SYW246 – A Look Ahead at 2024

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In this episode I’m joined by Peggy Collins and Amy Zwart, two members of our Simple Scrapper leadership team. We reflect a bit on 2023, but focus on how we’re planning for 2024 both personally and for our creative community. This extended conversation features a range of scrapbooking favorites and our best advice for the New Year.

Links Mentioned

[00:01:15] Jennifer: 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 246. In this episode I’m chatting with Peggy and Amy, who help lead our membership community, about our personal plans for 2024 as well as what we’re planning at Simple Scrapper for this brand new year.

[00:01:44] Jennifer: Hey Amy. Hey Peggy. Welcome back to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:48] Peggy: Hey. Hi.

[00:01:49] Amy: Hi Jennifer.

[00:01:50] Jennifer: I am looking forward, as always, to our conversation tonight. This is one of our more casual conversations, more of the behind the scenes with, um, ourselves personally with our scrapbooking, and of course with what's going on inside of Simple Scrapper.

[00:02:08] Jennifer: And so I'd like to kick things off by going around. We're recording this in early December. You're listening to this in early January. Um, what's exciting you right now in your life, in a non scrapbooky way? Amy, why don't you kick things off.

[00:02:24] Amy: I have a really super exciting #sarcasm thing. Um, I'm really excited about decluttering right now, and it's kind of scary. So my, my son is teasing me about having a delete button where I just look at something and I say, oh, delete. We don't need that anymore. Just been moving things to the giveaway pile. And moving things out of the house. So hopefully that continues in the new year. And especially, I know post holidays there'll be more things to have around here and put away and find a place for, but right now I'm enjoying some refreshed, you know, office supply drawers and some countertops that have been cleaned off more than they have been in a long time and general, uh, boxes moved out of the basement.

[00:03:16] Amy: So it's been, it's been a good season, I would say.

[00:03:19] Jennifer: Yeah, I think there's something in the air because I am all about that right now too. I just went through this whole pile of Girl Scout things that hadn't moved since, you know, February, 2020. And unfortunately most of it went straight to the trash because we didn't, we didn't need it anymore. And I, I was having trouble finding people to take even the few things I had to give.

[00:03:42] Jennifer: So, um, at least that's one more pile taken care of.

[00:03:47] Amy: Right. One more thing.

[00:03:48] Peggy: You guys come, come give me a little, little inspiration. I could really use some.

[00:03:56] Jennifer: Well.

[00:03:57] Peggy: Try to do a few items a day, but what's that?

[00:04:01] Jennifer: What else is exciting you right now?

[00:04:03] Peggy: Yeah, we're uh, we're gonna have another snowbird adventure in January and February. So we're gonna go to Tucson this year. Last year we went to Texas, Southern Texas. We're gonna try Tucson this year. We think it's gonna be a little warmer, a little sunnier, we hope. So, we're excited about that. That'll happen pretty close after the first of the, Doug will leave that very first week of January, and then I leave that first Saturday fly down to join him.

[00:04:27] Peggy: So I think that's gonna be fun. There's a national park right there and a lot of, uh, natural areas, it'll allow us to get some winter hiking in so that, um, we're looking forward to that. So.

[00:04:41] Jennifer: Yes. It's so beautiful there. I absolutely love Southern Arizona.

[00:04:46] Peggy: Yeah, neither of us have been to Tucson. Yeah, we've been both, been to Phoenix, the Phoenix area a lot, but we, neither of us have been to Tucson, so I'm looking forward to it.

[00:04:55] Jennifer: I love Tucson. Like Phoenix is, I don't know, it's, it's just a city planted in the middle of a desert with a bunch of lawns, which shouldn't be there.

[00:05:03] Peggy: Yes. exactly.

[00:05:04] Jennifer: But Tucson is definitely like, it's really, I don't know, it's really special.

[00:05:09] Peggy: Yeah, I'm excited. I think it's gonna be a good, good break for us from the winter weather. And then Doug's gonna go skiing next week in the ski areas, or finally getting enough snow. He can go ski next week and then we'll come back in time for him to kind of finish out the, the ski season. So it'll be good. It gets him all his stuff that he likes to do with his time, so that.

[00:05:32] Jennifer: Now, do you like to ski?

[00:05:34] Peggy: I do not, I, I'm the weird native Coloradan who's never skied. I, uh, am

[00:05:40] Jennifer: I, it, the idea terrifies me, but I've never even lived in a mountainy place. So,

[00:05:45] Peggy: Well, when I was in high school, which is when I would've learned to ski, I was a pretty serious violinist. I went to school as a music major and things, and so to break my arm would've been really fairly catastrophic. And I'm not the most graceful.

[00:05:59] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:05:59] Peggy: Person, so it was never, like, I just, and I don't really like to be outdoors in the bad weather. So the, you know, I'm perfectly content to be cooped up in the house all winter. So I do snowshoe, I say that, but I haven't done it for years. I've been looking at a 24 for 2024 list, and I keep, am I gonna put something about snowshoeing on this list? Because I really should? Um, it would be, would be good to get out and do a little of that this year. But yeah, not skiing, that's all him.

[00:06:31] Jennifer: I love that you guys have things you love to do individually as well as together.

[00:06:36] Peggy: Yeah. Yeah. And I love that he goes and does that still because I don't do it. So I'm really happy that he still gets out and that's super good exercise for him and gets him outdoors in the winter when he really doesn't like the cold. So it's a good, good thing.

[00:06:53] Jennifer: I understand that for sure.

[00:06:55] Peggy: Yeah.

[00:06:56] Jennifer: So the thing that's exciting me is very kind of in the vein of Amy's, but it's a little bit more, um, I don't know, structural is not quite the right word. Um, we're doing a bit of a mattress switcheroo. Um, it all started with my mom saying, um, you really need to buy a new mattress for the guest room.

[00:07:14] Peggy: Oh.

[00:07:15] Jennifer: Then I started thinking, okay, well Emily really needs a new mattress. And well, in the, the guest room and Emily are getting new mattresses, then what about me? So Emily is getting the least old mattress that we already have, and we have two more that are waiting to be, uh, un uncompressed. They all come now like these compressed in these tiny balls. And I'm like, how is this even possible?

[00:07:39] Peggy: Right.

[00:07:40] Jennifer: Um, and, and one of them's a coil too, and I'm like, I don't understand how this is so small. But it just feels like a nice kind of fresh start for the new year. Um, and with that I'm doing lots of decluttering, trying to get things hung on walls. Like let's, let's move forward at a faster pace than we have the past nine years. So.

[00:08:00] Peggy: Little nesting. Little nesting action.

[00:08:03] Jennifer: Yeah, I actually had a dream last night that I had another baby, which is not possible. But, um, yeah, there's some sort of like metaphorical nesting going on here.

[00:08:14] Peggy: Yeah, for sure.

[00:08:16] Amy: I love it because my recent dream was about having to get an apartment with a couple of friends.

[00:08:23] Peggy: Oh.

[00:08:24] Amy: It was like a, like a summer break kind of a thing. And we realized like there's like, we have to furnish it and there's all this stuff we need and whatever. So it was a nesting in a different kind of way.

[00:08:34] Jennifer: Wow. Maybe we're like regressing and like, I don't know. There's some, some things happening here.

[00:08:41] Amy: Well, I think the decluttering does help with some of those thoughts of like, I wouldn't need this, like when would I need this? Or whatever. Right. Kind of comes full circle.

[00:08:52] Jennifer: It's so hard.

[00:08:53] Peggy: We bought a during the pandemic.

[00:08:55] Jennifer: I uhhuh, go ahead. You, you bought a mattress during the pandemic?

[00:08:59] Peggy: Yeah. Which was an adventure in and of itself, right? Like, um, we're gonna go shop for a, for a mattress. Like, it's very weird. The whole thing was very weird, but it, it's.

[00:09:10] Jennifer: I think shopping for a mattress is weird. Like even outside of a pandemic. So.

[00:09:14] Amy: Right.

[00:09:15] Peggy: Go and lay on these. It's very odd.

[00:09:19] Jennifer: Yeah.

[00:09:20] Peggy: But it really helped my back. My back was killing me.

