SYW126 – Fall in Love with Your Photos

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Kim and I are back for another fun catch up on our memory making and memory keeping experiences. You’ll hear how I solved two family mysteries, how we’re both staying on track through the summer, and what we’re eager to tackle next. Plus, this episode offers permission to change a specific scrapbooking behavior!

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Jennifer Wilson 0:00

So yeah, you can definitely come at Photo Crush from your current photos, you can come at it from your past photos, your growing up photos, your heritage photos, the experience of it is a framework and an accountability system for making some progress and getting support and actually taking some time to move forward.

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 126. In this episode, I'm joined by Kim Edsen to reflect on the past month and explore what's new for August, including our next session of Photo Crush. This is our monthly peek behind the scenes at Simple Scrapper. Hey, Kim, what's up?

Kim Edsen 0:54

Oh my goodness, like so many things. It's kind of been a crazy month. I think you'd mentioned in a previous podcast, just life kind of picking up coming out of the pandemic. And we've definitely noticed that a lot of like trips to visit family. Unfortunately, we had a death in the family. So we traveled for that. My husband's work, you know, they're involved in like corporate sponsors for charities and things. So we attended a dinner over the weekend for that. So just busy man. Though, I will say at the little charity dinner thing, I sat next to a fellow scrapbooker who also likes cats. So shout out to Meg. I like told her all about Simple Scrapper. So maybe we can get her to join our forces.

Jennifer Wilson 1:41

That sounds awesome. I love you know, I'm such an introvert. And I can't talk about the weather or gas prices. But I can talk about scrapbooking until the end of time, or even other kind of crafty hobbies. Like I'm not a quilter. But I can talk you know, creative stuff with other quilters, if I you know, was in that situation. So, but I'm sorry for your loss. And I...

Kim Edsen 2:04

Thank you. It was both a surprise, and not a surprise. It was my dad's brother. And he dealt with like autoimmune disease for decades. And then just things were catching up with him. And we were back to visit over the Fourth of July and got to visit with him then he'd been in the hospital and then was back home. And so that's where I think it was kind of, you know, sa a surprise, not a surprise. And it just, it's we've talked about that too, in the past as hoe like generations kind of move on, right. Like so on that side of the family. I had four uncles, or there were four, like siblings total. So there was like, you know, four aunts or uncles, and my dad's the only one on the uncles that's left. And so that just kind of puts things in perspective. For sure.

Jennifer Wilson 2:53

100% Yeah. We just got back from Texas. And those were a lot of the same kind of conversations with my parents. You know, for so long, it was my grandparents generation. And then my grandparents were the only ones left and now with my parents like their friends, unfortunately, my mom said they lost two dozen people in the past year. Yeah. And it's just, it's it's sobering, I guess.

Kim Edsen 3:19

it is, though I will say at the funeral, one thing that I, really hit home was they had a slideshow of photos of my uncle's life. And I was very impressed by how at family events, they were apparently very good at taking snapshots of like my aunt and uncle, with their grandkids with their children with individual grandchildren. Like, there were just so many snapshots. And I think, maybe coming at it from like a scrapbooking perspective, I also get kind of taught or wrapped up in the idea of like, we don't want like a nice background and, you know, set the stage. And at some point, it doesn't need to be that way. So before we left to come back home, I mean, we were literally in my parents driveway, and I said, grandkids get together, we should take a photo. So hopefully, that's something I can take away from this. Just take the photo, it doesn't need to be some elaborate, perfect setup, because it was really, it was really moving to see all those photos throughout the years.

Jennifer Wilson 4:24

Well, yeah, I've been looking at these photos that are more than 100 years old, and I'm not criticizing them for their lighting.

Kim Edsen 4:31

Exactly, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 4:34

And like you are not in clear open sunlight here or you know, or, you know, clear shaded area with no dappling or no shadows. Like we're not, I mean, sure, especially the oldest ones, some of them are professional portraits. But there are some more casual snapshots particularly from like, oh 20s, 30s, 40s and on. And yeah, I'm not criticizing the technical ability of the photos at all. It's not something I'm thinking about.

Kim Edsen 5:01

Well, and I have to say from just thinking back to looking at, you know, my own kind of heritage family photos from like my grandparents growing up, and my dad's growing up. Is that those snapshot ones are kind of my favorite because it really shows you a glimpse of their like day to day life, as opposed to the more formal setup portraits. So, again, that's probably a good revelation to have is just to embrace, you know, the imperfection of it.

Jennifer Wilson 5:32

Yeah, and I love that as Memory Keepers, we can, we're just we're more in tune with the ability to have gratitude for memories. And just the celebration of time passing because that's, that's the reality we live in, you know?

Kim Edsen 5:48

Yes, it is.

Jennifer Wilson 5:50

There's, there's, there's certainly heartbreak and sadness in that. But that's part of what makes it so beautiful. I always talk about if everything was all, sunshine and roses, we wouldn't be able to appreciate it.

Kim Edsen 6:00

Very true. Though, photo wise, I followed you on your travels to Texas. And that looks like you had a few photo revelations when you were visiting.

Jennifer Wilson 6:10

Oh my gosh, like, it's, it's been so interesting. And I will, I'm trying to figure out exactly how to share more of this. I was definitely sharing on Instagram Stories throughout. But we had kind of two mysteries that had plagued us for many, many years. And I was able to solve, or at least kind of mostly solve these two mysteries, just by going through, there's about 20 boxes from my grandparents. Six was like glassware. So I didn't even go through those. That's for another time. But the rest were all photo albums and memorabilia. And I was able to solve these two mysteries just by going through and it's just it's so I don't even know, I don't even know where to begin. So the first one was this photo of my grandfather and the photo that he kept with him throughout his life. And I know I've talked about this on the podcast like a bunch of times. And it said, Anzio, twins 1945. And so it was my grandfather and this other man, both in uniform. We know he was wounded at the Battle of Anzio. And that's when he came home. And I wanted to know who the other guy was, and why there were they the Anzio, twins, was it something about when they were in battle, or just that they had a similar injury? And it turns out, that's what it was. But I had spent two days at the Public Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan looking for this newspaper clipping, only to find it boxed up in my parents house.

