SYW190 – My Way with Michelle Flynn

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Michelle Flynn is a clean and simple scrapbooker who loves Project Life and smaller formats. You’ll find tons of white in her projects, along with harmonious and monochromatic color schemes. And as a current member of the Elle’s Studio team, their products feature extensively in her recent work. In this episode you’ll get to hear the why and how behind Michelle’s creative process. We’re thrilled to have her as our October featured artist.

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 190. In this episode I'm interviewing Michelle Flynn for the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways memory keepers get things done. We're excited to have Michelle as the October featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

[00:00:58] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Michelle. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:00] Michelle Flynn: Hi, thanks so much for having me.

[00:01:03] Jennifer Wilson: I am looking forward to our conversation. Can you share a little bit about yourself with our audience?

[00:01:09] Michelle Flynn: Sure. my name is Michelle. Um, I am a wife, a mom, and a Mimi to our one year old grandson.

[00:01:16] Michelle Flynn: Yeah, my husband and I are, um, just shy of, 30 years and we have two adult children, um, one grandson and, three pups who I like to refer to as our three little pumpkins. Which, which is my Instagram handle. But that's, Princey, Teddy, and Hamilton. I work full time in the accounting segment of the automotive industry. And, we live in Northern Virginia, just outside of DC. So,scrapbooking memory keeping, documenting our lives, is honestly, it's just like a really necessary part of my life. And, I think in every way, just it's kind of who I am. So, yeah. So

[00:01:58] Michelle Flynn: I'm really grateful, to be here with you. Thanks so much for, um, sharing your time with me and asking me, and I'm so grateful for the community of friends that I've made, you know, in our community that share the same, the same passion.

[00:02:10] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, yes, for sure. We scrapbookers are just the best. I love how supportive we all are and yeah, it's an amazing community and I've been so fortunate to be able to have so many great conversations here on the podcast, so. I'm curious, what's exciting you right now in your hobby.

[00:02:25] Michelle Flynn: Right now I'm surrounded by all things December. I am so excited about documenting December. And, trying to finish last year's album and, and start this year's, album. So that's really, really exciting me. I'm also, I've been working on, an album for my daughter of our grandson's first year and that's been really, really fun. So those two things right now are really, really exciting.

[00:02:53] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, for sure. Now I'm curious, like what kind of products do you think you're gonna be using for this year's December album?

[00:03:00] Michelle Flynn: So I use a mix of both,Ali's and Elle's Studio and Ali Edwards. And I still have a lot of, um, digital projects from, I mean, digital, um, digitals from Feed Your Craft as well. So, I feel like the mix of those, cuz that's really what my album has been the past. This will be my third year participating. And, it's really just a, a mix of those three, those three designers, if you will.

[00:03:30] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, really cool. I love how you kind of have a vision in your, your sweet spot of products that you like to put together for that project.

[00:03:37] Michelle Flynn: Yeah, I really, I found that when I first, saw it, I was, you know, heard about, documenting the month of December. And, it got me really, really excited, cause I'd never, never heard of anything like that before. And I'm only a few years new to the, to the social media creating communities. So it was really exciting and, and it kind of caused me to look at the holidays a little bit differently than, than in terms of memory keeping than I had prior. And on top of that, I mean, how fun are the products? They're so fun. And so you, you don't really find that in Michaels or JoAnne's. And so once I, I kind of found that community and saw those, those, you know, annual type,products from, you know, these different companies. It was just, ah, it was just so exciting.

[00:04:25] Michelle Flynn: So I think the main thing for me though, is I, I cannot document every day of December. So it's really just turned into the highlights of the month and what, what brings me joy and what excites me. And so, I like to, kind of jump back and forth. I may have three days that I documented every day. And then, and then I may not document a few days after that. So my album isn't really, based on the day, it's really based on the moments.

[00:04:54] Jennifer Wilson: Hmm. I love that. And I love your point about, uh, being able to see and experience the holidays in a different way. You know, we all have different, you know, growing up experiences with the holidays. Sometimes things are hard for us, you know, sometimes it's just the, the overwhelm of responsibilities and I, I love how having the project and the creative community together can, uh, bring extra joy to the season.

[00:05:22] Michelle Flynn: Oh, yeah. And there's so much inspiration. I mean, I admire the creators who are able to document something about every day. I think it's amazing. Um, I just haven't been able to do it yet, so.

