I am sure you already know the super talented Barbara but let's just get to know her a bit better!
Enjoy all of Barbara's work in her gallery
Project Life 2013 (see more details on her blog)
I’m a wife to my husband Larry and mother to our 5 year old little girl, Simone. I have a degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Literature. I worked full time until 2 days before having my daughter as primarily an executive assistant/office manager. My last and most favorite job was working for MAC Cosmetics. Being surrounded by that much creativity everyday was positively exhilarating. I miss my job everyday but I also know that I would miss being home even more. I am a child of the 80’s and growing up I learned how to navigate myself as gracefully as I could thru life from the master’s; Nancy Drew, Judy Blume and John Hughes.
Barbara's This Is Me album is one of my favorites of all time!! (more details on her blog)
Barbara, tell us about what got you started in the papercrafting world, and what has kept you there!
It all started with a Creative Memories wedding album I received as a shower gift from my sister in law back in 1998. I took a class, started attending scrapbook expos, and was hooked. I was a CM consultant for about a year and a half and had fun with it but with school taking up so much of my time I stopped. I scrapped consistently for several years but it did taper off quite a bit. When my daughter was born I started it back up in earnest but started doing my pages digitally. I loved the speed and ease of that style of scrapping and scrapped that way exclusively for a few years. It was Ali Edwards’ December Daily project in 2009 that sucked me back into the world of paper and it has become one of my most favorite projects. It was from her that I learned about Project Life and started by first album in 2010; I’m now in my fourth year and cannot imagine my life without it. It was also through Ali that I learned about Studio Calico. My first order from them was for her 2011 December Daily kit and I decided to become a member in January, 2012. I have loved being part of that community, since I was so out of the loop paper wise, it was awesome having kits arrive each month. It helped me become reacquainted with the industry and I always loved what they put together. The inspiration that comes from them and their design team is what keeps pushing me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone.
I love this map !! I need 500 of them! LOL (more details here)
Where do you find inspiration? I see that you LOVE color, is there a certain place you look for color inspiration?
I would say my number one source of inspiration comes from fashion. I’m a fashion magazine hound and on paper I have extremely expensive taste; Chanel, Prada, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, my list is extensive. I’m also obsessed with make-up, and have been for a really long time. Color excites me, plain and simple. With make-up it’s extremely easy to satisfy that urge for color, tiny little pots of goodness, little tubes of lipstick, and the way colors blend from one to another, it’s accessible. Whereas that Miu Mui dress I just saw in Vogue, is most certainly not. I think that’s what draw’s me in to the papercrafting world, its constantly changing just like fashion, and the color stories are endless.
I love how innovative you are, what pushes you to create outside "the box".
I’m all about challenging myself. Usually my ideas come from a place of “I wonder if I can figure out how do that?’ One of my favorite things about school was always the research, it was never about writing the paper. It was uncovering and discovering things that I loved. I will spend hours trying to figure something out instead of changing my idea, because at the end of it all, knowing I figured it out and made it work is the victory for me. I’m also always eager to work with new mediums, try things that I’ve never tried before. Currently I’m working with watercolors and playing around with colors and blending. Playing around and just doing with no agenda or desired outcome always gets my creative juices flowing and ideas usually come from that play time.
When you are creating a project where do you start?
It depends on the project but usually everything starts with some sort of piece of inspiration. It can be a color, a word, a photo, a song, anything really. After that every project is planned in some fashion, always on paper usually in list form where I work out the details and come up with placement options and think about photos I would want to add in.
What is one thing you have always wanted to try but aren't sure how to start?
I have mad envy for anyone that can put pencil to paper and have what’s in their brain translate to paper exactly as they see it in their head. I have the vision, I just don’t have the skill and I would love to wake up and be able to draw or paint as effortlessly as some can and do so well.
For someone just getting started in the paper world, share some of your favorite tips and tricks.
· It’s okay to be inspired by others, but give yourself enough freedom to find out who you are and what your own style is and grow from there.
· Invest in good tools. Be it a paper trimmer, ink, paper, a computer, a photo printer. If you have good tools, you can spend more time being creative.
· Measure twice, cut once. This is kind of universal but it’s worth repeating and applies a lot to paper.
· Find an online community to join; a message board, a Facebook group, Twitter or Instagram. Surround yourself with like minded people who love what you love and you’ll be amazed at how much inspiration is out there. I learn something every day from people I follow or things I read online.
· Create with abandon, get messy and have fun with it!
What are your "Must-Haves" for a jump start?
· A fairly clean work surface, I need some room to spread out.
· My computer, I print all my photos at home and most of my designs start there.
· Quiet if at all possible. I try to work out the nitty gritty of my projects when my daughter is at school.
With all this creating what are your top three favorite products?
Tonic Paper Trimmer – because I’m a bit obsessed with things being straight and square
Photoshop Elements – everything I do starts on the computer and I use this program to edit my photos, layout my pages and design most everything I make. I’m currently running version 9 but can’t wait to upgrade to version 11
Silhouette Cameo – because every one of my three favorite projects was done with it
Thank you so much Barbara for allowing us to get to know you a little better! I am so inspired by every thing you do! If you are inspired by Barbara and would like to play along.. please lift one of Barbara's projects in her gallery (giving credit to Barbara and linking to this blog post in your gallery/blog posting) and link back here by next Monday, June 17th. I will be giving away one $20 gift certificate to Studio Calico to a lucky participant! Can't wait to see what you all come up with!
Talk to you soon!