SYW251 – My Way with Andrea Lake

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Andrea Lake is on a mission to combine her passion for scrapbooking with her love of teaching, packing her calendar full of online and offline events this year. In this episode you’ll get to hear about Andrea’s evolution as a memory keeper, discover her current creative interests, and learn some of her favorite strategies for being productive. Andrea is our Featured Artist for February 2024 and this conversation will leave you thoroughly excited to create!

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[00:X1:21] 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 251. In this episode I'm interviewing Andrea Lake for the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways memory keepers get things done. We're excited to have Andrea as the February featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

[00:01:56] Jennifer Wilson: Andrea, welcome to Scrapbook Your Way. How are you today?

[00:01:59] Andrea Lake: I am good. Really excited and grateful to be here.

[00:02:03] Jennifer Wilson: I am looking forward to our conversation and getting to know you a little bit better. I keep hearing about you everywhere. You seem to have quite a presence these days. Um, before we go into further details, can you share a little bit about yourself?

[00:02:17] Andrea Lake: Yes, absolutely. So, well, first of all, again, thank you for having me. Really happy to be here. Um, I am, my name is Andrea and I am originally from Venezuela. I was, my mom is from Argentina, but I was born and raised in Venezuela. I lived there until I was done with college. I have always been passionate about color and all of those things. But I was always, when it came to studying and all of that, uh, at least, back in our country that you were supposed to have a real career. So everything related to crafting has always been my hobby. I am, um, I graduated in human resources management and human resources, and I moved abroad. My parents were in the Middle East. So once I was done with college, I moved to the Middle East and realized that I needed to find something else to do if I wanted to keep moving. So I went into hotels, eh, always trying to get, I'm a little bit of an introvert. That's one thing that you do need to know about me and everyone. Um, but I've always been passionate also about training and developing people and giving people tools to, you know, do whatever you want. So I have no issues talking in front of people and doing that kind of thing.

[00:03:50] Andrea Lake: But I went into human resources because I believed in making the change from within, like working in the corporate world or hotels, which is what I do right now. I always wanted to be in the back. Uh, right now, I don't know how this happened. I ended up in sales. So I work in sales, uh, full-time for hotels. And I was in the Middle East until 2016. I did meet my now husband over there. He is American. And then we moved here to the US in 2016 and 2017 was really when I started understanding how the paper crafting industry worked. Start understanding how design teams work. And the hobby, and they just do it for fun and just teach for fun. Started talking to me and hey, this can be, you can do more of what you really, really love. So that's, that's why these days you might be, you know, hearing a little bit more about me. It's because I started taking a few things a little bit more seriously. Uh, I live here, I live in Omaha, Nebraska right now. I lived in Colorado for six years when we first moved here to the US. Uh, now we are in Omaha, Nebraska. Eh, I lived with, I live with my husband. We have two kids from his first marriage, so they're here and their mom is here as well. So we now all get to spend more time with the kids without the traveling and all of those things. So, eh, our girl will be 16 in January. Eh, our boy is 14 and we have a five-year-old dog. So this is it. I go to work nine to five every day, and then I come home and have fun crafting. So.

[00:05:49] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes. And I love how you've combined, you know, your background and your passion for helping others and developing the individual, um, and brought that to your paper crafting, and the, the color filled life that you've always loved. So it seems like a almost a natural evolution for you.

[00:06:08] Andrea Lake: Yeah. I always wanted to be, my first passion when I was a kid was I wanted to be a teacher.

[00:06:13] Andrea Lake: So, and that's how I studied my entire time from elementary school until, um, until college. Uh, I had my whiteboard and when I was a kid I had my dolls and everybody would listen to me studying and that's how I would prepare myself for tests. And yep, it's, it's been there. I know that it's always, it's always been there, so I'm enjoying that side of it.

[00:06:35] Jennifer Wilson: Well, I can't wait to hear more about what gets you excited and what you're really loving in scrapbooking. But one thing we always love to ask our guests is something that's like right now in your life, what is one thing that is jazzing you up about scrapbooking and memory keeping and paper crafting, and then also what's going on in your life?

[00:06:54] Jennifer Wilson: What's really exciting you right now, outside of that world?

[00:06:57] Andrea Lake: Well, let's start with that. 'Cause actually, it's perfect timing, eh? We are in the process this week in the process of adopting a puppy. So we had a, yes. We had a meet and greet, eh, over the weekend. There was a snow storm and everything, but we found out that some of the puppies that we had been looking online from some of the rescues, they were having a meet and greet. So we went and met them. So now we are gonna have them come to our house over the weekend to meet our dog and see if it's a good fit. And yeah, hopefully by the time people are listening to this, the update would be how is the puppy doing? Uh, so that's what is. Yeah. So that's what we, what is exciting right now, non scrapbooking related. And I think, so scrapbooking related, there are many things this year. So I I can say right now that I am working with the companies that have always wanted to work with. Even before I knew there was this thing called design team and there were, uh, there was a way to be part of it that was not impossible. Uh, I am right now in a position where I cannot only work with these companies and use the products that I love to tell my story, but I can also get to know with people and be part of the events and the teaching side of it, which is something that I really wanted.

