Getting to know Sandy Henderson
Today we are talking to Sandy Henderson, one of our Peers here at Scrapaneers. Sandy shared a little bit about herself and her scrapping, as well as a few of her favorite layouts.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your life (including how long you have been digiscrapping).
Hello! I’m excited to introduce myself to you, on the blog. I grew up in Sacramento, California, with my parents and six brothers and sisters; I am the fifth child. After high school graduation I headed off to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, to attend college. It wasn’t too long after I got there that I met my husband. After a whirlwind romance, we were married and settled into married student housing. My husband received his BA and MBA from BYU, but he says we earned them together. By that time we had six children…3 girls, then 3 boys, and called Salt Lake City, Utah, our home.
I was able to be home with our children when they were small, but by the time they were of school-age, I went back to work in various capacities. About 12 years ago I worked in the spa industry on the reception side. Being there rekindled a dream I’d had to become a Master Esthetician (Skin Care Therapist). I graduated top in my class and found a position at a Salon and Day Spa. That was a crazy time for our family! My hubby worked long hours as a Corporate Department Manager in finance, and our three daughters were very involved in high school sports and student government responsibilities. My favorite role then was being Team Mom to a bunch of lovely, crazy, silly, talented, and fantastic teenage girls. I LOVED IT! Our boys were in elementary and junior high school. In fact, there was a time when we had FIVE TEENAGERS at one time!
Back in the 1990’s I got into scrapbooking as a way to document stories of my children when they were little, but fell off the bandwagon for about 10 years. About 2007, I became aware of digital scrapbooking and jumped in with both feet. Before long, I was on several creative teams and I learned a lot from the many talented designers and other scrappers in the digital community. In the last year I’ve gotten more interested in making traditional paper and hybrid scrapbook pages as well.
Fast forward, now our kids are all grown and most are married and have children of their own. This month we will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary and are expecting the arrival of our 13th grandchild! You’ll find my cute grandkids on many of my layouts nowadays. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s how true this mantra is: The days are long, but the years are short. I’ve struggled with Fibromyalgia and an autoimmune illness for the past 15 years, so some days feel really long. On good days I enjoy crafting, both digital and paper scrapbooking, mixed media artwork, reading, traveling, spending time with family, and eating ice cream. Ice cream makes everything better, right? In June of 2014 our family experience the tragic loss of my oldest son passing away. It was very unexpected, and has reinforced how important it is to take pictures and record memories. The following picture of my family was taken the day of his funeral, which would have been his 23rd birthday.
What is your personal scrapbooking mantra?
When I scrapbook, my goal is to tell a story or document a moment in time…and it doesn’t always have to be with words, but it usually is. I really enjoy photography and the post-processing part of it. However, there are plenty of times when I spend way too long editing and fretting about photos being worthy of a layout and thereby miss opportunities to create more layouts and document memories. The difference between a perfect picture and a great picture will not make or break a layout, really! For me, the creative process includes learning where to spend my time, so the pictures and words can tell their story, first and foremost. I then rely on artistry and technique to complement and showcase those efforts. When I first started scrapbooking I thought it was for my kids; but have since come to realize that it truly is for me. It’s a way for me to express myself creatively and it’s my way of journaling. I’m taking time now to write more than just the who, what, when, where, etc.
What do you do to fit scrapbooking into your schedule?
I haven’t been able to work for quite a few years, so I’m at a point in my life where I have more time to do what I want, when I’m able. Finding the time to scrapbook isn’t really the issue. I struggle more with taking the time to get my pictures ready to be scrapbooked. Also, finding the energy and capacity amidst my illness. Rarely do I finish a layout from start to finish in one sitting. I prefer to work on it in stages and at least “sleep on it” before I decide it’s done.
How would you describe your style?
I would definitely use COLOR to describe my scrapbooking style. I really enjoy creating with pattern papers, paints, and layers. It seems that my style has moved to a more clean and simple look over the past few years. Honestly, I think I’m still trying to figure out my style; but that’s the beauty of scrapbooking. Digital scrapbooking really allows me more creative freedom to experiment with different techniques and genres. I always aim to create a page that pleases myself first, not just to showcase products or processes.
What programs do you use for scrapping and photo and supply organization?
I started scrapbooking with PSE4 back in the day…but now use Photoshop CS6 exclusively. At first I was terrified to try the full version of PS, and now I wouldn’t go back to Elements for anything. The way I made the transition was to literally force myself to use it, and not use PSE. About 5 years ago I won Lightroom 4 in a contest. It was awesome! I took a few classes to learn the program and have been relying on Lightroom to edit and catalog my photos ever since. One way I’ve worked to reduce my photo editing steps is by adding a preset to my photos when I import them into Lightroom. I’ve created a preset to slightly boost exposure, contrast, sharpening, and color saturation. This has really helped me weed through many more photos at a time and have them ready for Project Life spreads, or other layouts. But, l still use Photoshop to edit some photos. I organize my digital kits in folders by designer, and keep them on an external hard drive.
What is something you’ve learned over the years as a digital scrapbooker that has helped you immensely?
Being involved in digital scrapbooking has encouraged my artistic capacities. It’s really fulfilling for me to be able to manipulate photos, layers, papers, etc.; to create something from very little. Another good thing that has come from being a part of digital scrapbooking is the community! I’ve “met” so many cool and wonderful people by being a part of it. I just love the way we support and encourage each other in our passion to grow and create.
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Sandy. It was great getting to know you a little bit better and we look forward to all you have to offer the members of Scrapaneers!