Archive of ‘scrapbook shopping’ category

New Scrapbook Products from 7 Gypsies

I just wanted to share these because they’re so stinkin’ cute:

7 Gypsies Calias stickers

7 Gypsies Calais paper pack

I love 7 Gypsies products. They are so unique; there is nothing else like them on the market. They always seem to be trendsetters, ahead of the curve, in the know. They know what we like before we even know we like it. My only frustration is that their stuff sells out too fast. There have been a number of times when I wanted something 7 Gypsies just came out with, and it’s already sold out everywhere, even online. Hmmm…are they astronomically popular or do they purposely produce/release just enough product to make us even more crazy for their stuff? Well, I don’t care, I just love it! Do you?

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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!

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Scrapbook Fest: MemoryTrends in September 2007

It’s times like these when I wish I were some kind of scrapbook retailer that qualified for (and could afford to attend) all the scrapbooking trade shows, like CHA. Registration has opened for the MemoryTrends Conference and Expo which will be in Las Vegas this September. Here is a link to the conference brochure if you’re interested. The keynote speaker will be Stacy Julian, talking about the wider definition of scrapbooking. Lisa Bearnson will present “an exclusive report on the results of the 2007 Scrapbooking in America survey”. I just love surveys; although most of them are NOT truly statistically accurate, they do give you some idea of what the trends are and what’s going on with any given subject. I have so many theories and opinions about scrapbooking today, it will be interesting to see if my ideas match those of the Big Survey. Alas, since I won’t be at MemoryTrends, I’ll have to wait for it to be published somewhere and hope it doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars to access like one’s in the past have. One great thing that has happened with the advent of so many scrapbooking blogs, you can experience the trade shows through the attendees. They share photos, diaries, and product reviews – it’s ALMOST as good as being there. And cheaper. Can’t wait!

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Another LSS Bites the Dust :(

I was sad to receive an e-mail recently from one of my favorite stores, Gotta Crop in Lodi, CA. They are closing their doors on 6/23/07. So between now and then, they are having a liquidation sale and offering discounts on all purchases. The discounts increase as the closure gets closer. I’m just sad to see them go. I’ve visited their store several times over the years when I have been traveling in that part of the state. Every time a Local Scrapbook Store (LLS) closes, it makes me sad. If you are near to Lodi, go give the owners a hug from me and buy some of their stuff, k?

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Memory Works: Crops and Monthly Scrapbook Kits

If you’ve noticed that my posts have gotten rare lately, it’s because I’m planning another scrapbook crop. The first one I did this past May 12, which was an all-day Saturday event. It went over so well that several friends asked me to organize another one, and couldn’t we make it THREE days long this time?? You ask, I’ll deliver! The next event will be in about two weeks (June 22-24, 2007). We had such good luck with the hotel we used last time, that we’re holding it there again. So I’m just in Heaven over here, taking sign ups, planning meals, shopping for goody bag items, getting my Memory Works stuff ready, and praying that lot of people sign up (so far, pretty good!).

In other ‘happy me’ news, I got my first sign-up for the Memory Works monthly kit (it’s called MW Express Kit). Well, okay, it’s my MOM but that still counts! Last week I decided to send out MW catalogs to everyone who had purchased something from me, mostly at the last crop. Those Basic Grey chipboard file sets were a big hit! I included a handmade Thank You card, the catalog, and flyers for the June crop, the June MW monthly kit, and the Sneak Peak for the July kit. My mom saw the June kit and loved it. Here it is:

June MW Express

For $35, you get:
8 sheets of Crate Paper/Basic Grey paper
6 sheets of Prism textured cardstock
26 Scrapworks shimmer letters
6 velvet blossoms, 6 crystal brads, 2 metal tabs, some 7 Gypsies goodies, 4 yards of ribbon
1 chipboard accordian purse kit by 7 Gypsies
supplies to make 5 cards
(and so much more I can’t list it all)

She also compared what she’s receiving in her current kit with what MW’s has and said mine has more for the money. So she’s canceling her current kit and going with mine! I’m so stoked!

Here is the July Sneak Peek:

July MW Express Sneak Peek

I love that the kits are month to month with no commitment (as long as you cancel by the deadline, one week before they send the kits out). MW has been doing kits since Feb. 07 and I have loved them all. They have such good taste, and I appreciate how their Design Team posts ideas on the website for pages and altered items you can make with each kit.

One more piece of news: I’m so happy to see that my blog has rolled over 8,000 hits. When it passes 10,000 it will be time for another RAK! Stay tuned…

Tell me how things are going in your Scrap World – any crops or CKUs coming up? Any good buys lately? Tell me about it in Comments :)

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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.

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Happy National Scrapbook Day!

