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August 2007 Creating Keepsakes: Ad Review

I’ve admitted from the beginning that I like to shop for scrapbook supplies as much as I like to scrapbook. So this entry should really come as no surprise. I just got my August issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine today and I was struck by how MANY of the ads and/or products caught my eye. So here’s a page by page review:

Pg 3 – Ad for K&Company Quick-Dry Craft Bond, “featuring renowned WackyTac technology that permanently adheres crafts together!”. Looks like it might be a solution to “the chipboard letters won’t stay on my page” problem. If anyone has tried it, please post a review in comments. I seem to recall seeing it on QVC awhile back.
Pg 8 – Ad for Fancy Pants new Botanical line. I really like everything Fancy Pants puts out lately, and this is no exception, a must have. Look at the calendar page in the bottom right corner!
Pg 11 – Ad for Bo Bunny line called Pep Rally. Didn’t like their early stuff, then loved their stuff for awhile, not a “fan” of this.
Pg 13 – Ad for doodlebug design Plain & Simple Chipboard Houses. I always love DD ads because they make amazing things out of paper. This product stumps me tho’. I can’t think of a way to use a cute little altered house. Too cutesy for home decor. Any ideas?
Pg 15 – Ad for the new Autumn collection by daisyd’s. I always think of them as being very “distressed” and homey looking. This is a little different, very cute, love the colors. Go daisyd’s!
Pg 16 – Ad for Three Bugs in a Rug new Chalk Garden collection. Have never loved their stuff (or this). Too bright, too hard, too busy.
Pg 18 – Ad for new XL ghost butterflies by heidi swapp (now that I’m typing all these industry names, I’m noticing how many use strictly lowercase letters, LOL). These are pretty. I love how you can back them with patterned paper, paint, glitter, rub ons, etc.
Pg 21 – Ad for The Rockstar Stack by Die Cuts with a View. Reminds me of the peek I got at the new Basic Grey line, Obscure. Very geared towards teens and music. I love how SB products are constantly evolving and there is something for every topic under the sun.
Pg 22 – Ad for “a new Bohemia – 20 new themes – 4 new color schemes – transparent frames, etc” C’mon, say it with me…..”Hallelujah!”. By that I mean, I dig Bohemia so Right On that there is more to love.
Pg 36 – The famous ad for Martha Stewart Crafts at Michaels. You can bet there has been some discussion about this on CKMB. I like the ad. It’s a creative way to show off her plethora of products (see, wasn’t I nice??).
Pg 43 – Ad for the Holiday Cardmaking Cruise with Sandi Genovese. A 5-day cruise for $598. Unless I’m blind, they don’t say WHERE the cruise is. But I looked on ScrapMap.com for you (it’s Cozumel).
Pg 44 – Ad for Skinny Cow ice cream. See, told ya they were after us scrapbookers big time. A 1 1/4 page ad in CK ain’t cheap.
Pg 50 – Ad for a new CK book coming out in August called “Super-Fast Pages with 4×6 Photos”. I will be buying this book before the ink dries.

CK book 4x6 photos

Pg 51 – Ad for DCWV’s new “All Dressed Up” with glitter. I haven’t given in to the glitter products yet because I wonder about it scratching photos over the long term. But this is really pretty. Love the two album samples they show. The line will be great for wedding, prom, etc.
Pg 52 – Ad for CK’s “Easy Patterns for Scrapbooking” kits now available at Joann stores. Not sure how I feel about these. You know I love the Easy Patterns book by Brenda Arnall but the only thing that salvages a shred of creativity about it is that you get to pick your own papers and use your own brain to cut them. These kits have all the paper provided and it has cut marks on the back. Hmmmm….
Pg 59 – Ad for new Dorothy collection by Anna Griffin. I don’t use a lot of her stuff but this is unique and could be adapted to more than heritage pages. Very pretty color scheme of black, white and pink/fuschia. It’s “just one of 7 new collections for 2007″ for you Anna Fans.
Pg 64 – Latest & Greatest column, Spiral Punch by Stampin’ Up! It’s a paper punch that gives you “an authentic spiral punch edge” like torn notebook paper. I will be calling my SU rep next week. Also love the Starfin alpha stamps by FontWerks on the next page. A very cute font and I like how you can color them in as you like. Would like to try the Power Bond adhesive from Tombow on pg 67 to see if it really “makes adhering textured cardstock oh so easy”. I struggle with my Bazzill sometimes.
Pg 75 – Ad for Cosmo Cricket’s Gretel collection. Cute ad but I like to see the product line not just photos of adorable kids.
Pg 86 – Ad for 2007 CK Scrapbooker of the Year contest. The ad doesn’t give a deadline but it already passed (7-6-07). I feel badly for anyone who works on this now. Hopefully they would check out the website beforehand. CK knows how their own publishing dates; I wonder why they did this?
Pg 93 – Ad for We R Memory Keepers new line of Classic Leather Albums. Smart move. Remind everyone “we’re here, we have albums!”. I have noticed a resurgence of the 3-ring album lately.
Pg 101 – Ad for Prism’s Metallics line of shimmering cardstock. Reminds me of Bazzill Bling. Prism is the line of cardstock that Memory Works carries; I hope they add this soon. I think it would be a big seller since MW does not carry Bazzill.
Pg 117 – Ad for two new Autumn Leaves idea books: Perfectly Clear and Foof-a-Life. AL idea books are my favorites so I’m excited to buy these, especially Perfectly Clear which has techniques for using AL clear stamps (I have several sets).
Pg 118 – Ad for the Memory Planner by Karen Foster Design, available August 2007. Don’t know if I would use the entire planner but I like the templates that allow you to easily make page sketches. Very clever.
Pg 141 – Ad for Vertical Drawer Organizers by Cropper Hopper. I think these are a great idea, a natural companion for my CH Vertical Paper Holders. I want them for storing foam stamps, for one thing.

