SYW118 – One Project, Three Ways

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When I created the album for my Before Your Story workshop, I completed it in the way that worked best for me and the story I was telling. In this episode I’m joined by three past students of the class who are in different seasons life and whose specific life experiences guided their approach to the project. You’ll learn how this album framework is not only designed to make it possible to get multiple decades in one album, but how it is an approach that is easy to personalize. After all, everything we do here is about scrapbooking your way!

Links Mentioned

Vicki Wallis 0:00

One of the big things that I just got out of this that was so wonderful was it seemed totally overwhelming at first because of the timespan. But all of the tools, the timeline worksheet, having the whole blueprint and everything, I knew that if I followed those closely, I had a chance to get it done.

Jennifer Wilson 0:21

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 118.

Jennifer Wilson 0:40

In this episode, I'm joined by three past students of Before Your Story, my album workshop to tell your growing up story or someone else's. We begin June 3, and you can learn more at Let's get into my conversation with Pat, Alissa and Vicki. Hey, friends, welcome to the podcast. I am so excited to have a roundtable discussion today about capturing our birth to adulthood stories in one single album. So I have three guests here who have each completed a version of that type of album, using the frameworks that I've shared in my classes. And we're just going to go around and let them introduce themselves to you. Alissa, since you've been on the podcast before, why don't you remind everyone who you are?

Alissa Williams 1:32

Sure. I'm Alissa. I live in Central Illinois with my husband and two daughters. And I am the director of a small Public Library.

Jennifer Wilson 1:41

Awesome. Welcome, Alissa. All right, Pat, what about you?

Pat Moore 1:46

Hi. I live in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which is a border town for Oklahoma. I have three grown daughters, nine grandkids and almost six great grandkids.

Jennifer Wilson 2:01

Oh, that sounds awesome and fun. Thanks for being here, Pat. All right, Vicki, what about you?

Vicki Wallis 2:08

I live with my husband a little bit outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, where it's been snowing all week. And we do not have children. But we always have a variety of animals on the property. I'm not working at the present, but most recently worked as a lab and field technician in paleontology at a local museum.

Jennifer Wilson 2:32

Oh, that sounds so fun. My undergrad degree is in geology, and paleo was my favorite class the whole time. So...

Vicki Wallis 2:39

Oh, I've worked with so many great geologists. And it is fun. It was my dream job. I had to do accounting at the same time to kind of pay the bills, but I just couldn't give up the chance to do it.

Jennifer Wilson 2:52

Oh, yeah. Awesome. All right. So as you can tell, we have just a variety of guests from around the country, different experiences here. And I think this is going to be a fun conversation. But of course, one of the things we always love to do on the podcast is talk about what's exciting us right now in scrapbooking. So who has something to share, that's exciting them.

Alissa Williams 3:11

I can start again, this is Alissa. And I am just really excited by the fact that I have planned, like quarterly retreats, creative retreats this year. And I think it's really helping my productivity, they sort of kind of align with the end of the quarters. And it's been really great to have these kind of weekends to just focus on this hobby, especially as you know, life is picking back up as the pandemic is sort of dying down a little bit. And we're getting vaccinated. So I'm really just enjoying this process of being able to take retreats.

Jennifer Wilson 3:50

Ooh, I love that, yes, so important to really just take time for yourself and for your hobby. And the more that you can plan that ahead, the more likely you'll actually follow through on it and make it happen. It's one thing to have the idea but then to actually put it into motion and take those steps ensures that you'll follow through. Vicki, do you have something that's exciting you right now?

Vicki Wallis 4:12

Yeah, it's, I don't know kind of a different sort of thing. But I decided this year I had for the last seven years, done a you know, weekly documenting pocket album, Project Life, whatever. And I decided to give that up this year. And I've really been energized by the idea of doing a more traditional layouts and telling bigger stories, and not always of the past like Bucket List things, but just as things come up, and it's also moved me out of a totally digital world back into a physical scrapbooking world. And I'm really enjoying it and it's really got me inspired.

Jennifer Wilson 4:53

I love that. I think you know whenever we can if we feel a little stifled or stuck sometimes it's just kind of changing up the format can like reinvigorate your excitement, trying something new, doing things a little bit differently. It's not even necessarily taking a new project or taking a class. It's just changing how you do things. So thanks for sharing that.

Vicki Wallis 5:14

Yeah, exactly. You hit it right on the head.

