SYW187 – Intentional Projects

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September 1 marked the beginning of a new Creative Journey and the theme is Projects. In this episode I’m catching up with our Community Manager Amy Zwart, where we chat about personal projects as well as what’s new at Simple Scrapper. You’ll love hearing about some of our favorite techniques for being more intentional in our purchasing and project planning as well as our best tips for finishing!

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 187. In this episode I'm joined by Amy Zwart to reflect on the past month and explore what's new for September. The is our monthly peek behind-the-scenes at Simple Scrapper.

[00:00:38] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Amy. Welcome back to the podcast. What's new with you?

[00:00:41] Amy Zwart: Hi, Jennifer, how are you doing?

[00:00:43] Jennifer Wilson: I am good. It has been a little crazy around here with back to school and Emily is playing softball and we're just always running one way or another. And I'm kind of not used to that kind of schedule between, you know, her being in elementary school and then the pandemic. And then now everything is just nuts. So I'm just kind of looking for like small things to keep me grounded, like playing in my planner and painting and, you know, just chilling, watching something dumb on Netflix. So.

[00:01:17] Amy Zwart: Exactly, exactly.

[00:01:19] Jennifer Wilson: So that I can kind of feel just tethered to something right now.

[00:01:25] Amy Zwart: I can see that. Yeah. Sports seasons can be so long and like fun. Like, I'm sure it's fun to see her out there, but yeah, when you see the, the schedule on your calendar, it's like, oh my gosh, again.

[00:01:37] Jennifer Wilson: So your kids are not quite back in school yet, right?

[00:01:41] Amy Zwart: Correct. So they are just getting ready we're on our, our last little week of wrapping up summer here. And then my son will start high school. So that's also like the new thing for us, but.

[00:01:55] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, wow.

[00:01:56] Amy Zwart: It's, it's exciting and I think he'll do great. So, you know, I'm not nervous that way, but there's just so many new things. Like, you know, when an email comes from that school, it's like, Ooh, I have to read all of this because I don't know anything, you know? So you, you quickly, like in the details of all the things, because you know, nothing is familiar. So that part's been a little bit harder trying to just make sure we don't miss anything and, you know, know the drill.

[00:02:26] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I feel like with Emily starting middle school, I don't know anything,

[00:02:31] Amy Zwart: Yes.

[00:02:32] Jennifer Wilson: You know, they've been emailing us like, I think, uh, what they think we need to know, but I'm like, no, I want everything like, tell me all the things now so that I don't have questions.

[00:02:44] Amy Zwart: Right.

[00:02:45] Jennifer Wilson: They're trying to, you know, just a trickle it out to not to overwhelm us.

[00:02:50] Amy Zwart: Well, that's nice because I had the opposite where I got an email from the high school. And like, normally, you know, when you're used to this school, you can kind of like gloss over some of the topics. Like, yeah, I know how that works or okay. You know, lunch rates are this or whatever, but ours was this huge email that has like, this is a lot at one time. And so it was kind of great to have it at once but, you know, I was like, now I have to like talk to my son about all this and make sure he knows. And so I just, I just gave it to him and I said, here, read through this and then we'll talk and, you know, see what questions we have or see what events we need to be at, you know, in summer and couple of different things. So it's funny how all the schools and all the, you know, even within the same district, how they do things different and.

[00:03:36] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, yes, but it can be interesting sometimes.

[00:03:42] Amy Zwart: But I do feel like we're one of the latest starts here. Like, you know, some people on crops I've had their kids back to school already. And so I'm like, oh yeah, we're still hanging out.

[00:03:56] Jennifer Wilson: Well, what else, um, was kind of what's on your mind in terms of your memory keeping from this past summer, what stands out?

We had a, we had a quiet summer. So I think I don't feel overwhelmed with like lots of big stories or lots of things. So that's pros and cons, right? Like, you know, we did small things, so the smaller stories will be bigger. Um, one thing we just wrapped up our Marvel movies marathon. So I think we started it before summer officially began, but, um, my son put this whole schedule together and we watched them all and made it to the final Thor movie in the theater this weekend. Kind of fun. Um, so I'll probably have to do some kind of page about that, or, you know, some of the jokes we had based on it.

[00:04:48] Jennifer Wilson: Sure. Now I'm curious. Did you watch them in release order or like chronological story order?

[00:04:55] Amy Zwart: We watch them in release order so that, you know, there was a great debate on that, of course, by other people, but for us, it felt like the right way to do it. And you know, it's interesting how things get introduced at different times and, you know, little, little peeks into different worlds and things, but, um, yeah, it was fun. It was, it was definitely one of those things that I had resisted. Like, yeah, I don't think it's going to be my thing. And to be honest, I did it more for my son and having that connection and things to do, but it was fun. And now I feel like I can relate to like Ali Edwards when she talks about all the Star Wars things with her son or, you know, different people having that, that connection. And yeah, now we have some little stories from that. So.

[00:05:42] Jennifer Wilson: I think that's going to be our kind of winter project this year, because we we've talked about it a few times. You know, Steve and I saw, Iron Man movies back when they were released and Emily and I have watched a couple, just one off, but I think we all want to sit down and watch them and release order together. So we can feel like that we can watch the new stuff. That's the thing, oh no, can't watch that because we're not caught up. So.

