SYW179 – Semi-Controversial Scrapbook Ideas

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Would you ever throw away completed projects? Have you thought about digitizing your traditional albums? In this episode I’m chatting with Laura Vegas about her library of 105 scrapbook albums. As a long-time scrapbooker and one who has received product for creative teams, Laura’s volume of work is extensive. In our conversation we discuss her mixed feelings, the approaches she has already used to downsize, and the perspectives she’s bringing into her future memory keeping.

Links Mentioned

Laura Vegas 0:00

I really love the idea of basically turning all of my layouts into digital books, it would be a huge project. But I really love the idea of doing that. I would definitely still keep some, but maybe narrowing down what I have, so it's a little bit more manageable.

Jennifer Wilson 0:19

Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way, this 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 179. In this episode, I'm joined by longtime scrapbooker, Laura Vegas to have a semi controversial chat about our legacies as Memory Keepers, including digitizing pages, tossing older albums and the projects she just can't let go of.

Jennifer Wilson 0:50

Hey, Laura, welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

Laura Vegas 0:53

Hi, how are you?

Jennifer Wilson 0:55

Good. How are you doing today?

Laura Vegas 0:57

I'm good. I'm excited to be chatting with you today.

Jennifer Wilson 1:00

Yes, me too. I, we have connected online for quite a while now. And I am excited to talk about this particular topic because this is something that keeps coming up. But before we get to that, can you introduce yourself a little bit and so our audience can get to know who Laura Vegas is?

Laura Vegas 1:20

Well, I'm Laura Vegas. I have lived in California all my life. I'm located in kind of central California in the valley. And I live with my husband and one of my girls. My two girls are grown. So ones off on her own. And my younger one who's almost 23, she's still here with us.

Jennifer Wilson 1:41

Very cool.

Laura Vegas 1:41

And then our puppy who we've had for about a year and a half.

Jennifer Wilson 1:45

Oh, pandemic puppy. I hear a lot of episodes. Yeah. So what's exciting you right now, scrapbooking?

Laura Vegas 1:57

You know, I haven't had as much time to scrapbook lately as I would like. But one of the things that's always exciting to me is anything pretty much that Ali Edwards makes. Even like any of her design team, like all of them, they just, I love everything that they do. And just the whole like story based, you know, idea of, you know, taking those photos and stories and just really making those the focus of the projects.

Jennifer Wilson 2:30

Yes, yes. There's so much creativity in and how and how she, her her team and her biggest fans, so, so many amazing things that are being created these days that I would have never imagined myself.

Laura Vegas 2:46

Yeah, I mean, I've been a long time. I mean, I have pretty much every single product, you know that she comes out with. Her kits, her story kits. I even have all of the Day In Life. And all of the Week In The Life kits, digital kits, especially. And yeah, I've never done Day In The Life but I have every single kit she's ever done. So I'm huge on her digital projects, too, because I use those probably more than actual physical product these days. But...

Jennifer Wilson 3:14

Oh, interesting. I think we'll probably get into more of that in the later part of our conversation. But I think that's, you know, digital is one way that we can be a little bit more streamlined in the stuff that we have has a lot more versatility.

Laura Vegas 3:28


Jennifer Wilson 3:29

And you know, with those Week In The Life and Day In Life products, they are very usable, far beyond those projects that's about everyday life. So I love those as well. And we also like to ask our guests about your memory keeping Bucket List. So what is one story that you still really want to tell but have not yet captured?

Laura Vegas 3:49

So the one that comes to mind because I listen to your podcast quite a bit and every time you ask someone this question, the one thing that pops into my head is my girls graduations. Specifically my older daughter's college graduation. And not to say that that's more special than you know their high school graduations or my younger daughters. But you know, my older daughter graduated from college about four years ago and we had gone down and took like I took senior photos of her like cap and gown and all of her you know, everything that she had all her little sashes and whatever you call them, stoles. And we took tons of senior photos around campus. And just so many gorgeous photos that I have and then add to those the photos we took on graduation day and of the two different ceremonies and just with family and everything. And I really, really want to put those into most likely a digital, like a photo book. Because I do want to be able to print like an extra copy for like her dad or for you know her, me, or whatever. So I love the idea of doing it digitally. But that's a big one that I really want to get to at some point. And also even my girls high school graduations, I never scrapbook them, I didn't document them in any way. And I have, you know, all kinds of photos from graduation day, even eighth grade graduations, I have never done anything with those photos. So graduations are just one thing that constantly pops into my head when you kind of ask that Bucket List question.

Jennifer Wilson 5:26

I love that. Because that's not something we we've talked about a lot. But that is one of those things that we often have in life, where you take a lot of photos and sometimes even you know, professional photos, whether, you know, pose shots, whether you took those yourself or you hired someone to do it. That's, that's a large quantity of photo sometimes, you know, not quite as many as a wedding. But you know, it's up there in the quantity.

Laura Vegas 5:52

Oh, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 5:53

So, um...

Laura Vegas 5:55

And that's one reason I liked the idea of the digital books I'm I've always been really big into photo collages. It was kind of one of my signature things. When I did the 12 by 12 layouts was I was really big on collages and using the photo templates. So you know, I'm very good at working with a huge amount of photos and working them into those collages. And, you know, so I just, at some point, I'll do it. I just haven't gotten to it just yet.

