SYW266 – Crafting the Fairytale

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Andrea Bethke wants to share her creativity, no matter what it takes. As a designer and business owner who also lives with a chronic illness, Andrea leverages the time she feels better and works when and where she can. In this episode you’ll hear Andrea’s story, the vision for her business, and experience her passion for crafting.

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[00:01:56] 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 266. In this episode I’m chatting with crafter and designer Andrea Bethke about what it means to turn the reality of chronic illness into a fairytale life worth living.

[00:02:25] Jennifer Wilson: Andrea, welcome to Scrapbook Your Way.

[00:02:26] Andrea Bethke: Hello. I'm so excited to be here. Thank you so much for, for having me here.

[00:02:31] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. I think this is going to be a lovely conversation today. Can you start by sharing a little bit about yourself?

[00:02:37] Andrea Bethke: So my name is Andrea Bethke or Andrea Bethke. Um, I live in Southern California in Hemet, actually with my husband, Ryan and my service dog, Pastel. Who is a really tiny, adorable, Chihuahua, um, Datsun mix. And, um, yeah, that, that's my family. We're a cute little family.

[00:03:04] Jennifer Wilson: No, it's all good. I used, I went to grad school in Riverside, so I, and my, uh, let's just say partner at the time, um, worked out in Hemet. So we went out there quite a bit. So.

[00:03:17] Andrea Bethke: It's beautiful. You can see the mountains out here and you know, we're close to like, um, Palm Springs and, um, we sort of have Palm Springs and Temecula, you know, the wine country sort of on one side. And then on the other side is like Riverside. And then if you go further, you know, you hit Anaheim and, and Disneyland, which I'm sure we'll, we'll talk about at some point today.

[00:03:42] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, that's, that's, I mean, that's the wonder of Southern California is that you have so many different landscapes and, uh, climates, uh, all within a short drive.

[00:03:52] Andrea Bethke: I love it here. Yeah, I really do. It's beautiful.

[00:03:55] Jennifer Wilson: So I always love to ask our guests what is exciting them right now. So what is going on in your everyday life as well as in your scrapbooking life that is bringing you joy?

[00:04:05] Andrea Bethke: Okay. Um, I would say in my non scrapbooking life, um, well, there's lots of things, but I have to say that right now I am sort of obsessed with Bridgerton at the moment. Um, I don't know if you know it, um, but it, you know, it's on Netflix, the show, but there's also books. And I recently read, uh, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, which is, um, actually the book that they're going to base this new season on, which is coming out in May. And I cannot wait for that, and you know, I listened to a few podcasts. I got sort of obsessed with your podcast. Um, a few months ago, I sort of found it and really got into it. And around the same time, a little bit later, I found this Bridgerton podcast.

[00:05:01] Andrea Bethke: Those are the sort of the two podcasts that I've been listening to a lot lately. And the Bridgerton podcast is all It's this group of women who are so lovely and they're constantly chatting about the new season. And sort of like what they want to see and every time something comes out like pictures or a trailer, they chat about it. And it's just so fun, um, it's called What a Barb, if anyone's interested, um, And I just love that.

[00:05:34] Andrea Bethke: I love, I love, um, period pieces. You know, um, classic literature. I'm very much into like Jane Austen, you know, and, um, I'm rereading Emma right now too. And sort of that vibe. I'm just very into that vibe right now. And it's really fun. I think it's fun for springtime too. You know, I think it sort of gets you in sort of a whimsical spring period piece mood, if you will.

[00:06:03] Jennifer Wilson: Yes, yes! And you know, one of the things I love about Bridgerton is the intersection with, uh, modern day. Like, you know, classical instrumentation for modern music. And it, there's just, and of course, yeah, it, it's just such a special show, and I'm, I'm looking forward to the, the next season as well.

[00:06:23] Andrea Bethke: Yes. I know. It's exciting.

[00:06:25] Jennifer Wilson: Though I have to say that the last season was not nearly as steamy as the first, so.

[00:06:30] Andrea Bethke: You're like, I need more steam here, people. Get on the steam. Um, I think that this new season is going to be as steamy as the first season, if not steamier, based on the book. If it's, if it's as good as the book, which I think it will be. And I love this couple. I think this is my favorite couple so far. I love, uh, friendship to romance, um, kind of tropes, you know.

[00:06:59] Jennifer Wilson: Uh huh.

[00:06:59] Andrea Bethke: Um, that feels more realistic to me, you know, than like enemies to lover. I think friendship to lovers makes more sense to me. Um, my husband and I are very much best friends. Ryan is my absolute best friend in the world. And we, we dated. We didn't, you know, we weren't friends and then we started dating. We did date, um, from the get go after we met. But the reason why I think our relationship worked then and still works now is because we're such good friends.

[00:07:34] Andrea Bethke: We're very close to each other. And so I love seeing that sort of thing in books and movies. I just think it speaks to my heart.

[00:07:41] Jennifer Wilson: I love that. And then what about what's exciting you in scrapbooking?

[00:07:46] Andrea Bethke: Um, in scrapbooking, scrap journaling is really exciting me right now, I have to say.

[00:07:53] Jennifer Wilson: So what does that look like for you?

[00:07:55] Andrea Bethke: So yeah, so I have done so many different things in scrapbooking. If you're like me, which you probably are, I think most of us scrapbookers have tried so many different things. You know, like 12 by 12s and, you know, mini albums, you know, you, you dip your toe into all of it, into like card making and, 3D stuff and um, you know, fun mail with friends. You know, like snail mail, all kinds of things.

[00:08:22] Andrea Bethke: Right. But I think for me, I always loved like a good project that was like a mini album. That I could start from beginning to end. And I think recently, um, sort of the new way of doing that I feel like, feels like journaling. People are very much into junk journaling right now. You know, is what I'm seeing really trending sort of in the industry is junk journaling. Um, and art journaling and journal journal journaling and bullet journaling.

[00:08:54] Andrea Bethke: Just a lot of journaling. Right. And, and reading journaling. And so for me, a scrap journal is just this nice combination, it's this nice like intersection of scrapbooking and doing a journal and doing an art journal. And doing a junk journal. It's just all of those things together for me is scrap journaling. So it means that I'm doing prompts and I'm journaling about these different things that matter to me. And I'm also taking pictures and including pictures that reflect that journaling. But I'm also using my scrapbooking products, using my beautiful pattern paper, my 12 by 12 pattern paper and my beautiful ephemera and embellishments.

[00:09:40] Andrea Bethke: But I'm also including things from my everyday life. So that's sort of like the junk journaling stuff is just like including letters and cards. And you know if I go to like Disneyland or something including some of the paper ephemera that you get from that. Like the the cute little maps and and the things that they give you there. So that you'd really at the end of the day you have this cute little album that I think just speaks a lot to your life and who you are. And I just love that. It makes me happy.

[00:10:11] Jennifer Wilson: It sounds almost like more like what I would think of as a traditional scrapbook. And I'm not even talking about like 90s traditional, but like, um, what I think of the way my grandma scrapbooked in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Like, it's just like everything all together in one book.

[00:10:29] Andrea Bethke: All the things that make you happy. And I, you know, I'm an artist. I love to draw. So I include that in there as well. So that's where the art journaling sort of comes in. You know, I'll have like little sketches and stuff in there. It just, to me and, you know, some mixed media stuff. Cause I love playing with paint and, and also sewing and stuff.