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for. There are so many fun things going on today and this weekend. There are large crops and just friends getting together to scrapbook. There are big sales at the brick and mortar stores, as well as at the online stores. My company, Memory Works, is doing some great promotions. There are online crops – so many, it’s impossible to keep up. There is scrapbooking inspiration everywhere and I just love it. My plan for the day and the reality have turned out to be two different things, LOL. I had planned to have some friends over to crop while we watched QVC and participated in the online crop at Creating Keepsakes. But….both friends had to cancel (important things came up, I understand :). I did have the house to myself – a rare occassion – so I took the opportunity to do an excellent house cleaning (I know, bo-RING!). It’s now 1pm my time and the CK online crop is “over” but everyone is still chatting. Even Elsie stopped by and chatted with us (sweet). I didn’t win any of the cool prizes and didn’t have time to do any of the challenges by Ali Edwards. But I’m reading through all the posts and looking at the amazing pages people are doing. GOD, there’s some talented ladies out there! It truly amazes me and makes me proud to be associated even in a small way with them. There are so many posts, I hope they keep the forum up for a few days so I can get through them all. (Edit: I see now where Ali said it will stay up for a month, whoo hoo). I’m copy/pasting all of Ali’s challenges into a Word document with links to my favorite pages to use as samples for each one. When done, I will have created an Everyday Beauty album. I don’t know when I’ll get to it because I’m still working on that dang cruise album (my love/hate relationship with it is blossoming, can you tell??). Anna Griffin and Lisa Bearnson have been on QVC and I really enjoyed watching both of them. I hope you celebrated in a special way and that you’ll tell me about it in the Comments section (feel free to post a link to your blog). Viva NSD!!

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Scrapbook Peeking at Tuesday Morning

First of all, I apologize to my friends at CKMB who’ve already heard this story. But I just had to share it on my blog too. I’ve been finding scrapbook stuff for quite awhile now at Tuesday Morning. The store is about 40 minutes from me, but whenever I’m in that town, I stop in. Sometimes I find nothing, sometimes I hit the motherload – like the huge KI Memories pack for $30 with 80 sheets of paper and tons of embellishments I found last January. So I got my ad in the mail last week and it showed “Mini Scrapbook Kits for $3.99, Compare at $11.99. More than 100 pieces and assorted styles.” The picture in the ad was so small, it was hard to tell the brand or even what you get in the kit. But that price sure sounded intriguing. I drove down that way Sunday to shop at Costco, then went to Tuesday Morning. I looked through all the scrap stuff and didn’t see the kits. Then I realize…duh, their sales don’t start until…..everybody say it with me…..”TUESDAY MORNING!!!”. They always put the sale items on the endcaps, then cover them with huge white butcher paper and writing that says, “Will Be Revealed on Tuesday Morning”. So I’m standing there wondering if my Tuesday Morning will be getting these kits – should I drive all the way back down here in 2 days? Well, a girl’s gotta know! Was it wrong of me to try and untape the butcher paper to get a teeny weeny peek inside the endcap shelves? Well, all the shoppers around me seemed to think so because I was getting some crazy looks. My eyes brightened as I saw the words “K-Ology” and “K&Co” on the packaging!! But that wasn’t enough information, so I decided to look at the little sign that describes the item. It was attached to the top shelf with magnets and I reached up on tippy toe to grab it – and it falls with a crashing sound, banging between the butcher paper and the metal shelves several times before it hit the ground. Red-faced, with everyone staring at me, I tried to stick it back on the top shelf…and it crashed down between the paper again. I set the sign on a nearby shelf and walked away. It’s embarrasing the lengths I’ll go to just to save money on scrapbooking items!
PS: Today being Thursday, the kits “have been revealed” but I haven’t had time to get back down there (color me sad).
_________________

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Lisa Bearnson + QVC + National Scrapbook Day = FUN!

National Scrapbook Day is coming up this Saturday, May 5, 2007. I wanted to share two things that are happening that day. First of all, QVC is celebrating NSD with some shows that air at various times starting Friday night. You can view the times here (these are Pacific times but you can change it to your timezone). The other event will take place on the message board for Creating Keepsakes magazine. To quote the website: “CROP WITH ALI – Join us for National Scrapbook Day, Saturday, May 5, as we crop the day away with Ali Edwards! We’ll have fun challenges, friends, giveaways and more from 12 to 4 p.m. ET. All you’ll need is your scrapping supplies and your computer. See you there!”. I think the place you check in is here. There was a kit you could buy ahead of time but I believe it’s sold out now. The word is that you can still participate in the ‘crop’ even without the kit. I’m hoping to have some friends over that day to crop. I’ll have QVC on the tellie, and CK on the laptop at the crop table. Don’t you just love how well electronics and scrapbooking go together! What are your plans for National Scrapbook Day?? You MUST celebrate!

