Monday, 25 August 2014

The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH)

I was thrilled when the lovely Sam (aka Hettie) asked me to take part in The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH). I am constantly amazed at how craft and blogging can connect people, and have made some lovely friends through blogging.

TCBH started when some clever blogger suggested a game of blog tag, where each person posts once on a Monday, then nominates 3 other crafters to take part. Sadly the name of the person who started this idea has been lost, but there are a lot of crafters involved, from all different areas of the crafty world. Artists, spinners, stitchers, knitters and paper crafters like me!

A bit about me

I've been crafting since I was little. I started with old fashioned scrapbooks - the sort with thick grey sugar paper - where you stuck everything you liked the looks of. A bit like today's smash books! I was a bit of a crafty flutterby even back then, as I taught myself to knit, crochet, embroider and sew. My mum didn't have a crafty bone in her body, so no idea where I got the genes (milkman?? Lol)

From around the age of 10, I was making my own clothes, and embroidered everything I could! I have fond memories of making a cheesecloth gipsy top in the 70's and embroidering all around the neckline, with some beautiful flowers and some tricky French knots! Ditto for a hand made denim jacket :-)

As an adult, it was mainly knitting, crochet and dressmaking until I developed a love of cross-stitch in the 80's and 90's. All my family had cross stitched greeting cards, and I made a new cross stitched Christmas decoration every year from when I met my hubby.  They still go on the tree every year!

Then, about 5-6 years ago, I was stuck at home recovering from the flu, and started channel hopping on the telly (it's the law when you're poorly sick!) and I came across Create and Craft. I was amazed at the demo's, I drooled over the beautiful kits on offer, and suddenly had the urge to rummage in my drawers to see what I could make myself. I still have that first card, a little A6 with a couple of stickers on the front, to remind me how much I've improved!

Since then, I have discovered a vast range of paper crafting. I started with basic decoupage kits, and quickly moved on to stamping, Pro Markers (a desert island must have!), parchment craft, heat embossing, alcohol inks, 3d cards - the list is endless!

I have been on Design Teams for Debbi Moore and WOW Embossing powders, and had the great delight of seeing my designs featured on TV (yes, I did record the very first one and jumped up and down like a loon!) My designs have been exhibited at the NEC, as well as being used as tutorials on craft CD's. I teach regular classes and I am a designer for Making Cards magazine, although I've cut back a bit lately since I've returned to the world of work.

I work 3 days a week as an HR Manager at a busy Veterinary Referral Hospital, and teach craft classes twice a month, with some all day Saturday workshops now & again. I live in Hampshire, with my hubby and big fat ginger cat called Barney.

I only ventured into the world of blogging 3 years ago, and through WOYWW and Pixies Crafty Playground met the lovely Sam who nominated me for this blog hop. She's a lovely, talented lady who lives in Wales. We've only met up a couple of times, but we have a real giggle. Our last outing was to meet up with a couple of other Bloggy friends, Di and Sarn from the Crafty Playground and we had a lovely day out, with lunch at a posh hotel :-)

The Fab 4! L-R, Sam, Di, me and Sarn

Ok, on to the questions........

1. What am I working on now?

I tend to have several projects on the go at once, and currently it's a couple of men's cards using some fab stamps picked up at the last Newbury Artstamps show. A couple of baby card commissions from friends and work colleagues using a house mouse stamp for one, and a Bebunni stamp for the other
A birthday card for a shoe-a-holic, a birthday card for my hubby (that ones more of an idea than a reality at the mo!)

I am also planning my next class, which is in early Sept, and an all day Saturday class for October.

I have just finished a repair to a cat-damaged top using die cut flowers, and I have a few blouses that need an extra buttonhole made (or I need to go on a crash diet. Not happening! Lol)

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

To be honest, I'm not sure it does! I love lots of different styles of paper crafting, but am probably most into stamping and paper engineering - I love to make cards that move, open in unusual ways, are 3D

or have a hidden surprise. The ladies in my classes often see the sample and start the class with a comment of  'I'll never be able to make that!'  

