Hello crafty ladies!! Another beautiful Friday with a fun and jolly crafter... She's got clever cards and a creativity that will just blow you away!! Let's get down to business and welcome Happy Bev :)
Name: Bev Kastman
Blog: Happy Dance
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.
I was born into a military family, so as a child I had the opportunity to travel and live in many different places. I fell in love with Roman ruins, museums, parks, and the cultures of various peoples. I think that's where I derive my eclectic tastes! For years I worked as a Surgical Technologist/Anesthesia Technician, but felt like something was missing. At age 35, I went back to college and earned a degree in history, with a certificate in Museum Studies. I was fortunate enough to land a job as office manager and Assistant Archivist at our local history museum. Don't laugh, but much of my time at work was spent handling old photographs, letters, journals, and other two-dimensional objects! Loved it! My husband and I live in Southeastern Wisconsin overlooking the western banks of Lake Michigan. Between us, DH and I have eight grown children and 20 grandchildren. It's lovely chaos when most of them are able to come home! My blog is named Happy Dance, because in spite of the troubles in my life and in the world, I choose happiness. On Happy Dance, I share bits and pieces of my life and family, as well as the cards and the occasional crafts I make.
2. How and why did you start crafting?
Pretty much a tomboy growing up, about the only crafts I actually enjoyed were those done in Sunday School or Vacation Bible School, lol! Once I was working and married I had little time for my own extra-curricular activities other than photographing the children! By the time the youngest was in high school, I found I had a bit of extra time on my hands. I started making 4"x 6" photo albums for family and friends decorated with whatever I could put my hands on. One of my girlfriends asked me if I had ever been to the scrapbook store in town. That was all it took. I started out nearly 20 years ago scrapbooking. A friend peaked my interest in card making through Stampin' Up, but still, I was more a scrapbooker. Then...about 5 years ago, DH spent over $20 on Valentines for SOME of the grandchildren!! I couldn't believe how expensive those Valentines were, said "no more!", and those were the last cards we've ever bought! What started out as something to do for economies sake, has turned into a rather pleasant addiction! Madly in love with card making!
3. How often do you craft? How would you describe your style?
I do my best to craft every day. It's not always possible, what with church commitments, appointments, and running errands, but where ever I am, I'm constantly on the lookout for inspiration. My style is more to the Clean and Simple, Clean and Graphic, or Clean and Layered end of the spectrum. I love the look of Shabby Chic, but my attempts have been less than stellar with that, lol! I've found that, at least for me, cards are quite personal, so my style will vary. Most often, I gear my creations to their recipient.
4. What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?
I couldn't live without my paper trimmer. My attempts to cut a straight line are laughable! I'm still searching for the perfect trimmer, but in the meantime, my big Fiskars does nicely. It goes without saying that card stock, designer papers, tape runners, and inks and stamps are the core of my crafting.
5. Where do you get inspiration? How do you stay creative?
I'm inspired by pretty much everything around me. From images I've seen on TV, to nature, to other crafter's works and challenges, I find inspiration everywhere. Thank heavens for Smart phones. If I find an advertisement in a doctor's waiting room magazine, I can snap a photo and work with it when I get home! I think we all have times when our "Mojo" takes a little holiday; I'm no exception to that! However, popping out of my craft room to take a walk, clean a room, or seeing what's on Pinterest usually helps.
6. What is your favorite medium to work with?
I guess I like the basics best: paper, ink, and stamps. Since cards are my favorite craft, those three things would be at the top of my list. I'd follow that list with sequins, Wink of Stella, glitter, and markers.
7. What’s the one craft skill you would love to master?
This one's a tough question for me. While I'd love to be able to improve my skills at water coloring, I can craft well enough without doing so. What I'd really and truly love to master would be freehand drawing and lettering. I can draw a wicked stick person, but beyond that, I'm pretty horrible! And while my penmanship is fine, I'd love to be able to write my own sentiments more neatly and more uniformly.
8. What is your guilty pleasure?
My biggest guilty pleasure is shopping for more craft supplies! I have a room full, but there's always a new stamp company or paper line coming out. Waaaay too often, new goodies move right to the top of my "must have" list! I'm sure I'm not alone here, lol!
9. What makes you smile?
What makes me smile? Oh now that's an easy one!! My grandchildren! They are the joys of my life -- all 20 of them.
10. What is your favorite thing to do (other than crafting of course)?
Other than crafting, I like spending time with my family. There's something special about playing dolls with my little granddaughters, cooking for and having holiday dinners with family, talking to my sisters, laughing with my dad, or just having quiet time with my DH. I've been blessed with a very large and wonderful family!
11. What do you do to keep yourself, your space and your time organized?
I'm up early in the morning. After perusing the newspaper, I generally check my blog, then do a workout. DH is still asleep, so that's when I usually get my ideas going. I have a whole room (I'm so blessed, I know!) to craft in, so almost always, things are organized and in their places. If I've left a mess on my desk, I'll pick up and set to work. I try to schedule errands, appointments, and commitments toward the afternoon so my mornings are free to create. Being retired, I have all day every day to do whatever I want/need to do. This might sound a bit crazy, but working within a limited 'sterile field' in an operating room has helped my organizational skills immensely. It was important to keep things in their place there, and that has carried over into the rest of my life.
12. Are there any crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to?
There are so many crafters I admire. It's a long list....Geri from Manitoba Stamper, Ardyth from Maskerade, Anita from My Papercraft World, Hannelie fromDesert Diva, Darnell from DJKardKreations, Lynn from The Mango Boys and Me, Donna from Three Umbrellas, Deepti from Dee's Art Utopia, Keren fromKerenbaker's Blog, Tracey from In My Creative Opinion, Marybeth from Marybeth's Time for Paper, Kim from Cupcakes, Cards, and Kim, Carol from Just Me C, Leigh from To The Full...well you get the idea....There is a vast world of amazing crafters out there. I couldn't begin to finish my list. What I've found since I've started blogging, is that this community is one of the nicest, most inspirational places in all of the world. To see more of those crafters whom I admire, check out the right hand sidebar on my blog. For that matter, check out the sidebars of all the crafters you know; there's a whole lot of talent and friendship out there!