SYW116 – My Way with Dawn Farias

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Dawn Farias entered the community as a digital designer, but over time found her way in this hobby. A shift to larger photos and an emphasis on storytelling helped her to cultivate creativity as a gratitude practice. I’m excited to have Dawn as our May featured artist and for you to meet her in this episode.

Links Mentioned

Dawn Farias 0:00

I'm super thankful. And I love that I have these pages for my family. But that's almost like the secondary thing. The stories get told because I enjoy telling them, and I like this artistic outlet for putting them together in a pretty way.

Jennifer Wilson 0:15

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 116. In this episode, I'm interviewing Dawn Farias. For the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways Memory Keepers get things done. We're excited to have Dawn as the May featured artist at Simple Scrapper. But before we jump into the episode, I wanted to let you know that registration is now open for Before Your Story, our album workshop to document your growing up story or someone else's, you can head over to to learn more. And now my conversation with Dawn.

Jennifer Wilson 1:10

Hey, Dawn, welcome to the podcast.

Dawn Farias 1:12

Hi, Jennifer. Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:14

Yeah, I'm so excited for our conversation and to get to know you a little bit better. Can you kick things off and just share a little bit about yourself?

Dawn Farias 1:21

Yes, I I live in San Antonio, Texas. So I'm in America. I've been married for 24 years. I have five kids, their ages are 19 down to 8. I teach high school math here in San Antonio. And I also scrapbook and I create digital scrapbooking supplies is probably my main, my main hobby, my main creative outlet.

Jennifer Wilson 1:50

For sure. Yeah. And I love San Antonio. I went to Trinity University for college. I always have a special place in my heart. So...

Dawn Farias 1:58

It's a great place for such a large city, it just feels like, not like a small town, but it feels very homey, and comfortable.

Jennifer Wilson 2:08

Definetly. Yeah, there's something special about it. I grew up in Houston and it's just totally different.

Dawn Farias 2:14

Yeah, I lived in Sugarland when I was smaller. My mother's family's from Houston. And it's, it's, it's another beast altogether.

Jennifer Wilson 2:23

That's for sure. All right, so we always love to ask our guests, one or two things that is exciting you right now in scrapbooking. So what's exciting you?

Dawn Farias 2:33

Okay, so what's exciting me right now, I'm not overly familiar with a larger scrapbooking world. But one thing I've been doing for my own scrapbooking is I've been making quick pages and selling them in my shop. And the thing that I thought when I first came up with trying to do quick pages was I thought it was a little bit dated, like I came into digital scrapbooking around 2009, 10,11. At that time...

Jennifer Wilson 3:00

Yeah, that's when I started too.

Dawn Farias 3:02

Yeah, and there was lots of quick pages and, and I can remember also, like people would make pre fab like blog kits to decorate your blog. And, and that's just kind of what I think about when I think about quick pages. And but then over time, I found that sometimes I would make a collection for my shop, and I would make a page with it. And then but I wouldn't be done with it. I would think oh, there's so many papers or embellishments that I made that I wanted to play with. But I didn't have any thoughts for a new page. So I started making quick page packs, and I thought this isn't gonna I don't know if this is worth my time. But it was fun for me. And then they they sell so now they I put them out pretty regularly. So it's it's funny that that you sometimes think that you've done or seen everything. How could you be refreshed by something and then it'll come along unexpectedly.

Jennifer Wilson 3:56

Yeah, there's so many things where if you just kind of have a new perspective on it, you might be able to just get excited about it again and see it in a new way and have it inspire you a new So yeah, I love that so much.

Dawn Farias 4:10

Yeah, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 4:12

So what about from the story perspective, we love to talk about our storytelling Bucket List. So these are a list of stories that feel important or significant in our lives. That we really just want to make sure that are told if we were you know to quote unquote kick the bucket so what's one story on your memory keeping Bucket List?

Dawn Farias 4:30

Yeah, that's a really great question. And I think for me, and I know I'm running the risk of just sort of going a little too deep on this one but, for me, it would be my sort of evolution of become being a religious person. I didn't grow up with religion, I'm a fairly by nature progressive liberal type person. So trying to balance that out with integrity inside of a religion and what my, my joy within it comes from and and the personal development and that I haven't passed that on to my children because I worry about manipulating them or making them feel pressured into, you know, believing something. And I feel at the end of the day, what I lost was sharing the personal side of it for me, we could do the mechanical parts, like making it to service to go to Mass do the sacraments and all this, but I don't really think anybody if I died right now, I'm not exactly sure anybody would understand why it was all so important to me. And it really informs how I believe that people should be treated with it, you know, the dignity and every person. I've never told I don't tell that story, because it's super personal. And it's super subjective. And, and I feel almost awkward talking about it. But I was like, if I were to go right now, today, that would be the thing that I would be the saddest to have never shared with my, with my kids and my family.

