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This Month at Simple Scrapper

The Simple Scrapper community is active and vibrant, full of memory keepers who love to keep life simple. There's always something going on here and this post is your reminder about where to find that information.

1. On the "This Month" page...

If you ever want to know what's going on at Simple Scrapper, the This Month page is your one-stop-shop. There you will find links to our current challenge, the date and time of our next Simplicity Hour chat, and any information about classes and events.

Plus, on this very same page you'll also find our creative team gallery. Each month our talented team members create pages to inspire your simple scrapbooking journey using shortcuts from our membership.

2. On the blog...

I love brainstorming and preparing content for the Simple Scrapper blog just as much today as I did back in 2008. This month I've got a series of posts planned that focus on making your processes, especially Project Life, more efficient. I'll also be sharing some personal insights on my One Little Word for the year.

Blog posts are recapped weekly in the Sunday newsletter, but you can subscribe to the blog's RSS feed to get updates whenever a post is published. The easiest way to subscribe is with Feedly or Bloglovin'.

3. On social media...

I love connecting with you and providing valuable information in the spaces you like to hang out. Today this interaction occurs predominantly on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook is the water cooler, focused on fostering discussion and sharing links to helpful resources. Instagram is the micro magazine, expertly curated to keep you inspired and moving forward.

4. On the membership site...

Our Simple Scrapper members are already enjoying brand new content for simple scrapbooking, but you can join today to get immediate access to the following:

  • The new issue of Spark, our membership magazine.
  • Membership in our active members-only Facebook group.
  • A suite of must-have planning tools for scrapbookers.
  • Access to our Focus scrapbooking productivity program.


Membership also includes five new sketches and companion layered templates each month, plus full access to our library of past releases. One of this month's new sketches and templates is 100% original and four were inspired by:

I'll Love You Forever by Melissa Morrelli
I'll Love You Forever by Melissa Morrelli

Blah by Stephanie Joanna
Blah by Stephanie Joanna

Miss Rabbit by Elena Stefanidou
Miss Rabbit by Elena Stefanidou

Flamenco Dancer by Jennifer Wilson (i.e. me!)
Flamenco Dancer by Jennifer Wilson

You can see examples using all of the new membership content in this month's creative team gallery.

Membership is the best way to receive support in your journey to simplify, in scrapbooking and in life. Our community is supportive and welcoming! Click to learn more about membership.

Giveaway | The Finishing Project Workshop Starts This Week

Before you start something new, how about taking some time to focus on what's already begun?

My new workshop, The Finishing Project, begins this Thursday.

The Finishing Project begins March 5.

During the four weeks of this class - plus one bonus week of support and accountability - you will receive expert instruction, customizable tools, and intimate support to tackle your unfinished projects.

To celebrate this week's kick off, I'm giving away 3 seats in class. Best of all, if you already signed up I'll refund your payment! 

How to Enter

Leave a comment sharing the project you most want to finish. Three winners will be selected from eligible entries at 9am on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 and updated on this post.

Congratulations to...


#57... Teri Johnson, who said "Having read and carefully considered your posts on choosing projects I can finish, I would like–no, plan–to finish a mini album for each of my two grandsons. I plan to give them to the boys for Easter. Hopefully, that will put me on track to finish more of my planned but not executed projects."

#80... Rosa, who said "Thanks for the chance to win. The project I most want to finish is “Before your Story” I know telling my story is important but I just keep making excuses about photos, or journaling, etc."

#1... Laura, who said "I am focusing on my Me: The Abridged Version album from Cathy Zielske’s class last fall."

Winners will be contacted directly with prize claim instructions.


Around Here | February 2015

On the last day of each month I'm sharing a personal recap that will also be included in my 2015 album.

Photo Feb 11, 7 51 14 AM

See more of my February on Instagram.

Around here we actually started putting nails in the walls.

Around here she's 3.5 and 42" tall. She was 41" a month ago.

Around here my coffee gets blacker with the amount of work I have.

Around here he took me out to dinner and a movie on the 13th.

Around here I'm starting to read autobiographies of funny women.

Around here she wants a drum set (?!) for her birthday.

Around here they built a snow tunnel in the front yard.

Around here I'm totally ready for winter to be over.