[00:06:07] Amy Zwart: Exactly. Exactly. And then, you know, when I would see an advertisement for a new one, I'd be like, okay, so was that part of this or not part of this? You know, like I always had so many questions too. So I do think, you know, it's, it's a fun thing. A friend of mine, um, had recommended it. And then another friend with two daughters, too said, you know, there's, there's a lot in there and there's a lot of, you know, comic scenes and whatever. So. But yeah, I think it's a good bonding thing. I think you guys will enjoy it too.

[00:06:37] Jennifer Wilson: Cool. A hundred percent. Yeah. So what about scrapbooking? What is exciting you right now?

[00:06:42] Amy Zwart: Well. I think shopping with intention is going to be kind of my theme. I've been doing a lot more scrapbooking than I feel like I had been. And so I'm kind of finding some, some gaps in, you know, like what things I you know, I always wished I had or whatever. So for example, kind of lame, but like a two inch circle punch. Like I wanted to do this whole page with these punched out circles. And I was like, let's do this the easy way. So, um, got some new punches and then I'm not even taking the Shimelle Layer On Layer On Layer class right now. But the things that people are posting in the community are so inspiring. And I did a couple of her lessons from Half And Half is a class that I do have from her. And she also just released a new Use Your Stash class. So I've watched a few things and neither of those things are supposed to be about layering, but that's just her style. So I found myself gravitating to like, oh, these are a little generic embellishments that I could add as like scattered things or layered things.

So I just feel like, instead of just putting things that I think are cute or fun in my cart, I'm starting to really think more about, you know, what do I need to finish this? Or, you know, to get the look that I want. So that actually has been really inspiring because then when I, when I get that order, right, then I know what I'm intending to do with it, as opposed to some of my shopping in the past has just been like, oh, that's really cute, you know, collection, and I want a couple of things from it, but if they didn't have a purpose, then they just kind of sit there. In my favorite things I want to use sometimes pile. And.

[00:08:32] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:08:33] Amy Zwart: That's not as fun as when you actually do use them.

[00:08:37] Jennifer Wilson: And I think thinking about those tools, can be really helpful. Like just you mentioning the circle punches, like, oh yeah. I've, every time I sit down and I'm working on a project, particularly with December Daily, it's like, oh, I want a circle punch that's smaller than what I have. And I never like think to buy it. But those types of tools, like if you can think of something that always comes up as like, oh, I wish I had that. Then those are the things that you should be shopping for. Not necessarily the things that are the standout brand new.

[00:09:08] Amy Zwart: Right. Yeah. Some classic things, you know, that. That know it can be re-used and you know, that you find yourself kind of wishing for exactly that.

[00:09:18] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes.

[00:09:19] Amy Zwart: Makes sense. And then I would also have to mention, of course it always feels odd timing, but the December Daily release is exciting. We'll see what happens. My, my head is churning with lots of ideas and things, but then I got to take it down a notch and see what I would really do what I really need or want. So.

[00:09:44] Jennifer Wilson: I am my biggest conundrum right now with it is that I'm leaning towards 10 by 8. Not like, I do a lot of like full page photos anyway. And yes, I think it would be beautiful, but I think last year, I didn't necessarily always enjoy cutting down the 10 by 8 papers to 6 by 8 or whatever, outside of the page protector size or folding them. Like, it was nice to do that, but now I'm like, oh, it'd be just nice to just punch some holes in it and put some stuff on it and put it in the album.

[00:10:16] Amy Zwart: And use it.

[00:10:17] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, it just seemed like a little, I love fussiness when it comes to December Daily, but that was like not a fun fussy, I guess.

[00:10:24] Amy Zwart: Right, right. Yeah. That's a really good point that sometimes things seem. You know, mechanical or something instead. And if he can take that part out and instead do fun, fussy, like you said,

[00:10:35] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, yeah.

[00:10:37] Amy Zwart: I'm a little bit in the opposite position because I got the 10 by 8 last year and then I, I completely panicked and froze. So I have not worked on last year's, which is, you know, the first problem here. Right. Can I really buy for this year if I haven't done last year? Um, but I realized I just, I need to go back to six by eight because I know it. I don't need anymore, like blocks, I'll say. And then, because I have that 10 by 8 I can still apply some ideas to it or do some things. And you know, I'm not, I'm not sure if I can do them in tandem necessarily. That's usually easier said than done, you know, I haven't had luck with that in the past. But I think I could pull some ideas of, you know, again, some ten by eights from this year and still apply them to last year as I do them.

[00:11:26] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, yeah. Particularly if there's something where like, well, that just won't work in 6 by 8. Then okay, I'm going to put that in my 10 by 8 album. So.

[00:11:35] Amy Zwart: Right. But then when I was looking, when I was looking through the papers I was trying to look at, can I cut this down easily? Or does it lose kind of it's effect? Or, you know, like how many extra papers would I want or things. So it is funny that the size does kind of justify, you know, some of the items or the uses as well.

