Author Archive

Martha Stewart at Michaels – An Early Review

As you probably know by now unless you live under a 12×12 patterned paper rock, Martha Stewart is introducing a line of scrapbooking and paper crafting products. It will be exclusive to Michaels Craft Stores for 1 year and is in partnership with EK Success. This has caused quite the uproar in the scrapbooking world, at least the one I live in. On every message board, at every crop, every scrapper, even the Michael’s employees are talking about it. But I guess that’s no surprise since they’ve been working like dogs reorganizing their stores to make room for Martha. Although Martha’s products won’t be officially introduced until later this month, many of the Mike’s stores have already started putting out the products. This is according to reports from scrapbookers on message boards I read, who are giving their early reviews.

And so far they are not great. I’m going to generalize here (and I know there are exceptions), but most comments I’ve heard are along these lines:
An 18×18 scrapbook is too big. You wouldn’t be able to lift it, hold it, or even open it on the coffee table. At $80 for the scrapbook and $2-3 per sheet of paper, who can afford it anyway? Maybe for an extra special wedding album…
Her decorating items are nice but her scrapbooking is too simple for my taste. Color reviews have been mixed: some likey, some don’t likey.
Her line is getting one or two separate aisles at Mike’s which takes space away from other products that are more beloved.
The word is that no coupons will be allowed EVER on Martha Stewart scrapbooking items. That irks many devoted Mike’s shoppers and leads them to wonder, “Why is she so special?” and “Ok, her stuff is going to be way more expensive”. (The only other items Michaels has refused coupons on were the expensive die cutting machines/accessories, the Sizzix and the Cricut). I also heard a rumor that Michaels employees can’t even use their discounts on her products.
Martha Stewart items have special aisle tags that are different from the entire store. I believe Martha’s tags are a tasteful creme color. Again, “what makes her so special?”
If she wants to be part of the scrapbooking world, why didn’t she introduce anything at CHA? (and why can’t I, an investigative blogger, find ANYTHING online that show pictures or gives price points of her products??).
Many still appear resentful of Martha Stewart over making us feel so imperfect during the 90s; her general condescending attitude; and her jail time.

I’m not saying I agree with any of these comments, I’m just reporting. I’ve also heard some positive things like:
Her scrapbooking products are beautiful and classy, and no more expensive than products at the local scrapbook stores.
Martha can do no wrong and is loved and respected by many.
She is a pro at organization so, if she has any scrapbooking organizational products, they will undoubtedly be good.

So, as you can see, this is quite the controversial issue in Scrap World! I for one am enjoying the ride. If nothing else, I like the attention it’s bringing to scrapbooking even if it’s fleeting. I’m sure there will be more to come as Michaels stores officially release her products, her contest winner is announced, and she does the week of scrapbooking on her tv show. And I will continue to enjoy hearing what everyone thinks, and sharing my own review when I finally get to see the Martha Stewart line for myself!

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We Have A Winner…

…and her name is Becca! She is the person who entered a Comment closest to the time that my blog rolled over to 3,000 hits. Whoo hoo, GO BECCA! She has been notified and will have a cute goodie coming her way. Thanks everyone who played!

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A Random Act of Kindness, Scrapbooking Style

On the CK Message Board, they do something called a RAK which stands for Random Act of Kindness. Basically, someone just feels like doing something nice so they have a quick contest or pick the “such and such number post”. Then they send that person a little scrapbooking goody. Sometimes people do a RAK to celebrate when they reach their 1,000 post, etc. So I’ve decided to do a RAK on my blog. I’m quickly approaching my 3,000th hit thanks to all of YOU! So I will send a little gift to the person who posts a comment closest to the time my blog receives it’s 3,000th hit. I hope that makes sense :) The only hint I’ll give you is that it should happen in the next 2 or 3 days. And remember, Memory Works just came out with their new catalog and it has all the cool stuff from CHA…I mean, LOTS of cool stuff. So the RAK gift just might be something from MW…

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Scrapbooking Organization: Mission Accomplished

At 3am today, I finished the challenge from CKMB to organize my scrap space…wahoo! Here are the BEFORE pics: BEFORE #1
BEFORE #2
BEFORE #3

And AFTER pics:
AFTER #1
AFTER #2
AFTER #3
100_2537

I still have some work to do, like organizing my massive quantities of photos (heritage, childhood, high school…to about 2003). I’m also looking into a bookshelf or some other way to store my finished scrapbooks in my living room. Right now, they take up a good chunk of my scrapping bookshelf. For the living room, I’m digging this IKEA Expedit bookshelf . We don’t have an Ikea around here but I think I can purchase it online…if I can get hubby to agree that it’s $200 well spent (wish me luck). Edited: Ummm, make that over $400 when you include shipping. May have to wait until I can travel to an IKEA, gulp.

