SYW186 – My Way with Emily Stebbins

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Our online creative community is what keeps Emily Stebbins connected to this hobby, but it was her mother-in-law who inspired her to start. In this episode you’ll hear what triggered a passion for documenting and led to being a self-described ‘scrapbooking nerd.’

Emily embodies simplicity, with intentionally-designed pages, a small stash, and clear focus on one project at a time. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways memory keepers get things done. We’re excited to have Emily as the September featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

Links Mentioned

[00:00:00] Jennifer Wilson: 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 186. In this episode I'm interviewing Emily Stebbins for the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways memory keepers get things done. We're excited to have Emily as the September featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

[00:00:55] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Emily. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:00:57] Emily Stebbins: Jennifer, thank you so much for having me. I'm such a big fan. It's an honor to be here.

[00:01:02] Jennifer Wilson: Well, thank you. I, that makes me so happy. That really makes my day. I'm looking forward to our conversation today, but can you kick things off and share a little bit about yourself?

[00:01:11] Emily Stebbins: Yes. So my name is Emily Stebbins and I live in Oregon with my husband and my two cats. And I work as a lawyer and just like big scrapbooking nerd.

[00:01:26] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. So you have to tell me about your cats. Cause I have, I just got two cats last November, so they're almost a year old and it's just been so fun.

[00:01:34] Emily Stebbins: Oh my goodness. What kind of cats do you have?

[00:01:36] Jennifer Wilson: I have one is a black Norwegian Forest cat. And so she's like super floofy and her sibling is an orange Tabby. So her name is Hermione and his name is Ron.

[00:01:48] Emily Stebbins: Those are great names. I have two gray cats there, I guess torties. They're like a Tabby and a Tortoiseshell cross and they are 13 years old. So I got them in college and they just start going strong. They're so sweet.

[00:02:04] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I see pictures here from your December Daily last year.

[00:02:07] Emily Stebbins: They feature prominently in my scrapbooking.

[00:02:10] Jennifer Wilson: That's okay. That's okay. We're thinking about getting some Halloween costumes for our cats this year. So I think it might feature in my scrapbooking as well.

[00:02:23] Emily Stebbins: I can't wait to see that.

[00:02:26] Jennifer Wilson: All right, Emily, what's exciting you right now in a memory keeping? It could be anything at all. Um, and it can even be more than one thing.

[00:02:33] Emily Stebbins: So one thing that I recently discovered and is the app Procreate on my iPad. I recently got an iPad and downloaded Procreate, and it just opened a whole new world of digitals for my scrapbooking. I have been loving, just kind of creating some scripty words and doodles and just like doodling on my photos. And some of those digitals I have, up available just for free through my Instagram, I link to my Dropbox. But I just have been loving the ability to just sort of create my own cursive words and just throw them right in my layouts.

[00:03:08] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's super fun. Now, how, how do you bridge the gap between the iPad and then like making that into physical form? Do you send it to your computer? Do you print right from your iPad? How does that work?

[00:03:19] Emily Stebbins: Yeah. So usually what I'll do is export it as a PNG file. Um, so that it doesn't have a background, so you don't have to like erase the background in Cricut or anything. And then I'll just Airdrop it to my, my laptop and then I'll either print it out or send it to my Cricut. Just upload it into Cricut Design Space or, just drop it right into, Photoshop too.

[00:03:40] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. I, just recently learned about airdropping. So I've had Mac computers for a while and I've also had iPhones over the years, but I actually didn't have both at the same time, for a number of years. And then, so I do right now and I'm like, oh my gosh, I've been missing out because it's so easy to get a file from place to place.

[00:04:02] Emily Stebbins: It's so great. Not having to like email it to yourself or.

[00:04:06] Jennifer Wilson: Or put it in Dropbox or like yeah, do something where it's multiple steps. Particularly for social media, I find that it's so handy to do something on my computer and then just send it to my phone. So.

[00:04:17] Emily Stebbins: 100%. I'm kind of new to that world too, because I just got a Mac. I had a PC that was super old forever, but Photoshop just works so much better on a Mac.

[00:04:26] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. So Emily, what's on your memory keeping a bucket list. We love to ask this for our guests because we all have stories that maybe feel really important to capture, but for some reason or another, we haven't done it yet.

