If you are
I started scrapbooking when I was 12 years old, which was over 17 years ago. I discovered the Simple Studio blog 2 years ago whilst browsing on the web. It was love at first site (get it? Lame joke, I know). Anyhow, Simple just spoke to me. Tell your stories, scrap out of order if you want, using only one picture is fine. Things I did already, but would get weird looks for from other scrappers for doing it. I was so heartbroken to hear of its end. Still am.
I borrowed a couple of Simple magazined from a friend when I had just started scrapbooking, and then I was hooked! I really love it and will surely miss it.
My friend Hillary - we both scrapped and both had young active boys and very little time. Thanks Hil, thanks Simple for all the inspiration!
your names came up as the three winners for the prizes set aside in "A Walk Down Memory Lane." (Congratulations!)
If you are
I have learned that you don't have to scrapbook every single photo and I can put them in any order that I want. That was a lifesaver for me.
I've learned that I don't have to scrapbook chronologically, and I can let go of the need to be "caught up." I love the freedom I've found in scrapbooking since I first found SS, through Cathy Z's book. I am going to miss this magazine terribly.
I have learned that it's the STORY that matters the most - not how many embellishments you use, or how awesome the paper is...although I do love those things. But they don't mean anything if you don't write the words. It's just that SIMPLE. :)
your names came up as the three winners for the prizes set aside for "Ten Things I Learned From Simple." (Congratulations to you, too!)
To claim your prize, just click on the "email me" link on the left side of my blog, send me your address and indicate your preference of the three prize options. This is not a guarantee you'll get it, as I'll flip a coin if more than one person requests the same prize : ) You still have lots more chances to win this week! I'll post the giveaway destinations tomorrow and Friday, too!
And to everyone who played along, I have a request. Please go share something you learned from Simple with someone else—introduce someone to scrapbooking, make something for someone else, or just take the time to document something for a future generation. You all have a lot to share, and you can help carry that Simple philosophy on. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts here—you have no idea how much that means to me.
Comments are now closed. I'll post the winners sometime before 4 pm ET today!
So, I didn't get the third contest posted as planned last night. I still have two more prizes to give away, though—so I'll leave the comments open on both the other posts below until 1:00 ET time so you can continue to comment... (or thereabouts, whenever I get the two smallest monkeys to their naps). I'll draw three winners from each post instead of two.
While you're over there commenting, check out the things people have learned from Simple. It's overwhelming, amazing, and important.
Here are the additional prizes:
Prize #3 for the "A Walk Down Memory Lane" post:
Prize #3 for "Ten Things I Learned From Simple" post:
If you've already posted a comment on both entries, you're set! If not, go comment—you may do so on both posts, but only once on each. Thanks for playing!
Winners will be announced later today. While you're waiting, go check out
for more memories, giveaways, and fun!
Comments are now closed. I'll post the winners sometime before 4 pm ET today!
10. I Have a Knack For Finding Jobs That Send Me To Cool Places.
Sweetwater House, Fort Morgan, CO
I've been to Anaheim, Portland, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Valley Forge, Hartford, Oklahoma City, and Fort Morgan, CO for Simple. What might once have been considered a lucky break (traveling all over everywhere on trips for Great Falls High School) has definitely moved into the category of "knack."
9. It Really Is Silly To Be Scared of People You Admire.
I've now had the opportunity to spend time with Stacy Julian at conventions, trade shows, plus work with her directly on assignments for Simple and classes at Big Picture Scrapbooking. And guess what? She is still a creative genius, but she's also just a regular person. Albeit one with much cuter clothes and shoes than me : ) I'm hoping she's forgotten what a blathering idiot I can be under the right circumstances.
8. Mini-Albums Matter.
I made this little 4x4 album for that first feature assignment I wrote back in 2005. Once I had the idea in mind, it only took a few hours to create, but it is priceless. It documents the funny things Maddie said, did, or thought around the time she was three years old; her love for John Lithgow, how she always used to say her grandparents were speaking to her through the grocery store's PA system, her love of Uncle John (her name for the cricket(s)? in our back yard in Colorado), etc. Had I not taken the small amount of time to permanently record this kind of stuff, it would be lost. But I did. And it isn't. It doesn't really matter if you write it in a journal or on a blog or make things out of pretty paper—it only matters that you somehow capture what you don't want to forget.
7. Trends Don't Really Matter, Actually.
Trends are fun, but they don't matter when it comes down to it. If you like maps, tags, ripped up dictionary pages, and Danny O paper, I say use it every chance you get : ) It's the story, the documented thought, or the experience that matters most. That's it.
6. Scrapbooking Is About Connections.
5. And Relationships, Too.
4. And Sometimes, Just About Really Cute Babies.
Bottom line—it's about anything you want it to be. Very simple.