Jennifer Wilson 6:21

Sure, it can feel intimidating when you have that many photos. And it's an important story. And that's I mean, that's why we have this Bucket List conversation is because oftentimes, it's not because it's a silly story. You know, sometimes there are Fun Bucket List Stories, but oftentimes, it's because it's something important. And we want to do it justice and spend some time on it. And it's yeah, sometimes it's harder to get to those things. So the reason I wanted to have you on the podcast is because you had posted something on Instagram recently about you did this inventory of your albums. But before we kind of itemize what you discovered from that, I'd like to share with our audience a little bit of context. So how long have you been scrapbooking? What formats have you mostly worked in, and things like that?

Laura Vegas 7:08

Well, I've been scrapbooking for probably at least 27 years now. I started shortly before my older daughter was born after getting married. And that back then it was Creative Memories. And I used those for you know, many years. And so I was always a 12 by 12 scrapbooker. And that was my main size really up until you know, I got into like the six by eight, you know, other sizes, but 12 by 12 was always my go to and mainly layouts. I have done some mini albums in the past, but they're not really my thing. And then at some point I do get into, when I did start doing Project Life, I have done 9 by 12. So that's been my Project Life size since I started doing it 2016. And then I also do six by eight albums, and 6 by 12. And those are mainly pocket pages. I have a 6 by 12 album. That's mainly just for stories about myself, because that's kind of what I'm down to scrapbooking now. Now that my girls are older, I I will kind of just go in between the six by eight, the six by twelve. And then I also like to use the Life Crafted albums for those traveler notebook sized little spreads. And I can't get into the Traveler's Notebooks, I tried and I can't. But I can do that size and work it into those little albums. So I really kind of just vary in between those, like, I'll come up with the you know, if I have an idea. I just kind of asked myself Okay, is it Traveler's Notebook, size six by eight or six by twelve. And those are kind of my things now. I'm not really into layouts anymore. I definitely have a lot of layouts I still want to make. And I'm not saying I'll never make them again. But it's it's just not something that I've really done much of lately.

Jennifer Wilson 9:11

Sure, sure. Now, I'm curious, across this whole history, was this all totally personal work? Or were you involved in design teams at all? Because I just want to share that context in case some of your volume was related to that.

Laura Vegas 9:24

Yes, definitely. A lot of it. I worked with design teams for probably about 15 years and I also did magazines so I was on the creative or Creating Keepsakes Dream Team for three years and then from that I went straight into Scrapbooks, Etc, not Scrapbook Etc, Oh my gosh, Scrapbook And Cards Today. So I went straight into that team for three years. So I did six years straight of magazine teams, along with some design teams and I was never one that was on a ton of design teams, it was always usually just, you know, maybe two tops. But a huge amount of what I did was related to that. So yeah, about 15 years, I think total on working with different teams and such.

Jennifer Wilson 10:16

All right, so let's give us some stats on your inventory of albums.

Laura Vegas 10:25

So let's see, I had, yeah, I knew I've done it a few times over the years, I've been like, look, here's, here's what I got, here's how many albums I have. But just a while ago, I've read through and literally sat down and counted and wrote down everything. So I have about 105 Total albums, which is a lot. But 67 12 by 12 albums, I've got 13, 9 by 12, which the majority of those are actually my Project Life albums. And I also have 9 by 12, for like the girls sports and things like that. I have one eight and a half by 11, which was just my own high school or my own school years that I documented.

Jennifer Wilson 11:09

Okay. Okay.

Laura Vegas 11:11

And then I have about seven, eight or eight by eight and nine by nine albums. I did those for a little bit here and there. And then five, six by 12 albums. And 10 six by eight. Yeah, and then a couple little Life Crafted ones. So but yeah, 105 total, which it's a lot.

Jennifer Wilson 11:35

Yeah. So I'm curious how doing this inventory, and you said, you've done it in the past as well. How does it make you feel when you do that?

Laura Vegas 11:44

I mean, it feels good to know that I have so much documented but it also is overwhelming because I am one that kind of I'm really big on like organizing and reorganizing. And I'm, you know, I'm kind of always in that look, okay, I don't need this anymore. I'm kind of, you know, I gotta purge this, I gotta clean this out, kind of, you know, paring down things here and there. And, you know, I do kind of think like, Okay, what's going to happen years down the road, my girls are not going to want 105 albums. Like, I know them, they are not going to want that many. They're not even going to want like half of that if they split them. So I do kind of think about, okay, down the road, like, what's going to happen to all these and really like, is all of that necessary to have? I mean, I'm not going to like, just throw memories away randomly. But I know there's a plenty of things in those albums that probably don't need to be kept. You know, it could be design team pages I made that maybe don't really have any meaning to them. Yeah, it's just it's a lot. And I just know that at some point, like, what's going to happen to them?

Jennifer Wilson 12:58

Yeah, that was one thing that I was thinking about is that, particularly in the older days, when it was more photo and product focused versus story focused, I'm sure there's pages you have that don't have a lot of additional context. So they're not really adding value to the overall story. They're just pretty.

Laura Vegas 13:15

Yeah, and I mean, I think even looking back like we used to, I know, like Creative Memory wise, we used, I used to put every single photo I took on these pages. And all they had was like a little caption under each photo, which was kind of how we did it back then, you'd have five photos of my daughter, you know, sitting in her highchair eating when she's a baby. And under each photo, I'd have like, Oh, she's so cute. She's holding the spoon, like, it's nothing that important. Where I could take, I may have 20 layouts of her sitting in a highchair eating where I could pull, like one photo from each layout, put them together on one page, and actually maybe have a better story.

Jennifer Wilson 13:57

Yes, yes. Well, have you thought about actually doing that, like, more kind of consolidation type projects?

