Q&A with Heather

I’m thrilled to share an interview this week with Creative Team Member Heather Guenther. I had the privilege of meeting Heather in person this summer  at a digital scrapbooking event in San Antonio after spending several months chatting with her on Facebook and through the Designer Digitals site. This gal is everything she seems … and so much more. Incredibly generous, always friendly and an amazing resource.  I’m so happy to have her on our Creative Team.

Read on and get to know her a little better yourself…

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Heather (aka hguenthe)

Heather (hguenthe)

Name: Heather Guenther

Username: hguenthe

Location: South of Atlanta, GA

Please tell us a little about yourself … your family, your pets, your backgroundI am a stay-at-home wife & cat mom. Originally from Canada, my husband Mike and I live in krazy Kittehpile land now in a small town on the south end of the Atlanta area. We are in the progress of adopting out the kittens from a pregnant stray we rescued this summer. Four of the 6 kittens and the mother have all been adopted out now. However, we still have 2 kittens living with us in addition to our own cats… and from the looks of things, the 2 remaining kittens likely will be staying with us as they have us twisted around their loving & cute paws.

I have a degree in economics but left corporate work a few years back to focus more on leading a less stressful, healthier life. I spent a couple of years as an Office Manager for a chiropractic/wellness clinic and working on my accounting degree as I have always loved numbers. However, I put it aside when we decided to take an adventure & seize a work opportunity for my husband in the US. I am lucky enough to have a very supportive husband who also shares my belief that leading a happy life is more important than money. That as long as we are together, we can get through anything.

How long have you been a scrapbooker & how did you first get started? I began digital scrapbooking around October 2007. I had been wanting to do something with our wedding photos from a few years before that were still just sitting in my computer. Due to my new stay-at-home wife status in the US, I found that I had lots of time on my hands but no hobbies, as I never had made the time for them before.

Since I had recently made the switch to a Mac at that time, I didn’t have any photo editing software on my machine. My husband and I took a trip to the local Apple store and I came home with Photoshop Elements 4. Inside the box, I found an advertisement for Scrapper’s Guide and headed to their Web site. I signed up and spent a couple months at their site.

In my time there, I started noticing a number of digital scrapbooking products that I really loved. I fell in love with Anna Aspnes’ Hipster Plumes and Googled her. I ended up at Designer Digitals and made that my scrapbooking home. It was my exclusive scrapbooking home until recently when a couple of my favorite designers moved to other stores. I began looking around and learning about a lot more designers and scrapbooking styles. I now spend a lot of my time at twopeasinabucket.com as well as spending time at Designer Digitals… and of course, mostly spend my time with my buddy Kristin & new friends at Log Your Memory… and certainly can’t forget, I am a Facebook junkie connecting with scrapbooking friends from all over. It is a wonderful world of scrapbooking supplies out there with something for everyone, something for every mood, something for every season.

How has your scrapbooking changed since that time? The inspiration in the different galleries from all sorts of different scrapbookers with all sorts of different styles has really shaped and changed my scrapbooking. It is still changing everyday as I continue to learn something new or improve my skills daily. I have learned a lot more technically about the software (now I use CS4) as well as learned a lot more about what styles I am drawn to and why. I have learned to look deeper at pages and pull out why I am drawn to them. Praise and recognition from fellow scrapbookers is always wonderful and teaches me more about my style and where I can improve, but I have learned that as long as I love a page and it captures the memory I want to record, then it is perfect for me.

What fills your time when you are NOT scrapbooking? A lot of my day is either scrapbooking or scrapbook-related. I love photography, sewing and cooking as well as spending time with friends, be it in person or via Facebook, email, forums and blogs. I also enjoy spending time with our cats and kittens.

How do you choose what to include in your scrapbooks? I choose to usually scrap based on a photo that speaks to me or tells a story that I want to remember. A look, a smile, something funny or cute that happened. Everyday memories. Since I am scrapping mainly for the creative outlet it gives me, I tend to scrap emotionally and jump around as to what I scrap and when. If there is a photo that I just adore, I will scrap it multiple times. If there is a story that I may capture with minimal journaling on one page but want to tell more of the story or another aspect of the story, then I will scrap it from another angle.

Generally, I will have an idea of a story or trip I want to scrap and then let the photo I pick tell which aspect of the story to tell. Picking that photo is about 90% of the time dictated by which one grabs my eye & holds on, and everything just begins to fall into place around it. Because I don’t limit myself to only scrapping a photo or memory once, I find that looking at a photo or jotted down memory at a later date or looking at a different photo from that time will springboard me into telling another piece of that day or photo.