CH vertical drawer organizer

Pg 142 – Ad for Clear Albums by Pageframe Designs. They have talked about these on CKMB and I like the look. But too advanced for me. Maybe when I’m a big girl scrapbooker someday.
Pg 147 – Ad for….oh, who cares….there’s a shirtless blond guy with muscles. That’s all you need to know.
Pg 162 – Ad for Dear Diary journaling tools by Collage Press. I’m intrigued…
and same page has an ad for my fave, ScrapRack.
Back inside cover (yeah, you thought I’d never get done!) – Ad for Prima’s “all new embellishments, including alphas, brads and super hot journaling cards”. I love the ad, how they got a nice theme/photo while still showing a good amount of the products along the outer edge of the page. They all look beautiful, by the way.

So, there’s my ad review. Feel free to tell me what you think. Am I way off the mark or did I tell it like it is? And the answer to your question is: No, I obviously DON’T have anything better to do with my time (LOL).

Stay tuned: Next time I will post a review of the August CK issue itself – features, articles, etc.

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45 Totally Obscure Facts About Me…

I was not tagged, but I love these surveys so I just butt in and do them, LOL. This one was taken from Overstuffed with Love blog

45 Totally Obscure Facts About Me
1. Are you taller than your mom? Yes, she’s a shortie, only 5/3 while I’m 5/7.
2. What color is your car? White
3. What is the closest thing to you that is red? My toenail polish.
4. What is your ringtone? “Anyway You Want It” by Journey (if you’ve seen me over on CKMB, you know my handle is “journeyfan”…)
5. Are you sick? Sick of being hot, sick of my new neighbors dogs barking all night, but technically healthy.
6. Do you have a favorite pillow? Yes, I adore the expensive pillow I bought when we got our Sleep Number Bed. It weighs about 10 pounds or so. It’s the only pillow I do not allow kids to play with or use.
7. What is your favorite game? Uno!
8. Had a nap today? I wish…
9. Gold or Silver? Definitely silver.
10. Is there an animal that creeps you out? Snakes, totally. If I see one, think of one, hear about one, see one on tv, etc I will have nightmares about snakes that night where they crawl all over me in bed, swim with me in my pool or other such creepy disgusting craziness. (GREAT question! Now I’ll have snake-mares tonight…Yick).
11.Who was the last person you rode an elevator with? With my kids at Barnes & Noble about 2 weeks ago.
12. Did you go iceskating as a kid? I tried it once but didn’t like it. Weak ankles.
13. Ever have stitches? Yep. When I was 5, I dropped the plates I was clearing from the table. Still have a 2 inch scar across my palm.
14. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Icy cold Diet Coke.
15. How long ago did you kiss someone? My hubby this morning on his way out.
16. What’s something you want to do before you die? Write a successful novel.
17. Have you ever caught something on fire? No-ho-ho way!
18. Have you ever seen a ghost? Yes. Well, I’ve seen the spirit of my dad several times.
19. Have you ever seen the northern lights? Unfortunately, no.
20. Do you know how to use chop sticks? Barely. When it comes to the rice, I give up and use a spoon.
21. Name something good that happened today. Ooh, this is hard. I had a bad day. Hmmmmm……uhhhh…..Oh! Yummy food to eat at work. My new co-worker started today. His family is Filipino and he brought in egg roll thingees, red pepper sauce, and a noodle/chicken/veggie dish. All were to die for!
22. What room are you in? We call it the Air Bed Room. Self explanatory?
23. Are you worried about something you can’t control? The simpler question would be “Is there anything you DON’T worry about?” (I worry about anything and everything. Yep, I’m a worrier!). Interesting timing on this question – my Bible Study topic this week in Women of the Bible was Hagar, a woman with little to no control and how she handled it.
24. Do you like to exercise? Hate it, hate it, hate it. It’s known by me as The E Word.
25. Ever been in a car wreck? No, thank God.
26. Are you wearing nailpolish? Just on my toes.
27. Favorite color? Green (not for nailpolish, just in general :)
28. Innie or Outie? Aren’t we getting personal now????
29. Ever been to Canada? For about 5 minutes as a child. It was a long road trip with my mom and grandparents in a travel trailer. By the time we got to Canada, my mom was so sick of my brother and I bickering that we turned around and went home before we saw anything. Yeah, that’s one of my prouder moments…
