Getting to Know You: Pattie Knox

Interview by Kathie (aka Kathie02)

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I am so lucky to get to interview one of my dearest friends.  She is truly one of the finest and funniest people I know.  Ten minutes after we met in person we decided we must have been seperated at birth…lol!!  A little personal history here, when I first discovered digital scrapping it was finding a card that Pattie had created that sparked my interest.  It was so creative and what started my own digital scrapping journey.  If someone would have told me on that day I spotted that card that I would not only become a digital scrapper myself, but that it’s creator would become such a wonderful friend I would have never believed it!  I am so excited for everyone else to have a chance to get to know Pattie Knox a little better too!  I started out by asking Pattie to tell us a bit about herself:
My husband, Tom, and I originally hail from the beautiful Finger Lakes area in Upstate New York and travel there as often as possible to spend time with our extended family. I’ve grown to love our life in Ohio … but the Finger Lakes is till “home”. I’m blessed with two brothers and one sister and we love spending time with them, their spouses and assorted nieces and nephews. And of course … my own Mom! J I still miss my Dad, fifteen years after he passed, and would give anything to find him sitting in his recliner when we come in the door again.

Tom’s job as a Ceramic Engineer brought us to Northeast Ohio 30 years ago and we’re still here! We live in a little town between Akron and Canton and have made wonderful friends that make up for the absence of family.  In October we’ll celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary and my mother STILL thinks he’s too good for me! J (And she’s probably right!)

My two greatest “designs” are our son, David (31) and our daughter, Tiffany (28). David lives in the greater Cincinnati area with his wife Cindy and our grand-dog Wilson and is the Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish Interactive. Tiffany lives nearby and works with troubled children as an in-school mental health worker. We are extremely proud of both of them! It’s a wonderful thing when you wake up one day and realize that your children are also your friends.  Our yellow Lab, Izzy, is the only “child” at home now and she has Tom and I trained very well. You’ll see Izzy in a lot of my pages because she never tells me to get that camera away from her because she doesn’t have her makeup on, etc.!

In my “life before children” I was a paralegal specializing in estate work. After 15 years as a stay at home Mom I returned to the workforce as an elementary school Technology Specialist for our local school district and have held that position for 18 years now. I truly enjoy working with children and I believe they have taught me more than I have ever taught them in many ways! I had the pleasure of working side by side with my dear friend Lynn (known as Grandma Lynnie to all of you) until she retired and I can’t wait to join her in retirement! I love my job, but I love designing products and teaching online classes even more and am eager to have more time to devote to both ventures.
How lucky for us that you love designing….I can’t imagine scrapping without all the “Pattie Products” that fill my “go to” folder!!  Did you start out as a paper scrapper or dive right into digitial?

I was a paper scrapper for about a year and spent more time (and money) buying supplies than actually using them. I created a scrapbook of Tiffany’s life for her as a graduation present in 2001 and we still refer to it as the “million dollar scrapbook.” It’s probably no small coincidence that our local scrapbooking store went out of business when I stopped paper scrapping!

I was really never very good at paper scrapping. I can’t cut a straight line, I always had glue in my hair and ink on my fingers … and Tom wasn’t too thrilled with the dents I put in our dining room table hammering in rivets! One day I bought a magazine from Memory Makers all about digital scrapbooking. I was enthralled and began searching the web trying to discover the secret to the beautiful layouts I saw in the magazine. The search led me to Scrapbook Bytes and a small, close knit community of others who preferred Photoshop to paper and glue. I tried my hand at a layout, swallowed the lump of nerves in my throat and posted it. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I received an email from an editor at Creating Keepsakes magazine asking for permission to publish that layout in their “Fresh Faces” column. My very first EVER digital layout!  Needless to say, I was totally hooked from that day forth and became very involved in the small digi community that existed then. That’s where I met Jodi Perry and Katie among others. Jodi and I were design team members for Scrapbook Bytes and I wrote a tutorial column for their monthly newsletter. I got to know Katie better when we both served on Creative Teams for several of the early designers. One day she sent me an email and said, “I’m thinking about opening my own site … would you like to be a member of MY Creative Team?” She didn’t have to ask twice as I already recognized her immense talent!

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my “scrapping life” was serving as a Contributing Editor for Creating Keepsakes “Digital Scrapbooking Magazine”. I loved working with the other members of the team and am still saddened by the magazine’s demise. I miss the days when there were 4 or 5 different scrapbooking magazines to scoop up at the newsstands every month. It was such a great feeling to crawl under the covers at night and drink in those pages … especially when I’d see a layout and think “Hey, I KNOW her!”

