SYW257 – My Way with Kellie Turner

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Kellie Turner is a long-time digital scrapbooker that you might know as @joelsgirl at the Sweet Shoppe and other digital communities. In this episode we’re chatting about her life in Southeast Asia, her journey as a scrapbooker, and of course, her favorite things in digital scrapbooking. Our conversation also includes reflections on why Kellie scrapbooks and how she has stepped out of the guilt of being “behind” on her memory keeping.

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[00:01:10] 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 257. In this episode I'm interviewing Kellie Turner for the My Way series. My Way is all about celebrating the unique ways memory keepers get things done. We're excited to have Kellie as the April featured artist at Simple Scrapper.

[00:01:41] Jennifer Wilson: Hey Kellie. Welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:01:43] Kellie Turner: Thanks. I'm glad to be here.

[00:01:44] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, I am looking forward to getting to know you better in this episode. Can you kick things off by sharing a little bit about yourself?

[00:01:52] Kellie Turner: I'm from Arkansas, but my husband and I have lived in Southeast Asia for the last 21 years. We spent, um, we've lived in Indonesia, Malaysia, and now we're in the Philippines. I teach, uh, middle school English at an international school here, and my husband is the president of a small, very small NGO that, um, does disaster relief and community development. And we have three kids. Jack is a freshman in college in the states. Max is 16 and Ari is 11.

[00:02:27] Jennifer Wilson: Very cool. Yeah, you definitely have a little bit of a southern accent there. So.

[00:02:33] Kellie Turner: Yes.

[00:02:34] Jennifer Wilson: So I love to ask your guests what is exciting them right now. I'd love to hear about a scrapbooking related thing as well as one, you know, everyday life thing.

[00:02:44] Kellie Turner: Um, one thing that I've really been loving that's, um, that I've actually been doing for a while, but in the last maybe like six months, has really like, just made a big difference in my life. Is, um, spiritual directions. Um, one of my best friends became a spiritual director several years ago, and we've been scheduling meetings regularly, like once a month to talk about spiritual things. And it's not really like counseling. But I don't know. It's kind of like a weird mix of talking about who I am and what I'm becoming and who God is in the middle of it. And I don't, it is just been really a good place for deep spiritual conversations.

[00:03:28] Jennifer Wilson: It sounds a little bit like faith-based coaching maybe.

[00:03:32] Kellie Turner: Yeah, maybe. Uh, she just, it's like, I'll say something and then she'll go deeper or she'll say, I don't know. I feel like I'm, I've got a lot of things I believe about God that are like, he's so disappointed in me and he really wants me to do better. And she's been the voice saying That's not who God is and he is not disappointed in you. And so it's been like a good lifting of guilt and I don't know, walking in love instead of in guilt.

[00:04:04] Jennifer Wilson: I'm so glad you have that in your life.

[00:04:06] Kellie Turner: Yes, me too. And then as far as scrapbooking goes, I, and this is an oldie but a goodie. I have recently, um, been using Page Maps. Uh, do you know what I'm talking about? The website, like, um.

[00:04:21] Jennifer Wilson: Becky Fleck, right.

[00:04:22] Kellie Turner: Yeah, Uhhuh. Um, I, because I'm a digital scrapbooker. I use templates for my layouts. But, I tend to lean towards, like, heavily embellished layouts. And I'm just at a place right now where I want my scrapbooking to be simple. And so having like a plan that doesn't involve 10,000 choices about what I'm gonna put on a page has really helped me lately.

[00:04:49] Jennifer Wilson: So when you go more simple and minimal, do you still kind of add as many embellishments as you want. Or are you trying to really make it more, more clean with fewer embellishments?

[00:05:01] Kellie Turner: Um, I usually put like at least two flower clusters, and that's about it. It's, it's like literally like three flowers and a piece of foliage. It feels empty without it, to me. Like if I make a page with no embellishments, I'm like, something's missing. But I also don't want it to be like heavily embellished.

[00:05:23] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Now, and there's such a difference in kind of, of process with making a digital page from a sketch versus from a template. Particularly the templates that are heavily embellished. You have to like, okay, there's just so many layers. Um, and as you said, there's that, all that decision making process of am I using this particular layer and putting something here? So it sounds like it's looking at the structure first and building out from there. So. The other question we like to ask our guests is about their memory keeping bucket lists. So is there one story that you have not yet told yet, but feels really important to still capture?

