Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Introducing "The First Love Club" Podcast


The craziest thing happened a few months ago. Cori Spieker aka The Reset Girl, messaged me to say she would like to meet with me to discuss the possibility of us working together on some faith based projects. As you can imagine, I was extremely surprised and equally delighted. I had been seeking God's will for months on a way to take my passion for hand lettering, storytelling and memory keeping into a faith based direction. Cori's message was utterly out of the blue and as we were not well acquainted, I knew it must be a God connection.

She came to see me one sunny day in November and I was giddy with anticipation. After a three hour lunch on the lake, I knew this girl was going to be my friend for life. We spent the next few days discussing our business goals and most importantly, our faith. We talked on my couch 'til the wee hours of the morning and God confirmed again and again that we were destined to be friends for the long haul. We shared stories of trials and victories, we laughed, we cried and we prayed. We bonded big time.

A couple days after she left, I was already missing her when she text me and asked if I would like to collaborate with her on upcoming products with my hand lettering. Of course, I readily accepted her offer! She gave me a list of words and phrases to letter and we made plans for products to come. Soon after, she began to release the first of the products and it is a thrill to see my lettering on her designs! It truly is a dream come true!


While Cori was in town (her RV parked in my driveway), Tiffany came over and we recorded an episode of The Scrap Gals Podcast that would air a couple weeks later. Our listeners absolutely loved the show and we got a lot of great feedback. The week the show aired, I was sitting at the library and Cori and I started a conversation by text about the success of the episode and how everyone loved it. We realized it would be a great opportunity for us to collaborate on a regular basis if we did a podcast together! Cori already wanted to do a podcast and I wanted to do a faith-based project but didn't know what that should be. A faith-based podcast seemed like the perfect project for us.

We discussed a lot of ways the show could go and decided we should continue the meaningful work that Cori puts in to her Faithful Life Club Challenge each month. What better topic to discuss than God's Word!? Of course, along the way, we'll share personal stories, revelations and sermon notes and I know Cori will share tips, as she always does, on resetting your life. The show will air each Wednesday morning and we are so excited for it to premiere! We're looking forward to connecting with listeners who want to focus on making Jesus the most important part of their life. If that's you, join us! We'll post a link on our social media and here as soon as the first show is up!

Meanwhile...we're making plans for a First Love Club Retreat! Join us in Nashville, Tennessee at my friend's gorgeous studio for a 12 hour workshop! Only 30 spots available! Find all the details here or by clicking the image below!


Thanks for allowing me to share this story with you. I have a lot of great projects in store for 2018 and this is one of the most exciting.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and feeling the peace and joy of Jesus every day!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ready, Sketch, Go! Volume 4: One Sketch, Three Ways

I am so excited to announce that Ready, Sketch, Go! Volume 4 is now available! This version of Ready, Sketch, Go! is called "One Sketch, Three Ways" and we are so excited to provide content that many of our students have asked for, including 12x12 double pages! Here's a sneak peek at a few of the layouts from the class...


This class features a total of 30 sketches and 30 layouts! In each of the 10 lessons, Crafty Jen Schow and I, together, share layouts in three sizes: 8.5x11, 12x12 and 12x12 double page! We each created a mix of sizes for the lessons.

I think you're really going to be inspired by how we've interpreted these. Each sketch has a core design that is similar in all three sizes but our layouts for each design look vastly different. We also deviate from the sketches sometimes as an example of how you can change them up.

This class features over six hours of video instruction in 10 online lessons in our self-paced classroom and a 24 page full-color handout. For your convenience, we've included pages filled with just the sketches so you can quickly reference them but we've also included all the layouts and tips and tricks we share in the classroom. Plus, don't miss our exclusive cut files and private Facebook group to share and receive inspiration!

As an added bonus, we will add a one hour audio discussion that we are taping when Jen comes to Nashville for The Scrap Gals Retreat. The audio discussion will be added to the classroom on October 10th.

