Hello and happy Monday! Hope you all have a great start to the week 😉

Today’s post is quite unique (and long! Sorry!) in that its a blog hop, but not as you know it. Its a ‘Getting to know me’ blog hop, where fellow bloggers tag one another as a way of encouraging them to explain a little bit about themselves, their creative processes and their inspiration. I wanted to thank the lovely Michelle over at The Card Grotto for tagging me – this girl is such a sweetie and her cards are so clever, clean and simple, yet still pack quite a punch – you can find out more about Michelle on her blog 😉

Part of the blog hop is a series of questions, the answers to which hopefully give you a small insight into who I am ;-). I thoroughly enjoyed reading Michelle’s answers and although we haven’t met face to face yet, I feel like I understand a bit more about her creative process. Here are my answers:

1. What creative projects are you currently working on?

I have Winnie & Walter’s August Release on my craft desk as well various other design team projects. I am fortunate enough to be on three amazing design teams at the moment, and I’ve only been blogging for about a year and a half! My term with CAS-ual Fridays Challenge has come to an end after a fabulous year, but if you pop over to their blog, you’ll see that they have put out a DT Call – I would encourage you all to put yourselves forward! Michele, the owner and ‘fearless leader’ is kind, generous and so supportive.

2. What inspires your designs?

I’m constantly gathering resource and inspiration for my cards from all sorts of things – sometimes, when I’m on my way to work I see posters on the train that make me think, ‘that would make a great card’! Sometimes, I’ll go straight to Pinterest, where I have a board specifically for kickstarting my ideas and other times I’ll scroll through pages and pages of my favourite blogs – there’s so much visual stimulation out there!

©Candles in the Garden. Getting to know me. Pinterest board.

3. What method / process (if applicable) do you apply to each of your creative projects, and how long does each project take to complete?

I tend to use a few methods to help keep the creative juices flowing. Most importantly though, i keep a monthly planner to help me stay on top of all my DT responsibilities – its nothing special, but it works perfectly for me 😉 (you can download something similar here).

Monthly Planner_small

Sometimes, I’ll sketch ideas in here too and sometimes I’ll work them up digitally before putting ink to paper – this really helps me to see an idea visually before actually preparing a project.

Sketching_529

If I’m working on a DT project, I’ll lay out everything that I own from a particular company on my craft desk and start combining them with colours, pattern paper, dies etc. The Runway Inspired Challenge tends to be a little different as you are already given an inspiration photo to work from, so really the sky’s the limit – for this DT, I’ll try to include a technique or experiment with Distress Inks ;-).

Projects can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours to complete – sometimes an idea hits me and I can run with it until its finished and sometimes I keep futzing with it until it feels right. There have been times when I have started again though…

4. If you had to describe your ‘signature’ style, what would it be?

I don’t think I have just one style – I like to think I can try my hand at most things, from CAS to mixed media – I always enjoyed monoprinting when I was at art college so my Gelli Plate is my best friend (after Distress Inks)! I’m still trying to figure out how to use the prints for my cardmaking 😉 I also really enjoy making background patterns from all the stamp sets I own – sometimes, the most generic shape can lead to the best result.

©Candles in the Garden. Winnie and Walter JUL14 Release - Day 4. Scenery: V for Chevron.  ©Candles in the Garden. One stamp set, three ways Ep2. Waltzingmouse Stamps Fine Feathers.  ©Candles in the Garden. Neat and Tangled August 2014 DT Post. Anchors and Wheels.
©Candles in the Garden. CAS-ual Fridays CFC133 - Summer lovin. Hearts in summer colours using Heart Board Fri-Die.  ©Candles in the Garden. Neat and Tangled JUL14 Release - Day 1. Gifts For You.  ©Candles in the Garden. Winnie and Walter AUGUST DT post. Going tribal.

5. What three crafting tools/products can you not live without?

Hmm…narrowing it down to just three is difficult, but I think it would be Distress Inks, a craft knife and a craft mat! Or should that be cardstock…or pattern paper…or…this is tough!

And finally, I get to share who I have tagged next! I’ve picked three exceptional crafters who totally inspire me in so many ways:

Taheerah Atchia – Fill Your Paper with the breathings of your Heart

Taheerah AtchiaFirstly, the title of this lady’s blog is so cool – I mean, there is nothing else out there like it in our crafty community, but that’s just the start! Taheerah’s blog is guaranteed to bring you something new almost every day. She has such a fluid card making style, coupled with almost ethereal photography – this brings out all the best qualities of all the cards she makes and leaves you feeling so happy! She’s also part of many design teams, two of which we have in common 😉 I’ve often read and re-read Taheerah’s posts to figure out just how she’s created something and been surprised at how effortless she makes it look!

Laura Sterckx – Making Cards is Fun

Laura SterckxThis sweetheart is so amazingly talented and yet she’s only 17! I couldn’t believe it when I came across Laura’s work on Simon Says Stamp’s blog, especially when you see the level of perfection in everything she makes! Her style seems to be CAS but what’s really clever is the way she achieves this with watercolour. Even though she’s still studying, she has time to make awesome card making videos too! There’s something on her blog for everyone, and I promise, you will not be disappointed!

Yana Smakula – Cardmaking and Scrapbooking

Yana Smakula

I first came across Yana’s blog when we became teamies for Neat & Tangled and I was hooked! And, in case you didn’t know already, she has recently been invited to join the DTs for Hero Arts and Spellbinders! Woot! Yana has a passion for travel that rivals her passion for card making – she’s visited lots of places and in fact, started her crafty career as a scrapbooker! This girl works tirelessly on her blog to showcase all sorts of experiments with die-cutting, stamping, collage…you name it, Yana’s done it 😉 To top it all off, she has the most beautiful accent in her videos – she explains her processes so well that you can’t help feeling inspired!

Thanks for reading through to the end – hope this gives you some insight into who I am and my creative process – don’t forget to check out Taheerah’s, Laura’s and Yana’s blogs on Monday 1st September to see who they’ve tagged!

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