[00:04:38] Emily Stebbins: Oh, this is such a great question. So I've had this idea for a long time that I just have never been organized enough to pull off, but I have this idea of doing like capturing a photo or a moment at the same time of day, over a longer period of time. So like, what would 3:00 PM look like on, you know, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Or like, what would a moment on like June 1st, July 1st, August 1st and kind of do this, like longitudinal study my own life. And I, the idea just remains in my head and I just have never done it. So.

[00:05:17] Jennifer Wilson: I've always wanted to do that. Like have a tree outside and just like see it through the seasons.

[00:05:23] Emily Stebbins: Oh, that's a really good idea. Seeing like the, the fall leaves, the spring buds.

[00:05:29] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I think in like, like an, like taking the still photo every day and then like making it into a video, I think would be really cool.

[00:05:35] Emily Stebbins: Oh.

[00:05:36] Jennifer Wilson: Similar to like those baby bump, you know, videos that people do.

[00:05:39] Emily Stebbins: Oh yes. I such a great idea. Okay, well, if you do it, please tag me. So.

[00:05:43] Jennifer Wilson: I will. Yeah, no, but I think even I do that in the, in your home every day. Like, you know, maybe like in vicinity of where like your cats eat or, you know, like just something where there's always people passing through, then it could be really interesting.

[00:05:59] Emily Stebbins: I think it would be really fun because I, I love just kind of seeing those little subtle changes that you don't notice or think to make like a broader story about. like, Even if you just happened to catch like your fridge and you see different save the dates or something that was, you know, little things that you may not think to otherwise capture, but they could be in the background. Or, yeah. I just, I love seeing changes over time.

[00:06:24] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Now I've thought about this before, so like, would you leave like a tripod set up?

[00:06:29] Emily Stebbins: Oh, see, that's a great idea. And then it would remind you to do it. It would keep you on it. Keep you on the pro on the project. Yeah. I think that's a really good idea. And then you have the same sort of frame each time too.

[00:06:42] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Just trying to think about it. Like, if I have like an older camera I'm not using, which we all have probably too much digital equipment, like just leave it set up every day or they keep it an old phone that, something like that. So yeah. So many ideas.

[00:06:56] Emily Stebbins: This is helping inspire me to actually maybe pull this off. And actually I had this other idea too, that if it's okay if I share another one.

[00:07:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah.

[00:07:04] Emily Stebbins: So I have had this idea for a long time too. Well, maybe not a long time, but I love how photo books look. Like, some of my friends get them and there's some people I follow who do digital scrapbooking and print their photo books. And I have had this idea to create a photo book, like either in Chatbooks or like Artifact Uprising, or one of those photo book companies and then actually do the physical embellishing. Like once the book is bound and printed, because I love the idea of a photo book, but I also like sort of dimension in my layouts. And so I thought it would be really fun. And someday I will do it too, maybe for like a trip or something to like kind of mix those two worlds of like photo books and physical scrapbooking.

[00:07:51] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's interesting. I've seen people like do handwritten journaling and photo books, and then I've seen like doing like titles, like, you know, more with a not super puffy sticker, like, but just more of a flatter letter sticker. So you have some dimension, but not so much that it's going to like be awkward in the binding of the book and all that. So.

[00:08:15] Emily Stebbins: Right. That it wouldn't compromise, like the ability to close it, but yeah. And you could still like stamp in it and.

[00:08:22] Jennifer Wilson: Ooh, that could be really cool.

[00:08:25] Emily Stebbins: I think it could be kind of fun, but again, I haven't done it yet, so we'll see.

[00:08:30] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Maybe start like small, like literally like physically small too, and just small scope. Less important story too.

[00:08:38] Emily Stebbins: Yeah. I was thinking maybe, yeah, for like a short trip or something where you have a finite number of photos.

[00:08:45] Jennifer Wilson: That could be really fun, particularly like if you are coming home from the trip, you just like upload your photos, that you have to Chat Books or Artifact Uprising. Whoever has an app. Send it off. And then when it arrives, you can like do the rest of your documentation. Then you add your journaling and add embellishments. And then the project is done. It's like almost doing foundation pages.

[00:09:06] Emily Stebbins: Yes. That's such a great point because sometimes when you come back from a trip, it can be overwhelming. Like deciding which photos you're going to print. What are you going to print? Large or small?

