Archive of ‘scrapbook websites’ category

Thuh Blog: New Look and Linkees

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I wanted to write about some changes I’ve been making to my blog and kind of ‘splain myself.

The Theme – I was rockin’ that WordPress “Albeo” theme for quite a while and I was really bored with it. I look at the darn thing every day and it just got old, ya know? It’s hard to find a format what will work with my content, mainly the larger photos I like to post…the better to see those scrapbook products with, my dear. I road tested a few new formats and have settled on this one.

The Header – This is my first theme with a customizable header and I finally figured out how to make one, LOL! The photo I have up there now is one I took of the Colosseum when I visited Rome in October 2006. I hope to occasionally change up the header photo.

The Memory Works Stuff – This is the main change I wanted to talk about. I’ve been a Memory Works consultant since February 2007 and I’ve had this blog since January 2007. So for the last 2+ years, I’ve kind of made it a point not to mix the two. My blog is about my scrapbook obsession, period. In almost 470 posts, I haven’t really talked about Memory Works or the products I sell. I’ve mentioned that I host crops, my “customers,” etc. but I think I’ve been pretty good about keeping this an obsessed scrapbooker’s blog vs. a Memory Works blog.

In all honesty, part of the reason I did it at the beginning was that they would’ve kicked me off of CKMB (Creating Keepsakes Message Board) if this was an MW blog. Their rule was that if you linked to your blog in your siggie, the blog’s primary purpose could not be to promote your biz. One time I had a close call when the CK tech people sent me a warning that I would be banned if I didn’t get rid of my blog link in my siggie. I politely explained that, while I was a consultant, the blog was a personal blog not a Memory Works blog. Then my people called their people and – badda bing – we came to an understanding. Nah, but that little episode did make me ultra paranoid about keeping it un-MW because I didn’t want to be sent packing from CKMB.

Well, since then, I’ve chosen to go packing on my own so CKMB has not been the issue for some time. I guess I just always felt weird about self-promoting, or coming off as a salesperson instead of as your scrapbooking friend who just wants to talk about the cute new stuff, ya know? But I guess the time has finally come where I can reconcile it all. This is my damn blog and if I want to talk about Memory Works and share a link or publicize my products, I’m going to! For shizzle. I figure after all the free publicity I’ve given, what, hundreds (?) of other companies over the years, it’s my turn. When I share products with you, I always make a point to provide a link where you can see more (even though some of them make it difficult or impossible to do so, something I just don’t get). My policy was to, if possible, link to the product manufacturer or however I could get you closest to the source of something. For instance, when I wrote about the Share and Tell system, I linked directly to the Pebbles Inc. website, not to an online store who sells it, or to another blogger that wrote about it. I mean, I might do all those other links in addition to, but I have always tried to drive traffic to the manufacturer.

But from now on, you will see me linking to product listings on my Memory Works site. I truly hope that doesn’t offend anyone. Why? Because I love you! I don’t want to ever become a ‘shove it down your throat’ salesperson. Heck, I can’t stand people like that (an example…a school mom I know wears her Pampered Chef polo to every. single. school event. I mean, seriously??). But I figure if I’m taking the time, love, and devotion to write up a product I love, and MW happens to carry said product, I’m going to link to my own site. Maybe you will never, ever, in a million years place an order with me and that is totally fine. But a girl can try, can’t she? {As it happens, the link to my Memory Works site is currently the “top click” on my blog and yet only one online friend has placed an order with me so far.}

This is kind of a side note but one thing that amazes me is that for all the free product endorsements I’ve provided for two years, with linkees to the manufacturer, I can probably count on one hand the number of times they have thanked me for the link. Either they are ungrateful, or they don’t know how to check their stats or run a Google check, which are basics I’d think scrapbook companies would possess. Anyway, I just don’t want you to think that all those manufacturers will be sorry to see my links go, LOL. They never even noticed them in the first place.

And just for the record, I have never received any sort of compensation for writing this dang blog. It has all been on my own time, for no financial gain. The few times I’ve received a free demo product in the mail, I’ve disclosed that in the review (the only ones coming to mind are the Ribbon Ring and the Angel Baby scrapbooking kit). I could have chosen to make some money off my blog with ads or some such, but I never did do that. I hope this MW thang is a happy medium that doesn’t bug you too much.

I guess that’s it. If I get out of hand with the Memory Works stuff, to the point where it’s so overdone that you run from the room screaming…tell me. A good smack upside the head usually works. Then in your best New York accent, say, “Snap out of it!” just like Cher said to Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck. I mean it.