Kim Edsen 7:43

That's awesome.

Jennifer Wilson 7:44

And nobody knew it was there. It was just in one of my grandma's scrapbooks. She had these giant like, you know, broadsheet, like 11 by 17 scrapbooks. And not only were there was there, the newspaper clipping with Anzio twins, there were multiple iterations of this photo. And now I know the guy's name was Thomas Keeler. And he was from Minnesota, I think Clear Lake Minnesota, and he died in 1979. Because I was very easily then to go kind of search his family history and find out what happened to him. I would love to someday maybe find his descendants to share these photos with because for some reason, this photo has just totally stuck out in my mind. And we never knew quite when the photo was taken, or why. And it turns out, they were, you know, wounded and recovering soldiers sent to Grosse Pointe, Michigan to raise funds for the hospital. And so now I have like the full story behind it, who the guy was everything. So it's just, it's exciting. And I want to, I want to find a way to document that it's definitely a scrapbook page, and then kind of bring some of that memorabilia together.

Kim Edsen 8:55

Yeah, I love those stories.

Jennifer Wilson 8:57

And that's just one of the mysteries. So the other one, we had always talked about how my grandpa said he had a sister in Sweden. And we never knew the context around it. And at some point, we thought we had a photo, but it didn't say anything. And then at this point, we can't find the photo that we thought was her. But we found a postal receipt. And it was to this woman named Carla Kohler. And it was, it gave her address in Sweden, which happens to be down the street from my great, great grandfather's house that I've talked about. And we started doing research on this. Oh, and sorry, and on the back of this postal receipt, it says my sister in Sweden, that was the clue, and it was my grandpa's handwriting. So we're like, this is really weird. This is from like some In the 1940s, that his, probably his dad, sent a letter to, to this, his daughter in Sweden, and they kept the postal receipt. And so I was able to do research on this Carla woman. And she was born in 1904. And she was not listed with a father. She was listed with just her mother, which was, you know, sometimes common when you had an illegitimate child. And the interesting part here since we don't have the father listed, my great grandfather's name was Carl. And her name is Carla.

Kim Edsen 10:40


Jennifer Wilson 10:42

So there's, there's enough things that line up here that make it all make sense. My great grandfather, Carl, he came over in 1905. So the timing lines up, the name lines up, the location definitely lines up. So we think mystery solved. Unfortunately, she did not have any children of her own. She did take in someone seems like as an adopted daughter at some point. And so we're still trying to look at what happened to her. But it seems like this is it's no longer a secret sister, there was a sister that he had in Sweden. So it's, it's a little bit mind blowing. And yeah, it's also kind of that weird place of Okay, now I've solved the mysteries. Now what? It's like a little bit of a bittersweet moment, because I was searching for both of these things for so long.

Kim Edsen 11:41

Well, I'm sure there'll be other mysteries, they just seem to pop up, don't they? So it'll go on. Otherwise, you'll have to start digging into the Wilson side.

Jennifer Wilson 11:52

Oh, yeah, I'm sure we'll have some mysteries there. I think what's interesting is that all of Steve's family, and then basically all the rest of my family, you know, they were English, Scottish, and German immigrants. So they came over so much earlier. And so their history is much easier to trace, then the Swedish part, which, you know, they all came over in the early 1900s. So it's been more complicated and more translating involved in order to figure out those archives. But yeah, lots of mysteries continuing to just have fun with the process. And now we have these boxes, we didn't, we were not able to bring everything back, we would have had to rent a U-Haul. And we were already towing a boat. But we were able to bring back one copy box full of things. And now I'm kind of doing the research on what is the proper way to, to store and protect these photos, because we just have so many. Some of them are labeled, some of them are not. So it's kind of just this whole big new project. And it's, yeah, it's exciting and fun.

Kim Edsen 12:58

Yes. Very cool.

Jennifer Wilson 13:01

So are there other things in scrapbooking? What's exciting you right now?

Kim Edsen 13:06

Well, and we've talked many times over your kind of Coffee and Crafting your happy Crafty Morning concept. And that was something that interested me. Also, going back to the beginning of the summer, I think I talked about how on the Lazy Genius Podcast she talked about, instead of expecting yourself to, you know, start your morning just out of the gate, crossing things off the list, kind of identify what makes you feel most like you is like a good way to like gently start your morning. So for me, that would be reading. So I do my, I read and drink my coffee. And then I do have to do my meditation. And then I go to a 15 minute like crafty session. Sometimes they last longer. Sometimes I just have time for the 15 minutes. But I've been able to do you know something most days of, you know the week. And I will say one thing that has helped me especially when I was first starting that is I set my homepage on my computer to be a like a 15 minute timer. So then when I do want the computer to start, like that's the first thing that pops up. So before I check into Simple Scrapper or email or Instagram or whatever, I see that as a reminder. Like no, you know, I've already decided I want to spend at least 15 minutes, whether it's, you know, select, like working on an actual layout, selecting designs dealing with photos, something. So I've actually had a lot of success with that. And I have made really great progress. I'm to the point where I think I talked about this last time that I was getting close to finishing up my 2020 pages that I wanted to get a photo book ordered. And yeah, pretty much there. I think I have like one I need to start uploading the layouts I do have kind of figured out where they're gonna all fall because I have not done that. And so if I have, there's a couple photos that I could just throw in that are just fun photos to include. That could kind of be filler if I need like an extra page or so but I really attribute it to that kind of 15 minute morning routine. Because, as we all know, well, sometimes it goes longer or sometimes spending that 15 minutes in the morning has me excited to come back later in the day and just kind of pick up where I left off. Because we've also talked about transitions, how sometimes getting started is the hardest part. And if I've already spent that time in the morning, then it just feels like it's a continuation versus Oh, gosh, you know, I need to decide what am I going to work on? Or where was I because it's still fresh in my mind, I can just pick up and keep going. So thank you, Jennifer, for spearheading the way because it's been really good for me.

