Tuesday, 9 June 2009


Day in day out we make decisions and judgements, consciously and unconsciously, based on 'our style' - choosing a new sofa, having a hair cut, shopping for a new dress, flicking through magazines - we're constantly cross referencing everything we see with our own taste and style.

Last week the wonderful Betsy Veldman wrote a post on her blog about her papercrafting style, and whether indeed she has one and what defines it. In my mind Betsy has an incredible individual style - I can spot her creations a mile off and always with immense admiration - she has a stunning way of pulling colours and textures together in an incredibly unique way.

She issued a challenge to her blog readers - to spend some time searching the internet for images that inspire us, and then create a card based on the pictures that stood out for them.

This got me thinking about my style and indeed if, as Betsy questioned, I have a definite and consistent style. Of course the challenge was focused on paper-crafting but isn't that a reflection of our overall taste and style?

Can you define your style? Think fashion. Hippy or sporty? Classic or grungey? And home decor? What appeals to you? It's fun to stop and think about it!

Yesterday I spent a very self-indulgent hour visiting blogs and websites that inspire me, collecting images as I went - isn't it interesting how in a whole page of dresses or cushions one design just jumps off the page at you?

I've been told that I have a definite style by other crafters and while I'm not entirely sure I can exactly put my finger on it I certainly know what I do and don't like, as shown in the images I chose:

1) Colour

I love colour! Colour in clothes, colour in nature, colour in architecture, colour all around us. While I appreciate a more grungey style I can't get excited about anything that doesn't have a stand out colour hit.

Bright and bold:

(American Crafts Craft Fair papers)

(Robins Egg Pink)

...or soft and pastel:

(Designers Guild furnishings)

...fresh and modern:

...or juicily zingy! :

And above all anything with aqua/pale blue/turquoise - my friends call it 'Kate' colour! (probably because I don't wear much else!)

(Designers Guild furnishings)

2) Clean, fresh and contemporary syle -

Clean lines in design always appeals to me, fresh and funky:

(Designers Guild furnishings)

(designhutusa on Etsy)

...and always light and structure:

(Robins Egg Pink)

3) White space

I don't like cards that are too busy, - with so much going on that the overall design is comprimised. I love the use of large areas of white space to create space and light:


3) New England Style

White washed walls, lots of wood, decking, colours inspired by the sea...more aqua and lots more white! I love this room!

Although my sitting room doesn't look anything like this I did use the same elements while decorating it - walls, furnishings and curtains are all off-white, wooden floor boards and big mirrors, paintings of a sea theme and blue/duck egg touches.

4) Shabby chic

While a clean, fresh feeling always appeals to me I also equally love what is ubiquitously described as shabby chic (what else to call it?!)

Like this:

(Designers Guild furnishings)

My all-time favourite paper company, Cosmo Cricket:

And no-one does this style better than Cath Kidston:

5) ...anything with a touch of class and elegance:

So there we have it! What inspires me, and what on reflection I think may define my style - one thing I realise looking at the images are that they cover a variety of styles but when I look at the work of the papercrafters who inspire me most that's exactly what they do.

-Debbie Olsen
-Nichole Heady
-Jennifer McGuire
-Laurie Schmidlin

To me these ladies ooze class, elegance, and style with an inspiring use of colour and an eclectic output of both clean, contemporary and shabby chic styles.

After this journey of self-style discovery I thought I'd ask a few of my best stamping buddies for an honest opinion of what they thought my style was, I'd blush if I repeated what they said (!) suffice to say they interpret my style as classic, contemporary, not busy, clean, using large blank areas of card as an advantage.

Thank you for allowing me that self-indulgence - and now, if by any chance you're still with me, here's a card!

I used this cushion as an inspiration:

And made a very quick and simple card, using Papertrey stamps: (excuse the poor photo)


Stamps - Fancy Flourishes/Star Prints
Ink - Hibiscus Burst/Dark Chocolate
Card - Kraft/Hibiscus Burst
Other - Adhesive Pearl/Circle Punch/Dimensionals

Thanks so much for visiting today and for putting up with today's tome, I hope I've given you a morsel of food for thought about your own style - I'd love to hear about it!!!

Kate x


Dana said...

Oh Kate, your card is awesome!! Beautiful inspriations, too. Thanks for sharing!

Jane said...

Gorgeous card! Simple and beautiful!

Steph said...

Such a gorgeous collection of designs and photos and I LOVE your card! I'm still hoping Papertrey comes to the UK! ;)

AuroraDawn said...

Beautiful card Kate

Your post has made me think, but I still don't think I have a personal style I love nearly all styles ...

Maybe I just havn't settled yet ;0)


Emma said...

What a wonderful post Kate, it really makes you think about yourself and gives such a unique insight into you.

Thank you for the delight to my eyes and brain x

Aimes said...

Yummy! Definitely food for thought...I think you've hit the nail on the head defining your style. Still drooling over the pics on your post (including your card btw!) Oh I wish I had a super big empty house and a load of money to furnish it now!

Bekka said...

What beautiful pictures Kate - thank you so much for sharing.

The card is totally fab too :-D