If you have any thoughts on the whole matter, please share. Even if you hate everything I just said. Seriously.

Cosmo Cricket “Early Bird”

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Yippie kie YAY! Memory Works now has the new COSMO CRICKET!! I love the color way, the cherries, just the general happy-ness of it.

Here’s what you get with our exclusive THEME SET: Six 12×12 sheets of double-sided patterned cardstock paper and one 12×12 sheet of coordinating cardstock strips. ($6.50)

Here’s the ELEMENTS sheet: One 12×12 sheet of double-sided cardstock cut-apart journaling cards and elements ($1.00).

and here are the STICKERS: One 5 3/4 x 13 sheet of weather-worn cardstock stickers ($2.00)

You know, that’s not bad. You could have all three pieces (well, 9 pieces technically) for under $10. Cosmo has kept their prices really reasonable.

HERE is a Cosmo Cricket blog post from April 2009 showing the “sneak peek” of this line, but it has great, large photos of all the pieces. You’ll notice that the Papers and Elements I show above are actually double-sided…more than meets the eye…I like that!

Here is a layout from the CC blog, by Julie Comstock (HERE’s her Twitter!):

Also from their blog, a recipe box by LISA FALDUTO

…and Early Bird cards by MAREN BENEDICT, from the CC Design Team:

Here is a fun purse covered in an Early Bird pattern…alas, it’s not real, but a mere digital creation…still super cute!

There are more Cosmo Cricket “Early Bird” layouts and projects on their blog HERE, HERE, and HERE. I just love their BLOG….pure and total eye candy, plus those people are wicked funny.

Oh, MEMORY WORKS also has the Cosmo Cricket SPINNER CARD, which I guess has been on backorder (must be popular). 5″ square chipboard card. Bottle spins freely in the card ($1.50).

So if I have you jones-in’ for some CC “Early Bird,” go get some at your LSS or click on ‘I’m a MW Consultant‘ (top left) and we’ll order you some…

Cricut Survey: Mac or PC?

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I’m on the mailing list for CRICUT. They send out a newsletter, new cartridge announcements, etc. Here is the one I received today:
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Hi there! In order to better serve you, we wanted to know what type of computer you are using. It is just one question and we will enter you to win the Cricut Sampler cartridge. Thanks for your time!

Thanks,
Denise Rolfe
Market Research Director

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All I had to do was click the link, choose Mac, PC, or Both, and enter my e-mail addie. Easy peasy.

Being a Mac girl myself, I was very eager to answer this survey. I want retailers to know that there ARE a lot of us out here so they can start making “PC only” products more available to those of us who have chosen the superior product (ahem…did you catch that?). If you’re also a Mac girl, I implore you to take the survey (there’s even a prize drawing….c’mon, you know you want to…). Mac girls, PC girls, “both” girls….if you’re not already on their mailing list, you can join up at the bottom of the HOME PAGE.

Update on Journaling Spot Swap #2

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I talked about the journal spot swap I was hosting HERE. Well, it’s done and, boy howdy, was it fun! Everyone came through, sent them in, and did a wonderful job. Some ladies sent more than one set to share….PATTI set the record by sending five sets! Patti also sent a whole book of stamps which helped cover any gaps in postage and I was so grateful (‘cuz you know DH’s first words when I told him I was hosting a swap were, “How much is that going to cost us? LOL). Anyway, all of the journaling spots were rockin’ and it was such a pleasure to host. Here is a semi-sneak of what they all looked like, while in the sorting process and then my own pile when I was done.

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Aren’t you jealous you didn’t join up? LOL! To thank everyone for participating, I sent them each a Mike’s stamp and then some scallop squares I punched with my new favorite punch. And here is a pic of all the cards and little gifties I was sent as the swap hostess…..jeepers, if I knew you got all sorts of pressies for hosting, I would’ve done it ages ago! {Hee, just kidding…}

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Look at what Patti sent! Tons and tons of stamped images from her much-envied stamp collection. These will be so fun to color in and use on scrapbook pages and cards…

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So, I just wanted to share my experience at hosting my first scrapbooking swap. It was totally wonderful the entire way and I highly recommend it to anyone. The AMR Girlz are already posting layouts they’re making with the journaling spots received in this swap. Here is one….lovely, huh?

LAYOUT BY LISA aka LBOREGON, journaling spot by KAY aka kaydrenth

If there are more, I will post them here. To quote my friend RACHEL….Toodles!

