SYW172 – Letting Go of Perfectionism with Ali Edwards

by | May 23, 2022 | Podcast | 0 comments

No matter your personality, we all experience a certain tension between control and creativity in scrapbooking. It’s a feeling that regularly presents new opportunities to loosen our grip on perfectionism and stop getting in our own way.

In this episode I’m joined by Ali Edwards, a passionate storyteller and industry veteran, to chat about her experiences in letting go. You’ll hear about the stories that shaped her personality, why projects are her comfort zone, and what she’s searching for in this season of life.

Links Mentioned

Ali Edwards 0:00

There's a lot of questions that I'm asking myself and a lot of checking myself. Am I focusing on the thing that's actually important? Or do I need to let go of something else that I've been holding on to too tightly?

Jennifer Wilson 0:11

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 172. In this episode, I'm joined by Ali Edwards for a candid conversation about releasing control in life and crafting. We chat about making intentional choices to find balance, letting go again and again and again, and why she's the most relaxed about scrapbooking.

Jennifer Wilson 0:46

Hey, Ali, welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

Jennifer Wilson 0:49

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so happy to chat with you. I know we were talking just before we jumped on about how this is a long time coming.

Jennifer Wilson 0:57

Yes, that is for sure. I've wanted to have you on and I was waiting for kind of the right topic to just come across my desk. And this was definitely the one. But can you kick things off by sharing a little bit about yourself? If for those of our listeners that may not know you very well.

Ali Edwards 1:12

Sure. My name is Ali Edwards and I am a Pacific Northwest person. Grew up in the Pacific Northwest and live in Oregon. I am currently part of a blended family. We've got five kids from 13 to 20. And that's a big part, I feel like of life right now. Specifically dealing with, not dealing with, celebrating teenagers. That's what we're doing.

Jennifer Wilson 1:38

Oh, yeah.

Ali Edwards 1:38

Yes. And I started scrapbooking when Simon, who's my 20 year old, when he was a little less than a year old. And so I've been scrapbooking since then. So that's, you know, almost 20 years now, not close, close 20 years. And have can't imagine my life without it. It's something that is just so ingrained in who I am. The photography, the writing, the storytelling, the crafting, the just all of it is, it's just such a piece of my life. And when I first started, I never imagined that it would be what it is in terms of a business that supports our family and things like that. I just did it because I loved it. And it was fun and had opportunities come my way. And it just kind of ballooned from there to where now I have a website, products, and classes and all the all the good stuff to help support people that want to tell their stories.

Jennifer Wilson 2:33

Yeah, it's been incredible to watch your growth. I think I found you either December Daily 2009 or 2010. And I was just so intrigued about what are you doing with all these little pages, and back then it was very, almost almost more like it is now, like very mixed media, let's combine all the things together. And...

Ali Edwards 2:54

Yeah, it's gone through lots of phases. I love projects. So I like things that have a beginning and an end. And I think as we talk more about some of your questions later on, I think that's something that, that I'm really like, I just really enjoy that part. Like I don't necessarily feel like I need to be scrapbooking all of the time, every single thing but having some of these projects that I can return to again, and again. I'm really good at consistency. Returning back again, and building community around projects, and having it be something that a lot of people do together. I think has been has been really, really fun and life giving.

Jennifer Wilson 3:32

Well, those projects have kind of natural boundaries. And I think we'll, we'll talk a little bit about how that kind of helps, I think both of us.

Ali Edwards 3:41

Yep. I'd love boundaries. Give me boundries. Yep.

Jennifer Wilson 3:46

So I'd love to ask my guests what is exciting you right now in memory keeping. It could just be a random product, an app, a class, a person, idea. Something that you come across, that's really lighting your fire.

Ali Edwards 3:59

So I think you are probably gonna laugh at what my answer to this is. But my answer right now is not doing all the things. Like that's the thing that is actually the most exciting to me. And really trying to, like I'm continually trying to take my own temperature of like, how much is too much? And how much, you know, how much do I want to do? And how many stories do I want to tell and you know, kind of this. There's a constant, you know, for a variety of reasons, kind of constant questions that are rolling around in my head. And I think giving myself a little bit more permission to not do all the things and to be able to step back in certain areas is actually the most exciting...

Jennifer Wilson 4:38

They can be, yeah.

Ali Edwards 4:39

Thing to me. You know, there's always gonna be more products right? There's always going to be more interesting people coming up. There's always just going to be more stuff. But I think for me, it's, I feel most excited about really kind of coming term to terms for myself of not having to do all of the things and still be able to be a part of the community. Even if you're not participating in every single project or doing, you know, storytelling everyday, which I think is just not realistic anyway.

Jennifer Wilson 5:05

Well and I know that, gosh so many different thoughts. I always asking myself about, like, what is enough? In a day, a project, in a quarter, a year? And constantly asking that question of, okay, how does this feel? Can I go kind of go a bit less? Or do I need to work a little bit harder? Do I need to push myself? You know, how do we redefine enough? As our lives are always evolving.

Ali Edwards 5:30

Yes, totally. And I think that the constant questioning can be exhausting. Also, you know, where it's, where, where we spend a lot of time in that space of like, is this the right? Is this the right thing? Is this enough? Is this am I doing enough? Am I not doing enough? You know, I, which I think is just probably for a lot of people, personality wise, just something that there's a lot of questions. And...

Jennifer Wilson 5:54

So we're always thinking.

Ali Edwards 5:55

Yes, yes, I would definitely say though, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 5:58

As someone who creates a lot of products, and a lot of classes and a lot of opportunities for people, it's kind of a, a unique point of encouraging that thoughtfulness upon your customers in your community. While still delivering all the things.

Ali Edwards 6:17

Yeah, I think it's, it's such a, you know, it's been such an interesting experience to me to go from a space where it was just me. Right, for a long, long, long time. Like, whether it was product design, or creating classes, like it was just me doing my own thing. And as the team as our team has grown, for a lot of reasons, partly just because I couldn't, there was no way to grow without bringing on other people. Like, I just can't do it all myself. And I don't, I am not driven in the same way that other people might be driven to, to, to go, go, go, and build, build, build. And I'm kind of more of like a slow growth, slow growth kind of person. And sometimes it takes me a long time, I think to realize, oh, it would be okay for me to step away from this. You know, in the way that it is so that it can be so that can continue on without me to some extent. And we just something that is for the community of people that want to participate, if that makes sense.

Jennifer Wilson 7:19

No, it does. It reminds me kind of of succulents and cactuses, because I always kill them because I over-tend them. And so I think it's an example of like, some things, you need to get to a point, you need to maybe step back a little bit for allow, the thing to thrive

Ali Edwards 7:34

Well, and also what you said, like I, you mentioned, you know, designing products too. And I think that that's something that people don't always understand, like, I am one of the people that is sitting here at my computer, actually designing the products. Right, like I am sitting here, and I'm doing the cards, and I'm doing, you know, stickers and I'm doing a variety of different things, which I love. But that in and of itself takes up a great deal of space in your head, like to get in that mode, where you're creating those kinds of things. And then the shifting back and forth between that piece of it, as well as the Okay, now I'm going to create a class. And now I'm going to make a video for YouTube. And now I'm going to just scrapbook to share scrapbook pages. You know, there's just, there's so many different pieces, I think of what we do. And from a business standpoint, our goal lately has been how can we get me doing the things that I am really enjoying doing, and then have other people that can take care of some of the other different things. Which then expands the community, just you know, by bringing in additional voices and additional people and, and all that. So it's a it's an ongoing.

