I am super excited to feature my friend Valerie, she is the queen of all things paper. I can't even express how happy I am to have met so many fun, crafty ladies here on base. I have been really blessed with great, new friendships lately. I love love this feature and hope you do too!! There is even a fantastic giveaway at the end!! Enjoy :)
1. What is your name, tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do.
My name is Valerie Jordan, I'm 32, a stay at home mom (to a little boy, Benjamin, turning two in January) and paper crafter. I currently live on base here in Minot, ND, my husband is active duty in the Air Force.
I grew up in The Netherlands and moved here to America when I was 18. My mother is American, and my father was Dutch. They met on an airplane, it's such a romantic story: they sat next to each other with the aisle between them, the person in front of her put his seat back too quickly and her coffee spilled all over her. The rest is history.
I graduated from an International American school, so I don't really have a Dutch accent, but I can put one on (sort of like Gold Member from Austin Powers...but more authentic). I used to be able to speak Dutch fluently, but I'm starting to lose it, unfortunately. I can still read and understand it, I just have a hard time searching for words when I'm conversing. I'm trying to teach it to my son, but I don't want to confuse him! After graduating from high school, I attended a community college in California, got two associates in English and Liberal Arts, met my husband, then moved up to Spokane Washington (where we married). I attended Eastern Washington University and have a BA in Visual Communication Design.
I had a lovely childhood in Holland, we had a quaint little woods behind our house. My father (who was Dutch) was always trying to convince us that fairies and gnomes lived in our backyard. He died from a massive heart attack when I was 15, it was sudden and shocking. My mother was an amazing force, and it's because of her that we all made it through.
I have an older brother & a younger sister. Our family is known for being spread out all over the world, my mom is currently living in Berlin, Germany, working as a teacher for 3 year olds. My brother lives in Paris, France, working for Hilton Hotels. My sister lives in Sydney, Australia, working for Boston University's study abroad program.
2. Where can we find you? (Blog, Shop, Facebook)
3. What's your obsession right now?
Paper garlands! I've been crafting like crazy, trying to get ready for Halloween and Sandi's open house.
I am also obsessed with old things, I have a huge collection of rusty skeleton keys! I love that I can hold a piece of history in my hands and imagine that the key I'm holding opens some old forgotten mansion in Provence, France.
4. What is your shop's name and what do you sell there?
My shop name is Valerie Paperie. I sell all sorts of paper items, mostly garlands. I recently discovered gummed kraft packing tape! I think the possibilities with it are endless! I have a few listings for label packs (great for scrapbookers) and envelope seals. My love for kraft paper is all over the shop, I just can't get enough!
I also came up with two things you won't see anywhere else: (at least, they haven't been copied yet, as far as I know) teeny tiny itty bitty thanks tags, and paper ribbon banners.
I am working on a few new items: paper mobiles using vintage papers, and party packs with coordinating decorations- garlands, banners, etc.
5. What is your favorite item in your shop?
That would have to be my new Halloween pinwheel garlands. They are very time consuming, but so worth it!
6. What made you open up an Etsy shop?
I was getting really bored during the day with my little boy. Don't get me wrong, being a mom is great, but I wanted something of my own. It's really become a passion, and I love it when the UPS man drives up with more goodies for me to play with! I love making things for other people.
7. What shop goals do you want to accomplish by the end of the year?
I'd like to list some new things for Christmas and start making my paper mobiles. I plan to try to list a new item every week, if I can! It's the one way I've learned to get new visitors to the shop!
8. Do you have any hidden talents?
I'm double jointed in my right hand, and my right thumb bone is constantly cracking. I can crack an egg with one hand. I make a delicious shepherd's pie. I think my husband is getting sick of it, I make it very often!
9. List 5 goals on your life's to do list
1. Go to Holland with my husband and son, show them were I grew up
2. Raise a happy, healthy boy who is respectful for others and can follow his heart
3. Start my own graphic design business, with a focus on printed items, business cards, stationery, etc. Never have work be "work", love what I do.
4. Save lots of money for retirement so there will be no money worries
5. Learn to speak Dutch again :)
10. Where do you get your inspiration and what keeps you motivated?
I get inspiration from the many blogs that I read. Some of my favorites are: Design Sponge, Just Something I Made, How about Orange, and Under The Sycamore.
I also get inspired by all the wonderful artists and crafters on Etsy! I love Etsy so much, it's the greatest!
Also, I get inspired by magical things, fairies & gnomes. My father really instilled a sense of wonder about that for me. I have many books all about fairies and gnomes. My favorite is the one I grew up with, by Rien Poortvliet, (also Dutch) it's simply called "Gnomes".
11. If you could only use one crafting supply the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Paper! There are so many lovely things you can make with a single sheet of paper.
One of Valerie's "Boo!" Garlands is up for grabs!
All you have to do is answer this question on this post, for your chance to win!!
gnomes or fairies?
I'll pick a winner this Tuesday, October 12th.