“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.”
Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees:


“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”
Philip Pullman


“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Why do we fall in love with stories? What makes us want to curl up with a good book, or cozy in with a feel-good movie, or listen to a loved one spin the same yarn for the 99th time? Could it be that our stories are our connection to one another, and even greater than that, to the world around us? I’m not sure the psychology behind it all, but I do know that almost everyone loves great stories. They bring life to our existence and deepen our understanding of one another.

My mom passed away five years ago, and all her stories with her. She was an engaging storyteller, but she was not a memory-keeper. And although she’s been gone for half a decade, I still have so many questions I long to ask her about different stages at her life. How did it feel to be the only female parts department manager? Did she cry when each one of her children left the nest? How did she meet and fall in love with my father? When did she know he was “the one?” Those answers are lost to me, and sometimes it’s almost unbearable to think of that.

So now more than ever, I feel an urgency to record as much as I can for my own children and (future) grandchildren so that once I’m gone, they will have at least some of the pieces of the puzzle that is our family story. For most of my scrapbooking years, my pages have been focused on events. Oh, I’ve made some pages that I loved that really captured the look and feel of a birthday party, or a family vacation, or the mess on Christmas morning. But those pages lack what I’m coming to see as the most important element – our stories. More than design ability, I want to grow in my ability to tell those stories, to record them in the pages of our scrapbooks. This hobby that gives me so much joy is amazing because someday my creations have the potential to bring joy to the people who read them.

One thing I’m doing to grow in this area is learn from others who are a bit further along the path than I am. For starters, I’m going to participate in a FREE two-day live event over at CreativeLive called “Scrap Your Story.” It’ll be taught by one of my scrapbooking heroes, Lain Ehmann, and I know it’s going to be packed full of great content all about this very topic. It runs live during the day on May 19 and 20, with live replays in the afternoons. If you’d like to join me, you can RSVP at http://www.layoutaday.com/creativelive . You won’t be obligated to anything, but you will have access to the entire event if you are able to tune in – for FREE. Plus, Lain is giving away scrappy goodies, like a coupon for Gossamer Blue and a free Groovebook to everyone who RSVPs through her link. I’d love to have you along with me on this journey.

Till next time,





Scraps & Stash May 10

Welcome to another Scraps & Stash Saturday! I have so much to share with you this week, so let’s just dive right in.


I’m a participant in May’s Layout a Day challenge, and the theme for this round is Past Perfect. As it turns out, I’ve been using lots of photos from my childhood, and am completely loving the whole process!

The prompt for Day 4 was to scrap about your relationship with Santa. I also wanted to complete an assignment for BPC’s Stashbusters Anonymous, which was to incorporate your stamp stash into a layout. Here’s how it went:


I found some Christmas themed papers in a bag of papers I won in a raffle. Pulled out four sets of Close to My Heart stamps, and four colors of ink (not shown).



And created “Makin’ a List, Checkin’ it Twice.”

Day 5’s prompt was to scrap about when, as a child, you thought your life would begin. I again wanted to complete an assignment for Stashbusters, which was to use a monochromatic color scheme:


I pulled four patterns from Echo Park’s For the Record line, some blue Thickers, some woodgrain chipboard hearts, and some Pink Paislee letter stickers with blue grid printing.



And created “Life Begins With Mommyhood.”

For Day 6, the prompt was to scrap about misheard lyrics. I didn’t really have any memories associated with that exact prompt, but I did recall a time when I DELIBERATELY sang something wrong. Again, I wanted to complete a Stashbusters assignment, and this layout idea totally lent itself to the technique of using up number stickers.


I pulled out a couple of sheets of Good Day Sunshine papers and a whoooooole lotta letter stickers.


And created “Organ-ized Nuisance.” The blue bar across the top is the actual sequence of numbers for playing “Silent Night” on an organ, and was done by placing down random number stickers, spraying over them, then peeling them back off the paper.

Day 7’s prompt was to scrap about the most wonderful time of the year. No-brainer for me – I’ve actually been singing that song in my head for the past two weeks, knowing that school will be out O-U-T on May 20!


Again, I pulled some Good Day Sunshine paper and scraps, along with some Simple Stories summer-themed stickers.


And created “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy”

Day 8’s prompt was to scrap the soundtrack of your life. For me, it was a LITERAL soundtrack, and I knew I had to scrap it.


I gathered sheets of patterned paper from my raffle stash as well as one of those big honkin’ paper pads from Hobby Lobby, and one piece from a 6×6 Amy Tangerine Ready, Set, Go pad, as well as stickers from Basic Grey’s Clippings line.




And created “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Anyone remember those awesomely awkward reflections photos? Anyone? Bueller?

And Day 9’s prompt was to scrap about school.


I actually had a few school-themed things on hand (imagine that!), and I gathered up papers from Studio Calico’s Yearbook line, along with label stickers from My Mind’s Eye and Simple Stories, and some corrugated goodies from a monthly kit I subscribed to once-upon-a-time.



And created “It’s All Elementary.”

Man, it’s been a fun week! There are so many things I’m loving about this process, but I’ll fill you in on all that once I’ve completed Day 31. For now, I’ve gotta get it in gear to make tonight’s deadline. If you’re participating in LOAD, be sure to let me know – I’d love to see your take on all the prompts. And even if you’re not, you can leave me a comment to say hello (and reminisce with me about all that 1970s weirdness present in these photos). Till next time!



Happy National Scrapbook Day! I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy some scrappy time today, or at least this weekend.

