Thursday, January 3, 2013

Diagnosis Design #3: Debby Hughes

First an intro...

In medicine, we document using SOAP notes. It is an abbreviation to help keep consistent format when logging information. 

S=Subjective. What does the patient report. Subjective Data. This also includes the Chief Complaint (CC) which tells what the patients main problem is and History of Present Illness (HPI) a history of what happened to bring them in.

O=Objective. What exam findings do you gather. Objective Data.

A=Assessment. What is your Diagnosis, what differentials could there be (alternative diagnoses)

P=Plan/Education. What is the plan for the patient. What do you want them to learn?

This is the format I will use also.

Let me tell you the day I found Debby. Picture it: December 2011 and a post by Cristina Kowalczyk in which she lists her top 10 cards of 2011. I think that is my favorite post ever in the whole world of posts. I was not a blogger and a "green" cardmaker. I scrolled down the list amazed at the beauty of each creation. Debby was #5 and it was game over for me ever since. Anyone who visits my blog knows I am a huge fan. After you read this diagnosis, I hope you will be too.

Now lets begin. This is Debby Hughes...

In asking her for a photo that represents her, she gave me this one. I love what she wrote about it.

I went through the last couple of years of photos - 1000s of the kids but of me only about half a dozen! I'm not proud of this photo - windswept with my comfy jumper on! However, it's one of the few I have of me and I suppose quiet me if I'm honest; extra pounds and comfy and all! Makes me realise I need to hand the camera over sometimes LOL. It was on a family holiday last year. As the children are getting older we are enjoying exploring a bit further afield - this was in California.

CC: She makes people buy things.

This writer is guilty of buying many things that Debby uses. She makes me spend my money HARD CORE!

HPI: Debby is a stay at home mother of 3, ages 14, 12, and 8. She has been crafting since 2005, blogging since August 2010. HERE is her first post. Her crafty resume is long and chalk full of awesomeness. 

Your blog is called "Lime Doodle", where does that name come from?
Ah yes. Love any shade if green but particularly lime. And as for the doodle bit; when I was young my Dad used to call me Debby Doodle then it got shortened to just Doodle and then eventually Doo! Even now my brother and sister will still use my childhood nickname. 

when did your design aesthetic become clear to you? 
When I bought my own cards, before I started making my own, I used to buy ultra CAS designs. When I started card making it was a steep learning curve and I turned to other crafters for tips and design inspiration. It must’ve been sometime during 2010 when my sister came for a visit and I showed her my latest cards. She liked them but as someone who had received many cards from me over the years she questioned the styling of them and asked me what designs I actually liked. It got me thinking and lead me to the decision to stick to what appeals to me. I was quite nervous at first when blogging about a CAS card – what would people think? Was it ‘enough’ without the patterned paper, bow and embellishments? Now, I have more confidence in what I like and feels right to me 

If you could interview someone in blog land who would it be and why?
Nichole Heady – Nichole’s blog was one of the first I discovered and I was bowled over by the fresh designs. As the public face of Papertrey Ink I’d love to know more about how she combines crafting with the business side of her role.

who do you feel has a strong design aesthetic and why?
Oh there are so many designers that I just love! My Google Reader is bursting at the seams at times. I really enjoy looking at what others have created and how they’ve used their supplies or the latest trend. My heart does skip a beat when I see Cristina Kowalczyk’s name in my reader. I’m truly wowed by Cristina’s CAS style and high impact designs. Jennifer McGuire is another big hit with me and she is amazing with techniques – I’ve learned so many inky tips from watching her videos. My youngest likes to join me when I watch crafty videos and knows some of the designers by name! “Is that the lady with the cat?’ – Kristina Werner another of my favs. Julie Ebersole, Maile Belles, Shari Carroll ….

what is one supply that has changed the way you design?
Hmmm, a tricky question! I think a foam adhesive plays a big part in the way I design. Although I’m a CAS girl at heart, my cards are rarely perfectly flat. I like to use a little dimension to create interest in a clean design.

what music do you listen to?
I don’t much by choice! When the family is home the house is buzzing with radios, TVs, Wii games and people coming and going about their day. When I’m home alone with everyone in school and at work I choose peace and quiet and the ability to think clearly LOL.

How much does your profession play into the way you design?
I’m a scientist by training and perhaps that shows in the way I like things to be neat and accurate. However, I gave up work 14 years ago to be a stay at home Mum and my ‘job’ now gives me an affinity with all things cute that will appeal to my family  

What are your favorite manufacturers?
Wow, I have so many! I doubt there’s a stamp manufacturer I don’t have at least one set from! I think my largest collections have to be Hero Arts and Papertrey Ink. Then of course there are the companies I design for and even though I’m on their DT I wouldn’t choose to be if I didn’t adore their products – CAS-ual Fridays Stamps, Clearly Besotted Stamps, Lil’ Inker Designs and There She Goes. Love the new designs Kristina Werner is doing for Simon Says Stamp …. Clear and Simple Stamps have great products and design which appeal to my CAS side …. the quirky nature of Lawn Fawn and Paper Smooches stamps ….. I could go on forever!

