Monday, January 28, 2013

Globs, Questions, and Answers...

Hi there! I have fun little Instagram photo here, along with a mix of October Afternoon, Crate Paper and Lily Bee papers, and a few globs of dried paint, so let's get to scrapping...

WAIT! WHAT?!?! Globs of dry paint? 
Let me explain....

If you subscribe to My Analog Life, you already know what a wonderfully creative and spontaneous scrapper Michelle Hernandez (aka WillieburgScrapper) is! And, if you don't.... well, you NEED to subscribe. It's never a dull read!

From the moment I saw this page of Michelle's:
And her lovely embellishment grouping of dried paint globs:
Well, I just knew I wanted to try that! It went into the vortex of my brain and simmered on the back burner...

Then, I was listening to the PRT episode where Jen Allyson, the designer behind MME, was talking about her wildly popular Enamel Dots and how they are a bit like dried paint globs. 
The wheels started turning...
So a bottle of old metallic craft paint that has been taking up valuable real estate in my mist caddy, got emptied out onto my craft matt likey so:
Not quite like the aforementioned enamel dots, but let's go with it!
And, guess what? These took a surprisingly LONG time to dry. Go figure.
But, that gave me lots of time to think.
How does one get to the point in the creative process that it actually occurs to them to cut out a glob of paint and stick it on a Wedding Layout in a perfectly elegant way?
I had already planned to, of course, link back to Michelle when I showed my page with these dried globs. But, I wanted to know more!
So, I asked her :)

I am pleased to report that Michelle graciously allowed me to pick her brain and took the time to answer my questions in her always entertaining and engaging writing style.

How about we take a trip into Michelle's creative mind while we wait for those globs to dry?

Michelle, I find your style to have such a wonderful mix of graphic lines and eclectic bits. I just love how your work echoes the urban environment you live in! Can you tell us what some of your consistent inspirations and motivations are?
- AWW!! Thank you so much! I actually really admire your work for similar reasons- there are so many visual connections being made in your pages that I wish I had made in mine! I really admire how you freely choose patterns and mix things up with your embellishments.
Regarding the urban focus of some of my work- I was actually thinking about this very issue recently. I follow a lot of crafters on Instagram and sometimes I feel envy when I see beautiful gardens (like yours!!), home renovations or large well-lit rooms and shopping trips to well stocked Target stores. I question my choice to stay in a large and very expensive city. There is a lot in suburban life that I am drawn to.
I live in a dark and tiny apartment in Brooklyn. The walls outside are full of colorful graffiti that I genuinely admire and look to for inspiration. My choices are to run around trying to imitate someone else’s lifestyle so I fit in better, or try to capture what I like about what’s around me right now.
Writers are told write what you know so that’s what I try to do. Subway stations, graffiti, manhole covers, water towers- the occasional goose in the park across the street. I don’t do it for every page but the pages others seem to respond to most include city elements. Right now I’m trying to find that happy place where I celebrate city life and show some of it’s less than perfect reality without falling into cliché or stereotype.

You have a wonderful spontaneity to your work...especially the addition of a dried paint glob! Can you tell us what made you think to include that on your page?
Seriously blushing over here. I over-think a LOT of things but when I’m scrapping there is very little thinking- I’m just making stuff up as I go along. Last year I promised myself I would start writing stuff down when I saw things in my work that I liked because I tend to freeze mid project and I could use these technique lists as a way to break out of the “now what?” moment. All my favorite scrappers (including you) have certain things they do over and over again. Those details become a unique style- a visual language of sorts that makes your work unique and authentic.
Sometimes I have weeks when I don’t do anything because I want to be “original” with each page. This is my mistake. If you have a formula to get you started USE IT- even if the page looks the same as one you did last time- working is better for flow and spontaneity than freezing up.
I love paint but using it on my pages scares the heck outta me. For this project, I tried dripping the gold paint on the page but it positively REFUSED to go on in a place I liked so I cut it out and stuck it onto another page. Problem solved. 90% of effective scrapbooking is problem solving. You try something: Plunk! It goes over like a lead balloon. So you fix it the best way you know how and BAM! GENIUS! Usually someone else tells you it’s genius- mostly I’m all- HUH? COOOOOOLLLL!!!!!
Just play- and keep playing- don’t give up! Or give up and come back to it later. I do that too. I put pages aside overnight and in the morning they magically put themselves together. I could be struggling over a page for 2 hours, give up, come back to it later and it gets finished in 20 minutes flat- FREAKY!

