SYW115 – A Work in Progress with Shimelle Laine

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For many of our listeners Shimelle Laine needs no introduction. She’s a prolific creator and teacher, offering her own unique style and perspective on this hobby.

In this episode we explore Shimelle’s approach to storytelling through her scrapbook albums. As much as they are a home for her volume of work, they are also a point of inspiration and a celebration of her creative passion.

We talk about how she uses her albums to continue a story thread, her infectious joy for both Disney and Christmas, and the intersection of photography with her storytelling process. This episode is such a treat!

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Shimelle Laine 0:01

And I just believe that everything is my life story as a work in progress, then I can change anything at any time and there's absolutely no reason why not. Likewise, if I decided tomorrow that I never wanted to scrapbook again, it's okay. I mean, obviously it's not, because I enjoy it and I don't know what I would do with my life. But you know, aside from that.

Shimelle Laine 0:25

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 115. In this episode, I'm joined by Shimelle Laine to explore her philosophy and process of organizing layouts into albums. We're diving deep into how her albums helped this prolific creator, discover stories use product and stay motivated to create. Before we jump into the episode, I wanted to let you know that we've just kicked off the Storytelling Journey at Simple Scrapper. Each journey is a two month exploration of a theme and you can dive in with us at Refresh, our four day virtual retreat that begins this Thursday. You'll enjoy a special keynote presentation from Audrey Medd on storytelling with crafty mind maps, and for brand new activities inspired by fairy tales. Just head over to to get started. And now my conversation with Shimelle.

Jennifer Wilson 1:36

Hey Shimelle. Welcome to the podcast.

Shimelle Laine 1:38


Shimelle Laine 1:40

I am excited about our conversation today and can't wait to dig into storytelling with albums and your perspective on that. But before we get there, can you share a little bit about yourselves, about yourself, with our audience?

Shimelle Laine 1:55

Sure. Where do we start? And anyway, Hi, my name is Shimelle. I grew up in Kansas, but I've lived my entire adult life in England and I live in London with my husband and my six year old is almost seven, probably seven by the time this goes out.

Jennifer Wilson 2:12

And how is that possible?

Shimelle Laine 2:13

I Know! Like the scrapbooking world has seen him grow up because I scrapbooked for a very long time with no children. And yeah, yeah. So you see lots of pictures of him now. Which was fine, because everybody had seen plenty of pictures of me. So it's good to have a change.

Jennifer Wilson 2:32

Nice to have a change of subject.

Shimelle Laine 2:35

So yeah, I scrapbook and all the time. And it's been my full time job for a long while now. 2007 is when I went full time. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 2:45

So fun. Yeah, I you know, I'm assuming a lot of our listeners know you, but I just love your detailed, layered style. I feel like so many people I talked to said, oh yeah, I figured out layering from watching Shimelle's videos. So I really appreciate that.

Shimelle Laine 3:01

Yay. That makes me very happy to hear.

Jennifer Wilson 3:05

All right. So what is one thing that's exciting you in scrapbooking right now?

Shimelle Laine 3:08

Well, so this isn't new and earth breaking. But, earth shattering. But it's very exciting to me at the moment. So I do these live scrapbooking sessions twice a week. And you know, there's nothing like going live for having to find some confidence quickly. And when I started it, it was all like stuff that was in my wheelhouse. Let's talk about layering paper, let's layer all the papers. And yet again, let's layer some more papers. And I did that for a long time. And then I got a lot of requests where people were like, okay, so now I know how you work, great. Can we do some stuff that's different? And I had always kind of held back from doing mixed media stuff live because too many things can go wrong.

Jennifer Wilson 3:57

Oh, yeah. And it's just, it's, it's wet. And yeah, the dry time. Yeah.

Shimelle Laine 4:02

And I could smear it all with like, you know, a tiny micro movement of my hand and it could all be gone. But eventually, I kind of decided no, you know, you can get more from your supplies, even the layers of paper if you add in a few extra things. So I need to be brave, and go live. So what I've found lately that's been making me very happy is that, Distress Oxides are like a really nice happy medium place where you can get inky without kind of destroying the place. Yeah, and so, um, you know, they're not a brand new product, there's new colors, but you know, they've been around not forever, but long enough that they're not shiny and new. But a lot of scrapbookers were like, well, that's just not my thing. I'm not going to try that. So the bit that's been making me really, really happy is to do these kind of like let's go back to basics with Distress Oxides and show you that if you can layer paper, you can also layer ink. And it's been making me really happy.

Shimelle Laine 5:05

Oh, that sounds so cool. Because I have become quite a collector of the Distress Oxide. I kind of feel like I need all the colors now, because they're just they're so vibrant. And I'm like, do I really need this many shades of blue? But yes, you do, because they're all very different.

Shimelle Laine 5:22

Yeah, they're just, I just feel like a product that I can get behind in saying, yes, go ahead and grab a few. Because it's not, you're not going to go wrong, you will find a way. There's so many ways to use them that you will find a way that you enjoy and looks great. So it is a good thing to pick up.

Jennifer Wilson 5:43

Yeah, I love the versatility. And I find that even just with like just regular stamping, they stamp really well on textured cardstock.

Shimelle Laine 5:51


Jennifer Wilson 5:51

And you know, I'm not a card maker. I don't need to make it everything smooth and perfect. But I just want a nice reliable impression.

Shimelle Laine 5:57

Yeah, reliability is key.

Jennifer Wilson 6:00

Yeah, because I've done a lot of things where I'm like, oh, that stamp is really bad. Yeah, to cover that up. All right, so let's kind of shift gears to storytelling a little bit. We love to talk about our storytelling Bucket List. So this is a list of stories that feel like important for you to tell before you quote unquote, kick the bucket. They can be more meaningful, a little bit deep, just something that that's special to you and important. So what's one story on your memory keeping Bucket List?

Shimelle Laine 6:29

Well see, this is a hard question for me because I don't put anything off. And if I have the idea for the story, it's probably going in my album this week. So...

Jennifer Wilson 6:39

That's awesome.

Shimelle Laine 6:40

It's a wonderful way to work. And I, I never have this kind of list of a one day I will scrapbook that. It's more like tomorrow, I will scrapbook that. So right now I'm coming to the end of a little project in life, that I'm also scrapbooking. So obviously, the living it part is further ahead than the scrapbooking part. But not a lot, but a little. And that is that in March of every year, my son and I do this little challenge, where we dress as characters from movies every day for a month, and pretty much he picks what we're wearing. And if you ever...

Jennifer Wilson 7:22

That's so awesome.

Jennifer Wilson 7:23

If you've ever wanted to feel fear, you know, let a small child loose in your wardrobe. And, and so we dress is all these different things. And it's become like an annual thing. And you have to have a certain attitude about it to do it every day for a month. And I scrapbook lots of pages throughout the month, because we take pictures of what we're wearing every day. And then as I'm getting to the end of those, and as I'm coming to the end of that project, what I'm really looking forward to in the next few weeks is then making a page that's kind of a letter to him about the whole thing overall and how it's something that I'm really glad that we have continued to do and how we stumbled upon it in the first place. And, and the friends that we've made doing it and the things that like the confidence that he's gained, and the things that I've seen him develop through this whole project. And so that's kind of like the journaling that I wouldn't necessarily stand there and give in detail on a live scrapbooking video or something like that.

