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July Story Starter Challenge

For the past four years I've been releasing new storytelling prompts to members every month. This year, we're celebrating each month's theme with a Story Starter™ Challenge. You're invited to create a layout and submit it for a chance to win a 3-month Simple Scrapper membership pass.

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How to Participate + Win

Step 1 (optional) - Download this free story discover tool to brainstorm story ideas and make a plan for your layout.

Step 2 - Create a new layout, pocket page spread, or mini album related to this month's theme: Soundtrack of Life

Step 3 - Submit a photo of your completed work in the comments below by 11:59pm on the 30th of this month.

This post will be updated on the 1st of next month announcing the winner of a 3-month Simple Scrapper membership pass. The winner will also be contacted directly with instructions on starting her membership.

Three Ideas from the Creative Team

Each of these layouts from our creative team uses a sketch or layered template from the membership along with one of this month's twelve new Story Starters.

You can get instant access to a library of more than 400 Story Starter™ prompts when you become a member at Simple Scrapper.

This layout from Jennifer Larson tells the story of a night club she went to when she studied abroad in Germany, one particular song she remembers hearing there and what it means to her today.

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This layout from Arielle Gordon tells the story of how her family uses music to set the tone for their day

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This layout from Jamie Leija tells the story of the few records that she listens to and how she isn't a big music person.

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Now it's your turn! Upload your layout by 7/30/15.

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What You Might Not Know about Stash Bash

Stash Bash is one of our most popular events of the year, but if you've never participated or are new to the community you might be wondering what all the fuss is about.

There are a lot of fun classes, challenges, crops, and other experiences in our industry. Stash Bash is totally different from them all.

I've mapped out all the details for our July 14-20 event, but here are nine things you might not know unless you've participated in the past:

What You Might Not Know about Stash Bash

1. It's not just about organization. Stash management is more than just where you put your stuff. That's why Stash Bash includes activities that put a dent in the surplus and help you better understand your preferences.

2. It's not a class. I can promise you will learn a ton, but instead of having you read extensive handouts or watch long videos you'll spend time in Stash Bash doing. This is a challenge-based event that's all about action.

3. It's customizable. It can be frustrating to receive an assignment you're just not in the mood for. Instead, Stash Bash puts the reins in your hands, allowing each participant to choose activities that suit your needs now.

4. You have time to participate. This flexibility also means that it can take as much or as little time as you have. Even if you're crunched, you can still see progress by completing as few as three challenges.

5. We're all cheering for you. One of my favorite parts of leading events like Stash Bash is the generous community. We will celebrate victories and tackle challenges together.

6. Digital scrapbookers are welcomed. Clutter on your computer can be just as overwhelming, so we don't leave out those who scrapbook with pixels instead of paper. Stash Bash is inclusive.

7. The effects are long-lasting. While the event is just seven days, what you take away with stick with you for the long haul. You'll be able to permanently reduce clutter and better manage your stash.

8. You might fall in love. Warning: spending time with your stuff might make you want to shop less. As you re-discover products, you'll feel more excited to create with what you have.

9. It's all about fun. There's enough work elsewhere in life that managing your stash can seem like the least fun thing ever. Stash Bash turns something meh into an enjoyable experience.

Sign up for Stash Bash today.

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Keep Favorites Close At Hand with Michelle De Leon

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

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What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

One of the ways I simplify my scrapbooking and Project Life process is by keeping my favorite items in a place where I can easily see them. I have a section in my Raskog cart that houses some of my favorite embellishments, stamps, and tools that I tend to use often. My favorite items change from time to time, so I go through it to move products around that reflect the things I like. The fact that these items are out where I can easily view them is what really helps me use them.

What problem does it solve for you?

Keeping my favorite products in view helps me quickly decide what to use when I have small pockets of time to craft. Before I started doing this, I would spend a lot of time searching around my stash for the perfect products to match my layouts. By the time I looked through everything, I would have used up all of my time and end up not actually creating anything.

Why do you think it works so well?

I think that this works so well for me because I’m far more likely to use products that are already out for me to see. Life gets busy, and when I do have some time to craft, I want to actually spend the time creating something instead of rifling through my stash. I tend to not buy too many themed items, so most of the products I have can be used for multiple occasions and projects.

How can others get started with it?

It's a fairly simple tip and there are many ways you can make it work for you. I think that it depends on your organization system, but having a tray or area you can put your current favorite items out on can help.  If you subscribe to kits, it can be as simple as leaving the kit out for a while to use before breaking it up and placing the items into your existing organization system.

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.

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Stash Bash + This Month at Simple Scrapper

Three years ago I first had the idea for a fun, multi-day online event where you could get excited and "party with what you've got". I sat my husband down on the couch and I told him we weren't moving until I had a catchy hashtag-able name for such an event.

That night, Stash Bash was born. (This year's hashtag: #simplestashbash)

During this one-of-a-kind event you'll receive encouragement and accountability to use up, declutter, and organize your paper or digital scrapbook stash.

After successfully completing a Stash Bash, you will have a smaller stash, a cleaner workspace, and more motivation to make organization a habit.

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The Stash Bash scrapbook organizing party returns to Simple Scrapper this month - and registration is open!

Say "Yes!" to shrinking your stash and getting more organized.

Also This Month at Simple Scrapper

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

July 7 - Story Starter™ Challenge posted
Create a layout on this month's storytelling theme (sneak peek: Soundtrack of Life) for a chance to win 3 months of membership at Simple Scrapper.

July 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.

July 27 - 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:

Me and Cater-P by Carson Riutta

Carson Riutta  Me and CaterP Layout

And there's three from me...

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Our team did some amazing pages 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.

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Around Here | June 2015

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

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See more of my June on Instagram.

Around here I'm still on a scrapbook supply spending freeze.

Around here I thoroughly enjoyed National Donut Day.

Around here I've rearranged my schedule to find more balance.

Around here I'm working on living more and worrying less.

Around here she visited "the sea" for the very first time.

Around here I'm thankful that my BFF lives right on the beach.

Around here he loves mowing the lawn in a cross-hatch pattern.

Around here she continues to surprise and amaze us every day.

Around here we're already planning for her 4th birthday party.

Around here I'm thinking deeply about my One Little Word: grow.

Around here I'm wearing a Fitbit and working towards 10,000 steps.

Around here Stash Bash registration opens tomorrow.

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

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