scrapbook organization

A Family History Blog … {Sigh} … Someday …

LORELLE ON WORDPRESS is basically, for me, “The Goddess of All That is WordPress.” I’ve been reading her blog for ages and, as a long-time blogger-slash-computer dork who has learned relatively little in my 4 years of blogging, I “follow” her and read her words (most of which go over my ever-lovin’ head) with amazement and deference.

To sum it up, this is how I feel about Lorelle:

Well, just like that except picture Lorelle as Alice Cooper and me as Wayne and Garth.

ANYWAAAAYS. THIS was Lorelle’s blog entry today. As if she couldn’t get any more perfect-er than being a WordPress Guru Blogger, she is also a Family History Blogger. We scrappers LUV us some family history, don’t we?

And not only is she a Family History Blogger, but she made it into her local paper … and to top it off, on her blogs she tells US how to start and run a family history blog. All the links you need are right HERE.

Do you SEE why I’m not worthy?!?!?

Honestly, until I saw this article, it had never occurred to me to start a family history blog. But what an awesome idea, right?

My maternal grandmother was a geneologist … like back in the day, where you had to travel to LIBRARIES and look at MICRO FICHE and make DITTO COPIES of things. I mean, my Gramma ROCKED it. She was hardcore. She even went to Europe to research her family. Then I have an aunt on my dad’s side who compiled a bunch of family history, documents, and photos into a large bound book. A cousin and my mom have been using ANCESTRY.COM to do geneology research in recent years.

I’ve gone on that site a few times and found copies of things like a census from when my granddad was little and that was super cool but other than that, I get totally lost and overwhelmed at all the clicks and links and documents and searches. I feel like Alice down the rabbit hole. I need to spend more time there to figure it all out, although at this point, I’d probably just be duplicating what my other family members have already found.

Anyhow, it just seems to me that a family history blog would be a cool place to bring all these disparate elements together into one place. Srsly, check out Lorelle’s articles on how to do a family history blog … it’s SO cool! You can scan documents in, tag entries by family name, have authors who are “dead or alive,” post photos, share information and stories, etc.

Honestly, it got this little scrapbooker all kindsa jacked up! {Dork}.

The good news is: I’m TOTALLY adding this to my Bucket List for Life. I so want to do a family history blog.

The bad news is: Not only is my plate full right now, but I got a stack of plates that are all full. So this won’t happen anytime soon. Maybe when I retire (gulp). Or hit the lotto. Or become so famous for blogging that I can quit my day jobs. Uh, yeahhh, right!

But the GREAT news is that when I’m ready ~ or you are ~ Lorelle has laid out the process for us so we can do this cool thing she has done. She’s just a share-y person like that.

Mad props, Lorelle, mad props.

Storage for Cricut Cartridges and Tools

Do you need some cool storage for your Cricut cartridges?

It’s official name is “Art Bin Super Satchel Electronic Cartridge Storage” … but we’re going to call it “Art Bin Cricut Storage” for short, LOL. It retails for $19.99 and the dimensions are 9.825 X 11 X 2.25″. It holds up to 16 cartridges along with booklets and tools.

On the ART BIN website, THIS ITEM shows as “temporarily out of stock.” However, it has been spotted recently at stores like AC MOORE, JOANN’s, BEVERLY’s, and various online sources.

If you have a ton of cartidges, you could get a bunch of these satchels and stack them in SUPER SATCHEL CUBE?

I first came across this awesome Cricut storage at a Beverly’s craft store a couple weeks ago. Right when I saw it, I knew I had to have it! I’ve never really had a good storage option for my Cricut stuff and, though I don’t have much by some standards, it still would be nice to have it all in one place. Beverly’s had it for $19.99 and I used a 40% off coupon … can’t complain about that price.

Here’s a look at my very own Art Bin Cricut Storage:

I like that it’s so easy to take to crops. I only have 9 cartridges but now I have an excuse for my collection to grow, LOL! The books I have fit nicely although I do still need to tear out the non-English pages to save some room … and make room for more booklets. The satchel is very good quality, as Art Bin products are known for, and I’m very happy with it.

What do you think?

Does Your Scrapbook Space … Have to Share Space?

If so, you might find the latest episode at PAPERCLIPPING.COM interesting.

It’s called, “Non-Crappy Shared Scrap Spaces” and the panel members are Lisa Dickinson, CD Muckosky, Nancy Nally, and Noell Hyman. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet but will soon. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

My scrapbook area shares space with my home office and a kids’ craft/homework area. It is a challenge to make it all work. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I have to “share” (hmmph!) but most of the time I just feel blessed that I have a dedicated scrapbook space … because I know that many scrappers don’t.

Anyhow, give it a listen and tell me what you think. Did you glean anything helpful from the discussion?

“Creative Spaces with Megan Hoppener” ~ Creating Keepsakes Special Issue

This came out recently but I haven’t been able to find it on my local newstands :( Have you seen it anywhere? I only have Walmart, Target, and Michaels. I ended up ordering it from THE CK WEBSITE. I had a free shipping code but it’s since expired … maybe search and see if you can find another one?

The Peas are talking about “Creative Spaces” HERE (including a Pea whose room is IN the magazine!).

I happen to really disagree with the negative opinions of it posted HERE. I’m finding it to be very inspirational and, as MARTHA STEWART would say, “aspirational.” I’m different from some of the posters in that thread because I *don’t* want to see scrapbook spaces of “everyday” scrappers that are a hodge podge of furniture and organizational bins. I can look in my own non-designer space if I want to see that, LOL!

When I plunk down $15 for a glossy magazine, I want to see all the fancy schmancy scrap digs I’ll never be able to afford. Kinda the same theory of Architectural Digest showing amazing homes you’ll nevah, evah be able to afford, or Vogue with its clothes you can’t afford worn by women (um, teenagers?) who weigh as much as your pinky finger. It’s all about the eye candy, baby! And, yeah, maybe you’ll pick up tips here and there that you can incorporate into your own life.

As it happens, I am finding MANY scrapbook organization ideas in this magazine that I can incorporate into my space. Whenever I get a few minutes of quiet time, I sit down with this amazing issue and take my time with the articles and photos. I think it’s very well organized with great pictures and ideas.

Have you seen this issue? If so, what did you think of it? As always, diverse opinions are welcomed :)

Knee Deep in Organizing Photos

Two weekends ago, I had the bright idea to “once and for all” (yeah right!) organize all of my photos. And we’re talking years and years worth here, people! My ancestors, DH’s ancestors, my childhood/young adult photos, his childhood/young adult photos, our dating/engagement/wedding photos, our kids’ baby/toddler/childhood photos, vacation photos, … Okay, you totally get the idea, right? LOTS of photos!

NOT having them organized has been such a hindrance to my scrapbooking over the years, I really, really, REALLY want to get this done!

I’m Half LUDDITE … and it took me longer than most to convert from a point and shoot film camera to (gasp!) “going digital” several years ago. So I have more printed photos than the average bear. Plus, I’m probably older than you :P (I remember 45 records, rotary dial phones, and typewriters). (If you don’t understand these terms, e-mail me *wink*).

Here is the plan and progress so far:

1. Gather photos from all the nooks and crannies I have stashed them in over the years.
2. Add both leaves to the dining room table and put all photos in one place to work on.
3. Take Creative Memories Power Sort Boxes* out of packaging and assemble.
4. Put all negatives, CDs, index prints, and (now obsolete) Advantix cartridges in one box.
5. Sort photos into CM boxes by decade/year.
* I’ll take a photo of mine and post it later. Apparently, they no longer make the big ones like I have so I can’t find a photo online anywhere :(

I’m on Step 5 now. It’s taking a lot of time to get through all the photos and get them remotely in the right place. I know the biggest problem is that I love my photos so much, I feel the need to look at almost every single one. Which is a silly way to make any kind of progress, but I can’t help it. I *LOVE* my photos! The memories, the laughs, the tears, my beloved family and friends, good times, celebrations, sadness, missing my dad, seeing how my kids have changed and grown … ah, I love it all!

Now it’s about two weeks after I started this project, and I at least have my photos into their major categories. Now the plan is to go through each Power Sort Box and get those photos in the best order I can. Some of them are in pretty good shape already; I’ve made attempts at photo organization many, many times before … and made some actual progress each time. I just never seem to get the entire job done. Or something happens like my mom brings me a stack of old photos when she visits, or I find another box or album of pics somewhere.

