Today's Wednesday Wonder is a former native of Poland who now lives in what she refers to as "the capital of rain." (For those of you not in the know, she's referring to Manchester, England. We have one of those here, too. I believe it's called Seattle.)
I have no idea what Agnieszka does when she's not scrapbooking, but I personally think she ought to be a model.
Agnieszka has two "signature" design choices: (1) long and lean cards (business size 10 for us Americans), and (2) exquisite quilling. Her size preference makes you re-think your own cards and wonder why you've neglected the 8.5" x 3.5" format for so long. Her quilling is so mind-blowing, you'll find you won't be able to think, period. At least I couldn't.
All I could do was drool.
See what I mean? ('Fess up - you know you're drooling, too!)
How cool is her quilling work?! I look at this and think, "Hmmmm... I think I see a trendsetter here - that little Agnieszka is going to start a quilling revival!"
As you can see when you look at her work, Agnieszka is not limited in her color choices or style. She can handle the subdued, distressed feel of shabby chic just as easily as she can mix it up with brighter colors and contemporary designs. As a matter of fact, she's really good at blending the two by choosing just one "distressed" element to include in an otherwise contemporary look. Like this beauty:
If something like that showed up in my mailbox, I'd squeal so long and so hard you'd hear it three counties over!
Although Agnieszka hasn't been on any design teams, her work is appreciated and is beginning to get some attention, I think. She was selected as the Fresh Face winner in the Inspired By WAD 2009 challenge over at the Hero Arts Blog; she won an Honorable Mention in a Caardvarks challenge; and was a World Card Making Day Gallery Winner at Paper Crafts Connection. And this just in: The top 6 in Embellish the Cure Color Challenge and October Gallery Challenge Winner (Paper Crafts Connection). So our girl's picking up steam!
Just look at the cleverness of this card:
Never, EVER, in a million years, would I think to make a card like this. (I suspect that most of the rest of y'all wouldn't either.) Traditionally, I think we all think of quilling as a very "feminine" accent, but Agnieszka shows it can be suitable for a masculine card, as well. Although I don't know who's going to get the card below, I know it would work just fine for a male recipient.
I swear I can hardly make up my mind about which cards to use here! But I must limit myself to one more, so I think I'll go for one that is not Agnieszka's favorite card shape just to show she can create a masterpiece no matter the shape of the canvas.
Well, now! How about this little piece of heaven?
She's employing the quilling and using muted pastels, "distressing" the edges with well-blended smudges of ink - you think she's leading you down Shabby Chic Alley... but WAIT! That card base is magenta and look at all the bling!!! - you find yourself on Fancy Pants Avenue instead.
Agnieszka sure is sneaky!
She's also a wonderfully talented card maker that I'm glad is NOT a model, because if she was, she probably wouldn't have time to make and share her beautiful creations with us! So, with no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Agnieszka Malyszek, the Queen of Quilling!
Agnieszka'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?
It depends on how many ideas I have. It’s easy when I know exactly what to do, but when I have too many ideas in my head I need to make a sketch to save time. Sometimes I do sketches of my quilled things on paper napkins or yellow sticky notes. I can usually start a card and finish it in a few hours.
You have ideas?! I wish I had ideas! Lately I've done nothing but create slop because I can't think of any ideas. I thought I had an idea, but then I got this thing that shows me a picture of my Flickr friends' uploads. And I saw my idea on one of Lin's cards, but her version was sooooo much better than mine that I abandoned ship. (If anybody's wondering why I haven't posted a card on Flickr lately, it's because I have no ideas.)
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
Scrapbooking is not my cup of tea. :~) (Maybe I'll try someday....) I love cardmaking, and I try to get at least one card done a week. Challenges and card chains are good motivation to make more :~) I think I’m more efficient when I can feel time pressure on me (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?
quite a new crafter. I have been
cardmaking for about 2 years, but only stamping since January of this year.
Therefore, I don’t have much advice. I still need to learn so many things!
Certainly I have learned that inspiration is everywhere around us (it can be a
colour scheme or a little detail). When I have something inspiring I can work
faster. Another thing is a tidy space around me, this keeps me focused.
Good advice - especially that thing about keeping your space tidy. I totally agree with that one!
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)?
“OMG it’s dinner time?!” :~) I hate when I have to stop in the middle of creating because I forgot about dinner. Spaghetti or pizza is always a good answer for the situation like this. Isn't pizza the most popular dinner solutions? I bet it is.
I bet you're right!
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!)
Pencil and pencil sharpener, self-healing craft mat, metal ruler, scissors, double-sided tape, glue, embossing tool, heat gun, punches and shape templates – that’s my current set I’m using, and I know I can manage with 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 favourite musical artists.
A list of my favourite artists is very long and miscellaneous - Nina Simone, Eric Clapton, Sting, Pink Floyd, Coldplay… those are only a few of them.
7. If you could have anything you wanted, (concerning scrapping or stamping) what would it be?
Oh my - I’m afraid my wish list is too long. I can’t even remember all these things I would love to have! But my own craft room with space for everything from my wish list - that’s the number one!
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I’m not satisfied with being not satisfied. (lol) I’m not happy to say this, but I’m almost never satisfied with my cards. I do analyze too much and always see things I could do better (different). Just can’t help it.
You are SO not alone on this one! I just spent a precious two hours last night on what is total garbage, in my opinion (see my comment earlier about Lin's idea working so much better than my execution of that idea). Nobody'll be seeing any of that!
9. What cameras have you tried, which one is your favourite, and why? (You can shorten this to just the one you're using now if you like.)
I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3, and it’s my favourite toy so far! It’s a really good (easy-to-use) camera with an unusually nice body. I really love it!
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
The first word that comes to mind is “CRAP”! But there are others of course... lol!
I could write a whole blog entry about the word, "crap." In fact, I think I will - keep your eyes peeled, folks!
You can see more of Agnieszka's creations at her Flickr photostream.
Bonus tip: most of her cards appear to be located at the beginning and end of her photostream, but don't ignore the rest of the photos! She's uploaded breathtaking pictures of some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. I'd always heard the beaches of Croatia are gorgeous - and she's got the pictures to prove it!