Jennifer Wilson 8:47

Well and I think you've talked about how you've needed help just to figure out okay, what, what month are we working in right now? Am I in the present? Am I in the future?

Ali Edwards 8:57

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 8:58

Because you're constantly delivering things that are new to the customer but then also planning for something that's next year at the same.

Ali Edwards 9:04

Yes. It is a, it is a almost gonna say crazy. It's just a really interesting cycle. So like right now the what I'm working on, you know, that's that I'm not posting on social media and whatever, is that I'm working on design work for next year. So I'm doing some things that will come out throughout the year. Next year, like Day In The Life, you know, some of that. Some of the project design sort of things. So that's really, you know, I'm here during regular working hours just working on that design work. And to be able to have somebody else that is monitoring our social media accounts or posting to the social media accounts, has really enabled me to be able to just focus on what I need to focus on right now. And then I'll shift again to, we have like another scrapbook kit coming out, Black and White scrapbook kits. I'll shift to making projects for that. But letting other people do some of the other things I think, has been a huge learning experience for me as well as like I can't imagine not letting go of a lot of those pieces, because I just couldn't do at all.

Jennifer Wilson 10:05

So we'll get into more of that. But first, I have another question for you go. We also want to talk about our memory keeping Bucket List. This is a story that feels really important to tell it can be, you know, it can be difficult, it can be challenging, it can also be, you know, more trivial and lighthearted, but it feels like significant. So what is one story that's still on your memory keeping Bucket List.

Ali Edwards 10:27

So one of the, I've started this, so I started a garden journal this year. Like a garden notebook where I am just adding, you know, photos of flowers, stories about things I'm doing in the yard, and I am loving working on that project. And I don't know that it qualifies as a Bucket List, but it's something that I'm definitely really excited about right now. And like I want to, I need to, go I need, want to, I was like that needs, shoulds blah, blah. I want to, I want to put a few more stories into that and keep up with that. That's really one of my kind of outside focuses right now. I tell so many stories all the time, you know. Like and I and I don't shy away really from the hard stories and I just kind of telling stories all the time. So I it's harder for me to think of like what's a Bucket List story. Because a lot of times they just come up to write like, I'll be like, Okay, I'm gonna I need to do something with this black and white paper. So I'll scroll back through my photos and be like, oh, yeah, that's a great, I could tell that story today. Like that feels like a good story. But nothing that's like super burning. The garden one I just really enjoy because I love having a home for all the pictures of the stuff that I do in my yard. You know, and the basic things because that's really my hobby, where you know, for a lot of people memory keeping is their hobby and for me it's it's more of a job, but it's a job that I love. But it's nice to have like a gardening hobby and something that I can go outside and not have to think about memory keeping specifically when I'm out there.

Jennifer Wilson 11:54

Well and I think sometimes you look at your, you know, your photo feed and you see there's there's a theme here. Like yes, I'm taking everyday life photos, I'm taking big moment photos, but then there's a lot of this one thing like right now for me it it's my cats.

Ali Edwards 12:08

Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 12:09

And for you, it's your gardening.

Jennifer Wilson 12:10

Oh, I could do one on my cats too. Yeah. Big time cats. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 12:14

We have to like almost create a project to have a home for those because they overtake maybe more of the everyday storytelling because there is more than just the gardening and the cats.

Ali Edwards 12:25

Totally, totally. And I think that I really, one of the things that I value in memory keeping is to be able to see like things together. So like in the past, when I've done Project Life, you know, it'd be a big combination of lots of different things, right. And I love that project. When I was working on it, I just got to a point where I was like, I just. this isn't fitting what I want to do for myself anymore. But being able to have one binder or one in this case like traveler's notebook that's just for those garden stories. Like I'm super excited to, to finish that one for this year, and be able to see all of those stories in one place that tell a bigger story, right? There's a bigger story than each one of those individual little photos too.

Jennifer Wilson 13:09

Well and I think things like garden stories or other home, things where or even like recipes, where there's like a, there's a little bit of legacy aspect, or even just the record keeping of this is what I did. This is where I put it. It's helpful to just to remember for the future.

Ali Edwards 13:27

Yeah, record keeping is a good term. I really like that, because that's kind of part of what I wanted to be doing in this garden notebook is record keeping, right. Of just even noting, like, when did I plant, what was the date when I planted something? You know, because half the time I plant stuff and I don't remember. And that it comes up and I'm like, is that a plant, or is that a weed? I hope not? But yeah, having record keeping is something that yeah, I love that term.

Jennifer Wilson 13:54

Yeah, we have a debate every year about how to properly prune our lilac. And so it's more on, okay, did the lilac turn out well, this year? Okay. Do that again.

Ali Edwards 14:02

Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 14:03

Versus Oh, it really didn't turn out well, this year, there were almost no blooms, we must have done something wrong.

Ali Edwards 14:08

Yes. And that's such a good example of something that I think that I haven't done a lot of that I would like to. Because especially in the yard because there's such a big time difference between those things, you know, like where it's a year later, and you're like, What did I do last year? You think you're gonna remember but you don't. No like, you know, and what was that thing I planted there? So yeah, that's a little bit of the approach I've I'm wanting to take with that. I think it's still more structured maybe that I want it to be in terms of how I'm approaching it. Like I'm like still being really crafty with it, rather than letting it be just record keeping. I kind of want it to be a mix. I don't know that's these are just thoughts I'm having about it.

Jennifer Wilson 14:49

Sometimes it's hard. I tried to I started a little bullet journal and I wanted it to be more documentation record keeping, just like more like note taking but then I found myself getting creative with it. And I'm like, Oh, well, what is this now? And like, sometimes our own natural tendencies come out anyway.

Ali Edwards 15:09

Yeah, so it sounds like you might be kind of like me where you want to define it. Right?

Jennifer Wilson 15:14

Sometimes, I also resist the, def, the definition sometimes.

Ali Edwards 15:18

I do too. I'm totally like, nope, nope, nope. Up. Recognize that's happening? Nope, don't want to do that. Yeah, yeah, I get you. So totally.

Jennifer Wilson 15:26

So the topic that I came up with, for us to chat about is letting go of control in our lives and our creativity. Because you've been open that this is something you've continued to work on have to actively practice. And you've already mentioned some things related, related to business. But I'm curious if you look back on your life, is there a particular memory from growing up that stands out as a moment you realized that maybe you had more of a type A personality, or you had perfectionism? What, what do you remember?

