Monday 15 September 2014

Getting to know me - the Creative Blog Hop


The first thing you need to know about me is that I am always playing "catch up"! My life is a constant game of valiantly attempting to keep up with all of my commitments and every now and then missing something, or just plain running late.

This is an example of running late. Michele (one l) from I Card Everyone tagged me for The Creative Blog Hop. Weeks ago. Yes, the tagging usually involves posting your own post one week later, but life got away with me, again! Apparently you're supposed to do your post on a Monday. So, I think I'm getting that part right. It is Monday in Australia, Monday in Europe, and very close to being Monday in the US (or perhaps already there).

I want to talk about Michele from I Card Everyone. She is such a lovely person! I really feel like we "get" each other. I found Michele about one day after she joined blogland. I think she had about four followers. I think it was Debby Hughes who told me about her, so I dutifully went to take a look, and I found that there was this awesome stamper who had been hiding somewhere... maybe Flikr, or SCS, or I-don't-know-where. I just know that every single card she has posted since her first has been AMAZING! I don't know how she does it.

So to answer the questions:
1. What am I working on right now?
Well, I always have several things on the go at once. In cards, I'm trying to figure out how to make a card using Altenew's Shadow Play stamps. I seriously love this set. It has SHADOWS. But I haven't quite figured out how to construct my scenes without copying other people's work yet. This one is the closest I've got so far to something I'm happy with. And it doesn't use the shadow stamps, lol!
The other things I'm working on is watercolours and drawing. The watercolours are an ongoing project. I don't paint much, so I don't give myself much time to practice. I'd like to do more art. Every now and then you'll see my painting/drawing in my cards. I have an idea for a stamp set. I'm not sure what I should do with this idea, but it is percolating away in my head right now. I'm drawing ideas and storing them away for a rainy day.

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Mmmm, this is a difficult question. I lean heavily towards clean-and-simple and in particular one-layer. If you look at my watercoloured cards, they are also fairly CAS, only the watercolouring disguises this, because the edges aren't as crisp. My inspiration in CAS style has always been Susan Raihala, Laura Bassen, Cristina Kowalczyk, Debby Hughes, and Laurie Willison. There are others, but these are my main CAS inspiration people. I've been lucky enough to make friends with most of these lovely ladies. How does my work differ? I'm not quite as good as them yet (by a country mile). But I'm working at it. ;-)

3. Why do I create what I do?
I've always been crafty. I was lucky enough to attend an alternative school until Grade 5. It was a student-led learning system. I learned English and Maths and Science, but I also learned so much about art and photography and craft and film-making and looking after farm animals. My Mum, my aunts, my grandma, my great-aunts all were fabulous crafters, too. My family is full of musicians and artists. It's wonderful!

Personally, I make cards because they are a quick way for me to express my creativity. I'm busy. I work five days a week. I have a family who have lots of activities. I am an introvert who desperately needs some quiet time to recharge. Making cards allows me that time. Thinking about design, colour, texture leaves no space for other thoughts, it's so relaxing! I make time every single week to make something. Maybe only one or two cards, sometimes five or six. I'm also working on a crochet rug. That may take years, lol!

4. How does my creative process work?
Sometimes it is just an amazing stamp set that requires no other inspiration. Like Altenew Hennah Elements. Oh my! That set, for me, is perfect!

Sometimes it is a challengeRunway Inspired Challenge taught me that I can be inspired by fashion. I never thought this was possible, but not one to run from a challenge, I dove in head first. I have followed this challenge from the very first week. I don't always find time to join in, but I am always inspired.
Often it is other card makers. Like Sanketi, who makes amazing watercolours! Her watercolouring of a stamp set inspired this one for me. She continues to inspire me. I love her style.
Or Jen Rzasa, who makes watercolour look CAS. Jen inspired me to try my own watercoloured original drawings. The first bird was okay, for a first time drawing of a bird. The second one was an improvement. I'm yet to draw and paint my third bird, which I'm sure will be even better.

