Andrea Bethke's Blog Posts

Hello everyone! It is Andrea here today and I want to share with you a fabulous mini-album/planner that I made using the Domestic Bliss collection from Simple Stories. I am loving this collection and this project because it really helped me to both get organized and also to stay motivated with all the things that I have to do around the house. It is also a great way to document a huge portion of my life.

I spend most of my life at home. By far! As a disabled person, and with the specific condition that I have, I am constantly stuck inside and in bed. I have limited mobility and am constantly in pain, so it is hard a lot of the time to try and get out of the house. However, despite this, I notice that the majority of my photos are from when I do get out of the house and am dressed up and somewhere fun or special, celebrating something, or going somewhere cool. These days that I often photograph though do not represent most of my life.

And while I do document days at home every so often in things like “week in the life” albums and other “daily” sort of projects, it occurred to me that I don't really have a mini-album that only talks about days at home like this and really focuses on life at home, in bed, doing my daily “work from home” work as well as average around the house things like cleaning, organizing, etc. And this is strange, because this is most of my life. It was nice to rectify this situation by finally making an album that documents this kind of thing. And Domestic Bliss is made to document the “home life” so it makes sense to use it for this.

I really like that this album serves both as a piece of documentation and memory keeping that is a scrapbook mini...but also a planner that can help me stay organized...AND also something to help me stay motivated and inspired! That is the beauty of this collection. I like how Simple Stories scrapbook stuff and Carpe Diem planner stuff in collections like Domestic Bliss, can be used together to make a project like this.

It has been hard to be motivated and inspired lately since this month has consisted mostly of me being stuck inside and in bed and in pain. This kind of thing happens sometimes. And on the really bad days, when I can't even sit up at my “bed desk” and do my work in bed (scrapping, planning, writing, designing, etc), I start to feel quite down on myself. I feel like I am not doing good. I feel like I am falling behind and that I am going slower. And I notice things piling up...especially things like laundry and cleaning up. And so I start to get frustrated and feel disappointed in myself. Even though I know I shouldn't and that I cannot control everything.

I think that I am not the only person that does this. I think a lot of us get down on ourselves, whether or not we have health conditions, with everything on our plates and the high standards to which we hold ourselves. Particularly women. And particularly creative women who do things like scrapbooking and planning. Perhaps this is because we are constantly documenting our lives and in that documentation, we compare what we do to what everyone else is doing and also to the perfect picture of how our lives should be in our mind.

My life is beautiful and I love it and I love the work that I do, but for whatever reason, some days I feel down on what I am not able to do, instead of focusing on all that I do actually do. I like this project because the pics and decorative elements in it all serve to remind me of all the great stuff on those bad days and in the moments when I need a reminder.

I don't want to make myself feel bad about not doing enough or being good enough. I want to not feel this way and I shouldn't because the truth is I do a whole lot! Even if I was a healthy person, I would still be considered to be doing a whole lot by most people's standards. So, frankly, I should be proud that I do so much particularly when I do it despite having a disability. And I do feel proud some days, but I should feel that way everyday.

I should be proud of all I do and how hard I work. I made this album in large part to remind myself that in addition to having to do so many things, I am doing them. I am working on so much and accomplishing so much. And just because things might take me longer than I would really like, this doesn't diminish my accomplishments.

I made this project so that I could plan and document the days at home, doing my “work from home” work and also things like chores and other things to do around the house...but also so that I could have little notes of inspiration in there that would remind me that I am doing great.

This album is filled with inspirational notes that remind me to keep believing and dreaming and that I can do anything! I love this project! And I think it is a great idea for all of us to make something like this so that we can all be reminded of how much we actually do and to be proud of it and to keep moving towards our goals, big and small!

I hope you are inspired by this mini-album/planner hybrid project! And I hope that you are inspired to grab your Sn@p pocket pages, pocket cards, album, some stickers and other embellies, and a Carpe Diem planner set in the Domestic Bliss collection, and create something similar! It is important to document our home and work lives. But more importantly, I think we all need to be reminded sometimes that we are capable and amazing human beings who try our best and there is really nothing more impressive than that!


