SYW208 – Crafting in 2023: Let’s Do it Bold

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Alicia Harrison is ready to take bold steps forward. In this episode we chat about finding renewed purpose after burnout, including a return to authenticity and crafting in community. Our conversation also touches on the importance of safe spaces for Black women and making sure all those crafty machines actually get used. 

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 208. In this episode I'm joined by Alicia Harrison to chat about using your tools and machines, becoming a finisher, and her Crafts of a Different Shade community.

Before we jump in I want to let you know that the next creative journey inside of the Simple Scrapper community starts March first. Each journey is 2-month container to set and reach goals while offering additional support around a theme. For March and April we’ll be talking all things organization and putting in the effort at our 4-day Stash Bash retreat. Visit to join now and get settled before the next journey begins!

And now, my conversation with Alicia Harrison.

[00:01:36] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Alicia. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:39] Alicia Harrison: Hey Jennifer. Thank you so much for the welcome. I'm so glad we're finally able to do this. Been a long time in the making.

[00:01:46] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I think we're gonna have a really interesting discussion today. I am super excited to ask you a lot of questions about the things that you love to create. Uh, but can you start by sharing a little bit about yourself?

[00:01:58] Alicia Harrison: Yeah, absolutely. Well, I go by Alicia Desiree, you can find me online Crafts Of A Different Shade. You can find me everywhere under that name. Um, I like to always say we, and I know some small businesses say we often, you know, because we all have big, lofty goals, you know, in our mind we have a team behind us, even if it's just one of us.

[00:02:16] Alicia Harrison: But for me, when I say we, we have a community of people behind me. Um, leading me next to me, beside me, you know, in front of me. So that's what I mean when I say we Crafts Of A Different Shade actually began as a community. Um, I was not a crafter. I have been indoctrinated into this craft, cult, scrapbooking, Cricut, sublimation, GlowForge, everything, you know, um, community.

[00:02:39] Alicia Harrison: And I love it here. I love it. I love to help people. I sometimes call myself a teacher, not so much a coach, where I just wanna teach all the things, learn all the things, help people be a resource. That's what you'll find in me. And when I say community, I mean that. Like, if you're ever in a company of me, you know, I will welcome you, make you feel welcome.

[00:02:57] Alicia Harrison: And I hope that everybody gets the experience. And that's really what I love about crafting and what, just like what I wanna exude. But we started Crafts Of A Different Shade in 2016, so we're coming up on seven years. Um, and I just like to really do craft stuff with my friends, you know, that's me and everybody is my friend. I'm just like, let's be friends. That's me.

[00:03:20] Jennifer Wilson: I love it. And there's just so many fun, I don't know, fun gadgets and tools and we're gonna talk a lot about that today. Just so many different ways to make crafting easier, more interesting, more fun. I just saw, cuz I've had a Cinch for a long time, but it just punches circle holes. And now there is this like multi Cinch where.

[00:03:39] Alicia Harrison: Oh my god.

[00:03:39] Jennifer Wilson: You can do discs and you know, even little tiny holes for like hand stitch books. And I'm like, oh, well maybe I need to upgrade. So it's just, yeah, being a crafter is fun.

[00:03:49] Alicia Harrison: Yeah. Being a crafter is fun and expensive, right? Because you just think you got the one thing down. It's like, oh, no, here they come with something new. And you're enabled, you know, your influenced. So yeah, I saw the multi Cinch um, add to cart, kind of situation, you know? And when I saw you could do the Coptic, I was like, what, you can hand stitch, this is crazy. Especially when everybody, other people, even me still have like a Cinch in the box, you know? Because we're like, I think I know how to use it, but I haven't yet. So my thing is always wanting us to use what we have, and I'm really big on that. Um, I really hope that, I example that now 2023, you know, where I'm like, let's use what we have.

[00:04:25] Alicia Harrison: Let's make this DIY, this crafting made easy. Let me take the difficult things out of it and really simplify it. Because I think we all get a little overwhelmed and overthink creativity. And I just want it to be very like, no, it's really just like this. Just just make it simple, you know? Make it easy. So we do use our stuff. We're not overwhelmed and we are at ease when we're crafting. So our creativity really bubbles to the top.

[00:04:47] Jennifer Wilson: Ah, I love it. Yes, you are, I can tell you're so full of creative joy. And so it's just, uh, that's definitely a great quality to have in a community leader.

[00:04:57] Alicia Harrison: Yes. Well, listen, if I didn't have joy, if I didn't have joy, I would quit all over again. And we are not doing that anymore. You know, we're finishers now, Jennifer. Let's go. Yes.

[00:05:06] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes, yes. At Simple Scrapper, we are all about finishing and making choices so that we are finishing more of the things that we start.

[00:05:15] Alicia Harrison: Woohoo. Yes. The ass. Kindred spirits right there. Kindred spirits.

[00:05:21] Jennifer Wilson: So Alicia, what's exciting you right now? Like one crafty thing and then one non crafty thing?

[00:05:26] Alicia Harrison: Um, crafty thing. I would say definitely getting back into like sublimation and, and printer printed items like using my printers. You know, because I, I really thought that I was gonna be this scrapper Jennifer, right? Like, I was gonna be like, I'm gonna hand cut, I'm gonna die cut. I'm gonna make everything. You know, and I've learned that's just, it's okay if that's not me, right?

[00:05:52] Alicia Harrison: Like you can scrap your way, you can, you can memory keep your way. You don't have to be this stamper, die cutter. You can use your printer. I love graphic designing. Um, I love to go into Photoshop or Illustrator and come up with, you know, like digital, um, files and see them come to light, whether that's through my Cricut or with a printer, you know, whether I'm gonna press it out on sublimation.

[00:06:16] Alicia Harrison: So that's what's really exciting me, is because I'm able to tap back into what I like and I'm giving myself the freedom to do that instead of like, well, I need to be like this, or, but my community wants to see that. I'm loving the freedom I'm giving myself this year. You know, and that through crafting.

[00:06:31] Alicia Harrison: And when I say that, I mean simply like, these are the things I enjoy. And I'm gonna do those things. And it's okay if those things are not what everyone else expects out of you. You know, because your people will find you. Or they'll learn that this is what you're doing now, you know? And, um, it's been a lot of fun.

[00:06:50] Alicia Harrison: I've been able to make some really fun designs. I'm using my, like my friend is like, oh, you're really putting your printer to use. And I am. You know, whether that's gonna be in sublimation with my sublimation printer or my inkjet printer. Or just simply, um, offering things to people that they may not even know they can do with their printer or their Cricut.

[00:07:08] Alicia Harrison: You know? I was like, man, I need to pull out this hand, like rotating die cut machine. My Spellbinders, my Sizzix my Anna Griffin. I'm like, girl, you have a Cricut. It's okay to use that. You know, like , it's OK that you, your Cricut is a die cut machine. It's okay to die cut if you wanna make cards that way, you know, it's okay to do a printed card like that is absolutely fine.

[00:07:27] Alicia Harrison: And giving myself the freedom there and releasing myself with those expectations regardless of what, um, my following or, you know, maybe another craft or a brand is expecting out of me and that's where I'm really am shining. Um, but what I'm excited about personally, you know, outside, and I wouldn't even say this is outside of the community, like the crafting. I'm just so excited to be back and it's really, um, like what's motivating me and pushing me is just the excitement of being around people. Right? Like this year I had my Galentine's Day event. And one thing you'll find about me, like last year when I took a hiatus, I was like, oh my god. Like, I don't know what's wrong with me. It was because I didn't have people around me. You know, like Covid really affected me. And people were like, you're an intro, you're an extrovert.

[00:08:10] Alicia Harrison: I'm like, no, I'm an introvert. I didn't realize until Covid, I am a true extrovert. Like I need to be around people. I love the energy of people. I'm like, come in the room like, Hey y'all. You know? Like that's me. And if I don't have that, it really does something to me. And so even when I'm online, like I just love being around people.