The other part of this blog hop is tagging other bloggers. When I went looking for my favourite bloggers to tag, I kept finding that they had already been tagged. So, I've given up on the idea of pre-empting who might play along. I have highlighted some who inspire me above. This is by no means an exhaustive list, because I am also inspired daily by:
Tracey of In My Creative Opinion - Oh my goodness, Tracey is just the loveliest person on Earth. One day I'm heading over to visit her and all the other Toronto girls.
Virginia Lu of Yes, Virginia - who finds time to visit and comment, despite being a very busy and very popular lady!
Ardyth of Maskerade - I forgot to mention Ardyth above in CAS inspiration. Ardyth has ultra-CAS perfected. She's also fabulously nice.
Lynn of The Mango Boys and Me - Lynn makes the best cards. She makes the best masculine cards. I love her style. And Lynn is one of the Ohio girls that I intend to visit one day. Her odd hours (very early mornings?) means that we connect most days.
Wida of Beachorado - Wida has something special. Over the years she has developed this into her very own style. I have a definite soft spot for Wida.
Darnell of djkardkreations - I "met" Darnell when she only had a handful of followers. These days she's so busy fending off her fanclub of thousands it surprises me when she still finds time to visit me, and send me greetings at the right time (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas). Darnell makes me laugh. That's what attracted me in the first place and that's what keeps me coming back for more. One day on my grand tour of the US, I'm making a special trip to visit Darnell.

What a gigantic post. Please don't be offended if I didn't include you in my list. I have simply run out of time and must rush to bed. And I daren't delay this post another week! I'm sure most people won't make it the whole way through to the end here. If you made it, congratulations on surviving my excess of words!

Thanks for visiting!



Shelly said...

Loved reading more about you! I can relate and agree on many things. ;) Thanks for sharing!

Tracey McNeely said...

Oh Michelle what a lovely post! I was very excited to see that you were doing the Creative Blog Hop today. I really loved to learn more about your family and upbringing, about your creative process and I am so touched (more than you could ever know) that I am a source of inspiration to you! You my friend as a source of inspiration to me too and when I make my way to Australia I hope to find you too! Have a wonderful week! xoxo

Darnell said...

When I saw on FB that you had participated in TCBH, I couldn't wait to come and read your interview with yourself and I was not disappointed! It was engaging all the way through, Michelle! I love that you included some of my favorite pieces you've done.

I never expected to be included in a tribute to bloggers who inspire you! I'm quite humbled to be in your list as all these card artists are also on my list of card heroes!! Well, except that your name is on my list. It would be weird if your name was on your own list! Perhaps we can do the the US part of your tour together; I would love that!!

Keep doing what you're doing, my friend. Your creations are true works of art and I especially love when you do an original piece. That takes courage and confidence and it is so inspirational to me that you have both of these traits when you share your creations!! The fact that you work and have a busy family just impresses the carp out of me, too!! Hugs, Darnell

Jennifer Rzasa said...

Love your post so much! It's so awesome to read about the creative process of others. You certainly are a master with Altenew sets, and you know I always love when you play along with RIC! We are lucky to have you as such a loyal participant!

I love seeing your creative and artistic projects. You rock, Michelle!

~amy~ said...

Such a lovely post Michelle, loved reading about you. Absolutely love your style!

Sarah G said...

This is a great post, Michelle - I have only recently started following you (when I saw your gorgeous creations with Altenew stamps)and feel I know you loads better already :) Your cards are stunning - love those RIC examples that you have posted here. Your style is great and I can totally relate to enjoying some creative space to recharge after a busy day....looking forward to seeing more stunning work on your fab blog!

I Card Everyone said...

There you are!! Oh I love every word of it and the beautiful cards you've shared. I love that you get me, and I you... what's in a name? So happy to spend a little time getting to know you even better... thanks so very much... =] One L

Lindsey said...

Loved this post, Michelle. It was fun to learn more about you, and I loved seeing some of my favorite cards of yours again.

Wida said...

i love you for:

1. being true
2. being as passionate about cards as I am
3. making cards that I am excited about
4. putting me on your list.

Thank you Michelle...the feeling is mutual!

Kim Heggins said...

I always love reading and learning more about the card makers that I am inspired by. I always love what you create and your style is so beautiful.

Lyndal said...

FABULOUS getting to know a little more about you Michelle :)