Today we’re sitting down with Karen of Snickerdoodle Designs, she also sells at theStudio. Karen designs realistic PU kits and CU goodies with a vintage feel, they’re absolutely sweet – like her design name. She also teaches at the National Association of Digital Scrapbookers, click here to get a free three-day trial membership to check out their classes. NAODS classes are geared towards PSE, but they easily translate to Photoshop. As if teaching at NAODS wasn’t enough, Karen posts a new tutorial every Saturday on theStudio blog! Keep on reading to get to know Karen and her designs, plus pick up a coupon and TWO freebies!
Here’s an EXCLUSIVE coupon – get Karen’s goods for 50% off, before iDSD even starts! Use it at her personal shop.
expires 10-31 at midnight
Tell us about yourself!
My design name is SnickerdoodleDesigns, and my “real” name is Karen. My husband and I have been married for 43 years! We have 2 grown children, and 3 grandchildren! I have lived in Southern California my entire life; but in July of this year my husband and I made the BIG decision to move to a tiny town just a few miles from Yosemite. We love the natural environment, the slower pace of life, and the beauty that we are experiencing here.
We love to travel and have been fortunate enough to visit Germany, Ireland, China, England, Canada, and the Galapagos Islands over the past 7 years. I used to watch Jacque Costeau television specials in high school, and dreamed of going to the Galapagos Islands one day, so that was a very unique and special trip for me. One of my favorite memories of that trip is the sea lion who would come up out of the ocean around 6 am every single day and claim a chaise lounge chair for the rest of the day. If anyone got too close to him, he would let them know he wasn’t happy about it. We took our picture near him, but stayed as far away as possible so we wouldn’t upset him.
What do your family and friends think about your artistic side? Are they also artistic – or are you the lone artsy one?
My husband loves my artistic side! Although sometimes he questions things I want to do, like rearranging furniture or choosing certain paint colors, once a project is completed, he is likely to say, “You were right.” I love that about him! He is unfamiliar with Photoshop, so he thinks anything I design is amazing. LOL! I love that about him too! He will give honest critique when asked though, and I appreciate that as well.
Aside from scrapbooking, what really fulfills you? What else is it that you absolutely love to spend your time doing?
There are a lot of things I love, like traveling, reading, and hiking. Those things bring me joy. But the types of things that “fulfill” me, the types of things that excite me and keep me talking about them way longer than anyone probably wants to hear me talking about them, is anything creative. Anything that lets me express feelings and emotions. It could be painting, designing, quilting, or planting a new flower garden. The common factor is “expression.”
What’s one random fact about yourself that most people don’t know?
When I was 5 years old, at my school recess, I put a foxtail in my mouth because I thought it was really soft. (I was enamored by textures even then!). The foxtail pieces came off the stalk and stuck to the roof of my mouth, but I was afraid to tell my teacher about it. I kept getting up to get drinks of water until she told me I couldn’t get out of my seat anymore. I don’t remember what happened after that. I guess I swallowed the little stickers. Yikes!
How did you get started in scrapbooking? How did you stumble upon digiscrap?
I started keeping a written journal when I became pregnant with my first child, in 1974. At that time, the term “scrapbookers” hadn’t been coined yet, and anyone who kept a scrapbook was using glue and tape to attach their pictures to non-archival safe papers! I kept up my journaling after our daughter was born, and then one day I decided to add a photograph to a journal page. I liked that effect so well, I ran to the store and bought a real “scrapbook.” There were no scrapbooking supplies to decorate pages with, but I was happy that I could keep my journaling and photographs together in a nice large book.
In the 1980’s the scrapbooking craft exploded, and I was obsessed with purchasing every scrapbooking element, ribbon, paper and gadget there was on the market! As time went on, I heard about “digital scrapbookers” but wasn’t interested in that avenue of creativity. Being a tactile person, I wanted to feel the paper in my hand, peel the glue off my fingertips, and sweep up the glitter spills off my counter. But in 1998, while looking for a way to create a scrapbook for my 7-year old grandson, a book he could read every day if he wanted, without worrying about ruining it, I took another look at digital scrapping. I realized I could create one book, and get it printed as many times as I wanted. I downloaded a lot of “freebies,” purchased a few kits, then created my first digital scrapbook! I had 3 copies printed: 1 for our grandson to handle as much as he wanted, 1 for our daughter to be kept in good condition, and 1 for me. When I held that first printed book in my hand, I knew my paper-scrapping days were over!
