October 2, 2009

Member Spotlight: Erin Benaim

She's been a member since the very beginning. She joined on June 14, 2007. Her gallery number is 66. She's been a staple here at Studio Calico, and I'm really excited that I get to share what I've learned about Erin Benaim (erin b). She's just an elegant and classy scrapper. Her style is clean and easy to look at, and she's really fun to hang out with (I know a few of you can attest to that fact…), I got to room with her a couple of years ago at CHA and we had such a fun time that I decided I needed to spotlight her here. I sent some questions and the answers I got back were delightful! So without further adieu, I give you Erin:

1. If you had to describe your scrappy style in starbucks language, what would you order? Well, I'm a little rusty at my Starbucks ordering since I gave up coffee and tea about a year and a half ago. My scrappy style is probably pretty similar to what I used to order, grande nonfat latte (clean and simple) with the occasional gingerbread latte or hazelnut mocha thrown in to shake things up a bit.

2. Who has most influenced your style? Explain. This is an interesting question because I don't think I can pin down one influence. I'd say I have my mom to thank for my overall crafty love (which I'm convinved began in the womb) and for my interest in patterns, color and design. In terms of scrappy philosophy I'd probably Ali Edwards with her Life Artist beliefs. Lately, I'd credit the fabulous SC DT with giving me tons of inspiration, pushing me to try new things and techniques and helping me to step outside of my simple little linear box.

3. Where do you scrap the majority of the time? Care to share a picture? My scrap room shares space with my laundry room. It's a long narrow room with tons of scrapping goodness crammed into one side and the washer, dryer, utility shelving and ironing board on the other. My husband does not share my love of the color red, so this is the one room in the house I let the red obsession run wild. The furniture and storage items are a lovely mix of bix box stores (Ikea, Home Depot) and vintage finds. This picture was taken about 6 months ago. I've reorganized since then (I do it often), but the general layout remains the same. I'm a standing scrapper and rarely use the sit down desk, unless I'm sewing. I usually work on the counter height cabinet and have been known to leave a page or project on the counter while I squeeze in a few minutes here and a few minutes there throughout the week.

4. Name a product that totally surprised you, something you didn't think you could use but ended up loving. Probably mist. I was never much of a technique girl and figured spray inks were best for more artsy, collagey scrapping styles. After seeing other clean and simple girls use mist quite beautifully, I was persuaded to buy a couple colors. Now I'm hooked and definitely need to add to my collection.

5. When do you know a layout is done? Do you have a signature finishing touch? I often walk away from a page for a few minutes and come back to it to see where my eye falls and if the page needs something more or something taken away. I'm one of those scrappers who waits to stick things down until I've got a good idea of where I want things to go. I tend to like small clusters of embellishments and often find a couple label stickers, a cluster of buttons or a few flowers added somewhere put a nice finishing touch on my pages.

6. Name your favorite kit and tell us why. Another hard question. There are so many that I love. Of the recent kits, I'd probably say Playground. This one actually surprised me a bit. I love color, but I don't tend to do a lot of bright pages. I found myself really drawn to this kit and am still treasuring the bits I have left. Times Square was probably the one I created the most with and I pretty much used up every tiny little scrap. I still have a soft spot for the first two kits, Farm Fresh (one of my favorite color palettes) and Billboard (very me).

7. What is the craziest thing you've done because you're a scrapper? Well let's see, my sister calls me the papparazzi, my husband is pretty well trained to save bits and pieces from every place we go and I've been known to take self portraits whenever I find good light. But, the craziest thing is probably that I insisted we take pictures to document my friends car keys flying out of another friends hand, over a wall and straight into the ocean, never to be seen again. We were all a bit shocked by the whole thing, but knew we'd want to remember that story with pictures. Good thing I did because my page about that day got me published in CK for the first time.

8. Walk us through your creative process, what do you start with and what's the hardest thing to do for you scrapping-wise? Most times I start with great photos or a story to tell, but sometimes is fun new product or kit that gets me going. I don't have a ton of time to scrap so I try to have a good idea of what I want to work on or what I want to play with before I get going. If I have a design idea in my head I try to find product that will work with that idea. If not, I usually try to pick out patterned papers first. Next I usually just move things around on the page until I've got a good basic design going. After that I add embellishments. At some point I decide I need to just stick things down and work on details. Because I tend to be a simple scrapper, details are challenging. I've been pushing myself to add more details to my pages, while still sticking to my overall style. The title and journaling are usually last. I'm not so good at titles either.

9. What's the best part about being a part of SC? I love the SC community. Its one of the friendliest, most supportive and authentic scrappy sites around. Before SC started, I was always just a lurker. Rarely posted or spoke up and never felt part of an online group. Everyone at SC has always been so genuine, which I really appreciate. Of course, the gorgrous SC kits are a must have and the customer service is the best in the business.

10. Name one thing you'd like to see in a future kit. Just one, really? Hmmm...mist. Vintage buttons. SC designed fabrics. Another fabulous journaling stamp. Sorry, I couldn't pick just one.

I asked Erin to share some of her favorite layouts with us as well. Isn't she just elegant?


april said...

love erin b!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erin said...

Thanks girls! I'm so honored to be featured!

Barb said...

Ooohhh! It's Erin!
Congrats on being the spotlight member, Erin.

Kimber-Leigh said...

loved reading about you erin!

yankin2002 said...

It`s gorgeous!!

*reyanna klein* said...

I love getting to know Erin better! Thanks for this! :)