Saturday, February 13, 2016

live inspired - episode 14

On this week's Live Inspired podcast, I'm interviewing Mendi Yoshikawa, owner of Sunny Studio Stamps. Mendi, a talented scrapbook and card designer who works with Doodlebug Design and Pebbles (among many others), recently started her own stamp company, Sunny Studio Stamps. I love Mendi's delightful designs and her willingness to share how she saved and started her own business, as well as other business tips that she's learned along the way.

I'm always so happy when people are willing to be transparent about their beginnings and how things are going in their business. Mendi really impressed me with her courage and passion for building a business and making her own dream come true. I'm so glad I got the chance to talk to her and I look forward to seeing her success in the coming years!

If you'd like to win one of Mendi's delightful stamp sets, visit Sunny Studio Stamps and check out her designs and let us know in the comments the name of your favorite set! I'll choose a winner Wednesday, 2/17 and announce it in next week's Live Inspired podcast! Be sure to listen and see if you've won!

Mendi is generously offering not only a giveaway but a coupon code, exclusively for Live Inspired listeners! From now until Friday, February 19th, you can save 20% off your entire purchase using the code "LiveInspired." 

While you're at Sunny Studio Stamps be sure to check out the samples that go along with each stamp set. There is some awesome inspiration there on both the company's and Mendi's personal blog.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

live inspired - episode 13

On this week's Live Inspired podcast, I'm interviewing designer, Stephanie Bryan. Stephanie created 12 Project Life style mini-albums in 2015 and they were all glorious! As you will be able to tell in the show, I've been itching to talk to Stephanie for months to ask her all about the albums and her thoughts on taking on such a task. If you're not familiar with Stephanie's work, I encourage you to check out her blog,, before listening to the show.

This goes without saying but I had THE BEST TIME talking to Stephanie! She really made me remember my love for mini-albums. Looking at hers makes me want to run and create one. I also just love her style in general and how clean, yet interesting and fun it is. She is just a joy all around and I'm so glad I got to share her incredible talent with you guys.

I hope you're enjoying the Live Inspired podcast as much as I'm enjoying creating it! If you are, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

live inspired - episode 12

On this week's Live Inspired podcast, I'm interviewing designer, Paige Evans. Paige's name is synonymous with her intricately designed layouts featuring a multitude of colors and patterns. She just released a new collection called "Fancy Free" by Pink Paislee for American Crafts. Designing products is a dream come true for Paige and one that so many creatives share that I couldn't wait to hear the backstory on how this came to be. I hope you enjoy hearing it too!!

Paige is so sweet and real, it was a joy to talk to her. I cannot wait to get my hands on this entire line!!! It is so delicious!

The paper below on the left is the one I'm buying six pieces of!

Be sure to check out the entire line here! It ships in March. I'll be watching for it for sure.

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite part of Paige's new line is!

Monday, January 25, 2016


This was the first January I can remember that I didn't sit down and write out a list of goals. I actually realized this last week and I was like, "Hmm....wonder why?" :)

After giving it some thought, I realized it's because I really don't need to write my goals down, they are at the forefront of my mind daily. Having said that, I thought it might be good to share them with those of you who might be interested in what I'm up to. I believe transparency in business can inspire others and more than anything, that's what I want to do. terms of my creative business, I have two goals for 2016.

Growing my following is my number one job and it's what I work the hardest at. I work at it long hours every day and it's paying off. I started out with 1,000 friends and acquaintances from online sources and they tuned in to the first episode of The Scrap Gals Podcast within 24 hours. Those 1,000 people are the foundation of my following. Some of them decided never to listen again but I believe many of them have been with me ever since.

Right now, with my three podcasts, I have around 12,000 total listens per week. That's 12,000 opportunities per week that I have to inspire someone. That makes me happy.

I am super thankful for every person who listens and I take the job of podcasting very seriously. It's my primary job although it pays nothing. So why do I do it? The truth is...if I do a good job podcasting, my following will grow enough to support whatever else I'm doing that I am charging for. It's all a numbers game. I enjoy podcasting but I couldn't put the time into it that I do if I weren't using it to build my following.

So my number one goal for 2016 is to continue to grow my following (the people who follow my blog, podcasts and social media).

So how do I grow my following?
- Continue producing a weekly episode of The Scrap Gals Podcast.
- Continue producing a weekly episode of Live Inspired.
- Produce and publish one episode of Magic Memory Keepers each month.
- Post regularly on social media.
- Be super active in my Facebook group.
- Blog regularly.

I have decided that although there is a strong community on YouTube that I can tap into....I cannot fit YouTube into my life right now. I wanted to. It was one of my main goals for 2015 but two hours of free content every week is my max right now when I take into consideration that I spend 8-12 hours per week planning, taping and editing my shows.

I won't be creating that many classes every year but I need class content for sale on my site so that I can have an income. That makes sense, right? All the podcasting will stop if my class sales can't support it so I have to focus, focus, focus on creating class content and get as much as I can up for sale as soon as possible.

