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Monday, June 23, 2014

Creative Friends Blog Tour.

Last week, Candra Holmes, of  Paper Dragon Fleur, asked if I would like to participate in a  "blog tour" and I said "I'm in!".  This is an ever growing and expanding creative blog tour that I think started in the UK, and thank you Candra for letting me play along! 

Candra Holmes, Paper DragonFleur.
Check out Candra's blog post here. She is full of wonderful ideas! She designs for Atlantic Hearts Challenge and has some fun Instagram photos on her sidebar!

In this creative blogging world that I've become a part of during the last two years, I've developed friendships with people I absolutely love and admire, and who are creative way beyond my wildest dreams! 

I will feature three of my most fave crafter friends below, after I answer four questions.

The idea of the tour is to answer four questions, then introduce three fellow creative bloggers who will continue the tour the following week. And so on and so on.  Fun!
There are alot of photos here, so take a few minutes to sit back with your cup of tea or coffee and enjoy.

And now for my 4 questions - you'll find out a little bit about me! 

You can also read my bio on Candra's blog HERE.

Anything and everything!…… no really…. I love all sorts of crafts, and since I was a little girl, a pair of scissors and paper dolls, or needle, thread and some bits of fabric would keep me busy for hours. Those early passions for making things with paper and fabric have endured throughout my entire life.

I’ve evolved from about 30 years of sewing and quilting, to paper crafting, paper folding, paper building, paper anything. I love it! ….love all the gorgeous papers and colors and designs.

Right now, I’m working on some darling six sided “hexagon boxes” which I fell in love with after seeing a tutorial on YouTube. For some reason, those cute little unusual “boxes” pulled at my heart.. and I knew I had to make some for my Etsy shop.
I’m also working on figuring out a way to assemble the little "boxes" and put them “almost” together, but leave the last little bit of taping on the bottom to the person who buys them, so I can ship them flat in sets of three. I'm so excited to see how this process works! I did some "background stamping" on the background of this purple box to the right. I love that effect.

I love making little paper boxes for some reason… love planning them, designing them, and making something different and unusual. Maybe it's because I know they'll hold a little treasure for someone special!

I’m also working on getting myself inspired to sew and quilt more. I used to love quilting, and made tons of pillows, wall hangings, hoop quilt art and table runners.  After all the years of “quilting” (which actually meant loving to look at them, plan them, and buy the fabrics, but not actually MAKE them), I recently (almost) completed a quilt using some of my ancient fabrics from the 70’s and 80’s.
There are the pinks and greens I love! Still have to put the binding on this UFO.
So I'm working on trying to get this quilt finished! I seem to have a hard time finishing up my sewing projects and have alot of UFO's (unfinished objects) laying around.

2.   How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Oh that’s a tough question. I think I tend to get “inspired” by other fabulous crafters!  I may start out copying someone’s project, but invariably, I add something different, tweak it, or it ends up entirely different from what it started out to be!  My emotions play a lot into what I make, and my emotions tend to rule what colors I use, what design and what theme. I’m a very emotional crafter and that may be different than some, but I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of crafters work the same way.

Part of the fun for me in blogging is the taking of the pictures! I'm always excited to make something, knowing that I get to stage it afterwards with my camera.

Did I say I LOVE photography? I sprinkle my blog with my photos and quotes that are special to me.

3.   Why do I write/create what I do?

I LOVE to write (can you tell?) and I LOVE to create. I started “creating” way before I ever started writing! I think many bloggers begin their blogs because they do love to write. I think a blog evolves from our making something and wanting to share it with others.  “See?” we say. “Look what I made!” …….and we like to write all about it, at least I do. I’m proud of what I make, and I want to share it, talk about it, and write about it. 

Through the years, and way before the advent of the computer, I always loved to hand write letters to friends and family, no matter where I was. Once, back in the late 70's, when I lived in Wyoming, building a small cabin out in the boonies, and my family was all back in Oregon, I started writing a little monthly “Newsletter”. I would make it newspaper style and draw pictures of our building process. 

So I write because I love to write and share, and I create because I love working with my hands and making something beautiful out of little pieces of paper or fabric.

4.  How does your writing/creating process work?

As I stated above, most of my creating is very emotional. An idea pops into my head, and I go make it.  I love to “stalk” the YouTube videos for ideas. I read creative and artsy books and magazines for inspiration.  I carry a little notebook with me all the time, and when I see something that strikes my fancy, I write it down and draw a little picture of it. It may sit in that notebook for years! Now and then, I’ll pull it out and look through it to see what new and unusual project I can create.  

My work and writing is a barometer of my emotions and what I’m feeling on that particular day. And every now and then, an idea may drift into my mind that is mine alone!  I immediately write it down and work on creating it before it floats away into the cracks and crevices of my brain, never to be remembered! (Right) one of my original creations, a "tufted" fabric on canvas board wall hanging.


