Archive of ‘scrapbook blogs’ category

Kristina Contes: In the LA Times

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So I’m checking my blog this lazy Saturday morning, reading some nice comments left by my bud Dettao from CKMB, then click over to check my blog stats because, as I’ve said, I like to see which topics get you reading and commenting. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a huge stat count for today, though it’s only morning here, and tons of clicks on the entry KRISTINA CONTES SPEAKS (MAYBE SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE?). Hmmm….bizarre…wrote that one way back in October ’07…still gets clicks almost every day…but over 300 on a Saturday morning?? Is WordPress messing with me…did my stat counter break…is someone’s enter key stuck and it clicked that article 299 times??

So I go check out CKMB ~ because that’s the best place to find out about ANYTHING that’s going on in scrapping, and I’m talking up-to-the-minute stuff ~ and of course, lovely BRIGHTSY (check out the thread just to see her siggie line; it’s my favorite ever) solved the mystery for me. As explained in this CKMB THREAD, there was an article in LA TIMES dated today, called A SCRAPBOOK CAREER IN SHREDS. OK, mystery solved…looks like it’s actually NOT over, and we’re going to start talking about KRISTINA CONTES…again. And I apologize if you’re one of the many who says, “Jeez, we’re tired of the whole CK Hall of Fame and Kristina Contes issue.” But if 300 scrapbookers on a slow Saturday morning want to know more about Kristina, I’m gonna’ write about it, provide some background, and invite all comments. Because for whatever reason, people wanna talk about it.

For those who might be new to the issue ~ grab a cup of coffee, get on your comfy sweats, and read THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS, THIS and THIS. Then come back here and read ~ the LA TIMES ARTICLE. Ok, we’re all caught up now, we’re on the same page, now let’s discuss…

First of all, Big Snaps to Kristina for getting scrapbooking in the LA Times! I’m always mystified about how we’re still this underground thing, this little enclave restricted to 5 magazines, the internet, and the occasional online article. Why are we given just scraps (forgive the expression) of a mention on television, mainstream magazines, etc.? Gadzooks, there’s now a scrapbooker in 1 of every 3 households! Throw us a bone, people!

As for the LA Times article itself, I’m with Kelli on CKMB…I’m very suspicious about why it’s been written about 3 months after the fact? And why both the Newsweek and LA Times articles are clearly from the Kristina slant, with quotes from Ms. Contes herself? I mean, she’s clearly generating this, right? And even if she’s not seeking them out, she could surely say “no thanks” when they ask to interview her. If I were tired of being scrutinized, tired of being called horrible names from fat, old lady, out of touch, “snowflake stencil”-using scrapbookers, I would just let it lie and go on with my life. Is it just me or she kinda contradicting herself?

And when you say things like: “They’re from the Stepford wife kind of mind-set…You’re doing something different, you must be evil,” you’re going to majorly upset some people, KC. I don’t think I’ve ever once criticized her scrapbooking; in fact, I’ve complimented her talent as have many others. I have always enjoyed her style, visited her blog well before this ‘scandal’ started, and admired her photography and art talents. It’s not my style of scrapbooking, but she has a definite uniqueness that I APPRECIATE, not criticize. Just for the record, my only criticism has ever been that CHEATING IS WRONG. The end. Whether you intended to, were in too much of a hurry to check the rules, or someone else (like a major scrapbook magazine) helped you break the rules, you still broke the rules. You should pack up your Legos and go home. And apologize before you leave. By all means, we forgive you and keep playin Legos with us, but don’t THROW the legos at us (Ouch, Kristina, that hurts! Play nice, like your momma taught you). But it seems to me you don’t have articles written in a national newspaper 3 months after the fact and then complain that no one will leave you alone. Or criticize people and expect them not to lash back.

Okay, I have to go clean the house now before DH gets home. Oh, and I’m going to do some scrapbooking with my “teddy bear stamps,” “foam stickers and glossy glitter glue.” And some Martha Stewart 18×18 paper. I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this article in the future (wink).

So this drama has been going on since October 2007. Why are we so fascinated? Tell us what you think…c’mon, I Effer Dare ya…

Previews of CHA Winter 2008

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For the Scrapbook Obsessed, you could say that CHA time is even more anticipated than Christmas, Mother’s Day, and your birthday all smushed together. I mean, am I right?? Well, it’s that time again and the excitement to see all the new products is building. FYI: CHA Winter 2008 is being held in Anaheim, CA on February 10-13. The keynote speaker this year is financial diva, Suze Orman. According to the press release, “Orman will help attendees understand how their relationship to money affects their businesses and lives.”

I’ll keep adding any product previews or news I find to this post, so keep checking back (most recent entries will be on top). Please let us know what ya think, what ya might buy, what ya must have, and what ya won’t buy even with a 40% off coupon at Michaels…

And away we go!!!

DAISY D’s

I usually LOVE their stuff, one of my favorite brands, but…
Sorry, me no likey at all…

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There is tons more…see it all HERE.

MY MINDS EYE
Now THIS I’m loving…

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AMERICAN CRAFTS
Lots of their usual bright, cheery, easy to use stuff. There’s so much, I can’t post it all here. Just CHECK THIS OUT ~ it’s all laid out very nicely!

QUEEN & CO
This is from Q&Co’s blog; make sure to read the fine print!
“Introducing… the NEW Valentines line….

Queen & Co is excited to announce the arrival of our new Valentine products. Included in this release are new 3/4″ Felt Ribbons, two new Clear Stamps sets plus several fun styles of brads! Products are starting to ship this week. Look out for them in stores soon!

(note that these are not our CHA Winter releases – these are an extra mini release …keep an eye out for CHA releases soon!)”

