Taking a Break…

As you animal lovers know, having a dog is sometimes pretty close to having a child. Well, I lost my beloved dog, Dallas, this morning. He was killed by 2 dogs that live next door, aggressive ones that we’ve complained about to Animal Control since the family moved in last summer. I’m beyond devastated. We called Dallie “our firstborn” because he was our spoiled rotten baby before we had kids. He was just a love, sweet and smart and fun. Well, I’ll be signing off for a bit, don’t know when I’ll feel like writing again. Here’s a layout I posted before…about Dallas. Please say a prayer for my baby.

100_3663.jpg

The Cycle of Life: Purge…Then SPEND!

Just thought I’d share a Challenge I posted over on the All Moments Remembered MESSAGE BOARD. If you’re not already a member over there, you should come join us…I’m dangling a little RAK and maybe a SPECIAL RAK in front of you. Here, scrapper, scrapper….come to mama! Seriously though, we have a blast over there. Everyone is so nice, so supportive, so helpful and not a snarky tone ever to be heard. It’s refreshing and I know you would like it.

{Note: For all the AMR pimping I do, you’d think I was a paid sponsor or something. But really, truly I’m not. I just believe in sharing good things with you…that’s my only motivation. I pinky swear…}

Okay, here’s a short version of the challenge….to see the whole thing, go HERE.

Let’s get rid of all the scrap stuff that, while still in excellent shape, we’ll never use. It’s just taking up space and clogging our creativity. Don’t you feel the Urge to Purge?!?

Here’s the challenge: Sell your unwanted scrapbooking, stamping and/or papercrafting supplies. You can use any means you like, whether to friends and family, having your own garage sale, or listing it somewhere like Craigslist or E-bay.

Report back in this thread what you sold. Then use some or all of that cash to GO SHOPPING at the AMR STORE!! Once I verify with Stacey that you indeed spent at least $25 of your profits at AMR, I’ll send you a little RAK for playing.

To earn a RAK:

1. You must spend at least $25 retail at AMR (that’s the price BEFORE tax and shipping).
2. You have until FRIDAY, 8-8-08 to spend.
3. There will be a SPECIAL RAK for the person who spends the largest dollar amount (retail) with Stacey!!!

Thanks for playing I can’t wait to hear about what you sell, and what you get to buy at All Moments Remembered!!

Then I posted some tips for selling your scrap stuff on CRAIGSLIST. My bud Jingle (Jennifer aka Queen of Chat) posted some wonderful E-BAY tips. Hope you come join our challenge!

ITSO Scrapbook Storage @ Target

Thanks to a post by VERONICA/Miss Onigur at CKMB, I found this cool new storage line that is at or will be coming soon to a Target near you…and it looks perfect for scrapbooking storage. Can I hear a WHOO HOO?!?

It’s called ITSO and here’s a pic of the storage cube, which measures 14.75 x 14.75 x 14.75″ and costs $26 for a set of 2.

Here’s a LINK to what they called Craft Room and there are 5 items there, including these Storage Drawers (2) which cost $50 for both.

It says it’s made of “sturdy plastic” so I’m wondering if this system can hold up to all the heavy papers, punches and other scrap crap we tend to load it up with. Oh darn, guess I’ll have to buy a cube to find out, LOL!

If you want to take a look at the entire ITSO line at Target, HERE is the link. After cruising around their offerings a bit, here are a couple more of my favorite items…not just for scrapbooking storage, but for anywhere in the home.

Small Fabric Bin, $12 for a 2-pack

Cube with 2 Drawers, Maple for $40

What do you think of ITSO??

A Review: Cricut Solutions Shape Storage Binder

EMILIE AHERN {one of my fave bloggers and I adore her blog music} posted a review of the new CRICUT SOLUTIONS SHAPE STORAGE BINDER over HERE on the Craft Critique blog.

