Monday, October 8, 2012

Found On Etsy

Etsy is a wonderful marketplace full of people with amazing talents. Every week I will seek out some of the best and brightest stars on Etsy and ask a few questions. This week I spoke to Veronica Johnson of Kits n Bit Scraps. Her shop is full of amazing paper crafts and her mini-albums....WOW!
What wonderful imagery.
A Quick Q&A with Veronica of Kits n bit Scraps.

Q) Tell us about yourself and how you got started on Etsy? 
A) I met my husband 21 years ago and have been happily marries for 16 years. I have a beautiful and very kind daughter and feel so blessed to have such a wonderful daughter and husband. I started back on Etsy in 2008, but really only got serious about it in 2011. I was born a crafter and started drawing as a small child. My mother taught me to love making things with my hands. Creating and designing is what keeps me sane, that and strong Coffee.

Q) Where do you find your inspiration?
A) My main inspiration and the base of all my designs come from color. I always start with color and then move on to pattern. 

Q) Your mini albums are so beautiful and Intricate. Do you gather your supplies into a kit first or do you pull from your stash as you go?
A) I always start gathering my supplies so that I have everything around me to pick from. Sometimes during the process I will add more embellishments or an accent color. 

A Thank You Card with Stamped and Colored image on the front. A wonderful example of adding a accent color to make it stand out.
Q) I notice machine stitching on some of your pieces, Do you sew as well?
A) I do sew. My mother taught me and my twin sisters to sew, embroider, knit and cross stitch. I am always incorporating one of those crafts into my scrapbooking. Sometimes I will even hand-draw and paper piece an embellishment to add a bit of whimsy to my albums.

Q) Do you have any advise to those new to scrapbooking?
A) Yes, Have Fun! Start with 1 base color and 1 base element and sprinkle it throughout your album. That will add unity and pull your album together. 
The cover of KitsnBitscraps Travel Album and two inside pages. What wonderful attention to detail. It makes me want to go somewhere so that I will have pictures to put in it.

Q) What does your craft space typically look like?
A) I have a studio which 95% of the time I have to just shut the door. My work space and the floor around me is usually messy until my project is done. Then I have to clean up or I can't think of a new project until I have a clean space. I need a blank workspace before I can start gathering supplies for a new project.

Q) Do you have any quirky items or sentimental pieces in your studio?
A) I do have bits of inspiration on my walls for instance, I have the word IMAGINE on my shelf and I have a wreath made of buttons from mine and my daughters clothes that my mom made for us. My mother loved buttons and I do too!

Q) What is your favorite Scrapbooking Technique? 
A) My favorite techniques are distressing and inking the edges of my pages. I also love to sew on my pages.   
A12x12 Premade summer layout. She used several techniques to make this page. Paper form the Trinity Paper Arts Collection. Page tearing and handmade bunting really make this layout stand out.  

Q) What's your favorite Paper Company or Paper Line? A) Every year I am amazed by all the beautiful paper that the manufacturers put out. I do find myself working alot with Little Yellow Bicycle, My Minds Eye and Crate Paper. 

Q) If you had to pick one item from your shop as your favorite what would it be? 
A) Wow, That is a difficult question because I like different ones for different reasons. I guess if i had to pick from what is in the shop today it would be the "Summer Album" with the cute birdhouse. 
Q) Who do you think next weeks "find" should be? 
A) Just In Time -OR- Brown Paper Packaging 

Thank you so much for talking with me Veronica. Your Creations are truly One-Of-A-Kind. Great advise for all the new scrapbookers out there. Take a look at her shop or stop by her blog @ She is offering a special for all you readers out there-Use Coupon Code-TKU10PER2012 for 10% off her amazing creations. 

What do you think of this weeks "Found On Etsy". Do you know a shop that you think should be featured? Drop me a line in the box below.

Once upon an Embellishment...

An embellishment is defined as an ornament or decoration. That doesn't say much, however in 
crafts an Embellishment is anything used to add design interest to a piece. I like that definition - 
I find that some basic design principles apply when embellishing your "piece".

Here are a couple of those principles:

The first I want to talk about is "Grounding". This term is used primarily in sketching or drawing. In scrapbooking it refers to using embellishments (be it a strip of paper or paper flowers) along the bottom of your project. This will effectively draw your eye down allowing you to sweep the entire page.

The second is know as the "Visual Triangle". When applied to scrapbooking you want to draw a triangle across your page. (invisible triangle, don't go doodling triangle on all your pages) Where the points come together place small groupings. Place your photos or journaling inside these points. Surrounding your photos with groupings of embellishments will help draw the eye to the most important part of your page....The Memories. 

Some of my favorite paper companies have come out with some really awesome embellishments that are great for layering. Check them out.
These Tin Pins from the Woodland Park Collection by October Afternoon are great when used over stitching or in a cluster with buttons or flowers.
Next is of course Washi Tape. This beautiful washi tape from My Minds Eye. Tear it to different lengths place it along the edge of your page and add paper flowers to the end . Done across the bottom of a layout is a great way to ground your pages.
And last but not least Jillibean Soup's Wooden Flags. Great to use sticking out of a grouping or photo. Or string some twine through the eyelet for a Title.
So, What do you think? Have you used these principles or are you going to try them? What do you think about these new products? We would love to hear from you.

Washi, Washi, Oh how I love thee....

So, what is Washi Tape? In case you have yet to encounter this amazingly versatile crafting supply washi tape is just what the name implies....tape. It has the feel of masking tape and come in a dizzying array of colors and designs. The word Washi comes from the Japanese words Wa-meaning Japanese and Shi- meaning Paper. Washi is generally made using the bark of the gampi tree. 

This paper tape is wonderful to use in paper crafts for a couple of reasons such as, before burnishing it into your paper it is repositionable, and it can add a great deal of interest to a solid background. It tears easily by hand and can be used to dress up raw chipboard simply by cutting around the edges. 

I have recently fallen in love with Washi Tape and it close cousin Deco Tape. Just looking at the many varieties gives me inspiration for my next project. So what follows is some of my favorite projects from around Pinterest Featuring Washi Tape. 

So, What do you think? Could you fall in love with Washi the way I did? What is your favorite use for this amazing do-it-all tape? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.