scrapbook consultant

Scrap Space Organization: Progress Report #1

Update to this ORIGINAL POST. Sorry, it’s not very well written below…just kind of stream of consciousness of what I’m doing, what questions come up, and what I’m learning along the way.

Here is the progress I have made so far:

~ Gathered all recently ordered customer products. Sticker on each one with customer’s name. Checked items received off order forms and noted if money due. Boxes into car for delivery to customers (wish I could readily find all of their addresses and phone numbers to call and tell them I’m coming by after work).

Result/Learned: Had about 4 large boxes with customer stuff that is now outta’ here! Wow, that already made a big difference. Unfortunately, something came up after work and I wasn’t able to deliver tonight but, hey, the boxes are outta my scrap area!

~ Gathered all Christmas card related items, finished Christmas letter (yeah, I know it’s late!), decided to forego handmade cards for everyone on my list and send them to scrapper’s only, started entering address/phone/e-mail information into Address Book on my Mac laptop while I watched the finale of the Biggest Loser. Filed from stack of 12×12 papers. Put random Mike’s stamps into stamp drawer. Need to inventory stamps so I don’t double-buy. Need to separate stamps that I’m giving for crop prizes from my own stash, and put them into my prize box. Prize box could go in a closet since I only access it on crop days or to drop new prizes into?

Result/Learned: Not having all of my customer and personal addresses computerized really costs me lots of time, aka time that I could spend on keeping my space organized. Mac Address Book will be wonderful once it’s up and running. I can separate contacts into groups like scrapbookers, crop invitees, customers, friends, family, business, sort them by birthday month for prizes and greeting card lists, etc. For easy Christmas card addressing, Address Book even makes Avery labels! Ain’t technology great? It seems like I “never have time” to get things up and running, but when I do make the time, it’s SO worth it. And doing a boring organizing task is easier if it’s one you can take in front of the TV, LOL. I also learned that it’s okay to let go of self-imposed obligations (like 50 handmade Christmas cards) if it helps me keep my sanity. Do you beat yourself up sometimes like I do over these self-created issues? I mean, the people on my card list didn’t ASK for or expect a handmade card, did they?

~ Got picture frames out of boxes and put into hall closet with other frames. Plan to complete all re-framing AFTER the holidays.

Result/Learned: Things like photo frames shouldn’t come into my scrap area in the first place, and I gained a good chunk of floor space by moving them. I need to change my mindset that, “If I don’t see it, it won’t get done.” Even if I DID forget that re-framing is a project I need to do, I’ll still see the frames whenever I open the linen closet (duh!).

I’m so glad y’all are joining me, giving me tips, and/or just following our progress and cheering us on. There are more from CKMB (some of you posted both places ~ thanks!). Here is THAT THREAD if you want to take a peek. Scrapper-organizers are already making progress ~ wahoo! I’m jealous of Scrapperdays and her new Lisa and Becky Rail System. This isn’t Julie’s actual system, but a picture of one that she posted on HER BLOG.

ch rail system

You can see the Rail System HERE on the Cropper Hopper website ( Here is another picture:
ch rail system2

So, if you haven’t joined our Organization Challenge, please do! Just post below to make it official. Take Before photos so you can see how far you’ve come. If you’re shy, you don’t need to post here ~ but do ORGANIZE! It feels so good and will let you start the new year in a fresh, clean, and productive space…

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!).


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.


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.


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!

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:


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!

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 :)

Shut Up and Scrapbook!

I’m really beating myself up about something lately and maybe you can relate…I hardly ever scrapbook anymore! There are a variety of reasons, but I find it so ironic, given that I AM Scrapbook Obsessed and all. From the time I started in 2002, I used to scrapbook probably an average of 5-10 hours per week. This was back when I worked full-time outside of the home, and yet I still managed to make time for it. Actually, I couldn’t wait to scrapbook! So, I would daydream at work all day about the pages I would create, then come home and scrap late at night after everyone went to bed. That dang alarm clock about got thrown against the wall most mornings, after getting only a few hours sleep, but…You know, I just felt in the groove and inspired and proud I was getting pages done and albums filled. I also went to crops put on by friends or at the LSS about once a month where, even though I had a chatty good time, I still came home with 5 or 10 pages done. I went to CKU twice in 2005 and came home re-inspired and with lots of cool projects done.

