Saturday, 3 October 2015

Big Shot Starter Kit | Cards

Just a quick card I made back in 2012 using the Big Shot Starter kit. I love this one!

I used an old map of Paris to die cut the different hearts (larger Framelit die), then I stamped the message using one of my Sentiment stamp and die cut with the smaller label Framelit.

The rectangled were die cut using the Sizzix Framelits Die Set 10PK - Rectangles #2 658610.

I am so happy the Starter kit is back!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Shari Carroll

The professional today is someone who I have admired  since I discovered Hero Arts back in early 2003, Shari Carroll. An incredibly talented designer and author, I cant express how happy and honoured I am to feature her today in this Conversations.

Lets hear from Shari.

When and how did you start working in the craft industry? 
My friend was colouring cards at home as a part time job and I was looking for some type of work to do at home so I inquired. On my due date with my second boy Scooter, I started working for Hero Arts. This was 1989.  

Was it full time? Part time? 
I worked about 15 to 20 hours a week to start off.  

What type of job did you have at first? Did you started as a creative straight away? 
I coloured sets of cards for store display boards. We used Marvy markers on glossy cardstock back in those days. Not much else to work with really, the industry was very young at that point. Shortly after, I went out to stores and demonstrated new stamps and heat embossing. Eventually I started doing catalog sample work.  

How do you describe your job nowadays? 
In 2013, after 24 years, I left Hero Arts to go work for Simon Says Stamp where I design stamps, dies, stencils, inks and bring new product to the market under the Simon Says Stamp brand name. I also photograph new releases and create the graphics which are used for the web and social media. In the studio, I create videos and samples for blog posts. The best part of my job is having such diverse product at my fingertips to use on my projects. 

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite? 
My favourite is the process involved in having a concept stamp set idea, designing it, seeing it go through the process of production, finally when it is released, to see consumers use them on their cards!  

Your proudest moment and achievement in this industry? 
My development of the Mid-Tone inks for Hero Arts was definitely my proudest moment.  The way things had worked was, ink companies had colors to chose from. I pushed them to make custom colors, this was new and exciting! I feel it changed the way we looked at colors and choices. It started an ink craze.  

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face working in this industry? 
Good question! I am so incredibly blessed to be able to work in this field. For me, it's the best job ever! I work doing my hobby! I am deadline driven and work well under pressure. I am the type to stay up into the late hours of the night to get the job done on time. I've worked from home all these years and the biggest challenge for me is disciplining myself and managing my time.  

What do you think is more important to succeed in this industry: creative talent, hard work or luck? 
My route to success was definitely hard work. I remained behind the scenes for many years, just doing what I do, not looking for fame or fortune. For those looking to break into the industry, it's all about exposure. Get yourself and name out there! Social media is one of the best tools to use. 
If you could go back in time, what would you do differently career wise? 
I'm rather shy and didn't do much to promote myself, I could have done better at that. Also, I would probably return to school for computer courses. I am self taught in Adobe Illustrator which is what I use for design work.

What is your favorite project type to make? 
I love multi medium and messy projects on canvas. My signature style is layering and that's exactly what I love doing. Layering anything!

What is your favourite color in general? And to make projects with? 
My favourite color right now are shades of Aqua.  My base color is grey... I love GREY! I used to love natural tones of greens and browns. 

What kind of technique, project and product you are loving right now? 
I'm loving a couple tools right now especially the Fuse tool to make shaker cards and pockets. Also the Minc machine for foiling. 

Would you like to do something differently style, technique, project wise? 
I'm a terrible blogger and YouTuber! I would like to improve those. I would like to be more efficient in the studio and create more projects especially multi medium canvases. 
I am looking at remodelling the studio with better organisation which would help tremendously. 

Where do you go for inspiration? 
I look through Pinterest. I like looking at photography, colours, and fabric textiles.

And finally, What is next for you? Any art or craft dreams to be explored? 
I am so happy where I'm at. I love doing what I do and feel accomplished.  

