scrapbook magazines

Ali Edwards “Studio A” Leaving Creating Keepsakes Magazine

Read about it HERE on Ali’s blog….

This is a sad, sad day in Scrappy Land. After the December issue of CK (currently on newsstands), Ali Edwards and her “Studio A” column will be no more :( As of now, there are no plans for Ali to write any other features for CK, either.

The Peas are talking about it HERE, and the Scrap Sisters HERE

So can you read that great big writing on the wall, folks? Cuz I’m seeing it in big, black, ugly, capital letters: Creating Keepsakes magazine is on the way out.

Here are some of the signs I’m basing my opinion on:

BECKY HIGGINS leaves CK
– Crazy cheap CK subscription deals
LISA BEARNSON no longer does her monthly CK column after January 2010

Sorry, folks. I think CK is “done and done.” And I fear Scrapbooks Etc. is right behind them.

How many scrapbooking magazines will that leave us then? Oh, that’s right! NONE.

I gotta’ be honest here and say we have no one to blame but ourselves. I’ve heard time and time again on the message boards about scrappers dropping their scrap magazine subscriptions because they didn’t like this or that about the magazine. Now with Ali leaving CK, here comes another round of “Well, now for SURE I won’t renew!”

Do you see the parallel with the demise of the LSS? I sure do. “My LSS has the latest and greatest, but they (charge too much), (don’t kiss my butt when I walk in the door), (kiss my butt too hard when I walk in the door), (don’t order the exact brand and model number of product I want), (don’t have sales or coupons like the Big Box Stores),” etc. etc.

And guess what? The LSSs all closed while we scooped up coupons and Killer Deals at the big box stores. Hey, there are fewer choices, only major brands to choose from, and paper stacks galore, but at least it’s cheaper so we’re happy shoppers! Oh, wait, you mean if we don’t support the LSS and the variety of scrapbooking companies whose products they carry, the LSSs AND the scrapbooking manufacturers will go out of business?? Wha???

Well, yeah, that’s how it happens. And the same goes for scrapbooking magazines. We complained. We said, “Screw you. I don’t like exactly how you do your magazine, so I’ll just go get my content online for free from blogs and such!” We quit subscribing and buying from the newsstand. The newsstands stopped carrying scrap magazines, even for those of us who still want to buy them (but can no longer find them without searching). Scrapbooking magazines started folding. Did we stand strongly behind the remaining ones? No, we didn’t.

So now we have no Ali, Lisa, or Becky ~ three of the biggest scrapbooking names in the industry ~ and I think we can see where we’re going from here.

I’m not pointing fingers, believe me. First, because I know the horrible economy played a big hand in a lot of our decisions as scrappers. Second, because I did/do a lot of these same things, all in the name of saving money on scrap supplies. I did do everything I could to patronize my LSSs when they were here, but I live in a rural area and lost mine well before most others did. I did the best I could to support this industry, but I failed it in many ways, too.

I gotta’ say, I never gave up on the magazines, though. I criticized the changes at SB Etc. (because I thought they were making the wrong choice to save a struggling magazine), but I still bought it at full retail every month, as I did with every paper scrapbooking magazine out there. I really, really wanted to save them! I’m a Scrap Mag Ho, remember?

I just want us, as scrappers, to accept some of this responsibility. Ali is a symptom, not the problem or the cure. I will miss dearly the unique perspective she added to CK for years and years. I wish her great success in all she does in the future. I will miss her :(

When CK and SB Etc. disappear soon, I will miss them terribly, too. And I will have no one to blame but myself.

Michaels, CK December, and Starcrack Strikes Again!

Now that I work from home, um, I’m home … A LOT. Like, I haven’t put gas in my car for two weeks. Like, my sweats get more wear than my favorite jeans. Like, I now know what my dog does all day. Yeah, like I said, I’m home a lot, LOL!

My very DH works “outside the home” so he’s gone all day for the most part. When he came home from work yesterday, the kids and I turned the lights out and yelled “AHHHH!!!” when he opened the door. He didn’t even flinch. He just yelled over us, “Why is the dog barking? Why isn’t someone making the dog stop barking?!?” Hee. NOT the effect we were hoping for. But as I explained to him, the neighbors were working on their fence in the dark and since the barking was only going to bother them, and since it was their fault Landry was barking, I was done yelling at him to stop. After the eleventy-millionth time.

I told DH that the “scaring” him was stress relief for all of us because, although I know he thinks I have a cush job at home and have a blast at home all day, it really IS hard sometimes. I was moody, the kids were moody and tired, I was tired of being nagged at, they were tired of me nagging back, we were ALL tired of the dog barking, yadda yadda.

He said, “Oh, I don’t think you have it easy AT ALL! I know it’s hard to be in the madness all day.” And then he said, “Hey, go shopping or something. Get out of the house.” {Swoon!} See why I love that man? He knows when I clearly need some Mommy Time, you betcha’. I wasn’t able to go out that night (as ordered) because I got a call to do some transcription work, plus I had signed up to work a few hours overtime.

But Thursday night was the night. I went to Michaels first because I had two 50% off coupons and one expired on Thursday. I was also on a mission to find this stamp/punch set….

…. for a friend at SCRAP SISTERS STUDIO (my favorite message board where all my Scrap Homegirls hang out). She said in a post about new stuff at Michaels that she really wanted it, but her Mike’s is 2 hours away (which should be a crime, in my opinion) and didn’t know when she could get there next. So I offered to pick up the punch and ship it to her if I could find it….and I did! It was even on sale for 30% off, so she only paid 9 dollah for it. I also found the December CK finally, which I plan to snuggle down on the couch with as soon as I finish writing this.

Since I had been banished from the house, I knew they certainly didn’t want me back anytime soon so, for once, I was NOT in a rush and just took my time strolling through the aisles. I ran into a friend out front and we chatted. I looked at all the pretty Christmas ornaments and looked for a new tree angel (no luck). And I took the time to flip through each and every one of the new paper stacks they have. So wanna’ guess which one I ended up buying?

BLADOW!

* Picture courtesy of SCRAPBOOK.COM, who I hope some of you will link to and buy stuff (or at least click over there and increase their number of hits). Because the Cosmo Cricket website, which I would’ve PREFERRED to link you to, has some stupid “using our stupid images stupid policy.” Go Scrapbook.com! They know how to do business!

But I digress….Yes, I got the Cosmo Cricket “Earth Love/The Boyfriend” 12×12 double deck stack. You can see both lines HERE. Honestly, there is one pattern in Earth Love that kind of freaks my deak ~ they look like weird space mushrooms to me ~ so if anyone wants them, let me know (I can cut them into 6×6 and ship ‘em to you in an envie). It’s the pattern under the birds.

