scrapbook organization

Kristina Contes: A Polarizing Figure in the Scrapbook Industry

I think Blog Stats are very compelling reading, and they’re something I look at every day.  I’m so interested to see how people find my blog, which search terms they used, what other blogs they linked over from, and which of my posts are getting clicked on. It won’t surprise you when I say that the more controversial the figure or topic, the more traffic it gets.  This would include Martha Stewart, for instance, whom I wrote about HERE , HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE and HERE.  The most hits I’ve had in one day EVER {559} were when Martha Products Coming to Michaels and Martha Calls Scrapbookers Trailer Trash (well, I paraphrase…) were the topics we were all talking about.  But the Martha talk has died down, although the MS posts do still get a steady stream of traffic.  Another old standby on my blog is anything having to do with Scrapbook Organization.  Again, not surprising, right?  We’ve all been scrapping long enough that we’ve accumulated LSS-sized stashes and we need to know how to organize it all. 

But since I started blogging in January 2007, the controversy to beat all controversies has been the Kristina Contes / CK Hall of Fame 2007 scandal.  Back when I was writing about it (see HEREHEREHERE, and HERE)…even then, I talk about how obsessed I was with it all.  I literally couldn’t fall asleep easily for a couple of nights just running the situation through my head, trying to decide how I felt about things, and how I was going to write about it.  We had some good comments about it, and I’ve done an update on the situation when decisions about HOF were made by CK and other fallout (see HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE).  The feeling I was getting from the message boards at the time (I frequent CKMB and 2PEAS) was that, within a month or so, everyone was kind of tired of the issue and the majority wanted to move on.  So I did… 

Never forget:  I’m here for YOU.  I got yo’ back.  We on the same page, girlfriend! 

So imagine my surprise as each day goes by and 2 months later “Kristina Contes” and “CK HOF Scandal” and “Kristina Contes blog” are still the most popular search terms for incoming traffic to my blog.  And that the posts about KC and HOF are at the top of the Most Popular Posts list.  Here are the Top 10 posts of the last 30 days:   

Post Title & Number of Views

 

  1. Kristina Contes Speaks (Maybe She Shouldn’t Have?) :  767
  2. Scrapbooking Organization: Mission Accomplished:  364
  3. Are You Making Christmas Cards This Year?:  324
  4. Grungeboard by Tim Holtz:  307
  5. Martha Stewart’s Craft Room…It’s A Good Thing:  295 
  6. CK Hall of Fame 2007 & The Drama That Ensued:  218 
  7. Acrylic Albums: I’m Skird:  160
  8. Wicked Cool Scrapbook Website:  158
  9. Michaels: Ban Lifted on Coupons for Martha Stewart:  149
  10.  Video Tour of a Very Organized Scrapbook Room:  138

Keep in mind, those are the Top 10 out of 203 total posts.  Yesterday (12-6-07), the entry KRISTINA CONTES SPEAKS (MAYBE SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE?) got 100 hits!  Out of 394 total hits for the day, and two months after the post was written.  I haven’t been to her blog recently, but I decided to click on over to KRISTINA CONTES BLOG to see what’s the haps with her these days.  And here is the message I was so rudely greeted with:

“This blog is open to invited readers only

http://soundsofscience.blogspot.com/

If you are a reader of this blog, tell us who you are! Sign in using your Account.”

So there!

So maybe it’s just me getting that message ‘cuz I’m on her shit list for not praising her in Comments about how totally cool she still is or how she ROCKS! or how she shouldn’t let those lame shut-in jealous scrapbookers get her down.  But, obviously, I’m not going to “invite myself” to her blog.  I mean, unless something else really juicy happens and I need to log on so I can get the 4-1-1 for you (possible blog-crash worthy headlines:  “Former CK HOF Takes Hostages on New York Subway” or “Kristina Contes:  I’m as Famous as God”; you know, something like that…).

 ETA 12/10/07:  Okay, NOW they’re talkin’ about this on 2Peas.  About how her blog is now Invite Only, whether the HOF was a big deal or not, did she bring it on herself, and should we just leave her alone already???  Here’s the LINK

Do you recognize anything in the title of this post?  Yep, it’s one way Kristina describes herself.  So, do you still Kare about Kristina?  Why do you think I’m still getting so many hits on this topic?  What are your polarizing (or normal) thoughts on the matter?

