SYW107 – Story Planning with Krystal Iduñate

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Whether she’s making layouts or pocket pages, Krystal Iduñate is known for her analytical approach to using up products and getting stories told. I’m excited to have her on this episode to explore how she breaks down kits into specific project plans and endeavors to use the majority of each. I love how Krystal’s methodical approach to memory keeping offers freedom from indecision and a focus on truly enjoying the process.

Krystal Iduñate 0:00

Once I have those done, I will take all of my packets over to my desk, and pretty much immediately within either the same day or the next day, but I don't move on to any other project until I've got those stories told.

Jennifer Wilson 0:16

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 107. In this episode, I'm joined by Krystal Iduñate to talk about pre planning scrapbook pages intentionally using most of your supplies, and how products can inspire creative storytelling ideas.

Krystal Iduñate 0:48

Hey Krystal, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing?

Krystal Iduñate 0:52

I'm doing great. Thank you for having me here.

Jennifer Wilson 0:54

Yes, I am so looking forward to our conversation. I think our brains work kind of similarly in terms of being analytical. So this is going to be a really, really good one.

Krystal Iduñate 1:05

Well, awesome. I'm very excited.

Jennifer Wilson 1:07

Can you share a little bit about yourself? So our audience, if they don't know you yet can get to know you?

Krystal Iduñate 1:13

Absolutely. So my name is Krystal. My last name is crazy, and nobody can ever pronounce it. It's Iduñate. My, my husband is half Mexican. So his last name comes from his family down in Mexico. And we currently live in Michigan. I've actually I've lived in Michigan my entire life here in the United States. And we have been married for seven years now met in college. And we were really good friends before we started dating. And you know, the rest is history. We have two kids, our daughter just turned six in January and our son is about two and a half his birthday is in September. So you know we're approaching the horrible. You know, they say the twos are terrible, but I've been there before I know the threes are worse. We're well on our way there.

Jennifer Wilson 2:09

Yes, definitely a challenging time for sure.

Krystal Iduñate 2:14

Yes, yes, kids. So that's pretty much our family dynamic. We have two cats in our house too. One who's been with us since we were married and the other one we just got this summer. So that's been interesting to to like, see them try to get along. Sometimes we'll get there eventually. So that's pretty much that. I currently also have a part time job. So I'm homeschooling for the current season because of COVID. That was never a plan. But it's where we're at. So I'm homeschooling her for kindergarten. And then I work part time for my family's business, which is in the coffee industry. And I do the accounting for the business. So I'm actually in process of training my mom to take over my job, and then I am going to be leaving the company hopefully within the next couple of months here.

Jennifer Wilson 3:13

Oh wow, a coffee industry job. I'm obsessed with coffee. Are you guys a roaster? I need to know more about this because I love coffee.

Krystal Iduñate 3:25

We are a little bit of everything. So my grandma is the one who started the company. And it's like, I won't even say how old it is because I'll probably get it wrong. But she started it when my dad was a kid. And it began as a coffee roasting company. So we do have a roasting aspect. Still in the company, we we roast all of it in house. And then it like became eventually a franchise company. And then, you know, got really big and overseas and all the things. And then it eventually like came back down. You know, because businesses grow and they they go through like their waves, you know, where they're at the top at the peak and then a valley and then a peak and a valley.

Jennifer Wilson 4:11


Krystal Iduñate 4:12

So it's, as you know, the world has changed our business has changed. So now there's an online portion. But the portion I work in is distribution. So we have like an office coffee section, which just means we provide coffee to offices and businesses.

Jennifer Wilson 4:31

Very cool.

Krystal Iduñate 4:32

You know businesses ebb and flow. So right now our company has gone into more of an online type of model for half of it for the part that used to be franchise. They're still franchises, but it's, you know, developing into this online thing. And then for the opposite side, which is where I right now work. We're a distribution center so we distribute coffee to like convenience stores. And offices and, you know, your banks and stuff like that. So that's the part that I'm in.

Jennifer Wilson 5:07

Well, very cool. And you're also kind of, you know, training yourself out of a job. Training your next replacement. Yeah, very cool. I love hearing about what, what scrapbookers are doing, when they're not scrapbooking. So how long have you been scrapbooking? I'm so curious.

