Today I am so pleased to share with you a guest post from the wonderful Becky James.  I met Becky briefly a few months ago and since then have had numerous chats about various things mostly craft related!  Becky is an amazing crafter and her beautiful projects can be found in Creativity magazine and on the Do Crafts website.

Over the past few months I have got to know Becky well and not only does she have a wealth of craft knowledge she is one of the nicest people you are likely to meet.  I feel very lucky that she has become a great friend and look forward to seeing a lot more of her this year. 

Emma Collins & Becky JamesI would like to say a big thank you to Becky for taking the time to do this post.  Now grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy this rather fabulous read!!

Describe your job

Ooooo now then where do I start?  There are two aspects to my job really…

Two days a week I work at Docrafts head office designing projects for Creativity! Magazine, the website, flyers, shows… wherever a project is needed I could end up involved.  I work with a fabulous team there and it really is great fun… After all how much more exciting can it get than when someone hands you a pile of yet to be launched products and asks you to create designs that will show our lovely crafters exactly what they can achieve with them????  It really doesn’t get much better…

Then most weekends I can be found around the Southampton area and sometimes a little further afield demonstrating our products to wonderful crafters.  I love this aspect of my job – getting out, meeting people who love what I love and most importantly inspiring them with new ways to use the fabulous papers, stamps and other goodies Docrafts make… And I get to chat as well…. Very important that! It saves Mr J’s ear drums from bursting!

What is your earliest crafting memory?

I crafted all my childhood really with my mom and my nan. But the earliest thing I can remember is learning to embroider with my nan on a really lovely linen oxford pillowcase… my nan had had them many years and they were wrapped up in tissue paper. We went to choose an iron on transfer pattern to stitch and we both loved daisies so we chose some of those for the corners of each pillowcase…

I remember nan showing me all the stitches to decorate them… only simple things a little child could manage as I was about five or six.

I still have the pillowcases wrapped in the same tissue and I found nan’s old Anchor embroidery stitch booklet not long ago… it cost “1d” and is so old fashioned but brought lovely memories flooding back…I also have her needlecase and all her needles. I didn’t have my nan for very long so those are treasured possessions now.

Becky James Photo #1What do you like more than cake?

Uuuuhhhhhmmmmm… MORE CAKE?????

But seriously, my hubby, my mom and dad, my fabulous friends, my gorgeous godchildren and my amazing colleagues…

And I make cake for them all just to show them how much I love them!

Do you have a favourite project you have made?

It changes all the time. I can never quite pin it down to one thing… every time I demonstrate or get creating at work I see something new and come up with a different design.

Anything with Gorjuss full stop – Gorjuss is always up there!

But until yesterday my latest favourite was a Chronology butterfly I designed at last weekend’s demonstration…

This week though I’ve been designing with some lovely new ranges for later in the year and I tried out something new and I wasn’t sure it would work…. It did and that is probably a favourite now but I can’t share details yet… sorry!!!!

Becky James Photo #2Name three craft items you couldn’t be without

I hate this kind of question… Have you seen my craft room???? Oh no, no-one has it’s such a mess I’m ashamed to let anyone near it… it is filled to the rafters with crafting must haves…

Ok, focus, three…

That would be then

1. Paper and card (self confessed paper stroker)
2. Craft Knife
3. Steel ruler

I guess I’ve chosen these because with all three of these I can craft something in paper…. But there are so many other must haves… die cutting system and dies, glues, guillotine, stamps, inks, inking foam, gems and sparkly things… oh the list goes on and on

Becky James Photo #3What is your favourite website?

I really do love the Docrafts website – there is always so much going on on there and even more if you are a member of the Docrafts Creativity Club.

But I love all sorts of websites… I just like to hop from place to place… in fact I tend to keep up to date by following different pages on facebook…. Graphic 45 is a definite favourite, Romantically vintage, Unity Stamp, My little Shoebox and of course I really really love The Stampin Shack!


Favourite Food?

Smoked Salmon…

Did I just answer a question in two words?

Best piece of advice ever given to you?

If you can think of it – try it.  It’s a crafty piece of advice really and I think it’s why I have such an eclectic style with my designs… I’m not frightened to mix things together that you think really shouldn’t go… I learn so much by taking that approach. Its full of happy accidents and serendipity… I love that word!!! So happy and joyful…

Perfect way to relax?

I don’t do relaxing very often and almost never at home so it really has to be on one of the little short holidays Mr J and I take from time to time. Mr J says he has to get me away from the house to get me to do relaxing.

Sitting with a coffee, a good book or magazine and just sitting with Mr J just in each other’s company after a day exploring wherever we are visiting. That’s fabulous!

Favourite Book?

Anything by Trisha Ashley at the mo. They really are just chick lit but they are so engaging – all the books are intertwined in a little way – you may recognise a character from one here or there and they do have a chronological order though I haven’t read them that way.

They often have a food kind of theme going on with their characters – lots of chocolate and cake… and a little bit of gardening, one of my other fave things.

And now my best friend is addicted to them too…

Good reads if you want something that won’t tax you at all!

Becky James Photo #4

Your top crafty tip

I take this one everywhere with me. Run a little STICK IT glue stick over your double sided tape and until the glue stick dries you will be able to move your paper round a bit. Great if like me you don’t line things up perfectly!

It needs to be STICK IT though because that has a high water content. Other glue sticks are too dry (that’s not me talking that is my customers!)