[00:08:39] Andrea Lake: So it's been busy and the first few months of 2024 are going to really, really busy. But I am very excited for that.

[00:08:51] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, I bet I can't wait to see photos of the puppy. And then, you know, later this year, catch up on how all of this, um, all these exciting events, how they went for you. So.

[00:09:04] Andrea Lake: Yes.

[00:09:04] Jennifer Wilson: We also like to ask our guests as a, I don't know, a preliminary question here about their memory keeping bucket list. So, is there a story that feels really significant or important that you want to tell, but for some reason you haven't yet?

[00:09:19] Andrea Lake: I think this is probably something that I've, I've shared with a few friends and of course with, with my family. But I would like for people that are out there, I think for me it's, I just want to make sure that everything that I do somehow has a purpose. And people that are out there that maybe want to do more in, in terms of scrapbooking or don't know how to do some things or how to achieve some things. Or cannot see results to things that they want to do. I think the story that I wanted to tell, and I cannot put it into either one mini album or one page. Uh, I need to find and I want to find the right way to do it, is you can do it. You just, it. It's a matter of knowing what you want to do, knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve. And make sure you have a plan. And as long as you have it, as long as you set up your goals and you work on them, it can happen. You know, and that's one of the reasons why I am so excited right now, and I am so excited about 2024. It's because yes, things are happening, but it's not, it has not been easy or as fast as I would, I wanted it. But it can happen, so I guess, I guess that's what I want to say. I just need to find the right way to put it in, make it short, make it, make it clear. And, you know, it's not making it, I don't wanna make this about me. But about, you know, combine it with, you know, I want to motivate you. I know that there are some people that, like me a few years ago, did not know how this worked, but wanted to be part of it. So I guess.

[00:11:23] Jennifer Wilson: For sure.

[00:11:25] Andrea Lake: That's definitely in my bucket list for 2024.

[00:11:30] Jennifer Wilson: I, it seems like that could be like an Instagram series or something. Where you are sharing like snippets of your story over time, but then leveraging those like anecdotes, um, to, provide a message to others of encouragement.

[00:11:48] Andrea Lake: Yes. It's, it's, I have a few, I have a few ideas. I I still, I I guess it's one of those that I want it to be perfect. I don't wanna mess it up or I don't want to come across the wrong way with with this. So I wanna make sure, but yes, you are, you're totally, you're totally on track.

[00:12:08] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think that's, and then maybe if it turns into like something that you can create later. But sometimes we just have to get to get the words out and start letting the story unfold before it becomes a project in itself. So. Well, that's fun. I can't wait to see what you do with it. So this is a My Way episode because you are our February featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

[00:12:32] Jennifer Wilson: And before we dive into our questions, I wanna give a little teaser about what makes you tick. Right now we're talking about habits. This is what we do always in January and February at the beginning of the year. So I'm curious, what has been successful for you in developing habits in your hobby?

[00:12:51] Andrea Lake: I think, well first of all, having, having, a plan. Like every, by the end of the year, I normally set my goals for the following year. Break down those into smaller steps. And those things that I know that once I, achieve them. Count as those little victories that you can celebrate and somehow remind you that, yeah, things, things can happen. You can do it. Just keep going. You're doing, you're doing well. So that's one thing I, I need to make sure that I have those, that I can see them and that I know where I'm going. Little things on a daily basis. As long as soon as I'm done with a project, I need to make sure that the desk is clean before I can start something else. Otherwise, I know that I walk past my craft room and if the pile is there, I try to avoid going in there. And I don't have as much time as I want, so I need to make sure that whenever I have time, I can be, I like to be as productive as possible. So cleaning the space.

[00:14:02] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes.

[00:14:03] Andrea Lake: Write down the things. Um, and just try to have some kind of checklist that I can feel, Hey, yeah, this got done, this got done. These are the deadlines and things are happening.

[00:14:15] Jennifer Wilson: You are, you're a girl after my own heart. So I definitely operate in a similar manner. It seems like it doesn't take, it only really takes one layout before stuff to start, like sliding off the desk because we have so many different little plastic things, and then it starts stacking and then all of a sudden things are falling on the floor and you're getting frustrated. So I, I definitely like a reset.

[00:14:38] Andrea Lake: But at as long as that happens in the middle of a project, I'm a very, very messy crafter. So that's fine. I'm okay with that, and I don't mind having to dig into all of the papers and embellishments to try to find that tiny flower that I want. But coming into, and that's one thing, if I have not finished, I cannot just clear the desk in the middle of a project. I'm fine leaving the desk overnight as it is. As long as I know that I'm coming back to the same project, that's fine. 'Cause somehow I know the mess that I left, and I know where everything is supposed to be. That's okay. But if I'm gonna start something new, even if it's with the same collection, I gotta start fresh.

