SYW098 – My Way with Kira Ness

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My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways memory keepers get things done. In this episode I’m joined by Kira Ness, our featured artist for January. Kira’s style mixes florals, textures, and story in a beautifully simple way. You’ll learn about a deeply personal loss in Kira’s life that has influenced her scrapbooking choices and why she loves this one particular album size.

Kira Ness 0:00

But also, I think it's really important to get into your craft room daily. And I know that sounds excessive but even if it's just like printing out a photo, or writing down the story that you want to do, or you know, just anything that's going to get you in your craft room and getting something done something that's going to make you think about it, because I feel like the less I scrapbook, the less I'm I don't want to say I'm not good at it, but it gets it... I almost like lose it, like I lose that that spark, that creative energy just kind of drains out of me if I'm not going in there every day.

Jennifer Wilson 0:45

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, the show that explores the breadth of ways to be a memory keeper today. I'm your host, Jennifer Wilson, owner of Simple Scrapper and author of The New Rules of Scrapbooking. This is Episode 98. In this episode, I'm joined by Kira Ness our featured artist for January. Kira's style mixes florals, textures, and story in a beautifully simple way. You'll learn about a deeply personal loss in Kira's life that has influenced her scrapbooking choices, and why she loves this one particular album size and of course, so much more.

Jennifer Wilson 1:26

Hey, Kira, welcome to the podcast.

Kira Ness 1:28

Hi, I'm so happy to be here.

Jennifer Wilson 1:30

Yes, I'm so excited to talk to you. You are our featured artist for January of 2021. And in this episode, we're gonna get to know you a little bit better. But can you kind of just break the ice a little bit and share some about yourself?

Kira Ness 1:46

So I am a Pacific Northwest native, and I'm currently living in San Antonio. I'm a stay at home mom of two young boys and married and we just recently got a beagle puppy. So that's a fun, exciting new adventure for me and yeah, I think that's about sums me up. I'm a Ravenclaw that seems important.

Jennifer Wilson 2:17

Well, I went to college in San Antonio and I kind of miss it. It's just it's such a just a very culturally diverse town and great food. And yeah, it was nice to be there for four years. So...

Kira Ness 2:28

Definitely great food. Yes, the tacos are amazing here. We have tacos so much. And even...

Jennifer Wilson 2:31

Tacos at gas stations are pretty good.

Kira Ness 2:40

Yeah, like you can literally get them anywhere here and they're always amazing. But the heat is a little much for for me. Oh yeah, I bet Yeah. Pacific Northwest girl. It's it gets a little hot...

Jennifer Wilson 2:53

A little oppressive mid August or so. Yes.

Kira Ness 2:56

It's it's hot right now. I mean, it's never cool.

Jennifer Wilson 3:02

All right, so Kira, what is exciting you and memory keeping light right now? We always love to ask this because we get so many fun things shared and it really could be anything at all.

Kira Ness 3:14

So I'm really loving, interactive scrapbooking. I love like December Dailys, how creative people get with those. But one person in particular is Veronica Lopez. She goes by @veronica_creates on Instagram. And her October Daily. She had so many little interactive pieces that like she had like little brads that would make things spin and she would have little pockets where things would be pulled out of and little windows that would open I love that sort of creativity right now. I love it and in the Life Crafted albums and mini albums. I just think it's so much fun. So that's really exciting.

Jennifer Wilson 3:55

I can't wait to check out her Instagram and we will include that link in our show notes as well.

Kira Ness 4:00

Yes, and another one who's also really big in the interactive scrapbooking right now is Jennie Rey, I think is how you say her last name. She is she's @thereypie on Instagram and she has December Daily videos like every day where she shows you how she's creating all these interactive pages. And so her pages are amazing right now.

Jennifer Wilson 4:24

Oh, so fun. Yes. Yeah, I would say I've had the best success with December Daily is that were more like mini books, you know, outside of the pocket and really just and sometimes they were more creative and sometimes it was just very minimalist, but I definitely I have a little bit of excitement about seeing people maybe shift away from pockets for these fun types of pages.

Kira Ness 4:48

Or using the pocket as part of the interaction like have you slip up as part of the pocket is really fun too.

