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How to Tell Your Story Visually

As scrapbookers we use photos, words, and products to tell our stories visually. But do all the parts of your page communicate the real meaning? It’s not always easy.

Developing visual storytelling skills takes practice, but can become an easier (even automatic) part of your process over time. Here are three simple ways to tell your story visually:

1. Create a logical photo flow – When you create a layout or a pocket page with multiple photos, place the images in a visual order that helps tell the story. It doesn’t even have to be chronological. The proximity of images to each other can also add a layer of meaning.

2. Make symbolic product choices – While I tend to shy away from thematic scrapbooking supplies, you can make intentional and symbolic choices among your timeless products. Look for patterns and embellishments that mirror your feelings for the photo(s).

3. Style your journaling blocks - The size and placement of the written story on your layout helps to convey meaning. A hidden story may indicate sensitivity or heartfelt feelings. A large block of journaling conveys importance and weight.

Would you love to master the skill of telling your stories visually? Beginning July 28, my friend Debbie Hodge is teaching a 5-day class with actionable PDF lessons and daily live events. In Visual Storytelling, you will “elevate your scrapbook page storytelling by applying visual design elements to traditional story structures.”

Visual Storytelling at Get it Scrapped

While you can pay for this class by itself, you can get Visual Storytelling for FREE when you become a member at Get it Scrapped before July 30.

Click here for details.

Disclosure: As a Get it Scrapped affiliate a portion of your purchase supports Simple Scrapper.


Why FOMO Could Be Hurting Your Scrapbooks

I’ve been hearing a term more and more recently. A term that can be one of the biggest barriers to simplicity and one that you might have without knowing it. FOMO.

Why FOMO Could Be Hurting Your Scrapbooks

What is FOMO?

FOMO is an acronym for the “fear of missing out”. FOMO is why we compulsively check email and Facebook. It’s why we get up early or stay up late for reveals and releases. It’s why we scour stores (online and off) for what’s new on the market.

While FOMO isn’t new, the Internet has changed how it impacts us.

In 2014, it’s quite easy to stay permanently tethered to the cloud. But as many have written, along with that comes feelings of disconnection and even loneliness. FOMO today stems from this hunger to reconnect, to feel a part of something.

The problem with satisfying a FOMO urge is two-fold. The satisfaction fades quickly and we feel “in lack” again, creating a endless cycle. And worse, each jaunt down a FOMO rabbit hole takes time.

How can FOMO hurt your scrapbooks?

I hear often that it’s hard for you to find time to scrapbook, and when you do it’s too easy to get distracted by the Internet. Sometimes, this is caused by FOMO. FOMO is stealing your time and your mojo. It’s keeping you lost in your head and not creating with your hands.

Fortunately, there is a way out!

While it is just one part of the bigger puzzle, being mindful of FOMO behavior can help you feel more accomplished in scrapbooking.

Here’s how that works: A simple awareness of not using your time effectively is important and helpful. But understanding why you’re fiddling around on Pinterest or browsing that new catalog takes it even deeper – and is the first step towards shifting your behavior.

The next time you find yourself off track, ask “Is this FOMO?”.

For further reading, The Easiest Way to Stay Motivated to Scrapbook offers a simple idea to help you foster real connection instead of using FOMO as an ineffective surrogate.

Does FOMO ever affect you?


OLW 2014 | Are Productivity and Simplicity at Odds?

I’ve had this topic on my to-write list for over a year now because I can’t quite sort it out. Maybe we can do this together?

Sometimes I feel pulled apart. I write as much about time management as I do about finding meaning. I have boards on Pinterest for both Create More and Slow Down.

And this year, as I’ve really thought about what it means to create space in my life, I’ve circled this question again and again.

OLW 2014 | Are Productivity and Simplicity at Odds?

Are productivity and simplicity at odds?

To begin, let’s define these terms at a basic level and relevant to a memory keeper’s life.

1. Productivity is the state of being able to create.
2. Simplicity is the state of being uncomplicated.

Hmm… interesting! One connection immediately jumps out. You uncomplicate scrapbooking so that you can create.

That sounds pretty great. So where do things get muddled?

Outside of scrapbooking, we often see productivity used in terms of shortcuts and life hacks. Plus, historically it’s been associated with industry and profit-making. It can feel fast and rooted in desiring more.

Along side of productivity we have simplicity. This movement is often equated with granola types or 100-thing-minimalists. It can feel slow and rooted in desiring less, but in a not-very-realistic way.

Speed up, slow down. Go faster, hit the breaks. So which is it?

What if this pulling apart, this dichotomy of ideas, is actually a delicate balance for us? We want to feel at ease, but empowered. We want to feel relaxed, but inspired.

We just want get stuff done without resistance or insecurity!

I posit that for some people productivity and simplicity are at odds. However, for you here in this community, I believe they are compatible tools that help you find that state of balance you crave.

So what do you think? Are productivity and simplicity at odds?


Create Page Titles Easily with Cut Files | Simple Scrapbook Idea

Maybe you’re like me. You got a Silhouette for Christmas, cut a few items, and then promptly returned to your old scrapbooking processes.

It can be a challenge to integrate a new tool into your workflow. In this post I’m sharing one simple way to use cut files that doesn’t require a lot of extra thought: scrapbook page titles.

Create Page Titles Easily with Cut Files | Simple Scrapbook Ideas

In the layout above, a sneak peek from our August membership collection, I cut my title into the foundation card stock and then backed it with patterned paper. The effect is dramatic and eye-catching, but using cut files for page titles doesn’t always require advance planning.

Create Page Titles Easily with Cut Files | Simple Scrapbook Ideas

The layouts above and below have similar titles, both cut from kraft card stock. In fact, I cut them from the same sheet. Piecing a title from individual letters is a little more difficult but it helped to save the original card stock to offer an idea of placement and proximity.

Create Page Titles Easily with Cut Files | Simple Scrapbook Ideas

All titles were cut from PNG brushes by Ali Edwards:
No Day Like Today | This One 

What is your favorite way to use the Silhouette die cut machine?


Our Boston Adventure in Photos | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I am all about story and adding meaning to photos with words. But sometimes, a picture really is worth one thousand of them. In this post I’m sharing a 6×12 photo essay layout from a recent trip.

Our Boston Adventure in Photos | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I began by selecting my ten most favorite Instagram photos from a recent adventure in Boston. My husband I were there on business and managed to do a little sight-seeing on the side.

While I do have some other photos of us together I want to scrapbook with a traditional layout, there wasn’t a lot of depth to these iconic images. We walked the Freedom Trail. We ate seafood. We went to a game at Fenway. We walked some more.

This easy storytelling scenario led me to an easy scrapbooking solution: two 6×12 collages assembled from 4×6 prints. No wait needed!

Our Boston Adventure in Photos | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I used the Print module in Lightroom to create 3″x3″ and 3″x6″ images on 4×6 canvases. Each were exported as a high resolution JPG and then printed from within Photoshop.

To create the larger images, I used the ability to choose the cropping in the Print module to drag the image all the way to the top and then all the way to the bottom. In other words, I exported each image twice – first the top half and then the second half.

Before printing, I also added a small title in Photoshop to one of the images. The font is Proxima Nova.

Our Boston Adventure in Photos | Simple Scrapbook Layout

The excess was trimmed from each photo before adhering collage-style to a 6×12 sheet of card stock. I chose to adhere them on both sides, but you could use two pieces of card stock and place them back to back as well.

Our Boston Adventure in Photos | Simple Scrapbook Layout

The entire process took less than 1 hour from start to finish. The result is a high impact album insert that tells the story simply. Sometimes that’s all you really need.