I really appreciate that she did, as I’m now convinced I DON’T need to spend my money on one. What do you think? Will you or have you? Love to hear some more reviews…

While you’re over at CRAFT CRITIQUE, I hope you’ll look around. It’s a wonderful blog if you need to find a review of a craft product. For instance, I enjoyed reading the review of one of my latest obsessions, STICKLES (which I buy, of course, at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED). Also, I found THIS review of the new flocking system by Doodlebug Designs. The company I’m a consultant for, MEMORY WORKS, recently started to carry this product and I can’t wait to get my hands on it! The review at Craft Critique just got me more excited :) So go take a browser over there at CC…good stuff.

Speaking of AMR, Stacey is adding a lot of new products recently. All that overdue CHA stuff must finally be hitting her doorstep, LOL! Check out these cool JOURNALING TICKETS by her boyfriend Timmy (aka TIM HOLTZ). I just love ‘em, and lots of other new stuff at AMR so go check out the store! Stacey BLOGS about the new stuff as she adds it, and you just aren’t going to find better or sweeter customer service anywhere. If you order from Stacey, you’re a forever friend and will be treated like gold…

What’s @ Mike’s These Days…and a Coupon Too

HERE is the latest Mike’s coupon, good for 40% off any item (except Cricut) through June 28, 2008.

And speaking of Michaels, I wandered through there the other day and took some photos with my iPhone. Come on a tour with me, won’t you?

Ladies, it is a momentous day in scrapbooking history. My Mike’s got their first ever sets of acrylic stamps. Well, I mean large sets, not just the little dollar sets. These are pretty rockin’. I’ve heard others talking about them on CKMB and such but never thought I’d see them in my lifetime, but there they were. And $4.99 seems like a good price…

These are on my list…oh, the journaling possibilities!

And these too…wouldn’t they be fun to stamp in any different color, and then use Stickles in the dots??

One of my favorite words ever is in this pack…can you guess what it is?

These epoxy alphas with some bling were new; they come in black or silver. There were other sets that were patterned and brighter colors too. I’d never seen this brand at Mike’s before…wow, they’re living dangerously over there, aren’t they?

Next was a row and a half of new bling. Oh, what to choose, what to choose??

The border punches are multiplying but, nope, not a one of the ever popular FISKARS THREADING WATER PUNCH.

All kindza new Prima flower goodness…

I saw this bottle and immediately thought….”beach layouts”. The colors are so soft and ocean-y. I’ll be back with a coupon for these, oh yeah.

Still not a big Martha Stewart fan, but I thought these gift tags would make cool journaling spots.

My Mike’s still had plenty of Skittles, and on Clearance no less! They were in two different sections of the store so if you’re looking for some in your Mike’s, you might need to make the rounds of the entire store.

I went looking for “uh” foam sheet or three {cuz I’ve heard several places lately ~ including HERE ~ it makes your stamping sharper if you put some under your work}. but didn’t want to shell out 8 bucks when I only needed a few. Hmmmm…maybe I could sell them on E-Bay for a dollar a sheet, LOL. Nah….

Well, about the time I took my second photo of Skittles, store employees started giving me the stink eye. Did they think I was some kind of Skittle Spy? I dunno but the iPhone went back in my purse. I checked the mags and the dollar bins, with nothing new. You probably won’t believe me but I left the store empty-handed. Yes, I really really did! Um, no cash, no coupon, no want hubby to see another Mike’s charge on the debit card. Like any good member of the Scrapbook Obsessed, I took photos and made mental notes, all in preparation for future trips to Michaels.

Our tour is now over. You may return your seats to the upright position and please exit to the left over the wing. Thank you for flying Scrapbook Obsession…

OMG!!! Studio G Series 12 Stamps Just Fo’ Me!!

My Best Scrap Pal in the World” Gay sent to them to me for a belated birthday prezzie! I’m SO excited!! I’ve been wanting these MONTH stamps but my stupid Mike’s hasn’t carried them so far. Maybe we’ll get them in 2011 but I don’t want to wait that long, so thanks Gay! You totally rawk, girlie!

