Saturday, December 1, 2012
Teacher Feature ~ Marilou Smith
I've been a crafter for as long as I can recall and some of my earliest memories are of using scraps of fabric, given to me by my Mom, to make clothes for my dolls. I remember holding my paper dolls up to a window with a piece of paper in front of them and designing new outfits for them. I taught myself to crochet when I was 12 and made my new baby brother some booties. I learned to sew at my mother's feet and took classes in Jr. and Sr. high school. Needless to say, I suppose, but I've done just about every kind of craft there is and have all the tools and supplies to prove it. LOL I've sewn everything from doll clothes to wedding gowns and knitted or crocheted baby outfits to women's sweaters. I've done needlepoint, cross stitch, tole painting and macrame'. Hey, I'm ancient and I love to learn new things!!
In 1988, at the age of 40, after being an at-home-mom to my 4 children for 18+ years, I headed to SWOCC to become an RN. Crafting took a back seat during those busy 4 years of college and while working full time at BAH, but in 2002, I had a car accident, which did a lot of damage to my knees. While I was recovering from my injuries, I began crafting again. I discovered a message board with women from all over the world. who freely shared everything they knew, taught me how to use a graphic program, and how to manipulate those images and create some amazing handcrafted items. I designed my own website and began selling my "wares" across the U.S. and through a local craft guild. I enjoyed doing custom design work for my customers and did a lot of it. I made cards, glass block lights, wedding and party favors, albums, goodie and gift cans, magnetic paper dolls, journals, address books, and so much more, using digital images I purchased from well known artists.
I was able to return to work in 2005, as a Nurse Manager in a medical center, but I continued to create and sell my items. In 2010, after having both my knees replaced, I had to retire, and it was at this time that I discovered MOT and our precious Michelle! All it took was one Copic coloring class and I was forever hooked!! Michelle, appropriately, labeled me as a "hybrid crafter," and it's true, because I still color using "digi stamps" for my cards. However, gradually, I have found it difficult to resist adding "real" stamps to my growing collection of crafty "stuff."
When I began working with graphics, I realized I love paper as much as I do fabric. I love the scent, the feel and all the colors of the beautiful patterned papers available in today's market ...and at MOT!! So, in addition to creating my cards, I love to design boxes, journals, albums, tags and just about anything I can think of, with paper. I'm still learning to do many of the techniques that some my fellow teachers at MOT use, but I bring to the table years of experience in many other fields, which I feel adds to my ability and creativity. I love to teach and to see my student's faces light up in that "Ah ha" moment when learning new ideas and techniques ...and when they make something they thought they never could!