Friday Fun Question: If You Could Work for Any Scrapbook Store or Manufacturer …

…. which company would it be and what job would you do?

I saw this question posted on a message board and decided to turn it into a blog post ‘cuz it’s so fun!

Which Company? Decisions, Decisions

I’d want to work for Simple Stories. I’ve met the owners and a few of the crew; they are the NICEST people! From seeing them interact at CHA, I can tell they have a fun time at work!

The co-owner Amber Crowell is the main designer and she’s so creative. I’d love to just be around and watch her design process from start to finish.

Also, when I read her story, I see how much we have in common. I think if we worked together, we’d be besties in no time :) Not to replace her current bestie, of course – just to add another one ME!

#TotalDreamJob

As for the job itself, I’d want to be assistant to Director of Marketing Layle Koncar, helping with their social media, marketing, and outreach. I have so many ideas for their blog and social channels! It would be a blast to have that job.

You might also occasionally find me in the warehouse sniffing all that glorious paper! Erm, I mean “doing social media product research” … yep! Uh-huh. That’s what I meant to say.

Okay, you’re turn! Please leave your answer by clicking the word Comments under the title to this post :)

CHA 2016: The Case of the Found Photos aka OOPS!!

Oh my gosh, you guys! I was just uploading the photos from my camera card to my computer and found … a bunch of CHA photos! I’m SUCH a dork :P

Here’s one of ’em.

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That’s Cathy Zielske, Amber Crowell (co-owner of Simple Stories), and Layle Koncar.

I don’t know what happened and why they weren’t downloaded the last time I did my card. Maybe I glanced at them and thought they’d already been done. Who knows? Total blond moment either way.

Here’s my 3-part plan:
1. Create new blog entries for the booths I didn’t even realize I had photos for
2. For the booths I already did posts on, update those with the new pics.
3. Write a new blog post with all the found photos in one place

No. 3 is for those of you who already read the original CHA 2016 posts. That way you don’t have to wade through them all again to see the new pics.

This will take a while because I have 87 photos to edit first so don’t be expecting this all tomorrow :)

I’m totally shaking my head at myself. Sheesh. How do I operate on a daily basis? LOL. Looking back, I *was* pretty sleep-deprived around CHA time. Yep, that’s what I’m going to blame it on: lack of sleep.

And, yes, in case you’re wondering, I CAN chew gum and walk at the same time. Unless it’s cinnamon flavor. Or a SQUIRREL! runs by. {Like you can do better! Sheesh}.

Mmmmm-kay ……… Have a great day!

Here’s My Dream Scrapbook Retreat. What’s Yours?

Let’s end the first week of the blogging challenge with a nice long read for your weekend :) Join me, will you, as I pretend I’m going on my dream scrapbook retreat? This is not, I repeat NOT, a real retreat. This is only a drill.

I Love It When the Weekend Starts Early

I have to work until noon on Thursday but the retreat is only 30 minutes from home. It’s so great to have an early check-in … so I get 4 days of scrapbooking!

Of course, I packed my crop bags perfectly, bringing enough to keep me busy but not too much to haul and unpack, with page kits containing photos and all I’ll need to scrapbook them. {Hey, it’s MY dream! If I want to pretend I’m retreat-organized for once, you can’t stop me}.

Unsplash / Pixabay

I pull up to the retreat location, a huge modern home right on the ocean. Hunky Patrick Dempsey look-alikes … erm, I mean, the nice lady retreat coordinator Lisa greets me and helps me carry my stuff into the house. We chat the entire time like old friends. She’s super nice, caring, and funny – I can tell this is going to be an amazing weekend!

A Table in Paradise

I’m the first to arrive so I get to pick my perfect crop space, my own 8-foot table at the end of the row. I like to talk with my fellow scrappies but I also like the ability to tune out and just scrap, so this is awesome. There will only be 6 of us total so it won’t get too crazy anyway. The huge living room that we’re in has windows on 3 sides. No matter where I look, I can see the beautiful ocean.

And because I’m at the end of the row closest to the front window, I can open it to create the perfect temperature {don’t you hate being too hot or too cold at a retreat?} and hear the waves pounding about 20 feet below us. I always say that the beach is My Happy Place and I can’t believe I get to combine it with scrapbooking!

Stevebidmead / Pixabay

Right now, the sun is starting to lower over the horizon, the sandpipers are skittering among the waves, and I can’t wait to get onto the deck and take some photos!

And the FOOD! ANd GIFTS!

Lisa has taken my suitcase to my room and, while I unpack my crop bag and start setting up my table, she brings me a cucumber mint iced tea from my favorite coffee place down the street. {She knew that I loved this tea from the guest preference sheet we submitted as part of the retreat}. She tells me the gourmet salad bar is set up in the kitchen whenever I’m hungry.