[00:15:26] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yep. So let's go back in time a little bit. Can you tell us, uh, how you got started scrapbooking? How did you first discover it and how your hobby has evolved since that time?

[00:15:36] Andrea Lake: Yeah. Let's see. I started, I think with, I started in high school, I want to say. And so when I was a kid it was more about colors and I would love to color, draw, and cut. Fussy cutting has been a part of who I am since I'm a kid. But I started making cards in high school for, for friends, and then that turned it into, once you get, uh, into the senior year and all of that, that turned it into okay, but we, we gotta start adding photos. And again, I didn't have back home, I didn't have the beautiful products. Um, even though back then there were, it wasn't, they weren't as they are now. But it was mainly magazines and whatever you could find, and you fussy cut those and make it look pretty or what you think is pretty. So that's how I went from making cards to making, falling in love with many albums. After that, I guess pocket pages was my thing for a long time. And I did, I don't think I worked with 12 by 12 layouts until, wow. I'd like to say 2015 maybe, or 2016. But the, I would make, I would work on a layout every one or two or maybe three a month. It was mainly pocket pages and mini albums. So yeah, years and years, and it turned it into, I'm a mini album lover for sure.

[00:17:25] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes, yes. I could definitely see that in your work. So yeah, let's dive more into that. Like what are you, how are you creating right now? The sizes of albums, the formats, are you still incorporating pockets at all? Um, and why is that your sweet spot?

[00:17:42] Andrea Lake: Uh, so mini albums, I'm not into pocket pages that much, like the 12 by 12 format of pocket pages, really. Um, maybe here and there, but not as much. Uh, if I'm working on a six by eight album with pocket pages or a four by four with pocket pages, I do like that. Um, I mainly like to create my own structures. I find a lot of joy, even though it's nerve wracking and I never know exactly how it's gonna turn out. I like to, I like the idea of making albums with shapes. Either using cut files or the Simple Stories chipboard frames for my covers, things like that. And I love the fact that it's a small canvas. That I can feel that every page that I finish, it's something that gets done. It take me, it takes me, I think, less time, or I feel less pressure if I have to create an album or I feel that I have also more space to tell the stories that I want to tell, when I create albums. I started falling in love with 12 by 12 layouts when I took the Scrapbook and Cards Today class. The yearly class by Meghann Andrew in 2021. I was, I knew that I needed to learn a few things. Um, because I was already working with design teams in 2020. And I realized that I could not survive by only making mini albums because I would not, I would not have the time. Eh, and I wanted to create some other things, but I wanted to feel comfortable, with making it. I wanted to enjoy the process before any work would get out. It be put out there for for people to see. Like, how am I going to inspire anyone if I don't even know what I'm doing or if I don't even enjoy what I'm, what I'm doing? So I took that class, I think was my first virtual class that I was immersed into from beginning to end. And I learned a lot. And things that, that I still, you know, I still reference to that material whenever I feel that, Hey, what, what am I doing? What should I do? Or what can I do with this? This is the idea that I have. Let me, so I, I still refer to it. And that's when in 2021 with that class, when was when I really fell in love with, 12 by 12 format. Um, until today. That's one of the goals for 2024 is creating more layouts.

[00:20:41] Jennifer Wilson: How do you decide what you're going to work on next? Whether it's going to be layouts or a mini album, for example.

[00:20:48] Andrea Lake: Yes. So the the collections normally are what makes me make one thing or the other. And the other big, big factor these days is time. So I know that if I have too many deadlines coming up soon, it is okay for me to work on a layout as long as I know that I'm going to dedicate enough time and that I'm going to enjoy it. And, you know, do a good work. For design team projects, I normally, or I tend, my first option is always a mini album. I try to think of a mini album first. Because I want to be able to showcase as much of the product as I get. I get a lot. I I am very grateful for that and I want to be able to use as much of it and play with a lot of it. But sometimes I see a collection and I see, uh, things, or I have photos that I know I don't have enough to make a mini album with. Or I don't have a story or an event that happened at the time that I have to create something, that I can put a mini album together. So it, it's a little bit of what I have to tell, how much time I have to create something that it's going to be, that, that I'm going to feel proud of. And that I feel, yeah, and, and for me, the, the design teams, to me, those are jobs that I have. And I know that I have to be on time. I have to make something that it's worth what I'm, what I'm getting, whatever that is. If it's the product or if it's a design team that pays or whatever. And I owe them the best quality of work that, that I can do. So yeah, time, photos, story, and the collections, it's what decides what I'm making.

[00:22:54] Jennifer Wilson: I think that's even for those who aren't part of design teams and don't have that factor, I think it's always that combination of factors. Um, and I think, I don't know, one of the message that's I'm always trying to communicate is that you get to choose. Because we don't always have the same amount of time or the same number of photos. And so what we end up doing with those is dictated by all those circumstances together.