 

“New” Organizational Tools by MM

Perhaps just in time to be #1 (and #2 and #3) on your Christmas list, here are some new organizational items from Making Memories.MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP CAROUSEL:  

mm carousel

I have yet to see it in person, but word is that it’s showing up at Michael’s stores around the country as we speak. Therefore, I assumed it was “NEW!”. However, when I found THIS PRESS RELEASE about the Carousel on the MAKING MEMORIES WEBSITE, I noticed a press release date of July 20, 2007. Jeez, sometimes I’m really behind the power curve, aren’t I? Anyhow, assuming it’s not such “old news” that you might still be interested, here are the deets:

“The Desktop Carousel is a hexagonal shaped, multi-level storage unit that offers top-loading cubbies as well as slide-out drawers in a 12″ x 14″ footprint. Each upper compartment is accented with a metal label holder for easy product identification, while the lower drawers are outfitted with curved handles and magnetic closures.”

It retails for $39.99 so grab that next Mike’s 40% or 50% coupon and get this baby for roughly $20 to $24. I found one art supply website selling it for friggin’ $55.95. WTF?!?!

Per the press release, “In addition to working as a desk organizer, the Carousel can double as a makeup organizer, school supply caddy, and even kitchen accessory…(It) is constructed from sturdy MDF, and currently is available in a white glossy finish. The company also has released coordinated Desktop Storage units (MSRP: $19.99), constructed from chipboard, to hold 12″ x 12″ papers, as well as sticker sheets and other embellishments.”

And ~~TAH DAH!~~ Here are the aforementioned Desktop Storage Units:

MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP ORGANIZER

dt org mm

“Your workspace will always be dressed for success, thanks to our desktop organizer. Neatly store 12″ x 12″ paper and tools while stowing away stickers, embellishments and more in convenient removable drawers with label holders. Get organized!Ideal storage for 12″ x 12″ paper, embellishments and more. Made of sturdy paper-covered chipboard”

MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP ORGANIZER – EMBELLISHMENT BOX

mm emb box

While you’re over at the Making Memories website oogling all their cool stuff ~ like the FABulous Noteworthy paper that WILL be mine (oh yes, it will be mine…)…

mm noteworthy

and the Shimmer Brads….mm shimmer brads

…make sure and check out their very scrumptious MAKING MEMORIES BLOG, where there is tons of MM news, yummy recipes, and wonderful page ideas.

Okay, enough sounding like a Making Memories commercial because, NO, they don’t sponsor this blog like they should, so I’m going to tell you what I really think about their products.#1: The Carousel is awesome looking but I won’t be getting it. First of all, I bought a similar one from Target several months ago. It was cheaper but not nearly as cute. It’s a square shape, white, with drawers and metal label holders. Secondly, the footprint on the MM Carousel is huge, so I probably wouldn’t get it even if I didn’t already have one. What I find is that carousels just don’t work great with my set up because the only space for it is kind of at the back of my desk. Then it bangs into things every time I rotate it, including the window blinds, my Leaning Tower of Memorabilia-to-File, and my Diet Coke. I recommend a carousel if you have a project table where it could sit in the middle of the table. Also, I ‘travel scrap’ a lot and it’s not like I can take this heavy wooden thing with me to a crop or event. So I end up putting less-used items in there like flowers, smaller punches, etc.

What has been the better item for my needs is the Tote-ally Cool Totes I got at Costco recently, which even come with a rotating metal stand that fits in a pocket of the tote when you’re not using it.  I wrote about them HERE.

 
#2: The Desktop Organizer and Embellishment Box. If you’re going to order it online, just please note that the material they are made of is “sturdy, paper-covered chipboard.” My experience with that material on a heavily used item is not good. The item scratches easily, the drawers stick, and the paper starts to come up at the corners.  They’ve had an older version of the MM Embellishment Box sitting dusty on a shelf at my Mike’s for, what, a couple of years? It’s tan with a black lid, and the price is decent for the box and all the embellishments inside, but the thing is totally scratched up. That’s the same reason I never give in to all the adorable “cloth covered” or “linen covered” storage boxes at Tuesday Morning. They are so cute, but oh-so-scratchable. Anyway, the MM website says it’s “new and improved,” so maybe they brought down the scratchability quotient.

