SYW137 – Your Story is Worth Telling

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Alexa Gill is a long-time member of our creative team, contributing beautiful pages that document the story of her life. A vivid experience where she was questioned what she, as a woman without children, “had to scrapbook about” only deepened her passion for this hobby and strengthened her rallying cry. We all have stories to tell and this episode invites you to find more meaning in the everyday.

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Alexa Gill 0:00

I often see people online kind of commenting that, oh, I don't have kids or my kids have all grown up and there, you know, they don't live here anymore or I'm single and so I don't have anything to scrapbook about. I kind of want to advocate for you and say, yes, you do. Like just because you don't have you know, kids or a partner may perhaps. It doesn't mean that you don't have other people in your life.

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 137. In this episode, I'm joined by creative team member Alexa Gill, to talk about memory keeping projects. As a single child free woman in her 30s she shares her deep belief in the value of scrapbooking, no matter your life situation.

Jennifer Wilson 0:53

Hey, Alexa, welcome to the podcast.

Alexa Gill 0:55

Hi, Jennifer, I'm so excited to be here.

Jennifer Wilson 0:58

Oh, me, too. You've been on our creative team for so many years. And it's such a pleasure to get to talk to you.

Alexa Gill 1:05

Thank you. Thanks for inviting me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:08

Yeah, can you share a little bit about yourself so that our audience can get to know you?

Alexa Gill 1:13

Sure. So I live on the south coast of England in a city by the sea with my cat. I work full time for an engineering company. I'm in my late 30s. And as you mentioned, I've been on the creative team for Simple Scrapper since about I think the end of 2014 was when I joined. So I'm kind of a permanent fixture there.

Jennifer Wilson 1:37

Yes, we will never let you go. That's for sure. So what's exciting you right now in scrapbooking?

Alexa Gill 1:45

So I'm gonna go with a product that I've been using quite a lot lately, I'm really obsessed with the plastic circles that Ali Edwards released for the December Daily. And also recently with the travel collection. I use the travel ones on layout for Simple Scrapper recently, which will be on an in an upcoming edition of SPARK. And I've been using them in my December Daily album as well. And they're just so versatile. You can just stick them in pockets. You can use them as placeholders for stickers or numbers and use them as a design feature on a transparency. So really giving those a work at the moment.

Jennifer Wilson 2:25

Can we talk just a second here about kind of the technical functionality of using these? Do you use adhesive behind them? Do you staple them? I think I sometimes love them in concept. But then I'm like, oh, how do I really use this?

Alexa Gill 2:43

Yeah, so I do both. I've stapled them. And I also use an adhesive. I don't know if you're familiar with the company called Xyron. And I've got this little like roller that I stick it through and then it comes out the other side. And it's got a clear adhesive on the back so that you can't see it. It's totally transparent. And you stick it and that has been a game changer for me because I love to stick all the transparent things everywhere now.

Jennifer Wilson 3:10

That is so awesome. That is definitely a game changing tip. Yeah, no I'm familiar with the Xyron, I don't have one. But I know that it's you know, basically you're making your own stickers with the idea of being able to put adhesive completely on the back of something. That's that's the perfect solution for this. So All right, I'm going to be adding that to my cart. So we always talk about Bucket List Stories here on the podcast. And I know you've told many of yours in the past couple of years. And Bucket List Stories are these a little bit deeper, a little bit more important stories of feel like we need to tell them. So do you have a story that's still on your Bucket List?

Alexa Gill 3:54

Yeah, I mean, I have lots but there's one that I think I'm going to tell soon because I'm working on my 2020 December Daily at the moment. And it was the day in December that I found out that the COVID vaccine had been approved for use. In the UK, we were the first people in the world to approve it. And after sort of nine, nearly 10 months of living in fear to wake up to the news on the radio that we had this hope was just amazing. And I use, I've got all the journaling done already because I use an app called Evernote to keep a note of everything in real time. So I've got all those emotions captured of the excitement and the relief and the hope and so it's just a case of having to put the page together so I'm excited to do that.