Memory Works: Website, Catalogs, and Selling Goals

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Well, I took the plunge. I just signed up for my own website with Memory Works again! Whoo hoo, feels good! What didn’t feel good was the $25 set-up fee but, oh well, it’s the price of doing business, right? Then it will cost me $10.95/month to keep it. That is for the “Basic” option, which has all the features I really need. There is also a “Premium” option for $18.95/month (plus the $25 set-up fee, of course). So let’s do the math, shall we? I make 20% profit on everything I sell through Memory Works. So just to break even and pay for my website, I have to sell at least $55 retail of MW goodies each month.

Then, let’s average out my catalog cost: They cost me $3 per catalog, plus shipping costs from MW to me, and me to the customer…we’re talking about $5 cost to me per catalog I give out to customers (that would be an average just for estimating sake…sometimes I hand them right to the customer with zero shipping cost, other times it costs me $4-5 to ship a catalog). Say I give out 5 catalogs per month, that’s about $25 per month in catalog costs. To make that money back, I will need to sell $125 in product to cover my catalog costs.

So, my selling goal will be $55 plus $125 = $180 per month, and that’s just to break even. I like to have goals. Then I know what I’m striving for. Now, to put some other things in motion to make that happen. It’s exciting! I know it will be super tough in this economy, so wish me luck….

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you my website, should you be interested (LOL). It’s http://erika.memory-works.com. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.

Scrapbook Message Boards: Survey and a RAK

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As you might know, I’m a big fan of chatting on scrapbook message boards. The ones I’m most active on TWO PEAS IN A BUCKET and ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED. I was on the CREATING KEEPSAKES message board for a long time before these, although all their format changes caused me to leave when I had to log on every single time I wanted to post (ya know, that’s quite a lot!) and would never accept an avatar pic, which made me feel like a faceless troll, LOL!

So, I’m just wondering what message boards you all enjoy. Please leave me a comment telling me where you like to hang out. Include linkees please! Tell me what you like and don’t like about message boards (you don’t have to name names on the negative part if ya don’t want to…). What makes a good message board? Why are you a long time member of certain places? Tell me all about it. Don’t forget to leave a link to your blog or check back to see if you’ve won!

For everyone who leaves a comment on THIS here post by midnight PST on June 11, 2009…I will enter your name into random.org and pick the winner of a small RAK.

Layout Using Bo Bunny “Abbey Road”

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Is this gorgeous, or what? This layout is by my online buddy, CHRISTINE HERTEL aka Chrispea.

Chris talks about the layout HERE. She used the new Bo Bunny line called “ABBEY ROAD which is SO on my wish list! I mean it was before, but it REALLY is now….because I will be scraplifting this layout in a major way. I love that color combination of green, blue, and brown, especially how she brought out the shades with the Thickers and Doodlebug letters. Those Bo Bunny swirl stickers are to die for!

Thanks for the inspiration, Chris!

Threading Waters Punch: Another Great Tutorial

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Back in the Day, I posted THIS tutorial I found that shows you how to “go around the corner” with the famous Fiskars THREADING WATER punch.

Now, thanks to SCRAPSCENE, I found THIS great tutorial for another way to use your Threading Waters punch. It’s on Crystal aka Scrapper Mom’s BLOG. She has some other great tutorials on there…go check it, ladies!

Here is

    CRYSTAL’s LAYOUT

where she used the trim made with her TW punch.

The technique Crystal shares in her tutorial is how she made the red strip. I love how it replicates the yellow sun rays, which look to be made from Doodlebug strips. And, hey! I spy some Fancy Pants SUMMER SOIREE in that layout, don’t I? See, I like this girl. Excellent taste, LOL!

Enjoy Crystal’s gorgeous layout and her cool tutorial. Cheers!

New at Michaels

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Part 2 of my Big City Shopping day, and now we proceed to Michaels. It must’ve been ANNA GRIFFIN day, because just like TUESDAY MORNING, Mike’s had some new Anna stuff. The line is called “Darcey” and the colors are bright and look better in person than they do in my blurry iPhone photo.

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I love this scalloped acrylic album! It has 5 pages and 2 binder rings. I didn’t get one because, as you can see from the signage in the first photo, all the “Designer Corner” stuff was on sale for 25% off. I’ll wait for a 50% coupon and get this album for 10 buckeroonies.

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These chipboard letters are cute, too. I use a lot of bright colors AND black, so these may be a future purchase (with coupon, of course…).

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This is a new line by PRIMA. It’s a departure from their usual pretty-pretty stuff. The skulls and guitars – I don’t know if you can tell from the photo – are made from tiny bling. Very cute! I think this line is very cool but I don’t have anything I would use it on.