There’s also a variety of healthy – and not healthy :) – snacks set up on a table in the cropping area, along with a mini fridge full of our favorite drinks. Champagne and a yummy local white wine are chilling in ice buckets. Lisa has made extravagant goodie bags for each of us, full of the latest 12×12 papers and embellishments from the local scrapbook store. She had those preference sheets so she knew exactly what special items each of us would love!

Scrapping, Movie, Magazines, Hot Bath, Bed …

The rest of the day is taken up with completing 2 layouts, eating and drinking, greeting my 4 dear friends who are joining me, and watching “New In Town” on the big screen in the home theater. I’ve seen it several times and it always makes me laugh. Plus buttered popcorn and champagne, my favorite!

I turn in earlier than the others; it’s been a long day and I can’t wait to chill with my new scrapbooking magazines from Barnes and Noble. I’ve been holding off for a week to save them for the retreat and it’s been torture! I have the latest issues of Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooking, and Ivy Cottage. {Okay, apparently, I’m not only writing a dream story but also entering a time warp – because these magazines don’t exist any more, boo hoo!}.

My room is a master suite upstairs with another big view of the ocean, a huge soft bed with a white down comforter and fluffy pillows, and the bathroom has a sunken whirlpool tub. Ahhhh, the better to soak my tired neck and back after all that scrapping. Champagne again? Oh, well, sure, if you insist, but just 1 more teensy glass! Then it’s off to bed, lulled to sleep by the ocean sounds, and dreaming scrappy dreams.

The Rest of the Weekend

The remainder of the retreat couldn’t be more perfect. I have a blast chatting with my friends, catching up on everyone’s news (mayyyybe a little gossip thrown in for good measure), and getting 15 layouts done and several pocket pages,too. Lisa provides one amazing meal after another, all so rich and delicious but miraculously devoid of any calories or fat grams. When I get home, not only didn’t I gain weight but I LOST 5 pounds!

Throughout the weekend, we listen to all kinds of music depending on the mood we’re in – 80s, hip hop, country, spiritual, Top 40, you name it. We take walks on the beach, do a little shopping in the nearby town, watch movies, scrap late into the night, and sleep in as late as we want. No kids, no chores, nothing pulling our attention away from pure relaxation and fun.

Lisa is always there with an offer of the perfect beverage (like a breve’ latte’ just when we needed some scrapping energy), keeping the house tidy, and being such kind company. You can tell she truly loves her job and having us there is HER favorite thing in the world.

skeeze / Pixabay

Monday, Monday :(

Although nobody wants to leave this amazing place, we all miss our families and are ready to go home. The hunky guys … shoot! I mean WE help each other pack up our cars. Then we thank Lisa for the most amazing scrapbook retreat EVAH!, say our goodbyes, and drive home, with one last glance at the beautiful sea in our rearview mirrors.

The Perfect Scrapbook Retreat

So that crazy tale was all about my dream retreat – if only it could come true! What are a few things your dream scrapbooking retreat would include? Have you ever been to one that was close to perfect? I’d love to hear about it!

PS: Save your crazy, awful, and unbelievable scrapbooking crop and retreat moments for another time. There’ll be a post soon where you can share those stories with us. Oooh, can’t wait!

Scrapbooking Funny: How We Deal with Civilians

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I know we’re supposed to be listening at the work meeting or paying attention when our husbands go on about their day. But we just can’t help it. Our minds are usually elsewhere.

All we’re thinking about is putting on our scrapping sweatpants, grabbing a Diet Coke, and sitting down at our desk. The layout awaits! We want to peel off a strip of our favorite washi tape, inhale the “new paper” smell of our latest purchase, and relive the memories that our perfect photo brings about.

Oh, um, sorry. What were you saying?

Scrapbooking Apparel: I Just Want to Drink Coffee, Scrap, and Take Naps

Um, yayup, that about sums it up! Those are 3 of the best things life has to offer :)

You can see the shirt and order it HERE. Jump soon though as the sale ends Wednesday 04-06-16.

It comes in about a zillion different colors; this aqua was my favorite and I think it looks great with the brown print. Me? I’m passing on this tee because it’s too pricey.

Speaking of which, let’s do some math: As of this posting, they show 2508 shirts sold at $24 each. That comes to …. $60,192. Wowzers! Even if you figure the shirt costs them $10 (and I’m probably being generous there), they’re still making $35,122 minus shipping costs.

Seems like a good business to be in, LOL. I know they’re paying to run Facebook ads because that’s how I found about this shirt but those aren’t terribly expensive. Their simple website is called a lead page – also not much cost.

Oh. Sorry. I went off into online bidness La La Land. But I’m back.

Cute shirt, huh? :P

Scrapbooking Organization: Iris 12×12 Cases On Sale at Michaels

Just wanted to make sure you saw this great deal!

I love these 12×12 Iris cases and used them in my recent scrapbook room reorganization. I took things like scrapbook PIPs (projects in progress), sticker alphas, and 12×12 papers out of the open storage bins I had them stored in and put them in these cases.