Jennifer Wilson 5:54

Oh, that's, I mean, that's so important. And I think there's, there's so many facets to our inner selves, that sometimes we keep them hidden. Because they do get, they can feel awkward to talk about. And it's hard, you know, we're really complex. And some of the things that are inside of us don't always like, they don't always make sense. And so those are some of the most important stories that we get captured because they really reflect who we are. And eventually we're as people.

Dawn Farias 6:21

Yeah, I like what you said about not making sense, because I think a lot of times if I, if I can't figure out a way of explaining that I think will connect to someone that I just don't talk about it at all. And I don't, I also, it's so funny, because I don't want to appear what superstitious or I'm the, you know, very logical sort of rational person. And so it's an odd, it's an odd contrast. But I love this question. And when I've been thinking about it and hearing it in your other podcasts, this is the story that came up for me. And I've already been daydreaming about how could I make a page? And I've never, I don't think in my life made a double, a two page spread. But, But I'm already trying to think, is it enough? And I think that's a lot of information. I think I could do that. So yeah, that'll be coming at some time. Because I'm already daydreaming about it. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 7:15

Awesome. So this is one of our My Way episodes. And My Way is all about kind of capturing the unique ways that Memory Keepers get things done. And so how did you start scrapbooking? You mentioned you were you know, you kind of got started with digital in that 2009, 10 time period. That's around when I got started too. I actually was digital and then transitioned to paper. And it was just you know, it was a really exciting time back then. You know, Digi Shop Talk was super fun. There were, there were other sites. Oh, gosh, MSA. And yeah...

Dawn Farias 7:50

It's funny, you mentioned those because by the time I became aware of those sites, it was still super busy. But I wasn't really a scrapbooker at that time. The way of, the way I found digital scrapbooking was I was keeping personal blogs when Blogger was new. And and then you you would see people have these free blog backgrounds made from scrapbooking supplies. And so, that was fascinated by that. And I wanted to make my own to give away for free. But you can't, I discovered, give away other people's stuff for free. There's Terms of Use and and so I thought, well, I'll just figure out how to make my own. And so for that, and that just sort of morphed into then learning how to make kits. And so I was a kit designer for a few years before I ever tried to scrapbook anything by myself.

Jennifer Wilson 8:45

Oh, that's so fascinating.

Dawn Farias 8:47

Yeah. And I don't. And I and so and because of that I had imposter syndrome for till about yesterday. No. You know, but it's but you know, for a very long time. And I'm not exactly sure when or why I tried to, to do a scrapbook page for myself the first time. But but when I did first start trying I really loved the minimal pages that I would see from their creative teams like for One Little Bird and Paislee Press and those and that's how I scrapped. In the beginning I tried to model that very minimal with lots of whitespace style.

Jennifer Wilson 9:28

And then how has everything changed since that time? Are you still creating in that style?

Dawn Farias 9:33

No, absolutely not. So I'm not sure when I'm not sure when I decided I wanted my pictures to be closer to printed size like actual size pictures that you might get from Walgreens or something. But for what however that happened, I decided I wanted my pictures bigger. And once I decided that other stuff had to be bigger to like my matting paper, you know, had to be bigger. And then it changed. It just changed everything, the way I would lay out my page, I got into more, I wanted to tell the story behind things. So I didn't want just a picture with some clustering. You know, in a word art, like I wanted the title, because to me was as important and, and that might have come from my past and blogging and I would wrote in high school, I would write for my school newspaper. So I think maybe just coming up with titles is the thing I like to do. So...

Jennifer Wilson 10:33

Oh my gosh, I've never, I never realized that connection, because I worked for the college newspaper. And I'm like, that's how I could make, you know, interesting titles with a short number of words.

Dawn Farias 10:46

Maybe so maybe that is a skill that you didn't even realize you had cultivated in your, from your past your past life into your scrapbooking. But that's so funny. But yeah, so I started making titles and, you know, whereas before, I never understood the appeal of alphabets. I was like, I don't know, like, what what is the thing with the alphabets? And now I, I will drool over alphabets, and I see stuff in them. And I see potential in ways that I wouldn't have, you know, eight or eight years ago or so.

