A blog hop with a difference

Un grand bonjour à tous mes abonnés et visiteurs ! 

C’est un post un peu spécial aujourd’hui… je réponds à quelques questions sur mon style de scrap et ma manière de créer, et j’évoque aussi les raisons pour lesquelles j’ai ouvert mon blog et commencé à faire des pages de scrap, avant de me tourner un peu plus tard vers la carterie à base de tampons et le mixed media.

Un post qui sera plutôt en anglais par contre je m’en excuse, mais j’ai été « tagguée » par une amie américaine Kathi Rerek, c’est un ‘blog hop’ (saut de blog) qui tourne en ce moment sur les blogs étrangers. A propos de Kathi, j’aimerais vous la présenter car je l’apprécie beaucoup. C’est une artiste intelligente, qui a beaucoup d’humour – souvent décalé!! –  et elle le place dans ses cartes qui sont toujours très belles. Elle a un talent fou et beaucoup de technique en colorisation, elle marie parfaitement les tampons, les papiers et les découpes et elle crée des cartes géniales avec tout ça ! Elle fait depuis longtemps partie de DTs prestigieuses, je l’ai connue en partie via mon amie Sandra (Titepo) qui a été DT à ses côtés pendant quelque temps pour la compagnie Loast Cost Design (USA) et qui l’appréciait beaucoup. Mais je n’ai lié amitié avec Kathi que par la suite, à travers ses réalisations Stampotique quand on participait aux mêmes challenges, et quand elle a postulé elle aussi pour la DT Stampotique Originals. Je n’ai pas été prise, elle si, et j’ai été réellement ravie de la voir dans l’équipe !!

J’espère que vous ne m’en voudrez pas du coup si je bascule en anglais maintenant, c’est moins confortable pour moi et vous peut-être, mais beaucoup plus sympa pour Kathi qui m’a fait l’honneur de me le demander, et les autres participant(e)s à ce petit jeu. Et comme mes vacances approchent à grands pas (et que bien sûr, je n’ai rien préparé encore…), je me sens totalement débordée !!! Donc impossible de traduire mes propos dans les deux langues comme je le fais souvent. Sachez que si je m’obstine à le faire le plus souvent possible, c’est que je sais combien les traducteurs français-anglais sont mauvais en règle générale Grr !!!

J’en profite pour vous dire un grand merci de tous vos derniers messages sur ma bannière ou mes précédentes réas, je remercie également mes dernières abonnées à mon blog Diane, Marine, Sandrine et Mimi, peut-être d’autres aussi à qui je n’ai pas eu encore le temps de souhaiter la bienvenue ! J’espère que ce que vous verrez au fil du temps vous plaira, j’ai un univers assez varié et coloré, parfois fantaisiste voire un peu « fou » ah ah, d’où le nom de mon blog (en partie du moins..), et parfois non, juste poétique (du moins j’essaie Lol).

Pour celles qui seraient frustrées à cause de l’anglais, je vous offre quand même une petite rétrospective… 🙂  

A big hello to all my lovely visitors and followers,

And welcome to a new blog post! A post a bit special as it is meant to let you know a bit about myself and my creative process (sometimes very messy). Well, grab a chair with a cuppa and spend some time here if possible… and please, be patient with my poor English, hope my post will not be too boring…  I’m going to answer the four questions about what I’m working on / my creative style / why I create / .. and at the end I will nominate three more people to hopefully join in and post their own answers next Monday.

By the way, you will learn how my creative journey has started, not in the best conditions unhappily. 