As a subscriber of your blog and a regular reader, I notice that you are on a constant exploration of techniques and your own personal creative journey. I find this very inspiring! Can you share with us a little bit of your creative journey.... how you got to this point and where you hope to get to in the future?
Wow this question is DEEP. Thank you for saying I’m inspiring- you have no idea how wonderful that is to hear- really, truly. I’m hugging you in my brain right now.
I have always taken photos and I have always dabbled in “scrapbooking” in some way. I have books of animal photos I pasted together when I was in 4th grade. I’m the only person in my family (sometimes it feels like I’m the only scrapper in New York City- especially when I talk to people who paint or knit- they have huge communities here) I had no idea there were professional designers making scrapbook specific products and I wish I had found my way earlier. It seems like things are winding down right now in the commercial side of scrapbooking. I really like the blogs, the DTs and the sharing we do. There is huge value to this community we’ve created and I really want it to keep going.
To answer your question- I started scrapbooking and shooting photos of my pages to put in galleries in 2009. I was pregnant with my first child. Right away I found out she was very sick and the doctors recommended that I terminate the pregnancy. In order to shut out all the anxiety I was feeling I started searching for bird stencils. I was going to have this baby and I was going to decorate her room myself. It started with stickers and collage and quickly moved on to scrapbook papers. Lola is fine- genetic disorders were strongly suspected but since no test was positive I decided I would handle whatever came my way. What came was awesome. I'm having the time of my life with my normal wall climbing, bed jumping, tomato chomping toddler- WINNING!
Before I had Lola, I was a photo editor so I use my visual story telling skills in my scrapbooking and the rest (blogging, graphic design rules, social media promotion) I’m learning as I go along.
Eventually, I want to teach and build a blog that is a valuable resource for the art and scrapbook community (which is one and the same to me by the way. That view sometimes gets me ridiculed but I’m not backing down- scrapbooking and the passion women show for it is inspiring and progressive- it’s art). I also want to find a way to join my finances with my creative pursuits- working to feed my creative soul not just pay the rent is my main goal.
Thanks for these great questions- I love talking about this stuff!

I love it too! Thank you so much Michelle! 

I can so relate to many of what she touched on, can't you?
Don't over think...
Be you, no one else...
Try, play, have fun....

So inspired!

And with that, we have completely dried globs! Let's get them scrapped!

I am not sure if it's the shape of the Instagram photo or the fact that scrappy cyberland seems to be flooded with Project Life pages these days, but I think I might work this up into a PL inspired grid design. After all, I really had fun the last time I tried my hand at that aesthetic...

First up, just a bit of playing with the layout. Move it to the left... move it to the right. Layer this... layer that....
Alright! The layering of all those papers went surprisingly fast. Last time it took forever. I think I was more confident this go around in this style, but I also didn't bother with the paper trimmer. Instead, I just used my scissors. Turns out corners can be rounded even if the papers aren't cut perfectly straight. Oh Happy Day!!!

As for the globs, I wanted a little more texture so I just ran them through my sewing machine:
 And then had fun layering them up:
Dried splashes of paint....
Yep, they are the coolest!
 And quite appropriate for a page about the coolest pool in the world!
Plenty of pattern, plenty of journaling, and plenty of the unexpected. Now, that's my kind of scrapping!

I just love this online community of art that we are all a part of. The exchange of ideas and inspiration in truly priceless! Thanks again for joining us Michelle. Thanks for your kind words and most of all thank you for sharing some of the genius in your scrappy brain!


  1. You girls are amazing! I love how it turned out! I love Michelle's work too! What a great interview!

  2. Wow!! This is so so cool! I just love this blog post and reading what Michelle had to say!

  3. Thank you for this feature! It was an honor to share a little bit of the constant yammering going on in the back of my mind with you. MAN I wrote too much! Sorry! :)
    I LOVE that page! Somehow you always take the idea or technique to the next level. Yes I probably should have mentioned that I had weeks in between drying and using my gold pain glob. I LOVE this rounded corner boxes page! It looks like the perfect Project Life layout to me and I LOVE how you mixed Thickers for the title- fantastic job!

  4. PS- I think I like your metallic wonky paint drips more than enamel dots! Now you KNOW I'm going to have to run back and try this!!!! Plus stitching through them? GENIUS!!!

  5. Wow! So... this page is totally out of my style but I LOVE IT! It is truly an inspiring community that we are a part of. Love it!

  6. Hey there! So glad I just found you via My Analog Life! I ADORE this fab layout and all the funky layers and elements, just love it! I'll be back soon for more inspiration as one of my goals for the year is to scrap more (I do lots of cardmaking and the scrappin tends to take the back burner!)
    Shanna :)

  7. Fab...fab interview, fab technique, fab layout...just fab! Lived hearing from Michelle, too!

  8. Loved reading so much about Michele-you both inspire me on a daily basis. i need to make some paint dots now, so awesome looking! What did you dry them on?

    1. i just let them dry right on my Ranger craft matt :)

  9. What an amazing layout! I soooo love the design of this! *heading off to Pinterest with it, so I won't forget*

  10. Rock solid work, mama!!! Thanks for the down and dirty on such a fun technique. I'm a total blob girl, so this is def going in my scrappy toolbox for later inspiration :-) xx

  11. The paint blobs themselves were really cool, but stitching on them? A+. Love this!

  12. This is such an inspiring post!
    Loved both pages and your interview with Michelle! :)

  13. Wow.. love how everyone just keeps raising the bar. I've always been dismayed with paint blogs. Just goes to show. LOL!

  14. Love the inspiration we all share with each other. You and Michelle created some amazing pages!

  15. Love it!! Guess I'll be trying some paint dots and globs!!

  16. Loved the creative talk between you two - how fun!! Like the techniques, but always nice to find out a bit more about the people behind it! It's kind of like an online scrapping bee.

  17. Ummm...AMAZING! I would have never thought of that in a millions years and adding the stitching through the paint globs was an even more fabulous idea!! What a cool page Ashli!!

  18. Fun read and a great page! Paint globs - who knew?!

  19. What a fun idea and a fabulous layout. Never occurred to me to make my own paint blobs - now I want to! :)

  20. Awesome! You are such an inspiration!

  21. Ok, the paint globs?how cool!! What a neat idea. I am a big fan of Michelle's and really enjoyed reading this post..thanks for sharing!

  22. How did I miss this?! Love the effect and loved the interview too.

  23. i've heard of this, but hadn't really seen it done in such a way! i'm impressed with what both of you created. well done! :)


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