Back to the scrapbook organizing! Other than what I mentioned in my last post, here are the top 10 things I did to organize my space:
1. Went through a huge stack of patterned papers that I bought or was given over the course of the last year and didn’t put away. I already had specific Cropper Hopper vertical holders or files for Chatterbox, Memories Complete, SEI, Doodlebug, KI Memories and Bo Bunny. In this process, I located enough Basic Grey, Daisy Ds and My Minds Eye (thanks to that Costco double pack) that I had to create folders for them too. They all look nice and comfy standing next to each other on my bookshelf.
2. Went through a huge stack of embellishments that needed were scattered everywhere. I got some of them put away in my ScrapRack, and put the rest in an Iris drawer for later filing. By cleaning out all my 12×12 Iris drawers, I now have someplace to store things until I have time to file them instead of piling them on my desk or leaving them in shopping bags all over the floor. I will try to file things right away, but if they do go in the Iris drawers, I only have so much space to fill before I have to stop and put things away.
3. Dusted! Wow, a lot of dust builds up when you don’t scrap for a year. Yuck….but nice now :)
4. Put all my computer-related software, blank photo CD’s, etc in one drawer of my desk. Sorted through two other desk drawers and made room for tools I don’t use often.
5. Got rid of two old wooden vegetable crates that I’d been using in the corner as a little shelf and moved my Iris “project sorter” into their place with the mini stereo and telephone on top.
6. Fixed my “letter E” collection that had fallen off the shelves when my husband was pounding on the garage wall awhile back.
7. Took most of the white plastic baskets out of my little shelf unit and filed that stuff elsewhere. They were not covered baskets and everything got too dusty. Moved all my mini-albums from various places around the room onto the shelf instead. Note to self: Dust once in a while.
8. Things that were sorted through and tossed or moved out of my scrap space: old scrapbook catalogs (do I HAVE to hold on to every single one?? Jeez.), past issues of scrap magazines, birthday gifts for others that I have been stashing under my desk, and my huge collection of photo frames.
9. Purged a stack of newspapers after cutting out and Archival Misting the obits or articles I wanted (someone close to me is quoted in the paper a lot).
10. Consolidated my page kits and project kits from crops, CKU, the cruise etc into one plastic crate which now sits under the table.

Oh, speaking of table, I added a table to my area and am thrilled with the amount of workspace I now have. I can even have a friend over to crop with me in there now! (DH will be happy we’re not all over the dining room table anymore, LOL).

I don’t think I have any great organizing advice above, except to say “Don’t wait as long as I did to purge stuff you won’t use or doesn’t belong in your scrap space”. From things I already had organized, I would highly recommend using cute jars to store your ribbon (decorative, cheap and practical), and utilize Cropper Hopper vertical storage for your papers. They even have 6×6 and 8×8 holders now. It’s so much easier to access your papers and not crush them than with horizontal storage.

I still have a little work to do on sorting embellishments and such, then onto the next project: photo and memorabilia organization!

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Scrap Space Organization: A Report

As I explained in my last post, I’m in the midst of doing a major re-org and clean up of my scrap space. This was due to a Challenge on the CK Message Board and I might win a little something if I complete it. But, as they say, the true reward will be in accomplishing this long-put-off goal. I was up last night (this morning??) until 1:30 working on it. Things always seem to go easier when everyone else is asleep, no one is coming over to step on the papers I have spread across the floor, etc.! I pulled out my past issues of scrapbook magazines (there was a HUGE stack – I’m a magazine junkie). I put them on CraigsList and already have one person interested. My mom just taught me how to list things on Ebay so maybe I will put them on there too. Those of you that use Ebay: Does that seem like a good idea & investment of my time, or do you think they won’t sell? Most are from 2005 to now. I also started filling my Store in Style filer drawer cube with patterned papers. Many of my PPs are filed by topic in my ScrapRack or by manufacturer in Cropper Hopper vertical storage. That leaves papers that are stripes, flowers, leaves, etc. and they are now being filed in the drawer with labeled file folders. Speaking of which, are electric labelers the best thing ever invented or what? I’m also pulling out a bunch of things as I go along that I’m donating to my kids. These are papers and stickers that I don’t see myself ever using, but I hate to throw anything away. So they go in a special drawer in my Iris container that the kids can reach easily themselves. I’ve starting buying Iris 12×12 clamshell boxes for storing projects and have moved some things into those. For example, I have an album to do about my dog so I put the blank album, the papers, and all the dog embellies in the Iris box. This is actually part of my organization problem – that I tend to jump around from project to project before I finish any of them. I either get bored or I get excited about a new project and can’t wait to get started. Maybe my resolution for 2008 will be to stop doing that. My other problem is that I buy too much. I hardly scrapped at all in 2006 yet I kept buying things because I hate to pass up a deal (like Michael’s 40% coupons or KI Memories huge paper packs at Tuesday Morning). As they say, i could scrap til I’m 90 and never run out of stuff. A whole new problem is that, since I started being a Memory Works consultant, I’ve gotten even more stuff. By that I mean a consultant binder, and some items to sell/use for samples. I need to keep them dust free and “ready to go” so the MW things have taken over my Crop In Style XXL rolling bag. Now what will I do when I want to attend a crop for fun? Who knows. Well, I’m free all day and have to finish organizing my scrap area by tonight, so here I go again…

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Organizing My Scrap Space

Okay, the time has come! I have tried for the last few weeks to organize my scrap area once and for all. Alas, I’ve made very little progress, just bits of organization here and there instead of the “overall” theme I was hoping for. Then today a fellow scrapper on the CK Message Board, “Groovy83″ aka Steph, posted a challenge to clean up your messy scraproom. Well, I always say that things happen for a reason so I’m going to heed the call. I have posted “Before” photos of my ultra-embarassing scrap area (it’s only 1/2 of an actual room) in the gallery. I will attempt to post them here too but you all know how computer challenged I am. If it doesn’t work, I’ll provide the link to the CK Gallery. (Edit: Couldn’t get the image in my blog, but here is the link. When you get there, you may have to scroll down to see the images).