But first, I want to thank my friend Kathi Rerek for inviting me to enter this blog hop. I got in touch with her after she entered in the same Stampotique challenges than me and admired each other’s projects. She also knows well my friend Sandra/Titepo, they were in the Third Coast design team together some time ago, and Sandra told me a lot of good things about Kathi. We started to chat inline together and it was very nice! Kathi has a great sense of humor I appreciate much, and additionally she’s super talented and creative. If you would like to go and take a peep at her blog here, you will learn more about her and I’m sure she would appreciate it! I love her wonderful cards and some other creations she has for you to see on her blog, all are very clever and wonderfully made and colored as she has developed great skills in colorization. And her projects are always fun, sometimes even quirky! Also, I love the way Kathi explains very generously how she went through her creative process for each item, and all her techniques. Do check out her blog and, if you are like me, you will learn a thing or twenty!

To start off, you may wonder why my blog is called ScrapCocoFolies or ‘Les Folies de Coco’… ‘Folie’ in French means madness. It had a double meaning for me. I started my personal blog way back in February 2011 and at this time already, I had gone a bit crazy about crafty things and ‘artsy’ creations! Also, but not as fun, my blog was created as a necessary and salutary sanctuary at the time I was trying to escape to desperation and madness after a very painful loss. I’ll tell you a bit more about that a bit further

Q1: What am I working on now?

At the time I started to write this post, my table looked like this:

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because I spent yesterday evening and the day before making pages for my Art Journal… These pages are finished now, with a lovely snail and bird sniffing the flowers and like in ecstasy! You can see them detailed on my blog in one of my previous posts if you fancy seeing them! 
And as I have always several ongoing projects at the same time, I was also working on my new blog’s banner with my lovely Crafty Individuals stamps and masks at the time the photo was taken, but it’s a bit hidden, it was carefully put on the left side… But you can see my cup of coffee always lying on my table; I could do nothing without it!! :~o)

Q2: How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Well, everyone has their own style that is unique to them. I would say you can spot my projects by something that is filled with colours, texture, quite poetic or whimsy. Also very detailed, and I can spend hours on tiny details, to my regret as I miss so much time for all already!! But that’s my style. Hmmm… I’m not sure I have finished developing “my style” yet. 🙂 For example, I’d love to be able to do more C&S things sometimes! I’m often in awe in front of C&S cards very beautiful and just perfect.. I guess it will not occur, but from time to time, why not? We will see.

About the themes I love, my favourite themes are Nature and Childhood, though I can adapt to any one if needed for a particular project. As regards to the seasons, I love them all; I find beauty in every one…

I love all what is beautiful, so I tries to put beauty in my creations in the smallest details as I’m a perfectionist.  

But a part of me also loves quirky and edgy creations! I often enter in Stampotique challenges or trades with fun little projects that relax me. And I also love working with my Crafty Individuals stamps collection designed by Alice Palace, they are fun and all great.

I did scrapbooking for a while at start, but I now mainly focus on card-making, mixed media and altered art. Though I still like Scrapbook pages and mini-albums (I think I should do more… I know they might be treasured keepsakes for my children later).

Well, I think I have come quite a long way in my coloring and crafty skills. That’s thanks to lots of practice, mainly alone as I can not follow a lot of classes due my regular work and still big family obligations (To be honest, other reasons are that I’m rather slow – that’s not good when we attend workshops haha! – and I don’t like crowd too much also…). But I managed to follow very good tutorials found here and there on blogland, among my crafty friends mainly – either in France or abroad – which I love to follow and support as they are all great artists in their own style.

From the beginning of my blog, I never showed any restrospective of my makes. So for once I thought it could be good to do it! Here are some examples of my scrapbook pages made in the past, also a few cards and tags&ATCs, and a bit of mixed media art.

This page from 2012 shows you my lovely daughter Anna when she was three years old…
Love this photograph and this simple page on her.

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Some other samples between 2010 and 2013 with my other daughters.

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These ones put forwards one of the twins… 

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 And this one is her twin sister! 

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The two together onto a page that celebrates the magic of childhood. I love the photograph, they are very cute with their bunches haha. Usually, only one like bunches! ^^

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 And a last page, just because I really love it. I have kept this photo preciously for such a cute page…

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A few samples of cards, tags and ATCs rather in a quirky style…

These ones using my Stampotique Originals stamps, combined to my Craft Individuals stamps

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And those ones done for my my past DT Tando Creative…

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I show you my first project as a very proud DT member of Crafty Individuals!

