Connections {October at Simple Scrapper}

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Several years ago I lost my desire to scrapbook and almost gave up on it altogether. I had a wonderful scrap space full of beautiful papers and embellishments, but I just could not seem to create a page.

Luckily, I found Stacy Julian’s Library of Memories class which helped me start recognizing and documenting the connections in my life. I began sorting my photographs into categories where I gathered pictures with similar themes together instead of trying to keep them in some kind of chronological order. I have returned to those older photographs many times over the years to make pages about connections that are important to me.

So when I started working with this month’s Story Starters at Simple Scrapper based on the theme of connections, I knew that I would be once again returning to my photo categories to create my layout. I began my first page with a photo of my older son and his cousin who had just been at our house for a visit from California. Because I had my older pictures filed by category, I was able to quickly find a photo of my son and his cousin when they were young.

I love the resulting layout that I created with one of this month’s Sketch/Templates. I documented the connection these two have had over the years, even though they do not get to see each other very often. And it is so cool to see how they have both grown up!

across the years

I also learned while taking Library of Memories the importance of documenting the connections we have with the places in our lives. My husband, son, and I recently joined our neighborhood volunteer fire department. My son has especially benefited from our connection with this place in that he has learned to be more responsible and mature. With this page, I wanted to record the particular significance this place has in our lives right now.

growing up

So start looking through your photographs to see how you can document the connections in your life. You can scrap about the connections to the people, places, and even things in your life that are meaningful.

Back to School {September at Simple Scrapper}

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Over this past summer, I went back to school (this month’s theme at Simple Scrapper) for the first time in many years. I took an accelerated EMT course at my local community college. It was by far the most difficult course I have ever taken, exceeding even the tortuous economics class I took in MBA school. I put aside most other things in my life (including scrapbooking, photography, and riding) to complete the course. When I was not in class, I was studying. Luckily, my husband took over many of the household duties so that I could concentrate on my studies.

Of course, I had to make my first layout for Simple Scrapper this month about this class. I did manage to snap a few photos with my iPhone, so I used these to document my classroom journey. This sketch/template from this month’s collection was perfect for using the photos I took during class.


Back to school for my family means just sitting down at our dining room table! Homeschooling has been a part of our life for the past eight years. As a homeschool teacher, I rely heavily on our local library for books to supplement our curriculum. So trips to the library are part of our school routine. Just recently we were able to visit the brand new library that just opened up in the town near us. We were all excited to see the new building and check out some books. I snapped a quick photo of my kids in front of the library that day and enlarged it to use on a sketch/template from this month’s collection.


To get even more back-to-school inspiration, check out the Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper.


to the zoo

On the Road {July 2014 at Simple Scrapper}

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This month at Simple Scrapper, we are going On the Road! Traveling is a part of many people’s summer plans, whether it is a long vacation to Disneyworld, a day trip to the lake, or just a great afternoon hanging out at the neighborhood pool.

One of my family’s favorite places to visit is the zoo. We are lucky to have a fantastic zoo about two hours away. I have taken countless photos there over the years. So when I saw this month’s Story Starters, I immediately thought of documenting pictures from those trips. The sketch/template I used was perfect to show off little slices of life at the zoo.

to the zoo

Another memorable trip my family took was to the north woods of Wisconsin. We rented a cute little cabin in a gorgeous part of the state. It was August, but the weather turned out to be cold, chilly, and rainy—not what I had envisioned at all! We were with another family, so we did our best to find fun activities to do in the rain. We played lots of games and went canoeing when the rain let up. It was a fun vacation, just not what I had in mind! Even though I have a whole album for this trip, I made a layout just documenting this aspect of our travel.


Make sure to check out Simple Scrapper this month for more tips on summer scrapbooking!

Time After Time {June 2014 at Simple Scrapper}

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Ah, time! It passes by so quickly. There are so many times I would like to hit the pause button on life and stop the minutes from slipping away. But the clock goes on ticking steadily forward. And that fact is one of the most important reasons that I scrapbook. Through my layouts I can, in a sense, freeze a moment in time.

This month at Simple Scrapper, the theme is Time After Time. What things in life are constant while time whirls by? I created two layouts using this month’s sketch/templates to answer this question.

My daughter began riding when she was five years old. Now at thirteen she is an accomplished eventer. She has been persistent in her riding, especially with her current horse Josie. Josie came to us as a four-year-old with great conformation and a good disposition. However, because she was young and inexperienced, my daughter had to work extra hard for the two of them to become competitive. Her persistence has paid off! Margaux and Josie are a great team now.


Unlike my daughter, I did not start riding until much later in life. Riding itself is a challenge and learning to ride as an adult is a more difficult task. However, I have stuck with riding over the last several years through many challenges. This layout tells my story with horses up to now.


Be sure to check out Simple Scrapper today! You can find information on becoming a member of this fabulous community, get a free guide on how to find more time for scrapbooking, and register for the Focus summer retreat.


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During April in the Inspired Scrapbooking course at Big Picture Classes, Stacy Julian asked, “What inspires you?”

“Hmmmm,” I thought, “what does inspire me? What actually prompts me to sit down and scrapbook?”

