Editor’s Note: We are excited to have Samantha Jones as our featured artist for August. Her work inspired our latest style challenge inside of the membership. Please enjoy our interview with Samantha for our My Way series.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Liverpool, UK with my fiancé. I live near my family – my parents, siblings and I have two young nieces and a nephew. I’m close to my family and include them a lot in my stories and albums. I work at a university in administration working part of the week from home and part of the week in the office which is a good balance and less commuting time means more scrapbooking time!
What is one thing that is new or exciting to you right now?
I am a big fan of travel scrapbooking, so I’m currently enjoying Ali Edwards’ Start to Finish Travel Class and also the Explore story kit. I’m working on a couple of travel albums right now including finishing off one about a trip to Madeira last September, and another documenting a recent adventure this summer to Greece so all the travel-related inspiration is perfectly timed for me.
What is one story on your memory keeping bucket list?
I’d like to document more stories from my childhood. I am very fortunate in that my parents took family photos regularly when I was growing up, and I treasure those, but I am conscious that I have done lots of documenting of my adult life and very little of my childhood and so it’s a priority for me to get some of those stories into albums too.
Right now at Simple Scrapper we’re talking about storytelling. What is the role of story in your creative process?
For me, all scrapbooking and memorykeeping is storytelling. I tend to start with photos, and I try to tell stories with my photos, but the words are very important to me too and my aim is always to craft a well-rounded story with any project that I create.
How did you start scrapbooking? How has your hobby changed?
When I was growing up I used to enjoy keeping a diary, writing about everyday things I had done and places I had been. I also loved keeping various pieces of ephemera such as tickets, flyers and other paper bits as a way to preserve my memories in a tangible form. I found those things precious as they had a special connection to moments in the past and I loved looking through them and holding them in my hands. As I got older, I got my first camera and became interested in photography as another way to capture and preserve memories and moments. I went on a year abroad as part of my foreign languages degree which ignited a passion for travelling and I wanted to find a way to bring my words, photos and ephemera together to tell the stories of my adventures. I remember doing some research online and finding Amy Tangerine and Kelly Purkey. I was super inspired to document my trips in travel journals and scrapbooks and it all took off from there! I found Ali Edwards a bit later and developed an interest in everyday documenting and telling stories around a theme. I started Project Life in 2017 and some of Ali’s projects like Week in the Life and December Daily around that time too. In terms of what has changed, I now really value documenting a broad range of stories from my everyday life in addition to travel documenting.
What sizes or formats do you typically create in? Why?
I primarily work in pocket pages because I like the look of them and enjoy their versatility. I do Project Life on a monthly basis in 12×12 pocket pages. I create story albums and travel albums typically in 6×8 size, but I have also recently been trying out Ali Edwards’ new 10×8 album size which is an interesting change and provides more space which is useful for my travel pages as I take a lot of photos! I make mini books using Everyday Explorers Mini Book Makers Club kits which I find really fun and very manageable as they’re a small size. In addition to scrapbooking I am also interested in journaling and Japanese stationery and I journal in both a traveler’s notebook and Hobonichi techo.
Whose products are you completely obsessed with?
Ali Edwards (a very popular answer I know!) I love the Story kits and Stories by the Month. Everyday Explorers is another favourite especially for stamps. I also love Kelly Purkey / Paper Person and used to subscribe to her kits but sadly they’re no longer available for shipping to the UK. I am also a huge fan of Traveler’s Company, the Japanese brand that created the original traveler’s notebook. I went to Japan a few years ago and visited the Traveler’s Factory stores in Tokyo and have been obsessed with their products ever since.
What is something you use or do on most of your pages?
Stamping is my favourite technique and I stamp on most of my pages and projects.
When do you typically find the time/energy for scrapbooking?
Weekends mainly and I love when I have a whole day or afternoon to work on projects. I also find pockets of time in the evenings where possible to print some photos or work on some pages and that helps me to stay on top of my Project Life.
Do you have any strategies that you use to stay motivated?
I like to stay quite up-to-date with my Project Life album and find that receiving my Ali Edwards Stories by the Month kits in the mail and also watching the Inspiration by the Month class motivates me as I think about my recent photos and stories and how I want to document them in my album. I also enjoy looking at other people’s projects on Instagram and YouTube as a way to get inspired and motivated to create.
What is something in scrapbooking — a supply, technique, size, or format — that you’ve decided is just not for you?
I’m not really into making traditional 12×12 layouts. I have made some in the past including some that I do really like, but I find the size too overwhelming and I have quite a simple style which I think lends itself better to pocket pages and smaller formats.
What are one or two of your favorite organizing tips or solutions? They could be related to supplies, photos, ideas, or just something in your home.
I journal regularly in my traveler’s notebook and keep notes of things I have done and details that I want to document. When I want to go back and work on a project I find that referring to my journal as I am looking through my photos really helps as a starting place for my stories. In terms of photo organisation, as I take a lot of photos, I find it helpful to look through the photos on my phone regularly and mark my favourites so that I already know which ones I want to use for documenting. When I travel I always take a couple of zipper pouches (I have a stash of old ones from Studio Calico’s documenter kits) and I use these to store all the ephemera I collect as I go, ready for when I get home and put together my album.
Where would you like your scrapbooking to be in 10 years?
I would like to have completed a good percentage of the unfinished projects I currently have, and I would hope to have remained consistent with documenting and to still enjoy it.
What has being a scrapbooker taught you?
It has taught me to pay attention, to focus on the small things, and to practice gratitude. Scrapbooking has also shown me how much I enjoy and value being able to look through my stories and memories.
Where can our readers follow you?
Do you have anything new coming up soon?
I plan to share photos and flip-throughs of the travel albums I am currently working on over there soon.