Susan R. Opel is an enthusiastic lover of music, fashion, words, travel, red wine, social media, paper crafting, and LIFE.

When Susan turned 39, her life changed significantly. After receiving a BA in English from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, MI, she spent 16.5 years teaching English, art, and religion to students in Illinois, Nevada, and Indiana. But one day she decided that she wasn’t as excited about teaching anymore, and she wanted to expand her world. In a leap of faith, she quit teaching and moved across the country to pursue a dream job in the craft industry working for a card making magazine. She forged relationships and friendships with scrapbookers, card makers, and manufacturers from all over the globe. Now, Susan is thrilled to use her organizational and writing skills as Editor-in-Chief of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine!

Susan lives Utah with her creative sister just a few miles away from her 85 years young dad. She counts it one of her greatest blessings to work from home and be able to take care of Dad, too!

What is your go-to, must have tool?

Believe it or not, I find that I can’t live without my Close To My Heart Tweezers! They have the most amazing extremely fine point that allows me to perfectly place the tiniest little accents like sequins and rhinestones. They come with a protective covering that I’m absolutely diligent in keeping on the tip when not using them. It’s clear and tiny, and I freak out if it goes missing!

If you had an extra half hour in the day, what would you do?

I would go for a drive! I love to get behind the wheel of my car and explore my surroundings. As a 10-year resident of Utah, I can be up in the mountains in close to no time. Driving refreshes and inspires me, and it gives me a sense of calm. I’ve explored a great deal of the Beehive State—more than many people who’ve lived here their whole lives!

When did you start papercrafting, and how did it come about?

After a fun Spring Break trip to NYC in 1999, 1 started a scrapbook with a few pieces of cardstock, some stickers, and hand-written captions. It was in a magnetic album (for shame). Eventually, I found a local scrapbook store in Fort Wayne. IN, where I spent too much money and met some awesome people! Soon after that, I discovered Creating Keepsakes and Simple Scrapbooks magazines, and I started submitting layouts for publication with some success! That was when I realized I was ALL IN. Because not only was I creating layouts I loved, but I was “meeting” some of the best people I know.

I didn’t start making cards until I started working for Paper Crafts magazine in 2008.

It’s been so fun to be connected with BOTH the scrapbookers and card makers who contribute to SCT.