[00:06:06] Kellie Turner: I don't know. I, I feel like, like when I, that's really scrapbooking is really how I process my experiences. So anything significant, I usually get that down pretty soon.

[00:06:22] Jennifer Wilson: That's totally fine. You don't, not everyone has this type of list because they're, uh, not necessarily caught up, but, uh, have scrapbooked the things that are most important to them.

[00:06:34] Kellie Turner: Yeah, I don't, I mean, like I'm really, yeah, I can't think of anything.

[00:06:39] Jennifer Wilson: All right, so I'm excited to chat with you for a My Way episode because you are our featured artist for April. And uh, this is an episode where we just get to dive into the behind the scenes of your scrappy life. Um, and right now at Simple Scrapper, we're talking about organization. So I like to kind of kick off with our theme and I'd love to know, do you have one or two favorite organizing tips or solutions?

[00:07:08] Kellie Turner: Well, I don't know that it's like anything new, but I do try to organize my photos into like, folders on my computer. So that, um, so that when I do have time to scrap, I don't have to think about, oh, what should I, what should I make a layout about? Um, another thing I do is, like if I think, oh, I wanna make this layout, but I don't have time right now or something, then I will open up a 12 by 12, I don't know what you call it, like document, I mean, in, in in info canvas. That's a good word, in Photoshop. And, um, and I'll edit my pictures and add them to it. And, and then, you know, title it, whatever it is that I wanna be, or if it's like, if it's me like having to do a brain dump of my feelings or thoughts, I'll do, I'll do all the journaling for it. And then later I can come back and say, oh, I need a four photo template for this. Or, oh, this is gonna be a two page layout. Like it, I dunno. Just when I actually have creative time, then I don't have to think about all the other decisions. I can just jump right into it.

[00:08:14] Jennifer Wilson: So it's kind of giving yourself a little bit of a storytelling kit all ready to go and you just need to add all the creative pieces to it.

[00:08:21] Kellie Turner: Right.

[00:08:22] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I love that. I'm curious how many of those you might have kind of waiting in the wings at any one time. Is it just a few or do you have some from five years ago?

[00:08:34] Kellie Turner: No. I have told all of my stories from five years ago for sure. Um, I even like, I mean, I, I do scrapbook chronologically. But I also make a lot of like my favorite pages or, you know, photos of me and the kids. And then reflect on this stage of life and parenting or like, I mean, I make layouts about the movies that I love or the books I read. So, um. I'm caught up on my chronological albums through I think, like, well, right now through September of 2022. So.

[00:09:12] Jennifer Wilson: Okay.

[00:09:13] Kellie Turner: So any of the pa, any of the like things I have ready to go are from, are since then.

[00:09:19] Jennifer Wilson: So the past 18 months or so.

[00:09:21] Kellie Turner: Right.

[00:09:21] Jennifer Wilson: So let's go back in time. Can you tell us more about how you got started scrapbooking and how your hobby has changed since you started?

[00:09:30] Kellie Turner: Sure. Um, when I was in fifth grade, I got a camera for Christmas and I took it to school with me because even back then I knew that I wanted to capture the everyday moments. Not, you know, not just the big events, but like I, I took pictures of my friends and I at recess on the playground because that was something I wanted to remember.

[00:09:51] Kellie Turner: So when I was in eighth grade, we were at a Hallmark store and they had this Precious Moments Scrapbook. Mm-Hmm. And it was this 12 by 12 album, uh, of blank pages. And I could just like envision my life on these pages. And that's what I did. Uh, I mean, I, it has pictures of my, of my friends, you know, their school pictures and, um,

[00:10:18] Kellie Turner: I took my camera to school even then on normal days. And I have those pictures in there. I took newspaper clippings from the football games that year. And, movie ticket stubs. I don't think I did a lot of journaling in it. But I, you know, I wrote people's names and it's really, it's really a treasure. Um, but it definitely is not how I scrapbook anymore.

[00:10:42] Jennifer Wilson: You know, it's so funny to think about this. Uh, you mentioned getting a camera and I, I, I imagine there's a lot of us who even before we started scrapbooking, were becoming memory keepers. Um, as we, we took photos and we're we're the one always taking photos. Um, and I definitely see myself in that too.

