Interview with A Picket Fence Life
We recently interviewed Judy Butler of A Picket Fence Life to learn more about the beautiful mini scrapbooks she sells on her website and Etsy. These scrapbooks are created with themes for all sorts of occasions like travel, new baby, birthday or family, and all you have to do is add your photos to create the perfect keepsake!
Read on to learn more about how Judy came to love scrapbooking and what inspires her designs! Judy has used our Colored Cardstock in some of her designs and we love seeing what she comes up with!
Tell us about yourself.
“I am a Midwest girl, a creativepreneur and a dreamer whose mind is always filled with ideas for what I can create next. My business is my full-time gig and at times I can get singularly focused on it so fortunately I have a supportive but adventurous husband that makes sure I fit in some downtime. We have a bunch of kids. Actually, we are basically The Brady Bunch. Three boys and three girls (including twins cuz I like to be efficient!) plus daughters and sons-in-law, 3 beautiful grandchildren and 3 more on the way. Our family is definitely growing fast these days! This summer we ventured into the world of camping and I must admit we’ve been a little obsessed lately with YouTube videos about full-time RVing (hello retirement). Always a dreamer!”
How did you begin scrapbooking?
“In the mid-90s I was at AmericasMart Atlanta shopping for items for the little gift shop I owned in my hometown. I entered a booth that carried a line of scrapbooking supplies and I fell in love. The products didn’t necessarily fit in with my store concept, but a little seed had been planted. Over the next several years I would pick up supplies when I could find them (back before it was possible to order things online!) and created some very primitive albums. By this time, my kids were teenagers and the thought of going back and documenting all their childhood just seemed overwhelming. I created a couple of 12×12 albums filled with my son’s high school plays and liked the idea of making an album with just one theme. I had seen a photo of a paper bag mini scrapbook in a magazine and decided to give it a try. After making a few as gifts I decided to list one on this new marketplace that I had found called Etsy. The year was 2008 and I have been making and selling themed books ever since.”
What is A Picket Fence Life all about?
“A Picket Fence Life was born as I was winding around country roads traveling to and from Madison, WI. It was a route I had driven countless times and I was always intrigued by the many signs hanging from a fence post or the side of a barn announcing the presence of a small business. Whether it was homegrown vegetables for sale or a quilt shop or a Christmas tree farm, these signs represented the entrepreneurial spirit that I had always possessed. Over the years I had several side-gigs that I had named but they always were tied to the specific thing I was selling, usually sewing or painting. When 2008 rolled around I knew I wanted a business and business name that would grow with me and it was finally time to use the name that had been influenced by the drives to Madison. My business is primarily devoted to creating mini scrapbooks, cards and papercrafts that I sell on Etsy and through my own website. It has been a full-time gig for the last 2-1/2 years.”
Where do you get your inspiration to create your designs?
Inspiration comes from everywhere, but of course I’m inspired by the things I see on Instagram and Pinterest. My customers are also a great source of inspiration. They’ve suggested various locations for my travel books and custom orders always challenge my creativity and give me great ideas to incorporate into my line of products.
Do you have a favorite holiday/life event to create scrapbooks for?
My favorite mini scrapbooks to create are travel books and baby/pregnancy books. I have made travel books for dozens of countries around the world as well as numerous cities within the U.S. They are so fun to create because I feel like I get to escape to another place for a while. Baby books are also very close to my heart, especially right now because our children keep blessing us with more grandbabies!
Any advice for parents, grandparents, kids or anyone interested in scrapbooking?
My best advice for anyone is to just start documenting your life. Tell your story. It doesn’t really matter how, whether it’s in a traditional scrapbook, a mini album or even a journal. Print the photos from your phone, stick them on a page and add some journaling. You think you’ll always remember what was happening in the photo but you won’t unless you write down a few sentences to jog your memory. Looking back through scrapbooks and sharing them with your family and friends is so much more satisfying than flipping through photos on your phone screen.
With all of the different options available to express one’s creativity, why do you choose paper?
I have been creating pretty much my entire life using a variety of media including fabric, yarn, wood, paint and paper. While I enjoy so many different crafts, working with paper is my favorite because I create scrapbooks to help people document their lives and tell their stories to future generations. I also love making cards because who doesn’t love getting a card in the mail?!
What other projects/endeavors are you working on for A Picket Fence Life?
Of course, I’m always working on new themes and designs for my mini albums but I also have a few other “new to me” projects in the works that I will roll out in 2021. Stay tuned!