Oh, in case you were wonderin’ (yeah, I KNOW you were….), there are 4 more sets in this series: 3 sets of alphas and a random flowery one. Personally, I didn’t want those 4 other sets; don’t think I would use the alphas and I’ve heard they’re so small, they don’t stick to the acrylic block uh-TALL. And I have enough random flowery Studio G stamps already. I mean, if someone were standing on the street corner handing them out with a free Starbucks and a free large fries from McDonalds, I’d TAKE them, but here’s a pic of the complete Series 12 for those who would like to collect them all:


Okay, here’s the rest of my goodies from my Best Scrap Pal Ever…

She gots me sum MAMBI rub-ons and Soft Spoken with a Family/Faith theme, as we have vowed to both work on our Faithbooks. Along that line, Gay shared with me her favorite Bible study author, Beth Moore. Then some yummy brown Stickles, clear skittles, and a beautiful handmade card. I SO don’t have cardmaking talent, so I really appreciate it in those who do. It’s just so, so pretty.

THANK YOU SCRAP PAL!! Luv ya!! Mwuh, mwuh!! Watchie your mail for a lil thank ya…

A Father’s Day Challenge

A HUGE “thank you” to grammy-b/Bren on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD for hosting the FATHER’s DAY CHALLENGE. I was very scared to scrap about my dad, who died almost 15 years ago. Thanks to the challenge, and encouragement I received from my AMR friends {who truly ARE my friends!}, I did it.

WARNING: If extremely personal journaling makes you uncomfortable, don’t read this, LOL!

ETA: I see that when I enlarged the photo, it made it too blurry to read so here’s the journaling:

Daddy,

It’s Father’s Day 2008…almost a full 15 years since you passed away in July 1993. I’ve been scrapbooking for 7 years and yet this is the first time I’ve scrapped anything about you, such a huge part of my life. I finally did it because I was “challenged” to. And because it was time. Tears are streaming down my face as I scan this old photo to use on my layout, and as I write this journaling. This is SO hard! THIS is why I haven’t done this before. I don’t want to feel this pain. I want to go on with my happy life. And all I can think and feel as I remember you is…WHY AREN’T YOU HERE??

This photo of us at my wedding hangs on the hallway wall outside my bedroom door. I see you every single day, in the photo and in my mind. Sometimes, when no one is looking,I place a kiss on my finger, reach up and touch it to your mouth. When you died, I heard from others that “time heals.” I thought this would get easier. I thought, after 15 years without you, it wouldn’t still be so painful, hurt so much. But everyone lied. It does not get easier. In most ways it gets harder.

When I graduated from college after 13 years of part-time school/full-time jobs, you were not in the audience with your quiet smile. When I had my children, you were not there to touch a newborn’s cheek. When I’ve struggled through illnesses and hard times, you weren’t here to hug me, wipe my tears, and tell me I am the best and I’ll be okay. When my kids have done things that made me so proud I wanted to burst, you were not here to burst with me.

After you died, and some other things happened in my life, I became a Christian. That’s helped make sense of some things. That’s helped provide comfort and perspective. My relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me see things in a new light, and I know you are okay. But the fact is, you as a physical being, you as the Daddy that can hug and hold and speak in words that reach my ears…YOU are not here. There is nothing that will ever make that easy or fair or less painful. So, 15 years after you died, I just wanted you to know that I still love you and miss you with all of my heart, all of my soul.

And I wish you were here.

At first, I thought I’d just post it over at AMR because those girls make me feel so secure. I know they won’t take it lightly, won’t criticize or see the imperfections. But then I figured, what the hey, let’s post it to the blog too. Scrappers are nice people and it’s OKAY to share parts of yourself, right? So thanks for looking and maybe I can Pay It Forward by inspiring YOU to scrap about something you’ve been avoiding because it’s too painful…

My Scrappy Weekend…

Sorry I’m just getting to this..it’s Friday, for Gosh Sakes. But I wanted to tell you about my scrappy weekend. Last Saturday, I held a one-day crop at a local hotel. There were 10 ladies and myself and we scrapped from 10am to 10pm. I was ready to go til midnight but everyone started packing up around 9:30. I think with summer here and the kids out of school, all us moms are just exhausted. Cuz I’ve NEVER had everyone leave a crop before the last dying breath of time, LOL.

