10 Questions with Lain Ehmann, ScrapHappy Podcaster
I will freely admit something: I like to cruise around the Internet, finding new blogs to entertain, inspire and delight my creativity. I recently came across one that has me hooked. Lain Ehmann is the creative artist and humorous author of ScrapHappy, a blog and regular podcast. I recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions. I think you will love getting to know her, and her blog/podcast.
- How did you get started with scrapbooking?
I've been scrapbooking in one form or another ever since I began pasting "Teen Beat" cut-out pictures of Shawn Cassidy in magnetic photo albums in the 1980s. In the modern format, I got started in 1998 when a friend invited me to a Creative Memories evening. I was sunk!
- How do you define your style?
I am first and foremost a simple scrapbooker. I never spend more than an hour on a page, and it's much more likely that a layout will take me around 30 minutes. My catchphrase is, "If it doesn't get done in the length of one 'Barney' video, it's not getting done!"
I am fairly linear, but I like to add a bit of the unexpected -- a surprising embellishment, or something a little whimsical. Think "Becky Higgins on laughing gas!"
- From where or whom do you get inspiration?
I subscribe to a number of scrapbooking magazines (my favorite is Simple Scrapbooks, of course!). I rip out pages that catch my eye, either for the color combination, the design, the topic, whatever. I have a big stack of these (some are in binders -- most are in a big bin) and I leaf through them when I am stuck. It's plenty of stimulation to get me started!
- Your podcast is wildly popular. How do you think this technology can (or does) impact the scrapbooking community?
I am surprised that there are not more scrapbooking podcasts! There are several excellent video ones -- Scraptime and Paper Clippings are two that I watch -- but there aren't many audio podcasts. Maybe because the medium is so visual, people think it won't translate well to audio. But my listeners like to tune in when they're out in the car, exercising, or doing chores. I've also been told many times that I'm great to listen to at the dentist's office!
I'm a knitter, and there are TONS of knitting podcasts. I think the podcasting technology has been a way of focusing the community and drawing people together, giving all knitters a common language and conversation starter. I'd love to see the same thing happen in scrapbooking.
- What products do you turn to over and over again?
I have several I cannot scrap without -- my corner rounder (purchased at that very first Creative Memories evening 10 years ago!), my scallop scissors, and Stickles. Stickles are so awesome! I also love Heidi Swapp ghost hearts, Doodlebug paper frills, American Crafts Thickers, and Fiskars squeeze punches in all sizes of circles.
- Do you find yourself contemplating your life in terms of what you should post on your blog the next day?
Haha! Yes, indeed. I waver between keeping it all scrapbook-related, and sharing more of the other elements of my life. I don't want to bore those who want just the scrapbooking stuff, but I know that I enjoy finding out more non-scrapbooking information about those whose blogs I love to read. I try to balance it, but I think I've decided to keep it more on the scrapping side of things in the future, since so much is going on in that realm these days.
- I see you are a member of the sexy knitters club. What did you knit as your initiation project?
That's between me and my Calvins.
- What advice would you give to someone who is just beginning to scrapbook?
Several things: a subscription to Simple Scrapbooks, a twelve-pack of adhesive (I love the Duck brand), and a signed permission slip allowing her to scrapbook only the topics and photos that make her happy.
- What is your favorite part of teaching?
In another life, I am a stand-up comedian. Teaching allows me to let my "ham" out to play!
- How do you find time to do everything you do?
I don't watch TV. We canceled our cable reception two years ago, and it was one of the best things we've ever done. I stay up really late. I have a zillion half-completed projects around the house that I pick up when I have a moment. I never leave the house without a big bag of STUFF. Magazines, books, journals, whatever -- I have plenty to keep me occupied, should I suddenly find myself stranded on a desert island or in the pick-up lane at school.
Lain is a contributing editor for Simple Scrapbooks, which means she gets to write articles and contribute projects to the magazine, special issues, and website. She is a teacher at many of the Creating Keepsakes Conventions throughout the US, on behalf of Simple Scrapbooks.
Her podcast is coming up on its 50th episode.
She teaches through Big Picture Scrapbooking.
She has a blog with a very active community.
She has a book -- a collection of humorous essays about scrapbooking -- coming out this November!
Finally, she considers herself an ambassador of all things scrappy. She has been known to interrupt conversations of people she doesn't know to talk to them about the joys of scrapbooking. So far the reception has been good. But someday soon - she may encounter someone who will tell her exactly what she can do with her deco-edge scissors.