March 2010 archive

Scrapbook Novel Review: “Prints Charming”

*** Warning: If you don’t want spoilers to this book, please don’t read my review! ***

As you know, I love SCRAPBOOK NOVELS and recently read “Prints Charming” by Rebeca Seitz (yes, Rebeca with one “c”). I got the book in the mail a few weeks ago, but held onto it so I could read the whole thing on a family trip we just took.

I suck at synopsizing, which reminds me of my school days when I’d much rather write a story than a stinkin’ book report. Anyway, I found a good synopsis at LIBRARYJOURNAL.COM:

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Jane Sandburg’s best friend, Lydia, had begged her not to marry Bill, and their friendship ended when Lydia walked out at the wedding. Now, two years later, Jane discovers Bill is cheating on her, and because “a woman couldn’t be a woman without her girlfriends,” she reconciles with Lydia. A year later, Jane, Lydia, and new girlfriend Mac decide to start Sisters, Ink, a business that networks scrapbooking women. When a new man enters Jane’s life, and Bill tries to win her back, Jane has to rely on her “sisters” to help her avoid making another huge mistake. This first novel is a pleasure to read, with likable characters who are bound to return in the next installment of the new “Sisters, Ink” series.
—-

I guess a novel about scrapbooking would have to be really poorly written for me NOT to like it. That said, I really, really enjoyed this book, LOL! It was well-written, entertaining, and interesting. I very much grew to care about the main character, Jane, and all of her scrapbooking friends. I thought the characters were well-drawn and likeable (well, Bill the cad ex-husband was not so likeable, but hey, every story needs a villian, right?).

Scrapbooking was definitely a part of the story. Not only do the women get together and scrapbook regularly (while sharing triumphs and crises), but they’re in the process of starting a scrapbooking website together and we get glimpses of them having ideas and adding them to the site. Jane’s wedding scrapbook also makes several appearances, although at one point she considers destroying it, and I literally said out loud, “NO!” I’m like, “I don’t care if the guy turned out the be a real ass hat. Don’t take it out on the scrapbook!” I just cringed at the thought of all that hard work, creativity, and (gasp!) scrapbook supplies going in the trash. Crikey, Jane, don’t SCARE me like that!

I really enjoyed the love story part of it, too. There’s enough conflict to keep you guessing and, though you figure they’re probably going to end up together at the end, it’s not easy going for the happy couple. They meet as the novel begins (as she rushes to a scrapbook store, natch!) and Rebeca does such a good job of capturing that “I get goosebumps and a funny stomach every time I see you” feeling of new infatuation.

The side stories of the other “Sisters” were also compelling, including an older mother dealing with a troubled daughter, a wife trying desperately to get her husband’s attention away from TV sports (you gotta read just to find out the interesting kind of lingerie she resorts to!), and a young mom trying to adopt a 2nd child. These ladies are multicultural and spiritual. As a Christian, I enjoyed the easy religious tone to the book but if over-religiosity bothers you, this book won’t. It’s done with a pretty light touch and I don’t think anyone would find it annoying.

I think the only thing I’m bummed about is that there isn’t (yet) a “part two” to Prints Charming. The Sisters Ink books begin with a new set of characters, but I wanted to find out what happens with Mac and the preacher. I want to know if the happy couple stayed happy and if their dog and cat are still getting along okay. How are Mari’s daughters doing, and surprise child #3? How does the website take off, and what scrappers do they connect with? See, Rebeca? You gotta write another installment, girl!

Anyway, if this novel sounds interesting to you, I got my copy at AMAZON.COM and more retailers are listed below. You can read more reviews of the book at Amazon also.

If you’d like to read more about Rebeca and her scrapbooking novels: HERE is an excellent article on a Christian media website, which tells a lot about her literary and writing career, and the role spirituality plays in her life.

As I mentioned, the scrapbooker girlfriends in the novel form a website and community dedicated to scrapbookers and bringing them together. The ideas for this fictional website were so good that, as I was reading, I kept thinking they had better really have this place so I could join up when I got home from my trip, LOL. Sure enough, they do! Here is the actual SISTERS INK website. There is a $12 annual sign-up fee, which seems totally reasonable ($1 a month? why not?). I plan to join soon and check out the benefits of the site.