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Photos of Martha at Mike’s Products

In my last post, I was frustrated at being unable to find ANY photo of ANY Martha Stewart scrapbooking product. Well, here’s something I just found posted on the 2peas message board. It’s a little peek at some of her products. What do you think? I like the packaging; very Martha! I assume the rotary tool and blade are to cut her huge 18×18 inch paper since it won’t fit in your average paper trimmer. I wish the poster had listed the prices. Also, my curiosity got the best of me and I had to go by Michaels today. There were employees on ladders and clogging the aisle so I could only get a brief look. They had about half of the aisle done. When I walked up, the employees were saying they should boycott her stuff. Intrigued, I eavesdropped…. Then they said they should notify the manager, NO!, they should notify corporate. I innocently asked what was wrong and one employee explained they just found out that employees cannot use their discount on Martha Stewart products. They were NOT happy. One suggested installing the merchandise bar across her face in the display. So I browsed best I could and – I guess it was a surprise to me – I actually liked a lot of it. Now, the 18×18 paper is truly ridiculous. Maybe for wrapping paper or to cut up into pieces but how do you even store paper that large much less use it full-paged in a scrapbook? But there were some very pretty white lace paper borders, nice paper packs, cute stickers and pretty rub-ons. Oh! That reminds me, I just heard from an LSS owner who was at CHA that, in her keynote speech, Martha called them “rub downs”. You can tell she scrapbooks everyday, huh? Well, not everyone can be as Scrapbook Obsessed as me! I even made a Martha purchase: 2 packs of memorabilia envelopes that are very cute (I will post a photo when my gallery is back up). In each pack are 3 little envelopes in cute solid colors (1 set has white trim) that have clear fronts so you can see your item through them. They will be good for souveniers from my trip to Europe and the colors will go nicely with that album. They were $3 each which I thought was a fair price. The price I couldn’t go for was $9 for a paper pack with 12 sheets. Granted, it was crepe paper and very unique. I will probably get it another time :) The packaging on Martha Stewart products is very nice, with a metal rod hanger, thick stock, and hard-to-get-into packages. They spent some money there, for sure. I wish I could’ve seen more and you know I’ll be going back soon…

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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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Scrap Space Organization: A Report

As I explained in my last post, I’m in the midst of doing a major re-org and clean up of my scrap space. This was due to a Challenge on the CK Message Board and I might win a little something if I complete it. But, as they say, the true reward will be in accomplishing this long-put-off goal. I was up last night (this morning??) until 1:30 working on it. Things always seem to go easier when everyone else is asleep, no one is coming over to step on the papers I have spread across the floor, etc.! I pulled out my past issues of scrapbook magazines (there was a HUGE stack – I’m a magazine junkie). I put them on CraigsList and already have one person interested. My mom just taught me how to list things on Ebay so maybe I will put them on there too. Those of you that use Ebay: Does that seem like a good idea & investment of my time, or do you think they won’t sell? Most are from 2005 to now. I also started filling my Store in Style filer drawer cube with patterned papers. Many of my PPs are filed by topic in my ScrapRack or by manufacturer in Cropper Hopper vertical storage. That leaves papers that are stripes, flowers, leaves, etc. and they are now being filed in the drawer with labeled file folders. Speaking of which, are electric labelers the best thing ever invented or what? I’m also pulling out a bunch of things as I go along that I’m donating to my kids. These are papers and stickers that I don’t see myself ever using, but I hate to throw anything away. So they go in a special drawer in my Iris container that the kids can reach easily themselves. I’ve starting buying Iris 12×12 clamshell boxes for storing projects and have moved some things into those. For example, I have an album to do about my dog so I put the blank album, the papers, and all the dog embellies in the Iris box. This is actually part of my organization problem – that I tend to jump around from project to project before I finish any of them. I either get bored or I get excited about a new project and can’t wait to get started. Maybe my resolution for 2008 will be to stop doing that. My other problem is that I buy too much. I hardly scrapped at all in 2006 yet I kept buying things because I hate to pass up a deal (like Michael’s 40% coupons or KI Memories huge paper packs at Tuesday Morning). As they say, i could scrap til I’m 90 and never run out of stuff. A whole new problem is that, since I started being a Memory Works consultant, I’ve gotten even more stuff. By that I mean a consultant binder, and some items to sell/use for samples. I need to keep them dust free and “ready to go” so the MW things have taken over my Crop In Style XXL rolling bag. Now what will I do when I want to attend a crop for fun? Who knows. Well, I’m free all day and have to finish organizing my scrap area by tonight, so here I go again…

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More ‘Martha Stewart at Michaels’ News…

