Archive of ‘Memory Works’ category

Cropper Hopper Organization at Tuesday Morning

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Made my monthly trip to The Big City and here is what I found at Tuesday Morning…

There were a lot of ANNA GRIFFIN packs – huge ones with 12×12 paper and tons of embellies to mini album kits.

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Here were some fun EK SUCCESS punches that were very tempting (but I resisted…can you?). These ones are a pacifier, arrow, and speech bubble. There were a few other shapes, too.

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For me, this is where I hit the motherlode….CROPPER HOPPER STORAGE !!! I had always wanting these when they first came out because I love vertical bookshelf storage for my scrappy stuff. I own stock in CH VERTICAL PAPER HOLDERS, ya know. But these items were out of my budget (because I am super cheap, yeah).

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But I picked up the 2-drawer/4-pocket binder ($8.99) which I plan to use to organize my card-making supplies. I don’t have a ton but right now they’re in some Iris drawers and not very well organized. The 3×3 embellishment drawer ($2.99) will be the perfect way to organize my Mike’s stamps finally! I’m really excited about that one. They’ve also been stacked in an Iris drawer…til now, LOL!

Here you can see the retail prices, and what a great deal Tuesday Morning has on them…

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Here is what the inside of the pocket binder looks like.

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When I get some schtuff inside my new storage, I’ll post pics and see what you think. Have you found any good deals at TM lately?

PS: Stay tuned for the next episode of Shopaholic Obsession….er, I mean….Scrapbook Obsession….when I’ll show you what’s new at Mike’s and what I picked up there….

Getting Back Into the Memory Works Game

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I’m going to write a longer post about this later but it’s midnight and I can’t sleep so thought I’d just write up the short version. I’ve been mulling it over for the last week or so (listen to me, like it’s some huge-amic decision that will affect the free world!)…and I’ve decided to kind of reactivate myself as a Memory Works Consultant. I’ve been with the company for about 2 years, I think, and was having a lot of MW fun until last fall when I had to take a chill with it. But I’ve decided to make a comeback, LOL!

I cashed in an old $15 product credit and bought 5 copies of the new Memory Works Catalog, which came today. I’ve been looking through it tonight and making a mental list of all the scrap I dream of buying. With the same order, I got a couple things from ‘Summer Soiree’ by Fancy Pants that I desired way back HERE. I got the “Exclusive Kit” THEME SET

…and the RUB-ONS.

I so very much wanted the NOTEBOOK JOURNAL

…but couldn’t afford it at this particular juncture. Oh God, I am such a freak for cute little journaling notebooks like that. I want, I want, I want! (Don’t I sound like that annoying girl in Willie Wonka?)

I just mass e-mailed all my old customers and crop friends to let them know I’m back in action, and to offer a free catalog to the first 5 who get back to me. I already heard back from my friend “D”, who I’m sure is up Facebooking. I know the economy royally sucks right now, so I’m not expecting to do the amount of business that I used to. But I’m brainstorming ideas and hoping to have at least a little success.

Anyhoo, that’s what’s on my mind late on a Friday night…Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Basic Grey ‘Granola’ and ‘Urban Prairie’

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You’ve probably heard me say a million or so times how much I love BASIC GREY. And I recently did THIS POST about their Granola and Urban Prairie paper pads being carried exclusively at Michaels. Well, after reading THIS post at 2peas and other MB posts, I caved and bought them both. I’ve actually been scrapping a lot lately (vs. my usual ‘scrapbook supply collecting,’ an activity I’ve perfected), so I didn’t feel too awful guilty about buying yet more patterned paper. Yeah, that’s me, the PAPER SLUT

So, I bought the BG paper pads the other day and love them both; one has such a pretty color combo (pink, black, white, yellow and teal) and the other will be great for men/boy layouts (blues and browns). They retail for $20; I used my 50% off coupon for one and paid full price for the other (gawd, when was the last time I paid full price for a big ticket item….nopers, can’t remember! but there were only 3 of each and I couldn’t bear to miss out). Of course, this week all Mike’s paper pads went on sale for 40% off. I heard through the scrapvine that you could take your receipt in and get reimbursed for the difference. That’s like, what?, 8 bucks. Yep, worth it. I went in to Mike’s tonight with THIS WEEK’s 50% off coupon, browsed the store, and ended up with some Archival Mist. You know, one of those “you need it and it’s very expensive, so a coupon is great, but you’d rather spend it on something more sexy” kind of item. I also got some ‘sexy’ ceramic glue to repair my little green ceramic cross that broke (that’s some kinda really bad sign, right?). I looked at the Cricut cartridges that are on such a great sale this week, but didn’t want any of them badly enough to justify the bucks.

At the register, I asked about the refund and the manager told me, yes, they would refund the difference but I needed to bring the item in with me. Which I hadn’t. She was very apologetic and said she was sorry I had to come all the way back, and I’m like, “Oh yeah, I really hate coming here, it’s my least favorite store in the whole world. Oh…No….Please don’t make me come back again!” and she and checker boy (yes, a boy!) laughed at me. Just another positive customer service exchange for me…or turning lemons into lemonade, however you wanna look at it.

One last story before I go….I delivered a couple orders tonight after work (I’m a consultant for MEMORY WORKS). One delivery entailed dropping something at the office of my friend *J*, who happens to be a doctor. She had ordered a Basic Grey MAGNETIC MAT.

Her office was just closing as I arrived…I assume it was one of her nurses that was putting down the window blinds, etc. So I start handing her this kinda large, black item with a metal ruler, all encased in hard plastic and she kind of backs up and is hesitant to grab it. Then she slowly reached for it, turned it all around and studying it like I had just handed her an instrument of medieval torture or something. I said, “This is for *J*. She ordered it from me,” and she goes, “Uhhhhh…..okaaayyyy.” Gosh I wish I knew what verbage was running through her mind! Suffice to say, she couldn’t have been a scrapbooker and I’m sure she thought I was some crazy lady. It all made me wonder if *J* has not come out of he closet and told her employees that she’s a {GASP!} scrapbooker? I just thought that was a funny little moment. I live in this scrapper vacuum and think everyone ‘gets’ it, because I spend most of my online and IRL time with friends who are scrappers (um, yeah, sad but true). Sometimes I need to be reminded that the entire cotton pickin’ world is not inhabited with scrapbookers; instead, most have no idea what in the heck we are doing…

Fancy Pants – The Daily Grind

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I love this new line and, lucky for me, Memory Works carries it HERE.

