As a child, I loved colour. I didn’t have just one favourite colour, they were ALL my favourites! Honestly, how can someone say they love red more than blue or white or yellow or purple! To me, picking a favourite colour would have been like a mother picking which child she loves more.

So as a child, when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I didn’t know – I just knew that I wanted to work with colour. Somehow. But try telling a high school career counsellor that! (Eventually, I opted for studying library and information services.)

I worked in a library for a little while, but I never loved it. I found the work dull and tedious so I quit and began to look for ways to work with colour that didn’t involve painting every room of my house. Again.

I launched my first Etsy store in early 2012. I adore paper-crafting and creating original and unique invitations for wedding, christenings, birthdays, bridal showers, etc.

But the more I worked with paper, the more I realized that I really wanted to create my own papers with my own colour palette. So, with the encouragement of a dear friend, I purchased Photoshop and started creating digital papers. I was instantly addicted.

My second Etsy store, Dashing Shadow Designs, began on Etsy at the end of 2013. Coming up with a name for the store took less than 3 seconds. It was obvious what it had to be called. “Dashing” comes from our miniature red dachshund (Henry) who is being constantly teased for being short, and “Shadow” comes from our beloved cat, Shadow, who we adopted from the RSPCA in 2006. She’s getting on in years and her health is beginning to decline, but she is my constant companion, my own little shadow, following me around wherever I go.

Creating each individual digital paper for the store has been immensely satisfying (and fun!)

In my personal life I’m not really a “traditional” scrapper – I am currently only scrapping my family history, all 1200 years of it! Images of distant ancestors are hard to come by, so when I can’t find usable images (be it a photo of a modern statue, a contemporary painting of the subject or even a tapestry), then I try to use ephemeral images – coins, maps, pictures of Viking swords, etc.

My aim is to turn my 50 page family history essay (written in 2012) into a visual book which combines genealogy with history because as I found out while writing my essay, the two are inexplicably linked – you can’t understand a persons life story without understanding the battles they fought, the politics of the time and even the geography of 11th century Europe.


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