SYW243 – The Simplicity of Starting Points

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Podcast | 1 comment

What if there were fewer ‘hard parts’ to scrapbooking? In this episode I’m chatting with digital scrapbooker and long-time creative team member Jen Johnson about the ways she simplifies her experience. Our conversation covers a wide range of topics, but centers on accepting permission to use creative starting points so that we can reap the mental health benefits of our hobby.

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{00:01:20] 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 243. In this episode I’m chatting with Jen Johnson, a digital scrapbooker and member of our creative team since 2014. Our conversation highlights the importance of design starting points, the mental health benefits of our hobby, and specific strategies for staying consistent.

[00:01:54] Jennifer Wilson: Hey, Jen. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:56] Jen Johnson: Hey, thanks for having me on.

[00:01:59] Jennifer Wilson: Could you introduce yourself to our listeners so they can get to know you a little bit better before we jump in?

[00:02:05] Jen Johnson: Sure. My name is Jennifer Johnson, but Jen is fine. Um, I have a husband who I met on the internet. We lived in South Florida for many years and we just moved up to Kentucky last year. So that's been fun and different. We get seasons now. So yeah, everything is fall colored right now. It's a lot of fun. Um, yeah, I have a stepson who just turned 21 and he lives in Massachusetts and I have a Covid cat, Tabby, who is a joy and wonderful.

[00:02:43] Jen Johnson: And, uh, our dog Daisy, who is an elderly. Um, also joy.

[00:02:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yes,

[00:02:52] Jen Johnson: She'll get jealous if I don't say she's also a joy.

[00:02:55] Jennifer Wilson: For sure. Now, did moving to Kentucky bring you closer to family or further away?

[00:03:00] Jen Johnson: Yeah, much closer. So it's a four hour drive to Nashville, which is where most of my family is, and it was like a, 16 hour drive

[00:03:12] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah.

[00:03:12] Jen Johnson: Before, 'cause we lived at the very bottom. So yeah, it was a big drive. This is much nicer. My husband got a transfer at work, so he's still, you know, doing mostly the same job. And yeah, we're, we're living that suburban cul-de-sac life right now. Which is.

[00:03:30] Jennifer Wilson: Nice. I remember a long time ago when I first, yeah, we first moved here, we would drive around and I'm like, oh, I would never live in that neighborhood. It's so like uniform and.

[00:03:42] Jen Johnson: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:42] Jennifer Wilson: Um, and now that's where we live.

[00:03:45] Jen Johnson: Yeah.

[00:03:47] Jennifer Wilson: And I love it. So yes, I get it. I get it.

[00:03:49] Jen Johnson: Yeah. It's that change in life stage, I guess. 'cause No, I totally, I, I, I need different looking houses and, and yeah. It's, it's kind of weird, but I like it. It's nice.

[00:04:00] Jennifer Wilson: So Jen, what is exciting you right now? We love to ask our guests both about their scrapbooky things as well as their non scrapbooky things.

[00:04:08] Jen Johnson: So I have been having a really good time lately. My other hobby is reading. And I've always got an audio book going, at least one. Usually more. And so I've been kind of gamifying my reading lately. So we're, we're doing this in October, but last month I did a series September Bingo board. Um, , which someone on YouTube made.

[00:04:34] Jen Johnson: And so I was trying to catch up on a bunch of book series and stuff and, and using a bingo board to do that. And now, Um, we're, we've, I haven't, but a lot of people are participating in a thing called Spookopoly I can never say it right, but it's like a monopoly, but for spooky books. So.

[00:04:58] Jennifer Wilson: Oh my gosh.

[00:05:00] Jen Johnson: So I've got a board printed out and it's, um, Becca and The Books, uh, on YouTube does it, and it's all free.

[00:05:07] Jen Johnson: You can go look at that if you want to, but you just like roll your dice. And you go on a book prompt and sometimes it's like an orange book or you know, a book with witches or whatever. It's a lot of fun. It's very silly, but I'm enjoying it. And.

[00:05:23] Jennifer Wilson: I love that.

[00:05:24] Jen Johnson: I know we have a lot of like book people here, so if you wanna gameify your reading, I can, you know, talk to you about that.

[00:05:31] Jennifer Wilson: Sometimes you just need help making decisions because there are far more books than we could ever read and everything, not everything. But a lot of things look so good or they have really good reviews. And yeah, sometimes you just need help making that choice.

[00:05:45] Jen Johnson: Yep. Yep, yep, yep. For sure. And yeah, limiting choices is a good thing for sure. Um, my scrappy thing is I just got back from our first kind of big fun trip in several years and probably 2018. And we went up to see my stepson, who I haven't seen in a year. So that was wonderful. And went to Salem and went to see Niagara Falls, which is like a bucket list, um, thing for me.

