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inspiration sessions… by heidi swapp

inspiration sessions… by heidi swapp

I guess it was 11 years ago that I got my first teaching job in a scrapbook store. (maybe you have heard me tell the story, or read it in a bio or something…) my favorite store to shop at was located in a little tiny house in Mesa, AZ called ‘MEMORY LANE’… I loved to go there even when I was still living in UT and in Canada when we were first married! When we moved to AZ, it became something of a monthly ritual of mine to go to the scrapbook store. I guarded my trip- made sure I could go ‘kid-free’ and had at least a hour to browse and look at everything. I thought that they had the most amazing teachers, and offered the most inspiring classes…names such as ‘Rhonda Soloman’ and ‘Robin Johnson’… and even ‘Sharon Lewis’… I LOVED to look at their class samples, and get ideas! but I was super intimidated by their amazing work! This was about the time I became acquainted with a girl named ‘Becky Higgins’ through my cousin Nanci, and even had the opportunity to go to scrapbook night at her house! Again I was amazed at what beautiful pages she created, and how clean, and perfect they seemed! I was totally hooked. It was my creative outlet, my own thing, and my little son, 1-year-old Colton was the subject of EVERY photo.  Winter of 1999, I was pregnant with Cory, and was really into scrapbooking… I was looking forward to my big trip to the SB store, and had made sure that Eric was home early enough from work to take over being in charge of Colton, and I was off on my way to Memory Lane. Just as I was pulling into the parking lot, my  phone rang… and it was Eric asking where we had more diapers. I knew my trip was doomed because I had made a trip that day to Costco for diapers, and they were still in my car. Clearly, this would have to be quick… I needed to complete a couple of pages, and needed more of some specific papers… so I took my album in with me, which was not my normal practice. But I didn’t want any of these amazing store employees or teachers to see my lame pages, so I wasn’t about to show anyone… I was just going to get in and get out. Debbie Crouse was my favorite Memory Lane Employee… she was super nice, always helpful… I got what I needed and was out the door. When I got home, I realized I left my album at the store, and I was instantly mortified. 1. Because I wanted to complete the layouts I was working on and 2. (more importantly) I didn’t want anyone to look in my book!! How embarrassing! I called, and gave specific instruction that I would be back to pick it up in the morning, and that no one should look at it!  Well, the next morning, the phone rang, and it was Allison Tyler Jones- the then owner of Memory Lane (are any of these names sounding familiar!?) and I remember her telling me that she had looked through my album… (I was dying of embarrassment) which immediately gave way to absolute shock and thrill when she asked me “why am I not teaching in her store???”… you can’t imagine the happy dance I was doing in my kitchen.. couldn’t believe it!! ME!!?!?!?!?! a teacher!?!?!? At MEMORY LANE!?!?  Words can’t describe my shock, thrill, amazement, intimidation, fear, worry and at last… determination to create fabulous classes for the store.
  I guess you could say… the rest is history!
Since that time, I have created countless classes, traveled to many conventions, stores and events to instruct and share my passion for this amazing hobby! I’ve collaborated on books, written articles, designed websites and designed products that seem to have a life all their own! Really kind of mind boggling as I think back!! But as I contemplate it all, what I truly love… and enjoy MOST is the opportunity to teach. I love to share my ideas… meet new people (that usually become old friends) that love what I love and share this crazy passion with me!
That brings me to today!
I want to teach again. It makes me happy. It challenges my creativity and stimulates my creative soul. I have to admit that while I was pregnant with Capri and Connor, traveling and teaching was the LAST thing I wanted to do.. (as long as we’re being honest).
Now that I am BACK… I have been carefully evaluating what I want to do.. and how I want to do it, and I have decided to create this:

Picture 3

Inspiration Sessions are classes that I have developed to teach in smaller settings in Independent stores.  They are 3+ hour classes that are project and technique driven, and usually are tied to a bit of a ‘life lesson’!   If you are interested in more information about having me come and teach in your store … please email me at:  [email protected] for all the details and formalities!  Minimums apply, and dates will be set on a first come first serve basis. I even have dates available as soon as this summer!

(let your local store owner know if you’d like me to come to your town!!)

photo credit: Jefra Linn Photography… (she's amazing!)


  • Yvonne

    2 June, 2009 at 6:23 pm Reply

    Heidi, I just emailed you so excited to hear about this amazing opportunity, hoping to hear from you really soon!!!!

  • Lacy

    2 June, 2009 at 6:37 pm Reply

    Ummmm…does my ward count as an Independent? 🙂

  • KrisB

    2 June, 2009 at 7:20 pm Reply

    I would love to do this…took the “Year to Remember” class the other year and loved it!
    Unfortunately, they aren’t really any independent SB stores in my area any more…
    they all gave way to the chains!

  • Talia

    2 June, 2009 at 7:36 pm Reply

    i am so excited for you, Heidi!
    any store would be lucky and blessed to have you teach.
    Good luck!!

  • Stefani Meyer

    2 June, 2009 at 8:17 pm Reply

    thanks for the walk down Memory Lane…. bahahahaha! I crack myself up. But seriously, I loved that store too. So, so inspirational! Plus I have been an avid Heidi follower ever since then (maybe even before) They know talent when they see it!
    And I’m calling up my best girl in San Jose who owns a store and see if she’ll get you to come teach. I would be first in line for the class(es)!

  • liz kartchner

    2 June, 2009 at 9:10 pm Reply

    very cool!! loved reading this SO much!
    hope you come to utah to teach!

  • Naomi Ev.

    2 June, 2009 at 9:45 pm Reply

    aaah, Memory Lane…I remember it too. The creative writing class..WOW!! Who would have thought!! Congrats!! I’m looking forward to more of your classes at SB Etc. Welcome back!!