When I took 35mm, I almost always got Twin Pix for, like, a dollar extra. I’m debating what to do with all my duplicate photos. Should I scrap one set and keep the other filed? Should I pass the duplicates on to other family (or trash them if they’re not wanted?). Should I pack them away and save them for my kids? I’m just not sure. What do you think?

I have a lot of work to do with my pre-marriage photos. There are SO many … all shapes and sizes … from those tiny wallet school pics that I exchanged with friends to 4×6 prints to portraits, etc. There’s my dad’s side of the family and my mom’s. Friends, school, sports … oh my! They’re going to be the biggest challenge because of the variety of sizes and also because they’re the hardest to place dates on and in get in some kind of chronological order.

I’m hoping that the next time my mom visits, we can go through the photos together and she can help me with times, places, and people … also any memories she has of the events. I figure I’ll put sticky notes on the back of the photos. Then someday when Martians land on earth and I actually get around to scrapping these photos, I’ll have some of the journaling ready to go.

So that’s what I’ve been up to! And you know what the absolute best part is??? As soon as I’m done getting my photos organized … I’m going to start on all my memorabilia ~ Yippee Skip! Decades of letters, awards, ticket stubs, programs, school papers, art, and all that other fun stuff. I’m sure that all of the fun memories will get me through that task, too :)

I can’t even contemplate the topic of COMPUTER photo organization. I’ve had a Mac for about 5 years and regularly download the photos from my iPhone and camera card to iPhoto. That program does a great job of organizing them by date and I’ve started tagging the ones I’ve scrapped but that’s about it. The thought of scanning old photos and negatives, assigning dates to them, keeping everything updated on my external hard drive, etc. is just too, too much. By then, I will have seen all the photos already so it will just be the sheer agonizing task of if all.

Aw crap.

Scrapbook Room Organization: Starting with a Clean Slate?

So I’ve been watching Peter Walsh’s new show “ENOUGH ALREADY!” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He’s the organizing guy who’s been on The Oprah Show many times, and you also may remember him from the old TLC show, “CLEAN SWEEP“. He has also written several BOOKS on organization.

This one wins the award for Best Book Title:

I’m on the waiting list at my library for his latest book and judging by how long it’s taking to get the ding-dang thang, it must be REALLY popular :P

Peter uses a 5-step process to declutter rooms; HERE it is.

STEP ONE: EMPTY THE ROOM

Watching them do this on the show is always cringe-worthy. The look on people’s faces is kind of sad when they realize how much stuff they’ve crammed into their space. Now I’m no hoarder but I’m not BECKY HIGGINS, either. So I’m the last to cast stones … my rooms may not be as bad as theirs, but I have one or two that could use some serious help, one being my scrapbook room. No matter how many times I begin to organize it, I never completely finish it. Then the clutter cycle starts again and we’re off like a day at the races.

I’ve often wondered, while watching Enough Already, if I could ever clear out my scrapbook room entirely and start from scratch. Would it be worth it? Where would I put everything? Could I block off two or three days to get it moved out, then replaced, so my Scrap Crap wasn’t bogging up the rest of my house?

Anyway, my conclusion has always been that it’s a crazy idea. Just totally cray-cray.

Then I saw THIS THREAD at 2peas, LOL. Yes, ladies, it HAS been done. Repeatedly. And from the sounds of it, successfully. So my wheels are really turning now. I’m scanning ahead, wondering when I have a free weekend to try this, a holiday at work, anything? ‘Cuz now I’m kind of hooked on the idea.

When I’ve attempted to organize in the past, I do often feel like I’m moving this pile so I can get to that pile, then I put it on that shelf, which is now taken up, and I have nowhere to put this stuff … kwim? It would be so nice to pull everything out, kind of packing like things together as I go, then purge items as I put it all back in an organized fashion. I’ll bet I’d get rid of a lot of things this way, don’t you think?

It’s like on the show: Peter asks, “What is your vision for this room?” Then anything that doesn’t fulfill your vision is tossed, given away, or put elsewhere in your home.

I guess the final and most important question is …. how much do you think I’d have to pay Peter Walsh to come and help me?

Yeah, I know, you’re right … there ain’t enough money in the world, baby! HA Not once he saw my scrapbook room anyway.

Have you done this before … cleared out an entire room and started from scratch, except for maybe furniture? How long did it take? Was it worth it? Did you maintain the organized room?

If you haven’t done this, would you consider it? Do you think it’s a good way to go about it? If you did it, what would be your method … like someone on the thread mentioned using banker’s boxes which I thought was brilliant. How would you do it all?

Scrapbook Sketches Organization

I didn’t get any scrapbooking done this weekend, but I still feel like I accomplished something good … something that will help me scrapbook mo’ betta in the future. I printed and organized a bunch of sketches and sample layouts.

Let me backtrack a bit: Please read THIS ENTRY first so you’re up to speed :) Since I wrote that post last April, ALLISON DAVIS and SCRAPBOOK GENERATION have come out with Volumes 6 and 7 of layout sketches, along with a Volume 2 of card sketches. ETA 3/21/11: Their Sketch DVD has also been released. Man, I hate it when I’m wrong! The DVD was never released and I just blogged an update about it HERE. Sorry for the misinformation, folks!

Alas, I haven’t purchased any of them yet although I plan to.

In the meantime, I’m still getting much use from Volumes 1 through 5, and I’m so loving the way I pulled the books apart and have filed them into a binder. They’re in order by number of photos and they’ve been SO helpful to the way I scrapbook. To add to my beloved sketch binder, I go to Allison’s blog and take advantage of her monthly Sketch Weeks. It’s where she takes a sketch and shows a week’s worth of layouts based on that sketch, including helpful notes about variations she used and how/why she did them.

If she uses a sketch from Volumes 1 through 5 ~ since I already have the sketch filed in my binder ~ I print out the sample pages and file them behind the sketch. If she uses a sketch that I don’t have, I print the sketch along with the sample pages. Those go into my sketch binder, too, based on the number of photos used.

I hadn’t printed any since last spring when I started my binder so I had many months of printing and filing to do. In the sidebar of Allison’s blog you’ll find all of her Sketch Weeks broken down by month and even by Day 1, etc. I would click open Day 5 since that’s when she posts ALL of the layouts from the week in one post, which is ever so helpful.

Now she also has a blog called SKETCH SUPPORT which has even MORE sketches to print and play with! I’m in Sketch Heaven, I tell ya’. {I’m a 2-page layout girl so I only utilize that part of Sketch Support}. I guess the only problem is … now I have so many sketches printed out … I’m going to need a second binder, LOL :) Such a problem to have …

I keep my sketch binder on my desk at all times. It sits horizontally (which is the way the sketches are printed) on a cookbook stand like THIS:

I flip back my binder to the sketch I’m using … easy peasy. The stand is really nice because it makes it easier to see the sketch while I work and it also doesn’t take up as much room on my precious scrap desk real estate.

Sooooo … did you get any scrappy organization done this weekend?

Scrapbook Items for Sale

I’ve been organizing my scrapbook space yet again, and have been coming across things to sell. They are either gently used things of mine, or products I got to sell at my crops.

I’m selling everything well below what it’s worth because 1. I really want this stuff to go to a good home (wink), and 2. I know shipping is going to cost some and I want the overall price to still be affordable.

Okay, here we go …

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LOT #1: ACRYLIC STAMPS AND CLEAR BLOCK $40 plus shipping
Retail value is about $100! All of these stamps are brand new, never been used, in the original packaging.

This is the entire lot, which includes clear acrylic stamps by AUTUMN LEAVES, CLOSE TO MY HEART, and STUDIO G* (from MICHAELS).

*If you love Studio G stamps, I have some older complete and incomplete sets. Stay tuned! I’ll list them soon :)

Autumn Leaves “Hand Drawn Alphabet by Katie Pertiet”.
This set retails for $25. I have it myself and use it often. It’s a very versatile font and is a great size for both cards and scrapbook layouts. Unlike a lot of stamp alphas, it includes both upper and lower case AND numbers with punctuation.

Autumn Leaves “Stitched Journaling Panels by Marianne Wise”
This set retails for $15 and is fabulous for journaling. I also have this set and use it quite often. All of the shapes look great on layouts and the stitching is so much cuter than plain, solid lines, don’t you think?

{NOTE: With just these first 2 items, we’re at the $40 I’m charging for the whole lot!}

Autumn Leaves “For the Record by Katie Pertiet”
These acrylic stamps retail for $15 and were super popular when I sold them for Memory Works in a past catalog. I can’t believe you get so many detailed stamps in one set. I use this one a lot also. The photo record stamp (2nd one down on lefthand side) would be so great to stamp on the back of your photos ~ especially the ones you don’t scrap ~ so you can remember the details of each picture.

