Dreamer Spotlight – Sheila Zielonka

Interview with Dreamer, Sheila Zielonka

I recently had the opportunity to do a video call with Sheila and learned so much about her. It was great to be able to see each other live and to chat with someone who you have only spoken with online. Sheila has been a Dreamer for many years and has created many projects from the Dreaming Tree site and has also put a unique spin on things by combining various Dreaming Tree files. I am not surprised by her creativity as Sheila has been a creative person for most of her life. She used to make soft furnishings as well as curtains and even made custom wedding dresses. She is such a fun and creative person to talk to and I look forward to chatting with her again.  ~Mike

Where are you from?

I was born in Liverpool in the UK, but now live in North Wales, UK.

How did you get into paper crafting?

After being a seamstress and making one off wedding dresses, soft furnishings and clothes for myself and my children for many many years, I ended up with damaged knees and back, plus the fact I was fed up with my house being a workroom all of the time. so back in 1999 I decided to go back to crafting. Papercrafting was just beginning to make a come back over here so I tried my hand, took to it right away and have not looked back since.

How long have you been a Dreamer? 

It was in May of 2017 when I found Dreaming tree, quite by accident and from that moment I have LOVED every single project, without exception…and of course I was hooked.

How did you first learn about Dreaming Tree?

Cannot remember really, but it could have been through Facebook…no not sure at all really?

What was your first Dreaming Tree project?  

Actually, I think it was the Nouveau bookmark, started small and a freebie to boot, but my memory has only been jogged by looking at my orders from back then.

What words would you use to describe Dreaming Tree?

I think of… exceptional and beautiful artistry, precise digital conversion and  brought together by the detailed and informative video tutorials so that even a total beginner can produce beautiful projects.  

Which Dreaming Tree product is your favorite?

Oh gosh….sooooo many? But if pushed I think I would have to pick….Midnight manor.  I have made this a few times but the one that springs to mind is the one I did at 50% and ended up being a “English country manor” and looking like it was made of chocolate!  The BEST one I have made using lots of different elements has to be the Cuckoo clock, it looks real too but does not actually have any working parts, looks good though!  

What was your most challenging Dreaming Tree project?  

I think that would have to be the “Letter to Santa” that I did for the 2019 challenge. There was a LOT of head scratching, re sizing, try try and try again and at times total frustraion, but I did it in the end.  I think I would have to combine that with the “Christmas tree” and having to make 142 sprigs to make the branches and ending up with an infected thumb, I will not be doing that again….ever.

What advice would you give a new Dreamer?

I think the best thing to do is to watch the video tutorials, start small (learn to walk before you can run). Watch the Facebook “Units”, they have such a lot of information and techniques that are invaluable to a newbie.  The website also has sooooo much information and watching the “The power of search” video is so very helpful in quiding you through all sections of the site.

54 thoughts on “Dreamer Spotlight – Sheila Zielonka

  1. Anna says:

    I was very excited to read about Sheila… I have been inspired by her to try different items. I have had a couple of text conversations with her about items she has created, she shares her ideas and where she gets the pieces to put her in inventions. She is also very kind to other dreamers about their work. Keep up the great work Sheila and post your work I do Love to see it all have a great day

  2. Lis says:

    I love Sheila and all her projects. We’ve chatted a few times about crafting and other things. I live in Liverpool so not too far away. She is a total inspiration to every member of the DT Facebook group xxx

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Thank you…maybe we could get together sometime with other Dreamers that live near to Liverpool or North Wales?

  3. Diane Mitchell says:

    Sheila you’re creativity is amazing ! I love the Cuckoo Clock best with the Christmas tree being a really huge endeavour. I would like to say though to others making those fronds>>> If you aren’t as industrious as Sheila making them then they are not painstaking at all. Making 5 or 6 has to be better than 142 odd. Even so I would love to make a tree like hers. And what about the Love train? Sheila is brilliant in all ways.

