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Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: Part One

Okay, time for Part One of hopefully many posts in my scraproom makeover diary. You can read the Prologue HERE about why I was skerred to write about this in the first place…

I suppose I should start by explaining my current scrap space situation, and why it was time for such a major “makeover.” For about 6 or 7 years now, my scrap space has been shared with my kids’ play room, which consists of the majority of their toys, games, and puzzles, a TV with VCR and DVD player for watching movies, and a couch. The couch is perpendicular to the wall and kind of splits the room in half. Behind the couch is where my scrap space is. I have a large, L-shaped office desk and matching file cabinet, a table, and 10.5 STORE IN STYLE cubes like this….

…mostly open cubes but a few with doors or drawers. Then I have 2 of the 4 sets of shelves along the wall (some of my books [yeah, the other thing I hoard] and the kids’ stuff is in the other 2), and various Iris carts, containers, and mish-mosh storage items. I also hide a lot under my mondo-desk (wink).

As you can imagine, this was already a lot of stuff and two busy purposes to fit into one room, even though it’s good-sized. I have always liked sharing my space with the play room because the kids and I hang out in there a lot together. Or at least we did, until it also became “the dumping ground room.” That was not supposed to be the plan, LOL! Look, I’m a busy mom. Due to this stupid economy, I’ve been working 50-60 hours a week. The kids do sports, I do Bible study, I sell Memory Works, clean, do constant laundry, take care of a puppy, blah, blah, blah. Not making excuses, just explaining how this all got out of hand. I simply haven’t had time to focus on an organized home, as I can barely function on the 4-5 hours a sleep I get per night as it is. So anytime something new enters the house and I don’t have time to make room for it in a closet, or get rid of something else to make room for it, it gets dumped in the scrap room/play room. Ugh. (Hint, I’m preparing you for the photos so you don’t go into a horrible shock).

Here’s my other problem…I’m an admitted pack rat. I’m trying to reform and I certainly don’t want an intervention by my family, so I’m always working on it and fighting it. I get occasional bursts of energy where I purge the pantry, clean out my bookshelves, fill garbage bags with old clothes, etc. But admittedly, things have gotten out of hand in the last year or so. Well, I’m plenty sick of it and it’s time to make it right. Other than the sheer clutter, one thing that really bugs me and has to change is that the kids play area has to be moved. You have to walk through their area to get to mine, and to get to the sliding glass door to the backyard. No matter how much I nag, a fact of life is that they WILL leave toys, books, puzzles, etc. on the playroom floor…right in the path to those two places. And it’s their play area, ya know? They should be ABLE to leave out projects they’re working on, Monopoly games in progress, or art work interrupted, right? I’m just tired of stubbing my toes on all of it. If I step on that little shoe from Monopoly in my bare feet one more time…why I oughta!…..

So I had the bright idea to not only purge and re-organize my scrap space, but to move their play space to the guest room. We’ll move their toys and games, and get rid of some along the way, too :) Their TV and movies can also be moved, which will at the same time provide a TV in the guest room for my mom to watch when she comes to stay with us. This is a semi-tangent…but the way it is now, their playroom TV is about 15 feet away from the living room TV, so when the grownups are trying to watch something, we’re often competing with the kids’ TV. It’s kind of funny, the battle of the dueling remotes…we can’t hear, so we turn up our volume. Then they can’t hear, so their TV goes louder, and before you know it, the house is very LOUD. Now their TV will be farther away and behind a door, so we can now watch R-movies with “the language” and not constantly have to push mute for fear they’ll overhear, and they can watch SpongeBob and his annoying, nasally laugh to their heart’s content, LOL. By the way, I {heart} Patrick….

So. Decided. Playroom stuff moving to guest room. which means that my scrap space has room to expand and breathe. However, as much as I want the kids to have their own place where they can shut the door and watch a movie, or be able to spread out with their games, I also want them to still “need” to be in my scrap area sometimes so we can spend time together. And wouldn’t it be nice to have somewhere else for them to do homework, etc. other than the nice, oak dining room table? Why, yes. Yes, it would! That’s why I’m going to repurpose my scrap table into a Homework Table for the kids, and keep it in my scrap room. They’ll still have a place and purpose in my area, which is really cool. Also, I’ll still have the couch in my scrap room (erm….the cleaned off, easy-to-lie-down-on couch…) so they can come and chill, read a book, tell me about their day, whatevs.

I think I’ll utilize what used to be the DVD/game cabinet (see pic below) to store office supplies, etc. and free up more room in the guest room, where all that stuff currently resides. I used to keep this kind of stuff in a cabinet in there, which will now house the TV and games. Make sense? Just a straight swapperoo!

Being the anal, plan-ahead, worrier type that I am, my wheels are turning about what furniture to move where and how to store what. I pull out some graph paper and draw a diagram for my “new” scrap room. See, I’ve always had to call it a “scrap space” before, but now I can say “scrap room.” Yeah! There are two things I need to work around initially. The sliding door to the backyard means I have to keep a decent walkway available in that area of the room. Also, there are four 5-shelf cheap-o bookcases lining one wall and they need to stay put. They’re mounted to the wall with brackets, as we’re in earthquake country, and I’m not in the mood to unmount and remount those stinkin’ shelves. Besides, this room has a vaulted ceiling and the shelves are on “the tall wall,” also a long, solid wall, so that’s the logical place for them anyway. The best part about the shelves is that by moving the toys and stuff off of them, I’m gaining almost a whole shelf unit for my scrappy stuff….niiiiice. I’m going to move some of my books out of the guest room, and make one whole set of shelves for my books, too.

After 2 tries, I come up with a good room diagram for how want to arrange things. Now, I can drift off to sleep, and dream about someday scrapping in a more open and organized space….Oh, wait, I can’t sleep yet. I have one more thing to do and I can’t procrastinate any longer…

I guess now it’s time for the thoroughly embarrassing photos. I needed DH to move the TV for me when he had a moment, so that’s the only thing missing from the original (highly cringe-worthy) status of this room. Gulp! Here you go…

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This is the wall to your hard left as you enter the play room area through the open doorway from the dining/living rooms. You can see the slider I’m talking about to the far right. The TV sat on top of that oak cabinet, and it’s filled with games and DVDs. All those pieces of stacked wood are to construct the hutch that goes with my desk, but I decided not to use it after all, so all those pieces are going in the attic. Those old toys are trash and we’ll see if we can use the plastic baskets for toy storage or something, or maybe to hold outdoor toys in the garage?

