Archive of ‘scrapbook organization’ category

Scrapbook Deals and Steals: Check Out Michaels Starting Sunday 04-06-14

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From April 6-12, 2014, Michaels is having one of their BIGGEST sales of the year! Check out their ad and coupons HERE.

I for one am happy because they’ll have Iris 12×12 scrapbook cases for only $2.99 (reg. $8.99).

Over time, I’m converting all my scrapbook storage that was in open baskets on my shelves to these closed cases. Love that they’re see-through.

Scrapbook albums and Recollections craft storage are 60% off! Maybe I’ll finally take a chance on a Project Life album at THAT price! {I’ve heard they’re not very sturdy. Do you have a review?}

Scrapbook paper pads will be $9.99 (reg. $19.99).

And Plastic Scrapbook Storage will be 50% off.

If you wanted to implement my PROJECT LIFE CARDS or WASHI storage ideas, now would be a great time to buy up some of those cute plastic shoeboxes or 6×6 Iris containers!

I know you love a good scrappy bargain as much as I do, so I had to share. Hope you find something fabulous. Happy Shopping!

PS: Would love to hear what you pick up at Mike’s. Please come back and let us know!

Scrapbook Haul: “Scrapbooks Etc.” Local Scrapbook Store

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As I talked about in THIS post, I was lucky enough to find an AWESOME scrapbook store while in Arizona recently. {If you haven’t read that post yet, ya’ gotta’ if you want a laugh}.

Now it’s time to show you the haul from my trip to Scrapbooks Etc. in Mesa, Arizona.

Here’s the bag of pretties I brought home :) Note: If you click on any of the photos below, they will enlarge.

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So, I took the photos, downloaded and edited them, then realized I forgot to include the Kaisercraft cards in this photo. So pretend they’re there, mmm kay? The budget I’d set for myself was $30 and you can see that I went over that just a teensy bit. Wonderful restraint though, if I do say so myself!!

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They had a sale going: Buy 10 sheets of $1 paper and get the 11th free. Well, it was my duty to buy 10 sheets of paper, right?? Right.

First, 5 sheets of October Afternoon “Daily Flash”. I officially love and, yes, want to marry that sheet on top with the distressed teal stripes. Well, it would be a plural marriage because I need the bokeh paper in my life always as well.

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Here are the backs of those same OA papers:

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Here’s 1 sheet of American Crafts “Daydreamer” from Dear Lizzy. Don’t worry; I’m not going to say AGAIN how much I love hearts. Because you already know I love hearts. I say I love hearts ALLLL the time. I mean, why do you need to hear again how much I love hearts?!?! You really don’t <3 <3 <3

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Next are 5 sheets of Basic Grey “Capture”. My favorite (OBVI!) is the turquoise on one side and turquoise/green on the other. I don’t like being faced with Sophie’s Choice, so I just bought 3 sheets of it – 2 to use for a turquoise background on a 2-pager and 1 to use the striped side.

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Here’s the other side of the BG papers. Oh look, those stripes again!

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So there are my “buy 10 get 1 free” sheets of $1 scrapbook paper :)

Here are the infamous Kaisercraft “Captured Moments” 3×4 cards. These are called “Snapshot”:

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Here’s all the cards spread out and where you can see both sides:

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Are they not lovely!?!? I adore this color scheme. I do a lot of beach pocket page scrapping and these will be perfect-a-mundo!

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The flowery bits are not my favorite but, ya know, every card has 2 sides, LOL. I love everything else about these cards. The distressed teals and beiges, sayings, and other designs with banners, dots, chevrons, etc.

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I also got 5 sheets of Echo Park “Fun In The Sun” – bright, cheerful pastels, bikes, cameras, trees, and flowers. These were only 49 cents a sheet; I think I found them on the bargain table I mentioned in my last post.

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Here are the other sides of the Echo Park papers. This will be a great line to use for Project Life pages.

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The only garage sale item I left the store with: a pack of paper for only 5 buckaroonies! It came with 37 cardstock-weight sheets of paper. I don’t love all of them and there are lots of duplicates but, at a mere 13 cents per sheet, I’m not complaining :)

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Here are the backs of the same papers above.

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I batched together my 3 favorite sets. I don’t know who makes these but they look lovely together and I like the mix of patterns and color. Very useable, don’t you think?

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These papers aren’t labeled either but they’re great for Halloween layouts.

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My absolute faves and why I bought the pack: These papers from the Teresa Collins “Memories” line. Such fresh colors and designs. The paper is very heavy and also textured. I imagine these must retail for AT LEAST $1 per sheet and since I got 5 sheets, there’s the $5 I spent on the whole pack. The rest of the papers are just scrapbook gravy :)

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I didn’t take photos but also got:

This Record It “Just Splendid” Journal Kit by My Minds Eye that has been on my CHA 2014 WISH LIST:

At $10, that took a big chunk of my budget but totally worth it. I *had* to have the wood veneer 3×4 and 4×6 cards plus the whole set is just so stinkin’ pretty.

Then I got the 2 little bags (they were sold seperately but look like Allison Kreft?) and the Doodlebug coffee stickers. ‘Cuz I might, um, be a little addicted to coffee. And take photos of it. And scrapbook them. Just maybe.

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Well, there ya’ go . . . my shopping haul from Scrapbooks Etc. Hope you enjoyed!

PS: I did hit up one other store while in Arizona. I’m not gonna’ pretend it was as awesome as this store but I did manage (ahem) to find some more scrappy goodies. Stay tuned for another store review and scrapbook haul!

Online Scrapbook Class: FREE 1-Week Preview of “Hello Story” by Ali Edwards

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Check this out: Did you know you can get a FREE PREVIEW of Ali Edwards’ upcoming “Hello Story” class?!?! It comes with videos, a very nice .pdf handout, supply lists, and transcripts.

Then if you decide to sign up for this very cool class, you can get a 15% discount using code TIMEWITHALI through 04-10-14 (which is a full week AFTER the course starts, for you slow-committers, LOL).

I’ve done the math and with the discount it comes out to $8.25/week at full price or only $7/week with the discount. I love to share these discount codes with you because I know classes (especially by top scrapbookers like Ali) can seem expensive. But when you use the discount and break down the per week cost, I think you’ve got a deal here.

You can see from the free 1-week sample shared above what a quality course this is. If you like, you can sign up for “Hello Story” right HERE.

The 12-week class runs from 04-03-14 to 06-25-14 so you don’t have a lot of time to make up your mind. On the good side, when you decide to take the class, you don’t have that long to wait for it to start!

Please let me know if you sign up so I can live vicariously through you! I’d love to post your review on thuh blog afterward as well, if you’d be so kind :)

Also, let me know what you think of the free sample!

PS: Sheesh. I just noticed that immediately upon sign-up for the course, you get some freebies:

In the pre-classroom, which is available instantly upon registration, you’ll receive Ali’s Storyology downloadable class (valued at $14), which is the perfect warm-up for Hello Story. You’ll also receive a set of 50 downloadable Random Fact Journal Cards (valued at $5.49)!

I’m listening to Ali’s free sample now as I type this blog post. Yep, just me and Ali, hangin’ out. Even if you don’t take the class, you’d be a silly willie not to grab the free preview.

Cheap, Easy, and Practical Washi Tape Storage

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As I talked about HERE, it was time for me to get some new storage for my expanding collection of washi tape. Just like with my PROJECT LIFE CARD STORAGE, I need cheap, easy and practical. Requirements for my washi tape storage are:

- Not expensive; no more than $20 total

- Easy to use; no pulling tape rolls off dowels, walking across the room to access them, etc.

- Practical; keeps the dust out and easy to see what I have

I looked all over Target for a new storage solution but had no luck. My next stop was MICHAELS craft store. Armed with my 40% off coupon, I was pretty confident I’d find something I loved.

