My Way with Karen Busby

by | Design & Technique | 4 comments

Editor’s Note: We are excited to have Karen Busby as our featured artist for May. Her work inspired our latest collection of sketches and templates inside of the membership. Please enjoy our interview with Karen for our My Way series.

Karen Busby

Can you share some of your basics, like family, location, etc.?

I live on the south coast of the UK with my husband Paul and dog Poppy. I love where I live as I have access to the beach and also beautiful countryside. I have three grown children all now living away from home in different towns. I love visiting them and exploring new areas. (I survived empty nest syndrome by creating a craft room in one of the empty bedrooms!)

What is one thing related to memory keeping that is new or exciting to you right now? This can be a product, app, class, person, idea etc.

I’ve just discovered kits by Traci Reed. I am loving her style and they’re inspiring me to scrap. Plus, I am very excited to be designing my own templates.

What is one story on your memory keeping bucket list?

The birth of my son. 28 years ago there were no digital cameras, so I don’t have photos around his birth. I have a few taken the next day. But it frustrates me that the photos don’t exist as they would if he was born now. I don’t know if that makes sense? But because I don’t have the photos I want, I haven’t yet scrapped about it. It is obviously a huge moment in my and his life that needs documenting. I am desperate to scrap about it. But can’t think how to go about it. So yes, definitely a Bucket List scrapping project.

Right now at Simple Scrapper we’re talking about storytelling. What is the role of story in your creative process?

I think that scrapbooking is storytelling. I always aim to tell the story of the memory in my photos. I’m not a big journaler. But when the photo needs help, then I will add some journaling. All of my layouts are automatically telling the story of my life I think. But the question is making me think even more about storytelling,and how I could do it more effectively!

How did you start scrapbooking? How has your hobby changed?

I was invited to a Creative Memories class in 2001. I loved it and scrapbooked the traditional way for years. Then in 2011, a friend told me about digital scrapbooking. I tried it and loved it. I’ve been scrapping digitally ever since. In 2013 I discovered The Lilypad scrapbooking site. The community there is so friendly and warm. Eventually I was very fortunate to become a Polly. I learned so much during that time and loved every minute. Then last Autumn I took the difficult decision to give up my Polly status. I wanted to free up time to have a serious go at designing my own templates and starting a small business selling them. And so now I’m very happy to be on that exciting journey.

What sizes or formats do you typically create in? Why?

12×12 because I prefer that size when I print my layouts. Always 300dpi for quality. I scrap using Affinity Designer. Originally I used Serif craft Artist. But had to change when they discontinued it. It was a steep learning curve transferring to a different software. But I got there and it’s better for my template design anyway. In traditional scrapbooking (paper) I scrap in 12×12 and also 8×8. I can usually find the time to create a smaller 8×8 layout where I wouldn’t have time to do 12×12.

Whose products are you completely obsessed with?

Traci Reed, Anita Designs, and Lynn Grieveson Designs. I love, and use, many more products from other designers, but those are my go to ones right now

What is something you use or do on most of your pages?

I always have a title with the same font (Melony). I used to think I should change it up sometimes, but I like the consistency in my albums when they’re printed. I also love to add string. I enjoy the flow it gives to a layout. There is nearly always a heart & flower on there too!

When do you typically find the time/energy for scrapbooking?

Anytime really. Whenever I get an hour to myself. Evenings are the more usual times I think. But if I have photos that I am desperate to scrap. I will be at my PC all day in between work and chores!

Do you have any strategies that you use to stay motivated?

I love to use templates to kick start my mojo. It nearly always works. But I only use them when I’m in a slump. Usually though, it’s the photos that motivate me.

What is a something in scrapbooking — a supply, technique, size, or format — that you’ve decide if just not for you?

Big, exaggerated shadowing. The kind that makes you feel you could reach out and pick the elements up. I prefer a simple, subtle shadow to make my layout pop. But I tried doing bigger shadows for a time. I hated all the layouts I did back then. So deep, off the page shadows are not for me! I also tried A4 for a while. But soon went back to 12×12. I definitely prefer a square format.

What are one or two of your favorite organizing tips or solutions? They could be related to supplies, photos, ideas, or just something in your home.

Lists! I use them for everything. Things I need to do, favourite kits, people’s contact details, upcoming deadlines/events, and, of course, shopping. I have a very scatter brain personality. So without lists, nothing would ever get done. Plus you can’t beat the feeling of crossing something off as ‘done’ 🙂

Where would you like your scrapbooking to be in 10 years?

I would like to do more traditional (paper and glue) scrapbooking. I was looking back through my albums the other day. It’s motivated me to do more again, rather than just digital. I would also love my template business to be successful!

What has being a scrapbooker taught you?

It has definitely taught me that the tiniest of moments should be recorded. I love that quote, ‘treasure the small things because one day you will look back and realise they were the big things’ So now I kind of appreciate the smaller things as they happen more. Scrapbooking has shown me that when I look back on them, they make me smile the most. So yes, I’ve learned to treasure the small moments even more now.

Where we can find you online? Do you have anything new coming up in May or June?

I am excited for the coming months as I plan to release more of my digital scrapbooking templates. I am really enjoying seeing my templates inspire creativity in my fellow scrappers.

Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Jenny Adams

    Love this written INTERVIEW Style… it really suits us readers – im not keen on video LEARNING ir PODCAST learning SO thank you.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Most welcome!

  2. aNN


    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks so much Ann!


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