scrapbook books

Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: Part Two

I’m slowly making progress on the big overhaul of my scrapbook room. If you’re not caught up, you can read the PROLOGUE and PART ONE, if you like :) But the Prologue is important reading; it’s where I tell you what happens if you make a smart ass comment about how much crap….erm, STUFF I have. Yes, I have a lot of paper. No, you can’t shop here. Yes, I have a life. Blah blah blah….

So, I’ve done lots of furniture moving. This is going to take awhile, so get comfy…

1. Unloaded everything from the desk – underneath, off the top, and in the drawers – and moved it about 2 feet closer to the sliding glass door. I didn’t repack the office supply and computer-related stuff I had in the desk cupboards; need to find a new home for all that. It’s in a pile here somewhere…

2. Unloaded all the DVDs, videos, and board games from the oak cabinet and moved them into a cabinet in the guest room/new play room. Moved a bunch of toys that were along the wall into the new play room. Moved the oak cabinet to the wall where the toys had been. Moved the Scrap Rack to the oak cabinet (temporarily, I think…). Moved office supplies, and office machines (fax machine, transcription machine, etc.) from guest room to bottom of oak cabinet (where movies and games had been). This cabinet is going to be Office Stuff Central…unless I change my mind.

3. Emptied out the legal filing cabinet, moved it from a back wall to align with one edge of the L-shaped desk, and refilled it with the same stuff I had in there before, which are greeting cards, school supplies, and more home office stuff. I gathered scrap magazines and idea books from various places around the house and piled ‘em up.

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As you can see, it’s time to purge these again. I usually do this about once a year but, yeah, it’s been awhile. A friend that I scrap with recently finished her project of pulling pages and ideas from her magazines and organizing them into page protectors in a binder. I’m so jealous….it was great! So I’m deciding now if I have the time, patience, and devotion to do the same thing. Purge or make “the perfect idea binder,” THAT is the question.

As for all those idea books….I don’t think I’ve EVER gotten rid of an idea book. Something about throwing away a book that I paid $15 to $40 for is much harder than a $5 magazine. But I should look through all my idea books and maybe toss some older ones. I’ll bet I don’t even “scrap like that anymore” for some of them, huh?

4. Moved the table that I’d been using for scrappy stuff (okay, to dump things on…) over to the area by the storage cubes. This will be the famous Homework Table.

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5. Moved the couch and coffee table from in front of the desk to behind the desk by the back window. The original plan was to put it flush against the wall and lined up directly under the window (I’m all about symmetry, baby!). But once I got it there, the couch seemed kind of squished over into the corner and the coffee table was somewhat blocking the walkway to the back part of the room. So I tried the couch at an angle, and I liked it. Bonus: It creates a hidey space behind it for ugly stuff, lol. And I felt so “HGTV” about it, too.

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6. Unloaded just about everything from 10 Store in Style cubes (see couch pic above), moved the cubes to the opposite end of the room, and reloaded them pretty much the same way. The SIS cubes are now on the wall that the oak TV cabinet used to be on. This is the area I talked about where I have to keep a walkway to get to the slider, so the cubes are a good thing to put here. They fit nicely and I can stack more on top someday if need be (God forbid!).

I first thought about configuring them like this, with a kind of “turn the corner” at one end….

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…but decided not to. The positives were that it would be a little different-looking, and it would create a handy little empty space back there in the corner to store crop totes or something. But the negatives were that it made the walking path a bit too slim, and put the cubes right next to the cord for the blinds. And when I put embellishment jars on top of the one by the door, they would block the light switch. No super big deal, but I just decided to go with putting them all flush against the wall, like this…

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All this furniture moving happened way back on 9/10 (it’s now 9/27!), so when I say “making slow progress,” I’m not exaggerating. It took me awhile to remember and write all this down, the order I did things in. It was quite the feat of engineering to move things AROUND the room while still having everything IN the room. I apologize for any dark photos but most of my madness occurs late at night after everyone has gone to bed. Man, you should’ve seen the wide eyes of my husband and kids when they came out the morning after all this! They were like, “You moved ALL that by yourself!?!? The couch???” and I’m all, like, “Desperate organizers take desperate measures.” (Like, totally…I did all that “like” stuff just to annoy you). Then the daytime photos are overly bright because of the sun coming in all the windows, so I can’t win, lol.

Once the furniture was in place, I’ve just been slowly putting things away, whether within this room or the other parts of the house where they belong, and below is what the room looks like as of today.

Down there is the new back half of the room, with my cool slanty couch, and my corner of chaos. The couch was my dad’s before he passed away so it’s sentimental. Luckily, it’s also functional so I have an excuse to keep it always and forever. That big tub is all the paperwork from my two scrapbook businesses, MEMORY WORKS and Calla Memories. I can get rid of most of it. I just need to go through it and save some paperwork for tax records and such.

The white shelving unit has all my mini album stuff – supplies and some completed albums – but I want to get rid of that shelf and find another way to store my mini album kingdom. That’s actually a shoe shelf so I’m hoping to then move it into my closet and use for, oh, I don’t know…..SHOES???

The basket on top of the white shelves contains letter stickers, which were all nicely sorted by color at one time, and easy to thumb through when I scrapped. Then….I discovered THICKERS. Dun dun dun dunnnnnnnn! I use Thickers lots and I buy Thickers lots. I have a Thicker addiction and I hope there ain’t no cure! But, yeah, I need to go through that basket and purge some old alphas I’ll never use. Like the first major set I bought oh so many years ago, of punch out alphas (I think they were by COLORBOK) in every color and pattern known to man (including plaid and leopard!), in a bubble font, a lollipop font, etc. Eek. Perfect for the kids to use on school projects but NOT for my scrapbooks).

