March 2007 archive

What’s Oprah Got Against Scrapbooking?

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Now that Oprah is back from her Spring Break and has new shows on again, it got me to thinking: Why hasn’t Oprah ever done an entire show on scrapbooking? Unless I’ve missed something during all these years as a loyal Oprah viewer, the only scrap-related thing ever was when Lisa Bearnson was on for a hot minute during a show about women entrepreneurs (I never saw this episode, I just heard about it – anyone got the low down?). So, I just don’t get it. The Oprah show’s main demographic is probably identical to the main scrapbooking demographic: women age 30 to 50, married with kids. Oprah is known for having shows about the latest, greatest, most popular thing – the “what is everyone doing or talking about?” kind of topics. Well, American women are scrapbooking, girlfriend!!! I have e-mailed Oprah myself with this fabulous show idea – TWICE – and nada, nothing. It’s just so bizarre. What is her resistance to scrapbooking? Is Ms. Winfrey afraid she will get a paper cut when she helps with the demo? Does she have something against people from Utah? Is she waiting until scrapbooking becomes “big”? Well, now is the time! The last scrappin’ statistics I heard went something like this: Every third household has a scrapbooker, and it is now a $3 billion industry. Scrapbooking far surpasses any other craft hobby in popularity and sales. I just wish Oprah would do a scrapbooking show and give this fabulous hobby/art it’s proper due – don’t you???

Edit: Here is a correction/addition to my scrap stats above. It’s quoted from Craftrends News Headlines: “The 2006 Craft & Hobby Association Attitude & Usage Study, released at the January trade show, reveals that the U.S. craft and hobby industry achieved $30.2 billion in annual retail sales, with 57 percent of U.S. households (62 million) participating in crafts last year. Annual average spending per household is $476.”

NSBR: Mini Book Review

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An update on an earlier post:
I finished the Jodi Picoult book, Keeping Faith. It’s about a little girl (coincidentally named Faith) who, although a non-practicing Jew, starts to recite Bible passages, heal others and develops stigmata. Doesn’t Ms. Picoult come up with the most fascinating topics to write about? This book pulled me in right away and I couldn’t put it down. There are several subplots, including an unusual love story, that kept me very interested and wondering what would happen next. This book has some interesting things to say about “today’s media”, about how child custody is decided in today’s courthouses, and about mother/child vs. father/child relationships. The best part to me was trying to decipher how the mother felt about what was happening to Faith – did she believe her or just believe in her? It reminded me of how I think parents of murderers or other criminals must feel: no matter what happens, no matter what others think, that is still MY child. Wow, heavy stuff. I highly recommend this book as both an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Now I’m reading this bizarre book The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen. It’s probably too naughty for me to give a review of so, just trust me, check it out.

Favorite Quotes About Scrapbooking

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On the CKMB, many of us have a little signature line that contains our name, our website/blog, a Glitter Name, an icon (or many!), or a funny quote. This one from Brightsy cracked me up:

“Some folks say I have a short attention span, but they just….Ohhh look, sparklies!”

Isn’t that adorable and funny? And it got me to thinking about funny or cute quotes about scrapbooking that I’ve seen over the years, on tee shirts and such. So I went a-searchin’ and here are some quotes I found:

“Scrapbooking fills my days – not to mention my living room, bedroom and closets!” ~Author Unknown

“Blessed are the children of scrapbookers, for they shall inherit the scrapbooks.” ~Author Unknown

“I scrapbook therefore I am – broke.” ~Author Unknown

“I could keep on scrappin’
or I could go to bed,
but then what would I do
with all these layouts in my head?”
~Author Unknown, “My Addiction”

“Just as pieces stitched together in a quilt warm our bodies, scrapbooks bind together memories to warm our hearts.” ~Author Unknown

“My grandmother made me a scrapbook because I was once too young to remember; I am making scrapbooks for my family because one day I may be too old to remember.” ~Author Unknown

“When life gives you scraps, make something with them.” ~Author Unknown

“Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you ever prove it wasn’t all a dream?” ~Ashleigh Brilliant

“We gather up pictures and bits of our past
and scrapbook them into a gift that will last.”
~Kimberly Rinehart, “Scrapbooker’s Verse”

“Scrapbooking isn’t about scraps of paper and photos. Scrapbooking is about scraps of life – yours and those special to you.” ~Rebecca Sower