30. Sweet or Sour? S-w-e-e-t. Yeah, baby!
31. Sun or Moon? They are both fabulous for different reasons.
32. What shoes did you wear today? Black open toed slip ons to work; black zori’s since I got home.
33. Favorite eye color of the opposite sex? Greeny-brown.
34. Most important quality in any relationship? On this blog, I will say “communication and values in common”.
35. Favorite movie? Oh, so many! I will narrow it down to 3: Grease (I’ve seen it, like, 50 times), Say Anything (LOVE me some John Cusack, yum), and Wayne’s World (we still use catch phrases from that one, and they SO communicate what we need to say).
36. Time of day you were born? Early AM, which is stunning considering how much I abhor mornings.
37. Do you know your blood type? Yes.
38. What would you spend 5,000 dollars on right now if you were handed it? Pay off a debt, any debt, just pick one.
39. Name something you are grateful for! My new relationship with JC.
40. Did you grow up in the city or country? The suburbs of a big city.
41. Would you ever consider going on a reality tv show if offered a large sum of money? No, I’m not open enough & I’m not the type that will do anything for money. I think other things are more important than the dolla’.
42. One of your dreams? To become independently wealthy so I can quit all my jobs and just be a mom and a scrapbooker (wait, is that contradictory to #41?)
43. Hugs or kisses? Both!
44. You have 10 dollars to spend in the dollar store. What do you get? First I’d hit the scrapbook stuff. They usually have one or two things there. I also like their bathroom cleaner and furniture spray polish stuff.
45. Slurpee flavor? Dr. Pepper

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New Scrapbook Products from 7 Gypsies

I just wanted to share these because they’re so stinkin’ cute:

7 Gypsies Calias stickers

7 Gypsies Calais paper pack

I love 7 Gypsies products. They are so unique; there is nothing else like them on the market. They always seem to be trendsetters, ahead of the curve, in the know. They know what we like before we even know we like it. My only frustration is that their stuff sells out too fast. There have been a number of times when I wanted something 7 Gypsies just came out with, and it’s already sold out everywhere, even online. Hmmm…are they astronomically popular or do they purposely produce/release just enough product to make us even more crazy for their stuff? Well, I don’t care, I just love it! Do you?

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10,000 Blog Hits: Time for a RAK!!

Back in April 2007, I did a RAK (Random Act of Kindness) when my blog received it’s 3,000th hit. Well, now we are approaching 10,000 so it’s time to do another one. Here’s how you play:

Whoever posts a comment closest to the time my blog receives it’s 10,000th hit will receive a little scrapbooking goodie from me. I think it will happen in the next 2 or 3 days. The comment can be on ANY post on this blog. Good luck!

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Scrapbook Crop #2: A Report

It’s been almost a week and I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep, LOL! I held my second scrapbooking crop last weekend. It was Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 10pm each day. I had an absolute blast! I know there are critics of crops and many people who say they just won’t go to one because they need to have all their stuff, they don’t like to pack for them, etc. But if you’ve never gone to one, you really should give it a try. The best thing to me is it’s like a mini-convention of scrapbookers and where else are you going to get that? Well, other than CKU et al, but not everyone can attend those events. To me, it’s not even really about how much scrapbooking I can get done at crops anymore. The pages I get done are just a bonus. It’s the networking, the scrap-chatting, the sharing of ideas, the sharing of excitement over this great hobby, looking at everyone’s pages and learning more about their lives, hearing the stories of their families, seeing their latest projects and learning new techniques. And invariably you find someone there who knows someone that you know (know what I mean?). I just love the whole ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ thing, don’t you? Anyway, there is just so much to a crop – it’s not ONLY about getting pages done!

