Thursday, 27 August 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Emma Godfrey

Today is the turn of Emma Godfrey. Emma is a very talented crafter and a truly lovely girl, here is her story!



When and how did you start in the industry?
I started making wedding stationery when I was still working full time in the corporate world, about 12 years ago.

Was it full time? Part time?
The wedding stationery business was part time.  However, about 9 years ago I left my full time job and opened Imagine that - a bricks and mortar craft shop in Upminster (Essex).  That was definitely a full time job.   I closed the bricks and mortar shop just over two years ago - but still run the retail website, teach classes and hold a regular crop in the area.



What type of job at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
My first few jobs were definitely not creative - before I opened imagine that... I worked in the corporate world for over 25 years - doing secretarial, admin or HR roles.

How do you describe your job nowadays?
I have to admit, how to describe my current job is something I have been struggling with for a while.  It's a mixture of different things. At the moment I am the owner of Imagine that (and all that entails).   
I also design for, and help out at PaperArtsy, and recently started teaching classes at other shops.  Maybe my current job definition is: teacher, designer and business owner?


Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
I think the biggest challenges are time and money - whether you're working full or part time. If I add up all of my roles, then I am easily working 50 hours a week, but as a single person, I struggle to earn enough regularly in the industry to support myself independently.    
I love what I do, but that is incredibly frustrating.   Non-creatives in particular don't seem to understand or appreciate the value of creatives time or finished projects.  And of course there is never enough time to get everything done and try all those new ideas out.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
I love designing and teaching.   I've designed over 40 stamp sets (and flair buttons) for imagine that... and 10 stamp sets for PaperArtsy.  I love the design process and then seeing what other crafters make with the actual stamps.   
I also really enjoy teaching ... seeing people go home happy with what they've made, and with a new skill or idea under their belt, is incredibly satisfying.

Your proudest moment and achievement?
Moment: Opening the doors at imagine that... (there was a queue waiting outside!).   Achievement: Becoming a PaperArtsy signature designer.


What is your favourite project type and your fav colour?
I love most of them ... I've always been a huge fan of cards and mini albums ... and more recently journaling and pocket scrapbooking.  I want to have a go at some abstract art type home decor items ... watch this space!   I love bright colours most, but can also happily use grungy/vintage too.

Where you go for inspiration?
Pinterest is great for spotting trends and getting ideas.   I also like reading other creative blogs and going to workshops.   Trying out new things can lead to great discoveries!

What is next for you?
In the future I would like to concentrate more on designing, teaching and demoing, especially as I have just recently been confirmed as a WOW Demonstrator.  I am also look into selling some of my home decor items through local shops or Etsy.

And finally, do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions?
I feel like I've known you forever!   I think our first meeting was at the ICHF trade show many years ago ... and of course there were no bad impressions!   One of the things I like most about this industry, is that there are an awful lot of lovely people in it ... and you're definitely one of them.

You can find Emma here:

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Craft Storage A4 Paper | New and old products A4 Letter tray Forhoja and Kvissle comparisson

Today I fancy talking about comparing a new product to an oldie but a goodie that I have seen on Ikea. As soon as I saw the new one,  I really wanted to try for my Crafty Storage. So I analysed it.
This is the new IKEA FÖRHÖJA Letter tray (AUS | D) that comes in a birch finish. It only costs £12 (similar prices in Euros). However, is not available in the States or in Spain for instance.
As it is designed to fit A4 sheets landscape wise, 12" should fit though they will roufly hang out by about 4cm or just under 2 inches.

Assembled size
Width: 35 cm
Depth: 26 cm
Height: 15 cm

Unfortunately as it is 35 cm wide it means that it wont fit inside of a Ikea Kallax (or the older Expedits) units. Sometimes I just don't understand IKEA, why they didn't reduce the width by 2cm and it would still fit the A4? 
Oh well. What can we do, but moan. Or choose this oldie:


The IKEA KVISSLE Letter tray, white metal with cork lining. It costs £20, but instead of the two static shelfs it offers 5, for of them pull out drawer shelves (my favourite!), and it is more than twice the size.