Ali Edwards 15:56

Yeah, I think that's interesting. I, when I think back, I think that I often think more about, you know, like, why am I like this? Like, why? Why is this something for me, and I think in my household growing up, I had really strict parents, parents that were strict in that high, had high expectations. And a lot of kind of, do as well, not a lot, there was some do, as I say, not as I do, and some other issues that I think, also added to probably what was just my own personality traits. But added to the desire to want to control my environment, or control what's happening to me. Because I had some lack of control, when I was growing up, based on, you know, inability to make certain decisions and things that my parents just took on. And so I think that that has definitely influenced I'm, I'm the oldest of three kids. So I definitely have a little bit of that, I am a 1 on the Enneagram scale. So I'm very into what's right and right and wrong. And, you know, like things to be a certain way. But the control part, you know, when I look back, I can't identify a specific time, like when I was a teenager, where, where I noticed, oh, I am a perfectionist. Because I think at that time, I still saw it as a strength. You know, like, Oh, this is I'm so, I you know, oh, I'm gonna kill this thing. And I'm so great at that, you know, like that kind of stuff, or saw the perfectionism traits more as a positive rather than a negative. And so when as I tried to think like, at what point in my life did I realize that, that wasn't going to work for me anymore? I wonder a little bit if if some of that was influenced, like when Simon was born. Before he turned two, he was diagnosed with autism, when he was around three. And I think that, that probably more than anything in my life impacted my, like, it's kind of like the start of letting go. I think for me, you know, the start of the time where I was like, nothing is going to be the way that I envisioned. It was going to be and that was going to be okay. And we're just going to move forward and how that is. And so, you know, lots of other, I think areas in my life where I bumped up the bumped against that desire for, for control. But with Simon, I've just learned so many things over the years of working on figuring out what's actually important in the moment and what's not important. That's what I continue to work on all the time is, you know, is this something that's actually important, and I need to stop everything to focus on it? Or is this my mind, you know, playing tricks on me and trying to act like something else is actually important, when it's not. And a lot of like, kind of, like we said in the beginning, like, there's a lot of questions that I'm asking myself and a lot of checking myself. Like, I'm always kind of checking myself like, am I focusing on the thing that's actually important? You know, or do I need to let go of something else that I've been holding on to too tightly?

Jennifer Wilson 19:06

Yeah, sometimes we kind of find ourselves doing the things we know we don't want to do. We have the vision, okay, I want more, let's just say like more space, or peace, or relaxation in my life. And then you find yourself doing things that don't support that in any way.

Ali Edwards 19:21

Yeah, right. We make choices that go against what would be better for ourselves. But I also think it's you know, there's a lot of societal things that go into it too. And in my family of origin, it was very, you know, like, being a successful person felt like that was high on the list of things that we were supposed to do, right? You know, go to college and find a good job. And you know, even if I was going to be a stay at home mom situation, I would still know how to play golf so that if my husband or the business people I was going to work with played golf and I would know how to play golf. And that was that that was kind of the vibe growing up. I mean, they're, you know, it's everybody's own family story has lots of chapters and things too. And mine's the same as everyone else's in that respect.

Jennifer Wilson 20:12

Sure, there's, there's always a sense of expectation, whether it's positive direction or a negative direction.

Ali Edwards 20:18

Yeah, so I don't even know, like I can, I can probably argue that there were positive things about that, too. But I think where I sit in life, right now, as a 46 year old person, you know, the things that I value now, which are significantly different. It's like, you know, saying no, and slowing down and not over scheduling, and, you know, valuing family time or, you know, the, the how our family is doing, you know, over over lots of other things too.

Jennifer Wilson 20:49

Well and I'm trying to imagine how this works for others in terms of like, those big shifts in your life. Whether it's when you had, when you had childre,n got married, entered a blended family. You know, all those things, you know, maybe somebody had a significant illness, or as you mentioned, you know, a significant diagnosis. Those things make us pause. And think about, okay, what do I need to accept to move on here? And do I need to let go of something in order to move on?

Ali Edwards 21:21

Right And it's just, it's not simple. It's not simple, and it's not easy. And, you know, mentioning the blended family piece, like that was a, that was another huge shift. I think, for me, I mean, we, we waited quite a while and we're very conscientious about whether or not we were going to move in together. So he has three kids and I have two kids. And, and we, we really wanted to make sure that we felt like it was going to be the right choice for the majority of the people. And I, it was definitely the right choice. I'm really glad we did it. It also definitely took me years to readjust, I think just in having more people and having different people and having a whole new, you know, for new personalities, and lots and lots and lots of letting go over and over and over again, I think has built up my stamina for you know, my own resiliency, right? My own stamina for for letting go, because there was no way that I was ever going to be able to control all the different things that were going on. And this is still I mean, it's still stuff that comes up for me regularly with teenagers to try and figure out, you know, what kind of parents we want to be. And you know, we're still figuring it out. Right? It's like just an ongoing, probably once they move out, I'm still going to be trying to figure out what kind of parent I want to be.

Jennifer Wilson 22:46

Oh, yes, for sure.

Ali Edwards 22:47

Right. That's a different stage of parenting, and you got to have a different evolution then too.

Jennifer Wilson 22:53

You're always a parent. So...

Ali Edwards 22:55

Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 22:57

I was just thinking that I don't think I would be a scrapbooker if it wasn't for having entered a blended family. Because I moved here and I entered, we were in a small house with, I had two teenage boys and a new husband and a big dog. And I'd never had a dog before. And so I hid out in the bedroom for the first year with my laptop. And that's how I found scrapbooking.

Ali Edwards 23:18

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 23:20

So I needed that time to kind of adjust and figure out okay, how do I fit into all of this? And how is this going to work? And, you know, my, I had to do a lot of letting go for sure.

Ali Edwards 23:33

Yep.

Jennifer Wilson 23:33

There is no control.

Jennifer Wilson 23:35

I think it's it is it is definitely a transition and not an easy one. Even when you have the best of intentions. I think it's just the that is, that is what it is. And if you can make it through that and learn a little bit about yourself along the way. I think you're you're doing pretty good. Doing pretty good. Yes. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 23:58

So one of the projects you lead is One Little Word. And this is where a participant selects a word to connect with and explore throughout the year. How has this particular project helped you kind of stop holding on so tight?