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UNITY STAMP COMPANY (new company!)
See everything on THEIR BLOG

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PAPER HOUSE PRODUCTIONS

New chipboard – see more at THEIR BLOG

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CHERRY ARTE
18 new papers: His & Her Basics, Girl Power, Boy Story

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Okay, so much cute Cherry Arte but I have to stop! Go to CHERRY ARTE to see it all.

AMERICAN CRAFTS

Papers, glitter letters, and vinyl cut letters

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FLAIR DESIGNS

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TERESA COLLINS

From Teresa 1/2/08: “Here are all the details I have so far….

1. BELLA GIRL (tell me what girl does not love pink/black and crowns…) enough of a hint….

2. BOARDWALK (this line is bright fun colors…just what I’ve been wanting to do…did someone say SURFBOARDS,eh?????)

3. DAMASKED (enough said….sophisticated and rich)

4. Journal- It (this line will make you journal in a whole new light-)”

Details are from HER BLOG and she will release a new sneak peak each Friday. Here is the first one…
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SEI
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SCENIC ROUTE
Lynden, the new Easter/Spring mini line

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See more Scenic Route HERE.

Crop-A-dile & Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite

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I (try to) pride myself on being on the cutting edge of the scrapbooking industry, and usually have heard of something several times before it makes it’s official debut, but this one really snuck up on me! I opened my e-mail box yesterday to see this little gem of a note from HSN, the Home Shopping Network channel.

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hsn cad-II
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So the “first generation” Crop-a-dile has been around for a bit. I’ve had one for months and really enjoy using it. Memory Works carries them and, boy howdy, have I sold ‘em to others! Once a scrapper sees the CAD (as CKMB’ers so affectionately call it) in use, they have to have one. Now, the question is, do we “need” a CAD-II?

Here is what I love about my CAD:
~ Punches holes and sets eyelets/snaps like butta’, in 2 sizes.
~ Shhhh….it’s so vewy, vewy kie-wit (quiet) and I can happily create in the middle of night without waking any family members.
~ It comes in cute colors like pink, purple and lime green. There are different configurations it sells with, where you can even get a matching case with tons of eyelets. For instance, Memory Works sells it with the pink tool alone, the pink case alone, or the green tool & case together.
~ The hole punches are cool to use because you can adjust the sliding thingee (that’s a highly technical term) for how far into the paper you want to punch. Then all your holes are uniform looking like, say, one inch in from the edge of the paper.

Only negatives I’ve seen to the CAD:
~ Because of the tool being smaller, there are limitations with how far into an item you can punch. I think it amounts to 1 or 1.5 inches. Personally, it doesn’t bother me because I mostly set eyelets and snaps into flowers, smaller pieces of card or other embellishments. But I know it’s been a concern for others.
~ The thing doesn’t know it’s own strength and, if you’re not careful, you can smoosh (another technical term) your snap or eyelet beyond the point of recognition. Basically, ya just gotta practice with it until you find the amount of force needed to set things.

So, in answer to the “short reach” complaints, WE R MEMORY KEEPERS (manufacturer of the Crop-A-Dile) have provided us with the Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite. Talk about responsive ~ WTG, WRMK! Now the burning question is: Do we need the Big Bite? For now, I think I will hold off. It looks expensive, and crikey, could they find a better color than that gawdawful orange? Actually, WRMK usually has rockin’ color choices in all their items, so I’m sure there will be mo’ better color choices to come.

Here is the discussion on Big Bite so far ON CKMB and ON 2PEAS. What are your thoughts on this new biggie? Will you be purchasing one on HSN tomorrow, or anywhere else?

Edited 1-9-08: Huggy Bear says word on the street is retail will be only $39.99, and some LSS’s are doing pre-sales for $32. Okay, now I’m tempted. I thought that puppy was gonna’ be WAY more than 40 bucks…Wonder how much HSN will have it for???

Edited 1-10-08: Okay, I watched the HSN presentation on the CAD-II Big Bite (like most of you, yeah?). I have to admit, I’m kind of in love with the thing. I didn’t want to be, but that cute little WRMK guy, and the enthusiasm of that little blondie, Suzanne Runyan…jeez, they won me over big time. The CAD-II can punch even further than 6 inches into an item. They punched into sheets of tin (yeah, I’ll be doing that ALL the time), thick chipboard, even a 5-layer dealie of a metal snap, 3 flowers, and a plastic Chinese takeout box. Gotta’ give ‘em props, they knew how to sell me. And the price was around $40 with another $6 or so for shipping. HSN said they were the only ones who had it in stock; the WRMK guy said he doesn’t even have one. So, if you MUST have it now and you don’t mind orange, I say get it from HSN. I will patiently wait for another color, but I WILL have one, oh yes, I will have one…

Scrapbooking Tip #2

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In my last post about October Afternoon, you will see a sheet of paper that looks like a 12×12 piece of binder paper. It really caught my eye because, while I love the look of binder paper on my layouts, I would never use the real thing because it’s not acid free. Since I usually cut up scrapbook “binder paper” into smaller journaling pieces (i.e. rarely need an intact 12×12 piece of it), I make my own! Here’s how: Take a piece of actual binder paper. You can tear it out of a spiral notebook and leave the ragged edges for a cool look, or use a sheet with a clean left edge. Put it in your scanner and COLOR copy it onto white, cream or any other light colored paper you like. Once it’s scanned, you can re-use it to your heart’s content. I used this idea once to do all the journaling boxes for a School Days mini album. Hope you can use it in your scrapbooking too!

DISCLAIMER: This was a VERY basic album…please don’t judge my scrap skills from it. It was a 6×6 album I threw together in a couple hours when a friend needed a last minute prize for a silent auction.

