Papercrafting Artists: Finding Talent & Connections – A Creative Team Announcement
Papercrafting talent is all around and we’re sharing it here, with you!
Many of you know that I was a member of Two Peas In A Bucket, a well-known online store and forum for those passionate about papercrafting.
Some of you were members as well.
Sadly, the Two Peas store and forum are no longer in operation, but I, for one, will be forever grateful for the wonderful community I shared in while I was a member.
And, most importantly, I feel so very thankful to have made some great IRL (in real life) friends as a result of ‘being a Pea,” friends I most likely never would have made had it not been for our shared passion for papercrafting and our desire to connect with others who “get” us.
I’m blessed to call a few of these gals besties!
Of course that’s how I feel about our hangout here too – it’s unlikely our paths would have crossed without our passion for papercrafting and this gathering place.
I feel so very fortunate to have this as one of my creative homes and to call y’all my friends – hopefully you feel the same way.
O.K., so what’s this got to do with the PCC Creative Team?
Once again, it’s the shared passion and the desire to connect – we come together here to be creative with those who “get us,” who understand what it means to be giddy over just the right patterned paper, a new adhesive, a small roll of washi tape, a pen that writes smoothly, a stencil that’s perfect for our newest canvas, a new Distress Ink color, a stamp positioner, new tools for quilling, an amazing paper piecing or sculpture, a beautiful new Project Life kit release, or a kit club or stamp company subscription.
Yeah, we get you!
And we do our best to inspire you…that’s where we’re headed today…
You see, I was recently out doing a little IRL supply shopping.
I was on the hunt for supplies for creating holiday projects and I was stooped down in an aisle, intently focused on the items I was rummaging through, hoping to see something that would spark an idea – a great idea! – that I could share with all of you.
And that’s when I overheard a fellow crafter explaining something to a male companion, a fellow I would later learn is her husband.
She was explaining that although she liked the wooden bingo numbers she had found, she really wanted the vintage version, the real thing.
Cue the “I’ve found my peeps” music!
After this spunky young lady finished explaining her dilemma (I know y’all get that this was a true papercrafting dilemma! ;)), I mentioned to her that there are several events taking place around Austin that she might want to check out, events where she’d be likely to find exactly what she was looking for, the “real deal!“
Well, her eyes lit up and she was immediately looking at me with those eyes that say, “Tell me more!“
So I did!
I told her about Antique Week, which was just about to start, and about Austin’s Citywide Garage Sale (mentioned in this JBS post), which takes place almost every month in downtown Austin (yup, this IS a cool place to live if you’re into junkin’!).
I gave her a quick rundown on both events and suggested she check them out if she was able to.
She was very receptive to the idea and turned to her guy to chat about when they might go to Antique Week.
And then it was time for me to move on to a few other stores I wanted to check out and for her to move on as well.
Now, here’s where being a military brat (someone who’s spent their whole life having to pursue new friends as a result of moving so often), and being very comfortable meeting new people and extending an invite to stay in touch, comes in handy.
And it doesn’t hurt when the person you just met is cut of the same cloth!
Brandy and I introduced ourselves and I handed her my business card.
Our goodbye was now on hold, delayed because as soon as she saw my card and learned what PaperCrafter’s Corner is all about, she shared that she’s into mixed media art.
And then, well, of course I had to know what she likes creating.
Yeah, you know you would have asked!
And being the modern-day crafter that she is, she immediately whipped out her phone and showed me some of her projects.
Isn’t modern technology wonderful?!
A few photo shares later and I offered her an opportunity to share her work with our audience.
She looked surprised, and interested, and we parted ways with her sharing that she’d be in touch.
I was happy to have met this talented lady and hoped we might again connect.
But I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t sure she would get in touch (people often say they will and don’t, right?), and I didn’t have her contact info so it would be up to her to reach out.
So, off I went, spending much of that day in search of product inspiration and not arriving home until late that evening.
In the door, bags on the floor of my craft room and a quick check of email – hey, she emailed me…already!
Of course I immediately wrote back and we made plans to meet for lunch (which actually became a meeting at Starbuck’s for drinks and a chance for me to see some of her projects IRL).
OK, can I just say, her work is wonderful?!
Check out these tags she shared with me…
We had a great time chatting about our shared passion…and our kids…and hubbies…and where we’re from…and how we ended up in Austin, TX…and life.
This was a fun gal, with artistic talent, and I offered to provide her with some products so she could “try out” for our team.
She accepted and soon delivered her first project, ahead of schedule.
Wondering if we were impressed, if we liked what she created?
Well, here she is, the newest member of the PCC Creative Team, Brandy Elder!
