I thought I would start a feature called "Recommended by me" and it is just that. Items I have bought either from the web or from a fellow bloggers shop, anything from paper crafts through to artwork, stuff that I have enjoyed and consider well made or just plain gorgeous. I am starting off with my favourite card artisan Chrissy from Ramblings of a Rusty Mind (Chrissys for Cards) http://seetalktochrissy.blogspot.com
I have commissioned work from her and now I have seen her work up close I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. Sometimes having an image of a card it can be difficult to see just how professional the details are. The cards I received from her have been to my exact taste, high quality, beautifully finished off and unbelievable value for money.
So for those of you who don't know Chrissy here's a little insight into the person in her own words :)
I am a self taught card maker. I started about 3 years ago by doing all the wedding stationery for my eldest daughter. I enjoyed it very much and gradually bought bits and pieces, and like most crafters got hooked and spent a 'fair' bit of money. I also did my younger daughters wedding last year. Initially I did a lot of rubber stamping because my printer did not take thick card. When I was fortunate enough to choose another printer, that was the criteria. So I can now print all the sentiments either ready to cut out or directly onto the card. I could also add my logo onto the back of the cards to make them more professional.
I started off using lots of papers, adding bits here and there and gradually over the past three years have found my style and what I like to do - my motto is "less is more" which works for me. I walked around the shops and noted down what actually caught my eye which is as you see on my cards the past year.
I don't buy toppers or anything like that. I like to do my own and try to make the cards personal and individual.
I think that mass produced cards on the High Street are fine. What I do find difficult are the shops that offer 7 for a £1. How can one compete with that? Now that the Post Office has also hiked up their prices, I find it very difficult to ask people for more money than I do charge. I know that some cards can take me up to 3 or 4 hours if you count the research time, the planning time, the making time. There is no way I could charge by the hour and I appreciate the people that do buy my cards. I am very particular and everything has to be just right.
Ah commissions. I started off selling on the web the cards I made. If one is prepared to constantly promote then it is probably worth it, but I found I had to spend such a lot of time doing it and also producing what I thought would sell, and it somehow changed the way I worked. So now I have a blog and a facebook page and if people actually find me and like what they see I am quite willing to make them a card.
As for commissions, it seems now that is the main area I seem to sell in. I like doing them if people give me precise ideas, like Penny, who always sends me pictures and then gives me free rein to do some ideas. When I do send some ideas to potential customers I do worry that they feel obliged to choose one even if they are not sure and I always emphasize that they must be happy with their choice. Whereas, if someone chose a card that was already made up, I would know that that was what they wanted because they had picked it out - if that makes sense!!
What craft would you like to do?
I would love to be able to paint water colours. I wasn't bad at school, but over the years have got rusty and not even sure now I could actually do it.
Describe yourself in 3 words
Me in three words - Creative, Perfectionist and Worrier.
What advice would you give your 18 year old self?
If I knew at 18 what I would be like at 60 I would have done more.
Here is just a small selection of Chrissy's work
~ Recommended by me ~