Getting to Know You: Heather

This is Heather (aka Schnerbear) and she is in the GTKY spotlight today!

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Heather is one of the many talented artists who share their lives with us through their scrapbook pages in the Designer Digitals’ gallery. I know you’ll enjoy listening in on my interview with her. I first asked her to introduce herself:

I’m Heather…wife to David, a man who regularly amazes me with all that
he is becoming, and mother to four precious ones whose smiles always
melt me. My daily life is full of laundry, peanut butter sandwiches,
LEGOS, spilled milk, diapers, books and baby dolls. Our not-so-baby
girl is 21 months, with sweet dimples and an obsession with
toothbrushes and shoes. Our 3-year-old daughter is full of songs and
loves to have me play with her hair as she falls asleep at night. Our
5-year-old literally wants to be a superhero when he grows up, and is
well on his way with his amazing athletic ability. Our 6 ½-year-old is
a puzzler and a builder, with a sensitive heart that breaks easily. We
start our homeschooling year this week and even though I will spend my
daylight hours as the ‘teacher,’ I feel like much of my job as a mom
is to be the student of my children, and I immensely enjoy the
discovery of each of their unique characters.

We live outside of our home country of America, so regular life for me
also includes the balance of raising my children as third-culture-kids
(that ‘floating’ population who don’t ‘belong’ to their passport
country nor their country of residence and so create a separate
culture that morphs from their own ultra-unique experiences),
constantly learning (and forgetting and re-learning) another language,
supporting my husband in his role as a leader to other ex-pats in a
similar position, wishing I could see my extended family more, and
navigating my own support system for those times that it gets really
rough. I’m in a place I never would have wished for myself and more
tired than I ever thought I would be, yet feeling absolutely blessed
to be doing what I am doing.

The part of my life that shaped me, but which I often so easily forget
about because it is a life SO different to the one I am living, is
this…I was raised by great parents in the company of an older sister
and younger brother in the deserts of Southern California, playing
trumpet in the band, center fullback on the soccer team, and
graduating salutatorian of my high school class. I double-majored in
Spanish and Mathematics while also getting my Teaching Certificate at
college in Spokane, Washington, then returned to teach at my old high
school when I was just 21 years old. After four years as a Geometry
and Algebra teacher (which I LOVED!), I fulfilled a calling on my
life—I quit my job and headed to Texas to start my MA in Applied
Linguistics. I met David at orientation the first day of classes
(after I cried for months at the prospect of adventuring out into life
as a single girl) and we were married within the year. When we took
our comprehensive final exams to finish our degrees a year and a half
later, I was 8 ½ months pregnant with our first baby boy…and our
little family was moved overseas a year after that. We are now 8 years
into a still-growing marriage that has proven to be a great source of
strength through the countless stressors we have encountered.

Heather, help us imagine you at your computer creating the wonderful pages
you do. Where are you in your home? What time is it most likely to be
that you have time to scrap?

I’m embarrassed to answer this, but since I consider you friends…I’ll
tell you straight: I scrap in bed. (yikes!). A group of silly factors
led me there: I was sick for three weeks last year and spent lots of
time in bed and kinda got used to using it as a scrapping place…it’s
the coolest place in the summer and the warmest place in the
winter…the electrical outlet in my room is easy access for my
near-dead laptop…and the fact that my usual scrap hours are in the
dark hours of the night when it is too scary to be in other parts of
the apartment (we live on a pretty lively street). My goal is to
finish up scrapping by midnight, but I can easily talk myself into a
2am curfew instead if I’m having lots of fun. I also try to squeeze in
some creative time while the kids are down for their one-hour
afternoon rest, but that’s not always possible. I mostly try not to
have my face glued to the computer while the kids are awake, so much
of my scrap time during the day is completely in my head while I dream
up ideas and await time again with my laptop.

Please share with the folks your special connection to another DD
member known as Deon.

My world of digi-scrapping is a whole lot sweeter with Deon
involved…sharing this hobby with my mom is just plain fun! We have
actually been dabbling in artistic adventures for 20 years now…when I
was in junior high school I was helping her at craft trade shows to
introduce people to card-making with rubberstamps. A few years later,
she was designing her own rubberstamps and using her home-grown
business to put the three of us kids through private college. It was
pure joy for me to be around for some of the helping and the
cheerleading in that adventure. Now we have both landed in the digital
world: I’m still a big cheerleader for her design work, and she is one
of the few who “gets” all the journaling and pictures of the pages I
create. Much of my motivation for creating more pages comes from Mom,
since I know she will be sifting through the gallery each morning
looking for cute grandkid faces that she recognizes and journaling
that will speak to her heart. I love that we have our own little world
here together.

