This weeks deer in the headlights interviewee is our soft and elegant designer, Suzanne Tonga.
What three words best describe your personality?
Determined, Passionate, Caring
What’s your worst habit?
My friends would say – drinking too much Pepsi Max!
What are you currently reading?
I’m not reading anything at the moment but I am looking forward to my sister filling my kindle when I go home for holidays.
Do you have any new years’ resolutions?
I don’t usually make resolutions but it’s always a good time to reassess where I’m at in life. I guess if I have a resolution it’s to not stress about things I can’t change but do something about things that I can. I want to focus on the good things in our life.
What’s your favourite quote?
I love quotes! One of my favourites is by Maya Angelou – “Precious jewel, you glow, you shine, reflecting all the good things in the world.” It reminds me of the pure innocence of children and that we should do everything we can to preserve that.
What would be your theme song?
Gosh, I have thought long and hard about this question and haven’t come up with an answer. Is there a song about sunshine and rainbows? That’s what I would like my theme song to be. My life certainly isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but that’s what I would like to focus on.
Are you on pinterest? What’s your favourite recent pin?
I love Pinterest! I am forever pinning gorgeous creations like this made from felt or fabric in the hope that one day, I will have time to make some of them.
If you could go anywhere (real or not) where would you go?
Oh that’s a hard one, there are so many places to go! I have always wanted to go to Africa. I would love to work at one of the elephant orphanages. I would also love to go to Costa Rica and work at one of the macaw breeding and research facilities.
How do you feel about garden gnomes?
Mmm, can’t say I have a strong opinion about garden gnomes! Although I do remember my Mum and Dad having one in our garden, called Sam!
What part of creating do you enjoy most?
I love printing my photos and then selecting the products that go with it. I do love to stitch too! A page is never complete without stitching.
What sort of photos most make you want to scrap?
Portrait style photos of my kids and my nieces and nephews in the outdoors. I really love good family photos.
Can you share with us a couple of layouts using your favourite recent releases?
I am loving instagram at the moment and I decided to print photos of my daughter Lily, splashing around in the street outside our home. I teamed the photos with the gorgeous whimsical collection, 5th & Frolic (Dear Lizzy). I adore everything about this collection, from the colours, patterns, images, to the amazing feather embellishments. I love the clipboard images from one of the papers so these formed the main design feature for my layout. I decided to stick with the whimsical theme and attached eyelets through each clipboard image and then strung them across the page using embroidery thread. I used the chipboard pieces and feathers to embellish.
I have long been a fan of Crate Paper designs and the new Acorn Avenue lives up to my high expectations! I love the chipboard sets from Crate Paper, they are such wonderful value for money as there are so many pieces. The nature theme of Acorn Avenue was the perfect compliment for my bird photos. I have recently re-discovered my passion for wildlife photography and these are photos of baby butcher birds that I found in the bush behind where I live. I firstly found one baby perched precariously on a little tree overhanging the water. Then I followed the squawking and found another baby hidden in long grass. I re-united the babies and placed them in a safer position and was able to photograph the parents coming back to feed them. It has been a couple of months now and the parents still bring the babies into our yard to drink from our water bath.
Share a favourite photo and how you would scrap it.
This is pretty typical of the photos that I love to scrap. I love capturing candid moments instead of just everybody smiling at the camera. Don’t get me wrong, smiling photos are beautiful too! The great thing about outdoor photos is that they can be scrapped with most ranges of paper. I would just pick something that complemented colour-wise. I usually like to scrap more than one photos too, so I would choose maybe three photos from the same series and scrap them in a smaller size.
Is your dress or decorating style similar to your scrapbooking style?
I think so. I love lots of neutral with pops of colour and pretty things.
When did your style click for you?
Probably about a year after I started scrapbooking, I found my style and have pretty much stuck to that since then.
What is your best piece of advice for starting out scrapbookers?
Don’t feel like you have to have everything when you are starting out. Wait until you have discovered your true style. The other thing I often tell people is, don’t be afraid to try lots of different styles until you find the one that suits you. There is so much inspiration out there in the scrapbooking world.
What’s your current favourite scrapbooking trend?
I love the layered look that is around at the moment. Lots and lots of beautiful layers underneath your photos, including a few textures like vellum, patterned papers, acetate etc. Then beautiful clusters of embellishments. I also really love the instagram photos that people are including in their pages.
Can you share a few of your favourite layouts from the last 12 months?
It has become a tradition for us to take photos each Autumn, near some of the maple trees in our suburb. Living in Queensland, there aren't too many Autumn trees so it really is a treat to see them. I love the Crate Paper Brand. The collections never fail to impress me. I love the variety of colours and small prints, not to mention the gorgeous texture of the papers and of course, the embellishments. Looking back, this is one of my favourite layouts. I really like the colour palette and the arrangement of embellishments and of course, I have included sequins and beads - my favourite embellishment!
Songbird is one of my favourite collections from Prima. The colours are soft and pretty and I adore anything nature themed. The photos are of my daughter Lily, with a nest that her Dad found for us. He doesn't get our fascination with birds nests but I love that he will still turn around to get one if he sees it on the ground!
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook.
Harry Potter or Twilight? I actually love both sets of books but Harry Potter is definitely my favourite.
Chips or Twisties? Chips
Bath or Shower? Shower
Cheese or Chocolate? Can I say both? I think I just love food in general, lol.
Coffee or Tea? ½ strength caramel latte please.
Jeans or Skirts? Jeans.
Christmas or New Years Eve? Definitely Christmas Eve. I love Christmas. I love being surrounded by family with the excitement of the next day to look forward to.
Ikea or Op Shop? Although I’d really love to say Op Shop, I am an Ikea girl.
Ninjas or Pirates? Mmmm, I don’t think either is a good option!
Pool or Ocean? Ocean.
Sunset or Sunrise? Sunrise, although I don’t see too many, lol.
Phone or Text? Text.
Desert or Snow? Snow! I would love to see snow. How wonderful it would be to have a white Christmas!