You can find Shari here: 

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros: Marion Emberson

Today is turn to ask the Craft questions to another of my dear friends: Marion Emberson.

 When and how did you start in the craft industry? 
I officially started 12 years ago with the opening of my shop Sugar and Spice Crafts, although I'd been making for many years.
Was it full time? Part time? 
I went straight into full time in to running the shop.
What type of job did you have at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
As soon as the shop was up and running, I started teaching classes.
How do you describe your job nowadays?
Just recently - June 2015- I closed the shop to concentrate on other opportunities. I consult and design for a couple of craft companies.

Clear stamps designs by Marion for Personal Impressions.

What would you do differently?  
I wouldn't change a thing as the experience I gained from running the shop has led me to hold these current positions.

Be true to yourself and don't try to do anything that isn't you.
Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
The hardest thing is keeping on top of all the products and trends, as they are forever changing, although if you hang in there, they come round again :) 
Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
I absolutely love teaching, I love sharing and learning from the students, we all have so many different ideas from the same product.

 Your proudest moment and achievement?
A was a guest presenter on QVC UK for two years, and although a little bit stressful, I loved it.
 What is your favourite project type (mini albums, cards, layouts, home decor...) and colour? 
Well colour has to be …..Teal….and anyone who knows me reading this would expect no less ! 
I really do love Pocket Scrapbooking, Card Making, Mini Albums, Home Decor, Scrapbooking - I've probably listed them all, it depends on the product as to the project, if that makes sense.

Where you go for inspiration?
Pinterest although I've kept all of my US PaperCraft and Creating Keepsakes mags and like to have a flick through and once a seed is sown…well…
What is next for you?
I've been teaching here and in the US to both consumers and retailers but this year I'm actually teaching at 4 stores in the US, I'm really looking forward to that. Hopefully I'll be able to do more of that, if they'll have me back !

 And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions?
You're asking a 51 year old menopausal woman, I can't remember yesterday, but I do know it feels like I've known you for many years, in fact, yes, I have known you for many years, but I have no idea where we met, probably a trade show. You're an inspiration to me and I bow down to you. I think I got my clean and simple style from you….So thank you for that :) 

You can find Marion here:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Big Shot Starter kit | Back on | Available now

Good news, the standard Big Shot Starter Kit is back!
All the dies and the embossing folder are the same designs, but the two Sizzlits including the intricate butterfly have been transformed in to Thinlits and Framelits so it will be easier to use.

This is one of the cards that I made originally for the kit.
I cant wait to play again with the Big Shot Starter Kit.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Elina Strömberg

Today we go North to ask Elina Stromberg the Craft Questions. I met Elina last year and is another of those crafters that are really passionate about what they do. I really enjoy her work and her company!
Elina, when and how did you start in the industry?
I've been making different kinds of crafts as long as I can remember: Paper crafting, card making, drawing, knitting, crocheting, sewing, weaving, and many things more. I got to know scrapbooking in 2009, which got me more involved in paper crafts: I opened my blog, attended paper crafting and mixed media classes, and learned to use a larger variety of tools and techniques. Workshops and crops also introduced me to a growing group of paper craft in hobbyists, industry influencers, teachers and designers both locally and internationally.
I've been a member in several design teams since 2010: some of those teams have been inspiration/challenge blogs, some of them promoted a retail business, and in some teams I have supported an industry manufacturer. To some design teams I have applied myself, and some have contacted me directly with a cooperation proposal.

Was it full time? Part time?
Crafting and designing has never been a full-time work for me. My academic background is in business and IT, and work full time as IT manager.

What type of job at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
How do you describe your job nowadays?
I still consider designing and creating my hobby, even if the related tasks do require a lot of time to be allocated. My day job ensures me financial stability, and even if I don't have as much time for crafting as I would like to have, I'm glad that there's no true financial pressure related to my creative work.