Jennifer Wilson 8:30

Oh, sure, yeah,

Jennifer Wilson 8:31

But the kind of page that I will probably take time to make for myself and, and write all of that up, because it's definitely when people see our pictures, they a lot of people leave these very sweet comments about this is something that you will both remember as you and as he gets older. And I guess that means I get older too. But we can gloss past that. And that just I know that we won't forget it. But I also want to capture the perspective of it right now. And because it will change over time. And there will of course come a time that we don't do it anymore when he's like mother seriously, no more, no more. And, and so yeah, I want to make sure that I write it down in the current time as well.

Shimelle Laine 9:14

Well, I really love how you can have a number of layouts in an album that aren't as as deep and significant. Maybe they are. But together they add up to something and then you make that additional one that helps unite those layouts, and tells you know, the next layer of the story. And so I think sometimes these Bucket List Stories can feel intimidating, but it doesn't mean you're all of your layouts or Bucket List Stories. It means once in a while. You do one that just kind of peels back and an additional layer to really you know, spill your heart out.

Shimelle Laine 9:47


Jennifer Wilson 9:48

I love it. And I think that's gonna come out in some of our conversation today. So you've been scrapbooking since 1998. And I'm like my brain is so old, I have trouble calculating a logo that was and blogging for almost as long, since 2003. And you're just, you've been so prolific. Can you share just a little bit more about your path as a professional in the industry?

Shimelle Laine 10:09

Yeah. So I started Yeah, 1998 when I was in college, and I started by accident, which I think is something that many of us did. But, I was in, I was a theater major, and I was in play Crimes of the Heart, which is also a movie in the 80s. But it's about the women of a family who keep a scrapbook. But only horrible things are happening in their family. So they have like these newspaper clippings of their cousin getting arrested and stuff like that, because that's when their family would have local fame was with everything going wrong. And they still felt like they should cut it out and keep it. And the play is about the women using this book and kind of coming to a point of strength through tragedy, and it's a dark comedy anyway. So it's, it's, it's interesting, but it's a very small cast show like little ensemble thing. And so we were very, very close knit. And we were very close with our director. And we wanted to make a scrapbook full of happy things to give to our director. And we decided we would do this and we found a kit at Big Lots. Because we were students, we had no money. They were like, well, what do we do? And so we had a little kit from Big Lots and a pack of Crayola markers. And we decided one day when the director was out getting some coffee, we decided that we would all like doodle the name of the play. And then the person who everybody liked their handwriting best would be who made the book. And so that was it, I doodled in a aesthetically pleasing way with Crayola markers, ergo I became a scrapbooker. That was my moment. And so I ended up making that album in the dressing room when I was offstage. And it is so not what we look at at you know, as scrapbooking as a craft today, it was more scrapbook in the paste anything in kind of thing. And they're lemonade packets, and pecan shells and all sorts of weirdness in there. And lots of handwritten notes, and photos too and but nothing like what we would call quote unquote page design. I was not sure about composition or anything. There were a lot of notes and a lot of stuff taped in. And but at shortly after that I discovered what when I discovered the scrapbooking section, a craft store. And I was like, wait, there's, there's this thing, this is an ink. And so, um, from there, I found the very first issue of Creating Keepsakes. And and...

Jennifer Wilson 12:37

Wow, what timing.

Shimelle Laine 12:39

Yeah. And so it was, I think it was, it must have been about six months old. It was like all crumpled up from everybody who had come through the craft store and looked at it and put it back. And I was like, oh, I think I might just take this sad magazine out with me. So I bought it even though it had been read by a million people. And and, and so then I kind of thought, okay, well, I could get a few bits and kind of use the rest of my photos from that last year of college to kind of make an album for myself. And by the time I finished the year, I was kind of hooked. So that was when I left America. And I did my undergrad in the States. And then I did my post grad in England. And that's when I moved. So I packed up like one suitcase and had a few bits of scrapbooky stuff in there and moved over here. And I really started by just working with very simple things. Because we didn't have scrapbook stores over here. You could get a few colors of cardstock. And the odd bit here or there. But it was it was not, it was not the kind of thing it was, yeah, it wasn't huge here. And so and I got, that's how I how I got my first magazine jobs was mostly that I had photos of a different country. So people thought it was interesting. And and so I started working.

Jennifer Wilson 13:09

That's so fascinating.

Shimelle Laine 13:54

Yeah, I started working with it a few different magazines. And, and yeah, and then once my once I'd done a lot of magazine work, and I was you know, like we joke that I was in the Hall of Fame in 1885. It was so long ago, it wasn't really that long ago. It feels that long ago. And and back in the day, the Hall of Fame would get you kind of like that. A little bit of an invitation to come here and there and teach people how to make layouts and stuff like that. Yeah, but nobody wants to pay for you to cross an ocean, to do that. And all the places where you would go take a class in scrapbooking, were in America. So one day, I just sat there and I'd been blogging and I had a very emo blog on Live Journal back in the day. And I was like, well wait a minute. If I can show what I'm making on my blog. Why couldn't I teach how to make it online? And this sounds daft now because you can learn anything you want online but you couldn't then, it wasn't a thing. So when places would say, oh, we'd love to have you to teach, but we can't afford to bring you over. And you know, I was barely out of university. So I couldn't afford it either. So I said, well, wait a minute, what if I just taught the class and I did it online. And the very first class I taught had 18 people in it. And almost all of whom I knew personally, and but they were from all over the world. And you couldn't, you couldn't do like color PDFs and attach it to an email or anything like that. So I would, and there was no video element. I taught all by writing it out step by step, and sharing pictures. And if I did PDFs, they had to have black and white pictures, because the otherwise the attachments would be too big to send them to people's inboxes. But that was the very first class and it did work. And so I said, okay, well, do you want to do another one? And everybody said, yeah. And so I came up with another topic. And I had 37. Because all 18 came back and brought a friend, but one person brought two friends. And I was so excited. And so that's, that's how I began teaching online, how I kind of went from print work, and that's how people would come to know me. And then they would kind of search on scrapbooky websites, I guess, and they would find my name. And here would be my website. But it was it was so early days, there wasn't, you know, we just didn't do that. Do the video or color or anything. But step by step we got there. And eventually, I was teaching with color PDFs, and forums, and now video every day and that sort of thing. So yeah, I've come all the way through there. I've worked for various magazines, I've edited books, I've written a couple books. And yeah, and this is what I do.

Shimelle Laine 16:49

Wow, that's so amazing. Just to think about being kind of a pioneer and teaching scrapbooking online to where we are today. Where we can do you know, live streaming 1080 p video and just have that this amazing connections that have really have been underscored, is so important in today's pandemic world. And how online really, you know, we definitely saw this kind of big jump in online education, but to even think how far we've come in the past decade plus too is just, it's almost mind boggling.

Shimelle Laine 17:24

Yeah. If we'd had a pandemic hit when I first started, there is no way like you couldn't do online school with the equipment people had. No.

Shimelle Laine 17:33

Yeah, you'd be you'd be reading books at home and and mailing papers. Yeah. All right, so I wanted to have you on the show to talk about your thought press process, behind organizing layouts into albums. And you share it in a variety of ways how this has become not just like a thing you do for practical purposes, but it's become important to you, and part of your creative process. So have you always put away all your pages into albums?