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Here is the Making Memories “Black Tie” line that I talked about HERE.

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And this was my favorite of the new stuff: The “Vacation” line by Me and My Big Ideas (aka MAMBI). I’m a sucker for bright, tropical colors for all those upcoming summer layouts. We have a swimming pool so I end up doing lots of layouts with turquoise being the main color. This line will be a perfect fit.

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This was interesting…a new line by K&Co…darnit, I can’t remember the name of the designer, maybe someone can help me out or I’ll try to find it online. Anyway, the focus seems to be “green” with those tote bags and recycled packaging, similar to the K&CO/Amy Butler “Lotus” line they recently carried. Not my style, but cute.

ETA 5/21/09: Thanks to a comment left by ALESK…..it’s Carolyn Gavin. Thank you! Love my girls who comment! *U Rawk*

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Closer look at MAMBI travel and summer stuff…

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Cute new EK SUCCESS punches! Flowers and fruit…so summery.

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Here are some photos from after I got home. On top are the MAMBI journal spots and “Vacation” title I got…yum! (Both for 25% off). The Making Memories “Well Worn Tags” were sold as a pack at Tuesday Morning. Normally, they would’ve cost about $12 ($4 each), but I got all three for $4. That’s, like, 66% off, am I right? What a steal…

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This is the coupon (20% off entire purchase from 9 to 1 on Memorial Day), and June coupon book they put in my bag at checkout. Kewl.

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Just an example – the discounts from the first page. Good stuff, yeah?

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My favorite purchase of the day, a scallop square Giga Punch. I used my 50% off coupon and got it for around $9. Schwing!

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So that’s the haps at Michaels these days, and my fun purchases. At Mike’s, what have you gotten lately or what are you planning to buy?

Cropper Hopper Organization at Tuesday Morning

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Made my monthly trip to The Big City and here is what I found at Tuesday Morning…

There were a lot of ANNA GRIFFIN packs – huge ones with 12×12 paper and tons of embellies to mini album kits.

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Here were some fun EK SUCCESS punches that were very tempting (but I resisted…can you?). These ones are a pacifier, arrow, and speech bubble. There were a few other shapes, too.

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For me, this is where I hit the motherlode….CROPPER HOPPER STORAGE !!! I had always wanting these when they first came out because I love vertical bookshelf storage for my scrappy stuff. I own stock in CH VERTICAL PAPER HOLDERS, ya know. But these items were out of my budget (because I am super cheap, yeah).

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But I picked up the 2-drawer/4-pocket binder ($8.99) which I plan to use to organize my card-making supplies. I don’t have a ton but right now they’re in some Iris drawers and not very well organized. The 3×3 embellishment drawer ($2.99) will be the perfect way to organize my Mike’s stamps finally! I’m really excited about that one. They’ve also been stacked in an Iris drawer…til now, LOL!

Here you can see the retail prices, and what a great deal Tuesday Morning has on them…

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Here is what the inside of the pocket binder looks like.

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When I get some schtuff inside my new storage, I’ll post pics and see what you think. Have you found any good deals at TM lately?

PS: Stay tuned for the next episode of Shopaholic Obsession….er, I mean….Scrapbook Obsession….when I’ll show you what’s new at Mike’s and what I picked up there….

Making Memories “Black Tie” at Michaels

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Thank you to BENITA, such a sweet Pea, who posted the above photo on THIS thread. She pointed out that the black and white flowers are Primas, not Making Memories; however, they were a perfect match so there ya’ go!

On the thread, it was discussed that this looks like the Making Memories line called “Wedding” (which is sold at 2PEAS ONLINE STORE, and HERE is a look at it on the Making Memories site), but it IS a different line, perhaps a Michaels exclusive? HERE is a link to Michaels.com with some Black Tie items, so methinks that’s what is going on in the hizzy.

I love black and white scrapbook lines. They are not only for weddings, anniversaries, proms, etc. but so versatile to use on on other types of layouts. I like to do heritage layouts in these colors. I didn’t really care for Mike’s last black and white line called “Sabrina”.


LAYOUT BY CHRISTY HARRIS TAKEN FROM THE MAKING MEMORIES BLOG

The pink is what threw me off. I mean, it was cute and all, I just couldn’t use it really (no offense meant to Christy’s adorable layout; I love it!). If you like Sabrina, it’s on Michael’s clearance rack now, btw. Peace out.

