Monday, 11 August 2014

'GETTING TO KNOW ME' - BLOG HOP


Hello blog friends, today I've got something a little different to share and you may want 
to make yourself a brew first before you sit back and read on.

Whilst on holiday recently I received a lovely email from Anita Bowden of Neet and Crafty
 'tagging' me to see if I'd like to take part in this 'Getting to Know Me' blog hop. 

Anita started blogging a few months prior to me, at the end of 2012, therefore we are both 
relatively new to it compared to many of you. I've only 'met' her in 'blog-land' and
she seems such a genuine, sweet and fun-loving girl so I was both touched and surprised 
by her invitation and the encouraging things she said about my cards that I simply couldn't refuse.

If you haven't come across Anita's blog it's well worth a visit. 
Her style is definitely clean and simple, with a stunning delicacy and elegance to her creations
which is why I love her blog; of course. Anita uses some beautiful layouts and techniques, 
each one so different from the previous one but still maintaining that CAS look 
which over time I seem to have adopted too, although as my blog name suggests 
I'm never reluctant to add some 'bling'! 

Anita has earned recognition at loads of challenge sites for her unique creations and has
Guest Designed at various challenge blogs as well as Clearly Besotted Stamps, so jealous! :-)
Currently she is on the Design Team at Addicted to Stamps which I try to join when I can.

At the end of this post I have tagged two wonderful designers who I have followed for some time now. 
 I adore their creations so please pay them a visit when you have the time.

So, here goes with the questions and hopefully this will give you a little insight
 into how my creative process works...

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

A few months ago I was honoured and if I'm honest gob-smacked to be given the opportunity
to join the Design Team at Less is More. I'm sure you will all have heard of Less is More but if
not check it out here. It's hugely popular and one of the main reasons I started my blog was
to join the weekly challenge fun, where it's strictly CAS with a different theme each week.

So every week I have a few cards to prepare for the following weekend's challenge and 
to say 'I love it' would be an understatement; unfortunately I can't give you any sneaky peeks.
You know how it is!

As well as that I have some commission work for Golden Wedding cards and 70th birthdays;
If you missed yesterday's post here's a peek at my challenge entry to Addicted to CAS.


I also make decorated Keepsake Boxes, sometimes with 
coordinating cards like this one I've just completed 




Last week I was over the moon to be invited to join the GDT at 
Uniko Studio for their August release. So since my holiday
I've been busy creating with the new sets and if you've missed them
 please check out my posts from last week and I will be back later as the 
FULL REVEAL & RELEASE is today.

Like Anita I've been doing a lot sorting through my crafty stash recently following some
alterations to the house and 'YIPPEE' I've gained my own craft room!
It's a complete change of storage units (mainly recycled from other rooms)
so deciding where to put everything is a puzzle at the moment.

Here's a little peek of the view as you enter my little den



I will post more photos on my blog soon when hopefully 
I'll have a new unit from Ikea later this week so I can tidy up properly.


2. How and what inspires your designs?


I tend to get inspiration from the card challenge blogs out there. I love to work with a 
sketch or colour scheme as that gives me a good starting point to focus on 
particularly if, like Anita says, mojo is taking a break! 

Pinterest is a brilliant invention in my opinion so I follow lots of my favourite bloggers and 
it's so easy to add a pin to one of my own boards for easy reference later. 
In fact I could be addicted to pinterest as I need my daily fix!


On to my favourite bloggers and to be honest there's too many to mention here.
Like Anita I love the amazing Jennifer McGuire and always watch her tutorials; 
the only issue is I always want to buy the products she's using. 

Again like Anita I get lots of inspiration from Tracey McNeely of In My Creative Opinion 
as well as Ardyth Percy-Rob of MASKerade and Lisa of I'm in Haven.
These ladies make the most incredible Clean & Simple cards with loads of  bold and striking
colours whilst sharing ideas about using various products in a fun and easy way.

I couldn't move onto the next question without mentioning Beverley Brown of Uniko Studio
Michelle Short of The Card Grotto and Stephanie Wincott of Clearly Besotted.
These are some of the first blogs I started following; they are all enormously talented crafters;
creating clean, crisp, stylish and elegant cards; Beverley & Stephanie with lots of bold 
bursts of colour and Michelle with a more delicate and subtle look. 
If you haven't visited their blogs before you are seriously missing out.

Needless to say I'm smitten with Clearly Besotted and Uniko Studio products.
They offer superb quality and stunning designs; super efficient service; and being based here in 
the UK is a huge bonus when lots of the US products are quite difficult to access here.


3. What method / process do you apply to each of your creative projects, 
and how long does each project take to complete?


This is a difficult one as some cards are so quick and easy they just happen and can take as 
little as 20 minutes; other times I've an idea in my mind but it doesn't always transfer 
'on to paper' as I anticipated so these end up filed in the bin. 
Sometimes I can salvage them but it doesn't always work.

