Since digital photography went mainstream, our computers have been part of the scrapbooking experience. In this episode I’m joined by Elizabeth Trout, aka The Everyday Storyteller, to discuss the why and how of hybrid memory keeping. We cover the products, printer, and processes she relies on to make hybrid scrapbooking fun and easy.
- Shannan Manton: @shannan_pages
- Laura Wonsik: @laura_wonsik
- Heidi Swapp Minc machine (*)
- Epson XP-15000 wide-format printer (*)
- Example of creating dimension
- Elizabeth’s website: The Everyday Storyteller
- Elizabeth on Instagram: @theeverydaystoryteller
- Elizabeth on YouTube
- Elizabeth’s Patreon
- Simple Scrapper membership
[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 191. In this episode I'm joined by Elizabeth Trout to chat about hybrid scrapbooking as flexible creative solution. We talk tools, techniques, and the one thing you should always do!
[00:00:45] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Elizabeth. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.
[00:00:47] Elizabeth Trout: Hi, Jennifer. I'm so happy to be here.
[00:00:49] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, I'm looking forward to talking to you and getting to know you a little bit better and hearing about how you go about scrapbooking, but can you kick things off and share a little bit about yourself?
[00:01:00] Elizabeth Trout: Sure. I'm Elizabeth Trout. I share my creative projects over on the Everyday Storyteller. My husband and I have been married for just over 10 years. We have a daughter just turning six and my husband's in the military, so we've been lucky enough to move around quite a bit, but we currently call upstate New York, our home right now.
[00:01:23] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. Very cool. And six years old, what a fun age.
[00:01:26] Elizabeth Trout: It is.
[00:01:27] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, my daughter's now 11 and I'm already like, kind of missing some of those younger years as she, uh, uh, develops a little bit of an attitude, but it's all good.
[00:01:36] Elizabeth Trout: Mine already has kind of an attitude at six. I can't, I can't imagine what she's going to be at 11.
[00:01:42] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. All right. So what's exciting you right now in memory keeping?
[00:01:47] Elizabeth Trout: Um, so I've really been enjoying, seeing all of the photo books that I've seen pop around on Instagram this year. I follow Shannan from Shannan Pages and her, her digital memory keeping and her photo books are just so gorgeous. I'm kind of a bibliophile. So the idea of like a bound book of your life that you can pull out and look through, it just, it just makes my heart happy and I, I want to be her.
[00:02:17] Jennifer Wilson: I have think, I think Shannan is probably the most mentioned. Scrapbooker um, on the podcast, besides those that maybe like create and sell products and things like that. And obviously she does too. But yeah, Shannan, we definitely love Shannan. She writes for our Spark Magazine during every issue. And so, yeah, we're lucky to have her in our world.
[00:02:39] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah, she's so cool. I love her layouts. They're just, they're so minimal and just gorgeous.
[00:02:46] Jennifer Wilson: All right. So shifting gears here to a bucket list stories, what's one story that you've not yet told?
[00:02:52] I really liked this question when I saw it. I'm definitely somebody who keeps like a running list of all the stories that I want to document. But the one that really kind of stuck out to me was, a side-by-side album project that I want to do for my husband and I documenting our childhoods.
[00:03:08] Jennifer Wilson: Mm.
[00:03:09] Elizabeth Trout: We both have quite a few photos and mementos and things like that from our childhood, but not a lot of like written stories. So I really want to get all of like those childhood memories and recollections documented soon.
[00:03:23] Jennifer Wilson: Now you said side by side. Does this mean two albums or like literally side by side on the left and right side of the pages?
[00:03:29] Probably more like two albums that kind of go together. I don't know if you followed one of Laura Wonsik's Studio Calico classes, but she did kind of like a similar thing with Traveler's notebooks. She did an album for her husband and then an album for her. And, uh, I really loved it. They were like complimentary, but they weren't in the same album, exactly. So I think something like that would be really fun to do.
