FRESH Vision – One Little Word for March

Last year I did a vision board for one of the assignments in Ali Edward’s One Little Word class. It was the first time I had ever really delved into what a vision board was all about. So after reading a little about them and seeing a few other people’s vision boards, I grabbed a stack of magazines and went to work. My vision board from last year looked like this:

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And while I did deliberately choose all of these pictures, the board as a whole did little to inspire me throughout the year. I wasn’t sure why I did not feel inspired until I heard business coach Sue Painter speak about vision boards on Lain Ehmann’s Simple Scrapbooking podcast. She stated that a vision board can help to focus you on the goals and dreams that you want to achieve. By putting photos of the things that you really want in your life in front of you, you keep these ideas in your head and make decisions based on the items on your vision board.

As I look back at my vision board from 2013, I can see only a few photos and ideas that I knew I wanted to achieve that year. I also had many pictures of things that I just liked. I feel that this board was a mishmash of nice pictures that were not really meaningful to me. This board had little relation to the goals I had for my word in my life.

This year I decided to do my vision board differently, keeping in mind the ideas I got from the podcast. I chose just three photos that I felt truly represented my word FRESH. I changed the photos to black-and-white and added just a little purple (the predominant color in my album this year). This vision board speaks to me in a way that my board last year did not.

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Last year my vision board ended up hidden behind a door in my office. This year my vision board will be in a place where I can see it every day!

Back in My Day–March @ Simple Scrapper

Recently I was given a large box of photographs from my dad’s side of the family. There are pictures of my great-grandparents, my grandparents, all of my aunts and uncles and cousins (of which there are a great number), my parents, and my sister and me as we were growing up. There are tiny 2×2 black & white photos from the 1920s, Polaroids from the 1970s, 8×10 family photos, pictures from film taken during the early 1990s, as well as a number of other types of photographs. It is truly amazing to have such a collection of pictures!

For a while, I was not sure what to do with all of these photos. I felt some need to organize, catalog, and document them all, possibly assembling a large album that could be shared with my extended family. However, every time I thought about undertaking such a project, I became overwhelmed. I expressed my misgivings with my sister one day and she gave me some great advice—she said that the photos belonged to me now and I should use them in a way that made me happy. Such great advice (even if she is not a scrapbooker)! I immediately began sorting through the photos and letting the stories come to me.

Since then I have scrapped many of those pictures. I make digital copies of the ones I want to preserve, then (I know this will sound blasphemous to many scrapbookers out there!) I use the original photos RIGHT ON MY PAGE. I know I should use copies, but I just love the look and feel of the original photos on the layout. One of my favorite ways to use these older photos is to scrap a photo of me at a certain age and then pair it with a photo of my children at that same age.

This month at Simple Scrapper, the theme is Back in My Day. I immediately went to my collection of old photos and began looking for one that spoke to me. After a short search, I found a Polaroid of my and my sister when we were about five and seven in our front yard beside a tall snowman. We had recently had a huge snowstorm here, so I had plenty of pictures of my kids playing in the snow. I paired these photos with one of March’s Sketch Templates, and my layout came together quickly.

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The second layout I created for March began with a Story Starter about a change happening in my lifetime. I immediately thought of a recent photo of me and my sister with our children. Whenever we all get together, I am always so surprised by how much they have all grown up. On this page I document how our kids used to like to play with toys and now they prefer texting and going to the mall. Quite a change!

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If you are inspired by these pages and would love to scrap more about your past, take a look at Jennifer Wilson’s current class at Big Picture Classes, Before Your Story. “In this 6-week workshop with Jennifer Wilson of simplescrapper.com, you’ll have all the guidance you need to tell your growing-up story in one gorgeous 12″ x 12″ pocket album. Her class combines the ease of slipping photos and journaling cards into photo sleeves with the brilliance of Stacy Julian’s ‘Library of Memories’ scrapbooking categories.” But hurry, registration ends March 5!

FRESH?

At the beginning of the year, I had great plans for my One Little Word, FRESH. I had planned to eat healthier foods, declutter my house, exercise regularly again, and be outdoors more. I documented all of these ideas in my first assignment for One Little Word.

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However, due to cold wintry weather and a few health issues, my plans went right out the window. Many days I did not feel like cooking, much less planning healthy homemade meals. We started a home improvement project which is causing more clutter than less. I did not have the desire to exercise and I was stuck in the house while during the snow, rain, and extremely cold temperatures.

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When February arrived, I was not looking forward to doing the One Little Word assignment. I knew that my word had not been very visible in my life during January and I felt disappointed. However, I knew that if I did not at least attempt the next assignment, I would feel even less connected to my word. So I went online to found out what this month had in store.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a reflection exercise that allowed me to create cute cards for my album as a place to document the journey with my word last month. I crafted the cards and wrote down my feelings of disappointment about my word in January.

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The next part of February’s assignment was to create intention cards—specific goals I want to meet and actions I want take in the next eleven months.

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As I wrote the January reflection card and the intention cards, I realized that I still have plenty of time to work with my word this year. Also, there were many unplanned events in January that will actually allow me to reach my goals later this year. Even though I did not necessarily eat as FRESH as I wanted, I did have time to read new cookbooks and get ideas on better meals. The house may be a mess right now, but after our project is over, our home will be more FRESH and the decluttering will follow. And because I was indoors much of the past month, I completed several scrapbooking projects and researched FRESH ideas for future pages. As February comes to a close, I am looking forward to next month’s assignment!

