March 2011 archive

Scrapbooking Find at Big Lots

Lookie what I got at BIG LOTS the other day …

It’s the MARJOLAINE COLLECTION ALBUM* by Basic Grey.

*NORMALLY, I would link to this album on the Basic Grey website (give them some free pub, dontcha know …). But their frickin’ frackin’ site wouldn’t let me copy the image of the album for my post. As I’ve griped about before. But actually, for all my general bitchin’, it HAS been a while since I carped about this particular issue … so it’s time again.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I know … I’m welcome to use the “media approved” photos provided by these scrapbook companies, but that’s just a big pain in the ass. So I’ll just give the free publicity and link to the wonderful, awesome, and sharing 2 PEAS IN A BUCKET. Which is one of my favorite sites anyway, so I’m glad to share their link. I hope if you ever want to order Basic Grey, you’ll buy it from them ;)

Anyhow, the main point I had INTENDED to make with this post, before you got me all twitterpated, was this: I only paid 8 bucks for an album that retails for $24. For those of you who ~ like me ~ suck at math, that would be a 66% savings. Or roughly.

That’s all I found at my Big Lots. I wish you Happy Hunting. Please report back on your finds.

I mean, you can hog all the good items from your particular Big Lots. If you can sleep at night, you just go ahead. But at least have the decency to tell the rest of us what we need to look for in OUR store. You owe us that much. Besides, it will put your conscience right and you’ll be able to sleep even better.

kbai

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Knee Deep in Organizing Photos

Two weekends ago, I had the bright idea to “once and for all” (yeah right!) organize all of my photos. And we’re talking years and years worth here, people! My ancestors, DH’s ancestors, my childhood/young adult photos, his childhood/young adult photos, our dating/engagement/wedding photos, our kids’ baby/toddler/childhood photos, vacation photos, … Okay, you totally get the idea, right? LOTS of photos!

NOT having them organized has been such a hindrance to my scrapbooking over the years, I really, really, REALLY want to get this done!

I’m Half LUDDITE … and it took me longer than most to convert from a point and shoot film camera to (gasp!) “going digital” several years ago. So I have more printed photos than the average bear. Plus, I’m probably older than you :P (I remember 45 records, rotary dial phones, and typewriters). (If you don’t understand these terms, e-mail me *wink*).

Here is the plan and progress so far:

1. Gather photos from all the nooks and crannies I have stashed them in over the years.
2. Add both leaves to the dining room table and put all photos in one place to work on.
3. Take Creative Memories Power Sort Boxes* out of packaging and assemble.
4. Put all negatives, CDs, index prints, and (now obsolete) Advantix cartridges in one box.
5. Sort photos into CM boxes by decade/year.
* I’ll take a photo of mine and post it later. Apparently, they no longer make the big ones like I have so I can’t find a photo online anywhere :(

I’m on Step 5 now. It’s taking a lot of time to get through all the photos and get them remotely in the right place. I know the biggest problem is that I love my photos so much, I feel the need to look at almost every single one. Which is a silly way to make any kind of progress, but I can’t help it. I *LOVE* my photos! The memories, the laughs, the tears, my beloved family and friends, good times, celebrations, sadness, missing my dad, seeing how my kids have changed and grown … ah, I love it all!

Now it’s about two weeks after I started this project, and I at least have my photos into their major categories. Now the plan is to go through each Power Sort Box and get those photos in the best order I can. Some of them are in pretty good shape already; I’ve made attempts at photo organization many, many times before … and made some actual progress each time. I just never seem to get the entire job done. Or something happens like my mom brings me a stack of old photos when she visits, or I find another box or album of pics somewhere.

When I took 35mm, I almost always got Twin Pix for, like, a dollar extra. I’m debating what to do with all my duplicate photos. Should I scrap one set and keep the other filed? Should I pass the duplicates on to other family (or trash them if they’re not wanted?). Should I pack them away and save them for my kids? I’m just not sure. What do you think?

I have a lot of work to do with my pre-marriage photos. There are SO many … all shapes and sizes … from those tiny wallet school pics that I exchanged with friends to 4×6 prints to portraits, etc. There’s my dad’s side of the family and my mom’s. Friends, school, sports … oh my! They’re going to be the biggest challenge because of the variety of sizes and also because they’re the hardest to place dates on and in get in some kind of chronological order.