On the CKMB, a member said she just went to a taping of the Martha Stewart show. Martha apparently said that her line of scrapbook-related products will be in Michaels stores beginning April 29th, 2007. Martha also said there will be a scrapbooking contest announced next week involving submitting your favorite layout image to her website in May. This post led to a discussion, and others began sharing information about ‘Martha at Mike’s”. Apparently, there have been sightings at various Mike’s around the country of room being made in the scrapbook aisles for her products, and even some signage. The other rumor was that one of her products will be an 18×18 scrapbook! Wowza, that’s fyuge-ous! How do all you scrappers feel about that?!? Seems pretty unwieldy to show off something that big, but it would be a blast to fill those pages…at least for someone like me who takes massive quantities of photos and insists on scrapbooking about 80% of them. The flyer at Mike’s referenced Martha Stewart Paper Crafts and it sounds like there will be party supplies and other paper items. The other news I’ve heard is there will be organizational products and/or scrapbook storage. Well, color me anxiously awaiting…

Update: I also hear that Martha will start using her products on her show starting May 7th. Scrapbook Products will include: fabric, post, expandable, albums 12 x 12, 8 1/2 x 11, AND 18 x 18 ($79.95, yikes). Also, photo boxes and 12×12 paper boxes that coordinate with her scrapbook supplies. Then there’s the scissors, stamps, paper trimmer, punches, glitter, pens, a geneology kit, and ribbons that will coordinate with gift wrapping paper and scrap products. And finally: birthday kits for kids, i.e. paper crafts for cups, plates, gift bags, decorations, invitations AND some labels, recipe cards, etc you can use for homemade baked goods as gifts (I’ve seen her do this on her show a lot; wonderful and thoughtful idea). Mind you, I’m NOT in the industry so I don’t know for sure if any of this is true…I’m just wrangling all the rumors and adding to my own anticipation, LOL.

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Martha Stewart Products at Michaels Stores

The Life magazine circular in my newspaper this week had a small feature on Martha Stewart. It said that “She’ll debut a line of craft products – including paper, scrapbooking, and storage items – at Michaels Stores this spring.” I tried to research more about this but I couldn’t find the products on her website. I did find an old Craftrends article from April 2006 that she was partnering with EK Success. As you know, EK Success is one of the top producers of scrapbooking and papercrafting products. Anyway, I can’t wait to see her stuff. I’ve always liked her furniture and home products. Although I don’t own a lot of her things, I have always looked to her for home decor ideas. She uses a lot of the colors and color combos that I like. One of the favorite inspirations I got from her is the use of clean white furniture and white moldings with deep pastel colored walls. For example, my bedroom has an ocean theme. The door moldings and baseboards are white as is some of the furniture. The walls are painted an ocean blue/green color that looks wicked cool against the white. I just love it. Hey, I should try to translate that to a scrapbook layout! Well, I look forward to seeing Martha’s scrapbook products and, like someone on the CKMB said, we can always use our 40% off coupons if her stuff is pricey! The word is that her products will be at Michaels Stores starting this April. My Mike’s is always slow to get new things, so please let me know if you see any “Martha” stuff at your Mike’s, k?

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Youngplay Memories Scrapbook Store

Yay! I finally got to go yesterday. This is the huge super-scrapbook store I’ve talked about before. It’s in Tracy, CA about 10 minutes off the I-5, I-205 and the I-580 (they kind of form a triangle with the store in the middle). This store has over 20,000 square feet of scrapbooking and beading supplies, a huge crop area upstairs, and a latte stand.

I got there about 11:30 am and planned to stay for an hour (yeah, right!). I started in the back of the store which, actually, is where a lot of the good stuff was. They had the usual wall of Bazzill, and their Basic Grey, Bohemia and misc. patterned paper back there. I of course found the Clearance table and had a ball. There was quite a bit to choose from but like most clearance areas, it was disorganized and difficult to wade through. But I did get a bunch of Daisy D punch outs and cardstock stickers, and several sheets of American Crafts letter stickers that I’m using throughout a vacation album. And about 30 Wild Asparagus die cuts (they were 75% off, or $.15 to $.25 each). When the nice lady rang me up, she said I got $11 worth of WA die cuts for $3. For some reason, I never bought the WA kit on QVC or anything, but I do have a lot of their papers. Was glad I got the die cuts to go with them. The bead section, also in the back, appeared to be under construction. Although I also make beaded jewelry, my mission that day was scrapbooking so I moved on.

I was very impressed with their huge sections on boys, girls, babies, sports and birthdays. And the travel section! It just went on and on and on. There were several sets of stickers, papers and die cuts where it appeared they had all 50 states along with some other countries. I was surprised they didn’t have more wedding items and the album selection was small. But they had all the latest and greatest stuff, a nice section of alterable items (I got a large ‘craft’ letter of my first initial to alter), and MANY samples around the store of pages and projects. The entire front wall was covered with project kits for 2-page layouts. They were very cute and very product-heavy but, at $18, too expensive for me. I enjoyed looking at them for ideas though. Unfortunately, the latte shop was powered down so the coffee I’d been waiting for all morning was not to be :( Maybe they only have it going during crops (?). I also couldn’t find any magazines and when I asked at check-out, she said they don’t carry them because they are not good sellers. I said, “I guess everyone already subscribes, huh?” and she said, “Yes, the people who come here are serious scrappers and they already get the one’s they want”. Also very few idea books. The only recent one I saw was Ali Edwards’ A Designer’s Eye for Scrapbooking with Patterned Paper. This would probably not be disappointing for anyone but me, I guess.

