Featured Designer – Alchemy Wild Studio

Happy Friday Sweet Shoppers!  Only a week left of the Party Game a Day birthday party for the Sweet Shoppe’s 18th birthday – how have you been playing along with the games and scrap challenges?  One person is going to win that super sweet prize, I can’t wait to see who that is, and I am loving seeing all the great pages in the gallery being created for the challenges.

Today is the last Featured Designer of this series, where the theme has been “Designer’s Choice.”  Amber of Alchemy Wild Studio may be the last one of this series, but definitely not the least!  Her templates are so fun and full of gorgeous paper layers and neat, unique layout designs that make it easy for you to get your photos scrapped in fun ways.  Amber has created this great template pack, Right Here at Home.  These are so versatile, from scrapping about where you live, to new homes, to time spent at home with loved ones.  This template pack is FREE with your $10 purchase from now until the new Featured Designer debuts on March 8th!

And now to learn more about Amber!

Tell us about your journey with digital scrapbooking… How did you find out about it? Did you start with paper first? How did you get started designing? Where was your first shop? How and when did you end up at Sweet Shoppe Designs?

I’ve been digital scrapbooking since 2007, and prior to that I had been paper scrapbooking since 1999, after my first wedding. About the time I discovered digital scrapbooking, I was using a lot of mommy forums where most of the ladies had signatures for their posts. I started getting into making those and using Photoshop for that, and a good friend who I have known since our signature tag maker days back in the mid-00’s that many in the community know, Kim Bias, mentioned that she was getting into digital scrapbooking and started showing us her pages. Side-note, I also know one of our Babes, SeattleSheri, from those days as well! Wow, can you even believe we have been digi friends for 18 years?! Anyway, I decided to check it out, I fell in love, and haven’t made a single paper layout since!

I started designing freebie templates that I gave away at DST (does anyone else miss that place?), in 2011, and opened my first store at The Digichick. I moved around a few times, to Scrapbook Graphics and Digital Scrapbooking Studio, then Scrap Stacks which sadly closed all too soon, then Pixels&Co, who later became The Digital Press, and then I retired from designing completely in 2015. I spent the next 5 years just scrapping for myself and doing CT work for various designers, and during that time everyone was always asking if they could buy my templates directly, they wished I would open another store, etc. So, in January 2020, I was speaking to someone about opening up shop at another store, and then SURPRISE! I received an invitation from Robin in my email, asking me to join the team here at SSD! I was beyond thrilled and of course said YES, choosing to sell my templates exclusively at Sweet Shoppe Designs!!

I opened my store at SSD in February 2020, during our 14th birthday celebration! It was a dream come true, having my store here at SSD was the ultimate goal I was striving towards the entire time I was designing and selling elsewhere, and it still feels so surreal that I now have a store at Sweet Shoppe Designs! I am eternally grateful to Robin for taking a chance on me! I am so glad that I chose to return to designing. It is my passion, and brings me so much joy, and I feel lost when I’m not working because designing digital scrapbook templates is just what I do, I’m a designer and I don’t think I’ll ever retire again!

Do you ever feel like you’ve done it all already and your style is repetitive?

I am definitely always looking for new ideas and trying to come up with fun ideas so that my templates stay fresh and don’t get repetitive. It’s not an easy task because you can only arrange photos so many ways on a 12×12 canvas until you start to feel like you’ve done it all and everything starts looking the same. When I start feeling that way, I start looking back at old trends and retired templates and seeing if any of that inspires me to make something new. Flashbacks to old trends is always popular! I like trying different things, and when I start feeling like I’ve “been there, done that” I just start browsing Pinterest and IG for inspiration, and pretty soon I’ll come up with another great new idea!

Where do you find inspiration for a new kit or template?

I find inspiration everywhere, honestly. Sometimes I might see a magazine layout or some artwork that inspires a layout idea, and very often, music inspires me by giving me a theme I want to play around with and then I build on that from there by choosing colors and just messing around in Photoshop until something comes together and starts to feel good. And then sometimes the colors inspire me and give me a feeling or a thought that I turn into a theme. I’m a swiftie and everything Taylor writes inspires me. She is my hero, my muse, and her words speak to me; so I’m sure you have probably noticed a recurring Taylor Swift theme over the years. She truly gives me more inspiration than anything. Example: the Taylor Swift song Lavender Haze inspired these templates.


What are your must-haves when creating a template set? How do you know when a product is “finished”?

