Well, I am back to feature another one of our designers here at ScrapMatters. While I love featuring all of the designers, I like when I have the chance to get to know a designer I am not as familiar with. While I certainly know MHK Scraps in the store, I really did not know much about Amanda (other than her neat screen name!)so I especially enjoyed hearing what she had to say during our interview and I hope you do too!
I always start with getting to know the person before asking about the designer, and Amanda tells us her story.
My name is Amanda and around the digiworld I go by dznyscrapper, which pairs two of my favorite things-Disney and scrapping. I have been married to my husband, Paul, for about 13 1/2 year and we have three kids. Michaella is 13, Hunter is 9 1/2 and Kailee is 4. We also have 5 furbabies. Tinkerbell, a black and white Shih Tzu, has been part of our family for five years. Since last spring we have added four little Dwarf Hotot bunnies that my kids got for their 4-H projects. Their names are Chip, Dale, Sophie and Tinkerbell (she was already named when we got her.)
I am a licensed preschool and elementary teacher, but am currently working as a Childcare Assistant at a daycare with the 3-year olds while the daycare works on getting a bigger facility so they can add the preschool program that I was teaching last year but they ran out of room for this year. When I’m not at work or taking my kids to their various activities, I like to spend my time reading, camping, in a camper, NOT a tent. , spending time with my family and of course scrapping and designing. Besides going to Disney some of my favorite places that we have vacationed is Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Through some of the pages that I scrapped from our vacation there and posted in the gallery I met my closest online friend just by answering her post looking for inspiration for nature pictures. We chatted back and forth a bit about what there is to see there and as they say the rest is history. Even though we have never actually met in person (yet!) I feel like she knows me better than I know myself sometimes. lol. I also have started baking and decorating cakes and cupcakes in the last few years since we found out our youngest daughter is severely allergic to peanuts. This means she can’t have a birthday cake from the bakery without the risk of having a reaction. I started out making just cakes for my kids’ birthdays and have now branched off into making them for friends and family, too. I even did my little sister’s wedding cake this summer.
I have always been a creative person. Ever since I was a little girl I have had some sort of crafting project going all the time; drawing, creating some sort of craft project, embroidery sewing, cross stitch or anything else that caught my eye. When I was in high school a group of friends and I started putting together the scrapbook for our school’s Future Leader’s of America club. One thing lead to another and I started paper scrapping my own pictures. I continued to paper scrap through high school, getting married and having my older 2 children. I was first introduced to digital scrapping when the direct sales company that I was with created a digital program. The program was very limiting in what you were able to do and I quickly wanted to do more! So I asked for Photoshop Elements for Christmas that year. My in-laws gave me PSE 5.0 that year , but it sat unused for about a year because I was too scared to use it.
One night I decided I was going to learn how to use it finally and I haven’t looked back since. I still was basically doing mostly paper scrapbook pages, but had started to do more and more digital scrap challenges at a Disney site. Then I had my first child and everything changed. When my older two were babies they would take regular naps and go to bed without any problems leaving me time to get my paper stuff out in my scraproom and scrap a few pages while they slept. Yep, I was one of those scrappers that had a dedicated room that was all neatly organized. Actually I still have quite a bit of my paper stuff even though I haven’t used it for a few years. My youngest was the complete opposite. When we got her home from the NICU, she did not want to be put down or take a nap. When she would fall asleep, I’d have about 15-30 minutes after she was put in her crib before she would wake up screaming again. So if I wanted to get any kind of scrapping done the best way I had to do it was on the computer because it is much easier to move a mouse around using one hand than it is to try to use a scissors, especially with a newborn in your lap!
That was also the same time that I started hanging out at ScrapMatters more. I had only been at ScrapMatters for a short time when they announced their first Design Star contest. I decided to give it a shot. I made it to the second and third round, but not the final. I was disappointed but decided to not it let me stop me. I kept working on my designing for my own pages and the occasional freebie. When ScrapMatters held their second Design Star contest, I decided to try it again. This time I didn’t make it past the first round, but I did play along and got some helpful advise from another designer on how to improve. Afterwards I decided to see if I could start selling my designs. I got into my first store in May 2011. In August DSA held their Designer Apprentice contest and one of the prizes was a guest spot at ScrapMatters for the top 3 new designers. I got second place and had my guest spot in December. I started at ScrapMatters permanently the following February, so I guess that means I’m celebrating my one year anniversary at ScrapMatters this month.
After making it into the second round of the first ScrapMatters Design Star contest we had to come up with a design name. I decided to use the first initials of my kids’ names since they are a large part of my inspiration and what I scrap the most. My inspiration for several of my designs come from things they do, activities they are in and even the clothes they wear. The colors of my girls’ shirts were the color inspiration for the kit Fall’s Fanciful Colors
The colors and subject of these photos were inspiration for the kit Grins and Giggles
I’m also inspired by the places we have traveled. My favorite colors to use tend to be variations of pink, purple, teal and blue. Those have always been colors I seem to gravitate toward. As stated earlier I started off using PSE 5.0 and still used it almost exclusively until I got my new laptop for Christmas this year. I did get Photoshop Creative Suite 5.0 last year, but only used it for a few things that I knew I couldn’t do in PSE. Since getting my new laptop though I have switched to using PSCS for the majority of my designs. I also have Inkscape, which I was already using during my paper scrapping days for my Wishblade, and a Bamboo fun tablet which I don’t use it very much even though I have good intentions to use it more. I seem to do my best designing when I have a bag of Starburst jellybean by my side. There is something about them that seems to get my creative juices going. Whenever I start feeling stuck they usually do the trick. ”
I can’t wait to see the photos that inspired Amanda’s featured designer kit that you can get free with a $10 purchase in the ScrapMatters shop. I love that chocolate frame!
Here are the details
Amanda has an exclusive coupon for our blog readers 20%off4U which is good now in her shop through February 15th. Hurry on over now! You can also find Amanda on Facebook here and her blog here. If you have not signed up for the monthly ScrapMatters newsletter, do that before the 15th and you might just find a coordinating freebie to Amanda’s fwp kit. Get to know Amanda better and have a chance for some prizes at her Featured Designer Chat, Feb 6 – 9:30pm ET, 8:30pm CT, 7:30pm MT, 6:30pm PT.