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Around Here | March 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 | March 2015

See more of my March on Instagram.

Around here she's teaching us something new every day.

Around here I've been creating a brand new site for members.

Around here I am so ready for my upcoming vacation.

Around here my grain-free experiment is a 98% success.

Around here we're excited to finally spend some time outside.

Around here I finally bought these to store my micro kits.

Around here I finished 10 pocket spreads and 4 layouts.

Around here there's a new free event coming in May.

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


Simplify Project Life Using the Collect App with Mandy Elliott

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

Simplify Project Life Using the Collect App with Mandy Elliott

What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

By using the Collect App. I began using the Collect App and my iPhone last year to collect, document, and print photos for my Project Life scrapbook albums. Collect gives me a daily reminder to add my photos, allows me to create a few sentences to journal, it automatically adds the date, and makes printing 3x4's or 4x6's an absolute breeze. Once my photos have been printed, I slip them into my Project Life album and I'm done!

What problem does it solve for you?

It dates my photos for me. I'm a little obsessive about keeping my albums chronological. By using the Collect App, it auto-dates every single photo for me so I don't have to keep up with it. I love it.

Why do you think it works so well?

Because I can access the app anywhere, anytime using my iPhone which is always close by. I take advantage of car rides (when my hubby is driving, of course), sitting in line somewhere, and a few moments right before bedtime to add the photos from each day, make a few notes in the app, and then they are saved and ready to print when I'm need them.

How can others get started with it?

You can visit their website at and download the app! I am certain you will enjoy it! (Note: I am not a paid promoter of this company. I simply love the app and wanted to share about how much it helps me).

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.


How to Store Die Cuts

If you're a paper scrapbooker, you've likely tried various approaches to storing your die cut pieces. Have you found one that's just about perfect?

I think I have.

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts

Almost two years ago I saw an image on Pinterest of embroidery floss being stored in what was essentially a very tiny album. I was intrigued and began scouring stores to find the product.

At first I thought a brag book might work, but the open pockets meant the items could fall right out. When it comes to all those little, mostly-papee pieces, durability and portability are key.

And then I saw the most perfect option at Hobby Lobby: the Yarnology Poly Bag Floss Organizer System with Floss Binder. For just $6 (two sets of bags and 1 set of covers) I could have a compact system to store 48 different groups of die cut pieces!

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts

It's kind of like a baby ScrapRack, just for my die cuts.

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts

The best part is that each bag has a zipper close, so nothing will come out - until I want it to!

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts

Unless I was working with a kit, my die cut pieces used to get overlooked. Now I keep my die cut binder open all the time, making it easy to flip through and find just what I need.

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts

Storage Binder for Scrapbook Die Cuts


Must-See TV | Simple Scrapbook Layout + Lightroom Template

Over the past year I've done a lot of my own simplifying to make scrapbooking easier and more fun. Minimalist, photo-focused album inserts are a new favorite part of my process.

Sometimes there isn't a deeper story I want to tell but simply a memory I want to document with photos. These projects come together in under an hour and have a high visual impact in my album.

See Also: What Happens in Vegas | Simple Scrapbook Layout

See Also: Our Boston Adventure | Simple Scrapbook Layout

Recently I realized that I haven't scrapbooked anything about books, TV, or movies in more than three years. (Note: My daughter is 3.5 now.) Where we used to devote a lot of couple time to media consumption, we now find it challenging to stay caught up with just a few favorite shows. Movies are a rare treat.

I'm actually reading a lot more now than I ever did, but I think that will be another layout for another time.

A few days ago I stole an hour from my work day to put together this 8.5x11 insert featuring the eighteen shows that have received time on our screen over the past year. (I'm showing you nine and the back has nine more, including three toddler faves.)

I'm using these pocket pages from We R Memory Keepers.

Must-See TV Layout at Simple Scrapper

To begin, I conducted a Google image search for photos of our favorites. If I was having trouble finding a shot of the right orientation, I added "poster" to my search. I also heavily leaned on the "Search tools" drop-down to narrow the results to large images.

Here's an example for Showtime's Homeland (click to enlarge):


After an emotional Brody flashback, I narrowed my choice to the image best reflecting the current season.

Must-See TV Layout at Simple Scrapper

Next I imported my images into Lightroom so that I could utilize the Print module for cropping to 2.625x3.5 for my pocket page. I learned how to use this feature from Melissa Stinson's tutorial and have outlined a similar process in this older video:

Finally, I exported the images and printed them with my Epson PictureMate Show. The borders were snipped off with my paper trimmer (I have the 15" version of this).

Must-See TV Layout at Simple Scrapper

Slipping each photo into the pockets was super satisfying since that meant I was done. I love a quick win.

Must-See TV Layout at Simple Scrapper

Free Lightroom Print Template

For Lightroom users, I've created a print template you can import and use. It will help you easily add two 2.625x3.5 images to a single 4x6 canvas.

Click here to download the free Lightroom print template.

Note: This print template was created in Lightroom 5, but should be compatible with Lightroom 2 and newer.

You might want to check out Adobe's instructions on working with custom print templates, which are part of a help article on the entire module.


March 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 9-photo, 12x12 layout with a staggered grid of 2x2 photos. There are more than 225 sketches and templates instantly accessible when you become a Simple Scrapper member.


See it in action...

Here's interpretation from Lisa Corbin-Polak that unites a series of snapshots:

March Free Sketch & Template from Simple Scrapper

Here's a clean and simple interpretation from Delanie Wood, adjusted to 8.5x11:

March Free Sketch & Template from Simple Scrapper

Here's an interpretation from Allie Trumpower with added paper strips:

March Free Sketch & Template from Simple Scrapper

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!