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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.

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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.

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Simple Tip Saturday with Emily Muto

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 Emily Muto with her simple tip.

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What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

This is going to sound so obvious, but make a list!  More specifically, make an action list of tangible next steps to take!

What problem does it solve for you?

The problem it solves for me is when I get stuck on something and especially when I realize that I haven’t scrapped in a while, or I've wasted the limited scrap time I do have and I get nothing done.

Why do you think it works so well?

I try to turn my list into an action that can get me over that mental block or productive hurtle!  Sometimes I just need to refocus and consciously think about why I haven’t made any progress.  It may be as easy as, I haven’t printed out my next set of photos because I have no idea how my layout will be and what sizes to print.  If that’s the case, then I know I need to make a final decision about the layout or just start printing in whatever sizes will work, knowing I will figure out a layout with them afterwards. Either way, the list really helps me get back on track and get things accomplished!

How can others get started with it?

Next time you realize you've wasted a chunk of time or you don’t know where to start, then stop and make a list of the next actions you need to take to be productive. You might surprise yourself why you’re actually getting stuck and then it may motivate you to have that list and be able to cross it off when it is complete!

Simple Tip Saturdays are for sharing easy ideas to grab and run.
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January Story Starter Challenge

Over the years I've experimented with many forms of challenges and community sharing here at Simple Scrapper. After running the series of Community Show & Tell events for quite a while, I've decided to shake things up again for 2015.

I knew I wanted to again offer a monthly challenge with prizes, but it was equally important to make this an opportunity to document a meaningful memory. Then, someone on my team mentioned that many readers may not realize that I've been releasing new Story Starter™ storytelling prompts to members every month for the past four years.

The Story Starters are specific story directions for a layout that can be used again and again to uncover the memories that mean the most to you. I release twelve each month surrounding a specific theme. The themes for this year are:

  • January - New Beginnings
  • February - What Kind of Day Has It Been
  • March - You've Got Mail
  • April - In Good Faith
  • May - Leisure Time
  • June - Just the Ticket
  • July - Soundtrack of Life
  • August - Our Shared Stories
  • September - What I'm Reading
  • October - Inside of You
  • November - On the Table
  • December - Love, Me

To celebrate each month's theme and get your brain brewing with new story ideas, I'm pleased to introduce the monthly Story Starter™ Challenge. Each month you will be invited to create a layout on this month's theme and submit it for a chance to win a 3-month membership pass at Simple Scrapper.

January's Story Starter™ Challenge

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: New Beginnings

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 a number of changes happening all at once.
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This layout from Delanie Wood tells the story of the promises she and her husband made to each other on their wedding day.
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This layout from Laurie Danielle a new family tradition of baking together every week.
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Now it's your turn! Upload your layout by 1/30/15.

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Introducing: Start Fresh Anytime

I don't know about you, but this week is the first one of the new year that feels normal. Our holiday decorations have been stored away, everyone is healthy, and we're settling into routines once again.

If you were among the many still transitioning into 2015 last week, you might have missed the Start Fresh event. We spent five lovely (and intensive) days wiping the slate clean and dreaming about what's possible in our scrapbooking - and our lives.

Fortunately, I have good news. It's never too late to begin anew. You can still get a fresh start for 2015!

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Introducing... Start Fresh Anytime, the do-it-yourself, do-it-whenever scrapbook planning e-course. I've taken the best of our annual event and repackaged it into a single download, for a single low price.

This is the first time I'm offering our annual Workbook & Planner outside of the event and without a membership. Plus, along with this essential tool you will receive guided instruction that will reinvigorate your hobby and help you craft a customized plan.

Wouldn't you love to:

  • Find time to scrapbook more easily,
  • Know exactly which project to tackle first, or
  • Easily remember each and every idea?

Click here to check out Start Fresh Anytime.

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How I’m Using the 2015 Start Fresh Workbook & Planner

Yesterday I cleared my desk of lists, water glasses Diet Coke cans, and coloring pages to begin the process of assembling my own 2015 Start Fresh Workbook & Planner. Hole-punch in hand, I set off to turn paper into a tool I will rely on throughout the year.

How I'm Using the Start Fresh Planner

I printed the Standard Edition planner (i.e. 8.5x11) double-sided on this 32 lb. Hammersmith paper. It is buttery smooth with enough heft to withstand a year's worth of use. I then punched holes three pages at a time, just to be careful about it.

How I'm Using the Start Fresh Planner

My annual albums are all from We R Memory Keepers, in the vanilla faux leather. This year I'm planning to scrapbook primarily in 8.5x11 or smaller - and my planner will live along side my layouts and pocket pages.

While I will also be working on (i.e. finishing) other projects, this album will hold my 2015 memories. It is my home base, my scrapbooking hub, for the year. I could think of no better location for these planning pages to live than right here!

The page protectors you see include the nine pocket and full page 8.5x11 options from We R Memory Keepers as well as the new line of 6x8 Handbook page protectors from Studio Calico. I'm excited to experiment with this configuration and see what I can create with it, but you'll hear more about that plan later this month!

How I'm Using the Start Fresh Planner

Inside, the planner includes everything I need to keep track of my scrapbooking projects including four pages of flexible calendaring, listing, and goal setting for each month. (See sample page.) From capturing stories I want to tell to planning the step-by-step of my next photo book, the resource pages will be especially indispensable.

How I'm Using the Start Fresh Planner

I love the physical process of preparing an album for the new year, of sitting down with clear space and starting the year off right. I always know that the little bit of effort I put in now will pay dividends over the next 12 months. Projects will be prioritized. New ideas will be captured. Tasks will be scheduled.

Planning is worth it!

How I'm Using the Start Fresh Planner

I shared a few peeks into my planner last year, but this time around I want to make a public commitment to documenting my progress monthly. You'll get to follow along as I create an album for the year (plus work on other projects) with the support of this tool! Keep me honest, OK?

You can get your copy of the 2015 Workbook & Planner, in four sizes and configurations, when you register for Start Fresh.

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