Hi guys :o) SP here! Once again, sooooo happy to bring a new (well, our 2nd, lol) GALLERY GIRLS feature to you! As I mentioned last time…all of our ‘regular’ gallery posters that we love and feel that we have almost come to ‘know’ – I refer to as my ‘GALLERY GIRLS’ :o) So, I thought it would be wonderful to spotlight a ‘new girl’ each month! And…I am so thrilled to ‘introduce’ you guys to CARRIE (aka acmckelvey)! She is so amazingly talented and super duper creative with her pages! She has become a ‘fixture’ at the Shoppe and we LOVE having her here! Her two precious little girls (Laura and Rachel) are the perfect subjects (and models) for her fabulous pages! Carrie has a very artistic and creative style…each page a joy to see :o)
So, how about we get to know her a little better? But first – how about a couple of brand NEW layouts that Carrie created just for this post…
Tell us a little about yourself:
Hi! I’m Carrie and I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. My husband and I have been married for 7 years, and we have two girls, Laura who is 3 1/2 (can’t forget the 1/2!!) and Rachel who is 9 months. I have always been interested in arts and crafts, graphic design and photography. I’ve painted since I was young, and continued developing my creative side with sewing, crocheting, photography and since working at a newspaper for a bit, graphic design. I’ve always been a bit crafty and into computers so it’s no surprise I started doing digital scrapbooking. My daily life mainly involves taking care of my girls for I have the challenging but rewarding job of being a stay-at-home momma. Occasionally a rough day ends with a glass of wine or margarita, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. :)
How long have you been scrapbooking digitally…and did you do any paper scrapping before giving it a try?
Like many, I started and stopped a couple of traditional paper scrapping albums, including my first daughter’s baby album, but became very frustrated at the amount of supplies, the cost, and how it overtook a room! Plus, who can keep a 3 year old away from sticky dots and cutout flowers? Luckily I discovered digiscrap a while ago starting with SP freebies and fell in love with digiscrap’s flexibility, endless possibilities and my practical side loved the reasonable cost. I did however take a break for a bit for other endeavors (started selling my handmade baby booties) that took up most of my time. This past year I started again with the SP freebie In the Groove album after I picked up new software. It was refreshing to finally put all those stored photos that sat lonely and dormant on the computer into albums or keepsakes that my family could enjoy. It also has fulfilled my creative side and my need to poke around in graphic software. I have really enjoyed learning as much as I can this past year of scrapping and hope to finish my first yearly album. Oh, and (finally) two baby albums too.
How would you define your scrapping style?
That’s hard to answer as I change up my style quite frequently. I get easily bored, so I’m always trying to come up with something new. It varies from a more modern look with brushwork or blending techniques, to a crafty page with lots of layers and clustering, or occasionally I do a layout where I try to mimic those modern, scenic quilts. I sometimes cram as much as I can into a layout – who can resist adding just one more stitch or button? – at times I like it simple with a lot of negative space.
What is the first component of each page that you create – or does it vary from page to page (i.e. photo, papers, journaling, etc.)?
TypicallyI start with the photos. First I figure out if it’s just one photo I want to focus on or a grouping, and then I pick the main digital kit I’ll work with based on the colors from the photos. I have a bad habit of wanting to match :). I will borrow bits and pieces from other kits and frequently tweak or completely recolor some items just for a more cohesive feel or if I just really want to use that Hopscotch tab! Sometimes Istart with a favorite song lyric or quote, or an everyday moment that gives me an immediate title for me to start with, i.e. the Pinkalicious layout, and the components come in after. Other times it’s actually the digital kit that inspires me, and I end up playing with the items, a layout tends to take shape, and then I slip in the photos. Occasionally I’ll get a random layout idea from out of nowhere, and I start with drawing the shapes. So, to answer the question, I guess it varies :).
Show us your favorite layout (this does not have to be a new one)…and tell us why you like it so much :o)
My favorite layout is my Walk of Nature layout. It was a labor of love. What a great feeling to have this vision in my head and be able to bring it to fruition. What’s funny is that it wasn’t that long ago, but I look back at that layout and see so many ways I could have done it easier (I’ve had a couple of ‘duh’ moments since then), faster, differently, used other papers (particularly since I have so many more SP kits!), different techniques, etc. that might have made it better. But, I remember how much time and labor I put into it, how much I learned, and really, why change it? It’s like a tiny snapshot of not only my perfect day with my daughter but of that stage in my creative learning.
I also like some of my layouts with just one photo, where the focus is just the beautiful faces of my sweet daughters.