All that said, I like the looks of both items. I like how the Organizer holds 12×12 stuff and could sit back on my desk out of the way…Hey, a girl’s gotta’ have her creative space! It would be a perfect place to store my new stuff AFTER I sneak it past DH into my scrap area (oops, did I say that in my “out loud” voice?), but BEFORE I find time to put it away in it’s proper place in my properly organized scrapbook area, which is always 100% clean and organized just like Martha Stewart’s.  

I would still pass on the embellie box, only because I love the system I already have for storing all that tiny stuff. I have these and each little snaplock compartment is filled to the brim. Must…not…buy….more…brads…til…4,000 I have…are used!

CRAFT MATES EZY SNAPPIN’ ORGANIZERS

the little girl…

<img src=”http://www.craftmates.com/images/products/90363.jpg” alt=”ezy snappin petite” />

and the big momma
ezy snappin org

When I’m berating myself for having too many embellies, I remind myself that my mom has this…

ezy locking caddy

Mom can always make me feel better. Here is the link to the CKMB THREAD on the Carousel if you want to see what others are saying.  If I find a thread on 2PEAS, I will add it later. 

So, what do YOU think of these Making Memories storage products?? Do tell us in Comments.  

PS:  At least on my screen, the formatting is still all screwy with photo captions next to the photo instead of above them.  And none of the line breaks or spacing I entered are showing.  Which is SO annoying to me as an English major because it looks like one big run on sentence to me!  Is my computer broken, or do you see what I see? 

Crops and Shopping and Blogging…

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

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

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

OAIS book

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

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

Wicked Cool Scrapbook Website

If you checked out Amanda’s amazingly organized scrapbook studio in my LAST POST, you may have already taken a look around over there. But if you didn’t, you MUST check out her entire website. Here are some of my favorite features:

~ Handwriting Fonts that she calls “FONTS FOR PEAS”, which I assume means she is a 2peas regular and has made fonts using other Peas’ handwriting. If you scroll down on that page, it appears she might make a font of ANYONE’s handwriting. Are you game? I have always been so jealous of those with wonderful handwriting as their journaling looks so nice or funky or pretty. For instance, don’t you just love the handwriting of Ali Edwards, Lisa Bearnson, and Becky Higgins? I have Lisa’s and Becky’s fonts downloaded and use them often (note to self: see if Ali’s handwriting is downloadable somewhere). My scrapper friend J. has some of the most gorgeous handwriting I’ve ever seen, and hand journals all of her layouts. It’s a pure pleasure to look through her scrapbooks because you can feel the love she has for her family just oozing out of her handwriting. But drats, my handwriting ranges from decent to atrocious, so I don’t think I will bother Amanda asking for my own font. But YOU please submit your cool handwriting and let us know if you do, so we can all download it. I just downloaded a ton of the Pea Fonts – yippee, can’t wait to play! Two of my favorites were Pea Bethany Doodle and Pea Dalovely Damanda Doodles. I have, like, below zero talent with doodling so I will just borrow their talent, LOL. Other faves were Pea Jenny Script, Pea Lacey, Pea Lacey Chunky, Pea Lindsey, and Pea Reese.

Here is her own “hand”:

amandas own font

There is also a link to FREE SCRAPBOOK FONTS. One is called “Bosshole”…hmmmm, some combo of two words = one word we can all relate to. Anyways….I could do a whole post (and almost have, jeez) just on the font features of Amanda’s website.

~ Amanda’s PHOTOS are wonderful. I especially love the ones of her home and all of it’s special features. I swear, if I had an ounce of money or decorating talent, my house would look like hers! Seriously, I love her style as a whole, from the way her website is “decorated” to the way her house is.