Krystal Iduñate 5:24

So I started scrapbooking when I was very young. So my mom was into Creative Memories way back in the day. And I used to go to like the crop sessions with her. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time, and I did my own scrapbooks for middle school and high school. And then I stopped just because life got busy. And you know, it wasn't a priority anymore. And I didn't pick it back up again until about two and a half years ago. So I had already, you know, been married, I had my daughter, we were living our life. And then after I had my son, I really got serious about, you know, wanting to scrapbook again, because it was something I really enjoyed. But I felt very daunted by the 12 by 12 spreads, which is what I you know, that's where I got my start. And so it really wasn't until I ran into this whole idea of pocket page scrapbooking and story based scrapbooking that ultimately pulled me in, and boy, am I all in on it. But yes, seriously, scrapbooking for probably about two and a half years.

Jennifer Wilson 6:38

That's so cool. I hear so many stories from our podcast guests, and just around the industry of those who kind of found it because their moms or other family members were doing it and then they kind of rediscovered it in this new modern way.

Krystal Iduñate 6:55

Yes, that's definitely my story. For sure.

Jennifer Wilson 6:59

So what's exciting you right now in memory keeping?

Krystal Iduñate 7:04

I would say a couple of things. So one of the things that that just makes you so excited all the time is a challenge called Story Kit Crush. And the whole concept of this challenge is to use up your products. Specifically for this one. It's story kits from Ali Edwards, but it works across any product line. And you know, we buy all this stuff that we love, and then a lot of it ends up going onto a shelf and it's never touched again. So seeing the community come together every week to share stories of using up their product. Number one, but also all of the stories that come out of it is amazing. It's one of my most favorite things of the entire week. I look forward to Fridays. That's the day that typically the stuff gets shared on social media. I look forward to those days all week long. Another thing that, for me is very exciting right now is for me personally, I just recently it was recently announced that I'm joining Paige Evans Cut File Team this year. And while it's exciting, yes, for me to be on that team, I think what's even cooler about the whole thing is that there are so many new faces on that team. And so I'm very excited to get to know some new people in this industry and to see, you know, what types of inspiration we can glean from them?

Jennifer Wilson 8:38

Oh, yes, for sure. I'm loving that. And I'm loving the way that our community has come together to amplify voices, particularly, you know, black crafters. But even you know crafters who maybe just are newer to the industry as well. And making sure that where we see talent, we're highlighting it and making sure this industry continues to thrive with all its diversity. It's very cool.

Krystal Iduñate 9:02

Yes, absolutely.

Jennifer Wilson 9:04

So what is one story on your Bucket List? We love to ask our podcast guest this because it's sometimes it can feel intimidating to tell some of these bigger, deeper stories or ones that feel meaningful. So what's one story that you still really want to tell?

Krystal Iduñate 9:20

So for me, it's actually a really hard question to answer because I'm generally very much like a get it done type of person. I don't usually have a lot on my bucket list because I just do it. One thing though, that has been on my mind a lot lately and especially after the December Daily season, was because of the way that I scrapbook which is generally very pre planned, and we'll get into that later. I don't often go through my day just like waiting for a story to hit me and It just seems like a very romantic way to approach storytelling. And so for me, one of the things I have on my Bucket List is to just spend a period of time I don't know, I don't know yet what this looks like, but to spend a period of time where every day, it's similar to December Daily. Every day I tell a story. But it is literally something that just happens, it's not something that I have already pre thought out to tell. So it's not necessarily like one specific story, but just something spontaneous, I suppose.

Jennifer Wilson 10:38

Hmm. So you kind of want to because you maybe are a planner, and you're always kind of organizing your ideas as part of your natural process, you want to kind of go with the flow and see what stories come from that.

Krystal Iduñate 10:52


Jennifer Wilson 10:53

That's a really cool way to look at it for sure. Because I think sometimes we, we think about, gosh, there's just I have this long list, and maybe I should write it down. But if you're already kind of in that flow, you might find the greater creativity from switching up your process. So that's, that's a great way to think about it. Alright, so the reason I wanted to have you on the show is because you started this unboxing and Project Plan with Me YouTube series last summer. And ever since then, I had somebody Simple Scrapper member say, Oh, my gosh, Jennifer, it you need to see this. Because I am definitely a planner. And I love to get your thoughts down on paper so that you can be more creative in the moment and have things already kind of organized and ready to go. It kind of eliminates so many of the barriers. So could you start by sharing what you do in these videos, specifically, versus other videos on your channel or other types of videos that people think of when they're thinking of scrapbooking videos?

