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January 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 3-photo, letter-sized layout with a clean and simple style. There are more than 225 sketches and templates instantly accessible when you become a Simple Scrapper member.

Download a free sketch and template set at Simple Scrapper every month in 2015.

See it in action...

Here's my original layout that inspired the sketch:

Download a free sketch and template set at Simple Scrapper every month in 2015.

Here's Jennifer Larson's interpretation using traditional supplies:

Download a free sketch and template set at Simple Scrapper every month in 2015.

Here's Arielle Gordon's interpretation using digital supplies:

Download a free sketch and template set at Simple Scrapper every month in 2015.

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!


The Finishing Project: A New Workshop at Simple Scrapper

What sounds more fun?

Feeling guilty about all the projects you started and never finished.

- OR -

Feeling awesome that you confidently and consistently finish each project that you start.

Like you, I have been too ambitious in my project plans and too easily distracted by the lure of something new. Unfinished projects are almost a universal truth of creative hobbies. But here's the rub: Folks like us feel the weight of things left undone - and that can be quite a drag.

I was tired of letting my unfinished projects get in the way of enjoying my hobby, so I started finishing them. I stopped feeling guilty and started feeling awesome, full of pride to be a scrapbooker who actually finishes what she starts.

You can be a finisher too.

The Finishing Project workshop

I'm excited to invite you to my new workshop, The Finishing Project, where you will learn everything I know about completing photo books, mini albums, pocket page albums, and layout-based albums - and get one (or more) of your own projects finished in the process!

Click here to learn more about The Finishing Project.

P.S. I'm offering a special bonus of additional one-on-one attention from me for anyone who signs up right away.


Simple Tip Saturday with Christy Strickler

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 Christy Strickler with her simple tip.


What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

I have a large stash of supplies. That means that there may often be more than one paper or embellishment that is perfect for a particular layout. Rather than search through my supplies for long periods of time or second guessing my choice, I have learned to choose items and move forward with confidence.

What problem does it solve for you?

Choosing with confidence means I save time and use up supplies. I get layouts completed and I can be happy that I used my stash.

Why do you think it works so well?

It makes me feel good to have a completed layout. I feel like I get more from my supplies despite not shuffling through them. I reduce creative block.

How can others get started with it?

I generally start with a selection of the most current supplies. Once a week or every two weeks, I like to surf through older stash to bring items to the forefront. I keep in mind my current kits and think about which older items might blend well with them. This is an easy way to get started!

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and run.

My 2015 Plan: Scrapbooking in 8.5×11 or Smaller

Sometime in the second half of 2014 I was working on a layout in 8.5x11 and it hit me: I adore this size.

I began to wonder what my scrapbooking would look like if I created only in that size and smaller. Would that excite me? (Yes, I believe so.) Would I get bored? (Maybe, but there's an easy solution.)

I didn't exactly toss the idea around, listing pros and cons. I just ordered a new We R Memory Keepers album in 8.5x11 and said: I'll figure this out as I go.

So far? I'm loving it.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

For starters, 8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12. It's lap-friendly and totally not awkward. This is key to having people (myself included) actually browse through the album.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

The very best thing, however, is the ease of combining pocket pages and layouts in this single album. The new 6-hole Handbook page protectors from Studio Calico fit perfectly in 3-ring binders (8.5x11 and 12x12), making it effortless to include smaller pages.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

Seriously. Awesome.

I am taking a more fluid approach this year, creating layouts and filling in pockets as the inspiration strikes. I am focusing on capturing stories with an emphasis on my words.

In a way I view this album as my art journal for the year, the kind of art journal a left-brained scrapbooker would make. Something about the size makes it feel more intimate, more mine, than 12x12.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

Part of that feeling perhaps stems from including the 2015 Start Fresh Workbook & Planner inside of my album. For ease of writing it's living at the end, but having my plans combined with my memories feels absolutely perfect.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12

2015 Start Fresh workbook and planner for scrapbookers

Will I still create 12x12 pages? Yes.

The excitement of this new project will be balanced by the flexibility of creating layouts of any size for other albums. But this new year, full of growth and possibility, it will be delightfully letter-sized.

8.5x11 is so much more manageable than 12x12


One Little Word 2015

I almost didn't commit to a word this year. So many words bubbled up for me (deep and joy, most notably) that I considered simply being more open to my intuition and pivoting in a new direction when needed.

However, I realized that pivoting on-the-fly is a skill that needs practice and cultivation. I can't flip a switch and suddenly become more easy-going. (Wouldn't that be great, though?)

I went back to the drawing board. Then, on one long car ride in the dark I started leafing through words on an imaginary rolodex. This one? No. This one? No. This one? Eh, maybe. This one? Yes, that's it.

When I came to grow, I almost dismissed it. It seemed too simple, not deep or profound enough. Space was so lofty, how could I "regress" to something like grow?

This unease drew me in. Perhaps I was being dismissive because I was nervous, afraid that it might take effort to, you know... grow.

I knew that intentional effort is what I most needed after a year of space-creating. Deep had resonated so much because I feel like I need to grow roots in many ways. But, it didn't capture the evolution (and elevation) into greater joy I also want to experience.

Grow, however, seemed just perfect in that spot-on and totally uncomfortable way.

Growth is beautiful. Growth is messy.

Growing is as much about active, energy-consuming blossoming as it is about patient, energy-restoring rest.


Last year space helped me clear the fields, so that I could plant seeds of possibility. This year I'm eager and ready to nurture growth in myself, my family (No, not pregnant or planning to be!), and my business.

Grow up. This is about personal responsibility and making myself a priority. I can't deny that it's related to turning 35. I am in control of how I feel. I limit myself - and my own joy - with excuses.

Grow deeper. This is about feeling connected to people and places - and is definitely a next phase of the work I began last year. I made lots of space-clearing changes to make this more possible in 2015.

Grow intentionally. This is about doing the work to grow my business - and doing it with thoughtfulness and persistence. I need to dig in and get my hands dirty to nurture this next phase into being.

As in the past, I plan to blog throughout the year on topics related to my word. I'm also working on a post related to my memory keeping plans for the year, in which you'll see how I'm seamlessly incorporating grow into my 2015 album.

One Little Word is a reflective personal project by Ali Edwards. Click here to see more posts about my own words.