January 2014 archive

Scrapbook Retreat: My Scrap Table Before, During, and After

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As I talked about HERE, I recently went to my annual scrapbook retreat with friends. I had a complete blast, as I always do. This retreat weekend is something I look forward to all year. Daily life is so busy – family, work, home – that I rarely get to scrapbook at home. That’s why I enjoy and look forward to crops and retreats so much.

I worked extra hard all week so that I’d be ahead on my work come Friday, and was able to head up to the lake retreat house first thing in the morning. I was the first to arrive {that NEVER happens! LOL} and quickly got to unloading my heavily-packed car. Personal stuff went into a downstairs bedroom and scrappy stuff upstairs to the main part of the house.

Since I was there first, I was able to take some photos of the house empty. You can see how super cool it is and perfectly set up for a scrapbooking crew like us. Starting at the left of the photo: Crop tables with Ott lights; living room with big comfy couches, TV, and fireplace; 2 more scrapping’ tables where me and my mom sat; large kitchen; and big dining room table.

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This is the view from the front deck toward the lake. Because of our drought, the water is very low this year and you can barely see it there in the background :(

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Here’s my table with all my scrap-crap unloaded but before getting organized. All the stuff in the back row was already there – printer, lamp, Iris drawers, etc.

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Here’s me all set up and ready to scrap the long weekend away! Epson PictureMate? Check! Bag in Bag full of embellishments, enamel dots, and labels? Check! Basic Grey Magnetic Mat double down? Check! Stack of free printables? Check! Let’s get this pawty stawted, homes!

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This was my table on Day 3. Ahhhh . . . coffee and scrapbooking. My idea of heaven.

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This is one reason I love my Project Life storage solution so much. {If you haven’t read my post about it, they’re just plastic shoeboxes from Michaels with all my 3×4 and 4×6 cards divided by brand and line with simple labels}. See how I put them on top of the existing Iris drawers? It was so easy to pull down the box I needed, flip the lid off, and go to town. If I’d had a large case with an attached lid, where would I have even put it? And so heavy! If I’d used one of the those fancy divided cubby units that I so admire when I see them on Pinterest {ha!}, how would I have transported it to the retreat without all the cards falling out and getting mixed up?

“Scrabpook Obsession, you can love your Project Life storage system. Just don’t LOOOOOOOOVE your Project Life storage system.” {10 points if you can name the movie I’m referencing!}

Anyhoo, I worked solely on pocket pages with my goal being to get 2013 photos completely done including Project Life. Welllll . . . that didn’t happen, LOL! More like February, March, and October to December 2013. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that. I did get 20 pocket pages scrapped. I just counted how many photos:

One hundred and five. Bladow.

105 photos and lots of handwritten journaling, capturing memories, reliving our fun year = what a blessing. Wish I could go on a retreat every month. I dare say I’d be totally ‘caught up.’ Which will never happen in reality but it’s fun to dream about, yeah? If I’d done traditional layouts, I predict I would’ve scrapped about 20 photos.

I even got some organizing done while I was there. I made more labeled dividers for my PL storage {yikes! I’ve collected even MORE cards since I showed you my storage system HERE}. And I got a lot of my divided page protectors out of their packaging and into a 12×12 ring binder, divided up into the various pocket configurations. Made it much easier to find the specific type I was looking for instead of digging into a mixed up multi-pack each time.

I’ll close with this photo of some beautiful deer. I was standing on the front patio early in the evening, talking to one of my kids on the phone, when these deer just walked right up to me. Aren’t they amazing?

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Yes, of course, I took a ton of photos and now these darlings will have a pocket page spread of their own. Anyone know a good “deer” line?? :D

Do you go on scrapbook retreats? Do you get a lot done or is it more of a social thing?

CHA 2014: Featured on the “Today” Show

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We are big time now, fellow crafters! The recent CHA show {Craft and Hobby Association} held in Anaheim, CA was featured on the “Today” show on NBC. Here is the video clip:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Unfortunately, scrapbooking wasn’t one of the crafts featured but you can catch glimpses of a few of “our” booths. Man, wish I had known Rupert from “Survivor” was there manning the tie-dye booth. I would’ve tried to meet him!

LOAD214: “Scrapbook Mythbusters” Layout a Day Event for Feb. ’14 {Discount Code Included!}

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Pssst! Make sure and read all the way to the bottom for a discount that will make this a no-brainer AND a tip-off about a free event coming up. Just sayin’. . .

You’ve heard me talk about LOAD a time or 10 before. {If you’d like to see past entries, take a stroll up to the black banner and do a search on LOAD}. The time has come to “LOAD” again, LOL! For all the details on what LOAD214 is, please CLICK HERE. You’re not forced to sign up by clicking, I promise. It’s just where all the info is and if you choose to sign up, you’ll be in the right place :)

According to the organizer of all LOAD events, Lain Ehman:

What’s Waiting for You in February:

28 days of brand-new video prompts and lessons, guaranteed to bust you out of any scrapbooking rut, bring a smile to your face, and make your hair shine!

Exclusive message board for LOAD members only where you can connect and chat with the coolest scrappers on the Web!

Private gallery for our members where you share your daily creations, win prizes, and strut your stuff!

28 never-before-seen sample layouts!

Random surPRIZES, Hugh sightings, and fun for all!

SPACE IS LIMITED!
To Preserve the Intimate and
Personal Atmosphere of This Event,
Participation Is Capped!

For Only $50**, You Can Have the Time of Your Scrappy Life!

** KEEP READING for a DISCOUNT!

At the LOAD link, there’s also a FAQ page to answer any questions you might have {or I’m happy to answer them; I’ve done 3 LOAD’s now}. You have forever-access to the 28 video prompts, all the materials, Flickr gallery, and message board. So if February is a busy month for you, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to stick to the prompts – just do you own thang, chickie! And, yes, Project Life layouts, 8×8 layouts, any layout counts. Lain says, “I’m easy. If you think it’s a layout, I think it’s a layout.” If you get all 28 projects done and posted in February, you’re eligible for a very cool prize!

From participating in past LOADs, I can tell you this: They’re something special. In those 28 days, you bond with the group of ladies who are on the journey with you. You get to know each other through your layouts and the message board. Do you love getting comments on your layouts? You’ll get them with LOAD. Everyone is treated the same; there are no “stars” getting all the attention. Do you ever see layouts online and think, “They’re so detailed and mine aren’t” or “It’s pretty but SO not my style.” With LOAD, it’s just everyday scrappers like you posting their layouts and you WILL see many who scrapbook like you do.

That was one of my favorite things because my scrapbooking is very simple compared to those on Design Teams and even those who post to the Two Peas gallery. At LOAD, I felt normal. Well, as normal as I can be for a whacked out, crazy, scrapbooking obsessed, sarcastic, rabble-rousing enabler!

You know I love you, right? Just to prove how much, I’m going to share with you a most excellent discount code. If you CLICK HERE or the link above to sign up for LOAD214, the code “28DAYS” will give you almost 40% off the cost of LOAD. So instead of $50, it’s ONLY $31. For you buck-saving fans, that’s $1.10 per day {even at the full price of $50, it’s only $1.78 per day}. I defy you to say that’s not worth the money. Defy you, I say!!

Yes, you could just challenge yourself to complete 28 layouts in February for no cost. But, c’mon, if you’re like me, it wouldn’t get done. You’d be sharing layouts with – yourself. You’d be chatting each day with – yourself. You’d have to inspire – yourself. You’d post your layouts in a gallery where you could see layouts by – you. You’d have to give prizes to – yourself. And – hey now! – then it’s not so free after all, is it?

