SYW158 – Building and Using Scrapbook Kits

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“How do I coordinate a kit from my stash?” makes the list of top ten questions I get asked by scrapbookers. It’s such a personal process, but in this episode Lisa Hausmann breaks it down.

Lisa is not only one of our creative team members, but a long-time member of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog. Our conversation is full of helpful tips for paper and digital scrapbookers alike!

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Lisa Hausmann 0:00

What I like about putting my own kits together is it's your stash. So you haven't got those random products that maybe you have to challenge yourself to use because you feel guilty if you don't use it. You've bought your products because you like them, okay, maybe they've gone out of style or you've changed your mind. But on the whole, the stuff that you find in your room, you kind of like it, so you should be using it.

Jennifer Wilson 0:24

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 158. In this episode, I'm joined by Lisa Hausmann for a conversation about building scrapbook kits from your stash. Lisa offers tips for coordinating items, as well as advice on actually using the kits you've built or purchased.

Jennifer Wilson 0:56

Hey, Lisa, welcome Scrapbook Your Way.

Lisa Hausmann 0:58

Oh, thanks for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 1:00

Yes, I am looking forward to our conversation today. There is a something that I learned about you recently, which I'm kind of ashamed that I didn't know. But we're going to be diving into that a bit during our conversation. But for our audience, can you just share a little bit about yourself?

Lisa Hausmann 1:15

Okay, so I'm Lisa and I'm, I'm British, but I live in Germany, I've been living in Germany for about for over 20 years now. I moved here for love, which is quite romantic, my husband's German and we've been married for 18 years. I am a teacher of business English as a second language. So all of my work is online at the moment, which is quite nice. Because we have a Corona Beagle who is the love of my life these days. I know she's, she's the center of all my scrapbooking pages or most of my scrapbooking pages. And because of that we made a life move at the end of 2020. And we moved out of the city into a rural part of Germany, where we're kind of living a dog life. It's pretty good. And I started scrapbooking in 2006. So that's something you need to know.

Jennifer Wilson 2:02

Yes, yes. That the rural dog life sounds amazing.

Lisa Hausmann 2:07

So yeah, I'm a real city girl at heart. I've always lived in the city. So this is definitely something different living in a village. Fields just around the corner where the dog can go wherever she needs. And yeah, it's really nice.

Jennifer Wilson 2:22

Well, it's always fun when you have a life transition. And you can, that the memories, you're making shift a little bit. So you have new things to photograph, new stories to tell, and even comparisons to share about your life was like this at another time and now this is what it's like.

Lisa Hausmann 2:38

Yeah, I think you can see that shift in some of my scrapbooking pages recently. It's quite nice.

Jennifer Wilson 2:44

So what's exciting you right now in scrapbooking?

Lisa Hausmann 2:47

Okay, so I cheated a little I've got two things. But the first thing is meeting scrappy friends. I was at my regular group last night. And I just looked around at these wonderful women that I meet every week on a Thursday. And I just realized how motivating, inspirational, and just how awesome it is to be around people who think like you. It's a group of friends that I met through my local scrapbook store through Sylvia at Scrapabilly, and she introduced me to her friends and took me in. And of course, over Corona, we were meeting online for month, after month after month, it was really hard. And now we're allowed to meet in person. And we do that as much as we can. And that's really exciting there. I think it's totally inspirational to go there to see the new products to catch up on what crafty things they're doing to have a workshop together some evenings. And I just, it's amazing. And these women are fabulous.

Jennifer Wilson 3:48

Certainly sounds like a highlight to your week.

Lisa Hausmann 3:50

Yeah, that's really a highlight. And the other little thing I'm really excited about is stamping. The creative team really pushes me in different ways to try new things. And we've had some challenges where we need to use stamps, and I'm not a very good stamper. And so I've been doing my best and trying my best to be relaxed and easy about it. But I have decided to sign up for the Heidi Swapp Stamp Society. And I'm going to try and make it a bit more of a thing for me and try and get better at it. And I'm quite excited about that.

Jennifer Wilson 4:23

Well, it's almost impossible to watch Heidi's stamping videos and start to get obsessed with it.

Lisa Hausmann 4:30

I know.

Jennifer Wilson 4:32

She just has a way with the layering and the colors and it just Yeah, I I've you're not the first guest who has talked about trying to do more stamping to improve their stamping and make it more of a thing because of Heidi Swapp stamps. So...

Lisa Hausmann 4:49

I know. It's really, I mean it's a two way thing. It's 50% the fact that I've been asked to do a bit of stamping and I realized I'm really not very good at it. And I'm not very confident and then these awesome videos and I just think oh my god, I want a piece of that.

