PRT097 – Yes, Yes, and Yes

Have you noticed how the phrase “memory keeping” is becoming more popular? Us too. We’re talking about that today… Come listen!

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  • Jana _NJ

    Loved the conversation today, I will repeat Ali’s words and instead of many yeses I will say Amen Amen Amen. I think what’s going on at least to a minority of people is that they are getting more conscious each day about the importance of memory keeping and the importance of that over just pretty pages. At least I see that in myself in my own experience with Scrapbooking. When you get overwhelmed with so much stuff being dumped at you and you spent half of your time watching haul videos or products videos instead of trying to find ways to improve your Scrapbooking, in my case learning  to document the stories I want  better, learning more design and better approaches to journal (which is my problem).  I also agree with Noell I’m also trying project life for the first time, after a failure with project 365 and see that as a whole different thing now, I’m more relaxed and happier that the stories will be told, now I don’t worry that I’m not doing 10 pages a month or less because I know my stories will be told and more important I won’t feel guilty. Why we feel so guilty about everything?? There is so much pressure out there and a black hole that sucks new people in the craft to start with the wrong mentality (in my opinion of course) But that’s why to discuss things like that is great.
    Another thing about Facebook to me I was so glad with timeline when my son was diagnosed with Autism last year I decided to share with my family and friends what was going on but after some time I was ready to try to document that but It was impossible to find that in the old facebook but thanks to timeline I was able to find not just that but all the follow up posts in that matter to document. But I agree the design is not the best but the fact we have a even better source to find our stories makes it exciting.
    Great show!

  • Candy

    Thanks Izzy for letting us know about the comment section…all this time I thought we were suppose to use email for our comments.  I have no interest in PL but I enjoy doing layouts as it is fun to go back down memory lane every time and playing creatively with all my supplies. But then if I never finish all my stories, this is ok with me. I strongly suspect my boys (in college now) will not be able to store/move all their scrapbooks anyway, so I see scrapbooks as temporary, something for me to enjoy in my lifetime.  You see, they also have all my mom’s scrapbooks, all of my childhood scrapbooks, and all of their dads too.  Someone will have to solve this scrapbook overload problem. And I have told them to pick out their favorite pages and toss the rest, after I leave this earth.

  • Amen, amen, amen!

    So many great things in your comment, Jana!!

  • That is a good term for it: Scrapbook Overload Problem. S.O.P.

    Not that I’m slowing down my scrapbooking — I definitely don’t advocate that. But it’s true, we’re all handing our children a S.O.P. for sure! :)

  • Holley Williamson

    Very interesting show. I have felt very inspired by a couple of different sources. I love digital scrapbooking and don’t want to go back to paper scrapbooking–hate the mess! But I do have frustrations with digital scrapbooking taking so long. But I love the style of clusters and a few photos on a page! So I’ve come up with my own system to both simplify and use the style of digital scrapbooking. I have an example on my blog: But it has really motivated me and sped up my scrapbooking process so much! I’ve gotten more scrapping done in the last month than I have ever done in previous months since i started digital scrapping.

  • It’s so awesome when you pin down a system that works for you — helps you to accomplish what you want and maintain your state of being inspired.
    You are super organized — I’m blown away by your spreadsheet because it’s so different from my own nature! TFS!

  • Rochelle Barnes

    I’m a totally random scrapbooker! Sometimes I scrap photos from last week, & other times I scrap photos from early last century!  Do I think of myself as a memory keeper?  Well – sometimes, but that is only part of what I do.  I am more inclined to think of myself as a story teller, someone who writes from their own perspective, my view, of what I see in photos.  Being only a memory keeper would put too much pressure on me, to get details right, not something I want, as it could spoil my fun. My scrapbooks are first & foremost for me – my creative outlet. As I approach retirement, I feel so lucky to have found a hobby that I love. If someone enjoys my books in the future, that would be terrific – but it isn’t what motivates me.
    Just a note to Izzy – I can’t believe that “this” old lady has updated my Facebook to Timeline before him! Go me!!

  • Go you! lol!

