MEET THE DESIGNER
We catch up with designer and vintage paper curator, Julie Kirk
We chat to Julie Kirk about her passion for crafting
How did you get started as a designer?
In a world before Instagram became the place to share your creative work, I posted my projects on a craft forum. After seeing my work on the forum, Shimelle Laine – who at the time worked for the no longer in print Scrapbook inspirations, a sister title to Papercraft inspirations – invited me to contribute to the magazine. That was in 2007 and I’ve been designing ever since!
How has your style developed?
I’m not sure it’s changed a great deal. I’m as much a fan of layering prints and patterns, playing with colour and creating a laid back feel as I ever was. In recent years, when I’ve been crafting for fun, I’ve turned to making minimalist collages with anything I have to hand – even junk mail! So, I guess you could say I’ve developed a love of paper in all its forms, not just in shop bought designs.
Do you have a favourite project so far?
I really enjoyed finding and working on ten different ways to use old book pages for Papercraft inspirations issue 175. I’m especially pleased with the découpaged mini printer tray and the collage style 50th birthday card. And, as I love mixing new supplies with something a little bit older, this was an ideal project for me. Where do you get your inspiration from? My starting point for any craft project is always the materials. Rather than think up what I want to do first, then choosing the materials, I prefer to have a pile of supplies on the desk in front of me and then decide what to make with them! I’ve been designing for the 10 Inspirations feature for several years and the ideas always come directly from the supplies that fit that month’s theme. Plus, I find that having the occasional stash swap with friends or buying a lucky dip box of supplies never ceases to spark off a creative idea!
Do you have any practical advice for budding designers out there?
Yes! Magazine commissioning editors are always looking for great new projects to fill their pages, so don’t be afraid to approach them with an idea, that’s how I began working for Papercraft inspirations. When Scrapbook inspirations ceased publishing, I wanted to continue designing and so I pitched a scrapbooking and card making crossover project to Papercraft inspirations and it was accepted. That was in 2010 and I’m still here, designing for the mag! Are there any crafty trends that you’re really loving right now?
I’m enjoying seeing the growth of smallscale scrapbooking and memory keeping directly into notebooks. As someone who loves notebooks and craft supplies in equal measure, it’s the perfect hybrid craft!
And you’ve written a book! Tell us more. It’s called Snipped Tales and is a collection of tiny, touching, funny, and occasionally odd, tales created using words and phrases cut from old books. It began life as something I did purely for fun, using nothing but old book pages, a glue stick and scissors. Now, in a transformation I still find incredible, it’s found a new home with readers right across the world!
You have a store on Etsy, what kind of things do you sell?
I call it all papery treasure! The items
I sell include things like bundles of vintage papers, postcards, maps and ephemera, supplies crafters can make things from, but also vintage notebooks, journals and ledgers that can be used to make things in – basically, crafting supplies with a backstory. All that, plus craft kits compiled from reclaimed supplies, my Snipped Tales book, lucky dip packs of collage scraps and my infamous washi tape storage hoops!
Julie’s book, Snipped Tales, is created using words and phrases cut from old books
Nothing goes to waste in Julie’s designs, even junk mail finds a home!
Julie loves layering prints and patterns