Ali Edwards 24:11

I think it is 100% the project where I am the most personally honest in the project. So for me, you know, I think I started, we started doing a class in 2011 was the first year that I did a class. And that was when it was with Big Picture Classes back, you know, back many moons ago now. And the reason why we did a class in the beginning was because I had been picking a word for a few years, but I wanted the consistency of a project, around the practice of having a word. Because otherwise I won't do it. Like that's just that's just me. I just know that if I don't have some reason that I have to keep doing it then I won't do it. And so from the very beginning it was it for me, a very personal project. Like it was the place where I wrote about the highs and lows, and, you know, maybe things that I wouldn't necessarily put on a scrapbook page. Even though I tell lots of, you know, a wide variety of stories there too. But it was the place where I really was the most honest and I gave myself, have given myself over the years the opportunity to say, my truth. Right. Or say things that were true for me related to whatever word I was picking, because for me each, each year, I, I pick a word, but I also usually have some underlying thing that I'm trying to work on, right. Or something that I would like, to some adjustment, that I would make in my life, like to make in my life or just something I want to focus on. Really, for me, that's the whole point of it is having something I can focus on for 12 months, and then I'll pick pick something else. And so over the years, it's just those albums are the kind of the home of my growth, right. Like the my of my, of my personal growth from, you know, before I was divorced, and after I was divorced. And before I met Aaron, and after I met Aaron, who's my current husband. And, you know, just it's kind of the, the place where those stories are told, and I give myself permission to, to work on things, right. And just try to see things in different ways. And I think doing that for the last 10 or so years. You know, actively in in an in a classroom situation where I didn't have a choice whether or not I got to show up, like I had to show up every month. That works for me. In terms of of bringing back to the project, and it's worked for me, I think in my own development as a person.

Jennifer Wilson 26:39

Do you think that there's been a letting go into in terms of sharing so openly that that was something that you had to actively, like, practice and allow yourself to do?

Ali Edwards 26:52

I think, you know...

Jennifer Wilson 26:53

Particularly last year, you were I mean, you've always been very open and honest. But last year, you got very, very personal.

Jennifer Wilson 27:00

Yeah, I, I think, let's see, that's a good question. I think that it's that it's a practice, I think that I've always felt like from the beginning, I I never shied away, especially in that class, in the recordings. It would be really interesting for me to go back and like listen to because I record a message every month, right? You know, previously in previous versions of the class, it was just me and so it was me recording, uh, you know, myself talking to the camera about whatever the prompt was, and like sharing whatever was happening to my own life. So there's been lots of that kind of sharing, like, it just became the place for that for me. And then sharing just generally sharing has, feels different to me now than it did before. And I think that has a lot to do with social media a lot to do with like, the stakes feels so much higher related to personal sharing, that I find myself sometimes confused. Kind of confused as afraid, confused, unsure, you know, of the things I want to share? How much do I want to continue sharing? Like, those are things I've been wrestling with, like for the last couple of years. In the classroom itself, I don't have as many you know, in there, I'm kind of like, let's just be real, right? Like, we need a place where we can be real. We can share the hard parts and the swear. I don't know if we can swear on your podcast. Or hard, you know, the all those all those all those different pieces. So for me, it's been a really valuable project. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 28:39

Well, it is interesting that you talk about kind of that the tension, the difficulty in sharing on social media, and what's okay, and how do you want to connect with that or...

Ali Edwards 28:51

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 28:51

Intentionally disconnect. But I also know from my own growth as the older I get, the less I care what other people think too.

Ali Edwards 28:59

Yep.

Jennifer Wilson 29:00

And the more I'm willing to just like put it all out there.

Ali Edwards 29:02

Yes. I think that that's the the dance that I've been doing.

Jennifer Wilson 29:06

Yeah.

Ali Edwards 29:07

Because I feel like I tend more towards that now. But I still, I'm still like, Is this the place where I want to say all my things? You know, I'm talking it's like, I'm thinking specifically like Instagram, right? Like, is this the place where I want to say all my things, I don't know that it's the place that I want to say all my things. Like, I think that's what keeps coming up for me. I don't know. I'm on a love hate with it right now.

Jennifer Wilson 29:30

Well, and those platforms keep changing under us. And there's more and more. And I think they continue will continue to change. There'll be new platforms that we can't even like dream of right now.

Ali Edwards 29:43

Right? Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 29:44

What comes after Tik Tok?

Ali Edwards 29:46

Yeah, I mean, for me, like I started doing all of this when there was no Facebook and there was no Instagram. There was no social media. At the time when I first started, like I started a blog in 2004. And so that was kind of what it was at that time until Facebook started and then you know, it's Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 30:08

It's run away from there.

Ali Edwards 30:09

It's a thing. It's it's a thing. And I actually, I mean, I do invest time like in in trying to learn about the reasons why maybe it's not very good for us. Yeah. And I think the more time I spend reading about that kind of stuff, the more I'm like, I still want to scrapbook I still want to tell my stories, I still want to do you know, all the different memory keeping things, but maybe I don't want to participate in the same way that I was participating previously. That's kind of where I'm at.

Jennifer Wilson 30:38

Well and I imagine you still want to you want to connect with your community too and how do you do that in a way that balances those desires, as well as the reality of the world.

Ali Edwards 30:47

100% 100%. And like I took, I think it was last, it was a year ago, or a little bit over a year ago, when I said that I was going to not be on Facebook, you know, and I'm not actively posting on there. And I'm not participating in the Facebook groups, except for even for our company, except for One Little Word, because that one I just haven't been able to let go of in the same way. But it definitely has been good for my mental health. To take a step back from even though I want to participate in the community, it's really hard for me. Sometimes I'll like, I'd still creep on there, peek in there and see what's happening. But I think for me, I, I am the person who can feel a lot of responsibility. And so I was taking a lot of responsibility for all of the different things that were happening, you know, on any of our social media channels, and it just at a point, at a certain point, it's just too much and needed to take a step back. So that's been good for my mental health. And we've got other people that are participating in, you know, creating community and hopefully serving our community in a really good way. And in those spaces, too.

Jennifer Wilson 31:56

Oh, they definitely are. I'm curious, is there another aspect of your personal life? Or is this the one that stands out the most where you feel like you've made progress? Opening up to uncertainty or imperfection? And what have you seen from that?

Ali Edwards 32:11

Oh, I'd say it's has every piece of my life, every piece of it has been touched by this in one way or another. A lot, a lot of it has to do, I think just even here in our own house of all the different things that I've been working on letting go of. A lot for me right now personally, is just related to teenagers and the way that I grew up and bumping up against a lot of me thinking it was you know, it's supposed to be a certain way. And actually, but but me not thinking that at the same time, like me knowing that, wait a minute, this isn't the way that you, you didn't like the way that it was done before, you probably don't want to do it this way this time. But that's still my initial response is to be strict. And so I'm actually that's a therapy for me, right? I mean, I'm going to therapy, because it's helping me figure out, you know, how to actually be the person that I want to be. So lots and lots of letting go related to that.Lletting go of things like in our house to you know, we've got boxes around, like, keeping a really tidy house is is like one of the least important things to me now. And I think previously, that was something that I cared a lot more about now. I'm like, is everybody happy? Everybody? Okay? Who, you know, like, checking in with each one of those kids and Aaron to have like, you know, how is everybody doing? Are we okay, blah, blah, blah. You know, it's my focus is way more on that than, you know what the living room looks like.

Jennifer Wilson 33:38

Because I think sometimes we kind of get on that hamster wheel of just of living, but then we forget to also connect at the same time, you have to intentionally pause, which I feel like I've used your word now a couple times.

Ali Edwards 33:50

Yeah. No, it's such a good word. Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 33:51

It's so relevant for what you're going through.