Now it’s so much easier to find things because they’re see-thru and I was able to label them, which I couldn’t easily do with my cloth bins. Plus being closed storage, they keep the dust off of my beloved scrapbook products.

I always use clear but I love that they have these fun colors too. This is a great price so if you need some scrapbooking storage, this week at Michaels is a great time to get some.

Happy Organizing!

ETA 04-04-16: Here’s a photo of the cases as they were displayed in the Mike’s I went to the other day. Aren’t they purdy?

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Scrapbook Obsession Blog: Blogging Challenge – April 2016

Hey, long time, no seeeee … but I’m back!

novelrobinson / Pixabay

In a scrapbooking forum I’m on, there’s a blogging challenge starting April 1, 2016. The challenge is to post at least 21 times in the month. It can be just quick posts, sharing a video or meme or whatever. You just have to post at least 21 times.

There is a prize at stake (a Paper Issues gift certificate) but that’s not why I’m playing. I just want to get some bloggin’ done! So pray with me that my work schedule allows me to have some fun and get my 21 posts done.

And call it cheating if you want to, but this is POST NUMBER ONE :)

Hollah!

PS: Help me out and throw some post ideas in the comments, won’t ya’? What do you want to read about? What’s the news? What’s the scrapbook haps these days?

This is One of the BEST Craft Rooms Ever

Because her caring husband created it for her while she was gone – and did everything himself.

No hiring help or buying Ikea furniture for this guy! He even remembered to get them each a card <3

Random thoughts:

1. I love how he always had a television or his laptop playing to keep him company :)

2. I wonder if his wife picked the colors before she left.

3. What’s in the refrigerator?

4. I wish the dogs would’ve stayed outside during the reveal.

5. I love how all the supplies are in the closet so the room should stay very neat.

6. Having it next to the home theater is genius, since I’ll be that’s where dad will be most of the time (and he deserves to relax!).

Just amazing. I can’t even.

Scrapbook Obsession: Didn’t Meet My Newsletter Sign-Up Goal But …

I just wanted to write a quick update to my stated goal to reach 200 sign-ups for my Scrapbook Obsession Free Newsletter by Valentine’s Day (02-14-16).

Welllll … I didn’t make it. Almost, but not quite. I have 194 newsletter subscribers. I’m not gonna’ cry; that’s still pretty darn good for a something I started only last fall.

I don’t know if you’re interested but I’m also going to share what else cheered me up: my other social media stats. Since I last updated my social media tracking spreadsheet on 11-09-15 (3 months ago), everything has increased:

Blog Followers: 704 to 713, increase of 9
Bloglovin’ Followers: 142 to 155, increase of 13
Newsletter Sign-Ups: 162 to 194, increase of 32
Periscope Followers: 383 to 746, increase of 363!
Twitter Followers: 222 to 252, increase of 30
Pinterest Followers: 856 to 952, increase of 96
Facebook Page Likes: 105 to 231, increase of 126
Facebook Group Members: 57 to 85, increase of 28

I even had increases in Twitter (+28) and Pinterest (+15) Followers for my sister site OrganizedScrapbooking.com which I haven’t been able to spend ANY time on.

All that made me feel pretty good, and okay about not reaching my newsletter sign-up goal. I’m making progress in building the ScrapbookObsession.com site, getting the word out, and letting scrapbookers know I’m here.

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There are all kinds of things bloggers do to increase their blog and social media followers, including using scheduling programs, joining group Pin boards, guest blogging, etc. – all of which I’d be doing if I had time, LOL. But all of THIS growth has been “organic reach” – except for anyone who came my way because of a 7-day Facebook ad I ran in January for my Simplify Your Scrapbook Space class.

I know you guys share my posts, mention my site on message boards, and more. I’m so grateful! That’s my favorite way to get new readers because it means you believe in this site and our community here. Thank you so much!

Have a great day!

PS: If you’d like to follow me any of the places I mentioned above, they’re all clickable links. Hint, hint …

Is Scrapbooking Your Gift to the World?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a singer.

Problem is – I can’t sing. Like, at all. I couldn’t “carry a tune in a bucket,” as they say.

In my younger days, I was a decent gymnast but have never been much of a dancer either.

It’s a crying shame, really, because I absolutely adore all kinds music and all kinds of dance – those magical forms of human expression.

The Power of Music

I was thinking about my lack of musical talent the other night as I watched old recorded episodes of X Factor UK which – if you haven’t seen It – is like American Idol. Amateur singers audition to make the show, attend “boot camp”, and are eliminated each week until there’s a winner.

Photo by: Lechon KirbTonight, this is some of what I saw:

– A 5-guy group harmonizing a gospel spin on a a popular song from today, “Hold Back the River”

– A 17-year-old lovely blondie named Charlie singing “A Change is Gonna’ Come” with such conviction that I cried

– A girl group who tapped into their belief through the pain of a “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

When I watch moments like this, it touches my heart so very deeply. It makes me more jealous than ever that I can’t sing a lick. Like when I see those dancers on So You Think You Can Dance interpreting the music with their bodies and movement in ways that make me laugh, weep, feel, think, and physically shiver.

