Q&A with Dawn

Today I get to share an interview with yet another Calendar Girl! Dawn McFarland, known here as “winkasheart,” will take the lead on our Creative Team in June. Dawn’s journaling-filled layouts are sure to inspire and she’s a frequent contributor to our forum conversations. Read on to get to know her better yourself …



Dawn McFarland (winkasheart)

Name: Dawn McFarland

Username: Winkasheart

Location: LaCrosse, WI

Please tell us a little about yourself … your family, your pets,  your backgroundI am 46 years old, divorced but very good friends with my ex. I have a 25-year-old daughter whom I adore. She just married last year and I love my son-in-law to bits. They are currently serving overseas and I moved into their home along with my 2 cats to take care of it and their 3 cats, so I live with my sister and 5 cats at the moment. I used to live across the state just miles from Lake Michigan and now I live just a few miles from the Mississippi River. I love living near the water and can’t see myself living anywhere that isn’t near some body of water. It has always soothed me and the views have always amazed me, along with the history from each one. I love history and tend to learn all sorts of things about the places I live and travel to. I love to take road trips and have been lucky enough to travel to a few places in the states so far and I look forward to seeing many more. One day I would love to be able to go to Ireland and Scotland.

How long have you been a scrapbooker & how did you first get started? Ah, here is the truth; I have been a real scrapbooker for 2 and a half years now. Hehehe, I actually started scrapping many years ago, but it was more of hoarding my supplies than actual scrapping. I have tons of paper supplies but always was so nervous about cutting into things and gluing them down and not liking what I did and having wasted it, that I did not make many pages. I managed a few little albums as gifts, and about 20 pages, but that was it. Then I found digital and have created a few hundred now, and love being able to undo and not waste anything but a little time.

I was very interested in learning about my family history and having a hard time getting information from family members. Unless I am there talking with them, seems like the days just fly by and no one has time to write things down for me. But I was finding out a few fun things about my family and trying to figure out how to put it all down while I waited for more stories when I saw this brand new magazine called Creating Keepsakes. I bought the first copy and have been hooked ever since. And now I focus on getting the stories I know about onto my pages. Trying to get the things down about myself and family that I wanted to know about my own grandparents so my grandchildren won’t have to wonder.

How has your scrapbooking changed since that time? As I said, I started out as a paper scrapper, so when I first started digital scrapping, I kept my pages pretty simple. Then I went to more involved pages with many, many layers and elements. And now I am back to more simple layouts with more realistic shadows. I do have to say that my mind still balks at making a page that doesn’t look like it could be real. I can’t put things on top of things that they couldn’t normally be on top of in an actual paper page, if that makes any sense, lol. But the one thing that has not changed is the need to get the journaling/story down. That has been important to me and the reason I scrap.

What fills your time when you are NOT scrapbooking? I work part-time as a cashier. I am still learning photography and how to use my dSLR and get good pictures. I took a couple classes and learned how to use the manual settings along with developing and printing my own black and white photos. My goal is to be able to use it on manual without having to think so much about it. I also love to read and write. I have had a journal for years and have continued online with my blog. I love visual journals and have dabbled in that too. I play in mixed media and most things crafty and I think this love has lead to a branching out into hybrid scrapping, which I am finding I really enjoy. And actually, it’s more the projects I enjoy; I still make almost all of my pages digital. I only have to make one page, and then just print it out as many times as I need for others.

How do you choose to include in your scrapbooks? Most of the time it’s the photos that speak to me and just require a page be made about it. I am more of a moment scrapper than an event scrapper. And sometimes I see something and have to take a photo of it and then tell the story behind it. Like the McDonald’s billboard I took a photo of. It was just something that made me smile every time I saw it, but I wanted to remember that. And in all reality, it’s those things that will truly show my children and their children what kind of person I am. Plus, who knows what kinds of things will be long gone in the future? Future generations may look on that page and wonder how we could make our landscape so ugly with all those billboards.

What types of materials do you use when you scrapbook? Mainly it is my computer and printer and all the wonderful glorious kits I have on my EHD. But I also love paper and when I get down to it and make hybrid projects you will find me elbow deep in glue and glitter, hands full of ink, and fibers, eyelets, and ribbons all around me.

Where do you find inspiration for your pages? I find it all over the galleries on the web. There are so many awesome and talented scrappers out there so willing to share the pages they create. And sometimes, it is the story alone that inspires me. Then of course there are the many magazines and books, which always yell out to me that they must be purchased and perused!

Who are your scrapbooking role models? I have 3: Ali Edwards, Jacinda P., and Chris Turnbull. All tell wonderful stories and their journaling usually guides them and all have a slightly different style to accomplish that.

What is something your scrapbooking friends probably don’t know about you? I am such a procrastinator! I always wait till the last minute to do things.

What is on your scrapbooking “wish list”? You know, I pretty much have what I want for the moment. Although I would really love the Wishblade, if it does what I think it does, lol. Or maybe something so I could create my own books, like the ones you can get from Shutterfly, Inkubok, or My Pictales, but I haven’t seen anything like that yet, that allows me the freedom to make my own covers in any size.

What is your favorite quote? If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. ~Unknown

What do you hope future viewers of your scrapbooks will gain from your pages? I hope that when future generations view my scrapbooks, they will gain a sense of who they are and where they came from. That they are not alone in this world, they come from a truly great and awesome family line.

What is your best tip for fellow scrapbookers? Don’t worry about how perfect a page is, just tell the stories in your heart and the pages will be perfect and your family will love them!

Anything else you’d like to add? I am not a chronological scrapper. Never have been and never will be. That thought just paralyzes me, and if I tried doing that, I would never get one single page done. That task seems so daunting to me, and I would NEVER be caught up, so I make my pages starting with the now and do a few from the past when I can or the mood strikes. Plus, it’s easier to remember what was going on when working in the present, and I feel like I am getting something accomplished.

Click on “comment” below to share your thoughts…


  1. TFS Dawn! It’s so nice to read more about you and I love that quote!

  2. TFS Dawn! It’s so nice to read more about you and I love that quote!

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