[00:06:19] Jen Johnson: So I'm really excited to start scrapping that. I'm already started scrapping that.

[00:06:24] Jennifer Wilson: I bet we are going to New England in a couple weeks and I'm hoping to get to Salem over there, especially being October and yeah.

[00:06:33] Jen Johnson: Oh, it's so fun. Yeah, we need to talk about that 'cause it is so, so fun.

[00:06:38] Jennifer Wilson: So Jen, what's on your memory keeping bucket list? This is a story that feels important to tell, but for some reason or another you haven't documented it yet.

[00:06:47] Jen Johnson: So this is kind of a, I'm, I'm not even sure whether it's gonna be a story or like a series of stories, but like 2022 is pretty terrible for like my family. And we lost my mom. And we moved. And we acquired dogs under bad circumstances. And we, we just, it was rough. It was rough. And so towards the end of last year, I'm like, okay, I, I don't really wanna scrapbook all of the bad stuff yet.

[00:07:18] Jen Johnson: I'm not ready for that. So can I think of like, 22 good things that happened in 2022. And I came up with this list and it actually ended up being like 25 good things. So that was even more. But I don't know, like if I wanna make layouts for all those things or just like make it a list or, and, and have that in my book. Or I don't know kind of how to approach that. But I want to have some positivity, I guess in my scrapbook for last year.

[00:07:51] Jennifer Wilson: What about like a mini book type of thing, whether you did it digital and printed them in four by four, or you actually, you know, did something a little more tactile if you wanted to.

[00:08:01] Jen Johnson: No, that's a good idea that that actually, I haven't really thought about doing that. But yeah, like a little Blurb book or something. And just, you know, people were, were very wonderful and kind to us last year, um, unexpectedly. And you know, we, I, I think my husband and I are kind of, we're insular with it. We're, we're just like us against the world kind of things. And, and sometimes the world helps you. And so, you know, I want to highlight some of the people who helped us or just some of the good memories, like we had our first snow. And we got snowed in and that was kind of fun. But, so yeah, maybe, maybe a mini book would be the way to go.

[00:08:44] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I know that, uh, Shannan Manton has some templates for those Blurb trade publication books that are like.

[00:08:51] Jen Johnson: Hmm.

[00:08:52] Jennifer Wilson: Smaller, um, you know, a little more like, I don't know, magazine, like sometimes. Um, but that might be like a starting point too.

[00:09:02] Jen Johnson: Yeah. Yeah..

[00:09:03] Jennifer Wilson: I mean, I just know that I'm coming from the perspective of I don't wanna make 25 layouts, but that's my personal perspective. That might not be yours.

[00:09:12] Jen Johnson: I mean, I would like to be pretty prolific. I was pretty prolific, you know, before 2022 . I kinda lost my mojo a little bit. But, you know, yeah, I'm not, I'm not gonna do that anytime soon. So it would be a couple years project if I made a layout for everything.

[00:09:30] Jennifer Wilson: For sure. Yeah, I think I just, I would just get tired of it before I finished.

[00:09:34] Jen Johnson: Yeah.

[00:09:35] Jennifer Wilson: Um.

[00:09:36] Jen Johnson: That's why I never finish anything.

[00:09:40] Jennifer Wilson: Well, we'll get to you printing 2015 in a little bit.

[00:09:46] Jen Johnson: Yeah.

[00:09:47] Jennifer Wilson: So, Jen, you are a digital scrapbooker. Can you tell us how long you've been scrapbooking, what that journey has been like, and how you typically approach scrapbooking today?

[00:09:57] Jen Johnson: Sure. Um, so I say I started scrapbooking in 2010. I, I started like lurking on the scrappy forums probably in 2009 and collecting freebies in 2009. But I, I didn't really.

[00:10:13] Jennifer Wilson: What I was doing.

[00:10:14] Jen Johnson: Yep. , it was, it was so much more fun to like look at what other people were doing than to try to actually learn, you know, the program and stuff and make my own stuff.

[00:10:23] Jen Johnson: But I did eventually make my own stuff. And so, yeah, 2010 and I loved, um, just getting on different digital sites and participating in challenges. And just learning things and making all different kinds of pages. And I think initially when I started, I kind of wanted a home for all the photos we were taking.

[00:10:50] Jen Johnson: We were, you know, exploring the state that I had just moved to and, you know, doing family things and, and everything. And I wanted a house for the photos. And then I started doing these challenges and it was like, why is blue my favorite color? Or, you know, it was like all these introspective kind of all about me things too.