Laura Vegas 14:08

I have, I've actually thought about it. And years ago, I, I think I actually put that as my goal. At some point. I would love to take my Creative Memory albums, because I have a lot of pages that like the photos are on there, but I never finished them. I had like, I have albums, which is pages and pages of just photos because I didn't do anything else with it. And you know, of course, it's a little trickier because back then, you know, we cut them into shapes, they're circles and ovals and hearts and things like that. But I would love I mean, I have four albums from my older daughter's first year of life, which is ridiculous. So I would love to pull out the photos and just kind of work them into some other formats. I mean, my thinking is kind of like that whole pocket page, Project Life kind of way of doing it. Maybe break it down by the month or whatever and just kind of, you know, hit the highlights. But yeah, I mean, it's it's an overwhelming idea to take those albums out and pull it all apart.

Jennifer Wilson 15:09

It is, it is, I think that's what stops people from doing it. Even if there's more of us than we talk about, we're actually thinking about this. Now know, I'm curious, when you were kind of doing this inventory, you had to actually look at things and maybe even physically touch them to figure out what you have. Were there any things that surprised you about? Quantity, quality? You know, how things have lasted over the years? You know, things you've chosen to do or not do?

Laura Vegas 15:39

Yeah, I didn't actually really go into the albums a look at them. I have done that though. In the past, though, because there have been times where I've reorganized my albums, whether it was sorting out the layouts, and working them, you know, like separating them into different albums. Like, I'm sure at some point, they were all in one. And then I separated like, okay, all of Alyssa's pages with just her go in her album, Sara's go in hers, here's the family layouts. And then I've also changed albums. So I used to work, I used to have post bound albums. And then I moved everything over to the three ring albums. And every time I make, do something like that, I weed some layouts out. So I've definitely pulled layouts out that I'm like, that doesn't mean anything. Or maybe I scrapbook that photo on three different layouts. And there's no reason for that. So anytime I go through my albums, I will actually pull layouts out and kind of just chuck them or get rid of them or whatever I do with them. But yeah, I mean, there's definitely some albums, I know, I have a couple which they're not travel albums, because we've never really traveled much. But they were kind of like, places we went, like we go, we used to go the cabin every summer, my uncle's cabin, and they're just photos slipped in pockets. It's just there's nothing else to them. And you know, those could be somehow worked into something, you know, smaller and put into the family album so that I don't have these albums with like, Oh, here's all the cabin in this album where I could just go work them into each year that they apply to.

Jennifer Wilson 17:13

I think one thing that stands out to me is the sense of permission that I hope we're kind of communicating to the listeners that it's okay to change things as you go to improve to make it more future proof and whatever that looks like for you. And it's not. It's not so precious that you can't adjust.

Laura Vegas 17:37

Yes, yeah.

Jennifer Wilson 17:39

Because in the end, Yeah, nobody's gonna want 100 albums or, or more, or even, you know, even 50 of those. It's it's so hard to think about what somebody would do with all, with all that volume when they're making their own memories. Yeah. So it's a it's a real, you know, mind, mind bending question for all of us as scrapbookers.

Laura Vegas 18:01

I mean, I even had one just recently, I have a six by eight album that I started, I picked up and got back into reading about two and a half years ago. So I started like reading albums. So I could have, you know, all of the books that I've read. And originally, I had a page for each book. So I had a photo of the book, I had a journaling card of sorts, not really review, but just kind of a card that said something about the book. And then I had like a little filler card. And then I had a card that had the number like this is my fifth book of the year. And it was fun. And it was cute. But at some point, I realized that I was only going to fit, I think it was like a year and a half into one album. And I'm like, Wait, hang on a minute, like, I'm only a year and a half in. And this isn't working for me like that's, that's going to be too many albums. So I actually went through and I took out the number cards and the filler cards. And now I just have the photo of the book and the journaling card. And that's it. And I make a little title page for each year. But you know, I was only a year and a half in and I'm like, Wait, this isn't going to work because it's going to be way too much if I keep reading. So now I just Yeah, I pulled out all those cards, threw them in the garbage and just condensed everything down a little bit. Yeah, I think it's definitely okay to change, you know, to be like, Okay, wait, this isn't quite what I want it to be or it's too much, or maybe it's too little, and I want to do more with it.

Jennifer Wilson 19:26

Yeah, I love that because it's not, you know, there's certainly examples which we might share in a second here about when you are kind of scrapping everything. But sorry, that's that's a wrong term to use in this conversation when you're like literally when you're disposing or discarding items. But that's just a tweak in order to adjust the project to make it work better for where you are, where you're at right now. Yeah, and I think some of those are sometimes even easier to wrap your brain around and feel more comfortable with it's kind of like a baby step into into this now. But you also mentioned really it was the photo of this post where you talked about your inventory that you combined 150 layouts into one 12 by 12 photo book and this you had done this in years past.

Laura Vegas 20:10


Jennifer Wilson 20:10

Can you talk a little bit more about that project?

Laura Vegas 20:13

Yes. So I, it was a long time ago, I can't even think how long ago was but I did daycare in my home for 17 years. And I used to make tons of layouts about all the kids I watched, they were huge parts of our life. But at some point, I realized I can't remember how many it was, it's, it's in a blog post somewhere, but I have, I had like this huge amount of albums that were just daycare kids from over the years. And, you know, I kind of said, well, I already have this many albums of my own family, I don't necessarily need to take up space, with all these albums for children that basically, they're not my children, you know, and a lot of them have moved on. Some we keep in touch with some we don't like I don't need to keep all this space for you know, for that memory. I'd rather fill that space with my own families. So I did decide to turn most, I turned all of the layouts, in fact, into a digital book. And I just, you know, I literally took all the layouts out of the albums, photographed each one, just the same way I photographed all my layouts at the time. And then just kind of, you know, edit them and organize them in a way so that I could just pull them right into a book. I printed them as a 12 by 12 book. And a lot of those layouts were actually eight by eight size layouts, because I was kind of into that size for a while. But I printed them as a 12 by 12 book. And you know, the book is, I don't know, maybe a half inch thick. And it takes up so much space, less space than all of those albums.