Around here we're enjoying gift cards we received in December.

Around here I'm working crazy hard on several big projects.

Around here this month has been a blur.

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


How to Plan a Scrapbook Project + Free Project Planning Tools

It's a near-universal truth that sometimes projects don't get finished. No one sets out not to finish; it just happens due to a combination of circumstances and choices. So far we've explored letting go of guilt, why projects aren't completed, and what makes a project more finishable.

In this post I want to share an approach for planning your next project so that you feel more confident and in control of getting it done. My recommended steps don't take a lot of time, but they do require a pause to think and write about your intended project before it becomes another unfinished object in your pile.

Before we get started, however, I want to caveat this exercise. I don't believe that any project can be perfect and I also don't believe that planning can stand in for good old-fashioned effort. Planning is a tool to save you time and heartache, making creativity easier and more fun. Following the plan, however, is the clincher.

You've got to do the work.

Scrapbook Project Planning Step-by-Step

The first part of project planning is (metaphorically) painting a picture. Documenting the project's vision can prevent you from veering off track and forgetting what this activity is supposed to be about.

1. Meaning - Describe the purpose of this project in a nutshell. Include why it is important to you and the core story you want to tell.

2. Scope - Elaborate on the time range of photos and what aspects of the story will be included or excluded in this project.

3. Format - Use as many details as you can to describe how you want this project to come together and what the end result looks like.

4. Supplies - Itemize the photos and products you will use for this project, making sure to include both what you have and what you need to buy.

5. Steps - List out the major steps in the project so that you can mark off your progress (and celebrate each victory) along the way.

The second part of project planning is optional, but helpful. I will often use plain or graph paper to storyboard the project, from start to finish. I will draw rectangles to represent each printed page, page protector, or pocket page. Then I will map out the main subject matter for each page.

In the downloads below, I've included a free project planning worksheet as well as images representing the most common sizes of page projectors and pocket pages. You can use these images to create your own project storyboard by hand or in presentation software like PowerPoint or Pages.

For further support for project planning and follow-through, I'd love to have you join me for The Finishing Project this March.

The Finishing Project begins March 5.


Simple Tip Saturday with Jamie Leija

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series, we're inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Simple Scrapper team member Jamie Leija with her simple tip.



What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

If I'm on the hunt for crafty inspiration, I only look in three places:
  1. Pinterest-specifically my Layout, Crafts & Craft Inspiration boards
  2. BlogLovin-my blog reader
  3. Simple Scrapper-either looking back through old Spark mags or browsing the sketch and Story Starter archive.
 I choose to funnel lots of inspiration through narrower channels--such as Pinterest and my blog reader. I think it's great that so many online galleries give you an option to save your favorite layouts, but it's not the most efficient way to streamline your inspiration. I make sure to add anything I love directly to my Pinterest board (and many galleries provide a button for you to do just that). I feel the same about blog readers. I like having all of my creative/inspiration/scrapbook blogs in one central place. I'm not having to remember them all or look up bookmarks. And just as with the online galleries, if there's a blog post I like and want to make note of, I add it to one of my Pinterest boards.

What problem does it solve for you?

This helps cut down time spent on my second favorite hobby (internet browsing) and instead, spend time doing my favorite hobby--scrapbooking.

Why do you think it works so well?

Since I'm only looking in these three very specific places, I'm not getting lost down an internet rabbit hole. It feels very focused and about 95% of the time, gives me exactly what I need.

How can others get started with it?

I would encourage you to get all of your inspiration into as few places as possible.
  • Sign up for Pinterest, if you haven't already.
  • Search for Scrapbooking or Project Life Inspiration Boards (or whatever else floats your boat) and start pinning your favorites.
  • Utilize a blog reader. BlogLovin and Feedly are two I know of, although I'm sure there are others out there.
  • Refer back to the large archive of Simple Scrapper content. Jennifer has done a great job of compiling everything in a few spots in the membership area. If you're in the mood to look at visual inspiration, start with Spark. Have some photos but don't know what to do with them, browse the Sketches & Templates. Or, if you just are looking for ideas to make pages about, click through the Story Starters. There are 4 years worth of ideas there, that's nearly 600 prompts to get you going.
Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and run.