Thursday, November 3, 2016

creative chat: Andrea of Create Share Love Blog

So as I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been thinking a lot lately about memory keeping. For this reason (among others) I am very excited to share the next installment in my creative chat series! Today I'm talking with Andrea from Create Share Love Blog about blogging, goal setting and of course- memory keeping! 

I've been following along with Andrea both on Instagram and her blog for about a year and a half now and I am always so inspired by not only her projects but also her entire approach to blogging and documenting. Her scrapbooking spreads and mini books are absolutely stunning and have me seriously debating starting up scrapbooking myself. I was so excited when Andrea agreed to chat a little more with me and share about her work and creative process.

You can connect more with Andrea over on Instagram and check out her blog here. But for now, grab a cuppa and come join us for this inspiring chat! 

1. If we were having this conversation in person, in a cafe what would you be drinking? are you a coffee or tea person?

I usually start with a good cup of black tea or green tea (preferably with loose tea) and then drink either an espresso or cappuccino. What I love about tea is that it takes longer to drink it and therefore you don't have to order something new so fast. I still like my tea when it's cold, but I don't like cold coffee.

2. Tell us a little about what you make/do. What got you started on this creative journey?

I have always been a crafty person. When I was younger I loved to draw and paint. My grandfather is a fantastic watercolor artist and I always wanted to paint like he does. My favorite subjects in school were the ones that involved painting, drawing, knitting, sewing and playing with wood. But then, as a young adult (around 20) I lost my interest in crafts and also had no time because I was working (almost full time) and studying at the same time. But then, after a few years I needed a hobby again. There was this feeling that I just had to create. I started with painting, then picked up sewing and knitting again. In 2012 I got introduced to memory keeping (Project Life®) and started to make mini books and traditional scrapbook pages. Today I can say that I simply love to make and also am really interested to try new things. I recently started my first embroidery project and it is so much fun.

3. On your website you say "There is always something going on in our life and we forget all those little moments that make our life valuable too fast. Life is not all the big events, life is small everyday stories. And I want to collect them." This really resonates with me! Can you talk a little bit more about how both blogging and scrapbooking play a role in this?

With scrapbooking (making traditional scrapbook layouts, mini books, Project Life®, ...) I tell stories of our life. Stories that most people think aren't worth documenting because they are too "everyday life". But I LOVE to take photos of what we are eating, what I'm wearing, who we are inviting over, how we spend our Sundays, what we watch on television. There are so many small things in our life that make our life our life. That describe who we are and what we value. What we love and what we don't like. These small moments are the ones I want to document. Yes, there are also bigger moments like a wedding, a birthday or a vacation where I take photos and have a story to tell. But most parts of my life are small moments. With scrapbooking I am telling all those big and small stories.

The main reason why I started a blog is to have a place for all my projects. There I can collect everything I make. It's so much fun to look back through my archives and see how much I am doing. Crafting is a big part of my life and I would easily forget all those projects if I hadn't documented them on my blog. But the blog is also a space where I don't share everything. Projects that aren't that awesome won't make the cut and you will never see them there. Or there are projects I finished, and I shared them on my Instagram account but never had the time to write a proper blog post for it. In the end I'd say, the blog has the purpose to collect my crafty projects that were a success.

4. How does goal setting fit into what you do?

In 2014 and 2015 I had a Birthday project called 27 handmade items. The goal was to complete 27 new crafty projects in the year I was 27. It was a time where everyone had a Birthday project going on. Although I didn't reach the goal, it helped me to try new mediums and learn new techniques. 

At the beginning of this year I set myself two crafty goals: to make 6 mini albums and to sew/knit 10 garments. I set these goals not because I am not doing enough already but because I want to take more time to do projects I really love. And I love making mini albums, sewing and knitting. But with all the other projects I am doing, I didn't do much of these three things. I picked sewing and knitting because I want to improve my skills and making mini albums because I love to hold them in my hands and look through the pages.

I subscribe to the Story Kitand Story Stampfrom Ali Edwards. The goal I set there is to always watch the video in the classroom and to make at least two scrapbook pages every month with the contents from the kit. The main reason behind this goal is also "taking time for me". Taking time for me and my projects.

5. I'm so inspired by the way you share and document your creative projects. How do you find that balance between creating and sharing- finding time to make and also time to document what you're up to?

Good question! I guess that taking photos during and right after I completed a project is second nature by now. Whenever I finish something I grab my camera and take a few photos. This doesn't mean I'm sharing it right away, but at least I already have the photos. Taking photos is like the last step of finishing a project.

When I started blogging I shared three posts per week, then I switched to two posts per week and now I have one blog post up every Monday. I had to learn that although I don't work on Fridays, I don't want to spend all my time on this day working on my blog. With one blog post per week I spend 1 to 2 hours on a Friday for the upcoming blog post. This includes editing the photos of the project I already finished and photographed, writing my text and uploading the photos. 

For Instagram I like to share photos of a project in progress. This doesn't take long. I just put down my project while working on it, arrange it a bit and snap a photo. Then I edit it on my phone and share it with my followers. This whole thing takes about 5 minutes, which is nothing.

6. Where do you most like to create/make? 

In our house I have a craft room just for myself. I recently made a few changes and I really like the vibe of it now. I have a table where I can stand and work on paper projects and I have a table where I can sit and work on my sewing projects. I spend most of the time there when I work on paper and sewing projects. When it comes to knitting I prefer our living room, sitting on the couch. Or during the warmer days I like to bring my knitting outside. That's the great thing with knitting, you can do it anywhere. But when I work on paper projects it's easier to stay inside in my craft room.

7. What are you currently up to? Any exciting plans or projects to finish out this year?

Right now I'm working on several paper projects. There is my main Project Life® album, where I tell the story of our everyday life. I also keep a personal Project Life® album, where I document all the things about me and my projects. Then I have a few mini albums from past vacations I want to finish this year. From time to time I work on a few scrapbook layouts with the Story Kit. Then I also have this ongoing project called One Little Word® where you pick a word in January and focus on it throughout the year. I picked the word 'LIGHT' and document my progress and what I'm learning or changing. 

In December I participate in my favorite memory keeping project called December Daily®. This project is all about documenting our December with words and photos and then putting it all together to create a December album.

Fall and Winter is usually the time where I knit and sew more than during the Summer. I am looking forward to knitting a few hats, another sweater or pullover and I also want to try some new sewing patterns. I am in the beginning stages of creating a handmade wardrobe and now is the time where I'm making plans about what to make.

thanks so much Andrea for taking time to chat with me here! As mentioned above- to see more of Andrea's work and to follow along with what she's up to, make sure to stop by her blog and visit her over on Instagram.

note: all photos courtesy of Andrea. (in the top photo, she's wearing the Lucinda sweater, which she knit herself!)

This interview is part of my Creative Chat series, where I sit down for a virtual coffee or tea date with makers and creatives to talk about their creative processes, journeys and the inspiration behind their work. You can read other posts in the series here.

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