The black boxes are POWER SORT BOXES from CREATIVE MEMORIES and that’s where most of my printed photos are. But photo and memorabilia organization is an ever-changing and never-ending project/battle for me. I’m not even gonna’ GO there right now. The white cubes they’re in are ITSO brand from TARGET. As you can see, I had more photo boxes than Itso cubes, so I bought another Itso from Target when they were on sale recently. (If I remember right, I paid $12 instead of $20). You can see it on my desk in the next photo.

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Below is my mess of a desk, and my flooded floor (flooded with scrap crap, that is). There’s the new Itso cube, and one of my new 3-drawer JET MAX cubes. Actually, “new” is relative since I’ve collected 3 of these units over time from MICHAELS using 50% off coupons. I’ve just never put them together, knowing I had this big re-org project coming up. Recently I assembled one and, man, are they a pain in the asset! Don’t get me started. If you’ve put these together, you know what I mean. (I feel sorry for THIS poor scrapper!) I’m dreading the assembly of the remaining 2 but I shall do it, I shall.

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I’ve done a little more work on the Wall of Cubes and this is how they look as of now…

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The cubes themselves were already pretty organized before I started this crazy project, as they contain the staples of my scrapbook world: Bazzill cardstock sorted by color, die cut/shaped papers, extra page protectors, scrapbook projects, etc. Most of the vertical files by CROPPER HOPPER are sorted by manufacturer and include patterned paper and all embellishments from that company. They could use some tidying but for the most part, the vertical files are good as they are. The gingerbread jars on top, however, are another story. When I first got them way back when on Craigslist (read about it HERE), I had them organized pretty well, but over time I lost control and just started throwing new things in with no rhyme or reason. I’m going to do a post soon about using 2 of the jars for my chipboard letters. There’s one full of flowers, and the rest I plan to use for random embellishments by color. I also put my ribbon jars back on my cubes…ribbons are sorted by color. I love my cubes and jars…they’re my favorite part of my scrapbook room. Can’t wait til I get this part totally done! My pretties, LOL…

So, that’s where I’m at for now. Thanks for sticking with me. I promise I’ll get done eventually, but real life has to come first, so it’ll continue to be slow progress. But progress is progress, right?

Crop Report and Michaels Coupon News

Just wanted to tell you about the crop I went to on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and I got 9 pages done in about 11 hours. That might be a record, LOL. Granted, I need to add the journaling on most of the layouts so they’re not complete quite yet. The crop was from 9 to 9 and I said I was going to get there right at 9, to take full advantage of my crop fee….cuz I’m stingy like that. However, I didn’t end up leaving the house until 9, then went to Michaels and Starbucks on the way (which were both right down the street from the crop).

At Michaels, I learned two things from the employees while I was there. 1. The beading area (at least at our store) is expanding, and 2. No more Michaels coupons via Sunday paper flyers. Yes, I’m bolding that…it’s big news!

So I was cruising the scrapbooking area, looking for something worthy of my 40% coupon, and coming up dry at that point. I went to look in the center aisle sections, desperately trying to find the load of new Sassafrass product “mah people” told me was at Mike’s these days (no luck). The next aisle from scrapbooking is beading and there were two employees resetting the aisle. I said, “Hi” and one of them asked if they could help me find anything. I meant to ask about the Sassafrass but my eyes were blinded by the dizzying array of new beads they were hanging. Like, row upon row upon row of beads! My jaw dropped and she goes, “Yeah, we’re expanding to three aisles.” I said, “I used to make beaded jewelry but stopped for scrapbooking. Maybe I’ll have to get into it again!” and we laughed. Then I said, “You know, I’d better just not look,” and she said, “Yeah, bead shopping is pretty addicting.” She paused and said, “And I hear scrapbook shopping can be pretty addicting, too. Is that right?” I said, “Oh, you don’t know the half of it!!” And we all laughed. I complimented them on all the new scrapbook stuff they’ve been getting and told them to keep it coming. {I realize they’re employees, not buyers, but it never hurts to put in a good word, right?}.

I ended up grabbing a paper pad from We R Memory Keepers with sport stuff, called “MVP,” for $12 instead of $20. I would link you the whole line on the WRMK site, but I couldn’t find it there. Gotta’ say, I’m not a big fan of their website, the way it’s organized and the lack of information. But I copied this from an online retailer.

When I was checking out, the cashier told me that Michaels would no longer have ads in the Sunday paper, and that coupons would be strictly from the mailing list/website. She gave me a cute flyer explaining how to get on the mailing list, and I told her I was already on it, so I’m good to go. I asked her why did she think they were doing that, and she assumed it was due to cost, but had not been told that. So, more things changing due to the economy, I guess. I enjoy looking through the Michaels ad on Sunday mornings, along with Target and a few others, while I drink my coffee. Then I go right to the cupboard for my scissors, cut the coupon out, and stick it in my purse. So now my routine will change and I’ll have to remember to print the coupon out from the computer, but whatevs. I’m cool with it. Can’t blame them for having to stop the ads; they must be really expensive when you imagine ALL the newspapers they’re in. Some Canadian Peas said they’re doing the same thing up there. I do wonder if it’s a good business move though, don’t you? Do you think having the ad right there in your paper entices crafters and non-crafters alike to buy when they normally wouldn’t? I mean, you and I who are computer savvy (and on this dang thing all the time) have no problem just getting on their e-mail list and checking the ad online. But what about Nancy Sue in Kalamazoo who browses her Sunday ads, sees silk trees or Christmas decor on sale at Michaels, and thinks, “Oh, that’s a good price. I should go check that place out.” KWIM? Without the ad, I could see Michaels losing a lot of business. Anyway, us Mike’s freaks can view the weekly ad and sign up to receive printable coupons via e-mail HERE.

