Saturday, 31 October 2015

Big Shot Starter it 2013 Card Butterfly



Another from the archives. I made this card in 2012 using the Big Shot Starter kit. Its busy but still I like it!


I am so happy the Starter kit is back! Makes me super happy to know that the dies and embossing folder that I designed are still liked!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Lara Watson

Today I have one very exciting conversation: Lara Watson, the editor of Mollie Makes.
When and how did you start in the magazine business?
I graduated with an English degree and a post-grad in magazine journalism and my first job was coordinating editorial on a trio of little local food magazines. I worked there for over 3 years before moving on to a new craft mag at Future Publishing called You Can Craft. I was production editor there – which in this case meant I was in charge of the words, scheduling, news sourcing and online work. 
It closed after a year and I worked on a family history title for a little while before hearing colleagues chat about a new launch in the works called Mollie Makes. I offered to write for them in a freelance capacity and was asked to join the team as Creative Editor, where I compiled news pages and looked after social media. My Deputy Editor and Editor moved on to other projects in quite quick succession so I climbed the ladder pretty quickly, which is unusual! 
You are currently the Mollie Makes editor, What responsibilities do you have as such? 
It’s my job to lead and manage the editorial team, plan content, watch trends and the industry. I liaise with other internal departments such as marketing and advertising, make sure everyone gets paid and has the right contract. I commission, advise, proof pages, sign things off and keep an eye on or organise all brand extension work such as our events, our book series and more. I do lots of networking!

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite? 
There’s nothing I enjoy more than putting creative people in touch with each other and seeing how ideas can get better and better with collaboration and support. Our Mollie Makes Handmade Awards day is an annual highlight of this job for me. I’m also always striving for intelligent editorial and love the lifestyle element we have in Mollie Makes, where we can develop features and spotlight great writing, illustration and creative talent, not just step-by-step craft projects.

Your proudest moment and achievement? 
Being shortlisted for Editor of the Year at the PPA New Talent Awards and Rising Star at the British Media Awards in 2014.

Is it hard to work full/part time in the magazine industry? Can you name your major challenges you face working in the craft magazine world? 
The biggest challenge is resource and time. There’s so much we want to do on our small team but there simply isn’t room for everything when you’re filling at least 108 pages from scratch every 20 days, running a world-class social media brand and writing a blog. And the rest! Editors these days have to be multi-skilled and willing to turn their hands to everything: marketing, writing, styling, event organising, presenting, video-making and shop-curating... The list goes on with each new development in our changing media environment. What was traditionally a print-based job is very different now.

What do you think is more important to succeed in this craft industry: creative talent, hard work or luck? 
Truthfully it’s a bit of everything. I'd say talent is the most important – it’s how you first get noticed. Luck plays a part as so much of this industry can come down to whether you’re in the right place at the right time, connecting with the right people. And it’s never been easier to reach out to the people that make decisions now we have Twitter etc! Hard work keeps you relevant and fresh, and means you’re likely to be invited back. 


If you could go back in time, what would you do differently career wise? 
I don’t believe in regrets. Every job I’ve had has pushed me on in a positive way depending on what I needed at the time. Whenever I've ended up not enjoying a role, it’s taught me a good lesson about myself. It’s meant I’ve looked around for the next, better thing. Joining Mollie came at a time when I really wanted to focus on my career so I was able to throw myself in completely. At any other time it may have been overwhelming! I think you get to know what kind of work suits you over the years.
What do you look for in submissions for Mollie Makes? 
Really I’m looking for something a bit different with a level of neatness, professionalism and consideration. A slightly different or unusual angle will always make me sit up and take another look. I like to see that people who pitch to me have read our magazine and understand our aesthetic. Good photography and presentation is increasingly important. 
Any top tips when working with craft magazines?
It’s a collaboration rather than a transaction. Working together, reading a brief thoroughly and discussing and sharing ideas is key. Keep to your deadlines (or ask for an extension if you need one!) and be friendly.


