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Use Instagram Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge

October Nerd Nest Challenge

The October Nerd Nest Challenge is to Use Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories are a fun place to share what’s going on real-time, add captions, stickers, or locations, and share everyday things that you don’t necessarily want staying around forever on your Instagram feed. I’ve been seeing an increase in Insta stories from my memory keeping friends, but not a lot of use of those stories in memory keeping projects! You already have the photos and words together, so why not save your stories to your camera roll so you can use them in a quick project?

New to Instagram Stories? Here’s a good How to use Instagram Stories article.

Not on Instagram? Not a fan of Stories? Don’t have a smart phone? Try adding words to photos with other apps, taking screenshots on Snapchat, or mimicking the look with digi or physical products.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 1

Last month, I used Instagram Stories to document my monthly Day in the Life project on September 1st. Instead of taking notes on my phone or trying to make the page soon after I did the documenting, I just jotted descriptions right on my photos in Instagram Stories and saved them to my phone! It made the process much easier.

I did just save some photos to my phone instead of also posting them to my feed (you have the option of saving them before and after posting) and I also noticed after making the page that I missed a few photos I intended on using (I’ll add them on the back of one of these pages).

Doing the project this way did slightly change up my process–I used all portrait orientation photos instead of my usual mix of portrait and landscape and I had to be careful about the different dimensions of Stories: my phone takes photos with an aspect ratio of 3:4 and Stories takes photos with an aspect ratio of 9:16. I had to remind myself to pull back so important parts of the photo wouldn’t get cropped off, since I was actually taking photos with my camera app and just editing them in Stories.

It’s also worth noting that Stories photos will be saved at a lower quality than photos taken with your phone, but my print quality was just fine.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 2

I usually make a double page pocket spread for my Day in the Life pages, but this time I decided I’d rather make a traditional pocket page spread rather than worry about what I wanted to do to make the photos fit into pockets (though I absolutely could have easily mounted these photos onto cards).

I printed them all out at 4 inches tall about built a simple page from there.

I used the black and white September Freckled Fawn kit and white cardstock for this page.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 3

Going on here: The big kids grabbing breakfast before school, Ava going straight to her adoption basket in the morning (this was the day after adoption finalization, and a wonderful local charity gives kids adopted from foster care fun baskets of goodies to make the day special), my Book of the Month picks, Ava watching / singing to Frozen, getting home from school routine, lots more dancing, Jake taking over with my niece after work (I watch her part of the day six days a week now and am generally REALLY ready for a break when he gets home).

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 4

Going on here: Morning Ava routine (potty training stickers + fixing hair–which currently has to be tied to some sort of character), heading out for errands in the van with Ava and baby T plus what we were watching / listening to, a self-timer selfie at the pharmacy, my sister-in-law picking up baby T, dinner (Thai take-out), reading bedtime stories, and last minute packing for the trip to Michigan we went on early the next morning.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 5

Because all of my journaling was already on the photos, the only information I really needed to add was the words “Day in the Life” and the date. I used puffy stickers from the Freckled Fawn kit for the title and Ali Edwards Precision Pen 3 to add the date, using underlining and small dots to ground the words.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 6

I used arrow stickers from the kit to show the progression of time. In pocket pages, I usually go from top to bottom on the left page, then top to bottom on the right if I’m showing the order in which things happened. The arrows helps to tell the viewer what order things are meant to be looked at–across both pages from left to right on the top, then from left to right on the bottom row.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 7

I love the look of the washi added to the bottom of the page and a few embellishments in the bottom right corner to balance out the title.

Use Insta Stories | October Nerd Nest Challenge 8

This was such a quick and easy way to complete this project! From now on, I’ll remember to hit “save” on my Stories photos more often so I have the option of integrating the photos + words into my memory keeping projects.

How will you use Instagram Stories in your memory keeping?

I want to see your take on the challenge! Share a link in the comments or use the hashtag #nerdnestchallenge on social media!

Remember that you can do anything you’d like for this challenge–it doesn’t just have to be scrapbooking! Just insert your documenting area (art journaling, videography, etc.) for the word scrapbooking in the challenge!

Check back on Mondays throughout the month of October for takes from the Nerd Nest Creative Team.