[00:11:04] Kellie Turner: Yeah. And then I went through a phase in high, in high school where I, um, they came out with scalloped scissors. You know, do you remember those days? So I have all, all of these terrible, terribly shaped photos. Um, and then when, and I met, I kept scrapbooking all through college. And, and, and what I would do actually is like in June, I would pull like three days of scrapbooking and document my whole year. Um, and, you know, just spread it all out, all over my room and get it done. And then when we got married and one of the ladies in our church was a Creative Memories consultant, and she invited me to a party that turned out to be a recruiting party. And, um, the girl who was selling it, she, she was really good and she said, are you gonna stop talking to people about your albums? And I was like, like, I don't talk to people about my albums. What, but it was one of those awkward, awkward moments where I was like, no, I would never stop and, and ended up becoming a Creative Memories consultant.

[00:12:12] Kellie Turner: Um, and I'm not a good salesperson, so it was really like not a good choice for me. But it, like, I had a lot of connections during that time with people who were memory keepers and it ended up being really fun. So I hated the sales part, but I loved the scrapbook parties where we would all go and, and scrapbook together.

[00:12:30] Kellie Turner: And then we moved overseas and, um, I, like one of my suitcases, one of my 70 pound suitcases was full of scrapbook supplies. Because like here we are going on this great adventure overseas. Of course, I'm going to put that into an album, right? And, um, and I did. The first year we were overseas, I, I have an album for that paper album.

[00:12:53] Kellie Turner: Uh, and then my mom sent me an email and said, Hey, I just read about this digital scrapbooking and it looks like something that would be good for you. So this was maybe like 2004 or 2005. And, and I was on the Two Peas website at the time. And I kept like clicking on these digital layouts, not realizing they were digital. And and then thought I can, I'm gonna try this. And it turned out to be like perfect for me. Especially being overseas and not having access to a scrapbook store. So that's kind of where I've been since then.

[00:13:28] Jennifer Wilson: So why is digital still such a good fit for you today? Um, because I'm sure it's, it's a little bit easier to maybe access products than it was, um, you know, all that time ago, 20 years ago now, which hard to think that 20 2004 is 20 years ago. Um, but why is it, you know, the best way for you to be a scrapbooker?

[00:13:50] Kellie Turner: Well, when Project Life came out, I tried my hand at a physical pocket scrapbooking. And it was super fun. It was like a whole new, new set of products to collect. And um, and I enjoyed that, but it was, it really stressed me out. Because once you cut paper, you can't like, control Z undo it. You know, like it's really permanent. Um, and once you use an element you can't ever reuse it. Those, those kind of things really drew me back to digital. I just, I love the convenience of it and how it's not permanent. And how, I don't know, it's just, it's, and it's kind of like, it's what I do now, so it's, it feels like it's a little bit part of my identity.

[00:14:37] Jennifer Wilson: Sure, sure. So what season of life and at, you know, adjacent to that, what season of scrapbooking are you in right now? You mentioned you have, you know, one kid in college and two still at home.

[00:14:49] Kellie Turner: Yeah. Um, it's definitely different, right? I, I can remember when my boys were little and they're like two and a half years apart. And then our daughter is, she's a bonus baby, so she's, there's a big age gap, but when they were little, there were times where I had to decide am I going to make a scrapbook layout or am I going to make dinner?

[00:15:10] Kellie Turner: And I pretty consistently chose to make scrapbook layouts. And, um, I don't, I'm not saying it was the right decision. But I, I like really needed it. I needed the creative outlet. It, I kind of think, I mean, when kids are little, they just, they need you all the time. And you just, I, I felt like scrapbooking was the only thing I had that was, I don't know, that was like my, my thing.

[00:15:39] Kellie Turner: Uh, and that I, I'd love anyway. Um, so it was really important to me then to, you know, scrap all the pages. And probably I made stupid layouts and things that I wouldn't scrapbook about now. But they're kind of a treasure when I look back on them. So now that my kids are big and I'm teaching now, that uses up a lot of my creative, um, energy as well.

[00:16:03] Kellie Turner: I just feel like I, I still want to remember. Um, but it's not my whole life like it used to be. And, that's definitely a good thing. I make dinner way more than I used to. Um, and, and I am okay with it being slow. And being, you know, a year and a half behind. I don't even think of it that way. I just think I got all this stuff in process, that I got plenty of material whenever I wanna work or whenever I wanna play.

[00:16:33] Kellie Turner: And yeah, I mean, I can't dress my kids up and do photo shoots, and that makes me a little sad sometimes. 'Cause I, I can hardly even get 'em to put a shirt on the boys for a, for a, for a picture. You know, let alone something cute to wear. But, um, but I still, to me, like I, I don't scrapbook for my kids or for future generations. I scrapbook for me. Because I want to remember that life is. Our life has been beautiful. It's been hard and it's good. So when I have time to do that, I'm happy. And when I don't have time, it's fine also.

