As I was looking back through many-a old magazine . . . well, mostly the idea books with some being from even farther back–way back, I was just amazed at how much time had passed. It was interesting looking at how things were done ‘back in the day’. A lot of changes to the styles have occurred over the years . . . and we thought we were cool then. ;)

I have been in this business in some fashion for many years . . . maybe close to 13 years now.

It all ‘officially’ started when I won the first Creating Keepsakes’ Hall of Fame contest in 1999. Soon, I was asked to start doing pages for various articles in the magazine. Additionally, I was asked to be on the Provo Craft design team, with Desiree Tanner, who also won HoF that year. That’s basically where I got my start. (And if it weren’t for Desiree + Heather Lancaster, I don’t know that I’d be where I am today…designing shapes like I do. They both told me I could design a Cricut cartridge 5 1/2 years ago…and I did. Forever grateful for that serendipitous moment.)

Those were good times. I think that’s when ‘what scrapbooking is today’ was in its infancy. Scrapbooks, in general, have been around forever and a day.

It’s funny, I keep having this analogy in my head. I recently had a conversation with my family about how our palettes–our tastes–for food, change over time. My mom didn’t cook like ‘a cook.’ There were a few things she made that we all loved, but many things were a la Hamburger Helper or some other kind of quick food. When Dan and I first got married, I just followed my mother’s footsteps. I made ‘stroganoff’ by frying up some hamburger, throwing in a can of cream of mushroom soup, and adding some sour cream. Bam. Done. Now? I’ve moved on to stew meat, still use the cream of mushroom + sour cream, but I let it cook all day in the crockpot, making a world of difference. Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly the best analogy for improved cooking, but it’s one that I could think of that we both made/make. :)

I guess what I’m trying to say is, that now I make a Tetrazzini with a sauce made from scratch, I make–what I consider to be–‘gourmet’ soups, great desserts and dressings and other good fooood. It’s hard for me to even think of using a box of Hamburger Helper–something I haven’t even done for 20+ years. The less ‘premade’ stuff I can use, the better it tastes!

Tastes get better. You grow. You get in a groove. You refine. And I think that’s where we are today in scrapbooking.

Along my scrapbooking journey I have also met so many great people that I now consider as friends. One of them would be Miss Stacy Julian. She and I met because she was on the Provo Craft design team too. There was a group of us that got together for a retreat in Michigan, not too far from Chicago. (Kristina Nicolai-White–Miss Two Peas herself–was there too, by the by. :) )  Just the stories of getting to that retreat alone were priceless. Tornadoes/warnings can cause quite an adventure.

When I was perusing through all my old books I came across Stacy’s very first Simple Scrapbooks book. Before Simple Scrapbooks was ever a magazine. She was actually working on samples for her book while at the retreat. I marveled at the way that girl’s mind worked. Not only was she so innovative with her approach to scrapping, she was so danged funny with her presentation. That girl is a hoot! I was so happy when she and I got to work together on a CK KOTM kit called ‘A Penny For Your Thoughts.’ A brilliant concept!

Anyway, I was wondering why I had hung onto that book. I mean, it’s really old. ;) I hadn’t even remembered how I came by it, it’s been that long since I looked at it. But I opened up the cover and saw a sweet personal note from Stacy. I don’t think it’s a book I just can’t get rid of. It just reminds me of how many amazing people there are in this industry and how fortunate I have been to be a part of it for so long. And Stacy is one amazing girl. Love her.

As I looked back at some of the really old magazines+books, I came across names that are friends, names of people I didn’t know-but who’s styles I’d admired. People that I didn’t know at the time, but have since become friends–like Nichol Magouirk + Heidi Swapp. Some names that I wonder where they are, like Kelly Anderson. Man, I loved her linear style!

There are some books that I just can’t get rid of–even if they are technically ‘out of style’. When I looked at them, just an outpouring of memories came back. I remember looking and just eating up every single page. Loving what so many people had made. Remembering at how many of them I poured over during my QVC days. It’s hard to scrapbook that many pages in a month. It’s hard to be creative when you’re in a crunch. I can even remember doing FIFTY-TWO pages in ONE WEEK! Yeah, that would be the week from ‘h e double hockey sticks.’ :)

Anyway, this trip down memory lane this past week has been pretty amazing. It’s been fun going through all the old stuff. It just reminded me of who I am, how I got here, and all the amazing people that I’ve come to know and love along the way. Including now. All of you readers…my friends. You lift me up with your kind words and funny comments. Your support for keeping a dog. You make me smile. You make me happy.

I am truly blessed.

Thanks for humoring me by letting take this trip down memory lane with you. In return–and because I like to keep this blog visual, I’ll humor you with one of my very first pages. I was ‘queen of the scene’ back in the day. ;)