Thursday, August 23, 2012

DT Intro - Nichole Parker

Today we welcome NICHOLE PARKER!!!

Keep reading right to the end to find out how to win an Echo Park Hello Spring Mini Theme collection pack. Everyday there will be another prize to win... so don't miss a day!

Hi everyone!  I'm Nichole.  I've been card making for over 2 years.  I'm new to the Artfull Crafts Design Team and live in Wellington New Zealand.

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
I first started creating cards back in 2010 – I needed cards that fit all seasons or occasions to be able to send them back to my family in the US.  I first bought some patterned paper and cardstock looking to see if I could make my own cards and became addicted to all the wonderful paper lines and embellishments.

What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
I gather inspiration for my projects through different areas: colors, other designers, paper lines or embellishments themselves.  Sometimes I like to put the paper or items on my desk and “live with them” keeping them in sight until I have an idea – other times I like to sketch them out purposefully.

What other project types do you like to work on besides scrapbook pages/cards?
I’ve made a few altered canvases for friends and myself and use them for d├ęcor items.  I also like to watercolor in my spare time.  I also enjoy making “exploding boxes” that can be used as cards or as a container for small gifts.

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?
My favorites will vary from season to season, but right now I really like October Afernoon for its clean vintage style.  I also enjoy Echo Park for it’s fun playful designs.  I enjoy mixing patterns and colors freely and find that my "favorites" revolve around fun vintage themes.

What scrapbooking tools/products can you not do without?
I like to try new tools – sometimes I think I have more tools than paper!  However, the mainstays of my craft table are my Slice 12x12 Glass mat, Ranger Inkssentials Crafting mat, Brother GS2700 Sewing Machine, and my Silhouette Cameo.  I like to have durable, reliable tools that will stay with me no matter what project I take on and will last through every trend.

I also can’t do without Youtube, I think it’s an invaluable learning tool and how I got started learning new techniques.  There’s lots of generous crafty people on Youtube sharing their experiences, teaching you new techniques, and reviewing new products first hand.

What is your current favorite technique or embellishment?
I’m just starting out stitching, so I like to be able to stitch and working threads into my card designs.  I also like spray inks or paints for a fun mixed media look.

What do you hope to try or improve on this year?
Again, since I’m starting out with stitching techniques I’d like to be able to improve my ability to sew perimeters around cardstock, and to sew on items to the cardstock itself.  I’m always on the look out for new materials and I think incorporating fabric is a trend that’s on the rise.

I’d also like to improve on my quantity of items I produce, photograph, and submit.  I recognize that I need to be firm and set a time every day when I can sit down and devote myself to crafting.  Unplugging even for a bit is a challenge in today’s over-wired world.

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
  • Practice makes perfect! Find your style and don’t be afraid to experiment. 
  • Anything goes in today’s world and you can look outside traditional materials and techniques – even ones you didn’t think you could use.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix and match lines of paper – most of my best pairings were when I accidentally mixed scraps of papers in the same drawer.

FINALLY - can you share with us your three favourite projects – and tell us a little about how you created them and why you love them.
It’s really hard to choose just 3, and it’s hard to choose past projects as well as I see myself constantly improving and developing as I take on different styles of cardmaking and projects.

What I would consider "favorite" are the ones that have the most story or joy behind them.  Also, the ones that stick out in my memory are cards that I've had a personal connection to - and the ones that I've given to others.

I made "Silver Lining" for a coworker whose partner's battle with IVF treatments ended in twins!  I love this playful paper and thought the robots were just too cute.  I even decorated the inside with die cuts from the same line.
Silver Lining

This was my first exploding box project for a friend's mother's 65th birthday - which included pictures of her cats, her family, and little cat paw rhinestones.  It was both a card and a mini album all in one!
Exploding Box

And "Nuts About You" was made for my partner for Valentine's day - he's a fan of squirrels and I got to use my Silhouette Cameo for my first shaped card.
Nuts About You

Liz's Note

We really loved cruising through Nichole's Blog - I'd Rather Be Crafting. She has a mix of simple, but eclectic cards, along with great product reviews. She recently swapped to a different blogger company and lost all her followers - so why not start following her too!

Now head to Nichole's Gallery and leave a comment on the project which uses YOUR favourite technique. Since Nichole enjoys working with Echo Park, we're going to give away this Sunshine Mini Theme pack to one lucky commenter. You have until midnight Friday Sept 6th to make your comment.


  1. Hi Nichole. Congratulations on your placemement on the design team. I've never been a huge fan of cards (I need to get my head around scrapbooking first) but as I've been following the Artfull Crafts blog I've been introduced to the most amazing cards. Your exploding card really intrigues me so I raced over to your blog and had a look around. Love your cards. I'll be exploring your blog to learn more about the exploding card :)

    1. Thanks! I cut my exploding card with the Silhouette Cameo, using the shape from the store.

      I edit the shapes a bit from the stock shapes in the store :)

  2. Wow I love your exploding box is so pretty and look at the butterflies. Perfect pick and your nuts about you card is so cute. I love that you did a shape. TFS AJ~