Monday, July 21, 2014

Blog Hop with a Difference/Getting to Know Me

This is going to be a completely different sort of blog post from me. I'm supposed to describe my creative process and inspiration and stuff like that. I usually go into excruciating detail about how I create my projects, so I likely will just babble on more about stuff like that!

I was "tagged" by my friend, Penny Mull, who blogs at 9 Hawks and a Dragonfly. If you're not familiar with her work or her blog, I urge you to stop reading this and go visit her blog right now. She's a really talented artist, colors beautifully, and her designs are truly unique. She layers die-cuts and other embellishments in way that never overpowers the focal image of her project. Penny also writes extremely well. Her warmth, sense of humor, and intellect color her writing and will most definitely make you smile. You'll also learn a lot about food, wine, and travel while reading her blog as those are passions of hers, plus you'll see some amazing photographs, as she's a wonderful photographer!

I'm supposed to answer some questions, so here goes...

1. What am I working on?
I'm frantically trying to catch up with design team and other miscellaneous projects that I had taken on before my mom got ill. Family trumps all, so my crafting has taken the hit.

I've got four or five different projects in various states of completion as I was able to color images while at my mom's house. Those images are slowly being put onto cards and tags.

Once my mother recovers, I will continue my experimentation with paints, texture products, and other media. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I think what sets my work apart from others is that my work is somewhat quirky and very eclectic. My style, for want of a different word, ranges from cute and whimsical to dark and edgy. The one constant is that whatever I create is clean, linear (I think that's my Virgo side showing!), and somewhat detailed and techniquey (new word)

I try to dabble in different styles but can't do CAS or elegant.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Concentrating on artwork keeps me calm and centered. Without art, I tend to be a bit anxious and very scatter-minded.

Inspiration is everywhere. I can be driving along and wonder which Copic colors will match the colors of the sky! The shapes in clouds will make me think of what dies, stamps, or stencils would work to mimic them. A tree's reflection in a pond will set me thinking of ways to reproduce what I see using paints. Similarly, reading magazines and watching television can inspire me to try to change up my usual color palette and try different color combinations and/or designs!

I'm not sure why, but the edgier side of life appeals to me (probably because my background is middle class and my life is one of comfort). Graffiti, tattoo art, old decaying buildings hold a certain beauty. Imagery from mythology and non Judeo-Christian religions is fascinating. On the other hand, whimsical, cute images make me smile and I love, Love, LOVE cats and penguins. My stamp collection and therefore my artwork reflect my taste.

Irony and word play delight me. IMHO laughter is such an important part of life, so humor tends to find its way into my artwork, sometimes unintentionally.

The last reason why I create what I create is that excitement factor. There's nothing like the rush I feel when a completed project reflects what's in my mind's eye or when something takes a left turn (at Albuquerque) and comes out completely different, yet better than the original intention.

Oh. I should probably mention that I started paper crafting as a scrapbooker on June 27, 2000. I was combining desktop publishing with photo prints and cardstock. Yep. I did hybrid scrapbooking before it was popular. Such a trend setter. In September 2000 we were hooked up to the internet. Someone had told me that inkjet ink would kill my photos, so I started to research that. And found a site called Scraptalk, where I learned about cardstock, nice patterned paper, punches, die-cuts, stamps, and a little thing called internet shopping. My scrapping and bank account have never recovered.

In July 2001 I got curious about stamping in scrapbooks and attended a Stampin' Up party, vowing to just look, learn, and NOT buy. You all know how that worked out.

Somewhere in there, I realized that all these paper scraps that I was amassing could be used for cards and tags and started to make those. Big fun! Small projects that didn't have to be perfect for a photo and posterity! And I could play around and experiment without hurting a photo. Even better!

I applied for my first design team for a kit club and was accepted. Several teams, a few publications, and suchlike followed. I started designing for a company that wanted projects mailed to them. I didn't want to do that with scrapbook pages, so I started to create more cards, home decor items, decorated boxes, clipboards, and notebooks.

No one ever looks at the scrapbooks I completed. I have a gazillion and two layouts in boxes that need to go into albums that would be looked at by no one. So these days, I'm primarily a card maker, who dabbles in home decor items, decorated boxes, notebooks, clipboards, and journal pages. My journal pages do not contain my thoughts. Those stay in my head where they belong. After all, I am a Virgo.

Did I answer the question? I dunno.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Does it? Ha!

