Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gettng to Know Maria Swiatkowski

Maria has been a long-time autoship member and Sous Chef with Apron Strings.  She has a great way with the monthly kits - her layouts always seem easy, clutter-free and fresh.  Plus, she's a multi-photo scrapper, even when she's doing just a one-pager.  Plus, she's a Michigander and gets to be near my favorite beaches!

Bigger than a Breadbox June '12 kit - KaiserCraft Rock Pool
About me:  I am married (John), 10 years as of November (I always tell my husband it's the best 10  years of  his life!)  We have beautiful daughters, Alexa (8) and Ava (5) who are the subject of 95% of my scrapbooking pages right now.  We actually live in a rural area, just outside of Detroit, on a little over 3 acres.  It's not unusual to see deer or wild turkeys in our backyard, especially in the winter.  For the last 11 years I have been working for our local health department as a public health educator.  I spend my days guest speaking in schools and am a Certified Child Passenger Safety Instructor - basically I educate and help parents install car seats correctly (80% of them are used incorrectly!)  In my former life (pre-marriage and children) I actually played college softball.  Now I play once a week, for fun and a few hours of adult conversation, unrelated to work!
Why I scrapbook:  I have close to 20,000 photos on my hard drive.  While pictures say a 1000 words, there was no way as the years passed that I could actually remember what happened at those events.  Scrapbooking has become a great way for me to tell our story.  The big stories, like Disney World for the first time with the girls, and little stories, like the funny sayings or phrases our girls have come up with.  I didn't want to flip through photo albums and think "what was this about again?"   And, in a small way, scrapbooking taps into my creative side.  It's fun to play with paper and glue and "make" something. 
What's your scrapbook style:  I would say my style is very clean, and probably rather linear or balanced.  I love patterned paper, journaling cards or labels and border punches.  I love looking at artsy, collage style layouts with a bunch of layering and techniques.  But, when I try that?  It looks like I dumped my stash on the page.  Apparently, my brain just can't make that work.

Describe your scrap space:  I actually have a pretty good sized area in our basement to call my scrapbooking area.  It's definitely not the prettiest scrap area (I'll never be in a Creating Keepsakes magazine showcasing it!) our basement isn't finished, but it's functional.  Over the years we have repurposed items - my husband found an old drafting table top at a garage sale for my scrapping desk.  It sits on a big handmade table (came with the house).    I have our old bathroom cabinets for storage and additional desk area (my sewing machine sits there).  There is an armoire for storage as well.  One of my favorite things is actually from Harbor Freight - a 47 bin storage rack.  It holds so much stuff - inks, small embellishments, punches, chipboard, washi...the bins are removable and I can just turn around and get what I need as I'm working on a layout.

Favorite technique/something constantly in useRight now, my favorite technique is probably misting every thing I can get my hands on.  Or almost everything.  (Lori can attest to that!)  I love how a light spray of mist on cardstock can give it a different look, or a few masks can give it a pattern, or create a border with some scraps of paper.  I also use mists as my go to way to color chipboard or wood embellishments.  My "constant" technique is to print photos with a border.  I think a white border just gives photos a quick "pop" with out having to mat every single one.  I started scrapbooking back when double and triple matting photos was the norm. I'm pretty sure that scarred me for life.  ;)

Thanks for all the great inspiration, Maria!

Happy Wednesday.

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