[00:23:18] Andrea Lake: Yes, totally.

[00:23:20] Jennifer Wilson: So whose products are you completely obsessed with? I would love to kind of get more of a sense of your style.

[00:23:27] Andrea Lake: Yeah. So one, it, it, okay. Let's see. I, as I said, not too long ago, I have, at least this year, I, from the end of last year, I have finally have the opportunity to be working with the companies whose products I love. Eh, because of that I've getting to know, and I love those companies for different reasons and all of that. But, so I currently work with Simple Stories, Pinkfresh Studio, American Crafts, and We Are Makers. I love, love, love, love, every single one of them. Simple Stories, they, they focus on the paper collections, the paper products, and they're always on point. They, it, their collections are easy to use, easy colors to combine, and you have a wide variety of products that you can play with. Uh, as I said, I love making mini albums and creating structures using their chipboard frames. Chipboard frames definitely one of my favorite products from Simple Stories. And I love using their foam stickers for titles, for my layouts. Um, so if I make, sometimes I make bigger mini albums just so I am able to fit their foam stickers. Uh, that sometimes get to be almost six inches wide. So that, that is one thing I love about them. With American Crafts, and We Are Makers, I love the tools. Again, I love making mini albums and We Are Makers make all of the tools that make that easy. Easy, and I love their designers. I love Paige Evans. I've worked with her and I just love color. So that's, that's one of the things. They also have a wide variety of products. And with Pinkfresh, I'm discovering a brand new world of, oh, I can use dies more often than I did before. Because I'm, I'm very paper. I'm a very paper. I love fussy cutting, I love creating my own embellishments. So with Pinkfresh, I am falling in love. I've been falling in love with the foiling and the die cutting and stamping. And the washi tape and getting super beautiful embellishments in, in minutes. So, and I also love their designs for, for collections. So those are the three companies that whose products I would always buy before I got to work with them.

[00:26:28] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love that. I love how you have distinguished those company styles as well, because that's not something I hear talked about a lot. Because, you know, one might appeal to someone more than another. And I would love to hear more of that conversation in the future to distinguish who, who does more paper, who does more embellishments? Are they more dimensional or more flat? Um, I think that's helpful. Because you can't, you can't always see that and feel that from the images online. Um, yes, you could read the description, but like, is this really dimensional? Is this more flat? Um, and getting a sense of it before it comes to your home. So yeah, thank you for that. One follow up question I'm super curious about, particularly with the tools you were mentioning, what is your favorite binding approach for your mini albums?

[00:27:21] Andrea Lake: I love, I've been loving my Cinch forever and ever. Eh, and not just for mini albums. I do make my, and I've been making my own notebooks for for years, for work. Um, especially. So, and when I was in, well, not for college, for my sister, I have, I've done those. So the Cinch is definitely a must, uh, in my, in my stash of tools. Uh, and I, I've also been, this year I've been trying a lot of, uh, the Hidden Hinges system and things that trying to find new techniques that don't require really owning a tool. But that's more because I've been teaching a lot of classes and it's important for me to, Hey, you don't need all the tools. You can create your own mini albums.

[00:28:23] Andrea Lake: You can of course buy them, uh, by a pre-made, um, structure or album. But you can also make yours even if you don't own the tools. So I've been diving into a lot of trying to work with different structures and put together different kinds of mini albums. Eh, even if you don't own the tools, but a Cinch, you will always,

[00:28:46] Andrea Lake: I've had different ones, uh, the big, the original one, uh, and then now the Multi Cinch. Now I'm trying, thankfully because I'm part of their design team, I've been using the Thermal Cinch. So I've been having fun with that.

[00:29:04] Jennifer Wilson: Wait, what the, did you just say Thermal Cinch?

[00:29:08] Andrea Lake: Yes. So.

[00:29:09] Jennifer Wilson: What is that?

[00:29:11] Andrea Lake: That is.

[00:29:11] Jennifer Wilson: I even heard of that one yet.

[00:29:13] Andrea Lake: I know that's the new, the new, uh, Cinch binding, um, tool. Which is, it's just as it says, it's thermal. It is, it heat. You can create your own spines and bind your book books as if there are books. The books that you find in the store that have the glue, uh, binding on the spine.

[00:29:34] Jennifer Wilson: Uhhuh.

[00:29:34] Andrea Lake: Uh, that's what this new tool allows you to make. So.

[00:29:39] Jennifer Wilson: Wow. Wow.

[00:29:41] Andrea Lake: Yes, yes. So it is really fun and I've been creating lots of, uh, fun projects. I, I made myself a sketchbook. So I can, you know, have all the sketches for my layouts and all of that, and it works great. So.

[00:29:58] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, fun.

[00:29:59] Andrea Lake: Of course, depending on, depending on what's out there, I do like to try new techniques. I do like to, if I'm going, like right now, I'm talking to you about it because I've already used it, I've played with it and it's working. So for notebooks, for mini albums, for so many different things. So yeah, that's, that's, I do love We are Makers tools.

