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10 Questions with Klo Oxford
If you spend much time traveling around the digital cutting world, you've probably run across Klo, queen of all things Pazzles! I've always been impressed with her helpful, generous nature in the face of many questions, and I'm delighted to sit down and chat with her. Klo is the face of Pazzles at consumer and trade shows all over the country, teaching and demonstrating the Inspiration Creative Cutter and other Pazzles products.
- Your online bio shows a long history in the scrapbook universe. How did you get involved with the scrapping industry?
Well, my sister is actually the one that turned me on to scrapbooking. She was living in Utah at the time and I had gone to her house. I saw her books and fell in love. Promptly after returning home to Nebraska, I went and got construction paper, Elmer's Glue and Sharpie Markers to start my own. A few months later, I told my sister about it and that is when she told me about acid free. So, after RE-DOING what I could with those early pages on to safer material I was hooked.
- What kind of changes have you seen in the scrapping industry in that time, good and bad?
When I first started scrapbooking, I would go into stores and try to find acid-free paper and I would get bizarre looks. So I decided to start my own business and with the help of my sister was able to get hooked up with Marielen Christensen of Keeping Memories Alive (scrapbook pioneer) and start getting supplies to sell out of my home. One of the biggest things that has changed is awareness. People now know what it is all about; it doesn't matter if they are scrapbookers or not, they know. There have been so many trends in scrapbooking it is funny to see the early ones coming back through again and being pegged as new. For the most part I think the scrapbook industry has done more good than anything. For me, the worst thing is the big box stores putting the small scrapbook stores out of business. The small scrapbook stores are the place where friendships are made. When we would crop at the small stores, it always felt like our very own "Cheers" place, 'where everybody knows your name'. And even though that is still very alive in some places, it is gone in others because the small stores couldn't compete with big box prices.
- How did you begin working with Pazzles? What interests you about computerized cutting?
One of my very good friends was getting married and wanted help with her wedding invitations. Well, I was going to CHA, so I told her I would see if I could find a die or someway to be able to make her invitations without having to punch out three squares, exactly lined up, on over 200 invitations. As I was walking around the floor, I saw the Pazzles Pro. I've always been a bit of an electronic junkie, so I stopped to have a look. At that time, it was the only one available and it was about $3000, so I had to 'think' about it. I didn't think long and ordered it. I made my friend's invitations and then kind of put it away while dealing with family stuff. I had just gotten it back out and started to relearn everything and ironically, from there I started working with Pazzles as a fluke. There was a convention in Kansas City and they were short a person, they put out a request on one of the forums to see if anyone could help out on really short notice (it was Tuesday, they needed someone on Thursday). Well, it worked out that I could go and I went.
- One of the things that I personally love are your video tutorials. How do you choose what subjects to make videos about?
I started out just doing some basic stuff. Then people would send me a file or ask a question that was hard to type and explain how to do them, so I started creating tutorials on how to do what they asked and figured I might as well share with everyone, because you never know when you might have that same question or problem.
- Where do you get your ideas for the fabulous files that you create? Do you sketch first, or go straight to the computer?
You know, sometimes I sketch, sometimes I go straight to the computer. Other times I will start with a piece of clip art and change it. I get my ideas everywhere from billboards to TV ads to clothing, etc.
- Do you think anyone can use a computerized cutter, or do you think it requires a special skill?
I think anyone can do this. The thing is to take small steps and learn one thing at a time. If you get a cutter and think you are going to immediately be designing some intricate paper piecing, that probably isn't going to happen. But start out cutting a title and some different size stars and then adding on that, you are going to do great.
- Do you scrap digitally, scrap paper, or a combination?
I tried to scrap digitally but I'm very tactile and really like working with and cutting the paper. I keep thinking I need to try to do some hybrid scrapbooking, but I just haven't taken the time to try it and see if I like it or not.
- Do you have a favorite person or thing to scrap?
I have probably done more pages of my daughter than anyone and I love doing those, but I also love scrapbooking my grandchildren. I'm getting ready to start a puppy album, because I have a puppy that I can't believe how in love I am with.
- Describe a typical day in the life of Klo. Do you have a home office and set hours, or do you have freedom to create?
Set hours????? Wow, that is quite a concept and would probably be a great idea. LOL... I do have a home office/scrapbook studio. I spend most of my time in there. I admittedly check my email off and on all day and try to answer and help people out. I really have no set schedule and can create whenever the mood strikes. I do have some deadlines, but not too many. If I'm not in my office/studio, then I'm generally reading or spending time with family or friends. (or napping...*grin)
- Last, I have to ask about my favorite subject in your blog - tell us about Elora! We've already seen why puppies shouldn't scrap!
First off, I have NEVER been a dog lover, but my daughter Heather found a puppy running loose last spring and brought it to the house. It was a terrier or Yorkie-type dog and Jared (my son that is mentally handicapped with autistic tendencies) loved her. It was tornado season here and Jared usually freaks out about the 'black winds' and 'black clouds'. He literally paces and drives himself just a little crazy. Well, while the little stray was here, he started pacing and I mentioned that it was making the puppy nervous, so maybe he should hold her and be calm for her. It was the most amazing transformation ever. Well, the owner of that puppy came forward and she was returned. After that we decided maybe we should consider a puppy. A neighbor's dog had puppies and we stopped in to see them and fell in love. So about a month later, she came home with us. Well, I am now head over heels in love with this silly dog. She is my shadow and goes everywhere with me (including the bathroom). She sleeps with me, goes on errands with me, everything. Yes, she loves Jared and they 'hang out' a lot and they keep each other calm during the 'black winds' and storms, so even though she is Jared's...I'm hers.
If you haven't "met" Klo yet, please visit her blog at (http://www.scrappingklo.blogspot.com) - you're missing quite a treat! Klo also has live video classes on Sunday nights at 8PM CST - the site is http://www.mogulus.com/scrappingklo. Stop in, have some fun, and learn at the same time!