And I was right! Scroll to the very bottom of this post if you can’t wait to see my final washi tape storage solution :)

But let’s start at the beginning, shall we? Here is what I started out with:

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Like I said in my last post, I originally had my washi in an open tray on my desk along with my Project Life cards and embellishments. Due to dust and (ahem) outgrowing that storage, I moved the PL embellishments – icon stickers, twine, stamps, and chalk ink pads – to one of these super handy “Bag in Bag” purse organizers.

As I packed for my RETREAT in January, I threw all my washi into this extra plastic shoebox from Mike’s that I had standing by for more Project Life / MAMBI / Sn@p! card storage. Or whatever. I mean, it’s not like I’m going to keep obsessively buying more cards and need a place to store them. ‘Cuz that would be crazy when I already have so many. Um, yeah.

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The washi tape rolls were easy enough to access in the shoebox above ^ while I scrapped but I wanted a better storage solution. They didn’t stay very neat and there was a lot of wasted space in there.

Let’s try something new:

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At Michaels, I picked up this storage piece first. It’s an Iris Scrapbook Project Case meant for storing 12×12 pages in progress, I suppose.

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Liked: It was shallow enough to mostly spread out my tapes into a single level so they’d be easy to see and access, yet the case is tall enough to close over the thicker tapes like the red and green one on the bottom right above. There’s even room to stack 2 thinner tapes.

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Didn’t like: Took up too much desk space and couldn’t see washi tape color/pattern as well when they’re lying flat versus on their sides.

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My other purchase from Michaels were these 2 smaller cases, and this is the solution I ended up going with. I put cool colors in one and warm in the other.

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At Michaels, the 6″ x 6″ Iris Mini Project Case was $4.99 minus $2.00 with all scrapbook storage 40% off = $2.99 {didn’t even need to use my coupon!}. So there’s the “cheap” requirement fulfilled; only $6 total. You can’t beat that with a stick.

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Oh my! That is one pretty washi collection, if I do say so myself. All that color and design and possibility makes me so HAPPY!

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As you can see, the lids closed easily over all sizes of washi tape. My “easy to use” requirement was met – no dowels, no pulling them off of hangers or spools, etc. Just reach in, grab the roll(s) you need, and put ‘em back when you’re done.

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I kept the label on so you could see what exactly the item is called, in case you’d like to replicate this washi storage :) It’s so funny because looking back, I mentioned way back HERE that I loved this little case and wanted to find a use for it.

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Voila! Mission accomplished!

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Here are my cute little washi cases stacked together on my desk, just to the left of me as I scrap. My pretty tape is secure and protected. So my “practical” requirement is fulfilled.

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To the right is the Bag in Bag I mentioned above. On top of the washi cases is a small plastic ‘shoebox’ from Mike’s with enamel dots and some smaller embellishments that didn’t fit in the Bag in Bag. That’s another cheap, easy, and practical storage solution I love <3

Hope you find this helpful! How do you store your washi tape?

HSN Scrapbooking 03-24-14

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Well, unbeknownst to me, it’s National Craft Month on HSN. They failed to include me on the memo :D

And apparently it’s also National Wicked Cool Manicure Month!

Starting at midnight on Monday 03-24-14 (or 9pm Sunday night for those of us in the PST), HSN will be airing crafting and scrapbooking shows by (among others) ANNA GRIFFIN, MARTHA STEWART, and my personal favorite, LISA BEARNSON – check out the (4) new PROJECT LIFE kits for HSN she is debuting!

Project Life “HAPPY”

Project Life “AZURE”

Project Life “DAYDREAMER” by DEAR LIZZY

Project Life “STYLE BOARD” by MAGGIE HOLMES

You MUST click over the Lisa B’s BLOG and see tons more photos. Well, I mean, click over there if you’re ready to buy something because you’ll want to after seeing all her great pics. Word.

Luckily for me, I’m broke. Ha! If I wasn’t, I’d be getting the “Daydreamer” and “Style Board” kits. OMBRE & WATERCOLOR & BOKEH, oh my!

Did you know you don’t have to wait for the shows to air to buy these kits? You can get them on HSN.com now {if they’re not already sold out}. I usually find things that are about to air in the crafting NEW ARRIVALS section.

The only problem is if we buy them all up before the show, Lisa won’t have anything to demo again, LOL. {Yes, that happened in the past}. Then again, things selling out before they even air shows HSN and other companies {I’m lookin’ at you, QVC!} that we scrappers are serious shoppers when you bring us new stuff at a decent price. Am I right?

To see when and what shows are airing, check out the HSN PROGRAM GUIDE and change the drop down menu to your time zone. Then set that DVR and get to recording! Or if you’re lucky and don’t have to be anywhere else, grab a bowl of popcorn, some coffee, and get to watchin’!!

And if you’re stuck at work on Monday – okay, do NOT tell your boss I told you this – but you can watch HSN live online RIGHT HERE. Just sayin’ . . .

Will you be watching HSN Crafting this time around? Do you think you’ll buy anything? What’s your favorite item?

ETA 03-23-14: Someone mentioned on Two Peas that Amazon had some of these kits without the extra stuff, if you don’t want that. I went to check and found that (as of this second) AZURE, DAYDREAMER, and STYLE BOARD are listed for good prices but sold out. I can’t find “Happy” on Amazon; someone mentioned it was maybe an exclusive to Australia?

In Search of New Washi Tape Storage @ Target

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I used to keep my washi tape collection {which is, ahem, extensive} in an open tray on my desk with all my Project Life stuff. But it gets very dry and dusty here so I had to give up the open tray idea. I found other storage for my PROJECT LIFE CARDS and EMBELLISHMENTS. Everything has a new home except for washi tape.

When I went to a SCRAPBOOK RETREAT in January, I put all my tapes in a plastic shoebox – you can kinda’ see them on the far right in this photo from the retreat:

But I wasn’t happy with it for the long-term. So I was in TARGET one day and decided to look around for possibilities for storing washi tape. Here is what I found:

These fridge and freezer storage containers could work. They’re a little pricey but I like that they’re clear. You can see what you have and the pretty colors from all that gorgeous tape are visible.

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I was excited to find these short tension rods because I’d seen an idea using them on PINTEREST. I had them in my cart, then ended up putting them back. It occurred to me that I’d end up being annoyed at having to pull a bunch of rolls off the rods to get to the color I wanted – or in needing to keep them on the rod and tear the tape off while it stayed on the rod. Either way, I wouldn’t like it.

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These “Bento” containers by Rubbermaid are super cute. I love how the compartments pop out and you can really personalize it. The containers come in multiple sizes. I ended up veto’ing this too because 1. I don’t do well at keeping cloth things clean, and 2. It seemed too deep.

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Are these little chipboard suitcases the kee-YOU-test?!?! Could totally see these for my washi tape storage. Great price, too. Only downside is they’re not see-through and I’m a “see it or forget to use it” kinda’ girl.

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Now these trays, I really thought about for a while. The color is bland but that’s okay – washi tape is not, LOL! I could picture my pretty rows of colorful tape all lined up in ROYGBIV order in one of these babies. They’d be in a single layer, easy to see, and easy to access. The downsides were the larger footprint {I don’t have much desk real estate left} and being open to dust. Oh well, neat idea.

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Thinking about closed storage, I checked out all these jars in the kitchen section. I didn’t pull the trigger on anything but there were some cute and affordable options there.

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Oh well, back to the drawing board! I’ll check out Michaels next and I’m sure I’ll find some cool washi tape storage there :)

Online Scrapbook Classes: New Discount Code for “True Stamp 2014″ Until 03-31-14

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When I posted about HERE about “TRUE STAMP 2014″ earlier today, there was no discount code in effect. However, one has just been added!

*** Code NOW20 is good for $20 off the regular registration rate through the end of this month (03-31-14) *** There are over 400 people signed up and Lain would like to get to 500!