[00:11:55] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. And then I was also looking at the, like the 10 by 8 buildable travel album, just because like, I like the Santa album, but it's not like my favorite thing in the whole world. But the December Daily, like including the page protectors and the shipping as a bundle, like makes it cost prohibited, I guess, like freshly when I'm already spending so much more. So I'm kind of leaning away from that one, but yes, I'm definitely super excited. It helps me, like, I'm not naturally a holiday person, but this helps me kind of find, find joy in it and take photos and look for those small moments and, and really feel connected to the season. And, um, like very personally connected to it. Not just going through the motions of, oh my gosh, there's all these things to do.

[00:12:45] Amy Zwart: Right, right. No, I love that. And I think, you know, I mean, that's, that's Ali's end goal, right. Is to, to help with that and have it be a, a personal project. And, um, I think I would say I am a holiday person, but I have kind of some limits on it too, you know, there's definitely stress and anxiety that happens in December. So I agree that having the project to kind of focus on and kind of come back to at the end of the, end of the day. And for me, that's usually just the journaling part or going through the photos. Like I definitely don't scrapbook daily in December. Unfortunately, I think it's cool when people can figure that out. But, um, I think, yeah, it, it grounds me in a different way. And like you said, It helps you look for the, the fun and it helps me actually kind of schedule some fun too, like, Hey, we need to go do that. And that'll be great story.

[00:13:46] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, we're going to do this, like some sort of Harry Potter experience in Chicago and our friends are going this month. Did I think that they're to go last weekend? It, cause it just opened and I'm like, oh no, we are going to wait. And we are going to schedule this for December so that I can take pictures and put it in my album.

[00:14:05] Amy Zwart: That's awesome. Oh, that sounds really cool too.

[00:14:09] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. And then like, you know, Harry Potter has, can have a Christmas vibe to it as well. There's an, an, I even, I bought a collection kit earlier this year, um, because that's been a big part of our story and Emily reading all the books and we watched all the movies. And so maybe I will like throw in a couple of papers into my album with that too. So.

[00:14:28] Amy Zwart: Yeah. Oh yeah. The magic, magic in a, in a second sense kind of way to right.

[00:14:34] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, totally. Oh yeah. I didn't think of it that way. I like that.

[00:14:39] Amy Zwart: That's fun.

[00:14:41] Jennifer Wilson: So right now, Yeah, I'm excited about two different things. So one is, I just finished a brand new mini class. We call these pop-up workshops inside the membership, and this was kind of a spur of the moment. Like this sounds fun. I'm just going to do it type of thing. And it was eight layouts all using four by six photos. There were four single page and four double page. And these were all templates from our sketch and template library. And it was a challenge. Like I realized I print a lot of smaller photos. Yes. I use four by six, some of the time, but usually it's like for a one photo, maybe a two photo, like. But otherwise, I, I print a lot of smaller photos and so it was a composition challenge, even with the sketches to try to like, make it all work together. But I'm so glad I did it. And I'm also glad it's over, but it was so fun and it seemed to gain a lot of excitement and participation from members. That's, what's been so kind of rewarding about it is to see, Hey, I have this idea who wants to play along and to have members creating pages along with me. So.

[00:15:52] Amy Zwart: Yeah, that and just from the sidelines, because I wasn't able to participate in it, but watching that in the membership is always so fun. You know, just to, like you said, you see the excitement and you see the variety of ways people can do just same layout. You know, that's always a, I dunno, it's such a cool thing to see, like, this is a totally different topic or in a totally different color scheme, and yet it's the same sketch or the same general feel. So that's actually so fun to watch. So yeah, that's one of like 10 things I've had complete FOMO over not being able to participate in right now, but yeah, it's great to know what's there when, when I'm ready and when I want to.

[00:16:34] Jennifer Wilson: Yes for sure. And then my other thing is really kind of different. I've been resistant to creating Reels on Instagram for so long because I just kind of didn't get it. And, you know, I watch Reels, I watch Tik Tok I enjoy it, but they didn't really see how I could apply it to the things that I do and not be a silly person pointing at words at the screen. But like, I think I've like cracked my own code on it. And so I've been sharing a bunch of Reels and I'm excited to kind of keep sharing little snippets of my creative life tips, things that we have going on at Simple Scrapper. And yeah, I'm just trying to like focus on the fun aspect of it. Because when something that really requires so much creative energy is not fun, then I won't do it. So I have to have to focus on the fun.

[00:17:27] Amy Zwart: Right, right. Yeah. I think that's a great, you know, experiment. See what, what things do you want to put together? And it's always a fun way to, to learn about, you know, Simple Scrapper or things that you have going on is watching it. So that's fun. That's it good for you for learning a new thing and kind of not just learning how to do it, but how to apply it right.

[00:17:49] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. Yes.

[00:17:50] Amy Zwart: New way.

[00:17:52] Jennifer Wilson: So we, of course we can't continue without talking about our bucket lists. I have one that I think when this podcast episode goes out, it will not have aired yet. But I had a conversation, for the show and we were talking about doing a decades photo book. She was specifically talking about the nineties, but I think doing a book that has sections like eighties, nineties, two thousands, and really just bringing in all the nostalgia, like what toys did I play with? What music did I listen to? What TV shows that I watch, what movies like, were really like huge for me. Um, and just putting that all into one book. Cause I, you know, it didn't really fit in my Before Your Story to do that. Cause it was just so many other stories, so many other things that happened in life, but to do one book that just has all that together, I think would be really cool.