Eliza’s First Chess Tournament Layout | Freckled Fawn September Kit

Eliza's First Chess Tournament | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 1

The black and white September Freckled Fawn kit inspired me to make a layout about Eliza’s first chess tournament last Spring! Sometimes working with a kit can be so motivating–products can be a great jumpstart for ideas.

I found black and white paper in my stash for a background and used the bag from the kit (cut into two pieces) behind my main photo!

Eliza's First Chess Tournament | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 2

I wanted to use the black and white puffy stickers for my title, but it was a little tricky with the busy background and thin letters. It took me a few tries–good thing this alpha is easily to reposition!

Outlining the white alpha in black pen helped a lot, but my white gel pen wasn’t cooperating, so I couldn’t do the same for the black alpha. Instead, I backed it with washi tape and scraps of white paper. I also layered a few vellum stickers under the scraps.

Eliza's First Chess Tournament | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 3

A few embellishments–another vellum sticker, resin camera, and glitter enamel triangle sticker–brought the title all together.

Eliza's First Chess Tournament | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 4

I didn’t embellish other areas of the page quite as much–with all of the busy patterns, the main embellishment cluster belonged with the title. But more glitter enamel triangles kept the focus on the main photo! Another vellum strip and a puffy icon sticker helped to ground the Ali Edwards label sticker I used for journaling.

Eliza's First Chess Tournament | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 5

I alternated more of the label stickers to get in the story of my secondary photos–Eliza playing dominos and making stop motions between games, playing bughouse (which is a fun team chess game), and her cool participation medal. I’m so proud of her for having fun at her first tournament. She was playing with WAY more experienced kids and the timed games stressed her out, but it was still a fantastic day.

Try thinking about black and white things in your life–a game, an outfit, a to-go coffee cup, home decor–that could jumpstart a story for you!

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products. I am an affiliate and receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

7 Tips for Photographing Events | #NNDailyTip

7 Tips for Event Photography | The Nerd Nest

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips about photographing events!

When you go to the same events over and over, your photos can get a little repetitive. You might feel like there's not much to record. When you are at this point, go in thinking about what story you want to tell. What's different about this time? What are your favorite things about the event? (Never mind if you've photographed that before–it will still be different!) What are some details that you missed before? How can you try to show the scope of the event with photos? I probably have five photos of Iron Man (with War Machine in later years) at the Maker Faire, but that's okay! He's always a show stopper. It's awesome to see the kids' reactions shift over the years. And all of these similar photos are in different albums. They make me smile–it doesn't matter if it's similar year to year! #nndailytip

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

What are your favorite tips for photographing events?

Follow me on Instagram to see the tips in real time!

Great Match Layout | Freckled Fawn September Sketch

Great Match | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Sketch | The Nerd Nest 2

I love that Freckled Fawn is doing a monthly sketch now and I wanted to jump in and play with the September sketch!

SeptSketch_IG

The sketch featured a large photo with a smaller supporting photo, so I looked through my folder for a story I wanted to tell that would fit the sketch. I settled on a photo of Jake and I that I loved. We’re wearing matching shirts, which I thought was a silly accident but turned out to be intentional on Jake’s part to annoy his older brother–hah!

Great Match | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Sketch | The Nerd Nest 1

I made a few changes to the sketch. I used a larger square photo: 7×7 instead of 5×7, and changed up the dimensions of the patterned paper a bit based on the size of the scraps that I had.

But the embellishments stayed pretty close to the same! I used lots of elements from the September kit: washi underneath the smaller photo, puffy icon stickers for the heart and star shapes, and the black script puffy alpha for the title. White Vintage Doily Acetate Diecuts were a nice subtle touch against the white cardstock.

Great Match | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Sketch | The Nerd Nest 3

For my journaling, I used a ruler first to add lines, then wrote it down. I like free-handed journaling often, but floating in white space it was more of a design element, so I decided it needed a bit more structure.

Great Match | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Sketch | The Nerd Nest 4

This was a quick and fun layout and I’m so glad to showcase a photo of Jake and I that I love!

Are you playing along with the September sketch?

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products. I am an affiliate and receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Self-Paced 31 Challenges Now Avalible!

31 Challenges Sneak Peek

Miss out on the original run of this year’s 31 Challenges? Don’t worry, there’s a self-paced version of the workshop now avalible!

