Monday, 15 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

It's my turn to join the Creative Blog Hop! Thank you Maria Meade for inviting me! I met Reeah through the Kraafters Kommunity, which is a fantastic Google+ based crafting group.  Anyone with an interest in any kind of crafts can join. The community is very encouraging and supportive and it's the perfect place to share your creations. Please check out Maria's blog if you haven't already. Maria is primarily a graphite artist, but she also enjoys painting, doodling and zentangling. On top of that, she's the most kind-hearted and generous person I've ever met!

The purpose of the Blog Hop is to introduce fellow crafters to each other and share our passion for anything crafty by answering four simple questions. So here we go!

1. What are you working on at the moment?

So many things! However, sadly, some of them will never see the light of day. I have a confession to make: I'm a scanner. (No, not a spammer, or scammer! A scanner!) By definition, a scanner is someone who "has lots projects on the go, but seldom finishes any of them before they lose interest and move on to the next project."  Yeah, that's me! I've got so many interests and ideas and such a long list of things to do that I find it overwhelming. Before I have a chance to sit down and complete a project, I might see a video, for example, which completely diverts my attention. Then I might see a blog post and think wow, and have to try that! But before I get a chance, I see yet another technique or project and completely forget about my previous plans. And nothing actually gets done!

Being a scanner is not easy! For us scanners, the Internet is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it satisfies our thirst for information, but on the other hand, it completely distracts us to the point that we don't get anything done. I really have to work on this, I know!  I do get some projects done though, but the reason I'm not very efficient, is because I find it hard to focus on just one thing. That's why I like challenges! I've found I can focus on challenges a lot more, especially if there's a deadline!

I do have a few small projects in the making though. Let me share some of them with you here.

I continue filling up my gelli print journal with stamping and doodles. This is a fun and relaxing activity. I do a page whenever I have a few spare minutes (or some extra paint on my palette to get rid of). Here are a couple of examples:

Doodle outlines with a white pen on a Gelli print

Foam stamps and doodling on a Gelli print

Black paint over circles used as masks on a Gelli print with white doodling

I'm also experimenting with Gelli printing on different substrates (fabric, deli paper, kitchen towel, tissue paper, etc).  Here's are a few sneak peeks:

Gelli printing on fabric with pen and liquid pearl doodles
Gelli printing on kitchen towels
Gelli printing on deli paper (with additional stamping)
Gelli printing on tissue paper using diecut shapes as stencils (ghost print)

I have loads of ideas and inspiration for future blog posts and projects, which include exploring and experimenting with various techniques, writing products reviews, creating colour charts, taking part in challenges, etc, etc. My mind is spinning just thinking about them!

I also have an ambitious plan to start a second blog about photography and digital scrapbooking. This would include digitizing my Gelli prints and mixed media backgrounds, and perhaps creating my own digital stamps and other page elements to offer as digital downloads. 

As you can see I've got LOADS of plans. Whether my scanner personality will allow me to complete any of these, remains to be seen!

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

I'm not sure it does. Most of my inspiration comes from the Internet. I try not to copy entire projects, only borrow ideas and put my own spin on things, but I don't think anything I do is unique or exceptionally creative. I like to experiment though, and if I find something worth sharing, I do. But most of my experiments are triggered by something I see or read on the Internet, so they're hardly ground-breaking. 

3. Why do you create?

Being creative doesn't come naturally to me. I wish I could say I was always arty and loved creating art from an early age, but that's not the case. I grew up in Hungary, which, as you may know, was part of the old Eastern European communist block. Creativity wasn't at all encouraged in that culture when I was a child. It wasn't until my mid 30's that I became interested in crafting. It all started with scrapbooking when my son was born and I wanted to find something to do with all those baby photos. A few years later I got frustrated with lack of space to store my supplies and went digital. I sold most of my tools and materials. Little did I know, that the crafting bug will come back and bite me with a vengeance! That happened when I discovered mixed-media not so long ago. I still suffer from lack of space, but this time the passion is so strong I can't fight it! Our dining table is now my craft table, which means I have to clear it every time we want to sit down for a family meal! My dream is to have my own studio, which hopefully will happen one day. Not a day too soon!

The short answer to this question is that I create because I need to! It gives me a purpose and it makes me happy. I tend to get anxious and depressed from time to time (nothing serious though!) and doing something creative is like a miracle cure for me against anxiety and depression. I think it's very therapeutic. It should be prescribed by doctors instead of happy pills!

4. How does your creative process work?

It usually starts with an idea prompted by a video I watch, or a project I see on the Internet. Some of my projects come together quickly and easily, some others take longer and are more challenging for me. When I get stuck, I tend to leave it, perhaps do some housework and come back to it later with fresh ideas. This way, it might take me days to complete even a small project.

I enjoy thinking about crafting as much as I enjoy doing it. In fact, sometimes I even wonder whether I enjoy thinking about it more than I like doing it, LOL! I know I definitely spend more time watching others create stuff than doing it myself!

Well, I think that's enough of me! I don't want to go on too long talking about myself.  I'd much rather introduce the crafters I invited to continue the blog hop.

My Invitations

First off is +Ruth L . Ruth lives in Antwerp Belgium. I met her through the Colourful Playground Google+ community, which is one of two communities I became involved with. She was also the very first person EVER to comment on my blog! So she will always be special to me for that reason! Ruth is an extremely talented, creative and prolific mixed media artist. She uses all sorts of stuff in her projects from lemon nets to actual lemons(!), nuts bolts, rusted tissue paper, metal foil and the list goes on. Visit Ruth's blog for some fun creative ideas. She also has a collection of the best challenge blogs on the net! edit 22/09/14: You can read Ruth's creative Blog Hop Post here.

The second crafter I would like to invite is +Sheri Whitfield  from Texas. Sheri is responsible for my latest addiction of creating 4X4 art cards by linking a YouTube video in the Kraafters Community. Her blog is called Cards and More by Sheri. Sheri makes and sells amazing cards and jewellery, and most recently, she has dipped her toes into mixed media as well. Check out how she created this awesome Steampunk inspired background! Sheri's also got a brand new YouTube channel, which you can find here. edit 22/09/14: You can read Sheri's creative blog post here.

I would also like to invite a third crafter to the blog hop. It's totally optional +Cindy Wirl! I know you may not want to or be able to take part at this point in time, but I'd still like to share your blog with my readers. Cindy's paper crafting blog is called Cindy's Paper Creation. She lives in Pennsylvania and she makes beautiful cards, scrapbook layouts and the most amazing things you can create from paper, like this country crate organizer for example and this recipe organizer! And how about this awesome mixed media canvas?  Visit her blog and feast your eyes on her stunning close-up images! 

Ruth, Sheri, Cindy: if you would like to take part, please continue the blog hop by answering the above questions in a blog post published next Monday (September 22nd) and inviting a couple of other crafters (or as many as you like!) to continue the following week.

Happy blogging!