At the Sisters Ink website, I found lots of information about Rebeca and her books, including a list of the FOUR NOVELS which make up the Sisters Ink series. The four novels are:

Sisters Ink
Coming Unglued
Scrapping Plans
Perfect Piece

Apparently, Rebeca first wrote Prints Charming, then was contracted for the four Sisters Ink books which are a series and interrelated, dealing with four adopted sisters from one family. I plan to buy all of them and can’t wait to get started. Ah, my summer reading list!

Copied from the Sisters Ink site, here’s where you can purchase Rebeca’s scrapbooking novels:


The Sisters, Ink novels are available for purchase in thousands of bookstores across the country, including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, LifeWay, Family Christian Stores, Parable-member stores, independent bookstores, Amazon, Christianbook.com, DeeperShopping.com, and some Wal-mart stores. If you cannot find the Sisters, Ink novels in your area or would like to purchase signed copies, feel free to email Rebeca directly at rebeca@sistersink.net .

Read Rebeca’s tweets HERE.

Hope you enjoyed my review of “Prints Charming” by Rebeca Seitz!

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Scrapbook Magazines vs. Papercraft and Cardmaking Magazines

Of course, we scrapbookers all know about the demise and downturn of scrapbooking magazines in the past few years. We’ve lost Simple Scrapbooks, DIGITAL SCRAPBOOKING, and MEMORY MAKERS. We’ve seen changes to the number of issues with SCRAPBOOKS ETC. and Creating Keepsakes.

For some down and dirty facts, check out this report about the 2009 scrapbook magazine industry … PART ONE, PART TWO, and PART THREE.

When I was at Michaels recently, I noticed that the papercrafting and cardmaking magazines don’t seem to be suffering the same fate. And what the hell is up with that?!?! As “our” magazines dwindle, theirs seem to be multiplying.

Keep in mind that even more magazines are hidden behind the ones that are showing. The magazine rack at Barnes and Noble looks similar.

Admittedly, I haven’t read through the 3 long “state of the industry” articles I linked to above. Maybe the answer is in there, but skimming them, I didn’t find it.

What do you think is going on? Do papercrafting and cardmaking have that many more participants than scrapbooking? Have they not yet hit the bubble and then downslide that the scrapbooking magazines did, but their time is coming? What do you make of this? I honestly can’t scrounge up a good explanation. Please ‘splain it to me, Lucy …

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New Albums, K&Co., and Making Memories at Michaels

I was at Michaels last Saturday and thought I’d show you some new things I saw … ‘cuz I know you HATE IT when I enable, LOL :)

Some cute new K&Co. albums …

This is my favorite. I love the fun colors, the photo frame, and the flower accent. I’ll probably never buy it, though. I’m a train wreck with embellished albums. I tend to shove my scrapbooks back on the shelf without care, and would probably shave that pretty flower off in 2 seconds flat. But it’s a pretty album to admire on the Michael’s shelf …

Some more cute scrapbooks but I think I had seen all of these before except for the blue/yellow one on the left. I really like that one, too …

At first, I thought these “Spellbound” letters by MAKING MEMORIES were stickers. When I saw the price of $4.99, I was like WTH? But I picked them up and realized they’re actually chipboard … so the 5 bucks is actually a pretty good deal.

A Halloween page kit by K&Company. I was going to use my 40% off coupon to get this kit, then decided against it. It’s a 2-page layout but had blanks for only 4 photos. Sorry, Charlie, I can’t remember the last time I scrapped only 4 photos on a 2-pager. Especially Halloween, with all those cute costumes, jack o’lanterns, and candy bucket photos. Puh-lease.