[00:08:29] Alicia Harrison: I love virtually being around people. And I love now that I, we can kind of go outside, right? Like we're all like, can we, you know? But we are outside and if you wanna come around me, that's fine. You know, we'll take the precautions we need to take. But I just love being able to communicate again with people, being outside, being in company with others.

[00:08:47] Alicia Harrison: I'm going to go out soon and I'm just like, man, this is the stuff that I've missed and what I love and what I'm like yearning more for. You know, like events and talking to people and being just virtually or in real life, whatever, offline and on online. And taking care of myself, you know, just like I said.

[00:09:05] Alicia Harrison: Staying true to who I am, I, I thought I could be okay not being in community, not being around people, and that's just not me, you know? So I have to make sure that I'm being true to who I am and doing the things that I enjoy, and that's really exciting for me right now.

[00:09:21] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, yes, yes, yes. And I, I feel that wholeheartedly, even as someone at the complete opposite end of the spectrum of being a very serious introvert who really likes being at home. Uh, the, you know, there's, there's people are important. It's important to have connection with others. And even if, you know, it looks a little bit different for you and for me, uh, COVID definitely taught me that it's important to be out there, to travel, to, uh, have, you know, have close friendships and, and really be outside the home, even though it is favorite place.

[00:09:57] Alicia Harrison: Yeah. And, and don't get me wrong, I love the home. I like, I love being home. That's why I say virtually or you know, offline, right? Because, but there's just something about connection in a sense. Like when somebody is talking to me in my DMs or I get a message or text or something, you know, like the communication, the connection that is just, it's monumental for me. And, but when I get to add a hug on top of that, oh, icing on the cake for me, for real, like.

[00:10:25] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes. So, one thing we also like to ask our guests, and you mentioned your, you know, thought you were gonna be kind of more of a scrapbooker, but maybe you're not, but you, everyone has a story they want to tell. Whether it's a photo book, a photo display, a gift they really wanna create, you know, or a scrapbook of whatever it looks like. Is there a story that really feels important for you to capture one way or another? And we call that a memory keeping bucket list. So what's maybe on your bucket list?

[00:10:56] Alicia Harrison: Um, do you know I just got this mini photo printer thing, right? And I'm like thinking about our Galentine's Day event and just so many of the things that we've got to do together over like, through Crafts Of A Different Shade over the last six and a half years. And I think on my bucket list, while I know on my bucket list is really documenting in some sort of way all this stuff that's in my head. Like, I don't know if y'all have seen that TikTok, where they're like, um, events that have altered my brain chemistry. I don't know if you've seen that on TikTok. And they're like, it's like a, a, you know, like a carousel of photos or text messages they might have got from somebody.

[00:11:31] Alicia Harrison: And I have all these like core memory unlocked moments of Crafts Of A Different Shade where I'm like, man, do y'all remember this? And I know people remember it but it's like, I wanna go back and document that. Like I wanna look at the progress, the experiences, the achievements, the accomplishments, the downtime. Everything that has gotten me to where I am and gotten our community to where it is and really reflect that.

[00:11:56] Alicia Harrison: Like there's this, um, selfie museum, it's called The Black Hair Experience. And I'm just like the black craft experience. Because it's so important and it's such a story to be told, right? Like our creativity is crazy. It, our resourcefulness is crazy. And for me to document that somewhere, whether it's, um, virtually, you know, like in an online album or just something where I can have it and everybody is able to see it, or I can share it when somebody wants to see it.

[00:12:25] Alicia Harrison: And like, girl, you did that. You know, like, that's really like my bucket list. And then also, of course, like personally, my son, he'll be 17, oh, he'll be 18 this year. Who is, he's already 17. Sometimes I'm like, slow down. And I just feel there are so many moments that are still in my phone. You know, or so many moments that are like, ah, I rem like, I don't, we're like, during 2021, 2020, 2020 year, we had so much fun.

[00:12:52] Alicia Harrison: Like it was, we were still kind of under the pandemic, but like, because things were slow, we had a lot of time together, you know, and I miss that, right? He's about to go to college next year and he, life is busy for him. And it's like, man, when will we get back, those, like, that slow time when it was just the two of us and it was quiet outside.

[00:13:13] Alicia Harrison: Things weren't necessarily all the way open and, you know, he kind of had no choice but to hang with my mom. But, um, that's definitely something on my bucket list and I, I hope that I get it done sooner than later, you know? But I don't know if that answered the question. Hopefully that was what you were looking for. Okay, cool.

[00:13:31] Jennifer Wilson: Even, and I love this question so much cuz every time I ask this to our guests, I always think of my own stories that I have haven't captured as well.

[00:13:40] Alicia Harrison: And, and there's so much like even, you know, um, Pernickety Prints she's always like, don't let your memories die on your phone. You know, and it's like, don't let your memories die on Facebook, you know, or whatever. And, um, my son, he's like, why do you have all these pictures? And I'm like, you just don't understand. One day you might wanna look back on them, you know? And I've really been making an effort this year, Jennifer, of like talking about my accomplishments. Because you deserve, that's my, my thing for this year is you deserve, right? You deserve to honor your accomplishments because we're doing work, we're doing hard work, Jennifer. Like, if you made one scrap page this week, celebrate that. You know, celebrate those things because if you don't, who will? Honestly.

[00:14:23] Jennifer Wilson: Oh. Whether it's with your crafting or as a business owner, a community organizer, whatever you're doing in the world deserves celebration because we're, we're putting ourselves out there.

[00:14:37] Alicia Harrison: So much, and it's not easy. It's vulnerable, and it's also vulnerable to talk about what you've accomplished. You know, especially sometimes you don't know how it will be received, but you'll be, you'll be keen to find that more people are excited for you than are concerned about you bragging or something. You know what I mean? So please celebrate yourself. I don't care if you've got one person following you, like, I did it. I got this far this week. You know, I took three steps further than I did last week. Like my mile distance improved, or whatever, you know? And those are big things because that also helps you track your progress without looking up later, like, wow, how did we get here?

[00:15:16] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes. Because every, you know, progress is made from those small steps, and sometimes it doesn't feel like we're, we're changing, we're evolving. But then, you know, a few years down the line you realize, oh, I'm in a completely different spot.

[00:15:29] Alicia Harrison: Completely different, completely different, completely , like woo, completely different.

[00:15:36] Jennifer Wilson: So you, can you talk a little bit more about what you're focusing on at Crafts Of A Different Shade right now?

[00:15:43] Alicia Harrison: Absolutely. So it's, it's funny because I come in with these ideas and I'm like, okay, these are gonna be my focuses, or, you know, this is gonna be the highlight of what I'm gonna do, um, for 2023. But your audience may drive you a different way, right? And I'm like, oh my, I guess this is what they want to see.

[00:16:01] Alicia Harrison: But remember back to what I said, staying true to myself, right? So for me, when people say, well, what do you do? I have fun. That's one of the things you're gonna know about me. I have fun. I don't care if I'm making some yarn hearts, right? I'm gonna have fun because this is where my creative spirit led me this month, this day, this hour.

[00:16:19] Alicia Harrison: And, um, I hope you come along for the ride. So right now my focus, I think is just really getting back to what my community needs from me, right? Because I had taken this shift where I was like, let me get, become this influencer. Let me get paid, let me get product, you know, all this stuff and be on this.

[00:16:35] Alicia Harrison: And, and once I started doing it, I felt very inauthentic. And that's the thing about my platform, it's very authentic. I'm very vulnerable, I'm very transparent. I'm very real, right? Like if you want to buy that HTV I'm gonna tell you do not buy that HTV it is trash. You know, like, don't get that paper. I tried it.

