January 2011 archive

Donna Downey and the Tale of Fossil Purse Birdgate

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Gosh, where to even begin!??!

I will try my best to synopsize the LONG chain of events, but if you really want the Low Down Dirty Scoop on this, you have a lot of reading ahead of you. And I’m warning you, I’m going to say ALLEGEDLY a lot because I’m not Donna or Fossil or Unity, and I don’t know for a FACT what has happened in any of this. I’m just reading what others have written and doing my best to summarize it to the best of my understanding … ALLEGEDLY :)

Once upon a time, there was a famous scrapbook writer and designer named DONNA DOWNEY. She had a sparkling personality and creative talent. She inspired scrapbookers and won lots of fans. She made a very successful business and a nice living from these endeavors.

Donna was a sought-after crafting instructor and gave workshops, often costing a pretty penny. But that was worth it and okay with many … it was Donna Downey, after all. She had a saying that I loved, and have quoted on this blog before: “Perfect just the way you create.”

Then one day, she became the subject of a major “scrapbook scandal.” To save you from reading the 21-page 2peas THREAD {although you are certainly welcome to}, I’ll try to summarize: Donna ALLEGEDLY refused to refund class tuition to a Pea who couldn’t attend for very serious health reasons. It wasn’t until the Peas did a perfect pile-on that Donna eventually refunded the Pea’s money, but most saw it as too little, too late. The damage had been done and a boycott was launched. In the years since, many Peas have stuck to this ban and the issue occasionally comes up in the context of other scandals, so we’re all reminded of the sitch with Donna Downey.

Okay, that was the background. Now, for the latest:

Started on Sunday, January 30, 2011, check out THIS 2 peas thread on the NSBR side, which spawned THIS thread on the Scrapbooking side.

It all started with a Pea who couldn’t sleep, and while surfing the internet she found THIS. It’s a post from a blog called “You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice … but we did” The blog says, “This site is dedicated to pointing out those things that give you that feeling of ‘haven’t I seen that somewhere before?’” In other words, people post there when they feel that someone’s art or creative work has been “ripped off” by someone else.

The blog article referred to THIS post from Donna’s blog in which she posted this, on December 26, 2010:

last weekend in Peddlers Village, PA, one of my students brought this really cool Fossil bag to class (hi sandy!). it was a different shape than this but i loved the birds. while at Quakerbridge mall in NJ, we saw the whole line of fossil bags in this print and i just didn’t like the shape of any of them. i am a “big bag” kinda gal. i have journals, pens, sunglasses, etc that i have to fit in there and they were all really slim.

today i woke up and felt the need to make my bird purse!
i took out a bunch of fabrics and just started tearing strips and layering them around the bottom of the bag. the design is the same (or basically the same) on the front and back side of the bag.

and as for the birds i hand drew them with a sharpie pen and they make me SO FRICKIN’ HAPPY I CANT TAKE IT!

the orange flower trim, shhhh, that’s mine too…you didn’t see that either.

it is not finished by any means but i just had to share!

The comments from Donna’s readers back in December were initially super-supportive … but the most recent ones have taken quite a turn. The great majority of Peas who’ve posted to the thread that broke this story (linked above) are quite unhappy with Ms. Downey, to put it mildly, and some have posted to her blog, the You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice blog, and have attempted contact with UNITY STAMP COMPANY via their Facebook page, and with Fossil, the seller of the purse that Downey was so “inspired” by.

Not only did Donna ALLEGEDLY make a purse for her own use, inspired by the Fossil purse with a nearly identical design, but she ALLEGEDLY created a stamp for Unity using one of the same bird designs, assumedly passing it off as her own design (the thought being that she would’ve had to sign an agreement/contract with Unity stating that the stamp design was original and not taken/copied/traced from another source). On top of that, she gave an “Artful Bag” class at CHA this past Saturday using said stamp …

From Prima Marketing’s CLASSES AT CHA listing:

Saturday, January 29th
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Artful Bag taught by Donna Downey – 10:30 am – 12pm

Donna’s new product line is so versatile and colorful. Join her as she shows you some new techniques using her brand new canvas bag, floral ribbon trims, iron ons, and lots of gorgeous fabrics.

