Monday, 30 June 2014

January to June Review & a Fun Blog Hop!

Hi everyone!  Last day of the month today!! Say WHAT?!? 
 6 months of the year are over already - just like that!  Whoosh!!  

It's been a fast-paced year for me & believe it or not I'd actually like
 things to move more slowly!   I find it hard keeping up with my own ideas
 but that's always been a problem for me :/

As I said in my last post - I have a new plan up my sleeve - and that is taking up
 some precious time all right, but actually it's a necessity for me to do it - so I 
don't have an option with this one { & of course I never take on anything that's
 not absolutely FUN too}  but I'm feeling tired :(  The concept of balance is one
 that I embrace wholeheartedly in my mind but don't know how to make happen!!

Anyway - I set out with 3 things to achieve this year:- 

1) Make the 7Dots Studio team - check!! {LOVING it & debuting next month -
projects already completed - their collections are AWESOME & I now have
enough of them to literally make you weep if I showed you!}

2)  Make the 3rd Eye team - check!  Sadly I had to step down before even
beginning as it conflicted with another team I was on at the time but I'm
still happy I made it & I love their products & hope to try again
 at a more suitable time where there are no Design Team clashes.

3)  Make the Prima team {haha!} Oooooh that one was intimidating...
BUT I was bowled over to be chosen as a Guest Designer HERE so
all's good :)  So now I am cooking up another 3 goals for the next 6 months!

Haven't got them set in stone yet but one is definitely to create more diverse projects
 & so far I've made 2 canvases this month & an art journal page so I am happy!


Now on with the fun blog hop - playing along with my lovely bloggy pal
Marg over at Margyz Paper Games!!  Marg is a great gal & makes awesome
cards & even more awesome art journal pages so do check out her blog!

So here are my answers to the questions!!

1.  What are you working on right now?

Currently I'm working on a few cards for 2Crafty chipboard. I've decided that I 

need to switch things up a bit and step out of my comfort zone (layouts) so I've 

been making more canvases, cards and Off-the-page projects and will be
debuting my very first art journal page tomorrow!

2.  When and how did you start papercrafting?

I created my first ever scrapbook page in early 2003 - 11 years ago - wow! 
That's quite a long time ago!!   I have a long artistic history & art was always
 one of my favourite subjects at school. It came very naturally to me & I went
on to qualify as a fashion designer & pattern-maker & enjoyed 
working in that field for some exciting years! 

I turned to textile design after my 2nd child was born & founded my own company 
training up local Black Zimbabweans in all aspects of design & garment construction 
& had some good years running my little business & starting a store to go with it. 

After 5 years of juggling motherhood along with my demanding business I decided to call
 it a day & concentrate on being a full-time mum when I fell pregnant with baby no. 3.
 I threw myself into decorating our home & establishing a garden on our new plot. 
Sadly after 7 years of creating a beautiful home we were forced to leave Zimbabwe
 due to the economic & political situation declining drastically.

A couple of years before we emigrated to South Africa I discovered scrapbooking quite
 by chance. My daughter was invited by a friend to a holiday workshop day & came
 home with a scrapbook page.  It was honestly love at first sight. I couldn't stop looking        
at it & went the following week for my first lesson of many. My daughter & I
scrapped once a week for a year and a half before leaving Zimbabwe.

At that time life was too busy &  stressful to scrap any more than that
 & I had no study/office at home so it really was just one single page per week.
 (I had gone back to work mornings only at that point) & my kids filled
 my afternoons with homework, tennis lessons and cooking!

Once settled in South Africa I once again found a scrapbook store (now closed down) 
&  began attending weekly lessons. Again I had no space at home to scrap so it was 
only after 4 years of scrapbooking that I finally got a small studio & was able to 
scrapbook with more flexibility. 

I started my blog in late 2007 & THAT was when the fun REALLY started! 

3.  What do you like to make and how does your creative process work?

I like to make layouts the most as I'm so used to them now, bit canvases are 
really fun to make too because they can be so dimensional. I want to make 
more art journal pages too as I loved creating the first one so much.

My creative process starts with what my Design Team spec is, or the spec 
of the challenge I'm following. I choose a photo to match the supplies I need 
to work with. I get out the papers & mediums I'm using &  spend an average
 of an hour on my background work. 

Once that's done I work on my photo stack, layering papers & textures behind 
my photo from the top down then I adhere that & embellish. Lastly I add a title
 & some hand-journaling. I take about 3 hours to complete a project but always 
allocate 4 so I can clean up afterwards & make lots of tea as I go along! 

 I create an average of 3 projects a week on Tuesday & Thursday evenings &
 Saturdays. I love working to a routine.  I work on scrappy stuff almost every
evening but plenty of it takes place on the computer too as you all know :)

4.  How do I stay inspired?

I have been inspired my whole life. Never have I not been inspired. 
Honestly, that's the truth. I am so inspired I find it difficult to sleep
 at night & my problem has always been too many ideas & not enough time. 

I also suffer from terrible indecisiveness caused by too many ideas
 & the need for focus & simplification!  I find it basically impossible to
switch off & even dream about ideas & plans.  It's pretty tiring :/

5.  Where do you work on your projects?

For the last 4 years I've worked in my own studio, which I converted from an 
entrance hall by blocking off the French doors with a dry-wall & fitting out the
 space with narrow drawers &a few large cupboards.

