Today's Wednesday Wonder is none other than Kathy Racoosin, a Hero Arts Hostess with the Mostes' if ever there was one!
I was supposed to post this tribute last week, but with school starting, and the house torn apart (don't ask - another time, another post), and my needing to take Gigi down to Evansville last weekend... well, I just didn't have enough hours in the day to do our Kathy and her creations justice!
I don't have a picture of Kathy, but then I found this journal she made álá Claudine Hellmuth, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to show you not only what Kathy looks like but also what a cool thing she made.
Told you it was cool.
One thing you will notice right quick about Miss Kathy's work is that
she's a color junkie. (You just know she's going to be camping out in
Hobby Lobby's parking lot the night before they debut the new Copic
Wrote the color addict whose pup tent is already packed and loaded in the car....
Kathy not only loves color, she handles it very well. Her color combos deliver maximum impact, but she also knows when to restrain herself to give the viewer's eye a rest. Which is not to say she can't dabble in pastels or neutrals, because she can. Consider this fabulous juxtaposition of orange and blue:
It would have been so easy for this card to go south in the hands of a lesser artist, but Kathy grounds this puppy in that soothing cloud background - which provides the perfect background for the orange to pop.
And here we have the other side of Kathy's color abilities. She lets the textures do the heavy lifting, allowing those neutrals a chance to luxuriate like Jean Harlow on a chaise lounge.
So she's whipped the brights and the neutrals - that leaves the muted and the "mundane." Can she do it?
Do you even have to ask?!
Of course she can do it!
See here? Not only can she do color she can do patterns. And it's not just pretty to look at it, either. It's cute. Kathy made this card set for her sister-in-law.
(I wish I had a SIL that would make me a set like this. Of course, being a greedy card-piggy, I don't know if could actually send any of these lovelies to someone else.)
You know, on an entirely unrelated note, I keep walking away from that deer stamp, but Donna Mikasa and Kathy just keep leading me right back to it. Those rotten enablers....
And now I want to show you my favorite. Kathy had such a good idea here that I squealed - actually squealed - when I saw it. I was so smitten with her innovation that I've totally appropriated it and have been coloring all sorts of card backgrounds with different combinations while watching The Daily Show every night.
Just how awesome is that doodling she did around those flourish stamps?! Now that's my kind of a stampin' maniac!
Kathy's crazy-mad stamping skills make her a stand-out in the Hero Arts Flickr Group. In the weekly challenges, she's shone more than once: Window (First Place), May Flowers (Third Place) Manly (First Place); and Be Inspired (Second Place).
She's never been published, nor has she ever been on a design team (yet another reason to suspect we're living in the End Times). However, I also suspect that will change in the near future because she's got talent, and the odds are definitely in her favor. (Unless we really are living in the End Times - in which case, you Team Pickers and Publishers better get yourselves in gear, pronto!)
Kathy is also one of the Hero Arts Hosti, so somebody's paying attention, thank goodness!
Kathy's not only got talent, she has a studio space that is sure to inspire awe and envy. She posted the following photos on her Flickr photo stream (check them out here as some of them have spiffy how-to instructions). She's come up with some very impressive storage solutions, too. (That Kathy is crafty in more ways than one, I'm telling ya....)
Lookit - she's got one of those stamping desks.
(I think I just drooled on my keyboard - is that covered in my warranty?)
Oh, to have those lovely slim storage drawers! Oh, to have them right at my fingertips!! Oh, to stamp in such a posh environment!!!
And look at this clever ribbon storage solution! (Kathy pulled the metal rods out, threaded her ribbon, and re assembled.) I could never do this, of course, because I'm huddled in a dormer attic, but if I ever come across a ladder for a midget, I'm set.
Uber-cool storage solution #2: the Door of Clear Stamps! (DO try this as home - especially if you have a sewing machine. Go here to read about this clever little innovation.)
And look - she has baseboards. (I'm okay with no carpet in my little attic atelier, but its lack of trim is just killing me.)
A very exciting wall of inspiration below. I am so jazzed about this - I WANT ONE, dang-it!
(Unfortunately, the wretched dormers are again thwarting my success. Perhaps when they cart me off to the nursing home I'll have a shot at an air-conditioned room with walls that actually rise in a straight line past four feet. Of course, by then I'll be senile and probably will just stand there wondering why I wanted taller walls in the first place.)
There are more photos of Kathy's space starting here.
Alright, stampers! Time to get on with the show. Lift your Diet-Cokes to Kathy Racoosin, Conqueror of Color!
Kathy's Wonder-ful Interview
1. 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?
I usually start with an image that I previously colored and work around that. I like to stamp several different images at one time especially if I'll be traveling. So usually you'll see many cards that have similar images because they all were stamped previously. (For an example, go here. All of the feathered friends on this page were colored on a trip to Florida, so when I got home it was much easier to make the cards. However it still takes me at least 2-3 hours to make a detailed card.)
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
I make about 4 to 5 cards a week.
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 seem to be a meaner crafting machine when I am making a card for someone in particular and working with an image that I previously colored.
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)?
My family really likes a good meal (especially my teens), so I'm happiest when I have a great meal cookin" in the crock-pot; then I can craft away. Here and here are great recipes that my kids love. (I always make a different version of it.)
5. If you were stranded on an island that had a billion supplies 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!)
So I'm assuming you have inks too?? (But of course! We're a very classy establishment.)
1. Copic markers & colored pencils
1. Paper piercer
3. Paper cutter
4. Acrylic blocks
5. Heat gun
6. Fiskars non-stick scissors
7. Sewing machine
8. Craft Knife
10. Cuttlebug and all the Nestabilities
(I even have a photo of my go-to supplies when traveling. I took this picture when I returned from a weekend away.)
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 love the sounds of nature, the birds, frogs and the wind blowing the trees I also love the sounds of crashing waves and the quiet as well. Off in the distance it would be nice to hear a wind chime.
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
Seriously ....I would love to have the opportunity to design for a company. My goal this year is to have some classes for Teens. I think it's harder for them to have a creative outlet with all the technology these days.
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
My weakness is layering papers in a unique way, and I'm never quite sure where to add buttons except the obvious places.
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'm very happy with my Exilim Casio camera because it's easy to use, takes great shots of cards, is compact, and it has a large screen on the back.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
No comment! :)
I would like to add that, if I do mess up, I like to try to turn the "mess-up" into something pretty in some way, so I will work on it forever. (When my daughter was around 5, she would get so frustrated with her art and crumple the paper and cry. I would show her that something can be made from anything.) However, this doesn't really apply to ink smudges - I end up cutting paper and placing over top. (Sorry for going on here.)
Like I have no experience with verbal meandering....