Now ask yourself, “Self, do I want to join in with a bunch of other scrap-crazies and do LOAD214?” I’m sure your self would say, “Well, DUH! Of course, I . . . you . . . do.”

So get to steppin’, sis!

PS: Whether or not you want to be part of LOAD, you should definitely check out all of Lain’s FREE monthly scrapinars. Information on February’s scrapinar with a very popular teacher is right here. Hope to see you there!

Project Life: Mega Sale on “Project Life” Items Right Now!

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Yep, the big sale is at my favorite place to buy Project Life stuff: Amazon.com.

There are 28 different PROJECT LIFE items marked down a whopping 40 to 50%! That doesn’t happen very often so I wanted to make sure to let you know about it.

Here are some of the sale items – you can click on the bolded title to be taken right to the item on Amazon:

Project Life Childhood Mini Kit – Wellington Edition. WOW. Only $6 for a kit that usually sells for $15. I’d buy this in a hot second except that I already have it, hee hee.

Project Life Baby Edition Core Kit, Designer Paper, and Month Dividers

Project Life Designer Paper Baby Edition for Him, Olive Edition and Seafoam Edition. They’re $3.59 – 3.99 for 24 double-sided sheets of 12×12 paper! That’s only 17 cents a sheet and you KNOW that’s a great deal.

Project Life 12 X 12 D-ring – Classic Faux Leather Albums in Cherry, Cinnamon, Kiwi, Rain, and Grey. Here’s the luscious Cherry color. Oooohh La La! Purdy!

Personally, I’m being oh-so-tempted by these 3 sale items:

1. Designer Paper – Seafoam Edition

I didn’t jump on the Project Life bandwagon until 2013 so I missed the release of Seafoam altogether. It was designed by one of my favorite bloggers, ELISE BLAHA. {If you go to her blog and do a Search on “Seafoam”, you can follow the whole design process; it’s pretty cool}. I love the simple, graphic designs and the colors that aren’t typical but go together so well.

2. 12 X 12 D-ring – Classic Faux Leather Album – Rain

I love blues and greens and this would be great for my All About Me / My Childhood scrapbooks. Albums like this usually sell for $30 so $15 is an awesome price.

3. Mini Album – Cinnamon

It’s hard to find these mini albums on sale anywhere and half-price is unheard of. I love the warm color of the Cinnamon album . . . mmmm. Even sounds nice :)

So go check out the PROJECT LIFE Mega Sale at Amazon. I would hurry because one of the items I heard was on sale is already . . . erm . . . NOT on sale. You know how fickle Amazon can be.

Scrapbook Products Errors and Typos: Time for an Update

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I wanted to let you know I’ve added several more products to the original list of SCRAPBOOK PRODUCT ERRORS AND TYPOS. Take a look and have a giggle :) As a teaser, can you see what’s wrong with these stickers?

I have to say, this blog entry was an interesting topic when I went to CHA. Since I was talking directly to scrapbooking companies who’ve been mentioned here, I had this loose-woman-in-a-confessional booth need to REPENT! Confess that I was the evil blogger who kept a list of their foibles.

Thankfully, they laughed.

They did take the time to explain the manufacturing process and how it’s almost impossible to keep errors like these from slipping through once in a while. They said not to blame it on the overseas manufacturers, that they only print what they’re given. But, as in any other business, breakdowns in communication happen sometimes. They do have many pairs of eyes look through everything but they’re humans and they miss things. Or corrections are made but the wrong computer file is sent. The best they can do is try to fix it and offer the customer a digital or hard copy replacement. In the case where the line won’t be reprinted, all they can do is offer another product as an apology.

The sweet folks at SIMPLE STORIES showed me an example of how specific and exacting they have to be with the product makers. For a pack of die cuts like these . . .

. . . they have to send specs about EXACTLY how they want them in the package. The large red hearts on the bottom vertically, the blue HOME on top of that vertically, the teal scallop horizontally, etc. I think she used another pack as an example but that was the gist of it. Anyway, just something I never gave any thought to and found very interesting.

So, maybe I’ve softened a little bit on the manufacturers. Well, or not. I’ve never been “burn them at the stake!!!” for these errors. I just think it’s fun to keep a list and also like sharing it with you so, if it’s an error that would bug you, you can steer clear of that product. As long as the companies are willing to make things right with their customers when these problems are found, then I have their back. It’s the best they can do, right?

So check out the updated list linked above and, as always, give me a shout out if you find any new ones ;)

Online Scrapbook Classes: Review of “True Scrap Pocket Pages”

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If you’ve been hangin’ around the blog, you know I’ve been very excited to attend TRUE SCRAP POCKET PAGES :) I signed up on Black Friday and had to wait for.EV.er for it to actually get here, LOL. I could kinda’ care less about Christmas and my birthdays because I don’t receive much these days . . . but sign me up for a scrapbook class or event, and it’s all I can think about. Am I alone here?

So today it was finally time for TS Pocket Pages. I really enjoyed my experience and wanted to share a review. Did you know you can buy these classes individually later? Lain usually sells True Scrap classes a la carte a month or two after the event; I’ll make sure and post here when they’re available. If you don’t want to miss that, you can sign up in the top right sidebar to receive an e-mail every time I post.

It actually started Friday night with a Pajama Party from 9-10pm EST. This is a chance for all the attendees to check out the chat room, get to know the hostess Lain, say hi to everyone, and chit chat about scrapbooking for an hour. There are often technical things to work through, too – like changing browsers, watching videos straight from the LOAD site, getting close to your router, etc. – so I highly suggest attending PJ parties before any of Lain’s events or at least checking out the online classroom at least 1 hour before start time. She usually uses Cisco Webex for which you’ll need to download Quicktime if you’re not on a Mac. I usually sail right into class but this time I couldn’t access the classroom using Safari. I switched over the Chrome and had no problem, although Lain says that most people who have problems are using Chrome (guess I’m an anomaly, LOL – wouldn’t be the first time!).

On Saturday, I got to sleep in because it didn’t start until 9:30am my time. There were scrappers from other parts of the world like my buddy AussieGal (Janet) who had to be up at 4:30, ugh. What a trooper! If you’re not that devoted or have other plans, there are always full replays of the class videos including the chat. Love that feature. I also love the replays because here is my routine: While the event – class videos and chat – are going on live, I give that my full attention. I watch the video, participate in the chat, etc. {And the chat moves VERY fast so you have to be a bit of a scrapbook Olympian to follow it}. Then later I’ll watch the videos individually to take notes, follow the projects more closely, and sometimes create the project.

In this case, the pocket page classes were more process-oriented where the instructor walked you through how and why they do PROJECT LIFE or pocket page scrapbooking. They shared what products they use, how their space is set up, how they choose and print photos, do journaling, etc.

Usually with True Scrap classes, there’s a project to create and I’ll do that after the fact. This time, I think I’ll watch again whenever I need Project Life or pocket page inspiration or just want to watch or listen to something scrappy. There were SO many ideas and tips to incorporate into my own pocket page scrapping. Another great feature of True Scrap events is the Supply List. This is sent out ahead of time in case you want to gather products and create along with the instructor. But it’s REALLY useful for after the fact when you fall in love with the products they use and want to know “Where’d she get that?!?!” If the item isn’t on the Supply List, they’re really great about following up and putting a link to the item in the chat and/or in the Post-Call Guide.