Now on with the tour!  I’d love to introduce my sweet crafty friends from around the country. Each is a busy mom and wife. Each is crafty beyond belief. And each of them has her own unique way of creating, and has inspired me in one way or another! Be sure to visit each of their blogs that I link to and explore their artistic-ness! Each blogger will answer the above 4 questions next week!

Lalia Harris of Crafty Lalia

Hi I’m Lalia Harris and I live in Everett, Washington.  I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life where the moss grows on all sides of the trees and on the bumper of my van.

I’m a wife, homeschooling mom, caregiver, MS advocate, workshop instructor, card maker, scrapper, jewelry maker and paper engineer.  Let’s not leave out laundry basket stacker.  I say that because they’re always full and I’m looking over my laptop screen at a couple right now.  While I grew up being able to craft just about anything and still dabble in most of it, papercrafting has been one of my number one hobby throughout my life.  I’ve been cardmaking since I was 7 or 8 and stamping just a few years after that, thanks to my sister Jackie. 

I started teaching stamping and embossing while I was in college and teaching is still my focus today.  I love to share what I know about a product or tool so that you can use it well and enjoy the process of creating.  A lot of the projects you’ll see on my blog are creations for my workshops.  They’re a bit “simpler” and more reproducible than shall I say a few of my blog heroines.  They won’t take all night to make one card.  However, I also LOVE 3D cards that are engineered and have a little complexity.  I guess that’s the engineer in me showing through.  I actually DO have a degree in paper  engineering.  However, these days I prefer to use my problem solving skills at the paper trimmer.  
Scrapbook page layout using the CTMH Circut Artbooking cartridge. Gorgeous!

(NOTE: Lalia's been blogging since 2008! She's a real Cricut "specialist" and includes many tips and tricks on her blog about using the Cricut and Close to My Heart Cricut cartridges.)  Check out her blog wonderful-ness at Crafty Lalia.

Ellen Jarvis of CardMonkey's Paper Jungle
Meet Ellen Jarvis or "cardmonkey" as she likes to be called! She's been blogging since 2010 and she participates in MANY fun blog hops. Though we've only "met" online, I so admire her spunkiness and sense of humor.  She's VERY creative and comes up with such cute new ideas. And what a helpful friend she's been, not only to me, but to everyone she comes in contact with!

Ellen says: While I am a lifelong crafter, I was only bitten by the paper bug 4 years ago or so, when my adult daughter Emily (now 28) introduced me to The Bug (Cricut), and I’ve been scratching that itch ever since. I specialize in cardmaking, though I also enjoy making 3D projects, party decorations and scrapbooking.  I received my Intermediate Certification in Copic markers 2 years ago, so you’ll likely see digi-stamp coloring on my projects. 


Before retiring to my Paper Jungle in December 2012, I worked full-time for more than 40 years, mostly for hospitals and health care concerns, handling public relations, marketing, special events and writing.  Now, I spend my happiest time with my 3-year old granddaughter Charlotte and soon-to-be born grandson Evan Joshua, and earning my crafting cash by selling (and buying!) Close To My Heart paper supplies, as an Independent Consultant.  

I say:   Check out Ellen's unique-ness and ingenuity at Cardmonkey's Paper Jungle.

Marilyn Gossett has worked in the Arts & Crafts industry as a designer, author, teacher and consultant for more than 20 years. An avid crafter since childhood, Marilyn has authored or co-authored over 40 craft books and contributed to numerous magazine articles. 

Favoring craft painting and sewing, she loves to experiment with new products and discover fresh and exciting uses for the “old standbys”.

Bulletin board using Crazy Tackz. Precious!
Marilyn has collaborated with various companies in developing product and programs. She’s currently working with CraZy TACKz, a brand new, patented product that combines the functionalities of a tack and a hook, with it’s clear stopper design being ideal for decorating (visit her blog for cool and creative use).

Marilyn understands the importance of cross merchandising for the retailer and how to make the customer feel creative and successful.

Marilyn G. said:“As a crafter myself, I realize that when people fall in love with their projects and have some initial success, they’re far more likely to come back and purchase even more supplies.” 

Marilyn is a MASTER of her paper angels!

Visit Marilyn at the following sites and discover her awesome flare for art and uniqueness.  Her May 29, 2014 post is all about steampunk!

CraZyTACKz Website:

Well friends, that's my CREATIVE FRIENDS BLOG TOUR. I hope you enjoy it. Please be sure to stop by these three ladies' blogs, as these ladies' talents are just the cream of the crop.

And remember, each of my three creative friends will be continuing this blog tour next week, with answers to the 4 questions and an introduction to THEIR favorite blogger friends!

As always, thanks for stopping by. If you still haven’t signed up to follow my blog posts and receive them in your email inbox, please do so by going HERE, right-hand column at top and filling in your email address.

Have a joyful, creative, blessing filled day!

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