Thursday, 29 November 2012

My Interview at Scrap Friends!

Hi Everyone!  Thanks so much for all your support on my 
last post!   I am so busy scrapping to deadlines so I can get
away for our Summer vacation, that I am  not managing to
keep up with commenting but I will catch up as soon as I can.

  HELLO and THANK YOU to all my new blog followers/readers 
and thanks to everyone who advertised my giveaway - I really 
appreciate it & will be announcing a winner on Monday, as I 
want to give everyone a chance to enter & I know sometimes 
the weekend is the only opportunity we have to get around 
all the blogs we like to visit.  

Nothing new that I am able to share yet so I am posting
my interview with Scrap Friends here.  I'd like to keep a 
record of it for myself & it may be of interest to someone?!
 To see it on the Scrap Friends blog click HERE.

One of the absolute joys of scrapbooking is the inspiring people you meet. Today I’d like to introduce Helen Tilbury from South Africa, who has a fabulous blog called SCRAP ADDICT

Can you share a little about when & why you started scrapping? 
I started scrapbooking 9 years ago after my daughter went to a holiday workshop with her friend & came home with a simple page. It was love at first sight for me. I had never seen anything like it before, as I was living in Zimbabwe at the time, where there were no craft magazines for sale. I've always been artistic and dabbled in all sorts of arts and crafts but as soon as I laid eyes on scrapbooking I knew it would be for life. I had boxes of photographs everywhere (pre-digital times!) and I wanted to get them sorted out so this was my initial motivation. I had no inkling that scrapbooking would turn into such a lifestyle for me – I now have a whole room devoted to it & create around 20 pages each month, photo & video tutorials as well as blogging for myself & the companies I design for.

What design teams / manufacturers have you represented?  
I began working with Design Teams in 2009 when I worked for Journaling Junkie [a journaling challenge blog] & Little Shop of Sketches [a sketch challenge blog].

In 2010 I joined more challenge teams & shops/kit clubs, across the globe - such as Pretty Paper Petals in Australia & Scrap-it-Lah in Malaysia & Scrapbook Challenges.

This year I've worked with Scrap That! Kit club In Canada & Creative Scrappers & I’m currently designing for the My Creative Scrapbook Les Papiers de Pandore French paper manufacturer , Berry71Bleu Tags & Purple Pumpkin embellishment manufacturer in Australia. Phew I didn’t realise that I’d worked for 18 different sites already! There’s always something new happening with me!

What keeps you motivated to scrap? 
  • Deadlines - being on Design Teams forces me to scrap!!!!
  • Challenges – I love taking part in them. They’re fun & inspiring.
  • My kids – they love seeing pages of themselves.
  • The creative aspect – I adore getting lost in the whole creative process.
  • My stash – seeing as I’ve invested a significant amount of money on supplies, tools & storage, I have what I call “an obligation to my stash” – I try to scrap as much as I buy to keep the equation equal!

If you had to describe your style, how would you?  

"Modern Shabby" - it veers towards the pretty/feminine (when I am working on my girls' pages) but I have 2 teenage boys too so I can't inflict too much of that upon them. I like lots of layers & clustering but also white space & modern, clean lines with a good amount of mixed media thrown in.
My favourite page elements are:
  • White cardstock
  • Misting/masking/stencilling/inking (mixed media backgrounds)
  • Hand-stitching
  • Fussy-cutting
  • Punching
  • Hand journaling

What type of scrappy projects do you mostly create?
12” X 12” layouts - although occasionally I make cards, mini-albums, canvases & OTP projects.

If your mojo is 'lost'...what do you do? 
Any hints for other scrappy peeps that might be facing the same thing? 
  I have commitments so I just have to fight my way through it. Sometimes I really don't like my pages [if they have given me a headache to put together] but I never admit it because I don't want to pass my negativity onto my blog readers, who may like my page, not having been part of the process! If I’m feeling "over-scrapped" & I’ve got the chance, I’ll go do something totally different - like exercise, read a mag or visit a friend. This type of refreshment brings my mojo back. I recommend trying it, but if it doesn't work then the best thing to do is just start a page. It may not turn out to be your favourite but often it kick-starts your creativity!