“To crop or not to crop, that is the question.” ~Author Unknown

“Scrapbooking is cheaper than a therapist.” ~Author Unknown

“My husband lets me have all the scrapbooking supplies I can hide.” ~Author Unknown

“The album we’ve made is much more than a book.
It’s worth even more than the time that it took.”
~Kimberly Rinehart, “Scrapbooker’s Verse”

“A true scrapbook addict is one who stages photographs to match paper she likes.” ~Author Unknown

[Mama] follows us around
hoping we’ll sneeze
So she can have the tissue
“For my scrapbook please.”
~Toni Sorenson Brown, “She’s Out of Control”

“And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
With the photographs there and the moths.”
– Author:Leonard Cohen

“I’ve spent most of my money scrapbooking and eating out. the rest I’ve pretty much wasted.”– Author:-unknown

“Mess with my scrapbook stuff I’ll punch your eyelets out!” — Author:?

“Perfection is the enemy of completion.” — Author:Bird Dunn

Do you have any favorite scrapbooking quotes to share?

Martha Stewart Products at Michaels Stores

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The Life magazine circular in my newspaper this week had a small feature on Martha Stewart. It said that “She’ll debut a line of craft products – including paper, scrapbooking, and storage items – at Michaels Stores this spring.” I tried to research more about this but I couldn’t find the products on her website. I did find an old Craftrends article from April 2006 that she was partnering with EK Success. As you know, EK Success is one of the top producers of scrapbooking and papercrafting products. Anyway, I can’t wait to see her stuff. I’ve always liked her furniture and home products. Although I don’t own a lot of her things, I have always looked to her for home decor ideas. She uses a lot of the colors and color combos that I like. One of the favorite inspirations I got from her is the use of clean white furniture and white moldings with deep pastel colored walls. For example, my bedroom has an ocean theme. The door moldings and baseboards are white as is some of the furniture. The walls are painted an ocean blue/green color that looks wicked cool against the white. I just love it. Hey, I should try to translate that to a scrapbook layout! Well, I look forward to seeing Martha’s scrapbook products and, like someone on the CKMB said, we can always use our 40% off coupons if her stuff is pricey! The word is that her products will be at Michaels Stores starting this April. My Mike’s is always slow to get new things, so please let me know if you see any “Martha” stuff at your Mike’s, k?

Youngplay Memories Scrapbook Store

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Yay! I finally got to go yesterday. This is the huge super-scrapbook store I’ve talked about before. It’s in Tracy, CA about 10 minutes off the I-5, I-205 and the I-580 (they kind of form a triangle with the store in the middle). This store has over 20,000 square feet of scrapbooking and beading supplies, a huge crop area upstairs, and a latte stand.

I got there about 11:30 am and planned to stay for an hour (yeah, right!). I started in the back of the store which, actually, is where a lot of the good stuff was. They had the usual wall of Bazzill, and their Basic Grey, Bohemia and misc. patterned paper back there. I of course found the Clearance table and had a ball. There was quite a bit to choose from but like most clearance areas, it was disorganized and difficult to wade through. But I did get a bunch of Daisy D punch outs and cardstock stickers, and several sheets of American Crafts letter stickers that I’m using throughout a vacation album. And about 30 Wild Asparagus die cuts (they were 75% off, or $.15 to $.25 each). When the nice lady rang me up, she said I got $11 worth of WA die cuts for $3. For some reason, I never bought the WA kit on QVC or anything, but I do have a lot of their papers. Was glad I got the die cuts to go with them. The bead section, also in the back, appeared to be under construction. Although I also make beaded jewelry, my mission that day was scrapbooking so I moved on.

I was very impressed with their huge sections on boys, girls, babies, sports and birthdays. And the travel section! It just went on and on and on. There were several sets of stickers, papers and die cuts where it appeared they had all 50 states along with some other countries. I was surprised they didn’t have more wedding items and the album selection was small. But they had all the latest and greatest stuff, a nice section of alterable items (I got a large ‘craft’ letter of my first initial to alter), and MANY samples around the store of pages and projects. The entire front wall was covered with project kits for 2-page layouts. They were very cute and very product-heavy but, at $18, too expensive for me. I enjoyed looking at them for ideas though. Unfortunately, the latte shop was powered down so the coffee I’d been waiting for all morning was not to be :( Maybe they only have it going during crops (?). I also couldn’t find any magazines and when I asked at check-out, she said they don’t carry them because they are not good sellers. I said, “I guess everyone already subscribes, huh?” and she said, “Yes, the people who come here are serious scrappers and they already get the one’s they want”. Also very few idea books. The only recent one I saw was Ali Edwards’ A Designer’s Eye for Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper. This would probably not be disappointing for anyone but me, I guess.

