suzyQ scraps: The Pressure of Perfection

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I’m excited to be welcoming back SuzyQ Scraps to The Digi Files! Suzy’s designs are super playful, bright, and so perfect for scrapbooking many festivities and occasions.  Her style is whimsical and include a child-like innocence. Her collections contain a variety of papers and elements that can be used for more serious subjects as well. Let’s take a closer look at “A Fresh Start” that is included in The Digi Files this month:

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Here are some layouts created using SuzyQ Scraps’s contribution:

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Layout by Jacki. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Smartypants by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Jenn. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Eccentric and Traveling Typewriter.
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Layout by Heddy. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: They Once Were by Amy Martin.
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Layout by Kim. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Template by Gina Miller; Font: DJB Jenna by Darcy Baldwin.
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Layout by Karen. Supplies: A Fresh Start by SuzyQ Scraps; Template by Emily Merritt; Font by Darcy Baldwin.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.

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InTheStudioWith
I’m Suzy Iverson, wife to the love of my life and mother to my greatest adventure, a rambunctious little 4-year-old who was born to move mountains (at least, mountains of sand), and soon-to-be mommy to child #2, due in July. We recently relocated from the middle-of-nowhere (after 4 years!) to a lovely home in Provo, Utah.

I am a creator, a woman, a teacher, a leader, a designer, a writer … a dreamer. (See, I’m not all that different than you.)

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This is a layout from Project: Love, Me, a project that Ziggle Designs and I created to help scrapbookers share their personal journeys. Each month has its own theme, and every week we post a new prompt — so 52 total for the year. I made a commitment to participate in the project myself — I’ve completed 35 layouts so far (I’m just a bit behind). It’s been a really fantastic year of discovering more about me and sharing my experiences, thoughts, and feelings. From both a creator’s and a participant’s viewpoint, this project has been more work than I first envisioned. I’ve had moments when I’ve wanted to toss in my hat and give up … and I’ve shed more than a few frustrated tears … but the project has been oh so worth it, and I’m so glad to be a part of it.

May I share a tip? If you’re looking to get involved in any sort of long-term project, like Project 365 or a Project 52 like this one, be gentle with yourself. If you miss a few days or weeks here and there, that’s okay. Don’t let the “failures” discourage you — just jump back in wherever you are, and worry about catching up later, if you even want to catch up. And if you decide that the project is not something you want to commit to anymore, you can totally stop at any time. 🙂

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I scrapbooked my first pages as a teenager with cardstock and stickers. Years later I hadn’t moved beyond the basics, thought my pages looked blah, and hated the mess and how much time it took to get everything out and put it all away. So I started searching for a way to scrapbook on my computer and stumbled across digital scrapbooking — I had no idea there was an entire industry! I downloaded freebies for months until Christmas, when I was gifted Photoshop Elements (and discovered how truly horrible some of those freebies were).

Digital scrapbooking became my creative outlet. For once in my life, I was happy with the layouts I created — even surprised sometimes at how “good” they looked! I even made it on a couple of creative teams, which was so awesome!

As I began scrapbooking and studying the papers, elements, and alphas, I thought, “I bet I could do that … and I’d save a lot of money!” So I searched for any tutorial I could find and after a lot of trial and error gave away my first freebie in December 2008. Shortly thereafter I started selling my designs, and by November 2009 I was selling at Scrap Orchard. I feel like I’ve always been there. (And no, designing didn’t save me money … I still shop!)

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Oh, wow, everything … I was born to create — stories & characters & anything really. There’s something so satisfying about taking an idea or a dream and turning it into something tangible. My digital scrapbook designs are inspired by nature, splashes of color, my son, my husband, magazines, web pages … so many different things!

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Computer: My workhorse is an HP Pavilion that runs Windows 7. I have 16 GB of RAM, an awesome processor, and just recently updated the graphics card, so this baby is FAST! I can easily work with Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign all open at the same time. Love it! I use a 19″ LCD monitor … it’s next on the list to be upgraded.

Program: I design most of my creations in Illustrator CS4 (aside from realistic extracted items, like ribbons) and do the finishing touches in Photoshop CS5. I use InDesign CS5 for my e-books, and Camtasia Studio for my classes & videos.

Camera: I snap all my photos with a 10 MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 that I absolutely love, with 18x zoom … DSLR-like but for a fraction of the price and a fraction of the photographic skill (lol!). It does have a couple of options for different lenses, not that I know how to use those. My husband chose it because it could do video too. We got it for a steal of a deal during a Black Friday sale a few years back and we don’t plan to replace it anytime soon. It’s a very affordable and easy-to-use camera if you’re looking for something a bit more than a point-&-shoot, but aren’t ready to plunge into the DSLR world.

Anything Else: I only ever use a mouse for video games now — I’m completely hooked on my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. LOVE IT!

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I’d love to share with TDD readers something I learned last year that has totally changed how I scrapbook, as well as how I approach a lot of things in my life — from housework to family stuff to hobbies.

“Perfect is great. Done is better.”

That’s not to say you should do your shabbiest work. But it’s okay if that scrapbook page isn’t completely perfect — it’s better done than sitting on your hard drive “collecting dust.” It’s okay if your photos aren’t professional quality — scrapbook them anyway. It’s okay if you aren’t the perfect storyteller, if you’re not great at grammar, if your spelling sucks … write the story anyway. Our flaws & imperfections make us unique and REAL.

How many times have you not finished something — maybe not even started something — because it wasn’t (or you weren’t) perfect?

Whether the “it” is scrapbooking, laundry, dishes, starting a new hobby … I’d love to encourage you to release yourself from the pressure of perfection, and just get it done!
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Wow, it’s SO hard to choose a favorite … but the one I absolutely LOVE is Raindrops & Rainbows. The colors were totally inspired by a birthday card I received. (Thanks, Aunt Sharisa!) The theme was inspired by life in general — ups & downs, sunny days & rainy days, rainbows of fortune & raindrops of disappointment. This collection, and its companion The Sun Will Come collection, really reflects how I felt about the postpartum depression I experienced after the birth of my son, as well as its aftermath and my healing. My emotions and thoughts and learnings from this life experience are poured into every paper and element. It’s truly a piece of my heart, a long time in the making.

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My most popular product is the A Life Expressed collection. I’ve received a lot of feedback about it — most customers say they purchased it because it’s so versatile — it’s perfect for the everyday layouts about everyday life. Because all the different pieces coordinate, they can easily mix-&-match and create page after page of unique layouts.

I can’t even remember now where the inspiration from the colors originally came from … it think it started with the green and I built it from there. I really wanted to create a collection that could be used again and again, something packed with value that would be an excellent choice for scrapbookers starting out in digital, and something big enough that you could create an entire album (like Project 365) without getting bored. I also wanted it to be available in smaller chunks, so if you only wanted part of it, you could just buy the kits that spoke to you. I think I came close to bringing that vision into reality. 😉 My customers certainly seem satisfied with it. But wow, it was a TON of work. I still have nightmares about that one. 😉

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Here are some of my favorite products by SuzyQ Scraps:

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Here are some more inspirational layouts using SuzyQ Scraps’s products. All of the layouts are linked to the originals with credits.

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Coupon
Save 35% off SuzyQ Scraps with coupon code LUVtdd_25_sQs; expires 1-31-12. Not valid on collabs. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Go have a look in SuzyQ Scraps’s store! We will randomly select a winner from the comments to win $10.00 in product from her store! (Comments must be posted before midnight EST to qualify)!