Here are some additional reasons to sign up for True Stamp 2014 asap:

-They’re closing the doors at 500 people (that’s all the web room will hold)
-The supply list went out today, so things are hip-hop-happening
-Call guide goes out soon
-In addition to the classes, you’ll have the opportunity to win amazing prizes and access exclusive True Stamp discounts from event sponsors

Um, yeah, I’m thinkin’ those are gonna’ be some pretty nice prizes ;)

Anyhoo – just wanted to let you know in case the price was holding you back from signing up for “True Stamp 2014, which you can do HERE for $20 off through 03-31-14. Don’t forget to use this code: NOW20

Even without the discount, it’s a reasonable price. But with the discount, it’s hard to pass up.

Happy Stampin’!!

Coming Up: Scrapbook Shopping, LSS Reviews, and Washi Tape Storage

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Hey there, hi there, ho there!

Just wanted to check in since it’s been over a week since I posted. I’ve been in Arizona :)

I need to get my work and laundry done first, then I’ll be posting about some scrappy shopping I did! There’ll be plenty of photos with reviews of the 2 scrapbook stores I visited. And I’ll show you what I bought, of course. It’s all super yummy!

I also have 2 new posts I’m working on about WASHI TAPE storage that I hope to get posted this week.

Please say “hi” and let me know how you’re doing! What’ve you been up to these days? Please leave a Comment below :)

Project Life: Planner Pages Set from Michaels

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As I mentioned HERE back in early January 2014, some Michaels received new Project Life items including 6×8 albums, page protectors, and kits to use in them for Planner, Agenda, and Recipe.

Well, what should I spy at my Mike’s almost 2 months later but this!?!?:

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Yeppers, some of the page protectors and 1 of the 3 kits. I have a zillion 6×8 Sn@p! pages so I don’t need more of those for now but I did snatch up the “Planner” Project Life kit. It was $4.99 minus $2.00 with my 40% off coupon. So only $2.99 for 40 cards – pretty cost effective.

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And it’s really cute! I love the theme, colors, and style. I think I’ll get a lot of use from these cards. Here are some photos in case you’d like a closer look:

4×6 cards

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3×4 cards

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It’s very everyday, happy, and fresh. It looks great with one of my other favorite Project Life kits, HONEY. {I talk about why it’s one of my faves HERE}.

Not to enable or anything – ‘cuz you know I hate to do that – but “Honey” and “Olive” are only $23 and “Turquoise” is only $18 at the moment HERE on Amazon. These kits are usually $30 so that’s a great deal ;)

Anyway, just wanted to let you know not to give up hope on finding the “new” Project Life items at your Michaels. They may still show up!

I’m a Scrapaholic on the Road to . . . the Scrapbook Store! {And What’s Your Confession?}

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“Hi, my name is Erika and I have a Scrapbook Obsession. But I’m in a great 12×12 step program . . . ”

You know, admitting you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.

{Although if lovin’ scrap supplies is wrong, I don’t wanna’ be right!}

Thought I’d make a little sign that my fellow scrapbook obsessed peeps would like:

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{Inspired by THIS sign I saw on Facebook; thanks FactoryDirectCraft.com!}

Soooo . . . confession time! Are you a Scrapoholic? Are you in recovery . . . or driving to the store?

Tell us something weird, funny, or crazy your “scrapbook obsession” has made you do. I mean, it’s an ADDICTION so you’re clearly not in control and can’t be blamed for your actions. {That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it}.

- I had to buy a third plastic shoebox because my PROJECT LIFE, MAMBI, and SN@P! card sets have outgrown THIS storage . . .

- I take selfies at the beach {while pretending I’m taking ocean photos} because that’s the only way to get myself in the scrapbook . . .

- I have one of my jobs solely to have a budget for buying scrapbook supplies and printing photos . . .

There are lots more but I’ll leave it at that :)

Okay, don’t leave me hangin’ out here alone. Your turn!

Online Scrapbook Classes: All 2013 Webinar Classes by Lain Ehmann/Layout A Day on Sale thru 02-14-14

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Now through Friday, 02-14-14 at midnight, Lain is offering all ten of her scrapinars from 2013 for only $7 each, instead of the regular $17.95. Selections include organizing with Aby Garvey, crafting with office supplies from Lain Ehmann, tackling a photo-a-day project with Katrina Kennedy… and seven more!

AND you can get all TEN video classes for only $29, less than $3 a class!

Here’s the full line-up.

Each class is around an hour long (unless otherwise noted) and includes pre-recorded video, a Q&A period, and lots of scrappy fun. Many also include action guides or PDF “cheat sheets.”

Remember, this sale runs from NOW through Friday, 2/14.

If you can’t commit enough to click the link above (LOL), here are the icons from each class to see if anything blows your dress up :)


Organize, Energize with Professional Organizer Aby Garvey!

Although I usually attend Lain’s monthly webinars when they’re free, some of these I’ve missed so even I’m tempted at this crazy-good price. I really enjoyed Monica Bradford’s washi class and Lain’s about scrapbooking with office supplies, if you’re looking for recommendations.

You can find more info or sign up HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions <3

Is Scrapbooking Coming Back to QVC?!?! And Some HSN Scrapbooking, Too

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This was posted on Instagram by Erin with DCWV (Die Cuts With a View), makers of scrapbooking papers and products! {You can see their stuff on Amazon HERE and they sell a lot of it at Michaels, too}.

She refers to a 1-hour craft show on QVC coming 03-05-14. So maybe not “QVC Scrapbooking” per se, but at least a crafting show and a step in the right direction – woot! I know many scrapbookers like me have missed the “good ol’ days” of QVC Scrapbooking, when we would call in sick to work . . . erm, take a planned vacation day . . . so we could sit glued in front of the TV and see all the fabulous ideas and products.

Some years ago, QVC quit doing scrapbooking shows (which we couldn’t understand, because most of the items would sell out). Then HSN ramped up their scrapbooking and LISA BEARNSON was eventually added as an HSN Scrapbooking hostess, which I was very happy about because I LURVE her. I was on a scrapbooking cruise with her back in the day and, let me tell you, she’s one of THE nicest and most genuine people you will ever meet.

So I really do hope that scrapbooking is coming back to QVC. The QVC PROGRAM GUIDE only goes through March 2 at this point so I can’t confirm the March 5 thing.

On top of THAT good news,

On 02-12-14, HSN Scrapbooking will be featuring the new Cricut Explore. In fact, according to someone on the DT for Anna Griffin, “Anna Griffin is launching the new Cricut Explore and some free fun party images from Anna come with it.” HERE is the announcement on Anna’s site. She has a series of Cricut Explore sneak peeks on HER BLOG if you’re intrigued.

According to the HSN PROGRAM GUIDE, all of the Papercrafting shows on 02/12 will feature the Cricut Explore. Since I was recently given an amazing SILHOUETTE CAMEO, I have no interest in buying one but will check out at least one episode to learn about it.

On 03-24-14, Lisa Bearnson will be introducing two new PROJECT LIFE kits on HSN and other new things.

This is from LISA’S BLOG recently, where she also discussed what a bust her last appearance was on HSN:

Thanks for all your comments about my last HSN show! Hopefully you didn’t miss out on the amazing savings on Project Life items. I got a note from the buying team yesterday that said you all know a good deal when you see one! Almost every Project Life product has sold out but these four items (as of yesterday)! I so hope you were able to get one of the Cinnamon Project Life kits!

So sorry about the 5-7 p.m. hours. HSN had to make a last minute switch (it had nothing to do with crafting products) and I tried to be cheerful about the change! Yes it’s true that some of my items were sold out, but there were many that I was so excited to showcase. It really was beyond any of our control.

Stay tuned for March 24th–the next big craft day. I have tons of new, new, new including a two new Project Life kits! Please be assured that HSN is still very dedicated to the crafting market.

