Archive of ‘scrapbook shopping’ category

Angel Babies: Scrapbooking the Loss of a Child

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As always, the lovely ladies on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD provide me with such thought-provoking moments. My friend NICOLE posted THIS today, regarding a blogger friend of hers (also named Nicole) who recently suffered the loss of a pre-term child. Please go read this lady’s POST on Driving With the Brakes On blog, but I warn you it’s very detailed and you will be crying by the end of it.

Reading this true story of a family’s suffering at the loss a child reminded me of something I meant to do long ago. A very nice lady named Diana asked if I would review her product on my blog, and she sent me a free sample of it. Diana runs the company JustACloudAway.com, where she sells scrapbook kits for those who would like to memorialize their Angel Babies. So I pulled it from one of the many piles on my desk (LOL) – it was still there because I always MEANT to do the review, I promise Diana! So, better late than never, here it is, a review:

The kit I received is called “Classic Baby” Scrapbook Kit and it retails for $15; you can order it HERE. It includes (2) 12×12 sheets of very thick stock, with gorgeous photo-realistic backdrops where one could showcase their “Certificate of Love” and any other photos, memories, ultrasounds, or journaling. The photos are very soft, pretty, and “Heavenly,” with flowers, blue sky, clouds, and green hills. In the cover letter Diana sent with the kit, she says, “Because many parents do not have photographs of their children, each kit contains exclusive designs of angels, clouds, butterflies and Heaven to symbolize hope.” She also says they can be used for “a variety of creative crafts, including scrapbooking, journaling and creating keepsakes such as shadow boxes and framed pictures.” I agree, I think both of these sheets with the included embellishments would be lovely in 12×12 frames, or maybe in shadow boxes where the parent could include meaningful 3-D memorabilia like baby shoes, or a private letter to the child. What I like most about the kit is it’s not super-specific and can be used to the exact liking of the parent. The items are very nice quality.

I was most impressed when I went to the Just A Cloud Away WEBSITE. Diana has created a very welcoming and serene site that is full of information for grieving parents. Parents can purchase a Scrapbook Kit, a Memory Garden Tip Sheet, or a Remembrance Idea Sheet to help create their keepsake. Her LOVE TALK BLOG is updated frequently and has helpful posts for everyone, including “Grieving Parents-What Not to Say” and tips and photos for creating a memorial garden (I notice on the About page that Diana is a Professional Landscape Designer). Here she is working with the scrapbook kit:

The website has tons of information, resources and links for grieving parents and those dealing with infertility. Whether you have Angel Babies in your life, or know someone who does, I encourage you to check out the website….just click on the icon below.


Just a Cloud Away, Inc. provides Remembrance Kits, Memory Garden Tutorials, Healing Crafts and Sympathy Gifts/Ideas for bereaved families of pregnancy and infant loss.

Shopper’s Report: Michaels, Dollar Tree and Target

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Our tax return arrived so it was my duty to stimulate the poor economy by shopping, right? First stop was Staples on my way to work. I have SO been wanting/needing an external hard drive so I can get my plethora of photos off my laptop. They take up so much space. I found the one with the largest memory — 1 TB! — and was happy to see the price. An older buried price tag showed $329, the newer tag said $289, then with a sale and rebate it was $229 (online right now it’s showing $253; yeah, I got a deal!). So I got it for $100 off! Sweet. I verified on the box that it will work with a Mac but if it doesn’t, they said I have some time to return it even if it’s opened. Isn’t it pretty?

maxtor

Not SBR, but I also had to get a fax machine for home, which I’d been putting off because I thought they cost a lot, and I already have a printer/scan/copier so I was wondering where in the HAY-ELL I was going to fit another machine on my desk. Well, I really needed one because the online faxing I’ve been using hasn’t been reliable and I need to get faxes for work so I bit the bullet. And found one at Staples, a tiny little cheap-o Brother fax machine for $60 … with a $40 rebate. So just a $20 expenditure..I can live with that.

After work, I went by Dollar Tree cuz it’s the time of year we need to buy new pool noodles. I also got 4 Garage Sale signs to advertise my Scrapbook Garage Sale on May 2/3. They had nothing new in the scrappy aisle except for some 12×12 papers that weren’t my taste. I check there once in a while because that’s where I got my whole stack of fake Thickers. Silly me, I gave more than half of my stack away as crop door prizes and now I find that I use them all the time myself, so I wish I had more! But, no, no Fake Thickers at DT this time :(

Next was Michaels even though I didn’t (GASP!) have a coupon this week. Did I miss the ad on Sunday, or was there no coupon issued? Bah! Anyway, I wanted to see if they had any of the most recent studio g acrylic stamps aka Mikes stamps. Don’t ask me what number this set is, because I’ve lost complete track, there are so many. But here’s a pic of the ones I found:

Sorry about the shadow (that’s me!) but my camera just died and I couldn’t retake like I wanted (oopsie)…

I also have no idea if I got the whole set. I need to find a listing of them again with photos of all the stamps. The stamps say http://www.hamptonart.com on the back so I’m going to try the website. If not, I’m sure someone has posted them to CKMB or 2peas.

ETA 4/19/08: I knew my CKMB ladies would come through! Thanks to KPax331/~Katie~, I see that I’m missing 4 of the stamps and they are from Series 11. HERE is the post she directed me to.

Not SBR again, but I found some very cool “How to Draw” books for kids that show step by step how to draw animals and monsters. A very cool gift for a very cool kid I know. And now when DH sees the Mike’s receipt, I can just say, “Oh, I went there for a birthday gift.” Mmm-hmmm…don’t try and pretend you don’t pull that one too!