[00:03:57] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. Now I'm also curious, like, do you, have you already identified maybe similarities and differences in how you grew up?
[00:04:06] Yeah, so we, we grew up on opposite sides of the country. Um, we grew up with, with kind of different family structure, and weirdly I have more photos than he does. But I, I think it's, I think it would be fun to see how we got to the place where we met. And like, even with all of our differences in like growing up and things like that, that like we met and fell in love and then, you know we're, we're together. So that would be a fun thing, especially for our daughter to look back on and be able to see.
[00:04:39] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, for sure. And I like, I like thinking about this at multiple scales too. That someone could approach this story as a single layout or, you know, two whole books. It just depends on kind of how many of those stories you've already told. And what's interesting to you in the moment, but. I don't think I've documented a lot of my childhood and my husband's, but I've not particularly kind of told that story of comparison and contrast. So that's super interesting.
[00:05:07] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah. I like the juxtaposition of like me and him as separate people coming together. And I think that would be a fun thing to document.
[00:05:15] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. All right. So I wanted to have you on the show to talk about your approach to hybrid. And we're getting into a little bit more about what that is, but can you tell us a little bit about your history as a memory keeper and a scrapbooker and how you got started?
[00:05:30] Elizabeth Trout: Sure. I was introduced to memory keeping by my aunt when I was probably around 14. Um, she was a very traditional scrapbooker, so lots of like fussy cut photos and like weird shapes and her, her scrapbooks were very like embellishment heavy. Um, and she got me interested into like collaging and things like that. And then, that kind of fell by the wayside as like your teenager and things. But then I was introduced to Project Life and Ali Edwards and the whole story centric form of scrapbooking. And, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I really started diving head first into all things, memory keeping, because I wanted to document every single moment of, of having her. So that was kind of, my journey.
[00:06:18] Jennifer Wilson: I think a lot, so many of us start when we have big life events, big transitions. Are you still creating in the same way that you got started?
[00:06:28] Elizabeth Trout: Oh, no, no, definitely not. I, I always journal, like I always had journals and things like that. And, I feel like maybe those would be more considered like art journaling now. Cause I would like paint in them and paste photos. But the scrapbooking that I do now. I mean, I still do art journaling, but the scrapbooking that I do now is a lot more, computer heavy, obviously digital. And definitely not at all, what I would have done when I first started.
[00:06:55] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. So when did doing things with your computer, hybrid scrapbooking become part of your creative process? And what, what, what was the appeal?
[00:07:05] I had to look back into my old albums to kind of figure out when I actually started, um, incorporating more hybrid scrapbooking, but I believe it was around 2015. That's when my husband and I were in Hawaii. I was pregnant with my daughter and, um, I didn't have anywhere to print photos. Because in Hawaii it takes a really long time, for anything to get shipped to you. So I realized that I could buy one of those little, photo printers and print the photos myself, and then I was already really familiar with Photoshop. So I started adding things to my photos. And then, I realized that I could make my own journaling cards and things like that and print them out at home and I was hooked. So.
[00:07:52] Jennifer Wilson: So it was a lot of like the flexibility and freedom.
[00:07:55] Elizabeth Trout: Yes, definitely.
[00:07:56] Jennifer Wilson: Of the digital products.
[00:07:57] Elizabeth Trout: Yes.
[00:07:59] Jennifer Wilson: And I'm curious, like with your, like, with your moves being a military family was like maintaining a smaller stash and, and having that degree of flexibility was that part of your, your thought process?
[00:08:13] Elizabeth Trout: It was part of my initial thought process, but, unfortunately I have developed quite a big stash anyways. But definitely, not being able to have access to that stash the whole time, really, digital scrapbooking and hybrid scrapbooking definitely holds, a certain ease and flexibility because you can always um, start working on a layout before you actually have all of the things to create the layout. You know what I mean?
[00:08:42] Jennifer Wilson: Now, if you look back since you started using these techniques, what proportion of your projects are say all digital versus hybrid that incorporate some sort of physical element?