[00:05:34] Michelle Flynn: Yeah, that's kind of, I mean, it's what your podcast is about. You know, your way, what is your way? So with my way, I just don't put too much pressure on myself.

[00:05:42] Michelle Flynn: I just try to document the moments that, or highlight the moments that I want to remember. But I also still in my traditional 12 by 12 pocket pages, I still do include a lot of December photos in the month of December in my regular album. So my my monthly December six by eight album is, is just the highlights, if you will. With a little bit more embellishment, a little bit more detail, a little bit more in terms of journaling those special moments. So that's kind of my way.

[00:06:13] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. I love it. So, Michelle, what's on your memory keeping bucket list. This is a story that feels important to capture, but for some reason you haven't done it yet.

[00:06:23] Michelle Flynn: You know what I will tell you that, I have two that have been on my bucket list that I have dipped my toes in, off and on, for the past two or three years now. The first is, our story, which is my husband's story with, with my story, our journey. Where we started out, as a couple and, and our life together and things that are all about us. Some silly stuff, some, some, you know, regular, um, normal stuff. Where we lived, what we did as careers, what are, you know, what we can remember from our past history. And then other things like, what are the things that's in my favorites on my phone or, some of our favorite songs. Um, Songs from the seventies, songs from the eighties, things like that. So that is, that's a bucket list thing that I've worked on off and on. And then. the next bucket list thing is the Empty Nest, New Stories from Kelly Ishmael. That has been so challenging. I really, I, every time I go back to it, it, it just kind of tugs at you and it, you don't really realize the impact that it has when your children actually leave home, until it happens. And so I feel like you grow through all of these different emotions. So that's definitely something that I have worked off and on with. And it, when I allow myself to go there, it brings up a lot of emotions and a lot of journaling.

[00:07:46] Jennifer Wilson: I bet. Yeah.

[00:07:47] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. Yeah. So those two are definitely bucket list items that based on the stories and the detail behind the stories, I really can only visit them, I'm, when I'm driven to, if you know what I mean.

[00:08:01] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, yeah. And it seems like there's so many connections between those stories as well. With, you know, your relationship with your husband before children, during, and after they've left the nest. And then I'm wondering if using this lens of music, can help you tell the stories and provide kind of a path through it. Um, Especially when some of the stories are a little bit harder, like maybe you, you find a song that you, that really makes you, uh, that captures what you feel about that particular time in your life.

[00:08:38] Michelle Flynn: Oh, I love that. You're so right, because there's a song that I sing to my, both my son and my daughter when they were young. And I, I now sing it to my grandson.

[00:08:47] Jennifer Wilson: Ah.

[00:08:48] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. And I, I, every time I do it's, it's been a year now. He it's, it's like, he knows it, he smiles and I can just tell that he feels it. And that feeling for me brings on even more because it's, it's the same song that I sang to the children when they were young. So I, I, I love that, Jennifer. That's great.

[00:09:08] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, awesome, awesome. Well, I wish you best of luck with those projects or maybe it's one project, so we'll see.

[00:09:15] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:09:16] Jennifer Wilson: So, so this is a, My Way episode and we're kind of peeling back the curtain on your story and your hobby. Um, I always like to just kind of do an icebreaker question though right now at Simple Scrapper where we're talking about projects. And so I'm curious what helps you finish your projects?

[00:09:32] Michelle Flynn: I think a combination of kits, as well as organizing my photos and batch printing, if that makes sense. I think with kits, it, I think when I get a new kit, it immediately inspires me or reminds me of a, of a story or, or a moment or a, memory that I immediately am drawn to. And I know I want to use, you know, these, pocket tags or these embellishments for that story. And I, so I think the combination of the kits really inspires, me and I think the organizing of my photos also inspires me because I do batch print. And when I batch print, I typically will do as many as I can in that moment. And then I'll just leave them be and when I come back to them, I'll organize them, you know, based on the date, the time and that whatnot. And I will insert them into my blank pocket pages. And So as I, get a new kit or feel inspired, I'm able to directly go to those moments and kind of just start there. So I think, I think I, I am drawn to, um, letting things inspire me if you will. And so whether the photos that I see something and I go, you know what, I'm really feeling this right now. I wanna just stop everything. And I wanna, I wanna get these pages done. Or the kit reminds me of something that I haven't yet documented that may be sitting in my empty pocket page,book, if you will. So just recently, actually, whenever I, I just wanna be in my happy place, I tend to organize my supplies and, or organize my photos. And so just recently I was organizing my supplies and I have,I had ordered a 9 by 12 album from Ali Edwards, long time ago. And it was damaged and they immediately sent me a new one. It was so amazing. They were really kind to do that. Didn't even hesitate. Just said, well, don't worry about sending it back, we'll send you a new one. And so I've, since then I've used the, the old one, to hold all of my page protectors, in the 9 by 12 size. I like to, to use 9 by 12 size on my 12 by 12 albums, as well as the 9 by 12 album. But, as I was going through organizing my page protectors recently, I realized I have so many of the 9 by 12 page protectors that I'm just not using because I don't have a printer that prints in that size.