[00:09:22] Jennifer: Yeah. All. All right. So before we jump into what's going on inside of our hobbies, I would love to hear from you all how you like to plan for a new year. You know, even more broadly, like not just in scrapbooking. But what are some of the things, even if it's just one little thing that you do, a strategy, a routine, a touch, a touch point that you like to do this time of year in early January, um, to reset and, and plan for the new year.

[00:09:51] Jennifer: Peggy, what are you, what are you thinking about there?

[00:09:54] Peggy: Yeah, so I was thinking about, I, I do kind of a, a loose mix of things. Um, I think when I was younger, I just always wanted to throw out the baby, the bath water and the bathtub at the first of the year for whatever reason. Like, can we just abandon everything? I think often I didn't feel like I was doing very well, and so I should like rehab the whole situation and I don't feel like that anymore.

[00:10:20] Peggy: So I think mostly, um, I do spend some time, like I usually spend some time thinking about whether I want to choose a One Little Word, which I haven't for a couple, three years now. And then I also consider the 20 blah in 2020, blah. Uh, so this year be 24 in 2024. Um, the last couple years I've, when I've thought about that, my head's sort of exploded with the number and I was like, no, not, not gonna try and do that this year.

[00:10:52] Peggy: For whatever reason for next year, it sounds appealing. So I've got a list of, I'm up to 18 and I got six more things to decide about. And then, um, so I'm gonna do that this year. And then I do pretty specific planning around scrapbooking because we do the planning party and I am pretty deliberate about that.

[00:11:11] Peggy: Um, most of those considerations are around, at least now. So this year I considered was I going to keep the four hour a week target? Um, and what was I gonna do for an everyday life project? So those were really the otherwise continue on as you're going, right? I'm, I'm, I'm doing well with exercise. I'm doing well with, uh, food and, and those sorts of things.

[00:11:37] Peggy: Like there's no reason to switch and I think there's some risk for me in, oh. Like it's a re if I try to do something to elaborate at the beginning of the year, it's like restarting, which is always a little dicey for me, especially on those health fronts. So mostly next year, I'm carrying on as I've been carrying on.

[00:11:59] Peggy: I don't have too many wholesale, uh, changes coming.

[00:12:04] Jennifer: Now, what did you figure out that you're gonna do for your everyday life project? Or is that not quite settled yet?

[00:12:10] Peggy: Um, I, yeah, I've pretty much decided. So I'm going to do, uh, some sort of something once a quarter. So like the first quarter of the year I have, I have a current, like one of those present particip layouts, like currently watching, reading, blah. All of those. Um, and I, that came in a kit from Close to My Heart a couple years ago.

[00:12:37] Peggy: It's all together except it needs photos and journaling. Um, so I decided I would do that in Q1. Q2 is going to be, oh, a listing challenge. So I'm thinking about maybe doing some sort of lists, like maybe a seven day, a one week listing challenge of some sort.

[00:12:57] Peggy: Um, and that would just go into a two page DesignA sort of thing. Like a couple pictures and a few lists and call it good. Um, Q3 is our, our, our journey is photos during Q3. And so I'm sort of considering a photo challenge of some sort. Um, that's our hiking season and summertime, so I'm much more likely to take photos during that season.

[00:13:23] Peggy: Um, so I think I might do something along those lines. I did a photo challenge, like a month long July photo challenge in 22. Um, and included that in my everyday life project. And so that, I'm kind of thinking that I will repeat something along those lines. And then Q4, I'm still debating. Um, I am. I did a fill in the blank story card thing that was kind of based on the, one of the lessons in Hello Story this year. So I'm thinking about maybe doing seven of those spread out over the, um, over the quarter somehow. So it's all a little vague. I wanna do some sort of reading layout again. Um, so I'll track that all year. Um, and then any births and deaths. I know my niece is gonna have a baby this year, so, um, some of those sorts of things.

[00:14:15] Peggy: So I think it'll be a little loose, but not, um, too onerous, which is really what I was chasing. I was looking for something that would be pretty time limited and, um, effort limited because I still, so, I totally have not, I've kept up with documenting my 23, uh, stuff, but I have not even hardly begun assembling it.

[00:14:41] Peggy: So, along with my 24 project, I've gotta do my 23 projects, so I wanted to keep 24 pretty simple.

[00:14:49] Jennifer: So number one, here I am so impressed with your ability to plan, but keep it loose and doable. As you said, make it fun, keep it interesting and fresh. Not try to, uh, force yourself into a year long box.

[00:15:05] Peggy: Yeah.

[00:15:05] Jennifer: And at the same time. Number two, I'm also excited to potentially derail you completely with a project that you really don't know about yet, that I'm working.

[00:15:14] Peggy: Oh.

[00:15:14] Jennifer: On with Helen. Um, so when this episode goes live, we will have announced it, but when we're recording, the ideas are still coming together. But what I can tell you, um, it is a seasonal memory play project. And so we're gonna be sharing prompts that are a little less documenting, a little more experimenting in the way you want. Whether that's photos, digital, mixed media, um, memorabilia, whatever makes sense to you.

[00:15:47] Jennifer: But connecting to whatever natural season of the year we're in right now. And of course we're in the Northern hemisphere, we're gonna be specifically talking about winter, but we're trying to set it up that you could follow the structure even if you were in an opposite season from us. So some of the things that you mentioned that you wanna look at and do, we'll be including into this.

[00:16:08] Jennifer: So I can't wait to to share more. It's going up December 21st. So by the time this episode goes live, I'll be able to link it in the show notes for this episode.

[00:16:17] Peggy: Very cool. That sounds really exciting. Yeah.

[00:16:20] Amy: That does.

[00:16:22] Jennifer: So Amy, what about you? How do you like to plan for a new year?

[00:16:27] Amy: Um, I think it's funny that Peggy and I are on the same page a lot of times. So some of mine is overlap with her, but we are part of the same great community. So we do share ideas that way. Um, I've done the, you know, 20 and 2020 project since 2020. So I'm creating my list for 24. And just wanna clarify that as the numbers go up, I think the ease of some of the items goes down as well.

[00:16:55] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:16:55] Peggy: Yes.

[00:16:56] Amy: Make it manageable and not too crazy. And if anyone needs assistance on that, you can go watch some of Gretchen Rubin's, um, you know, past discussions or listen to, um, and there's a lot that they don't get done too. You know, like there's the idea that never quite happened, but maybe you made progress towards it.

[00:17:16] Amy: So I, I tend to count that kind of stuff as still being progress overall in the year. Um, not as worried about checking it off the list as much, but, you know, okay. That was, that was a goal on the list and so I did some things in honor of that goal, even if that specific thing didn't happen. So, so I'm putting that list together.

[00:17:36] Amy: And also, uh, a list of scrap projects. I do like to have a variety of options to work on, and I have enough of a backlog that that's still the case. But this year my big aha at the Planning Party was trying to figure out like more of a priority for those projects. I've kind of, and tied in with my planning is I've kind of moved to a, a task oriented schedule as far as the crops that I join. I try to have an idea of what I'm working on at each crop. So for example, so the idea of having like an incomplete project that I would work on at a specific crop. Um, Debbie is now gonna host a Project Power Hour. And so I was like, oh, that might be a great time for me to, to get out, you know, my next unfinished project that I wanna give some attention to, but I don't wanna get behind on all the other things that really are top priority.

[00:18:35] Amy: So finding a way to schedule those things and like you said. Kind of the, the new start, new year outside of scrapbooking. You know, I'm looking at my schedule for like workout classes or, you know, what other kinds of routines do I wanna have throughout the week. And, you know, some of it, like Peggy is, Hey, this is working, don't change it.

[00:18:55] Amy: And some of it is, you know, what, what could I rearrange a little bit better to make it fit? So still looking at some of those things right now and definitely looking forward to revisiting the, the next part of the Planning Party to, you know, cement some of that in more detail. But, um, and then choosing a One Little Word. I don't actually do the project for One Little Word, but I do choose a word that I kind of reflect on and I would say guides me in some of my choices throughout the year.

[00:19:27] Amy: So I'm working on that. And I love the community support around that as well. Just the ideas of everyone, how they're, you know, how they're coming up with their words and how they're hoping to. Apply or apply, explore them. I think those are the main things. Then my, um, everyday life project is always Project Life.