Krystal Iduñate 11:52

Absolutely. So one of the things that got me back into the scrapbooking world was watching process videos. Which there are lots of process videos by lots of different creators out there. And everyone's got their own style, which makes them so much, such a joy to watch. But one of the things that I got asked a lot me personally was how did i tell so many stories all the time. Like how was I able to create so many projects and for me, the idea of taking my product and pulling it out and deciding on stories to tell with it was just natural. So it's very hard to explain, it's I wouldn't say it's hard to explain, but sometimes, you know, it's easier to see something than it is to say it. So I have thought of doing an unboxing video which are also out there. But coupling that with project planning it. So let me show you everything that comes in this kit. And then let me show you all of the stories I'm going to tell with it. For me, I tell people all the time that I am not a hoarder, I am a use it or lose it. It's got a shelf life. And when that shelf life is over, out it goes. So knowing that about myself, and then I still want to buy the products. I know I have to use them so that I don't end up throwing them away and wasting, wasting the money that I spent on them. So it just was a natural tendency, like how can I use all of the things that I buy, because I like it, so I might as well use it. So generally what I do on the videos, I will, right now I do them for the two teams that I'm on. So I'm on Feed Your Craft and I'm also on the Ali Edwards creative teams. And I because of that I get their products early, which is nice because it allows me to do these videos right when the products release, and that helps to make buying decisions. And so I will take the product, open it up, literally take everything out and show you what's included. And then I go through the process of separating them into piles or little groupings that can help me tell a story. So it is very much like it I do start with product I should say like it you know, there's product based and story based and photo based storytelling. For me. I use the product to help me spark the story. But ultimately the story is still what matters most. What's cool about that is that it gives you the opportunity to tell stories that you might not have thought of otherwise. Oftentimes, we're we're really zoning in on the stories that are big, you know the right now it could be what COVID is, is like for us it could be a birthday party. It could be going back to school, like there are major events in our life, and those tend to take the front seat in storytelling. But when we look at our product, and there's a sentiment that says something like, you know, your habits and my habits, right, there's a story right there. You pick somebody and talk about the differences between your habits. And would you have thought to tell that otherwise?

Jennifer Wilson 15:24

I love that approach. And I think I definitely use my product in the same way. And I think some of the most interesting stories and ones that I definitely wouldn't have told have come from, you know, a choice that a designer at some point, you know, many months to even a year before then made that choice to include that sentiment. And then that influenced the story that I'm telling today. And I, that's one of things I love about product and the way the product has evolved so much in the past, like two to three years, you know, even just a couple of years ago, finding like, word art embellishments in a kit or in products was less common. And now that's it's so much of it. And I just I love the words and how they, you know, they they drive us forward.

Krystal Iduñate 16:10

Yes, I feel the exact same way. And I think I attribute that a lot to to why this particular hobby means so much, because words mean so much and having them highlighted, you know, can just draws you in.

Jennifer Wilson 16:29

Oh, for sure. Now, I've noticed in your videos that you I feel like you almost always do four stories from one kit, is that like a rule of thumb? Is it just kind of happens that way? Tell me, how do you choose how many you're going to do?

Krystal Iduñate 16:49

So it does depend a lot on the kit that I am working with. Because certain kits come with more products than others.

Jennifer Wilson 16:58

Oh Certainly.

Krystal Iduñate 16:59

When I'm working with, let's say like a Stories by the Month kit, where you get, you know, eight, four by six cards and or maybe you get for four by six cards, and eight, three by four. So like it's a smaller amount of product. I do work in a Project Life. So typically, with every single kit I get that is probably one of my rules is that or like, you know, quote, unquote, rules, rules are meant to be broken, but rules.

Jennifer Wilson 17:24


Krystal Iduñate 17:26

That I try to tell at least one week worth of Project Life with that with that kit, which also helps me to tell stories from different angles in when it comes to Project Life. So that's one like rule, I guess that I use. Aside from that, typically with with Stories by the Month kit, I can probably only get two to three additional stories out of there just because of the amount of product that's in there. Sometimes it might be more because I have no problem with taking one chipboard and making an entire spread about that one chip words sentiment. So it can happen that there are more it just, it tends to be somewhere in the ballpark of two to three. And same with the Feed Your Craft kits. Those sometimes I might get one more like it might be four stories and Project Life spread are three and a Project Life spread. But when I do the Story Kit Crush, which is working with the Story kits, and I take those out, those tend to be a lot more because they come with a lot more. So again, you know, I'll do the Project Life. But then I think like the most have ever gotten out of a Story kit, I think is nine stories.