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 and two more recent cards with Crafty Individuals’s summer stamps

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 Here’s an altered box for my ATCs in a vintage and steampunk style…

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A lovely project for Tando Creative again, a rowing boat to the glory of my little Anna, with its wooden tag inside.

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  My very first project for Tando, featuring already my taste for the Crafty Individuals stamps! ^^

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 An A3 layout mounted on board… I had tons of fun and fear doing this aaaargh!!!

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And to end, I show you a few of my very last makes just for giggles.

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 This is my project as guest DT for PaperArtsy a few weeks ago… 

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 and one of the two pages on my table this week, inspired by a great tutorial by Darcy Wilkinson.

  Q3: Why do I create what I do? 

I don’t want to lie… The start of my creative journey is terribly sad, to tell you the truth. 

In 2007 I was a very busy mom, with already three children of 17, 9 and almost 3 years. And I was waiting for twins with my new husband, it should have been a last baby, but they were two!… It was great news in some way, but I was also full of fear as I was no more a young mum, working 4 days a week, with a teenager very difficult to manage and so much to do already. Well, I have had my twins, two healthy little cute girls, all was alright despite an heavy househome work, but my two other daughters were so happy with the twins! 

But suddenly things went wrong, my twins were only three month old and my 3 years daughter Anna – who was the most beautiful little girl really and unbelievably cute ever – with unforgettable blue eyes and an extraordinary smile -, also intelligent, sweet and very funny – was smiling at one side only.. It has been the beginning of horror. Impossible to give you the full story, it would make me cry again and again, and you would probably stop reading! Just let’s know that the worse was going on for two years, she had uncurable cancer, wrongly diagnosed first..  

After her death the 1rst of September 2009, I required extended time off to deal with my grief. And I had also my twins of 3 years to take care despite my despair, so that was really not a luxury… Then I got by chance into scrapbooking, at first I thought it could help me to take my mind off things. I enjoyed it, and I immediately thought that it could be a great way to use my photos of my beloved kid to continue to make her live, also to help myself to survive to her unbearable loss. I started to follow lessons once a week in my local scrapbook shop near the town where I live. And that’s how my creative mood was born… though I really think now that I was absolutely made for that. I was having a dreamy and artistic temperament even since I was a child! it has become very quickly a huge passion, also lifesaving of course, I could never go back now. 

I’ve had the chance also to make great virtual meetings on blogland. First I chatted just by chance with a lovely lady called Anne-So, she was very friendly and encouraged me to enter in her Libertyscrap forum and also to create my blog a bit later (she’s the one that provided me my very first digital banner… I still like it!). And that has been the start of a strong friendship story with several ladies being members of this forum… I received a warm welcome by everyone and make some of my still best crafty friends there. All these ladies and the next ones I met on blogland afterwards both helped me to progress and also helped relieve my pain and sorrow. 

Today I have not much time to spend on forums, I really regret but it’s hard to be everywhere and I have to find a balance between my passion and my family. But I still love Libertyscrap forum, it is managed by my friend Sylvie/Nefertiti – who is overtalented and is also part of the Crafty Individuals team – and I try to continue to enter at least one challenge a month. The swapping challenge is my favorite as swaps are really exciting, and a great way to create or maintain friendship despite the distance! 

Sorry, I digressed.. Back to the initial question, what do I create what I do, first and most importantly it makes me feel good – It continues to be therapeutic, I love spending time “playing in my room” (being my dining-room actually, but no matter of the available space I have, it’s always great). Today I feel me a bit better in my life, but being creative remains a great way to de-stress, and above that, a real need!! 

Q4: How my creative process work? 