Jennifer Wilson 11:18

Now, I'm curious, do you have any tips for getting digital alphabets onto a page because I recall, when I was doing a lot of digital, you know, it's just that many more products you having to like, go and find every single letter. So are there any tricks that you know, savvy, digital scrapbookers use to lock those onto the page, you turn them into brushes, you know what?

Dawn Farias 11:39

So savvy might be a strong word, I can tell you a lazy way. So as I've noticed that over the years, I used to when I was making alphabets for my shop, I would use scripts and Photoshop to cut each letter. But you know, alphabets, they the return on investment, as far as the time involved for me to do that did overtime, I didn't think it was really worth it. So I started just saving an entire alphabet in a sheet, one big png sheet file per color. So I might have one full sheet for the red alphabet version and one for the blue. And then as a scrapbooker, for me, I love it because I open up the one sheet. And I you know, I know exactly which letters I need, I just select it with the marquee tool, copy, straight over to my page, paste.

Jennifer Wilson 12:27

There you go.

Dawn Farias 12:28

So I just have the one now, I can't see where if they were each cut individually, you could just like if I'm on a Mac, drag the one letter from your Finder window over to your page, each individually. But I really do think now that that sheets are the way to go. For me, they're just faster, it's less space, less things you're trying to keep track of.

Jennifer Wilson 12:51

Oh, I love that. That's such a fun tip. And I can see now because back then I was on a tiny little laptop. And now I'm on multiple monitors. And I you know, and I know people who like who did have on their iPads and really small spaces, but I think I would like the real estate to be able to like, let's open all these things over here. So I can just drag them in and you know, less less fussing back and forth, I guess.

Dawn Farias 13:16

Yeah, I can totally 100% see that.

Jennifer Wilson 13:20

So could you go more into you know your style? Like what colors do you like, what kind of textures or patterns? You know, what's the mood that comes across in your pages?

Dawn Farias 13:31

So I really like a lot of white color. I like the contrast of bright colors on the white and I've tried in the past to, I really love other people's grungy style things I'm seeing right now I don't know what's going on with some people shadowing but the the way they do these like heavily clustered realistic looking shadows and pages. And I'm not sure if they're putting like a some kind of gradient but it almost looks like realistic. Like it's in a room or something and maybe there's some light coming from a window. I don't, I can't explain. That's not me though. And anytime I try when I try to do stuff like that I get lost in the decision making like how should this shadow go or what over here so my style by default is simple. Very simple, because I can't I guess I get decision fatigue or something.

Jennifer Wilson 14:35

Oh yeah,

Dawn Farias 14:36

So I, my stuff super flat. And I like a little bit of clustering and I like a bold title that's not necessarily layered but mixed alphabets and I love to tell some of the story. It's either my own handwriting that I scan in and create a brush from or it'll be strips of paper. The strips of paper almost always white. I love white on white. I love when sometimes things are monochromatic in a certain area because you don't notice it at first, but you'll see a shadow and then it draws your attention to it. And now you're like exploring that little part of the page, when at first it may be what just looked all white or all a certain color.

Jennifer Wilson 15:21

So yeah, lots of like variations in white with different textures. That's, that's a fun thing. In digital or paper.

Dawn Farias 15:28

Yeah. And I think that came about I took a break from the internet, like a few years ago, I just was not on the computer for a year or so. And at that was the first time I ever did paper scrapbooking. And I got some kits from Cocoa Daisy. And, and that was a very interesting process for me. And when I came back to digital scrapbooking, that process of doing paper booking, paper scrapbooking informed my digital pages a lot.

Jennifer Wilson 15:59

You know, 100%, I can see that. Yeah, we've had a number of conversations here on the podcast kind of about that people who've gone back and forth. An episode recently that we had with Kim, my teaching assistant, she really has fully transitioned to digital from paper over the past year. And she just she knows that her paper experience is very much informing her digital experience. And I know that it went kind of the same way for me. You were talking about you know that you kind of you're kind of flat and how you do shadowing. I think part of that is how you how you learn. I learned on Photoshop Elements I didn't have I didn't have shadows or layers. I couldn't warp anything. You know, there were only a certain number of options.

Dawn Farias 16:42


Jennifer Wilson 16:43

You know, I just remembered three numbers every time that I typed in for most of my shadows. And if that's how you started and you learned, you probably you know, most likely you're probably still a pretty flat scrapbooker unless you developed more. You were really into it when you found it fun.