Onward to Target so check out the scrapbook sec….er, um…for more birthday shopping. I did get some great deals on toys but that’s not what you want to hear about, I know! My Tarjay is notoriously behind the curve on getting new things so I wasn’t feeling hopeful. But they did finally put out some of the new Making Memories Noteworthy, 5th Avenue and Animal Crackers that everyone has been talking about. They had almost the entire 5th Avenue line this time, but I only got the Clear Tags and Shapes. I already have most of the line from ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED online store; it was part of their monthly kit which you can sign up for HERE. Target also had some Disney Jolee’s I hadn’t seen before, so I got the castle one. I was happy to find a pack of MM Noteworthy. I already have many of their papers but I hadn’t seen the felt flowers, die cut shapes or flower stickers. It was $8…not a screamin good price but doable considering you get 2 of the shaped papers, and some embellies along with the regular 12×12 paper. One thing I noticed at my Target is the majority of kits they had that were newer lines were in 8×8. Wazzup with that noise? I know its cool to have once in a while, but don’t most of us still scrap the majority of the time in 12×12? I was bummed to see that. Finally, they had some of the POP CULTURE line from KI MEMORIES. I already have some random papers and the alpha, so I just got the Gel Candy epoxy stickers. They had a Pop Culture theme set but I added up the cost of each of the pieces (isn’t it sad that I know how much everything costs individually??), and it wasn’t a good deal. If I remember right, the pack cost $9.99 and the items individually would’ve been $9-10 anyway. There were a few papers I wouldn’t use so it wouldn’t be a bargain for me. Besides, I’m always disappointed when a big box like Target can’t offer a price that AT LEAST beats what I’d pay at the LSS for separate items. I mean, c’mon! I thought you guys had “buying power” and “bought in bulk” and would “save us money.” I thought that in exchange for you guys putting all of our LSS’s out of business and taking away our buying freedom, you were supposed to give us great prices on the FEW new items you do actually carry. Pony up, dudes…

Speaking of good deals, I did find some cute things in the Dollar Spot…a paper pack with soft pretty colors called Wedding. It includes printed, foiled and embossed papers, $1 for 8 sheets of 12×12 so not bad. And a line of embellies called Vacation that were really cute and bright and versatile, so I got the epoxy letters, epoxy stickers, and glitter tags.

Anyway, here’s a pic of my haul for the day…

Oh! What was that?!?! You’re asking if that’s a FISKARS THREADING WATER PUNCH in my swag photo?? Why, yes, that does seem to be what it is. I am apparently one of the lucky few to find one of these sizzlin hots at Target. The rumor is that each store gets one at a time, so when one sells, they order and wait for another. I was happy to take their “one” off their hands, as I have a friend who’s been craving one ever since she saw mine (I posted about it HERE). So I’m sorry, I know you want my punch, but please don’t send me chocolate or scrap supplies trying to bribe me into sending it your way…well, second thought…send the chocolate. I’ll think about it and get back to you…

May 2008 Creating Keepsakes Mag: Cool Deals!

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Yep, for all the ups and downs and critiques of Creating Keepsakes magazine, it’s still my favorite and the one I most look forward to each month. This month held a special treat…upon opening to the first page, you’ll see an add for Marcella by K at Target. The ad shows off MbyK’s new line called “Lemon Drop.”

{I’m leaving a space here for a picture of the Lemon Drop line, which I can’t find online quite yet. If anyone sees this line anywhere, please direct me towards it. The pic in the ad makes it look very cool!}

And the best part is a Target coupon for $2 off a “Marcella by K scrapbook album.” It’s good through 7-10-08 but hop to shoppin’ now while you’re thinking about it! Besides, raise your hand if you think any of these cute Lemon Drop albums will even be left on the shelves by 7-10-08…yeah, I don’t think so either.

ETA 4/19/08: Went by my Tarjay lastnight and no sign of any Lemon Drop goodness. I will persist!

Since we’re talking coupons, also check out CK May 2008, page 31 for this from ADDICTED TO SCRAPBOOKING.COM: “Order now and receive a FREE GIFT of your choice, with any purchase of $25 or more. Enter promo code: SBAMPCK. Offer good through 5/20/08. Search ‘free gifts’ to choose yours!”

Check out page 34 for some free downloads for recipe card templates. Okay, well that’s as far as I got in my new issue of CK lastnight before falling asleep. If I find more goodies, I’ll be sure to share them with y’alls…Have a great super day!

More on The Slice by Making Memories

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Enjoy!

Coming in Summer 2008, according to the video. I’m still not sure if I NEED it. I mean, fer shizzle, I WANT it! But do I really need it? Prolly not. The things that are winning me over: It’s way more portable than my Cricut and would be so much easier to carry to crops. I like that you can plop it down on any size paper and not mess with lining it up precisely in the upper right corner of the Cricut mat and then pray the paper sticks down and the edge doesn’t get all snarled up in the blade. And I like that it has alphas and shapes that coordinate with the Making Memories lines that I love so much, like Noteworthy. I know I’ll be a fan of MM product lines to come and I imagine they will keep making compatible discs for The Slice to match. Why oh why must they keep coming up with products like this?!?! It’s a scrappin’ tragedy, I tell ya…

PS: What I really want is that scrapbook studio….

New Cricut Cartridges!

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cricut

pooh

c2

c3

c4

c6

c6

c7

c8

c9

c10

Okay, after looking at the ad (very top of this entry) that I received in a ProvoCraft e-mail today, and then at the (10) cartridges I copied above from the ProvoCraft WEBSITE, I was confused. But thank the Cricut gods that I found this on the ProvoCraft BLOG, because now I got it all straight, and hope it helps you too!