The regular price of this class is $35 but until November 1st, you can purchase it on sale for $30. Purchase now at this link... Ready, Sketch, Go! Volume 4: One Sketch, Three Ways

Many of you have asked about a bundle so we're making this special offer for those of you who have never purchased Ready, Sketch, Go! For a limited time, you can purchase Volume 1, 2, 3 and 4 for only $99. That's a $24 savings off the regular class price.

The 4-class bundle includes over 27 hours of video instruction and 5 hours of audio! That's 32 hours of inspiration for only $99! Click the image below to purchase...


This is my last time to offer a Ready, Sketch, Go! class. I am launching a new website and business in early 2018 so I will be taking a break from online scrapbook classes for a while, perhaps forever. That's why I'm so happy that this class offers so much great content: it was one last labor of love for me.

Thank you to all of you who have so sweetly supported my online classes the last two years. Big, happy and fun adventures are on the horizon so this is only the beginning but I wanted to say how much I have enjoyed creating content for you and being inspired by you all in return!

To find out more about the classes I currently offer, click here.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Health Update

Hello friends! This week marks eight weeks since my pacemaker replacement surgery. I thought it might be a good idea to give an update on my health and how it's gone since the surgery.

I had a complication with my surgery that I have not spoken publicly about. The first six weeks after my surgery were really some of the hardest days I've ever lived through. It's kind of a long story but it's too amazing not to tell!

When my pacemaker was initially put in, it was down deep, under a muscle. I had a scar but it was completely smooth to the touch and I really forgot that I had a pacemaker 99% of the time.

Flash forward to my replacement surgery on May 9th by a new heart doctor. Because of the urgent nature of the surgery, I did not speak to him about the procedure before going in. I met with him once weeks before but he was irritated with me for not getting the surgery the next day so our conversation was brief. On that day, he did not tell me that he was going to put the pacemaker in a different place! He certainly did not tell me he was going to put it so close under my skin that it stuck up and you could see the outline of it and even feel a button on top of it. (Gross, I know!)

Because of this, I was in excruciating pain after the surgery. The nerve endings around the pacemaker absolutely went wild. I could not walk, sit, lay down or breathe without being in pain. I didn't sleep for weeks. I didn't discover the reason until two weeks in because I was too queasy to look at it, I thought it was just the normal pain of healing. When I finally felt under the bandage and realized the device was sticking up, I almost couldn't breathe. Even now it makes my heart race just to type that, it was so horrible. The only way I can describe the pain is that it felt like I had an IV inserted in a place that was painful. I wanted to rip the device out of my body. I won't go into it, but I had horrifying thoughts about it.

Four weeks in, I saw the wound care nurse and told her how miserable I was and she said that different doctors put them in different places and she hated that I was in so much pain. Then she said the words I did not want to hear. She said, "Well this device is good for 14 years so he will not want you to be in pain that long. Every once in a while, we do have to go in and move the device. I'm making you an appointment for the end of August and you can tell him then if you need to have a second surgery."

All I could think of was the horrible experience I had the day of my surgery. It took seven hours to get an IV in me and get the surgery done. I did not want to go through that again! We drove home with me crying and asking Mike what to do and trying not to think about it or breathe or move so it wouldn't hurt as bad. I lived every day in limbo, not knowing what to do but miserable.

Then two weeks ago, I went to my friend's cabin. We had a wonderful time but it seemed like the pain escalated. She has a big SUV you step up into and it hurt me to get in and out. Her beds are the most comfy ever but I did not sleep the whole time. I was in so much pain and trying not to take pain pills but taking one every so often to just drift off to sleep. Then I would move and wake up and moan all night. I decided while at the cabin that I just could not live with the pain. Six weeks had gone by with no relief so I decided to schedule the surgery for this week, the first week of July.

Now comes the good part! I came home that weekend and went to church and there is a couple that prays for me when I need it. I told them what was happening and they prayed exactly the words I needed to hear. I sat back down on the pew and put my hand inside my shirt and felt it sticking up and it was pricking me to the point of almost having to go to the car and lay down. It felt like I was being shocked repeatedly.

