I have only one complaint about Today's Wonder.
My complaint is that I have a hard time stopping myself from looking at her cards once I've started! (If I actually complete this interview in time, that will be an additional wonder. And if you're reading this on Friday, you know why.)
Her name is Sally Sherfield, and she hails from a small town in Surrey, England, called Milford, which is about 30 miles south of London. Having visited Surrey, I must say I envy her, as Surrey struck me as a rather lovely bit of country when I visited back in 1984.
As I said above, it's rather difficult to pull yourself away from gazing upon Sally's cards. I'm not sure why - I just seem to keep noticing details and nifty bits and feeling an urge to go try something she's done... but then remain rooted to the spot because yet another detail or nifty bit captured my attention. It's a little like being a Lotus Eater - just rooted to the spot, totally mesmerized!
Sally is very good at layering, and this ability always impresses me. Her work is always nicely complex - plenty of details without going overboard. She's adventuresome - never get the same old, flat rectangle from her - she loves to use all kinds of shapes and embossing folders to add texture and interest.
Sally's work is never static but always very much alive and filled with energy. In the piece below she engages a lot of elements but you never feel like the card is being overwhelmed. Part of this is because she's using a monochromatic color palette, and part of it is because she's using two patterns that are very open (they have a lot of "white space" around them) for the biggest layers.
Here's another one that knocks my socks off!
Isn't this just gorgeous?! She's building up interest with shapes and layers and adding in texture with her embossing folders. But she's keeping the color really, really subtle with these pastels gently playing up the differences in all of the above. Instead of the color taking the spotlight, it supports the other elements, bringing them to the fore.
And then we have Sally's whimsical unpredictability! Is this card fabulous or what?! Who does a pink Christmas card? How come more people don't try it when it can work this well?!
Because they're not Sally, that's why.
She clearly is marching to the beat of a different drummer, and I love what I'm hearing!
And if you can have a pink Christmas card, why not go purple?
Sally's won her fair share of accolades. In the Hero Arts blog challenges, she won an HM in the Paper Tearing challenge and a 2nd place in the Talent, Talent, Talent challenge. Her card was chosen as a Stand Out in the Caardvarks digital challenge, and she had two cards featured on the Cards magazine blog for the February 2010 Cover Inspiration challenge and for the Create with Newspaper challenge.
Sally's also no stranger to the publishing world. Her cards have been featured in the October and December (2009) and February (2010) United Kingdom editions of Cards magazine. (Told ya she was a hottie!)
Sally has a nice little crafting niche (which shows us once again that you don't need a lot of room to make cool cards).
Of special interest here is the card rack on the left - these are cards Sally's received from some of the Hero Arts Flickr group members who provide her with "constant inspiration." (I also notice that she's got Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band hanging on the wall - love that touch!)
Well, let's get on to the good stuff! With no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Sally Sherfield, a Whimsy-Wielding Wonder Woman! (Try saying that five times fast!)
Sally'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 never pre-sketch a design, and I am not really good with sketch-type challenges. I usually get an idea in my head and then play with colours and supplies until the card feels right. I then assemble it. Sometimes it can come together straight away; other times I give up, and the bits end up in my scrap box for later use.
I have a LOT of bits in my scrap box, if y'all get my drift....2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
I make about 3-5 depending on work restraints.
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 spend hours browsing through Flickr at the amazing cards, and I know my cards have improved since my first few basic attempts. I am always ready to learn new techniques and try something different. My only tip is I have a box next to my desk of unfinished cards and uncoloured images ready to use if I need a card in a hurry, I also keep a small box of ready-cut nestie shapes in various sizes and colours.
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)?
Always pasta with a tasty sauce, it’s fast, filling and delicious.
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!)
- Paper Trimmer
- Scissors (My favourites are by Xcut they are very sharp, and seem resistant to getting sticky after using double-sided tape.)
- Cuttlebug and embossing folders (Where would I be without this? It's my most used piece of kit, and I love it.)
- Nestabilities (Perhaps my second favorite - I love making those little shaped cards with these.)
- Ranger Distress inks (I have a growing collection of these; they are so versatile, and I need to get more colours. LOL!)
- Heat Gun (power permitting)
- Embossing powders
- Score board
- Corner rounder
- My favourite glue: “Art Glitter Glue” (This glue is really strong and dries clear. Perfect for messy me!)
Hmmm... that comment about the heat gun makes me wonder if you craft while camping on a regular basis? I'm getting this picture of you out near a stream, stamping away on a big, flat rock with birds and squirrels and bunnies contributing álá Walt Disney....
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.
We are a very musical family, and there is always music booming out from some area of the house - we even have an old jukebox in the front room that plays all our old singles. Also my son is in a fairly successful band here in the UK so he would have to be top of my list : Elmor, The Beatles, The Killers, Patrizio Buanne, and any Motown albums.
Errrr... "fairly successful band here in the UK"?! Sally is being very modest about her son. I never know anything about anybody on the music scene, and I have actually heard of Elmor. They have music videos and everything! Definitely worth a look-see, Gentle Readers!
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
My own dedicated craft room would be lovely, as I have to share our study with the family, and I am constantly getting moaned at for monopolizing it! Also I would also love to be able to get all the fabulous goodies you can get in the States for the same bargain prices!!!
Those heathens! You must come for a visit. Or we can take turns visiting you. We'll pack goodies in our luggage so there will be lots of room for souvenirs on our way back!
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I think that my colouring could be improved on - I am never really happy with my finished images, I suppose practice makes perfect!
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 am currently using a Fuji FinePix S9600, but I am not always happy with the photographs - they are often dark and the colours are not true to life. I hope to upgrade soon to perhaps a Canon or Panasonic.
Wow. One of the things I've noticed about you is your gorgeous photography at Flickr, and I've wondered what sort of camera you were using that would give you such control and great focus. So it's a surprise to hear it has any faults.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
Drat and Blast.
Those are very good. I should definitely adopt them in an attempt to clean up my own potty mouth.
11. Give us a quick description of your pets.
No pets, I have all my work cut out looking after a sometimes quite messy family!
12. Give us a quick description of your job.
I work in the local Primary school office as Assistant Secretary where I deal with school admissions, finance and any medical emergencies. (Generally nothing more serious than cut fingers and knees thank goodness).
13. Give us a quick description of you family.
I've been married to my husband Jeremy for 28 years; he has just retired so no more housework for me!!! My Daughter Francesca, 22, is at University studying fashion and textiles, and my son Tristan, 24, is a musician.
Tristan was on our short list in case Gigi turned out to be a boy (as was "Brick" - remind me to share that story with y'all sometime - it's a good example of Spouse's "unique" personality.)
14. Got a fun or little known fact about yourself you’d like to share?
Nothing for this section really, I have not really done anything out of the ordinary.
I beg to differ. Here's a little known fact: Sally's got photography skills. You should check out her photos on Flickr - she definitely has an eye! She should be doing the Project 365 thing!
15. What’s your favorite stamping technique?
Not sure really, I like getting messy with distress inks and water. (I'm still a child at heart - that’s what working in a school does for you.)
16. What do you find more satisfying - the process or the product?
I love the process of designing and putting together a card; I find it very relaxing, and it helps me to unwind after a busy day at school.