[00:08:55] Elizabeth Trout: Um, I would say right now about 75% is hybrid and then the other 25 is, completely digital. But if I'm I'm doing something with physical products, it is 100% hybrid. So.
[00:09:09] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. Well, and I'm just like, how do you decide? Is it like a location? Like you do more digital when you're on the road, in the car, on vacation, or how do you decide when a page is going to be fully digital and, and have an end result of just being a printed page?
[00:09:25] I kind of have different projects that I'm working on. So if I decide that a certain story is going to be in my, um, yearbook photo book, for example, that one is completely digital. So, If it's a smaller story, it will go into that one. And then if it's something that is prompted by a product or, a kit of some kind, it will most likely be hybrid and go into one of my other physical albums.
[00:09:53] Jennifer Wilson: So I'd like to kind of pick apart your hybrid techniques a little bit. And I say that in a positive way, like, I want to understand what you are talking about when you say hybrid, because that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.
[00:10:05] Elizabeth Trout: Yes definitely.
[00:10:06] Jennifer Wilson: And I think we're really using it loosely to mean using your computer as part of the process somewhere.
[00:10:12] Elizabeth Trout: Yes.
[00:10:13] So are you, do you print out physical like, digital supplies, like as in like cards or embellishments and things like that?
[00:10:21] Elizabeth Trout: Yes, I do. I print out a pretty good bulk of, um, my digital stuff to make the hybrid layout. So I will, print on already made Project Life cards. But I will also print my own cards. I will print my own embellishments. I will tweak them a little bit. If anyone has followed by YouTube channel or anything, I am always, uh, changing colors and sizes of things and, really making all of the digital products my own and then printing them, to make the hybrid layout.
[00:10:56] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Now what about fussy cutting? Is that a favorite thing or not so much?
[00:10:59] Elizabeth Trout: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I always joke that I cannot cut a straight line and I one hundred percent can't fussy cut. I'm, I'm horrible at it. So I always use my Silhouette if something ever needs to be like super fussy cut.
[00:11:16] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. So you're like a straight lines or a print and cut type of situation.
[00:11:21] Elizabeth Trout: Yes, definitely.
[00:11:23] Jennifer Wilson: Now, what about when it comes to combining digital elements with your photos?
[00:11:29] Elizabeth Trout: Um.
[00:11:30] Jennifer Wilson: Do you like do overlays? Do you do text on photos?
[00:11:33] Elizabeth Trout: I sometimes do like digital stamps on photos. But honestly, um, I, I, I feel like I do use journaling a good amount on my photos, but, most often I will print my journaling on vellum. And then I will overlay that on top of the photo. So it won't be specifically digitally on the photo, but, um, obviously in Photoshop it looks like it is. But, in, in my physical albums, usually I love to use layers and things. So it doesn't look as flat as digital albums can sometimes.
[00:12:06] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Now, where else do you tend to print your journaling? You already mentioned the vellum. What kind of other surfaces are you printing it directly on? You also mentioned printing directly on Project Life cards.
[00:12:17] Elizabeth Trout: Yes. Uh, definitely printing them directly on Project Life cards. Printing on vellum, printing on acetate. I love, the feel and the look of printing on acetate. I will print on, uh, different kinds of shapes and add them as like tags to my, my layouts.
[00:12:34] Jennifer Wilson: Are there any other techniques you think we've missed? That, that someone might've heard of, or you think you do that is, um, something someone might want to try.
[00:12:46] I think that about covers it. I, I enjoy making products my own, but I still, uh, I still kind of a journal and things like that on pocket page cards or tags.
[00:13:03] Jennifer Wilson: Do, do you mean, do you mean handwritten journaling?
[00:13:06] Elizabeth Trout: No printed. I almost exclusively type journaling. I hate my handwriting really.
[00:13:11] Jennifer Wilson: Okay, that's fair.
