Guest Blogger: Stacy Julian–Happy National Scrapbooking Day!

Stacy here.

So, tomorrow is National Scrapbooking Day. Cool.

I also think it’s cool that I get to guest blog here on the CK site to help you get ready to celebrate the best hobby on earth! I have a soft spot in my heart for CK because the early years at Creating Keepsakes magazine hold such magical memories for me. I remember 1997, sitting and scrapbooking layouts for the magazine at Barbara Tanner’s house. Deanna Lambson was there, so was Tracy White. Lisa Bearnson burst through the door with her usual enthusiasm and introduced us to her new friend, Becky Higgins. Becky would be writing a regular column on creative lettering—we were thrilled! We all sat around and laughed, sang songs and ate candy (of course!) I had no idea at the time that scrapbooking would become such a huge part of my life and my daily routine.

And scrapbooking has come a LONG way since those days. I used to think my portable paper tote held excessive amounts of paper. I would have never believed then that I would someday dedicate an entire room in my home to scrapbooking.

Ok, enough reminiscing . . . I’m here to share a recent creation of mine and give you something to do and something to think about.

Trey The Mini Cooper Spotter

Lately, I’m completely in love with the American Crafts 6″ x 12″ page protectors. I’ve been using them to add more photos and journaling to my single 12″ x 12″ layouts.

Here’s what I do:

  • Create a 12″ x 12″ layout. Enjoy the playful process of selecting colors, embellishments, and arranging everything just so. Put on some music and forget about leaving any space at all for words. (Love that!)
  • When your layout is finished, set it down next to your computer. Go get something to drink and then sit down and stare at it. What do you really want to say? How can you say it in a fun, refreshing way? Don’t rush this, and don’t write the obvious stuff. Dig a little deeper and draw a connection that will add value to this photo, moment, or event 5 years from now—or more! Set the left margin in a standard word processing document to 5 inches, so that you have about 3 inches to fill up, and start typing. Print your story on cardstock weight paper and adhere it to another sheet of cardstock cut in half (6″ x 12″).
  • Add some pattern paper or other embellishments to your half-page so that it coordinates with your layout.
  • Pause to admire your work!

  • Now, turn this half page over and fill it in with additional photos. I love creating personality-based pages like this one of my son Trey. When I’m done I go to my photo file where I keep other “Trey personality” photos. I find either four vertical pictures that I crop to 3″ x 6″ or I find three horizontal pictures and simply stick them down. When you slip your pages into the page protectors, it will look like this. Note: I used a small rub-on “x” to cover my son’s privates and preserve his dignity!

Technique Tip: To create the circle of dots around the large photo of Trey, I lightly traced around a plate with a blue photo pencil to create a guideline, and then dipped the end of a paintbrush into a dollop of acrylic paint and applied each dot with a quick straight down and straight up motion. Don’t worry about spacing the dots just right—eye it and you’ll be fine. My dots are NOT spaced evenly, but your eye fixes that, besides, perfection is overrated and wastes far too much time that could be spent painting! Note: Dip the end of your paintbrush back into the paint between each dot for consistency in size.

Journaling reads: I don’t remember when you first started spotting and calling out “Mini Cooper!” but you’ve been doing it for a long time. I take pride in noticing things and frankly, I am super-impressed with your keen Mini radar. I asked you the other day why you love Minis so much and you said, “I don’t know, there aren’t a bunch of them in the same color and I like that.” I like that too Trey.

I think you’re like a Mini in that you’re confident standing out from the crowd. As we’ve played around at we’ve decided that a Mini would be a great match for you. Mini is playful, but respectful. Mini has a great attitude (like you do.) Check out the list of things you had to agree to, to become a “Mini Insider”

  • I agree to avoid ruts
  • And I agree to change my locker combination to include the numbers 1964 (the year we won our first Monte Carlo rally)
  • I agree to chase squirrels around the park every now and then and giggle like a madman while doing it.
  • I agree to be more adventurous and try to avoid homogenized restaurant chains.
  • I agree to bare the soles of my feet to the earth and feel grass, sand, stones, and streams.
  • I agree to watch the movie “The Italian Job” as soon as I can.
  • I agree to at least think strongly about learning to play a musical instrument.
  • I agree to consider painting the roof of my house in contrasting colors.

If you’ve made it this far, I have one more thing to say.

Scrapbook people.

Yep, that’s it. Generally speaking we have far more photos than we can ever hope to scrapbook. The good news is there are so many amazing ways to share and use photos—and they all count. Focused attention however is at a premium these days, so when you do decide to dedicate an hour or two to scrapbooking, please don’t feel behind or overwhelmed. Instead, find a photo of someone you love and write about them. Don’t worry about scrapbooking all the events and special moments. If all you can do is create one page a month (or a year) about the people you love most—you will accomplish a grand and important thing.

People matter most.

Scrapbook people.

And, have a smashing good time on National Scrapbook Day!


Stacy Julian was editor of Simple Scrapbooks magazine. She is also founder of online education at Big Picture Scrapbooking. You can learn more about Stacy at

P.S. Don’t forget to download this week’s free font, CK Curly Girl!

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7 Responses to Guest Blogger: Stacy Julian–Happy National Scrapbooking Day!

  1. Peg R says:

    Great idea. I will look for the AC 6X12. Happy scrappin’.

  2. Nikki says:

    Stacy, you are such an inspiration! (Your son is a cutie!)

  3. Lynn says:

    Great ideas in your post! I’m away to take your advice & go scrapbook :)

  4. Judy Webb says:

    I LOVE the circle dots. I hope I can remember long enough to use on a layout. Thanks for reminding us of all the great teachers we have had over the years. I miss them at CK but now enjoying other teachers. Your son is going to kill you over the frontal shot! LOL

  5. {vicki} says:

    Thanks for sharing your creations with us. Love the 6×12 idea and LOVE the dots—thanks so much for showing us how you created them!

  6. Becky Olsen says:

    Thanks for sharing your time with us Stacy, your clever and fun perspective is always refreshing and inspiring.


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