So, I left Mike’s, grabbed my sugar-free latte from StarCrack’s….erm, I mean…Starbucks, and got to the crop by about 10. There ended up being nine of us there. The hostess gave me a goodie bag with 3 sheets of Scenic Route 12×12 paper, all of which I ended up using on a “Back to Skool” 2-pager. The hostess had some things for sale (I bought 2 packs of Thickers….finally found one pack I’d been looking for….some Daisy D rub-ons, and a few other things).

There was a Creative Memories rep there taking catalog orders and I spoke to her about getting the new crop bags that are coming out….have you seen them? OMG! So so so cute! The whole set is black and white with a subtle daisy design and the interior of all the bags are pink polka dots. I love having a light-colored interior as it’s easier to find things. I can’t find a photo online or I would show you. I’ll go on and on about these bags in another post when I can find a photo of them. But I told the CMC that I was going to ask for the large bag (like an XXL) and a couple others for Christmas from my mom and DH. The bags I have were purchased piece meal. They’re old and they don’t match…some black, some navy, some blue. I got her card and will contact her when the time comes.

There was also a crop friend there selling Memory Works. She is a really sweet lady I’d met before through the crop hostess. We got to commiserate about being Memory Works Consultants and compare notes, so it was great. She had some Scrapbook Trends magazines (well, they’re like books really) for sale for $8; I think they’re usually $15. I don’t ever buy ST because it’s so dang expensive plus ~ I guess I’m a weirdo ~ but I like the ads so an “ad free” magazine isn’t a good thing to me, LOL! But I bought this issue called, “TrendSetters” which showcases 15 top scrapbookers; it’s from 2006. I love reading profiles of scrappers and seeing their work.

I couldn’t find this issue on the SCRAPBOOK TRENDS website but an online retailer sells it for about $14 (discounted), so I did get a good deal.

So, shopping and cropping all day. Couldn’t have had a better day if I tried. Hope you got some scrappy time this weekend as well. What do you think about the disappearance of Michaels ads in the Sunday paper?

Good Grief Blog: Scrapbooking the Loss of a Loved One

Isn’t it interesting the way God times things in our lives? Giving us just what we need, just when we need it…

I recently posted this layout on my blog, about my Dad who passed away 16 years ago.

In case it’s too small to read, the journaling is simply the lyrics from “THE DANCE” by Garth Brooks:

Looking back
on the memory of
the dance we shared
beneath the stars above.
For a moment
all the world was right.
How could I have known
that you’d ever say goodbye?

And now
I’m glad I didn’t know
the way it all would end,
the way it all would go.
Our lives
are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain
but I’d have had to miss
the dance.

It’s only the second layout I’ve been able to complete about my dad, even though I’ve been scrapping for 8 years. Doing layouts about him is such a struggle for me. The first one I did was for a Father’s Day challenge at AMR, and the second one {above} was recently done for a Book of Me challenge, also at AMR. Are we seeing a pattern? LOL I only seem to force myself on this issue…if I’m challenged. I’m one of those who didn’t really allow myself to go through the whole grieving process as I should have right after he died. So, here I am 16 years later, STILL kind of avoiding the feelings most of the time. The strange thing is that when I force myself to do these challenge layouts that involve my grief over his loss, I DO feel better afterwards. Part of that is the relief of getting some long pent-up feelings out on paper, and part of it is the encouragement, sympathy, and other heartfelt comments my fellow scrappers make about the layouts. Which I realize are the works of a mediocre scrapper, but do come from an honest place in my heart.

That said…I honestly don’t know when I would’ve done another “Dad” layout in the near future. I’m tellin’ ya’….PAIN. FULL. Full of pain. Right? And Avoidance is my middle name, baby!

Then along comes my homegirl EMILIE at the SCRAP REVIEW {love her for so many reasons; hers is one of the only blogs I make sure to read on a daily basis} to help along with some divine intervention :) She posted THIS about a new blog called GOOD GRIEF. Here is what it’s about, taken from the Good Grief blog:

We here have all experienced a loss. Together, we hope to heal. This site is intended to help in that process…to be a source of inspiration and motivation…and to simply be a place to share and know that others understand. To that end, we (the contributors) have created these scrapbook challenges. For us, scrapbooking about our lost loved ones is therapeutic on many levels. Challenges are completely open…anyone can participate and challenges are very much open to interpretation…take from them whatever helps YOU. Tackle them in whatever format suits you (layouts, mini albums, home decor, anything!). No rules…New challenges and examples will be posted on the 1st and 15th of each month. Between challenges, more in-depth looks at the contributor layouts will be posted. As this site evolves, we hope to add more content between the challenges and will look to you for ideas and suggestions.

And whaddya know? Their first challenge is….USE LYRICS. Bla-dow. DONE. Mwuh. Meant to be. Am I right? So I’m taking this as a sign: My angel, Emilie, was sent to give me the message about Good Grief. And me not being one to ignore angel messages, I will be entering my above layout in their first challenge, and plan to enter more challenges in the future.

Those Good Grief girls are just what I need. Challenge, inspiration, and the knowing of true grief. AMANDA PROBST started the blog ~ You may know her from CREATING KEEPSAKES. When I used to hang out at CKMB, she often posted and I remember when her dad died because, boy oh boy, could I relate to the feelings she was expressing. Like her, I lost my dad suddenly due to an accident, while he was in his 50s, so we are both raising children who are growing up without a Grandpa who should, mathematically speaking, still be here. Amanda was also sweet enough to join us once for Scrap Chat Hour at AMR, back when HER BOOK came out.

So, yeah, it all comes full circle, doesn’t it? I love this online scrapbooking community. It’s full of wonderful women whom I’ve never met in real life, and probably never will, yet they touch my heart in their own little way, at just the right time, with just the right inspiration. God bless them.