[00:13:13] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah.
[00:13:14] Jennifer Wilson: Now, what about, do you Minc at all?
[00:13:17] Elizabeth Trout: I don't Minc. I wish I Minced. I really do.
[00:13:21] Jennifer Wilson: I got one, during December last year, because I'm like, I have to join this band wagon I have to say I don't regret it.
[00:13:29] Elizabeth Trout: I can imagine. I look at every time December Daily rolls around, I'm like, oh, I need a Minc. I really need a Minc.
[00:13:37] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Did I get, I did get the bigger one. There was some sort of like, I was investigating dimensions and all that. And, um, I think it was because the smaller one does six inches wide which you mentally think, oh, that's fine, but no, that's the inside the page protector size.
[00:13:55] Elizabeth Trout: Yes. Yes.
[00:13:56] Jennifer Wilson: So yes.
[00:13:58] Elizabeth Trout: I think the, I, I unfortunately bought, um, the smaller size of a Silhouette and I always run into that problem. I'm like my goodness. Especially when you work in like the larger size albums, like 10 by 8 or 9 by 12. It's, it's hard. You can't, can't use it like you would.
[00:14:17] Jennifer Wilson: Now, one thing that we didn't mention is, are you doing all of your printing at home? Cause I know some people who do fully hybrid with their supplies and even print those outside their home.
[00:14:25] Elizabeth Trout: Yes. Um, I print everything at home, so I don't, I don't go out of the house for anything.
[00:14:33] Jennifer Wilson: And do you have a favorite printer or one, that just is good enough?
[00:14:37] Elizabeth Trout: No, I, I definitely have a favorite printer. I was, I was lucky enough that my husband supports my hobby. So he always gives me Christmas presents that kind of go along with memory keeping and scrapbooking. So, um, he gifted me with the, um, I believe it's called the XP 15,000. I think the Epson XP 15,000, or it might be 1500.
[00:14:57] But that's my favorite photo printer that I use for pretty much everything.
[00:15:02] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. Now, when it comes to the supplies, whether they're digital or traditional, what are you tending to reach for? Like which ones are digital and which ones are traditional?
[00:15:14] Elizabeth Trout: I was trying to figure out what kinds of things I always reach for digitally. Um, I couldn't really come up with anything because I feel like it's mostly tools that I reach for digitally. Digital toolbox kind of thing. But for the physical part of my layouts, I'm always reaching for foam dots and my Tiny Attacher. And those are the two things that always make it on a layout, no matter what, always, always.
[00:15:40] Jennifer Wilson: Now, how do you feel about like chipboard, enamel dots? Like, are you like, do you like more dimension, less dimension?
[00:15:47] Elizabeth Trout: I tend to like more dimension. I have a really hard time keeping that dimension in check, especially with my smaller albums. I have a three by eight Disney album that I worked on, but it's, it's just too thick. I added too much. But it's fine. It's fine.
[00:16:05] Jennifer Wilson: It happens.
[00:16:05] Elizabeth Trout: It does. Um, and I love adding more dimension and texture, to my layouts because if with printed elements, it can sometimes feel like really flat. And I do still like the textural aspect of scrapbooking. So any way that I can add more dimension and textures, something that I really like to do.
[00:16:24] Jennifer Wilson: Are there any particular kind of strategies that you use to, to add that dimension to a page that's maybe starting digital and you're printing it out. How do you, what are you looking for? Are you?
[00:16:37] I'm always kind of, yeah, yeah. I get what you're saying. Um, I'm always kind of looking for things that I could print separately, I guess you could say. So like, even if it would work really well printed on like the same page. Like if you have a photo with a white background, say, you could print that photo on vellum or acetate to give it another layer. You could add your journaling with another layer on, on something else. So there there's always places that you could add more dimension and texture so that it doesn't look as flat as it does on the computer screen.
[00:17:14] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love that. I will, I will include a link in the show notes to an example of you doing that. I'll just like browse through your Instagram feed and find a good one.