[00:30:26] Jennifer Wilson: I will definitely link that one up as well as everything else you've mentioned in the show notes.

[00:30:30] Andrea Lake: Yes.

[00:30:31] Andrea Lake: Yeah. So that one is not even, it will be on, on sale by the end of January. So.

[00:30:37] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Perfect. Perfect.

[00:30:39] Andrea Lake: I'll be there.

[00:30:41] Jennifer Wilson: So if we were to look through your pages and your project, is there something that you always use or do?

[00:30:46] Andrea Lake: Yes. So you might see a lot of color and you might see a lot of layers. Dimension. Definitely something. Oh, and machine stitching details. I love using my sewing machine, but you will always see layers and dimension. I, I love that I, I love creating embellishment clusters. I love using flower or adding flowers or floral, creating floral clusters. You'll see butterflies. I love the effect that you get by only adding adhesive to the middle of it and having the wings, showing you that they're flying around the page. So you always, always see that. Definitely lots of color layers and flowers.

[00:31:32] Jennifer Wilson: So the challenge we created for our community, um, inspired by you was to use butterflies on their page because we noticed that was a huge trend in everything that you were doing.

[00:31:43] Andrea Lake: Yeah. I'm actually, I have some layouts displayed on my wall, and as I was talking and saying all of this, I turned and I was like, yeah, butterflies, flowers. Butterflies. Butterflies, eh? Yeah. that's easy. Flowers and butterflies.

[00:31:59] Jennifer Wilson: So the flip side of this question is, is there, is there something in scrapbooking that you have decided is just not for you? Like tried it but I'm done with it. Not, not gonna work.

[00:32:09] Andrea Lake: Yeah. Uh, messy mixed media. And it took me some time. It took me some time to realize that I, not having full control of how things are going to look makes me enjoy the process less. So I, I will use mixed media if, if it's needed. I will use it. If I feel like I, I will try it for sure. Like there's a new product that comes out, there are new inks or something.

[00:32:43] Andrea Lake: And especially if it's something from the companies that I'm working with, I'm always gonna try. And at some point in my life, I went with the messy mix media, heavy mix media and the gesso and use all of this. And, and it's I like my pages to be a little bit more clean. And again, I feel that I have more control over that. I don't know if, if I'm a, yeah, messy mixed media.

[00:33:15] Jennifer Wilson: No, that that makes sense. I'm curious with your machine stitching, because I think there's kind of two schools. There's the, like it's stitched, but it's very clean and precise, or it is totally messy, wonky. Let's not care what the sewing machine is doing, which, which one do you prefer on your pages?

[00:33:34] Andrea Lake: Clean and precise. Even, even if it's weird shapes, I would always try to make it to be an eighth of a inch from the edge of the page. Doesn't matter what the shape is.

[00:33:48] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. Okay. On that note, do you have any tips for getting that more clean and precise stitching with the machine? And I'm asking for future reference for myself, because I tend to choose the messy version because the clean seems hard.

[00:34:07] Andrea Lake: Um.

[00:34:08] Jennifer Wilson: There's always, you know, just like the ends and all that on the right side and isn't gonna come undone, and it's just, it's hard.

[00:34:15] Andrea Lake: Yeah. And that, and that happens. I think, at least in the beginning, I, I understood that it was more important for me to have that detail, even if it wasn't perfect, than not have it. So I, I made peace with the fact that I just needed to be patient and keep trying. And.

[00:34:39] Jennifer Wilson: Mm.

[00:34:39] Andrea Lake: Right now, sometimes it's, I do have to think if it's a circle. I know, and I remind myself that I have to go a little bit slower to make sure that I achieve the result that I want. If I, if it's one of those days when I don't necessarily care how perfect it is, I can go a little bit faster, but I think it's just try. I freaked out in 2022. I freaked out one day working on a design team project. My machine, my sewing machine broke and I had a, well, I don't know if it was a panic attack or what, but it was a breakdown. And I try to, okay, let me check if there are any projects that, you know, where I have not added machine stitching so I can at least feel inspired by that and I can work on it and keep working or decide if. I keep working on this or I work on something new and I couldn't find the project. So that was more depressing.

[00:35:44] Jennifer Wilson: Oh wow.

[00:35:46] Andrea Lake: But, that also made me understand like, yeah, I guess I've been practicing a lot. And I realized that I can achieve the kind of result that I like and I like my projects, the way they look. And, uh, practice, I guess practice makes perfect. And that's, I don't sew on clothes. I never knew how to use a sewing machine until I started using it on paper. So it's not about knowing how to you, I guess it's patience and not having.

[00:36:20] Jennifer Wilson: Patience and practice.

[00:36:20] Andrea Lake: Shaky hands. I guess. I hope that that's the answer. I don't really know.