Jennifer Wilson 15:35

Yeah, yes, I, you know that what you said about making it easier to pick it up later, I think that has been one of the I don't know, linchpins or just this great benefits of it. Because I always struggled with, especially, late in the day, you know, the less decision making energy, I have less, sometimes even energy that I have. And I always struggle with wanting to do any scrapbooking in the evenings, I was just like, you know, feeling too tired and lazy to do it. But the more that I do stuff in the morning and have things kind of going, the more excited I am to jump back in. And I can you know, use that internal motivation as a way to like jump that hurdle of maybe waning energy and maybe even find a second wind in the evening. So that's been a huge benefit for sure.

Kim Edsen 16:24

And I also think it's that momentum snowball that we've talked about before to how once you start seeing progress, you get excited to continue making progress, and then it just kind of feeds on it on itself.

Jennifer Wilson 16:38

Yes, yes, 100%. And so I have two things. And one is actually kind of is very much related to this, because having my Good Crafty Morning time, like that was really the foundational habit in my morning routine. And I once I felt like I could do that regularly, I felt like I was able to start adding things. And so then I'm like, okay, I kind of have like a list now. And so I discovered and this is an Android tip. And I'm sure you can probably do something similar on Apple. But Google tasks has a widget that you can put on one of your home screens. And so now I have this widget called daily checklist. And each day, I just basically have to uncheck everything. And it's there for me again. And I have six things that I want to do every single day, including my Good Crafty Morning. And it's just so nice to be able to check things off without opening up a tab on my computer and maybe getting distracted or opening up an app on my phone and maybe getting distracted by other things like say in Trello. I just have it on one homescreen on my phone is this checklist. And it's it's just something so simple, but so helpful that I can feel that sense of accomplishment throughout the day that, you know, if I do these six basic things, I'm going to have a great day.

Kim Edsen 17:57

Well, and it sounds like, so you're crafting mornings one of them. So I often find so I have something similar mine is in todo, or todo, Tody of like my kind of daily like personal things. But I do find that, like right away in the morning, I'm knocking off like meditation and like my 15 minutes of crafty time, I'm already like, well on my way to finishing up the other things that are on my list for like self care. So I could see that also be motivating just the fact that you kind of start your day making progress on that. And again, that just kind of feeds momentum of like, Oh, I only have a couple of things left. I'm just go and knock them out. And then you have that sense of satisfaction.

Jennifer Wilson 18:35

Yeah, cuz none of them are hard. But they're things that I want to do really consistently. And some of them related to like laundry, I just want to get into a habit of doing a full load every day. And so that I I tried to do like laundry days, but then like it was never like the right time. So I'm like, I just need to do a load of laundry every day, even if it's like a small load, because that's all that's left. If I'm in that habit, it's much easier to keep up with it. But related to Tody, they do have a widget that you can use the same, I'm just, because I'm not using it. But that would be an option, as well, if that's something that you'd normally use and want include maybe a broader range of tasks in it. So I haven't I haven't explored that as much as I'd like to. So...

Kim Edsen 19:20

I will say in respect to laundry. So I used to do the load a day kind of concept really successfully for a long time. Then I got my children doing their own laundry and then drastically cuts down on your responsibilities because then they're just in charge of their own.

Jennifer Wilson 19:36

No, that's a good plan. And Emily has learned how to do it and can do it. She was doing some of her sports stuff when we were having to wash a uniform every night for several days.

Kim Edsen 19:48

Yeah, that's what started it. Yeah, over the summer, my kids would help me out like if I was, you know had errands or gonna work with Ken. And I would say like, Hey, you know, throw this load or whatever and by golly, they could do it. And then that fall, think when Caroline was playing volleyball, it was always like, well, I need my uniform. I think I'm like, but you need to be in charge of this and Alfie gets. I'm just handing the reins over. And it's been good.

Jennifer Wilson 20:12

That's a fun part of our children getting older and giving them some responsibilities.

Kim Edsen 20:19

Yes. delegation.

Jennifer Wilson 20:21

Yes. So my other thing is related to One Little Word. So we're like at that halfway point of the year. And I mentioned recently that I haven't done my kind of June halfway check it, I've just really been thinking about it. And you know, the past few weeks, I've really felt like, Okay, my word, Strong for the year has served me so well, in some very foundational ways. And now I'm ready to take it like, you know, the next notch up. And so I'm really excited for the second half of the year, to continue kind of the, the personal growth aspects of the One Little Word project. But also, now I have this kind of personal challenge to make sure I'm using up all the products that I've purchased for the product for the project, because I don't why does you know, I'm probably gonna do it again next year, and I'll buy more things. So I want to feel like I used up almost everything from these kits. So I got the main kit and these little mini kits that arrive in the mail magically. And so that's a lot of stuff. And so I really am thinking about thinking beyond the prompts that are provided to me and figure out, Okay, how can I include these products in my album or even in other projects, so that it's all used up by the end of the year? And so I'm, I'm kind of jazzed about that challenge.

Kim Edsen 21:41

Yeah. So yeah, in one way, with the One Little Word album, just kind of expanding beyond the prompts that we were thinking, like, maybe using some of the products to spark other stories, or...