What types of materials do you use when you scrapbook? I am a strictly digital scrapper so far. By getting to know a couple of the designers I CT for better, I am finding that I am thinking more and more about trying out some hybrid. My Christmas cards this year are going to be hybrid. Anyone have any bandaids I could have? 😉

However, so much of what I adore about scrapbooking, I just can’t do with paper and don’t have the artistic talent to do myself with brushes or pencils so digital is my first love. As well, I love the price tag of digital scrapbooking so much more to the cost of all the tools I would need to do it with paper.

I mainly keep my layouts digital on my computer and in galleries and shared on my blog. However, I am also beginning to get quite the stack of Shutterfly books of my layouts.  My Shutterfly books are a combination of specific theme books, like trips we have taken or photos from our different beach trips and books of just random pages I have done within a specific time period. I love both ways of putting the albums together. By printing books out every couple of months, I find that looking back, I can really see a progression in my learning of digital scrapbooking and in my learning about myself and the style I am formulating for myself.

Where do you find inspiration for your pages? Mainly, I find my inspiration for my pages by browsing galleries and taking note of specific scrapbookers’ work that I am drawn to and then piecing together why I am drawn to certain layouts over others in terms of color combinations, design layouts, products used, etc.

Over the last year, I have begun taking it farther and being more aware of my surroundings and finding inspiration in everyday sights. For instance, this week I was in an airport waiting for a flight and took notice of an informational sign they had hanging about the airport’s expansion going on. There was nothing exciting about the information on the sign but I did find their titling caught my eye. The block color design with their type made me start thinking about how I could develop a layout around that style. So I snapped a photo of it with my phone and have plans to do a layout inspired by its design. Ideas can come from the most unsuspecting places and I find them some of the most enticing and exciting layouts I put together.

Who are your scrapbooking role models? Scrapbooking role models… hmm… this is a hard one for me as I find my inspiration from all sorts of different scrapbookers and designers. I don’t know much about most of the really “big name” scrapbookers. I guess mainly because I have found so much inspiration and learned so much just by being part of scrapbooking forums and communities.

However, I would say that I really admire Anna Aspnes. Her work was the first to really grab me and pull me into scrapbooking. She has such a beautiful style and flair about her. I love how she scrapbooks her own way and that is just the way it is. She encourages people to play and explore and try things outside of their normal boxes. Her creativity and passion shines through in her pages and design products. And to top it off, she is a top-notch, really lovely person. I had a product request of her to go with a product she had done and she was a pure delight to work with making sure that she was understanding what I was asking for. Not only did she create a product that was exactly what I was asking for, she took it a step farther and exceeded my expectations! Anna is someone who I would love to get to know better and would be so very proud to call a friend.

What is something your scrapbooking friends probably don’t know about you? That I am willing to share with them… not much as I am a pretty open book with my scrapbooking. However, probably would have to say that most wouldn’t know that I am really quiet and shy in person as I am anything but quiet with my typing. As well, they probably don’t know that I share the same name as my mother-in-law so if they are looking for me on Facebook, I am the Heather Guenther with an E in the middle.

What is on your scrapbooking “wish list”? Illustrator… I love to learn new programs and it is one that I think would be really cool to learn. The more I learn about how digital scrapbooking supplies are made and all of the hard work that the designers put into their products, the more I am so happy they do, so that I can spend a few dollars instead of a number of hours with my head in my hands crying. They save me so much time so that I can scrap more but I do so love learning and trying new things.

What is your favorite quote? “Only people without a memory think that they are original. What matters is form, composition, color and the way light falls. Details come from recollections of things you’ve seen and loved.” – Barbara Berry

What do you hope future viewers of your scrapbooks will gain from your pages? A glimpse of the love I have for my husband, our cats, our family and our friends. That they will be able to see that we care more about enjoying life and laughing than what material things bring to one’s life. That they will see that the truly important things in life are often priceless and everyday, ordinary moments shared with loved ones and are not to be squandered.

What is your best tip for fellow scrapbookers? Be true to yourself. Create for yourself.

Anything else you’d like to add? If I add anything else, my husband is going to curl up on the floor and die of hunger. Must feed him dinner now. 😉

Comments

  1. Wow Heather! You’re a scrapbooking Queen! I love your interview. Lots of inspiration! I will be looking out for your layouts in the gallery!

  2. Wow Heather! You’re a scrapbooking Queen! I love your interview. Lots of inspiration! I will be looking out for your layouts in the gallery!

  3. Thank you Poppy. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the gallery too. 🙂

  4. Thank you Poppy. I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in the gallery too. 🙂

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