I finally got some Bazzill Bling (a sheet each of purple and blue), several Tres Jolie journaling blocks from My Mind’s Eye, and some beautiful embossed paper I’d never seen before called Letter Press from Autumn Leaves. I think my favorite purchases were this, this, this and this. It was very hard NOT to buy the Fancy Pants 12×12 acrylic stamps called Bella Brush and Pollen Dust. They are even more Heavenly in person than on the website! I had to tell myself, “Ok, put them down, back slowly away. They are $30 and you can’t afford them”. I did not leave without some scrumptious stamps however…got the Heidi Swapp clear stamp journaling stamps called love and – my favoritest purchase of the day – KI Memories date stamps called Icons – Calendar. I got my mom a few things towards her Christmas present, and some Heidi Swapp Bling crown stickers for my friend K. She’s ‘the queen of everything’ but going through some hard times right now. I sent them off to her today inside a handmade card (made from a Becky Higgins sketch, really cute, I should’ve taken a photo to post).

So…1.5 hours later (!) and $93.30 on the Visa (!!!), I forced myself to leave. Please don’t think I normally spend that kind of dough…I had a recent windfall and had planned for this trip :) I meant to sneak upstairs and take a peak at the scrap area, but I forgot until I was on the highway. Well, I’ll check it out next time…because there WILL be a next time, I’m sure. I also got some great deals at Old Navy and Walmart on the way home, so it was an entirely successful trip.

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Pleasanton Scrapbook Expo

A company called Davis Promotions hosts Scrapbook Expo events in about a dozen cities throughout the year. (Thank you Leslie – I just did my first link!). I’ve been to the one in San Jose, CA twice and the one in Pleasanton, CA twice. This year was my third time at Pleasanton. There are classes taught by various vendors which you pay for and attend ala carte. Then there is a huge building with all of the vendor booths where you can do make-and-takes, see new products, and SHOP! It used to go for 3 days – now it is 2 days – and there are crops both nights you can attend (for a fee). The crops have games and contests so you don’t really get much scrapping done, but it’s a great place to meet scrappers from your area of the country. I’ve only gone “all out” and taken classes/attended crops one time. My mom and I shared a nearby hotel room and basically lived at the Expo for 3 days. It was a blast. Cost wise, I think it’s probably pretty similar to the cost of a CKU (Creating Keepsakes University) or CKC (Creating Keepsakes Convention). The atmosphere, to me, is just more casual than those events and more friendly to a beginner scrapbooker. Here is the experience I had this year…

I arrived at the Alameda County Fairgrounds at around 11:30 am and found parking pretty easily. The event started at 10 am and people were already leaving so parking spaces were opening up nicely. It cost $8 to park on the fairgrounds or you could park for free if you wanted to walk quite a ways. Many people that were attending classes and crops had their rolling or carry totes, so I can’t imagine them wanting to walk very far. I also saw a lot of mom’s with full size strollers, which hadn’t been allowed in the past. Here is the new rule, as copied from their website: “We can not allow Large or Rolling Bags on the show floor. Small umbrella strollers are allowed on the show floor (infants unable to sit-up will be allowed in other small single seat strollers). This is to keep our aisles clear and allow space for all guests to walk the floor.” I was sorry to see they had changed the rule from umbrella stroller only and now allowed larger strollers. I agreed with the old rule because the floor of the expo gets VERY crowded. It’s not really fair that we all have to move around the large strollers. And I say that as a mom who REALLY REALLY wanted to attend several expo’s when my kiddos were that little and I had to miss them because I couldn’t find a babysitter and my child/ren weren’t big enough to sit in an umbrella stroller. I honestly think everyone should be considerate of others and if you can’t take your child in an umbrella stroller, don’t go (please).

I paid my $8, got my wristband on, was checked in at the door, and entered scrapbooker heaven! First stop was the restrooms (which were large; about a 3 minute wait :). I only had 2 hours to spend, so I got right to browsing the booths. It was not as crowded as in years past and I was able to finally do some make-n-takes. In the past, there were long lines for the M&Ts that I never felt like waiting in (hey, you miss out on too much shopping time that way). But I was able to do 3 M&Ts – a 2-page 12×12 layout using tan cardstock with black lasercut designs and a Family 2007 scene ($4); a 2-page 12×12 beach themed layout with glitter ($2); and a 1-page 12×12 layout called “The Scene of the Crime” ($2) which you can use for pictures of your kids, husband or dog doing something naughty! When I figure out how to post photos of them, I will.

