This month's member spotlight has a style that's bright and bold and infused with an awesome sense of humor. And while I've never met Gillian Nelson in person, I'd bet it's safe to say that her style reflects her personality. We're glad to have her both in our gallery and on our message boards, and can't wait to share more about her with you!
My name is Gillian Nelson. I am an Oregon resident, a wife, a mother of three, and a lover of all things paper. I graduated with a degree in nursing and enjoyed working in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before deciding to stay home 8 years ago and becoming intensely focused on caring for the Nelson Family Unit. I’ve always been a scrapbooker at heart, but when I found out that it was an actual hobby and that there were entire stores dedicated to it, I was a’goner. I’ve been fortunate to have pages published in Scrapbook Trends, Scrapbooks Etc., and Creating Keepsakes, various idea books, and was chosen for the CK Hall of Fame back in the olden days. Scrapbooking has become a permanent part of my life, I’m sure. And I love that I can enjoy my hobby with so many wonderful people who are just as crazy about it as I am.
- Patterned paper. The right combo of colors & shapes on a piece of patterned paper can make my heart beat faster. I’m not even joking. It’s physical joy.
- Black ink. I ink the edges of everything. Ev. Ery. Thing. It just grounds things for me visually. And I like the way an inked edge makes each layer stand out on its own. I’ve made a mental effort to NOT ink everything on a page recently, and I couldn’t go through with it. Had to be done.
- Brads. It’s difficult to find a page of mine without a brad on it somewhere. American Crafts mini brads are awesome for just a little spot of color. And the Crate Paper and Basic Grey fabric brads are like crack. Have to have them all.
- My Epson printer. LOVE being able to scrap on a whim because I can print out any photo, any time. It’s also been key in helping me keep (kind of) current with Project Life. It’s a total workhorse in my scraproom.
- The Cameo. I resisted it for the longest time because I couldn’t justify the cost. But once I gave in, it was hard to imagine scrapping without it. Such an amazing little machine.
Where do you find your inspiration?
It’s everywhere. I love both of the SC galleries for an instant boost of inspiration. Pinterest is also a surefire way to find an inspirational spark. The random triangles in my “Growing Pains” layout were inspired by a piece of artwork I saw recently at the Portland Art Museum. My sister is also a scrapbooker, and I find her pages to be hugely inspiring. But some of my favorite pages in our family’s album are those that are inspired primarily by the stories they tell. I love to tell stories.
What is your favorite color and/or color combo?
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite color, but if you were to judge by my stacks of patterned paper, I’d have to go with aqua blue and apple green. But orange and sunny yellow are close seconds. I LOVE color. The brighter the better. My everyday dishes are Fiestaware, both vintage and new, and I love all of that bright, happy color in my cabinets. But I digress...back to scrapping... Because I love to use bright colors in my pages, most of my backgrounds are quite neutral, primarily white, kraft, and light grey. Have to balance it out, don’tcha know.
Tell us a bit about your design process.
I have a really hard time scrapping a photo if I don’t have a story in mind first. I have to have a pretty good sense of what the journaling will be. So I will typically flip through iPhoto and see if any particular photo jumps out at me as one that has a story to tell. What follows in putting a page together is truly accidental. I tend to push things around for ridiculous amounts of time before I “commit to the stick” and glue everything down. And once I’m done, the finished layout rarely looks like what I originally pictured in my head. I love looking to the SC challenges when I’m feeling creatively stuck. I use the challenge forum and the blog quite often to help me get my gears going.
Tell us a bit about what else you do since we know you are creative in more ways than just scrapbooking.
I like to dabble in anything crafty, but I have a touch of Crafting ADD. I’m infamous for starting a project with gusto and then quickly becoming bored and then abandoning said project. My husband is pretty tolerant of it, but the afghan that’s 2/3rds done is kind of a sore subject, so we don’t discuss it. Much. I do enjoy knitting, though, and consider myself an accomplished knitter. I’ve accomplished a lot of dishcloths. ;) A whole lot of those. And fingerless gloves. And scarves and hats and coffee cup cozies. But my knitting project pride and joy has got to be the Murlock hat I gave my son this past Christmas. (For those of you not familiar with World of Warcraft, a Murlock is a humanoid, amphibious monster. Imagine an upright, murderous frog. You wouldn’t want to run into one in a dark alley. But my son desperately wanted to wear one on his head. Go figure.) Anyway, I designed it myself and spent hour after hour (after hour) locked in my bedroom in order to get it done in time. My mom was a wonderful knitter, and I channelled her as I made it. I think she’d be pretty proud of me for actually getting it done. The aforementioned afghan, though? I probably wouldn’t discuss that with her, either.
Gillian, thanks so much for sending us into the weekend with a mega dose of inspiration!!! If you'd like to see more of Gillian's work, pop over to her gallery - you won't regret it!