[00:19:47] Amy: So I do have some kind of reset things that I do. You know, I have some memorabilia folders that I update for the year. You know, kind of date them so that as the year happens, they have a place, they have a home. Um, and also some Lightroom kind of folders and things. I, back in the day, used to always get a kit, but now I've been subscribing to different things.

[00:20:09] Amy: So that always feels a little different than back in the old days, if you will. Um, this year I'm looking at the Cocoa Daisy Pocket Card Kit. Um, but now Ali Edwards just made some changes to her Stories By the Month.

[00:20:22] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:20:22] Amy: And so I'm having a little problem deciding there and kind of hoping to wait and see what else uh, comes forward about that kit.

[00:20:31] Amy: So lots of fun for sure.

[00:20:34] Jennifer: So I love, first of all, that you guys both mentioned kind of noticing what's working well, and I think from that we can maybe think back to how did we get to that point of it working well and then take the new thing that we wanna do and I don't know, apply our own lessons learned to it. How do we get to the point where something is a ma already a matter of routine, it's a habit for us. Um, and really leverage what has worked well for us in the past to, to add or shift things in the future.

[00:21:04] Amy: Yeah, definitely. I think my, my aha moment, I'll say of the week. Was that I keep saying I need to have a scheduled time for photo management, and I keep not scheduling a time for photo management. Like I, I've identified it and I keep not doing that and I, I kind of stepped back and I said, well, well, why does it work on other things? Like why do I do these other things and one of the things that came up was there's an accountability post that I check in on, on these other things. And so I thought maybe it's time for Amy to create a photo management accountability post for the week. And

[00:21:44] Jennifer: Oh.

[00:21:44] Amy: If anyone wants to join in and say, here's what I need to work on, or here's what I did since last time, and just have a, have that group mentality presence, right. And you know, like one way is to do it as a crop, but I've, I, I am unable to attend the one that Peggy has been hosting now for a few years, I think in going strong. And I haven't ever really found another time that seems to fit. So I was like, well, maybe instead of a crop, maybe I need a post. And if so, be it.

[00:22:15] Amy: Some people get together, you know, to work on it, you know, as a, as a crop or even as just a, a one-off, then that's great too.

[00:22:24] Jennifer: I love this.

[00:22:25] Amy: Watch for, watch for some posts.

[00:22:29] Jennifer: You know, it's so funny because I think I, I don't, I don't think I sent this to you, but I started this whole conversation with myself, with the intent to send it to you both about maybe we need something that's all year round about photo management. Um, because it doesn't go away. And so I'm.

[00:22:45] Amy: Right.

[00:22:46] Jennifer: You know, I'm so, it's so awesome to know that we're on the same track.

[00:22:53] Peggy: Yeah, it is absolutely the laundry of scrapbooking, man. It is.

[00:22:57] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:22:58] Peggy: It's never ending. Right. Like that.

[00:23:03] Amy: Yeah. If you, if you really get in a mood, then you're like, well, I'm not gonna change clothes because I just did the laundry. Right. And have you ever caught yourself like, well, I don't know if I wanna take pictures because I'm all caught up . You

[00:23:14] Peggy: Uhhuh.

[00:23:14] Amy: You get into that, like, don't wanna create work for myself by taking a photo of this beautiful flower.

[00:23:20] Amy: Like Yeah.

[00:23:22] Peggy: Good. Yeah.

[00:23:23] Amy: The laundry of scrapbooking I like.

[00:23:25] Peggy: It is. Definitely.

[00:23:28] Jennifer: So Amy, you also mentioned how the Stories By The Month kit from Ali Edwards has got a little bit of a makeover with more pocket cards. Um, some fewer other things, but really kind of a more robust set of products for those who like to do a Project Life style project and that connects well to what, to how I like to plan. And it's almost the opposite.

[00:23:52] Jennifer: I like, well, not, I don't like this. I need to spend this time of year aggressively saying no to myself. Because I get optimistic, I get shiny objects. I, I think, oh, I could do this and I could do this. And no, that just gets me into trouble. And instead I need to think about, okay, what am I already committed to? What is curious for me and what can I actually say no to? And so I don't need to start doing a weekly or monthly Project Life. That probably wouldn't work out well for me. I can admire the products, I can celebrate all those who are using them. Um, it's probably not the right choice for me. And as well, you know, there's other kind of membership communities that I'm a part of, things that I subscribe to, like, and really taking stock of am I giving this my all and what do I need to say no and goodbye to because it's just not serving me.

[00:24:50] Jennifer: It's just one other thing on my plate that's, that I'm feeling guilty about not doing. So this is definitely a time of year where I have learned that my planning process needs to be deleting, as you were talking about before. Uh, what all can we delete in order to really start fresh the new year? So.

[00:25:09] Amy: I, I think that new kit or the revised kit is a great example of if you, if you didn't do that project before. Then you're answering your questions. And for me, it's a project I already do. And she solved some of the quote unquote problems I had when I had last subscribed and canceled because of some of the changes then.

[00:25:33] Amy: And I feel like this was a, wow. She read all of my survey feedback.

[00:25:39] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:25:39] Amy: A, like a Project, Life perspective, right? And like, oh no. Oh no. Now what? Right? Because I wasn't thinking that was an option. And so now I have to revisit that and kind of go, okay, does that, does that solve the problems I had? Would it make life better and or easier as I do this project?

[00:25:57] Amy: So I think you're right though, that you always have to look at these things and say, okay, I can appreciate it for someone else. And you know, One Little Word is a great example of that. For me. I love hearing how it makes people feel, how they love to work on it, you know? And it's a project people don't necessarily share a lot of pages from. Because it can be very personal, but when people do share, I think it's fabulous.

[00:26:24] Amy: But for some reason, there's never been a part of me that is like, I wanna add that, I wanna do that. Like I'm, I've been able to say no to it in that perspective and, and maybe someday I will say yes and wanna do that. But I think it's a great example of, yeah, so many choices and making sure that you're making the ones for you.

[00:26:44] Jennifer: Well, it'll be so interesting to see how you compare the Ali Edwards kit and the Cocoa Daisy kit. Because there's certainly like overlaps in terms of the, what, what they're for and the types of products. But the design approach is very, very different. Um, so yeah, I'm curious to think, to see how you feel like one may align more or less with, um, with the way you scrapbook and the things that you like right now.

[00:27:10] Amy: Right. And I think the hardest part is when I, when I started Project Life, it was one big monster kit and you could see every card, right? Like in.

[00:27:18] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:27:19] Amy: I even used to set my albums up somewhat in advance. Um, so now like only being able to see a handful of cards it saying, will this work is, you know, I feel a little bit more, I have to be trusting of the situation. You know, and I, I don't have any experience with Cocoa Daisy, but I've heard good things and I liked what I've seen versus I, I do have experience with Ali Edwards products and I've, you know, generally had positive feedback that way.

[00:27:46] Amy: So, yeah. And I also don't know where I'm at, if I would mind if I, if I mixed and matched a little in the album too. Like I'm still kind of coming around to that idea because it used to be a very coordinated album If you will.

[00:28:00] Jennifer: Yes. Yes. Well, especially when there was a single kit for the whole year, so.

[00:28:05] Amy: Right, right.

[00:28:07] Jennifer: So shifting gears to kind of, um, the present moment and what is exciting you right now in scrapbooking. And this is hard for me because I think a lot of things are exciting me. I'm just excited to kind of break my own rules, I think. I'm just, I'm wanting to play. I mentioned memory play earlier. I'm wanting to just like to sew on things, use more color, uh, do mixed media once in a while. I am less concerned about the end product. And yes, I'm, I want to keep my memories and tell the most important stories, but it's really more about the process than the destination for me right now. And that just like, it feels like a really good place to be. And I know that others who maybe have gone through seasons of life where their kids stop wanting to be part of the photos, um, that maybe you've gone through that as well. Um, but that just, it feels exciting. It feels like a new opportunity to just have a different perspective, use more of my supplies and, um. Do do what I wanna do. Not that I haven't always been able to, but I continue to want to always structure things around what I am, what I'm into in the moment.

[00:29:21] Amy: Yeah.

