SYW212 – Creative Living is a Journey

by | Mar 27, 2023 | Podcast | 0 comments

Crafters and artists often see their passions evolve over time; it’s just part of being creative. But with these shifts come (sometimes difficult) choices and navigation of that messy middle. In this episode I’m joined by Lauren Hooper, an artist and art educator who has followed her dreams around the world. We chat about stepping away from a popular brand she co-founded, leaning in to her ‘people person’ strengths, and shaping a new vision for her creative life.

Links Mentioned

[00:00:49] 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. In this episode I'm joined by Lauren Hooper to explore the twists and turns of her journey as a crafter, traveler, and celebrator of colorful, creative living.

[00:01:15] Jennifer Wilson: Hey Lauren. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:16] Lauren Hooper: Thank you so much for having me. I am thrilled to be here and be chatting with you.

[00:01:20] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, likewise. I feel like I've known you online for a long time, but only kind of like tangentially overlapping. Um, but I know I followed you on Instagram for quite a while and I'm eager to get to know more about you today. So can you kick things off by sharing a little bit about yourself?

[00:01:38] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, so my name is Lauren Hooper. I currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina. We move around a lot, so I feel like every time I come on a podcast, I live in a different, uh, city, but that's where we are right now. Um, I am a fiber and clay artist. I create clay jewelry and I make woven wall hangings. I live here with my husband and my dog and we travel a lot.

[00:02:02] Lauren Hooper: We like, we've lived all over the world and so we do a lot of traveling. We currently have a, um, vintage camper that we do lots of camping and exploring in. And yeah, I just do a lot of different creative things like you, you may have mentioned, I have a creative podcast. It's currently on pause. Um, I work with some local market companies in town, um, to bring, uh, to help connect local artists with local shoppers. So I kind of am all over the place in what I do, but it all comes back to the central idea of creating things.

[00:02:39] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love it. I love it. Now I'm guessing, are you a military family? Is that what is, uh, bringing you all around the world?

[00:02:45] Lauren Hooper: No, we just like to travel. We were both, um, my husband's a teacher. Uh, my husband's a music teacher and I was a school social worker. And so that's kind of how we got started. Uh, we were just teaching at different international schools around the world. Uh, so that's, that was kind of our path that took us there.

[00:03:02] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. That's so cool. Yeah, I, I've had a lot of guests on over the years who've talked about different places they've lived, and that tends to be the story. And so it's really, um, it's really awesome to hear about how you've, your family has made these choices with intention to you know, have different experiences, um, throughout your lives.

[00:03:18] Jennifer Wilson: So that's really awesome. So I always love to ask our guests what is exciting them right now, and if you could share like one nons scrappy thing or one non crafty thing, and then one thing that's more related to the things you love to make, that'd be awesome.

[00:03:32] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, one exciting thing that's happening right now at this very moment is our camper is currently getting a refrigerator installed. Um, which, you know, sounds like a small deal, but it's a big deal if you've lived without a refrigerator. So we're excited to be able to do more camping, um, and not have to buy ice every day, cuz we had like an old school ice chest.

[00:03:56] Lauren Hooper: Um, and so it's having just a couple little renovations done. So we're really sad that it's away from us, but we're like, thrilled to get it back and to get to camping. So we've got some big trips planned coming up. We're gonna do the Outer Banks, we're going to Florida. Um, and then we're planning to spend the whole summer in Maine living in our camper. So that's kind of my big like personal thing that we're working on looking forward to.

[00:04:22] Jennifer Wilson: That sounds so fun. Now, I'm curious, when you are traveling like that, do you bring crafty projects with you or do you really like keep that stuff at home?

[00:04:30] Lauren Hooper: Great question. Um, so the answer is both. Because this past summer we traveled the whole US we traveled from North Carolina all the way up to the Pacific Northwest, um, out to Washington and back. And I took my weaving supplies and I did not touch them the entire time. Um, so it was a very busy trip that was a lot of driving.