[00:09:16] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, totally. I think that could help you get over that hurdle of making decisions.

[00:09:23] Emily Stebbins: Yeah.

[00:09:24] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. So this is a My Way episode. And so we're going to dig even more into how you create but before we get there, I'd like to give our listeners a little teaser about what makes you tick. Right now at Simple Scrapper, we're talking about projects. So what helps you finish your projects?

[00:09:41] Emily Stebbins: So for me, what's really important is just having one book, one project at a time. If I have like my main, like right now, I'm finishing my Week In The Life album and I just put all of my regular scrapbooking, I'm putting air quotes, away. I don't have my main album out. It's on a shelf. I have just products out that are, the could ostensibly be used in my Week In The Life project. And that really helps me focus. Because if I have my main album out, like my brain just goes a million directions and I'm like, oh, well I could do my Tuesday from Week In The life. Or I could scrapbook about my birthday last year or, you know, whatever. So I think just keeping myself focused and having like limited access to projects, or products and keeping my product, my project out really helps me keep working on it and finish it.

[00:10:37] Jennifer Wilson: So do you ever get bored and then kind of choose to put it away and get something else out?

[00:10:42] Emily Stebbins: Sometimes. Yes. So that happened to me last year when I was working on my December Daily. For the first time I just kind of, uh, or not this past December Daily, but 2020. I just wasn't finishing it and I didn't kind of, I realized I was running out of creative energy. So I was like, you know what, I'm just going to put this away for now, get my regular stuff back out. And then I came back to my December Daily, the next year and finished it in 2021. And that was great because my creative juices were kind of back, back to me. Because I think if you are running out of creative energy and it's still there, it's going to become something that you're not excited about. At least for me, then I'm like, I don't ever want it to be like a drudgery. You know, this is a fun hobby. And if I'm not feeling inspired, I don't hesitate to be like, you know what? I'm not gonna finish this right now. I'm going to come back to it later when I'm feeling inspired.

[00:11:31] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I think it's really helpful to pay attention to how you're feeling. And if you know, if you're having all the good vibes, it means you're going to keep touching it. You're going to keep working on it. But if you keep starting to feel like negative about it, then maybe it's time to put it away.

[00:11:45] Emily Stebbins: Yeah, definitely. But I do think that sometimes we make these like rules for ourselves. Like for no reason, you're like, oh, I have to finish this by the end of December or the end of this Week In The Life or, um, you know, and we just like put these constrictions on ourselves that like, are so silly when you think about it. But, so I try to be like conscious of that and try to break, break out of that.

[00:12:08] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, for sure. I think it's really helpful. So, Emily, how did you start in scrapbooking and how has your hobby evolved since that time?

[00:12:16] Emily Stebbins: So my mother-in-law was the person who inspired me to start scrapbooking. She is incredible. She has six children, one of whom is my husband, and she has created baby books. That is what they call them. The scrapbooks books, like one pretty much per year for all six kids. It's just really amazing. And she worked as a teacher, like just mind blowing amount of, of documentation and contrast it with my own life, like my family didn't have a camera in the home. And so I really don't have other than school photos. That's pretty much it for pictures of my childhood. I don't have like scrap, I mean, forget, I don't have scrapbooks. I don't really even have photos of myself as a little kid. I just realized the value of that. Seeing like, you know, every, not every moment, but all the big moments in my husband's life documented. And, um, and just how I think that it really gives you such a sense of self as a kid. And, and I was, I was so happy he had that and realized that, you know, it's never too late and I wanted to just start documenting my own life. There may be a big gap. But, um, so then I started scrapbooking. I came to it later though. I was, just out of law school. I was like 20, I don't know, in my early twenties when I started scrapbooking. So I, and I've just fallen, fallen deep into this product, this hobby.

[00:13:39] Jennifer Wilson: Sure. Yeah, no. And I love that you brought that up because, uh, we all, aren't starting from the kind of the same playing field in terms of our history with photos and the amount of photos that we have from our past. But we all can start from this point forward and there's other ways to document your stories without photos as well.

[00:13:56] Emily Stebbins: Exactly. Yeah. And that's something that I've wanted to do is like go back and document some of those memories. Even though there won't be an accompanying photo.

