SYW193 – The Wind in My Sails

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Peggy Collins works with me at Simple Scrapper to plan programs for our community and this is the time of year when things really get interesting!

In this episode we’re catching up with our personal adventures and welcoming in our new theme of Planning for November and December. Our conversation covers The Finishing Project, Peggy’s wedding date, and in the best news of all… the return of the Planning Party.

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 193. In this episode I'm joined by Peggy Collins to reflect on the past month, explore what's new for November, and make a big announcement. The is our monthly peek behind-the-scenes at Simple Scrapper. Peggy Collins works with me at Simple Scrapper to plan programs for our community and this is the time of year when things really get interesting! In this episode we're catching up with our personal adventures and welcoming in our new theme of Planning for November and December. Our conversation covers The Finishing Project, Peggy's wedding date, and in the best news of all... the return of the Planning Party.

[00:01:01] Jennifer Wilson: Hi Peggy, how you doing?

[00:01:03] Peggy Collins: I'm great. How are you?

[00:01:06] Jennifer Wilson: Uh, doing well. I like Mondays cause they're a good fresh start to the week.

[00:01:13] Peggy Collins: I think you might be an outlier. I like this Monday cuz I didn't have to go to work, but not usually my favorite day.

[00:01:22] Peggy Collins: It's a beautiful fall day here though.

[00:01:27] Jennifer Wilson: Oh yes, here too. It's actually a little too warm. It's 76. I could use a few degrees off of that, so.

[00:01:33] Peggy Collins: Yeah, we're right in that area too, like what's going on? This is kind of crazy for the middle of October, but.

[00:01:40] Jennifer Wilson: But it is quite lovely and I don't know, I just like being alone. And so Monday is when everyone goes away again.

[00:01:48] Peggy Collins: Yes. Peace and quiet.

[00:01:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, Yes, yes. So what's been going on with you recently in terms of, you know, your everyday life?

[00:01:58] Peggy Collins: Yeah

[00:01:59] Jennifer Wilson: You just start a new job, right?

[00:02:01] Peggy Collins: I just started a new job. Yep. So I've got, I'm just a couple weeks into that, so that's exciting and nice to, uh, get a new beginning of always is a fun thing. So we took a nice long vacation. I scored a couple weeks off between jobs. The way that worked out. So that was really nice. I haven't, I don't know that I've ever been on vacation where I didn't have a job that I was going to. So I, I'm not real bad about worrying about work while I'm on vacation, but it was really easy to not worry about work on this vacation.

[00:02:33] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:02:34] Peggy Collins: No idea what was going on. So that was, that was awesome. And we hiked and had a really nice active vacation in Utah and Idaho, so that was really fun as well. It's been a very nice fall so far.

[00:02:49] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, that sounds so delightful. I don't think I've ever had like time off in between jobs. It was always like hurrying from one to the next one. Like, you know, leave on a Friday and start on a Monday of thing.

[00:03:02] Peggy Collins: Yeah. I mean, often is in a big hurry to have you. This particular job, I had a lot of clearances and things that they had to clear me, so it was a really long runway. So the way it worked out, they just, it ran up against this vacation that I had already planned. So a nice luxury for sure.

[00:03:23] Jennifer Wilson: Uhhuh. I think with me, I've just been trying to find like a new groove with productivity and just every day. I, I will talk more at a future point about my planner situation, but I did after publicly committing to this brand new planner. Totally abandoned it within like three weeks get another one. But I am finding a good place now and I'm enjoying stickering and stamping in my planner and actually just feeling, I don't know, more on top of everyday routines. Like I really don't know how to describe it. Here's the, here's a good example. I have this weekly cleaning checklist from Clean Mama. I don't know how many years ago I bought this, and it seemed so like, impossible to me. Like, that I could do most of these things in a day as just matter of habit. And now I'm like, Oh, I could do that. Um, I'm still working on you know, the deep cleaning part of it. But I'm feeling more in a rhythm and more capable of the everyday, which just, of course feels really good.

[00:04:30] Peggy Collins: Yeah. That always feels good when you can find those, those grooves and you can get into them. And I think one of my lessons late in life is those grooves dont, stay. Right. You don't stay in that groove and, but that's okay. I, I, now, I used to think that was some failure of my own making or of my own, uh, deficiency, but it's just the way life is that things change around you or whatever.

[00:04:59] Peggy Collins: And then the groove, you have to find another groove. So I like to tell myself to write it while I'm in it. Just be more resilient about realizing when you've come out of it. Cuz I think that's tricky for me. Like sometimes it's like, Oh yeah, that happened a few weeks ago. Um, but as long as I can realize when I've lost my tracking and then can get into a new one, it works out really well.

[00:05:27] Peggy Collins: So it feels great when you first land in it.

[00:05:32] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, but that's the trick though, is how do you handle the disruptions? Because there's always gonna be disruptions. Know I was gone for a four day weekend and I came back and I'm like, Oh like okay, this is what I was doing before. And it took a couple days to like find the groove again.

[00:05:50] Jennifer Wilson: And I recognize that's where I've always gone wrong, is I've not been able to get back on. I always let disruptions kind of change everything. And so it was like always starting from scratch, I guess.

[00:06:02] Peggy Collins: Right. And I think for me, sometimes if I can not start from scratch, right? Okay, you're out of the groove, but that doesn't mean that you have to throw the baby out with a bath water. Maybe there's, some pieces of that are still gonna work and something has to change. Like I know season changes are really hard for me with exercise. So that's, I'm a little on pins and needles about as long as this weather holds, I'm good in good shape, but as soon as it gets cold, I start to really struggle cuz I rely on walking. It's one of my primary ex exercise things and I'm unfortunately not very resilient about doing it in the cold. So there's a little, little danger zone coming here. I gotta get my transition into the, the new season.