I finally got some Bazzill Bling (a sheet each of purple and blue), several Tres Jolie journaling blocks from My Mind’s Eye, and some beautiful embossed paper I’d never seen before called Letter Press from Autumn Leaves. I think my favorite purchases were this, this, this and this. It was very hard NOT to buy the Fancy Pants 12×12 acrylic stamps called Bella Brush and Pollen Dust. They are even more Heavenly in person than on the website! I had to tell myself, “Ok, put them down, back slowly away. They are $30 and you can’t afford them”. I did not leave without some scrumptious stamps however…got the Heidi Swapp clear stamp journaling stamps called love and – my favoritest purchase of the day – KI Memories date stamps called Icons – Calendar. I got my mom a few things towards her Christmas present, and some Heidi Swapp Bling crown stickers for my friend K. She’s ‘the queen of everything’ but going through some hard times right now. I sent them off to her today inside a handmade card (made from a Becky Higgins sketch, really cute, I should’ve taken a photo to post).

So…1.5 hours later (!) and $93.30 on the Visa (!!!), I forced myself to leave. Please don’t think I normally spend that kind of dough…I had a recent windfall and had planned for this trip :) I meant to sneak upstairs and take a peak at the scrap area, but I forgot until I was on the highway. Well, I’ll check it out next time…because there WILL be a next time, I’m sure. I also got some great deals at Old Navy and Walmart on the way home, so it was an entirely successful trip.

I’m the Tagger This Time!

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I enjoyed the Tag You’re It! last time, especially reading everyone else’s responses. I saw another one on Scrap My World and I wanna’ do it even though she didn’t tag me :)

I have to share 5 quirky things about me. Here goes…

1. I do not eat red meat. Please don’t give me credit for anything like loving cows too much. It’s just disgusting, bloody and greasy. (I probably just made you not want to eat it either, huh?)

2. I am afraid of the dark. I grew up in a bad neighborhood where dark meant shots fired, helicopters shining lights in my bedroom window, and constant fear. I will NEVER live that way again, nor will my children.

3. I am physically addicted to Starbucks. I try to stop and I honest to goodness can’t. My order is quirky too: Venti sugar free vanilla triple breve latte. Sometimes I shake it up and have sugar free hazelnut or dolce. Is it the caffeine rush or the taste??? BOTH!

4. Like Tanja, I’m not into labels or designer clothing, handbags, etc. I buy my clothes at Target, Walmart, JC Penney’s, and Old Navy. I only have so much disposable income and my priorities are scrapbooking and Starbucks.

5. I believe that kids should be kids while they can and, therefore, don’t allow my kids to do every activity, sport or club they want. I think what my kids can learn during our limited “family time” is worth 10x’s more than a coach or instructor can teach them. Unfortunately, this belief makes me “quirky” or “wierd” or “mean” in the eyes of most other parents I know.

Okay, now it’s your turn! I’m tagging Karen, Leslie, and Scrappy Cat.

Pleasanton Scrapbook Expo

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A company called Davis Promotions hosts Scrapbook Expo events in about a dozen cities throughout the year. (Thank you Leslie - I just did my first link!). I've been to the one in San Jose, CA twice and the one in Pleasanton, CA twice. This year was my third time at Pleasanton. There are classes taught by various vendors which you pay for and attend ala carte. Then there is a huge building with all of the vendor booths where you can do make-and-takes, see new products, and SHOP! It used to go for 3 days - now it is 2 days - and there are crops both nights you can attend (for a fee). The crops have games and contests so you don't really get much scrapping done, but it's a great place to meet scrappers from your area of the country. I've only gone "all out" and taken classes/attended crops one time. My mom and I shared a nearby hotel room and basically lived at the Expo for 3 days. It was a blast. Cost wise, I think it's probably pretty similar to the cost of a CKU (Creating Keepsakes University) or CKC (Creating Keepsakes Convention). The atmosphere, to me, is just more casual than those events and more friendly to a beginner scrapbooker. Here is the experience I had this year...