[00:14:04] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I love that we can also, like, you can take new photos that represent something or that reminds you of something or connect to that as well. Like, you know, I'm not, I don't know where you grew up, but like even going back like, oh, this was like the house that I grew up in or where the house used to be and things like that.

[00:14:19] Emily Stebbins: Oh, that is such, that's a really good, I've never thought to do that. This was a really, really good idea.

[00:14:26] Jennifer Wilson: Well, yeah, things like that I think can be really helpful. And even our community is so supportive in terms of, you know, giving you additional ideas. If you ask to call them like surrogate photos, like if you don't have the photo you want, what could you use instead?

[00:14:41] Emily Stebbins: Oh, that's yeah, that's a perfect name for it. And you're so right. I love, I love just the inspiration from the community. I mean, it's, it just feels like we're all in this together. We all have each other's backs. It's it's just a beautiful thing.

[00:14:54] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. So what sizes or formats are you playing with these days?

[00:14:59] Emily Stebbins: So I found 9 by 12, a couple of years ago, and I have been feeling very at home in that size for my sort of main album where I keep most of my stories, and most of my memories. I really liked the 9 by 12. I think it was Krystal Idunate that said a 9 by 12, just like fits well in your lap. I just really, I really feel that cause I, I do like to look at my books a lot. And because scrapbooking is kind of so big. And in my husband's family, people do end up looking at my books, which I love. And so I like them to be out and accessible. And I feel like the 9 by 12, just like fits well into my life.

[00:15:40] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I think in general, anything smaller than 12 by 12 is more accessible physically. But that doesn't stop me from creating 12 by 12 pages, I totally get you. And I wish, yeah, I think that's something that we all think about a lot is that people don't want to necessarily lug out the giant full 12 by 12 album, but even a full 9 by 12 is so much easier to handle.

[00:16:05] Emily Stebbins: But 12 by 12 will always have a special place in my heart. I mean, those are just, you have so much real estate there's. I mean, it's nothing against the 12 by 12. I love 12 by 12.

[00:16:15] Jennifer Wilson: So do you, do you create pretty much exclusively in that size? Are you doing smaller things?

[00:16:20] Emily Stebbins: Pretty much. Well, so far I would say most of my, most of my documentation is in the 9 by 12. And then, but from there, I'll kind of, I can cut like half pages. And so, because I work in a, like a notebook, like a bound book, I, um, so I, one thing that I like to do is kind of like cut the pages in half. So I'll have like a four and a half by 12, or like a 6 by 12. So. It's always 12 inches high, but I like to do kind of like some half pages to.

[00:16:51] Jennifer Wilson: That's really cool. So tell me more about the bound notebook.

[00:16:55] Emily Stebbins: So I, it was, it was just kind of like the format that I learned, because that's what my mother-in-law, she basically makes her own bound sewn books. I am not that cool. So I buy mine. I found this Etsy shop that will make like a bound book that will lay flat. And then, so when I make a layout, I'll either work directly in the book or I'll make a layout and then just adhere it into the book.

[00:17:18] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, this is awesome. If you don't think it'll be a problem, would you mind sharing a link to the Etsy shop that we can include in the show notes?

[00:17:25] Emily Stebbins: Absolutely. I would love to, she's such a nice woman. Her name is Martha and she, her, the stuff that she has for sale in her shop may not be, if it's not what you want, which I typically will ask her to make like a custom book. And then she'll just send a picture of like, whatever fabrics she has. And, um, and also it's important to make the custom book because she'll loosen the binding. So when you put in embellishments and photos and fill it up, um, it won't like do that fan out thing where it won't like, won't shut.

[00:17:53] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's such an awesome idea for, you know, we're talking about space and size like that. I'm sure that it's much narrower than a 9 by 12 album would be. So.

[00:18:04] Emily Stebbins: Yeah, it's, it's really nice. And it has just like a nice finish to it. It feels like you're reading like a, I dunno, it feels like you're reading like a published book. Cause it's just, it's got like a nice binding to it. And I just have, I've really, always liked to have the, I don't like in terms of archival, it's probably better to work in page protectors. But this, I just have always liked the like tactile element of having like a raised page with, you know, paper and all the textures just like right in front of you.