Jennifer Wilson 5:03

Yes, yes, yes. Well, I can't wait to see how that unfolds for you. Shifting to storytelling, is there a story on your memory keeping Bucket List?

Lisa Hausmann 5:14

That is. Actually on the way home from driving my my Thursday evening time with my friends, I always think about this question, because I'm always listening to your podcast. And I will think, oh, what Bucket List story would I have? And it always comes back to this cliche of my wedding album. I have a traditional photo album that took me 15 years to finish. So I'm not very fast on these things. And I haven't really scrapped any stories. And there is a story, it sounds a little silly, but it's a joke, a story that comes to mind every time. We woke up on the morning of our wedding, and my husband or my husband to be, looked at me and said, Lisa, I've got cold feet. And my jaw dropped. And I was like, what? Oh, no, what I said. It's really cold, can you close the window? Yeah, I think there was some few expletives mentioned at that moment. And it's a really jokey story, but it kind of sums up the sort of the, the, yeah, the level of our relationship with there's a lot of laughing there's a lot of joking. And that sort of, that's a story I want to tell and I've never told it.

Jennifer Wilson 6:29

Well and that is a story that has a built in title as part of it. I mean, I can just imagine that page unfolding from okay, how am I going to use these words cold feet really big on the page?

Lisa Hausmann 6:40

It's really funny. So can I squeeze in a second one?

Jennifer Wilson 6:44

Yeah, go ahead.

Lisa Hausmann 6:45

Well, we mentioned it before the show, actually, my grandmother will be turning 100 on Monday. And this is a story I have to tell I think even before anything for so my wedding. I need to record the story of my grandmother turning 100. And yesterday, she received a birthday card from the queen. And that is also asking for a layout. And I can't wait to get some details from my mom, she sent me some photos. And I'm going to be making that page as soon as I can.

Jennifer Wilson 7:17

That's so exciting. It's just such a cool thing. I didn't even know it was a thing I like I started Googling it, did some research on it. Because I was just so curious about how that happens. And and the process behind it. Because I you know, I was I'm assuming she doesn't sign them herself. But it does look like she creates a new signature every so often.

Lisa Hausmann 7:37


Jennifer Wilson 7:38

Because I was looking at comparisons and like what's not the same as it was in these other photos? She must like do a new signature every year. So at least it's you know, fresh.

Lisa Hausmann 7:47

Yeah. It's it's just amazing. And in the past, there used to be telegrams. But of course, telegrams don't exist anymore. So she gets this really happy smiley Queen Elizabeth card through the post. And we're all pretty amazed and thrilled at this. So..

Jennifer Wilson 8:00

So, so delightful. Well, Lisa, I wanted to have you on the show to talk about putting together kits. And so you're not not just one of our creative team members. And you've been on the team for quite a while now. And I just, I love your your feminine details, your beautiful handwriting, you're into, like, you know, florals, and your pages are always just so like sweet and beautiful. Oh, but you're also leading the team at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog. And I just, I didn't know this until I was doing research on, I want to have a guest about building kits. And it turns out one of my own team members, a perfect one to invite.

Lisa Hausmann 8:41

Yeah, I'm pretty crazy on kits. And yeah, kits is definitely a passion of mine and the whole team.

Jennifer Wilson 8:48

So can you talk about how you got involved with this and what the Counterfeit Kit Challenge is all about?

Lisa Hausmann 8:54

Yeah, sure. So I had to look up some of these details. Because the kits challenge has been going, Counterfeit Kit Challenge has been going since January 2011, which I think for challenge blogs is quite a long time these days. It was born, like I said the end of 2010 by from an idea from Bethany Hardy and Meridy Twilling. I think they're still around in the scrapbooking world here and there. So hi to them. They came across a post on Two Peas that was talking about using your, using your own stash. And they came up with this idea of using a real scrapbook kit club as inspiration to build your own kits from your own stash that you bought because you love it. And they had loads of challenges on the blog with things to do with your kit, how to put it together, how to create elements, which is where the counterfeiting comes in. So there's a little thing there with forging, which is a joke, obviously, but forging items for your own kit. And that went on for quite some time and And then for one reason or another, they both need to step back. And in 2016, it was make or break time. Were we going to close the challenge blog down, or should we continue. And I decided to just step up to, I'm just the leader of the organization stuff. So the whole thing, it takes a village to run this challenge blog, and we have a whole team. And we all take it in turns to run a kit, man, manage the blog, interact with the followers, and generally keep things going. However, the basics haven't changed in 11 years, we pick a kit, we copy it, we make our own version of it, we challenge our followers to do the same to make their own elements. And then to use it. And it's it's quite amazing, actually. But it's, it's so popular with people that love it. They just really love it. I joined in March while I started playing along in March 11. And then I joined the team in October 2011. And basically I don't I've hardly missed a month since then.