Anyway, it’s 10pm, almost everyone is gone except one sweet friend and her teenage daughter who came to scrap with her. They are the cutest pair…just scrapping and bickering and laughing and encouraging each other whole time. They seem to think with the same brain, kwim? I kept telling them they sounded more like sisters than mom and daughter. Anyways, they helped me pack up the last of my ‘for sale’ stuff and the food and drinks, and I was going to stay there by myself with just my own crop stuff. I’m figuring, everyone at home is in bed so who cares if I’m home at 10:30 or 1am, yaknow? I had my scrap crap spread out on a big table all to myself, there was no laundry room or kitchen or kids or phone ringing…why not take advantage of the sitchee-ation and SCRAP! Besides, I was so hopped up on Starbucks and Diet Coke, I mean, why waste a good buzz?

I finally convinced my friend and her daughter to go on home, I’d be fine, it was a safe hotel in a safe area and I could pack the rest of my things and be fine getting home. THEN! We start hearing all this commotion in the lobby of the hotel, which is just down the hall from the event room we were in. Turns out a wedding reception had just broken up and all the drunk, er, um…HAPPY people were arriving back at the hotel. Groups of people are lingering in the lobby, walking up and down past the crop room, stumbling, being loud and obnoxious. My friend is then like, “You’re not staying here. Let’s pack up your stuff.” Shizzle! I was so bummed. As we’re packing, this little cutie patootie young guy (he’s about 23 or so) comes in, looks around, says, “Wuz thish?” and my friend tells him, “Scrapbooking,” and he says, “Oh, am I in wrong plashe? Cuz I jush love shcrap-booking.” It was all we could do not to bust out laughing right there! Talk about ROFLMAO! Anyhow, so ended my dream of a few hours of quiet, non-interrupted scrapbooking time…

On Sunday, I slept in, unpacked the car, got my scrap area back to some semblance of organized, and then decided to do what any decent scrapbook consultant would…I went shopping with my profits from the previous day. I mean, duh, isn’t that why I do it? So we can shop without guilt! First went to Tuesday Morning and that was a bust. They had nothing worth standing in line for, LOL. Next was the Dollar Tree and I found these:

One lone pack of Fake Thickers. And some adhesive back-ups. Not bad, only 3 bucks. Then on to Michaels with my 50% off coupon in hand. I found this:

I’m addicted to those Prima flowers with the text printed on them. It’s so nice to find something that’s unique and different at Michaels for once. There went the 50% coupon. All those little bitty sticker packs were $1 each and I’ll use them for crop goody bags. I got duplicates of the ones I wanted for myself, all the flowers :) The AHOY title sticker from Just Jinger was only $2 on Clearance. I’d been eyeing that for awhile for my cruise pages, so I’m glad it was on sale. Brads, eyelets and snaps were on sale @ 3 for $5 so I stocked up on those. What a great price; they’re normally $3 each I think, so that’s $18 worth of brads for 10 bucks {see how good I am at the justifying things? I’m not SPENDING money, I’m SAVING money!}. I mean, we all need brads right? They’re a scrapping staple, like adhesive and cardstock. Whaddya mean, no?

Okay, moving on to Beverlys which is like my version of an LSS; it’s a local chain craft store with about 4 aisles of scrap stuff and it’s got some pretty cool stuff. Check out my loot from Bev’s:

Abacus, by Reminisce. For last day of school pages:

My Guy/Wisdom, by KI Memories. To cut up for all the cool phrases and quotes:

Green, by Deja Views. This one’s so stinkin pretty, I won’t be able to use it. I want to just frame it as is, and hang it on the wall. The photo doesn’t do it justice. There are pretty, delicate little butterflies and flowers, the color is gorgeous and the cut out edges are too die for.

Honeycomb and Yellow Circles, by Sandylion. I don’t know what I’ll use these for, they just reached out to me. I got 2 sheets of the more subtle pattern for the background and can cut up the sheet with all the circles. Maybe for a funky boy skateboarding page or something. You like, or is it too weird?