[00:18:33] Jennifer Wilson: Well and I love how you've kind of created a best of both worlds. Cause I know that, and this includes myself sometimes. Creating directly in a bound book can be a little intimidating. Cause like if you mess it up and then you have to figure out how to cover it up, but if you're creating layouts and then adhering them in like in lieu of page protectors, that is, yeah. As I said, best of both worlds. Totally.

[00:18:58] Emily Stebbins: And it also can allow like, you know, running things through the printer, which I do a lot of, so.

[00:19:04] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. Okay. So whose products are you completely obsessed with, what are you buying all the time?

[00:19:12] Emily Stebbins: I just Ali Edwards products just speak to me in a way that just in a different way. I love her products and how they're like so simple, but so intentional. And I love how they kind of call or invite like those sort of daily stories and get me to think about like little things that I wouldn't have otherwise thought of. Because I think without her, her products and, you know, I know that there are other products that do this too. But for me specifically, like if, if I were just left to my own devices, like I would just be scrapbooking, like events and trips. Like that would be my whole, even though that doesn't look like my life at all, it's not like I'm a huge traveler, but that's just like what I'm naturally drawn to want to scrapbook about. But that's not what I want to like go back and look at, you know, I want to go back and look at the like nitty gritty, real life stories. I love how Ali's products like make that, invite you to do that.

[00:20:11] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I love the idea of an invitation to, to tell your stories, to, uh, express things in a different way. So yeah, I do too. Of course.

[00:20:22] Emily Stebbins: And I also really love Everyday Explorer Co's stamps. I've discovered them quasi recently and the digital stamps that she makes, just awesome. They're so versatile. And I just like, I'm been putting them on everything recently.

[00:20:35] Jennifer Wilson: So when you're using the digital stamps do you put them on your photos? Are you putting them in the background on a card? How does that work for you?

[00:20:41] Emily Stebbins: I love just putting them directly on my photos before I print them. Or, one thing I did recently was, or I've done this a couple of times, just extract the background in Cricut Design Space and then cut them out either on vinyl, which is a new thing that I've been doing, that's been so fun. And then, you know, use transfer paper and then you can stick it directly on your layout or on your photo.

[00:21:03] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's cool. So what is something that you use or do on most of your pages?

[00:21:10] Emily Stebbins: You know, a lot of my pages have a big photo, whether it's like, a half page photo, or a full-page photo. I just, I, I think I just have realized that that's sort of my style. I love to have a big photo, even if it's something not that important. I just really like to have big photos. And I think I typically pair them with like some kind of like texture, something like, something raised or stapled, some kind of embellishment. I just really like, I like a big photo and texture.

[00:21:45] Jennifer Wilson: Hmm. I like that combination too. Well and I think you mentioned photos being not important. I think some of those more mundane, uh, images are my favorite large photos. Because they, your subject A, is probably not moving B, um, you tend to probably compose it with more white space, which makes it, like gives opportunities for, embellishment or journaling or whatever. And yeah, some of those are just my favorite. And my husband's like, why do you have this photo of a turtle? And I'm like, because the turtle is awesome. Um, yeah, I get it. I get it.

[00:22:21] Emily Stebbins: That is so well said. Yeah, that's, that's a really good point. And having that big white space to put embellishments or your journaling, it's just key.

[00:22:30] Jennifer Wilson: So one of the things I hear from scrapbookers a lot is it's hard to find and maintain the time and energy and motivation for scrapbooking. So when do you typically create?

[00:22:39] Emily Stebbins: Yeah. Yeah. That's such a great question. Cause I hear that a lot too, mostly in like my real world when I'm talking to people and like, oh yeah, I'm really into scrapbooking. And they're like, when do you have the time? And my response to that is always like, you know, it's, it's just what you choose, is how you choose to spend your time. So for me, my weekday evenings are all scrapbooking. I mean, unless they have like some kind of meeting or something, but I, my routine is pretty much, I get home, I change, I eat dinner with my husband. And then from then until I go to bed, I'm scrapbooking. And I am actually kind of a weirdo in that I don't like to scrapbook, I have like a little office slash craft room, but I don't actually like to create in there because it's like the evening time. And I don't want to just like, I want to spend time with my husband. Um, but he likes to, you know, watch sports and I'm, you know, sports are fine, but I'm not really that into it. So it works out really well for me to just bring up my little craft cart to the dining room table and he's watching sports and I'm just sitting there crafting and we can talk. And, we're like spending time together, but kind of doing our own things.

