About Nancy

I have always had an almost unstoppable urge to be creative. I know that a lot of card makers and crafters have that same feeling. I used to call it my therapy, but I think it is more than that. I really ‘need’ to draw, paint, sew, arrange flowers and, of course, make cards. I have been incredibly fortunate to turn this ‘urge’ into a career.

How did I get to where I am now? I remember when my daughters were choosing their options for GCSEs and I told them about the ‘O’ levels that I did. Apart from the obvious academic subjects I also took Art, Theatre Arts, Stage Design and Costume Design - and they say that kids today have strange subjects! After ‘A’ Levels and Art College, I decided to stop messing around at being arty and went off to ‘proper’ work in the City of London. It was great fun and I did well but in hindsight the most valuable outcome for me was the opportunity to become computer literate. 

After ten years, marriage and two lovely girls followed. However, I did manage to squeeze in various courses in floristry, dress making, silk painting and glass painting. When the girls were little, I put all this to good use and made Christmas decorations, garlands, wreaths, painted glass baubles and candles and sold them at craft fairs. I loved doing this and it meant that we always had a fantastic Christmas. However, I wanted to do something that would give me an income all year around so I started a small business working from home as a Graphic Designer doing newsletters, magazine layouts, logo and stationery design, flyers, brochures and so on. This was lovely as it still allowed me to be creative, increase my computer skills and knowledge of software such as Illustrator, Photoshop and QuarkXPress to name just a few. It also gave me an invaluable insight into the print industry.

About eight years ago I started to do Craft Fairs again, only this time I concentrated on making cards from my own watercolours and designs. This proved very successful and shortly afterwards, I was approached by a manufacturer of craft products to demonstrate on a TV shopping channel and at other live events. That shopping channel then asked me to demonstrate for them and introduced me to other companies and I added the role of freelance demonstrator to my CV. At this point I decided to throw caution to the wind and combine my Graphic Design business with my ‘hobby’ - designing paper craft products. It was a big learning curve but I was fortunate that a number of UK and European companies commissioned work from me. 

The workload increased to such an extent that eventually I decided to drop the non-craft related work and concentrate on craft design – no contest really! In 2007, I got a call from Making Cards Magazine asking if I would be interested in designing the monthly free gifts. Of course, I jumped at the chance. Making Cards had always been my favourite magazine and I was very excited at the prospect. Then the ‘Specials’ followed, which was a much more challenging project and, although exhausting at times, I can honestly say that I am extremely proud of the results.

As a freelance artist, graphic designer and demonstrator, I have produced artwork for a number of leading craft companies, and that in turn has seen a constant demand for my creative innovations in an ever-changing world of craft.

Magazine publishing is also an area I so enjoy working in; so too is graphic design, which has seen me transforming popular Sandra Kuck images into decoupage and stamps and working on Spiderman and Batman images - who would have thought it?!

Apart from my demonstration work for Ideal World and Create & Craft, I continue to do freelance design for an assortment of UK, European and American companies.

The newest avenue that life’s road has led me to is producing artwork for CDs in collaboration with My Craft Studio. After being asked constantly to release a DVD to show crafters how to make some of the more popular folds, I decided it was time for another string to be added. And, thanks to you, it has been a great success.

I have been doing more shows on Create and Craft and Ideal World as well as working closely with Stephanie Weightman. We are also doing more with Hobbycraft and will be doing demos around the country in 2013. So exciting! 

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