SYW146 – My Way with Aimee Mertell

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Aimee Mertell started scrapbooking with her mom and returned to the hobby after the birth of her son. It’s a familiar story with a twist.

Today Aimee creates primarily in pocket pages, Life Crafted albums, and traveler’s notebooks. She loves to fill the page and is always looking for that special touch to anchor the page design.

Aimee is our December featured artist at Simple Scrapper, where her creative style inspired our latest challenge for members. We’re excited for you to get to know her in this episode of the podcast.

Links Mentioned

Aimee Mertell 0:00

And I would say I like a pretty full page, you're not gonna see a lot of whitespace. For me, I'm actually bothered by whitespace. So you'll see on a lot of my projects, if I use like a white cardstock background, I have to have one of the edges bordered. Otherwise I feel like nothing is anchored down.

Jennifer Wilson 0:22

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 146. In this episode, I'm interviewing Aimee Mertell for the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways Memory Keepers get things done. We're excited to have Aimee as the December featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

Jennifer Wilson 0:55

Hey, Aimee, welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

Aimee Mertell 0:58

Hi, thanks for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 0:59

Yes, I'm so excited to get to know you a little bit better. You're our featured artist for December. A selection of your pages have inspired our latest creative challenge for our members. And this is going to be one of our My Way episodes where we get to learn more about you. So can you kick things off by sharing just a little bit about yourself?

Aimee Mertell 1:19

Sure. My name is Aimee. I'm a stay at home mom. I would definitely describe myself as an introvert. So I'm a little nervous today. I live in Northern California with my husband and our three kids who are six and three. And obviously I love scrapbooking. But apart from that I actually really love gardening, fishing and I actually shoot archery. So it's a little bit about me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:46

Oh, so fun. And have you lived in that area all your life or did something bring you there at some point?

Aimee Mertell 1:51

I did. I grew up here in northern California. I moved around a lot, but eventually moved back to my hometown.

Jennifer Wilson 2:01

Oh, I love that. I hear that story so often from so many. So we love to talk about what's exciting as right now in the hobby, it could be something new or even something rediscovered. So what's like one thing that's really getting you excited about scrapbooking?

Aimee Mertell 2:16

So this might sound a little simple, or you know, like a staple to most people, but heat embossing my stamps. It's, I love stamps, I stamp a lot, but I've actually never tried to emboss any of them or use them in that way. I have a really small craft space. So I try to be as minimal as I can when it comes to like supplies or you know, getting, getting into new mediums as I don't really have a lot of space for, you know, any new gadgets or supplies. But Elle's Studio released their Document December kit and their stamps had some really cute icons that I thought would look really good embossed, like white on like a craft tag for December Daily. So I decided to get into it. So I got a heat gun, picked up a couple new colors of powders, and so I've been enjoying playing with that. It's taken me a little bit, you know, to get used to it. There's a learning curve for sure. But it's been it's been a ton of fun trying to play with that, using my stamps in a new way. And then also tag books and like making minis on rings. That's also something I don't do a ton of so I've been kind of dabbling into that a little bit as well. So that's exciting. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 3:38

Well, you can even combine those two ideas together as well. So maybe a little stamp challenge on every tag and...

Aimee Mertell 3:45

Yeah, add some texture.

Jennifer Wilson 3:47

Yeah, and really play with it. So do you have any tips for embossing because I feel like you know, I, I embossed like as a kid, like pre scrapbooking. You know, with a hairdryer, but I had the embossing powders and I feel like I was better at it back then than I am now. So what's gonna be your one or two tips about it?

Aimee Mertell 4:04

I don't have any tips yet because I'm, like I said, I'm so new to it. So I had actually was playing with it the other day. And I don't know if you're supposed to use your heat gun in between every stamp. But I went ahead and stamped an entire background and then tried to heat set it and some of them didn't set. So I'm not sure if you need to like, you know, take your time go one stamp at a time and heat as you go. Maybe that's a tip, but some experts will have to have to let me know because I'm still I'm still playing with that.

