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Weekend Reading: Summer Edition

This post is part of our summer storytelling series. Click here to register for Stories of the Summer, a free summer scrapbooking class.

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I‘ve missed sharing links with you with weekend reading, so I knew this summer storytelling series had to include some good reads for your easy summer weekends.

From around the web…

…for your simple summer.

Rhythm of the Home – The summer edition of this quarterly web magazine is filled with simple ideas to make your summer living more lovely.

Minimalist Parenting – An NPR interview (audio or transcript) with two authors about being a minimalist parent during the summer.

101 Ways to Embrace Summer – A wonderful list, with links, of simple activities to keep your family occupied during the summer months.

Lemonade & Fireflies – This eBook for your magical summer from Shawn Ledington Fink (whose words I’ve been devouring recently) is just $5.

Less Stuff, Less Stress – This article from Positively Present shares six tips and tricks to help you get started on de-cluttering.

…for your summer scrapbooking.

30+ Ideas for Scrapbooking Summer – Noell Hyman offers an index to past Paperclipping articles with great summer projects and ideas.

Summer Page Inspiration – Expert pinner Cynthia Ryder shares 600+ summer-themed pages in this Pinterest collection.

From our archives…

Have a link to add? Leave a comment sharing a great idea for summer simplicity or scrapbooking.

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7 Steps for Roadtrip Scrapbooking

This is a guest post from team member Pam Lozano.

Tackling big projects, like scrapbooking a roadtrip, can seem like a daunting task at first. You go on the road with your family or friends and come home to a memory card full of hundreds of precious photos and a bag full of memorabilia. But where do you start?

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Often the pictures get printed. Perhaps you even buy the album or the products you intend to use. Maybe you create a page or two. But the project seems so big that it just doesn’t get done. Having completed about 8 full size 12 x 12 albums of summer roadtrips with my best friend, I am here to share with you a few tips on what works for me. Hopefully some of these tips will help you get yourself organized and simplify the process enough so that you can get those memories scrapped and ready to enjoy.

(Note: Some of these steps can easily be done while sitting in front of the TV which makes it even better.)

1. Select the photos to print – and be choosy.

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Modern technology has made it so that we can take hundreds, even thousands of photos without it costing us a single cent. However, when creating an album like this it is more realistic to scrapbook 100 vacation photos than the 589 you took.

Don’t be afraid to discard repeats, out of focus images or photos that do not add any value to your overall story. Your family will appreciate having a record of the trip in an album that can be viewed in one sitting and not the three volumes it would take otherwise.

Another tip is to print photos in sizes you commonly use. For example, if a lot of your photos are from Instagram, then print them at 3×3 or 4×4. I also like to feature a lot of photos at once, so I create and print mini collages at 4×6.

2. Break down each printed photo into smaller groups of 1-5 photos that could fit on a single layout.

When looking through your photos try and find specific stories you want to tell. This may be relatively easy if you stick to scrapping pages based on events or places, for example “all photos at the Grand Canyon”. But it can also reveal some themes of the trip if you don’t limit yourself to photos that were taken on the same day. For example, you can document a story of napping on the road by combining all the photos of different people sleeping taken at different times throughout the trip.

3. Go through the memorabilia and select specific items you would like to include. Put the rest aside.

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It’s tempting for us scrapbookers to pick up brochures, business cards, stickers and tickets everywhere we go. But the reality is that we don’t use these as much as we’d like. I suggest you visit your stash of collected items early on in your process and decide which items you must use. You will be more likely to use them if they are a part of your process from the beginning, rather than an afterthought. The rest can be thrown away. (If you cannot part with them, I suggest you add them to a large folder or envelope that can be incorporated to your album.)

4. Add the memorabilia to each pile of printed photos

Now that you have piles of photos and the most precious memorabilia, match the two together. Also in this step, you can rummage through your vacation supplies you stocked up on and add a piece or two to the piles you would like to use them with, just so you don’t forget. Like adding that perfect die cut with the cute little beach animals to your beach day or the small license plate sticker you got at a gift shop to the pile for that state.

5. Assemble the entire album by inserting the small piles into page protectors in the order they will be in your album.

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Doing this means that your album is essentially put together.

Feel free to scrapbook the pages out of order! Scrap the photos that inspire you first and leave the others for last. This process doesn’t work if you stumble on a page or even that blocks your creativity and force yourself to do it because it is next in the timeline. Give yourself permission to skip around.

And don’t feel bad about showing your work in progress. Even when a few pages are still incomplete people can enjoy the essence of the album.

6. Select a sketch to work with the number of photos and memorabilia you have.

By the time you reach this step, the hard work is already done. You just have to decide on a sketch. Simple Scrapper has a resource available to its members that allows you to find sketches based on the number of photos. I love this tool and use it often. Since you already know what you want to include on your page you can easily make this selection. Remember to include space for your memorabilia. For example, if you have three photos and a map, perhaps try to find a sketch for four photos.

7. As time allows, select a page to work on

You can complete the project over a weekend or several weeks, but by having it all already figured out means you can easily bring this project with you to crops or crafting afternoons with your friends.

Editor’s Note: Have you ever scrapbooked a roadtrip? What did you learn from the process?

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Scrapbooking Big Events: Three Tips for Starting a Layout or Album

This is a guest post by team member Jess Forster.

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When I became pregnant with my daughter Rowan in 2011, I knew that I wanted to document my journey to motherhood. Having a child is an incredibly momentous occasion and I wanted to create an album that reflected that ride. A year and a half later, I have 58 pocket pages and 12 layouts completed and a whole album worth of material to look back at and wonder, where did the time go? Whether you are having a baby, going on a life changing vacation or getting married, here are four tips to help you begin documenting big event layouts or albums.

