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Celebrating Movember

During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of mustaches on thousands of mens faces around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for mens health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

You can sponsor the growing of said facial hair of friends and family and be part of a fun event to make a difference as 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

In honor of this being the month of Movember, I thought it would be a good time to introduce our readers to some of my favourite Male Crafters.

Fabrizio Martellucci


1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy the distraction of it, I can lose myself for hours paper crafting and when I look at the clock I realise that I spent a whole afternoon crafting. It’s healing for me as I would just sulk otherwise because I’m indoors all the time due to agoraphobia and other issues.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Not being able to create what you have brewing in your head. I might have an idea that sits there for weeks then when I’m finally ready to create, it doesn’t come to fruition; I usually get totally disheartened but sometimes out of that original idea something completely different might come up and that surprises me.
3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I’m an avid blog hopper for my own linking website papermood.com as I’m always on the lookout for that ‘wow’ handmade greeting card, I also like to read paper crafting magazines: especially the card making ones. Funnily enough my best ‘lightbulb’ moments came using sketches/pagemaps I really dig how you can apply any sort of papers, embellishments and ribbons, using various layouts, which seems to have taken the guessing work, out of the equation. Sketches are real time savers.¬†


4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
It’s something I like to share with other crafters like myself, in a way it’s a bit of a legacy on my best work (I’m really a hit and miss so I’m not proud of all my stuff lol); I always hope that someone who’s sitting on the fence about paper crafting might decide to start crafting because they see my creations and that would be really cool to think that I’ve inspired someone else.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
I think male crafters are still standing out like sore thumbs because there aren’t that many of us. Mind you, I can see more men cardmakers popping up everywhere now than it used to be only a few years ago. I do like the attention I get being male as with my foreign name, it makes me stand out from the rest.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
Don’t buy everything you see as we only use 20% we own to produce 80% of our output (using the Pareto principle here), I believe that some of us have hoarding tendencies and that can be a problem if space is at a premium in your own dwelling. My best tip is also to give your creations only to people who will appreciate them, don’t spend time trying to convert the ‘only shop bought’ cards brigade: you’re only wasting your time. ūüôā

You can see more of Fab’s work at his site: http://www.kimtag.com/fabrizio

Aaron Morris
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
I enjoy being able to channel the creativity that I have inside me into things that make me and the ones I love happy.

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
I always find it frustrating when I lose my mojo. I hate having the desire to be creative, but having trouble creating something that I am happy with. Sometimes, I get frustrated when I have too much inspiration, knowing that I will likely not get to everything I want to do.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me. In a store, in nature, looking at other layouts (both paper and digi). I mostly get inspired to create things by my family and the memories we create – when I have memories to scrap or great photos I get inspired to create.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
As I’ve spent time scrapbooking, my style has changed. I am most happy with my style as it is now. I love layering and clustering elements, and I love adding surprising elements to my pages. I also love having layouts that I can share with my family.

5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not usually. Some people are surprised when they “find out” about me, but people are usually great about it and love having a man that shares their hobby.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
I think I would love to remind people that there is no “wrong answer” in creativity. Often we get caught up in what is trendy and what others will like and forget that creativity is supposed to be something that is original to each individual. My best work comes from the times that I forget what I think is the “right thing” to do, and do what I feel works the best.

You can see more of Aaron’s work at his site: http://www.sirscrapalot.com/

Andy Skinner
1. What do you enjoy about being creative?
Finding out new techniques, experimenting with new mediums and loosing myself for a few hours!

2. What is the most frustrating thing about being creative?
Never being totally happy with the artwork I create. Unfortunately we are all our own worst critics.

3. Where do you look for inspiration?
In absolutely everything including my dreams! I take a camera with me wherever I go and take pictures constantly for reference.

4. What do you love about your favourite pieces of artwork?
This is different for so many pieces as I dabble in many techniques, styles and media. I think, however,¬† for my Steampunk and assemblage items, it is the ability to produce realistic faux metal, rust and aged effects to fool the viewer. It’s so funny that my father spent most of his spare time restoring old items to make them look new, I on the other hand do the complete opposite, it’s much more fun that way!
5. Do you find any differences being male in your creative field?
Not really, I do sometimes feel a little out numbered as men are definitely the minority in this field it has to be said, but I have always got on far better with women having grown up in a female- dominated house and having all daughters.

6. What would be your favourite words of creative wisdom to others?
This one is simple for me, its from Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge”

You can see more of Andy’s work at his site: http://andyskinner.org


I hope you have enjoyed this little introduction to some awesome crafters and that you will support Movember’s quest!