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October Afternoon Scrapbooking Line

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So I’m over at my “other” 2nd home ~ All Moments Remembered message board ~ and I see THIS THREAD about Stacey’s favorite new company, October Afternoon. I found THEIR WEBSITE (which is new and still in the production stages) and was first off impressed with their design team. There are some names I recognize as very talented and I can’t wait to see what they do with this yummy product. Then I clicked on those PDF’s to see what they got! Yowza, you’re gonna’ love it too (although, unlike HEATHER, I’m not an owl fan, LOL).

PAPERS

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DIE CUTS

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RUB-ONS(just a sampling, there are lots more)

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CLEAR STAMPS (just a sample, there are lots more)

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I like the distressed edges on the papers, the warm colors, and how they have the same versions of the rub-ons in both brown and white (or espresso and cream or whatever). Since I have an ongoing Book of Me, these products are just what I need. It’s like they read my mind or something!

Stacey at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED online store is in the process of adding this to her site. So when ya want some (and I know you will!), go see Stacey for the best customer service and friendliest help you will find anywhere. And tell her I sent you {tee hee}…

Crops and Organizing and Such…

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Just a quick post, because I feel guilty when days go by and I haven’t yakked about anything :) I’m hosting 2 all-day crops tomorrow and Saturday (8am to midnight, both days). Seems no matter how much I get done ahead of time, no matter how many items I check off the To Do list, I’m up all night before my crops getting ready! Oh well, I have so much fun at the crops and have such wonderful friends to spend scrap time with, that I stay awake and happy on just a couple of hours sleep.

Can I say thank you SO MUCH for all the great comments about my business name?? That is so awesome and they are great to read. Scrappers are, yes, a very creative bunch and you make me smile :)

On a down note, it was finally confirmed at work today that they plan to close the facility I work at (part-time in a clerical job). It’s been a rumor for months, so I had already started to look around at other jobs. The closure will be completed by June 30, 2008…so now I’m hardcore job hunting again. It’s all very complicated but the heart of the matter is that this job has allowed me to be home with my kids more; finding another one like it in pay and hours will be virtually impossible. I’m about to have a breakdown from worrying that I’ll have to go back to work full-time. I have noticed such a difference in our family, our kids, my “self”, our happiness since I’ve been home more and it breaks my heart to think about us being back on that full-time treadmill. I know this blog ain’t about me, but if you feel like saying a little prayer for me I would truly appreciate it.

Okay, now I have 4 hours of computer work, then several more of getting ready for the crop (make goody bags, pack car, make brownies,…), so I’d better get on it! Hope you’re able to get some scrapping done this weekend!

PS: As for the Organizational Challenge, it officially ends this Sunday 1/6/08. However, I certainly won’t be holding anyone to the deadline as I won’t be meeting it myself. Unfortunately, job searching and financial planning has had to take over. I’ll continue to post my scrap space organizing progress and hope you will do the same. I will complete the RAK for the business name suggestions after I finish up the crop, probably Sunday or Monday. Thank you, sweeties, for understanding…

Scrapbook Organization: More On Ribbon Storage

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If you’re participating in our SCRAP SPACE ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE (deadline is this Sunday, 1/6/08) , you’ve probably had to confront your ribbon. I found this great ARTICLE I thought I would share, posted on MADCROPPER.COM.

To give you a little tease, how do you like this ribbon storage system by CANDICE PALMER??

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HAPPY 2008 TO YOU ALL!! May it be a year of blessed organization and lots of completed pages…

Name for My Scrapbook Company ~ Need Ur Help :)

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I have the absolutely BEST blog readers in the world, so I thought I would ask for your help. If you’re a regular, you know that I’m a consultant for Memory Works scrapbooking. I just started doing it in early 2007 and have had a lot of fun. However, like any company, they just don’t carry every single item that I’d like to sell or that my customers ask for. Therefore, I’m going to start a little side business to supplement my Memory Works business so I can carry things like Bazzill cardstock, Stickles, Word Name Books, etc. To purchase these items wholesale, my state requires me to apply for a seller’s permit. So I’m filling out the form and one of the boxes asks for my business name. (Smack to head)…DUH! Yeah, I need a business name so I can also apply for a DBA.

Will you please help me think of a cool name? You could win a RAK, so come on! Purdy please (said in my most endearing whiny voice).

The name I had always thought I would use someday is Calla Memories. I came up with that because the calla lily has always been my favorite flower. I had them in my wedding because they look so classic and beautiful. But one reason I don’t like it is because abbreviated it’s CM…yep, just like Creative Memories. Also, I don’t know if it’s “scrapbook-y” enough. Will it communicate what I do or what type of products I carry? Say I eventually want to turn this into an online store – is that a name that can carry me through? I also need a name that I can translate into a website/blog and a yahoo e-mail address, so I don’t want it to be too long.

Okay, is that TMI ?? But, seriously, will you please help me think of another name? I want to apply for my seller’s permit ASAP, so whoever leaves a name suggestion or just any type of idea on this post BY FRIDAY, JANUARY 4 (midnight PST) is eligible for a RAK, which is a free scrapbook-related gift I will send you. {ETA 1/1/08: The RAK winner will be decided by random draw}. Make sure I have some way to contact you, whether a blog link or leaving your e-mail address if your siggie doesn’t link to you somehow.

Remember, by this FRIDAY!! Thanks a bunch :) :)

Scrap Space Organization: Progress Report #3

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{Post edited 12/30/07 to add photos}

Ok, after goofing off for Christmas…and, um, perhaps for a few days after…I’m back in organization mode. My “12 Hours in 12 Days” plan got about 4 hours behind, so I tried to catch up today. I worked reorganizing my scrap space for about 2.5 hours, so I’m still behind (gulp). But here is what I accomplished:

~ Took new ribbon off rolls and put into ribbon jars.

