SYW164 – My Way with Heba Alsibai

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Heba Alsibai is prolific creator who values simple, efficient means to the end result. She enjoys creating for the fun of it just as much as she values storytelling. In this episode you’ll learn more about what keeps Heba engaged with this hobby and our online creative community. We explore her history, creative process, and current faves!

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Heba Alsibai 0:01

Being a part of this community and scrapbooking has taught me to be myself and love myself.

Jennifer Wilson 0:09

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

Jennifer Wilson 0:42

Hey, Heba, welcome to the podcast.

Heba Alsibai 0:45

Thank you for having me, Jennifer.

Jennifer Wilson 0:48

Yes, I think this is gonna be a fun conversation. I'm excited to get to know you a little better. I've been following you for a while and constantly hearing about you from others sharing your work. And so could you kick things off a little bit and share a little bit about yourself?

Heba Alsibai 1:04

Yes, my name is Heba Alsibai. I'm a mother of two. So my son's 20. And my daughter is 17. Been married for almost 22 years now, very close to 22. And I live in the state of Georgia. I was raised in Georgia, but also raised in the Middle East. So at a certain point of my life, my parents moved to Jordan. And we lived there for a few years. So I was lucky enough to kind of have that culture as well. So, but I'm also a crafter, a journaler a YouTuber. I'm loving being a part of our little community and documenting my journey.

Jennifer Wilson 1:54

Yes, our community is so amazing. I'm just, I love the spirit of collaboration and how we just kind of feed off one another. And it's just so it's so positive.

Heba Alsibai 2:05

Yes. Definitely.

Jennifer Wilson 2:06

I love that about it, because there's a lot of parts of the internet that aren't quite so positive.

Heba Alsibai 2:11

Yeah, exactly. I'm grateful for it, for sure.

Jennifer Wilson 2:16

So my favorite question to ask our guests is what's exciting you right now in memory keeping, it really could be anything at all.

Heba Alsibai 2:23

So I do planning, but it's not like major planning. I'm not like a planner girl kind of thing. But I love to plan and kind of get ahead of myself and have everything planned out for me. I've been using a GET TO WORK BOOK for like the past five years. But this year, I've discovered the Passion Planner, or I'm gonna say like the end of 2021. And I decided to buy one. And I have been obsessed about it. It's like, it's kind of like in a creative outlet with my planning. It's been so much fun to work in the Passion Planner, because I can still use my stamps, I can kind of do something different than what I usually do in my, you know, my usual crafting. So I'm really, really excited about it. And I'm hoping to start sharing that very soon.

Jennifer Wilson 3:25

I'm curious in terms of the format, and I have I have a general jist but and I'll link out for our audience as well. What are some of the major differences between the Passion Planner and the GET TO WORK BOOK in terms of how it's like functioning differently for you?

Heba Alsibai 3:39

Well, for the GET TO WORK BOOK when I used to use it, it was really basically just planning. So I would write down what's happening for the week and, you know, appointments and all that good stuff. And I used to do a little bit of, you know, creativity here and there just add like my currentlys every week. I also used it to help me kind of plan my Project Life. But the Passion Planner, I've been using their bottom, like they have this portion at the bottom of their planner, where it helps you kind of be creative because it asks you to do whatever you want in that section kind of thing. So what I've been using it for is I think they call the mind planning. And so a lot of I've seen a lot of people use it that way where they kind of do one portion of it like to talk about their day or to talk about the movies they watched or something like that. But I have been using that section to be creative and use my stamps and kind of document my day or my week, let's say in that little small portion of my planner, and it's just been fun to kind of use it that way. and be creative while planning basically.

Jennifer Wilson 5:03

Oh yeah, I love that. And I love how you've taken an idea you saw somewhere else and adapt it to the new tool that you were using.

Heba Alsibai 5:10


Jennifer Wilson 5:10

And you know were able to bring, kind of merge the creative planning and the practical planning parts together as well.

Heba Alsibai 5:17

Yes, yes, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 5:20

Well, I hope that continues to be successful. So now this is the weekly Passion Planner, not the daily, right?

Heba Alsibai 5:26

Right. The weekly.

Jennifer Wilson 5:27

Okay. All right, super fun. Yeah, I was looking at that yesterday, because I came across some random YouTube video and then went down a rabbit hole. And...