Jennifer Wilson 4:56

Yeah, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 4:57

Very cool. Okay, so kind of almost the other end of the spectrum here is the storytelling aspect. And we love to ask our, our guests about what is one story on your memory keeping Bucket List, it could be something a little bit deeper, but it's usually just something that's really feels important to tell. And sometimes those stories are even silly. So...

Kira Ness 5:20

I haven't been scrapbooking that long. And my scrapbooking is very child centric. So my pages are usually all about my boys. So literally any story that involves my husband would be great for me to get on paper, I'd love to tell the story about how we met, had kind of how our relationship evolved. It was a very like whirlwind relationship when we got together. So that would be a fun story to tell. And I think something that my kids will want to know, as they get older.

Jennifer Wilson 5:53

You know, I hear this, I think there's something about our partners getting the short end of the stick sometimes with our scrapbooking, because I know that's the case for me. I interviewed someone yesterday, who said the same kind of very similar story for her Bucket List story. And so I think that, you know, we all, there's so much a part of our everyday lives, sometimes we don't turn the lens on them. So I think you're not alone in that in that quest.

Kira Ness 6:22

Yeah, and sometimes they're just not as exciting or cute as the kid. You know, like their, their daily life does not come across on pages, as well as like maybe a story about a funny thing a kid said.

Jennifer Wilson 6:38

For sure, and maybe even sometimes hesitant to be in the photos, or sometimes they're the ones taking some of the photos, such as just a lot of logistical issues as well.

Kira Ness 6:49


Jennifer Wilson 6:50

All right. So this is one of those My Way episodes where we get to really peel back the curtain on your hobby. So can you tell us how you started scrapbooking?

Kira Ness 6:59

So I always tell people that I started scrapbooking in October of 2016, because I was encouraged by a friend to do it. But it's not necessarily true. Because my mom was actually a Creative Memories consultant back when I was a kid. So when I was like maybe fifth grade ish, I think she did, it might be more fourth grade. So she would scrapbook as part of you know, being a consultant. And she always had the stickers and stuff. So I remember playing with stickers and pictures. And my earliest memory of actually doing a scrapbook page was in sixth grade, I had to do one of those assignments, we have to teach the class how to do something. And I decided to teach the class how to scrapbook. So I created two pages, where I scrapbook just some pictures of me and like my cousin's, I think, and I actually have the page still I have that one page that I have. But it was always a hobby that kind of would come up every once in a while throughout my life but never stuck. And it was always more about just pictures and pretty stuff. It was never about the story. It was never about storytelling. So I guess it's just kind of like, come and gone throughout my life. But now it's more about getting the stories told.

Jennifer Wilson 8:27

I love hearing this because this echoes my story so much down to I did a how-to video on how to make paper like how to make recycled paper. And I was like, I'm gonna be Martha Stewart someday and I'm gonna make videos about how to make things. And so I just but yeah, scrapbooking definitely just always came up. I was always curious. I wasn't quite sure how and I, you know, had false starts but then it was the you know, in more recent years that I finally like okay, here's the thing for me, and I've kind of been, I've been waiting for it for so long.

Kira Ness 9:02

Right? Like I have, I have a scrapbook of my cat when I was like 20 because that's what I had going on in my life. I had a cat and it's just pictures of him that I took because I got a camera for Christmas that year with a little printer doc that came with it. And I just scrapbook this album of him but there's no stories to it and so it was more of just like a decorative picture hobby and it was fun. But there was it was always like, well, this is fun in the moment, but there's nothing to it. I guess I missed that like something.

Jennifer Wilson 9:40

Well, I think it also it takes some of that that life experience as well to to recognize how things do change over time because when we're 20 everything like just not saying everything is like hunky dory but we've just not had that that the opportunities for ups and downs in life nearly as much as we have And we've never had never experienced a 2020 before. And, and you know all that?

Kira Ness 10:05


Jennifer Wilson 10:07

So if you but if you really kind of started officially in, say four years ago, how has your hobby changed in that time?