Typos in Published Scrapbooking Articles and Layouts :(

Okay, I’m gonna’ have to go off on a little rant here because this really bothers me. I’ve seen this over the years and kept my mouth shut but here we go….this mutha’ is ON now!

I’ve been reading through a special issue from SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKS called “Scrapbook Play with Photos”….

….and, not to pick on just them because I see it everywhere but this is just the most recent example. I’m not even through the entire issue yet and I’ve already found several typos in the magazine text, and typos on layouts. {Just so you know, I’m purposely not mentioning the name of the article writer or person who created the layouts, as my intention isn’t to embarrass any one person and, actually, I lay the blame at the foot of the magazine editors anyway}.

Page 11 – A soccer team layout – which is totally rockin’, by the way – with a glaring typo in the layout title, “We are the CHAMPOINS.” I read through the entire page, assuming there was some explanation for the mistake but there was none. I mean, really, how do you MISS that before the magazine goes to publication? It’s hugely noticeable from the second you look at the page.

Page 14 – A cute little boy with curly hair layout called “That Hair!” with journaling that includes, “End the end, we aren’t sure.”

Page 24 – In the text to explain how to “dress up a picture with a transparency sheet,” it says, “…it will subtle detail and design interest….”

And I’ve only read through page 44 of a 99-page issue!

Okay, I know I’m picky. When I was a program analyst for 9 years, I used to proudly say, “I put the ANAL in ANALyst.” I was an English major and I used to edit fellow students’ thesis papers and Senior Projects for fun. I’m a transcriptionist who gets tiny joy from fixing all the little errors doctors make when they dictate. Okay, yeah, yeah, I’m WAY pickier with this stuff than your average bear. I get it.

But are all these typos and mistakes acceptable? For me, when I see errors like this in a professionally published magazine, I loose truckloads of respect for all involved. I mean, if I were a scrapper lucky enough to get my work chosen for publication, you can bet your bippy I’d be proofing my title and journaling within an inch of their lives. And then I’d have every person I know proof it, too. Yet time and time again, I see published layouts that have misspellings, missing letters or words, or other mistakes in the journaling or title. I do remember a couple times – I think it was discussed on the CKMB so this must’ve happened to layouts that were published in one of their mags – that it wasn’t the scrappers fault; one time a layout was published with something turned the wrong way and another time an embellie had fallen down to the bottom of a layout during shipping and the magazine photographed it that way….much to the dismay of the scrapper, who saw her beautiful layout misrepresented to a huge audience. Okay, THAT kind of thing, I don’t blame the scrapper for. Maybe the sweet lady who made the “CHAMPOINS” layout assembled it correctly, then the letters fell off in shipping, and the magazine staff reassembled it incorrectly. Any way you slice it, the magazine is responsible for making such a huge mistake.

As for all the typos in articles, features, and such, I just don’t get it. I see them all the time in the scrapbooking magazines, and I’m not just talking about in recent months when magazines are cutting staff or their hours due to economic hard times. This has all been happening since the “rich heyday” when they all had full staffs. Honestly, I don’t pretend to know how FUH-REAKIN’ hard it must be to put out a monthly magazine. I know there are so many details upon details to be completed perfectly. I can see how a “their” that shoulda’ been a “there” could be missed on occasion. However, I’ve always been really stumped by the fact that SO many little errors, typos, and imperfections find their way into scrapbook magazines. I also read “People” and “Us” on a regular basis and very rarely catch typos or mistakes in those magazines. Funnily enough, they often print their own “corrections” in the next issue and I’ll scratch my head, going, “Hmmm, I missed that.” Guess I don’t know the names of all the celebrities’ kids as well as I thought, huh? It’s not really the same thing anyway, because it’s not typos they’re usually correcting, just incorrect information like saying it was Goldie Hawn in a photo caption when it was really Kate Hudson, LOL.

On a side note, don’t even THINK of pointing all all the typos and mistakes in this blog, for the following reasons: 1. I am not read by millions, 2. I am a staff of one, 3. I’m usually working on 3 hours of sleep and no coffee, 4. Sometimes I put them in just for fun and to see if you’re paying attention, and most importantly, 5. I am not paid. At the jobs where I’m actually paid, I work my tail off to make sure there are never typos. But here on the blog, see, it’s a whole different ball a’ wax…

So, what do you think? Do you notice all the mistakes in the scrapbooking magazines? Does it bug you? Why do you think it happens? I’d be really interested to know your thoughts.

Paper, Scissors, Death: A Scrapbook Mystery

Sometimes in our little online world, you make the coolest friends (whom you’ve never really “met”), and they help you out in the coolest ways. My “friend” Nicole from the HUMOR ME blog (and a fellow CKMB’er and fellow AMR MB’er) hooked me up big time! Gosh, it’s a long story and I’d probably farkle it up anyway but long story short, Nicole gave my e-mail and blog info to the author of not one but TWO new scrapbooking novels. (PS: Nicole is quite the writer and is beginning to rub elbows with Big Time Writers. She’s been published on the Killer Hobbies Blog and was just asked back to write for them again). The author is JOANNA CAMPBELL SLAN who is associated with a fun hobby blog called KILLER HOBBIES. Okay, pause, rewind…first I need to say THIS BOOK IS NOT COMING OUT UNTIL FALL 2008 and will be published by MIDNIGHT INK. Anywaaaayyyyzzz…thanks to Nicole “introducing me” to Joanna, I am one of the lucky bloggers she has chosen to send an advance copy of her book!!! I’m so frickin excited! I don’t get it until September but that’s okay, I can wait. Then I’ll read the book, give you all a review on my blog, and hopefully even have the author herself “come by” around the time the book comes out. Okay, you have to understand, I love to read novels, I love to write, I LUH-HUH-HUV scrapbooking. What better stinkin’ thing could happen to me? Well, I will tell you…NOTHING! Ha!