Jennifer Wilson 11:04

Wowo, what a history with it, that's amazing.

Lisa Hausmann 11:06

Yeah, it really is. And then I think there's probably what few people out there that are the same, but I might be the longest at the moment. I'm not I'm not exactly sure whether there's somebody else out there. But the basics are we have a blog, we have we pick a real kit from a real company. And then we say, Hey, this is a great kit, why don't we try and make our own version. And we all make our own version, and we have a hop on the first. And then through the month, we come up with ideas to help people find a starting place for their own kit, which can be sometimes problematic. We have the forgery on the fourth, which is creating your own elements for the kits. So it might be replicating a paper or copying somehow some embellishments or finding some embellishments that match the style of the kit that maybe aren't exactly the kit printables and things like that. We have a mini kit option. And then we have challenges to use the kit. And then we showcase a follower later in the month. And we also have a kill the kit idea. So it's it's really a whole month of activity. Oh, and everything is on the blog. But we we have a community on Facebook, which is a private Facebook community. And that's where all the chat and the sharing happens.

Jennifer Wilson 12:22

Well, that sounds so fun and just so amazing for being able to work through your stash. That's something that's like top of mind and a goal for you this year. And I think that's one of the big topics even though we are in this organization creative journey at the time this episode goes live, you know, storage and organization is not just about containing things. It's about how are we then going to use these things?

Lisa Hausmann 12:44

Yeah, definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 12:45

And I think this is a great example of, of specific tasks to help you use your stash.

Lisa Hausmann 12:54

Yeah, definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 12:55

Now, I'm curious with you living in Germany, did part of your initial interest on in joining this team and getting involved. Did have to do with challenges getting supplies? I, you know, I hear a lot about shipping, because so much of the scrapbook community is in the US. And what does that been like over the past decade?

Lisa Hausmann 13:13

Yeah, partially for sure. In the early days, I definitely got kits from the UK, with there were several kit clubs over there. And I wasn't even aware of kit clubs in Germany, there were a few, but I didn't really know about them. And I was slowly building up my own stash. And then I realized, I really love the kits over in the US. But you can't order those here. Because it's just like you say, too expensive with postage, too expensive with customs. And I just thought, well, I want all this, I want all these products, but I can't get them in a kit. So every time I went to a scrapbook store, I would grab anything I could. And I found that I was just piling up the product at home. But I wasn't really doing anything with it. It's the it's the old thing. It's the consumerism without actually productivity. And so it was partially because of living in Germany. But also I just started liking the idea of pulling product together so that you had a ready made set of products rather than having to go through all your products. So I think the two tech came together, I think the kick clubs started to ease off the British kit clubs sort of around that time. And then I was, I had a reasonable stash at that point. And then it was like, Aha, I can learn to put it together in my own way without relying on the American products.

Jennifer Wilson 14:37

So could you go into a little more of the reasons why it's it's fun, it's helpful to use a kit, whether it's something you've purchased, you know, pre coordinated, or assembled yourself.

Lisa Hausmann 14:48

Well, I see that there's probably differences between benefits of the purchase versus the assembled so I just go through a couple of points about the purchase. Because definitely, even me, every now and again I will treat myself to a to a kit from from the US. I like the fact of purchase kit, somebody, a designer has put these products together to form a cohesive designed picture in a way. And so the products are designed to go together, you've got in effect, everything you need to make a layout or to make a project. And I think that's really a benefit, you know that the papers match the embellishments. And these days with exclusive products like Felicity Jane, everything in the kit has got exactly the same color scheme, and it's absolutely perfect. So I definitely think that's a really big bonus, you've got often the possibility of coming across items that you might not find in your local shop, or trying things out that you might not normally pick up and buy. So a kit can challenge you to actually stretch your creative muscles, which I think is quite nice. And definitely for me, it was difficult to find some of the products that I would see in kits, I think I just can't get that. So just trying to think, hmm...

Jennifer Wilson 16:09

I just I totally agree, though, that there are things that I would have certainly never purchased myself. And yeah, some of those things end up not being used. But a lot of them I do challenge myself to say okay, here's this weird thing, like this giant camera or whatever strange shaped thing and like, okay, how can I use this? And how can I use this to inspire a creative direction for my page and just take it as a challenge?

Lisa Hausmann 16:33


Jennifer Wilson 16:33

Whereas I'm, uh, I always talk about how I can talk myself out of anything in my shopping cart. And I end up buying more cardstock and adhesive and inks and like things that don't require decision.