[00:11:12] Jen Johnson: And I'm like, oh, I can scrapbook, I like me. I can scrapbook about me a whole lot. . So, you know, and, and then it just kind of went from there to like, it's kind of therapeutic now. It's exercise gratitude.

[00:11:27] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:11:27] Jen Johnson: And when I think, you know, everything sucks, I go and make a layout about my cat or something and I feel better.

[00:11:38] Jen Johnson: Like it doesn't need to be big, you know, big journaling just make something pretty and you feel good.

[00:11:44] Jen Johnson: Yes. Yes. You know, it's so interesting. That reminds me, you know, we talk so much about bucket list stories here, and when we first started talking about them and putting together the class, one of the things I mentioned was that, you know, Uh, how do I even say this? Like I was almost poo-pooing myself and making layouts about my coffee cup and taking pictures of my coffee cup, because that's something that is like joyful, a regular part of my life. But that is such an important part of our scrapbooking. It's just not all of it.

[00:12:15] Jen Johnson: Sure.

[00:12:15] Jennifer Wilson: Um, but that is something like our coffee and our cats and.

[00:12:19] Jen Johnson: Mm-hmm.

[00:12:20] Jennifer Wilson: You know, like our favorite fashions or cosmetics. Like the things that just like make up life. Food, especially like food a hundred percent.

[00:12:29] Jen Johnson: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

[00:12:30] Jennifer Wilson: Um, those are things that often have more positive feelings than they do negative. And can help ground us in the context of even when like there's a lot of junk happening in our lives. We still have all these things that make life a little bit more enjoyable and pleasurable.

[00:12:51] Jen Johnson: Yeah, for sure. And you know, going back to 2022, which is probably, I mean, . I hope it doesn't get much worse than that. But you know, one of the worst years of my life really. And, you know, I look back at the things that I scrapped and it's like 80% cat and like.

[00:13:07] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:13:08] Jen Johnson: That's totally fine. It, it made me feel good.

[00:13:11] Jen Johnson: And she's real cute and, you know. It, it helped. I mean, 'cause I, if I didn't have a cute cat to scrap, I probably wouldn't be scrapping at all to be perfectly honest. So sometimes you do what you need to do to keep your hand in it, you know.

[00:13:28] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and that's, that's such an important thing to remember is that, to, to acknowledge that, yeah, you probably would've stepped away if you didn't have these things that you could scrapbook. And even that permission to yourself this is a, an, an acceptable subject to spend time on.

[00:13:48] Jen Johnson: Definitely.

[00:13:49] Jennifer Wilson: I think sometimes we don't feel like we have permission to do that or to scrapbook about ourselves and those little things that we love. So I really appreciate you being open about that.

[00:14:00] Jen Johnson: Yeah. Everybody, scrapbook your cat. They're fun. , I give you, permission.

[00:14:05] Jennifer Wilson: Jen, where do you like to shop? Where are your favorite shops? Who are your favorite designers? Like what is filling your downloads folder regularly?

[00:14:13] Jen Johnson: So I'm on a lot of CTs. Okay, so this is like full disclosure. I work for Ginger Scraps. I'm their CT lead. And I CT for a bunch of their designers, but that's really been my digital home since, 2012 probably. I was a customer to all of these people way before I became on their CT. So, um, I, and, and uh, also at The Lilypad, like Just Jaimee I was a customer of hers way before I got on onto her team as well.

[00:14:49] Jen Johnson: So, um, Just Jaimee is wonderful. Uh, I CT for Miss Fish Templates and Tinci Templates and Aprilisa. Um, so people who I buy from, I mean, um, Connie Prince and Aimee Harrison who are both it, um, Ginger Scraps. I get a lot of their stuff. Uh, Mommyish at The Lilypad. I buy a whole lot of her CU stuff. I don't always use it, but I buy a whole bunch. And , um, yeah, CU stuff in general. I kind of, which, um, I guess we should say what that is. It's, um, like designer use, uh, products. Like, so just a paper or just a style or, or something like that. I don't know. Can you give a better description?

[00:15:43] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, so CU stands for commercial use. I mean, it's really intended to be a, like toolbox of starting points for other digital designers to like recolor, to combine with other things. Um, but digital scrapbookers can certainly use them, uh, as their own starting points as well, particularly as you gain skills in doing those things. Previous acronym, CT is creative team. Um, it's kind of the, it's the digital equivalent to a design team in paper scrapbooking.

[00:16:13] Jen Johnson: Right.

[00:16:13] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah.