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1. Start with the end in mind. Big events often represent a significant times in our lives. As scrapbookers, we put pressure on ourselves to make the “perfect page” especially when it comes to meaningful occasions. This way of thinking can be totally overwhelming and a buzz kill when it comes to sitting down and creating a layout. When I started my pregnancy album, I realized I couldn’t document everything, so I asked myself, what were the three most important things I wanted to include in my album. I realized wanted to have my pictures of my growing belly, monthly updates about the baby’s progress and snapshots of our life as a couple preparing for a little one. This gave me a blueprint for creating my album and helped guide my creative process.

2. Make copies of all originals. Whether it’s your grandparents wedding photo from 50 years ago or an airplane ticket from your trip to Europe, storing your memories digitally, and in multiple locations, can help ease the pressure of scrapbooking a big event. Chances are you will have much more fun cutting up a picture of your childhood knowing that it isn’t the original or the only copy. In terms of memorabilia, try scanning it or taking a photo of the item and include it in your layout. For my pregnancy album I have all my monthly belly pictures on my laptop, as well as an external hard drive, on my blog and on facebook. It might be overkill, but I will never forgot / lose the evidence of how big I actually got.

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3. Rely on good design. With so many decisions to make about what pictures to use and what to details to include in your journaling, why not look to the experts to help guide you. Knowing that I that I didn’t have a lot of time to complete this album, I decided to limit my supplies. In addition to using a specific color scheme through out my entire album, I also relied heavily on templates to guide my scrapping process. There are so many to choose from including the ones that you can find in the Simple Scrapper membership. A year a have later, I still love that I used a Sepetmber 2011 Simple Scrapper template five times in my album!

4. When in doubt, have fun! Don’t forget that the non scrapbookers of the world don’t care if you used old Amy Tangerine products or non archival ink on your page. When you hear your inner critic, take a break and remember it doesn’t have to be so complicated! I still need to scrap Rowan’s birth story but haven’t been inspired. I don’t feel guilty about this because I know I will get to it some day. I look forward to the moment I create that layout and will wait until I am in the right frame of mind.

Editor’s Note: We all have a few big event projects on the backburner. Leave a comment and share one project you’d like to tackle this year.

Learn a step-by-step approach for tackling big projects in this month’s Focus lesson, available with your new premium membership.

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PL + LOM Baby Book Update

In January I shared how I am using a combination of the Project Life products with the Library of Memories organizational system to complete my daughter’s baby book. I settled on my approach more than halfway through 2012, so the project has been worked on mostly in retrospect (in contrast to the right now approach of Project Life).

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Four months into 2013, I’m quite far along (perhaps 80%) with the project but still not done. While I’m still creating layouts for this album, I found my interest in pocket pages to be more focused on 2013. Here’s what I’ve accomplished to date:

  • Added decorative intro pages & dividers
  • Selected & printed subset of 1200 photos
  • Organized images into LOM categories
  • Printed & inserted Paislee Press journaling cards

In this video, I walk you through the entire album, showing how it’s organized and where there is still much to do. This project is very focused on words and photos, because there are so many stories to document from her first 17 months. This year’s album has more creative touches, which I’ve enjoyed. (Update on that one soon!)

I am ready to really dig in and finish this off as I don’t want it to linger into the second half of this year. Here’s what’s on my to-do list:

  • Divide into two albums
  • Print December photos
  • Make 6-10 more layouts
  • Gather social media anecdotes
  • Add lots of journaling
  • Add more memorabilia

Are you working on any pocket-page projects, including Project Life? How is it going for you? Also, I’m curious, how has your pocket-page scrapbooking impacted how you work on or look at layouts?

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The Easiest Way to Stay Really Motivated to Scrapbook

I‘ve been thinking a lot about what makes scrapbooking different from other hobbies. It comes down to the fact that scrapbookers have an important and deeply personal connection to their projects. It is one that is simply not as profound in other creative activities.

This is also exactly what makes our online community so strong. When we share our scrapbooking online, we share a piece of ourselves.

There’s something else I have noticed – something that may reveal a simple strategy for a common problem. I hear more than ever about scrapbookers who aren’t scrapbooking, who have lost their mojo and just can’t find the motivation they need.

I also know that forum threads, gallery uploads, and personal blog posts are at an all-time low compared with years past. There are also fewer forum replies as well as thoughtful gallery and blog comments.

How can this be if we’re online more than ever? And does this impact our scrapbooking? I believe it does.

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As we spend more time on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest in lieu of these older platforms, voraciously consuming information and using a button-clicked as a surrogate for a reply, I believe we’re slowly disconnecting ourselves from the community. These sites are the next generation of online interaction, but perhaps we have an important opportunity to be far more mindful of how they are serving our lives.

The online spaces of before fostered longer form comments that were meaningful and led to real support for our scrapbooking. While that certainly still happens, it’s now all too easy for us to click and scroll without pausing to engage and connect. Thus, there’s less giving and receiving of encouragement directly related to our hobby.

What makes our community so strong is still there, but we must grab hold and actively seek what we most need. It turns out that social networking does not negate the need for an online home, but instead makes it all the more necessary.

Conclusion: If you want to stay really motivated to scrapbook, slow down and seek connection over consumption when you’re online.

What do you think? Am I on to something or totally off-base? Leave a comment and let me know.

Furthermore, if you’d like to feel more connected to your fellow simple scrapbookers (and reap the motivation benefits), come introduce yourself on our Facebook page.

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