[00:23:44] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love that. I think it's really important to recognize how you feel in this space and sometimes in some seasons of life or some spaces that you're in, you're going to want to like tuck yourself away and others, you want to be like with your people.

[00:23:59] Emily Stebbins: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That's a really good way to look at it that there's just, there's different times and spaces for things. And, yeah. Sometimes it's nice to have that space where you can escape to, I'm sure, like, you know, once we have kids, I'll be like escaping to my craft room more, but just kidding.

[00:24:19] Jennifer Wilson: I will say I do that. Yes. Okay. So do you, does your motivation, ebb and flow? Do you stay pretty consistently motivated?

[00:24:30] Emily Stebbins: You know, I, in the summertime, I really take a big step back in terms of scrapbooking. So I'm kind of just now coming off of a, sort of a, a hiatus. I just like in the summertimes, I like to read outside or, you know, I, I don't do that kind of routine that we talked about. So, it's, you know, It's not that I wasn't as motivated, but I do notice, like right now it was kind of a, an interesting reflection point where I'm kind of coming back to the hobby. There is a little bit of like rustiness or kind of like getting my creative juices back flowing. And so I've been kind of noticing that in myself that I really like to like, look at inspiration from other people and see how they're using products that I have. Or one thing that I also have used consistently even like, sort of in the non-summer months, that when I, when I am scrapbooking consistently, is I like to keep this like running list of, sort of like what I sort of refer to as my non camera roll stories. So. Like a lot of times I'll look for stories in my camera roll. I'm like, look at recent photos and like, oh yeah, this reminds me of this particular event or whatever. But there are a lot of stories that I want to tell that aren't represented on my camera roll because I'm not necessarily thinking to take those are more like stories that I would need to be intentional about taking a photo or finding a photo or not using a photo at all. Like things like this is my list right now, my fitness journey, things I'm cooking right now, recent court cases that have come down. Like sort of different like hardships, work relationships, things that like, I'm not going to just find a photo of in my camera roll. And for me having, like going down that list or picking something from that list is really helpful in like getting my motivation back because I'm really excited to like tell those really important things about my life.

[00:26:25] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. I think it's, we all draw in for inspiration, from different places. And like on any given day, it might be the product or a photo or a story that you've jotted down that doesn't have a full row. Um, and I think just to allow, whatever's inspiring you to then follow that and bring everything together on the page. It doesn't always have to be there's no like particular order.

[00:26:50] Emily Stebbins: Yes, exactly. And it's so okay. To draw inspiration from any of those places or even from products, like things that sometimes just a random circle embellishment just speaks to me.

[00:27:02] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, yeah, for sure. And then you, you can kind of imagine, or you've seen what other people have done with circles. Then you want to, all of a sudden, like put circles all over the page and I put journaling in your circles. So, you know, it's, it's what one thing can really spark everything else. So that's some things I love about our hobby too.

[00:27:20] Emily Stebbins: 100%. Yeah, it's it's just the best.

[00:27:24] Jennifer Wilson: So kind of the flip side of that, is there something in scrapbooking, whether it's a supply, a tech technique, a size, or a format that you've decided is not for you at all?

[00:27:34] Emily Stebbins: I absolutely love this question. But I do, I fear, that as soon as I have like written something off, like six months later, I rediscover it. And so, but one thing that I don't think I will ever come back to is chronological scrapbooking. I just, especially because working in the notebook size, you can't move stuff around, as easily. I mean, you could, but, you'd have to like cut it out of the book, but I, used to like leave space for stuff. Like, oh, well this is, you know, this is a story from the middle of the year, and so I'm going to put it in the middle of my book. And it just got so messy and was such an impediment to me because I like found myself. This is so dumb, but like stressing out about, oh my goodness, I like didn't leave enough space for that. And, oh, I'm jumping around and I've just let all that go. And if I want to tell a story from last year, I'm going to put it in this book. I don't care. Then I'm going to scrapbook from you know, it does not have to go in order because it never will go in order. I'm never coming back to that.

[00:28:40] Jennifer Wilson: So are the, are your bound books, are they like labeled like volume one, volume, two? Like how is there any, like, how do you think about them as a collection?