    Your description of how you see our hobby sounds just like me. I enjoyed reading your perspective! Thanks! :)

  • Marina Delgado

    As a fairly new scrapbooker/memory-keeper/whatchamacallit I kind of jumped in feet first about 1 year ago after a family tragedy. I think it was kind of a way to distract myself from some really hard feelings. Anyways, over the last year I’ve created a mix of pages, to be honest, mostly about myself. Its been coming up a little bit in my own head recently and this conversation just really reinforced the thought that I really want to document, “Why do I scrapbook”? Is it to record my memories and feelings about life? is it to process my feelings around the loss I experienced last year? is it to document events in my family’s life together? Probably all of the above and more but I think it would be helpful for me to actual write down and possibly create a layout about the “Why” of my desire to scrapbook/papercraft/memory-keep, etc. I’m currently taking Stacy’s Twelve class over at BPC (thanks to the awesome PRT discount code) and I added this idea to my “ME” list.  In addition, to just getting it down on paper I think it would help me to prioritize the layouts, projects (definitely thinking about project life…), classes that will be me most beneficial in achieving my “Why”.

    Thank you for another inspiring discussion.

    P.S. I so got the Day One app recommended by Izzy and after about a week I’m still loving it. The reminders are the key!

  • It’s so good to get clarity on things — to know your purpose and desires. It keeps you focused, motivated, and it helps you truly be you, instead of becoming like everybody else (and dissatisfied in the process).

    Thank you for your enlightening comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying Stacy’s class. It’s awesome.

  • And another yes. I made a mistake when I was looking for people to interview for my study on scrapbookers. I targeted all my advertising to scrapbookers (“are you a scrapbooker?”). I stumbled onto people who were scrapbooking who did not identify as a scrapbooker (this is how I found two of my male respondents). I’m sure that if I had used more generic terms or used the phrase “do you keep or make scrapbooks” I would have ended up with an even more diverse set of respondents. At the same time, we all have different definitions of what is and isn’t a scrapbook. Even the phrase  memory keeping might be too limiting as some of our scrappy-projects are more like record keeping in general (I’m thinking of Noell’s Thrive series. I could be wrong.). 

    A person can be a memory keeper and not a scrapbooker or a scrapbooker and not a memory keeper. A scrapbooker could be a record keeper, memory keeper, both, or neither. 

  • At the same time, if the purpose of your research was to study the dynamics of the small community of “scrapbookers” by our industry terms, then you got the group you were really intending. I guess it depends on whether you were trying to get a feel for this little community, or a sampling of everyone who does some form of scrapbooking or memory keeping.

    But yeah, even though I often use “memory keeping” I agree with you that that doesn’t really always cover everything I mean. I do feel the Thrive! projects are related, but different.

  • Hclappy

    I’m also taking the 12 class and I think that Stacey Julian, (found through PRT), has completely made me rethink about why I scrap as well. When I scrap thinking of how others will see it, or react to it, I freeze up and can’t get anything done. When I do it just for me things flow a lot better. I think as we grow as scrappers or memory keepers, our motivations change. Maybe you started to help you through a difficult time, but your reasons for doing it will evolve and change. This is a great topic for a ME page!

  • Just a quick comment on Timeline… I think it could really help a lot of us scrappers/memory keepers. I am actually using Timeline to help get together my Family Timeline for Library of Memories. I wrote a long post about the pro’s and con’s of using it for memory keeping here.

  • Catherine Cook

    I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how the Paperclipping Round Table has affected me.  I began scrapbooking in 1998 after a road trip to California with members of my extended family.  I created a scrapbook using the pictures I had taken as well as the bits and pieces of our conversations that I collected throughout the trip.  It was very satisfying, so I was hooked!

    At the time my son was in high school and my daughter had just started middle school.  She was a very active student, and I the second scrapbook I started was dedicated to her accomplishments in school.  I loved the creative outlet of using paper and other products to document our family life, but soon I felt overwhelmed.  I could keep up with the present, but should I try to reach back into the past? 

