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A Creative Rhythm that Works with Your Life with Iska Wire

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


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

My crafting time is late in the evenings and I find I don’t have much “left” after a long day.  I know that if I can just get started working on a project, the act of creating really energizes me. So I have worked out a system that takes advantage of my “reverse energy cycle.”  After finishing a layout and before going to bed, I gather or print photos and then find supplies and lay it out on my desk. Often I find that since my creative brain has been at work, the ideas come together quickly and since I am limited on time (I need to get to bed) I make faster decisions about choices and can even put together the basic idea of the design. I head to bed and the layout stays in my mind – I sometimes even think of a title or the journaling before I get home the next evening.

What problem does it solve for you?

Walking into my scrap space, usually worn out from a day that starts before 5am, and starting from scratch made me feel overwhelmed. With little mental energy, the thought of turning on the computer and photo printer, searching through pics, then picking paper, embellishments and alphas sounded incredibly daunting so I would just turn off the light and not do anything. This “prepped and ready” cycle works best for me as I have a jump start on the process and can ease into the project since the most challenging part (for me) is already done.

Why do you think it works so well?

This process plays to my strengths and my personality and sets me up for success each evening since I don’t have to start at the beginning. I even find this process speeds up my evening routine as I have been thinking about the layout during the day and I am excited to get started. And the best part is that it creates a sort of “quick win” for me and I almost always finish a page every time I start this way.

How can others get started with it?

Figure out what your creative or energy cycle is and think about how it helps or hurts your creative process.  I find I need the most energy when making selections and first starting off on a layout and that I have the most energy when I complete something – so I try to put those two pieces together.  Maybe it is the “kit your stash” approach to lessen your choices or batch prepping several page kits so you can just pick up and go. I think it is important to find a process that works for you that feels natural versus forced. This process creates a great rhythm for me and I hope that sharing this idea helps others find something that works for them.

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.


This Month at Simple Scrapper

I’m pretty sure that September is my favorite month of the year. I love getting back into routines and seeing glimpses of the fall weather to come. This time of year fills me with an energy of possibility that I wish I could bottle for use in February.

Here at Simple Scrapper things are chugging along well and much of my time is being spent laying the foundation for fun new projects! I read an article recently that said “creating sustainable models” is “the crack cocaine of INTJs” (my Myers-Briggs type). Yes, that is so true!

I think that is one reason I love the rhythm of our membership program. Each month I get to use a time-tested framework to deliver “just in time” motivation to memory keepers. You know what to expect and you know you can use it right now. In fact our members are already devouring this month’s issue of Spark magazine:


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

September 7 – Story Starter™ Challenge posted
Create a layout on this month’s storytelling theme of What I’m Reading for a chance to win 3 months of membership at Simple Scrapper.

September 10 – Free Webinar
Next week I’m hosting a live webinar just for our email subscribers to share my best strategies for telling your personal stories via memory keeping. If you don’t receive our emails, you can sign up here.

September 17 – Before Your Story begins
If you’ve ever felt like you’ll never find the time to document your life before kids, this workshop is for you. Over 6 weeks you’ll mine your own historical archives to craft an heirloom-quality album.

September 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.

Also, our new membership collection of sketches and templates was designed in-house this month. Here’s a peek at how our team used one of the page designs:

Molly is 8! by Sara Case Strickland

Get 5 exclusive sketches & templates each month in the Simple Scrapper membership

Wanderlust by Jan Sowder

Get 5 exclusive sketches & templates each month in the Simple Scrapper membershi

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 more of their work on Facebook and Instagram as well as every example in Spark magazine.


Around Here | August 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 | August 2015

See more of my August on Instagram.

Around here she turned 4 and started ballet and tap dance classes.

Around here August was filled with travel and transitions.

Around here he is home a whole month straight. Watch out projects!

Around here I am almost done with my Week in the Life pages.

Around here my Fitbit has gone missing, and so have my steps.

Around here my body needs a reset after many meals out and about.

Around here I’m ready to find pleasure in routines during September.

Around here early bird pricing on Before Your Story ends today. Use the code MYSTORY20 to save $20 on workshop enrollment.

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


An Easy Fix for Visual Balance with Carrie Arick

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


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

I always frame my layout in some way. It’s my go-to for finishing a page. It’s visually interesting, but incredibly fast and simple to do.

What problem does it solve for you?

It’s all those choices when designing a page that slows my process. I can easily get overwhelmed and unsure of what I’m putting on the page and how it’s all going to go together. Where will the eye start, where will it finish and how do I make that flow happen? What will make the parts of the page look like they all belong together? How am I going to make the page feel balanced polished? Framing my canvas is my trick for solving these problems and helps me make confident choices for the rest of the page.

Why do you think it works so well?

By framing my canvas, I know I’m creating cohesion between the page parts. Not to mention, knowing what the finish line is allows me to scrap faster and more confidently. If the flow isn’t quite right or the page feels off balance, you can simply adjust your framing to compensate. Framing at the top and the left sides create a place for the eye to start. Framing the right and the bottom tell the eye it’s at the finish line, so it’s time to go back to the starting point, keeping the eye on the page. Plus, you can frame every single page you make and it never feels tired.

How can others get started with it?

There are a variety of ways this framing can be accomplished. To make it cohesive, I recommend that you stick with the colors, patterns and style of the rest of your page:

  • Add paper strips, washi tape or paint at the top and bottom of your page to create a frame. Many digital designers offer pre-made frames or borders for your layout, making this even easier. For paper scrappers, you can use leftover bits of paper.
  • Instead of framing the top and bottom, try framing the left and right sides.
  • Create a small cluster  on one on side of your frame to add extra interest.
  • Add stitching, staples or brads for extra polish
  • Add a neutral color border around your entire layout. It can be that 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.


A Peek into Before Your Story

On September 17 I will lead a group of new students and alumni into the workshop that I’m most proud of. During Before Your Story you will see how I documented my growing-up story simply in one scrapbook album and receive all the tools and support you need to tell your own.


What You’ll Create

In Before Your Story you’ll receive instructions to create a 12×12 album that mixes pocket pages with layouts. I’ll also share a myriad of options for customizing the size and format to your own needs and preferences. Past participants have completed digital albums and photo books in addition to the more traditional options I present.

The album will cover your life from birth up until a self-selected milestone in your adult life. I choose the birth of my daughter as this milestone, but this album is ultimately about you and your unique story. The format is flexible enough to include as many or as few years as you desire.

Before Your Story workshop at Simple Scrapper

To make it less intimidating to document multiple decades in a single project, I share a very specific framework to guide photo selection, storytelling, and scrapbooking. My approach combines practical documentation with creative play so that you can have fun and be productive at the same time!

Your Class Experience

You can expect a traditional online workshop experience with Before Your Story, complete with handouts, worksheets, templates, videos, audios, and email messages. Plus there will be a class forum for well-organized discussion and a gallery for sharing your work.

Before Your Story workshop at Simple Scrapper

The content will walk you through the project step-by-step and as your instructor I’ll be easily accessible for questions. We’ll also have frequent live chats so that you can connect more personally with classmates.

Staying engaged in a project over 6 weeks can sometimes feel challenging. The structure of the class takes this into account and I’ve built in prompts and messages to nudge you towards completion.

Why It’s Worth It

At $59 (or less*) you can consider Before Your Story a $10 per week investment in your legacy. The pride you will feel upon completing the album will only be surpassed by the experience of sharing it with those you love most.

Before Your Story workshop at Simple Scrapper

* You can save $20 when you register for the Before Your Story workshop before September 1st.