[00:36:26] Jennifer Wilson: No, no, that makes sense for sure. And I think that goes with a lot of different techniques that you're not, you can't quite get it right. That just means that you need to keep trying. Um, 'cause it's not like, it's impossible. My best example right now is I've been trying to do, um, gelli plate prints and I'm terrible at it. Like, things always stick and they don't come up. And I'm not, I'm just not getting the beautiful results that I see on Instagram. And so the answer is not, well, that sucks. The answer is maybe I just need to keep trying and be patient and practice.

[00:37:01] Andrea Lake: Yeah. I mean, maybe by the time those people recorded their process, they went through the same. You know, until they got it perfectly, they didn't post that video. It, yeah, it, yeah. Social media can be a little bit frustrating sometimes.

[00:37:16] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, a hundred percent. Both in the consumption and the production of it.

[00:37:23] Andrea Lake: Yes, yes.

[00:37:25] Jennifer Wilson: So you mentioned how you work full-time in the hotel industry. How do you find the time and energy for scrapbooking, particularly with so many like obligations that you've opted into?

[00:37:36] Andrea Lake: Well, first of all, my husband understands that this, that I do this because I have an end goal to make this, a full-time thing. This is more than just a hobby for me. So I, and even though I've taken a lot of responsibility, I'm a deadline person. So I do like the fact that I have deadlines. That makes me It makes me want to create. Makes me, it, it makes me get here in my craft room and really create and do things. It, and it's what makes me happy. If I'm having a sad day or a bad day, like I, or a frustrating day that like I had at work today. All I want is to sit here and create. So I think, I think that's what it is to me. It's, it's more than, than just a hobby. And I have full support from my family that that helps a lot.

[00:38:43] Jennifer Wilson: Do you ever feel like uninspired or not motivated, or are you always eager to jump into your craft room?

[00:38:50] Andrea Lake: Yes and yes. And so I sometimes, yes, it does happen that you're not able to, to create your best piece of work. If you sit down or you sit down and you see that 12 by 12 piece of paper or white card stock and I. yeah, I, I feel, I don't know what, what to do. And so that happens. And then, but I always go back to thinking there is a reason why I'm doing why I am doing this. The end goal is there. I know what I want. I know that if I open, I love having the Scrapbook and Cards Today magazine in print. I know that I just have to reach, I have it on display on my pegboard and I have to reach and find inspiration if it's one of those days when I know that nothing is going to work. I sit and try to sketch. Or those are the days where there is always computer work to get done. There is always a photo to edit or there is always instructions that you need to type from projects that have already been created. There is always a project that needs to be uploaded to whatever platform your companies are using.

[00:40:11] Andrea Lake: So there is always that kind of work that still make me feel productive, even if I'm not creating. And then hopefully tomorrow I'll be in a great mood or the next day. So, but always keeping the, the deadlines in mind and sometimes even that works in my favor if I know that a deadline is coming up, even though I always try to work ahead. If a deadline is coming up or some, something pops up. That makes me, it has to be done. I have to get it done. 99% of the time, that is what I need to get it done. So it's fine. There's always the, the good and the bad days, but.

[00:40:57] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, for sure. Well, and I love how it always comes back, and I think sometimes we just have to trust that. That even if today's not the day, like tomorrow or the next day will be. And um. Yeah, I just like, like trusting in that is always, is always really, really helpful.

[00:41:14] Andrea Lake: Yeah. And sometimes it helps to, okay, it is time to create something that I feel familiar with. So it is time to go back to maybe the task for today or that will help me, will be creating a basic mini album structure more than thinking of what is the story that I'm gonna tell. No, I like creating structures. I like, you know, getting the chipboard, cutting the chipboard, and adding the tape or the glue, putting it together. And once I have the structure, probably by that time I'll be in a great mood to, you know, keep creating. So the little things, uh, as long as I think it's important to know yourself and to understand how you work. How your brain works, how your body works, and give yourself what you need at that time. Understand that it doesn't help to get frustrated and do probably nothing. If you know that by doing the little things, you're going to feel better sooner than if you don't do it. I think that's important. Understanding what works for you and what has helped you in the past to get back to it faster. So, or quicker.

[00:42:24] Jennifer Wilson: Oh yes, a hundred percent. Like I think everyone needs to understand what makes them feel the most creative and gets them from like a zero to a 10. Because for me it's actually messy mixed media. It's like painting and getting wet and messy, even though I don't really like to be messy. But that's what does it for me and will always get me back like in the right mindset.

[00:42:47] Andrea Lake: See, that would stress me out so bad. But yeah, exactly. And, and it's different for each one of us.

[00:42:55] Andrea Lake: So yeah, that definitely helps. As long as, you know, you'll, you'll get back.

[00:43:00] Jennifer Wilson: So I'd like to transition a little bit to talk about organization. So are you a super organized person or a messy person? Like give us some context first.