So there are all kinds of cool things about this book, including that it’s part of a series and Joanna has already written Book #2, to be called “Designed for Death.” The e-mail I just got from Joanna is full of details but I’m not sure how much I can say yet, so I’ll share with you as I can. Maybe I’ll put out little teases all summer, LOL. For now, I’ll share this from Joanna: “…as of today, AMAZON was accepting pre-orders. Signed copies are available through Main Street Books of St. Charles (email msbstchas@sbcglobal.net).” So if you are as excited about this new novel as I am, you can pre-order it now (click HERE. (C’mon, it’s showing on pre-order as only $10.17 plus another 5% off at checkout), or even request a signed copy!

What do you think? Are you looking forward to Joanna’s books? Have you read any scrapbooking novels or mysteries before?

More On Stacy Julian Leaving…

Please see THIS POST (or just look right below this post) for the news that broke yesterday. Just wanted to direct you again to STACY’s BLOG, as she has now posted about these events. And also back to the SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKS blog, as their editor, Jennafer Martin, left a nice post today (again, undated, and there is no direct link…so if you click my link, it will take you to the blog but not directly to the post…grrr…). There are also links to blogs with “Stacy” posts, and they announced the winner to the daily contest from yesterday.

Stacy Julian: Stepping Down from Simple Scrapbooks

From the Simple Scrapbooks BLOG today (? … I guess…it’s not dated…)

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Oh the Places You’ll Go!
Well, we can’t keep Stacy to ourselves anymore! She’s got so many exciting new opportunities coming her way (on top of a schedule only Superwoman herself could manage) that she’s decided she needs to lighten her load here at Simple Scrapbooks magazine. Stacy is a true entrepreneur, a big-picture thinker (pun intended!), a creative machine, and a scrapbook ambassador. And it’s only going to get bigger and better from here. We are so happy for Stacy–she’s following her heart, and we have no doubt that great things will come out of this move. We can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
While Stacy will be less involved in the day-to-day runnings of the magazine, we will insist on publishing her projects whenever possible. And her original vision will continue to guide this magazine, as it has from day one. Stacy will always love Simple, and Simple will always love Stacy. We’re certainly going to be keeping tabs on her, and looking for opportunities to grow and evolve the scrapbook industry together!

You can look forward to your regular dose of Stacy in the next FOUR upcoming issues: May/June, July/August, September/October, and our Mini Albums in an Evening special issue, on sale in July. In the meantime, please join us in celebrating Stacy as we kick off the first-ever Stacy Julian Appreciation Week! Want to join in the festivities? Here’s what you do:

1. Call. We’ve set up a special toll-free number that you can call for the next 30 days and leave Stacy a voicemail! How cool is that? Call 1-888-HUG-STACY to share your thoughts. (note: that cool vanity number won’t be live until Monday AFTERNOON. In them meantime, you can leave your message at 877-809-8041.)
2. Comment. Leave a comment on THIS blog to let Stacy know how much her work has meant to you. We’ll pick one random commenter EVERY DAY this week to win a copy of Stacy’s new book, Photo Freedom. {NOTE: Leave a comment on the SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKS blog, NOT Scrapbook Obsession. I’m sure Stacey does not read my blog, nor will I be handing out books for free, LOL!}
3. Browse. Check out what Stacy has to say on her blog, and please leave her some happy mail there as well. Then visit Wendy’s blog and Cathy’s blog for more Stacy tributes (one done in video form!).
4. Check Back. We’ve got guest bloggers showing up all week long, so check back every day for news and updates. (Our Editor in Chief Jennafer Martin is on deck for tomorrow.)

sj

A Note from Angie to Stacy:
Stacy, this is my favorite picture of you. It reminds me what a cheerleader you’ve always been to me personally and to the readers we all care so much about. I really mean this: I scrapbook today because your philosophy rescued me. I was overwhelmed by my pictures. I felt behind. I had given up. But your Simple Scrapbooks vision got me back in the game. And for that I will always be grateful. Thank you for the inspiration, the motivation, and the SmartCookies you brought to our meeting last week. Also, thank you for publicly admitting that you are a nose picker, which inspired me to come out of the closet with my nose picking ways. Booger Busters unite! (Not sure if you wanted it to be THIS public, but there it is.)
[Um, yes Angie, that was way TMI!]

p.s. We’re also sending Stacy a different present every day this week. Once I know she has received today’s present, I’ll let you know what it was!
++++++++++++++++++++++

The post above says to keep checking blogs from Stacey, Wendy and Cathy so here are the links if you’re interested.

Nothing on Stacy Julian’s BLOG yet but I’ll keep checking.

Wendy Smedley’s BLOG – she has already posted a ‘PUBLIC APPRECIATION‘ for Stacy.

Cathy Zielske’s BLOG – she has posted a very cool YOU TUBE FOR STACEY

CONGRATS to Stacy Julian! It sounds like we’ll still be seeing her in the scrapbook world, just extending beyond SIMPLE SCRAPBOOKS magazine. I’m assuming the BIG PICTURE SCRAPBOOKING and BOOK WRITING PROJECTS are going so well, that’s where we’ll find her. But with Stacey, you never know. I hear she has boundless amounts of energy so perhaps we’ll see her in other places as well. I look forward to seeing what Stacy has in store for us.

I hope you enjoy participating in the contest on the SS blog, and that you leave a note of appreciation for Stacey somewhere. I think she deserves to know how much she means to all us scrappers.