Around the Corner, by Kelly Panacci for Sandylion. Love, love, LOVE! So bright and colorful and happy! Who CARES what I use it on, it’ll be fun!

For Rome photos of The Forum, etc. It’s 7 Gypsies…whooda thought?

Tropical Stripes by Stemma. Again, no idea how I’ll use it, but the colors are my faves ~blue and green~ and it’s got a shiny texture to the darker teal flower part. You just have to see this paper in person to appreciate it.

Sweet! Some WeRMemory Keepers chipboard stickers to go with some of this line I already have. It’s called White Out, and I scrapped some county fair and Rascal Flatts photos with the paper at my crop. I was just needing the finishing touch and found these. Got ‘em for 40% off with a coupon.

As for the K&Co. journaling boxes…I am powerless to stop buying these. So pretty, so versatile, so useful. I’m journaling box challenged so these make it easy peasy for me. Beverlys had this entire new line of K&Co, called Sea Glass, and it’s all just gorgeous. So instead of saying something like, “Wow, Erika, you really filled your cart, didn’t you!,” admire my restraint in that all of the Sea Glass line stayed at the store except these cute little guys.

So lots of scrappy goodness there, and most of the paper was 2 for $1 except the 2 fancy sheets; the school paper and the KI were 20 cents on Clearance.

Finally, to finish my spree and general Heavenly day, I went to Barnes and Noble. One of my favorite rituals is this: Skim the New Release hardcovers and pick which books I’ll buy when they hit Costco in paperback (LOL); skim the New Release paperbacks, maybe buy one or two; skim the craft books section and look in vain for something on scrapbooking that I haven’t already read; skim the mystery section for a new Laura Childs scrapbooking mystery; and finally hit the magazine section and then get a Starbucks. As you can see, I hit B&N on the perfect day cuz lookie what I came home with, and you’re gonna be jealous if you’re a scrap mag ho like me…

{Actually, the CTMH cattie came from a friend at my crop but it was easier to take em all in one pic}. Every night, I’ve been curling up with my mags after the house is quiet. I perused them lazily today by the pool with a sun tea while the kids swam. I looked at one while waiting for an appointment the other day. I just lurve my scrap mags. And I have to give some props this time…they were really good. I’ll try to do a review in a future post cuz there’s some good stuff.

Okay, that post took so long to write, the ice melted in my drink! If you’re still here, thanks for reading! Peace out.

SO Not Scrapbook Related…

Oprah, I luv ya, but if I have to hear about this book….

…or listen to this weird little man…

…ONE MORE TIME, I think I’ll throw my tivo out the window! I mean, move ON already. Let’s talk about home decor or school bullying or scrapbooking or interview some SAHM’s who spend too much time on message boards and maintaining their blogs (here! here! pick me!).

Crap, even an in-depth discussion on gas prices would be more interesting…

Michael’s Coupon: Valid Through June 14, 2008

If you didn’t get the ad in your paper, HERE‘s the link to the latest Mike’s coupon. Heck, even if you did get the ad, why not print off a couple extra? You can’t beat 50% off! The fine print says one coupon per customer per day (shucks!) and that it excludes all Cricut products. Sounds like you’re in the clear to use it on those Martha Stewart PUNCHES you’ve been wanting.

Thank you to NICOLE from the AMR MESSAGE BOARD for sharing the link. I didn’t get my usual e-mail this time from Michaels. Maybe they heard I was sharing the coupon with my peeps and blacklisted me, LOL. I used (one of) my 50% coupons yesterday and will blog about it later. Happy shopping! Let us know what YOU use it on…

A Belated Thank You…

to my online pal, CHRIS (aka Chrispea on CKMB and AMR).

She posted THIS on her blog the other day. Besides the fact that it’s a very cool tutorial on how to make that “I ripped it out of a spiral notebook” look, she also wished me happy birthday there at the end. Her kindness to me comes as no surprise, as she’s one of the most generous MB friends around. Not to mention talented, funny, and extremely computer and graphic design savvy. So, thanks again, Chris!