Lisa Hausmann 16:48


Jennifer Wilson 16:49

But it's, it's helpful to have someone else encourage you in that way.

Lisa Hausmann 16:53

I like the fact that I, a purchased kit arrives at your doorstep. So you haven't got to leave the house to pick it up, you take it in, you open it up and use it. Or in my case, in those days, I was taking it and putting it on the shelf, and admiring it on the shelf and never using it. So definitely I like the fact that a purchased kit should be, you bring it in, and you start using it straightaway. And of course, the other thing that I think is really important with purchased kits is is the design team. There's usually a fabulous design team that showcase all these amazing layouts, and all the products are used. And you can get really inspired by that. But of course, you don't need to just have the kit for the design team. But it goes hand in hand very often. And along with that also, there's a certain amount of community. If you're a Felicity Jane subscriber, you've got a whole community there, that and you're all in it together, the you're all making the same products in different, in different forms. And I think that must be, that's really motivational. As as far as as an assembled kit, what I like about putting my own kits together is it's your stash. So you haven't got those random products that maybe you have to challenge yourself to use because you feel guilty. If you don't use it, you've bought your products, because you like them, okay, maybe they've gone out of style, or you've changed your mind. But on the whole, the stuff that you find in your room, you kind of like it. So you should be using it. You can do whatever you want with an assembled kit, you can break the rules, make them all rules, make an old kit, a new kit, mix it make something that you wouldn't normally make, and there's no, there's no loss, if you use it. If you put the kit together and you don't use it, you can put it back in your stash and you haven't lost any money because you've already bought the products anyway. So I really like that. I think it helps you get very creative with using the products you have. And it can also be a great way to identify the things that you no longer want to use in your own scrapbooking. So it can help you fine tune your own scrapbooking, you know, when you go through that pile of paper and you realize you never ever pick out the papers in this area, because they don't inspire you. Maybe it's time to let those papers go. And I think that can be really freeing.

Jennifer Wilson 19:18

Yeah, I can really see how that lends to doing this repetitively, that the more you get familiar with the stash, and the more you can make great decisions that inspire you creatively and the more you can let go. Because you have that comfort level with your own style process and your stash to be able to just say okay, these things need to go away now.

Lisa Hausmann 19:43

Yeah, I remember Shimelle once mentioned in one of her videos that she touches her products all the time, her stash. She goes through, she'll pick up a bowl and she'll go through it and see what she's got. So she's very familiar with her own stash and I think definitely I'm pretty familiar is what I've got in my room. I might not have as much as a lot of people or I've got a lot more than others. But I, I know what I've got, because I'm going through it all the time because I mix things up. And I think, all right, this month, I want to use some old product. And I love it. And I love the fact that you can add stuff into your kit that you would never be able to do with a purchase kit. I like 15 alphas sometimes, I want all the, I want all the alphas. Well purchased kit, you're gonna have to buy all the add ons, if you want to add all the alphas and I think, sort of purchased, an assembled kit, it's just, you make the rules. And sometimes that's the problem. People don't really know where to start with that. But the more you do it, the easier it gets.

Jennifer Wilson 20:46

Yes, that's what I was thinking is that, you know, the more that you've practiced this, and you've had more than a decade of looking at a piece of inspiration, understanding, okay, this is what people, you know, designers typically are putting in kits, and then you know, even now how to customize that for your own needs. I'm curious at this point, is it easier for you to just to build a kit from that point of inspiration? Or is it easier to build a kit from just choosing one thing from your stash? And going from there?

Lisa Hausmann 21:17

I do both. I don't think either is easier than the other? I, I don't know about the other. I wanted to ask the other ladies on the team. And I completely didn't. Which is really bad for me. But I change it up every month, one month, I'll say, right, I'm using this one piece and going from there. And the other time I say right, I want to really make a kit that's close to the inspiration and look through all my stash to find you know, the perfect pieces. I think I'm really comfortable doing both and it doesn't take me long. I pull my kit together and about half an hour, 45 minutes maximum these days.

Jennifer Wilson 21:54

Now, are you pretty much always scrapbooking from a kit, then?

Lisa Hausmann 21:57

I'd say 80/20. Yeah, I love using collections. So if I buy a new collection, I might actually just make that. But even if I've got I've got a huge kit on the go at the moment for for my, my Beagle photo, my Beagle layers. And that's, that's a giant kit. It's not a counterfeit kit because it's a load of product that I've brought together. But I like the fact that I can just pick it up, pick up the box and go with it. So yeah, I'd say 80/20.

Jennifer Wilson 22:25

All right, that's fair. Now I'm curious if there's a listener out there that really wants to start from scratch and learn how to build a kit. Why do you think using the the counterfeit approach is so helpful?