As I took a look at several of my latest pages, I realized that I am first and foremost inspired by paper. Yes, paper! Since I was a child, I have loved the look, feel, and touch of paper–all kinds of paper. And now I am able to play with beautiful patterned paper!

So when I sat down to make a page for this month’s challenge, I looked at all of the paper currently sitting on my desk. The papers were from a recent Studio Calico kit. One paper, Now is Now, is not the type of paper that I normally use. I almost pushed it aside, but something inspired me to keep it out in front of me. The colors in the paper reminded me of a photo that I recently took of my daughter. So I printed out the picture and used just a few embellishments to finish off the page.


This layout is truly a result of pure inspiration.



Art + Science {and a Giveaway!}

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Last year I took the first Art + Science workshop at Big Picture Classes. This class is all about finding your scrapping style then working within as well as outside your crafty comfort zone. It was fantastic! Being a primarily left-brained scrapper, I loved getting Jennifer’s challenges which appealed to me because I scrapbook in a similar fashion. I also had a great time with Stacy’s right-brained challenges, even though her scrapping processes are different than mine. I made several pages that I love and learned some new techniques along the way. And now The Art + Science of Scrapbooking is back! Here is the description of the new class: Art + Science

Art + Science of Scrapbooking  16 brain-boosting challenges to strengthen your creative process Taught by Stacy Julian and Jennifer Wilson Class begins 5/15/2014 Cost: $45

Class Description Are you a right-brained person who embraces possibility and spontaneity, thrives on imagination, relies on feelings, and thinks in symbols and images? Are you a left-brained person who practices strategy and order, finds comfort in facts, relies on logic, and thinks in words and language? The answer to both questions is “yes!” In The Art + Science of Scrapbooking, a mind-bending workshop from Stacy Julian and Jennifer Wilson, you’ll learn to harness the creative power of both sides of your brain. In four illuminating weeks, right-brainer Stacy Julian and left-brainer Jennifer Wilson will help you embrace your natural cognitive strengths. But they’ll also challenge themselves, each other, and YOU to find a new sense of balance and power as you explore the other side of your brain. Read rest of description here.

I have one seat to give away to Art + Science. Just leave a comment below indicating if you are a more right-brained or left-brained scrapper (or both!). The giveaway will end on May 14, 2014, at 12 noon Eastern time. Good luck!

You + Me {May at Simple Scrapper}

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Over the years we create relationships with many people—parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, and spouses just to name a few. For me, scrapbooking about my relationships with others has always been fairly easy. Recently, however, I have found myself looking at the relationships between the people in my life. This month’s theme at Simple Scrapper is You + Me, so I used the Story Starters to assist me in creating two layouts about relationships in my life.

My first layout documents the relationship between my older son and my nephew. They live about four hours apart and do not get to see each other very often. When they do get together, however, they spend every minute having fun. I have found it interesting how much they have in common and journaled about their similarities on my page.

two peas in a pod

My second layout reflects on the relationship between my husband and my younger son. My husband has a very different relationship with my son than I do, so I wrote down my feelings about the two of them together.


Make sure to check out the Premium Membership at Simple Scrapper. You will receive story prompts and sketches each month that will inspire you to tell your own stories and make wonderful pages.

Happy {Belated} National Scrapbook Day!

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Yesterday scrapbookers around the world celebrated our very own holiday. There were special events all over the web to inspire you to scrap, shop, and chat about this beloved craft. I spent a good deal of my day in my newly reorganized scrap room creating layouts. At the end of the day, I had five new pages!

The first page was inspired by the Scrapbook Coach class “In the Band” at Masterful Scrapbook Design. I started with three photos in a band across my page and created the rest of my layout from that base. The embellishments are from the March OHDEERME kit from Freckled Fawn (which I used on every layout).

Me & My Horses

The second layout I created was prompted by Stacy Julian’s challenge at the NSD 10K event at Big Picture Classes.  She showed a page that she had created in which she covers the entire canvas with photos, leaving just a couple of blocks for patterned paper and journaling. I had several photos of my youngest son on my desk ready to be scrapped, so I trimmed the pictures down to fit on the page then added my title and embellishments.

All About Wake

My next layout was inspired by Cathy Zielske’s NSD message at Big Picture Classes. She reminded everyone that “comparison is the thief of joy” and encouraged scrapbookers to admire the work of others but to stay true to our own style. So I picked a photo that I loved and made a layout that is truly my style.

fighting fire

At this point in the day I went out for a riding lesson. After I came back in a returned to my scrap desk, I noticed this cute paper with the speech bubbles on it. I also remembered that I had a few photos from a New Year’s Day cookout we attended at our neighbor’s house. All of our kids are teenagers, so that paper reminded me of them and how they text each other constantly.

fun in the cold

And now the last page of the day! At the NSD event at Big Picture Classes, Celine Navarro created a page using 3×4 pocket page cards. Since I have a subscription to the Studio Calico Project Life kit, I now have quite a collection of these cards. I pulled together a few cards that appealed to me along with a cute picture of my cat and created this page.

The Cat By the Hat

I hope you had a great National Scrapbook Day too. I thoroughly enjoyed taking a large chunk of my day and dedicating it solely to scrapping. Maybe I need to have a National Scrapbooking Day every month!