Jennifer Wilson 18:42


Krystal Iduñate 18:43

Nine stories. Plus a Project Life. Yeah. And again, sometimes it might just be you there was one chipboard that said one thing and that made me like oh my gosh, this is a story I need to tell. But you know, more often than not, it's more around like six or seven and Project Life. Yeah. So I suppose that's how it works.

Jennifer Wilson 19:07

So just more based on the quantity of product. Maybe it just happened to be that I watched this day, like I was clicking around to videos, and I saw four and four four.

Krystal Iduñate 19:17

Yeah, I'm sure it probably just depends. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 19:21

So I'm curious, are this this planning process you go through? Is this always separate? And the different kind of sitting from when you were going to create the pages or are those ever together? Adjacent I guess?

Krystal Iduñate 19:36

Right? Yes and no. So when I am filming because a lot of times like with YouTube, at least I schedule things ahead of time. So when I plan I will usually spend about an hour or two. It's usually like an hour is what it takes me to, to pull it all out and separate it into piles and I do sketch have a general idea of what I want the page to look like. It doesn't mean it has to be that way. But it does give me pretty good guidelines for what I'm looking for in terms of photos and in terms of journaling space. And then once I have those done, I will take all of my packets over to my desk, and pretty much immediately within either the same day or the next day, but I don't move on to any other project until I've got those stories told. So I will then look at my photos, and get those done, you know, down and edited and printed off. And then I'll do the journaling the same way, just kind of batch it all out. So then when I'm actually going to put the pages together, everything is there and ready for me. So it's I have it planned, and I spend my time at my computer doing what I need to do there. The actual creation time at my desk is typically around 15 to 30 minutes tops, is what it takes me to put each page together. So it's just, you know, for me, it's batching, the batching, the process makes it easier. I think, probably the greatest, like creative time for me is most likely going to be that planning session to just like going through it and thinking how can I use this in a creative way. And you know, during the creation part, there is some of that too, because you change your mind on some things and make decisions. I don't always make every single decision when I'm planning sometimes I'll put in multiple choices and figure it out later. But by batching, it it does allow me to get those stories told without letting them sit for too long. And then you know, Time passes. And you don't do it.

Jennifer Wilson 21:49

For sure. Because you said something a minute ago that maybe it was surprising to me that you don't move on to something else until you've basically completed the plan, you've implemented the plan, versus you're not stockpiling these little planned collections.

Krystal Iduñate 22:06

Right. That's right.

Jennifer Wilson 22:08

Because I can see that like some scrapbookers might spend all of their time doing the planning and then not ever actually doing the rest of it and making the pages. And because there's a temptation there because it feels satisfying. And so I think that's a, I mean, that's an important rule that you have that you you plan it and then you make it and then repeat.

Krystal Iduñate 22:30

Yes, yes. For me, I think the biggest like dopamine release I get is putting the spread in the in the book. So it's like getting to the point of putting it in the book. And then you know, that's a really good feel good moment. So I'm, I'm always working for that.

Jennifer Wilson 22:46

Very cool. Alright, so let's talk a little bit about some of the problems that this approach solves. How we kind of touched on this a little bit, how do you think this helps in terms of using up your products?

Krystal Iduñate 23:00

For me, it has helped tremendously. I get a lot of questions from people about you know, are there things you don't like in kits? What do you do with things that you don't like? Or, you know, that sort of thing, or sometimes there are products that are difficult to use. An example is that I used an Ali Edwards kit that had the alphabet, A through Z plus like some extra ones that were all clear acetate, like they're about an inch by an inch and a half clear acetate squares. And so those are a difficult product to use, and to use them all, how do you use them all? So for me, sometimes that is the joy of the creative challenge is like how can I find a way to use the products that I that maybe I don't like as much? Or maybe that I find complex? How can I use those in a creative way to still create something beautiful. And a lot of times from that, that's the first spread I will make because I'm usually most excited to get something done that seems creativity or creatively difficult. But it does help because that ultimately that's my goal is to use the stuff that I've got and to not put anything in my stash. I don't always fulfill that. But I would say that my my back stash is very small, but I don't have a lot of extra supplies sitting around, which is awesome. You know, that feels really awesome. So it does helps to use your product. And I think the biggest reason for that is because you're using your product to spark your story. So like once you have your story is a product becomes like an aid to telling the story. It's no longer like waiting for the perfect story to come in. You've looked at it and you're like, you know what this reminds me of that vacation I took a long time ago, well use it to tell that story. And it will help you use your product.

Jennifer Wilson 25:11

So do you ever, like compile the leftovers? Did you let go of things? Because I'm imagining if you have, let's just say, you take a kit, and you use as much of it as you can. I mean, how much of the time were you using 100% of it? Or do you have about like a mental bar of I'm really trying to use like 90% of it, and then let the rest go?