Kira Ness 10:17

So I would say when I first started in 2016, it was very much about trying to figure out what my style was what I liked to do, what format I wanted to work in. And so it was kind of this ever evolving thing in my hobby. But then in December of 2019, I, a couple of things happened, that kind of changed my hobby, completely. And that was that my dog died, which I will get to why that is important in a minute, but and then after that, we went up to my mother in law's house in Alaska. And there's not a lot to do in it, where she lives. She lives in a very small town of Alaska. It's a little island with, like, 3000 people. So we were up there for a week. And she asked me when we before we came up, if there's anything that I wanted to do anything I wanted to see. And I told her that I wanted to see pictures of my husband as a child, because I've never seen any pictures of him. I've, I've seen maybe one of him as a baby. And like one of him is like a 10 year old, but I hadn't seen any other child pictures of him. So she pulled out. When I got there, she pulled out these big Rubbermaid containers full of pictures, like two of these giant things. And so I just took up the dining room table, and just started going through pictures. And it was kind of like an epiphany for me like that. There's all these memories laid out in front of me. And there was no stories that went along with them. They were in a bunch of like grocery bags, you know, like, they just they weren't, like, separated or like, archived in any way. Anyway, and they, they just were there and nobody was looking at them. Nobody was doing anything with them. And so I took a bunch of them home, as a scrapbooker does when they find pictures. And so I took a bunch of the pictures home and you know, they're, of course just sitting in a bag in my craft room. But when I got home, I thought about my dog and how I've had him for I had him for 13 years. I'm sorry, I'm gonna get emotional on here. But I had him for 13 years, and I never told the story about him about how I got him about our adventures together. Nothing and so... sorry.

Jennifer Wilson 13:07

No, it's okay. I lost my cat this year. So I understand.

Kira Ness 13:10

Yeah, it's just is, yeah, very emotional. And so I decided that when we got back that that was the first thing I was going to do is I was going to I was gonna scrap with my dog. And I was going to tell all the stories that I hadn't told. And, and so that's that's what I did. And I kind of jumped started this... it jump started the hobby in a way that that I didn't think that this hobby was... how do I want to say this? It basically changed me in the sense that it wasn't about the pictures anymore, that it was about the stories. It was, it was about getting those stories told. So they had a place to be remembered.

Jennifer Wilson 14:09

When you kind of already had your entry points with the photos and with maybe more of the crafty aspects. And you were you know, just kind of waiting for something in your life to give you the why, the why is this something that I want to do regularly and make a real part of my life. And so often those types of shifts in our life, whether it's a passing of, you know, any kind of family member, whether furry or not, I think can be those pivotal points that that change how we want to look at our hobby.

Kira Ness 14:41

Yes, yeah, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 14:44

So I am curious, what have you... how did you end up scrapbooking your dog?

Kira Ness 14:51

So I made a Life Crafted album for him. And I basically compiled a bunch of stories that I wanted to tell. I told the story about how I decided to get a dog how, you know what, what happened the first time I went to go pick him out. I wrote letters to like each... I don't want to say person because I wrote a letter to like my cat, and a letter to my other dog. And a letter to Folsom. In, in the album, so there's, there's letters to like my kids that kind of talk about their relationship with Folsom. And and then yeah, the end of the album is a letter to him.

Jennifer Wilson 15:41

What a treasure.

Kira Ness 15:43

Yeah, it's, it's really, it's, it's beautiful. And I had, I had professional photos taken of him in like 2007, I think no 2009, I had professional photos taken of him that I hadn't done anything with, I had a couple canvases made of him, that are hanging up in the house that I had never printed the photos and even scrapbook to those. So I definitely wanted to. So I used all of those photos and then told all the stories.

Jennifer Wilson 16:14

I love that we did a similar type of project when my husband's dog passed away. And I'd only lived with her for a couple years. And so I helped him I gathered all the photos, I put it in one of those, the original Project Life mini books that had like two four by sixes and two, three by four cards that went next to it. And I just put all the blank cards in here and said here, honey, you sit down and write the story. And he was initially hesitant, but then after he was done, he's like, Thank you, that was really an important part of my healing from this loss. And I'm so glad that I have this now for for monkey or dog. So

Kira Ness 16:53

Yeah, that's that's kind of how I felt to that it was definitely a way for me to heal. And like, kind of process his death.

Jennifer Wilson 17:02

For sure. When I think scrapbooking in general does so much of that for us to help us feel gratitude, to understand what we're going through. I think we've all in the various ways we've documented this year have used that as a coping mechanism for dealing with all the changes. And yeah, it's just then I think we can't overstate the, the important life significance of this hobby. It's not just and I think sometimes people think oh, you're just, you're just scrapbooker you're just playing with stuff pushing stuff around and putting photos into albums. And I'm like, no, it's it's a lot more than that.