Assembled size
Width: 32 cm
Depth: 25 cm
Height: 32 cm

As it is 32cm it will fit perfectly on the Kallax cubes (Pinterest) and if you flip the the whole unit (or just the desired pull out shelves) you can still fit the 12" papers. 

So all in all, even value wise, I think the oldie beats the newbie!



Monday, 24 August 2015

New blog post for Craft Asylum!


This week on the Craft Asylum blog I share a little tutorial on how to make sure that your die cut letters are glued in the right place!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

How to create a Letterpress effect with your Big Shot and Embossing Folders


I recorded this video long ago, but only just now I managed to sit down, edit and do the voice over. I am bad at video! Takes me ages!

Anyway, i hope it is clear (not sure that it is!)

This is what I used in the video:



(If you don't have the magnetic and have the multipurpose platform, you would still need it as the magnetic platform is the equivalent as tab 2 on the multipurpose.)






Thursday, 20 August 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros: Alberto Juarez from Vintage Odyssey!

Este post esta también en castellano aquí.




Today's turn for the Craft Conversations Alberto Juarez from Vintage Odyssey, who is a Spanish scrapbook super star, a real talent, Graphic45 ambassador and Prima Marketing Educator.  I still remember when I came across his blog, I fell in love immediately with his work. He is also a delight and funny guy with whom you can spend hours and hours without a dull moment.


So lets get to know him a bit better.

Alberto, when and how did you start in the craft industry? 
 I discovered scrapbooking 7 years ago, before that I had done book binding and cartonage. I didn't know the scrap world existed until a day that I was looking for paper for my bookbinding projects (a diary to be precise!) and found a scrap shop. I went there and I discovered the wonderful world of scrapbooking.
As a professional I started in 2011, when I began to collaborate with Graphic45 as a designer and I also started to teach workshops in Valencia and Barcelona. 



Was it full time? Part time? 
I have never worked in the scrap industry as my full time only job. I have always thought of it as a second job and as a hobby, though lately I think I dedicate more hours a day than any other job I do.
 Alberto is doing his PHD in Chemistry a the Valencia University. 

What type of job did you have at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
I started doing my blog, just an inspiration blog and as a brand ambassador. Soon after, I decided that giving workshops was a good idea to share my style and vision, so I started to teach online and then workshops in shops and events. 



How do you describe your job nowadays?
My projects are vintage, not only because of the style and material that I use but also because of the project type and techniques used. I always try to make long lasting projects, that will be strong and resist wear and tear. With that Victorian and classic flair that reminds us of the old pieces of craft, but as if time has stopped, no decay has taken place and they have remained in perfect conditions until today.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently career wise? 
I don't think I would do anything different, I have done it slowly and without any grand ambitions. I knew that I wanted above all to enjoy what I was doing and while I have made some common mistakes that everyone could make, I also have done many right things. Because of that, I would do everything exactly the same as, on balance, everything is very very positive.



Also, what would you like to do differently style, technique, project wise?
I would like to loose the fear I have got to the empty space as I have a very pronounced Horror Vacui. I would like to try pieces of artwork that are more and more Vintage Clean&Simple, trying to not be afraid of white and more brighter colours.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
Before I started teaching workshops, what I liked the best was to create projects and work as part of a Design Team. 
Since I started to teach paper craft classes I I think of them 24/7! I always thinking about the projects and ideas for workshops, how to make them more attractive every time with new things so that people that come to them end up with a very beautiful project and that they really learn the concepts. 

Your proudest moment and achievement?
Without a doubt, teaching workshops at the ArtVenture in Anheim (California, USA) with Prima Marketing. However, I think I have to also add that it was a great achievement when I was selected to be part of Graphic45 Design Team. Until then it was unthinkable that a Spanish crafter could catch the attention of an american craft company! I would like to add that currently, I am a
Graphic45 ambassador and Prima Marketing Educator but do not belong to any Design Team.