Jennifer Wilson 5:17

All right, Pat, what about you? What is jazzing you up right now in scrapbooking?

Pat Moore 5:22

Well, I'm really excited, I'm on my last set of grandkids, I make albums for them, mainly because we had two adopted from Russia and two Spanish. And I wanted to make them feel part of the family. So I'm excited. I'm finally down to those last three, actually, I'm just working on. The third one is a biological in that family, but he's eight. So he's the caboose. So I'm doing his first because I don't have a whole lot on from the others beginnings. But I'm just excited and kind of venturing different I'm trying to do a Library of Memories, which I've not done a whole lot of before. So it's exciting.

Jennifer Wilson 6:14

I love that, you know, the more that you can connect to the meaning behind, and you know that why behind your scrapbooking, the more likely you'll you'll stick with it and finish your projects. And I think that's, that's gonna come up a lot in our discussion today. But I just wanted to quickly share something that's exciting me right now. And I don't always share something on the show. But I just installed the Canon camera Connect app on my phone. And this came out of trying to take a photo with my camera, and I ended up having to call my husband to come take the photo, because I didn't have a remote shutter for it. For my old camera, I had this this little button thing that I would press and it would take the pictures for me. And I did not have one for my new camera. Because my old one took a little bit of a tumble and died. And so this app is not only like a remote shutter, not just a button, it allows you to actually see what the camera sees and change all the settings from the app. So you know, you could set your camera on a tripod and be taken a family photo and actually, you know, adjust the settings on your camera to really get the right shot just from your phone without ever having to like leave the group. So I just think that's a super, super handy tool. And I'm excited to have it. All right, let's jump into our discussion today. We don't have a kind of a Bucket List conversation starter here, because so much of what we're going to talk about today is a Bucket List story. It is almost the ultimate Bucket List story of documenting your growing up story. We frame it as birth to adulthood or sometimes even just childhood. But really from you know, you're beginning to a certain point, which you feel is a kind of a natural break point to you know, another phase of your life. And this could be your life, or even used to document someone else's life. And I really just wanted to have this range of perspectives on how you can tackle something that feels so big and is very literally big in terms of years that it covers. And so let's just go around and share in your album that you finished, whose story did you document? And what were the beginning and the ending milestones that you chose? Vicki, why don't you get started with that?

Vicki Wallis 8:30

Okay, I did choose to tell my story. But because I don't have children, and you know, I looked at it at first. And you know, the idea was, you know, telling someone who you are and what you done. As I got into making my timeline and everything, I realized that what I really wanted to do was explore the things that I would like to tell my parents if they were alive, they had died before, I did a lot of important things like getting married and becoming a guardian to a 15 year old boy and going back and getting a second degree and things. So I chose to tell my story. But I did it as if I was talking to my parents. And that really gave me a way to move forward, which was great.

Jennifer Wilson 9:26

Yes, 100%. And I think that can be a tripping point. Because you know, the original context for this project. The class is called Before Your Story. And the tagline is, Before Your Story there was mine. And so this came out of wanting to document like my life before my daughter was born. And in yes, that applies to many of us. But of course it doesn't apply to all of us. And I think finding that hook and who is your audience for this album is something that we do at the beginning of the class because that's going to vary but that helps give you kind of this grounding point to be able from which to then respond and capture the story. And really just gives a little bit more meat to it. Pat, how did you approach it?

Pat Moore 10:13

Well, being older than most of our members, and I wish I didn't have a lot of childhood memories. And I didn't have a lot of pictures. But I found a baby book that's about five by seven that my mom had done on me. And it I took that as the basis for my book. It at least got me started in what few pictures I had, I had there. But you know, it was interesting, because she had written down my weight at each doctor's visit. And I had no idea when I crawled or walked or this kind of thing. And as I got on through, of course, added my high school when my stuff to it, but it was done. I was born in 1945. So it was done in those colors, which are, aren't popular today. But I did a background of black cardstock and took the book apart. And as far as I had on that, that's what I did. And I did the book really for me. I hope my kids will look at it, it will probably explain a lot of the reasons I'm so squirrelly, when when they go through and see that all that went on. But anyway, I did it for myself.