[00:43:10] Andrea Lake: Well, it depends who you ask. And, and what part of the house or what chores we're talking about. But in my craft room, I everything, even though it's not super organized all the time, everything has a place. Eh, I do like, last year, was it, last year. Yes. So I have a pegboard on one of the walls. It's a big one.

[00:43:39] Andrea Lake: And I love having all of my embellishments there. That helps me also to stay motivated to see all the beautiful products that I get to work with. Eh. So I know that everything has a place and my adhesive has to have to be in a place. Certain tools have to be in a place. The machines that I use the most have to be within, I need to be able to reach them easily whenever I want. I need to see that all my collections are stored by collection and very organized until I get to work with them. I do love my project, project cart by, We Are Makers. I normally put there I don't tend to accumulate a lot of unfinished projects, but I do put there everything that I need to work with, next. Like I

[00:44:28] Andrea Lake: know that I have, okay, there are three or four deadlines coming up or projects that I need to make. Those are there. So yeah, I consider myself a very organized person when it comes to crafting supplies.

[00:44:42] Jennifer Wilson: What about elsewhere in your house?

[00:44:46] Andrea Lake: Well, sometimes the laundry takes a few extra days, you know. Because, yeah. Uh, we do have a pretty good system, let's say in the kitchen. Like I normally, 99% of the time I wash, my husband dries. And we try to make sure that everything is clean and organized by the end of the day. Um, but yeah, I have to set up a schedule like, Hey, it is time to do the dusting in this area.

[00:45:13] Andrea Lake: It is the time. So. Yeah, I need a little bit of help when it comes to everything outside of my craft room. But we're getting there. We, we work as a team.

[00:45:22] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. it's so interesting, to like, think about, okay, we have these skills, why do we prefer to apply them in some places and not others? And I say that as someone who sounds a lot like you and that my office tends to be pretty tidy other than like, there there can be piles that, that, that amass pretty quickly. But the rest of my house like needs more help than my office does.

[00:45:45] Andrea Lake: Yeah. I mean, if, if you were to show up unannounced, I'm not gonna feel ashamed of how my house looks or feels. So that's, but I am not a person who deep cleans once a week, every single area of their, of my house.

[00:46:04] Jennifer Wilson: So do you have any favorite, like organizing tips or solutions? You already mentioned your pegboard. Is there anything else in your space that has really worked for your supplies, particularly since you have so much coming in?

[00:46:16] Andrea Lake: Uh, yes. So the, I have Kallax unit, and on some of the cubes, I do have the stackable trays by Scrapbook dot com. So I can stack up to eight of those trays on each one of the cubes. And I can put eight full collections, or most of it, because sometimes the embellishments are on the pegboard. But I have the papers, the six by eight paper pads, and some of the embellishments that I don't hang on the pegboard. Eh, all of my card stock is organized in rainbow order. In one of those. Like, okay, all of the yellows are there, all of the greens are combined. But I can see the rainbow of card stock and I know where to go if I need to use a card stock. And I also have some of the IKEA trays. I don't know how those are called. But it, it works the same way as the Scrapbook dot com stackable trays. So that's one thing that I'm really happy that I have. And has really helped me keep all of the product for cer. I know if I look in one cube is completely Simple Stories. One cube is completely American Crafts. The other one is Pinkfresh. I know where to go. I know that those things will be there. I do the same thing with, well, it's maybe not the best system, but I know where my dies are. I know where the stamps are. So I do try to, to keep, maybe, again, doesn't look the prettiest, but I feel that I, I got into, I have a system that works. And I know, like I said, my sewing machine is, I have, my desk is on an l-shape and my sewing machine is to my right. And I know that all I have to do is turn my chair and my sewing machine is there so I can keep working. Um, I know that my adhesive are to my left on the third drawer. So it's easy to open the drawer and work on things. So I've been able to put things where where it makes sense for me to have them. And that helped me, work smooth, smoothly.

[00:48:32] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:48:33] Andrea Lake: Make the process smoother. Yeah.

[00:48:35] Jennifer Wilson: I, one thing I want to underscore, 'cause you mentioned the project cart before, and then also the stacking trays. That having horizontal surface that can, that are places to put things away. So instead of having all the things pile up on our work surfaces, if we can have other horizontal places, that seems to be like really, really helpful for a lot of, uh, paper scrapbookers. .

[00:49:02] Andrea Lake: Mm-Hmm.

[00:49:03] Jennifer Wilson: Whether it's.

[00:49:04] Andrea Lake: They definitely work for me.

[00:49:06] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes. Because we're always in like various phases of ideas and we wanna keep things together, but we don't wanna put it away away, so, but it can't, everything can't live right on our desks.

[00:49:19] Andrea Lake: Yes. Yes. Now my desk, the collection, it disappears. Right after I'm done working with something, it disappears. Depending on where I'm at with the collection, it goes back to the stackable trays or the project cart. Or it goes in a plastic bag still by collection. And then in the basement, I was able to find some space where I try to also have a system, eh, until I'm ready, ready to either donate the paper or create some other things with it, um, that are, I don't know, personal projects that are different from, design team.