Heba Alsibai 5:35

Believe me, I went through the rabbit hole last like, I think in December, I would I went bananas. I was watching YouTube videos, Instagram posts, all of it.

Jennifer Wilson 5:46

So fascinating. Because there's a whole the whole other planner community out there.

Heba Alsibai 5:51

Oh, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 5:52

You know, all the planners all the time. So...

Heba Alsibai 5:55

Yes, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 5:57

And then kind of almost the flip side of this, what's exciting, you know, question is what is on your storytelling Bucket List. So this is, tends to be a more significant, sometimes deeper, sometimes hard, but not always. But something that just really feels important or critical for you to document but that you haven't done yet.

Heba Alsibai 6:16

So I've been wanting to document my childhood. And it's not anything deep or anything like that. I have a lot of photos of, you know, me as a kid, a teenager. And I've never obviously, you know, scrapbook those because I started scrapbooking at an older age. So I really want to go back and tell those stories. And it's really funny, because when I look at my photos, I remember the story behind a lot of those photos. And I think it would be fun to kind of document them and write out those stories and have a little album or a notebook that carries those stories for me, and not just sitting in your typical old fashioned albums. So that's definitely something I really want to go back and do. I did start a few months ago, just dabbling in it and kind of documenting a few stories from my childhood. But I've been watching Laura Wonsik. And she does it so well. she I think she documented her whole high school, photos and albums and things like that. And that's something that I really want to do and hopefully get to do it in 2022.

Jennifer Wilson 7:45

So do you already have a format in mind for how you want to go about it? Or, or have you only just kind of started gathering things?

Heba Alsibai 7:52

So I started in a, I don't know if you know, those Everyday Explorers, mini traveler's notebooks. So I think maybe it was her November, Christine's November or October kit. And there, there was a stamp that said, I think it said like my childhood or memories from my childhood. And that sparked something with me, it was like, oh, you know what, maybe I should document them in these little mini notebooks. And that way, it's not going to be overwhelming. And I like it. If I don't have like a major story, or I don't remember details of the story. I don't have to have, you know, a page of journaling, basically. So I'm hoping to stick to those. I think the project will get done. And I wouldn't kind of wear myself out basically.

Jennifer Wilson 8:47

Oh, for sure. I love keeping it like keeping really tight boundaries around it so that you know, you can make it doable and not not set yourself up for overwhelm or frustration because you over designed it I guess.

Heba Alsibai 9:00

Over did it. Yeah. I always try to keep things as simple as possible. I know when you look at my spreads, you think, oh my gosh, she did so much work on that. But honestly, a lot of my work is very simple and easy, because I never want to overwhelm myself and not finish that project. So always try to keep things simple. And if it's a small notebook, it doesn't make a difference. It just makes my life easier.

Jennifer Wilson 9:27

Well, I think you like a lot of structure in the design, use a lot of grids. And so there yeah, there may be a lot on the page, but you're doing that kind of advanced planning. So it's kind of like a puzzle that fits together in the end.

Heba Alsibai 9:41

Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 9:43

All right. So this is one of our My Way episodes where we get to really peel back the curtain on your hobby. But before we really dive in, I wanted to give our listeners a little teaser about what makes you tick. Right now in Simple Scrapper we're talking about organization this is ours second creative journey of 2022. This is our two month period where we dive deep into a theme. And so I'm curious if you have one or two favorite organizing tips for us?

Heba Alsibai 10:10

So one thing I love to do or use for organizing my embellishments, is these makeup drawers, their acrylic makeup drawers, I use them all the time. I discovered them years ago, maybe like back in 2015, or something like that. And I thought to myself, Oh, this is so cool. I think I'd probably saw it on a makeup guru, YouTube channel. And she was organizing her lipstick in there. And I thought, wow, these are perfect. I think I can use them to organize my stickers, my labels, all that good stuff. So I bought myself a set. And I didn't ever look back. After that I started organizing all my, you know, acetates, my labels, my chipboard. I just feel like they're the perfect organization container to hold all your embellishments and have it sitting on your desk. So you can actually use them.

Jennifer Wilson 11:12

Yes. And they're clear so you can see them and you know what you're going for.

Heba Alsibai 11:16


Jennifer Wilson 11:16

I love those. So...

Heba Alsibai 11:18

Yeah, and if I over...

Jennifer Wilson 11:19

You're not the first person to have mentioned that on the podcast.