[00:29:22] Peggy: You having fun with your December Daily?

[00:29:23] Jennifer: I am having fun with December Daily, and surprisingly being able to even pick some supplies from my stash to coordinate with it. Um, I'm going kind of slow. I've been under the weather the past week with just a head cold, and so I, I kind of got a slower start. But just picking up things here and there. Um, playing, not trying to be perfectionist about it.

[00:29:46] Jennifer: Um, really enjoying using supplies. Um, yes, I will have photos in journaling, but it's definitely a, a creative activity for me. So,

[00:29:55] Peggy: Very fun. That's fun.

[00:29:57] Jennifer: Amy, what were you gonna say?

[00:30:00] Amy: I was gonna just comment that it sounds like you're add more fun and play which is never is a bad thing, right? You know it sounds like.

[00:30:07] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:30:07] Amy: Doing what you want and enjoying the process. I like that.

[00:30:11] Jennifer: I would say, uh, uh, the past three years, um, it, it would've been hard. It was a lot harder for me to seek out fun and play. I think that was the case for many of us, particularly earlier in the pandemic. And had some lingering effects on me and I finally feel like, um, I want to have fun and play and go do things. And, um, yeah, definitely feeling that, that shift.

[00:30:34] Amy: Yeah. And the, and the understanding too, of knowing that it's, that it's okay and important to be able to give that to yourself. Right. Like coming back to that whole point.

[00:30:44] Jennifer: So who wants to share next about what's exciting you in scrapbooking?

[00:30:48] Peggy: Well, I've got a couple gatherings coming in 2024 that have come together in the last couple weeks. So.

[00:30:56] Jennifer: Nice.

[00:30:56] Peggy: A group of the uh, members is going to go to Paper Dollhouse in Illinois in April. So I'm very excited about that. I had a weekend retreat planned for 2023 that wound up getting canceled, so I'm really excited about that. And then. Scrapbook Expo added a Denver date, so, I get to go to.

[00:31:16] Amy: Oh.

[00:31:16] Peggy: Scrapbook Expo in my neighborhood. So, and there's some members that are coming for that. And then we'll probably gather that will be our Denver gathering for the members here locally. I've been hosting that at my clubhouse the last couple years, but I think we'll use that expo as an opportunity to make that our gathering this year.

[00:31:35] Peggy: So that's, it's fun to think about seeing my scrapbook friends in person. It's fun to think about a, a retreat and a, a getaway. So, um, really looking forward to both of those things and that they're so early in the year will be awesome.

[00:31:49] Jennifer: When is the Scrapbook Expo?

[00:31:51] Peggy: May, so the, the trip to Paper Dollhouse will be in April and then the, uh, expo will be in May. So.

[00:31:59] Jennifer: Nice pack, pack it in there together. That sounds awesome.

[00:32:02] Peggy: Well, yeah, I think that'll actually serve me because I'll probably plan sort of for both at the same time. 'Cause both things take these weekend things. That is the one thing about them is you have to, if you want to be super productive, or at least if I want to be super productive, I have to go in with a fairly solid plan.

[00:32:20] Peggy: Um, if I'm at loose ends when I arrive, it never goes well So it'll be, I think I'll be in that mode. Right. And I can think about both things at the same time. And, um, I think I'm gonna stay the hotel. It's in Denver, but it's not close. Um, so I think I'm actually gonna indulge a couple hotel nights and just stay across town so that I don't have to drive across Denver at midnight or whatever it would be . So I think it'll be more fun to just stay at the hotel and, and be with my friends and hang out. So I think it's gonna be great. It'll be really fun.

[00:32:55] Jennifer: Yeah, that sounds so fun.

[00:32:57] Peggy: Yeah.

[00:32:58] Amy: It does. Good job getting 'em both lined up.

[00:33:02] Jennifer: Yes, yes, yes.

[00:33:03] Amy: Um, I was thinking about some of the, some of the products I guess that I recently got. Um, I did a little shopping based on things I knew I wanted to document and coming up. So 49 And Market got my heart with some nature types of papers. Um, my daughter is able to do a week long, like Outdoor nature camp, um, through school.

[00:33:28] Amy: So in her school album I'll be doing probably more pages than I would have if I had not run into the 49 And Market collection. Um, so getting that kind of pulled together was exciting and made me look forward to it. Um, the school album is always one of those, like, I really like having it documented, but I also sometimes forget where I left off, or it's, you know, it's a, it's a project that doesn't go away, right. It's like the laundry that we were saying before, like, there's always another thing to add or it, you know, once it gets checked off, it's back on the list again. So finding ways to keep that exciting and have it be something I'm looking forward to is always a good thing.

[00:34:12] Jennifer: Yes, for sure. Especially when like you treasure the, the repetition of it. But it's sometimes like, unless you're gonna keep it interesting, you're going to kind of give yourself some new fresh perspective on it. It becomes one more thing they can at least.

[00:34:28] Amy: Right, right. And I, I do have those pages, like when my son did it, so.

[00:34:35] Jennifer: Mm-Hmm.

[00:34:35] Amy: There's time in between my, my kids, so it makes sense that those are done. But I think that was a time too, that would, it was really fun to do something totally different in that album. And so I think that's part of what got me excited about it. And, you know. I was looking up some very like specific products too, you know, very theme based for a couple of their outings and things. So it just kind of made it a little extra.

[00:34:59] Jennifer: Very Very cool. Very cool. So this was the personal section of our conversation and now we're gonna go, uh, pull back the curtain on what we're doing at Simple Scrapper. You two are, you know, we have our team every year grows quite a bit. Um, but on the day-to-day basis, I consider you all the kind of the front of the house gals. And we have, we also have back of the house gals who are indispensable as well.

[00:35:25] Jennifer: Um, you're very much helping me serve the members on a day-to-day basis, um, both short term and long term. And before we talk about what's next, I'd love if you wanted to share a standout memory from our community in the past year. What is like, just one thing that was exciting, um, inspiring, uh, that you were proud of.

[00:35:50] Jennifer: So just something that, that really is a reflection that you'll carry with you. Peggy, do you wanna start?

[00:35:57] Peggy: Yeah, I think, um, we did that mid-year. We did kind of a quick dip, what we called a quick dip. So one of the things was we did quick dips this year. That was kind of a spontaneous idea that came up that like maybe if some of the immersions that we were doing were a little bit shorter, it would allow people to, participate because it just wasn't as much of a, a commitment. And then, so we chose to do kind of a midyear check in for one of those quick dips. And we wound up doing it kinda late July just for scheduling reasons. Um, but I really, I think, I'm pretty sure I didn't go fish it out, but I'm pretty sure I've done something similar with just a post in previous years. As a member, I would post and say, Hey, what, how's everybody doing on their plans. Mostly, 'cause I would usually go back and take a look at what I had been planning and I was like, oh, maybe we should talk about this. Um, but this was a much more structured kind of attempt to help people reevaluate, refocus, whatever they needed to kind of, uh, look forward to the rest of the year. And, and make sure that it, um, state that they were on track for what they wanted to get done.

[00:37:09] Peggy: And I think it was, it was fun to see, you know, some people were doing great and they were right on target and they were doing exactly what they thought they were gonna do. And some people were like, oh, thanks for asking. I am way off track. Um, so I think that was a super, and I think we're gonna, um, we're intending to continue that into next year, but I thought it was a very, uh, productive and helpful, uh, little moment in our year.

[00:37:36] Jennifer: Yes. Yes. I think it definitely was, it offered that that shift in perspective so that we know how, seeing how powerful that was allowed us to, to think, oh, we, we have an opportunity here to provide even more support than we already do in this domain. And sometimes it's, it is just the reminders and the encouragement to revisit.

[00:37:59] Jennifer: It's not complicated, but we all need help getting back to that point.

[00:38:04] Peggy: Right. Yeah.

[00:38:05] Jennifer: Yes. Yes.

[00:38:06] Amy: And I would say.

[00:38:06] Jennifer: Amy, what about you?

