Isn't the resemblance amazing? I'm expecting dwarfs to pop up at any moment....
What I like about Deirdre's cards are their simplicity. Simple is hard, but Deirdre does Simple very well. As someone who is more and more attracted to clean lines and less doo-dah, I look to people like Deirdre for inspiration and guidance because I know I won't be disappointed.
Take this lovely card, for instance. What a great example!
I love how Deirdre chooses one very strong focal point and then makes everything else support and compliment it. Here the focal point is that 3D blossom. She knows it's an attention-grabber, so there's no need to embellish it with jewels and glitter and Glimmer Mist, etc. She leaves that text paper alone with nothing but a flower-shaped button tied with some floss. Take a good look at that button. Deirdre is very clever at using shape to add interest - which means she's not relying on patterns and color combo's etc. This elegant flower is superbly balanced with an unfussy stem-and-leaf stamp (it's not just the size and width of this stamp that works here - its simple whimsy is a wonderful partner to that blossom above); and the sentiment stamp is an echo - three words in a simple font and one word "fancy" - kind of like a small diamond pendant on a graceful, swan-like neck. I can't tell if the background is patterned paper or stamped, but it doesn't really matter. It's very subtle and tiny so it doesn't distract from the flower and sentiment, but its presence adds the right amount of visual stimulation to keep the card from being boring. (Seriously, try imagining this card on plain red card stock... it would feel "flat.") The plain white border stitching also compliments the focal point of the flower, and the base of the card frames the canvas.
Another card I find very cool is this elegant creation with matching envelope! I suspect the photo doesn't do this one justice and that the real thing is the equivalent to that deadly little black dress we're all supposed to have in our closets. Here Deirdre's clear embossed the butterfly on the background - and this is a really good choice because the butterfly is a large image. Unlike the last card, a smaller image would have defeated the drama of this card and been lost in a black hole. Plus it makes for a nice repeating element, tying into the 3D butterfly. And speaking of that butterfly, I love that she stamped on gray-toned patterned paper. No other color would have worked there. Period. And having the trail of pearls bisecting the sentiment was a great touch - just try imagining that sentiment anywhere else, and see how quickly the visual balance goes straight down the sewer! (Those pearls, btw, are colored with a black Sharpie - a good solution, if you ask me. Just buy white pearls and then color them to suit - brilliant!)
Here Deirdre's using shape as a major means of adding interest. (She's got Nesties, and she's not afraid to use them!) Once again, we see subtle patterned paper giving a nice amount of "umph!" without overpowering the focus. There's no need to ink any edges or mist with glitter, etc - those things would just fight with the strong black in the butterfly, its trail and the sentiment.
Deirdre's captured more than a little bit of attention. She won First Place in the Photo Card Challenge at the Hero Arts blog and in the April 2009 Do Crafts Weekly Challenge. One of her cards was chosen as a Stand Out in the Caardvarks digital challenge, and she also kicked a little fanny in the Two Peas in a Bucket Weekly Digital Challenges in August (for a scrapbook page) and October (for a card). In the print media, Deirdre was featured in Creativity Magazine's Talent Spot in the January 2010 issue. Dierdre is also a Design Team member of Paperplay Challenges. (Where, by the way, she is setting this week's challenge, it comes with a yummy prize package, so you better hop on over there as soon as you've finished reading this!)
Deirdre has a creative space in her attic, but she won't share it with us because she claims it's too messy. Which is so silly - genius is rarely tidy, and we're all a bunch of slobs, anyway. (This is very disappointing to me, Deirdre, as I have an attic, too, and am always looking for better solutions. Do you have dormers in your attic? Windows? We really MUST talk!)
Well, let's get on to the good stuff! With no further ado, lift your Diet-Cokes to Deirdre Horgan, a Conjurer of Uncomplicated Elegance (without benefit of animated forest creatures, I might add)!
Deirdre'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?
Usually I have an idea or concept for a card in my head that I try to convert onto paper – it doesn’t always work. I'm not much of a sketcher! It can take an hour to make a card or five, depending on whether or not I manage to get the image in my head onto paper.
This really does vary week to week, sometimes I may make up to 10 or it could be just one or two.
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 really don’t think I have become leaner or meaner in anything! I suppose the introduction of digital images has somewhat changed my card style and, of course, Copics (although I am only a beginner with these I absolutely LOVE working with them).
Ah, yes, just one more addict living in the crack house of ink!
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)?
Ah, that would be Irish stew – made in the morning and let to simmer for a couple of hours. (Anyone with an Irish connection will remember or will have experienced the Irish cooking method of boiling everything!) It may even stretch to a second day!!! and always tastes better on the second day too!
Alrighty, lassie, fork over that recipe NOW and nobody will get hurt! (I just happen to be a stew fiend.) We have crock pots over here in the USA - do you have something like that?
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!)
My sewing machine with thread (hopefully the island has power), adhesive, pop dots, pokey tool, black pen, ribbon, Copics, scissors (tiny ones for intricate cutting and large ones), Fiskars trimmer, and, of course, my PC!
No self-respecting island would be without power!
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 like to work in the quiet. There is enough noise in my world but I do have U2, The Script, and Michael Bublé in my CD player at present.
More time in my day and the ability to go to Michael’s, Target etc. when the crafting supplies are on sale!
8. What about your style/artistry are you least satisfied with?
I would love to be better at colouring and master Copics!
I have a Canon EOS 30D with four lenses, which I love. My camera goes pretty much everywhere with me.
10. What's the word or phrase that comes to your lips when you mess up while creating? ("Unprintable" is definitely an option!)
Bummer! (And it gets uttered quite a lot!)
Not to harp on this Snow White thing, but I just had this vision of you in Snow White's costume stamping away and then shrieking, "Bummer, bummer, bum, bum, bummer!" Is anybody else having a giggle at this image? This is a compliment, btw. I don't look like Snow White when I make a mistake stamping (or at any time, for that matter). No, I bare a striking resemblance to Rumpelstiltsken when the miller's daughter guessed his name....
11. Give us a quick description of your pets.
None at present. The boys have an order in for a dog!
12. Give us a quick description of your job.
I am a Domestic Engineer!
13. Give us a quick description of you family.
I'm the wife of a very supportive DH and Mom of two boys (ages 7½ and 5¾!)
I love to sail.
15. What’s your favorite stamping technique?
I like embossing and using Distress inks.
16. What do you find more satisfying - the process or the product?
Definitely the product whilst enjoying the process.