Jennifer Wilson 21:53

Yeah, I think, I think in two ways. One, just going a little bit deeper on some of it, like using the prompt as a starting point. But a number of the prompts have been from these, you know, amazing instructors, but they're not necessarily using the products, the One Little Word products, or they're doing other things. And that's, that's great. But I want to use the products that I'm, that I've purchased. And so kind of taking my own spin on it to include more of those items in the album. And I'll just be like that will be my emphasis every single month is making sure I'm using a good amount so that I'm not left with this huge stash. And I think part of that is going to need to be selectively choosing some items for stories that are outside of the album as well.

Kim Edsen 22:40

Okay, so then are you worried at all? So this would be my thought that you'll run out by the end? Because I mean, you have like six months left.

Jennifer Wilson 22:47

I'm not super worried about that. I think we've gotten. We've gotten too many kits. And so there'll be two more.

Kim Edsen 22:54

Okay, so there's still stuff coming in.

Jennifer Wilson 22:57

Yeah, there'll be more stuff coming. And I think the project itself can be super simple. So if I were to run out, then, you know, I do journaling or mixed media or something, you know, I'd figure it out. So I'm, I'd probably feel really awesomely accomplished if that were to actually happen. Like, that sounds like a new challenge, like new challenge run out by December, you know.

Kim Edsen 23:27

Yeah, no, well, cuz that's sometimes how I would approach if I was doing like, December album or travel album, and I had a set of supplies. And granted, that's a much smaller span of time versus something that you're working on throughout an entire year. But so I would go through and I would do my embellishing and kind of at the end, I would look through all the pages I had made and what I had left. And then, I wouldn't always like use up everything I had, but it was definitely kind of at the end, get permission to like, oh, let's see where I can you know, like embellish the smaller like really go all out with some of these things that I have left over. Just because there was always this part of me in the back of the mind like I didn't want to run out or now that I'm doing things more digitally it was the idea of you know, I want to use the same embellishment like over and over again. It's like okay, like rein that in. So I think I've always had a thing with kind of managing my supplies not wanting to you know like overdo them but at the same point in time I don't know it's so weird balance so but you make a valid point with you have you know kits still coming in so that will definitely kind of refresh your supply.

Jennifer Wilson 24:43

I just had this perspective and going home again and looking through. Like I found a whole box of just stationery I knew I had it, I know it was there. But I'm like come on use your stationery like I just feel like as a child I was such a hoarder of pretty things. Like, I never used the pretty pen because it was pretty. I didn't want, I didn't want to use it up. But there will always be more pretty things. And so I think just as I've got, the older I get, the more, I want to use things up. And I find such a satisfaction and that like, to me the I think we've talked about this before, the most satisfying thing is like an empty fridge because that means I you know, I ate everything, or at least I disposed properly of the thing that I shouldn't no longer eat because it's expired. And other people like they want to see a full fridge because that makes them feel like abundant and secure. So there's like a personal, I don't know, analysis, we could do about personalities there.

Kim Edsen 25:39

Well, and here's your monthly Gretchen Rubin references. She talks about this with the idea, I think she calls it like spend out or something where she would get, you know, like a nice new shirt to replace an old ratty shirt. But yet, is the idea that she would want to save the new shirt, and then would still continue to wear the old shirt. So it's the kind of the same concept. As far as like wanting to keep things and I've heard that too, like you mentioned, like the pen, well, eventually the pen dries out, or people that had like a pretty like seasonal like holiday candle and they wanted to store it and they didn't burn it because it was, I don't know, had some sort of design on it. But then they would put it in storage and it just like melted. So they never really got to enjoy it either. So yeah, definitely that concept of spend out, for sure. But I see that then on the flip side, I'm always like, Yeah, but for this project. And I think that's why I kind of wait to the end to kind of do because you're talking about that too, with December Daily, how it's like your permission to get like all the glittery things and to really go overboard because I tend to be more minimalistic in like my everyday scrapbooking as far as embellishing goes. But yeah, I think I kind of start with that as my tendency. And then I think that's kind of my permission at the end to spend out, right? It's like, Okay, I'm ready to like, apply this to this project, because this is what I got it for. So yeah, definitely a balance. And probably we could do some therapy sessions on it. But...

Jennifer Wilson 27:09

Well, I think one thing that makes this one unique is that we don't really know, a what the other two mini kits are going to look like, you know, you can have an idea. We know what Ali Edwards' products look like. But we know kind of who the instructors are. But we don't necessarily know what the prompts are for the rest of the year. So there's not really any even, like pre planning. So it's kind of just like, I have to kind of almost have a quantity benchmark of, Okay, this month, I have to just take, you know, this amount of the supplies that I have and try to use them. Because I know by the time December rolls around, we're going to be talking about next year.

Kim Edsen 27:51


Jennifer Wilson 27:52

Like there's not going to be a lot of energy left. So I think, you know, having that goal of using them up by you know, in the November prompt is probably a great idea. So, I don't know, just a fun thing. I want to make sure that I I finished this project and I'm, I'm you know caught up other than the June reflection prompts and excited to just keep diving in and exploring what Strong means to me.

Kim Edsen 28:19


Jennifer Wilson 28:20

All right, Bucket List Stories.

Kim Edsen 28:22

I'm gonna go with the partner of the trifecta of Bucket List Stories. And this was really prompted by a couple of things, is one I'd mentioned I was kind of getting down to the bottom of like the photos and stories they wanted to tell for 2020. And in I think it was like September, I was at like a nearby like county park and they had like all the prairie flowers are in bloom. And so I just drug my family out there with a tripod. And, you know, we attempted to take some family photos together. And there are some fun photos of just like my husband and myself. And you know, I could just tell the factual story of like, I dragged them out to take these photos. Or I could just talk about kind of my appreciation and my relationship with him or something. A member in our community, Maggie, is currently working on an album that's kind of telling the story about her and her husband's relationship through the years. And she was talking about, you know, there's the chronological stories, the very factual based ones, but also kind of just more the personality quirks in the kind of different relationship type stories. And I think that's what I want to tell with these photos from that, like the prairie photos, is the idea of kind of what makes our relationship work or kind of how we balance each other out. So kind of along the lines of like a he said, she said, but more of like a you know, like, I'm like the family's medical director, I just take charge of all those things, but my husband's the travel agent, so he plans all those things and just how we complement each other. And I think what I think and makes our relationship work so well. So I think that would be a fun story to tell and is a great use of that photo.

