I received a lot of submissions this month to be the featured artist on my blog for July. This month's Featured Artist is a customer and new email buddy of mine...Susan Byington! Susan submitted work to me right after she got home from vacation. As you know, that is a crazy time when you get back - unpacking, doing laundry, etc. Sue was dedicated to submitting photos of her projects for the contest and I won't tell you what time she sent a lot of her photos - let's just say we all are usually deep in sleep for a very l-o-n-g time at the hour she submitted some of her photos:))
When Susan was done submitting her photos, I had the tough job of trying to narrow down the selections and showcase a good selection of what she submitted here. It certainly wasn't easy to chose because I really liked many of the samples. I tried to choose a nice variety and also pick samples that might be a little different than what you had seen before.
Susan was so excited to find out that she was this month's featured artist! I think it would be kind of neat to leave her comments on her projects and this article at the bottom of this post.
So, on to some photos! This first photo is of Susan's 3-D submission. It consists of a gift bag, bookmark and card. The set is really adorable. Sue used glitter to accentuate the balloons and put us in the "party spirit".
Susan also submitted a number of her card creations. I have captured just a small showcasing of them. The first card is one that Susan first saw on my blog when I posted a photo of a swap card that i received at a demonstrator event I attended. Susan was determined to figure out how to make the card and came up with this version for her submission. I love the addition of the flower in the center!
I really like this next sample because Susan created a peek-a-boo window using the scallop circle punch in the center of her card to show off her flower on the inside.
This is a photo showing the card opened up so that you can see the window a little better. Making the front flap of the card a little smaller is a nice idea to make your card a little different and be even more unique!
Before I add any more photos, it would be nice for you to get to know a little bit more about Susan. Check out what she has to say below:
Name: Suan Byington from O'Fallon, MO.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your family: I tend to burn the candle at both ends until it "breaks in the middle". My full-time job is my family with my husband Jay and 3 kids - Sarah 20, Adam 17 and Zach 12. I have two birds, three cats, one beautiful little Maltese dog and a tank full of fish. I love animals. My dad calls us the "Byington Zoo". I am working on landscaping flower beds and have a thriving wildflower garden in the back! I work out with a trainer three times a week and try really hard to eat healthy. I have lost over 45 pounds since March 1, 2007 and plan to continue my efforts. I am 45 years old and don't like the aches and pains of aging:)) I also work 3 days a week for a photographer taking care of customers and managing all the "little things". In the fall, I will spend every weekend watching my boys play football and soccer.
How long have you been rubber stamping or scrapbooking? I don't scrapbook. In fact, I am terrible about organizing or even developing my pictures. Yes, I still use real film in my camera! My family thinks I need to step into the digital age, but my little camera takes great pictures! I'm just bad about the follow-through and organizing. I do love to make cards, though. I started about 10 years ago.
What is your favorite technique or type of stamping? Anything that looks cool and makes the card special!
What are some of your favorite things (stamping or non-stamping related)? Musicals, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Old TV shows like I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, Winnie-the-Pooh, camping (ooooh the campfire!) the beach & water, books and God's Amazing Creation.
What tip(s) would you like to give other stampers - something you learned the hard way and wish you knew about first and/or something you just learned and thought it was neat? Don't throw away scraps. It feels great to create a card out of leftover scraps (and sometimes challenging!).
How were you introduced to stamping? My Aunt Phyllis really got me started about 10 years ago. She would always send the most AMAZING CARDS and I just couldn't believe she actually MADE them. She invited me to a Stampin' Up! workshop and I was very skeptical. Anything that looked that cool couldn't be easy to do. It was the first time I had taken this route to her house and got terribly lost. By the time I got there the workshop was over, but the demonstrator took the time to sit down with me and show me the things they had done and actually taught me how to create something and I was sold! My first order was a black ink pad, some markers, white cardstock and a couple of stamp sets. I still use those stamp sets. (I never get rid of any stamps.) All my cards were very simple, but it was fun. The last few years I have been attending stamp classes when I could and trying to learn how to copy well. I am finally learning how to put different ideas and techniques from other people together to create my own images. It has taken a long time and I never sent anything without a critique from my family first. If I don't get an enthusiastic thumbs up from them, I play with the card some more until it is "mail worthy".
