Guest Designer: Charity Hassel

The best part about starting this blog has been the opportunity meeting and working with amazing designers, artists, and Christians who love the Lord and love papercrafting! This week there is no exception! Charity Hassel's designs are bold and fresh!

I’ve always known I wanted to be a wife and a mother. I also knew early on that I wanted to become an RN. So, how fortunate am I to be all of the above. I have been a wife to Brian for almost 8 years and a stay at home mommy of Alexander, 5 and Audrey 3. I have been an RN for over 12 years and work one shift a week in the surgical ICU at Mayo.

Believe it or not, but a long time ago I would have never thought I was crafty or would have thought I would have gotten into scrapping. It was after marriage when I realized I needed something of my own, something I could do to express myself, a hobby that I could do in my spare time (of course there were more spare moments then before kids!). Now, I am pretty addicted to scrapbooking, cardmaking and paper crafting!

How would you describe your scrapbooking style?

Like so many other designers, I struggle with describing my style. I do a lot of layering, hand cutting and try to find new techniques or uses for products. I will try to find a way to use my circle punch in as many ways as possible, for instance! I get excited when I come up with a unique way to use something. I’m always trying to scrap better!

What inspires you to be creative?

Sometimes just the smell of new papers! It’s a bunch of things. Being around other crafty people, new products, great photos, and a story to tell can all get me jump started. Another thing that helps me is a great sketch, whether for a layout or a card.

Who are your favorite scrapbook designers and why?

Oh, wow. Do I have to only choose a few? Danielle Flanders & Jen Gallacher are a couple.

I have so many favorites. Sometimes I really love looking at scrappers who have a completely different style than my own. Some can rock the simple look, graphic, etc. and I seem to get inspired by looking at so many styles.

What are your favorite color combinations to design with right now?

Yellows, greens and blues.

What is your creative process?

Depends on what I’m doing. Sometimes I have a photo I want to scrap and I dig through my things to find just the right mix of product to complement that photo. Other times, if I have a kit or something new, I’ll just start playing with the new stuff and find a photo later. Many times I’ll just get an idea as soon as I pull product out of a box. I tell my husband that I can’t unpack a new kit out of the box until I have time to scrap because that initial rush of ideas that hits me right away must be acted on quickly!

What is your story that you are trying to tell?

I’m just a normal mom with an ordinary life story to tell. I have been so blessed to have a wonderful, healthy family. My story is the one of me and my family growing, learning, and working together to become closer to each other and closer to God. I want us to remember the little things along the way that fill our lives with real meaning. Life is so fragile and goes by so quickly. I want to cherish every moment. Sometimes people make judgements about other designers. About whether the stories they tell are "real" enough or not. Life is certainly not all sunshine filled days but I usually focus my layouts on happier moments. There's so much hurt and sadness in the world that I want to remember the good times. On days that aren't so great, it is nice to recall those fun sweet days.

I hope that my work brings a smile to the face, maybe a new idea on how to use a product, or encourages others to begin their own creative journey.

How can you inspire others to "create well"?

You know, I talk to a lot of people about creating. So many people are new to this hobby or are just trying to get memories down quickly. They don’t know where to start. I think I find the most joy in helping someone make something they love.

You can read about Charity and peak at her other projects on her blog, Meaningful Menagerie. You can also find Charity designing for CPS, Creative Charms, October Afternoon, and Polka Dot Whimsy Scrapbook Kit Club.

Create Well: Life is certainly not all sunshine filled days. But try create a layout while focusing on happier moments. On days that aren't so great, it is nice to recall those fun sweet days.

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