And I absolutely love seeing the big grins at the end when they've made something a bit different.

3. why do I create what I do?

Well, it depends. Sometimes I create purely for pleasure, sometimes I am asked to design something specific, maybe to meet a design brief, and sometimes it's just because I have a deadline to meet and need to find something that will work for a group of ladies with different levels of experience and ability.  But most of all I create because it gives me pleasure.  I have found papercrafting to be a source of huge creative fun, it gives me an excuse when hubby finds glitter on the loo seat, and has allowed me to make some fabulous friends along the way!

4. How does my creative process work?

This was a tough question, as I don't have one answer.  Sometimes I'm inspired by a specific image that I think will be perfect for a person or occasion, and sometimes I will see a colour combo that gives me an idea. Recently I had a lovely flower in a bouquet that was lime green and deep plum pink and it was gorgeous!  At other times, I will see an idea on a blog or on tv and think to myself 'I can do that' and will take it and adapt it.

I'm big on seeing a kinetic card, and then trying to figure out how to make one myself from scratch.

Now and again I enter challenges, but I've never been a big fan of sketches - dunno why, just can't seem to translate black & white line drawings into a card design.

Having said that, I keep a notebook handy, where I doodle my own ideas and scribble instructions to myself. Said notebook also has a list of ideas I want to try out. Unfortunately, I am not a tidy crafter and the notebook is often buried beneath the crapalanche on my desk!

so I resort to scribbling on the back of envelopes - yes, really! And I have mountains of these envelope scribbles dotted around awaiting my attention lol.

And left is a pic of the current crapalanche on the desk awaiting sorting!

OK, enough about me, I now get to introduce you to 3 of my crafting friends who have agreed to join in on this blog hop, and they will all post on their own blogs next Monday.  Each of them has their own unique style and talents, and I met all of them through a blog know as WOYWW, or 'Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday' run by the lovely Julia - click here to find out more.


Hi everyone, my name is Sharon, known as Shaz, or Shazsilverwolf to all my friends.I was totally blown away when Deb asked me to do this,it still astounds me that someone actually likes what I do, lol! I've always had something crafty going on, I used to do cross stitch, then glass painting,dabbled a bit in candle making, and jewellery, then evolved into card making. 
When I first started, I got heavily into Decoupage cards, and probably cornered the world market in Decoupage sheets! Big mistake that was, as I eventually discovered inks and stamping! One of my biggest loves is scenic stamping, I am a huge fan of Kevin Nakagawa's Stampscapes, and have been fortunate enough for him to link to my blog from his lessons/artwork links, and also to be a former  Design Team Member for Craft a Scene, a challenge blog for Scenic stampers. 

I started my blog entirely due to my Beloved Hubby- he kept telling me I should do one, and eventually I did. I truly did not think anyone would be interested in what I did, there are so many way more talented people out there. I've made some wonderful friends in Blogland,and thanks to the lovely Julia of WOYWW, I have been fortunate to meet a number of them at the Annual WOYWW crop. So to anyone who wonders if they can be bothered/ if anyone would be interested/ if there's any point, I say jump in, you don't know what you are missing! 

My 'real life' job is a Centreless Grinding Setter, in the Aerospace Industry, along with my Beloved Hubby, who taught me everything I know about my job! What we do is make Fasteners/Bolts for Aircraft/Satellites etc. It really is a dirty job, ( working with oil all the time) but I actually do enjoy what I do! So thats a thumbnail view of me, I'm looking forward to my 'show and tell' post, I'll catch you all then. Hugs, Shaz xx

I have been crafting all my life.... I just didn't know it. I have a school report aged 7 that says "Janet is very good at cutting and sticking"..... 'nuff' said.
 While my 3 children were small I enjoyed doing crafts with them and sewed and knitted for them as well.
In recent years  my crafting has taken a new turn ... more for myself... lacemaking, beading, patchwork, knitting, card making,  scrapbooking, mixed media, embroidery, both hand and machine and most recently pottery.
A work  colleague suggested I started a blog to document my 'makes' which I did. Then I found WOYWW  ( what's on your workdesk Wednesday) a lovely group of crafters who upload a photo of their workspace once a week.  It is like a great big extended family.
A blog friend asked me recently if there was anything I didn't do..... of course there is ... mostly involving housework and the ironing !  I just love trying new techniques.
However with my family expanding with Grandchildren I am always under pressure to make more and more things...... I love it and find myself spending more and more time crafting, much to the dismay of my long suffering husband or to give him his blog name ' my handyman'.

