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Workshop Preview + This Month at Simple Scrapper

August is such a month of transition that it seems to fly by faster than most. One moment you're in the thick of summer and the next you're knee-deep in all the new routines of fall.

Busy times call for focus, so here at Simple Scrapper we're going to focus on you. Over the next six weeks I'll be sharing a new post each week related to scrapbooking your life's story.

All this will lead up to the return of my popular Before Your Story workshop! BYS is a 6-week album class designed to guide you through documenting your life before kids or another adult milestone.


Here's what else you'll find at Simple Scrapper over the next month:

August 7 - Story Starter™ Challenge posted
Create a layout on this month's storytelling theme of Our Shared Stories (heritage, connecting past and present) for a chance to win 3 months of membership at Simple Scrapper.

August 21 - Free Sketch & Template posted
Every month in 2015 I'm sharing a free sketch and companion layered template from our membership archives. This is a great way to taste just one of the features of being a member at Simple Scrapper.

August 31 - Simplicity Hour chat at 8:30pm CT
Enjoy your hobby more when you join a group of like-minded memory keepers for an hour of casual conversation fostering connection, inspiration, and forward movement.

I also want to acknowledge this month's contributor to our membership collection of sketches and templates:

2+1=3 by Kathleen Smith


Our team did some amazing page this month with the collection and with our new set of Story Starters. You'll be able to see a taste of their work on Facebook and Instagram as well as every example in the membership.


The Secrets of Faster Scrapbooking with Kellie Winnell

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series, we're inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Kellie Winnell with her simple tip.


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

There are two things I do to simplify my scrapbooking.  The first is that I go with my first instinct as I design a scrapbook page.  I used to spend way too long on one layout and move things around a lot. And yet, most of the time, I would end up going back to the first design I had laid out.  I have spoken with other crafters and they also say that when they find themselves taking too long on the one layout, they often end up going back to their original design idea.  The second thing that I do is that after everything is arranged on my page, I snap a quick photo with my mobile phone.  I usually pull everything off of the page to begin compiling it and taking the quick photo allows me to go back and remember where I had everything laid out.

What problem does it solve for you?

These two simple things really help me to save time! Using these techniques, I find that it takes just 15-30 minutes for me to complete a layout. This is very quick for me! The time that I save allows me more time to either work on a new project or to get back into my daily routine!

Why do you think it works so well?

Going with my first instinct is working so well for me as it allows me to not second guess myself and just go for it! The snapping of the photo also works really well by making it quicker for me to know exactly where I had things, especially if I have to get up and walk away from my layout at some point.  I am the type of scrapper that likes to lay out everything on the page to get a general idea of my page design. Then I can add more to the design, if needed, once I see it all come together.

How can others get started with it?

It's simple - just go with your first idea because often it's the best which is why you thought of it in the first place!  Also, have your smart phone handy so you can snap a quick picture of your layout as it's in process to be sure that you can refer back to it later.

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and go. Would you like to be featured? Complete this form to submit a tip for consideration.


Around Here | July 2015

On the last day of each month I'm sharing a personal recap that will also be included in my 2015 album.

Around Here | July 2015

See more of my July on Instagram.

Around here I got to dance with my fave guy and my best girl.

Around here the skies have been big and simply beautiful.

Around here my office is as tidy as it ever has been.

Around here I've experimented with block-scheduling my days.

Around here I ended my recent spending freeze for this core kit.

Around here we finally replaced our Poltergeist-y outdoor lights.

Around here I'm operating in zen mode to prep for a crazy August.

Around here she shifted from sea creatures to an ice cream cone series.

Around here we disagree on which TV shows have jumped the shark.

Around here I'm working hard on getting more sleep.

Around here she is getting dressed mostly by herself now.

Around here she is officially done with pull-ups for overnight.

Around here I'm gearing up to teach a big workshop in early fall.

How did July treat you? I'd love it if you shared one highlight, challenge, or realization in the comments.