What is your favourite type of project to feature in Mollie Makes? 
I’m a big crochet fan but my first creative love is papercraft so a fresh idea with pretty papers and washi tape is right up my street! I have a weak spot for stationery. Good photography and styling makes me very happy! Our art editor, Helena Tracey, is a star.    
What do you think it appeals more to the Mollie Makes crowd: quick and easy; useful or really pretty projects?
We have such a wide range of readers that I try to include something for everyone. We like to always include a more time-consuming project for people who like to have a work-in-progress on the go at all times. Quick and easy is always a winner – everyone loves that feeling of completing something in an afternoon! Again, a mixture of decorative and useful is important for any craft magazine. Let’s say Mollie readers aren’t adverse to something as frivolous and fun as a crochet apple cosy.
What is your favourite colour in general? And to feature projects for the magazine?
I love mustard yellow, bright cerise red, duck egg blue and neutrals paired with neon yellow. Eclectic! To wear, I prefer black, navy, beige, copper or metallics with a little hint of pattern at the moment.
As a crafter yourself, what is your style, technique, project wise?
My main projects are crochet granny square blankets, scrapbooks and greetings cards. I like having a crochet blanket on the go all the time to give as a gift. I travel so much that it’s handy to carry around with me on the tube etc.  
 

Where do you go for inspiration? 
Instagram and Pinterest of course! I follow a lot of great craft companies on Facebook too and am always screen grabbing interesting stories or images. Otherwise, it’s just watching people, having a look in interiors and fashion shops, flicking through magazines. I like noticing what people are pinning, wearing and photographing. I love a good film, art exhibition or museum.

And finally, What is next for you? Any art or craft dreams to be explored? 
We’re working on our latest special – a colouring-in book with a Mollie twist, which is very exciting. We’re also looking at e-commerce and the wider brand. I'd like to do more video, events and classes.

Thank you so much Lara! 

You can find Lara  here: 




Thursday, 22 October 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Katie Skilton

Today I have the Craft Conversation with a new friend of mine, Katie Skilton. You may have seen her on Hochanda recently as well as other Craft TVs.

When and how did you start in the industry?
I have been paper crafting for 15 years.  It started when my eldest daughter Annabelle was born and I wanted a way to document her life.  I came across scrapbooking, although back then it was very basic.   
What type of job at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
In 2012 I gave up my full time job as a sales and marketing manager in the orthopaedic industry as it was just too much after I had my son Jude.  I originally planned to make a few cards to sell at fairs and through friends and family.  I started a blog and this is when I found out about design teams.  I joined a couple and from there it just took off.   
I was asked by a company to do some paid work which I jumped at.  From there I contacted my first magazine Cardmaking & Papercrafts who offered me some design work.  
 Was it full time? Part time? 
It started off as a part time job but I found that I loved this type of work and put a lot of time and effort into contacting editors and companies.  My aim was to become full time by the time both my youngest boys were at school.  This happened much sooner and I now work pretty much full time, although the hours can be spread out to suit me and my family. 
How do you describe your job nowadays?
Nowadays I do a real variety of work from magazine commissions to designing projects to go on the front of packaging.  If there is one thing I love about this job is the versatility.


Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
It is very hard to work full time in the industry, mainly because being a freelance designer the work can come and go.  Often I can have a quiet couple of weeks and then a really busy few weeks where I am working night and day to fit it all in.  This is my biggest fear, as a freelance designer it has taken a huge amount of work to build up my business and this is something that I have to really focus on as without the hard work and networking with companies and people I would lose a lot of work very quickly.  I think one of the biggest challenges I face is not having a design background.  I am self taught but if I could do it all again I would have concentrated on design when I left school.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
I really like working at the craft shows around the country and sometimes further afield.  It is lovely to get out and meet all the crafters that visit these shows.  I get a real sense of achievement when I teach someone new to crafting a new technique and show them the best way to get the most of a product.  The TV work is something I never thought I would be doing but I actually really enjoy being in front of the camera!
Your proudest moment and achievement?
I have been nominated twice in 2014 and 2015 for British Card Designer Of The Year.  This was a major achievement for me as only being in the industry for a short period of time I was amazed to be up there with some really talented designers.
 


What is your favourite project type (mini albums, cards, layouts, home decor...) and colour?
I love all paper crafting projects and it is hard to name a favourite but I do still have a real love for cardmaking.  It is like miniature pieces of art.  I also love home decor and the way you can make something from nothing.  Although I started with scrapbooking I find this the hardest projects these days.  I have to really think about the design and it doesn’t come as naturally to me as other paper crafts, although I would love to do more of it and as they say practise makes perfect! 
I love colours and matching the right colours are so important when designing.  I like bright, fresh colours but to me white is very important as I love white space on projects.  I feel this really brings out the colours in the project.