If I’m remembering past Expo’s correctly, the M&Ts were more expensive this time. But it was fun to do them and nice to give my feet a rest from all the walking. As for the shopping, I had no complaints. I didn’t buy nearly as much as I have in the past because of my own budget, not because there wasn’t plenty I wanted! I did mean to go back to the Creative Memories booth and pick up another Power Sort Box for photos (I’ve spoken of my love for them in the past). I saw one, didn’t want to carry it around, said I would go back, then ran out of time. Oh well, they’re easy enough to get from a Creative Memories Consultant around here. I also had 2 packs of some new Basic Grey in my hands – Stella Ruby and Scarlet’s Letter. Sooooo pretty and marked down from $20 to $16…but the line was long and I’m obviously NOT a long-line-waiter. I can get them from Memory Works for that price anyhoo. There’s just something about instant gratification that we all love, isn’t there? But I’m happy with my purchases. I’ve been wanting to try Tombow adhesives since hearing them constantly raved about on the Creating Keepsakes message board. I’ve been a Hermafix tab girl for a long time, so I’m curious to try something new. I love the pink t-shirt I got that says, “You better be nice, or I will crop you out of my scrapbooks”. Oh! And all the brads I got…at one booth you could fill up a cup with eyelets, brads, beads etc. for $7 for a small cup. There were two larger sizes but I forget the prices (maybe $14 and $20 or something?). The Daisy D’s Modern Romance paper pack is so gorgeous I can’t wait to make something with it.

I had to leave at 1:30 to meet a friend for lunch nearby, at Fernandos’ Mexican Restaurant. There are many restaurants, hotels and stores near the Expo so you will never be at a loss if you decide to go off-site for eating, lodging or shopping. After lunch, we walked around shopping and got some coffee before we each hit the road for long drives home. All in all, a very “Pleasant” day in Pleasanton.

I will probably go to the San Jose event this year too (August 10/11), but it appears they have moved it to the nearby city of Santa Clara, CA. I think Scrapbook Expo’s are great events and highly encourage you to go if you can.

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Piz-ZAZ-zle…I Just Like To Say It!

Here are some new scrapbooking things I like:

Check out the new product that’s a collaboration between Bazzill Basics Paper and Creative Imaginations.  It’s called Pizzazzle and you can see it at here.  Click on the icons to see it in all 15 colors.  They took the all-time best cardstock in the world - Bazzill - and put some new textures to it.  There are monogram, number and tag punchouts and matching white chipboard shapes.  I will definitely be getting some of this stuff!  What do you think?  Will you Pizzazzle?

Now check out the American Crafts website for some free computer wallpaper:  http://www.americancrafts.com/wallpapers.php.  Your icons will get lost in some of them but they're oh-so-pretty to look at.  I currently have the grey, black, and white one on my desktop and it makes me smile every time I log on.  While you're at the American Crafts wallpaper site, check out their idea gallery - lotsa great stuff.

Are these not the prettiest, most elegant things you've ever seen?  http://sarahheidt.mennonite.net/Home/Products/Lasercuts/Scriptina_titles.  I just love the Scriptina font, and I can't imagine cutting these titles out with a craft knife.  I have yet to see a Scriptina font for my Cricut, so I will have to buy these from Sarah.  Guess you girls with the die-cutters that hook up to your computer could do your own though, huh?  One day, when the sunbeams break through the clouds and I get the sign from above, "It is time", I will begin scrapbooking my wedding from 13 years ago.  When that time comes, these Sarah Heidt lasercut Scriptina titles will be mine at any cost. (Don't tell Sarah I said that...wouldn't want to be overcharged!).

Any great products you'd like to share with the class??

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Goal Oriented, Scrapbook Style

I don’t know about you, but I do much better in life and am more productive if I set goals for myself.  So, here are some upcoming goals I have…and one of them requires your help!

1.  To scrapbook 52 pages in 2007 – That equates to 1 page per week, which is totally do-able.  I’m going to count pages, not layouts, so if I do a 2-pager I get credit for 2!  Also, I’m only going to count COMPLETED pages with journaling and all.  That is the part I usually struggle to get done and has kept many-a-page sitting in the ‘incomplete’ file.  I put it off, either because I want to computer journal or because I did the page at a crop and couldn’t concentrate well enough to journal in the midst of the madness.  What are your scrapbook page goals for 2007?

2.  To sell at least $1,000 in Memory Works products in 2007 – By that I mean $1,000 retail  & since I keep 20%, that would be $200 Washington’s in my wallet.  I’m not a big ‘salesperson’ type of girl, so I’m approaching MW as more of a fun thing to do.  Although extra money is always nice, I don’t need the income per se.  But I think any business should have goals, don’t you?  Now, the question is, do I count products I buy for myself toward the $1,000????  LOL, think NOT!  Somehow, I don’t think that helps my bottom line.