If You Know Me, You Know I Love Steve Perry

And this is why. He has a voice that’s always been able to reach into my soul and put me in touch with the pain, the sadness, the hope, and the party of life. Even the things and places he sings about hit me in the heart, reminding me of my 70s and 80s California upbringing, of sailing in the San Francisco Bay at sunset, riding horses on country roads, and all “those crazy nights, I do remember from my youth.”

Like, WOW. How lucky is Steve Perry that he gets to not only express himself in that physical release of wailing a song but he also gets to make millions of people around the world feel so good? Or sad or contemplative or longing for love?

So How Does This Relate to Scrapbooking?

As I watched those singers on TV the other night – and being sad about the abilities they have which I never will – it hit me.

Scrapbooking is my gift to the world.

I know, sounds corny, huh?

But think about it.

– I’m the one who insists on carrying a camera to the beach, on snapping the group photos at holiday dinners (as they all groannn), and I take the time to download, edit, and print those photos.

– I’m the one who tracks the big and little events in my day planner, asks family members about their experiences, and writes them all down to save the memory.

– I’m the one with the desire and creativity to find the perfect color of sea blue cardstock to bring out the blue in those eyes, to place the photos on the page in a way that tells the story, and shares these precious things in my albums.

Photo by: Benjamin CombsSo What If I Can’t Sing and Dance!

Isn’t what I do just as special? Isn’t what I do coming from the same place deep in the heart? Isn’t what I do a talent that most people don’t have, that many people envy? Doesn’t My scrapbooking make others laugh, cry, and FEEL things?

You know I don’t like to brag but – HECK YEAH! I pretty much rock.

And So Do You

You do all these things too. You carry the camera, keep the notes, choose the photos, and relive the memories on paper for your family.

You see the creative possibilities in paper and mist and stamps.

You let people into your heart when you share your layouts.

You preserve moments that are so special, so unique to you and your family, and they would be lost if YOU weren’t a scrapbooker.

Photo by: Mayur GalaSo I don’t care if you can sing or dance. Or play pro baseball or are as pretty as Katie Holmes or run a charity.

Because you SCRAPBOOK and that is your gift to the world.

*All images courtesy of Unsplash.com

Simplify Your Scrapbook Space: Starts Today! Want to See What You Can Accomplish?

I’m so excited!! My online scrapbooking class starts TODAY!!

Oh, how the ‘obsessive’ in me loves that it starts on a Monday AND on the first of the month. I just feel better and my mind is more organized when timing works out that way. It’s why all my diets start on a Monday, LOL. Don’t laugh. You know you do it, too ;)

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I’ve fought the Scrapbooking Organization Monster several times. Oh, for instance, HERE and HERE. Each time, I thought I’d conquered him. I felt so smug and beyond reproach. “Yep! I’m now an organized scrapbooker! I got things in order and will never be disorganized again. I’m super duper cool. You all wish you were me.”

Yet each and every time, weeks or months later, I was practically right back where I started. That’s why I’m so glad I found the method that finally worked and want to share it with you SO BADLY that I created a class around it. Yeah, the one I mentioned above that starts today :)

Just so you know that I’m for reals, here are some of my before and after photos:

You have to join the class to see more and to hear how I accomplished and organized it all. #SorryNotSorry

But seriously, we’re gonna’ go WAY into depth on our scrapbook spaces. I’m talking nitty gritty, people! We’re going to share our Before and Afters to inspire each other and cheer each other on.

There will be written materials you can keep forever and resources galore. Not to mention the fun. ‘Cuz you know I like to laugh, sister!

I still can’t believe I got rid of all these!

Huge stash of 12x12 postbound albums

Huge stash of 12×12 postbound albums

I’m keeping it a small group but there are a few spaces left, if you’d care to join us. Just do it today so you don’t get behind on the “having fun together” part.

CHECK IT OUT HERE

Happy Organizing!

PS: Are you still here? Good, because if you weren’t, you’d miss this great tidbit: First 3 people to sign up get $10 off using code 10OFF!!

ETA 02-01-16: Lovely Lori is my new favorite person! Not only did she just become the 190th newsletter subscriber but she joined the Simplify Your Scrapbook Space class. Thanks Lori!
ETA 92-01-16: Thanks also to Monica for joining us in class. Only 1 coupon code left for $10 off!

Layout a Day LOAD 216 (It’s the Last One!) + SYSS + Facebook Chat Tonight

I’ve talked over the years about what a great experience this is: Layout a Day – this year known as “LOAD 216” (for February 2016).

