Sarah Kate is fresh to the world of craft blogging, but a veteran in the world of making things. Like most of us, she has always been the creative type, and it was a small spark that led her to launch her Etsy shop and blog called Sarah Kate Creations. She recently attended the inaugural Craftcation and came home filled with inspiration. And of course, having a platform for her creativity wasn’t enough for her- she just announced that 10% of her proceeds every month will go to a deserving charity. Sarah’s beautifully designed cards and delicate jewelry are great, but I think my favorite part about her fledgling career is her heart. One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of 1. I am proud of a recent project that sprung out of a school assignment in my Graphic Novels class (Yes, I am in a Liberal Arts program). We were assigned to create a short graphic novel and I decided to base mine on the recent Primus song “The Last Salmon Man” which is about my hometown, Bodega Bay. This song inspired a block printed comic that includes scenes of the Bodega Head. The comic was the first time that I combined block printing with color pencil detail, a style that I really like and have been perfecting since. Two Mistakes You’ve Made In The Past 1. Not giving myself enough artistic credit – Coming from a family of accomplished painters and artists I often didn’t give myself the artistic credit I deserve for my many crafty products. I didn’t hold my collages and adventures in mixed media in the same light as my father’s oil paintings or friend’s drawings. Today I have come to embrace the idea that even though I may not be working in a traditional medium my crafts are truly art. 2. Over booking myself – I am constantly spreading myself to thin which often leads to me becoming stressed out, grumpy, and over worked with none of my endeavors receiving my whole attention. I am graduating college this May and my post graduation gift to myself is to take life easy. I am going to allow myself to only have a couple projects at a time rather than the five or so I usually have. This is a mistake that I still often make, but that I acknowledge and am working on. Three Things That Make Your Work Unique 1. The medium of block printing – Every block print that I make is a unique and special print, due to the very nature of block printing itself. Although I aim for continuity in my cards, what draws me to the medium is the beauty and uniqueness of each individual print. 2. My simple, clean aesthetic – I love glitter and bright colors, but I like to keep my work clean and clear, without too much clutter. Of course, you wouldn’t know it if you saw my workspace. 3. The patterns in my jewelry – I try to incorporate intricate seed bead patterns in to my hand strung necklaces, at first glance these patterns simply blend in with the necklace, but if you look closely the detail in the pattern is intricate. Four Tools You Love To Use 1. Embroidery floss – I love to embroider fun little designs on pillows and clothing. My first ever embroidery project was a peace sign patch in high school that I still keep tucked away with my floss. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Jenny Hart, which was very exciting, I absolutely love her work. 2. Fabric – My father sewed when I was young on a 1920s Singer, I used to love to sit and watch him and listen to the machine. He would let me use the machine for simple projects, like pillowcases. He would also print on material or use fabric to create playhouses for my brothers and I. This is when I fell in love with fabric and the many things you can do with it, including sewing, printing, shredding and dyeing. 3. Embossing Powder – About two years ago I discovered embossing powder and a heat gun and I became obsessed. I love the clean finished look it gives a product and how it allows you to use glitter cleanly. 4. Seed Beads – Seed beads are another item that I fell in love with in my youth. My mother loved bead weaving and would meditate with the tubular peyote stitch for hours. When I was about 10 or so I started my first tubular peyote stitch, a pretty blue background with a vine of flowers curling around the tube. Needless to say, my patience waned after only a few inches, but later when I started bead weaving again the skill came back to me immediately. I love seed beads; there are so many colors and shines, from matte to iridescent. Five Inspirations 1. Parents – As you may have guessed my parents inspire my artistic capabilities and nurtured my creative tendencies in my youth. They are very inspirational to me when it comes to my craft. 2. Ocean – I grew up so close to the ocean that when I was seven I was allowed to walk down to the bay by myself. I love the ocean, its smells and its unknown powers. It is so majestic, how can it not be inspiring. I love to think about the creatures swimming and growing in its depths as well as of the waves lapping upon the shore. I love the ocean on a rainy day when its waters rage and terrify and I love the ocean on clear cloudless days when it twinkles blue and endless. Unfortunately, I hate the wind. 3. The Forest – After I left the ocean we moved 10 miles over to the forest and I like to tell people that I grew up where the ocean meets the woods, because it is true. As a child I loved to sit in a tree with a good book, feeling the gentle sway of the branches, which I would always pretend was the tree breathing. Today I love to take long walks in Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve where the trees are like giants and I feel like an Ewok. 4. Live Music – I am a huge music fan and find nothing more inspiring than a good live show. I love to dance and feed off the energy of the band. This inspires a certain kind of freedom in me that allows me to have confidence and to create. Often I will leave a show full of creative energy. 5. People – This may seem kind of vague, and it is. I am inspired by lots of people, including my family and friends, but also by people in general, their cultures and customs. People’s cultures and customs inspire me with new art forms and styles, and also remind me to keep an open mind when it comes to life and art. I love to create when friends are around and am always open to their ideas and constructive criticisms (although this does not mean that I always take their advice). I am becoming more open to random people’s ideas and advice as well through my growing social media outlets.