[00:06:47] Jennifer Wilson: Well and just recognizing those truths about yourself are like you know, say like half the battle. Because then you can identify where you're letting, you know, you're letting the weather dictate your exercise habits and so therefore you have to make a different plan.

[00:07:04] Peggy Collins: Exactly.

[00:07:05] Jennifer Wilson: Or become less of a weenie about the cold. And I say that as a fellow weenie about the cold.

[00:07:12] Peggy Collins: I need to invest in, I have a lot of gear. I live in Colorado, for goodness sake. I have a lot of gear , but, but getting the, just the right combination of gear is in the dark. Oh, I'm really not good about walking in the dark. So, you know, I'm, I need back the gym in the winter and that, that's, it works fine. I just have to make myself do it. So.

[00:07:35] Jennifer Wilson: So what about in your scrapbooking life? What's exciting you right now?

[00:07:39] Peggy Collins: Yeah, well, I'm about to crush. I, if I haven't, this morning, crossed the finish line on how many hours I had hoped to scrapbook this year.

[00:07:50] Jennifer Wilson: Oh wow. It's only October 10th

[00:07:54] Peggy Collins: I know, so I, I knew I had set the bar fairly low. I knew Q4 tends to be, especially December, tends to be sort of cuckoo and so I didn't, I knew I needed to go into Q4 ahead.

[00:08:09] Peggy Collins: I didn't think I'd be quite this far ahead, but I am, uh, quite a bit ahead. So I'm starting to think about next year trying to decide do I change that goal, do I keep it? Uh, I'm thinking about my everyday life project for next year, what that might look like. So just really starting to sink into planning mode a little bit early, I think. Stewing on it anyway. I'm not making any decisions, but starting to think about what I might to might do. Especially around the everyday life project, cuz that I do change every year. So in 2020 I did Katie, uh, the Creative Ladies Roundups in 21. I did nine, seven on the seventh, which on the seventh of every month, I took seven photos and told seven kind of stories each month.

[00:09:05] Peggy Collins: And then this year I've been doing a month in review in six by eight that I prepped all of the foundation for in Q4 of 21. And those have all worked. Um, none of them are, you know, a passion project that I feel like, Oh, I must do that again in 23. So I'm sort of debating between a few different options for 2023. The idea that's got me most intrigued is, um, the possibility, so Stacy, Julian talks about an extended story. Which is kind of a combination of different layouts, uh, sizes and divided protectors. She kind of, Close To My Heart, sells a set of protectors that are kind of a mixture. There's a 12 by 12, there's an eight and a half by 11.

[00:09:58] Peggy Collins: There's a couple. I think there's a four by 12 and a six by 12 divided protector in there. So I'm sort of thinking that might be fun for 2023 to do some sort of combination of things. Like I could see myself tracking my reading. That's one of the things that's in my month in review and that I included in it various things. And I do like to kind of have that. So I could see myself doing, you know, an eight and a half by 11 that had some sort of reading summary on it. And it would allow me a little more flexibility to tell slightly bigger stories. Because everything that I've done the last few years have been really kind of micro stories. So it would give me a little flexibility to do a little bit more. I'm a little worried, it's a little too flexible, and I'll find myself in October going, Oh yeah, I didn't work on that. Um, so I'm trying to decide if that's the right thing. The other thing I'm debating is maybe just do a Week In The Life next year.

[00:10:59] Jennifer Wilson: You've got my mind turning for here.

[00:11:01] Peggy Collins: Yeah.

[00:11:03] Jennifer Wilson: So, okay. I have lots of questions. So number one, um, like I've, I've known you've done these things every year, but I didn't really really like, I didn't see like the through line. That you were were choosing a new project every year to represent like how you're documenting everyday life. I love that. Just that invitation to to, not do it the same. Because I feel sometimes we feel a lot of pressure to pick a thing and do it forever. And if we wanna change, that's, that's our own flaw. But no, it's, it's fun to do new things.

[00:11:36] Peggy Collins: Yeah. Well, and it's, I've said this a zillion times. It's not my favorite thing to scrapbook, honestly. I, it's one of those things I love to have. I love to look back, like if I go back and look at that stuff in 2020, I love that it's documented. Because I pick up these little itty bitty details that are long gone from my memory, my memory is not that good. So, I, I really love having them. I do not particularly enjoy creating them. So it's been kind of this evolution of figuring out what, what's my bare minimum? It's another moment of enough quotient, right? What's enough for me to feel like I did some, that I did capture some stuff about everyday life, but that it's not, I do not want it to be. You know, you talk about, how do you describe it? Like a foundation project or that's not what you call it? What do you call the main project that you work on all year? I don't want it to be that. I want it to be something. Like this year I did my month in review. I scheduled a crop in the community for two hours a month, and for the most part, that's when I've done that project. And so I've only committed a couple hours a month. And that's really what I wanna keep it down to. Is something that's not onerous in any way because I'll bail out and then I won't have anything, which will be a bummer.

[00:13:01] Jennifer Wilson: I love that perspective. Um, I think your idea of maybe doing like just Week In The Life or week in the life plus the two Day In The Life and you know putting those those all together, that could be a certain way to capture just like a sliver of everyday life without, committing to it throughout the year.

[00:13:18] Peggy Collins: Correct.

[00:13:19] Jennifer Wilson: And then this idea of your, extended story, like could you do do you think of it as like a packet of pages, you know.

[00:13:29] Peggy Collins: That's exactly what it.

[00:13:30] Could you do one of those per month? Where you do like a like a layout that tells a deeper story, like maybe a bucket list story, and then you do like something on your books and have like, I don't know, like a framework for it. Since that's a lot of what we end up doing at Simple Scrapper, but you know.