I’m glad to hear HSN isn’t abandoning us scrapbookers! After the canceled and moved shows last time, I was beginning to wonder.

Here’s to a happy weekend, with visions of TV scrapbooking shows dancing in our heads!

Scrapbook Retreat: My Scrap Table Before, During, and After

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As I talked about HERE, I recently went to my annual scrapbook retreat with friends. I had a complete blast, as I always do. This retreat weekend is something I look forward to all year. Daily life is so busy – family, work, home – that I rarely get to scrapbook at home. That’s why I enjoy and look forward to crops and retreats so much.

I worked extra hard all week so that I’d be ahead on my work come Friday, and was able to head up to the lake retreat house first thing in the morning. I was the first to arrive {that NEVER happens! LOL} and quickly got to unloading my heavily-packed car. Personal stuff went into a downstairs bedroom and scrappy stuff upstairs to the main part of the house.

Since I was there first, I was able to take some photos of the house empty. You can see how super cool it is and perfectly set up for a scrapbooking crew like us. Starting at the left of the photo: Crop tables with Ott lights; living room with big comfy couches, TV, and fireplace; 2 more scrapping’ tables where me and my mom sat; large kitchen; and big dining room table.

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This is the view from the front deck toward the lake. Because of our drought, the water is very low this year and you can barely see it there in the background :(

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Here’s my table with all my scrap-crap unloaded but before getting organized. All the stuff in the back row was already there – printer, lamp, Iris drawers, etc.

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Here’s me all set up and ready to scrap the long weekend away! Epson PictureMate? Check! Bag in Bag full of embellishments, enamel dots, and labels? Check! Basic Grey Magnetic Mat double down? Check! Stack of free printables? Check! Let’s get this pawty stawted, homes!

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This was my table on Day 3. Ahhhh . . . coffee and scrapbooking. My idea of heaven.

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This is one reason I love my Project Life storage solution so much. {If you haven’t read my post about it, they’re just plastic shoeboxes from Michaels with all my 3×4 and 4×6 cards divided by brand and line with simple labels}. See how I put them on top of the existing Iris drawers? It was so easy to pull down the box I needed, flip the lid off, and go to town. If I’d had a large case with an attached lid, where would I have even put it? And so heavy! If I’d used one of the those fancy divided cubby units that I so admire when I see them on Pinterest {ha!}, how would I have transported it to the retreat without all the cards falling out and getting mixed up?

“Scrabpook Obsession, you can love your Project Life storage system. Just don’t LOOOOOOOOVE your Project Life storage system.” {10 points if you can name the movie I’m referencing!}

Anyhoo, I worked solely on pocket pages with my goal being to get 2013 photos completely done including Project Life. Welllll . . . that didn’t happen, LOL! More like February, March, and October to December 2013. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that. I did get 20 pocket pages scrapped. I just counted how many photos:

One hundred and five. Bladow.

105 photos and lots of handwritten journaling, capturing memories, reliving our fun year = what a blessing. Wish I could go on a retreat every month. I dare say I’d be totally ‘caught up.’ Which will never happen in reality but it’s fun to dream about, yeah? If I’d done traditional layouts, I predict I would’ve scrapped about 20 photos.

I even got some organizing done while I was there. I made more labeled dividers for my PL storage {yikes! I’ve collected even MORE cards since I showed you my storage system HERE}. And I got a lot of my divided page protectors out of their packaging and into a 12×12 ring binder, divided up into the various pocket configurations. Made it much easier to find the specific type I was looking for instead of digging into a mixed up multi-pack each time.

I’ll close with this photo of some beautiful deer. I was standing on the front patio early in the evening, talking to one of my kids on the phone, when these deer just walked right up to me. Aren’t they amazing?

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Yes, of course, I took a ton of photos and now these darlings will have a pocket page spread of their own. Anyone know a good “deer” line?? :D

Do you go on scrapbook retreats? Do you get a lot done or is it more of a social thing?

Online Scrapbook Classes: Review of “True Scrap Pocket Pages”

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ETA 05-01-14: You can no longer buy the entire “True Scrap Pocket Pages” event that’s linked below. HERE is where you can purchase the same classes a la carte {that’s a fancy way of saying “individually” ;)

If you’ve been hangin’ around the blog, you know I’ve been very excited to attend TRUE SCRAP POCKET PAGES :) I signed up on Black Friday and had to wait for.EV.er for it to actually get here, LOL. I could kinda’ care less about Christmas and my birthdays because I don’t receive much these days . . . but sign me up for a scrapbook class or event, and it’s all I can think about. Am I alone here?

So today it was finally time for TS Pocket Pages. I really enjoyed my experience and wanted to share a review. Did you know you can buy these classes individually later? Lain usually sells True Scrap classes a la carte a month or two after the event; I’ll make sure and post here when they’re available. If you don’t want to miss that, you can sign up in the top right sidebar to receive an e-mail every time I post.

It actually started Friday night with a Pajama Party from 9-10pm EST. This is a chance for all the attendees to check out the chat room, get to know the hostess Lain, say hi to everyone, and chit chat about scrapbooking for an hour. There are often technical things to work through, too – like changing browsers, watching videos straight from the LOAD site, getting close to your router, etc. – so I highly suggest attending PJ parties before any of Lain’s events or at least checking out the online classroom at least 1 hour before start time. She usually uses Cisco Webex for which you’ll need to download Quicktime if you’re not on a Mac. I usually sail right into class but this time I couldn’t access the classroom using Safari. I switched over the Chrome and had no problem, although Lain says that most people who have problems are using Chrome (guess I’m an anomaly, LOL – wouldn’t be the first time!).

On Saturday, I got to sleep in because it didn’t start until 9:30am my time. There were scrappers from other parts of the world like my buddy AussieGal (Janet) who had to be up at 4:30, ugh. What a trooper! If you’re not that devoted or have other plans, there are always full replays of the class videos including the chat. Love that feature. I also love the replays because here is my routine: While the event – class videos and chat – are going on live, I give that my full attention. I watch the video, participate in the chat, etc. {And the chat moves VERY fast so you have to be a bit of a scrapbook Olympian to follow it}. Then later I’ll watch the videos individually to take notes, follow the projects more closely, and sometimes create the project.

In this case, the pocket page classes were more process-oriented where the instructor walked you through how and why they do PROJECT LIFE or pocket page scrapbooking. They shared what products they use, how their space is set up, how they choose and print photos, do journaling, etc.

Usually with True Scrap classes, there’s a project to create and I’ll do that after the fact. This time, I think I’ll watch again whenever I need Project Life or pocket page inspiration or just want to watch or listen to something scrappy. There were SO many ideas and tips to incorporate into my own pocket page scrapping. Another great feature of True Scrap events is the Supply List. This is sent out ahead of time in case you want to gather products and create along with the instructor. But it’s REALLY useful for after the fact when you fall in love with the products they use and want to know “Where’d she get that?!?!” If the item isn’t on the Supply List, they’re really great about following up and putting a link to the item in the chat and/or in the Post-Call Guide.

So, now for a quick review of each class. I included the class times so you could get a sense of how long the event is, and the class name/description in italics. My reviews follow in regular type.

12:30PM* – Meet and Greet
*All times are EST

Again, just a time to check in, make sure your connection is working, etc. We all said hi to old and new friends, said where we were from, and compared temperatures; those with snow and ice didn’t appreciate hearing from us in Cali, Hawaii, and Arizona, I’m sure.

1PM – Pocket Scrapping 101: Back to Basics from Layle Koncar
As a dedicated “traditional” scrapbooker, Layle Koncar had to find a way to make pocket scrapbooking work for her – and she did it! She’s sharing her secrets to take you from pocket scrapping zero to hero in this comprehensive class, “Pocket Scrapping 101: Back to Basics.” If you’re new to pocket pages, this is a can’t miss primer for how to approach the system from Planning and Organization to Color and Design. And if you’re an experienced pocket scrapper, you’ll still find plenty of tips, hints, and time- saving secrets. This is one class you’re sure to watch again and again!