[00:28:49] Emily Stebbins: Yeah. I do label them by year. So I, and I'm, I create about two per year. So there's about one every six months. So I've got like 2021, number 1. 2021, volume two. So like my one I'm working on right now is like 2022 volume two, but it's not going to have like my stories that are in that album aren't necessarily going to be from June to December of 2022. There's going to be stuff from the beginning of 2022, maybe from last year. Maybe like a memory from a long time ago.

[00:29:24] Jennifer Wilson: For sure. So shifting gears here, let's talk about organization a little bit. Are you a kind of a tidy person or a not so tidy person?

[00:29:37] Emily Stebbins: I am not so tidy of a person. Organization is not my strong suit, but I really work hard on it because I do know the importance of it. And I know that it's, it is important to like being efficient.

[00:29:52] Jennifer Wilson: Well or are there any like solutions that you figured out that really work for you and the way your brain works in order to support you in things that maybe aren't as natural to stay organized?

[00:30:03] Emily Stebbins: Yeah, that's a great question. I, so I work, I use my little craft cart because I buzz it back and forth between craft room and my dining room table. And that has actually really helped me stay organized. Because everything well, not everything, but my like essentials all have to fit on that cart. And so I have just like some basic organization, you know, that has my pens and my like tools I use a lot. The hole punch and the Tiny Attacher and a bone folder and stuff. And so I do have that sort of organized in my craft cart in, and for me, just kind of my key to staying organized is just keeping my stash small. And I, I have no hesitation getting rid of stuff. There's a women's shelter here in town that, will take all the craft supplies and I am ready, I'm a frequent donator. I will just, and I just think it's, even though sometimes I'm like, oh, I didn't, I had such big plans for this particular embellishment. And I feel so bad getting rid of it. I just tried to let that go because you know what, it's going to make somebody else happy and keeping my stash really small just helps me. It helps me stay organized and it helps me keep it moving.

[00:31:15] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love that. I think many of us probably need to do more of that. And I, I love that you've really recognized how it supports your hobby by continuing to let things go. Now I'm curious about the cart you're using. Is this like a Raskog or like the Michael's version of Raskog? Is it bigger? Is it, you know, the, We Are Memory Keepers layered tray? What type of cart are we talking about?

[00:31:39] Emily Stebbins: It is the Michael's one. That was like all the rage a couple of years ago. Tell me about Raskog. Is that, was that sort of the original brand and then Michael's was the like.

[00:31:50] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. So Raskog is the, like the Ikea name of the product. And so that's the smaller cart. There's also Michael's makes the double long one, I guess. Yeah, so there's there's I think Ikea was the original and then others started copying it because it was such a good design and very popular with crafters, I guess. So.

[00:32:11] Emily Stebbins: Yeah. Well, I like that there's was a bigger one. I probably shouldn't. I shouldn't go explore it, but.

So, and Michael's actually has, like lids so you can turn it into like having a tabletop surface.

[00:32:27] Emily Stebbins: Oh, that's so nice.

[00:32:29] Jennifer Wilson: So one of my carts is fully open and then the other one, two of the shelves have lids on them so that I can put like my Minc and, my Silhouette.

[00:32:41] Emily Stebbins: You keep your machines on there?

[00:32:43] Jennifer Wilson: I do. And then you can like lift up the lid. So I keep like all the stuff for those machines, like the foil or the cutting things, whatever underneath in the cart. So.

[00:32:55] Emily Stebbins: So the lids are pretty sturdy, then like sturdy.

[00:32:58] Jennifer Wilson: They are.

[00:32:59] Emily Stebbins: Oh my goodness. Oh, that is amazing.

Love that. That's awesome. I need to check this out.

I love that it has a lid and it can be like little shelves.

Wow, definitely going to go shopping after this

[00:33:12] Jennifer Wilson: All right. So we have two questions that I love to ask to kind of wrap up our conversation. Where would you like your scrapbooking to be in 10 years?

[00:33:20] Emily Stebbins: Oh, that's such a fun question. Well, he definitely, I'm going to need way more shelf space, by then. You know, I, I hope that in 10 years I will have completely let go of like these stupid rules that we were talking about earlier. That just like continue to creep in. Even though I really tried to be intentional about keeping those away. You know, like even the other day, like I started a travel album, which I hadn't had one before. And just even the other day, I was like, he's a weekend trip, like long enough to put in my travel album. I'm like, what are you doing? This is so stupid. Why are you even asking this question? So I hope in 10 years I'm not asking, you know, I hope I'm just doing what I want to do without imposing fake rules on myself. And I really hope that I continue to just like build relationships in the community. Like we were talking about earlier. I mean, just this community is the best. I mean, I'm biased, but I just think we all have each other's backs and that's been my favorite part of growing in scrapbooking is like connecting with the community and just talking about this awesome hobby.

