RIGHT NOW {April at Simple Scrapper}

April at Simple Scrapper is all about Right Now. Sometimes I can become so focused on the past or the future that I forget to enjoy what is happening at this very moment. The Story Starters this month challenged me to celebrate the present and make to most of right now. And the April Sketch Templates helped me create great layouts for my stories.

A few weeks ago I bought two new pairs of skinny jeans from The Gap. As I was trying them on, I chuckled to myself  about how popular skinny jeans were when I was in high school. My friends and I often used safety pins to make our own skinny jeans. Now here I am wearing them again! This story came about from one of April’s Story Starters that prompted me to compare something I am into right now with a past time period. I used one of April’s Sketch Templates to make this page. Even though the sketch was originally for one photo, I easily replaced one of the patterned paper blocks with another photo to accommodate my story.


One of the things that I am deeply involved in right now is homeschooling. I have three children ages 15, 13, and 11, so much of our time is spent reading, writing, and studying. Homeschooling definitely takes a lot of time and energy, but I feel fortunate that I am able to do so. Another one of the Story Starters this month prompted me to reflect on something that I’m doing right now to shape the future. I immediately thought of how through homeschooling I am able to shape the future of my children. After finding three photos fitting my theme, I used another Sketch Template from April to document this story. This sketch was designed for three smaller photos so it I was easily able to complete my page.


What are the things in your life right now that you would like to document?

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.


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!


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!

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.


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.


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!

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.


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.


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!

Looking Back

December is always a time of reflection for me. I look back over the year that is just about to end and marvel at how fast the time has gone. This month at Simple Scrapper, the focus has been on the past–a timely subject for this month. 

In my first layout, I looked to the past, but not very far back. My daughter and I had just recently taken a road trip to Kentucky for her thirteenth birthday. This trip was a first for us–we had never taken a girls-only weekend before. So I wanted to document this event fairly quickly. I chose two photos that best represented our trip and used one of December’s Sketch Templates to create my page.


In my second layout, I went much farther into the past. Back in 2000, my husband and I made a cross-country move from North Carolina to California. We lived in San Jose for two years–it was an incredibly exciting time! I didn’t start scrapbooking until just before we moved back to NC, so I don’t have many pages about the life we led there. Luckily, I found two photos of us in front of our house in CA, so I used a December Sketch Template to pull this page together.



Scrapbooking about the past can be very rewarding. The December Story Starters and Sketch Templates at Simple Scrapper can get you started in the right direction. So check out the site and if you are not already a member, sign up now on the membership page!

November at Simple Scrapper

This month’s Story Starters at Simple Scrapper all have to do with scrapping the Hard Stuff. I am definitely not one to scrap difficult subjects, so this month’s layouts were a stretch for me. I can honestly say that without these Story Starters, I would not have made these pages. Fortunately, I also had the Sketch Templates to work with and I could easily focus on my stories.


This first layout is about how much I miss my sister and her family since they moved away about five years ago. When she and her family lived near me and my family, we got together often. Our kids were all little and we would often go to local parks, playgrounds, and museums together. Now we live about four-and-a-half hours apart, which makes it difficult to visit very often.


In 2002, I lost both of my grandmothers within just a couple of months. Since then I have made layouts about both of them and the impact they have had on my life, but I’ve never scrapped about losing them. Even though this layout was difficult to journal, it came together easily with the help of one of this month’s Sketch Templates.


I scrap almost exclusively in 12×12, therefore I usually convert the letter Sketch Templates into that format to make my layouts. However, this month, I loved this 8.5×11 Sketch Template so much that I stepped outside my box and used this one as is. My youngest son has faced several challenges in his life and has always overcome them. This layout records that wonderful fact about him.

And now that November is here, I am joyfully looking toward the holidays. I am always looking for inspiration for scrapping the holidays, so I will be in Simple Scrappers’ Holiday Storyteller Free E-Course. Sign up now!

At Home with Simple Scrapper

Every month at Simple Scrapper, premium members are treated with five new sketch templates and ten new story starters. This month the story starters explore the theme “At Home.” As a confirmed homebody myself (see layout below), I truly enjoyed reflecting on these inspirational topics. 

Over the 20+ years my husband and I have been married, we have lived in a number of places. I used one of this month’s new sketch templates to document all of these places.

the places


My family and I moved into a new house with lots of land about four years ago so that we could have a place for our growing number of horses. The farm itself is beautiful, but there are several things about the house that still bother me. We have slowly worked on these changing these things, one of them being putting in new countertops in the kitchen. Using another of this month’s sketch templates, I journaled about this change in “To My House.”



In “Homebody,” I wrote about the fact that I love to be at home, using a past sketch template.



To see more of these great sketch templates and story starters, check out Simple Scrapper’s Premium Membership!