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SYW106 – My Way with Steph Connor

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

March 1, 2021

Steph Connor is driven be a love of story to create pages that are fresh, colorful, and full of intentional embellishments. In this episode for our My Way series we’ll dig into her background, inspirations, creative process, and of course, what she’s loving right now. Our creative team worked with sketches and templates inspired by Steph pages for the March/April issue of SPARK, which is available now to members.

Steph Connor 0:00

I think you know, you're never going to regret the stories that you do tell. And it's really important for me to be honest and transparent in my journaling, because those are the stories that will let others know you your values your priorities. Long after you're gone.

Jennifer Wilson 0:20

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 106. In this episode, I'm interviewing Steph Connor for the myway series. My way is all about celebrating the unique ways Memory Keepers get things done. And we're excited to have Steph as the March featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

Jennifer Wilson 0:51

Hey Steph, welcome to the podcast.

Steph Connor 0:54

Hi, how are you?

Jennifer Wilson 0:55

I am doing well. Go ahead.

Steph Connor 0:58

I'm so excited to be here.

Jennifer Wilson 0:59

Yes, I am looking forward to our conversation. I've got a big cup of coffee and I can't wait to hear more about your scrapbooking hobby. Can you share a little bit about yourself to introduce, excuse me, introduce yourself to our audience.

Steph Connor 1:14

Sure. I'm a happily married mom of four, I have three girls, and one boy, ages 10, 11, 16 and 20. I am a fur mom of two I have a little princess, tuxedo cat Fiona and my baby a little Shih Tzu pup Frankie so they will appear in my scrapbooks quite a bit. I live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I am a part time school librarian and then I'm also a part time natural late family photographer usually not too much in the winter in Philadelphia, but spring through fall. And then I'm a home decor organizing addict. I'm actually very active in the Instagram home decor community as well as trying to be in the scrapbooking community. So...

Jennifer Wilson 2:02

So awesome. Sounds like you keep your plate full and you know, happy so...

Steph Connor 2:07

Exactly. Yeah, I can't, I always needed to be multitasking or busy. I don't like a lot of downtime. Which four kids make sure that happens.

Jennifer Wilson 2:16

Oh yeah,I'm sure you're kept on your toes.

Steph Connor 2:18

Yep, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 2:19

So we always love to ask our guests What is one thing that is exciting you right now in scrapbooking?

Steph Connor 2:26

Well, I have just been like inhaling all the process videos. I love going on YouTube and watching all different kinds of scrapbookers just share their process. I love watching Suzanna Lee, Victoria Calvin, Erica Rose, Laura Alberts, I could spend hours just watching their YouTube process videos. And I've also been loving listening to podcasts like this one, and The Scrap Gals. So that's one thing that's been exciting me recently and getting me excited to scrap again.

Jennifer Wilson 2:57

Yes, It's so inspiring. I have to admit that I end up going to buy more things. When I watch scrappy YouTube videos. I was like, Oh, I love that I need that thing. Now.

Steph Connor 3:08

I know I keep a running list. I'm like, hold on, hold on. Let me write that down in my notes.

Jennifer Wilson 3:14

That's good, it's a safe thing to do to keep a list, then you can go back to it and maybe make more sensible choices.

Steph Connor 3:20

Oh, exactly. I always have a few carts that are that are working. But you know, it takes me a while to actually check out.

Jennifer Wilson 3:27

Yeah. And then those websites, they love to remind you that you have stuff in your cart.

Steph Connor 3:31

Oh,yes. And then they'll send you a little discount code just to make it a little bit sweeter.

Jennifer Wilson 3:36

It works. It totally, works.

Steph Connor 3:37

Exactly. Totally does. They know what they're doing.

Jennifer Wilson 3:41

For sure. So one thing we also like to do here is talk about our memory keeping Bucket List. So your Bucket List Stories are ones that are a little bit deeper, a little bit more important. Sometimes they can even feel weighty or intimidating because there's so so much of these treasured stories of your life. And the reason we talk about it is to kind of just break down that barrier so that we can tell more of these stories. So Steph, what is one story on your memory keeping Bucket List?