[00:17:23] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah. I always love to, to add all of those things.
[00:17:28] Jennifer Wilson: Well, yeah, and I think that there may be as some misconception that a traditional equals dimensional and hybrid equals more flat.
[00:17:38] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah, definitely.
[00:17:39] Jennifer Wilson: But it doesn't necessarily have to.
[00:17:40] Elizabeth Trout: No, totally.
[00:17:41] Jennifer Wilson: You have a lot of choice and flexibility. Now what about software or other equipment that maybe we haven't talked about yet?
[00:17:48] I know there's a lot of people, who are using a lot of different kinds of software for their hybrid projects. I think, Canva is super popular right now. I use Photoshop and Illustrator, um, most of the time, just because that's where I started and I was very familiar with those two programs. But you definitely can use any program that you want to, to hybrid scrapbook.
[00:18:09] Elizabeth Trout: I think, a lot of people get, kind of stuck in that feeling that if they're not good at Photoshop or they don't feel like they're good at Photoshop, that they can't hybrid scrapbook. But you can, you can totally use other ways to get your hybrid scrapbooking completed into a layout.
[00:18:26] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, totally. Like you can use Google Docs, Power Point and Word. There's so many, so many ways. If you have the digital products, you can do a lot with them these
[00:18:36] Elizabeth Trout: For sure.
[00:18:37] Jennifer Wilson: Now you mentioned that you had a comfort level with Illustrator. So what is it about your background, that led to that? Because, you know, that's one of known as one of the hardest Adobe programs to learn. I've tried many times I could use all the others, but I can't use Illustrator. So tell us.
[00:18:54] Elizabeth Trout: Illustrator's pretty tricky sometimes. Um, I was a blogger for the longest time and I taught myself graphic design and, uh, ran a, um, a blog design slash graphic design business for awhile. Um, so all of my illustrator knowledge is definitely self-taught. But, you know, I, it was fun and it taught me a lot of things and I really like Illustrator for the ease of it. Once you get used to it, definitely. Once you get used to it.
[00:19:23] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Now is your blog still around?
[00:19:26] Elizabeth Trout: No, no, no. I buried that very deep.
[00:19:32] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Okay. I understand. We all have digital pasts.
[00:19:37] Elizabeth Trout: Oh Yes.
[00:19:41] Jennifer Wilson: So could you kind of talk us through your process? If you're gonna sit down and make a layout or a spread, where would you start?
[00:19:49] My layouts are usually sparked by a story I want to tell. Sometimes that is related to a kit that I've gotten. The Ali Edwards kits always get me in the mood to tell stories. So I'll look through like the physical kits and find a product that inspires me that goes with the story that I want to tell.
[00:20:09] Elizabeth Trout: And I'll kind of go from there. I usually mock up my layouts on the computer in Photoshop. And then, I'll move things around I'll scale things, I'll change colors. And then I'll kind of decide how I'm going to print things. So that I can maximize my layers and maximize, the dimension that I can get once I print everything out. And then usually once I'm satisfied with the mock-up digitally, I will, um, go ahead and print everything out and then add all of my physical embellishments. Usually it is embellishments that I'm adding that's physical to my layout and that's, that's pretty much it.
[00:20:49] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I love how kind of hybrid pages are sort of, front-loaded. Where you're figuring it all out often on the computer. And then it's like a fun little assembly project, that's very satisfying.
[00:21:03] Elizabeth Trout: Yes it is. It's very satisfying.
[00:21:05] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, for sure. Now, is there a favorite project that you have where choosing the hybrid approach made it like more feasible or just more awesome that like really stands out to you?
