Interested on me? I’m not usually long-winded on discussing myself. I get bored easily and love to try new things. So, trying to explain who I am in just a few words is pretty difficult. Here’s a “brief” explanation.
I’m a single mother.
I have two daughters. They started at public school in our little town. They changed over to the local charter school when my oldest started 6th grade and my youngest started 3rd. When they got to high school, they both went back to public schools. The differences in how education is handled between the two is very interesting as well as the view they have of each other.
My oldest is now attending Purdue University Northwest studying biology. My youngest doesn’t know where she wants to go, but she wants to study mathematics and foreign languages.
I am a designer.
I work at the corporate offices of TP Orthodontics, Inc., a worldwide company that manufactures parts for orthodontic treatment. I communicate a lot with our non-US offices and there are many unique challenges dealing with various cultures and languages.
Most of my experience is with print. However, I have been creating content for our Web site and iPads lately so my media design experience is growing.
I am a printer.
I worked for many years in the printing industry. With newspaper publishing, I’ve worked on my college newspaper (editing and layout) as well as helping a local newspaper with their classifieds when the entire department went down with the flu.
In instant printing, a close friend owns an instant print shop. She helped me start out in printing by letting me apprentice there. I learned desktop publishing, layout, keylining, running a small 2-color press and bindery basics.
In commercial printing, I’ve done secretarial, billing and prepress at Newcomb Printing which shut down in 2012. I maintained the Macintosh network, the film printers, backup systems and more in the pre-press department. I troubleshot files from many well-known companies and prepared them for print. About 70% of our business came from Chicago when I was there.
Newcomb Printing is also where I began my career in graphic design with the help of Don Lewis. You can learn more about him if you check out his connection to Playboy.
I am a Girl Scout.
My original experiences as a Junior Girl Scout were not positive. I tried to dissuade my oldest from Girl Scouts, but she wanted to join and found a troop at another school since we didn’t have one at ours. How could I say no?
I joined to make sure she didn’t have the same experiences I did. Within the organization, I have been:
- Daisy leader (kindergarten)
- Brownie leader (1st – 3rd grades)
- Junior co-leader and leader (4th – 6th grades)
- Multi-level troop leader (1st – 7th grades)
- Juliette advisor (4th – 12th grades)
- Council delegate (Singing Sands Council)
- Adult trainer
- Event coordinator
I am a teacher.
I teach girls at meetings and events that they can do new things and succeed. There is nothing better than seeing the excitement in a girl’s eyes when she figures out something new or realizes she can do something she thought she couldn’t.
I have taught individuals the basics of desktop publishing. I started teaching at Newcomb Printing with our customers. By teaching them the basics of the programs we were using, they were more comfortable with what they were doing and in turn they provided me with what I needed. I have worked one-on-one with people interested in improving their work as well.
When my girls were little, I taught paper craft classes at Lady and the Stamp. I took far more classes than I taught, but I loved teaching the ladies and they were excited to learn. That’s a great feeling.
With Girl Scouts, I have taught all levels of programming as well as enrichment training.
As the next step, I started the Enrichment Project in May 2010. Supplemental enrichment training is difficult to teach. The distances we need to travel over our council makes attendance low. As one of the ladies who attended my cooperative games class told me, “Why drive an hour each way to attend a 2-hour training?” She was right. By making badge programs available online, I hope that I can encourage adults (Girl Scouts or not) to learn new things and improve their own lives while providing additional programming.
I am a learner.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Purdue University. I took a couple graduate level courses, but I stepped away from formal education when I started my married life.
I push myself to spend at least 100 hours every year in enrichment classes, workshops, webinars and more. The more I know, the more I can share. I also listen to podcasts and love YouTube.
Currently, I am following Tony Laidig (publishing and public domain), Kristen Joy (publishing and business), James Wedmore (video) and Marie Forleo (positivity and business) to name a few.
I am an entrepreneur.
My first experiences as an entrepreneur were with my husband. We started a disc jockey business lasting about 5 years when I was still in college. My husband was an audiophile. He was still discovering himself, so this was just supplemental income (and sometimes just supported itself).
We then had a bulletin board system (BBS). These were computers that people could call into to play games, leave messages, etc. BEFORE the Internet. I remember my husband reading the DOS manual before bed every night so he could tweak the computers to get the most performance out of them. We helped found the SYSOP Guild, a group of local BBS operators. Unlike the other local BBS systems, we supported Amiga, DOS, Windows and Macintosh (Apple).
I tried starting a desktop publishing company, VariMedia, in 1996. Starting a business while pregnant and then having a baby is NOT something I should have tried. I failed — big time. Phil was working swing shift and I was constantly rescheduling appointments and not getting anything done.
I am a micropublisher.
In 2010, I started the Enrichment Project. It started out as the “Adult Enrichment Project”, but on the request of older Girl Scouts, the name changed in 2014.
In 2013, I moved the Enrichment Project under the umbrella of larajla creates which will eventually house all my endeavors. This will include:
- Badge programs for the Enrichment Project
- Supplements for the Enrichment Project
- Craft and activity sheets — Grab ‘N’ Go
- Templates for publishing and crafting
- Digistamps and ephemera sheets
- Ebooks expanding on badge programs
- Fan fiction
- Fiction ebooks
- And more that I’m exploring every day
You are invited . . .
I’d love you to hang out with me. Every day I find something new that begs to be explored. I find cool ideas that I can adapt to my own designs. And I have piles of notebooks, sheets and sketchbooks of ideas and stories that I want to share.
Thank you for visiting my little corner of the Web.