May 2007 archive

A Photo, A Memory, A Man…

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Because of Memorial Day, there were some fantastic news shows on tv. I was watching something on Fox Channel this past weekend where they were interviewing Pearl Harbor survivors. As they spoke to these older gentlemen, who were recalling their horrific experiences, photos were being shown on the screen. As one recalled a good friend he lost in the bombing, they showed a photo of the friend taken sometime I assume while they were in Pearl Harbor because he was wearing a tan uniform and standing on a beach near the water. But I just loved this photo because, as I looked at it more closely, I noticed all these little details. He was a good-looking guy, with dark hair worn slicked back under his military cap. He was holding a cigarette down by his side (you know, back then smoking WAS cool). His belt was cinched in pretty tight which accentuated his muscular upper body, and he stood very straight, staring at the camera, as if to say, “Damn, I’m good and don’t I know it.” And it got me to thinking about how important photos are. Here, all these years later, I didn’t know this man whose photo they were showing on tv, but I “knew” him. I could tell so much about his personality, his looks, his character as a military man, his “way with the ladies” – all those things that his family probably adored about him and missed awfully much after he was killed.

Now, how can I make that meaningful to me today? I think I will try to remember how important it is to capture photos of people, of their being, of who they really are. Yes, zoo pictures and ocean pictures and birthday party pictures are good and important. But let’s try to capture “our” people too, okay? And even better than just a photo in a box, let’s keep scrapbooking them, journaling about them, and making them even more meaningful. I have lost all of my grandparents, and my father, and I only wish someone had captured their essence like this – in a scrapbook – while they were still here with us. Because now all I have is the mystery, the wondering, and the wishing that I could have known more about them. Let’s keep working to not let that happen to our kids or to the generations below us.

Sorry, I just get so emotional on Memorial Day, don’t I? But I do want to say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart to my Grandpa C (WWII) and Grandpa F (WWII and Korea). I wish I could know more of your stories. And thanks forever to my DH, who signed up for the Air Force DURING Desert Storm. Much like those who signed up after 9/11 – knowing they would be serving during wartime – he is the bravest of the brave.
(God Bless the USA!)

Getting Your Scrapbooking Mojo Back

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I didn’t scrapbook very much last year. There were a lot of reasons for that – I was working too much, I was busy with other things, I wasn’t going to crops because I was saving for a scrapbooking cruise, I was spending more time with my family, etc. But, truth be told, I had also run out of mojo. I started scrapbooking in 2002 and I really caught the bug pretty bad. I would scrap every chance I got, whether it was spending late nights at my desk, attending crops, or taking classes. I cropped at friends houses and went to retreats. I can’t say I had an awful lot of pages to show for all that time, but I was sure having fun. Looking back, I spent a lot of time socializing and shopping. And I spent too much time on certain techniques that, I feel now, really didn’t add that much to my pages. I think I got carried away, a bit caught up in what the magazines and tv shows were doing, what I was learning at CKUs, what I felt was expected of me as a “scrapbooker”.

But I have a new perspective now and my focus is back on where I think it should be: on the memories and the pictures. I’m now over the guilt of “sticking my husband with the kids” while I crop, and “spending money on supplies when I just went on a cruise”. I’ve become a consultant for a company with products that I absolutely love and am passionate about sharing with others. I COMPLETELY enjoyed organizing the crop a couple weeks ago. My stuff is organized again and I can enjoy the process without tripping over things. So, suffice it to say, I finally have my scrapbooking mojo back. I’m very happy and excited, because I truly missed it while it was gone. I think I was a little depressed without it. A big part of me was missing. I assume it’s why my house – and scrap area – got so disorganized. If you ever lose your scrap mojo, don’t worry – it will come back. Mine did.

Where To Find Scrapbook Organization Items

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I’ve done a few posts now regarding scrapbook organization and I truly thank you for all the nice comments and questions. I wanted to share links to some of the organizational items I’ve found very useful in my scrapbooking area:

Julie asked about the Iris project sorter, which is actually called the Scrapbook Chest by Iris.Iris sb chest

Becca/BS asked about how to sort all those beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous papers we have. This is what I use – Cropper Hopper Vertical Paper Holders. They are the best thing since peanut butter and banana sandwiches! They hold the paper much like a magazine holder stores magazines, so you can thumb through and pull out what you need without messing up the rest of the stack. I truly love these and think anything by Cropper Hopper is genius! CH Vertical System