As I’m in the design team of Crafty Individuals, my inspiration can come simply from the stamps or masks I have to work with or I’d like to use, or from a material I want to alter. It can arise from my everyday life, from the needs and particular wishes of the ones I want to make gifts, also from my kids, like the following tag called ‘Poupoule’!

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coming from this book hahaha… Pou-Poule was in deep love in this book, and loving her was not easy! ^^

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But most of the time, it comes also from the inline challenges I love to play and enter in, I find them always very inspiring and exciting. And they make me try things I wouldn’t do otherwise maybe.

I’m also highly inspired by all the tutorials I read either on blogland or in some magazines like the Craft Stamper one to which I have subscribed, showing new or unknown techniques I do have to try absolutely!!! :o) Also by a new product or media I want to play and experiment with. Or by a photograph, if I decide myself to have a go on scrapbooking to make a gift, or just for a change… I can be also inspired by some artworks I see here and there done by crafty friends or other artists I love! I have a constant desire to learn new techniques and to apply them in my creative works, also to work with new stamps bought or received, so inspiration comes very spontaneously most of the time.   

About my process itself, generally I make a lot of mess for each project, but always tidy it away before starting the next one… Make me feel that all things are in order in this way, almost clean, though everything is under big piles of stash elsewhere hahaha.

Most times the way I work is to gather a bundle of stamps, paints or inks, different textures to stamp onto and sometimes a selection of what could be termed as embellishments if I know already what I want to use. I then set to work stamping onto the various textures and usually I have a lot of remaining at the end of the project! Sometimes these leftover bits are never used unfortunately as misplaced in my messy stash I am unable to tidy-up correctly…. 🙂 I must confess that it is really a big problem currently at home.

Do I answer the question? I dunno.

Lastly, I would say that I have been member of two DTs (design teams) last year –  Tando Creative and Crafty Individuals – and am currently just within the Crafty Individuals’ one. I stopped Tando because I wanted a bit of time to breathe and take care of my children and my family, as a DT job represents a very serious and huge commitment as far as I’m concerned, especially due to my looong posts as I love to share my experiences and to my writing in both French and English as I persist in doing the double translation. ^^ I may apply for another DT in the future, after my children are grown. We’ll see. At the moment I am enjoying a more relaxing – though quite relative!! – pace of creation, with a bit less constraints of time and thus only pleasure, and I really thank Jean Hardy for that, she’s really nice and I love being in her team.    

Now for my nominees… I have tagged three amazing women for this blog hop! They will be blogging next Monday about themselves. I do hope you spend some time visiting their blogs. It will be well-worth it!

Sue Davies

http://suetheiron.blogspot.fr/

I know Sue since the first time I took part in a Stampotique challenge, as she’s DT for this stamps brand for a good deal of time and was kind enough to subscribe to my newsletter right after. I was delighted by her stunning and fun creations, she is a friend who really « gets » me! One of the ladies I follow that make me enjoy Stampotique stamps, and give me the wish to continue to take part to their challenges when time enough. Her makes are rich in colours, generous and detailed, and she’s a creative soul, close to me I think in her tastes and style. Sue and I have cross-commented on each other’s blogs for a couple of years now. I do love to see each chirpy project that she posts and details on her blog. She’s an accomplished crafter, who tries out so many cool techniques for her creations. Like me, she is a bit a « Technique, stamps, stuff, and challenges Junkie » if I can say that!  🙂

Joanna Krogulec

http://joannakrog.blogspot.co.uk/

I have known Joanna more recently. We met on the internet at the time we have been asked to join the Crafty Individuals design team, both of us at the same time. Joanna is very kind, I appreciate her much, and she is a wonderful crafter too. She makes the more feminine and elegant cards you will ever see, as well as fabulous mini-albums!!! Her work is absolutely amazing and so beautiful. She has an enchanting style, and she always adds wonderful hand-made flowers on her delicate paper creations. So do check her out as well, you will not be disappointed!

