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Start your Story, and overcome the overwhelm

It’s time!  Start your Story.  Your story is important.

Are you overwhelmed with thousands of photos on your phone?

Would you like to do something with them, but don’t know where to start?

I hear you.  You’re passionate about your memories, that’s why you’re taking so many photos.  But the more photos you take, the worse the overwhelm becomes right?!  Every day that ‘job’ gets bigger and bigger, and now it’s feeling pretty insurmountable.

I mean – what’s the answer?  You love your family/pets/travels/life – so of course you’re taking photos.  Everyday.  Everyday the storage capacity on your phone shrinks a little, as you add another photo or ten.

Now what do you do?

What felt huge with a few hundred photos, now is a total overwhelm with thousands.

Let me help you overcome the overwhelm.

Does anyone else feel like that?  I’m a scrapbooker, so I shouldn’t feel like that, I should be on top of things.  Right?!  Wrong!  I think as a scrapbooker I take even more photos than you do.  I know how much my albums and those memories are worth, and I don’t want to miss saving any of it.  So I’ve got a lot to save!

I’m probably better off AND worse off than you.  I’ve done some albums.  Lots actually.  I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved.  My family love their albums.  I love seeing them love them.  I love how the instant an album is taken off a bookcase, it draws everyone in.  As we turn the pages, those memories come flooding back.  Everyone’s pointing and laughing.  My albums connect people.  Those moments are so precious, just like those memories.

So I don’t want to miss any of it.  That means I take a lot of photos, and although I’ve done a lot of albums, I know I still have so many precious memories to preserve.  I get the overwhelm.

But, I do know where to start.  I know how to keep going.  And I hope there’s no end.  Because there’s so much joy in the journey.

But how do YOU start?

How does something small sound?  I mean, really small?  Like – you could do this in an hour or two.  A whole album.  A whole little album!

Let me introduce you to Story Starter by Stacy Julian.  It’s part of Stacy Julian’s product line ‘Story by Stacy’, and her new partnership with Close To My Heart.  If you haven’t heard of Stacy before, check her out HERE.  She’s kinda famous in the scrapbooking world.

I met Stacy in March this year at CTMH’s Australasian convention.  Stacy was launching the Story Starter line there.  She is a very funny, serious, real, and engaging speaker.  At some stage during her presentation, there was a lot of us crying  Some of it was tears of laughter, at other stages, other tears, as precious memories were retrieved from our ‘memory attics’.

It all seemed so innocent in the beginning.  I mean, the album is just so stinkin’ cute!

Start your Story with Story Starter albums
Story Starter albums

And expertly made.  It’s bright and beautiful.  It’s everything you could want in an album.  But in the beginning I sat there, and thought, I have no use for this.  I do 12×12 albums.  Big ones.  Real ones.  Real life, on real pages.  What need could I possibly have for little pages like this.

But Stacy knows better.

When you purchase the album, you don’t just get an album.  It’s called Story Starter for a reason.  There’s a workbook that comes with the album.  Just like in a class, Stacy took us through the workbook.  She taught us to retrieve memories from places that were pretty dusty.  Important memories.  Instead of starting with photos, we started with memories.  This really is the premise in this programme.  Start with the memories, then find the photos to match.

It would be easy to underestimate how powerful this is.

But I sat there, moving from “this is a waste of my time”, to “ok, I’ll do an album on XXXX”, to “I’m going to do an album on xxx”.  I’ll save you the process, but as I sat there, I realised all sorts of possibilities.  Celebrating friendships.  Celebrating love.  Remembering.  Sometimes creating an album is not even so much about the end goal, but it’s about the process.

Through Stacy’s process, I realised I had never preserved any memories of my grandfather.  Yet he was a a man whose influence so greatly shaped who I am.  I have so many incredible memories of him, but very few photos.  How could someone who meant so much to me, NOT be in my albums?

Now I’m a believer.  I see how these beautiful little albums can be an amazing place to help you begin.  Whether it’s with a project that is deep and meaningful like the one with my grandfather, or something that’s just fun, the Story Starter is a great way for you to start.

The album KIT comes with everything you need to begin.

It has a workbook to help jog your memory, and take you through the process of sharing your story.  If you want to get crafty, there are cute stamps that can help embellish your pages.  But you don’t NEED that.  All you need is the album kit, and a pen.

The pages fit 4×4″ photos.  Some might think this is an odd size.   But it’s actually really clever.  A traditionally printed photo is 4×6″.  Generally, whether this photo is landscape or portrait orientation, it can be cropped easily to 4×4.  All it needs is 2″ taken off one edge.  So if you’ve already printed your photos (well done!!), you’ll find cropping them to fit in this album really easy.  If you don’t have a photo trimmer, I recommend this little one.  It’s all you need for this project.

If you haven’t already printed your photos, you could get them printed as a 4×4″ size.  If you do this, you’ll have the option of ‘cropping’ them on your screen.  Then you don’t even need the photo trimmer.  You’ll just slide your photos straight into the albums sleeves.  Note: when I do this, I like to choose a white border when I print them.  It’s totally personal taste, but I think they look so smart like that.

You’ll need a nice pen to write with.  Preferably archival.  (Here’s one)  Yes, you’ll be writing.  Photos only tell some of the story, and only to those who know about them.  You want others to know about the story, so you need to write it.  Anyway you like.  Write a ‘story’, or use bullet points, however you like.  There’s no rules!

I’ve now completed three of these beautiful little albums.  One was for a friend going through a tough time.  I wanted her to know how much I value her, and our friendship.  It felt so good making it, and I know it’s treasured.   Can you imagine how you could impact your special friends and family by creating an album like this?  Believe me, having something tangible like this is worth so much more than words thrown around.  Sometimes we don’t even take the time to say the words.  I don’t think there’s anything that gives so much impact as writing down your feelings and sharing them.

I’d love to share my friend’s album with you, but I gave it to her before I thought about writing this post.  But I can share that I used the workbook to gather my memories, and the words, to be able to write my story.

Aside from all the benefits of these albums, there’s a few features that I’m also in love with.  First off, this album is small and light.  That means you can pop it in your handbag, and leave it there, ready to whip out and share at a moments notice.  I mean, sharing your story is what it’s all about.

It’s size also means it’s really easy and economical to post.  So if you need to send one overseas, it’s not going to break the bank.

Thirdly, these albums are beautifully made.  Their robust.  They’re going to last.  They’re quality.

The first album I made wasn’t one of great meaning at all.   It travels in my handbag, and I share it a lot!  Want to see it?  Watch the video below.


So now it’s your turn.  I would really encourage you to purchase a Story Starter kit, go through the workbook, and create your first album.

It’s a little wee project.

It won’t take much time, and you’ll have Stacy guiding you through it all the way.  (I’m here to help too!)

You’ll complete the project.  (how good does that sound?!)

You’ll share the project.

You’ll receive accolades.  People will love it.

Guess what?  You’ve started!

The first step to conquering the overwhelm is to start.  Start your Story.  It’s important.

PS.  I’d love you to share it with me too!


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