[00:04:53] Lauren Hooper: So this summer might be different because we're just going to stay in one place, but we will be, you know, exploring and hiking and doing a lot of the stuff, you know, more outdoor stuff. So I do tend to take more of a break when I am traveling. But I'm always, you know, coming back full of ideas and so I'm always gathering ideas while we're gone. I don't know. It's just, I think it's just good for me personally. Some people need to do something absolutely every single day, but I, I need the downtime because I'm kind of all or nothing. So I'll do like five hours of a creative project and then I'll be like, burnt out from it the next day. So some people can balance it a little bit better, but I'm like all in to whatever I'm doing at the moment.

[00:05:36] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I think it's, it's, it's helpful to just understand that about yourself so that you can then structure your time and your expectations to, to support that. So that's, that's terrific.

[00:05:47] Lauren Hooper: Yeah.

[00:05:47] Jennifer Wilson: Now what about the crafty thing that you really you're interested in right now? I'm not sure how much memory keeping you are doing these days, but anything that's exciting you in the creative world?

[00:05:56] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, so, so a brand new thing that I am learning about right now is, um, oh my gosh, I hope I'm even saying the word right, Jesmonite, Jesmonite. Um, it is a, type of, ugh, I don't even know. I'm still learning a lot about it. But it's a type of material that you work with and it's harder to find in the US. So that's right, what I'm working on right now is trying to source it. Um, and you use it to create, um, like trinket dishes or, bowls or, uh, just like little everyday like objects that you would have around your house. Uh, like candlestick holders and things. And it's super, super cool. So it's kind of like a step up from clay, which is what I work with a lot now.

[00:06:38] Lauren Hooper: Um, so the, the material's a little bit different. And yeah, so that's something I'm learning about and I am completely obsessed with. You should look it up, online. Uh, if you wanna like, follow some fun Instagram or TikTok accounts of people who do Jesmonite. It's, it's a really interesting medium and material. So that's what I'm, um, currently learning about right now.

[00:07:01] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, very cool. We'll definitely include a link or two in the show notes to the episode so others can start exploring and maybe even pick up something new. Now, do you have any stories on your bucket list that you really want to tell? Whether it's travel stories, you know, I know you have, you have a history in memory keeping and scrapbooking, and so what are something that you still feel really like compelled to capture, even though it's not your primary craft anymore?

[00:07:27] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, I still do love, um, memory keeping and, you know, have loved seeing the evolution of it and how I'm able to, you know still keep it a part of my creative, um, outlets. And so I'm doing a lot more of it on Instagram lately. Um, but one of the big things that I am always wanting to document and to share, is our transitions. You know, we travel a lot and so people wanna see the travel. And I think one thing that I'm really passionate about encouraging people to do is to travel for themselves, but in a bigger way. Like moving somewhere, um, especially somewhere overseas. And I think it can be very overwhelming for people and they're like, how do you just up and do that? I can't just leave everything. And I'm like, but you actually can, you know, if you have that desire. And it doesn't have to be permanent. It doesn't have to be that big of a deal, you know? I mean, it is a big deal, but it's not impossible for people. And so I'm always trying to tell the story of how we decide to move, how we figure out how to do it so that it kind of makes it a little more accessible for people. Um, and encourages them and shows them that they can do it too in whatever way works for them.

[00:08:44] Lauren Hooper: Um, that's something I'm really passionate about and that's a story that is so detailed and multifaceted, and sometimes it's a lot more paperwork. It's less interesting. Um, but it's a story that I wanna make sure that I have for us too, you know, of how we decided to move. And those first few days, somewhere new, they're always really, uh, really important.

[00:09:07] Jennifer Wilson: Now that sounds like a book. Is that something you're interested in exploring?

[00:09:11] Lauren Hooper: Oh gosh. I don't know. I've, I've, I've always been a huge reader and I do love to write and it's something I've been asked kind of over and over throughout my career. Is it something I'm interested in? And the answer has never a hard no, but it's just hasn't quite been the right time. I haven't quite seen, you know, the book yet.

[00:09:36] Lauren Hooper: I haven't, I haven't stumbled into exactly what I would want it to be,

[00:09:40] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm. That makes sense. Now you talked about transitions. That's really a great connector to what I wanted to talk to you about today because I've, I've seen you go through, um, transitions and pivots in your creative life, in your professional life. Um, maybe we can start with you describe yourself as an artist and an art educator today. So can you tell us a little bit more about that personal background and the issues that you care about so we can have some more context for the journey you've been on?

