Review: Simple Stories by MemoryWorks

MemoryWorks is a rapidly growing direct sales scrapbook company that I first learned of a few weeks ago. They sell many top brands. I was impressed by the lines they sell – many of the trendiest items on the market today are in their catalog. Simple Stories is new for them, a product line designed by MemoryWorks with the intent to simplify scrapbooking and take it back to its roots. The debut kit “Life Documented” is now available.

I was intrigued by the premise of this kit the moment I opened the box. I have noticed a rise in the trend of using page protectors that are divided into various sizes, not to mention a movement toward encouraging scrapbookers to do their own (guilt free!) crafting. I think that is a great thing. I can simply stick photos from a vacation into 4×6 divided sleeves and add them into my album – less work, faster results! This isn’t a new idea, because these kinds of page protectors have been around a long time. However, it’s great to see it rising in popularity again, and I like that MemoryWorks is focusing a product line on simple, fast to put together scrapbooking.

They sell the bundle of 10 page protectors shown above for $5.50, as well as a variety of other page protector options. The Life Documented kit of supplies is priced at $16.99, and includes a variety of 4×6 journaling cards, as well as larger pieces and strips to go in the various sized dividers. It also contains patterned paper, a sheet of stickers, and six photo overlays. Note that all of the pieces (with exception of stickers and overlays) are provided as part of 12×12 sheets and you will need to cut them apart. This is actually nice – you can further customize or decide what and how you’re going to use the products.

The price seems fair market value for what you get, but not a value price point in my mind. The paper is a good thick quality, and the patterns are really pretty. Now, for me the patterns and styles do not match up with my idea of ‘quick and easy scrapping’. They are bold, some I would consider complicated to work with, and with all the pink accents and flourishes it’s a touch more feminine than I’d like in a ‘life documented’ kit (even as a mom of two girls). Ultimately, this isn’t a problem for me. I do really like the product and (as I would any kit) I knew I would find ways to utilize it in my own way.

I did have one issue with the stickers not being sticky and falling off my projects, but I’m told that this was due to the product I received being an advanced sample. [Editor’s note: I played with the stickers from a second kit that I have and the adhesive seemed fine in that kit.]

It’s a really fun kit – especially if you’re into the grungy and distressed look. It includes an idea sheet and on the MemoryWorks blog there are also free digital (PDF file) downloads that compliment this kit.  I tried several times, but was not inspired to create using the divided protectors. I will be keeping this product in mind when I do try my hand again at that style of scrapbooking. I think I just don’t have the right photos to pair with the product in the divided protectors without converting images to black and white. Since I don’t use black & white photos usually, I’ll instead be sharing traditional layouts made from the kit. (Do be sure to watch for a future article with divided page protectors though!)

Here is the first layout I created with the kit. I added in some Basic Grey brads as well as a Prima Flower and three buttons to complete a “fast & easy” page. I put my focus into “get the story told, do it quickly” as the product line is intended to be used. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the product all comes together.

Next I tried something a bit different. I pulled out some cardstock of my own and scrapbooked a candid shot of my daughters.

(additional supplies used: Prism cardstock; Prima flower; Martha Stewart Punch; unknown thread and buttons)

I would strongly recommend this kit to anyone that enjoys the distressed look and likes to work with coordinated kits of supplies. As someone who doesn’t often use whole sheets of patterned paper I appreciated all the bits and pieces I could pull off and utilize. I will be watching for future product from this line, as I’m both impressed with the designs and loving the inspiration behind it.

If you’re looking for product that you can use with divided page protectors, this would be a big winner for that as well. In fact, MemoryWorks has provided Scrapbook Update with a kit (and set of the page protectors as pictured in this article) to give away to one lucky reader.

