Sunday, October 10, 2010

Feature + GIVEAWAY!!


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 MadeHow 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.



  1. I loved reading about Valerie, her entire story was so interesting I wish there was more. Enjoyed visiting her shop. thanks for sharing.

    Fairies of course, gnomes creap me out, I hate those commericals w/the gnomes all over the place. They just look mean & sinister.

  2. I'm going with Fairies on this one. Their beautiful!

  3. Wow wow wow at her etsy! So many beautiful things! I will choose gnomes simply because my dad has one in his house and he likes to make up silly stories about it, even though I'm not a kid anymore!

  4. Faeries, because they are happy creatures that bring joy :)

  5. Gnomes! Their mischievous ways intrigue me. ;)

  6. gnomes! So cute!! -Katie

  7. Faeries or gnomes!? That is the hardest question ever! :)
    I'm going to have to go with gnomes though, because I loved David the gnome when I was a kid.

  8. I have to go with gnomes, although some are a little creepy!

  9. Fairies-only because that is all my neice ever wants to talk about (second of course to ponies)

  10. Fairies: Because they are like pixies, and according to J.M. Barrie, they are too small to feel more than one emotion at a time, and I relate to that. :) Cute garland!

  11. i really love all the fables about gnomes and i grew up watching david the i'm def. going with gnomes!!

  12. Gnomes. Definitely gnomes. :-)

  13. fairies ;)) I love them so much, but the gnomes hımm so creepy!

  14. Her etsy is now one of my favorites!!! so flipping cute and this banner is amazing!!!
    Im going to have to go with ones :)

  15. i pick fairy but not the typical cute little pink fairy i mean fairies that are of old legends and are actually evil lol

  16. Fairies !! I love the thought of little fairies hanging out in my backyard..! :)
    xo sarah

  17. fairies.... because being able to fly would be awesome!

  18. hi valerie!
    GnoMes for sure!

    cute post and giveaway lindsay.


  19. fairies, except for the gnomes on david the gnome.

  20. Ooooh, they're both so troublesome! I think I'd pick fairies though, they get a cuter image =]

  21. yeah! paper bunting! beautiful. and in answer to the giveaway question (which is very hard to choose) I am going to pick fairies. they are so flighty and sparkly.

  22. Definitely fairies. I heart fairies. dramaqueensmum at gmail dot com

  23. faeries, they are more magical!


  24. I'm going with fairies! they can fly and are so pretty! They also have magical fairy dust and who wouldn't want that?

  25. wow, her shop is full of awesome goodies. I love halloween! :) I'm going to say gnomes because of the cute gnome from Amelie. but in real life I wouldn't want one because they are a little creepy!

  26. I am so envious of paper crafts, I love all of Valerie's garlands!! oh my this was a tough decision but I've boiled it down to...gnomes!

  27. Another awesome feature and giveaway! I've got Valerie's shop on my favorites now :) I'm going to say fairies, they tend to capture my imagination a bit more than gnomes!

  28. I would have loved to have grown up in Holland!! What a great picture of her in front of all the tulips!! Valerie is a very talented lady!!! I'm going to have to go with fairies...something about them - to me - just seems a little more magical. I think it would be awesome to be able to fly though! :)


  29. gnomes :) Because I like creatures that are a little on the creepy/spooky side!

  30. Really nice blog post! I love Holland too (I live in Holland now) and I'm pretty sure there are little gnomes...or in my garden ;-)


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