This crop went very well, I thought. There were ladies coming and going at different times – I offered a Full Day and a Half Day option. That worked out well because everyone’s weekends are busy and this way, they could really work the crop into their schedule. One lady came for just a few hours while her daughter attended a birthday party nearby. Since she only paid the half day rate, she didn’t feel like she was being cheated of part of her fee. There were about 10-15 people there at any given point; there were 3 ladies that were there all day for all 3 days. Now that’s devotion! And many others who would’ve kept that schedule if they didn’t have other things going on.

One of the best things this time was that my LSS participated. I asked them if they could contribute anything for the goody bags and maybe some business cards. They came through with: 3 large items I used for end-of-the-day door prizes; (50) coupons for $5 off; (50) business cards; and tons of smaller items for hourly drawing prizes like mini album kits and embellishments. The grand prize was a $25 gift card to their store. I was so happy for the gal who won it – that was the best prize! I’m so amazed at their generosity and very grateful.

There was also a Creative Memories Consultant who attended for 2 days. She brought a bunch of her products to sell, and she even got some scrapbooking done. I was glad to make the connection with her and we have agreed to support each other in our consultant endeavors. She seems like a very smart businesswoman and I know I’ll learn a lot from her. I was happy that she sold some things and was able to have success from my crop. Gosh, there were many fun stories and projects, so many neat women I got to know or got to know better. There are such interesting lives being lived out there, and I love to learn about them. On top of that, I got to spend 3 days with my mom (who as always supported me through this), and with my good friend K whose table was up front so we got to talk and talk and talk.

As for the Memory Works part of it, that was also successful. I haven’t tallied it all exactly but I did make a nice little profit from items I sold at the crop, or from orders people made while there. Although it is hard (i.e. expensive) for me to have a ton of my products on hand, I did have a lot more things to show as samples or to sell this time, so that made a difference. The hard part is trying to predict which products will be popular and that shoppers will like. Scrapbooking products look nice on the internet, and even better in a catalog, but there is nothing better than seeing them in person. That’s what really convinces someone that they must have it! For instance, MW has a Crate Paper pack that looks very pretty in the catalog so I ordered it for myself. But when I got it in the mail I was like, WOW! The colors are SO pretty, the paper is SO thick, and the designs are SO fresh. It just blew me away. There is nothing like the real thing.

Many people were asking about the NEXT crop, so I will be working on that. The 2 hotels I would use are already booked throughout the summer. The first step is finding somewhere to hold the crop. I have orders coming in now to deliver (MW will ship orders directly to the customer but most of mine prefer to save on shipping costs by combining orders, then I deliver each one). I’m also hoping to get some scrapping done myself now. At the crop, I only finished one 2-page layout, and got everything done but the journaling on three more 2-page layouts. So I need to finish those. I’m also very excited about a new project I hope to start….that I learned about at the crop, of course! Three of the ladies had just returned from a CKU-Album and the project they were completing was an All About Me album designed by Becky Higgins. It’s absolutely beautiful, and so special. We took photos of all the layouts and made copies of her instructions, so K and I are hoping to create one for ourselves. We’re planning a couple Sundays together in July so we can work on it together. I hope all of your summer projects are just popping along!

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Skinny Cow, Scrapbooking Cow…..SMART Cow

Have you discovered Skinny Cow frozen treats? As someone who is on a perpetual diet but also loves her desert, I have been enjoying them much. In fact, at Costco yesterday I got a package of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches. Half the box has chocolate ice cream, the other half vanilla. Yummers! And I see on their website that they’ve added some scrapbooking-related things. They are even having a Queen of the Crop scrapbook layout contest right now (deadline to mail your entry: 7/31/07). See, they have caught on that 1 of 3 households has a scrapbooker. They also realize that the same women who love Skinny Cow might also be the same women who scrapbook. Smart cow!

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Scrapbook Fest: MemoryTrends in September 2007

It’s times like these when I wish I were some kind of scrapbook retailer that qualified for (and could afford to attend) all the scrapbooking trade shows, like CHA. Registration has opened for the MemoryTrends Conference and Expo which will be in Las Vegas this September. Here is a link to the conference brochure if you’re interested. The keynote speaker will be Stacy Julian, talking about the wider definition of scrapbooking. Lisa Bearnson will present “an exclusive report on the results of the 2007 Scrapbooking in America survey”. I just love surveys; although most of them are NOT truly statistically accurate, they do give you some idea of what the trends are and what’s going on with any given subject. I have so many theories and opinions about scrapbooking today, it will be interesting to see if my ideas match those of the Big Survey. Alas, since I won’t be at MemoryTrends, I’ll have to wait for it to be published somewhere and hope it doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars to access like one’s in the past have. One great thing that has happened with the advent of so many scrapbooking blogs, you can experience the trade shows through the attendees. They share photos, diaries, and product reviews – it’s ALMOST as good as being there. And cheaper. Can’t wait!