“Designed to coordinate with the theme set, these printed chipboard accents are perfect to place on any project, and they are SELF ADHESIVE! The printed chipboard is also packaged in a reusable chipboard box with pull out drawer!
Price: $13.00″

Here is a link just to the chipboard ALPHA. I think I will use this a LOT! I restrained myself and just ordered the alpha….for now, LOL! I cashed in some product credits I had for referring new consultants to Memory Works, and I still have the profits from the two crops I held in July and August. I also stocked up on Prism cardstock packs in white and kraft, which is my new favorite color. I seem to use it as the base of every other layout :) But there’s still some money in the kitty…I don’t know what else I want…yet…

Pebbles Inc. – Share & Tell Binder System

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Remember that Eddie Money song from the 80′s? C’mon, sing it with me!! “I think I’m in love!” (I know CHEEKY will sing with me…)

I just found THIS on the Pebbles Inc blog while looking for their new Easter kit. It’s called the Share & Tell Binder System. Here is a pic and quote from their blog:

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“We’re excited to introduce to you our Share & Tell Binder Program! Let’s face it…we are all busy. Whatever stage in life we find ourselves in, time seems to limit us from all that we want or need to do. The Share & Tell Binder Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully!

The Share & Tell Binder Program includes Albums, Sheet Protectors, Creative Pads and Journaling Cards that all work together to make scrapbooking your memories easier! This is the only system on the market that is flexible enough to work with hard-core crafters and non-scrapbooking consumers alike!

Start looking for the Share & Tell Binder Program this spring!”

Then I clicked over to their recently launched (March 2008) WEBSITE and found this:

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And this:

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“The Share & Tell Album Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully! Let’s face it…we are all busy… This program was created by Brenda Birrell, mother of five daughters and founder of Pebbles in my Pocket and Pebbles Inc. as an answer to today’s busy life! A simple system that is easy to maintain and will provide us with more time to spend with loved ones creating memories! Isn’t this what life is all about? This is the story of your life together and as you share it, relationships will be strengthened and memories will be preserved. In this age of digital photography it is so important to print out your favorite photos for safe keeping and enjoyment. CDs get scratched and hard drives crash. Your memories deserve to be placed in organized books that can be enjoyed by your loved ones. Isn’t it time to share your story?”

On the Pebbles website ~~ which you can now order directly from! ~ all the items currently show “Temporarily out of stock, available April 2008.” The albums posted come in black and brown (retail $29.99), page protectors in 12×12 (for full pages) and divided 4×6 (retail $9.99). Can anyone read the fine print? How many page protectors do you get in the package? I have a laptop & my screen is too small. Here are pics:

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The website shows the following (14) Creative Pad theme sets ($4.99 each): Baby Boy, Baby Girl, My Guy, My Girl, Nellie’s Garden, Theodore, Season’s Greetings, Sweetheart, Party Time Boy, Party Time Girl, Easter Time, School Days, Summer Day, and Zoo Fun. They contain 30 sheets of paper and 4 sticker sheets. Then (10) sets of coordinating Journaling Cards ($3.99 for a pack of 25). Sorry, I was unable to paste them over here for some reason…

Here is what I like about this system:

~ I’m tired of always feeling “behind” in my scrapping. For instance, Christmas was 3 months ago and I haven’t scrapped any of it yet. Honestly, it’s intimidating to me because I have photos from about 10 events (Christmas tree lighting, making cookies, cutting the tree, decorating the tree, Christmas Eve service, Christmas party, opening presents, and on and on…). If I had a system like this, I could put them in an album right away, jot some journaling down, and we could’ve been enjoying them for the last 3 months. If I decide to “really” scrap any of the photos later, awesome! If not, at least they’re in a cute presentation that everyone can access.

~ Many people are getting tired of dealing with strap hinge and postbound albums, e.g. the lack of flexibility to move pages around, etc. On the message boards, I gather that many of you scrappers have switched over to D-ring albums like this, or are at least contemplating it. I’m still on the fence because the “break” in the middle bothers me, as I do about 95% 2-page layouts. However, for the purposes of just getting my photos in books in this simple style, that wouldn’t be an issue.

~ Although Pebbles Inc’s style is what many would call “simple,” I think it’s also a very cute and clean presentation with lots of personality. Besides, there’s nothing to say you can’t take their basics and distress, cut, tear, scallop, ink, punch, sew or whatever it!! Make it your own. For me, as you read in THIS POST, I sometimes gravitate towards this simple, clean style. It’s the one style that, when I look back at my old albums, does NOT ever look dated or trendy or “so yesterday.” So I embrace this style as ONE PART of my scrapbooking. Besides, you can just use the albums and maybe the journaling cards, then use all your own stuff to fill the 12×12 or 4×6 slots. I think I would do a combination of the two if I use this system.

~ Compared to a similar system by Creative Memories called PICFOLIO, I like this one much better. I’ve always been tempted by the CM system but have never bought it because I can’t deal with the fact that you can’t customize the number of pages, i.e. you can’t add or take away pages, because they are bound into the album. With the Pebbles system, you can certainly have as many pages as you like.

The only things that concern me about using this system:

~ The price. Although I do occasionally pay $30 for an album, it’s rare. I use 2 per year minimum on our family album, then special theme albums in addition to that. I hope that Michaels or another store with a 40% discount coupon carries these albums so I can slowly buy them.

~ The D-ring…is it sturdy? The main complaint I hear about D-ring albums is that the rings start to separate and gap over time, which makes it a major PITA to turn your pages. From the photo, I have to say those rings don’t look overly sturdy, do they? BUT…I have a lot of Pebbles Inc items like their RIBBON IRON, chalks, etc. and the quality is always very good, so I’m optimistic about their album quality.

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Heck, if Super Scrap Idol ALI EDWARDS is using DIVIDED PAGES, I figure I can give it a go…

What do you think of the new Share & Tell Binder System by Pebbles, Inc.? Will you be purchasing it?

Basic Grey Rub-On Roller

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Looks like another must-have tool by Basic Grey. It gets a big “thumbs up” from Noel Culbertson, a CK Scrapbooker of the Year Top 10. She said on the CKMB that it makes rub-ons go on “like a dream,” and that she got it HERE at embellish IT! where they sell it for $7. Here is the description on their website:

AMAZING TOOL!
Roller ball rub-on stylus
Rolling ball tip glides smoothly for a controlled application
Flat nylon paddle for setting the rub-on
High-quality design

I mean, Noel had me at Hello, but when she said this new tool does not leave smush marks on her Bazzill, it was like chocolate icing on a chocolate cake. You know, already great but just that much better. Okay, I’m off to see if ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED or MEMORY WORKS plan to carry it, because Lord knows Michaels won’t have it in this decade and that’s about the only place left to shop around here. Will this be on your shopping list?