Heba Alsibai 11:22


Jennifer Wilson 11:22


Heba Alsibai 11:23

Yeah, I love them.

Jennifer Wilson 11:25

There's so yeah, they're so awesome. It actually sent me down a rabbit hole. I ended up with just acrylic dishes, but in my drawers. And so because I prefer more closed storage.

Heba Alsibai 11:35


Jennifer Wilson 11:36

But still having the smaller containers and having a lot of them was game changing for actually being able to organize my embellishments.

Heba Alsibai 11:44

Oh, yes, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 11:45

Yeah. So I love that strategy. And I have a lot of those baskets in my containers in my bathroom as well. But actually have makeup in them too.

Heba Alsibai 11:54

Yeah, they're perfect. They're perfect for everything, honestly. And first, I think you it's always it's a good way to remind yourself that you have too many of a certain embellishments. And you need to stop buying them. Right. You should.

Jennifer Wilson 12:09


Heba Alsibai 12:09

Because if it doesn't fit in the drawer, that means you're overdoing it basically.

Jennifer Wilson 12:15

Yes, yes. Don't let it go beyond the container.

Heba Alsibai 12:18


Jennifer Wilson 12:20

So let's kind of taking it back here. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started scrapbooking and maybe how your hobby has evolved since that time.

Heba Alsibai 12:29

So back in 20, 2007 my husband and I and the kids, we moved to Dubai. And my next door neighbor was a scrapbooker. She had shown me her albums, and was sharing with me how she kind of documents her kids. And I was blown away. I really fell in love. And was like, I want to do that too. So basically, I asked her, Would you teach me how to do this? Like, how do you do this? And where do you buy all this stuff. And she taught me how to scrapbook, we used to scrapbook together. She would let me use her supplies. And then she would kind of take me with her to buy all the things. So it basically started there. It was more of I wanted to document my kids as well. And I loved how she was doing that. Obviously, it was like the traditional 12 by 12. And obviously I grew from that. But it was a way for me to be creative. I've always been creative. My mother is very creative. And I grew up, she used to do ceramics. So I grew up with her letting us paint things for her and stuff like that. So I had it in me, but I didn't know where to go with it, if that makes sense.

Jennifer Wilson 13:57

Yes. It totally does.

Heba Alsibai 13:57

Yeah. Yeah. So finding that and being able to, you know, add those photos in an album with beautiful paper. I was all for it.

Jennifer Wilson 14:10

You know, it's so interesting that you talk about kind of those those hints from childhood of being like being creative or artsy, or I know you're a big reader as well. And we love stories like all these little things like, oh, a lot of us liked school supplies and supplies and things like that, too. It all kind of has come together into this, you know unique hobby for us.

Heba Alsibai 14:35

When I actually started scrapbooking, my sister told me but you've always done this. And I was like, No, I haven't. And she was like, Yeah, remember when you had your son? You did a little scrapbook album and it wasn't it was. I don't know if you remember those calendars that you get with your baby book. Your baby's first year and you fill it out with information from the hospital and his first words, so there was a calendar in there. And I had used like stickers and photos. And just to add it in his first words and things like that. And I thought to myself, well, actually, that is kind of like scrapbooking, in a kind of, you know, creative. Yeah and she remineded me of that.

Jennifer Wilson 15:20

It's very much memory planning isn't it kind of?

Heba Alsibai 15:22

Yeah, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 15:25

I love that. So how how did it come to be like, how when did you start shifting away from maybe the traditional 12 by 12? Is there any? Are there any particular like points of change in the industry that really started shifting things for you?

Heba Alsibai 15:42

Oh, yeah, it was Pproject Life. When I discovered a Project Life and Becky Higgins, I just fell in love. And I thought that was the coolest way to scrapbook. And just a great way to kind of document your week. You know, I never, ever thought of documenting my week and always documented my favorite photos or an occasion. But to be able to document all the photos that I take in one album was like heaven to me. So I fell in that rabbit hole of Becky Higgins. Bought all the kits. And then scrapbook dot com, not scrapbook dot com, sorry, Studio Calico, started working with Becky Higgins and started their Documenter kit. Back then it was called the Project Life kit. Subscribed and that was it. Like I never looked back. I think at some point, all I was doing was Project Life. I wasn't doing 12 by 12 anymore, and was just creating in my Project Life album.