3.  To get at least 1,000 hits on this blog by February 28.  That would be just over 1 month I’ve been writing.  It makes me feel so good when people read this, and when they leave comments it just makes my day!  I’ve always loved to write, and you KNOW how I feel about scrapbooking.  This blog is the best of both worlds for me.  And since this is the first time since I was 17 years old that I haven’t been full-time employed, I have to admit I miss the comments like ‘good job’ or ‘wow, you’re a good writer’ or ‘thank you for that info you shared’ that I used to get from work.  I hope it’s not too selfish to feel this way.  But I hope you will keep reading, keep ‘hitting’ my blog, share with your friends, and I’ll let know how it goes.  Let’s DO this thing!  (Think I got that from the ‘Friday Night Lights’ football coach or something….).

Do you have any goals for 2007, scrapbook-related or otherwise??  Please share them in the Comments or shoot me an e-mail.  I would love to hear that I’m not alone here on Goal World.

Memory Works just called.  My consultant kit is being shipped as we speak!  Yowza!

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Organized Chaos

I’ve been scrapbooking for about 5 years now, and boy have I accumulated a lot of stuff.  I’m very blessed to have a scrapbooking area in my home, which I share with the kids’ playroom area.  It works out great because I can scrap, make cards, organize photos, or work on the computer while still interacting with them.  My window has a beautiful inspiring view.  I’m very lucky.  But like a lot of you, I also love to scrap-shop!  I am proud to say that about two-thirds of what I have was bought on sale, at a discount store, or with a coupon.  I even got my Store in Style cubes one at a time, with Mike’s 40% off coupons (hey, we are a thrifty family! my SIL bought her dining table and 6 chairs one piece at a time using the 40% off coupons from Cost Plus!).  My mom also gives me tons of stuff.  She has a very particular style that she likes for scrapbooking, so if she has extra papers or embellishments she doesn’t care for, she knows I will take them.  For instance, they gave us lots of free stuff at CKUs (“Creating Keepsakes University”, see http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com ).  She belongs to a monthly kit club and the items aren’t always her style.  Score for me!!

Anyhow, I feel like I’m constantly organizing, purging, and re-organizing my stuff just so I can have some desk space to scrap.  It’s always a work in progress and I don’t think I’ll ever be done.  Even if I go on a spending freeze, I’ll still feel the need to better organize the stuff I already have.  I actually enjoy organizing…just another healthy obsession, right?  So last night (or this morning) I was up until 2am working on my scrap area.  It felt like a got a lot accomplished in 3 hours, but when I looked at my space before walking away, it didn’t look that much different.  Dangit!  I did find some new floor space I hadn’t seen in awhile LOL.  I purged 6 photo storage boxes (you know, the one’s you get at Mike’s for $2/each?).  Some were empty/never used and others had partially organized photos in them.  But I’m switching all my photos to the Creative Memories Power Sort boxes (http://www.creativememories.com).  Until I can afford more Power Sort boxes, I just put the photos in a Rubbermaid container.  But I got all my sorted and unsorted photos and memorabilia into one area of my bookshelf so when I get to that project, I won’t have to search all over the house.  My birthday is this spring – think my list will just say “Power Sort Boxes please!”.  It’s aggrevating when you’re ready to organize but you don’t have the equipment you need, huh?

My favorite organizational item is my Scrap Rack (http://www.scraprack.com).  It’s like a series of 12×12 binder pages that attach to several “spinders” (the metal 3-ring part of a binder), all attached to an easel-like rack.  It’s tilted about 45 degrees so you can turn pages and see everything.  I have one section sorted by topic (birthday, sports, zoo) and another section by calendar year (New Years, Valentines, Spring, Mothers Day, etc).  This system works just perfectly for me, because I seem to function best if I have everything for one topic in one place.  For example, if I’m doing a Christmas layout, I turn to ‘Christmas’ and there are all my Christmas papers, brads, ribbon, and embellishments.  I even put topic-specific layout ideas, poems, and quotes in there.  I’d say I have about 80% of my stash filed in my ScrapRack.  I’ve gotten into the habit of just filing things right away when I bring them home from the store.

On my bookshelf, I have 10 vertical paper holders (http://www.cropperhopper.com) – they’re cheap at Costco or at Mike’s with the 40% or 50% coupon.  I use those for Bazzill by color, regular cardstock by color, and one is full of just Chatterbox stuff (luv them!) and another is filled with my recent KI Memories big purchase.  I use the smaller paper envelopes they come with to hold my other favorite papers/embellies by manufacturer – Autumn Leaves, Doodlebug, Memories Complete, and SEI.  When I have a lot of one line, I like to keep the items in one spot because they work so well together.  Also, when I do theme albums, I prefer them to have a continuous look so I use mainly one brand at a time. 