[00:21:17] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah, I feel like travel albums are one of the ways that like my hybrid techniques really shine. I love, uh, being able to add like my own creative flair to every single one of my spreads. Mix and match elements, um, from like different kits. And I feel like being able to figure all of that out on the computer and then print it out, makes it so that I can tell, I don't know, kind of a, more like a complete snapshot of the story of like our trips. So, I would definitely say travel albums and, and December Daily. December Daily is really nice when you have, um, hybrid storytelling that you can fall back on. But both of those, I definitely think, hybrid gives another layer to the process.
[00:22:00] Jennifer Wilson: Yes for sure. And I think in particular with travel, because that tends to be one of the times when you have the most photos. And so I think the more that you can do on your computer all the way to creating a photo book. Probably the most likely you're going to have an easier time one end of the spectrum is a photo book and the other end is a 12 by 12 album.
[00:22:20] Elizabeth Trout: Yes.
[00:22:21] Jennifer Wilson: With a layout for every story from the trip like that, there's a lot in between. The more, more digital, more hybrid you go, the more photos you're going to be able to include without despair.
[00:22:33] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah, right? Yeah. Especially cause it's really hard to choose photos when you're working on albums like that. I, we, we took a trip to New York city this summer and we took a lot of photos like over 2000. It's hard to like cull those down.
[00:22:50] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.
[00:22:51] Elizabeth Trout: But hybrid does make it easier. Cause you can, you can at least add more than, than a couple of photos onto one page and figure out interesting ways to add more photos.
[00:23:02] Jennifer Wilson: I also think when you're designing something like multiple pages digitally, you can change your mind. Like, oh, I'm going to put that there. Oh no, I need like another filler photo over here.
[00:23:13] Elizabeth Trout: Yes.
[00:23:13] Jennifer Wilson: Move that one over. So there's certain flexibility there too, which you certainly could do if you had all your photos printed.
[00:23:19] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah.
[00:23:20] Jennifer Wilson: But, um, yeah, I like that aspect too. Now, what advice would you have for someone who wants to get started doing more hybrid, say for their December Daily coming up? Or maybe they're going to do an October daily.
[00:23:35] Elizabeth Trout: Yeah, October dailies are fun. I want to do one of those, one of these days. Um, I would say if you're just starting out that you definitely shouldn't feel intimidated by hybrid scrapbooking. I feel like I get a lot of comments and stuff saying like, I wish I could do hybrid scrapbooking, but everything just looks so techie and I'm not a tech person. I need the feel of things, um, to really know what I'm doing in scrapbooking. And, I feel like you should really start from where you are. So if Photoshop feels intimidating, try Canva or, you know, PowerPoint or Google Docs, anything. Just start with what you have. And then, the other piece of advice is to definitely use your, your printing services and your home printers to your advantage and test everything. Definitely get to know the equipment that you're you're using. Test prints are amazing and invaluable. It might seem like you're kind of like wasting ink or something like that if you're printing at home, but you definitely don't want to be in the position that I have been many times when I was starting out where you have this layout completely planned. And then, um, you don't put your paper in properly or something like that. You definitely want to make sure that you, know the equipment that you're working with.
[00:24:57] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. And I think just kind of taking it slow and trying one thing at a time, you don't have to do all the things on every page or every project. Yeah. Well, this has been so delightful. Is there anything else you want to share about hybrid and anything you've learned over the years?
[00:25:13] Elizabeth Trout: No, I think we covered quite a bit.
[00:25:17] Jennifer Wilson: Sounds good. Can you share what we can find you online and anything you might have new or coming up as we start to wind down 2022? Which is crazy to think about.
[00:25:26] Elizabeth Trout: So crazy. I feel like it just started. You can find me over at the Everyday Storyteller over on Instagram and YouTube. I've just started a Patreon page. That's always something that you can check out if you want more hybrid tutorials. I have a workshop over there where I take you through, completing an entire album. So that's a really fun thing that I'm super excited for currently.
[00:25:51] Jennifer Wilson: All right. Thank you. It was so nice to talk to you Elizabeth.
[00:25:53] Elizabeth Trout: You too, Jennifer.
[00:25:55] Jennifer Wilson: And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.
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