Steph Connor 4:11

Yeah, so I've actually been thinking about doing this for a few years. And just like you just said, it's intimidating. So I haven't started, but it is on my 2021 bucket list. Like I want to at least get this started. So for me, I most of the time, I'm scrapping my kids. So I want to really kind of branch out from that and do something that's new territory for me. And I would really like to do some sort of mini book of like my top 10 maybe 20 favorite activities from my childhood. Like it doesn't have to be, you know, maybe visiting my grandparents, you know, or they're certainly car trips that I remember very vividly and none of that's written down. And I know that's all going to be lost with me if I don't get it down. So that is something thing that's high on my priority list.

Jennifer Wilson 5:03

Oh, I love that idea. And sometimes it's it's really the collection of those stories. That's the big value because each one maybe it doesn't even always, I don't know, necessitate a whole scrapbook page. But a mini album project allows you to collect these stories into something that's really truly special.

Steph Connor 5:19

Exactly. And, you know, I might not have pictures to go with everything, but I'm really more, I really want to focus on just getting down those stories and having that record.

Jennifer Wilson 5:30

Sounds awesome. All right, so our last intro segment here is talking about your personality and your scrapbooking. So you told me before the show that you don't really know your Myers Briggs type, your Enneagram type, but you know, for sure that you are an extrovert. And I'm curious how you think that impacts how you approach memory keeping and particularly in this more online socially distanced age?

Steph Connor 5:53

Mm hmm. Oh, that that is a good question. And it's been a challenge. It certainly has been a challenge. I try to engage, like, you know, on Instagram with friends that I've met through this hobby, making sure that I keep up with their work. I tried to do that, if I'm watching a YouTube process video, I will engage in the comments. But I really missed that. You know, seeing people in person and and being I feel like for me, that's almost it inspires me to create more when I can be around other people.

Jennifer Wilson 6:32

Mm hmm. Yeah, I think that's a challenge for a lot of extroverts, and just people, people in general this past year who really feed off that energy, and you can recreate a lot of that online. But yes, it's not 100% the same. And so I know, there's a lot of folks that are really looking forward to going back to in person crops and really having those those more close experiences.

Steph Connor 6:54

Exactly. It's so funny, because even at my job as a school librarian, I mean, it's so it's so different this year, but I'm always like, people will walk by the library, and I'm like, Hello, talk to me. Do you have a minute? I have to get back to my class. But I just I really thrive on those personal relationships. So...

Jennifer Wilson 7:13

For sure. All right. So this is a MyWay Episode. And these episodes are all about how Memory Keepers get things done. So Steph, can you tell us how you started scrapbooking?

Steph Connor 7:25

So I would say I first dabbled in scrapbooking, probably in high school, I was always looking through magazines and like cutting out little phrases and words and things that appeal to me and creating little collages and putting them on my walls. And then I think I really hit the ground running when I was pregnant with my first child back in 2000. And I wanted to just capture every single detail of both my pregnancy and then of course, when she was born. And I really I mean, it ebbs and flows for me, I will take off like a month or two, but then I always come back with a vengeance. So...

Jennifer Wilson 8:06

Awesome. I think that kind of ebb and flow is so natural, depending on what's going on in our lives. And...

Steph Connor 8:12

Exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 8:13

If we just you feel that you have that inner connection. And sometimes there's something in the way, and we can't quite tap into that. But it will it's always there and you kind of just have to trust it will always come back.

Steph Connor 8:23

Exactly. Yes, that's definitely I know, it will come back. So I don't stress about it. I don't worry about it. I just kind of, you know, follow along.

Jennifer Wilson 8:33

Yeah. And so how is your hobby changed since you began? Do your first pages look like the ones you still make today?