[00:10:47] Andrea Bethke: So yeah, there's just a ton crammed into this cute little album that you can then flip through later. And it just brings you joy.

[00:10:55] Jennifer Wilson: That's wonderful. Now, like, kind of on, you know, the other side of that definitely is capturing the stories from our past that are really important. So is there a story that you really want to tell that you haven't documented yet? We like to call this our memory keeping bucket list.

[00:11:12] Andrea Bethke: Ooh, okay. Like a singular story. There's so many.

[00:11:16] Jennifer Wilson: Or a group of stories or like, you know, a time of life, or.

[00:11:20] Andrea Bethke: Yeah, there's so many, but I'm going to be honest. I'm always just looking for new ways to tell my story in general. I think that often in scrapbooking, we forget to focus on ourselves. Um, I think we get very focused on like, this trip, you know, this like family trip that we did. Or, uh, you know, it's Christmas time and, and, and, you know, that kind of stuff. Or, um, this is going to be an album about um, you know, my son. And this one's going to be about my daughter. And this one's going to be about my grandma or my grandparents you know what I mean? And I think a lot of times we forget like, hi, hello, you're here too. And you are important and your story is important and your voice is very important.

[00:12:17] Andrea Bethke: And that's, that's so important to me. Um, because life is always changing too. You never know what's going to happen next. In my life, I've seen things very much turn on a dime. And so it's important for me to find ways to tell my own story and to tell my own story as it is right now, because I know that that's going to change. And I want to be able to speak my story and to speak my truth. And I want others to do that as well. I think it's really important. I think it's something we forget about. We forget about ourselves. Especially, I think, women, um, especially women. I think we tend to put ourselves at the bottom of the list. And we forget even when we're doing those projects that are like, um, even when we're doing things like a Week In The Life, or December Daily or something, you know. We should be putting stuff about ourselves in there and yet somehow it feels like everything else gets you know paid attention to gets detailed and documented but not us. And that's you know, I no. Let's not do that.

[00:13:28] Andrea Bethke: Let's talk about ourselves because we are really important and our lives and our voices and our stories are valuable.

[00:13:36] Jennifer Wilson: Very well said. Yeah. I think that's a totally fair response. And you know, you, you are the bucket list. I mean, and that really transitions well to, uh, the topic here. This is, um, comes directly from something that you said on your website that you really have endeavored to live life like a fairy tale. So, can we start by hearing a little bit more about your personal journey as a scrapbooker, a crafter, a journaler? How did you get started?

[00:14:05] Andrea Bethke: Okay, so I'm, I really got started when I got diagnosed with CRPS which is what I have. Um, I'm disabled. I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, very long title for what I have. Um, so CRPS or crips is what I say, cause it's just faster. Um, for short. And basically it means that I, my nervous system is just ruined.

[00:14:42] Andrea Bethke: It's just broken. Um, I ran into a glass door when I was about five years old. I was like five, six years old. Um, it was one of those sliding glass doors and it was pre, there was a time where not all glass doors were that nice like plexiglass kind of stuff where like, you know, if you run into it you just sort of bounce off. It and it's not a problem. It was this glass door was part of a house that had been around since the 50s it was my grandparents house. Or earlier even maybe like the 40s or something. And This glass door was glass.

[00:15:25] Andrea Bethke: It was very much just like old school thick glass. And so when I was running and I didn't realize the door was closed, it had just been cleaned, unfortunately. And it had just been closed. It was never closed, but it was closed because it had just been cleaned. So it was perfectly clear and I didn't realize that it was closed.

[00:15:45] Andrea Bethke: So I ran into it and I sort of ran through it and it shattered on top of me.

[00:15:52] Andrea Bethke: It was this horrible accident. Um, and,it changed my life forever. I, I didn't die. Thank God. Um, I almost did. I almost bled to death. Um, and, uh, I almost lost my right leg because one giant piece of glass sort of fell on me on my leg and almost cut my leg off.

[00:16:20] Andrea Bethke: Um, And then I had some other parts that fell some other pieces of glass that fell on my left leg. And one of my arms a little bit. But really the major damage was done mostly to my right leg. And so, um, luckily, you know, 911 came right away. They saved my life. They did manage to save my leg. Um, but I had to have, as you might imagine, more than one surgery.

[00:16:45] Andrea Bethke: You know, I had to have a few surgeries. And, um, after that they told my parents, like, she's not going to walk again. Realistically, she's not going to walk again. And, um, you know, we also don't know, like, what's going to happen in the future. We don't know, like, what kind of pain and stuff she's going to be in, if things are going to get worse.

[00:17:06] Andrea Bethke: They did some experimental, like, nerve grafting surgery, um, because I had severed several nerves, including one really important one in my right leg. And, um, so, you know, it was all this, it was this crazy thing that happened when I was a kid. But luckily I did learn to walk again. I sort of defied the doctors.

[00:17:30] Andrea Bethke: I was like, no, I'm going to walk again. So I did that. I walked. I loved to dance when I was little. So I was like, no, I want to, I want to dance. I want to be a dancer. I want to be able to grow up and, and wear high heels. Cause they were like, you're not going to be able to do that. I know that's such a silly thing, but I was like, I'm going to wear heels.

[00:17:47] Andrea Bethke: I'm going to walk. I'm going to dance. I'm going to run. I'm going to, you know, all of these things. And I did those things and I managed to, you know, with years of physical therapy and stuff, managed to do those things. And live pretty much pretty in normal life. Um, until I got to college. And for some reason, the doctors think that just the degradation of the nerves, buildup of scar tissue, they don't know what, or just naturally growing, whatever. It puts so much pressure and strain, and my nerves just got more, just worse and worse over the years, until I hit a wall, basically, in college.

[00:18:32] Andrea Bethke: And I ended up being in pain. And it had happened once or twice before where I was in pain and I would just go do some more physical therapy and then I'd be, you know, back up and at it and good. But this time the pain started and it didn't stop. It was every single day I was in so much pain and it just kept getting worse. And it started in my right leg and then it was in my left leg. And so I started going to doctors.

[00:19:00] Andrea Bethke: This was when I was in college in Boston. And um, after going to so many doctors and trying to figure out what was going on, I got diagnosed with with CRPS. With Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. And they were like because of your nerve damage that you had as a kid. It's just it's gotten so bad now. And so yeah, you know, you have CRPS like you you are in pain every day. And it's this this disease that happens. Um Sometimes it just happens and they don't know why it happens, and other times it happens because of some sort of nerve damage.

[00:19:39] Andrea Bethke: And, sadly, it's rare, and there's not a lot known about it. Um, so they were like, there's not really, there's a few treatment options, but there's not a cure. And we don't know if it's going to get worse. It could magically go away on its own. You might have to have some surgeries or some procedures or take some medicine and then it'll maybe go away or at least go down.

[00:20:02] Andrea Bethke: But I remember, yeah, we, we, this just sort of changed my life. I was going to school in Boston at the time. Um, I had already graduated from undergrad at Boston college and I was going to grad school. Um, I wanted to get, um, I wanted to get a master's in theology and in English. I was planning on being a professor.