I ADORE the entire Boyfriend line. Some really cute papers in there for school layouts, and they also make me want to find some photos of DH from junior high and high school to scrap. There are cassette tapes, Atari joysticks, banana seat bikes, etc. Totally kewl, dude….

Anyway, got that stack for 1/2 off ($10 instead of $20), and used my other 50% off coupon towards a Christmas card kit for which I paid $8.50 instead of $17. Comes out to about 47 cents per card. As my dear old grampy used to say, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye!” Okay, I didn’t really have a grampy… I just made that up. But, yeah, I just outed myself. I’m a scrapbooker who cheats on her Christmas cards. I actually did stamp and make my own cards last year but, man, that is for chumps! Or for people not as lazy and selfish as me. WhatEVER! But it was WAY too much work and at the busiest time of year. What was I thinking???? So this year, I’ll do the traditional boring family Christmas letter, a 2009 photo collage, and *gasp!* cards made from a kit. I hope Scrapbook Santa will forgive me :)

From the clearance section, I got some Martha Stewart “Memory Labels” (18 pack) which are self-adhesive, come in orange, pink, and green, and say “Who, What, Where, When.” They could be used to make some cute invitations but I’m going to use them for journaling, of course (I have a journaling spot fetish). They were $2 instead of $4.

I went on to enjoy some more “me” time shopping at Target. {Nothing new in the scrap aisle…yeah, of course I looked!}. Prescriptions, Christmas shopping, a new Maeve Binchy book, etc. It was a nice, relaxing evening … even if I was doing a mommy job while I was there. You can relate, right?

On my way home, I stopped at the Starbucks drive-thru to get a latte for re-heating in the morning (remember, I work from home….I never. leave. the house) and got a big shock. My venti-sugar free vanilla – quad – breve – latte….now costs SIX BUCKS! Seriously? For shizzle. My ever so charming barista told me that they just raised their shot prices. So I now drink a six dollar coffee. Am I insane?

Um, yeah. Don’t answer that.

Shopping Report: Tuesday Morning, Michaels, and Costco

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Last weekend I did some shopping. Well, mostly window shopping, as it is these days, but it’s always fun to look, right?

First stop was Tuesday Morning….

Lots of crafty storage, scrapbook embellies, and scrapbooks. MM Halloween paints, etc.

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Those green rolling totes up top were cute, and I almost got that shoulder tote on the third shelf to use for a summer purse. It was a black/white print with some yellow and red…very cute.

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They still had some of the HEIDI SWAPP TOTES, small Tote-ally Cool Totes, and lots more scrappy stuff. Even some blank canvases on the bottom shelf.

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Tons of photo albums and scrapbooks…

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Making Memories goodies like ribbon and clear frames…

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These pre-done albums were SO tempting! Both by Making Memories, the red one was Fa La La and 8×8; the blue baby one was 8.5×11. Both were the nicely embellished inside. You could just pop in your photos, write some journaling, and be done.

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I almost got this pack of KI Memories icicles for the little scalloped shapes and the heart. But the other packs that it came with were things I already had, so when it came time to narrow my purchases, these poor babies were cut… :(

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This was interesting…a huge pack of the SAME Tigger cardstock stickers. I guess $2.69 is a great deal but WTH would you do with all those stickers, LOL!

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More cute Icicles and KI Memories test tubes…

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ADORABLE rubber embellishments and chipboard journal spots by KI Memories. Yes, these were in my hand, too, but didn’t make the final cut either….

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So, overall Tuesday Morning was decent. I got a few things (see the end of this post) for great prices. They had a lot of scrapbooking stuff out.

Next I went to Michaels. I didn’t bother taking pictures this time with my stealth iPhone, since I linked to all those photos in my last post. Suffice to say, TONS of new holiday and Christmas stuff, so it’s worth your while to make a trip.

I did take a photo to show you that Martha Stewart peg stamp kit I talked about HERE. It’s normally $18 but everything MS was 30% off so I was tempted but didn’t get them….this time…

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Again, see the end of this post to see what I got at Michaels….Oh, and apparently there is now a Halloween clearance SALE going on now.

Last was Costco, which hasn’t had much in the way of scrapbooking stuff in a while but I always check just in case….you never know….

They did have two scrapbooking kits, I assume because Christmas is coming up.

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$37 and there were two choices….love the cute little holder it comes in.

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That was the end of my scrappy shopping. I was in Costco, the reason for my trip to the Big City in the first place, so it was then down to bidness…It was a good free sample day :)

On my way home, I stopped at Barnes and Noble, planning to pick up the new December Creating Keepsakes magazine (the Peas said HERE that it had been out for a few days). Howevah! B&N did not have it, so I consoled myself with this British scrapping mag. The overseas magazines used to be much more expensive that US ones, but they cost about the same now, so why not? It’s fun to see their style and such across the pond. Plus, I love how they spell “colour”…..much more flair than plain old “color,” don’t you think?

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While at B&N, I grabbed my usual latte and decided to splurge on something sweet from their bakery case since I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch. I picked this thing called a Starbucks Peppermint Crunch Bar, which looked like a white cookie with some pink frosting and crushed peppermint on top. I’ve looked all over online for a photo to show you, but it’s not ANYWHERE, which almost makes me think I imagined it. But I have to tell you…. OH. MY. GAH!! That was THE YUMMIEST anything I’ve had in a long time. I shudder to think at the calorie content, but it was such melt-in-you-mouth goodness, it was worth it, whatever the cost :)

Here is what I ended up with from Tuesday Morning:

A pretty sage green structured cloth storage cube for $5 and….

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…2 of these Cropper Hopper photo boxes ($3 each) to help with my scrapbook room MAKEOVER. I’m going to store a bunch of mini-album supplies in the green cube, keep all that stuff in one place, out of the dust, and looking neater. Not sure about the photo boxes but I already have a couple. I just know they won’t be used for photos, because I have another system in place for those.

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This was probably my favorite buy of the day….some KI Memories school embellies. I’ve wanted some of this line since way back HERE. It was a great deal, too….all of this for only $4….WOW!

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{{{{Speaking of them, KI Memories WEBSITE has some great SPECIAL DEALS right now! If you’re a fan, be sure to check them out.}}}}

Here is what I got at Michaels:

Two sheets of this gorgeous paper. The swirls are glittered gold. So pretty and I think they look nice with 2 side by side for the background to a double layout…

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This paper is really pretty also. We’ve taken photos over the years of our kids in front of the oak tree in our yard. I might use this paper with those pictures somehow…

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Here are 2 of the newer papers by Recollections that I mentioned before…finally got me some!

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Gorgeous Rome paper for my Rome scrapbook…I was there at that same Coliseum, LOL!

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ALL of the open stock paper was on sale for 30% off (not just their usual sale of only the 69 cent papers), so it was a great day to get some specialty papers.