Jennifer Wilson 4:35

Okay, okay, I think we're both gonna have to learn together.

Aimee Mertell 4:38


Jennifer Wilson 4:38

Cuz I want to get better too.

Aimee Mertell 4:39

That's so funny about the hairdryer though because I definitely tried that before I got a heat gun.

Jennifer Wilson 4:45

Yeah, and I'm like, I mean, I think my hair dryers in like the late 80s and early 90s were much weaker than the ones we have now.

Aimee Mertell 4:51


Jennifer Wilson 4:52

They don't blows hard. All right, so we love to talk about stories of course here and particular stories that might be on you you're storytelling Bucket List. So this is something that feels a little bit more meaningful and significant, but something you haven't yet told, but you know, you want to.

Aimee Mertell 5:09

Yeah, I definitely have something on my Bucket List. So my husband was in the military for a number of years, and I actually don't have any of that time he spent in the service documented at all. And it wasn't really an issue, or I guess it wasn't really pressing until maybe just recently, my son and me were watching TV. And I think maybe it was a Go Army commercial or something that had came on. And so he said, Oh, look at their, you know, their, what they're wearing, they're wearing camo that's so cool, you know, and he asked me, what do they do and had all these questions. And he thought it looked so cool. And I said, you know, they're in the military, they serve our country. And I said, Did you know, Daddy was in the military, he was in the Navy, he lived on a big ship out in the middle of the ocean for 10 months out of the year. And he just was floored. He's like, what, what do you mean, you know, and so he had all these questions about, you know, where we lived, he wanted to see the boat, he wanted to see his dad in his uniform. And he had all these questions. And I got really sad, because I mean, I do have the photos, and the stories, but they're like, scattered. So I would need to go digging all of these things up for him to see. So it would be nice to have, like a dedicated album where I could just grab it, he could flip through it and you know, ask questions and look at photos. And I could read him the stories. So definitely, I really, I really want to get that told. Just so he can, you know, have something?

Jennifer Wilson 6:46

Yeah, for sure. That sounds like just really important. So I wish you lots of luck. And you know, the creative energy to get that started and get it finished as well.

Aimee Mertell 6:57

Yeah, I think that'll be good. Good for both of my kids to see. And not just his time in the service, but maybe just a bit about my perspective of what it was like for me and just give them give them a glimpse of our life before we had kids too, I think would be fun.

Jennifer Wilson 7:14

Yes, yes. Yes. I think I hear this, this common theme a lot because our kids have questions about what things were like, and it's a natural curiosity, but because you have a specific context around it to that's, you know, important. I think that yeah, this is a really good choice. So this is My Way episode, as I said, we're gonna really talk all about you. So can you take us back to how you started scrapbooking?

