Simple Tip Saturday with Sara Case Strickland

Simple Tip Saturday series this year, I’m inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Simple Scrapper team member Sara Case Strickland with her simple tip.

Simple Tip Saturday with Sara Case Strickland

What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

I find that the time I have for scrapbooking, like many of us, is short and sporadic, so I need to be able to create quickly, not spend lots of time trying to figure out what supplies to use! Over the years I have discovered that collection packs or club kits are the easiest for me. With collections from specific companies you already know that the theme, dye lot, and overall “look” will blend seamlessly with all the pieces, from paper to stickers to chipboard and much more. The only problem with collection packs is that sometimes I don’t want it all to be that perfect – that’s where kit clubs come in. Someone else has already done all the hard work to coordinate the papers and embellishments from several different lines and companies. When you get a kit you know they will all mix cohesively without being perfectly perfect!

What problem does it solve for you?

Time! I always seem to be short of time (who isn’t?) and when I can just grab a collection or kit knowing everything I need is in there it saves me all kinds of time I would normally spend oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous papers and doodads in my stash. Plus a new kit is exciting so I’m eager to work with it, cutting back on indecision and the normal back and forth that usually happens trying to decide between this shade of cardstock or that one. I just go with the flow and usually the picture just seems to work. Since allowing myself to let go of the perfect colour combinations, I’ve saved countless hours that used to be spent matching paper to pictures and have enjoyed the process that much more.

Why do you think it works so well?

For me, this solution works because many of the choices are already made without trapping me into a cookie cutter LO. Instead of deciding on colours, patterns, embellishments, and extras, then starting in on design choices, I can now just jump right into designing and have fun mixing colours and patterns I may not have picked if left to my own devices. Because of this, I’ve not only discovered new colour combos that I enjoy, but I’m having more fun than ever creating – trying out crazy pattern combinations can be more fun than you think!

How can others get started with it?

It’s easy! If you already have a company you love then simply buy collection packs or themed lines from them. Or you can check out the multitude of kit club companies and find one you like. They all cater to different styles so make sure you spend some time looking at past kits before you buy, especially if it’s a subscription service, so you know you’ll like what you have coming each month. If you’re still not sure about kits and collections, start by shopping your own stash and see how scrapping this way works for you! Grab a sheet of patterned paper, add 4-5 solid pieces of cardstock that coordinate, then mix in a few more patterned papers and matching embellishments – your very own club kit made with colors and styles you already know you love!

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and run.


Workshop Giveaway: Photography 101 with Elisha Snow

Photos are the heart of our scrapbook pages so it’s no surprise that Elisha Snow’s workshops are among the most popular at Big Picture Classes. I’m excited to offer a giveaway today for her new class.

Note: Elisha was one of the incredible contributors to the Everyday Storyteller books, which will be on sale for National Scrapbook Day!

500 sq

You would never say to a master painter, “What a beautiful work of art—you must have a really nice brush.” It’s the same with photography. A nice camera makes it easier to take good photos, but it’s the photographer (that’s you!), not the tool, that will ultimately produce frame-worthy photos. All you need is a basic knowledge of the elements that work together to create memorable pictures. (Hint: it’s all about light and composition!)

Whether you want to take better everyday photos with that smartphone, or you have a nice new DSLR camera that you’re dabbling with, this interactive online workshop will put you on the path to better photos. In six weeks, you’ll learn to master the rules of composition, make the most of available light, and get more out of your equipment—no matter what kind of camera you’re using.

Would you like to feel more confident in your photo-taking abilities? To find beauty in everyday objects, and see attributes of people you’ve never noticed before? Photography 101 with Elisha Snow will teach you to look at light, shadow, shape, and color differently, and most importantly, to develop a passion for preserving the beauty that surrounds you.

Learn more and register here.

Workshop Giveaway

Leave a comment by 9am CST on Monday, April 21, 2014 for a chance to win a seat in Photography 101. One winner will be selected a random to join us in class.


Journaling Mini-Course: Heart Songs

The Art & Practice of Journaling free mini-course from Simple Scrapper offers a guided path to better scrapbook journaling.

The Art & Practice of Journaling mini-course at Simple Scrapper


I like to think of this technique as one that translates the little things in our life into ones that are oh-so-big, of elevating the sweet moments into life-long memories. When we tap into our feelings and celebrate all that we have, the words tend to flow easier.

You can recognize there is a story to tell when your eyes well up with tears, especially those bittersweet ones, or your heart swells with love when you see a specific photo. You know there is much more than just the moment captured by the image.

In some ways these stories are more abundant, but because they often are so much part of living we can overlook their significance. It is these stories though, that will most develop your ability to journal with more meaning as you explore the how and why of what matters most.

The easiest way to start brainstorming what to write is with an “I feel” or “This makes me feel” statement. You may not include these exact words in your scrapbooking, but they will get your words pointed towards revealing what you think, feel and believe about a memory.


Choose something in your life to celebrate, like a fresh cool breeze or the tickle of your spouse’s whiskers. Spend 10 minutes writing about this topic in your journal, casually musing on how this fills your heart. Then see if you have any photos to pair with this story and scrapbook it, if you like.

  • Did your writing help you see the significance of this “little” thing in your life?
  • Does beginning with “I feel” help you get started defining the meaning behind a story?

Further Discovery

Jellybean Toes, Cheerios and Scrappin’ Hullabaloo – CD Muckosky’s life passion is sharing her heart through words, photos and art.
Journaling from the Heart – A collection of workshop material to help guide you through life with journaling.


Journaling Mini-Course: Life is a Highway

The Art & Practice of Journaling free mini-course from Simple Scrapper offers a guided path to better scrapbook journaling.

The Art & Practice of Journaling mini-course at Simple Scrapper


Life is full of change, of growth, of development and evolution. It is also full of physical journeys, from one place to another, towards a new home or a new adventure. These experiences often represent some of the most defining moments of our lives. The journey documents where we came from and who we are becoming today.

This is one of my favorite techniques to journal and scrapbooking, because the stories that celebrate the journey can be some of the most powerful you will ever tell. They reveal the most why and how, showcasing the backstory of why something is (or is not).

Sometimes these stories are obvious, like a trip or how your baby grows into a toddler. There are many more, though, that require a little thought and investigation. Just as you can draw connections between seemingly unrelated images (see Day 6 – Revelations), you can also reveal the journey through superficially similar photographs.

To uncover a hidden journey, thing about the emotional or psychological impact of a change in your life, even if slight. For example, you may show images of yourself at work over the years. On one hand you are grateful to have steady employment, perhaps even at the same place, but on the other perhaps you long for more excitement or to have tried different things.


If you’ve not scrapbooked a journey before, start with something easy to get the hang of selecting photos and telling the story. The easiest way to try this approach is documenting how a person has changed (inside and out) over a specific period of time. Start with two photos or (if you can) choose a few more. After selecting photos, practice writing in your journal first before creating your page.

  • Off the top of your head, what journeys could you scrapbook that you’ve not yet documented? Is there a journey you’re nervous to share in a scrapbook?

Further Discovery

Scrapbooking Your “Then & Now” – A past blog post at Simple Scrapper on connecting past and present through words and photos.
The Scrapbooking Journey – An older print book focused on documenting emotional journeys with your scrapbook pages.