As you will see, this is the room to dump plastic containers that have rotated out of use. And I don’t know if you can see them, but behind the hutch pieces and then leaning toward the door frame, there are pool cues. Yes, pool cues. Growing up, my grandparents had a pool table in their rumpus room. Every time we’d visit them, all the kids would play pool. When my grandpa, then grandma, passed away, my mom asked what I wanted from them to keep I chose were the pool cues, among some other things. We had a pool table at the time (in this room, in fact) and I wanted to remember my wonderful grandparents and how much fun I had at their home whenever WE played pool. So, even though I have no practical use for pool cues now, I haven’t been able to get rid of them. I have such a hard time letting go of sentimental things like this. But I will. I’ve decided to take photos of them, and scrap this little story about them….and let them go. See? I’m learning…. Okay, time for another upsetting photo…

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This actually disgusts me to look at, how ugly and horrible this room is. Here’s the couch we can no longer sit on, because things just get dumped here: A box of wedding china, a globe, boxes of toys given to us, pictures that need to be hung, a box of sentimental baby items I want to keep, newspaper with an article to scrapbook, a DVD to put away, another empty plastic bin, an empty Memory Works box to break down and recycle, etc. Behind the couch is my L-shaped desk with an over-full ScrapRack (major purging will happen there!). Man, don’t be surprised if I delete these photos from the post when I panic…this is TOO embarrassing!

Okay, deep breaths, deep breaths! It’s going to get all better, with time, hard work, and patience. Someday soon, I’ll look back at these photos and laugh. Right?

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Friday Night Scrapbook Randoms #3

It’s the Friday night before a Saturday of cropping, yahoo! Yeppers, I’m going to crop with some friends tomorrow, from about noon to 9pm. I’m working now, and I haven’t even packed yet so it’ll be the usual, me scrambling to pack my crop bags late the night before, hoping I’m remember everything and putting together some semblance of things I can use to make actual layouts with, lol! I am the WORST about packing ahead for crops. The magic package I talked about HERE did indeed arrive today, and I’m so excited to look through it all. Since I’m busy anyway, I’m saving it to look through with the girls tomorrow. If I can resist…

One of the new things I got was the “AMBER ROAD” theme set from PINK PAISLEE. I saw something today that made me love it even more…CHECK IT OUT! And THIS TOO. Isn’t she amazing and ever-so-talented? Love what she did with Amber Road…

Saw this over on 2peas and wanted to share it with you. I had bookmarked this link a long time ago but forgot all about it, so I’m glad it was posted again….Free printable graph paper, ledger paper, binder paper etc. for your scrapbooks ~ you can make some super cool journaling spots, for one! LOOKIE HERE

This useful computer tool was also posted by a Pea: SCRAP BY COLOR color matching tool It takes the colors from your photos and gives you color swatch matches to use in your scrapbooking. Love it. Thank you, ROSALYNN!

About THIS, all I can say is WTH?

I will leave you with THIS. Talk about a scrapbooker’s dream trip! Ali, Karen, and Jenni plus that amazing place. Wow. Wish I could go…

Before my crop tomorrow, I’m going to the beach ~ it’s a family tradition, Coastal Cleanup day ~ so it’s my two favorite things in one day. No, not litter and cigarette butts, silly! The ocean and scrapbooking. Hope you have a great weekend and get some time to scrapbook to your heart’s content.

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Memory Works: Come “Shopping” with a Consultant

It’s pretty funny that this comes on the heels of my POST about how I have so much scrap stuff that I feel defensive of it, LOL!

But I truly was overdue in placing a Memory Works order; I haven’t done one since July 15, when I got that MEGA KIT from My Minds Eye for myself, and filled two customer orders. In the meantime, I’ve gotten several product credits for signing up new consultants (both hobbyists and “premium” consultants….thanks so much ladies!) that have been burning a hole in my virtual shopping cart. I’ve been restraining myself from using them as I watched all the new stuff from CHA Summer come in. But most of it is here now, and if I wait too long, the things I want will be gonzo. {The only thing I’m still waiting for are the new THICKERS}. Today, I received a customer order so the time had come to place an actual order instead of just dreaming about it, lol. Besides, I NEED STOCK!

I thought I’d share what one of my orders looks like. Back when I was going gangbusters with MEMORY WORKS (last year, before the economy tanked), I would make $100+ orders like this about once every month or two. If you figure that as an MW CONSULTANT, I get 20% of the retail amount of each order, you can see I was making some pretty nice bank. I mean, I was never no Lisa “QVC” Bearnson, but I was doing okay :)

However, those were the good ol’ days, and placing an order like this now literally makes my hands shake. I’ve got about half of the cost covered already with product credits and the customer order. But the rest is just cash I’m laying out there, hoping to sell these products to friends and at crops, and recoup my money with a little bit of profit. Or if I can sell 80% of it, then the 20% that I can’t sell – and thus, it enters my own stash for good – can be considered my “profit.” That’s why I only buy products that I love and would use myself….because if I can’t sell them, they become mine. Mines, all mines! Yeah, break my heart, why don’t you? Force me to take all these ugly scrap supplies that no one wants.

Okay, on to the order. This is gonna be pic heavy, so get ready to scroll, especially you Laptoppers like me….

1 BasicGrey: Take Note – Eerie $5.00

****** From here down to We R MK stamps and then the white Thickers, these are items on Fall Clearance so the prices are great; a good time to stock up! ******

1 American Crafts: Thickers – Lullaby Blush $3.20

1 Basic Grey: Chip Sticker ABCs – Lime Rickey $5.60

1 BoBunny: Gearhead Rub-on – Grease Monkey $2.80

1 Heidi Swapp: Tools – Edge Distresser $1.20

2 Jenni Bowlin: Label Strip Stickers – Brown $2.00

1 Making Memories: Tiny Alpha – Teal $2.40

1 MME: Theme Set – Cowabunga $5.40

1 MME: Theme Set – Wild Ride $5.40

1 Pink Paislee: Chipboard Letters – Fascinating $3.60

2 We R Memory Keepers: Clear Stamps – List $ .80

1 7 Gypsies: Theme Set – Victoria $5.00

1 American Crafts: Thickers – Sprinkles White $4.00

1 American Crafts: Thickers – Sprinkles Lavender $5.00

1 BoBunny: Combo Stickers – St Nick $3.00

1 Cosmo Cricket: Rub-ons – The Boyfriend $3.00

1 Creative Imaginations: Cardstock Stickers – South Seas $3.50

1 Creative Imaginations: Theme Set – Class Act $6.00

1 Creative Imaginations: Journaling Pad – Class Act $5.00

1 Creative Imaginations: Theme Set – Liberty $3.75

1 Creative Imaginations: Journaling Pad – Just Wonderful $5.50

1 Creative Imaginations: Holey Cardstock – Chocolate Swirl $2.00

1 Fancy Pants: Notebook – Christmas Magic $9.00

1 Jenni Bowlin: Memo Book – Black $4.50

1 MME: Theme Set – The Spider’s Web $7.75

1 MME: Theme Set – Merry Days of Christmas $7.75

1 Pink Paislee: Theme Set – Amber Road $5.50

1 Scrap Within Reach: Journaling Tags – Paper Boy $1.20

1 Three Bugs: Die-cut Tags – To the Rescue $2.00

Okay, first I have to comment on some of these items…

Basic Grey “Lime Rickey” blue chip stickers – Love! How did I never notice those before?

