Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Simply Kelly Designs (including freebie)

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Greetings! I am the Kelly behind Simply Kelly Designs. I grew up in Colorado and moved to Florida after college to escape the cold and snow. My blood has definitely thinned and now you will find me in a winter coat in 60 degree temperatures. I have a degree in computer science and worked as a software engineer for 7 years before I became a “work even harder” at home mom. I have a wonderful husband who makes me laugh on a daily basis and two energetic children (2 and 4) that I chase around everyday. Anyone that knows me know that I always have a camera within reach and am always willing to share my love for scrapbooking. You can find out more about me by looking at my personal scrapbook layouts on Flickr.
2. What do you make and how did you get into this?
We got married and my husband ran the Boston Marathon in 2003. Both events were great reasons to start scrapbooking! My husband and I traveled and had many adventures together so I had an abundance of memories to preserve. My scrapbooking went into overdrive after our daughter was born in 2007. I think I scrapbooked every moment of her first year! I had less time to scrapbook after my son was born but I still wanted to keep up. With that in mind, my new year's resolution for 2010 was to learn digital scrapbooking. I took numerous classes at in a short time period. All those classes led me to the Art of Digital Design where I learned the fundamentals of design and the design process. I found that I really enjoyed the creative process and launched Simply Kelly Designs in July of 2010. I design digital scrapbooking kits and related products.

3. Why did you name your shop Simply Kelly Designs?
Carina Gardner was one of the instructors for the Art of Digital Design class. She provided several worksheets to guide the students to create a design name, logo and brand. The questions on the worksheet asked about all aspects of our lives. Two words kept popping up when I analyzed my answers - simple and clean. Those two words describe me, how I live and my design style. I knew that Simply Kelly Designs would be perfect for my design name.
4. Where and when do you like to create?
I am a full time stay at home mom so I create when time allows. This is usually while my kids are at preschool or when they are sleeping. I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Adobe Illustrator CS5 to create my designs and to scrapbook. These two programs live on my Dell Studio 17 laptop. I also use a Wacom Bamboo pen tablet. The pen tablet gives me more control over my designs and I can't imagine every going back to using a mouse. Most of my work is done at my scrapbooking table in our office/guestroom. I also do work at crops, on my back porch and just about anywhere else thanks to the mobility of my laptop.
5. What inspires you?
The themes for all my digital scrapbook kits are inspired by my life. This is a list of all my kits and why I designed them.
  • Hit The Road Running - my husband is an avid runner and my daughter is taking after him
  • Just Tri - my husband did a triathlon
  • Baby Boy Basics and Baby Girl Basics - a gift for my friend Donna who did not know the gender of her baby before the birth
  • Busy Bee - my daughter has been a "busy bee" for the last two years at preschool
  • A Whale Of A Day - we have had annual passes to Sea World the last two years
  • A Formal Affair - my sister got married
  • Talk To Me - my kids say the cutest things!
  • Love Birds - for photos of me and my husband

I find creative inspiration from magazines, color schemes, other designers, advertisements and even the art that my kids bring home from school.

6. What’s the best thing you’ve ever made?
My sister Laurie was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. One of my most favorite layouts is this one of Laurie on her wedding day. I love this layout because it simple, classic and really puts the focus on my sister's bridal glow. This layout proves that a layout doesn't have to be fancy to be effective.
Kit: A Formal Affair by Simply Kelly Designs
Template: by Tiffany Tillman
Fonts: Teen and Arial
7. When you create what do you like to listen to?
I usually listen to music while I design. My music selection varies depending on my mood and what I am designing. Some of my favorites include Taylor Swift, Michael Buble, Daughtry, New Kids On The Block (I love my boy bands) and anything 80s.

8. What skill would you love to learn and who would you like to be your teacher?
I would like to learn more about graphic design and using Illustrator. I have taken four online classes from Carina Gardner who is an amazing graphic designer. I would love to just sit in her studio and watch her create.

9. What are you working on now and what are your goals for the future?
I am working on developing my design skills and growing my business. My goal is to make Simply Kelly Designs my full time job after my kids are both in school.

10. What are your five favorite websites?
Etsy: I am truly in awe of all the beautiful creations that I see on Etsy. Looking through the listings provides me with a daily dose of creative eye candy.

Twitter: I love the social interaction on Twitter. The 140 character limit per tweet is wonderful for conveying short and precise information. Information flows more freely and is not as closely coupled as it is on Facebook. Twitter is my social media of choice.

Slickdeals: I love a good deal and Slickdeals is the place to to find them. The members find deals from all over the Internet and post in the forums. Deals are then handpicked to be included on the front page. I mostly look at the front page but do search the forums if I am looking for something in particular. I have probably saved thousands of dollars using this site.

Amazon: I live in a medium sized town that doesn't have very many choices for shopping so I do a lot of my shopping on Amazon. I find the user reviews extremely helpful in making buying decisions.

JessicaSprague: The majority of my digital scrapbooking knowledge was gained from taking classes at JessicaSprague. The instructors and the community there is friendly and willing to share what they know with everyone.

11. Where can we find you online?
Owl Tree Studio (guest designing through March 2011)

Kelly is releasing a new digital scrapbooking kit today and you can download this amazing sampler for free! Just click this photo and it'll take you to the right place. Enjoy!
[freebie expires March 4, 2011]
Next week: Anzouya

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