Kira Ness 17:41

Yeah, exactly. And I think I think that scrapbooking, that word almost has a negative connotation to it. Because I think that it does make people think of just stickers on paper. But if you say that you're documenting your life, nobody would even joke about that word. Nobody would say, well, that's silly.

Jennifer Wilson 18:03

Even saying journaling. I don't think it has the same kind of...

Kira Ness 18:06

Yeah, definitely

Jennifer Wilson 18:07

...connotations. And I think, you know, that's scrapbooking's full history has led to. I guess so.

Kira Ness 18:13


Jennifer Wilson 18:14

But that's I mean, yeah, something definitely interesting to think about.

Kira Ness 18:17

Mm hmm.

Jennifer Wilson 18:18

So shifting gears here, how would you describe your style today? And how did you kind of come into that?

Kira Ness 18:26

So I have a really hard time describing my style. I kind of hate that, like when you're applying for design teams, when they ask how would you describe yourself because I never know what to write. But I would say that my style now is very story based. It's very floral, because I love using flowers and pretty things like that. And I like to use texture a lot. So I guess those are the three things that you're pretty much always going to see on a page of minus some flowers, some texture, and definitely a story.

Jennifer Wilson 19:00

I noticed you also love white. Yes. I mean, there's definitely like you like floral texture. Some might think more complicated, and you definitely have a lot of layers, but there's a lot of whitespace and I think also because you do so much types of journaling as well. There's clean lines to that.

Kira Ness 19:25

I definitely like a lot more clean aesthetic. I don't. I tried mix media. I was on the shimmers design team for a year and it just was not me. It did not stick. I definitely prefer clean. And I don't usually do like funky angles. I kind of keep it pretty simple on my layouts and I'm a fast scrapbooker so I would say my style is very quick. I get things done. 30 minutes at least Like, what, like 30 minutes like an hour at the most.

Jennifer Wilson 20:03

And that Life Crafted size, though is really handy for getting things done faster. I'm doing my December Daily in that and I'm, I'm loving the size and regretting not starting sooner and that size.

Kira Ness 20:15

Yeah, it's it's a perfect size, I think.

Jennifer Wilson 20:18

I also noticed that you do use fiber a lot. And that's something that I, like, never can figure out what to do it and you've done so many different things with like hand stitching or like looping things around. And I'm super impressed because that's a little bit. I mean, that's very whimsical. And I'm always like, awkward when it comes to fibres.

Kira Ness 20:39

It is one of my favorite things to put on a page. If it's just like a little touch of like a ribbon. Or, yeah, like you're saying like the twine wrapped around something. I love doing that. I get a lot of inspiration from Steffi Ried. I love how she uses like, her stitching and how she uses twine and her layouts a lot. So I'm always trying to kind of emulate her style.

Jennifer Wilson 21:04

Very cool. We'll include a link to her in our notes as well. You shared so many different fun people today. It's cool. How do you think you stay motivated to create, especially, you know, through the ups and downs, and through this year, how have you stayed motivated?

Kira Ness 21:24

This year has been a mess. This year has been actually really, really hard on me to stay motivated, because I'm home with my kids all the time, like there's no break from them. And so last school year, because it was not expected that we were going to be homeschooling our kids, I had them set up in my craft room. And because that's where a computer is. And since all this stuff was on the computer, that's just where we were set up. And it made it really hard for me to want to go back in my craft room later to do any sort of scrapbooking. So this school year, that was the first thing I want to do is get those kids out. So, so we turned the playroom because they share a bedroom. So we have an extra room. That's their play room. And we turn that into the school room. So now they're in a separate room, I have my craft room back to be my craft room. And it's definitely helped to have my own little space back there. But as far as staying motivated, and actually getting scrapbooking done, I think design teams are one of the best ways that I've found to keep myself motivated, because there's a deadline. Sure, you have to get it done. So you have to and, and I don't there's it's not like they're usually telling you what you need to scrapbook. They're just telling you, you have to have a scrapbook layout done by this date. And so I really like having that deadline to get me in my craft room.

Jennifer Wilson 23:04

Oh, so many of our creative team members have said the same thing. And that's why they've they've been on our team for years, because that's it just gives them the motivation and the how does that extra push to sit down and do something?