[00:18:42] Amy Zwart: That is super fun and you're right. That's exactly what it reminded me of right away was Before Your Story. Some people kind of went down those paths, you know, and either started pulling out ideas or, you know, put some collage pages together. And, and I had toyed with that too. Like, you know what fits in here and, you know, what's too much or some of the, um, world events. I think you have a great example of like a timeline of worldly events in your life. And that would be a great place for that layout to exist, right? You know, to kind of show the, the reference points, I guess, you know.

[00:19:20] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I liked the idea of collage pages too. Cause it could, you know, it could be a small as doing like a couple, two page spreads as well. Um, or more like an extended story format. I don't know. There's lots of different ways you could do it. I was thinking like photo book. Because I'm probably going to end up having to download a lot of pictures from the internet. So it's not going to be like, I'm not going to like print out photos. Probably I'm going to just, I want to just like throw them in box.

[00:19:48] Amy Zwart: Right. Yeah. That's a great format for it. That's true.

[00:19:52] Jennifer Wilson: So I'm going to put a pin in that, but I think it'd be a fun and like fast project too.

[00:19:58] Amy Zwart: That's fun.

[00:20:00] Jennifer Wilson: And what's on your.

I was just going to say, that's always a fun one for other people to see too, because you know your story isn't the same, but you can recognize some of the things from like, you know, that same decade, for example. So that'll get a lot of chatter going. I'm sure.

[00:20:14] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, and I think it would be fun for Emily to look at too. Um, and maybe I'll try to find photos of me from those decades as well. Like what styles are we wearing and all of that. And it's, it's so crazy to see, like we're still very much in this weird nineties fashion place and I'm like, I don't want to wear any of this stuff. I didn't want to wear it back then. Why do I want to wear it now. So.

[00:20:40] Amy Zwart: That's awesome.

[00:20:43] Jennifer Wilson: All right. So Amy, what's on your bucket list?

[00:20:46] Amy Zwart: Well, mine is, I'm going to call it a rare food story because I generally don't tell stories about food or take photos of it. But I have, and I kind of think this is embellishment driven is how I came up with the story. So I believe it's from a travel kit from Ali Edwards. There's a little saying that says eat well, travel often. And at some point it's spurred this story about different, like what I'm going to call food experiences from different vacations. Now, again, we're not foodie families. We're not going to fancy places and, you know, things that way. But we have these funny stories of like different places. Like when my son was really little and he first had barbecue ribs and thought it was the best thing ever. And, you know, talked about that place forever. And, um, we were at Disney World one time and I think my husband went to go get something and we, you know, he walked away from our table, my son and I were still at this outdoor table and a bird came in and took a french fry from my husband's plate. And we were like, what just happened? So we just have, you know, funny stories. San Antonio, we were on the Riverwalk and enjoyed a lot of Tex Mex. That then when we got home, we tried to emulate some of it or whatever. So now we have Min-Mex at our house cause it's Minnesota.

[00:22:13] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's cool.

[00:22:15] Amy Zwart: So it's, you know, it's own little, little story that comes around every time we have that here. So I have a kind of a list of, of stories that I wanted to include on a, you know, a two page layout, but the challenge will be that I really don't have photos like of the food or of the specific thing. I may be able to, you know, that's one where maybe there's an internet version of some of the things, or maybe there's just a photo of us at that place or from that trip that can be added in. So.

[00:22:49] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I think that would be just having like a landscape context of, are we in a, you know, a city location or a beach location type of thing gives you some context for the food story. So.

[00:23:02] Amy Zwart: And some of them, you know, maybe, maybe this story is kind of to that my kids and their different ages or something. Right. Another, another example. One was we, we stayed at a place in Orange Beach that had this pancake machine, and then they had this, like at night you could go up pancakes or something. And so my son was so excited about it, that he was like, is this why you picked this hotel? And we're like, or maybe look at the beach and the ocean. But to him it was such a highlight of that trip.

[00:23:40] Jennifer Wilson: Totally. Yeah, I get that. We definitely, when we're like questioning, we're doing road trips, like we know like the hotel chains to have like the good continental breakfast. And so we tend to pick those, like, who has like the eggs and maybe actually even has vegetables some of the time versus like the, you know, really sad looking banana.

[00:24:04] Amy Zwart: Exactly. Make your own omelet station. We're in.

[00:24:08] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. All right. So let's dive in to what's been going on at Simple Scrapper. So I know that I've been like loving just the family atmosphere, and this is not something new, but it's become just even more visible as, as folks share their challenging stories, their excitements, questions about just life stuff. And this, we just have that genuine care for one another in the community and it just makes it a wonderful place to, to hang out.

[00:24:43] Amy Zwart: Absolutely. I would, I would just ditto that, you know, it's, it's just been so friendly and I think the word I would add to that is helpful. Like you just see people reaching out with questions and people are responding so generously. And what I would also say is. Carefully like, or with thought. You know, to help, to help someone push through an issue or figure out, you know, what works for them. Like just gentle advice sometimes. And it's so great to, to see and be a part of.