Steph Connor 8:40

Oh, gosh, no,not at all. I feel like when. So when I first started, I really didn't know anything about the scrapbooking world per se. So I was happily cutting my pictures into ovals and stars and thinking that those pages looked wonderful. And then of course, once I was really started picking up scrapbooking magazines and things like that, my whole process started to change. And it was overwhelming at first. I mean, I think I probably scraplifted pages for a good, maybe three, four years before I started to really hone in on what I liked. And even I mean, it's constantly changing. I know now that each page has to tell a story. So even if I have a beautiful photo, like I have to have a story to go with that or I'm just not really engaged in in that page and I won't like it at the end. So...

Jennifer Wilson 9:38

Oh, that's so interesting. Because I think that sometimes when you feel the connection to the story, it it maybe I think it can even diminish the pressure to make the page perfectly beautiful because you know it's meaningful.

Steph Connor 9:53

Exactly, yes. My favorite pages when I look back now are always the ones that have a story that really resonates with me.

Jennifer Wilson 10:01

Yes, I love that Me too, for sure. Even if I didn't even like like it in the moment, and I go back and I was like, Oh, I'm so glad I told that story because I'm just, I'm glad, that it's there.

Steph Connor 10:11

Exactly. And I mean, there are some stories where I'm like, Oh, do I really want to put this out there. But when I look back, I never regret telling it.

Jennifer Wilson 10:20

For sure. So you are our March featured artist, and you'll be featured in the, you'll be, let's see, you will be highlighted in the March April issue of SPARK magazine. And we're so excited to have you on board.

Steph Connor 10:34

I am so excited.

Jennifer Wilson 10:36

Yes, it's gonna be so great. Our creative team worked with sketches and templates that were inspired by a selection of your layouts. And since this is a podcast, we we don't have the visual here. Could you describe your style for us?

Steph Connor 10:53

Sure, sure. So I would characterize myself as colorful, classic. layered, but with very intentional embellishments, I can't just you know, scatter things on a page, it has to be very intentional and kind of be a part of the story. I love white cardstock backgrounds. And yeah, colorful, classic layered, I think those would, would be telling of my style.

Steph Connor 11:24

Oh, for sure. I agree. And you know, you mentioned scraplifting. And I think that's, that's such an important, it's almost like a rite of passage, or the one of the easiest and best ways to kind of figure out your own style, because you can make a change in someone else's. And then some of those will feel really good. And some of those will like, oh, that was really awkward and hard for me, my brain didn't like that. But do you have any other advice for people trying to find their own style?

Steph Connor 11:53

I say really use like Instagram or Pinterest, things like that to save favorites that appeal to you and try to see common traits between the ones that you're saving. So not I mean, obviously, you could save whatever inspires you, but ones that you would really like maybe to scraplift? Or to do you know, something similar for yourself, because then you can really kind of hone in on what your style is by what you have either pinned or saved.

Jennifer Wilson 12:20

Oh, yes, I think, you know, so often, the layouts who are attracted to maybe the products we're buying don't exactly align with those. And you can kind identify these mismatches of, okay, I keep scrapbooking these things in this way and I am using these products, but then the pages that I really admire look a lot different. And you can really learn about what your true loves are, I guess if you really started making connections.

Steph Connor 12:48

Exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 12:49

And sometimes it's about like, whether or not you like more bold or muted colors. And you know, that was a big one for me. And so it's there's, there's so much to learn from that type of observation.

Steph Connor 13:00

Yes, there are I mean, there are so many beautiful pages out there. But sometimes, you know, I will pick something up just because I've seen somebody else use it, and then I get it home. And I'm like, oh, what do I do with this?

Jennifer Wilson 13:11

Yeah, for sure.

Steph Connor 13:11

You know, being able to kind of, you know, again, search on Instagram or Pinterest or wherever and see how others use it can really just let you figure out a million different ways to use it.