Howdy friends!  Layle here - it's Thursday & that means day 4 of our week long Simple Stories & Maya Road Product Swap! 

Both design teams have swapped products & teamed up for some great inspiration all week long!

Today creative team member Andrea Bethke joins us with a beautiful 6x8 pocket page SN@P! album with our  Summer Days collection -


Hey everyone! It's Andrea here today and I want to share with you all a really fun mini album that I made using the new Summer Days collection and also a few goodies from Maya Road!  I had a great time using the collection to document an older summer story that I had been meaning to put into an album for a while now. You see, every summertime, I try to go at least once to the beach at Coronado Island in San Diego... My husband and I love it there! However, we don't always get to go. With my health issues, its hard to go. But whenever we do go, we always have a really amazing time! The mini album I made using “Summer Days” and the red SN@P! album, is all about a day on Coronado Island, on the beach, swimming, eating ice-cream, reading, and relaxing in the sunshine on July 8th 2013.  It was a perfect summer day!

I started out my album with a large 6x8 photo page. I love intermixing large photo pages like this in my mini albums – with the pocket pages and the mini-layouts! I think it just makes the album more interesting to look at, with the variety of pages. And some pics I think just need to be showcased in such a way! I chose a pic of me on the beach that day that I thought was cool and I added the sticker word “summer” along the side (from the 12x12 sticker sheet that comes in the collection). This serves as a kind of title and title page for my album. I also added a few other little things to my title page – like a chipboard flower sticker, a few enamel dots, and a couple of decorative paperclips to the top of the page...which I made using regular paperclips, a glue gun, and some of the super cute brads that come in the collection.

Like I said, the album consists of a mix of pocket pages, large photo pages and mini-layouts. For my mini-layouts, I used the pretty 12x12 patterned paper that comes in “Summer Days” and cut it down to 6x8 to fit in my mini. These served as my backgrounds for my layouts. I simply used a small 3x4 photo, and added it to the page with some cute stickers (chipboard and cardstock), and some other embellishments like washi-tape and ephemera pieces, in order to create simple and cute little layouts for my mini album.

Many of the pages in the album are pocket pages. I love the SN@P! pocket pages, they are so great for so many things, but especially for mini albums like this!

It is easy to use the cool cut-apart Element sheets that come in the collection and just cut the pocket page cards out (in 3x4 and 4x6 and 4x4) and then simply slip them into the pockets of the pocket pages. You can just add writing and photos and you are done...or you can add a few other little embellishments and such like I did!

In one of my pocket pages, I made a little shaker pocket where I used sequins along with small ephemera pieces and even a chipboard sunglasses sticker (with the backing still on). All these together make for a fun, interactive pocket page! On other pocket pages, I used other embellishments to add pop to the page, embellies like ephemera pieces, the little word stickers, labels and the cardstock and chipboard icon stickers...which I clustered together to create interest on my pocket pages...specifically for the pockets with pics that I wanted to draw a little more attention to.

In my album, in addition to using the Simple Stories “Summer Days” collection, I also used a few things from Maya Road (as I had mentioned). I had fun using the Maya Road Mason Jar stamp set and dies to create a few little jars for my mini album. I used one of them for one of my pocket pages. I stamped the jar on some white cardstock and then cut it out using my Big-Shot die cutting machine and the little jar dies. I added a strip of patterned paper (cut out with another one of the dies) to make it look like the jar label, and then stapled on a round circle with “Authentic” stamped on it (also cut with one of the dies). This I put on a pocket page with some rainbow patterned paper behind it and a butterfly ephemera piece just floating on top of it (attached only in the middle, with wings sticking up to create an awesome, dimensional look to the page).

Another item I used from Maya Road, that you can see here and there throughout that album is the number paperclips. I used the “Summer Bucket List” 4x6 pocket card and I listed out 5 things that were on my bucket-list that summer – the 5 things that we did on that special summer day that I documented in my mini album.