NSD Crop Challenge @ AMR

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Last weekend, the AMR MESSAGE BOARD had a member-hosted online crop. This was the only challenge I had time to participate in, by JULIE aka scrappin{jewlz}. Here is what the challenge was, as posted by Julie:

I have been doing some photography challenges, and have been inspired to look for new and interesting things to photograph. So I thought I would do a photo challenge. For this challenge you need to take (yes, NEW pictures) a photo of something that matches the description. You may post only one photo per section. Players will receive 1 point for each photo. The most creative photo for each description will receive a bonus point. The player with the most points will win a prize. In the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen randomly. To clarify, photos need to be taken since the challenge was posted. You will have until Wednesday at midnight PST to post your photos.

And here was my entry….

1. Something that makes you laugh

My dork dog Landry always makes me LAUGH. He is so happy and crazy with energy.

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2. Something pink

My favorite hoodie, a PINK one that says “Blessed not Lucky.” My mom got it for me because she said she knows that’s how I feel about my life…and she’s right!

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3. Something soft

My favorite blanket that I read my book with at night on the couch. It is the SOFTEST thing I have ever felt.

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4. Favorite activity other than papercrafting (ie no stamping, scrapping, cardmaking, atcs, altered stuff)

I guess you can tell by the fact my bookshelf is so heavy that it’s bowed, that other than scrapbooking, my favorite activity is reading…

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5. Your desk RIGHT NOW.

The usual state of my DESK – multiple projects going at once – 80th birthday mini album, Basic Grey 2009 calendar, and getting ready to do yearbook layout for the Father/Daughter dance

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6. Favorite music

My favorite MUSIC right now is anything that Pandora.com finds for me…I’m discovering so many new artists and the old ones I’ve always loved.

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7. Something outside

The view from my backyard – I love sitting OUTSIDE, looking and daydreaming…

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That was a fun challenge to do and it made me take photos of things I normally wouldn’t have. Some may seem like boring or unremarkable things, but they ARE part of my everyday life at this point and that is worth capturing, don’t you think?

Scrapbooking on “The Locator”

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If you’ve read my blog for a bit, you know that ~ being “somewhat” Scrapbook Obsessed ~ I’m always seeking out things in the media or pop culture where scrapbooking is mentioned. For instance, HERE, HERE, and HERE. But this time, scrapbooking being part of a popular television show found me. Oh, do TELL!

Well, one of my favorite shows that I tape and watch constantly is “THE LOCATOR” on WeTV. If you haven’t seen it, there’s this hottie named Troy Dunn who does his P.I. shizzle and reunites people with their long lost friend or family member. There is one rule for watching The Locator: You. Will. Cry. Okay, there is just NO way you are going to watch this show and not cry, so don’t even bother trying, sister. Have some kleenex, a sleeve, an understanding dog…somewhere to wipe your snot because, like Oprah says, you will be a-booin and a-hooin, making that ugly cry face before the show is over.

Okay, so I noticed my trusty DVR had taped a one-hour episode (they are usually 30-minutes long) and I was stoked to watch it. It was Episode 1 of Season 2 so it was special. The first part, where a lady wants to be reunited with her mom, ended badly. Mom wrote daughter a letter…telling her all the reasons she could NOT meet with her. That was the first case I’ve watched where Troy couldn’t bring the people together. It was super sad.

Then started the second part, where 4 sisters are trying to find their 5th sister; they were all from the same mom but 5 different dads and were separated out into foster care and adoption. Here is what the website says about it:

A Daughter’s Dream / The Last Sister
Episode Summary: In 1985, Wendy and Christopher Radcliff’s mother, Jennifer, left them to be raised by their paternal grandparents when they were just 9 and 10 years old. The brother and sister have called on Troy to locate Jennifer, who originally escaped from an abusive relationship with their father. In the next story, you’ll hear about five sisters separated since childhood. Through many years of hard work and research, the second oldest sister, Nycole, 26, made it possible for four of them to be together again, but they are all still searching for their baby sister Sarah.

Searchers: Wendy Radcliff – Wendy and her brother have not seen or heard from their mother, Jennifer, since she made the decision to leave her children in the care of their grandparents. Nycole Kiefer – When Nycole was only eight years old she and her four sisters were put into child protective services. Nycole has spent 10 years searching for her family.

The Searchees: Jennifer – It’s been 20 years since Wendy’s mother left, and she hopes she will be at a point in her life where she is ready to be reunited with her firstborn children. Sarah Martin – It will be the first time Sarah, 23, sees her mom, and the first time her mom sees all of her grown-up daughters together.