[00:12:05] Jennifer Wilson: Oh.

[00:12:06] Michelle Flynn: And so for whatever reason, just because I really do believe that in that organizing inspires me or, or, or gives me ideas. In that moment, I thought, you know what? I really wanna try something different in my albums and maybe I'll start journaling, just journaling, on, you know, eight and a half by 12 paper and use the nine by 12 to house it and just trim it down at the top and insert that for every month in my Project Life album. I call it my Project Life album, but I'm not a daily Project life person. Um, and so that kind of inspired a few things that inspired another idea for me to get more journaling in my albums and use what I already have. So yeah, just a, something little that just came from organizing.

[00:12:54] Jennifer Wilson: I love that. I think sometimes some of us have those brains that need, need the sense of order in order to then find the creativity.

[00:13:02] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:13:03] Jennifer Wilson: So can you take us back and share how you got started scrapbooking and how your hobby has evolved?

[00:13:08] Michelle Flynn: So I feel like I've always been into, into creating and, and sketching and art and, You know, I can still remember being very young and being excited about my Barbie pencil and my Andy gift pens um, and sketching, different types of pictures that I see in magazines. So I have very vivid memories of that. And I, I, I enjoyed, you know, the paper dolls and I always enjoyed coloring. I I've been telling my daughter for a long time. I'm, I'm gonna be the first one that colors with Easton. So I feel like I've always loved it, but it really wasn't until, we had our first child and I realized that my husband and I had probably our photos of our life together combined, growing up would never even fill a 12 by 12 album. Um, and so we had our, our first child and I, I thought I have, I've got, I've got to record his life. I, I never want my children, him, as well as our future children to ever have questions about their life. And so that's kind of where it started. And I remember I still have one of the first albums I made, of him. It was just a, a blue album from one of the craft stores with brown paper pages. They were physically paper. Yeah. And so I started there and I just kept going. And when he was three years old, I met a friend, through one of his play dates and she introduced me to, um, Creative Memories. And, I attended one of my first crops and was like, wait, you can, you can get things, you from other places besides the craft store. And so it was, it was so much fun and it really, really excited me. And, so that's, that's kind of how it started. And then over time it just evolved into, just recording and documenting their life. I, I honestly could probably house a small room with our albums. It's just, it's just become kind of a part of who I am. And so when the children were growing up, I, I traditionally saved it for like late nights or weekends and, um, any occasional crop here and there, but it wasn't until, Empty Nest, New Stories that I started to get a lot more, a lot more time if you will. So yeah.

[00:15:29] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and I think, yeah, as we move through different seasons of life, you're gonna have a different amount of time, energy, and motivation for your hobby. And just kind of understanding where you're at right now can help be, feel more reassured that like, okay, I'm doing the best I can, or I'm doing what's, what's normal for where I'm at in my life.

[00:15:48] Michelle Flynn: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:15:49] Jennifer Wilson: I love that you mentioned that.

[00:15:51] Michelle Flynn: Yeah, because I feel the same way. I feel like, just like with, with, different seasons of your life, what you said, different seasons of memory keeping. And I feel like sometimes it, it feels so much bigger than what it actually sounds when you say that. Because it, it really just is so much bigger than that, right? I mean, we're reporting our memories and the things that are important to us. And I remember a YouTube video that Ali Edwards, did, I think it's quite it's few years old, I believe. And she said something in something related to, she realized that her memory keeping journey and her documenting journey, um, Wasn't for her children. It was for her.

[00:16:36] Jennifer Wilson: Hmm.

