Travel with us, to a beautiful place, to meet crew member Mandy Leever-Koel. We love that the internet allows our crew to be anywhere in the world and feel like they are just down the street. Mandy lives in a city called Hengelo in the beautiful, flat Netherlands (near the German border), with her husband and our 3 year old son Connor.
Mandy says, “The Dutch summers are rainy, our winters are rainy and guess what about our fall and spring? Rainy ;)!!!! We looked it up and yes it rains all year there!!! We know that Mandy’s crafting allows her to make her own sunshine.
Describe your design style….The only recurring element in my design style is my motto “Less is Bore!!
I simply don’t know when to stop adding ;)……..one day I use muted colors,
the next vibrant colors. Sometimes,
I scrap in a romantic design, another time it’s boyish and grungy.
Maybe I’m still finding my ‘own’ style, then again I might have and this is it. I like diversity.
I follow my feelings and just see where they lead me.
Each CCB Crew member is asked to make a 4×4 mini canvas that represents their personal art style and themselves, here is Mandy’s.
Who or what do you give credit to inspiring your creativity? Both my parents inspired my creativity, because both are/were creative.
My dad is a dental technician, just like me. A very creative profession. My mom taught workshops in flower arranging, doll making, etc. She sewed things for us and I dabbled a little at the sewing machine too. (Made some “Magnolia Pearl” style bags!) Her 50th birthday
in 2004 is actually the event that got me into scrapbooking. I decided to make a scrapbook about her life to give to her as a gift. Who knew
that her scrapbook would end so abruptly only 2 years later :'(
What inspires you most today? Today my little boy Connor is my scrapbook inspiration. We struggled for years to become parents and when we had almost given up hope, he surprised us and gave us our “happily ever after” after all. I love taking pictures of him with my (red!) Nikon DSLR, but also simply with my phone. Those pictures, new materials, inspiring artists I follow through Facebook and Instagram, they spark my creativity. In fact, I have never been more productive than these last few years. (Finally I can justify all the scrapbook shopping I did hahaha)
What is your favorite Canvas Corp Brand Product? and why? Just one please!!!! My favorite Canvas Corp Brands product is Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist. It was love at first sight, many years ago. I already owned quite a few colors, before I became a CCB crew member. Despite the new players on this market, my love and royalty towards Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist remain. I love the diversity in colors, the glimmer, the way they work on gesso and blend with other mediums.
What is your favorite project you have made for CCB? Sunny Days Canvas
Why is it your favorite? I still love this canvas because it takes me back to those warm days in our in-laws backyard, watching Connor run around in his birthday suit. We really enjoyed each others company.
My canvas almost feels like a real garden and I love the shimmer the Glimmer Glam provides all my flowers with!
It’s simply perfect and magical and I enjoyed making it, and reliving it.
I am the happiest doing…..I am happiest spending time with my boy and/or family and friends, or creating something in my craft room. Family is what matters most in this life, something I’ve always known. It became even more clear when my mom passed away in 2006. Having a family of my own is one of my biggest achievements as far as I’m concerned….my boy Connor is my greatest work of art. Though sometimes it’s nice to be on my own and allow my soul to create something it needs to vent. I do need my alone time to charge my battery.
My favorite place to be creative…..That would be my craft room. Which has moved many times already. First it was in the attic, furniture
came from all over the place. I decided to move my craft room to a spare bedroom, which was bright pink with white furniture and black accents.
It was called my “Scrap Boudoir” then.
And now my craft room is back in the attic, where it can become quite HOT during summer. (No fun if you have deadlines!) It has more of a Shabby chic feel to it now, still with the white furniture (mostly Ikea), a mannequin and my beautiful printer cabinet. On top of the printer cabinet is an old typewriter I got from someone special. It belonged to her dad and it makes me feel special she would entrust me with it. Next to it sits my grandfather’s old camera. The love for photography was passed on from him, to my mother, to me.
Tell us one cool detail about your studio or craft space…I’m most proud of the vintage printer cabinet my dad and I restored. What a fun trip we had bringing it back: it had to lay in the back of my car, me squeezed against it because our son had to be in the front seat with his kiddy chair… Guess what though when we finally got home after a very uncomfortable drive? I forgot my rear window shelf…
Anyhow they had painted in a very ugly industrial green paint and the top shelf was broken. So we had to remove the paint, paint it a bit darker and put new handles on. (Because they weren’t the kind of gorgeous industrial handles you see right now.) Each drawer is almost filled to the brim, with chipboard, jewelry parts, charms, buttons, stamps, etc. My ballet pointes are on the cabinet as well. I picked up ballet in my twenties again, but quit again after a few years. Still love looking at it though, just not built for it, sadly.
Tell us one thing fun about you we might not know…When I like something, I want *all* there is. My scrap room is like a store according to many people. Before that I made jewelry so I have quite a few beads and charms. And before Connor was born, my Blythe dolls were my muses. I loved taking their pictures, because of their characteristic expressions. I loved customizing them. I loved collecting their little shoes and clothes (vintage Skipper from Barbie clothes fit them as well so I own a lot of sets). I was even building them rooms with (vintage) Barbie furniture.
Share with us anything about your creative life that you feel would inspire others….Don’t ignore the urge to create (about) sad moments as well. Follow your heart. You will be amazed at what you create when it comes from within. There is no better therapy. However, if you can’t create at moments, don’t beat yourself up about it. Your muse will reappear when you’re ready. Or when you’re trying to get some sleep 😉
Mandy also reminds us “Don’t try to copy, make your own mistakes and learn from them. Be original. Stay true to yourself.
And remember: Less is Bore!”
We are ready to get organized, ready to cute up our craft space and ready to be ourselves after learning more about Mandy. To follow her blog Less is Bore – you will also find Mandy on Instagram.
Happy Organizing and Creating!!!