Tour of Blogs: A Little Bit about Me and Paying it Forward
Hello my friends! I have no card or project to share with you today. Instead, I have the honor of introducing you to 3 of my favorite blog buddies in an ongoing Tour of Blogs. I was nominated by the amazing Michele Kovack. I’ve been a fan of Michele’s blog Thoughts of a Cardmaking Scrapbooker for many years. Imagine my delight to find Michele on the Crafty Secrets Design team when I began designing for them. Michele is an incredibly talented artist, and her eye for detail fills me with delight. Michele asked me to answer some questions about myself, and then nominate 3 other bloggers that inspire me.
A Little Bit About Me
1. What am I working on? At the moment, I am in the process of creating 120 custom souvenir menus for a BMW executive banquet that will be held in Hawaii next month. I began working with the event planner for these banquets several years ago, and I do two events a year for them. My work has literally traveled around the globe for these lavish corporate events. It’s a huge honor. I’m also in the middle of creating samples for a new collection from Heartfelt Creations. I just mailed that package off yesterday. And I have a mini album in the works as well. Yes, it is a juggling act….and yes, I love it!
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I think one thing that stands out is that I am comfortable working in many different styles. The work I do for BMW is very clean and corporate. The work I do for Crafty Secrets is more vintage and shabby chic. The projects I create for Heartfelt Creations often incorporate a lot of distressing, mixed media and altered art. I’m happy working in any of these styles. My work generally contains two things: lots of layers and attention to detail. You will probably never see a one layer project on my blog. I love the look when others do it, but I am totally incapable of doing it myself. I love detail…little additions that take a project from good to great. To me, details are to paper art what spices are to cooking.
3. Why do I create what I do? I have always loved paper. From my first doodle pad and pack of Crayolas til now, paper has held a fascination for me that I can’t quite explain. I love the feel of paper, i love to tear it, cut it, distress it, glue it, fold it, look at it, shop for it, organize it….I think you get the picture. I’ve always been drawn to color, pattern and design. I also love the written word: hand written letters and cards, writing in journals and reading. I began making cards as a child, then began writing poetry as an adolescent. Creating paper art for me is the perfect fusion of color, pattern, design and beautiful words. I love using my imagination. I love the creative process of starting with nothing but an idea in my head, a phrase, or a color combination and turning it into a finished product that says something, means something…is personal. I put “me” into everything I make.
4. How does your writing/creating process work? If you could look inside my brain you would see a party going on in there all the time. No matter what I am doing…even when I am sleeping…my mind is filled with images, phrases, ideas, designs. Sometimes, I imagine a color combination that excites me, and I go looking through my stash for papers and embellishments that would help me carry that out. Sometimes a phrase “sings” in my mind and I go running for paper and pencil to jot down a quick line or poem. Sometimes, i see papers or images and they sort of “speak” to me and I know exactly what to make. So I guess you could say I am intuitive in my work. I always have a vision, but not necessarily a plan. I’m not the world’s most organized artist. I’m spontaneous, in the moment. I rarely work from a sketch…that would be a plan. I work from an idea…a vision and let the project unfold as I go. May I just say, this is also how I cook, so when my kids want a recipe, my standard answer is, “I don’t have a recipe, but I can tell you how I made it.” And yes, this makes writing tutorials very challenging at times. LOL
Paying it Forward
I love blogs. I have a ridiculous number of blogs that I follow in my Feedly reader. I tend to follow writers, photographers and artists that both inspire my creativity and make the world a better place with their kind hearts, passion for life and excellent spirits. It was hard to narrow it down to just 3 blogs, but in the end, I ended up choosing ladies who have really inspired, encouraged and supported me in my own artistic journey. And, as luck would have it, all three of these ladies’ names begin with G. (Perhaps the 3 “G’s” stand for “great, grand and glorious…”.) How funny is that? So without further ado, and in alphabetical order, here are my 3 “G’s” for this tour of blogs.
Ginny Nemchak of Polly’s Paper Studio and I became friends when I joined the Really Reasonable Ribbon design team in 2013. I was instantly drawn to her vintage style and creative energy. One day, we were chatting on the team Facebook page and I realized with delight that we share the same wacky sense of humor. Her Etsy Shop contains gorgeous custom cards and mini albums along with her own digital designs that she has compiled into fabulous creative kits. Ginny sets the bar high for herself, and just continues to leap over it. We chat online nearly every day, and not only does she make me laugh, she spurs me on with her own keen desire to be the very best she can be. Ginny is fearless. I love that about her. She sets a goal for herself and goes after it with every ounce of energy in her tiny little body. That’s how she made the Graphic 45 design team this year. She is one of the sweetest, smartest, funniest, kindest most supportive people I know, and I am so thankful to be part of “team Ginny.”
I met Glenda Brooks when I was selected for the Heartfelt Creations Design Team. I had only been blogging for a few months, and had never been on a team before. Glenda immediately sensed that I was feeling totally overwhelmed by the experience and took me right under her wing. She helped me learn the ropes, reminded me to be myself and enjoy the experience, and made me feel at home. Over and over again, she told me to “Breathe.” I honestly think Glenda believes in me more than I believe in myself. We have become such good friends that she’s like my big sis. She still reminds me to “breathe” in our regular e-mails to one another. When you visit Glenda’s blog, MagPie’s Corner be ready to be amazed by her gorgeous handmade flowers. I tell Glenda all the time that she has magic in her fingers. She makes paper come alive, and her flowers are so real you can almost smell the perfume on the petals. Glenda has an elegant, classic style and a fabulous eye for color and design. I’m so thankful for her friendship and encouragement to me.
This tour of blogs would not be complete without mentioning my dear friend Gloria Stengel. I first “met” Gloria through her amazing work with Graphic 45. There was a quality to Gloria’s work that just drew me in. Her amazing ability to transform simple paper and images into works of art thrilled me. Her clear tutorials and wonderful photography helped me develop my own skills. And there was an intangible quality that kept me coming back to her blog, Scraps of Life, again and again for more. It was JOY. Gloria’s work is beautiful, there is no doubt, but it goes beyond that. Simply put, Gloria’s work is filled with Life, Light, and Joy. I’m always refreshed after visiting her work. She is also one of the most generous souls I’ve ever known. She has been a real mentor to me, encouraging me to start my own blog, helping me with design team auditions, giving me wise advice along the way. When she started her Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge Blog this year, I jumped at the chance to be part of the team and work with her. When an opening came up on the Crafty Secrets DT, I was thrilled when Gloria agreed to come on board there. Her work ethic is legend, her artwork is amazing, and her friendship is cherished. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She is more than a friend…she is a Sister, a prayer partner, and a whole lotta fun!
I’d like to thank Michele again for giving me this opportunity to share a little more about myself with all of you. And my heart is full of gratitude for the three fabulous women I’ve featured here today. Visit their blogs, and prepare to be inspired. They inspire me every single day and I just love them to bits and pieces.
Thanks for hanging with me. I am so grateful for each one of you!