[00:13:51] Peggy Collins: Yeah.

[00:13:52] Jennifer Wilson: Would that boring to you?

[00:13:53] Peggy Collins: I don't think it would be boring to me. I think my risk is that I will, either just keep putting it off. It's one of those things that the monthly thing has that advantage of. I don't want it, I've been pretty disciplined with myself the last three years that I do not let myself get way in the hole because I know once I'm in that hole, it's game over. Um, so I've tried to be pretty, unusually for me actually, to be that strict with myself to say, No, no, no, , you have to stay caught up on this. And so I'm just, I love the idea of what that extended story could wind up looking like. Cuz I think it could be kind of a nice mixture of little details and a little bit deeper.

[00:14:37] Peggy Collins: Um, but I'm worried that it's gonna wind up being something that I, I just keep saying, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll do that after I do this thing. So that's the debate I'm having with myself right now.

[00:14:50] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and I think that's like, that's the important conversation to be having right now is we can come up with really cool ideas that are totally different. But then is this really gonna be sustainable for the way you create? And sometimes we can think through and realize, oh, I can imagine myself in July or October and, feeling frustrated that I committed to this.

[00:15:12] Peggy Collins: Sad, very sad. That gonna, because in October I'm not gonna have the details from, what I'm really terrible about is some sort of in, in process, in real time documenting. Like I won't make notes. It'll be something that I'm, you know, come October, I will have squandered the opportunity for the early part of the year, at the very least. Because I won't have recorded enough to really make, make it work. So, yeah, the other, the, the losing item right now, the one that's in third place, is the idea of maybe doing the Thursday three project on Instagram. I like that idea for its, you know, just down and dirty, but consistent through the year. I just, I'm not as crazy about the finished product. It would be very me focused, which would not really capture our life. Which is could fine, but also it's gonna be the first year we're married. Seems a little wrong to.

[00:16:18] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, wait. wait. Okay wait Stop the presses. Is there a wedding date?

[00:16:22] Peggy Collins: There is a wedding date.

[00:16:24] Peggy Collins: January 7th.

[00:16:27] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, that's so exciting.

[00:16:29] Peggy Collins: Yeah, it's very exciting.

[00:16:30] Jennifer Wilson: Okay

[00:16:31] Peggy Collins: So it doesn't seem right year to make it all me. Like that doesn't right either.

[00:16:37] Jennifer Wilson: Thursday three does not have to be just you. What if you took a couple selfie every Thursday?

[00:16:43] Peggy Collins: I think that's gonna be a hard sell. I could maybe sell once a month. I think I'm gonna get the look if I propose, we're gonna do that every week. So I don't think I can sell that one, but I could, Yeah, I could include it once a month that that could be a piece too. So, yeah, so it's kind of, bouncing amongst those three ideas. What am I gonna do for everyday life.

[00:17:12] Jennifer Wilson: Well the, the couple selfie could be one of your pages in the extended story bundle.

[00:17:18] Peggy Collins: Yes.

[00:17:18] Jennifer Wilson: And you could talk about like, you know, what life is like as a newly married couple this month.

[00:17:23] Peggy Collins: Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that's good idea yeah. I pawed through my divided protector box, and I have a bunch with little, um, pockets. Like one of them's like a baseball card size, and one of is like little squares. I can't remember what size they are, but that could be really fun. If there's one that had 12, like I could do 12 couples selfies. One a month kind of thing. Some notes about that might be really fun. See, I have so many ideas for the extended story one. We're also gonna travel a fair amount in 2023. Like we're gonna go stay somewhere warmer for several weeks in January and February. We're likely to go to Europe next year. So I was kind of thinking it would be fun to kind of keep track of how many different places we slept. Like you could do a little layout about all the different places you slept during the year. Um, so I have lots of fun ideas for that one. So maybe it's just a matter of me taking some time to figure out what the structure of that looks like so that I know that I can hit the, hit the mark.

[00:18:32] Jennifer Wilson: Now I'm wondering if would it, kind of change your mindset about it to think of it as our first year of marriage as a project versus just my daily life project that I begrudgingly do.

[00:18:46] Peggy Collins: Mm. That's an interesting thought.

[00:18:49] Jennifer Wilson: Cause it's, I'm sure it's a lot more interesting. One of those, a lot more interesting than the other, right, so. But you can still, you're capturing the smaller stories as well as the bigger ones.

[00:19:00] Peggy Collins: Yes, Yeah. Maybe it's a matter of just changing the lens a little bit.

[00:19:05] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Something to think about. Well, I'm excited for you.

[00:19:09] Peggy Collins: Thank you. What are you excited about, memory keeping wise? What's going on for you?

[00:19:15] Jennifer Wilson: There's two things. One I have been more into like making sure I have all the basic tools. Cuz there's like things I like put off for a long time. Um, you know, in the past year I got a score board with a bone folder. So now I could actually fold things properly and I just bought some new punches. I've had a one and a half inch circle punch for a long time. And I just got a one inch and a two inch. Because, with all these taking classes and doing things, and they ask for a specific size, and then I'm like, well, I don't have that and I don't wanna bust out the silhouette just for like one circle. And, so I don't even wanna use like the manual die cut for one circle either. Like it's more of I think of that as more of a, how do I see it? Like batching when I'm wants to create a bunch of tags. Or whatever. But just those little things that make a difference.

[00:20:14] Peggy Collins: Mm-hmm

[00:20:14] Jennifer Wilson: In I guess, convenience of my hobby. I think I'm just trying to make sure that I have those things.

