One Etsy Greetings Team member, Cara of CarasScrapNStamp, is living life to the fullest! She is a stay-at-home-mom after a full career in Criminal Justice. I am really glad that she now has the time (or at least she makes the time) to share her love of art with the world. Her talents are abundant at this time in her life, and I know we are going to be blessed with more of her colorful creations.
I did not pick out my favorites from her shop (I like them all!) but I did try to pick an array of items. Hopefully this does showcase a portion of her works.
Enjoy this interview and please leave comments. Cara would be thrilled to hear from each one of you!
How did you get your start in the world of art?
I've always been surrounded by art, particularly paints and fabrics, as my mother is a wonderfully talented artist and seamstress. The start of my paper crafting adventure began when a friend brought me to a Stampin' Up party about 11 years ago. A few years later, my first son was born and then I started scrapbooking. Last summer, I opened my Etsy shop and love being able to share my paper creations with others.
Do you have a ritual you perform before you start creating?
No, but if it's early morning, I like to drink flavored coffee while I create. My iTunes are usually playing softly in the background and my dog is always by my side.
What do you like best, the creative process or the final creation?
I enjoy both. The final creation is hardly ever what I first envisioned.
What are your favorite art media, tools, and supplies?
At present, my favorite tool is my Big Shot Die Cutting Machine. It works with anything from cardstock to fabric, chipboard, plastic, even aluminum cans. It's just perfect for cards, scrapbooking, paper crafts and I like that it's compatible with other dies and embossers.
When a creative block happens, what process do you go through to get the creative juices flowing again?
When a creative block occurs, I clear the clutter. A few years ago, my cousin, a Feng Shui expert, did a consultation for me in my home. One of the first things I did after the consultation was clear out clutter. It's a great feeling to get rid of what we don't need or use. We donate the items in good condition and Freecycle the rest.
What do you hope your art says about you?
I hope my art shows that I take time to create unique, quality handcrafted paper designs.
What is your greatest dream and greatest fear as an artist?
My greatest dream as an artist would be to have more of my handcrafted items sold in brick and mortar shops. I don't have any fears as an artist.
What are your goals in art, and in life?
My goals in art are similar to my dreams noted above. My goals in life are ever changing. My family, especially my young sons, are my main priority at this point.
Tell us a little bit about yourself—where you grew up, your life now, other creative pursuits, other interests and hobbies.
I've been in New Jersey most of my life. I worked to pay my way through college and graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Criminal Justice. After college, I worked for MADD as a victim advocate assisting victims and/or their families before, during and after court proceedings. I then worked as a Litigation Paralegal specializing in Medical Malpractice and happily did that (really!!) until I had my first son. It's been a wonderful experience so far. I don't read, practice yoga and take long walks with my doggy as much as I like, but I certainly treasure the moments when I can enjoy a relaxing moment or two. When my husband and I get out together we love live music, good food, and some fine wine. I’m also on a design team for my favorite online store, Die Cuts R Us, and you can find me at http://diecutsrusdesignteam.blogspot.com.
Do you have an online shop or shops, a website, a brick and mortar shop, and/or a blog?
I have an Etsy shop where I sell handmade cards, scrapbooking items and paper crafts. http://CarasScrapNStampArt.etsy.com
You can also visit me at http://CarasScrapNStampArt.blogspot.com and http://facebook.com/CarasScrapNStampArt.