~ Decided to use five of the large gingerbread jars to store embellishments by color. These are embellishments with no ‘topic’ per se, so they don’t go in the ScrapRack with all my themed stuff. For example, I have metal flower clips, generic small journaling tags, etc. that don’t really go anywhere else. I sorted them into the same color categories as my ribbon, so hopefully coordinating and grabbing things for future use will be a breeze :)

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~ Used a small gingerbread jar for all of my flowers. Took ‘em all out of their packages and mixed em up in there ~ it looks so pretty! The only exception is I kept the tiny little Prima flowers in their jars, just stuck the whole jar in there (I only have 2 jars. So far….bwahahahaha).

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~ Used a large gingerbread jar for all of my chipboard letters (one pack of felt letters in there too). I didn’t realize I had so many until I saw them all in one place. One thing I learned from this little organizational experience…snack-size Ziplocs are my friend! I took each alpha out of it’s packaging and put it in a snack bag. Viola! Compact, see through, and easy to cram bunches into a big jar. Lovin’ that…

cb & flower jars

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~ Put all my pens into a small GB jar but not sure I’m gonna’ keep it that way. I took them out of 2 Creative Memories pen cases and they don’t fill up the jar enough so that the pens are standing anywhere near upright. Now a Scrapbook Obsessed person would just say…”Must buy more pens!”. And I occasionally do, but mostly I use the ones I’ve had since I started scrapping. Okay, there were the glitter gel pens in Christmas colors from the Target $1 Spot recently, but that’s it, I swear!

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You’ll also see a jar I already had done, full of felt flowers. Those are the ones from the Target $1 Spot; that’s only $3 worth ~ what a steal!

And I actually got some scrapping done tonight because I could finally see my desk. That was fun and felt really good. But I have LOTS more work to do. Hope you’re making progress too & if so, please tell us about it!

So Much Fun Yesterday @ AMR :)

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I was only able to spend a little time over there, as I had two jobs due yesterday and today. But it was sure fun, and I can tell it’s a place I’m going to like. Here’s the gist:

~ Fun and VERY friendly message board that had a lot of participation. Stacey, Heather, all of them are some of the nicest ladies you will meet. And Stacey (the owner) wants it to be a friendly, helpful MB…and she’ll boot ya if you’re a Hater. So please come join in over there. I would say that ~ especially if you’re intimidated by the HUGE boards like CKMB and 2Peas ~ you can jump in now on this smaller board, where everyone is chatty and friendly, and become comfortable. Pretty soon you’ll be an old-timer with a huge post count, see?

~ Lots of great new products and Stacey is constantly adding things. She said she can get basically ANY product you want, just ask. I mean, that’s some pretty great customer service.

~ A new Gallery to post your work in. This isn’t my bag, but I know a lot of you like to have your pages, cards and altered items seen. So become one of the first, get your Gallery entries in NOW before it gets all crowded-like.

For me, it just feels good to support a small company that’s getting off the ground. Stacey is a wife and mom, just like many of us, who started this business to be able to spend more time with her family, while helping us with our scrapbooking needs, and creating a fun community where we can all hang out. So come over to AMR and join us anytime. My bet is you will get a personal “Welcome” from Stacey, Heather, or a Design Team member.

PS: I won two RAK’s!! Totally sweet (in a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure kind of way). A paper pack and an AMM caddy! I’ll post pics when I receive them. I’m also awaiting my first-ever order from AMR. Will show you pics of that too when it gets here :)

PSS: Heather has asked if I want to host some Happy Hours! Totally kewl. Will let you know if that works out (and you’d BETTER be there or else).

Reminder: New AMR is Live!

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Just a reminder that the new version of the ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED site went live today. I’ve been over there registering for a shopping account, drooling over their new products, hearing who won a spot on the design team, looking at their new kits and classes, and saying HI to everyone on the new message board. There are RAKs and sales going on today only. Seeing a lot of familiar faces (CKMB’ers), and meeting some new friends. This is gonna be a fun place to hang out! Check it…

Your Favorite Scrapbook Gifts for Christmas?

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Welcome back to blog-world, after that little break we all took for Christmas. I have to admit, the only day I stayed entirely away from the computer was Christmas Day itself. We didn’t go out of town, but stayed close to home attending family events. On Christmas Day, after all the gift opening madness, just our little family went out for a fancy dinner. We spent scads of cash, and ate whatever we wanted for desert without worrying about calories or the future additions to our tushies. I mean, once a year, ya gotta throw caution to the wind, right? I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas as well.

I was lucky to receive some wonderful gifts. My MIL got us a set of those glass photo coasters, telling us how she was up very late the night before going through old photos to put in a set of coasters for each family. It was so touching to look at those photos, and to think of the care she took to pick them out for each of us. I have to selfishly admit, it was so extra nice to be on the receiving end for once of a gift that involved someone taking the time and love to do a project like that, and making something that we will smile at every time we use it. Thanks MIL ~ you rock! And there’s more! Mi madre gave me something handmade and special also. Have you seen those little wire and beaded “wine glass labels”? You know, you’re at someone’s house for a party and everyone is drinking wine, so you put this little cutie around the stem of your glass, then just remember, “Oh, I have the green one.” Well, my mom made me two sets of them and they’re personalized with the names of all our extended family (i.e. the folks we party with). The “girls” set is for we wine drinkers, and has little girly colored beads and grape charms, with our little tiny name tags. Then the boys set has boy colored beads and little beer charms. I figure we can hang them from the tabs of the beer cans, or insist that DH stick to longnecks which will absolutely break his heart (NOT).