The Month of Love

Ahhhh, February–the month of love! Every year this short month rolls around with its pink hearts and chocolate candies so that we can celebrate the ones we love. This month at Simple Scrapper, we are celebrating love of all kinds. The Story Starters from the Premium Membership contain prompts to help you document all the people and things that you love. And, as always, there are great Sketch Templates (also from the Premium Membership) to assist you in creating your page.

When scrapbooking about love, make sure to include those less obvious things–your lovable pets, places you love to visit, your favorite restaurants, even an app! Instagram is an app that has been popular for a while now, but it never appealed to me. However, just recently I started using Instagram and now I love it! I used a Story Starter that prompted me to write about a love that surprised me. This Sketch Template was perfect for showcasing a few of my favorite Instagram pictures.

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The second story starter I chose prompted me to write about when I knew it was love. I enjoyed making this layout so much–documenting those very early days in my relationship with my husband. Even though this story is about a past event, I used a recent photo of my husband–mainly because I really like the picture! But I also wanted to contrast those early feelings of first love with the love that has grown between the two of us over the years, which is reflected in the photo I used.

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So in this month of love, explore all the things around you that hold dear. Your stories can be as fun as documenting why you cannot live without your favorite coffee or as deep as retelling the story of your very first love. And check out all the love at Simple Scrapper!

Saying Goodbye (and Hello) to My One Little Word

Another year has come to an end and with it passes my word for 2013—RENEW. I have been doing Ali Edwards’ One Little Word class for the past three years. The first year I participated, I chose CONQUER as my word. I was a little hesitant to take the class at first because I couldn’t imagine how focusing on one word could make a difference in my life. But it did. By having that word in the back of my mind and for most of the year and actively working with it in class once a month, I believe that I accomplished some things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

The next year my word was FOCUS. I felt as if our family was being distracted by many outside forces and I wanted to use that year to FOCUS on what was truly important to us. I kept my word in mind as I made plans for us and ultimately said no to many extraneous activities.

This past year, my word has been RENEW. I felt stuck in a rut at the end of 2012 and I wanted to find new perspective in many areas of my life. I did make many changes in my attitude toward certain facets in my daily living during the year, so I felt this word helped me reach those goals.

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These cards show the first six areas that I focused on RENEW-ing. Throughout the year I explored ways to bring new energy to these facets of my life.

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These pages were two assignments that came mid-year. The left page is a reflection on how I was relating to my word at that point in time. The right page is nine quotations that I found inspiring and relating to my word. I had such a blast making these little cards!

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I don’t normally do much art journaling, but one of the class assignments was to create a technique-y page with my word. I pulled out some paint and mist and a stencil and just had fun. My result is on the left. The right page is a collage of photos that I had taken through the year that I felt reflected my word. The photo assignments in this class are the most enjoyable to me. Now that the year is coming to and end I say goodbye to RENEW.

And hello to my word for 2014–FRESH. Over the past few years my family and I have been exploring organic eating and living. We have a flock of chickens that gives us fresh eggs. We have had a fairly successful garden the last two years. We shop at Whole Foods and local farmer’s markets. We get our beef from a local farmer. I cook more whole grains and vegetables. My kids are eating more vegetables. I am practicing yoga.

However, despite these efforts, we still spend a good amount of dollars on restaurant food. I have noticed my weight slowly creeping up over the last few months. I can see many ways in which we waste time and money. This year I want to keep focused on the positive changes we have made and see how much more we can delve into fresh, healthy living. I also want to reduce the clutter in our home and be mindful about what enters into our house. I’m excited about these changes and am ready to get started with One Little Word 2014.

Wrapping Up and Looking Ahead

Ahhh, it’s that time again—another year coming to a close and a brand new year on the horizon. It’s a chance to look back at all of the events from the past and plan for the future. And what better way to document the past and future but through lists! I must admit that I love lists. So this month’s Story Starters at Simple Scrapper appealed to me very much. I used two of the Story Starters to wrap up 2013 and look forward to 2014.

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This past year was a time of many firsts for me and my family. I chose a few of the photos that best represented these important events and used them with a full list of what we did in 2013. A list format was the perfect way to document my story on this layout. I was able to include a great deal of information in just a little space on my page. I adapted one of January’s Sketch Templates to include five photos (instead of the original three)—one for each member of my family.

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As a lover of lists, I enjoy writing down my resolutions and goals for the coming year. There is something about actually seeing this information on a piece of paper that makes me feel a little more accountable for putting my resolutions into practice. Creating a page that lists my goals for next year allows me even more to ponder what I want to get done and how to do it. The January pie-chart Sketch Template seemed to reflect the theme of my page—discrete goals that I want to incorporate into my life a as a whole.

These two pages were so refreshing to make. I was able to look back on the memorable events from 2013 as well as look ahead to exciting new adventures coming in 2014. Using the Story Starters and Sketch Templates from Simple Scrapper’s Premium Membership allowed me to pull these layouts together easily.

And speaking of looking ahead, Start Fresh at Simple Scrapper starts on January 8, 2014. This class is a five-day scrapbooking cleanse created to ease you into a new year of memory keeping. Go to the Start Fresh page at Simple Scrapper for more information. Happy New Year!