getting to know me blog hop

I was recently tagged by my good blogging friend Kate Lorenzini to play along in the Getting To Know Me creative blog hop.  I have seen other bloggers posting answers to these questions here and there but I never dreamed anyone would tag me.  But then someone did.  And I was so honored!  And then I read her post and what she had to say about me and then I was scared!  Oh, my, she really, really did well by her people--both the gal who tagged her and the three of us she tagged in turn.  And because I truly value the friendships and connections I've made in the blogosphere, I hope to do right by my people, too.

Kate has an incredible eye for detail.  She is an "intelligent" crafter and blogger.  That is to say, when you look at her work and you visit her blog, you feel smarter for having done so!  Every single piece of paper and embellishment on every single card is placed there for a reason.  I get the feeling she doesn't just lay different bits out and then blindly choose one--the way that I sometimes do.  While I can't say for sure, I also have a feeling that she is not a 10-minute crafter--I imagine her painstakingly agonizing over each attribute of her cards and if they take hours to create, then so be it.  Though I know that her "real life" job usually entails more than 40 hours per week so I'm not entirely sure when she finds the time to create these detailed masterpieces.  But I'm certainly glad when she does.
We hail from the same part of New York--the Finger Lakes region--and since we stumbled upon this bit of information, we have also discovered many other things that we have in common, including the love of crafting, missing NY autumns (we both now reside on the west coast), and a penchant for being late and being wordy...this post will probably run on for quite some time (hope you brought coffee!).
I've picked out a couple of her cards that I just adore.  See what I mean about the details???  The colors, the die-cutting, the flowers, the glittery bits...that little serendipitous piece of "autumn" dictionary page in the enamel frame on the bird card (she found it by happy accident!)...I am reeled in by these anecdotes because I love details.  I like to know the story behind things and Kate is a brilliant storyteller.


Now that you know how we got here--thank you, Kate--let me answer some questions... 

What creative projects are you currently working on?

At any given moment, I'm working on DT projects and trying to fill up my Etsy shop.  Always.  I don't ever have free time because cultivating and running the Etsy business is never-ending.  I never have free time because there is always something that I should be doing.  The only problem is that when I don't give myself a set deadline (or it's too far away), then the tasks don't seem pressing enough and that, I have learned, can be a really bad thing.  The other day I realized I had an extra day before one of my DT assignments was due, leaving an entire afternoon free from looming deadlines.  All I did was sit at my desk, looking around at all of the things I should start working on.  I felt really overwhelmed by this and accomplished nothing!  So it's better for me to set concrete deadlines and work under pressure--it's a little stressful but I get much more completed.

Above is a sneak peek at a DT project I have coming up later in the week and below is a kit I've just listed in the shop.  It was one of 3 kits I contributed to the Indie Craft Sampler box back in August (for the September box) and I'm only just now getting around to listing them in the shop.  I'm always running a little behind :)

What inspires your designs?

Color, color, color!  More often than not, I am inspired by color.  When working on cards and DIY projects, I tend to go with whatever scrapbooking collections are my favorites of the day.  When I'm making my gift wrap and paper kits for my shop, I build on things that have worked in the past.  Color often plays a large role in whatever I'm doing, though.  In terms of a kit, color is the easiest, most cohesive way to tie different items together.  It then gives me a filter and narrows the focus.

What method/process (if applicable) do you apply to each of your creative projects, and how long does each project take to complete?

Again, color, and a theme.  Each help guide my projects.  I have to set limits for myself or things get out of hand.  And again, it's about narrowing the focus.  Gathering supplies with a common color or theme, adding a few neutrals, and then stopping there or I will be too busy sorting through the huge piles on my desk to focus and create something.

Most of the time, projects take me awhile to complete.  I have to dabble...a lot.  I have to putter around with different elements, papers, and the placement of items.  It is very rare that something comes together in 10 minutes for me--I'm lucky if I can get done in under thirty minutes.  I fuss over details and tweak the placement of items and am terrified that when I actually adhere everything to my surface, it's not going to look as good as I thought.  I'm also usually quite nervous about ruining my project by making a mistake that can't be covered up or re-applied.  "Permanent" mediums like inks/stamps, rub-ons, and mists freak me out a little bit!  The woes of an anxious mind...  

If you had to describe your signature style, what would it be?

I don't really know how I would describe it; I think I absolutely do have a signature style, but I'm not sure how I would classify it.  I like a little bit of everything.  (Though I don't care too much for the whimsical stuff and I'll reject anything that has eyes that are looking at me--is that weird?)  My style is always evolving--which it must do to keep up with the trends.  If I'm working on DT projects, those entail using collections from manufacturers and I like my DT projects to look pretty.  I use some layers and a bit of clustering because I like the way that it looks.  With those, I prefer that my compositions don't appear too clean or too perfect so a bit of distressing or crinkling up the paper is my quick fix for that.  When I'm making things for the shop, I tend to use more neutral products--like plain white tags, doilies, and wood veneer pieces.  These things also appear as extra details in my DT and card projects, but for the shop, they are oftentimes the focal points.  I typically go for minimally designed items for the store.  Also, it seems that there has been something glittery and gold on everything I've made lately! 

What are 3 crafting products/tools that you can't live without?

I'm going to totally cheat on this question and name 3 products AND 3 tools! 
Products:  doilies, washi tape, wood shapes
Tools:  bone folder, craft knife, and paper trimmer


All right, it's my turn to tag some ladies and this was not a difficult decision at all.  I knew right away the 2 gals I wanted to call out (and if she hadn't tagged me first, I would have tagged Kate, too!).

