Interview with Kaari Meng, French General (& New Products!)

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For Americans especially, French style is a classic. We caught up with Kaari Meng, author, founder of French General, and the designer behind the new French General Scrapbooking Products for Jolee’s Boutique, to learn what inspires her.

CIW: French General style is vintage but so fresh…where do you go to
find inspiration?

Kaari: I am always inspired by color and new color combinations – but I tend to stick to my favorite shades of red, natural linen and blue when designing.  There is something classic, and like you said, fresh, to this color palette.  I travel around the United States teaching, as well as go to France every summer – and there is always inspiration while traveling…old homes, gardens, and flea markets all hold loads of inspiration for me.

CIW: In addition to your beautiful books, you have also just launched a
brand new line of scrapbook embellishments as well with Jolee’s Boutique (EK Success.) How did that come to be?

Kaari: I waited a long time before jumping into the scrapbook world – I wanted to make sure we found the right partner to design the collection with.  EK Success came along and thought we would be the perfect fit for their new Jolee’s Boutique concept – and we thought so too!  We worked on the collection for about a year before it launched – making sure every last detail looked and felt like an old notion, tag or bit of fabric that we had found at the brocantes in France.  I hope people enjoy crafting with the new paper collection as much as we enjoyed designing it – now we never have to run out of the small beauties!










CIW: What are your favorite items in the new line?

Kaari: My favorite pieces in the new paper line are the notion kits – available in five colors, red, pink, turquoise, pearl and blue, the notion kit was inspired by an old fold-up button card my friend Elizabeth Baer had given me years ago. I love the way that you can fold up the notion kit, or take each piece out of the folder and actually use all of the packaging in your designs.  I also love the adhesive fabric paper – it is a textured paper with different fabric designs that can be cut up and used for all sorts of crafts – just remember to cut before you peel!

CIW: Any other projects we can look forward to seeing from French General?

Kaari: We are working on a line of home decorating fabrics inspired by our collection of 18th and 19th century French florals and stripes.  It is a beautiful, colorful fabric line that will fit perfectly into a cottage home, a French chateau or a contemporary loft.  Lots of linen and texture – and everything will be stonewashed to give the fabric a lived in feel.  Our home fabric line, produced with Fabricut, will be available in January 2013.

Learn more about Kaari, French General, and their books, classes, products, and projects here:

Shop the brand new French General scrapbooking line from Jolee’s Boutique (EK Success) here:

French General on OMGCrafts