It was also one of those days that so much was on sale, it was hard to use my dang 40% off coupon! I ended up being practical and using it on this…

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Near the registers, they had a display of breast cancer awareness stuff, and this caught my eye right away. Aren’t these darling? I love the little winged heart, and the “SURVIVOR” in blue glitter. I’m going to send these to an online buddy who’s dealing with cancer. She is SO going to kick it’s ASS, it’s not even funny! She’s been a real inspiration to me, and to all the girls at SSS….just want to send her a tiny “thanks.”

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So that was my latest shopping adventure! What have you found to buy lately?

Friday Night Scrapbook Randoms #5

So what if it’s Sunday Night when I’m finally getting around to publishing my Friday Night Randoms? Who wants to be on schedule? Not me. That is so cliche and expected….and I’m anything but cliche and expected. For shizzle.

~~ Speaking of shizzle….if you ever need a translator for when I speak Snoop Dog, HERE YA GO. Bladizzle.

~~ A bunch of (22!) First Day of School scrapbook page ideas are HERE, provided by Scrapbooks Etc. I think this one is my fave, but I loved them all…

~~ There is a wonderful discussion of why the Peas think the scrapbook industry has tanked HERE. And a related ARTICLE on SCRAPBOOK UPDATE called “Is Scrapbooking Fading….Or not?,” is asking for your thoughts so go chime in, why don’t ya? I think many “industry folks” read that website so let them hear from you. I scored the first Comment ~ yeah! Guess sometimes it pays to be up blogging in the middle of the night, lol. Anyway, if you’d like to read my ever so humble opinion on the whole thing, click on over to the Scrapbook Update article … I wrote a novel … or at least a chapter ;)

~~ Remember when I said that my Michaels wasn’t going to be putting ads in Sunday paper flyers anymore? {It was HERE}. The cashier had given me a flyer and everything, saying that Sunday flyers would be no more, and that I could get my flyers and coupons online from now on. But here it is 6 weeks later….and I’m still getting Michaels ads in my paper on Sunday. What up with that? I dunno’, you got me. Guess they changed their minds…

~~ According to the GOLLYG at 2peas, ROSS has some scrapbooking stuff again: “Enabling Alert! I stopped by Ross today and they have tons of new scrapbook stuff. They had Making Memories paper kits for $2.99, American Crafts paper pads $5.99, K&Company Stuff, and lots more!” Also, rumors of Disney scrapbooks….read the thread HERE. I used to find 12×12 postbound albums there all the time, but nothing scrappy in ages. But what do you know, there is a Ross store smack dab between my Target and my Michaels. I happen to be headed to Target for prescriptions tomorrow, so I’ll check out Ross and let you know if I find anything.

~~ “I’m so far behind!” Have you ever said that about your scrapbooking? Well, read my blog friend Susan’s great article HERE and you’ll feel better soon :)

~~MEMORY WORKS now has Basic Grey “Nook and Pantry” in stock. Here’s a peek…


Please let me know if I can get some for you. Order it HERE, or contact me HERE.

Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: Part Three

If you need to get caught up on my diary, here are the entries so far:

PROLOGUE
PART ONE
PART TWO
QUESTIONS ANSWERED
PHOTOS HELD HOSTAGE, DAY 3

And now it’s time for Part Three! Yeah, like, FINALLY! Most of these photos were taken on October 5, which is 10 days ago. This is pretty much what my room still looks like today (10/15/09), other than a few little changes. As always, I apologize for the quality of my photos. My nice digi camera is out of commission because the charger doesn’t work and until the Money Fairy makes a drop at our house, I can’t afford to buy a new one, or a new camera. Thus…I have for you iPhone pictures!

So this is as you look into the room from the dining room doorway. Kids’ homework/crafting table in front, my scrap desk behind that, coffee table and couch back by the window, and the junk corner in the very back left.

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Here is my “cube wall,” which are Store in Style cubes with mostly Cropper Hopper vertical storage of paper/embellishments, and jars with ribbons, chipboard letters, etc. In other words, if there is a fire, this is the stuff I’m grabbing. Yep, one by one, cube by cube. Not. Kidding. What’s that? Oh, of COURSE I’d grab my kids and hubby first! Sheesh.

On the left, the white bin has office supplies I need to find a new home for; they came out of a cupboard in the L-shaped desk. The bag and cardboard box are things I brought home from my office when I was allowed to start working from home. That was in April 2009. Nope. Not unpacked yet. This is one example of things that were dumped in my scrap area and I was too busy to do anything with them at the time, so they just cluttered the place up. Don’t judge. It won’t take long to put the stuff away, I would just rather sort and put away scrappy supplies than work manuals, paperclips, baby wipes, and boxes of tea, wouldn’t you? Procrastinators Unite!….Tomorrow.

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Here’s the oak cabinet that used to hold a TV, VCR, old school Atari games, and kids’ DVDs/games; now it’s a resting place for my grossly overpacked SCRAPRACK. I have always had a big crush on my Scrap Rack, and it’s insane ability to sort my scrapbook supplies by theme. But I have abused Scrap Rack. I have overfilled Scrap Rack. Now I hardly ever touch Scrap Rack and we miss each other. I flipped through it a bit tonight and it was embarisken. I have some reeeeeeaaaally old things in there that need to be purged in a big way. Like Creative Memories stickers circa 2001, some Mrs. Grossman’s border stickers, and various shape die cuts from Paper Pizzazz.

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Note to scrappers who began after 2007: You are lucky. By the time you started scrapping, most of the products being put out there have been pretty designer-ish and awesome. But prior to that, especially late 1990s/early 2000s? There was some pretty rough stuff out there. You would cringe. So if you don’t know what “Mrs. Grossman’s” or “Paper Pizzazz” means, no worries. You didn’t miss a thing. Trust me.

Here is the new and improved bookshelf #4! It used to be toys from top to bottom. Now the toys have been moved into the new playroom, freeing up space for kids’ crafts. There is coloring, drawing, painting, scratch art, activity books, puzzle books, foam stamps, crayons, acrylic paints, markers, and brushes. Wait, what? That all sounds fun! Do I REALLY have to share with my kids? Hee.

It was fun but sad to purge the coloring and activity books, seeing things my kids had drawn and colored when they were much younger (yeah, it had been awhile since this stuff had been gone through). But I gave the old color books to a friend who’s going to use them in her Sunday school classes so that made me happy and they were easier to let go. I have tons of art and schoolwork from my kids, so in the scheme of things, they had to go. In return, clear and organized shelves – yahoo!