Meredith MacRitchie

Meredith was my first blogging buddy and the only blogging friend I've ever met in person (I clearly don't get out much).  She is the creator of Festive Friday--an idea of hers I loved long before I joined the DT.  Christmas all year?  Yes, please!  She's also one of the most talented stampers I've ever seen.  I love simple stamping.  A word here, an image there.  But an entire background of flowers that are all different colors?  It exhausts and terrifies me to even think of trying it.  Meredith does these all the time.  I asked her once how long it took her to make her gorgeous multi-colored backgrounds and she said something like 10 minutes--maybe less.  She must be lying.  There's no way that only takes 10 minutes!  But I guess, when you're that good, you can do things really fast.  But they sure don't look like they only took 10 minutes.  I'm totally impressed.

Until I met Meredith earlier this year, I always pictured her having a British accent--she doesn't.  I'm not sure why and I don't know if she knows that but I thought I'd put it out there.  She's actually Canadian and we had always had a mutual respect for one another's craft work.  Then one day, on her blog, she put up a post hailing all things Canadian, including The Tragically Hip (a celebrated Canadian band) and Tim Horton's (a donut/coffee chain).  I left a comment on her post about those things and she was surprised I knew of TTH.  (I'm actually familiar with several Canadian bands that get no love here in the States--I'm looking at you, Hawksley Workman!)  Now here we are a year later--very good friends and maybe even bigger fans of each other's work because of it.  But try as I might, I just can't get into The Hip :)

This Tag...I had to go back through a year of her blog posts to find This Tag.  Because I love This Tag.  This is based on a Pinterest find and she wanted to replicate the printed version.  I remember this well because I had seen the same pin and absolutely adored it.  So when she posted this, I almost flipped!  I love This Tag.  And the Christmas card?  It looks like patterned paper, don't you think?  It is gorgeous!  Meredith is currently taking a little break from crafting because she and her husband are renovating their house--themselves.  I hope she gets done soon because I miss her cards.

{Meredith MacRitchie}

Oh, Christine...our Crate Paper DT mama.  She takes the best care of us over there and we are so lucky to have her.  I'm not quite sure where I'd be if it wasn't for her.  I assume she saw some of my projects and liked them well enough to make me a contender for a spot on the DT 2 1/2 years ago.  I've never asked, nor heard otherwise, but CP was my first Design Team and I really, really wanted to be there!  Since joining the team, Christine and I have gotten to know one another and have found that we are much alike in many ways.  I value her insight into the wide world of paper crafting--I know that if I have a question about anything, she probably knows the answer!  Christine has been kind enough to offer me numerous bits of advice on photography, as well, and I can't thank her enough for that.  If you've been around here long enough, you've probably noticed my photos improving over the years--much of that is thanks to Christine.  (And yes, I still have a ways to go...)

I am a huge fan of her scrapbook pages--she layers like no one else in this industry--but I am a bigger fan of her as a person.  I have so much respect for this woman--the challenges she has faced, the life she is living, the life she has built for herself and her young son amid grief and struggles.  Because she keeps going.  I know hers has not been an easy life.  Knowing that the strife she has faced has helped mold her into a strong-willed and independent woman, perhaps it isn't fair of me to be envious of those qualities.  So let me just say that in the face of adversity, I hope I can learn to be just as strong-willed.  Thank you, Christine, for all you have taught me.

{Christine Middlecamp}
Those layers!  Those colors!  That photography...She's another one of these gals who must sit for hours at a time painstakingly working on each detail.  When I joined the Crate DT, I had no idea who Christine was.  (That shouldn't offend her--I didn't know who a lot of folks were because I didn't--and still don't--have much time to go visiting around blogland.  I live in a bubble.)  Then she had a post one day on the CP blog and my mind was blown!  So I went to her blog and again--mind blown!  She is so talented and has such a way of showcasing her work--her closeups are phenomenal and truly capture the textures of each medium she is using.  I have tried to do work like this and fail miserably.  She reigns supreme when it comes to layering.  Sadly, Christine is no longer blogging--I know--you were getting excited to hop on over to her blog, weren't you?  I'm sorry to be such a tease, but she does connect with her fans through Facebook and every once in awhile, we're lucky enough to see an awesome ode to layers from her on the CP blog

{Christine Middlecamp}

Well, we have finally come to the end.  (Are you still with me?  It's 3am; I myself am about to fall over.)  I hope you enjoyed reading about my creative processes.  I'll mention one other thing that I'm often asked about that wasn't on the list (because why would it be?)...Thurston is my middle name.  And I love it :)

Please be sure to stop by the blogs/pages of these other amazing ladies I've talked about here.  I've made it easy for you to do so by pasting links all over the place.  (And if you click the names under the photos, you will be directed to the posts detailing those individual projects.)  You can go back and read Kate's Getting To Know Me post and Meredith (on her blog) and Christine (on Facebook) will be posting their interviews on Monday, October 13th.

(I've posted some photos of the identity board I made back in March of this year because they tie in with these questions.  I discussed more of my creative process in this post about the board.) 

Now I need to go to bed!


  1. Such an AWESOME post...loved reading more about you! I absolutely adore your style!
    I have the pleasure of meeting Kate on a semi regular basis to craft, she's beyond amazing. Love your picks, all three gals are chock full of talent.


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