~ Her SCRAPBOOKS and projects are so fun to look at and gave me tons of ideas. Who is this girl?? Is she famous and I missed it?? If she isn’t famous, why not?? Totally talented… Just look at the adorable cover of her Wedding Scrapbook.

amandas wedding book cover

My only complaint is that it seems Amanda doesn’t post often enough! However, she has obviously taken a lot of time on this website. I truly appreciate all the hard work and that she’s taken the time to share her talents with everyone.

So ~ if you haven’t already ~ go check it out: www.kevinandamanda.com. Have fun & let me know what you think! I’m off to download some Amanda’s free scrapbook fonts…

Scrapbook Organization At It’s Finest

I absolutely adore this scrapbook room and I’m sure you will too. Here is a sneak peek of the great ideas you can get from Amanda – using a Pampered Chef Tool Turn-About for your most used tools. I love how she added the cheery green ribbon to dress up the utilitarian caddy.

amandas tool turnabout

The tour of her scrap studio is so well done – even the way the website is presented is very organized. Any part of the room that you put your cursor over will pop up a window that zooms in or even shows what’s inside the drawers and cabinets. Totally awesome rockin cool!

Without further delay, here it is! Please check it out and let me know what you think…

AMANDA’s SCRAP STUDIO

Shut Up and Scrapbook!

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

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

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

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

Martha Stewart’s Craft Room…It’s A Good Thing

MS craft room

See all of Martha Stewart’s craft room HERE.

What I like:
~ The pretty apple green cabinetry that’s all built in, and maximizes an awkward loft space.
~ The buckets and jars of goodies that you can SEE, because see = use.
~ The plexi slice-and-fit acrylic dividers inside the scissor drawer. I assume you can really personalize those to fit any drawer and type/size of item.
~ The large, shallow drafting-type drawers where she stores all her fabrics – nice and easy to see.
~ The sewing machine hooked up to the laptop. Wowza. I’m don’t sew but that’s kewl. Is that how all of you who sew do it now?
~ The large counters – I would LOVE to have that much counter space.

I notice she has shelves that accomodate her 18×18 scrapbooks and papers. Hmm…a Martha Stewart scrapbook furniture line in the works, perhaps?? As always when I see these rooms, I’m jealous of such a pretty, organized, and fresh looking craft space. Do you like? What ideas do you take away from Martha’s room?

Try the Ribbon Ring for Free?

In THIS POST about a ribbon storage idea, Miss Melissa just posted a comment that goes a little something like this:

“Hi ladies. I was just searching the net for high-volume ribbon users and saw your blog. I am looking for a few people to test a new ribbon storage product. I will send it out free to you and you test it and email me back with your feedback. Easy as pie. If you are interested, send me an email!” Her e-mail is: melissa@ribbonring.com. If you want to check out the product first, go to the RIBBON RING WEBSITE. Here’s a peek:

ribbon ring peek

I have e-mailed her and hope to check out this product. If you are interested in trying it too, e-mail her quick! She did say “a few” people…

Another Ribbon Storage Idea

I think we’ve all been loving ribbon and collecting it for long enough now, that we’re all in search of innovative ways to store it. So anytime I see a cool idea, I will try to pass it along.

This is from rhiansmom on 2peas message board:

2peas ribbon storage - rhiansmom

Here is the LINK to the topic.

She said it’s a strainer she got on sale & she has each ribbon kind of rolled up close to the hole it’s coming out of. I don’t have quite that much ribbon yet, but I will keep this in mind for the future. I do love to buy ribbon so you never know. There seems to be two kinds of ribbon storage – the super neat, untangled but time-consuming to put away kind and the messy, sometimes tangled but never crimped, easy to put away kind. I’m always in a rush so I vote for the first kind, but I can see how something “messy” like this would drive some of you crazy. And if you have a cat………forget it.

Check Out This New Ribbon Storage Product!

Pull-Ez Ribbon Storage

YOWZA!

According to the YOUR PICTURED MEMORIES BLOG, these lovelies will “arrive in mid September and will retail for 19.99.” I found the Pull-Ez through a message board, where they discussed whether the ribbon would tangle inside (it seems like it would, doesn’t it?). But those that had seen the item at CHA tested it and said the ribbons DON’T tangle. But keep in mind, it’s meant for use with 1-3 yard lengths, i.e. don’t throw a huge roll in there. Another poster brought up how you could maybe make your own using a clear makeup case and a long-reach hole punch. I think I’m going to stick with my RIBBON JARS for now.