Where you go for inspiration?
I spend so much time on Pinterest! I get lost in all of the wonderful projects I see.  But inspiration comes from everywhere.  I live in a small fishing town and often get inspired by the seaside theme with boats and nautical themes.  I also like taking ideas from fabrics and clothing I see and add those ideas into papercraft projects.

What is next for you?
I like to think I am always moving forward.  Over the past couple of months I have taken a step back to focus on family but I have a few plans for the upcoming months.  I am hoping to make some changes to my existing website and add some new features.  I am hoping to continue working with some of the fabulous companies I have been working with over the past few years and also looking to expand to new companies with new ideas.  Eventually I would like to put my product ideas into practise but that will be a could of years off.

And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions?
I knew of Paula Pascual for a while before I met you and always found your work very inspiring so when we first met I was really excited.  We first met at Stitches in Birmingham in 2014 but it wasn’t until 2015 that we got to work together at Paperworld and in Glasgow.  I can honestly say I have learnt so much from you from product information to great ways to teach. It has been a real pleasure to get to know you better.

You can find Katie here:

Monday, 19 October 2015

Craft Asylum | Making quick and easy cards


Today on the Craft Asylum blog I share this quick and easy cards, perfect when you have to make many in a short amount of time.

Click here or on the photo to read more about it.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Sara Naumann

Today is the turn for one of the most gorgeous crafters I have ever met: Sara Naumann. A really talented, hardworking and not to mention super sweet designer!


When and how did you start in the craft industry?
I started in the craft industry right after graduating from university. I answered an ad for a receptionist at a publishing company in Oregon called Hot Off The Press (HOTP). My degree is in English literature; at the time, HOTP was a craft book publisher and I thought this would be a stepping stone into the world of book publishing.
 Was it full time? Part time?
I began full-time answering the phones and doing administrative work, then because the company was so small—just 25 people—I got pulled to help out in various departments. Through that, I realized I would not be happy with the tedious work of editing as I’d originally thought, but that I loved the excitement of marketing. I was lucky to discover this at the beginning of my career!

What type of job did you have at first? Did you start as a creative straight away?
Answering the phone (this was—ahem—when people used to phone companies to place an order or ask a question!), then admin work for salespeople, the marketing manager, even packing up orders. Super glamorous! After a few months, I was asked to attend an industry trade show in Chicago and help work in the booth. I couldn’t believe it…traveling to an exciting city like Chicago for work felt like big time!   
Shortly after I started, HOTP got in on the scrapbooking boom and changed from being a craft book publisher to being a scrapbook paper manufacturer. It grew at an amazing rate, basically doubling the year that scrapbooking really took off in the US. I was fortunate to be in on the ground floor of that and as the company grew, I took on more and different jobs and positions, including product design with sarabooks™, sarabinders™ and sarapapers™. When I left, 15 years later, it was as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

How do you describe your job nowadays?
I’m a freelance designer for the craft industry—as such, I’m a columnist in US and UK magazines, I design stamps for PaperArtsy, I host a weekly You Tube show, demonstrate on craft TV and write books for Search Press.

Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
I’m really lucky to say that I love it all—and love the variation. I suppose if I only did one thing, it might get repetitive after awhile. Teaching in person and demonstrating on television is amazing and really fills me up—but it can also take a lot of energy, so I’m lucky to have the chance to refuel with magazine articles and book projects that let me squirrel away in my studio and get into my zone. 
Your proudest moment and achievement in this industry?
Striking out on my own after working for HOTP for 15 years. My husband got a job in the Netherlands, so we moved from Oregon to Amsterdam and I continued to work remotely for HOTP for a couple of years until I realised we weren’t planning to got back to the US any time soon. The US economy hit the wall at about the same time, and I realized I needed a change from the pressure of sales and business travel. I decided to take a break, then began my own business as a freelance designer.
Shortly after, I became pregnant with my daughter and realized I was going to shift everything around in terms of work hours, projects and where I put my energy. Looking back, I can see that I was much braver than I felt at the time—that was an unsettling period and I’m proud that I stuck with it even when it felt so, so hard sometimes.