QUOTED FROM THE PROVOCRAFT BLOG:

    “April 08, 2008
    Cricut Solutions vs. Classic Cricut cartridges
    Cricut Solutions cartridges are starting to appear in stores, and we’re thrilled that many of you are adding them to your Cricut collections! There have been some concerns about packaging, so we want to clarify the difference between Classic Cricut cartridges and Cricut Solutions cartridges:

    Classic Cricut Cartridges
    - type of cartridges you’re all familiar with
    - contain 100 designs and 6 creative features
    - latest additions include the Pooh and Friends and Pooh Font Set cartridges, and we will continue to create more must-have Classic Cricut cartridges
    - suggested retail price is $89.99 (or $99.99 for Disney cartridges)
    - come packaged in a storage box that includes the cartridge, keypad overlay, and handbook

    Cricut Solutions Cartridges
    - new style of Cricut cartridges
    - contain an average of 50 designs and 2 creative features (mostly Shadow and Blackout/Shadow Blackout)
    - themed cartridges that contain Cricut designs tailored to meet specific project needs
    - eight total: 6 shape cartridges (Baseball, Soccer, Wedding, Camp Out, Home Accents, and Indie Art) and 2 font cartridges (Stone Script and Street Sign).
    - suggested retail price is $49.99
    - come packaged in a plastic shell (blister packaging) that includes the cartridge, keypad overlay, and fold-out card

    We are developing a storage system for the Cricut cartridges, including a great option for all 8 of the Cricut Solutions cartridges. Stay tuned!! [End of quote]”

    I’m anxious to hear about this “storage system,” aren’t you? What are your Top 3 Faves of the new Cricut carts and tell us why? Here’s mine:

    1. Stone Script – The thin letters always make me nervous, but these look so cool, it’s worth going through some pain to get them on my page…

    2. Street Sign – Yep, I’m a sucker for fonts and this one looks very versatile. I think the simple block shape to the letters will really showcase any PP you cut them out with, and solid colors will be “bulky” enough to really have fun inking or edging them.

    3. It’s a close one between Home Accents and Indie Art, but I’m going with Home Accents. There are some very cute designs, and I can see myself using them for projects outside of scrapbooking.

    Okay, what’re your faves?

Online Crop at AMR for April

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As you know, I can’t stop talking about how great it is at AMR, er, All Moments Remembered. The owner, Stacey, has an awesome ONLINE STORE (where I was one of the first to get the amazing Fiskars “Threading Water” scallop punch), a BLOG, and a MESSAGE BOARD. AMR also has a monthly kit, which they celebrate each month with an online crop. Please come on over and join us this Saturday, April 5th ~ just click on the MB link above, or down to the right in my Blog Roll. The membership there is growing so fast, we literally shut down the message board she started with because we were posting so much! Stacey had to get a new board with much larger capacity, LOL. {We’re pretty proud of ourselves for that one…}. So, please join in the fun for challenges, RAKs, and lots of chatting. This time there’s even talk of margaritas!

I copied this from the message board post about the crop:

(from Heather)
“Hey ladies just wanted to let you know about the upcoming AMR Online
Crop!! This month’’s crop will be held on Sat. April 5th starting at
4pm EST – 12am EST. I will host the event and each amazing DT member
will provide a challenge including one from Stacey!! Yup, the whole
event is AMR sponsored!! Of course there will be RAKs given away and
this time there will be a separate forum for the event. In addition to
the challenges, the DT members will be on the board to answer any
questions you may have and to chat away with you! As an extra surprise
this month, the wonderfully talented KARLA DUDLEY [I added the link to Karla's blog] will be chatting
with us also, so have your questions ready!!! (Put her name in your
subject line so she knows which ones are directed to her). I hope you can all make it!!

_________________
Heather
Lead DT Member & Coordinator, Creative Director”

If nothing else, attend just to chat with Karla Dudley. What a talent! She designs for Technique Tuesday and October Afternoon.

karla

Remember to register beforehand with Stacey at http://www.allmomentsremembered.com and tell her I sent you so she knows your not some kind of robot spammer, lol.

Dream Street: Lovin’ This Paper!

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Yeah, one thing leads to another, yeah, yeah, yeah….

I’m chatting over on the AMR message board, and the owner Stacey mentions that she has received some more of these MAKING MEMORIES 5th Avenue Spiral Journaling Books I’ve been waiting for:

mm notebook

So I head over to the online STORE, and figure, while I’m here I may as well see what else is new. Well, why did I do THAT?? I don’t have a lot to spend right now….why oh why did I “browse”?? Among lots of other lovelies, I found these DREAM STREET PAPERS that I’m absolutely McLOVIN!

DREAM STREET ART NOVEAU 4-SHEET PAPER COLLECTION ($3.20)

DS1

DREAM STREET BIRDIE BITS 3-SHEET PAPER COLLECTION ($2.40)

DS2

DREAM STREET ENCHANTED 4-SHEET PAPER COLLECTION ($3.20)

DS3

It looks like she still has many of each collection, so I had to pass for now and am hoping it’s still in stock when I get some moolah! I especially like the Art Nouveau ~ that teal/brown color combo is gorgeous and it would work with so many themes.

What I did order, in addition to the notebooks, are these cool CLEAR SCRAPS ACRYLIC LETTERS (you have to order consonants and vowels separately) only 80 cents each!

ac ltrs

Here is a description from the Clear Scraps site: “Use jump rings to link these together to make words. Alter just one letter. You can use your crop a dile to punch holes and make a mini album. The ideas are endless. These are light weight!!! Take a look at the idea gallery for all the possibilities for these letters! They are approx 3″ tall.”

I bought enough to spell 3 words for now, and will go back for more later. These should be fun to play with. One cool thing is that a member of the Clear Scraps Design Team, JULIE HOWARD aka SCRAPPIN{JEWLZ} joined the AMR board for a Scrap Chat Hour awhile back, and she has since become a VERY active member of the board. {I mean, seriously, you can’t stop this girl from chattin’, LOL}. And she’s in the Late Night Girlz Club with me so we have a lot of fun. Anytime we have “acrylic-anything” questions, she helps us right away.

