Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

Cultivate a good life and record it.



talking about this industry.


This week our friend Ali Edwards announced a redesign of her site as the evolution of her brand has brought her new & exciting adventures. And her new site looks fantastic. I’m so happy for her and so very excited about the evolving journey that she is on.

And that got me thinking.

I’ve been feeling pretty sentimental about our industry lately. Our industry. This industry. I started “traditional scrapbooking” fresh out of high school in 1994 and within a year I was teaching at local stores, but the “scrapbooking industry” really took on a whole new meaning for me when I landed a job with Creating Keepsakes magazine after writing a few creative articles for the new publication. This industry has been a huge part of my life in that way for nearly 20 years now. Huge.

And just like the rest of you who have “been around” a while like me, we’ve seen lots of change. We’ve seen an amazing evolution. We’ve felt the heartbreak as several companies – and too many shops – have had to close their doors during a tough economy. Likewise, we’ve seen new companies arise and soar. We’ve seen acquisitions and partnerships and collaborations of all kinds. We’ve seen healthy competition, new ways to share, and new products to inspire.

This got me thinking about those who have played a significant role in this industry and where they are today. My dear friend and prior boss Lisa Bearnson sold Creating Keepsakes magazine years ago and took a break for a while, then revived her career selling scrapbooking products (including Project Life® time and time again) on the Home Shopping Network. Our friend and another industry icon Stacy Julian has now partnered her Big Picture Classes up with our friends at Studio Calico.

Then there’s Cathy Zielske and Heidi Swapp. A couple more long-timers around here. Two very different artists with two very different brands who are equally passionate about inspiring others in the space of memory keeping just like the rest of us … but with their own respective flavors. Cathy just went through an awesome website overhaul herself (talk about beautifully clean design!) and as you know, Heidi is now a part of the American Crafts family AND she has co-branded with our own Project Life line of products which you’re all probably aware of now. Woot!

Oh, and American Crafts. Our friends. Our partners in distributing Project Life to the masses. How grateful we are for that relationship. They might be acquiring companies and partnering with brands left and right (honestly, I don’t know how they can keep up with it all!) … but somehow they’re able to pull it off and I’m in awe. More importantly, I’m grateful for their role in this industry. They’ve been around forever, too, and deserve a lot of credit for all they’ve done to strengthen our industry. One more to mention: Most of you know Rhonna Farrer and her app that is rocking people’s socks with fun photo magic tricks. So cool. So proud of her for all she’s accomplished, and for the positive influence she has on so many!

In one way or another, in big ways and in small ways, I am honored to be associated with each of these phenomenal people and brands. And there are more. I didn’t mean for this to become a who’s who and what-ever-happened-to…. And I’m certainly not able to be inclusive to mention everyone. But you can see, the evolution of this industry is obvious. And it’s beautiful – to me. The reason it’s so beautiful is that this is pretty much one big family of people and businesses that care about helping others preserve their memories and tell their stories. That’s significant and truly meaningful for a thousand reasons.

And you know what else? There’s a lot of love and support happening in our circles. We really do honor our differences and celebrate the fact that we all have something special to offer, each of us with our unique angle on helping others in their memory-keeping endeavors.

Part of cultivating a good life is celebrating others’ successes while honoring our common goal through our unique differences.

Okay – a little sappy. I know. But seriously — many of these people I’ve mentioned? We’ve shared tears together. We’ve shared joys and frustrations and passion for what we do with each other. I love being a part of this special place where we celebrate with each other and our respective journeys. We’re seeing it this week with so much love and support around Ali and her new site. I have felt it myself over the years, and am already so grateful for all the support from my colleagues and friends regarding our new app about to come out.

I think it’s safe to say that all of us who work in this industry — We know that YOU guys are what keep us going. I thank you. And I love you for it.

And for the love, why am I so emotional today?  ; )


14 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    Fantastic post, Becky! I love all these wonderful brands and people behind them. It is my dear, dear wish to have a career in this wonderful industry myself as you know how passionate I am about it (just hope living in the UK won’t hinder that!). For now, I will just keep dreaming and creating…it makes me happy!