Jennifer Wilson 13:25

Yes, yes, yes. All right. So how do you stay motivated to create? Is this something you struggle with? Or are you just, you know, you mentioned, you're kind of an always on the go person? Is that not a problem?

Steph Connor 13:37

So on the one hand, like I've said before, it does ebb and flow for me, and I try not to force it because I never want it to feel like a chore. Like I always want it to be a fun happy hobby, and not like, Oh, I have to scrapbook because I haven't done it in six weeks. But you know, on the other hand, I can really get my motivation going, if I just scroll IG if I watch a YouTube video, or even just printing some photos that I'm excited about will inspire me to sit down. And sometimes you do you just need to sit down for 10 minutes and do something whether it's organizing your stamps, or playing with paper or making a card and then that will make me want to keep doing more.

Jennifer Wilson 14:22

Yes, yes. And you kind of have to find what is that thing that always works to kind of trick yourself into doing it. I know that at least I have to do that a lot.

Steph Connor 14:33

Yes, yes. Especially when I've been out of the game for a while, like with Christmas time I, you know, took a break just because it was such a busy time. And then it's been harder for me to get back into it. But, you know, I feel the itch and I'm ready.

Jennifer Wilson 14:47

Mm hmm. So March and April also represent our organization journey. So this year, we're doing these two month journeys with these broad themes. And so we're going to be talking about all different facets of organization. Our upcoming Refresh Retreat is going to focus on using your stash. And then we'll have a session of our Stash Bash event, which will focus more on decluttering and organization. So Steph, is there one organization tip that totally like just changed the game for you and made it easier to stay tidy?

Steph Connor 15:18

Oh, this is perfect, because I love organizing. So while I'm messy, while I'm creating, I need to always like clean up when I'm done. And I always need to start with a clean desk. So everything goes away. One specific rule, I think I really have two, that have helped me. I know I'm breaking the rules here.

Jennifer Wilson 15:37

It's all good.

Steph Connor 15:37

But, I thought of two specific things that really I always think about when organizing both, you know, in my scrapping organization, and just in life is number one, everything in its place, a place for everything. So I really, you know, there's nothing that just doesn't have a home, everything needs to have a home, because it makes cleaning up and organizing so much easier. And then my other rule and this one might be hard for some scrappers is one in one out. And that means if I'm going to bring something new into my home with scrapbooking, then something else has to go out. And it doesn't mean that I'm purging it and throwing it out, it means I either, you know, I have to use it up, I have to donate it, or it might be purging it. So that really helps me curb my spending and use up older products.

Jennifer Wilson 16:31

Okay, so I need some advice, then. I just bought 17 more Distress Oxide Pads. Because there was...

Steph Connor 16:37

Oh my gosh.

Jennifer Wilson 16:39

Does that mean I have to get rid of 17 other things?

Steph Connor 16:42

Oh, well, I. For me, that's what I would have to do. But I would, how could you 17 things is a lot, maybe just count them as one. That was one purchase.

Steph Connor 16:57

And maybe you'll go through your inks and see if any are dried out, you know, things that you can part with that you haven't used. If you haven't used it in a year or two years, you're probably not going to use it.

Jennifer Wilson 17:07

You know, you have a really fair point there. Because there's always those like little ink cubes that come like with a kit. And then you don't have any other inks that are like the same type that maybe you'd use them together. So I probably could maybe get rid of some of those. And we have you know, I think for so long, I was more of a minimalist in terms of acquisition. I didn't I was very deliberate and not bringing too much stuff in. And now it's the point where my storage is kind of, you know, full, I need to start making some decisions in order to make room for new things, because I can't suddenly change the size of my space.

Steph Connor 17:49

Exactly, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 17:50

So yeah, I think it is started, it is time to maybe make some decisions about things like that. So I'll be working on that during the organization journey for sure.

