Today's Wednesday Wonder is Mary Walmer, a talented card maker who loves ink adventures by the looks of her cards! You can tell just by looking at her work that she's not afraid to get in there and try different techniques - and she often hits pay dirt with her efforts.
But before we get into all that, here's our Mary (very Jackie O in her chic shades) with her Dear Husband!
Mary's style has one constant that is immediately apparent to me: she likes to mix it up with the supplies! What first caught my eye was her fabulous use of inks and water colors (I think these were actually Twinkling H20s). Like in this card:
Isn't this cool? A simple design with a light and airy execution - the heart and sheer ribbon float above the page. The splashes of paint draw you into the focal point, and the ripped edges add just the right amount of texture.
Here's another one I like a lot:
Mary's really good at letting her inks and paints provide depth and interest. Here she's got three beads strung on jute as her only dimensional items. But the card feels like its got many more layers as a result of the stamped background being washed in various colors, the torn edges being inked, and the border made of ink "stitching." Finally, the stamped inchies are highlighted here and there with a white pen, which gives them the illusion of depth, too.
In this card, the inks take more of a back seat, but she still hooks you with her great use of texture.
All in all, seeing Mary's cards make my fingers itch to play with my paints and experiment with "messy" techniques (and if that isn't the very spirit of inspiration, I don't know what is).
Mary has not been part of a design team yet, but she was selected by Hero Arts as their Fresh Face winner for the first blog challenge in January, 2010. Mary has been published in Stamper's Sampler and Take Ten awhile ago but hasn't submitted anything in recent years as a result of time constraints. However, Mary says she's fixin' to fix that directly! (And not a moment too soon, I think!)
Look at how much depth she's created here - how much texture is perceived - and the whole card is 97% flat, for crying out loud!!!
Mary has a very nice space to work her magic - check it out:
Vital tools and supplies at her fingertips!
I am filled with envy at her flat file on the right. I have been wanting one of these forever - which is ridiculous because I'm pretty sure we'd never be able to get it up the stairs....
Well, let's get on to the good stuff! With no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Mary Walmer, the Ink Whisperer!
Mary'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 rarely pre-sketch - I usually begin with a technique I want to try. I have a huge box of backgrounds from techniques I’ve tried that I like to go through once in awhile and just create a bunch of cards with bits and pieces. I don’t do much scrapbooking - I find it too intimidating! I usually spend any where from 30 minutes to three days on a card. ( I go back and tweak things a lot!)
That sounds like a really good idea - having a box of pre-made backgrounds that you can just have at the ready....
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
When my mojo is working, I do several cards a week. Usually I get on a roll and create a bunch in one day and then don’t do anything for several days.
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've learned to go with my first instinct and not over-think things. I've also learned that white space is a good thing if done well! Lately I am very drawn to the clean and simple style. I'm trying to fight my tendency to hoard “special things” and just USE them, there will always be more beautiful things.
You are totally right on that one, and I'm working on adopting that same philosophy!!!
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 stand-by dinner solution is having a husband who can cook.
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!)
I would bring my black, waterproof ink pad (Memento is my favorite), white card stock (is this a supply or a tool?), watercolor paints or pencils, paintbrush, tape runner, scissors, black fine tip marker, Tim Holtz edge distressing tool, a box of miscellaneous patterned papers, and Sour Patch Kids.
What are Sour Patch Kids? (I really hope I didn't just make a fool out of myself by asking that....)
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'd listen to Rob Thomas/Matchbox 20, Train, Beastie Boys, (for when I need to get funky) Led Zeppelin, Godsmack (when I want to rock out - LOL)
I know Rob Thomas's dad. He was the head of the Public Defender's office here in Indy forever. He taught me in a trial practice class. He never brought Rob to class, though... the heartless thing!
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
I want windows in my studio (it’s in the basement right now), an unlimited supply of Basic Grey papers, and lots and lots of rubber stamps!
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I don’t feel like I have my own “style” - I'm a jack of all trades but master of none. But that is kind of the fun part, too - just trying everything that piques my interest.
I can relate to that. On the one hand I'd love to have a signature style that people automatically recognize that it's my work. On the other hand, I have a short attention span so I seriously doubt that day will ever arrive.
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 have a Canon PowerShot SX10 IS. I like how portable it is while still taking amazing photos.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
CRAP! Yeah that is my go-to word and it's heard several hundred times a day!
11. Give us a quick description of your pets.
My sweet boy Cooper is a Sheltie-terrier mix and has a quirky personality - he’s beyond spoiled, and that’s how it should be! Why bother having a pet if you don’t spoil them? Cooper is often featured on my Blog - he’s just so photogenic.
Is he cute or what! I have this theory that a pet's level of quirkiness is directly proportionate to how much his owners include him in the family. Something fabulous happens with domesticated animals start to morph their own traits with those of humans....
12. Give us a quick description of your job.
I owned a Paper Arts Shop for three years but closed it in 2008. Since then I've been selling stamps and supplies on eBay (my eBay ID is morningsunstudio). I'm hoping to expand into some new venues this year.
13. Give us a quick description of you family.
My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and we have two beautiful daughters: Jillian is 20 and Jenna is 17.
14. Got a fun or little known fact about yourself you’d like to share?
My birthday is on Valentine’s Day!
Happy belated birthday!
15. What’s your favorite stamping technique?
It changes weekly! I am pretty fond of the faux batik technique, and I like to use Adirondack inks directly on a stamp then spritz with water before stamping - does Tim Holtz call that faux watercolor? I love watercolor paints and use them quite often in various ways.
16. What do you find more satisfying - the process or the product?
The process, for sure. I am rarely satisfied with the final product - I'm my own worst critic.