This October, we're thrilled to dedicate the Contributor Center Stage to Creative Team Contributor Carson Riutta (Carson)! Carson is an active part of the Studio Calico community, sharing her beautiful card creations. Be sure to check out her projects in the Gallery this month! Take a few minutes to learn a little more about Carson — her scrapbooking history, organization techniques and more! We're so thankful for our talented team that helps to spread the joy of memory-keeping all over the world.
How long have you been a papercrafter?
I began making cards in 2008 when my sister-in-law came into my life. At that time I also switched jobs and met another friend who was an avid card maker. After one fortuitous girls night, they made it their joint mission to get me crafting. I still remember that first card making session where I really had no idea where to start. Now I can't stop!
What’s your go-to technique?
My card making goes through phases where I'll sometimes be heavy with the embellishments, or where I'll delve for a while into stamping or watercolor. However, no card seems done for me unless there is some added texture from sewing and a little interest with splattered ink.
Would you mind sharing some photos of how one such project came together?
I fell hard for the flower stamp and die set in September's Brimfield kit and so I thought I would share a card I made recently using that set. I was enjoying the romantic feel of the kits, but I wanted to work in a bright and vibrant color palette, so I grabbed my brightest CT inks, flamingo, poppy, lemon zest and lime light and started stamping.
I created a few layered flowers with some generation stamping. I stamped the solid base in flamingo, but stamped it off on a scratch pad first to achieve a lighter color and then stamped the flower stamp on top in full strength flamingo ink. I did the same for the smaller flower but used the Poppy ink.
I then did a little fussy cutting, I absolutely love that this set is easy to cut out. The flowers are almost circles, which makes this part almost enjoyable.
Once the flowers were stamped and cut, I worked out the layout of my card by moving the flowers around. I then removed the flowers, stamped my sentiment leaves and smaller flowers on the base layer of the card. Splattered with ink and then added my larger flowers with pop foam.
I finished it off with a little sewing and some of that lovely orange paper from Brimfield that matches the Lemon Zest ink perfectly.
When my Wink Wink kit arrived I knew I was going to use that yellow/orange envelope to complete the set, so I did a little leaf stamping on the back flap and then I stamped a set of flowers onto some sticker paper. Any white sticky mailing label would work as well. A little fussy cutting and I had a matching envelope that would hold up in transit.
How do you stay organized?
The thing that has helped me to keep my space organized best is to just have a place for everything with a little room to grow. And to institute a no overflow policy. For instance, I have a 12x12 binder with PL page protectors where I keep all my acrylic stamps. I am determined not to grow out of that binder, so when new stamps come in, I have to purge some older sets that I just haven't been using. The only supply that seems to defy this system are my patterned papers. There is always room for just one more patterned paper right? I also try to put everything away each night. The majority of my most used supplies are within reach of my desktop, so it doesn't take too much time or energy to do so. My computer is at my craft desk , so I'm much more motivated to keep my desk clean, otherwise very little gets done the next day.
What is the crafting tool you can’t live without?
Undoubtedly, it's my trimmer. Even though I have a love hate relationship with it, sometimes nightly, I couldn't function without it. Whenever I get a little cocky and think I can cut a straight line without it, I always regret my decision. Trimmer aside, I would be very sad if someone told me I couldn't use my Big Kick die cutting machine anymore. My collection of dies is growing and I love the possibilities it opens up for card making. If you ever want to torture me, make me fussy cut for more than 5 minutes, I'll tell you anything you want to know :)
Where do you go to get ideas?
I'm an Instagram addict at the moment and that is really where most of my ideas come from. If I see a post I love, I'll grab a screen shot and put it in the memory banks for later. If I'm looking for a specific idea, I visit the Studio Calico member gallery, and then finally Pinterest. I try to avoid Pinterest if possible as it totally overwhelms me and makes me want to re-do my whole house but it really is the best place to go for a focused search for inspiration.
Anything else we should know about you and/or your style?
Just that without this amazing crafting community, I would have put down my scissors years ago. I get so much inspiration and joy from seeing others work and giving and recieving positive feedback that it keeps my crafting fire burning bright. Love you guys!