You’re in for a treat! It’s time to get to know another one of our wonderful members posting in the Designer Digitals Gallery and forums. You know her as Delisak. It turns out, to my surprise, that Delisa works very near me in Minnesota, only she works from her home in Virginia! She leads a very rich, fulfilling life, as you will learn from her interview.
Please introduce yourself, Delisa!
I’m DeLisa, waving a very big Hello to you from Virginia! I have been married for almost 22 years to Tim, my best friend and soul mate, and a truly wonderful guy! He understands and supports my scrapbooking addiction, and I do the same for him with his Blue Stars Drum & Bugle Corps activities. Our individual interests aside, Tim and I share many activities together, as we love traveling, cooking and baking, wine-tasting, shopping, dining out, watching TV and movies, and discussing just about anything! We have a daughter, Sara, who will be celebrating a milestone in a few days, her 21st birthday! Sara is one busy young lady, a real go-getter! She works full time as a Sales Manager at Athleta, a women sports apparel store, and is pursuing a major in Accounting and Finance at college. We have two American Eskimo dogs, Jack (aged 11) and Molly (7), and they bring so much joy in our daily lives. We live in Potomac Falls, a suburb about 30 miles west of Washington DC. There is much love, lots of laughter, and good food at our home!
As for my professional life, I tele-work full time from home for the US Army Corps of Engineers, at the St. Paul District, located in Minnesota. I started my career with the Corps in my hometown, Fort Worth, Texas, as an accounting intern, right after my college graduation. I have been with the organization for a little over 23 years, now serving as the St. Paul District’s Finance & Accounting Officer. I consider myself very lucky to work with such a wonderful team of financial accounting professionals! I travel to Minnesota at least once every quarter, so that explains the connection I have with the state you may have noticed in some of my layouts.
Ever since I was very young, I have always been fascinated with history, art, design, and photography. My mom was very much into arts and crafts, so she was a big influence and she encouraged me to pursue hobbies in my spare time, such as writing, drawing, crocheting, painting, sewing, and taking photos with my Kodak Instamatic camera. Additionally, I am deaf, and I have been that way ever since birth, so everything is always visual for me. I use American Sign Language (ASL) in my interpersonal conversations with others, and use English in my written communications. Because of my visually-intuitive tendencies, I have a very deep appreciation for colors, design, patterns, scale, mixing and matching, layering, and perspective. So it is only natural that I would be attracted to scrapbooking, as it is a combination of everything I love.
It is wonderful to have you as part of our Designer Digitals community, Delisa. You’ve been scrapping with us since 2009. What led you to begin digital scrapping and how did you find us at Designer Digitals.
I have scrapbooked for as long as I can remember, ever since I saw the first Creating Keepsakes magazine that was on the newsstands at a local bookstore. I have used traditional paper for many many many years, but that stopped when I was introduced to the digital scrapbooking world! For that introduction, I owe to Jessica Sprague and Renee Pearson, and I have never looked back since! It was they who had brought me to Designer Digitals in 2009, as it was the site where they recommended digital supplies for use on layouts. Since then, I have made DD my “digital” home. I go to the DD gallery for daily inspiration, and I am continually amazed at the enormous talent and incredibly beautiful designs that I see in there. Truth be told, I’m a very good scrap-lifter, and this is probably what encourages me to try new techniques and challenges me to go outside the box. So thank you all for the inspiration, encouragement and most of all, your friendship! DD rocks!
You’re a fan of Project Life. What’s your plan for this year? Any tips to share with scrappers just starting PL for the first time?
Yes, I heart Project Life! My plan for this year is fairly simple. I loved Carol’s (carollee) 16-block grid she used for her December Daily, Lisa Pate’s mix ‘n match format, and Linda’s (earl of oxford) varying color schemes for each week, so I decided to incorporate those ideas into my Project Life. I use a 2-1/2 inch square block mask, and I approach each block as I would on a regular one-page scrapbook layout. When I’m completed with that one block, I would save it into a .png file and name it based on the day. At the end of each week, I would assemble all .png blocks on my basic 24 inch x 12 inch 2-pager layout, and then it would be ready for publishing. I plan to focus on one primary kit each week, and use any other matching elements from my digital stash. I feel it is important to keep repeating some ideas and elements throughout the album to achieve simplicity and cohesiveness, such as word for the week, news of the week, weather statuses, quotes, etc., and yet, this approach will still provide the freedom to do whatever I want with it.