Edited to add 1/23/08: Deb from CKMB just posted a review on her blog. HERE YA GO

Benita’s VERY Organized Scraproom

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I wanted to share this awesome scrap room with you. Someone posted it on CKMB, which led me to BENITA’s GALLERY at 2peas, which led me to her BLOG. Having posted pics of my own space several times, can I say this: I wish people who leave comments would take more care in how they say, “Man, you have too much stuff!”. I think how much each scrapper has is dependent on a lot of things, and I’ll use myself as an example:

~ Amount of disposable income
I used to spend, maybe $100-150 per month on scrap supplies when I worked full time. We made a very nice living and we could afford it. Believe me, DH would not have let me go overboard because it IS a luxury, not a necessity. Now that I work part-time, I spend whatever I can make with Memory Works. It creates a lot of extra work for me, but I can spend on scrap supplies guilt-free!

~ Level of interest in scrapbooking vs. other hobbies
Scrapping is it for me. I used to make jewelry, but have gotten rid of most of my tools and beads. I don’t knit, don’t read as much as I used to (scrapping now!), don’t buy a lot of DVD’s or music, etc.

~ How well you shop
I am a DEAL shopper! I use every single 40% and 50% off coupon I can find, wait for sales to buy things, buy from the Target and Mike’s dollar spots, use my LSS punch card for “free” purchases, look for good deals on HSN/QVC, etc. I use 40% coupons to buy Stacks ~ $20 minus $8 = $12, for 180 papers, that’s only 7 cents/sheet, what a steal. I don’t internet shop if I have to pay too much extra for shipping and try to buy during free shipping specials. If I order something for myself from Memory Works, I wait til I can combine it with a customer’s order to share shipping. It takes more time and effort, but now that I work less and make less money, what I’m rich in is time. I’m going to Target weekly anyway, and ~nice~ Mike’s is right next door. No gas money wasted.

~ Accepting free scrap stuff
I love freebies and have never turned away a free scrap product. I happen to have some very generous scrappers in my circle. They have very specific styles or don’t like “repeats” whereas I could care less ~ I love it all! If it’s something I won’t use, I stash it for my kids to make cards or to give to the school. I’ve seen “scraps” thrown away at my crops that are, like, 1/2 sheets of perfectly beautiful Scenic Route cardstock PP. I save that stuff and it does get used. But it makes my stash bigger than yours. I got TONS of free stuff from the CKU’s, bus shopping trips, and cruise I went on (and I say FREE meaning I only paid hundreds or thousands of dollar on the event to get it for free, lol). Again, my mom scraps 8.5×11, so she has handed me several 12×12 albums from events, papers she didn’t care for, and lots of embellies!

~ Being a consultant
Many of us are consultants for scrapbook companies and have to keep things in stock. I have several containers of stuff for sale. But if you looked in my scrap room, you’d assume it was mine.

~ How you choose to spend your disposable income
I don’t get my hair or nails done, don’t spend a lot of money on clothes (luvin Old Navy and Target), don’t need the latest gadget (no iPod here and my cell phone is 3 or 4 years old), don’t download music, don’t take vacations (we’re homebodies), don’t have expensive camera equipment, don’t go to pro sports, don’t belong to a gym (wait, I probably should!), etc. I mean, this is pretty much IT. By choice, because it’s what I love to do. There are months we’re totally broke and I buy nothing.

~ How long you’ve been scrapping
I’ve been scrapbooking for I guess about 5 years now. Of course I’m going to have more than someone who started 2 years ago.

So, there you go, there are lots of reasons why some scrappers have more “stuff” than others. I don’t think it’s fair to say someone’s area looks like “a store! can I come shop there?”, just because they have it well organized. And to question does someone really have time to do all the stuff they say, if they spend so much time in their scrap area. I mean, that would hurt my feelings to be questioned like that. I looked at Benita’s blog, and she seems to live a pretty full life to me.

I look at LOTS of scrap spaces that are posted online, and usually try to read the comments left by others. The comments on Benita’s room are pretty representative of what is usually said. I remember the one awhile back about someone’s gorgeous Scrap Cottage got a lot of doosies! Maybe it’s misguided jealousy, or misunderstanding, or a misguided attempt at a compliment. All of this said, I don’t think people INTEND to be hurtful, I really don’t. But I just wish we would be more considerate of each other when we post comments on each other’s spaces. How about, “I love the way you…” or “Where did you purchase that great …?” or “Excellent job organizing” (and leave off “All that gobs and gobs of stuff you have!”), LOL. Didn’t mean to make an example of Benita, but she is just the latest one I’ve seen where she posted her room to share her creative space with others, and gets comment after comment about “all your stuff”. Please put yourself in the person’s place and imagine how you would feel (um…defensive? hurt?). I think this is just one more area where we can be more supportive of each other instead of (accidentally) tearing each other down. What do you think?

Finally, A Winner! And Why I Might Be Absent…

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Wayyyyy back on THIS POST, I asked for your help with ideas for a scrapbook company name. Boy did y’all come through! I had such a great time reading all the suggestions and then, as I often do, got sidetracked by life and forgot to pick a winner. Thanks for your patience if you’ve been waiting to hear who won the RAK, and I owe it to bluemoon for reminding me yesterday :)

There were 21 entries so I asked one of the kiddos to pick a number between 1 and 21, and they picked……NUMBER 3 !!!! Yeah, Number Three!!! We have a winna’ and it is DANA, from Dana’s Scrap Therapy. Go check out HER BLOG, it’s a good read. Actually, both her blogs cuz she’s doing the Perspective 365: Picture a Day Project and here is her BLOG for that.

Miss Dana, you win a RAK of some scrappin’ goodness. I’m getting a big Memory Works shipment this week, so I’ll go shop it for you and post a pic of your winnings. In the meantime, I’ll e-mail ya’ for your addie. Thanks to everyone for playing!