[00:16:53] Alicia Harrison: It was horrible. You know, instead of those people who are like, oh, you know, I got this HTV and it's so great, and they got paid, you know, $3,000 to talk about it. It's like you go buy it, you are like, girl, this is awful. You know, so that is not where I wanna pigeonhole myself again. Because I felt like I was really losing myself and losing my voice there.

[00:17:12] Alicia Harrison: So really it's right now being very authentic to myself. Being authentic to my brand, and going with the ebbs and flows. Right now my following, didn't wanna see a lot about t-shirt printing. I have a lot of small business owners who follow me, you know, and our community. That's very important to make money.

[00:17:27] Alicia Harrison: So I'm gonna tell y'all how y'all can make some money. I'm gonna be honest with you. We might have to start small because you might not have the money to start big and everybody else is trying to sell you on that. Like we're gonna be real, and that's one of the things that are my focus. And then also doing more events.

[00:17:41] Alicia Harrison: Like, so I'm, like I say, I'm a teacher, I do a lot of stuff for free, like fun stuff that we can do together. And, but my events will be at cost. You know, we had a great time for Galentine's Day. I can't wait to see more people come out for the next one or, you know, and different people, same people, whatever the case may be.

[00:17:59] Alicia Harrison: And we just have fun. And also, like I said, just showing up. My, my focus is to be consistent. It's very difficult, uh, when you have life going on outside of life cuz this is not my full-time job. And you wanna be consistent. You wanna show up for your community, give them the resources that they need so that they can make money, you know, got, train them so that they know how to find stuff.

[00:18:19] Alicia Harrison: So my focus is really being strategic, being organized and being the resource that I was in the past and people could depend on and trust. And then that way we can take that from online to offline.

[00:18:33] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I think it's so important and I really appreciate you being, you know, open and honest about it. That you, you know, explored some opportunities and they just didn't feel like they were a good fit for you and it didn't feel authentic. And I think that's, you know, there's always gonna be things that we try, whether it's a, a mascara, or a business opportunity or whatever. You know, there's things that we're gonna try and because we hear it's great and this is the direction to go. But we really have to, to listen to ourselves and that's the most important thing, and that's only gonna lead us to better places.

[00:19:09] Alicia Harrison: Absolutely. And it's kind of like, Ooh, that shoe didn't fit. That doesn't mean there's not 50 other pairs of shoes out there you can try on, you know what I mean? So like, and I like the way that it, it's so funny cuz as I come back to, you know, social media after dealing with this whole breakdown, like, oh my God, I hate this. I don't wanna make money this way. Please help me, God. I hate it. I hate it. I gotta take a break. I quit. You know, I come back and it's like, okay, you can't quit. You know, you can take a little break, but you, you know, you need to come back. This is your, this is your lifeline. Like this is one of your lifelines.

[00:19:40] Alicia Harrison: You love this, you miss it, it's okay. And when I come back, there's now this whole talk about UGC and, you know, organic content. People are no longer influencers, they're digital creators. You know, you're like, wait a minute. Like there's a huge shift, right? So things change. Shoes, shoes change. You know, styles change.

[00:19:59] Alicia Harrison: Uh, social media changes. And it's funny because I'm like, well, that's what we were doing before. You know, and that's a, and see some, that doesn't mean you need to always change with everything, because for some people influencing works very, very, very well. People still trust them. They are, you know, they use brands and they build with brands that are relative to their brand and they have a good time.

[00:20:20] Alicia Harrison: But for me, I just didn't, I'm not a salesperson. And I think that was the issue, you know? And for me, I just like, oh, I love this. Let me show you guys what it does. And if I don't get paid for that, thank goodness, you know? Um, but I'm more so, like I said, I'm just not a salesperson. I just really wanna have fun. You know, and help people.

[00:20:39] Alicia Harrison: So, and not to say influencers don't help you, because we all know we need those Amazon cleaning gadgets, you know. But for me it's like, okay, let me still, do, help the way I know to help. That's what it is for me, you know, and being true to that for sure. And just try on different shoes. And you have over seven years I have tried on so many shoes on this thing, Jennifer. I have done Etsy sales, I have done Facebook Marketplace sales, I have done, I have done everything girl. And I'm just like, I'm still trying to find this Cinderella shoe. You know, like , but I'm not gonna give up till I do. I'm gonna keep going.

[00:21:14] Jennifer Wilson: I'm curious if there was something before you took your break that was kind of like the straw that broke the camels back. There was like a, a pivotal moment that was like, oh, this, I gotta, we gotta press major pause here. Or if it was more of like, a, you know, a slow to a, stop type of thing.

[00:21:32] Alicia Harrison: Um, I think it was, it was, it was Q4. So Q4 will either make or break you. If you're in the like, Influencer, digital creative world. Because that's when the brands, like, they unleash the floodgates. You know, and they're like, let's work with everybody. And you're like, oh my gosh. And you've got all this content that's coming due. I was on design team for American Crafts. You know, I am feeling like I can't compete or compare with others because my stuff is not good enough. Um, I've got a laundry list of things to do. I am broke, let's be honest there. Right? So you need to do the stuff that you're doing. Um, my health is on crucial decline.

[00:22:17] Alicia Harrison: I'm eating out every day. I don't have time for myself. I didn't, I still feel like I can't make the content that I need to make. I'm not, you know, I'm not attending to my community the way that I need to make. I'm, so, I'm pulling, I am personally pulling myself in all these different directions because who signed up for it?

[00:22:36] Alicia Harrison: I did. You know, and it was like my, my skin was going crazy, my psoriasis was going crazy. Um, it was just, it was, my mental health was on decline and I was just like, I can't anymore. Like, I just can't. I can't, I can't. It was so much need from me. But it was, it was a, it was a issue I created for myself, right?

[00:22:58] Alicia Harrison: So instead of saying, okay, pause, take a look, pull, take some things off your plate. I'm the kind of person I'm like, all or nothing and I just walked away. That wasn't the right response, you know, that was that fear, like flight or fear kind of, um, response. Instead of just saying, okay, hey, let me be, um, let me address this.

[00:23:18] Alicia Harrison: Let me really tell everybody I need a little pause and realize that people are understanding. You know, they're very understanding and they're willing to give you the time that you need or whatever, and you can come back. Now, thankfully, my community has welcomed me back, you know, since I took my break. But, that may not work for everybody, and not everybody has welcomed me back.

[00:23:39] Alicia Harrison: And that's fine too. I just think that, for me it was the multitude of everything coming, like on, on my head just Q4. I didn't, I'm doing this by myself. I don't know how to manage it. And instead of speaking up for myself, I just let the bottom fall out, you know? And that was not the most effective way to deal with that.

[00:24:02] Alicia Harrison: It was a learning lesson for sure. But, um, I'm glad that I went through it, you know, and if anybody else is dealing with it, I can maybe help them to, to conquer it as well.

[00:24:12] Jennifer Wilson: You know, I think sometimes when you're at that point of you have a choice of either like, running directly through it or turning around and going the other way, uh, I can see that, you know, sometimes we just don't feel like we have the personal strength to, to go through it. We have to just run away for a moment. And, you know, yeah, maybe it, it, it sounds like maybe some bridges were burned that you wish that weren't, and I, I think that's, that's something that just sometimes happens in order to protect our, our personal wellbeing in the moment. So, but I, I, yeah, I, I really appreciate how you've just shared so openly about your experience. And I know there's others that have been, that are in a similar boat or have been there with you.

[00:24:52] Alicia Harrison: Yeah, absolutely. And I think, like you said, we can look back like hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Right? I can look back and like, oh, I would've done this differently. In that moment, that was the best decision I could think of for myself. Like I did, I, I did not wanna talk to anybody about this. You know, I didn't wanna share what was going on. I didn't want to get help. You know, I was like, look, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I need to go back to like, I, I gotta realign and reprioritize and this is not it. You know? So that was where we were.

[00:25:23] Jennifer Wilson: Now I wanna talk a little bit more about your Facebook group as it is doing today. you have more than 30,000 members. It's amazing. Um, back in 2016, kind of what inspired you to start the group?

