Today we’re sitting down with Chantal of Pretty Dutch Designs, who has her own personal shop and one also at MScraps. Pretty Dutch Designs features artsy kits and templates that are perfect for creating art journaling pages, but also work very well for traditional scrapping (which you’ll see in some of her favorite layouts below). Before we learn more about how Pretty Dutch Designs got its start, I wanted to note the special coupon below for RLS and to remind you to look out for the CT call at the end of the interview. Now, read on to see how math and science figure into this designer’s equation, her special cause, and what ice cream flavor describes her!
I first met Chantal through a mutual creative team. We have sons that are just a few months apart in age, so we’ve bonded a bit in discussing our kids. She is always connected, so I tend to get quick answers whenever I send her an online message – unless she just happens to be sleeping.
Chantal, since you just opened a shop at MScraps, I’m sure lots of folks would like to know more about you. Can you tell us about yourself?
On Sunday, I turned 33 years old. I have been married for 6 years to Bas. We live in the Netherlands. I am a mother of 3 kids: a girl (5 years old) and twin boys (3.5 years old). Since the birth of my little girl l made the choice to become a stay-at-home-mother. Before my daughter, l was a mathematics teacher at a high school. That is not my real profession; l studied building engineering (Bachelor’s) and graduated with my Bachelor’s and my Master’s in psychology. All three of my children were born premature (before 37 weeks of pregnancy). For that reason, l work with a whole lot of love as a volunteer for the Dutch association for parents of incubator children. During weekends, l like to visit the football stadium to encourage my favorite football club.
As I mentioned, Chantal and I met through a creative team, but what led you into the world of digiscrapping and designing your own products?
Two years ago, I was walking in and out of the hospital with one of my sons (actually with all 3 kids). He had strange attacks and the neurologists did a lot of research. I found a friend whose kid had the same sort of attacks, and we talked about it. I asked what she did, and she said, “I am am a digital scrapbook designer.” I absolutely didn’t know what that was!!! In Holland it’s not so big as in the USA. So she told me everything about digital scrapbooking. That was something l wanted to know earlier, because since that time l am addicted to Digiscrap. I have two left hands, so I never could express my creativity. And now I can! I got Photoshop, and we fell in love! Photoshop loves me and I love Photoshop, LOL. So after a couple of months, I started on some creative teams (Jen Maddocks Designs, Jopke Designs, Crafty Button Designs and the site CT of Digiscrap.nl). Then I started to write articles and making layouts for Scrap n’Art Online magazine. I started to make my own art, and I sell it too. And a couple of months after that, I sold my first kits at Digiscrap.nl! It went soooo fast! Here is one of my art pieces:
Tender by Chantal
How would you describe your style? Who are some of your favorite designers?
I am still searching a bit to find my style… I love art journaling and artsy styles. I love my latest collection (3 Oct release). My scrap style is grungy, artsy blending. I am not good at clustering. I love it when a designer makes clusters, so I don’t have to make it LOL.
I have a lot of favorite designers! Jen Maddocks – I love her Urban kits and masks. I love the humor, the emotions and the mixed media products in the Crafty Button Designs collections. I think I love the whole Scrapbookgraphics store I like the products from the Urban Fairy. Jopke Designs had such great Fancy Art Christmas Baubles last year, and I love her Fancy Art Roses. And at Mscraps we have some great great designers! Heather T, Romy, NBK, Blue Flower Art, and I know much, much more!!!!
What gets your creative mojo going? What inspires you?
Sometimes I want to design but then nothing coming out of my hands/brain. Then suddenly I get my inspiration and I have a thousand ideas. So it’s a thousand ideas or nothing.
I think inspiration is everywhere! I see things other designers make. I see inspiration on the Internet, like Pinterest. When I am walking outside, I get inspiration too. I see textures everywhere! And the last 6 years we have been through a lot. That’s an inspiration too!
What’s your preference – Mac or PC? What is the one design tool you can’t live without?