Then...something wonderful happened. Wednesday of that week, I was in the kitchen with Mike and I said, "Mike!!!!! I just realized I haven't been in pain for two days!" He said, "What???" I said, "Yes! I absolutely have forgotten all about it!" We were both amazed and happy but I will be honest, I was still going to get the surgery. The thought of it sticking up was just tearing me to pieces! Seeing it through my skin was so disconcerting. I even had some shirts I could no longer wear. The pain was better on some days but would come and go. I laid in bed one night and said, "God, you are going to have to heal me. I cannot take this sticking up and I cannot live with this pain for 14 years. I know you have not brought me this far to leave me. I am giving it to you and letting go of the worry." And I did. I let it go. I made peace with having surgery or Him healing me. It would be up to Him to decide.

The next week, I was dropping off Caroline at work and I randomly put my hand in my shirt to feel the scar, as I had been doing often, and it was completely smooth. I screamed! I put my mirror down and looked at it in the mirror and you could not see it at all. There is a little bit of a shadow but you cannot see the outline of it or anything and it feels exactly as it did before. To be honest, if this had not happened to me, I probably would be skeptical about it, even though I know what a mighty God I serve, but I'm telling you, it is as flat as before. I feel it all day long now to make sure it still is and I still can't believe it. I cried my way out of the parking lot that day and called my family to let them know and they all cried too!

Slowly but surely I've gained more strength every day since. Last Monday, I woke up feeling refreshed and back to my old self. I attacked my house and this week I'm attacking my to do list. I am still a little weak and get winded quickly but praise God, for the most part, I'm not in pain. I'm having some shoulder pain which I had for years after my last surgery but Mike works on it for me. I can sleep again and have a peaceful rest.

All I can say is God blows my mind! I'm living in a state of thankfulness for all He has done for me.

I'll end this long story by saying we are still negotiating with the hospital on the cost of the surgery. I have a big stack of bills on my desk but we haven't paid any of them yet. The money donated ($8K) by my friends and listeners is still set aside and we will apply it to what we owe as soon as we figure out what that amount is. I found out today that the discounts we were promised were not applied so we are working with a financial counselor to get the final cost. Right now it's quite a bit more than we thought it would be but I am hoping we can get the cost down. It really doesn't worry me, God has brought me this far and will work it out for me.

I'm working my way through the list of donors and sending thank you e-mails, crying, reading their notes to me on each donation, saying they are praying for me and wishing me well. I should have sent them sooner but the last seven weeks, I was in so much pain, my life kind of fell apart around me. I faked it a lot of the time, taping podcasts and posting on Instagram and talking in our group and going about my life but my family and Tiffany will tell you, I couldn't even have a meal without moaning. I was miserable! I am just so glad to be through it all. I have experienced chronic pain before, after my last surgery, but this was a new level of horror.

The thing that has kept me going through it all, other than the grace and peace of God, is my family and friends, both local and online. I've received so many cards and messages and kindness from so many people. I thank God for the life I've been given. He's been talking to me about how I can repay people for their kindness and I feel Him urging me to give things away like classes and content and my life, as much as I can. I have plans to do just that!

I want to end this by saying that this trial has brought me to a new place in my relationship with God and my husband. It has increased my faith and trust in God in a way that is indescribable. As far as Mike goes, we have been married almost 26 years and I have always had a great relationship with him, but I've never known kindness from him like I have from him these past eight weeks. I have complained and carried on and he has held me, literally, mentally and emotionally. Even today, he text me the longest texts giving me scripture and wisdom to carry me through what I have to do. I could not have gotten through any of this without him. Really, I feel like I have fallen in love with him all over again. My Mom and sister have been wonderful and my dearest friends have kept in touch, asking me how I am and telling me they are praying for me daily. I could go on and on but I'll hush now and dry my tears from writing this and let you get back to your life!