Photos of My Shopping Haul

In THIS POST the other day, I told you about my 3 scrap-shop-stops @ Michaels, a craft store, and my LSS. Here are pics of my haul…

PATTERNED PAPERS:
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On the far left is the MAMBI kit, merely called “Family” from Michaels. It has cool primary colored papers and lots of rub-ons and Soft Spokens related to family togetherness. But what sold me were the three lines of orange, green and blue blingees AND the chipboard sheet with large circles, which I’ve been needing to complete a layout from EASY PATTERNS for ages. Anyway, all their kits were 40% off, whoo hoo. Come to think of it, I should have gotten more (uh, dork!).

Next is 2 sheets of Chatterbox called “Sweetheart Roses,” one side with a modern flower design, the other solid pink. Then I think my fave PP of the day, 2 sheets of “Affection” by Prima. One side is deep color stripes, the other deep red roses. I love the roses so much, I think I’ll use both sheets as roses and just forget the stripes! But isn’t that always the challenge of double-sided paper? You love both sides, like two children you’ve given birth to, how do you CHOOSE!?! Next are a couple of sheets of “Pastel” Doodlebug (polka dots & flowers), then a random stripey one, then 2 more older sheets of “Obviously Orange” Doodlebug with a bright summer theme. And lastly, on the far right, 2 sheets from “Jack+Abby” by Love, Elsie. That ledger style on the last sheet caught my eye, then I found the brown circles paper to go with it. On the very bottom of the pic are 3 sheets of very Spring-y papers from Bo Bunny Press called “Lil Princess.” The photo doesn’t do them justice because the colors are really WOW, very cheery and bright. All 3 are double-sided with pink, yellow and green on the back sides and thick like cardstock.

Now for the BAZZILL:
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Is something seriously wrong with me that I get such overwhelming JOY looking at all that Bazzill cardstock?? On the top row are the sheets with either linen or grasscloth texture; ooh, such purdy colors. The bottom row is Bling and then a couple scallop designs. Proud to say I only paid full price for 2 sheets from all that PP and cardstock. Wicked cool.

Okay, well, it’s been decided. I’m not going admit I have a problem, because if I do, that would be the first step in my recovery. And I don’t wanna recover…so there! I ENJOY being addicted to paper. I EMBRACE my obsession with texture and color and design. I’m NOT embarrassed to admit that I love the smell of paper and the weight of it in my hands when it’s all stacked nicely, corners matching up perfectly. So, are ya’ with me??

Scrapbook Organization: My Space…AGAIN

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!

Crops and Shopping and Blogging…

Don’ t have time to write much now, but I wanted to check in and say “hey”. So, HEY!

~ I hosted crops this past Friday and Saturday, from 8am to 12 midnight both days. Phew! Lots of work but SO worth it. I had such a blast and sold a lot of scrapbook supplies, so it’s all good. Will tell you more about it later.

~ Went scrapbook shopping today while my mom is in town. Got a lot of cute stuff, and finally found the book I’ve been wanting: The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker. I’ll give a review when I’ve gone through it.

OAIS book

~ Okay, what’s up with my last post re: the latest HOF scandal with Bernadette and the two new HOF’ers? There have been lots of looks at it, but no one is commenting (there are 2 comments on that entry, but about other issues). Are y’all just burned out on the HOF issue? Did I say something wrong? You’re just too busy these days? C’mon, you’re hurtin’ my feelings…WTF??

~ My blog is about to roll 40,000 views – wahoo! Since I started the blog about 10 months ago, that’s an average of 4,000 hits a month, and 133 hits per day. I feel so lucky and grateful ~ THANKS! Please keep reading and commenting :)

CK Hall of Fame 2007 & The Drama That Has Ensued…

I tell ya’, you go away for a little scrapbook retreat weekend, and this is what happens! Here is the gist of the story as I can gather it, only having time to scan a huge amount of posts at Creating Keepsakes and 2 Peas message boards from the last few days:

When the CK 2007 Hall of Fame book which showcases the winners came out recently, it was noted that one of the winners (Kristina Contes) had used at least one photo in her entry that was not taken by her – as required by contest rules. Apparently, there was no doubt about who took the photo, as photo credit was given to Nisa Flin, who happens to be a professional photographer. There were lots of questions being asked about how she could have won, given that the rules weren’t entirely followed. Today, this message was posted on CKMB by way of explanation:

“It has been brought to our attention that in CK’s The Scrapbook Hall of Fame, Volume 9, we inadvertently listed an incorrect photo credit with the “Family of 3” layout. This was an editorial oversight on our part. CK apologizes to Kristina Contes for accrediting her photos to Nisa Fiin and for any inconvenience this may have caused anyone. If you have any further questions or suggestions, please e-mail us your thoughts at letters@creatingkeepsakes.com and be sure to include “HOF Comments” in the subject line.

Brian Tippetts
Editor-in-Chief
Creating Keepsakes”

Well, no one was buyin’ it, to say the least. The responses to that message from Brian have now reached 10 pages, and still going strong. The statement that “CK apologizes to Kristina Contes for accrediting her photos to Nisa Fiin” was not accepted by the masses because there is apparently evidence abounding on the internet that the photo was indeed taken by Nisa Flin. Well, that led to the point that, on further examination of the HOF entries, there are possibly several entries with photos not taken by the entrant. As you can imagine, those HOF entrants who DID follow all of the rules, and took pains to only include photos taken by themselves, are pretty ticked. Others asked, essentially, “What’s the big deal? It’s only a contest. Everyone makes mistakes, even CK. At least they admitted it and apologized.” Which was responded to with, essentially, “It’s not ‘just a contest’ if you put countless hours and inspiration and money into your HOF entry, and took pains to follow every single rule, only to lose to someone (or several someone’s) who didn’t follow the rules.” Another point being made is that, for those who would like scrapbooking to be a career or professional accomplishment, winning or losing HOF is an entirely big deal. I would equate it to Halle Berry winning the Oscar ~ you betcha’ she got a lot more and better roles after that and deservedly so. Winning big contests or awards is a way for excellence to be recognized, put on a pedestal, and shown to a much wider audience. In response to complaints of posts being deleted by CK because they questioned the contest, CK posted this Reminder:

“Thank you for being a part of the CK message board! We would just like to remind everyone of the guidelines you agreed to follow when you created a message board account. Messages that do not uphold these guidelines will be pulled.