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Review | The Card Album

Reported by Maria Del Pinto
I enjoy finding new and interesting storage products for my finished projects.  It is even better when the
product has problem solving applications like the Card Album.  At first glance, it is not very impressive looking.  However, Stefanie Girard (designer & patent holder), who is a friend of mine, is pretty patient, so she took the time to explain how the Card Album works and the reasoning behind the design.
The Card Album
The Card Album was created for people like me who like to make their own cards.  In the past when I made a card I would stick in a file or in a drawer.  More often than not, the handmade card would get squished, bent, or even misplaced.  To avoid this type of disappointment, Stefanie Girard (author of Sweater Surgery ) created a special elastibind construction on the Card Album to hold greeting cards and other projects for crafters and artists alike.
She wanted to create an organized solution for folks to be able to store their handmade greeting cards without having them become damaged or misplaced.   She also recycles envelopes and uses them in these binders to hold an assortment of different items.
View of how the Card Album holds cards.
The Card¬†Album holds up to 24 of 5″x7″ cards even if you have a variety of different sized¬†handmade¬†cards. I like how easily this systems allows me to keep my cards organized and accessible.¬†
View of back pocket and banding on the Card Album
You insert the finished or even unfinished card through the band and its stays in place until you need it again.
Showing the album holding 5×7 cards
The fun did not stop there! I attended a “Card Album” decorating class at the winter¬†CHA show, and we decorated the outside of these cool card albums with die cuts, stickers, buttons and other ephemera. Since the decorative craft class was offered at the CHA show, there was an amazing assortment of items (both¬†cool tools, fun decorative¬†embellishments,¬†and other tidbits) available to use.

Stefanie showed us how we can uses our altered art supplies, scrapbooking supplies, etc. to decorate the outside of the Card Album  to reflect our own artistic style.  If you can not attend one her classes, she does have a blog (The Card Album Blog) where she often posts card making ideas.
Rubber stamps work great on these.  The stamped image, on the above Card Album is done using StazOn ink which works great on so many surfaces.
The next album I decorated I wanted to have a Halloween theme.  I found some cool templates on the Martha Stewart crafting site to use.  I printed out the witch silhouette and used it as a template.  The templates have some really convenient measurements so you can adjust the print to the size you need (on your computer).
Witch Silhouette from Martha Stewart crafts
Then I used a glue stick to attach the witch to the book cover.  It stayed on really well, which surprised me since glue stick glue does not always hold well on plastic.  I also used my Martha Stewart punch around the page crackle punch to outline the cover.  I love her punches and will use them in any craft I can.
It was a simple craft project that did not take a lot of time or supplies.  I only used items that I had on hand and I was pleased that it came out just the way I wanted it to.  Now I can store my Halloween-themed cards in this book.

I have a tendency to save the special cards that friends have made me over the years.  Each one holds a special memory for me, and I  treasure these mementos. So I also made one that is just for those cards, out of leftover bits and pieces.

The Card Album decorated to hold my treasured cards.

The card album offers me a great way to store these cards, yet have easy access to them when I want to look through my collections.

All in all, I really like this Card Album. Stefanie was happy to sell me a few to hold my favorite treasures.  At a price of $9.95, it is an affordable way to display and hold both my own handmade cards and those given to me.
Pros:
  • Holds up to 24 cards of different sizes
  • The designs of the books makes it easy to access my cards
  • Great way to show off handmade cards at Gift Shows
  • Very affordable at $9.95
Cons:
  • Only comes in two colors
  • I wish it came in a larger size to hold some of my larger projects
  • Only available online
Do you make handmade cards? What are some of your favorite cards that you have received?  How do you store these treasures?
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Book Review | Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

If you have always wanted to try altered art but did not want to limit yourself to a flat surface, then Altered Art Circus is a book you may want to check out. ¬†The book’s author,¬†Lisa Kettell¬†takes you into the 3-dimensional world of altered art with some fabulously inspirational projects and artwork.
Betsy Figure by Lisa Kettell
Lisa Kettel is also known for beautiful paper ephemera designs, dolls, and jewelry designs.  

Lisa Kettell Vintage Crystal bracelet

I especially enjoyed her beautiful bracelets made from old baseballs, as well as her steampunk jewelry line.

Altered Art Circus Lisa Kettell dolls
Lisa’s artwork brings a little of bit of whimsy, imagination, and captures the magic from Lisa’s¬†Fairytale World. ¬†Her book has several fun projects, like the circus train which is made from old boxes.¬†
Page from Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
This is a pretty cool project because you can use recycled boxes as the base for any of these projects. 
Project from Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
I decided to try my hand to make one of these boxes to hold one of the my cute little yellow chick figure, which is a Lisa Kettell original piece.
Yellow Chick made Lisa Kettell 
   So I started with an empty box of pop toasties.
I measured and drew where I intended to place the cut out on the front of the box.
I took my inspiration from the project below by Lisa Kettell.  She adds paper that she has aged. Then along with some cool die cuts and glitter, she creates a bit of magic for us to enjoy.
Altered Art Circus Project by Lisa Kettell 
So I used some of the ideas and instructions in the book and I decorated the exterior and interior of the box with an assortment of papers. 
Altered Art Circus inspired project.

Then I added the little figure to the box.

I may still add some glitter to the outside of the box I made. However, for now I like the way it came out.
Images from the book Altered Art Circus by Lisa Kettell 
By the way, Lisa has included some fabulous images in her book for you to use in creating your own piece of whimsy.  These are beautifully illustrated images that just inspire a multitude of project ideas.
Lisa Kettell and her book “Altered Art Circus”
The book includes projects that vary from globes, to wands, to card pocket books, and some home decor items.  Lisa has done a wonderful job in inspiring her readers to reach into their own imagination and create some fun projects.  Her work can be found on etsy, angelfire, and other sites.
Pros:
  • The projects in this book are varied to suit different tastes and experience levels
  • The images in this book are beautiful.
  • The instructions are well written and easy to follow.
  • The book is available for the iPad.
Cons:
  • The iPad version does not allow for the reader to utilize the images, like the actual printed version does.
Please share any tips and ideas. We would love to know what different types of altered pieces our readers like to make.

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