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
It is difficult to work in the craft industry if you are very focused in just one way. To be able to work and make a living of it you need to go further than just teaching workshops, you have to diversify and find new ways to expand your imagination.   

What do you think is more important to make it in this industry: creative talent, hard work or luck?
This question is already answered I think by Picasso: the inspiration happens when you are working. You have to work a lot, but it is clear that you have to have talent. I just don't believe in luck.


What is your favourite project type and colour? 
My favourite projects are always the mini albums and even more so if they are accompanied with a box to keep them in. 
I usually work with a palette of browns though I like to add touches of yellow, red and blue, but always within a range of darker shades and metallics. My aim is to create projects that look natural, that they are not artificial so the colours I choose reflect that. I love certain colours, but I avoid them in my projects because they would look artificial.

Where you go for inspiration?
For me there are two things that really inspire me. One, its antique shops, specially open air flea markets. Second, of course, an old book store is always a good place to find inspiration.  And always accompanied of music!

What is next for you?
Right now I have plenty of projects in making, some of which I cant talk for obvious reasons! 
But one of the things I want to go back to is teaching and inspire through online methods. 



And finally, Do you remember when we first met? 
The first time we met face to face was in Creativa Madrid October 2014, though before then we already had talked online and emailed. I had already been told that you were a simply enchanting person.

Paula's version:
Exactly as Alberto says we met a craft show in Madrid. I was already a big fan, but even more so after meeting him in real life. We did a mini photo shoot between workshops, he is not only very cute but also very photogenic!  A true joy to be with.



You can find Alberto here:
Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 




Conversaciones con los Profesionales del Scrap y del Papel: Alberto Juarez de Vintage Odyssey!

¿ Cuando y como empezaste en el mundo del scrap?
El scrapbook lo conozco desde hace unos 7 años, anteriormente había hecho trabajos de encuadernación y cartonaje pero no conocía el sector del scrapbook hasta que un día buscando papel para mis trabajos de encuadernación (un diario en concreto) encontré una tienda de scrapbook, allí me planté y conocí el maravilloso mundo del scrapbook.  De manera profesional comencé en el 2011 cuando empecé a colaborar con Grapchi45 como diseñador y comencé a impartir talleres en Valencia y Barcelona. 

¿ Has trabajado a tiempo completo en el mundo del scrap? 
Nunca he trabajado a tiempo completo, he intentado maquillar el scrapbook de un trabajo extra y diversión, aunque ciertamente ahora creo que acapara más horas al día que cualquier otro trabajo.

¿ Que tipo de trabajo empezaste? Empezaste como creativo directamente? 
Comencé con mi blog, siendo un blog únicamente de inspiración y brand ambassador, pero al poco tiempo decidí que los talleres era una buena forma de transmitir mi estilo y visión por lo que comencé con talleres online y más tarde talleres presenciales



¿ Como describes tu trabajo a día de hoy? 
Mi trabajo es vintage, no solo por el estilo y material utilizado si no por el tipo de proyecto y las técnicas utilizadas. Intento siempre hacer trabajos resistentes, duraderos y robustos. Con ese aire victoriano y clásico que recuerde a trabajos antiguos pero que parezca que se ha detenido el tiempo y han perdurado en perfectas condiciones hasta hoy en día.

¿ Si pudieras volver a cualquier momento de tu carrera profesional en el mundo del scrap, que harías diferente?
Diferente creo que no haría nada, he ido poco a poco y sin tener grandes aspiraciones, tenia claro que quería ante todo disfrutar de lo que estaba haciendo y he cometido los errores comunes que cometería cualquiera y los aciertos también. Por lo que volvería a hacerlo todo igual porque el balance por ahora es muy muy positivo.