Steph Connor 18:00

Yeah, and my scrapbook space is like in the middle. It's not I wouldn't really call it a playroom anymore, since my youngest is 10. But it's in the middle of like a hub. You know, it's it's our basement where the kids hang out. So I have a certain amount of space and they're not going to give me any more. So I have to make the you know, the what I have work.

Jennifer Wilson 18:22

Well and I just you know that that is a great rule, as you said for not just scrapbooking, but for stuff in your life in general. And and even if it's not even like an equivalent thing, you know, I was talking about new ink pads that I'm going to look at older ink pads it could still be another category of item. Just so there's still an overall space balance there.

Steph Connor 18:44

Exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 18:44

And we're not over stuffing our lives.

Steph Connor 18:46

I keep like a bin in my closet. And I'm constantly just like, you know, if I try a sweater on, and I'm like, I don't like how this feels, then it goes in there. And then eventually I will take that and donate it or consignment when the bin is full.

Jennifer Wilson 19:00

Yes, yes. And that's like another item that goes back to your original tip about having a home for things. If you don't have a home for the things that you're going to get rid of in whatever manner, you're going to end up hanging on to it or it's gonna be like that odd thing that sits on a table for six months until you do something with it.

Steph Connor 19:18

Exactly. Like I don't like things to take up valuable real estate in my home. You know, my we live in a 2100 square foot home and I have four children and two pets. So you know every space needs to be, to have a function.

Jennifer Wilson 19:32

Yes, for sure. Okay, let's dig into more into some other kind of areas of organization. How do you keep your photos organized?

Steph Connor 19:40

Okay. So for my photo organization, I have a folder for each year on my computer and then I divide that into monthly folders. And I make sure like when I'm labeling them I always will put like 01 January 2021 because then they will be in order. Do you know what I mean?

Jennifer Wilson 20:00

Oh yeah, understand, same thing.

Steph Connor 20:03

So I just need everything to be very organized. And then when I'm culling through photos, when I've uploaded them, I will, as soon as I upload, I go through them right away. And I kind of have set a rule for myself. Now, it's not a strict rule. But I tried to have no more than 20 photos of any specific occasion or subject because I know when it comes to scrapping, or just you know, somebody looking through your photos, nobody needs to see 20 photos of the same thing. So I try to focus on the ones you know, that are the best quality that tell the story. And I delete the rest right from the beginning. And I never missed them.

Jennifer Wilson 20:46

Yes, I love that. Because I think sometimes when you're closer to the event, it's much easier to see which of the good ones. And the more time that passes and you go back, it just feels so overwhelming to narrow down something that you maybe you don't feel as emotionally connected to. And so they all kind of look the same. And how do you pick which one is the good one now and...

Steph Connor 21:09

Exapurgerctly, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 21:11

I love that.

Steph Connor 21:11

Because if you do it right, when you upload them, you know, the memory is still fresh in your mind, too. So it's I think that really helps. And, you know, as a family photographer, that's something I do too. So I know when I you know, bring home my pictures, and I have 600 and I'm only going to send them a gallery of 50 to 60 I have to be a ruthless purger.

Jennifer Wilson 21:32

For sure.

Steph Connor 21:33

I think that, you know, I think that helps with my mentality when it comes to my own photos as well.

Jennifer Wilson 21:39

All right, so what about your supplies? So you mentioned that everything is going to have a place? What are your favorite kind of places for certain groups of supplies?

Steph Connor 21:47

Okay, so I have the IKEA drawers, and I don't remember what they're called, but...

Jennifer Wilson 21:52

ALEX drawers?

Steph Connor 21:54

Yes! The ALEX drawers. Thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 21:56

I have one of those in my bathroom that maybe holds 9 drawers worth of makeup.

Steph Connor 22:00

Oh, god.

Jennifer Wilson 22:01

I'm covering my face, because I'm embarrassed here. But nobody can see that.

