Guest Post: Interview with Scrapbook Artist Tracy Carrig

It’s always fun to give a little boost to a new artsy friend! So, today we’re joining in on a little virtual party for scrapbook artist, Tracy Carrig. Our party hostess is Briana Vedsted, author of A Girl Named Cord. I hope you enjoy Briana’s interview with Tracy. You can see more of Tracy’s work on Pinterest or catch up with her via her social links posted below.

Interview by Briana Vedsted

Tracy's Scrapbook PageBriana: So, what is “scrapbooking”?

Tracy: Simply put, scrapbooking is putting beautiful, fun paper, photos, and memorabilia together to tell a story. Think of it as enhancing your photos.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  What if you don’t know what those words are.  Scrapbooking allows you to remember all the stories, jokes, heartfelt moments, and everyday life, and share the memories with family and friends.  Imagine looking at a photo from someone else’s life.  The photo by itself may give you some hints.  Now if the photo were scrapbooked, the story behind the photo would also become clear.  Scrapbooking is a fun way to share and remember your story for years to come.

Briana: And what in the world is Memory Works?

Tracy: I like to call Memory Works the Mary Kay of the scrapbooking world.   Memory Works carries scrapbooking products from all the big names (Fancy Pants, Pink Paislee and BoBunny, to name a few), as well as their own line called Simple Stories.  Memory Works also offers a monthly kit subscription for $29.95 (plus shipping, handling, and sales tax).  Each themed kit is packed with coordinated papers and embellishments from different brand name companies.

In addition, Memory Works offers a Hostess Incentive.  This is a free gift to the party hostess can earn if the party results in an order of $150.00 (before tax).  I like to offer this as well if there is either a single order from a customer of $150, or if there is a group of customers, though not necessarily at a party,  that order enough supplies to meet to required minimum.  The incentive changes every month and can be anything scrapbooking related, from a collection of patterned papers to a stamp set to a few specific items from a brand name collection.

Briana: Is scrapbooking hard to do?

Tracy: Scrapbooking should be fun, so, no– it’s not hard to do.  If you find you’re having difficulty, take a step back.  See where you’re getting stuck.  Are you trying to re-create a technique or layout and it’s not coming together?  Do you not understand the terminology?  Take me for example.  I know this much about knitting and crocheting.  Now I know the terms knit and perl.  Did I spell them right?  No idea.  Can I tell you what they mean?  Nope, sorry.  I learned a lot of the terms from magazines and websites.  And for me, it clicked.  I kept wanting more and more.  So it shouldn’t be hard.  Again, if you’re running into trouble, try to pinpoint what exactly is giving you pause.  Sometimes you need clarification, or to just tell yourself there are no mistakes.  I really enjoy it and I’m always learning something new, so there’s no limit to what you can create.  I’ve found if you love it, you stick with it and your style evolves from there.

Briana: Do you have some examples of what scrapbooking is?

Tracy: Absolutely.  These are some recent layouts (a layout is 1-2 scrapbook pages).  I have lots more on my blog with close up detail photos and info on supplies and techniques I used.

Briana: Can someone teach me how to scrapbook?

Tracy: Absolutely, there are lots of options.  Now, I must confess, I learned by doing.  I never took a class, nor did I know anyone else who scrapbooked.  Heck, I had just learned about it myself.  So I went to my nearest bookstore and bought some scrapbooking magazines.  Then after reading them and devouring them (figuratively speaking, of course), I went to my local craft store and bought some supplies (careful, this hobby is addicting!  in a good way :D).  And I started scrapping!.

However, if my journey sounds scary, you can take a class.  These can be offered anywhere from a religious/spiritual center, your local craft store (big box and small business), library, school, historical society.  If you know someone who is a scrapbooker (the majority of which are women, but there are some VERY talented men out there), you can ask them to teach a class, or just teach you!  There are also numerous blogs online whose author post videos for certain techniques, etc.  And, being in the age of YouTube, there are blogs, magazines, and individual people who have a channel which you can view and/or subscribe to.  One benefit to individual scrapbookers is that they teach techniques that you may not otherwise comes across.  And they give you lots of inspiration and ideas.

Briana: Where can I get scrapbooking supplies?

Tracy: In a sense, anywhere.  However, just because you CAN get it anywhere doesn’t mean you SHOULD.  Office supplies, arts and crafts stores, big chain stores, and local scrapbooking/stamping stores; all of them carry supplies.  I’ve actually found that the big box crafts stores by me do carry some of what I need, but not most of what I’m looking for.  You can also go the online route, which opens up the possibilities tremendously.