[00:49:59] Jennifer Wilson: Sure. Sure. So we have two big picture questions that I always like to wrap up with. Where would you like your scrapbooking to be in 10 years?

[00:50:08] Andrea Lake: Well, first of all, I would love for scrapbooking to be what I do from the time I wake up. I. Probably not until I go to bed, but I could say my nine to five. Is It's all around scrapbooking. And I would like it to be in education. So if I could combine my passion for education with my passion for paper crafting and scrapbooking, that is what I am working towards and what I would like to see myself doing in 10 years.

[00:50:44] Jennifer Wilson: I love it. I can't wait to see what you do. And, and then finally, what has being a scrapbooker taught you?

[00:50:52] Andrea Lake: I, okay. I think normally when we, when we get to see the final, our final photos or pages, mini albums, or when we have our family members flip through the pages and see the things you get to relive those moments and appreciate probably even more than when you're going through whatever it is that you're going through and that you're recording. So I think being a scrapbooker has taught me or has it, it's a reminder. I have now a constant reminder when I'm taking a photo of, this is a photo that will be on a page or will be on an album. What I want, what do I want to remember about this and try to enjoy it. Like what will be the picture that I will be or what will be something that I'll be thinking of when I see those photos? What will be the stories I'll be telling my kids or my grandkids when, when they're seeing those pictures. And try to really enjoy it and live it. Live the moment and enjoy the moment that way. As I want to tell the story. I think.

[00:52:02] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, I love that. It makes me, um, I don't mean this in any kind of like, negative way towards others, but it makes me sad for people who aren't memory keepers. Because that's such like, just an amazing like place from which to view life, to view photos and to, um, uh, be grateful. I don't know, it's just, yeah, it's just such a, such a treasure to live from that perspective, and so I'm so glad we get to do that as, as scrapbookers and memory keepers.

[00:52:32] Andrea Lake: Yes. I, I totally, and I'm happy for it. And, and sometimes, yeah, that's one thing that, and those are some of the conversations that I sometimes have with my husband. Like, okay, we look at each other and it's like, Hey, enjoy it. Like, we're doing this or this is happening, or

[00:52:50] Andrea Lake: Hey, we're about to adopt a puppy. You know, and we're looking at those, at those videos or that meet and greet that we had last weekend was like, okay, this is happening. I, yeah. It's, it's fun. It's, and I, and I do think that it's, it's different and we get to understand sometimes what other people think. Well, why you say, Hey, for non scrub, for non memory keepers, it's a little bit different. Sometimes we experience that within our own families, like.

[00:53:24] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-Hmm.

[00:53:24] Andrea Lake: They don't understand. And we, we get to, wow. Okay. It, we are seeing it in a different way. We are living this and enjoying this in a different way because we know that we're also going to enjoy the process of recording these memories. So it's, it is, yeah. It's definitely different.

[00:53:42] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Every moment has like, we get a chance to revisit it. It's, it's, uh, it's really special for sure. So can you share where we can find you online and anything that you haven't already mentioned that you might have knew or coming up later in 2024?

[00:53:56] Andrea Lake: Yes. So we, you can find me on, I'm mainly on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Uh, less YouTube videos these days than, than I would like. But Andrea Lake Creates is where you can find me if you type that, you should be able to see the Instagram, Facebook, and, and via Instagram. If you go into the bio, it will take you to all of the, uh, social media platforms that I normally try to post. Um, yeah, this year I will keep working with my favorite, companies. And there is one more,. So by, by the time the episode is out, uh, there is one more, uh, team that I'll be part that I'm gonna start being part of in January. Uh, that it's been a dream for me. I've been looking forward to this for the past three years, constantly working on it, uh, putting all my love and passion into what I do, and I will be part of the Scrapbook and Cards today magazine design team.

[00:55:09] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, congratulations.

[00:55:10] Andrea Lake: Thank you. I I love, love, love, love this company, the work that they do. The, I love the fact that this year as well, I'll be part of, um, their Crop and Create event. Teaching. Again, it's been a dream of mine for a long time. It's been something that I've been wanting to do for a long time and it is happening. So that's, I guess that's, that's the one thing that is not out there just yet as we are recording this.

[00:55:46] Jennifer Wilson: Fun, fun. Well, I'm already signed up for that and I'm excited to see you again there. So

[00:55:50] Jennifer Wilson: Well, thank you so much for spending time with me. This has been such a delight.

[00:55:55] Andrea Lake: You, you, like, you have no idea today what this meant to me. I, as I said, had a, had a rough day today, but this is exactly what I needed to get me back into, you know, now I feel motivated again. Like I feel that yeah, I can, I can take my, you know, supplies and start working right now and feel ok and happy and in a good place. So you have no idea. This has been great, and I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

[00:56:28] Jennifer Wilson: I am so, so glad. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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