Welcome to the Leading Your Best Creative Life interview series! In this series, I will feature real moms 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 this series will help to remind you that we are doing our best to be memory keepers and crafters. 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 I interviewed my best friend, Jeni Waeltz, to be my first crafty mom! She is a great scrapbooker and storyteller. She captures the memories of her family most in pocket pages and documents it on her Instagram – thesimplelifedocumented. I’m so glad she let me interview her for our first feature in the series. She has some great things to say about scrapbooking and how she does it as a mom of two.
How long have you been scrapbooking and why did you start?
I started scrapbooking in high school about 15 years ago. I started because of you (Julie) and the local scrapbook store. During college and graduate school, I took a 10 year break. When I started to get back into it, the scrapbook world had completely changed in terms of what pages looked like. I was easily overwhelmed, but then you (Julie) introduced me to Project Life and I was able to find my way back into it.
When you had children, did you find it difficult to make time for scrapbooking and how did you make it a priority?
I was really motivated to scrapbook my first daughter’s baby album when I was on maternity leave with my second daughter. After I went back to work, I didn’t scrapbook at all until I changed my schedule to part-time. Then all of a sudden it came back to me. It was all consuming and obsessive because it was my only creative outlet. My only time to myself is during naptime, so that became my time to do whatever I wanted, which usually meant scrapbooking. Most of my creative time now is spent scrapbooking, here and there I will do something else, but it’s mainly scrapbooking.
How do you currently make time for scrapbooking and how often do you scrapbook?
Nap times are my priority, so I usually spend 2-3 days a week for about 1.5 to 2 hours at each session doing something creative. In total I probably spend about 5 hours during the week. My husband and I are also going to try a new schedule on the weekends where each of us will get a night to ourselves. That will also give me a little more time to scrapbook on the weekend.
How have your scrapbooking methods changed over the years?
Since I came back into scrapbooking, I have been using Project Life mainly. It has helped me keep things simple and help with the overflow of multiple pictures. This year I have been wanting to play around with more layout styles. Since I’ve only been back into it for 3 years I feel like I’m still developing my style and I always come back to the pockets. I’m also a die-hard Ali Edwards follower so that keeps me motivated and allows for the creativity in different sizes.
I like the Week in the Life and Day in the Life projects with Ali, so I’m starting to stray away from the normal weekly Project Life format because it can be too overwhelming to keep up. More recently, I’m a fan of story driven scrapbooking. I feel motivated the most and focus on telling stories. If the stories go in a pocket, they go in a pocket. If they go on a regular page, then they go on a regular page. Ali has been the most instrumental for me to become a better storyteller in terms of my journaling. I don’t want to miss out on the details while my girls are little, so I feel like I’m doing a better job of keeping a journal. I have all those details in there and focus more on the stories when I scrapbook.
The hardest thing as a scrapbooker is deciding if you are a chronological scrapbooker or a story scrapbooker and how do you combine those. What was tripping me up with Project Life was knowing what to do with my photos outside of the weekly format. Some of my favorite pages are the Before and After layouts, but if I put all my pictures in Project Life then I will have duplicates on any other pages. I would fall behind on purpose so I could pick my favorite pictures and scrapbook those versus always being caught up with Project Life.
Are there any methods, supplies, or strategies you use to help you finish projects in your limited time?
I think I probably developed this from Ali too. From any pocket page perspective whether it’s monthly or weekly, what helps me be the speediest is to plan my photos first, then my journal cards, then the embellishing. I can work on my photos anywhere since the majority are on my phone and plan it out in a journal or in the Project Life App. I don’t use the Project Life App a lot since I struggle with the font sizes, but I will use it sometimes to plan my layouts.
Once all my pictures are ready, then I can put in the journal cards, then go back and embellish. Some of my pages just have journal cards and photos, but when I have more time I embellish the layouts. Also, some of my journaling I will write up on my phone during the off times throughout the week and not always when I’m sitting down to scrapbook. I will have it ready to print or write out when I scrapbook. I also know that there are imperfections in my albums. As long as the stories are getting told and the memories are there, I’m okay with that.
What is your biggest challenge in scrapbooking right now?
Time is the biggest challenge for me. Wanting to scrapbook and not being able to do it. The other thing I struggle with is where does social media have a role in my scrapbooking. I find myself wanting to share everything I make. Is sharing on social media because I want the likes or is it because it’s my only connection to the scrapbooking world? You (Julie) are the only person I know in person to talk to scrapbooking about, so being on social media helps me feel like I’m part of the larger community. Being online in the community can sometimes be an information overload in terms of comparison and wanting to get better. I try to use it for inspiration versus trying not to get sucked down into the comparison game.
- Favorite scrapbooking tool or product? Ali Edwards story kits and my at home printer
- Current inspiration that gets your scrapbooking creativity flowing? Scrolling instagram
- Favorite scrapbooking gurus? Ali Edwards and Paige Taylor Evans
- Your go-to scrapbooking method or design? Pocket pages (Becky Higgins) Design A or Design F
- Something new you’ve recently discovered in the scrapbooking world? Fuse tool – I had it over a year before I tried it using it
Share a recent project that you made – we would love to see!
Any last thoughts for other mom’s out there who are struggling to prioritize their scrapbooking, crafting, and creative time?
The house will always need to be cleaned and there will always be laundry that needs to be done. You only get those few hours. Make it work in the morning or stay up late or find a couple hours a week. Try to find what works with your schedule and carve out the extra time to scrapbook. Let go of the other things.
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!