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:
(let your local store owner know if you’d like me to come to your town!!)
photo credit: Jefra Linn Photography… (she's amazing!)