She has been a part of the digital scrapbooking community since forever! She is known in forums by the name Sorashell and her real name is April. You can take a peek at her new Z!Gallery here. Now, let’s get to know her better!
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself!
April: My name is April and I’m a 41 years old Stay At Home Mama. I live in Southern California, practically in Disneyland’s backyard and was raised just down the road in Huntington Beach. Family is everything to me and I was lucky (and patient) enough to find a man to marry who believes family is everything as well. His name is Chris and we’ve been married for 10 years! My side of the family lives 20 minutes away…his side lives 20 minutes away. His paternal grandmother lives with his folks and my maternal grandmother lives with my folks. We all get together for swimming, BBQs, holidays and events constantly and our parents are best friends. I have two children, Sophie and Aiden, and as you can imagine with that much family around they are spoiled half rotten now. The whole family is in the construction business and apart from doing all of the mom stuff here I do the books for our cabinetry business.
Q: What is your mostest favorite thing to do?
April: Probably my favorite thing to do is to travel to new places. When I was younger I used to travel quite a bit and spent a year living on a 17′ sailboat in the Caribbean (off the coast of Honduras) and three months in South Africa. I’ve driven all over the United States and nothing pleases me more than getting on a plane or jumping in a car and exploring somewhere new. I also love to cook, take photos, read (anything) and go to theme parks. My other great love is animals and we have a gaggle of them. When I get some extra time I enjoy volunteering for German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County and help dogs get adopted. I used to foster for them but my last foster was a “foster failure” and now we have three dogs; Rocky (14 year old Shepherd mix), Caesar (6 year old 100 lb. Shepard) and Stuie (10 month old Shih Tzu Poodle mix). We also have two cats and a snake! :) Did I mention that I’m an animal lover? Apart from this, scrapping is definitely high on my list of favorite things to do. Nothing pleases me more than finishing a really great page and showing it off to family and friends. I get my layouts printed in 8×8 Shutterfly books and will whip them out at a moments notice!
Q: Any favorite food/drinks you can’t live without?
April: I love food! Comfort food, healthy food, ethnic food…and wine! I love wine… As for favorites, one would have to be a nice Cambrizola cheese with a fresh baguette to smear it on. Thai food is my favorite ethnic food and I’m lucky enough to live near the best Thai place in Orange County. I go there for lunch when I really need a break and it feels like I’m in Thailand!
Q: How about music/songs or books – what are you into these days?
April: I love almost all music but my taste is…eclectic. Well, “eclectic” makes it sound cool. A better word might be “old fashioned”. Or “hokey”. :P The Andrews Sisters, Marty Robbins, Willie Nelson and The Grateful Dead frequently show up on my playlists. As for books, I recently discovered the Twilight sagas and am currently on my 10th reading of Breaking Dawn. The movies don’t stack up for me but the books are killer! My favorite book has to be A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemmingway and P.S. Your Cat is Dead by James Kirkwood.
Q: What is your favorite subject to scrap about?
April: My favorite subject to scrap about is my kids (how predictable, right?) I have a little notebook and write down the funny things they say and my favorite LOs are about these every day moments that I know I’d forget if I didn’t have a reminder like this. There’s so much going on all the time it’s easy for the small details to get lost over time, and I love looking back at older LOs and being reminded of funny, special things that have happened.
Q: How did you first find out about digital scrapbooking? Did you paper-scrapbook before?
April: I started paper scrapping in 1998 and accumulated a whooooole lot of stuff, and I really enjoyed doing it but when the kids were born I found that I didn’t pull out my supplies anymore. I noticed someone on a message board who had a cool looking “signature” or “tag” and when I went to find out how they did it I was opened up to a whole new world. I started on Scrapbook Bytes in 2004 and have been a digi-scrapping fool ever since!
Q: What do you love most about digital scrapbooking?
April: What I love the most about digital scrapbooking is the freedom of expression I have when I create these memories for my family. I’m not tied to one style and I can change up any elements that I need in order to suit my purpose. I’ve gone back and paper scrapped a few times since discovering digital and I’m always frustrated by my inability to change the color, shape or size of something that otherwise would have been perfect to use! I’m also a huge fan of not having any mess to clean up when I’m done and how easy it is to save my work and come back to it at a later time. There’s so much I can do in digital that I could never have done in paper, especially blending work!