[00:16:37] Michelle Flynn: And, and she really talked about it. So, um, it was just really, really inspiring to me. Because I feel like I've spent a long time feeling like everything I do is to document memories for my children. And then I realized that regardless of what they will ever get from all of these albums and all of this journaling and all of these um, creative projects, it really was for me. And it was, a, a piece of me. And that I'm leaving a piece of who I am on the page, for them to someday possibly reflect. But at the end of the day, it's not as much for them as it is for me because of how much joy it brings me.

[00:17:17] Jennifer Wilson: Mm, beautifully said, I love we have this. We all are kind of, you know, contain multitudes as they say of, you know, there's, we have different reasons why we stay in this hobby and why it's so important to us. And it's kind of all those things together that just pile on, on top of one another, that just make us so obsessed with it, I think.

[00:17:38] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. It's, it's those moments where I realize that I've been crafting and there's no music playing, there's no YouTube playing, there's no television on. And all of a sudden, I realized, wow, I was really so deeply involved in that quiet time where all of the, the blur of everyday life kind of turned into perspective and gratitude as I'm working on documenting our life.

[00:18:04] Jennifer Wilson: Ah.

[00:18:04] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:18:05] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes.

[00:18:06] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. Yeah, that's kind of, it's just, I get so much joy from it and I, I get really excited about a lot of things. I have one of those personalities where I get really, really excited and happy about, about, you know, things. Right. And, that's just kind of who I am, but, but I get so much joy out of, out of memory keeping.

[00:18:28] Jennifer Wilson: So you've already mentioned that you like to work in 9 by 12. I'm curious, kind of what other sizes or formats are you typically creating in.

[00:18:35] Michelle Flynn: So I work in 12 by 12 75% of the time. I'm gonna throw that out there. That's pretty much my, 12 by 12, the past few years has really just worked for me. And I also do it 9 by 12 as well. So I try to shift them, as well as probably close to the past, maybe eight or nine months I've been working in the Heidi Swapp memory planner, which I'm really, really, enjoying because I don't always use photos for it. I use notes and I feel like I get a lot more stamping action with that style. But our every day, you know, my, my daily, weekly, monthly memories is, is almost always in my 12 by 12. It's always on the corner of my desk. It's something that I just go back to time and time again. I, my first love, I feel like has always been 12 by 12 layouts because that's really how I started. And that's probably the majority of my albums for 20 plus years. The Project Life, if, if, if I can call it that because some people really do follow the, the traditional Project Life. I don't really do that. I follow, my album is my 12 by 12 pocket pages. You can call it monthly, you can call it whatever you want. But for me, it's really, in chronological order, but I don't work in chronological order. I work based on what inspires me. So if I'm looking at my album right now, I, I have most of January done. Most of February done most of March done, but I have pages, blanks in between each section because I really just, I work with what I'm feeling inspired by, in the, in the moments that I have in my room.

[00:20:23] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and I think that, that, I mean, that's definitely another Your Way example. And I think for so many of us that when we allow ourselves to do that, that's, what's going to kind of keep the momentum going. I think it's when we feel like we have to do something, whatever that is, that's that's you kind of cut your momentum off at the knees with that sometimes.

[00:20:46] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. Yeah, I don't, I don't, I don't let myself get caught up in, in, or try not to sometimes I do, but I have to talk myself out of it in, in what's finished or what's not finished.

[00:20:56] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm

[00:20:57] Michelle Flynn: I feel like I have, a limited amount of time to, to memory keep during the week. And then I have more time on the weekends, depending on, you know, family and life and all those things. I really have to use my time wisely and, I, I just don't wanna, I don't ever wanna get myself held up on, oh, I didn't finish, you know, it's September and I haven't finished, you know, weeks of the first eight months of the year, if, if that makes any sense.

[00:21:26] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, completely, completely. So Michelle, whose products are you completely obsessed with? You've already mentioned Ali Edwards, Elle's studio. And of course, you know, the, I don't wanna say dearly departed Feed Your Craft, but they're no longer in business. You know, who, what else are you buying these days?

[00:21:41] Michelle Flynn: So I don't buy anything else besides Ali, Heidi, um, Elle's which I, I had Elle's prior, but now being on the design team. And, I have a little bit of Studio Calico, not much, I don't do the kits, but I have used, the digital products. And so, um, and I occasionally not, not in quite some time, Citrus Twist kits, and I used to subscribe to them when they had the monthly kits, which I loved. Cuz I really am a kit person. When I get a kit it's just exciting to me and it inspires my stories and I, I immediately go through it and go, oh, those colors, I think they would work well with this event, this trip, this, this memory and, or this is just, for the every day. Right. But I feel like they inspire the stories I wanna tell when I get a kit. So I'm, I'm, a real big kit person. And. But currently I think those are, those are my main ones right now. Elle's Studio, always, ali Edwards, Heidi Swapp and, that that's it.

