happy mail

Happy mail is the kind of mail that is totally unexpected and comes with no real purpose except to bring a smile to your face. I love receiving happy mail, even better though is sending happy mail — packaging up a little surprise for somone just to give them a lift. If you signed up at bigpicture scrapbooking you’ll remember that I asked what your favorite candy bar is. This is because I’m going to use that information to create happy mail from time to time. Tomorrow, I’ll be sending candy bars to the 10th, 100th, 1000th and 2000th person on our list! I’ll also be sending out six more surprise candy bars — three to the most recent names — so, if you haven’t signed up yet ….
If you get this happy mail, I hope you’ll take a picture and e-mail it to me [stacy@bigpicturescrapbooking.com] — so I can post it here!

I’ve been talking to some of our bigpicture teachers about the goals for our classes and workshops. One of the themes in my book is the idea that scrapbooking is a lifestyle. To understand what I mean by this, do this little exercise. Write down three or four things you do on a regular basis that eventually become part of your scrapbooks — stuff like take pictures, save memorabilia, write down funny things loved ones say, celebrate milestones, savor simple moments, honor traditions, nurture relationships, record thoughts, feelings and family stories — all of these activities are an integral part of our lives, as scrapbookers. Scrapbooking is not just something we do – it is who we are and as soon as we realize this — like seriously chew on it, swallow it and let it energize us from the inside out — things change, most importantly, our own perspective. Scrapbooking is no longer a hobby you struggle to find time for, it’s no longer something you feel guilty about pursuing or have to justify on any level — it becomes something you need to do, because it is good for you — like eathing healthy or getting regular exercise. I’ve thought for a long time if we can use this website to promote the lifestyle of scrapbooking — not just the craft that people often equate it with — then we will really accomplish something.
I’m off to bed and these are my thoughts. Tell me what you think.

and … watch your mailbox!


  1. Stacy, I’m *loving* your whole big-picture push!! I just wanted to let you know I just sent off ten (yes, ten!) pieces of “happy mail” this week for Thanksgiving — notes of gratitude to colleagues who’ve been especially supportive throughout the year, my kids’ hand-outline-turkey art to faraway family, etc. I believe what goes around comes around, sooo . . . I’ll be watching my mailbox for the biggest Snickers bar you can find!
    Thanks for your energy, inspiration & doses of daily happiness — keep up the good work!!
    Kristen Card
    way down here in Austin, Texas

  2. Stacy…I hear from so many people how taking one of your classes makes them see things in a whole new light and how energised they are. Well I feel like I’m getting the same thing now from your blog. Wonderful things to let sink in, to think about.
    I got my preorder notification today and I will now stalk the poor postie till my “big picture” arrives LOL

  3. “it becomes something you need to do, because it is good for you”–This statement is a real eye opener for me. Thanks for giving me something to “chew on”!!

  4. “Scrapbooking is not just something we do — it is who we are and as soon as we realize this — like seriously chew on it, swallow it and let it energize us from the inside out — things change, most importantly, our own perspective.”
    I think I’ll print that out and keep it on my desk because it is so true and something I need to be reminded of occasionally. :-)

  5. Scrapbooking as been a part of my life since High School. I saved every spirit tag and program from every football game….Prom tickets and anything else I could get my hands on to put in a scrapbook. I have been the photographer in my family since my sister was born (I was twelve) I am never with out my camera. I have a passion for photography and I think I missed my calling on that one. Anyway what I am trying to say is that Scrapbooking is part of who I am not just my Hobby. Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas.

  6. Thanks for the inspiring post!!

  7. Jennifer Webb says:

    Your thoughts, this blog and your project are fabulous! Thank you for sharing with everyone! Reading your entry today makes me realize this is the mindset I want to have and I want my family to have. My perspective on a lot of things has changed since I began scrapbooking but I’m not good at standing up for that perspective and making everyone else see it. I’m keeping your words handy this weekend to try and “convert” some family members!