Now, as if being laid off this July isn’t bad enough, now I might need gallbladder surgery (boo hoo, will you join my pity party?). I was in the E/R most of yesterday with THE most horrible abdomen and back pain since childbirth (yeah, without the epidural). After lots of pain, a blood test, an ultrasound, an IV, and much needle-prodding because I have “bad veins,” the E/R doc says I have gallstones which will probably need surgery. This morning I’ve posted on my fave MB’s (CKMB and AMRMB) for advice because I know right were to go for the good stuff. And of course the ladies have come through. I’m also making calls for surgeon referrals and talking to everyone I know who’s been through this for advice. Basically, they all say “take it out” before it gets worse, and you don’t need the damn thing anyway. I hate hospitals, have never had surgery, so I am very scared (that’s what I do when I’m scared of something, go into total research mode). I called my SIL who is a nurse and she said they called gallbladder disease “The Four F’s: Female, forty, fat, and fair.” Okay, not everybody because my other SIL had her gallbladder out and she’s not fat, nor fair. I might be some of the Four, but I won’t admit which!

Anyway, if you ever don’t see me posting her for a few days, that’s whuzzup. I hear the surgery is usually laprascopic and recovery is about a week, unless you have some reason they need to open you up, then it’s major surgery and the recovery is longer. First, I’m praying for no surgery and a miracle drug! Second, I’m praying for the easy surgery if I have to have one. Believe me, I was praying yesterday for relief from the excruciating pain and He came through.

CONGRATS AGAIN ~~DANA~~ !!!

Crop-A-dile & Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite

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I (try to) pride myself on being on the cutting edge of the scrapbooking industry, and usually have heard of something several times before it makes it’s official debut, but this one really snuck up on me! I opened my e-mail box yesterday to see this little gem of a note from HSN, the Home Shopping Network channel.

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hsn cad-II
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So the “first generation” Crop-a-dile has been around for a bit. I’ve had one for months and really enjoy using it. Memory Works carries them and, boy howdy, have I sold ‘em to others! Once a scrapper sees the CAD (as CKMB’ers so affectionately call it) in use, they have to have one. Now, the question is, do we “need” a CAD-II?

Here is what I love about my CAD:
~ Punches holes and sets eyelets/snaps like butta’, in 2 sizes.
~ Shhhh….it’s so vewy, vewy kie-wit (quiet) and I can happily create in the middle of night without waking any family members.
~ It comes in cute colors like pink, purple and lime green. There are different configurations it sells with, where you can even get a matching case with tons of eyelets. For instance, Memory Works sells it with the pink tool alone, the pink case alone, or the green tool & case together.
~ The hole punches are cool to use because you can adjust the sliding thingee (that’s a highly technical term) for how far into the paper you want to punch. Then all your holes are uniform looking like, say, one inch in from the edge of the paper.

Only negatives I’ve seen to the CAD:
~ Because of the tool being smaller, there are limitations with how far into an item you can punch. I think it amounts to 1 or 1.5 inches. Personally, it doesn’t bother me because I mostly set eyelets and snaps into flowers, smaller pieces of card or other embellishments. But I know it’s been a concern for others.
~ The thing doesn’t know it’s own strength and, if you’re not careful, you can smoosh (another technical term) your snap or eyelet beyond the point of recognition. Basically, ya just gotta practice with it until you find the amount of force needed to set things.

So, in answer to the “short reach” complaints, WE R MEMORY KEEPERS (manufacturer of the Crop-A-Dile) have provided us with the Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite. Talk about responsive ~ WTG, WRMK! Now the burning question is: Do we need the Big Bite? For now, I think I will hold off. It looks expensive, and crikey, could they find a better color than that gawdawful orange? Actually, WRMK usually has rockin’ color choices in all their items, so I’m sure there will be mo’ better color choices to come.

Here is the discussion on Big Bite so far ON CKMB and ON 2PEAS. What are your thoughts on this new biggie? Will you be purchasing one on HSN tomorrow, or anywhere else?

Edited 1-9-08: Huggy Bear says word on the street is retail will be only $39.99, and some LSS’s are doing pre-sales for $32. Okay, now I’m tempted. I thought that puppy was gonna’ be WAY more than 40 bucks…Wonder how much HSN will have it for???

Edited 1-10-08: Okay, I watched the HSN presentation on the CAD-II Big Bite (like most of you, yeah?). I have to admit, I’m kind of in love with the thing. I didn’t want to be, but that cute little WRMK guy, and the enthusiasm of that little blondie, Suzanne Runyan…jeez, they won me over big time. The CAD-II can punch even further than 6 inches into an item. They punched into sheets of tin (yeah, I’ll be doing that ALL the time), thick chipboard, even a 5-layer dealie of a metal snap, 3 flowers, and a plastic Chinese takeout box. Gotta’ give ‘em props, they knew how to sell me. And the price was around $40 with another $6 or so for shipping. HSN said they were the only ones who had it in stock; the WRMK guy said he doesn’t even have one. So, if you MUST have it now and you don’t mind orange, I say get it from HSN. I will patiently wait for another color, but I WILL have one, oh yes, I will have one…

Name for My Scrapbook Company ~ Need Ur Help :)

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I have the absolutely BEST blog readers in the world, so I thought I would ask for your help. If you’re a regular, you know that I’m a consultant for Memory Works scrapbooking. I just started doing it in early 2007 and have had a lot of fun. However, like any company, they just don’t carry every single item that I’d like to sell or that my customers ask for. Therefore, I’m going to start a little side business to supplement my Memory Works business so I can carry things like Bazzill cardstock, Stickles, Word Name Books, etc. To purchase these items wholesale, my state requires me to apply for a seller’s permit. So I’m filling out the form and one of the boxes asks for my business name. (Smack to head)…DUH! Yeah, I need a business name so I can also apply for a DBA.

Will you please help me think of a cool name? You could win a RAK, so come on! Purdy please (said in my most endearing whiny voice).

The name I had always thought I would use someday is Calla Memories. I came up with that because the calla lily has always been my favorite flower. I had them in my wedding because they look so classic and beautiful. But one reason I don’t like it is because abbreviated it’s CM…yep, just like Creative Memories. Also, I don’t know if it’s “scrapbook-y” enough. Will it communicate what I do or what type of products I carry? Say I eventually want to turn this into an online store – is that a name that can carry me through? I also need a name that I can translate into a website/blog and a yahoo e-mail address, so I don’t want it to be too long.