Dawn Farias 17:00


Jennifer Wilson 17:00

People who started with Photoshop. And you know, started with here's how you do this. And you know, here's how a flower is different from paper and then then, you know, maybe you have a different approach.

Dawn Farias 17:10

Yeah, pretty much nowadays, the only differentiation I do is if something's a bigger element, I'm sure to put a bigger shadow. But even the shadows I you know, I buy a shadow set from a designer. And I still have several mods of their shadows to make them even smaller or closer to you know, put to the paper I reduce the opacity to make it a little bit less. You know, I don't know what I just like that. I just make it less, I guess.

Jennifer Wilson 17:37

Sure. A little more subtle.

Dawn Farias 17:39

Yeah, more subtle.

Jennifer Wilson 17:39

That makes sense.

Dawn Farias 17:41

I think the other the one last thing that really informed my scrapbooking was a couple years ago, I was asked to be, for a year, on the creative team at Get It Scrapped. And that was the first time I would really stretched myself to have a plan for a page and not just kit scrap I guess like

Jennifer Wilson 18:01


Dawn Farias 18:01

It branch, branch out and find papers, patterns, textures, elements that fit the theme of my page, or the colors or, or whatever the topic was that I had been assigned for the month. That that between the paper scrapbooking. And that creative team experience. Those were the two biggest changing points, and then combined it with my own personal discoveries of how I wanted bigger pictures and layered titles and stuff. And basically those three touch points are how I got where I'm at now.

Jennifer Wilson 18:33

Very cool. You it's so interesting that you mentioned kind of getting away from that the kit scrapping and I think a lot of papers scrapbookers don't, don't understand the Friday night routine of all the new stuff is out, we're gonna buy all the things, and we're gonna download them and we're gonna make pretty things with the new stuff we bought. And then repeat every week forever and ever.

Dawn Farias 18:55


Jennifer Wilson 18:56

And it's you know, there's a little bit of a hamster wheel to it, which is, you know, not another positive or negative, it certainly can be both. But I'm noticing in paper right now, there's actually more of this trend, not necessarily towards that purchasing behavior, but being very kit using focus, whether you're creating the kids and then using them or just taking the kits you're purchasing and allowing those to inspire your scrapbooking direction. You know, rather than all the other stuff that you described with, you know, using challenges and story focus and you know, having your photos inspire it, there's this little bit of a twist now and a focus on let's actually use it use some of our products.

Dawn Farias 19:38

That's great.

Jennifer Wilson 19:38

So how do you stay motivated to create Is that something that's easy to or is there, are there ups and downs in it?

Dawn Farias 19:47

No, it's it's easy for me and it's, the main reason is because it's my intentional self care routine. I am so busy between work and the kids. And you know, my husband. And I, if I don't carve out some, I'm an introvert by nature, you know, I recharge being alone, but I don't ever get to be alone. So...

Jennifer Wilson 20:14

Especially not in a pandemic, either.

Dawn Farias 20:16

Especailly not in a pandemic. So what my routine looks like is I wake up early every morning, before everyone to have coffee, so I might have 30 minutes. If I, if I don't mind running a little bit late, I'll stretch it into 45. But I fire up my computer, I got my coffee, had a cup of water, and I'm either and I'm firing up Photoshop, if I get, you know, if I'm working on a kit that day, I might get a paper done or two papers done. I might be working on a page, I, you know, maybe I just planned the picture or whatever. And so 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there, and then I'll be able to get maybe a couple hours on Saturday and Sunday morning. That adds up to a lot of time. And what I'll do is daydream during the day, if I'm, you know, it will not during pandemic because at work right now, I don't have that many in person students. But like, in general times, like, let's say I'm testing, and I'm walking around, cuz you got to make sure kids aren't cheating because they cheat. And so not I'm walking around, daydreaming, I'm daydreaming about the page, I'm trying to make. So, okay, that was a long way of saying, by the time I get to the computer, I've already made plans for that time. And so it's way more efficient. Like, I'm not really it's not wasted time, I generally not spinning my wheels unless something's just not going to plan. But there was a plan, you know?

Jennifer Wilson 21:38

Well, and I love this idea that that your your work. I mean, this is this is a side hustle for you, but it's still it's still work. But your work can be something you're passionate about. And that brings you joy, and that can be self care. Yes, I think there's a lot of pressure that we have to do the meditation and the journaling. And those things are wonderful. And you know, and I do some of those and but the the work that you do can be that time that you need to feel creatively recharged.