Jennifer Wilson 11:49

I love that. And I love you gave the example of often we have things, books, memorabilia, things that we want to incorporate into it. And I think that it's important to I don't know, we're kind of always in this position of, how to what's the balance between preserving something and keeping it as is. Because sometimes that means changing it as is like taking it apart or scanning something and then just leaving it it is. And you know I was my perspective on scanning is that if you can scan something today that's going to prevent kind of future degradation, and you basically have a new original. Yes, it's already you know, it might have yellowed and deteriorated to a point of which today, but at least you can freeze that in time by by scanning those originals today, if you can. Alissa, how did you approach your album?

Alissa Williams 12:40

So I probably approached it with the most concept to your class. So my album is my childhood through basically my my marriage right out of college. So it's like zero to age 25.

Jennifer Wilson 12:55

All right. So okay, why was it important to you to document the story? And how did you feel about that going in, and then maybe kind of afterwards, anybody can jump in here.

Vicki Wallis 13:12

I'm not sure it really was important for me. I mean, I'd never really thought of it in this way. But really Jennifer to admit, I was just a fan of yours at the time, I'd taken Art and Science of Scrapbooking and loved it. And you were offering this other class and I thought I would definitely take something away from it. And so I didn't have any real reason. But once I got into the process, I realized it was important to me that there were feelings I had about it and things I wanted to say.

Jennifer Wilson 13:48

Oh, I love that. That's so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that again. I'm so glad it was just sometimes we just have this like curiosity, like, okay, I can learn something here. And then you as you move forward, you start to solidify it and get excited about it. And that's honestly one of the things I love about these podcast episodes is because I'll go in, you know, I didn't really have big organization plans for this time. And then I kept interviewing all these people about organization, and then all of a sudden, okay, I need to organize everything. So there's something about being in the environment related to a topic that really, you can just feed on the community energy around it too, and it makes it kind of helps you become invested in it. Pat, what about you?

Pat Moore 14:30

Well, I I looked at it a long time. It was really scary to me. I didn't have that much material. And I knew that but also because I don't have a lot of childhood memories. I was really kind of hesitant. I didn't know if I wanted to unlock Pandora's box or not. So parts of it was very emotional and I'd have to back off. And, you know, stop for a while and then go back and do it again. But as I did that, I started remembering some things. And I kept like a bullet list and wrote down, kind of a foundation, which started out so small. But as I got into it, I would think of something and I added it, you know that it happened. So, it was scary, but I'm glad I did it. Like I said, I hope it'll be interesting to my adult children someday.

Jennifer Wilson 15:32

Now, Alissa you had a bit of a kind of, you know, emotional roller coaster with it as well. So why was it important to you to document it even though you knew it might not be, you know, the most fun experience you've ever had?

Alissa Williams 15:45

Yeah, I am fortunate, unlike Pat, I have a lot of childhood photos. And I wanted to do something with them. And I thought it was important to, I've always thought it's important to tell my story in scrapbooking. I've always been one of those people who, you know, makes pages about myself. And so I was attracted to the idea of having a comprehensive book of me, if you will, I had done some of you know, Cathy Zielske's A to Z Me classes and stuff. But the idea of telling my childhood story was attractive to me. And I was familiar with, like the Library of Memories format that you kind of use as an organizing principle. But I was apprehensive going into it because of some complicated family situations that, you know, I can talk about a little later under one of your other questions, but, but yeah, it was important. You know, I had the photos, I wanted to do something with them. I thought it was important to tell my story. So my children would have it too.

Jennifer Wilson 16:46

And how did you feel after it was done? Like you're you're kind of more of a completionist than, than many. So I'm sorry, you just talk about that a little bit?

Alissa Williams 16:55

Yeah, I, I'm, I'm very proud of it. I was looking at it again, this week, I had it out in preparation. And, you know, my girls, were looking at it too. And, you know, they they're we had some conversations about certain things, and why certain people, you know who that person was, especially some people who are now you know, have passed on. And so being able to share those memories or talk about certain situations, especially as my girls and through those tween teen years, which were really challenging for me, is it's a nice conversation starter.