Aimee Mertell 7:40

Yeah, I think that my love of scrapbooking started from a very young age. And I think that came from both of my parents actually, my mom had this scrapbook of herself from high school. And I remember flipping through it and laughing, you know, laughing at all the things she you know, she used to wear back then and she would point out her friends and tell me stories. And then she obviously, she kept scrapbooks of us kids as well. And her and her girlfriends would get together to scrapbook. And I just loved flipping through her pages. And I was just completely enamored with it from that point on. And then my dad, he was really sort of the keeper of of all the photos, he really loved the photography, and the photo side of memory keeping. He was just always very adamant about getting things printed. And so we had boxes and boxes of photos in our house. And he had, you know, folders full of photos on the computer. And he would sit at the computer, and he would actually put together slideshows set to music, and then he would burn them on DVDs. So after a big family dinner, we would all sit down on the couch and we would put the DVD in and we would watch our photos and we would just laugh and, you know, kind of reminisce on all the memories. And so I think memory keeping in general was just something I was always surrounded by. So it's kind of a no brainer that, you know, as an adult, I would kind of continue that theme. Yeah, and my mom eventually fell out of love with scrapbooking. And so I, that's when I kind of started, you know, can I have this mom? And you know, building my stash, I guess you could say, and so I took a lot of my mom's supplies and I kept them in a box and I went into my dad's photo boxes and I would take photos and I'm sure everybody has a story but you know, we would like hack them up to bits and make like the ugliest pages ever. And yeah, so I did Smash Books for a while as well as like a teenager but then I met my husband. And like I said he was in the military. So we moved around a lot in my little box of goodies that came from my mom, they, they went with me when I moved, moved around, but they mainly stayed in storage. So I didn't get to scrapbook for a long period of my life, it was kind of like always this idea that I would, you know, in the back of my head, I would return to it one day. And I got pregnant with my son, and I thought, okay, you know, we're going to start scrapbooking, and again, and I pulled out my boxes stuff and tried to get started. And I think that my supplies were just way outdated by that point. So I went down to Michael's looking for, you know, what's new, and what's happening now. And I stumbled across Becky Higgins, and the whole aisle of her products, and I was kind of mystified by it. Like, you know, putting things in pockets like that was just, you know, not something that my mom was doing back then. And it wasn't a Smash Book. And so, you know, I was, I was pretty intrigued by that. And I did end up buying a core kit, and went home and I went on Google, and you know, I'm looking for inspiration for that. So yeah, so that's pretty much how I got started in scrapbooking. And in Project Life in general, which is mostly what I, I stick to nowadays, so...

Jennifer Wilson 11:34

So I love this, this part of your story about how you had this pause, because I've heard this in so many of our conversations, and I feel like I had this myself. And I've been trying to like, kind of figure out what's the best way, analogy for this. And it's like, you know, growing up, we hav,e we're, we're constantly deciding, Is this me? Is this not me? You know, what, what am I all about trying to find yourself and then you're kind of thrown out into the world. And it's like, okay, now find your way back.

Aimee Mertell 12:03


Jennifer Wilson 12:03

And we have this period of time, which, you know, we're suddenly kind of ripped away from what we know about ourselves. And then we have to find our way back. And sometimes it's triggers like marriage and birth and all the things that we talked about us, you know, why you started scrapbooking, that help us find us find our way back to the things that we loved when we were younger. And so I just, you know, I had that pretty much the exact same experience.

Aimee Mertell 12:26

Yeah, definitely. The birth of my son was that trigger for me, I just knew, because I think going back to my mom, you know, keeping the scrapbooks of us kids I wanted, I wanted to do that for him. So yeah, definitely, that was definitely a trigger for me. And I did end up scrapbooking, or using Project Life to document my pregnancy and his birth. But then again, moving around, all my things went into a storage box again. And by the time I pulled it out, when I moved back to my hometown, and my husband, you know, his contract was up and he exited the service, we moved back home and got our own place. And finally, it was like a permanent, permanent home. And so I was excited to pull all my stuff out again and get back to Project Life. And I think by that time, oh my gosh, I you know, I got an Instagram and Pinterest and I pull out all my stuff to sit down and do my Project Life. And I decided to I think I searched the hashtag Project Life on Instagram. And I, I found the whole community that I didn't even know existed before. I was kind of just doing this on my own. And I mean a little bit of guidance from you know, some inspiration from Becky Higgins and things like that. But I when I found the Instagram community and I found I didn't even know Studio Calico existed. And you know, Ali Edwards and Kelly Purky. And I'm looking at their inspiration for Project Life. And I'm like, wait a minute, is our rounded corners not cool anymore? Like is that not a thing? You know, so, you know, two years later, and the whole thing is like evolved for me. And so I'm like, I guess I gotta get a subscription. I guess ,I I know. And I had, oh, my gosh, I had so many core kits. And I'm like, do I not use these anymore? You know, is that not, not not what's hip and happening? So it's just funny how things change so fast as well when you take a break.