[00:20:20] Jennifer Wilson: You know, like ink blending tools, you know, it's nice to have more than one is what I've realized. I, I've only had one and I keep washing it and now it's like black brown. And you know, it'd be nice to maybe have specific color ones. And so just like things like that have been important to me, it feels like I'm maybe growing up in my hobby. I don't know. Um, I'm looking around, trying to think if there's anything else that I just got. Oh, I bought you know, Ink for my printer and photo paper before I ran out. And you know, just trying to be like extra responsible and making sure that I have the basics. Because often it's those things we most rely on. Not all the paper embellishments, cuz there'll always be plenty of those.

[00:21:07] Peggy Collins: Yeah And those are also the things that can really derail you in a moment that you've got some juju going, right. You're in a in a good place and you're ready to go and you're ready to rock and roll and you don't have ink. You're like Oh that's Oh I'll just go watch tv. Like, like what you can really derail yourself with not having some fundamental pieces It's funny you mentioned a two inch punch. For years I've had a one and seven eighth inch punch and I have not broken down and bought a two inch. And I really need to cuz there's certain times that you need a two inch punch and I just haven't done it So but

[00:21:44] Jennifer Wilson: One and seven eighths is very specific.

[00:21:47] Peggy Collins: Yeah it's a very it's not even a, I don't know where I got this punch honestly. Cuz it's not one of the it's not a Stampin' Up, most of my punches are Stampin' Up punches. And it's not a Stampin' Up punch. And it's this weird size that I've had forever. Like and it's one of those things that I have a one and seventh eighths, I should be able to make this work and nine times outta 10 I can. But every once in a while I'm like a two inch punch would be really convenient right now. Cuz Ali does a lot of stuff that works really well with two inch punches. So I'm like Peggy, you need a two inch punch. Yeah and I don't have ink blending tools either. And I need those too.

[00:22:24] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Uh, Melissa Burnett, one of our members, she was like, she had this whole like little Velcro system for all the the little, the Velcro caps for all of her colors matching her inks. And I'm like, Oh, that's so awesome. I really need to do that. So that's like kind of the next thing on my list. Just slowly, every time I place an order for something new, I'm trying to think about. Okay. What else have I wished I had? I just bought some, uh, that graphics clear acrylic.

[00:22:51] Peggy Collins: Mm-hmm.

[00:22:52] Jennifer Wilson: Which is fun to stamp on. And I used to have some, I used it all up, you know, probably at least seven years ago. But now I'm glad I have some again. So just things like that. And then the other thing is totally different. I, I've seen people have been doing memory planning and Stop The Blur products for so long now. And I've just been basically forcing myself to ignore it because I know I would never keep up with that type of project. But that doesn't stop me from really appreciating the products that go into it. So I just got a bunch of Heidi Swapp stuff in the mail, mostly stamps.

[00:23:30] Peggy Collins: Fun.

[00:23:31] Jennifer Wilson: I'm just really excited about, um, improving my stamp skills, doing some of that layering.

[00:23:38] Peggy Collins: That layering is so beautiful.

[00:23:41] Jennifer Wilson: It is, and I feel like I'm not good at it.

[00:23:44] Peggy Collins: Me either. I sit try and do it I'm like I don't know what I'm doing I need to take a class. I get it to work.

[00:23:51] Jennifer Wilson: And she has one. So I will link that class in the show notes. Um it's, I think it's called Stamp Therapy. And it's all about all of her techniques and I, I think I'm gonna gonna jump down that rabbit hole. Because there's a little bit of a learning curve. Her, her, her, how do I say it? Her words are so thin, you to have like a certain pressure otherwise they kind of smush. I guess. Because the letters are, the, the strokes are thin. So, um, but I'm, I'm excited to be experimenting with you know, just a different look and yeah, I, wanted something new to play with, I guess.

[00:24:31] Peggy Collins: Well that'll be fun. And you think you'll use that on scrapbook pages?

[00:24:36] Jennifer Wilson: Well, Well yeah, that's my whole thing is I know that I'm not gonna do a memory planner. I'm using some of these stamps in my like regular functional planner. But my goal is, is that I wanna use these on layouts and I'm, you know, just trying to play around with, with how that's gonna look. Uh, because I know that memory planner in a bound format that's designed to be kept forever is, is not for me.

[00:24:59] Peggy Collins: Right right. Yeah That's not for me.

[00:25:01] Jennifer Wilson: I get way too finicky and perfectionist about things that I'm going to keep. Whereas my functional planner, I know that eventually I won't use it anymore. Maybe because I've switched planners again, or just because I filled it up and then I don't tend to keep them. Versus my a different scrapbooks.

[00:25:17] Peggy Collins: Yeah, different mindset to completely. Yeah. Well fun. I can't wait to see. Cuz I've I'm very intrigued by that stuff too. I'm like oh I really like the way she layers those up. But I need to study what she's doing or take a class or something. Cuz I every time I try it I'm like yeah that doesn't look like what Heidi does.

[00:25:38] Jennifer Wilson: I know.

[00:25:38] Peggy Collins: I make cards and stuff So it's it would be you know that's really applicable on card making and things like that. So if I got a little bit better at it I'm sure I'd enjoy it

[00:25:49] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I wanna try, I wanna make more cards in the future too. As something It's like, it's, it's like a desire of mine to send more cards. And I would would like to make them, but I don't really consider myself a card maker. I don't feel like I have a lot of foundational skills. I just made a hybrid card yesterday. I did it in all Photoshop. I made the cover, printed it out, ran it back through my printer to like print out the message on the inside with, you know, a font.

[00:26:17] Peggy Collins: Nice.

[00:26:18] Jennifer Wilson: And I'm, I was really happy with it. It was like a nice kind of compromise to, to get going in that direction.

