8 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

WARNING: This is not a short blog post!


Monday again! The day where all kinds of  artists from many different genres, join in The Creative Blog Hop (TCBH) after being tagged by someone the previous Monday. The Creative Blog Hop is the brain child of a blogger, whose identity has been lost along the way. The intention is for us all, as bloggers, to get to know each other better and share ideas and inspiration. It is most commonly explained as similar to the playground game 'Tag' (you're it) but over a huge expanse of space (conceivably the whole world - or at least the parts of the world that have access to the internet). Each Blogger introduces their tagger and themselves, answers four questions about themselves and then they 'tag' three more Bloggers and it goes on and on (or at least that is the aim of the game).

My 'Tagger' - Liz

I met my tagger Liz Cavill (her blog - Crafty Sunflower) through my mum who knew her through a mutual friend. Liz also attends the local crop which I used to attend when I lived at home and still try to go to from time to time when I am home to visit. She is a retired teacher who lives in the South West of England with her husband, with grown up children who have 'flown the nest'. Although retired Liz still runs scrap booking and card making after school activities for infant school children. Liz has, like most crafters, tried many crafts over time but now prefers paper crafting.

My Interview:

* Me:

Who am I? I am not going to get deep, meaningful and philosophical with this at all, but it is an interesting question and one that I believe not many could answer about themselves on more than a matter of fact basis, on the basis of their every day lives and not life as a whole. Once again I digress (sorry for that), I'm Rebecca, 24 years old and live near the Norfolk Coast with my boyfriend Tom (and his parents for now, though we will have our own space soon when our annexe is built, with the fridge in front of the adjoining door). I graduated from the University of East Anglia last summer with a 2:1 in LLB Law (also studying French law and French language). I do not currently work due to ill health over the last year but I am currently in the process of starting my own business, which can be run from home (or even from bed when necessary!).

* My Crafting:

I have been crafting for approximately 23 of my 24 years, though I normally got bad grades in Art at school, I cannot draw to save my life! You could say crafting is hard wired into my DNA, my paternal Grandma was very creative as is my mum. My favourite crafts include card making, scrap booking and jewelery making, though I have been dabbling into mixed media and art journaling lately. My  'voyage' into scrap booking started when I was 16, I had bought an album from QVC to make a memory book for my best friend who had moved to America 7 years previously and who I was visiting that summer, I found a local shop to buy papers, embellishments, etc and it grew from there, attending the shop's crop every month and I haven't stopped since. I like to learn new crafts and 9 times out of 10 it is my mum who introduces me to them, and I often return from a visit home armed with lots of new ideas and a bag full of materials so I can play to my hearts content (and another bag full of freshly washed clothes!).

* My Blogging:

When I'm not at my craft desk (or doing boring every day things like the washing!!) you can probably find me in the kitchen (though it's a bit more difficult these days with illness affecting my back), as cooking is my other main hobby. Recently I decided to combine both of these passions into a blog (I have only been blogging for a little over a month) in order to meet some like minded people. I have also found it nice to communicate with (and 'meet') new people, through following blogs and commenting on items that interest me, it makes life a little less lonely being stuck at home with everyone out at work.

* My Inspiration:

Since starting blogging I would say that a lot of my more recent inspiration has been found on various blogs that I have stumbled across, either by my mum's suggestion, the suggestions of her friends or my own searches. There are also many other places I turn to for inspiration - Pinterest, books, magazines, you tube videos (I love these as I find it easy to learn how something is done by watching it in action, I will normally remember after a couple of views, than reading a printed list of instructions, though photos do help to some extent) and quite often every day life. I sleep badly (and often you will find me at my computer in the middle of the night reading blogs, crafting or watching you tube demonstrations) and it is often when I am lying in bed unable to sleep that a lot of ideas just pop into my mind, which makes it even more difficult to sleep as all I then want to do is play!

* My Craft Space:

My craft room also serves as Tom and I's computer room, Tom and I's gym and Tom and I's generally storage area at the moment, so most of my photos have been deliberately angled in a particular way to avoid showing how much of a mess the room actually is. Once the building work is finished we will have a computer room which will also serve as my craft room but not a gym (we are going to build a shed in the garden for this purpose once everything else is done) or general storage (hopefully everything will have its own home, I certainly won't want lots of glasses, plates, mugs etc cluttering the room up anymore!). For now here are the carefully edited photos of my 'craft room':

My view when sat at my desk - I have several pots for pens and tools, the purple 'cube' is my rubbish basket, I keep my most used adhesive around the second pen pot. In front of my speaker is a punch waiting for me to attempt to fix it. The three little 'tubs' are actually from a hardware shop, and contain many odds and ends - handmade by stickers for my cards, snippets from various cards, adhesives - I have good intentions to tidy these pots but I never ever seem to get around to it!