So, now for a quick review of each class. I included the class times so you could get a sense of how long the event is, and the class name/description in italics. My reviews follow in regular type.

12:30PM* – Meet and Greet
*All times are EST

Again, just a time to check in, make sure your connection is working, etc. We all said hi to old and new friends, said where we were from, and compared temperatures; those with snow and ice didn’t appreciate hearing from us in Cali, Hawaii, and Arizona, I’m sure.

1PM – Pocket Scrapping 101: Back to Basics from Layle Koncar
As a dedicated “traditional” scrapbooker, Layle Koncar had to find a way to make pocket scrapbooking work for her – and she did it! She’s sharing her secrets to take you from pocket scrapping zero to hero in this comprehensive class, “Pocket Scrapping 101: Back to Basics.” If you’re new to pocket pages, this is a can’t miss primer for how to approach the system from Planning and Organization to Color and Design. And if you’re an experienced pocket scrapper, you’ll still find plenty of tips, hints, and time- saving secrets. This is one class you’re sure to watch again and again!

I’ve been scrapbooking pocket-page style for a few years now but even I enjoyed this “basic” look at the topic. If you’re new to pocket page or Project Life-type scrapbooking, this is a great class. Layle talked about all the products that can be used, how to organize products, how to store and use memorabilia, etc. One of my favorite things about Layle is she’s so down-to-earth, like your funny BFF who always makes you smile. She told a story about Hawaii that had me ROFL *and* LMBO. Word. We found out that Layle had done her video, it was almost an hour (which doesn’t allow for chat time), so she took 2 segments out, and submitted it. Well, it’s the real world and things happen – so we ended up seeing the long version. No one was complaining though – more learnin’ for us :) And Ms. Lain Problem Solver is going to Skype with Layle soon, get all our questions answered, and share it via e-mail. So we got the best of both worlds.

2PM – Do You Hear What I Hear? Including Your Family’s Perspectives in Your Pocket Spreads from Marcy Penner
Most scrapbookers realize that pretty soon, their scrapbooks become a reflection of their perspective on their life. And that’s great! But what about those other special people who inhabit your world? Is it possible to include more “voices” in your pocket pages? As Marcy Penner can attest, YES! Marcy will create a weekly spread in her Project Life album with a focus on adding other voices and perspectives. You’ll learn specific tips and ideas for including family members in your process, as well as where to find content that will add additional perspectives to your pages. After “Do You Hear What I Hear? Including Your Family’s Perspectives in Your Pocket Spreads,” you’ll be hearing voices – in a good way!

In addition to all the ways I learned to include my family members’ voices in my pages, I also liked watching her process. She has a clever Design A template on poster board that she uses to design her pages before slipping everything into protectors. Someone in class mentioned seeing online where another scrapper made a template on their desktop using washi tape! I usually just design my pages right on top of the page protectors themselves but will consider making one of these templates. Marcy shared photography, placement, embellishing, and color tips as well. Her process and pages are very detailed and not something I personally (a very simple and time-challenged scrapper) would re-create. But I can take 1 or 2 of her ideas per layout and still get my money’s worth from the class.

3PM – KISS: Keep It Simple, Scrappy! Simplifying the Pocket Page Process from Monica McNeil
So you’ve got plenty of product, plenty of pictures, plenty of memories, but not much time. Monica McNeil is right there with you! In “KISS: Keep It Simple, Scrappy! Simplifying the Pocket Page Process in Three Simple Steps” she’s going to share her methodology of batch-processing her pocket page spreads. She works on several weeks at once, and also finds time to go back to older years to deal with those pesky missing weeks. (You DO have missing weeks, don’t you?) Jam-packed with ways to keep your process simple, “KISS” will give you the tools to actually have time to cultivate that good life, instead of spending all your time recording it. Join Monica to use your kits, preserve your memories, and showcase your photographs in a flash.

This was one of my favorite classes from True Scrap Pocket Pages. I wasn’t familiar with Monica prior to this but I really like her scrapbooking style and how she teaches. I’m in the same boat – super busy, wanting to do Project Life and pocket page scrapbooking, but having to adapt it to something I can handle time-wise. Even though she keeps it simple, Monica’s pages tell the story, are fun to do, and look great. She gave concrete tips like batch processing, using label stickers, tagging photos, and going back to complete older albums.

4PM – Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Adding Journaling to Your Pocket Pages from Stephanie Bryan
Do photos come easier than words for you? You’re not alone! As an experienced pocket page veteran, Stephanie Bryan knows that you can get into ruts, making your whole project feel like a trip to the dentist rather than the joy it can (and should!) be. Over the past years, she’s discovered ways to re-invigorate her journaling by including the stories in unique and fun ways. She’ll be sharing these techniques with you in “Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Adding Journaling to Your Pocket Pages.”

I’m a pretty boring journaler with my pocket pages. I usually handwrite straight onto the provided journaling cards and call it a day. I really enjoyed Stephanie’s class for all her ideas to get me out of that rut. She utilizes things like flip up journaling cards, tags in pockets, journaling on photos, and using her die cutting machine to spice things up a bit. As with Marcy’s class, I admire Stephanie’s pages for their artistry more than I would plan to replicate them but, hey, that’s great, too! “Aspirational scrapbooking,” right? It’s all good.

5PM – Playing Big: Adding 12×12 photos and layouts to your Pocket Pages Albums from Lilith Eeckels
Pocket pages are wonderful for capturing little moments. But what about those BIG little moments – the ones that deserve more than a 3×4 or 4×6 spot? Lillith Eeckels wants to help you get those special times into your pocket page albums. In “Playing Big: Adding 12×12 Photos and Layouts to Your Pocket Page Albums” she’ll show you how to scrapbook everyday moments in the traditional 12×12 size, and then how to add those oversized pages to your albums. She’ll also share her tips for making the whole process easy, enjoyable, and achievable. Let’s get BIG!

Lilith you may know as a former Two Peas GARDEN GIRL. I love her style and always enjoy her scrapbooking videos. In this case, I don’t have a wide format printer and don’t send my photos out for printing either so I probably won’t use her 12×12 photo or collage ideas. But she did teach me a thing or three I WILL use! She showed a great way of incorporating regular 12×12 layouts within your pocket page/Project Life layouts to where they look cohesive and not “out of place” like I’ve seen them do. I also enjoyed watching her layer on 3×4 and 4×6 cards. She has a great attitude about embracing mistakes and not stressing on things too much. Lilith was raised in South Africa and lives in Belgium (we learned in class), so she has a lovely accent, too.

6PM – Hybrid Hints for Paper People from Traci Reed
Traci Reed is the resident Digi girl for True Scrap events, but even though she loves those pixels, she works her pocket pages in paper style… with a little help from her digi background! In “Hybrid Hints for Paper People,” Traci will show you how to use digital techniques and tools to expand what you can do with your paper pocket pages. That’s right – you can have the best of both worlds, and Traci will be your guide in getting it all!

I’m a strictly paper scrapbooker so I have to admit I didn’t get as much out of this class. She delves right in with Photoshop, a program I doubt I’ll ever own, but the music playing while she demos her work was great! I have nothing against digi-scrapping, it’s just not for me. I’m on the computer ALLLLL day for work, personal, blogging, and comms with my scrappy peeps. When I sit down to scrapbook, I want the creative “paper and glue” outlet. But I think most scrappers are open to digital or at least hybrid scrapbooking. You’ll enjoy this class if that’s the case for you. Traci is a very accomplished digital designer and teacher and her Project Life pages are stunning. She has a pleasant teaching style and her interaction during chats always makes me laugh. Traci did surprise me at the end by printing out her digi-fied photos, cutting them out, adhering to card stock, and embellishing with physical scrapbooking products and stamping. So check out her class and see if you like it!