How to Enter:

All you have to do to be one of the lucky winners is leave a comment on this entry before Midnight U.S. eastern time on Monday, May 31st. Make sure you include your email address in the line reserved for it on the comment form (for your own protection, don’t put it in the text of the comment, where it will be visible to the public – just in the line labeled “email” in the form where only Scrapbook Update staff can see it). We will need it to notify you if you are a winner. Winners will be drawn by random drawing from all eligible entries. One entry per person.

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162 Responses to Review: Simple Stories by MemoryWorks

  1. Lynn M May 27, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    I love the kit; thanks for the review & thechance to win. I’m using the divided page protectors more and more. It’s so easy to add more pictures without thinking.

  2. Cheryl T May 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    I love those page protectors…awesome. Thanks so much for the chance to win. I really like those podcasts with paperclipping. Keep up the great work!

  3. Beth Sutton May 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    I’m always interested in seeing new product! I’d love to check this out.

  4. Rene May 27, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Those look like fun to play with something new, enter me!!

  5. Jenny McGee May 27, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    I have heard of the Memory Works Life Documented kit. It looks kind of cool. I have not used the divided page protectors. But I am willing to try anything, at least once if not more. Thanks for a chance to win.

  6. Luisa May 27, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Love MW Simple Stories… The color combination is awesome and suit lot of events and moods. Documenting our life could not be easier…
    Thanks for the chance to win this awesome kit.

  7. nitasha May 27, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    I really like this collection! The colors are fabulous as well as the design. And it would be perfect for finally completing my “Week in the Life” album or even for working on a Project 12 or 365! I love the look of divided page protectors but have never wanted to spend the time trying to trim my patterned paper to the correct size, but this makes it so easy! Would love to give it a try! Thanks for the review!

  8. Renee May 27, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Love the idea of this.
    Thanks for a chance to win!

  9. Robin M May 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    the paper is pretty. I understand your frustration about using the page protectors. It’s hard to be hemmed in like that when you just want to create.

  10. AmberK May 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Neat product. Love the idea of the divided page protectors, just haven’t gotten around to trying it for myself.

  11. Mary Schmidt May 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Looks interesting! I will have to investigate into it further. I would love to win to try it.

  12. Joan Schonrock May 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Enjoyed this video! I have just started inter-mingling the plastic photo sheets with my regular scrapbook pages for family events that have several photos, but don’t need as many pages or embellishments as separate pages would require. I appreciate the chance to win a product.

  13. JillT May 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    thanks for this chance; I’ve been oogling this kit for some time

  14. Sue May 27, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    Looks like a great kit, I would love to win!

  15. Renee T. (italgal on BPS) May 27, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    The 31st being my birthday, I’m hoping it will bring me the good luck to win this kit. I love it!

  16. Mellany Carver May 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Pick me . . . I love the idea and would love a chance to play with these products.

  17. Tambur May 27, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Thanks so much for putting Memory Works on my map.

    Cool products.


  18. Lisa May 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    love this kit. will definitely have to check this company out!

  19. amy May 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    I could so use this kit! Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. Kathy May 27, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    I’m really warming up to the idea of divided page protectors, and I absolutely love the style and feel of the “life documented” paper. I’ll be checking them out.

  21. Kelly Lyons May 27, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    I like the looks of this kit.. very cute!

  22. lynnfrompgh May 27, 2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Thanks so much for this chance; I’ve been watching this kit for some time!

  23. Pat Hardiman May 27, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

    While I don’t see myself using this type of protector on all my pages, I can imagine that they would be wonderful for maybe a trip, where I have sooooo many pics, and want to scrap them, but not take so much time to do it!!! Please enter me in the contest, and thanks for the information, and the chance (keep my fingers crossed) to try these out!!!

  24. Scrap It Girl May 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    I love new things, I try everthing at least once! This looks like my style and
    I would love to play with it! Too Cute

  25. Kirsten May 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    This kit looks really awesome!!! I really need something to “kickstart” my scrapbooking again and get me going on some of these pictures. Would love to win one of these kits.

