Monday, September 5, 2011

Artsy Addict Member Feature {02}: Marie Claire Graves

I’m a French Canadian wife and mom who had Belgian parents and is now living in Northern Kentucky! How I got here is a very long story, but I’ll share some of the amazing adventures that happened along the way! When I was 16, I sang at the US Embassy in Paris, remember, I’m a Canadian! I was the acting project manager for the Montreal Olympic Village during the construction phase and one of the Operations officers in the Games Operations Center during the actual games!  I was in my early 20’s! I’ve written and published songs, one of which was actually recorded.

I wrote a poem that I gave to two people. It ended going around the world, was read live in front of 2500 people,  and was distributed to the school children of Montreal. My poem, “The Peacekeeper” was even part of a presentation at the Pentagon by a Canadian General who later became a Canadian Senator.  I was in the Canadian Military for 25 years enrolled as a Private Infantryman and retired as a Logistics Major in charge of the functional team implementing PeopleSoft HR, for the department of National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. I’ve taught accountants at PriceWaterhouseCoopers how to use their Oracle Financials software.  

A couple of months after moving to Northern Kentucky, I got a gig with a production company who was shooting a  Christmas commercial for the Ohio Lottery.  MY job, create a big Christmas stocking and a Gingerbread mitt.  The Mitt talked in the commercial.  The production company also used pretty much everything in my craft room furniture, cards, mini albums, projects and furniture to dress their set!  So while I’m not famous, my “craft stuff” is, LOL! Like I said, I’ve had an amazingly interesting and bizarre life filled with wonderful people, for which I am truly grateful!
I came to crafting early. Like most little children, I drew and colored.  I think of my first real crafting experience as being the knitting lessons my great aunt gave me when I was visiting Belgium.  I was 5 ½!  As for scrapbooking, my first experience was in 2002 when a very good friend of mine name Kathy became a Creative Memories consultant.  I was intrigued and wanted to support her efforts.  However it was after I visited my first scrapbook store that I was really bitten by the bug. I think of scrapbooking not only as an art form, but also as a social activity. It has allowed me to form friendships with people across  North America and around the world. I’ve moved from Canada to Florida to Arkansas to Florida and to Kentucky all since 1998. I’ve had readymade scrapbook friends every time I’’ve moved.  I am very, very grateful for that!

I honestly can’t tell you when I first heard of Marion.  It must have been when she first joined Prima as I’ve been a huge Prima fan for many years.  I became more interested in her work and in Marion as a person when I discovered her You Tube videos. She also happens to attract some amazing friends, some of which I hope will become friends of mine over time!  As for Artsy Addicts, I got an invite from Marion to join the group when she first started it. I am very grateful that she included me as I’ve truly enjoyed being part of the group!
I love minis, so two of my favorite projects are minis.  The 1st  was inspired but not limited to the Graphic 45 Once Upon a Springtime collection.  I love mixing collections, but that one was the main focus.  I also like flowers, hence the number of flowers, including the Prima Vines that adorn the front of the one bellow!

The next one I created just this week, it’s main focus was the Butterfly Garden Collection by Pink Paisley.  I first created a larger version of it and then thought it would be cute in a smaller size for a swap I’m in.

As a third project for this blog feature, I just had to pick the 6 page Echo Park For the Record Layout series I created for my next class. That’s actually the reason that there aren’t pictures on the pages.  I get to add pictures later when I add the pages to my personal collection!

Now figuring my crafting style isn’t all that easy. I had to ask my friends what they would call my crafting style.  They seemed to agree on elegant eclectic!

If I were an embellishment, I think I’d be a flower. My petals would be  wide open and I’d have a little bling in the center!
In addition to paper-crafting, I make Teddy bears, knit, read lots of Mysteries.  I also paint a little.

My creative process is usually triggered by patterns and shapes. I think I am first and foremost a paper floozy!  I love and collect paper.  I’m at my happiest right around the CHA seasonal shows when new collections are announced and for the past couple of years I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to attend the summer show in Chicago. Well I’ve attended one and am going again this July! I can’t wait! I intend to go and give Marion a big hug and thank her for the joy that she brings all of us!

When I first started scrapbooking there weren’t a ton of companies to choose from, but from the beginning I’ve loved K& Company.  
Today there are a lot of other manufacturers out there that I’ve also come to love; Graphic 45, Basic Gray, Pink Paisley, October Afternoon and Echo Park to name a few.  I really respond to a specific collection rather than a specific manufacturer. I’m always in love with all things Prima, though I tend to collect their products and hoard them.  I have to really make myself use rather than simply look at or fondle their stuff!

To me the most valuable aspect of scrapbooking other than the obvious memory keeping aspect (I’m very big on journaling) has been the friends that I’ve made all over the world! I’ve even had the good fortune of travelling and meeting a goodly number of them! Those friendships have allowed me to stay sane when I’ve moved, since there was always someone nearby that I knew from a scrapbooking group onlineThose friendships were the reason that I satrted a blog in February 2008, so that I could share what I saw and experienced at CHA in Aneheim. I never worked all that much on my blog until about a year ago and started making YouTube videos a few months ago and have enjoyed getting to know some new and very creative people through that medium.  Bottom line, I am truly grateful for all the friendships crafting has brought into my life!

Marie Claire, 

Thank you for being an Artsy Addict and for sharing your beautiful creations with us. 

Until the next feature. 

Keep creating. 



  1. Hi Marie Claire! Nice to know you!

  2. Your work is always awesome!!!! Congrats on being a featured artist! You deserve it!!!! Katherine

  3. What an interesting life you have had. Since your life has been eclectic, it would follow that your style would be that, too. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Congrats on being featured here! I now know more about your life that I didn't know before and I have to tell you that you are someone I admire a lot for your creativity and multi tasking of Life in general!

  5. Félicitations M-C. Tu as un curriculum très intéressant. J'ai beaucoup aimé le lire. Continue ton beau travail.

  6. It was so nice to get to know you through this post. I love your work.

  7. These are fabulous... Your minis are so awesome.. loving that butterfly garden collection... Thanks for sharing.

  8. Welcome and it is so wonderful to get to know you a little better. Love your artwork.


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