First up - a very interesting crafter named Summer Aiello. We met on Two Peas in a Bucket and I asked if I could interview her and she graciously said yes. I think you'll really enjoy hearing about how she's made scrapbooking a part of her life again.
Name: Summer Aiello
Hometown: Winter Haven, Florida
Life Status: Married for 13 years to husband Mike who was my trainer for my very first show at Universal. :) We have two children; Caden, 7 and Paige, 4
When did you start scrapbooking? What motivated you to take up this hobby?
I started scrapbooking in 2002. Mike was working a Halloween show at Universal and he was gone most nights from about 5:30 to about midnight. I had all this free time and no real hobby. I decided to take myself out to dinner one night and it just happened to be in front of a Michael's. I went in to pass the time and as I wandered the aisles I spied a book by Stacy Julian- I *think* it was called "Simple Scrapbooks or Scrapbooking" I can't remember, but as I flipped through it, her concepts for laying down photos ( which I LOVED and took tons of ) and pages really resonated with me. I bought the book, an album, some Zig writers, a pack of patterned paper and....*shudder* a bin of foam stickers. Of course I became addicted with it, and once I discovered Creating Keepsakes magazine, my world to everything scrapbooking WAS in the early 2000's just exploded. I found the website to Two Peas in a Bucket in CK, and could not wait to talk to other scrapbookers like me!! I met some really great people on the Two Peas board and still keep in touch via social media with some of them.
When did you stop scrapping and why?
I Stopped in 2007....Caden was two and even though I finally had photos of an adorable toddler to scrap, I was exhausted and wound up mostly just chatting in the Pub on Two Peas and doing no scrapping. I also was getting very disenchanted with the scrapbooking "world" as it was: All of the "famous" scrapbookers seemed to be professional photographers with their pages veering largely away from the "regular" scrapbooker’s page. I had tried to get published with no success and I was just tired of seeing the same people published over and over. I felt disenchanted with my supplies because I didn't have every punch the store sold, or sets and sets of stamps. I tried to change my style to fit what I thought the publishers wanted and I wound up hating many of my pages. So in the fall I had a garage sale and sold almost all of my scrap stuff. I was strangely not sad about it, although I really wish I hadn't gotten rid of that heat embossing gun!
Did you still think about it, shop for it, read about it and feel that you were a scrapbooker - just not an active one?
For a long time afterward, no, I didn't. Almost every single LSS in my vicinity had closed which made it easy to not be involved in it. I still took tons of photos but just stuck them in regular albums and labeled them chronologically, but the desire to put them on a scrapbooking page had gone.
When did you start again and what made you decide to get back to it?
When I had a girl. LOL!!! Honestly, taking photos of that chubby, dark haired baby made me think...." Wow these would look great on a scrapbook page..." But I didn't scrap a page until November of last year. ( 2012 )
Was it hard to know where to start? Where did you start?
Sort of... I had still held on to a Teeeeny bit of paper and stickers because I had thought some of it would be great for a project if Caden needed to do something creative for school. I was home and both kids were gone. I had recently gotten some Instagram photos printed and thought I might sit down and just for fun, do a page. I wondered if Two Peas was still around and decided to check it out-not only was it still there but my account was too. I logged on and checked out the Garden Girls because that's always your litmus test for what's "hot" in the industry. I was happy to recognize some peas who had just been emerging when I left but mostly they were all completely new to me-Before November 2012 I had no clue who Amy Tan was, or Shimelle Laine. Elsie Flanagan was the big name I remembered from the old days, but she had moved on I think. Looking at this crop of new GG's and their work, I was happy to see a pretty good variety in styles....mostly was drawn to Shimelle and Shannon Tidwell's pages for their "accessibility" if that makes sense.
What changes and trends in scrapping have you noticed since you've been back?
Well, definitely the misting trend for sure. I actually really like that medium because it’s something a scrapper at any level can use in how ever way they want. Also the "one photo" layouts with a smaller sized photo leaving lots of space - I like this trend too- I like the thought of not having to use TONS of product or having to cover the entire page with "stuff.” And of course, Layering, also something I like. I actually did a sort of primitive form of this in my old pages back in the day- not as balanced or as full as ones I might do today after studying the technique but it was on its way. I wonder if I had let it evolve would it have blossomed more into something like today's layering.
Are you most inspired by 1) product, 2) photos or 3) a story to tell?
Most definitely it’s the photos AND the story. I think journaling is far and away the most important part of scrapbooking.
Where do you scrapbook?
Sadly, either at work, where I have to make a "kit" of sorts and drag it into work with me, at my coffee table in the living room or on my bed using an old shelf bottom as my "table.”
When do you have a chance to scrap? How do you work it in your schedule?
I can almost get a page finished in the 8 hours I'm at work. Since I'm on a show schedule I can only work on it in 15 minute spurts and then I can try and finish it up at home when the kids go to bed but I'm usually too tired or I'll want to catch up with my husband. If I can manage it, when the kids are at school at the same time I'll try and fit in a few hours before picking them up from school. But I am a slooooow scrapper.
Are you buying new products or using what you have?
Well, for sure am buying new stuff because I'm basically starting from square one. It's been pretty costly so I don't have all the latest and greatest ( you might see some Chatterbox Walls wind up on one of my layouts ) but I'm trying not to let that bother me. I've got a new sort of attitude about scrapbooking this time around. I'm doing it for ME and trying so hard to not let lack of product or new trends get in my way.
Do you plan to purge your stash at all since trends have changed?
See answer to number 2 LOL!!
What do you see as your biggest challenge now?
Well, not having a space to craft really can cut into your desire to get a page done, but mostly I think it's like I said above: Not letting things like not having the latest and greatest get me down that it's not on my pages.
Give us some advice to encourage someone who wants to get back to documenting their stories but feels overwhelmed!
I'd say start slowly using photos you LOVE that has a wonderful story behind it. Tell yourself I'm just using paper and a pen and maybe an embellishment or two and go from there. You'll get bitten again. It's oddly like a crazy addiction.
Here's an adorable layout by Summer - love how colorful this is:
Thanks for allowing me to interview you, Summer!! I agree - scrapbooking is a crazy addiction but a good one.
I hope this inspires all of you to continue documenting your memories or get back to it if you've taken time off.
I'll be making this interview series a regular part of my blog. If you or someone you know has recently gotten back to scrapping - let me know if I can interview you (them)!