I just realized from her e-mail that this will be the last LOAD Lain is leading!! {<- Yes, I just did that}.

load 216 lain ehmann

More from Lain:

We’re kicking off February 1 (TOMORROW), and we’re scrapbooking a layout every day for the month of February.

Many of our LOADsters say that life is so busy, LOAD is the one time a year they can count on getting their scrap on. So if you’re ready to pick up the tape runner again, join us. You can save $15 if you register by midnight tonight – no coupon needed!​

I’ve done LOAD in the past and it was amazing! But I won’t be able to join in this last time because . . . I’ll be teaching MY online class, “Simplify Your Scrapbook Space: Declutter and Organize So You Can Scrapbook Stress-Free” from February to April.

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SIGN UP!

We’ll tackle one part of your scrapbooking area each week so that, by the time Spring comes, you’ll be ready to attack some layouts and projects. Would love to have you join us! I’m capping it at a small group because I really want to provide individualized attention. Spaces are running out and we start tomorrow!

So whether you’re ready to power through some layouts now with LOAD 216 or you need to get your space in order first with Simplify Your Scrapbook Space, you’re good to go.

Happy Sunday!

PS: I’m having an impromptu chat in the Scrapbook Obsession Secret Facebook Group this evening. If you’re not part of the group yet, we’d love to have you! Just sign up for my Free Newsletter in the top right sidebar and I’ll add you to the group pronto. Then we can chat tonight!

Scrapbook Industry News: Basic Grey Leaves the Scrapbooking World

If I Don’t Open the E-Mail, It Won’t Be Real

I had a feeling the news was coming so when I saw the headline “A Message to Our Valued Customers & Fans” from Basic Grey in my morning e-mail yesterday, I knew what it said even before I opened it :(

The email is linked above and here’s the text:

Twelve years ago, BasicGrey made its mark in the scrapbook industry with the release of Sublime and Motifica. Since then, we have brought more than 120 collections to market, along with hundreds of embellishments, stickers, tools, kits and so much more.

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that BasicGrey has decided to leave the papercrafting space. We have considered every possible option before making the difficult decision to stop producing the products that brought us together.

Our final ship date will be Thursday, February 18, 2016. Consumers have until February 15 to order our newest collections (Hillside, Urban Luxe and Saturday Morning), any other products in inventory, and the amazing, fully loaded boxes from the Winter Warehouse Box Sale.

While it is very hard to say good bye to the scrapbook industry, we are eager and excited to put our creative energy into expanding our innovative sister company, Modify Ink. We will also continue to produce and release fabric with Moda, as well as other surface design opportunities.

Thank you for supporting BasicGrey and creating so many wonderful, unique papercrafting projects using our products. We could not have succeeded all these years without you!

Our best,

Rachel & Greg Brenchley
BasicGrey, LLC

For questions please call (801) 544-1116 or email info@basicgrey.com

Contrary to how many are phrasing it, Basic Grey isn’t “closing” per se, they’re just ceasing to make papercrafting products. And that’s the part WE of course really care about. They’ll continue with Moda fabric licensing and with their sister company, Modify Ink, which allows you to personalize art, cards, party supplies, and monograms. {I made a quick mention of them in a Round-Up post back here}.

Stupid frickin’ frackin’ quilt makers and art lovers. THEY still get their Basic Grey but we don’t. *kicks dirt*

Why Did I Have an Inkling They’d Be Closing?

There were 3 reasons. One was that, when I spoke to owner Rachel Brenchley at CHA 2014, she said something (between us two) that made me wonder, hmmm? Reason two was that they started Modify Ink, which is an amazingly artistic endeavor. It just made me think, “Ya’ know, that must be fun! I wonder if they’ll let go of BG to concentrate on this new adventure?”. And reason three was when I didn’t see them at CHA this year.

Trust me, I’m not an “insider” in the industry. I wasn’t hearing anything official – or even gossip for that matter, lol. I was just putting things together in my own mind. {Don’t go in there alone! It’s like walking down a dark alley}.

Reaction: Numbness

Because I “saw it coming,” I think I’m reacting a little differently than other scrappers might be. There wasn’t that initial shock of “OMG, Basic Grey!! Basic Grey???” It’s been more like slowly letting my breath out and trying to let it sink in, that it’s real. Which is not working so far.

I’m reading all the comments on scrapbook message boards and Facebook. It’s sad to see the impact this is having on our community :( Many of us have been scrapbooking for the entire 12 years Basic Grey has been in business; not just in business but an industry leader. It’s just hard to wrap our minds around the fact that this stalwart of scrapbooking won’t be, like, HERE anymore.

There’ve been lots of wonderful reminiscing about Basic Grey, how we discovered it, what our favorite lines were, and how their designs impacted our scrapbooking. That’s made me feel better. I hope BG owners and staff are reading all the same comments. I’m going to write my own love letter in a future blog post.