[00:25:17] Jennifer Wilson: Yes for sure. And I even sometimes will like ask and I, and I see that elsewhere too, that, you know, do you want gentle encouragement or do you want tough love here? You know, um, tell us, tell us what you need so that we can best help you without frustrating you.

[00:25:36] Amy Zwart: That's true too. Sometimes just coming back with that followup question, you know, to have the person really, you know, think about it and say, no, you're right. But I'm, I'm asking most legitimately what you like. I need all, all hands on deck, you know? And, and sometimes, yeah, if you're, if you're not in that, that space or mindset yet, you know, maybe you are like, go, go easy on me. I'm not sure what I'm doing here yet.

[00:25:59] Jennifer Wilson: Sure. So we are transitioning out of the Photos journey and into the Projects journey. Is there anything that you observed as we talked about photos and photo management and photo editing and all things, photos?

[00:26:16] Amy Zwart: I think, honestly, I think it's the hardest journey. And I think, I think photos are hard as far as it's like the, the framework of, you know, you need your photos to be able to document and share your stories and make your pages. But just, managing all the photos and having them in a place you can get back to them. And, um, it's just, it's harder. It's more technical. There's, you know, different time-consuming parts to it. It's maybe less creative. And, and that's different for different people. Like sometimes people get very creative on editing photos. You know, if they love the keyword side of, you know, the photo maintenance or things. So it's definitely, you know, different for different people, but we did Photo Crush 2.0, and you know, there's just different struggles that come out. You know, some people are scanning old photos that they've inherited. Some people are moving to a different platform or trying to pull in photos from so many different places. I think Photo Crush is a great class to help walk you through, like, what are the choices or what, how should I prioritize? You know, and what, what can I get done in a journey or what are my next steps? So I think it's great. And that's again where I would say everyone's been so helpful to each other. Talking about, you know, so many different questions came up again about scanning or, you know, what, what parts of the metadata can you edit. And what programs do they stay in and what backup programs do you use and, you know, again, so many more options now with Amazon Photos or Google Photos, or how do you, how do you have them all work well together. So I just, I think it's an important, but challenging journey for some people and myself included, I'm in the middle of a, a Lightroom transition and I'm excited about it.

So I don't mean it's like a negative thing, but it's a lot of work and I want to get it right. And, you know, I have a lot of decisions to make on the front end. And then after that, it'll probably be a little tedious moving all the things, you know, if it doesn't happen in a short timeframe. So, um, I think, you know, from that side of it, it's a little bit harder, but then, you know, there were some of the things like the class that you talked about, the pop-up class with the, using four by sixes and, you know, still applying a creative side to that journey, I think is great. And, you know, a lot of people jumped on that and, you know, still had very creative times and had fun with it. So.

[00:28:58] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. And I think that we try to give options for what are you in the mood for? What do you really need to focus on right now? And sometimes it's going to be some of the, the harder, less creative tasks. And sometimes it's no, I'm not going to do any of that right now because that's not how I'm feeling. That's not what I need from my hobby. And I love how you mentioned just that it's to be open and honest that yeah, it's some of these things aren't always fun and they can feel hard and, um, the way that we teach Photo Crush and the way that we support it through the community to me is really important because the technology part is always changing. I've said before, I don't want to create classes about how to use X software to do Y thing, because as soon as I release it, something will change. It will be out of date. Um, and so it's so much more useful to be able to, okay, you have a problem, you know, dozens of people could share how they've solved that problem. Some will be technical solutions. Some of them won't be technical solutions, and then you can make the right choice for yourself from there. So I love just that we can continue to facilitate that kind of support inside of the community.

[00:30:11] Amy Zwart: Right. Absolutely. And that, again comes back to members sharing generously. And you know, saying, Hey, I wrote up this list, this checklist for myself, is this helpful to you? And again, you know, technology, isn't the same from one person to another. So maybe some of it doesn't apply, but the idea of what they're trying to do, or the reason why they're doing something, then you go, oh yeah, that's a great time to initiate a backup or to add the keyword from something or, you know, whatever the set was that that they're mimicking. And, and some people are just starting out saying, Hey, I need a process. What can you, can you guide me a little bit? Here's where I keep getting tripped up because I go away for awhile. And then when I come back through and I go, oh, where was I? What should I do next?

[00:30:59] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I would say that's another place where I like to leave and need to leave breadcrumbs for myself because I don't always kind of remember, okay, this is what I was going on. You get in the zone and then for some reason you have to stop. And if you don't leave yourself some notes, you may not remember exactly how you were making these choices and moving things for me to be.

[00:31:18] Amy Zwart: Right, right.

[00:31:21] Jennifer Wilson: Was there anything else from this journey that was like new and fun that stood out to you?

[00:31:25] Amy Zwart: Yes. I wanted to mention that for Finishing Day, you did a new plan prep and pep day, which I thought was great and had such cute, cute name, to it too. But all about just getting ready for Finishing Day and how to make it productive and you know, your happiest self coming to it. And I think members really enjoyed that and took advantage of that, myself included. And I don't know. I thought it was fun and different and had a, had a vibe to it that had people excited about, Hey, I want to get ready for getting things done. And what do I need to do for that?

