Paper Talk with Charmane from Australia

Charmane from Australia has been scrapbooking since her eldest son turned one and she has not looked back. “Life is too short to not have a passion you love”, she says. Charmane’s layouts are real family treasures and you can have a closer look at them in this interview.

Who are you? Can you tell us about yourself?
Hi I’m Charmane Sharp and I have been Scrapbooking for over 21yrs. I have two sons 22 years old and 15 years old and a wonderful husband of 25 years who allows me to indulge in my passion. I am 49yrs old and live in Karratha, Western Australia which means I have to shop online as it’s very remote and I’m pretty much self taught. I love letting my creativity flow and seeing where a layout will go. When not Scrapbooking I am Foster Caring for puppies and dogs through SAFE inc who are an animal rescue service located throughout Western Australia. My family and I have Fostered over 125 puppies and dogs until they were adopted. Nothing more satisfying than helping unwanted animals to flourish and learn to receive love. My other love is the ocean, where I recharge my soul and also volunteer over the summer months with West Pilbara Turtle Program to monitor Turtle nesting. Relaxation on the beach is the best reset to get my creative energy flowing.


When did you start with paper crafting? Why did you start with paper crafting?
I began Scrapbooking before my eldest son turned one and haven’t looked back. Having the thousands of photos we take when we have our first born, meant I could create Scrapbook albums for his future enjoyment. As soon as I was introduced to it I was hooked.

What is the best thing about paper crafting?
It keeps me sane when life gets busy. I can enter my Art room and get lost creating for hours reliving the beautiful memories I have captured in my photos. Everyone should have an outlet to escape daily life and enjoy something that makes you happy. Life is too short to not have a passion you love. Scrapbooking is just that for me. I love getting excited when a package arrives full of new products to play with. My boys love to see what I create and often receive handmade gifts like a canvas or notebook that I have made just for them. I am also on the design team for 2Crafty Chipboard and have been for four years. I love being on this team as we all support each other and the owner Vanessa provides wonderful products for us to create with all year round. Chipboard is my favourite thing to transform.

Have you made any mistakes when papercrafting and would you like to tell about it?
Mistakes can happen when trying something new. If it doesn’t come out the way you thought it would then cover it up. I have done this a few times. Also knocking my green tea over a layout wasn’t much fun but at least the colour was light so barely noticeable. I was upset with myself but you have to move on.

What kind of paper projects do you make?
Scrapbook layouts are my main focus for my family photos. I don’t use images that I haven’t taken as that’s what scrapbooking is all about. Spending all the money I do on supplies I couldn’t create layouts unless they were to remember family memories. I also enjoy making canvases or other pieces to decorate my home. Gifts of notebooks, frames and other Off the Page projects are also made throughout the year.

How often do you craft?
I Scrapbook in some capacity most days. If not fully completing a layout then I might be planning one and gathering supplies. Or fussy cutting in front of the TV. Might be an hour of my time or maybe an entire day depending what I have on and if I need to scrap to escape for a while. It really is therapeutic.

Can you describe your style? Have your style changed since you started?
Obviously over time my style has evolved especially when introduced to chipboard, dimensional paste’s and resin moulds. My style is all about layers and dimension. I love shabby chic and mixed media styles. My layouts are always different I don’t like doing the same things and always try to create something new. I started out creating flat layouts for albums and in the last ten years I changed to create what I wanted and I store my layouts in containers standing up in cupboards instead. Changing as freed my creativity to another level and really helped me grow as an artist. No limitations on what I can make means height or weight aren’t an issue anymore and I just create for myself.

Show us 3-5 of your favorite projects. Why are these your favorites?
Trying to narrow down to my three favourite layouts was near impossible. The following layouts are favourites each for a different reason.

I love this layout for the feminine steampunk style I created mixing flowers with Chipboard cogs, Vintage Hot Air Balloons and a clock. Finished with Resin Light Bulbs. Perfect for my Mother’s Day photo.

The colours in this layout are just stunning to me. I love all the fussy cut details. The time I spent cutting them out was so worthwhile. My beautiful girls swimming are surrounded by prettiness with gorgeous flowers, Chipboard and amazing Prima papers.

My final choice was this layout for its simplicity. I love how this layout came together by beginning with a set of arch dies and using a soft colour palette to allow my photo to be the focus.

What inspires you?
I am usually inspired by my photos. The colours in them leads to my choice of papers and then I gather supplies to enhance and spark creativity. I may not use everything I have gathered but I guess it’s like a collection for a mood board. The pile on my table bounces ideas around my head until I decide where I’m going with my design. Also inspiration comes from seeing other Scrapbookers work. Might be the colour combination, composition or an old technique I haven’t done in awhile.

Can you mention five products/tools you cannot live without?
Chipboard is my favourite product especially 2Crafty Chipboard as I’m on their design team. It’s so versatile to alter by painting, watercolour, foil or embossing powder. So many ways to compliment your current layout with chipboard. I’m a Prima Flowers addict and love Finnabair moulds and mixed media products. Resin moulds add dimension to any project and are transformed with so many mediums that can be applied. Painting and added some wax to highlight the details is so beautiful.

Finnabair mediums like Gesso, Heavy Body Gel and Texture Paste are a basis for all my layouts. They really are my go to for backgrounds, adhering resin pieces and beads etc to flowers and papers. Chipboard appears on most of my work as it comes in so many designs to choose from. Whether it’s adding a gorgeous swirl, themed style piece or perfect title to finish a project. 2Crafty Chipboard is my favourite and they have thousands of amazing pieces to choose from. Prima Flowers are my addiction as they are so pretty and come in a variety of colours to suit any layout I’m working on. I spend way too much on flowers because I love them. Good scissors for fussy cutting are a must. I use Fiskars Mixed Media Titanium scissors as they are comfortable and have a great pointed tip to get into the small areas. Fussy cutting from papers is a love of mine for added detail to a layout. Prima Watercolour Confections are small tins of colours that allow me to transform chipboard, resin pieces or watercolour on the background of my project. I have used my many tins over and over. Such great value for money. Dies and my Gemini Machine are well used to add final details to a layout. Leaves, Doilies, texture panels and flourish dies all add to my layered look. I own lots of moulds by Finnabair and Stamperia as they are so beautifully designed and easily coloured to compliment any project I’m working on. I usually do a batch of moulds a few times a year making as many as I can and store them by category in my drawers.

What is on top of your wish list right now?
On top of my wish list right now is more papers by Alchemy of Art. As it’s a Poland company it’s hard to get in Australia but slowly getting more attention here. I love their art work and designs. Never have enough papers to create with!!