My trusty 'table top' tote lives to my right hand side, along with a paper holder, my score board, some 12 by 12 bags with all my scraps of paper and currently my new box board which I haven't yet had a chance to play with and a card I am working on for Tom's Mormor (maternal Grandma)

Also to my right hand side (on top of Tom's filing cabinet and the bag containing the air bed) are many bits and bobs. At the bottom 12 by 12 boxes holding many of my papers, then some ex display paper holders from a closing down sale, each section with its own area (which often gets ignored), from tools, to chip board, to work in progress and more. The top part holds my most used tools, my 12 inch trimmer, my Creative Memories personal trimmer, stamp blocks (and scrubber) and baby wipes.

My wicker baskets (with lots of craft items inside - all carefully categorised - unlike most other things in this room, I prefer not to face outwards in the room, if I cannot see the mess it cannot stress me out!). My table top craft spinner was a Christmas present from my parents, I absolutely love it but keep changing my mind as to what I want to store inside it. On top are items I've made, items I've been sent and the lava lamp I bought Tom one Christmas.

Left: Tom's computer parts cupboard (I get the drawers underneath which I keep items in to alter). Middle: Shared plastic drawers (lower three with craft items, and also craft items on top - anyone think I could do with my own room? Answers to Tom please :p. Right: Tall chest of drawers (again all organised, ink pads in the small drawers, stamps in one draw, punches in one draw, card stock in another).

All of the above I realise are not the specific questions required to be answered for The Creative Blog Hop but everyone first introduces themselves and for me, I decided it was easier to split the first part of the part about myself into further sub-headings, now for the official questions:

1. What am I working on now?

Looking at my desk, you wouldn't necessarily pick out what I am working on right now, I am fairly OCD about keeping things in their place and prefer to put things away at the end of a session (Read: whilst still using it, most of the time, which leads to frustration). Once August has passed I have very few personal cards to send, very few birthdays at least, so that is when I tend to begin work on my Christmas cards, I have a design in place and my prototype finished but I don't want to include it in this post as it will spoil it for any of my recipients who are reading this. This year I am also planning on having a stall at some Christmas sales (if anyone is planning an event in Norfolk please let me know), if I can get enough cards and hand crafted items produced in time, for this I have decided to not only produce Christmas cards but also hand crafted gift boxes, gift tags and also cards for other occasions, as if people attending were anything like me they would probably have most of their cards organised already. I also have a few other ideas in the pipe line concerning sale items but I am going to keep this close to my chest for a while longer yet. Here are some cards I have produced recently, I am very much enjoying using ink blended backgrounds at the moment:

Cards I made to enter into various contests (and hopefully sell too!)

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

I don't really have a particular genre, I will flit from one craft to another (Di from Pixie's Crafty Workshop as 'butterfly crafting' which I rather like to imagine) but invariably return to paper crafting as my craft of choice. I would never like to have my genre labelled and from then on out and have to conform to the box, that is definitely not who I am (my mother's genes coming to the forefront once again).

I am experimenting with different genres within the one genre (of paper crafting) so to speak, my challenge (to myself) at the moment is to try to keep my cards CAS, leaving 'white' space untouched (working on the LIM principle at the moment too), however CAS in my opinion doesn't have to mean not using inks! I love being inky and messy and very few of my cards involve no stamping or inked backgrounds.

3. Why do I create what I do?

Why does anyone craft? I believe that any crafter would give an answer somewhere along a spectrum of the same theme. For relaxation? For enjoyment? To sell (either for yourself or charity)? First and foremost I fall within the relaxation category, broadly speaking,  I need something to keep my mind occupied (to stop it wandering) and my hands busy, as mentioned briefly I have been struggling with my health, leaving me feeling extremely lethargic and unable to do much requiring exertion (when I do, I usually end up in bed, sometimes for days). I do have to say I do not find card making relaxing when I cannot make my ideas come to fruition, but I think the same is true of all crafters. I can equally explain my reason for creating what I do as being for enjoyment, those frustrations and niggles that emerge when a project isn't going the right way mean nothing when you can see the smile on someone's face or the happiness in their voice at the end of the phone on receiving something hand made, something that has clearly had much thought and time spent on it, that for me makes creating what I do worthwhile (someone pass me a bucket, I'm sounding so cheesy I might just throw up!).