Also for Becca – don’t we love ALL kinds of paper?? I recently reorganized this aspect of my house too. I have tons of gift bags, tissue paper, wrap, etc. It used to be in a large flat Rubbermaid container under the bed. But when my collection outgrew the box and I realized how hard it was to find anything, I moved it all to this. Target wire cubes It’s the wire cubes you can find at Target or Walmart for under $20. I have a couple plastic bins on top for mini-gift bags, bows and ribbons. It’s been a good system so far. I’ll post a photo of mine soon…
Edited: Here ’tis:
Target Wire Cubes

While I was writing this, I received an e-mail about another cool organization tool and this one you can take with you to crops! It’s the Catchall by Croppin Cutie and MarthasChoice.com has them on sale for $16 right now. catchall by croppin cutieI don’t have one, have never seen it til now, but boy it’s cute. Gotta love the pink! I think this would be great to use at crops or just keep on your desktop to keep all those tools and little pieces contained.

Feel free to ask any more scrapbooking organizational questions and I’ll be glad to help!

WWYD If You Lost Your Scrapbooks?

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There is a gal who frequents the CK Message Board who had some really bad luck recently. Her water heater burst while she was out of the house, and she came home to find her house flooded. Her scrapbooks were stored close to the floor and she lost several albums along with some supplies. And because Scrapbookers are the sweetest people on earth, her Scrap Friend on the board is organizing a project where we send her pre-done pages that she will slip into an album and send to this gal who lost her scrapbooks. Ladies who don’t have time to complete layouts by the May 30 deadline have generously offered to send on some scrapbook supplies. It’s so wonderful to see everyone pitching in to help. I know we can all identify with how heartbroken we’d be if this happened to us. I’m now looking for another way to store my scrapbooks…because they are currently on the bottom shelf against a wall that backs up to the water heater in the garage. It’s because I don’t have another shelf that can hold the weight of the scrapbooks, but I’m going to have to figure something out. I couldn’t bear to lose all the photos, memories and hard work that have gone into the books I’ve created. Toys, carpet, furniture, even scrapbook tools and supplies can be replaced, but not my scrapbooks. I hope our computer scrap-friend will be able to take a little solace when she receives the pre-done album, feels the love of people she’s never even met, and doesn’t feel AS overwhelmed with the recreation of her albums.

A Scrapbook Crop for Mothers Day

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This past weekend, I held my first ever crop! It was a lot of work, but SO FUN. I had hoped for about 20 scrapbookers to attend, but there ended up being only 11 of us. The good part of that is everyone had plenty of cropping space. There were round tables that normally seat 8 people (for dinner), and there were only 2 people per table. My mom had made name tags for everyone with a little clip art that was perfect – a scrapbooker saying “I Need Elbow Room!”. The crop was at a newer hotel and their service was excellent – they were just a pleasure to deal with. When not that many people were signing up for the crop, I was going to cancel it. But I called the hotel manager and told him my predicament…and he lowered the room rental price by $125 so we could still have the crop. Here was the menu: Donuts and Starbucks coffee for breakfast; foccaccia sandwiches with turkey or tri-tip, chips and iced tea for lunch; candy and cashews for snacks; pizza and salad for dinner; and brownies for desert. Yum! Everyone seemed happy with the food. I had planned to order pizza from one place, but it turned out that one of the scrappers’ sons owned a pizza place. So she called in the order, got us a great deal, and it was delivered (vs. me having to pick it up). She said her son would kill her if he found out we ordered pizza from anyplace else, LOL. Two of the gals made a Starbucks run in the afternoon for that needed pick me up. The crop went from 10am to 10pm, so we needed lots of energy. There were goodie bags for each person. And we drew door prizes every hour so each attendee won something. Then there were Challenges – for each one met, you got a ticket to another prize drawing. That was the best part I think, because it really motivated people to scrap a lot and to try new things. I, of course, didn’t get much scrapbooking done. It’s a lot of work to run a crop! I worked on a Daisy D’s class kit and made a little board book about my mom. It had pictures of her from our trip to Rome and it’s called, “Mama Mia!” I will post a photo when it’s done (and after I get her permission to show her photos to the world!). People saw me doing the kit, liked it, and I sold all the kits I had. It WAS a great deal – 2 board books, tons of 6×6 paper, ribbons, 2 sheets of letter stickers, 2 sheets of other stickers, and metal photo corners for $13. Will post a link to the kit later… Have you ever held a crop or are you thinking about it? Tell me about it in comments!