Confession time: My 6×6 acrylic album is STILL sitting all packaged up on my desk. I’m still skerred… What have you done with acrylic? What do ya think of those Dream Street papers? How much MM Noteworthy and 5th Avenue have you bought already, LOL??? Confess, confess…

My ATC Cards and More Good Stuff

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In my last POST, I told you about the ATC Swap I’m participating in as a member of the AMR MESSAGE BOARD. I promised to show you my first attempt at EVER making an ATC, so here goes…these are the ATC’s I created and will be mailing to Jingle tomorrow:

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I’m showing the front and back sides, and also that I made four or five variations of color combos. On the front they say “Journey” and then there is a “journey” definition stamp. The reason this represents ME is that, on every message board I’m on, even my e-mail address, my handle is always “journeyfan.” It has a triple meaning, but the easy one is that I’m a HUGE fan of the 70s/80s band Journey, and have been since junior high. Anyway, my ATC’s probably don’t look like much, but they really were a lot of work for some reason! Here are the steps I used to make them:

1. Cut all the kraft cardstock and patterned paper into 2.5″ x 3.5″ “cards” and used the scraps of PP to cut the little slivers that show behind the scallop punchout (the color in there is different than whatever color is on the back of the card).
2. Used my awesome new FISKARS THREADING WATER PUNCH to cut a scallop within each card (as opposed to scalloping an entire edge).
3. With acrylic stamps and chalk ink, stamped the word “journey” on the kraft cards. First I did the j-u-n-y letters, spaced apart, in one color (steel blue). Then I did the o,r and e separately in different colors (dark grey, green and purple).
4. Used an acrylic stamp and black chalk ink for the “journey” definition. It was part of a larger stamp, so I masked it with, what else?, masking tape! Wow, my first ever masking! I impressed myself! (Note: I’m barely a decent scrapbooker, and I’m NOT a stamper by any means).
5. Used acrylic stamps and silver ink to stamp a bird, then a journaling circle with black ink on the patterned paper cards.
6. Added the plastic flowers and either a glitter star brad or a “bling” to the center of each flower.
7. Adhered the little PP strips to the back side of the scallop punchout.
8. Adhered both sided of the card together, trying a variety of adhesive methods until I found one that worked, LOL.
9. Used a sanding block to sand the edges of the cards and make them blend together better, and to give a lightly distressed look.
10. Cut the ribbon into 2 inch pieces, punched the middle hole with the Cropadile to make it larger, threaded the ribbon through and stapled it.
11. Used white or black pens to write on the back: AMR “ATC Swap”, Erika, ‘journeyfan,’ Calif. USA, April 2008
12. Laid all the ATC’s out across my desk and “Stickled” them, to the best of my ability (which, seeing them after they dried, was not much ability…).

Materials Used: Bazzill kraft cardstock, My Minds Eye ‘Everyday Tango’ patterned paper, Color Box Cat’s Eye chalk inks in Night Sky queue (that I got from AMR Store), Autumn Leaves acrylic stamps ‘Hand Drawn Alphabet by Katie Pertiet’ and journaling circle ($1 stamp set from Target), 7 Gypsies clear stamp set from QVC, American Crafts plastic flowers, Making Memories glitter star brads, MAMBI bling from Michaels, ‘Frosted Lace’ Stickles from AMR Store, and random black/white gingham ribbon.

Overall, I guess I’m happy with them. You know how it is, there are such talented ladies on the board, that I hope I don’t embarrass myself! But they were fun to do, I tried some things I wouldn’t normally do (like masking a stamp), and it got me to break out the myriad of acrylic stamps I’ve collected and not used enough. Do you think they’re okay for a swap?

Oh! And if you are going to enter ATC World anytime soon, I thought I’d show you these items I saw in the AMR STORE that seem to be very popular among the Message Board Girlz:

7 GYPSIES ATC HOLDER

atc holder

And ATC TAG PACK:
atc7

The best part is going to be seeing all the cards from the other girls when they come in the mail. I can’t wait! Thanks for reading about my “journey” into ATC’s (man, I’m so funny, I crack myself up!).

ATC Card Swap on AMR

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Sorry I haven’t posted for over 3 days, I think that’s a record for the most time between posts for me, LOL. I started a new job and it’s so stressful that by the time I get home and do family/house stuff, all I want to do is go to bed! Which is also why I was lagging on getting my ATC cards done. BUT….I got them finished lastnight and I’m so happy and relieved. So, I guess I should explain about the swap…

Over on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD, about 20 of us are doing an ATC Swap hosted by JINGLE (who does not have a blog….what???…is that even legal in the scrapbook world these days??). We each make a batch of ATC cards, keep one for ourselves, and send the rest to Jingle by April 5, 2008. Then she will separate them out into piles, and mail a set of the ATC cards to each of us. Fun, huh?!?

I’ll admit, before deciding to sign up for this swap, I had heard of ATC cards but didn’t really know much about them. I thought they were the territory of those ‘artsy’ types (um, that would be, NOT ME!) because I thought you had to use all kinds of fancy painting, inking, embossing, altered art kinda stuff on them. But, I found that they have evolved into something more accessible to scrapbookers like me, who just like to play with our pretty paper and scallop punches, LOL.