Okay, is that TMI ?? But, seriously, will you please help me think of another name? I want to apply for my seller’s permit ASAP, so whoever leaves a name suggestion or just any type of idea on this post BY FRIDAY, JANUARY 4 (midnight PST) is eligible for a RAK, which is a free scrapbook-related gift I will send you. {ETA 1/1/08: The RAK winner will be decided by random draw}. Make sure I have some way to contact you, whether a blog link or leaving your e-mail address if your siggie doesn’t link to you somehow.

Remember, by this FRIDAY!! Thanks a bunch :) :)

Scrapbook Organization: My Space…AGAIN

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This is so embarrassing. After all my bragging about organizing my scrap space earlier this year (it was THIS POST), it’s a mess again. Holy cow! I think it’s even worse. Yeah, I just looked at the Before photos from last time and it is much, much worse now. My excuse is that I started as a scrapbook consultant this year and now, in addition to all my own stuff, I have to ‘keep stock on hand’ of Memory Works products. At any given time, I also have boxes of orders here until I distribute them. But, that being said, the real reason it’s a mess is because I haven’t kept up on it. I didn’t create a solution before I had the problem. And I’ve kept buying new scrapbook supplies while hardly using any. Okay, here is the disgusting evidence:

This is as you walk into my scrapping area, which is the back half of a larger room with the kids’ play area in the front. As you can see, the walkway is closing in on itself and I can barely walk through there without losing body parts. The box of red albums is a Daisy D’s Year in Review and Christmas album. I’m doing a class/party on that the week after Christmas. There’s my little Lexmark standalone photo printer that I got at Target for $25 on Clearance. I tried to use it once, got frustrated when it wouldn’t print anything but green photos, and it has sat collecting dust ever since. Although I did recently buy that Lexmark-specific photo paper (it’s sitting on top of the printer) to try again before I toss the thing out the window. The blue bins I bought last month to try and better display my products at crops, etc. (will be a separate post about those later). Until now, I’ve been using a big clear Rubbermaid container and small, white plastic baskets to display things. The Rubbermaid is just plain ugly and the white baskets are cute enough, but the sides are too low and everything just kind of flops over and won’t stand up for customers to look through it. You can also se my XXL tote and another smaller one (don’t remember what that one is called). I load them up with MW products when I go to crops and it’s nice because they protect everything from dust and getting bent in transit, and the XXL is on rollers so I can really carry lots of stuff. The problem is then I have no room to take my own crop stuff (tool kit, page kits, etc.). Needing a solution to that problem. The cream tote is all my Memory Works catalogs and paperwork. Well, I shouldn’t say “all”…there is another huge white binder of stuff in my home office. The black box is a Creative Memories Power Sort box full of photos and memorabilia from my Europe cruise. That was in 2006 and I’m only about half way through the album (if you don’t count journaling, of which I’ve hardly done any). Everything in the Power Sort is getting dusty because I can’t put the lid on or it will crush my brochures, menus, etc. To the far right is my shelf which has stayed pretty organized, mainly because it’s packed and there is nowhere to put anything else. But it needs work, for sure. The two ziploc bags on the floor are my templates, CM cutting system, Coluzzles, etc. They used to go on that shelf but they got kicked out when I bought some new blank albums.

mess1

After you walk in my scrap area and take a left, you’re looking at the window and my desk. That stack of paper with the black and white Jenni Bowlin on the top (love it!) is my December kit from Memory Works Express. I had it out of the box to look through it and never put it away. Under that are some other recent purchases: K&Co. Wild Saffron slab; DCWV cardstock pad with the jagged edges (what’s that called?), and two SIS tool packs that are empty. I had all my acrylic stamping stuff in one of them and it got full, so I bought an identical one when they were on a great sale at Tuesday Morning. Then I found the black tote at Michaels (you’ll see it later in the tour) for 40% off and moved all my stamps into the tote. Not sure if I’m liking it, so while I decide, the empty blue tool packs sit empty. The ribbon jars on the right look fine ~ I’ve managed to keep up with my ribbon this way, just tossing in any new ribbon I get right away. The large white box and another stack under the brown box (that you can’t see here) are picture frames from Costco that I bought about two months ago. Okay, let’s be honest, it’s been more like six months. I HATE the picture frames I have around my house right now and keep saying I will redo them, but there they sit. It just seems so intimidating to figure out which pictures I want to put in which frames, get them enlarged and/or converted to black and white, choose which pictures go where in the house, and hang them. I’m procrastinating big time on that one. The basket on the top right is full {bursting at the seams} with letter stickers. Even though I have a Cricut, I can’t seem to stop buying alpha rub-ons, Thickers, chipboard alphas and sometimes even sticker letters. Although I’m proud to say I don’t buy those much anymore because I know I won’t use them; I have years’ worth to use already. Although most of my letters are at least in one place (that basket), they definitely need to be purged and organized.

mess2

This is the top of my legal size filing cabinet. Inside is actually very organized, with all my greeting cards sorted by event; receipts, instruction books, etc in files; and office supplies like printer paper, extra cartridges, etc. Again, ribbon jars look good although they’re dusty on top. I purged magazines and idea books last time I did The Big Cleanup and now the stack is back! New magazines, idea books and other books that need to be purged or put away.

mess3

Here is the heart of the space, where i actually scrap, my L-shaped desk. With the missing front trim that never got put on because we didn’t follow the instructions properly when we put it together from the box. Once the desk was together, waaayyyy too much trouble to pull it apart again just to add some silly little trim. Anyway, you can see my black tool pack which holds many of my essentials – various adhesives, stylus, stapler, etc. The papers on top are envelopes from Christmas cards we’ve received so I can update my address list. I mean, really, that doesn’t even belong in here and that’s what happens a lot. If I want to straighten another area of the house, I just put things in here. Voila! We have a mess! On the right side are sticky notes and mailing supplies; my new ToteAlly Cool totes (larger for punches, Stickles, etc and smaller one for Cropadile, pens and scissors); the ever present Diet Coke. In the back are recently developed photos that have nowhere to go so I keep stuffing them back there. To the left is my ScrapRack which is very organized but too full so, see, the little K&Co. tags are falling out of the Christmas section. And my glorious new Basic Grey Magnetic Mats and faithful Cutterpede paper trimmer.