Thank you for taking time to read this and for being in my life. God bless you and if you ever need a miracle, I would love to pray for you. Just e-mail me at tracieclaiborne@hotmail.com. I will even call you on the phone and pray with you. It's the least I can do after all God has done for me! If you don't know Him, or if you've lost faith somewhere along the way, I hope this encourages you to talk to Him. He's waiting with open arms and loves you so much.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

a Mother's Day freebie for you

I saw this beautiful plate in my Mother's house today and admired the words...


So I did a little lettering to make my Mom a card and thought I would share. Here it is several ways. Right click and save. This is sized to 4x6. If you'd like to print, I will probably need to e-mail you a copy so e-mail me at tracieclaiborne@hotmail.com and let me know which version, 1-4 and I will send it back to you from my iPad where I created it. Enjoy!




If you share this on social media, please tag me! Thanks!

Happy Mother's Day to everyone! XO!




Friday, March 03, 2017

live inspired: six strategies for organizing your craft area

This week on the Live Inspired podcast, I'm talking about one of my favorite topics: organizing!



As you may know, I recently reorganized my entire studio and when I was done, I had a lot of thoughts about the best way to organize for maximum creativity and productivity. If you're feeling overwhelmed by your stash, this is the show for you; in it I offer six easy tips to help you tame your stash.

Here's my studio before my reorganization....


I've moved my desk to be parallel to the desk on the left wall. I'll share a video in the next few days that shows you exactly how it looks now!

I hope these tips inspired you and that you enjoyed listening to my tips!

There's still time to sign up for the Nashville Scrap Gals Retreat! Click this image to learn more...


Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 17, 2017

live inspired: craft a life you love with amy tangerine

This week, on the Live Inspired podcast, I'm talking to Amy Tangerine about her amazing new book, "Craft a Life You Love."



Amy's book offers proven tips for boosting your creativity. This inspiring workbook is a step-by-step guide to help you work through your creative obstacles. In this show, Amy and I discuss my favorite parts of the book and why it's so important to find time for creativity.

I know I say it a hilarious amount of times in the show but this book really is life-changing. My must-have books for creativity now are:

1) Clean and Simple by Cathy Zielske
2) The Big Picture by Stacy Julian
3) Craft a Life You Love by Amy Tangerine

I am looking forward to filling in each of the workbook prompts and I know this is a book I will read again and again. In fact, I'm starting over at the beginning this weekend. If you want to get in the creative zone and find out why you're not already - get this book!


The Nashville Scrap Gals Retreat is filling up quickly! Registration ends March 15, 2017. We must close it then to secure a venue and sponsors. You can find out more about the retreat by clicking the image below...


Let me know what you think about this week's Live Inspired and if you've read Amy's book, let me know your favorite part!

Friday, February 10, 2017

live inspired: kellie stamps owner, kellie winnell

This week, on the Live Inspired podcast, I'm talking to Kellie Stamps Owner, Kellie Winnell about her prolific scrapbooking.



Kellie shares how and why she makes time for memory keeping and why her personal Project Life album makes her happy. We discuss scrapbooking in a planner, random Traveler's Notebook inserts, Project Life in 9x12 and tips for remembering to take photos daily.

Kellie is a delight and I'm so happy to know her. She is someone who truly inspires me to JUST DO IT! :) I hope you feel the same way after listening to this show!

Be sure to check out Kellie's lovely line of stamps and other products and read her awesome blog at the links below:


Registration for our Scrap Gals Nashville retreat opens today (Friday, 2/10) at 5:00 pm Central! Registration will be a product in my shop, click the shop tab above at registration time. You may either register with a $100 deposit or pay the full amount of $295. Find out more details by clicking this image....


Don't forget, registration for our Scrap Gals Salt Lake City retreat closes at the same time. If you are interested in registering for Salt Lake City but were unable to by today, please e-mail me at tracieclaiborne@hotmail.com and I can hold a spot for you. We have only four spots left so don't delay! 

Friday, February 03, 2017

live inspired: the beauty of minimalism with jen carlson

This week, on the Live Inspired podcast, I'm talking to Jen Carlson.