Where do you look for inspiration if you feel you are getting a little 'stale'? 
I never feel stale because I receive daily inspiration online! I follow lots of blogs – viewing the work of others I admire is really inspiring to me. My 4 teenagers keep me in the loop with fashion & music – so I’m always up to date with the latest fashions in clothing, music, etc. As a fashion designer by profession, I’ve spent decades ‘trend spotting’ so I’ve learnt to recognise how these translate from one art form to the other, for example from clothing to paper.

Have you some fave, inspirational scrappers that you'd like to share - or blogs? 
I follow far too many blogs – I have fave scrappers in every country!
I can’t possibly mention them all but some of my all-time favourites are: Iris Babao Uy in the Phillipines. Karola Witczak & Anna Dabrowska from Poland. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer from the US & Gabrielle Pollaco from Canada. And the Studio Calico blog – it is LADEN with tips & tricks & SO trendy! Right now I’m most inspired by the ILS blog here – those girls are really amazing!!

What scrappy materials are on your 'go to' list - things that you literally have at your fingertips because you grab them all the time?
Up to date supplies are really hard to get hold of in South Africa, so I make sure I have BIG stocks of all my favourite things - if I run out I'll be waiting a minimum of 2 weeks for parcels from Australia or Europe & 4 weeks from the US, so I have to be very organised.
My ‘must haves’ include:
  • White cardstock
  • A good collection of inks
  • A few nice stencils
  • Mists
  • Good journaling pens. I am very fussy here - I only use Creative Memories or Shachihata!
  • Adhesives, including double-sided tape, glue dots & my favourite Tombo Mono glue.
  • Trimmer blades!

Are there some 'now' items that you are enjoying using?
I'm crazy about all the new Prima embellishments - the resins and metals. They are simply superb!
I'm also in love with Martha Stewart punches and stencils from Studio Calico & The Crafter's Workshop as well as Donna Downey for Prima.

Do you scrap from sketches, ideas, or is it the photo [s] that dictate how a LO comes to life?
Working for Design Teams often means using certain products – so I start there, & find a photo/s to match. If I’m scrapping for myself, then I start with the photo - & if I’m entering a challenge, I’ll often find what works for that sketch/colour combo. So it all depends on what the agenda of the day is!

I notice you've started to create your own sketches. What inspired you to head in this direction?
I was sick for a few weeks and missing scrapbooking so I started creating sketches on my laptop in bed. Since I've been better I haven't had time to create any more! I have my sketches under a page tab HERE on my blog for anyone who would like to use them.

Some of your LOs have amazing background work. ‘TIME WILL TELL’ is one example. How did you create this one?
This is one of my current faves - It was quite simple to create but looks complex - gotta love that!

You can achieve this look with a few simple steps:-
  • All good pages start with a plan in mind, so begin by choosing your focal point for your sunrays - mine was just underneath my photo - then, using a co-ordinating print, mark out your sunrays from that point to the edge of your page.
  • You need to measure equidistant points around the page. I had my rays going to each bottom corner and three points in between. In other words, the centre of the page along the bottom - then halfway again between the centre point and the edge of the page. I had my rays only going across the bottom 2/3 of the page (the section below the photo) and if you look carefully at the page you can actually see that the bottom 2/3 of my page is more defined than the top section as a result.
  • Now you need to glue the sunrays paper onto your backing paper, cutting out every alternate section so your printed paper looks like sunrays (this will automatically give your page some texture & depth). Now your task is to ink, paint and gesso away!
  • I started by inking the cut out sections (using a Tsukineko ink dauber as they are great for getting into smaller sections). That is the darker red you see on the page.
  • Next you need to dry-brush on the gesso. I actually used a small cosmetic sponge to apply it.
  • For shimmer & shine I used Ranger's Liquid Pearls smeared on with my fingers. That's the Peacock Green/blue you can see.
  • Lastly I used green ink on bubble-wrap around the edges of the page – the lime coloured bits - to emphasize the sun rays.
  • Dry your mediums with your embossing gun between layers so you don't end up with muddy colours.
  • Keep your photo well away from everything until it is completely dry so you don’t spoil it.
  • Clean everything straight afterwards with warm soapy water – including your hands, before you start handling photos & embellishments, etc. I clean my counter/cutting mats with benzene between projects.
Do you have a quote that sums up what scrapping means to you?
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit" Aristotle.
I've been scrapbooking for 9 years & I'm still learning all the time. I'm forever "pushing the envelope" & trying new things. As Van Gogh said "I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart"I firmly believe that if you want to become really good at anything you need to DO IT.