Ali Edwards 33:55

Yeah. 100%. Because if you don't, if you lack the ability to pause, then you lack the ability to see what's happening around you. Right? Like you're you get it can be so easy to have tunnel vision of like, I'm living in this space, this is the space I am in, I have no control, when really we have lots of opportunity to make different choices. You know, whether it's the decisions we make, or how we interact with other people in our families. Yeah, I'm just working a lot on when the moment show up when I have an initial reaction. And I'm like, wait a minute, that is actually I have to pause and go like, Wait, that's not how I want to react in this situation. I'm going to do something different. And so a lot of my energy, I think right now is going into that kind of stuff, just with our kids too, which is fun and joyful. And I love having them around. And they're not all going to be around for very long, right, like it's fleeting sort of things. But yeah, I think definitely the letting go infiltrates everything. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 34:54

And I think the more you practice that, think the easier it gets too. Like you could, you're kind of training yourself in a new mental groove, to maybe react differently or react just with a pause.

Ali Edwards 35:07

100%. And then being able to transfer what you learn in one area of your life into another area of your life. Like, as we're talking here, I'm sitting here and I'm thinking about, so Katie Jaeger, who works for me and has worked for me, she was started as a nanny for Anna, when Anna was born. She's my 13 year old, and now Katie's, like the boss of our business. Like she's the one that she's handles the vast majority and tells me what to do, which is great. Like, that's, I'm here for that. But that in and of itself, too, was like years of the the two of us getting to know each other. Years of, you know, me starting to let go of certain things to be like, Okay, why don't you be in charge of that now? And that took me a long time. Like, I am not the person that's going to be like, oh, yeah, okay, somebody else can be the boss of that now. But just like you said, from all of the years of doing that, and practicing letting go now where I sit today, I am much more likely to say, yeah, that's not, I'm not going to do that, somebody else can. You know, or like that, that doesn't fit into what I need to be working on right now. We need to have somebody else do that thing. Or for me to go, Oh, my god, I'm holding on way too tight to whatever it is right now. And I can feel that in my body. I think after practicing for so many years. It has physical manifestations when I am trying to control things that pop up in my body versus when I'm letting it go.

Jennifer Wilson 36:35

Yeah, it can feel like weirdly, like it feels weird and a little exciting. Like, oh, somebody else can do that.

Ali Edwards 36:42

Yes.

Jennifer Wilson 36:43

But Wait, should I let them do that? Like, is it gonna be okay, yes. Go through the whole mental conversation about it.

Ali Edwards 36:50

Yes. I'm sure Katie would have lots of stories actually about that. About her, you know, hanging in there while I, you know, make decisions on yes, okay, I'm gonna let go of that. And, you know, it's it's a trust, a relationship that's been built on trust over many, many years to, to where I'm like, yes, you're right. Okay, good. Yep. Let's have somebody else do that. So that I can focus on this other thing.

Jennifer Wilson 37:13

Well I think it's definitely been this evolution. But in the past year, I think I've seen kind of a jump in terms of you handing off even more creative leadership to guest instructors to your team members. You know, how has that felt as as you've gone through it?

Ali Edwards 37:30

It's been great. And I think for that is the culmination of lots of years, right of lots of years of letting go of different little things here and there. But also coming to the point in the lifespan of, you know, or my own life, of how well you know, lots of questions, right? Of how long, how long am I working? How long, you know, does this business exist without me? That's one of our big questions, right, that we've been now investigating is, is this something that can, that can live beyond me? Even if I'm continuing to even if I'm always participating to some degree, which that will always be an option? Or if I decide I wanted to do something else, which I'm not doing anything else right now. But you know, I think it's some of that as a result of getting to that point in the evolution of the business to just say, okay, you know, let's start putting some things in place now. For when the time comes, when I'm like, I would like to pivot and do something else. Or I would like to, you know, just do the Story Class stuff, or whatever, whatever it is at that point in time. So there's a little bit of that. But that is also definitely paired with cultural revelations, and my own desire to not have everything be about me, and that we have so many, there are so many more people in our community that are amazing at storytelling, amazing at creating, you know, that it just isn't, it just doesn't need to be about me all the time. Which still sounds weird when I say it out loud, because, but that's the reality. And I am much more interested in seeing projects from a wider variety of people than seeing my own projects.

Jennifer Wilson 39:18

So you recently you've been piloting a new Brand Ambassador program.

Ali Edwards 39:22

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 39:22

How does that fit into this evolution in terms of expressing your, your your goals and your reality of understanding the world?

Ali Edwards 39:31

Yeah, so that that fits in 100%? I think we have had amazing creative team members, many long, long term creative team members that have worked with us for a long time. And when we first started doing that our the main criteria that we had was that we wanted people that included words in their projects, right. So if you are new to scrapbooking, let's say you're just here, you know, there's a wide variety of ways that people scrapbook and some people include lots of words in their projects and other people are, you know, maybe tend towards more just the creative play of it, right. And they like to layer things and they like to play with color, and they like to do all those other things. But for my brand, what I wanted is I wanted people that were interested in, in storytelling and including words in their projects, and doesn't have to be all the time. But that that is one of their main focuses. And so that really played into how we selected our creative team, you know, along with being able to take lovely looking photos, right and have your white balance correct and things like that. So some of the technical pieces. But we got to a certain point, and this is both Katie and I for sure. Where it just in the creative team, the the, you know, bringing people like, like the the process of having, it's almost like you're grading people, right? Like people are applying for this team. And and then if you got if you are selected, then that, you know, changes your status, or, or whatever, I don't know, I hope that I'm explaining this correctly. We just didn't want to, I didn't want to play that game anymore. I think of you know, you're good enough, so you can be on this team. And then we have to say no to other people. So what we decided to do is try to reimagine it. Like what is a different way that we could do this, where we have a wider diversity, not only of ethnicities, but of the ways that people tell stories, right, lots of different people using our products to tell their stories. So what is a way that we can have a bigger table and not, you know, have it be in the way that it was in the past. And so this is our starting place. So having switched into a Brand Ambassador program with, you know, our long term goal is to have it be the kind of thing where if anybody wants to participate in it, they can be a Brand Ambassador. And they're, you know, there's like one requirement, there's not a it's not the same as a creative team in the past. So that's kind of where we're at, like, we're just trying to, we want to have more people involved and more people included, and, and look for opportunities to highlight just the wider variety of stories that are being told. Because there's a wider variety of people living I mean, you know, obviously the some of it sounds so obvious when I say it, but the world is not just all people using white cardstock. And, you know, long, long words in their project. So that's, that's, that's where we're heading is it it's very imperfect. And we recognize that it's going to be imperfect, but we want to, we want to move in that direction. And so we that's what we did.

Jennifer Wilson 42:31

Well, I think it's it's very exciting. And I think it's an important model for the industry, because obviously, there's a lot of design teams out there. And I know they've all been wrestling with this question of how do we make the work that individuals are creating, on our behalf, reflect the broader diversity of scrapbookers that are out there?