Jennifer Wilson 21:52

So I have a collection of four albums of all digital pages that I had printed, from like, right after I got married to up to when my daughter was born. And I was on digital teams at that point. And so I was using a lot of product wasn't doing a lot of journaling. And I have already decided these are all going to go into photo book because they're taking up, you know, a whole cube in my Kallax, for these layouts that don't, they just don't have a lot to them. But now if I put it in a book, I can add some like additional context, just even a couple pages of journaling will make it more useful and valuable to the end reader if it's my daughter or one of my stepsons or who else in the future? So yeah, it's projects like that. Really, I don't know, they really excite me, because we just don't have infinite space.

Laura Vegas 22:43

Yes, yeah. And at the time, you know, I took all those layouts, I still kept some of them, I didn't get rid of all of them. I think I still have three or No, I think I still have two albums that are just like the daycare kids. But I kept the layouts that were a little more special, or I kept ones that, you know, instead of just like one child on it, you know, I used to do these layouts where I would take a photo of every child that I watched, and combine them on one layout, you know, that had more meaning to it, because I had more journaling about, you know, what they meant to me and, and that kind of thing. So I have a handful of layouts that I kept, but the rest of them, I just kind of sorted out and I gave them to the families. I don't know if they kept them or not. Some of them I know they, you know, I know they did, but and if there were any children that we weren't in touch with anymore, I threw them in the garbage. And I was okay with that.So yeah, I mean, I loved it. I was so excited when I got that book. And I'm like, this is just one little book on my shelf. And I just I love it.

Jennifer Wilson 23:46

Well and I love that you could pass some of them on. I think that can relieve some of the heartache of all the investment of time and energy and money and products and everything that we put into our pages, if we're going to decide to let them go. I don't know, have you ever, like taken a part of layout and tried to save anything? Or do you just...

Laura Vegas 24:07

Yeah, I've I've thrown layouts away before, I have. And I, you know, I'll put it out there to, I'll you know whether it's Instagram or you know, before Instagram, my blog or whatever, I'm like, yeah, here's these layouts, and I threw them all away guys, you know, and people came at me like, like, how did you do that? You know, save them for your girls. I'm like, no, like, my girls already have all these options. Why am I going to save these? And then people would say well give them to the grandparents. I'm like the grandparents don't want them, you know, and we'll give them somebody else can use that layout. I'm like, no, no, no, no. But yeah, I would tear off like any embellishments that I want to keep. You know, I was a big button fanatic. So I take the buttons off the layouts and save those. You know, now if I were to get rid of layouts from years years ago, I would definitely pull off those photos, anything that was a film photo I would save, just because those are so much harder to reprint and because my girls are, you know, I always call them my film babies because, you know, the first, you know, 6,10 years of their life was on film. So, I mean, I have all my negatives, and I can def I don't I mean, honestly, I don't know where you go to reprint anything these days. But anything that I was gonna, if I get rid of anything that has a film photo, I will take that and save it just in case. Because it's not as easy to access as a, you know, my digital stuff.

Jennifer Wilson 25:37

Yeah, for sure. And I think that's a helpful tip for somebody who may be thinking about going back and doing this. I'm curious, if you're thinking about doing any more projects where you photograph or scan layouts and put them in a photo book?

Laura Vegas 25:52

I am I'm actually thinking about doing it with all my layouts. Well, I shouldn't say all. I mean, like my Project Life albums are some of my favorite albums these days. So I wouldn't I mean, I'm those can stay as they are, I have one album for each year, that's fine. I have like my girls school albums, they each have four albums that contain a wide mix of everything from their school years from kindergarten through 12th grade. So those will stay as is. But basically any layouts. I really love the idea of basically, kind of turning all of my layouts into digital books, it would be a huge project. But I really love the idea of doing that. And then potentially, you know, I don't know, if I would just get rid of a lot of layouts, I would definitely still keep some but maybe narrowing down what I have. So it's a little bit more manageable. And even, you know, I kind of look at it too, like if I turned all of my layouts into digital books. And even if I kept some of those albums or kept, you know, narrowed it down and kept a handful. You know, I mean, even knocking down my 105 albums down to like 50 would be amazing. But even that, you know, heaven forbid, something happens to me or down the road or whatever, you know, my girls could have, you know, I think it would be okay to say you can toss those albums because look, you have these digital books and they don't take up much space. And you know, it would be easier to just chuck everything else if they wanted.

Jennifer Wilson 27:30

Yes, no. I mean that that makes sense. I think having that kind of digital duplication can be helpful as people are making decisions in the future. Now I'm curious about the school yearbooks, and why you don't feel compelled to do the same with those because, well, to me, that seems like a really clear boundary, like timeframe, you know, a specific project. So I'm just curious.

Laura Vegas 27:56

Yeah, well, I think because they're not really layouts. They're just I used Becky Higgins school year, kits, which was something from forever ago. And that's one project that like is I have those done start to finish. And I set up that school year album system that she had, and I didn't use it necessarily exactly like she had it. But each year has a big ol envelope 12 by 12 envelope page, where I've slipped in, like a sampling of their work. You know, when they were younger, like a drawing, or it could be a report they wrote writing samples, things like that. I have their report cards, I have their any awards they received I have their class photo, I have any, you know, once they got to high school, I have, you know, any of their sports teams. You know, the photos and any awards, I have ribbons from things. I have their ID cards slipped into little pockets. So I mean, those are, it's just a lot of memory. It's more memorabilia than anything, there's really, no I don't really have layouts in there. The only photos in there like their, their school photo and their class photos and sports photos and things like that. But I don't know that they're gonna want to pull out and be like, Oh, look what I wrote in sixth grade, but if they want, it's there.