Krystal Iduñate 25:34

I'd say probably around that it's probably around 90%. Usually, I ended up with maybe a chipboard piece or two, maybe a journaling card, maybe two. And those do like I do have. I do have some supplies that I have leftover that just add up in like a, you know, in a container. It's not, it's not a very big container. And my my rule is that for myself as it can't go past that. So if it starts to get too much, then I have sisters and sister in laws and people who I can pass it on to and know who will use it. Because I don't, for me there is freedom and having less. I think having a lot of products at my disposal feels overwhelming. And it's almost paralyzing for making decisions. Because you just you have so much where do you even start? So for me, I try to really, really limit how much I have in my craft space that I can choose from. And even outside of the kits I'm working with, because generally I'm just going to be working with a specific kit. So the amount of time that I'm going into my stash to find something extra, it doesn't happen very often. So I know that I have to keep my supplies pretty limited.

Jennifer Wilson 27:00

So would you say that you're kind of, I don't know, the the flow of product is that you have a kit and that your intention is to then use the kit as much as you can. And then sometimes maybe you have, which kind of sparked the Story Kit Crush process is a kit that you haven't dug into yet. But you're not breaking up your kits, you're using your kits and then you have a tiny amount of leftovers. It just sounds like you don't have the traditional stash of like, here's my my chipboards and my stickers in my all of my things because you, everything is in a kit unless it's specifically this very small 10% that's leftover.

Krystal Iduñate 27:40

Yes, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 27:42

That's that's so very admirable I guess I don't know, it's so awesome.

Krystal Iduñate 27:49

I have one of those like rolling carts. And the top of my rolling cart has a bunch of like divided wood containers that have my chipboard and my puffy stickers in it.

Jennifer Wilson 28:01


Krystal Iduñate 28:01

That's it. Like just that one little section.

Jennifer Wilson 28:07

Well, I think there's so much to learn, because you've identified this big problem of overwhelm by stash. Because the more stuff you have, and you're just, if you're trying to feed a scrapbook stash with your purchases, you're kind of bypassing the storytelling process. Whereas your product input, which I realize some of it is design team, it's being sent to you, but your product input is directly feeding your stories. So it's a much more sustainable process. And that's, that's awesome.

Krystal Iduñate 28:40

Thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 28:42

So maybe like to dig more into the storytelling aspect. Like have you always had this process? Or did you kind of have to, did you did you edge into it over time as you became overwhelmed? And and how do you, I guess do as every story start with the product, are you sometimes telling stories from another direction as well?

Krystal Iduñate 29:11

I would say probably 80% of the time my stories come from the product. Sometimes, and sometimes, you know the the product can even be like like an example I had a February kit which was like pinks and florals and girly. And I got it right around the time my daughter turned six. So I used the product from that kit to tell the story of her birthday. So it wasn't like there was no sentiment in there that said Happy Birthday or anything like that. But I knew like oh, this is these colors and the way that this product looks makes me think of her and this would be a good one for her birthday. You know that was a story I was going to tell him no matter what no matter what product I have. But most of the time It does come from the product. I think, for me that the storytelling with scrapbooking really took hold. Gosh, maybe it was the end of 2019. So I had been scrapbooking for about a year. And like, like in it scrapbooking, and I had my Project Life album. That's what I started with when I came in. And even that when I go, when I go back and look at it. When you're trying to learn a new craft, you often try on a lot of different things to see what works for you

Jennifer Wilson 30:36

For sure.

Krystal Iduñate 30:36

My, my you know my Project Life album has a lot of like, stuff I look back on, I'm like, Oh my gosh, that is so not me. But it's okay, because I had to try that on to make sure that it wasn't. So I did this Project Life album. And then I started doing some like mini travel albums, which I still I still do those. And those tend to have more journaling in them. And that I think, brought on the the writing, I've always always always been very wordy, probably both speaking and writing. So I'm journaling with scrapbooking photos was like a dream come true. Like oh, my gosh, I have a place to put all of words. And I don't have to feel bad that I have all these words here. And who cares if somebody reads it or not, because at least I wrote them down. So I started doing the travel albums. And then I, you know, I was doing Ali's Stories by the Month kit at this point, and was super interested in this whole idea of this story kit. So they had one that came out that was the word play. And I was like, You know what, that's perfect. That's, that's a great prompt for me, because I have two young kids to talk about play. And so I subscribed and when I subscribed, I made myself a promise that I would take that kit and I would tell a minimum of three stories with it every month. So I have three albums that are, their like, what do I want to say, they're they're continuous, like I they never stop, really, that are story albums. So one is dedicated to my daughter, one is dedicated to my son. And then one is for everything else, which I just kind of call our family album, I suppose.