Basic Grey Warehouse Box Sale

As I posted HERE and the Scrapbook Obsession Facebook Page (come Like me!), Basic Grey also recently announced their Winter Warehouse Box Sale. Unfortunately, if you were still hoping to get one of those boxes, I’m told they sold the last one this morning :(

I heard from another scrapper who called in her order today and got one of the last boxes. She was told all of the boxes are the same and they include new product just announced. She was also told they have someone zeroing out out all of the products on their site except for the Dear Heart collection.

BG dear heart

Speaking of new collections, here are the other 3 that were just announced at CHA time:

BG hillside

BG saturday morning

BG urban luxe

Just Don’t Delete the Website!

I hate to be selfish (no I don’t, who am I kidding?) but I really, really, really hope that the Basic Grey website doesn’t just close down and disappear in February! I often reference it when I talk to other scrappers, organize my BG stash, etc. Plus, it’s like a curated collection of AWESOMENESS!! Please, Basic Grey, hear my plea!!

So I’m trying to joke around and make you laugh but this really isn’t funny, is it? Basic Grey is leaving us. It doesn’t seem possible. It doesn’t seem real.

What are your thoughts as Basic Grey leaves scrapbooking? How did you first discover BG? What were your favorite lines? How does this impact our industry?

Scrapbook Shopping Report: Michaels and Tuesday Morning – January 2016

I recently went to Tuesday Morning and Michaels in search of scrapbook stuff and wanted to report in :)

Tuesday Morning

This display greeted me when I walked in, which I figured was a good sign since it’s my favorite shades of blue + my first initial.

 

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Here are some things that were new to my Tuesday Morning – by Jillibean Soup, Studio Calico, Cosmo Cricket, and Prima.

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Some of those cute straws from American Crafts, enamel dots in 3 color ways from Basic Grey, and Tim Holtz tissue tape.

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If you love Echo Park kits, now’s a great time to check out Tuesday Morning! Even in my little store, there were 4 options, each for $5.99.

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Also a bunch of paper pads for $6.99 each.

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Guess which one of these pretty American Crafts spiral books I bought? I’m going to use it for the listing challenge I’m doing. There are 48 heavy cardstock-weight pages including some pockets and die cut pages.

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If you Instagram, maybe you’d like this 4×4 Album Kit by WRMK?

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Does that label say “HEID” Swapp? Must’ve rubbed off, huh?

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Some cool tools and stamps . . .

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Here’s my purchase at the Tuesday Morning counter. It’s a happy coincidence that the enamel dots I chose match the album perfectly.

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Michaels

If you love COLOR, now’s a great time to visit Michaels. First, I saw these cute tapes, twines, and clips . . .

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. . . then all the crazy-colorful storage and office items I’ve been hearing about! My favorites were the padded patent leather notebooks and the big “to do” list pads.

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As I talked about HERE, there were new (to me) Hot Buy paper pads and I timed it just right = 70% off. Woot! Pink Paislee “Memorandum” came home with me. I had mentioned in that post wanting the Craftsmith “Words to Live By” pad but in person, I didn’t care for it.

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It was all I could do to resist these pretty dark teal spinner trays. They were $35 but, even with the 40% off coupon on my phone, more than I wanted to spend. I hope they’re around long enough for me to get one later. Michaels had a lot of deco items in this vein – kind of boho crafty.

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I looked at TJ Maxx too but didn’t find anything scrappy – although I did find 2 hoodies similar to this one:

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Note: To picture me and MY hoodies, please adjust this model for a larger, older version :P

One hoodie is distressed black and the other a deep fuchsia, with different sayings. They’re super soft and comfy. This brand is usually out of my price range but they were each $30 instead of $50-ish. Yahoo for my winter work-at-home uniform, LOL. Now I just need to get Old Navy carrying their awesome sweatpants again and I’m golden. They’re really into the compression pants right now and, well, um, me and compression don’t get along. Bwahahaha!

Team Lisa Bearnson: Update on My Direct Selling of “Anthology”

Time for a Team Lisa Update

Like I talked about here, I haven’t been very active since I joined Youngevity as a direct seller of Lisa Bearnson’s new product line called “Anthology.”

AnthologyComingSoonScreenAs with any new venture, there have definitely been some bumps in the road as the HUGE company of Youngevity – which sells everything from supplements to pet products to jewelry – has been figuring out how to incorporate Lisa’s new brand into theirs.

The Youngevity umbrella already included paper scrapbooking products (Our Memories for Life, kind of like Creative Memories) and digital scrapbooking and gifts (Heritage Makers). With Lisa’s new brand, they’ve done a great job with:

– Creating fun new products with a wide appeal
– Showing how involved Lisa Bearnson is in the company
– Having rewards that incentivize consultants to be successful
– Providing resources to consultants, like our MyAnthology websites

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I’ve seen a lot of women having a lot of success with “Anthology” and it’s been awesome to watch.