Here are some small, medium, and large canvases by K and Company. I propped up the project flyer that shows a way to use the 12×12 canvas. Great project idea and I love the different sizes and colors. The price seems kind of steep to me but what do I know? I’ve never bought a canvas before. Can you buy these over in the Michaels art section or at an art shop for less? Scrapbooking companies are notorious for packaging some common thing as a “scrapbooking product” and then jacking the price up to high Heaven. And I gotta’ admit, I fall for it most of the time. But I’m onto this canvas fraud. Yessiree Bob …

Look at these cute black epoxy punctuation stickers by SANDYLION. Yep, half price, from $2.99 down to $1.49. I got some of these.

K&Co. embellishments. Some of these I’ve seen before but there are also some new ones. Aren’t those butterflies gorgeous?

Sorry for the shadowy, bottom shelf look but, hey, what can I say? They were on a shadowy bottom shelf! An album kit and shadow box kit by K&Co. More butterflies. They remind me of that gorgeous line by Melody Ross for GCD STUDIOS called “ARTSY URBAN“. Here is the entire BLOSSOMWOOD collection by Tim Coffey if you’re interested …

Speaking of butterflies and tricks by scrapbooking companies … why, yes, we WERE speaking of that … keep up, lady, keep up! Here are some butterflies that were not in the scrapbooking aisle; instead, they were over by the home decor. I’m not sure what their intended use is, but I thought they would look grand on scrapbooking layouts. Only $4.99 for up to 12 flutter-bys. You know that if they were packaged and displayed as a scrapbooking item, they would be at least 7 or 8 bucks. Sheesh.

Now on to some Clearance items:

This little boy album kit was originally $24.99, marked down to $9.99 ~ what a deal. There was a similar girl album kit, too, for the same price.

Ooh, blurry, sorry! I must have hiccupped when I took the photo or something. Mr. iPhone has no image stabilization whatsoever. Anyhow, “skins” for the GYPSY were on the Clearance already. I don’t remember seeing them prior to this. Is that the equivalent to “straight to video” when a movie isn’t that great? Gypsy skins, “straight to clearance!”

A whole endcap over by the party supplies was full of this black, lavender, and blue line by COLORBOK. It was all on sale at 2 for $1.

Lastly, all these cute packs of chipboard shapes were also over by the giftwrap. The chipboard is already white, which is nice, although it’s kind of thin. I was thinking some of these could make great mini-albums. Just punch a hole in 1 or 2 corners with your CROP-A-DILE and use some binder rings. Or you could make some fun kids projects with these.

See the large circle on the bottom right? Those are HATS! Idn’t that key-yoot!?!?

This star shape would make a darling mini album. I think with cardstock or patterned paper and photos adhered to each side, it would be sturdy enough.

Hope you enjoyed the Michaels tour. I’m usually in such a rush, I only have time to browse the scrapbooking section. But Saturday I had some time to kill while waiting for a movie to start. It was fun to cruise the entire store at my leisure.

Later this week, I’ll post pics of what I bought. Have you done any Michaels shopping lately?

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Checking In :)

Hey ya’ll! I’ve been out of town and not able to post, but I will soon, I promise! Don’t give up on me. To quote my muscle-bound Governor, “I”ll be BOCK.” Hope you’re having a great week :)

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Memory Works: Spring 2010 Catalog is HERE!

Squeee! I’m SO excited! The new scrapbook items from CHA Winter 2010 have been rolling in to my Memory Works WEBSITE. I’ve been posting about some of them but not all. Here is what we have so far:

AMERICAN CRAFTS including Dear Lizzy, new Thickers, awesome new adhesives, and our NEW line of AC CARDSTOCK! (see my post HERE for the Dear Lizzy)

BASIC GREY Green at Heart and Kioshi (see my post HERE)

BO BUNNY Mamarazzi, Sophie, Flower Child, Paradise, and Roughin It (See my post about Mamarazzi HERE and you KNOW I’m so stinkin’ excited about that one! I already have 2 of each item in my shopping cart … 1 for me, 1 to sell :)

COSMO CRICKET Garden Variety, Material Girl, Joyride, and Tiny Type alphas (I blogged about them HERE)

CRATE PAPER Paper Doll, Brooke, and Pink Plum

JENNI BOWLIN Vintage Buttons and Embellished Butterflies

MY LITTLE SHOEBOX Flying High, Away We Go, Just Add Butter, and All Aflutter (What a great company! They’re completely new to Memory Works and I’m loving all the bright, fun colors)

MY MINDS EYE Jack and Jill, Little Boy Blue, and Little Miss Muffet. We also have all the “Lush” lines … Black Lush, Red Lush, Pink Lush, Brown Lush, Blue Lush, and Green Lush.