Jen designs for Ali Edwards, Kelly Purkey and One Little Bird. Her striking and minimalist designs are truly inspiring. Jen and I discuss scrapping 6x8, her love for pockets, how she developed her style and her carefully curated Instagram feed.

I really love Jen's striking and clean style. She has such a great eye for design and I think her scrapbooking seems very doable. Often we see examples of scrapbooking online that are beautiful but seem a bit out of touch. Jen's style is striking in its simplicity so I think that's why it inspires me so. I love artsy and fussy pages but my heart will always be with a clean and simple style.


I hope you'll take a moment to check Jen's work out at these links:


Thanks for listening and stopping by!

Friday, January 27, 2017

live inspired: the frugal crafter's lindsay weirich

This week, on the Live Inspired podcast, I'm talking to Lindsay Weirich aka The Frugal Crafter.



Lindsay has an astonishing 300,000+ on YouTube so when I saw her channel and heard her enthusiasm for crafting, I knew I had to talk to her! We discuss her video titled Is Scrapbooking Dead? and Lindsay offers some very wise insight into the decline of interest in our hobby in recent years. She also gives us lots of practical tips on living a life of creativity.

I loved talking to Lindsay about art and scrapbooking. It's fun to connect with someone new and instantly have a lot in common. I really had some a-ha moments during the show thanks to her. I will be mulling over my new thoughts on the decline of scrapbooking for a while after this episode.

I hope you'll take a moment to check Lindsay out at these links:


If you'd like to check out Lindsay's Class on Craftsy "Mix It Up, Mixed Media Step by Step," click this link to purchase with a 50% off coupon code! 

Lindsay is also teaching in a collab called "Life Book" with 23 artists teaching mixed media techniques! Here's a link to Life Book. Use the coupon code FIREWORKS2017 for 20% off discount valid through 1/31/17.

Finally, here's a link to Lindsay's to Angela Fehr's "Creative Watercolour" course. Lindsay was a guest teacher in this class and she offers 45 minutes of incredible content. This course is aimed at hobbyists and papercrafters.

Be sure to check her out!

If you'd like more information on The Scrap Gals Retreat in Salt Lake City, April 28-30, 2017, click this link. We would love to have you join us there for a weekend of fun!! Registration is now open, at this link. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

on disagreeing

I've been thinking a lot recently about the division that is currently happening in our country. We are in a time of civil unrest and there is a clear division on many issues. Every day, I see hateful rhetoric and name calling from both sides that makes me ashamed of the human race. Every single day. 

This leads me to believe many people are lacking a skill that is vital to the success of America: the ability to disagree respectfully. 

One of my best friends sat on my couch this weekend and we had a three hour conversation about politics and religion. Yes, politics and religion. We each shared our viewpoint on our faith, the election and current affairs and guess what? Although we are on opposite sides politically, we agree on many issues.

On the issues we don't agree on, we can at least understand the other's point of view. She understands that I am not going to waiver on some of my beliefs. I understand that she sees the world through a different lens and is more open minded in her interpretation of how the world should be. During our conversation, we didn't just talk to each other....we listened to each other.

When you love someone, you make an effort to truly understand them and you go on loving them, even when you disagree. During the three hours, not one hateful word was spoken.

You see that is the key....in the way of disagreeing, there can be no hatefulness. There can be no name calling. You will never win anyone to your side by calling them a name. Arrogance is unappealing. Vulgarity never impresses. Profanity is unnecessary and disrespectful. Respect for your argument is only gained when you can present it in a kind and gentle way.

Speaking of respect, did you know you can disagree with someone and still respect the office they hold? I have disagreed with many presidents, politicians and even pastors but I still showed them the respect they deserve. I am teaching my child to do the same. I am raising a child who understands that people in authority deserve respect. Were we not all taught that from a young age?

When you disagree hatefully, you lose credibility; your argument loses all merit. Even if there is a grain of truth to what you say...the truth is lost among the hate. It boils down to this: I cannot respect you if you disrespect people who do not share your opinion. Disagree...don't disrespect because disrespect causes division.

This is a lesson Americans (and our children) desperately need to learn.