And then there’s me: the least pushy, most shy direct seller who ever lived, LOL.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

When it comes to Youngevity, Anthology, and Team Lisa, I’m kind of an odd duck (or frog?). I don’t have any interest (at least currently) in holding in-person parties, hitting up my IRL scrapbook friends, nor selling products other than Lisa’s. My intention from the beginning was ONLY to sell Anthology products and ONLY to sell online.

Unfortunately for me, the way things are currently set up, it’s pretty difficult to do so. For one thing, Youngevity isn’t a “party plan” company like Close to My Heart or Young Living (although we DO sell essential oils, heh). So consultants have to be creative in finding ways to offer their hostesses some type of reward for hosting parties, which usually involves spending their own money or credits.

The current focus of Youngevity, and therefore Anthology, is to build a team and get individual customers to purchase; that’s how you make an income. Since I’m not able to do in-person events and I’m not pushy and I’m pretty shy, you can see why I’m such a raging success at this, LOL.

I’ve been a little frustrated with the ability to share product images on my blog, link directly to products in my own Anthology shop, etc. Well, I won’t bore you with all the details but here’s my point: Change is a’comin’ and I couldn’t be happier. Because I DO want to be a success with this and find a way to make it work for me. (Let me make it clear that I don’t blame Youngevity/Team Lisa for ANY of this. They’re incredible! Like I said, it’s just a matter of making things work for my situation).

Hope on the Horizon

But now I’m feeling really hopeful. The amazing team at, erm, Team Lisa have been instrumental in creating a new program for many of the lines Youngevity sells, not just Anthology. It’s called “Youngevity Social Selling”.

This is from their recent press release:

This pilot program will enjoy a full scale launch at our upcoming Leadership Summit that we are building up to. During the Summit, which will held April 14-15, in Anaheim, CA, participants will be able to hold social events in any of Youngevity’s product categories and combine any products they choose. The second phase of this program will be designed to provide virtual events allowing distributors to hold social gatherings via their smart phones, tablets or computers.

Long story short, not only are hostess rewards now available but there will be avenues to hold online parties!! There will also be more resources like product graphics for social media and blogging use.

I think things are meant to be rolling pretty well with it by this Spring or Summer. For now, I’m kind of sitting back, watching and learning, seeing if there are any kinks to be worked out before I try my hand at Social Selling. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this unfolds and hope it means great things for my Anthology business! The best part will be … VIRTUAL PAR-TAYS!! Reaching out to your own peeps on Facebook, Twitter, and Periscope, for example. How cool is that?

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*Image courtesy of Youngevity Social Selling

And if I do go back to holding crops or retreats, I can designate a hostess for each event – and SHE gets rewards for any products I sell during the event. Win-win, baby!

If you happen to be interested in more details, THIS video has a great explanation of Social Selling and it’s great advantages. {On the off-chance that you’d like to join Team Lisa and sell Anthology, please e-mail me first so we can get you signed up under my ID – thanks!}

If You’ve Read This Far, You Deserve Some Eye Candy

Since we’re talking about Anthology, here are some sneaks of the 3 new items releasing on 02-01-16:

Page Kits

YGY Feb kit 1

Stamp Kit

YGY feb kit 2

Paper Kit

YGY feb kit 3

And here are some of the wonderful basics and past kits that are on a huge sale right now:

anthology album

12×12 “leather” 12×12 album, 50% off, only $17.50
These are just like the WRMK albums; the only difference is the shape of the spine label :)

anthology cardstock
30-pack of textured cardstock, 50% off, only $8.05
Similar to American Crafts textured cardstock

anthology stamp set
December 2015 stamp set, 50% off, only $12

See all sale items on my site HERE.

The Future’s So Bright …

So I just wanted to give an update on how Team Lisa has been going for me and share my excitement for the future. Thanks for listening to my “biz talk.” :D

CHA 2016, Part 13: Wrap Up

This is the last post in a series about the scrapbooking booths I visited at CHA 2016. If you’d like to see all the posts in the series, please click HERE.

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Well, this is the end of my CHA blog series. Is it bad to end it with Unlucky 13?

I just wanted to wrap up my experience there this year with some final thoughts and impressions. And add anything I forgot to say :) ‘Cuz I’m a straggler like that.

State of the Scrapbooking Industry?

As I was taking photos, I overheard a conversation amongst those working in a booth. They were saying how this year it seemed like the crowds were definitely thinner; one estimated there was about 1/3 as many shoppers as usual. I wasn’t there last year but from 2 years ago, I would agree the attendance was down a bit. Not 1/3 the amount of people but maybe 2/3 as many. I’m no math major but I think our estimates differ by quite a bit, LOL. I wonder if the attendee numbers are available? Hmm…

One thing I noticed was that in many of the scrapbook vendor booths I visited, company reps were talking to Spanish-speaking women placing orders. I thought that was encouraging about the scrapbook market in Spanish-speaking countries; is it booming? Hope so!

