Getting to Know You – Seema (Snanda)

Good morning all!
It always makes me smile when I ask someone if they’d like to be interviewed for the blog and they say, “Oh but my life isn’t very interesting”. It seems that our ordinary lives in all their variety hold a lot of interest for all our friends here at DD! And I have someone here that you will, I’m sure, be just as interested in as I was. May I introduce to you all the lovely Seema!


Seema, perhaps you can tell us a little about yourself?

Ok! I was born in Rajasthan, India in 1974. My dad moved to the US to get a Phd in physics in 1977 and my mom & older bro & I joined him in Ohio in 1978. In ‘84, we moved to an NC for my dad’s job. My mom stayed busy by doing at home babysitting, and I remember playing with the kids. We got quite close to those families in the small town of Chapel Hill. Then in ‘87, we moved to Houston, where my parents still reside today. Houston was the 1st city I was able to complete a full school term (we were moving around too frequently prior to this & shifted schools often). In Houston, my brother & I attended a magnet high school (health professions). I remember when I graduated high school all too well – it was not an entirely fun time! Even before I turned 18, my parents had begun to put me on the path of an arranged marriage to a boy of their interest in India. A tense relationship between my parents & I existed for 12 to 13 yrs until I married to my own choice in 2005.

Upon the completion of High School, I worked part-time at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Concurrently, I studied towards a major in Biology/minor in Psychology from the University of Houston graduating in 1996. With IT being the ‘hot’ job at the time, I lived half the week in Denton, TX. working towards a masters in Information Technology, and commuted back to Houston weekly to work at MDACC so I wouldn’t have to rely on anyone to pay my bills. After obtaining my Masters I moved back to Houston and worked at Accenture until I got married to Anil (from Dallas), and moved and hunted for my new job at ETCC which I still work at and love today.

A couple years after being married we thought it was time to have kids , and I’m sure like many other couples who have struggled, thought kids would be so ‘easy’ to have when we were ready! That was SO not the case. After about a year of trying, we decided on IVF, and went through that process twice before we finally had Nayna. I think I was more happy & excited & relieved when I found out I was pregnant, rather than the day she was actually born! Ria came along close to 2 years later with frozen embryos that we had from Nayna’s time. Hmm – does that make them twins I wonder?! My 2 girls are so different in every way – it just amazes me. If one is thick boned; the other is petite. One loves the crib; the other treated it like it was a shark tank. One eats like a pig; the other one as if she’s on a diet. I would definitely love more children, but with the path we went through, I am so thankful & blessed with these 2 girls I have. If we do decide on more later, we may possibly go the adoption route (IVF is rough journey!)

That’s quite a life story so far, Seema!
When did you begin scrapping? – and were you ever a paper scrapper?

I first began scrapping in late 2010 (I so regret not starting sooner!). I paper-scrapped ONE page prior to this. I remember I bought a lot of papers and elements, etc after many visits to Michaels (btw, how does this place stay in business in terms of scrapping supplies in the digital world now?), thinking I would be making a lot of pages. But then I came across digital scrapping, and now the supplies have been just sitting in the corner of a closet for a couple years now. I figure, my kids will be able to use them in school for crafts, etc. So it wasn’t a total loss!

Now the addiction part of your story is VERY familiar!!!
Do you remember how you came across Designer Digitals? Can you remember the first thing you ever bought in the store?

I don’t recall how I came across Designer Digitals, but it was the first site I saw, and the only one I’ve stuck to since. I haven’t even bothered to check out any other site since I love the supplies at this store and haven’t had a need to go to any other. And all the members on this site are super friendly and so sweet. It’s like my ‘virtual home’ that I love to come to! I remember I first downloaded some of the freebie templates when I began. I never used Photoshop before, so I was wondering how the heck these were done! Finally through some online research I figured it out and it was SO much fun, and I guess I became addicted since.

You take beautiful shots of your darling girls. How do you decide how to scrap them – do you start with the photos? with the idea of an album? with a story to tell? with inspiration for a page from somewhere else? I guess I’m asking what your usual scrapping process is . . .

My scrapbooking interest came after only my kids were born. I’ve always loved taking photos and was very organized with pictures and dates and descriptions. What I hated about just printing photos though, was having to turn each photo over and write the descriptions on the back of each one, and letting it dry, etc. And then when I placed them in an album, you could see the pictures but would have to pull out the photo if you wanted some information on it. But this frustration ended with digital scrapping. I first like to find which photos I want to scrap & what theme surrounds it. Then I look through the frames and templates I have, to see which would best fit the number and orientation of those photos. That sets the foundation of my page. Then I find colors that coordinate the colors in the pics and find elements that would fit in with them. My main description I like to include in a page are the 5 basic questions of who, what, when, where & why. I love looking the the gallery and seeing the ideas of others – I’m always so inspired! I’ll look at them and think, wow – I wish I could do that! I try to keep current with a page or two each week of the kids, so I’m not too far behind. As everyone with little kids knows, they are always doing / saying something that you want to remember! When my kids are grown, I’m not sure what I’ll be scrapping (maybe grandkids).

Do have any favourite DD products that you keep returning to again and again?

I love so many of the DD products! My favorites are probably the basic ones though, such as Katie Pertiet’s Naturally Krafty No.11 Paper Pack and a basic simple white paper which I pull from Maplebrook Studio’s Lovisa Kit. I also love the Katie’s Lil Bit Tags to add accent to pages with some information or dates on them. Lately, I find myself using Lynn Grieveson’s Geometric Hints in a lot of my pages – they add a subtle texture behind my photos – I love it. The magic sparkles are great also for the same reason! There are so many products I love – hard to narrow it down!

You have some gorgeous shots in your Maui album – if you could visit absolutely anywhere in the world to take photos – where would that place be?

I don’t know if I will ever finish my Maui album! I get so busy with making the kid’s pages that I don’t find time to finish my HI album. One day I will. I was born in India and just love all the culture and colors & food there!! There is so much hustle & bustle going on there, and such a variation of life everywhere you turn – it’s pretty amazing. I’ve been there quite a few times, but not since the kids have been born. I got my first DSLR camera after the kids came along, so I would just LOVE to travel in India and take pictures there with my camera & new lenses now! I’m waiting for Ria (youngest one) to get a bit older so we can take our first family trip there together – it will be so much fun.

I can’t wait to see those photos myself!!!

I’ve been having the loveliest time browsing through Seema’s gallery ! Make sure to go and check it out for yourself, but for now I thought we should feature one layout each for Nayna and Ria!

Seemas_pageSeemas_page2Thank you so much for spending time with us today, Seema! We love to see your pages and we love the way you comment on ours. Thanks for being part of the DD community!

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