Just Because

DesignerLogo

Welcome back to Suzy from SuzyQ Scraps! I’m excited to have her joining us once again! I love Suzy’s fun themes, cute quotes and sayings, and that she has so many kits with bold and bright colors! It’s fun to see Suzy’s designs evolve as her scrapping needs change. I really enjoyed hearing Suzy share the “rest of the story” about the Penguins, the story behind her contribution, and some of the struggles scrapbooking has helped her through in her interview on the Daily Digi Digest! You can
Download the show or Subsribe in iTunes and listen below:

Let’s take a closer look at “Just Because” 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 SuzyQ Scraps’s contribution:
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Layout by Vicki. Supplies: Just Because by SuzyQ Scraps; Jan. Blog Challenge Template by Pink Reptile Designs.

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Layout by Vicki. Supplies: Just Because by SuzyQ Scraps; Fotoblenz by Anna Aspnes.

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Layout by Ronnie. Supplies: Just Because by SuzyQ Scraps; Stitched Down Template by Wishing Well Creations.

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Layout by Trina. Supplies: Just Because by SuzyQ Scraps; I love me some Aly (templates) by Darcy Baldwin.

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Layout by Monica. Supplies: Just Because by SuzyQ Scraps; Fonts: Traveling Typewriter, CK Ali’s Hand.

You can see more layouts created with this kit on our ”
Team Inspiration” page.
Name
Hello! I’m Suzy, aka SuzyQ Scraps. I live in Utah with my handsome husband, our 6-year-old fireball son, & our 1-year-old happy daughter. We’re currently in the process of converting the formal living room into a den/office, so paint is high on the menu. (Oh how I wish I had Photoshop powers & could instantly paint the walls and swap out colors until I was perfectly satisfied!) People generally laugh when they find out my background is in science. Yes, I graduated with a BS in biology with every intent of working at the zoo. You can ask the penguins why that didn’t work out. πŸ˜‰ I love being a self-taught graphic designer, playing with colors & patterns & themes & words. I love helping scrapbookers share their stories simply & create pages they love. When I’m not designing or scrapbooking, you’ll generally find me with my nose stuck in a book or my fingers madly clicking a mouse in an intense video game battle.

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layout
I love the new pocket scrapbooking trend β€” it’s so versatile & simple! I can quickly put together a pretty page design with just a photo and a couple of journal or filler cards. I love how that brings the focus to the photos & words β€” to the STORY. And the journal cards give me a defined space for my words, so I know how much to write. I like this layout in particular because it captures a new part of my life β€” gardening. I never thought I would love flowers OR gardening, but I’ve since discovered that I have several favorites (like these delicate wand flowers) and that gardening provides a wonderful break from the digital world I spend so much time in.

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started
I started my storytelling journey almost as soon as I could write, and I have journal after journal filled with lots of facts & musings & silly dreams. I was introduced to scrapbooking as a teenager and those scrapbooks are very, very basic β€” you know, pictures stuck to cardstock with a couple of stickers as embellishments. πŸ™‚ I can’t ever say I loved my pages … I’ve always felt a bit lacking in the artistic department when it comes to hands-on projects. Couple that with an extreme dislike of cleaning up clutter and you have a recipe for “something has to change!” In 2007, I decided that there must be a way to scrapbook on a computer. And lo & behold, there was an entire industry! I was in heaven! Finally, something I was good at, and I loved my finished pages.
After spending months creating layouts and studying papers & elements, I thought that maybe β€” just maybe β€” I could make my own supplies. I gave away my first freebie in December 2008. It’s hard to believe sometimes that I’ve been designing for 5 years. Who knew that humble beginning would lead to such a fulfilling and creative job?

inspired
Everything inspires me to create. πŸ™‚ But surprisingly enough, it’s often a word or a phrase that sparks an idea for a new kit or collection β€” words on a page, lyrics in a song, conversations around me. Colors & nature (& yes, Pinterest) add fuel to the flame and pretty soon I’ll have a page of notes & ideas scrawled out. Then comes the fun part β€” creating the kit.