Autumn Leaves “Clear Stamps Acrylic Block”
Yep, retails for $15 (seems to be a trend here, huh?). This is a solid acrylic block, 4×6″ in size, to be used with your acrylic stamps. If you’ve never used acrylic stamps, I’d be happy to walk you through it. I have this block myself and it’s the one I use the most, out of the many sizes I have, because you can lay out an entire word or title on it, or fit even the larger stamps on it (like THESE).

Close to My Heart “My Acrylix Doodle Alphabet (D1242)” (retired)
This is a really cute alpha. My favorite thing is the cute little birdie in the lower right corner. I also love the curly frame in the upper left; that would be fun to use like a monogram, i.e. stamp the frame and then stamp a single letter in the middle of it.

Autumn Leaves (8) various “Clear Stamps” that retail for $2 each, and Studio G (2) sets of “Clear Stamps” that retail for $1 each.
These are all stinkin’ adorable stamps, about $16 worth altogether.

So, that’s all of Lot #1: ACRYLIC STAMPS AND CLEAR BLOCK
$40 plus shipping

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LOT 2: BOTTLECAPS and JUNKITZ “ROUNDERS”
*** TAKEN ***
Probably about $5 retail
I just want them to go to a good scrapper’s home, LOL. I’ll throw them in for free if you make another purchase, or will mail them to you in a padded envelope for $3 to cover shipping. HERE is one of the rounders used with some ribbon for a flower center (layout by LESLIE ASHE).

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LOT 3: KAREN FOSTER “CLIKIT” EYELET SETTING KIT $5
Retailed for $40. This item is gently used.

I bought it right after it came out at a CKU and fell in love with it. What a fun tool! You can read a bunch of reviews HERE. I used it a few times at the convention; that’s why you see white paper leftovers in the dual tip, LOL. Alas, I am a fickle tool girl, and quickly became fascinated with some other method or three for setting eyelets (“What a cool eyelet tool! I really like it. It works so … oh, look, shiny new tool over there!”).

All of the pieces, mat, instruction book, even the free eyelets are still intact. On the bottom of the box, I wrote my name and phone number in small print; it’s been blacked out with a Sharpie. Other than that, it’s like new.

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LOT 4: COLUZZLE “STARTER KIT” AND “TAGS” $5 plus shipping
Retails for $22. These items are brand new, still in original packaging.
*** RESERVED ***

HERE is the Starter Kit at Scrapbook.com for $9.99. HERE are some customer reviews. If you’ve never used a Coluzzle to cut shapes, I’m happy to explain it ~ super easy.

I’ve had a Cricut for a while now, and I know many people have all kinds of fancy die cutting machines now, but I still use my Coluzzles. I have all my templates handy in a drawer and it’s so much quicker and easier to pull them out sometimes than to get the Cricut going just for one or two shapes. I have quite a collection and you can find shapes other than these tags now for great deals. The tag template is perfect for making gift tags for birthdays and Christmas, and of course you can use them in your cardmaking and scrapbooking.


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LOT 5: MEMORY STOR “HANDMADE PAPER-VELVET” $5 plus shipping
*** SOLD ***
Retails for $24. This is brand new, still in the package.
72 sheets of thick paper with velvet flocking in gorgeous colors and textures. The paper itself is surprisingly light in weight, so I don’t think it would be terribly expensive to ship. There are 12 designs with 6 of each design. These papers make unique and textural additions to your scrapbook layouts. Yes, I own this set of papers, too :) I’ve found the colors really easy to work with and so striking. Below are a few samples up close …

This is a dark aqua flocking design on a lighter aqua paper …

Black vine flocking on a white background …

My favorite … A delicate swirly pattern. I used this paper on some ATCs for a swap I did once. Just that little square of this paper made such a difference and set my ATCs apart from everyone else’s.

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LOT 6: CREATIVE MEMORIES “DECO FILE” with EXTRA FOLDERS $5 plus shipping
*** SOLD ***
Retails for roughly $20; not sure as it seems they don’t make this item anymore (?). This item is gently used.

When I bought this, I used it to sort my paper scraps. I love how it accordians out so you can easily see everything you’ve stored in it. The lot includes a pack of additional folder inserts; 3 have been inserted in the Deco File and 3 are still in the package. When the deco file is empty, the black elastic is a bit stretched out … although when it’s full, I doubt you’d notice. Also, you could easily replace the elastic, probably with something cuter than a plain black band anyway, LOL! HERE is a similar lot on Ebay for $27.99.

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LOT 7: CREATIVE MEMORIES “CROP TALK” FLYERS *** Free plus shipping ***
*** TAKEN ***
These all came to me via a friend when she cleaned out her scrapping stuff. She attended Creative Memories workshops for years and had this good-sized stack of Crop Talks. They are older ones but kind of timeless. I could just throw them away, but I was wondering if there was a CM GIRL out there who would like them just for the cost of shipping. I’d mail them in a manila envelope and send Media Mail so it wouldn’t cost much, I don’t think.

ETA: I hadn’t listed these yet but the same sweet lady who requested the Crop Talks also bought this lot …

LOT 8: CREATIVE MEMORIES STICKERS, ETC. $5
*** SOLD ***

Miscellaneous Creative Memories items in their original packaging (handled but not used)

===========================

That’s what I have to post for now, but keep checking back, because I’ll be posting more as my scrapbook room clean-up continues :)

1. All items are from a pet-free and smoke-free home.
2. Prices do not include shipping; we can work out the best shipping for you.
3. First come, first served, as based on time stamps from e-mails and comments.
4. I will show items as “Reserved” but they may still be available if the transaction doesn’t work out, so let me know of your interest. Once an item is actually sold, it will be marked as such.
5. I have a great track record of customer service with Memory Works; please let me know if you’d like a reference or two. {And if you’ve ever purchased from me before, please leave a comment about your experience ~ thanks}.

I accept Paypal and will send you an invoice; a super easy process :)
If you don’t use Paypal, please e-mail and let’s see if we can work out a check/money order.

Contact info: If you’re interested in any of these items …

Leave a comment on this post, or …
E-mail me at scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

I really just want these items to find a good home, so if you want something but the price isn’t right, make me an offer!

Ciao bellas!

I’ve Got Photos of the New Scrapbooking Stuff at Michaels!

I have one of the best scrappy friends in the world. She lives in another part of the country and we’ve never met in person, but she always has my back. To that end, when she was at her Michaels today and saw all the new stuff and the new store layout … she KNEW I’d want to see pictures, and she knew I’d want to share them with you.

So, here are photos provided by “mah gurrrll” Abby …

This is new Jolee’s. Can you believe it?!?! Totally different packaging from their usual. I’ve never really been a Jolee’s girl, but there are some really cute things here. I might just become a convert …

Some pretty and unique Jolee’s border strips …

Finally! Some new THICKERS!! Suh-WEET! And those look like some pretty textured papers in nice colors.

Here’s one of the new “themed” sections: Christmas.

A wider view … This looks SO different from how my Michaels is set up. Mine has the really tall racks with shelves on top where they store extra stock. This store has lower racks and pretty little signs.

Here’s a new kit called “The Merry Days of Christmas” by MY MINDS EYE

… and a new 8.5″ x 8.5″ paper pad called “Sleepy Tree” (I think) by K&COMPANY. I can’t read it perfectly in the photo, and there’s nothing called “Sleepy Tree” K&Co’s website … but that isn’t saying much. Sometimes the stores have things that aren’t on the manufacturer’s website.

Looks like some new kits and stacks, and down in the bottom left corner, did you see? BASIC GREY “Ambrosia” and “Eva” paper stacks! My Michaels has had these as open stock papers but not as a stack.

New Recollections single papers. I see some really pretty colors and designs there. Does your Mike’s have tall racks sitting out in the middle of the floor like this? Mine doesn’t. Gasp! That almost resembles and LSS!

Here’s the new MARTHA STEWART Scoring Board. Apparently, this is the hot new item to have. I’m plugging my ears and singing “la la la” because I don’t NEED another expensive tool in my life. I don’t, I don’t, I DON’T! {But it does look cool!}

Remember when I posted HERE and HERE about the themed sections that were “coming soon.” Well, they’re finally here, LOL! In THIS discussion at 2peas, there seems to be a general dissatisfaction with the whole “sorted by theme” idea. Some scrappers feel it’s being done to cater only to the beginning scrapbooker who wanders in to solely do a baby, wedding, Christmas, or travel scrapbook. The feeling is that more seasoned scrapbookers (get it? seasoned? Christmas? huh? huh?) like us shop not by theme but by brand name and/or by item type.