Kira Ness 23:19

Exactly, yes. And so I was, I was on a lot of design teams at one time, and I was creating a lot during those times. But now I'm only on well, two at the moment, but that's going to be going down to one soon. And so it's Yeah, it's really helpful just to have that deadline there. But also, I think it's really important to get into your craft room daily. And I know that sounds excessive, but even if it's just like printing out a photo, or writing down the story that you want to do, or you know just anything that's going to get you in your craft room and getting something done something that's going to make you think about it because I feel like the less I scrapbook, the less I'm I don't want to say I'm not good at it, but he gets it. I almost like lose it. Like I lose that. That spark, that creative energy just kind of drains out of me if I'm not going in there every day. So I try and get into my craft room at least once a day just so I can keep those creative juices flowing.

Jennifer Wilson 24:30

When that's very true. I think it's a very natural process. But it is there is a reality to that that if you don't stay do continue with anything, whether it's playing the piano or any kind of skill. You can't it's not as easy to get back in the mindset and feel the creative flow with it. So even if you can set the bar really low, just like you know, move shift things around organized one tiny little drawer cup of something just to get in there and stay physically connected. If you're, you know, a digital scrapbook or like just even even browsing layouts and saying, Okay, I'm going to use this template next, even just that one tiny decision kind of gets the ball rolling for your next project.

Kira Ness 25:12

Yes, yes, definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 25:15

I briefly want to go back to your point about getting the boys out of your craft room and that kind of emotional conversation we have about our creative spaces. Because I know that I've been there's been certain times when I'm like, I don't want to go in there, because it just doesn't make me feel good. And so I've actively like, tried to create softer lighting and like candles and try to make my space feel more cozy and inviting, so that I can reduce any of those barriers that are maybe kind of pushing me away. And I think sometimes that doesn't get talked about enough, even if it's, you know, the corner of the dining room table, you can still find ways to carve that out and make that yours, and to kind of set some boundaries, whether they're emotional or physical around it.

Kira Ness 26:03

Right. And I think even because my craft room, it's actually our formal dining room. I mean, I guess that's what this space is meant to be. But I've taken it over as my craft room. So it's open to the rest of the house, like it's open to the kitchen, it's open to our formal living room, and the kids come and walk through it, you know, anytime they want. So sometimes it's not even just like, getting them out of the room. It's like turning on the TV and like, putting them away. Like, giving my giving me my space, you know, just so I can't hear them, or they're not like, at my feet or digging through my supplies. It's Yeah,

Jennifer Wilson 26:46

I think it's, as a mom, it's sometimes awkward to talk about this, that we love our families dearly. But this has been a lot of together time this year. And it's okay to want to carve out that space and to find time alone.

Kira Ness 27:05

Yes, yeah. And it's not even fun to like go to Target anymore. Because you have to, you know, get your mask on. You want to be in and out. So you're not as exposed, as you know.

Jennifer Wilson 27:15

Yeah. Your Starbucks and Target because no, you have a mask on.

Kira Ness 27:20

Yeah, so it's this year has been like, it's very important to have that alone time. And I'm grateful that I have a hobby that allows me to have that. But it really does mean, giving my kids more screen time. So I can have that time alone in my craft room.

Jennifer Wilson 27:40

Sure. No, that's 100% true. A lot of cases. So. So our creative journey for January and February is Habits. And so we're doing this new thing for 2021, where, instead of one theme per month, we're kind of going a little bit deeper and having a theme over two months, we're gonna call it a Journey, we're just kind of keeping it a little bit broad so that you can apply it to what you need to apply it to, but to really work together over that. So I'm curious, what is one habit that has supported your creativity or creative process?

Kira Ness 28:19

So I think one of the biggest habits that's helped me is doing a monthly upload of my photos from my phone to my computer, and going through those photos at the time of upload and putting them into you know, specific files. I don't scrapbook every photo I take. I mean, that would be crazy. I don't know who does that. But I like to put the photos that I actually have stories connected to in a specific file that says print these. So I do that every month where I will upload all of my photos, I put the ones that I want printed into a specific file. And then when it comes time, you know, like I said, getting into my craft room daily, then maybe I will print one of those photos, type up the journaling that goes along with it. And you know, then it's ready to go when I'm ready to scrapbook.