Inks – for black it’s got to be Memento tuxedo black for using with Copics, Versafine onyx black for everything else and Versafine sky gray is a fabulous light grey. For colour I love my Distress Inks and Hero Arts inks and sometimes Versacolor cubes too. 

I don’t use as much patterned paper and now buy only 6x6 pads as the size suits card making. My Mind’s Eye pads are always a good bet and I’ve been using some Echo Park and Studio Calico recently. 

What is your favorite color this year?
My favourite colour every year has got to be green! It’s just the shade that changes and the colours I like to combine with it.

What is your favorite card you ever made?
Usually one of the last ones I’ve made! My latest cards show where I’m at now, what I like at present and what current trends I find interesting. I can look back over my older cards and be more proud of some than others though.

The perfect blogger is one who?
is ‘real’ and not too sugar coated, if you know what I mean. Oh and cracking pictures and designs are a bonus too 

What is most important in creating a card?
To have fun and enjoy making it!

favorite go to sketch?
A recipe I often turn to as a good starting point is a white card base with a panel popped up. Here’s some examples:

favorite go to tool?
Paper cutter – love a neat cut

must have stamp of 2012.
I seem to always want to use the latest stamp set in my collection. However, I often turn to my Hero Arts background stamps. I would say I have more favourite dies – the ‘happy’ from Simon Says Stamp ‘oh happy day’, Memory Box country landscape for a winter backdrop (see card above) , Lil’ Inker Designs stitched mats ….

how long does it take you to make a card?
I’m guessing an hour or so normally! I do like to procrastinate and push bits and pieces around deciding where I want everything! I often have several attempts at making a card before I get to version I’m happy with.

do you set crafty goals for yourself?
I have a crafty to do calendar of Design Team commitments and such. I often add in the magazine submission calls on there too but often don’t get around to those. 

name something on your crafting bucket list
Meet up with some of the wonderful crafty people I know in my virtual world.

The best way you can see a persons style is through a body of work. Let me show you what Debby can do. These are some of my most favorites...

Do you notice Debby:
  1. Has no problems with using patterned paper? I notice that most of the time her choices of patterned paper almost could be stamps. I think that's why it works. You don't see the paper first, you see the stamps first and the paper compliments the image.
  2. Can switch from cute to cool easily, actually she makes cute look cool. This, my friends is no easy task, her cute cards really do look cute, but she doesn't lose sight that she is Debby: clean, simple, and cool.
  3. Manages to have die cuts included in every card? The reason every single Debby card is a knock out is that she doesn't stray from what works. and die cuts work for Debby. 

Ultra Crisp (Gray) CAS
Her white never looks tired. And I know what you are thinking... gray? where did she get gray? Gray to me is the new white.The color is fresh, crisp and for some reason, her cards are so radiant white, they look like they have a touch of gray. And well, she does use gray, I am not sure if it is the background she uses, but her cards radiate a gray and the light in them is amazing.

In asking the community what makes Debby stand out amongst the rest and what they like about her work...

MICHELE GROSS (owner of Casual Fridays Challenge Blog and Stamp Company, Debby is on the DT of both): Debby is just really freakin' good. She's what I call a purple chin designer. You know, 'cuz your chin is permanently bruised from dropping everytime you look at her work! She sees color and pattern in simple ways that both awe you, and make you feel inspired to try it too. She's fearless. She does awesome work. She makes it fun to watch, and that's what keeps me coming back for more. AND she is one of the nicest people ever!

LAURA PRYOR (owner of Lil Inkers Company which Debby is on the DT for):I can't say enough good things about Debby Hughes! When Debby applied for my team I knew I had to have her. I knew she was a star stamper on the rise and her clean and simple, yet striking style is incomparable. She makes card making look effortless!

JULIE EBERSOLE (online and live craft instructor for many companies including Hero Arts and Ellen Hutson, LLC): When I first stumbled across Debby's blog, I think I literally squealed out loud because she's a master at white space! She utilizes all that white space in such a way that her designs are always perfectly balanced and draw the eye very naturally to the focal point. Her projects are also always beautifully colored and meticulously crafted. Another thing I adore about Debby's work is that she can swing from cute and fun to elegant and sophisticated while still remaining true to her own very distinctive style--something that isn't very easy to do!  For me, every visit to her blog to see what she's been busy creating feels like a breath of fresh air!