To give you an idea of the amazing prizes handed out, here are the ones from “True Scrap Pocket Pages”:

Layle – Simple Stories “Daily Grind” prize package
Marcy – Studio Calico Project Life kit
Monica – Full Project Life set of choice including album
Stephanie – Life Pages kit from Gossamer Blue
Lilith – Layle Koncar’s “Pick a Card, Any Card” class
Traci – Digital kit with printables $40 collection brand new

If you’ve read this sooper dooper long review and want to just buy the whole event, you can still purchase “TRUE SCRAP: POCKET PAGES” at this link. I just put it in a shopping cart and entered the code ASAP90 which still worked to bring the price from $149 way down to $59. I thought that code had expired but I guess not – it’s worth a try! If not, wait for those a la carte prices in the next month or so and you can buy just the classes that sound the best to you!

Thanks for reading my reviews. Please post ANY questions or comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

***HURRY! Discount for “True Scrap Pocket Pages” Today Only 01-24-14

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In my LAST POST about “TRUE SCRAP: POCKET PAGES” I forgot to tell you about the discount. Sheeeezzz. Bad, bad scrapper!

I wanted to do another quickie with the info so e-mail subscribers would be sure to see it.

By 5pm PST *TODAY*, use the link above, enter code ASAP90, and receive $90 off the price of True Scrap Pocket Pages. I know cost is an issue for many and this brings it down to a VERY totally-worth-it price. Hope that “enables you” to join us :)

PS: I’ll be at the event with user name Erika or Scrapbook Obsession. Please say hi!

Online Scrapbook Classes: “True Scrap Pocket Pages” is Almost HERE!

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Just wanted to remind you about “TRUE SCRAP: POCKET PAGES” which takes place this Saturday, 01-25-14!

If you haven’t already signed up, you can find more information by clicking the link ^^^.

I signed up the second I heard about the event and now it’s finally here. Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!

Here’s what’s on tap: Some of my all-time favorite instructors {I’m looking’ at you, LAYLE and LILLITH!}, chatting with other scrappers from around the world, shopping discounts, and free replays for as long as I shall live. Also, prizes provided by sponsors like Simple Stories, Project Life, Gossamer Blue and Studio Calico. Yeah, I’m not kidding.

The fun starts with a Pajama Party on Friday night which I like to refer to as the chat-n-giggle. Between Lain, the Wonder Twins, and all the fun scrappers who attend Lain’s events, there’s always something funny poppin’ off :D

Hope to see you there!

ETA 01-24-14: Click on the link above, enter code ASAP90 by 5pm PST today, and get $90 off the price!

Simple Stories: Release Dates for New Items from Winter 2014 CHA

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Are you wondering when the new SIMPLE STORIES lines will be out from CHA Winter 2014 earlier this month? Well, never fear! Your courageous Super Scrappy Enabler is here! Yes, I have a cape, gold cuff bracelets, and everything. For reals.

Here are the release dates of the new lines, as per their blog:

{I’ll just put a sample image from each line but you can see a lot more by clicking on the links}.

Mid-February:

4 Simple Sets (Fresh Air, Summer Paradise, Hey Mom, Hey Pop).

Homespun including the Recipe pages and cards.

and Charmed Life.

Mid-March:

6 new Sn@p Sets (Dog, Cat, Wedding, Birthday, Travel, Summer)

new Sn@p products (burlap albums, 6×8 Insta pocket pages, photo crops, photo flips, clear photo stickers, and photo overlays)

and DIY + DIY Boutique

If you click on any of the links above, they will take you to the specific post on the Simple Stories blog where that line was debuted. You can double-check I got the release dates right, LOL. {Sorry, it’s almost midnight as I write this and it’s been a long day . . . even super heroes aren’t perfect}.

Mid-February and Mid-March is when they are ESTIMATED to ship to retailers. Allow a little time for vendors to receive the items and list them in their stores.

Alas, I won’t be selling my beloved Simple Stories products anymore because Memory Works closed at the end of 2013 :( I still love SS products and, while probably not as often, I will continue to post Simple Stories news when I can.

Top 3 on my wish list are:
1. Homespun
2. Hey Pop!
3. Wedding Sn@p Set

What are your Top 3?

New at Michaels: Heidi Swapp Alpha, Mini Iris Case, and Recollections Enamel Dots

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A few cute finds at Michaels this week that I wanted to share with you . . .

I’m addicted to the large Iris cases (see 2nd photo) to hold my 12×12 “projects in progress”. I grab 1 or 2 whenever they’re on sale which they were this week ($4 versus about $7-8 regular price). For the first time, I noticed this adorable little mini version of the same case!

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If I recall correctly, they were $5. I think they’re like THESE but I’m not sure. I couldn’t think of a use for it so I left it at the store. But if you can help me justify purchasing one, please let me know :) I need some enabling!

What I did buy:

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The large Iris case plus some Recollections enamel dots in Valentines colors ($2.39 on sale) and a pack of the new HEIDI SWAPP sea green plastic letters ($2.69 using 40% off coupon). The letters are nice and thin so I figure I can use my TINY ATTACHER to attach them to pages. Love the color and font!

Out the door for less than a tenner. That’s my kinda’ shopping trip. What have you found at Mike’s lately?

PS: In honor of Mr. Perry’s 65th (YES 65th!) birthday today, I bring you some STEVE AWESOMENESS. Don’t be afraid to click. It’s a Youtube of Journey singing “Don’t Stop Believin’” . . . a cappella. It will melt you. I’ve already listened 4 times ;)

Have a wonderful day!

Scrapbook Products: “Vintage Charm” by DCWV @ Michaels

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Just thought I’d share a new product I saw at Michaels that’s really cute. I’ve been stalking my Mike’s for the NEW PROJECT LIFE stuff but nothing yet. This was on an endcap at the front of the scrapbooking section: “Vintage Charm” by Die Cuts with a View (DCWV).

The 3 card sets on the left are cool. The one with the heart is layered.

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I got a pack of those heart stickers (top row, third from left)

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On the bottom left is a postbound album with a 3-D frame on it – so pretty!

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I used my 40% off coupon on the heart washi!

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The cameras are TOTES ADORBS (I said that just to be annoying – but they are adorable). And the typewriter!

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I’m not usually a DCWV fan but this line I love. What do you think?

PS: I haven’t forgotten about CHA posts. All the photos are edited and I have some of the writing done but work was super busy this week. I’m so sorry for the delay. Look for more CHA posts next week! Have a happy, scrappy weekend :)

CHA 2014: Adventures of a Newbie at Scrapbooking’s Biggest Event (Quick Look Part 1)

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So now that I’ve done the INTRO POST, today I want to say, “CHA: Day One”.

But.
There was only
one day
for me.

Sooooo . . . “CHA: First Part of THE Day.” See? Doesn’t sound as impressive. Oh well. Here we go.

On CHA Day, I woke up at 3:30am. It was like I was 8 and it was Christmas morning. I did need to get up early but that was RUH-DIK. I left my house at 5:20, prepped with a full tank of gas and a large coffee. There were some very good omens that signaled a great day. When I turned my car on in the morning, the radio was playing the beginning of a Journey song. Dude. So awesome. {If you’re new here, I’m obsessed with JOURNEY}. And I got to watch the sun rise over Santa Barbara.