Jenni Bowlin brown label stickers – Did you notice I ordered two? Mama wants her own set. Not. For. Sale.

We R Memory Keepers clear stamps – Only 80 stinkin’ cents. I mean, that’s a no-brainer, right? I got one to sell, one to keep.

7 Gypsies “Victoria” Theme set – Remember that from HERE? Yeah, I caved and bought it. Those papers are sooooo pretty! But here’s the deal I made with the scrapbook goddesses: I’m going to set that paper free, and offer it for sale to customers. If it flies to someone else, it was never mine to begin with. If it returns to me, it was mine all along…

Pink Paislee “Amber Road” theme set – I drooled over it HERE. I finally ordered some. I’m going to set it free also. And hope that it comes back….

As you can probably tell from the things I ordered, I have customers with boys, public safety customers, and customers who have surfers in their family (we do live by the coast, after all). You can also see that I like to order products based on the seasons on either side of us at any given time, because that’s what people are scrapping now or preparing to scrap for. Right now, that would be 4th of July and 9/11, summer, back to school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Alphas and journaling items are always big sellers. It’s all a balancing act, placing an order, because I have to stay within my budget, fill customer orders, and choose other items based on what I think customers will like, taking into consideration the seasons, and what hobbies and interests my regular customers have. Also, I try to keep in mind the tastes of my friends. For instance, there were about 5 different Halloween sets I chose from and I went with one that has a more “distress-y” look because, in my experience, in my crowd, that sells over the real bold, bright look.

Now, don’t you wish you were a Memory Works consultant?!? LOL I don’t know if that was interesting at all, but I thought if nothing else, you’d enjoy looking at the pretty pictures. “I do NOT have scrapbooker’s A.D.D. …. Ooooh, look sparklies!!” Yeah, I got your number, sister. Holla!

I placed this order online late Tuesday night, and got an instant order receipt in my e-mail. Then Wednesday morning around 11, I got a UPS shipping notification that 2 boxes were on the way to me ALREADY! That’s one thing I *lurve* about Memory Works; they ship your order within one business day of receiving it. I also signed up a friend to start receiving the monthly kit, called MEMORY WORKS EXPRESS. The September kits had already gone out, so her first kit would normally have been the October. But she asked if she could still get September, so I e-mailed Miss Fabulosity aka Jodi at MW customer service. She said to just let her know when I had registered my friend, and she would manually go in and start her in September. Voila! It was done, just as she said. I got a UPS notice that my friend’s kit has shipped, also.

Now what’s super cool is that this friend, me, and a few others are meeting up to crop this Saturday…and our Memory Works shipments are due to arrive….wait for it….wait for it…..FRIDAY!!! Just in time :) So that will be wicked cool. Sorry I keep bragging on Memory Works…I just can’t say enough good things about ‘em. It was really fun to “shop” for that order, even if most of it will be sold to others (hopefully). Hope you enjoyed our shopping trip, too!

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The New Pink “X” Xyron Machine

I saw this when I was at Michaels the other day, but forgot to take a photo. I borrowed this one from another Pea named BENITA, an inspirational lady with a sister dealing with cancer, who she talks about HERE.

Benita says 50 cents of each purchase goes to breast cancer research. I already have the orange “X” Xyron. It was actually one of my first ever scrapbooking purchases, lo those many years ago. I use it all the time for getting adhesive on the back of those tricky Cricut letters. But even though I don’t “need” a pink one, I’ve decided to get one the next time I’m at Mike’s. It’s for a wonderful cause, right?

I’m hearing good reviews of them, too. I noticed the slot on top is smaller and I thought that would be a bad thing, but apparently not….just listen to what the Peas say HERE and HERE. One poster said that it’s exclusive to Mike’s for one month, then will be available wherever Xyron products are sold. Even though this pink “X” just showed up at my Michaels, it has been seen at other ones since early August (so start looking for it in other stores, too).

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Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: A Prologue

I’ve scrapbooked for 8 years, and had a scrapbook space in my home for about 6 or 7 years. In that time, I’ve bought more organizational items and reorganized my stuff more times than I can count. Although my amount of supplies, tools, and completed scrapbooks have increased a bunch during that time, my amount of scrap space has not, and I was feeling really cramped. So, the time has come for a major re-do, not only to my existing scrap space but it’s affecting two other areas of my house as well.

I have to say, I’m somewhat hesitant to start posting about this subject, for a kind of dumb reason. Like many long-time scrappers, I have LOTS of stuff. Lots of scrap stuff. Lots of photos and memorabilia. Lots of other stuff in my scrap area that doesn’t even belong there, but it takes on the identity of scrap stuff because it’s been dumped there and looks like it belongs, LOL. But this is what’s going to happen: People are going to read the entries about my room re-do, see the photos off all my “schtuff” (as NOEL JOY likes to call it), and person after person will say, “Wow, you have a lot of stuff!” or “It’s like a scrapbook store!” or “When can I come shop your stash??” or “Does one person really have that much stuff?!?!”

For some reason ~ and I know it’s irrational because who cares “what people say?” ~ but those comments really bother me. I think mostly because I take them to have an undercurrent (or heck, a blatant, outright message) of “Why in the HAY-ELL do you HAVE so much stuff?” and “It’s ridiculous to have as many supplies as a store would have!” Even if the comments aren’t intended that way, that’s how I tend to read them.

I’ve seen these types of comments on my own blog when I’ve re-orged before. I’ve seen them on the blogs of other ladies who’ve shared their lovingly organized scrap spaces. I’ve heard scrappers trashed on message boards: “She must be in massive debt,” or “She needs to get a life.” {I remember this one poor girl that was bombarded with things like, “How many bottles of Primas does one person need?!?! You are disgusting.” Crap, maybe she was on the DT for Prima and they were all free samples for her to create with, biz-natch!} Anyway, just hurtful, damaging things are sometimes said. There are also funny things and sarcastic things that probably meant very little to the person saying them, but to the person who’s being talked about . . . it can be a big “ouch,” kwim?

When people comment on my amount of scrap stuff, I always feel the need to defend myself, to explain, to justify. Yes, I have legitimate reasons for having such a good stash. But, no, I’m not rich, I don’t spend recklessly, I’m not spoiled, I’m not in huge scrap-debt, and I don’t need to get a life. I have a wonderful life, thankyouverymuch! But I also have feelings and misplaced guilt and sensitivities and, most importantly, JUSTIFICATIONS! :) {Ha ha, I had to throw that in there, didn’t I?}

Another thing that bothers me about those comments is that they are totally missing the point of the person ~ say, me, for instance ~ who has taken the time to not only re-do their space, but to take photos along the way and then write about the experience. The point isn’t to show off the massive amount of supplies we have, or to hear how much we remind the reader of their LSS. The point is to share organizational ideas. When I post about my process, I want people to ask organizational questions, inquire where I got a certain storage unit, or to compliment me on how cleverly I’ve arranged everything {‘cuz I’m needy like that}.