[00:16:14] Jen Johnson: So I buy a lot of, uh, commercial use stuff and and I don't ever, ever wanna design things like that is not my goal whatsoever. But sometimes, you know, a kit needs some leaves or a kit needs like a white paper. So I buy a lot of leaves and white papers and things.

[00:16:34] Jen Johnson: So, you know, supplement what I, what I already have.

[00:16:37] Jennifer Wilson: Well, and I think if you know, there's attributes of your scrapbooking, and this goes for no matter how you're scrapbooking. If you know you wanna use this again and again.

[00:16:45] Jen Johnson: Mm-hmm.

[00:16:45] Jennifer Wilson: You kind of, you need to stock up, you need to have your go-tos that you'll always combine with whatever, like the new, color thing.

[00:16:54] Jennifer Wilson: You're, you're, you're bringing in now the new kit, the new collection. So

[00:16:57] Jen Johnson: Definitely.

[00:16:58] Jennifer Wilson: Now your style is very like, I would say like whimsical, maybe. Like, would you say that?

[00:17:08] Jen Johnson: I don't know. I, so I.

[00:17:12] Jennifer Wilson: Cute and sweet, but not like in a, not in a saccharine way. But you know, happy and you know, you . Yeah.

[00:17:20] Jen Johnson: Okay. I like that. I, I, because I almost think that some of the things that I make for Simple Scrapper are a little bit different than what I make for a lot of my other pages, because I'm not trying to like showcase a product. So it's, it's not like flower sneeze all over the page for like my Simple Scrapper pages, as much. But happy, yeah, I like happy. And you know, a lot of flowers and, you know, a lot of cats.

[00:17:48] Jennifer Wilson: You know, your flower sneeze is totally welcome at all times. So don't ever hold back.

[00:17:55] Jen Johnson: Okay.

[00:17:56] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, we always talk about how like simple is really what your way is. Like what feels good and easy and fun to you, and doesn't require, like stressfulness. Like to me, making clean and simple layouts is actually more difficult and stresses me out and gives me anxiety than it does to like make something with mixed media that's more layered and I'm much more comfortable with that. Because I can feel good about it without having to obsess about where the last embellishment is going.

[00:18:31] Jen Johnson: No. Yeah, for sure. And I think that, you know, simple for me. Is having a starting point in design, which is what the templates do. So I, I can add, you know, a hundred layers on top of that, but the basic design is still gonna be there. So my, you know, my brain is not a designing brain and you know, I'm very happy that there are people out there who are do much better. 'Cause every, every page that I make is either a scrap lift or a template or, you know, the, those don't come out of my brain.

[00:19:08] Jennifer Wilson: Nice. Nice. I think it's important to know that about yourself and that's why we have all these tools available.

[00:19:14] Jen Johnson: Yeah, totally.

[00:19:16] Jennifer Wilson: So looking back over the past decade plus, what do you really love about digital scrapbooking and why do you think it's like the perfect fit for you?

[00:19:26] Jen Johnson: So I guess scrapbooking in general is just, It, it, it helps me. It, it's for my mental health. Like if I haven't done it in a while, I get, you know, tense. And, and, and, you know, probably not, not a nice person. I gotta let those feelings out somehow. And I think Digi in particular, There's a freedom in being able to resize things and recolor things and not have to depend on arbitrary release dates or waiting until, you know, some, something sells out. And being stressed out and feeling like you have to buy a thing before it all goes away because it doesn't really go away. And you know, always knowing that you're gonna have the right alphabet letter that you need, like the thought of being, you know, having to buy alphabet stickers stresses me out.

[00:20:31] Jen Johnson: Like

[00:20:33] Jennifer Wilson: I always run out of the Es always.

[00:20:35] Jen Johnson: Yeah, yeah. And then having to like Frankenstein, like let, and I know some people are really good at that, and maybe if I was paper, I would learn to be good at that. But like, I, I, I think the freedom of being able to make things, how I wanna make them. I guess, is, why I love Digi and, and just not having a big mess. My husband is a, you know, minimalist and I tell him all the time, he should be grateful that I'm not a paper scrapbooker. 'Cause.

[00:21:06] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, for sure.

[00:21:07] Jen Johnson: Is, he just keeps having to make sure I stay in hard drives and, you know, so I have room for all of that stuff. Instead of like buying a bigger and bigger, you know, place to live or, you know, stuff like that. So. It. It keeps our marriage good. Yeah.

[00:21:26] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Now, this is a little bit more of a personal question, but I'm curious, what do you want Scrapbook brands or even content creators like myself to know about memory keepers who have a visual impairment? I.