[00:38:08] Amy: I, well, I was gonna add to that, that I've always been a fan when Peggy has posted that before, like she said, you know, kind of as a member. That it does make you go, oh. You know, where, where is my list and have I looked at it lately? So I think because of that, my own habits have changed. And you know, using the Journey journals, you know, for every two months helps you have a place to go back and check and say, oh, okay, that's what I was originally thinking. Does that plan still make sense? You know, where now that I have this X, Y, Z external event, does that have to shift or have something happen? Or you know, what do I feel like and what's the priority? So I like having that check-in just to give yourself a chance to rearrange as needed too.

[00:38:56] Jennifer: Yes, yes, yes. The course corrections are, we have always have very, um, thorough and generous permission to make course corrections when needed. Because that's sometimes what we really need. Um, and we just need to, to know that it's okay and to trust that our kind of, our gut is leading us in the right direction.

[00:39:16] Amy: Right. But for my standout memory, one thing I would like to give kudos to the two of you for, is the blind scrap challenge that you ran this year, um, as part

[00:39:30] Peggy: That's so funny. That was my other thing.

[00:39:32] Amy: Was it? So that was part of a Stash Bash event. Is that correct? Do I have that right?

[00:39:39] Jennifer: I think so.

[00:39:40] Peggy: Yeah.

[00:39:41] Amy: Um, I, I just looked back on that and, you know, I just smiled. Because I went to that event and I don't know how else to say it other than like very apprehensive and very like, what are we doing? What is going on? I don't know if I'm gonna participate. Maybe I'll just join in, you know, and listen to what everyone else does. And I kid you not, I started pulling supplies and I was looking at it and the excitement of trying to do things quickly as far as making decisions and which rules was I okay breaking. And, you know, what, what layout was I gonna actually end up with in the end?

[00:40:20] Amy: And I really liked the process of it, and I a hundred percent shocked myself that I enjoyed the process. Um, but I also really liked the final layout that I made, and I loved seeing what other people did and kind of hearing about their process. So I, I just, from a community perspective, it was something that felt very unique, unique to something Simple Scrapper would pull off. And, you know, very interactive with other members and something that if you couldn't attend at the time, you know, having the recording to still go through and do it and add your post, you know, to the thread later is always such a great way for everyone to be able to participate.

[00:40:59] Amy: And, um, so I just, I really liked that event. Um, I don't, I don't mean to say, you know, you should do it again or anything that way, but I just really liked the kudos of, you know, being able to say, Hey, we tried something different.

[00:41:14] Peggy: Maybe we'll pick a, a little fewer, a fewer batch of or smaller batch of things to to pull. I think I had you pull the mother of all page kits.

[00:41:29] Amy: But it does, you know, like you do the post. Peggy where you, you pull the cards from the Stacy Julian, is it called a Story Deck? Um, you know, and that's, that's another example of something that I kind of look at and I think I don't really know how I would do that, or how would I apply that? And so again, that whole apprehensive about, you know, trying it even. And it makes me think, well, maybe I should be trying more things like that. And joining in on some of those more challenges or, you know, outside of my normal process types of things. I think in the past, especially when I was a new member, I was often, I don't know what the word is, like I was afraid it was gonna take me off my path of what I wanted to get done. Like, I never wanted to, you know, get away. I have this whole big list of things. I don't need a new thing added and I'm starting to learn that it is okay to play and to have fun and to try things, and to just mix up, mix up your process so that it makes it more creative and comes up with different things because of it. So yeah, so thank you for planning that and doing that, and I would call it very successful.

[00:42:40] Peggy: Thank you. That was fun.

[00:42:41] Jennifer: That makes me giggle so much. If I had a dollar for any time somebody said I was apprehensive of your Simple Scrapper activity, um, I would, I would have many more expensive things. Um, because this is not an uncommon phrase. But I, I am so glad that the majority of responses on the other end were that you appreciate it, it was helpful. Um, you didn't get it in the beginning or, and then it made sense. Um, and it was really a useful activity. So I, I, I love that we can help get our community out of their, maybe their comfort zone. That maybe they didn't even realize they were in. Um, and just give that little, like momentum kick in the pants type of thing. 'Cause sometimes we just want, we need to get that first thing to get started. Um, and it's, it's hard to give yourself permission to do like a, a warmup layout, um, on your own. 'Cause you feel like, well, this is a real layout. I gotta, I gotta make it a real layout. Whereas if somebody's telling you what to do, then you have more of that invitation and permission to just follow along. So, I'm glad we could do that.

[00:43:57] Peggy: We'll keep that one in our back pocket.

[00:44:00] Jennifer: Yeah. I wanna do it again, but maybe with a twist. So.

[00:44:06] Peggy: We'll figure out something.

[00:44:10] Jennifer: So for me, mine is, um, more of a trend in the memories rather than a specific one. Um, this year has been, I think, a little bit different in a lot of ways. There's just a deeper sense of, comradery. We've been laughing and having fun more. Not that we never didn't before, but it just seems like even deeper.

[00:44:35] Jennifer: Um, I love seeing how our members are so welcoming to newcomers. Um, you know, sharing the lingo, helping them find things. Um, and just, just genuinely caring when there are personal things that are happening to us. And we feel comfortable sharing them in the community. Um, there's just always so much kind of genuine support, encouragement, checking in, um, making sure everyone's okay.

[00:45:00] Jennifer: Um, and that's just, it's so, it's so gratifying to be, to be a part of this. Um, and we've had that for a long time, but it just, it seemed even more evident this year.

[00:45:14] Peggy: It's the best corner of the internet. I say it all the time.

[00:45:17] Amy: Yes. Yes, exactly. It's the, it's the reason we're here. Right. And keep coming back because absolutely. That support across all, all aspects of life, I think is really amazing here. And I, I would echo that opinion, that that's what makes it wonderful.

[00:45:35] Jennifer: Yeah, and just like we just announced as of this recording this week, our new creative team members and to know that we have, you know, three team members that started in 2013, um, and others in similar years to that. And then of course many over the years as well. But it's just, um, yeah, we're doing something right here. And I think all of us as a team, as well as all of the members, we all deserve credit for what we put into it. It's definitely a family effort for sure.

[00:46:07] Peggy: For sure. You couldn't, you can't tap top down that kind of community. You can't, you cannot manufacture that. It, it requires everybody chipping in and doing their part to make that happen. And it's just it's a treasure because it's so unusual in, in real life, much less online life. To have that kind of group that is really taking care of each other and, and being kind day in, day out. I, there's never a crossword ever so it's just really, really a delight.

[00:46:45] Jennifer: Yes. Well, and the number of messages that I get, and I'm sure you guys get as well, of like, is it like, is it okay if I post this? Like, do I have permission to do X, Y, or Z? And I would say 90 per 9% of the time we say yes. Um, and so that's just the type of, um, courtesy and respect that happens inside the community as well.

[00:47:06] Peggy: Mm-Hmm.

[00:47:07] Peggy: For Sure.

[00:47:09] Jennifer: So our last topic here is 2024. The, when you're listening to this, the year has officially kicked off. Yes.

[00:47:16] Peggy: Happy New Year.

[00:47:18] Jennifer: I am. I'm so excited for um, what we have planned. Um, continuing the trend of, um, what Peggy mentioned with planning and touching base and kind of always doing that circling back. Um, we're hosting our Start Fresh event on January 3rd in the evening. And if you're not yet registered for that, the link will be in the show notes for this episode. And then we'll be revisiting it again in a slightly different format in late June.

[00:47:50] Jennifer: So it'll be the mid-year edition of Start Fresh. And these will be public available to all events. Because we wanna make sure that we're having these touch points to make sure that you're staying connected to yourself and your scrapbooking. And just like life, nothing stays consistent. So that's why we always have to keep circling back.

[00:48:13] Jennifer: It's not a set it and forget it type of thing when it comes to planning how we're going to use our leisure time and to conduct our hobbies. So we're really excited about that. And then taking that inside of the membership, our creative journeys, our six journeys of the year, we'll have even more of that rhythm of checking in with our journey journals.

[00:48:37] Jennifer: Um, on that note, I'm curious if either you have any specific, I don't know, excitements or things that you're glad that we're changing when it comes to the journeys. Amy, what about you?

[00:48:50] Amy: Um, I, I think mine, I mean, I, I like the overall idea, like you're saying, you know, about the start fresh and checking in on the journeys. Um, for sure, I think that'll be beneficial to everyone. Just like we were saying before, having a, a time and place to give yourself permission to course correct, never hurts.