¿ Que harías diferente en cuanto a estilo, tipo de proyectos y demas?
Me gustaría perder el miedo, tanto el miedo al vacío, tengo un "Horror Vacui" muy acentuado y me gustaría también atreverme a realizar trabajos cada vez más vintage- "clean and simple" intentando no tener miedo al blanco y a colores más vivos.
De todo lo que has hecho (ser parte de Design Teams, enseñar workshops presecciales, o online, crear proyectos, blogger...) que es tu faceta favorita?
Antes lo que más me gustaba era crear proyectos y trabajar en DT pero la verdad que una vez comencé a hacer talleres presenciales solo se pensar 24h en proyectos e ideas para los talleres y como hacer cada vez talleres más atractivos con cosas nuevas y que la gente acabe un proyecto bonito y aprendiendo bien los conceptos. 

¿ Cual es el momento del que te sientes mas orgulloso de tu carrera en el mundo del scrap?
Sin duda impartir talleres en el ArtVenture en Anaheim (LA) con Prima marketing, pero por lo difícil del momento hay que destacar cuando fui DT de Graphic45 ya que era impensable que alguien desde España pudiese llamar la atención de una empresa americana. En la actualidad a pesar de wue soy embajador de Graphic45 y Prima Marketing Educator no pertenezco a ninugn equipo de diseño.

¿ Es difícil ser un profesional en el mundo del scrap? ¿ Puedes contar cuales son tus mayores desafíos y/o dificultades? 
Es difícil si te centras únicamente en una vía, para poder trabajar y vivir completamente del craft tienes que ir más allá de solo impartir talleres, hay que diversificar y buscar nuevas vías de escape para tu imaginación

¿ Que crees que es mas importante en esta industria: Talento creativo, suerte o trabajar duro? 
Esta pregunta esta contestada creo que por Picasso, Que la inspiración te coja trabajando. Hay que trabajar mucho pero esta claro que hay que tener talento, en la suerte directamente no creo. 

¿ Cual es tu tipo favorito de proyectos?  
Mis proyectos favoritos son siempre mini albumes y más aún si van acompañados de una caja para guardarlos.

Y ¿ cual es tu color para crear? Es distinto de tu color favorito en general? 
Normalmente suelo trabajar con una gama de colores marrones aunque me gusta poner toques de amarillo, rojo, azul,... pero siempre dentro de una gama de tonos oscuros y metálicos. Mi intención es crear obras que no sean artificiales, que sean  acabados naturales.

¿ A dónde vas para buscar inspiración?
A mi hay dos cosas que me inspiran muchísimo, uno son anticuarios sobretodo mercadillos de antigüedades al aire libre. Y por supuesto una librería antigua es siempre un buen lugar para inspirarse, a y siempre acompañado de música.


¿ Qué podemos esperar de ti en un futuro próximo? 
Ahora mismo tengo muchos proyectos entre manos, de los cuales obviamente no puedo adelantarte nada! pero una de las cosas que quiero retomar es la formación e inspiración no presencial.

Y finalmente, ¿ te acuerdas de cuando nos conocimos? 
La primera vez que nos vimos en persona fue en CreativaMadrid, ya había hablado anteriormente contigo via Facebook y había sido advertido de que eras una persona sencillamente encantadora. Emites profesionalidad, sencillez, exquisitez y buen gusto por todos los poros de tu piel. Media hora de conversación contigo y es muy enriquecedora.
La version de Paula
 No me acuerdo bien de como llegue a tu blog (creo que a través de amigos comunes), pero recuerdo que me quedé impresionada y enamorada de tus trabajos. 




Podeis leer

Dawn Bibby | Pete Hughes | Jane Gill | Emma Godfrey | Alberto Juarez

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros: Jane Gill

Today's Craft conversations is with Jane Gill. Jane was probably the first profesional paper crafter that I became friends with as we shared quite a few hours working together at a craft shop in Surrey (UK). I have tremendous admiration and love for Jane.

Jane, when and how did you start in the craft industry? 
I had taken botanical and natural history illustration at art college in the 1980s and had previously worked as a graphic designer in the publishing and printing industry for many years in Oxfordshire. I got married and moved away to live in West Sussex so had to give up my job.
I came into the crafting world by chance. I had completed a decorative painting course in 1992 and was really into decorating and painting furniture and accessories for the home as a full time business.
I wanted to promote my work and turned up at a local craft store (The Craft Barn) where I showed my pieces to the owner with a view to selling them. She really liked the accessories  and wanted to know if I could teach others how to do the different painting affects. So I said yes!