I’m hoping that the next time my mom visits, we can go through the photos together and she can help me with times, places, and people … also any memories she has of the events. I figure I’ll put sticky notes on the back of the photos. Then someday when Martians land on earth and I actually get around to scrapping these photos, I’ll have some of the journaling ready to go.

So that’s what I’ve been up to! And you know what the absolute best part is??? As soon as I’m done getting my photos organized … I’m going to start on all my memorabilia ~ Yippee Skip! Decades of letters, awards, ticket stubs, programs, school papers, art, and all that other fun stuff. I’m sure that all of the fun memories will get me through that task, too :)

I can’t even contemplate the topic of COMPUTER photo organization. I’ve had a Mac for about 5 years and regularly download the photos from my iPhone and camera card to iPhoto. That program does a great job of organizing them by date and I’ve started tagging the ones I’ve scrapped but that’s about it. The thought of scanning old photos and negatives, assigning dates to them, keeping everything updated on my external hard drive, etc. is just too, too much. By then, I will have seen all the photos already so it will just be the sheer agonizing task of if all.

Aw crap.

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New Look for My Blog

I’ve been wanting to find the “perfect” look for my blog for quite some time. I’ve tried different free WordPress themes over the years, and in July 2009 even added the snazzy header that my friend CHRISPEA made using her husband’s awesome ARTWORK:

When I started my ERIKA PERIKA BLOG last month, I e-mailed Chris to see if she could create a similar header for Erika Perika and also for a third blog I plan to start … someday, LOL. But she and I got busy with life and I failed to pursue that idea. Even though I know she would’ve totally rocked it … she’s an amazing graphic artist.

I’ve spent many hours searching around online for tutorials on how to make my blog look the way I want it to … how to change the font (I’ve never liked the serif ones like Times New Roman that come with most of the free WP themes) and do fancy things like that. I’ve looked into paying a designer to just do it all for me, and I’ve gotten great how-to tips from online friends.

But the fact is … I’m just no good at this computer stuff. Asking me to write or interpret code is like asking CHARLIE SHEEN to make sense … it just ain’t happening. {WINNING!} And I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend to have a professional do the work.

So when I logged into my blog tonight and saw yet another new WordPress theme had been added, I clicked on it … and fell in love with this theme called Pretty Young Thing. I mean, is it perfect or what?

It’s something new (to me, at least) called a Custom Theme and I had to pay 75 bucks to get it … but I feel it’s money well-spent. I needed to just bite the bullet and DO SOMETHING … so I did, hee. I still have work to do such as updating my Blog Roll, perfecting the widgets along the right hand side, and adding a page or two.

This is about 90% of the “look” I had in mind for my blog anyway … I can’t believe my luck in finding this theme. I love the scallop-edged title in the header (soooo scrapbooky!), the sans serif font, the light pastel colors and white background, the wide main column that doesn’t seem to cut off my photos (fingers crossed!), and all the widgets I like along the right side. Hearts have always been my favorite, too, so this couldn’t be more perfect for me!

Other things I like are the e-mail subscription box, as I’ve had so many readers subscribe lately and that makes me happy. The ability to “like” and to “tweet” also have awesome sauce all over ‘em.

If you’ve been a reader for a long time, I want to apologize for all the wacky themes and changes I’ve tried over the last 4 years (yep, I’ve been blogging SBO for over 4 years!). I know sometimes I’ve made changes and you click over here … and think you got lost, LOL. “Oh, jeez, she changed the look again (sigh).” I’m predicting that this look for be around for a long time to come so you won’t have to be lost again :)

I hope everyone likes the new format. If there’s anything you don’t like or wish I could add or change, please let me know. It might be something I hadn’t thought of yet … so you’d be doing me a favor :)

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Scrapbooking on “Grey’s Anatomy” … Love It :)

I’m watching my favorite TV show, GREY’S ANATOMY, and they just mentioned my favorite hobby … scrapbooking!

Mark and Arizona are getting a room in the hospital ready for Callie’s baby shower. Mark has Meredith and Christina setting up a table for a scrapbook station, LOL!

Mark: Put it next to the box with the glitter pens.
Arizona: Don’t put it anywhere. We’re not having a scrapbook station.
Mark: You heard Callie this morning. She wants us to go all out. Move the table.
AZ: No, don’t move the table. Mark, this isn’t a scrapbook station kind of shower.
Mark: You’re wrong. Yang, tell her. Torres wants all the girlie stuff.

Later, Callie walks in and sees the table.