Lisa Hausmann 22:39

Ah, yes. Because we are inspired by companies that put a lot of design thought into their kits. And so we're jumping on their expertise, and putting our own expertise on it. So we offer them, we give them a kit. And then we say hey, and here are 10 readymade kits that have already been gone through this inspiration. We, the team, we've looked at this kit, and we've made our kits and look at the 10 completely different ways that we've gone with it. And also, on the second day of the blog, we also offer a second blog post that says, Well, this is one idea you could take from the inspiration kit. You could take this paper, or you could take this color palette, or you could think about oh, it's all Sunny, so think about sunny days. And I really think this breaking it down and the community as well. We've got new people coming in. And they're often say, where do I start, and there's loads of ideas. And people say start here, start there, just pull a piece of paper and go from there. And it's, there's no rules. And that can be good for a beginner. And it can be difficult for a beginner, but definitely this idea of taking the expertise that somebody else already has, and building on that for your own kit. I think that's a really good place to start.

Jennifer Wilson 24:07

Well, one of the things that I've appreciated as I've looked through the kits that you choose for inspiration is that you're choosing both paper and digital kits.

Lisa Hausmann 24:14


Jennifer Wilson 24:15

And I'm curious if you've noticed any particular trends that maybe separate what's included in paper and digital kits or other trends that you've kind of just picked up over the years that that designers are using when they're compiling a kit?

Lisa Hausmann 24:32

Well, I definitely think digital kits are usually much larger. So there's many more items in a digital kit, which can be good because then you've got lots of places to go or it can be difficult. And I think sometimes paper scrappers can find inspiration from a digital digital kit a little bit more difficult, but we like to mix it up because we know we've got digital scrappers out there. So I definitely think that's amazing. The main difference I've seen, I think the biggest trends I've seen in general over the years is, kits no longer includes cardstock, more or less. So they assume, I don't know whether they're assuming that everybody's using white cardstock or that people have got cardstock. But very often, there's no cardstock. The exclusive features of a kit, I think that's a huge trend in the recent years. The other thing, I think, is that there's less scrapbooking kits out there. There's more pocket pages, traveler's notebooks, six by eight, the memory, oh, the the Heidi Swapp memory diary, I can't, I can't think what is called...

Jennifer Wilson 25:44

Memory planners.

Lisa Hausmann 25:45

Memory planners, that's it. And I think someday I think that's a trend that they're moving away from the standard 12 by 12 Scrapbooking kits. I don't know if other people think that too. But and I think that every kit company has a very clear identity, I think this is a very big trend. I think in the early days, it was much less easy to look at a kit and know, oh, that's Cocoa Daisy, or that's, you know, Hip Kit Club. And these days, you can you can see it immediately that the identity of a kit is very clear today, I think.

Jennifer Wilson 26:21

Well, I think part of that is just the, I'm sure there's a balance of desire and necessity to go to more exclusively designed products versus aggregating products that were made by the major manufacturers. Because that's, you know, that's originally what a lot of the kit clubs were. Is we're gonna, you know, preview these lines, order things and compile them. And so there were certainly overlaps. And it was really what the industry was setting as a trend. But now there's so much, you know, custom design that, as you said, it's very clear, there's very clear, like, branding and identity for all the different clubs these days.

Lisa Hausmann 26:58

Yeah, yeah, that's that also makes it interesting.

Jennifer Wilson 27:03

Yes, for sure.

Lisa Hausmann 27:04

So for us it's really interesting, because every now and again, somebody will track down a kit club that's, old school is the wrong word, but you know, there's using real manufacturers products and mixing it up and not making it a single collection. And that's like, that's quite exciting. It's like, oh, wow, we're back to 2012. Oh, this is fabulous. Or you would go for a completely exclusive kit, where probably people haven't got anything of that in their kits. And then you really have to get creative, sorry, in their stash. And they have to get really creative finding products in their own stash that match these exclusive products that I can never get my hands on. I'm never going to have a Felicity Jane kits. So I'm always going to have to think, okay, let's think outside the box here.

Jennifer Wilson 27:47

Well, that's what I'm curious. Can you give some examples of taking inspiration from the chosen kit and, and applying it in a less literal way? Because obviously, you could notice, okay, this kit has black letter stickers, I'm gonna find some black letter stickers. And maybe they're, they're a script font. So I'm gonna pull a script font. But, you know, how, what are some examples of how we can maybe think outside the box, as you mentioned? And I think that sometimes it's a skill that requires a little bit of development.