Steph Connor 22:08

You can just edit that part out, right? Anyway, I for the most part I organized by type. So I have a drawer for inks, I have a drawer for punches. When it comes to paper, I use vertical storage. I organize my paper by brand, if I have like a few coordinating pieces from a line, but if not like I also have some that are just by color. And then when it comes to like ephemera, die cuts, things like that, once I've used that pack a few times, I will then organize that by color too. So I have kind of like these clear organization trays. And there is a red section and a blue section and an orange section. And it's all ROY G BIV organized. And I know that sounds a little bit, you know, crazy to some but it's just so pretty. And it helps me you know, when I'm doing a page and I know I need red embellishments, I can just go to that one little section and take it out. And I'm not overwhelmed.

Jennifer Wilson 23:09

For sure. I've been really thinking about, and maybe our listeners are tired of me thinking about this, I have all of my die cuts in this little flip album. And the solution worked really great until the full album was totally full. And now it's hard to little hard to turn. And I have some now I have collections that don't fit in the flip album anymore. So those are my pouches. And I need to I need to a, do some purging, and b, they're all organized by collection. And sometimes you can't find like, the thing that you want, because you don't know what's in that collection anymore. Because you don't have the little you know, the thing it was in, you're not keeping like the little card that comes with it. And half of them don't even come with cards these days.

Steph Connor 23:09

Exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 23:10

So I've been trying to decide between like, categories of maybe the things that I reached for most often like flowers or hearts or whatever, and then do the rest by color. Like maybe things that are more odd that I wouldn't think about as a thing like, I don't know, like I don't really reach for birds that often but I'll use one if it's there.

Steph Connor 24:13

Animals are always hard for me.

Jennifer Wilson 24:15

They are for sure.

Steph Connor 24:17

I don't need a hedgehog.

Jennifer Wilson 24:20

So my point there is I'm just so fascinated by how everybody organizes their embellishments. Because my solution, you know, we always go through these phases where the solution works until it doesn't and then you have to like find a new solution.

Steph Connor 24:34

Exactly. Yeah. And sometimes it's trial and error. It takes a few different times trying different things to figure out what really works for how you scrap.

Jennifer Wilson 24:42

Yes, yes.

Steph Connor 24:42

This solution has been going well for me for a while now. So...

Jennifer Wilson 24:48

Oh perfect. Yes. I I always resisted organizing by color because I didn't think I thought that way. And I would say that's not the primary way that I think, but I would say for like the secondary phase of embellishments after I've got the main ones on there. I will then think by color like, Oh, I need something to balance this.

Steph Connor 25:08

Yes. So I so when I...

Jennifer Wilson 25:10

Go ahead.

Steph Connor 25:11

I'm sorry.

Jennifer Wilson 25:11

No, it's all good.

Steph Connor 25:11

When I first get like a new collection. So say I have, you know, a new Pinkfresh collection. I will keep that pack together for maybe you know, if I've done like two or three layouts, and then I will put it in by color. So you know, it's kind of the things well, I'm not going to use this collection in its entirety anymore. Let me divide it up. And even at that point, if there are things in there that I'm like, I'm never going to put this squirrel eating an acorn on my page, I will just get rid of that. Or I'll give it to my daughter to you know, do it use in her crafting?

Jennifer Wilson 25:45

Oh, sure. Now, I'm curious, do you have like, any way that you designate the, the phase in which your groups of supplies are in? So let's just say that die cut pack from from Pinkfresh? How would you know it's ready to be broken up? Is it just like on a whim? Like you look at this, like, I think I'm gonna break it up now? Or do you have like a place where you put those?

Steph Connor 26:08

So I do have a drawer where I have like puffy stickers and like, I would put like an embellishment kit that's all together.

Jennifer Wilson 26:17

Yeah.

Steph Connor 26:17

I do have like a space for all those things. And like I said, I think usually once I've used a collection, maybe two, three times to do a few layouts, then I'm ready to separate it out.

Jennifer Wilson 26:28

I can also see that if you have drawers for a collection and you have new stuff coming in at some point, you're like, okay, well now I need to make space.