 

Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face working in this industry?
There are challenges like with any other industry. To be a freelance designer, you’ve got to hustle for every job—even after 20+ years in the industry, it’s rare that jobs simply fall in my lap. I send a lot of proposals, go to a lot of trade shows and networking events and have a lot of meetings in order to get work. Relationships take a long time to build up and often, an opportunity comes along years after an initial meeting!
And as a freelancer, you need to be on top of your business finances and goals. This is not the most fun part of the job but it’s so important to make sure that you’re earning what you’re worth, and spending your money and your time in the most effective way possible.

What do you think is more important to succeed in this industry: creative talent, hard work or luck?
Oh dear, I think I have to say it’s that magic combination of all three—plus a good reputation, strong ethics and a dash of humor! And you’ve got to have patience…it can take a long time to develop a career, and you must be persistent.
 One more thing: As a designer, teacher, writer…you need this unique combination of passion and pride in your work, along with a certain amount of distance and objectivity. Not everyone will love what you do, and if you work for a company, they may ask you to change some things or design to certain specifications.
  


If you could go back in time, what would you do differently career wise?
I’m sure there are a zillion things I could or should have done differently but I really believe that nothing is wasted. I did spend a lot of time on projects or proposals that never took off or never earned much money, but the skills I picked up or the lessons I learned from each experience added another layer to my career.  

Also, what would you like to do differently style, technique, project wise?
After many years of a vintage, shabby chic look, I’m moving more and more into clean lines and contemporary colours and lines. It’s actually quite fun to stand back and see how one’s personal style can evolve.

What is your favourite project type to make?
Anything with paper! Cards, little books, journals, you name it. And I’m a long-time jewelry-maker, too…right now, I’m writing a book on resin jewelry that includes paper, so this combination is making me really happy!

What is your favourite color in general? And to make projects with? 
My favorite color is one that PaperArtsy has produced so perfectly as a Fresco Finish paint: Mermaid. There’s something about it that instantly makes me happy. I like to use this color on my projects too—in fact, I sometimes have to force myself to try different colors that I find harder to work with, like purple. Other than that, I love incorporating yellow into the mix, since it tends to either add a punch of color, or gives a gentle glow, depending on the shade and application.


Where do you go for inspiration?
Sometimes it’s a matter of getting out of the studio and into real life. Clothing store displays, IKEA catalogs, going on a photo walk, traveling, music videos…they all give me a new perspective and get my brain going in a different way. I also journal every morning, and sometimes my writing will lead me to try new things as I think about projects I’m working on and wonder what might happen if I did X, Y or Z.
The worst thing for inspiration? Comparison will always get me down!

What is next for you? Any art or craft dreams to be explored?
My art and craft to-explore list is about a million miles long! The front-runner at the moment is video classes and tutorials. I’m doing more and more video work instead of traditional in-person teaching, and that’s been a lot of fun and very fulfilling!


And finally, Do you remember when we first met? Any good/bad impressions?
and how important it is to meet people and network and keep craft friendships.

The first time was when you worked on creating project samples for Dawn Bibby’s show on QVC. I think we met in the hustle of the craft prep room in London—that room was always so packed with craft supplies and projects in process and it seemed so fun and energetic. But there was also the time pressure of prepping for a live show, so we didn’t get a chance to talk much because you were working and I was nervous about going on live TV!
Then later we both went to Portugal for one of Dawn’s retreats. This was also a lot of work, but there was an evening party at the hotel—you sailed across the floor in the most amazing flamenco dance and everyone was in awe! 
I also remember wanting to break out my high school Spanish with you but then realized your English is perfect and that I was probably better off not embarrassing myself.  
Paula's version:
I remember seeing Sara at QVC and being so gobsmacked at how beautiful she is. Then I got to meet her over the years, and Sara is just as beautiful inside as she is on the outside!

You can find Sara here:

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Sizzix | Win a Big Shot Starter Kit


The new Big Shot Starter Kit has been released, now you have the chance to WIN one of your very own on the Sizzix website!

This kit is perfect for all experienced makers and those starting out in the creative world as it suits all abilities and has an abundance of project possibilities!
I love it but then I am biased as I designed the dies and embossing folder!


The Big Shot is allows you to use the Bigz steel blade dies which cut a variety of materials from paper, card, fabric, felt, cork (just to name a few) and the Starter kit comes with a selection of Dies, Embossing folder and a 5.5” x 6” paper!

Click here or on the photos for the link.

Closing date: Friday 6th November 2015 at 10am GMT. Good luck!