Speaking of Mr. ScrapbookObsession, one of my bestest gifts was a $100 gift card to Starbucks (aka StarCrack) from him and the kids. Now, this was a HUGE thing coming from my Way Better Half, “he who always has a sarcastic comment about my level of latte consumption.” But the little note on the card holder said a thank you for all my late nights working and may this card help me get through those nights. I swear, sometimes he makes me so mad I just ball up my fist and say, “Straight to the moon!” and then he does stuff like the Starbucks gift and I decide to keep him forever :)

There was a thread on CKMB about “What gifts did we buy ourselves?”, so I was glad to see I wasn’t alone. “DH” bought me a cute pair of black shoes, and a huge book about the art of Rome. (Yeah, he was more surprised than I was when I opened them…and he was pretty impressed with ‘his’ gift buying abilities). The plan is also to get me an iPhone, hopefully later this week, AFTER we see how much the washing machine repair is going to cost. Yeah, I might have to take one for the team. As I started opening my gifts this year, I have to admit to a teeny tiny drop of disappointment when nothing was scrappy related. However, when my mom arrived lastnight with gifts from she and from my brother’s family, my faith was restored. My SIL (okay, we know my brother didn’t think of this) got me 3 Perfect Pages scrapbook kits from Colorbok, called Family Ties, Christmas and School Days. I’ve never seen them and was so happy to see something that didn’t come from Michaels or Costco, which is about the only scrapbook shopping I get to do anymore with all the LSS’s gone. To top it off, my mom got me a pack of scrapping stuff that she had hand picked from her LSS – papers, embellishments, large eyelets for my Cropadile, and {GOD BLESS HER} some Bazzill cardstock to match it all. So, my little Scrap Angels did take care of me after all. While we all watched We Are Marshall tonight, I just sat there stroking my new goodies, looking through them over and over. I think all eyes were on the TV, so no one saw my Scrapbook-Obsessive behavior. It’ll just be our little secret, kay?

The best “gift” I was given was so many opportunities to take wonderful pictures for my scrapbooks: warm family dinners; candlelight ceremony at Christmas Eve church; Christmas Day walk on the beach; and ~ the best ~ catching the amazed and happy faces of my kids as they saw each new present. I want to journal the wonderful conversations we had and remember this Christmas always…

What were your best gifts this year? Any scrapbook-y kinds of gifts? C’mon, we all want to hear about them! Anything scrapbook-related you were really hoping for but didn’t get? Tell us how your Christmas went…

Save the Date: 12/27/07 for “New” AMR!

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Stacey over at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED online store is unveiling her new look next Thursday. The site she started this year has really taken off, and I think she’s doing an excellent job. On 12/27, AMR will have a new look, a new logo, a new Design Team announced, and a new message board. She is constantly getting new items ~ recent additions have included Tim Holtz Grungeboard, and this K&Co Urban Rhapsody:

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I recently placed my first order with her because #1, she is one of the few online sites that will take a check, and #2, she is one the nicest people out there. Can’t beat that, I say. I’ll remind you once more before then, but please do head over to All Moments Remembered on 12/27! I’ll be there for sure…

{PS: I added another Organization Update…see below…}

Scrap Space Organization: Progress Report #2

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I was busy working, etc all day Thursday and Friday. But as of 1900 hrs last night, I’m officially free from my office job (and taking kids back and forth to school) for over 2 weeks!! Yippee Kie Yay and Yee Haw! I slept bunches and am now starting to feel The Urge to Purge and the Need to Organize. Christmas is only 3 days away, so obviously I’ll be busy with those things. But come 12/26, I’m ready to rock!

Today I’m sitting at the computer trying to ‘organize’ my thoughts and, taking Yvette’s suggestion, I’m writing things down. I’ve started “Mom’s To Do List for Christmas Vacation 2007″. I’m including a box to put little check marks as I accomplish things, so I can see my progress and hopefully that will motivate me to keep going. My list is probably going to end up being unrealistic for the time frame I have, but oh well. At least I’ll get SOME things done. I have 2 at-home work assignments due that will take lots of hours, and general house cleaning. I’m hoping to get those out of the way first, and then concentrate on the organizing and some other projects. The challenge will be staying off the darn internet! I have so much fun with this blog, the CKMB, reading other blogs, e-mailing friends, etc. that I could end up here for hours each day…will have to force myself NOT to do that, or maybe just limit it to my ‘night owl’ hours as a reward for accomplishing great things during the day, LOL.

The other things on my plate are my mom visiting from 12/25 to whenever, and I’m holding a scrapbook crop on Friday 1/4 and Saturday 1/5. That was just decided yesterday, so unfortunately it does affect my ability to accomplish things for this Challenge, since at the end I won’t even be here for 2 days :( So I’d better really bust tail between 12/26 and 1/3, and stack up some extra hours to meet my own 12-hour challenge (see below). The good thing about my mom being here is she will help me & is a very talented organizer herself. Is that wrong to put her to work while she’s here? (j/k, she actually loves it and ASKS for things to do; LOVE her!).

