Hello fellow creatives! Leah here with you on the blog today. Happy Tuesday and welcome back to the Simple Stories blog for another dose of creative planning fun! I hope you all are having an awesome September so far. It’s been a pretty busy month for me since I last spoke with you. I got a promotion at work! I’ve been undergoing a total life and culture shock in this new job, all changes for the better as far as I’m concerned, but still a significant adjustment to my life. My schedule is way different, my responsibilities and workload are much more challenging than any job I’ve ever had. I bought a cheap daily planner that I’ve been using strictly for work stuff, but I have a lot of personal life things that need planning as well, especially right now. A lot of home priorities, including my creative time, have fallen to the way-side as I continue trying to find a new work/home balance. It doesn’t help that I’ve been in such a planner funk when it comes to organizing my home and personal life. I have been itching to change up my planning system. I am on that infamous, never-ending quest to find planner peace.
I am still in the process of figuring out what will work best for me as a day-to-day life planner, but something I learned at the start of this year is that I really love using a spiral planner. I think it’s the ease of being able to fold the planner around to lay flat when I’m writing that appeals to me. Imagine my excitement when I found out that Simple Stories was going to be releasing spiral planners! I could not WAIT to get the “Beautiful” one in my hands – it was love at first sight. Well that time has come my friends, and it is everything I hoped it would be!
Not only is the planner simply BEAUTIFUL, as the name suggests, but it is extremely sturdy and well-made. Stay tuned to my YouTube Channel – a thorough review is forthcoming because I love this planner so much it needs to be featured in its own video. The biggest highlight of the planner for me is the amazing paper quality (standard 120gsm, like all other Simple Stories planner inserts), which is pretty rare to find in a spiral planner. The monthly and weekly pages are mostly black and white, which I prefer so I can decorate with any colors and supplies I want. The dividers have the same gorgeous muted colors and stunning designs found throughout the rest of the Beautiful collection, giving this planner a very sophisticated and elegant aesthetic. The gold foil accents are like the strawberry on top of my favorite cheesecake…..assuming my new favorite Simple Stories collection was a cheesecake. ;)
I am excited to show you a couple of weekly layouts I created using products from the Beautiful collection in this gorgeous new planner. For both of these layouts, I used mostly the same supplies - from the Beautiful collection: the sticky notes, die cuts, and A5 sticker tablet. I used several washi tapes from my Simple Stories collection as well: two from the Reset Girl collection, the new butterfly washi from the Bliss collection, and the “Dream Big” washi from the Bloom collection.
Here is the first weekly spread:
The Beautiful 6x8 paper pad is full of charming vintage florals that I cannot get enough of. I used one of the pages that had flowers along the bottom, fussy cut the floral edge out to use on the bottom of my planner spread, and then used the leftover paper to punch out little butterflies to scatter around the layout.
Whenever I add paper butterflies to a project, I usually add a small dot/line of adhesive along the body only so that the wings can lift off the page to add dimension. I’ve done this on scrapbooking and mixed media projects a lot, but it’s also a really fun way to add dimension to your planner pages because it doesn’t actually add any extra bulk. The butterflies just lay flat when you close the planner.
Here is the second weekly spread:
Page flags anyone? I used some in their original form, from the sheet of sticky notes and the sticker tablet. However, I often cut square or round stickers, paper, and washi tapes into different sized flag and banner shapes as well, to add variety and interest to my embellishment clusters.
When I finished these layouts, I was in the creative zone and was so inspired by this collection that I had to keep going. I thought to myself, I dress up the front of my ring bound planners all the time, why not dress up the front of my spiral planner too? I decided to turn the intro page into more of a decorative cover page, much like a dashboard. In the center of the page, I layered a doily, a couple of my favorite die cuts, and a tag I cut out of paper scraps from earlier. I fussy cut some more vintage florals from another 6x8 paper and arranged them around the edges of the page, and then added the paper butterflies and a fancy paperclip as a finishing touch.
To make the front pocket feel a little more special, I left the sticker backing on the big “life is beautiful” chipboard sticker and used some repositionable adhesive to stick it onto the pocket, just in case I wanted to remove it later.
I had such a lovely time playing with the Beautiful collection and my new spiral planner. I’ve never been so excited to film a planner review before! What new planner or collection are you the most excited about? There are SO MANY amazing new products to choose from. Be sure to go check out ALL of the new pretty paper planner things over on the Carpe Diem Planners Instagram!