It's really important to read, and learn, and observe others, but theory and practice are two very different things & the best way to hone your skills is through trial and error, by carving out some studio time every week for yourself.

Online classes are great, as are photo and video tutorials but at the end of the day practice makes perfect & if you’re short of time spend the time you have experimenting with your supplies & creating! I hope I have inspired you to do just that…

I certainly am inspired….I hope you are too & I encourage you to take a peek at both Helen’s blog as well as some of the scrappers she’s recommended here. And, of course, most of all – happy scrapping!

23 comments: said...

Congratulations on your feature at ScrapFriends!! It's great to get to know you better!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

Desire Fourie said...

Oh wow Helen. This was so interesting and great getting to know you even better. This is such a professional and inspiring interview. Thanks for sharing. The best I have seen!
Hugs Desíre {Doing Life - my personal blog}

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness Helen what stunning work.
You are right , being in a design team does force you to craft and in your case scrap. I was really into scrapping and then digital scrapping came along , I have lost the full use of my right hand and so digital was the way to go. I also love card making and mix my digital skills with real ! crafting and am having so much fun , I am on four design teams now and I am slowly changing and evolving the way I craft as I gather more skills from others . it is such a fast moving hobby but I love it. I adore your work too . hugs Elaine

Michelle said...

I have always enjoyed your work and the way you like to use so many different mediums. It was fun learning a few new tidbits about you. :) Congrats on the feature (oh and I also use pretty much only CM pens. I have lot of their products).

Lizzy Hill said...

Hey Helen...nice to see this up here...& I hope you get everything up to date so you can have a relaxed, enjoyable break away with your that LO NEVER ceases to stun's just gorgeous :)):):):)

Kerryn said...

It's so interesting to read about you and your scrapping process Helen. TFS

Denise Price said...

Great article--it's you in a nutshell! And it's awesome to see so many of your layouts all together here.

Juliana Michaels 17turtles said...

Congrats on being featured! What a great article!!! I am always inspired by your fabulous mixed media work & backgrounds! One of my goals is to play more like this!!!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Congrats on your feature!! I loved reading more about you!!!!!

juscrap said...

What a joy to see you in the magazine and could meet her some more. Success! kisses

Chantal Vandenberg said...

This has been so interesting to read, Helen! TFS! :D

sandi said...

Congrats on your feature! Such a fabulous display of your gorgeous creations!

Lynnda said...

I love reading about you!!! Its great to know you better!!! Congratulations on your feature at ScrapFriends!! hugs...xoxo

Lynette Jacobs said...

What a great is wonderful to see how you have grown and evolved your own style over the years. I am so glad for you that you have achieved the success that you have been striving work so very hard at it.


FiKenward said...

Hi Helen congrats on your interview and WOW very impressive piece. I really do not know how you find the time to scrap that many pages in a month...maybe I need to spend less time at the Great to see your pages evolve and I'm sure we will see plenty more.

FiKenward said...

Hi Helen congrats on your interview and WOW very impressive piece. I really do not know how you find the time to scrap that many pages in a month...maybe I need to spend less time at the Great to see your pages evolve and I'm sure we will see plenty more.

Unknown said...

Hi Friend How fun to read this story great to get you now better.and congrats girl!!!

Hugs carla

scrapsdalele said...

I loved reading more about you, Helen. Congrats on your interview. Your pages are so awesome! Hugs

Sandie said...

Congratulations Helen, I loved reading all about you and your scrapping.... was fantastic!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview and learning about your creative process. Thanks for sharing :)

Denise van Deventer said...

Sjoe girl..if you don't get the post then I don't know!! I love this interview post...and certainly gives me a few tips for next time I need to do this! Thanks so much for this! I love your work girl and really hope you get the post!

Eila Sandberg said...

Oooh what great reading Helen, loved it!! My goodness girl, seeing all these pages together like this, makes me mighty impressed with your productivity. Not that I didn't already know that your creativity just flows endlessly. Countdown ... Skyped with Bengt earlier this evening, he's in Bangladesh at the mo and hopping on to HongKong on Saturday. hugs and kisses,

Marilyn said...

Wohooo!!! A HUGE Congrats!!!! this is wonderful Helen!!! love to see all your gorgeous creation and to know a little more of you!!!! Wonderful spot!!!Congrats!!!