[00:25:37] Alicia Harrison: It's always a funny story cause I'll tell you. Thank you. One, well, thank you for, you know, the kudos on the, the 33 k. I really, um, I'm so grateful that that's where we are today. But it's so crazy because I never saw this on my bingo card for 2016. Right? Like, I keep saying that even for 2023, so much stuff has happened and we're only like, what, uh, six weeks into the, into the year. Um, but so much has happened in 2023. I'm like, Ooh, I didn't have down my bingo card. But as far as how it happened. I didn't own a Cricut, Jennifer. Like I didn't know anything about crafting, girl. I was like, I had just moved in with my ex-boyfriend and I was like, you know, you have your Pinterest boards of all the things you wanna do.

[00:26:18] Alicia Harrison: You're like, ah, I love to do this. I don't think I wanna flip furniture, you know? And um, he didn't, he didn't have any real, like living room, dining room furniture. I was like, oh, I can flip some furniture. It's perfect. I have this space now. And um, it was about October, September, October timeframe, um, starting to like paint furniture and doing all this.

[00:26:36] Alicia Harrison: And I'm in the, somebody added me to a Facebook group for Cricut, like the official Cricut design space group or something. Right. And the official Cricut group. And I'm like, what is this? And my friend, it was coincidentally time because my friend had asked me to make, like, she was like, we could do this for our friend's bridal shower or, what's it called? Bachelorette. And I was like, what? You know, like personalized tumblers. We could get these. And I'm looking at the tumbler, she'll send me like a Pinterest link, of course, you know? And I'm like, we, how did they make this? Because that's how my mind works. It's always like, well how did they do this? Instead of like, yeah, let's buy it.

[00:27:11] Alicia Harrison: Right? And so I'm looking, I go on Etsy, I'm like, vinyl decal, sticker. What is it? A Cricut, you know? And then I go to work and my friend, she's like, yeah, Cricut. Oh my god, I want one so bad. And we, I asked this other girl who worked with me, she was very, she's very creative. I said, do you know what a Cricut is?

[00:27:28] Alicia Harrison: She's like, oh my god, my aunt just shipped me one and it's in my basement. So how many of us had Cricuts in the basement? Right? Like in a box. We'd even open them. And this is my first intro to learning that people have machines that we are not using. It's like, what do you mean I'm coming over? Like, that's me. Oh, I'm on the way. Let's open up that box. Right?

[00:27:48] Alicia Harrison: I don't even know what a Cricut is, girl. We go over her house, we have a Cricut day. And I'm in this group now. This is a time of racial turmoil, you know, um, we're going, Trump is about to get elected. We're going through, you know, through the election process.

[00:28:01] Alicia Harrison: Obama's on the way out and um, I come in the group and there's a lot of like tension in the Cricut group, right? Like, oh, you deleted my stuff. But you kept that up there. You still got those Trump designs. Did, you Took my Obama design down and there were no afro puff SVGs back then. Like I remember people, we were in Cricut trying to figure out how to make them, you know. And they were like, oh, you took my afro puff down and it's all this contention in the group.

[00:28:25] Alicia Harrison: And I'm like, yo, I'm tired. I'm at work tired. I can't watch the news no more cuz I'm tired. We haven't riot. I'm tired. But I needed safe space because I wanna use this Cricut. And so I don't know what it was. I guess that was on my spirit. I went to sleep and God was like, make a Facebook group. I said, you playing?

[00:28:45] Alicia Harrison: And um, I woke up, I was like, no, I'm not doing that. And I said, but if you want me to do it, tell me a name. And I went to sleep again and God said, call it Crafts Of A Different Shade. I said, dagone, and now I gotta do it, girl, so. So since I got the name I was bargaining with God, like I got my, um, Facebook group started and I just started messaging people.

[00:29:08] Alicia Harrison: Like, I was like, Hey, don't know if you wanna join my group, but it's a group for us, by us, like, come on in. And it was secret for many years because there was so much contention, like in the crafting community, like with the race and, and you know, black versus white. And I'm just like, oh my God, like we just wanna share our craft.

[00:29:25] Alicia Harrison: Like we just wanna be acknowledged. Like we just wanna show off what we've made and in peace, you know. And have fun and enjoy. And that's how it started. And it's not private and it's not secret anymore. Anybody can join. You know, it's a very, um, inclusive community. And when I say inclusive, I don't mean exclusive, right.

[00:29:44] Alicia Harrison: And I don't mean like inclusive to the point where. You know, you can come in there and act up or act a fool. Like it's still very much based for, for us and by us. Um, my, my baseline community and the people that I will always try to reach are, um, black women, black women, business owners, you know, because there's not necessarily always a space for us. But there's so much more space now that we've carved out for ourselves.

[00:30:06] Alicia Harrison: But when I say inclusive, I mean still, like my message can reach anyone. You know, my group is for anyone. I want anyone in there to feel welcome. And I want anyone in there to feel respected. I want them to feel like they have the resource that they need to do what they need to get done. Whether it's for their kids, their nieces, their nephews, their mama, you know, anybody. And we just have a good time. And I want us to share and share alike because I feel like that makes a difference in the world. Like when you see a bunch of women getting along and you can take that offline and you can have that in your spirit, you can go to work, like it does something different for you.

[00:30:41] Jennifer Wilson: This, this is a beautiful story. I, I really appreciate you, uh, listening to, to your heart and your faith, and in order to, to follow that and, you know, as you said, you just wanted to have a safe place, a safe place to use your Cricut and share with others. and I think if all people came from such genuine places, uh, the world would be a better place for sure.

[00:31:10] Alicia Harrison: Definitely. Definitely. And I, I think some of that is missed. Like the genuine part because some people just wanna share so that they make money. And that's cool too. Like you have to, the living is not free. You know, but that's just not where my heart is centered, you know? And I think that's also been a struggle of mine over the last, like six and a half years, is reminding myself. And even this morning I woke up and I told myself, Jennifer, everyone's heart is not the same as yours. And when you, when you realize that you can move on. You can walk away from people. You can walk away from things that are not for you, and you can still create freely, happily with joy and be like, but this is where my heart is, and God is rewarding and I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna have a good time, and I'm fine. I'm fine. You know? And if you're not fine, I'm gonna convince myself that tomorrow I will be. You know, like, that's it.

[00:32:00] Jennifer Wilson: There's always a possibility of, of change, of making shifts. And

[00:32:05] Alicia Harrison: Yes.

[00:32:07] Jennifer Wilson: In terms of your personal crafting over this time, how, how has that evolved? Because you mentioned at the beginning how you really have just learned to double down on share, on doing and sharing the things that you want to share rather than being, you know, someone who does one thing and you have to do that forever because that's what you do. So how, how, have your own interest changed since 2016?

[00:32:32] Alicia Harrison: I would say they've definitely changed in a sense where I. Okay, so before I was doing a lot of like party favors and, um, just maybe like some cuts on the Cricut shirts and stuff and doing what everybody else was doing, right? Like, oh, let me cut vinyl, and I don't really like doing t-shirts. I don't like using HTV.

[00:32:53] Alicia Harrison: Um, I don't like using adhesive vinyl. You know, everybody starts with like the wine glass, right? And I was like, well, I really wanna make cards. I've always admire people making cards and I love what scrapers do with the papers. I was like, I could do that. And I bought all this stuff and I was like, that's not for me.

[00:33:06] Alicia Harrison: I don't know how to do this. My mind literally cannot compute how y'all cut up paper, you know? And, um, and I'm like, I'm good with math. Why can't I get this? So, um, I think now since where I'm at is just like, it's okay for me to make crafts that other people are making, because that was something that where I think I stifled myself, it's like, Ooh, I can't do that.

