scrapbook websites

For Sale: “Boxer” Paper by Basic Grey

BASIC GREY Boxer
“Wing Tip”

BASIC GREY Boxer
“Low Rise”

BASIC GREY Boxer
“Slim Fit”

BASIC GREY Boxer
“Pocket Watch”

All sheets are 12×12, single-sided
50 cents a sheet plus actual shipping costs (retails for .70 to 1.00 a sheet)

This would be great paper to do a big project with. I have many sheets of each design :)

I accept Paypal
Will ship anywhere

Non-smoking and pet-free home

IF INTERESTED, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT HERE or E-MAIL ME: scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com
I’m happy to give price quotes on shipping

Margie Romney-Aslett, Advantus, and Girls Paperie

As I learned the other day from THE PEAS ~ (I’m telling you, they’re like the Star and TMZ put together for the scrapbook world) ~ MARGIE ROMNEY-ASLETT has ended her partnership with Advantus on the popular brand THE GIRLS PAPERIE.

Instead of recapping all the news, I’ll just LINK YOU to what Margie had to say about it. Here are the highlights if you don’t have time to read her entry:

The Girls’ Paperie is no more…

in the last few years doors have closed…

new ones have opened…

and after a lot of thought and prayer I find that i need to shut one door and open another…

Right now i am not able to tell you what i am up to…

but know this…

i am designing paper…

beautiful paper…

i will be at CHA Summer…

with a brand new company i am so excited to be part of from the ground up…

i look forward to an amazing future in the Scrapbooking world…

i will continue to teach with The Girls’ Paperie until July…

HERE is what Scrapbook Update posted, which is pretty much a recap of what ADVANTUS and Margie posted.

I wish I had some secret spy insider information for you about why she’s leaving Advantus and who the new company is … but I don’t. She’s not a designer I particularly follow … well, I “follow” her on TWITTER … but she hasn’t addressed the issue except a link to the above-referenced blog entry. And she’s in South Africa right now, so I don’t blame her ;)

If anyone hears rumors about the reason for her departure, please share!

Simple Stories: Collection Kit vs. Separate Items

I wanted to explain the difference between what comes in the Simple Stories 12×12 Collection Kits vs. the other items you can buy separately. I’ll use the upcoming “100 Days of Summer” line to explain.

The 12×12 COLLECTION KIT contains:

{6} sheets of 12×12, double-sided Designer Cardstock paper
{1} 12×12 sheet of Fundamentals cardstock stickers
{1} 12×12 sheet of Expressions cardstock stickers
{30} cut-apart, double-sided Element pieces (sizes 4×6, 6×8, 4×4, 2×12, 4×12, and 6×12)
BONUS: {6} 4×6 transparency photo overlays exclusive to the Collection Kit

In other words, you get EVERYTHING in the kit.
But you can also buy most of the items separately*
* Except for the {6} 4×6 transparency photo overlays because they are exclusive to the Collection Kit

The cover of the Collection Kits show each of the items inside:

The top half shows the cut-apart Element pieces. They come in {6} actual sheets that are double-sided so they’re represented on the cover as 12 items (6 double-sided sheets = 12). Hope that makes sense :)

The top half also shows the Fundamentals and Expressions stickers and the 4×6 transparencies, along the upper right-hand side.

Then the bottom half shows the {6} sheets of Designer Cardstock paper; again, it’s {6} sheets that are double-sided so you see all 12 sides.

To summarize: In the 12×12 Collection Kit, you get all of the items and you get the 4×6 Transparencies.

If you want only select items from the kit, or if you want to order extras of particular items, we also sell them separately.

This holds true for all three existing Simple Stories lines ~ Life Documented, ele.ment.ary, Destinations ~ and the forthcoming 100 Days of Summer. (I’m taking PRE-ORDERS now).

I hope that explains what exactly is in the Simple Stories 12×12 Collection Kits vs. the items you can buy separately. If you have any questions, please leave a Comment here or e-mail me: scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com.

Simple Stories Mid-Release: “100 Days of Summer”

ETA 4/3/11: This layout is from the Simple Stories blog. I think it was made by Memory Works co-owner, Amber Crowell. (Those look like her gorgeous girlies).

Simple Stories announced their latest line on April 1, 2011. It’s called “100 Days of Summer” and it follows the same concept at their PREVIOUS SIMPLE STORIES LINES, “Life Documented”, “ele.ment.ary”, and “Destinations”.

Since we first introduced our innovative Simple Stories brand to the scrapbook world in January 2011…we have received an incredible response to our product line. We are so excited for the future of Simple Stories and are so grateful to our fans, customers and scrapbookers who have fully embraced our designs, products and the Simple Stories concept! So of course we are beyond thrilled to introduce our first-ever mid-release, 100 Days of Summer. This new release is all about scrapbooking your summer memories and photos in a fun and simple way. There are approximately 100 days of summer…and there’s plenty to keep you busy! So whether you’re soaking up the sun, exploring outdoor adventures, enjoying summer celebrations…or simply resting, relaxing and chill-axing, 100 Days of Summer is the perfect way to capture your fun-filled, carefree lazy days of summer!


$20.99


$3.00


$3.00


* These are included in the Collection Kit and that’s the only way you can get them :)


$5.50
(6) 12×12 sheets, double-sided


$6.00
(6) 12×12 sheets of pre-designed, double-sided cut-apart element pieces

The planned release date for “100 Days of Summer” is APRIL 25, 2011.

I will take pre-orders from now until the release date. The benefit to placing a pre-order with me is that, when the line becomes available, you will have already paid and your order can be processed lickity-split! Anything that gets scrapbook supplies to you faster is a very good thing in my book :)

Here is how the pre-orders will work:

I’ll collect and process payments until the release date. When the “100 Days of Summer” kit and additional items become available, I’ll e-mail you with instructions on what to do then. If you subscribe to my blog, you can follow the progress that way as well.

{Which will be to log into my Memory Works WEBSITE, place the pre-paid for items in your shopping cart, enter your shipping address, and submit your order. I will be automatically notified that your order has been placed and, instead of having to wait for your payment to be received, I’ll be able to approve your order for processing immediately … assuming your payment has been received and processed already}.

To place your pre-order now, e-mail me at scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com. Please include:

1. Item(s) requested and cost
2. Shipping address
3. Total due including items, tax*, and shipping/handling**
4. Payment method – check, money order, or Paypal
~ I prefer Paypal, and will e-mail a Paypal invoice to you ASAP
~ If paying by check or money order, I’ll e-mail you back with my address. Please be aware that I can’t approve your order until the check/MO have been received and cleared.

* Sales tax amount is based on the tax rate for the address you’re shipping to. There is a really cool sales tax rate lookup and calculator HERE.

** Please see THIS post for information on Memory Works shipping/handling information and costs.

Let me know if you have any questions :) If you know of anyone who plans to order Simple Stories “100 Days of Summer,” please send them my way!

PS: Please see my SHIPPING page regarding placing non-U.S. orders.

Knee Deep in Organizing Photos

Two weekends ago, I had the bright idea to “once and for all” (yeah right!) organize all of my photos. And we’re talking years and years worth here, people! My ancestors, DH’s ancestors, my childhood/young adult photos, his childhood/young adult photos, our dating/engagement/wedding photos, our kids’ baby/toddler/childhood photos, vacation photos, … Okay, you totally get the idea, right? LOTS of photos!