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Another LSS Bites the Dust :(

I was sad to receive an e-mail recently from one of my favorite stores, Gotta Crop in Lodi, CA. They are closing their doors on 6/23/07. So between now and then, they are having a liquidation sale and offering discounts on all purchases. The discounts increase as the closure gets closer. I’m just sad to see them go. I’ve visited their store several times over the years when I have been traveling in that part of the state. Every time a Local Scrapbook Store (LLS) closes, it makes me sad. If you are near to Lodi, go give the owners a hug from me and buy some of their stuff, k?

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Memory Works: Crops and Monthly Scrapbook Kits

If you’ve noticed that my posts have gotten rare lately, it’s because I’m planning another scrapbook crop. The first one I did this past May 12, which was an all-day Saturday event. It went over so well that several friends asked me to organize another one, and couldn’t we make it THREE days long this time?? You ask, I’ll deliver! The next event will be in about two weeks (June 22-24, 2007). We had such good luck with the hotel we used last time, that we’re holding it there again. So I’m just in Heaven over here, taking sign ups, planning meals, shopping for goody bag items, getting my Memory Works stuff ready, and praying that lot of people sign up (so far, pretty good!).

In other ‘happy me’ news, I got my first sign-up for the Memory Works monthly kit (it’s called MW Express Kit). Well, okay, it’s my MOM but that still counts! Last week I decided to send out MW catalogs to everyone who had purchased something from me, mostly at the last crop. Those Basic Grey chipboard file sets were a big hit! I included a handmade Thank You card, the catalog, and flyers for the June crop, the June MW monthly kit, and the Sneak Peak for the July kit. My mom saw the June kit and loved it. Here it is:

June MW Express

For $35, you get:
8 sheets of Crate Paper/Basic Grey paper
6 sheets of Prism textured cardstock
26 Scrapworks shimmer letters
6 velvet blossoms, 6 crystal brads, 2 metal tabs, some 7 Gypsies goodies, 4 yards of ribbon
1 chipboard accordian purse kit by 7 Gypsies
supplies to make 5 cards
(and so much more I can’t list it all)

She also compared what she’s receiving in her current kit with what MW’s has and said mine has more for the money. So she’s canceling her current kit and going with mine! I’m so stoked!

Here is the July Sneak Peek:

July MW Express Sneak Peek

I love that the kits are month to month with no commitment (as long as you cancel by the deadline, one week before they send the kits out). MW has been doing kits since Feb. 07 and I have loved them all. They have such good taste, and I appreciate how their Design Team posts ideas on the website for pages and altered items you can make with each kit.

One more piece of news: I’m so happy to see that my blog has rolled over 8,000 hits. When it passes 10,000 it will be time for another RAK! Stay tuned…

Tell me how things are going in your Scrap World – any crops or CKUs coming up? Any good buys lately? Tell me about it in Comments :)

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New Organizing Magazine & Lisa Bearnson

Finally, someone thought to create a magazine about organizing and home organization. Wouldn’t you know that Lisa Bearnson, our favorite lady from Creating Keepsakes magazine, is somehow involved? Two of my favorite things together: scrapbooking and organization. Click HERE to see the article I found!

Edited 6/11/07 to add:
So I e-mailed them over at the Organize Magazine website. I said how much I was looking forward to the magazine (being the organizational freak that I am). And that I was doubly excited because my favorite scrapbook gal, Lisa Bearnson, was involved. I received a quick response from Joyce Dorny, the Founder and Editor in Chief. She thanked me for writing and said that I “will LOVE the
Nov/Dec issue because Lisa is our FEATURE!!!”. She said some other nice things too. Whoo hoo, I’ll definitely be subscribing now!

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Scrapbook Organization: Store in Style Cubes

In this post, I included photos of my re-organized scrapbook area. Reader Crafter727 noticed the white storage cubes I have and asked about them – if they were the ones sold by Oriental Trading Company and how the quality is.