Jennifer Wilson 16:52

It's so interesting to think about how things have evolved in the past decade and how I feel like now we're at a point where we're feeling the craving both to document the every day and the big moments, and how can we bring those together or choose different formats? For one versus the other? We have so many options today.

Heba Alsibai 17:11


Jennifer Wilson 17:11

I think it did fundamentally change the attention that we place on and the value, we have an everyday moments that are as important as birthdays and holidays.

Heba Alsibai 17:21

And I love that, I love that it evolved to that. Because I think that's the little details are, to me the most important thing because now that my kids are older, and I don't have toddlers and little kids in elementary school. So when I get to look back on my Project Life albums and see them as little ones, it just, it makes me so happy to see what they were doing and where we used to go and what they like to do. Because now what they like to do is totally different, you know?

Jennifer Wilson 17:54

Yeah, for sure.

Heba Alsibai 17:55

Yeah. So it's it's beautiful to look back on my 2011 album, and then look at my 2021 album. It's such a big change. And it's beautiful to see that.

Jennifer Wilson 18:09

Oh, for sure. So are you still creating in, are you still doing Project Life today? Like what sizes and formats do you create it and most the time?

Heba Alsibai 18:19

Yes, I still do Project Life, I think I will never stop doing Project Life. I just love it way too much. I been working in a 6 by 12 For the past three years. I think this is going to be my fourth year in a 6 by 12. Before that I was doing it in a 12 by 12. But as the kids got older, I didn't need all that space. So that's why I decided to go into like you know, change the size. I also work and Traveler's Notebooks. I love Traveler's Notebooks. I think the size is perfect. It's not too big, not too overwhelming. And I especially love Studio Calico's because they have that pattern. So you don't even have to worry about like coming up with your own ideas or adding your own paper. So yeah, yeah, it's built in for you. It's easy. And I love myself an easy spread. Like I just love to create and have fun and not worry about, you know all the details basically.

Jennifer Wilson 19:26

Now, I'm curious about the 6 by 12. What do you like about that particular size and orientation? And are you doing mostly pockets? Do you do any full page six by twelves?

Heba Alsibai 19:37

So what I like about the 6 by 12 is because I've been doing Project Life for so long. I am kind of on auto. Like I know what I like. I like to have a certain amount of photos on my spread and a certain amount of cards. I know that sounds crazy, but it's just that's how I'm used to doing it. And it works for me. And I don't have to think hard about it. So the 12 by 12 format, I love, but the size of the album, I don't. So if I stayed with a 6 by 12, that way, I still have the 12 by 12. If you use two pocket, what are the called, page protectors? You still have that 12 by 12. But it's in a 6 by 12 album, and it doesn't take up all that space in your craft room. And it's not heavy.

Jennifer Wilson 20:33

Oh, I love thinking about it that way. That's super fun.

Heba Alsibai 20:36

Yeah, it's just, I was still able to work in a 12 by 12. But not, but not, basically.

Jennifer Wilson 20:44

No, that's, that's terrific. And I've obviously I create spreads all the time. But I've just never thought of it that way as you know, two 6 by 12s as a 12 by 12. And you know, a very much. Here's my Design A and yeah, no, I love that.

Heba Alsibai 20:58

Yeah, it just made more sense. In my head. It made sense to me. And I kind of felt like this is the way to go, I can shrink it down. But also still have that style that I'm used to.

Jennifer Wilson 21:14

Yes, yes. Now I'm curious. It sounds like you kind of have a formula for how you put this together? How does your photo management fit into that?

Heba Alsibai 21:25

So um, I take all my photos with my iPhone. And I do keep my photos kind of organized on my phone into albums. So every, like few weeks, I'll go into my phone and create little albums. And I'll call them like, week one January, you know, week two January. And that way, when I come to start working on my Project Life, those photos are there for me. And I just go in there and choose the ones I want to document. And basically, you know, I use some filter apps and then print them out and work on my Project Life. I find like when I have them organized on my phone, I don't have to struggle into finding those photos.

Jennifer Wilson 22:17

I love that. Anything you can do to kind of give yourself a shortcut later is often so helpful.

Heba Alsibai 22:22

Yeah, I usually don't wait too long to start documenting a certain week. But sometimes you fall behind. And you don't want to kind of struggle with the choosing your photos and finding those photos. But I also do use my planner to add little photos in my planner on the calendar. That helps me or reminds me what happened that week.