[00:10:08] Lauren Hooper: Oh, absolutely. Um, so it really all, you know, started of course, when I was a kid I was creative like everyone is. Um, and then when I got to college, I didn't really know what I wanted to do and so I started as a interior design and a social work major because I wasn't a fine artist and no one told me about art therapy. If they had, that may have changed a lot of things. Um, but I ended up dropping the interior.

[00:10:31] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, a hundred percent, I agree with that.

[00:10:33] Lauren Hooper: Yeah. . Yeah.

[00:10:34] Jennifer Wilson: I didn't even know it was a thing.

[00:10:36] Lauren Hooper: Oh yes, I know. I wish, I wish I had known all those years ago, you know? Um, but it was just harder, you know, when I was deciding and figuring all this out, like the internet didn't really exist in the way it does now.

[00:10:47] Lauren Hooper: So like, you know, we were choosing colleges based on like, we got those like postcard packs in the mail that they would send you and you're like a junior and senior and it would have like different colleges on it. You know, that's how we were like learning about these places and these things. So like, just the plethora of knowledge there is now just wasn't available as easily.

[00:11:08] Lauren Hooper: Um, so I ended up dropping the interior design major because I was just like, I don't know what to do with that. But, you know, social work, it's makes sense. I like it. Um, so I did that. Um, I got both of my degrees in social work and, um, I started working at a school, but I just immediately wanted to create. You know, as soon as I would come home, I was making.

[00:11:27] Lauren Hooper: I was working at a school. And so I would turn all of my lessons I was teaching into like art therapy type lessons, um, from stuff I was like reading on blogs cuz this is about the time when blogs started, um, becoming popular and, or well just like existing. Um, and I, I started my career, I started, you know, when I started, uh, we started Get Messy, um, the Art Journal program because I said I want to be an artist, but I don't know what kind.

[00:11:58] Lauren Hooper: So I'm gonna figure out how to do that. Um, and I'm gonna figure out what that means. And so the best way that I can see to do that is just to make something in my journal every day and figure it out. Because I was scrapbooking a lot and I loved scrapbooking, but I was like, I want to actually like make something that's my art, not just documenting my memories, which I loved, but wasn't.

[00:12:19] Lauren Hooper: You know, it's not the same. You can't like share it the same way. And so I did that. So we started the program, you know, we started creating every day and people were joining us and you know, the next thing I know, I'm teaching people these like art techniques that I love and I'm, you know, teaching at school every day.

[00:12:36] Lauren Hooper: Um, and I find that I love this avenue of teaching and teaching people to be creative. And eventually it, it just rolled into me figuring out what I wanted to do as an artist. Um, and so I went from, you know, creating stuff on the page and, you know, finding my style to being able to translate that into tangible art, you know, that people could hold with their hands and that they could use and they could wear, and that I could sell and I could share with people.

[00:13:05] Lauren Hooper: Um, and so that has become the main thing that I do now. Is create clay jewelry and wall hangings and, but I still love the teaching aspect of that. So I've got some schools that I work at here. I teach, um, after school art programs for kids cuz I just, I love working with kids. They're so fun. Um, they're so easy to be with and so they're so creative.

[00:13:28] Lauren Hooper: You know, they need such little direction. So I teach lessons after school for groups, at schools. I teach workshops. So I do a couple of different things, in the, this realm of, uh, being a creative educator is kind of how I describe myself. And I've had, you know, roles where that's really the main thing that I was doing and encouraging people in their creativity.

[00:13:49] Lauren Hooper: And now I have found more of a balance where it's more like 80% me creating and 20% me teaching. And so that's where I, uh, have it kind of balanced out right now.

[00:14:00] Jennifer Wilson: So was this shift, you know, a gradual evolution. Um, I listened to one of your previous podcast episodes where you're talking about it and you definitely mentioned it as these are small shifts that led to, uh, a realization that maybe you had a different direction to, to go. And so I'm curious if you go back to that time, cuz you parted ways would Get Messy around 2019, I believe. And so was that change kind of abrupt or was it just this gradual, you know, natural tendency that, you know, this is the direction I'm heading.