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Later, as I drove through Hollywood, on the other side of the freeway there was a cascade of bougainvillea hanging over the tall cement wall, like these.

And they were in a heart shape :) {I’m so obsessed with HEARTS, they also have their own Pinterest board}.

Yeah, I felt like it was going to be a very good day indeed.

I arrived in Anaheim around 9:30. The convention center is right by Disneyland and normally I would’ve been SO sad that I couldn’t join all the people going there. But, hey, I was going to Scrapbooking Disneyland and that’s even better! I was so excited that I totally forgot which direction the parking lot lady said to go so I went straight and it all worked out. Phew! After parking (again, still so excited I forgot to note which section I was in = regret later), I asked the guy entering the stairwell before me, “Which way do we go, up or down?” and he said, “I always just follow the light so that means up.” I thought that was a good match for my feelings of the day: I was going toward the light. {The sound of angels singing}. I was about to enter scrappy heaven!

The conference center lobby is huge so I just followed people who looked like craftsy types, LOL. Lots of people had brought rolling tote bags, which is wicked smart. I only had my purse and, like a dummy, I had even downsized it so it would be lighter. {I would later regret this, too}. I checked in which you don’t even have to talk to a real person for! The week before CHA, they e-mail you a QR entry code and, using the CHA app, you just hold it up to the machine. I got my badge, checked out the big board, loving how everything was so bright and cheerful and the scene was buzzing!

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Note: I’m apologizing now. Most of my photos were taken with my iPhone because I was having camera problems. The photo quality is not great; I realize that and I’m sorry! But like I said in my LAST ENTRY, there are TONS of great CHA photos and videos online. My goal is to share photos that illustrate my day and so I can reference scrapbook products I’m commenting on. I hope that’s not too much of a bummer!

I stopped to take a few pics as I walked into CHA for the very first (and hopefully not last) time! And who was there, front and center??? MARTHA, of course! It’s always Martha, Martha, Martha!

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First, I decided to take a cruise around and get the lay of the land, and note the booths I wanted to go back to.

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Okay, I’m going to stop photos here for now. As you can see, the place is massive. All these scrapbooking companies are interspersed with other crafts – beads, sewing, yarn, paints, etc. You get a workout, that’s for sure! I made use of that charging station area because my iPhone died and, as I was counting on it to be my camera, that was NOT acceptable, LOL! There were plenty of food vendors right in the CHA area; I got a fruit cup for $5 but they had lots of good-looking hot food, too. I got an Aquafina from a vending machine for $2.50 (just giving you an idea of prices for when YOU go :). I was surprised that the Fancy Pants booth was so small but it was cute!

Okay, I’ll have more “quick look” photos next time, then we’ll start getting in depth with specific companies in the posts after that. Talk soon!

CHA 2014: Adventures of a Newbie at Scrapbooking’s Biggest Event (Intro Post)

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YES! I got to go to CHA* for the first time!!! And it was absolutely amazing! Scrapbook Bucket List item checked off! I could only go for one day (Saturday) but I’m so grateful even for that. It’s like Rome or Disneyland – there is NO possible way to see and do everything you want to in one day. So I ran around like a scrappy chicken with my head cut off and crammed as much as I could into 7 hours.
*Are you wondering what the hay CHA is? Check THIS out.

There was so much greatness packed into those 7 hours that I can’t put it all in one blog post. I’ll do a series over the next week or two and that way I can be more detailed (maybe TOO detailed but humor me, LOL!) Simple Stories and Basic Grey might take 2 posts each. We’ll see how it goes. But I want to share the experience with you of being a total geeky newb in the Emerald City. I must say, Oz was extremely welcoming :) And no flying monkeys. BONUS!

Pinch me. I still kind of can’t believe it. OUCH! Jeez, I didn’t mean ACTUALLY pinch me. It was a figure of speech. Sheesh. That’s okay, it didn’t hurt that much. Between CHA yesterday and the Golden Globes and The Bachelor tonight, I’m in heaven anyway. I still love you <3

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For an idea of what’s to come, below are some of the booths I went to and people I met.

I got a tour of these booths, met some wonderful people, and got you some good intel:
BASIC GREY – Talked to one of the owners, Rachel Brenchley, and briefly met Kelly Purkey
SIMPLE STORIES – Met the owners Kevin and Amber Crowell, and Jodi, Sue, and Layle Koncar
ECHO PARK / CARTA BELLA – Met Andrea Smith
WEBSTER’S PAGES – Met Allison Kreft and Shimelle
PROJECT LIFE – Met Becky Higgins
CHICKANIDDY CRAFTS – Met Heidi Sonboul’s husband
MAMBI (Me and My Big Ideas) – Met Shelby Strichard

These are booths that I quickly visited and got photos of:
BELLA BLVD
BAZZILL
WRMK
AMERICAN CRAFTS
KAISERCRAFT
COPICS
CHIC TAGS

Who I saw from afar but didn’t talk to, darn it:
Noell Hyman from PAPERCLIPPING.COM
AMY TANGERINE from American Crafts
TIM HOLTZ from . . . Tim Holtz
HEIDI SONBOUL from Chickaniddy Crafts
ELISE BLAHA CRIPE from enJOY It.com

As you can see, I’m a Paper Girl. If you’re looking for inks and stamps and tools, I’m not your gal. I mean, all that stuff is awesome but I had to prioritize so I went for my first love: PAPER!!! I’m a confessed PAPER SNIFFER from way back, remember? I’ve always been open with you about that. Don’t hate.

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I also got to meet Nancy Nalley from SCRAPBOOK UPDATE and we had a quick fun convo at the end of the day. I hope I remembered to mention every person and booth I visited. If not, I’ll include them later, swear!

Overall, I will say that my photos will not be the best you’ll see out there (camera problems so most are iPhone photos). I didn’t take a TON of project photos because I know each manufacturer posts those on their blog, etc. My focus will be on telling you the story of the day, how amazing and fun it was to be there, the conversations I had with some of my favorite companies, what I’ll do differently next time, and hopefully some insider information that you won’t hear anywhere else. The posts will be LONG. I’m verbose. Deal with it.

I did offer those I interviewed the chance to do a run-through of our exchange before I post it. I don’t have the greatest memory and I’d feel HORRIBLE if I misquoted someone. I also don’t want to share any details they’d rather keep under wraps for now, or anything too personal. They are businesses, just real people making a living, and I totally respect that. But if there’s a delay in posting anything, that’ll be why – just wanted you to know ☺

So please come back to read more about my adventures at CHA 2014. If you want to make sure and not miss a post, you can sign up for updates in the top right corner. That way, you get an e-mail every time I post.

In the meantime, if you’re Jonesing for CHA product and project photos, I encourage you to check out all the vendor blog links in my Blogroll on the lower right. If you go to their blogs, you can usually find a link to their Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook where they’re sharing photos from CHA and/or products debuting at CHA. Also, in my post above, anything that’s bolded is a link to their blog or website.

Another way to see amazing pics from the floor of CHA is check out Melissa Stinson/Scrappy Jedi’s FLICKR FEED. She has a nice camera and her CHA photos are wicked good. I was hoping to meet Melissa @ CHA but never saw her, dangit! I’ve followed her blog for years and am a big fan.

Sorry no pretty pictures this time. I’m still downloading and editing them – I took almost 500 total. In 7 hours. Yikes. Excessive much?

Hope to see you soon for more CHA dish!

Scrapbook Retreat: How I Pick a Project, Plan, and Pack

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Yes, I used all those P’s on PURPOSE!