Shimelle Laine 18:05

Well, almost always. So when I started, I had a binder, and everything was going to go in the binder. And can we all just laugh that I thought a binder was going to be fine. Just a singular, right? Yeah. But you know, it wasn't big binder. But eventually it was not enough. Right. So yeah, when I started, I just had the odd bits and pieces. But they did go straight into an album. And I naturally put them in order as I went, but I wasn't, I wasn't conscious that that was something fancy. And, and I have always used page protectors I had I went through a phase where I used the post bound instead of the three ring. And but but I've never did like strap hinge albums or anything like that, where it was where you were working on both sides of the paper so that you couldn't move things around. I did one page when I went to a CM party very early on. And somebody gave me the page to work on. And I was like, What do I stick on top of this? And they're like, well, your photos. I'm like, No, no, don't I like put a piece of paper down first. And they're like, no, why would you do that? Oh, nevermind, nevermind, I know what I'm doing. I'm fine. So that concept was very foreign to me that you wouldn't be able to pick up layout up and move it around. So I've always Yeah, I've always put things in and just thought, Oh, well, this goes in between these two. So I'll take one out and put another page protector in here. I've always worked that way. And the times when I did not put pages straight into albums. There's two of them. One was when I was doing a lot of magazine work, you would send in things a few pages at a time because you'd be working on a couple articles at a time. But they would hold everything and you'd get it back on mass. So you get like you'd send in four layouts today and four, that's next week and the four layouts the next week after that. And then every six months, you'd get, you know, 40 layouts back.

Jennifer Wilson 20:11

So that would be intimidating to get those into an album, that would be a big project.

Shimelle Laine 20:15

Really intimidating, yeah. And where you would have had design notes for print, you might not have put the stuff on that you would naturally have put on. So there, there was a little time when and I had one editor who really wanted everything to be current. And I had used some photos that didn't have people in them. And they weren't really that taken that year. Because I think we needed, you know, like, we needed summer photos. And I was working in winter or something like that. And so I've used photos from a few years back of landmarks, they wouldn't have changed. And they had me put a current date on the layout. And I remember just having like this getting the layout of the box and be like, What do I do? Oh, I've had to put this date on this page. And the date is not right. And I don't know why I didn't just go you know what, put a label over it and fix the date. But I didn't, I had to break down about it instead. So yeah, I would get these boxes with like a gazillion layouts, and then have the job of trying to figure out where they went in the album's. And that was one thing, one stage of it, that was very difficult. And then the other stage and is the one that I'm just coming out of now. So we we did a very comical move of house. We live in like little I never know what to call it because it's it's, it's a little square of houses and flats to square. And so it's not quite a building, it's two buildings. But there we go. And we rented in this building for a very long time because they never come up for sale, and then one came up for sale. And we got it.

Jennifer Wilson 20:23

Oh, wow.

Shimelle Laine 21:27

So we moved across the garden. Basically, we moved seven doors down. But the house that we bought needed work done on it. So we basically packed up the flat into boxes. And that included all my albums. And if you've ever done some renovation on your house, you would instantly go, keep the albums in the boxes. Because everything will be covered in dust and all the places where you don't think you can get dust will have dust.

Jennifer Wilson 22:24


Jennifer Wilson 22:25

So I didn't take the album's out until quite recently. Because I wanted them to stay safe. But I was still scrapbooking in a little makeshift desk. And because I was doing it for work, and because I enjoy it. So that created a stack of layouts. And I won't lie, it made me uncomfortable. And I'm not like, please don't think that this is a tidy person thing, because I'm not a tidy person. I'm really not. But I like the process of knowing where the page will go, and the story that's being told. And I have a real habit if I'm putting pages into a stack instead of an album of writing the same journaling twice.

Shimelle Laine 23:11

Oh, yeah. No, that's true. Like, if you don't have you can't kind of see the reference. And yeah, and have that cemented in your mind as this is done. Yeah, I can see how you could end up, you know, duplicating a story.

Jennifer Wilson 23:23

Yeah. So yeah, so those are the two times that I haven't been putting pages straight into albums, and both of them bothered me.

Shimelle Laine 23:31

Well, it's interesting that you pointed out that you're not an especially tidy person. But that doesn't mean you can't be a person who really appreciates and values, putting these layouts away, because it has a deeper significance to you, and helps you with your process.

Shimelle Laine 23:47

Yeah. And I think it's really important to know, I'm not anti display, I know some people do, like, you know, they're not putting it just in a stack, they're gonna hang it on their wall, because they've just made it and they want to enjoy it. And I totally appreciate that. I've never had a space that was friendly for that kind of thing. I've never had like a wall that was free that I could put a nice layout display, but I really liked the idea of it. But for me, then I would need to be rotating. So one goes up and one comes into the album now so that everything is still visible. And so that I know like okay, there's not going to be like this this in between limbo where everything is just waiting and not been processed. That part would make me nervous.

Shimelle Laine 24:32

So I'm curious why else because it you know, you've you've taught classes on this and you've talked about it a lot over the years. Like if you have a message to others, why is it so important that we get these layouts into albums, not just for protecting them from dust?

Shimelle Laine 24:44


Jennifer Wilson 24:44

You know, what's that really the underlying heart of it?

Shimelle Laine 24:47

The protection is not to be joked at because we do spend a lot of time and a lot of money on making them and I find that if the pages sit, especially without page protectors in a stack, they do get damaged quicker. You might think, and, and then if they're in an album, they're almost always fine. You know, it takes takes a little, I mean, I don't live in earthquake territory or anything but it within an album they are relatively quite safe. But and yeah, beyond all that. I find it interesting sometimes that we say scrapbooking all the time without ever thinking about the fact that right in the middle of that word is the word book. And to me, one of the ways that I end up describing scrapbooking and living in a country that doesn't know the word scrapbooking, because if you if you say to someone in England, and they say, what do you do? And I say, Oh, I'm a scrapbooker, they would automatically go to the image of their mind of do you remember getting like teen beat and cutting out pictures of your favorite movie stars?

Jennifer Wilson 25:50


Shimelle Laine 25:50

That's what scrapbooking means. If you say it on the street where I live, because that would be a scrapbook that they would remember the average person walking down the road, they would think oh, that's like teen pinups. And I've had people be like, what you cut out pictures of Elvis? No. In fact, I have scrapbook zero pictures of Elvis. And but I like I like where you're going with that. So I found that very quickly, I needed a way to describe what I did that wasn't just dependent on the word scrapbooking, or scrapbook. And what people did understand here is that This is Your Life concept. And that television show has gone on for years here, they make the Big Red Book of somebody who's famous for something or another. And then you watch their life unfold on television, but with this kind of notion of here's the book in front of you. And so I would I found that I would say to people, you know, like this show, This is Your Life, and they put everything in a book, I kind of help people do that. And I do my own books too. And so, to me, it's always been been a nice way to say, well, I craft and I very much enjoy photography, I very much enjoy crafting with my hands, I very much enjoy writing. But for me that hobby that brings it all together is scrapbooking, because I can take all of that and put it together into a story that you could read from page one to the end.

Shimelle Laine 27:19

I love that that's such a beautiful way to describe it. And to even to kind of take yourself out of if you had to describe this to somebody who had no idea what scrapbooking is that can help you define your meaning. And why have it in the words that you choose. Because some people may describe it totally differently. Like I maybe somebody doesn't enjoy the crafty part. They just they're all about the words. And the photos are really even not just about the words. So if you had to stop and say, okay, what am I really doing here that can help you get really clear about what it is you are doing?

