Today's Wednesday Wonder is a good example of a solid stamping artiste. She commands several different techniques... she's got a wonderful design sense... she's good with color AND layering. I mean, what's not to love here?
Ladies, I'd like you to meet Marilyn Valadez!
Er... she's bigger in real life.
(This was the only picture we could scare up.)
Marilyn is a retiree who spends some of her free time rubber stamping, and I am soooo glad she does AND that she shares her paper goodies with us at the Hero Arts Flickr Group. She's also done something that I've wanted to do for the last two years but always end up forgetting and missing the deadline....
Marilyn enters her cards in the State Fair! And she's won a few blue and red ribbons, too!!! (A lot of people don't know this, but fairs have opened up their arms to paper crafts.) So for those of you in the Albuquerque area, head out to the fair next summer and check out Marilyn's entries!
Will definitely be lifting this design in the future...
There's a lot to love about Marilyn's work, but my favorite is her color choices. Now we all know that I'm a color junkie, but I also wish I could get in touch with my inner neutrals - or wave at them from a distance, at the very least. Marilyn handles a restrained color palette better than anyone I've ever seen. She does it so well, that I often feel that, when placed next to hers, my cards, (with their tendencies toward garish colors) look like that tacky broad Cher used to do on her variety show. (You know - the one in the leopard jumpsuit with the exposed pink bra straps, sporting rhinestone cats-eyes glasses and blazing-red hussy-hair?)
Isn't this beautiful? All those muted colors are so fine-looking together, and then that little tiny splash of color just resonates, doesn't it? A really fantastic juxtaposition of colors for maximum benefit to one another, I think. What I've learned from Marilyn's cards is displayed in both this card and the one below:
She may be keeping a tight color palette, but she keeps it interesting by using a variety of textures and shapes. Like this card has so many details that blend so well together but each brings out the other in a great way: embossed script on the background, embossed "parentheses" shape, whatever that paper doily-like thing is and then the third embossed panel in a scalloped circle. She makes that paper WORK, I'm telling ya! And the results are fantastic. I'm telling you, there's a lot to be learned from studying her cards.
Here, Marilyn's using a few more colors, letting them dominate more, but they're still grounded in these wonderful neutrals; and I love her use of lace - love seeing the background peeking through.
Marilyn didn't have any photos of her crafting space, but she offered this description:
"I work in my kitchen on one side of the table as the light is good, and I'm close to water. I tend to be a very messy stamper. Maybe one day I will set up a stamp room with all my stuff in one place. That's a good thought! I could take over the garage...that would make for a nice large stamp area, we don't park the cars in there, anyway."
Ah, Marilyn, I have a plan... see below in your interview.
Here's a fabulous idea - use a photograph for the base! I like the picture, but it takes on added interest with her 3-D additions. (And that little touch of blue sky really adds a nice resting spot for the eyes, too.)
I could pop a lot more pictures in here, but...
Oh, heck! I like this one too much to leave it out!
As I was saying, I could go on all day, but I have to get to Praise Band practice, and I know you'll be visiting her Flickr photostream to admire her beautiful cards yourself, so....
Ladies, with no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Marilyn Valadez, the Siren of Subtlety!
Marilyn'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?
None of that leaping thing for me - I do well to just make it to the gate. Once in a while, I'll do a pre-sketch. Most of the time I get out a stamp or some patterned paper I really like and see what happens. Sometimes it will take a few hours and sometimes it can take all day to finish off a card. I've never made a scrapbook page, but did make two journals for the DD's once.
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
I make 2-3 cards a week - maybe more, maybe less. It depends on how creative I feel - and if I have the time. Some weeks I don't make any. Oh Wow! How could that be! LOL!
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?
Gee! I wish I could come up with some great words of wisdom to share! I'm still evolving and haven't made it yet. I sure do like the idea of being a leaner machine, though. Lessons I've learned... well, maybe one. Keep the cats off the work table, as they will walk right through your open ink pads and make one big mess! That, my stamping friends, can take hours to clean up! Those pesky devils have their own idea about what a card should look like! All you cat people out there know what I'm talking about!! LOL - it's a good thing they are so dang cute!
Yes, I would say that it's their very cuteness that keeps them among the living. We used to have four cats, and Sweetpea - the only male and, we suspect, Not All There - used to trash a craft area faster than you can say "Scat!" AND he had a real yen for licking photographs. (Yes! I had to be very careful when I was scrapbooking or he'd ruin my photos while I was working on the title.) God rest his miserable, little soul....
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)?
Lets see... meal time? Well, the DH and I are retired, and the girls are grown and out of the house, so meals aren’t a big issue! We get take-out, or go-out, or just stay home and scrounge around for leftovers... if we can find any, that is! Sometimes the DH gets desperate and does the grill thing, or I will get to feeling guilty (not often, mind you) and cook up a big pot of chili and a pot of pinto beans, that will hold us for a few days.
Ah, I like your way of doing things....
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!)
I'd bring my Prisma colored pencils, Cuttlebug and Swiss Dots folder, paper cutter, Cutter Bee scissors, craft knife, heat gun, clear ruler (Tim Holtz), round punch, Treading Water punch, and deckle-edged scissors.
Bravo on the Tim Holtz ruler! Is that thing awesome or what?
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.
Waves crashing on shore, sea gulls squawking, and breezes rustling through the palm tree leaves! (Sounds like a storm coming in, doesn't it?)