[00:20:29] Andrea Bethke: Um, I had already met Ryan. We had dated in college. And we were very serious at the time. In fact, we had just gotten engaged, um, prior to this happening and me getting diagnosed. And, um, so we were already engaged. We were planning on moving to Southern California, which is where I grew up. Um, cause we were living in Boston at the time, obviously.

[00:20:54] Andrea Bethke: And, we were planning on getting married out in Southern California. And buying a house. And then me like getting a professorship somewhere out here. Like we had all these plans and this just upended things. And I had to take a medical leave of absence from school because I thought, well, I'll be back. And I, you know, had to, uh, step away from my job, which I was working at the, at the school at the time at Boston college.

[00:21:20] Andrea Bethke: Um, just a small job in the, in the, um, religious education and pastoral ministry office. Um, and, um, yeah, it just changed everything. And so when this happened, um, I had actually, you know, crafted before that. I had been crafting since I was a little kid and I had, I had scrapbooked, uh, like a trip to Paris that I did, um, with my parents in like high school or whatever.

[00:21:52] Andrea Bethke: Um, and I had scrapbooked a little bit about me and Ryan, about our relationship and dating and getting engaged. But I wouldn't consider myself necessarily a scrapbooker. You know, it was something that I had sort of dipped my toe in a little bit prior to that. But when I got diagnosed, um, my mom and Ryan were like, okay, you're going to need something to take up your time. Because I was used to going to school every day and working.

[00:22:21] Andrea Bethke: And I'm a very like hard working person. That's sort of been ingrained in me since I was a kid. My parents were extremely hardworking. They had like four jobs each while I was growing up. They were just crazy, always working a lot to try and give my brother and I a life that they didn't have because they had grown up,

[00:22:40] Andrea Bethke: um, poor. Um, I'm Mexican American and they grew up in Montebello in a Mexican American community. And, you know, sort of not like, I don't, I don't want to say like super poor impoverished, but like, you know, like my dad was the first in his family to go to college. You know, and the only reason he was able to do that was because he went into the military. You know, he joined the Navy and they paid for his college education. And it was a big deal.

[00:23:14] Andrea Bethke: Um, you know, and he was able to become a teacher after that. And my mom was also a teacher. And so they just wanted a certain life for my brother and I, which I totally understand. Um, so they worked really hard for it. So that sort of idea that like working, working, you know, um, was really ingrained in me from, from youth, you know?

[00:23:36] Andrea Bethke: So I was used to, yeah, being busy, going to school and going to work. And all of a sudden I had like nothing but time. There was all this time and nothing to do. And we were, we had moved out here, to Southern California. We were, um, finishing up the plans for our wedding. And, um, and we had just bought a new house out here in Hemet and, um, because it's what we could afford. And, um, had nothing but time.

[00:24:09] Andrea Bethke: And my mom and Ryan were just like, you need something to do. You need something to do. to take up the time while you wait. It was supposed to be a temporary thing to take up the time while I waited to get better. While I waited to, to be healed. Which we totally thought was going to happen. We were like, It's going to be a year, maybe, maybe two.

[00:24:31] Andrea Bethke: And then, you know, we'll, you'll do a surgery or you'll get the right medication, you'll go see the right doctor, whatever. And you'll get better. And it never got better. My, my CRPS it got worse. It got worse and worse. It spread from my right leg and my right foot to my left leg and my left foot.

[00:24:51] Andrea Bethke: Eventually it spread to my arms and my hands. Your nerves are all over your body. Your nervous system is connected. And so it's like dominoes. Um, with CRPS often, it's like dominoes where one falls and it just it keeps going. It keeps going. Like it just keeps spreading. So it's now. It's, it's been so many years now.

[00:25:12] Andrea Bethke: What has it been? I'm trying to think. Since 2009? So, about 15 years now of having CRPS what I thought was going to be maybe a year or two. Uh, turned into 15 years now. And it's in my, uh, my legs, my feet, my arms, my hands, my back, my hips, um, my shoulders, my waist. Um, it's over most of my body now. And, um, It just, yeah, it turned from this temporary, like you need a hobby, uh, you know, do this hobby while you're waiting into this.

[00:25:54] Andrea Bethke: It became as the CRPS went on and the years went on, I realized that I was spending so much time on this hobby, which I loved. I was doing all this scrapbooking and at some point it was about like five years in to just waiting to get better, where I realized. I think this is my life now.

[00:26:17] Jennifer Wilson: That's what I was going to ask. At what point did you stop waiting and have to shift your mindset?

[00:26:23] Andrea Bethke: Yeah. Yeah. It was about five years in where I went, Oh my God, I think this is, it was like five, six years. I think this is my life now. I think this is just the way it is. And I'm going to have to start living my life because all I'm doing is waiting. And while I loved all the scrapbooking I was doing, you know. Um, and documenting past events and, and, and, you know, and holidays and stuff like that.

[00:26:49] Andrea Bethke: Um, I just realized like, I want to do something. And I realized I wanted to do something with scrapbooking. Because I did love it so much. And it had become such an important part of my life. And it had become therapy for me too. Scrapbooking became like the scrap therapy for me too. So I thought, okay, I'm going to, I'm going to start living my life.

[00:27:11] Andrea Bethke: And I want to do something with scrapbooking. So we just, we need to go in a different direction. Okay. So it was like, I want it. I would like to get into the scrapbooking industry. How do I do that? And so I started with getting on design teams. It was like 2015 or 2016. I started submitting for design teams.

[00:27:31] Andrea Bethke: And like my first or my second, I can't remember if I had my first submission was to Crate Paper. Which I thought was a long shot. By that time, I knew a lot about the scrapbooking industry and the different companies. And I knew Crate Paper was like a huge and beloved company that people tried to get on the design team. And you know, I, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. So I was like, you know, don't expect anything, but I heard back from Crate Paper and they wanted me to be on their design team, which was huge. Um, cause I had never been on a design team before. So I got like on the Crate Paper design team. I got on. Um, like Hip Kit Club and Citrus Twist and Simple Stories, which was awesome too.

[00:28:20] Andrea Bethke: All of them were awesome. And, um, and I, so I was, I felt like, okay, I'm, I'm working. You know, it's like an unpaid internship design teams. I don't know if people realize that, but it's like an unpaid internship kind of thing. They send you product. You work on it, you make these things, you post about them and stuff online. And, um, you know, maybe do, uh, little lessons with them or whatever, you know, YouTube tutorials or even classes.

[00:28:49] Andrea Bethke: I did get asked to do some classes for like Big Picture Classes and stuff like that. Um, but for the most part you're not getting any money really. And maybe they give you, sometimes they'll give you like a stipend of a hundred dollars for to buy supplies over the course of a month or something. But, um, so I was hoping from that I would get noticed and I could get my foot in the door and try and work.

[00:29:14] Andrea Bethke: I wanted to design for a company. I've always been an artist. It's not what I thought I would do for a living. It's always something I thought I would do just like on the side. Um, as a hobby and for fun. My dad was an art teacher, so he taught my brother and I how to draw and paint and all that stuff from like the time we could hold, you know, a pen or a pencil or a crayon or whatever in our hands. So I just, um, I learned from that and also taking art classes. But mostly I learned from my dad. And, um, and I think my brother and I just sort of had a natural efficiency in it. You know, and, um, he's an animator, by the way, he animates for different companies, including Disney. Um.