Jennifer Wilson 4:46

I love the idea that even if you are not let's just say I know some folks are really good at everyday journaling and it sounds like you might be one of those. But if you can get yourself into a habit of doing it in the moment when feelings are fresh, you then have journaling that's ready for your scrapbook pages. So I see that it's kind of breaking down some barriers, to getting words on a page and telling some of those deeper stories if you can capture it when it's kind of almost tumbling out of you, whereas later, you might have to go hunt for it.

Alexa Gill 5:22

Yeah, I think there's benefit to both that sometimes it's good to tell a story with some hindsight on perspective. And other times, it's good to tell those in the moment story. So I do a combination of both.

Jennifer Wilson 5:35

Oh, yeah, 100%. So today's topic is a little bit different. And you reached out saying you were interested to talk about memory keeping and documenting beyond the lens of children or as a childless person. And so maybe let's kind of go back first, and tell us how you began scrapbooking, and why memory keeping is important to you.

Alexa Gill 5:58

So I've been scrapbooking for nearly 20 years, I actually started when I was about 19 years old, and I was initially a card maker and I was selling some of my cards at a craft market to raise some money for charity. And there was a store there for Creative Memories. And I know Creative Memories is kind of a gateway for a lot of people that have joined this community. And I've noticed never looked back. I've always enjoyed photography, even as a child. And I've always enjoyed writing and so and also been into loads of different crafty things. So you know, all three combined was just the perfect hobby for me. And it is a lifestyle for me. Now I can't imagine my life without scrapbooking. It's a way that I do make sense of my life a lot of the time. And also, it gives me a lens of gratitude to my life, which I don't think I would have so much in the same way if I wasn't a scrapbooker. And time just you forget things over time, you think you're not gonna forget but you do. And so to have all these albums full of memories to look back on is such a joy. So yeah, it means a lot to me.

Jennifer Wilson 7:16

Oh, yes, 100% I think we all this idea of gratitude through our hobby is one that's been really important to me as well. Just because I've sought that through other means and it's it's harder to find it. But when I'm getting crafty, and using those loves that I've had like you, since I was a child really makes it come through and just yeah, leaves me that happy feeling for sure. So can you tell us a little bit more about your life? What season of life you're in right now? And why you wanted to talk about this on the podcast?

Alexa Gill 7:53

Yeah, so as I mentioned, I'm kind of in my late 30s. And at this point in my life, I don't see myself having children. I mean, never say never. But um, maybe I'll become a stepmom one day or something, who knows. But yeah, that's kind of where I'm at. I live on my own, I'm single, I have been for quite a while. And I love my life that way. It's, you know, I know that not everybody chooses to be childless. And I recognize and acknowledge that, you know, some projects can be not for you, perhaps December can be a very difficult time for many people. So it's up to each individual to kind of make their own choice about what project is right for them. But when I see these projects come up, like Project Life, Week In The Life, Day In The Life, December Daily, etc. I often see people online kind of commenting that, oh, I don't have kids or my kids have all grown up. And there, you know, they don't live here anymore, or I'm single. And so I don't have anything to scrapbook about for this project. And I kind of want to advocate for you and say yes, you do. Like just because you don't have you know, kids or a partner, may perhaps. It doesn't mean that you don't have other people in your life. And you can invite them to tell you know, their story in your December Daily or whatever it is. I often invite other voices into my projects. And yeah, I just want to say, take a closer look at your life, because I'm sure that you've got loads and loads of stories that you can tell.

Jennifer Wilson 9:29

Yeah, so I think we're gonna unpack some of that today. And I'm curious you and I certainly observe this others saying that I just don't have any stories to tell because you know, my children have left the nest, all the examples that you shared. But I'm curious if you ever been questioned. Whether you're just single or as you as you get older and you don't have children. Have you been questioned why you're a scrapbooker?

Alexa Gill 9:52

Yes, I have. Just the one time really. I went to an in person crop many years ago, and obviously everybody's asking, trying to find out about me and, you know, obviously, then it turns out that I'm in my 30s and I don't have kids and I'm not married, etc. And one lady turned to me and said, Well, what do you have? Why are you scrapbooking? And what do you have to scrapbook? And it wasn't in like a light hearted way, it was pretty rude. And it was a little bit upsetting. It's definitely something that stayed with me. But, you know, it's something that I love, and I have endless stories to tell, I will never ever get to a point where I'm caught up with my scrapbooking, quote, unquote. So yeah, I'm interested to know if other people have had similar experiences, but I don't know.