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Craft Conversations with the Pros | Manoli Navarro "Picatua"


Today we go back to Spain, this time to Galicia (North West of Spain) to get to know a bit better one of the best known paper crafters in my native country. Her name Manoli Navarro though she is better known as Manoli Picatua.


Manoli, when and how did you start in the craft industry? 

I started paper crafting when we moved to Galicia in 2004, I started with the digital side, I used to print out the patterned papers to make cards and then scrapbooked digitally.
We had to changed very dramatically when our youngest daughter was born, as she was born prematurely and with a lot of health problems. At the time, I was working in the marketing and advertising world in Spain's capital Madrid. Suddenly I was in a small city in the middle of inland Galicia without being able to work outside the home as I needed to care for my little one. I needed to distract my mind and give an outlet to all the emotions that I experienced and scrapbooking was that outlet. It wasn't till 2005 that I did not make a layout in paper.


Was it full time? Part time?
From 2006 was a full time job.

What type of job did you have at first? Did you started as a creative straight away?
I started selling cards to a group of Germans expats living in Torrevieja (Alicante, Spain). I would send the cards by postal mail and my mum would sell them to them every week.
I soon started to have regular clients, but soon they started to be more demanding and asked for personalised cards. That was the reason I created my blog.
In october 2006 I found the first online Spanish Scrapbooking forum, a forum created by a retail shop in Barcelona. After that, I was asked to do their online shop even if I was 1000km (621 miles) away! As well as teach online workshops and work with their magazine. I was already teaching in Galicia (since 2007) and in 2008 I taught for the first time in Creativa Barcelona (the most stablished paper crafting show in Spain).

How do you describe your job nowadays?
I work in something that I am passionate about, I can see myself working in anything else. It is a hard job because you need to be do many things at once, but I love what I do and I believe in it.

What would you do differently? 
 Its a difficult question, because I always say that the experiences are what help you to get to where you are now and maybe, if I had not gone through all that I have gone through professionally, I would not be who I am in the world of scrapbooking.
Perhaps I would have become independent sooner, by that i mean to become a freelancer and not to be so much dependent of the shops.
Of my projects, I would not make anything different. For me, albums, altered art, layouts have a reason of being, independently of the colour or papers I used. My current style is the evolution of everything that I have been trying in my journey. I don't like too much my colourful phase. 



Out of everything you do and have done, what is your favourite?
Teaching in person. I have taught workshops in all sorts, even online live every week every friday for 3 years. I teach online through PDFs and make tutorials for Design Teams, but what you can feel in a workshop in person its not describable. The nerves because of the worry if you have forgotten something, the faces full of excitement of the students when they take home the made up project, the hugs and their affection... You can't tell that, you have to experience it.
Whats your proudest moment and achievement?
The proudest moment was this year when i was invited to teach at Chocolate Quente XL in Oporto at an international event with four big artists of the crap world like Shimelle or Diane Schultz dueña de Graphic 45, it was an honour to have them as colleagues.
However, if there is something that I can be proud of is of the largest event that happens in Galicia, of which I am the founder and it's already on its 5th edition. It is an event where it doesnt matter whether you are shop, teacher or scrapbooker, that day everyone is sitting down just the same as colleagues. They close their shops so that they can come to the event without any competition or bad atmosphere.



Is it hard to work full/part time in the craft industry? Can you name your major challenges you face?
Yes, its very difficult. I am going to very honest here as we are between friends! 
In Spain there a very few professionals, and by professional I mean people who are registered sole trader and pay their taxes as such. When you offer to teach a workshop at a shop, the shops rarely ask you to be one, so that everyone can teach.
Another problem is the crisis, before shops and teachers fought in the same path, now I suppose due to the fact that shops have had their sales drop, little by little the shops themselves become our competitors because they bring down the prices of workshops to a point where its impossible to compete.
My company is small family business. My husband and I work in the business, as I cant just teach, I am a crafter that sells what I do, specially cards for events. Again, the crisis has made that because of necessity, people that are not professionals sell stuff at ridiculous low prices for weddings and other events, as they don't pay taxes and the client chooses the cheapest.
The other great issue is to be updating daily in social media. If you are creating a project for a Design Team, for an online shop, to teach at a workshop and shows, when do you publicise it? When do you update the blog? When do you answer and engage with your followers?
A small business like mine cant afford a community manager or a social media manager. Because of that you are always trying to balance timing so that you don't take away time with the family, so you end up sacrificing sleep. 
I could go on, but I am going to leave it here... Because after all, it is worth it.