I don’t want to hear about my plethora of supplies. Yeah, I HAVE A LOT. That’s why I’m organizing them. Duh.

So that’s why I’m hesitant to start this whole process. NOT the process of reorganizing, ‘cuz that’s a done deal. That’s already happening, baby! And I’m thrilled about it. But I’m leery about sharing my “diary” here on the blog, because I’m afraid off those comments I’ll get that I know will hurt my feelings. Sure, I can delete the ones I don’t like….it is MY blog, after all! But I like to leave comments standing for the most part, and don’t censor my blog comments unless they’re spam or really super offensive. I’m a straight-up person with nothing to hide (well, isn’t that ironic?) so if readers do make those comments I so dread, I’ll most likely leave them there for all future readers to see. And I will want to yell at them, “But, but, but wait!” Yet I promise, I will bite my tongue and forge on. Even though I have an entire post practically written in my head called, “In Defense of All My Scrap Crap.” You know, where I get to ‘splain myself before you assume I belong on A&E’s “HOARDERS” or “CLEAN HOUSE,” hanging out with mah gurrrrrl, Niecy Nash, LOL!

But, ya know, I’ve explained myself before and no one wants to hear it, let’s be honest. They just want to tell me how much stuff I have. You know it’s true! Remember this post and, when you see those comments in the future, come back here and say, “Erika, your ESPN was working. You were right.”

The most common way by far that people come upon my blog is from searching for “scrapbook room” or “scrapbook organization.” It’s an immensely popular topic in Scrap World, as we scrappers acquire all these fun goodies and are curious how others have their pretties arranged and their scrap spaces decorated. I ADORE looking at photos of and hearing about others’ scrapbook rooms and storage ideas. So, yes, I will bite the bullet, take those comments as they come, and eat Double Stuff Oreos to dull the pain. Because I do want to share this project, this adventure, with anyone who wants to listen. I hope I can be of help to readers, whether it be to give storage ideas, provide inspiration to re-org your own space, or even just give you something to read while you drink your cuppa Joe in front of the computer in the morning.

Stay tuned, scrappy organizers….the journey is about to begin :)

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Scrapbook Shopping Quickie

I’m in the midst of a MAJOR scrapbook room / home office / play room switcheroonie and reorganization and purge. I’m taking pics along the way and will post a series of blog entries coming up….

This may be old news for some of you, but my Michaels just started carrying DISTRESS STICKLES by Tim Holtz. Yeah, finally! I’ve been a huge fan of STICKLES forevah! {Although, as scrappers wanting to finish a project, “waiting for the Stickles to dry” has become our version of watching paint dry…}. Anyhow, have been wanting to try these. I got a 3-pack; I think they were around $6 but I had a 1/2 off coupon. Sweeeeeet….

ETA 9-11-09: Found the LINK to Distress Stickles at Mike’s, and here is the pack that I got. This is the only choice they had, but the website shows a total of 4 combo packs so hopefully my Mike’s will get the other 3 eventually…

Also, the Peas are talking HERE about some Tuesday Morning finds. Let’s just say Making Memories “Whimsey,” Pink Paislee “POP FASHION,” and lots of other stuff.

I finally found the new issue of Scrapbooks Etc…you know, the first issue with the CHANGES I talked about before. I’ve been thumbing through it the last couple nights and I’m taking note of the changes I like and don’t like for a future post. What do you think of the new format?

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A Milestone is Coming! Must Be Time for a Big Scrappy Prize…

I was looking at my Blog Stats and noticed that I’m less than 25,000 hits from rolling over HALF A MILLION, baby! That is soooo cool. I’ll have to plan a good contest and prize for the big event, don’t you think?

I also noticed lots of hits on my “Troy the Locator” article below, but no one is leaving comments. Was it that bad? (You know I was kidding about the “being better than you” thing, right?) Was it too long to read through? I was thinking I should’ve broken it up into two entries. Let me know your thoughts so I can learn from my mistakes, please :) :) :)

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Troy Dunn, “The Locator”, Scrapbooking, and Photographs

Without further adieu, here is my “Locator” post…

As I talked about HERE, I was contacted by WeTV to participate in a conference call with none other than Troy Dunn from their fabulous show, “The Locator.” I’d written about the show on my blog in the past HERE and HERE because I love it so very much. I thought it was so cool that not only did Troy come and leave a comment on my blog, but his mom (you see her on the show, too) did as well. One of the coolest things is that they sent me the link to a sneak preview of the new season of The Locator that only a special, select few IN THA WORLD get to see. Well, I don’t know that for a fact, but to make my ego supersized, let’s just assume that’s true. C’mon, play along with me….

They also sent me this picture to use in my article, which is from the new season and has NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE on the face of the earth. Exclusive to ME!! Bwahahaha. Okay, I’m totally lying again. I’m apparently at an insecure mood at this point in time and have a need to feel important and much, much better than you. I promise, I’ll get over it. But cool photo, right?

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Did you know that one of Troy’s sons (Treston; LOVE that name!) keeps a family blog? Why don’t you go say “hi” right here to THE DUNN FAMILY.

Anyway, the date and time to speak with him finally arrived, which was September 3rd at 8am my time. That worked out well because, even though that’s a work day for me, I start at 8:30 (and I work from home as a medical transcriber so it’s a short commute). I told the gal who was coordinating everything – Katrina from WeTV – and she allowed me to ask my questions first in case I had to cut out early.

The two other bloggers who were also on the conference call with Troy (yeah, I get to call him that, ‘cuz we TALKED, you know?) were Gina from the THE CLAN McCLEOD blog, and Jill from the OKLA-HOME blog. Go check them out…both are really great blogs.

So, back to the call…Troy came on the line and everyone said good morning and where they’re from. I was able to go first and started off by reminding Troy that I was the one who had blogged that he’s a hottie. Again, like the comment he left on that post, Troy (or, as I sometimes call my new BFF, “T.”) was very modest and we joked about things like that scoring points with his wife.

My first question was: You talked in the comment you left (on my blog) about scrapbooking and the role it plays on your show. Can you please talk about that some more?

He said that scrapbooking is very much a part of The Locator. One thing is that many times, people who participate in the show immediately scrapbook their experience. He says that by what his show does, they allow people to have another 10 or 20 years of their lives to make the memories to fill up more scrapbooks. T. also said that his family has scrapbookers and they give and receive them for gifts. On his coffee table near him while we spoke, was a scrapbook that a fan sent him, all made up to honor the show, The Locator. The person had taken photos from the show, newspaper clippings, and letters from the website. {This reminded me of the album – or is it albumSSS – made by my Scrap Pal, Gay to honor her fascination with….er, lust for….I mean, um, admiration of the acting abilities of Gerard Butler. But that’s a whole ‘nother story I can’t get into right now}. Anyway, so then Troy said, “I have nothing but love and respect for scrapbooks and if I can help people fill the pages of them, fill their lives, then I’m totally jazzed about that.” See, not only handsome, but wicked smaht.

