In Defense of the LSS…

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My last post was about all the new GOODIES at Target. That post prompted a well-written response in Comments, which I loved. So I asked the writer, June, if I could make her comment a standalone post {I want to make sure everyone sees it}, and she graciously agreed. So here ’tis:

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(From June…)

Ah, yes. Another reason to visit – as if I needed one! LOL! But please, please, PLEASE remember the LSS’s in your area. Yes, it is certainly CONVENIENT to be able to browse and purchase SB supplies at the same time you’re stocking up on shampoo and dog food, I have to say how sad it makes me that the “Independents” struggle to survive amidst the Big Box stores. Many people don’t even realize that some of the most WONDERFUL goodies stocked at your local LSS aren’t even made available to chain stores (a wonderful way suppliers are trying to help the LSS’s to compete). And further more, people make the GRAVE mistake that they’ll save a lot of money by buying from the Big Guys rather than their LSS’s – not exactly true. If you’re up for the challenge, make note of the price of patterned paper, brads, adhesives, etc. next time you’re in a “Big” store, then treat yourself to a fun little jaunt to your local LSS and compare… Is that dollar you’re saving at the “Big” store really worth the price we all pay by not having an LSS to “escape” to on a quiet afternoon or to be able to attend crops and classes at with friends? I bet you’ll find the gal stocking the shelves of your local LSS MUCH more personable and knowledgeable about the best adhesive to use on that project you’re desperately trying to finish than the young, college-aged fella wearing the backwards baseball cap who’s stocking the scrapbooking aisle at the “Big Box” store. Besides, I always get in trouble in those stores; always intending to pick up one or two items and coming out of the store 20+ items and $100+ over budget. At least the LSS receipts are easier to “hide” than the ones with scrapbook items AND the toaster Hubby wants to take back because it didn’t work out of the box. I’d rather hand him a receipt with a toaster and toilet paper itemized on it instead of one with a toaster, toilet paper, and $50 worth of scrapbook goodies on it!

Sorry. I’m rambling. Maybe it’s because I just went to work for Just Let Me Scrapbook! in Barnesville, GA – the last LSS in my area (if you can call 25+ miles away from home “in my area”). I had just discovered the darling, exquisitely stocked little shoppe when I found out the owner, Mary Beth Burrell, was considering CLOSING the doors and going home to run her business exclusively online from her home (because overhead is SO darned expensive). That would have made FOUR brick-and-mortar LSS’s in two years in my area that closed their doors! Each of them were wonderful little gems in their own right. Each of them fell victim to “Big Box” and Chain retailers with far more buying and advertising power than these smaller coutnerparts. It has always made me SO UPSET that we, as scrapbookers, undervalue the BEAUTY of the LSS. The POWER we have as women, as consumers, as trend-setters in the fastest growing craft/hobby in not only the U.S., but in much of the world. The classes, crops, advice, and stellar industry knowledge that can be found in these quaint shops all over America is INVALUABLE!!! When you shop at your LSS, you’re doing more than just “adding to your stash”. You’re helping women entrepreneurs feed their families, pay their mortgages, fulfill their dreams, and helping them serve as FANTASTIC role models encouraging younger girls and women who may also have that entrepreneurial “spark” within them. In my store, we have hired a young lady who’s working after school as part of her high school curriculum; learning invaluable lessons about retail economics as well as how to stay positive even when things look bleak financially. She now has a good understanding of what it looks and feels like to run a small business and can compare her experiences with us with what working for “someone else” might offer. Her horizons have broadened. She’s been exposed to the inner-workings of a small business from the ground up. They don’t teach you that at University. I wish they had.

More than the mushy-gushy, touchy-feely “support your local female entrepreneur” schpiel here, I just want to emphasize how VERY appreciated your hard-earned dollars spent in your local LSS are. We know you could have spent your money anywhere you chose to, but you chose to spend them with US; purchasing paper and supplies to document some of the most IMPORTANT people and events in your lives. The part-time gal at the counter may not express it at the time of check-out (though I hope she would), but that LSS store owner who reconciles the cash register (and sometimes online sales) at the end of the day sure does. She’s the gal that doesn’t get to scrap much herself, but MAN! does she enjoy helping you make your pages SHINE!

At least that’s how we feel at Just Let Me Scrapbook! in Barnesville, GA. If you can, stop by and see us sometime on your way to Target. I’ll bet you’ll find something in OUR store you’d NEVER see at the Big Box.

Be Blessed! (and thanks for reading all this! Don’t know WHAT got into me!)

-June ONeal
http://www.JustLetMeScrapbook.com
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Oh yes, this girl is passionate and she can write! If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know how I LUUUUURRRVVVE the LSS. How I am so saddened to see all but one of the stores in my county close. How I have always held the dream to own my own store “someday” and am crushed to see that dream die. How I support local business owners in general, because they are our neighbors, our friends, our fellow church goers, our Little League coaches, our local economy-drivers. So, yes, I am conflicted about shopping at Target et al. I think there is a place for those stores, I just hate to see them take over every single community to the point that the Mom and Pops are killed by them. I spread my money around to the big and small, the big for necessity-sake, the small because they are ALWAYS better at what they do.

Anyway, I just thought June did a beautiful job of saying what I’m always trying to say. I hope you enjoyed reading her post as much as I did. If you too believe in the LSS, go visit the online part of the LSS she works at and help to keep them afloat. Or just visit their blog and say “hi,” or since they’re in Georgia, that would be “hey, y’all”, right? If nothing else, go read the store owners’ About Us page…what a cool story.

