Today's Wednesday Wonder makes me feel rather smug and full of myself.
LOL - don't worry - it's all good. Very good, in fact. When I first approached this woman about being a WW, she thought I was having her on. She honestly didn't believe me at first - which is one of the really sweet things about her: she's very unassuming and humble. Her excitement and disbelief made me feel like Father Christmas (which is an excellent feeling, by the way).
But I'm supposed to be telling you why I feel so smug.
I feel smug because, as I told her at the time, She's Got Talent. And shortly after I asked her to be a WW, others started showing their interest in a very public way.
Sooooooo... not only can I spot Talent, but...
I told you so, Lucy!
Yes, Lucy Abrams is this week's Wednesday Wonder. (Yes, yes, I know the title gives it away, but you're not supposed to read past "Spotlight on" or it ruins the surprise!) Lucy is from Great Britain and has a really cool accent. (I'm assuming this as I've not actually had the pleasure of hearing her dulcet tones). Just for fun, I've thrown in a few British phrases and spelling in honour of the occasion - see if you can spot them all!
But there I go digressing again!
Lucy's work is... very hard for me to describe. (I suspect this is because she transcends classification.) However, after studying her work as though it were part of the O levels, I've sussed out a few signature moves here. For one thing, Lucy loves to frame elements on her cards - and she's very clever about it. Rather than stacking the stamped image on a mat or two, she stamps the image on the bottom layer and then adds a frame ON TOP of it via her punches and pop-dots, etc. So we get a highlighted image within a recess, and it's pretty darn cool.
Another thing she does that makes me suspect she likes order: she often fancies repeated punched or stamped elements all lined up in a very tidy grid or que. And I'm very impressed by this because, generally, when I try to do this, I end up with a card that is booooor-ing. But Lucy's cards are anything but!
She's definitely someone to keep your eyes on. She won the Critters Challenge at Caardvarks, and then later was invited to join their Design Team. She won a first place in the Hero Arts Blog Heartfelt Challenge, a Second Place in both the Minutes challenge and in the Inspired By challenge; and two Honorable Mentions for the Winaday Challenge and the Favorites Challenge.
And I'm pea green with envy because (1) Her card was chosen for Kristina Werner's Color Inspiration #47 Round-Up; and (2) her blog, Lucy's Cards, got a mention in Jennifer McGuire's blog. (Needless to say, I have not, nor probably will ever, receive either of these honors.)
Amazingly enough, Lucy's another one that must be led kicking and screaming to the publishing world. If you see her, tell her to submit something!
Without further ado, I present Lucy Abrams, a rising star in the stamping sky!
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 wish I had the patience to pre-sketch. I'm sure it would save me time in the long run, but I am definitely a "I have to make a card right now" kind of girl. Consequently, I spend a lot of time staring at my desk, frowning (I have deeply etched frown lines) and emptying my recycling box. When I'm inspired I can make a card quite quickly - say an hour or so - but some are harder and can take hours... but it's just so much FUN, time flies by.
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
I do make quite a few cards each week. Often one or two a night and several over the weekend. I am seriously addicted...
Well, better to be addicted to rubber than crack, I always say!
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'm still learning. I'm neither lean nor mean, but I'm starting to find my own style and learn which stamps "work" for me and my ideas. That used to be the slowest part of the process for me. My one time-saving tip is that I have a whole box of pre-stamped, coloured, and cut out images which are great to use when trying out a design. It's much easier to see quickly what will and won't work together!
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)?
Put it this way: it's lucky that my fiance finds cooking a good way of de-stressing after work, or I would eat cereal every night!
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!)
1. Scissors - my lovely small Fiskars scissors are my favourite thing. I just LOVE cutting things out while I watch TV.
AHA! I was wondering when you found the time to cut out all those images you mentioned above!
2. Quilter's Ruler - this is the best thing since sliced bread. I have the Easy Rule Jr., and I use it every day. Great for making inchies!
3. Cuttlebug (I still laugh at the time Judy (judkajudi) wrote on the HA Flickr site that she would sooner give up her microwave than her Cuttlebug.)
I'm with ya, Judy, all the way!!!
4. Swiss dots folder - I have quite a few embossing folders, but really only use this one.
Thank goodness I'm not the only one! Thank you, Lucy. I needed a sister in shame.
6. Heat embosser - I finally got one for Christmas and am now not sure what I did without it, although I am not very good at using it yet.
7. Circle Punches
8. Craft knife
9. Cotton Buds - they are brilliant for using Gamsol on large areas - I have paper stumps but have found the cotton buds to give a smoother finish. And they're cheaper too! Can't remember who suggested this to me - but thank you.
For the Americans in the crowd, I think she's referring to what we call Q-tips. I heard them called Baby Buds when I was in England, so I may be wrong....
10. And, I guess, my sewing machine. I'm pretty lazy at getting it out, but LOVE the effects created by such masters as Jenn (ScrapperJJB) e.g. and Kryssi (Sugarbuffet).
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 don't really listen to music when I make cards, I tend to put on my favourite movies. Is there a TV/DVD there? I'd play all the Jane Austen movies. I am definitely a romantic! (And a typical English Literature teacher...)
I love anything Jane Austen! Which film adaptation is your favorite? Isn't Colin Firth HOT in the BBC's mini-series of Pride and Prejudice? I may have to go watch that when I'm finished here....
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
Everyone says they want a proper stamping space, and I do too. I would love to be able to give back my fiance's living room!!! He has the patience of a saint.
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
So many things. I'm no good at heat embossing - I often burn or warp the paper and end up with embossing powder all over the room. I'd love to be better at colouring - I'm still not sure how the HA team and other amazing artists on the HA Flickr site get their Gamsol to work so amazingly well. And I wish I was good at choosing colours; I tend to work monochromatically or with "safe" bland colours. Sometimes I think my cards are boring but I am never sure what to add. I'm rarely completely satisfied. That's why I love the Hero Arts Blog and Flickr site, the inspiration there is unbelievable.
YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!
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 have a Sony DSC-H3 that my lovely Dad gave me. I love it - it's great for Macro photography. (Thanks Dad!)
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
When I'm making a card, I tend to get so caught up I forget I have the power of speech. My fiance loves it :)
Wow. Now that's what I call Being In The Zone!