Shimelle Laine 27:52

Yeah. And I think very cool. You can have, you could like all of those elements, you could like some of those elements, you could like some of those elements more. Or you could like one element a lot on Monday and a different element a lot by Wednesday, because it's it is your craft that allows you that variability. And you can just, you know, let it ebb and flow and say you know what, all I, all I want to do this week is layer paper. That's fine. Because next week, you might decide, and now I'm going to print some photos. And I'm going to carry on with this, because I got the enjoyment of the the layering paper where another scrapbooker is going to be like well, today, I took this photo and I'm going to go home and I'm going to scrapbook it you know, and to them it's a different process. But it's still the same overall craft. We all share the same umbrella.

Shimelle Laine 28:40

Yes. And recognizing that it will change because I don't like super glittery, glittery, sparkly things throughout most of the year. But December Yes. Yeah, I want. Yeah, and let's like let's make it super chunky. And let's like just go all out. But even though it's not my normal style, I love expressing myself that way as a fun, you know, twist part of the year.

Shimelle Laine 29:04

Definitely, yeah, you can just keep, keep on changing it to what, what makes you happy that day and use it to your advantage.

Jennifer Wilson 29:14

All right, so can you give us a tour of kind of your album system today?

Shimelle Laine 29:18


Jennifer Wilson 29:19

Are we talking different sizes, different colors? What's the meaning behind that?

Shimelle Laine 29:23

So we're talking almost all in 12 by 12 albums. So I am, my, I start every year with an album that is just called our story, and then I put the year on it. And sometimes that ends up being two or three volumes. But I just start with one and we see what happens. And then I also keep a Christmas journal every December that starts on the first of December and I take it right through to Epiphany on the sixth of January. And so and that goes into smaller book and those I keep in a box throughout most of the year, and then in November, I pull them out. And they kind of like the first of the Christmas decorations to come out. And, but everything else is in a 12 by 12. Now, I may make varied sizes of pages here and there, but they would all go in that 12 by 12 album. Now, then there are things where I might scrapbook, what I say is that I scrapbook the heck out of one thing. So, for example, if you're new to me, and this is going to shock you, I'm sorry, but I have a small Disney obsession. And when it's not a pandemic, we do tend to go to the parks at least once a year and once a year is is very much an at least. So I have a lot of photos from Disney trips, if I were to put them all into the chronological album, and you flip through, there would be so many because I really enjoy photography at the parks, it has to be said. And that you would go through and you would be like all you do is go to Disney World. As much as I would love for that to be true, it's really not, we really do many other things. Other than that. And so if I have something where I have a whole bunch of photos from it, and I'm really enjoying making a whole bunch of pages about it, I don't limit myself, I just say okay, I'm going to lift this out of the narrative, and put it in its own album. So instead of having two whole albums worth of a 10 day Disney World trip, in my chronological album, I'm will probably leave one or two 12 by 12 pages in the chronological album to say and you know, basically, it's kind of a note to say, and then we went to Disney World for these two weeks. And yeah, and then I have like a see also system. So somewhere on the page that gets left in there will say somewhere small, it will say see also, and Disney World 2019 holiday or something like that. And that is kind of a note to say I've done a whole other album just about this. And you can go to my shelf, and you can find it. Yeah, so I call those upgrade albums, when it's a topic that you want to take, and you want to take it and upgrade it from the daily narrative. But I leave something in there. So that the story if you just look at the chronological album, you'll still get a notion of it. Because if I took it out entirely...

Jennifer Wilson 32:41

Because you might never know.

Shimelle Laine 32:42

Yeah, if you looked at the entire year, and you were like, oh, you don't like Disney at all. And then you wouldn't get a good understanding of our family. Because anything that was so important that I took a gazillion photos of it. I've lifted it out. So I leave one or two layouts in the chronological and then everything else goes into its own album. And here's the key to me about upgrade albums, basically, they're just for me. Yes, I let my family look at them and I share pages online and if somebody is in my house and wants to look at them fine. But what I really mean by that is if I decide that I'm going to make 80 layouts about a 10 day holiday, it's because I'm enjoying doing it it's not because I feel that anyone needs the obligation to hold on to this album until the end of time. It's just because I enjoyed it. So it's for me.

Shimelle Laine 33:35

That's I mean I love that distinction though because it allows you to celebrate whole hog the things that you love, the the hobby that you love, as well as having other albums that are have a little bit more of that legacy focus.

Shimelle Laine 33:51


Jennifer Wilson 33:52

I love that. Now I'm curious with your Disney albums is every trip a complete story or is it a series where you might have more than one trip in an album?

Shimelle Laine 34:05

Well, so I have a little bit of both. So obviously I don't live near a park. And we have done three of the parks we haven't done any of the Asian parks but we do California, Florida and Paris. Now the California trips tend to be short because they tend to be I can tack this location on to another trip that I'm having to do so we might go there and then visit my family. Or I have the habit of when Creativation is on, I add on a couple days because if I'm if I have to fly all the way to Arizona, that's like a puddle jump to Southern California when you're all the way on this side of the Atlantic. So I'll tag on to show days to go there. And but if we go to Florida that's like a family 10 Day two week kind of thing in the school break and we you know, we're not working. We take the time off, and that's a family holiday. But what we do with Paris is and, and this shows how weird we are. My son and I walked into the park for the first time. And when we had, when we bought our tickets, we bought an annual pass on the gate having never walked into the park before.

Jennifer Wilson 35:20


Shimelle Laine 35:21

Because what we decided was with that, in the first year that we were here, in the new house, I knew that there would be a lot of stuff that was just so not child friendly. That there would be these times where you know, there's going to be builders, and there's going to be holes in the floor, there's going to be doors missing, and all of that sort of stuff. And that it would be sensible to have something really enjoyable and stress free. And that could be a way that we say, okay, so school's out for the next three days, let's go get away. And it's just him, me and dad stays behind to manage the renovation while we get out of the way. And so that's what we did. And now that was never like a whole big trip, we would just do like one to three days, I don't think I've ever been there for more than three days at a time. So what I've kind of thought I've done individual pages along the way. And my thought was that I was going to wait until the end of our year when our annual pass had expired. And then I was considering making like a six by eight album that would put all of those stories into one spot. And then COVID happened. So we only did six months of the of the 12. So right now I haven't done that only because in my head, I needed a full year's memories, which is totally not true. I could do it with six months. Of course I could. But yeah, I like those different angles. So maybe a California trip that's two days, just days into my chronological album. The the big trip gets its own album, and there's quite often two volumes. And then that series of little tiny getaways. Like let's just go because you have a day off school, and could get like a six by eight year and review kind of thing. Yeah.

Shimelle Laine 37:12

I love the different ways you draw kind of containers around groups of stories or a single story and matching that then with okay, what type of project do I want to? Does this feel like it deserves? Or that it sounds fun and creative to me to make?

Shimelle Laine 37:27


Jennifer Wilson 37:28

That's beautiful. So let's, I'm curious, your kind of your overall system, you know, starting with your our life albums, has that been kind of consistent over time? And were there any, like shifts in how you approached it after having your son?