TERESA COLLINS BeBe Boy, BeBe Girl, Mr. and Mrs., and Welcome Home

THREE BUGS IN A RUG Great Outdoors, Savannah, Little Chick, and Animal Stackers

*If an item says Out of Stock, that just means it hasn’t arrived in the warehouse yet but is on the way. Please try back soon. If you’re waiting on something specific, e-mail me { scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com } and I can notify you when it arrives. Most consultants don’t do that, but I DO because I respect your scrapbook jones like no one else does :)

Okay, all of THAT is exciting enough, right?!?! I mean, MAMARAZZI people! Remember when I hoped so badly that Memory Works would carry it and now they DO! I am SO going to find that class kit and make that adorable mini-album with it.

So today home office also released our new Spring 2010 catalog, like, WAY early! We usually don’t get them until late March/early April. I have .pdf downloads (they broke it up into 4 sections for faster download times) and will post those soon.

Better yet, you can order a REAL paper catalog from me and I’ll mail it to ya. {JINGLE, did those cupcakes catch your eye? They are throughout the cattie, LOL!}

Here’s what I’m gonna’ do … I’m going to order 10 catalogs today. They cost me $3 each, and to mail them out costs about $2-3 depending on how far they’re going. Honestly, it’s always been a big money loser for me because I spend about $5 per sent catalog. I just can’t afford to do that anymore, I’m sorry :( But if you would like a catalog (and believe me, you do ~ they are SO pretty in person!), please e-mail me { scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com } and let me know. I’ll invoice you $4 via Paypal and send it right out. Sound fair? That’s a great price for such a nice piece of eye candy, and way cheaper than those “other” direct sales companies charge, am I right?

Okay, so all this just totally made my day. Let me know if you’d like a catalog or for me to “scrap watch” any items for you. Also, you can order HERE any of the above fabulous new items, not to mention all the existing products we have :)

Have a great Friday, my friends!

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QVC Huge Cosmo Cricket Kit at Tuesday Morning

I’m very sad that QVC doesn’t do scrapbooking shows anymore. Very, VERY sad :( Okay, I had to get that off my chest first.

They do still have lots of SCRAPBOOKING ITEMS on their website, like THIS huge lot of COSMO CRICKET goodies. I remember seeing this as a TSV (Today’s Special Value) a long time ago. I wanted to get it back then because I lurve me some CC, although I passed. Ah, the memories! Watching the great LISA BEARNSON do the presentation, showing us the fabulous projects we could make with it.

These days, you can find this same kit at TUESDAY MORNING. Instead of paying the retail cost of $48.50 plus $7.97 shipping, you can pick it up for a mere $14.99. There are two versions: pink and blue, plus a Christmas version. Some photos of the pink one are HERE.

I went to Tuesday Morning looking for this kit, because of course the Peas had been talking about it. I told myself that if and only if they had the blue version would I buy it. I searched the shelves high and low, pawing through their scrapbooking/craft section, and was unable to find it … at first. I did eventually find it and part of what took so long is that it comes in a brown cardboard box and I guess I was looking for something fancier, LOL. They only had one and guess what color it was??? UH HUH, it was blue. Suh-weet!

Here are some photos of mine:

If you’d like this Cosmo Cricket kit, too, I hope you’re able to find it at your Tuesday Morning! Or that you’ve beat me to it, and already have one ;-)

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Memory Works: New Basic Grey “Green at Heart” and “Kioshi”

I know a lot of you have been looking for the new CHA RELEASES from BASIC GREY. Well, we now have 2 of the new lines in stock: “Green at Heart” and “Kioshi.” (^^^ Click on the Basic Grey link to buy some).

