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Holiday Focus | Free Seasonal Community Event

Earlier this fall a member asked if I could offer support around the holiday season. The group got excited about this suggestion, sharing they would love for me to help them stay excited about scrapbooking while doing the juggling act that is the end of a year.

I wasn’t initially planning this event, but as I started thinking about my plans for teaching in 2015 it made sense. What if I could offer a taste of my methods to the entire community in the holiday season context? What if you could sample the types of things we do here for free and apply them to what you’re doing right now?

Holiday Focus | Free Seasonal Community Event

Holiday Focus is a season-long event with community at the core. You’re invited to gather with other Simple Scrapper friends in a coffeehouse-style setting on Facebook, where you’re likely to be hanging out anyway.

Together we’ll bring simplicity to this season, wrapping up a year’s worth of memories and tackling holiday projects. Along with two assistant coaches, I’ll be your guide to a more magical and meaningful season that’s full of scrapbooking!

Best of all, it’s 100% free.

Click here to join me in Holiday Focus.


Simple Tip Saturday with Ronnie Crowley

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series this year, I’m inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Simple Scrapper team member Ronnie Crowley with her simple tip.


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

I use an action which flattens, and re-sizes my digital layout for web and printing.

What problem does it solve for you?

Using the action means I can create the different sized JPEG files I need each time without having to remember the settings.

Why do you think it works so well?

Its fast and simple. Also it names the files so its easy to know which one is which just from the name.

How can others get started with it?

The actions I use are free to download at the Speed Scraps blog. I highly recommend the supply tracker as well.

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


Around Here | October 2014

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

Around Here | October 2014

See more of my October on Instagram.

Around here she’s dressing up as Cinderella this evening.

Around here I’m kindling a love affair with Pinterest for the first time.

Around here I discovered the toasty, sweet greatness that is the Dunkacinno.

Around here we went to the pumpkin patch, bringing home grey, orange, and yellow.

Around here I’m feeling very relieved that a suspicious mole was benign.

Around here she has started to get a little sassy, which is sometimes really cute.

Around here I’m spending time noticing things I will miss about this house.

Around here I have a lot of mixed feelings about the changes at Big Picture Classes.

Around here we are making a lot of decisions about what is and is not clutter.

Around here I am working hard on planning an exciting 2015 for Simple Scrapper.

Around here I’m excited to connect with this community during Holiday Focus.

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


Start with Friends | Simple Scrapbook Layout

Can you believe it? My baby girl started preschool this fall. Seriously.

For a little bit though, we weren’t sure if potty training was going to keep her in the toddler class for a while longer.

We were taking an easy-going approach, but all of a sudden there was a deadline upon us. Then, a friend from college passed along the 3 day method. And it worked!

Emily was able to start preschool with the friends she’d been in class with for the past two years! We were thrilled.

I printed this photo I took on her first day at home with my Epson PictureMate printer.

Start with Friends | Simple Scrapbook Layout

This layout illustrates one of my favorite approaches for designing a page. I choose a focal point, then build outwards and layer upwards.

I began with an 8.5×11 sheet of textured cardstock and a Kelly Purkey triangle stencil. Using a dauber and three colors of Studio Calico Color Theory inks, I stippled a background onto the cardstock.

This technique was revolutionary for me, someone who has always been disappointed in misting. The color layered on lightly and was build-able.

The rest of the layout came together quickly as I created a band design with an emphasis to the left. I had the most fun combining word and letter stickers for my title.

Most notable is that I used just one piece of patterned paper here, for punching the tag on the right.

Start with Friends | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I finished off this page with a few lines of journaling, writing directly on textured cardstock using hand-drawn lines.


Floor Plan for My (Hypothetical) New Home Office

As I’ve mentioned in recent Around Here posts, we’ve been house hunting. I’m not ready to share all of the details yet, but things are looking up that I’ll be working from a new home office soon.

It would be 12’x10′ with a big window and a small walk-in closet for storage. And suddenly Pinterest is even more exciting!

To be honest, I’m stressed out to the max right now and planning is the only thing keeping me grounded. Lists and spreadsheets and idea-gathering calm my nerves and keep me from freaking the heck out about moving, at least most of the time.

Since I work from home, transitioning my office quickly would be one of several priority projects. I don’t usually draw floor plans, but I needed exactness to plan the purchase of a new work surface.

I used to create a to-scale drawing of my likely new office. I then scoured IKEA’s office section to begin trying out various configurations. One of my biggest requirements was having a white work surface in front of the window for taking photos and filming videos.

While I considered a center island, the size of the room and my need to have both standing and sitting spaces made it less than ideal. I settled on an around-the-perimeter configuration that will lean heavily on the addition of shelving.

Floor Plan for My New Home Office

1 | shelving units, Menards

2 |  floor lamp, Target

3 | LINNMON table, IKEA

4 | MALKOLM swivel chair, IKEA

5 | striped area rug, Home Decorators

6 | my grandpa’s drafting table, similar

7 | LINNMON corner table, IKEA

This is what I consider the first layer, the foundation for the room. My palette mixes natural tones of wood and cork with more modern accents in silver, white, and black.

The second layer would include additional storage like wall shelving, rolling carts, and cabinets. Color would come from the final layer of accents, like my crib spring, plants, and on-trend prints.

When I know more I’ll definitely share photos. In the meantime, I’m happy to answer any questions about this stage of workspace dreaming.