Jennifer Wilson 22:50

Oh, okay.

Heba Alsibai 22:51

Yeah, so always my like calendar in my planner, our little mini photos that fit into the calendar. And then I can basically go into my planner, and kind of take a quick look at where like if my daughter graduated, let's say I can see what day she graduated. So oh, that's week one or week five.

Jennifer Wilson 23:17

So what kind of system do you have to be able to get those mini photos super quick? Because I'm sure you have to, you have to have a routine to be able to do that regularly. And to keep up with it.

Heba Alsibai 23:29

Yes, I use a Canon IV printer. It's one of those mini printers.

Jennifer Wilson 23:34

Ok. Yeah.

Heba Alsibai 23:35

So what I do is that their app has a collage of four photos in there. So when you create a collage of four photos, and you print it out, they come out pretty small, because those little photo printers are pretty tiny. And they fit perfectly in most of those calendars. I mean, they fit perfectly in my GET TO WORK BOOK. And they also fit perfectly in my Passion Planner.

Jennifer Wilson 24:02

Oh, I love that. It's such a fun. It's you know, it's memory keeping on its own. So maybe you if you refer to anything else, at least you have that recorded but it's also a way to jog your memory and save those stories for future storytelling.

Heba Alsibai 24:15

Yes, exactly. And it's it's kind of fun and easy. Basically if you have those little mini printers, you're not going to your big printer and printing a bunch of small photos. I literally just wait till the end of the week. Go back in and just print those photos out and put them in my planner.

Jennifer Wilson 24:33

Fun. I love that. So other, other products that you haven't already mentioned that you're totally obsessed with like what what are you buying these days? What do you just absolutely love?

Heba Alsibai 24:44

Oh my gosh, there's a lot of stuff that I absolutely love. I wish I didn't love all the products and then buying them all. But right now. Are we talking just like a product or or brand?

Jennifer Wilson 25:01

Feel free feel free to share whatever you like. I know that I've been rapidly acquiring six by eight stamps.

Heba Alsibai 25:07

Oh my gosh, I don't even get me started with stamp sets. Because I am obsessed with Kelly Purky stamp sets. I don't think I've ever hated a stamp set from her. That's something I always loving from her. But recently I have fallen in love with the We R Memory Keepers hole punch. It has like five holes.

Jennifer Wilson 25:33


Heba Alsibai 25:34

In different sizes. That thing is genius. And I wish we had it, you know, years ago, but because it's it's perfection. And I've been you know, working in a mini album. So punching out the holes, the right size. It's just been so easy and perfect. So I've really been enjoying using that hole punch. It's kind of pricey, but I think it's worth every single penny because I've been using it non stop.

Jennifer Wilson 26:04

But no, I have one too. And it's so handy. And I was using my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite for a long time. It was just like it'd be hard to get it the right spot. And like it might slide was just you didn't have as much control over you have versus this one that's in your hand. And yeah, the flexibility of different sizes too is really nice.

Heba Alsibai 26:23

Yeah, well, it's, it's kind of like a weapon. It's so heavy.

Jennifer Wilson 26:27

It is much heavier than I expected.

Heba Alsibai 26:29

Yes. Crazy heavy. But I love it. It's perfect. I actually used it, I think last week to hold my tripod in place. That's how heavy it is.

Jennifer Wilson 26:42

I always like stack hold my camera against something in the morning when I'm taking a little video and so I need to use that. as my new camera stand.

Heba Alsibai 26:51

It's handy.

Jennifer Wilson 26:54

Any other products that are popping to mind that you're just obsessed with? Can't get enough of.

Heba Alsibai 26:59

I'm trying to think, I think those are like the two that, well, I have to say I do love my Studio Calico kits. I think if I didn't get my Traveler's Notebook kit, I don't know what I would do, because I use those Traveler's Notebooks monthly. And it's I just love their kits and their products. And it's I don't know, their products really speak to me. So definitely obsession. It's an obsession for years now. I've been a subscriber to them for I don't know, since like 2011 or something. So yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 27:35

That's a long time. That's back when they were doing you know, just paper traditional scrapbook kits.

Heba Alsibai 27:40

Yeah. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 27:42

Now, I'm curious with your Traveler's Notebook projects. Are you documenting stories in the moment, like, kind of next to your Project Life? How do you figure out what's what you're going to do in that Traveler's Notebook?