[00:21:40] Jen Johnson: That is such an excellent question and I have never thought about that before. I think for myself, I grew up in, you know, a family full of people with various disabilities and mental illnesses. And, you know, not just regular old people. I mean, whatever that means, you know. But, you know, so for me it's like, oh, you don't have a disability or you don't have a mental illness?

[00:22:13] Jen Johnson: Like that's kind of boring, you know. And so, but then on the other hand, um, I feel more like I need to fit into the sighted world. Like the people don't need to do things to accommodate me, like I need to accommodate myself into the world. Which is kind of messed up. And hopefully that's changing. You know, people are advocating.

[00:22:41] Jen Johnson: You know, and, and a young generation of advocates for, you know, disability and all kinds of, you know, marginalized people are, are coming up and it's wonderful to see. But, you know, in my little small area, I don't really think of it like,. how can people help me with this? So I guess, you know, legible fonts, are really, really, really important.

[00:23:10] Jen Johnson: And I think that, you know, maybe in the early days of scrapping that was more of an issue. Like, I sure use a real bad fonts, you know, and I think now, you know, it's either scripty or it's pretty clean. So, and I do love a scripty font, but. You know, just people making their websites accessible and not using like a pale blue font on a white background on your, you know, that kind of stuff.

[00:23:44] Jen Johnson: And, and, and I think this is more of a issue with like digital people who, or digital designers who do more kind of heritage things. But they like pile all this texture on. To where you can't read what the label says or what, and, and that's a look, you know, that's an aesthetic. But sometimes I want, you know, to be able to read what my labels say.

[00:24:12] Jen Johnson: So I, I think, I don't know, stuff like that. And, and I'd be interested if anybody else out there had more concrete examples of that. But I think just, you know, accessible. websites, the ability to make previews big, you know. So we can kind of see what we're getting. I mean, I have a huge monitor so you know, it's, it's fine for me. And I don't really know how many people out there, you know, are very visually impaired, who, who do scrapbooking of any kind.

[00:24:48] Jen Johnson: I'd be very interested to, you know, talk to people. I, I feel like I'm kind of like the only one floating out there and I don't even really talk about it much. So, you know, unless you know me personally, you might not know unless you see.

[00:25:02] Jennifer Wilson: Sure.

[00:25:02] Jen Johnson: Unless you see my layouts with the big gigantic 15 point font on a eight by eight layout.

[00:25:09] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I appreciate you kind of sharing openly and you have with me in the past as well. Um, and I invite anyone who's listening who has, um, thoughts or perspectives personally or or observations on this to leave a comment in the show notes for the episode. 'Cause I'd love to, to hear what others have to say. I know that the one thing that's been relayed to me the most over the years is, you know, using more of a light gray font or light gray lines has been kind of, maybe trendy in design. But it's not particularly helpful for those who do have, um, a visual disability or even aging eyes. Um, it's just harder to read, especially if it's small, but even the light gray in general is, is challenging. So I've really tried to be more aware of that and just go with straight black.

[00:25:55] Jen Johnson: Yeah, for sure. No, it's, and, and that's, I think you know it, how the trends go. Like I feel like when I first started scrapping, people did like a lot of like pale or blue on a white background. Or you, you know, you're looking at it from the aesthetically pretty website and stuff like that and not really thinking like, oh, people have to actually read this.

[00:26:17] Jen Johnson: And I think especially, you know, as our scrapping population ages, that's gonna be, you know, more of a, Hey, can you, can you make that a little more contrasty please?

[00:26:31] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. So one of the things that I really wanted to talk to you about today is you printing your digital layouts at home. Um, you know, in 2010 when you started. I'm not really sure we had the capability to do that successfully. We could barely, we barely had the capability to do that out of the home at that point.

[00:26:49] Jen Johnson: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:50] Jennifer Wilson: I'm recalling correctly, you actually didn't print anything for a long time and you are now working through your archive. So I'd love to kind of hear more about this.

[00:26:59] Jen Johnson: Well, so a couple of things first. Because, uh, if, if I had been printing regularly from the beginning, I probably would've made many, many less, uh, illegible font layouts. 'Cause I would've been able to see like, oh, that doesn't look good in person. . But also, you know, I, I, as a person, you know who, who, is visually impaired, I don't know that the quality of what I'm doing is going to meet some people's standards. So I feel like I need to have that caveat of like, everything looks a little blurry to me, so maybe my way won't work for you, but like also try it, 'cause it could work fine. But yeah. So I think a lot of Digi people, um, don't print their layouts at all. Or if they do, they do it, you know, like in a bound book or something. And a bound book is way too much commitment for me. I not, I've done that like once or twice. And, you know, all these years of making, you know, a hundred or 200 or however many layouts a year. You know, it's a lot to keep up with. And I was, for many years, my dad would get me print credits from Persnickety. For my birthday or whatever, and even the, you know, a hundred here and a hundred there still would not keep up , it would not meet my demand. 'Cause I scrapped a lot. And so I have a backlog of just hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of layouts. And I was, you know, using Persnickety for a long time. You know, on and off, you know, whenever I would get, uh, sales or whatever, or get gifted, credits. But it, you know, it became prohibitively expensive.

