1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself!
My two kidlets, sometimes crafty husband, dog Cooper, cats Mr. Bigglesworth and Oreo, and I live in Hesperia, CA, a little town on the way to Las Vegas from Los Angeles in the High Desert. We get snow and have 100+ degree summers. Lovely, right? My entire family lives in this area so that is why we are here -- that an the houses are cheaper ;) Besides being a papercrafter, I am a volunteer, Army veteran, and college graduate (not using my degrees - yikes!). I love comedy, electronic music (Daft Punk, Orbital), and Law & Order. I have a crazy life story and if you have several hours, I can share a little. Or you can just look at my scrapbooks! LOL
2) When, why and how did you start Scrapbooking?
I started scrapbooking in 1998 when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had always kept old fashioned scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and concert tickets but didn't start the craftier version that we all now refer to as "scrapbooking" until 1998. My parents never finished my baby book and I wanted to make sure my daughter had a completed book. I responded to an offer for a mail order scrapbook kit where the pages consisted of pre-printed photo mats and journaling prompts. Here is one of my first pages without the journaling prompts:
I do a little hybrid scrapping by altering photos in Photoshop, printing digital elements out and using my Silhouette diecut machine to print + cut or create custom diecuts but mainly I am a "traditional, multi-photo, multi-page" scrapbooker. I do single pagers and sometimes use only one photo but for the most part, I am really concerned about preserving memories so I usually include lots of photos and lots of double page spreads. Though I love what digital scrappers can do, I love the feel of paper, ribbon, and embellies and love creating with my hands.
I would describe my style as fun and accessible. It is something that anyone can do or replicate--I am not trying to spend 4 hours on every page but I do want it to be fun and colorful. I work on limited time and a limited budget just like any other crafter, scrapbooking my kids and family. I think that is what makes my classes successful and makes me have an appeal as a designer--my pages really are something that can be copied for anyone's use and I encourage that! Since I love a good joke, am a little silly, and have a crazy family, I find bold colors, quirky embellishments, and fun patterns tell our story best.
5) You scrapbook only special events or day to day life?
I really scrapbook it all. Of course all the holidays are covered (except Thanksgiving because we always seem too busy eating and always forget to take photos!) plus trips, amusement parks, that kind of thing. But I also do pages about everyday life, like stuff the kids do, working in the garden, or even about my love of Starbuck's. One thing I do avoid is introspective or emotional pages -- I just want my scrapbooks to open and fun for everyone and reserve that kind of more personal subject matter for journals. Other than that, it is all up for scrapping!
6) What are your Top 5 scrapbooking supplies?Bind It All machine for sure--I use it almost daily. I also love ribbon -- I have an obsession with it and have more than I could ever use in a lifetime. Any brands, any kinds, any pattern, I love it. I also LOVE buttons and am always looking for fun stuff to do with them. Copic Markers are a new love since I can custom color anything with them. And I also lovemy Silhouette diecutting machine-- can't get enough! Here's a page I created almost 100% with the Silhouette:
7) Who and/or what inspires you?So cliche but my kids and family inspire me. Now if you're talking colors and design, then everything inspires me -Target and other store displays, advertisements in magazines, craft fairs, cartoons, blog browsing. I love cruising design blogs and even etsy just to see color combos and fun ideas -- the further removed from scrapbooking the inspiration source is, the better, because then I can put my own twist on it and know it is "mine".
This page design was inspired by a Starbuck's display in the drivethru:
8) What is your creative process? You start creating with a photo, with your journaling, with a design in mind a color combo, a product?
It all depends. Sometimes the paper or product inspires me and I create around that but usually the photos inspire me. I have only taken photos to match a product a handful of times and it always feels contrived to me -- I want my books to be about memories not "fake" memories. So sometimes I just force stuff to work together by altering the pics in Photoshop. And one of my fave things to do is to just "blur up my eyes" -- look only at the color of things and match them to the photos, even if the patterns don't match. Somehow, it all works out in the end!
Target page --I used all kinds of patterns, just matching the colors to the photo and ignoring the pattern:
Flowers sorted by color:
Drawers by color:I have arranged my entire scrapbook room by color and that has really changed the way I design. The only choice I have to make is color -- before this I had to make a color and product choice, like "blue brad" and then find it. Now I open a drawer and spread out all the blue stuff. I usually find things I forgot about and it is easier to mix embellies too, especially when I only have 1-2 of each embellie I can mix it easier when it is sorted by color.
Here's a page where I used pink to match the theme (Pink Pineapple Scrapbooks) but used red and green embellies to match my son and the chair in the photos respectively. http://www.scrapbook.com/galleries/106702/view/2484881/0/60/1.html
9) Are you a neat or messy scrapper?
Messy and neat -- is that possible?!?! I create a big mess when I am working but always clean up within a day or so. I cannot stand clutter but I work "messy". Is that crazy or what?!
10) How much time you spend creating?
More time than cleaning my house ;) At least an hour or two every day.
I garden and read magazines. I love decorating my house. I also volunteer (Girl Scouts and Scrapbook Royalty mostly) and am involved in Philanthropy. I sew and do other crafts but not so much for "fun", usually only when I need something. I also bake but only once a year, at Christmas. Scrapbooking is pretty much my main craft.
I have been asked this before and it is hard to choose just one. I would say cardstock -- plain and sturdy, ready to go any direction.