Jennifer Wilson 10:45

Yeah, I be, I'd like to invite folks to leave a comment whether on the Facebook post for this episode, or on the blog post, where we keep the show notes to share your experiences. Well, I'm wondering if that, if that interaction, because you said it, you know, it wasn't, it wasn't just an offhand comment, it was very pointed at sounds. Did that kind of maybe turn you into more of that advocate, and wanting to, to stand up tall in whoever you are? And to celebrate everyone's value as a documentary and storyteller?

Alexa Gill 11:21

Yeah, I think so. And also, um, you know, I'm a feminist, I'm quite politically active. And I just want to be an advocate for women. You know, all people really, but especially women, because often our voices are marginalized, and don't get the sounding board that they perhaps should do. So. Yeah. But I think there's a space in our community for everybody, and, you know, men, women, whatever your circumstances. You know, everybody has a story that is valid and is worth telling.

Jennifer Wilson 11:58

Yes, 100%. And I think there's so many ways that you can be a scrapbooker today. I was talking to a friend the other day, she had started participating in Thursday three, but she's not a scrapbooker. And she was asking a little bit about what Kristin does. And I was telling her about the Awesome Ladies Project. And like one of the things that I think is so awesome, that that Kristin is trying to advocate for us that you don't need to have fancy expensive scrapbook supplies to tell the story of your life. And I think that just makes our hobby even more inclusive to so many different people in different stages of their lives as well.

Alexa Gill 12:40

Yeah, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 12:42

Do you think there's any other kind of myths or misconceptions about what, what it is that we do in this community? Particularly about what, what's expected and and things like that?

Alexa Gill 12:57

Yeah, I think that if you're outside the community, or you're just joining the community, it might seem that scrapbooking is only for big life events, like, you know, birthdays, weddings, birthdays, holidays, etc. But that's not the case. I mean, I'm, I used to scrapbook travel quite a lot. But obviously, with COVID, I've not been able to do that. And so I've definitely had to turn to more, you know, everyday stories, and including those in my projects. I think, yeah, that's probably a myth from if you're looking outside the community. But I maybe don't know that much about scrapbooking. But it's certainly not true. There's lots of different projects and you can pick and choose that's the beauty of it. You can do whatever fits your lifestyle, what you know, the stories that you want to tell.

Jennifer Wilson 13:55

What do you think if you want to go even more logistical tactical, that I think there is still a myth that it's about documenting every photo in order. And that's not something I guess that's something you can choose to do. But when you step out of that, I think it's easier to step into telling the stories that feel compelling to you, and to bring more of yourself and whatever place you are right now into that story. Rather than thinking we're going back and we're just, you know, creating an encyclopedia of what happened in your life.

Alexa Gill 14:36

Yeah, and you can choose to do photo layouts with no journaling or you can choose to do no photo layouts with all journaling or you can just include a few key details there's there's just so many different ways that you can tell your story.

Jennifer Wilson 14:54

Yeah, I mean, that's that, that really was what inspired the concept of the podcast as well as that you It's particularly if you're a new scrapbooker. Or maybe you're returning scrapbooker, that there's just so many options today, for you, whatever, like, creativity that you have whatever storytelling you have, and then find ways to combine those together. But kind of going back to our topic here, how do you think we can change the narrative around this, this thing that you don't have stories to tell? Or do you think it's already changing?

Alexa Gill 15:32

I think it definitely is changing, certainly within particular pockets within the community, and some key figures within the scrapbooking community that maybe have a higher profile. But I've also noticed a bit of a shift in the products that are offered these days. 10 years ago or more, it would have it would have been the birthday, the Christmas, those kind of seasonal products that come out. Whereas now we get these kind of in between releases, which are a lot more all encompassing. And, you know, encouraged to tell other stories outside of those, what we might think of traditional stories that that should be told.