[00:33:32] Alicia Harrison: Like, I can't make a shirt because such and such made a shirt. Right? Or I can't bling shoes because such and such bling shoes. Like, girl, you can bling shoes. Like, no, and I've, I've, I've told my people all the time, like nothing is, you know, new under the sun. But I still was stifling myself from doing the things I wanted to do because I didn't wanna appear like, oh, well, you know, such and such did it. Or it's popular right now. Like, don't follow the trends. Don't do what's popular. Set yourself apart. Like one of, I think that stifled my creativity because I wasn't starting. And it, what it takes to start is that you follow a trend like me doing that ring pop, that's trendy. You know, that's not something that I came up with on my own, but that, that just lights a fire under you and started me to craft again.

[00:34:20] Alicia Harrison: Right? And it's like, ooh, now that I've done that, what else can I do for Valentine's Day? Oh, I can make this, I can make that. And it's like, oh my gosh. Like where are these ideas coming from? And then moving towards execution. Um, but it's, it's changed so much. And I just want to be that versatile crafter.

[00:34:38] Alicia Harrison: Like I'll still put adhesive on a wine glass. I don't mind doing that because there's some things that once you know them, they're great to know. And it's great to, to still dig down and do. Um, and it also shows you your progress. Cuz Woo, I looked at a project from six, seven years ago. Oh no baby. Like, girl, I'll tell you, that thing was awful.

[00:34:57] Alicia Harrison: I was like, you know, you should have put that you, and like, that's me today. But back then I was so excited about that little project. And then another seven years I might look back and be like, what is you doing? But it's, it's good because we're doing. You know, and that's really where the focus is right now.

[00:35:12] Alicia Harrison: But my crafts have changed so much. My goodness. I was making like t-shirts for my son's basketball games, you know, everything. And now I might make one or two shirts for football season cuz he is like, could you please not? You know? So like, it just, it just, it just changes so much. But I think that's the awesomeness of being like, of me not nicheing down and just being a crafter.

[00:35:31] Alicia Harrison: I can make what I wanna make, you know, I can just have fun with this and I'm not like obligated or, or reg relegated to just making shirts or making, um, you know, key chains. If I wanna make key chains and shirts tomorrow I can do that. And I can show y'all how to make something new. Cause everybody wants to know something.

[00:35:51] Jennifer Wilson: I really wanna underscore your point about that it's more than okay to use someone else's point of inspiration to get you going. Because that, that's what it's there for, that's why those of us are who, who share our, our work online. That's part of why we share it, is hopefully it will inspire you to do something. And if it means you're copying it down to the last thing, if that gets you going and gets you touching your supplies again, then it really matters. It makes a difference. And so don't ever like denigrate yourself because you're making a thing you saw online.

[00:36:25] Alicia Harrison: Preach into the camera. I'm telling you, I just had a conversation about seven o'clock this morning where it's like that's why we share content, you know? And if you don't want, and I'm not, I don't, I don't like the word to say copy. Right? But, um, if you don't want anyone to be inspired by, or to replicate and make what you've made, you shouldn't share it. You know? You, but that's just how things happen. I mean, even with me sharing like the, um, the Afro Puff Valentine, like some people aren't gonna make that. They're gonna switch it up. They're gonna have fun with it. Please go forth and prosper. You know, because what that does for me is it shows me that my creativity or my idea helped somebody else.

[00:37:04] Alicia Harrison: And I didn't come up with that idea. I've seen scrunchy, ponytail holders, like all over the place. You know, it was just my design that I came up with that was different. So I'm super excited to see people be able to either use something that I've done and make money or make content or whatever. Or, and, you know, flourish or use something that I've done, tweak it, make it their own, and just get that like spark that they needed. Like when they see it, they're like, that's it, that's what I needed to see. Let me go design. Let me go create. Let me go play. Let me go have fun. Because if not, we all would really just be sitting around uninspired, you know, unmotivated. And now you've done one thing, you can feel so good because you finished that one thing. You may make 10 other things that you didn't even know were inside of you.

[00:37:54] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes, yes, We all need that springboard just to get the ball rolling. For sure. So one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show was to specifically talk about using your crafting machines. We've been talking about, you know, having various things in the basement, in the closet, still in the box. Um, and you know, while most of our listeners do consider themselves scrapbookers, I think crafters across the board, you know, see the potential in buying this thing, and then somehow they don't get used.

[00:38:23] Jennifer Wilson: So maybe you could start just by sharing kind of what you have. And you know, I'm assuming there's gotta be a partial disclaimer here because you've been on creative teams, brand ambassadors, and whether or not you still have those relationships or not, because it sounds like you're not doing a lot of influencing anymore, but I'm assuming you didn't buy all of those things yourself. But I, I'm curious kind of what do you have so that we can kind of get the lay of the land?

[00:38:50] Alicia Harrison: Let's definitely make that disclaimer. And I tell people all the time, like, start where you're at, right? Because when I first started, I literally had a Cricut on my dining room table. You know, and that was from JoAnn's store that's my ex bought for me. So start where you are at and then grow. And over the years I've had so much stuff.

[00:39:08] Alicia Harrison: It's crazy. I mean, um, I would say within the last year, the craft room has been very stocked well, stocked very well. I did buy my own GlowForge, during pandemic. You know, I've been gifted things like the Silhouette 3D printer. I have the large Silhouette, um, Cutter, the big one, the big, uh, Cameo. I've had the regular size Cameo.

[00:39:30] Alicia Harrison: I had the Teresa Collins Cameo. Um, the Portrait. Love the Silhouette Portrait. Cricut Maker, Cricut Maker 3, Cricut Explore, um, Cricut Explore 3, Cricut Joy. The original Cricut that I had, which was the, um, the JoAnn Gold one. That one was I think an Anna Griffin version. I'm not sure. I can't remember.

[00:39:52] Alicia Harrison: Um, and then outside of that, so much American Crafts stuff. Like, I mean, I feel like American Crafts rules my craft room. They, they make everything in the, the JoAnn and Michaels anyway. So, um, you know, the, the Cinches the mini Cinch um, hand tools like punches, punch boards have become a favorite of mine.

[00:40:09] Alicia Harrison: I didn't even, I, I did not think again that my mind could, compute how to use them, but I'm in love with them now. If you wanna start somewhere, please go get that We Are Memory Keepers or We Are Makers All In One Tool. Because that one will do so many different things for you. Um, even from envelopes to, to banners to, you know, um, cards and scoring.

[00:40:29] Alicia Harrison: Um, let's see, my computer, obviously I cannot go without Photoshop, an Illustrator. And having design space on my phone, my phone is crucial for helping me to get through the day. Just taking notes and, um, sharing what I wanna make, you know, I thought to myself later or making designs on the run. Um, let's see, what else is important in the craft room?

[00:40:50] Alicia Harrison: You know, just so, oh, Tim Holtz guy. I love that man. Like, I don't know if y'all watch, uh, Golden Girls. They're like, Mr. Tom, Mr. Tom Selleck or whatever his name is, like Mr. Tim Holtz. That's how I always think of Mr. Tim Holtz. You know, I love Tim Holtz. I mean, his whole collection, when JoAnn had on sale, I had to get all the dies, all the Oxides, all the Alcohol Inks, you know.

[00:41:08] Alicia Harrison: Um, I love Tim Holtz stuff. I just love that man from the bottom of my soul. Um, stamps, die cuts. I still don't really know how to, how y'all do these dies. I'm amazed. I'll just run it through my Cricut. I have Spellbinders, Sizzix, you know, electric die cutters. And see the thing I think for me was my problem was I was just like, let's buy it.

[00:41:32] Alicia Harrison: Right? Like, I used to buy everything, you know? Um, Beth Kingston's on HSN gotta buy it. You know, you've sold me. I'm easily influenced. I love these people, you know, I'm a big supporter. I'll do what I need to do. Um, you know, but it became a thing like, now what? Now you have all this stuff. Now what? Like, what are you actually using?

