Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Member Spotlight - Ellen D

Tell us a little about yourself and your favorite scrapping subjects.
My name is Ellen and I'm in my 30's, and on my second career. I spent 7 years working for Child Protective Services, and have taught school for 3.5 years now. Technically I'm a Special Education teacher, but my classrooms are General Education for the local middle school. I'm also the advisor for National Junior Honor Society at my school.

I have a great husband who is truly a partner in our household. I LOVE IT!!! We live in Central Texas with our two small children Zander (6yo, boy) and Alyssa (3yo, girl). Z and A give me plenty of scrapable material, and are really my favorite subjects. They love starring in their own story books. I also tend to blog about them a lot because they're so funny. I think they come by the silliness innocently - I tend to have strange things just happen to me and who ever happens to be in the line of fire. Ellen's Blog

When did you start scrapbooking?
I think I started scrapping about 5 years ago. Not sure, it just evolved. I know how I got started. My mom bought me a bag - Crop in Style - for my birthday. I had no idea what it was for or what to do with it. Then of course I had to get stuff for it so I put a set of markers in a row in the holders. With my job at CPS we did these things called Life Books. I was passionate at creating a Life Book for every child I took from a home. There were too many times I would remove a child and their parent would disappear. Since I was the last person to see their parent with them I was determined to take pictures of the kids in case the parent returned, and to gather as many mementos as possible from the home before I left. I would beg parents for any pictures of them especially of them and the child together. I would gather any and all birth documents. Trying to preserve this family as much as possible. When parents would visit I would take pictures and make sure both got a copy. I would write down little things I heard in the visits about the family. Family traditions, memories they shared. Eventually I started doing the same for my son, realizing that I worked a dangerous job and that someday I may not come home. What were the things I wanted him to always remember? What were my values he needed to know? What about my childhood, and how it shaped me. Preservation was the key. I no longer work that job and I don't worry about not coming home, but I know that anything is possible so I do my best. The families I worked with didn't know that when I knocked on their door that they may not be sleeping under the same roof that night. Every day in this country people are killed in accidents, and that could be me. I know its fatalist, but I look at it as a daily gift. Each day I get to spend time with my children, and that's a total gift. Each memory I get to preserve for them or value taught, that's a gift. Each moment is such a little treasure that God has given to me, and I am eternally grateful and humble for it.

Who are your favorite manufacturers?
Ranger. Because they make Tim's stuff. I like things a little funky.

What are your favorite embellishments?
I'm such an ink-a-holic. After taking Tim's class in Houston with my buddy Dawn, I have fallen in love with the versatility of grunge board.

How does your creative process work?
I have a process? You know how some people have a left brain and a right brain. Some scrappers find something fun and start there. Others use sketches, and plot out the process. My process is when the two hemispheres of my brain collide. Some days I just throw things together on a page. Other days I write out a script, and then attack. Most of the time I just wonder how something will work so I try it. If it goes bad I can just try something else.

How would you describe your style?
Funky. Uniquely me (except for when I lift things, and then I'm uniquely them). I really liked it the other day when I read Emelyn's comment that I was "very artistic". That totally made my scrap day!

Where do you find your inspiration?
I read - a lot! I read magazines, books, internet (blogs websites), anything I can get my hands on. In my reading it's either an element on an art piece, or layout, or a technique, or theme, or some phrase that caught my attention. I like using literature, and Bible verses as starting points. I love it when there's a quirky little phrase used that catches my ear. Right now I'm working on this poem by Emily Dickenson, "Hope is the Thing with Feathers". Still in the mental stages, but I'm sure something fun will come of it. My other inspiration point is photography. I love taking photos outside and they frequently inspire me to create something. Love nature!

Ellen - thank you for sharing with us!


emelyn said...

Yippeee, Ellen!! GREAT to know about you even more! :)

Michelle*G said...

Nice to "meet" you Ellen! Love those pages!