I was thrilled to get to know Sharon a little better and I know you will be too. I wish we could have been chatting over a cup of coffee, but I feel like I have a new friend.
I started out by asking Sharon to tell us a little about herself.
I guess the things that define me most are that I’ve been married to the love of my life and very best friend for almost 45 years. We met in July and were married the next February – talk about whirl wind romance!! We’ve been blessed with three wonderful children who are now grown and by the end of this month they will all be married. We will be attending our youngest son’s wedding the end of this month. Our daughter is the oldest and is married and has two darlings – Aaron and Audrey. Our middle son is married and has two adorable little girls – Eliana and Gracie. You may have noticed that my “grands” are the focus of most of my pages.
During the child rearing years my hubby was a minister. We were both from Michigan but his positions took us to several locations across the U.S. and finally to Hawaii. He began to have voice problems which resulted in a career change that finally brought us to the Mainland and we have landed in Virginia – at least for now. Fortunately, I was primarily an at home Mom and “PW” (Pastor’s Wife}, which is pretty much a full time job, and taught piano during the early years with children. I did work out of our home on and off before moving into my self-employment phase. That included, in addition to a pretty heavy teaching schedule, a country craft business. With my children at 4 ½ to 5 years apart and all the things I was doing and responsible for much of it is a blur!! I think that is why I am so impressed with so many of the DD gals with young children and are managing to do PL pages. It takes real dedication to keep that up but they will be so happy they took the time to preserve those moments!
We are now empty-nesters and I work full time as an Executive Assistant for a large corporation in the area. I have a daily 26 mile commute to work every morning that has me up at 5 a.m. and out the door by 6 a.m. If all goes well it’s about 45-50 minutes. Afternoon commute often gets a bit longer due to much heavier traffic.
My life now is much quieter with more time to scrap, however, too often after a stressful day and crazy drivers I’m too brain dead to do much other than attempt pages and make comments.
I suppose one thing you would like to know is how I started scrapping. Well, I sometimes think I was the original scrapper. I started doing books of the kids when they were little and before it was the hobby it is today – and before there were actual scrapbooking supplies or we knew those sticky photo albums were going to ruin our photos!. I would trace objects out of the kids’ story and coloring books and then cut them out of construction paper to decorate the pages. Of course when paper scrapping began I could have kicked myself for not trying to market my idea!! I papered it for ages and still have some finishing to do – someday! I stumbled on to digital quite by accident. My father always took tons of slides so I picked up a super cheap slide scanner. I think it was in 2007 I decided to do scan slides and make a digital “book’ for my sister for Christmas. I pulled graphics from the internet and put it all together in PowerPoint. I really thought I was something!! It was while putting that together I began to run across scrapping sites. I was hooked! In no time at all I was more than hooked – I was addicted!! I only have a few dozen books I want to create. You see – I have this very strange problem. I can come up with the ideas but have a terrible time getting the books done. Right now I’m trying to do my wedding album. (Yes, that’s right!!)
My next challenge is to learn to work with my hubby’s Nikon. I’ve really been impressed with the excellent photography at DD – you all really know what you are doing.
I admit I snickered when I read that you have trouble finishing the books you want to do….I am the same way, I have about twelve in the works and none of them done.
Part of my problem is that my book list keeps changing! I think I just need to make up my mind and get busy! However, recently I’ve been re-evaluating my “to create” list. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and my parents are gone, but I’m feeling more and more that it is important for me to convey our lives and family history to my children. As much as I like the idea of creating books about my “Grands” I want them to have that history and the stories that go with it. If I don’t preserve them there really isn’t anyone else who will and I don’t want it to be lost!