What is one tool of the trade that you can’t live without?
The “tool” I could not live without is Photoshop. Although I have been using the program for 7 years now, I am continually learning new things about it. I say that Photoshop is the “gift that keeps giving,” because there is just always something new and exciting to learn.
Do you have advice for anyone wanting to start digiscrapping?
When I started digiscrapping, the hardest thing for me to do was to take my time and learn my software program, at least moderately well, prior to scrapping. I wanted to create my first page NOW, but without understanding my software (PSE3 back then!), it just led to frustration that could have been avoided. My advice for anyone wanting to learn to Digiscrap is to invest a little time in learning your software before jumping into creating pages. There are tons of tutorial sites, both paid and free, that can help!
What got you into designing? Did someone urge you to start designing, or did you decide to take the plunge yourself?
I became friends with a designer whom I had purchased a kit from (Just So Scrappy). After about six months of scrapping, she asked if I would like to create Word Art to accompany her kits. I did that for approximately 6 months, but during that time, I had a growing need to create my own designs. In January 2010 I was invited to become a designer at a store, and was over-the-moon-happy to accept.
What inspires your products?
Like most designers, there are many and varied things that will inspire me. There isn’t just one thing. But, in general, the 3 things that inspire me most are music, quotes, or feelings. Here are some examples:
- “Forever Friends,” was inspired by a song of that name, by Sandi Patti, and is a tribute to my best friend, Mary, whom I met in college.
- “Heartsong” was inspired by the quote/question: “What makes your heart sing?”
- “Rocky Mountain Dreams” was inspired by our move from Orange County to Yosemite.
What do you love most about designing and/or digiscrapping?
I love being able to get an idea from my head onto my computer screen, and then into the hands of digital scrapbookers. I’m sure it sounds trite, but it is so satisfying to have my designs utilized by others to create scrapbook pages, to record memories, and to hopefully, have those scrapbooks handed down for many generations.
What is your favorite thing to design or make?
I really love to create papers! Again.. it’s the texture-lover in me! I am fascinated by color and texture, so love to incorporate both into papers that are beautiful, but don’t complete with a kits elements or a scrappers photographs.
Who would be your dream designer to collab with right now?
Oh, gosh, I can’t answer this question. There are way too many, and I wouldn’t want to leave any of my favorites off such a list!
Tell us about your workspace! What do you love about it? What would you change?
In our new house, I have 2 rooms that are “mine.” One room is my office, and one room is a craft and sewing room. My office has a window that looks out into the front yard, and a side door, which is glass, which gives me a clear view of the mountainside. In our previous house, my office was upstairs, and I didn’t have any views, other than of the tops of trees and telephone lines. I absolutely LOVE that I can have the window open here and feel a breeze, or look out the window and see deer in my yard, or look out the glass door and see the mountains.
Click through the slideshow to see Karen’s workspace!
What’s one of your favorite products?
One of my favorite products is my Border Buddies. These come with a CU license, but are also extremely helpful for the PU scrapper. I love detailed, intricate scrapbook pages, pages that just cause my eye to roam all over, lingering on gorgeous elements and beautiful background papers. But when I scrap, I tend to want “lean” pages, that are quick and easy to put together, and put the emphasis on my photographs. Border Buddies allow me to do that. I can be quick and simple, or I can dress embellish them as much as I like. I love the versatility they offer as well as I love their simplicity.
- Border Buddies Set 10, Heartsong Collection, and Crumpled Papers Set 2
Click here for a tutorial on how to use Border Buddies effectively.
Let’s take a peek at some goodies from Karen’s gallery!
Ready for TWO freebies from Karen? Grab them now by clicking on the previews to download, as with all our Designer Focus freebies – links expire after a couple weeks!
Don’t forget – we take applications for Designer Focus features! Tell your favorite designers you would love to see them featured here at Real Life Scrapped!