 And a third one if she accepts… she’s a great artist that I love and follow for a while, her garden as well as her art are really amazing, and she always shares very clearly and generously her creative process! You should not be disappointed by visiting her blog if you don’t know her yet.

Renee Zarate 

http://renee-boltonhouse.blogspot.fr/

(but I’m really sorry Renee, I didn’t have time to ask you that directly last week!! So I would understand that you refuse) 

 

I do hope you were not bored by my long post in poor English probably, also by the sad story I told you… I would have loved that to be different, to mark the beginning of my creative process… However creating today makes me really and sincerely happy. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to know me a little bit better, and I hope you will hop along to my tagged friends! I will breathe a little during my holidays coming soon… I will  be back next in great form, and happy to visit your blogs!! Hugs.  

Merci de votre patience si vous avez regardé ou lu un peu malgré tout… J’espère ne pas vous avoir trop ennuyé avec mon post tout en anglais. Je vous fais de grosses bises, je prends des vacances bien méritées donc petite pause blogs pendant un moment !! Je vous retrouve dès que possible à mon retour… 

Coco xxx

26 commentaires sur “A blog hop with a difference

  1. scraplolotte Répondre

    je suis frustrée moi par ton blabla mdrrr mais pas grave je regarde les photos, et pas besoin de comprendre le reste aux merveilles que l’on voit ou revoit, moi je dis c’est du grand beau ma coco, bravo et continue ainsi !

  2. Jac de Besac Répondre

    Passe de très très bonnes vacances et repose-toi dès que tu le pourras. Gros bisous et belle journée (pour moi, c’est mon anniversaire ; alors je vais bien en profiter !).

  3. Kathi Répondre

    Your English is wonderful, as is your art!
    I’m so glad that you participated in this blog hop. It was wonderful, though a bit sad, to learn more about you and your creative process.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to write your post and share all that beautiful artwork!

  4. val07 Répondre

    Coucou j’avoue que je n’ai pas eue le courage de traduire ton texte je te souhaite de bonnes vacances et si tu passes par chez moi n’hésite pas je serais ravie de te revoir biz

  5. AuxDoigtsAgiles Répondre

    Coucou,
    Bon, moi je suis nulle en anglais donc rien compris!
    Par contre, tes réas. ta façon de travailler nous la connaissons et c’est magnifique.
    Bonnes vacances.
    Bizz
    ADA

  6. Marinette98 Répondre

    Merci de me faire travailler l’anglais Merci pour cette rétrospective c’est un plaisir. Beaucoup de belles réas agréables à revoir..
    Bises et bonne vacances si c’est pour bientôt !

  7. scrapandlys Répondre

    Salut toi… De l’anglais !!! félicitations pour ton interview… que je n’ai pas lu (of course) mais c’est marrant du coup le diaporama… alors, je te souhaite de bonnes vacances pleines de rires et de joies et de soleil… oui ça devient une obsession chez moi. Bises

  8. blogdeliberty Répondre

    Ce fond d’art journal bleu avec des petits carrés orange … c’est très mailart ça Madame )) En tous cas moi je vois de petits poissons rouges.

  9. Lynne Répondre

    It was a privilege to read this blog post Coco, where you have been so brave in sharing Anna’s story with us. It is unimaginable and thank goodness, creating has provided a bright light for you to immerse yourself in creativity and allowing you to seek solace.
    All of your children are so precious but what a beautiful layout with sweet Anna.
    It is an honour being on the same Crafty Individuals team as yourself.
    Wishes
    Lynne

  10. Renee Zarate Répondre

    Dear Coco, Your body of work shown here is absolutely amazing! You are very brave to share your story, you never know who it will touch and how it might help them to endure something so difficult. I was startled and amazed that you mentioned my name at the end as one of the artists you would like to share in this adventure. I would be delighted! Thank you for including me. Bises~Renee xxx

  11. nathalia Répondre

    j’ai pas essayé de traduire vu la longueur du message lol ! Désolée de ne pas venir voir par ici plus souvent mais j’ai pas le temps! de bien jolies réas que tu as rassemblé pour montrer ton style.bisous

