Meet the Maker: Sizzix Designer Katie Skilton
Meet Katie, Sizzix designer and crafty guest TV presenter. Here we find out all about her crafty must-have essentials, what Katie’s favourite medium is to work with and how she stays inspired…
Have you always been a creative person? What first got you interested?
I have been creative since I was a small child. I remember always sitting and making things from nothing. I used to love using foiled sweet wrappers to make pictures! As I grew up I loved matching colours, whether that be for home interiors or fashion. I can’t imagine a life without using my creativity.
What’s the first thing you ever made?
Apart from my sweet paper wrapper pictures the first thing I ever made (as an adult) was a scrapbook layout of my daughter who is now nearly 18. Whilst I was on maternity leave I wanted something to fill my time so I decided to try and scrapbook since I had so many new baby pictures. Looking back now it was very basic but 18 years ago there was a lot less product than you can get now. That started me on my papercrafting journey and I soon moved on to making cards and various projects.
Any crafting disasters?
I have crafting disasters every day! I am quite clumsy and so crafting and clumsiness tend to get in the way of each other! The main disaster that I will really never forget is during a live demonstration at a really busy craft show. I was just finishing off a card and adding some Glossy Accents to it. The nozzle must have got blocked because as I squeezed it the top popped off and covered myself, my project and lots of people watching with sticky Glossy Accents! I think this was the first day and I am happy to say things got better from that point.
Your craft room must be brimming with craft goodies, do you have any craft stash essentials that are on hand at all times?
It certainly is! In fact when I am really busy my whole house is brimming with craft goodies. Of course I always have my Big Shot sat on my desk and I keep a lot of the Sizzix essential dies to hand. I don’t think there are many days I don’t use a Circle Framelit for something! I always have a good supply of Sizzix textured cardstock too. Anyone who is familiar with my designs know I use a lot of textured cardstock.
What’s your favourite medium to work with?
For me it has to be paper and cardstock. I love the versatility you get and how you can shape and bend cardstock to make things 3D. I also love to add water which when dry gives a really good solid effect. I use Distress Ink quite a lot, especially with floral projects. I think it really adds to the definition by adding some shading on the petals.
What’s been your favourite project to create and why?
That is a hard question! It is like asking me which of my children is my favourite! I recently used an embroidery hoop to create some wall art using Sizzix Bigz Die – Swan. This was made using felt which was different for me but I really enjoyed getting the idea from my brain and onto the project. I was really pleased with the outcome too which is always a bonus!
Is there a technique that you find yourself incorporating into your projects time and again?
I go through fazes where I will really enjoy a certain technique and I will use it time and time again until something else comes along and then I repeat the process. It can be anything from a way I add adhesive stones in sets of 3 to the way I use tweezers to shape the petals on flowers.
You create lots of different projects for your day job, how do you stay inspired?
I think the more creativity you use the more you have. Sometimes it can be hard if you are feeling unwell or have things on your mind but I have learnt that whatever happens my creativity always returns. On a daily basis I get inspiration from so many places. It can be from a pattern I see on a restaurant wall or the shape of a flower that I walk past. I try and photograph anything that inspires me so that if I have a day where I struggle with inspiration I can revisit those photographs. I often find when I start making a project another idea will come to me for the next project. Sometimes I even get ideas in my sleep!