Happy Wednesday Sweet Shoppers! Do you know what today is? It’s the first of the month, and that means it’s time to put another amazing designer into the sweet spotlight! Today it’s Janet’s turn, and I think you’re really going to enjoy getting to know her better because I find her infinitely interesting as a person, a business woman, a mom, a scrapper and so much more! There’s just something special about her take on life, and I think you’ll see that in our interview with her below. As a special bonus you’ll get her amazing template pack Scrap This! FREE with your $10 purchase between now and February 15th, so head to the shoppe now to pick up some yummy goodies so you don’t miss em…
Just The Basics
Where do you live?
For the past four years, my family and I have lived in Bandung, Indonesia. My husband is a teacher in an international school here. In the past, we have also lived in India and Malaysia. In June we will be returning to the States for at least a year and will be living in North Carolina.
Do you have any pets?
We have one dog, a Pug named Lucy. I have never been much of a dog person, but I am seriously in love with this dog. She is playful, affectionate, and totally sweet. My favorite thing is that every morning when I get up and go downstairs to read, she always comes with me and spreads out on my lap and goes back to sleep. I love it! Here she is when she was a puppy. She was not-so-patiently waiting for me to finish my work so we could go lay on the bed and take a nap (I was eight months pregnant, so she knew my routine pretty well!)
Texting or talking?
Texting. I hate talking on the phone. Even worse is Skype. I loathe Skype with everything in me and I refuse to use it unless I am away from my kids. I would much, much rather “type chat” on Gmail.
Besides designing, do you have any other job or occupation?
No, but I keep pretty busy with five kids aged eight and under and homeschooling the four oldest!
What’s your favorite food?
I know it’s weird, but I love peanut butter and bacon on toast!
What’s your biggest fear?
My greatest fear is that I will die before my kids are grown. I am afraid to miss all the big milestones in their life (graduating, marriage, kids, etc) and I am afraid for them to have to go through losing their mom at a young age. I have met many people who have lost parents when they were young and I don’t want my kids to have to go through that heartache and struggle. Everyone deserves to have a mom!
Describe your perfect pizza toppings.
Cheese. Just cheese.
What’s your pet peeve?
I have many, so I will just choose one. Eating at someone’s home and they don’t set out napkins on the table. I find it almost impossible to eat without a napkin.
Do you talk to yourself?
All the time. I am someone who needs to process things out loud and so if I have something that I can’t talk to anyone about, I go talk to myself. I often takes walks just so I can “have a chat.”
CD’s or MP3′s?
Neither. I don’t really like music. In a house with five small kids, I rarely have quiet. So when I do have it, I don’t want to ruin it with music. But if I had to buy something, it would definitely be MP3. Living overseas is so much easier now that we can get music, movies, and books digitally.
Inside The Artist’s Studio
When and how did you get started as a digital designer?
I started designing templates in August 2006. A friend had sent me a template to try and about half way through my layout I thought, “I could do this!” I quit my layout and made my first template. A few weeks later, I saw a designer call for The Digi Shoppe. I applied and was accepted. I was at The Digi Shoppe until March 2007 when I moved to Scrapbook Graphics. In January 2009, I stopped designing in order to launch The Daily Digi. In December 2009, I handed the reigns of TDD over to my partner Steph and I joined Sweet Shoppe Designs. It’s been an amazing journey and I am so thankful for all the opportunities that it has brought me.
What was the first kit you ever made?
These template packs were made in my first month of designing. Can we say wild and crazy?!? Obviously, it took me a while to find my style!
Do you scrapbook too or just design?
If you scrapbook, share your favorite layout. I am and always have been first and foremost a scrapper. I love scrapping and I can’t imagine ever giving it up. It’s hard to find the time, but I push myself to do it. That’s one of the reasons I don’t have a creative team. I know if I had a team that I would stop scrapping. Almost all of my template previews have an example layout on them and I do them all myself. It’s the only way I KNOW that I will make time to scrap. It’s hard to choose a favorite layout, but I know that I will always love this one of my son’s first birthday (he’s almost six now!) This layout was part of my entry for the 2007 Creating Keepsakes Scrapbooker of the Year contest (I was a top ten finalist).
How would you describe your design style?
My design style is just like my scrapping style (and fashion style, home decorating style, etc!): simple, clean, and “perfectly imperfect.” I like order to a page and I want the photos and journaling to stand out from everything else. I love getting lots of photos on a page and my designing “specialty” is two-page spreads.
What’s your favorite thing about being a digital scrapbook designer?
I love the creative outlet that it has given me. Knowing that I get to do something creative every week—and get paid for it!—is a highlight for me. Also, designing has been what has enabled my family to live overseas for the past four years. The extra income allows us to live here on a small salary and still be able to make ends meet every month. We get to live with and serve the international community here in Indonesia because I love to scrapbook. How crazy is that?
Food For Thought
If you could go back in time and tell a younger version of yourself one thing, what would you tell?
To quote Aibileen from The Help, I would tell myself, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Growing up, there was no one who spoke words like that into my heart and soul. Failures and shortcomings were pointed out, but no one ever stopped to tell me the good they saw in me. It took me many years to see that there was good in me and that that good could be used to bless others. I wish I would have learned that sooner.
When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
When I was in college, we had a speaker once that talked about her definition of success. She said she imagined herself, 80 years old, sitting in a rocking chair of a front porch and thinking, “I have no regrets.” That’s what I want. I don’t want to be one of the many people who look back on life and think, “I should have spent more time with my kids,” or “I wish I would have realized that work and money aren’t everything.” When I am 80, I am pretty sure that what I will find important is the fact that I used my time, money, gifts, and talents to love and serve my family and that we as a family reached out and served others. I won’t care whether I wore $300 boots, I won’t care if I used generic laundry soap, I won’t care what electronic gadgets I owned. I will care about whether I gave my all when I had a chance. So, that’s what I am doing now.
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
I think I would try to communicate the message above. It really grieves me to see people chasing after money, fashion, bigger homes, nicer cars, and respect from people they barely know and yet the things that are really important are pushed to the side. Why should we wear $100 jeans when much of the world is living on less than $2 a day and can’t feed their family? Why should we work crazy hours in order to afford homes we are too busy to spend time in? Why should we be more excited to get a new gadget than listening to our children pour out their hearts? I guess I just feel like there are so many people who will get to the end of their life and think, “I’ve wasted it!” That makes me sad. We have one life to live here on earth and when it is gone, it’s gone.
If you could instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would you give?
I would love for every newborn to grasp the understanding that they were created uniquely and that no one else can fill the role they are supposed to fill. They have been made with gifts, abilities, passions, dreams, and desires that can uniquely prepare them for their calling in life. I want them to be glad for who they are and to seek out to be the best THEM they can be rather than the best copy of everyone else around them.
If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?
Great question! In my backpack would be: my Bible, my Kindle, my notebook, my camera, my laptop, my hard drive, a pen, my wedding ring, and my kids’ blankies.
Now that you’ve gotten to know Janet a bit better, take a peek at some of her favorite products, and don’t forget you can pick up her incredible and exclusive limited edition templates FREE with ANY $10 purchase made in the shoppe between now and February 15th!