Jennifer Wilson 14:20

So I'm curious, like in the past few years, and how has your hobby evolved because you're not just doing pocket pages and even in your pocket pages, you're doing different sizes, orientations. So tell me more about kind of where you are today.

Aimee Mertell 14:34

Yeah, so I still love Project Life. And I think that Project Life is the one thing that drives me to keep going. I like that it's chronological. So I do still really love that format. And but yeah, different sizes. I originally when you know my mom was scrapbooking and introduced it to me it was all that 12 by 12 traditional and so I figured that's what I would stick to. But when I started doing my own pages, I actually tend to like a more smaller scale project, like 8.5 by 11. I'm a lot more comfortable with then 12 by 12, I think like 12 by 12, there's just so much space. I don't sometimes know what to do with it. So also a traveler's notebook is also pretty comfortable for me, too. So, but it's funny, you know, the thing that got you started is not where you end up?

Jennifer Wilson 15:30

Oh, totally. I think that happens a lot. It's just a it's the entry point, the trigger to start exploring and seeing what's out there. Yeah. And then, you know, because this is a, there's, there's certainly a consumer side of it, the product availability is also going to drive some of the things that you're working on, unless you're really just going to close your eyes and only work on those core kits for the rest of your life.

Aimee Mertell 15:54

Right? Yep.

Jennifer Wilson 15:56

So if somebody couldn't see your Instagram and didn't know what your pages look like, how would you describe your particular style?

Aimee Mertell 16:05

Messy? No, I think, I think I would be described as anything goes, really. I'm not. I'm not really clinging to any rules. I guess I don't think there's any rules for scrapbooking. And I don't want anyone to come after me for saying that, because I know we have these design principles. But if it feels good, and if I think it looks good, then then that's good. Good for me. I'm not really I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm not trying to make it look a particular way. I like a lot of color. So I'm not sticking to one color palette or another I play with all the colors, there are certain things that I come back to again, and again, like a really high contrast look. So like scrapping with a lot of black, that's pretty comfortable for me. I like torn paper, I like texture and stitching. I like paint splatter. And I would say I like a pretty full page, you're not going to see a lot of whitespace. For me, I'm actually bothered by whitespace. So you'll see on a lot of my projects, if I use like a white cardstock background, I have to have one of the edges bordered. Otherwise, I feel like nothing is anchored down. It just it just bothers my eye to look at. I think that those kinds of kinds of layouts photograph beautifully. And I like looking at them. And I think that they're gorgeous. I love that minimal look. But for me, it's not, it's not achievable. And so yeah, I like a pretty full page. And I have a hard, for some reason, I have a hard time with grids on a layout. You know, I like the grid, when it's Project Life, but not on an actual layout. So I would say just sort of anything goes for me.

Jennifer Wilson 18:01

It's so interesting. Because yeah, I can see that in your pages that you're very like, you know, organized and linear with the pockets. But then your layouts are more, you know, asymmetric clustering.

Aimee Mertell 18:14

Yeah, lots of clustering.

Jennifer Wilson 18:15

But the idea that you really want to have something anchored. I think this is, this is something that I definitely feel too, and I've heard others talk about it is that they, you know, it just feels like the page is floating to infinity. You want to find those boundaries and to feel like you're containing everything.

Aimee Mertell 18:33


Jennifer Wilson 18:35

And how do you feel like you, did you, you know, maybe you don't have a style that is particular. But even with this, the high contrast black and white? Did you, was that something you've always been attracted to? Or did you kind of find yourself naturally gravitating towards that over time? Like, how did you go from the supplies that your mom gave you to choosing your own? You know?

