Thursday, April 30, 2015
This month we have a wonderful guest designer. Our very own Swirly Girlie Jan Penny. Jan was the winner of our layout of the year challenge and earned a spot as guest designer with this beautiful layout.

We asked Jan a few questions and she shared her answers and the projects she created with the April kit. Grab your favorite drink and settle in for a great read. Prepare to be amazed, Jan has created some stunning projects and given us a glimpse into her life and her passion for all things scrapping especially Swirlydoos.

Tell us a little about your self. Hi, my name is Jan. I am married to my best friend and am the mother to two college students, Brandon and Allison. I live in a house overlooking Lake of the Ozarks. My scrappy room is nothing but windows facing the lake. Gorgeous! We moved to the lake for my job where I work as the Pharmacist in Charge of a Walgreens pharmacy about 35 miles from our new home (three hours away from what was home for over 20 years). As a single mother of two teenagers I decided to go back to school and earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After six hard years I graduated with my degree and many unused Swirlydoo kits!

Now, I have a lot more time to scrap as I am no longer studying and we do not have any children at home. Our babies consist of  Jax, a 10 month old Bichon Frise, Brenner, a six year old Yorkie, and Missy, a two year old rescue. Jax loves to help me“distress” my flowers and chippies. He also likes to recycle my scraps and fray my burlap and other fabric pieces 
 When did you start scrapping? Why? I started scrapping in 2002 when I was talked into a second Creative Memories party. I refused to participate in the first one-instead I babysat my good friend's newborn so she could scrap. So, of course, she had to get me to another one and make me scrap. I just did not want to start because I knew it would be expensive. Even then, I knew I would be a “Savage”! Well, I was hooked after that. But, I cringed at spending 50¢ on a piece of paper! I used Croppy Cats and scrap magazines to get ideas. But, I got bored with the little bit I could find at Joann's, Michael's and the locally owned scrap stores. Soooo, I started searching the internet for a kit club. I searched off and on for over a year before I found the one and only kit club I ever joined. Yes, Swirlydoos was it for me. 

When did you join Swirlydoos? I joined in July 2009 and have been a Swirly girl ever since.

What's your favorite thing about Swirlydoos kits/forum? The thing that attracted me to Swirlydoos in the beginning was the gorgeous kits with all the coordinating papers and embellishments. I would spend forever trying to pick out papers and embellishments for a layout. With the kits from Krissy, I don't have to worry about what goes with what. It all goes together beautifully and the kits made me use papers and embellishments that I would never have thought to put together. I have certainly grown with my scrapping thanks to the Swirlydoo kits. But, once I joined the club, I began stalking the forums and finally started to chat with the other ladies. Everyone is so nice in the forums. There is never any negativity, ever. And, I have found out first hand that these ladies are even more fun in person! Swirly camp is one of the highlights of my year. I have only missed one camp. Although I must say that first year was a little nerve-wracking considering I had never met anyone in person until we all showed up in the cabin in Colorado!

Tell us about your kit process. How do you get started using the kit?

Once I get my gorgeous kit, I look at all the papers. I pull out all the surprise embellies that Krissy adds and do a little “ooooing” and “aaahhhing.” Then, I look at the sketch. From there I go back to the papers and pick out the favorite side of each and stack them with my favorite side up. Now, I can go back and start deciding which ones I will use for the sketch challenge. I almost always do the sketch challenge first. If I don't do it first, I put the papers aside that I want to use for the sketch challenge. Next, I start pulling the embellies together that I want to use. Then, its off to start cutting, inking, and distressing! I usually have bits from last month's kit on my desk so I will add them in to the new layouts when I can. That is another great thing about Swirlydoos, previous kits work well with one another all the time.

After the sketch challenge, I move on to the Round Robin, All that Flutters and the SGC challenges. My sister and I post a challenge on our Facebook page every week so I try to work that in with one of the other challenges at Swirlydoos. I scrap and scrap until I have used all the bits I can. I punch butterflies out of the bits left over and put them and the scraps (if any) into a folder for card making as needed. (I am the resident card marker for all events with my local CMA chapter.)

How would you define your scrappy style?

So far as my style, I would say it is shabby chic with a little grunge mixed in. I like to do clean and simple once I get to the scraps of a kit. I like to do grungy with unexpected papers. I love adding mixed media to my layouts as well as random bits and bobs from my stash. Flowers and metal are found together a lot on my layouts. I like the contrast.

 We hear you are a fast scrapper, tell us about your scrap process.
As far as my scrappy process, I just start with the sketch challenge and work my way through all of the challenges. I use sketches for inspiration. Sometimes my work looks just like the sketch and sometimes the sketch is just a jumping off point. Once I get started I can go all day. When I finally go to bed my head will be full of ideas for the next day. I don't worry about being perfect with my cuts, splatters, stenciling, inking, etc. I just embrace the mess! My sister and I scrap a lot together even if it's long distance. So, we challenge each other to try different things or use something we haven't used in awhile. That always makes it fun. I am terrible about scrapping a layout and not even having a picture in mind. I just love the process of creating the background and embellies to frame the photo. Many times I am almost done creating the layout before I know what photo I am going to use. Because of that, the photo is usually not printed until I am ready to adhere everything to the page. This is a great idea for me since I have ruined many photos by splatting them with inks or paints inadvertently. I love having a photo printer at home so I can customize the photo size. I typically don't scrap 4x6 photos, I love to crop my pictures and print them in sizes that fit the layout. My sister and I used to competitive scrap when would attend all day crops. In other words, who could get the most 12x12 layouts done in the 12 to 14 hours we were at the crop. We could average one per hour back then! I think the key to being fast for me now is just not stressing about it being perfect. If something doesn't turn out like I had planned, I just make it work. Sometimes that is how I discover a new technique or look. For me, creating and getting messy is relaxing.

Here is part one of Jan's stunning projects. 
So, on to the sketch challenge. I went through the process and picked the papers I wanted to use. Then, started adding the embellies. Some of the flowers were from a past kit. Next, it was on the cutting, inking, stickles, and distressing. Of course, the strips of paper were cut into banners for me. Then, I added some texture with Ferro and a Prima stencil. Once I had the feel for how the page would turn out, I printed the picture of baby Jax. Then, it was just a matter of gluing it all down.

Next, I worked on the Metal Mania challenge. I don't follow directions well because I forgot to use a Swirlydoos tut. I do have some old metal pieces from my stash though. This layout was based on a sketch that I had pinned. I love how the texture of the picture is followed on the layout.

Next, I went to the All that Flutters challenge. I swear, just about everything I do can go in this challenge. I love flowers and butterflies on my pages. I used part of the FedEx box my kit came in for the background. I mixed some of the Blenders Mermaid Sands into my Crackle Texture Paste for the bricks. I added some Perfect Pearls from a past kit to the butterfly chippies.

Come back later next week to see more of Jan's stunning creations with the April kit.


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