[00:26:25] Peggy Collins: Oh that that would be nice for the inside sentiments. Especially cuz that's I eventually like how many times can you send the same happy birthday sentiment to the same people. Like I wonder if they noticed that I send them the same and then I could never remember if I what when I used of course on somebody's card the last year. So I figure they if I can't remember they can either. So hopefully.

[00:26:47] Jennifer Wilson: That's probably

[00:26:49] Peggy Collins: Yeah.

[00:26:51] Jennifer Wilson: So what about your bucket list? Are there any stories that are kind of itching to to come out?

[00:26:58] Peggy Collins: Yeah. So I I had on my list for this year a goal to do three bucket list project layouts this year and I just finished my third one this morning. Which is kind of exciting. So it is a story about uh my parents bowled. Like bowling for you know bowling. Um before they had kids. They, my grandparent, my maternal grandparents and they bowled together on teams for, my mom bowled in high school I think as well. Um and so I came across this year I was working on all of these uh printed pictures that I'd inherited. And I came across some uh photos that were taken by you the I guess they took pictures like team pictures kind of thing. So there was a team picture of my mom with my grandmother and then some action shots of my mom and dad uh bowling. So that was fun. Uh and I put those together on a layout. Um and that is going to be the foundation for another extended story which is going to be about all of their hobbies over the years. So they always had hobbies. They had hobbies before I came along and they had hobbies when I was a kid. And and then of course hobbies as they um got the two of us grown up a little bit and then out of the house. So I think it'll be fun They square danced, they skied, they uh scrapbooked. They, my mom did ceramics. So it'll be fun I think to kind of have a combination of those all kind of in a in extended story. And some of them the challenge with these are is always trying to procure some pictures of some sort, to use. So like I don't have any pictures of them in their ski gear or anything. So that'll be a small story that I just say you know they went skiing. Um or they talked about skiing. Cuz they never skied after they had us. So um but they were married a little over eight years before I was born, so before they adopted me. So They had a you know a robust few years before they had kids uh in their lives. So there was all sorts of stuff going on. So that I think is gonna be really fun.

[00:29:18] Jennifer Wilson: Oh yeah, for sure. And I just love this kind of idea of thinking about our families as the seed where our hobbies and crafty interests were germinated. And, know, um, my parents both have, still have hobbies to this day. And so I never really had thought about that before, that I certainly felt, always felt very supported in pursuing my own. And I know know that's not universal experience.

[00:29:43] Peggy Collins: Correct, right. Yeah. A lot of families that's not part of their experience so I wanted honor that a little bit.

[00:29:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yep. Yep. I love it.

[00:29:54] Jennifer Wilson: The story that I'm thinking about is about my career journey. So I've, you know, I've been open and honest for many years that I still work part-time for the university in my career of origin. I get to work with my husband, I get to do stuff related to drinking water.

[00:30:09] Jennifer Wilson: I also have Simple Scrapper and this podcast. And you know, this is the whole other side of my life. And kind of non-traditional, it's maybe becoming more traditional in 2022. But I really want to do a project that that celebrates that. Um, for you know, all of its uniqueness and how much satisfaction I have. I really think about the things that I value and what I want from my everyday life and from my career. You know, I have everything that I've wanted from that. Um, even though it doesn't look like a traditional like trajectory. So I'm, really excited about doing a, doing a, I don't know exactly what it's gonna look like. But, and unlike you, there's gonna be some challenges with photos, but it's really also really about the story itself. That's the important part here.

[00:30:59] Peggy Collins: Yeah that sounds really fun. You don't, have even thought about format yet?

[00:31:05] Jennifer Wilson: Well, so, uh, Alissa who is a guest here on the podcast and also a member and my friend. She's wants to do a project using our Before Your Story format. Like dividing it into sections. Leaning on page protector, pocket page protectors. I'm not a hundred percent sure if that fits for mine, but it's certainly a format that I'm considering for it.

[00:31:29] Peggy Collins: Yeah. You would have that same advantage of the small stories versus big stories sort of thing. Which I can see.

[00:31:38] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:31:39] Peggy Collins: In this context. Yeah.

[00:31:41] Jennifer Wilson: We also have a, sketch slash template based on one of Helen's layouts this year for a seasonal summary, that has a lot of photos and a lot of journaling on a two page spread. I can see myself telling that whole story just on a two page spread. It's just really, really detailed. So not quite sure yet which direction, but I think there's a lot of really good options for it.

[00:32:06] Peggy Collins: Yeah that sounds fun. That'll be really nice. That'll be so great to have long term. I think we don't tell enough stories about our work and our career paths, and things like that. I think that a lot of times those stories don't get told very well. So I think that'll be really nice.

[00:32:27] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, and like so many of the decisions behind them. Of you know, making choices and like those are like the things that I wanna leave behind for others to benefit from. Is, you know, you're gonna go through all these different times in your life, which you have to make choices and some, those are some of the hardest, most difficult times. And how do, what factors influence the choices you finally make?

[00:32:51] Peggy Collins: Exactly, yeah.

[00:32:53] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah I, I knew that living in DC and working for EPA for the rest of my life, while may have been very fulfilling in one sense, would've been lacking in others. And that was just based on my, like, my personal goals and, and things that were important to me. So while others could certainly find that complete fulfillment from it. So.

[00:33:16] Peggy Collins: Oh certainly. Yeah, yeah. I'm like you I need too much, I need more variety than that. Like I can't, I don't, I, I wanna have a mixture of things. Whether that's in my my hobbies or whatever. But yeah I'm not a not able to be, my career can't be everything for me. I have to have a a more bigger variety.

[00:33:40] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm. I think there's a lot of people like that.

[00:33:43] Peggy Collins: Yeah.