    Eventually, my efforts became centered on keeping up with my daughter’s school books.  When she graduated in 2004 she had five large scrapbooks filled with her accomplishments.  On the day after her graduation party, I laid down my scissors and glue and completely stopped scrapbooking. 

    You see I felt that without children, my life was not interesting enough to record.  I found other outlets for my creativity, but I missed scrapbooking.  Then about two years ago, I read about your podcast on Michelle Wooderson’s blog.  I looked you up on iTunes and started listening. 

    Over the years, the many Paperclipping Roundtable podcasts have gently reshaped how I see the process of scrapbooking.  Indeed, I have seen myself change from being a scrapbooker to becoming a memory keeper. 

    In the fall of 2010, I began hearing about something called Project Life.  I purchased a copy for myself, but those old feelings that my life was not interesting enough to document kept nagging at me.  I had to purchase a copy for both my newlywed daughter and a friend with a new baby before I could allow myself to document my own life. 

    Last year someone on one of your podcasts said “if you don’t celebrate your own life, who will?”  That was all I needed.  My One Little Word for 2011 was “celebrate,” so I celebrated my life as a single, 58 year old woman, who lives alone, with a book telling my own story.  The movies I saw.  The books I read.  The television shows that touched my life.  My students, my friends, my family, the kindness of strangers.  Indeed I do still have memories to keep and stories to tell.

    Thank you for your efforts to help so many of us grow in our efforts to tell the stories of our lives.

  • Stacy is awesome, isn’t she? I love that her pages are so totally her. They’re completely reflective of her personality.

  • What a wonderful comment. I love hearing about this. Thank you for sharing. We’ll read it on our 99th episode/2 year anniversary!

    Thank you!

  • Sjsjburns

    Love your podcast!!!  I listen to all your episodes and have even gone back and listened to some of them again.  I am also a member, no shmo here.  I have a suggestion for a topic that I would like to learn more about, blogs.  I believe most of the panellists have one and would be a wealth of knowledge.  I, myself have a blog and somethings find it challenging to put pics on them, don’t know what extras you can have on them, where to find downloads and embellishments to make it stand out.  Helpful guidelines of how to establish a reader base and get your blog out there.  Tips on how to make them interesting.  Maybe a few suggestions as to what blog carrier to use and why. 


  • Thank you for your membership! And thanks for specifying what you’re looking for on this topic. I would not have had a clue what you were looking for if you hadn’t included the sample questions. I’ll add it to our list of possible future topics. :)

  • Hokiecoyote

    After checking out the CHA sneak previews through Nancy’s site, I was struck by the number of companies that were using typepad or blogspot to host their blogs.  I think a discussion of blogs would be a great topic.  The discussion could address when, or when not to, subscribe to advertisements, types of photos to take, how much personal information to post, what is copyright and how does it apply to your blog, etc. 

  • Ruth Bonser

    Dear PRT Panel, 

    Thanks for another great podcast. 

    I started listening at your 50th episode and I have to admit it was a very confusing one to start on, with sound-bytes from people not there LOL but I kept on listening to both the newer and the older ones and now I am going back to the beginning once again to listen to them all actually in order, which I am really enjoying.
    Any chance we could have Wendy and Stacey on the CHA show again, as they gave such an awesome perspective on the trends at CHA previously.I have certainly felt the impact of listening to PRT on my scrapbooking, I feel that it is a very guilt relieving experience, both from hearing Izzy’s wonder and amazement over what we are feeling guilty about, which always makes me smile, to hearing Nancy’s honest and frank portrayal of her process and organisation, which so often is the same as mine. It really struck me the day she said, laughingly, that she just puts all her layouts in albums in the order she scraps them because that way they are actually IN the album. That is just what I do, after a long time of layouts sitting around in piles getting damaged I started just putting them in the album as they were finished, but I was feeling like “I was doing it wrong” and hearing Nancy made me feel like I wasnt on my own, it was a nice feeling.In a niche hobby like this its so great to feel a part of something, and PRT for scrapbookers is like a mothers-group for new mums, it is the oasis of calm and solidarity in the middle of my week. It is the place where you hear the latest gossip and bright shiny new ideas, and the spot where Ali tells you to stop talking and shopping and blog-surfing and go actually scrapbook something LOL