[00:29:59] Jennifer Wilson: Oh, fun.

[00:30:01] Andrea Bethke: And so I just thought I want to design, I want to design the collections. I knew I could, I felt like I could design the collections. And um, I thought I'll get my foot in the door and, and then maybe I'll get to be you know, like a Heidi Swapp or an Amy Tan. Or, you know, you know, something like that, or Tim Holtz or something, and I'll, and I'll design and be the face of, of these collections of this, like, smaller company. Um, I was thinking maybe under American Crafts or maybe for Simple Stories or maybe for Prima, or somebody. You know, but I couldn't get past the like, just being on a design team. I didn't seem to be able to like, talk to anyone. And, and sort of, I was hoping to like, there would be some sort of way of like, moving up the ladder or something. But there didn't seem to be. And when I would ask about it, it would just be like, oh no, you know, I'd sort of get, um, I don't know, discouraged as like, yeah, I'd sort of get lip service.

[00:31:04] Andrea Bethke: Exactly. You know, they weren't interested in that. You know, they didn't, they didn't want me for that. And, and I also found out that most of those people that are the big names of these brands, um, and this is totally fine. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that, but I had assumed that they were doing their own art. That this was their own, that when they would put out collections, that was their own artwork.

[00:31:27] Andrea Bethke: No, you find out once you get into the industry, um, that like, no, they have artists that they, you know, one or more artists that they have that, that make the collections, but that aren't the, the, you know, the.

[00:31:45] Jennifer Wilson: The brand

[00:31:45] Andrea Bethke: Name.

[00:31:45] Andrea Bethke: You know?

[00:31:46] Jennifer Wilson: On them.

[00:31:46] Andrea Bethke: Exactly. You know, like Maggie Holmes isn't drawing her own stuff to be her collection. You know, she's making like a mood board and sending it to one or more artists who then make the stuff.

[00:32:00] Andrea Bethke: But I wanted to make the stuff and be the head. And so I wasn't getting anywhere. And eventually I was like, you know, I'm just going to, I'm just going to make my own company. I don't know why, but in 2017, after like a year and a half or something of being on design teams, I was just like, I'm just going to make my own company. Um, and I don't know what I was thinking. But, but I just decided I'm just going to do it myself.

[00:32:28] Andrea Bethke: And I told Ryan and he was like, you should, you should just do it yourself. Let's do it. And we just started putting out our own collections. I started designing my own collections. And at first I had other small companies and stuff printing, printing them out. And, you know, um, making the embellishments and stuff.

[00:32:50] Andrea Bethke: Um, and, and then sending them to me. You know, you'd have to buy like 500 of each thing or whatever. You know, and I didn't know what I was doing. But I just went for it. I just sort of jumped into it. And, um, I'm so glad I did. You know, things have changed over the years since then. But I have loved doing it.

[00:33:11] Andrea Bethke: I have loved putting out my collections. I have so many now on my website. If you go to com, there are tons and tons of collections because I still have the ones that I started with. Which when I look at now, I'm like, oh my gosh, it's so terrible. I've gotten so much better, um, over the years.

[00:33:28] Andrea Bethke: But we still have them. And if you still want to buy them, we still make them. And now we make everything in house. We make everything, literally, in our house in Hemet. We have these big printing machines and cutting machines and, you know, Glowforge and all this stuff. And Ryan just produces everything. I design everything, he produces everything. And it's just become this amazing, you know, uh, little setup that we have here.

[00:33:56] Jennifer Wilson: Wow. That's amazing. I had, yeah, I had no idea. Um, yeah, I guess I, I did. There's so much of your story here that I did not know at all. Down to that you were producing things in house. Um, can you talk more about if somebody is going to go to your website, what types of products are they going to see? Um, you know, how, what does your brand look like today. And maybe how are the products kind of different than what we're going to find in more of the big box stores?

[00:34:25] Andrea Bethke: Oh, okay. So, I think that my style is very different. I have what I call a whimsical, um, vintage meets modern, style. And that's the style that I've always done, as I've been designing when I was on design teams and all of that. And just working on, you know, paper crafting for myself. And that's what I do in my collections.

[00:34:53] Andrea Bethke: Um, I do this very whimsical vintage meets modern style. So I'm very influenced by like the forties, fifties, sixties, especially. I love that vibe. Um, you know, sort of a mid century, modern, girly aesthetic. I would say I have a very girly aesthetic. I love pink. I love pastels. Um, that's just very me. So, um, you're going to see a lot of that in the collections.

[00:35:23] Andrea Bethke: You're going to see a lot of just vintage inspiration. But like I say, it's very much like meets modern. So I like to have modern influences as well. And you're gonna get a very whimsical vibe. I am very influenced by Disney. And So all of my stuff I think has that kind of magical vibe to it. Whether or not it's in any way Disney inspired So like I do put out certain collections that are very Disney inspired. Just straightforward.

[00:35:57] Andrea Bethke: Um, I have things like Crafty Fairytale Getaway, which is very, very like Disney, Disney parks, different Disney characters inspired. And then I have things like, um, that I, you know, I, every once in a while I do a collection that's inspired by a specific character. So like, um, we did one, where it's all very, um, sort of Cinderella inspired. And we've had, um, like Encantado we did, which was very like Encanto inspired.

[00:36:34] Andrea Bethke: Um, So we'll do that. Um, and I'm in Wonderland. That was very Alice in Wonderland inspired. Um, so we do things like that. But we also, um, more and more, I've gotten into just doing things that are just very me and more like different themes. So recently we just put out Dearest Ephemeral. It's just very like spring and cottage core. I'm very much into the cottage core aesthetic right now. But it has these whimsical moments in it. I always want everything to be touched by magic. You know, by this sense of magic and joy and whimsy and happiness and like a childlike sense of wonder. So, even though it's not in any way Disney themed, you will get that still, still that sense of magic and there's little animals in the collection. There's different forest animals and there's like, there's like a dog, a cat, a unicorn, a deer, a fox, a bunny, a mouse. And they all, to me, have sort of that same sort of whimsical vibe that you might get when you're looking at. art that is very like Disney concept art kind of a feeling. Do you see what I'm saying?

[00:37:53] Jennifer Wilson: Yes. No, I do. And it's totally, um, having been to Anaheim and Disneyland, far more than Florida. And it being my preference. I totally see the, the connection you have to vintage Disney in all of your products. And, um, yeah, even the ones that you said have no, like, there's no thematic tie, but that is very much your style. Um.

[00:38:21] Andrea Bethke: Exactly.

[00:38:22] Jennifer Wilson: I, yeah, I love it. It's very, it's very consistent. It's very you. Um, and it all come, it comes through in all the products.

[00:38:30] Andrea Bethke: Thank you. And we just, we, you know, we started the company as the Fairytale Club. But we just relaunched this year just with my name, just Andrea Bethke. Um, and that's because I really do a combination of those things. I do, I do still want to continue to do things that are Disney inspired. But I want our customers to know that it's not just that. It's, it's, it's really just me and all the things that I like and I care about.

[00:39:01] Andrea Bethke: And my sort of aesthetic. And so it's going to have that whimsical vibe, but a lot of times it's just because not everybody is super into Disney. You know, I am obviously. But not everybody is. And a lot of times you have, you know, things in your life that you want to create for, and you, you know, you need more of a sort of a general theme that's going to work for it and stuff.