However, although Unity appears to have ALLEGEDLY planned to release the bird stamp – as evidenced by it’s appearance on their website for pre-order (now missing), inclusion in their CHA catalog (alas, distributed with a sticker over the bird stamp image saying “not available”), and the inclusion of the stamp in the ad for Donna’s Artful Bag class at CHA – apparently, plans for Unity to release the bird stamp were scrapped (pardon the pun) at some point, which leads to even more questions … like what did Unity know and when did they know it?

Unity has responded on their FB page with this:

Note to all…this was never put into production. We have no intention of it being introduced into the Unity product line. thanks for bringing it to our attention!

In the 2peas thread on the Scrapbook side, this was just posted by AJ, the Unity stamps Design Team Coordinator:

Hi! Unity has no intention of producing this now, ever, or making it a part of the Unity line.

So, as best as I can piece things together, here is what is being assumed to have happened [[[[[ ALLEGEDLY ]]]]]

1. Donna Downey saw a Fossil bag and was inspired by it.
2. She made her own version of the purse, with fabric-strip buildings and bird designs that are a very close match to the original purse.
{Up to this point, most people are okay with it … she was inspired by a purse she saw, she made her own copy of it, and shared it on her blog for inspiration}.
3. Her fans loved the bag and many said stamps NEEDED to be made from the bird images.
4. Donna then worked with Unity on a stamp that was to be a CHA-W 2011 offering, included in their catalog.
5. Donna taught a class this past Saturday at CHA which was advertised using a picture of her Fossil-inspired bird purse, and what is thought to be a mock-up of the Unity stamp … which apparently has not and/or will not be manufactured after all.

I’m blogging this at 1:45 on Monday morning, the day after the 2peas thread started. According to their website, CHA runs from January 29-February 1, so we’re assuming that people like Donna, those at Unity, etc. are a bit preoccupied right now. As of now, Donna’s blog and her TWITTER account are devoid of any mention of this “scandal” and her “smoking gun” blog post with all the negative comments has not yet been removed (do we predict that it will be?). The 2 peas thread on NSBR is now at 8 pages and still growing.

As you can see from my post back HERE, I’ve tried to stay out of the fray so far with Donna Downey scandals. If you do a Search on my blog for “Donna Downey,” you’ll see that I’ve never badmouthed her. But it’s near impossible to keep my opinion to myself on this one … partly because it’s not the first time she’s done something I don’t understand.

At this point, I’m not going to say much. I don’t feel like all the facts are in. I feel like we’re supposing and assuming a lot. I hate to form opinions this early in the game. I try to be fair and discerning about this kind of thing.

That said, it ain’t looking good for Ms. Downey, as far as I’m concerned. If it walks like a stolen bird and talks like a stolen bird, well … you know the rest.

I do pray she has a good explanation for what has happened, and we can all eat our words. I like to assume that people ~ especially those I look to for inspiration in the scrapbooking world ~ are honest and true. But if what we “think” happened ends up being what actually happened? I’ll be very, very disappointed …

How about you … care to weigh in?

Memory Works: Simple Stories “Destinations” … One More Thing!

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As I’ve done in the past for Simple Stories “Life Documented” and “ele.ment.ary”, I will be taking PRE-ORDERS for “Destinations.” That way, when it comes out, your payment will have already cleared and I can submit your order immediately.

I hope they ordered a LOT of this product because I’m getting such great feedback on it, I know it’s going to be a great seller … don’t miss out!

More details to follow … just wanted to let you know :)

Do You Like Basic Grey Sneak Peeks???

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Okay, then I got ya’ covered …

BASIC GREY “Sweet Threads”

BASIC GREY “Life of the Party”

Per KELLY GOREE‘s blog, there are 2 more sneaks coming Friday morning, with entire line reveals due on Saturday @ 9am Pacific.

ETA 1/28/11: Here are the other 2 new lines …

BASIC GREY “Hello Luscious”

BASIC GREY “Lauderdale”

What do you think so far? I’m loving bothALL FOUR of them!