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Here is the homework/craft table. See the clear mat in the middle? I got 2 of those at a craft store years ago and they were a smart purchase; the other one is on my scrap desk under my BG mats. They’re great for protecting your table from permanent damage, portable for moving to other tables or counters, and easy to clean. The clear mat was about 1.5 inches too long when I laid it horizontally across the table like this, so I cut the excess off. Guess what I used? My Basic Grey Magnetic Mat. How many times have I said I love that thing?!?! I lined the clear mat up on the BG mat grid, put the metal ruler over it, and sliced down the clear mat with a craft knife. It didn’t go all the way through so I flipped it over and cut in the same place and Voila! Then I used my Creative Memories Corner Rounder to make the 2 new corners match with the existing rounded ones. I was pretty darn proud of myself because that’s about as handyman as I get, LOL! Ideally, I would like this same kind of mat but large enough to cover the entire table. Then again, it’s an old banged up table so I’m not gonna stress on it.

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Here’s a top view of the newly cleaned up, cleaned out, organized, and labeled craft carousel. As you scrappers know, this is actually a Making Memories DESKTOP CAROUSEL, intended for scrapbook supplies. I tried to use it as such when I first got it, but it never worked for me. The main problem is that I need to keep my most-used tools in something portable for taking to crops. Even if I used it for least-used tools, the footprint is so big, that it takes up a lot of desk room once you leave it a wide berth to spin around. It really needs to be in the middle of a table or desk, and while my scrap area doesn’t allow for that, it does work perfectly on the homework/craft table, doesn’t it?

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The carousel had been on our dining room table for about the last year or so which has been Homework Central. It had crayon marks, broken erasers, pencil shavings, you name it. It was looking pretty beat up and fugly, and was not organized whatsoever. So I took everything out of it, turned it upside down over the trash to get the gookies out, and Windexed it within an inch of its life. Then I lovingly organized and labeled each section. Oh, and I spent about 30 minutes one night hand sharpening all of those regular and colored pencils. Now that was good fun.

See, lookie! Look at my labels! They totally rock, huh? Pencil sharpeners, little tapes, mini gel pens….

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Staplers and big tape, scissors, and all that other fun stuff…

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The husband and children have been instructed in the proper care of my baby. My baby has been labeled so there are no excuses. If they eff it up, there will be hell to pay. And I mean it! Don’t mess with me, I’m the mommy! And you know our family motto: (Say it with me now!) “If Mommy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy….” See? Simple.

Okay, here are the 3 measly shelves I have restricted my books to. I know, it’s riDONKulous but something had to give. Scrap supplies or books? Scrap supplies or books? Hmmmm….SCRAP SUPPLIES! But clearly, my bookies need to be organized, alphabetized, and color coded. By Dewey Decimal System. Yet another project in the wings.

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Here in the Corner of Shame #1 are 3 boxes that need to go in the attic (“oh, dear??? honeybuns??? love of my life??? would you please do me an itsy bitsy little favor wavor?? thanks, hun!”). Cuz I don’t do attics. Did you know there are, like, SPIDERS up there?!? And it’s hot. Very hot. In other words, not happening. {Please revert to the family motto listed above…}.

The wire cube and panels sitting on top used to be under my desk; I used them to hide…erm, I mean….STORE a multitude of things. Like Christmas and birthday gifts, a family quilt, my sugar-free cookie stash…you know, that kind of thing. I don’t know if I’ll use them in my scrap room again. If not, they would make great toy storage for the new play room. If you want some of these cubes, you can get them at Target or Costco. Not the most sturdy storage, but they do work and the price warms the cockles of my ever-lovin’, bargain-huntin’ heart.

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Here is the front side of my big L-shaped desk. I had 3 of these 12×12 Sterlite containers before; they were on my bookshelves. When I moved the couch away from the front of my desk, I realized *gasp* people would be able to see all the crap I keep under there and also my fat heifer thighs. I decided, “No, this just will not do.” When I realized how perfectly these Sterlite drawers fit, I bought 3 more sets and killed 2 birds with 1 stone: lots more storage room and Fat Heifer Thigh View Blockage. A good purchase, don’t you think? {And I got them on sale for $9 instead of $12 each, hehe}.

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That big blue navy thing is my Crop In Style XXL aka Old Faithful. That thing has been jammed full of supplies, crammed into my Honda trunk, and rolled over bumpy hotel entranceways to more crops than I can count. She will be retired this Christmas when I get a new set of crop bags from DH and mi madre.

This clear container is under the homework/craft table. It’s all organized and has scrappy hand-me-downs for the kids to scrapbook with. We make handmade cards a lot, too. My entire extended family and friends could totally be lying to me, but they all say they love our personally designed cards with custom artwork and handwritten messages. And if they ARE lying? Screw ‘em.

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Here’s the couch, so exciting. Ugly, old throw pillow. Oh, remind me to talk about pillows later. And now you can see the reason my scrap room looks a might bit better than it did last time you were here (see PART TWO, link at top of post). It’s because I stuck a bunch of ugly junk behind the couch. I’m calling it the “I’ll Deal With You Later” pile. It’s mostly old family memorabilia and photos that need to be sorted. It’s such a huge project, I can’t even fathom it right now. So I’m (partially) hiding it. It’s out of the way so I can continue making progress with my room….but it’s like the great white shark under the water while you blissfully swim in the ocean. You might be having fun up top, but you now it’s down there stalking you. Damn shark.

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It’s actually been really nice having that coffee table there. Just in the last month or so since I put it there, it’s been used for: Jetmax cube assembly, homework, hubby doing paperwork, a foot stool for kids reading on the couch, a game of table hockey, and a nice big area for me to sort and organize scrap supplies. Unfortunately, it’s also been used to lie on, stand on, and hide under. Hey, nothing’s perfect.

Here is Corner of Shame #2 aka Big Daddy Shame. I think I’ve told you already what most of it is. The two blue bins are monthly kits I used to get from MEMORY WORKS EXPRESS. I’ve always kept them together as a kit but I think I’m going to separate them out. I’m not sure…what do you do with kits? Keep them together or mix the items in with the rest of your stash?

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There’s also a wide format Epson printer that I spent boo coo bucks on a few years ago, and never used. I’m a horrible person. I won’t bore you with all the details. I have my reasons. But, yeah, now I need to get rid of it. Sell it? E-waste it? Goodwilll? I dunno. Of course, I would prefer to sell it, even for just $100 or something (I paid over $300 and used it maybe 20 times). But to prove to a buyer that it works, I’d need to spend about $100 on printer cartridges and I just don’t know if it’s worth it. Would it even sell? Bah.

Above the Corner of Shame #2 is my MM Embellishment Shelf. It’s pretty well organized but I now have THIS to install somewhere once it’s painted and cleaned up, so I’m still figuring out what goes where and whether to move this shelf.

