Susan R. Opel

Susan R. Opel

This should be a familiar face to you. It’s Kim Kesti – former Paper Crafts Pro and creator of that fabulous apron card we’ve all been adoring so much recently. Kim has the distinction of being the only Go-to Gal that was once a Paper Crafts Pro. I’d like to think that she’s the cheer captain, and she’ll be teaching all the new girls the routines, but you’ll see – they won’t need much help.

I first met this fabulous red-headed paper crafting wonder in 2005 when I knew her as a Creating Keepsakes Hall of Famer. But when I started working for Paper Crafts magazine, I began to see that she was not only an award-winning scrapbooker, but she was also a pretty fantastic card maker. And funny! Her sense of humor (and her laugh that goes with it!) is pretty much one of my very favorite things about Kim. And the fact that she has a graphic style that makes me want to be like her when I grow up – I love that about her, too.

Let’s get to know Kimmers a little bit better, shall we?  

Go-to Gal Kim Kesti

Go-to Gal Kim Kesti

1. Where did you grow up? I’m one of those rare birds – an Arizona native. I was born and have lived in Phoenix all my life.

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do? Not currently, although I did own my own little craft & antique shop for 14 years.

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you? Oh heavenly days – what was name of that housekeeper on The Brady Bunch? Hee, hee.

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life? Another hard one, I’m not a huge music fan…how about “Here Comes the Sun”?

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you? Mostly people are surprised to hear that I have eight children. They usually ask a) If they are all mine and b) With the same guy? Hmph…yes and yes.

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting? I started scrapbooking in early 2000, and then jumped ship into paper crafting in 2005 when Paper Crafts magazine requested a few projects. I suppose you would call it fate.

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge? I pretty much stress out trying to do the shabby chic/vintage look. I just get tangled up with all those layers.

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be? Easy – letter stickers and brads.

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why? I love making birthday cards; Christmas is probably my second favorite. I make plenty of “just because” cards, too. Those are fun!

10. How would you describe your style?  I’m pretty much a clean and graphic girl. I love working with plain cardstock and enjoy a clever turn of phrase. Give me the straightforward bold and funky, and I’ll run with it every time.

Kim Kestis Get Happy Card from Paper Crafts October 2008 issue.

Kim Kesti's Get Happy Card from Paper Crafts October 2008 issue.

I love so many of Kim’s fabulous creations, but this one really stands out for me. Totally fun. Graphic as all get out. And, hello! Orange and green (my top two favorite colors) in harmony. And I’m singing the theme from the Partridge Family, are you?

11. When is your favorite time to craft? While baby is napping – bliss!

12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting? Again, not a big music girl, I do listen to talk radio, though.

13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion? Um, did you say participate or tolerate?

14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized? I have a magnet board strictly for submissions, calls, contracts, etc. Everything gets printed out and hung up on this board. As paperwork is finished, it goes into a file.

15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then?  Oh yes, it was a joint issue between Paper Crafts and Creating Keepsakes magazine – a special issue all about weddings. My style has definitely evolved since then; I am much more graphic and edgy nowadays.

16. What are you looking forward to most about being a Paper Crafts Go-to Gal? I love, love, love working with the crew in Utah. The people are my favorite part. Of course, seeing my work published is a thrill that never gets old.

17. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones? Yes, I’ve worked for several manufacturers (Scrapworks, Daisy D’s, Imagination Project) and enjoyed working with an online store (Scrapsupply) for quite a few years.

18. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you.  Three of my favorites are:

19. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time? I can only say, stay true to your style and submit, submit, submit. I once asked an editor if it made a difference that someone kept submitting even after not getting picked up – she said “yes”…so they DO notice!

See? Isn’t Kim just great fun? Head on over to Kim’s blog, and soak in her creative vibes. Her blog posts are fun and happy – just like her!

So what’s YOUR favorite Kim Kesti card OF ALL TIME (besides the apron one – that’s a given!)? 😉

Here’s to more inspiration from K2!

P.S. Voting began yesterday for Gallery Idol’s Top 20 wedding cards! Make sure you head on over to our contest page and vote for your favorite design! Round 1 voting will run through noon (MST) on Thursday, July 9. We’ll announce the Top 15 and the next round’s theme on Friday, July 10.