What type of job did you have at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
So I began a weekly class teaching people how to do paint effects, decoupage and stencilling. We made our own stencils and used rubber stamps and different painting techniques to decorate junk furniture. It was all the rage in the early 1990s!
After several years fashions and trends changed and I caught the stamping bug while working in the craft store. I then began to teach stamping and card making classes instead of the decorative painting. Ten years ago I began to design my own stamps which are sold through Woodware a family run business in North Yorkshire.
After 20 years in the industry I'm still teaching classes and demonstrating stamping techniques around the country and It's become a full time occupation. The crafting industry has taken over my life. You can't stop thinking about crafting because its all around you. I love it!

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?

My favourite thing is drawing new designs for stamps. Despite the pressures I love drawing and creating new stamps, I can use my art college training in illustration in a way I never thought about many years ago. 
It gives me such a buzz even now when I see one of my designs in a magazine having been used by someone else. I could quite easily sit at my desk in my craft room everyday drawing and working in Photoshop. 
But I also enjoy those special days out teaching and demonstrating at craft shops showing enthusiastic crafters my ideas for the latest stamps and how I like to use them. I love to meet fellow crafters and share ideas.


Your proudest moment and achievement?
Having my stamps on sale in the USA and seeing for them first time displayed by the distributor at a craft show in LA.

Is it hard to work in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
Creating the images for stamps is hard work and takes a long time from initial thoughts and ideas to the sketches and drawings I do before transferring the images onto the computer where they are prepared for manufacture. There is a lot of pressure to come up with so many ideas and I work a year in advance, so I'm constantly looking around me for inspiration while reading magazines, shopping, on holiday or a day out with friends, anything can start an idea for the next stamp design.
Once the stamps are created then it's the sample cards to be made. Coming up with new layouts is always a challenge. Trying to be different, unique but appeal to all ages and abilities.



What do you think is more important to make it in this industry: creative talent, hard work or luck?

The craft industry these days is full of amazing up and coming talent who have great creative flair. One needs a mixture of creative talent, determination and the ability to keep up with the constant changes and trends we have in the crafting world today. 

What would you do differently in your craft career? 

I don't think I would do anything differently in my career but given the chance all over again, I wish I had started stamp designing much earlier than I did.

What is your favourite project type and colour? 
Although I love to create cards, my favourite project would have to be something I can use as a picture. Whether it's on canvas or card, framed or unframed, I love wall art. Painting and adding texture, stamped images along with some drawing too. 


Where you go for inspiration?

My inspiration is all around me sometimes. It could be the pattern on a friends dress or weeds growing by the railway line. I love to flick through interior magazines too and of course Pinterest.

What is next for you?
I hope I can keep up with changing trends in the craft industry and keep drawing new stamp ideas. My dream would be to have that idyllic converted barn at the bottom of my garden as my craft heaven. There I could hold classes and craft retreats for all the wonderful people I have met over the years, many have become great friends such as you Paula.



And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions?
We worked together at The Craft Barn back in 1994 if my memory serves me well. Your Spanish minimalist style is fantastic and you have such a way with colours! Everything you produce is beautiful, just like you.


Paula's version:
It was actually in the Autumm of 2003. In 1994 I was still in Spain in high school! But it does feel like I have known you forever! Jane has been always one of my favourite crafters, her style and personality (very ladylike!) are a joy!


You can Find online here:


Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Youtube

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Free Download Papers

So excited to share this!


I have designed six patterned papers for Papercrafter magazine for free downloads. Just click on any of the photos or here for the direct link.


In this months Papercrafter magazine  I also have an article which gives you a few ideas on how to use them!


And you can also download them in the cooler tones!

I hope you like them and if you make any projects, please share the link in the comments box or on my Facebook page.


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