In fact, I heard people speaking languages from all over the world, not just in scrapbooking areas but all over the CHA show floor. Again, I took comfort in that and was pleased by it. #craftingisinternational

Who Was and Wasn’t at CHA 2016

Paperclipping wasn’t there doing videos; online someone said they lost their sponsorship and someone else said their child had something going on but since Phoenix is their home turf, they’ll probably be there next year. I haven’t kept up with the Paperclipping podcast or their message boards so I’m not sure what’s correct. If you know, please leave a comment!

I thought perhaps Nancy Nally from Scrapbook Update wasn’t there but I see now from her recent blog post that she was at CHA. Boo! I missed her this time.

Basic Grey was noticably absent :( They were my favorite booth to visit last time, mainly because of the lovely conversation I had with owner Rachel Brenchly.

Big Change to CHA in 2017

Next year, CHA will move to Phoenix and will be 3 days instead of 4. I mentioned it to several people I talked to and the consensus was that Phoenix is more geographically desirable to many scrapbook companies, but everyone will miss going to Disneyland.

Free Classes

I attended a free 15-minute class about e-mail marketing called “Create the Perfect Subject Line to Get Your Emails Opened.” As someone who handles social media for companies as a living, I see a lot of mistakes being made with this in the scrapbooking industry. I wish there’d been more of an audience for this class.

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VENDORS I Visited but HAVE No Photos

Echo Park/Carta Bella

The booth was very busy. I wasn’t able to get photos of the lines displayed because there were staff and customers standing in front of them. It seemed like they were taking several orders and that’s a great sign.

Pink Fresh Studio

They had one of the smaller booths and didn’t have a ton of product displayed but I believe they’re fairly new.  Someone with a nice video camera was waiting to interview them so I stayed on the outskirts :) I love their products and wish I’d remembered to look for the “Life Noted” acrylic letters I Pinned that included “Meh” – dang, wanted to see those in person!

Random Photos

The Spellbinders wall with some amazing paper garlands!

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Create and Craft TV

Remember when I talked about them here? Well, they film live shows at CHA which is pretty cool.

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Speaking of Scrapbook “Celebs”

Here’s who-all I saw at CHA this time, whether I spoke to them or just lurked, LOL:

  • Becky Higgins
  • Teresa Collins
  • Ali Edwards
  • Shimelle Laine
  • Julie McGuffee
  • Layle Koncar
  • Vicki Boutin
  • Amy Tangerine
  • Paige Evans
  • Cathy Zielske

All Good Days Must Come to an End

I knew it was a long shot but I wanted to see if there were any scrapbook stores in Anaheim that I could slip into before leaving town. Here is the sad return I got for my search :(

 

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I had to drive through downtown LA because of some traffic on my usual route …. only to sit in more traffic. But, hey, it’s LA. Plus it was Golden Globes night.  I tried to just enjoy the view.

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Catalogs and Such

When I got home and had time to look in my CHA tote, this is what I had. Some came with and others were handed to me in booths I visited.

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So that was my CHA 2016 experience! I hope you enjoyed being along for the ride and that I didn’t inundate you with too many posts.

Any favorites from what you saw?

CHA 2016, Part 12: Couture Creations

This is part of a series about the scrapbooking booths I visited at CHA 2016. If you’d like to see all the posts in the series, please click HERE.

I have to admit I haven’t heard of Couture Creations before but they had an impressive booth. I looked them up when I got home and guess what? They’re another company from Australia. Woot!

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Love this twist on a “leather” D-ring album.

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Amazing displays and projects!

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Cool tools . . .

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Cute totes. Mine is basic black and not this big so these really caught my eye.

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Here’s their 2016 Product catalog if you’d like to see more of their lines! (You have to sit through an annoying 30-second ad to get to it; hope they fix that soon).

CHA 2016, Part 11: American Crafts

This is part of a series about the scrapbooking booths I visited at CHA 2016. If you’d like to see all the posts in the series, please click HERE.

Next on the agenda was the American Crafts … area. I can’t even say booth because there was so much area covered.

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I saw Amy Tangerine and Shimelle at the American Crafts booths but didn’t see Lizzy Karcher (aka Dear Lizzy). However, I saw her in some CHA videos so she was there, I must’ve just had bad timing.

I didn’t talk to Amy this time, as she was busy chatting.

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I did briefly speak with Shimelle. I told her welcome back, that she was missed, and that all the scrapbooking peeps are happy about her new line and the return of Glitter Girl! She said even though it seemed like she was gone for a while, she actually hadn’t missed any shows and continued to release her products on schedule. Wow, she’s amazing!  

When I asked if I could take a photo in front of her new line, she grabbed the basket. I had to make sure and get her sweet silver shoes in the photo too :)

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Okay, for the rest of these photos, you’re on your own. There’s SO much goodness. I can’t even.

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PINK PAISLEE

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PEBBLES

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You can see all the new lines from American Crafts on their site HERE.

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