[00:32:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. So that kind of came out of two different things. One is that members, um, through Finishing Day this year have said I'd like a little more time. I like to feel more prepared and more guidance and specific accountability around like being ready to finish. And then also it was just a logistical issue for me that I wouldn't be able to kind of lead that in a different way on Saturday morning. And so this idea came out of it and it sounds like something we're going to just keep doing, because it was just so beneficial to spend time together in the evening and just saying, okay, what is it that you want to finish? Why do you want to finish it? Okay. What do you need to do to hit the ground running when it comes to Finishing Day on Saturday? So, um, yeah, so cool. I'm glad it worked out.

[00:32:49] Amy Zwart: Yeah. Yeah. And like you said, it maybe came from a different place of why it had happened, but then Hey, there's some advantages and let's take advantage of it. So that's great.

[00:33:01] Jennifer Wilson: Yes for sure. So, as I said, we're moving into the Projects Journey. I think that, I mean, they're all my favorite, but I particularly like this one because I, I love conceptualizing, thinking big picture, planning out how I want to tackle my stories, how they all fit together on my shelves and within my albums. And so I think it just, I don't know, it, it's definitely one of the most fun ones and we're going to have. Kind of our standard suite of activities. We have a brand new Spark Magazine, um, a new collection of sketches and templates. Our Refresh Retreat will be in the first month of the journey. So in September, and then we'll have finishing day in October. But one of the cool things is we're continuing our immersion series and we have some new options this time around. So Amy, you're going to be leading a trip through the Finishing Project, which is our four week class to help you become more of a finisher. Finishing Day, obviously came out of this idea, but this is kind of a more intensive, more specific guidance helping you think through why something isn't finished and to work through, pass around those obstacles. And so that is definitely going to be a big part of what we're thinking about, particularly this time of year, as we want to wrap up projects. As we're entering into holiday season, and then even thinking about next year, And then we have two other immersions. Peggy is going to lead one on Stacy Julian's Quick Trip Travel Class. So if you've been wanting to make a small album project around a specific vacation and do it in a really efficient, streamlined way and feel that satisfaction. So I think that's going to be really fun. And then I'm going to be leading an immersion that's actually out of the side of the membership. But I didn't want to double dip myself in such spread myself too thin, but you may have seen that I launched a class called, Scrapbooking with Lightroom, and this is a three part workshop where I'll be teaching live on three different dates. The first one is the big webinar where I do the most of the instruction. And then we'll have two follow up dates where I'll answer questions and really help students start putting together a photo book using Lightroom Classic. And so we have all the details and I'll include the links in the show notes, but that I'm so excited to, to help members and non-members alike, work through their projects and learn how to tackle this. Cause it's been such an amazing solution for me.

[00:35:46] Amy Zwart: That's awesome. Yeah, I'm so excited that you've been able to do that and can help other people. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm new to Lightroom, so I look forward to kind of learning from others, you know, after that as well. But I think that that's great. Cause that was your, your annual album that you created for last year. Is that correct?

[00:36:06] Jennifer Wilson: Correct, yes. And I am working on one for this year and I haven't made as much progress. I know exactly why, but I'm kind of going to be doing some comparisons of the experience of doing it in the moment and what the result was. Versus the experience of doing it a more reflection. This is already past style. Because they end up having different kind of story feelings. Um, you might make different choices about what photos are most important or most memorable to you. And so I think, you know, no one approach is better than the other. They're just slightly different.

[00:36:45] Amy Zwart: Yeah, that's a great, great comparison option, right. You know, to kind of see that and, and people I'm sure that take the class will be in both situations as well. So.

[00:36:56] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. So what are you thinking about during the Project Journey in terms of, you know, things that you're going to be working on and talking about?

[00:37:05] Amy Zwart: Well, I think the Finishing Project, it was definitely, you know, on my radar is coming. I've really enjoyed Finishing Days, but I've also felt like I need more than that for some of my projects. Right. Or some of the things. So I, I'm definitely looking forward to that. And also the Quick Trip Travel Class. I'm not sure if I can do both, but that's been on my list as well. So when I look at my specific projects, um, I think one of the things that I have as maybe I'll just count, call it as one of my boundaries right now is because I'm working through the photo transition. I feel like I can't do certain projects that I don't have my photos available for yet.

[00:37:50] Jennifer Wilson: I think that's totally fair though. Like it's okay to say, okay, I need to press pause because I have this big administrative thing to do.

[00:37:58] Amy Zwart: Right, right. But I also be, because I know I want to work on something. I kind of used it as a boundary to say, okay, well, there's, there are some projects that are incomplete that maybe I can come back to and work on the journaling, you know, if the photos are in. So an example, I have a Project Life album that I believe is all the way done, except for December, because that's where I start to double dip where I'm like, is that Project Life or is that December Daily? And you know, if I started working on December Daily, then I left December kind of in the dust. So I have, I believe that month, you know, kind of put together. So I want to go back and look at like, what's really missing from it. So it feels like that could be a good Finishing Project, you know, type of thing to say, well, you know, maybe I already know why it isn't done. Like I said, December Daily, but to say, you know, what does it look like of having it done? And how long would that take? I also have a big project I've been working on. I think I talked about it last time. My Hawaii travel album. And I don't think I'm at far enough that I could, you know, wrap that up in this journey. But I do think I could kind of break it down into different things and say, okay, if I really pushed forward on, you know, doing specific layouts or things that maybe I could start to check off sections of it, and that might be a feel good motivator to keep going too. So like in that trip we went to multiple different islands in Hawaii and although I set up my kind of project plan, that way, of course, I've jumped around and telling the stories that I wanted to tell. And I think that helped me get more pages done, but now maybe coming back and saying, okay, what's left, the O'ahu section. And, you know, can I do those and then actually check it off and feel good about finishing something, so that's another angle I might take.

