Cath Edvalson

Cath Edvalson

I’m pleased as punch to introduce you to moxie fab Go-to Gal Maren Benedict! Maren made a big splash in our world when she started submitting just a short year ago making five first-timer appearances in our March/April 2009 issue, followed immediately by 13 appearances in our special issue Stamp It! Cards.

She’s living proof that not only can you get published in the pages of our magazine, but you can jump from first-timer to rising star to Go-to Gal in just a few short months.

Maren’s approach to paper crafting is fresh and fun. She uses colors in innovative ways and she has a great eye for balance in design. She has a clean and graphic approach to stamping that is very hip, and though this may sound crazy, she has a way of incorporating ribbon into a design that makes me gasp with delight.

Shall we get to know Maren a little better?

Go-to Gal!

Go-to Gal Maren Benedict!

1. Where did you grow up? Although I was born in Binghamton, NY, I spent the majority of my childhood in Auburn, WA.

2. Do you work outside the home? If so, what do you do? Some quarters I teach night classes at the local community college in the Early Childhood Education department. 

3. If a movie were to be made of your life, who would you cast to play the part of you? My part would probably be played by some unknown actress. Perhaps this would be her breakthrough roll!

4. What song would you choose as the theme song for your life? Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” 

5. What is one thing most people would be surprised to hear about you? My first son (now 13) was born in Japan with the help of a translator! 

6. What/who inspired you to start paper crafting? A dear friend invited me to join a monthly stamping club. Although I wasn’t very interested, I said yes, and now look where I am!

7. What is your biggest paper crafting challenge? Time is my biggest crafting challenge. I often plan for hundreds of cards but never seem to have enough time in the day to make them all! It also wouldn’t hurt to have a little cleaning elf that makes sure my crafting area is clean.

8. If you were only allowed two items to create a card beside cardstock and adhesive, what would they be? I would have a hard time making anything without patterned paper and ribbon! 

This Rainbow Stripes Card appears on p. 16 of Card Creations, Volume 7 . See what I mean with the ribbon?

This Rainbow Stripes Card appears on p. 16 of Card Creations, Vol. 7. See what I mean with the ribbon?

9. What is your favorite occasion or holiday to paper craft and why? I love crafting for Halloween. There are such fun images and great colors! Plus, Halloween is an unexpected time to send a card. I love surprising people!

10. How would you describe your style? I am mostly a clean and simple crafter. I like to play around with little details and different designs, but tend to have few layers. 

Flourish Halloween Card in Card Creations, Volume 7, p. 95

Flourish Halloween Card from Card Creations, Vol. 7, p. 95

11. When is your favorite time to craft? I craft late into the evening/early morning when all my boys are sleeping. This started as a necessity and has since turned into a habit.

12. What sort of music do you listen to while crafting? I love the silence when I craft at night. Silence is rare in my house of boys! 

13. How does your family participate in your paper crafting passion? My youngest son (4) has his own craft desk with bins of supplies that I don’t use or are retired. All three of them make their own cards for family and friends.  

14. When it comes to calls and deadlines, how do you keep yourself organized? I primarily use my Google calendar to keep track of dates. I love how it e-mails me updates of what I want to get done each day. I need those reminders!

15. Do you remember what Paper Crafts issue your first project appeared in? How has your style changed since then? My first Paper Crafts publication was in March/April 2009. My style continues to subtly evolve. I have become more comfortable with adding embellishments and sewing on my creations.

I had such an emotional reaction to this card when I saw it come through the submissions judging that I called my daughter over to the computer so she could see it, too.

I had such an emotional reaction to this card when it came through the submissions judging that I called my daughter over to the computer so she could see it, too.

16. What are you looking forward to most about being a Paper Crafts Go-to Gal? I am most excited about working with the editors and staff of Paper Crafts, as well as the other Go-to Gals. Surrounding myself with such inspiring people motivates me to push myself in new directions. 

17. Have you contributed to any design teams in the past or present? If so, which ones? I am currently on the Unity Stamp Company and Lizzie Anne Designs design teams. I have also been on the Cosmo Cricket and Jacksonbelle Embellishments design teams. 

18. Name three designers whose styles you like and why they appeal to you

  • Anabelle O’Malley has such an elegant style. She can magically find that perfect balance of adding details/embellishments without creating something overdone. 
  • Amy Rohl is so creative. She plays with colors and makes creations that are pleasing to the eye.
  • Lisa Johnson has a clean and classic style. She artfully integrates patterns and color in unique ways. Her work is inspiring! 

19. Do you have any advice/tips for someone who’s never been published or who wants to submit for the first time? Just do it! And keep doing it! Remember that we each have our own style so don’t think you have to change what you do for publications. Be true to yourself and your creations and it will happen! 

Be sure and stop by Maren’s blog and check out all her fun ideas—but leave her a comment here before you go! I’ll pick one random winner to receive this “delightful” prize package, courtesy of Unity Stamp Company. All comments must be received by midnight (MST) on Wednesday, July 15. The winner will be announced on Thursday’s blog.

One lucky winner will take home this Unity prize package!

One lucky winner will take home this Unity prize package!

Feeling a little “zany not crazy”,

P.S. Make sure you check back here on Thursday when we reveal the identity of mystery Go-to Gal #4!