NOT having them organized has been such a hindrance to my scrapbooking over the years, I really, really, REALLY want to get this done!

I’m Half LUDDITE … and it took me longer than most to convert from a point and shoot film camera to (gasp!) “going digital” several years ago. So I have more printed photos than the average bear. Plus, I’m probably older than you :P (I remember 45 records, rotary dial phones, and typewriters). (If you don’t understand these terms, e-mail me *wink*).

Here is the plan and progress so far:

1. Gather photos from all the nooks and crannies I have stashed them in over the years.
2. Add both leaves to the dining room table and put all photos in one place to work on.
3. Take Creative Memories Power Sort Boxes* out of packaging and assemble.
4. Put all negatives, CDs, index prints, and (now obsolete) Advantix cartridges in one box.
5. Sort photos into CM boxes by decade/year.
* I’ll take a photo of mine and post it later. Apparently, they no longer make the big ones like I have so I can’t find a photo online anywhere :(

I’m on Step 5 now. It’s taking a lot of time to get through all the photos and get them remotely in the right place. I know the biggest problem is that I love my photos so much, I feel the need to look at almost every single one. Which is a silly way to make any kind of progress, but I can’t help it. I *LOVE* my photos! The memories, the laughs, the tears, my beloved family and friends, good times, celebrations, sadness, missing my dad, seeing how my kids have changed and grown … ah, I love it all!

Now it’s about two weeks after I started this project, and I at least have my photos into their major categories. Now the plan is to go through each Power Sort Box and get those photos in the best order I can. Some of them are in pretty good shape already; I’ve made attempts at photo organization many, many times before … and made some actual progress each time. I just never seem to get the entire job done. Or something happens like my mom brings me a stack of old photos when she visits, or I find another box or album of pics somewhere.

When I took 35mm, I almost always got Twin Pix for, like, a dollar extra. I’m debating what to do with all my duplicate photos. Should I scrap one set and keep the other filed? Should I pass the duplicates on to other family (or trash them if they’re not wanted?). Should I pack them away and save them for my kids? I’m just not sure. What do you think?

I have a lot of work to do with my pre-marriage photos. There are SO many … all shapes and sizes … from those tiny wallet school pics that I exchanged with friends to 4×6 prints to portraits, etc. There’s my dad’s side of the family and my mom’s. Friends, school, sports … oh my! They’re going to be the biggest challenge because of the variety of sizes and also because they’re the hardest to place dates on and in get in some kind of chronological order.

I’m hoping that the next time my mom visits, we can go through the photos together and she can help me with times, places, and people … also any memories she has of the events. I figure I’ll put sticky notes on the back of the photos. Then someday when Martians land on earth and I actually get around to scrapping these photos, I’ll have some of the journaling ready to go.

So that’s what I’ve been up to! And you know what the absolute best part is??? As soon as I’m done getting my photos organized … I’m going to start on all my memorabilia ~ Yippee Skip! Decades of letters, awards, ticket stubs, programs, school papers, art, and all that other fun stuff. I’m sure that all of the fun memories will get me through that task, too :)

I can’t even contemplate the topic of COMPUTER photo organization. I’ve had a Mac for about 5 years and regularly download the photos from my iPhone and camera card to iPhoto. That program does a great job of organizing them by date and I’ve started tagging the ones I’ve scrapped but that’s about it. The thought of scanning old photos and negatives, assigning dates to them, keeping everything updated on my external hard drive, etc. is just too, too much. By then, I will have seen all the photos already so it will just be the sheer agonizing task of if all.

Aw crap.

New Look for My Blog

I’ve been wanting to find the “perfect” look for my blog for quite some time. I’ve tried different free WordPress themes over the years, and in July 2009 even added the snazzy header that my friend CHRISPEA made using her husband’s awesome ARTWORK:

When I started my ERIKA PERIKA BLOG last month, I e-mailed Chris to see if she could create a similar header for Erika Perika and also for a third blog I plan to start … someday, LOL. But she and I got busy with life and I failed to pursue that idea. Even though I know she would’ve totally rocked it … she’s an amazing graphic artist.

I’ve spent many hours searching around online for tutorials on how to make my blog look the way I want it to … how to change the font (I’ve never liked the serif ones like Times New Roman that come with most of the free WP themes) and do fancy things like that. I’ve looked into paying a designer to just do it all for me, and I’ve gotten great how-to tips from online friends.

But the fact is … I’m just no good at this computer stuff. Asking me to write or interpret code is like asking CHARLIE SHEEN to make sense … it just ain’t happening. {WINNING!} And I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend to have a professional do the work.

So when I logged into my blog tonight and saw yet another new WordPress theme had been added, I clicked on it … and fell in love with this theme called Pretty Young Thing. I mean, is it perfect or what?

It’s something new (to me, at least) called a Custom Theme and I had to pay 75 bucks to get it … but I feel it’s money well-spent. I needed to just bite the bullet and DO SOMETHING … so I did, hee. I still have work to do such as updating my Blog Roll, perfecting the widgets along the right hand side, and adding a page or two.

This is about 90% of the “look” I had in mind for my blog anyway … I can’t believe my luck in finding this theme. I love the scallop-edged title in the header (soooo scrapbooky!), the sans serif font, the light pastel colors and white background, the wide main column that doesn’t seem to cut off my photos (fingers crossed!), and all the widgets I like along the right side. Hearts have always been my favorite, too, so this couldn’t be more perfect for me!

Other things I like are the e-mail subscription box, as I’ve had so many readers subscribe lately and that makes me happy. The ability to “like” and to “tweet” also have awesome sauce all over ’em.

If you’ve been a reader for a long time, I want to apologize for all the wacky themes and changes I’ve tried over the last 4 years (yep, I’ve been blogging SBO for over 4 years!). I know sometimes I’ve made changes and you click over here … and think you got lost, LOL. “Oh, jeez, she changed the look again (sigh).” I’m predicting that this look for be around for a long time to come so you won’t have to be lost again :)

I hope everyone likes the new format. If there’s anything you don’t like or wish I could add or change, please let me know. It might be something I hadn’t thought of yet … so you’d be doing me a favor :)

“Stretch Your Scrapbooking” DVD by Scrapbook Generation

As I have written in the past HERE and HERE, I *heart* anything by ALLISON DAVIS, SKETCH SUPPORT, and SCRAPBOOK GENERATION. In one of my past entries, I mentioned the DVD they were working on and gave a link where you could pre-order it.

The DVD was something I was going to get “someday” … the same someday I ever got around to ordering Volumes 6 and 7 of the “SKETCHES FOR SCRAPBOOKING” books and Volume 2 of “Sketches for Cardmaking.” Yeah, like, SOON.

But I guess the DVD will have to wait awhile … I read THIS THREAD today on 2peas :( Here is what Allison Davis posted:

Sadly, the DVD turned into a big mess. We (the SG gals) and the producer could never come to an agreement on the way the DVD should look. To make a long story short, we just didn’t feel that the end result was “us”. We were promised a certain look and quality and what we got was not up to our standards, not even close. There was no way that we were going to release an okay product and expect people to pay for it. We want each product we present to be the best that we can make it. Needless to say it’s been very frustrating and exhausting to deal with. We finally came to the conclusion that moving forward with the DVD and the producer was not an option.