IWONA PALAMOUNTAIN (Owner of Case Study Challenge -Debby is on the DT): I don't remember exactly how I discovered her, quite possibly by just browsing the web - challenge entries or a work of some DT... it's easy to spot a good design and hers drew me in right away. She has a very unique, recognizable style, yet she tackles various techniques which always keeps her designs fresh.

Think you want to join this genre? 

  • Take the time to complete the post well from start to finish. Debby's blog is easy to follow. After she finishes her beautiful card, she takes a beautiful photo and links all her supplies. She gives you ways to enjoy/share her work including easy icons to facebook, pin or email her work. Even her blog is clean and simple!  
how many hours do you craft a week? 
Probably an hour or so a day of actual crafting but then there’s photo editing, blogging, emails etc on top too. Yikes when you add up all of that I bet it would come to a tidy figure!

  • Buy white cardstock in bulk. Debby loves white space, yet her work feels "full" because the design has impact. She doesn't hide behind anything. Her work is front and center. AND It's love at first sight. 

  • Pop it like it's hot. Debby likes to pop up elements in her cards giving it interest and the wow factor that makes it rise above a "flat" card. Seen below. 

  • Not too much, just a little. You will find Debby chooses a subtle embellishment in most all her cards. Whether it's a little twine, a few touches of bling, or some stickles, Debby adds a little something extra to be a standout. It's those little finishing touches that makes her DEBBY. 

if someone wanted to design like you, what would they need?
Some basic supplies is all really. Although most crafters have a mountain of supplies in reality you can create stunning designs from the simplest of ingredients. 

How do you take pictures?
My home gets very little natural light normally. We live opposite some woods at the front of the house and at the back of the house well I live in Scotland and the weather often dictates that I struggle for light! I set up in a bay window and when the morning light hits the window I’m there with my light tent to diffuse the light into soft shadows. I place my cards on a wooden mat with a piece of patterned paper propped up behind. I’m lucky to have a Canon 60D camera which I use for my card photos. 

If I had to pick a song that represented Debby to ME, it would be this one:

Her work is playful,  fun, and you can't stop thinking about it, like this catchy tune!
Thank you Debby for taking the time to answer the questions and giving me full access to your blog Lime Doodle
Next Diagnosis coming January 17!
Also, my blog followers, I am having a blog anniversary giveaway, to enter, click HERE


  1. Wida, you've chosen another of my cardmaking heroes to feature! Debby is amazing and I have loved everything she's created since way back when. :-)

  2. mmmkay, you're never going to believe this, but you know how every time I comment on your post I always say it's so relevant to me? Last time it was about something that happened earlier in the morning. Well this time it's something that happened MINUTES before I read your post. Really. I was JUST at Cristina's Dec 2011 top 10 post (since she linked it from her Dec 2012 top ten post) AND AFTER THAT I went to Debby's site. I was about to shut the computer, because let's face it, it's 1:30 am and I'm taking the kids to the city tomorrow and will need my energy, and I see a post from you in my reader. I peek thinking "if it's a diagnosis design post I'll stay up and read it," and it is! With Debby! Mentioning Cristina's post! Crazy stuff. Anyway, absolutely LOVED reading more about Debby and her creative process. Great job compiling it all together. And I do agree with your "gray" assessment ... for me I think it's because she tends to use a lot of softer colors. OK, enough typing, I really must get to bed! Fantastic post!

  3. Wow!! Great choice!!
    Debby's cards are AWESOME!!
    Love all her designs, colors, the use of patterned papers, ...
    Great inspiration!! ;)
    Great blog post!!

  4. Amazing post! You had me giggling at "pop it like it's hot" but seriously, Debby's work is so great, and your interview is fantastic! Love these segments, Wida!

  5. Another great diagnosis Wida! Debbie is awesome and it was great reading through all the elements dissected to see just why!

  6. Really enjoy this feature of yours's always fun to get to know a fellow crafter and how they think and design. I'm such a fan of Debby's work!

  7. Thanks for the wonderful interview Wida. I enjoyed reading every bit of it. I too am fan of Debby's work.

  8. I have been a follower of Debbie's for a while now, and a brand-new follower of yours. Your breakdown of Debbie's awesome talent is SO spot-on! I can't wait to see more from BOTH of you!!

  9. Fabulous interview! I'm a huge Debbie Doodle fan! She is definitely a purple chin designer, love that phrase!

  10. This is a great interview! Enjoyed getting to know more about Debby and seeing her fabulous work!

  11. Great post--I love how you set up the DD. The "Plan" part--I love it! Debby's cards are jaw-dropping (Michele described it perfectly). Super interview!