Callie: What’s going on? Are you guys fighting again?
AZ: Did you want a scrapbook station?
Callie: Oh, yeah, of course. It’s not a real shower if you don’t get to take home a scrapbook. Ooh! We should have glitter pens!

Mark gives a knowing smile :)

Later in the episode, the shower is in full force. They show scrapbook pages and Lexi putting a page together while Mark talks to her.

Okay, here is a picture of shower thrower Mark aka “McSteamy” …

And here is a photo of Derek aka “McDreamy” …

{Derek had absolutely nothing to do with the baby shower/scrapbooking scene. I just think he’s wicked adorable … ROWR}.

I love it when “the mainstream” gives a shout out to scrapbooking. Actually, it always amazes me it’s not mentioned more often, given how popular it is. And, hey, we’re a target demographic, for gosh sakes! We’re female, we have money, and we make a lot of the family purchasing decisions, hee.

I’ve posted about scrapbooking in TV and movies before HERE, HERE, and HERE. If you ever see scrapbooking mentioned in the “real world,” drop me a line … I’d love to blog about it :)

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“Stretch Your Scrapbooking” DVD by Scrapbook Generation

As I have written in the past HERE and HERE, I *heart* anything by ALLISON DAVIS, SKETCH SUPPORT, and SCRAPBOOK GENERATION. In one of my past entries, I mentioned the DVD they were working on and gave a link where you could pre-order it.

The DVD was something I was going to get “someday” … the same someday I ever got around to ordering Volumes 6 and 7 of the “SKETCHES FOR SCRAPBOOKING” books and Volume 2 of “Sketches for Cardmaking.” Yeah, like, SOON.

But I guess the DVD will have to wait awhile … I read THIS THREAD today on 2peas :( Here is what Allison Davis posted:

Sadly, the DVD turned into a big mess. We (the SG gals) and the producer could never come to an agreement on the way the DVD should look. To make a long story short, we just didn’t feel that the end result was “us”. We were promised a certain look and quality and what we got was not up to our standards, not even close. There was no way that we were going to release an okay product and expect people to pay for it. We want each product we present to be the best that we can make it. Needless to say it’s been very frustrating and exhausting to deal with. We finally came to the conclusion that moving forward with the DVD and the producer was not an option.

I am so sorry that we haven’t let anyone know of this situation until now. Speaking for myself, it has been a very embarrassing. However, I feel that releasing the DVD would be even more embarrassing. We have been trying to come up with a way to use the material we have for the DVD (25 sketches and 75 layouts that we love!) minus the instructional segments. We are currently looking into turning it into a CD to view on your computer and then you can print the sketches and layouts as you please. We are hoping that this is something we can do in the near future.

If anyone has any questions about it, don’t hesitate to ask!

And this is what I posted on the thread in response:

I’m so sorry that happened to you guys, Allison. Thank you for letting us know. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You did the right thing, not putting out an inferior product that doesn’t represent SG the way you want it to.

I look forward to whatever you choose to do with the sketches and layouts. Your whole family and what you share with us has been a huge blessing to me also. I’m a busy working mom and you have me turning out amazing layouts so quickly!

I went over to the DVD PAGE at Scrapbook Generation and it still shows the DVD but no release date and no way to order. I do hope they find a solution they’re happy with very soon!

By the by, I think Volume 8 of “Sketches for Scrapbooking” comes out on July 1, 2011.

Anyhow, just wanted to give you an update on the DVD in case you were looking for it! Oh, and if you’d like to give your input to Allison/Scrapbook Generation on whether you like the idea of the CD instead of the DVD, please let them know! You can add to that thread I linked earlier; the SG girls are wicked smart and they stayed tuned to what the Peas have to say, LOL. Or you can contact them HERE.

Happy Sketchy Scrapping!

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Scrapbooking Aquarium Photos

I recently went to the aquarium and had such a blast taking photos of all the amazing animals!

My favorite part was the seahorse exhibit; the two photos above the flamingo are seahorses. What amazing little creatures those are! I’ve never seen them up close before.

I know to you great photographers out there, these aren’t the most technically perfect shots … but I think I did pretty good with my little point-and-shoot while chaperoning a class field trip, LOL!

These are only about one-third of the photos I would now like to scrapbook. The question is: How?

Do you ever feel not worthy of scrapbooking an event because you *LOVE* the photos so much? It’s not just the bright colors and gorgeous water, it’s the capturing of God’s amazing creations on film. I want to do them justice and also capture my amazement as we saw each new thing, kwim? I’m not sure how best to do that.

