Archive of ‘scrapbook websites’ category

Basic Grey Blinkie

Get yours HERE. I just added it to my siggie at SCRAP SISTERS STUDIO, my favorite message board.

And keep checking back HERE. Basic Grey was supposed to launch their new website yesterday ~ with lots of cool new stuff like fabric and computer skins! ~ but are having site issues. Can’t wait to see their new site and I feel so bad for them. I’m sure KELLY GOREE will keep us up-to-date via her blog…

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Basic Grey: Black Tie, Phresh & Funky, Sublime, Motifica … Oh My!

Sometimes the temptation is just too hard to resist….

Today, I received an e-mail from EMBELLISH IT!, an online scrapbooking company known for carrying everything Basic Grey. Not only that, they carry the matching Bazzill cardstock for every line put out by Basic Grey. Yep, two of my favorite things in life: Basic Grey and Bazzill. Anyway, this e-mail was titled, “Basic Grey Vintage Packs” and it said the following:
—–
BasicGrey has RE-released some of their first lines – these are only available in collection packs.This is a one-time offer as when they are gone – they will be gone forever.
Warning: Shop Early if interested.
They are on Sale for $12 collection
Sale Price is good until Dec 31, 2009
—–

Holy Grail of scrapbooking! Did someone say VINTAGE Basic Grey?!?! I’m there. I am SO there!

So I click over to their website and see all the gloriousness that is Old School BG. Let me just show you what I’m talkin’ ’bout…

“BLACK TIE”

“PHRESH & FUNKY”

“SUBLIME”

Well, crap, I can’t find a good photo online anywhere, but you remember how cool it was, right??

Anyway, you can see the BG paper packs HERE. Most of them are only $12.

I have a friend who has been looking for Sublime, so I called her today and told her about the sale. I thought she might want me to order it for her, then we could share the shipping costs; I was right, LOL!

I got some Black Tie and Phresh & Funky for myself, and the Sublime for her. I found a coupon code online for $3 off, and entered it at checkout, but I don’t know if it worked. The goodies don’t ship until (anticipated) December 18, so I’ll have to find some patience somewhere. Can’t wait til my BG gets here.

I’m trying to remember the first BG collection I ever saw. I know it was love at first sight, that much is certain. I think it was Motifica, which is still my favorite Basic Grey line of all time. {Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone! I am hoarding a substantial amount of Motifica….}.

They come out with new collections so consistently, I’ve never been able to keep up with buying them as fast as they make them. Black Tie and Phresh & Funky are 2 collections that I don’t have any of, so I was obligated to get some, right?

So, if you’re also a fan of Basic Grey in their vintage hey day, go over to Embellish It! and order some, so I’m not sitting her feeling guilty alone, K?

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Scrapbook Santa Wish List 2009

It’s that time of year to submit my annual Wish List to my own personal Santa Claus. I call him Scrapbook Santa, or Scrap Santa for short.

When I was a kid, I had a regular Santa like everyone else, who brought me toys and games, as long as I was a good girl all year. And you KNOW I was, LOL!

Then as a young woman, I graduated to Shoes and Clothes Santa, and in college, he became Textbook and Top Ramen Santa. Once I got married and started my family, I changed Santas once again and submitted my wish lists to Diapers and Baby Swings Santa.

Now we are a well-established family, and our basic needs are met through our hard work all year. The days of wanting to squeeze my size 9s into cute high heels are long gone, and I swore off Top Ramen the day I graduated from college.

Therefore, my Santa for the last several years has been Scrap Santa and I predict he will be the one I submit my lists to for quite some time. Probably until I start needing Metamucil and Depends Santa, right? That’s the plan, Stan! And here is my 2009 Wish List for Scrap Santa…

{Don’t worry, like all Santas, he understands if you slip in some unrelated requests. Santa is all about listening to anything and everything you want…your heart’s desire…your very most wished for things!}

#1 – KODAK EasyShare Z915 35mm digital camera in RED ($199; on sale right now for $159….hurry, Santa!)

Features: 10 MP, 10x zoom, 2.5″ inch screen, image stabilization, and panoramic stitch (I really enjoy the panoramic feature on my 35mm camera and would love to have it on my digi). It also has Best in Class click-to-capture speed so you don’t miss a shot. This is basically the new version of my current camera, which I adore, it’s just gotten old with a sticky dial, broken charging dock, etc.

This is similar to the camera I wanted to get on Black Friday at Target because, although it retails for $199, they had it on sale for $129 (a cool $70 savings!).

But I wasn’t near a Target or a computer on Black Friday. I did find someone who could run by my local Target and pick up the camera for me, so I called the store early that morning and they had already sold out. Color me sad :( But I would really, reeeeeeeeelly like the red one, Santa!

#2 – “Daisy Totes” by Creative Memories

“Daisy Wheeled Cart” $145

“Daisy Weekender” $60

“Daisy Project Tote” $32

and “Daisy Tool Caddy” $37 {Santa, I would like 2 of these please…one for all my stamps/inks and one for my loads of punches and other tools}

#3 - PINK PAISLEEMistletoe & Co.” …yes, the entire collection, please…

Here is just the Theme Set, Santa, so you know what you’re shopping for.

There are a bunch more pieces to it, though, so maybe you could take Scrappy Elf shopping with you. I think she’s familiar with this collection as I saw a “North Pole Misfits” layout she made with it (It’s on your blog AND your Facebook page, if you haven’t seen it yet, Santa…).

#4 – LITTLE YELLOW BICYCLE “25 Days of Christmas” journal tablet $4

#5 – CREATIVE IMAGINATIONS “Creative Cafe” collection….yep all of it, even those cute binder rings. You know what a sucker I am for ledger paper and bright colors, right Santa? Here is a peek at the collection, but there is more so shop until you drop!

#6 – Personalized laptop skin for my MacBook Pro 17 inch by “SCHTICKERS.COM“, something kind of like this….

…but with the Journey “Escape” logo instead, since that’s the first album of theirs I discovered and it changed my life….

OOH! Or Santa! Maybe the artwork from the “Trial by Fire” album, since it’s the last one Steve Perry sang on…yeah THAT would be kewl….

Then maybe you could get me an iPhone skin with the Escape logo….yeah, rock on!

#7 – Speaking of music, here are some CD’s I’d love to get in my stocking….

MICHAEL BUBLE’ “Crazy Love” $14 … oh, and coincidentally, tickets for his show near me go on sale December 11 … Would you look at that! That’s only a couple of days away! Just sayin’ …

Joshua Radin “Simple Times” $11.25

Lily Allen “Alright Still” $11.99

#8 – KINDLE DX wireless reading device by Amazon $489

Santa, I know the economy has hit everyone, even you, so I would be willing to settle for the smaller Kindle. It’s ONLY $289! See, I’m willing to work with ya’…Oh, but will you also please include a couple hundy in Amazon dollars so I can download a bunch of books. I know the classics are free, but most other books cost 10 bucks each so, you know…

#9 – Scrapbooking tees and Hoodies…here are a few cute logos to give you an idea of what I have in mind…in pink, white, or light blue please…

“Inspire, Create, Live” by Two Chicks Designs

“Anyone Who’s Anyone Scrapbooks” by Zazzle.com

“iScrap” by Zazzle.com

#10 – One year supply of the essentials I really need to scrap with: Epson 4×6 matte photo paper, printer cartridges for Epson PictureMate PM260, Dr. Pepper lip smackers, Diet Coke, sunflower seeds, kraft Bazzill cardstock, and American crafts black Slick Writer in fine tip.

Okie doke, I think that should do it for this year, Scrap Santa! Thank you for considering my list. I’ll let you know if I think of anything else. For instance, I NEED a treadmill so I’ll be window shopping for those today {wink}…

Have a Merry ~Scrappy~ Christmas!!

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Music, TV, or Movies While You Scrap

Hey, sorry for being MIA again. Had a holiday long weekend with extended family. Then upon returning to civilization, there was all that laundry, unpacking, and oh yeah, first of the month bill paying, calendaring the family appointments, and all that fun stuff that keeps me from blogging. I usually have the nanny, the housekeeper, and my personal assistant do all that crap but I gave them some time off this year.

Oh wait….I don’t have a nanny, housekeeper, or personal assistant, do I? I must’ve fallen asleep at the keyboard again and been dreaming of my Perfect Life. Wow, what a rude awakening. Do you know how to get sleep slobber off a laptop keyboard, by any chance?

Oftentimes, I look around my messy life and say, “Gaw, someone really needs to clean the bathroom!” Or “Dang, I can’t get in the laundry room anymore…Someone should really do a load or 10. Like, hello??” Then I realize…um, yeah….I’m “someone,” ain’t I? Shooks. (<- In my hood growing up, you say that like "shoot" but with "ks" on the end….shooks. Get it?)

So, I'm back to bloggy land now and ready to rumble! Let’s talk about scrappers background noise, shall we?

When I started my scrapbook room makeover, I took the TV out of my scrap space, and moved it to another room so the kids could hang out in there and watch movies. This particular TV is our #3 television and has no satellite or even antennae hookup, just a VCR and DVD player for watching movies. I honestly didn't think I watched it that much in my scrap room and was sure I wouldn't miss it being in there.

However, as with many things in life, I was wrong.

I miss it. I guess I popped an old-school video in there while I scrapped more than I realized. Some favorite movies to scrap by were: Good Will Hunting, Dead Poet's Society, Top Gun (oh man, Tom Cruise playing shirtless volleyball…he was so yummy before he went psycho…) … Wait, what? Erm, where was I?

Oh. Yeah. Movies. Um, I think my all time favorite movie to watch while scrapping is Napoleon Dynamite. Makes me laugh, and I get to hear all those quotable lines again so I can regurgitate them to my family for days afterwards in every feasible conversation. ("Did someone say 'skills'? Yeah, I got skills. You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills… Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills." I mean, the lines from that movie are SO applicable to daily life.

Seinfeld and Brady Bunch quotes are too, if you haven't noticed. Pretty much any situation you will come across in life can be addressed by either a Brady Bunch quote ("She always says, 'Don't PLAY BALL in the house!'"), a Seinfeld line ("No soup for you!" or "He's nice, a bit of a CLOSE TALKER."), or a Napoleon Dynamite quote ("Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!").

So, yeah, I’ve missed having the TV in my scrap room. I have a little stereo hooked up and I play K-Life on that sometimes (Christian music, which is cool to scrap by). Other times, I play music on my laptop. I’m probably the only American who has never purchased an iTunes song, but I’ve built up a nice little collection of free songs from all music genres, and I’ve downloaded several of my CDs, too. I like to put my iTunes on random and just chillax to whatever music comes up.

But what I most often listen to while I scrap, or work in my scrapbook room, is PANDORA.COM. Sometimes I mention this on message boards and a lot of scrappers have never heard of Pandora, so I’m gonna ‘splain it to you….

Pandora.com is free up to 40 hours per month, then you pay a small fee if you want to listen longer than that. They have a huge music library. You can start as many "stations" as you like, with music of whatever genre you want, like 80s, country, Christmas, jazz, or whatever. I have one station called Everything Radio (original, huh?) that I listen to every day while I work. It has country, modern rock, spiritual, Celtic, you name it (I have eclectic taste, what can I say?). I have one called Journey Radio that plays Journey and other 80s rock.

Basically, you give Pandora some songs or artists to go on, and it gives you similar music on rotation. You can give a thumbs down to songs you don't like and they'll never play again. It's really cool…I can't believe it's free!

Tonight I started a Pandora station called Old School and added a bunch of artists: Harry Connick Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Norah Jones, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughn, Billy Holiday, Jamie Cullum, Michael Buble’, Frank Sinatra, etc. I just adore that kind of music. It’s relaxing and fun at the same time…great music for me to work by or scrap by or even pay these dad-gum bills by.

One thing I love about my Everything Radio station is that anytime I hear a new song or artist I like, I just enter ‘em right into Pandora and I can hear their music on rotation. I’ve found a lot of new artists I love this way, by hearing their music on blogs, on TV shows like “So You Think You Can Dance”, or on the radio. I have a cool iPhone applicaiton called SHAZAM where you let your phone “listen” to any song and it identifies the artist and song for you.

So this way, I have found artists like ZEE AVI (thanks, ANGIE!), JAMIE CULLUM, GLEN HANSARD, and BETHANY DILLON.

With your Pandora.com account, you can Tweet your songs or stations on Twitter, e-mail your songs/stations to friends, even create a station FOR a friend. It’s pretty stinkin’ cool. There’s even a free Pandora app for your iPhone, so you can listen to free music any ol’ time. I just cannot say enough good things about Pandora.com. I hope you will give it a try and if you do, let me know what kind of music stations you’re making. I love ALL music and I’m so curious what other scrappers listen to :)

You know who has super cool music on their blog is EMILIE. Sometimes I just listen to her blog music, or I pull artist ideas from her. Right now she has Christmas songs on her player, so if that ain’t your thang, check her out after Christmas, lol. ‘Cuz Emilie has wicked good musical taste; just one of the many things I love about her.

So that’s what I listen to when I scrap. How about you? Do you prefer silence, a radio talk show, or maybe some TV in the background while you work? What are some movies you like to watch? Do you have a TV in your scrap area? Or do you listen only to music, like me?

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Ali Edwards “Studio A” Leaving Creating Keepsakes Magazine

Read about it HERE on Ali’s blog….

This is a sad, sad day in Scrappy Land. After the December issue of CK (currently on newsstands), Ali Edwards and her “Studio A” column will be no more :( As of now, there are no plans for Ali to write any other features for CK, either.

The Peas are talking about it HERE, and the Scrap Sisters HERE

So can you read that great big writing on the wall, folks? Cuz I’m seeing it in big, black, ugly, capital letters: Creating Keepsakes magazine is on the way out.

Here are some of the signs I’m basing my opinion on:

BECKY HIGGINS leaves CK
– Crazy cheap CK subscription deals
LISA BEARNSON no longer does her monthly CK column after January 2010

Sorry, folks. I think CK is “done and done.” And I fear Scrapbooks Etc. is right behind them.

How many scrapbooking magazines will that leave us then? Oh, that’s right! NONE.

I gotta’ be honest here and say we have no one to blame but ourselves. I’ve heard time and time again on the message boards about scrappers dropping their scrap magazine subscriptions because they didn’t like this or that about the magazine. Now with Ali leaving CK, here comes another round of “Well, now for SURE I won’t renew!”

Do you see the parallel with the demise of the LSS? I sure do. “My LSS has the latest and greatest, but they (charge too much), (don’t kiss my butt when I walk in the door), (kiss my butt too hard when I walk in the door), (don’t order the exact brand and model number of product I want), (don’t have sales or coupons like the Big Box Stores),” etc. etc.

And guess what? The LSSs all closed while we scooped up coupons and Killer Deals at the big box stores. Hey, there are fewer choices, only major brands to choose from, and paper stacks galore, but at least it’s cheaper so we’re happy shoppers! Oh, wait, you mean if we don’t support the LSS and the variety of scrapbooking companies whose products they carry, the LSSs AND the scrapbooking manufacturers will go out of business?? Wha???

Well, yeah, that’s how it happens. And the same goes for scrapbooking magazines. We complained. We said, “Screw you. I don’t like exactly how you do your magazine, so I’ll just go get my content online for free from blogs and such!” We quit subscribing and buying from the newsstand. The newsstands stopped carrying scrap magazines, even for those of us who still want to buy them (but can no longer find them without searching). Scrapbooking magazines started folding. Did we stand strongly behind the remaining ones? No, we didn’t.

So now we have no Ali, Lisa, or Becky ~ three of the biggest scrapbooking names in the industry ~ and I think we can see where we’re going from here.

I’m not pointing fingers, believe me. First, because I know the horrible economy played a big hand in a lot of our decisions as scrappers. Second, because I did/do a lot of these same things, all in the name of saving money on scrap supplies. I did do everything I could to patronize my LSSs when they were here, but I live in a rural area and lost mine well before most others did. I did the best I could to support this industry, but I failed it in many ways, too.

I gotta’ say, I never gave up on the magazines, though. I criticized the changes at SB Etc. (because I thought they were making the wrong choice to save a struggling magazine), but I still bought it at full retail every month, as I did with every paper scrapbooking magazine out there. I really, really wanted to save them! I’m a Scrap Mag Ho, remember?

I just want us, as scrappers, to accept some of this responsibility. Ali is a symptom, not the problem or the cure. I will miss dearly the unique perspective she added to CK for years and years. I wish her great success in all she does in the future. I will miss her :(

When CK and SB Etc. disappear soon, I will miss them terribly, too. And I will have no one to blame but myself.

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Donny Downey’s Scrapbook Studio Makeover

My Scrap Sister ANGIE posted THIS link on the message board today…it’s a detailed look at the recent scrapbook/craft room makeover done by famous scrapper, DONNA DOWNEY.

Donna has been the subject of CONTROVERSY recently, but I’m not even gonna go there…that’s a post for another day. A day filled with lots of chocolate cake washed down with dirty martinis. I just don’t have the strength right now…Go ahead, read that 2peas thread, and then the link within the thread and you’ll see what I mean. I just can’t go there without being quite fortified with chocolate and vodka.

Okay, well!

Let’s just talk about her room makeover, shall we? If you’re not a DD fan ~ or say you’re even an official Hater ~ just pretend I’m talking about, ummmmm, my “friend” Dee Dee’s room, okay? Will that make it possible for you to be objective, to enjoy the room for what it is? Hope so. If not, go have some cake and a ‘tini, come back, and try again. See, doesn’t cake and a ‘tini make everything better? Yeah, Mama knows….

So.

Here is what DD’s scrap room used to look like:

And here is what it looks like now:

Quite a change, yes?

HERE is a whole series of photos of her old room, the makeover process, and the final product. What I would do if I were you (and I know you’re very glad that I’m NOT) is I would page back through all those photos and look at them in order. They will make a lot more sense that way, I promise.

As you can see, DD already had an amazing creative space, one we would all consider ourselves lucky to have. I have written many times of my love of and coveting of the Ikea EXPEDIT, especially those big honkin’ ones she had. I get slap happy just thinking about how organized I could be with all those cubes, wonderful cubes!

So I was already supremely jealous of the girl. I loved the French doors, the green shade on the walls, the large table space in the middle of the room, and all the wonderful organization. Then she goes and becomes a RUNNER, which is so amazing and inspirational to me. I see people like DD make a commitment like this, and it makes me believe I could actually do it, too. THEN she goes and re-does her room into a pretty close replica of my dream scrapbook room.

I am envious of her to say the least. Especially envious of anyone who can spend $4,500 (plus a new computer) on re-doing a perfectly good craft studio right now, at the same time I’m eating Top Ramen for lunch and working three jobs. Jealous, jealous, jealous…I’m not even gonna lie.

Back to her new room…I encourage you to watch the great video she posted to get the scoop straight from Donna….emmmm…I mean “DD.”

Things I love best about the room:

– Cute red Ikea bookshelf…the color, the way it makes great use of the corner, the different style of it
– The eclectic glass knobs on the drawers, keeping all that white furniture from being too industrial
– The color of the walls….that pretty blue is my dream scrapbook room color, so light and fun and inspiring
– All that counter space and closed storage space, under the counters and inside the island
– The accent colors, i.e. the whole color scheme of the room; that’s what I would’ve picked my own self
– All the fun art and deco things that make it her own and a special place she wants to create in every day

I just adore this room and ~ controversies aside ~ wanted to share it with you and see what you think. Are you loving it as much as I am? If not, what would your “dream scrapbook room” look like? Feel free to post links to photos, or just describe it to us :)

I’m just here with my chocolate cake and dirty martinis, and all the time in the world…

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Memory Works: My Minds Eye “Tres Jolie” Mega Pack

So, I have your attention now, right? LOL!

You may have missed out on THIS, but here is your second chance to get a great deal on a FEE-YOU-JUS pack of scrapbooking goodies from MY MINDS EYE for only $29.99. Or, like me, you got that first MME kit and loved it, so you want/need another one :)

“That’s right, Bob. Now tell them what they get…”

Well, you get “200 piece paper & accessories pack. This kit includes 39 sheets of 12×12 double-sided cardstock paper plus over 170 mix & match accessory pieces including frames, journaling cards, titles, quotes, rub-ons, and transparencies.”

The MEMORY WORKS SITE says this pack is worth $170, so you’re saving 83%!

If you need some prodding….erm, I mean…inspiration to buy and use this kit, HERE is the Tres Jolie gallery from the My Minds Eye site.

If you’d like more info or to place an order for the fab-O kit, click HERE. Have questions on how to place an order? Check THIS out…

Isn’t this a gorgeous kit? Now that I see this one, I like it even better than the prior one. The colors are brighter and prettier. You likee?

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Quick, Easy Christmas Cards from a Michaels Kit

I decided to go the easy route for Christmas cards this year, and buy a kit to make them come together more easily and cheaply. I found this kit at Michaels recently and, with my coupon, it only cost $8.50. You get 18 cards and envies, so only 47 cents per card is pretty dang good, I think.

The kit comes packaged very nicely, in this cute little box. It’s empty here….sorry, I forgot to take photos BEFORE I started..oops.

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You get 6 sets/styles of cards, with 3 in each set. There are samples on the back of the box showing how you can assemble the cards, and everything is packaged to make that very easy to do….NO guesswork whatsover. Then again, you are free to mix and match or put the cards together your own way if you like.

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I think the artwork is cute and unique. The messages are light-hearted and sweet. There are six different sentiments to go inside….here they are laid out on my desk. I added a quick dot of a coordinating color of Stickles glitter glue on the four corners of each one to give it a little pizzazz.

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Okay, is it just me or whenever you say the word “pizzazz,” do you just want to break out some jazz hands right when you say it? Like, “Pizzazz” … jazz hands! I can’t help it. Both of my hands instantly starburst themselves into the air. “Pizzazz!” Wha? Oh, what is that you’re saying? … Oh, crap. You wouldn’t be caught dead doing something so “Glee”-ish, even in the privacy of your own home? And it IS just me? Wow. Major wake-up call, dude. Thanks.

Ah, okay, back to the Christmas cards….

One thing that’s really cool about these is almost every embellishment is pop-dotted already. So the cards have that 3-D look to them, and you didn’t even have to waste your own pop dots to get it. Sweeeeee-tuh!

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I also inked the edges of a few of the elements…for instance…

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and on the back of every card, it’s pre-printed with the “Handmade for you by…” thingee, so I stamped my name in a color-coordinated ink. I have 2 fairly new sets of Cats Eye CHALK INK queues from Michaels (love me some coupons!) so it was fun to use them on this…metallic blues, greens, reds from one set, and gold and copper from another set.

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I got these cards about 90% done on Friday night…it took under 2 hours. I was running on fumes after a long week, so I was glad it was so easy-peasy. No brain cells required.

Here is the finished product, front and back, one of each of the 6 designs.

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Just the fronts…

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Pretty cute, huh? {Why, yes, I CAN say that! I’m not bragging, since I didn’t design them…I merely “assembled” them, much like one of Santa’s elves assembles toys….sheesh, don’t be a hater! I’m like an elf here, just trying to spread some goddamn Christmas joy!}

Since this kit only made 18 cards and I send out 40-50, I’m going to be on the lookout for another kit like this. I also got some “free” clear envelopes to re-use :)

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What are you doing for Christmas cards this year? None, store bought, from a kit, digital/photo cards, or totally handmade? Would love to hear about what you’re doing and feel free to post a link if you’ve started them already :)

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Michaels, CK December, and Starcrack Strikes Again!

Now that I work from home, um, I’m home … A LOT. Like, I haven’t put gas in my car for two weeks. Like, my sweats get more wear than my favorite jeans. Like, I now know what my dog does all day. Yeah, like I said, I’m home a lot, LOL!

My very DH works “outside the home” so he’s gone all day for the most part. When he came home from work yesterday, the kids and I turned the lights out and yelled “AHHHH!!!” when he opened the door. He didn’t even flinch. He just yelled over us, “Why is the dog barking? Why isn’t someone making the dog stop barking?!?” Hee. NOT the effect we were hoping for. But as I explained to him, the neighbors were working on their fence in the dark and since the barking was only going to bother them, and since it was their fault Landry was barking, I was done yelling at him to stop. After the eleventy-millionth time.

I told DH that the “scaring” him was stress relief for all of us because, although I know he thinks I have a cush job at home and have a blast at home all day, it really IS hard sometimes. I was moody, the kids were moody and tired, I was tired of being nagged at, they were tired of me nagging back, we were ALL tired of the dog barking, yadda yadda.

He said, “Oh, I don’t think you have it easy AT ALL! I know it’s hard to be in the madness all day.” And then he said, “Hey, go shopping or something. Get out of the house.” {Swoon!} See why I love that man? He knows when I clearly need some Mommy Time, you betcha’. I wasn’t able to go out that night (as ordered) because I got a call to do some transcription work, plus I had signed up to work a few hours overtime.

But Thursday night was the night. I went to Michaels first because I had two 50% off coupons and one expired on Thursday. I was also on a mission to find this stamp/punch set….

…. for a friend at SCRAP SISTERS STUDIO (my favorite message board where all my Scrap Homegirls hang out). She said in a post about new stuff at Michaels that she really wanted it, but her Mike’s is 2 hours away (which should be a crime, in my opinion) and didn’t know when she could get there next. So I offered to pick up the punch and ship it to her if I could find it….and I did! It was even on sale for 30% off, so she only paid 9 dollah for it. I also found the December CK finally, which I plan to snuggle down on the couch with as soon as I finish writing this.

Since I had been banished from the house, I knew they certainly didn’t want me back anytime soon so, for once, I was NOT in a rush and just took my time strolling through the aisles. I ran into a friend out front and we chatted. I looked at all the pretty Christmas ornaments and looked for a new tree angel (no luck). And I took the time to flip through each and every one of the new paper stacks they have. So wanna’ guess which one I ended up buying?

BLADOW!

* Picture courtesy of SCRAPBOOK.COM, who I hope some of you will link to and buy stuff (or at least click over there and increase their number of hits). Because the Cosmo Cricket website, which I would’ve PREFERRED to link you to, has some stupid “using our stupid images stupid policy.” Go Scrapbook.com! They know how to do business!

But I digress….Yes, I got the Cosmo Cricket “Earth Love/The Boyfriend” 12×12 double deck stack. You can see both lines HERE. Honestly, there is one pattern in Earth Love that kind of freaks my deak ~ they look like weird space mushrooms to me ~ so if anyone wants them, let me know (I can cut them into 6×6 and ship ‘em to you in an envie). It’s the pattern under the birds.

I ADORE the entire Boyfriend line. Some really cute papers in there for school layouts, and they also make me want to find some photos of DH from junior high and high school to scrap. There are cassette tapes, Atari joysticks, banana seat bikes, etc. Totally kewl, dude….

Anyway, got that stack for 1/2 off ($10 instead of $20), and used my other 50% off coupon towards a Christmas card kit for which I paid $8.50 instead of $17. Comes out to about 47 cents per card. As my dear old grampy used to say, “It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye!” Okay, I didn’t really have a grampy… I just made that up. But, yeah, I just outed myself. I’m a scrapbooker who cheats on her Christmas cards. I actually did stamp and make my own cards last year but, man, that is for chumps! Or for people not as lazy and selfish as me. WhatEVER! But it was WAY too much work and at the busiest time of year. What was I thinking???? So this year, I’ll do the traditional boring family Christmas letter, a 2009 photo collage, and *gasp!* cards made from a kit. I hope Scrapbook Santa will forgive me :)

From the clearance section, I got some Martha Stewart “Memory Labels” (18 pack) which are self-adhesive, come in orange, pink, and green, and say “Who, What, Where, When.” They could be used to make some cute invitations but I’m going to use them for journaling, of course (I have a journaling spot fetish). They were $2 instead of $4.

I went on to enjoy some more “me” time shopping at Target. {Nothing new in the scrap aisle…yeah, of course I looked!}. Prescriptions, Christmas shopping, a new Maeve Binchy book, etc. It was a nice, relaxing evening … even if I was doing a mommy job while I was there. You can relate, right?

On my way home, I stopped at the Starbucks drive-thru to get a latte for re-heating in the morning (remember, I work from home….I never. leave. the house) and got a big shock. My venti-sugar free vanilla – quad – breve – latte….now costs SIX BUCKS! Seriously? For shizzle. My ever so charming barista told me that they just raised their shot prices. So I now drink a six dollar coffee. Am I insane?

Um, yeah. Don’t answer that.

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Shopping Report: Tuesday Morning, Michaels, and Costco

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Last weekend I did some shopping. Well, mostly window shopping, as it is these days, but it’s always fun to look, right?

First stop was Tuesday Morning….

Lots of crafty storage, scrapbook embellies, and scrapbooks. MM Halloween paints, etc.

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Those green rolling totes up top were cute, and I almost got that shoulder tote on the third shelf to use for a summer purse. It was a black/white print with some yellow and red…very cute.

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They still had some of the HEIDI SWAPP TOTES, small Tote-ally Cool Totes, and lots more scrappy stuff. Even some blank canvases on the bottom shelf.

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Tons of photo albums and scrapbooks…

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Making Memories goodies like ribbon and clear frames…

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These pre-done albums were SO tempting! Both by Making Memories, the red one was Fa La La and 8×8; the blue baby one was 8.5×11. Both were the nicely embellished inside. You could just pop in your photos, write some journaling, and be done.

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I almost got this pack of KI Memories icicles for the little scalloped shapes and the heart. But the other packs that it came with were things I already had, so when it came time to narrow my purchases, these poor babies were cut… :(

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This was interesting…a huge pack of the SAME Tigger cardstock stickers. I guess $2.69 is a great deal but WTH would you do with all those stickers, LOL!

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More cute Icicles and KI Memories test tubes…

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ADORABLE rubber embellishments and chipboard journal spots by KI Memories. Yes, these were in my hand, too, but didn’t make the final cut either….

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So, overall Tuesday Morning was decent. I got a few things (see the end of this post) for great prices. They had a lot of scrapbooking stuff out.

Next I went to Michaels. I didn’t bother taking pictures this time with my stealth iPhone, since I linked to all those photos in my last post. Suffice to say, TONS of new holiday and Christmas stuff, so it’s worth your while to make a trip.

I did take a photo to show you that Martha Stewart peg stamp kit I talked about HERE. It’s normally $18 but everything MS was 30% off so I was tempted but didn’t get them….this time…

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Again, see the end of this post to see what I got at Michaels….Oh, and apparently there is now a Halloween clearance SALE going on now.

Last was Costco, which hasn’t had much in the way of scrapbooking stuff in a while but I always check just in case….you never know….

They did have two scrapbooking kits, I assume because Christmas is coming up.

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$37 and there were two choices….love the cute little holder it comes in.

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That was the end of my scrappy shopping. I was in Costco, the reason for my trip to the Big City in the first place, so it was then down to bidness…It was a good free sample day :)

On my way home, I stopped at Barnes and Noble, planning to pick up the new December Creating Keepsakes magazine (the Peas said HERE that it had been out for a few days). Howevah! B&N did not have it, so I consoled myself with this British scrapping mag. The overseas magazines used to be much more expensive that US ones, but they cost about the same now, so why not? It’s fun to see their style and such across the pond. Plus, I love how they spell “colour”…..much more flair than plain old “color,” don’t you think?

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While at B&N, I grabbed my usual latte and decided to splurge on something sweet from their bakery case since I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch. I picked this thing called a Starbucks Peppermint Crunch Bar, which looked like a white cookie with some pink frosting and crushed peppermint on top. I’ve looked all over online for a photo to show you, but it’s not ANYWHERE, which almost makes me think I imagined it. But I have to tell you…. OH. MY. GAH!! That was THE YUMMIEST anything I’ve had in a long time. I shudder to think at the calorie content, but it was such melt-in-you-mouth goodness, it was worth it, whatever the cost :)

Here is what I ended up with from Tuesday Morning:

A pretty sage green structured cloth storage cube for $5 and….

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…2 of these Cropper Hopper photo boxes ($3 each) to help with my scrapbook room MAKEOVER. I’m going to store a bunch of mini-album supplies in the green cube, keep all that stuff in one place, out of the dust, and looking neater. Not sure about the photo boxes but I already have a couple. I just know they won’t be used for photos, because I have another system in place for those.

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This was probably my favorite buy of the day….some KI Memories school embellies. I’ve wanted some of this line since way back HERE. It was a great deal, too….all of this for only $4….WOW!

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{{{{Speaking of them, KI Memories WEBSITE has some great SPECIAL DEALS right now! If you’re a fan, be sure to check them out.}}}}

Here is what I got at Michaels:

Two sheets of this gorgeous paper. The swirls are glittered gold. So pretty and I think they look nice with 2 side by side for the background to a double layout…

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This paper is really pretty also. We’ve taken photos over the years of our kids in front of the oak tree in our yard. I might use this paper with those pictures somehow…

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Here are 2 of the newer papers by Recollections that I mentioned before…finally got me some!

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Gorgeous Rome paper for my Rome scrapbook…I was there at that same Coliseum, LOL!

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ALL of the open stock paper was on sale for 30% off (not just their usual sale of only the 69 cent papers), so it was a great day to get some specialty papers.

It was also one of those days that so much was on sale, it was hard to use my dang 40% off coupon! I ended up being practical and using it on this…

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Near the registers, they had a display of breast cancer awareness stuff, and this caught my eye right away. Aren’t these darling? I love the little winged heart, and the “SURVIVOR” in blue glitter. I’m going to send these to an online buddy who’s dealing with cancer. She is SO going to kick it’s ASS, it’s not even funny! She’s been a real inspiration to me, and to all the girls at SSS….just want to send her a tiny “thanks.”

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So that was my latest shopping adventure! What have you found to buy lately?

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30% Off ALL Martha Stewart Crafts

4 days only! { November 8 through 11, 2009 }

Sounds like a good time to get some of those sought after Martha punches….or the cool MS peg stamps that my SSS bud, KELLI, showed us. She made this card with them….isn’t it GORGE!?!?!

Also, a $100 credit if you buy the Gypsy before 11/30/09

If you’re signed up for their coupon and weekly ad e-mails, you can get a 40% off AND a 50% off coupon to be used those 4 days also.

For the love of all that is scrappy….you have got to look at all the Mike’s eye candy HERE! OMG, so glad I saw this. Now I’m REALLY excited because… If all goes as planned, I’m headed to the Big City tomorrow for my monthly Costco run. Which also means Michaels, Tuesday Morning, Barnes and Noble (December CK is out!), and the craft store. For some reason, I LOVE Costco Run days :)

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Challenged to Scrap

Hi everyone :) Sorry to have been MIA. Everything is fine, just sooper dooper busy in regular life. In scrappy life? Not so much. I haven’t scrapped a lick since a crop I went to in, um, September? Sad but true. My friend Abby challenged me today to complete at least one layout by midnight, so I’m going to, LOL! I’m way behind on the Book of Me challenge she’s hosting, so that’s what I plan to work on :)

The NEW MESSAGE BOARD ~ Scrap Sisters Studio ~ has been going great. I’ve been trying to post a lot over there, especially making sure to welcome all new members when they post an Intro. I’m holding my title as the #3 poster on SSS (just like on AMR), with 195 posts made since October 25 (what’s that, 11 days, eek). When I have extra moments, I’ve been posting “Message Board How To’s”, i.e. instructions on how to do common message board things like putting a photo or image in your post, or create a poll.

Just wanted to let you know that I’m alive and will start posting again more often. Thanks to those ladies who were checking on me…it’s nice to be missed :) Hope all is well in your scrappy world!

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A New (and yet old) Message Board Community: Scrap Sisters Studio

I wanted to apologize for being such a bad blogger of late but the reason is a good one. Ohhhhh, sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful….erm, message board?

You may have heard me mention, oh once or eleventy-billion times, that my message board home is a place called AMR, All Moments Remembered. It was a message board started by a sweet friend and online store owner named Stacey. At the time AMR began, I had been a fixture at the Creating Keepsakes Message Board (CKMB) for about a year or so. {Remember when I had all the CKMB girls’ blogs in my blog roll…until there were over 100 of them and I had to stop).

But, honestly, for all the fun friends and conversations I had there, it was such a HUGE place, that it never truly felt like home to me. I’m one of those gals that, if you and I are friends, I got ya back for life, sista. Don’t mess with my friends and we won’t have a problem. You know, like we did in the Old Country (I’m Italian, capice?). But I’ve only got so much love to go around, ya know? Ten-thousand “friends” on the CKMB is a lot to handle, even for someone like me, LOL!

Well, then God sent me Stacey. She joined CKMB with her little bubbly personality, enthusiasm for life, and love for scrapbooking. Like me, her dream was to open a scrapbook store. The difference between us was that I talked about it. She was actually gonna do it. We became fast friends, chatting on and off the CKMB board. She started a blog to promote her new online store which she called All Moments Remembered, and I loved reading each day what the developments were with her store, the excitement in her voice, and the positive outlook she had on everything.

Then came the day when Stacey got booted from CKMB. {This story is well-known folklore, so I’m not speaking out of school, k?}. The TOU at CKMB clearly said you could not have a business name as your message board name, nor anything in your message content or signature line that promoted another business. Because obviously, Creating Keepsakes is a business who wants to continue as such, and they want you to buy THEIR products, not some cute lady’s from Oregon who just started the best online scrap store in the world. Apparently, Stacey was *cough* unclear on those rules, or her glasses fogged up that day, or SOMETHING…because she changed her MB name from whatever it was (“scraphappy” or something like that) to “AllMomentsRemembered.”

Scandal. Just pure scandal.

So, CKMB powers-that-be sent her a nasty-gram and when she didn’t cease and desist, they booted her. In true Stacey spirit, what did she do? Oh, she just started her OWN message board, of course. And THAT, my friends, is how the All Moments Remembered Message Board was started. I signed up on the first day the AMR-MB was up, which was December 27, 2007. I was proud to be member #29. As of closing today, there were 826 members but I believe at times there were over 1,000 or more). Also, as of today, I was the #3 poster @ AMR, right behind those Chatty Cathy’s named JENNIFER/Jingle and ABBY/scrapbookfrenzy.

So, for almost 2 years now, I’ve been chatting pretty much daily with the AMR Girlz. I would never have thought you could be “true friends” with people you’ve never even met face-to-face, who live all over the country, most of whom you’ve never even spoken to. If you stop to think about it, it’s our computers, our technology, that is actually making the connection, so it’s kind of bizarre. The only way I know most of them is from words they’ve typed that I’m reading, kwim?

But I have to say, I love those gals and they are my TRUE, dear friends. AMR was a smaller board and it didn’t move that the speed of light, like CKMB, 2peas, or the Cricut board. Sometimes I get frustrated when I want to chat and no one is around. “I need some chat, people!” Sheesh. But I would trade “busy but impersonal” for “quieter but more meaningful” any day of the week.

Stacey really set the tone for that board to be encouraging, friendly, supportive, and fun. We joked, we laughed, we shared our work, and our scrap shopping finds. There was a Chit Chat board for discussing TV shows, family stuff, you name it. There was a Spiritual forum where we could ask for prayers, and where a special lady named MISTY/snowlady posted daily quotes from Scripture. And we can’t forget the Recipe forum, where you could share or request yummy recipes from your AMR friends.

Another cool thing Stacey did was to give us “Stacey names.” Under your message board name and above your avatar photo, sometime when you weren’t looking and maybe didn’t even notice for a while, Stacey would add a special name chosen just for you, based on her getting to know you over time and finding out what phrase really represented you, be it funny, sweet, or serious. For instance, MARILYN/Melonscraps was christened “Stickles Queen” for her amazing love of and collection of Stickles; ANGIE/craftyscrapr became “Miss Pretty Toes” because she loves the beach and her flip flops with painted toenails; and I was given the Stacey name “Director of Advertising.” Which was funny because some people may have thought it was an actual title I held with the AMR store, and that I was a paid employee, but nope, lol. I just loved AMR so much, I talked about it and steered people towards her store any time I could. Stacey was living my dream and I did whatever I could to support her.

Which reminds me of a story….Remember that crazy scrapbook product frenzy, the THREADING WATERS punch by Fiskars? The first time I saw that thing, I knew it was going to be a hugely popular tool so I tipped Stacey off about it, and she had faith that I knew what I was talking about. So she right away ordered a whole bunch of them from Fiskars. And when they flew off the shelves at Michaels, Target, and all the online scrapbook stores, no one had them in stock anymore….except Stacey. For a while there, AMR was one of the only places you could buy that darn punch, and not on backorder, but actually get it right then. Stacey never forgot I had told her about it. She never tried to take credit for it or anything. She told everyone else, “Erika is the one who told me to get those!” And she sent me the most generous gift box of supplies from her store, just as a way to say thank you. Actually, that’s another thing Stacey was known for was being very generous in giving away her products as RAKS, crop prizes, and you always got extra items with your order, things she had handpicked for you, knowing what each of us liked. I don’t know how she did it, honestly.

Well, fast forward to the economic collapse last year, and long story short, the AMR online store eventually was closed. However, in the meantime, Stacey had realized her other dream of opening an actual brick-and-mortar store in her hometown. Over time, Stacey has had to move on from the AMR MB and the inmates have taken over the asylum, LOL! Stacey could no longer support the MB so several months ago, she offered to let members take it over, and DENISE/denisewalks stepped up to the plate. Denise has been running AMR since then, with a little bit of admin support from me, and lots of help from lots of other members. We’ve managed to keep AMR MB going and as fun and wonderful as it ever was.

But the time had come for a fresh start, where Denise and the loyal board members could be more in control of the mechanics of the board. Also, with Stacey no longer associated with the board, a new name for our gathering place was in order. A new domain name was procured by Denise (at her personal expense, but we’re going to find a creative way to make the board pay for itself and/or many generous members have offered to chip in so Denise doesn’t have to absorb the cost herself).

So today, October 27, 2009….Scrap Sisters Studio was born.

We had a Scrap Chat Hour tonight to kind of kick off the new site, and help get the word out to everyone that we’ve officially moved. I can’t think of a more perfect name for our board, because the ladies there are truly like family. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not perfect. Like any family in the world, we occasionally have scuffles and squabbles, hurt feelings and unspoken hurts, frustrations and unfairness. I mean, we’re women after all, LOL! But it always works itself out and the family bond is as tight as ever. New members are welcomed from Day One like they’ve been there the entire time.

It felt weird writing all those things above about the way AMR “was,” in the past tense. Because those things still apply to the way Scrap Sisters Studio “is” and “will always be.” It’s a warm, fun, friendly home away from home and even if they try to kick me out, I’m never leaving. Seriously. Don’t even try ‘cuz I grew up in The Hood and can kick serious ass.

Capice?

This post is just my way of memorializing AMR, Stacey’s store, everything that brought this group of sweet scrapbookers together and still bind them. I wanted to honor Stacey because it was her personality and efforts that set us up to be the way we are now. And for that, we owe her a debt of gratitude. {Stacey, if you’re out there, MWUH! Love ya, girl}.

And this post was a way to celebrate, and document on my own blog, this day being the start of something new and fun for me and my scrappy girlfriends.

We always welcome new members. HERE is where you would sign up. (ETA: When you register, you will NOT get an e-mail confirmation. Sorry, this new board doesn’t have that feature. We’re approving new members as quickly as we can, so please give it a little wait, then try to log in until it works :). We’ve got some fun plans for the Scrap Sisters Studio website as a whole, so this is going to be a great new adventure! Thank you for letting me talk about my buds…I {heart} them like sisters.

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Terrifically Tacky Tape by Provo Craft at Walmart

I picked these up at Walmart today. I don’t know if they’re old news there, but it was the first time I’d noticed them.

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*This came out blurry because I took it after dark tonight. Will try to get a daylight pic and repost, but you get the idea :)

The packaging is different (more plain) and the name is different than when I see it at Michaels, like this, but it’s the same thing:

Instead of me trying to explain what it’s used for and why it’s so cool, I’ll let MICHAELS.COM do all the work:

Truly, a terrific double-sided tape in roll form! It’s industrial strength with an instant bond which increases over 24 hour period to maximum bond.

COMMONLY USED SURFACE-TO-SURFACE APPLICATIONS:
1. paper to paper
2. beads, glitter, etc. to paper or other surface
3. embellishments to ornamental fabric items
4. plastic or metal to paper
5. paper, plastic or metal to wood

DIRECTIONS & TIPS FOR USING TERRIFICALLY TACKY TAPE:

Apply tape to first surface.
Remove protective liner and apply second product (beads, glitter, etc.) or second surface.
SPECIAL TIPS: Use at room temperature. Surfaces must be dry, and grease free. Do not expose to air until ready to use as curing will commence.

You can see HERE what a wide range of prices it usually sells for, although when I click on a lot of those links, they don’t carry it anymore. I got the 1/4 and 1/2 inch sizes for $3.00 and $3.50 respectively. Seems like a decent deal, especially since no shipping charges :)

I’ve used this product since way back in 2005 when I discovered it in a CKU class. It indeed has a very strong bond, and it’s easy to use. I like it for attaching ribbon strips to my layouts just because it’s in a strip form and holds so well, but it’s also great for attaching heavier items. It looks red, but that’s just the backing. When you peel that off, it’s clear. Just a great adhesive, so I thought I’d share!

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Melody Ross Joins GCD & Has Two Lines for Michaels

MELODY ROSS joins GCD. HERE is a link to Artsy Urban papers on GCD. And here is a lot more of this gorgeous line…


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You can see the rest of the line HERE ~ There’s a page kit, mat pad (HERE is a link to individual sheets), 8×8 pad, 12×12 paper pad, and 12×12 page kit.

I just love, love, love this line. It’s actually not my normal style, all vintage pretty and stuff. But I’m hoping to buy some (lots?) of Artsy Chic {see the reason for my hesitation below}. I love the colors, designs, and overall feel of it. I think it’ll be great to use on Book of Me layouts, for one thing. Even the packaging is beautiful. You GO, GCD! I was checking out their website and they have lots of cute stuff. For instance, check out these GLITTER LETTERS

…and TRANSPARENCIES

But back to Artsy Chic. Melody mentions on her blog that her lines will be carried by Michaels, but only in limited stores apparently…as I found this on the GCD blog: “Michael’s is carrying Artsy Urban today, but only at a 100 locations.” I can pretty much bet my Mike’s is not one of the 100 :(. I was in Michaels tonight and didn’t see any… GCD blog also says the Artsy Chic line will be in scrapbook stores and kit clubs, so unless it makes it into the Memory Works kit, I still won’t have access to it in person…but online shopping is fine :) Anyway, the GCD BLOG has been hyping this while for a while with all kinds of reveals and giveaways, so cruise on over there if you’d like to see more.

Melody has always been a favorite of mine, as a scrapper, designer, and just plain “woman I look up to.” I wish her all the luck with her new line at Michaels, “Artsy Urban,” and her upcoming line for Michaels called “Homespun Chic.”

ETA 10/20/09: Great minds think alike. THE SCRAP REVIEW has posted about this new line today also. They have wonderful page ideas from scrappers like NOEL CULBERTSON ( <- one of my favorite scrappers and the sweetest lady ever) and honest reviews of the line. Did they give it a thumbs up or thumbs down? Go check it out!

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You Won a Cricut GYPSY!!! … Oh, wait, no you didn’t.

This is unbelievable. HERE is the 2peas post, and HERE is the thread from the Cricut message board it references. What a raw deal. That is one website I’ll steer clear of, unless they do the right thing and give her a GYPSY! How disappointing, to think you’d won…and then be let down so harshly.

ETA 10/19/09: Well, I just looked around their site and I guess they can’t be put out of business because I don’t see where they sell anything. I don’t even see where they make money from ads. They just provide all this scrapbook cutter info for free? If anyone is familiar with this site, will you fill me in?

Either way, I hope they get a ration from scrappers. So unfair… If you made a mistake, just admit it but don’t lie to the poor girl. And when you have such a big ticket item to give away and can’t afford to buy another one, don’t make a mistake in the first place :(

Oh, and if I were the second “winner,” I’d forfeit my prize to the first one. But that’s just me…No “prize” is worth perpetuating bad behavior like that.

ETA #2 10/19/09: Apparently, the second winner has offered the Gypsy to the rightful winner…classy. Good for her!

Also….Okay, I see now, it’s Ebay! I clicked on several links where this site helpfully sends you to the place “with the best price” and it appears they all go Ebay listings for Cricut products. Nice.

Bleck. Is this run by the same people who post those annoying and plentiful ads on Craiglist around the country….clearly against Craigslist’s TOU? Wouldn’t surprise me…

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Friday Night Scrapbook Randoms #5

So what if it’s Sunday Night when I’m finally getting around to publishing my Friday Night Randoms? Who wants to be on schedule? Not me. That is so cliche and expected….and I’m anything but cliche and expected. For shizzle.

~~ Speaking of shizzle….if you ever need a translator for when I speak Snoop Dog, HERE YA GO. Bladizzle.

~~ A bunch of (22!) First Day of School scrapbook page ideas are HERE, provided by Scrapbooks Etc. I think this one is my fave, but I loved them all…

~~ There is a wonderful discussion of why the Peas think the scrapbook industry has tanked HERE. And a related ARTICLE on SCRAPBOOK UPDATE called “Is Scrapbooking Fading….Or not?,” is asking for your thoughts so go chime in, why don’t ya? I think many “industry folks” read that website so let them hear from you. I scored the first Comment ~ yeah! Guess sometimes it pays to be up blogging in the middle of the night, lol. Anyway, if you’d like to read my ever so humble opinion on the whole thing, click on over to the Scrapbook Update article … I wrote a novel … or at least a chapter ;)

~~ Remember when I said that my Michaels wasn’t going to be putting ads in Sunday paper flyers anymore? {It was HERE}. The cashier had given me a flyer and everything, saying that Sunday flyers would be no more, and that I could get my flyers and coupons online from now on. But here it is 6 weeks later….and I’m still getting Michaels ads in my paper on Sunday. What up with that? I dunno’, you got me. Guess they changed their minds…

~~ According to the GOLLYG at 2peas, ROSS has some scrapbooking stuff again: “Enabling Alert! I stopped by Ross today and they have tons of new scrapbook stuff. They had Making Memories paper kits for $2.99, American Crafts paper pads $5.99, K&Company Stuff, and lots more!” Also, rumors of Disney scrapbooks….read the thread HERE. I used to find 12×12 postbound albums there all the time, but nothing scrappy in ages. But what do you know, there is a Ross store smack dab between my Target and my Michaels. I happen to be headed to Target for prescriptions tomorrow, so I’ll check out Ross and let you know if I find anything.

~~ “I’m so far behind!” Have you ever said that about your scrapbooking? Well, read my blog friend Susan’s great article HERE and you’ll feel better soon :)

~~MEMORY WORKS now has Basic Grey “Nook and Pantry” in stock. Here’s a peek…


Please let me know if I can get some for you. Order it HERE, or contact me HERE.

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Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: Part Three

If you need to get caught up on my diary, here are the entries so far:

PROLOGUE
PART ONE
PART TWO
QUESTIONS ANSWERED
PHOTOS HELD HOSTAGE, DAY 3

And now it’s time for Part Three! Yeah, like, FINALLY! Most of these photos were taken on October 5, which is 10 days ago. This is pretty much what my room still looks like today (10/15/09), other than a few little changes. As always, I apologize for the quality of my photos. My nice digi camera is out of commission because the charger doesn’t work and until the Money Fairy makes a drop at our house, I can’t afford to buy a new one, or a new camera. Thus…I have for you iPhone pictures!

So this is as you look into the room from the dining room doorway. Kids’ homework/crafting table in front, my scrap desk behind that, coffee table and couch back by the window, and the junk corner in the very back left.

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Here is my “cube wall,” which are Store in Style cubes with mostly Cropper Hopper vertical storage of paper/embellishments, and jars with ribbons, chipboard letters, etc. In other words, if there is a fire, this is the stuff I’m grabbing. Yep, one by one, cube by cube. Not. Kidding. What’s that? Oh, of COURSE I’d grab my kids and hubby first! Sheesh.

On the left, the white bin has office supplies I need to find a new home for; they came out of a cupboard in the L-shaped desk. The bag and cardboard box are things I brought home from my office when I was allowed to start working from home. That was in April 2009. Nope. Not unpacked yet. This is one example of things that were dumped in my scrap area and I was too busy to do anything with them at the time, so they just cluttered the place up. Don’t judge. It won’t take long to put the stuff away, I would just rather sort and put away scrappy supplies than work manuals, paperclips, baby wipes, and boxes of tea, wouldn’t you? Procrastinators Unite!….Tomorrow.

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Here’s the oak cabinet that used to hold a TV, VCR, old school Atari games, and kids’ DVDs/games; now it’s a resting place for my grossly overpacked SCRAPRACK. I have always had a big crush on my Scrap Rack, and it’s insane ability to sort my scrapbook supplies by theme. But I have abused Scrap Rack. I have overfilled Scrap Rack. Now I hardly ever touch Scrap Rack and we miss each other. I flipped through it a bit tonight and it was embarisken. I have some reeeeeeaaaally old things in there that need to be purged in a big way. Like Creative Memories stickers circa 2001, some Mrs. Grossman’s border stickers, and various shape die cuts from Paper Pizzazz.

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Note to scrappers who began after 2007: You are lucky. By the time you started scrapping, most of the products being put out there have been pretty designer-ish and awesome. But prior to that, especially late 1990s/early 2000s? There was some pretty rough stuff out there. You would cringe. So if you don’t know what “Mrs. Grossman’s” or “Paper Pizzazz” means, no worries. You didn’t miss a thing. Trust me.

Here is the new and improved bookshelf #4! It used to be toys from top to bottom. Now the toys have been moved into the new playroom, freeing up space for kids’ crafts. There is coloring, drawing, painting, scratch art, activity books, puzzle books, foam stamps, crayons, acrylic paints, markers, and brushes. Wait, what? That all sounds fun! Do I REALLY have to share with my kids? Hee.

It was fun but sad to purge the coloring and activity books, seeing things my kids had drawn and colored when they were much younger (yeah, it had been awhile since this stuff had been gone through). But I gave the old color books to a friend who’s going to use them in her Sunday school classes so that made me happy and they were easier to let go. I have tons of art and schoolwork from my kids, so in the scheme of things, they had to go. In return, clear and organized shelves – yahoo!

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Here is the homework/craft table. See the clear mat in the middle? I got 2 of those at a craft store years ago and they were a smart purchase; the other one is on my scrap desk under my BG mats. They’re great for protecting your table from permanent damage, portable for moving to other tables or counters, and easy to clean. The clear mat was about 1.5 inches too long when I laid it horizontally across the table like this, so I cut the excess off. Guess what I used? My Basic Grey Magnetic Mat. How many times have I said I love that thing?!?! I lined the clear mat up on the BG mat grid, put the metal ruler over it, and sliced down the clear mat with a craft knife. It didn’t go all the way through so I flipped it over and cut in the same place and Voila! Then I used my Creative Memories Corner Rounder to make the 2 new corners match with the existing rounded ones. I was pretty darn proud of myself because that’s about as handyman as I get, LOL! Ideally, I would like this same kind of mat but large enough to cover the entire table. Then again, it’s an old banged up table so I’m not gonna stress on it.

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Here’s a top view of the newly cleaned up, cleaned out, organized, and labeled craft carousel. As you scrappers know, this is actually a Making Memories DESKTOP CAROUSEL, intended for scrapbook supplies. I tried to use it as such when I first got it, but it never worked for me. The main problem is that I need to keep my most-used tools in something portable for taking to crops. Even if I used it for least-used tools, the footprint is so big, that it takes up a lot of desk room once you leave it a wide berth to spin around. It really needs to be in the middle of a table or desk, and while my scrap area doesn’t allow for that, it does work perfectly on the homework/craft table, doesn’t it?

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The carousel had been on our dining room table for about the last year or so which has been Homework Central. It had crayon marks, broken erasers, pencil shavings, you name it. It was looking pretty beat up and fugly, and was not organized whatsoever. So I took everything out of it, turned it upside down over the trash to get the gookies out, and Windexed it within an inch of its life. Then I lovingly organized and labeled each section. Oh, and I spent about 30 minutes one night hand sharpening all of those regular and colored pencils. Now that was good fun.

See, lookie! Look at my labels! They totally rock, huh? Pencil sharpeners, little tapes, mini gel pens….

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Staplers and big tape, scissors, and all that other fun stuff…

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The husband and children have been instructed in the proper care of my baby. My baby has been labeled so there are no excuses. If they eff it up, there will be hell to pay. And I mean it! Don’t mess with me, I’m the mommy! And you know our family motto: (Say it with me now!) “If Mommy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy….” See? Simple.

Okay, here are the 3 measly shelves I have restricted my books to. I know, it’s riDONKulous but something had to give. Scrap supplies or books? Scrap supplies or books? Hmmmm….SCRAP SUPPLIES! But clearly, my bookies need to be organized, alphabetized, and color coded. By Dewey Decimal System. Yet another project in the wings.

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Here in the Corner of Shame #1 are 3 boxes that need to go in the attic (“oh, dear??? honeybuns??? love of my life??? would you please do me an itsy bitsy little favor wavor?? thanks, hun!”). Cuz I don’t do attics. Did you know there are, like, SPIDERS up there?!? And it’s hot. Very hot. In other words, not happening. {Please revert to the family motto listed above…}.

The wire cube and panels sitting on top used to be under my desk; I used them to hide…erm, I mean….STORE a multitude of things. Like Christmas and birthday gifts, a family quilt, my sugar-free cookie stash…you know, that kind of thing. I don’t know if I’ll use them in my scrap room again. If not, they would make great toy storage for the new play room. If you want some of these cubes, you can get them at Target or Costco. Not the most sturdy storage, but they do work and the price warms the cockles of my ever-lovin’, bargain-huntin’ heart.

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Here is the front side of my big L-shaped desk. I had 3 of these 12×12 Sterlite containers before; they were on my bookshelves. When I moved the couch away from the front of my desk, I realized *gasp* people would be able to see all the crap I keep under there and also my fat heifer thighs. I decided, “No, this just will not do.” When I realized how perfectly these Sterlite drawers fit, I bought 3 more sets and killed 2 birds with 1 stone: lots more storage room and Fat Heifer Thigh View Blockage. A good purchase, don’t you think? {And I got them on sale for $9 instead of $12 each, hehe}.

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That big blue navy thing is my Crop In Style XXL aka Old Faithful. That thing has been jammed full of supplies, crammed into my Honda trunk, and rolled over bumpy hotel entranceways to more crops than I can count. She will be retired this Christmas when I get a new set of crop bags from DH and mi madre.

This clear container is under the homework/craft table. It’s all organized and has scrappy hand-me-downs for the kids to scrapbook with. We make handmade cards a lot, too. My entire extended family and friends could totally be lying to me, but they all say they love our personally designed cards with custom artwork and handwritten messages. And if they ARE lying? Screw ‘em.

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Here’s the couch, so exciting. Ugly, old throw pillow. Oh, remind me to talk about pillows later. And now you can see the reason my scrap room looks a might bit better than it did last time you were here (see PART TWO, link at top of post). It’s because I stuck a bunch of ugly junk behind the couch. I’m calling it the “I’ll Deal With You Later” pile. It’s mostly old family memorabilia and photos that need to be sorted. It’s such a huge project, I can’t even fathom it right now. So I’m (partially) hiding it. It’s out of the way so I can continue making progress with my room….but it’s like the great white shark under the water while you blissfully swim in the ocean. You might be having fun up top, but you now it’s down there stalking you. Damn shark.

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It’s actually been really nice having that coffee table there. Just in the last month or so since I put it there, it’s been used for: Jetmax cube assembly, homework, hubby doing paperwork, a foot stool for kids reading on the couch, a game of table hockey, and a nice big area for me to sort and organize scrap supplies. Unfortunately, it’s also been used to lie on, stand on, and hide under. Hey, nothing’s perfect.

Here is Corner of Shame #2 aka Big Daddy Shame. I think I’ve told you already what most of it is. The two blue bins are monthly kits I used to get from MEMORY WORKS EXPRESS. I’ve always kept them together as a kit but I think I’m going to separate them out. I’m not sure…what do you do with kits? Keep them together or mix the items in with the rest of your stash?

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There’s also a wide format Epson printer that I spent boo coo bucks on a few years ago, and never used. I’m a horrible person. I won’t bore you with all the details. I have my reasons. But, yeah, now I need to get rid of it. Sell it? E-waste it? Goodwilll? I dunno. Of course, I would prefer to sell it, even for just $100 or something (I paid over $300 and used it maybe 20 times). But to prove to a buyer that it works, I’d need to spend about $100 on printer cartridges and I just don’t know if it’s worth it. Would it even sell? Bah.

Above the Corner of Shame #2 is my MM Embellishment Shelf. It’s pretty well organized but I now have THIS to install somewhere once it’s painted and cleaned up, so I’m still figuring out what goes where and whether to move this shelf.

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This photo is probably hard to figure out, because I was focusing on the scene outside the window. It’s the view into my backyard, the view I see when I sit at my scrap desk. Our backyard has a pretty pool and a gorgeous view, but this dog pen thingee is ruining everything! Must go. Will go soon. We borrowed it from our neighbors when we got LANDRY, who didn’t care to stay in the big dog pen on the side of the house. This kennel is a pain in the arse to return to our neighbors, as all four adults need to take a corner and walk it through a gate and across an acre of their property. But I need to make that happen, don’t I? And those atrociously dirty windows! Disgraceful. When is that window cleaner girl going to do her friggin’ job?!! Oh, wait. That would be ME, wouldn’t it? There is only a little overhang over all three of my scrapbook room windows/slider (no patio cover) and also no grass out there, just dirt, concrete, and gravel. So especially when it rains like it just did, the windows get very dirty, the screens very dusty, and it’s hard to keep up on them. But I must. What a waste of a wonderful view.

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Here is the Epicenter of Erika’s Craftivity. Chair, Basic Grey mats, Cutterpede trimmer, flat pack with most-used tools, Ott lite, little tote with scissors and pens, and the main requirement for scrapping, Diet Coke. There’s a single Cropper Hopper vertical file that I was thinking of keeping on my desk as a place to keep projects in progress and/or new purchases until I put them away. Now I have another idea for where to put recent purchases, but I like the projects in progress holder idea. I tend to be a “stacker,” with various piles on my desk. 12×12 piles take up a lot of desk space; at least getting them vertical would save some room.

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Also, I put my little bookshelf stereo here. I didn’t think I would, but I really miss having the television in here, just for the white noise if nothing else. So I was compelled to hook up my stereo and play some K-Life and the college radio station also has awesome music. I don’t do well with total silence. It makes me spun up. Eeeeeee!!!!

Here’s the left side of my desk. Blue flat packs full of acrylic stamps and inks, shopping bag with some RAK stuff in it, Ziploc with a scrappy project, white holder for Prima flower jars and skittles, black tote for punches and Xyron “X”, and Amy Butler tote for cards and RAKs to and from scrappy friends. I’ve been slowly cleaning that out, putting stamps and other gifts away. I need a good storage system for or project to make with all those handmade cards that I cherish…maybe bind them into a mini book or something.

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Here is the view if I’m standing in front of the couch. Standing ON the coffee table??? Who, ME??? Nah, I would never do that. As you can see, I haven’t sorted through those idea books and magazines yet. In fact, I think the pile has grown larger as I come across more of them. Yes, it’s a sickness. And I don’t care.

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Just don’t look under the desk. Move along. There’s nothing to see here….

So that’s a tour of my scrapbook room and how the makeover has been coming along. I’m so happy you’re on this journey with me. Yes, it’s embarrassing to share my major clutter issues and extreme scrapbook supply hoarding. But, oh well, you still seem to like me.

I’m learning so much as I go along; basic scrappy storage things and even things about myself that are deeper and more telling than one would expect from a mere room makeover. Like I’ve learned that I’m happy with how much I cherish my memories and all the “things” that go with it. Yet I don’t have to keep it all. And just because I spent money on something doesn’t mean I have to be guilted into keeping it forever. Selling it or giving it away can bring happiness to someone else, like Sunday school kids, so that’s a good thing.

Please keep checking in with me and cheer on my progress so I follow through and don’t give up. And don’t forget about my 500,000 hits blog candy because we’re coming up on the end….at 499,413 as I post this entry. Good luck!

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Michaels Finds: Making Memories, Bazzill, K & Company, Colorbok, and Recollections

We were visiting friends in another city last weekend and I was able to go to a Michaels other than my own. As my friend and I were leaving to go shopping, DH said, “Go ahead and ‘have fun shopping’ (spend money),” so I did, LOL! This other Mike’s had so many things mine doesn’t! On the one hand, it pizzled me off. Like, why is her Mike’s more special than my Mike’s? So. Not. Fair. On the other hand, I decided to take advantage of these extra products and pick up some of the goods in case my store never gets them. Perfect shopper’s logic, right?

First, peep my new alphas. I’ve loved me some K & Company “Wild Saffron” since way back HERE. It’s one of my Top 10 Favorite Lines of All Scrappy Time and, therefore, I own just about the entire line. Well, I did not have these chipboard alphas; had never seen them in fact. So I got two @ $5 each :) Soooo spendy….

Also got these apple green felt letter stickers ($5) by Making Memories…so cute! And some journaling transparencies by Recollections. You get 6 ($3). I love the scallops on the edges, and that these will go with just about any layout. Since they’re see-through, they’ll take on whatever color ya put behind ‘em.

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Here’s some more Making Memories…the “Autumn Splendor” glitter spiral journaling notebook ($5). Those leaf-shaped pages are my favorite. The yellow sheets say “I am thankful for…” and have some cute pears on them; I noticed pears on a lot of products so it must be a new trend. I’m thinking of scrapping with the yellow “thankful” pages at TG this year, having each family member write what they are thankful for in their own handwriting and collecting them on a layout or in a mini-album.

Keeping with the Autumn theme, we have some brown velvet chipboard alphas by Recollections (only $2 so I got two sets). I took a few out of the package so you can see the cute mixed font. The layered chipboard stickers are from the Colorbok “XY&Z” line; they’re called All Occasion. I love the happy color palette and the “create” sticker the bestest.

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These are Travel chipboard borders by Making Memories ($3). Super cute, love the glitter and shiny blingy-ness. I have another set of these in a different theme and love them. I like to cut them up and layer or stack them on a layout. They’re hard to see in the package … I wanted to lay them out so you could see them.

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Last but not least, “Just the Edge” by Bazzill Basics ($3). They had several colors but I chose white because then I can chalk, ink, paint, or ‘whatever’ them to match the look I want. Or even keep them white, lol. So many possibilities, right? There are 20 pieces, 2 of each style and, again, I spread them out so you can see each one.

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Here’s the part you will NOT believe. Are you sitting down? You sure? Okay. I bought all of this stuff…and none of it was on sale…and I did NOT have a coupon. No. Coupon. I know!!! I truly did not think it was possible for me shop for scrappy goodies at full retail price. I did get a little case of the shakes and I almost couldn’t do it. But then I did. Spent a sickening $40, too. I could barely stand it…that’s just not how I roll.

I also found some new open stock paper at this particular Michaels. It’s by Recollections (the Michaels brand) and you can see it all HERE. I think the Garage Sale line was my favorite; here are a couple sheets from that collection…

I had this sheet from the Birdwatching line in my hand and was ready to pick up more Recollections papers…

…when I realized I was traveling and would have to somehow get 12×12 papers home in a packed-to-the-gills car. So I put the paper back, and hope to someday find this stuff at my own Mike’s where I can buy some later.

Have you seen these items at your Mike’s? Do you have or want any of them? What’s your best find at Michaels lately?

Reminder: Read HERE about how to try and win some blog candy…just over 2,000 hits to go until we hit 500,000!

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Product Review: Jetmax 3-Drawer Scrapbook Storage Cubes

In my last POST about all the new Jetmax storage items at Michaels, I mentioned that I had a hard time putting one of their 3-drawer storage cubes together…so much so, that I was dreading putting the remaining two cubes together. EILEEN on AMR just asked for storage cube advice in a thread over there, and this was my answer so I figured I’d post it here, too. I also have some storage cube recommendations.

Of the Jetmax brand, all I have are the 3-drawer cubes and the problem I had is the “wood” is so thin, that if you don’t get the teeny screws for the drawer sides in there exactly straight the first time, you never will (believe me, I tried). So then I had to really push super hard on the screwdriver to get them to go in. Mind you, I had to use the teeny screwdriver so there’s nothing to pad your hand while you’re cranking down on it either. You could use a cordless screwdriver of course, but ours doesn’t have a tip that small. There were 4 screws per drawer so I went through this struggle 12 times. Then I went to slide the drawers into the cube (which was also a pain to assemble), and they wouldn’t slide in until the screws were COMPLETELY flush with the sides of the drawers or even recessed a bit. More cranking on the tiny screwdriver and by that time my hand was already bruised.

All that said….maybe I’m the only dummy in America who wouldn’t just go buy a tiny cordless screwdriver head for this one project, LOL! It also takes 2 sets of hands to assemble the cubes themselves, holding the sides perfectly perpendicular to each other while screwing in the tiny screws while you can’t brace it against anything to accept the pressure. Does that make sense? I’m sure some would find these things easy to assemble, but I sure didn’t….

The Store in Style brand is wonderful and uses a much easier cam lock system. You can literally put together the cube itself in 5 minutes. They’re also sturdier and larger, but more expensive. I don’t know if Joann’s or anyone carries them where you could use a coupon. I got them with coupons “back in the day” when Mike’s carried Store in Style.

You might also look into ITSO plastic storage at Target. The cubes take no assembly per se, other than sticking little pegs in each corner (if you want to stack them) to bind them to each other. They have all kinds of drawers, baskets, shelves, and such and you can really customize it. I have 3 of those ~ just the plain cubes ~ that I stack my CM Power Sort Boxes in. If I had known about Itso before I invested in the Store in Style, I probably would’ve done my whole wall in Itso. It’s cheaper and more flexible with the configurations you can do. Here are some Itso REVIEWS; two of them are from scrappers!

Anyway, there’s some more info and photos of all 3 types of cubes HEREand at the bottom of THIS post. If you’re in the market for scrappy storage, I hope that helps ya!

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