[00:17:09] Jennifer Wilson: I, I love the, the sense of peace that you have around it. Um, and just, you know, there's, there is that contentment and acknowledgement of where you are right now. And that, that's part of life is that things right now will never be like they were before and also won't be like they are in the future. So, um, and just embracing it for what it is.

[00:17:31] Kellie Turner: Yeah.

[00:17:32] Jennifer Wilson: I am curious from a, a practical standpoint, you mentioned, you know, your little, uh, Photoshop files or that are kind of photos and sometimes journaling, waiting in the wings. Are there other forms of documentation that you do to remember stories for your future scrapbooking.

[00:17:48] Kellie Turner: No, not really.

[00:17:49] Jennifer Wilson: Okay. So you like primarily are just using your photos as the record and, you know, jumping into them. Um, when when you have a chance.

[00:18:00] Kellie Turner: Yep. That's what I do.

[00:18:01] Jennifer Wilson: And, and I guess now looking forward, where would you like your scrapbooking to be in 10 years from now?

[00:18:07] Kellie Turner: I would, I hope somebody comes up with some, some new kind of something, you know, like the way that Project Life was some kind of thing we'd never done before. Um, every year when I start to think, how am I gonna document this year, I'm like. I wish there was something different, but I don't know what it is.

[00:18:27] Kellie Turner: You know, it's not like, it's not like I have any ideas. I wish someone else would have ideas. Um, so I don't know. I, I try to not be on my screen as much. But also I don't really like working with paper either. So I don't know what it will look like in 10 years. Probably all my kids will be gone and it will be more just making layouts that are, therapeutic for me and who knows, maybe I'll get into like artsy stuff.

[00:18:57] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, that can be fun for sure. I don't know. You know, it's, it's so funny to think about how when we were growing up we thought about, you know, quote the future and how like, you

[00:19:07] Kellie Turner: Mm-Hmm.

[00:19:08] Jennifer Wilson: The Jetson's perspective of everything is so technological. And in some ways it is. We, especially with AI. Um, but I'm thinking maybe we'll have glasses. You know, even Apple now has their, you know, augmented reality glasses. Maybe we'll be able to take photos with our glasses and then tell it. We wanna record a story with the photo. I don't know. That could be, that could only be 10 years off. Who knows?

[00:19:35] Kellie Turner: Yeah. That would be really cool.

[00:19:37] Jennifer Wilson: So, yeah, it'll be, it'd be interesting to see how technology and the, the creative world that we live in, um, as crafters, kind of how those intersect in the future.

[00:19:51] Kellie Turner: Mm-Hmm.

[00:19:52] Jennifer Wilson: So Kellie, where do you love to shop for your digital supplies?

[00:19:56] Kellie Turner: Um, I shop almost exclusively at The Sweet Shoppe. At Sweet Shoppe Designs. Um, it was the first place that I felt like a sense of home in the community. And I was on their creative team for a little while, but I've learned that I'm not really cut out for creative teams. So that kind of stressed me out. Um, but I just, I. I don't know, the, um, the designers there are my, that's my style. You know, and it's my community. And that's where I, where I shop.

[00:20:30] Jennifer Wilson: Do you have any particular designers that you purchase, every single thing they make?

[00:20:35] Kellie Turner: Well I, in like maybe 2013 I did, I got a guest month, uh, for Kristin Cronin-Barrow. And at the end of my month she asked me if I would stay on. And I said yes, but also I was like, oh, like, I don't know, it just stresses me out to, to have to perform. Like for my creative outlet to be something that's required of me. Even just knowing that. Even if I love it.

[00:21:04] Kellie Turner: And, um, and so shortly after I signed on to stay full-time on her creative team. She needed someone to do her newsletter. And there are no requirements except to do the newsletter. And so I've been doing that for probably a decade. Um, and so I don't actually buy her stuff, but I would say that like maybe 80% of the layouts I make use our products.

[00:21:30] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I love, I love her stuff. That's, that's actually the only creative team that I've ever been on, and that was so long ago. So.

[00:21:37] Kellie Turner: Really?

[00:21:38] Jennifer Wilson: Um, I'm sure that's how, I think I first crossed paths with you was at the Sweet Shoppe. I was, I was exclusively digital from 2008 to 2011. And then I transitioned to paper. Um, and I, yeah, I primarily, uh, hung out at the Sweet Shoppe and, and purchased things over there so.

