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Start with Friends | Simple Scrapbook Layout

Can you believe it? My baby girl started preschool this fall. Seriously.

For a little bit though, we weren’t sure if potty training was going to keep her in the toddler class for a while longer.

We were taking an easy-going approach, but all of a sudden there was a deadline upon us. Then, a friend from college passed along the 3 day method. And it worked!

Emily was able to start preschool with the friends she’d been in class with for the past two years! We were thrilled.

I printed this photo I took on her first day at home with my Epson PictureMate printer.

Start with Friends | Simple Scrapbook Layout

This layout illustrates one of my favorite approaches for designing a page. I choose a focal point, then build outwards and layer upwards.

I began with an 8.5×11 sheet of textured cardstock and a Kelly Purkey triangle stencil. Using a dauber and three colors of Studio Calico Color Theory inks, I stippled a background onto the cardstock.

This technique was revolutionary for me, someone who has always been disappointed in misting. The color layered on lightly and was build-able.

The rest of the layout came together quickly as I created a band design with an emphasis to the left. I had the most fun combining word and letter stickers for my title.

Most notable is that I used just one piece of patterned paper here, for punching the tag on the right.

Start with Friends | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I finished off this page with a few lines of journaling, writing directly on textured cardstock using hand-drawn lines.


Floor Plan for My (Hypothetical) New Home Office

As I’ve mentioned in recent Around Here posts, we’ve been house hunting. I’m not ready to share all of the details yet, but things are looking up that I’ll be working from a new home office soon.

It would be 12’x10′ with a big window and a small walk-in closet for storage. And suddenly Pinterest is even more exciting!

To be honest, I’m stressed out to the max right now and planning is the only thing keeping me grounded. Lists and spreadsheets and idea-gathering calm my nerves and keep me from freaking the heck out about moving, at least most of the time.

Since I work from home, transitioning my office quickly would be one of several priority projects. I don’t usually draw floor plans, but I needed exactness to plan the purchase of a new work surface.

I used to create a to-scale drawing of my likely new office. I then scoured IKEA’s office section to begin trying out various configurations. One of my biggest requirements was having a white work surface in front of the window for taking photos and filming videos.

While I considered a center island, the size of the room and my need to have both standing and sitting spaces made it less than ideal. I settled on an around-the-perimeter configuration that will lean heavily on the addition of shelving.

Floor Plan for My New Home Office

1 | shelving units, Menards

2 |  floor lamp, Target

3 | LINNMON table, IKEA

4 | MALKOLM swivel chair, IKEA

5 | striped area rug, Home Decorators

6 | my grandpa’s drafting table, similar

7 | LINNMON corner table, IKEA

This is what I consider the first layer, the foundation for the room. My palette mixes natural tones of wood and cork with more modern accents in silver, white, and black.

The second layer would include additional storage like wall shelving, rolling carts, and cabinets. Color would come from the final layer of accents, like my crib spring, plants, and on-trend prints.

When I know more I’ll definitely share photos. In the meantime, I’m happy to answer any questions about this stage of workspace dreaming.


Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

Whenever I share a new layout on Instagram, I often receive comments about the aqua crib spring in my office.

More than two years ago I actually blogged about this for Ella Publishing, but I thought it was time to archive that story here at Simple Scrapper.

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

This story starts in 2005, when a coworker offered me a crib. I was not pregnant at the time, nor would I be for six more years. I moved said crib three times, from basement to storage locker to basement and another basement.

When it came time to assemble it for my daughter’s arrival last year, we discovered several important (and proprietary) pieces were missing. This being a (shh) drop-side crib, we were not able to order replacement parts. With few options, we bought a brand new crib and returned this hand-me-down to the basement.

And there that poor drop-side crib sat, no one wanting it, until I saw this on Pinterest. With a new workspace in need of functional and beautiful wall decor, I knew what had to be done.

I dragged the spring out of the basement and dusted off the cobwebs.

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

I set up the spring on sawhorses in the backyard, with the back side facing up.

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

I purchased an easy-cover spray paint intended for metal. No sanding or priming needed!

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

I sprayed the back side first, being careful not to use too much of the can. I let it dry for an hour.

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

I flipped it over and sprayed the top. I let it dry for two hours before bringing it inside.

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

I used magnets and metal binder clips to attach photos and memorabilia to the grid. It is the perfect place to store inspiration as well as memories waiting to reach your next scrapbook page.

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

I also discovered that binder rings can also be added, to help store frequently used supplies!

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

For less than $5, I created a very large art piece that also serves multiple purposes!