Here is a tease of the Green at Heart; these are just 3 of the products we carry:

THEME SET

STITCHED BRADS

PIECES

Here are 3 layouts of amazing inspiration from the crazy-talented KELLY GOREE (for Basic Grey).

I’m thinking this line is going to be great for all those Spring photos we have coming up. Seeing the warm orange, grassy green, and pretty pink makes me wish all this rain would go away (or snow for a lot of you, right?). I’m ready for some sunshine and flowers and the smell of fresh cut grass … ah, Spring!

Here is summa that Kioshi (this is just a portion of what we carry):

THEME SET

CANVAS TAGS

POISIES DOILIES

Kioshi makes me think of winter to spring, calm, zen, relax, and unwind. It’s got that Asian vibe, but not so much so that you can’t use it for just about anything. I love the soft color combo on this one. Ultra pretty … Here’s 3 more amazing layouts by Kelly Goree (for Basic Grey) …

Oh my. Kelly is SO scary talented, it amazes me. Year after year, she creates layouts that make you just want to gobble up that BASIC GREY. They are very lucky to have her. Thanks for all the inspiration, Kelly!

Again, if you’d like to purchase some Green at Heart or Kioshi, click HERE to link to my Memory Works website and order away! If you have any questions, e-mail me @ scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Coming Soon to Michaels

When I was at Michaels last week, I noticed this sign on one of the almost empty paper racks advertising “Themed Scrapbook Collections.”

I’m not sure what to make of it. About 6-8 months ago, I guess, both of the Mike’s I shop at introduced some new “theme” areas, including Travel, Baby Boy, and Baby Girl. Instead of grouping items by type (letters, papers, stickers, etc.) like they do throughout the rest of the scrapbook area, they pulled everything having to do with, say, travel, and displayed it all in one area. They even added some new travel items to the mix and did the same for baby boy and baby girl.

So, it this going to be more of that? I’m not sure. But inquiring minds want to know already! Bring it on, Mike’s.

I learned about another new thing upon checkout: Michaels is reinstating their Friday night crop nights. The flyer says …
——–
“Michaels crop nights, last Friday of the month*, 5pm-8:45pm. Do you and your friends need a place to get together and craft?
*Crop Nights will not be held in November & December and Michaels reserves the right to discontinue Crop Nights at any time.

Join us the last Friday of every month for Michaels crop night. Michaels provides the space and an assortment of tools.** The best part is that Michaels takes care of the cleanup.
**Available tools will vary. Please ask store associate at time of reservation about store-specific tools.

Reserve your spot today! Space is limited and must be reserved in advance. Reservations can be made by paying $5 or showing proof of $10 scrapbooking purchase in the last 30 days. Reservations are first come, first serve. Please see a Store Associate to reserve your spot to crop!”
——–

First, can I say … ? The dang flyer had several typos or just plain mistakes (I fixed them when I typed the wording above). They must’ve fired their flyer editor. Wow. Embarrassing.

Second, I’m glad to see the crop nights are back. I’m kind of confused … Are they having a crop night set up there every last Friday with a random group of people, or do you have to set it up yourself and bring your friends? Say you call them on Wednesday and you’d like to reserve your spot to crop Friday night … Is the crop happening and they’re taking other sign-ups, or is it more like your reserving the room for you and your friends?

Thirdly, why only 3.75 hours? That’s what most of the Peas said HERE and I have to agree. Hardly seems worth the time to pack up your stuff and drive there. Why not have it for longer? If they’re taking sign-ups (which I’m still confused about), they could do them in 4-hour slots like 1-5pm and 5-9pm. If you wanted to come for 8 hours, you take 2 slots so they don’t overbook the space. If you can only come after work in the evening, you sign up just for the 5-9pm slot. Better yet, why not do it on Saturdays? It’s almost like they want the idea to fail, don’t you think?

You know the scrapbooking T-shirts at Michaels that I mentioned HERE? Well, sounds like the stores are starting to get them in stock. Some of the Peas already HAVE THEM. One Pea said she used her 40% coupon and got her tee for $6. That’s a great price for any kind of tee, much less a scrapbooking one. I hope I get the chance to go by Mike’s tomorrow …

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Scrapbooking T-Shirts at Michaels!