I am so sorry that we haven’t let anyone know of this situation until now. Speaking for myself, it has been a very embarrassing. However, I feel that releasing the DVD would be even more embarrassing. We have been trying to come up with a way to use the material we have for the DVD (25 sketches and 75 layouts that we love!) minus the instructional segments. We are currently looking into turning it into a CD to view on your computer and then you can print the sketches and layouts as you please. We are hoping that this is something we can do in the near future.

If anyone has any questions about it, don’t hesitate to ask!

And this is what I posted on the thread in response:

I’m so sorry that happened to you guys, Allison. Thank you for letting us know. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. You did the right thing, not putting out an inferior product that doesn’t represent SG the way you want it to.

I look forward to whatever you choose to do with the sketches and layouts. Your whole family and what you share with us has been a huge blessing to me also. I’m a busy working mom and you have me turning out amazing layouts so quickly!

I went over to the DVD PAGE at Scrapbook Generation and it still shows the DVD but no release date and no way to order. I do hope they find a solution they’re happy with very soon!

By the by, I think Volume 8 of “Sketches for Scrapbooking” comes out on July 1, 2011.

Anyhow, just wanted to give you an update on the DVD in case you were looking for it! Oh, and if you’d like to give your input to Allison/Scrapbook Generation on whether you like the idea of the CD instead of the DVD, please let them know! You can add to that thread I linked earlier; the SG girls are wicked smart and they stayed tuned to what the Peas have to say, LOL. Or you can contact them HERE.

Happy Sketchy Scrapping!

Scrapbooking Aquarium Photos

I recently went to the aquarium and had such a blast taking photos of all the amazing animals!

My favorite part was the seahorse exhibit; the two photos above the flamingo are seahorses. What amazing little creatures those are! I’ve never seen them up close before.

I know to you great photographers out there, these aren’t the most technically perfect shots … but I think I did pretty good with my little point-and-shoot while chaperoning a class field trip, LOL!

These are only about one-third of the photos I would now like to scrapbook. The question is: How?

Do you ever feel not worthy of scrapbooking an event because you *LOVE* the photos so much? It’s not just the bright colors and gorgeous water, it’s the capturing of God’s amazing creations on film. I want to do them justice and also capture my amazement as we saw each new thing, kwim? I’m not sure how best to do that.

One thought I’m having is to put them on plain black cardstock so the colors will pop and the photos will be the main feature, what you really want to look at. But then what? Handwrite the journaling in white pen? Do computer journaling on white cardstock and use journaling strips? How do I get some color in there without distracting the eye from the photos? Gah. I don’t know!

Another thought is to make a mini album from them, since there are so many photos. If I do 12×12 layouts, it would take several pages. Plus, a mini album would set them apart and make them “special.”

How would you scrap these photos? Have you scrapped aquarium photos before and how did you do it? Are there any scrapbooking lines you would suggest I use? Thanks for your help!

ETA 3/27/11: I’m going to save this layout for inspiration … and thank you to all who’ve given me ideas. I really appreciate it!

This one is from Julie at JUST A WEE BIT BUSY:

I think this is the exact look I want to go for … black background, bright colors, and a paper line I already have (“Snorkel” by Cosmo Cricket). Thanks Julie! I’m liking the mini album idea, too, that so many suggested. You guys rawk.

Memory Works: CHA Products Are Rolling In!

HERE is what he have so far under the “New Winter CHA” section …

New SIMPLE STORIES “Destinations” and a new version of “Life Documented.”
New version of “ele.ment.ary” coming later in March …

New BO BUNNY lines “Gabrielle”, “Time Piece,” “Vicky B”, and “Ad Lib”.

New COSMO CRICKET lines “Up Cycle”, “Social Club”, and “Salt Air”.

New ECHO PARK lines “Springtime”, “For the Record”, and “Playground”, and “Summer Days”.

New “Stella Rose” by MY MINDS EYE.

New THREE BUGS IN A RUG “April Showers”, “Dawson”, “Chloe”, and “Lazy Summer”.

New CRATE PAPER “Emma’s Shoppe”, “Toy Box”, “Portrait”, and “Neighborhood”.

We also have most of the We R Memory Keepers (WRMK) DIVIDED PAGE PROTECTORS back in stock. Apparently, these are quite hard to find these days so I’m glad we have them for our customers. I know that we were without them for a while because they were on back order. I scrap with these all of the time now and will be buying some for myself. My favorite set is the MULTI PACK because you get a variety of configurations.

Please let me know if you have any questions or I can be of any assistance. You can place an order directly from my WEBSITE if you like :) HERE is information on placing an order & payment. My e-mail is scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com.

Memory Works: Simple Stories New Lines … We’re Getting Closer!

If you’ve been waiting for the new Simple Stories lines ~ Life Documented, ele.ment.ary, and Destinations ~ you know that I’ve been saying they were predicted to be available in late February or March. Well, late February kinda slipped right by me … but then March slapped me in the face and woke me up, LOL! I got to wonderin’ about Simple Stories …

… So I posted on the MW consultant board asking for an update on the release date. One of the owners, Amber, posted right away to say that they’ve been very busy at the MW offices.

She said the consultants can expect an e-mail on Friday (tomorrow, 3-4-11) with all of the details on the new Simple Stories!! But “basically the new collections will be available for consultants to purchase from the website sometime on Friday and we will begin shipping next week!”

So if all goes as planned, it sounds like those of you who have placed PRE-ORDERS with me should be able to go on MY WEBSITE and place your actual order TOMORROW!!!! {Geesh, can you tell I’m a might excited?} And you are pre-PAID, baby! As soon as I see your order, I hit “approve” and off we go.

Note: Pre-orders are now closed. As of Friday, March 4, you can order Simple Stories items straight from my website with no need for a pre-order :)

I have a busy weekend … ironically, I’m leaving Friday for a weekend scrapbook retreat ~ HOLLAH! But I’m taking my laptop with me and will keep you updated, m-kay?

I’m not just excited for YOU ~ although I AM very excited for you ~ but I’m excited for me because I’m ordering at least one set of each new Simple Stories kit and accessories for myself. I have the “first edition” kits of Life Documented and ele.ment.ary … and LURVE them … but they have been re-issued per se with more elements this time.

And one thing I’ve found to be true about Simple Stories: You can never have too much. All of the papers are double-sided so the options are endless, not to mention the style that’s so versatile and colors that look good with pretty much any photo you put near them. With the divided page protector method, I love using these kits to get lots of scrappin’ done in a shorter amount of time.

And if that’s not enough … Destinations is completely new so I’ve never even seen it in person before. I know I’m going to love it, because it retains the Simple Stories style I already adore … and it adds the fun new topic of travel, along with some black accents that are going to look rockin’ with my plethora of Disney photos and other travel photos.

People, can I get a “squee”?

“SQUEEEEEE!!!!”

Ta ta for now … talk soon :)

Scrapbook Room Organization: Starting with a Clean Slate?

So I’ve been watching Peter Walsh’s new show “ENOUGH ALREADY!” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). He’s the organizing guy who’s been on The Oprah Show many times, and you also may remember him from the old TLC show, “CLEAN SWEEP“. He has also written several BOOKS on organization.

This one wins the award for Best Book Title:

I’m on the waiting list at my library for his latest book and judging by how long it’s taking to get the ding-dang thang, it must be REALLY popular :P

Peter uses a 5-step process to declutter rooms; HERE it is.

