Monday, September 22, 2014

Creative Blog Hop

I was tagged by the seriously amazing Tasnim last week in the Creative Blog Hop (another Cher of the card-making world ... type in her first name in google search and her blog comes up FIRST after two news-related sponsor posts!) After being hooked on Tasnim's blog from the very first post, I was thrilled to hear that she was going to start a new stamp company. Even with my high expectations for Altenew, I could never have imagined the quality and spirit of her and Jen's designs. So not cookie-cutter. So inspiring to play with. Really just amazing, like her!

Big apologizes go to the highly creative Miriam who had tagged me over a month ago and had even written her post, but with being on a vacation I didn't get my future tags lined up in time : ( Miriam is another stamp designer (for Neat & Tangled) known for her wildly popular on the corner of set, Star Wars sentiments setstoplight set, and clouds set (not the official set names, just what I think of them as!) Every card she makes has a little twist (or two) to make you want to note it for future reference. She's an awesome and supportive blogger and friend.

More apologies are in order to Lyndal who also asked me to join the blog hop but I was still feeling really bad about not completing it for Miriam, and I was right in the middle of getting ready for my son's Nerf Wars birthday party. Yep, having twenty 10-year-olds coming over to your house is enough to make anyone panic, I don't care how together you are!! Lyndal is not afraid to try anything in her card design, and I absolutely love that about her! Check out her recent post for Winnie & Walter where she's created seasonal shaker cards using their cut files. Didn't I tell you they were fabulous? Love them all!!  

 OK, now that you've gotten through the longest introduction ever, here are my answers to the Blog Hop questions:

What Creative projects are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on a few cards for publication, a new product release for Winnie & Walter (something other than stamps!!!), and my son's Nerf Wars party thank you notes.

WARNING: what you are about to see may be painful and cause stomach aches. View discretion advised.

This is my desk this morning, after making cards until 2 am last night (I'm a late night crafter). And just to defend myself a little bit, here's what it looked like after 10 minutes of cleaning:

Not so terrible anymore. I know exactly where everything goes. Plus my craft room is upstairs, FAR AWAY from any potential visitors (aside from the neighborhood kids who like to hide in there even though I chase them out every time).

What Inspires your designs?
I've somewhat cut myself off from Pinterest. It was just too easy to get lost in a creative crumb trail. So my inspiration comes from packaging, children's books, ads in magazines, etc. Last year I started putting together a small idea-generator book that would show examples of my favorite ways to do something different.

Totally simple, just a few sheets of folded over cardstock tied together with fiber. This particular page has ideas for patterned paper: take a b&w patterned paper and color it with copics to get colored patterned paper, use book pages as patterned paper, and stamp an image on patterned paper and color all around the outside of it. Any of my scraps that I didn't want to throw away typically had a technique that I was happy with, so materials for the book were easy to gather.  Once the holidays are over I'd like to pick that up again and finish it.

What method/process do you apply to each of your creative project, and how long does each project take to complete?
When I create projects for a certain stamp set, I usually bring the set with me on long car rides and sketch out ideas. I challenge myself to make a ton of sketches, figuring half of them won't work out. Kind of like the brainstorming exercises we used to do for writing in school. The sketches that don't get turned into a card for a release week often come in handy for future cards. Here's the sketches I made for the latest Winnie & Walter release:

Evidence of the Autumn tree card, the sympathy card and the Halloween bats card are all on this page. I like coming up with card designs when I'm not sitting at my desk. It seems to take the pressure off because I can't get started on something even if I wanted to. If I'm sitting at my desk and am not coming up with anything right away, I'll start looking at the time and that's never productive. Or, I'll panic and just start making something. That's a toss up if it turns out or not.


If I don't have a design sketched, I'll almost always try it on copy paper that's been folded into quarters first. Here are my trials from a recent Altenew feature.
I rarely finish a card in under an hour. I tried the 10 minute craft challenge 2 or 3 times, and each time I had already sketched out my card design and had all the supplies in front of me, so I'm not even sure that it really counted.

If you had to describe your signature style, what would it be?
I started out making clean cards with a twist (technique or construction-wise). Recently I've been trying to focus more on my composition vs. coming up with new ways to do things, since I think that suffered in the past. Once I get better at composition I'd like to go back to the clean & a twist cards.

The things I always do when sending out a card are:
1) make sure the inside is lined with patterned paper
2) write my greeting on a w&w lined heart stamp
3) stamp the back of the card with my initials and write the date
4) make an envelope from patterned paper (if it will be hand-delivered I make a portrait envelope instead of a landscape envelope)
5) add a wrap-around strip of paper with my return address stamped on the back, and the person's address written on the front

What three crafting tools/products can you not live without?
Aside from the basic-basics (paper trimmer, score board, versamark ink) I would say:
1) 110 lb paper (I will never forget receiving a card from Cristina Kowalczyk on that thick paper and experiencing how luxurious and special it felt. I looked at it like it was gold, which it was, kinda, coming from Cristina! So excited when Michael's started carrying reams of this paper for only $8 with the 40% off coupon);
2) embossing buddy (picking off stray embossing powder is just no fun); and
3) patterned paper (I go nuts at Tuesday Morning when they have their packs of 25 for $2. Since I have so much of it, I really enjoy lining the insides of the cards with fun patterns. The inside is 50% of the real estate of a card, after all!)

Now I'd love to tag one of my favorite card-makers, Lorena Canto of Patterned Paper Dreams! Open any Paper Crafts magazine or special issue, and you'll see her work ... on probably a dozen pages!! She has a great passion and energy in her work, and her designs are always just ahead of the trend. Check out her blog where she's created the cutest ever stationary set for her son, or go right to this beauty:

Top Dog 1
You might think that's patterned paper at first, but oh-no, those are all tiny die cut hearts that have been colored and adhered back into place. What?!? I know, right? Love, love, love.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! Hope your week is off to a great start.


  1. Loved hearing more about your process, and I am totally jealous that you are so organized and can get cleaned up in 10 minutes!!! My craft space is turning into a cesspool!

  2. What a fun post, Kelly ... great to read a little more about you and your creative process (and see pictures) ... the craft desk transformation was fabulous!! Anita :)

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  4. Wonderful to get a little glimpse into your life and your creative process.

  5. I just loved seeing all your mess and getting a feel for how you work...loved it!

  6. Thank you for the shout out lovely!!! That first desk photo makes me feel right at home LOL!
    Love hearing about your creative process - and as for the 10 minute challenge, I was on the DT and the ONLY way I could do it in time was to have EVERYTHING organised before the timer went on!!!

  7. I just remembered to stop back by here Kelly...sorry my comment was deleted!!! A neighbor stopped by just as I was beginning my comment and I hit publish before it was complete!! Didn't want you to think I was dissing you LOL!!! So lets try this again...

    I had to giggle at your desk shot and then the 10 minute clean up. I enjoyed reading your post and learning a bit more about your crafty process. You never fail to inspire me!

  8. It's been wonderful to learn more about the creative process that leads to your always amazing creations, Kelly! Thank you so much for your kind words about me. They truly mean a lot to me :)

  9. Awww... Loved this. Actually came to praise your Halloween wreath, which I now know is even a magnet! Still love those engineered touches of yours.


I absolutely love reading comments. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave one! - Kelly