Next, there was a period of time, through most of 2006, when I hardly scrapped at all (although I kept on shopping!). I signed up for a European scrapbook cruise for October 2006, so I knew it was only fair financially that I forego the crops and the nights scrapbooking to spend time with the fam. I was going to be gone for 2 whole weeks in October, so I guess I felt guilty about going, spending the money, etc. and kind of overcompensated in that area (Jeesh! They were probably sick of me hanging around and were thinking, “Why doesn’t she just go scrapbook?!”). So, the cruise trip came and went and it was extremely awesome, a life-changing trip. If like me, you are of European heritage (in my case, Italian), you really should spend some time over there. I equate it to some spiritual experiences I’ve had, where my body and mind were overflowing with….just….STUFF! I wanted to burst from the depth of feeling when I experienced things like craning my neck back in the Sistine Chapel or hugging my long lost relative in Rome. So, the trip was just the very best experience (although I cried every night on the phone with DH because I missed my family terribly). When I got back, I felt so inspired by the classes we had, spending time with great scrappers from Creating Keepsakes, and all those glorious photos! But I have to admit that my huge cruise album project that started out with such grand intentions, soon became a burden, a project looming overhead everytime I thought about heading over to my scrap desk.

As 2007 started, all but one of my LSS’s closed and no one held crops locally anymore. I started working from home, became a s/b consultant, and began spending more time on the computer. Well, frick on a stick, I practically live here now! I discovered and soon became addicted (yes, literally addicted) to the CK Message Board because of all the scrap news, the enabling, the friendship, and the support I find there. I finally felt not alone, like there are other people out there who think about scrapbooking all day and enjoy talking about it as much as I do. Then I started this blog which, as much as I LURVE writing, does take considerable time. I’ve purposely stayed away from scrapbook shopping online, with Ebay, etc. because the last thing I or my credit card needs is another addiction. In the last few months, I’ve became a serious lurker at 2peas and discovered so many scrapbook blogs that I feel compelled to read. Which leads to ideas for explosion boxes and such that I must spend more time looking all around the internet for. On top of that, I now organize the crops instead of attending them and, woo-eee, does that take a lot of time (a labor of love, I tell ya). I’m blessed to be able to make a little bit of cheddar doing something as fun as selling scrapbook products.

So there you have it…”no time” to scrapbook. Is that ridonculous or what? I just have to laugh at myself (well, after I kick myself). I know one thing that holds me back is the disarray of my photos. Some are organized but many are not. Most of the recent ones still sit on my memory card or in iPhoto, just waiting to be developed (I’ve tried printing at home and just cannot get the colors right; I’m a printing failure and have wasted far too much time on that endeavor). My mom is visiting in November to attend a 2-day crop I’m holding. I’m going to ask her if she’ll stay an extra day or two and help me with my photos, because she is the Number One Organization Queen (I’m just the Princess, learning at her feet), and because she’s most excellent on the computer. On CKMB they have something called Walk Away Wednesday, where you just walk away from your computer on Wednesdays….NO! Don’t touch that mouse. Just turn around and walk away. Walk over to your scrapbook area and MAKE SOMETHING! So, maybe WAW’s would be a good start for me. With Christmas coming, I truly do have to get on it and make some gifts that I already have the supplies for. No fear, nothing will silence my ramblings on the blog here. But maybe I need to shut up and lurk on CKMB for awhile instead of constantly blabbering? And maybe I can just read my fave blogs instead of feeling I have to leave a comment every single time? Crud! Why don’t you just take away my Starbucks and force me to listen to gangsta rap while we’re at it! Shizzle…

Do You Need Scrapbooking Insurance?

That is a question I’d never considered…until I found THIS ARTICLE. Please give it a read; you won’t be sorry.

I have jokingly discussed this with some scrap friends, but never took it any further because I figured our homeowners policy would cover any loss of scrapbook supplies I ever suffered (oh, the horror! makes my skin crawl…). But this article got me thinking that I should look into our policy to make sure the limits are high enough to cover my stash that is surely worth thousands of dollars. Also, as a consultant for a scrapbook company, maybe I need to be insured as the article discusses. I know there are many of you in the same boat as me, so I hope you enjoy the article!