[00:49:11] Amy: Um, but I think I'm also more excited about what's staying. You know, like Finishing Day is such a huge part of, you know, Simple Scrapper and, you know, such energy with it and, um, how we've been doing Refresh and Stash Bash, you know, and just kind of having more of the good. So I'm excited for, for some of the not changes just as much.

[00:49:38] Jennifer: Yes, yes, yes. And I think every, with every session we get better. If it gets more refined, um, we're constantly trying to, uh, spur new conversations. Um, all three of us do that in different ways. And I love that because every time I pop in I was like, oh, that's a great conversation point. I'm so glad that we're talking about this.

[00:50:00] Jennifer: Um, Peggy, what were you gonna say?

[00:50:03] Peggy: I was just gonna say that I'm really happy that we're doing that, that check-in right after the first of the year. I think this was, this has always been a little bit of a challenge. It absolutely makes sense to do Planning Party early in November. There's no way to try to compete with the holidays. But there's always stuff that comes out in these last few weeks of the year that people announce things and you're like, oh wait, I already picked all this other stuff to do. Um, so I just really think that's gonna be very valuable for folks to have that final, you know, let's take a look at what I thought in November and, and maybe that will offer people this a little sanity check like you were talking about right. There.

[00:50:46] Jennifer: Yes.

[00:50:47] Peggy: It's very easy in the Planning Party energy and all of those sessions to be all about your ideal self and your ideal life. And how everything's gonna go and, and I think with maybe a little distance even to go back to it and say, oh wait, in the meantime I've remembered that I've got X, Y, and Z. Or whatever's, you know, somebody got engaged at Christmas. Whatever happened over those six to seven weeks, I think, and in the community, in the larger scrapbook community, right? Maybe somebody, I remember, maybe it was two years, it might have been. Actually might have been 2001 of the years, Stacy announced something like the last week of December and I was like, I absolutely wanna do that. I think it was 20 in 20. I was like, oh yeah, I'm on that. But that wasn't in, that wasn't even a twinkle in, knowing Stacy, it probably wasn't even a twinkle in her eye when we did Planning Party. Much less said she announced it. Right. So I think that is, I gonna really serve everybody really well, to have that kind of check in, in the post-holiday, actual new year, and you're gonna start moving forward on these things. I think it'll be good, um, to have that moment to check in.

[00:52:05] Jennifer: Well, and I think the flip side of that perspective is also if you didn't have Project Life on your list in the Planning Party, why is it on your list now? And it shouldn't just be because the products are beautiful.

[00:52:19] Peggy: Right, right.

[00:52:20] Jennifer: Should be because maybe,

[00:52:21] Amy: That's.

[00:52:22] Jennifer: Yeah, it should be for another reason because if it really didn't rise to the top before, are you going to be able to follow through? And, and I don't, I don't say that to knock on Project Life because I know, because, you know, Amy, you've been doing it for a long time. You absolutely love it. Um, I know others certainly do as well. And it, it fits within their hobby. But for as many of those, I think there's even more who have struggled to keep a, an intensive everyday life project alongside of doing lots of layouts. Um, and that's kind of always a conversation that we're having of how do you do both at the same time and feel satisfied while not being duplicative? And, um, you know, everyone has to make choices. And so somehow that's kind of become a, a recurring part of this conversation of how you really wanna be doing that and to not let fomo be part of your decision making process, because we can't do everything in the end. We wanna see you more successful and finish more of a smaller number of things than try to do too much and find yourself in a pickle.

[00:53:33] Amy: Right, and I think like Project Life is an easy one to kind of point a finger at being an annual project. Right. You know, but even taking something like a Week In The Life, if all of a sudden the, the products are out, or the community is buzzing about it, then is that something that you wanna add to your plate? And why wasn't it on there first? Right. You know, that there's probably not a surprise in that project that it'll happen this year, but, um, taking that into consideration and trying to decide what does it add for you or what, what side of documenting, you know, does it cover for you that's missing or, or not missing. So, yeah, and I'm looking forward to, you know, whatever Stacy comes up with next or whatever, you know, whatever shows up too, just to, just to have that question. And you know what, it reminds me of a post someone created in the community of like, is there a list of questions you should be asking before you agree to a project like that. And, you know, kind of using some of the resources here too, to just check in, right? And say, is this, is this appropriate to add? And or does it replace something else that maybe you weren't as excited about? But this covers, you know, 99% of what you were trying to do at the other project.

[00:54:54] Jennifer: Yes. You know, I'm gonna skip down the list because I think that connects really well with another thing that we're working on. And Peggy, you'll have to refresh my memory, does the, so here, let me give some context. So we're starting this cool thing next year called Member Quest. These are, uh, self-paced, kind of, they're not quite classes, they're member instructions, checklist, uh, directions, um, to help you do something.

[00:55:26] Jennifer: And we're, that's gonna be kind of a broad category. Um, but it's something that you want to accomplish or achieve. Um, and it could be learning something, but for the most part, it's going to be something that requires multiple steps. And so the easiest thing to start with was planning a project. Um, and this past year, Peggy led an immersion on doing just that.

[00:55:47] Jennifer: And I was just, I was so impressed with the detail of questions that she had put together for that and how in general the detail of questions that she's able to think through. And so I'm curious, was part of that asking yourself, should I do this project at all?

[00:56:04] Peggy: Oh, wow. I don't, I think probably, I don't remember for sure. I haven't looked

[00:56:11] Jennifer: Ringing a, a small bell, but not a clear one.

[00:56:14] Peggy: Yeah. Um, I think I was more focused on how you would do it versus whether you should do it. Um, so I, I did talk a lot about, um, thinking about how many photos you have, thinking about how many stories you have, um, before you choose doing some of that, before you choose your format.

[00:56:38] Peggy: Right? So if you have 1400 photos for something. And, and you really like to have a lot of photos, then you're not gonna make 12 by 12 and you're certainly not gonna make six by eight layouts of those. Right. Although you're, otherwise you're gonna have three volumes of album. Right? So I, I didn't, I don't think I focused so much on should you be doing it at all, which is absolutely a valid, valid question. Um, but more, I think I focus more on if, if these things are true, then they should drive some of these decisions. You have a lot of photos that's gonna drive your format. You really want to feature the photos and you don't have much in terms of story, maybe a photo book is the right call. So some of those sorts of questions were more along the lines of what I did for that. But yeah, I think there, there is a valid, should you be doing this at all or should you be doing it right now? I think that's for me, I don't very often tell myself I shouldn't do it. I very, very often tell myself, this isn't the time. So I think it, it's, I and I, this is a total personality thing, right?

[00:57:52] Peggy: Because I know there are members and, and folks that to even have it on a someday, maybe list makes 'em a little crazy. And that causes them stress and it causes them to always be worrying about when they're gonna get to it and, and those sorts of things. That is not one of my challenges. I have plenty of others, but that is not one of mine.

[00:58:13] Peggy: I will plop it on Trello. It could live there until I'm 90 and it, it won't give me a moment's pause. Um, I use one Trello board. It's got all sorts of someday maybes on it. Um, that doesn't bother me. But if you know yourself and you know that is gonna bug you, then maybe you do need to make that decision that no, this isn't happening.

[00:58:33] Peggy: Or you need to tuck that idea away somewhere that you never look. Um, those are some of the strategies that you can take to keep those. You don't want something like that to be hanging over your head. If you decide not to do it, that's not good. But, um, being able to say this isn't the right time, that's a totally valid, valid thing to consider.

[00:58:56] Jennifer: Well, and I think going through that process can help, like you might back yourself into it in terms of, oh, I have 1400 photos. Uh, the, the project I was thinking about doesn't really align with that number of photos. Am I interested in doing a project that can accommodate that? Maybe not. Maybe that doesn't sound as interesting or exciting.

[00:59:17] Jennifer: Um, maybe it's just not your, not your style. So, okay. Are you willing to change or is the project maybe something different?