Something you would like people to know about you: I used to train and show Maltese in the obedience ring. Now I just train my children.
What you love most about stamping? IT IS GREAT THERAPY FOR ME and (hopefully) makes others feel good when they receive the finished product. I think there is therapy in making someone else feel good, as well as the craft itself.
Here are a few more of Susan's creations:
This card is a fun one and Susan tells me that this card has a 3-D effect to it as well. This is how she describes it ~ and I quote:)) "To make that card, I actually used glossy white cardstock and stamped the image multiple times in the various colors. Then cut out all the sections of the image and mounted them with dimensionals over the Always Artichoke. Always Artichoke is actually the base color. It had to be an exact fit! The effect was cool! " If you look carefully at the card, you can actually see a little of that 3-D effect that she is talking about.
I think that this card is just adorable. Sue created her own background on the cardstock by stamping flowers randomly all around. The little 'friends' are stamped and then colored in. I loved this stamp set when it was out. It is now retired, but these little girls are so stinkin' cute:))
I hope you enjoyed this month's Featured Artist showcase. Don't forget to leave Susan a comment under the post to let her know what you think of this article!
Well, the time has come to announce my July Featured Artist! I have contacted the winner and they have submitted the answers to my questionnaire and I am putting the final touches on the article and post. Stay tuned for the announcement tomorrow!
I would like to congratulate Linda McClain for being my first Featured Artist on my blog! Linda was so excited to be featured. When she found out, she responded...(and I quote)..."I'm Dancing in Sunshine now! Thank you for the honor. Let's see . . . I'd like to thank the Academy, my Mom and Dad . . . just kidding." Her response made me laugh when I read it that I thought I would share it with you.
One of the requirements for being a Featured Artist on my blog was to submit some photos of projects you have worked on or would like to share.
The first project really "took the cake" for me as far as the Featured Artist went for this month - pun definitely intended:))
This cake is a very time consuming project to make and Linda put a lot of extra touches on it by cutting out the butterflies and adding a half-back pearl from the Pretties Kit to them. It also didn't hurt that the cake was chocolate!
I will share some more of Linda's creations at the end of this post. I thought it might be nice for us to get to know Linda a little better so I asked her a few questions. These are her responses during our interview:
Name and where you are from - Linda McClain from Round Rock, Texas (just north of Austin).
Please tell us a little bit about yourself- I share the best adventures with my husband of 26 years, our two grown children and Mailey dog. I settled my mid-life crisis a while back by going back to school and becoming a registered nurse. Now I have the honor of helping regulate the care our seniors receive in nursing homes in central Texas. I love old people - and not just because I'm becoming one.
How long have you been rubber stamping or scrapbooking? I was so mesmerized when we first walked on the moon that I started a scrapbook back in 1969. Okay, that probably doesn't count. I really picked up stamping about two years ago. I love that it's so much more than just gluing fancy papers and embellishments on a page - it's a chance to play with so many different kinds of art mediums, like embossing powder, inks, chalk, pencils, crayons . . . it just opened up a whole new world of creativity to me.
What is your favorite technique or type of stamping? Oh dear . . . so many. I love embossing, glitter, watercoloring . . . I love using paint and crackle medium (like the Weathered stamp in real life). I hope Stampin' Up! will start carrying paint again soon. In the meantime, did you know you can dye white acrylic paint with your re-inkers to match our colors?