Scrapbook Page Challenges for a Crop

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I have a last minute request for you readers. I’m holding my first Memory Works crop this Saturday. I’m giving out prizes for those who participate in challenges. For example, the first one is to “create a layout using any of the sketches on the following page” (then I provide a sheet of sketches). Can you think of any more challenges I can use? Have you participated in any challenges at a crop – will you share please? I’m searching online but I hope you can help me too. TIA!

My New Photo Organization System

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As I’ve written about here and here, I’m on a kick to organize my scrapbook area. I’ve made a lot of progress in organizing scrapbook supplies, but to say I was dreading the photo organization part is a drastic understatement. I finally buckled down and got it started last night…and I couldn’t stop! I was up until 1am even though I had to get up at 6. I was in such a groove, man. Wow, watch out for Ms. Organizer Geek over here!

Here is the old way I organized photos and memorabilia:

Photo Storage - BEFORE

Here is the new way I organize photos and memorabilia:

Photo Organization - AFTER #1

Photo Organization - AFTER #2

The old way: When I first started scrapbooking – like many of you – my photo “organization” was a hodge podge. Yes, I did have some that were nicely chronological in magnetic albums and in mismatched photo boxes. I had some in 2-up or 3-up photo albums. And the rest were still in photo envelopes and stored in various places around the house – the kitchen junk drawer, my nightstand, the office, etc. When I went to my first crop, my friend told me how she organized her photos and it sounded good, so I adopted it. This is it: Buy a bunch of manila envelopes from Walmart; they are cheap and come in various sizes (6×9″, 9×12″ and 10×13″). File photos by event in an envelope and use the larger size if you have memorabilia to go with it. In the upper right corner, write the Event and the Date. Write any journaling notes or page idea notes on the front of the envelope. Then when it’s time to scrap, just grab the envelope and you’re good to go. In addition to photos, I keep everything else too – ticket stubs, flyers, invitations, art, portraits, letters. These are things that don’t fit nicely into your average photo box or album. That’s why her system sounded great to me, and it worked very well for most of the 6 years I’ve been scrapping. But it’s time for a change because…there are flaws in the system. The 2 main problems I’ve discovered are storage area and convenience factor. By storage, I mean that I’m running out of room to store things this way. I have 6 of these white plastic bins full of photos and the leg area under my desk is full with them. I have nowhere to expand with this system and looking ahead, I can see it’s not something I can do forever. The envelopes would file easily in a standard filing cabinet, but I don’t have room to put one anywhere. (Side note: If I would scrap more and blog less, more of these photos would be in albums, but that’s not the point!). Because I ran out of room about a year ago, I’ve virtually stopped filing new photos. I wanted to file older photos too, but there was nowhere to put them. The other factor was convenience, i.e. how difficult was it to keep up this system? I felt like I was constantly buying envelopes and spending lots of time sorting things by event. I rarely ‘pre-flighted’ the envelopes for upcoming events so as time went by, ticket stubs and photos kept accumulating in piles on my desk. In other words, it’s not an easy thing to keep up day by day; it’s a project every time to sit down and do it. Well, who has time for that?!?! In the meantime, Creative Memories came out with the Power Sort Box and it was love at first sight. I like how you can store so many photos in one place, yet pull out smaller portions of the box at a time. I know my photos will be archivally safe in PS Boxes, whereas I was always doubtful of the manila envelopes (the box doesn’t indicate if they’re archival safe or not). So, the only hold up to changing my photo organizing system (other than my dread) was purchasing some PS Boxes…and them babies ain’t cheap! They usually go for $35 each but – patience IS a virtue – I just found 2 of them on CraigsList for $28 each. Consider it my Mothers Day present, yeah? Last night after all were in bed, I plopped down in front of Desparate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, and sorted photos into my new Power Sort Box. Every time I finished a stack, I went back into my scrap room for more. It was so satisfying to get my photos in order! I worked on 2000 through 2006 and set aside any other random ones that turned up. I used the label maker to label the 12 new dividers with ‘Jan 2007′, ‘Feb 2007′, etc. so I will be inspired to sort this year’s photos as I go along through the rest of the year. For all the other years, I used the small index cards (vertically) and labeled them the same way for each year. It’s so easy to find things at a glance now and that’s why I want to keep going. There have been so many projects that have flashed in my mind over the years and then the next thought has been, “But I don’t know where those photos are”. Well, now I will. I will eventually re-sort all those photos in the manila envelopes into the PS Boxes. Now, I have just one envelope per month which is easier to maintain. I can just keep the current one handy and not feel so pressured to label them event by event. If I have journaling notes, I’ll just jot ‘em down on scrap paper and put them in the monthly envelope also. This is actually fun (am I sick in the head?) and I’ll be working on it again tonight – can’t wait :) There are still other big photo projects to do: getting all my photos on computer, organizing them into files, and backing them up; and what to do with all those index sheets, CDs and APS cartridges? Oy, a worry for another day.