Now I know this is a selfish perspective but, wth, this is my blog and my opinion: I want Michaels sorted the way my scrapbook room is organized, which is to say, by brand name for the most popular brands, then by item type and color beyond that. But, no, Michaels Corporate did not ask ME, did they? Boy, they’d better not ever ask me stuff … ‘cuz I will tell them! Huh. They would rue the day, baby.

Okay, say Michaels corporate ever did ask me. Here are the top 5 things I would tell them:

1. Less Jolee’s, more Thickers.

2. Bring back coupons on books and magazines. At least on books, come ON!

3. Do NOT. Under any circumstances. Organize by theme. And keep all the alphas in one place.

4. Make “knowledge of scrapbooking” a condition of hire.

4a. Better yet, hire me. Make me Director of Scrapbook Buying, Merchandising, Publicity, and Employee Training.
I will make you millions and jillions of dollahs.

5. Anything that has been on your racks for more than 6 months … CLEARANCE. Then get new stuff.

I swear to G, they still have things in Michaels that were there when I first discovered it back in two-thousand-ought-two. Hello? Take the loss already and move on, Mike’s.

Okay, this was not meant to turn into a MIke’s Rant Post, so very sorry. This is actually a Happy Mike’s post. Yay! We are so happy they got some new stuff! We are happy we have new things to bust out our coupons on! We are so happy they are getting OCTOBER AFTERNOON! Rah rah, Mike’s!

Okay, now tell me about your Mike’s. Got all this new stuff yet? What have you bought recently? What new items are you most looking forward to if, like me, you still have the same old stuff?

Oh, and tell me your feelings on the whole “sort by theme” debate. Don’t be shy … yea or nay?

Scrapbookers, Studios, and Stashes: We Are NOT Alone

I was in Michaels last weekend, looking for something coupon-worthy, and also looking for the April issue of SCRAPBOOK ETC. magazine, which the Peas had told me HERE is now available (bummer … most of the reviews are not favorable).

Darn if I couldn’t find SBE, but I did come across the gorgeous publication WHERE WOMEN CREATE. It’s a nice, thick, beautifully done magazine … well, more like a scrapbook idea book except that you get studio ideas instead of layout ideas.

At $14.95, it’s a bit rich for my blood considering it would be total eye candy for me, unlike a $15 idea book that I would actually use over and over. Anyhow, it comes out quarterly and I like to flip through it when I see it at Mike’s or BARNES AND NOBLE (they have the hardcover book of WWC, too!).

I’m always hoping to see a scrapbooker or at least a cardmaker and their studio featured, but so far I’ve come up empty. Hmmm … I wonder if they really haven’t chosen to profile a paper crafter, or if I’ve just missed it somehow. It’s entirely possible that I’ve missed it, which would be my fault since I’m too cheap to buy the magazine/book and “cheat” by flipping through it at the store. This issue did feature THE PAPER SOURCE, which is at least on the right track :)

Another thing I wish they would do is designate what type of artist each woman is, both in the Table of Contents and on the intro or title page to each artist. Again, if they DO do that and I’ve missed it, I apologize. But if I’m missing it every time, it can’t be that obvious, LOL! The cover gives the names of the artists inside and sometimes even the company they’re associated with, but just by a listing of names, I don’t know if any of them are scrapbookers/papercrafters. I mean, I’m pretty up on all the popular scrappers but I don’t know EVERYONE, sheesh.

One studio I flipped past was that of a knitter. I was stopped cold by a photo of her “Wall of Yarn.” It was all stacked by color in a large wall shelf, an Ikea EXPEDIT or similar. My first thought was, “But this magazine is about personal studios. Why do they have a photo of a store in here?” Then a second later, I realized, “Ah, that probably IS a personal studio!” But that lady had a shite-load of yarn!

Then I laughed so hard at myself (Bwahahaha! The other Mike’s customers were probably fittin’ to dial Mental Health for me … ), because I realized that that’s what people ~ non-scrappers, especially ~ must automatically think when they see MY scrap space. “Why does she have a scrapbook store in her house?” LOL Who could blame them? Instead of a Wall O’ Yarn, I have a Half Wall O’ Paper, a Bookcase O’ Idea Books, and Jars O’ Flowers, Ribbon, and Letters.

First, I was embarrassed. Oh. My Gosh. How embarrassing to realize that people who visit my home and peek into my office wonder why I have a scrapbook store. But then after I stopped internally blushing, I felt better. You know why? Because after flipping through Where Women Create all these times, I’ve seen some crazy, huge, awesome, expensive, fully-stocked, storelike studios of women who do all kinds of crafty and creative things … photography, art dolls, sewing, graphic arts, quilting, etc. And I realized something very comforting and very important.

We are not alone.

Scrapbookers aren’t the only ones so obsessed with supplies that it takes entire rooms to hold and organize them. We aren’t the only who live for Ikea and it’s plethora of crafty-friendly storage items. We aren’t the only women who find solace and comfort in our craft, who consider our creative spaces to be a haven, a place where we can go and truly be ourselves.

We are not alone. And that’s pretty great, isn’t it?

Aren’t we all so very blessed?

A Truthful Look at Scrapbook Room Organization

I was reading THIS post on 2peas about acrylic stamps by STEPHANIE BARNARD. I sought out her blog ~ which has some awesome stamps, btw ~ and found THIS entry about her organizational “system” for small embellishments.

I had never heard of Stephanie (sorry, Home Girl!) nor been to her blog, so I was expecting the usual, “I’m so perfect. Don’t you wish you were me and had a perfectly perfect organized studio?” kind of thing. Which always serves to make me feel inferior and wishing I were a more perfectly perfect person. As if seeing photos of Jennifer Aniston all over the magazines hasn’t already damaged my self-esteem beyond repair. (She and I are somewhat the same age, yet she looks 25 and I look 55 … and fat).

Anyway, back to Stephanie’s video … She turned out the be quite the hoot! Very funny and self-deprecating and honest about the way she organizes. She said she has a sign in her office that says, “Organized People are Just Too Lazy to Look for It.” Hoo-rah and hallelujah!

(Found a similar one HERE and may just have to get it, LOL!)

So she has 2 sets of the fabulous 4×4 cube EXPEDIT shelves that I’ve been wanting since I was 10 (Oh shut UP! That wasn’t THAT long ago!). Mah girl Steph even has her tiny embellishments like brads and paperclips sorted into plastic cannisters, divided containters, and a cute set of spice jars. But don’t hate her … she’s NOT perfect!

Unlike her friend, her spice jars are not decorated. Her supplies aren’t organized the way she really wants them, as she still has to kind of search for the exact item she needs. Stephanie says in the video that she needs someone who lives near her in SoCal to come over and organize things even better, admitting that her system isn’t the be all and end all.

{PSSST! Stephanie! Hey, over here! I’m in California, not too very far north of you, and I would love to make a road trip to play in … erm, I mean … help further organize your studio. Not that I’m any expert and my own space is always a work in progress. But I take direction really well and I LURVE to sort and organize things. So … just sayin’ … }.

{“‘Cuz Ima pothole … Kayyyy …” Don’t know why that commercial just came to mind, but it did, LOL}.

So check out Stephanie’s fun video HERE. I’m pretty sure you’re going to like her. She is “one of us.” Then come back and tell me what you think, K?

Memory Works: Simple Stories “Life Documented” … The Madness Has Begun!

OH. EM. GEE!

I feel like BECKY HIGGINS today! You know how everyone gets so excited over her scrapbook kits, like the school days one, and more recently, PROJECT LIFE??? Well, today is the day that the SIMPLE STORIES “Life Documented” line and accessories went on sale … 1-15-10 at 9am MST, to be exact.

Late lastnight, the CATALOG of Simple Stories items was released to consultants and boy is it purdy. It’s a .PDF file that I can e-mail to customers, and the whole line in is in there, including the much anticipated matching Prism cardstock, along with How To’s and samples. Very well done, I thought.

I was was up super late lastnight (too embarrassed to tell you HOW late….), getting all my ducks in a row with my pre-orders. I tallied down who had pre-ordered what, the amount due, and whether their Paypal payment had been received. I made sure my Memory Works WEBSITE was pulled up, that all my billing and address info was correct, and that I was logged in. Then I went to bed for a few hours (ahem…) and was up by 7am to be ready for the 8am (my time) launch.