[00:22:45] Jennifer Wilson: Alrighty. is there something that you use or do on most of your pages? Like if we're flipping through your albums, what kind of trends are we gonna notice? Maybe beyond the, the products that you're choosing.

[00:22:55] Michelle Flynn: You know, it's funny. I had someone ask me, what my style was like months and months ago. And, um, and I, I really thought about that because I, I kept thinking. Style what? I don't know that I have a style, but it, it prompted the question to get me to ask myself. And then I realized, I think I'm color driven. And, when I say that, I guess what I mean is that monochromatic style, meaning that the photos and the pocket tags and the things that I'm using are, the colors, the different shades of the same color, really speak to me. And I think that, I think that's my style.

[00:23:39] Jennifer Wilson: You. Okay. So the other day I was working on our Spark magazine where your layouts are featured and I was, you know, I write a paragraph about your style and that's one of the things that I pulled out was that you do a lot of like monochromatic, like let's pick a color and use that as a theme throughout the whole page.

[00:24:00] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:24:01] Jennifer Wilson: So I totally, I totally agree.

[00:24:03] Michelle Flynn: So that's funny. I feel like that I never really knew that that's what it was, but I feel like someone prompted the question. And, um, and I feel like I had a few comments about it. And, and I really started realizing, wow, that is kind of what drives me. When I get product is I'm immediately drawn to the color shades, the same color. And, I have a hard time, I'm realizing I did not know this before I thought about it though. I do have a hard time mixing colors. Um, and so I don't know if that's, that's just, that's just me, but, yeah. So I think when you're looking at my pages, you're gonna, you're gonna find that, that range of consistency. And then I think on some pages, you're gonna find that I will have a consistent use of embellishments, and some less embellishments and a little more journaling, but I'm totally like crazy for chipboard. I love chipboard. I love metal dies. Um, Elle's Studio metal dies are just blowing me away. Their their flip up, metal die, their flip up pocket metal die, I probably use, and that was released months and months and months ago, I probably have that flip up metal die used in multiple layouts for every month of the year. I'm always using it. It's a great opportunity to add more journaling. So I, I really, really love that. So I'm crazy about chipboard and metal dies. And those are my two, those are my two favorite things. I think.

[00:25:31] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I'll definitely include the link to that die in the show notes for this episode, because I know folks are gonna wanna see what that looks like.

[00:25:39] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:25:40] Jennifer Wilson: So you've mentioned how you just, you have this almost insatiable passion for the hobby. When do you typically find the time and energy for scrapbooking? Does it ebb and flow or is it pretty consistent? And when can we find you creating?

[00:25:53] Michelle Flynn: I think it varies. I love what you said earlier. Seasons of life, seasons of memory keeping. And I think it varies. I love creating early mornings. There's something about an early morning and a fresh start and grabbing a nice cup of coffee or a nice cup of tea. And just having, that time to journal, create, organize. That, that is, I love early mornings. But I don't get that a whole lot. You know, sometimes once or twice a month, sometimes more typically now, the season of life I'm in right now, it's usually Saturday nights and Sundays off and on. I, I love, I love, I think Jennifer McCartney, when she said that she used to be a late night scraper and I, I used to love to stay up. I could stay up all night long scrapbooking. But I just can't do it anymore.

[00:26:43] Jennifer Wilson: I know. Yep.

[00:26:45] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. Yeah. Once a year with my girlfriends, we've been doing it for probably, oh my gosh, maybe 10 years now. Once a year we go away and, I think a couple years ago I just lost my steam at like midnight. And I was like, wow. I just, I, I can't do the late nights as, as like I used to.

[00:27:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. I, I think you're not alone in that. So.

[00:27:11] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:27:12] Jennifer Wilson: So, you know, kind of the, the, the sister to that question is, do you have any strategies that you use to stay motivated? Like let's just say you're, you're trying to get back into it or get your, kind of get your creative juices flowing for a project. How do you, how do you do that?