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Yes indeed, making 142 sprigs was quite a task, but well worth the effort. The Cuckoo clock is a favorite of mine too, and it is still on my wall. I have not had the heart to squish it yet. Thank you for the lovely comment

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      The elements that I used are all listed on the original post. If you have a go I guarentee that you will have a great time doing it….and thank you

  4. Naomi Vause says:

    Your lady created recently inspired me to do one too. What a fun project, took me 3 days part time but loved every minute creating it. Thanks for your inspiration and happy crafting always.

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Thnak you very much for that lovely comment…and I liked the one you came up with too and great to talk to you too. x

  5. Edwina says:

    Wow Sheilla I learnt a lot from watching your prodjects. You are making such beautiful things.
    Loved this interview. It is so nice to learn a little bit of the person behind the crafting.
    Looking forward to see more of your dreaming tree crafting.

  6. Betty Fritz says:

    Sheila is such a fantastic Lady, her artistic projects are absolutely incredible. She is truly an outstanding artist, her eye for detail is spot on, great imagination in the way she incorporates several different files to create her fantastic projects. I truly look up to her and hope to one day be as creative as she is. Thank you Shelia for also being a good friend with a very kind heart, I’m so glad we have met. Congratulations on your Sportlight Interview, it was fun to get to know you even better..

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      AAHHHH Betty…Thank you very much for that lovely comment. I have enjoyed getting to know you and also leaning about your passion …making those fab snowmen and Santas….LOVE them

  7. Deb Verkerke says:

    This is a great interview. I have told Sheila in comments that I love the way her mind works. Her projects definitely gets my mine into gear. Great job Sheila, I will be on the look out for more of your great projects

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Thank you very much for that lovely comment…Hope my photo did not scare you off? Great to get to know you too X

  8. Adrienne Kirkey says:

    Sheila is always responsive to questions, quick with encouragement and mind-bendingly inventive with her own gorgeous creations. Two of my favorites are her Love Train and Mad Hatter Hat (for Easter). I want to be Sheila when I grow up, heh-heh!!

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Thnak you very much for that lovely comment and so glad you liked the train and the hat, I have a wonderful time making these things and it is good to be able to share them . By the way, you have a long way to go yet before you are as “grown up” as me…anyway I say act your shoe size and NOT your age (well sometimes)

  9. Jennifer Barclay says:

    Wow! Such talent. So glad y’all shared this interview. The work in the pictures is both beautiful and inspirational.

  10. Angela says:

    Well done Shiela you are an inspiration to all Dreamers. Small world, my home town was Liverpool too. Now near to North Wales too.

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Thank you very much for that lovely comment. Maybe one day Dreamers from the North west could get together? it would be great to meet yopu?

  11. Gillian says:

    I am totally in awe of things Sheila makes, she is such a talented lady! Keep it up Sheila please, as I, (and I’m sure many, many others), look so forward to your new projects, and their beauty can always guarantee bringing a smile of pleasure. Happy thoughts from Western Australia x

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      Anytime yoy would like to call, kettle always ready as well as the craft room…Thank you for that comment too XX

  12. Pauline Beach says:

    I love Sheila’s work. The clock is amazing. Good to see work from a fellow UK Dreamer. I am no good at making up my own designs by merging different files together. Well done Sheila.

  13. Claire Shone says:

    Sheila you are an inspiration for us all. I love to admire your projects and I marvel at your creative mind. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us time and time again 🙂

    • Sheila Zielonka says:

      All the files are Dreaming tree, I do mash things up and come up with other ideas as well as making them as is, but all could NOT be created without the beautiful ideas and work of Ron Gutman, the precision in digitizing those drawings by Diana Tam and the exacting video tutorials by Leo Kowal. There the ones that deserve the gratitude and praise from all of us. Without their dedication, all of my “mash ups” would never be possible. PS cannot leave Mike out, without him keeping us all in line as well as answering all of our queries and questions along with guidance, Leo would never have be able to keep up with us. Thank you.

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