We are pleased to more formally introduce you to one of our amazingly talented designers, Julie Kirk of the United Kingdom. As if our stamp of approval wasn’t enough, there’s this: Julie was just named one of the six winners of The Best of British Scrapbooker competition held by Scrapbook Inspirations Magazine! I’m not at all surprised, and I bet you’re not either!
Heather Dollak, my faithful and incredibly talented business partner, sat down to have a cyberchat with Julie:
What is your day job?
My official title says I’m an EPA – which a Google search returns as the name of an essential fatty acid; the US Environmental Protection Agency and the English Petanque Association – but I’m none of those! Rather I’m an ‘Educational Personal Assistant’ which basically means I help students with disabilities to access their University courses. I’m currently working with several students who are on Computer Games and Animation courses, which means I get to attend some pretty fascinating lectures!
Where are you from?
I’m from a town which is nestled at the base of the beautiful Cleveland hills in the North East of England. I’m so lucky that the window of my lovely little craft room looks out over the hills making it a perfect place to sit and be creative.
Do you have a blog that you post to regularly?
I ramble on about all kinds of topics on my MySpace blog but recently decided to set up ‘Notes on Paper’ a blog dedicated to my passion for crafts, and I aim to make it a friendly little place where I’ll share my creative work with anyone who feels like dropping by. I was spurred into doing it this month as I’ve just had the pleasure of being named one of the winners of the ‘Best of British Scrapbooking 2008’ competition held by Scrapbook Inspirations Magazine. I’m still smiling about it now .
How did you get into scrapbooking?
I discovered scrapbooking as we know it through QVC [admitting to that makes me cringe a little!!!] but I’ve really always kept scrapbooks filled with newspaper and magazine cuttings from being very young. I’ve actually just discovered some of them in the loft – I don’t know what glue I’d been using but, judging by the state of the paper in them, I’m guessing it wasn’t acid free!!
Tell us a little about your creative process.
I either begin with a photo which has the seed of a story which I’ll tell across the page or else I’ll take a photo especially to illustrate an idea, story or feeling that I feel like exploring that day.
After that, the process is usually the same: I sit with the photo in front of me and trawl through my stash matching and combining items to reflect the theme or to highlight the colours or in the photo. The whole colour matching part is a bit of an obsession for me!!! For example: I got far too excited when making my ‘Littlest Room’ layout with your ‘Fun & Games’ Slurry kit because I realised that one of the game cards in it perfectly matched the colour of the toilet cisterns behind me in the photo!! Is that a little extreme?
I rarely buy anything in especially for a particular page or a project as I find it can be too contrived working that way. I like the element of surprise you get by combining items from different sources, [like magazines, stationary and ephemera] which I’ve collected over time. I also love swapping items with friends as it’s a great way to push yourself using things you may not have bought for yourself.
Music is a very essential part of my life; it can create moods and evoke memories. What music is inspiring you these days?
Right now I’m just in love with the Killer’s song ‘Human’. I think Brandon Flowers has such an incredible voice and manages to deliver some pretty strange lyrics with real depth and poignancy. Every time he sings the line ‘My sign is vital, my hands are cold’ I think to myself: ‘now that would make such a cool title for a layout’!!! Watch this space!
What are some of your must-have products right now?
I’m in love with cardboard at the moment! Clothes tags, shoe boxes, the packaging my Slurry Kit came in … you name it, I’ve been using it. In fact I’m working on a mini-book at the moment which has the top of an egg carton for a front cover – it was such a great shade of blue I couldn’t bare to put it in the recycling box. I’m also loving Diamond Glaze adhesive as it sticks all sorts of things to paper … and considering I like to use all sorts of things on my pages what more could I ask?
If you were a piece of fruit, what fruit would you be and why?
I’d be a banana! You know how when you first buy them they start off all perfectly presented, with sleek silhouettes and flawless skin and then … in what seems like only a matter of minutes … they’ve somehow lost their sheen, been bruised all over and appear generally dishevelled? Well that’s me! Any tips on how to maintain perfect hair, make-up, and sartorial elegance for longer than it takes me to get ready and leave the house would be gratefully received. You know where to find me .