Jennifer Wilson 16:19

Well, I think I remember that, when I first taught Before Your Story, which was, you know, in that 2014, 2015 timeframe, that's when the Simple Stories collection, like the Me collection, and now they've done like several iterations of that, that came out. And so you know, that's a high profile brand, easy to access. And I think I remember have seeing so many conversations around Well, how would I actually use this in my scrapbooking, from those who maybe weren't already familiar with, you know, including yourself in the story? And so yes, I've definitely seen a shift to the products as well. And you know, of course, I think we've already mentioned Ali Edwards, at least once, but she's certainly been a huge advocate for personal storytelling, Shimelle, as well. So many in our industry who have, who were doing this back in the magazine days, and then when we kind of everything moved online, have rallied our community around some of these themes, I think.

Alexa Gill 17:25


Jennifer Wilson 17:28

So you do monthly Project Life, what are some of this story, common story themes in, in your photos and your pages?

Alexa Gill 17:37

So pre COVID, it definitely would have been a lot about stuff I'm doing. Now, obviously, I'm, there's been times where I've not been able to get out there and do things so much. So it's been a lot more focused on my home, my garden, my cat, Luna. Sometimes I've included things through the years, which I wouldn't necessarily include in other projects like ongoing health issues, stuff that's going on politically, stuff at work. And I also specifically this year stamp out every month a card for what I'm reading and what I'm watching. And I keep those out on my desk so that I can kind of every time I start watching or reading something new, I can scribble it down on the card and then it's sort of a work in progress by the end of the month. It's kind of all done and ready just to slip in the pocket.

Jennifer Wilson 18:37

You know, I love that concept. And that's something that I've, I've only sprinkled in some of my albums in recent years. But when I go back and I look at like my grandma's scrapbooks from the 1940s I'm so fascinated by the things that she was watching and reading and all these like little like newspaper clips and receipts that she put in there that show what she was doing. She was very much doing, you know, a during the war and post war version of Project Life back then. So it's super fascinating and I I want to do more of that in my project next year for sure.

Alexa Gill 19:17

So I initially, when I first started Project Life, I did include a lot of ephemera and a lot more detail and it just there were years where I didn't complete it. There's like gaps. And so I've really simplified my process and it's really just one step up from a photo book. I use the Design A project, page protector, sorry from Becky Higgins, or Project Life. And I just choose eight photos for the month and there's eight cards and that's it. And I don't embellish, so it's really, it's really just a simple holding place for stories. Words and photos.

Jennifer Wilson 19:58

I love that you found what works for you through that iterative process of trying it again and again in different ways. And I think that the more we experiment with a particular format, if it's not working the way you're doing it, that doesn't mean that that format doesn't work for you, it might mean you need to adjust it and tweak it so that it feels finishable. And you know, is functionally finishable for you.

Alexa Gill 20:23


Jennifer Wilson 20:23

Given you know, what the amount of time and energy you want to spend on it, compared with other projects, because it's always a balance. If you're doing something that goes on throughout the year, along with other creative projects.

Alexa Gill 20:37

Yeah, now, there were a couple of years where I made, I edited all my photos, so they were black and white. And so that it was easy just to pick a simple color scheme for the cards. But when I moved into my house and my flat, I had a garden, I wanted to see that color. And I would do things like dye my hair pink. And you know, you wouldn't be able to tell that kind of detail in the black and white photos. And aesthetically, it looks beautiful. But I think I definitely overall prefer the color photos because it's it just looks more like real life to be honest.

Jennifer Wilson 21:15

Yes, I definitely had a black and white phase as well. And when I, in recent past, when I've made something black and white, I feel like, well, that's taking a particular color out of the picture. That's part of the story. And I don't want to do that even if the photo really looks technically less perfect or less polished in the color version. I'd rather have that in my album than the black and white one at this point. Yeah, I'm on the same boat with you that one. So I'm curious, when you're trying to decide what you're going to work on for a layout, what story becomes a larger page? Are some of those stories already in your Project Life? Or are you really intentionally thinking, Okay, this is what's going in Project Life. And this is what's going to be a layout.

Alexa Gill 22:04

I definitely have a little bit of an overlap. Sometimes there are key events that I want to document in more than one place. And so they might end up on a layout as well as in Project Life. And I probably have more everyday stuff in Project Life, then you would typically see on a full size layout.

Jennifer Wilson 22:29

So in your Project Life is it more like every day, is it more like reflective stories, like little bits of, you know, I had coffee today, or how much of the things that you do in life, get into your Project Life versus a layout.