You’ll start with a few emails to help you get ready, then you’ll get a pocket scrapbooking challenge every day for 31 days after you sign up!

Get inspired and motivated with challenges in photography, journaling, design, making it work, storytelling, and process.

31 Challenges - Self-Paced Pocket Scrapbooking Workshop | The Nerd Nest

Each challenge has an exclusive example project from me, including several tips and tricks to take from each project. There are over 100 bonus tips in all!

31 Challenges - Self-Paced Pocket Scrapbooking Workshop  | The Nerd Nest

Challenges were written with every kind of pocket scrapbooker in mind. Whether you are a physical scrapbooker who sticks to one core kit a year, a kit loving scrapper who layers on the embellishments, a digital scrapper, or an app user, there are suggestions to make every challenge work for you.

31 Challenges - Self-Paced Pocket Scrapbooking Workshop | The Nerd Nest

In addition to an exclusive project from me for each challenge, you’ll find an example from a Nerd Nest Creative Team member! Seeing different takes on the challenges with a variety of methods and styles will help you decide how to fit challenges to your own style.

Here’s a sneak peek of projects from the amazing contributors:

Sneak Peek 31 Challenges | Michelle O | The Nerd Nest

Michelle O

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Anna | The Nerd Nest

Anna

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Jen | The Nerd Nest

Jen

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Emily | The Nerd Nest

Emily Murray

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Laura | The Nerd Nest

Laura

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Melody | The Nerd Nest

Melody

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Kelly Jean | The Nerd Nest

Kelly Jean

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Emily F. | The Nerd Nest

Emily F.

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Lisa | The Nerd Nest

Lisa

31 Challenges Sneak Peek | Priya | The Nerd Nest

Priya


31 Challenges - Self-Paced Pocket Scrapbooking Workshop  | The Nerd Nest

Here’s what students from the original run had to say about the workshop:

“The challenges and the the various creative takes on each challenge really helped me get back in a groove and I have made great progress catching up!!! The small community here has been kind and amazingly supportive. Thank you!!!!”

-Michelle M.

“I’ve very much enjoyed this challenge! I have several more photos selected for the rest of the challenges, these have been terrific! As I mentioned, this is my first time Pocket Scrapping so your tips/tricks were helpful. I plan to finish all the challenges, I just ran out of page protectors, LOL! Thanks”

-Lela

31 Challenges 2017

Ready to join the challenge? Learn more here or join now!

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge

Today Nerd Nest Creative Team member Lisa is here to share her take on this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge Tackle a Mess.

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 1

For as long as I can remember I am have been a hybrid scrapbooker. What is hybrid you ask? Well, for me hybrid is a mix between digital scrapbooking and physical. I often use digital products in my memory keeping but I am not at all a digital scrapbooker. I do however use digital tools a lot. I use Word for journaling and to print out cards for my Project Life spreads. Often, I buy sets of digital elements and make my own cards using the elements. For this you could use Photoshop, but I don´t have that so I use the online tool Pic Monkey for all my digital needs. I can change colors on digital stamps and add elements to cards for example and edit photos, of course.

I am still working on finding the very best way to store my hybrid embellishments. For now I store the bits and pieces that I have printed and cut out in a multi dish. I do hand cut/fussy cut everything since I don’t have a cutting machine. I opted to store them by color just because that is often how I search for things. I also have a binder with page protectors with the stuff I haven´t cut out yet. Often when I get a new digital kit I like to print out my favorites (if not the entire kit) to have as a reminder.

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 2

So, for this month´s challenge to tackle a mess, I chose to show you how I organized my digital kits so that I remember what I have and to actually use them!

First I do have a folder on my computer that I named Digital where I save my kits when I download them. I have one Digital folder for each year. I also have them in sub folders after designers. I have a few favorite digital designers so they each have a folder for easy access.

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 3

When I get a new kit, I print the preview image. On that I see the name and designer of the kit and also a preview of the actual kit.
I then have a binder with all the previews filed under designer. That way, when I am about to start a project and am looking for something, I can easily look through the binder to see what I can use.

For me, out of sight is certainy out of mind, so I really like this system.

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 4

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 5

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 6

Hybrid Organizing with Lisa | Nerd Nest Challenge 7

Here are just a few examples of my hybrid projects! I hope that this will inspire you to organize your digital kits and to try hybrid scrapbooking!

love & peace

Lisa ♥


Thanks so much Lisa!

