Getting Scrappy With...

Click here to see this in Michelle's gallery
It's that time again! Time to Get Scrappy With... Michelle Stankevicius aka Shelstan on Michelle does layouts in all different sizes (12x12, 8.5x11, 6x6) and I love seeing how she changes things up from layout to layout. I don't remember when I first came across Michelle's work, but whenever it was, her layouts really appealed to me and I hope they do to you, too. I've been following Michelle's blog, Shel's Creative Emporium, and not only is Michelle an awesome scrapbooker, but she's an all-around awesome person, too! Check out her blog because she has a whole lot more than just scrapbook layouts—you'll find cute pictures of her kids, pictures of her home decor, and yummy recipes! But first, let's get to know Michelle a bit better.

When did you start scrapping?

I started keeping scrapbooks when I was in junior high. Of course, my style has changed drastically since then, and continues to change with the times! I have taken some art classes and have read a lot of design books, so I think that technically my style has improved in terms of composition and style. I also was trained as a professional photographer at Glamour Shots and another portrait studio when I was in college, so I think my photography has become better over time as well!

Why do you scrap?

It started as a fun way to document vacations and special occasions and has morphed into a way to document my family's everyday lives. I hope my children will want to take "their" scrapbooks with them when they move out and will look back on them as a way to remember the best of times!

Click here to view Michelle's gallery
Your kids are in a lot of your pictures and sometimes I see you on a layout. How often would you say you scrap yourself?

Honestly, I'm not crazy about doing it, but I force myself to do it every once in awhile. If I am trying to preserve my children's childhood for them, I'm sure they'd appreciate a pic or two of their mom thrown in for good measure! Having three kids, I am usually the one behind the lens, but occasionally my husband will turn the camera on me!

What are your favorite scrapbook manufacturers?

I really like companies that provide lots of coordinating elements like: Basic Grey, Studio Calico, Jenni Bowlin, Crate Paper and Sassafras Lass are just a few. I really don't have any ties to any ONE company!

Where do you get your creative inspiration?

I subscribe to all of the different scrapbooking magazines, so I get a lot of ideas there. I also love browsing blogs and I have a group of "friends" that I met through from all over the country and we offer encouragement, challenges and inspiration to each other, too.

Do you have a favorite technique that you use on layouts or something that you think of as your signature?

I love buttons and butterflies!! My daughter always says, "Don't forget to add a butterfly, Mom!"

Where and when do you do most of your scrapping? 

I usually get about two hours a day (if my other two kids are occupied) when my baby naps. I usually scrap at the kitchen table, so I can keep my eye on what's happening in the house. My husband is currently finishing our basement and there is a beautiful corner of the great room with my name on it! LOL I hope to move my scrap stuff down there when it's finished.

Right now all of my stuff is housed in my hall coat closet, and two scrap bags! I have lots of storage containers that are begging to be displayed once our basement is finished. My darling husband created two oversized closets for me in the basement to house all of my scrap supplies and he's creating some built-in shelving for my books and craft stuff. All I need to find is a scrap desk and comfy chair to complete the vision!

That sounds awesome! For my readers who might live in your area or who might be visiting, is there any place you'd recommend they check out for scrap supplies?

Unfortunately, most of the local scrap stores in my neighborhood have gone out of business! :( There is a really great scrap store in downtown Chicago that I try to take a trek up to about once a year. It is called Windy City Scrapbooking. I buy most of my stuff at my local Archiver's, Michael's and JoAnn's. I also order a lot online. (shhh...don't tell my husband!) I subscribe to some kits. (Scarlet Lime and Studio Calico are my faves!)

Well, from reading your blog, it's clear that you have other crafty hobbies aside from scrapbooking.

I love to paint. I have created lots of original paintings for my home, as well as murals on the children's bedroom walls and some decorative stenciling in my bathroom. My mom is super crafty. When I was younger she taught me to crochet and cross stitch, but I haven't done those in years. My mom is still crafty. We sometimes scrap together and she makes some really pretty and unique jewelry too! My other favorite hobby is cooking. I have taken a few classes at SurLaTable and love to try new and unique recipes!

Because Christmas is right around the corner, what's on your Christmas wish list?

My Christmas wish list... I'd love to say it's huge, but then I'd sound greedy, and in today's economy, I shouldn't be asking for anything.'s just a "wish" list, right? So, a girl can dream....haha....I'd really love that Martha Stewart loopy punch. I swear I'm going to make one of those 7 Gypsies Letterblock Printer trays one of these days. I adore butterflies, so I'm always looking for new ones. And I don't have any yet, but I'd like some of the new Echo Park and KI paper lines!

And in un-scrappy news, I'd love Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook Double Delicious. (I have her first one: Deceptively Delicious and it's pretty good!) I saw her on Oprah this morning, cooking up a storm and it made me so hungry! She made this great looking crock-pot lasagna that I have to try!

Well, I've seen a lot of recipes on your own blog that I'd love to try! Thanks for being part of Cook Scrap Craft this week, Michelle!


If you want to check out some of Michelle's recipes, then head on over to her blog. You'll definitely get inspiration for this week's meals. And don't forget to visit her gallery to see Michelle's scrappy work. Then come back to Cook Scrap Craft on Wednesday for more Getting Scrappy With...!


  1. Awww...thanks, Laurie. You're making me blush!

  2. Laurie - Go get yourself an Oxo meat tenderizer/mallet. They are not too expensive and definitely do the job. Just wrap your chicken in wax paper before beating! Man! It really works as stress-relief!

  3. I am a big fan of Shel's:) She is an awesome scrapper, mom, and woman!! I loved the interview!


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