Aimee Mertell 19:00

I think that came from just inspiration from the community. But also, I think it happened by using stamps. That might, that that might sound weird, but I mean, all I had was a black ink pad starting out and then maybe, you know, an alpha stamp or you know, whatever it was, and I want to use the stamp. So I use the black ink and it made a really, you know, that's heavy black when you're using it with an alpha, I think and so it looked really graphic. And then so I'm like, Oh, well, I have to add more black to this page to balance it out. And I think that's kind of where it came from. And I said oh, I really love that look. It's very, you know, striking very graphic like I said, and so then it's just something that I come back to again and again because I love the way it looks.

Jennifer Wilson 19:45

Oh, I love that. I think that's yeah, I would have never thought of that. But I can totally see that. I definitely am a, also because black stamps the best because of all the inks, right too. So if I'm like nervous at all. I'm like, Oh, I'm just gonna use black because I know it's going to come out well.

Aimee Mertell 20:01

Exactly. But then as a sort of heaviness to your page, I feel like it needs to be balanced. So then I usually end up adding some other black embellishments or maybe like black paint splatter. And then you've got this really sort of, you know, a layout with a lot of black and it's pretty high contrast. And I think that looks really cool.

Jennifer Wilson 20:17

Yeah, I like it, too. So how do you stay motivated to create? Are you someone that always feels excited? Or do you ebb and flow over time?

Aimee Mertell 20:24

I definitely ebb and flow. There's like periods where I don't want to do anything at all. And typically, I would say, you know, just to honor that, and, you know, take your break. But I've also found, I think that's part of being on on design teams, I have found that when you do have a deadline, or you're forcing yourself to create, that sounds terrible, but kind of forcing it a little bit, you end up finding creativity when you didn't even know that it was there. So aside from being on design teams, and having that sort of schedule and deadline, I will also pull out this, I keep this big Felicity Jane box under my desk, and it has a bunch of just scraps and old supplies. And just a mix of things that that maybe I thought maybe I would give away. So I just pull that out. And I use a Heidi Swapp Storyline Chapters insert. And I just go to town in there, I don't share it much on my Instagram or anything like that. But I create a lot of pages in there just from that box. And I find that just putting things down on paper, you maybe you go through an old box of photos, and you take some old photos that never made it onto a page and you just scrapbook them and and use some old stuff and just get creative and see what you can make. I find that that really helps me just kind of get inspired again.

Jennifer Wilson 21:47

Yes, I love that I love the idea is almost like a warm up.

Aimee Mertell 21:50


Jennifer Wilson 21:51

Yeah, a way to just kind of reignite, ignite your confidence, as well. As like, oh, yeah, I do know how to do this. And then you can go and make the thing that you want to make.

Aimee Mertell 22:00


Jennifer Wilson 22:01

Yes, I love having just that permission to have, you know, a little side project like that. But definitely one that maybe you don't have to share.

Aimee Mertell 22:10

Yeah, it almost looks like a Smash Book, in the end, you know, kind of messy kind of collage, almost. But it's a lot of fun. And I feel like it gets that, you know, creative energy flowing for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 22:23

Yes. So right now we're talking about planning, as we gear up for the new year, when this episode goes live, do you do anything to keep track of the projects and the albums you're working on or even the pages you want to make?

Aimee Mertell 22:37

I'm kind of a poor planner. I really am. I think that the most planning I really do is, I wouldn't even call it planning because I know that I'm going to make a Project Life spread for you know, September or August or you know, whatever the month it is. So the only planning I do is sometimes I'll take a look at my camera roll and I'll select a photo that I really love. And I will say okay, I'm going to make a page about this photo. And, you know, write down the story and then find time to you know, go select my products for that page. And, but that's as far as I really get with planning because I, I mean, I already know, I'm going to make a page Project Life page for you know, whatever month it is.

Jennifer Wilson 23:28

Well, that's totally fair as well. So I love like, you know, featuring people who have all different approaches to planning from, you know, just a little bit, to folks who really plan everything out to quite a degree.