Jennifer Wilson 29:16

Yeah, yeah. No, I think that it's definitely a different type of digitization project versus photograph a layout and at the layout, put it on a page full, full full page, like and repeat the process for the layout. So something like that would require a lot more. Some scanning some photography, yeah, you know, figuring out how it's all gonna fit together.

Laura Vegas 29:39

And, and I mean, I have, I've seen Becky Higgins do that with her kids School Stuff. She a couple of years ago, she was doing I think one of her oldest child, her oldest son or something. And she was showing how she was doing that. So she was doing it more like scanning the artwork and taking pictures and some of that stuff. I actually did. I took pictures of the artwork, the bigger things, and I tossed those and just included the photo. But yeah, she's done stuff like that, where it's all just digital pages that then got printed, I'm assuming.

Jennifer Wilson 30:11

Yep, yep. For sure.

Laura Vegas 30:12

That would be to me, it would just feel a lot more work, because it's just little papers and things like that.

Jennifer Wilson 30:19

Yes. So I was like scrolling back further on your Instagram. And as you said, You've blogged about these questions before. But you actually shared that you were tossing this big stack of mini albums that you had made for your parents. And you talk more about that choice. And what what led to that?

Laura Vegas 30:38

Yeah, so my parents moved out of state last summer. And basically, my, my mom didn't want to take any photo albums or any, anything of that sort. So she kind of just gave me everything she had. And Will, my brother took his and then I took the majority of the stuff. And she had all these mini albums, I used to be big on making them like years and years ago, like every Christmas, we had three sets of grandparents. So I would make three little six by six albums. And, or even before that, I think it was like the five by seven Creative Memory albums, I think. And it literally just had like two photos through each month, like one of Sarah, one of Alyssa, like my favorite photo. And it was really just a collection of photos from throughout the year. There was no journaling, there was no real story. Like some of them just literally had just a photo, and maybe like January, February. And then I also used to teach classes at the local scrapbook store forever ago. And I used to do these mini albums, different kinds to like, like way back when we used to do mini albums out of brown paper bags, brown lunch bags. And so I did a class with that. So I have just like just a sampling of photos. And then I used to print quotes, because it was just easy when you're teaching a class like here, put these little quotes in. That's cute. So yeah, most of these albums, they didn't have anything in them, there were no stories, there was no real special meaning. It was mainly just a handful of photos in a album. So looking through them, like I took them all from her and took them home. And just looking at them, there was just to me, there was honestly no reason to keep them. I mean, it's cool to be able to pull something out and be like, Yeah, look, I made this album out of a paper bag. But it just, I just didn't see any point in keeping it to be honest. So yeah, I went through, I took a lot of those because they were so old were film photos. So I took all the photos off and save those, but I just kind of threw everything away. And the thing is, I actually have a lot of these albums, I have duplicate, like I have my own album, that's the same exact one because I would make my own. So at some point, I probably will pull mine out, I have a couple of mini albums that actually have, like I had to do one for a magazine assignment a couple of years ago. And, you know, it actually has more meaning to it. Because as I got further down the road in my scrapbooking, towards the end of doing all that design team stuff, I really focused more on making things that were authentic and had meaning and I was big on journaling. So anything I made later, it actually you know, I have a couple little albums that do have like a story to them and meaning to them. So I would be more inclined to keep those but the ones that are just some photos. I just honestly I don't feel like I need to keep them for anything.

Jennifer Wilson 33:41

And things like that. One of the things that I'm thinking about a lot these days is that I'm okay with just having a photo of that thing to say like, look, I made that I didn't, I didn't need to keep it. Or something even my daughter made or, you know, I just, I just threw away some colored pencils that I bought in 1991 When we went to England, and I've been saving them all these years. And my daughter's like, I don't want those Mom, are old, I have new ones. And so I'm like, why am I keeping these? So I took a picture and then moved on. I don't I don't need to these don't need to take up space in my life anymore. And yeah, and I can see that with those albums. How there's a similar feeling.

Laura Vegas 34:18

I mean, I even have some albums that my girls like, they never gotten into scrapbooking. But when they were younger, they would do a little bit with me. And I have a couple little albums where there's like, you know, their little selves pasted down some photos and some completely random stickers and wrote some just funny little captions. So that would, you know, and I have kept those because I'm like, oh my god, I can't throw them away, then yeah, that would be a good idea for that would just be to take some photos of them.

Jennifer Wilson 34:45

Yeah, and maybe somebody that'll go into some sort of compilation book. But yeah, for now, it can just be a photo of a thing that you know, can be like, Oh, yes, yeah. So you know, you mentioned at the beginning you haven't been as creative this year, as you know, maybe you would have liked or you have in the past? How is your creative momentum going at this point in the year?