Lisa Hausmann 28:17

It does, it definitely comes with time to become less literal. And, you know, some people really want to be literal. And that's, that's great. And they match every product item for item. But yeah, so for example, I will look at the content list of any kit and I'll say, oh, okay, so we've got nine papers, and we've got a pack of die cuts, and we've got some enamel dots, and we've got some ribbon. Okay, well, I don't use ribbon anymore. So I'm going to have some texture, I want some texture to mimic the ribbon. So I'm going to use some string. Oh, that sounds really great. So okay, so string that might be a bit more, a bit more sort of rough and sort of a bit more rustic. Okay. So rather than this sparkly enamel dots they've got, I'm going to go for something toned down. So I'm going to match the products, but I'm going to take my own spin on those products. So I'm not meant to have ribbon, I'm not gonna have enamel dots, I'm going to have I don't know, maybe veneer instead of, instead of I'm gonna say okay, right. So I've got some string, and veneer would be my takeaway for the enamel dots. And then I'm going to say okay, nine papers. Yeah, that's good. So I can take the inspiration from the overall look of the papers. I'll say, I want nine papers, but I want you know, I want to stripe, I want a dot, I want to a flower, but I'm not going to follow exactly what the kit has. If it's got a loopy alphabet, and it's black, but somehow I think, Oh, actually, black is not going to suit my kit. I'm going to take a loopy alphabet that's pink, for example. So for example, I've done lots of this and I do go rogue quite often and I'll see you know, a vintage purple surfing motive flowery kit. And I'll say right well, I don't, don't do any of these things. I don't do purple and I definitely don't surf and I'm not really a beach person. But if I tone everything down, I could think, okay, that's a pastorally beach, but sort of autumn beach where I'm walking along the, you know, I'm walking on the beach with the wind in my hair. And so I'm going to have these kind of feel to my kit, and it's not going to be purple, it's going to be pastel tones. And it's not going to be vintage, it's going to be soft. And so you can, you can take the literal idea and find a way to interpret it for yourself.

Jennifer Wilson 30:32

I love that so much. And it just, I think that I'm sure as evidenced in have seeing what the team has created, because everyone is using their personal lens to view the example and then say, Okay, this is what I took from it, and how I responded to that with making selections from my own stash. And from the stories that I want to tell. So yeah, how fun.

Lisa Hausmann 30:56

It really is it honestly, I mean, we have, I think 10 or 11 kits, usually on the first of the month, and there is no way if you lined all these kits up, you think they came from the same origin. But if you look at the origin kit, you can find that in each of the kits. And that's fun.

Jennifer Wilson 31:13

Yes, yes. So I'm curious what you would typically include if you were building a kit, if you're building a kit, if you didn't have any inspiration, where would you typically start?

Lisa Hausmann 31:25

Okay, so if I didn't have any inspiration, I'd probably start with papers. And I'd go for a feeling of the papers I wanted to have, maybe I maybe I'd start with the idea of what I want to do, the image, the feeling I want to have in my kit, so it might be soft. And I then I pick, usually 10 to 12 papers. I think that's usually my starting point, I used to start with cardstock with the colors I wanted as a base. But these days, I always start with papers. And then I add in alphas and then I add in the flat embellishments and then I go from the paper. So I look at my papers say, right okay, what, what alphabet goes with this or and what enamel dots goes with this. And then I add in all the embellishments. So I'm definitely going to add in lots and lots and lots as much as I possibly can. Because I know that I want good variety of that. And I'm going with what inspiring me at the moment. So if I've come back from the shop and I've bought something new, then I might think oh, I'll throw that pack of embellishments in. I take it out of the collection pack, throw it into my new kit and I think okay, I've got something new, it goes with my papers, the colors are the same. I've got an idea that I want something moody and summery. And that's where I'm going to go for it.

Jennifer Wilson 32:48

Do you ever go shop to complete a kit if you've pulled things together and you're like, Oh, I just need this one more thing?

Lisa Hausmann 32:55

Yes. Yes, yes, definitely. I it usually doesn't happen when I'm making the kit. I usually pull the kit together completely because I'm doing it at home and the shop is quite some way away and I'm never organized enough to do it ahead of time. So I pull my kit together and then I think you know what I really need is another alphabet in here. So I'll present my kit and that's absolutely fine. And I always say my kit, my rules. I add stuff in as I go through so I my kits are usually used for longer than a month and then I'll add stuff in. Oh I need another alphabet or oh yeah these enamel dots they're not quite the right color. So I'm going to add something else and and I will definitely look around the shop and think ah that would be perfect for the kit. The only thing I actually do sometimes I might glance at the papers and think oh I really need some wood grains for my kit next month. And then I think I don't have any wood grain at the moment and then I will specifically go and pick up 2,3,4 sheets of wood grain and think right I can pick one of them for my kit and then I've got a couple for next time around. It doesn't happen often.