STEP ONE: EMPTY THE ROOM

Watching them do this on the show is always cringe-worthy. The look on people’s faces is kind of sad when they realize how much stuff they’ve crammed into their space. Now I’m no hoarder but I’m not BECKY HIGGINS, either. So I’m the last to cast stones … my rooms may not be as bad as theirs, but I have one or two that could use some serious help, one being my scrapbook room. No matter how many times I begin to organize it, I never completely finish it. Then the clutter cycle starts again and we’re off like a day at the races.

I’ve often wondered, while watching Enough Already, if I could ever clear out my scrapbook room entirely and start from scratch. Would it be worth it? Where would I put everything? Could I block off two or three days to get it moved out, then replaced, so my Scrap Crap wasn’t bogging up the rest of my house?

Anyway, my conclusion has always been that it’s a crazy idea. Just totally cray-cray.

Then I saw THIS THREAD at 2peas, LOL. Yes, ladies, it HAS been done. Repeatedly. And from the sounds of it, successfully. So my wheels are really turning now. I’m scanning ahead, wondering when I have a free weekend to try this, a holiday at work, anything? ‘Cuz now I’m kind of hooked on the idea.

When I’ve attempted to organize in the past, I do often feel like I’m moving this pile so I can get to that pile, then I put it on that shelf, which is now taken up, and I have nowhere to put this stuff … kwim? It would be so nice to pull everything out, kind of packing like things together as I go, then purge items as I put it all back in an organized fashion. I’ll bet I’d get rid of a lot of things this way, don’t you think?

It’s like on the show: Peter asks, “What is your vision for this room?” Then anything that doesn’t fulfill your vision is tossed, given away, or put elsewhere in your home.

I guess the final and most important question is …. how much do you think I’d have to pay Peter Walsh to come and help me?

Yeah, I know, you’re right … there ain’t enough money in the world, baby! HA Not once he saw my scrapbook room anyway.

Have you done this before … cleared out an entire room and started from scratch, except for maybe furniture? How long did it take? Was it worth it? Did you maintain the organized room?

If you haven’t done this, would you consider it? Do you think it’s a good way to go about it? If you did it, what would be your method … like someone on the thread mentioned using banker’s boxes which I thought was brilliant. How would you do it all?

More On Donna Downey and Fossil Purse Birdgate … “The Art of Possibility”

Yesterday, a very interesting comment was left of my blog post called DONNA DOWNEY AND THE TALE OF FOSSIL PURSE BIRDGATE:

Just as a quick FYI because the bag photo clearly shows our brand, Art of Possibility®, clearly printed, Art of Possibility® is a registered trademark of Art of Possibility LLC and its use in this case is an infringement of our trademark. That bag and its creator have no relationship with Art of Possibility. Please, please don’t mistake this for an authentic Art of Possibility® product.

It was left by Ketra Oberlander and here is the photo she’s referring to:

Ketra is not a regular reader and I’m not familiar with her, so I did some looking around. I noticed on the YOU THOUGHT WE WOULDN’T NOTICE blog post I mentioned in my last DD entry, that Ketra had also added this comment:

To add yet another layer: my company, Art of Possibility® LLC, owns “art of possibility,” clearly printed on the bag. Why is Donna Downey using my company’s trademark on her bag? So stunningly bizarre … and without our permission.

In my research, I found out that Donna Downey and Ketra Oberlander/Art of Possibility Studios were both part of the DESIGNER SHOWCASE at CHA-W in Jan.-Feb. 2011. {Wow, now THAT is interesting, isn’t it?!?!}

I followed Ketra’s website link and this is what I found: AOPSTUDIOS.COM. Yep, AOP stands for “Art of Possibility,” the same phrase Donna used on the purse she created and held a CHA class on (or planned to? I still don’t know for sure if the class was actually held and what it entailed). The same purse that she created a bird stamp from, which she planned to distribute through UNITY STAMPS (but they pulled it prior to CHA-W in late January).

Okay, let’s talk about “Art of Possibility Studios.” This is from their website:

Art of Possibility® Studios exclusively represents physically disabled artists via license to manufacturers interested in connecting with consumers on a meaningful level and with cause oriented programs at retail.

By choosing Art of Possibility® brand products consumers become true Patrons of the Arts through their purchase, supporting the artists in a for-profit business model which liberates them from dependence on charity and creates a path for their participation as equals in our society.

Founded by award-winning blind painter Ketra Oberlander, the Art of Possibility® aspires to encourage and inspire you to transcend expectation and be your best.

If you take a peek at their ARTISTS PAGE, you’re going to be blown away by these amazing artists and what they accomplish.

Okay, at this point, obviously, my scrapbook-obsessive personality disorder went from 0 to 60 in nothing flat! Holy cow. Even more Donna Drama. Ack.

Since my ORIGINAL DONNA POST on January 31, 2011, I haven’t commented on this issue again, even though I planned to. Part of that was because I’ve been really busy with work/home and then I got sick.

But part of it has also been I didn’t know what else to say. The original DD Birdgate thread on 2peas NSBR had been pulled by The Powers That Be over there (although the more mild one, which focused mostly on Unity’s role in the contro is still available HERE). I lost track of how long the NSBR thread got but I want to say it was beyond 20 pages. I never got past reading page 13 or so, and I don’t know what – if any – new revelations I missed. But it appears that Donna Downey has not publicly referenced the Birdgate issue. {If I missed it, will someone please help me out with a linkee?}

Some speculate that she’s keeping her mouth shut for legal reasons, which I would think is a wicked smart move. Donna’s ORIGINAL BLOG POST showing the purse is still available to view, including all of the negative and name-calling comments. I just left a comment myself, asking if she’s going to comment publicly on the issue. I’ll let you know if I hear anything back … but I doubt it will happen.

I don’t know, call me crazy, but on something like this, I prefer to hear both sides of a story before I come out with guns blazing and a strong opinion. Especially on my blog, if you know what I mean. Leaving a comment on someone else’s blog or in a message board thread is one thing, publishing it on your own blog is another. So slam me if you will, but I’m not going to make some big Proclamation of Hate against Donna Downey. Yet.

What I will say is that all signs are pointing to her doing something wrong. Signs point to her making some serious mistakes. Signs point to her being a really careless business woman. Signs point to her not being a very nice person.

That said, I’ve never worked in the crafting industry, the legal industry, nor the big-time business world. I’m not educated in this stuff. I can’t whip out copyright law, trademark law, the life history of Donna Downey, how CHA works, how stamp designs are commissioned, or anything else. I don’t know if her silence is her ducking and covering, or if it’s being enforced by her lawyers, Fossil’s lawyers, Prima’s lawyers, CHA’s lawyers, and/or Unity’s lawyers.

It’s hard to form a strong opinion when there’s so much I DON’T know.

All I can say as a layperson is that this does NOT look good for Donna nor her integrity. If what’s been revealed so far IS all there is, if she has no defense to play, if we aren’t assuming to much … then she’s done wrong. Again.

So let’s get back to Ketra and “Art of Possibility.” I e-mailed her with a bunch of questions and asked if I could publish her answers on my blog (although I was more than willing not to). I asked things like whether legal action is being pursued, whether the bird/building design is involved (it’s not), etc. Here is her answer, in it’s entirety:

My lawyer is following up with Donna so I don’t want to get into a bunch of speculation.

To be clear, my company owns the words “art of possibility” for consumer goods/art &surface design work. I trademarked the term in 2008 when I established the company. That means you could use “art of possibility” for, say, a business management book or seminar on the stock market or something, but for art & design and consumer goods, any use is an infringement.