My Ribbon Jars

But for those of you still looking for a good ribbon storage system, this just might be it.

Video Tour of a Very Organized Scrapbook Room

Here is a LINK to a VERY beautiful and organized scrapbook room. You should really check it out. It belongs to Mellette Berezoski, who is a frequent contributor to various sites and magazines. You can see how she is able to create such great layouts in a fabulous studio like hers! (I do realize it also takes loads of talent, LOL). Take a tour of her room and let me know your thoughts. My favorites were:

How she mixed modern and vintage, like all the Ikea shelves with the old locker bins.

The groupings of like items – ribbons, stamps, magazine bins, etc – which makes it look even more organized.

The very efficient use of the shorter walls. Also, the labels! I, too, am label crazy.

All of the work space on the L-shaped desk and the computer desk. She has really made the most of that room!

The only elements I didn’t care for were: The horizontal paper storage – I think vertical is clearly the way to go for less dust, less wrinkles, and more space efficient; and the open tops on a lot of things like the locker baskets – in my experience, those are dust collectors.

Those are just tiny negatives. I absolutely adore this room. I think it’s full of great storage, organization, and decorating ideas. I would just love to own this studio, wouldn’t you? Thank you to Kelliannie on CKMB for showing me this room :)

Scrapbook Crop #2: A Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Organizing Magazine & Lisa Bearnson

Finally, someone thought to create a magazine about organizing and home organization. Wouldn’t you know that Lisa Bearnson, our favorite lady from Creating Keepsakes magazine, is somehow involved? Two of my favorite things together: scrapbooking and organization. Click HERE to see the article I found!

Edited 6/11/07 to add:
So I e-mailed them over at the Organize Magazine website. I said how much I was looking forward to the magazine (being the organizational freak that I am). And that I was doubly excited because my favorite scrapbook gal, Lisa Bearnson, was involved. I received a quick response from Joyce Dorny, the Founder and Editor in Chief. She thanked me for writing and said that I “will LOVE the
Nov/Dec issue because Lisa is our FEATURE!!!”. She said some other nice things too. Whoo hoo, I’ll definitely be subscribing now!

Scrapbook Organization: Store in Style Cubes

In this post, I included photos of my re-organized scrapbook area. Reader Crafter727 noticed the white storage cubes I have and asked about them – if they were the ones sold by Oriental Trading Company and how the quality is.

SIS Cube

The organizational cubes are sold in the Oriental Trading catalog. They are made by Crop In Style/Store In Style. However, I got mine one by one at Michaels using 40% and 50% off coupons and think that is the way to go. I just looked on Oriental Trading website and the plain cube sells for $28 plus shipping. At Mike’s with the coupon, I paid $15-18 and no shipping of course. As for the quality, it is very good, just make sure to line things up well and tighten the screws when you assemble them. Then they will be very sturdy. They also give you stabilizer brackets you can screw into the back to keep the entire unit safe from toppling over.. I recommend the cubes and plan to get more. Btw, Target sells similar cubes but the dimensions are different and no coupons, so they cost more. I’ve seen the Target cubes and feel they aren’t as good quality but others who have them say they are just as good at the Store in Style cubes.

Target Organizer Cube

I use the 1-Drawer Cube to store all my adhesives. I have the Drawer Divider inside. It’s perfect for all those boxes of sticky dots, vellum tape, and random glue sticks. I have one cube with a door where I put a bunch of mini albums and little projects I’ve made at CKUs. The Filer Cube has my non-themed paper by color. As you can see in the photo, I use the other cubes just plain or with the Inserts to store albums, projects in progress, page refills, etc. Thanks for posting all these great questions – you give me ideas what to write about!

Scrapbook Organization: The ScrapRack

I purchased a ScrapRack about 3 years ago and really love it. It helped me to get organized in a way that was logical to me. This made me very happy because the system I had before this was not working. I used to keep my papers filed by subject in Scrapfolios (the 12×12 accordian folders with handles that you can get at Michaels).

