Monday, 4 August 2014

'Getting to Know Me'...Blog Hop

Hi there

I have something different to share with you today.

I recently received a lovely email from Hazel Hodgkins of Hazel's Paper Designs 'tagging' me to see if I'd like to take part in this 'Getting to Know Me' blog hop.  I was so touched as Hazel said such wonderful things about my creations so I was delighted to accept her invitation.

If you're not familiar with Hazel's blog I highly recommend you pay her a visit.  Her style is exactly the kind of genre I love, clean and simple, no fuss.  Her most recent makes are so beautifully simple, usually with one main focal point and very few, if any, additional embellishments.  Masking, ink blending, negative and positive die cuts, one layer cards - Hazel creates her designs using techniques such as these while always including one thing, that beautiful white space.  She has earned challenge recognition for her designs and has Guest Designed at CASology too, one of my favourite challenge blogs.

At the end of this post I have tagged two wonderful designers whom I have folllowed for some time now.  I truly admire their creations so please pay them a visit when you have the time.

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

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

At the moment I have two cards on the go for my DT role at Addicted to Stamps and More.  I only joined the Design Team last month and I'm loving every minute of it.  I only purchased a printer at the beginning of this year so it's given me the opportunity to work with the digi images from the sponsors.  No sneaky peeks of these two I'm afraid.

I'm also working on a couple of RSVP notecards which need to go out in the mail this week and a wedding card that one of my friends has requested for the end of August.

Here's a peek at the wedding acceptance...

But what's taking up most of my time at the moment is getting my stash organised to make it more user friendly.  Compared to most of the crafters I follow I have a limited stash but it's the way it's stored that's the problem.  I have to hide items behind others in my cupboard which makes it difficult to find what I'm looking for so I'm working on an inventory system/binder for my stamps so I can see what I have instead of rummaging through all my sets every time to see what I want to use.  This is a lengthy process but will be so worth it once it's in place, and I'll then be able to add any new purchases to the system as and when I acquire them - well, that's the plan!  Once I've set this up I'll certainly be sharing it on here :)

2. How and what inspires your designs?

My inspiration literally can come from anywhere.  Most of my cards are made for challenges which generally give you some kind of inspiration whether it be a cue word, a colour palette, a sketch or a photo.  These are great if your mojo decides to do a runner, which mine often does!  I have a series of posts here on the blog called 'Inspired by...' (which can be found under the Labels heading on the right hand sidebar) whereby I make a card and share what I used to inspire me.  Sometimes, the inspiration can just be a new product I've purchased and can't wait to use.

But the majority of my inspiration comes from the creations of my fellow bloggers, and most of the products I buy are because I first saw them showcased by such talented crafters.  I love watching videos by the super-talented Jennifer McGuire and try to put some of the techniques into practice using what I already own.  I've recently signed up to one of the Online Card Classes and I'm looking forward to doing my homework when I have the time!  Another designer I find completely amazing is Tracey McNeely of In My Creative Opinion.  I adore her crisp, clean and simple style and her designs are so recognisable.  And I couldn't answer this question without giving Michelle Short a mention.  Her wonderful blog, The Card Grotto was the first ever blog I followed and I absolutely adore Michelle's designs.  I've gained so much inspiration from Michelle alone, so I'm sending a massive thank you her way.

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

My friends often ask me this question and it's one of the most difficult to answer.  With a clean and simple design I sometimes have the entire vision in my mind and can therefore create it in about half an hour.  I'm no longer petrified of one layer cards (yay!) but these can sometimes be quite tricky and take lots of planning, particularly if a lot of masking is involved.  Unless I'm trying a technique I'm not familiar with I don't generally do mock-ups, I usually just let the card evolve into something similar to that of my original vision.  I sometimes use a scrap piece of paper if I'm trying to make stamped images 'fit' or, if my design requires symmetry I measure and mark faintly with pencil which can then be erased when the card is complete.

After a few practice runs on some scrap paper as I'd
never tried shadow stamping before, this card only
took me about fifteen minutes to create

Although a fairly simple card, this took about an hour to
complete as there was some heat embossing and it took
some time to organise the placement of the time
Making multiple cards of the same design is obviously quicker once you have the design sorted.  I made a selection of Christmas cards last year, all of which were variations of the same layout and design.  I made ten of each of these.  They were all one layer with a few die cuts and I was really pleased with how they turned out...

But definitely, the cards that take the most time to produce are commission cards, when something specific has been requested.  I can't just 'go with the flow' so these take a lot more planning.

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

I've been making cards for about nine years and until I started blogging I didn't have a style at all.  Over the last year I've definitely found my feet and I love creating clean and simple designs more than any other kind.  I totally admire those artists who can create beautifully elaborate 'shabby chic' style cards, but that's just not me.  I use minimal layers and embellishments now and just love leaving that gorgeous white space on a card, and I feel completely motivated when I create a one layer card...why did I ever find them so terrifying?

Phew, I think I've waffled on for long enough!

Now I'd like to introduce you to two wonderful designers.  If you're not familiar with these two wonderful ladies their blogs are well worth a visit...

Sarah of Sazzle Dazzle Crafts
I first found Sarah's blog while exploring the galleries of my favourite challenge blogs and her designs just jumped out at me.  And you can see why when you click on her 'My Gallery' is superbly awash with colour!  Sarah's colour combos are fantastic and she designs such an array of different layouts which never fail to inspire me.  We have a joint love of Clearly Besotted Stamps products and I love seeing how she uses them.  Sarah has earned countless challenge awards and has gained a well-deserved spot on the Design Team at Less is More.  Please take the time to drop by Sarah's blog if you can, you won't be disappointed.

Rebecca of Melly Moo Papercrafting
I've been in awe of Rebecca's designs since discovering her blog last year.  Rebecca has a clean and simple style and produces such crisp images on her cards, whether stamped or die cut.  She creates layers, die cuts and uses patterned paper with flair whilst maintaining her signature style.  Rebecca uses products in so many ways so it's no surprise why she's on the Design Team for Craft Mojo online store, she showcases their products brilliantly.  Cute, elegant, masculine, CAS, one name it, Rebecca can create it with ease!  If you've not discovered Rebecca, where have you been?  Please take a look when you have the time.

If you're still with me, well done for making it this far!  I hope you've enjoyed getting to know me and I am now looking forward to what these two ladies have to share when they join the hop next Monday.

Thanks so much for visiting, I hope to see you again soon.

Bye for now


  1. love the insight into your crafty thinking and thanks for your kind words! Rebecca x

  2. I have loved getting to know you more Anita and thank you so much for the kind, sweet words! I am so flattered! I love your blog and designs and I am so happy that I could help/inspire you, even in a little way :) xx

  3. Hugely flattered by your kind words Anita! It has been SO awesome finding out more about your process! Being a newbie, it is so nice to have the advice and guidance of those more 'seasoned' in the field, in a style that I can't get enough of. Thanks so much for sharing and enabling me to sit around your virtual craft table. It's been fun! Looking fwd to meeting M ichelle and Rebecca!


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