Q: Why do you want to be in a creative team? What do you love most about it? Any tips for being a good CTM?
April: I love being on a Creative Team because it gives me that extra push I need sometimes to get a layout done. There’s always so many things to accomplish in a day and scrapping sometimes fall by the wayside when, say, my husband runs out of underwear or I have to feed everyone. Again. (rolls eyes) Getting excited about new products and having a deadline pushes me to make pages that might otherwise have only stayed in my head. I also LOVE working out of one kit and not scrounging around my hard drive for stuff. I love the camaraderie that comes with being on a team and getting to know new people! The best tip I have for being a good CTM is “always try to make your designer happy they asked you to join up.” I would never want a designer to think to themselves, “Why did I ever invite April to be here?” Find out what the requirements are, be open in your communication and work hard to make your designer some sales!
Q: How do you manage your time between being your own person, a mother, a wife, a scrapper and a Z!Girl – among tons of other things?
April: Honestly, I don’t know how some people make it look so easy. Their house and car are immaculate, their bills are paid, they themselves are actually wearing a nice outfit and makeup… It seems like if I focus on one thing, other things suffer so in order to manage my time I have to prioritize. I don’t scrap when my husband is home (and awake) but my kids are old enough now to entertain themselves if I need to get a page done or (groan) clean house. I hit the ground running at 5:30 am and usually go to bed around 11:00pm and run around like a crazy person between those hours! My main job is as a taxi driver to my kids, lol. They go to school about 30 minutes away so it seems like I’m in the car an awful lot. I recently stopped working part time as a dog groomer and have decided to really focus on ME and MY STUFF for a change and I’m feeling really positive about it.
Q: How/when did you first find out about Ztampf! – if you remember it? What first attracted you to Ztampf!?
April: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of Ztampf! products. Fhung has always been an innovator and had an eye for detail in her kits and I’ve always been impressed by her designs. Gorgeous colors, unusual and unique elements…what’s not to love?
Q: How/where did you learn digital scrapbooking? Best way/place to hone in your digi-skills?
April: I learned digital scrapbooking by trying to scraplift techniques that I admired other people doing. My friend Ashley was the victim of most of my first scraplifts, as was Niecey, Krash, Emmem, Kim.bee and Carver. I loved figuring out just how they did what they did and how I could make it my own.
Q: What program do you use to scrap with? Is there any certain scrapping tools that you found yourself using again and again?
April: I have Photoshop CS4 and am curious about CS5 but for right now I’m pretty happy with my program and most of all, my Wacom tablet. I absolutely don’t know how I scrapped before getting this tablet! One thing I’m really coveting right now are Annie Manning’s new photography actions. Her photos are AMAZING and I wanna be just like her when I grow up. :p I have a Canon 5D and some nice glass and a huge debt of gratitude for Katy Larsen (PLucky) for teaching me so much about photo editing.
Q: What is your ideal scrapping time/space would be? Any certain gadgets/programs you are coveting right now?
April: My favorite time for scrapping is after everyone has gone to bed or early in the morning before everyone is up. Nothing kills the mojo faster than wails of “MAMAAAAAA” or the laundry buzzer going off. I get really focused on minute details on my pages and end up getting pretty aggravated when I have to keep stopping.
Q: What is the single most useful scrapping technique you found so far?
April: Gosh…single most useful? Probably masks (I do a lot of extracting) and the warp tool. I’m a freak about shadows and love making them look as real as possible. I’m also a freak about blending images into my pages as it’s a way to cram more photos into it, lol.
Q: What do you love most about Ztampf! products?
April: What I love most about Ztampf! products is the attention to detail Fhung has. The quality is always top notch and there are certain products, like her Liquid Kit, that I go to time and time again.
Q: What are your favorite Ztampf! products so far?
April: Adventouriste everything (seriously in love with that. The colors are amazing and there’s so many fun things to use in it!). And ArtNOW paper pack. WOW! Amazing….
I hope you enjoyed getting to know April more!
I’m also looking forward to see more of her ztampfilicious layouts!