Then he said that he keeps waiting for a scrapbooking company to contact him, that he’d love to do a whole “Locator” scrapbooking line. I joked that maybe I should put some bugs in some ears in this industry about this great idea. As it happens, I’m having lunch later this week with STACY JULIAN, KELLY GOREE, CATHY Z, and LISA BEARNSON, so I’ll probably bring it up then. Nah, you know I don’t really know those ladies. Well, unless you count years upon years of drooling over their work in magazines and stalking….erm, I mean… leaving (perfectly harmless) comments on their blogs as being friends. Because I do. I consider them my friends.

My second question was about photographs, and how important those are in our lives; his thoughts on that, maybe reactions he’d seen from people he reunited when either they were shown photos of themselves they hadn’t known existed, or the opposite, when no photos exist and how that impacts them. (Crikes, didn’t realize what a long-winded question that was til I had to type it out and got a case of carpal tunnel while doing so… Sheesh, Erika, brief much?).

This was one of my favorite parts. Troy said that one of the greatest myths about photographs is that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” He said that a picture is worth a million words. He said photos are so extraordinary because of how close they come to “bringing a real person to somebody.” He said he often gets the same reaction from showing someone a photo of their long lost loved one, as he does from showing them the actual person. I find that amazing and, yet, totally relatable and I’ve seen it many times on the show, the profound reaction people have when seeing a photo of their loved one for the first time. The other amazing thing Troy had to say about photos is they he tries to never go into a reuniting situation without one because they make great transitional objects. We talked about how, for instance, a mom who hasn’t seen her missing son since he was four months old. In her heart and head, she may largely picture her son today as still being that four-month-old little baby. What a shock it could be if she first laid eyes on him again as an adult now. So by exposing her to current photos of him beforehand, she can start transitioning herself mentally into “This is what he looks like now.” He compared it to a situation in his own life, and a daughter (one of his SEVEN children with his wife) who battled cancer. Friends that hadn’t seen her in a while would’ve been quite shocked to then see her bald, so he used photos as a kind of transition so they could wrap their brains around how she looked currently, instead of revealing a shock or a sadness upon actually laying eyes on her. As I told Troy, I’d never thought of photos as that “transitional object,” but how very true and powerful that is, don’t you think?

So, those were my two main questions. Troy next answered questions from Gina and Jill, which were great to listen to. I know Jill has blogged about her experience speaking with Troy on her blog listed above, and I hope Dena will post about her take, also.

Then we got to ask a third question, since there was still time, and I asked him a question that had been posed by one of my kids when they found out I would be talking to Troy. {The Locator is a wonderful family show and I watch it often with my kids, so they’re Troy Fans also}. The question was about all the travel he does for the show, does he like it or not? Troy’s answer was what you’d expect from the true family man that he is….that while he’d gotten to go places he’d never have gone otherwise, that nothing was better than being home with his family. Shoot, with a wife and seven kids, imagine how many events you could miss in just a few days, LOL!. He talked about the toll that reality shows seem to be taking on the families who participate in them lately, and how family must remain the priority above all else. We also learned some “show secrets” such as the getaway car, and Troy’s favorite getaway meal. You know, things Troy only tells his “good friends,” of which I am clearly one. {Ahem}.

So that was my wonderful experience talking to Troy. He said if I contacted his staff, he would send a photo to my kids and I’m still working on arranging that. Sorry this is so long, but I had to capture all the details while they were fresh in my mind ‘cuz you know I’ll be making this blog entry into the journaling for my scrapbook layout, of course. Now, if only I could find some Locator-themed scrapbooking elements to jazz up my page, I’d be in business. Lisa??? Kelly???

PS: A reminder that the new season of THE LOCATOR starts soon! Put it on your calendar or set your DVR now...This Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 9pm PST (check listings for your own time zone).

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Friday Night Scrapbook Randoms #2

Except I forgot to write this up Friday night, so it’s actually “The Wee Hours of Sunday Morning Scrapbook Randoms,” LOL. {It’s 4am to be exact}. The benefit of me being so tardy is that I can share THIS with you. Pair it up with that 50-percenter I already gave you, and you’re good to go.

Word on the street is that you can get a BIG BITE at Walmart for $5. HERE is the orange one on Walmart.com, which normally retails for almost $40.

I’m sure it won’t be 5 bucks at MY Walmart, because they never have whatever it is all you scrappers are bragging about until a month or two later, if at all. But, hey, go check it out. Maybe you’ll get lucky and then come back here and rub my nose in it… (Kidding! You know I took Sarcasm 101 and got an A+, right? Like, SEVERAL times. In fact, I’m teaching the class next semester…).

There’s a new blog by a Pea I wanted to share with you. Her message board name always catches my eye, cuz it’s SCRAPPIN PSYCHO. See, I figure I may be Obsessed but SHE is psycho. And her scrap room is called The Asylum. I keep trying to tell you people that I’m not the only scrapbook crazy out there, but now I have proof!

Hey, did you know the monthly crop at AMR Is next weekend? Yep, I’m totally not kidding. Here are the details, as shared by crop queen diva, MARILYN aka Melonscraps:

Start getting ready for the September Crop!! It will be Friday, September 11-Sunday, September 13!
What to expect…
The theme will be FALL.
There will be a BINGO game, but not by Michelle.
I will be posting another fun game, at least one.
There are sure to be lots of challenges, if you plan on doing one, pm me!
There will also be another ATC swap!
There will be lots of chatting and someone please bring the Margaritas!!
Feel free to join in the fun with challenges, games, etc.
Come one, come all, and have fun!!

The crop post is HERE for any updates or more info. Hope to see you there!

I will close with THIS, “Warning Signs That You Might Be a Scrapbooker.” I can definitely identify with lots of those. And, no, NOT number 22. Sheesh, give me a little bit of credit….

Hope you’re having a great weekend. ~TTFN~

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Memory Works: New Basic Grey and Fancy Pants is HERE!

You can see Basic Grey ~ Indian Summer, Eerie, Eskimo Kisses, and Nook and Pantry HERE. {As of this writing, the Nook & Pantry still shows out of stock, but I’m sure we’ll have it soon}. I’ll give a taste of each by showing you the Theme Sets of paper, but we have a bunch of stuff from each line.




And here is Fancy Pants ~ Rough and Tough, Dancing Girl, Little Sprout, Trick or Treat, and Christmas Magic HERE.