Yup, we are definitely impressed with this talented lady and thrilled that she’s decided to join the PCC Creative Team!
We’re honored to share your papercrafting talents with our amazing community
and we can’t wait to share your first project!
And now, because I know y’all are a lot like me and want to know the person behind the talent, let’s get to know Brandy a bit better…
Steph: Tell us a bit about where you’re from and who you’re connected to.
Brandy: I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. About three years ago we moved to Central Texas. I have been married to my husband for 19 years and we have five children, two girls and three boys.
Steph: What inspires you, in life and in creating?
Brandy: The world around me. Also, where I come from, the culture I grew up in and my family roots.
Steph: What kinds of crafts do you pursue?
Brandy: Mixed Media Art. This is my favorite because it allows me to play with all forms of styles, techniques and products.
Steph: How did you get started in creating?
Brandy: I’ve always created. I was born with a paint brush in my hand. (Steph: This, I believe!)
Steph: What’s the first thing you ever made, and the last thing you created (besides your “try out” projects)?
Brandy: Making doll clothes and furniture is my first vivid memory of me crafting. The last thing I made was a mixed media Halloween tag for an art swap.
Steph: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to creating?
Brandy: Narrowing down all the ideas that are rolling around in my head. (Steph: Shocking! That never happens to any of us, does it gang? 😉 )
Steph: What are you really good at (come on, don’t be shy!)?
Brandy: I am really good at seeing something that I want to make and breaking it down into steps. I can look at a piece and see that it really isn’t complicated or difficult. It’s all about simplifying it.
Steph: What’s the best advice you can share with a beginning crafter?
Brandy: Keep creating, don’t ever stop.
Steph: How do you make time for creating?
Brandy: Art is my life, it’s who I am. So, when I am not spending time with my husband, kids or dogs, I am working on something. We often take road trips, so I have an art kit ready to go to keep me occupied in the car.
Steph: Tell us a bit about your creative space and what you love (or hate!) about it.
Brandy: HA HA HA !!! My creative space is very chaotic. The house I am living in, at the moment, was not meant to have an artist living in it. I have converted my front dining room into both my husband’s office and my art space. I have shelves all around me with supplies filling every usable space. There isn’t much I love about this, but it is what I have at the moment. This space affects me when I am trying to create because I see everything and it overwhelms my creative process.
Steph: How would you describe your personal style?
Steph: Who do you admire and why?
Brandy: I admire artists who allow themselves to be free when they create, who let go and truly create from the heart. I still struggle with those negative voices in my head and I know that it holds me back.
Steph: If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you want to talk about?
Brandy: Dr. Seuss. I would want to know all about his creative process. I would love to pick his brain about how he created characters and words in such a way that it grabs everyone’s attention, no matter their age. I truly believe it is his books that I read, growing up, that made me hold on to that creative spirit I have.
Steph: What are you favorites?
Colors – Glitter! I have no one favorite color. I love them all;
Craft Product Manufacturers – Tim Holtz, October Afternoon and 7 Gypsies are just a few;
Activities – Art, crafting, creating. I really don’t enjoy much else;
Food & Drinks – Cajun home cooking, a tall glass of iced tea or Cherry Limeade;
Movies & TV Shows – Some of my favorite movies are Grease, Goonies, and Horton Hears a Who; I don’t watch a lot of TV, but when I do, it’s usually The Middle or Once Upon a Time.
Steph: What would people, even those closest to you, be surprised to learn about you?
Brandy: Honestly, not much. I am an open book. What you see is what you get.
It’s been such a pleasure getting to know a bit more about you and we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know our passionate papercrafters a bit more – let’s chat in the comments everyone!
Curious about what makes Brandy tick or her mixed media adventures?
Curious what our papercrafting community enjoys
and what they’d like to learn more about, Brandy?
Just ask ’em!
Trust me, they are NOT afraid to tell you what they think!
And we love that!
Curious about Brandy’s work and excited to see more of it?
Stay tuned for our posting of Brandy’s first PCC CT project – her “try out,” complete with a tutorial – coming shortly.
We’re sure you’ll immediately see why we offered her a spot on the PCC Creative Team!
Oh, and one last thing…
Brandy’s just started her own blog (congrats!) and she just recently opened a few new social media accounts.
She shared that she was a bit concerned that y’all might not want to follow her since her accounts are new, and she doesn’t yet have many followers and she hadn’t yet uploaded a lot of her work.
I assured her you’re a great community and that she needn’t worry about that, so let’s show her some love and help her grow her following!
Check out Brandy’s new blog:
And if you aren’t already following PCC on these channels (plus Twitter), now’s your chance!
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Thanks for joining us today everyone and happy papercrafting!
Steph & The PCC Team