Anyhow, Steph gave us til Friday at noon and since I’m busy Friday morning, I only have tonight and tomorrow. When you see the pics, you’ll understand why that doesn’t seem like enough time! Even if it’s not pure perfection by Friday, it will surely be a vast improvement. I will post photos of the “After” also. Some of the main things I need to do are: purge/sell back issues of scrapbook magazines; get non-scrapping stuff to it’s rightful home; file bunches of paper and embellies; and organize my photos. The last goal may have to wait until next week, but a girl can try. I’m getting new window treatments in this area soon so that is even more motivation to organize my scrap area. Wish me luck and pray I come out of that heap alive! TTFN

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What I Did Last Week?

Over on Ilse’s blog, she has begun a Sunday list of what she scrapbooked during the preceeding week. She challenged other’s to do the same on their blog, so here I go. But my little twist will be to list everything I did that’s scrapbook-related.

1. Scrapbooked Friday night and Saturday with my mom and a friend.
2. Tried Easy Patterns idea book for first time.
3. Got 8 pages (mostly) done for my European cruise album.
4. Bought scrapbooking organizational items at Target (a spinning desktop pen holder thingee) and Michaels (12×12 Iris clamshell case).
5. Organized my albums on bookshelves, separating blank albums from filled ones :)
6. Labeled large manilla envelopes for January through December 2007, to collect memorabilia. I’m in the process of re-doing the way I sort/store photos and memorabilia.

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SBR Book Review: Easy Patterns for Scrapbooking

I got “Easy Patterns for Scrapbooking” by Brenda Arnall after hearing so many people rave about it. It costs $14.95 on the Creating Keepsakes magazine website. I purchased mine at Michael’s using a 40% off coupon. I used this book for the first time last weekend and just wanted to share my thoughts.

First let me say, I was really in a rut. I felt like all my pages looked the same. You know, cardstock background, patterned paper accents (usually just one pattern, too scared to try more), some rub ons, a journaling box….blah! I’m a pretty basic scrapper, nothing too fancy, with my goal being lots of photos per page. But how to do that in a better way and change up my style a bit? Time for an idea book!

Here is how the Easy Patterns work: You choose a pattern, pick the designated supplies (e.g. 4 sheets of cardstock, 2 patterned papers, and ribbon tape), choose photos, and cut everything to the measurements provided in the instructions. Then you assemble the basic page, adding embellishments like the one’s used or choose your own. You end up with a variety of projects, say (2) 12×12 2-page layouts, 3 cards and a mini-book. A big bonus to me: You have hardly any scraps when you’re done.

Well, because of this book, I’m officially out of my rut! It became easy to try something new. The layouts are not complicated but you can jazz them up to your own liking. I actually mixed…gasp!…three patterned papers on ONE layout. Oh…my…gosh! After seeing several of my Easy Patterns layouts, both my mom and my friend ran right over to Mike’s and bought a copy! I liked how I didn’t really have to think, or overthink, about what I was doing. This is especially nice because I’m often so tired when the house is finally quiet and I have time to scrap. The only challenge was being careful to pick PPs that will work the same way as they do in the sample layouts. Like if a PP had flowers you cut out, yours should have some design you can cut out. And please follow the directions that say to write the letter in pencil on the back of each piece after you cut it.

I have two negative comments: 1) I wish there weren’t so many 8.5×11 layouts. The number of such layouts did not seem proportionate to the number of 8.5×11 (vs. 12×12) scrappers out there. In an ideal world, there would be an entire Easy Patterns book for 8.5×11 and another book for strictly 12×12. 2) For fancy scrappers who like to use lots of techniques or individual style, you might not like this book. But I think you should give it a chance…just put your own spin on em and embellish to your hearts content. I do recommend this book to any scrapper. If you want to try it out before you buy the book, an Easy Pattern is published each month in Creating Keepsakes magazine and there are many on their website that you can try for free.

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Martha, Martha, Martha!! (Martha Stewart, That Is)

Okay, first of all, please tell me you get the reference to The Brady Bunch? Which I still contend is one of the best television shows ever made. Much more wholesome and life affirming than Don Imus, don’t you think?

It’s not like I’m a huge fan of Martha Stewart’s but her scrapbooking products are coming to Michaels Craft Stores (or Mike’s, as we like to call it) and everyone seems quite twitterpated about it. I’m hearing reports that Mike’s all over the country have scrapping aisles that are being rearranged and cleared out for, among other new things, Martha Stewart’s scrapbooking line. Judging by the hits on my blog for this topic, I guess you want to hear more about it, so here goes…

From http://www.marthastewart.com:
“Martha has begun her search for five master scrapbookers. Enter Martha’s Scrapbooking Contest if you think your page is prize-worthy. You could win an amazing scrapbooking package, including HP products and a gift certificate to Michaels Stores. Enter now for your chance to win now!”

She will announce a winner every day during the week of May 7, 2007. Here is what you could win:
One HP Photosmart c7180 All-in-One
One HP Photosmart R837 Digital Camera
HP Premium Photo Paper (15 sheets, 8.5 x 11-inch)
One HP Custom 02 Series 150-Sheet Photo Value Pack
One Gift Certificate to Michaels Stores for $250

So, are ya gonna enter? There’s not a lot of time so get going! Entries accepted from April 10-27, 2007.

