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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.


21 Photography Tips Just for Summer

We're technically only a month into summer here in the northern hemisphere, so there's plenty of time to capture summer's beautiful light using tips in this guest post from Jennifer Conlon. As social media manager, Jen is a key member of the Simple Scrapper administrative team. She is an avid Pinterest user and runs the Quality DigiScrap Freebies site.

I do occasionally scrapbook during the summer but most of my time is spent trying to keep my two active boys entertained. We go to the park, the beach, in the sprinkler, camping, to amusement parks, and more… and I am sure to have at least one camera with me at all times.


Whether you are taking snapshots at the beach with your mobile phone or setting up a photo shoot at your local park, here are 21 tips to get the best photographs this summer so you’ll have plenty of beautiful memories to scrapbook this winter.

5 Simple Rules for Summer Photography via Simple Scrapper
Embrace simplicity to make your summer photography even more beautiful and enjoyable.

5 Tips for Better Beach Photos via Click It Up A Notch
Lots of sun and reflective light can make beach photography challenging. Use these tips to get creative and beautifully lit images.

5 Killer Ways to Shoot Into the Sun and Get Beautiful Flare via MCP Actions
Stretch your DLSR skills a bit and create some gorgeous summer photos.

6 Adventurous Ways to Photograph Your Camping Trip via Clickin’ Moms
Not going camping? These tips easily apply to any outdoors adventure like a family picnic or hike.

Do you have a summer photography tip to add? Leave it in the comments below.


July Free Sketch & Template

Each month our members receive new sketches and companion layered templates, plus a digital magazine featuring these tools in action. This year I'm giving away a sketch and template set from our membership library every month on the blog.

This month's freebie is a 5-photo, 24x12 layout which allows for a lot of photos and plenty of room for journaling. There are more than 225 sketches and templates instantly accessible when you become a Simple Scrapper member.


See it in action...

Here is an interpretation by Alexa Gill that uses only the left side of the sketch which allowed her to use 3 photos and add quite a bit of journaling.


If you use this design concept to inspire your own layout, please come back and leave a comment sharing your page. I can't wait to see how you make this your own!


Find Focus with a Clean Slate with Olatz Garaiyurrebaso

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


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

When I start a project, my first step is picking the photos I want to work with and then gathering a relatively small kit that would suit the project that I have in mind. This kit isn't a commercial kit or a collection. It's a "handmade" kit composed of various things from my stash. In order to pull together this kit, it is very important for me to start with a clean desk and with a very well-organized stash. While building my kit, I separate the supplies by type rather than by manufacturer. It is easier for me to reach for an item based on the type (a wood veneer, a sticker, a paper, a die-cut, a tag/label, a bulky embellishment, etc.) rather than remembering what collection it is from or what manufacturer made it.

What problem does it solve for you?

Having a well-organized stash and a clean desk, with just a few basic tools, helps me to focus on the project and the story I want to tell and to create my project in a short period of time. Once I have all the items in my "handmade" kit gathered, I focus on sticking mostly to those items in order to avoid getting lost in my stash while searching for that one item that might be the perfect addition to my project. And when I really need something that isn't in my kit, my supply organization (by type) makes is easy to find a particular item without having to do a lot of searching.

Why do you think it works so well?

One of the best things about this method is that it allows me to keep my desk relatively clean.  I only take out what I think I will use. Once I finish a particular project, all of the bits and pieces remaining in the kit I've created can be placed back in my stash easily and quickly using my 'organization by type' method. When I am ready to start my next project, my desk is clear and I can easily build another small kit to work with on that project. This system helps me to effectively work with my stash without being overwhelmed.

How can others get started with it?

The first step is to clean your desk and keep out only the supplies and tools that you would like to have on hand for every project. For me, those basic tools are double sided tape, a trimmer, a black pen for journaling, black ink and a date stamp. I recommend keeping all of the other items in your stash organized in drawers or boxes that are easy to reach but out of my immediate working space. For example, I have one tray with all my stamps organized in clear plastic pockets, another tray full of mini bottles with my wood veneers (separated by type as well), a drawer with my small collection of washi tape, a box with my alphas, a bottle with all my clips and so on. The great thing about this method is that you can separate your supplies into as many categories and subcategories as you may need based on your stash. My final advice - be aware of your stash and keep your desk space simple! 😉

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.