Okay, so the scrapbooky part comes in at the end when all 5 of them are getting together for the first time. The four sisters meet up at….a scrapbook store! It’s EVER AFTER in the San Diego area of Cali. They are sitting around the crop table in the back, looking through scrapbooks. Troy shows up (unbeknownst to the sisters, he has their 5th sister waiting outside) and asks if they have any photos of the sister they are looking for, Sarah. They show him one infant photo of her and tell him that’s the only photo they have. Then he whips out 3 or 4 present-day shots of Sarah and says, “Have you seen this one? Or this one?” and their jaws drop, they cry, they see that she has a son…”We have a nephew!” Then Troy says, “Or how about this one?” and turns around showing them Sarah herself is standing behind him. They have their reunion in the scrapbook store. Apparently, two of the sisters scrapbook. When Troy says, “So you guys are scrapbookers?” one sister says something like, “I am. And Nycole is. Actually, Nycole was first and she got me into it. She was the instigator!” Which was so funny because don’t YOU blame the person who got you started scrapbooking? Like, you got all addicted and stuff so fast and needed more like it was scrap-crack and you’re all obsessed and jonesing and you don’t want to take personal responsibility for it, so you grab the person who got you started and you’re, like, “But it’s HER fault that I’m frickin’ addicted!” Am I right? You know I’m right.

Anyway, HERE is a link to the episode description and some video extras that were NOT part of the televised show.

THIS is the link to “Learn more about the searchees,” a 1.5 minute video which shows footage from the show and gives a synopsis of the case.

HERE is “Learn more about the searchers,” a 2-minute video where the 4 sisters mention how their case worker made them Life Books, so they had photos of one another. What an awesome case worker….

THIS is one last video (1+ minute long) called “Learn more about the reunion” where they talk to all the sisters, and there are shots of them being in the scrapbook store.

Just some random scrappy things…

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- Shopping report: At my Target, they have the cute summer lines from KI Memories and Making Memories both on sale. They weren’t huge discounts but, like, $3.99 items down to $3.19, etc.

The KI line is called ‘Juicy Summer’ and here is a sample, the chipboard:

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Oh wait, I can’t give you a sample because their website doesn’t let you copy/paste pictures. Oh darn for them. Coulda’ had free advertising from a blog that does some pretty good numbers. Ah well…

The Making Memories line is called, oh I can’t remember, something summery. I looked for it on their blog which is down, and on their website which doesn’t list it. I even posted the question at 2peas ‘cuz I’m sure someone over there knows, but it’s 12:20 am on the West Coast, so I think all the Peas are snug in their beds. When I figure it out, I’ll plug it in here, LOL!

ETA 5/1/09: A nice Pea helped me out. She said it’s MM Spring Fling that’s on sale, and her Target also had MM Just Chillin’ (regular price, I think). I would show you some photos but the MM site doesn’t allow copying either….

At Michaels, I got some shizzlets for my AMR Scrap Pal. I am overdue in sending her any little gifties so she’ll be getting a surprise in the mail soon (don’t worry, I don’t think she reads my blog, LOL). I also got 19 stampalicious surprises for the ladies who are in my JOURNALING SPOT SWAP at AMR. I was so happy my swap filled up quickly, well before the deadline. Just a little way to tell them all thank you for participating. Such nice, fun ladies over there. The last thing I was looking for was some of those $1 packs of cute Thank You cards – now that I work from home, I want to write a little note to each of my “in office” co-workers since I won’t see them every day anymore – but all the $1 bins were gone. Gone, I tell ya! Bunch of clean and clear floor space near the front of the store. Let’s see, what holiday is coming next? Hmmm…. Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Graduation Day? Anyway, no notecards for me….farkle!

- The June issue of CK is out. My sweet online friend MIchelle aka Shelle’s2girls has a tip published in this issue. I looked for the mag at Target and Mike’s but they didn’t have it yet. Farkle again!

- I finished reading the scrapbooking novel, “A Page Out of LIfe’ about a week ago. I owe you a REVIEW, don’t I? Now I’m reading, actually am almost done with, “Frill Kill” which is a scrapbooking mystery by Laura Childs. Think I’m done with scrappy books for a while, LOL. I’ve already started on “The Pact” by JODI PICOULT; it’s my third time reading it ‘cuz I love her stuff so much. Now if Jodi Picoult would just write a scrapbooking novel, that would be THE perfect book!