Dawn Farias 22:10

I agree. And that's a really great way. I do feel creatively recharged. And it's funny because the I have a kit that I made this week, that's releases, like you said on Friday, and I have the preview of the kit on my as the desktop background on my computer at work. And so I just like looking at it really, that's all it is to when I make a new page that becomes my background on my computer at work. Whatever the newest thing I've made, that's my favorite thing, right until you make the next thing or the next page or whatever. And then now that's your new favorite thing. And so it just brings me it's a it's a touch point, you know, that I can you know, daydream about look at for a minute get back to work, or it's like looking at pretty things. So especially if I need it, I guess is what it really boils down to.

Jennifer Wilson 23:03

Well, that's wonderful. I mean, like, you know, whether it's your your scrapbooking or your photos, like celebrating the stuff that you love is just such an important kind of physical reminder of gratitude. Like sometimes, you know, we get swirled up into whatever's going on in our lives. But if we see that thing, then we can just remember what's important to us, whether it's our creativity or the stories that we're telling and who and what are in those stories.

Dawn Farias 23:31

Yeah, that was nicely said. That's true.

Jennifer Wilson 23:33

So, So on that note right now we are in our Storytelling Journey at Simple Scrapper. So can you go into a little bit more about how stories fit into your layout process or even how you organize your layouts into albums?

Dawn Farias 23:49

Okay, so I have no method at all whatsoever. So I'm not an event to scrapper. I'm a moment scrapper. So I you know if I'm I think one of my recent pages the pictures just my daughter my teenage daughter asleep in her bed she was sleeping in but and I snapped it with my iPhone, I had to turn it to black and white because the pictures terrible because the the light it was dark in her room, you know. But the story was about her. She's She's, you know, a freshman in high school, she does theater. She has all honors classes. And she's just I'm just so proud of all the effort she's put in. But it's been a huge time investment on her and energy and she struggled with staying on top of everything. And so that's what the story was about. So that is how my pages come about. There's no there's no timeline, there's no themes, my when I do print pages and put them in my binder, they're not in any kind of time order. I could go if I found a picture right now from six years ago, and I remember I would make a page about that and just have it all together. So there is no rhyme or reason in really, even with the, you know, similar to the designing kits, it's, I'm super thankful. And I love that I have these pages for my family. But that's almost like the secondary thing. The stories get told, because I enjoy telling them, and I like this artistic outlet for putting them together in a pretty way. But I don't know what it is about little tiny moments that move me over, you know, a page about what just like, you know, maybe just birthday pictures, you know.

Jennifer Wilson 25:40

I just want to underscore what you just said, you said the stories get told, because I enjoy telling them. And that's, I mean, that's just so profound. And just understanding your why in this hobby is so important for keeping you going because it's so unique. And well even, you know, change over time. But when you can pinpoint that you can always lean on that when maybe you need some inspiration and or you're having a bad day, you know what part of that fills you up? And you can just hop right back in.

Dawn Farias 26:11

Yeah. And I think it also helps you not feel guilty that you're not doing it a particular other way.

Jennifer Wilson 26:17

Yes. For sure. So Dawn, what are you loving in scrapbooking right now? Are you scrapbooking in 12 by 12? Or how do you print your layouts? How does that work for you?

Dawn Farias 26:30

Okay, so I, I prefer 8.5 by 11. But I discovered, I switched. I tried switching to that format a couple years ago. But then I discovered that there it's more expensive to print off than an eight by eight page, which is what I generate, was printing off before. I scrapbook in 12 by 12 and then print it to eight by eight. It's cheaper and the binder fit nicer on any shelf. So...

Jennifer Wilson 26:55


Dawn Farias 26:56

And I didn't feel like there was any loss of quality, they were just as enjoyable as a bigger 12 by 12. page. So would prefer 8.5 by 11, it's more convenient and do the 8 by 8. So I scrapbook And now back into a 12 by 12.

Jennifer Wilson 27:13

And are you doing all single layouts or do you ever print them as photo books?

Dawn Farias 27:18

I never have printed a photo book but I sometimes see them. And they are just I mean they're just amazing. It's I seem to have like a hardcover thing with your photos in it would be super impressive. But I'm I'm behind right now just in printing my photos. Last last year, our computer crashed. And it happened to crash. Right when my husband I had had a disagreement about back how we were backing up files. And I had been backing him up in Backblaze. So I cancelled that service, I had not yet come up with an alternate method. And our computer computer completely crashed. And so and I hadn't printed out any pages in a while I thought I had lost everything. I couldn't even hardly talk for a few days. It was like years and years of things. And I think my husband must have felt the weight of it. You know, after a few days, and he did some kind of magic on our Mac. He did hours of research and was able to go recover those things. And now I you know, we got to we had to get a new computer. I have them all back. And I have them backed up twice in two different ways.