    Here is where I find out about Stacey’s awesome new class or about what scrapbooking might be philosophically to different people in the industry, its a spot for hoarders and purgers to compare notes and it is all so real. The panelists, across the board, really chat like your friends would, I never realised before how much Ali, Becky or Stacey are real actual people beyond their CK celebrity, people who say ‘amen to that’ or ‘pshaw’ :-)

    I’m not sure exactly all the impact that PRT has had, because like a really good friendship, I have trouble remembering exactly how I thought about it before we sat around the table each week for a chat, but I am very grateful for you guys, for the honest and forthright picture you paint of your fun, struggles and solutions each week.


  • amy

    LOVED today’s show. it made me laugh several time :O) i had to chime in with the scrapbooker vs. memory keeper. at one point noell asked if non scrapbookers make a distinction between the terms. i think so. for me, maybe because i’ve always been digi, i don’t think of myself so much as a scrapbooker. i have an association with scrapbooking as being very tactile with glue and scissors,etc..  and i think other people do too. when my husband asks what i’m doing and i say scrapbooking he just looks at me with a blank stare (OK, a common occurrence outside of the conversation of scrapbooking, HA! ). but the other day i was taking a picture of him and writing down something obnoxious that he said, because I’m going to make a page about it, and he asked what I was doing, I said “i’m memory keeping” – he got it. i was documenting it so we could remember. the term “memory keeping” is more accessible without any kind of rules. it is generic. “scrapbooking” is a specific kind of memory keeping.
    thanks for all your great shows!!

  • Anonymous

    Good show today. I like the term ‘Memory Keeping’ better than scrapbooking.  For me scrapbooking = guilt of pages I haven’t done/ will never get to & all the money I’ve spent with nothing to show for it.  Memory keeping = telling you and your family stories in a more simple way.

    I do have a topic or show request.  As the mom of teen girls – 13 & 17, ideas for capturing this time in life is few and far between especially for a teen that no longer likes having their picture taken. 
    Also I have a teen graduating from HS this year and I have no book for her.  I’d love to hear or get ideas on capturing a HS graduating teen’s life so far if you just have a stack of pics and a collection of memories (photos, awards, news clippings, etc.)

  • Patti Miller

    Thank you so much for this episode! This whole concept of memory keeping is one I heartily embrace. I have been a scrapbooker all of my life but lately I have been feeling very guilty that I have not been churning out layouts on a regular basis. This episode was an epiphany for me. While I may not have a bulging album of old school scrapbook pages, I am firmly planted in the fertile ground of memory keeping. My Project Life Album is ready to go and my iPhone is my number one memory keeping tool. There is an app for project 365, complete with a reminder at the end of each day.  Daily, I post bits of my life in photos on Instagram. I share my life in photos and words on Facebook with family and friends. I also have a blog.   Another app, Momento, gathers all of these photos, Facebook entries and blog feeds and keeps them in one place – nice and tidy. I am not a scrapbook slacker. I am an active memory keeper!  

  • Thank you! I’m excited to read this over the air!

    Stacy will be on the live CHA show! Yay!!!

  • Ahhh, this was a great story of how that term just might be widespread applicable to non-“scrapbookers.” It’s just what I’ve been wondering about. Thank you!!

  • Well, that’s so interesting that you have such very specific associations to each term!

    I like your topic suggestion and I’m adding it to our list of future topics. The trick will be finding guests to match. If anyone has suggestions, please speak up!! :)

  • Woo hooo! :)

  • Ruth Bonser

    Scrappers with teens that come to mind – I think Jennifer McGuire’s family is two teen girls and her little boy, she might have something interesting to contribute there? Also Stacey Julian has teens and a recently graduated son too I think, her five are well spread so she would have some great broad ranging experiences with kids. Cathy Z has two teens, and I think she has mentioned that her daughter loves to be in photos but her son doesnt like to. She has mentioned using facebook conversations with them as art of her journalling, if I remember correctly. Finally what about Tara Whitney, I think she has young teens and would be an interesting addition to the panel, I think you haven’t had her on before?