  12. Craftyfield Répondre

    Tu t’en est bien sortie Coco, et l’anglais est pas bancal du tout! Je vais voir tes taggees…

  13. nefertiti Répondre

    Un plaisir de revoir toutes ces délicieuses réas. et merci pour avoir mentionné Libertyscrap et les copines!!!!! je suis très heureuse de partager avec toi la DT de Crafty Individuals et surtout très chanceuse de t’avoir comme amie!! gros bisous

  14. Shirl Répondre

    You are just amazing Coco and very very brave. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x
    ShirlsCards.

  15. Kay Wallace Répondre

    What a wonderful story, my dear friend, but not without heartache. Your art is what it is today because of all your have encountered in your life, the good, the unbearable, the humerous, and the enjoyed. You put so much soul into your work, and it shows! Congratulations on being recognized by Kathi as one of the true artists in blogland today! Mwah! Kay

  16. Gay Répondre

    Hi Corinne, Thank you for your sharing wonderful story, sad as it was, it was lovely to read about your art and your struggle to cope with the dreadful event that must have devasted you and your families’ lives. You are very brave and I am so pleased that you found crafting and art helped you through. You have a beautiful family I’m happy and priviledged to follow along on your art journey, hugs Gay xx

  17. Sabine F. Répondre

    Que d’émotion, Corinne, en te lisant. Et comme je t’admire de savoir raconter de tels événements en gardant ta douceur et toujours une telle générosité ! La vie aurait pu te rendre aigrie et pleine de ressentiment, il n’en est rien et au contraire tu donnes toujours plus dans le partage et l’échange. Merci pour ce beau morceau de toi (je me reconnais dans certains passages, surtout la lenteur Je te souhaite de bonnes vacances, et encore un bel été,
    à bientôt, je t’embrasse,
    Sabine

  18. Anne Répondre

    When I look at your art my heart quickens and I become enraptured in the beauty of your creations! I simply LOVE what you do and how you do it! I used to wish to be able to do what you do but no longer because as you said, we are individuals with our own uniqueness. Your passion, the heartfelt depth of heart and soul, is so reflected in your work. What a privilege to know you and share just a little in your lovely family. You know that Anna is with Jesus enjoying more beauty than we can ever imagine, so it is wonderful to see the beauty that you can give out too. Relax, enjoy and keep on getting inky! Gros bisous! xxx

  19. Gez Répondre

    Beautiful post Coco. We know each other well. You know I have long admired your style and strength. It is beautiful watching you soar. Take care dear lady. Sending you love & light. Hugs, Gez xxoo

  20. karin Répondre

    Dear Coco, wow what a touching story, thanks for sharing. I’m glad you found crafting to release your feelings of mourning.
    Your creations are gorgeous as ever!
    Enjoy your summer with your family!
    Groetjes Karin x

  21. Joanna Répondre

    Dear Coco. Thank you for sharing your story. Layout with Anna is beautiful. Thank you for tagging me and for your kind words.
    Lots of love to your family. Joanna

  22. sue the iron Répondre

    When I first read this Coco I couldn’t comment because I just didn’t know what to say. I still don’t, other than your story is so touching, and the love of all your children shines through in every photograph you take of them. I love your art and it’s been a treat to see it all together. Thank you (I think lol) for tagging me , and love to you all xx

  23. Darcy Répondre

    Love you Coco!
    Thank you for answering so honestly the questions, even though the information makes you sad. I am honoured that you shared it with us. I am so very sorry for your loss, but glad that art helps you.. it is your therapy. I love to see so many of our products on your desk. and I hope we can continue to inspire you. xxx

  24. Paper Profusion Répondre

    Such an impressive range of fantastic work Coco. I know a little of Anna from your previous entries and it is so lovely to see her again despite such immense sadness. Nicola x

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