Another CHA member drew the infringement to my attention and I now troll around blogs looking for that specific promo photo and post something whenever it comes up. I’m not a huge blog reader so it’s all “extra work” on this end, although your blog made the work quite pleasant. Thanks for covering so many interesting issues in crafting.

As a CHA designer member who exhibited for the last two years (I took a break this year), I’m certainly a “known quantity” in the community. I’ve been a Surtex and Licensing Expo exhibitor for the past 3 years, teach seminars on art licensing for LIMA and will be teaching “Art Licensors’ Top 10 Mistakes” for Licensing University this year. The last two years I’ve written the art licensing chapter for Aspen Publishing’s The Licensing Journal/Update.

I could tell from your email your curiosity is piqued; I cannot begin to speculate on Donna’s motives; I don’t know her personally. I do find infringing on the IP of a company dedicated to serve a community marginalized by physical disability a really weird choice. Since my lawyer’s following up with Donna there’s no reason to make a big stink; that’s just business, I guess. But business is made up of people, and I’m sure I’ll always wonder about Donna’s decision to use our trademark.

You may reprint all or part of my reply and attribute it to me: Ketra Oberlander, Founder, Art of Possibility LLC. You may also direct people to our web site so they can learn about the very cool work we’re doing to elevate humanity through our creative output. ;-)

Ketra is one classy lady, that’s all I can say. I truly admire the way she’s handling things, and fully support her. My one big hope ~ out of all this scrapbooker drama ~ is that if nothing else comes from it, let’s be thankful that our attention was drawn to Ketra, her work, and the Art of Possibility organization and artists. If there’s anything you can do to support them and their work, please do :)

I predict this will not be the last we hear regarding this Donna Downey Adventure. I predict there will be more in the future. No matter what controversies happen to DD, she seems to keep on going, maintaining fans, holding workshops, and being paid handsomely for doing what she does.

Stay tuned … there WILL be more! LOL

Scrapbook Obsession Mentioned in a National Magazine!

Yep, I’m so stinkin’ excited!

CHECK IT, GIRLFRIEND.

OH, AND HERE, TOO!

Okay, so that wasn’t a magazine you were expecting, huh? Whoever would’ve thought I’d be mentioned in an article in “Hobby Farm Home” magazine, right? Not me. But here is how they describe the HFH mag on Hobby Farms website:

Hobby Farm Home
The editors of Hobby Farms also produce Hobby Farm Home, the home magazine for those truly living in the country. Hobby Farm Home highlights farmhouse activities such as cooking, crafting, collecting, pet care and home arts and skills.

See? Crafting. That’s us. Scrappers are crafters!

I answered some questions for the writer back in September 2010 and never heard anything more of it. I was just going to contact MONETTE to ask if her article was accepted. Then I was in Walmart one day looking for the latest CREATING KEEPSAKES and SCRAPBOOKS ETC and there was Hobby Farm Home magazine! I flipped through it to see if the article might be in there and had the most surreal experience … there was my name at the top of page 66. Holy mother of … WTH?

I called my mom right from the magazine aisle. I bought all three copies they had, which made the checkout lady wonder, LOL. I told her I was mentioned in an article and she was giddy with me :) Even though she had NO idea what I was talking about … Scrapbooking your farm? Mmmm-kay …

There was one little bit of confusion printed but that’s okay. Just for fun … whoever spots it first and leaves a comment here, I’ll send you a $5 Starbucks card (or Target card? if you don’t like coffee, tea, sweets, or smoothies … hee).

I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging. I actually found this out 2 or 3 weeks ago but was too bashful to say anything. But I’m still excited and can’t contain myself. This is NOT the kind of thing that happens to me! So it was extra-special and fun. Thanks for letting me share.

October Afternoon “5 & Dime” and “Rocket Age”

“My name is Erika, and I’m an October Afternoon addict.”

“Hi Erika!”

The first step is admitting you have a problem. There are 12 steps all together. For this addiction, I am currently on Step 1. I’m attempting to admit that I am powerless over this addiction and my life has become unmanageable. ATTEMPTING, people!

Okay, I guess what I’m really saying is that I’m on Step ZERO: Not willing to acknowledge that I have an October Afternoon problem because then I would have to quit buying up the new lines every time they come out.

{P.S. Do NOT leave me some silly comment about how dare I make fun of the 12-Step Program when there are people out there suffering with serious problems and I shouldn’t be making fun of them, blobbity blobbity blah. It’s a JOKE. Unclench already. Sheesh}.

Okay, so back to my addiction issues and the Step Program. For cawfee, I am currently on Step Zero. For Diet Coke, I have scratched and clawed my way to Step 12. I won’t be so bold as to say that I’m cured because that would be tempting fate and that is one bee-yotch I don’t want to tangle with. So I’m just taking ‘er one day at a time, my friends. One day at a time. (Nah, nah, nah, nah … One Day at a Time!) (If you’re old enough to get that TV show reference, you are damn old like me).

{Note: My one-year anniversary of Diet Coke Sobriety is coming up on 02/15/11 and I am damn proud of myself. I had a 4-can-a-day habit for YEARS and I just decided one day to quit cold turkey. However, I’ve recently begun drinking Sugar Free Rockstar to stay awake at work and, my fellow Diet Crack addicts, I fear ’tis a slippery slope. I call on you – and my HP of course – for strength at this difficult time. “Let go and Let God”, “Attitude of Gratitude”, “Semper Fi”, and all that. Thank you.}.

I’m on, like, Step 18.5 with my former acrylic stamp addiction. Totally cured. Recovered stampaholic. One day about a year ago, I said “no more!” and haven’t bought another set since. I know, I know … you wish you had my strength, don’t you? Yeah, I get that often.

All that said, HAVE YOU SEEN THE NEW EFFIN OCTOBER AFTERNOON COLLECTIONS!?!?!? No? Well, here you go …


See the collection on October Afternoon’s site HERE.

Here is a teaser … the 8×8 Paper Pad:

Okay, is it just me or at first glance, did this one make you think of Jack Daniels?

NO? It IS just me? Crappity crap! Maybe I have another 12 steps issue to start on …

Okay, here is the second new OA collection:

See the whole thing HERE.

Just a taste … the paper pad …

Of course, I love both of them … although not equally. {Shhh … don’t tell Rocket Age but I love 5&Dime just a wee bit more}.

It seems they’ve added some new components to their lines, like the Chip n Stick, Miscellany, Tin Pins, and Rubber Charms. Yes, there’s another new type of item that I left out but only because I can’t type that word. I have a ______ phobia. They skirr me. I have nightmares. No, I’m not kidding. Hey, for some people it’s clowns, for others it’s spiders, for me it’s _________. Oh, just seeing them and thinking about them, I’m all “Ick!”

Are there 12-Step programs to deal with phobias? Never mind. If hating ________ is wrong, I don’t wanna’ be right.

So, back to my point … and I did have a point … OA has two new lines!! What do you think ~ love or hate? Hot or cold? Addicted or couldn’t care less?

For my fellow OA Addicts … see you at the meetings! I’ll be the one with the jitters, standing by the coffee urn :)

Memory Works: Now Taking Pre-Orders for Simple Stories “Destinations”, “Life Documented”, and “ele.ment.ary”

So now that I’ve explained all about the Simple Stories lines by MEMORY WORKS and teased you a bit in my LAST ENTRY, it’s time to talk about what’s next … a new line, two revamped lines, and PRE-ORDERS on all three!