Jennifer Wilson 30:05

That's awesome. I love that idea so much. I like the idea of, you know, the little labels too of what, what roles and personalities do you play. I think that's a really fun lens to view the story through.

Kim Edsen 30:18

Yeah, so I've got a couple in mind. And maybe I'll talk to him and see what, get his input as well and get that put together.

Jennifer Wilson 30:26

That sounds fun. So mine is partner, kind of so I feel awkward about this. And maybe you can either reassure me or tell me not to do it. And maybe this would be controversial, I don't know. So I am, I am a romantic at heart. And I have disposed of very few of the relics of past relationships, like, I have just I have gotten rid of a lot, but I still have a lot of letters and emails. And for some reason, I can't seem to let go. And so I thought maybe creating a little mini book or a photo book talking about what I learned from every relationship, relationship aspiration, or relationship or crush type of thing. You know, every person that kind of came into my life and had a role, what did I learn from that? Or what do I want to most remember, and to save, like, maybe one piece of memorabilia for each one and let the rest go? Because I am a romantic and some of these things still make me cry. And I have like, you know, they're certainly these relationships didn't end or sometimes even go anywhere. But they still have, you know, fond memories for me for the most part. And I want to remember that and celebrate that. And so tell me if that's, that's weird.

Kim Edsen 31:46

No, I think that's huge. Because, right, all of your interactions with people through your life, really impact who you become as a person. Not to mention just the stories that you could pass along someday to Emily to the idea of like to recognize that, you know, sometimes relationships come to an end. And sometimes there can be good for that, or at least you can like take a lesson from it. I guess my only question would be, it would very much depend on the spouse. I don't think my husband would have a problem with such I think, but how would Steve feel about this project?

Jennifer Wilson 32:17

So I, I think he'll be okay, only from the purpose of so we were my childhood best friend had come over when we were in Texas. And we were going through this box of stuff. And there was a lot of like, like, why did I keep every single ticket stub for every time we went to Astroworld or Splashtown, or all these things. But he found apparently, I've always been a memory keeper, because I had these index cards, with dates for every single like milestone in my relationship with my first boyfriend.

Kim Edsen 32:48


Jennifer Wilson 32:49

Like it was like a little flipbook of, you know, like first kiss, you know, all those different things. And so he read some of them, and he was just like dying laughing. And so I think I think he'll appreciate that he knows that I'm romantic. And I mean, he is certain to he is as well to a certain extent. And so I don't I don't think he'll have a problem with it. Because it's not really a celebration of...

Kim Edsen 33:16


Jennifer Wilson 33:17

Like, wishing for those people, but gratitude for the experiences I had, and all of which led me to where I am today.

Kim Edsen 33:25

Yes, that's very much how I would see it as well. So, but I think that would be my only not concern. But like reservation would be dependent on, you know, your current relationship and how that person would feel about that. Because everyone has, you know, different, I guess, I guess perceptions of that. But I would I take it from your your standpoint as well, the whole, like, how this made me who I am today, and I can see a lot of value on that. And maybe it kind of would give you that mental permission to get rid of some of that stuff. If you don't initially want to keep it around. It's like, I've documented what I wanted from this. And now I can let it go.

Jennifer Wilson 34:03

Yes, that's I think that's the big thing. I think, basically, what I have is now a couple folders of things. And I'm ready. It's like, I don't need this. But I want to feel like I just have a slice of it to know to find, I guess to find closure or something I don't know.

Kim Edsen 34:19

Well, it's a part of who you are, your growing up years. And you know, just like I said earlier, the process of becoming who you are today. So I could see a lot of value in that.

Jennifer Wilson 34:31

Oh, 100%. And even just like I can see, like certain decision points where things could have gone another way or probably should have gone another way. You know, we all have to make these decisions in our life about are we going to continue with this relationship or not. And there are certainly times where I in hindsight, I feel like I made the wrong decision. And that's, you know, that's part of learning and growing, right? Yeah, for sure. So that's probably the most important thing to pass on to Emily.

Kim Edsen 35:00

Well and to realize that at some point, right, she's gonna have like her first boyfriend and, you know, yeah, I think there's a lot of emotions tied up into that about feeling you know, if like, heaven forbid, like, they would break up with her, and then you know, like, what's wrong with me or just like it is part of growing as a person and developing relationships. And then also to develop her own independence, outside of relationships, right, like, my girls are going to be freshmen in high school, and, you know, a lot of their friends have, you know, quote, unquote, boyfriends. I mean, none of them can drive anywhere. So I suppose their parents are taking them places, is not a thing going on at my house right now. But like, you know, they're gonna start going to homecoming, dances and proms, I mean, all those things. So it's, I mean, there's a lot of pressure, I think, on those early relationships, and to kind of be able to show her kind of the view, you know, from where you are today, to put things into perspective, you know, I mean, she'll still be a teenage girl. So it's not like she's gonna fully embrace that, you know, mom really understands and knows what she's talking about. But you know, I think if you just plant that seed, and think, you know, not only is this a project that could be really helpful for you, but also, I think, good for her. Assuming you want to share it with her, because maybe not all of it is going to be her level, I don't know.

Jennifer Wilson 36:21

Well, I think that's a good perspective to, to have that context and intent and purpose for it as I'm going into it, and adjusting the journaling to fit that audience, I think. Because there are stories that I want to share with her, you know, there's, I always tell the story of the boy who told me that I was, as he was dumping me, I was the type of girl that he wanted to marry, but not the type that he wanted to date in college.

