A Crafty Questionnaire: Aliza Deutsch

Aliza Deutsch loves to make beautiful things, especially out of paper. She creates scrapbooks to tell life stories, record memories, and just to hold on to the sensory experience of photographs on paper. Working primarily with calm, neutral, earth tones and clean lines, she finds the most beauty where two complementary ideas intersect. You can learn more about what makes Aliza tick, and how she enhances everyday items with a keen eye at www.designsbyaliza.blogspot.com.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A clean apartment, hours of open time ahead of me, and a crafty paper project to work on. With kids, the first 2 are somewhat hard to come by, but I take what I can get. And while I’m imagining perfect happiness, let’s throw in a cup of coffee and a never-ending stash of fresh baked cookies and cake.

What is your greatest fear?
Immediate fear: Talking on the phone. Long term fear: Debilitating illness.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Not really sure. I’d probably identify with the people in history who don’t make it into any books; the people who just lived their lives, working and caring for their family and friends. I’m not really a mover and a shaker, and I’m not fond of the spotlight.

Which living person do you most admire?
I’m just gaga over Jane Goodall. I love that she always loved nature and animals, made her way to Africa, lived in the jungle, and pioneered a new way of studying the natural world. And now, many have followed in her footsteps. I don’t think she meant to change the field of science, she just did what she wanted to do.

Do you have a theme song, and what is it?
Hmm, I have a few. I think I’d narrow it down to “Dresses” by Betty Blowtorch, and maybe the theme to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am pretty nice and quiet, but I like my music angry.

What is the trait you most like in yourself?
Well, I used to dislike that I was quiet and shy, (and it can still be a drag sometimes) but I have learned to accept it as a part of me. Being this way also means that I observe things closely, take the time to think about things, and I can see things in a way that is different than other people. I also think I’m pretty open-minded.

What is the trait you most like in others?
I like people who are passionate and not afraid to do things.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I buy expensive bras. Totally worth it.

When and where were you happiest?
I’m pretty happy right now. It seems my kids are turning into interesting, smart, funny, creative people, and I like spending time with them. I have an outlet for my creativity, and people seem to genuinely like my work.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I am imperfect. I’d like to be perfect.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I made human babies. That’s pretty cool.

If you were to be reincarnated as a person, animal, or thing, what do you think you would be?
I often say that in my next life I’d like to be Jane Goodall. Which by that I mean, I’d like to come back as a person who grows up to be a field biologist.

What is your most treasured possession?
I love tools. I don’t have one tool in particular, but I love how a well made tool (whether a paper crafting tool, or a power drill) can help you make beautiful things.

Which talent or skill would you most like to have?
Super human strength. Or, maybe just photography.

Who are your heroes in real life?
I don’t know. I don’t really think about heroes much.

What is it the one thing you dislike the most?

What is your motto?
It’s all part of the process.

Who are your favorite artists?
Oh, I feel like when you go to the video store, and suddenly you can’t remember all the movies that you’ve been wanting to see (my analogy is a bit outdated, I know). There are many, but now I simply can’t think of them. All I can remember is Van Gogh.

Is there any invention you wish you had thought of?
Not that I can think of. But, back to my love of tools, I was working in construction and some of those tools are so well designed for specific tasks, it’s just a beautiful thing to see.

What's the first thing you remember making?
Every time I think I discovered the first thing I made, I find an earlier piece of work. I definitely remember always having a desire to make things, but only in the last five to six years, when I discovered scrap-booking and card-making, have I felt like I was making things that I am proud of. And, I think, back then I started with a card with a turtle on it.

You'll find Aliza's card designs at her Etsy shop, Designs by Aliza, and in person at the Hester Street Fair and the Brooklyn Indie Market.

For more card designs and other treasures, don't forget to check out the {NewNew} Treasure Chest on historic Governors Island, where a crew of artists and craftsmen have created a one-of-a-kind boutique of handmade treasures.

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