Instructions on how to order are HERE. Would love to hear from you :)

O. EM. GEE! Have you seen this batty lace doily by Basic Grey?!?!?! Must. Have.

Okay, now I can’t wait to shop. I’ve been holding on to some Product Credits for a while now, waiting for all the CHA stuff to roll in. We’re still waiting on the new Doodlebug, Sassafrass, and We R Memory Keepers, but I can’t wait any longer. Now that the BG and Fancy Pants are here, I’m going to order before it’s gone. I also want this “Take Note” from the BG Eerie line, among other things:

HERE is the September Newsletter from Basic Grey, if you’d like to see some great layout ideas with these new lines and some past ones. What new CHA Summer stuff are you excited about or going to order?

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Michaels Coupons for Labor Day Week

This is the first week without coupons via newspaper ads (I talked about it HERE). So HERE is a link to the coupons I got via e-mail ~ they’re good ones! Hopefully they will work for you, and there’s not a limit on the number you can print. Let me know if it doesn’t work.

ETA 9-4-09: Thank you, Heidi, for leaving this comment:

Did you see the notice on the 2nd link: “We’re sorry. This coupon is no longer available because the viewing limit has been exceeded.
If you have been forwarded this coupon and would like to receive offers like this directly from Michaels, please register at Michaels.com. ” What ‘limit’???

That’s what I was afraid of. They’ve done this before, limited your ability to open and print the coupon to only once. Darn. Sorry guys. If I can find another version of the coupon to link to, I’ll post it. Or if you find one, let me know please!

ETA 9-4-09 again: Try THIS. It’s a different coupon but better! I got it from another site and it printed, no problem.

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“The History of Scrapbooking” as told by the layout…

Just wanted to share this amazing layout I saw on 2peas by FlowerFlora from Athens, Greece.

I’m just stunned by this layout. The intricacy, the historical fact, the sheer artistry. Anyone who thinks it’s “just scrapbooking” should look at this piece. Personally, I think it belongs in a museum….

This amazing artist’s 2peas gallery is HERE. You can see close-ups of everything, and read all the journaling. HERE is her blog…it’s all written in Greek, which is fun to look at in itself, not to mention her body of work! Like her “Life is a Tree,” for example…

Did I mention she does STUNNING work????

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Crop Report and Michaels Coupon News

Just wanted to tell you about the crop I went to on Saturday. It was a lot of fun and I got 9 pages done in about 11 hours. That might be a record, LOL. Granted, I need to add the journaling on most of the layouts so they’re not complete quite yet. The crop was from 9 to 9 and I said I was going to get there right at 9, to take full advantage of my crop fee….cuz I’m stingy like that. However, I didn’t end up leaving the house until 9, then went to Michaels and Starbucks on the way (which were both right down the street from the crop).

At Michaels, I learned two things from the employees while I was there. 1. The beading area (at least at our store) is expanding, and 2. No more Michaels coupons via Sunday paper flyers. Yes, I’m bolding that…it’s big news!

So I was cruising the scrapbooking area, looking for something worthy of my 40% coupon, and coming up dry at that point. I went to look in the center aisle sections, desperately trying to find the load of new Sassafrass product “mah people” told me was at Mike’s these days (no luck). The next aisle from scrapbooking is beading and there were two employees resetting the aisle. I said, “Hi” and one of them asked if they could help me find anything. I meant to ask about the Sassafrass but my eyes were blinded by the dizzying array of new beads they were hanging. Like, row upon row upon row of beads! My jaw dropped and she goes, “Yeah, we’re expanding to three aisles.” I said, “I used to make beaded jewelry but stopped for scrapbooking. Maybe I’ll have to get into it again!” and we laughed. Then I said, “You know, I’d better just not look,” and she said, “Yeah, bead shopping is pretty addicting.” She paused and said, “And I hear scrapbook shopping can be pretty addicting, too. Is that right?” I said, “Oh, you don’t know the half of it!!” And we all laughed. I complimented them on all the new scrapbook stuff they’ve been getting and told them to keep it coming. {I realize they’re employees, not buyers, but it never hurts to put in a good word, right?}.

I ended up grabbing a paper pad from We R Memory Keepers with sport stuff, called “MVP,” for $12 instead of $20. I would link you the whole line on the WRMK site, but I couldn’t find it there. Gotta’ say, I’m not a big fan of their website, the way it’s organized and the lack of information. But I copied this from an online retailer.

When I was checking out, the cashier told me that Michaels would no longer have ads in the Sunday paper, and that coupons would be strictly from the mailing list/website. She gave me a cute flyer explaining how to get on the mailing list, and I told her I was already on it, so I’m good to go. I asked her why did she think they were doing that, and she assumed it was due to cost, but had not been told that. So, more things changing due to the economy, I guess. I enjoy looking through the Michaels ad on Sunday mornings, along with Target and a few others, while I drink my coffee. Then I go right to the cupboard for my scissors, cut the coupon out, and stick it in my purse. So now my routine will change and I’ll have to remember to print the coupon out from the computer, but whatevs. I’m cool with it. Can’t blame them for having to stop the ads; they must be really expensive when you imagine ALL the newspapers they’re in. Some Canadian Peas said they’re doing the same thing up there. I do wonder if it’s a good business move though, don’t you? Do you think having the ad right there in your paper entices crafters and non-crafters alike to buy when they normally wouldn’t? I mean, you and I who are computer savvy (and on this dang thing all the time) have no problem just getting on their e-mail list and checking the ad online. But what about Nancy Sue in Kalamazoo who browses her Sunday ads, sees silk trees or Christmas decor on sale at Michaels, and thinks, “Oh, that’s a good price. I should go check that place out.” KWIM? Without the ad, I could see Michaels losing a lot of business. Anyway, us Mike’s freaks can view the weekly ad and sign up to receive printable coupons via e-mail HERE.

So, I left Mike’s, grabbed my sugar-free latte from StarCrack’s….erm, I mean…Starbucks, and got to the crop by about 10. There ended up being nine of us there. The hostess gave me a goodie bag with 3 sheets of Scenic Route 12×12 paper, all of which I ended up using on a “Back to Skool” 2-pager. The hostess had some things for sale (I bought 2 packs of Thickers….finally found one pack I’d been looking for….some Daisy D rub-ons, and a few other things).

There was a Creative Memories rep there taking catalog orders and I spoke to her about getting the new crop bags that are coming out….have you seen them? OMG! So so so cute! The whole set is black and white with a subtle daisy design and the interior of all the bags are pink polka dots. I love having a light-colored interior as it’s easier to find things. I can’t find a photo online or I would show you. I’ll go on and on about these bags in another post when I can find a photo of them. But I told the CMC that I was going to ask for the large bag (like an XXL) and a couple others for Christmas from my mom and DH. The bags I have were purchased piece meal. They’re old and they don’t match…some black, some navy, some blue. I got her card and will contact her when the time comes.

There was also a crop friend there selling Memory Works. She is a really sweet lady I’d met before through the crop hostess. We got to commiserate about being Memory Works Consultants and compare notes, so it was great. She had some Scrapbook Trends magazines (well, they’re like books really) for sale for $8; I think they’re usually $15. I don’t ever buy ST because it’s so dang expensive plus ~ I guess I’m a weirdo ~ but I like the ads so an “ad free” magazine isn’t a good thing to me, LOL! But I bought this issue called, “TrendSetters” which showcases 15 top scrapbookers; it’s from 2006. I love reading profiles of scrappers and seeing their work.