When creating a new template set, I have to have plenty of paints and messy layers, inky spots and scribbles, and plenty of large photo spots! I love papers, and interesting backgrounds. When making a template, I always have to have some sort of sense of symmetry and balance about the page as a whole, I have to make sure I have clearly depicted 3 focal points, and occasionally I’ll have utilized 6 spaces that can be used in 2 different ways to visually demonstrate the rule of thirds on your page; and then when things seem to visually “flow” the “right” way, to me, then it’s finished!

How long does it take you to put a set together from start to finish?

A complete template set from beginning, once I have chosen the colors, to being finished and read for sale, can take anywhere from a few hours to upwards of 20 hours (seriously), depending on how many layers I have going. I have a few template sets like Lavender Haze, shown above, with nearly 200 layers in each template and those style of templates are extremely time consuming.

Do you ever have to make a kit with colors or a theme you don’t like? If yes, how do you overcome this difficulty?

Sometimes I struggle with the color palette I need to work with, and that is never fun. When that happens, I just try to go online and use Pinterest and other sources to look for inspiration and things I see out there that are those same colors. Just to try and get a better feeling about the colors. Then I can usually put something together. And when all else fails, I will go for like a neutral look, and just use pops of the other colors to accent. Sometimes that helps, but sometimes you just have to do the best you can.

Show us a preview for one of your first kits, compared to a recent kit you’re proud of. We want to see how far you’ve come!

One of the first template sets I designed for sale in 2012:

A new set of templates that I designed in 2023:

What brings you joy?

Oh wow, that is hard to answer because I love my life immensely and am generally a happy person. I struggle with bipolar depression so I know that sounds contradictory, but even when I’m depressed I am still told I’m one of the most annoyingly optimistic and encouraging person people know. But nothing about bipolar disorder makes sense, does it? Spending my life with my amazing husband Terrell, who is my absolute best friend, and our corgi Willow (Queen Willow Marie Laveau), absolutely brings me more joy than I can even begin to explain. Doing life with your best friend is seriously amazing. It’s like a non-stop slumber party lol. Terrell and I were very best friends before we ever even realized we were in love, and since being married that hasn’t changed. If anything we have become even better friends! And Willow is my ESA and she goes everywhere with me. She helps me with my severe anxiety, and although she is not a trained diabetic service dog, she somehow knows when my blood glucose levels get wonky and she has let us know that she knows something is wrong with me before I even realized that I didn’t feel well and before my Dexcom alarms went off. I’m a brittle type one diabetic so my glucose is hard to control sometimes and I can go too high or too low without warning, and I have hypoglycemic unawareness, so the extra help of having her around to help me realize somethings going wrong makes me feel a lot better. When she lets me know somethings wrong she will act very worried and do things like stare at me and pace around, sometimes she will become verbal and just try to get my attention and keep it; and when she acts like that I know I need to check what my glucose is so I can start making needed adjustments early before I become too sick to help myself. She always stays by me the entire time until I have fixed the issue, and it’s invaluable to me to have her support because Type One Diabetes can be scary and it’s just nice to not be alone when an emergency happens. I don’t know what I would do without her. Other things that bring me a lot of joy are spending time with my grown children, and with family and friends, cuddling my cat while she’s purring, being out in nature, reading a good book (I am a self-confessed book hoarder), listening to music or listening to Terrell play for me (he is a guitarist and guttural screamer in a deathcore band), sitting on my porch in the morning before work when the sun is just warm enough that I don’t need a jacket while I drink my coffee and listen to the birds sing good morning. Sitting with my momma, drinking a great big mug of hot coffee and eating my dad’s homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The list goes on and on! This is my sweet Willow..


If you had an hour to yourself, but were not allowed to use it to scrapbook or design, what would you spend the hour doing?

I would make a cup of coffee and sit down with Willow and a book, and get lost!


If you could go on a date but only had $25 to spend, where would you go? 

My husband and I would pick up a Dominos pizza and head to a particular lake to eat lunch, take photos, and watch the ducks. It’s where we used to spend a lot of time together a few years ago. Now we live about an hour away, but it’s still a very special place for us.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A teacher, which I now know would have never worked because I have zero patience and the mouth of a sailor lol!

What song(s) are playing in the soundtrack of your life?

Anything by Taylor Swift.. but mostly I’m a Reputation Era Swiftie! 😉


Before you go, check out these great pages created by the SugarBabes with the Right Here at Home templates -seriously sweet pages!


That’s all for today – head back here next week to see a sneak peek of what 15 products Amber has picked for her Featured Designer 15 sale that starts on March 5.  Until then, keep on scrapping!

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