Our Featured Guest Star- All Things Paper



Today, our special guest star is Ann Martin from All Things Paper! Yep, I have a celebrity in the room! Tom Selleck and I broke out the good china and spiffed up the place in preparation for her arrival. Tom was a bit put out at first because I make him use paper plates normally, but he got over it when I told him that I asked Gordon Ramsay and his crew from Hell’s Kitchen to cater for us.

Gordon owed me a favor from when I allowed him the use of my bologna sandwich recipe for his menu last season. Chef Ramsay is an odd sort, but let me tell you, his cooking is out of this world. Unfortunately, the nature of Hell’s Kitchen is well…hell. So it took us a bit of time to get the first course. Tom got a little antsy and went up to the counter to ask about our salads and promptly got his feelings hurt when the chef called him a donkey. And no-one can seem to get the risotto right. So while we are waiting patiently, right Tom? Let’s start the interview.

Suzy: So, Ann, tell me a little about yourself .
Ann: I’ve dabbled in a wide variety of arts and crafts ever since I was little. In what seems like my previous life, I was a med/surg nurse, and then did wedding calligraphy while my children were young. Once I discovered quilling though, my attention turned pretty much exclusively to it.

Suzy: When and why did you start blogging, and where would you like your blogging to lead?
Ann: I started blogging because I was always coming across the coolest paper-related sites. My husband would nod politely when I would say, “Wow, you HAVE to see this!”, but I wanted a more enthusiastic audience. I also liked the idea of introducing people to quilling. So many have never heard of it, and I had the feeling that others might be like me… from the first moment I came across quilling (in Martha Stewart Living magazine), I just knew it was something I had to learn to do.

Ann: Where would I like it to lead? My blog is bringing me orders for custom quilled marriage certificates and jewelry which is very nice. I’ve written quite a few how-to articles for magazines and would love to do a book of original designs. There haven’t been enough new quilling books the past few years which is unfortunate because many quillers rely on them for fresh ideas.

Suzy: Who or what inspires you?
Ann: Scrolls have been extremely popular in the design world lately – it’s amazing how many you see once you start to look. They inspire me, along with flowers, wrought iron, embroidery, calligraphy, and rubber stamps. Plus many quillers I’ve met online are generous about sharing their ideas and we learn from one another.

Check out these keys made entirely out of paper.  Amazing!

Suzy: Name a few of your favorite websites that you go to for inspiration.
Ann: I’m always checking out Etsy, wedding blogs, Craftzine, and Design Sponge.

Ann: I like learning from other artists and crafters who work full-time doing what they love, so I frequently listen to podcasts while I quill. Craftypod and CraftSanity feature interviews with a variety of talented people.

Suzy: What are your favorite things to create?

Ann: Marriage certificates are my newest favorite. Originally a Quaker tradition, they’re a wedding trend that has been getting a good bit of online attention since I showed a quilled version on my blog. A couple’s vows are written in calligraphy on a poster-sized board, and then I embellish the piece with quilling, usually a floral design. The bride and groom signs the document at their wedding, as do all of the guests, and it’s later framed and hung in their home.

Suzy: Quilling and papercraft are obviously your loves. But is there another type of craft that you have never tried and would like to learn in the future?
Ann: I’m intrigued by precious metal clay and have been looking for a class to take.

Suzy:You have so many successful craft projects. Is there one that just never seemed to come together? I know I have several “errors in judgement” hanging around my closet. Do you have a crafty horror story?

Ann: I have to say the most frustrating project I’ve done is my most recent – it’s the Twitter fail-whale. Lots of on-edge pieces were pretty tedious to place just so. After I finished it, I stepped back, took a good look and realized the whale was shaped more like a shark, so started over again!

Suzy: Your fail-whale turned out great!  I’d hardly call it a “fail”.  Nice job! 

I think your crafting space tells a lot you. Mine is a jumbled pile of disarray to the average beholder, but I know where everything is and what I’m eventually going to do with it. Well, usually. Anyway, tell me about your workspace.

Ann: I’m with you on the jumbled pile of disarray. My quilling paper looks like a crazy, tangled nest. I store all of my supplies in a corner of the dining room and use the table as a work space… needless to say we rarely dine in there.

Suzy: Ann’s gilded paper filigree jewelry can be purchased at Hardcastle Gallery in Centreville, Delaware, or contact her at ann.b.martin at gmail.com for custom quilled marriage certificates.  You can also see a collection of her work at http://www.flickr.com/photos/8387863@N02/.  Also, please remember to stop by her website at All Things Paper to see not only her work, but work of other amazing paper artists. 

Well Ann, let me see you off and then I have to go back in the kitchen and try to calm things down a bit. Seems that the Chef has fired everyone including his entire staff, Tom and his mustache, my hairdresser, and the entire cast of Glee. Poor thing has some anger issues. Maybe a nice loaf of my famous banana bread will help calm things down. Maybe not? Well, the only other thing I can cook is spaghettios, so it will just have to do.