I couldn’t find this issue on the SCRAPBOOK TRENDS website but an online retailer sells it for about $14 (discounted), so I did get a good deal.

So, shopping and cropping all day. Couldn’t have had a better day if I tried. Hope you got some scrappy time this weekend as well. What do you think about the disappearance of Michaels ads in the Sunday paper?

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What Do Lisa Bearnson and “So You Think You Can Dance” Have in Common?

Absolutely nothing except that they both have upcoming shows I’m excited about!

Okay, LISA BEARNSON…Nope, unfortunately she’s not on QVC SCRAPBOOKING anymore :( Btw, I REALLY miss her on that show, don’t you? The other hosts try really hard but they just don’t have Lisa’s superior knowledge of scrapbooking products and how to use them. Plus, I miss her playfulness with David Venable.

Here she is with one of her daughters showing their seat belt burns from an accident they were in recently ~ thank goodness they were okay! Something tells me that without those seat belts, they wouldn’t have been….

Anyhow, I found THIS show that she’s going to be on (September 2 and 9, 2009), if you happen to get BYU-TV. You may not think you do, but look through ALLLLLL your cable or satellite channel listings and you might find it. On my Dish Network, it’s on Channel 9403….yeah, it’s way down there. It’s the same channel where I watch SCRAPBOOK MEMORIES, which has some new 2009 episodes. I haven’t watched in a while because I kept getting reruns of older shows but today I checked and am recording an upcoming episode that says 2009. Yippee skip! Love that show…

Okay, back to Lisa. The show is called “Latter Day Profiles” and the info says, “The co-founder and editor of Creating Keepsakes scrapbooking magazine, Lisa Bearnson.” Info also tells me this show originally aired on 6-24-09, so it’s fairly recent. Let’s check it out and then come back and compare notes, okay?

While searching around for shows to record, I also found something for fans of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. On Wednesday, 9-2-09, Fox is showing a special episode with “fan fave routines from previous seasons.” The only bad thing is it’s a mere 1-hour long. WTH? I can’t wait to see it and hope they show some different routines than what were on the SYTYCD finale. There are SO many past routines I love. I could watch them over and over. Then the following Wednesday, September 9th, the new season of SYTYCD premieres, followed by the long-awaited second episode of GLEE! This is a show that won me over the first episode when they performed “Don’t Stop Believin’,” by Journey, my all time favorite band. {If you see me on the scrapbook message boards, I’m always “journey fan.”} Check out a Glee preview HERE; the Journey song starts around 2:45.

So, ya gonna try and catch Lisa B. and/or the SYTYCD episode?

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New Products at Michaels

I’m so happy that Michaels is turning over their stock much more quickly than they used to. Just about every time I go into Mike’s, there is something new. Here are some photos of things that were new ~ to me at least. These photos were taken on my last few visits to Mike’s.

Making Memories alpha stickers
They had several colors. The font is cute and I love that there’s an little crystal on each letter.

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A bunch of new bling…

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Journaling tablet stickers by Die Cuts with a View. There were 5 different themes, like Travel, Love, and Family.

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Your eyes are not deceiving you…Those are Thickers @ Mike’s!! The choices are kind of slim so I hope they offer more style and colors in the future. Check out those red, yellow, and blue letter stickers. I swear those have been at Mike’s since 1996. C’mon, Mike’s, just toss them. If they haven’t sold in 13 years, they’re not going to sell now, LOL!

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I’m so bummed this photo didn’t come out! I wanted to show you all these cute little epoxy stickers by Recollections…arrows, flowers, and my favorite, rainclouds and raindrops.

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Blingetty bling bling!…

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I love this K&Co. album from the Cut ‘n Paste line. It’s pricey but maybe someday I can get it with a 40% or 50% off coupon. Yeah, yeah… a 50% coupon! When’s the next holiday?? Oh yeah, Labor Day is right around the corner…

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An overview of a lot of their new albums. The solid colored Recollections albums are on the top row. The ones below are so pretty/cool/cute; there are a couple albums there I would love to have.

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My Minds Eye paper stack, called “Complete Boy”

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My Minds Eye paper stack, called “Totally Girl”

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Cat’s Eye chalk inks ~ my ink of choice ~ and lots of Staz On inkpads.

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Brilliance “Dew Drops” ink pads and Tim Holtz Distress Inks in 6 colors! We’re big time now!

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Cute-alicious cupcake stamps…
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So, here is what I ended up with on trip #1: Some black Thickers. They are the puffy ones, black cursive font, called Rainboots. Also, a pack of American Crafts Slick Writers in black. I really only wanted the fine tip but they didn’t sell them separately in fine tip, only bold. Oh well, won’t hurt to have extra Slick Writers anyway. Used a 40% coupon on the pens.

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On trip #2, I got two of the Journal Stickers Tablets ~ Travel and Family, and some Recollections pearl bling strips in green and teal. Used a 40% coupon on one of the sticker books.

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Here’s one sheet of each of the Journal Sticker Tablets, just so you can see how cute they are. My Slick Writers will be perfect!

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I’m so impressed with Michaels lately. With the demise of so many LSS’s, maybe we’re giving them enough scrappy business to keep that part of the store going strong. I sure hope so….Mike’s is my main source for Scrap Crack….erm, I mean….scrap supplies. What new things have you seen or purchased at Mike’s lately?

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Memory Works: My Minds Eye Christmas Paper and Accessory Kit

Sounds like another great deal to me! I already have one in my shopping cart before they run out.

MME: Christmas Paper and Accessory Kit
This My Mind’s Eye kit includes (20) 12×12 sheets of double-sided cardstock paper, plus over 40 mix and match accessory pieces.

Retail Price: $15.00
ON SALE Price: $8.75 (Save 42%)

I’m going to use this kit to make my 2009 Christmas cards. Get a jump on them and get started now, so I won’t be scrambling like I always am in December, LOL! If you’d like to order, instructions are HERE. Merry Christmas in August!!!

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Bo Bunny: Delilah, Kitchen Spice, Flutter Butter, Boo Crew, Tis the Season, and St. Nick

Yep, all of these new Bo Bunny lines from CHA Summer 2009 are now in stock and ready to order at Memory Works! I’ll just give you a tease of each line by showing you the Theme Set, which is an exclusive to Memory Works. You get a set of 5 sheets of double-sided paper and 1 shaped paper for only $6.25. Also, there’s a sample layout or two so you can see each line in action. {Layouts are all from the Bo Bunny website, unknown artist(s)…}

DELILAH by Bo Bunny


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KITCHEN SPICE by Bo Bunny


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FLUTTER BUTTER by Bo Bunny


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BOO CREW by Bo Bunny


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TIS THE SEASON by Bo Bunny


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ST. NICK by Bo Bunny

Aren’t those great?!?! We carry each Theme Set with matching Cut-Outs (journaling tags and accents, 12×12, double sided), Buttons and Bling, iCandy Brads, Combo Stickers (a 12×12 sheet with alpha, swirlies, and such), Rub-Ons, and acrylic stamps.