Jennifer Wilson 34:07

Well, but it sounds like it helps you shop more intentionally because you're observing maybe what's what's missing from your stash. And you are just being thoughtful about your purchases so that you know they're going into something that's going to get used.

Lisa Hausmann 34:21

That's that's really that's comes back to this you're touching your stash you know what you've got and it definitely helps when you're looking for. I don't know that the kit, the kit recently had lots of yellows in it. And I thought I don't have any yellows and so I pulled a kit together and it was a really beautiful kit and I think I used it might be on the shelf but I definitely used it during the month. But I made a mental note right I want some yellows and I want some navys. So next time I'm shopping I might specifically look out for those, or at least keep my eye open in the next months to come. Because I know that I love that color and I wanted in my in my stash for next time that kit, kit color comes up.

Jennifer Wilson 35:01

Hmm, I love that. Do you have any particular tips for coordinating patterned papers? Because I think this is something that scrapbookers often struggle with? Hmm.

Lisa Hausmann 35:12

Well, it's tricky, isn't it. Because white isn't white and it can be really difficult. The the main tip I would go for is to, is to think about in manufacturers rather than across manufacturers. Manufacturers often have the same color hues or the same color tones from collection to collection. And so if you really wanted to find a good range of coordinated papers, I might think, okay, if I go to Echo Park. There, and I go for, you know, feminine collections, they're all going to have similar coordinated colors and patterns. And they're all going to fit together really nicely. The same with Doodle Bug or Simple Stories. So I definitely think going across collections with one manufacturer is a is my main tip. But also, think about making a color palette online, taking one pattern paper and picking out four or five colors. Making your own color palette, and then having that printed out in front of you when you're looking for coordinating papers. And I think that's a nice idea. Other than that, I think you've got to think about designs and think, right, okay, I'm looking for stripes, I'm looking for spots, I'm looking for, and then then you can coordinate it nicely with the idea of a lot of the basics, a small amount of something bold, and a very small amount of something large. And then you've got that coordinated set of papers as well, that works really well. So I think there's two or three approaches, but my main tip is definitely manufacturers.

Jennifer Wilson 36:52

Hmm, yeah, I agree totally, particularly when it comes to color palettes that they choose. I would also say that if you can coordinate your papers in company, whether that's in person or online, others are often really helpful at kind of seeing what you're not seeing of something's not quite working.

Lisa Hausmann 37:11


Jennifer Wilson 37:12

Or you need something with a smaller scale, or you have too many different stripes, or something like that. And so I'm getting a second eye on it. And if you can't get a second person's eye, even just taking a photo of what you selected can help you look at it differently. Also, you mentioned about white is not white, even just the simple rule of thumb if am I going for white whites in my papers or I'm going for creamy whites and even that can help you rule out because there's gonna be too much clashing between the two.

Lisa Hausmann 37:44

Yeah, and sometimes I have a kit that has both and I always get this, I can sense the sharp intake of breath from people, she's got white white and she's got creamy white or and but yeah, that's okay for me because that fits what I do. Sometimes I'm not worried about that but yeah if you want to, if you want to match up Felicity Jane Kit that's really pure white and all the papers, then you really need to seriously think about okay, I'm shifting away from the white, I'm going for creamy white, and therefore all the whites are going to be cream. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 38:15

Well, you know, it took me a while, I subscribed to Felicity Jane for a bit and I couldn't figure out why I struggled so much to work with the products and I think it was just, it was just too high contrast for me, too much of the white white, whereas I want a little bit more softness overall in my products.

Lisa Hausmann 38:34


Jennifer Wilson 38:34


Lisa Hausmann 38:35

Yeah so I'm all about the softness.

Jennifer Wilson 38:38

I know you are. Do you have any other like rules of thumb that you use when you're selecting embellishments or other products? Like are you like relying on this like mental thing of I need three of these or I need like this spread of different sizes or anything like that?

Lisa Hausmann 38:57

Definitely I want large, medium and small, for sure. I definitely want to look and think, okay, I can, I can mix these all together and create a cluster. I definitely want things that create dimension and texture. That's really important to me when I have my own kits pulling together. I always wanted enamel dots, even if I don't use them and I will go through phases where I forget about something. I think I remember hearing you talk about this recently in one of your podcasts about the doilies, you forgotten about doilies. I forget about things all the time. And suddenly I think I used to do this and so I will wrap twine on every layout. So I'll make sure I put four different twines in my kit and then the next one will be oh I need 16 threads in my kit this time because I suddenly remember that I want to do bunched up messy thread behind every photograph. But it's it's it's the size, I want a mix of sizes and I want a mix the mix of textures and then I want a good range of alphabets in different sizes. And all of these things would not be possible if I bought a kit because you just wouldn't get that number of different items in a bought kit. So it's great. I mean, my kits are usually quite large. But we have some girls on the team, they are mega kiters. I know there's been some chat in the, in the, in the community this last week, one girl has, she's she's put 33 papers in next month's kit. And I'm like, whoa, whoa. And she will use it because she is so productive. It's awesome.