Steph Connor 26:35

Exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 26:36

For the new stuff, too. Mm hmm. Yeah. My brain is now spinning and I want to spend the rest of the day organizing.

Steph Connor 26:44

Oh, I love organizing, just talking about this makes me happy. So...

Jennifer Wilson 26:48

Yeah.

Steph Connor 26:48

Perfect month for me.

Jennifer Wilson 26:50

This is the first episode of a whole series, all the episodes, I think almost all the episodes for the next two months are gonna be about organization, and various facets of it. Paper or digital, all the things, so I think it's gonna be really cool.

Steph Connor 27:05

Yes, I can't wait to listen.

Jennifer Wilson 27:06

Okay, so wrapping up organization. What about ideas? You mentioned how much you love, Instagram and Pinterest. So do you keep stuff and reference it later? Are you a non keeper? How do you deal with idea ideas? How do you deal with ideas.

Steph Connor 27:22

So I don't have any tangible collection of ideas. I used to, years ago, when you know, magazines were big. I would cut out like the pictures of different layouts that I really liked that I thought maybe I would scraplift later. And I had a little binder and I would keep that like I had little envelopes in the binder. And if the, if the layout had one picture, it would go in one section. And if it had two pictures, it would go in another section. But I found that I really didn't break out that binder very often. Now, I just use Instagram. So if I see a layout that I really like, I will save it to a collection. And I actually have even my saved collections are divided. So I have them labeled as one photo, two photos, or multi photo. So as soon as I see the picture, I will save it into one of those areas. So that if I ever just feel like in a funk and I don't know where to start, and I'm sitting at my desk with one picture, I can go in there and look at a bunch of different one picture layouts and use that as a jumping off point.

Jennifer Wilson 28:29

Oh, I love that idea. Now do you mix in, is it just layouts? Or do you mix in sketches too?

Steph Connor 28:36

Oh, I actually have a different, I have a collection called sketches.

Jennifer Wilson 28:40

Okay.

Steph Connor 28:41

Yes, Yep. Yep, sketches get their own section. I really should probably put those. It would make sense more sense to put them in one photo, two photo, multi photo now that you're saying it.

Jennifer Wilson 28:52

Well, there now you have something to work on too.

Steph Connor 28:55

Exactly, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 28:57

All right. Now let's transition to things that you are loving in scrapbooking right now. So what formats or sizes are you working in these days?

Steph Connor 29:06

Okay, so I'm pretty traditional when it comes to format. I love a 12 by 12 page. And then I will occasionally throw in a pocket page to go with a 12 by 12 layout. But for the most part I'm scrapbooking 12 by 12. My Bucket List idea will definitely be a smaller book maybe like a six by what is that size?

Jennifer Wilson 29:30

Six by eight?

Steph Connor 29:31

Six by eight. Yes, yes. Probably a six by eight. Thank you. But overall 12 by 12 layouts are for me.

Jennifer Wilson 29:40

Oh, for sure. And you know those the Citrus Twist albums are super popular right now too. And those are closer to like four by eight. So that could be also a fun size. But yeah, if you weren't really used to that 12 by 12 canvas going that small might feel a little constrictive, whereas six by eight may feel a little more free.

Steph Connor 29:59

Yeah. It might be like a slow, gradual phasing to something new.

Jennifer Wilson 30:05

For sure. All right, what about your process? You know, you mentioned how you really want to feel connected to a page with a story. But what is that like trigger point to start a new page? Is it a photo, a story, or a product, typically?

Steph Connor 30:19

I would say 99% of the time I start with the photo. And sometimes the story won't necessarily have anything to do with that photo, it might just be a photo of my daughter smiling at the camera. But I think about you know, I think about the stories that I still want to tell that I haven't told about her yet. Or, you know, I might do something like her faves at this time, or maybe a conversation that we've had recently that was funny, or, you know, I'd like to share on a page and then just, you know, use that photo to go with that story.