  • Cindy deRosier

    I identify as both a memory keeper and a scrapbooker.  For me, memory keeping is maintaining my journals and an online family photo gallery.  They are satisfying, but not nearly as much as scrapbooking.  Scrapbooking allows me to use my creativity to its fullest.  I love the artistic aspect of scrapbooking.  I love using products.  I love experimenting and playing with supplies.  I will probably always be both a memory keeper and a scrapbooker, but my stronger identity is as a scrapbooker. 

  • Great list of guest options!! Thank you for your help!

  • kim

    Hi Noel & Gang…Thanks for always giving me “food for thought” and keeping me inspired to grow w/ this love of mine and for always making me smile.  I listen to your podcasts over and over….at least 5x each.  The kids get sick of them, I often hear “this is where izzy falls over laughing”, etc, but I always pick up on something I missed before. 

    You asked for some letters…here’s a thought.  I would love to hear how others are handling project life, the album itself ….do they leave it on their kitchen counter and are slipping things in each day, are they updating it weekly, etc..  I’m lucky in one sense to have a scrapbook room, however, its in the basement and I’m not in there every day so my “life happenings” pile that is in the kitchen can get out of control. So those misc notes, wine labels, receipts, kids drawings that I want to go in a week are in a basket. I’ll loose the thought, what was so special about that bottle of wine, a cute quote my daughter said or the date of when something was done. You know the best laid plans…

    Cheers from a non-schmo!

  • Jennifer Grace

    Listening to your podcasts is really helping me to keep positive at the moment. I’m finding the start to 2012 a struggle, and one of the reasons I’m feeling down is that I’m getting next-to-no time to scrapbook, or even read my favourite blogs, and definitely not write on my own! But listening to the podcasts is great – you’re all keeping me company while I do the dishes or cook dinner, and keeping part of the world that I love. Thanks!

    I found the topic of ‘memory keeping’ vs ‘scrapbooking’ interesting. People here in the uk mostly still thing you mean cutting pictures from magazines to stick into sugar paper scrapbooks if you say ‘scrapbooking’ to them. I showed a friend an album and she said ‘wow, you’ve managed to keep a lot of pretty wrapping paper’! I think I’d still end up having to explain myself if I said memory keeping, but this term seems to give it more respectability – if you are scrapbooking it sounds like you’re playing with scraps, but memory keeping sounds more worthwhile? I feel like I’ve been regarding myself as a memory keeper anyway, but without having the correct term for it! X

  • I was trying to get a broader sample rather than just people who were “in the community.” I did get a lot of people who were on the margins. People who had no idea that there were even magazines on the subject. If I had a time machine, I think I would have done advertising that focused on scrapbookers and advertising that focused on memory keepers. I would be surprised if offline scrapbookers (especially those that are sort of scrapbooking in isolation) are using the term memory keepers to describe what they are doing. I could be wrong. 

  • Thank you for the kind words and for your membership! I’ll add these questions about Project Life into our list of future possible topics. Thanks for including the specific questions within the subject!

  • Got it.

    And yeah, I think it some be a term that SOME people can identify with once they hear it. But I definitely don’t think it’s something anyone comes up with on their own.

  • Sandra

    This was the first time I’ve listened to the show (but it won’t be the last) – I live in Australia, what can I say, we’re a little behind you guys, Lol! It was the first time I’d heard the term “memory keeping”, but I have to say I’m hooked! It has really opened my eyes to think about how I can expand on my scrapbooking, and incorporate other means of memory keeping. It’s been playing on my mind all day, so tonight I asked my husband what he thought about the term memory keeping. His response was so funny I just had to share! A bit of background on my husband first – he is a total techno freak… he loves anything and everything technology-related, and is always thinking about how it can improve or simplify people’s lives (or as it usually turns out for me…over-complicate!)
    So, his response? “When you say memory keeping, I immediately think about some kind of device like a phone app that you can talk to and it has speech to text and it emails you or whatever so you can go back later and remember what you were thinking” … um… wow, not really what I was expecting! So Noell, that might be your answer to what do non-scrapbookers think of when they hear the term :S Although not all of them are as geeky as my man, thank goodness!
    Ah well, it looks like I still haven’t been able to find a way to connect with my husband about getting involved in my scrapping, although I think the term will resonate with a lot more folks I talk to about it. I love it!

