Hello there fellow crafters! I am very excited to present to you today’s guest Artist! She is what I call a true crafter at heart. She makes amazing things with a great attention to the tiniest details. Hers was the very first craft related blog that I had discovered and I was mesmerized by her hand crafted projects. I am so happy that she is here with us sharing a bit about herself and her crafty life. Please help me welcome…Mel!
Name: Melissa Mccarthy
Blog: Mel Stampz
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
I live with my husband Charles & our cat 'Mouse' in Port Moody BC (near Vancouver Canada). We love reading, walking in the great outdoors, and are obsessed with growing organic edibles at the Community garden.
2. How and when did you start crafting?
The crafting bug bit me in a big way early on. It's been my activity of choice ever since I can remember. As a child, my Mom would let my brother & I play with her fine art supplies, but I really enjoyed making things out of egg cartons and other random tidbits. I was obsessed with sculpture and painting in High School and had hopes of going to art college. Instead, I majored in English and didn't start paper crafting until my best friend had scrapbooking parties and stamping parties in the late 90's. Then I was hooked for life!
3. From where do you draw your inspiration?
Like so many crafters my inspiration comes from blogs and Pinterest. There are just so many incredibly talented crafters out there to admire. Lately, though, my favorite ideas have come from 'making do' with things. Trying to use what you have on hand or imagine a new use for something really seems to bring out your creativity. The old cliché 'necessity is the mother of invention' has always been a fave.
4. How would you describe your style?
If I had to use one phrase to sum up my style it would be "detail-crazed but wanna be C.A.S. My style used to be over the top (with so many details like hand-stitching or beading and so on that a card would literally take days to make!) Now I'm learning to try and keep things more Clean And Simple.
5. Tell us briefly about your design process.
My design process usually starts with one element (most often a focal image or a technique-based background). Where I struggle most is with the layout of things on a card, so I usually move all the pieces around and take a reference photo when I think it might be looking okay. Then I procrastinate for a while & come back to it later :) In hindsight, my favourite projects have started as sketches, so I really need to practice planning that way more often.
6. What are the 5 top tools in your crafting space?
1. Printer. The freedom of digital or hybrid crafting is addictive.
2. Heat gun & embossing powder. If I couldn't heat emboss stamps & digital things.
3. Embossing machine & digital die cutting machine. So many possibilities.
4. Fiskar's Precision trimmer. I've had it for a month or two & love it.
5. Scor-Pal & Scor-Mat (with a homemade piercing mat made of layers of fun foam.)
7. What’s your favorite technique?
7. What’s your favorite technique?
Emboss Resist, beyond a doubt! An oldie but a goodie. The raised heat embossing lines help me colour or paint but stay in the lines & it feels like magic when the image shows up under the ink or paint.
8. What are your go-to colors?
I must confess: I have a problem with turquoise & grey. If I have to add another colour I go for green and if I'm really trying to break the turquoise addiction, I add something like red or coral.
9. What are your favorite manufacturers?
For Images: stamps from Hero Arts, Impression Obsession, and countless Digital Image companies. For inks & mediums: Tim Holtz Distress inks, stains, paints, Copic markers. For Gesso & gel mediums: Golden (which is very affordable at art supply stores that cater to students). For paper: Spicer's, my local Printer's Wholesale Shop where it's really affordable to buy Neenah classic crest to use in my Silhouette Cameo (easier on the blade).
10. What do you do when you are not crafting? Job? Other hobbies and interests?
When I'm not crafting, I'm a House Wife (otherwise known as laundry service, editor, personal assistant, barber, chief cook & bottle washer!) ;) My most obsessive craft-related hobby is creating and sharing digital papers and overlays for crafting. One day I dream of turning that addiction into a small business.