One of my favorite places to find beautiful and interesting images for my art projects is The Graphics Fairy! Karen has an amazing a collection of vintage art which she scans and generously shares with us each day. She also offers up pretty free blog backgrounds and graphics. I’m happy Karen took the time to chat with me about her blog! It was so much fun getting to know her more. I hope you enjoy my interview with Karen!

When did you start The Graphics Fairy and what inspired you?

I started The Graphics Fairy in August of 2007.

Oddly enough, I first started the Graphics Fairy after my hard drive crashed twice, in less than 2 years, and I lost all of my images both times! At the time I already had a blog for my shop Fleurish so, blogs were a comfortable format for me. So it just sort of hit me, to start another blog so that I could store my image collections safely and then share them with people at the same time.

Where do you find all of these graphics? You must have a ton of vintage books!

I do have a lot of books and all kinds of other papery stuff too! I find things all over really… antique shops, auctions, flea markets, libraries, used and rare book shops. Some things I buy off of Ebay and some I even inherited from my family. Also a lot of my friends are antique dealers and they lend me things from time to time.

How old does an image have to be to be copyright free?

That’s a difficult question really. For the most part if something was made in the U.S. before 1923, the image would fall into the public domain. After that date, it’s more of a gray area as the laws changed several times over the years. Also other countries have different laws then we do. That’s why most of my images are from pre 1923. Occasionally I will offer an image from a later time period, but a lot of research goes into it first before I post it, and if I have any doubts I will post a warning to my readers.

You also make blog backgrounds, blog headers and lots of neat crafts. Are you an artist, graphic designer or self taught crafter? How did you get into all this?

I’m totally self taught with everything I do. I’ve always been pretty crafty, but I’m a super messy crafter! I love the digital stuff, because I can be creative with out having to clean up afterwards! I got into the design stuff after hiring a couple of talented designers to make me a banner and a site design for my first blogs. I thought it was the most awesome thing ever and I just had to figure out how to do it myself. I love making the backgrounds, the patterns are really fun for me. To be honest I’m not that crazy about making banners, I just don’t think I’m very good at it. I hired Cathe Holden to design my logo and banner for my Graphics Fairy blog, so I can’t take credit for that!

Your blog is very popular, what are some things you had no idea about before now? Things you wish someone would have told you about blogging when you first started out?

I wish I would have done more craft projects on my blog right from the beginning. I only started putting projects on my blog less than a year ago. I was worried that the projects would interrupt the flow of the image posts and that my readers might find that annoying, but actually the craft tutorials have been very popular.

I also wish that someone would have told me that it’s okay to let my readers know who I am, and that I’m a real person. I tried to stay pretty anonymous during the first couple of years, but I’ve since learned that when you have a blog, your readers really do want to get to know you and connect with you.

What are some things you do to balance blogging, crafting, work and family life?

Oh my, that’s a tough one! I don’t think I do a great job of balancing actually. I always feel like something is sliding, and like I am really behind on a lot of things. It’s a constant struggle. I will say that the best thing that I did was to hire a cleaning service.  They come in twice a month and clean all of our bathrooms and mop the kitchen floor. It gives me piece of mind and keeps my husband happy. It’s totally worth it for me!  I also enlist kid power for my brick and mortar business, my 16 year old step daughter helps me price my items for my shop.

What is the MOST fun thing that has happened since starting The Graphics Fairy?

There have been so many things actually! I think the most fun thing that has happened though, was last Summer when a large group of crafty bloggers stopped in at the shop where I have my business Fleurish. They had come together from all over the country for a shopping excursion. Most of them are quite famous in the collage and mixed media arts world. I have admired their work and had been reading most of their blogs for awhile. When I introduced myself, most of them knew who I was too! It was so exciting and fun to meet all of these talented women in person. I’ve kept in touch with several of them since then. The friendships that you make from blogging are a huge perk!

What are three of your most favorite graphics?

Bumble Bees

Pretty Little Birds

Paris Advertising Ephemera

What’s in store for you? Any big plans you can give us scoop on?

Actually I just started a new blog a few weeks ago, that I’m really excited about! It’s called “Ciao from Tuscany ~ Hello From Small Town USA” you can find it at I have a partner for the new blog, her name is Daniela and she lives in Florence, Italy. We compare her life in Tuscany with my life in a small town, here in the U.S. We’re both having a blast and learning so much about how each other lives!  We use online translators to communicate with each other. The blog is a bilingual blog in both English and Italian. One unexpected bonus to doing the new blog,  is that we each have become tourists in our own towns in order to show life where we live. It’s made me realize how many wonderful things there are to do and see right in my own back yard, that I took for granted before.

I’m excited about your new blog! What a fun idea. Thanks so much for the interview and thanks for all you do- I love your blog!! – Amy

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  1. Karen is a giving person of her talents, as well as her images. I just started viewing the new blog “Ciao from Tuscany” ~ it’s fun ~ I hope one day to ~ travel there and see all the things that Daniela describes in this blog ~ in person. Thanks for taking the time to interview such a talented artist ~ Much Love & Hugs ~ A

  2. I look forward to visiting Karen’s blog ‘The Graphics Fairy’ everyday just to see what new vintage image she has posted.
    It is really nice when people share, and Karen is extra generous on most days! She will post more than one image or an additional cleaned up version of the image. Plus her new blog is a wonderful idea, as it’s fun to read about life in another country.
    Go Karen!

  3. Great Interview and now I feel like I know Karen a little bit more. I’ve recently just found her so this was very interesting to me. She does share very wonderful graphics and is a warm and kind person.

    Good to see her featured!

  4. Thank you for the lovely posting about Karen….I just found her site recently and it was fun to learn about the brains behind The Graphics Fairy. Thanks for the post.

  5. What an interesting interview! Very good questions. Karen’s new blog sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great interview. I love Karen and her blog … she is soooo nice and her images are a great source for me when I can’t find items in my own collection. It’s funny, her three fav’s are some of my favs too … the bee just came out and at the top of my list to use in something soon.
    .-= Lorrie Everitt´s last blog ..bloom where you are planted =-.

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