We’d love to see your take on the challenge! Share a link in the comments or use the hashtag #nerdnestchallenge on social media!

Lisa is a keeper of memories since 1999. She likes to take photos every day and usually post them to Instagram on a daily bases. She is on her 6th consecutive year of documenting her and her family´s life via weekly Project Life spreads.


Solar Eclipse Spread | Freckled Fawn September Kit

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 1

My family of science nerds was so excited about the solar eclipse! We drove an hour and a half in an minitrip to Marshall, MO to a spot our friend Steve found so we would be in the path of totality for the eclipse a little longer–about two minutes and thirty seconds! It was an amazing experience for all of us.

sep_reveal_grande

I was inspired to make a spread about the eclipse by the Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit. The lunar vellum stickers and silver foil epoxy astronomy stickers were perfect!

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 2

I decided to combine a traditional page and a pocket page for this spread so that I could include a large print of my family checking out the eclipse together! (Thanks for the family photo, Steve.)

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 3

I really wanted the photo to stand out, so I just stuck to the photo, a title, and eclipse glasses (which I stapled on) for this page.

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 5

For the title, I cut the lunar vellum sticker so it could frame both sides, framed either side of the words with a moon foil epoxy sticker and added a star in the middle. I used black puffy script stickers for the letters. I made sure to add the epoxy stickers last, as the other items are more repositionable.

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 6

For the pocket page, I included photos of my kids checking in on the eclipse, my baby niece in her stroller, a photo of the corona (also Steve’s), and a screenshot of the app we used, Solar Eclipse Timer to countdown to specific events during the eclipse.

I used a variety of cards from my stash that related to stars, counting down, and journaling cards that fit into my color scheme.

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 7

I kept the embellishing on the pocket page minimal, but included a few things, like a vellum strip to cover up words on a card that weren’t applicable, an older label sticker for journaling, and a puffy star sticker in the corner.

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 8

I also combined a vellum sticker that looked a little like the sun and a cloud epoxy sticker to go with my journaling about the clouds clearing up just in time for totality!

Solar Eclipse | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 4

Fellow Americans, were you able to see a full or partial eclipse? International friends, have you been able to see one in your lifetime? Any other ideas for fun ways to use these celestial icons?

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products. I am an affiliate and receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | Lists 9-19

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest 2

I’m loving the lists for this September’s 30 Days of Lists! Here’s the second batch of my lists so far:

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 9

Newest addition to my home

  • Fall flowers (hydrangea bush, more mums, cone flowers, a hibiscus)
  • September book haul (BOTM, National Hispanic Heritage Month, It, Buffy)

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 10

Ways to disconnect

  • Read
  • Play in nature (walk or hike)
  • Swim
  • Go on a minitrip
  • Find quiet

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 11

How I keep up with the news

  • magazines
  • Vox sentences daily email
  • Following news sources + journalists on Twitter
  • My reps’ email lists
  • Texts with friends

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 12

(I changed this one up a little.)

Ways I encourage the kids

  • Praise / positive language
  • Reminders that some things take time & practice
  • Introducing new things to try
  • Celebrate them!

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 13

Hobbies I started but never kept up

  • latte art (turns out I’m too clumsy to be a barista-but my local shops do a lovely job)
  • bass / garage banding
  • vegetable growing (not enough yard sun)
  • crochet (I still want to learn)

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 14

I can’t stop talking about

  • How amazing Kristin’s cooking is
  • Game of Thrones
  • How chaotic things are right now
  • All of the books
  • Pocket scrapping

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | Lists 15 and 16

Playlist for today

  • Ghostbusters (2016) soundtrack (Ava is obsessed)
  • The Dead South (Jake’s current love- not my favorite- during pizza making)
  • The Sexy Accident (for game night!)