I also work 3 days a week in a fabric store..... in the craft section of course. Life is full of juggling, often stressful.... but never boring.

I became interested in crafting a long time before it was called crafting…it was a necessity.  As a child my mother, aunts, grandmother etc made all of my clothing and just about anything and everything in the home décor, gifts etc.  I promised myself that when I got old and rich {{I know!!! A piper’s dream!}} I wouldn’t make anything it would all be bought.   I did pretty well in my life and never totally bought everything but continued to sew, knit, make items for the home but it was mainly something I needed not something for fun!  Things were headed for a change in 2008 when I was introduced to my creative side!
I worked for over 40 years in the health care and medical field as an RN in management and supervisory positions until I was forced into retirement by illness.   About a year before I become ill I was asked by a friend and co-worker to join in with her and others in a “play day”.  I went not know what to expect and oh my gosh!  My life was changed from then on.   Pam was a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator and it was a party to sell stuff but from that time on I was entranced with paper arts and eventually the multimedia stuff I do today.  I love to get inky and to recycle or up cycle items that I normally wouldn’t have looked at in the past.  Cereal boxes and toilet paper cores become books, blocks of wood find their way to home décor.  It is so fulfilling to see things become something useful and beautiful.  My fun art has changed my life and kept me sane in this forced retirement.  I don't know what I would have done without it.  

Well, that's a REALLY long post! Thanks for stopping by, and if you've read this far, thanks for your patience!

don't forget to check out Shaz, Janet and vickie's posts next week


Debs xxx


  1. Well done Debs. Great post. It is always nice to see what people like to do as well as learning a little more about them.
    I look forward to seeing them next week.
    PS don't forget to nick the logo off my side bar.

  2. that was great debs lots i didnt know..... even about myself lol.
    we are all so busy how dows all this ztufff get done ..... ask aa busy person and all that stuff

  3. Hi Debs . . . now I know you even better! Terrific post and great pics(!).

    Love your work and not surprised people want you to join their DT etc.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  4. I love that pyramid card. Hugs Mrs A.

  5. Hi Debs. What a great post! Wouldn't it be fun to find the person that started it all.

    I enjoy reading how you came to crafting and the projects you've made.

    Hugs. Kay

  6. Hi Debs, Came over to leave a comment and then saw the TCBH post. It was such fun to learn more about who you are. Gosh, it's impressive all the wonderful crafty & creative things you've done. Oh my- having your cards on television must have been a big High! It's fantastic that you teach classes too. It's one thing to make your 'own' items, but then to translate that to an abililty to teach the technique to others...that's a real gift. I'm amazed that you have time to do all that you're doing, and still hold down a job and maintain a household! Certainly enjoyed reading this post & learning so much about you. Happy wkend, TFS & H ugs

  7. It was great getting to know you, Deb. I do classes too and it's a challenge to please everyone and design for different levels of ability. It's a lot of fun though and like you say, good friends come of it.

  8. Lovely to read about your creative journey, Debs - somewhat similar to mine in the early stages at least - it was through getting ill that I started my blog, which introduced me to the whole online art community which launched my existing creativity into overdrive! Like you, I have always been creative. I have also taken part in the Creative Blog Hop and it's lovely exploring around and seeing who else is involved, and reading their stories. Such a great idea!

    I discovered a pretty badge yesterday that you can grab and put on your blog, to say you've taken part. It's now in my sidebar if you want a copy!!


  9. Its great to see people connecting via their blogs and sharing stuff we don't always see and read. Thank you :)

  10. I missed this - what a fun read Debs!

    Hugs, Di xx


I love reading your comments, so fire away!