[00:41:51] Alicia Harrison: Are you using anything, you know, card stock out the, out the woo-ha. Like, it's crazy. So what are you doing? What are you using? And one of the things for me this year that has been very important is that I buy something with the end goal in mind, right? Like, Ooh, this is a good idea to have it. I could possibly, yeah, they're making cards.

[00:42:12] Alicia Harrison: I could make that one day. No, like, what is a specific project why we bought this? And you're not allowed to buy anything until you get it finished again. Oh, and I forgot, like the kit Cricut, Easy Presses, you know, the Mini Press, all that kind of stuff. Heat press, you definitely, um, need a heat press if you don't do shirts or something, but now I'm like, okay.

[00:42:30] Alicia Harrison: Oh, mug presses tumbler. God, it's so much, so much. Oh my God, we need to open a store. It's crazy. Um, like, it's ridiculous. But you know, now that you have it, what is the purpose? Because a lot of times for me, I also show people how to use it, right? So I need to, you know, but if, if this was somebody's else, like hobby craft room, they need to be mindful of what they're doing.

[00:42:52] Alicia Harrison: Like, it's cute, but it's gonna collect dust. So how often are you gonna use the items? You don't need four Cinches. You just don't need four Cinches. That's just not, you don't need that much. Are you doing craft classes? You don't need that many Cinches. So now when I get something, whether, even if it's a, a sheet of card stock or um, a roll of vinyl, what is a project for this? When will it be done? Have you wrote it out before you even went to Michaels so you know what you're doing? And I'm not just collecting things again, because I think it became more of like, oh, I'm, I'm becoming a craft collector, you know? And, um, when you get stuff from PR or you know, sent to you, it becomes very, it's a lot of stuff.

[00:43:29] Alicia Harrison: So you also need to, to really begin with the end in mind, even when you're receiving free items, you know, or, um, sponsored stuff. But I, I love to craft. Now I'm, I'm loving this new mindset that I have where I'm like, okay, we're starting with the end in mind. What is the purpose of this? What are you gonna make on that GlowForge?

[00:43:47] Alicia Harrison: Why are you buying all the silver acrylic because it's on, you know, clearance or it's on sale. Like, seriously. Seriously. And I mean, my house is, was like busting at the seams, you know? So these are the things we think about now, and I encourage you to consider. So you do open your Cricut, you do open your Silhouette, you do open the heat press, and you don't let it intimidate you.

[00:44:08] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes. Well, and it's, you know, watching tutorials and, and learning more about it and just committing to, even just sitting with one video can inspire you enough to say, okay, I know enough to open the box, plug it in, and, and try one thing. Um, it's just kind of getting over that, that activation energy sometimes. Now I have a lot of, like, questions here, like that are specific and I, I'm gonna start with one. So, I interviewed someone yesterday who, whose episode will actually go up, you know, a month or two later than this one. But she said that the Cricut cuts better, but the Silhouette is easier to use. Would you agree or disagree with that?

[00:44:48] Alicia Harrison: Oh boy. You throw me under into the fire girl. Here we go. That age old debate, I'm telling you. Oh man. No, I'm just playing. But no, um, well, I'm, I'm being serious, but let you know, we have to laugh about how Cricut, that Cricut v Silhouette fight is online. It's like cats versus dogs. Right. But the Cricut.

[00:45:12] Alicia Harrison: This is how I explain to people. The Cricut is an amazing cutter. Like, I don't know what they're doing over there in Utah, but they are testing the heck out of that machine to make sure it cuts these materials precisely like, and that the Cricut knows what to do. It cuts so well. Cuts like butter, literally like butter.

[00:45:30] Alicia Harrison: Now, the Silhouette software, amazing. Amazing, busing. I'm telling you, Silhouette software is so intricate. It is a true design software. Now, the cutting, I don't like it. It's very hard for me to understand how to cut in Silhouette. It's, it's, it's a lot of steps more than a Cricut. Cricut, you just tell it what to do, it cuts it Silhouette, you might need to figure out cut lines. You might need to figure out settings, you know, all the material. Like, it's, it's a lot, right? Um, you gotta turn it up to 10 or turn it down to seven. But the Cricut is just like, press a button and go. But the software and Cricut is not as, detailed and robust as a Silhouette design software.

[00:46:13] Alicia Harrison: So, um, if you really wanna work with vectors, if you really wanna be creative and get creative, you may need to design outside of the Cricut software. Now they are doing a lot of new things within Design Space that are very exciting, but you still have, don't have all the robust options that maybe like a Silhouette, um, software can do. Silhouette Studio can do, or a Adobe Illustrator.

[00:46:37] Alicia Harrison: I always like to compare Silhouette Studio and Adobe Illustrator cuz those two are pretty much on par with being vector design systems. And that's great because you don't have to pay monthly for Silhouette Studio. You pay one time and you're done.

[00:46:52] Jennifer Wilson: That's interesting cuz I've not thought of those as like similar tools. Cuz I, you know, I've had Adobe products for years and years and Illustrator is the one that I can't figure out, but I can use Silhouette Design Studio. So.

[00:47:05] Alicia Harrison: Really? Wow. And they're like the same. That is so interesting.

[00:47:12] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, no.

[00:47:13] Alicia Harrison: That is so interesting.

[00:47:15] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and what I'm hearing is that you still need both, I guess. I don't know. I, it'd be, it'd be make it, it, it would be a hard decision because I have a Silhouette. I actually didn't downgrade, but when I bought a new version, I got a Portrait just because of the smaller footprint. And I like it, it's fine. Sometimes I'm like, this cut is not very clean. And so when I heard this I was like, oh, maybe I do need to consider a Cricut. But you know, it's, it definitely is some even kind of apples and oranges, they're, they do different things in terms of, you know, how much, you know, precision and detailed design work versus, you know, ease and, yeah, so interesting.

[00:48:00] Alicia Harrison: Yeah, definitely apples and oranges. I think what, when we're doing a versus, you have to be mindful that they were, they were created to do the same purpose, which is to be a die cut machine. Right? But they know they have different target audiences. They know that they, they have different functionalities and specialties. And you will, that's why I have both. You will need a Silhouette. You will need a Cricut. No, you don't have to have both, because you can just go and maybe you don't wanna make designs. Maybe you just wanna buy stuff that's already out there. You just wanna press a button and cut. But what comes happens when your creativity hits, you're like, oh, I cannot find this.

[00:48:37] Alicia Harrison: I cannot find that. You know, and that's not every crafter, that's more so for like a, a Silhouette crafter. But the Cricut crafters, Cricut has so many projects available to you. You know, we're more hobby people. Those are former hobbyists. And, um, they're, they do recognize that there are business owners who use the Cricut, love it.

[00:48:54] Alicia Harrison: But it's just not giving you everything that you might need to really, um, bring those ideas to mind. So, I, I like both. I like all, I also am very heavy with using Adobe Suite because it's just what I started, I started with Photoshop. And I started with Illustrator, so I go back to that often. You know, that's the one thing that I'll, I'll probably always have up on my computer. Yeah.

[00:49:20] Jennifer Wilson: Now talking specifically about Cricut, and thinking back to that first one that you had to the latest version, can you talk a little bit about how the cricut has evolved in that time? I mean, a, as someone who's actually never owned one, all I know is it, it used to be cartridges and now it's all digital. But could you, you know, maybe share a little bit more, uh, details than that?

[00:49:42] Alicia Harrison: Oh, sure. And I, I wasn't around back in the cartridge days. I will tell you that, it's funny when you talk to some people, they're like, I've been around since I first saw late night on those infomercials. I don't don't recall that, you know. But, um, and it, it probably was not into anything like that of that season of my life.

[00:49:58] Alicia Harrison: But I started out with the Cricut at JoAnn. It was the regular Explore, the the Explore 1, not the 2, not a 3. And, um, you would go online, you could not, there was a little bit of shapes you paid for Design Space, still monthly. We would be uploading a lot of SVGs into that system or something we created outside of Cricut.

