Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I won!

Okay I co-won, is that even a word(?), with four other women! I entered a design team contest for the Two Scrapbook Friends store and I was one of the lucky ones chosen to be on the next design team! I am so excited! My "term" runs from January 1st to June 3oth. You can check out my designs here or on the store's website . I thought I'd share my contest entries with you. We were asked to complete a two page layout, a one page layout, a card and an altered item, as well as submit a bio (that was the tough part!)... so here goes!

2 page layout and another

1 page layout a clear card

my altered item, a tooth fairy box for my little Timmy, who is starting to get wiggly teeth!

And here is the bio I submitted, if you care to read it! ...

My name is Laura Whitaker. I have been married to my husband, Ian, for 21 years. We have three boys; Christopher (19), Jonathan (16), and Timothy (5). In my former life, I was an administrator for a large telecommunications company, however, I became visually impaired about 10 years ago and as a result had to retire early, really early. After I stopped working, we became foster parents, which helped save my sanity, I was able to focus on children in need instead of on my failing vision.
I had always been crafty and tried several different types throughout my life. However, through fostering I started to scrapbook, as foster parents we make “lifebooks” (or scrapbooks) for each child that comes into care, to document their time with us. It was so much fun and really helped tell a story about the children, that I then decided that my family needed a scrapbook, too.
I know it sounds totally strange that a visually impaired person can scrapbook, but I really needed this outlet as I lost a lot of freedom and independence when I started losing my sight and had to stop working. I became more isolated, as I am not as mobile. I have never had enough sight to drive, but now even public transportation is a challenge. Basically, I can’t read the giant “E” at the top of the eye chart, I can’t recognize a friend across the street and fine print is just not happening. I do have a risk of losing more sight, so I’m not supposed to do a lot of reading or put strain on my eyes. I try to pace myself and not overdo it at any one time. I rely heavily on my memory and other senses and when it comes right down to it. And I figure that this hobby/passion is for me, so if it’s not perfect it doesn’t matter. But as with most things there was a silver lining to becoming visually impaired, through fostering we were lucky enough to adopt our youngest son. He is a joy and a blessing, and a typical boy! He provides lots of entertainment and a ton of scrapbooking opportunities!

I guess it’s been about 9 years or so that I have been scrapbooking. As with most scrapbookers I absolutely detest my early work. The only thing it was good for was a lesson in what not to do! And boy, I vowed never to do those things with my photos again! It was sad, and I’m talking about the days before digital cameras. I made a pact with myself to redo my albums, and over the last 3 years or so, I have accomplished just that. I went right back to our wedding day and started over. I am caught up to about 18 of those 21 years and still going strong. Oh, and totally addicted! I’m not quite sure what my style is as I am still learning and evolving, but I do know what styles are not my favourites. I like my layouts a little more free flowing than blocked. I love chipboard, patterned paper and all types of embellishments! Card making was a natural progression, hey I had the stuff on hand so why not, and it’s a great way to try out new techniques before putting them on a layout.

I am a collector by nature and this combined with scrapbooking means I need a lot of storage. I started out scrapbooking at the kitchen table, but then my collection outgrew the plastic tote I was keeping it in and I needed a more permanent locale, so I took over one side of our bedroom. I set up a work table with storage and another storage tower. To my husband’s credit, he never complained about the clutter and mess. My collection grew some more and I graduated to an unfinished alcove in the corner of our basement. I outgrew this space too and now I am in a beautiful 10.5’ x 10.5’ room, in our basement. Ian painted it a soft yellow and I decorated it in black and white toile. It has lots of lighting, a must for me, and I love it, it’s totally girly and a great space to work. Okay, so maybe it was one of my kids’ bedroom, but hey I needed a room of my own. All I can say is, I dare not outgrow this space!
Needless to say I love scrapbooking, I feel like I can accomplish two things at once, a family memory album (or twelve!) and a venue for my creative side. Then there is the added bonus that it is a very social hobby. I consider myself lucky to have made many friends through scrapbooking that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise met, it’s a wonderful community to be involved in, very friendly and supportive. And I’m so glad I stumbled upon it.


  1. congrats Laura!! I Look forward to working with you and the rest of the team...we are going to have so much fun!!! it was nice meeting you last night!

  2. Congrats Laura!!!
    How exciting eh! Can't wait to work with you:)

  3. It was so much luck that helped you win - it was talent! We are so pleased to have you on our team!Looking forward to seeing your designs.

  4. Oops! I meant to say it "wasn't" luck that helped you win - it was talent!


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