Scrapfolio

My theme stickers and embellishments were first kept in a Creative Memories binder…

CM Binder

…then in “PSB’s” (Paper Sticker Binders) by Crop in Style. Themed ribbons, beads, metal, buttons, etc were kept in other separate places. The problem was when I went to choose items for a page, I was looking in 10 different places for what fit the theme I was working on. It would get very tiring and frustrating. I also had outgrown the capacity of my old system, with 3 paper takers and 3 PSBs bursting at the seams. It was time for a change…

Then one day I was at a Scrapbook Expo event and they were demonstrating this product called the ScrapRack and I fell in love! I knew on the spot it was right for me.

An Empty ScrapRack:
Empty ScrapRack

This is how it looks without any pages in it. It consists of a metal Base and 7 Spinders, which are like the spine in a 3-ring binder. The Spinders are attached to the Base with velcro and you can add, remove and configure them as you like. You can use the huge variety of 12×12 pages sold by ScrapRack or you can improvise. I purchased a kit which came with the ScrapRack and a variety of pages, and I’ve supplemented them with my old PSB pages (which I just moved right from the PSB to the SR) and with 12×12 page protectors for full sheets of paper.

The ScrapRack website is full of helpful information on how to best utilize it. There are organizational steps, category suggestions, room makeovers, testimonials, and FAQs. They have excellent customer service and are happy to answer any questions. They’ve really done a great job with their website.

This is how I’ve utilized my SR system:
– It’s on my desk right in front of me when I scrap, within easy reach.
– I have it divided into the categories that made the most sense to me, but you are of course free to make it your own. First, I have a kind of ‘through the year’ half which goes January through December with all the months, holidays and events. For example: New Years, Winter, Valentines, St Patricks Day, Spring, Easter, Mothers Day, Summer, July 4, etc.
– The other half is by topic in alphabetical order, for example: Birthday, Camping/Outdoors, Cowboy, Dog, Family, Graduation, Ocean, School, etc.

Here is a filled page showing how you can also use the ScrapRack to file your items by color:

Orange Page SR

I have lots of stuff and getting it all into the ScrapRack was not a quick process. I think it took about a week of evenings to gather things from their various places and get them into the pages. I took most things out of their packaging which helped them fit better into the pocket pages. The only paper I put in the ScrapRack was themed paper. So my cardstock and more generic patterned paper is elsewhere; otherwise, I would need another ScrapRack! What I love about this system is that everything from a given theme is all in one place. I just turn the pages til I get to that theme and everything I have is right in front of me. No more searching all those other places and taking 30 minutes just to see what I have. For instance, the other day I was working on an Easter page. I turned to the Spring/Easter section and found some cute Easter-themed paper, some 3-D bunny stickers, and a card of pastel self-adhesive ribbons. All I had to do then was get cardstock from the vertical holders on my bookshelf, and I was ready to scrap!

The only disadvantage to this system is that some would consider it pricey. I know I did, and asked for $$ for my birthday that year so I could afford it :). But when I considered how much I had invested in 3 PSBs, 3 Scrapfolios, and the other storage I could get rid of, it was more than worth the cost. I wish they could get the ScrapRack on QVC – then you could get a good deal for sure! As you can tell, I highly recommend this product (no, they are not paying me to say that, LOL). Feel free to ask me any questions you have about the ScrapRack.

Getting Your Scrapbooking Mojo Back

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

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

Where To Find Scrapbook Organization Items

I’ve done a few posts now regarding scrapbook organization and I truly thank you for all the nice comments and questions. I wanted to share links to some of the organizational items I’ve found very useful in my scrapbooking area:

Julie asked about the Iris project sorter, which is actually called the Scrapbook Chest by Iris.Iris sb chest

Becca/BS asked about how to sort all those beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous papers we have. This is what I use – Cropper Hopper Vertical Paper Holders. They are the best thing since peanut butter and banana sandwiches! They hold the paper much like a magazine holder stores magazines, so you can thumb through and pull out what you need without messing up the rest of the stack. I truly love these and think anything by Cropper Hopper is genius! CH Vertical System