[00:39:26] Andrea Bethke: So, um, I just wanted people to know with that change of name that like, you're going to get lots of different options from us as a company. And, um, I hope that when they see our product, not just the way it looks, not just all the art that I've done. That I've done myself, you know, everything I do, I do myself.

[00:39:47] Andrea Bethke: I do from scratch. You know, that me as the face of the brand, that is also me. That is my artwork. That is my blood, sweat, and tears and my heart poured into everything that we make. Um, I think that makes it extremely special. I think that makes it very different from everything else there on the market.

[00:40:08] Andrea Bethke: I'm not paying someone else to go just like, okay, I want to see, you know, these colors and you know, this is not a big box company. I can't just like outsource to different artists. You make this and you make that. No, I'm doing it from step one to step 10. Me and Ryan, we're literally making it and packaging it, you know, from the very creation of the designs, drawings that I do. All the way to Ryan making, producing everything, all the embellishments and everything, and then packaging it and then sending it out to you.

[00:40:42] Andrea Bethke: Every step of the way we have put our hearts into it and our stamp on it. I think that makes it so special. And I also, I do want to mention a couple of other things. I do think it's really important. Um, as a small business and because I myself am a scrapbooker and I'm scrapbooking with this stuff. I'm scrapbooking with the stuff that I make.

[00:41:06] Andrea Bethke: Um, I am so picky about the quality of stuff. So you're not going to see, you know, you're not going to get your stuff and be like, Oh, I don't know, this paper is flimsy. It doesn't really cut well. It kind of rips and stuff like that. No. My standards are very high because I'm like you, I'm scrapbooking with it.

[00:41:25] Andrea Bethke: I want it to be that nice quality stuff. So we have the most beautiful, thick scrapbooking paper. All the colors are vibrant. Everything's printed beautifully. Um, the ephemera packs are full of goodies. You know, um, the embellishments are stunning. Everything has been quality checked by us. So you're not going to get like stuff where you're like, Oh, You know, this was cut weird and stuff like that.

[00:41:52] Andrea Bethke: Everything is just such high quality. I think that makes a big difference to you and makes us stand out. And also diversity, diversity is really important to us. I, like I said, I'm Mexican American. I'm a Latino woman. Um, I'm very fair skinned. So like other, you know, what really, I think shows that I'm Mexican American is more like my hair color, my dark brown hair, my super dark brown eyes, my sort of bushy pointed, um, eyebrows.

[00:42:22] Andrea Bethke: And we call them the Elizadas eyebrows. That's my, that's my maiden name. Um, and, uh, you know, just certain aspects, I think you can see it. But I am very fair that because of my ethnicity, I see how important it is to be reflected in the stuff that you're making with. I have put, um, effort into trying to make, trying to make sure that people feel included

[00:42:57] Andrea Bethke: in our collections. I think that's so important. I think everybody wants to feel included. I, when I draw, I try to make sure like we have women of various, and people, of various skin tones in our collection. So that when you're making you don't feel left out. You're not making and going like, this girl just doesn't look like me. You know, you look at it.

[00:43:22] Jennifer Wilson: And this doesn't look like my family.

[00:43:24] Andrea Bethke: Yeah, this doesn't look like me. This doesn't look like my family. This doesn't look like, you know, people I know, my friends, whatever. No, you want to feel included, right? And being, being inclusive is important to me. So I have tried to really, um, make sure that we include,

[00:43:45] Andrea Bethke: um, people here. And, and, uh, I think that's something that you don't necessarily see with the big box company so much. You see it a little bit more now than you used to. But still, um, not enough in my opinion. And, uh, so we like to do that with our collections. We like to make sure that people feel included.

[00:44:07] Andrea Bethke: And you can look at it and be like, that looks like me, you know, that looks like my husband that, you know, that looks like us. I, I think that's important.

[00:44:16] Jennifer Wilson: I'm curious if there's any other realities of being a small business and a product based business, um, that you want our audience to better understand. Um, I mean, I can think of lots of ideas of why you can't offer 50 percent discounts and, you know, uh, free shipping year round and things like that. But what are, what are some examples?

[00:44:39] Andrea Bethke: Okay. It's, yeah, it's hard being a small business, to be honest. It is. Um, you, you don't have, a bunch of employees. You know, if something goes wrong or, you know, you're not feeling well, you know, I can't call in sick. Um, and I have a chronic illness, so I'm, you know, I'm sick all the time actually. Um, but I can't ever just be like, you know, I, you know, I don't want to, like, I just don't feel like if, if there's, if there's something that needs to be done, it's me or Ryan.

[00:45:13] Andrea Bethke: That's it. Those are the two people that can do it. And, um, and often things go wrong with a small business. You know, like often, especially if you do, if you're not making things in house. A lot of times when we were relying on other people to produce our stuff, you know, there could be things you could get a call. Where they're like, Oh yeah, that's not actually, we know we said it was going to be shipped out, you know, tomorrow, but actually it's not going to get shipped out until like two weeks from now or something.

[00:45:42] Andrea Bethke: And you're like, Oh my God, you know, I've been waiting for that. Um, and even, and even in house now, we still run into problems. Like, um, recently our, our printer broke down and we had to get a new one. And so you have to be like, okay, well this is going to slow down production because.

[00:46:01] Jennifer Wilson: Yes.

[00:46:01] Andrea Bethke: We have nothing to print with.

[00:46:03] Andrea Bethke: We have no printer to print with. Things like that happen all the time. And you just, you know, and mistakes get made. You know, you put something on the website, you know, you didn't put the right thing, or you didn't put the right price or something. Things just happen and they come up. And I would say, especially for customers, when you're dealing with a small business, just try to, you know, hold some kindness and some patience for the small business in your heart. You know just remember like this is a person or a couple of people.

[00:46:34] Andrea Bethke: This is not a huge corporation where they can easily you know deal with things. And they have tons of people working on it. You know, just try and keep that in mind. Because it it is hard. And for me because of my CRPS because of my chronic illness and my chronic pain, because I'm in pain 24 7, I don't know if I mentioned that, but because of my CRIPS, I'm in pain 24 7, and I, I can walk, but it is very painful.

[00:47:03] Andrea Bethke: It's very difficult. I have good days and bad days. I have, unfortunately, the CRPS has spread so much, I have mostly bad days now. So I'm in bed a lot of the time. So I work from bed. I work from bed, you know, and I work whenever I can work. But there are times where I really can't. And, um, I have to be patient with myself and I have to, you know, hope that other people will be patient with me. You know, if I haven't posted to, to social media for a while, you know, I'll get down on myself and I'll be like, Oh, and everybody's disappointed in you, Andrea.

[00:47:40] Andrea Bethke: And I have to remind myself, like, you know that's probably not true. People are nicer than you think. People are very kind, actually, and you tend to be your own worst enemy. I think we ourselves tend to be hardest on ourselves. And, um, I just try to remember that I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing as much as I can, whenever I can. And, Yeah, I don't know if that answers your question or not. But yeah, I just have to keep that sort of thing in mind. Because I'm not an able bodied person running a small business, which is hard enough.