Heba Alsibai 27:56

So for my Project Life, it's always about everybody. So basically, anything that happened throughout the week goes in there. But my Traveler's Notebooks sometimes I even repeat myself. So if I added a photo in my Project Life, I don't mind using that same photo to tell a story in my Traveler's Notebook. So I always say my Traveler's Notebook is where I get to be very creative, and just have fun. And you'll see in my layouts, like I'll trim out photos, I'll add the little teeny, tiny photos and large photos. Because I'm just having fun in that. I'm trying to use it as an outlet for me a creative outlet. So I don't mind if you can't really see the perfection of a photo or if the photo is not perfect. I don't mind it either. It's just basically holds my favorite stories, my favorite photos. And that's basically it. So I don't mind if I repeat myself. And I always say like, my Traveler's Notebooks are for me, it's not for anybody else. It's not like I plan to give these to my kids or anything like that. I just like creating, I love paper. And I love my photos and I want to document them. So I use my Traveler's Notebooks for that.

Jennifer Wilson 29:18

I love that distinction. I think we all have different needs. And we're fortunate to be able to satisfy those different needs with with different choices that we make for our scrapbooks.

Heba Alsibai 29:28

Yes, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 29:31

So is there anything that you think you use or you do on most of your pages, like what kind of trends would we notice if someone was coming to your Instagram with fresh eyes?

Heba Alsibai 29:43

So I do use a lot of stamping. I love my big titles. I feel like I've always done the big titles even back in the day when I did the traditional scrapbooking, but I I love my stamping and I think my small photos, I don't mind using tiny photos on my spreads. I know a lot of people like you know, the traditional sized photos or larger photos. But I feel like, you know, it's fun to play around and kind of print out your photos in a photo strip, or print out your photos to fit in a little mini frame. So I really love doing that whole stamping a TV screen and then backing it up with a photo of whatever I'm watching. I love doing that. I love playing with things, you know, my stamps and stuff like that. So that's definitely something I always do. Sometimes I feel like I'm boring because I keep repeating myself. But I always feel like if it works for you just keep doing it.

Jennifer Wilson 30:51

Oh, yeah, for sure. And I think sometimes we don't want things to be fussy or quote unquote, hard. But sometimes we do. We want to intentionally because this is fun. And we want the satisfaction of particularly if you're using, like repetition we want and the tiny things are always so cute. So I think we have choices. And sometimes we can make it simple and clean. And sometimes we can cut little tiny things because we want to.

Heba Alsibai 31:21

Yes, exactly. I always feel like you know, it's, there is no right or wrong way to scrapbook. You know, just do what makes you happy. And what when you look at your layout, you're proud of what you created. So it's I never fall into the I want to do what everybody else is doing. I always like to just do what I like to do. And if it works, it works. And if it doesn't, you know, uh, well, it's my scrapbooking, you know?

Jennifer Wilson 31:51

Yeah. And then we'll we can try again another time too. Because, yeah, always stuff that we make that, you know, we don't even like, right.

Heba Alsibai 31:57

Yeah, exactly.

Jennifer Wilson 32:00

And, you know, it took me a long time to finally say, You know what, the next page will be better or in five years I'm not gonna think that page looks weird. I might actually like it. And you know, it's...

Heba Alsibai 32:09

Yeah, yeah. You know, it's funny, because when I create something that I don't like, but I still post it on Instagram, it gets the most likes. So, like, what? How did they like this layout? I mean, I wasn't even happy with it. I didn't even want to post it. You know? It's funny.

Jennifer Wilson 32:30

It is funny that way. Yeah. I'm curious if you're someone who who's kind of energy for scrapbooking, ebbs and flows, or do you always feel motivated to create?

Heba Alsibai 32:42

Well, I never push myself to create. I only create when I want to create. I felt like last year, I took on too many creative teams. I was on, I think three. So I felt at some point that I was creating, because I had to at some point, and when I get to that point, I don't like it. Because my crafting is for joy. And if it's feeling overwhelming, and I'm being pressured to create then I'm not happy. So I made sure to scale down big time for 2022. Because I don't ever want to not want to craft. So I take it pretty easy. I don't craft every day. But when I do craft I craft for long hours. Like I...