Once a year, I go on a scrapbooking retreat with a group of friends and my mama :) There are 8 of us and we have a blast. It’s coming up later this month and I’m trying to get a jump on planning what I want to work on and, therefore, pack. I started to write out these lists on paper, then figured “what the heck? Why not blog ‘em?” Here’s how it’s going so far.

Well, first . . . when I’m at retreats, I like to work on projects not just a bunch of random layouts. Layouts are super fun and creative and all that; I just don’t feel like it’s a good use of my time. I’m so busy these days (work full-time, kids, DH, sports, activities, blogging, etc.), that I do the majority of my scrapping at crops and retreats.

Yes, it’s sad but true. I work on Project Life a bit at home and try to periodically organize memorabilia, print photos, type out journaling, and put away purchases. Which is all scrapbooking-RELATED but it’s not the real thing, right?

So when I get a concentrated amount of time away from the fam and work, with a big table to spread out on, wonderful girlfriends for company, and can stay up as late as I want – I’m taking advantage of it, guuurrrlll!

PROJECTS, baby, PROJECTS.

Projects Considered:
1. Baby Albums – I have the photos organized, memorabilia/journaling, album, page protectors, Project Life “Baby” kits, and lots of cute embellishments. But I feel like I’d do this better at home where DH can help me with the memories. Heck, I’d love him to do some of the journaling.

2. Mediterranean Cruise/Rome Album – From YEARS ago, people! I started out doing a regular 12×12 album and got maybe 20 layouts done. But it hit me that if I kept going on that plan, I would end up with 150 layouts and it would take me 3 years to complete! Now I just want to get the photos in divided protectors, journal what i can remember, and embellish with the Basic Grey papers and embellies I’ve collected FOREVAH! for this project. The existing layouts are done with BG as well so I could slip those in wherever they go chronologically. Once that’s done, it won’t seem like such a daunting thing. I can grab the albums (as in multiple; there are LOTS of photos!) whenever I feel inspired and transition some photos and journaling to traditional layouts. In the meantime, I’ll be able to look through the photos and remember what an awesome trip that was! My mom was on the cruise too and I thought it would be good to pick her brain on memories while we’re at the retreat . . . but it almost seems like too BIG of a project to start on a weekend.

3. Scrap all of 2013 – That means finish Project Life, pocket page scrap all other 2013 photos (everyday/family, trips, sports, school, and events), and if I finish all of that, do some traditional layouts or a mini Sn@p! album. I like this idea the best because it’s do-able in a weekend. Also, I want to journal while everything is fairly fresh in my mind.

Scrapbookers are fickle, you might agree, but as of this moment – I’m going with #3 :) Now, it’s time for prep.

{Pssst! I’m going to start adding some pretty pictures now so you don’t fall asleep while reading this mega-post :) You’re welcome.}

To Do:
1. Get all 2013 memorabilia sorted into page protectors by month. (I blogged about my method HERE). I worked on this last weekend and I’m almost done.

2. Print photos and prints journaling already on computer

3. Type journaling for events (I like to do this ahead of time so I can either copy it as handwritten journaling while at the retreat or leave a spot big enough for typed journaling to add when I get home)

4. Make sure I have refills for adhesives, paper trimmer, TINY ATTACHER, etc.

To Pack:
1. 2013 Dayplanner/agenda (I keep great notes on what we did, thoughts, things the kids said, etc.)

2. Laptop, Picturemate printer*, photo paper, cords, iPhone, charger, OTT LITE, etc.

*I have an older version of THIS ONE . . .

. . . but I want THIS ONE!

3. WRMK albums to store completed pages and plenty of page protectors! PROJECT LIFE and WRMK variety packs are my most-used. I use the Kiwi WRMK albums for Project Life and the Turquoise for Family albums. {Do you have a color coding system, too?}

4. Sticky notes (I hate to say Ali Edwards copies me but THIS is what I do, too . . . oh, simmer down! I’m kidding! I’m suuurrree it was her idea first. Yepper.)


*Photo from Ali’s blog

5. Plastic shoeboxes of all my Project Life-type cards (I talked about my storage method HERE and retreat time is when I really love how portable, light, and easy they are to use). Yes, I really have that many Project Life, MAMBI, and Sn@p! cards. Let’s see how much of a dent I can put in them at the retreat!

6. Tool caddy with plenty of black journaling pens, pencils, and erasers – a must for all the handwritten journaling I’ll do. (I love THESE erasers; they don’t smear the ink yet totally get rid of the pencil marks). I can also use my laptop and Picturemate to print journaling onto any 4×6 sheet of paper while AT the retreat. Cool, eh?

7. BAG IN BAG filled with Project Life-y stuff: washi tape, ENAMEL DOTS, stickers, embellishments, label stickers, date stamps, Cat’s Eye chalk inks, etc. I filled this up today and will show you pics soon.

8. Sn@p! album, chipboard pages, and page protectors – just in case ;)

9. CAMEO-O-O-O!!!

Can you tell I’m excited!?!?! It’s still about 2 weeks away but I’m busy next weekend and have to work all the weekdays in between so I’m trying to get started with planning and packing now. I feel so much better now that I’ve decided on a project. I can pack up my crop bags in the next day or so and then add to them as I remember things I forgot, LOL!

Once everything is packed, I’m going to clean my scrapbook/home office. There will be some cleared surfaces for once – ha! One thing I do wait to pack until D-day is my paper trimmer (my trusty Cutterpede). Whenever I’ve packed it early, it comes back out to cut coupons, work papers, etc. Same goes for my tool caddy with pens, scissors, etc. There’s a lot of crossover use between my scrapbooking things and my work-at-home activities. I’m so lucky to have a big space where I can do both.

Okay, I’m off to start packing ‘er up! Thanks for reading such a long entry :)

Simple Stories: CHA-Winter 2014 Reveal #1

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As they teased about HERE, Simple Stories has a bunch of new lines coming out this CHA. Today they started 6 days of reveals. For Day One, we have Simple Stories “DIY Design It Yourself” and you can find the entire line HERE on their blog.

Here are just a few of my favorite pieces:

Color & Hearts & Arrows & . . . Ampersands!

These burlap banners are very useable for layering :)

LOVE the text paper with all those cute fonts and colors.

I don’t know if this is what they intended, but this is how I see the Simple Stories “DIY Design It Yourself” line . . .

With their Sn@p! and Simple Stories lines in the past, they did all the layering for you. For example, see the “layers” incorporated into this DAILY GRIND paper?

With “DIY”, you buy the separate elements and layer it yourself. That way, you get exactly the look, colors, and elements YOU like. Pretty genius.

What do you think of Simple Stories new line, “DIY Design It Yourself” . . . does any of it go on your wish list?

Simple Stories: “Elementary” + “Smarty Pants” = A Good Match?

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A sweet scrapper named Wendy e-mailed this question to me recently:

I was wondering if you think I could combine SS Smarty Pants with SS Elementary in the same album. I already have Elementary, but have had my eye on Smarty Pants since it was released. Are the colors close enough, or are they way off in real life? I read your Blog so I know you are an expert on SS. THANKS!

I thought I would share the answer publicly just in case someday a scrapper is Googling and has the same question, LOL!

Here are images of both lines from the SIMPLE STORIES blog:

You can see why it would be hard to tell if they go together well, huh? So I took a photo today of both lines . . . I just HAPPENED to have a bit (cough cough I’M NOT A SUPPLY HOARDER! coughcough) of each line on hand :)

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The primary colors are basically the same shades in both lines. The main difference is that “Elementary” is pretty grungy with a brown/cream tone throughout whereas “Smarty Pants” is cleaner and has white backgrounds.

