* This is a re-post of our most wonderful Aletha of AJs Designs. She will be taking over the team's featured members posts for us and I wanted to recognize her and her terrific shop once more. Be sure to give her a BIG THANKYOU when you see her on Ning and our team threads! Thanks Aletha!!!
Our next featured team member is Aletha Williams. Aletha is the creative mind behind AJ's Designs. She creates gorgeous cards, artwork, and really intricate mandalas (my favorite). Aletha has been a member of our team since November, 2008. We have 3 questions that tell us a little about Aletha and her shop and she has chosen 7 out of all of the questions that were submitted by our team members on the forum post. Here are her answers to our questions - happy reading!
Tell us a little about yourself :
I am now residing in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am married to a wonderful man. (I count my blessings every day. And, I make him count at least once a week.) We have two beautiful children, a daughter and son. Our daughter has given us two grandsons who are now age 14 and 11. Our baby, well he’s 27 now, just married in January to a beautiful woman. No grand kids there yet, he is still in law school.
Tell us about your shop:*
When did you open it?
I opened my shop in February 2007. I really got busy with it in 2008. I still do not have everything posted.
What items/type of items do you sell:
I sell collage art, hand bound journals, mini wall art (collage on stretched canvas no larger than 5”x7”), art cards, greeting and note cards, mandalas, mandala art cards, seasonal items such as ornaments and holiday cards. Just about everything I create involves paper and rubber stamps.
Getting to know you - 5 Questions (or 7,lol)
1. Name top 3-5 items (for crafting purposes) that you cannot live without.
I cannot live without rubber stamps and paper. I have an over abundance of both and I still keep collecting both. If I every decide to have a garage sale, just to clean my studio, I would probably be able to make the next two house payments. The other items that I could not live without are my X-Acto knife, paper trimmer, watercolor brushes, and rulers.
2.What is it about paper that draws you to create with it?
I have always been drawn to paper. We cannot live without it. It is part of our everyday life. I remember growing up and making my own “little books.” Some were small enough that Barbie could hold them. And then I did grow up and was lucky enough to land a job in a print shop. Thus began my career in graphic arts and print production. I was introduced to typesetting on some of the first photo type computers (I’m getting ready to show my age here). And I gained experience in operating printing presses. I realized then that some of the art that I created I could reproduce. Reproduction involved typesetting, dark room work (shooting negatives), burning printing press plates from those negatives to make the positive, getting the press ready to make the job complete. The most fun was choosing the paper for the job. I could not wait for a paper salesman to come and peddle their wares. They brought the most beautiful poster samples that was printed on “the stock of the month.” Now began my career in collecting paper. The fire marshal would probably have a few words of concern.
3.Do you have a special space for your crafting, or does the kitchen table do double duty?
I do have a studio. It is a 6’x8’ attic room. I have spilled over into the attic for storage. Whatever project(s) I am working on seem to over flow onto the stair landing. If I am doing a lot of tearing and meticulous trimming I will be in the living room and/or sun room. The dining room table I use as a catch all and packing for art festivals. I store my inventory in the spare bedroom closet. My shadow box frames are stored in the downstairs hall closet. My husband and I share an office with our computers. He’s the Director of News and Analysis for RigData and he telecommutes. He’s also a writer. Hmm..two creative people living together 24 hours a day. I do allow him to have his own desk in our office and he gets to use the kitchen table in our sun room. Hey, I had to learn to not talk to myself…he thought I was talking to him!
4.Who is your biggest fan?
I have to say that my biggest fan is my husband. You probably can tell that by now. He has to live with me. Next will be the kids. They check Twitter to see if I have posted anything new and if I haven’t, they ask why. Then there are my parents, the rest of the family and friends, who always gets something handmade as gifts.
5.How did you learn your craft?
My craft is rubber stamp art and I am self-taught. I was needing a creative outlet and during a year of watching Carol Duvall and the rubber stamp segments I kept repeating to myself, “I could do that.” I guess that my husband got tired of me talking to myself and bought me my first rubber stamps as a gift. I already had all the paper stock and he knew my creative side. He did create a monster. He asked me “just how much paper and how many stamps do you have?” Needless to say I changed the subject.
6. Do you have more than one Etsy shop?
No, I have the one Etsy shop: http://ajsdesigns.etsy.com/
I do have three other online shops and a blog. They are:
7. Why do you do what you do?
This is a very good question! Through the years ( I hope there are many more), I have realized that one of the biggest sins you can commit could be against yourself and others. That sin is not using your creative talent. What I mean by that is…be it God, the gods, nature, evolution, or just being human…if you do not use the talent that is given you, and nurture and let that talent grow, you are performing a disservice to yourself and the world. Let it shine! Practice one hour, four hours, or 24 hours a day. Just don’t let it go to waste. “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.” —Dennis Miller
Find her here:
SHOP - AJs Designs
BLOG - AJs Designs
NING - Aletha