[00:14:30] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, it was definitely gradual. It became, you know, where I was always interested in other things and, you know, there was always this push and pull of like, oh, I wanna explore this thing, but it doesn't fit within the art journal world, you know. And so I was always doing two things. I never could quite give up everything else that I was doing, um, to be fully committed to this one thing. You know, I needed the ability to try lots of stuff. Um, and so over time I just started seeing more and more of that desire to, you know, travel more and create more experience for people to come in person and create and learn different types of art forms. And so eventually I started running retreats and I just absolutely fell in love with them. It was just everything that I loved, you know, travel, being with people, you know, amazing food, and cool locations, and local teachers and all of these things coming together. And I was like, this is, you know, the thing that I want to do, it kind of encompasses it all.

[00:15:37] Lauren Hooper: Um, and so it was what gave me kind of the leg to stand on that I needed to be able to transition into something, you know, very tangible that I knew was my next step. And then of course, the pandemic hit. So I had, uh, two retreats and then everything got shut down. And so I kind of had to back backpedal so much and figure out like, okay, now what am I gonna do?

[00:16:00] Lauren Hooper: But that ended up forcing me into finding my ability to create my own art from home. I didn't need to travel to be able to do that. And so we, we moved back to the States in that time, and so I was able to have access to good shipping. Um, which was a problem with where we were living, uh, in the Middle East overseas at that time, shipping wasn't very reliable. And so I, you know, clay just kind of happened. It was just something I was experimenting with. It was kind of getting popular and so I just went with that idea. I had always been weaving, so weaving just made sense. It just kind of came with me. Um, and now like I said, I'm learning about Jesmonite, which is a new material. Um, and I'm just flowing with that. And I, so, like I said, it's just been a lot of gradual steps of what I was interested in next. And sometimes they're just like fleeting things. Like all crafters know, you know, we get new ideas, we wanna try something, and then, and then we're done with it. Um, but as I find things that I'm more interested in and I can see creating, you know, endless amounts of ideas for this thing and then seeing that people actually want that.

[00:17:06] Lauren Hooper: Um, and just following, following the, this road, you know, someone asked me, you know, are you gonna make clay joy for the rest of your life? And I was like, of course not. I I'm not gonna do anything for the rest of my life. Um, it's, it's just always a, a process of what, what is interesting, my creativity next.

[00:17:24] Jennifer Wilson: I am curious, what were some of the challenges that you felt you experienced during this transition from, you know, even two-dimensional creating to more three-dimensional, changing your kind of professional position and your direction. Um, how, how did you shift through that? And I think that this even connects back to the, you know, the story that you wanna tell of, you know, we all can make our way through these transitions and make sometimes hard choices. Um, and, you know, work through the challenges and not just avoid them, I guess. So I'm just curious, kind of like how it felt back then.

[00:18:03] Lauren Hooper: That's a great question because you're right, it is so nuanced and full of you know, exciting things and challenging things and things that don't go as planned. Uh, like I said, I had a good plan. I had the plan to, you know, do the retreats and then those got shut down and, you know, so thankfully during, during that time, I was able to fall back on my, uh, my memory keeping.

[00:18:24] Lauren Hooper: And so I was able to teach some classes, um, around that. Um, or, and helping people tell their stories. Uh, so that was really great. I'm glad I had , you know, a lot of different skills and experiences in doing different things. You know, that's, that's one thing I always tell people is like, start working on new ideas now. You don't have to like finish one idea and then start a new thing. You know, they can like overlap and flow because you might need some of that, like runway time in between. You know, quitting one job and starting another. It's not like that. It, you know, I know like out in the like corporate world, you know, you quit your job at this place on, you know, Friday and then on Monday you go to the new build, your new office building.

[00:19:11] Lauren Hooper: But in the creative world it doesn't really work like that. You know, things kind of have to overlap and, you know, so the transition from being, like you said, 2D artist to being a 3D artist. You know, it was slowly happening behind the scenes the whole time. Um, you know, I needed to focus on being a 2D artist, art journaling.

[00:19:30] Lauren Hooper: And, um, eventually I started painting. I started acrylic painting in my journals and learned, um, an abstract style and kind of developed that, that I loved. And then I started kind of moving that to canvases, and then I started thinking, well, how else could I do this? And I started, um, stitching paintings that I had done, um, like the, the abstract paintings.