Jennifer Wilson 29:14

Yes, I love that. I love this idea of typing up the journaling that goes along with it too. I think that kind of really completing the full the full process of managing your photos and investing time in that really is so much of I don't want to call it a battle. But it really is gets you so far to be ready to create something.

Kira Ness 29:35

Yes, exactly. Because there's a lot of times where I will go into my craft room. And I'll just stare at a blank white page and it's not helping anyone for me to stare at that. I'm not getting anything done. I'm like all in my head about it. I'm making myself more anxious about the actual creating but if I have the typed journaling and the photo just right there ready to go. I can slap on some embellishments. And then just stick it in my life crafted album, call it done.

Jennifer Wilson 30:03

I love that. I have found myself that doing typed journaling has really helped me. It always it's like, it gets the ball rolling and I can't stop, even if it's like just the next day. But like once I see that journaling, like oh well I might as well finish that. Because I feel like so much of it, the story has already been told.

Kira Ness 30:23


Jennifer Wilson 30:25

So kind of going back to our initial conversation about what's exciting you right now, in these My Way conversations, we love to just go a little bit deeper into things that you are loving as part of your hobby. And you've you've mentioned this the life crafted album size. But are there other formats or sizes you're loving? Or is that your you know, one true love at the moment?

Kira Ness 30:46

It's my one true love at the moment. I have tried 12 by 12. Then I went down to eight and a half by 11. For a while. I've I have a school album for my son, that's a six by eight. And I've tried traveler's notebooks, you know, the actual traveler's notebooks. And yeah, I just love the life crafted size, I don't feel overwhelmed by the page, I feel like I can use one side and get all of my journaling. And because I do that a lot, where I just type up an entire page, you know, the 4.25 by 8.25 page of journaling, and then I can just focus on the other half for my photo and embellishing, I just Yeah, I just love them. Plus, the colors are gorgeous. And they come out with all these new fun colors. And I love like get mismatched colors of everything. It's a fun product.

Jennifer Wilson 31:41

I'm curious if you ever try any of the three by eight?

Kira Ness 31:46

I have not.

Jennifer Wilson 31:47

Because I and I, I guess maybe I just wanted to share my own experience because I did a and by did I mean, I started a three by eight December Daily last year. And then I started a Life Crafted one this year. And I the reason I like it more is not because even that it's a little bit wider. It's because it's a logistical issue that my printer will print on basically anything that's three and a half or wider. And so I would always have to finagle it like tape it to something else to run that through my printer. Whereas this year, I can just put in the 4.25 paper and it will print directly on it. So it's really silly things like that. But I'm having more success because of that ease.

Kira Ness 32:30

And no, that would drive me crazy.

Jennifer Wilson 32:32

Yeah, but I love I'm loving the smaller sizes. I've always loved the smaller sizes. And whether you know, any, anything other under eight and a half by 11. I consider small these days, but they're very, very easy.

Kira Ness 32:47

Well, they fit so well on like shelves to I don't feel like I'm overwhelming the house with my scrapbooking. Since I have these cute little albums that just kind of sit nicely on a shelf.

Jennifer Wilson 32:59

Well, they fit so well in the hands of our family members to definitely. And we hear that again and again that like nobody pulls down the 12 by 12 albums. Like I don't even want to pull out the 12 by 12 albums. I don't have any place to put it and it weighs almost as much as my child.

Kira Ness 33:14

Yeah, I have a project life album. That's a 12 by 12. Project Life. I had one year of that. And it's like pulling that thing out. It's like the pages flop around, the cards fall out. I'm constantly having to like staple cards, flopping around. And yeah, it's Yeah, it's a little annoying. I definitely prefer the smaller size.

Jennifer Wilson 33:33

So what about your process? How do you start a new page isn't always these days, always starting with that journaling? And then you're building from there either close in time proximity or later? Or do you sometimes take other starting points?

Kira Ness 33:48

So I usually start with a story. Now that's usually where my brain goes. But since I am on design teams, there's always the starting with a product might be the better way to go. If you're trying to promote a kit, then you might want to focus on what's in the kit and then pick the photo that goes well with the kit. And then, you know, picking the story after that. But I would say maybe 80% of the time it's starting with the story and 20% of the time is starting with product.