Jennifer Wilson 33:36

Okay, okay.

Heba Alsibai 33:36

Yeah, I'm in it. Like if I'm gonna craft and I turn on my camera to record for like my YouTube channel. I'm in it. I'll even like bust out like three videos. But I have, I have to be in it. I want to craft so I'll do it. But if I'm not feeling it, I'm not going to craft.

Jennifer Wilson 33:58

I love that. I think it also shows how we're all different because some some people like are going to be exactly like you and want to find those larger blocks of time where you can find the creative flow. And others will, you know, need to dabble a little bit here and there to be able to stay connected to it.

Heba Alsibai 34:16

Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And crafting is self care for me. It's something that I find joy in. And I never want to lose that because it's my time. It's like my me time.

Jennifer Wilson 34:33

Do you ever find it difficult to find the intersection between when you are feeling excited about it? And there's time in the day in the schedule to do it?

Heba Alsibai 34:44

What do you mean, sorry?

Jennifer Wilson 34:46

Oh, just in terms of how do you ever feel like you have to fit it in or you're running out of time or? Or there's just not time in the day? I mean, I guess you know you're in a season of life. Now your kids are older. So you probably have a a reasonable amount of leisure time.

Heba Alsibai 35:03

I understand. Well, I mean, I do find time if I want to find the time, I will find the time. But basically I am a like morning crafter, not an evening crafter. I always feel like evening time is for my family. So once I'm done with work, and I work from home, so once I get my work done, I decide to craft and have that time for myself, basically. So but I do have definitely I have more time to take a good portion of my day and just craft. Like it's, that's why when I do craft, I'll craft for you know, a good amount of time, basically. But I try to craft most of the time, early mornings when it's fresh, and I'm excited to craft. In the evening. I'm just too tired. And I'm not creative. And I don't want to be crafting, I just want to be in my PJs, you know?

Jennifer Wilson 36:00

Yes. For sure, it's important to do what you can to honor those personal rhythms because we're all you know, a little bit different. And like you, by it's like 8:30 I am so zonked out. So...

Heba Alsibai 36:15

Oh my gosh, me it's like 7:30. Like we eat dinner, everything. I'm like, I'm out. I'm going to change. That's it. My day is over.

Jennifer Wilson 36:25

Well, I appreciate you spending time with me in your evening time, then.

Heba Alsibai 36:29

No problem.

Jennifer Wilson 36:31

So I'm curious if over the years, you found some things in scrapbooking, whether it's a supply a technique, size, a format that you've decided, nope, that's not for me.

Heba Alsibai 36:44

I'm gonna say cut files. I...

Jennifer Wilson 36:47


Heba Alsibai 36:48

Yeah, I'm not. It's not that I don't like the look of them. I love what people do with them. But I'm the type of the crafter that if something's gonna take me away from my desk, while I'm crafting, it's too much work. So basically, it's too much work for me. And I like things to go fast. And, and I feel like cut files, you're going to need the machine and then you have to like get online and get the cut file. You know, it's just a lot of steps to create. I just find it easier for me to just create and not worry about the extras. So yeah, I've never done them. It's crazy. It's been years since I've been crafting, and I've never done cut files.

Jennifer Wilson 37:39

Oh so interesting. Well and I think yeah, we all have things like that, where we just know enough about ourselves to know this isn't gonna work for me.

Heba Alsibai 37:48


Jennifer Wilson 37:49

I think the more that we really be honest about that, that helps us make better purchasing decisions. The tools that we do buy, we know we're gonna use.

Heba Alsibai 37:58

Yes, exactly. For sure. And like, I think punches I've never, like I only have a few punches. And they're all circle, like circle punches. That's it. I feel like I don't need them. And if I wanted like a square, I could just use a die cut. And that's it, you know, or not a die cut a die to cut out a square. But yeah, I don't I'm not into the punches. I know a lot of people have like drawers and drawers of punches. But yeah, I, I don't think I've ever purchased that many punches. It's always circles. I'm always drawn to circles I have every size.

Jennifer Wilson 38:42

I'm curious, what do you have drawers and drawers of?

