Monday 7 July 2014

Creative Blog Hopping

Last week my good friend Jaine asked me to join in a Creative Blog Hop.  I was warmed (and slightly humbled) by her glowing account of my work.  I only hope I don't disappoint.
My blogging is somewhat sporadic at the best of times, but as I'm just back from a quick trip to Australia where my mother has virtually no internet access and having left my husband in charge of the house and children, I had a bit of housework to catch up on when I returned.  
Anyway I am slowly returning to normal, and as Monday has arrived, it's my turn to answer a few questions about myself and my work.

1.  What am I currently working on?

I've just finished a project to make thank you cards for my son's communion last May.  I know I'm late but fortunately I have very understanding friends.  It's more of a keepsake than a thank you.  Naturally I thanked all my friends on the day for their contributions to the ceremony and party afterwards, and Simon thanked everyone for their generous gifts.
I enjoy big projects - it gives me a chance to combine my organisational skills from my computer analyst days with my creative side. 
Here are the cards/keepsakes.

I had planned to use the Spellbinders Die-Lite Window 3 - a very elegant gothic church style window.  In fact this die was partially responsible for the idea for this design.  However it was pretty obvious that I was not going to be able to make a large number of cuts with these 2 dies as they are a bit temperamental.  By the time I has realised this I was too far along the design path and so I looked to the Silhouette site and found a suitable shape I could work with, changed it up a bit using the Silhouette Designer software and cut the card fronts, the toppers and the frames with my Cameo.  The sentiment (and the other inspirational factor behind the idea for the card) was from WMS Light of the World.  I loved the idea of Simon's "light" shining through the window of the card front.
Here's the inside

Special cards for a really special little boy.  Jaine mentioned that he is partially disabled, but anyone who knows Simon knows that he spreads sunshine and happiness wherever he goes.  It is a joy to have been given the privilege of looking after this wonderful little person.

2.  How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I think many of my cards are more about an idea rather than a work of art.  I was always a failure in art classes at school, not being able to draw for peanuts (I don't even like my handwriting).  However when I discovered stamping (about 18 years ago) all of my creative energy just bubbled to the surface.  
Not long into my card making journey, I became fascinated by quirky cards such as shaker cards and I used to pore over my children's pop up story books to get ideas for pop up cards and reveal cards.  More recent experiments include double sliderswaterfall cards and swing cards.
This penny spinner was my own invention as I felt the butterfly should  spin around the circle not just go back and forth.   I have seen other more recent circular spinner cards, but when I made this one and it's predecessors I came up with the idea myself.

This swing-out geared card where turning the gear revels the end of the sentiment "2 turn 60 is time to celebrate" was another card I "engineered",

as was this growing sunflower 

I also must confess to having a corny sense of humour as with this Zoo card I made for one of Simon's friends, where the inside of the card (supposedly being from the inside of the lion's mouth) reads - Pleased to Eat You.

I also like to include song lyrics into my cards such as this Hello Dolly card (but then I am one of those annoying people who are known to constantly find and sing song lyrics in everyday conversation).


3.  Why do I create/write about what I do?
I think everyone needs a creative outlet.  Life seems a little brighter when I can look back and say oh wow "I made that" (it's even better if you look at something you made a few years ago and can still say that).  What I like most about card making is that I get to create something beautiful (hopefully) for people I care about.  Cards are not big things - they take up very little space, but they are made with love and I like to think of that love sitting in someone's bottom drawer and being taken out and aired every now and then. 
My friends Jaine and Lena were responsible for me creating a blog.  Initially it was only for my benefit - a way of remembering my design processes and how I had created a design in case I wanted to revisit it as a later date.   I have always thought it important to share ideas and techniques, but for a long time I only had Jaine and Lena following me, so there wasn't much sharing going on.  However as I started joining in challenges, I got a little bit more noticed and when people started saying nice things about my cards or thanking me for sharing a technique ... well to be perfectly truthful I was tickled pink.  

4.  How does your creative process/writing process work?
When I make a card for someone I try and think of what they enjoy or what colours they like.  I keep a catalogue of my stamps and dies on my computer and (also on my iPad for when I'm on out) so I can peruse it easily - gone are the days when I remember every stamp in my collection (and not just because my memory is going).
I have a long list of challenge sites to go to for sketch inspiration and colour combinations.   I think challenge sites are wonderful - so much eye candy in the one place, yum !!!
The hardest part is always picking designer papers.  I have a ridiculous number of them.  I can't stop myself from buying them and I have real difficulty parting with them.

If you've made it this far without dying of boredom then thank you very much.  I have no one specific to pass on to in this blog hop but would recommend you scroll through any of the blogs I follow on the right scroll bar.  There are some extremely talented card makers there as well as genuinely wonderful people.

Hopefully you'll drop by again and often, 


  1. I absolutely loved reading your answers, what a fab post. OMG I love the growing flower card, I've never seen that before - I want one next birthday. Thank you so much for taking part in the hop, you're a star. xx

  2. Your cards are stunning!
    Thanks for your sweet coments :)

  3. Hello I hopped over from Jaine's blog, and have really enjoyed scrolling through your blog. You are so right when to say about visiting challenge sites - the inspiration from other people with varying styles from your own can be all consuming.
    Continue enjoying & creating x

  4. Hello Kate! I miss so much in blog land...I have all these blogs I 'follow', then never seem to catch up on reading any of them. So glad you pointed me in this direction - you're always so original in your card making. I love how you made that penny spinner should have copyrighted it lol! And you know I love any WMS card!


I'd love to hear from you !!!