mess4

Here is my little corner with my stereo (new Pebbles Inc. Ribbon Iron on top cooling off because I just used it); high dollar printer and scanner that I never use; random Mike’s and Target stamps for long-overdue RAK’s; baby wipes to clean acrylic stamps; and my labeler which surprisingly gets a lot of use in my space. I’m very organized about being disorganized! The desk drawers have computer equipment, font and software CD’s, etc and are very organized but I don’t seem to go in there very much, so maybe that stuff could go elsewhere and open up some space for scrap-related things? The cupboard side contains my Cricut, mats, and cartridges on top, a bin with electrical cords, phone cords, power strip, etc on bottom. Again, why is that stuff in here? I do have an old laptop on my desk that I just use for journaling but I hardly ever use the accessories anymore so they could go in a closet or something. See, progress already!

mess5

Here is the rest of my desk. There is the black Michael’s tote I told you about. All my acrylic stamps, ink pads, alcohol inks, stamp cleaners, etc are in there. Behind the tote are: a bucket of Prima flowers I’m borrowing from a friend, my ink pens in Creative Memories Pen Holders, and random new products that need to be put away. The Colorbok paper pads under the black tote will be for sale, but I need to log them in my computer first. The pile on the left is mostly the stuff from my Secret Santa (thanks again!) and the right side pile is memorabilia to file and a new notebook for scrap ideas, to do lists, etc. (First entry should be: TO DO ~ Clean up your damn space!).

mess6

Wow, okay… Seeing your mess in a big full color photo is even MORE eye-opening, even MORE embarrassing and shocking. Deep breath. Count to 10. Breathe out through the nose. Yoga breaths, yoga breaths. Okay. I’m back. This is the table to the left of my desk (the far side of it is near the walkway we already saw). I brought this table in the last time I organized, thinking it would be extra space to work on big projects, sort my photos, or have a friend over to crop. Yeah, right. It’s become a primo dumping ground for the stuff I guess I just used to leave on the floor. On the table you can see more gingerbread jars which I’ve been dumping various embellies in that either need to be put away, or are prizes for crops. The 12×12 stack back there is mainly paper to file or put a price tag on. The white baskets I was using to display my products ~ one is empty, the other has in it two Memory Works Express Kits from May 2007. One is mine, one is for sale. There are papers and embellishments in a super large Ziploc, including a box of glitter chipboard letters from K&Co. which I need to keep bagged together to sale and/or act as a sample of the kit. The problem is that each of these kits comes with an alterable project and this one was a small paint can. I mean, jeez, how to you even store that?? I guess my lame answer is, “In a white plastic basket.” Down below the table are my very organized page kits in a white plastic crate, another jar, and a Target bag with a flattened postal box and some acrylic stamps to sell once I get them in the computer and price tags put on. At the bottom middle of the photo are two cardboard file boxes on the floor. Hiding under the bag of Figgy Pudding Card Kit stuff (with cards in progress) is one project box (album, papers, embellishments, photos and souveniers from a big trip we took in, yes, 2005). The other is a project box for my 2006 cruise album. Neither has even been touched in months, except to add or take papers from. What you can’t see is that the entire space under my desk is filled with bins of my old photo storage system (remember THIS POST about how I was going to re-do that?), altered projects to make (photo cubes, shadow boxes, etc.), and Christmas presents. I’ve been shoving gifts under there all year because it’s the perfect hiding place. Everyone is scared to come over here! Seriously, my DH sends the kids in to grab the wastepaper basket once in a while or he just yells over to me, “Hey, how’s your trash? Bring it here if it needs emptied, please.” Smart man. Very, very smart man.

mess7

This is just a close up of the jars on the table, and you can see the blue basket in the background where I’ve put some of the paper packs I have for sale. They are elsewhere in the house, but I have a total of two large blue bins (like the one on the table), two medium sized green ones, and two small blue ones. They are all filled with MW products for sale. The baskets themselves are organized, but I have nowhere in my scrap space to put them.

mess8

So, I have survived the ultimate in humiliation by showing you my ‘crap’ area. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? SERIOUSLY?? And why am I subjecting myself to this, you ask? Because that’s what it takes for me to get to work and get this place cleaned up again. Last time, I entered an Organization Challenge on the CK Message Board. This time, I’m sharing it here on my blog. Now I’m accountable (I mean, if you guys out there really care??) and I WILL get organized again. I’ve come to this conclusion: Now that I’m a scrapbook consultant and have to keep a lot of extra products and paperwork around, this space just isn’t big enough anymore.

Part One of My Plan: My wheels have been turning about how I can re-work this space, maybe somehow utilizing our guest bedroom/office also. I already got DH’s approval to get rid of the old king sized bed in there that takes up half of the room, yet only gets used about four times per year when my mom visits. (No worries, Mom, we’ll findya another place to sleep!).

Part Two of My Plan: I have two weeks off from work for the holidays. Granted, I could get busy with my ‘from home’ jobs, I have at least one scrapbooking event, and we may go out of town for a few days. But I think this is a great opportunity to spend some time getting my scrap area organized…once and for all…um, yeah, right! Do I have your support? You got any suggestions for the dilemmas I’ve shared? I challenge YOU to organize your scrapbooking area over the Christmas break, so post in Comments if you will join me. I would love it if you sent me some photos I could post of your before/after or link us to your blog showing same. DEADLINE IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2008 (‘cuz ya gotta have a deadline or else you won’t do it!)…

Good luck and God Bless Us all!

Basic Grey Magnetic Mat: I Have a {Crush} on You!

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It’s been awhile…not since last May with the Cropadile…since I’ve fallen so madly in love with a new scrapbooking tool. But after first playing with my new Basic Grey Magnetic Mat a couple weeks ago, my heart is still going pitter-patter ever time I relive the experience. Maybe it’s that I’m still in that “I-just-met-you-and-you-can-do-no-wrong” stage with my BG baby, but I hope to stay perpetually infatuated. I know that many of you have the Basic Grey Magnetic Mat on your Christmas list, so here is my review:

This thing RAWKS! Here is a picture:

thankful layout

The retail cost is $24.99 and the mat is 15”x15”. The premise is this: The mat itself has a sheet of metal in between the black self-healing layers. Then the ruler and the little “tacks” are magnetized. So you use them to hold things in place while you cut with a craft knife, say, a curvy flourish or some letters. Or you use the tacks to hold down your pages in progress, which has two benefits: One, you can move things around while you’re deciding how to place your photos, journaling, and embellishments. Two, the magnets hold everything down and let you walk away from your project without worrying about all the pieces blowing away, falling on the floor, being tipped by a toddler, or batted by a cat. I even carried a partially done layout to a crop in my bag and it arrived completely intact. Those little babies are strong. For another $5.50 retail, you can get 10 additional magnetic tacks (the mat comes with 8). It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’ve heard on the message boards that the silver paint on some people’s tacks begins to peel off. What a pain, but I heard you can paint them with clear nail polish to stop or prevent that from happening. I also heard that the customer service has been good with getting BG to replace them, yet who wants more tacks that are just going to peel. Someone else suggested getting little magnets elsewhere like the Container Store or wherever, so that’s an option (see why I love MB’s?? everyone is so helpful with sharing problems and solutions!).