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Favorite Scrapbooking Celebrities

Would you feel especially validated if someone you really admire did the same thing you did…after YOU did it?? I just learned from her blog that Cathy Z (of Simple Scrapbooks fame) just bought the same stamps from Cats Life Press that I mentioned in my blog awhile back. I fully acknowledge that it was Ali Edwards (of Creating Keepsakes fame) who orignally discovered these and, dare I say, made them famous. But it still felt good to ‘share’ something with Cathy Z (does that make me a scrap-stalker?? LOL).

Speaking of Scrap Celebs, I think I would like to make a list of my all-time faves:

1. Lisa Bearnson: This woman has always been an idol and mentor to me. She and her husband took an exceptional risk years back and started a scrapbooking magazine out of their garage, at a time when scrapbooking was not very big and magazine publishers guaranteed it would fail. Lisa pushed forward anyway and, as you know, became an amazing success. Through it all, she has maintained her love of scrapbooking, telling her story, and preserving her family memories. Lisa seems to have a very tight-knit family and I know how much work that must take, especially with all the traveling she does. Lisa is the only scrap-celeb I’ve met AND gotten to know a little bit. I’ve seen her at several events, cruised with her in Europe, and watch her religiously on QVC. She is the most consistently nice and gracious person in the industry. I don’t think you can fake that kind of personality, you either is or your ain’t and she is. I also happen to love her scrapbooking taste and think my style is similar to hers (tho’ nowhere near as good!). As you can see, I chose Lisa Bearnson as my #1 favorite and it has as much to do with her as a person as it does with her scrapbooking talent.

2. Cathy Zielske: I always just refer to her as Cathy Z because a) everyone knows who that is, and b) I forget how to spell her last name! I’ve never met Cathy nor seen her in person but, in reading her blog every day, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about her. Again, just a genuinely nice person, a loving mom, and a talented person who shares her wealth (of talent and ideas) with the rest of us. Cathy is quirky, a little more on the wild side than me, raises her kids differently than me, etc yet I find so much in her that I relate to. I SO admire her scrapbooking style. She has given the definition of “simple” a whole new meaning. She captures the important stuff and tells a beautiful story while keeping the focus on the photos and the emotions. I feel like I’m always watching to see what Cathy will do next!

3. Ali Edwards: I love Ali Edwards’ style more than anything. She has really created her own non-duplicatable style from the very beginning. No one can touch her, not even close. To me, she has no fear. Ali just does what Ali wants and we all love it because it’s as close to perfect as it could be. I also admire her work ethic. When she is writing a book AND contributing to CK AND caring for an autistic son AND fundraising for autism research AND supporting her very politically successful husband AND looking so cute doing it, I wanna’ just give her a hug and ask, “When do YOU get to sleep, you poor baby??” But she makes it look effortless and fun, so how can you not admire that?

4. Becky Higgins: Super pretty, super mom, super scrapper, super traveler, and has super style. Becky is a woman who, again, shares her craft openly with others and that’s where she seems to get her joy. Her pages are simple and that girl is NOT just trying to sell product! (I feel that some famous scrappers just try to jam as much product on the page as they can and I go, “Huh? Where are the photos and journaling?”). I really enjoy scraplifting from Becky because she is event-oriented like I am, and she often includes lots of photos per page. Her idea books, Sketches and Sketches 2, are like the Bibles of my scrapbooking table. I refer to them again and again. I only wish I’d found those books as a newbie scrapper – they would’ve saved me lots of headaches and heartaches :) Becky seems to have disappeared a little bit lately from scrap world. I don’t read her blog so I don’t know what’s going on, but I hope all is okay with her. I’ve only met her briefly at a CKU class she was teaching but she was lovely. I imagine her to be a wonderful patient mom who is very supportive of her kids (have I gotten that feeling through reading her journaling all these years?). She also recognizes the importance of families, traditions, and passing this all on to your kids.

I could go on and on. There are so many admirable women (and men) in the scrapbooking world to look up to. Who are your favorites and why? Please share in a Comment or I challenge you to write about your heroes on your blog, and share the link in Comments. I’m really curious who you all look up to.

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More ‘Martha Stewart at Michaels’ News…

On the CKMB, a member said she just went to a taping of the Martha Stewart show. Martha apparently said that her line of scrapbook-related products will be in Michaels stores beginning April 29th, 2007. Martha also said there will be a scrapbooking contest announced next week involving submitting your favorite layout image to her website in May. This post led to a discussion, and others began sharing information about ‘Martha at Mike’s”. Apparently, there have been sightings at various Mike’s around the country of room being made in the scrapbook aisles for her products, and even some signage. The other rumor was that one of her products will be an 18×18 scrapbook! Wowza, that’s fyuge-ous! How do all you scrappers feel about that?!? Seems pretty unwieldy to show off something that big, but it would be a blast to fill those pages…at least for someone like me who takes massive quantities of photos and insists on scrapbooking about 80% of them. The flyer at Mike’s referenced Martha Stewart Paper Crafts and it sounds like there will be party supplies and other paper items. The other news I’ve heard is there will be organizational products and/or scrapbook storage. Well, color me anxiously awaiting…

Update: I also hear that Martha will start using her products on her show starting May 7th. Scrapbook Products will include: fabric, post, expandable, albums 12 x 12, 8 1/2 x 11, AND 18 x 18 ($79.95, yikes). Also, photo boxes and 12×12 paper boxes that coordinate with her scrapbook supplies. Then there’s the scissors, stamps, paper trimmer, punches, glitter, pens, a geneology kit, and ribbons that will coordinate with gift wrapping paper and scrap products. And finally: birthday kits for kids, i.e. paper crafts for cups, plates, gift bags, decorations, invitations AND some labels, recipe cards, etc you can use for homemade baked goods as gifts (I’ve seen her do this on her show a lot; wonderful and thoughtful idea). Mind you, I’m NOT in the industry so I don’t know for sure if any of this is true…I’m just wrangling all the rumors and adding to my own anticipation, LOL.