SIS Cube

The organizational cubes are sold in the Oriental Trading catalog. They are made by Crop In Style/Store In Style. However, I got mine one by one at Michaels using 40% and 50% off coupons and think that is the way to go. I just looked on Oriental Trading website and the plain cube sells for $28 plus shipping. At Mike’s with the coupon, I paid $15-18 and no shipping of course. As for the quality, it is very good, just make sure to line things up well and tighten the screws when you assemble them. Then they will be very sturdy. They also give you stabilizer brackets you can screw into the back to keep the entire unit safe from toppling over.. I recommend the cubes and plan to get more. Btw, Target sells similar cubes but the dimensions are different and no coupons, so they cost more. I’ve seen the Target cubes and feel they aren’t as good quality but others who have them say they are just as good at the Store in Style cubes.

Target Organizer Cube

I use the 1-Drawer Cube to store all my adhesives. I have the Drawer Divider inside. It’s perfect for all those boxes of sticky dots, vellum tape, and random glue sticks. I have one cube with a door where I put a bunch of mini albums and little projects I’ve made at CKUs. The Filer Cube has my non-themed paper by color. As you can see in the photo, I use the other cubes just plain or with the Inserts to store albums, projects in progress, page refills, etc. Thanks for posting all these great questions – you give me ideas what to write about!

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Scrapbook Organization: The ScrapRack

I purchased a ScrapRack about 3 years ago and really love it. It helped me to get organized in a way that was logical to me. This made me very happy because the system I had before this was not working. I used to keep my papers filed by subject in Scrapfolios (the 12×12 accordian folders with handles that you can get at Michaels).

Scrapfolio

My theme stickers and embellishments were first kept in a Creative Memories binder…

CM Binder

…then in “PSB’s” (Paper Sticker Binders) by Crop in Style. Themed ribbons, beads, metal, buttons, etc were kept in other separate places. The problem was when I went to choose items for a page, I was looking in 10 different places for what fit the theme I was working on. It would get very tiring and frustrating. I also had outgrown the capacity of my old system, with 3 paper takers and 3 PSBs bursting at the seams. It was time for a change…

Then one day I was at a Scrapbook Expo event and they were demonstrating this product called the ScrapRack and I fell in love! I knew on the spot it was right for me.

An Empty ScrapRack:
Empty ScrapRack

This is how it looks without any pages in it. It consists of a metal Base and 7 Spinders, which are like the spine in a 3-ring binder. The Spinders are attached to the Base with velcro and you can add, remove and configure them as you like. You can use the huge variety of 12×12 pages sold by ScrapRack or you can improvise. I purchased a kit which came with the ScrapRack and a variety of pages, and I’ve supplemented them with my old PSB pages (which I just moved right from the PSB to the SR) and with 12×12 page protectors for full sheets of paper.

The ScrapRack website is full of helpful information on how to best utilize it. There are organizational steps, category suggestions, room makeovers, testimonials, and FAQs. They have excellent customer service and are happy to answer any questions. They’ve really done a great job with their website.

This is how I’ve utilized my SR system:
– It’s on my desk right in front of me when I scrap, within easy reach.
– I have it divided into the categories that made the most sense to me, but you are of course free to make it your own. First, I have a kind of ‘through the year’ half which goes January through December with all the months, holidays and events. For example: New Years, Winter, Valentines, St Patricks Day, Spring, Easter, Mothers Day, Summer, July 4, etc.
– The other half is by topic in alphabetical order, for example: Birthday, Camping/Outdoors, Cowboy, Dog, Family, Graduation, Ocean, School, etc.

Here is a filled page showing how you can also use the ScrapRack to file your items by color:

Orange Page SR

I have lots of stuff and getting it all into the ScrapRack was not a quick process. I think it took about a week of evenings to gather things from their various places and get them into the pages. I took most things out of their packaging which helped them fit better into the pocket pages. The only paper I put in the ScrapRack was themed paper. So my cardstock and more generic patterned paper is elsewhere; otherwise, I would need another ScrapRack! What I love about this system is that everything from a given theme is all in one place. I just turn the pages til I get to that theme and everything I have is right in front of me. No more searching all those other places and taking 30 minutes just to see what I have. For instance, the other day I was working on an Easter page. I turned to the Spring/Easter section and found some cute Easter-themed paper, some 3-D bunny stickers, and a card of pastel self-adhesive ribbons. All I had to do then was get cardstock from the vertical holders on my bookshelf, and I was ready to scrap!

The only disadvantage to this system is that some would consider it pricey. I know I did, and asked for $$ for my birthday that year so I could afford it :). But when I considered how much I had invested in 3 PSBs, 3 Scrapfolios, and the other storage I could get rid of, it was more than worth the cost. I wish they could get the ScrapRack on QVC – then you could get a good deal for sure! As you can tell, I highly recommend this product (no, they are not paying me to say that, LOL). Feel free to ask me any questions you have about the ScrapRack.

