Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Well its about that time that I pick a winner from Michelle Sander's post.

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-03-09 16:04:50 UTC

Dana, please email me at Thelittlestredsuitcase@hotmail.com so we can get that bangle set sent your way and thank you for reading The Little red suitcase!!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Life Love Paper

Tina of Life Love Paper creates beauty through paper and through the eye of a camera lens. Her blog is one of my daily go to for inspiration and posts about life in general.

1. When did you start having an interest for photography and why is it that you have such a passion for it? What does it add to your life?

I guess it all started pretty early on. I'd always be the one with the little 35mm camera at school functions or sleepovers with friends. It was always about freezing that moment so I could remember it whether good or bad. After purchasing my first digital, composition and lighting seemed to become more of a factor. It was all about teaching myself and it's the great satisfaction I feel when I do get that great shot. I don't feel complete when I don't take at least a few photos a day. It's the constant desire to learn and grow as a photographer. I believe no matter how good or how professional one is, there's always something new to learn or experience. It never gets boring.

2. What inspires you, what sparks your creative process in both photography and scrap booking.

Flickr, light, my niece, traveling, my will to try anything at least once...these things are what inspire me most in my photography. Photography is what inspires my scrap booking. I always base my layout on the photo. I also find a ton of inspiration through some of my favorite magazines. I'm a sucker for skater mags as well as design and digital mags.

3. Describe what makes a great photo, what kind of imagery or objects tend to call to you.

I like to focus on detail, expression and feeling no matter what the subject. I love a nice DOF, sunflare, and bokeh. My current muse is my 3 year old niece who rarely stands and smiles for me. I'm always getting goofy shots that, to me show the true essence of her character and that is what makes a great photograph for me.

4. Do you think over the years you have acquired a certain look in your scrap booking, is there a certain color or style you gravitate towards?

I'm not sure how to describe my look when it comes to scrapping. I'm told I have a simple style with lot's of details. I lean towards smaller pieces of paper rather than using a whole sheet, and I have this thing were I need to group things in multiples of 3. I find that I like to start with very neutral card stock then from there it's always blue, green, white, pink, yellow and/or woodgrain.

5. When it comes to photo editing, which photo editing software if you go to? Which one would you recommend.

I started with PSE7 but later upgraded to CS4 after downloading the free trial. I find it very user friendly although I still have a lot to learn on that particular program. PSE7 is great though, especially for the price. I would recommend that for the everyday scrapper. CS4 is great investment if you plan on doing some professional work.

6. When did scrap booking come into your life? Do you re-call the first layout or project you ever did?

My first scrapbook was a not so great one. I did it the year I graduated high school back in 96 when supplies were very limited in Alaska. I ruined a lot of old photographs by cutting them up with deco scissors. oh, the horror. I sort of put scrapping away and started rubber stamping, then later became involved in altered arts and collage. I started to get bored of using just stamps and ephemera and wanting to make my paper art more personal. I picked up scrapping again when worked for a magazine distribution center. I noticed all these newer scrap booking publications. I think it was Ali Edwards simple and graphic style that sparked the scrapbooker in me again.

7. How do you choose a photo for a layout: Are there times when you photograph something and have an idea in mind for that particular image? Do you choose a story first or pick an image first and move forward with that?

Well, with the Studio Calico kit, I'll pick and choose photos th
at coordinate some what with the theme. If I really want to use the photo but the colors are off, I'll change the photo to b&w and I always start with a photo. That's where the story begins.

8. What is your space that you use for creating like? What is one of your good organizing techniques, especially for someone with multiple art mediums.

I have a tiny square room which I shouldn't complain about being that a lot of scrapbookers don't have a designated area. I'm also the wrong person to give advice on organization. That's a constant battle for me. My room is a mess for the most part but I'm also in the process of purging A LOT. I'm working to just have my beloved huge solid wood desk I scored at a garage sale and everything else stacked neatly in the closet. I only keep the items that i use the most close to me. Everything else gets placed in a huge pile. I do like use these old relish trays my grandmother passed down to me to hold little bits of paper or chipboard.

9. For those out there that are just looking to get into photography, is there an entry level SLR you would recommend? Which camera was your first?

First SLR camera was a Canon XTi. I loved it, still do. I would highly recommend this one and although I have not used anything else such as a Nikon, the XTi is super reliable and affordable. I do have to ad that it will never be the camera who makes the photographer. Never.

10. You create for a few design teams, one of them is Studio Calico. How do you get the creative juices going for a layout when you have a dead line espe
cially when you are feeling unmotivated?

Deadlines are actually motivating for me especially when it comes to the professionalism of Studio Calico. I don't ever want to let anyone there down by turning in work late. I do admit to have a few uninspired months where I've turned in work that does not make me happy but I'm sure we all have times where we don't like what we produce. My mind is usually cluttered with nonsense during those creative lows. I would definitely walk away if I'm feeling frustrated.