[00:29:00] Jen Johnson: We'll just say that. Um, and I, and I understand, you know, people have their businesses and especially with Covid, you know, prices rose. But they, they rose quite a bit. And so I started looking at other alternatives. I always had this kind of dream of like, one day I'll be caught up with printing and then I can just print as I make stuff.

[00:29:23] Jen Johnson: And like, how cool will that be? And you know, I still have that dream. It's not quite come true yet. But um, so I started looking at other alternatives. And I actually printed a couple times, um, at like Staples or Office Depot and just to kind of see the different papers and the different quality of, you know, stuff.

[00:29:50] Jen Johnson: And I, and I really think if you, if you're thinking about maybe printing at home, maybe try printing at Staples or something like that first. Because there's a lot of paper choices out there and not everything looks good. And so maybe see, you know, because they can print something on, you know, a hundred pound card stock versus a heavier card stock or whatever. I don't know, pounds. But, you know, they can, they can print things on different qualities of paper. So that can kind of give you an idea of what, what you would like in your end result.

[00:30:24] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm.

[00:30:25] Jen Johnson: So I did that for a little while. And then I discovered this wonderful thing called the HP Instant Ink Program, and I'm like, Hey, I have a HP printer.

[00:30:37] Jen Johnson: Why don't we try that out for a little bit? And it's a subscription and I'm morally opposed to subscriptions. But man, I save so much money, I'm telling you. So I have the 5.99 a month plan that gives me a hundred, uh, prints every month. And I have like a 300 print rollover. So a print for them could be an eight and a half by 11 full sheet print of a photo.

[00:31:07] Jen Johnson: It could be a four by six, it could be, you know, whatever is a piece of paper, is a print to them. So I print on eight and a half by 11, uh, HP Everyday Photo Paper. I wrote that down so I could remember all these numbers, And um, so I print on that. I print my layouts slightly, uh, bigger than a eight by eight.

[00:31:37] Jen Johnson: That's probably like a 8.2 or something. And so I've been doing that going back through the years. I'm working my way backwards and I, I am all caught up from 2016, to the present. And I'm almost done with 2015. And I have a few little outliers here and there that are like double page things that I've done that I just don't wanna like put into Photoshop and mess with or whatever.

[00:32:12] Jen Johnson: But, but yeah, so that's what I've been doing. And every Monday, uh, during Monday coworking, I print out at least a couple and sometimes a whole lot more. And that's kind of been my habit for a few months now, and it's really, it's getting my books filled. Just doing a little here and there in that one day a week.

[00:32:37] Jennifer Wilson: Can you tell me a little bit more about how the subscription works?

[00:32:41] Jen Johnson: Sure. Okay.

[00:32:42] Jennifer Wilson: Despite you being morally opposed to them?

[00:32:45] Jen Johnson: Oh, oh, no. I mean, everything is a subscription, you know.

[00:32:49] Jennifer Wilson: I know, I know. So, so is my business. So,

[00:32:53] Jen Johnson: I know, but that gives you a great value for what you're getting. Hey, everybody, Simple Scrapper is a great value.

[00:33:01] Jennifer Wilson: No, I get it. Everything is a subscription these days because it's, you know, it's effective for a lot of different reasons in terms of giving the person, uh, the consistency that they need as well as being a good business model. So.

[00:33:13] Jen Johnson: Yeah.

[00:33:13] Jennifer Wilson: Understand why so many people have gone to it, but it's hard. Like even, you know, our air conditioning, uh, service is a subscription now and.

[00:33:22] Jen Johnson: No. Oh, terrible. Um.

[00:33:26] Jennifer Wilson: But anyway, so the HP subscription, can you tell, tell us more about how it works in terms of what you get for it?

[00:33:32] Jen Johnson: So there are different levels, and right now I'm kind of at the, the mid-tier level. Um, I, I'll send you a link to everything and, and the different prices and stuff like that. So, ba so basically I have an H P N V 5 6 6 0, and they, so, which is one of those supported. And it's kind of old, it's several years old, so I don't know how old they go as far as like what they're supporting, but I think it's just ones that can connect to the internet.