Jennifer Wilson 30:54

Yes, I love doing that. I would say a lot of my pages start that way as well. Because, you know, only a fraction of our photos are like the really awesome, beautiful ones. And we want to make sure we use those. But often those beautiful pictures don't have a story because because you made your kids stand there and look cute, you know?

Steph Connor 31:11

Yes, I make them put on coordinating outfits and go stand in the fall foliage.

Jennifer Wilson 31:15

Yes.

Steph Connor 31:16

And there's not much of a story there. They're like, how long is this going to take?

Jennifer Wilson 31:20

For sure.

Steph Connor 31:21

I've already told that story plenty of times.

Jennifer Wilson 31:24

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. All right. What about products? You mentioned Pinkfresh already? What are all the products that you just can't get enough of?

Steph Connor 31:34

Pinkfresh definitely. Felicity Jane, I just love the papers. I just love that, you know, I think that they're beautiful. Sometimes I just want to put them in a frame on the wall. They're so pretty. I love Elle's Studio. I subscribe to them. So every month I get a kit from them. And I just love their bold, fun colors. And then I've also recently been really drawn to the stamps by Kerri Bradford Studio. She has these like beautiful, just classic, timeless fonts. So I definitely want to pick up some of those. And Catherine Pooler inks. I am just now that's all I want. Like give me all of the Catherine Pooler inks. I just love how saturated they are.

Jennifer Wilson 32:21

Oh, awesome. Yeah, I love it when you find really find an ink line that makes you happy and works well with how you make pages and like to stamp so...

Steph Connor 32:30

Exactly. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 32:31

All right. So here's our kind of big takeaway question. What is your biggest lesson learned from scrapbooking so far?

Steph Connor 32:39

Okay, so I, I think, you know, you're never going to regret the stories that you do tell. And it's really important for me to be honest and transparent in my journaling. Because those are the stories that will let others know you, your values, your priorities, long after you're gone. So products will go out of style. Editing. Different styles will, you know, fade but your stories are timeless.

Jennifer Wilson 33:12

What of what a beautiful way to end this. Thank you so much Steph.

Steph Connor 33:15

Thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 33:16

Can you share where we can find you online? Anything you have new or fun coming up?

Steph Connor 33:21

Yes. So you can find me on Instagram. It's @Steph_scraps. And I think next I'm just going to start tackling my 2020 photos. I have not. I am actually a traditional chronological scrapper for the most part. I mean, sometimes the story will call to me, but um, I haven't scrapped any of my 2020 photos. So that is on my to do list.

Jennifer Wilson 33:48

Okay, before we go, now, I need to know, what's your kind of plan or process when you have you know, you have a year's worth of photos? Do you already have them printed? Do you print as you go? Are you gonna print them in a batch? What does that process look like for you?

Steph Connor 34:02

So I will start with January, I will open up you know, my January folder. And I won't necessarily go to like, oh, well, January 2, I took pictures and January 18. So January 2 has to come first. I will just choose from January whatever speaks to me, I will open a certain folder go through, figure out which ones I want to use. And then I will print just the ones for probably the ones for that month like I will I'll do a batch of anything January and then I'll just get started on those layouts. Because once I sit down to scrapbook, a lot of times I will kind of fly through two layouts before I need to, you know, pack it up for the night.

Jennifer Wilson 34:47

Oh for sure. Yes. Okay. I was just curious. That sounds so fun. I hope you have lots of luck and getting through 2020 with, you know, a lot of joy and fun and ease.

Steph Connor 34:57

Yes, you too.

Jennifer Wilson 34:59

Alright. Steph, again thank you so much I'm so looking forward to featuring you inside of SPARK magazine, as well as on our website, social media channels so that even more of our crafting community can get to know you.

Steph Connor 35:11

Well, thank you so much for having me here today, Jen.

Jennifer Wilson 35:13

And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. 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 simplescrapper.com/membership to learn more and join our creative community.

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