Friday, 23 May 2014

Shining Shirley

Hi friends!! This is Deepti and I am here with another super talented artist. Her style is unique, she is one person whom I have consistently seen experimenting with new things, new ideas, new mediums and new designs. You will find most thoughtful designs combined with most beautiful colors on her cards. Anyone who sees her creations would get addicted to her style. Her talent is not just limited to cards, you will be amazed to know how multifaceted she is :) So let's welcome Shirley Bampton... 
Name: Shirley Bampton

1. Tell us a little about yourself and your blog

I live in a beautiful village in north-west England with my husband (today is our 39th wedding anniversary!) and our border collie rescue dog, a surprise present from our kids a few years ago.  A couple of years after we married, we emigrated to Australia.  Six years later we returned to the UK and had our two sons.  Ironically they've now both relocated to Australia!  I'm fortunate to have retired early so I get a lot of free time to play.  DH has also retired early and he likes to do all the cooking.  I just need to train him to do more housework then I'll have even more time to play...

I started entering challenges a couple of years ago via Flickr but quickly decided I should take the plunge and start a blog. I'm currently on the Design Team for STAMPlorations, Craft Stamper and Seize The Birthday. I am amazed at all the talent out there and feel honoured to be a part of it all. And thanks, Deepti, for featuring me on Paperie Designs' Studio.

2. How and when did you start crafting?

I've been knitting and sewing since I was a child.  By the time I was in my teens I was making most of my own clothes, then when the children were young I had two knitting machines and used to knit and sew most of their clothes.  I loved art at school, especially drawing.  Over the years I've done pen and ink drawings, pin art, pyrography (woodburning), leatherwork, calligraphy, glass engraving, encaustic wax and stamping. My newest obsession is needle felting - depending on my prowess with that, you may get to see the results on some of my cards.  My obsession with stamping started in 1997 when I saw heat embossing for the first time - I was hooked when I saw the powder melt.  Last year I bought myself a stamp making machine because I wanted to make my own big word sentiments but there are so many fabulous word stamps on the market now, I've been buying those instead and haven't got around to making my own yet. 

3. From where do you draw your inspiration? How do you continue to be ever creative?

From blogland - stamp manufacturers' blogs, challenge blogs and other crafters' blogs.  I like to combine challenges, usually a colour challenge and a theme, and I find that often sparks the creativity.  I'm sketch-challenged, so I tend to avoid them, especially the fussy ones.  Sometimes an idea for a card will just pop into my head, and if I'm lucky, it's still there by the time I get to my craft room.

4. How would you describe your style?

Hmmm.  I'm not sure.  How about clean and arty with a hint of grunge?  Does that sound like me?

5. What are the must have tools in your crafting space?

Teflon bone folder, ATG, Fiskars cutter, heat gun, paintbrushes and a needle for de-gunking the nozzles on my tubes of glue and glossy accents!

6. What’s your favorite technique? What is your favorite medium to work with?

My favourite technique at the moment is sloshing colour outside the lines. And spattering.  And then there's printing from embossing folders and stencils.  And magazine style compositions. Basically anything with Distress Inks, I love them!  I use Distress Inks rather than watercolours because I find them easier to work with and the colours are brighter.  And they have other properties that watercolours don't have, like reacting with water when you spritz them.

7. What is the one crafty skill that you wish to excel?

Using Distress Inks to their full potential (or rather, my full potential!).

8. What makes you smile?

Knowing how happy my kids are in Australia, watching the dog dreaming (well that makes me laugh, actually), being out with DH walking through the fields and along canal towpaths (not many hills on canal towpaths), being with friends, seeing a card turn out as I'd hoped - or better than I'd hoped ;)

9. What is/are your favorite thing/s to do other that crafting?

Thinking about crafting.  Planning the next craft project.  Oh, sorry - going to the cinema, train travel, exploring the local countryside.  Buying craft supplies.

10. Are there any artists/ crafters/ designers that you look up to? What is that one quality in them that inspires you?

Tim Holtz for his inventiveness with Distress Inks, Heather Telford for her watercolour techniques, Jill Foster for her vibrant colours, Shery Russ for her one layer cards that look several layers deep, Maria Fischer for her sheer creativeness, Karen Dunbrook for her use of colour. I suppose they're all about colour and composition.

11. If you were not a crafter what would you be?

Oh, I can't imagine life without any crafting in it.  I'll always be creating something with something.

12. What will be your advice to all the new crafters out there?

Use good quality supplies and make it as good as you can.  And if you want to sell what you created, ask yourself, "Would I buy it?".  If you wouldn't, probably no-one else will.

What a wonderful word of advice on selling ur projects :) Thank you Shirley for sharing ur life and creativity with us.  My dear friends aren't these  cards the most creative and artistic. Please head over to her blog and take a peek into the world of her awesomeness...

Friday, 16 May 2014

Bev's Beauty

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

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!

Friday, 9 May 2014

Today's Spotlight... Keerti

Hi there crafty people; today I wish to introduce you to Kreative Keerti.  She is a multi-talented artist who can paint, make jewelry, scrapbook and do amazing work with clay.

Keerti Joshi-Pendharkar is from Thane in India and has been living in Dubai for the past three years.  

Please visit her Facebook Page .......... Keerti Kreations.  Dont forget to become a fan by liking her page.

Here's what she got to say about herself...
1. Describe yourself as an artist
I would rather describe myself as the person who discovers art in mundane stuff around me. More akin to a stone carver... just chisel out the superfluous to unravel the art within!

2. What is your favourite type of creativity?
My favourite Kreativity is when I give up, burn myself out, hit the bed.... And then inspiration creeps in suddenly. I get up, sometimes in the middle of the night , sometimes in the wee hours of morning... And then I just do it! It can be a piece of jewelry, paper crafting .. Anything !

3. When and where do you typically sit down and create?
Now here comes the interesting part. Anywhere... seriously. In the kitchen, or the drawing room, or wherever. There is no "typical" here. Being a homemaker and the mother of an energetic 6-year old, I cannot "sit" down to it!

4. Who and what inspires you?
Again... just about anything inspires me! And I don't claim to be an "artist" (refer point 1). A cup and saucer beckons me... the pair whispers that the cup has potential to be a well and the saucer claims that it can be the shrubbed base.. all I do is listen!

 5. What are your favourite tools to create with?
My favourite tools are my hands... with them I can get the unraveling done, because they connect to my brain... translating thought to action!

6. Do you teach and share your talent?
I haven't taken a formal effort to conduct "classes". Because I don't believe art and Kreativity can be taught formally. My style is to be... just be. People around me know what I stand for and reach out. I just act as a facilitator... helping unravel!!

7. What is your opinion on the artistic / creative community in Dubai?
I'm surrounded by many talented ladies. Each one has their own unique styles. Feels lucky to be amongst them.

8. How do you plan to grow and expand your creativity?
Kreativity for me expands with exposure to different experiences. I meet a lot of people, I see different places, I watch different tv programs, I play with my kiddo... all of these and more bring a breath of fresh air to my Kreativity!

9. Have you ever sold your works of art?
I do exhibit my art when time permits.  I have parted with my Kreatives for a price... the price is more a consolation that whoever is ready to pay for my Kreatives understand their "value" and therefore will take care of them...

10. Where to from here? Tell us about your future plans.
From here to a micro universe where I don't have to bother about cooking and cleaning! A world full of stuff ready to be unravelled... and maybe workshops to catalyse Kreativity for those who need!

I am sure we will all be seeing much more of her spectacular Kreations.  Amazing and talented you are Keerti! Thank you all for being here :)