Kim Edsen 36:49

Which is really kind of a compliment.

Jennifer Wilson 36:53

It is, I took it, I mean, I was sad at the time. But I, I took it as a compliment. And I understood who I was and, and I got it, I wasn't super fun, I guess.

Kim Edsen 37:03

You know, I don't know, well, there was the boy that dumped me for the pizza girl. So they love that story. That was a good time. So...

Jennifer Wilson 37:10

Oh my gosh.

Kim Edsen 37:13


Jennifer Wilson 37:16

All right, transitioning more to photos. This has been, so this particular journey, as we've gone into it, it feels very well placed. Because we were in this journey of storytelling, and we taught the Before Your Story class. And there's something about obviously, all these childhood memories we've been talking about. And then we start going further back in time. And we realize how money photo projects we still have to do, whether that's on our own things or things from our ancestors. And so I think I feel like it's just kind of been a nice little evolution, to focus on photos a little bit. And but I'm curious kind of any observations you have about our members over the past month or so.

Kim Edsen 38:01

So I knew this going in. But again, apparently, I need to be reminded a lot. But it was just the whole concept about how there are just so many elements to the whole concept of photography, there's like your equipment, there's the technological sides of like, using your settings and editing, and then composition and lighting. And so there's so many different avenues you could focus on. And I think sometimes that can feel kind of overwhelming. I also think it was pretty evident in some of our conversations that everyone has just kind of a different interest or goals when it comes to photography. And so, you know, as always, we kind of, there's no right way. And so I think it was a really good opportunity to kind of recognize that everyone has different goals with their photography and kind of interested what they want to work on. And just to celebrate that, and to support each other whether, you know, so it's not so much about, you know, you have to have this equipment, and you have to, you know, do these exercises, it's just an opportunity for people to kind of identify what they want out of their photography at this point in time, because obviously, that can change.

Jennifer Wilson 39:10

Oh, certainly, you know, I certainly have had periods where I was very into improving my technical abilities. I then, you know, seasons where I was more interested in improving my editing abilities to compensate for, you know, what I perceived as shortcomings in my technical abilities. And I think, I guess, you know, just highlighting just a huge array, which is why there are, you know, websites and communities dedicated solely to photography, and then other ones solely dedicated to photo management and, and then management of archival photos. Like there's all these different domains. And we as scrapbookers just kind of overlap with that to a certain degree. But there's lots of ways you can go a little bit deeper.

Kim Edsen 39:55

Yes. And that was interesting. We had a conversation last week in the group about photography classes and like who have you taken one with and along those lines, and it was interesting how many of us to take some of the similar classes at the same time. Like before we were even in the Simple Scrapper community. So I got a kind of a kick out of that. But also people were sharing online resources that I have never heard of before. So I'm excited to kind of explore those. And one thing we talked, many of the members had mentioned, several of us had taken classes with Katrina Kennedy who had done Capture Your 365, I think, for many years, and as far as I know, she's no longer teaching, but she was just, I do not know how she did it. But she was just an excellent teacher. And I felt like her the information she presented or the exercises she had us do, they just really clicked. So I found her to be a very valuable resource. But so I think that is another thing to take away is if you attempted a class or tried something with one instructor, you know, it didn't go so well, or, you know, I don't know, whatnot. But you know, it could be just that, that teaching style didn't resonate with you, and you know, somebody else might be kind of the golden ticket. So I think just like you've mentioned, there's so many different resources out there. So take advantage of that, I guess, if you do get frustrated, you know, sometimes it's not so much about like just giving up and throwing in the towel, but maybe about finding, you know, different resources, that might be more helpful, too. Because it is, it can be overwhelming.

Jennifer Wilson 41:29

Well you mentioned that we all have different goals. And so maybe that instructors, like their personal goals, influences their teaching perspective. And that's what what didn't align because you weren't really going in the same direction. Even though maybe some of the the technical content was similar. If you're not talking about how to achieve the same thing, then you might just feel like you're not on the same page. So I can see that for sure.

Kim Edsen 41:52

Yeah, that was interesting to see.

Jennifer Wilson 41:54

And then another comment that I heard recently is that, and this was not just talking about photography, but learning Photoshop, and any of the things that perceive, you perceive as like a technical ability or technical skill, you want to develop that so often, the baby steps that you need are in classes by scrapbookers. So it's not always necessary that you have to go out and take something, take a Photoshop class on, you know, LinkedIn learning or whatever, you can just learn from a scrapbooker, who is sharing how to do something that uses those techniques. Because often it'll be a particular project, or there's a purpose of it. But they're going to talk about those techniques. And you'll learn from them. As you're, you're doing that project or exploring that particular topic. And that sometimes can be not only a little bit less intimidating, but give you a direct application to your hobby. Whereas sometimes, if I go way outside of our domain, it's harder for me to make the mental connections to see how I'm going to use this information in my own scrapbooking.

Kim Edsen 43:04

Yeah, that's an excellent point. That's, I've never taken a Photoshop Elements course I just learned what I do from Cathy Zielske key and Ali Edwards. And those weren't digital scrapbooking courses specifically. They were just classes like a design class and a story focus class that they would share videos and templates, because I was interested in hybrid. And so that just kind of evolved. So yes, I think that is a really smart observation.

Jennifer Wilson 43:32

I just think it'd be less overwhelming that way too, because you're not trying to learn it from scratch, you know?

Kim Edsen 43:39

Well, and the fact that you have a direct application of that, like, if you're working on that class and that project, then you can very clearly see, you know, from step A to point B or whatever, like, where and why you are doing this, and maybe you find that you don't care for that you're not going to do it again. But you don't have to make that jump from strictly, you know, that software or that concept to how it would apply to scrapbooking, like it is already done for you.