I’ve been scrapbooking pocket-page style for a few years now but even I enjoyed this “basic” look at the topic. If you’re new to pocket page or Project Life-type scrapbooking, this is a great class. Layle talked about all the products that can be used, how to organize products, how to store and use memorabilia, etc. One of my favorite things about Layle is she’s so down-to-earth, like your funny BFF who always makes you smile. She told a story about Hawaii that had me ROFL *and* LMBO. Word. We found out that Layle had done her video, it was almost an hour (which doesn’t allow for chat time), so she took 2 segments out, and submitted it. Well, it’s the real world and things happen – so we ended up seeing the long version. No one was complaining though – more learnin’ for us :) And Ms. Lain Problem Solver is going to Skype with Layle soon, get all our questions answered, and share it via e-mail. So we got the best of both worlds.

2PM – Do You Hear What I Hear? Including Your Family’s Perspectives in Your Pocket Spreads from Marcy Penner
Most scrapbookers realize that pretty soon, their scrapbooks become a reflection of their perspective on their life. And that’s great! But what about those other special people who inhabit your world? Is it possible to include more “voices” in your pocket pages? As Marcy Penner can attest, YES! Marcy will create a weekly spread in her Project Life album with a focus on adding other voices and perspectives. You’ll learn specific tips and ideas for including family members in your process, as well as where to find content that will add additional perspectives to your pages. After “Do You Hear What I Hear? Including Your Family’s Perspectives in Your Pocket Spreads,” you’ll be hearing voices – in a good way!

In addition to all the ways I learned to include my family members’ voices in my pages, I also liked watching her process. She has a clever Design A template on poster board that she uses to design her pages before slipping everything into protectors. Someone in class mentioned seeing online where another scrapper made a template on their desktop using washi tape! I usually just design my pages right on top of the page protectors themselves but will consider making one of these templates. Marcy shared photography, placement, embellishing, and color tips as well. Her process and pages are very detailed and not something I personally (a very simple and time-challenged scrapper) would re-create. But I can take 1 or 2 of her ideas per layout and still get my money’s worth from the class.

3PM – KISS: Keep It Simple, Scrappy! Simplifying the Pocket Page Process from Monica McNeil
So you’ve got plenty of product, plenty of pictures, plenty of memories, but not much time. Monica McNeil is right there with you! In “KISS: Keep It Simple, Scrappy! Simplifying the Pocket Page Process in Three Simple Steps” she’s going to share her methodology of batch-processing her pocket page spreads. She works on several weeks at once, and also finds time to go back to older years to deal with those pesky missing weeks. (You DO have missing weeks, don’t you?) Jam-packed with ways to keep your process simple, “KISS” will give you the tools to actually have time to cultivate that good life, instead of spending all your time recording it. Join Monica to use your kits, preserve your memories, and showcase your photographs in a flash.

This was one of my favorite classes from True Scrap Pocket Pages. I wasn’t familiar with Monica prior to this but I really like her scrapbooking style and how she teaches. I’m in the same boat – super busy, wanting to do Project Life and pocket page scrapbooking, but having to adapt it to something I can handle time-wise. Even though she keeps it simple, Monica’s pages tell the story, are fun to do, and look great. She gave concrete tips like batch processing, using label stickers, tagging photos, and going back to complete older albums.

4PM – Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Adding Journaling to Your Pocket Pages from Stephanie Bryan
Do photos come easier than words for you? You’re not alone! As an experienced pocket page veteran, Stephanie Bryan knows that you can get into ruts, making your whole project feel like a trip to the dentist rather than the joy it can (and should!) be. Over the past years, she’s discovered ways to re-invigorate her journaling by including the stories in unique and fun ways. She’ll be sharing these techniques with you in “Outside the Lines: Creative Approaches to Adding Journaling to Your Pocket Pages.”

I’m a pretty boring journaler with my pocket pages. I usually handwrite straight onto the provided journaling cards and call it a day. I really enjoyed Stephanie’s class for all her ideas to get me out of that rut. She utilizes things like flip up journaling cards, tags in pockets, journaling on photos, and using her die cutting machine to spice things up a bit. As with Marcy’s class, I admire Stephanie’s pages for their artistry more than I would plan to replicate them but, hey, that’s great, too! “Aspirational scrapbooking,” right? It’s all good.

5PM – Playing Big: Adding 12×12 photos and layouts to your Pocket Pages Albums from Lilith Eeckels
Pocket pages are wonderful for capturing little moments. But what about those BIG little moments – the ones that deserve more than a 3×4 or 4×6 spot? Lillith Eeckels wants to help you get those special times into your pocket page albums. In “Playing Big: Adding 12×12 Photos and Layouts to Your Pocket Page Albums” she’ll show you how to scrapbook everyday moments in the traditional 12×12 size, and then how to add those oversized pages to your albums. She’ll also share her tips for making the whole process easy, enjoyable, and achievable. Let’s get BIG!

Lilith you may know as a former Two Peas GARDEN GIRL. I love her style and always enjoy her scrapbooking videos. In this case, I don’t have a wide format printer and don’t send my photos out for printing either so I probably won’t use her 12×12 photo or collage ideas. But she did teach me a thing or three I WILL use! She showed a great way of incorporating regular 12×12 layouts within your pocket page/Project Life layouts to where they look cohesive and not “out of place” like I’ve seen them do. I also enjoyed watching her layer on 3×4 and 4×6 cards. She has a great attitude about embracing mistakes and not stressing on things too much. Lilith was raised in South Africa and lives in Belgium (we learned in class), so she has a lovely accent, too.

6PM – Hybrid Hints for Paper People from Traci Reed
Traci Reed is the resident Digi girl for True Scrap events, but even though she loves those pixels, she works her pocket pages in paper style… with a little help from her digi background! In “Hybrid Hints for Paper People,” Traci will show you how to use digital techniques and tools to expand what you can do with your paper pocket pages. That’s right – you can have the best of both worlds, and Traci will be your guide in getting it all!

I’m a strictly paper scrapbooker so I have to admit I didn’t get as much out of this class. She delves right in with Photoshop, a program I doubt I’ll ever own, but the music playing while she demos her work was great! I have nothing against digi-scrapping, it’s just not for me. I’m on the computer ALLLLL day for work, personal, blogging, and comms with my scrappy peeps. When I sit down to scrapbook, I want the creative “paper and glue” outlet. But I think most scrappers are open to digital or at least hybrid scrapbooking. You’ll enjoy this class if that’s the case for you. Traci is a very accomplished digital designer and teacher and her Project Life pages are stunning. She has a pleasant teaching style and her interaction during chats always makes me laugh. Traci did surprise me at the end by printing out her digi-fied photos, cutting them out, adhering to card stock, and embellishing with physical scrapbooking products and stamping. So check out her class and see if you like it!

To give you an idea of the amazing prizes handed out, here are the ones from “True Scrap Pocket Pages”:

Layle – Simple Stories “Daily Grind” prize package
Marcy – Studio Calico Project Life kit
Monica – Full Project Life set of choice including album
Stephanie – Life Pages kit from Gossamer Blue
Lilith – Layle Koncar’s “Pick a Card, Any Card” class
Traci – Digital kit with printables $40 collection brand new

If you’ve read this sooper dooper long review and want to just buy the whole event, you can still purchase “TRUE SCRAP: POCKET PAGES” at this link. I just put it in a shopping cart and entered the code ASAP90 which still worked to bring the price from $149 way down to $59. I thought that code had expired but I guess not – it’s worth a try! If not, wait for those a la carte prices in the next month or so and you can buy just the classes that sound the best to you!