  2. Everyone you mentioned and so many others have and continue to feel like family to me. I’ve met you all, taken classes with you, spent hours at trade shows and CKU’s with you and marveled at the amazing creativity and talent you all posess. Without knowing it, you’ve all helped me through the good times and bad and I am so grateful for the honest openness that all of you posess. Thank you Becky, I will continue to be one of your biggest fans! (And all of you other amazing ladies as well) <3

  3. Ruly says:

    So great to build a nice industry as the one you just described. From outside, we also felt that family support you give to each other and it’s encouraging because it tells about new ways of living where we can enjoy the differences and truly share.
    We opened our website of spanish classes online just a month ago (www.vivescrapbook.com we will be so happy if you can enter, give us feedback, share or anything you want) and we are in the process of getting in touch with all the scrapbooking stores and talent we have researched so far in Latin America and Spain because we want also to promote our industry growing for spanish-speakers too, that sometimes are not able to enjoy the great talent the US industry have developed. So far, we’re finding good support… and we expect to be able to say sometime from now that we can feel as you do.
    We’ve found even great support in the few words we have interchanged with Stacy Julian which were incredible encouraging for us, and we are in contact with Cathy Z sponsoring her blog and she is definitely inspiring and awesome for us.
    Hope some day we can grow our community in a way makes sense for you to produce some kits in spanish.
    Best and thanks for sharing your feelings.

  4. Ali says:

    Thank you. Love you! Exciting times around here as we all continue to encourage and educate and inspire and grow this awesome community.

  5. Celeste says:

    Ali’s blog is just amazing — best one I have seen so far.

  6. Claire says:

    I was just looking through some of my old Creating Keepsakes magazines today before donating them, and I had forgotten that you once had short hair :). Anyway, I remember the articles you had written on “Creative Lettering” and was in awe how you could come up with all the different styles of lettering. I have been a fan of all of you since 1999 when I was first introduced to scrapbooking. I want to say a heartfelt Thank You and wish all of you the very best.

  7. Joanne T says:

    Very well said Becky! I love the collaboration going on in the industry! And how awesome the internet has made it possible to learn from so many of you no matter where we are living in the world. Very cool indeed. :)

  8. A huge thank you to you and to all of the other lovely women that you mentioned in your post. :)

    Mary from NH

  9. Jill says:

    Becky,I loved your comments and to hear how everyone is doing. I have been scrapbooking since 2003 & I LOVE it. I have 4 daughters and they all scrapbook a little, but one does more & she finds Project LIfe fits her busy life with 2 little ones. One thing I wish is that Creating Keepsakes still had a paper printed copy of their magazine. Nothing was better than sitting on my couch with a coffee & reading the magazine. Yes the computer is fine, but for us Grammas, a paper copy that I can hold & touch is best. I love all of the people that you mention in this article…have a great upcoming Fall & Winter season..
    Thanks for inspiring us all.. Jill Huguet

  10. This is my first time go to see at here and i am in fact happy to read all at one place.

  11. Dianne says:

    Love this post Becky! I still have all my CK mags and refuse to throw them out just yet. I was so thankful that “you all” the women who have held us all together through all the transition have these wonderful blogs of information and idea sharing. I am on the blogs of you, Cathy, Lisa, Heidi, Ali etc daily. You eased me into digital and of course project life which I cherish. Thanks for this wonderful post and all that you do to keep this industry alive and well!

  12. Katy says:

    While it can be hard to say goodbye to things and businesses and people we love, I have loved and welcomed the change to the industry and where it has evolved. Back when we only took 24 pictures at a time on developed film rolls, we could keep up with this idea of traditional scrapbooking and making layouts for most all our pictures. But with the advent of digital photography and the ability to easily take hundreds of pictures in one day and that evolution of technology, the idea — for me — of traditional scrapbooking and layouts simply wasn’t a practical one anymore. So with great happiness I welcomed the change to more streamlined, simple, practical ways to deal with our many, many, MANY pictures:), even evolving all the way to photo books in some instances where the emphasis is pictures and journaling – that’s it. No extras, no extraneous stuff, no fluff. I can actually keep up with the recording of the memories we make and the focus is primarily on the pictures. That makes me happy and is so, so much easier.

    So I say, change is good!

  13. Teresa says:

    I love that you updated us on everyone and what they are doing. Most I knew of but it is nice to get the updates. They including you (smile) all do a wonderful job and helping us fulfill our memory making books/journals.

  14. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.

    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let
    you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.