That said, I don’t see why you couldn’t mix the 2 lines together. Some people are picky about only using cream with cream and white with white, but that’s not something that bothers me. I think these would be a nice mix, actually. They kind of balance each other out.

Wendy, I hope that was helpful! Readers, what do you think – would you mix these 2 lines together? Please leave a Comment below! Diverse opinions welcomed and I will NOT point and laugh, I promise ;)

Simple Stories: Full Reveal of Winter 2014 Lines Coming Soon!

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Here is a teaser, my dear friends . . .

UH-MAY-ZING! Am I right?

So many cool and innovative products that you’re going to love. I’ve seen the entire catalog of new goodies and I think you’re going to be very, very happy scrappers!

Make sure to watch the SIMPLE STORIES blog or sign up for their blog updates so you don’t miss the exciting reveal . . . Monday, 01-06-14.

Well, rats.

How am I supposed to sleep nowwww????

Project Life: Review of NEW 6×8 Project Life Albums, Kits, and Pages at Michaels

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As I posted HERE, some Michaels stores are now carrying several Becky Higgins’ new Project Life products – already! According to HER BLOG, these albums are being introduced at CHA-Anaheim next week . . . but they’re already showing up at some Mike’s! Sounds good to me :)

And I can’t find mention on her site of the 6×8 agenda, calendar, and recipe kits nor any new Core Kits by Maggie Holmes and Dear Lizzy {which I’m now hearing may the HSN “exclusive” core kits?}. So I don’t know if these items are Michaels exclusives or what? I’ve asked for clarification on the message boards from scrappers who’ve seen these displays in person but no one seems to know. Hmmmm . . .

And as it goes . . . none of these new Project Life goodies have arrived at MY Micheales and I won’t be surprised if they never do. Remember when MOST Mike’s got the 12×12 WRMK albums, like, ages ago??? My Mike’s got them about 1 month ago. Finally.

That’s one reason I get so much of my PROJECT LIFE stuff on Amazon.com. They may not have 40% off coupons but they do put things on sale fairly often and with PRIME, I get them in the mail sometimes sooner than I could’ve even run to Michaels (1-2 days, yippee! A girl needs her instant gratification, ya know?)

So, given that I have little hope of seeing these in person before I turn 82 (hey! I know I sound old and curmudgeonly but I’m nowhere close, I promise you) . . . I asked my message board friend Jen (aka Redscountrygirljen) if I could share the review SHE posted. I’m so thrilled she said yes! Below is JEN’s review and the wonderful photos she provided:

So, with our Blizzard approaching what was DH, my toddler and I to do today? Go to Michaels a half hour away, of course!

And what to my wondering eyes did appear?

New BH Project Life! And with it 40% off (like others have said, it’s not marked on sale) I got a 6×8 leather binder, the planner kit, planner theme set, and a pack of Design 2 and a pack of Design 3 page protectors.

Above: The leather album. It’s fairly nice quality, not as nice as WRMK. There is a noticeable seam on the inside where you can tell the leather inside was glued down. The album also has a slight smell, but it isn’t obnoxious. Long story short, I will probably by at least a few more of these. I like them better than her larger paper binders and I like them better than even the Sn@p chipboard albums. I have yet to see a Sn@p leather album so I can’t provide a comparison to that.

Above: Menards Teddy Bear aside, this is the inside of the album and also a peek at the Weekly Planner inserts. They are reg. priced 14.99 but I got it on sale for 8.99. I was a sucker for the planner because I love the tabbed monthly inserts.

Above: The back of a month page and the front of another. So colorful! I can also see myself using the journaling prompts on the back of the dividers.

Above: Samples of the weekly planner pages. I don’t see myself using these each and every week. The main reason being that after putting in all the pages of the kit, there isn’t a lot of room for clear page divided pages. I will certainly use some throughout, but unless I want to have two 6×8 albums for 2014, I will just keep some for another project (or for 2015? eek!)

Above: Page protectors! I got style 2 (2-3×4, 1-4×6) and style 3 (2-4×6). Style 1 is 4-3×4. The most important thing I’ll throw out here is that the first thing I did when I got home was try my Sn@p pages – they fit perfectly in these albums too! This means other Sn@p products will work too like their own dividers and page protectors.

Above: For only 2.99, I also got the accompanying planner cards. They’re nice and colorful and will look really nice. I’ll be adding some of the Honey cards in as well I think :)

So, that is my review of the new Michaels-exclusive BH Project Life merchandise! I went for the recipe album, but I was disappointed in the colors. I made my mom a recipe book using some pages from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday and I think we can add to it using the new SS Homespun Collection. They also had new 12×12 BH Project Life albums and two new larger kits – Maggie Holmes was one of them and Dear Lizzy was the other.

All of it was on sale! I got the 6×8 binder, the planner kit, the planner card mini set, a pack of Design 2 and a pack of Design 3 protectors for 28.00 :) My M’s had some of the patterned 6×8 albums left, one leather bright pink one, two of the turquoise, and a black leather album in. Since I just bought a black leather 8×8 WRMK album and a red 12×12 BH leather album, I thought the turquoise would be nice. :) I’m actually pleased with the quality of the album and after taking out even 10 of the divider pages, I have more room. I think I’m going to keep most of the planner pages, add two clear plastic pages for each month for a total of 24 and see what happens :)

Just an update – October Afternoon’s Flash pages are not compatible with either the BH 6×8 or Snap binders. Neither are SC Handbooks pages.

Here are two pictures showing BH’s stuff in a Snap binder. As you can see, when closed, nothing pokes over the edge. Perfect fit!

Wasn’t that an awesome review!?!? Thanks so much for letting me share it, Jen! I owe ya’, girl!

Jen is working on her own blog and when she has it up, I’ll link to it so you can follow her :)

I’m so excited about these new products!! I hope I get to see them in person soon {translation: BUY them, LOL!}. I’m thinking about doing a smaller format, Project-Life style album this year. Instead of doing a daily photo like I did in 2013, I want to have a place to keep everyday one-off photos and quick journaling, without the commitment of “photo a day” and filling the 12×12 pocket page protectors like I did last year. This PL 6×8 album with the Agenda and/or Planner sets are big contenders.

Have these shown up at your Michaels yet? What do you think?

Scrapbook Stores: Archiver’s Scrapbooking Chain to Close by MId-February 2014

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I guess we saw the writing on the wall, even if we HOPED and HOPED it wasn’t going to happen! {I talked about Archiver’s danger signs HERE and HERE}.

As I said in the Chapter 11 post, I was really hoping they would pull it out and save their remaining stores . . . but as they announced today via THIS E-MAIL, they are closing after 14 years in business :(

I think the e-mail does a good job of explaining the timelines and process, so I won’t rehash that all here. You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions HERE and they say more information will be forthcoming via e-mail next week.

Some wondered if the online store, Archiver’s Annex, would stay open but the e-mail says it will close also.

As I’ve said many times before, I’ve never even been to Archiver’s. I live in California and here is where their stores are:

But it was always on my Scrapbooking Bucket List to visit an Archiver’s in person . . . either that they would put one within reach of me, or that I would travel to a state with a store. Alas, it’s not to be! Those of you who got to shop an Archiver’s, consider yourselves lucky. And if there was one close by and you shopped there all the time, well . . . I hate you.