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

My office was so clean and very empty back then. The space in front of the crib spring is now my nerve center. The playpen has been replaced by a folding table. My DIY curtains didn’t survive their second washing. Here’s what it looks like today:

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace

Upcycling a Crib Spring for Your Creative Workspace


Day in the Life | Fall

As I sit down to begin documenting my day I realize that my Day in the Life | Spring also recorded a day in which my husband was out of town. I didn’t choose this day with that in mind, but I must subconsciously feel more spaciousness for this level of detail when he’s away. Interesting.

5:45am – Alarm on Steve’s phone goes off. We’re sleeping feet to feet on our sectional couch because my parents are visiting from Houston. The next time they visit we’ll be in our new house – with a guest room.

6:09am – Steve wakes me up and I throw on yesterday’s clothes to take him to the airport. I twist my frizzy bed head hair up the back and fasten with a clip, no mirror required.

6:10am – Wondering if I really shouldn’t have stayed up late looking at curtains on the web.

6:11am – I remember that I’m documenting this day and I take a photo of my feet in our dimly-lit kitchen, which is better than the pitch black of the rest of the house.

Day in the Life | Fall

6:19am – As we drive through our neighborhood I comment on how dark and cold it is, making it so much harder to bounce out of bed at this hour. I start thinking about the coffee I’m going to get on my way home.

6:26am – We stop by the ATM at our credit union and take a country road out to the airport. Our new house is just off this road and will be a very convenient distance to the airport.

6:35am – I kiss Steve goodbye for now and don’t even think about parking because I know I never looked in the mirror. He walks into the terminal and I realize I didn’t take his picture.

6:36am – I pull into a spot just past the terminal and take a photo of his plane waiting at the gate, which is better than nothing. We have two gates, each with a split jet bridge.

Day in the Life | Fall

6:51am – Pulling into Dunkin Donuts I decide to order a medium Dunkacinno because I’m that tired. The line is long and as I wait I turn the radio from Steve’s preferred station (country) to mine (lite rock).

Day in the Life | Fall

7:17am – Wrap a two day old Panera bagel in a wet paper towel before microwaving. Pop it in the toaster, not realizing that someone turned it way up.

7:19am – Spread the last of the cream cheese on my stale and now very dark bagel.

7:20am – Realize that anytime I’ve ever said I was not a stress eater I was totally lying. Take a sip of my Dunkacinno.

Day in the Life | Fall

7:21am – Open up my laptop, sigh at the ever-growing crack in my screen, and open up Pinterest. Totally avoid email.

7:47am – Start looking up the differences between ultralight PC laptops and a new MacBook Air. I am a loyal Apple consumer, but surprise expenses always have me cringing at the price.

7:49am – Discover that a comparable ultrabook is going to be as much or more than a new Air. #bummer

7:58am – Shocked that it’s nearly 8am already. Call Emily’s daycare to let them know she will be having breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa before they leave.

8:07am – Steve texts me that he has landed in Chicago. Sends me a photo he took flying over our new neighborhood.

Day in the Life | Fall

8:21am – I decide to try using the iPad for the rest of this post to see how tolerable it is.

8:23am – Immediately see that having a keyboard case would be extremely beneficial, though it’s really not that bad. I’m currently touch typing in portrait view with the iPad flat on the table.

8:45am – Emily wakes up and is excited that she kept her sheets dry. We are still using pull ups at bedtime because those are easier to change than her sheets.

Day in the Life | Fall

9:12am – I give Emily a cup of Greek yogurt while I cook some scrambled eggs for her and my dad.

Day in the Life | Fall

9:23am – Emily is full after me alternating between bites of yogurt and egg, with her requesting a “zoom zoom” noise on each. (I rarely feed her like this.)

9:30am – We got home late last night after going to a museum and Emily didn’t get a bath. Post-breakfast it’s clear that one is needed. Afterwards I blow dry her hair.

Day in the Life | Fall

9:45am – I strip the sheets from the bed and couch. Holding as much as I can I trek through the garage and down the stairs to the basement to start laundry.

Day in the Life | Fall

10:20am – I finally take a shower while my dad blow dried his hair over the kitchen sink. I can’t wait to have more than one bathroom!

Day in the Life | Fall

10:45am – Every time my parents visit I take a photo of them with Emily in front of the big maple tree in our yard. This will be the very last photo in front of that tree.

Day in the Life | Fall

11:15am – I drop Emily off at school just in time for lunch. They are having quesadillas with black beans and fruit.

Day in the Life | Fall

11:40am – We regroup and order some takeout for lunch, embarking on an adventure that also includes a trip to Walgreens and Goodwill on the way. Discover that one of my prescriptions is now so expensive.

Day in the Life | Fall

12:45pm – Mom and I enjoy sushi while Dad has a burger, pretty much a tradition to conclude their visit.