Jennifer Wilson 30:48


Krystal Iduñate 31:03

And I wanted to tell the story for all three of those albums. So one for Izzy, my daughter, one for Jonah, my son and one for like anybody in our family. And that was the start of it. Because once I started doing that, that became much more of a passion for me, then virtually anything else, you know, and then you throw into a project like something like December Daily, where you're telling a daily story. And it just you know, is it just puts everything on hyper mode of storytelling and storytelling. So I think that that, that probably got me into it. And I will say that for anyone who, who was interested in adding more story more words on two pages, you get better over time, there are a lot of people who are like, Oh, I can't I can't really I can't write like that. And my journaling is not that good. Well, mine wasn't either. Mine wasn't either at the beginning. And you know, it still has a lot of improvement. So you just you get better over time for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 33:33

Oh, yeah, the more you practice, the easier it becomes, the more you find your own style and approach. But I just love how, you know, on the surface, you know, it might seem like you're very product focused, you're trying to use the product up, but no, you're trying to tell the stories. And I, I love this, we're kind of breaking through some of the, I don't know, maybe myths about pages that start with product because that's that's part of the joy of this. Otherwise, we wouldn't be scrapbookers if we weren't using products. We'd be we'd be photo book makers and photographers and I don't know, social media gurus, I don't know. But we're scrapbookers. So we like the stuff. And this stuff can really deeply connect to our why and our why's is telling the stories of our lives. So I love that so much. So maybe switching gears here a little bit to just kind of design of the page you said you started with Project Life. But I know you also do make you know layouts of varying sizes as well. How does your project planning process help you create the design make design easier and more fun? How does that all fit together for you?

Krystal Iduñate 34:45

Project planning or you know, sketching out the ideas is one of my favorite things to do. So when I first started with and I will say that with Project Life, I don't sketch anything out. I don't plan it. It just goes into a pocket. I pull out the supplies and when I go to do my week, and sometimes, even like an insider tip, sometimes if I have the kit digitally, I will add the cards that I have set aside into, like whatever file I keep all my photos in, and then bring it all into Photoshop and design it in Photoshop before I bring it over to my craft table that does kind of help me figure out a little bit of design. But I don't actually like sketch that by hand. For everything else, though I do. For the stories for traveler's notebooks for that sort of thing. For a number of reasons. One, I think when I'm, when I'm looking at product that I want to use, typically my you know, my mind will jump at different ideas. Like maybe it's a journaling card that's got a bunch of flowers on it, and like you know what I could do, I could cut this thing up and use those as embellishments. And I'm thinking about that right now. But what if I put that in a pocket, and I come back to it, you know, a week or two from now. And I might completely forget that that's what I thought I was going to do with that. Now I've got this card that like what am I gonna do with this thing? So for me sketching, it helps me to capture those thoughts I have about the product, right when I'm looking at it. The other thing that it helps me with is, is photos and my journaling. Because when I, you know, first I have to determine where is this story going to go? Is it going to go in my daughter's album, is it going to go in my son's album, I have a couple of smaller like I have a personal traveler's notebook that I add stuff into, I share it. So it's like, it's not like private, it's just about me. And then I got an album I'm working on for my niece. So like I have a bunch of projects that are always ongoing. And so I have to determine where is this project going to go. And then from there, I try not to limit myself on the size of the page. So for instance, if I'm working in a six by eight album, I try not to say okay, well, it's got to be a six by eight on one side and a six by eight on the other side of that divided pockets. Like I am totally cool adding in like a three by eight in there or you know, something outside of the page protector. So, you know, I know that the maximum size I can have is what's going to fit in the album. But I don't let that limit the other sizes in there too, which allows for a little bit of creativity when you're ready for it. Because you know, just starting out, you might not be ready to just change everything up all the time. But when it's something that's very routine, it's nice to be able to change things when you want to. So I start with that like figuring out where they're gonna go. And then once I have that idea, I have a page that I fill out which, you know, back in the day I back in the day, last year, I used to use a sketchbook just like a five by seven, regular sketchbook that you can get at the art store on like a spiral bound, whatever. And I would use that to sketch out my idea. So I would title my piece and then and then sketch it out and write down some notes of that out, you know, maybe I want this story to be about going to the store in the winter. I don't know, that's random. But you know, maybe I have this idea and it goes in this sketchbook. And then I would take a sticky note and write the same title down on the sticky note and put that in with my product. So then when I took out my packet of supplies to use, I could then reference the sketch in my book and use that to help me tell my story. Ultimately, that works. And it worked just fine. But I wanted to save myself the hassle of having to cross reference, and so on. That's why I made myself planning sheets, where I could just jot everything down on this pre printed sheet, fold it up and stick it in with my products. So everything's all in one place. Just it just took one step out of the equation and made things a little easier.