What do you think is more important to make it in this industry: creative talent, hard work or luck?
Hardwork of course. One can have a lot of talent and be very creative, but if you want to survive in this industry you wont do it if you dont put all your efforts and persist. Through all these years, I have seen how other artists have grown because of their creative talent and marketing skills, bit the difficult bit is not to go up but maintaining yourself.

What would you like to see changing in the craft industry?

I would love it if, like the crafters guild, there was a legislation or something that regulated prices and working conditions. That also protected us professionals from plagiarism, professional abuse and intrusiveness. An association of sorts.
In Spain above all else there is a great ignorance of what it is a scrapbooking professional, because of that when you are negotiating prices and workshops there are concepts that not even shops understand, like why it is compulsory to pay a compensation fee for cancelling an event. As a professional, you have done the budget, booked a date and then you find out only three days before hand that the shop cancels the workshop because its not as full as they expected. You as a professional have lost a full day of physical work, but maybe it was a full week of real work preparing kits and the project. The brands, companies and shops forget that you are not only working the day that you have been hired to do the workshop, but meanwhile you have worked a full week that no one is paying directly for.  
This is what i would like to highlight, because when you give a fee for the workshops they need to start to think that you are budgeting for the time they are not seeing.



What is your favourite project type?
Mini albums and cards. 

What is your favourite colour in general? And to make projects with? (Not always the same!) 
I like to start my work with a white background, independently of the paper I am going to use. I love pastel colours, mint, pink and ivory almost always are in my work. However, y favourite colour in my daily life is blue, any variation of it but blue!
Where you go for inspiration?
I go to interior design magazines, I see a table decorated and I see the composition of cards! I only turn on the computer two hours a day, from 6 till 8 in the morning. From that time, I take 30mins to Pinterest to look for combinations of colours above all else. I follow from my blog great cardmaking artists that inspire me greatly. And when all else fails i go to walk by the 
Cañones del Cil in the Ribeira Sacra, very close to my home.

What is next for you?
I have the intention of being more visual in my Youtube channel this season. I am also going to focus more on online teaching although I do think this year I will have to travel much more than last.
I have several working proposals of which i cant talk now that I think they are going to help me internationally. I have two dreams in particular that I have been working in for a few years but for the time being I will only talk about one of them: to become part of the Design Team of Graphic 45, maybe in 2016? The other dream, I would like it to keep it to myself.

Thnak you so much Manoli, I hope those dreams become reality! (Sitges March 2015.)


You can find Manoli online here:

Conversaciones con los profesionales del scrap | Manoli Navarro "Picatua"


Hoy volvemos a España, esta vez a Galicia para conocer un poco mas a Manoli Navarro, o Manoli Picatua como es conocida en el mundo del scrap. Manoli es una gran profesional!



¿Cuándo y cómo empezaste en el mundo del scrap?
Empecé al mudarnos a Galicia en el 2004 pero en el digital, usaba los patrones digitales para imprimirme el papel para hacer tarjetas, pero los layouts los hacía digitales.
Cambiamos de vida muy drásticamente al nacer nuestra hija pequeña, nació muy prematura y con muchos problemas de salud.  Yo trabajaba en el mundo del Marketing y la publicidad en Madrid y de pronto estaba en una pequeña ciudad del interior de Galicia y sin poder trabajar fuera de casa al cuidar de la pequeña. Necesitaba distraer mi mente y dar salida a todas las emociones vividas y el scrap era una válvula de escape. Hasta el 2005 no hice mi primera página en papel.


¿Has trabajado a tiempo completo en el mundo del scrap?
Sí, desde el 2006.

¿Qué tipo de trabajo empezaste? Empezaste como creativo directamente?
Empecé vendiendo tarjetería a una colonia de Alemanes que vivía en Torrevieja, Alicante. Yo le mandaba por correo las tarjetas a mi madre y ella se las vendía a ellos todas las semanas.
Empecé a tener clientes fijos, pero empezaban a ser más exigentes y a pedir tarjetas más personalizadas, por eso cree mi blog.
Para octubre del 2006 encontré el primer foro en España de scrap de una tienda de Barcelona. Al poco tiempo me contrataron para llevar su tienda online a 1000km de distancia! Además de impartir talleres en línea y colaborar en su revista. Ya impartía talleres en Galicia desde el 2007 y en el 2008 impartí por primera vez talleres en la feria de Creativa Barcelona.