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Joys of Scrapbooking, Teaching and Starting Small

I held my first little scrapbook event this past weekend. Everyone was finally healthy so I headed down to my friend J’s house. She had invited some other preschool mom’s to her house for scrapbooking. Although the initial interest had been about 12 ladies, there was a much smaller turn out – 1 on Friday night and 2 on Saturday (it was the beginning of Spring Break and a lot of them had travel plans). One of the ladies was a very talented scrapper with a gorgeous book that I got a lot of ideas from. She was also a Basic Grey and Daisy D’s freak like me. The best part was that I got to teach the other 2 ladies to scrapbook for the first time! That was so amazingly fun. Everyone I’ve scrapped with before already knows how so this was my first chance to share my knowledge and my love for scrapbooking! As for Memory Works, everyone loved the products and I did make some sales. I also sold some other items I had collected so I’d have something on hand for the “newbies” – some albums, adhesives, page kits, etc. The silver lining of having such a low turnout was that I got to work on MY scrapbooking. I got 8 more pages done (well, without journaling) for my scrapbook cruise album. I’d forgotten to take my holder of Bazzill cardstock so I used just the Basic Grey solids as backgrounds (had to improvise!) with BG patterned paper as accents. My process for this album – because it’s so extensive – is to complete it in 3 steps. 1. Crop the photos, ink all the edges and get them down onto pages which are usually Bazzill background with BG patterned paper accents. I pre-plan how long the journaling will be and insert a Bazzill journaling box with inked edges where needed with repositionable adhesive. 2. Sit at the computer periodically and knock out all that journaling! 3. When it’s all done, I’ll go back and add extra embellishments like ribbon and scroll rub-ons. I have all the stuff so as I scrap, I kind of have in mind where I’ll add things. This is a huge project, so it’s daunting sometimes, but I’m having so much fun doing it. I’m reliving the memories of the cruise as I go along. Well, I’m glad to have my first event out of the way because I was nervous. Maybe starting small was a blessing! I’m still planning my NSB event for May 5 and this was a good practice run. Hope you had a fun weekend that included scrapping too :)

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What’s Oprah Got Against Scrapbooking?

Now that Oprah is back from her Spring Break and has new shows on again, it got me to thinking: Why hasn’t Oprah ever done an entire show on scrapbooking? Unless I’ve missed something during all these years as a loyal Oprah viewer, the only scrap-related thing ever was when Lisa Bearnson was on for a hot minute during a show about women entrepreneurs (I never saw this episode, I just heard about it – anyone got the low down?). So, I just don’t get it. The Oprah show’s main demographic is probably identical to the main scrapbooking demographic: women age 30 to 50, married with kids. Oprah is known for having shows about the latest, greatest, most popular thing – the “what is everyone doing or talking about?” kind of topics. Well, American women are scrapbooking, girlfriend!!! I have e-mailed Oprah myself with this fabulous show idea – TWICE – and nada, nothing. It’s just so bizarre. What is her resistance to scrapbooking? Is Ms. Winfrey afraid she will get a paper cut when she helps with the demo? Does she have something against people from Utah? Is she waiting until scrapbooking becomes “big”? Well, now is the time! The last scrappin’ statistics I heard went something like this: Every third household has a scrapbooker, and it is now a $3 billion industry. Scrapbooking far surpasses any other craft hobby in popularity and sales. I just wish Oprah would do a scrapbooking show and give this fabulous hobby/art it’s proper due – don’t you???

Edit: Here is a correction/addition to my scrap stats above. It’s quoted from Craftrends News Headlines: “The 2006 Craft & Hobby Association Attitude & Usage Study, released at the January trade show, reveals that the U.S. craft and hobby industry achieved $30.2 billion in annual retail sales, with 57 percent of U.S. households (62 million) participating in crafts last year. Annual average spending per household is $476.”

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NSBR: Mini Book Review

An update on an earlier post:
I finished the Jodi Picoult book, Keeping Faith. It’s about a little girl (coincidentally named Faith) who, although a non-practicing Jew, starts to recite Bible passages, heal others and develops stigmata. Doesn’t Ms. Picoult come up with the most fascinating topics to write about? This book pulled me in right away and I couldn’t put it down. There are several subplots, including an unusual love story, that kept me very interested and wondering what would happen next. This book has some interesting things to say about “today’s media”, about how child custody is decided in today’s courthouses, and about mother/child vs. father/child relationships. The best part to me was trying to decipher how the mother felt about what was happening to Faith – did she believe her or just believe in her? It reminded me of how I think parents of murderers or other criminals must feel: no matter what happens, no matter what others think, that is still MY child. Wow, heavy stuff. I highly recommend this book as both an entertaining and thought-provoking read. Now I’m reading this bizarre book The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen. It’s probably too naughty for me to give a review of so, just trust me, check it out.

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Favorite Quotes About Scrapbooking

On the CKMB, many of us have a little signature line that contains our name, our website/blog, a Glitter Name, an icon (or many!), or a funny quote. This one from Brightsy cracked me up:

“Some folks say I have a short attention span, but they just….Ohhh look, sparklies!”