I love teaching others how to utilize Photoshop and/or Photoshop Elements and have been privileged to teach online classes at Get It Scrapped and now at Creative Passion Classes. When that “lightbulb” goes off in a student’s head I’m thrilled. And when I see my students appear in the forums/gallery at Designer Digitals as new members I’m as proud as a new mom!
You have so much on your plate my friend, when you do find time to scrap a page what is your starting point…the story, the photo?

How do I scrapbook? Not often enough any more! J With a full time “day job” and putting on my second hat evenings to design for DD and teach classes at Creative Passion I find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I’m so happy to be on Summer Break and plan to devote part of each day to scrapping again … because I miss it terribly and it’s making me cranky! For me it’s always about the story I want to tell. I never seem to have enough room for my journaling because I journal like I talk … a LOT!
Tell us a little about your transition from scrapper extrordinaire to a designer whos products fill all of our hard drives?

When I was a DTM at Scrapbook Bytes I wrote an article for the newsletter sharing how I reutilized my favorite pages by creating templates that I could then just clip papers and photos to. Hard to believe, but that was in 2004! Flash forward a few years …I was puttering along happily scrapping as a member of the DD Creative Team when Katie called me and said “Hey, remember that article you wrote back in the day?” I think it would be great if you tried selling some of those templates you make in the store. What do you say?” I started out just offering templates and then became more and more interested in learning to design other products. Katie gave me a lot of help and lessons, and the rest … as they say … is history!

Where do you find the inspiration for your designs and what are your favorite products to create?
As you can no doubt tell from my style, I get a lot of inspiration from my daily surroundings … school kids! J Our fabulous Creative Team also sends lots of suggestions for themes and items my way and I’m always grateful for those suggestions. Those ladies have more imagination in their little fingers than I have in my whole body!

I’d have to say that I’m most content when I’m designing whimisical kits/elements with bright cheerful colors. I like to design things that might bring a smile to someone’s face when they use them.
I have to guess that we will be seeing a lot of new Pattie Products with pink and blue color palletes, care to tell us why?

I thought you’d never ask! J David and his wife Cindy are about to bless Tom and I with our first grandchildren. Twins! One boy and one girl. (Does it get any better than that?) Cindy’s due date is June 27th, but it could be any day now. We are over the moon and can’t wait to meet Lincoln and Mylee! I have to admit that the prospect of having baby photos to scrap makes me salivate too! I’m definitely chaffing at the bit to create an alphabet book inspired by the beautiful ones that Merr and Mollie have done for their grandchildren.
Because we always want to know, will you share with us your scrapping gear?

My primary computer for designing is a desktop Dell PC with 12 GIGs of RAM and dual monitors. My iPad is attached to my hip at all times and I don’t think I could live without it … but I don’t use it for design work. My primary camera is a Canon 30D which I adore. Software? Oh gracious, I’m a software junkie! But my two most important programs with regard to designing are Photoshop and Illustrator. I just upgraded both to CS6 and am loving the new features!
This question is a two-fer!  Share with us not only your most loved page, but your favorite design as well.

I find that when I scrap I tend to use products from the other talented designers here that I’m honored to share a space with. (I think that by the time I get done designing a product I’m tired of looking at it and want a change of pace! LOL!)

Katie’s Botanist Notebook and Bookshelf series are kits that I reach for again and again. Absolutely my all-time favorites and I NEVER tire of using them!  I love ALL of Lynn’s “worn” items and her alphas. When I want to “look cool” I reach for word art by Ali or Cathy. J Andrea’s papers are amazing and add just the perfect touch of color and “punch”. Mindy’s delightful art, particularly her Christmas items, are present on my gift tags, treat bag tops, etc. year after year. Need I go on? I work with some of the most talented ladies in the industry and consider myself very fortunate to have access to their art.

Favorite product of my own?  That’s a hard one.  It’s almost like picking a favorite child.  I think it’s a tossup between two of my kits:

In the Swim

A to Zoo

My favorite page? This one I created as a Father’s Day gift for Tom several years ago … not because it’s a spectacular design, but because it’s a collection of photos that memorializes the most important aspect of our life together … raising our children.

for Tom

RichMan_ToPostIn closing, is there anything else you would like to add?

I think you’ve probably heard enough from me by now (told you I talk a lot!) … but if I have one thing to add it’s this: I want to thank all of our customers at Designer Digitals for bringing so much joy to my life. It’s a humbling experience to see my designs used on pages that capture your memories, dreams and feelings. It never fails to make my heart whistle a happy tune when I come across a layout in the gallery using something I created.  It’s an honor and a privilege to be a part of your journey.

I want to thank Pattie for taking the time to answer all my questions (aren’t you glad I didn’t make you tell the hershey bar wrapper story)!!  I hope all of you have enjoyed getting to know her a little better…she is truly one in a million!!!

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