PS: I saw the entire new BASIC GREY catalog tonight and …

OH
EM
GEE!!!!!

I am SO in love with all of the new lines, and also the extra new things they have. I’ve been asked NOT to share details for now since there hasn’t been an official reveal … and you know I’m a good girl who plays by the rules … so my lips are sealed.

Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

Scrapbook Sketches Organization

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I didn’t get any scrapbooking done this weekend, but I still feel like I accomplished something good … something that will help me scrapbook mo’ betta in the future. I printed and organized a bunch of sketches and sample layouts.

Let me backtrack a bit: Please read THIS ENTRY first so you’re up to speed :) Since I wrote that post last April, ALLISON DAVIS and SCRAPBOOK GENERATION have come out with Volumes 6 and 7 of layout sketches, along with a Volume 2 of card sketches. ETA 3/21/11: Their Sketch DVD has also been released. Man, I hate it when I’m wrong! The DVD was never released and I just blogged an update about it HERE. Sorry for the misinformation, folks!

Alas, I haven’t purchased any of them yet although I plan to.

In the meantime, I’m still getting much use from Volumes 1 through 5, and I’m so loving the way I pulled the books apart and have filed them into a binder. They’re in order by number of photos and they’ve been SO helpful to the way I scrapbook. To add to my beloved sketch binder, I go to Allison’s blog and take advantage of her monthly Sketch Weeks. It’s where she takes a sketch and shows a week’s worth of layouts based on that sketch, including helpful notes about variations she used and how/why she did them.

If she uses a sketch from Volumes 1 through 5 ~ since I already have the sketch filed in my binder ~ I print out the sample pages and file them behind the sketch. If she uses a sketch that I don’t have, I print the sketch along with the sample pages. Those go into my sketch binder, too, based on the number of photos used.

I hadn’t printed any since last spring when I started my binder so I had many months of printing and filing to do. In the sidebar of Allison’s blog you’ll find all of her Sketch Weeks broken down by month and even by Day 1, etc. I would click open Day 5 since that’s when she posts ALL of the layouts from the week in one post, which is ever so helpful.

Now she also has a blog called SKETCH SUPPORT which has even MORE sketches to print and play with! I’m in Sketch Heaven, I tell ya’. {I’m a 2-page layout girl so I only utilize that part of Sketch Support}. I guess the only problem is … now I have so many sketches printed out … I’m going to need a second binder, LOL :) Such a problem to have …

I keep my sketch binder on my desk at all times. It sits horizontally (which is the way the sketches are printed) on a cookbook stand like THIS:

I flip back my binder to the sketch I’m using … easy peasy. The stand is really nice because it makes it easier to see the sketch while I work and it also doesn’t take up as much room on my precious scrap desk real estate.

Sooooo … did you get any scrappy organization done this weekend?

Memory Works: CHA Release of Simple Stories New “Destination” Line!

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A few days ago, MEMORY WORKS starting revealing their new self-produced line for CHA-Winter 2011 {January 29 ~ February 1, 2011}. It’s called “Destinations” and they are sharing peeks of it on the SIMPLE STORIES BLOG!

HERE is the first entry and the first look …

Then TWO DAYS AGO, they decided to start showing off the line ~ woot woot!

So . . . are you excited to see our Destinations collection? I’m very excited to show it to you! The biggest decision is which part to show you today! How about some of the fantastic paper designs! We have been working around the clock for this much-anticipated debut of our new line and thrilled that we can share our collections to the scrapbook world at the CHA Winter 2011in Los Angeles, California on January 29th! We are super excited to showcase our fantastic paper today….did you notice we added 2 more papers to our collection? Instead for 4 with 8 designs, we now feature 6 double-sided paper with 12 designs! PLUS we’ve added an adorable new sticker sheet called Fundamentals stickers – this means they are absolutely fundamental to scrapbook with but also “fun” with our adorable icons (okay WHO LOVES the dotted plane?) LOVE our new additions….how about you? (Jodi with Memory Works)

DOUBLE-SIDED DESIGNER CARDSTOCK {6}

HERE they also shared some inspiration using the new products … there are lots of pics so just click on ever there to see them.

