Interview with Ruth Hamilton
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
I’ve been creating in some form or other since childhood. I have always loved anything “hands on” eg knitting, drawing, painting, gardening etc. I think I made my first cards when I was about 9 years old and always personalized them with my own drawings and handmade embellishments.
I began blogging my cards about 9 years ago and was delighted at the response I got from others crafters. I enjoyed cardmaking as a hobby but never thought it could almost take over my life back then! In 2012 I was asked to demo at “Stitches” in the NEC, Birmingham for Tonic Studios. I had never demoed before but loved it and was subsequently invited to demonstrate cardmaking etc in shops and at shows across Ireland for other companies. I really love getting out and about and meeting people and have made some wonderful friends along the way. I started demonstrating mostly papercrafts but along the way, I have also added other craft such as painting, colouring, decoupage etc.
I have also been contributing each month to Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine for several years and really enjoy this side of crafting too.
At the moment my husband is ill and I am taking some time off to look after him but I hope to be out and about demonstrating as soon as he is well.
What do you believe has contributed to your success?
I love creating and sharing that passion with others
Why do you do papercraft? How did you learn?
I began by making personalized cards for friends’ birthdays and special occasions, which incorporated my own drawings. I had very few craft tools when I started and became more imaginative with what I had before I moved on to new things.
What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?
A good guillotine, die cutting machine, general purpose dies and gems…..lots of gems!
How would you describe your style?
I would say I’m particularly drawn to anything with flowers and love to include them in as many of my makes as possible.
What do you do to make your workspace an enriching and inspiring place to be?
I make sure everything is organized and in its proper place. I have so many different kinds of craft materials and tools now that it is impossible to have a clutter-free space but I keep everything tidy and in order in my craft store so that I can easily find what I’m looking for.
What sorts of things are inspiring you right now? Where do you look for inspiration?
I get inspiration from everything around me, especially nature. I love the way the landscape changes with the seasons and am inspired by the colours and textures.
When do you feel the most creative?
The creative part of my brain has no “off” switch! That is generally a good thing but not ideal when I’m trying to sleep! I always keep a notebook and pen handy to jot down ideas (colour combinations/ textures etc) because I don’t want to forget anything that pops into my head. Sometimes I don’t use the ideas for quite a while but I may go back to older notebooks and put a new spin on an older idea.
We live in such a mass-produced, buy-it-now society where everything is either a click or a short drive away. Why should people continue to make handmade things?
Nothing means as much to the recipient as a gift or card which someone has spent time and effort making. Creativity is a great stress reliever and when most people have many pressures in their lives it is a wonderful thing to take some time to loose yourself in a project. There is also a massive sense of achievement when the project is finished.