[00:48:13] Andrea Bethke: I know I have able bodied friends who run small businesses and it, trust me, it's hard enough on them. They're, they're working constantly and they're trying so hard, but when you're disabled and you run a small business, there's this extra level of like, you know, okay, I want to do this stuff. But when you have a chronic illness, it's like climbing a mountain every day to try and survive.

[00:48:36] Andrea Bethke: You're barely surviving usually most days. And then on top of that, you have to be like, okay, and I, but I also want to run my business. So it's, it's this extra, it's these extra obstacles. It's this obstacle course that you have to run to before you can even do, you know, the basic things that you want to do and need to do.

[00:48:54] Jennifer Wilson: I'm curious when you started joining design teams, particularly when it sounds like maybe it, it was a lot all at once. How did you manage, um, taking care of yourself and being able to like start going after this goal that you had?

[00:49:10] Andrea Bethke: When I started in 2017 no, it was 20, like 15. I think when I started on design teams, 2017, when I started my own business. 2015, 2016, I was on the design teams. And I, uh, I believe. And I, and into 2017, into part of 2017. Um, and I have to say at the time. It was bad, but it wasn't as bad as it is now. It's actually, like I said, it's gotten progressively worse.

[00:49:38] Andrea Bethke: It's gotten more and more debilitating over time. And it was bad enough when it started. I thought this is bad enough. Pain every day in my left, in my right leg, was bad enough. And then my right leg and my left leg pain every day was bad enough. And then it spread to my, my, you know, one of my hands and it was bad enough.

[00:49:57] Andrea Bethke: And then one of my arms. So as it kept spread everything, it felt like this is the worst it could possibly be. And then like, you know, a few months later, a year later, a couple of years later, it spreads even more. And you're like, okay, this is the worst it could possibly be. And it just, that's sort of the reality that people don't see with quote unquote invisible illnesses. That, you know, and you think to yourself when you do have a chronic illness, you know, when you are a spoonie, that's what, that's what we call ourselves when you are disabled. You think And you're dealing with chronic illness, chronic pain. You think to yourselves, like, it can't get worse. Because pain every day, even in one part of your body, every single day, 24 seven, which is what I, what I have and what it started as. That seems bad enough, but then when it starts to spread to other parts of your body, you realize like, okay, it just keeps sort of stacking on itself. And you get weaker and weaker and you have less and less mobility.

[00:50:57] Andrea Bethke: Um, and it becomes harder and harder. So back then though, I was dealing with it, I think just mostly in my, in my legs. So I still had my hands and my arms and my upper body. And I was like, I think it was easier back then. But even then, I do remember having to really just take advantage of the days where I was doing good.

[00:51:21] Andrea Bethke: And that's still, that's still today what I have to do. I have to take advantage of whatever days or times are good. So for me, if I have a really bad day where I'm like, you know, flaring all day, a flare is when you're pain goes over sort of your average threshold that you're kind of, you know, not used to, but you're better able to still, um, work with.

[00:51:48] Andrea Bethke: You're better able to manage at a certain threshold. When it goes above that is when you start to be like, okay, I can't do anything. I just have to lay here, you know? Um, So when I flare, when I'm flaring really bad, like if I say I've been flaring in horrible pain all day, you know, it's at like a nine or something, on the pain level, or ten. Um, There's nothing I can do.

[00:52:11] Andrea Bethke: I just have to, you know, like lay and sort of moan and unfortunately scream that happens sometimes to you. Sometimes I black out from the pain or start convulsing from the pain. I know this is kind of dark stuff to deal with, but this is my reality. And this is a lot of people's reality, people who are disabled.

[00:52:26] Andrea Bethke: A lot of times you don't see all of the stuff that they go through. Because you see them on their good days. And anyways, when I'm dealing with that, when that passes, right? When I, when I do start to feel better, come back down to the manageable threshold, you know, or, or even better if it's below that, if I'm, you know, having, you know, some, some good times. You know, some, you know, a, a good, uh, even if it's a few hours or even if it's half an hour, whatever amount of time that I have where I feel up to it, I take advantage.

[00:53:01] Andrea Bethke: That's what I'm working. You know, I will lay here in the bed designing whenever I can. If I feel up to getting up and going to my desk, I will go and I'll work at my desk. If I can't work at my desk, we got a big glass mat for me to scrapbook in to lay next to me in the bed. It's, you know, a huge, like We Are Memory Keepers, glass mat.

[00:53:22] Andrea Bethke: We just stick it on the bed so I have a nice sturdy surface and I can scrapbook on top of that. You know, and I draw on my iPad. in the bed. I can easel it and whatever. Um, we've made so many things. My husband has made a table to go over me in the bed. Um, you know, we brought my desk into my bedroom. We brought, you know, shelving units with my scrapbook and stuff into my bedroom.

[00:53:49] Andrea Bethke: Cause I used to have a scrapbook room that I would walk from my bedroom over to the scrapbook room and work in there. Um, back again in like 2015, 2016, 2017, you know, et cetera. And before that, actually, too, starting in like 2009. But at some point, that got too hard. And we had to just make things available for me here to be able to work just, just solely in here, in the bedroom.

[00:54:15] Andrea Bethke: And, you know, you would adjust. You adjust whatever it is you acclimate to it and you kind of just have to. That's what they don't tell you about disability is that your option is, you got to do it. Like there's.

[00:54:32] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, that, that is the option.

[00:54:34] Andrea Bethke: Yeah, you you I mean or you give up and I'm not I don't give up.

[00:54:39] Andrea Bethke: I'm a very stubborn person. I don't like to give up. I don't like to quit. I don't like to give in. You know, I I am, am stubborn like that. So I, you know, I look at the CRPS and I'm like, no, you're not gonna, you're not going to beat me. You're not going to get to me. You're not going to get one up on me.

[00:54:58] Andrea Bethke: I'm not going to stop. I'm going to figure this out. I'm going to figure out some way to do this. And I'm going to keep going. And so when you talked about like live your life as a fairy tale. It doesn't mean that your life is perfect. You know, that, that motto that I have, which I still live by to this day. You know, um, It doesn't mean your life is perfect.

[00:55:19] Andrea Bethke: If people look at fairytales, you'll see fairytales are not perfect. They never happen, especially, you know, when you look at the Grimm, you know, Disney tend to, you know, smooth things over. But even there, even in the Disney fairytales and in the Grimm fairytale, there's always bad stuff that happens, right? So.

[00:55:38] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah. I walked out of Disney when I was whatever, sorry, I walked out of Bambi when I was, you know, five years old because I couldn't handle it.

[00:55:47] Andrea Bethke: I know, the mom gets killed! That's horrifying! And most, like I said, the Grimm ones, uh, the original Grimm's are even darker. But even Disney, with them smoothing things over, it's still very dark. You still seem to never get a main character that hasn't had one or both of their parents, you know, go through some traumatic, horrible accident or, or be murdered or something and they're dead now. You know, the main character is struggling with all of this grief. And there's usually some, you know, horrible monster villain out to get them that wants to just completely ruin their lives. Or, or kill them or, or, um, you know, uh, all of these things, it's terrible.