Shimelle Laine 37:44

Oh, yeah. So I find when I, where should I start? When was scrapbooking really early on, one thing that people used to comment a lot on my layouts, and was that I very rarely had people in my photos. And I would scrapbook a lot of landscapes. I mean, selfies were not a thing then. So yeah, and I would you know, I was shooting film, so it wasn't like I was going to try a million shots to see if I could get one you know, you took things you took photos of things that stood still, if you didn't have kids, because that's what you could do with film. So I would scrapbook flowers in the garden or statues and landmarks and all sorts of things like that. And, and it became a bit of a joke of you know, she never has any photos, never has any people in her in her photos. So maybe she doesn't have any people in her life. I it doesn't upset me but it was kind of like it was a funny thing to me where people were like, so what is this girl about, because I can't tell. But now that has turned on its head so obviously I do scrap a lot of photos of people. Particular people and and and I'm in a lot of photos now and I've kind of developed a system for myself of now how we take pictures with me in them. And it's a process that we're both really used to now so we can go out for 10 minutes and get photos that we want and and now I get people who say but you always scrapbook photos of the two of you, is there anything else that you're gonna scrapbook? Oh, well, you know what, these are the stories I have to tell right now. And so and I think it especially, you know a year into COVID at you're you're looking at how things have changed Well, you know, what else am I gonna photograph? I don't have other people to put in my pictures. And we're not going anywhere. So the two of us at home and this I say the two of us because I have two people who are very happy to be in pictures, me and my son. My husband is here, but he doesn't enjoy being in photographs. And so we compromise. And he will be in the pictures when we travel. And they'll have one or two pictures at, you know, important moments on the calendar. High holy days, I guess.

Jennifer Wilson 40:17


Shimelle Laine 40:18

So, you know, birthdays, and Christmas and things like that, you know, he'll be in a family portrait, but he doesn't enjoy the process of let's let you know, let's go take pictures where my son and I do. So yeah, that's what we do. And, you know

Jennifer Wilson 40:29

Well I'm sure that makes him part of the, he ends up being in the photographer role a lot.

Shimelle Laine 40:38

Well, he doesn't actually. And it's, I'll be honest, it's really frustrating because he has a great eye, but he doesn't enjoy photography. So on the odd day that he actually fancies taking a picture, like he'll take four shots and get three good ones, where I will take 100 shots to get three good ones. And so he doesn't, yeah, he's just like, well, I've got three good ones, we're done. And I'm like, No, I want to try this. And that is a very different process. And yeah, so but it's just what works for us. So yeah, what's different in the album's and they're, they're overwhelmingly more pictures of people. And it's more pictures of us and fewer cups of coffee. I still photograph my coffee now and then but not nearly as much as I did before I had a child to photograph. And yeah, any I'm sorry, but my child is like scrapbooker's dream. If you had a kid who mugged for the camera all the time, you'd take his picture all the time too. It's just one of those things.

Jennifer Wilson 41:42


Shimelle Laine 41:43

He loved he, he eats it up and he just I don't know. He can it can even change his mood. He has a grumpy day. And I say, well, do you want to put on a costume and we'll take some silly pictures. And suddenly, I have a happy kid again. So it all works out.

Shimelle Laine 41:58

That's beautiful. Well, I think you you've been a big champion over the years of that our photos and our stories they don't have to always have a literal connection. You can use a photo of a person to tell a story about something that happened elsewhere in time.

Shimelle Laine 42:14


Jennifer Wilson 42:15

And you know, we take photos when you know, when we look nice and yes, there's obviously some kind of casual everyday photos. But it's fun to sometimes have photos when we're smiling and intentional, or we're out frolicking somewhere. And those are some of the best photos to not just scrapbook, but to frame and put on the wall. And then we have those to tell more interesting stories.

Shimelle Laine 42:36

Yes. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 42:38

I really appreciate that.

Shimelle Laine 42:40

I really enjoy those ideas where you're like, this story has been in my mind, or you know, the sorts of memories that come with smells.

Jennifer Wilson 42:48


Shimelle Laine 42:49

Because it's such a part of your brain that is just wired into memory. And you'll smell something even just like walking down the street and something will send you right back to years and years and years ago. And you're like, well, okay, I want that written down somehow. One, you know, it was years ago, I don't have a picture to the thing that reminded me of it is not visual, it was a smell. Where am I going with this. And so then to kind of take a picture on purpose, that just has some little connection, it could be a color, it could be you know, wearing something that reminds you of a person or a time or anything like that. But it could be taking pictures of an item. So if the smell was a food, then taking a picture of you know, through the bakery window or something. And even if this story was about baking bread with your family could still work.

Shimelle Laine 43:47

Yeah, I have this one like this totally has happened to me recently, I have this hair product that I bought recently. And every time I use it, I immediately think of being in Las Vegas. And I've seen comments people saying it like smells kind of like spa like, and I don't know what it is, every time I do it. It just smells like a casino which you know, they pump those scents in so they smell pleasant, not like money and cigarettes.

Shimelle Laine 44:09


Jennifer Wilson 44:10

But it's just it's so funny how those those smells are so important can just totally transport us to time. But I'm not gonna like take a picture of the bottle that's not very fun. I take a picture of here's me and my hair looks nice. It's it's, I think that's another kind of layer to the creativity is to think, okay, I have the story that feels compelling. How can I now tell that in a visual way with with photos that I enjoy having

Shimelle Laine 44:38

It works the other way around, too. So if you have a day where you know you have a good hair day, you kind of want to take a picture of it. But...

Jennifer Wilson 44:46

Oh yeah.

Shimelle Laine 44:46

It's the journaling that you want to write. Hi, I had a good hair day. So I took a picture, March 2021. When we do something like that, I mean not that that's a bad thing to do. I fully endorse scrapbooking photos of yourself when you feel good about yourself the end. That it has the absolute value. But if you then go actually, I could take this picture of myself that I really like and put it with a story that I also really want to tell. That's lovely. That's extra special.

Jennifer Wilson 45:15

Well, here's what's real and what's going on in my life right now.

Shimelle Laine 45:19


Jennifer Wilson 45:20

And a lot of that sometimes is underneath the, you know, the veneer of here's this snapshot in time, but it's within this larger context and allows us to say, okay, here's all the stuff that doesn't get photographed.

Shimelle Laine 45:32


Jennifer Wilson 45:34

All right, let's kind of like dig into the insides of your albums. Okay, how do you decide on the order of the pages? And like, kind of what's the role of chronology for you in that? Are you strict or not?

Shimelle Laine 45:47

I'm pretty strict. And so everything normally goes by the chronology of the photos. And, and so I do skip back and forth sometimes and, and scrapbook things that are not this month. Although, with doing the live scrapping, I find that I scrapbook, more and more current photos, but I do still jump around and I trust me, I have plenty of old photos to keep going with. And, and so then when I go to file that album, or file that page in the album, I would go by the date of the photos, and it doesn't bother me that I've been journaled at a different point in time. One because no matter what we're doing, everything is always somehow in the past tense. Even if you're not physically writing in the past tense, you have lived first and scrapbook second. So everything is a memory by the time you've put it on the page. So if the journaling to that photo was done, a month after the photo, or three years after the photo, or 10 years after the photo, that doesn't really bother me. And so I would keep it in its same place. There's a few times that I would change that up. And one of those would be when you take an old photo and put it with a new photo. To me that has to get scrapbooked with the old photo, or not sorry, not with the old photo with the new photo. I'm getting ahead of myself. In my head. I was trying to say a whole long thing, and it came out wrong. Right. So you scrapbook it with the photo that is most recent, what I was meaning was like if you had a photo of a person when they're young, and when they're old, they would it would go with the photo of when they were old. Does this make sense? Because...