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This photo is probably hard to figure out, because I was focusing on the scene outside the window. It’s the view into my backyard, the view I see when I sit at my scrap desk. Our backyard has a pretty pool and a gorgeous view, but this dog pen thingee is ruining everything! Must go. Will go soon. We borrowed it from our neighbors when we got LANDRY, who didn’t care to stay in the big dog pen on the side of the house. This kennel is a pain in the arse to return to our neighbors, as all four adults need to take a corner and walk it through a gate and across an acre of their property. But I need to make that happen, don’t I? And those atrociously dirty windows! Disgraceful. When is that window cleaner girl going to do her friggin’ job?!! Oh, wait. That would be ME, wouldn’t it? There is only a little overhang over all three of my scrapbook room windows/slider (no patio cover) and also no grass out there, just dirt, concrete, and gravel. So especially when it rains like it just did, the windows get very dirty, the screens very dusty, and it’s hard to keep up on them. But I must. What a waste of a wonderful view.

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Here is the Epicenter of Erika’s Craftivity. Chair, Basic Grey mats, Cutterpede trimmer, flat pack with most-used tools, Ott lite, little tote with scissors and pens, and the main requirement for scrapping, Diet Coke. There’s a single Cropper Hopper vertical file that I was thinking of keeping on my desk as a place to keep projects in progress and/or new purchases until I put them away. Now I have another idea for where to put recent purchases, but I like the projects in progress holder idea. I tend to be a “stacker,” with various piles on my desk. 12×12 piles take up a lot of desk space; at least getting them vertical would save some room.

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Also, I put my little bookshelf stereo here. I didn’t think I would, but I really miss having the television in here, just for the white noise if nothing else. So I was compelled to hook up my stereo and play some K-Life and the college radio station also has awesome music. I don’t do well with total silence. It makes me spun up. Eeeeeee!!!!

Here’s the left side of my desk. Blue flat packs full of acrylic stamps and inks, shopping bag with some RAK stuff in it, Ziploc with a scrappy project, white holder for Prima flower jars and skittles, black tote for punches and Xyron “X”, and Amy Butler tote for cards and RAKs to and from scrappy friends. I’ve been slowly cleaning that out, putting stamps and other gifts away. I need a good storage system for or project to make with all those handmade cards that I cherish…maybe bind them into a mini book or something.

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Here is the view if I’m standing in front of the couch. Standing ON the coffee table??? Who, ME??? Nah, I would never do that. As you can see, I haven’t sorted through those idea books and magazines yet. In fact, I think the pile has grown larger as I come across more of them. Yes, it’s a sickness. And I don’t care.

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Just don’t look under the desk. Move along. There’s nothing to see here….

So that’s a tour of my scrapbook room and how the makeover has been coming along. I’m so happy you’re on this journey with me. Yes, it’s embarrassing to share my major clutter issues and extreme scrapbook supply hoarding. But, oh well, you still seem to like me.

I’m learning so much as I go along; basic scrappy storage things and even things about myself that are deeper and more telling than one would expect from a mere room makeover. Like I’ve learned that I’m happy with how much I cherish my memories and all the “things” that go with it. Yet I don’t have to keep it all. And just because I spent money on something doesn’t mean I have to be guilted into keeping it forever. Selling it or giving it away can bring happiness to someone else, like Sunday school kids, so that’s a good thing.

Please keep checking in with me and cheer on my progress so I follow through and don’t give up. And don’t forget about my 500,000 hits blog candy because we’re coming up on the end….at 499,413 as I post this entry. Good luck!

Memory Works: SEI “Moravia” and Jillibean Soup!

For a limited time, MEMORY WORKS (who I’m a consultant for) has in stock:

“Moravia” by SEI…. How about a tease? This is what the Theme Set looks like ($6.00)…

There are matching “Moravia” rub-ons, stickers, and chipboard. I love the rich colors and textures of this line, don’t you?

We also have some new stuff by Jillibean Soup ~ the Alphabet Soup theme set ($6.75)…

…”Bean Stalks” ribbon ($6.00)

…”Journaling Sprouts” ($3.50) in a bunch of colors (here’s one)…

…”Corrugated Kraft Alpha” ($5.00)….super cute and so textural!

…and this stinkin’ adorable “Calendar” stamp ($7.00); you can make your own Journaling Sprouts!

What exactly is the limit on the number of acrylic stamps one could own before you would consider them, say, mentally ill? Because I really need these Calendar stamps…but I’m probably pretty close to that theoretical acrylic stamp limit where you’d say, “Biz-natch, you need to STOP with the stamps already!” Just sayin’…

The Jillibean Soup BLOG has a ton of GREAT layout and project ideas for the above items. I was pleasantly surprised to see that SHANNON ZICKEL is designing for them. I’ve seen her layouts in magazines so many times, I’d recognize her son if I passed him on the street, lol! And hey, whaddya know, Laura Vegas is also on the Jillibean Design Team; I just linked to her scraproom makeover in my last POST. It’s a small scrap world after all…

You can see all the SEI and Jillybean Soup HERE, and also place an order. Please contact me at the e-mail shown HERE if I can help with an order or any questions :) . These items are our Trend Essentials for October…only here while supplies last, or until October 31, 2009. Hurry before they’re gonzo!

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?

What Do Lisa Bearnson and “So You Think You Can Dance” Have in Common?

Absolutely nothing except that they both have upcoming shows I’m excited about!

Okay, LISA BEARNSON…Nope, unfortunately she’s not on QVC SCRAPBOOKING anymore :( Btw, I REALLY miss her on that show, don’t you? The other hosts try really hard but they just don’t have Lisa’s superior knowledge of scrapbooking products and how to use them. Plus, I miss her playfulness with David Venable.

Here she is with one of her daughters showing their seat belt burns from an accident they were in recently ~ thank goodness they were okay! Something tells me that without those seat belts, they wouldn’t have been….

Anyhow, I found THIS show that she’s going to be on (September 2 and 9, 2009), if you happen to get BYU-TV. You may not think you do, but look through ALLLLLL your cable or satellite channel listings and you might find it. On my Dish Network, it’s on Channel 9403….yeah, it’s way down there. It’s the same channel where I watch SCRAPBOOK MEMORIES, which has some new 2009 episodes. I haven’t watched in a while because I kept getting reruns of older shows but today I checked and am recording an upcoming episode that says 2009. Yippee skip! Love that show…

Okay, back to Lisa. The show is called “Latter Day Profiles” and the info says, “The co-founder and editor of Creating Keepsakes scrapbooking magazine, Lisa Bearnson.” Info also tells me this show originally aired on 6-24-09, so it’s fairly recent. Let’s check it out and then come back and compare notes, okay?

While searching around for shows to record, I also found something for fans of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. On Wednesday, 9-2-09, Fox is showing a special episode with “fan fave routines from previous seasons.” The only bad thing is it’s a mere 1-hour long. WTH? I can’t wait to see it and hope they show some different routines than what were on the SYTYCD finale. There are SO many past routines I love. I could watch them over and over. Then the following Wednesday, September 9th, the new season of SYTYCD premieres, followed by the long-awaited second episode of GLEE! This is a show that won me over the first episode when they performed “Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey, my all time favorite band. {If you see me on the scrapbook message boards, I’m always “journey fan.”} Check out a Glee preview HERE; the Journey song starts around 2:45.