[00:34:01] Jen Johnson: So, um, basically they send you ink, um, as often as you need it. So I, you get your first two inks, you kind of . If you had inks in there already, you kind of put those aside. They want you to use their, you know, their inks that they just sent you. I, I don't know how that works. So you plop those in and you connect to the site and it's like, cool.

[00:34:28] Jen Johnson: You have ink. Now go use it. And so you get your a hundred pages or whatever you signed up for. And as you're printing, uh, HP is looking over your shoulder and saying, Hey, looks like you need some ink. Let me send you a couple of cartridges. And it just knows and it's magic. And so when you look at the price of how much the individual cartridges, I mean, don't tell HP but like.

[00:35:00] Jen Johnson: I, I'm getting a real good deal off of this for as much as I print. 'Cause I can use, you know, one or two cartridges a month if I'm really printing, you know, full page layouts, using a lot of ink and everything. And, and getting, getting that for 5.99 a month is, is a pretty decent deal. And I don't know if that would be, you know, and, and I do things like, I print off recipes and I do things like that that don't.

[00:35:29] Jen Johnson: You know, use a ton of ink. And so maybe if all you're doing is, you know, printing off stuff for school, you know, for your kids or whatever, maybe it wouldn't be as, you know, a banger of a deal. But, you know, for me, printing almost full eight and a half by elevens just page after page after page and using, using up all this ink is, uh, , it works for me. And I don't even have to think about it.

[00:35:57] Jen Johnson: I don't have to like go to the store and remember which ink I need or order. It just comes in the mail.

[00:36:04] Jennifer Wilson: Nice. Nice. Yeah, it takes, it's, uh, that is a kind of an unbelievable deal, um, in terms of the price of ink these days as well.

[00:36:13] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-hmm. .

[00:36:14] Jen Johnson: Yeah, so don't, don't,

[00:36:15] Jennifer Wilson: And just, it's efficient. So, you know, you're, you know, you're getting what exactly what you need.

[00:36:21] Jen Johnson: Yeah, exactly. And I had a problem with one of my cartridges a couple of weeks ago, my black cartridge, and I was able to just contact customer support and they sent me another one to replace it. And, you know, that would've been however much ink cartridge costs, you know, that I just would've had to replace myself. Just because one of them was defective and they're, you know, the HP brand.

[00:36:47] Jen Johnson: So it's not, you know, some knockoff or anything like that. It's their branded stuff, and yeah, it works really well for me. So, Digi people.

[00:36:57] Jennifer Wilson: Awesome. Yeah, I, uh, I hope, I wonder if Canon has anything like that because I would love, I would love that for sure. Because I'm always trying to make sure I'm not gonna run out and.

[00:37:09] Jen Johnson: Mm-hmm. and, and I've been doing it since last August or September, and I've never run out of ink. And I think that they see how much I use, so they actually send me two cartridges at one time instead of one cartridge at one time. So it's, it's really just automatic and you don't even have to think about it.

[00:37:30] Jen Johnson: And I think it, and I think at some point, like when I get caught up with all my printing. I'll maybe move down to a lower tier, like the 50 page or whatever a day. But like right now when I'm really trying to catch up on printing it, it's really great for me.

[00:37:44] Jennifer Wilson: Well, we'll definitely link that in the show notes 'cause I'm sure we're gonna have others who are interested in in that offer. So I wanted to close on a fun note. You've been part of our creative team since 2014. That is a very, very long time.

[00:37:59] Jen Johnson: Mm-hmm.

[00:38:01] Jennifer Wilson: Um, and I'm curious what has made you stick around through all that time?

[00:38:07] Jen Johnson: So I, and I kind of look to see, I, I think you and Ginger Scraps have been my longest running teams. And, which is crazy. I, I kind of had to do a double take when, when you said 2014, I was like, wow. Um, I, I will be perfectly honest, and this is not gonna sound good, but it's gonna sound better. The lay , the layouts that I'm, the layouts that I make for Simple scrapper are sometimes some of the hardest for me to make as far as like, this team is so good. And I get like, I don't get imposter syndrome like in any other areas of my life really.

[00:38:51] Jen Johnson: But man, you got such a good team. I look at their stuff and I'm like, Ugh, what am I doing here? So I get a little bit, even after all these years, I get a little bit of like, Worried . And when I turn in my layouts like, is it gonna be good enough? Is it gonna be so cute? I don't know. It's going in a magazine, y'all.