As shared by ANNE MARIE on the AMR board, here is the Wikipedia definition of ATC Cards:

Artist trading cards
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Artist Trading Cards are individual art miniatures which pass hand to hand. Some sources have credited M. Vänçi Stirnemann, who began trading sessions in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1997, as popularizing ATCs in the modern era, although modern ATC’s can be traced back to portrait miniatures and to a kind of business card popular with Impressionistic era artists.[1]

Artists have produced miniatures for trade or self-promotion in many eras and places, and the current trend is thus part of this larger context. Historically there were few standard rules or guidelines to art trading cards, and many variances in sizes can be seen in older cards. The standardization in size of baseball cards is credited with creating the standardization in size for art cards. Today the only rule for these cards is their 2.5 by 3.5 inch size, same as baseball cards and collectible card games. There are, however, certain conventions usually observed by those who make and trade these cards, such as the expectation that they be traded, not sold, and that they be created as unique works or small limited editions of prints. Artists generally sign and date the back, and may also include a title and contact information. The face-to-face trading session is considered an integral part of the concept, although many people find each other via the internet and trade by mail.

Artist Trading Cards are typically made on a base of card stock. However, ATCs have been created on metal, stiffened fabric, plastic, clay, glass, balsa wood, leather, embroidery canvas, acetate, heavy watercolor paper, and many other materials. The art on the cards can be done in any media: textile arts, pencil, watercolor, acrylic, oil, collage, scratch board, mixed media, assemblage, digital art, calligraphy, beadwork, rubber stamps, carved soft block stamps, pen and ink, colored pencil, airbrush, pastels, and many others – anything artists use.”

So, yeah, you can get fancy with it, but the goal of our swap was to “create ATC’s that in some way represent YOU. Please be sure to sign each ATC so we know you created it!” And here was my favorite part of the instructions from Jingle: “Please show your best work and be sure to send in pieces that are made neatly and cleanly. (You know…avoid glue boogers and stuff! LOL!)” Yeah, of course we gave her a hard time about the glue boogers comment :) But you know what she’s saying…do a good job, not rushed, as people will be showing these off in some manner.

The challenge sounded all well and good but, when I sat down to actually make them, I was shocked at how SMALL 2.5″ x 3.5″ really is. I mean, I’m a 12×12 scrapper for googely sake! How am I supposed to create something that expresses who I am in such a small space? Well, after being in panic mode for awhile, I noticed that other ATC girls started posting their completed ATC’s on their blogs and/or the message board, and made them look totally do-able, like KELLIANNIE:

atc2

and SCRAPPYSAM:

atc3

A late addition from ~Q~ (no one knows her real name, a real lady of mystery…), posted just the backs of her ATC’s as a teaser:

atc5

Also, I think it was Sam who posted a link to fabulous MARFA’s blog, where she’s been going a little ATC crazy, which works for me because she gave me such inspiration. Here is a POST with some of her beautiful ATC’s and I copied some of them below.

atc

atc1

When I receive everyone’s ATC’s from this swap, I think I’ll include them in my album in a similar holder page to Martha’s. Except I won’t sew it myself like she did (cuz I don’t know how to sew), but I’ll cheat and buy something similar to baseball card holder pages, or maybe there is a 12×12 version from Crop In Style?

But anyway, after seeing how you could just relax and have fun with these cute little cards, I sat down and designed a prototype card in about an hour. Tune in tomorrow for photos of what I came up with, and how I put them together….

Have you done ATC cards? Or a swap of any kind? How did things turn out and would you do it again?

New Scrapbook Set-Up @ Target

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As if they haven’t already taken enough of my money, now Target has gone and re-stocked their scrapbook aisle. I mean, I knew it was coming because we’ve all watched our Tar-jay scrapbook aisles get emptier and emptier. For a while, a great fear spread across Scrapbook Land that Target was closing the scrapbook department altogether. I mean, it was real Prozac time for a while there, people! But no, then some sort of Target Rumor Control / Perez Hilton wannabe but for the Target set put all our fears to rest, informing us that they were just clearing things out in prep for new things from CHA-Winter. I’ve been checking the aisle (mine just has one aisle…grrr…) every time I’m in Target, and no new stuff. In fact, I was there today and nada, zip, zilch. Well, the ship is on the horizon! According to the 2PEAS CHICKS & CKMB GIRLZ, there have been sightings of some fun new stuff:

~ KI MEMORIES “Pop Culture”, and felt albums
~ MAKING MEMORIES “5th Avenue,” “Noteworthy,” and “Animal Crackers”
~ ALL MY MEMORIES totes
~ MARCELLA BY K (Targets brand for K&Co.)
~ CLOUD 9
~ EK SUCCESS
~ AUTUMN LEAVES
~ HEIDI SWAPP
~ K&CO “Ancestor” line

And shhhhhh….don’t tell anyone, but they have acrylic stamps in the Dollar Spot, and tons of the older stuff on amazing clearance….

Tell me, tell me…will you be shopping at the Big Red Bullseye soon? If you’ve already gotten, what’d ya get???
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Pebbles Inc. – Share & Tell Binder System

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Remember that Eddie Money song from the 80′s? C’mon, sing it with me!! “I think I’m in love!” (I know CHEEKY will sing with me…)

I just found THIS on the Pebbles Inc blog while looking for their new Easter kit. It’s called the Share & Tell Binder System. Here is a pic and quote from their blog:

pi binder

“We’re excited to introduce to you our Share & Tell Binder Program! Let’s face it…we are all busy. Whatever stage in life we find ourselves in, time seems to limit us from all that we want or need to do. The Share & Tell Binder Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully!

The Share & Tell Binder Program includes Albums, Sheet Protectors, Creative Pads and Journaling Cards that all work together to make scrapbooking your memories easier! This is the only system on the market that is flexible enough to work with hard-core crafters and non-scrapbooking consumers alike!

Start looking for the Share & Tell Binder Program this spring!”