Jennifer Wilson 40:36

That's really cool. What I love that there's a choice like, you know, you can experiment with, you know, an average sized kit, to a mega kit, to more of a mini or micro kit that's just for one page and see what feels comfortable for you. I know I like a lot of variety. So I prefer smaller kits because I can get bored easily. But others love the challenge of saying, Okay, here's all the things, how many different things can I create with this kit. So...

Lisa Hausmann 41:03

I like cheating. I know that every piece of paper I put into my kit has to B side. And so it could be that I've brought together a kit that I love when I make it. But when I pull it out, I think okay, and then I turn around Oh, oh, the B sides are nice and then it's not the original kit, but it doesn't matter because it's my rules.

Jennifer Wilson 41:23

Oh, yes. 100%. So do you have any additional advice on making sure that you're using the kits, whether you've purchased them, or you've built them yourself. Because I see it sometimes happening that a lot of effort and energy is put into building kits, but then are you taking that follow up step of creating with them?

Lisa Hausmann 41:43

I definitely think you need to keep your kits in in sight. And you need to not necessarily have a plan. But you need to think about the fact that you've got kits and you need to reach for those kits and challenges is a great way of doing this. Myself and several of my counterfeit colleagues, we do LOAD on a regular basis. That's layout a day. And we always say we couldn't possibly consider doing layout a day without a selection of readymade kits. Because each day you just grab that kit and go. So I do think you need to have it in arm's reach, you need to think about joining challenges, you need a plan sometimes. It's great if you if you sort of think okay, I've got this month, and I want to do these layouts, and therefore that's what this kit is for. And the one last thing that I do a lot of is I especially when I'm doing design team work, I will come up with my sketch, I'll come up with my story, I'll print out my photos, I'll have everything ready to go. And then I think Oh, and now I'll pick up a kit. And I'll just use it. And it really doesn't matter which kit I pick it, I'll just pick the first kit. And I've got this, the layout ready to go in effect. And all I have to do is use the kit to make the layout. I think that's quite a nice technique. There's lots of challenges and inspiration online with killing kits. There's lots of people out there doing kill the kit type YouTube videos and inspiration challenges. And I would say think about cards, tags, mini books. If it's coming to the end, do you want to keep it as a kit, or do you put it back into your stash. You have to be active with your products. And a kit is no different. You have to handle it, manage it, deal with it.

Jennifer Wilson 43:38

Well I like the invitation of kind of thinking creatively, as you get to the end of it, or even from the beginning, of you don't have to just make layouts from this. What can I do to use a chunk of the supply that's really fun and fulfilling. Even just choosing from your scraps to punch them all into circles and put those back in your stash rather than just the you know, crazy size bits. So lots of options there.

Lisa Hausmann 44:05

Yeah, definitely fussy cutting is great at the end of the kit.

Jennifer Wilson 44:09

Yes, yes. Yes. If you didn't already use all the flowers, fussy cutting what you have left.

Lisa Hausmann 44:14

Very therapeutic. I love it.

Jennifer Wilson 44:17

For sure. All right, Lisa, this has been so fantastic. I am super inspired to use more of my stash this year because I need to start making some decisions about what's going to go away. And that means I need to get my fingers in there really looking at things. So thank you so much.

Lisa Hausmann 44:32

Thank you for having me. We're passionate about making kits. So it's been great to talk about it.

Jennifer Wilson 44:38

Can you share where we can find you online and anything you might have newer coming up this year?

Lisa Hausmann 44:42

Yeah, sure. So I've got a blog. It's Lisa And I'm Lisainre on Instagram. Of course we have the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. We'd love to see anybody over there. That's the Counterfeit Kit Challenge on blog on blogger. Of course I'm on the creative team at Simple Scrapper. So you might catch me there. And actually I have my own challenge blog that I'm hoping to restart after two years of downtime. So let's see what happens there. It's called whimsical musings. And it's layout a day in February. So I'm hoping for a really busy, inspired, challenging month.

Jennifer Wilson 45:20

Ah, sounds terrific. Again, thank you so much for your time.

Lisa Hausmann 45:23

Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 45:25

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