Featured Designer FWP – Nifty Pixel

Happy THURSDAY, friends! For those of you in the U.S., I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving. And, for everyone else, no matter where you are in the world, I hope you are all staying healthy and safe!

Today I’m excited to introduce Em Stafrace of Nifty Pixel as our Featured Designer!

As you know, the current theme for our Featured Designer freebies this year is a Mix Tape. Each designer will create something inspired by one of their favorite songs, and at the end of the year, we will have an amazing mix tape compilation! Em has created a beautiful template set for us, High Hopes, inspired by a song by Panic! At the Disco. Take a look . . .

Em’s templates are always amazing, but these really made me smile with the wings, the crumpled clouds, and the hanging clusters.

I asked Em a few questions about this template set and the process she went through to create it. Here’s what she had to say:

What song did you choose as your inspiration? Why does it speak to or inspire in you?

I chose High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco. It’s such a great motivational song with a really good message! It’s even better with the volume maxed out and on a road trip! Have you ever seen a family in acar, screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs? We’ve provided a laugh or two to a few random strangers at the traffic lights!


How did you decide what direction to take your kit after choosing the song for our mix-tape?

I keep seeing Brendon Urie the lead singer scaling the sky scrapers in the music video. He was taking a risk but believing and trusting in himself that no matter how tricky it might get he wasn’t going to give up on his dreams. With perseverance we can all spread our wings and take flight. This is a great message and an important lesson for anyone aspiring to achieve something even when things get hard. So I thought, WINGS, it has to be wings in the sky, reaching for the stars and soaring!

I also asked Em a few more questions about herself, her love for this hobby of ours, and some of her favorite layouts or products:

What kit are you most proud of creating in the last year? Why?

Ooh gosh, thats really hard to pick—I think because I consider myself a template designer more so than a kit designer. But I had tons of fun with The Cat’s Meow Bundle. The turn around for that one was two days which was a bit of a ‘blow my mind’ moment for me because I don’t normally work that fast on kits but it all came together so quickly and purrrrrfectly! See what I did there, haha.

I also love my new series of Page Drafts called Storyboards. As a scrapper I’m a huge fan of stacking and layering; it just gives me so much satisfaction to see lots of depth, and to be able to tuck mementos into my projects adds even more of a personal touch and helps flesh out the story behind our photos. These mood board inspired pocket pages are my new obsession. You’ll be seeing more of these in my shop for sure!

When you aren’t designing digital treats, what do you spend most of your time doing?

At the moment its been all systems go at my house. We have been really busy planning our renovation and extension of our little Mid Century beach shack. We bought this house three years ago but unfortunately life got a bit cray cray and then Covid-19 hit town so the renovation was put on hold. In a way it has afforded us extra time to really nut out the finishes and fixtures, which means I have been busy visiting window suppliers, speaking with the cabinet makers, and trawling through tile shop after tile shop. It’s so tricky to refine your ideas though, I really need a house for every style I love, hehe. Here is a mood board of what we’re trying to achieve in our lounge room a little eclectic but timeless and perfect for our family.

Do you have any plans for kits or collections coming in the future? Get us excited about what’s on the horizon for you!

Back in my student days I studied visual arts and majored in printmaking. I think that is why I gravitated toward digital art because my brain works in layer.s much like screen printing. which was my major. I am also a lover of all things vintage/retro, and I have a passion for collecting ephemera, so I’d really like to somehow mix the two and play around more with mono printing and stencil cutting to create some interesting artsy papers and eclectic art journal style kits and template sets. Below are some Art Journal style projects I’ve created combining mono prints and digital imagery.

Do you have a design soulmate? Someone you can always count on to bring out the best in you as a designer? Who is it and why are you so proud of what the two of you have created together?

Since making SSD my home, I’ve been so lucky to have made sweet connections with some of the designers here: JoCee, Lorie and Tracey have all been such sweethearts. Then there is Ru from Studio Basic Designs. You just can’t help but love that girl!  She was such a huge support and was actually the one that nudged me to apply for a Designer spot at SSD. So when someone of her calibre says, “hey Em you should apply,” you can’t help but feel inspired. And, just quietly, when I grow up I hope to be half as good a designer as she is. 

I also have to mention Jennifer Fehr of Simple Pleasure Designs fame. Jenn has been an absolutely wonderful friend & soul sister for quite a few years now. I love how she and I bounce ideas around. Even when we’re working on our solo collections, we’re always running stuff by each other. I have so much fun creating collections with Jenn. We have a few in our repertoire now, which I’m so proud of. Our newest Mega Bundle, A Special Delivery, is one of my faves for sure.

The Babes created some amazing layouts with High Hopes, and as always, we love seeing how each member of our talented team brings their own style to each and every page they create! All our Babes are brilliant at showing off the versatility of each product in the Shoppe, and we hope their layouts inspire you. . . .

With that, go fill up your shopping cart with $10, and High Hopes will be automatically added for FREE! This special offer will only be available through Friday, December 11 when our new releases go live, so don’t delay! And don’t forget to come back next week when we have a little sneak peek into our fun, bi-weekly sale involving our amazing featured designers! Have a great weekend!

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  • Em, I am SO, SO, SO excited for you! YOU are definitely a treasure here at SSD & I can honestly say we ALL want to be YOU when we grow up! Your Templates & eye for design are second to NONE!!
    Love ya soul sister & can I say… I am SO proud of YOU & inspired by you!
    Love Jen xo

  • Aww, thanks Jenn, love ya! And thank you Lydia so much for putting this post together, I’m just blown away by all the awesome pages by the sugar babes, they are an amazing team of ladies too!

  • Em, everything you do is amazing! I would so love to see you go in the monoprint and AJ direction with scrapbooking kits. I’d be a buyer for sure!!! Thats such an opposite direction of what I currently know of you…I am in love with your use of shadows!!!!

  • That is so nice to read Lisa, thank you for that feedback, you never know there could be some papers coming soon 😉

  • Wonderful write-up Em! You are such a perfect addition to SSD and I was an immediate fangirl to your work!

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