Also for Becca – don’t we love ALL kinds of paper?? I recently reorganized this aspect of my house too. I have tons of gift bags, tissue paper, wrap, etc. It used to be in a large flat Rubbermaid container under the bed. But when my collection outgrew the box and I realized how hard it was to find anything, I moved it all to this. Target wire cubes It’s the wire cubes you can find at Target or Walmart for under $20. I have a couple plastic bins on top for mini-gift bags, bows and ribbons. It’s been a good system so far. I’ll post a photo of mine soon…
Edited: Here ’tis:
Target Wire Cubes

While I was writing this, I received an e-mail about another cool organization tool and this one you can take with you to crops! It’s the Catchall by Croppin Cutie and MarthasChoice.com has them on sale for $16 right now. catchall by croppin cutieI don’t have one, have never seen it til now, but boy it’s cute. Gotta love the pink! I think this would be great to use at crops or just keep on your desktop to keep all those tools and little pieces contained.

Feel free to ask any more scrapbooking organizational questions and I’ll be glad to help!

My New Photo Organization System

As I’ve written about here and here, I’m on a kick to organize my scrapbook area. I’ve made a lot of progress in organizing scrapbook supplies, but to say I was dreading the photo organization part is a drastic understatement. I finally buckled down and got it started last night…and I couldn’t stop! I was up until 1am even though I had to get up at 6. I was in such a groove, man. Wow, watch out for Ms. Organizer Geek over here!

Here is the old way I organized photos and memorabilia:

Photo Storage - BEFORE

Here is the new way I organize photos and memorabilia:

Photo Organization - AFTER #1

Photo Organization - AFTER #2

The old way: When I first started scrapbooking – like many of you – my photo “organization” was a hodge podge. Yes, I did have some that were nicely chronological in magnetic albums and in mismatched photo boxes. I had some in 2-up or 3-up photo albums. And the rest were still in photo envelopes and stored in various places around the house – the kitchen junk drawer, my nightstand, the office, etc. When I went to my first crop, my friend told me how she organized her photos and it sounded good, so I adopted it. This is it: Buy a bunch of manila envelopes from Walmart; they are cheap and come in various sizes (6×9″, 9×12″ and 10×13″). File photos by event in an envelope and use the larger size if you have memorabilia to go with it. In the upper right corner, write the Event and the Date. Write any journaling notes or page idea notes on the front of the envelope. Then when it’s time to scrap, just grab the envelope and you’re good to go. In addition to photos, I keep everything else too – ticket stubs, flyers, invitations, art, portraits, letters. These are things that don’t fit nicely into your average photo box or album. That’s why her system sounded great to me, and it worked very well for most of the 6 years I’ve been scrapping. But it’s time for a change because…there are flaws in the system. The 2 main problems I’ve discovered are storage area and convenience factor. By storage, I mean that I’m running out of room to store things this way. I have 6 of these white plastic bins full of photos and the leg area under my desk is full with them. I have nowhere to expand with this system and looking ahead, I can see it’s not something I can do forever. The envelopes would file easily in a standard filing cabinet, but I don’t have room to put one anywhere. (Side note: If I would scrap more and blog less, more of these photos would be in albums, but that’s not the point!). Because I ran out of room about a year ago, I’ve virtually stopped filing new photos. I wanted to file older photos too, but there was nowhere to put them. The other factor was convenience, i.e. how difficult was it to keep up this system? I felt like I was constantly buying envelopes and spending lots of time sorting things by event. I rarely ‘pre-flighted’ the envelopes for upcoming events so as time went by, ticket stubs and photos kept accumulating in piles on my desk. In other words, it’s not an easy thing to keep up day by day; it’s a project every time to sit down and do it. Well, who has time for that?!?! In the meantime, Creative Memories came out with the Power Sort Box and it was love at first sight. I like how you can store so many photos in one place, yet pull out smaller portions of the box at a time. I know my photos will be archivally safe in PS Boxes, whereas I was always doubtful of the manila envelopes (the box doesn’t indicate if they’re archival safe or not). So, the only hold up to changing my photo organizing system (other than my dread) was purchasing some PS Boxes…and them babies ain’t cheap! They usually go for $35 each but – patience IS a virtue – I just found 2 of them on CraigsList for $28 each. Consider it my Mothers Day present, yeah? Last night after all were in bed, I plopped down in front of Desparate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters, and sorted photos into my new Power Sort Box. Every time I finished a stack, I went back into my scrap room for more. It was so satisfying to get my photos in order! I worked on 2000 through 2006 and set aside any other random ones that turned up. I used the label maker to label the 12 new dividers with ‘Jan 2007’, ‘Feb 2007′, etc. so I will be inspired to sort this year’s photos as I go along through the rest of the year. For all the other years, I used the small index cards (vertically) and labeled them the same way for each year. It’s so easy to find things at a glance now and that’s why I want to keep going. There have been so many projects that have flashed in my mind over the years and then the next thought has been, “But I don’t know where those photos are”. Well, now I will. I will eventually re-sort all those photos in the manila envelopes into the PS Boxes. Now, I have just one envelope per month which is easier to maintain. I can just keep the current one handy and not feel so pressured to label them event by event. If I have journaling notes, I’ll just jot ’em down on scrap paper and put them in the monthly envelope also. This is actually fun (am I sick in the head?) and I’ll be working on it again tonight – can’t wait :) There are still other big photo projects to do: getting all my photos on computer, organizing them into files, and backing them up; and what to do with all those index sheets, CDs and APS cartridges? Oy, a worry for another day.