I’m not only working on my scrap space, but the rest of the house as well. Spring Cleaning kinds of things, like washing all the pillows and bedding, purging my kids’ school work, and getting our personal files caught up (they’re already in pretty good shape). It’s kind of become a tradition to rearrange our living room after the Christmas tree comes down, which is good because every little nook and cranny gets wiped down or vacuumed. If I have time, I’d also like to purge and better organize our Christmas stuff when I put it away. I did it a few years ago, but there are the same things that don’t get used each year, so why hold onto them? Honestly, I’m not really into holiday decorating and just do it for the kids, so the stuff we have is already minimal ~ ornaments, stockings, and a few decorations. Although I do now have the new Advent Calendar I put together this year, along with the one I bought from Starbucks (thanks to CKMB Enabling):

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So far today, I’ve got couch throw pillows in the washing machine, school work into one pile after gathering it from around the house, and a bunch of housecleaning done. Is it just me, or do you get a lot more done around the house when DH isn’t home? I don’t know why, because he’s not the needy sort. Hmmm… So! The other thing, in addition to my checklist, is that I’m going to commit (from 12/26 through 1/6, the end of The Challenge) to spend at least 1 hour per day on organizing my scrap area. That will be….um….I’m no math major…let’s see…12 HOURS of scrappy organizational time! More time than I’ve probably spent on organization over there this entire year. I think I can get a lot done in 12 hours, don’t you? Are you setting any goals for yourself? What progress have you made so far? I’d love to hear about it :)

Scrap Space Organization: Going Vertical

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In a comment on my LAST POST about the progress I’ve made toward Total Scraproom Organization, YVETTE made a very good suggestion about putting my vertical space to better use. Now, I don’t have a bunch, because my space is in the corner of the room with two big windows. But there is one wall spot with a cute house-shaped shelf with little cubbies ~ originally bought to store/display my rubber stamps. It came as naked wood and I painted it dark green to coordinate with the ‘decor’ of the room (and I use that term loosely…very…very…loosely). However, it has turned out that the spaces are not the right size for the most part so, as much as I hate to, I need to junk it (but it’s sooooo cute!) (and I hand painted it!). Good golly gosh, I’m so good at making excuses NOT to get rid of stuff & that needs to change. Like, yesterday.

I think it would take a little sting out of the pain if I replace the cute green house-shaped shelf with this Making Memories Embellishment Center:

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I saw one at Michaels the other day and was very intrigued by it’s sassiness and usefulness. However…#1 it was $80, #2 I had nowhere to hang it because my only wall already had a VERY cute little…oh, you know! But now I’m wondering if it will ever be 30% off, or if I can use a 40% or 50% off coupon. That would put it in my price range, ya know? If I remember right, I think there are two versions of this shelf and the other one is bigger with an additional cubby/section per row. Anyone have this item? How ya’ liking it?

I know that Scrapperdays, for one, is rockin’ this Organization Challenge. Go check it out on HER BLOG. Yay for you! Anyone else making progress you want to tell us about? Keep going…you can do it!

Scrap Space Organization: Progress Report #1

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Update to this ORIGINAL POST. Sorry, it’s not very well written below…just kind of stream of consciousness of what I’m doing, what questions come up, and what I’m learning along the way.

Here is the progress I have made so far:

~ Gathered all recently ordered customer products. Sticker on each one with customer’s name. Checked items received off order forms and noted if money due. Boxes into car for delivery to customers (wish I could readily find all of their addresses and phone numbers to call and tell them I’m coming by after work).

Result/Learned: Had about 4 large boxes with customer stuff that is now outta’ here! Wow, that already made a big difference. Unfortunately, something came up after work and I wasn’t able to deliver tonight but, hey, the boxes are outta my scrap area!

~ Gathered all Christmas card related items, finished Christmas letter (yeah, I know it’s late!), decided to forego handmade cards for everyone on my list and send them to scrapper’s only, started entering address/phone/e-mail information into Address Book on my Mac laptop while I watched the finale of the Biggest Loser. Filed from stack of 12×12 papers. Put random Mike’s stamps into stamp drawer. Need to inventory stamps so I don’t double-buy. Need to separate stamps that I’m giving for crop prizes from my own stash, and put them into my prize box. Prize box could go in a closet since I only access it on crop days or to drop new prizes into?

Result/Learned: Not having all of my customer and personal addresses computerized really costs me lots of time, aka time that I could spend on keeping my space organized. Mac Address Book will be wonderful once it’s up and running. I can separate contacts into groups like scrapbookers, crop invitees, customers, friends, family, business, sort them by birthday month for prizes and greeting card lists, etc. For easy Christmas card addressing, Address Book even makes Avery labels! Ain’t technology great? It seems like I “never have time” to get things up and running, but when I do make the time, it’s SO worth it. And doing a boring organizing task is easier if it’s one you can take in front of the TV, LOL. I also learned that it’s okay to let go of self-imposed obligations (like 50 handmade Christmas cards) if it helps me keep my sanity. Do you beat yourself up sometimes like I do over these self-created issues? I mean, the people on my card list didn’t ASK for or expect a handmade card, did they?

~ Got picture frames out of boxes and put into hall closet with other frames. Plan to complete all re-framing AFTER the holidays.

Result/Learned: Things like photo frames shouldn’t come into my scrap area in the first place, and I gained a good chunk of floor space by moving them. I need to change my mindset that, “If I don’t see it, it won’t get done.” Even if I DID forget that re-framing is a project I need to do, I’ll still see the frames whenever I open the linen closet (duh!).

I’m so glad y’all are joining me, giving me tips, and/or just following our progress and cheering us on. There are more from CKMB (some of you posted both places ~ thanks!). Here is THAT THREAD if you want to take a peek. Scrapper-organizers are already making progress ~ wahoo! I’m jealous of Scrapperdays and her new Lisa and Becky Rail System. This isn’t Julie’s actual system, but a picture of one that she posted on HER BLOG.