Isn’t that adorable and funny? And it got me to thinking about funny or cute quotes about scrapbooking that I’ve seen over the years, on tee shirts and such. So I went a-searchin’ and here are some quotes I found:

“Scrapbooking fills my days – not to mention my living room, bedroom and closets!” ~Author Unknown

“Blessed are the children of scrapbookers, for they shall inherit the scrapbooks.” ~Author Unknown

“I scrapbook therefore I am – broke.” ~Author Unknown

“I could keep on scrappin’
or I could go to bed,
but then what would I do
with all these layouts in my head?”
~Author Unknown, “My Addiction”

“Just as pieces stitched together in a quilt warm our bodies, scrapbooks bind together memories to warm our hearts.” ~Author Unknown

“My grandmother made me a scrapbook because I was once too young to remember; I am making scrapbooks for my family because one day I may be too old to remember.” ~Author Unknown

“When life gives you scraps, make something with them.” ~Author Unknown

“Keep some souvenirs of your past, or how will you ever prove it wasn’t all a dream?” ~Ashleigh Brilliant

“We gather up pictures and bits of our past
and scrapbook them into a gift that will last.”
~Kimberly Rinehart, “Scrapbooker’s Verse”

“Scrapbooking isn’t about scraps of paper and photos. Scrapbooking is about scraps of life – yours and those special to you.” ~Rebecca Sower

“To crop or not to crop, that is the question.” ~Author Unknown

“Scrapbooking is cheaper than a therapist.” ~Author Unknown

“My husband lets me have all the scrapbooking supplies I can hide.” ~Author Unknown

“The album we’ve made is much more than a book.
It’s worth even more than the time that it took.”
~Kimberly Rinehart, “Scrapbooker’s Verse”

“A true scrapbook addict is one who stages photographs to match paper she likes.” ~Author Unknown

[Mama] follows us around
hoping we’ll sneeze
So she can have the tissue
“For my scrapbook please.”
~Toni Sorenson Brown, “She’s Out of Control”

“And I’ll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
With the photographs there and the moths.”
— Author:Leonard Cohen

“I’ve spent most of my money scrapbooking and eating out. the rest I’ve pretty much wasted.”– Author:-unknown

“Mess with my scrapbook stuff I’ll punch your eyelets out!” — Author:?

“Perfection is the enemy of completion.” — Author:Bird Dunn

Do you have any favorite scrapbooking quotes to share?

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Martha Stewart Products at Michaels Stores

The Life magazine circular in my newspaper this week had a small feature on Martha Stewart. It said that “She’ll debut a line of craft products – including paper, scrapbooking, and storage items – at Michaels Stores this spring.” I tried to research more about this but I couldn’t find the products on her website. I did find an old Craftrends article from April 2006 that she was partnering with EK Success. As you know, EK Success is one of the top producers of scrapbooking and papercrafting products. Anyway, I can’t wait to see her stuff. I’ve always liked her furniture and home products. Although I don’t own a lot of her things, I have always looked to her for home decor ideas. She uses a lot of the colors and color combos that I like. One of the favorite inspirations I got from her is the use of clean white furniture and white moldings with deep pastel colored walls. For example, my bedroom has an ocean theme. The door moldings and baseboards are white as is some of the furniture. The walls are painted an ocean blue/green color that looks wicked cool against the white. I just love it. Hey, I should try to translate that to a scrapbook layout! Well, I look forward to seeing Martha’s scrapbook products and, like someone on the CKMB said, we can always use our 40% off coupons if her stuff is pricey! The word is that her products will be at Michaels Stores starting this April. My Mike’s is always slow to get new things, so please let me know if you see any “Martha” stuff at your Mike’s, k?

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Youngplay Memories Scrapbook Store

Yay! I finally got to go yesterday. This is the huge super-scrapbook store I’ve talked about before. It’s in Tracy, CA about 10 minutes off the I-5, I-205 and the I-580 (they kind of form a triangle with the store in the middle). This store has over 20,000 square feet of scrapbooking and beading supplies, a huge crop area upstairs, and a latte stand.

I got there about 11:30 am and planned to stay for an hour (yeah, right!). I started in the back of the store which, actually, is where a lot of the good stuff was. They had the usual wall of Bazzill, and their Basic Grey, Bohemia and misc. patterned paper back there. I of course found the Clearance table and had a ball. There was quite a bit to choose from but like most clearance areas, it was disorganized and difficult to wade through. But I did get a bunch of Daisy D punch outs and cardstock stickers, and several sheets of American Crafts letter stickers that I’m using throughout a vacation album. And about 30 Wild Asparagus die cuts (they were 75% off, or $.15 to $.25 each). When the nice lady rang me up, she said I got $11 worth of WA die cuts for $3. For some reason, I never bought the WA kit on QVC or anything, but I do have a lot of their papers. Was glad I got the die cuts to go with them. The bead section, also in the back, appeared to be under construction. Although I also make beaded jewelry, my mission that day was scrapbooking so I moved on.