  • iben

    3 June, 2009 at 12:46 am Reply

    Oooooh, do you want to come to Denmark !?
    If you are planning any European tours – please let me know and we can set a date…

  • sara lambert

    3 June, 2009 at 5:42 am Reply

    What a shame you’re not in the UK!

  • deborah

    3 June, 2009 at 5:47 am Reply

    The original Memory Lane in the little old house was WONDERFUL! The new store was also fantastic and how I miss them. YOU, little missy, stood out from the crowd immediately. You truly are extremely talented and super CUTE! My little ones are grown now, and I would love to learn some of your digital skills. **blows kisses** Deborah

  • Elaine Plemons

    3 June, 2009 at 6:21 am Reply

    How interesting to hear the “back story” again…I was visiting my sister who lives in Gilbert, AZ when I happened into the old store, and from then on, WHENEVER I went to Phoenix area, it was a must stop–with NO kids! So much fun. I have to also add that MY VERY FIRST scrapbook class was with you, Heidi–eons ago (You had just had Quincy–or were pregnant, can’t remember which.) You were late–and blew in–turned on a Cheryl Crow number, at full blast–for inspiration–and off we went. It was wild!! Wasn’t sure at first, but I found myself so enthralled and inspired within 30 minutes, that I wanted to take any class from you I could. But, alas, I was never able to take another class from you again–(HOPING you get to Atlanta or Nashville area, with this new venture!) But I did by any book or magazine where I saw you had contributed. LOVE keeping up with you on your blog. Thank-you for the inspiration and joy you have brought these many years…Elaine Plemons

  • Karen Forgang

    3 June, 2009 at 6:22 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing your story! I have always been inspired by your work and would absolutely LOVE to attend one of your classes. I am lucky enough to be in AZ, so I am hoping you’ll be teaching at one of the many stores here (maybe Scrapbooks Etc. and/or Scrapbook Barn right near my house :)). I look forward to reading your blog daily, and hope to be in one of your classes soon!

  • Aimee G.

    3 June, 2009 at 6:30 am Reply

    That’s a cool story. What a serendipitous way to have become a scrapbooking teacher! It’d be great to see some examples of your first scrapbook pages! Can you share? 🙂

  • greyce

    3 June, 2009 at 7:36 am Reply

    What a great story! i believe in fate and yours was a perfect example. thanks for sharing.

  • Sandy M

    3 June, 2009 at 7:58 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing Heidi.
    It is always inspiring to hear personal success story. It motivates others like me to achieve their dreams. I will definitely let my local scrapbook store owners know about the Inspiration Session. They are both very fun ladies and super creative.
    Have a good day:)

  • Rhonna Farrer

    3 June, 2009 at 9:30 am Reply

    love this. always so fun to hear how things unfold in everyone’s journey & process!

  • LenaS

    3 June, 2009 at 10:04 am Reply

    I love your story. I never would have thought you were embarrassed by your work…maybe that gives me hope for my own tiny future in the industry. Want to “Thank You” from the bottom of my heart for teaching in that old house. Your class was the first scrapbook related class i had ever taken and you were amazing. I was skinny then. I still dislike my handwriting, cannot use pens because southpaws smear ink, but i work at it with colored pencils which are more forgiving. Your classes were and still are the best out there!! Glad you are home. PS-if i ever move out-of-state i will ask lss to invite you for sure. Many Blessings!

  • bettyann

    3 June, 2009 at 10:13 am Reply

    I am so excited..I have been telling my sbs that they MUST have you in for a teaching weekend..I am running there now to have them see your blog and maybe we will see you in Langley, British Columbia soon!!!!

  • leni

    3 June, 2009 at 10:39 am Reply

    cute story!

  • Irene

    3 June, 2009 at 11:02 am Reply

    Oh wow! Any chance you will ever offer a class on-line for all us gals with families and no local scrapbook store?

  • ♥alicia

    3 June, 2009 at 12:23 pm Reply

    I love this story! and look at all the designers! my sister in law and I have always wanted to visit Memory Lane just because of you! so excited about this opportunity!

  • Carole

    3 June, 2009 at 1:04 pm Reply

    I enjoyed hearing your story. Thanks for sharing. I’ll sign-up for the class if you come to our area. I took your A Year to Remember class and loved it. You ROCK!

  • kris

    3 June, 2009 at 1:24 pm Reply

    an on-line class would be awesome for this. i, too, do not have a local store. please consider…

  • carlene

    3 June, 2009 at 1:57 pm Reply

    I remember taking a class from you @ Memory Lane and you had just found out you were pregnant with Quincy! WHERE does the time go?
    And I’m still mad at Alison for closing the store, LOL! I do seriously still miss it though!

  • joanie

    3 June, 2009 at 2:36 pm Reply

    I loved your story! I sure hope you can come to Cleveland or Columbus soon….I would sign up in a minute! I hope you will share where you will be! I took your Year to Remember class and loved it!

  • AZAnjanette

    3 June, 2009 at 3:36 pm Reply

    Please be sure and post where you’ll be teaching! 3 hours of Heidi class sounds great.

  • KJ Miller

    3 June, 2009 at 9:34 pm Reply

    Terrific idea as I continue to expect from you. You are such an inspirational speaker/teacher. Much can be learned just listening from all that comes from your heart.

  • Michelle Rubino

    5 June, 2009 at 7:25 am Reply

    I just emailed to get info. We would love to add you as a guest this year. We had Tim last year and Donna next month. Your work is just amazing.
    Scrapbook Central dba Cherry Blossom Studio

  • deb

    8 June, 2009 at 9:32 am Reply

    What a wonderful story of how your scrapbooking journey began. It’s neat to hear seeing what you’re doing today.

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