11. Last one, film or digital and why??

Both. I just can't choose one. Digital is forgiving and cheaper when it comes to film and processing being so darn expensive but film will always have
a special place in my heart. No matter how many actions there are out there to produce the look of film, it will never truly give one the satisfaction and excitement of the unexpected results. I'm very fond of my Polaroid SX70 Land camera and I hope to work more with some of my other film cameras this summer.

Thank you Tina! You can find Tina at her blog Life Love Paper, The Dares, as well as The Studio Calico Design Team. Also you can purchase her photographs on her Etsy shop also entitles Life Love Paper.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Thrifted Finds!

Well first of all I just want to say welcome back to The Little Red suitcase, I hope for this to be one of many more interviews and share entries of inspiration to come.

Michelle Sanders is one creative lady. I met her last year at a scrap booking event. Aside from her scrap booking skills, Michelle creates one of a kind, beautiful, vintage inspired jewelry pieces. I thought it would be fun to dig a little into the mind that conjures up all of these designs, so here it goes!

1. Aside from many other creative things you do, how did you start making jewelry?

Ok, funny story…I was about 13 or so and my parents had drug me along with them to a craft show (which they did often). I found a pair of earrings made out of wire wrapped marbles and asked my mom if she would get them for me. Knowing how kids are she told me if I didn’t ask for anything else the whole day she would come back and get them for me. At the end of the day that is the only thing I wanted. My mom asked why that? Why did I want THOSE earrings so badly? I told her because I thought I could make some like it. So she shelled out the $12 for them. I took them home and immediately dug through my brother’s old marbles and started making jewelry. Wow that was a LONG time ago!

2. Describe the process that goes into you deciding on a design, what goes with what and if its a keeper or a re-do.

Well I have sort of a strange process and I haven’t decided if having a touch of ADD is a good thing or a bad thing. I normally have any number of pieces going at the same time because I can’t focus on one thing at a time. My brain won’t let me. As I’m tying this right now I have a million ideas running through my head. It’s exhausting really! Normally I start with a pendant or a vintage item and I build from there. I like to go through my stuff and make little Ziploc bags of things that I want to go together in a piece and then I go back later and work on the piece. That helps keep me focused and helps make the most of my creative outbursts! LOL! As for it being a keeper or not, I don’t think about it too much…I just let it flow and if I make something that doesn’t sell or I don’t wanna keep it for myself, then I’ll rework it.

3. So your business is called Thrifted finds, do you have a favorite thrift shop in your area that you go to? What do you always keep an eye out for? What sort of pieces call out to you?

I have a couple thrift places that I go to locally but the south is not the best place to find good thrifted items. There are a few that I frequent for items for myself, like a groovy little vintage clothing place called “Time Warp” and it’s sister store “Honeymoon Bungalow” has great house wares. Normally my best thrifted finds come from estate sales and little old ladies cleaning out their jewelry boxes. My parents deal in antiques so I often go “shopping” at her house! It’s really a win, win…we get to spend time together and I get some great finds.

4. Now we all pretty much have spaces that we love to sit down and create at, whether it is in a corner in a huge room or even at your kitchen table. Describe your creative space and what you surround yourself with to help inspire you.

I’m embarrassed to say that I have a craft room and I don’t even use it. We live in a tiny house so it’s our only storage so it tends to get out of control. Plus it isolates me from my family so I prefer to work where I can be close to them. Normally I scrapbook at the coffee table in the living room and I make my jewelry pieces at the kitchen table. Yes…my house is a mess. But you would be crazy inspired if you sat down at my kitchen table! LOL!

5. Any other crafty hobbies peak your interest, and why?

Well I scrapbook and do paper crafts. I have ever since I was in grade school. I love paper crafts in general really. I’ve always collected stickers and loved making cards and putting pictures in a memory book. I just evolved with the industry I guess. I had some of the very first scrapbooking magazines ever printed. I also like to sew but I don’t sew very well! LOL! I just do little projects for myself. Actually I only bought my sewing machine to sew on my scrapbook pages but being the thrifty person I am I had to find other things to do with it to justify the purchase!

6. When you're in a creative rut, what sort of things do you do to pull yourself out of it to get back into creating again?

I look through my inspiration folder on my computer for pictures I’ve gathered while surfing the net. But I get most of my inspiration just by digging in my stash of vintage pretties. For me that is the best way to get the juices flowing again.

7. Ok, last one.............and it’s just a random fun one. Silver or gold?? And why? :)

Hmmmm…If it’s something I’m purchasing I get silver normally but lately I’ve been loving working with antique gold in my jewelry pieces. I think it’s because it’s very vintage…It wasn’t until the 90s that we all trended towards silver so I guess when you embrace vintage you sort of develop a love for gold again.

Be sure to check out Michelle's shop and enter "The Little Red Suitcase" in the comment section when checking out and you will receive 15% from your purchase!

Also leave a comment in the comment section of this post for your chance to win this beautiful bangle set from Michelle. You have until Monday, March 8th 12pm eastern time.

Thank you Michelle!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


This time The little red suitcase is really coming back! Look for an all new interview this weekend as well as tutorials starting in March. Cynthia will be bringing you weekly tutorials right here on The little red suitcase. See you all soon.

blogger templates | Make Money Online