  • Thought of this show when I saw this in today’s WSJ:

    I can easily see Izzy keeping memories in this enhanced e-book way.

  • Welcome to the Roundtable, Sandra! Several of the Paperclipping Members are from Australia.
    Thx for the kind words! That’s a pretty funny story abt your husband. I’ve been figuring not a lot of non-scrappers would know what to think if they heard that term, but I wasn’t expecting such a specific definition as that!!

  • Like Nancy, I love basic rhinestones and pearls, but not the overly elaborate ones, especially for my cards.  My nearest Michael’s is a two hour drive away, so I’ve found a different supplier – Stampin’ Up!.  They have pearls and rhinestones with adhesive on the back.  One of the things I really like about them is that they have multiple sizes on a sheet, so I can pick and choose the right size for the project.  I also love to color them with alcohol ink or alcohol based markers (like a sharpie or copic) to have them match my project.

    Love the show, thanks so much for the lively discussion!

  • Awesome show. Really enjoyed the discussion between scrapbooking and memory-keeping (with or without the hyphen). Just wanted to chime in and say I think scrapbooking does have a connotation of pages with lots of “stuff” on them and not much meat. Take for instance the movie “New in Town” with Renee Zellweger. It portrayed scrapbooking kind of like that, but in a fun way. It’s kind of unfortunate because a lot of work goes into these pages and at least from what I see most layouts now do have more “meat” with the emphasis on photos, stories and of course fun products if you choose.

    Overall I see the term memory-keeping having a broader, more modern appeal. With so much technology at our fingertips, taking photos and sharing memories is easier than ever. I kind of see myself as both, as other commenters have said.

    Also just saw on Becky Higgins’s site that she calls Project Life: “A back to basics approach to memory-keeping” Just thought that was cool. Definitely trying to reach those with a glue phobia! ha! Oh, and I had an idea–wonder if you could do a show in like 6 months to “check in” and see how folks are doing with Project Life as Ali said. That might be fun and inspirational too.

    Anyways, thank you for your show. I drive 120-150 miles a day and listening to PRT makes the day so much better! I always have ideas from your shows and I will jot down ideas (when I have stopped!) That way when I come home I can get to work on something. I do support you with the links and I subscribed in iTunes too. Thanks so much you guys!

  • Yeah — I personally am skeptical about mutli-media novels, but Izzy and I are both working on multi-media books for Paperclipping and Izzy Video! Woo hoo!

  • Hi, Annette – thanks for your support! That is a crazy daily commute!

    I hadn’t noticed that Becky was referring to PL that way! Thanks for bringing it to our attention! I was thinking we’d do a PL episode in November when people are thinking about starting it new, but I do like your idea of a mid-year episode to check in on people! I think we’ll try and do that!

  • Melinda Kirk

    Kristin I was SO pleased to hear you say that your are scrapping layouts less now you are doing PL – because that has been my experience too. My second boy has far less layouts than my first as I discovered PL between the two of them and I have to admit to feeling some (small) amount of guilt about that…BUT what my second boy has is a document of his whole LIFE, not just the scrap-worthy or well photographed moments and events, but a ‘moment captured’ running commentary of our everyday lives. PL has allowed me to be more selective about the stories I invest the effort into producing a layout for as it provides a channel for those little stories that I would not have otherwise done a page for. So I do a better job on the ones I do scrap in a 12×12, I think about them more and feel less pressured by the overwhelming backlog. At the same time those little stories are the ingredients of our life and before PL they didn’t get told as they were overshadowed by the big stuff.   

  • I’m still scrapbooking a lot, but I agree that PL allows you to be more selective! I had initially found that to be the case with my journaling into the metadata of my photos, and now I’m finding an even greater extension of that with PL, getting to stuff bits of ephemera into it that would otherwise never have made it onto a page. It’s so awesome.