[00:34:26] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. And like, you know, I think the more that we talk about it, the more, um, others will feel attracted to joining us as well. And that's, what's going to keep us keep this industry in this hobby thriving for years to come. So

[00:34:39] Emily Stebbins: I could not agree more.

[00:34:40] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. So what has being a, scrapbooker taught you?

[00:34:45] Emily Stebbins: I, you know, it has like taught me more than I think about. You know, more than I recognize. I think there's something really profound about seeing your life reflected back in books. There's like something that just makes, I think us as memory keepers, more conscious of the passage of time. And it really makes me like, think about my life in a, in a, I think in a more profound way than I would if I was just living it and not documenting it. And like, thinking about what am I, what do I like about my life? What do I want to change about my life? And like what's important, you know, like what, um, you know, my mom was diagnosed with cancer this year and she's been going through chemo and just working through those feelings. And I've shared some of my layouts about that. But I, like working through not just like my feelings about that and like processing all of those emotions, but realizing that like those moments with her are so important and moments with my family are so important. It just, it really like makes you realize, like, when you're looking at memories, you realize the importance of memories, I think.

[00:35:58] Jennifer Wilson: Beautifully said, thank you, Emily. So can you share where we can find you online? Anything you're going to be working on through the end of the year?

[00:36:06] Emily Stebbins: Yeah. So my Instagram handle is peacock dot pigments, and it's the same handle on YouTube. And I am really excited to be back working with the December Daily, line this year. I'm going to be teaching a Product Play class this year. So I cannot wait for that. Um, and I just can't wait to be working back with December Daily, which is just my absolute favorite, favorite, favorite project. So that's what I'll be doing.

[00:36:32] Jennifer Wilson: So when we're recording this, like the, you know, I'm sure if, if you're on the team, you've seen the things already before yesterday, but I'm super into figuring out what I'm going to purchase tomorrow. And yeah, it's definitely on everyone's radar right now.

[00:36:47] Emily Stebbins: Yeah, it's, it's just such a fun, exciting time. It's like, okay. Summer's over time for December.

[00:36:53] Jennifer Wilson: So do you know what product you're going to be working with for the class?

[00:36:57] Emily Stebbins: I do. I don't know if I can say just yet. I mean, I don't know. I haven't been told that there's any rules about that, but.

[00:37:04] Jennifer Wilson: Okay.

[00:37:05] Emily Stebbins: But I will, I will announce it as soon as I know that I can.

[00:37:09] Jennifer Wilson: Now can you say whether or not you're teaching like a level one, two or three?

[00:37:13] Emily Stebbins: I'm going to be teaching a level one. So I'm really excited. It's going to be pretty. It's going to be really simple. Um, I've got a couple, I haven't finalized my sketch yet, but I've got a couple of ideas that are really, really fun, but should be just like pretty easy. So simple to follow along.

[00:37:27] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. We'll definitely include the link to that classroom. Yeah, Emily, this has been so delightful. Thank you so much for spending time with me.

[00:37:34] Emily Stebbins: Oh, Jennifer, this was just a dream. Thank you so much for having me.

[00:37:38] Jennifer Wilson: And so all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to scrapbook your way. It's September and we're kicking off a new Creative Journey at Simple Scrapper. For the next two months our theme is Projects and we'll be tackling it from every angle here on the podcast and inside of the membership. If Emily's infectious enthusiasm for her hobby left you ready to recapture delight in your own hobby, I'd like to invite you to join us. When you become a member, you'll get access to Simple Scrapbooking School, our signature course to help you find more joy and ease in memory keeping. It's just one of the many benefits of being a Simple Scrapper member. Visit to learn more and try it out.

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  1. Paulette Hatfield

    Hi! Great episode! I came here looking for a link to the Etsy shop that you get your 9×12 albums. Could you please link! Thank you.

  2. Deanna Ridgway

    I too am looking for the etsy link. Thanks!


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