¿Cómo describes tu trabajo a día de hoy? (Por trabajo me refiero a como defines tu profesión)
Trabajo en algo que me apasiona, no me veo trabajando en otra cosa. Es una profesión dura porque necesitas ser multi función, pero me encanta lo que hago y creo en ello.
I work in something that I am passionate about, I can see myself working in anything else. It is a hard job because you need to be do many things at once, but I love what I do and I believe in it.

¿ Si pudieras volver a cualquier momento de tu carrera profesional en el mundo del scrap, que harías diferente?
Es una pregunta difícil, porque yo siempre digo que las vivencias son las que te ayudan a llegar a donde estás ahora y a lo mejor si no hubiera vivido profesionalmente todo lo que viví no sería quien soy en el mundo del scrap.
Quizá me hubiera atrevido a independizarme antes, me refiero a hacerme autónoma antes y no depender tanto de las tiendas.


¿ Que harías diferente en cuanto a estilo, tipo de proyectos y demás?
El estilo que tengo ahora es la evolución de todo lo que has ido probando por el camino.
Pero mi época colorista no me gusta demasiado.
Sobre proyectos no haría nada diferente, para mí los álbumes, alterados, o páginas de scrap tienen un porqué , independientemente del color o los papeles que se use.
De todo lo que has hecho cual es tu faceta favorita?
La formación presencial. He impartido talleres de todas las maneras, hasta en vivo online semana tras semana todos los viernes durante 3 años. Doy formación online por pdf desde mi blog y hago tutos para DT, pero lo que se siente en un taller presencial no se puede describir, los nervios por si se te olvida algo, la cara de ilusión de las alumnas cuando se llevan su proyecto en las manos, sus abrazos y su cariño…Eso no se puede contar, eso se vive.
¿Cuál es el momento del que te sientes más orgullosa de tu carrera en el mundo del scrap?
Ese momento ha sido este año, cuando se me invitó a impartir un taller en Chocolate Quente XL en Oporto en un evento internacional junto con 4 grandes artistas del mundo del scrap como Shimelle o Diane Schultz dueña de Graphic 45, fue un honor tenerles de compañeros.
Pero si de algo puedo estar orgullosa es del evento más grande que hay en Galicia del que yo soy la fundadora y que ya cuenta con su 5ª edición. Un evento en el que da igual si eres tienda, tallerista o scrapera todos ese día están sentados haciendo scrap cómo compañeros. Cerrando sus tiendas para poder asistir y disfrutar del evento sin competencias y sin malos rollos.

¿ Es difícil ser un profesional en el mundo del scrap? ¿ Puedes contar cuales son tus mayores desafíos y/o dificultades?
Sí, es muy difícil. Aquí te voy a ser muy sincera pues estamos entre amigos!
En España muy pocos somos profesionales, con profesionales me refiero a que estamos dados de alta en el régimen de Autónomo. Cuando te ofertas para dar talleres las tiendas son las primeras que no te piden que lo seas, por lo que todos pueden dar talleres.
Otro problema es la crisis, antes las tiendas y los talleristas luchábamos por el mismo camino, ahora supongo que al bajar ventas las tiendas poco a poco se convierten en nuestra misma competencia al bajar precios de talleres a tal grado que es imposible competir. Mi empresa es familiar, mi marido y yo trabajamos en ella pues no solo doy talleres, también soy artesana por lo que vendo sobre todo tarjetería para eventos.
De nuevo la crisis hace que por necesidad personas que no son profesionales vendan a precio de ganga sus artículos para bodas y otros eventos porque ellos no tienen que pagar impuestos y claro el cliente elige. Otro gran problema es el mantenerte al día con todas las redes sociales. Si estas creando en mi caso para una DT, para mi tienda online, para impartir talleres y para ferias cuando publicitas? Cuando actualizas el blog? Cuando contestas e interactuas con tus seguidores?
Una pequeña empresa como la mía no se puede permitir un community manager o un social media manager. Por lo que siempre estás en el filo del abismo para no robarle horas a tu familia así que terminas robándolas al sueño. Podría seguir pero creo que ya lo voy a dejar aquí… Porque a pesar de todo esto merece la pena. 