You can see all of our new Bo Bunny stuff from CHA right HERE. I notice that a few of the items are showing Out of Stock, which either means they haven’t been received yet, or that the item was so popular, it already sold out.

Memory Works, along with other scrapbooking materials distributors, has been struggling recently with the fact that vendors are not able to sustain product availability over the whole season like they used to. This is, of course, due to the downturn in the industry of late. MEMORY WORKS has responded by deciding to issue an additional catalog every year. We all hope this offers better service and more predictability to our customers. It’s very frustrating, I know, to want an item and see that it’s already out of stock, and the manufacturers won’t be able to provide any more to Memory Works. It seems everyone is doing their best to make it all work! Thank you for understanding….

Anyhoo, if you see any items you like, I would encourage you to order soon! Just sayin…. LOL :) Click HERE for more info on ordering, or becoming a Memory Works hobbyist or consultant.

I think my favorite of these new BO BUNNY lines is Flutter Butter. I’m a sucker for that color combination. So pretty and so versatile….beach, outdoors, park, family, just about anything. Which one is your fave?

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Good Grief Blog: Scrapbooking the Loss of a Loved One

Isn’t it interesting the way God times things in our lives? Giving us just what we need, just when we need it…

I recently posted this layout on my blog, about my Dad who passed away 16 years ago.

In case it’s too small to read, the journaling is simply the lyrics from “THE DANCE” by Garth Brooks:

Looking back
on the memory of
the dance we shared
beneath the stars above.
For a moment
all the world was right.
How could I have known
that you’d ever say goodbye?

And now
I’m glad I didn’t know
the way it all would end,
the way it all would go.
Our lives
are better left to chance.
I could have missed the pain
but I’d have had to miss
the dance.

It’s only the second layout I’ve been able to complete about my dad, even though I’ve been scrapping for 8 years. Doing layouts about him is such a struggle for me. The first one I did was for a Father’s Day challenge at AMR, and the second one {above} was recently done for a Book of Me challenge, also at AMR. Are we seeing a pattern? LOL I only seem to force myself on this issue…if I’m challenged. I’m one of those who didn’t really allow myself to go through the whole grieving process as I should have right after he died. So, here I am 16 years later, STILL kind of avoiding the feelings most of the time. The strange thing is that when I force myself to do these challenge layouts that involve my grief over his loss, I DO feel better afterwards. Part of that is the relief of getting some long pent-up feelings out on paper, and part of it is the encouragement, sympathy, and other heartfelt comments my fellow scrappers make about the layouts. Which I realize are the works of a mediocre scrapper, but do come from an honest place in my heart.

That said…I honestly don’t know when I would’ve done another “Dad” layout in the near future. I’m tellin’ ya’….PAIN. FULL. Full of pain. Right? And Avoidance is my middle name, baby!

Then along comes my homegirl EMILIE at the SCRAP REVIEW {love her for so many reasons; hers is one of the only blogs I make sure to read on a daily basis} to help along with some divine intervention :) She posted THIS about a new blog called GOOD GRIEF. Here is what it’s about, taken from the Good Grief blog:

We here have all experienced a loss. Together, we hope to heal. This site is intended to help in that process…to be a source of inspiration and motivation…and to simply be a place to share and know that others understand. To that end, we (the contributors) have created these scrapbook challenges. For us, scrapbooking about our lost loved ones is therapeutic on many levels. Challenges are completely open…anyone can participate and challenges are very much open to interpretation…take from them whatever helps YOU. Tackle them in whatever format suits you (layouts, mini albums, home decor, anything!). No rules…New challenges and examples will be posted on the 1st and 15th of each month. Between challenges, more in-depth looks at the contributor layouts will be posted. As this site evolves, we hope to add more content between the challenges and will look to you for ideas and suggestions.

And whaddya know? Their first challenge is….USE LYRICS. Bla-dow. DONE. Mwuh. Meant to be. Am I right? So I’m taking this as a sign: My angel, Emilie, was sent to give me the message about Good Grief. And me not being one to ignore angel messages, I will be entering my above layout in their first challenge, and plan to enter more challenges in the future.

Those Good Grief girls are just what I need. Challenge, inspiration, and the knowing of true grief. AMANDA PROBST started the blog ~ You may know her from CREATING KEEPSAKES. When I used to hang out at CKMB, she often posted and I remember when her dad died because, boy oh boy, could I relate to the feelings she was expressing. Like her, I lost my dad suddenly due to an accident, while he was in his 50s, so we are both raising children who are growing up without a Grandpa who should, mathematically speaking, still be here. Amanda was also sweet enough to join us once for Scrap Chat Hour at AMR, back when HER BOOK came out.

So, yeah, it all comes full circle, doesn’t it? I love this online scrapbooking community. It’s full of wonderful women whom I’ve never met in real life, and probably never will, yet they touch my heart in their own little way, at just the right time, with just the right inspiration. God bless them.

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Sassafrass Lass On Location and Grab Box Sale

Well, you remember how exciting the Pink Paislee GRAB BOX was, right? Here’s another one for ya’….Sass Lass (who, by the way, are now officially called just “Sassafrass”…) is having a big “on location” sale at their office location tomorrow (Saturday, 8-15-09 from 9am to 3pm) and the linkee is HERE. Then, there is an online grab box sale, as requested by their online admirers who don’t happen to live in Utah, LOL. That linkee is HERE. There is no deadline listed, so I assume it’s first come, first served.

HERE is where 2peas is talking about it. HERE is what the AMR girlz have to say. I’m going to pass on this one. I’m making good progress on using the stuff from my Pink Paislee box, and could technically justify another purchase like this. Howevah, I’m not a big enough fan of the Sassafrass lines to be sure that I’d love it all, kwim? I have some Sass Lass stickers from the LSS (Isn’t “Sass Lass” just fun to say? Sass Lass, Sass Lass, Sass Lass….I’m so bummed they changed their name), and one paper pad from Michaels but I’m finding them both hard to use. Just not my usual style, I guess. I love them, think they’re super cute and all – I especially love the frills along the edges of their papers – but some of the prints, I guess, just don’t go with what I typically scrap.

That being said (don’t you hate when they say that EVERY time before they give the nominations for eviction on Big Brother….yeah, yeah, yeah….”that being said,” we know! Get on with the nominations!) … See, I digressed AGAIN! That being SAID, I know that lots of scrappers are huge Sass Lass fans and will dig this sale. Therefore, I LINK YOU. Taa daaaaaahh! Happy shopping.

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