What tip/technique/idea do you wish you had known about when you first started scrapbooking?
It actually took me a while to understand a clipping mask for some reason. I also wish I had known about the technique of blending and using photo actions a lot sooner than I did. Photo actions are a lifesaver to the point and shoot photographer and to the frustrated photo editor. I would get discouraged with scrapping because I never had that great of a photo to start with until I started to learn about editing a photo, which is now a lot easier once I discovered actions. Plus, actions are a fun and creative way to change up the feeling or mood of the photo. The best photoshop and photoshop elements actions I’ve found are on Pioneer Woman and on the Coffee Shop blog. And they’re free – how cool is that? Also, never be afraid to crop in close on a photo. It adds interest and motion.
What (or who) inspires you in your scrapbooking?
First and foremost my family. My children are amazing to me. They do the funniest things. I leave my camera out and about so it’s always in easy reach. I love capturing the everyday. I try to take as many pictures as I can because I don’t want to miss a day in my children’s lives. I love trying to take pictures from different angles, and it’s challenging with just a point and shoot. The beautiful Colorado outdoors inspires me not just in my photo taking but in my layouts too. I also get inspiration from the many wonderful artists at the SP gallery and check it daily. The gallery is full of so many layouts I would like to scraplift. My ideas also come from ads in magazines or on tv. For a modern, clean line design I tend to get inspiration from Three Paper Peonies and Paislee Press. I also follow Ali Edwards blog – she is amazing! I’m tempted to do the December Daily but I’m afraid I wouldn’t get past day 2. LOL!
Tech stuff (tell us about your camera and your software)!
I used to shoot with a Nikon N65 slr but after spending a fortune on developing film from my honeymoon it lost it’s appeal. Plus, for some reason one day it became unreliable and my pictures weren’t that great (at least I like to think it was the camera, but could totally be operator error). So now I shoot on a little point and shoot Canon, the SD600. Yep, several years old now, but still taking okay shots. Never think because you take pictures with a P&S that you can’t get great shots. I’ve played with this camera so much and I’m still learning things. A unique angle, a cute kid and a little editing, and voila! a wonderful photo. :) Granted, I’ll never get those awesome large aperture portrait shots, but hopefully someday soon I can graduate to a digital slr. I’m currently scrimping for a Nikon 3100, and secretly hoping it’s my Christmas present (honey, are you reading this?). I am though always looking for a good deal, so who knows what camera I’ll end up with. I would also love to have the full Photoshop, and used to (oh I miss the pen tool!), but now work on PSE7 and Adobe Illustrator for drawing.
:::FIVE FAST FACTS:::
FAVE COLOR: not necessarily together though I LOVE Christmas, but red and green.
FAVE FOOD: chocolate. chocolate. chocolate. Did I say chocolate? Is that a food? who cares if it isn’t, my favorite food is chocolate.
FAVE MOVIE: Tough question. I’ll name a couple since it’s too hard to pick one and I like variety, that and I’m indecisive. Shawshank Redemption, Never Been Kissed, the Natural, Frequency, and I have Spaceballs completely memorized (don’t ask).
FAVE SONG: Me and You from Kenny Chesney, Amarillo by Morning and Baby Blue from George Strait, and I like a bit of Motown – anything from Aretha, At Last by Etta James, and Let’s Get It On by Marvin Gaye (who can resist dancing to that groove?).
FAVE MEMORY: The first time I got to hold each of my girls; the 10 minutes after I said ‘I do’ and my new husband and I got to take a carriage ride alone and we just soaked in the moment (the rest of the day was a blur); the first time I landed a perfect double axel in competition; the first time I tried the pottery wheel; too many to name :).
How about a couple more NEW layouts from Carrie?
I truly hope you enjoyed this GALLERY GIRLS post…and getting to know Carrie a little better! Be sure to visit her beautiful gallery at the Shabby Shoppe, where I am sure you will find inspiration for your own pages and projects!
THANK YOU SO MUCH, Carrie…you are so much fun and such a true talent!
I’ll be bringing you another new GALLERY GIRLS feature next month! Who knows…if you are an avid Shabby Shoppe gallery poster…you could even be next ! I’ll be sending out the December invite today :o):o):o)
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY…see ya back here tomorrow when I share the template for TEMPLATE CHALLENGE SEVEN :o) It will be a QUICK post (hey, it is Thanksgiving here in the States, lol)…and we will only be sharing the layered TEMPLATE this time around…no piece-a-cake page (hope no one is too disappointed) :o)
…HAD to share ONE more NEW layout from CARRIE (how gorgeous is this?)!