So, ya gonna try and catch Lisa B. and/or the SYTYCD episode?

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.

Messy Scrap Rooms, Scrapbook Product Trends, and Stamp News

Tell the truth…Do you qualify to enter the MESSIEST SCRAPBOOK ROOM CONTEST? Deadline is 8-24-09 and you could win a $50 gift certificate.

Check out the TOP BUSINESS TRENDS AT CHA-SUMMER 2009. To sum up the trends: Eco and cheap-o….err, I mean….cheaper! Not cheap as in shoddy, just more affordable to all us broke scrappers, LOL!

I’m so excited for my AMR friend, KELLIANNIE. I’ve bragged about her mad cardmaking skillz many a time, and she’s an awesome illustrator, too, who has gotten into the stampmaking business. At one time, she made her own stamps for sale, and now she’s had designs picked up for manufacture by a major company, UNITY STAMP COMPANY. Her dragonfly stamp is included in USCs August Kit of the Month, which you can order (or just drool over) HERE (hers is #6, the dragonfly on the top right….so pretty!).

Kelli posted about it recently HERE and one of her designs, a double lilac bloom, unbeknownst to her til now, was even at CHA! I tell ya’, there are some big shots hanging out over at AMR. You might want to join up so you can schmooze with them.

Our own JOSCIE CUTCHENS even had a page published in the latest Memory Makers issue. Look for her on page 66. ETA 8-14-09: To clarify, it is the latest and it is the last :(

Speaking of AMR, there will be a SCRAP CHAT HOUR tonight at 8:30 pm CST (that’s 6:30 for you PSTers like me). The topic is sharing scrapbooking tips we’ve learned along the way, so come join us. I’m sure you could teach us, and learn, a thing or four. Also, we have the ongoing BOOK OF ME (aka BOM) project and would love you to join us. Abby gives us layout challenges, we throw around ideas and ask questions, and share our finished layouts. It’s a very good thing to do for yourself….don’t you deserve it?

So, tell me about your messy (or perfectly organized) scrap space, and/or your thoughts on the latest scrapbook trends.

I Need to Get My Priorities Straight…

Well, it’s late Thursday night and I just got done watching the finale of So You Think You Can Dance. My whole family voted for Brandon, so we were happy he came in second place at least. I wouldn’t have picked Janeane for the overall winner, but hey, you GO, girl! All those dancers have great careers in front of them.

So, it’s been a hectic summer and I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I’ve been working tons – a regular, 40-hour a week job, plus taking side jobs almost every night. I’m quite exhausted if you must know. All that fun time I used to have at night, cruising scrappy sites for topic ideas and things to link you to? GONZO. I’m hoping things slow down a bit soon, because I really miss my bloggy time. My blog traffic has slowed down, and hardly anyone leaves comments anymore {those who do….mwah! mwah! … I luvs ya!}. I don’t know whether to blame the slowed traffic on summer, Facebook, or I’m boring, LOL!

I have so many ideas percolating, things I want to write about, but just haven’t had the time. There’s all the scrapbook magazine stuff going on, new products from CHA, developments in the world of photography, etc. I’m dying to write a nice long post about digital scrapbooking and photobooking, and how I feel they’re affecting the paper scrapbooking industry (hint: it’s NOT good). And who I blame…

All I have time for tonight is to let you know that this weekend we’re having an online crop at my favorite message board, ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED. If you’re already a member, I expect to see you there! If you haven’t joined AMR yet, please come over and check it out. The crop runs from Friday at 8am through Sunday at midnight (PST). There are member-hosted challenges (often with a RAK!), a knock-down/drag-out Bingo game, and lots of fun chatting. Hope you can join us!

I plan to be at the online crop throughout the weekend (keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get more work!). I was thinking of driving a couple hours to the San Jose Scrapbook Expo on Saturday, but I don’t know if I should. Don’t have much money to spend, and didn’t really find many “deals” the last time I went. I’m not sure if it’s worth the drive and taking the entire day. Hey, I could be home online cropping, ya know? We shall see…

Shopping Report: Target, Walmart, Michaels, and Big Lots

I was “oot and uh-boot” Friday evening and did some fun shopping in between the grocery shopping and getting gas drudgery. Here is a report on my adventures, as far as scrappy stuff I found….

Target: Nothing. Same old stuff they’ve had for a while. Nothing on sale. Nothing to report. Oh, except I got the new CK there.

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Been chillaxin’ around the house this weekend with it, and am LOVING IT! Such a great issue, chock full of layouts and techniques, as a SCRAPBOOKING magazine should be (unlike….cough, cough….SCRAPBOOKS ETC…..traitor….cough, cough)…

Walmart: Still have a lot of stuff on Clearance. The Cricut carts for $30 each were pretty tempting but I resisted. Not that flush right now. But this is what I bought there on clearance a couple weeks ago and they still have pretty much the same stuff as when I shopped then….

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Michaels: So I had two coupons in hand: a 40% off that expired that day, and a 50% off that expires Monday (which is odd, but who am I to complain?). I cruised the aisles quite a bit trying to find something coupon worthy.

There was some new (to me, at least) bling kits, the I-Top brad maker by Imaginesce, and some metal embellishments by Making Memories.

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I had the metal snowflakes with bling in my hand, but put them back. Maybe another time, another coupon…

As much as I loved all these new acrylic stamps,….

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… and they weren’t on sale so I could’ve gotten a set for 1/2 off, I resisted their magnetic pull with some motivating self-talk…”Just snap some quick photos for the blog. Remain objective. You do NOT like acrylic stamps. You do not NEED acrylic stamps. They hold no meaning for you. No, Erika, not even that adorable set with the butterfly. And, no, you don’t need any more alpha stamps….the 170 sets you have at home are quite enough. Okay, you took the photos, now keep walking. No, don’t pet them. ERIKA!! Hand off the pretty stamps. Good. Now walk away. Dit! Don’t look back over your shoulder. Look! Pretty bling! Let’s go over there!” See, my friends, THAT … is how it’s done.

I found this endcap full of cute, 12×12 postbound albums by Recollections (the Michaels brand).