Once the Simple Stories items were showing on my MW website, I placed my very own order for an album, kit, a Prism cardstock pack, and some page protector packs. I added extras of everything (except the album; oh, I got that cool Kiwi green color, btw!) so I have some stock to sell at my next crop. I hit Send and sang Hallelujah! Did a little happy dance. Whoo hoo, I GOT ME MINES!

Then I went to my e-mail … and felt like Becky :)

The order invoices starting coming in, right from the beginning! I checked each one to make sure the correct items were ordered that they had requested, then verified payment had been received, and hit “Order Fulfillment” on my MW website. Questions were coming in pretty regularly, and new orders that hadn’t been pre-paid, so I typed up Paypal invoices, sent them right off, received payment SO quickly (these girls are excited!…well, that or they had to leave for work, sheesh). More Order Fulfillments and lots of happy customers!

Yeah, I felt like about 1% of the stress that Becky Higgins must feel the day her new kits go on sale to the general public. Gah! It’s fun, exhilarating, exciting, and stressful, all rolled into one. I know I’ve gone on and on about this kit/line, and I thank you for your patience if you normally come here just to read sarcastic scrapbook commentary and see what’s in stock at Michaels, LOL! I’ll get back to that good stuff soon, I promise. In fact, I have a VERY good article coming up that you’re going to want to read. It applies to a scrapbook industry controversy, so should be interesting, eh?

Anyway, I’m so happy today is here, excited to keep selling Simple Stories products in the future, and SO appreciative of my lovely customers and understanding SBO readers who have been nothing but wonderful to me :) Hollah!

The best part is going to be seeing what people DO with this kit. I’ve seen (MW owner) Amber’s samples on the simple stories blog, and I know the MW Design Team got the kit a day or two early and are busy creating with it. But I really want to see what the everyday scrapper like me does with it, and hear their feedback. I hope it turns out to be a good solution for Project 365’ers, for busy moms who want to get some photos in an album BEFORE their kids are grown and gone, and for new scrappers who maybe have been intimidated by traditional scrapping and might feel like this is something they can do to get started.

Again, just feelin’ the love today. Thanks to all! Have a WONDERFUL day!

ETA 1-15-10: Holy cow, the Prism Cardstock Pack (it matches with Life Documented kit) has already sold out! I hope they’ll get more soon. You get (7) pieces of pebbled, 12×12 cardstock for $3.75 …

ETA 1-18-10: It’s back! The Prism cardstock that matches Simple Stories “Life Documented” is back in stock :)

Scrapbook Organization: Playing Catch Up

I spent most of the weekend working on my scrapbook room. Ugh! I know . . . AGAIN! I’m NOT considering this part of the whole MAKEOVER thing, just the clean-up to get back to where I left off. If you look back at those last “makeover” photos from 10-15-09, I haven’t really made much overall progress since then anyway.

What I did do, however, was perform a major backslide over the holidays. My scrap space became the activity center, the holiday gift-hiding and wrapping hub, and the dumping ground afterward for gifts to be put away, Christmas cards to sort and scrap, school and personal papers, etc. Everything had gotten WAY-HAY-HAY out of hand to the point that I couldn’t do ANYTHING on my desk or in my scrap space, much less scrapbook!

While the ONLINE CROP happened this weekend, I spent some time sorting, purging, putting away, and cleaning my space, taking breaks to chat with the Scrap Sisters and keep my enthusiasm going.

It’s now back to a decent level so I can scrapbook again (I have until Wednesday at midnight PST to complete some of those crop challenges!). Thought I’d share a few Before and After photos. The Before pix were taken Friday night so they’re dark, sorry. The Afters were taken Sunday afternoon.

LEFT SIDE OF DESK – BEFORE

LEFT SIDE OF DESK – AFTER

There’s my new Daisy tool caddy by Creative Memories. I moved all my acrylic stamps and inks from 2 Crop in Style flat packs into the tool caddy. What I realized is that … I need another one, LOL. I have my current stash in there, just barely, but my Secret Santa sent me a bunch more stamps for Christmas (they’re stacked under that pile of embellies, 5 full sets!). See all those punches and tools behind the tool caddy? I want to get one for those, too. I don’t like how they get dusty sitting out on my desk, even when they’re in heavy use … which admittedly, they haven’t been lately. The Cropper Hopper vertical file is for my newest acquisitions that I hope to scrap with soon. My Inspiration File, if you will. The rest is Secret Santa stuff that I left out on purpose. No, really! One of the crop challenges is to create a layout using products you received from Secret Santas. See, I wasn’t lying.

Yes! I can see my Basic Grey magnetic mats again! The envelope has some CTMH “My Acrylix” (empty) envelopes that I offered to RAK on the Scrap Sisters Studio message board; as it happens, my Scrap Pal was the first to speak up so they’re being mailed to her … along with a little gift that I forgot to include in her Christmas gift mailing.

RIGHT SIDE OF DESK – BEFORE

Oh lookie! Some books that are now neatly filed on my bookshelf, which I also reorganized this weekend. My Green Tangerines bag and stuff I bought there, Christmas card leftovers and stamps, etc.

RIGHT SIDE OF DESK – AFTER

All my most-used tools, stereo, RAK bag, and carousel I use to store Cricut stuff.

Cricut, Epson Picturemate printer, and I moved my little lamp over here. The paper, embellies, and envelopes are hand-me-downs from my mom (she’s the one who always gives me free scrap stuff she doesn’t want … I know, I’d be jealous if I were you, too). Anyway, I found the box they were in at the end of the day and that’s as far as they got :( Out of the box and onto my desk … for now.

COUCH/COFFEE TABLE – BEFORE

Yep, there’s really a couch and table under all that disgusting mess, I swear! CM photo storage boxes (like my fancy labels made out of sticky notes? i made new ones finally), an old printer I need to get rid of, and my basket of alphas. Also, 2 bins of past MEMORY WORKS kits that I need to either use or separate out and put away.

COUCH/COFFEE TABLE – AFTER

The kits are still there, and I stashed some things under the table, but at least I can see part of the couch and all of the table again, right? And there’s my new CROP BAGS. They make me happy :)

So, there’s what I did this weekend. How about you? Anything scrappy or organize-y? Or did you just watch football? Whatever you did, hope it was a great one.

Scrapbook Storage Boxes at Dollar Tree

ANDREA aka scrapcrazed at 2PEAS posted a thread about these cute storage boxes she found at DOLLAR TREE and she’s got the girls quite abuzz…

Aren’t they adorable? I think we could all find plenty of uses for these around our houses or in our scrap spaces. If you don’t have time to read through the whole thread, here’s a synopsis:

~ They measure “approx. 5.5″ wide, and 9.25″ long from front to back. And they are 5.25″ deep,” and are made out of plastic.

~ They reportedly come in “solids in white, pink, kiwi and light blue. The prints are the kiwi with the ovals and kind of a turquoise with squares. The prints are sort of retro.”

~ Some are having trouble getting the bottom snaps to line up. I don’t know if they are packaged up but if not, maybe try and make sure they snap together BEFORE you buy them. The Peas are saying something about Dollar Tree having a no return policy although you can exchange.

Let us know if you get any of these cuties, and how you’re going to use them!

Crop and Storage Bags: “Daisy Totes” by Creative Memories

As I wrote about HERE, the new set of crop bags by CREATIVE MEMORIES was on my wish list for Scrap Santa this Christmas. I’m happy to report that he must’ve judged me a good girl this year … because I got the bags! Nope, I’m not shizzlin’ you. I really did!

Okay, let’s cut the crap. I knew I was getting the bags, and Scrap Santa had nothing to do with it. I arranged the whole thing with my mom ahead of time.

Let’s face it … if you read my blog in 2009, you know that I had a questionably “naughty” year. I did a bunch of scrapbook industry rumor spreading. I ruthlessly enabled scrappers to spend money on products they probably didn’t technically “need,” though I may have convinced them otherwise. I even used curse words when it was deemed appropriate (and c’mon, you KNOW sometimes it’s appropriate!).