Ali Edwards 42:52

Yeah, it's, it just got to the point where I didn't want to do it anymore. And I didn't want Katie to do it anymore. And we needed to come up with a different solution. And so this is, like I said, this is our starting point. And I would also say that we are definitely like as a team, every decision that we make, we are asking ourselves, is there someone else that can be included here, who who could we highlight that is different than someone we've highlighted before. Like that's a become a significantly more of a core piece of our decision making. Again, not perfect. And we'll always have people that we work with, because that we rely on that we've come to rely on right. So there, there will be repeat people from from time to time, but we also want to make sure that we're we are creating a bigger table.

Jennifer Wilson 43:43

Well and I think as you take off your teaching hat a little bit more and let others share it and wear it. I've seen more kind of you following along with others prompts. And I'm curious if that if that is easier or more difficult than creating something just original from your head.

Ali Edwards 44:01

I actually really enjoy following along with other people and seeing what they are doing. I would say I am, this is gonna sound funny, because I am a rule follower. But with creativity, I'm not always. So if somebody you might be like this too Jennifer, I don't know. Like if somebody tells me what to do, I, like in a class situation, I still will probably do it different way you know, however it was like said to do it. I think that that's just a part of my own personality. And I'm laughing to myself because when I was in school for graphic design, and I had a like a figure drawing class, you know, and everybody's trying to make these you know, lifelike figure drawing figure drawings of people, which I don't really have any interest in at all. So I was like very shape based. So my people were like these cubist kind of people.

Jennifer Wilson 44:56

That's really cool.

Ali Edwards 44:57

Because I was like, I don't really, you know, I'm interested in shapes and I'm interested in how shapes combined together which is, you know how bodies are right bodies are made of shapes too. But that's a that's a good example of kind of a peek into my personality I think sometimes too. But I, I love having other people teach, I think that teaching is such a, see, how do I even explain this, like, being able to teach other people how to do things or to share something in a teaching way is a path towards learning, right? We learn more about ourselves through the process of teaching other people how to do things. And so letting other people you know, giving other people opportunities to teach, I think is great for the community overall. And it also gives people the opportunity to learn from from different people, right, or different ways of doing things again, that it doesn't always, it's not like, just because I've you know, created this space for myself within this industry, it still doesn't mean that I know everything. Right? Right. And that I am the be all end all I think that it's way better when it's a community of people working together.

Jennifer Wilson 46:08

Well and I think I've seen this most notably with you and stamping because you said that you're not like the most technique fancy, you know...

Ali Edwards 46:16

No.

Jennifer Wilson 46:17

Expert stamper, but you've you're excited to learn you love obviously you love the products.

Ali Edwards 46:21

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 46:22

And you've been learning from others and demonstrating from that kind of the student perspective.

Ali Edwards 46:28

Yeah, I don't I have, I never have any expectation about myself that I should be the expert on all things. Like that's just not and I think for a long time, they're even with like, like, you know, before we started working with Laura Wonsik or, you know, having other people do stamping stuff. Like stamping is just something for me, like I do love stamps, but I don't, I'm not passionate about it in the ways that other people are. And I'm like, I've been adding stamps on to my projects forever. Like, you know, back when it was just, there weren't even acrylic stamps, there were just woodblock stamps, like I've always loved that kind of messy, the imperfect quality of adding those things into my projects. But you know, there's other people like Jennifer McGuire, or even Cathy Zielske who use stamps in really amazing ways, not necessarily in memory keeping, but you know, way more for cards. But there are all these other people that are that know, way more and you know, I would rather highlight people that know more than me. That you know, I'm just sticking this stamp on the underneath my photo and calling it good. But I like to play, you know, like, like, recently where I did a bunch of stamping, you know, on layouts that then I put into a YouTube series, like that was fun too right? You know, here's the stamps that I need to use. It's kind of the starting place. And then what are the stories that I'm going to use that those stamps can support? Like, that's kind of my my outlook on those ones.

Jennifer Wilson 47:45

I know, it took me a long time to just use anything other than black ink, because black was always reliable.

Ali Edwards 47:50

I'm still Yeah, I still I still tend towards black like black, the StazOn is my go to. It's just the thing that's always on my desk. And then I have to kind of remember that I have other colors there. But I think like for me, that's one of the things I'm liking about how I'm working right now is you know, okay, here we have a new stamp release coming up. So I'm going to do a bunch of projects with that. And that can be my main focus, right? And I'm using the stamps as the jumping off point. Okay, no, I'm gonna use the stamp in this project. What's a way that I can use this to support my story or to just try something different? Or, you know, lots of alphabets are what I still continue to love. But yeah, being able to start start with that as the jumping off one, I think that the stamps, particularly works, has worked really well for me, in terms of incorporating more of those into my into my projects too.

Jennifer Wilson 47:50

Yes, well it's fun to just have a different, a different starting point. Because we can all I love how you can choose a stamp or a product or a story or a photo, there's always an entry point into doing something else. And I think we sometimes have this pressure to, to choose one as like the right way.

Ali Edwards 49:03

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 49:03

Rather than just like pick, no pick the thing and then make the thing.

Ali Edwards 49:07

Yeah, pick the thing and make the thing is 100 I'm 100% behind that. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 49:13

So as you are, whether it's creating projects, or designing for something that's coming out in the future, do you ever feel pressure that the next thing needs to be even more epic than the last?

Ali Edwards 49:28

That's a good question. I don't, I've let's see if, if I can remember the story. I have an antidote like a story, antidote's not the right word. I have a story that was related to something sometime realted with with Heidi Swapp and I. Where Heidi is an innovator and I am a sustainer. I don't know if you've ever heard me say that before.

Jennifer Wilson 49:50

Ooh,no.

Ali Edwards 49:50

But it's very much like over the you know, I've known Heidi for a long time now. And she's somebody that I think is obviously very, very creative and loves thinking up new products or new ways to use the products. And I am more of the person that's like, let's do the project. Again, we're gonna do the same thing again. And maybe we're gonna tweak a few things this time. So I don't really think in terms of epic, like, that's not my goal isn't to make the next coolest, most epic thing. My goal is how can we keep this make, how can we continue to have this be a relevant project? Right, How can we continue to make this project, or, or how, you know, when, like, when we're designing the products for like thinking of December Daily in my head right now.

Jennifer Wilson 50:39

Yeah.

Ali Edwards 50:39

You know, like, what, what are the things that we can add to this year's collection, which are actually going to give people more opportunity to focus on their story? Right, like, those are the ways that we kind of think about it. So it's not epic, in terms of, we're going to, you know, create the coolest thing ever, but, but more focused on the sustainability of the project, I think. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 51:02

And I've noticed that within terms of just kind of shifting the types of products that you offer more homes for your stories, as you've said. And ways that we can just get more of those words onto the page or onto the pocket or star shaped card or whatever...

Ali Edwards 51:18

Whatever...

Jennifer Wilson 51:19

Easier.