Tasks I’m putting off

  • Cleaning the bottom of the avalanche closet
  • Moving stuff from the 3rd floor
  • recording process videos
  • house repairs

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | Lists 17 and 18

Important women in my life

  • Amy, Kam, and Kristin
  • Jessica
  • Megan
  • Mom
  • Kelly
  • Anne
  • Savannah(s)
  • Beth
  • Krista
  • Eliza
  • Rita
  • Ava
  • NNCT ladies

When I want to quit I

  • Remind myself why I’m doing it in the first place
  • Evaluate if my life would be better without it
  • Check my calendar to make sure it isn’t PMS

30 Days of Lists September 2017 | The Nerd Nest | List 19

Places and people I visited this year

  • Austin (January), saw Jessica & Amy
  • St. Louis (January)
  • San Antonio (April), saw Jessica, Amy, Kristin, & Kam
  • Michigan (June), saw The Awesome Ladies
  • Table Rock (August)
  • Michigan (September), saw Kristin & Jeff

*My List 20 can be found on the 30 Days of Lists private blog!

You can check out how I made my album base here and Lists 1-8 here. Follow along with my lists in real time on Instagram. I’m also guest sharing on the 30 Days of Lists Instagram over the next few days!

I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links support the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Extracurricular Schedule Layout | Freckled Fawn September Kit

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 1

When I opened up the Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit and saw the days of the week wood veneer, I knew exactly what I wanted to make for my first project with the kit: a page about my family’s heavy extracurricular schedule right now! My kids have something going on almost every day of the week (and we have other stuff as part of our routine for the other two days), so I thought a spread showing what we’re doing each day right now would be perfect.

Here’s what’s included in this month’s kit:

sep_reveal_grande

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 2

I decided to make a double page spread so that I could include a series of photos showing each activity across the page. Because I wanted patterned paper backgrounds but don’t have many duplicates, a design where two 12×12 papers were cut in half and divided in the design worked well–I just adhered them to cardstock.

I printed off 3×3 circle photos of the different activities so I could line them up according to the day of the week, then used the veneer to label them.

Using a strip of washi tape from the kit above the center of the page helped add more visual interest and made it so the page wasn’t as neatly divided into two equal halves. Giving more space to the frame paper with journaling, since there is more visual weight on the top, helped to balance the layout!

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 3

I never thought that I’d want to be the kind of family rushing around to do a ton of different extracurriculars, but my kids are REALLY active and it is totally worth it to me to do a bit of chauffeuring so that someone else can wear them out for awhile–hah! For the later-in-the-evening activities, I leave some of the kids home with Jake and get some reading in. Earlier ones are a little tricker, because I have to take everyone (including my baby niece, who I’ve been watching most days). And its so fun to watch them learn!

Mondays are for Eliza’s hip hop, Tuesdays Eliza has robotics after school and Jonas has tap, and Wednesdays Ava has storybook dance.

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 4

I love the black and white theme of the kit, so I kept it going by changing the color of the wood veneer to black. I just rubbed each one onto a black ink pad.

To fit all of the days of the week onto the two page spread, I made sure to stagger them and to rotate some.

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 5

I used black puffy script stickers to point to which frames were explaining what’s going on in the photos. I added the letter that the day of the week starts with, then included what activity / activities are on that day.

A glitter enamel triangle was a great way to show where my regular journaling began. I used a puffy icon sticker to fill one frame and also used them as a “frame” for the page by placing one by the first photo in the series and another by the last.

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 6

Thursday is for Jonas’s soccer practice (I take one of his friends too), Friday is our family game night, Saturday is for soccer games for Jonas and Ava AND modern dance for Eliza, Sunday is for family adventures. Since Friday and Sunday are our days off from sports right now, I wanted to include things that our family often does on these days to capture our full weekly routine.

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 7

Inking around the edge of the photos gave them a little extra pop against the page and helped to hide my irregular hand cutting.

Extracurricular Schedule | Freckled Fawn September 2017 Kit | The Nerd Nest 8

I’m so glad I captured our extracurricular routine right now! It’s a big part of my life currently and it will all switch around again in a few short weeks.

Are you or your kids involved in weekly classes or activities? How do you document your routine?

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products. I am an affiliate and receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Organizing a New Work Space with Mel | Nerd Nest Challenge

M Carruthers - Kallax

Today Nerd Nest Creative Team member Mel is here to share her take on this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge Tackle a Mess.

This month’s challenge, to “Tackle a Mess” came at the perfect time for me. Over the summer, my family and I moved to our new home in Scotland after 12 years living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Of course my scrapbooking materials and Project Life albums came with us, but I opted to airfreight them rather than risk any damage in six weeks of the extreme temperatures in our shipping container. To keep airfreight costs down, I had to consolidate my stash and memorabilia before packing it all into three suitcases. It was 3000 miles, and 8 weeks later when we finally found a new home, before I could unpack.