I was very impressed with their huge sections on boys, girls, babies, sports and birthdays. And the travel section! It just went on and on and on. There were several sets of stickers, papers and die cuts where it appeared they had all 50 states along with some other countries. I was surprised they didn’t have more wedding items and the album selection was small. But they had all the latest and greatest stuff, a nice section of alterable items (I got a large ‘craft’ letter of my first initial to alter), and MANY samples around the store of pages and projects. The entire front wall was covered with project kits for 2-page layouts. They were very cute and very product-heavy but, at $18, too expensive for me. I enjoyed looking at them for ideas though. Unfortunately, the latte shop was powered down so the coffee I’d been waiting for all morning was not to be :( Maybe they only have it going during crops (?). I also couldn’t find any magazines and when I asked at check-out, she said they don’t carry them because they are not good sellers. I said, “I guess everyone already subscribes, huh?” and she said, “Yes, the people who come here are serious scrappers and they already get the one’s they want”. Also very few idea books. The only recent one I saw was Ali Edwards’ A Designer’s Eye for Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper. This would probably not be disappointing for anyone but me, I guess.

I finally got some Bazzill Bling (a sheet each of purple and blue), several Tres Jolie journaling blocks from My Mind’s Eye, and some beautiful embossed paper I’d never seen before called Letter Press from Autumn Leaves. I think my favorite purchases were this, this, this and this. It was very hard NOT to buy the Fancy Pants 12×12 acrylic stamps called Bella Brush and Pollen Dust. They are even more Heavenly in person than on the website! I had to tell myself, “Ok, put them down, back slowly away. They are $30 and you can’t afford them”. I did not leave without some scrumptious stamps however…got the Heidi Swapp clear stamp journaling stamps called love and – my favoritest purchase of the day – KI Memories date stamps called Icons – Calendar. I got my mom a few things towards her Christmas present, and some Heidi Swapp Bling crown stickers for my friend K. She’s ‘the queen of everything’ but going through some hard times right now. I sent them off to her today inside a handmade card (made from a Becky Higgins sketch, really cute, I should’ve taken a photo to post).

So…1.5 hours later (!) and $93.30 on the Visa (!!!), I forced myself to leave. Please don’t think I normally spend that kind of dough…I had a recent windfall and had planned for this trip :) I meant to sneak upstairs and take a peak at the scrap area, but I forgot until I was on the highway. Well, I’ll check it out next time…because there WILL be a next time, I’m sure. I also got some great deals at Old Navy and Walmart on the way home, so it was an entirely successful trip.

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I’m the Tagger This Time!

I enjoyed the Tag You’re It! last time, especially reading everyone else’s responses. I saw another one on Scrap My World and I wanna’ do it even though she didn’t tag me :)

I have to share 5 quirky things about me. Here goes…

1. I do not eat red meat. Please don’t give me credit for anything like loving cows too much. It’s just disgusting, bloody and greasy. (I probably just made you not want to eat it either, huh?)

2. I am afraid of the dark. I grew up in a bad neighborhood where dark meant shots fired, helicopters shining lights in my bedroom window, and constant fear. I will NEVER live that way again, nor will my children.

3. I am physically addicted to Starbucks. I try to stop and I honest to goodness can’t. My order is quirky too: Venti sugar free vanilla triple breve latte. Sometimes I shake it up and have sugar free hazelnut or dolce. Is it the caffeine rush or the taste??? BOTH!

4. Like Tanja, I’m not into labels or designer clothing, handbags, etc. I buy my clothes at Target, Walmart, JC Penney’s, and Old Navy. I only have so much disposable income and my priorities are scrapbooking and Starbucks.

5. I believe that kids should be kids while they can and, therefore, don’t allow my kids to do every activity, sport or club they want. I think what my kids can learn during our limited “family time” is worth 10x’s more than a coach or instructor can teach them. Unfortunately, this belief makes me “quirky” or “wierd” or “mean” in the eyes of most other parents I know.

Okay, now it’s your turn! I’m tagging Karen, Leslie, and Scrappy Cat.

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Pleasanton Scrapbook Expo

A company called Davis Promotions hosts Scrapbook Expo events in about a dozen cities throughout the year. (Thank you Leslie – I just did my first link!). I’ve been to the one in San Jose, CA twice and the one in Pleasanton, CA twice. This year was my third time at Pleasanton. There are classes taught by various vendors which you pay for and attend ala carte. Then there is a huge building with all of the vendor booths where you can do make-and-takes, see new products, and SHOP! It used to go for 3 days – now it is 2 days – and there are crops both nights you can attend (for a fee). The crops have games and contests so you don’t really get much scrapping done, but it’s a great place to meet scrappers from your area of the country. I’ve only gone “all out” and taken classes/attended crops one time. My mom and I shared a nearby hotel room and basically lived at the Expo for 3 days. It was a blast. Cost wise, I think it’s probably pretty similar to the cost of a CKU (Creating Keepsakes University) or CKC (Creating Keepsakes Convention). The atmosphere, to me, is just more casual than those events and more friendly to a beginner scrapbooker. Here is the experience I had this year…

I arrived at the Alameda County Fairgrounds at around 11:30 am and found parking pretty easily. The event started at 10 am and people were already leaving so parking spaces were opening up nicely. It cost $8 to park on the fairgrounds or you could park for free if you wanted to walk quite a ways. Many people that were attending classes and crops had their rolling or carry totes, so I can’t imagine them wanting to walk very far. I also saw a lot of mom’s with full size strollers, which hadn’t been allowed in the past. Here is the new rule, as copied from their website: “We can not allow Large or Rolling Bags on the show floor. Small umbrella strollers are allowed on the show floor (infants unable to sit-up will be allowed in other small single seat strollers). This is to keep our aisles clear and allow space for all guests to walk the floor.” I was sorry to see they had changed the rule from umbrella stroller only and now allowed larger strollers. I agreed with the old rule because the floor of the expo gets VERY crowded. It’s not really fair that we all have to move around the large strollers. And I say that as a mom who REALLY REALLY wanted to attend several expo’s when my kiddos were that little and I had to miss them because I couldn’t find a babysitter and my child/ren weren’t big enough to sit in an umbrella stroller. I honestly think everyone should be considerate of others and if you can’t take your child in an umbrella stroller, don’t go (please).