Jennifer Wilson 34:24

One, I think so often. I don't want to say often. I think sometimes it's like, how do I say this? It doesn't always come across as highly valued when you say you're starting with a product versus this loftiness of starting with a story. But I find that products can trigger you to have the story idea anything, a photo, a product, something you see in the world, a conversation can trigger the story idea and it's no less a story driven page. If choosing that purple floral led you there?

Kira Ness 35:01

Right? And I will say I do sometimes start with a sketch if I'm assigned a sketch for a design team.

Jennifer Wilson 35:08


Kira Ness 35:09

So that's, I guess that's sometimes where I start is a sketch, then product, then photos then story.

Jennifer Wilson 35:16

Well, anything that we can, any rails we can give ourselves to operate within make it that much easier. And then you're also giving yourself that size rail, which makes it that much easier to figure out how to configure items on the page, because there's only so many permutations, the smaller you get.

Kira Ness 35:33


Jennifer Wilson 35:35

Okay, so what about the products that you're loving are using mostly things from your design teams? Are there other things that you are always reaching for?

Kira Ness 35:43

So I, I always say that I'm a thrifty crafter, in the sense that I don't spend a lot of money on this craft. I sort of rely on design teams and guests designing to get my product. So a lot of my pages are very design team heavy because of that. And so yeah, life crafted albums, any citrus twist product is going to be my favorite ever. I've been on that team for like three years now. And I love everything that Trina comes up with. And then I guess one of the other products that I really, really love are the ton stamps, layered stamps. I've guessed designed for her a few times. And she has the most gorgeous, like layered florals. But she also has like newer ones coming out like she has in October she came out with like layered pumpkins, which were so stinking cute. So I love I love love, love her layered stamps.

Jennifer Wilson 36:49

I have wanted to experiment with that. But I have not done that yet. I feel sometimes like a stamping novice. I do like I have to use my my stamp press and I have to use black egg because everything else falls apart.

Kira Ness 37:02

Well, it's definitely like one of those things where once you start getting going with stamping like none you want more and more and more like I need more anxiety, more stamps I need. I need the stamp press I need, you know, there's so much that goes into stamping that's not related to technically scrapbooking.

Jennifer Wilson 37:22

So now are you also a card maker? Are you only a scrapbooker?

Kira Ness 37:26

You know, I tried the card making thing and it just did not work for me. So no, I'm not. I spent I tried to make a card one time, I think I spent like two hours on it. And like I said, I'm a fast crafter, I knew my layouts usually take about 30 minutes. So if I need something more than like 30 minutes on something, I get real bored real quick. So that was not Yeah, cardmaking was not in the cards for me. No pun intended. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 37:54

So what about organization? Are there any particular solutions that you'd recommend that you've employed and your stash? You know, no doubt when you're on a design team, you're acquiring a lot of things, perhaps more than the average person. So how do you kind of keep that on corralled?

Kira Ness 38:11

So I am a brutal purger I do not keep a lot of things if I don't love it. So that helps me stay organized a ton. I like I said, keeping my photos organized, I do the monthly uploads I delete any photos that I don't plan on doing anything with if they aren't, you know, or like duplicates of photos, I guess I would just delete some of those. I go through my stash, probably once every three to four months. And we'll just purge stuff I have specific like containers for each one I want to say each category of things. So like I have a container that holds stickers and I have a container that holds paper. And if that container gets full, then I know that I have to purge some stuff, because new stuff is always coming in. So I need to get rid of the old.

Jennifer Wilson 39:14

Well, and I think that you know, we all regardless of the pace in which you're acquiring things, we're all bringing new things in or scrapbook supplies or clothes or whatever. It's important to be mindful of the older stuff and either use it up or get rid of it because we don't have infinite space. And sometimes it can contribute to feeling a little bit overwhelmed if you if you don't so I think you have to have a really healthy approach to it.

Kira Ness 39:38

Yeah, yeah, I definitely don't, I don't get like attached to the things that are coming in either. I think that a lot of people like they're they hoard and it's kind of a big joke in the scrapbooking community that they're hoarders or they're collectors of things. And I guess for me, it's like, well, it's just paper. It's just stickers are going to be new paper, new stuff. Is that come out. So I have no problem, either passing these down to my kids and letting them have fun with them, or passing them on to somebody who might have more use out of them than I do right now.

Jennifer Wilson 40:13

Yes, great philosophy, any other organizational strategies you wanted to share?

