It's not very often that one writes or receives hand-written letters or notes. My husband and I both fall into the "old-school" category; we still write letters and send thank-you notes with stamps. There is something very special and personal, even precious, about receiving a long-hand letter. Paper crafter extraordinaire Erin Rothwell of Nikki Noodle Designs lovingly creates personalized handmade cards, calenders and scrapbooks. Her attention to detail, craftswomanship and hard work are obvious. I treasure the card she made for me earlier this spring when my dad was having a string of serious health issues. I received her beautiful card (thoughtfully written in by Erin and other colleagues) and felt so loved. Thank you, Erin, for sharing your beautiful work and for helping keep alive the tradition of old-school communication! The following is a visual tour of Erin's work space and an interview:
What do you find inspiring? What’s your approach to your creative work?
My greatest joy in this craft is the fact that I am able to share it with others. Most often, I am sitting down to a project for a specific person. I try to think of the person I am crafting for and gain inspiration from them.
There are so many different products and tools available to a paper crafter, it can be really overwhelming to look at a huge pile of supplies and find inspiration. Sometimes having too much to choose from can almost make the process harder. I like to pull out a couple items and ask myself, "what can I do with this?" I like to look at an item or tool and think of various ways to use it, beyond its obvious intention.
How did you begin making handmade cards? What led you to where you are now?
I never considered myself artistic or crafty. If anyone had asked if I had any creative talents, I would have said, no way. I was originally invited by a good friend to join her at a scrapbooking class. I was very hesitant because I was sure I wouldn't be good at it. I went along with her, though, and really enjoyed it. I remember feeling like I wanted to run straight to the craft store and buy everything I would need to throw together my first scrapbook. I still have the first page I ever made. It leaves a lot to be desired, but I wouldn't change it for anything. It shows the beginning, and I can look at it with a smile and see how far I've come.
I slowly transitioned from scrapbooking to card making. I still scrapbook a bit, but do more cards than anything. I think the skills required are similar, but cards come together faster and I enjoy making something for others. Also, with scrapbooking, you have to have interesting things going on to take pictures of. ;-)
Do you have a time where you’ve had to take a leap of faith? Especially as it relates to your creative journey?
No major leaps of faith here. I wish I could say I was more of a risk taker. The only thing that comes to mind was a time when I was asked to sell birthday party invitations at a children's consignment store. I was beyond honored to be asked and worked very hard to put together a display of about 20 choices that people could choose from and special order. Sadly, it was not a successful endeavor--I think that I had imagined the orders flying in, and that certainly didn't happen. I don't know if I would consider this a leap of faith per se, because it wasn't a huge risk for me. Perhaps the biggest risk was the emotional side of it. No one likes to feel like they have failed at something, and it was very disappointing. I would like to eventually figure out a way to share my work with a larger audience, but in the meantime, I am just happy to be able to create things for my friends and loved ones.
What is your favorite space like?
My favorite space of all, as boring as it may sound, is curled up on the couch with a good book and my two sweet pups.
My favorite crafting space tends to look like the Tasmanian Devil just came to visit, especially after a long crafting session. I try to keep as many of my tools visible and at arms length, because I've found that if it's tucked away, it can easily be forgotten. I keep a laptop handy so that I can watch tv shows or movies while I craft. I try to surround myself with bright colors and pretty things. Currently this room is a shared office/work out space, but I think with any hobby, having a space dedicated to your craft, no matter how small, is special and you just have to make it your own.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
I am reading "Mr. Mercedes," by Stephen King.
What is your go-to musical selection?
I like fun, upbeat music like Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Bruno Mars. I also have a weak spot for boybands. :-)
Your hair is so lush and beautiful! Do you have any beauty secrets to share?
Honestly, I don't do much to my hair, product wise. My biggest recommendation is a good flat iron. I use a ghd. It was bit of a splurge, but it was worth every penny.
Do you have any mottos or mantras?
Just keep swimming. - Dory
Kilim or toile?
I'll be honest, I totally had to look up kilim. But I choose toile, all the way!
Are you a mermaid or forest fairy?
I've never been a big fan of swimming, so let's go with forest fairy. I'll be a forest fairy that lives in a magical forest with no spiders in it.
Do you prefer spoons/bowls or forks/plates?
Spoons and bowls! Hot soup in cold weather is the best.