The prettiest things in my scraproom are my ribbon jars.  I got 6 canning-type jars from Cost Plus ($3 each) and sorted my ribbon by color.  It looks very nice on the shelves.  I used to use the little boxes and the embellishment case by Cropper Hopper for my ribbon, but it got too labor intensive to roll and file each new piece of ribbon.  Now I just unwind new ribbon from it’s holder and throw it in the jar.  When I’m working on a layout and need a particular color, I just put that jar on my desk instead of bringing out the whole CH case.  I would love to post photos of this scrap-haven of mine, but it’s still too embarrassing.  When I get things in better order, I will show you.  For now, I just love spending time in my organized chaos.

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Scrap Dream Unfulfilled

Do you remember that old commercial where the mom is desperately waiting for the Mervyns store to open, and she stands against the front window saying, “Open, Open, Open!”.  Well, that was me yesterday in Tracy, CA.  I had an out-of-town job interview that took me – oh so conveniently – by Youngplay Memories, a store I had learned about online (http://www.youngplaymemories.com).  It’s a-MAZE-ing, super big, with everything scrappin’ under the sun.  “And they have a coffee bar too” (stupid reference there to Wayne’s World, one of the all time greatest movies).  When I arrived it was 9:30 a.m. and they didn’t open until 10.  So I stood with my toes and my forehead against the front glass door, WILLING the door to open so I could have a crack at Super Scrap Wonderland.  When I first looked in the window and saw aisle after aisle of scrapbooking stuff, I swear I heard the angels sing.  Alas, I had to leave for my interview (I know what you’re thinking and, yes, it was a toss up.  I really had to ponder which was more important, a job to keep my kids fed or a chance to shop at Youngplay Memories).  I bid the building “adieu” and drove off, vowing to return on my way home that afternoon.  Well, it was not to be.  The interview took 4 HOURS and I could not make it back to the store before it closed at 6 pm.  I even called and gave them my sob story:  “But I’m from out of town and I could be there by 6:30!”.  A serious scrap dream unfulfilled.  Well, I told my best scrappin’ buddy that we need to take a field trip sometime soon.  Is that insane to drive 2 or 3 hours solely for the purpose of scrapbook shopping?  Have you ever done that?

I did make some other shopping detours while in Sacramento.  I returned to a shop I had been to before called Beverly’s Unique Scrapbooking (http://www.beverlysuniquescrapbooking.com).  The owner is super nice and has made really good choices on her rather large inventory.  She went to the recent CHA so I got to hear about that firsthand.  I found 2 sheets of beautiful thick cardstock by Creative Imaginations that are really unique.  One has a pink, red and cream colored design of scrolls and old-fashioned flowers, and the edges of the sheet are die cut around the outer scallop design.  The other sheet is light blue and white with a scalloped or ruffled edge and white stripes (like reverse binder paper) which will be great to journal on.  There were buckets and buckets of 12×12 paper on sale either 5 for $1 or 2 for $1, so I got various sheets of Reminisce, Basic Grey and Ala Carte.  Then a pack of 30 lined papers that I’ll use for journaling (only $3, good deal).  They are from Hot Off The Press and meant to go in SaraBinders.  Also, some beautiful rub-ons called miniMARKS by American Crafts.  They will look great in my travel scrapbook, all scroll-y and flowery.  At a nearby LSS called Scrap Around the Corner (http://www.scraparoundthecorner.com), I got several of the Bohemia transparency picture frames that remind me of the digital scrapbooking look that is so popular right now.  At Joann’s (I’m so jealous of you who live near one of these stores cuz I don’t), I picked up Heidi Swapp Scrapbook Scenery rub-ons, so pretty!  And a pack of 100 Printables by Die Cuts With a View that I’ll use to do flyers or newsletters for my consultant business when I get started (http://erika.memory-works.com).  The pattern is very cute.

Random Thoughts:

How come nobody told me that Dollar Tree has American Crafts stickers and letters??  (Got me some today).

There’s a new scrapbook magazine.  Here is what their website says:  “Introducing the first magazine to blend Traditional and Digital Scrapbooking together in fun and innovative ways!  Find out how you can enjoy trying both methods together! Discover scrapbooking methods you may not have thought of before”.  Check ‘em out!  (http://www.scrapbookdimensions.com).

Did you know you can change your handwriting into a font?  I haven’t tried it yet but would really love to.  I type MUCH faster than I write, so it would be a pleasure to type all my journaling.  However, I feel strongly that at least some of my journaling should be in my own writing.  What do you think?  Anyhow, I posted a question on the Creating Keepsakes Message Board – aka CKMB – and got some good direction.  Speaking of CKMB, it is a wonderful resource to learn new things and make friends.  Please check it out – you will get addicted like I am (http://www.creatingkeepsakes.com, then choose Message Board, Scrapbooking).  See you there!

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