[00:19:51] Lauren Hooper: And so I was slowly evolving it and seeing how I could do this in different ways, um, and what was, you know, interesting to me and what worked and what didn't work. Um, and then, like I said, I found clay and it took me a long time to master working with clay. It, it is a harder, I say it's an easy medium, everyone can try, but it is a harder medium to actually master. Um, and, you know, have good quality results every time with it.

[00:20:18] Lauren Hooper: But as I was creating, you know, learning, I used those same skills that I had learned from the art journaling. You know, copy other people's style, learn all of this, try the simple, try the basic, and then add on to it. Um, and so I started applying that to the clay and eventually I realized, oh, I can essentially paint with clay and use clay to recreate my paintings onto earrings.

[00:20:43] Lauren Hooper: Um, and so I developed my style for this 3D art using the 2D style. You know, that I, that I had developed and learned over all of these years. And so it's a really long process when you look at it in the timeline. Uh, but I can specifically look back and say, oh look, that's one of my first abstract paintings.

[00:21:04] Lauren Hooper: This is where I developed that style. This is the painting that really kind of inspired a bunch of things. And then this is where I figured out how to translate it into a 3D product.

[00:21:14]

[00:21:14] Jennifer Wilson: It sounds like you've had a lot of patience over the years. Would you describe it that way though? Because you know, sometimes we can feel this tension between wanting to explore, experiment, try new things, and then try knowing that there's also going to be, you know, growth and evolution is gonna take time. So have you had patience or does it just appear that way?

[00:21:34] Lauren Hooper: Uh, it just appears that way. Yes. I don't feel like a patient person at all. I get so frustrated when something doesn't work the first time. I talk about that all of the time. Um, and I do give things up really easily, which could be a good or a bad thing, but when something sticks, it really does stick and I really am, um, willing to work on it.

[00:21:54] Lauren Hooper: Um, but I'm like I said I'm an all in kind of person. So, you know, as soon as I started doing clay jewelry, I followed every account, I got on every Patreon. I took a bunch of classes. Like I really started learning and immersing myself as much as I could, um, to get as good as I could, as quick as I could. Um, so it, you know, looking back now, it's taken me years, but in the moment I felt like I was trying to rush it as much as I could.

[00:22:22] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Okay. I'm just curious there. Um, so I wanna talk a little bit more about clay as a medium. I've seen, you know, you working on your jewelry over the years and I, I've seen so much of this, this style, um, on social media and, and across the internet. What makes it fun to create with?

[00:22:42] Lauren Hooper: I believe that clay is endless. The possibilities are absolutely endless and, no two projects are gonna look the same, you know? Um, I'm on the design team for Sculpty this year, who is a, one of the bigger clay producers. Um, and it's amazing the people on the team, I mean, people are making like, full figurines that look so realistic.

[00:23:08] Lauren Hooper: Um, people just are making so many different things out of clay, you know, and then when you just look into our tiny corner of jewelry making, I mean, no two jewelry makers are the same at all. And what, like I said, just what you can do is endless. You can paint with clay, you can mix clay, you can, you know, you can make infinite colors with it.

[00:23:30] Lauren Hooper: You can layer with. The designs and styles are just, it truly is only as limited as your imagination is. And so I love that about clay. I love that clay is also very affordable. It's pretty easy to find. It keeps forever. Like I've got some out on my desk that has just been sitting out for months and it's perfectly, you know, still good to use. Um, so it's a very, um, durable medium.

[00:23:58] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes. Well, and I think that certain things like that, you know, we all use clay at some point in school. But the, uh, the modern materials that we have today, I think have changed the experience and maybe could, I don't know how to say it, like, clay is not what necessarily what you think of it. The things that you make are so bright and colorful and saturated, and not what I think about what I did in sixth grade art class. So.

[00:24:27] Lauren Hooper: Yes, and it is a completely different type of clay. You know, than what, what potters are using. So it is, uh, very different in that way. And so it has a lower threshold of entry. You know, you can just go buy the $3 pack of clay and get started at home. You don't have to have a wheel and a kiln and all of those kind of things.