[00:59:26] Peggy: Right. And this is the whole thing, right? You're constantly doing this, you're constantly making these considerations. And then the compromises that go along with those considerations, and, and it's just this constant cycle of, oh, I have this, but I, you know, I have this big pile of supplies that I would like to use. Does, does it fit with the, you know, maybe I have a big pile of supplies and that, like they're thematic and they don't go with whatever that big project is. And so then you're making a decision between that, am I using up supplies? Am I getting this particular project done? So, um, there's just, it's an ongoing sort of thing that you have to keep considering.

[01:00:08] Jennifer: Well, and I think that that's why the Member Quests are going to be self-paced, anytime available. Because we're all at different points. We all have different objectives at different times. And so when you want to, uh, achieve something, we wanna have a resource there for you to be able to jump into it. And many of these are gonna reference other things in the community, but maybe you don't wanna dive into a four week class. You just want some really quick advice to, um, get to your destination. So. I'm really excited about that kind of new, new twist on on sharing some experiences with our members.

[01:00:45] Peggy: Yeah, I think it'll be really fun. I think we can, we'll get a chance to lean on you. You do a great job on a workbook. Like you make really good workbooks. So we can lean on that skill. I ask really good questions and lots of detailed questions. So I think it's, it's gonna allow us to give a set of tools to members and some members are gonna resonate with certain parts of the tool. Also, I think that maybe.

[01:01:10] Jennifer: Certainly.

[01:01:11] Peggy: Know, some, some people don't want to listen. Think about all of those different questions. They just want a checklist or something like that. So I think, um, we'll really be able to leverage. Um, but to your point, it's not always, I mean, we choose these, these I Immersions, which we're gonna change the name of, I'm sure you're gonna talk about that. But I, the, the idea of these Immersions and they were often aligned with whatever the, the theme of the journey was, which is all well and good, but it sometimes doesn't line up with what the member themselves is prioritizing, right? So I did the Immersion around the indexing during the organization journey. So totally made sense within the context of the, the, the community. But maybe like, that's a fairly big job. Maybe you don't wanna stop doing what you're doing to go index your stamp pads, your ink pads. So I think that's, um, another thing about these quests that'll allow people that flexibility to kind of do it when it works for them.

[01:02:15] Jennifer: Yes. Well, and yeah, I, that actually wasn't on my agenda, but I mean, we're rebranding Immersions as Community Collabs to better represent that they are both staff-led and Member-led, uh, informal collaborations, um, of varying lengths. Um, I think Immersion has, uh, is a little bit loaded in terms of, it sounds deeper and more formal. Um, and that's not necessarily what they are. So we wanted to have something that was a little bit more in encompassing. Um, because we, we can't possibly be always teaching things live in an official formal way. We can't possibly cover anything. And, and maybe we don't, we do have to make some decisions, but we'd like to make fewer of them and just provide different ways of supporting members throughout the year with that. So.

[01:03:13] Amy: And, and just circling back, Jennifer, to what Peggy said about, you know, you, you make a mean workbook that helps people organize their thoughts and, you know, get things, get things recorded, right? So, like Peggy was saying, if you, if you keep circling back to the same questions about a project, maybe having that workbook with the answers documented already will help you save some circling time. You know, and maybe that workbook gets put into your Trello or put into some other notes that you keep about that project. But just like you were saying, some people don't like to see that project on a list. I think it can also be freeing to see that project on a list when there's already a bunch of things answered about it for, you know, said to be later date too. So I think that ties together, that giving people their own breadcrumbs, if you will, to circle back to something is very helpful.

[01:04:09] Jennifer: I love that. Now, Amy, I would love if you chatted a little bit more about how you're thinking about day-to-day member nurturing and, and the rhythm of a week and how we keep our members engaged.

[01:04:23] Amy: Yeah, I think having people just come to this site and checking in is always great for everyone. You know, I, I hear people really loving the, the Thursday posts that are the let's review posts. Um, to kind of catch up on what, what's been happening? What are people talking about? What's, what's kind of active? I know we have a member that always likes to say, you know, we don't close out any posts, so there can be some really old things out there that someone can just revive. And there's a whole new conversation going on about it that.

[01:04:57] Jennifer: Yes.

[01:04:58] Amy: I try to just point out, Hey, this is happening. You know? And, um, I, one's coming to mind right now that someone was asking about, you know, should I do this project or not? You know, similar to our, the last part of our conversation and had a whole post about the pros and cons and the challenges and obstacles and, you know, the post itself was from three years ago, but now she's thinking, well, maybe 2024 is the right year to do it.

[01:05:25] Amy: So just seeing that happen and having that history of you know, what was shared then, but also what's the new context? And now there's different members and same members with different perspectives. And being able to chime in on that is, it's just always so fun to see the interactions and see, you know, the, the passage of time and what's changed or not in those discussions.

[01:05:48] Amy: So definitely trying to keep that, um, let's review posts going and I did ask for some feedback around, you know, other changes around that. So I think we'll be looking at maybe there's some different kind of challenges that we can do as the call to action at the end. I thought that was a great, you know, piece of feedback to come back and yeah, have people, you know, give you, give you one little nugget to go off on your own and see what you come up with.

[01:06:16] Amy: Um, and part of that is, you know, trying to make sure that we always have the events and the calendar updated. Which I think always is, you know, online. So, you know, maybe looking at that section of the Let's Review and saying, you know, maybe there's just a couple of highlights that we need to do for the new things coming.

[01:06:35] Amy: Um, so really looking at that. But then as an overall, you know, accountability really comes to mind for having people, you know, out here. And, you know, our, our Friday Weekend Refresh post is very well visited. And, um, you know, people like to come and, and share because it, it gives them quote unquote public accountability, but it's also just a place to celebrate.

[01:07:01] Amy: Like, Hey, this is what I did and it might look like two things on my list, but it's two things that I didn't have done before this. And, you know, I'm taking credit and I'm saying it was a, it was a tough week or it, you know, we had some complications, but we're moving forward. And so I love to see that. I love to encourage people to participate in that.

[01:07:22] Amy: Um. I think personally, when I look back, if anyone has ever said they've been struggling or they're, they're outta the groove, if you will, um, getting 'em into the, the Friday post of just, you know, it's, it's, it's the Journey Journal at the smallest level, right? It's.

[01:07:40] Peggy: Right.

[01:07:40] Amy: What can you do next?

[01:07:42] Peggy: It's this week's Journey Journal. Yep.

[01:07:45] Amy: Yes, yes. And then take the time to revisit that and say, and you know what? I did it, or I did two out of the three, and so now that puts my next three things that, you know, the next three on the list. So I, I really think that's a great interactive tool that we have here. Um. And then looking, looking beyond that, you know, Mondays we talk about what we're celebrating, and Wednesdays there's a question, you know, to get you thinking about a certain aspect. The questions often do align with the, the journey to get you the journey theme, sorry. To get you thinking about, you know, storytelling for example, and how do you approach it. So I think, like Peggy was saying, sometimes your own priorities don't always align with the journey themes. But oftentimes you can still take in the discussion and kind of jot some notes. I don't know if I'm the only one that does this, but I'll, I'll sometimes answer a question and then I'll go move that to my own notes or my, you know, my journey journal as like a, I wanna come back to that. Like, I, I'm not gonna do it today, but it's kind of my own little parking lot list of like, yeah, that's a great idea. You know, what someone said about recording stories or how to, how to record more everyday stories or things. So, just getting the interaction from people checking in, I think is, is the key. And you know, it also ties back to what you were saying as one of your favorite memories from the year is just watching people like interact and support each other, you know, and finding ways that we can do that virtually, I think is, is, always amazing. And how that shows up, like you said, you know, you just, just seeing the, the words and, you know, even if someone responding with an emoji can say so much nowadays and you know, you know, people have your back. So it's, it's just been a really fun role to be in, to be able to watch for that and, you know, see the, see the exchanges and help people move forward. So, I'm looking forward to a lot More of that in 2024.

[01:09:48] Jennifer: I love how that we can model accountability and that has a snowball effect. Because I have to bring up this example. We have a member who isn't able to participate in our next Finishing Day, which as of this recording is on Saturday. And she organized her own self-imposed Finishing Day from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and, uh, posted all day long inside of the chat room of what she was gonna do, how she was like gearing up and supporting herself, um, you know, making sure that she was giving herself the right boundaries around it and getting things done. And so I love that. I love that we can, um, through sim these simple activities help members accomplish even bigger things.