Ali Edwards 51:19

Yes. Whatever, whatever it is, whether you're wanting to work, you know, outside of the page protector versus inside the page protector. I just and I would say that I think gets back to that letting go to right, there's a little bit of that of not feeling like that every scrapbook page needs to fit into one size, right? You know, so for me for years, I did 12 by 12 scrapbooking and right, I did that for years and years. And then I did a few 8.5 by 11, size pages. And then we did Project Life. And then I've been doing lots and lots of six by eight pages outside of the page protector now like that's kind of what my home my current memory keeping home is in that size. And, and I love it like I'm really happy there. And so I'm going to keep doing it there until I am bored of that. And then I want to move on to something else. And I want to normalize that for everybody. Right that it can it doesn't matter what size you're working in right now or what size I'm working in. It's like what is going to help you tell your stories in a way that you want to do it. You know that there's no right or wrong, right? I've been saying that all along also. Not right or wrong. You can change your mind. And like I thought at first I was like notebooks nope, not doing those. I don't need another thing to do. I don't need to do a notebook. And now I'm totally like, I love notebooks. Notebooks are great. So, you know, I can be wrong.

Jennifer Wilson 52:44

Well, I think when we kind of force ourselves into like, because I've always done it this way to continue doing it. That's when we lose inspiration. That's when we lose motivation and kind of maybe even stop altogether because we're we're butting up against our own, like creative desires.

Ali Edwards 53:01

Yes. Yep. 100% Or even like that, you know if, like, I used to care a lot about my albums matching. That used to be something I used to care about. I do not care about that anymore. Like I've got so many albums of different sizes, colors, shapes, like that. I think I did a video I think this last year, I did a video about how, you know, the albums are just the home, right? Like you said, a couple minutes ago, right? The albums are just the vessel. Albums are the home for all the stories, I don't really care what they look like on the outside. Because it's the stuff on the inside that that really matters to me. But those are the things that can trip people up, right? They're like, Oh, my god, I can't get the same album to have my, you know, 20 albums, the same color. And now so no, I'm not going to do it anymore.

Jennifer Wilson 53:46

I think that particular video was really significant last year, because I kept hearing it be referred to again and again, in terms of allowing our community to embrace more of that. You know, letting go of things being matchy matchy in terms of like, let's, let's see our albums as homes, containers for stories and really focus on what's inside as you said.

Ali Edwards 54:09

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Thank you.

Jennifer Wilson 54:12

I want to talk just a little bit about making mistakes. So you know, particularly when we're, I mean, stamping is probably one of the best examples but journaling there's all kinds of opportunities to screw up in scrapbooking. And you tend to have very positive attitude when it comes to this and I'm curious are there any like totally frustrated, swearing clips, we don't see where something goes in the trash and you're just pissed off for a bit and then you redo it.

Ali Edwards 54:38

I love this question. Yeah, I love this question right when I read it when you gave it to me before. I can only, this is this, I don't know if this is sounds crazy. You're not I can only think of like one or two times that I actually threw something in the garbage. So for me it is very unlikely that I would bag a whole thing completely, I think it's more likely that I would be like, Yeah, I don't love this as much. But I'm already this far into it. And I'm just going to finish it. Because I know it's just going to go into a collection of many, many, many, many, many other stories. Right? And so my, that is one of the areas I think, in my life where I am very flexible. And I'm like, oh, yeah, you know, I made a mistake. So now I'm going to reprint the photo, or, you know, I am, you know, I cut that wrong. So now I'm going to try to cut it again, I think one of the reasons why I don't have a lot of freak outs about it maybe is partly because we have so many digital options, so that I can always, almost always reprint something. So that probably plays into it a little bit. The things that will make me the most frustrated in my office are computer problems. If I have any problems with the computer with the printers, which is you know, the printer problems come up. So that's Yeah, so I don't have any videos of me like swearing at my printer. But That definitely happens. From time to time of like, you know, like, even couple weeks ago, I had some, I think it was because I installed like a new version of Photoshop. And so then it didn't maintain like the color profiles that I had previously. So it was printing out these horrible colors. And I just was like, and what most time for me, it's like, I don't have enough time. Like I'm like on some sort of deadline, where I'm like, this can't be the problem right now. So yeah, more I would say more printer related issues than just when I'm when I'm at my desk working most of the time, I am very flexible, and can be like, Oh, what, okay, that didn't work. And I need to reprint this again. Or, you know, I need to cover that up or do something else. So that's pretty, that's pretty true to to how I work.

Jennifer Wilson 56:52

Do you think that came with with time and just having done this for so long?

Ali Edwards 56:57

I think it's possible. I think that I'm also like, like, maybe there are other areas in my life where I am more rigid. And this is not one of them. Like that's that's kind of what I feel like about it that it's I can't I can't think of a time where it was really like, oh my god, I made such a huge mistake that I'm gonna freak out about it. Because I think most of the time, it's something that can be redone. And the practice for me probably has been that I've, you know, there's some times when I've read, like, if I have typed up journaling, and I've made a mistake. I mean, sometimes I leave it, it kind of depends on what the mistake is. But there's also times where like, if I don't find it, then or, or if I do find it that I'll reprint it like four times. You know, like that happens. And so sometimes you don't always see that on the video, but I try to leave those kinds of things in to where I'll be like, oh, yeah, here I am. I just reprinted that one again. Yep, nope, found another thing now. You know, cut the thing weird or yeah, or whatever it is that that happened. Yeah, I think it's interesting to think about it in terms of my of my personality, too. And, you know, this is just seems to be an area where I'm like, all right, like, we'll just move on. But there are tons of other areas of my life where I get really mad about things. How, you know want more control over, over how things are going too.

Jennifer Wilson 58:21

Well, that's so interesting to think about in terms of maybe that's part of how you've been able to have a, turn a hobby into a business and allow it to thrive because you don't have that same sense of, of control and perfectionism over it.

Ali Edwards 58:36

Yeah, yeah, I think that's interesting. And I think that that, like on the flip side it like from the creative standpoint of the business, that is definitely true. I think on the back end of the business. I definitely have struggled more with wanting to be in control. And that's taken longer for me to let go of some of those kinds of things. So I think that that's an interesting way to look at it. Because I in my head, I can separate you know, like I'm making a scrapbook page, and I'm doing something crafty. And I love doing that, I would be doing it anyway, even if it wasn't a part of my job. But then there are other parts of my job that are like the, you know, more hardcore businessy things where there's definitely been times where I've had a harder time letting go, or not being in control of stuff, which has resulted in swearing and other bigger frustration. Yeah, you know, it's real. It's real.

Jennifer Wilson 59:33

I mean, yeah, I mean, we all get frustrated. We all have to deal with every day's of life.

Ali Edwards 59:40

Yeah. All the time.

Jennifer Wilson 59:43

Are there any particular kind of projects or practices that particularly help you step out of perfectionism? And maybe I'm leading here cuz I'm specifically thinking of your marks on a page that you were doing last year and painting and other things that really like help you be even more free?