Jennifer Wilson 39:30

For sure. You mentioned that you you do Project Life in pocket pages as a project. But then you're also using pocket pages as part of your story focused layouts if you want to call them that. And I think sometimes there's kind of a, I don't know, just this assumption that if you're doing pockets, it's Project Life. And if you're doing something that's not Project Life, it's it's a layout, or traveler's notebook, or something else. And I love how you've separated those in that you do kind of plan the design for a, an accompanying pocket page as you would layout. But you're not planning the design for Project Life. And so I think that's it's a very interesting distinction. But I think it's important for our listeners to understand that you have, you have that choice. And some things may be more planned because you want it to have some sort of like, cohesive look and feel. And some things are a little more casual, like you're treating your Project Life where you're sticking things in pockets.

Krystal Iduñate 40:34

Yes, for sure. And I think, you know, part of that distinction is, a lot of times with my story projects, I have a much clearer idea of what is that photo going to be, even if it's something I've never taken, like I, I'm working on a project right now about connection about being connected. And I knew that I want a picture of my husband, my two kids, and I with our hands, like in the middle touching. And so I didn't have that picture. We actually took it last weekend, because I was like, I want this picture. So we're taking this. But I have a clear idea of what's going to go there and what the story is going to be in general. Like for projects like let's, let's say for December Daily, right, a project where I'm planning something that's going to happen in the future, I may not know all of the details of that story. But I can still plan for the space of where that story is going to go. For something like Project Life, it's a grander scale of time. So it's like a full week of our life. And for some people, it's more than that it's a month at a time or whatever. And it's much harder to predict everything. So I don't know if I'm going to end up with two stories for the week, or if I'm going to end up with 10 stories for the week. So having things a little bit more flexible with my Project Life allows me to live our life and then come back and and document it later with whatever product I have available. And I can usually make whatever I've got work.

Jennifer Wilson 42:12

Very cool. It makes sense. And you mentioned your photos. I'm curious, like at what point in your process are you typically printing your photos? Do you include photos in these kits that are ready for you to create? Or is that the first step when you sit down to create?

Krystal Iduñate 42:30

So that is like, right after I'm done planning, the first thing I do, it depends sometimes I will start by typing out my stories, sometimes I'll start with gathering the photos. But those definitely come before I sit down and create it. So I will generally print out everything. So I'll have my journaling printed on the cards or on cardstock or whatever it's going to be. And I or handwritten, if I'm going to handwrite it, I'll just do that ahead of time. And then I will also print out my photos ahead of time. Sometimes I already have the photos in mind that I want to use. Sometimes I use the same photo like four times, and I feel no shame in that. If I love it, I want to use it and I will use it and every single album I own because why not. So if I know what the photo is going to be, and I already have it, I'll just go download it, get it edited and print it off. And then I stick it in the packet with all of the materials. So when I go to create, you know, I like unzipped my pocket there and I pull out my photos, my journaling my cards, and then I turn on my camera and do my video. Like, there's generally nothing that happens. Like, like, there's what I'm trying to say? So like I will I'll batch all the stuff together so that when I go to create, it's literally just creating, I don't have to make hardly any decisions at that point.

Jennifer Wilson 44:07

Very cool. I think that's such an important thing, because then it becomes a little bit of an assembly process, your you can batch in the creating as well. And I think really, they also use different parts of your brain to make the decisions of how it's going to come together what story you're telling, even choosing the photos and if you're going to edit the photos like these are more like logistical parts of your brain whereas the sitting down and you know, spatially arranging things in the end and gluing things. It's a little bit different parts of our brain. So I think there's there's a huge benefit in in kind of separating it into this this staged process the way you do it.

Krystal Iduñate 44:48

For sure.

Jennifer Wilson 44:49

Now, how are you know, you mentioned before that you're not kind of storing very many of these kits that are ready to go but what do you mentioned zipper pockets. Where do you put them in and have you always used the same thing Have you tried different things?