Alexa Gill 22:44

I think that's, again, something that's changed over the years. Initially, kind of five years ago, I might have just had the the keyest events that you know, the stuff that I'm doing, and not so much of everyday life. I think a key shift for me was when I got my own place and started living on my own, because previously I had shared with other people. And so who didn't necessarily want to be in the photos and might thought I was a little bit odd for trying to get self timer photos of us all sat in the living room or whatever. So I yeah, now that I have my own place, there's definitely been a bit more of a shift again, of taking photos around the house. And obviously last year, I had to start working from home full time as well. So I was around the house, the home more to take those pictures and to, you know, snap pictures of me in virtual meetings or online with, in Zoom meetings with friends and that kind of thing. So it's a little bit of a blend. Now I would say I definitely still include bits and pieces of when I'm going out with friends or whatever, but a lot more about the gen, gen, generic stuff that's going on around the home.

Jennifer Wilson 24:03

Well and I think the more that you are practicing that type of photography, the more that your eye sees the opportunity to take the photo. I remember this this past year during Week In The Life I was you know, toting my big cramera around for the week. And I noticed you know how cute my giant tote bag and my feet looked when I was sitting at a softball game, you know, eating my dinner getting ready for my daughter's game to start. And I'm like, I wouldn't have been able to see that. You know, 10 years ago when I started scrapbooking I would have been thinking about this is I'm at a softball game, so this is about the softball game. Not about that I'm feeling grateful that I you know, have this giant tote bag and that I can just sit here and be comfy and eat my dinner. No matter where I'm at so that there's multiple stories within any scenario. And you get to choose which one you know feels compelling interesting to you in that moment. So speaking of Week In The Life, what do you love about projects like Week In The Life or December Daily?

Alexa Gill 25:09

So I definitely love different things about the both of the projects. You just mentioned sort of about looking for the photos for the everyday photos or not. I think that the photos that I take during Week If The Life typically end up being my favorite photos of the year. A lot of them.

Jennifer Wilson 25:31

I agree, yeah.

Alexa Gill 25:32

Yeah. It's you end up sort of experimenting with angles. And obviously living on my own, I can't just ask somebody, oh, can you grab a picture of me doing the washing up? Or I have to be creative and think, well, where can I put my camera down to get a self timer photo of me, you know, doing this. And it can't, I think some people can feel that a little bit disingenuous. But I mean, I'm still washing up, I'm still, you know, I'm still going to be doing that. It's just that I have to kind of like pose a little bit to capture that that moment. And so, I mentioned before that I have that lens of gratitude, in scrapbooking. And I think that Week In The Life, also really, that's the overwhelming thing that I feel at the end of the week, when I've taken all the photos, and I've written all my journaling down throughout the week is that I'm just really grateful for my, for my life and the life that I have. Because we can fall into that comparison trap of, I know everyone's life is imperfect. And there's always going to be things that you want that you don't have. And but Week In The Life really highlights to me everything that I do have. And that's what I really love about the project. And I don't really get very, quote unquote, crafty with my Week In The Life album. It's more about the words and the photos, I do add some stickers, and some chipboard and that kind of thing. But really not very, not very much at all. And I also capture the words during the week of Week In The Life as well. The week that I'm documenting, I'll keep the cards out on the desk. And I'll make sure that I complete them at the end of each day. So that I'm capturing that in the moment. With Day In The Life, it's more of a combination of the of the three things that I love, the words, and the photos, but I also have a lot of fun making the album. I make, I do prepare some pages in advance of December. So it's sort of during October, November, there's that excitement about the project coming up. And then I do bits of journaling. And I'm kind of keep an eye on on planning as I go throughout December. But I outsource all of my photo printing. So some of the typed journaling and a lot of the photos won't arrive until kind of January time or or maybe later for editing or tweaking things. But again, this project, it gives me a lens of joy and magic. And it's become a part of the way that I I live my December now.

Jennifer Wilson 28:22

I love how you highlighted that one project is a little bit more about the products and the fun glitterness of it. And one is a little bit more about the words and the photos and that we don't have to approach, we don't have to have the kind of the same intent and meaning and why behind each of our product projects. And in fact, I think that understanding what it is you want to get out of it can make you even more successful in finishing it.