It depends. If it's design team or contracted work, it starts with the product and/or challenge. In most cases these days, it start with the stamp or stamps I'd like to use. I'll usually stamp the image, then choose the color palette based upon the patterned paper that will work with the image. Most often I'll color with Copic markers because I consistently get good results with them and because I need to justify the huge expense of amassing my Copic marker and reinker collection. *grin*

I'll decide whether I want to create a background behind the focal image or want to plop it into another background. I'll either fussy-cut the image, color a background behind it, or mask the image and create background with markers, paints, chalks, stencils, texture paste, or whatever I'm in the mood to use.

Then I'll decide whether I want to use die-cuts, embossing plates, and use those. After all, those need to be economically justified as well.

I'll use gemstones, ribbons, lace, metals, and/or flowers (premade, die-cut, punched) for embellishments. That's usually the last step as I'm not real good about using them and have a tendency to place and remove them repeatedly.

If the product I'm to showcase is paint, I'll use try to use it in a variety of ways in one project so that I can show its versatility.

Sometimes I just create because I have an idea that must get out of my head before I can move on to another project. Yes. I know it sounds certifiable. Sadly it's true.

Other times I just want to play and experiment with a product or media. I've been doing quite a bit of that in the last year or so as I've slid into mixed media. I'm still midway up the base of the learning curve with acrylics and the different texture media you can use with them (pastes, crackle stuff, gels, etc.) There are so many different kinds and so many different ways to use them that I just play around and see what happens. Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn't. I learn either way. After all, that and the Hokey Pokey are what it's all about.

I'll share some favorite old layouts and some newer stuff just for giggles.

 from 2002
from 2007




I am also supposed to tag three women whose work I greatly admire and who I am honored to call friends. I have known them for various amounts of time. I've never met any of them face to face, but know I can rely upon them for a pep talk if I need one.

They will be sharing more about themselves next Monday, July 28th. I can't wait to learn more about them!

I am tagging:
•  Alaine Medio, who blogs at MissAlaineous' Mosaics. I've know Alaine for several years now as we're teammates at Bombshell Stamps and SCACD.  Alaine is a wonderful artist, with fabulous design skills. Alaine excels at coloring with her Copic markers. I've learned so much from just looking at her artwork. Alaine works full time, travels extensively on business, yet still manages to grow and evolve artistically.

•  Corinne Rollet, aka Coco, who blogs at Les Folies de Coco. I haven't known Corinne very long. We met online when we admired each others' Stampotique projects. We started emailing a bit and became friends. Corinne continually inspires me with her wonderful mixed media artwork that is filled with color, texture, and whimsy.

• Nicole Maki, aka PerkyNihilist, who blogs at Made by Nicole. I've known Nicole since 2008ish when she joined justjohanna/Odd Bird Planet's design team. Nicole is a flat-out amazing woman. I want to be her when I grow up. She's got three boys who she has homeschooled. She cooks, bakes, sews, stamps, paints, keeps her house decluttered, and makes wonderful artwork. I'm lucky enough to have a Nicole-original print that I keep in my craftroom. Her artwork, primarily her painted mixed media work, is most of the reason I started my journey in mixed media.


  1. Kathi, I so enjoyed reading this post today! Great way to start my computer time! :^) You are such a quirky artist--I love what you create, and I love your sense of humor in describing everything. Perhaps we were twins in another lifetime. ;^)
    Thank you so much for doing this! You "made my day"!!! :^)
    Hugs, Penny
    P.S. Funny how so many card-makers started out with scrapbooking, isn't it?
    Oh, and btw, you stuck to the outline. Is that part of being a Virgo, too? ;^)

  2. Ooh Kathi... I love reading you, your post is absolutely fantastic. That's great to know you better, thanks so much for sharing all this... and I think we have much in common!!! Two countries very distant, two different languages and life, but so many similarities in our tastes, way of thinking and be creative, love of beauty and whimsical worlds, and love of laughter that save us sometimes from everything!!! Many thanks for the honor you make me to tag me! I'm very proud to be your friend!! And I think that all the good points about your friend Penny are suitable to you hahaha. Love and Hugs in friendship from France, Coco

  3. Kathi,

    In a million, million years I never would have guessed that you started out as a hybrid scrapper. WOW! I don't think I've ever seen one of your LOs before.

    I totally agree with you about journalling, I keep my thoughts in my head and scribble song lyrics in my AJs. Seriously, if you look closely you'll see, all the words to Paradise City or About a Girl. LOL.

    Thank you for the kind words. I'm always amazedly and awed by how well you do all you do.


  4. It was great reading all about you Kathi - cats and penguins eh lol xx