[00:27:27] Michelle Flynn: So I basically that happens more often than not. It really does. I mean, especially if, if I haven't had, if it's been a long work week and I really haven't had any time in my, my space, I'll come down and I'll be like, wow, where am I gonna start? And so that's really, when I'll go through my pocket tags, I'll go through my photos.And I'll, I'll try to you know, kind of, get a little bit of inspiration. I get so much informa, inspiration from Instagram. I probably have everyone's, project saved. I, I love everything everybody does. We have, we have such a creative community. It just blows me away. It's pretty amazing. But typically it it's going through my stash. Going through what I already have and then I'll go, wow, I forgot I had that. Or, wow. make a really good page for this story or, and sometimes I'll just flip through my albums and I'll be inspired and go, okay. And before I know it, I'm creating, I did a, a layout, um, just recently. And I to remember telling my husband, I won't be downstairs very long. I just, I'm not, I'm so tired. I just am not feeling it, but I still need to be in my space for a little while. I just like got into a rhythm. And so sometimes it just happens and and then other times you have to put on YouTube or go on Instagram and, and get it, get that, inspiration going. But typically it's, it's just me in my space going through my things.

[00:28:55] Jennifer Wilson: Mm. Yes. I think touching things, whether it's photos or supplies is often a really good strategy. Like almost like turning more internal than external, I think is what often gets the juices flowing.

[00:29:08] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:29:09] Jennifer Wilson: So I'm curious, is there something in your hobby where you've tried things over the years and there's something that's just not for you?

[00:29:17] Michelle Flynn: Oh gosh, I love I'm one of those that loves to try it all. I love, I love to try it all. I have a girlfriend who's really, really talented with,the Distress Oxides.

[00:29:28] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm

[00:29:29] Michelle Flynn: And, she came over one day and I just, I couldn't, I just couldn't get it. I just, it was just too much movement and too much of having to navigate the color and change the color. And I think that is, um, as fun as it looks, I've just never been able to get it. And I, I think a combination of that, and then I also think, colors, I have such a hard time stamping with any colors besides black. I don't know, I don't know if it's just a me thing and I've tried all the, the, you know, the different types of inks. I have I'm looking at right now. I have Catherine Pooler. And I have the, Close To My Heart and the Scrapbook dot com and all the Distress Oxides. But I just always go back to black. I, I just, I try to stamp in color and it just, I can never get it right. So.

[00:30:23] Jennifer Wilson: I, I can understand that it, it took me a long time to find more confidence with color and I still mostly stamp, stamp in black, so. Even though I have all the Distress Oxide colors.

[00:30:37] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. yeah. And, and that's, what's been, you know, what's, um, I think that using the Heidi Swapp memory planner has really allowed me to, experiment more with my stamps and with different colors, but I still struggle with it. So I think there's just some things that once you realize you struggle with it, you either keep going until you feel comfortable and confident with it, or you just say, you know what, that isn't for me. And I'm just gonna focus on what I'm good at. Maybe I'll come back to that. You know, someday.

[00:31:07] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, that's a great point. So what about organizing? Do you consider yourself a tidy person or a little bit of chaos?

[00:31:16] Michelle Flynn: Oh, gosh, you know what I do love chaos. There's something about it. That just gets me so excited. When everything is just out, I absolutely love that, but I also love organizing. I wish I spent as much time organizing my closet, than I, that I do in my craft room. I love organizing, it, it brings me a lot of joy and it also reminds me of the things that I have and, and that's always exciting, cause I'll be like, oh wow, oh, I forgot about that. And I'll pull it out and put it to the side. So I, I love, love, love, love to organize. I have quite a few of the Scrapbook dot com, organizers, and they are a lifesaver. They are truly a lifesaver.

[00:32:03] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. So can you maybe share specifically, like which ones that you have that really work for you? Like, are we talking, you mentioned stadium organizer before I think?

[00:32:12] Michelle Flynn: Yeah.

[00:32:13] Jennifer Wilson: Or was that another podcast episode?

[00:32:15] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. Yeah. So I have the, they're like white wooden, standup organizers.