Jennifer Wilson 17:31

Oh, for sure. So you guys have kind of teased a little bit about the framework of of the class in the album. And so, so what I have you do is basically, you're taking 100 photos, and but I have you pick them based on a structure that's kind of based on Stacy, Julian's Library of Memory systems. So we have four categories, us, you know, people, places and things. And I have you brainstorm, what are the things that stand out? What are these highlights from your life, and we're gonna make an outline of kind of the stories that you want to tell. And then you could go find your photos make make your pages, and we lean a lot on pocket pages here. So that we just have all these, like photo story pairs. And we talked a lot about finding different types of surrogate photos if you don't have an exact type of photo. But it's really a way to take this, you know, big timeline when you could fill, you know, dozens and dozens of scrapbook albums. And many of us have those or are photo albums with those stories. But how do you tell that story in one single album, you have to make choices. And the whole project is designed to help you make those choices and give you worksheets and frameworks to do that. So I'm curious, in your final projects, where did you stick most closely to the class? And where did you really make it more your own didn't do it your way?

Vicki Wallis 18:58

Oh, talk about that. I actually stuck very close to the framework. I tend not to be a completionist. And I really had the goal of completing this album in the given time. And one of the big things that I just got out of this that was so wonderful, was it seemed totally overwhelming at first because of the time span, you know, 20 years was about what mine ended up being and but all of the tools just the you know, timeline worksheet, the having the whole blueprint and everything. I knew that if I follow those closely, I had a chance to get it done. And so really the only way I deviated was a little bit, I made a few 12 by 12 layouts instead of eight and a half by 11 for my section layouts, but other than that, I really pretty much followed. It was a great chance I was after one year of Project Life, I knew I was going to go digital and not do it physical. So I had all the products like the page protectors and the cards and everything. So I really stuck to it. And normally, that would maybe mean a lack of creativity. But I think for this, it really helped me complete it. And the creativity came from kind of my different view of the script, I guess it was what I'd call it.

Jennifer Wilson 20:31

Yeah, no. And that's so interesting, because, you know, yes, this is a scrapbook project. But fundamentally, our objective here is to get the story told to get it done. And so there's a lot of encouragement to save the creativity for later for, you know, using it as punctuation marks to stay excited and engage, you know, in making the layouts. Because really, what we want to do is we just want to get these stories written down, you know, typed up or written by hand and get it in the album. And the, this is definitely one of those examples where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Because just seeing that all together really is what makes us so beautiful.

Alissa Williams 21:14

Well, Jennifer, I was struck when I was looking through my album, again, this week, of just how many stories I really have told things that keep popping up for me about I was going through childhood photos, again, as part of Library of Memories this year. And, you know, I was like, I really want to tell a story about my grandparents house and do this whole separate album. But when I was looking through my, Before Your Story album, I was like I told a lot of stories about my grandparents house in this album. And so it's kind of like, well, maybe I don't need to do this whole mini book about their house? Or maybe I do I don't know. But I was really satisfied. Again, in reviewing what I'd put in that album. And the stories I chose to tell that there were things that that I have told I have told snippets of those stories, maybe not a longer 12 by 12 layout. But I have I have documented a lot of my life and the pressure to kind of maybe tell some more Bucket List Stories, I think is easing a little bit when I review what I actually have accomplished.

Jennifer Wilson 22:15

Yes, great point. Great point. What about you, Pat?

Pat Moore 22:19

Well, as far as the framework, I feel like I did not follow your framework as closely, I did hybrid, because I started with my mom's book of me. And because I didn't have very many pictures, there was no way I could do pocket pages. So I did do pocket pages. And I don't know what size, they're 8.5 by 11. But they have three pockets. So that I just fill those pockets several times throughout back in front with my journaling. And maybe a little embellishment, if I was talking about a snow or a bike I had or something, that mainly to fill in because I didn't have pictures for that. And then I really had to go online and get pictures to supplement a lot of my stories.

Jennifer Wilson 23:18

Yes, and that's, that's one of the tricks that we talked about a lot is, you know, finding photos that somebody else took, particularly of you know places, or things like you know, major events that happened, you know, you maybe you don't have anything saved at that. But that's okay, we can always find something that fits. And even if you have, you know, other photos of people, even if they're not the right time frame, you're talking about a person bringing those in, and there's just so many ways that you can really get the job done, you know, even in absence of any photos altogether. So, no, that's awesome. I love that we have people who stuck really, really close to it. And you know, their albums look very close to mine, too. They've created something all of their own. And what matters is that you took the inspiration that you needed, and sometimes we need to follow along. And sometimes we need to just have the accountability to do something on this topic.

Vicki Wallis 24:09

One thing I will say about it is now that I've been through the process, I absolutely have the confidence in all the tools. I think if I did it again, I would likely you know, deviate a little bit more and be a little less. You know, oriented, I'm getting it done and a little more about, you know, having some fun and being a little more creative.