Thanks for reading my reviews. Please post ANY questions or comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

CHA 2014: Adventures of a Newbie at Scrapbooking’s Biggest Event (Intro Post)

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YES! I got to go to CHA* for the first time!!! And it was absolutely amazing! Scrapbook Bucket List item checked off! I could only go for one day (Saturday) but I’m so grateful even for that. It’s like Rome or Disneyland – there is NO possible way to see and do everything you want to in one day. So I ran around like a scrappy chicken with my head cut off and crammed as much as I could into 7 hours.
*Are you wondering what the hay CHA is? Check THIS out.

There was so much greatness packed into those 7 hours that I can’t put it all in one blog post. I’ll do a series over the next week or two and that way I can be more detailed (maybe TOO detailed but humor me, LOL!) Simple Stories and Basic Grey might take 2 posts each. We’ll see how it goes. But I want to share the experience with you of being a total geeky newb in the Emerald City. I must say, Oz was extremely welcoming :) And no flying monkeys. BONUS!

Pinch me. I still kind of can’t believe it. OUCH! Jeez, I didn’t mean ACTUALLY pinch me. It was a figure of speech. Sheesh. That’s okay, it didn’t hurt that much. Between CHA yesterday and the Golden Globes and The Bachelor tonight, I’m in heaven anyway. I still love you <3

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For an idea of what’s to come, below are some of the booths I went to and people I met.

I got a tour of these booths, met some wonderful people, and got you some good intel:
BASIC GREY – Talked to one of the owners, Rachel Brenchley, and briefly met Kelly Purkey
SIMPLE STORIES – Met the owners Kevin and Amber Crowell, and Jodi, Sue, and Layle Koncar
ECHO PARK / CARTA BELLA – Met Andrea Smith
WEBSTER’S PAGES – Met Allison Kreft and Shimelle
PROJECT LIFE – Met Becky Higgins
CHICKANIDDY CRAFTS – Met Heidi Sonboul’s husband
MAMBI (Me and My Big Ideas) – Met Shelby Strichard

These are booths that I quickly visited and got photos of:
BELLA BLVD
BAZZILL
WRMK
AMERICAN CRAFTS
KAISERCRAFT
COPICS
CHIC TAGS

Who I saw from afar but didn’t talk to, darn it:
Noell Hyman from PAPERCLIPPING.COM
AMY TANGERINE from American Crafts
TIM HOLTZ from . . . Tim Holtz
HEIDI SONBOUL from Chickaniddy Crafts
ELISE BLAHA CRIPE from enJOY It.com

As you can see, I’m a Paper Girl. If you’re looking for inks and stamps and tools, I’m not your gal. I mean, all that stuff is awesome but I had to prioritize so I went for my first love: PAPER!!! I’m a confessed PAPER SNIFFER from way back, remember? I’ve always been open with you about that. Don’t hate.

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I also got to meet Nancy Nalley from SCRAPBOOK UPDATE and we had a quick fun convo at the end of the day. I hope I remembered to mention every person and booth I visited. If not, I’ll include them later, swear!

Overall, I will say that my photos will not be the best you’ll see out there (camera problems so most are iPhone photos). I didn’t take a TON of project photos because I know each manufacturer posts those on their blog, etc. My focus will be on telling you the story of the day, how amazing and fun it was to be there, the conversations I had with some of my favorite companies, what I’ll do differently next time, and hopefully some insider information that you won’t hear anywhere else. The posts will be LONG. I’m verbose. Deal with it.

I did offer those I interviewed the chance to do a run-through of our exchange before I post it. I don’t have the greatest memory and I’d feel HORRIBLE if I misquoted someone. I also don’t want to share any details they’d rather keep under wraps for now, or anything too personal. They are businesses, just real people making a living, and I totally respect that. But if there’s a delay in posting anything, that’ll be why – just wanted you to know ☺

So please come back to read more about my adventures at CHA 2014. If you want to make sure and not miss a post, you can sign up for updates in the top right corner. That way, you get an e-mail every time I post.

In the meantime, if you’re Jonesing for CHA product and project photos, I encourage you to check out all the vendor blog links in my Blogroll on the lower right. If you go to their blogs, you can usually find a link to their Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook where they’re sharing photos from CHA and/or products debuting at CHA. Also, in my post above, anything that’s bolded is a link to their blog or website.

Another way to see amazing pics from the floor of CHA is check out Melissa Stinson/Scrappy Jedi’s FLICKR FEED. She has a nice camera and her CHA photos are wicked good. I was hoping to meet Melissa @ CHA but never saw her, dangit! I’ve followed her blog for years and am a big fan.

Sorry no pretty pictures this time. I’m still downloading and editing them – I took almost 500 total. In 7 hours. Yikes. Excessive much?

Hope to see you soon for more CHA dish!

Scrapbook Retreat: How I Pick a Project, Plan, and Pack

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Yes, I used all those P’s on PURPOSE!

Once a year, I go on a scrapbooking retreat with a group of friends and my mama :) There are 8 of us and we have a blast. It’s coming up later this month and I’m trying to get a jump on planning what I want to work on and, therefore, pack. I started to write out these lists on paper, then figured “what the heck? Why not blog ‘em?” Here’s how it’s going so far.

Well, first . . . when I’m at retreats, I like to work on projects not just a bunch of random layouts. Layouts are super fun and creative and all that; I just don’t feel like it’s a good use of my time. I’m so busy these days (work full-time, kids, DH, sports, activities, blogging, etc.), that I do the majority of my scrapping at crops and retreats.

Yes, it’s sad but true. I work on Project Life a bit at home and try to periodically organize memorabilia, print photos, type out journaling, and put away purchases. Which is all scrapbooking-RELATED but it’s not the real thing, right?

So when I get a concentrated amount of time away from the fam and work, with a big table to spread out on, wonderful girlfriends for company, and can stay up as late as I want – I’m taking advantage of it, guuurrrlll!

PROJECTS, baby, PROJECTS.

Projects Considered:
1. Baby Albums – I have the photos organized, memorabilia/journaling, album, page protectors, Project Life “Baby” kits, and lots of cute embellishments. But I feel like I’d do this better at home where DH can help me with the memories. Heck, I’d love him to do some of the journaling.

2. Mediterranean Cruise/Rome Album – From YEARS ago, people! I started out doing a regular 12×12 album and got maybe 20 layouts done. But it hit me that if I kept going on that plan, I would end up with 150 layouts and it would take me 3 years to complete! Now I just want to get the photos in divided protectors, journal what i can remember, and embellish with the Basic Grey papers and embellies I’ve collected FOREVAH! for this project. The existing layouts are done with BG as well so I could slip those in wherever they go chronologically. Once that’s done, it won’t seem like such a daunting thing. I can grab the albums (as in multiple; there are LOTS of photos!) whenever I feel inspired and transition some photos and journaling to traditional layouts. In the meantime, I’ll be able to look through the photos and remember what an awesome trip that was! My mom was on the cruise too and I thought it would be good to pick her brain on memories while we’re at the retreat . . . but it almost seems like too BIG of a project to start on a weekend.

3. Scrap all of 2013 – That means finish Project Life, pocket page scrap all other 2013 photos (everyday/family, trips, sports, school, and events), and if I finish all of that, do some traditional layouts or a mini Sn@p! album. I like this idea the best because it’s do-able in a weekend. Also, I want to journal while everything is fairly fresh in my mind.

Scrapbookers are fickle, you might agree, but as of this moment – I’m going with #3 :) Now, it’s time for prep.

{Pssst! I’m going to start adding some pretty pictures now so you don’t fall asleep while reading this mega-post :) You’re welcome.}

To Do:
1. Get all 2013 memorabilia sorted into page protectors by month. (I blogged about my method HERE). I worked on this last weekend and I’m almost done.

2. Print photos and prints journaling already on computer

3. Type journaling for events (I like to do this ahead of time so I can either copy it as handwritten journaling while at the retreat or leave a spot big enough for typed journaling to add when I get home)

4. Make sure I have refills for adhesives, paper trimmer, TINY ATTACHER, etc.

To Pack:
1. 2013 Dayplanner/agenda (I keep great notes on what we did, thoughts, things the kids said, etc.)