Big box general retailers are limited in what they carry because they’re general retailers.  So, see what they carry, check the prices, and think if you’ll actually use it.  Don’t get lured by the clearance sticker of half off and pay $5 for a border punch that you’ll never use.   This is why if you can, purchase your supplies from a crafts store, a scrapbooking store if possible.  If you live out in the middle of nowhere, so to speak, your best options are probably online shopping or a consultant for a scrapbooking supplies company (yes, shameless self-promotion, I had to do a little :P)

Briana: I live in the United States, do you know anyone who I could send my pictures to for them to design a scrapbook for me, because I’m just to busy to do it myself right now.

Tracy: Why, yes I do *wink, wink.* I am happy to design a scrapbook, mini album, etc. for you.  My prices are simple and really reasonable.  I do not want any screaming wallets, thank you 😛  You can look at my blog, myscrapmuseis.wordpress.com, to check out my prices, and e-mail me at tracy . carrig @ gmail . com to get the whole party started (just delete the spaces before hitting send)!

Briana: What is your favorite thing to make?

Tracy: So far, layouts, either one of two pages.  I just finished a two-page layout for my little person’s first birthday.  I’ve start making cards, which I sell on my Etsy shop, called ScrapMusings.  And I’m starting to get into altered art, mixed media, and mini albums.  I’m loving getting messy, and I love layers.

Briana: I want to find out more about this art called scrapbooking! Show me more! Are you online? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest? Got a blog?

Tracy: Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.  Here’s my stuff:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ScrapMuse (ScrapMuse)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scrap-Musings/141917992518574  (or search for Tracy Carrig (you should see a pic of me and my munchkin))

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ScrapbookMuse/boards/ (or look up Tracy Carrig / ScrapbookMuse, or you can just find me from Briana’s page ;P)

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScrapMusings (shop name: ScrapMusings)Scrapbook art by Tracy Carrig

Blog: myscrapmuseis.wordpress.co

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Guest Post: When You Can’t Wait for Inspiration by Michelle Mach

Today I welcome Michelle Mach to Museiddity. Michelle is one of my favorite craft artists. I first met her while scheduling stops for a book tour; it was her work that inspired me to combine my writing and crafting. Please enjoy this guest post by Michelle Mach.

Beads & BooksWhen You Can’t Wait for Inspiration
by Michelle Mach

I get irritated when artists and writers talk about drifting dreamily around the house waiting for the magical burst of inspiration that will send them to the studio. I’ll admit I’m jealous. As someone who creates for a living, I don’t have that luxury. This weekend, for example, I need to come up with three original project designs–one home decor item and two pieces of jewelry–for a client. I have a deadline less than two weeks away, not to mention a host of other activities, including fulfilling a large wholesale order for a home decor store and editing three forthcoming jewelry books. I won’t be employed for long if I come up empty-handed and blame my uncooperative Muse.

You may not design craft projects for a living, but I bet there are times when you want to create something without a specific idea in mind. Here are three tricks I employ to jump start inspiration:

Examine Your Materials
I get many ideas from new materials such as an unusually shaped bead or a color I haven’t seen in awhile. The materials don’t even have to be new. Sometimes I’ll go “shopping” in my own stash of craft supplies, finding materials that I haven’t used for awhile. If I’m writing, my “material” might be notes in my journal or maybe books that I’m reading. If your own materials have you stumped, ask a friend for help. I’ve written stories prompted by one-word suggestions from friends and designed jewelry with beads that I did not choose.

Keep a Sketchbook or Journal
I keep a couple of different notebooks for drawings of project ideas or jotted notes for stories. Some of these sketches do turn into finished projects, but most don’t. Instead, my journal serves as my security blanket. I know that if I’m absolutely stuck for an idea, I can flip through my notebook and find one. (Whatever you do, make sure your notes are complete. I have a mysterious note about “chicken coffee bark” in an old notebook that I don’t think I’ll ever decode.)

Try Something New
It doesn’t have to be anything related to your craft. A new dessert recipe, a walk through a new-to-you park, or a book in an unfamiliar genre can wake up your imagination. The experiences don’t even have to be positive ones. I once sold a humorous essay about my new, hideously bad haircut.

Treasure those bursts of inspiration where ideas collide in your head and produce spectacular fireworks. But remember you don’t need to wait for those times. You can create any day, every day.