This month’s Scraps & Stash Saturday will be a little different from previous months. I’m taking part in the Layout a Day challenge, and an additional layer to that challenge for me will be to use only items from my stash (although I’ve recently added to it – watch the video for more details about that). I’ll share my daily layouts all here together on Saturdays, along with the supplies selected for each one.

First up: Prompt #1 was to scrap about something “in the news.” I decided to scrap a really funny ad that came out the year I was born. I chose these supplies for the page:


Scraps from October Afternoon, patterned paper from My Mind’s Eye Good Day Sunshine, Studio Calico flair, Thickers, and Basic Grey Clippings stickers.

Mad Men - 1

The layout is titled “Mad Men” about an ad touting sugar’s weight-loss enhancing properties. 😉

Prompt #2 was to scrap about your room growing up.


I again chose Good Day Sunshine patterned paper, Thickers, a Simple Stories journaling card, butterflies die cut from cream-colored cardstock, and a snippet of pink ribbon.

That 70s Room

The layout is called “That 70s Room” about the items you would have found in my room as a child.

Prompt #3 was to scrap about board games from your childhood.


Again, Good Day Sunshine seemed an appropriate choice for the background, along with Simple Stories This & That notebook paper, BoBunny Misc Me journaling paper, Thickers, Pebbles mini alphas, and Studio Calico woodgrain chipboard hearts.

The Games We Played

The layout is titled “The Games We Played,” about playing games with all my brothers and sisters on Sunday afternoons.

I’d love to see what you’ve been up to! Create anything new this NSD? Link me up in the comments! I’ll be sure to drop by and leave some love.

Hello, and welcome to a new Workshop Kit Wednesday featuring Simple Stories’ DIY Boutique collection. I’m back today to show you the remaining two of the “Core 4” layouts created using this kit.

The first layout uses a grid patterned paper background layered on top of solid cardstock and embellished with chipboard stickers, frames, journal boxes, and enamel dots.

Layout 2

Layout 2 Detail 1

The second layout includes bits and layers of patterned paper, with brightly colored accents all around.

Layout 3

Layout 3 Detail 1

Layout 3 Detail 2

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into April’s Workshop Kit. There’s still time to grab one of your own. Just head on over to the Workshop Kits link and add one to your cart. You’ll not only receive all the supplies to create these layouts and more, but you’ll also have full-color, step-by-step instructions to guide you along the way. So what are you waiting for?

Hello again!

Today I’d like to share with you the first of the “Core 4” layouts for this month’s workshop kit using Simple Stories’ DIY Boutique papers and embellishments.

Let me say – this kit is SO MUCH FUN to work with! The bright colors and playful accessories make for can’t-go-wrong scrapping. Check it out:

Double page spread

Double page spread

This double-pager uses the blue card stock as a background for the bright floral print and black and white text patterned papers. A couple of frames, journal cards, chipboard stickers and fussy-cut pieces add the finishing details.

Chipboard stickers, die cut frame and journal card

Chipboard stickers, die cut frame and journal card

Die cut and chipboard embellishments

Die cut and chipboard embellishments

Cutout title and patterned paper pennants

Cutout title and patterned paper pennants

See what I mean? Pure fun! Pick up your kit today and play along with full-color instructions, or put your own spin on things and see what you can come up with! Head on over to the Workshop Kits page today to order yours!

I’m so excited to reveal April’s Workshop Kit! With bright colors and super-fun embellishments, it’s going to be a real treat to create with this kit! P1140765


April Paper Add-on Kit

April Cardstock Add-on



There are even some awesome add-ons to help you stretch your kit this month. Hop on over to the Workshop Kits page to pick up some goodies yourself.

300 x 250

Since January, I’ve been creating kits from my stash each month, then working to “kill” the kit throughout the month. I’ll admit, after doing it for three months, my inspiration tank is a little low. Enter: Stashbusters Anonymous!

I’ve signed up to take this class, which starts very soon, and I can’t wait! Here’s a bit of the class description:

Stashbusters Anonymous
A 12-step program to turn product collectors into productive scrapbookers

If you’re great at collecting scrapbooking supplies but less great at using what you have, join Aly Dosdall’s new 12-step stashbusting program! In four fun-filled weeks, Aly will give you both the inspiration and the incentives you need (weekly prize giveaways) to transform all those products into actual projects—to finally go from potential idea to finished page.

Each week, you’ll get three stashbusting challenges complete with sketches, video tutorials, bonus handouts, free printables, and example layouts from Aly and her hand-picked guest designers.

Are you ready to dig into your brads, use up your buttons, and pull out your paper scraps? Productivity awaits you in Stashbusters Anonymous. (Digital scrapbookers welcome.)

This workshop includes:


  • 12 colorful handouts with step-by-step instructions for each challenge
  • 12 challenge prizes (3 per week!)
  • 12 sketches
  • 12 digital layered templates (for digital scrapbookers)
  • 4 bonus handouts
  • 8 video tutorials
  • 4 printable templates, tags, and titles
  • All-new message board to share your thoughts with your classmates
  • All-new private posting gallery to share your work and view the work of your classmates
  • Class blog
  • Two live chats
  • Email access to Aly
  • Reminder emails when the classroom is updated with new materials


All that for just $40. I’d love have you there! Hop on over to the Big Picture Classes website and sign up today. Hurry – registration closes April 18. See you in class!

February 2014 Workshop Kit

Hello peeps! Just a quick post today to let you know that all remaining February Workshop Kits are on special from now until the end of March. What’s the special? Get this gorgeous kit with full-color instructions for five layouts (one double -page spread and four single pages) all for $18.99. And the best part is – shipping is FREE. Get yours today – there are just a few of these remaining.