Then I clicked over to their recently launched (March 2008) WEBSITE and found this:

pi binder1

And this:

pi binder2

“The Share & Tell Album Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully! Let’s face it…we are all busy… This program was created by Brenda Birrell, mother of five daughters and founder of Pebbles in my Pocket and Pebbles Inc. as an answer to today’s busy life! A simple system that is easy to maintain and will provide us with more time to spend with loved ones creating memories! Isn’t this what life is all about? This is the story of your life together and as you share it, relationships will be strengthened and memories will be preserved. In this age of digital photography it is so important to print out your favorite photos for safe keeping and enjoyment. CDs get scratched and hard drives crash. Your memories deserve to be placed in organized books that can be enjoyed by your loved ones. Isn’t it time to share your story?”

On the Pebbles website ~~ which you can now order directly from! ~ all the items currently show “Temporarily out of stock, available April 2008.” The albums posted come in black and brown (retail $29.99), page protectors in 12×12 (for full pages) and divided 4×6 (retail $9.99). Can anyone read the fine print? How many page protectors do you get in the package? I have a laptop & my screen is too small. Here are pics:

pi binder3

pi binder 4

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pi binder6

The website shows the following (14) Creative Pad theme sets ($4.99 each): Baby Boy, Baby Girl, My Guy, My Girl, Nellie’s Garden, Theodore, Season’s Greetings, Sweetheart, Party Time Boy, Party Time Girl, Easter Time, School Days, Summer Day, and Zoo Fun. They contain 30 sheets of paper and 4 sticker sheets. Then (10) sets of coordinating Journaling Cards ($3.99 for a pack of 25). Sorry, I was unable to paste them over here for some reason…

Here is what I like about this system:

~ I’m tired of always feeling “behind” in my scrapping. For instance, Christmas was 3 months ago and I haven’t scrapped any of it yet. Honestly, it’s intimidating to me because I have photos from about 10 events (Christmas tree lighting, making cookies, cutting the tree, decorating the tree, Christmas Eve service, Christmas party, opening presents, and on and on…). If I had a system like this, I could put them in an album right away, jot some journaling down, and we could’ve been enjoying them for the last 3 months. If I decide to “really” scrap any of the photos later, awesome! If not, at least they’re in a cute presentation that everyone can access.

~ Many people are getting tired of dealing with strap hinge and postbound albums, e.g. the lack of flexibility to move pages around, etc. On the message boards, I gather that many of you scrappers have switched over to D-ring albums like this, or are at least contemplating it. I’m still on the fence because the “break” in the middle bothers me, as I do about 95% 2-page layouts. However, for the purposes of just getting my photos in books in this simple style, that wouldn’t be an issue.

~ Although Pebbles Inc’s style is what many would call “simple,” I think it’s also a very cute and clean presentation with lots of personality. Besides, there’s nothing to say you can’t take their basics and distress, cut, tear, scallop, ink, punch, sew or whatever it!! Make it your own. For me, as you read in THIS POST, I sometimes gravitate towards this simple, clean style. It’s the one style that, when I look back at my old albums, does NOT ever look dated or trendy or “so yesterday.” So I embrace this style as ONE PART of my scrapbooking. Besides, you can just use the albums and maybe the journaling cards, then use all your own stuff to fill the 12×12 or 4×6 slots. I think I would do a combination of the two if I use this system.

~ Compared to a similar system by Creative Memories called PICFOLIO, I like this one much better. I’ve always been tempted by the CM system but have never bought it because I can’t deal with the fact that you can’t customize the number of pages, i.e. you can’t add or take away pages, because they are bound into the album. With the Pebbles system, you can certainly have as many pages as you like.

The only things that concern me about using this system:

~ The price. Although I do occasionally pay $30 for an album, it’s rare. I use 2 per year minimum on our family album, then special theme albums in addition to that. I hope that Michaels or another store with a 40% discount coupon carries these albums so I can slowly buy them.

~ The D-ring…is it sturdy? The main complaint I hear about D-ring albums is that the rings start to separate and gap over time, which makes it a major PITA to turn your pages. From the photo, I have to say those rings don’t look overly sturdy, do they? BUT…I have a lot of Pebbles Inc items like their RIBBON IRON, chalks, etc. and the quality is always very good, so I’m optimistic about their album quality.

pi iron

Heck, if Super Scrap Idol ALI EDWARDS is using DIVIDED PAGES, I figure I can give it a go…

What do you think of the new Share & Tell Binder System by Pebbles, Inc.? Will you be purchasing it?

A Most Excellent Week

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As I was just saying over on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD (where according to JUNE, I apparently spend too much time, LOL), I’m having a wonderful week.

First, the MB Posting Challenge I’m hosting on the AMR board is going very well. We’re giving away 12 RAK prizes (by random drawing) if you post at least 10 new topics and 30 responses by 3/31/08. The girls there are SO generous and have donated all the RAKs as a way to encourage our shy-er members – well, everyone really – to post more and keep the board hopping. It’s going very well and the board has definitely picked up.

Secondly, Karen/Karooch over at SCRAPS OF MIND asked me to write a guest posting for her blog. The topic is…you’ll be SO shocked…Scrapbook Organization. I believe the article will be published next Tuesday. I was really honored to be asked because, when I started this blog about a year ago, Karen was one of the first scrap blogs I found on WordPress. Her blog has been so successful and multi-faceted, that she’s moved it to it’s own website, acquired advertising, and really hit the big time with it. Karen also answered a ton of blog-type questions I had at the beginning, and did so with the patience of a saint. So, she shall forever be a mentor to me… If you haven’t read her blog, you’re missing out. Get over there now or I’ll kick your butt. Mmmm-hmmmm, you KNOW I will!