[00:24:45] Lauren Hooper: So I really appreciate the low maintenance of it. Um, because yeah, we're, we are thinking about, you know, if we travel. You know, I could take a little toaster oven to, to, uh, cure the clay with me and I could make on the road, you know. Um, so it's, it's not, you know, taking a toaster oven's kind of a big thing, but it is a portable option, you know.

[00:25:06] Jennifer Wilson: For sure. Now, as you've mentioned, scrapbooking and memory keeping have really been part of your story for most of your life and are still part of it today. You teach a class called the Yearbook Project. Could you tell us a little bit more about that and who you really created it for?

[00:25:20] Lauren Hooper: Oh, I love this class so much. I created a class years ago called Stories from Here, and it evolved out of the 100 day project. Um, every day for a hundred days, I told the story of our transition. We were moving from Korea to the Middle East, and I was so sad. I loved Korea so much. Um, I was also leaving my job to start working for myself creatively.

[00:25:41] Lauren Hooper: Um, so there was a lot of big things happening and I wanted to make sure, um, that I had a really clear picture of what our life in Korea was like because, you know three years is a long time, especially to live in another country. So I had millions of photos, millions of memories, and I was like, how can I distill these down to one book, that has everything in it. And so just every day I shared something different and I just thought about the important things like what does our house look like? What does my job like? Who are my friends here? Where's our favorite restaurant here? Um, to tell a very holistic story. And I started getting some requests.

[00:26:20] Lauren Hooper: They were like, are you gonna turn this into a class, could you just share the prompts that you used? And so I was like, okay, you know, that's interesting. So I did, I turned it into a class. I, uh, wrote a hundred prompts, photo prompts, and journal prompts, um, and, you know, thought about all those categories and broke it down for people.

[00:26:38] Lauren Hooper: And I also taught the photography side of it. Because the photography and the storytelling part are something that I'm really passionate about in scrapbooking and memory keeping, because a lot of times people are so focused on the art of the scrapbook page. You know, they'll spend 10 hours creating this beautiful, beautiful background and then at the end they'll just slap a photo on it and they'll put like a little thing that says like Disney World 2004, you know?

[00:27:07] Lauren Hooper: And so. I really want people to tell stories with their photos and take really meaningful photos that aren't just your stock photo. And, you know, the research says that the more we write about a memory, the more we will actually remember it and can re-experience it again. And so I want us to be able to help people do that, and really tell their stories in a therapeutic way for them, and in a way that is, you know, will stand the test of time. Because we've all looked at old photos and we're like, I don't know who that is, or where that is, or what was happening, you know? And so I know that I've already forgotten these things. And then when we look at like my great-grandmother's photos that maybe they wrote their names and date on the back, and I wish there was so much more context.

[00:27:51] Lauren Hooper: And so that is something, you know, I really wanted to teach people to do. And so Stories From Here was this like big, big class and you know, it was really intense. Like we told a a hundred stories, you know, it was three months and it was a lot and it was very, very fun and people loved it and I loved the community that came out of it, but I thought, how could we bring this down to a daily basis. Something that's much more simple. And so I started thinking about the yearbooks, you know, that you would create in school at the end of the year. It would have this whole past year of all your friends and the school plays and all the fun stuff that you did. Um, and it's this little, you know, time capsule. So I thought, how can we combine.

[00:28:30] Jennifer Wilson: For sure, yeah.

[00:28:30] Lauren Hooper: This and make it really simple? Because, you know, the scrapbookers plight is always being behind. You know, you can never catch up. And, you know, a lot of scrapbookers, think like, oh, I have to do a whole book for every vacation, or a whole book for every kid for every year.

[00:28:46] Lauren Hooper: And it just gets really, really overwhelming. So I distilled it down. And so there's 52 prompts. You get a photo prompt and a journal prompt every Monday. And it's, it's something simple. It's like, what's your morning routine like, or what's your favorite place in the house? Or what's something big that's happened that you wanna celebrate or something you're working on right now? Or you're be the best book you read. Um, you know, just little things to jog your memory so that you get a holistic picture of your year. And so every week you share, you know, your response to the prompt or whatever you want to document that week on Instagram or wherever works for you. And then at the, and we use a hashtag.

[00:29:26] Lauren Hooper: And at the end, you know, there are a lot of, uh, programs like chatbooks that you can just pull all of the photos and captions from an Instagram hashtag in. And it will create a memory book for you. And so it's just the simplest way to document your full year at a glance. Um, and see a lot of big things and a lot of little things and have this little time capsule.