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You can see the Rail System HERE on the Cropper Hopper website (www.lisabecky.com). Here is another picture:
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So, if you haven’t joined our Organization Challenge, please do! Just post below to make it official. Take Before photos so you can see how far you’ve come. If you’re shy, you don’t need to post here ~ but do ORGANIZE! It feels so good and will let you start the new year in a fresh, clean, and productive space…

Scrapbook Organization: My Space…AGAIN

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This is so embarrassing. After all my bragging about organizing my scrap space earlier this year (it was THIS POST), it’s a mess again. Holy cow! I think it’s even worse. Yeah, I just looked at the Before photos from last time and it is much, much worse now. My excuse is that I started as a scrapbook consultant this year and now, in addition to all my own stuff, I have to ‘keep stock on hand’ of Memory Works products. At any given time, I also have boxes of orders here until I distribute them. But, that being said, the real reason it’s a mess is because I haven’t kept up on it. I didn’t create a solution before I had the problem. And I’ve kept buying new scrapbook supplies while hardly using any. Okay, here is the disgusting evidence:

This is as you walk into my scrapping area, which is the back half of a larger room with the kids’ play area in the front. As you can see, the walkway is closing in on itself and I can barely walk through there without losing body parts. The box of red albums is a Daisy D’s Year in Review and Christmas album. I’m doing a class/party on that the week after Christmas. There’s my little Lexmark standalone photo printer that I got at Target for $25 on Clearance. I tried to use it once, got frustrated when it wouldn’t print anything but green photos, and it has sat collecting dust ever since. Although I did recently buy that Lexmark-specific photo paper (it’s sitting on top of the printer) to try again before I toss the thing out the window. The blue bins I bought last month to try and better display my products at crops, etc. (will be a separate post about those later). Until now, I’ve been using a big clear Rubbermaid container and small, white plastic baskets to display things. The Rubbermaid is just plain ugly and the white baskets are cute enough, but the sides are too low and everything just kind of flops over and won’t stand up for customers to look through it. You can also se my XXL tote and another smaller one (don’t remember what that one is called). I load them up with MW products when I go to crops and it’s nice because they protect everything from dust and getting bent in transit, and the XXL is on rollers so I can really carry lots of stuff. The problem is then I have no room to take my own crop stuff (tool kit, page kits, etc.). Needing a solution to that problem. The cream tote is all my Memory Works catalogs and paperwork. Well, I shouldn’t say “all”…there is another huge white binder of stuff in my home office. The black box is a Creative Memories Power Sort box full of photos and memorabilia from my Europe cruise. That was in 2006 and I’m only about half way through the album (if you don’t count journaling, of which I’ve hardly done any). Everything in the Power Sort is getting dusty because I can’t put the lid on or it will crush my brochures, menus, etc. To the far right is my shelf which has stayed pretty organized, mainly because it’s packed and there is nowhere to put anything else. But it needs work, for sure. The two ziploc bags on the floor are my templates, CM cutting system, Coluzzles, etc. They used to go on that shelf but they got kicked out when I bought some new blank albums.

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After you walk in my scrap area and take a left, you’re looking at the window and my desk. That stack of paper with the black and white Jenni Bowlin on the top (love it!) is my December kit from Memory Works Express. I had it out of the box to look through it and never put it away. Under that are some other recent purchases: K&Co. Wild Saffron slab; DCWV cardstock pad with the jagged edges (what’s that called?), and two SIS tool packs that are empty. I had all my acrylic stamping stuff in one of them and it got full, so I bought an identical one when they were on a great sale at Tuesday Morning. Then I found the black tote at Michaels (you’ll see it later in the tour) for 40% off and moved all my stamps into the tote. Not sure if I’m liking it, so while I decide, the empty blue tool packs sit empty. The ribbon jars on the right look fine ~ I’ve managed to keep up with my ribbon this way, just tossing in any new ribbon I get right away. The large white box and another stack under the brown box (that you can’t see here) are picture frames from Costco that I bought about two months ago. Okay, let’s be honest, it’s been more like six months. I HATE the picture frames I have around my house right now and keep saying I will redo them, but there they sit. It just seems so intimidating to figure out which pictures I want to put in which frames, get them enlarged and/or converted to black and white, choose which pictures go where in the house, and hang them. I’m procrastinating big time on that one. The basket on the top right is full {bursting at the seams} with letter stickers. Even though I have a Cricut, I can’t seem to stop buying alpha rub-ons, Thickers, chipboard alphas and sometimes even sticker letters. Although I’m proud to say I don’t buy those much anymore because I know I won’t use them; I have years’ worth to use already. Although most of my letters are at least in one place (that basket), they definitely need to be purged and organized.

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This is the top of my legal size filing cabinet. Inside is actually very organized, with all my greeting cards sorted by event; receipts, instruction books, etc in files; and office supplies like printer paper, extra cartridges, etc. Again, ribbon jars look good although they’re dusty on top. I purged magazines and idea books last time I did The Big Cleanup and now the stack is back! New magazines, idea books and other books that need to be purged or put away.

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Here is the heart of the space, where i actually scrap, my L-shaped desk. With the missing front trim that never got put on because we didn’t follow the instructions properly when we put it together from the box. Once the desk was together, waaayyyy too much trouble to pull it apart again just to add some silly little trim. Anyway, you can see my black tool pack which holds many of my essentials – various adhesives, stylus, stapler, etc. The papers on top are envelopes from Christmas cards we’ve received so I can update my address list. I mean, really, that doesn’t even belong in here and that’s what happens a lot. If I want to straighten another area of the house, I just put things in here. Voila! We have a mess! On the right side are sticky notes and mailing supplies; my new ToteAlly Cool totes (larger for punches, Stickles, etc and smaller one for Cropadile, pens and scissors); the ever present Diet Coke. In the back are recently developed photos that have nowhere to go so I keep stuffing them back there. To the left is my ScrapRack which is very organized but too full so, see, the little K&Co. tags are falling out of the Christmas section. And my glorious new Basic Grey Magnetic Mats and faithful Cutterpede paper trimmer.