[00:33:45] Jennifer Wilson: So shifting gears to Simple Scrapper. We certainly have a lot of variety of what do inside of our community. Um, sometimes I worry that it's too much, but we're really trying to just provide options for our members. Um, I'm curious, what observations do you have about the past month? We are working on wrapping up our Projects Journey and moving into the Planning Journey. And I think the Projects Journey is always one of the most interesting.

[00:34:18] Peggy Collins: Yeah people are cranking out the work that's for sure. We had a Finishing Day this last weekend. A lot of people got a lot of things, uh fairly big projects across their finish lines. Which is always very gratifying to see people getting those sorts of things done. We had an interesting conversation in the community in this journey. That I kind of wanted to highlight a little bit. We had a member who was Uh debating whether they were going to continue kind of a perpetual project they have. And kind of was asking for moral support and and debating, kind of thinking out loud with us about why they may or may not continue doing it. Um they were coming up on the date that they would usually do it. And it was so interesting to me to see the different ways, different members saw the question or or answered the question.

[00:35:14] Another member mentioned that it it seemed to sort of line up with their tendencies. Which made sense to me. So a question, or was questioning, why, why are you doing this? Why would you do this if you if you don't enjoy it? Why would you do this kind of thing? Or if you if you don't wanna do it why are you doing it, kind of thing. And a bunch of us obligers were like, well maybe you could do it if you did it this way, or that way, or maybe you could tweak this or that. And so it was just interesting to kind of watch the conversation. It of course had the underpinnings of all the support that you always get when you ask something like that In the community. People are always very kind and supportive and, and always giving permission. But it was interesting just to kind of watch the different um responses and how people saw the, the situation. It was interesting one one aspect of it was that she was coming up on an even 10 years of doing the thing. And I'm always I'm also guilty of this that it's that is a very compelling thing to me, to get to some sort of round number on something. It's kind of illogical, right. You know, it doesn't matter. Like nine years is still great. 10 years is great. But it, there's no magic in doing something in an exact even number but it's a very compelling sort of thing. So just those kinds of conversations around projects and what people want to do and and what they're thinking about when they make these decisions and things like that It's been it was an interesting conversation.

[00:36:48] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, a hundred percent. And I love how the obligers were really focused on providing, uh, accountability strategies to actually get it done. Rather than like the alternative considerations. It's okay, we'll help you, We'll, I'll do it with you. Like, let's, you know lean on each other to make sure this gets done. Like the community was on board make sure this, this one member got her project done.

[00:37:12] Peggy Collins: Yeah, exactly. And she did.

[00:37:15] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah.

[00:37:16] Peggy Collins: It all worked.

[00:37:16] Jennifer Wilson: Did. And she seemed very, she seemed quite glad that she did.

[00:37:20] Peggy Collins: Yes. Yeah. Yeah. How about you? What have you been seeing?

[00:37:25] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, so Amy has been, this is Amy Z. She's been leading, a, a trip through the Finishing Project during this journey. And it always, I don't know, it seems weird, to talk about myself this way. But it always surprises me that I go back and look at the content, and that members, that it resonates with the members. And they're still getting so much out of it and finishing their project and be like, Oh yeah, I created something a very long time ago that's pretty good and is timeless.

[00:37:57] Jennifer Wilson: It kind of has stood the test of time. Every time think about revising it, I'm like, Well, it's, you know, it's pretty darn good the way it is. And so that just makes me really proud and just so excited we can continue helping members go a little bit deeper and figure out new strategies. For not only finishing projects, but becoming a finisher going forward.

[00:38:19] Peggy Collins: Yes. I think that she, yeah, she got a very good response. People are, are getting things done and, and making progress on things. I, I love that content. It gives you such a, a place to land. Even, not only is it evergreen, not only does it still make just as much today as it did whenever I looked at it the first time, four or five years ago.

[00:38:44] Peggy Collins: It, it absolutely does. It also is very effective regardless of where you are in the project. So I'm pretty sure the very first time I did that was I think I've, I dunno if you've talked about this on the podcast or not. I had this cruise album and I was gonna, modify or, um, change a board book. I'd seen this project where you took a child's board book and you painted it and you did all this crazy stuff to it, and you turned it into a mini book.

[00:39:15] Peggy Collins: And I was gonna do that with this, these cruise pictures. This project before I had joined Simple Scrapper had been the bane of my existence. I kept moving it my space. I kept feeling bad that I wasn't getting it done. I think I had even trashed one and started another one. It it was.

[00:39:35] Jennifer Wilson: Oh gosh.

[00:39:36] Peggy Collins: It was a bad thing. And I remember very early in my membership, we must have been doing the Finishing Project. And one of the questions you ask in there is, How can you do it differently? What? What would happen if you just dump what you're trying to do and do it completely differently? And that's absolutely what I did. I simplified it down to just really straightforward. I think I did it in pocket pages. I'd have to look again, but it was such a victory that I, that has been the wind in my sails for years, right? Like I could finish. I could finish this thing that had been nagging at me for years. It had been. I don't know, six years since that trip, seven years since that trip. And I don't even wanna think about how long those , that pile of stuff had been in my space. So yeah, it's just that, that being able to finish something is, hugely beneficial. And what I like about the Finishing Project now is I don't usually have stuff that's terribly, I don't have things to get hung up like that anymore. It's a combination of I just consistently create now. Also a situation where I'm, I've gotten a lot better at knowing what's doable and what's what I can actually finish. Um, and I just have a better sense of being able, and I have all the accountability. That's the other piece, the community accountability. So I don't find myself with really stuff that's been languishing for a long time. And yet still that Finishing Project content is still useful. It helps you line up the steps. It helps you understand why you're doing it the way you're doing it, and helps you make those incremental steps towards finishing. So even if you don't have a bunch of stuff hanging out undone, it's still useful content.