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There were some really cute styles to choose from. They were jam-packed on the shelves like 20 circus clowns in a Mini Cooper. It was hard to get a good look at them all without a struggle, pulling out the first 2 or 3 in each row to see what was behind them. {I tried to peek in the sides but there were other racks blocking my access…hmph}. Many albums that I pulled out had bent corners on either the album itself or the pages (I assume, the result of beingsotightlyshelved….poor babies couldn’t breathe…). I made sure to pick out two unbent ones :) {I get doubles to use as yearly family albums because I scrap too much to get everything into one}. As you can see, the shelf stickers said $9.99 and a sign up top said 40% off. I asked myself, “Self, does that mean they are 40% off of $10, making them a mere $6 each?” And then I answered myself with, “Oh, Self, no! That would be too good to be true. Even Michaels wouldn’t run a deal THAT good!” But I, myself, was …. WRONG! Cuz they rang up at the register as 6 bucks, baby! Did my everlovin’, deal seakin’, penny pinchin’ heart good, it did.

Right inside the front door, they had the rack that usually says “Designer Scrapbooking” but it was full of Clearance items.

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From there, I got these Making Memories “Black Tie” white pearlized letter stickers for $2 marked down from $4. For full coupon maximization, I grabbed these Martha Stewart chalk inks from Clearance (for the 50% off) and some Herma tab refills (for the 40% off). However, the register wouldn’t allow the coupon to be used on the inks because they were already on sale. I said, “I thought you just couldn’t use coupons on weekly sale items, but it’s okay if they’re Clearance or Reduced or whatever?” and she thought so too, so she read the coupon. Yep, there in the teensy weensy fine print it said something like, “Not for use on previously marked down items.” Crud. Oh well, I took the inks anyway…they were still 30% off. And the 40% off coupon worked on the Herma tabs.

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So, I got two 12×12 albums, Herma tab refills, a stack of chalk inks, and two sets of letter stickers for $30, which I could’ve paid for just one album. Happy me.

Big Lots: Happy? Not so much. When I first turned into the scrapbooking aisle, my eyes lit up because I immediately noticed that the inventory of Thickers had gotten much larger. Yippie skip! (HERE is where I talked about my bad luck with Thickers @ BL). But I was to be disappointed again. There were tons of the shapes ones, one pack of red felt and tons of the naked chipboard ones (which I already got last time), and that was it. They had the K&Co embellishment stickers that the Peas were talking about HERE, but none I had to have.

I thought some of you might be interested in these, so I took a pic for ya….

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Great deal and very cute! I love the prints on the inside, don’t you?

Well, those were my latest shopping/window shopping adventures. What kinda scrappy stuff have you found lately at Target, Walmart, Michaels, and Big Lots? Would love to hear in Comments, and feel free to link to your blog if you’ve posted about ‘em.

CK Getting Thinner and a Possible LSS Closure…{Sigh}

I got the new issue of CREATING KEEPSAKES at Target last Friday. I’ve flipped through it and like it a lot. It is pretty thin and I’m getting so worried that even CK will go the way of the dodo bird….extinct. All of these magazines shutting down is just depressing me to no end (read my past posts about HERE, HERE, and HERE).

Speaking of shutting down, I got this sad e-mail from the only LSS left in my area (I will quote part of it directly from their newsletter):

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As many of you know, (store name) has been severely impacted by the poor economy in the past year. We have always relied heavily on the year round tourism … and with the high gas prices beginning late last spring followed by the economic crash in the fall we haven’t had that support for over a year now. While we have strived not only to keep our doors open, but have continued to bring in new product during this difficult time, sales continue to drop. Things have gone from bad to worse.

We have always been hopeful that we could survive this tough economic time, but we realize that we cannot keep going at the current pace. If sales do not pick up over the summer, we will be forced to close our doors in the fall. We promised our customers we would not just close our doors quietly so we feel we must be honest with you about our situation.
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I feel so sorry, well, for myself of course, but mostly for these 2 sweet ladies who’ve done nothing but run a wonderful store for several years, only to have their dream possibly crushed by this awful economy. They did include a coupon for $5 off any $25 purchase that you can print and use as many times as you like (one per visit) between now and the end of August. I hope that will motivate shoppers to come to their rescue, although I know scrapbooking typically slows down in the summer as we all get busy with outdoor activities and kids being out of school. I will pray (and shop) and hope they can pull it out. This is our last “local” store…we used to have 7 within an hour of me. If this store closes, my closest store will be about 2 hours away. I wish I had millions of dollars and could help these stores stay afloat until better times.

I know many of you have lost most or all of your LSSs in recent times and it’s crushing, isn’t it?

Just some random scrappy things…

- Shopping report: At my Target, they have the cute summer lines from KI Memories and Making Memories both on sale. They weren’t huge discounts but, like, $3.99 items down to $3.19, etc.

The KI line is called ‘Juicy Summer’ and here is a sample, the chipboard:

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Oh wait, I can’t give you a sample because their website doesn’t let you copy/paste pictures. Oh darn for them. Coulda’ had free advertising from a blog that does some pretty good numbers. Ah well…

The Making Memories line is called, oh I can’t remember, something summery. I looked for it on their blog which is down, and on their website which doesn’t list it. I even posted the question at 2peas ‘cuz I’m sure someone over there knows, but it’s 12:20 am on the West Coast, so I think all the Peas are snug in their beds. When I figure it out, I’ll plug it in here, LOL!

ETA 5/1/09: A nice Pea helped me out. She said it’s MM Spring Fling that’s on sale, and her Target also had MM Just Chillin’ (regular price, I think). I would show you some photos but the MM site doesn’t allow copying either….

At Michaels, I got some shizzlets for my AMR Scrap Pal. I am overdue in sending her any little gifties so she’ll be getting a surprise in the mail soon (don’t worry, I don’t think she reads my blog, LOL). I also got 19 stampalicious surprises for the ladies who are in my JOURNALING SPOT SWAP at AMR. I was so happy my swap filled up quickly, well before the deadline. Just a little way to tell them all thank you for participating. Such nice, fun ladies over there. The last thing I was looking for was some of those $1 packs of cute Thank You cards – now that I work from home, I want to write a little note to each of my “in office” co-workers since I won’t see them every day anymore – but all the $1 bins were gone. Gone, I tell ya! Bunch of clean and clear floor space near the front of the store. Let’s see, what holiday is coming next? Hmmm…. Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Graduation Day? Anyway, no notecards for me….farkle!

– The June issue of CK is out. My sweet online friend MIchelle aka Shelle’s2girls has a tip published in this issue. I looked for the mag at Target and Mike’s but they didn’t have it yet. Farkle again!

– I finished reading the scrapbooking novel, “A Page Out of LIfe’ about a week ago. I owe you a REVIEW, don’t I? Now I’m reading, actually am almost done with, “Frill Kill” which is a scrapbooking mystery by Laura Childs. Think I’m done with scrappy books for a while, LOL. I’ve already started on “The Pact” by JODI PICOULT; it’s my third time reading it ‘cuz I love her stuff so much. Now if Jodi Picoult would just write a scrapbooking novel, that would be THE perfect book!