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name
your major challenges you face?
There are thousands and thousands of talented people in the industry, and there's a lot of competition. In addition, a successful creator/designer needs to be a true multi-talent: Not just a designer of projects that really stand out, but also a photographer, photo editor, writer, web designer, marketer, social media master, ... Despite of the value the design team is bringing only a few companies are paying for the services of their design teams. This is a generally accepted thing in the industry which makes it even more difficult for a part time crafter to become a full time professional creator.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
Together with my colleague I have already twice organised an international crafting / mixed media event in Finland. Our weekend long 'Creative Journey' event was sold out on both times, and the feedback from the event participants has been heartwarming positive.

Your proudest moment and achievement?
There have been times when I've been teaching scrapbooking or mixed media to people who had no prior experience in the subject. However, receiving enthusiastic feedback from those people after the class is always very encouraging; if someone has got a kick off to a new hobby from my class, that's something I consider an important achievement.
Being part of the core editor's team for a Finnish paper crafting magazine was really great, too. There were many people that thought our idea of a paper crafting print magazine was too ambitious. But that pushed us to really give our best, and seeing our first magazine in the local news stand was a memorable moment!

What is your favourite project type (mini albums, cards, layouts, home
decor...) and colour?
Scrapbooking and cards. I cannot pick just one favourite colour, as I like many bright colours a lot: Yellow, orange, gold, green, chocolate brown, ...

Where you go for inspiration?
Inspiration can be found everywhere i.e. in home decór magazines, blogs, DIY books etc. However, I think that the easiest way to find lot of inspiration is Pinterest.

What is next for you: (both what you are doing next and what you Would
like to do next)
I will continue my work in my current design teams, and hopefully many crafters will be inspired by my projects. I do have dreams and plans that hopefully someday will get real: Designing my own series of stamps and/or patterned papers would be a dream come true!

And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad
I had been following your work pretty closely for some time, and I was so very happy when I finally got the opportunity to meet you face-to-face at Sizzix blogger's meeting a year ago. You are such a wonderful, warm hearted, lively, inspiring, and energetic person!
Paula's version: 
I remember seeing Elina's projects on the Sizzix blog for the first time and thinking wow, she is clever! And then i got to meet her in person and immidiately really liked her. Elina is a very friendly and grounded person, one that I could spend hours and hours cahtting and photographing!

You can find Elina Strömberg online here:

To read previous Craft Conversations, click here.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Taller | Lady Mua (Palma, Mallorca) 26 de Setiembre

Vuelvo a dar un taller en Lady Mua Palma (Mallorca) 26 de Setiembre a las 10:00!

Haremos uno de estos calendario de cumpleaños. 

Crearemos un calendario de cumpleaños, se trata de un PhotoDisplay en que cada miembro de la familia y amigo tiene una página distinta. Estas páginas están colocadas por orden de cumpleaños (los de enero primero en orden, luego los de febrero...).
Así cumple funciones de marco de fotos pero también te recuerda quién es el siguiente que va a cumplir años. Además, si se saca del marco es un mini álbum.
Un proyecto que está a mitad camino entre un mini album y HomeDecor cargado de técnicas de troquelar. Ademas será una oportunidad para usar la nueva Big Shot Plus y algunos de su troqueles de gran formato. 

En cada página del calendario se utiliza una técnica distinta y se añadirán las fotos que tu traigas.

recomiendo traer las fotos, 8 x 5 cm  (unas 10-15 mas o menos). Cada una retrato de una persona, horizontales y verticales (o paisaje y retrato). Las mías son en blanco y negro.

Para agilizar el curso del taller se recomienda que las alumnas traigan las siguientes herramientas:
  • Tijeras
  • Cutter
  • Base de Corte
  • Regla
  • Lápiz
  • Goma
  • Adesivos preferidos (liquido y celo de doble cara siempre van bien)

Para más información o para inscribirse escribe un e-mail a o pasa por la tienda.

Que ganas tengo!
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