[00:41:35] Jennifer Wilson: Well, thank you. I'm, Yeah, what a rousing endorsement. I really appreciate that. But, everything you said just reminded me that I, of something I should have mentioned very early on and perhaps the, what's exciting you right now, is that I just finished all of my December Dailes.

[00:41:50] Peggy Collins: Yes. I'm so happy for you. That's awesome.

[00:41:55] Jennifer Wilson: I know I am fully caught up through 2021. You know, I, since I'm not always following the worksheet since I created them. But I a hundred percent used the strategy of making like major course corrections when needed in order to get the project done. Like I had to do that because there's always reasons why you didn't finish it in the way that you started. And so sometimes it's about pushing through. And for one of the albums, I had half done. And it made the most sense to kind of continue the same format. And then in some of the other ones, that made no sense at all. Because it was only a little bit done. And instead I could reenvision it and, and come up with a really simple framework to get it done quickly. And that's, that's what I did for a combination 2019, 2020 album, that focused on comparing how those holiday seasons were very different.

[00:42:47] Peggy Collins: Yeah. I can't wait to see.

[00:42:49] Jennifer Wilson: So yeah this has been a huge season of finishing for all of us.

[00:42:54] Peggy Collins: That's awesome. It feels so good.

[00:42:56] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah and then I'm, I can't decide if I'm more excited about the finishing or what is to come. Because, planning, you already mentioned that you're already thinking about planning.

[00:43:06] Jennifer Wilson: I've had many people come up to me and say, already thinking about planning. When are you gonna start talking about planning stuff? Because you know, we always like to make changes for the new year, whether that's personally or in how we are serving our members. And so there's like two things that I wanted to mention today. First is we have our next Refresh Retreat coming up in early November. And we are actually kind of doing a twist. We're gonna be pilot testing a new series of Stash Bash challenges that you and I are working on together. And really, you deserve most of the credit here. But would you share a little bit more about kind of what the vision is for that?

[00:43:47] Peggy Collins: Yeah, so we're revising you, I think you've had that list of Stash Bash challenges for a few years now. So we're taking a spin through those. We've invited the membership to tell us what their favorites are. So we'll have a set of classics that are going to continue through, on the new list. And then we;re trying to invent some new ideas to kind of, refresh everything and make it, some new ideas for how you might work, with your stash to either reduce it, organize it, or use it.

[00:44:18] Peggy Collins: So those are kind of the three areas that we're going to focus on in this challenges. And then in 2023. Well, starting in November of this year, we'll have every other journey will be a Stash Bash event on the weekend. And then the opposite will be a Refresh. So we'll do a Refresh weekend for one journey and then a Stash Bash for the next and so on and so forth.

[00:44:46] Peggy Collins: Uh, so that will allow us to really, uh, we've been doing Stash Bash for one day of each Refresh Retreat, and that hasn't been, resonating quite as well, it doesn't seem. So we're gonna try to alternate back and forth so people can really get some nice traction on working with their stash in any one of those ways.

[00:45:09] Peggy Collins: Maybe they need to cull it down a little bit. Maybe they just really need to organize it in some fashion or reorganize it in some fashion. And then actually using it. Um, so lots of ideas about how you might want to use your stuff up. So that it's not in your space, but it's on your pages. So that's what we're working toward.

[00:45:32] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I'm so excited about this because Stash Bash has always been a popular event, no matter how we've hosted it over the years. The Great Stash Bash. We've hosted free events. They've been in the membership for the past few years, and I think bringing that, you know, it's a, it's a bit more of an energetic uh, activity, regardless of how, how the length of it, I guess. In contrast to the Refresh Retreat, which is a little bit more introspective, like, you know, photo walk activities, journaling activities. It's just, you know, it's a little bit quieter and they don't really fit together and that's totally fine.

[00:46:08] Jennifer Wilson: And I think separating them will give a bit more variety to our calendar. And also help members just really look forward to, what's coming up next by not overdoing it. So three Stash Bashes, three Refresh Retreats, and that's, yeah, that's just the tip of the iceberg and the, the fun stuff that we have planned for 2023.

[00:46:30] Peggy Collins: Yeah, we're gonna have good stuff this year. Finishing Day is gonna continue the way we've been doing it because it's so successful. People are really getting a lot of value out of that, and, and we wanted to continue that as, as it had been. We're also looking at, uh, we're gonna take a good look at our crops. Uh, looking for a whole kind of a holistic look at it in terms of what times we're hosting, who's hosting, who might be interested in starting to host. Um, what formats different, uh, crops are using and things like that. So we wanna take a look at that, uh, during the Planning Journey as well. To, kind of just take a look at our schedule as a whole. There's a lot of stuff on there and I think there'll still be, will be a lot of stuff on there, but we haven't taken kind of a holistic look at it in a while, so we're gonna do that as well.

[00:47:20] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, I think that's gonna be really fun. Because the open crop time has been become such a huge part of the community, as something that we all rely on to, to get things done. To feel that that sense of comradery and accountability and making sure that we're really providing the best times and the best kind of structure for some of those times.

[00:47:41] Jennifer Wilson: Making sure we're aligning quiet time with when people want quiet time and when they want chatty time with when chatty time as well. So, so we're gonna be actually unveiling the full suite of plans for next year, including all of our dates during the 2023 Planning Party. Which is taking place November 13th through 17th, and when this episode goes live, you will be able to register for the Planning Party.

[00:48:08] It is completely free, and you can do that at I am just so excited because we've been doing the Planning Party for so many years now, and every year I feel like it just gets a little bit better, and it becomes more of that kind of staple tradition that people look forward to.