If I'm using lots of stamps on a card I would stamp it out first on some scrap paper to get 
the layout and colours I'm happy with. I also use a Stamp-a-majig which not only helps in
lining up the images but allows you to visualise the end result through the clear plastic sheet.

When making commission cards these can take a lot longer depending on the brief.
Often I need to research a particular theme for images which is time-consuming.
It's worth it though when you see the pleasure on the recipient's face.


4. If you had to describe your signature style, what would it be?


Since I started crafting almost 12 years ago my style has changed quite a lot and
to be honest if I look back at some of my earliest creations I'm horrified.
These days I love Clean and Simple; it doesn't necessarily mean they are quicker 
to make but I feel that the expanse of 'white space' does allow more focus 
to the design, layout and particularly the fabulous products used. 
I do admire crafters who can mix and match different design papers 
with layering and lots of embellishments but these days it's not my style.


5. What 3 crafting tools/products could you not live without?


Ok we are down to the last question and I hope you've managed to stay with me.
I'm so grateful if you have.

So this is another tricky one and I'm going to ignore the products as I simply can't list all my 
'must haves'and I've mentioned some of them above along with my Stamp-a-Majig so here goes

1. Tonic Paper Trimmer / Guillotine
(I have two of these; the smaller one I use constantly so that's a must)

2. EK Success Tweezers
(These are a recent purchase having previously used cheap 'angled' tweezers;
these are the business! They even grip so if you are tying a ribbon they hold it still)

3. Heat Gun
When I started crafting I did lots of embossing but the trends change regularly and
I got bored of the look until recently when it's become very popular again.
This tool is also great when I've used water-colours; I'm impatient and won't wait for it 
to dry naturally so a quick blast with the Heat Gun and we are back to it!

OK! Drum-roll please ...
as I would now like to introduce two wonderful designers with immense talent.
Having recently joined the Less is More design team I couldn't resist inviting 
two of them to join the blog hop. If you don't follow them already please take a look
at their blogs ... you won't be disappointed.




Chrissie of Simply One of a Kind
Chrissie was one of the founder members of Less is More and she is a Queen of CAS
Her designs are always crisp, clean and sophisticated. She seems to have a huge stash
of stamps, stencils and dies and uses them in a unique and striking way.
Sometimes her cards have a comical feel with a fun-loving image and usually a 
unique sentiment which she has created herself. 
I came across her blog through the Less is More challenge blog and to begin with I thought she was 
quite scary :-) having slipped up on the 'white space' to begin with she certainly 'put me straight'
Since then I've followed her blog for CAS inspiration; her classy creations simply jump off the screen.

In fact, she's a very kind, sweet and generous lady who dedicates so much time and energy
to the Less is More blog; posting the weekly challenges, commenting on everyone's entries,
deciding on the weekly winners and alongside Jen thinking up the amazing themes.
If you haven't already done so please take a look at her blog - it's well worth it.


Jen of The Tiny Blue Butterfly
Jen, also a long-standing designer on the Less is More blog, is another Queen of CAS.
I came across her blog well before I started my blog; probably from a challenge site I was keen to join.
Her cards stood out immediately with fun images, striking colours and AMAZING layouts.

She has been on the DT & GDT of many challenge and product related blogs including 
Clearly Besotted and Lili of the Valley. Her style is exquisite, sometimes fun and quirky, 
other times more traditional; but always with that adorable 'white space' and attention to detail.
Her DT work at Sketch Saturday including creating hundreds of sketches;
each one so unique; I honestly don't know how she thinks them up.
When I see 'The Tiny Blue Butterfly' in my Blogger read list I can't wait to open the post
to see what treat is in store and what inspiration I might gain too.
Again if you haven't found Jen in Blogland please check out her blog.


Wow! If you are still with me having read this post you certainly deserve a BIG treat.
I hope you've enjoyed 'Getting to Know Me' and please get in touch if you've any questions.

I'm now going to sit back and look forward to Chrissie and Jen's post next week 
as they join the Blog Hop too.

Thanks as always for stopping by today.



  Sarah


6 comments:

  1. Fabulous to learn more about you Sarah, and I'm still honoured that you thought of me. My long and rambling post for the similar hop I was already committed to is posted today as well :-)

    Can't wait to see more of your craft room!

    Hugs

    Di xx

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  2. Thanks so much for your kind words, Sarah and thanks for agreeing to join the hop. It's so great to get an insight into how fellow crafters work. Your peek of your new craft space looks great and so does your new blog header! Love it! Hugs xx

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  3. I loved reading your post Sarah, great to get to know you a little better through your card making process. Thank you so much for the sweet mention :) xx

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  4. Loved reading about you and your crafting Rebecca x

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  5. What a wonderful post Sarah!! And you are such a sweetheart - thank you for your kind words *blush* xxx

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  6. I enjoyed reading about ur creativity !!

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