Get to Know Manuela Zimmerman, Our October Guest Designer

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by Darcy Baldwin

We’d like to introduce you to our new Guest Designer for October, Manuela Zimmermann of Studio Manu.


About You

Q: Tell us a little about you, your family, your pets, and your home.

A: I’m married and live in Germany, in Cottbus. We have 3 children. Our daughter, Juliane, is the oldest and is now 17 years old. Paul, in the middle, is 14, and our youngest, Nick, is 8 years old.


Q: What are you reading right now?

A: Right now I’m reading Burn by Linda Howard, the German version, of course, which is named Nachtkuss.


Q: If you had one hour of free time, what would you like to do with it?

A: I would take a walk through the forest with the kids.


Q: Are you a movie or television junkie? What are you watching?

A: I’m not a television or movie junkie, but I love to watch special telecasts. On Tuesdays I watch Good Buy Germany, a documentary about emigrates who leave or have left Germany and now live  anywhere in world. This is also a dream of mine, therefore, I love watching it.


About Your Designing

Q: While you are creating, do you listen to music or television or books on tape, or do you work best with silence?

A: This is different. Sometimes I love to hear music  and sometimes I love silence, but no television or book on tapes.


Q: What inspires you to create? Are you first drawn to color? A theme? A photo? A trend?

A: This is always different. Sometimes there are colors I come across that I really need to use in my design. Sometimes it’s a theme and then I see the finished kit already in my head. I write down all the elements this theme needs and start.


Q: What is your workflow like? Do you create a color board? Do you start with papers first or elements? What is your favorite go-to element to create?

A: Sometimes I create a color swatch, not always. If it is a theme, the colors are in my head. I start with the elements and then papers. I would say I have no favorite element to create but I love to make clusters and other additions using the finished kit. I really love to create photo masks, page borders,  stamps, and quick pages.


Q: Show us your  favorite kits or element packs.  (These products are available in Manu’s store at

manu_favorite_kit_1 manu_favorite_kit_2



About Scrapbooking

Q: Are you a scrapper? Show us your last three layouts.

A: I love to scrap and try to make at least one page with each kit or element pack I design. This way I also know there is nothing forgotten to create an amazing layout.

manu_last_lo_1 manu_last_lo_2 manu_last_lo_3


Q: What is your scrapbooking workflow like?

A: I open the photo I want to scrap (mostly I use only one photo). I open a background paper that I think is perfect for that photo. I open a frame and a photo mask and see if it looks better with a frame or photo mask. Then I add elements around the photo, on top of it or below. I look for a title or word art or add text (story) where it fits perfectly. At last I add the shadows to give the page some depth. At this point, I might start to play with the background paper and try different views. Then I start to turn around the elements, try this and that. It can sometimes take hours till I’m satisfied.


Q: What kinds of kits are you drawn to scrap with?

A: I love very versatile kits which can be used over and over again. I always need some greenery, flowers, butterflies, frames, overlays . . . and everything in a vintage touch or shabby chic style.


Q: What is the view from your workspace?

A: This is how it looks when I turn my head a little bit to the right; the view out of my window in my working room.



Be sure to check out Manu’s Digital Scrapper shop and her sale going on through October 7th, 2013. You can also follow Studio Manu on Facebook or her blog.

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