I am not a halfway kind of girl so creating classes takes a lot of time. I pour my heart and soul into every class because teaching is really my favorite part of what I do. I have 13 years experience teaching scrapbooking locally so teaching online is a natural fit for me.

After leaving my job in May of last year, I was immediately approached by Big Picture Classes and Debbie Hodge (Get It Scrapped) and spent June and July creating class content for them. I was also just getting my bearings, figuring out a lot of things and constantly brainstorming ideas that were coming to me like lightening bolts. Leaving my job took such a burden off my mind and heart that my soul opened up like a window to the creativity that was knocking at it.

I spent most of August working on my Easy Hand Lettering class and launched it in September. It sold so well that I was able to basically take off the rest of the year. I created about 1/3 of a class called "Journal Your Life" (that I am releasing this summer) and then put it aside because after 7+ years of working non-stop for someone else, I just wanted some time off. I worked hard to get my third podcast, Live Inspired, going and then I gave myself permission to enjoy the rest of the year without working on classes.

So that brings us to now! I just spent the first two weeks of January putting together a class that I will be announcing soon. It's with a friend and I'm waiting for her to announce it. (Being asked to teach with her was a huge honor, can't wait for you to hear about it.)

Today, I start work on a class with Crafty Jen Schow and we are super excited about it. We plan to release it February 15th. I'm creating about 20 layouts so it will take me a good three weeks to create this class. We're talking videos, written content, lots and lots of's a huge investment of time.

After that, I'm going to immediately start to work on a project that I have always wanted to do. I hope to have it done by mid March.

In late March, I'll start to work on a class with one of my favorite friends: Jana Eubank. We're excited about it and hope to release it in April.

So as you can see....I have a LOT going on behind the scenes. My goal is that by the end of April, I will have five classes available, including my Easy Hand Lettering class.

Five classes should be good for a while. I am going on a 10 day vacation May 1st so I plan to take off most of May and then get right back to work in June when Jen and I will have a Volume 2 of our class that's coming out soon. I also plan to start working on another class for Big Picture then plus while I'm at Disney World on vacation in May, I plan to film a lot of another class at the parks!

So as you can see, I have no time in my life to do anything else. I was asked last week if Tiffany and I might do a Scrap Gals retreat. There's just no time. People want to buy coffee mugs with Scrap Gals on them and I want to make and sell them but I'm not sure how I can fit it in my life. I'm not interested in being on any design teams because again, no time. all of you who have read all of this, thank you for supporting me and always encouraging me. So far, working for myself has gone better than I expected. I'm super proud of the classes I have created and I'm excited about working on the ones coming up.

I plan to work hard for the next three months and then go, "Okay girl, you rocked that, now breathe!" :)

Here's to a fabulous 2016. I believe it's going to be a great year for us both. That's right, YOU and me. If you're on your own creative journey, I hope my story is inspiring you. Here's to us and here's to happiness, creativity and enjoying our life! XO!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

live inspired - episode 11

Thank you so much to everyone who has let me know how much they enjoyed last week's Live Inspired interview with Noell Hyman. I had a blast talking to her and hearing all the behind-the-scenes details of her business, Paperclipping.

If you're inspired by Noell, I hope you'll visit her site Paperclipping and check out all she, and her husband Izzy, have to offer!

If you're a fan of Noell's and new to me, here's a fun post to explain who I am and what I do. :)

Have a lovely, lovely day!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

start with the story

Back in the fall, I released my first class at Big Picture Classes and as I shared here with you then, I really put my heart and soul into creating it. It's been out a few months now and I had forgotten to check in so today I stopped by and it made me happy to see some new reviews and comments.

Many people have told me they signed up to BPC with a free month trial just to take my class and for that I'm thankful. I hope those people continued their subscription because the content is so great. I pay for a subscription since I had it before I started teaching there and I think it's worth every drop of $10 a month. I'm sure some of you are not members of BPC and haven't had a chance to take the class so I wanted to share some reviews for those of you who might be considering it.

This is an outstandingly good class. So well done. The beautifully done videos make her 
points stick and the handouts are simple, short but rock with utility. She doesn't knock any scrapbooking approach and covers them well. Her case for Story first is entirely compelling 
for anyone who scrapbooks for legacy more than prettiness or product. Love Tracie's 
beautifully clean & simple style with great balance of white space and crisp contrast. This is probably my favorite new BPC class to date. -Skyetain, Sacramento, CA

Love Tracie Claiborne! One of my favorite people in the industry. So glad she's here
at BPC. I hope she will do more classes in the future. In this class, I'm learning that
I'm a product based scrapper. I want to tell my stories but always get stuck.
Tracie is making me realize that I'm the one making it hard on myself.
I just need to switch my process around in order to achieve my goals of
more of my important stories being told in my scrapbooks. -Janannemd, Keene, TX

This class was a great reminder of why I started scrapbooking in the first place.
The layouts I usually see online are definitely product driven so this was fresh
inspiration. I'm a huge fan of Tracie's teaching style. Thanks! 
-Adrienneh1973, Brownsburg, IN

Those are three of the eight reviews posted and if any of you who posted those are reading this now....thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you left a comment within the lessons, thank you, thank you, thank you. I read and responded to each one and it absolutely made my heart happy. 