Sooooo … YESTERDAY, the rest of the “Destination” line was revealed!!! I’m so happy I could spit. Taaaahhh Daaaahhhh!

DESTINATIONS COLLECTION KIT

12×12 DESTINATION ELEMENTS {6}
You can cut these into 4×6 blocks and just pop them into a pocket page protector, or use them on your regular layouts. Use them for page titles, journaling, layering, etc.

If you use them in the divided page protectors, they’re perfect because they’re double-sided. So you get double-duty from them, with both sides showing.

Here are some more sizes, like 6×12 blocks and 2×12 strips. These fit easily in the other page protector configurations we offer in the Multi-Pack page protectors or, again, you can use them however you want on a regular layout. Very versatile.

4×6 TRANSPARENCY PHOTO OVERLAYS {2 of each 3 designs}
* Exclusive to Collection Kit

12×12 FUNDAMENTALS STICKERS

12×12 EXPRESSIONS STICKER SHEET

Here are some sample pages using the “Destinations” line by Simple Stories. These must’ve been done by Amber. So you can see the owners of Memory Works, Amber and Kevin Crowell, and their kids having fun at Disney. Too cute!

So there it is. Be honest … what do you think? If you’re as exciting to order this new line as I am, please make sure you subscribe to my blog. I’ll be posting updates and will make sure to blog when it’s available to order … I hope you’ll place your order through me :)

To subscribe to my blog, sign up to the top right corner. Every time I post to this blog, you’ll get the post in an e-mail. Couldn’t be any easier than that, right? HERE is the place on my MW website where existing Simple Stories items and where I assume “Destination” will eventually be listed …

Man, Memory Works does it again. I am SO thrilled about “Destination” and hope you are, too :)

*blink* *blink* Basic Grey at Big Lots?!?!

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I am NOT even kidding you! I know, you wanna’ Elaine-from-Seinfeld me, right? You wanna’ push me really hard and say, “GET. OUT!” But I am SO serial.

I of course first heard about this from The Peas. I think they were a wee bit excited, since they talked about it HERE, HERE, and HERE. Yeah, no less than THREE threads in a week about “Basic Grey at Big Lots!!!!!!” We Peas have lost our ever lovin’ minds over this.

Okay, do you remember how MY Big Lots pretty much *sux*? The whole Thickers thing really soured me. We got, like, 5 packs total that were alphas (as opposed to the shapes which I have less than zero use for). I tried and tried and tried. Scrappers from all over the US of A were finding them at their Big Lots, I think for $1 or $2 per pack. But noooooo … not me. Not the Biggest Thickuh Luvah Evah. I couldn’t find any for months and when I finally did, they were, well, meh. I mean, I bought them of course because we’re talkin’ THICKERS here, people! But it was anticlimactic at best.

So when I heard the online screams of “Basic Grey at Big Lots!!!” … I was, like, “Yeah, whatevs.” I figured I’d check if I were ever in that area of town for something else but I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself and stalk BL like I did for the Thickers. Okay, well, and the cheap Cricut cartridges. What’s that saying? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I’m nobody’s sucker.

So I did burn rubber over to Big Lots in search of BG. It was more like a leisurely stroll. I restrained myself for, oh, a whole day before I manufactured a reason … erm … remembered something I really really really needed in the same mall as Big Lots, and then I finally went.

You’re never going to guess: I hit the jackpot! Not only did my BL have the BG, I got some other cute things, too. I know you’re only here for the eye candy and not my wicked frickin’ wit, so here ya go … PICTURES! I didn’t want to make you wait another day so you have to deal with the bad lighting because I took these pics Tuesday night. For YOU.

My entire Big Lots haul for 42 dollahs, baby!

Basic Grey “Eerie” doilies and “Sugar Rush” alphas

White gift bags which I love for wrapping gifts cuz I get creative with the ribbons and tags; only 30 cents a bag.

Basic Grey “Undressed” naked chipboard alpha and “Indian Summer” chip stickers

Basic Grey rub-ons, painted brads, glazed brads, pops, epoxy, writer’s block, take note, ribbon, and bling it on – various lines.

