Day 22: Introducing…

Leslie Smith
Leslie Smith

Guest Star LisaInRe

I’m originally from Birmingham in the UK, but now live in Germany after experiencing life in sunny South of France (1986-87), historic Cambridge (1994-97) and chaotic Manila (1997-8). But I’ve now been settled and living in the Ruhr area of Germany since July 2001. It’s great to have roots at last. But why am I here? Love of course! I met the love of my life and he happened to be German. The rest is history!

I started scrapping in January 2006 after having wanted to jump into it for about a year but not knowing where to start. Finally, I took the plunge and dragged my sister in with me. I was lost from the first time I held a piece of 12×12 BasicGrey in my hands. This was the hobby I’d been looking for all my life.

I’ve always created stuff (in fact I have a few “antique” scrapbooks I made as a child somewhere in all my boxes) but this took everything to a different level and the idea of combining this with all those thousands of photos I’ve always taken seemed to be a perfect creative outlet for me. I’ve not looked back since those early beginnings.

In September 2007, my sister opened an online store (, now under different management/ownership) and she allowed me to help her with her kit work. I loved being on her design team and really pushed myself each month to come up with something different each month – perhaps to the detriment of developing my own style. Through this work, I was asked to create some layouts for The Scrapbook Magazine (UK) where I have been part of the design team since late 2008.

When I’m not scrapping, (and that doesn’t leave a lot of time), I teach Business English as a second language (incl coaching, translation, document checking and editing), spoil look after said love of my life, take photos and blog over at Recklinghausen Musings (Recklinghausen is the first place we lived when I first moved here and it really won my heart in the 8 years I was there – now I just live a few miles away).

I’m a class and challenge junkie and adore everything at BPC as well as LOAD and other challenge prompts. Through BPC I had three turning points in my scrapping. Firstly, encountering Stacy Julian and her non-chronological scrapbooking philosophy confirmed that what I’d done from (literally) day 1 was not “wrong”. I’d never really scrapped events and couldn’t get my head around trying to do pages in order. Stacy and Simple Scrapbooks showed me there were others out there who thought the same way. Secondly, I learned a lot about journaling from Karen Grunberg in her journaling classes for those times when the story is long and detailed. Journaling has always been very important for me and her class showed me how to approach the more detailed stories. And lastly, but certainly not least, I owe all my clustering and dimension (or a lot of it anyway) to Nic Howard’s classes, “Dimensional Details” (A*** in my book!) and “Colour! Or is it Color?”. I know that I learned so much about all my “no white space” (!) philosophy from these two classes.

All in all, these three influences have developed the style I have today. It took me some time but I finally found what feels to be totally “me” in summer 2010 when I got that huge “aha” moment during the Dimensional Details course at the same time as doing my third LOAD. Everything just fell into place and I started to be able to make pages every day that I loved.

I don’t have children so I scrap my story, my life with the love of my life, our adventures, our everyday and our families (including adorable nieces and nephew when I need a kiddie fix!).

In case you hadn’t realized, I love colours, layers, clusters, distressing and multi-photo designs. My favourite manufacturers are BasicGrey, Crate Paper, Echo Park, Cosmo Cricket and My Mind’s Eye as well as Prima pretties and American Crafts Thickers.

Editor’s Note: Oops! Forgot to give you a prompt! Freestyle… and I’ll tell you a secret – tomorrow we get a cluster tutorial from Lisa – shhhhh!

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