Alexa Gill 28:48

Yeah. And I typically I know a lot of people take, you know, 1000s the 1000s of photos during Week In The Life and I really don't do that because I would get very overwhelmed. So I typically try and make sure that I have between seven and 10 photos each day that I know I'm gonna want to use and then use those at the end of the project. Whereas in December Daily I've got I was, particularly last year, because we were in lockdown in England, I wasn't really able to leave my flat very much other than to see the people in my bubble or to get groceries. So there wasn't as much opportunity to take photos of the typical December activities. And I did have to get really creative and I've got a lot more pages for 2020 than I ever have before which don't have any photos at all.

Jennifer Wilson 29:44

That Yeah, I'm sure you have. There's a lot of you know, certainly a complicated emotional time of not being able to see all the people that you want to see and do all the things that you want to do that make it the holiday season. I'm curious that over the years It sounds like you've found your path of success and finishing these projects. I'm curious did you have to back into that over the years with other like false starts, or were you just, you know, totally successful out the gate and knowing how to construct these projects so that they work for you.

Alexa Gill 30:21

I mean, I'm not somebody that finishes December Daily, within December, like I mentioned, I outsource my photo printing and that kind of thing. And I'm still working on my 2020 album now, actually quite enjoy working on it and out of season like in July. So I've got the bones of it, sort of by the end of December, but then I work on it as and when I feel like. But I will typically try and finish it by, you know, August time before all the hype starts for the next year's project. Because otherwise I think if I didn't finish it, then I would get sucked into what I want to be doing for this year. And I maybe wouldn't finish it. And the same with Week In The Life after documenting for a whole week. I normally give it a good rest like of a couple of months before I get my photos printed, and I assemble the album. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 31:14

So yeah, you mentioned that you were working on, before we got on, that you've been working on December Daily this weekend, because the clock is ticking on the hype. It's starting now, seems like, so...

Alexa Gill 31:23


Jennifer Wilson 31:25

When we're recording this is the beginning of August. And I think this is the earliest I've ever seen all of the hype begin for this year's December Daily. And now I'm, I'm considering my own plans myself. And I'm like, oh, shoot, I didn't, I wasn't ready for this, school hasn't even started. So I'm curious if there's other maybe, differences in the types of stories that you include? Which one do you feel like is more reflective about you know, your life right now? Are they they're reflective in different ways?

Alexa Gill 32:04

Yeah, definitely reflective in different ways. As I mentioned, I normally include more photos, in Week In The Life so and obviously photos in their own way tell stories, even if you didn't have any words to support them. And the reason that I started Week In The Life actually, because I did always think oh, yeah, that project's not for me. I'm single, I don't have kids, I don't need to see what you know, my life looks like outside of Project Life and my other scrapbooking endeavors. But I'm, when I bought my own flat, I thought it would be really interesting to see. Because I've been doing a lot of decorating and the renovations on the flat. And in the garden, you know, it'll be interesting to see what it looks like. Now, when I first moved in versus in a couple of years time. And then I kind of got hooked on the project. Obviously last year with COVID I kind of want it to really screenshot what life looked like during that period, because I knew that it wasn't going to be like that forever. And it would be it's own little time capsule in a way. And I actually use the Day In The Life kit for Week In The Life last year. And I used the stamp that said feeling. And I wrote down every day, like how I was feeling and I looked back at it recently and it was very obvious that I was really tired, and that I was all consumed with you know everything that was going on. Which sounds quite obvious to say but when you're living it, it may be don't necessarily recognize that. So yeah, Week In The Life definitely reflective. But Day In The Life is too. And again, the 2020 December Daily, December Daily, yeah. Again, it's its own little time capsule. And because some things change, some things stay the same, you might have a tradition that you've always done and then that shows up in your album every year. Or you might start a new tradition. You know, preferences of films and songs and that kind of thing. might pop up again and again. Yeah, again, it's its own little time capsule, but I only pick one story from each day, typically in December. So it's not such it's not such a wide variety of stories. And then that's not quite correct to say maybe a little bit more in depth stories. Sometimes I think into December Daily versus Week In The Life.

