Welcome to the Leading Your Best Creative Life interview series! In this series, I feature memory keepers who make time to scrapbook in their busy lives. Each month you will meet a scrapbooker, just like you, and learn how they lead their best creative life.
I hope that this series will help you see that we all our doing our best to scrapbook our memories. It can be hard to prioritize your creative outlets, but you aren’t the only one that struggles with finding time to scrapbook and craft.
This month’s interview is with Emily Adams a.k.a. mrscraftyadams. I have followed her scrapbooking journey for a few years and love her style. She scrapbooks in the Project Life App, traditional scrapbooks, and traveler’s notebooks. She posts her pages on her Instagram and blog to share with the scrapbooking community. Emily and her husband travel a lot, so she makes time to scrapbook all of their adventures in her busy life. You can check out all of her crafting on her blog Mrs Crafty Adams. You can also follow her across social media on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Read on to learn more about Emily’s scrapbooking and creative process. I came away with some brilliant ideas to incorporate in my process (hello – why haven’t I been utilizing the favorites button on my phone photo roll!)
How long have you been scrapbooking and why did you start?
I started in the early 2000’s. I moved to Richmond, VA for school and found a scrapbook store and fell in love. I’ve always loved photos, paper, and stickers, so scrapbooking was the perfect combination for me. I thought it would be a great way to document my years in pharmacy school (although I never got around to finishing that album!).
Do you find it difficult to keep up with memory keeping?
Since life is always happening and creating more things I want to document, I think it’s impossible to keep up. I always have several projects going on at one time and don’t get too concerned with being caught up. Scheduling time for working on creative projects is the best way for me to consistently get things done.
How has your scrapbooking methods changed over the years?
When I first began scrapbooking, I made albums dedicated to events – a summer trip, my house renovation, travels with a friend. They were made in post bound albums in various sizes. I tried some traditional 12×12 layouts but found them somewhat difficult at the time. I would have been more successful if I had used sketches as a starting point.
When Project Life came out, I wasn’t sure if I would keep up with a year long project so I grabbed a Smashbook and documented some events from 2012 in a monthly format. I kept up with it so I began doing physical Project Life in 2013 with a mismatch of random manufacturer “Project Life” sets, cut up scrapbook papers, and partial Project Life kits that I bought from a Facebook scrapbook group.
Over the next few years I tried different Project Life formats. One year I did 2-page weekly layouts, then I combined 2 weeks in a 2-page layout, and then I tried a monthly format. I used smaller sized inserts to document trips and special events and included some traditional 12x12s when I had two that could be placed back to back. The monthly format is too broad for me and I only completed through June 2016. I fell further and further behind that year.
By the end of 2016, I knew I needed to make some changes to continue with Project Life. Although I loved physical PL, I just didn’t have the time or enthusiasm to sit down and make those layouts each week. I also wanted to be able to incorporate traditional 12×12 pages without having to plan for 2 layouts back to back, so I started playing with the Project Life App. I finished up 2016 with monthly layouts and then began making a one page layout for each week in 2017. I’ve continued the one page layouts in 2018. It’s the perfect amount of space for me and I can add physical Project Life inserts or traditional 12x12s in the album if I need extra room one week. I mix and match cards from different kits in most layouts, but use the Everyday kit for my week and date card.
I have also completed a December Daily for the past 2 years, have an ongoing 12×12 Disney album arranged by park, and have an ongoing 6×8 camping album.
Are there any methods, supplies, or strategies you use to scrapbook more efficiently to be able to finish projects?
1 – Each week I go through and delete unwanted photos from the past week. This has been a GAME CHANGER for me!! Becky Higgins mentioned doing this on a daily basis… I don’t take enough photos to warrant that unless I’m traveling, but doing it weekly works for me.
2 – I click the heart on my photos on my iPhone to send them to the Favorites album. When I’m creating layouts in the Project Life App, I can just select photos from the Favorites album instead of having to scroll through other photos. Once I have used in the app or printed them for a 12×12, I un-heart them.
3 – I screenshot text messages, weather forecasts, movie posters, Instagram stories, and recipes I make and use them in my Project Life App layouts.
4 – I keep a running list of traditional 12×12 layouts I’d like to make.
5 – I participate in challenges and crops from the Paper Issues Facebook group
How do you currently make time for scrapbooking and how often do you scrapbook?
I generally look at my planner and photos on Monday or Tuesday. I don’t take photos at every event so looking through my planner helps me remember things to include. Sometimes I use a journaling card to do a recap of that week’s non-photo events. My weekly photo purge and heart/favorite-ing of photos occurs at this time and then I quickly make a page.
For traditional pages, I look at my work and travel schedule and try to block out a couple of hours (or more!) once or twice a month. I haven’t been diligent about doing this for the past couple of months but am getting back on track in May.
What does your current scrapbooking look like?
I currently make a one page layout for each week in the Project Life App and try to make those pages during the following week. I am working on Weeks 15 and 16… a trip to Disney has got me a little behind. When we travel, I usually make an extra layout (also in the app). I print my Project Life App layouts through Persnickety Prints every few weeks and slip them into full page protectors.
I also like to highlight important photos or events by creating traditional 12×12 layouts and placing them alongside my Project Life App layouts. The Paper Issues facebook group has scrapbooking challenges and I have a goal to participate in 2 challenges every month. I don’t always reach that goal, but I can complete 2 challenges in one sitting if I have a good chunk of time available or I can break it up into smaller sessions. These challenges have helped me get more Disney 12x12s made.
What is your biggest challenge in scrapbooking right now?
My biggest challenge is having too many things I want to do! I also enjoy reading, knitting, crochet, and other crafts. I have to pick and choose what to do with my time!
- Favorite scrapbooking tool or product? Silhouette Cameo
- Current inspiration that gets your creative juices flowing? Sketches and challenges from Paper Issues
- Favorite scrapbooking guru? Ali Edwards, although my style looks nothing like hers
- Your go-to crafting method or design? If I don’t have a good starting point in mind, I look at scrapbook sketches
- Something new you’ve recently discovered in the scrapbooking or crafting world?
Free form text in the Project Life App!!!
Share a recent project that you made – we would love to see!
Disney Recap – I do a quick one page recap of our Disney trips for my yearly album (we’re Passholders so we go several times a year)
Disney Artful Epcot – I make traditional 12×12 layouts for my ongoing Disney album. I have it divided up by park.
Week 12 created with the Project Life App – I love the Oh My Heart All-in-One card kit!
Week 14 created with the Project Life App using the new freeform text. It is the best thing that’s happened to the app!
2017 Title Page – I always make my title pages at the end of the year once I know how the album feels. I got this layout idea from a Facebook group and loved selecting photos that represented us and our travels in 2017. I plan to do the same style at the end of 2018.
Any last thoughts for our crafty friends out there who are struggling to prioritize their scrapbooking and creative time?
Find a way to scrapbook that suits your availability and needs. I struggled with the Project Life App at first, because it didn’t seem like “real scrapbooking” to me. I got over that quick because it allows me to document our everyday life while freeing up time for me to work on other projects and layouts. Blocking out an hour here or an afternoon there to work on projects is crucial for me. Being creative refills my tank and I need that time!
Thanks again to Emily for being a part of this series! I love seeing inspiration from scrapbookers of all walks of life. We all have something great to learn from each other and Emily is no exception! She has great methods that help get her memory keeping done and hopefully has given you some ideas to try.
If you are interested in participating in the interview series, please contact me here!
See you next month – until then, lead your best creative life today!