– Last and most importantly: Stacey at AMR is organizing an online auction to raise money for one of her message board members who is going through something horrible right now. Please check out Stacey’s BLOG and the MESSAGE BOARD to see if you can help. If you’re more the shopping type, put June 13/14 on your calendar and come BUY an auction item or two towards this wonderful project. Bidding will start at $2 and, given the mad wicked talent I have seen from the ladies on the AMR board, you will find some amazing items to bid on. Please go check it out :) {{Love ya, Miss Destiny!}}

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.

CK Media: We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean we want to hear it…

THIS is not looking good, ladies….

THIS, THIS, or THIS neither….

I think a lot of you, if you still subscribe, were getting those great cheap deals on subscriptions (I hope). I’ve been buying newstand for quite awhile, just because I’m impatient, but I’m glad I’m not out any money. I think we all knew even the main, longstanding scrapbook mags wouldn’t be around for much longer. But it’s hard to see this precursor to complete failure in black and white (or whatever color a blog is, LOL).

Make sure to read the comments on that first article. Someone makes a great point about CK’s supremely sucky customer service of the last couple years. I’ve heard endless stories of customers charged double for monthly kits, items not sent, subscriptions not fulfilled, prizes not sent…not to mention CK’s message board transition that most of us “old timers” hated and caused many of us to leave.

More sad times in Scrappy World….Your thoughts?

Simple Scrapbooks Magazine Ends Publication

Yes, the sad news is true: Simple Scrapbooks magazine is coming to an end. This is one time when I hate it that I’m RIGHT. First, the end of the digital scrapbooking mag and now this. If you don’t have time to read the articles and blog posts about this, here are the finer points:

~ Last Simple Scrapbooks issue will be May/June 2009
~ Economic decision, lack of advertising to keep both CK and SS afloat
~ SS will be somewhat folded into CK, whether as a separate section or ideas throughout is unknown at this time
~ Some of our favorite people will be included, like Cathy Z., Stacy, etc.
~ If you have any of your Simple subscription remaining after the May/June 09 issue, your subscription will be transferred and/or added to your CK subscription

Here is what the Simple gals are saying (click on their name to see their blog post about the issue):

The official ANNOUNCEMENT by Lin Sorenson, VP/Editorial Director, CK Media

ANGIE LUCAS, Managing Editor

CATHY ZIELSKE

STACY JULIAN

DONNA DOWNEY has not blogged about it yet; she appears to be traveling

WENDY SMEDLEY

and ABY GARVEY, who also hasn’t blogged about it as of this posting

REBECCA COOPER

Like many of you, I am very sad about this. I’ve read every single issue of Simple Scrapbooks magazine since I discovered it years ago. I loved all of the practical, common sense approaches, and ideas it gave this busy mom who tries to sneak in some scrapbooking on the side. The “personalities” it brought to my life, most notably Cathy Zielske and Stacy Julian, are very special to me and I hope we truly do see lots of them in CK. I hope they continue to blog about scrapbooking as they do now, so we can see their projects and what they’re up to. The “simple” style gives balance to the embellishment-crazy style on the other end of the spectrum and I, for one, will really miss seeing it in it’s own magazine. Best of luck and my prayers to all you Simple ladies as you transition to the new stage in your lives!

QVC Scrapbooking 12-31-08

I’m very happy to correct my statement in THIS post where I said there didn’t seem to be any more QVC Scrapbooking shows scheduled for 2008. Yay, I was wrong-o! As I browsed the January CK, I saw a cardstock insert advertising their show on 12-31-08 at midnight EST. So, see, I was almost right, LOL! The ad shows some Shutterfly goodies and a free calendar that I’m personally not interested in, but here’s the LINK if ya are.

While I was over nosing around at QVC.com, I found THIS link to a message board discussion about whether David Venable will be co-hosting with LISA BEARNSON on the 12/31 show. HERE is a link to the QVC program schedule for December 31, including the following times for “Creating Keepsakes Paper Crafting”:

12am to 1am
3am to 4am
3pm to 4pm

*These times are EST; please adjust for your time zone. They give a pretty generic description but all these slots say they are Lisa Bearnson, so coolio. The only mention I could find on LIsa’s blog was from her 12/9/08 entry: “P.S.S. I’m getting ready for a big QVC day on December 31st. Shutterfly and Creating Keepsakes have teamed up for some amazing projects. Stay tuned again for more information on these products.” By the way, if you want a handy reminder of these shows, you can go to their Program Guide and follow the instructions to have reminders sent to your e-mail. Yeah, they got our back.

This is from the “Look Who’s Scrapbooking” QVC blog:

“Scrapbooking in 2009
Dec 22, 2008
Hello Scrappers!

We know you’re getting ready for the holidays and looking forward to the New Year. It’s the perfect time to get organized…and buy more scrapbook supplies! So be sure to tune in on December 31 for three hours of Creating Keepsakes and an exciting Today’s Special Value® item. There’s plenty more to come in 2009 — new trends, brands, and one-hour designer shows. We’ll have some new exciting launches, too, so make sure you check our program guides and the website for more details. And be sure to share your thoughts on our message boards as well! Tell us what new finds you’re loving in the market so we can scope it out at the upcoming CHA tradeshow in February 2009.

Sincerely,
QVC Buyers”

Since I’m on the West Coast, I’ll probably watch all the shows live but I’m gonna’ set up my Tivo now just in case. I hope they have some good stuff and not just all the Shutterfly biz. I’m sorry, but to me, “photobooking” is not “scrapbooking” and I think it’s bad for the industry. But that’s just me, LOL!…Do you plan to watch?

Artful Blogging: Visually Inspiring Online Journals

Ain’t it purdy????

I saw this magazine/book but couldn’t afford to buy it (without a COUPON, LoL!), so I came home to my sweet MacBook so I could drool over it online. While I blog about the art OF scrapbooking, I don’t consider myself an artful blogger. I assume that term refers to those of you who share your wonderful creative and crafty talents on your blogs. I know there are many of you, and thought you’d want to check out this publication. So HERE is a link to their webpage. I found some other mentions of it HERE, HERE, and HERE. And HERE is a sneak peek of the current issue, Winter 2009. I’m sure you want to know how much this puppy costs, right? There are some past issues @ AMAZON. For new issues, looks like it’s about $15 per issue, with 4 issues published per year, and a 1-year subscription for $60. Now, I’ll admit I was just an English major, but if I’m doing the math correctly {462 minus the value of pie divided by the median, then the mean…} that’s still $15 per issue, and not a cost savings like when you subscribe to most magazines. What the hell, subscribe anyway. The shipping is free to the U.S. and you don’t have to get out of your jammies and schlep to Michaels to pick it up….where you CAN’T USE YOUR COUPON ANYWAY. But I’m not bitter….

Hey, if you’ve seen Artful Blogging, give us a quick review. Is it worth the dough?