As for tips in starting your Project Life for the first time, KEEP IT SIMPLE! You don’t want to play catch up if you fall behind, as it can really erode your motivation to keep going (as I had learned the hard way with my first Project 365 in 2011). Keep the same framework each week, such as a block grid, a pre-arranged layout, or something similar. It may sound monotonous or even boring, but you’d be surprised at the end on how everything really flows throughout the album. Use ready-made clusters and word art to the extent possible, which will save time in the long run. Don’t be afraid to scrap-lift and borrow ideas from the fantastic DD gallery! Create a Project Life directory on your computer, and create files under that directory for each week, so it would enable you to keep track of your photos, layouts, supplies and such. I’ve seen that I was able to re-use some of my .psd block files for the later weeks, so this approach may be also true for you as well.
Great advice, Delisa. I just love viewing your Project Life pages. What other themed photo albums have you created? Do you have your pages printed or just keep them on your computer?
I have created several albums over the years … ranging from vacations, family recipe cookbook, sorority activities, family tree history to Project 365/Life. I have printed 3 albums to date, 2 with Shutterfly and 1 with Persnickety Prints. Since Shutterfly had changed its format, making it very difficult to use, I think I will make the switch to Blurb for my new Project Life album. I also hear Blurb is great to use for any large albums, such as those exceeding 100 pages. Persnickety Prints is great for albums under 100 pages, and I have also used it for printing one-page layouts and our Christmas cards last year.
Which challenges at Designer Digitals have you entered? Any other tips for staying motivated to scrap?
I’ve participated in several DD challenges, such as 30 Minute Masterpieces (although I never make it within 30 minutes!), weekly challenges, color challenges, and other seasonal challenges. I also took advantage of ‘training’ opportunities, such as Cassie Jones’ fantastic tutorials and Jana Morton’s Blending and Beyond and Creative Composites classes, which helped challenge and improve my digital scrapping skills.
Being motivated to scrap is really easy for most of us. However, staying motivated on a long-term scrapping project, such as Project Life, is difficult, because it takes a huge commitment of our time and resources. Here are some tips that I use for myself, which may help. Set aside a time for each week, putting in a schedule to your project, so you would feel accountable and be more apt to complete the page. Break the project down into smaller manageable projects, such as weekly for Project Life, and set deadlines for completing each small project. Tell someone that you are working on the project and seek their encouragement. Posting your completed pages in the DD gallery can make you feel really good, as we have a great community who can help provide comments and motivate you! Finally, look at and learn what others have done with their projects and gain inspiration from them on your work-in-progress projects! When you finish your album, it will give you the great feeling of sheer joy, and it will inspire you to go on to yet another project. Always remember that it is not about making the best album, rather, it is about preserving the memories that will be cherished by you and your family for the years to come. Smiles!
With Project Life being so popular, please share your favorite kits for creating Project Life pages.
Oh boy, this is a toughie, as DD has so many wonderful kits out there! But since you asked, here are a few kits that I find myself going back to again and again.
That’s a terrific list. No wonder your PL pages are always interesting and full of detail. I think the active, full life you lead also gives your pages excitement. Now, before we say goodbye, is there a layout in your gallery that would tell us even more about you?
This is a layout featuring a photo of me with my birth mom. It brought tears to my eyes, as I thought about the happiness of family. She was the one who made the first connection when she contacted me in the fall of 2007 around my birthday. It was the best birthday gift, ever, and, I’m forever grateful. Since that pivotal moment in my life, it has become a tremendous blessing getting to know everyone in the family…my birth mom, birth dad, my three full blooded brothers and the rest of the family. I love them all!
Delisa, this is such a beautiful, beautiful layout. To know your story is very heartwarming to me and I’m sure to all who read this interview. Thank you very much for taking time to help us get to know you better. You have reinforced my belief that our scrapbook community at Designer Digitals is very special and I’m so glad you share your life with us in the Designer Digitals Gallery.