Aimee Mertell 23:41

It might be harder for me because I I don't put a ton of emphasis on story. So I feel like maybe others in the community might be you know, they have a particular story in mind. So they're planning that project out. But for me, I find that my style is more of creative play and playing with products and scrapbooking for myself rather than for you know, the story or handing down memories, I guess.

Jennifer Wilson 24:15

Well, and we all, we always talk about it as the spectrum from kind of very legacy focus, which is the most future oriented to you know, very self creative process focused. You know, and you're in it for the creative outlet, the mental health benefits and all that and everyone's gonna fall somewhere along that line. And our point on that line may even shift over time.

Aimee Mertell 24:37


Jennifer Wilson 24:38

You know depending on what's going on in your life. So you sounds like you're more towards that, you know, this is really is for you. This is a creative practice. And that's amazing.

Aimee Mertell 24:47

Yeah, I think that I definitely am a bit toward that side of the spectrum. I want to be both. So I I've been trying a lot this year to focus a little bit more on story. And it, that kind of goes back to that Bucket List item at the beginning, that I do want to have something to hand down to my kids. But then I also want it to be a little bit about me as well, and be about that creative process. So trying to find a balance.

Jennifer Wilson 25:14

Yeah, you have to find the balance. And I think sometimes it takes particular stories like the example that you shared, that will help you dive in a little bit further. And then maybe that during that project might give you a shift. Who knows. So...

Aimee Mertell 25:28


Jennifer Wilson 25:29

So going back to like what you're loving right now, we talked a little bit about, you know, 8.5 by 11 or smaller for you. What are some of, can you tell us more about the particular formats and sizes? I see you working in the Citrus Twist Life Crafted albums. What are the different sizes that you make?

Aimee Mertell 25:49

Yeah, I love the Life Crafted albums. I also just like the traditional traveler's notebooks too that are, you know, on staples. I find that those get a little bit too chunky. So I am able to fit more layouts in the, you know, Life Crafted album for sure. But yeah, I love that size. I've been working in 9 by 12, actually. And 6 by 12. I think 6 by 12 for layouts is a little bit of an odd size. But I think it looks really cool inside my Project Life albums, so in my album, might I use a 12 by 12 album for Project Life. And I will put all of my layouts alongside my pocket pages as well. So it's kind of just a mash up of different sizes in there. And I think that 6 by 12 full page layouts look really cool in a Project Life album. So I've been kind of dabbling in that a little bit and loving that. I don't share too many of those because like I said, I feel like that's kind of an odd, an odd size to play with. I also do 6 by 12, pocket pages 9 by 12. And the 9 by 12 full page layouts. That's kind of an interesting size to work with too. But yeah, I, whenever I start trying to do a 12 by 12 layout, I'm like, Ah, I can't I don't know where to start. So yeah, like the small sizes for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 27:11

So I want to talk a little bit about process and maybe let's focus on just a a Project Life spreads, since that's kind of your origin and where you're like the you know, the biggest part of your heart is maybe.

Aimee Mertell 27:23


Jennifer Wilson 27:23

You love this, this process. So when you sit down, are you doing weekly, monthly?

Aimee Mertell 27:30

So I do Project Life monthly. I found it was a little bit hard for me to stick to that. You know, I felt pressured when it was weekly. When I just call it monthly, you know, I'm not really worried about what week what event took place or when the photo was taken. I'm kind of like, okay, this all happened in September, you know, here we go. So yeah, I take a monthly approach. And so I put all of my photos on my phone into an album for that month and I have them edited already. And then I will just sit down, I tried to sit down at the end of the month and get everything printed. And then go ahead and stick them in the pockets and then find some cards.

Jennifer Wilson 28:17

Now do you do any kind of hybrid, or are you all...

Aimee Mertell 28:22

I do not.

Jennifer Wilson 28:22

I noticed you have mostly typed journaling.

Aimee Mertell 28:25

That's from a typewriter though.