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A Photo, A Memory, A Man…

Because of Memorial Day, there were some fantastic news shows on tv. I was watching something on Fox Channel this past weekend where they were interviewing Pearl Harbor survivors. As they spoke to these older gentlemen, who were recalling their horrific experiences, photos were being shown on the screen. As one recalled a good friend he lost in the bombing, they showed a photo of the friend taken sometime I assume while they were in Pearl Harbor because he was wearing a tan uniform and standing on a beach near the water. But I just loved this photo because, as I looked at it more closely, I noticed all these little details. He was a good-looking guy, with dark hair worn slicked back under his military cap. He was holding a cigarette down by his side (you know, back then smoking WAS cool). His belt was cinched in pretty tight which accentuated his muscular upper body, and he stood very straight, staring at the camera, as if to say, “Damn, I’m good and don’t I know it.” And it got me to thinking about how important photos are. Here, all these years later, I didn’t know this man whose photo they were showing on tv, but I “knew” him. I could tell so much about his personality, his looks, his character as a military man, his “way with the ladies” – all those things that his family probably adored about him and missed awfully much after he was killed.

Now, how can I make that meaningful to me today? I think I will try to remember how important it is to capture photos of people, of their being, of who they really are. Yes, zoo pictures and ocean pictures and birthday party pictures are good and important. But let’s try to capture “our” people too, okay? And even better than just a photo in a box, let’s keep scrapbooking them, journaling about them, and making them even more meaningful. I have lost all of my grandparents, and my father, and I only wish someone had captured their essence like this – in a scrapbook – while they were still here with us. Because now all I have is the mystery, the wondering, and the wishing that I could have known more about them. Let’s keep working to not let that happen to our kids or to the generations below us.

Sorry, I just get so emotional on Memorial Day, don’t I? But I do want to say “thank you” from the bottom of my heart to my Grandpa C (WWII) and Grandpa F (WWII and Korea). I wish I could know more of your stories. And thanks forever to my DH, who signed up for the Air Force DURING Desert Storm. Much like those who signed up after 9/11 – knowing they would be serving during wartime – he is the bravest of the brave.
(God Bless the USA!)

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Getting Your Scrapbooking Mojo Back

I didn’t scrapbook very much last year. There were a lot of reasons for that – I was working too much, I was busy with other things, I wasn’t going to crops because I was saving for a scrapbooking cruise, I was spending more time with my family, etc. But, truth be told, I had also run out of mojo. I started scrapbooking in 2002 and I really caught the bug pretty bad. I would scrap every chance I got, whether it was spending late nights at my desk, attending crops, or taking classes. I cropped at friends houses and went to retreats. I can’t say I had an awful lot of pages to show for all that time, but I was sure having fun. Looking back, I spent a lot of time socializing and shopping. And I spent too much time on certain techniques that, I feel now, really didn’t add that much to my pages. I think I got carried away, a bit caught up in what the magazines and tv shows were doing, what I was learning at CKUs, what I felt was expected of me as a “scrapbooker”.

But I have a new perspective now and my focus is back on where I think it should be: on the memories and the pictures. I’m now over the guilt of “sticking my husband with the kids” while I crop, and “spending money on supplies when I just went on a cruise”. I’ve become a consultant for a company with products that I absolutely love and am passionate about sharing with others. I COMPLETELY enjoyed organizing the crop a couple weeks ago. My stuff is organized again and I can enjoy the process without tripping over things. So, suffice it to say, I finally have my scrapbooking mojo back. I’m very happy and excited, because I truly missed it while it was gone. I think I was a little depressed without it. A big part of me was missing. I assume it’s why my house – and scrap area – got so disorganized. If you ever lose your scrap mojo, don’t worry – it will come back. Mine did.

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Where To Find Scrapbook Organization Items

I’ve done a few posts now regarding scrapbook organization and I truly thank you for all the nice comments and questions. I wanted to share links to some of the organizational items I’ve found very useful in my scrapbooking area:

Julie asked about the Iris project sorter, which is actually called the Scrapbook Chest by Iris.Iris sb chest

Becca/BS asked about how to sort all those beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous papers we have. This is what I use – Cropper Hopper Vertical Paper Holders. They are the best thing since peanut butter and banana sandwiches! They hold the paper much like a magazine holder stores magazines, so you can thumb through and pull out what you need without messing up the rest of the stack. I truly love these and think anything by Cropper Hopper is genius! CH Vertical System

Also for Becca – don’t we love ALL kinds of paper?? I recently reorganized this aspect of my house too. I have tons of gift bags, tissue paper, wrap, etc. It used to be in a large flat Rubbermaid container under the bed. But when my collection outgrew the box and I realized how hard it was to find anything, I moved it all to this. Target wire cubes It’s the wire cubes you can find at Target or Walmart for under $20. I have a couple plastic bins on top for mini-gift bags, bows and ribbons. It’s been a good system so far. I’ll post a photo of mine soon…
Edited: Here ’tis:
Target Wire Cubes

While I was writing this, I received an e-mail about another cool organization tool and this one you can take with you to crops! It’s the Catchall by Croppin Cutie and MarthasChoice.com has them on sale for $16 right now. catchall by croppin cutieI don’t have one, have never seen it til now, but boy it’s cute. Gotta love the pink! I think this would be great to use at crops or just keep on your desktop to keep all those tools and little pieces contained.