Make time to create. The more you do it, the easier it becomes, the better you become at it, and the faster you can create. If you only scrapbook once a year, you'll waste alot of time staring at the page before you get inspired to start up. And look for inspiration everywhere -- carry a notebook and sketch an ad you think is cool or write down a color combo you see. I don't have a fancy notebook--just a Post-It notepad in my car but I will jot something down if I see it.
14) You Design for a few sites and manufacturers, could you tell us a little about them?
I have had some amazing opportunities come my way in the last several years. My first "real" manufacturer design team was with Bind It All by Zutter Innovative in 2008. I still serve on the OZZ Team (Original Zutter Zisters) and enjoy every minute of it. Zutter is very generous with us and has so many ways we can help inspire others to use their Bind It All (and all the other Zutter products) through the Bind It All blog, NING site, Facebook page, Zutter Zisters website...it has been an amazing company to work for with amazing products. I also teach lots of Bind It All BOOT CAMP classes around Southern California as well as online through My Creative Classroom in partnership with Zutter. I'd hardly call it "work" because it is honestly so easy to work when the product is awesome and the support from the company so stellar. My favorite project featuring the Bind It All:
I recently started working with Donna Salazar as her Design Team Coordinator for her brand new product line through Product Performers. I met Donna through working with Prima and Scrapbook Royalty and was so honored and excited when she invited me to be her coordinator. Her products are thoughtfully developed and appeal to so many types of papercrafters--I am excited to see what the future holds for me with Donna's team as well as for Donna. She is an amazing business person as well as a down-to-earth, approachable and talented crafter. I feel so lucky to be able to work with her and the rest of her team.
I also serve on several other teams:
- Kat Scrap Studio is a brand new LSS in Altadena, CA
- I contribute weekly tutorials to the Everyday Scrapper blog
- Say It With Letters is an etsy shop that produces mdf wood cutouts-- I love working with SIWL to do something a little outside of papercrafting
- Cookbookin' is another manufacturer I enjoy creating trade show samples for
- Pink Pineapple Scrapbooks LSS is transitioning to an online store -- I have created samples for them for several years and look forward to designing for their new online store
Vintage style papers (like Graphic 45) are very challenging for me to create with. It just isn't my style but I can make it work -- I'd rather go for the bold, bright colors and patterns of Bo Bunny, Bella Blvd, and American Crafts. I can create any project but like everyone, sometimes I just get hung up on stuff, be it a layout, card, project. Sometimes the inspiration just isn't there. So I either go out scouting for inspiration or take a break from creating by not even going in my scrap room for a couple days. Finding the time to do that is challenging!
Scrapbook Royalty started as the dream of my friend Elena Etcheverry in partnership with Melanie Christie. Elena has grown the organization from two friends sitting around a table at Starbuck's to a nationally recognized, 501c3 non profit organization having raised nearly $200,000. I started with Scrapbook Royalty by teaching a make n take at an event in 2006 and got further involved from there. I currently serve as the Creative Director and help whenever Elena needs me. Since I am so busy I can't give Scrapbook Royalty as many hours as I have in the past but I still try to do what I can. I believe in Elena's vision and have seen the many lives and organizations our work (and that of all the SBR volunteers) has touched. It can't get any better than using your craft to give to others!
17) I know you teach classes and you are great at it… Do you have any classes coming soon or right now?
I've continued teaching with Prima and Bind It All with a big focus on classes with those products.
18) If we can attend a class, do you sell the kits?
In class I offer extra kits for the price of the class and ask that kits be purchased through the store. This helps the store and without the stores, we'd have no place to go to for classes, crops, and cutting edge products. If you wait until I have finished teaching a class, I do offer extra kits in my etsy shop but there are not always leftovers. Your best bet if you like a class, even if you can't attend or are not local, is to call the store to reserve your kit. Let them know (or me) that you want a kit and we can even arrange to ship it to you if you are not local. I always offer instructions with photos, either printed or emailed, as well as offer my contact information with the kit in case you have any questions or need help. If you are interested in kits only, I invite you to check out my etsy shop hydrangeahippo.etsy.com for past class kits as well as kits available exclusively in my shop.
Good question! For me crafting is therapeutic, a way to make friends, a way to socialize, and a way to express myself. I also enjoying teaching others, demystifying it all. I guess my major goal is to create and to help others to create. The teaching classes, designing samples and kits to sell, and sharing on my blog are all to that end.
20) Is there something else you will like to share with us?
I get asked all the time about how to teach classes, how to get published, and how to get on design teams. Funny thing is, I always ask other designers/educators those questions too!
And if being in this business is not your thing, then maybe your reason for creating is therapy or fun or just preserving memories. Just keep your focus on the prize when you're creating and you'll be fulfilled. Don't let what everyone else is doing make you feel like your creations aren't great-- they ARE great, you just gotta remember who you're creating for -- for yourself, your family, your friends. I have to remind myself of this all the time.
Thanks a lot Jennifer, for being our Guest Blogger today and for sharing all this information and tips with us.
I told you that Jennifer had so much to share. From scrapbooking layouts and organization tips to awesome creations, tutorials and great sites to visit. Please make sure to visit her site and checkout her layouts links for great inspiration...
And also please make sure to checkout Jennifer's future Guest Posts...
In honor of our Guest Blogger we will have a RAK for a lucky winner! Here is how:
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