Today's Wednesday Wonder hails from a Winter Wonderland known as Shakopee, Minnesota, which has a demographic that includes a large snowperson population. Case in point: here's our Wonder - Becca Nelson - with a recent house guest!
Lookit those dimples! And do you detect a special glow? Becca is expecting her first child in April!!!
I stumbled upon Becca's creations a little while ago and fell in love - she has a lovely sense of whimsy and a fondness for all things vintage. I'm especially admiring of her use of patterned paper. Check it out:
Is this cool or what? I do believe we're looking at eight - count 'em! - eight different patterns of paper (nine if there's a pattern on the flower's red center). I love all these vibrant "aged" colors with ink distressing here and there (she also knew when NOT to ink distress, and that's a pretty impressive skill).
And what about this one?
Here we're down to a measly six patterns - Becca's ability to select patterns and juxtapose them in a way that pleases the eye really impresses me - I have trouble managing as little as two patterned papers on a card. (And I'd like to state for the record that I have this paper pack but have never made anything nearly as attractive with mine.) Wonderful, wonderful whimsy here! She's taken an image we've all done to death (a butterfly) and breathed fresh life into it by producing a butterfly convention in a fabulous patterned paper tree.
And just to show that Becca's not limited in her ability to work with various paper types, check out this beauty:
We're back up to eight patterns (can you identify them all?) and what really impresses me with this card is how well she was able to distress papers that normally would not be considered "distress-able." These bright, glittered pastel papers are the antithesis of aged/shabby/worn, but Becca pulled it off with a light touch and a deft hand.
Here's where Becca makes her magic:(Proving, once again, that one need not have a whole room to be brilliant!)
Becca's been published in Paper Crafts, Cards, and Correspondence Art, so she's definitely proved she can run with the big dogs. In addition to her cards, she's made some fabulous wall art and other cool stuff (see her blog or online galleries - links are provided at the end of this post).
With no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Becca Nelson, Minnesota's own little Vintage Viking!
Becca'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 almost always have to make a sketch of my design. Most of the time an idea comes to me at work during the day and I have to sketch it out while at work. I can then come home and tweak it to the way I want and make my card. The time it takes to make each card really depends on the complexity of the card and how much coffee I’ve had! See answer below.
2. How many, on average, pages per week do you make? Cards?
When I’m in a groove, I can make up to 20 cards a day. When I’m in a funk, it will take me all day to make one card.
Okay, I can relate to the latter, but as to the former... Get OUT!!! (as Elaine would 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?
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)?
I call my husband and have him pick up something on his way home from work!
Now that's what I'm talking about!
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 quilting mat, guide and rotary cutter (my paper trimming tools), large circle punch, ATG Gun, scallop-edged punch, corner rounder, sandpaper, scissors, and Cricut.
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
I like any kind of music! It really depends on my mood (and how much coffee I’ve had)! I’m not going to list specific artists, but I have been known to listen to Christian (my #1 choice), classical, Alternative, Top 40, and sometimes even Country.
I would like a larger, more appealing scrap area. I currently share a room with the washer and dryer, furnace and water heater… along with some friendly spiders in the warmer months. On a positive note, the furnace and dryer keep me warm in the winter, and the small space helps keep my spending on unneeded supplies in check. I am able to do laundry while creating, and it makes me feel good to multitask. I also have a big window right above my desk. We have plans to get a new tile floor and maybe add wainscoting to the walls!
Sounds like a pretty sweet set-up, all in all!
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I am very envious of all the stampers out there who create such beautiful artwork. I would like to learn new stamping techniques and love browsing Flickr to find inspiration. You ladies certainly do have a lot of patience!
Not all of us do. I threw an inkpad right out the window one day it made me so mad. (Don't judge me harshly, it had a bad attitude and ought to be grateful I didn't stomp on it BEFORE heaving it out the window.)
I have a Canon Rebel XT and love it! After having it for years, I’m still learning how to use it.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
I don’t swear, so mostly I just groan or pull my hair out.
No pets at this time.
12. Give us a quick description of your job.
I work at a title insurance company, but will be quitting soon to become a full time stay at home mom!
I live with my husband Jeremy, and we are expecting our first child in April! The Dr. said that the “Gender appears female,” so that’s what we are anticipating! We are excited to begin this new chapter in our lives. I think our lives are about to change in a HUGE way!
I think that you would be right!
A word of advice. After the baby is born, DO continue to go out to dinner, movies, etc while you still can. She'll sleep through all of it. Once she reaches 6 months, you will find yourself somewhat housebound because now your little darling will be in full exploration mode and have the ability (and will) to holler at the top of her lungs, making movies and fine dining a suspended activity until she's about four.'
14. Got a fun or little known fact about yourself you’d like to share?
I don’t know if this is little-known or not, but I love using vintage elements on my cards, especially photos. I love thinking about the events that took place when the pictures were taken and giving those discarded photos new life on my cards. I am so grateful that my husband comes with me to antique stores to hunt down my treasures!
I love that you like to wonder about the subjects in the photo - I do that, too!
Ha, ha….like I said before, I am a total novice at stamping, so my favorite technique would be shopping for the stamps! I hope to improve my stamping.
Okay, that IS the best answer thus far!
16. What do you find more satisfying - the process or the product?
I love having the finished product in front of me. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment and success. I have a card rack in my scrap room and I love having it full of all different kinds and colors of cards all packaged and ready to go to their homes.