I paid my $8, got my wristband on, was checked in at the door, and entered scrapbooker heaven! First stop was the restrooms (which were large; about a 3 minute wait :). I only had 2 hours to spend, so I got right to browsing the booths. It was not as crowded as in years past and I was able to finally do some make-n-takes. In the past, there were long lines for the M&Ts that I never felt like waiting in (hey, you miss out on too much shopping time that way). But I was able to do 3 M&Ts – a 2-page 12×12 layout using tan cardstock with black lasercut designs and a Family 2007 scene ($4); a 2-page 12×12 beach themed layout with glitter ($2); and a 1-page 12×12 layout called “The Scene of the Crime” ($2) which you can use for pictures of your kids, husband or dog doing something naughty! When I figure out how to post photos of them, I will.

If I’m remembering past Expo’s correctly, the M&Ts were more expensive this time. But it was fun to do them and nice to give my feet a rest from all the walking. As for the shopping, I had no complaints. I didn’t buy nearly as much as I have in the past because of my own budget, not because there wasn’t plenty I wanted! I did mean to go back to the Creative Memories booth and pick up another Power Sort Box for photos (I’ve spoken of my love for them in the past). I saw one, didn’t want to carry it around, said I would go back, then ran out of time. Oh well, they’re easy enough to get from a Creative Memories Consultant around here. I also had 2 packs of some new Basic Grey in my hands – Stella Ruby and Scarlet’s Letter. Sooooo pretty and marked down from $20 to $16…but the line was long and I’m obviously NOT a long-line-waiter. I can get them from Memory Works for that price anyhoo. There’s just something about instant gratification that we all love, isn’t there? But I’m happy with my purchases. I’ve been wanting to try Tombow adhesives since hearing them constantly raved about on the Creating Keepsakes message board. I’ve been a Hermafix tab girl for a long time, so I’m curious to try something new. I love the pink t-shirt I got that says, “You better be nice, or I will crop you out of my scrapbooks”. Oh! And all the brads I got…at one booth you could fill up a cup with eyelets, brads, beads etc. for $7 for a small cup. There were two larger sizes but I forget the prices (maybe $14 and $20 or something?). The Daisy D’s Modern Romance paper pack is so gorgeous I can’t wait to make something with it.

I had to leave at 1:30 to meet a friend for lunch nearby, at Fernandos’ Mexican Restaurant. There are many restaurants, hotels and stores near the Expo so you will never be at a loss if you decide to go off-site for eating, lodging or shopping. After lunch, we walked around shopping and got some coffee before we each hit the road for long drives home. All in all, a very “Pleasant” day in Pleasanton.

I will probably go to the San Jose event this year too (August 10/11), but it appears they have moved it to the nearby city of Santa Clara, CA. I think Scrapbook Expo’s are great events and highly encourage you to go if you can.

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Old/New Scrapping Friends

So I started a new part-time job this week. One of my co-workers was showing me around and introducing me to everyone. You know how it is when you’re new…I was nervous and wondering if I was ever going to feel at home here. Before my recent stint as a SAHM, I was with one company for 12 years. I knew everyone and everything, which is a nice feeling to have, isn’t it? Starting over is hard and I was really dreading it, though everyone has been super cool so far. We enter an office to meet yet another person, when I realize…hey, I know her! This gal “D” is a scrapbooking friend. I didn’t remember that she worked here, although I must have been told at some point.

Anyway, D was in the group I went to CKU San Jose with back in 2005. I was thankful for the ‘small world’ we live in, and we had a good laugh telling my co-worker about our CKU experience. There were 6 of us in our ‘dorm’ and we participated in a lot of the fun stuff that goes along with CKU’s. We called our group ‘Lisa Bearnson’s 7 Little Scrappers’ and it was a play on the 7 Little Dwarfs. One of the ladies’ daughters made up a scrapbooking song to the tune of “Hi Ho, Hi Ho”. I’ll try to find the lyrics…it was very clever. Believe it or not, we got chosen as one of the top 3 submissions and performed our skit/song at CKU in front of all those scrappers. We had little dwarf outfits consisting of cloth triangular shaped hats that folded down…you know, dwarf hats. And we each had an apron that had our dwarf name – Croppy, Scrappy, etc. I was Punchy and I sewed little paper punches to my apron with polka dot ribbon. It was so fun! We just laughed our heads off the entire time. The creative gals in my group created a centerpiece with a bucket of apples and mirrors with some clever saying about ‘the fairest of them all’ or something. I can’t take any credit for all of this. I was just along for the ride and I’m so glad they included me.

Anyway, it was great to see D again and know that we’ll be working together. If I need a ‘scrap chat’, I can go visit her on my break. And I was able to invite her to the National Scrapbook Day event I’m trying to arrange. Scrapbooking is so widespread, I’m sure I’ll find other new co-workers who scrap too. It’s like a nice little bonding moment when you find others with the sickness, isn’t it?

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