[00:48:32] Jennifer Wilson: And so I know, cuz I know, I look forward to it, sitting down and thinking about ok, how do I wanna scrapbook my everyday life for next year? As we were talking about earlier. What projects do I know I wanna commit to? You know, what types of goals do I wanna set for myself and where do I wanna maybe not set goals and just have fun? So it's always a really awesome time.

[00:48:54] Peggy Collins: It's one of my favorite times of the, the whole cycle. And, it's just a nice to have an opportunity to kind of switch gears if you need to. If, if there's something that's not working great, then this is a, you know, a really nice time to talk it through. We have wonderful conversations in the membership about what people are considering and what their challenges are and things like that, so I think that's going to be, it's just so helpful, uh, to really go into the new year with a, a really good vision of what you want it all to look like. Um, also to take a moment to say, Oh yeah, that's working great, don't touch that, leave that alone. Keep doing what you're doing there. That's working fine, but these, uh, this other area, maybe you're going to do a little tweak.

[00:49:41] Peggy Collins: I think, um, the, the members tend to be real supportive of not, you know wholesaling, wholesale dumping your, what you're doing. You know, looking for incremental changes, things like that. So that's, it's a lot of support. Um, and so that's helpful if you are feeling like you need to just change everything. Just, just don't do anything the same way there, there will be gentle support to not do that like that, that, uh, often doesn't work as well either. It's just a really fun time, uh, in the community as well.

[00:50:20] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and also to kind of get the ball rolling before, I mean, obviously we'll be into the holiday season. I feel like the holiday season now starts like October 1st. I don't know, it's the whole last three months of the year, kind of a blur. But to before December hits, to really put some ideas down on paper. So you have time to think about them, discuss them with others before you start making commitments. Because you know January's gonna come by pretty soon, but it's nice to have some ideas and something to kind of audition new ideas, against. Because there will be more classes, more products, more opportunities for you to engage with others. But not everything's gonna fit on your plate. But if you have an idea already of what's important to you, you can look at the whole picture and say, Okay, this is where that fits. And, or this might have to be pushed off to another quarter or another year if I wanna do this other thing. So being able to weigh your options, very intentionally is another reason to jump in with us in mid-November.

[00:51:26] Peggy Collins: Yeah, last year was, I actually started counting time in September. It was a decision around that I made during Refresh in September. Kind of with the thinking that I, Okay, I'll try this for the rest of the year and see how it goes. Um, so that really left me in good stead to be able to say, Yeah, this is, this is absolutely working and I want to do this in 2022. So it's also nice to kind of say, Oh, well I might wanna try this. What if I do this little experiment to see how that works? And that's one of the advantages of starting planning a little bit early. I think the challenge you and I keep going around is like how soon's too soon. Because you're still trying finish up what you're trying to do in 2022 and you don't wanna, to, to cut yourself short there. But at the same time having enough lead time to really, um, be able to give things some time to cook. Sometimes, some time to think about it, and then time to experiment if you want or need to do that, uh, with something before you commit, uh, for the new year. So it's, it's nice to do a little something in Q4 in anticipation of next year so that you're in a good spot.

[00:52:43] Jennifer Wilson: A hundred percent. If I had to wait till January 1st, every time I wanted to switch planners, then I would, uh, I'd be really frustrated. So that's why I use an undated planner now. Because you know, if you get excited with something, you wanna try it out. And sometimes you learn, Oh, this isn't for me. It was a nice experiment. I often consider my December Daily projects a place to try some different things and see do I wanna do more of this in the new year. Or is this a kind of fussy thing that I only do in December because it takes too much time. So.

[00:53:16] Peggy Collins: That's a fun way to look at that.

[00:53:18] Jennifer Wilson: Oh yeah. Um there's things that I will do in my December Daily that I would never consider investing the time into the rest of the year. Because I'm, I don't know, I'm kind of lazy. I, I don't, not always sure how to say it. Like I, I value the, uh, the end result just as much as the process. It's not purely about process for me. I, I do enjoy it, but I also want to get things done. And so there has to always be a balance of time investment. Some things I do put time into and others I'm like, I wanna get this done quickly cuz that's okay.

[00:53:51] Peggy Collins: Yeah. And I think there's different, different levels for the story that you're telling and the, just this, again, talk about the season of your life. Like there's times that I can spend hours and hours stitching on a layout, and then there's times that like, no, I need to get this thing down right? I need to use a sketch. I need to follow the sketch the way it's perfectly, you know, just follow it and do it and get it out the door. So I totally relate to that. It just depends on what it is. Yeah.

[00:54:24] Jennifer Wilson: I think that's one of the big questions we asked during the Planning Party is, what season of life are you in. To really think about, okay, what did this year look like? And then what's next year gonna look like? Is it gonna be mostly the same? Or is it gonna be wildly different or somewhere in between? Taking that holistic approach, as you said, about what's going on and how does my scrapbooking fit into that?

[00:54:44] Peggy Collins: Yeah. Yeah. It takes a little while to get those things all settled out. It's not a, this is, for me at least, and I think for many of us, it's not a two hour planning session. This is, I'm gonna think about this for a couple, for a little while, and then I'm gonna think about it and, you know, have a few days to think it through, or we're gonna try some things and things like that. So that's the other reason we start on the early side, because it's not just a one and done sort of thing. Uh, you don't always know immediately what it is that you want or need to do.

[00:55:22] Jennifer Wilson: Correct and we'll have lots of kind of discussion topics leading up to the Planning Party as well. So you'll already be in the right mindset and can, you know, start making those plans and then we will be prepared to carry you through into the new year.

[00:55:37] Peggy Collins: It's gonna be great.

[00:55:39] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, this has been so fun. I always look forward to catching up with you.

[00:55:43] Peggy Collins: Yeah. Awesome.

[00:55:46] Jennifer Wilson: And to all of our listeners, please that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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