Laura Vegas 35:08

Ah, it's really not going anywhere. Oh, I've it's been a struggle. I'm not sure what's going on. I just Yeah, I actually feel like a lot of it is, you know, I for so many years I worked at home, and I, you know, I did daycare. So I had little infants and little toddlers, and, you know, they kept me busy, but I always, you know, I was at home. So I always could find like, these little pockets of time where I could do little things. And, you know, they're little kids, so I'd have stuff up on the counter, then nobody could even see your reach. And I could just do something little here and there for five minutes. I had naptime where I could work on stuff, you know, for an hour or two. And now you know, I'm back to working outside the home and my schedule, the hours I work just make it really hard to get anything done. It's something I am constantly griping about others at work gripe about it. We're like, there's just, you know, it's like, I work that kind of like 12 to 9, you know, 1 to 10 type shift. And there's not enough time in the morning, but there's not enough time at night. And I just struggled to get much of anything done these days. And I I can't figure it out. I'm like, I know, it's my schedule, I think but I just it every day, it bugs me that I'm like, why can I get anything done? But it's just been a little trickier to find that creative time.

Jennifer Wilson 36:36

For sure. And we all go through the seasons of life, it probably won't be like that forever. And yeah, I think it's a very normal thing, especially when we're in this. What I don't want to call it post pandemic, and tail end of the pandemic, whatever, wherever we are right now, where we're out there doing things get there still COVID out there. We're all trying to figure out what life is like now. And yeah, I think, yeah, having some shifts in your energy and momentum is then very normal for a lot of us, particularly those who maybe were had extra time at home when we were told to stay home and then all of a sudden, oh, no, sorry, you need to go back out into the world every day and have no time left for yourself.

Laura Vegas 37:21

And maybe that's it, like I didn't get any of that extra time either. Okay, well, I've never, I didn't get to experience, you know, that whole, whole, pandemic thing, like a lot of people. You know, I worked the entire time, and I worked outside the home the entire time. So I have never done like a Zoom meeting I've never gotten to do, you know, I kind of felt like I missed out on some of that. Because nothing really changed for me, I still went to work every day. And there was a point where I was working more than ever, and it was you know, I mean, I'm I work in, you know, retail grocery warehouse, you know, I mean, it was crazy. So, I don't know, maybe I'm just really tired after last two years.

Jennifer Wilson 38:05

Oh, particularly with all the supply chain issues and shortage of bleach and toilet paper. And then now it's like random things that we can't find and...

Laura Vegas 38:15


Jennifer Wilson 38:16

When whatever random spice or there's just there's always something nowadays that doesn't...

Laura Vegas 38:22

I'm always like you can't have that there's a limit, you get one.

Jennifer Wilson 38:25

Yeah, so maybe it's just like kind of just collective exhaustion, or just the stress on top of the stress you already had.

Laura Vegas 38:36

Well, and I mean, to be completely, you know, transparent, I have just some stuff going on, you know, just in life too. And...

Jennifer Wilson 38:43


Laura Vegas 38:43

You know, it's been a little overwhelming and a little stressful, and I just have a lot of stuff in my head, like my head never stops thinking. So, you know, when I just have all these things that I'm trying to kind of work through and figure out and all that and it just has kind of sucked the creativity out of me. So, you know, even when I do have time, like on my day off, and I find that some days, I just, I still don't do anything because I just, I can't get my you know, my act together. I have so much that I want to do. I just, I don't know, in some ways I've kind of accepted I'm like, you know, it's okay. Like, like you said seasons of life. You know, we all go through these different periods. You know, where it's not going to be like this forever. And you know, maybe later this year, it'll change maybe it'll be next year. I don't know. But I remember saying last year, I think I said it on an Instagram post at some point. But I was like, you know, as long as I do my Project Life album, and I keep up with my reading album. And then every year I also make, I work my I have like a TV show album type. I don't know what you want to call, I don't know what I want to call it. It's like my TV album. That every TV season, I make these pages to go in there of what I call the shows I watch because I'm a big TV junkie. So as long as I do that and make my TV pages for the year, like, I'm good, you know, I'm okay with that. If I don't get to any other projects throughout the year, like, I'll be okay.

Jennifer Wilson 38:53

I think that's a really healthy perspective of knowing kind of what your what your minimum is. Because, you know, sometimes we do have to push through a little bit because it's important to us, even when we're not as excited about it. And maybe there's something else out there right now, for you that fulfill kind of the creative outlet side. That isn't as I don't know, emotionally connected like this. The one of the weird things about scrapbooking is that it's not just, it's not like knitting where you're making something. It's about our lives. And if our lives have some complications to them, we don't always want to spend our time dwelling in that. So maybe you need to do some knitting or painting or something.

Laura Vegas 41:09

I'm a big organizer. So I've been doing a lot of that around the house.

Jennifer Wilson 41:12

Yes, I saw your pantry and I'm like, I wish I had a closet that I could turn into a pantry like that.

Laura Vegas 41:19

Oh, my family's still torn over my pantry. But that's okay.

Jennifer Wilson 41:24

I'm a big fan of those tall Alex drawers. I have one in my bathroom that holds all the things.

Laura Vegas 41:28

I have the short ones in my scrapbook room and on, you know, a desk area that I have. Yeah, I love the drawers.

Jennifer Wilson 41:35

Yes, yeah. I wish they pulled out further though. Like if they could fix that problem of the how far those drawers pull out, that would be really amazing.

Laura Vegas 41:43

It'd be nice too if you could easily move them around. Yeah, like I know, you can unscrew them and move them. But that's a lot of work. So I shifted some in my scrapbook room. Quite a while ago, I moved a few things around to make room for bookshelves. And I kind of had this shift where I sat in my room. So I wanted to move everything in like three Alex drawers to the other side. And I literally had to dump out everything from the drawers because I couldn't just pull the drawer put and swap it into the other the other unit.

Jennifer Wilson 42:16

Yeah, yeah. But it is what it is. So okay, kind of starting to wrap up here. You mentioned that you also are working on a redo of a 2016 Project Life album, basically, you're just you sound like you're taking it all apart and kind of putting it back together in a new way. So what are the what are some things that you're doing to make that album more finishable for you?

