I’ve had a love for all things Vintage since I was a child! My grandmother, Ruth, loved antiques and I would spend hours going through her collections of antique Teacups, Old Dolls, vintage buttons, early Clocks, silverware etc. She also loved to make things, she had a huge Loom that she kept in a spare bedroom. I often slept in that bedroom, the walls were decorated with beautiful skeins of yarn hanging on wooden pegs… I would fall asleep after visually taking inventory of my favorites. During the day… in order to keep my sister and I entertained during visits, she would often hand us a seed catalog, along with some cardboard and rubber cement, and we would spend some happy time quietly cutting out flower pictures from the catalogs and making little collages out of them.
Those happy memories helped to spark the idea for my blog The Graphics Fairy. I’ve been running that blog for 10 years now. In 2014, I joined forces with my friend Emily to create this Membership Site. Emily has an incredible eye for vintage design and I knew she would be the perfect partner! We have so much fun putting together the themed kits for this site, and we could not be more thrilled that so many of you are enjoying them as well, and that you are finding so many uses for them in your Design and Craft projects.
What I know for sure… You are never too old to learn new things!
I’m in my mid 50’s now. Our kids are grown and we are empty nesters. That means there is more time to focus on the things that I love to do! Many of you have told me that you are in the same boat… your kids are in college, or they are married with their own homes, or you are retired … and you find that you have more time to spend on your art or focusing on learning some new skills, like digital design. When we started adding Photoshop Elements Tutorials to our Membership, we had you guys in mind. We don’t want you to feel intimidated by Digital Design, we walk you through step by step so that you can easily follow along and if you get stuck, you can always leave a comment on the tutorial and we will talk you through it. I believe if you give digital design a try, it will open up a whole new exciting creative world for you! It doesn’t matter if you are in your 50s, 60s, or 70s+ … many of our members are the same age as you and I, and they tell us that they are having a blast with these new skills! One of the things that I love most about digital design, is that you can create all day long and never make a mess in your house! So if you have downsized and don’t have the space for a craft room, no worries as all you need is a computer and a printer. And if you travel, you can take your projects with you on your laptop.
Hi! I’m Emily. I live with my family in the great state of Virginia, outside of Washington, DC. My husband and I have two children (7 and 4 1/2), and a dog (dachshund/beagle mix) and a mini rex rabbit.
I’ve been admiring and working with graphics since I can remember. Through the years I’ve made lots of craft projects for myself and to sell, and have done websites and print ad work.
I collect antique prints, mainly architectural prints and natural history images – birds, plants, butterflies – but I love great art in general. Though my collection is no where near the size of Karen’s (which I could look through all day), some of my favorites that I own are an 1800’s French architectural encyclopedia with fold out drawings of doors, archways, and architectural details; an antique guide to minerals I bought from Germany (the amethyst page – also my birth stone – is my favorite); and a mushroom hunter’s guide with gorgeous book plates in pencil and watercolor from the former Czechoslovakia.
What I love about The Graphics Fairy sites are the images themselves and the quality….oh and the images are just my style. Before I started using images in print project and crafts to sell, I thought there was a ton of free things on the internet. There are great scanned books in digital collections out there, but when you try to work with the images, they are not in high enough resolution, and there are often scanning errors. Many of those collections also prohibit commercial use altogether; same thing with many websites that offer free images — they are personal use only. Seeing those disclaimers always made me nervous. I now stay away from the stock graphic sites; I find they mix way too many styles and it’s tough to find what I’m actually looking for, and they just don’t have the types of images Karen seems to find.
I’d been using images from The Graphics Fairy for a couple of years, when I started working part-time at The Old Lucketts Store. I was introduced to Karen who was a dealer at the time, who, it was mentioned, also had this little blog, The Graphics Fairy. Then I did a double-take…..wait, she’s THE Fairy? I’ve used that site for a while now. I never knew she lived so close to the store, or that I’d ever meet “The Fairy.” That was a few years ago, and since then, I’ve talked graphics, helped out with posts, and worked on this member site. I also have come to realize how passionate Karen is about graphics and finding great things to purchase and share on her blog.
I will say I totally underestimated the amount of time and work it takes to get an image cleaned up and ready to use. You start by purchasing the image, checking copyright, and then get a good scan. But, then there is so much more to do. I’ve had images take me hours to fix up, clean up, or use to create something for the site. My husband says he can’t believe people actually enjoy looking at the same image or pixels for hours. All I can say is, yes it’s crazy, but so much fun! I love that two people across the world can use the same image and come up with something totally unique. I really enjoy finding images, learning new skills to incorporate in digital projects, and making things for the site. Thanks for coming along on this journey with us!