[01:10:31] Peggy: That was amazing.

[01:10:32] Amy: Absolutely. Yeah, that's.

[01:10:33] Peggy: Was really cool today. She did great.

[01:10:39] Jennifer: So one of the last things I wanted to highlight was SPARK Magazine. So we have been doing this since, I believe the first issue was in January of 2014. And we did monthly issues for a long time and then we shift to double issues. When I found a good solution to be able to have these printed. So our members get a PDF copy, they can download it or access a, an online flip viewer version. Or they have an option of ordering their own copy, um, at cost.

[01:11:10] Jennifer: And because of shipping and members around the world, we just, we don't, we don't make any money from them. We're just trying to give you access to that as part of your membership if you would like it. And so these are now double issues for January, February, March, April, et cetera, to align with each of our journeys.

[01:11:29] Jennifer: Well, we just added a large number of creative team members and what that's gonna mean is. Even more inspiration. And these issues are going to be huge. SPARK has always been an Ad-free magazine, and so it is a hundred percent pure content. Uh, beautiful photos, digital pages, just all the inspiration. And one of our kind of overarching themes this year is going to be Design Camp.

[01:12:01] Jennifer: Um, we've always incorporated a lot of design into SPARK throughout our, our challenges that our creative team creates examples for, and then our members take on throughout the journey. But our articles as well this year, um, collaborating with our feature writer Shannan Manton to, to work on this design series.

[01:12:20] Jennifer: So I'm just, you know, every year I think, oh, you know, doing a magazine like what, what's the future of magazines? And then I'm like, no, we are doing this because it's awesome and it's such a wonderful resource. And, um, just excited to make it even bigger and better next year.

[01:12:38] Peggy: It's so beautiful. It's really one of the best things in terms of the product that we get as members. It's just one of the best things that we get. So much inspiration, so much really genuine talent in the, the design team, um, creative and, and just really, and then this featured artists are always such a pleasant surprise.

[01:13:02] Peggy: I, I don't have insight into what's coming either. So that's, that's always one of the nice surprises for me in every journey is I don't really know what's coming on that front. So it's a treat for me as well.

[01:13:13] Amy: When.

[01:13:13] Jennifer: Love that we can feature different styles throughout the year. Um, 'cause if it was all like, based on Jennifer's layouts. They, they would look the same for like, you know, a year or two at a time. Then they'd shift, but it would not be nearly as interesting, um, than having, um, our featured artists every month. So, Amy, what were you gonna add?

[01:13:35] Amy: I was gonna add that, just kind of tying in with, you know, just our, our everyday members if you will too. It's awesome to have, you know, all these sketches and then see what our members come up with, you know, from that. And you know, there's, you know, don't compare yourself to others kind of things going on.

[01:13:53] Amy: But it's also a little bit of compare and contrast how someone's style using the same sketch, it can just come out so different and beautiful and a whole different kind way. That I just love seeing, seeing that, you know, that's, you know, after SPARK has been released obviously, and people have a chance to play around with some of that.

[01:14:12] Amy: So that's been super fun and I can only imagine with, with that much more inspiration how, you know how far that will go for everyone too. So That's awesome.

[01:14:22] Jennifer: Yeah. One of the, kind of the big themes I've been thinking about is just this permission to use creative starting points. Um, our podcast episode that we'll be going out in, uh, let's see. I don't, I can't even think of the date at this point. sometime in mid December-ish. Um, with Jen Johnson, one of our, our creative team members.

[01:14:44] Jennifer: We talk a lot about that, that she doesn't consider herself as having a design brain like facing the blank page is really hard for her. And so we talk a lot about like taking this permission to use templates, to use sketches to use story starters and other kind of design prompts to help you jump into the page and the stories that you wanna tell, um, and to greet your photos onto the page.

[01:15:08] Jennifer: So yeah, it's just a really great conversation. It's episode number 243, I believe.

[01:15:16] Peggy: That's a big number.

[01:15:17] Jennifer: So we'll, we'll link whatever number it is. We'll link it in the show notes for this episode. It's getting late. My brain's no longer on. So. Any final

[01:15:26] Peggy: Using.

[01:15:27] Amy: You know.

[01:15:28] Jennifer: Oh, um, Peggy, go ahead.

[01:15:30] Peggy: I was using a sketch this week. I had facilitated the monochrome challenge at, uh, Stash Bash. I still haven't have, I just started the layout this week and I was using a sketch and it's, I'm gonna tweak it pretty significantly, but just having that little starting spot makes a huge difference for me. Whatever that is, whatever gets me started, then I can kind of take it and run. So I, I can feel Jen's. Jen's pain. A blank page is not my friend. It's a little too challenging for me. So.

[01:16:05] Amy: Well.

[01:16:06] Jennifer: Well, and I think that's one of the things that we've done well for a really long time, um, is being able to, to support that and know it's okay and, um, give lots of creative options and, from different directions. Amy, go ahead.

[01:16:20] Amy: Right, And like you were just saying, you know, from different angles, you know, sketches versus story starters, you know, and seeing, seeing what part of something someone takes or, you know, color, like you said, you know, monochromatic, you know, or colors from this layout. Um, so yeah, I've, I've really enjoyed seeing what people do just from a sketch too, or you know, the whole turning a sketch to the side and going, oh wow.

[01:16:46] Amy: That's how, you know, sometimes I've looked at like, oh, this, this isn't right. This isn't the sketch that was used. Oh, it is. Right. Fun.

[01:16:57] Jennifer: Yeah, sometimes that rotation can really like open up a whole new perspective. It's kind of crazy.

[01:17:03] Amy: Right.

[01:17:04] Peggy: Rotating it or mirroring it. You can do a lot of different things with it.

[01:17:07] Jennifer: Well, this has been so good. I am so excited for next year. We've been working hard for many, many months now on getting all of our ideas together. Um, as we've talked about all the way through our conversation, making sure we are, uh, doing more of what's already working well and not trying to fix what isn't broken. I think that's a lesson we can all take personally in our hobbies and in our businesses. Um, to, to double down on those really good things. Um, and know that sometimes it's just small tweaks, small improvements can really also make a big difference as you're heading into the new year.

[01:17:45] Amy: Yes, very true. It doesn't all happen in a year, in a day. It takes a year. So trying change it all in a day is crazy.

[01:17:54] Peggy: Those small changes stick better. Day in and day out. I find myself like, oh yeah, that's the small change I made months and months and months ago, and it's still there. Because I didn't try to change it. Like the big machine changes, those don't ever go very well for me. So it's often the, oh, I wonder if I just try this, what will happen if I just try this little change? Um, a lot of times that those are the ones that stick and really help me and the accumulation of those small changes are the things that really at the end of the day, make a big difference.

[01:18:31] Jennifer: Yes. Yes, a hundred percent.

[01:18:34] Amy: Right.

[01:18:34] Jennifer: Thank you all so much.

[01:18:35] Amy: It.

[01:18:36] Jennifer: Go ahead, Amy.

[01:18:37] Amy: Say you gotta give yourself credit. When you recognize that you made a change like that too, you know, let yourself see it and say, yep, I got fixed. I can do it again.

[01:18:46] Peggy: Yeah. And I've been doing it.

[01:18:50] Jennifer: Yeah, sometimes you don't even realize you've been doing it and it takes maybe a third party to, to point it out or just that pause and observation.

[01:18:58] Peggy: Yep, for sure.

[01:19:00] Jennifer: All right. Our, I know all of our listeners are loving this episode because it's a long one. They love these conversations, but I just wanna thank you all again for spending time with me and also for all that you do to support our community. I could not do it without you both.

[01:19:15] Peggy: It's one of my favorite things in the whole world.

[01:19:17] Amy: Yes. I love to be here too

[01:19:20] Peggy: Thank you.

[01:19:20] Jennifer: To all of our listeners, you are, uh, some of my favorite things in the world as well. Please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way in 2024.

In this episode I’m chatting with Peggy and Amy, who help lead our membership community, about our personal plans for 2024 as well as what we’re planning at Simple Scrapper for this brand new year.

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