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
My garage converted into a stamp studio. Just dreaming! Well, who knows... it could happen! LOL!
Sure it could! Here's what you do: every day take something out of the garage and put it someplace else (basement, attic, under the bed, Good Will, etc). DH will never notice such a gradual loss of stuff. Then, once you have a large enough spot, you say, "Dear, I know you just hate all my crafty stuff sitting around, and I've been looking in the garage, and I think there's enough space for me to move all my clutter out there and get it out of our way." He will, of course, LEAP at the opportunity to liberate the dining room table and may even help you with the move. (Play your cards right, and you may be able to get him to put up some shelves for you as well.) As time passes, you keep up that one-a-day purge trick, thereby increasing your real estate holdings. Finally, as soon as the weather starts getting chilly, you say, "Honey, it's getting too cold for me out in the garage, but I just hate to move all that stuff back in here - you know how it takes over. Is there any way we can heat the garage?" He'll get you a state-of-the-art space heater at the very least. Just stick to that game plan and you'll have AC and a sink out there in about a year.
(Take that, Machiavelli!)
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I would like to make an uncluttered card. I always end up putting too much stuff on them.
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 always scan my cards to the Flickr site. My DD's bought me a cute little Power Shot SD 880 IS that, sadly to say, I haven't learned to use. Maybe one day I'll get around to reading the directions and put it to good use. I'm sure my cards would show a lot better.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
No small children around, so pretty much anything that pops into my head and spews out of my mouth! It can be ugly at times.... LOL!
You can see more of Marilyn's wonderful art on her Flickr photostream. (Try not to push others out of your way, please!)
Great interview, such beautiful cards, I have spotted Marilyn's tallent over on the flickr site, so glad you have picked her to inverview so we could get to know more about her.
Posted by: cathy a | September 16, 2009 at 05:58 PM
I have alwasy admired Marilyn's work and just loved seeing all her cards...the layering is perfection and color choices are perfection!!
Posted by: kathy racoosin | September 16, 2009 at 06:17 PM
Thanks for the great interview - and Deborah, I laughed a LOT at your crafty garage plan - GENIUS. (Will try it just as soon as I have a house with a garage) :)
So wonderful to learn more about Marilyn - she makes GORGEOUS cards.
Posted by: Lucy | September 16, 2009 at 06:36 PM
Lovely interview Deborah and I agree - marilyn's work is just awesome. I have admired her work for a while now.
Posted by: Dawn T | September 16, 2009 at 08:22 PM
What a TALENTED and witty/humorous artist, Marilyn! I love your work! Deborah, this interview is such a treat! Thank you!
Posted by: Virginia L. | September 16, 2009 at 09:00 PM
I love Marilyn work.. she always mixed up everything into beautiful art work!! Thanks Deborah for this great interview, now i'm ready to start my daily work :)
Posted by: Fika | September 16, 2009 at 10:28 PM
I got a good giggle out of how to get your own space. Marilyn love your story about the cat (& your's too Deborah) :D Beautiful cards & a great interview.
Posted by: Paula | September 17, 2009 at 12:32 AM
Terrific interview. Love the answers. Still smiling.
Posted by: Arlene | September 17, 2009 at 01:27 AM
Marilyn makes such beautiful cards. So glad you highlighted her work!
Posted by: stampersuzz | September 17, 2009 at 06:46 AM
Wonderful interview Deborah...i always Love Marilyn's cards.....
Thanks for letting us know a little more about her.....
Posted by: Kelly Booth | September 17, 2009 at 08:05 AM
I love Marilyn's work! And to think she does that all in spite of the cat!! And on a corner of the kitchen table!! Thank you both for a very bright spot in the day!!
Posted by: Judy Jung | September 17, 2009 at 11:19 AM
Such a great interview with an awesome cardmaker!! I've been a big fan of Marilyn for a long time, plus her love of BROWN makes me love her cards even more! And, she's such a classy lady! Thanks for an insightful interview....
Posted by: donna mikasa | September 18, 2009 at 02:21 AM
Hi, Deborah! Hi, Marilyn! Great interview! I think Deborah's idea for taking over the garage is fabulous! I adore Marilyn's "so blessed so thankful" pumpkin card. She really made them shine! :-)
Posted by: Anne Gaal | September 18, 2009 at 04:13 PM
Thanks Deborah, you did a great job making me more interesting than I really am! You're a sweetheart for selecting me as your Wed. Wonder I appeciate this honor! Thanks for all the lovely comments ladies, they are all wonderful and so are all of you!
Hugs to all!
Posted by: Marilyn Valadez | September 19, 2009 at 12:53 AM
Great interview Chere! Everyone should know about your fabulous art and sculpture work based on depictions of La Catrina. The wonderful dia de los Muertos and the Mexican people are a wonderful historical depiction behind her inspired works. Brandon Maldonado is a young artist that has inspired her skeleton images and colorful works. She takes his ideas and runs with them in her own direction. She also makes a mean box envelope. I have truly enjoyed our friendship Chere! NanD
Posted by: nancy de mond | September 23, 2009 at 11:19 AM
Another terrific interview! Loving Marilyn's style. I so love the gentle feel her works always has. I just knew where it came from while reading this interview.
Thanks so much, Deborah! Thank you so much, Marilyn! :)
Posted by: Tomo H. | October 11, 2009 at 08:37 AM