Well, it is very special to have you both at Designer Digitals. You are one of our most enthusiastic and talented members creating
Project Life pages. How’s the project going for you and what tips do you have for others doing this project, too?

Awww…you make me blush. Project Life has literally changed me and
changed my scrapping. I spent a lot of time in my beginning scrapping
months trying to figure out my ‘style’ and my ‘approach’ and was
thoroughly frustrated. I love stand-alone pages, but I didn’t like
that they didn’t span the breadth of our lives…I was only seeing the
highlights and those moments that had good-enough photos. Project Life
took away the has-to-be-perfect feel to scrapping. And it fits my
natural groove…it’s the way I am naturally inclined to scrap. I love
that I have so much space to journal, I love that each little square
can have a story of its own, I love that there’s a pseudo-deadline (I
aim to have mine done by Tuesday of the following week), I love that I
can include the most important events and the silliest of moments, the
regular and the extraordinary, the beauty and the ugly…all in one
place. I’ve had a real uphill struggle with my emotional state in the
last year and scrapping, PL-style in particular, has helped me to
practice finding beauty in the everyday. For me, the whole project is
more about the discipline of ‘noticing’ and ‘loving’…which eventually
becomes the canvas for the ‘documenting.’

As for tips…I approached this project like I did my December Daily
project: recognizing that I needed to keep it simple enough to make it
do-able (because nothing can zap your mojo like playing catch-up) and
also purposefully deciding to repeat ideas/elements throughout the
album for both cohesiveness and simplicity. Sometimes it may seem
boring to me (and I’m sure to you all as you look at some of my pages)
that it’s the same style every single week…but keeping the same
framework helps my eyes to process the overload of color/photos/words
and helps me to quickly document the things I want to. So I would say
don’t be afraid of simple. Also, lists and quotes have been some of
the most fun (and funniest) things that I have added to my
pages…give those a try!

One of your scrapbook pages reveals you were an athlete and then a
coach. Elaborate a bit on that aspect of your life, please.

Yep, soccer was a big part of my life for 18 years. I started playing
when I was five and played competitively through high school. Always
center fullback…I enjoyed a good slide tackle and the thrill of
chasing down a break-away run. In college I dabbled in indoor soccer
in the intramural league. And when I returned to my old high school to
teach, my former varsity coach recruited me to pick up coaching as
well. I worked one year with the JV girls and then the following year
was assistant coach for the varsity team…and it was a thrill being
on the same field where I made so many memories as a player. For fun,
I also helped coach an under-12 and under-10 recreational team to help
out a friend…and then went on to coach the All-Star team that year as
well. I also spent a few seasons as a referee of the younger kids. But
my best memories of soccer are always tinted with glimpses of my dad
and my sister. The page that I made for my dad about his loyalty to me
throughout my playing and coaching was no exaggeration…it’s very
representative of the loyalty he shows to our whole family. And my
sister…she was a grade ahead of me in school and always right ahead of
me on the field, playing center halfback. Back then she was the
hardest worker on the team, and today she’s still the hardest worker I
know. I love that our whole family was into soccer together. I’m
already teaching my kids a little soccer too…so maybe we will get to
create similar memories together someday.

You’ve probably guessed what my next and last question will be! What are 5 favorite Designer Digitals kits of yours?

I nearly always (literally!) use Ali’s Word Art and Maplebrook
Studios’ Just Linens. I am addicted to alphas of all kinds, and the
two that I can’t stay away from for long are Katie’s Basic Paper
Alphabet-Orange and Maplebrook Studios’ alphabet from the Waipahu Kit.
For brushwork, I am most recently loving Watery Photo Masks no.4
(though I love my whole watery stamps stash)…and my mom got me hooked
on ledger grids.

We are fortunate Heather could take time to be interviewed before she adds the title of teacher to the many hats she wears. She begins home schooling this week! Thank you so much for this very interesting interview. I’m so happy to know more about you. Here’s the wonderful layout Heather chose to feature on the blog.

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I know it is difficult to choose only one of your pages to highlight here on the blog, so, I encourage everyone to also visit Heather’s entire DD Gallery.
Schnerbear’s Gallery

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