Michelle MachBio
Michelle Mach is a writer, editor, and jewelry designer in Colorado. Her jewelry designs have appeared in numerous magazines, including Stringing, Bead Trends, Easy Wire, and many others. Her essays and creative nonfiction have appeared in nearly a dozen anthologies, including The Ultimate Teacher and Classic Christmas. Visit her blog at http://www.michellemach.com/blog and her Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/michellemach

Creative Spotlight: Destiny Allison, Artist and Author–Guest Post and Book Launch Announcement

Destinyl__3964Today I welcome metal sculpture artist and author Destiny Allison. I first “met” Destiny while managing a WOW Blog Tour for her memoir, Shaping Destiny. Her book, and her sculptures, connected with me in a deep way. Destiny has recently finished her first novel, Pipe Dreams. I’ll share more about that in a minute.

Destiny possesses a compelling “voice”; I find it strong, intelligent and poetic. To give you a taste of her writing I’ve invited her to share an essay about her own creative “awakening”.

Destiny Allison on embracing her creative spirit…

After I discovered my voice, I was quiet. No shout of joy or cartwheel whoop issued from my pressed lips. Hands on hips, eyes narrowed, I contemplated the tiny, regal figure who had freed me. Her brown skin, slick with my sweat, glistened in the morning light. She did not meet my eyes, care for my interest, or notice me at all. Instead, her gaze was to the horizon, focused on something I couldn’t see.

I hungered after her, oblivious to the demands of happy children sticky with juice. Ignoring dishes, spilled cheerios on the breakfast table, and the guttural snores of a sleeping husband, I stroked her hair with a fingertip, pushed my nail deep into the line between her lips, and cemented her expression. She did not mind the pain I inflicted or acknowledge the ache she had kindled in me. I added a bit of clay to her arm, defining and strengthening. Then she looked wrong, unbalanced, and artificial. I tweaked, smoothed, and adored until I destroyed her, my image of who I wanted to be.

I pushed her away, furious with myself, and turned my attention to my youngest. Runny nosed and crying, he had tripped chasing his brothers. I pulled him into my arms, rocking, and as I did my eyes drifted toward the horizon. It shimmered, taunting me with hope, possibility, and dreams.

When my child’s sobs ceased, I set him down and picked up my ruined sculpture. Somewhere in that soft, awkward form was my future. A tiny hand grabbed my leg, but I was intent. He tugged again, asking for a drink. I sighed, stepped into the kitchen, and handed him his cup. Then, for the first time and without regret, I said, “Go play, sweetheart. Mommy’s working.”

Coming June 3rd–Pipe Dreams, A novel by Destiny Allison Pipe_Dreams_preview.1

Destiny’s first novel is a fast-paced dystopian sci-fi made all the more horrifying by the feeling that this scenario could very well happen at any given time. If you like The Handmaid’s Tale you’ll love Pipe Dreams. Here is the author’s description:

Beneath the park bench, a young girl cries for help, her voice a cold hand on Vanessa’s throat. Bruised and ravaged, the naked girl is Vanessa’s mirror twin, but compassion for the Fallen won’t be forgiven. “Please,” the girl whispers. In the empty square, a piece of trash tumbles. A bird settles in a tree. Then there is silence. No voice, no wind, no movement. It’s as if the world is waiting.

Vanessa’s hesitation is her undoing. Unbeknownst to her, Lewis seeks his revenge. The virus, originally developed to save mankind from itself, will be his tool. Once airborne, it will create a slave race and retribution will be his. Vanessa is the symbol of everything he hates. She will be his unwitting pawn. Haunted by her thick, auburn hair, serious eyes, and mocking laughter, Lewis is determined to quiet her once and for all.

As his plan unfolds, Vanessa is forced to flee. Escaping through the sewer, she finds love, heartbreak, and the red beam of a gun sight dancing on the slick, black wall. In the deep dark of the foul pipe, Vanessa also discovers she has been betrayed. That’s when she learns Texas is real.

One reviewer stated, “Pipe Dreams is a dystopian novel set in the near future. If gene splicing could merge Margaret Atwood and Suzanne Collins, the resulting author might write this book.”

To download the first two parts FREE, and get updates on the full release, sign up for the mailing list.

TO PREORDER THE PAPERBACK VERSION OF PIPE DREAMS, CLICK HERE.

Destiny is “paying it forward” by donating 25% of her first month’s sales towards another artist’s goals. Visit her blog for more details.