I arrived at the Alameda County Fairgrounds at around 11:30 am and found parking pretty easily. The event started at 10 am and people were already leaving so parking spaces were opening up nicely. It cost $8 to park on the fairgrounds or you could park for free if you wanted to walk quite a ways. Many people that were attending classes and crops had their rolling or carry totes, so I can't imagine them wanting to walk very far. I also saw a lot of mom's with full size strollers, which hadn't been allowed in the past. Here is the new rule, as copied from their website: "We can not allow Large or Rolling Bags on the show floor. Small umbrella strollers are allowed on the show floor (infants unable to sit-up will be allowed in other small single seat strollers). This is to keep our aisles clear and allow space for all guests to walk the floor." I was sorry to see they had changed the rule from umbrella stroller only and now allowed larger strollers. I agreed with the old rule because the floor of the expo gets VERY crowded. It's not really fair that we all have to move around the large strollers. And I say that as a mom who REALLY REALLY wanted to attend several expo's when my kiddos were that little and I had to miss them because I couldn't find a babysitter and my child/ren weren't big enough to sit in an umbrella stroller. I honestly think everyone should be considerate of others and if you can't take your child in an umbrella stroller, don't go (please).

I paid my $8, got my wristband on, was checked in at the door, and entered scrapbooker heaven! First stop was the restrooms (which were large; about a 3 minute wait :). I only had 2 hours to spend, so I got right to browsing the booths. It was not as crowded as in years past and I was able to finally do some make-n-takes. In the past, there were long lines for the M&Ts that I never felt like waiting in (hey, you miss out on too much shopping time that way). But I was able to do 3 M&Ts - a 2-page 12x12 layout using tan cardstock with black lasercut designs and a Family 2007 scene ($4); a 2-page 12x12 beach themed layout with glitter ($2); and a 1-page 12x12 layout called "The Scene of the Crime" ($2) which you can use for pictures of your kids, husband or dog doing something naughty! When I figure out how to post photos of them, I will.

If I'm remembering past Expo's correctly, the M&Ts were more expensive this time. But it was fun to do them and nice to give my feet a rest from all the walking. As for the shopping, I had no complaints. I didn't buy nearly as much as I have in the past because of my own budget, not because there wasn't plenty I wanted! I did mean to go back to the Creative Memories booth and pick up another Power Sort Box for photos (I've spoken of my love for them in the past). I saw one, didn't want to carry it around, said I would go back, then ran out of time. Oh well, they're easy enough to get from a Creative Memories Consultant around here. I also had 2 packs of some new Basic Grey in my hands - Stella Ruby and Scarlet's Letter. Sooooo pretty and marked down from $20 to $16...but the line was long and I'm obviously NOT a long-line-waiter. I can get them from Memory Works for that price anyhoo. There's just something about instant gratification that we all love, isn't there? But I'm happy with my purchases. I've been wanting to try Tombow adhesives since hearing them constantly raved about on the Creating Keepsakes message board. I've been a Hermafix tab girl for a long time, so I'm curious to try something new. I love the pink t-shirt I got that says, "You better be nice, or I will crop you out of my scrapbooks". Oh! And all the brads I got...at one booth you could fill up a cup with eyelets, brads, beads etc. for $7 for a small cup. There were two larger sizes but I forget the prices (maybe $14 and $20 or something?). The Daisy D's Modern Romance paper pack is so gorgeous I can't wait to make something with it.

I had to leave at 1:30 to meet a friend for lunch nearby, at Fernandos' Mexican Restaurant. There are many restaurants, hotels and stores near the Expo so you will never be at a loss if you decide to go off-site for eating, lodging or shopping. After lunch, we walked around shopping and got some coffee before we each hit the road for long drives home. All in all, a very "Pleasant" day in Pleasanton.

I will probably go to the San Jose event this year too (August 10/11), but it appears they have moved it to the nearby city of Santa Clara, CA. I think Scrapbook Expo's are great events and highly encourage you to go if you can.

