Today's Wednesday Wonder is a multi-talented crafty sort. I already thought this woman was a fabulous card maker, but I discovered something I didn't realize when researching her - she makes the most amazing cakes AND decorates them like a professional.
Totally lacking in baking patience, I am, of course, now completely in awe of Patty Yang's talent.
Not to mention her dimples!
I always wanted dimples but was totally denied. Luckily, Gigi has a dimple that I vicariously live through.
Another amazing thing about Patty is that she finds time to craft at all. She has three little ones, for one thing, and she has to create meals that avoid milk/dairy, eggs, nuts, tree nuts, shellfish, tuna, salmon, etc because one of her young'uns has many food allergies. (The next time I start to complain about Gigi being a picky eater, I am just going to shut up!) And remember, Patty bakes cakes, so she's doing it without milk or eggs....
This is one of Patty's "plainer" cakes. Wait 'til you see her Winnie the Pooh....
Like her cakes, Patty's cards are always very carefully detailed - even when they're simple, like the card below. You might even say that this card is deceptively simple because it takes a lot of time and talent to make a simple design this wonderful. I love how she chose muted colors - just goes to show you can get a terrific pop without the help of bright colors! The sheer subtlety of this card - the understatement of it - is so powerful that it would totally dominate any of my bright-colored pieces of busyness if they were sitting next to one another.
Or what about this one?
There's more going on in this butterfly card, but she's still keeping it simple. Again, these muted colors are providing a perfect backdrop. I'm not sure how many stamps are being used for that background, but there's at least three different "patterns": the polka dots, flourishes, and script. She's quite good at layering, and this card is an excellent example of what TO DO in these situations. Another thing I like about Patty's work is that she relies heavily on ink. She provides details to her cards by employing masking, distressing, edging, layering, and blending as her main decorative/detail elements.
You know, I really need to start keeping a notebook of all these Wonders' techniques.
I'm extremely fond of the card above. Patty's getting a little busier here, but she's also keeping it on the simple side. And would you look at that blue patterned strip on the left? That is stamping mastery, there - fooled me right into thinking that was actual patterned paper. She makes me appreciate muted colors and want to use them more. (Which might provide a much-needed break from my color-junkie ways - nothing like a good pigment detox to cleanse the palette).
That pun was completely unintentional.
And then we have this lovely (below). She's created such nice, subtle backgrounds with ink, using masking to highlight her sentiment, keeping everything in one layer. The roses just leap off the page - not just because their colors are a dramatic contrast to the background, but because the rest of the card (excepting the brads for balance) is only one layer.
Although Patty has never been published or belonged to a design team, I suspect this is because she hasn't submitted her work. If we can get her to submit something, I'll bet we'll see a change in her status! Patty's acquitted herself very nicely in the the weekly challenges offered at the Hero Arts Blog. She has captured three prizes thus far: Little Things (HM), Shapes (Scrapbooking), and One-Layer (1st Place). More on that scrapbook win later....
I have a special reason to like this card as I actually have one of them. (Patty very kindly made a run of these cards - and I got one for my birthday!!!) When you open up an envelope and find something like this in it... well, it really does make your whole day brighter! And let me tell you, having held the real thing in my hands, photos just do NOT do it justice.
Alrighty then! Time to get on with the show! Please lift your Diet-Cokes to Patty Yang, a Sorceress of Subtlety! (Try saying that one three times fast.)
Do you pre-sketch a design or do you just leap out of the gate? How long does it usually take you to make a page? A card?
It never occurred to me to pre-sketch a design until maybe a year ago when my SIL said she did so in a notebook. Genius! I almost always sketch now, as I rarely have the time to just "play." Otherwise, it's amazing how much time I can waste drawing a blank. Eventually, it's helpful for me to visually play around with things, since a sketch can only take me so far. I've only created one scrapbook page, but I hope to make more! (Rate-limiting step is getting good photos of the kids in things other than PJ's and in a setting other than the couch.) A card probably takes me a minimum of 2 hours, but it has definitely taken much longer than that, too. It's a little hard to gauge just how long, as the brainstorming of ideas can take place in the rocking chair of my kids' bedroom for who-knows-how-long, and I don't always complete a card in one sitting.
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
My scrapping record is 1 page per lifetime so far (hope to pick that up eventually)! Ever since joining the HA group, I'm creating around one card a week, sometimes two cards --- which is really great for me! Before I joined HA, I was making cards the night before I needed them. Aack! The worst way to craft, in my opinion. :~)
Did you people catch that?! The woman's made ONE scrapbook page in her lifetime and it won the scrapbook prize in the Hero Arts Shapes challenge. Anybody else remember their first scrapbook page? Don't know about you, but mine was horrendous.