[00:29:49] Lauren Hooper: And I really created it for people who were overwhelmed with the idea of scrapbooking. Who didn't want to do all of the, like, nitty gritty of the cutting and the gluing and the pasting. And who were already, you know, using Instagram to share stuff but wanted it to be more organized and more easy and wanted, you know, a little push to share a little deeper than just like here's us in front of this thing. You know, they wanted to share a little bit more of the, the emotion and the heart behind a memory or a moment. And so that is what the yearbook project does for people.

[00:30:24] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love it. I love how you found a solution that will work for pretty much anyone who is feeling this pull to document their memories and just having the layer of meaning to the stories and the photos. Um, I think is really what makes it special and more of what we need to see everyone doing because they want to have those details. They wanna have that context well into the future. So I'm, yeah, I will definitely include a link to that in the show notes for this episode.

[00:30:54] Lauren Hooper: Yeah. Awesome. And I'd so be so happy to share a, um, discount code with, with your listeners, if that works for them.

[00:31:02] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, that'd be terrific. We'll just include that in the show notes as well, whatever the code is, and thank you so much.

[00:31:07] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, of course.

[00:31:08] Jennifer Wilson: Now, will your podcast, How She Creates, will it be back for season seven or undetermined yet?

[00:31:15] Lauren Hooper: I love this. Uh, I, it's, um, I'm not saying no and I'm not saying yes. I, like I said, I tend to be very all in when I'm working on something and right now my focus is growing my handmade business. And I love, love, love the podcast. I've had it for so many years. It's been with me through so many transitions.

[00:31:35] Lauren Hooper: I love everyone I've met through it, and I love the community who listens. So right now, yeah, like I said, I'm just focused on my handmade business because, I mean, you know this, when you're doing a lot of different creative projects, it's very fragmenting and so the podcast is a lot of, you know, mental and creative energy.

[00:31:54] Lauren Hooper: So I have it on pause for now until I can kind of figure out, um, how it fits into kind of my new business model. And you know, whenever I get the energy back for it, cuz it comes and goes and I'm really okay with that, following those swings. So, I have lots of new ideas for it and people I want to interview and things I wanna talk about. Um, so one day. One day is the answer.

[00:32:19] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and sometimes saying no is like the absolute healthiest best choice you can make so that you can say yes to so many other things.

[00:32:27] Lauren Hooper: Yes.

[00:32:28] Jennifer Wilson: Definitely can appreciate that.

[00:32:29] Lauren Hooper: Yes. Exactly, exactly. I'm not ready to let it go, but I'm not ready to commit back to it yet.

[00:32:36] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes. So thank you for sharing so much of your story with us and spending time with me. Can you share where we can find you online? Anything else you might have new or coming up this year?

[00:32:46] Lauren Hooper: Yeah, you can find me at lauren-likes.com is my website and everything is linked from there. Um, I'm actually about to launch a new Instagram account that I'm excited about, so you can follow me right now at LaurenLikesBlog. Is, you know, kind of my everything account, but I'm, it's gonna become more of a personal storytelling account.

[00:33:07] Lauren Hooper: Um, and then ShopLaurenLikes will be my shop account. And I really want it to be a place where people who love, you know, colorful creative things, um, who love the nineties will be able to come and find a little like niche home. To see really cool interiors and get styling tips, um, and learn about my jewelry and my jewelry process and things like that. So that's a new little side secret project I'm working on that's gonna be coming out soon.

[00:33:41] Jennifer Wilson: Well, that's kind of like full circle moment, bringing more interiors back into it as well, since that's where you started in college and you know, kind of pivoted from there.

[00:33:51] Lauren Hooper: Yeah. Yeah. I want it to be, you know, just really focused on like colorful, fun things to inspire and encourage people who want a little more boldness in their days. And that way it could be really focused and really stand along for my business. And then, my personal Instagram can just be more of the scrapbooking, storytelling, daily life, um, kind of just random creativity stuff that I like to share.

[00:34:16] Jennifer Wilson: Sure. Sounds great. Well, again, Lauren, thank you so much for spending time with me. And to all of our listeners please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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