Laura Vegas 42:41

Well, I pulled it out. Because I recently switched all my Project Life albums into new albums. And I, like I know, I still have, I think well, I want to say 2017, I still have like two months to finish. All my other albums are completely finished on Project Life. And but 2016 I pulled it out. And I was like, oh, geez, you know, it's just photos, I never did anything else. That was the first year I decided to, you know, really do Project Life. And all the photos are there. And I think maybe five months had filler cards that I just randomly put in all of the pockets. And that was it. But that was when you know, I I, that was the year I wanted to do Project Life. I always resisted it because I just didn't feel like I had enough photos. But that year I decided I was gonna go back into it. And I want to do 9 by 12. Well, I cut down a 12 by 12 album into a nine by 12. And instead of going out and you know, I just didn't want to go by all those nine by 12 page protectors because Studio Calico was the only option back then. So I took all of my 12 by 12 pocket pages and I just cut down anything that could cut down to nine by 12 or smaller. So I just trimmed them. So I had a lot of like six by 12. I had eight by 12. I had four by 12. And a lot of square pockets. You know, back then I think back then you could only do square photos on Instagram. So that's how I took my photos. I took them as squares. So I love the square photo. But I realized, you know, I mean, I had a nine by 12 page on the first week. I didn't use the actual nine by 12 until like week 15. So it's just all these completely random sizes of pages. So I just decided, You know what, I'm going to work it into a real nine by 12 the same thing I've been doing for the last five years. That's what I'm going to do. So you know I took out my real nine by 12 pocket pages. And I just kind of reworked them all into that. You know a lot of the square photos I had to cut down to three by four trim those out Um, but yeah, I mean, I kind of, I put all new title weekly title cards. And I think my thinking for this one is to do my Journaling Cards really simple. I always do digital Journaling Cards, I type them in Photoshop. And I'm just going to make these super simple, I'm just going to type some journaling. And that's it. I'm not going to use the digital stamps that I always use or digital Journaling Cards, it's going to be three by four white cards. And I may even put like two, you know, journaling for two photos on one card or something.

Jennifer Wilson 45:39

Oh, sure. Yeah.

Laura Vegas 45:40

But yeah, just make it quick and easy and kind of get it like the photos. They've all been reworked into one album, because it wasn't two albums. So they're all in there. I have new weekly title cards. And, you know, it's kind of like, I told her, I showed it to my older daughter. And of course, there's photos of like her old boyfriend, and she's, you know, her ex boyfriend. And she's like, Oh, my God, don't put those in there. I'm like, but that was our life then, you know?

Jennifer Wilson 46:06


Laura Vegas 46:07

And she goes, I can't even look at that. But I, it was exciting to look at it for me. I'm like, I love looking back. And this was like, when she was in college, and my younger daughter, I believe it was her senior year 11th or 12th grade, you know, and all the little daycare kids that were from years ago. And I mean, it was really cool to look back at all those, you know, those photos, and some of them. You know, I'm like, Okay, what is this? Is this photo even worth keeping in here? You know, it's kind of like random photos. But I scrolled back on my Instagram all the way back to 2016. And I'm like, No, that photo has a story with it. So I'm gonna keep it.

Jennifer Wilson 46:46

Well, that's one of the things social media can be handy for is remembering why something was important back then. So I definitely appreciate it for that, particularly, like, I'm not good at keeping a keeping a journal or keeping written records of everything. Like some people are amazing at that. And that comes by naturally, but I rely on any breadcrumbs I've left myself or social media to figure things out like that.

Laura Vegas 47:08

No, I say that I you know, like, everything's up in my head. I don't have anything, which is scary. Because, like, it doesn't all like I don't remember the stuff I think I'm going to remember as well as I think I'm going to. But yeah, I don't I don't keep journals. I don't keep notes on anything. It's just kind of all hopefully from memory. But you know, when I work on my Project Life, I rely on my Instagram hugely, I've pulled up on my computer. And, you know, so much of my journaling in my Project Life comes straight from Instagram. You know, I just so you know, you've already done the work, the journal is already there, I copy and paste it. That's why you know, that's when you pull it up on your computer, I just copy and paste it, go into Photoshop, and you know, put that on my journaling card. And there you go. So, I use Instagram. Definitely. I mean, when I'm working on my Project Life my Instagram's open and Photoshop's open. And that's how I do the majority of my cards.

Jennifer Wilson 48:07

So when I did an album for my husband last year, and I did all white cards, because we just did like paper strips as embellishments like it was super simple and minimalist. And I actually did it in Word and I use Photoshop every day, but I did it in Word in part so that he could help with the journaling. And I could like put a bunch of stuff on a page and so whether using Word or Photoshop or whatever you want to use. I liked being able to print more exact size that way and then just trim them out versus doing the two up on a four by six. Because then sometimes the centering can get a little weird on that even when you said no expansion.

Laura Vegas 48:48

Yes. Well, because I meant You know, I do order my photos. Every month, I use the Free Prints app on my phone and I because I use so much digital projects or products. Most of my filler cards in my Project Life albums, they're all just photos. They're digital ones that I put two on a four by six, you know two three by fours. But yeah, it does bug me sometimes because I'll get them and when I turn them all in half, you know I've learned that like this side like if there's a quote or something like, like a lot of Alie Edwards, her Journaling Cards, you know, they've got this nice quote and I have to learn to put on the right side because well maybe not the right I think it's the left side because the other one it's always going to trim off a little extra it's not going to be actual three by four.