You agree to be respectful of others’ ideas and opinions. You will not use any expression of racism, bigotry, obscenity or profanity (including asterisks [*] to represent profanity). We will not permit such comments.

You agree to not make personal attacks, or “flames.” (Flames are comments about a person rather than about his or her opinions.) In addition, you agree to refrain from posting libelous remarks about companies or individuals. Libel is defined in Webster’s II New College Dictionary as “A written, printed or pictorial statement that defames one’s character or reputation or exposes one to public ridicule.” We reserve the right to remove messages that we consider libelous. This is a serious matter. If you post libelous remarks, legal action can be taken against you. To learn more about libel, see www.firstgov.gov or the Libel Defense Resource Center.

You agree to be respectful of Creating Keepsakes and our staff. We are happy to provide this message board as a free service, but we reserve the right to delete messages that are disrespectful to us. We work hard for you, and we appreciate your polite consideration as you make comments about our staff and our publications.

Please see our guidelines for further details: http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com/mb/guidelines.ihtml
_________________
CK Online”

And after bunches of negative (and some positive) feedback to his original statement, Brian added this to his original post:

“UPDATE:

Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this issue. According to the information we have received, the photo credit attributed to Nisa Fiin that appeared with the “Family of 3” layout on page 20 of The Scrapbook Hall of Fame, Volume 9 should have appeared with the “This Is Real” layout on page 49, the “Laughter” layout on page 107, and the “Precious” layout on page 159. We admit this is inconsistent with the statement in the Official Rules that “Entries, including photographs, must be the sole work of the entrant.” During the judging process, we had no information that the stated photos were taken by someone other than the contestant. We apologize for any confusion this has created regarding the Hall of Fame Contest. Because of the lengthy speculation regarding this issue, we would like to explain our judging process in depth to provide insight into why photographs have appeared in The Scrapbook Hall of Fame special issue that are not the sole work of the entrants.

Before judging the entries, we verify that each one follows the specified format, which is:

“1. Complete the scrapbooking assignments listed on the reverse side. For the purposes of this contest, a “layout” is a one- or two-page scrapbook layout that conveys a single theme. Assignments are also listed at www.creatingkeepsakes.com/hof.
“2. You can send us your assignment layouts in three different ways. (1) Take photographs, (2) print computer scans or (3) make reduced color copies (so that four layouts fit on one side of a sheet of 8½” x 11” or 12” x 12” paper). Do not send original layouts; we are unable to return materials. On the back of each color copy, photograph or printed scan, print your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and a complete list of supplies used to create the layout (including both the manufacturer and product name of each supply used).
“3. Affix the color copies, photographs or printed scans to the fronts of three sheets of 8 ½” x 11” or 12” x 12” paper (three or four layouts to a page) by applying photo tabs or glue stick to the backs (unselected, unpublished layouts will be separated after judging to be considered for use in the magazine and future special issues). Identify each layout with a label corresponding to the assignment letter that the layout fulfills.”

The Official Rules state that “Entries that do not follow the specified format, or that include more or less than 10 scrapbook layouts, will automatically be disqualified from the 2007 Scrapbook Hall of Fame contest.”

Once we have completed this disqualification round, we judge entries on a “blind” basis, which means that we do not have access to the entrant’s name when we view his/her layouts. We have no way of knowing whether the contestant is among the people pictured in the photos and as such cannot verify whether photos are the sole work of the entrant during the judging process. Even if we could verify that, the disqualification round has been completed, and while we expect entrants to follow the guidelines, our only policy for disqualification is stated in the previously mentioned formatting requirements.

Fairness in identifying the industry’s top talent has always been our top priority. Entrants who follow our specified format, sign the agreement that they have followed the Official Rules and exhibit talent based on our judging criteria are awarded the title of Hall of Fame.

Because we cannot verify that all photos are the sole work of the entrants and because of the feedback we have received, we are seeing legally what we can do to address this issue in the 2008 Hall of Fame Contest and will also address it in future contests. Please check www.creatingkeepsakes.com/hof2008 in the upcoming weeks for an updated message.

As a final note, we’d also like to address any concerns that the CK editorial team has been removing posts from the message board as some sort of cover up. This is not the case. Only those posts which violate the TOU of the message board will be removed. Please see the “Reminder” post from CK Online in the Scrapbooking forum for further clarification.

Brian Tippetts
Editor-in-Chief
Creating Keepsakes”

Again, the ladies aren’t buyin’ it. In a nutshell, those who are upset feel that, even given the way HOF entries are judged, this situation shouldn’t have happened. At some point in the process, CK should have caught the inconsistency even if the entrants mistakenly or purposely did not follow the contest rules. There are posters threatening legal action, to cancel CK subscriptions, never buy a CK product or attend a CK event, enter any scrapbook contest, etc etc. To say the people are upset would be the understatement of the year. Unfortunately, this situation has made the normally peaceful CKMB ~ my very own Happy Place ~ into something resembling the Ultimate Fighting Championships. “New” members or “newbies” – an assumption based solely on their post count being under 20 or so – at first appeared to be the ones leading the negative charge against CK, and it was noted by some “old timers.” Others stuck up for the so-called newbies, pointing out that they may in fact be established members who started a new identity for fear of backlash after stating their opinions. I understand this; if I were an established CKMB’er who followed the rules of HOF and then discovered this problem, I would start a new ID before posting my true feelings. I don’t care what anyone says, there is professional backlash in the scrapbooking industry, just like in every other. Anyhow, then discussions started about how newbies aren’t welcomed, nay run off, at CKMB…then the defenders spoke up saying that wasn’t true.