Scrapbook Crop #2: A Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memory Works: Crops and Monthly Scrapbook Kits

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

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

June MW Express

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

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

Here is the July Sneak Peek:

July MW Express Sneak Peek

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

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

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

Getting Your Scrapbooking Mojo Back

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

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

A Scrapbook Crop for Mothers Day

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

A Random Act of Kindness, Scrapbooking Style

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

Scrap Space Organization: A Report

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

Joys of Scrapbooking, Teaching and Starting Small

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

SB Weekend Delayed…

I was up until 1am getting ready for the event this weekend. Because I don’t have any Memory Works stock yet, I had gathered some other items I could have for sale – a few albums, adhesive, paper packs, embellishments, etc. I got everything inventoried, priced, and put in cute little baskets. I had about 1/2 of the car packed for the trip (my family was going with me). Then the phone rang at 10 this morning. It was my friend J, the hostess for the scrapbooking weekend tonight and tomorrow. One of her children is sick with the flu so we had to reschedule :( Wouldn’t you know it?! But better everyone be healthy so we don’t spread even more of this flu around. I think everyone I know has been sick several times this season.

Well, the good news was that Memory Works ordering is easy and shipping is fast! I placed my first order this Tuesday and had it shipped to J (she lives in another city) in the hopes it would arrive in time for this weekend. And it did – she got it yesterday. She said everything was beautiful and she was very happy with what she ordered. Now it will be ready for next time. The new catalog comes out soon and they have been putting up new items on the website called “Sneak Peeks”. So far, they have the new Basic Grey and Fancy Pants – yum!

Scrapbookers Weekend

In a recent post, I talked about a group of preschool moms who were inspired to learn how to scrapbook, or renewed their dedication to scrapbooking, after attending the memorial service of a friend.  The friends’ scrapbooks were lovingly displayed at her service and everyone was very touched by the deep meaning that scrapbooking can hold in our lives.  Well, through the efforts of my friend “J”, who told me this story, all those ladies will be scrapbooking together this coming weekend and I get to be there too.  J has asked me to help instruct those that are new to the craft, and to have my Memory Works products available should they need anything.  Some are just going to bring all their photos and work on getting them organized, a dreaded but so important task.  I hope to also get a little scrapping done myself, but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m so excited to do this.  I’ve mostly worked with experienced scrappers so, while I may share a tip here and there, I’ve rarely had the opportunity to teach someone from the ground up.  J and her family were at our house last weekend and, when I was showing her through the Memory Works catalog, she said, “You are so excited!  And you know your stuff.  You’re the perfect person to be a scrapbook consultant”.  Awww, shucks.  But it’s true that I am excited about ~obsessed with~ scrapbooking.  I have a list of things I need to do to get ready for next weekend.  And I have to…place my first order!!!  J ordered some things so I told her she’s my guinea pig. 

The challenge is that I’m still pretty sick.  They treated me for strep throat but it’s 3 days after taking the entire Z-pack and I’m still not better.  I go back to the doctor tomorrow morning but I think the prescription this time will probably be, “Just be patient.  You’ll get better”.  But I wanna’ be better NOW!! (stamp foot hard on ground).

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 :)

Goal Oriented, Scrapbook Style

I don’t know about you, but I do much better in life and am more productive if I set goals for myself.  So, here are some upcoming goals I have…and one of them requires your help!

1.  To scrapbook 52 pages in 2007 – That equates to 1 page per week, which is totally do-able.  I’m going to count pages, not layouts, so if I do a 2-pager I get credit for 2!  Also, I’m only going to count COMPLETED pages with journaling and all.  That is the part I usually struggle to get done and has kept many-a-page sitting in the ‘incomplete’ file.  I put it off, either because I want to computer journal or because I did the page at a crop and couldn’t concentrate well enough to journal in the midst of the madness.  What are your scrapbook page goals for 2007?

2.  To sell at least $1,000 in Memory Works products in 2007 – By that I mean $1,000 retail  & since I keep 20%, that would be $200 Washington’s in my wallet.  I’m not a big ‘salesperson’ type of girl, so I’m approaching MW as more of a fun thing to do.  Although extra money is always nice, I don’t need the income per se.  But I think any business should have goals, don’t you?  Now, the question is, do I count products I buy for myself toward the $1,000????  LOL, think NOT!  Somehow, I don’t think that helps my bottom line.

3.  To get at least 1,000 hits on this blog by February 28.  That would be just over 1 month I’ve been writing.  It makes me feel so good when people read this, and when they leave comments it just makes my day!  I’ve always loved to write, and you KNOW how I feel about scrapbooking.  This blog is the best of both worlds for me.  And since this is the first time since I was 17 years old that I haven’t been full-time employed, I have to admit I miss the comments like ‘good job’ or ‘wow, you’re a good writer’ or ‘thank you for that info you shared’ that I used to get from work.  I hope it’s not too selfish to feel this way.  But I hope you will keep reading, keep ‘hitting’ my blog, share with your friends, and I’ll let know how it goes.  Let’s DO this thing!  (Think I got that from the ‘Friday Night Lights’ football coach or something….).