[00:21:55] Kellie Turner: Yeah. It's a sweet spot.

[00:21:57] Jennifer Wilson: Mm-Hmm, for sure. So thinking about your creative process, what is something you use or do on most of your pages?

[00:22:06] Kellie Turner: I tend to use a journaling card, like a, I don't know, a title card. Not, you know, not like the actual journaling, but something that says some kind of phrase instead of doing a title. I used to, when I, I don't know, years ago, I would, I would like spend so much time making really great titles. And like, yeah, they look great, but are they really worth it?

[00:22:31] Kellie Turner: So also, I wonder, why do I even have to have a title for a page, right? Like, it seems silly to me sometimes. Um, if you wanna know what it's about, look at the pictures and read the journaling. So I, I tend to put a journaling card on just about every page I make.

[00:22:46] Jennifer Wilson: I love that. Yeah, I think it, whether in digital or uh, physical supplies, making a title with individual letters can be kind of painstaking. So.

[00:22:57] Kellie Turner: Yeah, those two years that I did Project Life. I would like use stickers and it was, it did was kind of fun. It was like being a kid again, getting to use actual stickers. But then like it was also stressful trying to make them all straight and line up and equally spaced without the help of my computer. So.

[00:23:16] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yes, for sure. On the flip side, is there something that you've decided that is just not for you?

[00:23:22] Kellie Turner: Artsy layouts. They're just like, my brain doesn't think that way. And, um, and I love them. Like when I see other people make a layout that's like so artistic, I just am like in awe of it. But whenever I try to make it, it's so bad and I just had to accept, this is not who I am. I'm gonna stop trying.

[00:23:45] Jennifer Wilson: Sure, sure. And I think when you can stop and pause yourself and say, I can appreciate that without doing it for myself, um, there's definitely a, an acceptance of that. That feels good.

[00:23:58] Kellie Turner: Yes.

[00:23:58] Jennifer Wilson: So as a digital scrapbooker, do you typically print your layouts individually, get them bound as books, or just throw them on your computer for maybe someday future printing?

[00:24:08] Kellie Turner: No, no. That would make me sad if I did that. Um, just for me, that doesn't work. But, um, I print our yearly albums as a bound book, usually through Shutterfly. Because they will have really good deals. But then the layouts that I make that are all about me or about my relationships or feelings, those kind of things, I have a, an All About Me album. And it's actually a multiple. And they're split into sections, you know, layouts I make about marriage and layouts I make about motherhood and, you know, going out with my friends.

[00:24:39] Kellie Turner: And so, even if I include some one of those in the bound album, I'll print it separately through Persnickety Prints to put into my loose album.

[00:24:48] Jennifer Wilson: And so is that the The All About Me album? Is that the only loose album that you have or that you maintain?

[00:24:53] Kellie Turner: Yes. And it's really like, I, I really do have lots of them. Because I do like to scrap about me also.

[00:25:01] Jennifer Wilson: Sure, sure. And I think there's so many like products, storytelling directions, even just in overall encouragement of here's all the different ways that we can celebrate the unique parts of our own stories today. So stepping back here to, you know, 10,000 foot view, what has being a scrapbooker taught you?

[00:25:21] Kellie Turner: I think that it's, it's really taught me that, especially when I pull back that far that. I love my life. That it's really been beautiful. And that it helps me to remember that in the times where it's really hard. Just to know that we've had some amazing experiences and we've some really hard times and they're all documented there. And we always get through it and you know, it's not like our life is perfect and we're so happy all the time. Like I feel like my scrapbooks reflect good days, bad days, but when you put them all together, you really see this is something I'm really grateful for, this life.

[00:26:00] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Beautifully said. Kellie, thank you so much for spending time with me today. Can you share where we can find you online and anything you are gonna be working on the rest of 2024?

[00:26:11] Kellie Turner: I am afraid I'm such a disappointment to you because I am not very much online. The only place I have a gallery is at the Sweet Shop and I'm Joel's girl there. And I am on Instagram, but I don't post to Instagram. I just use it for inspiration and laughs. Food recipes, you know, like.

[00:26:31] Jennifer Wilson: Just checking in with whatever's going on in the world for sure. I will, we'll definitely link up your gallery, um, so that our listeners can check out your beautiful work.

[00:26:42] Kellie Turner: Well, thanks.

[00:26:43] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. Yeah. Kellie again, thank you for being on the show. And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to Scrapbook Your Way.

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