2. Laptop, Picturemate printer*, photo paper, cords, iPhone, charger, OTT LITE, etc.

*I have an older version of THIS ONE . . .

. . . but I want THIS ONE!

3. WRMK albums to store completed pages and plenty of page protectors! PROJECT LIFE and WRMK variety packs are my most-used. I use the Kiwi WRMK albums for Project Life and the Turquoise for Family albums. {Do you have a color coding system, too?}

4. Sticky notes (I hate to say Ali Edwards copies me but THIS is what I do, too . . . oh, simmer down! I’m kidding! I’m suuurrree it was her idea first. Yepper.)


*Photo from Ali’s blog

5. Plastic shoeboxes of all my Project Life-type cards (I talked about my storage method HERE and retreat time is when I really love how portable, light, and easy they are to use). Yes, I really have that many Project Life, MAMBI, and Sn@p! cards. Let’s see how much of a dent I can put in them at the retreat!

6. Tool caddy with plenty of black journaling pens, pencils, and erasers – a must for all the handwritten journaling I’ll do. (I love THESE erasers; they don’t smear the ink yet totally get rid of the pencil marks). I can also use my laptop and Picturemate to print journaling onto any 4×6 sheet of paper while AT the retreat. Cool, eh?

7. BAG IN BAG filled with Project Life-y stuff: washi tape, ENAMEL DOTS, stickers, embellishments, label stickers, date stamps, Cat’s Eye chalk inks, etc. I filled this up today and will show you pics soon.

8. Sn@p! album, chipboard pages, and page protectors – just in case ;)

9. CAMEO-O-O-O!!!

Can you tell I’m excited!?!?! It’s still about 2 weeks away but I’m busy next weekend and have to work all the weekdays in between so I’m trying to get started with planning and packing now. I feel so much better now that I’ve decided on a project. I can pack up my crop bags in the next day or so and then add to them as I remember things I forgot, LOL!

Once everything is packed, I’m going to clean my scrapbook/home office. There will be some cleared surfaces for once – ha! One thing I do wait to pack until D-day is my paper trimmer (my trusty Cutterpede). Whenever I’ve packed it early, it comes back out to cut coupons, work papers, etc. Same goes for my tool caddy with pens, scissors, etc. There’s a lot of crossover use between my scrapbooking things and my work-at-home activities. I’m so lucky to have a big space where I can do both.

Okay, I’m off to start packing ‘er up! Thanks for reading such a long entry :)

Project Life: Review of NEW 6×8 Project Life Albums, Kits, and Pages at Michaels

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As I posted HERE, some Michaels stores are now carrying several Becky Higgins’ new Project Life products – already! According to HER BLOG, these albums are being introduced at CHA-Anaheim next week . . . but they’re already showing up at some Mike’s! Sounds good to me :)

And I can’t find mention on her site of the 6×8 agenda, calendar, and recipe kits nor any new Core Kits by Maggie Holmes and Dear Lizzy {which I’m now hearing may the HSN “exclusive” core kits?}. So I don’t know if these items are Michaels exclusives or what? I’ve asked for clarification on the message boards from scrappers who’ve seen these displays in person but no one seems to know. Hmmmm . . .

And as it goes . . . none of these new Project Life goodies have arrived at MY Micheales and I won’t be surprised if they never do. Remember when MOST Mike’s got the 12×12 WRMK albums, like, ages ago??? My Mike’s got them about 1 month ago. Finally.

That’s one reason I get so much of my PROJECT LIFE stuff on Amazon.com. They may not have 40% off coupons but they do put things on sale fairly often and with PRIME, I get them in the mail sometimes sooner than I could’ve even run to Michaels (1-2 days, yippee! A girl needs her instant gratification, ya know?)

So, given that I have little hope of seeing these in person before I turn 82 (hey! I know I sound old and curmudgeonly but I’m nowhere close, I promise you) . . . I asked my message board friend Jen (aka Redscountrygirljen) if I could share the review SHE posted. I’m so thrilled she said yes! Below is JEN’s review and the wonderful photos she provided:

So, with our Blizzard approaching what was DH, my toddler and I to do today? Go to Michaels a half hour away, of course!

And what to my wondering eyes did appear?

New BH Project Life! And with it 40% off (like others have said, it’s not marked on sale) I got a 6×8 leather binder, the planner kit, planner theme set, and a pack of Design 2 and a pack of Design 3 page protectors.

Above: The leather album. It’s fairly nice quality, not as nice as WRMK. There is a noticeable seam on the inside where you can tell the leather inside was glued down. The album also has a slight smell, but it isn’t obnoxious. Long story short, I will probably by at least a few more of these. I like them better than her larger paper binders and I like them better than even the Sn@p chipboard albums. I have yet to see a Sn@p leather album so I can’t provide a comparison to that.

Above: Menards Teddy Bear aside, this is the inside of the album and also a peek at the Weekly Planner inserts. They are reg. priced 14.99 but I got it on sale for 8.99. I was a sucker for the planner because I love the tabbed monthly inserts.

Above: The back of a month page and the front of another. So colorful! I can also see myself using the journaling prompts on the back of the dividers.

Above: Samples of the weekly planner pages. I don’t see myself using these each and every week. The main reason being that after putting in all the pages of the kit, there isn’t a lot of room for clear page divided pages. I will certainly use some throughout, but unless I want to have two 6×8 albums for 2014, I will just keep some for another project (or for 2015? eek!)

Above: Page protectors! I got style 2 (2-3×4, 1-4×6) and style 3 (2-4×6). Style 1 is 4-3×4. The most important thing I’ll throw out here is that the first thing I did when I got home was try my Sn@p pages – they fit perfectly in these albums too! This means other Sn@p products will work too like their own dividers and page protectors.

Above: For only 2.99, I also got the accompanying planner cards. They’re nice and colorful and will look really nice. I’ll be adding some of the Honey cards in as well I think :)

So, that is my review of the new Michaels-exclusive BH Project Life merchandise! I went for the recipe album, but I was disappointed in the colors. I made my mom a recipe book using some pages from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday and I think we can add to it using the new SS Homespun Collection. They also had new 12×12 BH Project Life albums and two new larger kits – Maggie Holmes was one of them and Dear Lizzy was the other.

All of it was on sale! I got the 6×8 binder, the planner kit, the planner card mini set, a pack of Design 2 and a pack of Design 3 protectors for 28.00 :) My M’s had some of the patterned 6×8 albums left, one leather bright pink one, two of the turquoise, and a black leather album in. Since I just bought a black leather 8×8 WRMK album and a red 12×12 BH leather album, I thought the turquoise would be nice. :) I’m actually pleased with the quality of the album and after taking out even 10 of the divider pages, I have more room. I think I’m going to keep most of the planner pages, add two clear plastic pages for each month for a total of 24 and see what happens :)

Just an update – October Afternoon’s Flash pages are not compatible with either the BH 6×8 or Snap binders. Neither are SC Handbooks pages.

Here are two pictures showing BH’s stuff in a Snap binder. As you can see, when closed, nothing pokes over the edge. Perfect fit!

Wasn’t that an awesome review!?!? Thanks so much for letting me share it, Jen! I owe ya’, girl!

Jen is working on her own blog and when she has it up, I’ll link to it so you can follow her :)

I’m so excited about these new products!! I hope I get to see them in person soon {translation: BUY them, LOL!}. I’m thinking about doing a smaller format, Project-Life style album this year. Instead of doing a daily photo like I did in 2013, I want to have a place to keep everyday one-off photos and quick journaling, without the commitment of “photo a day” and filling the 12×12 pocket page protectors like I did last year. This PL 6×8 album with the Agenda and/or Planner sets are big contenders.