Jennifer Wilson 24:34

For sure. Well and there's been so many folks over the years who we really encourage you to when we know you're going to have more ideas than could ever fit in the album and write those down. That's great. And then try to finish the album. And then if you have more ideas over time, stick them in the album. It's not like we if there's room put more pages in there if you want to make 'em. We just want to help you kind of get the 10,000 foot view first before you just as a way to not get distracted, I guess, Alissa, I think you were gonna say something.

Alissa Williams 25:05

Yeah, I was just gonna say this album actually served as kind of a format inspiration for my Project Life album this year because I'm doing it monthly. But then I remembered about how we do the bigger layouts in the Before Your Story for to pull a highlight out. So I'm doing that in my Project Life, I am doing one or two layout to the bigger events that month, and I'm only doing one monthly spread. And so, you know, this project has served as creative energy, you know, years down the line. So I just thought that was a cool connection to make too.

Jennifer Wilson 25:36

Oh, I love that you're such a good student. All right, what part of the project was the most challenging for you? We've kind of already touched a little bit on some of that. Alissa, do you want to jump right back into that, because I know, there was parts for you that were particularly challenging.

Alissa Williams 25:52

Yes, I was really kind of blocked a little about the people, and then kind of how to tell the story of my parents in the way that you know, you demoed in your album, because my parents divorced when I was like two and a half, three. And both had remarried. And I, so I was, I was challenged by how to tell that story in an appropriate way. And because it brings up a lot of feelings for me, and then my high school years, were just kind of, I don't have a lot of good memories of high school. And I was really sort of feeling blocked on the timeline about what to include, because I couldn't think of good things. And, but I, you know, I did the work and I went back through I fortunately have my diaries from that time period. And so I was able to kind of mine, mine those and even just through looking through pictures, it was like, oh, yeah, you know, I, there were, there were some good parts of that, and I didn't have to focus on, you know, some of the not so great parts of it. You know, I had, I just have a complicated family structure and trying to, to respect that, but maybe not include that and make that the main focus of this. And I, I'm pleased with the way that I did it, I do have a couple of pictures of my parents together that, really, I wasn't sure what to do with them. And so this album was a good home for them, since it is my story and whatnot. So, so I, you know, I was able to overcome those challenges, but I was, I was apprehensive about getting started because I was like, I don't know what I'm gonna do because of the, of how I'm going to handle these particular memories and feelings that came up.

Jennifer Wilson 27:42

I'm curious if kind of looking back, like having gone through this, this exercise and doing the album kind of gave you a new lens to like, look at your high school years as an example. Like, do you feel a sliver more positive about it? Because you did the project? Or is it still like very much negative? And you can be honest?

Alissa Williams 28:03

No, I don't, I don't want to say that I don't really feel more positive about them. I mean, they are what they are, I've gone through therapy and talks about it a lot. It's fine. But, you know, it is helpful to remember that not all situations are black and white, that there are good times. And there were, there were good parts of that growing up period. And, you know, I tried to just document and remember those as much as I could. And, and but yeah, I don't I still don't know, it did not really give me a new appreciation for my high school experience. They really didn't. I mean, I can appreciate though the good, the good parts that stand out. And I try to focus more on those when I'm remembering things.

Jennifer Wilson 28:48

Sure. Well, I think it's important that, you know, scrapbooking can be very therapeutic, but it's not a substitute for therapy and appropriate, you know, processing of these challenges. But this project can bring up some of those. And, you know, we've had, we've had definitely many students are like, okay, maybe I need to go, go away and deal with some of these things so that I can do this project. So I think that's a very real acknowledgement to make.

Alissa Williams 29:13

Yeah, and I and I, I also realized too, I didn't focus as much on my high school years in my timeline, like I, I focus more on like, early childhood, and then maybe some I later call it my college experiences in certain cases. So but the bigger thing was trying to figure out how to how to incorporate my parents in a respectful way. And, and and document the facts of that and not maybe get caught up in the feelings of it.

Jennifer Wilson 29:43

Sure. Sure. A good point. Pat, what about you? What was challenging for you and working on the project?