3. Simple Scrapbooking is not just a hobby, but a lifestyle, really.
It helps me to remember that not all moments need to be posed with smiles, and that life is about small details and moments.
2. These People Are Amazing.
This isn't even everyone I worked with during the 4+ years I've been associated with this magazine, either. I've met and worked with some truly amazing people from all over the United States and Canada, and even further in some cases.
1. The Simple Philosophy Will Live On.
This I promise.
How about some more prizes? Leave a comment with one thing you've learned from Simple Scrapbooks over the years and you're entered! Just enter once, and yes, you can still enter on the previous post for those particular prizes.
How about a collection of Little Yellow Tricycle's Zinnia products?
You can enter until tomorrow morning when the comments close and I run the random generator for winners!
Comments are now closed. I'll post the winners sometime before 4 pm ET today!
It's time for a Celebrate Simple Week contest! I have quite a few prizes to give away, so I think I'll break up the prize-giving into three separate posts. I'll use random.org to help pick the winners! And yes, you may enter more than once, but only once on each post.
For my first walk down memory lane today, I thought I'd document how I came to work for Simple. I think it's a good story : ) If you really want to go back in history, you'd find that when I was younger, I decided I wanted to do one of three things when I grew up: be a teacher, work at a magazine, or be a graphic designer. At some point it became clear to me that running Seventeen or equivalent probably wasn't in the cards, and my plans to major in art in college were derailed by an unfortunate incident with my senior art studio teacher, so I happily pursued a degree in education instead.
And then fast forward to 2002, when Maddie was born. I opted to put teaching on hold indefinitely to stay home with her, and eventually discovered more time to tinker around with art and crafting again; photography had always been a constant in my life, but I began to spend more time working on it then, too. On a routine visit to a tiny little stamp store in Cheyenne, I discovered the first issue of Simple Scrapbooks magazine (and immediately sent in my subscription card); I discovered Two Peas in a Bucket from a materials list caption on a layout created by Tara Whitney in one of those first issues. Though I hadn't actually scrapbooked anything yet, I began to absorb every single detail in every single issue—spending a lot of time soaking in everything at Two Peas, too. It was clear: this was the art form for me.
By mid-2004, I decided to enter a contest that Simple was hosting: The Coolest Album Ever contest. Jill and I had taken a wonderful trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and I had been slowly working on creating a scrapbook of the trip. I have Shelby Valadez to thank for my newfound dedication to completing an album in such a fun way; she was hosting a weekly Art Inspiration challenge on Two Peas at the time and I nervously signed up and faithfully completed my weekly inspiration "assignment" during Maddie's naptime. This developing album seemed like a good fit for the contest, which had an entry division for travel.
I won! It was very exciting. As soon as I got off the phone with Stacy Julian, who probably thought I was an absolute blathering idiot, I immediately called Renee to tell her. She doesn't mind that I am sometimes a blathering idiot : )
Right after this extremely exciting event, I got a call from Mark Zoellner, a former editor at the magazine. I had only recently begun submitting pages for publication calls, and he wanted to publish a page I made about Great Falls High School in his column, Write From the Heart. He didn't know yet that I was one of the winners in the contest.
Sorry for the dark scan. I wonder how many times I used maps in pages that appeared in Simple. My guess? A LOT. And, it is not lost on me that my first appearance in a magazine featured my chosen career field. Sniff sniff.
This layout appeared in the March/April 2005 issue, my first publication in the regular magazine. I credit two people for giving me the confidence to pursue my next harebrained scheme, which was to query the magazine to write an article. Mark Zoellner was one; his eloquent encouragement and input really built my confidence. Jill's mom Bunny was the other—her invaluable advice about writing for magazines (and her donation of an old Handbook for Magazine Writing) sealed the deal. After a few more page publications here and there, I finally worked up the nerve to write my query letter to Angie. I was extremely scared of Angie at this point, because she was The Editor. This is kind of funny to me now, because if there is one thing Angie is not, it's scary.
My harebrained query letter was about writing a feature tied ino the movie Big Fish. Understandably, it never got picked up as a feature idea. I tend to have strange, abstract ideas sometimes : ) But, because I submitted this query, I got a chance to be tested for an assignment. I saved the answering machine message from Scary Angie for years, until Bridget slipped away a few months ago into my bedroom and started pushing buttons on the answering machine, erasing it and a number of other precious messages in one fell, irretrievable swoop. But I will always remember how excited I was to get that assignment! It was a Simple Schemes column, and I got to choose two people to work with, a rare but fun opportunity. I chose Renee and Susie. It was also not lost on me that my dear friend Renee appeared in both my first and last column for Simple. (In fact, this moved me to tears more than once this month). Or, that for two years, I had the privilege of writing Mark's column, Write From the Heart. Or, that I actually fulfilled my childhood dream of working for a magazine. One with a graphic design twist.