4. How does my creative process work?

I don't have a set creative process, I will usually start a project with an idea in my head (or having first browsed various sources for inspiration when I can't get my creative head straight) but from there ideas will usually evolve into something I could never have envisioned at the beginning of the process.

My Three 'Tagees':

I am very new to this whole blogging process, as I've already mentioned I only began blogging at the beginning of August. For this reason when Liz asked me to join in The Creative Blog Hop I almost turned her down, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find three people with their own blogs to tag to keep the 'game' moving along.  Fortunately the lovely Lynnda Worsnop of Oakhouse Studio allowed me to put out a call for volunteers on their facebook page (Inkspired by Oakhouse Studio - if you aren't already a member you should take a look, there is a lot of inspiration from group members as well as monthly challenge in which you can win a £40 voucher to spend on items in the shop). Low and behold I actually got some volunteers and was able to accept Liz's offer.

* Janna:

'Okay, so I am retired from full time work so can now do all the things I love & as people always say - I am so busy I don't know how I found time to work. I still demonstrate for DoCrafts. I love scrapbooking, card making, altered art ,Watercolour botanical painting. knitting, crochet, sewing & cross stitch . Oh and baking. Shame we have to sleep ! I love my tiny garden, but luckily it is more for sitting painting as it's mostly patio pots I have a busy daughter who has 4 children, 7, 4 & 2 yr old twins, so I help there when I can as she has tattoo shops. My husband converted the attic for me as my craft stuff was taking over the house (sound familiar!) Hence the name of my page Janna-scrapping in the attic. Oh and I am also a big Tim Holtz fan who very much influences my work.'
* Emily

Emily is 27 years old, married to Liam, with two sons, Thomas who's two and Daniel who is one.

'I started dabbling in craft after having my second son and initially had a go at making memory wire bracelets. That has progressed and I now do quite a lot of jewelery making. I also have taken up sewing. I started making hanging hearts and felt christmas decorations and since then have bough a sewing machine. My favourite things to make on the sewing machine is bags but I am in the middle of my first item of clothing which is a dress for myself. I have recently been dabbling in papercraft and have had my handmade greetings cards in a shop for two months now. I recently attended a card making workshop and it has sparked my enthusiasm for making cards. I don't have a lot of knowledge of different techniques but I enjoy learning and want to try new things.'

Not unlike me Emily is very new to blogging and would appreciate new followers/readers to share her crafting with, so please visit her blog Emily's Crafty Journey.

* Bev

'Hi Rebecca - here goes Hi I'm Bev - I am so pleased to be joining The Creative Blog Hop - Thanks Rebecca. I have tried lots of crafts over the years -cross stitch, cake baking & decorating, knitting, crochet,painting. I found cardmaking about 10 years ago & I really enjoy this but have now discovered other 'messy' things to do! Mixed media, Gelli plate - my list goes on. I also love digital crafting.' 

Please visit Bev's blog, where she will next week be posting her Creative Blog Hop experience (as will my other tagees on their blogs) - Bev's Craft Space

My 'Tagees' Blog Addresses (again):

Phew, finally done, that took a lot more than a short while, but then again I always do ramble on too much for my own good! I'm going to go and play now *runs away from the computer*. Thanks all for reading my Creative Blog Hop post, I hope you have enjoyed it (and have not died from boredom),

- Rebecca x


  1. Hi Rebecca - it's the Playground butterfly calling :) What a fascinating post and you have so many lovely goodies to sticky beak at (blogges are naturally nosy folk of course!). I think you've got it pretty much cracked - a well laid out work area and of course some really lovely results! I was saddened to read about your health problems, it's just so unfair when what I consider to be 'youngsters' have health issues. We expect it as old age gallops towards us I guess - phew, another horse just flew past me!

    And didn't you do well with three peeps to follow on from you too :) Well done chick!

    Hugs, Di xx

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings! Crafting helps me keep positive and my mind distracted but I sure do feel much older than 24 most of the time!

  2. Hi - I really enjoyed reading this :) I found you via Bev as I'm to be one of her tagee's next week. I also have health problems (Fibromyalgia :( ) so I can understand a lot of what you have said about not sleeping. Very nice to meet you :)

    1. Nice to meet you to Steffi :) I look forward to reading your creative blog hop in a couple of weeks time then :) I sympathise, I feel like a zombie most of the time!

  3. Well done Rebecca I loved your post and I love, love, love the card with the shells - beautiful xx

    1. Thanks Bel, and thanks for taking the time to read my blog :) xx

  4. I've loved reading your Creative Blog Hop Post and finding out more about you. Thanks again for being one of my tagees. xx

    1. Thanks Liz, I didn't realise how long it would end up being!