Happy Pear jelly stickers in “Birthday Words” and “Friends Words.”

Creative Imaginations “Signature Collection” metal brads

That’s a lot of scrap crap for only $42, huh? I was quite happy with my purchase. It’s been a while since I’ve scored like this. I was due. Am I right?

I also have some Michaels photos for next time … the cute new Spring stuff they have on the shelves, and the 2 Cricut cartridges I got for $9.99 each from last week’s big sale.

Got Compassion?

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When you have a few minutes, please go over to Scrapbook Update and read THIS recent post from Nancy Nalley. It will break your heart. If you can, please leave Nancy a supportive comment. She must be going through Hell right now and I hope scrappers worldwide will have her back.

Peace out.

Memory Works: Using Simple Stories “Life Documented” for Project 365

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I used the Simple Stories “Life Documented” line to do my Project 365 last year (2010). HERE is a post about it so you can see what I’m talking about.

I’m hearing different reasons why people aren’t happy with Project Life by Becky Higgins this year, so I thought I’d offer up Life Documented again. Here is what I have in stock at home right now:

Simple Stories “Life Documented” kit for $16.99
******** I HAVE (9) KITS IN STOCK ********* ETA 1/11/11: Sorry, all have been sold.

We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) page protectors:

MULTI-PACK (10 for $5.50)
This is a variety of page pocket configurations
******** I HAVE (10) PACKS IN STOCK ******* ETA 1/11/11: Sorry, all have been sold.

HORIZONTAL 4×6 slots only (25 for $11.50)
******** I HAVE (2) PACKS IN STOCK ******* ETA 1/11/11: 1 left.

And the kiwi green WRMK 12×12 D-RING ALBUM ($30.00)
It comes with (10) regular 12×12 page protectors
******** I HAVE (1) ALBUM IN STOCK ******** ETA 1/11/11: Still available.

I also have (4) PRISM CARDSTOCK PACKS for $3.75 each ETA 1/11/11: 3 still available.
They have 7 sheets of 7 different colors which match Life Documented

HERE is a link to my website with all the Simple Stories and accessories, include the “Life Documented” and “ele.ment.ary” lines.

Speaking of Simple Stories “ele.ment.ary” I still have some of that in stock, too … (3) Collection Packs, (3) Designer Cardstock Packs, and (2) matching cardstock packs. ETA 1/11/11: 2 of each still available

If you order from my website, Memory Works shipping rates will apply. If you order from me (what I have in stock, shown above), I will Flat Rate ship super quick and split the shipping cost with you (I’m actually losing money but I want to sell these babies! So a great deal for you!)

Even if you don’t do Project 365 per se, “Life Documented” can easily be adapted to Photo a Week, Photo a Month, a regular family album, or whatever you like. It’s THE most versatile scrapbooking line I’ve ever seen and the colors/design are gorgeous. You have to see it in person :)

Give me a shout out if you’re interested or have any questions. Leave a comment below or e-mail me: scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com. First come, first served :)

2010 in Review: Courtesy of WordPress

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Can I just say how much I MEGA {HEART} WORDPRESS?!?!?! I found this in my in-box yesterday. I didn’t even have to ask … they just gave it to me. So I share it with pride:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 240,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 10 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 129 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 738 posts. There were 492 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 52mb. That’s about 1 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was April 29th with 1,776 views. The most popular post that day was I’ve Got Photos of the New Scrapbooking Stuff at Michaels!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were twopeasinabucket.com, en.wordpress.com, blogger.com, google.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for scrapbook rooms, scrapbooking blogs, scrapbooking rooms, scrapbook blogs, and scrapbook blog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

I’ve Got Photos of the New Scrapbooking Stuff at Michaels! April 2010
3 comments

2

Wonderful Scrapbook Rooms May 2008
20 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

3

A Truthful Look at Scrapbook Room Organization February 2010
6 comments

4

Martha Stewart Border Punches at Michael’s April 2008
23 comments

5

Cricut Design Studio Software December 2007
32 comments

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