Before I did freelance craft work, before I ran my own craft shop and before I moved to Wigan - I used to work for an employer who told me what to do and I did it. I pretty much spent 20 years of my life doing that and getting by; sometimes hating it but could never pluck up the courage to start being self employed.
When the craft industry went stellar around 2003/2004 I started a die cutting business that proved to be a "good 'un". I nurtured it and sold my products both retail and trade. I simultaneously crafted and ran the business to such a point where I had to choose between crafting to live or living to craft. In 2007 I sold my die cutting business which is still a going concern today. I then started doing photography full time supplementing that with freelance design for a logo design company and still having a good hand in UK craft magazine work. The best part of this option is that its so much more easy going just being able to "pick and choose" what I want to do. The down side is that there is no regular salary and you can only get paid for work you physically do. So in sum, you have to weigh your options up. And with Mark having a bad run of redundancies last year, its got to the point where I almost went back to full time employment. I mean I was within an inch of doing it.
So these days Im tied up with my CD-Roms for Create and Craft, Magazine work for Crafts Beautiful and Aceville Publications, photography work, teaching and product testing (a-ha, save the best for last!). Recently I have been product testing a different sort of Promarker by Letratset. As the product is still being modified I can't share that work with you - but its been great fun. And more recently I have been testing and using Tonic products. I honestly don't sit here and think I am the guru of crafting but what I do enjoy doing is pushing the boundaries a little and bringing something different from the product. Take the snowflake and heart punch. I did something similar the other week using an oval punch but I loved that the heart punch can replicate a petal with the stroke of a craft knife.
**Ribbon ruffle video demo coming soon!**
I then thought about using an accent punch on the heart which I think makes it look lacy and romantical!
Darned acetate cards - they are so static and pick up a ton of fluff!!
Use the accent punch on a piece of card
Then punch a heart shape over it
To create this beauty
and then you can stuff them on a snowflake to make a lacy flower as well - swit swoo....in love!
I then played with the border system and punches to create this gorgeous border here, which is already strong in the craft market at large.
Run brown cardstock through the border punch system - remember, the punch can be used in both the border punch and as a stand alone product
So you run the bordered card through again but this time switch punches and replace it with an accent punch
I feel that the throw away scallop is too nice and used the "throw away"shape on top of the pink card (see above).
These border systems from Tonic are such a brilliant way of creating borders or single punches to your projects and they have lots of different border edges to choose from and even more accent punch to compliment them - giving you a TON of different possibilities. And there are even more to come. Nudge nudge, wink wink.
Ive also been making other things today - just "because"
A post-it note holder with ribbon pen holder
Cheap supermarket note books (10p each) covered to give as a sweet gift
Another cheapy notepad (15p) covered for a quick gift
And a card using the very last of my favvo cosmo cricket paper
And that, my friends, is the sum of my very busy day (aside of scoffing lemon drizzle cake with my friend, Mazza)
Ooooh let me finish with this. My lovely girl was laying with the dog tonight and she came out with this piece of Ellie philosophy:
Belle: Mum, I know that love makes you feel better.
Me: Oh, how?
Ellie: Cos when you are loved you fall asleep and when you sleep, you heal.
Loves ya xx