1:15pm – I sit down and try to remember what happened over the last 3 hours. Getting ready for anything with kids is always a whirlwind.

1:30pm – Mom and Dad head off to the airport and I take a few clothes to a local consignment shop. I check out Tuesday Morning for the first time while I’m out.

Day in the Life | Fall

2:00pm – Instead of going home to finally get to work I check out two more stores to see if they have just the right curtains for the living room. (They didn’t.)

3:15pm – I sit down at my desk and start processing the mountain of email that accumulated since Thursday.

Day in the Life | Fall

4:15pm – By now I’m distracted by this hunt for curtains and have three different shopping websites open plus Pinterest.

4:30pm – I receive a surprise phone call from Steve. He’s been taking care of consolidating our insurance policies from his hotel room. Thankfully this is his last trip for the rest of the year!

5:17pm – I rush out the door to retrieve Emily from daycare, leaving an email unfinished. I’m going to have to do some work tonight to catch up.

Day in the Life | Fall

5:25pm – She is cuddly, talkative, and easy going today. We have a squeeze hug upon getting in the car.

Day in the Life | Fall

5:35pm – Emily and I share an after school snack of cheese and crackers.

5:45pm – I pick up the house a little and prepare my lunch for tomorrow. We’re having leftovers tonight so I put off emptying the dishwasher.

6:10pm – I sit down to check in on this documentation while Emily builds a princess castle with her Legos.

7:30pm – Emily doesn’t want her leftover spaghetti and ends up eating 1 hot dog, 1 pear, 8 grape tomatoes, and 1 wedge of cheese. (Yes, she is a very hungry caterpillar!)

8:10pm – During Emily’s second bath of the day she reads a book to herself from memory.

8:30pm – Lights out.

Day in the Life | Fall

8:55pm – Head down to basement to retrieve laundry from dryer and discover that I never turned it on.

9:00pm – She’s still tossing and turning.

9:17pm – Buy the VSCOcam preset bundle to try editing photos for this post in a new way.

9:30pm – Give up on VSCOcam in frustration. Feel doubly frustrated that Emily still isn’t asleep.

9:45pm – Watch the most recent episode of How to Get Away with Murder on OnDemand.

10:45pm – Try again with VSCOcam while watching Jimmy Fallon. Wishing I had used my big camera today, but rolling with it. B3 from the Black & White Classic series presets for the win.

12:05am – Sit down at computer to upload photos.

Day in the Life is a life documentation project created by Ali Edwards. This year I’m keeping life simple by capturing one day in my life each season. See Winter, Spring, and Summer.


Deep in the Heart | Simple Scrapbook Layout

While I take in many sources of inspiration, most of my scrapbook pages follow a specific pattern and are inspired by my photos. One image (or a series) will spark a feelings-based story that I want to tell. I then choose the smallest number of images that will capture the gist of that story and begin creating.

You can even take a shortcut by selecting a sketch or template with the same number of photos you want to scrapbook!

In late July we drove from Illinois to Texas to visit my parents. While I captured a variety of personal images with my big camera, I used my phone to share a suite of iconic and symbolic images on social media. While these images represented places we visited on the trip, together they helped me tell a deeper story.

Deep in the Heart | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I remember sitting in choir class in 4th grade, learning how to sing (and when to clap during) “Deep in the Heart of Texas”.

The stars at night,
are big and bright,
(clap clap clap clap)
deep in the heart of Texas.

This was my first year in in the Lone Star State, a Michigander transplanted to the land of bluebonnets and Blue Bell ice cream.

To say the least, it was overwhelming for someone who still believed there was a basement in the Alamo.

Over the years the edge has worn off. I no longer hesitate to tell people that I grew up in Texas. And on this trip I realized how many things I actually like about it, that I now feel just as much nostalgia for Texas as I always have for Michigan.

And that had to be documented!

I began by creating an easy collage with the PicFrame app with four of my favorite images. I used Dropbox to sync it to my computer for printing.

In gathering supplies it felt important to choose products that were symbolic, like the gold star paper as the background.

Deep in the Heart | Simple Scrapbook Layout

I layered a 4×4 piece of vellum and two 4×4 pieces of patterned paper behind the 4×4 collage photo to form the focal point of this simple scrapbook page.

I used a ruler to draw journaling lines and let the title plus two small star embellishments complete the layout.

Tip: Drawing the lines closer together makes it easier to control your hand for consistent journaling.

I’m normally resistant to journaling directly on the background, but I’ve felt a pull towards even-simpler, story-focused scrapbooking recently. I have so much to say and not enough time to fuss.

Your Assignment
Look through your recent images to find four related photos. Then identify a deeper, feelings-based story those images will help you tell.