The newest Simple Stories line is called “Destinations” …

DESTINATIONS COLLECTION KIT

Collection Kit – MSRP $20.99 (includes entire collection components, plus bonus transparancy overlays exclusive to kit)

Collection Kit contents:

{6} sheets of 12×12 double-sided, designer cardstock paper
{1} 12×12 sheet of Fundamentals cardstock stickers
{1} 12×12 sheet of Expressions cardstock stickers
{30} double-sided, cut-apart element pieces; sizes 4×6, 6×8, 2×12, 4×12, and 6×12
BONUS: {6} 4×6 transparency photo overlays exclusive to the Collection Kit

*The Collection Kit has all of the elements listed below in one kit, or you can buy the elements separately … except for the 4×6 transparency photo overlays, which only come in the Collection Kit.

DOUBLE-SIDED DESIGNER CARDSTOCK {6}

Designer Cardstock Paper Pack – MSRP $5.50
(includes six 12×12 sheets of designer cardstock paper; one sheet of each design)

12×12 FUNDAMENTALS STICKERS

Fundamentals 12×12 Cardstock Stickers – MSRP $3.00

12×12 EXPRESSIONS STICKER SHEET

Expressions 12×12 Cardstock Stickers – MSRP $3.00

12×12 DESTINATION ELEMENTS {6}

Signature Elements Paper Pack – MSRP $6.00
(includes six 12×12, double-sided sheets of signature cut-apart element pieces; one sheet of each style)

4×6 TRANSPARENCY PHOTO OVERLAYS {2 of each 3 designs}
* Exclusive to Collection Kit


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A revamped version will be out of our first Simple Stories line, “Life Documented” …

Collection Kit – MSRP $20.99
(includes entire collection components, plus bonus transparancy overlays exclusive to kit)

It will be like the existing “Life Documented” kit, but it will include 2 new double-sided cardstocks (4 new designs):

And 2 new 12×12 cardstock sticker sheets:

Fundamentals sticker sheet

Expressions sticker sheet

Specifically, the Collection Pack includes:

{6} sheets of 12×12, double-sided, designer cardstock paper
{1} 12×12 sheet of Fundamentals cardstock stickers
{1} 12×12 sheet of Expressions cardstock stickers
{30} signature pre-designed, double-sided, cut-apart Element pieces in a variety of sizes including 4×6, 6×8, 4×4, 2×12,
4×12 & 6×12
{6} bonus 4×6 transparency photo overlays exclusive to Collection Kit.

Note: The price on the “Life Documented” kit did go from $16.99 to $20.99, due to the 2 additional designer cardstocks and 2 additional sticker sheets. So a $4 increase but the additional items are worth about $8 … not bad.

Designer Cardstock Paper Pack – MSRP $5.50 (includes six 12×12 sheets of designer cardstock paper; one sheet of each design)

Signature Elements Paper Pack – MSRP $6.00 (includes six 12×12 sheets of signature cut-apart element pieces; one sheet of each style)

Fundamentals 12×12 Cardstock Stickers – MSRP $3.00

Expressions 12×12 Cardstock Stickers – MSRP $3.00

A revamped version will also be out of our second Simple Stories line called “ele.ment.ary” …

Collection Kit – MSRP $20.99
(includes entire collection components, plus bonus transparancy overlays exclusive to kit)

It will be like the existing “ele.ment.ary” kit, but it will include 2 new double-sided cardstocks (4 new designs):

And 2 new 12×12 cardstock sticker sheets:

Fundamentals sticker sheet

Expressions sticker sheet

Specifically, the Collection Pack includes:

{6} sheets of 12×12, double-sided, designer cardstock paper
{1} 12×12 sheet of Fundamentals cardstock stickers
{1} 12×12 sheet of Expressions cardstock stickers
{30} signature pre-designed, double-sided, cut-apart Element pieces in a variety of sizes including 4×6, 6×8, 4×4, 2×12,
4×12 & 6×12
{6} bonus 4×6 transparency photo overlays exclusive to Collection Kit.

Note: The price on the “ele.ment.ary” kit did go from $16.99 to $20.99, due to the 2 additional designer cardstocks and 2 additional sticker sheets. So a $4 increase but the additional items are worth about $8.

Designer Cardstock Paper Pack – MSRP $5.50 (includes six 12×12 sheets of designer cardstock paper; one sheet of each design)

Signature Elements Paper Pack – MSRP $6.00 (includes six 12×12 sheets of signature cut-apart element pieces; one sheet of each style)

Fundamentals 12×12 Cardstock Stickers – MSRP $3.00

Expressions 12×12 Cardstock Stickers – MSRP $3.00
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Now that you’ve seen the new “Destinations” kit and the revamped “Life Documented” and “ele.ment.ary” kits, now it’s time to talk pre-orders. The word I’m getting from Home Office is that Destinations and Life Documented will be available in late February/early March, and ele.ment.ary some time in March. If you place a pre-order now, please understand that I can’t promise when these items will be available. But when they ARE available, I’ll be posting here on my blog to let you know (so please Subscribe to my blog, if you don’t already). If you pay for a pre-order, I’ll e-mail you when the time comes to place your actual order. Sound good?

Here is how the pre-orders will work:

I’ll collect and process payments until the release date(s). When the kits and additional items become available, I’ll e-mail you with instructions on what to do then.

{Which will be to log into my Memory Works WEBSITE, place the pre-paid for items in your shopping cart, enter your shipping address, and submit your order. I will automatically be notified that your order has been placed and, instead of having to wait for your payment to be received, I’ll be able to approve your order for processing immediately … assuming your payment has been received and processed already}.

{But don’t worry about that part right now, LOL}.

To place your pre-order now, e-mail me at scrapbookobsession(at)gmail(dot)com. Please include:

1. Item(s) requested and cost
2. Shipping address
3. Total due including items, tax*, and shipping/handling**
4. Payment method – check, money order, or Paypal
~ I prefer Paypal, and will e-mail a Paypal invoice to you ASAP
~ If paying by check or money order, I’ll e-mail you back with my address. Please be aware that I can’t approve your order until the check/MO have been received and cleared.

* Sales tax amount is based on the tax rate for the address you’re shipping to. There is a really cool sales tax rate lookup and calculator HERE.

** Please see THIS post for information on Memory Works shipping/handling information and costs.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns :) If you know of anyone who plans to order Simple Stories “Destinations”, “ele.ment.ary,” or “Life Documented,” please send them my way!

Memory Works: Simple Stories NEW “Destinations” Line … and “ele.ment.ary” and “Life Documented” too!

Yeah, this gets kind of confusing even to me, and I’m a MEMORY WORKS consultant, LOL!

Here’s the scoop … and I’m gonna’ go back to the beginning:

Memory Works is a direct sales company from Utah (kind of a “mom and pop” if you will) who for al has sold scrapbooking products from a variety of popular companies, including BASIC GREY, MY MINDS EYE, BO BUNNY, PINK PAISLEE, and more.

I joined Memory Works as a consultant in February 2007, when all of my local scrapbook stores closed and I was no longer able to get my fix of the “latest and greatest” products … so I decided to become a Memory Works CONSULTANT to support my habit (yes, I am purposely making a drug reference … ‘cuz it’s all so addicting!)

