The little things that make me happy here on Bliss Road~~Emily Keaton

Monday, July 28, 2014

A bit about me . . .

So today's post is a little different! My dear friend Colleen Dietrich, of Dietrich Designs, called me last week to ask if she could tag me as part of a blog hop she is participating in. It seems that the goal of the hop is to learn about other blogger/artists by sharing some details about one's self, one's work, and one's creative process in a fun "interview" style blog post. The posters were encouraged to tag one or two fellow bloggers to share the fun, and I'm so honored that Colleen chose me! Colleen asked me to share some details about myself in this post today, so here goes . . .

1) How do you know Colleen?

My friend and fellow stamper, Colleen Dietrich

I first "met" Colleen on Splitcoast Stampers sometime after I first joined that online community in 2009. She always made the most beautiful cards and left the most wonderful comments. Not much has changed in either area! Before long we were sending PMs (that is, private messages) through Splitcoast, then exchanging our email addresses for more direct access, then snail-mail addresses so we could mail cards to one another, and finally phone numbers so we could chat even more easily.

It has been a wonderful journey building this friendship of ours! To have someone to chat with about our shared papercrafting interests has been a godsend--someone who understands the drool-worthiness of a new stamp set or paper collection, the thrill of finding fun paper punches or dies on clearance at Michael's or A.C. Moore, the joy of being asked to join a design team, the frustration of losing one's creative mojo, the elation of having a papercrafted project accepted for publication, or more often: the dejection of not having a project accepted for publication. Colleen was the one who encouraged me to start this blog in 2010 shortly after she had established her own. And then we had yet another interest in common: the world of blogging! Even more to chat about ;). But we aren't just papercrafting/blogging friends. Over the years, we've discovered we have so much more in common than our shared hobbies. These days we call one another to chat about our families, our jobs, our health concerns, our vacations, our daily triumphs and aggravations, our joys (and frustrations) of motherhood, and more. I am so blessed to count Colleen among my very closest friends!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Colleen, for your gift of friendship!!!

2) What are you working on right now?

Well, as much as I'd like to say that I'm knee-deep in challenging, meangingful, and creative papercrafting projects right now, that would be the furthest from the truth. In fact, I just noticed that my last post on this blog o' mine was on June 26, over a month ago! I do believe that's the longest lapse in posts I've ever had on this blog. Yikes! I never intended for that to happen, but sometimes everyday life gets in the way of the best intentions, right?

So, since the end of my kids' school year the last week of June, my 11YO son went away to a week of arts camp sponsored by the Boston Symphony Orchestra; my 15YO daughter and I went away on a trip to Burlington, VT, with her Girl Scout troop; my hubby and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary; our family worked together to replace our disintegrating wooden deck with new Trex planks and vinyl-clad aluminum railing systems; AND our family went away for a week to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary! As our gift to them, my sister and I rented a Victorian house in Cape May, NJ, for her family, my family, and my parents to stay in while vacationing for the week. What a lovely time that was for the three generations to hang out together!

Our rental house in Cape May, NJ

That's me in the sunglasses posing in front of a shipwreck just off Sunset Beach. In the background, the cousins are folicking in the waves along this pebbly beach known for its superb beachcombing.

The Dr. Henry Hunt house in Cape May's historic district. We found it on one of our early morning walks and just had to take a photo. We found out later on a trolley tour of historic Cape May that it is one of the most-photographed examples of "drunken" Victorian architecture--known as such because it combines elements from multiple different Victorian styles all in a single "drunken" mish mash!

My hubby and I near Sunset Pavilion at the end of Cape May's Promenade just before sunset. See the Cape May Lighthouse in the distance?

My parents, the happy Golden Anniversary couple!

So I guess that's what I've been "working" on right now! I'm happy to report, though, that I'll have an all-crafting post to share with you soon as part of a guest-designing gig I'm really thrilled about! More on all that later. Stay tuned!!

3) What is your signature style?

I like to dabble in all sorts of different styles! I play around with clean and simple, shabby chic, vintage, bold and graphic, fun and cute, layered and frilly, elegant and classy, punch art, . . . you name it, I've probably done it. I generally use the projects I create for my own purposes (as gifts to give, or birthday cards to mail to friends and family, etc.), so I guess overall you might describe my signature style as "mailable!" I like to make relatively flat cards to make them as USPS-friendly (and low-postage!) as possible!

Here's an example:  the mailable golden anniversary card I made to send to my parents for their 50th wedding anniversary:
Background stamp is from Hero Arts; flower is from Unity; sentiment is from Flourishes

4) What are your favorite types of projects to make?

I enjoy making all kinds of projects! Cards are easily what I make the most of, but I think my favorite projects to make are papercrafted gifts to give. This past spring my daughter and my nephew were both confirmed at their respective churches. I enjoyed making each of them some commemorative gifts to mark the occasion.

I created a framed and personalized piece of subway art for each confirmand using a variety of electronic brushes and fonts I've collected over time and my favorite (and free!) photo editing software, The GIMP

I made each confirmand a papercrafted bookmark perfect for use in their favorite Bibles. Each bookmark was personalized on the back with the occasion and date.

And here are the confirmation cards I made for these special young people:

For my daughter: because I could hand-deliver it, I added a less than "mailable" embellishment on the cross. Stamps are from The Craft's Meow

For my nephew: an elegant, mailable card. Stamps are from The Craft's Meow
If you are interested in seeing more of my papercrafted gift projects, please be sure to check out these "Gift Idea" posts!

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Well, readers, thank you so much for sticking with me through this long post! I think I'll wrap it up here. A huge THANK YOU to the fabulous Colleen for inviting me to post with her today. If you have arrived here outside of the blog hop, I'd love it if you popped over to meet Colleen and say HI! Her work is so beautiful and elegant--I know you'll love visiting with her!!

Thank you so much for visiting today!! I hope that your summers have been swell thus far and continue to be.
Be well!