What are some of your favorite things (stamping or non-stamping related)? Well, my son would say it's glitter. Funny story - One day he came up to me and very seriously said, Mom, can you please stop using glitter in your workshops? His bathroom is right next to my studio. When I'm crafting and when the ladies come to my house, we all use his bathroom. Glitter gets all over the sink, towels, floor . . . and the next morning, the transplanted glitter ends up all over him - hard for a 24 year old to pass off. We solved the problem - he moved out. A girl can't be without glitter!
What tip(s) would you like to give other stampers - something you learned the hard way and wish you knew about first and/or something you just learned and thought it was neat? I was a hoarder. I was always afraid to make those first cuts in that beautiful paper. I had to learn that it's okay to make mistakes and just enjoy the process. Cut, paste, glue - get ink all over you and enjoy! When I bought the Pretties Kit I fondled it for about a month, but then I went on a mission to use up every single piece of it. That was so much more fun that hoarding it.
On a more practical note - turn off the ceiling fan before you get out the embossing powder - or you'll be as sparkly as my son.
How were you introduced to stamping?I kept seeing "Stampin' Up!" in the PaperCraft magazine and others, and, on the most adorable and beautiful projects no less. I asked around and found a friend who had a friend . . . who is a demonstrator, and the rest is history.
Something you would like people to know about you: My favorite thing in the whole world is to play with stamps and paper. The only thing that makes it better is when I get to do it with people I love. So, how incredible is it that my twin sister in Indiana joined Stampin' Up! just so she could come play with me at the national convention in Utah - when we both turn 50. Isn't that the best sister in the world!? Watch out - we are going to Party - and most certainly not act our age.
What you love most about stamping?Whatever is going on in my life, stamping gets me through it, whether scrapbooking the triumphs or stamping out my troubles. It's just not possible to be in that creative zone and still obsess about cranky people and crabgrass. I get fantastic therapy and, hopefully, a great project to show off to boot.
Another submission from Linda was her wonderful Patriotic Card that she made for Memorial Day to show the troops how much she appreciated them.
Linda let me take my pick of photos of her other creations and these are the ones that I hand-selected to share with you.
First, there is this wonderful Chinese Take Out Box with Fortune Cookies...
This sample features the "Embrace Life" stamp set from Stampin' Up! to do the stamping on the box. The fortune cookies are actually made out of cardstock! How cool is that?
Another favorite of mine is this adorable baby card.... The card depicts a little baby's room and you see the wall with a little clothes hanger. The little onsie is actually hanging on a little handmade hanger that Linda made out of wire.
My final pick is Linda's Dahlia Card using Stampin' Up!'s wonderful Ginger Blossom Designer Series Paper. Notice the extra touch by using a Pretties Kit half-back pearl in the center of the flower..
I really would like to thank Linda for taking the time to submit her work to be featured here on my blog. Linda also has her own blog called www.cateredcrop.typepad.com. I also appreciate Linda giving us her extra hints and tips when answering her interview questions.
If you enjoyed this new feature on my blog, please leave a comment letting me know why you like it. Who knows, you might even be randomly selected to win a prize when I draw your name from the people who have commented on my blog!
If you would like to be considered for my July Featured Artist, please submit your .jpg photos to me at email@example.com. Submissions will be accepted until July 10th.
I am looking for Featured Artists to be guest bloggers on my blog. What does that mean? I am looking for people to submit samples of cards, non-card items and/or scrapbook pages to my by email using a .jpg photo by June 10th. I will be going through the submissions and chosing the artwork from one person to be featured on my blog for one day during the month of June.
When you submit your entry, you should also include a "recipe" for your project that includes things like what stamp set, cardstock, inks, accessories, etc. that were used in the making of your project. There is no limit to how many samples you can provide. Everyone is eligible to apply for this position. You could be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, a customer, a stamper, scrapbooker or a reader of my blog.
I will be looking for more featured artists in the months to come, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, you can get your submissions for June to me at firstname.lastname@example.org .jpg by June 10th to be eligible to be chosen as my FIRST Featured Artist!