[00:50:23] Alicia Harrison: They had a dial on it. It was, there was no Cricut Design Space app, you know. Um, there was no like sharing of projects. There was no multiple canvases you could have open. We had all kinds of hacks and, and, and things. Now they're letting us, eventually gonna let us fully, you know, be fully deployed to print and cut larger.

[00:50:44] Alicia Harrison: You know, we have come up with so many workarounds in that system. It was crazy. It was crazy. And, um, the one thing you still can't do that I will hope that they bring out soon is to export your designs out of Cricut because everything is kind of stuck in their Design Space system. Oh, and that was another thing.

[00:51:02] Alicia Harrison: Design Space used to be in a browser. It was not a separate, like, you know how Silhouette Studio is actually something you download and keep as a program on your computer? Everything was in a browser. So if you didn't have internet, good luck, like , you couldn't use the Cricut. And if your computer was like a, a Acer or a Chromebook or like a small tablet, good luck cuz you might not have the memory. Or like the browser capabilities to run this program. And still, now you also need to be mindful of what your computer can do because that program may not run everywhere. But the good thing is, is there's an app now, so you can still use it, you know, even on a Chromebook or a smaller laptop, um, with less memory and processing speed.

[00:51:44] Alicia Harrison: But girl, I'm telling you, Cricut has just came up so much. I mean, in the community, like the amount of people using a Cricut, it was like this secret. Like, we don't know how people are making these decals. We don't know. And now it's very, um, it's very public knowledge, you know? Oh my gosh. You would go, I don't know if y'all have been to Michael's lately.

[00:52:03] Alicia Harrison: Oh, JoAnn, but it's like Michaels, Cricut took over Michael's. You know, and you could go in there back in the day, I won't say back, it wasn't that long ago, but like six years ago, there'd be like one or two Cricuts, you know? Now you go in there, Cricut has whole aisles of stuff. There was no infusible ink.

[00:52:20] Alicia Harrison: There was this awful HTV,, this awful vinyl. Everybody when they got it, they would throw it in the trash, you know? Um, there was no premium vinyl, there was no Smart Sensors. There was no continually, like feeding of the, the, um, vinyl with the Smart Vinyl, it was like you. And then another thing, you cannot find supplies.

[00:52:40] Alicia Harrison: We would have to go on Etsy to get HTV. Now you just go to Michael's, you just go to JoAnn's. So many places have things available for you. Cricut has stuff that gets to you soon. They've got these Mini Presses, easy presses. I remember when the Easy Press came out and I was like, what is like this portable press?

[00:52:55] Alicia Harrison: I was so excited about the JoAnn version in purple, two of 'em. You know. So there are things that Cricut has just, their brand has expanded crazy over the last five years, you know? So I am, I I'm just, I'm floored honestly with the Cricut takeover. Yeah. And if you join, it is literally a cult. It is a cult. Like you will be like, I'm never coming away from this again. Yeah.

[00:53:20] Jennifer Wilson: Now, okay. Speaking of heat presses, why does someone need one of those versus just their o their iron? You know, and I personally, I do have a craft iron that's separate from my non craft iron, my clothing iron, But tell me why I need a heat press.

[00:53:35] Alicia Harrison: Well I would say just like you said, if you are gonna use an iron, keep it separate. Um, I have melted things onto my clothes iron trying to heat up HTV, which is heat transfer iron on vinyl. Or even if you go and you get one, some iron on patches, you know, from, um, your craft store, Tuesday morning or someplace like that. I have melted things onto that iron and you know, you don't wanna melt that same thing or burn up your white dress shirt, right?

[00:54:01] Alicia Harrison: So I suggest having something separate. I love the Easy Presses because they're portable, they're small. The footprint, as you keep mentioning in your craft room, they don't have what a heat press may take. And they're also a lot easier on your joints, you know, um, you don't have all the pressure that you might need. Um, and the mobility is there for you, but you'll need a heat press, one for that reason. And I remember when I was, when I first started, I was making the, um, a tote bag and I was using all these different colors of iron or vinyl HTV and I was using my iron and I was pressing down so hard, like I broke the ironing board, you know, because, uh, yes. And it was like the ironing board leg, like just went out, you know? And I was like, oh my gosh. Like, I would never forget that. And from that moment on, I was like, I need a heat press. Now, also, the time that it takes, when you're using an iron, you wanna make sure there's no steam on. You know, you have all these different things you need to keep in mind, and you wanna have to press and press and hold and hold a heat, press 10 seconds.

[00:55:02] Jennifer Wilson: Nice.

[00:55:03] Alicia Harrison: Press down, let up go. You know, there's, it's so quick, um, that you get that tack instantly. You don't have to worry about the iron. Um, taking your time, you know, breaking ironing boards, burning up stuff, melting plastic by mistake or melting or hitting the area you didn't wanna hit, and now it's melting onto your iron. Um, your, uh, you know, your iron or you burned up a spot on your bag. So I would say that's why, just for ease, time, convenience, and to save your home appliances, honestly.

[00:55:36] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. All right. Now, so when you, like, if you look at a look around your space and think about all these things, which do you use the most and which hasn't seen any action in a long time?

[00:55:51] Alicia Harrison: The most was definitely my Cricut computer, my printers, you know, um, heat press is going to get used a little bit more here lately. But since I'm back in the sublimation, but the least is probably all my scrapbook stuff, honestly. Um, I, I'm like, I hope this ink doesn't dry up on me. You know, because, um, I love to look at it, but I haven't used it. And I think because I see so many people doing so many creative things with their scrap supplies that I get very overwhelmed and lost. And what I need to do is go back to my own advice. Just like how you said, watch one video. You know, watch one Jennifer McGuire video. Right? Do a card like Jennifer did. You finish something, you can tag her. Thanks for the assist. Thanks for the inspo. And now I might be on my way to making more of them. I just haven't, because it's so foreign to me, which it shouldn't be because I've had this stuff for like three years now. Um, I don't sit down with it to do it, and I need to make time for myself to do it because I would love to send people cards with fancy embellishments and ephemera and all this stuff, you know?

[00:57:04] Alicia Harrison: But I just haven't sat down to really try it. I think I am convincing myself that it's too much. Don't go there yet. You know, get something else done. And I really feel with scrapping that would be like the best creative release for me ever. But I just don't sit down and do it.

[00:57:21] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I hope you start maybe experimenting a little bit. Because you know, you were talking about before, about having a specific plan, a specific goal for a project. Like, I'm not gonna buy this thing unless I know where this is going. So think about, okay, what card do I wanna send and make that card. Not just, I wanna make a card, think about, okay, I wanna celebrate this person's birthday or anniversary or whatever. Um, and go into it with that perspective, because then it's not about you anymore. It's about them. It's this gift that you're creating.

[00:57:58] Alicia Harrison: Listen, I love it. And if it's one thing that I love is when people flip my own advice on me. So thank you. Like I really do because I need to hear it too. You know what I'm saying? Like when I'm talking to people, I'm helping me. So like if you are like, but you said tell me what I said, you know, because I need that to be relative to this obstacle I'm facing. And it might be also some advice you're giving me that's different. But if it's something that's helped you that I said and you're like, lemme flip that back on you. I'm like, Ooh, thank you. I needed to hear that.

[00:58:32] Alicia Harrison: To again start with the end in mind for sure. Yes.

[00:58:35] Jennifer Wilson: And at minimum you'll learn, okay, yeah, I just don't enjoy this. Like, I can appreciate that others do it and it's beautiful, but somehow the process doesn't. But, or you might discover, oh, this really is a, you know, creative therapy for me. I really enjoy it and my heart is in this. And then, you know, you've got the ball rolling that way.