- Last and most importantly: Stacey at AMR is organizing an online auction to raise money for one of her message board members who is going through something horrible right now. Please check out Stacey’s BLOG and the MESSAGE BOARD to see if you can help. If you’re more the shopping type, put June 13/14 on your calendar and come BUY an auction item or two towards this wonderful project. Bidding will start at $2 and, given the mad wicked talent I have seen from the ladies on the AMR board, you will find some amazing items to bid on. Please go check it out :) {{Love ya, Miss Destiny!}}

Journaling Spot Swap

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Are you familiar with scrapbook/stamping swaps? They happen often on blogs and message boards, where someone offers to host a swap. For instance, 20 people will join a swap – of 8×8 pages, of greeting cards, of ATCs, whatever – and they make 20 of the same item. Everyone sends their items to the host, who divvies everything up into 20 piles, and mails them all back to the swap participants. So each person ends up with 20 different things, all handmade by crafters. Pretty cool, huh?

I’ve only participated in a few swaps over the years. The first one I did was major. It was a 12×12, double layout swap at CKU-San Jose way back in ’05 (spoken like a true, crusty old scrapper, huh?). I think we created 5 of the same 2-page layout, and there were probably 30 or 40 participants. This gal from Australia hosted it; I still remember her name (it was Maureen, LOL). On the first day of CKU, we all met in an empty classroom, put our layouts out on the tables, drew numbers, and took turns picking layouts until every person had 5 to go home with. It was an awesome experience. I adore all the layouts I got that day. It’s so fun to see someone else’s creativity and add your photos or whatever else to make it your own. Since then, I’ve done a couple ATC swaps at the AMR Message Board and it’s been a lot of fun. My favorite was a “Drink ATC” swap where you made ATC’s of your favorite drink (mine of course was a Starbucks venti sugar-free vanilla triple breve latte…try fitting THAT on a 2×3″ card!).

I had to take a break from swaps when I went back to work full-time last year. My time got really crunched, and I didn’t want to commit to something and feel so pressured to meet a deadline or whatever that it ceased to be fun. But I tell you, it’s been really hard to see all those fun swaps posted at AMR and not be able to take part. Since I started working from home full-time as of last week (can I get a woot woot?!?!), I decided I could stick my pinky toe back in the swap water. I wanted to start small, just to make sure I didn’t over-commit myself and then have to kick my own ass. I hate it when I have to do THAT. Then over on 2peas one day, I was reading the daily blogger thread, which led me to joining THIS swap. It couldn’t be easier, just make 20 journaling spots and stick ‘em in the US mail. The very day I joined, I went over to my desk and stamped out my journaling spots. I even made some extrees for myself and a few for the hostess with the mostest, BONNIE. I just need to sign the backs and they are ready to go.

The process was so easy and fun, and I am SO looking forward to receiving my 20 journal spots from others, that I got a wild hair and decided to HOST my first swap evah! I posted my idea on the AMR board to see if there was any interest in a journaling spot swap there. There was, so I posted it in the EXCHANGES AND SWAPS forum on Saturday. {Forgive me, Bonnie, but I copied over a lot of your wording because you did such a perfect job of explaining it, LOL!}. As of now, there are 13 ladies signed up and 7 spaces remaining. So it’s going well. I think everyone feels they can always use some journaling spots and why not take advantage of other scrapper’s journal stamps or whatever to get some variety. Doesn’t cost ya much, just time and postage, right?

If you’re interested in this swap, just come on over to AMR and join up, then go to the Exchanges and Swaps forum. Look for me, I’m “journeyfan” over there. And if you’ve never done a swap before, I really recommend trying it. It’s a scrappin’ blast! If you have done swaps, tell me about the kinds of swaps and were you glad you did them?

12×12 Paper Trays on Craigslist

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Hmmmm….should I or shouldn’t I?

The listing says they regularly sell for $60 and she wants $40. I’m thinking of offering $25-30 and see what she says. I don’t need them for my paper – I’m a Vertical Storage Girl – but I need something to stack my ongoing projects in. You know, instead of my current method of creating precarious piles all over my desk.

Tick tock, tick tock…I’d better make a decision….

ETA 4/17/09: I e-mailed her with an offer of $25. Fingers crossed she even still has them….Will let you know how it goes….

ETA 4/20/09: Well, no trays for me. She e-mailed back that she was holding firm at $35. I’ll just use my coupons and get them over time from Michaels. They have this type of 12×12 stackable tray but they’re dark brown or black. Will be scouting for those now.

Organization System for Acrylic and Rubber Stamps

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There is a stamp storage product by STAMPENDOUS called “Storage Solutions.” They come in Thin ($2.49 retail), Thick ($2.99 retail), and Thicker ($3.49 retail). Here is a picture of the Thin one, so you can get an idea:

Here is a demo video that shows you the different sizes and how to use and store them.

What I like about these:
1. You don’t have to index your stamps – a time consuming process – because you can see right through the cases to your stamps
2. You can tie ribbons on the handles or otherwise color code the holders to see at a glance the type of item you want to grab, e.g. rubber stamps, greetings, or inks
3. They sell for an affordable price – I’ve seen many stamp storage systems that add up to be rather costly but these are reasonable

Seems like a great stamp storage system if you’re in the market for one. Huge shout out to KELLI for showing these to me!

Give us your review or thoughts!

New at Michaels? Rewards Programs

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So, were you one of the lucky Michaels shoppers to receive an offer to join a rewards program? Yeah, me neither. What up?? I heard about it HERE, and here are samples I copied from the thread of offers being sent out:

Join the Michaels Rewards Program and get…

40% off any one regular price item every time you shop
20 points for every $1 you spend at M’s; once you reach 2000 points we’ll automatically send you a $10 M’s Gift Card
60% off custom framing all year long
An exclusive membership card
One full year of membership

Here’s How it works:
Save on all the things you love – join M’s Rewards for only $24.99 a year.
Save every time you shop, use your card and get 40% off any one regular price item, earn points and save 60% on custom framing.
Stay updated and track your points online.
Get rewarded, earn 2000 points and get a $10 M’s Gift Card
Continue shopping with your card to get your discounts and earn points.

Or this….

10% off your entire regular price purchase every time you shop
An exclusive membership card
One full year of membership
FREE membership

Or this…

$9.99 to join for one year
40% off one item everytime i shop
50% off all framing
5 points for every dollar spenr
2000 points=$10 gift card

As I said, these are just summarized from the 2peas thread. Theoretically, if I had gotten an e-mail offer, I would consider joining the rewards program. Geesh, for all the free publicity I give them, shouldn’t THEY be paying ME to give me a discount and rewards points? Yeah, yeah, that’s what I thought! Maybe it all has something to do with this NEW GUY, Mr. Experienced in Craft Sales Marketing.

Seriously though….did you get an offer, what did it entail, and are you going to join the Michaels Rewards Program?

Scrapbook Organization: Alphabet Storage

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I have a sweet internet friend who always points out cool online things to me, and I usually snag her ideas and blog about them. We were messaging back and forth the other night about THIS post on typos (or typo’s, as you prefer) in scrapbooking magazines. She asked if I had seen a layout over at Pink Paislee with a typo or mistake in the title, and I hadn’t so I went looking for it.

And lookee lookee what I found on the PINK PAISLEE BLOG while I was lost….a stupendous Wall of Alphas!!!

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.


Once you get past the total Eye Candy aspect.
And then you quit hating the lucky bee-yotch that owns this yummy wall of scrap goodness.
Then – and only then – do you step back and say to yourself, “Wowee, that is one cool way to store alphas.”

Just thought I’d share.

I personally couldn’t get away with an Alphabet Wall. I’m more from the school of thought that says, “Hide and compact the stash as much as possible so husband has no clear idea how much money I have spent on said stash.” But that’s just me, LOL.

The Slice by Making Memories: Now @ Michaels

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Did you know that Michaels now carries THE SLICE? Yep, I saw it there myself. No, I’m really not making it up. It was NOT some mirage I conjured up, it was really there. Uh huh. Oddly, it was not with the scrapbooking section. A whole stand alone display was kind of near the front of the store near some home dec stuff and candles. I didn’t look too closely since I’m not shopping for one, but all the accessories and cards were there, too. I don’t know how their prices compare. And, no, of course you cannot use your coupons on anything with the word “Slice” in it. If Mike’s is selling it for the same price as everywhere else and you can’t use a coupon on it, I’d just as soon buy it from an LSS or online store. Just sayin’…

There was also a mess of new patterned papers, by the sheet, although the prices were totally RIDONCULOUS. I saw Basic Grey, Making Memories, We R Memory Keepers, SEI, Creative Imaginations, and others. The Peas are talking about it HERE. The papers are on sale this week so it’s a good time to check out the new ones. Then again, even with the discount, your LSS may have it cheaper. A great place to online shop is at my friend Stacey’s store, ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED. She’s been getting in a lot of new stuff lately and if you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask and she will do her darndest to get it for you. She has the cutest warehouse guys, too!

Speaking of MAKING MEMORIES, read HERE for some sad news about one of their most popular designer/instructors. I know it’s another sign of the times but that doesn’t make it any less depressing, does it?

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