Getting to Know You: Nancy

First, it’s my pleasure to introduce a new interviewer to our GTKY team. It’s the wonderful Kathie (aka Kathie02). Please, sit back and relax and listen in on Kathie’s conversation with one of our talented Designer Digitals’ members.

I am so happy to be joining my teammates on the “getting to know you” portion of the DD blog, and on my first interview I hit a home run.  I have always loved Nancy Beck’s pages and seeing her smiling face in the gallery when she leaves such wonderful comments.  I enjoyed getting to know Nancy from our email conversations, and now you get the chance to get to know her too!

avatar4934_2I asked Nancy to tell me a little bit about herself in her own words:

When Kathie asked if I’d be willing to be interviewed for the April edition of “Getting to Know You”, I had to laugh.  When I regained my composure, I told her I’d be happy to participate, but compared to some of the other awesomely interesting bios I have read here at DD I was not very interesting.  What can I say, it must me a slow month!!

I’m a Midwestern girl, born and raised in Omaha, NE.  Omaha is my real claim to fame here as Katie herself spent some of her formative years there. I know, pretty impressive, huh?  I now live in Overland Park, KS with my daughter and family.  I am a stay at home Mima to Tate, age seven and Chase, age five.  These two little characters have been the main focus of my digi work thus far.  I cook, shop, wash, do homework and chauffer just like any of the stay at home Mommies out there.
My daughter is an only child and was born in Germany when her Dad was stationed there during the height of the Vietnam war .  We considered ourselves very fortunate in that respect and she got a dual citizenship out of the deal! We returned to Omaha when his tour was up and I went to work in one of the many call centers Omaha is a hub for.  Later, we moved to Las Vegas so that my husband could go into business with his Uncle.  Unfortunately, his Uncle passed away shortly after we relocated so we returned to Omaha after a couple of years.  While in Vegas though, my prior hotel call center experience was attractive to the hospitality industry and I found I loved the face to face customer contact so much more.  From there I found my way to long term stay residences and eventually to apartments.  I never looked back.  Even when we decided to move back to Omaha, I stayed in the property management field and eventually managed the Midwestern region for a multi-family housing company located on the east coast.  There is never a dull moment in residential property management, where your customers have their at home face on.  It’s a business where you are frequently privy to a lot more information about people than you’d ever want to know.  After twenty years with the same portfolio of communities, the company I worked for underwent a major reorganization and I became a casualty.  When you’re pushing sixty in an economic downturn and young guns can be hired for a lot less that kind of a loss pretty much spells the end of your career, which explains how I ended up in Overland Park as a grammy nanny!! My daughter and her husband both have very busy careers so we complement one another nicely.  My poor son-in-law is somewhat of a saint though, because as you might imagine, he now has two wives!

I have a sister in North Carolina who is eight years younger than I and at present is extremely ill.  I can’t give you a lot of information because things change so much from day to day, but she is currently in ICU and has just had an abscess drained from her liver.  I hope to see her get well enough that I can spend some quality time with her in NC later this summer.

Tate and Chase are so lucky to have you so close to them!!  I would have loved to have my Grandma that close when I was growing up.  One thing I love about your pages of them is that you do such great job of capturing them going about real life.  Busy being boys and not so much posed….what is your secret?

LOL, you are far too kind!  I started taking action shots when the oldest was just a toddler purely out of necessity.  If I don’t catch these guys in motion, I don’t get pictures of them.  I bought my Cannon Rebel when Tate was a little guy strictly to improve the delay over a point and shoot.  Recently I added a Tamron lens which gives me the focal range to be a fly on the wall more effectively without needing to stop and change lens.  I still pull out my Cannon 75-300 mm at sporting events. The boys are so used to seeing me with the camera now that I don’t really think they pay much attention anymore.  That’s just Meem doing what Meem does!  And thank goodness for digital, where I can take oodles of pictures compared to what I use.

How did you get started digital scrapping?

I’ve loved arts and crafts throughout life.  In fact one of my favorite aspects of property management was designing and decorating clubhouses and model apartments.  I started paper scrapping when Tate was born.  Mid 2008 I registered and bought my first product here at DD.  Initially, I was just interested in doing a little hybrid scrapping.  I subscribed to Creating Keepsakes and Jessica Sprague was doing a regular column there at that time and she inspired me with the professional looking touches a little PSE know how could add to a traditional page.  I started with PSE 6. I think the first digital product I ever bought was the “Dated Journaling Brushes” by Katie.  I think my second purchase was the “Title and Journal Blocks” by Ali.  I dabbled and learned a technique here and there, but didn’t start creating fully digital pages until late in 2010.  I posted my first page here at DD in January 2011.  The community here has been a godsend.  Other than my daughter and her husband the wonderful folks here are sometimes the only other adults I talk to in the course of a day.  Of course I spend way too much time and money here, but this is my vice and I love it! 