Pat Moore 29:48

Well, interestingly, somewhat similar in some ways to Alissa, definitely high school. I felt like a square peg in a round hole as supposedly, because I just did not live in the same high economic area as a lot of my high school buddies or friends. And so it was, it was somewhat challenging in that regard to keep up with them. Most of them had cars and you know, did stuff and I did not. But my real, my real hang up I think is my mom was very well, I don't want to say sick, because she had like five miscarriages between me and a sister that was born when I was almost nine. So she was constantly pregnant, or getting over a miscarriage. And I basically raised myself. And so I just stopped like, maybe a tomato plant that was taken out of the hot house too soon. I just didn't have rules and regulations or any training. I was just in an after this sister was born four years later, another one came, mom just could not handle it. And so I was really a little mom did a lot of the raising of my sisters. And just that was hard. And yet it wasn't something that I wanted to blame anybody for. It's just what happened.

Jennifer Wilson 31:34

Sure, yeah. The reality of the story is, is what we want to capture here.

Pat Moore 31:40

Yeah, and so that's made me struggle a lot. I feel like if I didn't start out with the foundation that most girls would have from home. And I just kind of blindly led myself through life. And that that's what was the hard part. I'm trying to figure out who I was and how this happened.

Jennifer Wilson 32:09

And how did you did you capture that in the in the album?

Pat Moore 32:13

I don't know whether I did or not. I think I did. I've wanted to really show that I'm okay.

Jennifer Wilson 32:21


Pat Moore 32:22

My sisters are okay. And you know, not be judgmental about it either. But to kind of just sort it out, and not lose my mind doing it. You know.

Jennifer Wilson 32:36

Yeah, yeah. Well, thank you for sharing that.

Pat Moore 32:39

Keep my sense of humor.

Jennifer Wilson 32:40

Well, that's so that's so important. And I just, yeah, we just have so many, like, just really like incredible, thoughtful conversations in the various classrooms. Because this was originally taught at Big Picture classes. And now it's part of our Simple Scrapper membership. But just to you know, it's, we have a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. And I think we can learn so much about what shapes us as humans, from hearing the growing up stories of others. And I think it just helps helps us all develop this appreciation of respect and honoring what is good and bad. Vicki, what about you in your experience? Oh, I'm sorry, Pat, would you say?

Pat Moore 33:24

I was just gonna say definitely. And I feel like I'm, I'm still learning.

Jennifer Wilson 33:28

Yes. Always.

Pat Moore 33:30

And and this opened a bridge, I think, for me to know what areas to think about it I'd never thought about before,

Jennifer Wilson 33:38

For sure. Yes. All right, Vicki.

Vicki Wallis 33:44

I think I had a little benefit, dealing with more time in my adulthood, I think in adulthood, I guess you like to think you have a little more control about things that happen to you or how you deal with them. However, if I did have some difficult things to deal with, but because of the sort of script I'd chosen, I think it gave me a chance. Obviously, I wasn't really talking to my parents, but they had been people that I used to share with a lot and they helped me work through things. So I did deal with a couple of those difficulties. However, my big problem is a little more process oriented. I have a terrible time with journaling and getting it done. And I loved the limitation of the scope. To where this project, I just had a journal card to work with. And I really had to look at like, what I wanted to say. What would I say if I only had one afternoon with them or one phone call? What would I say about this person or this trip or this thing? And so I think that limitation of the project really helped me overcome that barrier. So but I do agree with both Alissa and Pat. I, I love the way I this album, I think allows you to deal with things either in detail or not, but at least address them because they are part, you know, of our lives. And I think any opportunity in scrapbooking, A to scrap about yourself, you know, so many key people, I hear them say they don't and this is a great way to do it. And we also don't deal with the negatives as much and you know, sometimes you need to address them. So it the structure of the project, I think helps you deal with those.

Jennifer Wilson 35:38

Yes, for sure. And we kind, we kind of figured out that you really can fit like three sentences max on a journaling card, or you know, one or two, if they're no longer compound or complex sentences, it's really not that much space. And so you have to be you can be very intentional about what you include and what you exclude from that. And then we also talk about various ways of, you know, using pockets to hide journaling or to hide photos or flip flaps, because we don't necessarily always want to see or think about some of the hardest parts, they can just still be included as part of the record. If if they're hard to even even look at from time to time. All right, let's kind of, you know, switching the other side of this. What is your number one favorite part of your project? Vicki, let's just go ahead and shoot right back to you.