Krystal Iduñate 45:05

Right now, I, my favorite thing to store them in right now are the like plastic envelopes, the you can get from and they come in various sizes. But what I love about the the biggest size album I use, where I print full page photos are the six by eight. So my Project Life is a 9 by 12. But all of its pocket pages, I don't do anything like full page. So for those six by eight albums, they have full photo. So outside of the page protector, which is almost seven inches by eight and a quarter. Those fit inside the large envelopes. So I love that because then I can actually add all of my supplies into them. But I also use the plastic envelopes that a lot of the kits come in. So I know like Ali's kits and Studio Calico kits, they all come in these like plastic zippered or the kind that's got like the twine that you...

Jennifer Wilson 46:10


Krystal Iduñate 46:10

...twirl around the things, they come in those. So those are what I use to store them because I feel like everything's secure. I'm not going to lose it. And then I put my, my like sketch thing in the pocket at the front so that when you look inside it, the first thing you see is the title. So I know what that what that kit or project is. And I also on my sheets, I generally write down what the kit was that I used. Just because, you know, there's a lot of times I'm making videos with them. And I like to know like, this is where this came from.

Jennifer Wilson 46:45

Oh, for sure. Yeah.

Krystal Iduñate 46:46

I write that down. But yeah, so I store them like that. I do currently have one open of planned stories that I haven't told yet for things that have taught classes where, where I showed the process, but then I wasn't actually ready yet to tell those stories. So I have them ready to go. I just haven't, haven't done them yet. And when Story Kit Crush began, I had just recently become a subscriber. So I did not have like a big stash of product to use, I think I had like three kits. So for me Story Kit Crush wasn't going to last very long. So I did, I did purchase some of the older kits in the Stories Revisited Sale, but I'm considering I'm not sure yet. But I'm considering doubling up and doing an old kit and the new one so that I can eventually catch up to where I'm only working with the new kits. And I don't have anything in my stash anymore. Because that would be nice.

Jennifer Wilson 47:52

Well, we appreciate you taking one for the team and acquiring some more supplies that you'd have enough to work with.

Krystal Iduñate 48:00

Well, and it's been fun, because, you know, I did get a bunch of stories out of those. So I feel, I feel no regrets.

Jennifer Wilson 48:07

Well, I also want, you mentioned And I feel like they deserve a little bit of a high five and pat on the back for really listening to what the scrapbooking community has wanted in terms of albums and page protectors and storage supplies and really kind of coming through and meeting this need. And I'm they continue to release new products and I'm just so excited about everything that they're releasing. And I really, it just it just makes me happy. Ah, because there was a while there was like, Am I gonna be able to buy an album anywhere. You know, particularly like two years ago, it was a little nerve racking. And now I feel like we have at least there's always going to be this one source of albums and page protectors and storage supplies. And I just really appreciate that for them. So...

Krystal Iduñate 48:59

I agree too and one thing I'll say about them too is I, I ordered my 9 by 12 albums through them this year. And I also got page protectors from them, their page protectors are some of my absolute favorites because all the pockets are true to size.

Jennifer Wilson 49:20

That's so nice. If you're a pocket page scrapbooker and you've ever had that third pocket that's always too small and you're you're trimming your cards up and it can be really frustrating for sure.

Krystal Iduñate 49:29

Yes, yes. So there you go. There's a hot tip,

Jennifer Wilson 49:34

All right, Krystal. This has been so fun. I have loved kind of a peek inside your brain and your process. Can you share where we can find you online and anything else new or that you have coming up?

Krystal Iduñate 49:46

So I am probably the best place to find me is either going to be on YouTube. So I have a YouTube channel where I share my process of planning and then also you know regular process videos as well. And then I also am over on Instagram. So those are the places where I am most active throughout the week. In terms of new things coming up, I have a few things in the works that, that will be I will have to disclose those at a later time.

Jennifer Wilson 50:22

No problem.

Krystal Iduñate 50:22

But I do have some things in the works that I'm feeling excited about. So I guess keep your eyes open.

Jennifer Wilson 50:27

Sounds good. Well, this episode will be coming out in early March and we will include all the links that you've mentioned, including to YouTube and Instagram in the show notes for the episode. So this has been so fun. Thank you.

Krystal Iduñate 50:40

Thank you for having me. It has been really fun. I love talking planning and organization. So...

Jennifer Wilson 50:45

Oh yeah, anytime you're welcome to come geek out over scrapbook planning with me so, 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 to learn more and join our creative community.

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