Please join me in enjoying this opportunity to learn more about an integral part of our Design Team: Maggi Harding.
Maggi was a Guest Designer at S:CY in the not-too-distant past and is now fulfilling a DT position here. How lucky are we? Well..... I'll let you read thru her Spotlight and see some of her favourite projects, and I bet I already know what you'll decide! :)
|S:CY Design Team Member |
This layout (below) is very special to me because I took the time to put some feelings on paper and because it is not my style at all but it’s a style that I admire. So I was happy that I was able to capture that style for once. I don’t “do” negative space and this is as much blank space as you’ll ever see on one of my layouts!
|"I'm a Southern Gal" layout created by |
"I don’t think I realized how much I love red clay dirt under my fingernails until we moved back to North Carolina. I’ve always claimed the world as my home since Dad was in the Army and we lived on 3 different continents while I was growing up. However, I recently realized how much southern blood runs through these world-traveled veins of mine.
I wondered if I would like being back here in the south where the pace is just a bit slower and people are just a little different. However, the decision was based on a need to be close to my parents in their final years so the decision was really a no-brainer. This is where I belong right now, I reasoned with myself, because my parents need me. From the moment we moved into our home, I fell in love with my south all over again. It has been more than 30 years since I called this place home and yet it felt so right from the very beginning. How I loved it when the FedEx man delivered a package to me and called me shug. Now you may think that silly or disrespectful, but it’s not, it’s the south. It’s how we love each other, just because we are friends and neighbors. How I love going to “town” and I still marvel at the gentle smiles from strangers who say good morning to me.
And I love that age-old southern question, who are your people? I’ve been asked that so many times when I mention the name of the small southern town near here where my parents grew up. Do you know so and so? Yes, I know them, I went to school with them or my brother did. We are bound by tobacco fields and pig pickins. Our grandparents dipped snuff, we all know what real barbeque is, and they don’t make it in Texas! Basketball is a religion second only to being a Baptist or Methodist.
When I think of the south, I see rafts of azaleas seeming to float around the ancient live oaks and tall pines that they surround. I see white and pink lacey dogwoods dressing up the understory of the tall trees. The first fall I set about turning our house into a southern oasis by planting 30 some azalea bushes. I was rewarded the following spring with beautiful pink, white and red blooms. When the first azaleas bloomed, it brought a smile to my heart and I knew I had found my forever home after 30 years of wandering. Those bright flowers just wrapped their blooms around my soul and vested it with a calming peace."
Maggi has fine tuned her artistic abilities. I asked her for some design tips and she had a couple to share with us. On the topic of embellishments, she advises that things "generally look best when done in odd numbered groups meaning that 3 or 5 flowers look a lot better than 2 or 4 flowers. This is a classic design element not just in scrapbooking but in other designing as well. Take a look at flower arrangements, groupings of display items, etc. You will usually see an odd numbered grouping."
Another of Maggi's tips involves using "ink, ink and more ink!!" She says it is a technique that she returnes to again and again. Why? I'll let her explain..."Ink adds the illusion of dimension to paper when used along the edges. I also like using it to add color to my embellishments, for example a green leaf is pretty when cut from green paper, but, think about what a leaf looks like, really – it is more than one color and the way light hits it affects the leaf’s appearance. By adding touches of ink to the plain green paper leaf, you give it visual interest so that the leaf is not just a cut-out of green paper."
Maggi is a scrapbooker who "hardly ever" makes cards. She reports that if she does make them, "they can easily take more time than a layout because they just don’t seem to come together for me!"
In terms of the time spent on an individual layout, Maggi says that she can "Generally... get one layout done in a day and that day may be as long as 10 hours but more likely 5 – 6 hours. I spend a lot of time matching papers and photos. When I’ve finally decided on papers, I go through all my embellishments and pick out things that might work and all of this takes me a long time."
I asked Maggi to share some advice with us about how she decides if a layout is "done" to her satisfaction. This is different for us all, and here's what Maggi had to say. "When the page is “bulging at the seams” and there is not any room left for ANYTHING, then I am usually done! LOL!! Seriously, I look for balance, and that’s a hard concept to define but my layouts are not done until their appearance is balanced. I look at colors and often think of the odd rules discussed earlier. Yesterday I was analyzing a layout for balance and was satisfied with it. I used three colors and they appear in 3 different ways on the layout evenly scattered over the page. I don’t like for one side of the layout to be heavy with embellishments and the other side blank."
When it comes to the subjects of her scrapping hobby, Maggi loves to scrap pictures of her dogs. As she puts it: "They are my 'children' and I really enjoy taking those special photos of them and turning them into scrapbook pages." This is in evidence when, as you look back through some of the recent LOs Maggi has created for S:CY, the personalities of her critters shine forth in the art she has created to showcase her love for them.
|"Go" layout created by Maggi Harding|
Who can take a great pic like the one featured in the LO above without a decent camera? Good question! When I asked Maggi about what she uses, she told me that she is the owner of a Canon XLTii Rebel DSLR and described to me why she loves it: "It takes great photos and is lightweight as far as DSLR’s go. I have issues with my neck and back and anything heavy will aggravate that condition so weight was a big factor when I decided on a digital camera." Really critical information to know- and some that might not always be mentioned when we talk about cameras. The overall weight of each unit and their ergonomic factor **is** important!
An ability to meet deadlines is innate for Maggi: she is a tax accountant. As she says-- "My whole life has been one deadline after another. Consequently, I am good at it, because I have always had to meet my clients’ expectations as well as Unce Sam’s filing deadlines." She has been able to transfer these habits and skills to the scrappy world.
In terms of items Maggi is passionate about creating, she likes to design and make mini-albums... one specific type in particular! Says Maggi, "I love making paperbag albums (PBAs) and have given away 7-8 of them. I like to use a lot of quotes and vintage images in my PBAs and then scatter in some photos to personalize the PBA. I only have one that I have kept for myself."
Maggi chatted about why she loves to make PBAs so much, saying "...because in my mind, there are no rules, so I tend to let my imagination go a little further over the edge than with a traditional scrapbook page. Here are just the front and back covers of a PBA that I did. Please visit my blog and on the sidebar is a slide show of other PBA’s that I’ve done."
|PBA by Maggi Harding- Front Cover|
|PBA by Maggi Harding - Back Cover|
Here is another of Maggi's favourite projects:
|"Today" book cover created by|
Maggi, thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us today in the Spotlight Feature, and through your work at S:CY. It's been a treat to learn more about you and your art!