If you made it through the end of this long story that ended up probably being most interesting to me, congratulations! For the first drawing, leave a comment about how you came to find Simple. It does not have to be a book. (Scary Angie—I mean Not-Scary Angie—is rolling her eyes right now, because she knows how I love to write a book. Word count, word count, word count....) I'll draw winners tomorrow for each of the three contests today. I'll close comments for each of the three contests tomorrow morning, so feel free to enter until it won't let you post!
The first two prizes (two winners will be chosen):
The March/April 2006 issue, where my first full-length feature appeared—a "sequel" to the Scrapbook Inspiration special issue. This was always one of my favorite topics, and I am developing a Big Picture Scrapbooking class this year along the same lines! Also, a copy of a more current special issue—Quick and Easy Photo Albums—and a very cool little black photo album that would be perfect for a photo album scrapbook of your own.
Four blank mini-albums ready to be turned into something wonderful!
I'll ask the two winners if they have a preference between prizes; if it's the same prize, we'll just flip a coin. Thanks for playing, and be sure to check out
for giveaways too! And don't forget to check back here for two more contests today.
It's here: the moment we've all not been waiting for... the end of Simple Scrapbooks magazine. The final special issue (Photo Play) and final regular issue (May/June 2009) are both on sale now, and after that—well, that's it. It's been a long and wonderful run for my beloved magazine. In true Simple Scrapbooks fashion, however, we're going to go out with a bang! A big old sentimental, bittersweet bang, maybe, but a bang all the same : )
All this week you'll be able to find prizes, memories, and general fun on the internet—all you have to do is follow the directions of where to click next! I'll be giving away prizes tomorrow (and I'll tell you where to find the rest of the contests, plus share some of my own favorite Simple memories) so check back soon. There will be good prizes all week long, all over the internet—the grand prizes are worth waiting for, too!
Long live Simple!
Bridget was invited to play Big Girl Games this past weekend by her sisters, and it was both wonderful and sad for the mama to see her baby run off to join them. When she isn't learning her upcoming job of Chief Stereotype Fulfiller for Two Year Olds Everywhere, she is the most agreeable, happy-go-lucky kid I know; she took her invitation to play very seriously.
Gracie has changed in so many ways in the time lapse of these photos, yet she is exactly the same child she's always been. She alternately challenges and rewards us with her growth, and teaches us every day that the world is not a linear place—and would be pretty boring if it was.
Before we took off for lands west over Maddie's spring break I took the big girls on a little field trip to the National Building Museum. We went during Bridget's nap, which causes a small amount of guilt for me, but let's face it—sometimes it's just easier to do things without her. (You're a third child, Bee—you'll be able to get away with all sorts of stuff that will make sneaky museum trips pale in comparison!) It's a place I've wanted to check out for a while, though I've been warned repeatedly that too many people there at once can spoil the fun. Good tip: a fantastic day to visit the Building Museum = the sunny, peak Sunday of the Cherry Blossom Festival, because only %.000000000009 of the population of metro DC will be at the Museum, and 800 gazillion trillion people will be fighting their way around the Tidal Basin instead. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.
It's very, very cool inside—breathtaking, actually, because everything is so big.
Our first stop: the Building Zone, which is a hands-on play area. We spent most of our time with the giant Legos building towers bigger than ourselves. Again, not sure what Gracie was doing in this photo, but she has a kind of WWII propaganda poster feel going on here, no?
Our next stop was to rent a building kit and spread out on the floor of the grand hall to do some building activities. We rented the ages 3-7 kit, which was just right for Gracie but a little on the easy side for Maddie. Still, we had lots of fun running around making rubbings, spotting patterns, and building towers with miniature bricks. From there we checked out a few exhibit rooms—sadly, the exhibit about what towns throughout the country are doing to make themselves as green as possible got a "boring" rating from all three of us (give me bricks! blueprints! photos of old buildings!) so we moved on. We found another exhibit room that had what we were looking for—a few hundred miniature bricks and lots of architectural photography. Maddie spent her time learning the differences between Flemish and American bonds and the like, while Gracie created a huge single-layer pattern with her set. We didn't have to share with anyone so we spent a good long time doing that.
Before we left we hit the museum gift shop, which was truly a shop to behold. I think Maddie mentally spent approximately $3000—she had so much fun gawking at all the cool building toys and books and gadgets that we might make lunch downtown and a gift certificate to the museum shop her birthday gift next month. She has inherited my love of museum gift shops : )