[00:56:31] Andrea Bethke: It's not, you know, it's not actually perfect. It's awful, but you see in these stories, the main characters struggle with these things and find a way to overcome it. They find a way to get to their own happy ending. And that's how I try to live my life I try to live my life so that I'm just finding my way through the story to get past the bad stuff. Focus on the good stuff. And try to get to my own happiness. And that's what you need to do I think in life. Because it's not just me. You know, I know I have this very specific story and I have this disability, everything like that. But everybody in life has their own struggles, right? Yeah, everybody does.

[00:57:18] Jennifer Wilson: 100%.

[00:57:19] Andrea Bethke: So you, you got to, unless you're going to give up, which don't do that. Don't do that. You need to find a way you find your way through it.

[00:57:30] Andrea Bethke: You find your way around it. You find your way down under it or up over it. Whatever you got to do. You look for people around you to help you. My husband has helped me so much on this journey. My husband is my soulmate and my Prince Charming and my knight in shining armor. And we get through it together.

[00:57:54] Andrea Bethke: We always say, you know, whatever we do, we'll do it together. And we'll, and we'll get through it together. And so that's, that's what you do. That's how you live your life as a fairytale. You focus on the good stuff and you find a way to get through the bad stuff and find your own happiness in your own story. And, um, I don't know if that answered the question you asked.

[00:58:18] Jennifer Wilson: It does. It does. And I love how creating both in terms of documenting your memories and creating products and teaching classes and, and being in this industry has, um, given you that focus point of something to do. So you can stay positive and, and keep going for the next thing.

[00:58:39] Andrea Bethke: Yeah, you know, being creative, I think, makes a huge difference in life. Because like I said, life is hard for everybody. Everybody has their problems, everyone. And when you have a creative outlet, it makes a big difference. And scrap therapy, I really think that's a real thing. Getting your stories out there, getting your pictures out there, getting your, feelings out there and onto paper. And, and using art and creativity, um, to make something beautiful that you have, you know, at the end of it, you have something beautiful that you made.

[00:59:15] Andrea Bethke: It's, it's a, it's an accomplishment that you did. And, um, all of it, the process from beginning to end and the end achievement, all of it. I think is so special and helpful for you to, focus on the good. To for you to get your feelings out for you to focus on the good. And and on the beauty. There's so much beauty in life.

[00:59:38] Andrea Bethke: There really is. And so even with all the difficult things that I've had to deal with, And there's been a lot. Not just with my CRPS but with other things as well. Um, I always try to, to look at the good and the beautiful. And I think creativity, um, and what I do, it just, it helps so much with that. I think it's a, it's a big difference. And, and I'm so glad, I'm so happy, um, and proud to be a part of this community and a part of this industry.

[01:00:10] Andrea Bethke: So.

[01:00:11] Jennifer Wilson: Now, you mentioned that your latest collection was called Dearest Ephemeral, and I saw on your website that you're just wrapping up a virtual course, um, with these products and, you know, a project around it. Can you talk more about the premise behind, um, leading this course and if you're going to be doing something similar in the future?

[01:00:33] Andrea Bethke: Yes. So, Dearest Ephemeral, I'm so, I'm so excited. I've been absolutely loving it. I've been doing this amazing, um, class with, um, it's, it's a series of classes, um, with Shara Crane. Um, I'm so excited to work with Shara. I've been wanting to work with her for a while. And I just sort of like called her up in January or something and I was like, let's do something together, you know? And, um, yeah, I decided to do this, um, this scrap journal class. But I'm, you know, it's like, it's a self care scrap journal class. And because it's springtime, it's sort of become a spring self care scrap journal class. Um, but because we're recording it, you could take it any time. You could take it any time of the year. Um, but we're, we're using my newest collection that I just sort of relaunched the company with, right? Um, Dearest Ephemeral. Because I took some time off. I took some time off last year. I took about a year off because of health reasons. Um, but I'm relaunching, I'm restarting, I'm so excited to be starting up again. And to, and I really feel like we started with a bang. You know, um, I love this collection.

[01:01:48] Andrea Bethke: This collection is bigger than any of the collections we've done before. We just started doing, um, stamps and stencils. Which I'm super excited about. Um, And, um, I was actually designing, I was like three fourths done with the designing when I started talking to Shara about doing a class with the collection. And she even, you know, she was looking at the designs and she even would say like, Oh, you know, it'd be great if you could do some, like, big die cuts using, some really big die cuts using some of, you know, like the flowers, um, for me to use in the class.

[01:02:26] Andrea Bethke: And, you know, if you could do a cool, um, sort of stripe with the different colors from the color palette to use at the class. And so I had her input at the end of it too. And then we came up with this really awesome class to do together. Where she would sort of do, uh, the base of the, of the album. Like these cool ideas of how to make, um, these beautiful decorative pages and layouts. And, and, um, to incorporate, um, mixed media and stitching into it, as far as stitching. Um, and then I would do some other mixed media like painting and stuff and stamping with it. And then I would also, um, we, we would figure out journaling and journal prompts. That would be very self care, um, reflected, you know, um.

[01:03:16] Andrea Bethke: Because I think, like I said, I think that being creative and specifically paper crafting and scrapbooking, it is scrap therapy. And I really wanted to do this class, I've never done anything like this before. Where we're really talking about self care. Um, so we have these journal prompts that range from, you know, sort of more simple things like what are your favorite things right now?

[01:03:43] Andrea Bethke: Um, you know, uh, write down like your reading list. Or create a playlist of favorite songs. You know, sort of more simple, just things about you. And, and talk about yourself briefly, you know, in the introduction, things like that. And then, and then, like I said, the, the playlist, the watch list, the reading list, things like that.

[01:04:00] Andrea Bethke: But then we have more in depth journal prompts that are really going deeper that are like. Write a love letter to yourself where you say all the beautiful things about yourself. You know, really think about the qualities.

[01:04:13] Jennifer Wilson: Mm hmm.

[01:04:13] Andrea Bethke: that other People tell you. You know like, you know, I mean and be kind to yourself. And end the letter with I love you. Um, and then things like, what are your insecurities?

[01:04:25] Andrea Bethke: We did that one. We did that class recently and that was hard. I had to talk and I, I wanted to show my own journaling and do my own journaling in front of them. And really talk about my own insecurities. You know, the sort of mean girl voice in my head. And the kind of things that she says to me about the way I look and about my failings. And then the rest of the prompt though is how do you combat those thoughts?

[01:04:55] Andrea Bethke: You know, what can you do to combat those thoughts? And so the rest of the journaling was like, I need to tell myself the truth. Which is that none of the, none of those mean things are true. It's just this rude voice in my head, but none of those things are true. Um, you know, I'm not ugly. I'm not, uh, you know, awful.

[01:05:16] Andrea Bethke: A lot of times, I think because of my chronic illness, and I said this during the class. You feel that you look like you're projecting, like you're presenting how you feel on the inside. Which how I feel on the inside 24 7, I'm in pain. So I feel terrible. I feel like a monster. I feel gross and awful. But that's, that's not actually me.

[01:05:38] Andrea Bethke: That's not how I look or what I'm projecting to other people. So why do I tell myself that? And so I need to remember that those things aren't true. And I tried to, um, combat it with telling myself the truth. Which is that, you know, I'm beautiful. I'm trying the best that I can every day. Um, you know, my CRPS is one thing, but that's not who I am.

