My blog friend Jemma (known on UKS as Jimjams) invited me to take part in a blog hop tour. It’s a little different to the usual blog hop, because the posts are a week apart and the hop spreads OUT as it goes. My task was to answer a set of questions, then link to three fellow bloggers. Jemma’s answers from last Monday are here. You’ll find my linked bloggers at the end.
1. What am I working on?
I am always “working on” a multitude of things. At the moment I have a lot in progress:
- a crochet granny-square blanket
- re-organizing my scrapbook albums
- some Project Life printables still in the design process
- a handmade journal for the A Documented Life project (yeah, I know, late to the party LOL!)
- some new Gelli prints for an army of spike-eared toys
In the back of my mind is also a 2015 calendar, with a twist.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Humm. If I had to pinpoint what makes my BLOG different, I guess it would be that I am never overly concerned with taking a stunning photo, nor am I overly concerned with showing a final project. I may have an idea for a mini-book construction and make one that will sit and wait for the perfect reason to add photos and complete it, even if that is YEARS in the future. I did a video for this one, never really blogged fully about it, and it took me till the following year before I actually filled it. But I DID fill it!
I am all about the process, I guess. I don’t hide what I am working on till it’s 100% complete and then do a “big reveal.” I will get an idea, play with it, sharing along the way, both success and failure. I say, often, that I make the mistakes so you don’t have to. So if I have an idea and it turns out to be a rubbish idea, well, you’ll see it here, warts and all. I also push things sometimes past their logical conclusion. I may post for a week about a single project, pushing and pushing the idea till even I am sick of it. I made many more of this display-stand card before I moved on!
I also refuse to rush out and buy a whole host of things if I have something to hand that will do the job. I hate shopping, even craft shopping, and I hate waiting for mail-order. So if I need something I am always going to try to figure out a way to use something I already have (like the make-your-own Baker’s twine post ages ago or more recently cutting doilies from unbleached coffee filters) or figure out a way to make my version (like the tools for use on the Gelli plate) rather than shop online and delay the project till I get what I need. By the time it arrives I’m probably already on to the next thing….
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
I am fairly scattered-brained – originally I really only scrapbooked. Now that the kids are older, and camera-shy, I just don’t have new photos very often. I still scrapbook, mostly old photos, I just don’t tend to share the layouts. I love making mini-albums, but everyone who could be a reasonable recipient already probably has more than they have room for. So I make other sorts of things now. Because I love to make things to share, I make a lot of downloadable PDFs for others, mostly calendars and Project Life things. Again, it’s the process I enjoy, even if I don’t actually USE the end results myself. I will happily spend a day or more creating a printable, add it for others to use, then go make a card or an ATC, crochet or quilt, print a pile of Gelli prints then play with a new book-binding technique, or do a random page in my art journal. I just get in the mood to do something specific and I don’t really question it. If I’m inspired in a certain way, I go with it.
Writing the blog is a method, really, for me to crystallize the steps of a project, in words and photos, so I don’t forget what I did. And a sidebar to that is sharing, cause if I think it’s cool, someone else might too, and might like to give it a go. Why I CREATE what I do is harder to answer. It always starts with a random thought. I read A LOT, flip thru books and mags, and as soon as I get a spark of inspiration, or have an I wonder… moment, I test it out. Like the spike-eared toys last week
I saw a photo-only in a book that was meant to include cutable templates for the projects on a CD. I was frustrated the template wasn’t included, and spent an hour on the internet searching for a downloadable version. Then I had to figure out how to edit the PDF so I could make my OWN printable version with MY art on it.
If I am frustrated by something, I’ll try to solve the problem – like working in my art journal and being annoyed that Pan Pastels rub off unless you seal them. And I hate spray fixative. Figuring out that acrylic medium, brayered onto the Gelli plate in a thin layer, will seal them was a revelation. And ended up creating a nifty technique. You will totally see what I mean about not caring if the photos are great, or showing a finished project in that post – although I did actually use the technique again later and did a better job. See? Two actual finished pieces.
and that leads naturally on to 4. How does your writing/creating process work?
Random ideas, problem-solving, and extending an idea to (past) its natural conclusion is my process. I get on a path and just keep going – like the whole calendar making thing. I discovered so much about the form of a calendar, I totally streamlined my process, which allows me to create a calendar for any year quickly and easily. I documented it here, so if I forget in a year when a new calendar is needed, I can go back and remind myself how I did it. That lets me concentrate on the fun part, the design.
I do try to consider how people who land here will want to find things, so I often go back and add to posts. For example, I saw recently that something I did about 2 years ago was all of a sudden getting a crazy number of hits (OK, crazy for ME – like 600 hits in the last few weeks) and questions in the comments. I noted that, went back and re-did it, with more variations and samples, then linked to the new post from the old one so people landing on the OLD post would find the NEW expanded info.
Basically, I just like making stuff.
Now, on to my link-ups. I only have two, both Karen’s (how funny) despite asking a number of people – sadly, with the school holidays this week many people just weren’t able to join in. You can see their answers to the questions on 2nd June, so make sure you pop back to see what they have to say.
Karen (known as kazy1) is a long-time member of UKScrappers and creates layouts for The Scrapbook Magazine. She is also on the team at Scrapology, on online challenge blog. She has guest-designed for Papermaze and Sarah’s Cards, both UKS sponsors. Her layouts and cards never fail to inspire me, and she is often featured in the monthly BlogBits round-up of inspiring posts by UKS members. I love that she scraps in the American size 8.5 inches x 11 inches. Her style is detailed and pretty, with lovely embellishment clusters that support, rather than overwhelm, the photos. She is a thrifty crafter too, and makes the most of her supplies. Her blog is worth bookmarking for those times when your scrapping mojo is on holiday – she does a lot of sketch challenges so you might find one that is new to you.
Karen (well known to all on UKScrappers as Scrapdolly and as the one who keeps the Teams and Houses running smoothly) is one of those rare scrappers who is equally at home making paper and digital layouts. She is also on the team at Scrapology and is on the design teams for Charmed Cards and Crafts, for digital designer Dawn Inskip, and for Pickleberrypop . Her layouts always feature lovely photos, often of her husband and their hysterical cats. Her style is hard to describe in a few words – possibly because it encompasses so much! If I had to pick one thing..OK two things.. that I think of when I think of her, they would be her titles (paper and digi) and her deeply drop-shadowed 3D-effect digi-layouts. I’ve seen so many unique design ideas when browsing her blog that the one thing I DO know is I’m going to be inspired by something when I visit. And I’m going to be amused by her LOLcats and other non-scrapping images. Her thoughtful blog posts are often more about life and the story behind the layout, what prompted her to scrap THESE photos at THIS time. She also has a section of digital/hybrid scrapping downloads and tutorials, so be sure to check that out!
Phew. That was too much introspective hard-thinking, way more than I usually do on a Sunday….do feel free to add your own answers, to one or more of the questions, in the comments.