One thought I’m having is to put them on plain black cardstock so the colors will pop and the photos will be the main feature, what you really want to look at. But then what? Handwrite the journaling in white pen? Do computer journaling on white cardstock and use journaling strips? How do I get some color in there without distracting the eye from the photos? Gah. I don’t know!

Another thought is to make a mini album from them, since there are so many photos. If I do 12×12 layouts, it would take several pages. Plus, a mini album would set them apart and make them “special.”

How would you scrap these photos? Have you scrapped aquarium photos before and how did you do it? Are there any scrapbooking lines you would suggest I use? Thanks for your help!

ETA 3/27/11: I’m going to save this layout for inspiration … and thank you to all who’ve given me ideas. I really appreciate it!

This one is from Julie at JUST A WEE BIT BUSY:

I think this is the exact look I want to go for … black background, bright colors, and a paper line I already have (“Snorkel” by Cosmo Cricket). Thanks Julie! I’m liking the mini album idea, too, that so many suggested. You guys rawk.

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Japanese Scrapbooker Affected by the Devastation

If you’re the praying kind, will you please pray for AKI? She’s a Japanese scrapbooker and blogger who is asking for prayers HERE on 2peas. {Yvonne was sweet enough to also LINK to it on the General Scrappin’ board}. I’m sure Aki would also appreciate comments to her blog or the thread she started.

I can’t even imagine what she and her fellow countrymen/women are going through :(

{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}} and prayers, Aki!

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Memory Works: CHA Products Are Rolling In!

HERE is what he have so far under the “New Winter CHA” section …

New SIMPLE STORIES “Destinations” and a new version of “Life Documented.”
New version of “ele.ment.ary” coming later in March …

New BO BUNNY lines “Gabrielle”, “Time Piece,” “Vicky B”, and “Ad Lib”.

New COSMO CRICKET lines “Up Cycle”, “Social Club”, and “Salt Air”.

New ECHO PARK lines “Springtime”, “For the Record”, and “Playground”, and “Summer Days”.

New “Stella Rose” by MY MINDS EYE.

New THREE BUGS IN A RUG “April Showers”, “Dawson”, “Chloe”, and “Lazy Summer”.

New CRATE PAPER “Emma’s Shoppe”, “Toy Box”, “Portrait”, and “Neighborhood”.

We also have most of the We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) DIVIDED PAGE PROTECTORS back in stock. Apparently, these are quite hard to find these days so I’m glad we have them for our customers. I know that we were without them for a while because they were on back order. I scrap with these all of the time now and will be buying some for myself. My favorite set is the MULTI PACK because you get a variety of configurations.

Please let me know if you have any questions or I can be of any assistance. You can place an order directly from my WEBSITE if you like :) HERE is information on placing an order & payment. My e-mail is scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Simple Stories: More News

Still posting from my iPhone so forgive me …

Simple Stories “Life Documented” and “Destinations” are now available to order on my website: http://erika.memory-works.com

They are in the New Winter CHA section.

If you placed a pre-order with me, you must go to my website and place the actual order now. I will approve it right away because you have already paid.

YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR ORDER UNLESS YOU DO THIS (not shouting just making sure you see this, lol)

Because this is a very popular release, Memory Works is asking for your understanding that it won’t ship as quickly as they usually do. They expect to ship orders next week.

The new version of Simple Stories “ele.ment.ary” will be available in late March. You can still order the original version now … Its on my website under Simple Stories.

The We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) divided page protectors have been restocked. They are in the albums and Accessories section if my MW website.

Please let me know what questions you have :). Happy ordering!

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Memory Works: Simple Stories New Lines … We’re Getting Closer!

If you’ve been waiting for the new Simple Stories lines ~ Life Documented, ele.ment.ary, and Destinations ~ you know that I’ve been saying they were predicted to be available in late February or March. Well, late February kinda slipped right by me … but then March slapped me in the face and woke me up, LOL! I got to wonderin’ about Simple Stories …

… So I posted on the MW consultant board asking for an update on the release date. One of the owners, Amber, posted right away to say that they’ve been very busy at the MW offices.

She said the consultants can expect an e-mail on Friday (tomorrow, 3-4-11) with all of the details on the new Simple Stories!! But “basically the new collections will be available for consultants to purchase from the website sometime on Friday and we will begin shipping next week!”