Thirdly, my good friend Nicole at HUMOR ME blog has passed on one of her Excellent Blog awards to me! For details, see HER POST. I’m honored to be included with the other bloggers she chose, especially Martha at SCRUMPTIOUS blog. Nicole is such a wonderful writer, btw. Hilariously funny and really seems to appreciate the absurdities in life. I mean, really, what else can you do but laugh?? So, now for my acceptance speech:

“I would like to thank the Academy, the Foreign Press Association, my momma, and most of all Jesus Christ without whom this would not have been possible. Oh, and my co-stars, Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Troy Aikman, George Clooney, and especially John Cusack who really gave his “all” to our partially nude love scene {if you know what I mean, wink wink}. I think this award means that you like me, you really like me! Thank you!!”

So, now my job is pass this Excellent Blogger award on to other bloggers. I’m going to have to think about that one and get back to you. I know, you’d think after all the nice things I just said about Karen at Scraps of Mind, I would automatically give it to her, right? But, dang, I just wrote an article for her, what more does that woman want from me??

Peace out, catch U on the flip side…

e blogger

Ordered Ur Fiskars Scallop Border Punch?

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Peep this, and you’ll see why it’s THE hot item in scrapbooking. Fiskars debuted a new punch at CHA and it will make this type of eyelet or scalloped border.

fbp

Hel-LOW! No more paying $1/sheet for Bazzill just cuz it has that pretty little edge. I’ll just buy regular Bazzill and make my own…so there!

It’s taken a while for Fiskars to get them shipped out to vendors but, according to Stacey at http://www.allmomentsremembered.com, she’s shipping them out this Friday. Yahoo! I’m so anxious to get mine. Anyway, here is what Stacey said:

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I have total confirmation they are almost here! I went and tracked them! YIPPPPEEEEEE!!! But I also wanted to tell you I was able to get a bunch extra before my vendor sold out again. So tell everyone you know that I have them in stock to ship by Friday!!!!I have like 15 extra coming in this order and then another 40 on order if I need them!!!
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So if you haven’t ordered yours yet, AMR is a great place to do so. This is gonna’ be a sellout, folks…

AMR Online Crop: Monochromatic Challenge

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Here was the challenge from Joscie:
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My challenge is pretty simple:
I find that using a monochromatic color scheme can have a strong impact, so I challenge you to create a layout, card or project in a monochromatic color scheme. You may choose any color in all its values (tints and shades) plus white, black or kraft.

here is the layout i created in shades of brown…. it’s called those eyes.

joscie

“THOSE EYES” layout by Joscie Cutchens
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I’ve always wanted to do a single-color layout but probably wouldn’t have done it without this challenge. Here’s mine:

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Materials: Bazzill cardstock; thickers-type letters from Dollar Tree/Miss Elizabeth; unknown ribbon; everything else from Heidi Grace kit I got at Tuesday Morning ($25 retail for $10).

I never do 2-photo layouts either, but these were 2 random photos I had taken in our front yard last summer & now they are scrapped!

AMR Online Crop: Warm Up Challenge

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As I’ve been blabbing about for days, I’m participating in the AMR Online Crop this weekend. Well, here is the first challenge and it’s from Anne Marie, the Message Board Hostess:
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Let’s Get Started! Warm Up Exercise
To kick off our first hour, I like to do a “warm-up” exercise to get your creative juices going (no drawing for this one) … so to celebrate our awesome Design Team and welcome our two newest DT members Jenn and Debbie, I invite you to scraplift a layout from any Design Team member and post it here!

For your convenience, here are links to their Flickr Galleries!

Debbie (wyscrapper) http://www.flickr.com/photos/22929679@N08/
Heather http://www.flickr.com/photos/9095123@N08/
Jenn E. (nygirl) http://www.flickr.com/photos/22847178@N03/
Linda http://www.flickr.com/photos/14190425@N04/
Tracy (jadadog) http://www.flickr.com/photos/23096528@N07/

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I chose to scraplift a layout from one of the new DT members announced today, Jenn! Here is here inspiring layout:

jenn

“GIVE THANKS” layout by Jenn Emch

And here is my try at it. I ended up copying her colors pretty closely (unintentionally!) because the papers from the Red, Cream and Black set from Autumn Leaves matched my photos so well. And I love to use kraft cardstock as a background.

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Materials: Bazzill cardstock; Red, Cream and Black PP and twill from Autumn Leaves; acrylic alpha from KI Memories; Martha Stewart journaling spot; Prima flower; Provo Craft flower brad.

That was fun! Now I’m at the computer doing my journaling for the next challenge. Come over to AMR and participate if you want. For every challenge, those who post their layouts by noon PST tomorrow have names drawn from a hat for a RAK…you never know, you could win! And Stacey gives the bestest RAK’s around. Hope to see you there…

Reminder: Online Crop Tomorrow at AMR

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Just a reminder that tomorrow is the big online crop at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED. For all the 4-1-1, please go read THIS POST. I believe there will be a special forum but it’s not up yet so no link. Just go to their main site, click on Message Board and you’ll find it. Hope to see you there! Okay, gotta’ go, I have online crop homework. Sandy/Tx-nana-scraps said her challenge involves using 2 colors of paint on cardstock and both colors need to show behind the pictures. Off I go to paint. Damn, I’m happy it’s Friday! What a week. Enjoy your weekend and hope it’s scrappy. Peace out…

A New Line To Love: Rasberry

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Well, first I have to give a shout out to SCRAP SCENE, as they yet again pointed me towards something cool…luv that place! Today they posted a TEASE about this company, who I believe is fairly new to America but well-known to Australian scrapbookers (any Aussies out there who can verify??).

