Guest Designer - Michelle Clement

This week's guest designer has fun mixing different medias, textures, fabrics, with modern elements. Michelle has designed product and is on the design team for Sassafras. She also designs for her own shop, Bubbly Shnooks, which has brilliant, bright embellishments, diecuts, and artwork that would make anyone break out into a smile!

How would you describe your scrapbooking style? What makes your style your own?

I would describe my paper style as layered and very detail-oriented – sometimes bordering on a little crazy! I like to pile things on and on, stitch little bits, splash ink around, and keep going until I feel a page is ‘finished’ – which can sometimes literally take hours! It’s a little haphazard, too, as I usually don’t know exactly where I’m going with it when I start, and my pages usually end up distressed with pops of color & lots to look at. I like to think that when somebody looks at a page the second time, they’ll see something they didn’t see on it the first time.

What inspires you to be creative?

I’m not sure what does, exactly – it doesn’t take much! I’ve always been a very creative person, right down to being a super-imaginative kid. I can be sitting around doing the most mundane thing and an idea will pop into my head! I think a lot of what inspires me to create comes from beautiful things I see online and all around me – and I’m always really inspired after a trip down my favorite magazine aisle and then to a few of my usual thrift shop stops, it never fails. Right now, vintage fabric has the wheels turning!

Who are your favorite scrapbook designers and why?

Oh, goodness – there are so many amazing paper artists, out there! A few I really really admire:

Jen Jockish and Christine Middlecamp – they both have such an eye for layers and details, and gorgeous photos! I want to be them when I grow up. I love Kara Haupt and Amanda Johnson for their stunning photos and the artsy but minimal way they rock the white space in a way I just can’t. I love Dina Wakley for her bright, amazingly artistic art-journal-esque pages. And oh, I could go on - some of my old school favorites are/were Erikia Ghumm, Danielle Flanders, Elsie Flannigan, and Rachel Denbow – Elsie and Rachel’s art journals were a big inspiration to me. Danielle is probably the reason I started scrapbooking artistically!

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

I’m so obsessed with yellow/orange/blue, or yellow/turquoise – and even pink/yellow/orange. All with a little cream thrown in. Obsessed.

What is your creative process?

I usually find something inspiring that I’m jonesing to use – be it new scrapbook paper, a kit I need to work with, or a vintage fabric that I want to put on a page first. I then gather photos and think of the story I want to tell with the photos/page, and find little bits, pieces to add – mostly vintage goodies, but buttons and  embroidery thread that matches and all that, too. Once I have everything piled up, I kind of roughly throw/lay things down on a piece of cardstock close to the way I want them to end up, and then I un-pile (trying to remember where things go) and start building up the page layer by layer – this usually involves dying or painting something, waiting for it to dry, stitching the next layer on, etc. Eventually once all the layers have been built up, I add final details like journaling and hand-stitching , and then she’s done! Whew.

What is your story that you are trying to tell?

I’m not sure if I have just one story – I have many stories, I think. We all do. I’m just a girl who lives a creative life, who needs to make something with her hands often or she goes a little crazy. I started scrapbooking a lot in my teens when my heart was aching – from either a boy or too much stress or not knowing where I was going in life – and art journals were my outlet and savior, at times. I know how big a part of life that art can be, that art is, when it takes on being not only just something you do, but an integral outlet/the way you clear your heart and mind and express yourself to the world.

I just want to let my heart out and share it with whoever wants to take a peek, and I know I need to do this to be a healthy happy person. I want to write my stories down. I think we all have things to say or document, the medium we use is just not always paper! I’m a fairly quiet person, I don’t often share who I am inside with just anybody – so getting it out there for all to see is a little liberating, and at the same time giving back, I think. I get *so much* inspiration from the world – online and out there, I feel like it’d be bad luck to not give back to the online community with *something*, too. It’s also very encouraging, this online scrapbooking world we have, to be able to post something and have people look at it and write such sweet words about it and be able to do the same in return.

How can you inspire others to "create well"?

I hope that seeing the way somebody else approaches or does something is inspiring, on it’s own – I find it very inspiring to see how other artists work and do things in their own way. Really, ‘creating well’ is creating what you want to create, for you, right? I’d say that it doesn’t matter who sees what you make or why you make it, just do it from your heart and love what you’ve made and making for yourself should be enough incentive to create well – we are our own biggest critics, and if you can make something you truly truly love, that’s the best feeling in the world! You decide what the ‘well’ is, really.

You can be even more inspired at Michelle's blog, Scissor Quirk.You can also follow her on Twitter , Formspring, or Flickr.

Create Well: It doesn’t matter who sees what you make or why you make it, just do it from your heart and love what you’ve made and making for yourself should be enough incentive.

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