Meet Helen Salthouse, one of our Inspiration Team members...
What are three adjectives you would use to best describe yourself? Creative (!), curious, tenacious.
Can you tell us a little about your family and/or pets? Well, I could tell you a lot…! I am a single parent to four children, three teenagers – one girl – and an 11 year old boy, my baby! We have a long-suffering dog, Basil, who is a Large Munsterlander (no, no-one else has heard of the breed either), and two cats. One is an as-yet unneutered tom, Sonny, who we are currently spraying with water every time he attacks the Christmas tree. Missy, a more mature female cat, isn’t impressed by his arrival.
How long have you been scrapbooking? Over a year now. I started just after Christmas 2007.
Why did you begin scrapbooking? I bought a book and a kit for my daughter from the guy who comes round to my work (at school) with books for sale. I also bought one for my sister which I forgot about, and in a bored moment I dug it out and caught the bug!
What has been the most interesting or exciting scrapbooking experience you’ve had? Well, apart from being on this DT… I took part in a Bad Girls Top Designer contest, which was quite nerve-wracking. The standard of work was exceptional and I genuinely had trouble sleeping the night before the next week’s survivors were announced! Because each week’s challenge consisted of a class with an assignment, I learnt an awful lot and my scrapping really improved. I’ve also won a couple of competitions and been asked to guest design on Scrapping Out Loud, and one of my Los is about to be published. These are all firsts for me, and seeing the email in my inbox is SOOOO exciting!
What is your favorite manufacturer(s)? I love Basic Grey, I can always find something of theirs that’s perfect for any LO. Also Creative Imaginations for their wonderful co-ordinated collections, and Sassafras Lass because their designs are so groovy!
What are your favorite colors? Hmm…If I had to choose just a few colours to work with it would be green, light brown (no, not beige!), orange and a dark red. I like strong colours with a splash of white. At the moment, anyway, lol!
What product(s) can you not live without right now? The things I use most often are a needle and thread – and my piercing tool which someone appears to have bent before returning it to the pot upside down! I love rub-ons too.
Where do you find inspiration? That’s a good question. Often it’s just in the papers I’m itching to use at the time, or a technique I want to try, but more and more I’m using sketches as a starting point – although they very often end up looking quite different, which is fine.
What do you do when you get stuck in a “scrappers rut” or a “creative block”? Sketches again! Or I just take a break for a couple of days – creative block usually kicks in when I’ve been scrapping like a loony for a week or so.
What is your favorite scrapping snack? Remarkably, I don’t eat when I’m scrapping. My work area is about three foot by 18 inches and my paraphernalia stretches for yards all around me. If I’m lucky I can balance a cup of tea somewhere nearby. I’m also quite paranoid about grease and, erm, chocolate fingerprints!
What kind of camera do you have? Haha, a rather old one that I bought second-hand off ebay. It’s only 4 pixels and not rechargeable. I’m longing for a better one but it’ll have to wait (see Q1, above!)
Do you shoot pictures in manual or automatic? If it’s coming out rubbish I fiddle about with the settings, but generally I just change the bit where it says portrait, landscape, sport etc.
What is your favorite thing(s) to photograph? I absolutely love taking pictures of plants and flowers close-up. My daughter takes some awesome ones too, drops of rain on leaves and stuff. I’m a keen gardener so this is a great way of recording the things I’ve grown and my visits to other gardens which I find very relaxing.
Do you have any hobbies besides scrapbooking? The gardening – although that’s a fair weather activity. I like going to see live music, I try to do this once a week. Not least because it’s a bit tiring doing it too often!
What is your best piece of advice to share with other scrapbookers? Make notes of your ideas, scraplift inspirations, techniques you want to try etc. The more you get down on paper, the faster the ideas flow.
Helen has inspired us with a double page layout for Sketch #17! Here's her sketch and layout...
Layout by Sarah Ward
Layout by Kim Arnold