airy … and came out just as I’d seen it in my head … and took much, much, much longer to make!! It’s that perfectionist appearing!
If you had to describe your signature style, what would it be?
It’s mostly Clean and Simple … I’m a bit of a minimalist, so the uncluttered look with lots of open space suits me. I also enjoy creating backgrounds (thanks to the awesome Jennifer McGuire), and whilst these cards tend to be a little busier than classic CAS, I still like to keep them crisp, fresh and under-embellished.
This is probably my CAS-est card ever … and I hummed and haaaa’d about it for ages! In comparison, there’s a background card (including one of my favourite colour palettes … rainbow!) which is much fuller … still crisp though I think.
What are three crafting products/tools you can’t live without?
The first two are easy! 300 gsm linen cardstock, about the only time I don’t use it is if I’m using a watercolour technique (and even then I still might) … and my Tonic guillotine, every card is sliced with it. The third is a bit of a moving feast … at the moment I love using Wink of Stella and Glossy Accents … yep, I know, that makes four products/tools, but you try deciding between WOS and GA!
As some of you know, I have a menagerie of bird stamps … they’re fun and colourful and to my mind are guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of someone who receives a card made with them. So my last two cards are from the menagerie … the first a solo performance, the second a dawn chorus.
If you’re still here, thanks for sticking with me through such a long and photo laden post. It’s worth it because this is where I get to introduce you to two designers whose work I admire (and I know you’ll enjoy visiting or revisiting) …
Shona at Twine Around … one of my teamies at Time Out and a CAS card maker extraordinaire … I think it was Shona who coined the phrase ‘if it was any more CAS it’d be a blank card’ … love that! She is supremely productive and so full of enthusiasm for our craft … regularly staying up into the early hours in order to get the myriad of ideas out of her head and onto paper! Here are a couple of my favourite Shona cards, just to whet your appetite.
Shona will be hopping along with Getting To Know You next Monday, 13 October … but do go over for a visit before then … there’s so much to enjoy and admire!
Susanne at Keep in Touch … a technique maestro who does rainbows to perfection! Susanne’s cards are always to be explored … spend time drinking them in, discovering the colours or texture or dimension or shimmer or splatter … all in just the right proportion to each of the other elements. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect over at Susanne’s.
Susanne will be joining in with Getting To Know You in a fortnight, on Monday, 20 October. Don’t wait till then to pay her a visit, though … wonderful exploring takes time!
I was going to add a card to this post, but you’ve been here a long time already and probably need to be off blog wandering … so I’ll be back with it tomorrow. Thanks so much for coming by, your visits and comments are always a joy! Anita 🙂