Monday, April 6, 2015

Featured Guest - Shannon Martinson

I recently met Shannon at the retreat where I was fortunate enough to be able to craft with the very talented Paper Cowgirl group.

Tell us something about yourself.  Hi, my name is Shannon. I do closed captioning for tv, I’m turning 40 this year, and I enjoy playing with paints and inks and other craft supplies.
Now that we know a little about you, tell us how others would describe you – in just five words.  Nice. Quiet. Responsible. Helpful. Smart.
What do you want to be when you grow up?  I still haven’t figured that out.
How did you find out about Whitworth Ranch Retreat?  My friend, Cindy Mayfield, was putting together a group of people who’d gone to Paper Cowgirl events for a retreat, and she found Whitworth Ranch.
How many times have you been there?  Four, I think.
Do you have a preference as to which room you sleep in?  I usually sleep in the yellow room in the house. 

Where do you prefer to get your craft on?  Large room, small room?  Do you have a favorite spot/table?  Our group tends to move tables around so we can all be in the large room. I don’t really care which table I get, although I do like to be near a plug so I can have a lamp and plug in my heat gun. 

We all know that Stacy is an excellent chef.  Do you have a favorite meal?  We’ve only had her cook for our group one of the times we’ve been there, but we had her do the tea on Saturday afternoon, and I really enjoyed that.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not crafting or retreating?  I read (I highly recommend Louise Penny’s Three Pines series and Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series) and I spend way too much time on Pinterest.
Are you a paper crafter, seamstress, quilter, knitter, jewelry maker or trouble-maker?  Most of the above. I’ve done jewelry making, but seem to have moved away from that lately. I crochet some, but not often. I like playing with paints, collaging stuff, making prints on my Gelli Plate. I’ve tried some digital stuff but need more practice.

How long have you been crafting?  I started crafting about six years ago and just keep trying new things.
What is your signature style?  I don’t think I really have one.
What have you created that you are most proud of – and why?  The things I’m most proud of making are probably the blankets I crocheted for each of my nephews before they were born, and it really has very little to do with how they turned out. For my older nephew, it was nothing fancy because I’d just started learning to crochet, so it was row after row of double crochets in that mint green color you use when you don’t know whether someone’s having a boy or a girl. But he’s seven now and still sleeps with it, which makes me very happy. For the younger one, I did a fancier blanket, but it’s still the fact that he uses it and loves it that makes me proud of having made it.
What do you wish you were better at?  Drawing. I’ve always wanted to be able to draw, but I get frustrated because I can’t get what’s in my head to show up on the paper. 

Do you have a dedicated craft area in your home?  I have a spare bedroom that’s been turned into an office/craft room.

Tell us all about it – what have you done to make your space cozy or beautiful or inspiring?  It’s still a work in progress, but the walls are painted a bright, cheerful yellow, and I’m trying to fill the walls with art, some that I’ve done, some I’ve bought, some from friends. I especially like the bulletin board where I display all of the name tags from retreats I've attended.
One of the things that grace my craft room walls is this canvas that I created at a Brave Girls Club class.


How do you keep your area organized?  Organization is not my strong suit. I really need to work on that, though, because I get frustrated when I can’t find things I know I have.

How many hours a week do you spend in your happy place?  Not enough. 

If you could add just one tool to your craft arsenal, what would you add?  If money were no object, probably a Scan N Cut – they just look so cool. Plus, I hate fussy cutting, so being able to scan something in and have a machine cut it out is really appealing to me. 

Do you keep any of your own creations on display?  I have some things I’ve made in classes on display, but I don’t usually make things specifically to display.

I am going to grant you three wishes to make your area into your dream space.  What are your three wishes?  First, someone to come organize everything in a way that makes sense and is useful to me. Actually, once that’s done, I’m not sure I’d even need two more wishes, although I suppose replacing the carpet with wood flooring would be nice. Really, though, just the organizing would make a huge difference. 

What are your favorite products to create with at this moment? I really like my Gelli Plate, mostly because I don’t have to have a finished project in mind, I can just play with the paints and stencils and see what happens. 

Are you a neat or a messy crafter?  Messy.

It’s time to go shopping.  Does most of your money go to Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, Michael’s, conventions or a local scrapbook store?  Or are you an on-line shopper?  All of the above. I live in Waxahachie, and go to Crafty Scrapper a lot, but also shop at Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, Michael’s, and order online through Amazon or Dick Blick. Plus it can be fun to go to thrift stores and see what you find for crafting there.
Are you an impulse craft supplies shopper?  Yes, definitely. I always check clearance aisles in stores, and often end up buying things because they’re cheap and look neat, not really knowing what I’m going to use them for. I’m trying to rein that in some because I already have more supplies than I will use in this lifetime, but it’s hard to resist.

Do you spend hours and hours looking at blogs?  Do you have a blog?  I read some blogs, but I’m more likely to spend hours and hours watching Youtube videos about the latest thing I’m interested in. I’ve started blogs in the past, but don’t keep up with them. 

Do you have any inspirational words to share?  I would say, just have fun. Try not to worry about the finished project, just enjoy the process. 

I know.  I know.  What happens at the retreat stays at the retreat.  Let’s break a few rules.  Tell me something interesting that was said or happened on one of your retreats.  The first time our group came to Whitworth Ranch, a couple of us had signed up for massages, and the massage therapist came out on Friday night. Everyone else decided to go to the scrapbook store in Mabank while we stayed at the ranch for massages. Marie took all of them that night, but the next day, the two of us who hadn’t gone decided we wanted to go check it out for ourselves. Everyone tried to explain how to get there, and someone gave us a business card they’d picked up, and I plugged the address into my gps on my phone so I could help navigate, and we took off. We drove and drove and drove and were out in the middle of nowhere, and the gps seemed to think we were where we were supposed to be, but we didn’t see anything that looked like it could be a scrapbook store. I finally looked at the gps and compared it to the address on the business card, and apparently it couldn’t find the address I’d specified, so it just randomly sent us to some other address. We found a postal worker out delivering mail and asked her. She wasn’t quite sure where it was, but told us a general direction she thought was right, so we took off again. A few minutes later, the postal worker caught up with us because she’d figured out where we needed to go and gave us directions, and we did eventually find the store, and we had a lot less trouble finding our way back to the ranch.

Thank you, Shannon, for sharing  with us.  If you could see some of the Gelli Plate prints she's produced, you'd know that she is good!  I am looking forward to crafting with you again.

Would you like to share a little something about yourself?  Just let me know - we'd all love to meet you.

Remember one thing:  YOU matter.  See you next time!


  1. So happy to see Shannon featured here! I adore her...she's the first Paper Cowgirl I came to know...and yes, her gelli print work is amazing!

  2. Shannon is a sweetheart ... and incredibly talented!

  3. Very interesting. So many people have such different ways to craft. That's a very good thing.

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  5. I enjoyed "meeting" you here, Shannon! Now, I'm off to Google gelli plates.