Jennifer Wilson 28:27


Aimee Mertell 28:27

Yeah. I don't, I don't know how to do hybrid writing, I guess. Yeah, I do not do the digital or hybrid. I guess. I'm bad with technology for being a young person, I tell you what. Yeah, I know you can put the cards to the printer but I have not figured that out. So I use the typewriter for that. I do print some pocket cards every now and then if I get a digital kit, Citrus Twist as a lot of digitals that I will print on my, at home. But typically, I'm a physical product sort of girl, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 29:06

And then what about embellishing? Do you, you know you've talked about your kind of anything goes and, and obviously you know you're on design team, so you're using products that you're receiving. You know, are you maximalist or more of a minimalist? When you're, you know, you've got you've typed on your cards with your typewriter and you've printed out your photos, how does the embellishing figure into the process?

Aimee Mertell 29:26

I think it's situational. There is some pages where I you know, when I sit down to create and I'm feeling a certain type of way, I will keep it more minimal on my photos, as far as embellishing goes. And I think that it looks pretty and I'm like, I don't want to mess this up with any more embellishments. But then there are times where I'm like, give me all the things on the page. Like I don't care that it's cluttered. I think it's fun. And I think that you can do both. And it's definitely sometimes just just fun to add things. So I don't I don't get too upset about, you know, too many embellishments on my photos I like I like that look sometimes.

Jennifer Wilson 30:10

Sure, sure. And then maybe let's go more into the products that you're reaching towards, gravitating towards maybe like things that you're shopping for these days, like, what's, what's fun for you?

Aimee Mertell 30:22

That's a tough question. I think a lot of products are fun. I've been really into Citrus Twist kits, exclusive products. So I think that I love their stamps. I do, I like to stamp a lot on my Project Life layouts. So I do tend to grab their stamps, a lot more than maybe some other companies. They have a lot of sentiments. I think that's why and I do like to stamp directly on my photos, you will see that a lot on my Project Life spreads. And they have a ton of really tiny little sentiments that just fit perfectly. So that's something that I really like. Also, Cocoa Daisy's products, I think that they do something that's really different that no other company really has out there. I just think that their illustrations are really, they're really pretty, and they're not, I don't think that they're super cartoony or you know, I just think that they're really beautiful. So I've been grabbing a lot of Cocoa Daisy products recently as well.

Jennifer Wilson 31:27

All right, yeah, I noticed in here like stamping on photos, which, which ink do you prefer to do that?

Aimee Mertell 31:33

Archival. That's the one that I've used from the beginning of time, so I wouldn't know any other ink, or any other way.

Jennifer Wilson 31:40

Mm hmm. All right, let's shift gears and talk a little bit about organization. Now, you mentioned your style is a little bit messy. Does that say anything about you know how you keep track of your supplies and your photos and everything? Are you messy? Are you a tidy person?

Aimee Mertell 31:56

I am not a tidy person, I am a mess. I'm a mess all around. I you know, for my actual craft room, I have a lot of IKEA organization products. And like I said, I talked about organization a little bit with my photos, I do keep separate albums for months. And then albums for different design teams and you know, things like that. One sort of thing I've tried to keep organized to with regards to photos on my phone, is I do a lot of editing of my photos, I never usually use a photo that's straight out of my camera. So I try to delete the original, because I feel like that's just taking up space. I like the edited version better, I'm probably not going to come back and re edit the photo or you know, change the style of it. I'm pretty set when it comes to my editing style. So I really try to delete the original. For a long time, I would just try to I would hold on to it. And I found that you know, my phone storage is just filling up and filling up. And I'm like, I got to, you know, say goodbye, I got to try to part ways with this original photo. So that's one organization tip, for sure. That is if you're not going to use it, just just delete it, and you have that really pretty edited photo for you. Anyways, so...

Jennifer Wilson 33:14

Yeah, sometimes it's best to let go so that you can move forward. What about your your stash of supplies? How do you know, do you organize by manufacturer, by color, by type of supply? How do you you know, even in your minimum, more middle, more, maybe less excessive way? How did you keep it tidy?