3. How has your process evolved to make you a leaner, meaner crafting machine? (In other words, what are some lessons you've learned or tips you can share that allow you to make better and faster design choices?
I haven't done this in a while, but when I think of it, I'll download some color schemes (e.g. Kristina Werner's color inspiration images or other color schemes or images) into a computer file. I don't have as much opportunity to participate in the color challenges, but it's nice to have some colors schemes for future use, and my computer file allows me to have a quick visual when I'm looking for ideas. If I have a sense of what kind of mood or feel I want my card to have, I can quickly scan the images I saved and see if there's anything suitable. I also started a physical file folder called "Works in Progress" where I stick things that I've partially worked on. These are usually cards that I have some ideas for but am unsure how to execute well. I can come back to them sometime later (often months later!) and not have to start from scratch, but, hopefully, be more inspired to finish well. I also have a small notebook where I jot down ideas or techniques that I'd like to try; they're usually pretty general. For instance, a couple of things on my list right now (from a few months ago!) are: 1) large background stamp cut into pieces, 2) reverse pop, and 3) paper piercing. Cards I’ve seen and liked spark a lot of these ideas, inspiring me to try some technique or other aspect. This helps me focus when making a card - similar to picking out stamps that I know I want to use.
Ah-ha, an idea folder! I should start doing that in the same notebook I'm keeping my WW lessons in! Brilliant!
4. What's your stand-by, FAST dinner solution for those times when you really want to get to your scrap space ASAP (or stay ALAP)?
Any real stamping takes place when the kids are asleep, so the meals are not as much of an issue. Having a kid with multiple food allergies (milk/dairy, eggs, nuts, tree nuts, shellfish, tuna, salmon...) makes cooking a challenge sometimes. But a great dish is Sesame Chicken Pasta (see recipe at end of interview). It can be eaten warm or cold, and you can use the meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken if you're in a pinch.
but NO tools, what ten TOOLS would you HAVE to have? (All the stamps in the world are available, so you don't need to list them as one of your tools. EX: we've got all the embroidery floss in the world, but you're going to have to bring your own needle if you want to use any of it!)
I'm assuming that colored pencils, inks, buttons and adhesives fall under the supplies category...? :D
Paper cutter, detail scissors & large fabric shears, stamp positioner (e.g. Stamp-a-ma-jig), paper piercer, needle, embossing heat gun, Crop-a-Dile, Cuttlebug with folders and Nestabilities dies, (Can I be greedy and request things that I don't even own?!?!) :D (But of course!) scallop border punch, and Exacto knife
6. If you were still on that island, what kind of noise would you want (if any) in the background? List as many as five different favorite musical artists.
I often stamp in silence since the kids are asleep, and sometimes it's easier to brainstorm. But I often listen to contemporary Christian music as well; some favorites are Rich Mullins, Selah, Watermark.
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
This may be similar to Tomo's request for 48-72 hours in a day, but longer days would require more meals to be prepared and more childcare. ;~) So I would love to have a faster mind and creative brainstorming process! Oh, to be so efficient!
I am so down with that one....
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
Where should I begin? First, I'm terrible with colors. Maybe this is related to the fact that I'm a far cry from a fashionista. I get the primary & secondary colors, complementary colors, but I just have no eye for what goes together. I usually look elsewhere for color scheme ideas. Even then, I don't think I execute them very well. Second, I wish I had better designing skills and a natural sense to create original layouts.
9. What cameras have you tried, which one is your favorite, and why? (You can shorten this to just the one you're using now if you like.)
I know very little about cameras. My hubby takes care of the purchasing in that department. So what I use now is a Canon PowerShot SD850 IS. It's small, portable, and has a macro function. It does the trick, but it's evident that I'm no photographer. I'd like to learn to take better photos, though!
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
"Oh, shoot!" (Though unholier words have definitely come to mind!)
If you'd like to see more of Patty's creations, check out her Flickr photostream!
Sesame Chicken Pasta
3 c. shredded, cooked chicken breast meat
1 (16 oz) package of bow tie pasta
1/4 c. sesame seeds (optional)
1 cup cooked peas (optional)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 c. light soy sauce
1/3 c. rice vinegar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 c. chopped green onion
1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until a little past al dente (if too al dente, pasta will absorb all the dressing later). Drain pasta, and rinse under cold water until cool. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine pepper, ginger, sesame oil, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and vegetable oil. Shake well.
4. Pour sesame dressing over pasta, and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro and green onions (and peas, if you choose).