Create Your Own Kit for Week in the Life

Like so many scrapbookers, I am constantly tempted by the shiny and new. With so many options within just a click of a mouse, it's not hard to find products that I love.

However, that doesn't mean I need to acquire more supplies for my memory keeping. In fact, I recently went on a purchasing freeze after suspending my Studio Calico subscriptions.

So when Ali Edwards announced the dates, along with a companion kit, for this year's Week in the Life project I knew it would be best to hold back.

How to create your own kit for Ali Edwards' Week in the Life

I have participated in this project since 2010 and at first assumed I would simply continue my tradition of creating a photo collage to reflect what our life is like right now.

I will do that, for sure, but I feel called to do even more this year.

My daughter will have just turned 4 during this year's Week in the Life event (August 17-23, 2015) and will be entering her second year of preschool. Life is full and fun right now; I can't think of a better way to kick of the year!

Plus, I also have a generous stash of Project Life supplies that I'd love to make a dent in. As it turns out, all those supplies that are designed for weekly documentation of your everyday life... they totally work for Week in the Life too.

Genius, I know. 😉

I started browsing through my stash of embellishments and backlog of Studio Calico Project Life kits. One of the first things I noticed was how the Poet Society and Office Hours kits shared tones of blues and greens with pops of warmer colors.

I grabbed the 3x4 cards and 4x6 pads from both of those kits, along with a healthy selection of embellishments. Since I do my pocket pages monthly, I had quite the arsenal of days of the week stickers collected.

How to create your own kit for Ali Edwards' Week in the Life

(click to enlarge)

In fact, I was a little shocked at how easy it was to compile a coordinated kit from my stash - and in under 30 minutes. It includes:

  • 2 - 4x6 paper pads
  • 40 - 3x4 journaling cards
  • 2 sheets alphabet stickers, in white* and grey
  • days of the week stickers - 2 flat, 2 puffy
  • star embellishments - 1 acetate, 1 chipboard, 1 enamel
  • 1 chipboard sticker sheet
  • 1 booklet of white phrase stickers*
  • 1 roller stamp
  • 1 stamp set
  • 1 watercolor die cut piece*

All items, except those marked with a *, were from previous Studio Calico Project Life kits. The white alphabet is Ali Edwards, the phrase stickers are Tim Holtz, and the white die cut "today" is Dear Lizzy.

I wanted to have cohesiveness of colors (white, black, blues, and greens) and motifs (stars), while keeping it simple overall. My photos and stories will play the starring roles. I won't use all of this, but it gives me a nice set of options from which to choose (without having to venture into my stash).

How to create your own kit for Ali Edwards' Week in the Life

All that said, you'll notice that I haven't shown an album. I am obviously using a pocket page approach, but I'm not sure what size or style of page protectors feels best for this project. I'm all-ears!

Not sure if you should participate in Week in the Life this year? Click here to download our popular Focus Finder tool to figure out which projects matter most and belong on your to-do list.

The Best Way to Use Scraps with Katie Smith

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series, we're inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Katie Smith with her simple tip.


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

When I'm finished with a layout or project, I usually have a bunch of randomly shaped paper scraps. I cut up all of those paper scraps into certain sizes for easier use later. For example, I cut off the swirly corners and such and cut everything into even squares and rectangles so that the next time I use that paper scrap, it's not in a funky shape.

What problem does it solve for you?

It definitely helps speed things up when I'm starting a new layout! I can just flip through my scraps and put them right on my layout or project without having to cut off any weird swirls where I had cut some hearts out on a previous project.

Why do you think it works so well?

I like it because it makes starting new projects so much easier. When I'm done with a layout, I simply take a few minutes to clean up and eliminate the weird corners and such. It works for me because I like to keep things tidy and make things easy for myself!

How can others get started with it?

Take a few minutes every time you finish a layout or a project to trim up your paper scraps back into squares and rectangles. If you cut up some 12x12 papers and have some left, trim a piece to 6", and then trim any smaller pieces down to whatever sizes you prefer.

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and go. Would you like to be featured? Complete this form to submit a tip for consideration.