Aimee Mertell 33:34

So yeah, I try to keep it tidy. But I definitely, my brain works by organizing by manufacturer. So yeah, I because I know, it sounds crazy, because I have so many, you know, different releases and supplies and things like that. But I know what stamp you know, say let's stamp comes from a certain manufacturer. And I can just go to where I keep that manufacturer in my organizer. And I can pull out that stamp. So if I mix them up, I don't know if I would know where they were. So I definitely keep them by designer. Otherwise I'm lost.

Jennifer Wilson 34:10

Any other thoughts you have on organization or particular like solutions you mentioned, you know, some of the IKEA things, you have any solutions that have been just so like amazingly helpful for you.

Aimee Mertell 34:22

Keeping my stamps out, I love stamps. Keeping my stamps out on my desk is helpful for me and it gets them used. I just prefer it that way just so I can pull them out and they're ready to go. And they're within arm's reach. I definitely like to keep them up on my desk by my side.

Jennifer Wilson 34:44

Oh, that makes sense. And I hear that a lot. And it's not always stamps, but it's something that you want to reach for regularly.

Aimee Mertell 34:50


Jennifer Wilson 34:51

That if you have an in sight and close at hand, you're more likely to then incorporate that into your process.

Aimee Mertell 34:57


Jennifer Wilson 34:58

And then if we like step back here and think about, you know, your whole experience from, you know, when you were younger to now, what do you think is your biggest lesson learn from your creative experience?

Aimee Mertell 35:10

Oh my gosh, don't be a perfectionist, for sure. Because I struggled with that for a very long time, that kind of goes back to that sort of whitespace and minimal look, I thought that that's how things had to be done. And I mean, gosh, these layouts that some of these ladies make are just gorgeous. And I wanted to replicate that. And I wanted to be that for so long. And it wasn't until I realized that's just not who I am and let go that I was actually able to have fun with this hobby. I think a lot of times people can get caught up in, you know, trying to have it look a certain way. And it's just not achievable. And once you do let that go, and you just sort of embrace the mess, embrace it. You can you can have fun, and you can find joy. And there's it still looks beautiful. Just because it's not you know, in one certain style, you know, it's okay.

Jennifer Wilson 36:10

Well, it's your style. I think that sometimes you can take inspiration from others.

Aimee Mertell 36:15


Jennifer Wilson 36:15

For someting to try. But in the end your brain, your hand, your heart is creating this, and it's always gonna look like you.

Aimee Mertell 36:23

For sure. Yeah. I mean, I was so frustrated with myself. My mom, when she was a scrapbooker, she made beautiful pages. And she was very linear and just very, I don't know, straight lines. And I don't measure anything. Like, you know, I can't. But I I wanted to be that for so long. And it's frustrating. And then it makes you, it makes the hobby not as enjoyable as if you just, you know, did your own own thing and embraced what your style is.

Jennifer Wilson 36:54

Yes, yes, I totally agree. Aimee, this has been so nice getting to know you better, can you share where we can find you online, and anything you'll have new or coming up, you know, in December?

Aimee Mertell 37:07

Yeah, you can find me affectionatelyaimee on Instagram, I do have a Youtube as well as the same same name on YouTube. I don't update it very often. So most of my things you'll find on, on Instagram. And then upcoming project's is Document December. I'm doing that with Elle's Studio product release. And so that's going to be really fun. Lots of pink in that collection. So it's kind of a different, non traditional take on on December.

Jennifer Wilson 37:39

Sounds great. We'll include the links to both your Instagram and your YouTube in the show notes for this episode. Thanks so much for spending time with me.

Aimee Mertell 37:47

Thanks so much.

Jennifer Wilson 37:48

I hope you have a great weekend.

Aimee Mertell 37:49

You too.

Jennifer Wilson 37:50

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