  8. Stacy,
    I love the way you put that, I have always been a saver, then I discovered Scrapbooking in 2002, thanks to my husband. I am a frustrated artist, blessed to be teaching pre-k three year olds with developmental delays and disabilities, but I always mangage to find a way to create no matter on what level. I too believe that this hobby becomes a part of who you are. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to see what is coming from the Big Picture!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. love your way with words and the reminder that scrapbooking is what we do and who we are… and how important it is! thanks :)

  10. Susanne Ponce says:

    I don’t know if you remember me or not. I was a partner with a person in a shop called S&J Stamp Designs. We were one of the first lucky people to bring Core Composition in our store. Everyone LOVED it…and we taught classes based around it….and it helped so many people turn their pages into what they wanted from scrapbooking. It taught them balance,design, the power of 3′s, the triangle, angles love curves, and picture cropping (discarding the star and heart shapes, etc. I even remember your phrase of “Not everyone wants to be a star”. See how ingrained it is?
    you have inspired so many and I am very thankful that you are still doing it. I try to do the “simple, get it done, and record the every day moments”. You prevent me for the most part from getting sucked into the one page work of art that doesn’t necessarily share a moment. Not that those LO’s don’t have their place but i have more pics than that.
    just wanted to say thanks. i look forward to your new book and love this blog.

  11. Such a clever idea…I love suprises! I’m really intrigued over what you’re offering.

  12. I know you know, but I have been changed by this…..it was amazing when the switch got flipped in my head and I found acceptance that scrapbooking simply isn’t optional (for me)….thank you for helping me OWN that…and for giving me the permission….and for SO much more !!

  13. Amy Nabors says:

    It is so nice to know that other people feel like scrapbooking is a part of who they are not just something they do. When people ask me what my hobbies are and I say scrapbooking they just say “oh, I wish I had time to work on mine”. When I say I scrapbook some everyday they look stunned. Scrapbooking is such an integral part of me. It’s what energizes me. I think it started in high school and college on the yearbook staffs. I love preserving memories. I just wish more of my friends understood that scrapbooking is a part of who I am.
    Can’t wait to get your new book! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. WOWZERS! This post hit me like a TON OF BRICKS. I am speechless, literally speechless – and that does NOT happen! :-) I’ve had a SERIOUS lightbulb moment about the direction of my scrapbooking. Lately I’ve been feeling like I *need* to create daily, even if it’s just a card or something small. I NEED to do it. You literally took the words right out of my mouth. No wonder I’m speechless. LOL! Any chance you’ll be coming to Missouri for any classes or conventions?? I NEED TO TAKE ONE OF YOUR CLASSES!! IT”S A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  15. Stacy,
    How exciting! I love your phiolosophy on scrapbooking. It is just who I am, too. An observer, a saver (some would say pack rat) one who savors moments of life — the completely normal (like listening to my girls play pretend when they think no one is around), the meaningful, those sparks of realization that THIS today is my life.
    I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with.

  16. Your words hit home… its not a want… its a need!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. You are saying such true things – I love it! I love the idea that I don’t have to feel guilty about taking time for this!

  18. there is nothing like hearing you speak…but reading your words is right up there. I think I need a daily pep talk from you :) I love that you have your blog…makes me altogether too happy! Carrie

  19. it’s wonderful to get validation. I’m so happy to feel free to add more pictures to my layouts, and not getting so caught up in making them “works of arts”. I love this life of perserving memories for myself and family, and I want it to be more than “getting published” and fancy creative pages. I want my pages to reflect my love for my family and to “talk” for me when I’m no longer able to. I need to leave a legacy of love and support for my children to have. Thanks for letting me in on the “Big Picture”

  20. You know, I’ve been scrapbooking in one form or another my whole life. Started with the whole thing in a serious way about 15 years ago. For me, it really IS as much a part of my life as everything else I do. I don’t let myself feel any more guilty about it than I would, say, my daily trip to the gym, or reading my scriptures, or whatever it is to do to keep myself mentally and physically healthy. Scrapbooking is an integral part of that for me. That’s why I love it! :)
    Happy Thanksgiving, Stacy!

  21. Karen Wilmes says:

    Stacy, after meeting you at CKU whenever I read your blog I can actually hear the excitement you get when you speak and it’s so inspiring. I just told hubby that your book is available because it’s on the top of my xmas list. He better understand how much I want this book! I really hope I’m one of the lucky ones to get a candy bar from you! I’d feel so special if I was! Please keep inspiring us!!!!

  22. Karen Wilmes says:

    Stacy, after meeting you at CKU whenever I read your blog I can actually hear the excitement you get when you speak and it’s so inspiring. I just told hubby that your book is available because it’s on the top of my xmas list. He better understand how much I want this book! I really hope I’m one of the lucky ones to get a candy bar from you! I’d feel so special if I was! Please keep inspiring us!!!!