The pages you are doing of your wedding are beautiful, is this going to be a surprise for your husband for your anniversary? Forty-five years is quite an accomplishment…congratulations!! Would you mind sharing some of your secrets for such a long and successful relationship
Secrets for a happy marriage – hmmmmmmm. Even though we were married very young and had no idea what we were getting into, we entered marriage with a “no way out” attitude. We were determined to make it work and divorce wasn’t an option. We also both have a very strong faith and believe that God meant us for each other – better not mess with that! Shortly after we were married we were taking my Grandmother and her neighbor home from church. They were both in their 80s. Her neighbor was giving us advice and told us that a marriage was 50-50. After the neighbor got out of the car my sweet Grandma said “I’m not saying that she is wrong, but I believe marriage is 100 – 100 you both have to put 100% of yourselves into it!” We’ve chuckled at that event many times through the years – but Grandma was right!! Don’t get me wrong, that definitely does not mean that it has always been easy! We have faced some really difficult, rocky times. One thing we have always tried to do, even when the kids were little, has been to have a weekly date night and to this day we call Friday night our “Date Night”. However, now we stay home, watch a movie and treat ourselves to ice cream – but the business phone goes off and we shut out the other stuff in our lives and enjoy an evening. We are still in love – and still best friends!
I loved reading about how you started scrapping…you were definitely ahead of the times. How did you find Designer Digitals? Do you remember the first products that ended up in your shopping cart? What is it about DD that makes it special to you and your “digital” home?
I’m not real sure how I found DD. I think I just stumbled across it in my early digital scrapping days. Back then I think I registered on every site I found. I see I that registered in May of 2009 which was probably about 2 yrs. into digital for me. For quite some time I would just pop in and drink in the wonderful pages. Before I ever realized there was a favorites folder I would copy and paste pages I liked into PowerPoint pages. I was drawn to the style, designs and liked that people still did two-pages that go together! I’ve been CT for a few designers and other sites and started to become somewhat dissatisfied with my work. I had learned to create very pretty pages but not really pages that I wanted for books. I really wanted to get back to preserving the memories for my children and grandchildren. I lurked for a long time before I put my toe in to test the water. My very first page was done for a template challenge back in September 2011. I was so impressed with all the wonderful comments on my first LO that I did a few more pages! I love the inspiration, encouragement and training I find here! Though I still don’t have my books done I am more inspired to work on them and at some point will actually finish a project. My first DD items were freebies, of course – I love freebies!! I don’t remember the first item I purchased but one of my first was Alandia Rancheros by Katie. To this day I use pieces of it more often than from any other kit. I used to think that everyone probably thought it was the only DD thing I owned. Now my wish list is a mile long and growing!
Tell us about your gear…..computer, software and camera.
My gear is really pretty simple. I have a Canon Power Shot SD1100 IS (whatever all that means I’m not sure). I think just about everything I’ve posted has been taken with it unless I grabbed it from my kids FB page. I’ve never really wanted anything more complicated. However, I’ve telling my hubby that I want a “Big Girl” Camera. I decided before I get one I should learn a bit more and see if I could make any sense with the settings. David is letting me use his Nikon D60 to see. I think that’s a pretty good idea. I don’t generally like to have to work too hard at trying to make something work. My software is Adobe Photoshop CS5. I think I will stick with that for a while – I still have so much to learn! And my computer is a Toshiba laptop. In the evening I park in my recliner with my laptop and use the armrest for my mouse – comfy and it works!
What three DD products are your favorite right now.
Boy – that is a hard one. I love Katie’s Alanida Rancheros and use it all the time. If I’m working on a girly page I head for Katie’s Artistry d’amour Kit. Right now for my Fall pages I love Katie’s Autumnal Artistry and Flourishing Leaves No. 3.
Okay, you know this question is coming,which of your layouts is your favorite? Why?
I was afraid you would ask this question. You know it is much harder than I imagined it would be. I thought about giving you a few and letting you pick – LOL! I think this one of my Dad is one of my favorites. I remember when I did it everything really fell into place and the tears in my eyes as I thought about what a great man he was.. I enjoy doing heritage type pages and remembering times, places and people that have had impact on my life and help to tell our family story.
Sharon, thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview, it has been my pleasure to get to know you, and I am sure that I can speak for our DD community that they feel the same way. Before we close is there anything else you would like to add?
The only thing I would add – if I haven’t said it earlier is that I really enjoy DD. I’ve learned so much from the bits and pieces I pick up in the form, the tutorials and gallery of inspiration that always challenges me to try something new. It’s a wonderful spot to call my “scrap” home.