  26. Linda B. May 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm #

    So many great things included in this kit. I would love the chance to create with the whole “kit” and kaboodle.

  27. tam May 28, 2010 at 1:50 am #

    I love the idea of page photo dived page protector.I also thought the strong colors are right down my alley. Would love to win this kit, you see I’m still one of those girls who likes to squeeze in as many photos as humanly possible :). Thanks for a chance to win an awesome new product.

  28. Lils May 28, 2010 at 2:25 am #

    This kit looks great! I have a hard time putting layouts together and this seems to make if effortless. Also love the colors! Thanks for the chance to win a kit 🙂

  29. gene May 28, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    Looks like something that would speed me up…I take a long time to decide on paper and embellishments and then layout….

  30. Julie May 28, 2010 at 8:46 am #

    I have never used a kit before and would love to try this one!

  31. Junglewife May 28, 2010 at 9:37 am #

    This looks amazing. I would really love to win it!

  32. Debbie May 28, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    I’ve been thinking that this kind of scrapping would jumpstart my return to scrapbooking. I haven’t been inspired to scrap, but this looks like an easy way to get back to it.

  33. carla callahan May 28, 2010 at 11:40 am #

    wow… really love the colors and look of this kit.. and I love the divided page protectors! thanks for the chance to win!

  34. Lena May 28, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    Thank you for the review! I really only make cards right now, partially because I am intimidated by scrapbooking. This kid sounds like a great gateway for someone who is just starting out.

  35. Carrie S. May 28, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I love May’s take on the layouts using the Life Documented kit.

  36. scrapper al May 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    I did one album using photo pages and added my journaling on 4×6 cards. It was very plain, but fast! I would love to try the Memory Works kits for something a little fancier. Thanks for the review and the chance to win.

  37. shirley May 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Enjoyed your review of this product. I would love to be a winner and try my hand at this type of scrapbooking.

  38. Sarah C May 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

    I would love a chance to play with this kit. I have had my eye on it since it came out!

  39. Verbena May 28, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    I love this product and would love to win it. I enjoy working with divided page protectors and would enjoy this kit!

  40. Liz S. May 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm #

    I’d love to try this MemoryWorks Life Documented kit!
    Love Those colors!

  41. Merrilee May 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    I would love to win this kit. I love the colours and style of it!

  42. Melinda May 28, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    I really enjoy using the divided page protectors from Project 365 kit. I love that they are coming back in vogue.

  43. Karen May 29, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    I love this product and did something like this. I completed an album from my first cruise and added 4×6 page protectors to include at the end of my 12×12 pages the pictures that I liked and wanted to keep but did not work into any of my 12x12s. Love the variety of layouts of the photo sleeves and the papers. Thanks for featuring this item.

  44. LeAnne S May 29, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    This looks really great. Will have to check them out.

  45. julie r May 29, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    this kit is just right up my alley, love all the colors in this and the price is just right

  46. Kathy May 29, 2010 at 6:42 pm #

    The wonderful thing about the life documented kit is, you don’t have to use it with the page protectors that its intended for you can as you said take it apart and do a traditional page lay out. they also have protectors for that as well , love the distressed look, it is very trendy now and very popular with scrapper everywhere. The colors are very bold and bright but, paired with the older distressed vintagey look they pair up very well. I would definately love to win this product. It looks like a lot of fun and thanks for sharing it with us!!

  47. YvetteD May 29, 2010 at 10:28 pm #

    I really appreciate your honesty in reviewing this product!!!
    I’m a die hard “old school” scrapbooker, so not sure the
    page protector idea will work for me. It would be nice to win
    and find out! : )

  48. KikiK May 30, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    oh I’ve seen this and really want to give it a try! I’d love to win this one!!! thank you for the chance!

  49. Carol Schremmer May 30, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    I can’t wait to try this great new product.

  50. Susan K May 30, 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    Thanks for the insight. I would love to win this kit!!