Children Inspire Texas Mom to Capture Memories with Digital Scrapbook
When Leila Schweiss of Austin, TX, went looking for a creative outlet, she didn’t need to look any further than her own sons.
“Children are wonderful inspiration,” she said. “Scrapbooking is a way for me to put memories down about my kids and what they’ve done.”
“Since I don’t have a piano here, scrapbooking is a way for me to be creative. Plus with scrapbooking, I can show off my kids,” Schweiss, the mother of two boys, ages four and 18 months, said.
Schweiss said she had been playing around with graphics for quite a while but didn’t consider digital scrapbooking until someone pointed out that the signature files she made for her message boards were really just miniature scrapbooks.
That was in June 2003 and since then Schweiss hasn’t looked back.
“I liked the creative outlet of scrapbooking immediately,” she said. “Finally, it gave me something to do with all the digital pictures I was taking of my kids.”
Once Schweiss started digital scrapbooking, she didn’t have to go looking for software. She’s been a Paint Shop Pro user since Version 6.
“Paint Shop Pro is just so easy, so user friendly, and the learning curve isn’t as difficult as other programs,” she said. “I love Paint Shop Pro because I could just jump in and start using it.”
“The program just makes a lot of sense to me,” Schweiss said. “If I don’t like where something is, I can just put it somewhere I can find it.”
Keeping her favorite tools, including the Color Picker, textures, and the Magic Wand, at her fingertips is pretty important to Schweiss since she uses Paint Shop Pro nearly everyday.
“Opening Paint Shop Pro is pretty much the first thing I do in the morning,” she said. “I’ve always got something I can do - make an element for my layout, edit a picture, or design a layout.”
In the year since she’s been scrapbooking, Schweiss said she’s probably made close to a hundred layouts.
“I like to take my time on each layout,” Schweiss said. “I want them to be perfect. I want it to be exactly what’s in my head.”
Schweiss said she mostly scrapbooks children – her own children and the children of her friends.
The layouts Schweiss has designed featuring her children are some of her favorites. One of the first ones that popped into her head was one she called T-Rex and features her oldest son.
“I made all the graphics myself,” she said. “The page is based on a conversation I had with my son JP when he said he wanted to be a T-Rex when he grew up. It works so well because I had a picture of him pretending to be a T-Rex.”
Another of Schweiss’ favorites features a photo of her husband’s and younger son, Devin’s, hands.
“I absolutely love that one,” she said. “It’s just such an emotional page. In that one, I managed to get exactly what I was in feeling in my heart onto the page.”
Because of the emotion she puts into her layouts, Schweiss mostly uses quotes on her pages instead of journaling herself.
“I don’t journal, I usually use quotes that I’ve seen or read,” she said. “Journaling is a little too emotional for me. I don’t like crying on my keyboard.”
It’s this emotional aspect of scrapbooking that keeps Schweiss at it.
“I can’t wait to show my kids these layouts when they’re older,” she said. “I can point to it and tell them that this is what they were like when they were little. Making these memories is the most important part of it for me.”