Vicki Wallis 36:31

Okay, there's a little thing that I have to mention that I just love, I love the divider pages with the great big six by 12 photos, I just need to I need to do that more. I love those, I adore them. However, more broadly, I just love to sit down, this album is one of the few projects I have that I can sit down and cover such a big scope. A you know big chunk of my life, I love the photos. It just gives me a chance to you know, reflect on good times and who I am. And I don't know, you know, because of the twist I took on it. I guess I get to feel a little bit like I'm spending time with my parents. And you know, it's just it's a great experience for me. I just love sitting down with it and seeing that big part of my life.

Jennifer Wilson 37:29

Well and I think one of the kind of the entry points has been that if you if you tell these this just kind of sliver of your story, the the important parts. You can feel more caught up but doesn't mean you won't ever as we've mentioned, won't ever scrapbook other parts of the stories, but you can feel like this part is done and feel a connection to it, have something to share with others. And something to it, as you said, enjoy as a way to reflect on what you want to honor and celebrate from from your past. All right, Who else wants to share something about their favorite part, I love the six by 12 photos as well, anytime any full page photo is always just like a showstopper for sure.

Vicki Wallis 38:13

I just couldn't believe how well they worked. I mean, some days I'll just flip through it to look at those.

Alissa Williams 38:19

I really love a particular piece of memorabilia I was able to include in this album I had saved or actually been given the phone. So I was born at 7:14 in the morning. My mom had a very, very long labor overnight. And so my dad called My grandmother at work to tell her that she had a granddaughter, and but my grandma was oh, my Nana was away from her desk. So her co worker took a message. And so I have this phone message that my Nana had saved, that says, you know, your son in law called you have a granddaughter, here's the stats and stuff. And so I just, it was really neat to be able to finally have a home for that piece of memorabilia on my kind of title page. And it makes me happy whenever I see it.

Jennifer Wilson 39:12

I love that. I love being able to kind of really use the word honor and celebrate a lot. But that's really what we're doing here. You know, sometimes when you have that memorabilia tucked in a box, it's saved, it's protected. But if you can put it in your album, it just kind of gives it that place of reverence and reminds you that you know, we're just so lucky to have some of these treasures from our past. So whether it's a little or a lot of it. Pat what about you, what's your favorite part?

Pat Moore 39:39

Well, I think having all of these treasures in one place, and I did up through our engagement when I was 20. And so I have the first 20 years of my life and then the interesting thing is, tomorrow's our anniversary, be 56 years. And I'm going, I need another book, How did this happen? You know, how does time go by like that? And for sure, I just, you know, I don't, I don't know that I'm going to do that kind of thing. But it's just when I look at it, and I remind myself, it seems like it was just yesterday, I was that young girl.

Jennifer Wilson 40:34

I understand completely. And I'm sure that feeling only gets more intense as life goes by for sure. So you know, this is kind of this a good segue into the last question, have you thought about using this framework again, for another album, for another period of life? You know, whether in the same format or a slightly different one? So Pat, do you think you might do that? Or Or no,

Pat Moore 41:00

I'll just jump in and say, I've already done that.

Jennifer Wilson 41:04


Pat Moore 41:04

My husband is seven years older than I am. And his mom, he had a sister that was about nine years older, she did, both are there baby books, stacks and things in the same book, and his sister had that book. And when she showed it to me, I decided that I would scan it, and use his pages, and make him a book. So in essence, I did not follow so much your format, and definitely not digital, but I scanned his pages and made him a little book with what would have been his colors, and, you know, whatever. So that worked really well.

Jennifer Wilson 41:56

I love that. I love you know especially if you, if you know, if you do have a partner in life, to be able to celebrate their story, too, it can take a little bit more of a finagle to get some of those stories out of them. But that's certainly a priority on my life on my list is to get my husband's version of that album, I don't think it'll be the exact same format. But to be able to use the structure and the intent behind it to be able to, to capture the breadth of his story.

Pat Moore 42:23

Unfortunately, there's no stories in his it's just things that she had put in there. And just a little bit of information about you know, words, he said or things he did. He remembers less than I did. So it's not any stories, but it's it's preserved what they did. And I think that's pretty awesome. You know...

Jennifer Wilson 42:46

It is for sure. I love that you did that. Okay, what about you, Vicki, I think you wanted to chime in there.