¿ Que crees que es mas importante en esta industria: Talento creativo, suerte o trabajar duro?
El trabajo duro por supuesto. Uno puede tener mucho talento y ser muy creativo, pero si quieres sobrevivir en este mundo no lo harás si no te esfuerzas al máximo y persistes a pesar de todo. Durante todos estos años he visto como otros artistas subían por su talento a la hora de crear y su marketing, pero lo difícil no es subir, lo difícil es seguir.
¿Qué cambios te gustaría que se hicieran en el mundo del scrap profesional? En especial con respecto a los creativos.
Me encantaría que al igual que en el gremio de artesanos, hubiera una especie de legislación, algo que regulara precios y condiciones laborales. Que nos protegiera a los profesionales tanto del plagio, del abuso y del intrusismo. Una especie de asociación.  
En España sobre todo hay mucho desconocimiento de lo que es un profesional del scrap, por eso a la hora de negociar precios y talleres hay conceptos que ni las tiendas entienden, cómo que es obligatorio pagar una compensación por cancelación de un taller. Como profesional has elaborado un presupuesto, has reservado una fecha y te encuentras con que tres días antes te lo cancela la tienda porque no llena lo que ella esperaba. Tu como profesional has perdido un día de trabajo físico, pero a lo mejor una semana de trabajo real preparando kits y el proyecto.  
A las marcas, empresas y tiendas se les olvida que no solo estás trabajando el día que te contratan para el taller, si no que mientras has preparado el taller le has dedicado a lo mejor una semana completa que nadie te paga. Eso es algo que querría destacar, porque cuando das una tarifa de talleres empiecen a pensar que estas tarifando por el tiempo que no se ve también.

¿Cuál es tu tipo favorito de proyectos? 
Los mini álbumes y las tarjetas sin duda.

Y ¿cuál es tu color para crear? Es distinto de tu color favorito en general?
Me gusta empezar a trabajar sobre un fondo blanco, independientemente del papel que use. Me encanta los colores pasteles el mint el rosa palo y el marfil casi siempre forman parte de mis trabajos.
Aunque mi color favorito en mi vida diaria es el azul, en todas sus variantes pero el azul!

¿A dónde vas para buscar inspiración?
A las revistas de decoración de hogar, miro una mesa decorada y veo composición de tarjetas! Solo enciendo el ordenador dos horas al día de 6 de la mañana a 8 de la mañana. Y  de ahí dedico 30 min a Pinterest, a buscar combinaciones de colores sobre todo. Sigo en mi blog a grandes artistas sobre todo de tarjetería que me inspiran mucho. Y cuanto todo eso falla pues me voy a pasear a los Cañones del Cil en plena Ribeira Sacra muy cerca de casa.

Y finalmente ¿ Qué podemos esperar de ti en un futuro próximo? ¿ Algún sueño por explorar? 
Me he propuesto ser más visual en mi canal de youtube en esta nueva temporada. También me voy a centrar de nuevo en la formación online aunque creo que este año me toca viajar mucho más que el anterior.  
Tengo varias propuestas laborales de las que aún no puedo hablar que creo que me van a ayudar a crecer de forma internacional. Tengo dos sueños en particular por los que llevo trabajando varios años ya pero solo te puedo hablar de uno de momento, llegar a formar parte de la DT de Graphic 45, quizá en el 2016?
El otro prefiero guardármelo para mí. 
Te acuerdas cuando nos conocimos? 
Te cuento cuando te conocí: En el 2012 en Creativa Madrid. Yo estaba impartiendo talleres para una tienda Madrileña que vendía los troqueles de Sizzix que tú estabas utilizando en una demostración al lado nuestro. Las clientas querían el troquel de mariposas con los sellos a juego de la página que tenías en la demo y la dueña de la tienda me pidió que fuera a preguntarte cual era el modelo.
Cuando llegué a tu stand y vi todo lo que creabas con un simple troquel y un sello me preguntaba a mí misma que cómo no se me había ocurrido a mí! Estaba maravillada.
A partir de ahí me hice seguidora de tu blog!

Que memoria! Muchas gracias Manoli. (Foto: en Sitges en marzo de 2015.)


Puedes encontrar a  Manoli aquí:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest |  Twitter | Youtube 




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: 



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