Is it nutty for a person over the age of… 18 to have a BFF? Because I’d be willing to bet this lady qualifies as mine. Wendy Smedley and I met more than a decade ago when I worked in the public relations department of a craft company and she was a creative editor for a scrapbooking magazine. Since then, we’ve become wonderful friends. I enjoy spending time with her so much, and she is the one I often turn to when it comes to talk of trends and industry know how.
While Wendy is no longer involved in publishing, she is still well versed when it comes to things of the crafting trade. Today, she put her talents to awesome use as a member of the Big Picture Classes/Studio Calico team. She also makes appearance on Studio 5, a Utah television program. More importantly, on a personal note, Wendy is one of the nicest, most genuine people you’ll ever meet. What a treat to have her here today!
Megan: Wendy, one of my favorite things to do with you when we worked together on the Simple Scrapbooks team was to chat trends. And I love that we get to relive that a bit here today. What is one of your favorite trends at the moment? It doesn’t necessarily have to be paper-related. I’d just love to know what’s catching your keen eye at the moment.
I am noticing all of the textile and fiber art like weaving, macramé, and of course hand appliqué and stitching. It is true we cycle through trends, and who would have guessed macramé classes would be so trendy and popular all over the world?
Weaving Wall Hanging by The Weaver Weaves
Crisscross Macrame Plant Hanger by The Knot Studio
Sunflower Wall Art, as seen on Poppy Talk
Here is a tutorial by Free People for a two-minute string project that is super simple and accessible for all. Give it a try!
Megan: Where your current professional focus is on education, I’d love to know what you see as a hot topic where technique is concerned. What is it people are wanting to learn about and why do you think that is?
Trend Friend: Oh, it is all about the mixed media and the hand lettering, oh and watercolor (which you covered already here).
I really think scrapbookers are eager to make their mark and add a bit of the handmade look directly onto their pages. The strong graphic nature of many of the current popular products begs for a touch of the handmade to balance it all out. Think brush script, bold fonts and Heidi Swapp handwritten phrases—they add just the right homemade touch to scrapbooking projects. Plus, we all enjoy getting artsy and messy right!
Layout by Jen Kinkade
Photo-pocket Scrapbooking by Trisha Harrison
Layout by Wilna Furstenberg
Photo-pocket Scrapbooking by Heather Burris for Project Life
And here’s some hand-lettering inspiration I found on Instagram.
Megan: Wow! Thanks for finding so many inspiring examples, Wendy! To keep you going, here’s another question. We’re always looking for off-the-beaten-path places for inspiration. Mind sharing a secret or two in your rotation of places you look to be creatively inspired? Some of those lesser known hot spots, online or in your surroundings.
Trend Friend: Wow, what a fun question! My top secret place to view and learn what is trendy is, wait for it, Project Runway. I LOVE seeing the creative process happen and that is what Project Runway is all about. Tons of inspiration, a bit of drama, and lots of trend spotting.
I also look to Etsy for trends, where so many wonderful artisans share their ideas!
Oh, and I almost forgot, I love window displays for trend spotting and overall inspiration. A favorite site I like to peruse is a retail design blog. Check out the textiles in these window display, such creative uses. How would you translate it into a layout?
Megan: What is your favorite crafting supply and why? You know, something beyond the basics—your favorite sugar to sprinkle on top.
Trend Friend: What a fun question! OK, I am really enjoying playing with the Hazel & Ruby tissue; it can be used in all sorts of scrapbooking and also in home decor and gift projects.
I want to start making mini photo books, like these from Persnickety.
Megan: With the huge success of your book, The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker, you’re well known for your organization expertise. Mind sharing a current fav when it comes to keeping supplies (or a particular supply) organized?
Trend Friend: I am a firm believer in sustainable creating, and by that I mean using what you buy and not allowing your supplies to inhibit your creating when they should be assisting you in your creative process. I have met so many people who shop for supplies more than they make, and then they get overwhelmed or frustrated by all of their products instead of being inspired to create with them. I have totally been there myself! I find the key to avoiding this being finding a storage system that works for you. Have enough stuff to choose from and make creating fun without having so much that it becomes daunting—make your supplies work for you. Look to your own workflow and storage preference to decide how and where to store your stuff.
Personally, I like to keep a certain amount of product and tools out, accessible and within reach. This storage solution supports my crafting and not the other way around. My current favorite is my lazy Susan containing my tools, which sits on top of my desk. I bought it at a garage sale for a few dollars, spray painted it and added patterned paper to customize it.
Megan: Where can we see more from you?
Megan: Wendy, I know we talk on a regular basis, but there’s something extra fun about talking with all of our SCT friends. Thank you for taking time to share!
Trend Friend: Thanks for inviting me to chat and I can't wait for your future trend friend posts!
Questions for Wendy?
Have questions for Wendy or simply want to leave her a little love note? The comments section is where it’s at, and I know she’d love hearing from you.
~ Megan Hoeppner