I plan to teach again at BPC. They've asked me to submit something but I'm working on four classes of my own right now to be released by summer so I will turn my attention to them after that. 

If you'd like to get more of your story on your pages - be sure to check this class out! I'd love to hear what you think!

Friday, January 15, 2016

the best way to preserve your photos

I was just reading a blog post by Angie Lucas about losing 20 months of digital photos. Photos that just happened to have been taken the very time her child was born. It got me to thinking about digital photos and backing up and the tedious process of photo organization that goes along with memory keeping.

The truth is....I hate and despise everything related to digital photography with one exception: I enjoy being able to see the photo I've just taken. Other than that, may I please have a pack of film, an exceptional developer and a pack of prints back?

Taking digital photos sucks. It just does. It's so much work. I take the photo, I edit the photo, I share the photo, I have to get the photo from my device or memory card to my computer, I edit the photo more sometimes, I upload to a developer or print a semi-crappy print from home. I wait for them to come in the mail and then I'm still not happy with them.

Digital prints simply do not have the richness that my film prints had. There's something lacking in them. I know you're thinking I must not be the world's greatest photographer or the Photoshop queen. You're thinking right. I've accepted that and I know there are many ways to have better results. I don't have time to do any of those. Nary a one. I barely have time to do laundry right now.

The thing is...I was almost always happy with my film photos but then maybe I was not comparing them to today's "super processed in Photoshop" photos by scrapbook superstars. It was just so much easier! You took the pic, popped the film out, dropped it off and boo-yah, you had your pictures! It was so much easier to get to this....a completed scrapbook.

I know I need to backup and be diligent about my photos and I often think about backing up but I've decided this: printing is the best way to preserve my photos. If I print a photo and especially if I scrapbook a photo, I'm good. I have that photo and I've captured the memory. I don't think I'll revisit it again. Now I'm glad that I have so many digital pictures backed up and I might go back and print some of them sometime but I'm more relieved that so many of my photos are printed.

Was I cute or what? I'm on the left btw. 

I don't have many pics from 2015 printed but I believe I'm caught up to that point. So I need to get crack-alacking on those and then I am going to backup 2015 but I don't stress over that because I have decided that if the 20 photos from my childhood still help me remember what life was like, my daughter doesn't need 20,000 pics to remember hers. We need somewhere in the middle.

I love pictures, probably more than most people but I'm going to purge a bunch of my digi files and just keep the ones that I truly and completely adore. I'm printing and saving the best and purging the rest.

If you are behind on printing your photos, let this be a kick in the pants to get you going in 2016. We need to get those photos in our hands and off our computers ladies. I'm preaching to both of us on this.

You with me?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

live inspired - episode 10

For many years, I've wanted to talk to Noell Hyman from Paperclipping and ask her, oh...about a million questions. Yesterday, I finally got the chance to do just that. We had such an incredible conversation that it turned into an hour and 45 minutes worth of chatting! After about 45 minutes, I asked her if we could continue talking and she graciously agreed so I decided to do a Part One and Part Two of our interview.

In case you don't know her, Noell Hyman is the owner of Paperclipping. She has created a library of over 200 high quality, instructional videos for scrapbooking and she is the host of The Paperclipping Roundtable, the premiere audio show for scrapbooking. Noell (along with the help of her husband, Izzy) changed the face of the scrapbook industry with their innovative use of technology.

Don't miss next week's show to hear the rest of this awesome interview and be sure to check out Noell by visiting Paperclipping.

If this is your first visit here, here's a fun post that tells you all about me! :)

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

live inspired - episode 9

On this week's, Live Inspired podcast, I'm talking to one of my biggest heroes, Cathy Zielske! A graphic designer by trade, Cathy is the former Creative Director of Simple Scrapbooks magazine and the current Art Director of Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine. Through her magazine articles, blog posts and "Clean and Simple" books, Cathy's mission is to "take the crap out of scrapbooking." She's a true inspiration for those of us working in the creative field!

This is the longest Live Inspired episode to date because I could have kept talking to Cathy for a few more hours! She is just a delight and I love every word she says! She is one of my greatest life mentors.

This month, I'll be super focused on getting several classes up on my website so the Live Inspired videos are on hiatus for a little while. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Be sure to check out all Cathy Z. has to offer at her

Have a lovely day!

Friday, December 18, 2015

live inspired video: kerri bradford

This week, my guest on the Live Inspired podcast is Kerri Bradford.

Kerri's work has inspired me for years so it was a treat to look through her blog and find images to share with you. I hope you enjoy this short video and find it inspiring. :)

Thanks so much for watching and I truly hope that each of you have a happy holiday season. I'll be taking a break from podcasting and video making until January but I'm looking forward to all the new year holds!

Happy holidays!