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Reduce Guilt with an Annual Collage with Katie Nelson

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


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

As I go through and scrapbook memories from any given year, I keep a folder labeled "end of year layout" ready. As I have to cut pictures from layouts (meaning I decide I don't have enough space or interest to include them there), I simply move them to that "end of year" folder. Then I always do some sort of simple collage style layout using the random pictures that were set aside in that folder. These pages have ended up becoming some of my favorites because they really are simple snapshots of my life in one year of time.

What problem does it solve for you?

I don't feel like I have to fit every photo on a layout any more. I know I will still be able to use my favorite shots, even if they don't fit with the page I'm currently working on.

Why do you think it works so well?

It gets rid of the guilt of not using every photo. It really was a mental barrier for me before I started using this little trick.

How can others get started with it?

Just make a folder! Or you could tag your photos in a similar way. The folder method works best for me though because it's easy to see how many pictures I'm accumulating. Sometimes there are several that fit into a particular theme that are best for an entirely different layout.

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.


Save Time with Stash Awareness with Els Brigé

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


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

When it comes to simplifying my process, I think that one of the most important things is to know my stash. I try not to have a ton of scrapbooking supplies – partly because I don’t have much room to spare for scrapbooking, but also because I realize that once I lose an overview, I’ll just forget about certain items and then they’ll just sit unused in my closet. I usually only buy what I really like and know I’ll use. And since I love my products that much, I can envision certain items that would fit for a particular project and dig them out in no time.

What problem does it solve for you?

It helps to save time when looking for possible embellishments or papers for a certain project. I can find all the options, or even build myself a little kit in a relatively small time. And not having too many options also makes it easier to choose and construct a page, too many options seems to paralyze me for some reason.

Why do you think it works so well?

I just love looking through my stuff, and especially with new supplies, checking all the items out, and checking them out once more. It just makes me happy. And then being able to build a layout easier and faster, is a nice surplus.

How can others get started with it?

We all love buying new scrapbooking supplies, but I usually ask myself what I would be using that particular item for and do I see myself using and reusing it on a project, and if I’m really loving it. If the answer is not clearly positive, I would probably not buy it. And when buying something new, don’t just throw it in your stash, but take the time to take a thorough look at it, and maybe even have a little play with it (definitely helps you remember better what you have). On top of that, a good de-stash every now and then also works wonders.

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.


Photo Crush: A New Free Event

The logic of the scrapbooking process is simple.

In order to scrapbook, you need photos. But to have photos ready, you need to know where they are and how to find what you want.


You are so not alone if your photo library is a mess and you feel overwhelmed just thinking about organization. Even as an educator in this industry I wish my digital photo library was in better shape than it is.

The commonality of this challenge is why I decided to create a brand new FREE event. I want you to gain control over your digital photos, so that you can enjoy your hobby more.

Photo Crush is a 7-day photo organization challenge to help you escape from photo chaos and create a digital photo library you love.

Photo Crush



April Story Starter Challenge

For the past four years I've been releasing new storytelling prompts to members every month. This year, we're celebrating each month's theme with a Story Starter™ Challenge. You're invited to create a layout and submit it for a chance to win a 3-month Simple Scrapper membership pass.


How to Participate + Win

Step 1 (optional) - Download this free story discover tool to brainstorm story ideas and make a plan for your layout.

Step 2 - Create a new layout, pocket page spread, or mini album related to this month's theme: In Good Faith

Step 3 - Submit a photo of your completed work in the comments below by 11:59pm on the 30th of this month.

This post will be updated on the 1st of next month announcing the winner of a 3-month Simple Scrapper membership pass. The winner will also be contacted directly with instructions on starting her membership.

Three Ideas from the Creative Team

Each of these layouts from our creative team uses a sketch or layered template from the membership along with one of this month's twelve new Story Starters.

You can get instant access to a library of more than 400 Story Starter™ prompts when you become a member at Simple Scrapper.

This layout from Melanie Ritchie tells the story of her faith and how it affects her life.


This layout from Jennifer Johnson tells the story of how she practices her faith daily, but quietly.


This layout from Sandy Henderon tells the story of how she feels connected to her youngest son and how, in many ways, they are soul mates.


Now it's your turn! Upload your layout by 4/30/15.


This Month at Simple Scrapper

Did you know that I've written more than 1500 posts here since the fall of 2008? I'm kind of flabbergasted myself when I think about it. I blogged daily for many of the early years. Then as online content creation and consumption shifted, I did too.

However, it may seem that I've been even quieter than normal here on the blog. That's because I've been re-building a lot of the infrastructure for Simple Scrapper over the past few months. Things had gotten a little creaky and I needed to get some new tools in place that could support this community's growth - and help me maintain sanity.

During March my students in The Finishing Project kicked the tires on a new classroom/membership site and this weekend the members officially moved in. The next phase involves cleaning up this main site and giving the blog a more mobile-friendly look and feel. It's going to be great!

For the most part, you should see little to no construction "dust" but the membership is currently closed to new members. (You can sign up to be notified when it re-opens.) All that said, our monthly calendar looks just as full as ever. Here's what's coming up:

April 7 - Story Starter™ Challenge posted
Create a layout on this month's storytelling theme (sneak peek: In Good Faith) for a chance to win 3 months of membership at Simple Scrapper.

April 10 - Simplicity Hour chat at 8:30pm CT
Enjoy your hobby more when you join a group of like-minded memory keepers for an hour of casual conversation fostering connection, inspiration, and forward movement.

April 14 - Start of new blog series on photo management
I'm working on a new series of posts that share how I manage my library of images as well as my best advice on making that shift from photo chaos to photo peace.

April 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.

May 11 - Photo Crush begins
That new blog series is all leading up to a new FREE event I'm hosting in May. Photo Crush is a 7-day challenge to help you create a photo library you love. Registration is open.

I also want to acknowledge this month's contributors to our membership collection of sketches and templates:

Shine by Rut Cabrera

Layout by Rut Cabrera

This Right Here by Jenni Calma

This Month at Simple Scrapper

And there's two from me...



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 a taste of their work on Facebook and Instagram as well as every example in the membership.