Jennifer Wilson 47:40


Shimelle Laine 47:41

You don't want to you don't want to read a book that starts with somebody when they're a baby. And on page two, you get spoilers of what they look like when they're 50. Okay,

Jennifer Wilson 47:51

Yeah, no, that makes sense. Yeah, no, it's a little foreshadowing, I guess.

Shimelle Laine 47:55

I mean, it has to be a really well crafted dramatic writing kind of situation to make that work. And whereas if we get to when you're 50, and you go, oh, by the way, here's what I looked like when I was a baby. And then you come back, that's easier narrative to make sense. So basically, it's a no spoilers system. And yeah, and that's really the only time when I get a conundrum. So for example, this thing that I did recently with the and the photo taken and then put together with the journaling of an old story, I will put that with the current photos. So that story is from when I was four going on five, five ish. But I'm going to put it in the album for this year, because the photo I took to illustrate the story is from this year.

Shimelle Laine 48:50

Yes. Okay. Now that makes sense, I think, because a lot of times will you know, so you're you're outside somewhere and you see something and it reminds you of something that's it's still a present day story of now I am remembering this thing. And here's how it makes me feel today.

Shimelle Laine 49:03

Yes. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 49:05

So I think yeah, there's also kind of a certain kind of gut element here of where does this really feel good. And I don't think there's, there's probably no wrong answer. You know, you put it where you want to put it.

Shimelle Laine 49:17

Yeah. Right. Yeah, I definitely think it's that ordering pages often comes down to a don't overthink this, you don't need just to make this more complicated than it is. And so yeah, you can I just I personally just go by the chronology of the photos. And, and that, that helps if the writing jumps around a little bit. I think that just keeps it interesting. And that's fine. And the, the other thing that really helps me with the writing is because I keep everything in albums, I'm referencing what's in the book before I write on the page, and I think that is something that some scrapbookers stop and go sorry, what? So if I have photos that I'm gonna scrapbook, and I know where they're going in the album, I can look in my album and read the journaling on the pages that come before and after, and then make that page that's going to go in the middle. And I know how the story is going then, and it will help inform how I want to write the journaling on that page. So even if you start to think I have this photo, and I don't know where it's gonna fit, and what's it, but don't panic, take the photo, have you scrapbooked anything right before it, have you scrapbooked anything right after it? If you have, look at those stories, and then say, okay, so this story that fits in between that I want to tell is what, and that automatically calms me down and helps me get some focus on it.

Shimelle Laine 50:46

Huh, Wow, that is awesome. Because that really connects back to what you described earlier about how you're creating a book that can be read from start to finish, and tell, you know, a relatively cohesive story.

Shimelle Laine 51:01


Jennifer Wilson 51:02

I love that idea of such, especially since journaling can be can be a struggle for so many scrapbookers. And if you did expend the energy to figure out what's the story before and after here, then you can, you know, there may be some words that you pick up immediately to help form this next story. So you can really lean on your past self to make your futures or your current self happy.

Shimelle Laine 51:23


Jennifer Wilson 51:25

So how do you consider, or when do you consider an album complete? Is it based on just when it's full, or how do you know when you're done?

Shimelle Laine 51:36

So here, with the exception of small format albums, like a Christmas journal, I consider all of my albums to be a work in progress. I don't have complete and incomplete and partially, because I find that applying those labels gives me stress that I don't need to have. So what do you do to examine the stress that you could have that is unnecessary and unhelpful stress? Say you've, you've made an album that you thought was complete. And then somebody tagged you on Facebook in an old memory, and they bring up a photo that you didn't even know existed. And now you love that photo, and you automatically the scrapbooker in your head kicks into gear and says, I'm going to print that photo out and scrapbook that because I want this memory in my album. But where it would fit would be in an album that you had already said was complete. Now, that might be something that doesn't bother you at all, and if so high five, but it might be something that you go, oh, my goodness, but I've already said that was done to know I can't do this. And it's one of these pressures that we put on ourselves. Just it's imaginary pressure, and we create it. So to me, I eventually found that if I just said, Wait, I don't believe in incomplete albums that I feel like have to be done. And there's work here. And you know, it's like, I haven't finished my homework. And I don't believe in complete albums that I cannot change. And I just believe that everything is my life story as a as a work in progress, then I can change anything at any time. And there's absolutely no reason why not. Likewise, if I decided tomorrow that I never wanted to scrapbook again. It's okay. I mean, obviously, it's not because I enjoy it. And I don't know what I would do with my life. But you know, aside from and I don't need to go well, I have to scrapbook because these albums are incomplete.

Jennifer Wilson 53:37

Correct. Well, any any story we tell whether it's one or hundreds, it's more than not telling the story.

Shimelle Laine 53:44

Yes! Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 53:44

So it's a very additive thing, rather than thinking of it as any sense of lacking because we didn't tell XYZ story. Half, as you mentioned, half of which we may not even remember, even existed.

Shimelle Laine 53:56

Yeah. So as far as the actual physical book, it's more about what fits and yeah, so I'm very careful into how many page protectors or how many layouts go in an album. And I'm always looking at whether the album can close safely because I don't want to damage what I've put time and effort into. And so then when one album is is full, then we just move on open a new book. Sure. And it goes.

Jennifer Wilson 54:26

Yeah, I'm curious you use how do you use this your see also referencing.

Shimelle Laine 54:31


Jennifer Wilson 54:31

For when you do these upgraded stories, but do you do that in other ways for see also 2017 where we also went camping or whatever? You know?

Shimelle Laine 54:43

Yeah, I do. And camping is a really good example because we can't and since since my son was two, I think we've camped with the same group of friends every summer for a week. And, and so and they all have kids that are similar age. So it's an lovely, get everybody together because we don't, we're not neighbors. We, so it's the one time that we're all there together. And the kids get to see each other in person. And we see them grow up a little bit each year and all of that. So and I do tend to have somewhere in the journaling on those camping things, kind of little notes about what has changed from the year before. Or I might, you know, like the the thing that I quite often now scrapbook is that we have a goal every year to up our s'mores game. And it's, you know, this many years in and we're not, you know, I don't know, if you've picked up on the fact that I don't tend to do things in a small way. So when we first said we were going to up our s'mores game, it might have gone from simple to somewhat extra in one year. And so yeah, so now continuing to try and get it better takes a lot of effort and research. But the goal is that, you know, it's worth it, it works, it pays up. But I do scrapbook it all the time and be like so this is what, you know, this is how we leveled up the, the s'mores this year. And so I tend to word it in a way that would make you know that I have also scrapbook this last year and the year before should you wish to go back and view previous s'mores.

Jennifer Wilson 56:23

Well, I have to know what is the best way to make s'mores now like what is the most extra that you enjoy?

