Hey, there! Perhaps you’ve come across these Inspired By/Pay it Forward posts where one is posed a few questions which focus on the stamper’s style and creative process, and maybe you get inside their head just a little. I’ve had a pretty good time reading those posts, actually, and – lo, and behold – it came around to me by way of my sweet stamping friend, Katie, whose picture you see there to the left. Ain’t she a cutie?
My guess is if you’re reading this you’re familiar with Katie’s blog as she’s one of my Power Poppy teamies. However, I happened upon Katie through other channels prior to our current association, and let me tell you, upon my first visit I was agog! If you haven’t seen Katie’s work, trust me, I would not steer you wrong – every card, every project, all the way back to her first post, is a beauty and an inspiration. Go and enjoy her delightful southern hospitality. You’ll be glad you did! You can see Katie’s “Inspired By” post here if you’d like to see what makes her tick in her stamp room. Katie, I’m honored that you would even think of mentioning me. So, the questions. . .
1) What am I working on? Well. . . there’s Power Poppy, of course. Type B personality-stop-and-smell-the-roses-working kind of gal that I am, I don’t like to over-commit, so I chose this one irresistible opportunity to work with a line of stamps I adore and would buy in a heartbeat. There’s a Christmas release coming up and I just received my stamps, so I’ll be getting busy with those. I want to stamp them all! That is not a plug, it’s just the facts. Power Poppy ---------------------->>>>
Other than that, I’m all over the place with my stamps, but I have undertaken a Stampin’ Up! A to Z self-challenge just for fun. My mostly retired Stampin’ Up! sets are shelved in an A to Z arrangement, and that’s the progression I’m following with the image sets, including as many SU! sentiments and background stamps I can manage in the process. If I kept them I must like them, right? I’ve just finished the three “A” sets:
2) How does my work differ from others’ of it’s genre? First of all, what is my genre? I do cute, funny, pretty, earthy, shabby – whatever tickles my fancy. Sometimes I layer up and add a lot of “extras”, sometimes I keep it simple. I think, perhaps, the only thing that may be slightly different is that I do try to give love to my old favorites, sort of freshen them up, share them here, and in a sense say, “remember why we do this” – simply because it’s fun.
Also, many times I’ll challenge myself to create a card which requires only one postage stamp, but does not compromise too much in terms of design interest. I believe you can do that by adding texture such as dry embossing, or by using lightweight designer paper layers, or partial layers, or die cuts or windows. Cut away an edge so the inside of the card decorates the card front, as well. Add stitching, glitter, ribbon without the bow, Liquid Pearls, flocking, Liquid Applique – you get the picture.
3) Why do I create what I do? When I stamp I’m generally thinking of the person who will receive the card, or the folks who like to buy them. Sometimes it’s a special request, or just something extra for my stash, but always I become immersed in the process and enjoy it, no matter what. I make mostly cards because I love that mini-canvas as a quick release for the primal urge to create. There was a time I spent hours in my stamp room engineering boxes, bags, baskets – all manner of 3D items – and then equal hours writing tutorials on my blog. Well, I’ve scaled back in favor of someone so dear to me:
(That’s Wally and LuLu. The size of their photo indicates how large they figure in my heart.)
4) How does your creative process work? The process is not always the same, but I generally start with the image, then choose some designer papers, and color the image to match the papers. It’s so much less time consuming for me when I sit down to put the card together if I’ve got that under my belt already. Then comes the composition. Square? A2? Horizontal? Vertical? I’ll want to anchor the image somehow, and balance the design. Maybe I’ll pick up a feature in the image and echo that with an embellishment. I like to “feel” the card as I’m making it – step into the mood or spirit it evokes. When I love how it turns out it doesn’t matter to me if everyone else thinks it’s goofy. Mind you, I don’t love everything I make. Not by a long shot.
Now comes the hard part. I am to pay it forward to two other bloggers who inspire me. Only two? Get real. How am I supposed to narrow it down to two when I find some kind of inspiration at every blog I visit? I had to think who might have time, who hasn’t already done one of these posts, and who I know well enough to ask.
Enter Danielle. Don’t be fooled by the photo. She does take the gloves off when she stamps. I’ve been following her Wild Dragonfly Designs blog for years. The girl can color! While over time her image choices may have changed, I’ve always found a special quality and warmth to her colors and designs. It was the cute stuff that first drew me in – check out her High Hopes category (love!) – but Danielle is a many-faceted stamper with seemingly limitless ability to enchant and inspire. When I wound up on first one and then another design team with her I was pretty darn excited!
And then there’s Pauline. You really must visit her at Pauline’s Card Cupboard. Really. Take a scroll back through some of her older posts as well as the recent ones. Click on a few categories. Notice the sizable Stamping Bella category and prepare to have fun and utter a few “wows”. I just have to point you to one of may favorite Power Poppy cards she’s done recently ----->> here. You enjoy beautiful things, don’t you? Well, that is one gorgeous card! There’s also the bonus of her husband’s nature photography which she occasionally shares. We’re talking professional quality, top notch stuff – mostly birds, which have to be some of the most difficult images to capture. Well done, Bill!
Now, when it comes to inspiration I can’t fail to mention at least one more person, and that is Sherri at The Cat Ate My Card. She doesn’t even know I’m mentioning her, so I hope she doesn’t mind the surprise. I stopped short of sharing her personal photo because it may not be cool to do that without her permission. I think she’s got her hands pretty full right now. The title of her blog suggests her sense of humor, and she frequently makes me laugh. She seems to have such fun with her stamping and I have enjoyed her lean toward whimsical images so much that I started collecting more of them. . . and more. . . and more. It’s good to smile and maybe giggle a little while you’re stamping. Bless your sweet kitty-lovin’ heart, Sherri!
And that brings us to the end of the longest blog post ever. It seemed like a simple matter of answering four questions. . . Stamping will resume on Wednesday. Thanks for visiting!