Jennifer Wilson 49:37

Yeah, yeah, it's just I think it's important to know the expectations even if something is like, you know, needs to be tweaked. Like my printer prints too yellow so I have to like turn down the yellow on it all the time and things like that. So as long as you know what, what changes you need to make or what expectations then you can get a good results. So...

Laura Vegas 49:56

Well and I was gonna say that's, you know why I think my whole approach to Project Life too. I see so many designers that do these amazing Project Life spreads and pocket page spreads. And using all the fun embellishments and all that, and mine is literally photos, filler cards that they're all printed on photo paper I just ordered with my photo orders. And then Journaling Cards. I don't have any embellishments in my albums of any kind. And, you know, that's like, even right now I just shared something. I think yesterday that, you know, it's the middle of June. And I haven't I don't even have anything done in my Project Life album this year, my photos are there. And I did I have printed. I think I've done about 40 Journaling Cards so far. But I don't worry too much about getting caught up. Because like I know, it's easy enough to do because I keep the process so simple. And it's so basic for me, like I've followed the same format, and the same way of doing it for years. And I haven't changed anything because it works.

Jennifer Wilson 49:56

I love that. That's what we all need to do more. So stop changing everything. So, you know, is that your primary focus right now. It's just kind of doing as, as much as you can when you can on Project Life. As you said before, you kind of talked about your, if I just do these things, but I'm curious, like, what is your, where do you want to be at the end of this year, when it comes to your memory keeping?

Laura Vegas 51:24

Well, I mean, I really do want to get back to doing other projects, I think it was about two months ago, maybe I had a week off a week of vacation. So I actually did like, I think three little projects. And it was the only thing I've done all year. And it was nice to get back in there, it felt really good. It was just like completely random little stories, and I have so many things that I want to do. So I'd really like to get back to finding that time to just, you know, make simple projects, they don't have to you know, I've I've definitely simplified my style. You know, I'm loving the pocket pages. And, you know, no matter what size I'm doing, I love the pocket pages now, and I don't have to make it complicated. I mean, you know, if it's a layout that's gonna be different, I might get my Silhouette out, I'm gonna do maybe a photo collage, and die cut my title and all that. But, you know, I'm really focused on more just simple things like a photo, a journaling card, slip a couple other cards and and call it done. And I just, I missed that, because I have a lot of projects that I really do want to do. And I have projects, I've just want to finish because I you know, I have definitely some album projects that are partly done, and I just need to go back to them. But, but I also know that like the way I approach Project Life, I do it monthly now. And I include pretty much all our photos, I don't limit myself to like, two spreads for the month, I've never limited my Project Life, even when I did it weekly. If I had to have, you know, two spreads for one week, I'll do it, you know, and now I average about five spreads per month. But it's important to me to get all the photos in there. And almost every photo has journaling of some kind. And that's why I don't feel like like if I don't do anything else, I'm okay with it. Because all the photos are there. And they all have stories. And there's definitely some I can pull out and expand on. I also love to kind of pull photos from different things, you know, to tell maybe a different story. But I feel good knowing that, like the photos and stories are there. So, yes, if I don't have time right now to maybe expand on things or do other things. That's okay with me. You know, I know I will get to it. But I really really miss just being in there and being creative and playing with you know, products and you know, I go in my room, I go in my room and I look at stuff. And I'm like okay, I'll be back for you.

Jennifer Wilson 54:05

I love that we have the options today to have some some sort of balance so that we can feel like we are moving forward with simpler projects. And that when you know the right time and place comes to spend more time on it when you have a vacation as something else you can invest a little bit more time and energy into it. So I know that I'm like I'm thinking about my cart is full of some Halloween products right now. And I'm like I just did last year a whole basically it was kind of a six by eight mini album of my daughter's first 10 years of Halloween.

Laura Vegas 54:40

Oh how awesome.

Jennifer Wilson 54:41

It's all it's all captured, right? Well, no, there's still there's more stories. I can always you know, expand more on it. But if I never did another Halloween layout, I'd also be fine.

Laura Vegas 54:52


Jennifer Wilson 54:53

So. Well, this has been so fun. Thank you for sharing so openly and about you know a wide variety of your hobby.

Laura Vegas 55:03

Yeah, thank you for having me.

Jennifer Wilson 55:05

Can you share where we can find you online and if there's anything you have new or coming up in the future?

Laura Vegas 55:11

Well, I don't have much of anything coming up. Hopefully, I'll have some projects to share here and there. You know, I've kind of stepped back from the whole design team and all that it was just, you know, it was just, it wasn't coming as easily to me. So I just kind of stepped away from that. So in some ways, I kind of feel like Oh, I'm not really a part of all that anymore. But yeah, I mean, hopefully I'll be having some projects to share and I love to, my Instagram is more of a random one. Anyway, it's not just going to be scrapbooking. It's going to be my puppy. It's going to be organizing or my house or whatever. Yeah, I'm definitely I'm mostly on Instagram. Just Laura Vegas. I do have a blog still. And you know, it's still there. I only post when I have something to share. But I know, know, blogs aren't as big of a thing anymore. But it's kind of I feel like it's kind of my my little home base. And...

Jennifer Wilson 56:07

Yes, I miss the days of blogs.

Laura Vegas 56:08

And if something ever happens to Instagram or whatever. Like at least my my blog has everything I've ever made. So. So yeah, I have that.

Jennifer Wilson 56:18

Well, that's incredible. We will include all of your links in the show notes to this episode. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way. If you're like me, this episode got you thinking, but it doesn't have to end here. You can find insightful and even semi controversial conversations, just like we have on the podcast inside of our membership community. Visit simple To learn more about what's included when you join us.

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