Shimelle Laine 56:29

Well, so I'm in so being an American in England, and I had to educate people on graham crackers because graham crackers don't exist here. There not a thing. And and what Brits tend to use as the graham cracker element is a digestive biscuit, which doesn't exist in America. And digestive biscuits are thicker and, and not crisp, not as crispy as a graham cracker, and no honey flavor to them or anything. And they're really they're, I think they're like an old English like they go way back. And so the ratio is all off. And but the benefit is that the chocolate here is better. I trying to pick my words, but I'm just gonna be honest, our chocolate is better. Yeah, so and so there's a trade off there. And we can get chocolate that melts beautifully over the fire. But a few years back, maybe three or four, three or four years ago. Somehow rosy marshmallows became this kind of thing that they were going to market as a very American branded thing. And all of these companies started making bags of marshmallows and calling them American style. And putting like every American motif you can put on the bag would be like a big stars and stripes and the Statue of Liberty. And it just became this joke like how many American things can you put on the front. But they're not the right size. They're huge. They're huge. They're like the size of your foot. And so you can't roast them, because by the time the inside would be cooked, the outside would be burned. And if the outside is perfect, the inside is still just normal room temperature. So we we did it. One we did just ordering American marshmallows and graham crackers. But then we also have kind of tested out all different kinds of things that you could use instead that are available here. And we found the perfect size to cut the jumbo American flag marshmallows down so that they will cook properly. Over the fire.

Jennifer Wilson 58:42

We do have like flat s'mores marshmallows now.

Jennifer Wilson 58:45

Yeah, we don't have those.

Jennifer Wilson 58:47

Those are fun because they you know, they toast well. And it's a really good ratio and they go well with peanut butter cups.

Shimelle Laine 58:53

Yeah, I was gonna say peanut butter cups is the other thing that if you get somebody who's like, No, I don't do s'mores and you give them one with the peanut butter cups. And they are basically Yeah, yes, they're addicted now.

Jennifer Wilson 59:04

That can transform anyone I thnk.

Shimelle Laine 59:07

And see peanut butter cups are a relatively new concept here. Britain's not big into peanut butter and chocolate until recently. And...

Jennifer Wilson 59:14

Oh, that's good.

Shimelle Laine 59:15

So yeah, they're more and more available now.

Jennifer Wilson 59:19

All right, okay, getting back to

Shimelle Laine 59:20

Yeah, scrapbooking.

Jennifer Wilson 59:21

I just have a couple more questions.

Shimelle Laine 59:23


Jennifer Wilson 59:24

I want to talk about identifying story gaps, do you intentionally look for them or do you happen upon them?

Shimelle Laine 59:31

A little bit of both. I'm always open to the world telling me things. So with my albums, I have this same process with albums that I do with supplies, that keeps me going. So sometimes people are like, you know, I showed when I was building my studio, I showed my my very favorite thing about my studio is how we built a cupboard for my paper racks. Because paper if I had to only have one scrapbooking supply, I would always pick patterned paper. You can take everything else away from me, but you will, no, you can't take my paper. So I have these two paper racks from, like, from the store fixings. And in my studio, there's a floor to ceiling windows, so I can't leave them out, they needed to be in a cupboard or the paper would all just fade. So we built the cupboard. And to get the most out of this space, we, the cupboard is custom to the paper racks to the point where you had to put the paper racks in and then build the doors on the front. And so when you open it up, it's like Angel sing to me, and it's here are all your papers. And I showed a picture to that, to me, made my heart sing. And somebody else said, that would just scare me because I wouldn't know what's there like, I would be so overwhelmed by having two full standing racks paper. So here's the thing with both my albums and my supplies, I look at them. And this is part of the deal. So yes, I have a zillion papers. But about to three times a week, I open that cupboard and I grab one stack randomly on a shelf, and I just flick through it and put it back. And that's all I do. It takes you know, less than a minute. And it's just refresh my memory to go oh, yeah, you have all these things and looking at it like that will give me an idea of how I want to use something that was there. Or it might remind me of something else that I have that I need to use. And it just keeps ideas flowing. I do the same thing with my albums, I will take an album off my shelf, I will flip through it and put it back. And then it's there. Just kind of taking over in the back of my mind. And I go well actually wasn't this element around then. Or maybe this thing I should talk about more often. So for example, I have an upgrade album. That's like my story of dance dancing when I was a kid dancing through growing up, and then dance stuff that I've done as an adult. And I put it all in one album so that it's like my little life story of dancing. And that came from looking at different albums and realizing, oh, if you were to look at this album from this year, you'd see one page about dance and then but this album over here has one and that album over there has one. And so individually, it never looked like a big story. But if I put them all together, I realized there was his beautiful story to tell like a life passion that grew and the things that I realized that it does for me. And so that's what I wanted to create. And so I could still keep some of them in the chronological albums. But I pulled it all together, and then I could find the gaps and fill it in. And so I was yeah, I took out everything that I'd ever done on the topic. And I put them all over the table. And it was like okay, so this is what I've already done, what else do I want to say, and I just sat with it for a while. And I kept a notebook. And I kept writing things down. And I searched for photos. And, and I even in that process even ended up finding things that I had totally forgotten about. And I this one photo that I looked at for ages. And I kept going well, this is in my stack of photos. So this must be me. But I couldn't place what it was. And I was like but I remember like every costume ever I've ever worn. And then had a chat with somebody totally unrelated to the album just was having a chat with somebody that I danced with years and years and years back. And she went do you remember when we did Coppelia? And like, that's it! That's what that is. I had totally forgotten that I did Coppelia. And that's what this photo was. And once she said it, it clicked and then I was like okay, so here and then I could go back and I could research and find out more information and it all came flowing back. But that was like a gap that I didn't even know I had and I kept looking at this picture going why do I not remember this? Why do I not remember this? And I just needed somebody to give me that little tick to go no, it's this and then I remembered it all.

Shimelle Laine 1:04:21

So it sounds like that you are and maybe correct me if I'm if I'm not reading it correctly. That it's just this like almost an intimacy with your photos with your past stories and with your supplies. That really feeds your inspiration.

Shimelle Laine 1:04:35


Jennifer Wilson 1:04:35

You have to really just stay in it. Otherwise you get disconnected.

Jennifer Wilson 1:04:39

Yes, I got it. Yeah, it's definitely a case of and yeah, we we're a little club, me and my stash and my albums. And yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 1:04:50

And all of the internet watching you do all that.

Shimelle Laine 1:04:52

Yeah. Which is scary sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. And but yeah, so it's Yeah. And people will will have have conversations. And then I mean, we had a joke that that just came up this week that made me giggle. Because you have Facebook will tell you, it will like pop up an old memory. And it'll be like, here's a picture of something you did 13 years ago today. But if that photo was old, then the 13 days or 13 years ago becomes really funny. So there was a picture of my cheerleading squad from high school and it came up as you did this 13 years ago, today, we all in the comments were like, Oh, it's only 13 years ago, isn't that so young? It was not 13 years ago. So things like that make me go, oh, I should check and see if I scrapbook that photo from you know, more than 13 years ago.

