Friday, 11 April 2014

Materials and Techniques - 'Birthday Blocks' by 'Get Crafty Creations'

I like to find out what other people are doing in the crafty world, and how they are doing it. So each fortnight I talk to another artist about how they do what they do. Today I am talking to Megan. She makes decorated wooden blocks that are perfect as photo props for babies and children. Megan is as fellow EstyKids member, who operates as Birthday Blocks by Get Crafty Creations and she is based in Chicago, IL in the United States.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am recently re-settled back in my native Chicago after five years living in Las Vegas with my husband and three year old son. We are also currently expecting our second child at the end of July. I created Birthday Blocks after my son was a little older, so I never got to use them for him. I love to read and watch movies, and as a former theater major, I love all things musical.

What materials and techniques do you like to use?

I spent over a year creating and refining my birthday blocks, so I tried all sorts of materials. I prefer using paint and vinyl, but I do incorporate acid-free paper from time to time, if the design is a good fit.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

It took me a long time to figure out how to make my blocks durable and still attractive. They are meant to last for years, after all. I didn't want to simply paint them and ship them out; paint could scratch or wear, and my vinyl/paper designs could easily stain or peel. I went through lots and lots of different "sealant" products to find the right mix. I was anxious to get my shop started, but waiting until I had the right process was essential. I recommend the old trial and error method, and just know that it is best to be patient until you can showcase your best product.

What drives you to create?

I have what I like to call "Crafty A.D.D." :) I am constantly being inspired to try new mediums and crafts, and inspiration comes from everywhere. I get ideas from movies, cartoons, books, songs, photographs, you name it. A lot of my block designs are custom designed based on requests to match a nursery theme, so that helps a lot.

What is coming up next?

I'm looking to branch out and add other fun photo props to my shop, which still keeping the general theme of the Birthday Blocks alive. I'm working on some alternatives to the blocks, such as stickers and signs, as well as props geared specifically for newborns and families. I love that there are so many avenues to pursue to keep my shop fresh!

All images provided by Megan of Birthday Blocks.

Explore more materials and techniques interviews, and if you would like to contribute, please do leave a comment.

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