Needless to say, I wasn’t taking my chances with Scrap Santa on the crop bags. I wanted them too badly. And what does a Scrappy Girl do when she reeeeeeeeelly reeeeeeeelly wants something? She calls her Scrap Mama, of course. Hollah! I called my mom, who happens to scrapbook once a month with my sister-in-law … who happens to be a Creative Memories Consultant … who happens to have told me in the past that if I ever wanted to get CM crop bags through her, she would waive her 30% commission as her gift to me. {Don’t I have the best mama and sissie-in-law???}

So my mom ordered the crop bag set I wanted from my SIL and I got them when we took a road trip and visited my mom last week. First of all, can I tell you how EXCITED my husband was at the prospect of adding this huge set of bags to our already overloaded vehicle on our 5-day, 900-mile trip? I mean, he was SO excited! I think his exact words were, “Don’t tell me I have to fit all that crap in the truck.”

I finally sold him on the idea of “allowing” me to bring my crop bags home with us when I pointed out that I could pack all of the smaller bags inside the largest bag. Not only that, but I could pack other stuff in there as well. Big selling point. Thus, my large new crop bag came home in the back of our truck, with the smaller bags inside of it, along with my Uggs, 6 beach towels, the airbed pump, and 5 DVDs.

“See, honey, crop bags are VERSATILE! And they have rolley wheels!” {Bah! If looks could kill, I’d be dead}.

Without further ado, let the clouds part and reveal … (harps playing) … my new crop bags!

First, we have the “Daisy Wheeled Cart” aka “The Mondo Huge-amic Size of a Small Car” bag

PHOTO FROM CM WEBSITE:

MY PHOTOS:

Big and Beautiful!

I adore how CM puts large outside pockets on their bags. The tiny little outside pockets on my Crop-in-Style tote drive me batty. What can you fit in there, a freakin’ dime? I want large pockets that I can actually fit, like, scrapping stuff in.

Here is the inside. It will be close, but I think I can fit my cropping stuff in there, hee hee :) I love the pink with black polka dots pattern, and that the interior is NOT black, which makes it easier to find things. Plus, it’s cute.

I like how the lining zips out so you can clean it. That’s the first time I’ve seen that feature in a crop bag.


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Next is the “Daisy Weekender”:

PHOTO FROM CM WEBSITE:

MY PHOTOS:

The top has double zippers like some suitcases, and opens up in a neat and different way. Everything should be easily accessible but not squished together at the top like a tote bag would do. This is one side …

…and this is the other…Cool pockets, huh?

Again, great external pockets and I like the curved flap detail.


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Here is the “Daisy Project Tote”:

CM WEBSITE PHOTO:

MY PHOTO:

Just your basic tote. Here is the inside. I like the cell phone pocket … will be a good place to keep my iPhone handy.


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And finally, the “Daisy Tool Caddy”:

CM PHOTO:

MY PHOTOS:

This bag comes packed flat and you put it together. Here are the pieces …

I put the divider in. I’m not sure what the extra pink square piece is for. Need to look more closely at the little flyer insert or online to see if it tells ya.

This is just a close-up showing you how the 2-pieces zip together.

Seriously, I didn’t post photos just to brag. I’m hoping that if someone is looking for info on these bags to decide if they want them or not, they will come across my post and at least see photos of the insides and make sure they like them.

Yeppers, those are my new crop bags! Eeeeeeeee! So excited! Can’t wait to use them for a crop. I might be going to a crop weekend in late January. If that falls through, I’m hoping to hold my own crop in early February. Wish me luck … I call tomorrow to try and reserve the crop space. And stay tuned for a future post when I fill them up and you can see how much scrap stuff I can fit in these suckers.

What was your favorite scrappy Christmas gift?

ETA 11/01/12: The photos I originally linked to on CM’s site were no longer valid. I updated them with current photos. I could not find the Daisy Tool Caddy on the CM website so I’m not sure if they still carry it. Photo above comes from another source :)

Friday Night Scrapbook Randoms #8

~ Project 365 for 2010 started today. I took some photos after midnight of our little New Years celebration, and also some photos on our walk today so I have about 8 photos to choose from. I’m going to start a Word document journal of my photos each day, then when it’s time to journal for my P365 scrapbook, I’ll just print it out or transfer it over in handwriting.

I found THIS blog via 2 peas tonight and she gave some good insight about not stressing on this project. I don’t want it to be a stressful thing, so any tips like that, I love.

We started a separate Project 365 forum at SCRAP SISTERS STUDIO, so that’s cool to have one place to gather all our posts, info, and inspiration. Whoever thinks of it first will start a daily thread in the main Scrap Chat forum, then I’ll move it over to the P365 forum once everyone has had a chance to read it. We don’t want it to be out of sight, out of mind. I ended up starting the thread for today and was happy to see all the responses of the ladies participating. I also responded to the first daily thread on 2peas. I think staying involved in those daily threads will help keep my Project 365 mojo going.

~ I wish I hadn’t been laid up in bed not feeling well most of today. I have so many new scrappy things to show you from Christmas and I need to take photos of them! Instead of taking photos to share with you, I chose to watch 8 back episodes in a row of Million Dollar Listing that have been sitting in my Tivo for months. {Okay, Chad, you can “love” your dog, just don’t “LLLLOOOVVVVEEEE” your dog. Crap, man, get a life!}

Anyway, once I got my lard ass out of bed, then took the kids and dog out on a long walk, it was too dark to get good photos. I will try again tomorrow. I got the crop bags I wanted (eeee!), my Basic Grey “vintage” order came in, and I got to shop at an actual LSS for the first time in probably 5 months. I’ll give you a review of that store and here’s a hint: It’s the “largest scrapbook store in California.” Ha! You’re jealous, huh? That’s okay, I would be jealous of me too.

~ 2 peas is having log-in issues and I’m getting mighty sick of it. I have to re-log in every time I go to post something. Grrrr. Maybe they will get it fixed on Monday, when everyone goes back to their normal life in the business world. If not, I may have to go to their home office in Wisconsin and bang their heads together like Larry and Curly.

~ I set a deadline to finish my scrapbook room MAKEOVER by 12-31-09 and *SHOCKING* I did not meet my deadline. Wow, that really surprises me, that I started a scrappy project and didn’t finish it when I said I would (insert eye roll here). Now that I’m feeling better, I’m hoping to finish it by my new deadline of Sunday, 1-3-10.

I would really love to have an organized space and clean desk to be able to get some major scrapping done in 2010, because my “number of layouts completed” for 2009 was pretty dismal. I don’t keep a tally but I would guess it’s in the 40-50 page range and that just bites. I would also like a clean slate to start Project 365 with for 2010 and feel like I can sit down on a weekly basis to insert my photos and journaling in the P365 album.

Did you have any scrappy deadlines set in 2009 or projects you were determined to finish that didn’t get done? C’mon, help a sister out! Make me feel like less of a loser, would ya?

Well, that’s all I got. Gonna make like a tree and leave…buh bye.

Memory Works: Simple Stories “Life Documented” Kit Update #3

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WOW.

The response to this new line and kit by MEMORY WORKS has been overwhelming! Which, as a Memory Works consultant, excites me to no end. It feels good when so many people have such a positive response to a product that the company YOU work for sells.

So I’ve decided to do regular update blog posts here about it. Here is UPDATE #1 and UPDATE #2 in case you missed them. They don’t have “Update” in the title because I didn’t realize when I wrote them that Simple Stories/Life Documented would be such a big honkin’ deal, LOL!

I’m also going to start sending out e-mail updates to anyone who would like to be on my address list. If you would like to be on my list and receive updates about Simple Stories “Life Documented”, please e-mail me: scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com. {I would prefer you didn’t leave your e-mail address in my blog Comments, as then your personal e-mail is out there for everyone on the web to see and you will be spammed to within an inch of your life. Believe me.}

I’ve been away from the computer for the last several days, so I haven’t been able to share all the Life Documented sneak peeks they’ve been posting on the Simple Stories BLOG, but here are some links so you can get all caught up:

REVEAL #1 (12-28-09) ~ Life Documented Kit, Journal Cards, and Quote Cards
REVEAL #2 (12-29-09) ~ We R Memory Keepers Albums, Page Protectors, and prices
REVEAL #3 (12-30-09) ~ Title Strips, Border Strips, and Page Elements
REVEAL #4 (12-31-09) ~ Journaling Mats, Quote Cards, and how they work with the Page Protectors

For this update, how about a What, Where, How kind of thing?

WHAT is Simple Stories “Life Documented” by Memory Works?

Let me scooch back a little and start at the beginning :) Memory Works is a direct sales scrapbooking company that has been around for 7 years. It is run by Amber and Kevin Crowell (husband and wife) from Utah, USA. Over the years, they have built a wonderful and successful business with consultants from all over the country selling the “latest and greatest” scrapbooking products direct to the customer. Until now, Memory Works has sold products made by other companies, such a My Minds Eye, Basic Grey, Pink Paislee, and Bo Bunny.