So if all goes as planned, it sounds like those of you who have placed PRE-ORDERS with me should be able to go on MY WEBSITE and place your actual order TOMORROW!!!! {Geesh, can you tell I’m a might excited?} And you are pre-PAID, baby! As soon as I see your order, I hit “approve” and off we go.

Note: Pre-orders are now closed. As of Friday, March 4, you can order Simple Stories items straight from my website with no need for a pre-order :)

I have a busy weekend … ironically, I’m leaving Friday for a weekend scrapbook retreat ~ HOLLAH! But I’m taking my laptop with me and will keep you updated, m-kay?

I’m not just excited for YOU ~ although I AM very excited for you ~ but I’m excited for me because I’m ordering at least one set of each new Simple Stories kit and accessories for myself. I have the “first edition” kits of Life Documented and ele.ment.ary … and LURVE them … but they have been re-issued per se with more elements this time.

And one thing I’ve found to be true about Simple Stories: You can never have too much. All of the papers are double-sided so the options are endless, not to mention the style that’s so versatile and colors that look good with pretty much any photo you put near them. With the divided page protector method, I love using these kits to get lots of scrappin’ done in a shorter amount of time.

And if that’s not enough … Destinations is completely new so I’ve never even seen it in person before. I know I’m going to love it, because it retains the Simple Stories style I already adore … and it adds the fun new topic of travel, along with some black accents that are going to look rockin’ with my plethora of Disney photos and other travel photos.

People, can I get a “squee”?

“SQUEEEEEE!!!!”

Ta ta for now … talk soon :)

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Scrapbook Room Organization: Starting with a Clean Slate?

So I’ve been watching Peter Walsh’s new show “ENOUGH ALREADY!” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He’s the organizing guy who’s been on The Oprah Show many times, and you also may remember him from the old TLC show, “CLEAN SWEEP“. He has also written several BOOKS on organization.

This one wins the award for Best Book Title:

I’m on the waiting list at my library for his latest book and judging by how long it’s taking to get the ding-dang thang, it must be REALLY popular :P

Peter uses a 5-step process to declutter rooms; HERE it is.

STEP ONE: EMPTY THE ROOM

Watching them do this on the show is always cringe-worthy. The look on people’s faces is kind of sad when they realize how much stuff they’ve crammed into their space. Now I’m no hoarder but I’m not BECKY HIGGINS, either. So I’m the last to cast stones … my rooms may not be as bad as theirs, but I have one or two that could use some serious help, one being my scrapbook room. No matter how many times I begin to organize it, I never completely finish it. Then the clutter cycle starts again and we’re off like a day at the races.

I’ve often wondered, while watching Enough Already, if I could ever clear out my scrapbook room entirely and start from scratch. Would it be worth it? Where would I put everything? Could I block off two or three days to get it moved out, then replaced, so my Scrap Crap wasn’t bogging up the rest of my house?

Anyway, my conclusion has always been that it’s a crazy idea. Just totally cray-cray.

Then I saw THIS THREAD at 2peas, LOL. Yes, ladies, it HAS been done. Repeatedly. And from the sounds of it, successfully. So my wheels are really turning now. I’m scanning ahead, wondering when I have a free weekend to try this, a holiday at work, anything? ‘Cuz now I’m kind of hooked on the idea.

When I’ve attempted to organize in the past, I do often feel like I’m moving this pile so I can get to that pile, then I put it on that shelf, which is now taken up, and I have nowhere to put this stuff … kwim? It would be so nice to pull everything out, kind of packing like things together as I go, then purge items as I put it all back in an organized fashion. I’ll bet I’d get rid of a lot of things this way, don’t you think?

It’s like on the show: Peter asks, “What is your vision for this room?” Then anything that doesn’t fulfill your vision is tossed, given away, or put elsewhere in your home.

I guess the final and most important question is …. how much do you think I’d have to pay Peter Walsh to come and help me?

Yeah, I know, you’re right … there ain’t enough money in the world, baby! HA Not once he saw my scrapbook room anyway.

Have you done this before … cleared out an entire room and started from scratch, except for maybe furniture? How long did it take? Was it worth it? Did you maintain the organized room?

If you haven’t done this, would you consider it? Do you think it’s a good way to go about it? If you did it, what would be your method … like someone on the thread mentioned using banker’s boxes which I thought was brilliant. How would you do it all?

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