What a cool idea!

Just got an e-mail from Michaels (yes, we have a SPECIAL relationship and he e-mails me directly …). They are now carrying scrapbook tees for $9.99. It said: “New! Dress for your next crop event in style and make it a weekend to remember. Our Recollections™ scrap T-shirts are 100% cotton and come in pink, turquoise and black. Sizes M–XXL. *$12.49 in Alaska.”

That just made my day! I love to wear scrappy tees and have picked up a few over the years at Scrapbook EXPOS. Alas, the ones I have are well-worn and should be replaced. Sweet! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find these tees on the Michaels’ website to see if there are other designs.

I wonder if they’ll take coupons on them? Have you seen these at your Michaels? What styles were there ~ just the three shown, or were there others?

PS: This week’s ad also shows Cricut Solutions cartridges for $14.99 … another YIPPEE!

Hope I can get me one before they sell out …

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The Popularity of Scrapbook Novels

Check out this REVIEW of a new crafty novel; not scrapbooking per se, but still sounds very interesting, yeah? At the bottom of the article are 2 links that will tell you about scrapbooking novels. HERE is a link to another scrapbook novel and if you scroll down to the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section, you’ll see tons more.

I’m so happy to see the addition of all these scrapbooking novels and mysteries over the years. They combine my 2 favorite hobbies: reading and scrapbooking. In fact, I didn’t realize until I did that search on AMAZON that there were quite so many!

I’ve read all the LAURA CHILDS mysteries, with the exception of Tragic Magic …

… and I’ve read A PAGE OUT OF LIFE

but I think that’s it. Crikey! I have some major reading to do!

Do you ever read scrapbook-related novels? Why or why not? Which ones have you read, or would like to read?

I wonder if there’s an online book club or group for scrapbook novels. Hmmm … if there isn’t, someone should start one. I would love to have one place to purchase these books to read, then have a message board or chat room to discuss them. ‘Cuz I don’t know anyone in my ‘real life’ that would be caught dead reading a scrapbook novel, LOL! Anyway, just another one of my brilliant ideas (hardy har har …)

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Pink Paislee’s New Scrapbooking Magazine

Speaking of PINK PAISLEE, have you seen their new online scrapbooking magazine? It’s HERE. Lot’s of great eye candy, for shizzle. I definitely prefer to read my scrap mags in hard copy, but this one is so colorful, it would kill my printer, so I can’t even print it out (black and white just wouldn’t do it justice either).

But anyway, ignore me and just enjoy the magazine, will ya?

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I {Heart} Scrappy Mail :)

I have a big, belated *THANK YOU* to say. Like, belated, since early February. My online friend ABBY sent me a box full of scrappy goodness! Just because she’s like that. It was like Christmas in February, I tell ya …

Here is the whole lot of it together. It’s okay to be jealous.

Remember when I blogged about the line by MELODY ROSS for GCD that was sold exclusively at SOME Michaels stores? Well, my Mike’s didn’t carry it and Abby’s did, so she sent me a buncha the 12×12 double-sided sheets! I know!

Here is one side. That large butterfly has black velvet flocking. It’s absolutely GORGE in person!

Here is the other side (the back side of all the above papers) …

Some pretty ribbons, cute chipboard flower embellies, a handmade “thank you” card, and a bunch of journaling cards, etc. by MY MINDS EYE.

Look at all the cute stuff she made me with her CUTTLEBUG and NESTIES! I don’t have either one, so I’m very grateful. She had slyly asked what my favorite colors were to scrap with, and she made exactly what I like :)

She also knows that I love PINK PAISLEE, JENNI BOWLIN, and all this other cute stuff.

Lastly was a fun scrapbooking magazine …

Thank you, Abby. Thank you! Thank you! Sorry it took me so long to say it :)

Do you have pals who send you fun surprises in the mail? When is the last time you surprised someone with scrappy mail to brighten their day? Well, actually, that would be ‘week’ or ‘month’, right? If you don’t have an online scrapbooking friend like this, a lot of the message boards will help you find one …

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