Try Something New | Simple Stories Summer Fresh

I came to a startling conclusion after unpacking my supplies recently: I have a ton of awesome supplies that are not getting used much. Now that I have everything organized again, it’s time to get these things out and start playing!ย So I’m going to start a new series called: Try Something New.

It could be a tool that I’m not using to it’s fullest potential, a new product (like Distress Markers) that I haven’t had time to play with sufficiently or a new color of heat embossing powder, I’m going to take the time to create layouts and projects using these items.

First up:ย Simple Stories.

The Simple Stories lines work with We R Memory Keepers divided page protectors. Cut up the elements and just slip them into the page protector pockets. It’s kind of like the simplicity Project Life but without the pressure of monthly, weekly, daily story telling.

But if you are not using them with the divided page protectors, these papers can be intimidating. All of the elements are size specific and it can be hard to imagine how to use them on a regular layout. I had some photos that would be perfect for theย Summer Fresh collection, but my photo configuration didn’t work with any of the divided page protectors. So, I challenged myself to figure out how to use this collection on a double page 12×12 layout.

My solution? Cut the elements apart. Trust me, it’ll be OK — even if you don’t know which elements you are going to use. When you cut them apart, you can actually see them and move them around your page in progress.

When I started this two page layout, the only thing I knew I wanted to use was the long strip of summer words on the right. So I cut that out and laid it out on my page. As I looked through the rest of the collection, I cut up some of the bingo cards and thought that the 6×8 photo mat would be perfect to hold my title and journaling. On the same page with the photo mat was the cute jar on the green polka dot background. I might never have thought to use that block if I hadn’t already cut it from the sheet.

Other: Prima flowers from my stash, older ribbon from Michaels.


I’ll be the first one to admit that 2-page layouts are not my strong suit. I tend to use sketches anytime I need to do a 2-pager. But this one actually came together pretty easily without the aid of a sketch because I had the page elements to work with. It may not be my favorite page ever, but it was a good exercise to use papers I had been avoiding.


I think this is a dilemma we often face with pattern papers we love. We avoid the paper trimmer until we are sure we know how we’ll use the paper on our layout. If we can’t figure it out, the pretty paper goes into our stash until the perfect photos come along.

I’m learning that it might take years for another set of perfect photos to come along. I might as well cut that paper up and take away it’s power. What if I mess up? I’ll just buy another sheet of the paper (if it’s still available) or I’ll have some excellent scraps to work with!

Do you have a pattern paper in your stash that you’re afraid to cut into? Maybe you should cut it. It will look better on a page than it does in your stash!

Thanks for stopping by today.


  1. Cool double spread. I just picked up some Simple Stories and had the same idea to cut them up. I really can’t wait to play now!

  2. This is a wonderful two-pager! I love how you tucked in a bunch of the bingo cards. Summer Fresh is my favorite collection right now. Thank you for the inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I love this line! Everything they do is pretty awesome.

    Love how you used the bits and pieces to make a great collage with the pictures.

  4. Nice layout. Love how you cut the paper and got so much use out of it!

  5. love your layout! I too have trouble using simple stories – great tips, thanks!!!

  6. Do I have a pattern paper that I am afraid to cut into…..ummm maybe like hundreds if not thousands, lol. Yes I have a lot of paper ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Great layout, I really like those fun bingo cards.

  7. This turned out great Tammy. I like how you used all the different elements. I don’t have a problem cutting up my papers . . . I mean, seriously, I’ve got to use all the neat stuff Robbie buys me so it encourages him to buy me more, right! (grin)

  8. I’m another who finds it hard to make that first cut into my patterned papers! Love that Simple Stories collection!

  9. Cool layout!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday and for the sweet comment! I’m new to this whole blog thing and it made my day!

  10. I love this idea to try something new. I’ve definitely gotten better about using my supplies, but sometimes a piece of really pretty paper comes along that I just can’t cut into. ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you nailed the two pager!

  11. Great idea for a new blog series! I always use a sketch for two-pagers, too. And I’m trying to become braver about cutting into paper and just making it work. Shimelle’s Pretty Paper Party class helped a lot with that one!

  12. this collection looks so fun! i recently bought it but have not played with it yet.

    you really rocked your 2 pager!!! super super job!


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