Here is my list: 1) Go to the Beach, 2) Go Swimming , 3) Hang out with Ryan, 4)Relax, Rest, Chill out, 5) Ice-Cream!!!

And for each item on the list, I used the correlating number from the number paperclips and attached them to a photo that I thought perfectly represented that summer item on the list!

I really hope you enjoyed my Summer mini album and that I have inspired you to make a fun summer mini of your own!!! Summer is a great time to Scrapbook! And I also want to point out, that a lot of the fun techniques and things I showed in this album can be used for your project-life pocket page making, and for your planning as well! Happy Summer everyone!!!


Now for even more fun!!  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and we'll draw one lucky winner next Monday to win both a Summer Days & Cabin Fever collection kit!   

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After you enter, head on over to the Maya Road blog to see what their team has created.  

Want to follow Maya Road and keep up with all of their great projects & products?  Here you go!

Join us again here tomorrow for more inspiring projects!




Hello Everyone! It's Andrea here and today I want to share with you a fun project I did using the Emoji Love collection from Simple Stories! I love this collection! It is so bright and bold and it feels so “of the moment”. It is the perfect collection to use to plan and document your life right now in a cool mini album project. So this month I made a mini album for May called "Love today: my life now" which combines lots of planning goodness with traditional scrapbooking and pocket pages...yay!

I don't know about you, but I am always using emojis in my everyday life now. And so, it felt appropriate to use a scrapbooking collection that has tons of emojis to document my everyday life too! I decided to document my everyday life right now with a combo of memory-planning and memory-keeping, using the planner goodies, Doc-It journal, and a 6x8 mini album with SN@P! Pocket Pages and Emoji Love SN@P! Pack. 

Similar to what I did last month (with my Faith planner to Faith mini album project), I documented my month, May, in my planner and then I moved those calendar pages into a mini album. This time I also decided to do some journaling, list making and note taking in my Doc-It journal too...and then use some info from that to inform my 6x8 mini album. This album is all about documenting my life right now...what is going on, how I am feeling, my plans and activities, etc.

This month was filled with ups and downs. The downs haven't been that bad though, its just that I have mostly just been really, really busy. Which, many of you know, when you are really busy, sometimes things can feel a bit overwhelming. But, when you are busy with something you love doing, then it also feels really good to be constantly working on something that makes you happy! That is how my May has gone! I have been so busy, but I have been so happy too, working on lots of creative projects!

This month marks a new, big creative and business adventure for me, so I am really excited...and also a little bit all the time! I think my emotions have been running the gamut this month and so it made perfect sense to use the Emoji Love collection to document all the different feelings that I am feeling right now!!! The different emoji faces are perfect for this!

One big feeling I have definitely been having this month, is a whole lot of love and heart eyes for my hubby, Ryan, for being so very supportive of me right now! He has really helped me a lot this month to get so much accomplished and it is so nice to know that he believes in me!

I am definitely feeling very creative this month too...with my creative mojo flowing! I have definitely been scrapbooking and planning a lot this month and that is always great!

I love that in addition to all the cute face emojis that are included in the collection, there are also a lot of very explanatory words and phrases that helped me to document all that has been happening this month. The busy-ness is described well I think with phrases like “omg” and “wow” and “deal with it” and “need more sleep”!

In addition to all the busy stuff and creative stuff that I documented this month with Emoji Love, it was fun to document the more relaxed, “playful”, of this month as well with the collection. For example, I thought the collection worked really well with our pics from our trip to go see “Gaurdians of the Galaxy” at the movie theater too!

And since Mother's Day was also this month, of course I included that in my album documenting May too!

Alright, well, I hope you enjoyed this combo of memory-keeping and memory-planning that I did this month with my documentation of the “Now” using the awesome collection, Emoji Love by Simple Stories!

I hope I have inspired you to make a fun mini album of your own, documenting your various emotions and activities and plans for your life at the moment!

Happy Scrapping everyone! Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoo