scrapbook shopping

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 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 (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 (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 (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.

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 (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 (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 (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!  (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 (www.creatingkeepsakes.com, then choose Message Board, Scrapbooking).  See you there!

Thanks for the KI Memories

The weekend has come and gone, and the pile that will someday beget my travel/cruise albums is still spread across the dining room table.  But I did manage to work on my scrapbook space a bit.  Stashed under my desk, I came across a super deal I found a while back at that store, Tuesday Morning.  Are those everywhere in the U.S. or just here?  Anyhoo, I found the coolest thing there!  It was a pack of KI Memories stuff for $30, but the value was well over $100…um, that’s why I bought 2 of the 3 packs they had (didn’t want to be greedy – we scrapbookers are all about sharing, yeah?).  Each pack had 80 sheets of paper (usually $ .60-1.00 per sheet), 3 sheets of rub-on alphabets, 2 packs of Icicles, 3 sheets of cardstock stickers, AND an 8×8 or 12×12 album!  The one with the smaller album came with 2 extra sheets of rub-ons.  My gawd…how would any scrapper in her right mind pass that one up?  The albums retail for $20/$28, and each of the embellishments go for $3.99.  I almost felt guilty at the checkout.  I just wanted to scream at the lady, “Don’t you know what you’ve GOT here?!?”  She OB-viously wasn’t a scrapbooker because she didn’t even bat an eyelash at the purchase I was making.  I mean, I haven’t even told you yet about the Lil Davis foam alphabet stamps (3 sets) for $3 each – retail value $8.  Suckas!

So I sorted and put away 160 sheets of paper this weekend.  Also, I’m researching the idea of becoming a Creative Memories consultant.  I have resisted the idea in the past, both because of my fear of not being able to meet the required minimum sales per quarter and because some of their supplies were not my taste.  I got started scrapbooking in 2001 because of a CM party, for gosh sakes.  (And for that, I owe them a huge debt of gratitude…ohmigod, in my head, as I was typing that, I said, “gret of datitude”.  What a dork).  I’ve always loved their albums – they are such high quality and I like that you can get a consistent look on your bookshelf with them.  (Um, that was important to me Back in the Day, but now that I see deals like the aforementioned ‘practically free’ KI Memories albums, it’s a little hard to justify the expense of sticking to only CM albums).  I still use the cutting mat, circle/oval cutting systems, corner rounder, etc. from my first purchase.  And the CM Power Sort photo organizer boxes have saved my life.  But have you checked them out lately?  They have been coming out with some cool new stuff, including a digital photo organizer, hardbound digital scrapbooks, and more fashion-forward paper and stickers.  So, I’ve been looking around online for CM info, joined a couple Yahoo groups, and then, lo and behold, what do I find at Staples while shopping for Epson printer cartridges??  A magazine that caught my eye called, “Empowering Women”, which happens to be all about Creative Memories.  Almost all the articles are profiles of women who’ve been successful with the company.  It furthered my interest, to say the least.  Next I’m going to talk to a few friends and my sister-in-law who are CM consultants and see what their recommendations are.  I’m stilll concerned about meeting my minimums…don’t know if I’m enough of a ‘salesperson’ to make a success of this.  And my complete fear of failure prevents me from taking on anything I’m not 100% sure I can succeed at – ha!

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