Anyhow, I’m just lovin’ what I’m seein’. As much as I like the distressed, shabby chic look that has become the norm in scrapbook products these days, it’s nice to see something fresh and new. When I first started scrapping about 5 years ago, I gravitated right towards SEI who at the time was doing all those lines that started with “S”: Sporty, Savvy, etc. I still look back at those layouts and love them because they don’t look dated, just classic. Do you remember those SEI lines? All the clean lines, color blocking and bright-but-not-blaring colors? I think that’s what Rasberry reminds me of. Just cute, cute, cute! Here’s a taste, and I’m sorry, these are the biggest pics I could find (their website is a tad aggravating, but I’ll cut them a break, they’re new):

Rasberry “Classic”

ras classic

ras clas1

Rasberry “Squashed”

ras sq

ras sq1

Rasberry “Soda”

ras soda

Rasberry “Princess”

ras prin

ras prin2

Rasberry “Sweet”

ras sweet

ras sweet1

Rasberry decorated chipboard

ras chip

Rasberry “Scraps” letters

ras scraps

THIS is Rasberry’s website, and their BLOG, and their GALLERY. I’d love to post pics from their gallery to entice you to their products even more, but it’s all in a slide show thingey that won’t let me copy them over here (grrrr….). But go lookie over there. I promise you’ll like it! The little blond boy with the spiked hair is worth the price of admission!

Rasberry has lots of cute boy papers, embellies, and page ideas in the gallery so those of you always complaining “there’s not enough boy scrapbooking stuff,” there ya go! On their website, Sheena (the owner?) says, “I had a desperate need for paper with cars, trucks, trains and that’s how Rasberry began.” Gotta’ love a girl that takes the bull by the horns!

HERE is a link to their catalog for Winter CHA 2008. Be patient, it might take a while to load but it’s worth it! You really have to see the entire line; I have a very small part of it here. And with the bigger pictures.

Their blog says, “For our customers in the USA,…we are currently fulfilling orders out of Australia” so I really, really hope some American stores stock them. If they don’t, we’ll have to give them a big wet RASBERRY!

What do you think? Is Rasberry catching your eye at all?

Online Crop at All Moments Remembered

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Please save the date: Next Saturday, March 8 and here are the times:

2pm-Midnight (Eastern)
1 pm-11pm (Central)
12pm-10 pm (Mountain)
11 am-9 pm (Pacific)

The awesome message board at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED is hosting another online crop and I’m inviting you! Please come on over and play with us, whether you are already a member over there or not. You do need to be approved to join the MB by the owner Stacey, so you could do that sometime this week. If you think you might, leave a comment below so I can let Stacey know I sent ya’ and which MB name you’ll use. She gets a lot of spammers so it helps if she knows beforehand. Also, when you sign up you can tell her Erika/journeyfan sent you.

Okay, what is an online crop, you ask? It’s a pre-set time when a bunch of people are on the message board at the same time. There is usually a separate forum set up; if not, just go to the Scrapbook forum. Usually, board moderators and/or just everyday users host challenges for which there may or may not be a prize, also known as a RAK (comes from Random Act of Kindness). If the challenge needs any specific items you might not have on hand, the moderator usually lets you know so you can have it ready when the crop starts. Examples of challenges: “Do a layout that’s all black and white including the photo” or “Make a card that includes use of an acrylic stamp, Basic Grey paper, and scraps from your stash” or “Create a 12×12 layout about a loved one who has passed on, using a song quote.” You get the idea! Once the online crop starts, you’ll have a set amount of time to post your challenges, either in the message board gallery or directly into a post on the message board.

Now, specific to the AMR online crop next Saturday (here is the LINK to the thread about it), Anne Marie will be the official hostess and she will post the Warm-Up Challenge at 2pm EST (11am PST). Then each hour on the hour, a message boarder will post another challenge. These challenges were arranged ahead of time between Anne Marie and anyone on the message board who offered to help. Another reason to make sure you’re an AMR MB member ahead of time: There are already some “heads up, you will need this item” type of posts for the challenges. These are the ones posted so far:

* 2 colors Acrylic paints (any brand; will be used together on a lo)
* Brush (those 1″ foam brushes are great, but ANY brush will do)
* Plain or Kraft gift bag (any size)
* 1-2 black/white photos of yourself
* Clothing tag (gee, guess you’re all going to have to go out and buy a new outfit, LOL! — no, this can be cut off any existing garment)

Ladies are also posting questions they have about the crop, and kind of chiming in if they hope to “be there.” You know, in a virtual kind of way…

Here is what Anne Marie says about the Challenges Schedule: Non-competitive hourly challenges will be posted with RAKS for participating! A break has been scheduled during the crop … AND you can come in at ANY TIME during the crop and play ANY challenge! You will also have until NOON SUNDAY to post your submissions in the challenge threads. Winners in each challenge will be drawn at random.

Now, for non-competitive types like me (who aren’t very confident in their work “winning” anything), this is the cat’s meow. All I have to do is participate in one or two or all of the challenges ~ as many as I want or have time for ~ and I have as good a chance at winning as the next girl. And knowing Stacey’s generosity, the prizes will be most excellent. Sweet….

I’ve never participated in an online crop before, although I’ve come in after the fact and read through all the posts. (AMR, for example, plans to hold online crops once per month and CKMB has held several in the last year). They seem to generate all kinds of fun projects and, most importantly, COMPLETED LAYOUTS! So far, my Saturday is open and I really hope to participate in my first-ever online crop. Even if I only get to one or two of the challenges, I’ll feel I’ve accomplished something. On the day of the crop, THIS is where you will go!

So, c’mon, will you join us?? Have you participated in an online crop before and what was your experience like?

Fingertip Craft Knife by Fiskars

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As a recent convert to the blessings of a craft knife ~ thanks to my Basic Grey MAGNETIC MATS ~ I was intrigued by this coolio FINGERTIP CRAFT KNIFE by FISKARS:

ft craft knife

ALI EDWARDS mentioned it on her blog HERE. I’d love to see a video or demo of this doo-hickey being used, wouldn’t you?

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