Jennifer Wilson 44:09

Yes, 100%. So our Photos journey continues into August, and we are gearing up for another round of Photo Crush. So this is our it's like a weird combination of like class and community experience. It's kind of a challenge to fall back in love or more in love with your photo library in seven days. And last year, we redesigned the class framework to focus on two different phases. The first one being protect your future, where you have a system for the photos that you're going to take tomorrow and beyond. And then once you get that in place, you can go and organize your past. And so this August we're going to release the curriculum for organize your past and I think going through some of my own legacy materials, as well as that of my grandparents gave me a lot more kind of fodder and, you know, actual examples to share with everyone. And I'm really excited about about that second phase to this classroom. Because I love how it is so tailored to where you are right now. We have a little kind of self assessment quiz. And you know what I'll do is I'm going to do link that up in the show notes for this episode. Our little self assessment so you can see what phase you're in and maybe what you need to focus on. Our Protect Your Future lessons are already available inside the classroom. And August 5 is when Organize Your Past will go up. Do you know what you want to work on?

Kim Edsen 45:42

I mentioned this on a past podcast that I think I'm going to focus on my husband's childhood photos. Mine, a lot of like the stories I want to tell from mine, I have photos scanned, or I've told those stories in various albums in my Before Your Story class album and some different ones. My Protect Your Future, I feel like I have a pretty good system in place things are backed up, and not don't have concerns about that. And then even just going back and looking at the photos, you know, from when I guess really from when the girls were born, those are all good. So kind of my two holes are like my husband's childhood. And then also that period of time, when we were first married before the girls were born when it was more I have like a really early digital camera, but it wasn't very good. So a lot of those were just prints. And so you know, not many of those have been digitized. And so those are kind of be the two holes, I think I'm going to start first with my husband Childhood Photos, they've all been there in like a photo safe box. And they're divided by like tab dividers by year. And I've already had gotten through with him and then also later with his mom to kind of nail down kind of the people places times topic type of things. But, you know, obviously, there's a lot more to those photos than just the facts. So I think there'll be some stories that will I want to tell from, you know, from his perspective, and also like, you know, stories that I have heard just attending family events and, you know, talking with him over the years. And those are some of my favorite stories to tell are kind of the contrast like then and now and how things are kind of related or how they've changed, like, I just really enjoyed those stories. So I think it would be helpful to have, I'm not going to digitize all of them, I think just highlight a few of them to kind of get started, I can always go back and do more. But that way also I feel like you know, for our house be burnt down or tornado would come through or something then I at least have you know, a digital copy of those things would be good.

Jennifer Wilson 47:43

Oh, that kind of added to my list as well, because I realized that we've, Steve has scanned so many photos for his Before Your Story album. But he's been talking about for years that he really needs a system for his images. And so it might be time. I have to see how receptive he is to to get him going in the right direction with that while we're still kind of finishing up this album, and he's still really connected to the story and has the motivation to do it. So that's kind of an extra project that I wasn't already thinking about. I'm definitely going to be even just creating that list of projects. I think that's going to be part of what we, what's in the curriculum is okay, there's lots of different projects that you could do. But seven days is only enough time to do something, but it's not enough time to do everything. So picking something on the list is a place to start and I think my priority is going to be I have a full kind of you know paper copy box full of what I consider my photos so these are photos that I took with a, with my, a camera, whether it was a digital camera, and they were printed disposable camera or maybe even just like a regular film camera back in the day, just a regular point and shoot. But the ones that like not the ones my parents took, that's a whole 'nother animal and those are all still in Texes. But I was able to pull together from my closet and my window seat like oh my gosh, there's more than I thought there was so I need to go through. I need to inventory all those. Figure out what I have, figure out what is duplicative of what I already have here which was basically just one photo box. That's all I had of prints was one photo box. And I know that some of those are duplicate so I need to, you know go through that and that's really a priority. I don't feel particularly precious about a lot of these photos. They're from you know a fairly short span of time and because my Before Your Story albums already done, I feel like I have what I need for the most par. And so I just need to figure out okay, what do I want to keep, what can I let go of but and kind of put a, put some closure on that particular photo project. And then of course, we have that box of photos that I brought back, that are primarily my grandpa's Swedish family in Chicago and in Sweden. Old, some, you know, 1890s to 1940s, is what most of the photos are. And then I also have two albums of my dad's growing up. So from 19, late 1940s, up until he met my mom in 1974. Basically, my, my grandma created a Before Your Story album for my dad. And I have this vague recollection of sitting with her sometime in the 80s. And her showing me this album that she was working on. And I think it's this one that I'm that I was holding. And it's just that it's the black paper album, but it's so organized, and I don't think it could have been created over time because of how organized it is from my dad's birth, from his birth to marriage. So I feel like she pulled those photos and put them in this album, in, you know, chronological order, but she did so many things that were so like Library of Memories categories, you know, she has separate albums for vacation, separate albums for like, non immediate family. It's so fascinating. And I have a full inventory basically of every album that exists. And you know, that's a bigger, much bigger project for a whole 'nother time. But it's so fascinating how much of a memory keeper she was in the way that she did things.

Kim Edsen 51:38

That is like a super cool legacy. I think you made a very good point about the idea of listing the projects that you want to work on, because you you have a lot on the table there. But also that I think it helps keep you focused, because I could see, especially if you're doing your grandparents like content that pretty soon it would be easy to get sidetracked into some of the genealogy side of things or, and not saying oh, you can't do that. But definitely to have a very kind of clear intention to be very, have a lot of clarity around what your goal is. And maybe like see that through before you kind of run off on side tangents would be very valuable.