I got my BG mat, of course, through Memory Works. When we first started carrying them, I wanted one but hesitated to buy a BG mat because I wasn’t sure if I should spend that much money on something I wasn’t sure I would use or like. I mean, for $25 I could get a lot of PP, ya’ know? Also, I didn’t exactly have $25 laying around so… But as time went by, I kept hearing people raving about their BG mats so, when I made a little money from a crop I held, I decided to buy it. Well, then they were out of stock for the longest time (How does that saying go? “She who hesitates is lost…”). FINALLY! They were in stock again and I ordered that baby right away. Actually, I ordered 4 because I had another crop coming up by then ~ 2 to sell, and 2 for me. Yes, TWO for me. I had also heard that if you get one, you may as well get two especially if you do mostly 2-page layouts (which I do). The thinking is that if you have 1 BG mat and get everything laid out, aren’t you going to want another one right next to it? See, scrappers are very logical girls J Well, I sold one of the remaining mats as soon as my mom saw it and I showed her how it works. She scraps 8.5 x 11, so one mat for her is fine I think. Then she used hers at the crop and I demo’d it for everyone, and sold a few more. Also sold FIVE of them at my Holiday Open House. It’s crazy…if you see this tool in action, you will want one!

In preparation for the Open House, I needed to put together a double layout called “Thankful” by My Minds Eye. Here is a photo of the finished product:

thankful

Anyway, perfect opportunity to try my BG mat, although I didn’t anticipate using it much because there weren’t any fancy craft knife cuts and the layout didn’t look very complicated. But was I wrong! I only broke out one mat for this project (can I confess…that was because my desk was so overtaken with ‘stuff’ that there was only room for one mat??). Anyway, I used the heck out of the BG mat. I made all the cuts to the papers on my Cutterpede according to the measurements on the Class Kit instructions. I cut out the exact phrases I would use on the layout, from the die cut sheets and the rub-on sheets. Then I placed everything for one layout arranged on the mat, using the magnets to hold everything down. I don’t know about you, but when I’m scraplifting a layout or putting together something from a class, I’m so nervous to tack anything down. I’ve had to do a LOT of unsticking in the past when I thought I had put this or that element where it should go, only to find when I got to the last step….urrrghh! No room left or something didn’t line up where it should. Well, here I was doubly nervous because this was a class project that others would be copying from, not a layout I could just shove in my album and hope no one noticed ‘my lil boo boos.’ It had to look just like the picture, y’know? So I was really loving those magnets in a big way. It was so cool to lay out the elements, tack them, notice something wasn’t going to fit later, and be able to easily move things around til it was perfect.

The other thing I loved was the ruler. First of all, BG was very smart to make it longer than 12” long. It’s a full 18” long, which allows plenty of room on either end of the ruler hanging off past the edge of your layout. I had the background paper down on the mat with the ruler either horizontally or vertically across the paper. Making sure both the paper and the ruler were lined up with the markings on the mat, I was able to easily make sure my photo mats and other elements were perfectly straight. Now, this is something I’ve needed help with for a while. In a way, I’m a perfectionist with straight lines and really prefer the look when everything is straight (if it’s meant to be so). But I hate trying to make it that way, with my old 12” long plastic ruler and the Creative Memories 10”x12” cutting mat I had been using (yes, I was long overdue for a larger mat). Anyway, I really enjoyed being able to easily have straight lines…I think, for me, that is one of the most addicting things about the BG Magnetic Mat.

So if the Basic Grey Magnetic Mat is on your Christmas list, I hope you’ve been “nice” this year, and Santa puts one under your tree. If you already have one, give us YOUR review in Comments or link us to your blog!

A Funny Way to Spend Thanksgiving…

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We’re supposed to be camping for the long weekend with DH’s extended family & my mom/stepdad.  We were supposed to leave early this morning.  However, DH got called to work last night and is still there, so I thought I would head to the computer and check something off my very super extremely long To Do List:  Order some Prism cardstock Prismatics packs to fill two customer orders.  See, Prismatics is what Memory Works carries and it’s awesome cardstock.  You get a trio of colors (light/medium/dark), 12 sheets for $6.50.   Here is a sample of a Prismatics pack and the link to our CARDSTOCK PAGE:

    prismatics 

Well, thinking I was all cool and stuff, I purchased the Prism swatch book from Memory Works as a selling tool and took it to my last crop without really looking at it first.  Well, I just flipped through it long enough to admire all the gorgeous colors (don’t pretty colors just make you happy?!?).  Anyway, it WAS a hit and there were 2 ladies who each had a list of Prismatics Packs they wanted.  Turns out…Memory Works doesn’t carry the complete line (duh), and I could only fill about half of each order.  I told the ladies that, because I had basically advertised the cardstock, that I would find a way to fill their order.  I figured I would come home, pop online, order the packs at the best price I could find, hopefully not pay too much in shipping, and maybe at least break even if not lose a little bit o’money.  Even if I lost a little some money, I would hopefully gain my customers’ respect and confidence, learn my lesson about the swatchbook, and move on.  

So, after spending HOURS online, here is my conclusion:  Prismatics are hard to find!!  Cheese and Rice!  To purchase from Prism wholesale, you not only have to have a business license, etc. but you have to be a brick and mortar store.  There are sites that sell it by single color packs of 50.  There are sites that sell it by the sheet.  There are sites that have most of the packs I need listed on their site, but when you click it into your shopping cart, it says Unavailable.  There are many sites showing the colors I need Out of Stock.  There are sites with every color EXCEPT the ones I need.  There are overseas sites that don’t ship to the US or, if they do, the shipping is super high.  Next, I went on the Memory Works message board with my plight, and asked the other consultants what they do in this situation and if anyone had a good source for Prismatics.  Long story short:  Uhhhh, no.  Finally, I asked my lovely friend Stacey over at http://www.AllMomentsRemembered.com if she could help me out, since she is so connected in wholesale scrap world now (wink, wink).  Such a doll, she looked into it right away and, alas, could only do the 50 sheet/single color deal.  