Kira Ness 40:19

The other thing is, I use my Notes app on my phone a lot. So I basically anytime my kids say something funny, I will whip out my phone and type it up really quick in my notes app, I keep it organized, like I'll put each month so like, if it's December, and they've said something funny, I'll say December, and then I'll have all the stories that they, you know, they have about my kids in that month. And then I will have another like, note, I guess, is what it would be called, where I will put the story and then I will put a photo in there. So like a photo that I've taken, I'll put it in the notes. So then when it's time for me to upload the photos, I know what story I wanted to tell with that specific photo.

Jennifer Wilson 41:09

I love that. I think Yeah, you sound like you've you've set yourself up really set yourself up really well to be able to respond to Okay, I've got some fun new things to play with. Let's you know, let's take an idea or take some photos and let's jump right in. So

Kira Ness 41:25

yeah, anything, especially right now, during the COVID stuff and being stuck home with my kids, it's like, I don't have a lot of free time, like I used to when you know, because my son was in kindergarten last year. So I had at least a little bit of free time when he was gone. But I feel like they're just always around now. So I my time is just so valuable to me right now. So I just want to make sure that I'm utilizing it to the fullest make sure I get the most out of it.

Jennifer Wilson 41:56

100%. So what do you think is your biggest lesson learned from scrapbooking so far in the past four years or so?

Kira Ness 42:04

So I think I already said that. It's just paper. That's one thing that I don't know that I really learned it because I think I was pretty okay with tossing layouts from the get go. But if I don't like a layout, if I go back and look at a layout later, I'll throw it in the garbage, I don't really worry too much about it. If I am done with you know, like if I've made a project for a design team. And it was just to get a layout made, I have no problem per gene, that layout. And then the other thing that I've learned that I don't know if it's really about scrapbooking so much about social media, is that you don't have to post every single layout.

Jennifer Wilson 42:51

I think that's a good point.

Kira Ness 42:53

I think in this day and age, we feel like we have to share everything. And when I first started everything I made I would take a picture of and I would post it and then it would almost like if it didn't get the reaction I wanted or if it I didn't really like the layout and then it didn't really get that many likes, it was almost like reaffirming to me that I did a bad job. So I think now it's like if I make something it's like I don't have to post this like unless it's for design team if it's for a specific project where I'm being compensated for that post, like I don't need to post it nobody needs to see all of my layouts it's not necessary.

Jennifer Wilson 43:37

Well I think both of these examples share about how important it is to have a healthy detachment from our stuff from from external validation. And you know, those are both really healthy things to do. But sometimes they're hard and sometimes you there's all these kind of expectations of how we should be and you have to go through that mental conversation with yourself to figure out what know what do I really need? What's gonna best serve me?

Kira Ness 44:05

Exactly, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 44:07

So Kira, can you share where we can find you online anything else you have new or coming up?

Kira Ness 44:12

So I don't have anything new or exciting coming up. But you can find me online on Instagram I am cura dot get crafty. I do have a YouTube channel under the name Kira Ness, I don't post often I actually told my subscribers that I was going to stop making videos. And then I've liked continue to put them up every once in a while. So I mean, it's worth a look. I've got all my layouts up there too. So there's lots of videos on my YouTube channel. And my blog is not worth looking at. So I'm not even going to tell you about that.

Jennifer Wilson 44:47

Alright, that's fair. I totally understand. You know, I was doing a post the other day on Instagram and it just like it was the type of thing that I would use to put in a blog post. But now I could just put it all in Instagram caption and call it good.

Kira Ness 45:00

Yeah, exactly. Isn't that what Instagram basically for?

Jennifer Wilson 45:03

Yeah, so I get that for sure. It's it's just it definitely changed how we interact with people. And yeah, for better or worse, that's what it is. Yeah. Well, this has been so lovely. I can't wait for our members to get to know you better as your featured artist. during January, you'll be in the January/February issue of SPARK magazine, our first double issue. So we're so excited about that. And yeah, thank you so much for your time.

Kira Ness 45:30

Thank you so much for having me. This was a blast.

Jennifer Wilson 45:33

And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

Jennifer Wilson 45:38

If you like the podcast, you'll love being a member. When you join, you'll get access to weekly Zoom crops, bimonthly retreats and a huge content library. You can head over to to learn more and join our creative community.

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