Feel free to ask any more scrapbooking organizational questions and I’ll be glad to help!

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WWYD If You Lost Your Scrapbooks?

There is a gal who frequents the CK Message Board who had some really bad luck recently. Her water heater burst while she was out of the house, and she came home to find her house flooded. Her scrapbooks were stored close to the floor and she lost several albums along with some supplies. And because Scrapbookers are the sweetest people on earth, her Scrap Friend on the board is organizing a project where we send her pre-done pages that she will slip into an album and send to this gal who lost her scrapbooks. Ladies who don’t have time to complete layouts by the May 30 deadline have generously offered to send on some scrapbook supplies. It’s so wonderful to see everyone pitching in to help. I know we can all identify with how heartbroken we’d be if this happened to us. I’m now looking for another way to store my scrapbooks…because they are currently on the bottom shelf against a wall that backs up to the water heater in the garage. It’s because I don’t have another shelf that can hold the weight of the scrapbooks, but I’m going to have to figure something out. I couldn’t bear to lose all the photos, memories and hard work that have gone into the books I’ve created. Toys, carpet, furniture, even scrapbook tools and supplies can be replaced, but not my scrapbooks. I hope our computer scrap-friend will be able to take a little solace when she receives the pre-done album, feels the love of people she’s never even met, and doesn’t feel AS overwhelmed with the recreation of her albums.

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A Scrapbook Crop for Mothers Day

This past weekend, I held my first ever crop! It was a lot of work, but SO FUN. I had hoped for about 20 scrapbookers to attend, but there ended up being only 11 of us. The good part of that is everyone had plenty of cropping space. There were round tables that normally seat 8 people (for dinner), and there were only 2 people per table. My mom had made name tags for everyone with a little clip art that was perfect – a scrapbooker saying “I Need Elbow Room!”. The crop was at a newer hotel and their service was excellent – they were just a pleasure to deal with. When not that many people were signing up for the crop, I was going to cancel it. But I called the hotel manager and told him my predicament…and he lowered the room rental price by $125 so we could still have the crop. Here was the menu: Donuts and Starbucks coffee for breakfast; foccaccia sandwiches with turkey or tri-tip, chips and iced tea for lunch; candy and cashews for snacks; pizza and salad for dinner; and brownies for desert. Yum! Everyone seemed happy with the food. I had planned to order pizza from one place, but it turned out that one of the scrappers’ sons owned a pizza place. So she called in the order, got us a great deal, and it was delivered (vs. me having to pick it up). She said her son would kill her if he found out we ordered pizza from anyplace else, LOL. Two of the gals made a Starbucks run in the afternoon for that needed pick me up. The crop went from 10am to 10pm, so we needed lots of energy. There were goodie bags for each person. And we drew door prizes every hour so each attendee won something. Then there were Challenges – for each one met, you got a ticket to another prize drawing. That was the best part I think, because it really motivated people to scrap a lot and to try new things. I, of course, didn’t get much scrapbooking done. It’s a lot of work to run a crop! I worked on a Daisy D’s class kit and made a little board book about my mom. It had pictures of her from our trip to Rome and it’s called, “Mama Mia!” I will post a photo when it’s done (and after I get her permission to show her photos to the world!). People saw me doing the kit, liked it, and I sold all the kits I had. It WAS a great deal – 2 board books, tons of 6×6 paper, ribbons, 2 sheets of letter stickers, 2 sheets of other stickers, and metal photo corners for $13. Will post a link to the kit later… Have you ever held a crop or are you thinking about it? Tell me about it in comments!

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Scrapbook Page Challenges for a Crop

I have a last minute request for you readers. I’m holding my first Memory Works crop this Saturday. I’m giving out prizes for those who participate in challenges. For example, the first one is to “create a layout using any of the sketches on the following page” (then I provide a sheet of sketches). Can you think of any more challenges I can use? Have you participated in any challenges at a crop – will you share please? I’m searching online but I hope you can help me too. TIA!

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