I recently came across an old interview of mine from the Etsy Greetings team. It was done in 2009 but I think I would answer all the questions the same today, seven years later.
1. Tell us about you and your shop.
I have held many jobs in many different fields but I have always had a creative hobby on the side, which means I also have every expensive piece of specialized equipment: a glass grinder for stained glass, a table top loom for weaving, all kinds of pliers for making jewelry, a gocco printer, bookbinding cloth... But my favorite creative outlet through it all has been paper-making. Sometimes you’ll see another hobby creep into my paper — some yarn remnants from a knitting project will make it into my paper or cards will be printed with my gocco machine, but my handmade paper is always the focus.
2. How did you get started in your craft?
My journey with paper started a long time ago. I have always been a writer, journaling in my diary every day growing up. I loved not just the writing but the feel of pen to paper, turning the thick pages inside of a handmade journal, enjoying the sound of the sheet. I majored in English in college and became a newspaper editor in my 20s and merged my love of paper with a fascination with words - not just their meanings but how they look on the page. I love artwork that has words incorporated in it or jewelry that has one inspirational word stamped into metal. When I was engaged to be married, I took a class in paper-making and I was hooked. Words, paper, torn up and combined with water to make a new crisp sheet of paper ... it thrilled me. I made all of my own wedding invitations from my handmade paper and have been making paper by hand ever since.
3. What tool can you not live without?
I can’t live without my blender. I tear up pieces of paper to recycle them, then put them in my blender to mix them into a pulp. Usually I mix them at a very high speed so that the original piece of paper is pulverized. Sometimes I just grind them at a low speed so that there are still little pieces of works that appear in the new sheet of paper.
4. What inspires you?
My garden has always inspired me. I learn a lot about composing art from my garden - the colors, textures, compositions. This year, I started a new line of paper that has perennial seeds embedded into the paper. The idea is to keep recycling. Once one of my cards has been received, it can be planted to grow a wildflower garden and start the process of growing and recycling all over again.