Jennifer Wilson 52:17

Well, I feel, I feel time pressures from two different senses. One of you know, the first thing we scanned while we were still down there was that album of my dad's growing up story. And we went ahead and had him start commenting on what he remembers. And then we're gonna send it to my uncle and see what he remembers. And so doing that quickly felt really important, because they're, they're both getting older, and their memories are fading as they do when we, as we age. And so I wanted, that felt the most time sensitive to make sure that we capture what he knows, while he you know, still has a good memory. And then there's a little bit of time sensitivity with the legacy things only from the perspective of ancestors that we haven't discovered yet that may might still be alive. You know, we missed the last part of the last cousin in my grandpa's age. She died in March of 2020. And so we didn't find her until her obituary was published. So there's, that feels that little bit of time sensitivity to kind of continue that process while there are still people who might not have stories. So...

Kim Edsen 53:33

I can recognize that for sure. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 53:37

So yeah, you can definitely come at Photo Crush from your, you know, current photos, you can come at it from your, your past photos, your growing up photos, your heritage photos, really whatever project you have. This class is a, and the experience of it is a framework and an accountability system for making some progress and getting support and actually taking some time to move forward.

Kim Edsen 54:06

Yeah. I think that's, I think you just nailed it. That was my takeaway is why Photo Crush is such a valuable experience is I think the accountability portion of it. Because much like I mentioned earlier, with just the whole concept of photography and approaching that it can feel overwhelming. Because there are so many avenues it can be so easy to get sidetracked if you're working on a project. So it's really nice that Photo Crush can kind of give you some direction give you those support that you need. So then once again, you can have that satisfaction of seeing your project through to the end. And I mean, obviously, I'm imagining we're going to continue to take photos so this is an ongoing project. So I think it can be helpful to like you had mentioned to break it down into achievable segments or goals are things that you can you know, kind of wrap a bow on and call like okay, that part, portion is completed for now and then you can move on to the next thing. Because otherwise if you look at it as a whole, I think you're just gonna want to bury your head. And not come out because it could feel like a lot.

Jennifer Wilson 55:05

Well and I would say organizing your scrapbook supplies can feel very similar to that, because it can feel very daunting. Particularly if you have a lot of things and a lot of history with the hobby. That I think that's why we have Stash Bash as well, because both of these activities are time set aside to really just focus, regroup, and a lot of it is just figuring out, okay, what is important to me, what do I need to do next and making that plan so that you can follow it throughout the year as one of the things that you're working on? Because sometimes we just need that dedicated time to focus and get our brains wrapped around, you know, the quote, unquote, problem, it's not a problem, but like, what is? What's the situation, and to put on the blinders and really focus on it to figure it out?

Kim Edsen 55:56

Well, and everyone is going to have a different situation as far as like, a number of photos that they have, or like amount of memorabilia, or do you have heritage photos. Like when my grandmother died, my mom and my aunt, like I was around, they threw out a bunch of photos from her attic, because they didn't know who were in the photos, and they didn't want to keep them and whatever. So like, I don't have those boxes that you have. So everyone's gonna be a little different. And I also think the other element with the photo technology side of things is, you had mentioned in the group, you're wanting to attach metadata to photos to like, kind of share back and forth with your parents. Like there's, there's always like that software, that technology portion of it that sometimes you maybe you have an idea of what you're missing, or what you're looking for, but you don't know what is out there as an option to maybe solve that conundrum for you. And so again, that is where the community comes in nice is very helpful and supportive, because you can say, Hey, this is what I'm trying to achieve. You know, does anyone have experience with this? How have you solved this. And so I think, again, it comes back to that whole idea of like photography courses and different instructors, like it just opens your eyes to maybe some different possibilities without the overwhelm of the entire internet, right? Like you can start with this portion in the community and kind of start your explorations versus, you know, typing into a Google search, you know, photography instructors, like that would be crazy. So, so it can kind of go hand in hand with the whole Photo Crush thing of, you know, this is my goal as far as like, you know, preserving or digitizing my photos, and then you can go go forward from there versus apparently, I have a lot of issues with overwhelm, because I think I brought this up a lot on this episode. But But yeah, very much can feel like a lot. So I think Photo Crush helps make it more manageable.

Jennifer Wilson 57:45

I think we all struggle with overwhelm. And that's probably why many of you are listening to the podcast or part of our community. Because there's just so many options, so little time, we have to prioritize and make decisions. And the community helps to give you that personalized support, because we, yes we share many of the same similar challenges. But your solution is probably going to look a lot different than anybody else's solution. We all need the kind of unique solutions for our particular scenario. And so you can pick and choose from what other people have done and then put together your own unique plan. That's gonna be doable and sustainable for you and creatively fulfilling if it is a creative thing or logistically practical and sustainable. If it's, you know, on that end of things. So,

Kim Edsen 58:36

Yeah, I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it.

Jennifer Wilson 58:39

Me too. All right. This is another one. Thanks a lot, Kim.

Kim Edsen 58:43

Yeah, thanks, Jennifer. It's good talking to you.

Jennifer Wilson 58:46

I love her catch ups and I know our listeners do as well. And for all of you listening, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. If you like the podcast, you'll love being a member. When you join you'll get access to weekly Zoom crops, bimonthly retreats, and a huge content library. You can head over to to learn more and join our creative community.

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1 Comment

  1. Anne McColley

    Hello Jennifer!
    Bingeing through the podcasts and wanted to comment on your keeping of the old relationship items. I am right there with you. I was even married previously; now remarried – and I still can’t part with those past items.
    It’s ironic, but I recently watched a YT video from Choux Puff Creations: Story Kit Crush (Ali Edwards “Friends” Story Kit): Story Album Process Video – Ex’s & Oh’s where she documented things she took away from past boyfriends along with items that represented them. Maybe she got the inspiration from this episode! πŸ™‚
    Enjoying your podcast! Thank you for sharing all the great resources with us.


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