Jennifer Wilson 34:48

Well, you're, you have a larger time period to pick from and so you can't really bring that same level of detail that you do to Week In The Life to December Daily. It's just not, somebody can but it's it's really not feasible to do that without getting kind of burnt out on the project and, and actually being able to finish someday I think. I would also say that in December Daily, I tend to be more reflective about the end of the year, and what I want going into the new year, and so it's very much not even as much about the holiday season. But when I'm writing about my own stories, I'm thinking about what I want to celebrate, you know, what am I disappointed in? And then what do I want for the year to come? So it's very much almost like more of like, a New Year's type of project for me.

Alexa Gill 35:40

Yeah, and that's also an opportunity that I have used in the past to invite other voices into my, into my album. I normally ask my family, you know, what was your favorite thing about this year, and then, I'll get them to write that on a tag maybe, and include that in the album, or together in a pocket or something. I've done that a few times. And it's, it's quite nice to reflect on.

Jennifer Wilson 36:05

That's super fun. So do you have any other thoughts on, you know, how you approach scrapbooking and maybe any advice you have for someone who feels like they don't have enough going on to do one of these projects? Because I've, you know, one of the case studies and examples that we shared with someone who maybe did feel that way for a period of her life, and then as she's going into a different season of life doesn't feel that way anymore? How can we peel you know, peel back the layers or go beneath the surface of what we think we're supposed to be documenting and go a little bit deeper? Sorry, that's like six questions in one.

Alexa Gill 36:48

Yeah, I think, I think you just, it's about kind of paying attention, I guess. Because like I said, day to day, you think things stay, stay the same, but then, over time, they do change. Even if it's something small, like, your favorite coffee that you prefer to drink right now, you know, in two or three years is it gonna be that same coffee, I don't know. Or the size of the apple tree that's growing in your garden, you know, documenting those small things that change over time. And I think products we mentioned, there's been a bit of a change in the offerings, but that products can jumpstart ideas. So you don't, and you don't always have to necessarily have to have the memory or the photo already. It might prompt a story spark in you to think oh, yeah, that would be great. If you know, and then you can go and take the photo. And tell the story.

Jennifer Wilson 37:47

Yes, yes, I I love using products and because there are so many that are intentionally created now that our story supporters and story starters, that if you start with that product, and then let it you know, allow your mind to explore what might be possible and then make a choice from that or make multiple choices. You know, I got nine different stories out of one Story Kit and Krystal does that month after month with her Story Kit Crush and, celebrating when others are doing that as well. And just allowing this, you know, this fun, delightful part of our hobby to help you help your mind explore what you might want to capture.

Alexa Gill 38:32


Jennifer Wilson 38:35

All right, any other final thoughts?

Alexa Gill 38:40

Only really, that I want to encourage you whatever stage of life you're in, season of life you're in, I just want to encourage you that your story is important. Even if you do have a partner, you do have kids, I do want to encourage you to, to look for those stories that you can tell about yourself. And also to find your people. It can seem like if you are single or childless, that there aren't any other scrapbookers out there in the same situation as you, but we are out there and so if you find your people then you can kind of get ideas off of each other and inspire each other. So I would encourage people to do that too.

Jennifer Wilson 39:27

You know, I just love how this community as a whole that we can learn from one another and help celebrate you know, the most meaningful parts of our lives whether those are big or small. And I want to thank you for for sharing your story and, and your thoughts in today's episode.

Alexa Gill 39:46

No problem. It's been great fun.

Jennifer Wilson 39:49

Can you share where we can find you online and anything, maybe you know, fun or new that you have coming up?

Alexa Gill 39:55

Yeah, sure. So I'm part of the Simple Scrapper scrapbooker Team so you can always find me within that community. And Instagram is the main place you'll find me online and my handle is CurlyWiggles.

Jennifer Wilson 40:13

Awesome. I love your curly wiggles. All right, thank you so much Alexa, and to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. If you like the podcast, you'll love being a member. When you join, you'll get access to weekly Zoom crops, bimonthly retreats, and a huge content library. You can head over to to learn more and join our creative community.

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1 Comment

  1. Apopgirl

    Thank you SO MUCH for this episode. I loved the focus and your guest. Please, more content on the childless among us who still feel so underrepresented in the scrapping community.


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