[00:39:58] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I think that's an important point is that finishing isn't necessarily finishing. Finishing is making substantial progress that you can check off. And sometimes that's a portion of a project. It's something. It's something you could draw a box around and say, okay, I'm going to finish this part, this thing, because that's going to move me forward. So, you know, every, every project has a different scale and um, yeah, I think it's important to keep a broad lens on finishing so that you feel encouraged.

[00:40:27] Amy Zwart: Right, right. And that's, I think that's what I'm looking for is I think I need some check marks. Right. And so I, I like to move around and do whatever I want to do, and that feels really good for awhile. And then I come back to like, I think I need a punch list here. What will help me, you know, see where the end is to this section. So, and I've, I've had a lot of fun with the project. And, um, I actually was thinking about too, I have a retreat weekend during this journey that I don't really want to pack up all the Hawaii things and, you know, have it all laid out and spread out and you know, it's working. So I think I'll also have a little detour because of that retreat weekend, where I might be able to pick up a smaller project. Maybe that Project Life album and you know, work on something else instead, which is sometimes, um, reinvigorating. Then when I come back to that on my table too.

[00:41:21] Jennifer Wilson: Yes for sure. I think the Quick Trip Travel course is something that would be perfect for stowing away and, you know, especially cause the scale and the idea that you're going to finish this and then really discrete amount of time. So.

[00:41:35] Amy Zwart: Right.

I was just thinking here as we were chatting and I wanted to make sure that everyone's aware that when we lead immersions about other instructors classes, we do ask that our students purchase it. And we verify those purchases before we kind of share outlines or share support. Obviously as a creator myself, I'm very sensitive to intellectual property. And I just wanted to, to make sure everyone's aware of that. So we've done with, Shimelle's class this year, Layer On Layer On Layer. Peggy led an immersion on that previously in the year. And so, um, it's been a fun way that we can add just additional accountability without creating something new. There's a lot of really amazing projects and classes out there. And our specialty is bringing scrapbookers together with accountability and encouragement to, to work on what's important to them. So I think that's going to be another fun one.

[00:42:29] Amy Zwart: Yes. Yes, absolutely. And it has been said that sometimes the instructor notices when Simple Scrapper groups show up.

[00:42:37] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah.

[00:42:38] Amy Zwart: So that's kind of fun too. To, you know, be seen as a group in that way, too.

[00:42:44] Jennifer Wilson: It is, it is. I love it. Yeah. Um, I kind of, yeah. I'm definitely in December Daily mode. I've already purchased some additional non Ali Edwards things. I bought some fibers from Etsy and I will include that link in the show notes. The shop is Songbird Adornments, and then I also bought some things. I think I bought a stencil set of trees. This really cute kind of Nordic animals stamp set, like where you can do like layering and then. I forgot what the other thing was, but it was another kind of reusable item and I'm like, okay, I'm not going to buy just, you know, something I'm going to use up, but I'm okay to add some extra fun, little things too, to use year after year. Um, but I'm just in that mode right now. So my, my priorities are twofold. One, I'm going to be, catching up with this year's photo book as part of teaching this class. And then the rest of my time was all December Daily, all the time, because I really want to be officially caught up this year. Last year I did a 20, 14,15, so 16 out. Yeah, 14, 15, 16 compilation album. And I will link to the blog post that features how I approach that and how it turned out in the end. And that left me with just a couple of years more recent, where I had partially completed albums. So I'm going to really be focusing on how can I get those done. How can I make some course corrections, something we teach in the Finishing Project in order to make it more doable. And one of the things is I am going to do another compilation album. I'm actually going to do 2019 and 2020 together. And really do a comparison contrast thing because of the pandemic, you know, the last normal Christmas. And then what was the 2020 Christmas like? So that will be interesting for sure.

[00:44:42] Amy Zwart: That's great. Cause when you first said that, I was like, Ooh, how can you put those two years together? But yeah, if you take the approach of compare and contrast, that's awesome. And that, that would, that'll bring out some of those stories too, you know.

[00:44:56] Jennifer Wilson: Think so. Yeah.

[00:44:57] Amy Zwart: That maybe wouldn't have been as obvious or something, so, oh, I'm I look forward to seeing how you tell some of those interesting stories, right? Like some of them are tougher than others, but some are just interesting on how things changed or the sudden.

[00:45:15] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, and I think that, oh, go ahead.

[00:45:17] Amy Zwart: Was just going to ask you, do you have any concerns because I've thought of this as well of like being burned out before December hits, for the new project. Or do you think it'll just build momentum and really helping keep going through the December current year then?