Martha Stewart at Michaels – An Early Review

As you probably know by now unless you live under a 12×12 patterned paper rock, Martha Stewart is introducing a line of scrapbooking and paper crafting products. It will be exclusive to Michaels Craft Stores for 1 year and is in partnership with EK Success. This has caused quite the uproar in the scrapbooking world, at least the one I live in. On every message board, at every crop, every scrapper, even the Michael’s employees are talking about it. But I guess that’s no surprise since they’ve been working like dogs reorganizing their stores to make room for Martha. Although Martha’s products won’t be officially introduced until later this month, many of the Mike’s stores have already started putting out the products. This is according to reports from scrapbookers on message boards I read, who are giving their early reviews.

And so far they are not great. I’m going to generalize here (and I know there are exceptions), but most comments I’ve heard are along these lines:
An 18×18 scrapbook is too big. You wouldn’t be able to lift it, hold it, or even open it on the coffee table. At $80 for the scrapbook and $2-3 per sheet of paper, who can afford it anyway? Maybe for an extra special wedding album…
Her decorating items are nice but her scrapbooking is too simple for my taste. Color reviews have been mixed: some likey, some don’t likey.
Her line is getting one or two separate aisles at Mike’s which takes space away from other products that are more beloved.
The word is that no coupons will be allowed EVER on Martha Stewart scrapbooking items. That irks many devoted Mike’s shoppers and leads them to wonder, “Why is she so special?” and “Ok, her stuff is going to be way more expensive”. (The only other items Michaels has refused coupons on were the expensive die cutting machines/accessories, the Sizzix and the Cricut). I also heard a rumor that Michaels employees can’t even use their discounts on her products.
Martha Stewart items have special aisle tags that are different from the entire store. I believe Martha’s tags are a tasteful creme color. Again, “what makes her so special?”
If she wants to be part of the scrapbooking world, why didn’t she introduce anything at CHA? (and why can’t I, an investigative blogger, find ANYTHING online that show pictures or gives price points of her products??).
Many still appear resentful of Martha Stewart over making us feel so imperfect during the 90s; her general condescending attitude; and her jail time.

I’m not saying I agree with any of these comments, I’m just reporting. I’ve also heard some positive things like:
Her scrapbooking products are beautiful and classy, and no more expensive than products at the local scrapbook stores.
Martha can do no wrong and is loved and respected by many.
She is a pro at organization so, if she has any scrapbooking organizational products, they will undoubtedly be good.

So, as you can see, this is quite the controversial issue in Scrap World! I for one am enjoying the ride. If nothing else, I like the attention it’s bringing to scrapbooking even if it’s fleeting. I’m sure there will be more to come as Michaels stores officially release her products, her contest winner is announced, and she does the week of scrapbooking on her tv show. And I will continue to enjoy hearing what everyone thinks, and sharing my own review when I finally get to see the Martha Stewart line for myself!

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