Have these shown up at your Michaels yet? What do you think?

New Project Life Core Kits: “Strawberry” and “Azure”

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You can find them both on Becky Higgins’ website HERE. Go take a look and come back to tell me what you think, please!

Card design references showing the entire kits are not up yet, of course, so it’s hard to judge based on a small peek but . . .

“Strawberry” I really like! The bright HONEY*-like colors with the special touch of navy blue added in are very appealing. The designs seem fun and versatile.

“Azure” has a very cool name, LOL. I’m usually not as big a fan of those kits with cream backgrounds but other than that, I like it a lot. Seems like it could be a good alternative for school layouts that aren’t so . . . school-ish, kwim? Especially the album with the alphabet graphic.

I look forward to seeing more of these 2 new Project Life lines – “Strawberry” and “Azure” – revealed as time goes by. What are your first thoughts?

*The Project Life Core Kit – Honey Edition
is only $21 on Amazon right now instead of regular price of $30 if you’ve been thinking about getting it /enabling over.

Scrapbooking Storage Products: The “Bag in Bag” Revisited

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As I posted HERE and HERE, I got this amazing little “Bag in Bag” on Amazon to use in my scrapbooking.

You can get one HERE. It comes in multiple colors other than the blue I chose. I realized I never posted a review as promised so here goes:

When the bag is empty, it lies flat for easy storage. This is on top of a Project Life 12×12 page protector box if that helps you gauge the size.

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Here is mine with just one idea of how to fill it – I put the 3 cups I keep all my scrapbooking pens and tools in, in the center section, then used the pockets for various things like sticker packs, eraser, etc.

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I took this bag to a weekend scrapbook retreat. I packed a bunch of Project Life stuff in there and it was great. At home, all my little PL gew-gaws like wood veneers, enamel dots, washi tape, corner rounder, etc. are in a tray on my desk. It was great having this bag with so many pockets to pack it all up and take it with me. I also kept my iPhone in the front mesh pocket while I scrapped and it was nice being able to see the screen in case “home” called or texted. I also used a pocket for my Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers :)

On a scrapbooking message board, a bunch of ladies ended up buying these great bags – several each in some cases – for themselves and also for inexpensive but very useful Christmas gifts, crop prizes, etc. One of the members wrote this clever Dr. Seuss-like poem to include with the bag when it’s given as a gift. I asked if I could share it on my blog and she said yes! Check this out:

What is this thing?
What makes it so great?
Why it’s a bag in bag
It’s really first rate!

Not just for ladies
It’s also for guys,
to keep your stuff tidy
and hold your supplies.

With so many pockets
and places to store,
they come in quite handy
you’ll want more!

Great for the kids
to travel with toys
and a few snacks, too
for the girls and boys.

Use one in the car,
throw one in your purse
and for the executive man
throw one in his murse!

Hold your keys and your phone
your credit card, too,
throw in a camera
for your trip to the zoo.

The bag in bag
is a wonderful size
to hold so much stuff
and keep organized!

So here it is
without further ado
this fabulous bag
Merry Christmas to you!

–copyright Kaleidoscope 2014

I told her I’d put her name on it so no one could run off with the credit, LOL!

Isn’t that the most awesome thing! Now I wish I’d followed up on my plan to get a bunch of these for Christmas gifts myself. I would definitely print the poem out on cute paper and include it with the gifts. {You are welcome to use it and do the same!}

Again, you can find the Bag in Bags HERE on Amazon. Still plenty of time to get them before Christmas or before starting Project Life in the new year.

Eventually I want to get a few more of these bags. I’m thinking one for a purse organizer, one for my travel toiletries, and another for my scraproom – inks and stamps. What would you use these bags for – any clever ideas?

Archivers Asks for Holiday Customer Support – What Do You Think?

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ARCHIVER’S scrapbooking chain sent out this e-mail recently. I’m not on their mailing list so I copied it from a posting online; I apologize for the lovely ‘chopped up’ quality :)






I’m on the West Coast and have never been to an Archiver’s, altough shopping there is on my Scrapbook Bucket List :) I’m rarely even in an LSS anymore – all of mine closed years ago – so the thought of being in a scrapbooking warehouse of sorts is pretty exciting! Alas, I’ll have to cross 2 large states to reach the closest one!

Archiver’s Locations:

But when added to their BANKRUPTCY NEWS from the recent past {where the irony of them shafting some of those small manufacturers they now propose to support has been mentioned} and now this e-mail, it’s starting to feel like another thing I’ll have to remove from the Bucket List as impossible {like seeing The Oprah Show in person, boo hoo}. In other words, I have to wonder: Will Archiver’s even be around by the time I can travel to one?

The message boards are blazing with reaction to the above Archiver’s e-mail. Here’s the gist of some of the comments, both good and bad:

- Archiver’s is clearly NOT a small business and trying to cast themselves as part of Small Business Saturday was tacky and unwarranted. While they ARE a small chain {33 stores} in comparison to big boxes MICHAELS {1000+ stores} and HOBBY LOBBY {800+ stores}, they do not meet the definition of a small business {25 locations or less; they missed it by 7}. Personally, I don’t read that they think they ARE a small biz, just that their continued existence helps to keep ‘small biz’ scrapbooking vendors alive. And that they are similar in many ways to a small business in that their home office and individual store staffs are relatively small. I was surprised to hear that only 30 home office employees run a chain of 33 stores; I had pictured a much bigger ‘corporate headquarters’ type of set-up.

- Archiver’s in the past seemed to be practicing “Goal: World Scrapbooking Domination”, putting stores in close proximity to local scrapbook stores {LSS’s}, which many feel was a targeted and successful attempt to shut the smaller stores down. So isn’t it ironic that they now would like to cast themselves as a ‘small business’ or small business supporter?

- Archiver’s has made other business mistakes – like employees who seem to lack scrapbooking knowledge or interest, installing Memory Labs in their stores which don’t seem overly popular, must’ve been hugely expensive, and take up lots of store space that used to hold product, etc. So to send this e-mail that seems to imply that it’s the customers’ faults that Archiver’s is struggling is like a slap in the face.

- Scrappers who do have Archiver’s stores nearby enjoy shopping there, feel they offer something special, and they try to support them with their dollars. Shoppers realize that if we as customers don’t show our support, i.e., spend our scrappy dollars there, we simply won’t have them as a choice eventually. And no one wants that :(

- The e-mail from Archiver’s didn’t bother some scrapbookers at all. They either found it harmless, just the truth being spoken, a necessary cry for help, etc.

Please remember, I stated these are not MY opinions per se, just a compilation of things I’ve seen expressed on the message boards.

Again, as someone who’s never shopped at Archiver’s, I can’t comment on their business practices, their employees, etc. But I can say that if I DID have an Archiver’s within driving distance, I would be there as much as possible. I do have other loyalties to keep with my scrapbooking dollar {as a MEMORY WORKS consultant since 2007, a lot of my dollars have gone there obviously … but they are closing effective 12-31-13} and other places I like to buy basics {Michaels, etc.}.

But I personally wouldn’t take offense to the Archiver’s e-mail. It would’ve opened my eyes to the dire straits they appear to be in, and would’ve renewed my interest in and commitment to shopping there. Hoping it wouldn’t be too little, too late for “us” to save them …

Are you an Archiver’s customer? What has been your experience with Archiver’s? Did the e-mail bother you or no? Do you think Archivers is on its way to closing down?

Even if you don’t have an Archivers close enough to shop at, I’d love to hear your opinions on this issue. Like THIS post I wrote a while back, scrapbooking stores, manufacturers, and customer support is an issue that’s going to keep coming up as more stores continue to fight to stay in business in these tough times … or give up when it’s no longer possible.

Do we as scrapbookers “owe” anything to these retailers? And if we don’t monetarily support them, are you okay if they close?

Please leave your Comments below!

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