Friday, August 23, 2013

Design Team Introduction - Sharon Newport

We are excited to introduce our new Design Team over the course of the next few days. Please head to the blog to see the official announcement and read to the bottom of the post to find out how you can win a share of $150 worth of celebratory prizes!

 Today we welcome Sharon Newport

Hello all. My name is Sharon, and I live on a dairy farm just out of Gore. We shifted here in 2008 from the North Island, with two of our four children. My husband Barrie and son Blake live on the farm, and our other three children (Alicia, Loren and Rhys) have left home. My family are usually the main focus of any pages I may do, so you will be seeing a lot of them over the next twelve months. I was thrilled to be invited to join the team this year, and am really looking forward to sharing with you my love of scrapbooking.

How were you introduced to scrapbooking?
In the 1990s, I was sitting in a dentist waiting room, flicking through a magazine as you do. I came across an article about a lady who scrapped as a hobby. At the time I thought...." What a weird word!" Who else but the Americans would take a noun, and turn it into a verb by adding "ing" onto the end of it.
A week or so later, my husband had to go to Australia suddenly, and I was left at home alone. On the recommendation of a friend, I connected our home computer to the internet. After surfing the web for an hour or three, I found a search engine and plugged in this weird word "scrapbooking". BAM!!!! Literally hundreds of sites popped up before my eyes. I went and had a look at a couple of them, and was hooked instantly. Within days I had been into town and purchased a cutter and some sharp scissors. Papers were more of an issue, as scrapbooking was still a fledgling craft here in NZ at that stage. Not to be deterred, I went to the art shop and the office supply store, and "made do" until I was able to get my hands on some more pretty supplies. The rest is history........

           A layout of our very best friends, again using an array of mixed media products
What inspires you for layouts, projects, cards?
I find most of my inspiration comes from the product I am using. I am inspired also by the photographs I take and the stories I want to tell. Put all three together and you have a recipe for success.

This page is my first attempt at mixed media scrapbooking. I love the effects you get when you mix gel mediums, texture pastes and sprays. This is my daughter and her “man” just before they left for their OE a year ago

What other project types do you like to work on besides scrapbook pages? 
I love art! When I am not scrapbooking, you will find me with a paintbrush in my hand, painting landscapes of this beautiful country we live in. I also love to use these techniques in my scrapbooking and my art journal.
I also love to make books, experimenting with different book binding techniques.
Off the page projects are something I enjoy doing as well. I simply adore the wide variety of BTP projects on offer these days.

What is your favourite scrapbook brand and why?
I really do not have any one favourite brand....I LOVE IT ALL!!!!!!
I always seek out papers that are able to be fussy cut and rearranged, like Kaisercraft, Prima fancy pants designs and pink paislee.
For my more graphic designed layouts, I tend to be drawn to the papers with smaller designs such as those from My Minds Eye, Carta Bella and Teresa Collins. ( Love love LOVE the texture of these papers)
I love to mix brands together, to get a unique design. I also really like ranges that have a good array of embellishments, such as Prima, My Minds Eye and October Afternoon.

I was so very proud of hubby when he was asked to caddy for New Zealand's top amateur golfer at the New Zealand Open last year. A page with simple layering and a little ink to finish it off.

What scrapbooking tools/ products can you not do without?
I love my cutter and scissors. In fact I usually have spares, just in case the unthinkable happens and I break one. I think good adhesives are paramount to produce a page that's going to stand the test of time. When I started scrapping, I was not so fussy about the glues I used, but ten years on, when the embellishments have fallen to the bottom of the page protector, I have learned that you get what you pay for!

I love my die cutter machines, especially the cuttlebug, and more recently the silhouette. It's great to be able to cut a shape you need when you want it. I also would be lost without my basic paper punches, because they are so quick to use.
I think for scrapbooking to be successful you need to have a good basic kit.....of good quality tools and adhesives. Don't be tempted to buy will cost you more in the long run.

What is your current favourite technique or embellishment?
At the moment, I love to use mixed media products in my pages.
Give me texture paste, gel medium, inks, sprays, chalks, gelatos, gesso, watercolours and masks; and I will be one happy girl.
My darling boy! A very rare photo of our son. He runs from the camera these days. 
Lots of mixed media going on here!

What do you hope to try and improve on this year?
This year I would like to get my blog up and running. It's had a false start or two, and needs a kick in the right direction!
I also want to try my hand at project life "Sharon style" . I am not really a simple scrapper, so this will be interesting for me.
Another thing I want to try my hand at is some of the BTP items by Kaiser. I love that they have produced so many "functional" items lately....especially those used for storage!

Another layout with lots of layering. So proud of our daughter graduating from uni after four years hard labour!

What advice can you give to people just beginning to enjoy scrapbooking?
My best piece of advice is to remember the rule....THERE ARE NO RULES!!!! There is no such thing as a mistake, it’s a “creative diversion” !
I think it's also important to remember that, in the scheme of things, "it's only paper" ! Don't save that piece of pretty paper for something special, or until you are a better scrapper.....use it now!!!!! There will be more pretty papers released every few months to take its place. If the worst comes to the can buy another sheet if you muck up.
Most of all....have fun! Use sketches and scraplift to keep the mojo going.
And if in doubt........ Eat chocolate! 
   All competitions below close on midnight Satuday 24th August.
  • Head to our Gallery, scroll along the hallway, click on the portraits and welcome the girls. Comment on any projects that you LOVE! (Each comment puts you in a draw to win a $50 prize pack). 
  • Follow the Artfull Crafts Blog and follow the girls on their personal blogs. Leave us a message (on Facebook or email) letting us know you've started following, and we'll put you in a draw to win a $20 gift voucher).
  • Answer the 3 questions below on our Facebook Page or as a comment in this blogpost to go in the draw a $30 prize pack.
1) How many cats are lazing around down the Gallery?
2)  Name someone who was on last year's team, who is staying on for another year.
3) Name the person whose style most closely matches yours.

  • Finally, head to last Saturday's blogpost and say goodbye to the team we are farewelling. (Each comment put you in a draw to win another $50 prize pack.)
Have a fun time checking out the new team, and don't forget to share the New Design Team blog link on your Facebook Page!


  1. So Pleased to hear you are on board and look forward to seeing all your new projects.
    hope to see you soon, Kathy

  2. I am so proud of you Sharon! Back in 2004 I remember you showing me your layouts and I signed you up on the spot to be my new store tutor at Create in Hamilton. Looking forward go seeing what you can create at Artfull Crafts! Fiona

  3. Hey Sharon, Hope this doesn't mean the end of our classes which I so enjoy. A BIG CONGRATS TO YOU. Alison.

  4. Pleased have you join the team!