Beginning in January 2010, Memory Works will manufacture and sell their OWN product line called Simple Stories. The first release from this line is called “Life Documented” and it consists of paper (not digital*) scrapbooking elements, and it works perfectly with the We R Memory Keepers 12×12 D-ring albums and regular/pocket page protectors that Memory Works already carries. *The kit itself is paper but there will be a free digital element to it also.

WHEN will Simple Stories “Life Documented” items be available to purchase?

The We R Memory Keepers 12×12 D-ring albums and page protector packs are currently for sale through any Memory Works consultant. I notice that as of now, the Celery green color is out of stock, but other colors are available. My assumption is that the Celery color will be in stock when the kits are.

Speaking of which, the Simple Stories “Life Documented” kits are projected to be available for purchase in mid-January. MW does not believe in promising something until they have it in their hands, so they will not take orders until they actually have the product and know they can fulfill the orders. (My VERY OWN OPINION is that Memory Works trying to avoid a fiasco like Becky Higgins/Creating Keepsakes had with their Project 365 kits last year at this time….man, that got ugly!).

So, if you would like to order the albums and page protectors now, you can, or you can wait until the kit comes in and get everything at once. Totally up to you. Either way, I hope you will consider ordering from me (yeah, I have no shame…) and you would do so HERE. Instructions are HERE.

HOW does the Life Documented kit work and would it be a good fit for Project 365, Project 52, and the like?

The concept of Simple Stories is just that: SIMPLE. Take photos, get them in an album, embellish, journal, DONE. Sure, we scrapbookers are creative types, and we love to make more detailed and complicated layouts a lot of the time. But what if you’re super busy like me and find you don’t have the time to scrapbook that you used to? What if you took a big trip with lots of photos and are now daunted by the prospect of getting all those fab photos into one album, and getting it done, like, sometime this century?

Maybe your solution is Simple Stories. Take your 4×6 photos (no cropping necessary), slip them into divided page protectors like THESE from We R Memory Keepers, slip in some embellishment by way of nicely designed accents made from heavy cardstock, jot down some journaling on a predesigned card, and you’re done.

If you’re planning to do Project 365 in 2010 (or Project 52, Project 12, etc), you can see this will be perfect for these projects. The page protectors come in many different configurations, with different sized pockets, vertical and horizontal 4×6 photo slots, etc. so you can personalize it exactly how you like. Many of you have already purchased the PROJECT LIFE kit by Becky Higgins and that is awesome. Rock on, Project Life sistas! She gives you a lot of product for the price and her clean, simple style is very appealing. However, if the style of her kit doesn’t appeal to you, or you did her Project 365 last year and maybe want to try something with a different layout and look this year, check out Life Documented :)

WHERE can you order Simple Stories “Life Documented”?

You can order from any Memory Works Consultant. If she has her own website, you can order directly from there. If she doesn’t, you can tell the consultant what you want and she will place the order for you. My website is HERE. I take check and money order, but prefer Paypal as you will get your order quicker (since I don’t have to wait for payment in the mail before I can place your order).

No matter which consultant you order from, and where she and you are located, your order will ship from Memory Works in Utah. So it is NOT necessary to find a “consultant near you”, kwim?

Do you think a lot of your friends might like “Life Documented” or other Memory Works products? Want to earn a 20% commission on everything you sell and/or buy for yourself? Consider becoming a Memory Works CONSULTANT {starts as low as $20 sign-up!}. If you do sign up, I would love the free product credit I get if you put in my consultant number (wink).

WHY should I wait for Life Documented kit, when Project 365 starts tomorrow?

I have asked myself that same question, LOL! I’m going to do Project 365 for the first time in 2010 (HERE is where I agonized over the decision). Of course, I’m anxious to get started and afraid of falling behind. Waiting for 2 weeks into the new year before I can order Life Documented seems counterintuitive, right?

But I figure that once I receive “Life Documented”, it’s so super easy, I can get caught up in one scrapping session. Starting tomorrow on January 1, I’ll begin taking my daily photo and jotting some quick journaling about it in my dayplanner, notebook, or a Word document. {This is a practice I’ll keep up throughout the year}. Then when I get the kit, I’ll print out my 2 or 3 weeks of photos and pop them into the page protectors, copy over my journaling onto the pre-done journaling cards, add a few embellishments and accents, and I’m caught up. Piece a cake, I tell ya. So I’m not worried about it…

I like the “Life Documented” kit so much more than Becky’s that it’ll be worth the wait. Here are some pix so you can see how different they are:

A peek of PROJECT LIFE

A peek of LIFE DOCUMENTED

What I’ve been hearing on the message boards is that one kit or the other is “your style,” so it’s nice that there are 2 options we can all choose from, don’t you think? Yay, OPTIONS! We LOVE options!

ETA: I’ve been getting inquires from outside of the States, so I want to clarify that question. Standard shipping within the Continental US is $8.45 for up to an $87.99 purchase. For higher charges, there is also Rush shipping and shipping to APO/FPO, Alaska, Hawaii and US Territories. As of now, Memory Works does NOT ship outside of the US but, if you’re willing to pay the actual shipping costs, I can have any Memory Works products shipped to me in California, and I will ship them to you :)

So, I hope I’ve answered your questions about Simple Stories “Life Documented” by Memory Works. If I haven’t, please leave me a comment and I’ll answer in my next Update.

If you would like updates by e-mail, please e-mail me as explained above. And one last thing…

HAPPY SCRAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Have a safe, fun, and fabulous night :) Our plan includes pizza, movies, a fire in the woodstove, board games, and staying home where it’s safe and warm. I know, just livin’ The Vida Loca over here, ain’t we? {I do plan to break out the Dirty Martinis at some point, so if you see me on the scrapbook message boards tonight and I’m not making much sense, I’m probably PUI…Posting Under the Influence…ha!}

Memory Works: Simple Stories “Life Documented” Official Reveal on 12-28-09

Okay, yesterday MEMORY WORKS posted more news about the Simple Stories “Life Documented” line ~ yahoo! I am SO using this for my PROJECT 365! And probably lots of other stuff, too! It is super great looking, the price sounds right, and I love all the features of it.

Merry Christmas from me to you: HERE YA GO.

I’m so stinkin’ excited! I love the celery green album and how the products match with it (although there will be other album colors to choose from, or you can use one you already have or buy elsewhere). Love that the price is only $16.99 for 180 pieces of scrappy goodness. Love that they have married this line with the We R Memory Keepers scrapbook albums and pocket page protectors, with all their various configurations.

{Here is one sneek…there are more over there…}

There are also answers to some of our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)…

So go check out the Simple Stories SITE if you have a chance. You won’t be disappointed. And remember, they’re giving away a free kit every week until the launch if you post Simple Stories / Life Documented links or blinkies on blogs, Facebook, message boards, Twitter, etc. I’m going to enter each week and hope I win one :)
—–
On a different note…but I had to share… THIS Pea said there are Thickers for

    69 CENTS

at Tuesday Morning!!! Along with other scrappy stuff, and even more coming after Christmas. See, Scrap Santa is out there and he has your back. Let us know if you find any Thickers or other stuff at your Tuesday AM, k?

Scrapbook product salivating aside, I want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas. Please be safe, happy, and well. Enjoy your families and food and all of life’s blessings.

Scrapbook Mail, Scrapbook Shopping, and a Scrapbook Space

Yep, time is money, people, and there’s a lot to cover!

Scrapbook Mail:

I love, love, LOVE getting scrapbook mail, don’t you? There is no better mail than that. Well, maybe if someone wanted to send me a bunch of money, that would be my favorite mail, but somehow, I don’t see that happening.

Over at the SCRAPBOOK SISTERS STUDIO message board, I joined a Secret Santa Swap. Well actually two. For one, you were to send an envelope of handmade or inexpensive scrapbook goodies to 5 other Sisters, and in return you would receive 5 different envelopes back. Here are the first two packages I received ~ aren’t they great? ~ and the only ones I’ve taken photos of so far. I’ve received others too and it’s always to fun to get the mail these days!

For the other one, you were to send $20 worth of scrapbook goodies to a Sister you were secretly matched up with. We each posted Wish Lists including scrapbook stuff and non-SBR stuff, too. I sent off my package on Monday and received the one from my Secret Santa yesterday. I was so lucky to have SCRAPPY GIRL for my SS. LOOKIE LOOKIE at all the bad-ass shizzle she sent me!