[00:39:12] Jen Johnson: That's intimidating. But I have made some of my very best layouts that I still think about and I still love just because of, you know, the prompts and the good design. And just, all of you know, I've loved making the travel layouts this year. And just the different, it, it always pushes me out of my comfort zone.

[00:39:39] Jen Johnson: So it's kind of my hardest team, but my, one of my most rewarding teams. If, if that, you know, makes sense. I, I

[00:39:49] Jennifer Wilson: No, I'm so glad we can offer, um, a, you know, a fun challenge to you, you know.

[00:39:56] Jen Johnson: Yeah.

[00:39:56] Jennifer Wilson: Keep it interesting. For sure.

[00:39:58] Jen Johnson: Yeah, yeah. And we have to, and, and I, I think just because you've picked such, such a diverse team, such a consistently talented team. Like I look at the things that the other people make, and it just blows my mind and I wanna copy everything that everybody has done. So I, it, it makes me wanna up my game, I guess is, is what I'm saying.

[00:40:28] Jen Johnson: I, I love, I loved when we were doing, um, you know, prompts every, every month for, for journaling and stuff. And a lot of that was stuff I never would've thought about doing and, you know, got me to talk about stuff or like religion and making friends as an adult and like cussing and things. And like, I wouldn't have made pages like that probably if I hadn't of, you know, had that inspiration to do that. So, and, and I think really at, at this point, you know, I think I went a lot of years. You know, we had a different kind of community. It was on Facebook and it was, you know, but since moving to Mighty Networks and since really, really, you know, participating in the crops and the, you know, just refresh and all the class things, and just everything has enhanced my scrapbooking like so, so much. And I don't mean this to be like a commercial for Simple Scrapper , but like, if I wasn't on the team, I would definitely like, I mean, you'd have to kick me off, but I would still like, okay, kick me off. I'm gonna, I'm gonna buy the subscription.

[00:41:50] Jen Johnson: You can't get rid of me. Because I'm just, the community is great. And everybody's so helpful. And . I have been through, you know, a whole lot of stuff and not everything, you know, I, it's just like, you know, during Monday Coworking, this is getting real personal. This is Jen's therapy session, but you know, I have done things during Monday Coworking that I've been putting off like, making an appointment for a physical. Or making a phone call that I didn't wanna make. Or, or doing things and just knowing that like other people were there to be accountable for, to, you know, cheer me on and say, yes, you can go pay those bills now . Or, you know, just whatever random like challenge I was like trying to do at that particular time other than printing. Um, you know, has been so, so like helpful in my life and not just like scrapping. So that in conclusion, that's my Ted Talk about why I love Simple Scrapper creative team. There you go.

[00:42:59] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I appreciate, um, your very kind words and I do want to underscore that those Monday morning sessions, like there's a lot of frogs eaten. And it's because we're all together encouraging one another. There's like, I. If there's oral words spoken, there's messages in the chat about, especially how it is important to, you know, take care of ourselves. 'Cause we spend so much time taking care of others. Um, that's something that I think has really helped a lot of us. You know, make those calls and take care of things that sometimes are really hard.

[00:43:34] Jen Johnson: Yeah, definitely. I, I, I appreciate the community and the accountability and just the, Hey, you did that. Good job. You know.

[00:43:47] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I am sure I am very certain that, um, your layouts, the hundreds of them that you have contributed, um, have inspired so many and I'm just, yeah. I'm so glad you're part of our creative family.

[00:44:00] Jen Johnson: Thank you. I love it.

[00:44:03] Jennifer Wilson: Jen, can you share where our listeners can find you online and anything that you might be doing, um, towards the end of this year, the beginning of next.

[00:44:13] Jen Johnson: Um, so I post sporadically on Instagram and I am hclappy there, which is h c like cat, l a p p y. Um, so you can holler at me there. I'm always a Ginger Scraps. I'm always in Simple Scrapper. You know, pretending like I'm gonna finish a thing and never, ever finishing a thing. That's kind of my, my thing. But you know, if you like finishing things.

[00:44:44] Jennifer Wilson: You, you, you meet your creative team requirements and your printing things that's finishing.

[00:44:49] Jen Johnson: You go.

[00:44:50] Jennifer Wilson: Give yourself some credit.

[00:44:51] Jen Johnson: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's true.

[00:44:56] Jennifer Wilson: Jen, this has been such a lovely talk. I always enjoy spending time with you.

[00:44:59] Jen Johnson: Thank you so much.

[00:45:01] Jennifer Wilson: And to all our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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1 Comment

  1. Cindy

    Yes, there are other VP scrappers and designers. I prefer blind but most sightlings can’t understand that 90% of blind people have some type of vision.


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