Happy National Scrapbook Day!

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Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for. There are so many fun things going on today and this weekend. There are large crops and just friends getting together to scrapbook. There are big sales at the brick and mortar stores, as well as at the online stores. My company, Memory Works, is doing some great promotions. There are online crops – so many, it’s impossible to keep up. There is scrapbooking inspiration everywhere and I just love it. My plan for the day and the reality have turned out to be two different things, LOL. I had planned to have some friends over to crop while we watched QVC and participated in the online crop at Creating Keepsakes. But….both friends had to cancel (important things came up, I understand :). I did have the house to myself – a rare occassion – so I took the opportunity to do an excellent house cleaning (I know, bo-RING!). It’s now 1pm my time and the CK online crop is “over” but everyone is still chatting. Even Elsie stopped by and chatted with us (sweet). I didn’t win any of the cool prizes and didn’t have time to do any of the challenges by Ali Edwards. But I’m reading through all the posts and looking at the amazing pages people are doing. GOD, there’s some talented ladies out there! It truly amazes me and makes me proud to be associated even in a small way with them. There are so many posts, I hope they keep the forum up for a few days so I can get through them all. (Edit: I see now where Ali said it will stay up for a month, whoo hoo). I’m copy/pasting all of Ali’s challenges into a Word document with links to my favorite pages to use as samples for each one. When done, I will have created an Everyday Beauty album. I don’t know when I’ll get to it because I’m still working on that dang cruise album (my love/hate relationship with it is blossoming, can you tell??). Anna Griffin and Lisa Bearnson have been on QVC and I really enjoyed watching both of them. I hope you celebrated in a special way and that you’ll tell me about it in the Comments section (feel free to post a link to your blog). Viva NSD!!

Scrapbook Peeking at Tuesday Morning

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First of all, I apologize to my friends at CKMB who’ve already heard this story. But I just had to share it on my blog too. I’ve been finding scrapbook stuff for quite awhile now at Tuesday Morning. The store is about 40 minutes from me, but whenever I’m in that town, I stop in. Sometimes I find nothing, sometimes I hit the motherload – like the huge KI Memories pack for $30 with 80 sheets of paper and tons of embellishments I found last January. So I got my ad in the mail last week and it showed “Mini Scrapbook Kits for $3.99, Compare at $11.99. More than 100 pieces and assorted styles.” The picture in the ad was so small, it was hard to tell the brand or even what you get in the kit. But that price sure sounded intriguing. I drove down that way Sunday to shop at Costco, then went to Tuesday Morning. I looked through all the scrap stuff and didn’t see the kits. Then I realize…duh, their sales don’t start until…..everybody say it with me…..”TUESDAY MORNING!!!”. They always put the sale items on the endcaps, then cover them with huge white butcher paper and writing that says, “Will Be Revealed on Tuesday Morning”. So I’m standing there wondering if my Tuesday Morning will be getting these kits – should I drive all the way back down here in 2 days? Well, a girl’s gotta know! Was it wrong of me to try and untape the butcher paper to get a teeny weeny peek inside the endcap shelves? Well, all the shoppers around me seemed to think so because I was getting some crazy looks. My eyes brightened as I saw the words “K-Ology” and “K&Co” on the packaging!! But that wasn’t enough information, so I decided to look at the little sign that describes the item. It was attached to the top shelf with magnets and I reached up on tippy toe to grab it – and it falls with a crashing sound, banging between the butcher paper and the metal shelves several times before it hit the ground. Red-faced, with everyone staring at me, I tried to stick it back on the top shelf…and it crashed down between the paper again. I set the sign on a nearby shelf and walked away. It’s embarrasing the lengths I’ll go to just to save money on scrapbooking items!
PS: Today being Thursday, the kits “have been revealed” but I haven’t had time to get back down there (color me sad).
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