As the boys get older I see the direction of my scrapping changing some.  I did Project 365 this year for the first time.  I wasn’t convinced at first, but I kept hearing Jana say that it took the pressure off her regular scrapping because the little moments or isolated photos that didn’t really deserve their own page had a place.  The key is definitely keep it simple.  I love the PL pages and they so speak to my love of fun and color, but I’m pretty sure I’d spend more time on them than I could justify.  I’m a pretty slow scrapper.  I agonize over every detail. I am just starting a recipe/heritage book for my son-in-law’s Mom.  We’ll print one book for a reunion they have coming up in August and take orders for books that people might want to give as holiday gifts to their family.  She selected a local printer due to personal ties.  This will be my first book.  Otherwise I still print my pages at home.  We loved Carol’s book titled “Kay’s Kitchen” as inspiration and Carol has been wonderful about sharing her time and experience with us.  Connie also did a book for her Mom’s 70th birthday that was packed with inspiration for this type of a project.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to have the chance to work with some pretty heritage products since my scrapping usually centers around the boys.  I love the challenges here at DD and try to do as many as I can.  I haven’t done any of the heritage or all about me ones yet, but I definitely see more time for that type of scrapping as the boys get older.  I have my daughter’s pictures, mine, my parents, so I don’t think I’d ever run out of subject matter.  New team member Joanne does so much of that type of scrapping and has been a huge inspiration.
I noted in your bio your comment that you classify yourself as a slow scrapper.  I am the same way….how do you decide when you are done with a page?

I have to give you the same answer to that one that most everyone does.  When I start taking things back off, I know I’m done!

Tell me a little bit about your scrapping strategy.   Do you start with the photo or the story?

I do both.  I am not a photographer, though, so most of my photos support a story of what the boys were doing.  On those rare occasions I get lucky enough to capture a wow photo, I usually search for some word art to support how the shot makes me feel.

You know this question is coming; it’s time to tell us what your favorite DD products are.

That’s a tough one.  If you saw how much I have compared to how much I’ve actually had a chance to use, you’d think it was a little of everything.  I especially appreciate word art since I frequently need inspiration for finding a title.  When I go through my word art stash I almost always find two or three possibilities for any page.  I love the look of script paired with alphas, so Ali’s essential words 1 & 2 are perfect for me.

Essential Words Hand Drawn Vol. 02

I’ve gotten a lot of use out of Katie’s Krafty Woods Papers.  They pair so well with the outdoor and sports related pages that are so prevalent with boys.

Krafty Woods Paper Pack

I am completely smitten with Katie’s new Scouts line that just came out this weekend.  My oldest grandson is a Wolf Cub.  My son-in-law is active in a leadership role as was his Dad before him.  Chase is still a little young, but I have no doubt he’ll join scouting as well when he enters first grade.  As you can imagine, there are a number of scouting events we attend throughout the year.   The local pack has asked me to design a recruiting mailer for them the past couple of years too, so they’re a godsend.   Thank you Katie!

Scout Mini Kit

But let’s face it, the designers here are pure enablers. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t see something new that I think I just can’t live without.

I love the education as well.  Cassie writes wonderful tutorials and her new monthly tutorial challenge is brilliant!  I have countless numbers of Sara’s bi-weekly tips bookmarked and she is so kind and generous with her knowledge and time if you need help with anything.  Katie has wonderful tips on her blog too.

Now on to the scrapping arsenal!!  Tell me about your gear.  Computer, Camera, Software……etc.

I know almost nothing about photography or computers, but I adore digi scrapping, how weird is that?  I’m still using the Cannon Rebel I bought shortly after Tate was born.  I vaguely remember reading something here about shutter life, so for the number of years I’ve been using this camera, I’m pretty sure it’s days are numbered.  I have the kit lens it came with, the 75-300 zoom lens and just recently added a Tamron lens for everyday use.  I also have a speed light.

I started digi scrapping on a Macbook Pro, which is now just over 4 years old and I recently added a 27” IMac.  When I got the IMac, I bought the ACD See app for mac and still have lots of tagging to do.  I think I must be too detailed in my tagging.  I have some products in multiple catagories and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight!   I’m still using PSE 10, although I recently bought CS5 on a too good to be true sale. 

Before we close our chat, would you please share with us which of your pages is a personal favorite?

As for a favorite page, I kind of agree with what Kim said last month about your current often being your favorite.  But if I had to choose just one, I think it would be “Brudders” because it so typifies our life right now and the design gave me the chance to incorporate several patterned papers which I love to do.


I agree Nancy, what a perfect boy page and you have captured their spirit and love for each other so well. It was such a delight to get to know you this week.  I am sure that I can speak for the entire DD family when I say that we will keep your sister in our thoughts and prayers and look forward to seeing the pages of your reunion in the gallery this summer.

Nancy Beck’s Gallery

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