Vicki Wallis 42:53

Oh, actually, immediately after I got done with this album, I started drawing up ideas for other ones. It's been since 2014. And obviously, I haven't done one yet. But, two ideas. One is I do want to tell the story of my childhood. And I, I'm already partway there because I had done the whole timeline for that time period in the first place. Before I did change sort of changed my tack. But and then also, for over 20 years, I had a business and this is a kind of specific thing. It was a guiding and outfitting business and of course, taught me things and I had experiences that fit into all the you know, Library of Memory categories, which is how I organize everything. And I thought it would be a great way for me to make an album, it's things that I doubt I will scrapbook too many individual pages about it. But having a overview book like this, I just thought it would really work well. So I hope I can do both of those at some point.

Jennifer Wilson 44:01

Awesome. That sounds so fun. Yeah, I did. I let you know, even if you're not even documenting a person just documenting a span of time, let's just say you even document in your college years, if you had a particularly you have a lot of photos from that time. I can see younger scrapbookers maybe who do have more photos, you know, being able to use this framework to be able to say, Okay, how can I take all of this stuff and put it into one album. And you know, we have to thank Stacy for her, you know, categorical approach here. But then drilling it down further than how do we pick, you know, the 8 or the 16 photos that are gonna fit and be the be the highlighted choices here. What about you Alissa?

Alissa Williams 44:41

Well, I'm totally going to steal Vicki's idea now because I'm approaching my 20th anniversary of librarianship and my career and I'm like, Oh my gosh, this would be an amazing framework to do a little book and you know, maybe maybe do it in six by eight instead of the full 12 by 12. But I I was like, that's brilliant. I could totally, that would be a fun way. Because this has been a big part of who I am in my life, of course. In fact, it's interesting. When I was looking at my places section of my, my Before Your Story album, I documented the building that I currently worked in, at the time where I no longer work. And so it's like, oh, I, you know, do I need to do chapter two of this book. And I also think I want to do something similar for my girls, once they're older. And maybe in college, I think, you know, I have pages for them. And they each have a baby book and stuff, but I kind of like this framework to maybe tell their growing up story and have that as a comprehensive childhood album for them, as opposed to just the individual layouts I've done.

Jennifer Wilson 45:48

Well, yeah, and I think, you know, it's, it's harder to look at it when your children are still home. But when you're, you know, an empty nester or even with your kids are on their way out of the nest or myself where I have two adult step sons. So this is the perfect time while a lot of those memories are still fresh, you know, many of them more for my husband, but to be able to say, okay, here's a snippet of their life from from birth to leaving the nest, and something that they can take on for their lives. Even if it's just a photo book. I'd really love to use this framework to do that. And I think keep nudging my husband to help me with it. All right, then. Well, I want to thank you guys so much for participating in this discussion, I hope that our listeners kind of have, you know, more of a sense of, of this class. And really what the possibilities are of being able to capture your story and a, you know, I'm not gonna say this project is easy. It's not necessarily easy, but I think it is easier. It's a way to, to break down something that can be big, complex, even emotionally challenging, in a way that makes it really practical and doable, so that you can get it finished. Because I never want folks to then start projects they can't finish. So that's my goal is to always help you find that path to finishing. Alissa, I see you want to say something?

Alissa Williams 47:10

Yeah, I guess I it just occurred to me, I wanted to mention how helpful the timelines that we put together were. I'm sorry, I didn't respond in a timely manner to your last question. But the I've referred back to those timelines, as I'm organizing photos, and just in terms of when certain things happened. And so I really enjoyed the timeline aspect of the project. I think it also sets it apart and makes it a little more unique.

Jennifer Wilson 47:35

Pat, any final thoughts from you?

Pat Moore 47:38

Just that you've given us so much information, I was just going without a guide, until I found Simple Scrapper. And I've got a file of stuff like Vicki mentioned and Alissa where I've copied or you know, make copies of I want to remember this I need to follow this. It's just such an awesome program in general, just this is just one of the classes that you know offer us tremendous opportunities to stabilize and kind of get our thoughts together and find the information we want to share. I did it kind of willy nilly before Simple Scrapper. So that's what I love about the whole program.

Jennifer Wilson 48:27

Oh, thank you so much Pat your your words are very kind. I appreciate that. I'm happy to be in this position where I get to serve so many creatives and help them get their stories told, thank you again, all of you for participating and sharing so honestly about your experiences and working on this project is really appreciated. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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1 Comment

  1. Tracy Smith

    Definitely one of my favourite episodes. As someone with few children and family photos and a traumatic past yet who loves to tell stories, ah, I got so much from this!!!


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