Love all the Inque stuff, the LYB stuff, just LURVE IT ALL! She even got me my favorite Dr. Pepper lip smackers lip gloss :) Thank you, Scrappy Girl! You rock big time, Sista!

Scrapbook Shopping:

I’m hella’ overdue posting these shopping pics. I can see by the date on the photos that they are 2+ weeks old. Time has flown…seems like a few days ago, LOL. Anyway, here are some things I found at TUESDAY MORNING:

Remember the HEIDI SWAPP TOTE? Well, here is a new version of that. For 20 bucks, you get the Tote-ally Cool Tote filled with HEIDI SWAPP goodies.

Here is a close-up of the list so you can see exactly what the items are…

Some cute kits…

This was a kit that reminded me of the KI MEMORIES TINS that were at Target a while back. (Just to clarify, these ones are NOT KI Memories brand). Looks like a decent deal.

These “Thank You” stamps by EK SUCCESS have been around for quite awhile. I used to see them at an LSS that closed many moons ago. For only $5, they were hard to resist.

This was a huge pack of chipboard alphas for $8 by Memories Direct, that brand that’s often on HSN and they also have their own infomercials…at least they used to. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen one in a while. Maybe Cricut bought up all the allowable scrapbook infomercial time, LOL! Have you seen the CONSTANT Cricut informercials? Yikes.

And lastly, teeny tiny little totes by All My Memories, which I believe is now defunct. They’re sitting on a 12×12 paper pack so you can see how small they are.

Assuming these ADIRONDACK ink pads aren’t all dried out, I would call this the Find of the Day. Yum, look at all that ink!

Here are the items I purchased from Tuesday Morning that fine day:

Cheapie dot glue runners for stocking stuffers…

3 Vintage Pop Top Ink Pads ($1.49 each) and 1 Adirondack ink pad ($1.99). So 4 ink pads, a mere $6.50 (a $16-20 value). Yes, they really do smell as advertised …

Next was Michaels:

It looked like there were a few new scrapbook idea books …

Then Barnes and Noble with the Starbucks inside, where I got another one of those PEPPERMINT CRUNCH BARS I’ve been craving since the last time I was there a month prior. This is the ONLY Starbucks I’ve been to that has them … what up? Hollah! Oh my, they are melt-in-your-mouth heaven…

And lastly a couple of scrapbooking magazines. I’ve been reading through these for the past couple of weeks, and can honestly say I prefer the British “Scrapbook Inspirations” to CK. I think our American magazines (what, all 2 of them?) could take some tips from the Brits. Oh Frick on a Stick! I just went to Scrapbook Inspirations’ website so I could link to it, and found THIS. Crap, crap, crap. That was their last monthly issue. They will be doing something in new format quarterly starting February 2010. Sigh…..

Scrapbook Space:

My Scrap Sister ANGIE just added an amazing scrapbook space to her bedroom. She has such great style … I think you’ll really enjoy looking at it. Here is a sneak peek:

She’s having a scrapbook RAK and there are ways to get your name in the hat up to 5 times, so go play!

That’s all I got … Peace out.

More on Project 365 and Life Documented / Simple Stories by Memory Works

Okay, okay, okay! You all convinced me to take the plunge and actually commit to doing Project 365 next year. Sheesh. We’ve been talking about it on Scrap Sisters Studio HERE and have quite a little group going of scrappers who’re going to participate.

If you’re already an SSS member and are going to do P365, please come join us. And if you aren’t a member, Good God, why? You’re missing all the fun! So come join SCRAP SISTERS STUDIO and then be part of all the P365 fun over there. There is also a 2009 group that does daily posts on 2peas; I’m sure they’ll do it in 2010 also. Some people are going to do variations on 365, like a “52” weekly layout, or a “12” monthly layout. No matter how you slice it, join in on the message boards and help us all stay motivated with this project, okay?

The new year is only 9 days away, so we need to get moving and make some decisions. What size and type of album are you going to use? Will you do a full layout per day/week/month, or use the pocket page method shown in my last post? Which paper and embellies will you use ~ scraps, lines you already have on hand, Becky Higgins’ Project Life kit, or are you shopping for something? If you’re using the pocket page protectors, figure out which direction the slots go and make sure you’re taking your photos correctly (the correct mix of horizontal vs. vertical), or be aware that you’ll have some editing or cropping to do to your photos.

I’m waiting on the new line from MEMORY WORKS to use for my Project 365 album, which isn’t due out until mid-January, so I can’t concretely answer all of these questions myself. However, I’m paying attention to what other scrappers are doing and am getting some great ideas for my own album. Here is what I do know: I’m going to use the pocket pages method, and do a 2-page spread with 7 photos for each week. Using the sample in my last post, that would leave a slot for a title for the week, 4 slots to hold (7) 4×3 journaling cards and (1) 4×3 miscellaneous card or embellie.

The kit I plan to use is called “Life Documented” and it’s from the new Simple Stories system by Memory Works. I don’t know a ton about it, because they are being quite saucy about revealing sneak peeks little by little. But I’ve read through all the material on THIS site and here is my impression: It’s the perfect line for Project 365! LOL

Let me be more specific … There will be pre-cut journaling cards and embellishments in various sizes (12×6, 4×6, etc.) to slip into pocket page protectors of the same size. It’s a paper product, not digital, although free digital downloads will be available to enhance it. There is mention of a “catalog” so I’m assuming it won’t be one huge kit like Project Life, but separate elements you can purchase according to your own specific needs.

Here are some peeks of what it will look like:

I’m loving the colors and this is so totally my style. Hello!?!? Scallops, graph paper, and brackets? Hollah! I think the look is very versatile, and will go with pretty much any photo. I like the binder looking paper, the flourish swirls, all of it. No, I’m not just saying that because I’m a Memory Works consultant and it’s a Memory Works product. How dare! I think you know by now that I call it like I see it. If I think an MW product is fugly or stupid, I don’t mention it at all. That’s just how I roll.

Like any scrapbook company with a new product these days, Memory Works is hoping to use the power of the internet and social networking to get the word out about this new product. To that end, they are giving away ONE FREE KIT per week between 12/17/09 and 01/18/10 and you enter by spreading the word. Details are HERE. So if you’d like a chance at winning, or you just want to be nice and help me publicize this new kit (Seriously? Yeah, I was very cheeky there, wasn’t I?), please check it out and participate. If you like what you see, and think you could sell this and/or other MW products to your friends, talk to me about becoming a consultant. It’s basically a no-lose situation. (Ha ha, “situation.” Do you watch Jersey Shore on MTV? When Mike says, “Cuz that’s The Situation. If you’re a hater, I got a full-time job for you.” Oh, love it!)

They even have 4 cool blinkies for your blog or siggie line on message boards. Here is but one rockin’ blinkie:

Okay, MW commercial is over. I mainly wanted to share that I have in fact committed to doing Project 365 in 2010! Uh, why did I just break out in a cold sweat? I’m really counting on you guys to keep me on top of this thing. Don’t let me slide. Like people have said, you don’t HAVE to take a photo every day. You can fill in those slots with journaling, with a receipt from your trip to the grocery store or other ephemera of your life, or you can fill in with undated photos that you (if truth be told) took on a different day (Gasp! Wouldn’t that be like lying to myself and future generations?? Ha ha, just kidding. Crap, even I’m not THAT anal).

Hearing things like that takes the pressure off a bit. And that’s a good thing because I have enough pressure in my life without adding this on top of it. Do I take the Mercedes or the Escalade to Pilates today? Do we go to the opera or a Broadway show on Friday night? Should we send little Johnny to astronaut camp or Olympic skiing camp this summer? I mean, really, do I DESERVE any more pressure in my life? I think not.

Once January 1 arrives, I’ll start taking my daily photos and writing some quick journaling on my computer or in a journal. Then when I do have more information about Life Documented, and do have the actual “stuff” in my hands, I’ll start putting it all together. Ideally, it would be great to get the whole album kind of “pre-flighted” (is that just a military and law enforcement term?) with all the pocket pages, title cards, and journaling cards actually in place in the album. Then you just add the photos in as you print them, and write the journaling then too. I’ve heard this as a helpful hint from those who did P365 in 2009 and it sounds brilliant to me!

So, I hope you have decided to join me in Project 365 next year, but if you haven’t, I totally understand, girlfriend. Uh huh, yes I do….