[00:45:39] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I mean, that's, that's totally fair. And I will say that once the new products arrive, like most of my momentum is in November setting up foundation pages, doing some initial pages of like my reason why, and here's my Starbucks cup and you know, some early shopping. Last year we did our big family Christmas at Thanksgiving. So like that whole story was already done by the end of November. So I think definitely front-loading it as much as I can to leverage the momentum before that gets replaced by overwhelm and like, just feeling like you're running all the directions at once.

[00:46:26] Amy Zwart: Right, right. Well, and I think it's always interesting to watch how other people do it too. Right? Like how, how many people do foundation pages or what does that look like to anyone? And, does the scrapbooking in December versus, you know, in January or the July after whatever turns out to be. Because I think I've struggled with foundation pages from the perspective of, well, I already have a previous year to work on, should I really work ahead when I can't really complete it. Like, it doesn't, doesn't feel like being able to check a box, I guess when we talk about finishing. You know, that like a foundation page is only partway done versus on a previous year, I could have, you know, more days donw or whatever, but I have also come to realize that setting yourself up for success will make it easier in that month and for that project. So I think I kind of go back and forth with where is my time best spent. So I'm just curious to watch how you do that with, uh, you know, tackling two years together and then rolling right into this year. So that'll be fun to watch and see your progress.

[00:47:39] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I think I have a couple reactions points here. One is that, um, having, they weren't even all foundation pages, some of them were like foundation pockets. Like they were all, I think the best example is I had one of the plastic pockets full of tags. And I sat down with my family in January and said, okay, write down like what your favorite things were from. And we did it in like 10 minutes and then I put it back in the pocket and that was it. Like, it was so nice to have those all ready to go. The creative aspect was done and all we had to do was basically, you know, fill in the blank. That type of thing really is helpful for finishing, even if some of that does spill over into later, it makes it much more doable for me. So I'm, I'm a huge foundation page convert. The years that I have, my album's finished, those three years have made foundation pages the years I didn't finish, I didn't. So.

[00:48:40] Amy Zwart: Well and I think, and I've, I've watched enough, you know, Ali's kind of points of view through the years. And I think I'm starting to get swayed a little bit more that I can, like you said, once the products are here, there definitely are some products that drive certain stories or stories that know. I'll, I will tell. Like about setting up the Christmas tree or things and being able to pull some of those products out and have ready for that page. I do think are helpful. So trying to do, you know, maybe it's not a a hundred percent foundation page, but maybe I want to do like a 75% foundation page just to give myself that leg up. Like you said.

[00:49:22] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. And I think some of them are like, okay, this is a home for this particular story that I know I can tell. And then some of them ended up being, okay, this is a design technique that I'm going to use when I have a photo slash story that might work for it.

[00:49:41] Amy Zwart: Right.

[00:49:41] Jennifer Wilson: So I definitely separate them in like two different bins. I think.

[00:49:45] Amy Zwart: Yeah, that's a good point too. Yeah. Cause I know there's, there are ideas from last year for sure. You know, between the classes and what people are putting on Instagram and what's, you know, showing up in Ali's blog. Like there are those techniques or, you know, product usage kinds of things that really can drive, you know, a page that are fun to, to record and to have, you know, have a place to like come back to so that's great.

[00:50:11] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. And then I also wanted to address, like the concern about being burnt out is that I'm, I'm a sprinter more than a marathoner. Like I had a successful marathon last year with my photo book this year. I didn't, so it's going to be a sprint. And that was just, it was a, an accountability issue that I didn't show up to my accountability meetings with our members. Because we had such a busy, Emily had a busy schedule and I was always like taking her somewhere at noon on Wednesdays. But I think because I'm a sprinter, like when I sit down to do the, it will be like, a couple, several hour sessions. It's not going to be, I'm going to have these open on my table between now and December.

[00:50:54] Amy Zwart: Okay.

[00:50:55] Jennifer Wilson: I think that will help too.

[00:50:57] Amy Zwart: Right, right. Because just the fact of like seeing it out for so long can sometimes burn me out, you know, of like, Oh I still have to do that. So I'll do that. So, yeah, that's a, that's a really good point. And it's interesting because I come back to that question, a lot of being a sprinter versus a marathoner. And I think I'm more of a sprinter as long as I've cleared the decks to be able to do it. And I'm trying to, I'm trying to use the open space or time that I have, which I've set some things up to be more marathon projects or some things are just bigger in general. So like that Hawaii album has been a marathon, right? Like I've been working on it for a long time, but I'm having fun with it. So that's the key, but there is no race to the end on it. Versus when I do Project Life, I'm probably more of a sprinter of trying to get like big sections done at a time, you know, more of a batch processing kind of thing too.

[00:51:53] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. You have to really like figure out what's gonna work best for you. And sometimes it might be, you know, you might have to switch gears and do it differently in order to, to catch up or finish.

[00:52:03] Amy Zwart: Right, right.

[00:52:05] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, well, this has been an awesome discussion. I hope this gives our listeners a preview of the types of things we're going to be talking about during the Projects Creative Journey. And no matter what you're working on, maybe gives you a little motivation to do some finishing over the next couple months.

[00:52:24] Amy Zwart: Yay, finishing.

[00:52:26] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Well, thank you, Amy. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to scrapbook your way.

[00:52:32] Amy Zwart: Thank you, Jennifer.

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