[00:32:21] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm

[00:32:22] Michelle Flynn: And, they what's really fun about them is they have, these little slot dividers where you can make, your spaces small enough to hold just pocket tags or large enough to hold your six by eight paper or your,your metal dies and your stamps. And so I pretty much organize everything that I'm currently working on. Like right now I'm documenting December is, is big for me. So I have two of them filled with all things um, document December. I've got the whole Elle's kit here and that's what I'm working on now. And it just makes it really, really easy. You, you want, you wanna keep your products out so that you can see them. And I have a lot of stuff in my cabinets that. You know, when the kids were little, I don't know if, if you did this or anyone else did this, but when the kids were little, it was always nice to kind of put some of their toys away and then bring out the other ones. So I would use these plastic bins to do that, and they would, they would forget that they had them. And so I would, you know, swap them out every once in a while. And I think it's a good idea when I'm organizing to do the same thing with my, my crafting, if you will. I try to keep my brands, um, separate. I like, you know, all my Elle's Studio stuff here, all my Heidi Swapp stuff here and all my Ali Edwards, and Feed Your Craft stuff here. So, that way it's all out, it's visible and I can use it without it being in a cabinet or closed away.

[00:33:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I like that. That's a great strategy because we're often excited about like that curated selection of things on our desk, and it can feel new, even if it's not new because you haven't seen it in awhile.

[00:34:02] Michelle Flynn: Yes. Yeah, exactly.

[00:34:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. All right. So kinda stepping back, big picture here. Where would you like your scrapbooking to be in another decade?

[00:34:12] Michelle Flynn: You know, I was talking to my husband and, you know, we're, we're getting older and, talking about the future and, and all of these good things. And I feel like, um, He said something to me that just, it just stopped me on my tracks. He said, I can see you with our grandchildren, um, creating with them. And doing all the things with them and sharing your love for art and creativity and memory keeping. And so I feel like when he said that it, it really resonated with me and it really touched me. And I thought, wow, in 10 years, I hope that I'm creating with my grandchildren. And I'm, I'm showing them art and we're painting. And we're sketching and were coloring and were making things. And, um, there was, there was one release with Elle's Studio where, um, I had made these little lunchbox cards and they had little jokes on them that I added, to them. And when I made them, I made them with the intention of someday these are gonna be for, my grandson. He was really tiny. Much smaller when I made them. And so I still have them in a little box with some other little things that I've made him. So I feel like that's where I'd like to be in 10 years. In 10 years I hope that, I'm still memory keeping and I'm still, I hope maybe I'm, I'm even more confident in, in what I struggle at sometimes with, with memory keeping, you know, like.

[00:35:40] Jennifer Wilson: Sure you wanna grow still.

[00:35:42] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. Yeah. And, but I think I just, I hope I'm creating with my grandchildren and showing them the same love for creating that I have and sharing that with them.

[00:35:53] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's beautiful. So, Michelle, what has being a, scrapbooker taught you?

[00:35:58] Michelle Flynn: Wow. That's a good one. Life just, life goes so, so fast. And I feel like I'm really, I'm at a time in my life, where I really am forcing myself to slow down in some ways. And I feel like because life does go so fast, that those moments are really just so much. They're just so much more, than you think of when, when you're younger. And so I think as we grow older and, and I'm thinking about our life, I think that I just wanna capture all the moments I can and scrapbooking has taught me that it's okay, you know, to document the good stuff, the bad stuff and everything in between. And capturing those moments and keeping those memories alive for the days and years to come. Whether, whether it's, it was all just for me or, or it really is to give our children and our grandchildren a peak and to who their Mimi and Pops were.

[00:36:55] Jennifer Wilson: Mm. Mm, well said, well said. Michelle, thank you for spending time with me. Can you share where we can find you online? Anything that might be new or coming up for you later this year?

[00:37:05] Michelle Flynn: Yeah. So I'm on Instagram as our three little pumpkins and, and I think what's coming up is definitely, um, documenting December, with Elle's Studio. Super excited about that. It's all over my desk and it's beautiful and exciting. And, and I'm also really excited too, about Thankful 30. So even though Feed Your Craft is, is, you know, not with us anymore, in terms of that aspect, being able to purchase her products. You know, what she did and what she created and that tradition will stay with me. And, and so I still plan on doing a Thankful 30. In the past few years, I've done Thankful 30 minis. So this year I may do another mini or, or I may just, incorporate it into my 12 by 12 or 9 by 12. I'm not really sure yet, but I'm definitely excited about both those things.

[00:37:54] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. Well, I have had such a great conversation with you tonight. I hope you have a great rest of your week.

[00:38:02] Michelle Flynn: Oh, thank you so much for having me.

[00:38:04] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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