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Here is my little corner with my stereo (new Pebbles Inc. Ribbon Iron on top cooling off because I just used it); high dollar printer and scanner that I never use; random Mike’s and Target stamps for long-overdue RAK’s; baby wipes to clean acrylic stamps; and my labeler which surprisingly gets a lot of use in my space. I’m very organized about being disorganized! The desk drawers have computer equipment, font and software CD’s, etc and are very organized but I don’t seem to go in there very much, so maybe that stuff could go elsewhere and open up some space for scrap-related things? The cupboard side contains my Cricut, mats, and cartridges on top, a bin with electrical cords, phone cords, power strip, etc on bottom. Again, why is that stuff in here? I do have an old laptop on my desk that I just use for journaling but I hardly ever use the accessories anymore so they could go in a closet or something. See, progress already!

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Here is the rest of my desk. There is the black Michael’s tote I told you about. All my acrylic stamps, ink pads, alcohol inks, stamp cleaners, etc are in there. Behind the tote are: a bucket of Prima flowers I’m borrowing from a friend, my ink pens in Creative Memories Pen Holders, and random new products that need to be put away. The Colorbok paper pads under the black tote will be for sale, but I need to log them in my computer first. The pile on the left is mostly the stuff from my Secret Santa (thanks again!) and the right side pile is memorabilia to file and a new notebook for scrap ideas, to do lists, etc. (First entry should be: TO DO ~ Clean up your damn space!).

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Wow, okay… Seeing your mess in a big full color photo is even MORE eye-opening, even MORE embarrassing and shocking. Deep breath. Count to 10. Breathe out through the nose. Yoga breaths, yoga breaths. Okay. I’m back. This is the table to the left of my desk (the far side of it is near the walkway we already saw). I brought this table in the last time I organized, thinking it would be extra space to work on big projects, sort my photos, or have a friend over to crop. Yeah, right. It’s become a primo dumping ground for the stuff I guess I just used to leave on the floor. On the table you can see more gingerbread jars which I’ve been dumping various embellies in that either need to be put away, or are prizes for crops. The 12×12 stack back there is mainly paper to file or put a price tag on. The white baskets I was using to display my products ~ one is empty, the other has in it two Memory Works Express Kits from May 2007. One is mine, one is for sale. There are papers and embellishments in a super large Ziploc, including a box of glitter chipboard letters from K&Co. which I need to keep bagged together to sale and/or act as a sample of the kit. The problem is that each of these kits comes with an alterable project and this one was a small paint can. I mean, jeez, how to you even store that?? I guess my lame answer is, “In a white plastic basket.” Down below the table are my very organized page kits in a white plastic crate, another jar, and a Target bag with a flattened postal box and some acrylic stamps to sell once I get them in the computer and price tags put on. At the bottom middle of the photo are two cardboard file boxes on the floor. Hiding under the bag of Figgy Pudding Card Kit stuff (with cards in progress) is one project box (album, papers, embellishments, photos and souveniers from a big trip we took in, yes, 2005). The other is a project box for my 2006 cruise album. Neither has even been touched in months, except to add or take papers from. What you can’t see is that the entire space under my desk is filled with bins of my old photo storage system (remember THIS POST about how I was going to re-do that?), altered projects to make (photo cubes, shadow boxes, etc.), and Christmas presents. I’ve been shoving gifts under there all year because it’s the perfect hiding place. Everyone is scared to come over here! Seriously, my DH sends the kids in to grab the wastepaper basket once in a while or he just yells over to me, “Hey, how’s your trash? Bring it here if it needs emptied, please.” Smart man. Very, very smart man.

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This is just a close up of the jars on the table, and you can see the blue basket in the background where I’ve put some of the paper packs I have for sale. They are elsewhere in the house, but I have a total of two large blue bins (like the one on the table), two medium sized green ones, and two small blue ones. They are all filled with MW products for sale. The baskets themselves are organized, but I have nowhere in my scrap space to put them.

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So, I have survived the ultimate in humiliation by showing you my ‘crap’ area. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? SERIOUSLY?? And why am I subjecting myself to this, you ask? Because that’s what it takes for me to get to work and get this place cleaned up again. Last time, I entered an Organization Challenge on the CK Message Board. This time, I’m sharing it here on my blog. Now I’m accountable (I mean, if you guys out there really care??) and I WILL get organized again. I’ve come to this conclusion: Now that I’m a scrapbook consultant and have to keep a lot of extra products and paperwork around, this space just isn’t big enough anymore.

Part One of My Plan: My wheels have been turning about how I can re-work this space, maybe somehow utilizing our guest bedroom/office also. I already got DH’s approval to get rid of the old king sized bed in there that takes up half of the room, yet only gets used about four times per year when my mom visits. (No worries, Mom, we’ll findya another place to sleep!).

Part Two of My Plan: I have two weeks off from work for the holidays. Granted, I could get busy with my ‘from home’ jobs, I have at least one scrapbooking event, and we may go out of town for a few days. But I think this is a great opportunity to spend some time getting my scrap area organized…once and for all…um, yeah, right! Do I have your support? You got any suggestions for the dilemmas I’ve shared? I challenge YOU to organize your scrapbooking area over the Christmas break, so post in Comments if you will join me. I would love it if you sent me some photos I could post of your before/after or link us to your blog showing same. DEADLINE IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2008 (‘cuz ya gotta have a deadline or else you won’t do it!)…

Good luck and God Bless Us all!

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