New Workshop: Before Your Story at Big Picture Classes

by | Announcements | 12 comments

Since late summer I’ve been sharing select photos on Instagram as I told 30 years of my own story in one album (#beforeyourstory). This also represented a behind-the-scenes look as I developed a new workshop for Big Picture Classes.

Before Your Story workshop with Jennifer Wilson at Big Picture Classes. Begins February 27, 2014.

Last year I had the honor of teaching The Art + Science of Scrapbooking with Stacy Julian and now I’m back for a new solo workshop with Before Your Story. Class begins February 27, 2014.

Before Your Story offers a simple approach to autobiographical scrapbooking, from birth to adulthood. In one 12×12 album that combines pocket pages and layouts (or your own customized configuration), you’ll tell dozens of stories from your younger years in just six weeks.

Before Your Story workshop with Jennifer Wilson at Big Picture Classes. Begins February 27, 2014.

The following video sums up my motivation for taking the time to create this album. While it does cover more than three decades of my life, the approach I share in the workshop keeps it simple and fun.

I’ve already received many questions about the workshop format and content, so I’ve prepared this Q&A below. Feel free to ask further questions in the comments as I’m happy to help!

Frequent Questions

What time period does the album cover?
Many scrapbookers discover this hobby when they get married or have their first child – and immediately feel behind. My album covers my birth to my daughter’s, but yours can span the time period that makes the most sense to you. Consider what span of years will help you feel most satisfied.

Are there prompts to jog my memory?
Yes! In the workshop I provide many worksheets to guide your thinking and planning within a unique storytelling structure. During the first week of class I share 60 story starter questions to support your brainstorming and include many examples of my own journaling during each week of the class.

I have hundreds of photos print, do I need to scan them all?
Not at all. This workshop is not focused on scanning and archiving, though it may perk your interest in taking that on later. Once you complete the pre-classroom handout, I recommend rapidly browsing your photo prints with sticky notes in hand. Flag the images that stand out in your mind most and only scan those.

I don’t have many photos from my childhood. Can I complete the album?
Yes, definitely! This has been the #1 question I’ve received; so if this is your concern, you’re not alone. In our class discussions I’ll be sharing many ways to make it work, including focusing on the journaling and approaches for selecting surrogate images. Don’t let lack of photos deter your enrollment if telling these stories is important to you.

Can I participate if I do/don’t ____________?
Can I work from my stash? What if I’m a digital scrapbooker? Do I have to use pocket pages? The second most common set of questions surrounds your uniqueness as a scrapbooker. Everyone has different tastes, budgets, and interests. The core of this workshop is a highly-flexible approach for telling multiple decades of stories in one album easily. In the first week of class I share a video with many variations on my format and I’m excited to help each student customize my storytelling approach to their own format preferences.

What is the pace of the workshop?
Like many of you, I have trouble keeping up with workshops after the first week or two. I have kept this in mind and created a workshop that is more intensive in the first two weeks, when your enthusiasm is highest. Then you have a generous four more weeks with me to complete the album. I’ll also be sharing weekly audio messages to help you stay engaged.

How do I register?
Simply go to and you’ll be directed to the registration page at Big Picture Classes. Class begins February 27, 2014 and there is currently an introductory price available.


Did you find this post helpful?

We believe simple is not how your page looks, but how your scrapbooking hobby works. We have a free workshop called SPARKED and it is the best way to learn more about Simple Scrapper and start creating consistently.


  1. Sonja Gortzak

    I signed up this week and am very excited about it. I have been thinking about how to incorporate more of my pre-scrapbooking life into my 12×12’s and also what to do about my baby and childhood album where thw pictures are falling off the pages. Whenthis came around I was immediately interested but I didn’t think I could afford it but luckily I was wrong. Great price for sucha workshop.
    I just checked out the shopping list but couldn’t fins the digi Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste kit. I saw many other kits but none with the Cut & Paste name. Am I looking right or might it have another name.

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Oh hmm, it looks like it hasn’t been released yet. I do apologize for the confusion. Kits with similar color palettes include:

      Amy Tangerine
      Amy Tangerine Ready, Set, Go
      Amy Tangerine Yes, Please
      Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm
      Crate Paper Storyteller

  2. Sonja Gortzak

    Ok, thanks! I’ll keep checking back. Or have one if the other ones. They all look pretty good.

  3. Keely

    Oh Jennifer, this class sounds wonderful!!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Thanks Keely!

  4. April

    Hey, Jennifer! I’m wanting to take this class and the QA above discusses photos; but does it have questions/memory triggers included to help those of us with pulling memories from our subconscious our childhood/youth? I have a REALLY bad memory and I’ve scrapbooked some of my childhood, but I’d love more. I know there’s more . . . thanks!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Yes April, see question #2 above. There are 60 “story starter” questions included, divided by five common time periods in life.

  5. April

    doh, I see that now. I must have been looking too fast and just skimmed. Sorry for making you have to answer that!

    • Jennifer Wilson

      No worries April, happy to help!

  6. Cheri Stine

    Hi Jennifer, I’m so excited about your upcoming class at BPC. I’ve gotten into a terrible habit of signing up for BPC classes and then not following through with them, but this is one that I am committed to doing in “real time”. i keep reading about the pre-class assignment but can’t seem to find it. i did log onto the pre-class area on BPC and saw the timeline worksheet, syllabus and pre-class handout. What am I missing? thanks so much

    • Jennifer Wilson

      Completing the timeline worksheet is your pre-class assignment!

      • Cheri Stine

        Thanks, Jennifer. I’m working on that now. I’m determined to “keep pace” with this class. My next to do before the actual class begins is to locate the photos from my growing up years. The treasure hunt begins. . .



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