  23. Stacy – I totally agree about scrapping being a lifestyle. I was thinking recently about a friend I no longer see and how since I saw her, my life is totally different! I wasn’t scrapping then and didn’t have a child now my life seems to revolve around those two things. I see the world differently and I’m so much happier all because I found scrapbooking. Love it!!! Here’s a funny thought…sometimes I see people on Dr. Phil that are unhappy and feel they have no life (women) and I think, “they need to scrapbook!” ha!

  24. I can only hope that I receive some HappyMail from you… if it happens, you have no idea how happy I will be! Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!

  25. I totally agree! It’s who I am. It’s what I do! It’s part of everyday life whether I realize it or not. I tried to fight the urge for another hobby but it didn’t take long for scrapbooking to become more than this. It completes me. Love your blog and the I can’t wait to see more at the BP site!! And to get my book!

  26. Wow! Thanks so much for this blog and all of the inspiration and happiness! I love this statement – it becomes something you need to do, because it is good for you… that just really hit home to me and me think of things so differently. I can hardly wait to get your book! Thanks! Jen

  27. I just found your blog, and WOW am I glad I did!!! You just described how I feel about scrapbooking to a perfect ‘T’!!!! I LOVE your philosophy and can’t wait to get your book!! My birthday is about a week a way, and your book is on the top of my list!!! I look forward to learning more about you and from you by reading your blog and your book. I hope to someday be able to take a class from you, too!!! Now THAT would be AWESOME!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  28. Interesting point of view. Inspiring words.
    Are you aware how far reaching they are?
    A smile from the other extreme of the continent. :)

  29. That’s exactly how I feel about scrapbooking (and why I’m at my computer before everyone wakes up here). It has made me a more “aware” photographer, and I just have to do it everyday.

  30. Hi Stacy! I feel compelled to say thank you for that post. I think I’m going to print it, and put it in my little scrap notebook. And I may ask my husband to read it also. I struggle sometimes with the reactions and thoughts of others about scrapbooking; and this is just what kind of response/attitude I feel that I really have had a hard time putting into words myself. Thank you!

  31. Beth Brown says:

    Stacy YOU are amazing! I’m a in total awe at the HUGE light that shines from you! It totally sparkles, inspires, motivates and spreads the “oh yea I get it now” ‘s to everyone you meet! WOOHOO! GO GIRL! I’m screaming and shouting and hooping it up on the east coast for you! I can’t wait to get my hands on your book!
    So I’m sharing…Three things:
    1. I “think” of a layout based on the totally “it” photo I’ve captured. It ususally comes to me when I preview the photo on my digital. I’ve got a little booklet in what ever bag I carry around to jot down my thoughts.
    2. It’s taken a bit of time, but I’ve definatly made scrapbooking my lifestyle. I tend to enjoy the moment and also put a mental sticky note on it so that I can document or journal that tradition or emotion along with the moment.
    3. I often think about the activity we are doing as a family in terms of “note worthy”. For example: I’ve compiled a book of recipes and when we have them. Like tonight. We have Reuben Casserole on the night we bring the Christmas tree home because it’s quick and easy for me to prepare yet it’s a family fav too.

  32. Your ‘Big Picture Scrapbooking’ to me is an experiance i’ve had only a few times before, but a wonderful one… finding a name/words to explain an important part of my life! I haven’t ordered your book yet, but it’s on my Christmas list!

  33. I was totally blown away when I came home from a really long car ride and a little package was waiting for me. I thought, I don’t know a Stacy who would mail me something. And then, I opened it up to exactly what I was craving that day, my Almond Joy bar(all the halloween candy is gone). So mission accomplished, I was tickled pink and green! It hit me that it was you when I got the pin. I knew the signature looked so familiar too. Thanks so much! Now to do that for someone else, I am surprised how a little goodie in the mail can perk someone up.

  34. This is so cool and inspiring, I “heart” every line of this post.
    I can’t wait to find out more. . .

  35. Stacy – thank you for inventing this idea and creating a new community to share ideas with. I missed a couple days and just read what you wrote about scrapbooking being more than a hobby – but something we need to do. It really hit me. I’ve been struggling with trying to do all the things I need to do and want to do. I’ve been contemplating taking up an instrument (drums, if you can imagine) and my biggest struggle is where will I find the time to really embrace it. After reading what you wrote, it really makes me think I should wait on that and really let myself dive into scrapping more. I always squeeze in minutes here and there, but my mind is constantly (and I mean constantaly) planning pages and books and photo decor (thanks Donna) — so I know I need to get these out and bring them to life. That said, fantasies of playing drums (i.e. playing along with U2 or Everclear — in the privacy of my own home) officially on hold until I let more of these thousands of ideas come alive.
    Thank you!

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