Shimelle Laine 1:05:42

Well you said it in the beginning, like when you get an a bolt of inspiration, you tend to act on that pretty quickly. So you're not keeping a backlog. So if you're, you know, when you're thumbing through your papers, how often do you really put the whole stack back? And how often are you saying, okay, no, that one, and I'm going to do this thing, and it's kind of this snowball effect? And you just keep going,

Jennifer Wilson 1:06:04

Yeah, so there's a balance, because obviously, with it being my job, and I also need to be product driven in some ways. And, and I mean, we, I, I'm laughing in my head now that we did that whole thing about, you know, like, what's your, your path through the industry, and I never mentioned that I design products. But you know, in case you didn't know that, I did that, too. And so I have 12 collections of papers with American Crafts, and I would need to stick with that. And just stick to those supplies, because that was part of my job. I'm not designing at the moment. So I can have a lot more freedom in what I use. And, and I'm doing things like kind of using one set of supplies for most of my projects for a month, which makes it easier for people to follow along, if they enjoy that sort of thing. But then I'll do a few projects that are not in that set. And that's where those would come in. So it might be that I flipped through. And if it's a day that I don't have to scrapbook live, and I'm scrapbooking either filmed or for myself, then yeah, those papers come straight out onto the desk. Or if it's something where that day I am going to scrapbook live and the supplies are already set, then I might make a note. And sometimes I just do and taking out a page that really a paper that really caught my eye and putting it on the top of its shelf instead of putting it back in the spot that it was in. Because then when I open the cupboard door, it's going to shout out to me and say, Hey, you wanted to do this?

Jennifer Wilson 1:07:34

Yeah, yeah, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 1:07:35

And so then I get on it. Yeah.

Shimelle Laine 1:07:38

Well, I think that the the process that you just described is very similar for someone who isn't working in industry, because we buy new stuff, and we're going to use the new stuff.

Shimelle Laine 1:07:48


Jennifer Wilson 1:07:49

And then there's a mix of okay, well, I should probably also use some older stuff, too.

Shimelle Laine 1:07:54


Jennifer Wilson 1:07:55

But that's, I think that's a very natural process, because we want to follow what's most exciting and inspiring us in the moment.

Shimelle Laine 1:08:00

Yeah. And I went through a phase where I would put whatever I had just bought on my desk, I wouldn't put it away. And, and I found that it was kind of like, sometimes it would work great, because I would see it and go yep, I'm gonna put this straight on my page. And then sometimes I go, oh, but that's all special and new and I'd get into that, you know, if nothing is good enough for my new product kind of situation. And I really actively try not to do that. So yeah, so it kind of it, sometimes it's a really great thing and sometimes it's not. So putting your new purchases out. And likewise putting like a use it or lose it pile sometimes going through and going, oh, I really love this, but I haven't touched it, well get it out where you can see it and that may help you. It's, you know, the creative process will will vary from person to person and also the space that you have to work in. So you may or may not be able to leave stuff on your desk. And I totally understand that that's a little bit of a luxury sometimes when I say that, but I just mean, maybe put it in a spot where you can see it, even if that means you have a little in tray somewhere. And yeah, that's that's kind of your version of popping it on the desk. It can work.

Shimelle Laine 1:09:13

So I guess kind of wrapping up here. I'm curious, what advice would you have for scrapbookers who maybe have those stacks of layouts and they're they know they need to do something with them? Or they're, they just feel like their layouts or pages are just disorganized? What's the first step?

Jennifer Wilson 1:09:29

First step is realizing that Yep, albums are boring to buy. But albums and page protectors are part of the deal. And so they are worth spending some money on. I know I talked to people all the time when when they have a stack and I say well, why don't you have an album? And they say well, I don't really want to spend my money on that. But wouldn't you love to be able to look at all this stuff that you made and that's why I get to see my pages is because they're in albums and they're so easy for me to take off the shelf and look at. So first you got to have an album and a bunch of page protectors, they never come with enough page protectors. So then don't get super overwhelmed. If you have the luxury of time and space to have one day and have like a big open spot via the floor or a table or your kitchen counter, then I really do recommend the idea of going through your stack. And putting them in two separate piles by what album what they would be for me, I do that by year. So if I like when I got the album's out of storage, and started putting stuff away, I took over my dining table, and I took all the pages that I had done, which was a lot and separated them out first by year, there was no way that I was going to tackle all of that in one day, it's too much and and unless you have a life where no one is going to bother you, which is that that sounds amazing after a year of lockdown. Just the one day, and yeah, if I had that one day, I don't think I'd use it sorting pages. But and so once you've got them in those stacks, then just work with one stack that day and take the other stacks and put them you know back in there in the box or wherever you've been keeping them safe. But now they're in order, you can put a little piece of paper in between, you know, that says, you know, that was my 2020 stack. And this is my 2019 stack. And that's my 2018 stack. Just take one of those, and then use that one and separate it out into order and see if you can get it in chronological order from you know, from January to December, and get just that one in the album. And then enjoy that one for a little bit. And let it make you realize that it's nice. When you have you know, you can do some more crafty stuff and come back to it in a week or two and do that second one, it doesn't need to be this whole overwhelming like I must stop crafting, because my pages are in piles. No. But you can you can make progress a little at a time. And that that the intimidating part is that one big moment of taking all the piles and putting them into you know, getting them out on the table and putting the layouts in the right spot. And then you can work Little by little, you can do it.

Shimelle Laine 1:12:30

Awesome. Thank you so much. This has been such a delight. Can you share where we can find you online, anything new you have coming up?

Shimelle Laine 1:12:37

Sure. So and I have a class that I think by the time this goes out, we'll be live. So you could probably pop over and find it right now. So my website is And and I teach all my classes are based there. And when once you sign up, then within about 24 to 48 hours, you get the email, it's just me I'm not automated, I don't have a team, it's just me. So you, I say within 24 to 48 hours because you got to wait for me to wake up sometimes. But I will send you your your login details and it unlocks this other part of the website that's for people taking classes. And so that class is called Half and Half. And it's all about pages that use two 6 by 12 pattern papers. And so it's a composition class. Really nice one to jump into that isn't heavy. It's lots of fun ideas you can try with stuff you've got you can use it with any photos, any stories, any colors, new stash, old stash big pages, small pages is really versatile. And so and every layout has video to go with it. It's all very chatty, and you can you can share it if you want or if you just want to work at home on your own and not share you can do that too. Everybody's welcome. So that's called Half and Half and you can find that and then from you can find all the places that I am I'm on all the places you would expect. So my edited videos are on YouTube and if you just the the nice thing about having a weird name is that if you search for Shimelle, I'm probably going to pop up. So on YouTube, you can find me there. And on Instagram is where I tend to post the most recent layout that I've done and you'll also get a little look into what I'm doing in life because I try to alternate a craft photo, life photo, craft photo, life photo. And then on Facebook is where I scrapbook live twice a week, Mondays and Fridays. And of course once I'm done, it's always there on a replay. But the difference between my Facebook videos and my YouTube videos is that on Facebook, I scrapbook while we talk about random rubbish, and on YouTube, I'm just about what I want to present to you about, you know, scrapbooking. I'm not telling you stories about you know, my day or anything like that. And so some people like both, some people have a real preference for one or the other, but they're both there and they're in separate containers. So if you want the random rubbish come to Facebook, if you only like edited, go to YouTube or take class, my class videos,

Jennifer Wilson 1:15:13

That sounds like a very general like YouTube verses Facebook description.

Jennifer Wilson 1:15:17

It does. If you want random rubbish come to Facebook. So yeah. So those are all the places that you can find me. But you can get to all of them from And yeah, so I think that's it.

Shimelle Laine 1:15:29

Awesome. We'll include all those links in the show notes for this episode. And again, I want to thank you for spending time with us and talking about your albums and your process and s'mores and it's been awesome.

Shimelle Laine 1:15:40

Yeah, thank you for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:15:41

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