I think where it stands now is just a running discussion of disappointment in CK and how the contest and aftermath have been handled. I know there are blogs where this is also being hammered out, and I do mean hammered with a capital H, but I don’t have the heart to read them right now.

{My disclaimer: I’m not involved in this situation. I’m not making accusations or statements or pointing fingers. I’m merely summarizing what I’m reading on message boards and quoting directly from statements made by CK in a public forum.}

I didn’t enter HOF or any other scrapbooking layout contest, nor do I plan to, that’s just not my bag. But I did once enter a contest to win a scrapbook store (yes, a scrapbook store!) that was closing. You submitted a layout with extensive journaling about why you should win the store and I poured my heart, soul, and lots of money into that contest. I can’t tell you the disappointment when I was told the contest was cancelled for not enough entries. So I can completely understand the pain this HOF situation causes to people. But, personally, I’m the type that likes to ‘wait and see’ in situations like this. I’m not going to comment yet, but let things settle in my heart and brain for awhile. I also want to see if CK does or says anything else before I make any kind of judgment about them. I can tell you it’s not looking good. But I wanted to share this event with you and hear your thoughts if you’re NOT kinda’ shocked speechless like I am. Yes, I know ‘it’s only scrapbooking’, but to the Scrapbook Obsessed, it’s a big deal…

Rock Star by Die Cuts With a View

I took my 40% coupon to Michaels today, intent on picking up the new idea book, Super Fast Pages with 4×6 Photos…

BH 4x6 photos book

I’ve been wanting to get this because I love to use uncropped 4×6 photos on my layouts whenever I can.

But then I saw this:

DCWV Rock Star

Prominently displayed on an end cap, was the new DCWV collection, Rock Star! I had heard mention of it over on the CKMB, but wasn’t that intrigued. But when I saw the gorgeous flocked papers with such cool designs, the light bulb went on above my head: “Duh, you just went to two concerts, Americanmom!” Then there was the chipboard accents – I was sold. The idea book – which I already had in my hot little hands – went back in the rack. I got 3 sheets of the paper, and used my coupon on the chipboard set. All this Rock Star stuff will be perfect for my concert layouts of Aerosmith and Rascal Flatts. Don’t you love it when something just comes together like that?

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.

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.

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.

Tag, You’re It!

I’ve been tagged by my blog buddy Karen over at Scraps of Mind (http://karooch.wordpress.com/).  (Sorry, things like this prove how computer UN-savvy I am!!  I don’t know how to show you the book cover or make the websites attach right into the name).

1.  Find the nearest book:  Cool.  I’m reading a good one right now about a little girl who seems have a special connection to God that no one can explain – divine voices, stigmata then miraculous healings.   

2.  Name the book and the author:  Keeping the Faith by Jodi Picoult

3.  Turn to page 123.  Okie dokie…

4.  Go to the 5th sentence on the page & copy out the next 3 sentences onto your blog.  “It has been years since he personally went to confession or took communion, and religion for Allen will always be scarred by the bestiality of the nuns who taught his parochial school classes.  But Catholicism runs deep, and this girl has made him rethink his choices.  What if, all these years, he’s been wrong?”

5.  Tag 3 more people.  Okay, I’m tagging Ilse (www.ilsesjournal.com), Leslie (http://oranginadreams.wordpress.com/), and Scrappy Cat (http://scrappycat.wordpress.com/).

Memory Works, Scrapbook Idea Books, and Blog Hits

I’m going to the doctor today for what I think is strep throat, so this post will be brief.  Just a few things:

1.  I got some nice e-mails from Memory Works last week.  One was a quarterly newsletter that had page ideas, product updates, corporate updates, introduced business office members, and introduced the design team members.  It had color photos and was very nicely put together.  There was also a sneak peek at the March 2007 monthly kit which is absolutely adorable.  My consultant kit is due here today and, once I’m feeling better, I can’t wait to get my MW consultant site up and running.  The new MW catalog comes out in April and they’ll be giving sneak peeks periodically until then on new products from CHA.

2.  Last week, I used my 50% coupon at Michael’s for an idea book I’ve been wanting called “the me book” by Autumn Leaves.  It has been fun to look through and get ideas.  I’m so impressed with the journaling, with how revealing and insightful the designers are.  They share the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It inspires me to do the same.  Life is not perfect, and our scrapbooks shouldn’t be a fairytale either.  I always have my kids in mind when I do get that personal, and just make sure that nothing I say will hurt or harm them.  Otherwise, I think it’s a good thing to reveal who we really are, what we’ve been through, and what we’ve learned.

3.  Thank you for helping me toward my ‘blog hits’ goal of 1,000 hits by February 28, 2007.  It’s going well and I think we might make it!!!  I appreciate all the comments and am trying to answer every one.  Keep hitting :)

SBO blog header by Chrispea 0709

Hello world!

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I’m so excited!  My very own scrapbook blog!  How cool is that?  I figured since I’m thinking about scrapbooking 24/7 anyway, I might as well write about it.  I love to scrapbook.  I love to shop for supplies.  I loves me some scrapbooking magazines and idea books.  I spend too much time on the internet reading scrapbook message boards and blogs.  I have a scrapbook area in constant need of organizing – which I love to work on.  I TiVo all the scrapbook-related shows on television.  A lot of my relatives and good friends scrapbook, which I love, love, love!  Jeez, is there anything about scrapbooking I DON’T like???  Nope.  Can’t think of anything.