Heba Alsibai 38:46

Stamps, there're buckets and buckets of stamps, stamps and ink pads, it is so bad because I know it's too much. But I always tell myself, I use them and I do go through them once or twice a year and go through all my stamps. And you know, make that decision that I haven't used this stamp for the past year it needs to go and give it to somebody who will. So I do definitely purge the stamps that I don't use. But also I'm lucky enough to be on a few creative teams throughout the years and get you know all the stamp sets. Now I say this to people like I get the stamp sets. A lot of them I probably wouldn't purchase like I'm not going to go and purchase 20 stamp sets basically, you know so, but I do yeah, I have way too many stamp sets and I literally just bought stamp sets this week, or Oh yeah, that was a bad purchase. It's a good and a bad purchase basically.

Jennifer Wilson 39:55

No. I get it. I bought so many stamps at the end of the year that I had to buy more supplies to organize those stamps.

Heba Alsibai 40:03

Yeah, that's, that's when you know, you have too much of something when you have to buy more buckets or organization for it. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 40:11

So our last two questions are a little bit more big picture. But I'm curious, where would you like your scrapbooking to be in 10 years?

Heba Alsibai 40:22

I would like it to be where I'm documenting or crafting my kids and their partners, maybe grandkids, I don't know, it's like, and vacations of my husband and I basically, without the kids. It's just, I'm hoping that my documentation evolves to where I get to that point in life, where I'm not just documenting my family, but I'm also documenting my kids and their families as well.

Jennifer Wilson 40:55

Ah, very cool. I love that. I love very forward thinking in terms of what you want, or what you're hoping your life will look like, then. So...

Heba Alsibai 41:03


Jennifer Wilson 41:06

And then kind of more looking backwards, what has been a scrapbooker taught you?

Heba Alsibai 41:12

I'm gonna say, scrapbooking. Well, it's part of what scrapbooking to me is part of also a community. And I feel like being a part of this community, and scrapbooking has taught me to be myself and love myself. I gained a lot of knowledge from other crafters in this community. And I've also learned to be okay with what I document on my spreads. So a lot of people who've been following me for a while. Know I'm dyslexic. So when I started sharing online, I was always so worried that people would read my journaling. Or people would point out like, spelling mistakes, you know, and when you're dyslexic, these things matter to you, and you're always worried about it. So being a part of the community and sharing this has really taught me that I don't care. Like you shouldn't care, who cares what people think, your you know, how good or how bad is your journaling is. I'm not a poet, my journaling is not amazing. But what's important is I'm putting it on paper. And I'm okay with that. And I've just learned to be okay with who I am and the good and the bad.

Jennifer Wilson 42:43

And I think our community also helps us feel not so alone, that we share all share so many similar struggles and ups and downs in life and things that we fear or worried about. So I think that's something that often comes out because scrapbooking as a hobby is so personal in itself.

Heba Alsibai 43:01

Yes, yes. Because you you see everybody else sharing their family and their struggles. It can be any kind of struggles. So you feel like you're not alone. And I always say this, the community is so amazing. Like, whenever that you're down or something happens within your family, everybody's there for you. Everybody's messaging you everybody's checking on you. So it's like a family. My internet family. That's what I call them.

Jennifer Wilson 43:32

Love it.

Heba Alsibai 43:32

Yeah. Because I see their kids grow up. I see their, their families and their life and what they love and what they don't love. So it's so fun to know all of these people, but through their scrapbooking.

Jennifer Wilson 43:49

Yes, they reveal. I mean, our pages reveal so much about ourselves, sometimes the things that we don't even notice but the others might notice to with our choices and our colors and favorite patterns and things like that. So...

Heba Alsibai 44:02

Exactly, yes.

Jennifer Wilson 44:04

This is so been so delightful. I appreciate all your thoughtfulness. Can you share where we can find you online? Anything you have new or coming up this year?

Heba Alsibai 44:13

Yes, I'm gonna be doing some Bbig Picture Classes this year. So you can find some of my classes there. I also have classes on my site, which is And you can find me on Instagram. It's Heba Alsibai and on YouTube. It's My Little Journal.

Jennifer Wilson 44:36

Perfect. We'll include all those links in the show notes for this episode.

Heba Alsibai 44:40

Thank you, Jennifer.

Jennifer Wilson 44:41

Yeah, thank you so much for your time and to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. Are you ready to start implementing the great ideas you hear on the podcast? The Simple Scrapper membership offers a welcoming space to connect with fellow Memory Keepers and find that creative accountability you've been craving. Visit simple to learn more and join our community it's the best it's ever been.

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