In 2010, Memory Works began producing their OWN line of products called Simple Stories. Here is the philosophy behind it, from the SIMPLE STORIES BLOG by Amber Crowell, the co-owner (with her husband Kevin Crowell) of Memory Works:

About Simple Stories
A Simple Solution

As a busy mom and scrapbook business owner who is passionate about telling our story, I became frustrated, stressed and guilty with the hobby that I loved so much. Instead of scrapbooking as a creative outlet or something that brought me joy – it started to become just another job on my to do list. It seemed I never had enough time to scrapbook. I put creative pressure on myself to make every page perfect or to compose the most eloquent journaling. I felt guilty for being so behind, and was overwhelmed with so many photos.

In fact, as my children grew it become disheartening as they wanted to see photos or look through albums. I had piles of half finished layouts, photos still on my computer and incomplete albums – but nothing to really tell our story!

With all my supplies, years of scrapbooking, and passion for preserving our memories I had very little to show for it. Thanks to Stacy Julian and Big Picture Scrapbooking, I started storing my printed photos in divided 4×6 page protectors in a 12×12 album – just so my children could view our photos before I scrapbooked them. I’ll never forget the first time we looked through our “album” together – It was amazing to see our children laughing, smiling, and remembering. No patterned paper, no embellishments, no perfectly designed layouts – just our memories and our story. At that moment I realized what my hobby was all about.

I loved the concept of simply inserting photos into divided page protectors, along with decorative scrapbook elements, for quick and easy scrapbooking and instant gratification. However, I wanted an even simpler solution for my busy life. Instead of cutting, cropping, embellishing and creating my own handmade elements from scratch I wanted a product that featured stylish, pre-designed element pieces in just the right sizes (to fit those page protector pockets perfectly!)

That’s where the Simple Stories concept was born and we’re thrilled to now share our solution with other scrapbookers: A system that would allow them to balance their hobby with their busy lives and products that would help them share their memories in a simple, yet beautiful, way! It was a dream come true to finally be able to launch our Simple Stories concept in January 2010 when we introduced our signature kit Life Documented.

Needless to say, Amber is SO not alone and the Simple Stories concept took off mightily, with crazy-good sales for the first SS line, “Life Documented.” I was one of those anxiously in line to purchase this amazing kit, as I planned to use it for my first go at PROJECT 365.

With all the buzz about Life Documented, I decided to take pre-orders for the kit so that it wouldn’t sell out before I and my customers got one, LOL. And since it was already January and many of us were using the kit for a project that started January 1, everyone wanted their Life Documented kits ASAP. The pre-orders worked out famously, as we all got our kits quite quickly and, after anxiously awaiting them, were so impressed with the quality and design of the product.

Note: If you go to the Simple Stories section of my WEBSITE currently, it does show a listing for the (original version) of the Life Documented kit. However, it has been out of stock for a while and, to my understanding, will not be re-stocked. But don’t despair … a new and improved version is on the way!
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Now fast forward to Summer of 2010. Based on the huge success of the Life Documented kit, Memory Works decided to launch a second kit in the Simple Stories series. It’s called “ele.ment.ary” and it uses the same simple scrapping approach but this time to make School Days albums or just to make layouts for all those school photos.

As MAY FLAUM from SCRAPBOOK UPDATE showed HERE, with the Simple Stories lines, you don’t have to stick to the divided page protector method … you can also use the products on regular layouts, card, and other projects. One really cool thing about ele.ment.ary is that, unlike the bright-bright colors of most school lines, it’s kind of distressed and mellow looking … which means it looks GREAT with old school photos. Now I’m not calling you “old” but you could certainly scrapbook some of YOUR school photos with this, couldn’t you? {If it makes you feel any better, I’m “old”, too, LOL}.

I could tell that “ele.ment.ary” was going to be popular, so I also took pre-orders on it. Again, all went very well … my customers and I were able to get our kits and accessories quickly. And again, we were very happy with the quality and design of the ele.ment.ary products.

If you’re interested, there are still some (original version) ele.ment.ary kits available HERE along with some of the matching accessories. For the reason I say “original version,” you have to stay tuned, silly …
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Now we’re in 2011 and it’s time for yet a third Simple Stories line … “Destinations.” This new line will be perfect for scrapping those vacations, past or present. I know that when Memory Works asked its consultants and customers what topics they would like to see covered by Simple Stories, “vacations and travel” was at the top of the list. Ask, and you shall receive!

I think Destinations is going to look beyond awesome with Disney photos, with it’s mix of primary colors along with black touches to bring out the “Mickey” and “Minnie” in all of your photos. It’s also, like the other Simple Stories lines, so stinkin’ versatile that you’ll be able to use it on many, many layouts. I’ve started scrapping all our trip photos using the divided page protector method, for three reasons:

1. On vacations, I take TONS of photos. If I were to scrap my usual layouts for all of the photos I want to include, my travel scrapbooks would take forevah! to complete, and they would weigh more than a cruise ship.

2. I want my travel books completed quickly, while the memories are still fresh for my journaling, while the ticket stubs are still handy, and we can enjoy reliving the trip and sharing it with others right away.

3. It’s so easy! Develop photos, slip ’em in the pockets, journal on a 4×6, pop that in, add some pretty paper and accents … DONE. Not as fancy as usual but DONE.

Anyhow, I was one of the many who asked for a Simple Stories travel line, so of course I *need* to order some Destinations! For one thing, I have a stack of Disney photos just waiting to be scrapped. I also think this line will look great with pictures from our Seattle trip, don’t you? Not to mention school field trips and other random events throughout the year.

All 3 Simple Stories lines have a unique, kind of colorful, kind of shabby look that so many of us love. I know that many people, while they love the concept of PROJECT LIFE by BECKY HIGGINS … just don’t care for such a clean, linear, precise look in their scrapbook products. Well, if that’s the case, be sure to check out the Simple Stories line. I think you’ll really like it.

So where does that leave us today? Why, anxiously awaiting the release of – as my post title indicates – the NEW “Destinations” line and ~ could it be? ~ a re-release of the popular “ele.ment.ary” and “Life Documented” lines!

Stay tuned … more information is right around the corner :)

{I mean, really, STAY TUNED! My next entry will tell you about how to PRE-ORDER “Destinations” … and some other things …}.

Donna Downey and the Tale of Fossil Purse Birdgate

Gosh, where to even begin!??!

I will try my best to synopsize the LONG chain of events, but if you really want the Low Down Dirty Scoop on this, you have a lot of reading ahead of you. And I’m warning you, I’m going to say ALLEGEDLY a lot because I’m not Donna or Fossil or Unity, and I don’t know for a FACT what has happened in any of this. I’m just reading what others have written and doing my best to summarize it to the best of my understanding … ALLEGEDLY :)

Once upon a time, there was a famous scrapbook writer and designer named DONNA DOWNEY. She had a sparkling personality and creative talent. She inspired scrapbookers and won lots of fans. She made a very successful business and a nice living from these endeavors.

Donna was a sought-after crafting instructor and gave workshops, often costing a pretty penny. But that was worth it and okay with many … it was Donna Downey, after all. She had a saying that I loved, and have quoted on this blog before: “Perfect just the way you create.”

Then one day, she became the subject of a major “scrapbook scandal.” To save you from reading the 21-page 2peas THREAD {although you are certainly welcome to}, I’ll try to summarize: Donna ALLEGEDLY refused to refund class tuition to a Pea who couldn’t attend for very serious health reasons. It wasn’t until the Peas did a perfect pile-on that Donna eventually refunded the Pea’s money, but most saw it as too little, too late. The damage had been done and a boycott was launched. In the years since, many Peas have stuck to this ban and the issue occasionally comes up in the context of other scandals, so we’re all reminded of the sitch with Donna Downey.

Okay, that was the background. Now, for the latest:

Started on Sunday, January 30, 2011, check out THIS 2 peas thread on the NSBR side, which spawned THIS thread on the Scrapbooking side.

It all started with a Pea who couldn’t sleep, and while surfing the internet she found THIS. It’s a post from a blog called “You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice … but we did” The blog says, “This site is dedicated to pointing out those things that give you that feeling of ‘haven’t I seen that somewhere before?'” In other words, people post there when they feel that someone’s art or creative work has been “ripped off” by someone else.

The blog article referred to THIS post from Donna’s blog in which she posted this, on December 26, 2010:

last weekend in Peddlers Village, PA, one of my students brought this really cool Fossil bag to class (hi sandy!). it was a different shape than this but i loved the birds. while at Quakerbridge mall in NJ, we saw the whole line of fossil bags in this print and i just didn’t like the shape of any of them. i am a “big bag” kinda gal. i have journals, pens, sunglasses, etc that i have to fit in there and they were all really slim.

today i woke up and felt the need to make my bird purse!
i took out a bunch of fabrics and just started tearing strips and layering them around the bottom of the bag. the design is the same (or basically the same) on the front and back side of the bag.

and as for the birds i hand drew them with a sharpie pen and they make me SO FRICKIN’ HAPPY I CANT TAKE IT!

the orange flower trim, shhhh, that’s mine too…you didn’t see that either.

it is not finished by any means but i just had to share!

The comments from Donna’s readers back in December were initially super-supportive … but the most recent ones have taken quite a turn. The great majority of Peas who’ve posted to the thread that broke this story (linked above) are quite unhappy with Ms. Downey, to put it mildly, and some have posted to her blog, the You Thought We Wouldn’t Notice blog, and have attempted contact with UNITY STAMP COMPANY via their Facebook page, and with Fossil, the seller of the purse that Downey was so “inspired” by.

Not only did Donna ALLEGEDLY make a purse for her own use, inspired by the Fossil purse with a nearly identical design, but she ALLEGEDLY created a stamp for Unity using one of the same bird designs, assumedly passing it off as her own design (the thought being that she would’ve had to sign an agreement/contract with Unity stating that the stamp design was original and not taken/copied/traced from another source). On top of that, she gave an “Artful Bag” class at CHA this past Saturday using said stamp …

From Prima Marketing’s CLASSES AT CHA listing:

Saturday, January 29th
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Artful Bag taught by Donna Downey – 10:30 am – 12pm

Donna’s new product line is so versatile and colorful. Join her as she shows you some new techniques using her brand new canvas bag, floral ribbon trims, iron ons, and lots of gorgeous fabrics.

However, although Unity appears to have ALLEGEDLY planned to release the bird stamp – as evidenced by it’s appearance on their website for pre-order (now missing), inclusion in their CHA catalog (alas, distributed with a sticker over the bird stamp image saying “not available”), and the inclusion of the stamp in the ad for Donna’s Artful Bag class at CHA – apparently, plans for Unity to release the bird stamp were scrapped (pardon the pun) at some point, which leads to even more questions … like what did Unity know and when did they know it?

Unity has responded on their FB page with this:

Note to all…this was never put into production. We have no intention of it being introduced into the Unity product line. thanks for bringing it to our attention!

In the 2peas thread on the Scrapbook side, this was just posted by AJ, the Unity stamps Design Team Coordinator:

Hi! Unity has no intention of producing this now, ever, or making it a part of the Unity line.

So, as best as I can piece things together, here is what is being assumed to have happened [[[[[ ALLEGEDLY ]]]]]

1. Donna Downey saw a Fossil bag and was inspired by it.
2. She made her own version of the purse, with fabric-strip buildings and bird designs that are a very close match to the original purse.
{Up to this point, most people are okay with it … she was inspired by a purse she saw, she made her own copy of it, and shared it on her blog for inspiration}.
3. Her fans loved the bag and many said stamps NEEDED to be made from the bird images.
4. Donna then worked with Unity on a stamp that was to be a CHA-W 2011 offering, included in their catalog.
5. Donna taught a class this past Saturday at CHA which was advertised using a picture of her Fossil-inspired bird purse, and what is thought to be a mock-up of the Unity stamp … which apparently has not and/or will not be manufactured after all.

I’m blogging this at 1:45 on Monday morning, the day after the 2peas thread started. According to their website, CHA runs from January 29-February 1, so we’re assuming that people like Donna, those at Unity, etc. are a bit preoccupied right now. As of now, Donna’s blog and her TWITTER account are devoid of any mention of this “scandal” and her “smoking gun” blog post with all the negative comments has not yet been removed (do we predict that it will be?). The 2 peas thread on NSBR is now at 8 pages and still growing.

As you can see from my post back HERE, I’ve tried to stay out of the fray so far with Donna Downey scandals. If you do a Search on my blog for “Donna Downey,” you’ll see that I’ve never badmouthed her. But it’s near impossible to keep my opinion to myself on this one … partly because it’s not the first time she’s done something I don’t understand.

At this point, I’m not going to say much. I don’t feel like all the facts are in. I feel like we’re supposing and assuming a lot. I hate to form opinions this early in the game. I try to be fair and discerning about this kind of thing.

That said, it ain’t looking good for Ms. Downey, as far as I’m concerned. If it walks like a stolen bird and talks like a stolen bird, well … you know the rest.

I do pray she has a good explanation for what has happened, and we can all eat our words. I like to assume that people ~ especially those I look to for inspiration in the scrapbooking world ~ are honest and true. But if what we “think” happened ends up being what actually happened? I’ll be very, very disappointed …

How about you … care to weigh in?

Memory Works: Simple Stories “Destinations” … One More Thing!

As I’ve done in the past for Simple Stories “Life Documented” and “ele.ment.ary”, I will be taking PRE-ORDERS for “Destinations.” That way, when it comes out, your payment will have already cleared and I can submit your order immediately.

I hope they ordered a LOT of this product because I’m getting such great feedback on it, I know it’s going to be a great seller … don’t miss out!

More details to follow … just wanted to let you know :)

Memory Works: Simple Stories “Destinations” … We Have a Tentative Due Date!

February 28 !!!!

To see what line I’m talking about, please click HERE.

I’ll write a longer post this weekend. Just wanted to get the date out there … I know many of you, like me, are anxiously awaiting this awesome new line.

HAPPY FRIDAY … Hollah!

Do You Like Basic Grey Sneak Peeks???

Okay, then I got ya’ covered …

BASIC GREY “Sweet Threads”

BASIC GREY “Life of the Party”

Per KELLY GOREE‘s blog, there are 2 more sneaks coming Friday morning, with entire line reveals due on Saturday @ 9am Pacific.

ETA 1/28/11: Here are the other 2 new lines …

BASIC GREY “Hello Luscious”

BASIC GREY “Lauderdale”

What do you think so far? I’m loving bothALL FOUR of them!

PS: I saw the entire new BASIC GREY catalog tonight and …

OH
EM
GEE!!!!!

I am SO in love with all of the new lines, and also the extra new things they have. I’ve been asked NOT to share details for now since there hasn’t been an official reveal … and you know I’m a good girl who plays by the rules … so my lips are sealed.

Can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait!

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