Jennifer Wilson 28:30


Dawn Farias 28:31

It was like this. It's like I had it backed up for a years. And this one small window of time.

Jennifer Wilson 28:37

That's how it happens, isn't it? Yeah,

Dawn Farias 28:39

It's crazy. And I'm sorry, I got off track. What was the we were talking about?

Jennifer Wilson 28:43

Oh, they're just talking about formats and sizes? Yeah, no, no, no, I think that's a really important reminder, because backup is really important. And, you know, we tend to say oh, well, it'll just be a few days until I do that other thing. But sometimes days turn into longer periods of time, and we forget about it. And that's just natural and normal. And so you kind of always need to make sure that you are protected when it comes to keeping your file safe. So I'm glad you mentioned that because I'm sure there's somebody out there listening that needs to make sure they have a backup solution in place.

Dawn Farias 29:19

Oh, yes. If anyone's listening who is right now thinking, Oh, it'll be fine. It will not be fine. Go back of your stuff. You'll be so happy that you did that.

Jennifer Wilson 29:29

That's for sure.

Dawn Farias 29:29

But yeah, so I do need to to get those printed and I'm always so super impressed when when the digital pages come, come back printed. They just it's amazing to look at them, you know?

Jennifer Wilson 29:43

Oh 100% Yeah, they're so beautiful. And just the colors are so vibrant. And yeah, I love it.

Dawn Farias 29:50

Every once in a while I'll do a hybrid page or I still have some supplies left from my Cocoa Daisy kits. And it is nice at those instances to immediately have a page done like it's done. I'll put it in a sleeve and I might put it on the refrigerator. I don't generally just put them straight to the, to my, in my binders because I want to see them. So I have one for my son graduating high school last year I made a little eight by eight on cards, not cardstock but a nice white cardstock printed out some digital papers, I had some stickers from my stash, put it in a little sleeve and it's been I'm still on my fridge. I still like looking at it every day. And this is almost a year ago that he graduated so...

Jennifer Wilson 30:32

Well, I think it's important to celebrate the pages that we make and it helps our families understand what what this means to us. And it sees there they can see their story being honored and celebrated because we we scrapbooked it you know, it's it's more than just having the photo we did something with it.

Dawn Farias 30:49

Oh, I like that idea. I never really thought about that taking the photo like another layer another to another level, intentional. I never thought about that.

Jennifer Wilson 31:00

So what about the products that you are loving right now? Do you scrapbook mostly with your own things? Are you still a big consumer of other people's products?

Dawn Farias 31:08

No, in fact, this is this is how much I scrapbook with my own things. When I am looking for an alpha, an alphabet, I go to my store and advanced search function. And I put alphas for category and I put my name for the designer name. That way you can see all my app is in one place. I don't have to search through my folder. So it might be ridiculous. But I create things that I want to scrap with. And so my my scrapbooking informs my designing my designing and forms my scrapbooking. There you know, I think the favorite thing I have from another designer is there's a I sell my stuff at the Digital Press and we have a designer there, Creations. And she has some stitching packs that are perfection. I cannot improve upon them. I can't even figure it out. Every time summer comes around. I tell myself this summer, I'm figuring out awesome digital stitches. But it eludes me. And I just I haven't figured it out yet. So I use hers whenever, whenever I want some amazing stitches. But, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 32:10

And how do you keep your supplies organized? Now? I mean, do you aren't you you mentioned that you searched your shop? Like you go ahead and download it again from the shop at that time?

Dawn Farias 32:21

I have, I guess that was misleading. No. So when I find the product in the web, you know, after using the search function, I'll go find it in my files.

Jennifer Wilson 32:31


Dawn Farias 32:31

It's just so much easier to see them on display. You know how like...

Jennifer Wilson 32:36

Oh, for sure.

Dawn Farias 32:37

Because when I when my computer died, I lost all of my custom icons on my folders that I had created an on my Mac. You know, when I used to do use Windows, you can if you need you know, if you have your, your preview named folder, you can kind of see a peek of it when you're just looking in, right. But when I switched to Mac that wasn't then I but I did figure out how to make little custom icons for my, my folders. But again, when my computer died that all that all went away and I have not had the the energy to recreate them. So that's why I search in my shop online first. And then once I find what I want, I go get it in my files.

