ForeverJoy Designs: Leap of Faith


I am beyond thrilled to welcome back Forever Joy to The Digi Files. I have always been so impressed that Renne decided to leave the legal world behind to follow her creative heart!  I have really enjoyed getting to know Renne through The Digi Show over the past couple of years.  I truly love Forever Joy’s digital scrapbook designs! Her vintage style, paired with modern trends, create some very beautiful products to look at AND scrap with.  Let’s take a closer look at “Be” that is included in The Digi Files this month:


This is ONE of SEVEN collections you get when you become a member of The Digi Game this month. You also get an interactive Playbook (in PDF and iBooks formats) that has lots of ideas for using the supplies including techniques, tips, and tricks! All of that, including access to exclusive collaborations every four months you are a member, for only $7.50 total per month! Here are some layouts created using ForeverJoy Designs’ contribution:


Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Be by ForeverJoy Designs; Down Digi Lane Maps (template) from Roadside Designs.
Layout by Jacki. Supplies: Be by ForeverJoy Designs; Fonts: Typewriter.
Layout by Heddy. Supplies: Be by ForeverJoy Designs; December SO Challenge template by Little Green Frog, Stitched by Anna White No. 8 by Anna Aspnes.
Layout by Jenn. Supplies: Be by ForeverJoy Designs; Fonts: Traveling Typewriter.
Layout by SharonS. Papers and elements: Be by Forever Joy, Template: Studio Rosey Posey, Font: Amelie

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our “Team Inspiration” page.
My name is Renne. I live in NYC with my best friend and hubby of 18 years and my two terrific boys Ryan(13) and Liam (5). My mom and sister are my two best girlfriends. You may be surprised to know that for many years, I lived in a not so pretty, left brain world. I am a criminal attorney by trade. I love the law and trial work, and would like to think that I have helped some people along the way. But when my first son came along, I made a decision to “unbalance” my life and focus more on family. Then I lost my father, and had my second and long prayed for son. It hit home. Life is not a dress rehearsal. There is no rewind or even pause. And some goodbyes are forever. There are blessings all around us, but we must create our own bliss. I have tried to focus more on the beauty around me and the art within me. I once heard, “it’s never to late to be what you might have been.” So, I’m keeping my eyes wide open, taking a leap of faith and enjoying this wonderful fall into the world of Digi-design. 🙂





My oldest boy Ryan decided that even though he had never played before, he was going to try out for the freshman Football team as he started his new school. I have never seen him work so hard at something- and his determination gave me a peek at the amazing man I know he will become. It wasn’t easy seeing him get banged around so much, but boy was I proud each time he got up, wiped himself off and try even harder. I designed this kit during that time- and made this page so I could capture this moment- he seemed so old to me. So composed. I think this photo is the first time I really saw him as a “big guy”- mothers’s eyes can play tricks you know. It is a little bittersweet remembering that feeling of – wow- he is growing up. I don’t know if it the best page I ever did- but it has a very special pace in my heart 😉


About 2 years ago, I saw my first digi layout and it really blew me away. I knew it was something I had to learn. It took me a long time to learn Photoshop (thank goodness for YouTube because I am a very visual student). I submitted my first designs to Scrapartist. Of course, I cringe looking at them now. But even though they weren’t accepted, Nancy Rowe Janitz was so kind and gave me good advice to refine them. I focused on her suggestions and got a little better and applied to the Little Dreamers apprentice program. I made it to the final round, but didn’t make it all the way. I wrote to Michelle Coleman and asked for critique. She was amazingly supportive and gave me invaluable advice. I worked on all my weak points, and resubmitted about 2 months later. I was accepted.

So the lesson here is, don’t give up. If you are an aspiring designer, any time you get turned down, be gracious and find out why. I promise, it’s not personal. Ask for 5 things you can do to make your designs better. Now, it’s not fun reading these comments. But you have to put your game face on, read it, own it and get better. I never stop asking for feedback. Except from my mother. She loves everything I do. 🙂

Color. definitely most often, it’s color. I will thumb though a magazine or catalog and see a color pallet and almost pop with the desire to design something around it. I have a notebook filled with inspiration pictures and will turn to it when I begin a new kit. I have also begun to collect online images with Pinterest. Very addictive.


Computer: I use a HP Pavillion with 6GB Ram. I need more… my birthday is in May- it’s a geeky gift- but it’s high on top! I also back up weekly on an external hard drive. I had one crash- a mini breakdown and a great IT friend. A happy ending and a lesson learned. Back up!
Program: I use PhotoShop CS5 and Illustrotor6 I also love Artrage, and Drawplus4 and my Wacom tablet. And coffee. Couldn’t work without it! 😉
Camera: I have a Sony DSC-H7 which I am happy with. Here’s another little trick. My son dropped it in a very deep mud puddle. And didn’t tell me for about 2 hours. yeah. ugh!! It made a horrible crackle and went black when i turned it on. I took out the battery and chip. Opened any door that was on the camera- and put all of this in a big baggie of dry uncooked white rice, squeezed out all the air, said a prayer, and let it bee for 3 days. I didn’t open the bag at all….and when I put it all together again… *beeep beep* It worked! Good as new.

OK- warning: I am about to be very shallow and vain. But sometimes…when i see a picture of myself, my jaw drops and how the camera adds about 30 pounds to my, um, lower areas. So….I have learned how to loose the “bulk” with a few clicks of a mouse. I duplicate my photo- and in Photoshop elements- I will open filter, distort, liquefy, pucker tool, then play with my brush size and wave it across the troublesome area and just like that- I have tinier thighs and bum. I have also used it at my friend’s request in reverse, using the”bloat” tool to add some volume to area’s that they wanted “pumped up.”. I would never use it to make someone’s nose just a little bigger, or rear a little wider. Nope. not me. 😉

My little guy Liam had such a very hard time starting Kindergarten , and we were blessed with an amazing teacher who helped him grow and learn in so many ways. The way she cared for him reminded me of one of my favorite little stories “The Starfish”- and that is what inspired this kit. So, I guess you could say the spirit of this kit helps make it my favorite- and I just love how the colors played out. I think it captures the spirit of the sea beautifully 🙂

I designed this kit at a very busy time in my life- I felt like I was dropping all the balls I was juggling- and that’s not a good feeling! My husband told me that sometimes when there is so much to do- you have to stop doing everything- just stop. Breathe. refocus. and try again. It’s such simple advice- but, it is very true. I think it’s something that we all need to be reminded of- and that’s what makes this kit so popular. I think the colors help as well- they are very soft- but vibrant at the same time.


Here are some of my favorite products by ForeverJoy Designs:


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

Enjoy 30% off ForeverJoy Designs’ store with coupon code FOREVERJOY304TDF thru 3/7/13.

Go have a look in ForeverJoy Designs’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)!