As I organised and set up my new work space, I found it useful to consider each element in turn – albums, pages, cards, embellishments, memorabilia, tools, and the work space itself. I thought about how I used each element and how much of each I had, before deciding how to organise them.

M Carruthers - Kallax (2)

I chose an IKEA Kallax cube shelf as the centrepiece of my scrapbooking space as I love its versatile, easily accessible storage. By keeping as much as possible on the shelving unit, I have been able to leave my actual desktop uncluttered and free as a workspace. I work from home so I need my desk to be flexible – in the day it is my office, and in my free time it adapts to be my craft area. I can easily move whatever I need for my scrapbooking projects onto my desk when I need to, returning them to their “home” when I need to work again.

My Project Life albums fit perfectly into the Kallax cubes, five 12X12 albums to each square. My albums are colour coded – black for family albums, pink for my life before we became a family, navy for my son’s albums, brown for family history, and white for supplies. The white albums are where I keep my empty pocket pages and page protectors, filed by design type. I prefer to leaf through an album of pages when deciding what to use – it’s not so easy when the pocket pages are all stored in the flat boxes they come in.

M Carruthers - card caddy (5)

For the cards themselves, I ditched the boxes several years ago as I found them a little cumbersome to dig out when stacked. Instead, I was thrilled to find the perfect caddy to keep my cards in (from craft storage company Organize More). I store my favourite eight core kits in this caddy, although this changes from time to time so I can easily switch them out if I want to. As I was unpacking, I made some little tab cards and wrote the names of the core kit on each – I wish I had done this years ago as it makes the perfect card so much easier to find!

M Carruthers - Raskog

The cards that don’t make the “Favourite Eight” in the caddy are stored in my beloved IKEA Raskog trolley. I keep the kits that I use regularly for specific ongoing projects here (my son’s albums, my genealogy album, and anything to do with Christmas and holidays), tabbed for easy identification and access.

M Carruthers - cards

The remainder of my cards are in the pink compartment box on the bottom of the trolley. I’d like to get a second storage caddy eventually so that all my cards can sit on top of the Kallax.

M Carruthers - embellishments

Unlike many of my scrapbooking buddies, I don’t use too many embellishments. I keep stickers and die-cuts in a plastic box in the mid shelf of my trolley, alongside papers and letter stickers. I use a cute little cake stand / coloured pots combo to store the die-cuts that match my “Favourite Eight” core kits. There is also plenty of room in here for my stamps, corner cutter, sequins, ribbons and whatever lovely things I find for my albums.

M Carruthers - stickers

Finally, my memorabilia and photos waiting to be scrapbooked are kept in two boxes in the Kallax shelf. Inside each box are a series of envelopes marked with a month and year. My whole family knows that if they want something to reach the family album, they put it in the right envelope. My little boy fondly calls it “The Mummy Museum”! Before leaving Dubai, I radically reduced the size of the Mummy Museum by scanning as much of my son’s artwork as I could and throwing away the hard copies. Knowing that we had a limit on what we could airfreight home to Scotland was a helpful motivation, as I had struggled with the emotions of throwing originals away before.

I also had a huge declutter of scrapbooking cards and embellishments before I left Dubai, and I am committed to keeping my supplies to a manageable size going forward. My new rule is, if it doesn’t fit in the storage I have, I won’t buy it. Having less to choose from has really helped me to focus more when putting a spread together so I hope to be able to keep to this rule. (Let’s see how long that lasts!)

M Carruthers - card caddy (4)

And that’s it – how I have organised this mess of boxes and jumbled up cards into a system that works for me. It’s all about accessibility and order, with an attempt to contain my collection and not let it get out of control this time. I love the way it has turned out, especially as I work from this room too. It’s pretty but functional, with everything at arm’s reach. I am so excited to be able to scrapbook again, and can already feel the benefits of my newly organised space.

Mel is an organiser and memory-keeper, who is passionate about helping families record their memories and get their photos off their phones! You can find her at www.moreorganised.com, Instagram @more_organised and Facebook.

Mel Carruthers
@more_organised
www.moreorganised.com
10 September 2017