Jennifer Wilson 33:16

So you have everything in folders, you're not using any kind of software to organize all your supplies.

Dawn Farias 33:22

No, no, I have never, I never have taken the time to to figure that out to do to explore anything like that.

Jennifer Wilson 33:30

Oh, sure. Well, yeah, you're taking your time to be a designer on top of a scrapbooker. So that's kind of, we all have to make choices to some of our time.

Dawn Farias 33:39

There are some things that are a zero sum game and time. Time is one of those.

Jennifer Wilson 33:44

Yeah, for sure. What about your photos? How are they stored?

Dawn Farias 33:49

No, no, I'm not great at this. I'm failing..

Jennifer Wilson 33:53

You're not.

Dawn Farias 33:54

This part of the interview I have, I have photos on my phone. I have photos that I've backed up from my phone into a folder on my computer. And I just randomly browse through them. It's not very often that I don't know what photo I'm about to use, like usually. So I can't say I'm ever really in a place where I'm even browsing old photos. I'm usually have a recent photo and I know exactly them. That's I need to make a story about that. And it's so it's usually whatever. One of the more recent things that's on my phone. And like I said, I don't often go intentionally try to tell older stories.

Jennifer Wilson 34:33

Sure, just if you came across it.

Dawn Farias 34:34

Yeah, it's whatever I come across for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 34:37

So if you're going to sit down to scrapbook and you know you have a photo on your phone, how do you have any like tricks for getting it to your computer or a non tricky approach?

Dawn Farias 34:48

Yeah, I just email it to myself. And then...

Jennifer Wilson 34:51

Oh, there you go

Dawn Farias 34:51

And then download it. You know, years ago, I had a nice digital camera and it got broken in I've never figured out how to fix it or bought a new one. And and then in that time phones became even more, you know, ubiquitous than they were before. I mean, that whole thing about the best camera you have is the one on you. I think every year that just becomes more and more of like, a truism than...

Jennifer Wilson 35:19

Oh, 100%, my husband was telling me about these new phones that have like, 8k video. And I'm like, I don't think we even own any devices that can display 8k, so I'm not sure what's the point of having it in his tiny screen. But...

Dawn Farias 35:32

It reminds me a lot like how when you save stuff for web, you know, you do at 72 DPI, because they say that you can't even register a higher quality than that. And that's how I feel about things. You know, we have 4k devices. And I don't, I don't really even know what's going on. But my husband will be like, well, this, we bought this, but this thing doesn't even display the 4k, so he doesn't even, I don't even know why we had this. Like, I don't know what you're talking about.

Jennifer Wilson 35:58

Yeah, sometimes there's certain parts of technology that I feel like are starting to slow down, and then other parts that are going so fast that I might, you know, as we age a little bit, we can't, it's hard to keep up. You know, I mentioned recently, like, you know, I used to watch the Grammys, and all those award shows. And now I'm like, I don't even know who any of these singers are anymore.

Dawn Farias 36:19

We watch we watch something recently, and I I do try to keep up with I do listen to the radio. So I'm familiar with some pop stuff. And I do try to stay interested in what my own children are listening to. So I'm aware of some things. My husband, not none of it, none of it. And so yeah, we were watching and I'm like, Oh, yeah, I know that song. We're all singing along and he's like, how do you What are you even getting this information from? You're like, because it's true. That's it's, there's not even anybody from the old school that comes on that you can even blend in there. It's all new. Seems like.

Jennifer Wilson 36:51

Yeah, Emily was, that's my daughter, was listening to something when she was showering the other day. It was like, like, super hard rock, really grungy, aggressive. And I'm like, do you like that? And she's like, yeah, kinda. I'm like, okay, you're only nine, but whatever.

Dawn Farias 37:08

Oh, and speaking of things that changed fast, the way people consume music, like the way the kids listen to music is nothing like when we grew up, I mean, the way they it's just a completely different world.

Jennifer Wilson 37:20

Well, yeah, we still, you know, we would put in a CD and listen to the whole thing.

Dawn Farias 37:25


Jennifer Wilson 37:25

Or maybe listen to your favorite song a couple times. And then we put in a new CD.

Dawn Farias 37:30

I don't know how old, you've got, I'm sure you're close to my age, but I don't know. Did you ever, you know, have a tape player and you had to wait to the DJ, stop talking. So you could start recording the song that was coming up next on the radio?