Absolutely a PC. When I studied Psychology at the University (for 4 years) we worked on Macs. But I never got used to it.
I can’t live without Photoshop. I had Elements for a short time,but I immediately felt handicapped. If I don’t have Photoshop, I feel lost. (or am I overreacting? LOL)
What do you like best about the design process?
About the designing itself I like that I can choose the colors I like. And that I can put my soul in the products. Choosing the wordart and I love to make papers!
Do you have a workspace designated for your creating? Can you share a photo with us?
That is one on my list! I have my laptop on the kitchen table and all my stuff is laying everywhere Our house is for sale and I would love to get a room or a nice place for my workspace.
Which of your products did you have the most fun creating and why?
I love to make all my Artsy kind of papers. Playing with brushes and textures is what I love the most. And I love making the From The Heart Wordarts. And making brads or flairs is great too. They are just little artworks.
My first collection was the Preemie Power Collection. I made this collection with whole my heart because of my 3 premature children. I had never seen a collection like this.
These are my current favorites:
I know you are in the process of building out your creative team (see the special CT call below!), but can you share several of your favorite layouts made with your products?
Autumn is Like Spring by Sonja S
Follow Your Heart by Margje
Memories by Alegna
Going On An Adventure by Renate
I am a Libra…I hate to choose. (I am doing the GSO fingerpointing blog too…. That’s so hard for me)
You’ve created some incredible layouts, but with three children, how often are you able to scrap? Do you have a favorite layout or two you’d like to share?
Since I design, I don’t have lots of time to scrap. I left a couple of creative teams because I don’t have time to scrap… But sometimes I FEEL that I have to scrap. Then the designing has to wait. I love scrapping (and designing) about emotions and feelings. It’s therapeutic for me.
I love the more dramatic ones
Crown is one of my latest layouts:
Extra Ordinary (I love this one because this is a very special photo for me and I love that the design is, for me, clean):
Extra-Ordinary by Chantal
And the last one “look again”: This one represents my scrap style
How does your family feel about your scrapbooking? Are any of them involved in helping to preserve memories?
They love my layouts. But I have to confess that since I discovered digital scrapbooking, I’ve never made a photo album. That’s a shame! I have to do that!! (Last week, I won the Digidares and from the coupons I bought some nice templates to make a photo album.)
What are 5 fun facts about yourself?
Oh yes, I have some weird funny facts
- I love math and science (I was a mathematics teacher at a high school before I gave birth to my first child).
- I only read non-fiction books. I love books about terrorism, mafia, crime, serial killers, FBI.
- I have been in countries most people won’t visit, like Iran and Litouania.
- I am never satisfied. What I do is never good enough for me.… I always have to do it better and better. Pff I hate that.
- My biological thermometer isn’t working well When everyone is wearing T-shirts, I wear a fleece sweater in the house. I am always cold. And when it’s hot in the summer I am complaining that I am too hot.
Random Question: If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would it be?
Whaha that’s a nice one! I would be vanilla with an outside crunchy chocolate and on the inside – soft caramel sauce.
I think on the outside I am a bit crunchy, but on the inside I am very sensitive and sweet. But you have to go through the crispy thing.
Are there any designers you would like to collaborate with?
Oh yes! I would love to do a collab with Crafty Button Designs and Jopke Designs. I already did a little collab with Erica Zwart Designs for a challenge at Digiscrap.nl. It worked out great!
What do you love most about being a part of the scrapbooking community?
That you share your emotions all the same way – through making something beautiful.
Lastly, what are you working on now? Do you have a “sneak peek” for our readers?
Yes! This Friday is the release of Messy Art. And here’s a layout I made with some of the products! I hope you like it! It was really fun making it!
Sneak Peek of Messy Art Collection by Chantal
Thank you, Chantal, for stopping in to chat with us! If you like what you see and want to be a part, Pretty Dutch Designs is having a CT call!
Finally, be sure to “Like” the Pretty Dutch Designs Facebook fan page to get the latest news and when you do a little shopping, remember to use the coupon code at the top!
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!