Old/New Scrapping Friends

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So I started a new part-time job this week. One of my co-workers was showing me around and introducing me to everyone. You know how it is when you’re new…I was nervous and wondering if I was ever going to feel at home here. Before my recent stint as a SAHM, I was with one company for 12 years. I knew everyone and everything, which is a nice feeling to have, isn’t it? Starting over is hard and I was really dreading it, though everyone has been super cool so far. We enter an office to meet yet another person, when I realize…hey, I know her! This gal “D” is a scrapbooking friend. I didn’t remember that she worked here, although I must have been told at some point.

Anyway, D was in the group I went to CKU San Jose with back in 2005. I was thankful for the ‘small world’ we live in, and we had a good laugh telling my co-worker about our CKU experience. There were 6 of us in our ‘dorm’ and we participated in a lot of the fun stuff that goes along with CKU’s. We called our group ‘Lisa Bearnson’s 7 Little Scrappers’ and it was a play on the 7 Little Dwarfs. One of the ladies’ daughters made up a scrapbooking song to the tune of “Hi Ho, Hi Ho”. I’ll try to find the lyrics…it was very clever. Believe it or not, we got chosen as one of the top 3 submissions and performed our skit/song at CKU in front of all those scrappers. We had little dwarf outfits consisting of cloth triangular shaped hats that folded down…you know, dwarf hats. And we each had an apron that had our dwarf name – Croppy, Scrappy, etc. I was Punchy and I sewed little paper punches to my apron with polka dot ribbon. It was so fun! We just laughed our heads off the entire time. The creative gals in my group created a centerpiece with a bucket of apples and mirrors with some clever saying about ‘the fairest of them all’ or something. I can’t take any credit for all of this. I was just along for the ride and I’m so glad they included me.

Anyway, it was great to see D again and know that we’ll be working together. If I need a ‘scrap chat’, I can go visit her on my break. And I was able to invite her to the National Scrapbook Day event I’m trying to arrange. Scrapbooking is so widespread, I’m sure I’ll find other new co-workers who scrap too. It’s like a nice little bonding moment when you find others with the sickness, isn’t it?

SB Weekend Delayed…

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I was up until 1am getting ready for the event this weekend. Because I don’t have any Memory Works stock yet, I had gathered some other items I could have for sale – a few albums, adhesive, paper packs, embellishments, etc. I got everything inventoried, priced, and put in cute little baskets. I had about 1/2 of the car packed for the trip (my family was going with me). Then the phone rang at 10 this morning. It was my friend J, the hostess for the scrapbooking weekend tonight and tomorrow. One of her children is sick with the flu so we had to reschedule :( Wouldn’t you know it?! But better everyone be healthy so we don’t spread even more of this flu around. I think everyone I know has been sick several times this season.

Well, the good news was that Memory Works ordering is easy and shipping is fast! I placed my first order this Tuesday and had it shipped to J (she lives in another city) in the hopes it would arrive in time for this weekend. And it did – she got it yesterday. She said everything was beautiful and she was very happy with what she ordered. Now it will be ready for next time. The new catalog comes out soon and they have been putting up new items on the website called “Sneak Peeks”. So far, they have the new Basic Grey and Fancy Pants – yum!

Just An Update…

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I finally got my new notebook computer!! I’m the proud owner of a MacBook Pro with a 17 inch screen and 2GB. Whoo hoo! This is my first Apple product, so I’m still trying to find my way around in Mac World. So far, I LIKE! I like very much. So easy to use and the graphics are easier to understand than Windows. As I type this in a window on the left side of my screen, I’m watching the video introducing the iPhone on the right side. Man, I want one of those! They come out in June and I’m sure will be impossible to get.

On my old laptop, I wrote a post yesterday. It was about packing for a scrapbooking cruise. It appeared that WordPress was doing the auto-save throughout. But when I went to post it, it had disappeared :(:( I was so mad, I haven’t been able to bring myself to re-write it yet.