Do you have any goals for 2007, scrapbook-related or otherwise??  Please share them in the Comments or shoot me an e-mail.  I would love to hear that I’m not alone here on Goal World.

Memory Works just called.  My consultant kit is being shipped as we speak!  Yowza!

Anybody Got an Apple?

I’m going to buy a new laptop in the next week or so.  Okay, this IS part of my Scrapbook Obsession, because I use my computer to journal and store/print photos (and to blog, ha!).  I’d like to use the new one for my Memory Works business and possibly try digital scrapbooking.  I’ve been thinking about what to buy for some time, but I really need to JUST DO IT!  I researched things like dependability, customer service (from an English-speaking country, please?), speed, and memory.  I had settled on a Lenovo laptop and was just waiting for the money (which has arrived).  Well, then I’m scrapping at a friend’s house one day and she has a beautiful Apple desktop with the 20 inch monitor.  It was gorgeous, and seemed so easy to use.  My friend said that, when she was recently computer shopping, a mutual friend recommended Apple because of their user-friendliness, security, and they don’t crash as often as PC’s do.  I really trust his opinion because he’s one of my “go to” guys on techie issues.  (Me = so far from a techie I can barely spell it).  Now, I’m pretty much sold on a MacBook Pro, Pro because I want the larger screen.  I’m thrilled that Macs can now run Windows and all the MS programs I’m used to, like Excel and Word.  They also run every type of software I’ve checked so far, like Photoshop and programs I’d need for work.  Now it seems like wherever I look, everyone’s got an Apple.  The local Mac store was way busier than the other computer stores I went to (no, it wasn’t because of the Ipod’s, those were in a separate section next door).  Is it just me, or is some big switchover happening?  Is Apple the way to go? 

I’ve been asking around and no one has had anything bad to say about Macs.  Ooohh!  And I want that iPhone that comes out in June 2007, too btw.  I guess my only remaining concern is that going with an Apple might hamstring me somehow down the road, and not run a crucial program or download that I need.  I won’t have a PC to back me up, because the laptop I have now (an HP Pavilion) is borrowed.  I’m sure the rightful owner will be happy to have it back.  Also, Macs are definitely more expensive – are they worth it?  I wish the computer fairy would descend from the clouds and tell me what to do.  Anybody got an Apple, and some advice??

The Best Holiday of the Year

According to a message board I’m on, there are some changes happening at Creative Memories!  I have already decided to be a Memory Works consultant, of course, but I’m excited for the CM consultants I know (and others who may want to join CM).  I haven’t verified the info, but this is basically what the post-er said:  The plans haven’t been finalized yet.   It is still $500 minimum retail sales every three months (cumulative, not in one month, like it used to be long ago).  There will be new shipping rates effective April 1, 2007.  They are $7.00 for orders under $100 and 7% for orders over $100.  There is a new recruiting incentive starting March 1st. When a hostess has a show with sales $400 or more, they can join as a consultant for only $72.50 (I edited what she said; this is not a direct quote).  So, it all sounds like great news.  I’m really happy about the shipping charges being reduced – they were $18 per order unless you had a really huge order.  If the consultant only keeps 30%, they would have to place an order worth $60 to just break even.  That just didn’t seem fair.  Again, great news!

Speaking of Memory Works, I will commence hounding of the mail carrier every day because my Consultant Kit should be arriving any time now.  On February 6, I got an e-mail saying it would ship in 7 to 10 business days.  All I’ve accomplished so far is buying a nice sized paper rack for $20 from an LSS that was closing, so I can display products at crops or parties.  And a dear friend who lives 2 hours away has offered to host a party for me.  We were going to hold it in March, but then I found out that Memory Works is coming out with a new catalog in April.  So, now we’re tentatively looking at the first Saturday in May since that is NATIONAL SCRAPBOOKING DAY!!! There are several sites regarding the wonderful “holiday” if you Google it, but this was my favorite:  It lists NSD events and even has a petition to make NSD a federally recognized holiday.  When I checked the petition, they had over 1,000 signatures – go scrapbookers!  I will keep you updated on my plans for that day.  If my own MW event doesn’t materialize, I’ve been invited to my SIL’s Creative Memories crop AND one at an LSS.  Whoo hoo, one of my favorite days of the year!  What are your plans?

