Are you all enjoying meeting our Go-to Gals as much as we are enjoying introducing them? Tuesdays and Thursdays have taken on a whole new meaning in our parts. Well, I don’t want to tease you any longer (we are pretending you haven’t already read the title and you are desperate with suspense).
Today I have the great privilege of introducing the amazing Ms. Jessica Witty! Jessica is an uber talented stamper with a brilliant way with both words and paper. Jessica is the proud mama of three bitty Wittys and has a personality that is dynamite (just wait until you read some of her responses). If being amazingly talented and intelligent wasn’t enough, Jessica is also a fountain of fabulous tips and tricks (get the perfect bow every time by flipping your project upside down and then tying your ribbon… I’ve tried this and it TOTALLY works!).
So, are you ready to meet this long lost sister of Punky Brewster?
1. Where did you grow up? I spent most of my growing up years deep in the heart of Texas. In fact, my husband and I still live a few miles from our childhood homes.
2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do? In my pre-SAHM days, I worked as a radio script editor and writer for an internationally broadcast radio ministry. I’ve been a SAHM for a few years and I enjoy the craziness that defines my life now!
3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you? Oh, good grief… um… the girl who used to play Punky Brewster? Punky and I used to be twins back in the 80’s.
4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life? ”Walkin’ on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. And for a more serious choice, “Be Thou My Vision”.
5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you? I have three first-born children. Seriously! Two of my three kids are adopted, and both times we had no idea we would be adopting before we were asked to. With baby #3 (Noelle) we only had seven days time between being asked to adopt and being at the hospital for her arrival. That was only 11 weeks ago, so my head is still spinning!
6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting? Like so many of you, I’ve always been crafty. However, I *cannot* draw. At all. No sketching skills whatsoever. I always struggled with that because I felt like it meant I couldn’t really be “artsy”. I was totally intrigued when a friend of mine invited me to a stamping party seven years ago. Creative expression using paper and ink but not requiring the ability to draw?! Sign me up!
7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge? In this season of life… TIME! I have three kids (two of them under the age of two) and all that comes along with it, so my time is definitely limited. That means that I have to be ready to create right when I sit down at my table… and that’s hard for me. Perfectionism is my other battle, and a lack of time + perfectionism just do not equal good results! Honestly, I like to plan out my entire project, down to every detail, before I even put one stamp to paper or make one cut. Lately I’ve been trying to focus on being willing to make mistakes for the sake of getting started and letting my creativity come out during the process.
8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be? Stamps and ink, no question! My one embellishment necessity would be ribbon. Followed closely by buttons. Huh… apparently I need more than I thought!
9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why? Lately, that would be thank you cards! (I still have many, many to make!) Generally, I’d say either all occasion/friendship or thank you cards.
10. When is your favorite time to craft? Naptime! (The kids’ naptime, not mine!) I used to pull a lot of all-nighters to craft, but that habit went by the wayside as more kids came along and I passed the 30-year mark.
11. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting? None! And for the record, I am so technologically disabled that I could actually be the last person on earth to get an iPod. My work table (a.k.a. dining room table) faces the living room, so I’m generally listening to the oh-so-soothing sounds of my children.
12. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion? My oldest son now has an obsession for paper as well… he says he is going to be a “paper collector” when he grows up! He likes to make his own books and art projects at his little table while I’m working at mine. At Christmas, my husband pitches in with what we affectionately call The-Witty-Family-Christmas-Card-Sweatshop.
13. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized? To be honest, organization is really not my middle name. I finally got a daily planner specifically for my design work and that works really well for me. I track due dates on the monthly layouts, print out any assignment and call details and paper clip them in the appropriate weeks. I also use the daily sections to write and sketch out my project ideas.
14. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then? My very first issue was November 2006 when my first and second submissions ever won spots in the Stamping Royalty contest that year. I’ve definitely refined my style since then… I tend to use much more white space now.
15. What are you looking forward to most about being a Paper Crafts Go-to Gal? You know, the fame… fortune… paparazzi, etc. HA! I’m so looking forward to getting an inside glimpse into the inner workings of Paper Crafts, the challenges that come with our assignments, and continuing to be inspired by what has always been my favorite magazine. This is a long-time goal realized for me and I’m so grateful and excited for the opportunity!
16. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones? I was previously a designer with Paper Salon and I currently design for Emma’s Paperie.
17. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you.
- Julie Ebersole was the very first designer who totally struck me years ago with her designs and is still inspiring me to this day. I love her ability to pair brilliant ideas with an editorial eye.
- Nichole Heady always grabs me with her simple elegance.
- Melissa Phillips and Anabelle O’Malley simply because their styles are so different than mine! I analyze their work to see how they layer and put things together and try to incorporate the feeling of whimsy they have into my own designs.
18. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time? Focus on your strengths and refine them! Figure out your comfort zone, become proficient at it, then move beyond it. And submit every project along the way! It’s been said before, but you just never know what will be a winner.
19. How would you describe your style? I am definitely a less is more, simple and graphic with clean lines and lots of white space kind of designer. My goal is generally to do more with less, to use what I have, to edit as much as possible while keeping a big visual punch, and to do all of that in a short time frame. Layering and embellishments are definitely a challenge for me… two layers on a card is a lot of layers to me! White space is my friend.
20. Do you have a blog or online gallery? If so, please provide the URL. You can find my work at Emma’s Paperie and I still work with my designer friends from Paper Salon. You can also see my gallery at splitcoaststampers.com. I just launched my blog, and it’s still a little bare but I’ll be posting links and other good things very soon. I’m on Facebook, too.
I told ya… tons of personality in this one! Thanks, Jessica for answering these questions. I for one can’t wait to see all your brilliant projects and read your great tips in the upcoming issues of Paper Crafts.
Make sure you leave sweet Jessica a comment before you run off to check out all the cool stuff she mentioned in her answers. In honor of her three itty bitty Wittys (I just love saying that!), I’ll pick three winners to win a copy of Stamp It! Cards and an assortment of itty bitty stamps. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, July 22.
Loving big reveal Tuesdays,
P.S. It’s to announce the five winners from Kelly’s Freebie Friday – Gallery Idol Top 10 Announced post! Here they are in no particular order:
1. Laurie Takens (July 17, 4:51 p.m.)
2. Melissa (July 17, 1:02 p.m.)
3. doverdi (July 19, 5:31 a.m.)
4. Kelly R (July 17, 11:42 a.m.)
5. Bonnie (July 18, 3:53 a.m.)
Congrats, winners! You’ve each won two bags of Papertrey Ink buttons! Kelly will be contacting you shortly for your mailing addresses! Thanks to all who left comments on their favorite way to use buttons! Speaking of buttons… that’s the theme for Round 3 in our Gallery Idol competition. Click here to view these 10 amazing button-infused cards. And make sure you cast your vote for your favorite design!