  12. What a fun post Wida, I love getting to know someone of my favorite bloggers this way!

  13. Another fantastic post! I am absolutely loving this series! So fun to learn about some of my favorite bloggers!

  14. Wida, you've chosen another fantastic paper crafter for your DD feature! I love Debby's work! It was great to get the chance to learn more about her.
    Can't wait for your next DD!

  15. Wida, What an absolutely wonderful introduction! I've been following Debby for some time now, but this was a lot of fun!! Thanks!

  16. Wida, this is an awesome post - I loved reading about Debby. She is one of my all time favorite crafters. Thanks so much for featuring her!

  17. What a fabulous post Wida - I love Debby and this was really interesting. Thanks :)

  18. I came here from Debbys blog n I agree with everything you say about her n everything she says about you! So now I follow you too!

  19. Yep - I have CASED much of Debby's FABULOUS CREATIONS! What an excellent tell all -- thank you both for sharing Debby and her AMAZING talent!! It was a great read!

  20. Oops, I also meant to say I know what you mean about encouraging you to buy the products - someone that often has me reaching for the debit card is Lucy Abrams (I don't have a link to her blog to hand but she's easy to find on google)

  21. This is absolutely fabulous! What a wonderful interview with Debby! I loved every minute of it!
    Lil' Inker Designs

  22. This series is honestly my favorite thing in blogland right now. And your questions are awesome. You're like the cardmaking version of Barbara Walters.

  23. Debby is without a doubt my favourite blogger - she is truly inspirational & such a sweet lady too - I adore her! Thank you for featuring her - it's great to 'get to know' her a bit better :)

  24. Debby is without a doubt my favourite blogger - she is truly inspirational & such a sweet lady too - I adore her! Thank you for featuring her - it's great to 'get to know' her a bit better :)

  25. Wida, what an amazing diagnosis. I bet you are great at your day-job, too! I love Debby Hughes because 1) she is amazingly creative with a to-die-for design sense, and 2) she is such a sweetie! She has actually taken the time to reply to my questions, and dedicated a post to answering "what IS CAS, anyway?" So, a lovely human being, to boot.
    I'm definitely following your blog(s). Stimulating, to say the least!

  26. I just discovered your blog through Debby's blog and love this indepth piece you did on her. Debby is an amazing and creative designer and it was so fun to get to know her a little bit more on your blog. I've become a blog follower and am going to check out your other Diagnosis Design articles.

  27. I too just popped over here from Debby's blog. What a terrific post about one of my favorite bloggers!

  28. I love Debby's blog! Another excellent diagnosis.

    You had me at "pop it like it's hot!" :)

  29. Brilliant post - Debby is most definitely an amazing card maker :)

  30. I loved reading this post Wida! I told you that you'd make a great writer! I loved Christina's comment! I love Debbie's work too, she really does make it look so effortless - I was glad to hear she procrastinates. Thanks for sharing your wonderful interview.

  31. Debbie is AWESOME, I totally agree... she is SO good at what she does. Another great post, Wida!!

  32. Scarily thorough Diagnosis Design, Wida (as have been the previous DDs). Your patients are obviously in very safe hands! Fabulous feature, and I enjoyed reading so much more about Debby, she's one of my favourite bloggers. Looking forward to the next one!

  33. DEBBY IS A ROCK STAR!!! I've been a huge fan ever since I first found her, and it was really fun to get to know more about her through your DD article, Wida! *stampin' O*

  34. This is the first time I've read through one of these...guess I'm a little too ADD to actually sit and get anything done lately ;o) AMAZING!! Absolutely love it, and I'm off to read the others!

  35. Debby is amazing! So cool to learn more about her! Well done Wida!

  36. What a fab post about a FAB crafter, Wida! This was so enjoyable to read. I've seen Debby's work and think it's beyond the beyond, so beautiful, but there are creations in this post that are new to me. Thank you for sharing more of Debby with all of us! Love the way you write, btw. :)

  37. what a thorough and fabulous post about Debby! she's one of my all time FAVES!!!! you nailed it with her. thanks for sharing.

  38. Wida, I love this post!! I have been an admirer of Debby for ages. This is awesome!

  39. Wowzers! What an in-depth post about one of my favourite bloggers/stampers! I think your motto for 2013 should be 'Pop it like it's HOT!' ;D

  40. Just catching up on your diagnosis....FABULOUS and INSIGHTFUL interview of the super talented Debby!

  41. You know I love Debby's designs too and I LOVE reading you DD feature. Your blog is FUN and FRESH and I always learn something when I stop by.

  42. What an interesting read! Thanks for sharing this awesome interview!

  43. You picked one of my top five here Wida. Always wondered where the "lime doodle" came from. Thanks for solving that mystery. You see a card of Debby's and you immediately think "lime doodle". That must be what it's like when you've found your design style ;)


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