I had another great find online this week.  First of all, don’t you just love Ali Edwards (check out her blog:!?  I have always admired her scrapbooking style.  It’s very fresh and unique, simple but revealing, just classy I think.  I’ve always wondered where she gets those cute little stamps she uses on her layouts for journaling, numbering photos, etc.  Well, via another blog, I finally figured it out: They have the KEE-YOU-TEST stamps.  And the prices are great, especially if you get them unmounted which I plan to do.  Shipping for unmounted stamps is only $1.50 per order, and unmounted stamps range in price from $1.50 to $5.  Not bad at all, huh?  You should check it out.

Battle of the Acronyms: CM vs. MW

It only took me weeks but I’ve finally made a decision about this scrapbook consultant thing.  I’m going to sign up with Memory-Works (I think).  As fate would have it, I learned about Memory-Works from a comment on my blog (thanks Leslie!).  I have been checking out their website and rolling everything around in my mind (as Sharon Stone says, “It’s a dangerous place like a dark alley.  You wouldn’t want to go in there alone”).  I had it narrowed down to Memory-Works and Creative Memories pretty quickly.  They both have so many pros and a few cons each, that it was REALLY hard to decide.  So I called my sis-in-law who’s been a CM consultant for 4 years in another town.  She gave me a lot of good information that you can’t find out by looking at their website.  After looking into each company, here are the ups and downs of each (sorry, my mom always told me to make a comparison list when I couldn’t decide something :)

Creative Memories positives:  Excellent quality, long-lasting products.  I ADORE the Power Sort Boxes and could use my 30% off consultant discount to stack them in my house, floor to ceiling.  The “Empowering Women” magazine made me feel so…empowered.  Lots of support and direction from the home office and fellow consultants, including some Yahoo CM Consultant groups (no Yahoo group for MW?).  Incentives to sell, sell, sell!  (all well and good if you sell, make you feel like an idiot if you don’t).

Creative Memories negatives:  High minimums:  When you sign up, you must sell right off the bat and there are incentives to reach the higher goal in 30,60 and 90 days.  From there, your 3 months starts and you have to sell $500 retail within 3 months.  Once you reach $500, the 3 months starts again.  Exclusivity:  If you’re a CM consultant, you cannot be a consultant for any other scrapbook-related company.  Not my style:  They have come a long way but the papers, stickers, journaling boxes, etc. are not really my style.  I’m the kind of gal who wears her thoughts all over her face and cannot tell a lie.  I like the more trendy stuff.  I do love their organizational items, tools, software and albums but is that enough to make me a good rep for them?

Memory-Works positives:  Trendy stuff!:  They have all my favorite brands of paper, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments.  I’m talkin’ Basic Grey, KI Memories, Chatterbox, and Autumn Leaves.  No minimum:  Well, there is one but it’s $75 retail per year so, like, no minimum.  Prices are listed on the website for customers (I’ve always hated that you never know the prices of CM!).  They have sales.  They have a monthly club kit.  They are cheaper to join and who has extra money?  Not me!

Memory-Works negatives:  They’re not a one-stop shop like Creative Memories.  But I think I can find a way to offer every basic my customers will need.  And I wish they had direct ship like CM – the consultant just gets an e-mail stating someone made an order & how much – kewl.

These are just some of the issues I’m considering.  As much as I respect the company, I think CM is just too big a commitment at this time in my life.  I live in a rural area and it’s hard to get people to come “all the way out to my house”.  The thought of HAVING to lug all my stuff to home parties every month (gotta’ meet that minimum!) pains me.  I’m also not crazy about the shipping costs.  My SIL says it costs her $18 for each shipment, no matter the size/weight (unless it’s for some God-awful huge order).  So, like she said, if a neighbor pops by and places a $50 order, the consultant gets $15 (aka 30%) and it costs her $18 to ship it.  I guess you can make the customer pay shipping but I’ve heard from other consultants that people will cancel or reduce their order when they hear they have to pay shipping – they can just go to Sue CM Consultant down the street who has it in stock – so that most just pay shipping themselves.   It seems the way to be a successful CM consultant is this:  when the deadline is coming and you haven’t met your minimum, buy stuff to have it in stock and pray it’s the stuff people will buy.  Have an understanding DH who won’t mind you taking over 2 closets to store your merch.  Keep your stuff packed up and your evenings clear – you gotta’ party or class to give!  Unfortunately, this situation does not match my life.  With Memory-Works, there is less income potential but less stress.  And I could use less stress.  I have until Feb. 7 to get a great deal on becoming a Memory-Works consultant.  Will let you know when I take the plunge!  Can’t wait to get started…

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