tools
Computer: My computer hasn’t changed much since the last time I contributed to The Digi Files. It’s still an HP Pavilion running Windows 7, with 16 GB of RAM and an updated graphics card. We’ll be adding a solid state drive soon (so excited about that one!) but this machine is a workhorse & I’m quite happy with it for now. No need to upgrade yet. πŸ™‚ I only use one monitor. I can’t remember if it’s 19″ or 21″ β€” whichever it is, I think it’s the perfect size for how I like to work.
Program: I spend nearly all of my design time in Illustrator CS4. I have CS5, but only use a couple of features in it. I do “finishing” work, like texturing elements/papers & recoloring ribbons, in Photoshop CS5. I’ll pop open PSCS4 for a plug-in I use that’s not compatible with CS5. And occasionally, when I’m working on an ebook, I’ll have InDesign open. I also use Camtasia for video editing.
Camera: I haven’t changed my camera in years β€” still a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ28 (DSLR-like β€” not a full DSLR camera but has some of the capabilities). I tend to snap a lot more photos with my phone (LG Optimus), my husband’s phone (Google Nexus 4), or my tablet (Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0).
Anything Else: My graphics tablet is one of the most important pieces of equipment to my work. I’ve used one for years and recently upgraded to a Wacom Cintiq (from an Intuos 4). It’s the smaller version β€” not a full-size monitor β€” but I love that I can draw directly on the screen. It’s definitely been a time-saver for designing & it makes drawing feel much more natural. I love that I can hold it in my lap, and turn it to accommodate my motions as I draw. It also works like a typical graphics tablet so I use it in place of a mouse, always β€” for designing, scrapbooking, surfing the web. Unless I’m playing video games, I feel really awkward with a mouse in my hand.
tipstricks
I often get stuck when I sit down to create a page β€” it’s like my brain’s in overload trying to figure out where to put the picture(s), what words to say, which papers & elements to use. Does that ever happen to you? Two things help me move forward.
#1: Start somewhere. Pull the photos onto the layout with a paper or two, and just start playing. You can always change it. (Or jump-start your layout with a template.)
#2: Have a process. I have a lot of stories to tell and not a lot of time to spend sharing them. By streamlining the process, I make more progress. My process generally looks like this: photos, journal/filler cards, background paper, journaling, embellishments. I don’t always stick to it, but knowing what to work on next keeps me in a rhythm.

favorite
December Story is close to my heart. I really wanted to do a daily December album for 2013, but wanted it to be more tangible then digi so planned a pocket scrapbook. I couldn’t find a collection I loved, so I decided to make my own. I poured hours & hours into choosing the colors and planning the collection and searching for fonts before I even started on the actual designing of it. I knew in my head that I wanted the color scheme to have lots of red and brown. I also wanted some blue. I couldn’t get the blues & greens to agree, so I split the difference with more of a teal color and left out the green. I spent hours & hours (& hours!) creating the collection. I think because I had a vision of how it would look printed, I really put a lot of effort into trying to make it turn out that way. I haven’t spent so much time on a collection in ages. I think all that personal investment into it has really endeared it to me.
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popular
The Halls of Learning Collection has been really, really popular. In fact, it kinda surprised me. I knew I loved it, but I’m never sure how my customers will respond to a kit. Sometimes, the ones I really love don’t sell very well, and that’s okay. However, it’s really satisfying, from a creative standpoint, when customers seem to love the creation as much as I do. I think one of my favorite parts of the collection is the color scheme. Usually, my color palettes start out from a color swatch I found online or in a magazine & then modified. For this collection, it was completely 100% from my head into Photoshop and I love how it turned out. I had so much fun making the chalk word art too. This is another collection I spent hours & hours on, so I feel really connected to it.
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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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