Also, please give THIS POST I wrote the other day another look-see. I had to eat some words (yum!).

And a heads up to any AMR girlz who might happen to read this…after I survive the crop I’m holding this Saturday, I will be posting a big “thank y’all” for 30+ birthday cards I received…

Okay, buh-bye…

Making Memories Magazine: July/August 2008

Just got my copy in the mail and it’s noticeably “skinny.” Wow, only 90 pages including both covers. I’m sure you’ve noticed how thin CK has been in recent months and Scrapbooks Etc, although thicker than the others if i remember right, is still not as fat as it used to be. I don’t imagine these scrap mags will be in business much longer at this rate. How can they maintain subscribers with that many pages; how can they maintain profits with that few ads? We’ll be sad to see them go, but it will be {at least partly} our own fault, I’m afraid…I know many of us now get our scrap-fill (page ideas, articles, etc.) from the internet, but it just won’t be the same without magazines. You can’t lie on a lounger, the couch or in bed with your computer (well, we laptop-ers can but yuck, uncomfortable and impractical). And the pics in a magazine are much more fun and easy to look at than those on a screen. I for one will truly miss the scrapbook magazines when they’re gone and, at only 90 pages this issue, Memory Makers appears to be sliding on out…

What are your thoughts about this issue, or scrapbooking magazines in general, these days?

Making Memories “Garden Party” on Clearance at Target

I was at the Big Red Bullseye yesterday and saw that my Target had everything from the Making Memories “Garden Party” line on clearance. It was in the regular scrapbooking section, but had bright orange tags on it and the prices were pretty good.

{HERE is where I would insert a photo of said Garden Party, but Making Memories in all it’s wisdom, does not let you copy images from their website. HERE is where I would’ve put a link to their page and given them all kinds of free publicity but, alas, I shan’t. Because their website sucks lemons}.

==================
ETA 6/5/08: Yay, I’m happy to say I rescind my earlier “sucks lemons” comments about the MM website, because I got this nice note from Kelly @ Making Memories in the Comments for this post:

“Hi! I saw your mention about MM’s product images, and I thought you would like to know that we do have all of our images available for you to use anytime you want! Please visit our web site at http://www.makingmemories.com. Click on “About Us” and go to “Media Info.” You’ll see the link there to all of our images in hi-res format. Hope that helps! Thanks so much and take care!”

I’m the first to admit when I’m wrong, and I’m very sorry to Making Memories for uttering a disparaging word about their site. Mea culpa (gulp). I didn’t realize I was an important, hotsy totsy media person but I guess I am (put THAT in your pipe and smoke it). SO…without further ado…here are some pics of MM Garden Party. Bladow!!

All that being said, unless I’m again missing something (entirely possible, yes)…the MM site is still not a great situation for bloggers like me. Defined as: In a hurry, and not terribly photo-resizing savvy. First, I had to quite hunt around to find the Garden Party stuff because I didn’t know which show it had been released from. Second, the initial small image is too small (what you see above), but if you click on it, it’s way too large for a blog. Yeah, maybe I’m not as “media” as I thought. Thirdly, it was too time consuming to navigate…I mean, I have 2 paying jobs and a family…I gotta get in, BLOG, get out, ya know? I prefer to poach from the front page of a manufacturer’s blog or after a quick search from their home page. And I always try to link right from the manufacturer, btw, as opposed to an online store or another blog (if I can, and there’s not some other reason I’m referring you to a non-manufacturer). So there, my usual frightfully truthful review of something scrappy. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.
====================

None of it ended up in my cart, although it’s very cute and summer-y. My scrap budget has gotten a bit tighter lately with these crazy gas prices and such. It cost $55 to fill up my Honda Accord yesterday! I almost dropped my ever-lovin’ ATM card when I saw that stupid receipt come out. This car used to cost about $20-25 to fill. Mama mia! Doesn’t OPEC know they’re affecting my scrapbook shopping?!? ‘Cuz they don’t wanna’ mess with the Scrapbook Obsessed…