Ali Edwards 59:57

Yeah, that's a good question. Yeah. So the painting thing that is really fun. And I actually really, really enjoy that like doing painting or doing like mixed media sort of stuff. And I did that for a while last year. And then I can't really remember why I stopped, I just got out of the habit, I don't know if that like bumped up against December Daily stuff, or what. Sometimes it's just really busy in terms of project happenings that are, you know, design work or things that I have to do, where I'm like, Okay, there's just, I don't have enough time for that in the day. So I put all that away for a while, and I've been thinking about pulling it back out again, because it really is a good practice, it's a really good practice for me in, in having it be that there isn't an end result besides just what it is. You know, like I'm not doing it to monetize it, I'm not doing it to sell prints, I'm just doing it to explore color, right or explore shapes. And I think that was really good for me, I really do also think that therapy generally is really good. And so I always like to make sure that I'm normalizing that, you know, as because perfectionism is part of what we talk about when I, you know, go in there, and it's lots of, you know, from lots of different angles. I've also read, I can't think of any books off the top of my head right now. But it's something that I like to read about to, you know, the process of letting go. And I think, definitely when I went through the divorce, and a lot of the reading that I did at that time was, you know, things about being cracked open. And what is that like? And, you know, how do you, how do you navigate through that in a way where you're, you know, still holding on to whatever your most authentic self is? Yeah, lots and lots and lots of letting go over time. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 1:01:54

Well you're just an amazing role model for our community. And I appreciate all the things that you do.

Ali Edwards 1:01:58

Aww, you're so nice. Congratulations on your rebrand too.

Jennifer Wilson 1:02:01

Thank you.

Ali Edwards 1:02:02

I've been meaning to reach out and tell you. I've I've long been watching what you do. And I love your aesthetic. And I love how you approach your, you know, approaching your own community and the community that you've built there. I think it's just really beautiful. So I'm really, I'm happy to get this chance to talk to you.

Jennifer Wilson 1:02:20

I appreciate the kind words.

Ali Edwards 1:02:22

Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 1:02:22

So just to wrap up here and Week In The Life is coming up at the end of June. So a little bit different timing this year.

Ali Edwards 1:02:27

Yeah, mixing it up. Mixing it up.

Jennifer Wilson 1:02:30

How can our listeners use this type of documenting project as an opportunity for themselves to practice some releasing of control?

Ali Edwards 1:02:36

Oh, man, this is, this is an intense project to release control on. So Week In The Life, seven day documenting project. I think one of the biggest things that people can do to release control is to just not feel like you have to take a picture of everything and not feel like it's so it's a Day In The Life times seven right? It doesn't have to be that way, can be as much of an overview of your week as you want it to. You can be a major deep dive. I mean, most of the times when I've done this project, it's it's a significant deep dive and the reason why I do it that way is because I've just learned over time that I really love having one week of a deep dive, right. One week in our life over the last however many years now that I've been doing it that just kind of shows what's the flow and you know, what are people into and those kinds of thing, those kinds of things. But it can also just be you know, you decide you want to take five photos each day over the course of the week and that can be a really beautiful representation of what your life looks like right now. And I think that's one of the things that I hope with you know, the either the Brand Ambassadors or just showcasing more people in the community is showing different ways that people do these projects, right. That they can be done in a mini book or they can be done in a bigger album. Like that there's so many different ways that it can be approached. It doesn't have to just be in this you know the specific way that I do it or the specific way that we've seen it done before.

Jennifer Wilson 1:04:06

Yeah, one thing that stands out to me is being okay with taking bad photos. I think that happens for for Week In The Life or Day in the Life or December Daily. Anything where you're taking probably more photos than usual.

Ali Edwards 1:04:18

Yep.

Jennifer Wilson 1:04:19

You there's an active need, at least for me to practice. Okay, the objective here is to capture was real not to take the most perfect beautiful photo ever.

Ali Edwards 1:04:29

100% Yeah, yes, I totally believe in that for sure. And I think that that a lot of that right there's a lot of letting go in that like letting go of, of this need to take a perfect picture. And then I always am like, well, what's the perfect picture anyway? Like some of my most favorite pictures are the grainy pictures that I've taken of all of our family together like sitting on the couch, right. Or sitting around the dining room table like the fact that I have years and years and years have those kinds of photos where not everybody's looking at the camera, but they're all in the space together. Like those are some of my most valuable ones. That color might be totally off. So I turn into black and white. And then it's even more than I like it even more. Yeah. After that, but yeah, yeah, yeah, the opportunity to it's the project is a great opportunity to practice photography, just in and of itself. But also, like you said, a great opportunity to practice. Practice, like owning what your own story is. I mean, I feel like it comes back to that a lot, right? Because if you're taking pictures around your house, and all you're thinking as you take those pictures is, I hate my house, I hate this. I don't like this, you know, you're thinking about all the things that you don't like, like this actually can be an opportunity to either change what you don't like, right? Do something different or to embrace that this is the life that you are living, and you have a choice of how you want to approach that. And that impacts the way you look through the lens of your camera.

Jennifer Wilson 1:06:00

Huh, what a beautiful way to end this conversation. But I think that's so much gets at the heart of memory keeping that we get to see our lives through our creativity and that helps us live live better.

Ali Edwards 1:06:14

That's the, that's I that's what I believe 100% After doing this for so long, yep.

Jennifer Wilson 1:06:20

Can you share where listeners can find you online and anything else new or fun you have coming up?

Ali Edwards 1:06:24

Yeah, you can find me Aliedwards.com. That's where we have blog and shop and classes and all of those things. You can also find me on Instagram. I'm @AliEdwards. And then we have a business Instagram account with lots of you know, information about products and projects that's @aliedwardsdesigninc on Instagram. Those are kind of the main places. We also have a Facebook group called craft the story. And that's another place where people are doing lots of sharing, lots of community sharing happening in there. The only other thing we have coming up besides Week In The Life is our travel release is coming. I think next week. Yeah, I believe it's next week. So that is kind of the next, the next project round that many people get very excited about the travel stuff. So...

Jennifer Wilson 1:07:13

We're all excited about traveling again.

Ali Edwards 1:07:15

I know Yes, I know. It's a we went to Las Vegas last weekend for a birthday party. And that was really fun and, you know, felt different to be out and about and I've got another trip coming up with taking Simon to Star Wars Celebration, which is like the Big Star Wars convention. That's next week. So we're really looking forward to that one. Yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 1:07:36

That sounds fun.

Ali Edwards 1:07:37

Star Wars Deep Dive. But yeah...

Jennifer Wilson 1:07:40

Ali, thank you so much for your time.

Ali Edwards 1:07:41

Yeah, you're welcome, Jennifer, I really enjoyed chatting with you. Thank you for having me on.

Jennifer Wilson 1:07:45

And to all of our listeners. Please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. Hey, friends, thanks so much for listening to Scrapbook Your Way. If you would like to start moving past perfectionism, our free workbook can help. Letting Go starts with identifying your real priorities and finding focus. Visit simplescrapper.com/focus to have the focus finder workbook sent to your inbox.

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