Jennifer Wilson 37:43

Yeah. Oh, for sure.

Dawn Farias 37:45

And then they would talk too long. And the people would start singing and you'd be like, you just messed up my whole song. You know?

Jennifer Wilson 37:50

Yes. Yes. And I had I made the mixtape of like, my favorite song. That was the only thing on that tape. Like I filled both sides of the tape. Just my favorite song so I can listen to it on repeat.

Dawn Farias 38:02

Yeah, on repeat. Yeah, exactly. Now we take that for granted, you know that you could just repeat something.

Jennifer Wilson 38:08

That you have choice. Yeah. So yeah, it's so funny. All right, kind of wrapping up here. What do you think is the biggest lesson learn that you have from your your scrapbooking experience over the past, you know, decade plus.

Dawn Farias 38:23

Oh, that is super easy. So like I had mentioned about imposter syndrome. And so the biggest thing I learned is to allow yourself to explore your own interests and tendencies, whether it matches something that's whether it matches anything, whatever. You know, and don't feel and don't be afraid to copy. So I think part of exploring yourself is, you know, imitating things until you find your, your own style in the beginning, because this is my only creative outlet I've ever had. So, in the beginning, I didn't understand that you could do that, like lift things or, or model or copy. I thought everything you ever had to did how to be original and unique. Well, that's a lot of pressure.

Jennifer Wilson 39:09

So for sure, yeah.

Dawn Farias 39:11

Then I read some little book several years ago called How To Steal Like An Artist and I was like, okay, so I, you know, I can do that. And so in that, you know, in that process of copying, you learn what you like, and don't like, you know, like, anytime I've ever tried to copy a super, you know, as beautiful as I think grungy or artistic or, or art journaling things. Look, I get bogged down in the process. It's a lot of decision making. And it doesn't become enjoyable for me, even though I love looking at it. So I let go of that. Like, I don't have to do that, you know, I can do whatever works for me. And even if it means it's, even if it's just something that's making my process simpler, that's valid too. That's a valid approach. And then that's kind of just how yeah, I'm talking too much like, going back to the thing, like, just...

Jennifer Wilson 40:07

No, it's all good. It's perfect. I think it's a wonderful way to think about it, we have to focus on the parts that we really enjoy. That's what's gonna keep us attached to the hobby.

Dawn Farias 40:15

Yeah, cuz when something feels like a duty, or it should be done a certain way. You know, you really have to explore well, why? Why do you think it has to be done that way? And if it's, you know, causing you anxiety, it's, you know, it's, it should be enjoyable. It's not, you know, other kinds of things that we do, because we have to, because we need to get them down, like the dishes or whatever.

Jennifer Wilson 40:40

Right. We get to do this,

Dawn Farias 40:42

Yeah, we get to do this. And it should be super, super enjoyable. So I would just tell someone, you know, allow your own tendencies to come through because whatever you feel like doing, that's a valid thing. explore it. And then what you like, keep it and what you didn't like about it, get rid of it.

Jennifer Wilson 41:01

Beautifully said thank you. So Dawn, can you share where we can find you online, anything you have new or coming up soon.

Dawn Farias 41:08

So online, my website is And the DBD stands for Dawn by Design. That's my design name. I sell my things at the Digital Press. And then I'm also on Instagram. I'm @dawnfarias. That's my first and last name. And that's just my general personal Instagram. I put my scrapbooking stuff on there my everyday stuff on there. So that's a fun place. But I don't have anything particularly uniquely new coming up. I'm always releasing kits and products in my store. And so any given month, I've got some new stuff coming out. So but I don't have any big new things on the horizon besides that.

Jennifer Wilson 41:57

All right, well, we will include all of your links in the show notes for this episode. And I just want to thank you for your time and for being our featured artist.

Dawn Farias 42:05

Thank you. I enjoyed this so much and I'm so honored to be featured and be part of the Simple Scrapper for a little bit. I've followed you and I have your I even have two of your books, these Everyday Storyteller, the ones that you curated.

Jennifer Wilson 42:20

Yes, they're practically vintage. No, I love it.

Dawn Farias 42:23

I love them and your, your pages. I just love your pages. They're unique. And there's they're just beautiful. They're so simple and straightforward, but uniquely you they're just always gorgeous. So...

Jennifer Wilson 42:36

Thank you. You are so kind.

Dawn Farias 42:38

Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 42:40

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