And I did finally make 1,000 posts a couple days ago. So that was a great feeling. Thanks to everyone who helped (wink, wink). Well, I’m off to prep for the scrapbooking weekend! Hope you’re having a great week…

Scrapbookers Weekend

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In a recent post, I talked about a group of preschool moms who were inspired to learn how to scrapbook, or renewed their dedication to scrapbooking, after attending the memorial service of a friend.  The friends’ scrapbooks were lovingly displayed at her service and everyone was very touched by the deep meaning that scrapbooking can hold in our lives.  Well, through the efforts of my friend “J”, who told me this story, all those ladies will be scrapbooking together this coming weekend and I get to be there too.  J has asked me to help instruct those that are new to the craft, and to have my Memory Works products available should they need anything.  Some are just going to bring all their photos and work on getting them organized, a dreaded but so important task.  I hope to also get a little scrapping done myself, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m so excited to do this.  I’ve mostly worked with experienced scrappers so, while I may share a tip here and there, I’ve rarely had the opportunity to teach someone from the ground up.  J and her family were at our house last weekend and, when I was showing her through the Memory Works catalog, she said, “You are so excited!  And you know your stuff.  You’re the perfect person to be a scrapbook consultant”.  Awww, shucks.  But it’s true that I am excited about ~obsessed with~ scrapbooking.  I have a list of things I need to do to get ready for next weekend.  And I have to…place my first order!!!  J ordered some things so I told her she’s my guinea pig. 

The challenge is that I’m still pretty sick.  They treated me for strep throat but it’s 3 days after taking the entire Z-pack and I’m still not better.  I go back to the doctor tomorrow morning but I think the prescription this time will probably be, “Just be patient.  You’ll get better”.  But I wanna’ be better NOW!! (stamp foot hard on ground).

Tag, You’re It!

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I’ve been tagged by my blog buddy Karen over at Scraps of Mind (http://karooch.wordpress.com/).  (Sorry, things like this prove how computer UN-savvy I am!!  I don’t know how to show you the book cover or make the websites attach right into the name).

1.  Find the nearest book:  Cool.  I’m reading a good one right now about a little girl who seems have a special connection to God that no one can explain – divine voices, stigmata then miraculous healings.   

2.  Name the book and the author:  Keeping the Faith by Jodi Picoult

3.  Turn to page 123.  Okie dokie…

4.  Go to the 5th sentence on the page & copy out the next 3 sentences onto your blog.  “It has been years since he personally went to confession or took communion, and religion for Allen will always be scarred by the bestiality of the nuns who taught his parochial school classes.  But Catholicism runs deep, and this girl has made him rethink his choices.  What if, all these years, he’s been wrong?”

5.  Tag 3 more people.  Okay, I’m tagging Ilse (http://www.ilsesjournal.com), Leslie (http://oranginadreams.wordpress.com/), and Scrappy Cat (http://scrappycat.wordpress.com/).

Piz-ZAZ-zle…I Just Like To Say It!

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Here are some new scrapbooking things I like:

Check out the new product that’s a collaboration between Bazzill Basics Paper and Creative Imaginations.  It’s called Pizzazzle and you can see it at here.  Click on the icons to see it in all 15 colors.  They took the all-time best cardstock in the world - Bazzill - and put some new textures to it.  There are monogram, number and tag punchouts and matching white chipboard shapes.  I will definitely be getting some of this stuff!  What do you think?  Will you Pizzazzle?

Now check out the American Crafts website for some free computer wallpaper:  http://www.americancrafts.com/wallpapers.php.  Your icons will get lost in some of them but they're oh-so-pretty to look at.  I currently have the grey, black, and white one on my desktop and it makes me smile every time I log on.  While you're at the American Crafts wallpaper site, check out their idea gallery - lotsa great stuff.

Are these not the prettiest, most elegant things you've ever seen?  http://sarahheidt.mennonite.net/Home/Products/Lasercuts/Scriptina_titles.  I just love the Scriptina font, and I can't imagine cutting these titles out with a craft knife.  I have yet to see a Scriptina font for my Cricut, so I will have to buy these from Sarah.  Guess you girls with the die-cutters that hook up to your computer could do your own though, huh?  One day, when the sunbeams break through the clouds and I get the sign from above, "It is time", I will begin scrapbooking my wedding from 13 years ago.  When that time comes, these Sarah Heidt lasercut Scriptina titles will be mine at any cost. (Don't tell Sarah I said that...wouldn't want to be overcharged!).

Any great products you'd like to share with the class??

Goal Oriented: Update

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Bummer, I didn’t meet my goal of 1,000 hits on my blog by the end of February.  I just checked my blog stats, which show only 824 as of midnight my time on 2/28 :(   Oh well, that’s still a lotta hits for a new blog I think (??).  I will just set a new goal:  5,000 hits by the end of 2007!!  Peace out…

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