Caroline Free is in the spotlight today and I’m so excited to share her phenomenal creations!
Name: Caroline Free
Location: Llandudno in Wales, UK
Blog: Tilly and Arthur
Facebook: Tilly and Arthur and Tilly and Arthur 2
Etsy: Tilly and Arthur
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started crafting: I’m actually a social worker by trade but when I needed to move from my home town of Huddersfield to Llandudno in North Wales, I couldn’t speak Welsh which was essential in order to work here, so I took the opportunity instead of starting up my hand made business making Memory Keeper Books. I was already crafting before the move so it seemed a natural thing to do. The reason I fell in love with all things paper I blame on the colour yellow! I saw the paper in a shop window (so pretty!) and bought it. HA! I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with it but it led me down this path and I’m so grateful that it did. I still haven’t used that yellow paper – it’s too symbolic, so I treasure it instead.
We don’t have our own children but we adore my best friend’s twins called Lily and Freya and they are collectively known as the frillies. Their mum and I now work on the Frillies Project where we document their lives. I create pages and Louise and I both do the journaling – that’s why you rarely see it on a page as I have to wait until I see Louise! This is a secret project from the Frillies as it will be given to them when they are 18 (they are 11 at the moment).
I am engaged to Aldo and we have two miniature schnauzers. We live by the sea so it’s perfect – very, very busy in the summer and quiet and peaceful in the winter months. You will see lots of layouts featuring the beach as it’s where we spend a lot of our time when the frillies come to stay. I also run a vintage and retro business on etsy as I love pretty china and kitsch mid-century. My house is bursting with them; it keeps me very busy treasure hunting, photographing, and listing the ones I can bear to let go!
What do you love about this hobby? The scrapbooking community is just amazing; the friends I have made, the layouts I have swooned over, the laughs I have had mean the world to me. I just couldn’t imagine my life without this wonderful group of people, I feel so lucky to be part of it.
5 Fun Facts about yourself:
1. I am a twin – arghhhh yes! My twin is John and we are so different but we share the same memories, events, friends, etc – I haven’t gotten him to share my love of paper, though. (BOO HISS!)
2. I have a very strong Yorkshire Accent; look up Yorkshire Accent on YouTube and you’ll get an idea. I’m just attempting to get to grips with setting up my own channel doing process videos and am scared that people won’t understand me!
3. I really do “heart” New York! I have been lucky to go many times and love to loose myself in lower Manhattan, especially in the village, wandering, shopping, and eating. My idea of heaven is just seeing people going about their lives. Bliss.
4. I spend every summer in a cottage in a teeny tiny seaside village called Llangrannog – please have a look on google images. I mean GAH! I’ve been going all my life (45 years) and it’s my run away place. My goal is to live there when we retire.
5. I’m naturally a bubbly person and love nothing more than being with friends and family BUT I love being on my own, too. I can’t cope with no alone time – that’s another reason I love working with paper. It’s peace, playing, thinking, and making. It’s a sort of selfish indulgence for me but the upside is documenting moments, making gifts, and selling the books, so it’s a win-win! Plus Aldo would tell you he loves it when I pootle off and leave him in charge of the remote control.
Here is the beyond fabulous layout Caroline made for her spotlight:
CHASING DREAMS by Caroline Free
I have a thing about feathers and found this silhouette cut file that I stitched. I have used many techniques for hand stitching and have recently discovered that you can change any cut file in your silhouette into a stitched shape; seriously, how good is that? For a tutorial , check out this blog post: https://tillyandarthur.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/how-to-turn-any-silhouettecutfile-in-to-a-stitched-design/. This layout features the gorgeous collection by Fancy Pants called Happy Place. I hand sewed the feathers and the hoop and used the adorable feathers to complement the stitching. Of course I had to add in some pretty sequins, too, since I am a big fan of colour. The photo is of one of the twins, Lily, running about on the beach.
HANDMADE MEMORY KEEPER BOOKS by Caroline Free
I have been making my hand made memory keeper books for about 7 years now and it’s one of my favourite things to do. I sell them in my etsy shop and at craft fairs. I’m always thrilled to bits when a customer shows me how they have filled their book with treasured memories, photographs, and bits of ephemera they’ve collected on trips, at weddings, births, etc. I make them from scratch including the binding. I aim to do some tutorials on this on my blog very soon so watch that space.
LET’S BE MERMAIDS by Caroline Free
I am a huge fan of large titles and this one is one of my favourite ones I’ve made lately, using a teal blue to back the cut title. I also can’t make a layout without layers. I like to pile them on in clusters and at different angles so you get to see all the different papers. It also makes an ideal place to tuck in die cuts and chipboard. Seriously, look at that photo, it needed a special title. Lily and Freya looking out to sea; this is their favourite place to be.
LOVE OUR VIEWS by Caroline Free
This is a rare layout as it doesn’t feature a photo of the twins, but oh, what a photo, swoon. Do you sometimes see a patterned paper and know instantly what you want to do with it? That’s what happened here, the Hello Love collection by Crate Paper had the sheet with all the polaroid frames that needed to be chopped apart, roughed up, and popped as a large frame around the edge. There I go again with my layering and some stamping of teeny tiny snowflakes. I LOVE a tiny stamp; it doesn’t overtake and instead just enhances a layout.
AUTUMN by Caroline Free
I’m part of a UK kit club called Like For Ever and the papers above came in one of them. Not my usual colours so it was a challenge for me but I ended up LOVING it. I often make layouts with a huge amount of splatters on them in different colours as they can really soften a page. The photograph is just so stunning of the twins playing in the fallen leaves and the papers really matched. Again, more small stamps and sequins. I love a good title for a page but it can be hard to think of one; this is one I saw when I googled Autumn quotes, it’s just perfect for the page.
Have a wonderful rest of the week and thank you for stopping by to get to know Caroline!