[00:58:54] Alicia Harrison: Yes, yes, yes. And I, I just really like what you said, because until we try something, how will we know, like, Ooh, I thought this was for me, but it's not, you know, or it is. You know, so, yeah. I love that Yeah, I definitely, I've got some weddings coming up. I've got some months to prepare, so I would love to make a beautiful wedding card that's not just like a Cricut die cut, you know?

[00:59:16] Alicia Harrison: I wanna, I want some popups and some pull downs. So like, and I can do that with my Cricut, but it's still something about working with your hands and making a card physically, you know? I would love to see that. Yeah. So I'll put, I'm, I'm gonna start with the end in mind. Thanks for the encouragement, Jennifer. I appreciate that.

[00:59:35] Jennifer Wilson: Going back to your supplies, so what tool would you say has had the easiest learning curve? Like, pulled it out, I know how to do this, and then which one maybe has been the hardest to figure out and get all the settings right.

[00:59:53] Alicia Harrison: Hmm. That's a very good question. Um, some scissors. I mean, I mean, but who doesn't, who doesn't need a good pair of scissors in their house, right? Like, um, probably the Easy Press. That one is very, very easy to use. Plug and play. Press the time up. Press the temp up. Um, the first Easy Press, I had a hard time with it, but, and I just, I just quit on that.

[01:00:18] Alicia Harrison: I quit on it. But when they came out with the second Easy Presses, loved it. Easy to use. Now they have a app for it. Plug and play. Let's go. Um, and also probably the Silhouette Portrait. There's something about that little baby machine that I just love so much. And making stickers was never as easy as doing it with any other machine.

[01:00:39] Alicia Harrison: Um, so I would rank those two top two. I'm trying to think if there's anything else in my craft room where I'm just like, wow, that was easy. You know? Um, and it may be easy for you to, to use or, you know, other people who are maybe just starting out and maybe intimidated by something in their craft room.

[01:00:58] Alicia Harrison: Um, but those two things, for sure. I don't think there's really like one that stands out in my mind, you know, much larger than those two.

[01:01:08] Jennifer Wilson: Sure.

[01:01:09] Alicia Harrison: The one that I, I can't get my mind around, I'm, I'm trying, is my sewing machine. I do have sewing machines and I guess it, cause in my mind I'm like, I am sewist. I am a Cricut crafter. I am a scrapbooker. You know, like I'm all the things right. And. I don't know how people do it with the sewing. Like, and I'm just like, how, what, what do all these settings, what do these things mean? Like you really have to take classes, you, you know, or get help to sew. Um, I can't barely sew in a straight line. I don't understand patterns.

[01:01:44] Alicia Harrison: So those things are something that I'm also really giving myself freedom to learn. You know, there are two big pumps that you'll hear. Obviously you heard about the scrapbooking, the card making, and the other one is sewing. Those are on my goals for 2023. To get past and do it bold, we're not doing things afraid.

[01:02:03] Alicia Harrison: We're not gonna do it afraid anymore. We're gonna do it bold, we're gonna try, we're gonna finish. And I'm working on those two things. Yeah. And getting outta my comfort zone for sure.

[01:02:11] Jennifer Wilson: You know, I wouldn't have thought about the sewing machine but I definitely have struggled so much. Like, you know, we have all these things where you just insert the cartridge and it works, but with the sewing machine you still have to make sure you thread it properly and get the bobbin right and all that, or it like gets all tangled up and messed up. So.

[01:02:30] Alicia Harrison: Like, what is tension? Tension, you know, Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

[01:02:37] Jennifer Wilson: I have, yeah, I have broken more needles than I care to admit on sewing scrapbook pages.

[01:02:45] Alicia Harrison: Oh my goodness. If only we could all be like Paige and Heidi. Like how do you do this? Goodness gracious. Yes.

[01:02:52] Jennifer Wilson: So if you step back a little bit and think about, okay, what determines whether or not something really gets used. I think, you know, having that end in mind, having a specific project, but even just in terms of, you know, uh, it's accessibility in your space. And other factors of how that, it makes it something that you reach for versus something that just kind of stays in the box.

[01:03:16] Alicia Harrison: Um, that I see it. You know, I, I think it's very important that we see what we have. Because I, I have like items in a closet. Like my inks and you know, my dies and some supplies. And maybe even, you know, it was an organized closet. It's an organized closet, but I don't see it so I'm not gonna use it. Right.

[01:03:36] Alicia Harrison: So it's helpful one to be organized even if you don't see it, maybe that you know where things are. Because the craft room can become a mess. And knowing where things are, keeping things clearly labeled, um, keeping account of their inventory and what you have is super helpful. If I had, um, you know, a dime for every time I had something already in my house and I ran back to the store to buy it, I wouldn't need to craft anymore.

[01:04:06] Alicia Harrison: And that's off of a dime, you know? So I would just say making sure it's clearly like seen and labeled and you again know what you have, right? But why, why I use something is probably because it's within reach. And if there's one of those days where I'm like, I don't know what project I'm gonna do today.

[01:04:25] Alicia Harrison: And I look around and I see Cricut markers, or I see a shirt that's blank and some vinyl, that's just within, within my view, you know? So, um, I think just having things clearly labeled, making sure you're organized, knowing what you have, and keeping things within a line of sight, whether it's like a wrap around your room or, you know, um, on your desk or something will help you help, it helps me to decide what gets used at that point.

[01:04:53] Alicia Harrison: And my machines are always out, like they're just out on the bookshelf. You know, so I see them very plain a day, whereas my Cinch and my, my punch boards might be behind me on a bookcase or in the closet, if that makes sense. Yeah.

[01:05:10] Jennifer Wilson: Alicia, this has been just a wonderful conversation. Do you have any kind of closing advice for someone who wants to just make sure they're using their stuff, whether it's their machines, their supplies, they, they have this desire to get crafty, but for one reason or another are just not making progress.

[01:05:27] Alicia Harrison: Yeah, definitely. I think like, go back to what I said, I had a phrase and it, it captured so many and it captured me too. Like I was enamored. It was do it afraid. You know, and that was our call to action, right? But now, 2023, it's let's do it bold. Let's do it bold. You know, because we are not giving the spirit of fear, like let's do this boldly. And that is saying to myself, I can do this. And then becoming a finisher with that, that bold spirit in hand. And so if you're, you know, concerned about something, nobody has to know if it fails, you know what I mean? Like. Nobody has to know that you burnt up the cookies. Like, you know, like you only, we're not, we don't have to tell everybody everything. Just make the cookies, like just cut the paper. And if you don't cut in the straight line, honestly, the stuff you see, other people probably will not, and don't be, you know, afraid. Let's do it bold. Let's get it done. Let's be finishers. Because now we finish one thing and you can be like, wow, I did that. Lemme go try something else. And let's take those machines out of the box, please. If you spent good money, let's use what we have.

[01:06:40] Jennifer Wilson: Well, this has been terrific. I, yeah, your advice is so, uh, on target and infectious. I appreciate just like all the, the exuberance you bring to what you do. Can you share where we can find you online? Anything else you might have new or coming up this year?

[01:06:56] Alicia Harrison: Absolutely. Y'all can find me everywhere. Online Crafts Of A Different Shade. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook group is Crafts Of A Different Shade craft group. Um, I'm also have a Facebook page. I have a website, a blog, Pinterest everywhere. I'm Crafts Of A Different Shade. Please say hello. If you come find me just say, Hey, Alicia Boo. I say, Hey, Boo, right back. Um, so many good things come in 2023. I am prioritizing myself, my family, and the community again, you know, so let's have some fun online and offline, just making sure that, you know, that resource is there for you. And I just wanna, I just wanna do crafting with my friends, so please come be my friend and let's have fun. Thank you, Jennifer. It's, it is you, are you, I appreciate you putting my advice back on me for real. Yeah.

[01:07:41] Jennifer Wilson: Thank you Alicia, and to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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