[01:06:03] Andrea Bethke: I'm not the pain, you know. Um, and I think all of that was really, it was hard to do. But it was important. I wanted to get my students, um, an example and a jumping off point so they could do the same. So they could look at themselves, you know, list out the stuff that, you know, all the terrible stuff, the mean girl voice in your head. But then start talking about really what's true. What's true and what you want to remember about yourself. That you know, that all of those things are actually lies and that you are great. You are smart. You are capable. You are beautiful. You are special. We tend to forget about those things. I think as people, we forget about the good stuff. We focus so much on the bad stuff.

[01:06:51] Jennifer Wilson: Mm hmm. Yes. Yes.

[01:06:53] Andrea Bethke: Yeah, I think this class is important. I really do. And like I said, everything has been recorded. Um, and, uh, and we'll be recorded and we'll be up and available.

[01:07:05] Andrea Bethke: So anyone who still wants to take it, you can. And I think it's important at some point to do something like this for yourself. Because self care is important. Because mental health is important. And I think we just skip over that. We get bogged down in other things and we skip over that to our own detriment.

[01:07:25] Jennifer Wilson: Uh, it sounds like a powerful experience both, um, for the students and, and for you. I love how everything in your story and your work, it, it is all tied together. Because of what you've experienced and I think you found a way to really make it beautiful.

[01:07:42] Andrea Bethke: Thank you so much. I hope so. I try, I try to, I try to. Um, it's important to me, um, I think, um, to help others as much as possible. I think, you know, when I went to school and I thought I'm going to be a professor, I'm going to teach, um, Theology. And, um, and I'm going to teach English and I wanted to write books. And I was also, I was trying, I thought I was going to work at a college and be teaching. But I also was taking classes and stuff on pastoral ministry. Because I thought I'll work at the college, I'll teach, but I'll also do some sort of ministry to help my students, right?

[01:08:23] Andrea Bethke: And I'll write books that will talk about the intersection of like, um,

[01:08:29] Andrea Bethke: Try and write books that would just help people with their faith, but also just with their lives. You know? And so I've always wanted to help people. And that's what I thought I was going to do.

[01:08:41] Jennifer Wilson: That's what you are doing. Mm hmm.

[01:08:43] Andrea Bethke: Yeah. Obviously things went a different direction.

[01:08:45] Jennifer Wilson: It's amazing.

[01:08:46] Andrea Bethke: But I'm still trying to do that. I think that's still my goal is at the end of the day is like, how can I help other people?

[01:08:53] Andrea Bethke: And, um, If there are any disabled listeners out there who like to papercraft or want to get into it, and you are thinking to yourself, like, you know, I don't know, I don't know how I'm going to do this, because of my disability. You know, um, I totally get it. You know, it's hard for me sometimes to try and hold a pen or, or hold the scissors.

[01:09:19] Andrea Bethke: Um, and, but I think, I think you can do it. If you're listening out there and you're disabled, I believe that you can do it. And if you want to do it, I think you should. So, you know, I have Ryan help me. If you have anyone that can help you, you know, get some help. You know, if you need someone to cut something for you, ask them to do it. You know, a spouse, um, a loved one, a friend, your kid. Hey can you cut this for me. Um, you know, so then you can be able to like stick it down on a piece of paper. Um, I think work from bed is the other thing I would want to say out, out to my uh, fellow disabled listeners. Work in bed. I, you know, for the longest time, I thought I got to work in my scrapbook room. And then for, you know, I was doing so badly for months and I hadn't been in my scrapbook room in like months and months at some, at some period. You know, and my husband was just like, why aren't you paper crafting?

[01:10:17] Andrea Bethke: You know, you love to do it. Why aren't you scrapbooking? And I was like, well, cause I can't make it over there. And he was like, let's bring it here. You know, whatever you need to do, to get that thing you love in your life done, to be creative and do that thing that you love. Do it. Make it easy on yourself and also just give yourself some grace. You know, if you can't do something or you can't do as much as you wanted to do today. Or you're not done with the 50 projects on your list of things to do. Well, I still have to scrapbook our last vacation and, and the Christmas and Halloween. Whatever it is, cut yourself some slack. Okay, you're doing your best. Do as much as you can whenever you can. And then just let the rest go.

[01:11:02] Jennifer Wilson: Very well said. Thank you so much for sharing so openly, um, in our conversation today. Um, I'm sure that it is going to help a lot of listeners and, um, it, yeah, it, it touched me very much, um, as well.

[01:11:17] Andrea Bethke: Thank you. Thank you so much. I really, really appreciate that so much.

[01:11:23] Jennifer Wilson: Andrea, can you share where our listeners can find you online?

[01:11:26] Andrea Bethke: You can find me at AndreaBethke. com. So A N D R E A B E T H K E. Um, so it's like Beth and then key without the Y, but it's pronounced the same, Bethke. Um, Andrea Bethke dot com, um, is our website. And you can find all our different collections there, our Disney inspired ones and, and all the other ones too.

[01:11:55] Andrea Bethke: And, um, you can also find me on Instagram at Andrea Bethke Creates. So spelled the same, Andrea Bethke Creates. And then, uh, on YouTube, I believe it's the same on YouTube. I think it's either Andrea Bethke or Andrea Bethke Creates. Um, so yeah, you can just Google that as well.

[01:12:15] Jennifer Wilson: We'll include the links in the show notes.

[01:12:17] Andrea Bethke: Thanks. Thanks.

[01:12:19] Jennifer Wilson: Yeah, and any sneak peeks of something, of anything you're working on next? Or you're not ready to, to promise? I

[01:12:25] Andrea Bethke: No, no, no, no. Um, okay. So like I said, yeah, right now we're finishing up Dearest Ephemeral, which has been so amazing. Um, again, if you want to sign up for that, you still can cause everything's recorded. And I'll be posting things here and there on discord too. Uh, throughout the rest of the month. Um, so you can share with everyone and other people too. You know, cause things take longer, you know, people are still working on their album.

[01:12:52] Andrea Bethke: Um, so there's that going on. But as far as after that, um, I do have, uh, you know, as we talked about, I love Disney, and so I do have a Disney inspired collection coming out that will be out next. I'm super excited about that. Um, so watch for that if you are a Disney fan. Um, I'm, there's so many things going on at Disney right now.

[01:13:19] Andrea Bethke: There's a Star Wars Season of the Force and there's Pixar Fest and stuff. So you may see maybe some things that, that sort of go with that. You know, I tend to be inspired by what the Disney parks are doing. Um, and I, and just like you said, classic Disney too, vintage Disney. There's, yeah, there's all kinds of fun stuff coming.

[01:13:38] Andrea Bethke: Um, so watch out for that. Um, and I do, I haven't finished the plans for it, but I do have a Disney class, Disney event experience thing, that I'm also working on. Um, and I'm excited about that as well. So again, if you're interested in any of that. Um, yeah, please come and, and, and check me out and, and follow me, follow my website, my social media and, and all that good stuff.

[01:14:10] Jennifer Wilson: Wonderful. Thanks again for spending time chatting with me.

[01:14:13] Andrea Bethke: Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me here. It was absolutely lovely chatting with you and, um, I very much appreciate you having me on here.

[01:14:24] Jennifer Wilson: And to all of our listeners, please remember that you have permission to scrapbook your way.

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