Just kidding. I get angry when I’m jealous :P

And I’m hangry right now. I’m dieting and have only had soup today. Hungry + angry = HANGRY. Sorry. I shouldn’t take out my jealousy and hangry-ness on you. Forgive me?

And I try to laugh and be sarcastic when I’m sad. I’m sad Archiver’s is closing. I’m sad for the scrap-shoppers, the company owners, and most of all for the employees. In all the talk about Archiver’s on the message boards, I hear over and over how NICE and HELPFUL the employees are. I hope they find new jobs soon that they love just as much <3.

What are your thoughts about Archiver’s closing?

Scrapbook Novels: ALL the Books I Read in 2013

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Please forgive me for being NSBR here (non-scrapbook related) as I try to remember all the books I read this year and put them in 1 place. I was keeping track in Project Life but, errrr . . . let’s just say that fell through. I’ve got some saved to my Pinterest books board but didn’t start that until late in the year. I have some on my Kindle account and some that I posted on the Two Peas weekly reading thread. But I’m scattered, baby!

{Yeah, I know there’s Goodreads but I hardly ever get over there and find the site to be a bit of a rabbit hole}.

I’ll put a brief review, a link to the book in case you’re interested, and will come back and add books as I remember them :) I’ll put the scrapbook novels first so, if you don’t care about regular novels, you can at least see the good stuff before you leave me :) And if you hang out ’til the end of this very long entry, there’s a special book I want to tell you about.

Gilt Trip (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs
It’s a scrapbooking novel so of course I’ve already talked about it! Check it out HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Cropped to Death (Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) and Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn
Yep, wrote about these already, too! You can find the entries HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Scrappy Cupcake Angels by Kristah Price
You guessed it! Wrote about it HERE :)

Friendship Bread: A Novel by Darien Gee
This is kinda’ scrapbook-related in that it’s the prequel to The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. I read “Avalon” first, not knowing that it was the same characters from “Friendship Bread” but with a lot more of a scrapbooking spin. So if you’re going to read “Avalon”, read “Friendship Bread” first. The characters are great and it’s a sweet story.

Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel
Do you have those “comfort” books and movies that, no matter how down or tired you feel, they can make you feel better so you read/watch them over and over again? That’s “Italian for Beginners” and “Roman Holiday” for me. Which are intertwined, interestingly <3

The Boy Next Door aka “The Guy Next Door” by Meggin Cabot (who became Meg Cabot, of The Princess Diaries fame)
This is from 2009. I think I’ve read it 3 times now. I’m a sucker for a book written in e-mails and texts (see Coco Pinchard and Holly’s Inbox below, hee hee).

Holly’s Inbox: Scandal in the City by Holly Denham
Another re-read. Holly is fun. That’s it, plain and simple.

Ciao, Bella: A Novel About Searching for Beauty and Finding Love by Ryan Phillips
I started reading because of the Italian title but turns out . . . it had NOTHING to do with Italy, LOL. Sweet, slightly religious story of a woman trying to find her purpose in life along with the right person to share it with.

The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard: A Funny, Feel-Good Romantic Comedy by Robert Bryndza
Kooky, silly, British rom-com. Not believable but that’s okay.

Apart from the Crowd by Anna McPartlin
A nice story set in Ireland of two people struggling through life while falling in love, as friends first. You root for them the whole way.

Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
I loved her novel The Dive From Clausen’s Pier but the main character in Songs was SO whiny, it was hard to get through. I kept waiting for some revelation or A-ha! moment where she finally bucks up, but it never really came. Disappointing.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Another re-read for me. If you’ve lost a loved one, I think it resonates more . . . makes you think about what’s on the other side and what your beliefs are about Heaven.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I re-read this lovely book in preparation for the sequel coming out this year, Fly Away . . . and then I never read “Fly Away.” Dork.

{Not able to grab a cover image; leave it to Zuckerberg to be the difficult one!}
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
I was late to the game on this one. I realize it was only one side of the story but if even 1/4 of it’s true, he’s not a very nice person :(

Carry the Oneby Carol Anshaw
One of those “one moment can change everything” books. Some very flawed but lovable characters.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Loved this book! A story that spanned time and location and kept me reading to figure out how all the stories fit together.

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spetzi
True story of a serial killer in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I love everything Italy but their justice system is cray-cray. Great read and it stuck with me for a long time.

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox
Speaking of the cray-cray Italian justice system, I’ve felt from very early on that this poor girl was being railroaded. This is the first time she’s been heard from directly and she explained a lot of the false accusations and assumptions about her. She’s a bit of an “odd duck” but not a killer, no way.

Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer
Beachy + fluffy + sisters = nice escapism.

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I started this book on a car trip and let’s just say, when we arrived and I had to stop reading, I was bummed :( I finished it in 2 days. I met and married my husband within months so I could really relate to how deeply they loved in such a short time. And the relationship that developed with her mother-in-law was lovely <3

The Sea Glass Sisters: Prelude to The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
As a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, I could relate to the main character and her guilt over a call gone wrong. Even when it’s not your fault, you feel tremendous guilt. I’m also a beach lover so I enjoyed hearing about the storm, beach life, etc.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’m glad I read this before too much of the hype was out there. Everyone talked about being disappointed in the ending but I don’t now how ELSE is could’ve ended. Looking forward to the movie version, due out in 2014!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I remember telling my librarian that this book was frustrating me because there were all these disparate stories that seemingly had nothing to do with each other. But rest assured, they’re all tied nicely with a bow by the end. And while I thought there was a point I “had it all figured out,” I was wrong. Which is cool. I *want* to be surprised by books.

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Not my usual kind of book but so glad I read it. It made me want to live on a lighthouse island, for one thing, LOL! Very well written and gives you a lot to think about – the meaning of and what constitutes “family” and also how dangerous secrets are.

The Marriage Pact by MJ Pullen
Cute and fluffy read about guy/girl friends who pledge to marry each other if they’re not married to others by the time they turn 30. The main character has a long affair with a married man which I hate reading about but she does come to see all the reasons it was so very wrong.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Very touching, sad, and hopeful at the same time. I fell in love with the 2 main characters, flaws and all. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison
WOW. Very interesting book. I’m just glad I don’t know people like this in real life! They both drove me crazy in different ways.

The final book is a special one and I’ve read it twice since November:

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
Yes, it’s a book about prayer and spirituality. But I think unless you’re really offended by those topics, you would enjoy it. Anne is SUCH a gifted writer. She puts big concepts like prayer, gratitude, amazement, and pleading for help into such real, everyday, meaningful terms that you can relate exactly to what she means. I came away – both times I read it – laughing, appreciating life more, feeling sadness for people’s suffering but peace at the same time. I think it’s an especially good read for SCRAPBOOKERS because we’re already the types who want to savor our “moments” and realize how quickly time passes, how blessed we are even in our struggles, and are looking for meaning in how we live our lives.

So PLEASE read this book! It’s quick but powerful. I think you’ll love it like I did.

Okay! So that’s what I read in 2013. Phew! With all the research, copy/pasting, and writing, this post took me several hours to write, LOL. I know there are more books and will add them as I remember. I also read maybe 15 non-fiction books that I won’t bore you with – about dieting, health, blogging, working at home, that kind of thing.

I didn’t realize how MUCH I had read until I now see the books all in one place {28 and counting}. Pretty cool :)

Did you tally your books for the year somewhere? We’d love to see your list! Or did you have any favorites or books you hated? Whether scrapbook-related books or not, we’d enjoy hearing about YOUR reading in comments. Feel free to leave a link to your blog post, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc. if you like.

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