Today on our blog we welcome Wilna Furstenberg, an artist who has developed a passion for scrapbooking and inspires us through her classes and workshops, and especially her fabulous layouts.
Hi to my fellow Canadians! My name is Wilna Furstenberg, and I am a very proud Canadian! I am a scrapbooker and product designer and have been a part of the Scrapbooking Industry since 2003. I would love to tell you my story today. Go and grab a Timmies (Medium with 2 milk for me) and come and hang out with me while I entertain you with tidbits of my life.
I was born and raised in South Africa and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria in 1996. I painted huge oil paintings in those 4 years, and little did I know then that most of my life’s creative work would be 12×12 inches! I loved every second of those 4 years, and it was by far one of the best experiences of my life. Some of my classmates are famous South African Artists 20 years later. After I finished University, my husband and I started a family. Three beautiful girls in 5 years and there was no time for art or even a hint of time for any creative work. In 2003 I was invited to a scrapbook class taught by Jeanette MacIntosh from the Scrapbook Den in South Africa. She hooked me onto this amazing hobby because it was something creative that I could do for my girls, and it was not as time consuming as painting big paintings.
I started a love affair with scrapbooking that day, and it never stops as long as I am alive. Here’s one of my very first scrapbook Layouts: (You can see more from that time period here)
I remember how dog-eared my Creating Keepsakes Magazines were back in the day. I would literally sit and scraplift every single layout that I loved. Rebecca Sower was by far my favorite scrapbooker. In 2004, I entered a big contest in South Africa and was the winner. It gave me such a thrill! When my husband (a medical Doctor) said that he was thinking of immigrating to Canada, I was so excited! The main reason for my excitement was that I would be able to enter the CK hall of Fame Contest.
So, in 2005 we came to Canada with 5 suitcases. My girls were 4, 6 and 8 years old and sure enough, I entered the CK Hall of Fame Contest in 2006. Here are 2 of the layouts I entered. You can see more from my 2006 work here.
It was a magical moment when Lisa Bearnson phoned me to tell me I was one of the 25 CK Hall of Fame winners for 2006. I was fortunate enough to have a layout I created on the cover of the HOF 2006 book. Shortly after I won HOF, I was the winner for the Making Memories Idols Contest. I won a spot on the MM Design Team and worked for them for 6 years.
The scrapbook industry has been so good to me. I am so deeply thankful! I worked mainly for Jenni Bowlin, October Afternoon and Two Peas in a Bucket. I created two very popular online Scrapbook Workshops for Two Peas: Art Class 1 and Art Class 2. I also designed some digital scrapbook products for 2peas in 2010. You can see some of my digital scrapbook work here. I love techy stuff, but I found that I love actual paper more. Here’s one of my favorite digital layouts:
Two Peas in a Bucket was exceptionally good to me. I have to talk about Kristina Nicolai White for a second, as she was such a huge influence on me as a designer, teacher and scrapbooker. I have never told her this, but I credit where I am right now to her. She guided me and showed me things that were obvious to her but not to me: I started designing cut files (for electronic cutting machines like the Silhouette and Cricut Explore). I never ever thought of this until she asked me. She also allowed us so much design and creative freedom that I feel I came into my own as a designer. Kristina was also the brains behind the video series that Two Peas started in 2013, and it took me in a new and exciting direction. I am so thankful for her and Two Peas. I still miss the community every day. I was a part of the “In the Mood to Scrap” team; if you click the link you will be able to see all of the videos I created for this prompt. Here’s one of my favorite pages I created for Two Peas:
Now that Two Peas is closed, I have found new opportunities open up for me. I started a photography business – iheartphotos.ca in 2011 and it’s growing slowly and authentically to the point where I am shooting weddings now with Shaun, a fellow South African Canadian. Our business is called Soul Wedding Photography. I think photography is a natural result of a life dedicated to scrapbooking. I really get a high when I photograph people and especially my girls.
Also, since the beginning of this year, I built an e-commerce website http://www.iheartstudio.ca I am really proud of this little shop because I did it all by myself. Long hours and sore shoulders and eyes! But so worth it! I started to design more digital Cut Files and Printables and wanted a place to sell them. After Two Peas closed they gave me back the rights to my Art Class Workshops, and I added those Workshops to iheartstudio.ca as well. This website is truly a work of love, and I decided to only add products to it that I love. I do a weekly Wednesday (well, most Wednesdays) series with a scrapbook process video and layout on my blog: www.wilnafurstenberg.com. Here’s one of the layouts I did recently. You can see more of my videos on YouTube and a gallery of my 2014 work here.
Lastly, I just added a brand new workshop to iHeartStudio called a Heartfelt Christmas Workshop. It’s a gorgeous online, self-paced Workshop with 12 super cute Christmas Projects to make you excited for the beautiful Holiday Season! Every single year I love having a white Christmas. It’s truly magical. I hope you will have a look at it! There’s over 4 hours of video and 22 Free Downloads (Cut Files and Printables) in this class.
Thank you for hanging out with me while I tell you a bit of my Story. I am really humbled and thankful for each and every opportunity that this beautiful Country has opened up for me. I am a proud Canadian! You can find me in the following places:
My Blog: http://wilnafurstenberg.com
My Shop: http://iheartstudio.ca
Much Love! Wilna
Thank you so much Wilna for sharing yourself on our blog! We really enjoyed getting to know you better and are excited about all the wonderful opportunities that you have created for yourself. Your classes and workshops are fantastic!