It's frustratingly small but works surprisingly well. 
I stand to scrap so my counter is standing height which I love. 
My laptop lives on a desk on the opposite side of the room
 (less than a metre away!) & the lounge is right next door so I don't 
feel isolated.  I adore my little hidey hole & spend hours in it with my
 ipod blasting!!  Yup ours is a noisy household but a very happy one :)

Now onto the rules of the hop!

I need to tag 3 people & next week they'll play along by doing a similar
post to mine & tagging another 3 people.  I actually failed to find 3 people
as so many of you have played along with this hop already & I honestly
didn't have any more time to keep asking people LOL so
TAG YOURSELF if you want to play along & let me know :)

1.  Who will play? :)  Let me know if it is YOU!!

Me & Ags go back a loooong way!  You know when you just CLICK
with someone?!?  That's the way it was for us & our friendship has
just grown & grown, weathered a few storms & still come out strong.

She is one FUN girl & makes me LAUGH!  She has a great sense 
of humour & is also very down-to-earth, sensible & practical & I
can honestly say I love her!!  She is a busy scrappy bee.  

Polish by origin but living currently in Canada.  She works for
 Inkido, Canvas Corp, 13arts, Bo Bunny, Scrap Around The World, 
7 Gypsies, Tattered Angels, Magenta & Wycinanka Chipboard!
Yup she's busier than me LOL!!  Visit Ags - she's a mover & a shaker!!

3.  Tusia Lech!

Tusia is one all round awesome person!  Also Polish!!  Yes it is a
well-known fact that I love anything Polish!  Who would have
guessed?!?  My husband is a real joker & when we first moved
to South Africa & people asked where we were from (our accents
are not typical to here) he always said Poland!!  Little did he or
I know at the time that I would come to LOVE Poland & the
Polish people & add it to my bucket list to visit one day!!

Tusia owns & designs for 7Dots Studio, Mixed Media Place,
Art Workshop, Scrap Around The World, Berry71Bleu,
UmWowStudio, The Color Room, Scrapki Wyzwaniowa,
Scrapiniec & Paper Dvizhnik.  Yup my friends are on so
many Design Teams they put me to shame LOL!

Tusia's work is awesome & she's a beautiful, positive person
too with an amazing blog!!

And that my friends is the end of one very long post!
If you made it to the end you deserve a cup of tea!!
I should have suggested you grab one before you started :)


Bellaidea said...

I feel so special right now :). Helen, I do remember our first contacts and I am so happy we are still friends! I do believe we will meet in real life , so sad we did not meet when I was living in SA . Well, you know I love SA and I know you love Europe so ....By the way, any idea when will you travel to Canada to have some fun with snow? You know I admire your work for a long time and really love to ask you for an advice because you are not only sweet but also true :)

Margaret Mifsud said...

Hey Helen, what a great read!!!! I was so happy when you agreed to play along and absolutely loved learning about your introduction to paper crafting! I know you are a very busy lady and so appreciate you joining in. This post is awesome!! Such a fun read and fabulous to learn a bit more about you!! Am now off to have a look at your friends blogs!! Thanks so much Helen!! Hugs ox

Di Garling said...

Wow a big read indeed but a GOOD one. It is great to get an insight into people we are working alongside of everyday and to learn a little about them. Thoroughly enjoyed your scrappy story Helen. I always knew your were a busy girl but just never realised HOW busy. Thanks for sharing a little of yourself with us all. Cheers Di

Lizzy Hill said...

I really enjoyed reading about your background, & how you came to be a scrapper.....thanks for sharing - it was great to read:):):)

zenevak said...

I really enjoyed learning more about you. Am looking forward to seeing your art journal page tomorrow!

Helen Wallace said...

It was such fun to read about your scrapping history and how busy you are. Not sure how you keep up with everything. How sad you had to move from Zimbabwe; a beautiful country which I have been lucky enough to visit some years ago. Your art is inspiring and despite your busy life you find time to visit other blogs and leave words of encouragement. Thanks for that, I appreciate your kind words. Good luck with your goals and your dreams and thanks for sharing a bit of your journey :D

Cassandra aka Scrap Savvy said...

What a fun enjoyable post! Always like learning more about the people that inspire me. It was fun to learn that you spend 3-4 hours on a layout. I just do not know how people whip them off in less than an hour. The fastest I have ever done one was just over an hour and it was a very C & S page. I am soooo with you on #4. That is me too to a "T". Thankfully, I use notebooks for crafting and for teaching to write down all my ideas (I even have a large Post-it pad and pencil by my bed to write down ideas that come to me when I am trying to get to sleep). I really like how you have got yourself scrapping on a schedule. I would love to get to that point. Hopefully my work will get to a point where I can manage to do that. TFS!

Off to visit the others.:)

Denise van Deventer said... are too funny girl! Love your quirky post and reading about you and your creative ways! ;-) Your work is really fabulous and I am always inspired by the pages and projects you make! You are such a free and experimental scrapper and I can only hope to be as free and easy as you! xx

Lynette Jacobs said...

I was asked by Linda Eggleton and Desire Fourie to take part in the hop...but time.

Loved reading yours.

yyam said...

It was nice to read about your creative journey. Glad you are still so passionate about it after so long.

Eila Sandberg said...

Ha ha! you might not be on as many teams as Ags or Tusia, but boy are you one busy lady! always something cooking! Loved re-visiting your scrappy story, as the good storyteller you are, reading anything you write is a treat! lots of hugs to ya my lovely lady! xoxo

Desire Fourie said...

Yip the year has flown and one cant believe we are only 24 weeks from Christmas. It was great to get to know even a bit more about you. You have such a wonderful writing style.
Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}