So I thanked her for trying anyway, and that leads me to today.  I’m here on Thanksgiving morning, waiting to hear from DH to see if maybe we can leave here by noon today.  And searching once again for the elusive Prismatics packs and….same luck as last time.  Grrrr….  I feel so bad about letting my customers down.  I shouldn’t have made a commitment before I looked into it.  So, after the holiday, I’ll try one more time and, if not successful, I will confess my mistake to the lovely ladies and hope they forgive me.  

PS: On a lighter note, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I am so grateful that I started this blog. It has given me an outlet to release all my crazy, scrapbook-obsessive thoughts so I can sleep at night. Now, I only occasionally dream of cardstock and patterned paper and sketches ~ no more scrap nightmares where all my friends leave for the retreat without me or running around Big Lots, not able to find any of the scrap bargains mentioned on CKMB! (Now, that really would be a dream because I don’t even have a Big Lots). Anyway, it has been wonderful to share and exchange ideas with you, to finally feel that I’m not alone, and to have all your positive feedback. I am blessed and thankful…

Acrylic Albums: I’m Skird

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As you know, I love Oprah and sometimes she says the funniest things. When she’s talking about how she’s scared to do something, she says, “I’m skird.” Pronounced like “scared”, but shorter and much funnier. So now she has me doing it, and I’m here to tell ya that I’m SKIRD to do one of these so-called Acrylic Albums.

I keep seeing them everywhere I go (online). I glance, I look, I turn my eyes away in fear and embarrasment. There is no WAY my teeny weeny creative bone could complete an acrylic album without well and truly screwing it up. Because here’s the deal – and I know it will shock you – it shocked me too ——- the thing is SEE THRU!! I mean, how ya gonna hide the Herma tabs and the backs of staples and keep the image on one page from showing through to the other or do you even want to and, oh my God, my mind is just spinning! I look at the samples that are so FREAKIN beautiful and I just say, “Wha???” and “How did she..???” and “Well, I could never…”.

So call me crazy, but I went ahead and ordered one anyway. (Everybody now! “Hiiii, Crazzyyy!!). We happen to have them right now at Memory Works on the page that carries the more seasonal stuff, i.e. once it’s gone, it’s gone and not necessarily restocked. I keep hearing about acrylic albums lately; they seem to be the latest craze. So while I might be too scared to actually DO anything with it, I figured I’d better order one before I regretted NOT doing it. KWIM?

BY PAGEFRAME DESIGNS, CLEAR 6X6 ALBUM carried by Memory Works
AA blank sold by mw

To inspire me, and hopefully you too, here are some examples of acrylic albums that have been done:

BY CKMB CECILYSMOM in the CK Gallery
AA CKMB CecilysMom

BY BARBARA OROS on her Scrapbook Crazy blog
AA Barbara Oros SB crazy blog

BY BJC in Scrapbooks.com Gallery
AA bjc scrapbooks.com gallery

BY JESSICA at zutterzisters.com
AA gunny by Jessica zutterzisters.com

BY PAMELA at pamelaposch.blogspot.com
AA pamelaposch.blogspot view 1

AA pamelaposch.blogspot view 2

There is even a YOU TUBE VIDEO showing a very cool acrylic album by Tamarz from http://www.scrapbook-crazy.com – check it!

So, have you taken the Acrylic Album plunge or will ya? If you have a pic of one you have completed, please link to it in comments and I’ll add it to my post.

Lil Bit A Target Enabling Here…

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Thanks to my new best friend zacmag on CKMB, I learned that Target has their Halloween scrapbooking stuff 50% off. Never one to pass up a good deal, of course I went by after work today. Um, yeah, I had prescriptions to pick up too, uh huh, yeah. (Which, by the way, was very frustrating. I just switched several scrips there and they keep screwing them up). So, at my lame Target, there were only a few Halloween items left, mostly the Making Memories deco items which I wasn’t crazy about. I found one lone pack of MM Halloween ribbon. It has 4 trims, only one of “witch” I didn’t like (the orange fringe-y stuff). My favorite is the super cute sheer orange ribbon with little black bats. That will make a great border fo’ sho’. The picture doesn’t do them justice. They are much more colorful in person and the top one looks greyish here, but it’s really solid black. The bats have silver glitter sprinkled on them, and the bottom silver one is very thick and sparkly. Think I’m going to save that for a Christmas tree page…

MM Halloween trims

There were no little Sale or Clearance stickers on the rack, and the tag showed it as regular price ($4.99) but I ran it under one of those red scanners and it came up 1/2 off! I started thinking it a bit odd that hardly any of the Halloween stuff was left, because I was just in there last weekend and they had tons of paper packs, stickers, and chipboard. So I went back to search a little harder for Halloween items and tucked UNDER the rack (hidden on purpose, perhaps??), were some MM black glitter chipboard letters ($6.99). When I got to the check out, the letters also rang up 1/2 off. Score! You can’t tell in the picture but they are glittery sparkly (ooh…sparklies!). The chipboard is pretty thin, and they are about 3″ tall.

MM shimmer jigsaw letters

Those Autumn Leaves stamps I showed you HERE were also on sale (for $1.38, originally $1.99). I already have them all but I didn’t have the inks they package to sell with them. They each come with one small and one bigger inkpad; I got the green/silver and red/gold combos. Can you say Christmas Cards?!?

Target $2 stamps

NOT on sale, I also got the cutest 8×8 album by MM!! Oh, I’m in love! It’s brown leather with scalloped edges and is spiral inside. Also has a ribbon closure. It’s adorable. I was originally thinking to use it for my Memory Works demo album, but then – duh – because it’s spiral, you can’t add pages so I’ll have to think of a special theme album to use it for. So, it’s this album but in chocolate brown…

MM 8x8 scallop album

I also found the Dec. Scrapbooks Etc. Add that to the Dec. CK I just bought, and we are in for a night of scrap mag heaven!

In the $1 Spot, they had tons of little metal buckets for organizing. Grey (metal), white, black, hot pink and red were the colors at my store. I passed on those (I had to pass on SOMETHING, didn’t I?). Did you get anything at the Target After Halloween Sale??

Scrapbook Crop #2: A Report

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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!

Memory Works: Crops and Monthly Scrapbook Kits

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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 :)

Getting Your Scrapbooking Mojo Back

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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.

A Scrapbook Crop for Mothers Day

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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!

Scrapbook Page Challenges for a Crop

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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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