Sunday, June 15, 2008

What I Learned From Stacy Julian

Several months ago, my Local Scrapbook Store (LSS, for those of you not in the know), Treasured Memories, announced that Stacy Julian would be speaking at the store in early June. I bought my ticket and pretty much forgot about it until a week or so before the event. And then I started getting really excited. First of all, I'd never met a scrapbook celebrity before (stop snickering). Second, I'd been reading Stacy's blog and beyond the fact that the title cracks me up, I like her perspective. Third, I don't get out much and a night out pursuing only my own interests is somewhat of a holy grail. And fourth, I need a new approach to scrapbooking since my current one clearly isn't working.

So I got Julia ready for her dance pictures, which her father would have to take her (and her brothers) to and happily headed out the door. While I'd never taken any of Stacy's classes or read her books, I was aware of her influence on scrapbooking and was eager to soak in her wisdom. I picked up my reserved copy of Big Picture Scrapbooking and giddily sat there learning the following:

  • Stacy Julian is adorable. From her pigtails to her polka dot dress to her ever present giggle, she's very endearing. She generously shares her spirit and the depth of her emotions to inspire in all of us the freedom to view scrapbooking as she does: focused on process, not production. Amazing concept, this.
  • Stacy is smart! The unfortunate perception persists that scrapbookers with vacant minds and full albums stay up all hours playing with scissors and glue sticks. Stacy flips this perception on its ass. Her talk covered areas from philosophy to marketing to color theory to optics. She is a reader and she gathers inspiration from an enormous array of resources. Very inspirational.

  • The thought of scrapbooking in non-chronological order, without straight lines and with journaling in my own handwriting causes me anxiety. And anxiety is not a thing I need more of these days. However, it's so much fun to think of the layouts I could create about what my kids are doing right now rather than how far behind I am and how I am every going to do justice to properly documenting the birth of my two boys. She might be on to something. Maybe she should pursue this little theory of hers.

  • There is more than one way to scrapbook, and probably no "right" way. And scrapbooking doesn't mean just sticking photos on cardstock. Revolutionary thoughts, indeed. I'm still mulling over this one and think I may need to read Stacy's first book, Simple Scrapbooks, or take a some of her classes at Big Picture Scrapbooking to get a better understanding of this.

  • Life is good and it should be documented, but not just for the reasons I thought. One of the many things that have stayed with me from Stacy's talk is that scrapbooking serves a lot of purposes. It makes up more aware and more grateful for the big and small blessings that fill our days. And it makes us happy. And that's reason enough to do something. Again, revolutionary concept. It's not a waste of time or paper or resources or money to spend time on a hobby that strengthens our connections to each other, utilizes and inspires creativity, documents our family histories, and makes us happy in the process. On the contrary, it's a rather priceless pursuit with immeasurable positive benefits.

  • I should make it a point to scrapbook more. See above.

  • Stacy loves brownies. So much so that she has devoted a scrapbook to the brownies she's encountered throughout her travels. This interests me for two reasons: First, I can't think of a more frivolous way to spend one's time than to create a scrapbook about brownies. And if it's OK for the great, renowned, busy, working-mother-of-five Stacy Julian to spend her time on a brownie scrapbook, then it must be ok for me to spend my time scrapping something equally silly. Second: our wonderful hosts at Treasured Memories decided to provide a brownie buffet in Stacy's honor. So many yummy varieties to munch on while we waited in line to chat with Stacy. The clear winner: Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix available at Costco or your local grocery store. My family has recently enjoyed 2 pans of these.
  • Big Picture Scrapbooking has awesome pens. We each got a goodie bag and mine contained a button that says "Scrap Big," (love that), a mouse pad, the biggest rubber band I've ever seen (seriously, Nicole Ritchie could wear this as a belt; I still haven't figured out its purpose) and what looks like a regular ball point pen. I LOVE THIS PEN. Julia has tried numerous times to steal this pen from under my nose. She has not succeeded. I'll have to troll their site to see if I can pick up a few dozen.
  • Stacy is a trouper. It didn't matter how long her day had been, or how many people were waiting in line to meet her, Stacy cheerfully talked with each one of us, answering questions, finding connections and generously sharing her thoughts and ideas.

I have to give a shout out here to my friend Christine, who owns Treasured Memories. She put on a top-notch event, which is not surprising, since I know she puts her heart into everything she does. She recently celebrated her store's 10th anniversary and I'm so proud of her success. I know that scrapbook retailing is a difficult industry, especially in today's economy, but she's a tough lady and a smart businesswoman and I'd put my money on her every time. She's been so generous with me over the years. About 5 years ago, she allowed us to use her scrap space for an entire day to host a crop to raise money for FSMA. More recently, she's displaying my Uppercase Living catalog and brochures right behind her register. She's a great asset to our community.

One other thing came out of this event: I was chatting with a very nice lady in line while we waited to meet Stacy. As our conversation progressed we incredulously realized that we "knew" each other from Two Peas In A Bucket, a message board I haven't been on since just after Ethan was born. We traded information and hopefully will get a chance to scrap together someday soon. Stacy Julian is all about making connections, and meeting up with Yvonne was just one connection that I focused on that night. Now, a month later, I'm still thinking about Stacy's words and message and am planning once again to get out my scrap supplies and start playing and creating, pages as well as happiness. My mental health will thank me.


NikJustNik said...

WOW!!! Sounds like you had an awesome night!!! What a wonderful way to meet someone and then to get so much inspiration from them...

So Happy for you T!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love Stacy and my goal is to meet her one day too! She rocks. I love her whole philosophy.

Abby told me about your Uppercase Living business, but I must tell you when I clicked on your clink on the blog it took me to an error page. You might want to have a look-see at that!


Awesome Abby said...

You just increased my mental health, all with your post. I LOVE YOU!

onescrappychick said...

So good to see a post from you.. I might've been a bit worried about you. Enjoy your scrap time! I just got my stuff out Thursday for the first time in months.. and I can't wait to get back from camping and play some more.

Julie said...

Loved reading about your awesome night!! What fun!!!
One of the ladies in my local scrapping group makes the Giradelli brownies for every crop and they are sooooooo yummy!!!

Meghan said...

Check you out, you cutie patootie!!!

What fun you had. I am green with jealousy but happy for you that you 1. Got time to yourself & 2. Got to meet Stacey!
Lucky girl!!!!!!

tspwlv said...

Nik-Thanks! You know I needed this.

Corinna-Thanks for letting me know about the broken link. I fixed it. I hope you do get the chance to meet Stacy. You'll love her.


Scrappy-Right back at you. So glad things are OK. I'm fine. Just busy and lazy about posting. Hopefully that will improve.


Meg-Green looks great with your red hair. Complementary colors, you know.