Here is a picture of Just Let Me Scrapbook! from their website. SO wish I was close to Georgia. What an adorable place…

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New Scrapbook Set-Up @ Target

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As if they haven’t already taken enough of my money, now Target has gone and re-stocked their scrapbook aisle. I mean, I knew it was coming because we’ve all watched our Tar-jay scrapbook aisles get emptier and emptier. For a while, a great fear spread across Scrapbook Land that Target was closing the scrapbook department altogether. I mean, it was real Prozac time for a while there, people! But no, then some sort of Target Rumor Control / Perez Hilton wannabe but for the Target set put all our fears to rest, informing us that they were just clearing things out in prep for new things from CHA-Winter. I’ve been checking the aisle (mine just has one aisle…grrr…) every time I’m in Target, and no new stuff. In fact, I was there today and nada, zip, zilch. Well, the ship is on the horizon! According to the 2PEAS CHICKS & CKMB GIRLZ, there have been sightings of some fun new stuff:

~ KI MEMORIES “Pop Culture”, and felt albums
~ MAKING MEMORIES “5th Avenue,” “Noteworthy,” and “Animal Crackers”
~ ALL MY MEMORIES totes
~ MARCELLA BY K (Targets brand for K&Co.)
~ CLOUD 9
~ EK SUCCESS
~ AUTUMN LEAVES
~ HEIDI SWAPP
~ K&CO “Ancestor” line

And shhhhhh….don’t tell anyone, but they have acrylic stamps in the Dollar Spot, and tons of the older stuff on amazing clearance….

Tell me, tell me…will you be shopping at the Big Red Bullseye soon? If you’ve already gotten, what’d ya get???
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Pebbles Inc. – Share & Tell Binder System

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Remember that Eddie Money song from the 80′s? C’mon, sing it with me!! “I think I’m in love!” (I know CHEEKY will sing with me…)

I just found THIS on the Pebbles Inc blog while looking for their new Easter kit. It’s called the Share & Tell Binder System. Here is a pic and quote from their blog:

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“We’re excited to introduce to you our Share & Tell Binder Program! Let’s face it…we are all busy. Whatever stage in life we find ourselves in, time seems to limit us from all that we want or need to do. The Share & Tell Binder Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully!

The Share & Tell Binder Program includes Albums, Sheet Protectors, Creative Pads and Journaling Cards that all work together to make scrapbooking your memories easier! This is the only system on the market that is flexible enough to work with hard-core crafters and non-scrapbooking consumers alike!

Start looking for the Share & Tell Binder Program this spring!”

Then I clicked over to their recently launched (March 2008) WEBSITE and found this:

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And this:

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“The Share & Tell Album Program offers simple ways to organize your photos and display them beautifully! Let’s face it…we are all busy… This program was created by Brenda Birrell, mother of five daughters and founder of Pebbles in my Pocket and Pebbles Inc. as an answer to today’s busy life! A simple system that is easy to maintain and will provide us with more time to spend with loved ones creating memories! Isn’t this what life is all about? This is the story of your life together and as you share it, relationships will be strengthened and memories will be preserved. In this age of digital photography it is so important to print out your favorite photos for safe keeping and enjoyment. CDs get scratched and hard drives crash. Your memories deserve to be placed in organized books that can be enjoyed by your loved ones. Isn’t it time to share your story?”

On the Pebbles website ~~ which you can now order directly from! ~ all the items currently show “Temporarily out of stock, available April 2008.” The albums posted come in black and brown (retail $29.99), page protectors in 12×12 (for full pages) and divided 4×6 (retail $9.99). Can anyone read the fine print? How many page protectors do you get in the package? I have a laptop & my screen is too small. Here are pics:

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The website shows the following (14) Creative Pad theme sets ($4.99 each): Baby Boy, Baby Girl, My Guy, My Girl, Nellie’s Garden, Theodore, Season’s Greetings, Sweetheart, Party Time Boy, Party Time Girl, Easter Time, School Days, Summer Day, and Zoo Fun. They contain 30 sheets of paper and 4 sticker sheets. Then (10) sets of coordinating Journaling Cards ($3.99 for a pack of 25). Sorry, I was unable to paste them over here for some reason…

Here is what I like about this system:

~ I’m tired of always feeling “behind” in my scrapping. For instance, Christmas was 3 months ago and I haven’t scrapped any of it yet. Honestly, it’s intimidating to me because I have photos from about 10 events (Christmas tree lighting, making cookies, cutting the tree, decorating the tree, Christmas Eve service, Christmas party, opening presents, and on and on…). If I had a system like this, I could put them in an album right away, jot some journaling down, and we could’ve been enjoying them for the last 3 months. If I decide to “really” scrap any of the photos later, awesome! If not, at least they’re in a cute presentation that everyone can access.

~ Many people are getting tired of dealing with strap hinge and postbound albums, e.g. the lack of flexibility to move pages around, etc. On the message boards, I gather that many of you scrappers have switched over to D-ring albums like this, or are at least contemplating it. I’m still on the fence because the “break” in the middle bothers me, as I do about 95% 2-page layouts. However, for the purposes of just getting my photos in books in this simple style, that wouldn’t be an issue.

~ Although Pebbles Inc’s style is what many would call “simple,” I think it’s also a very cute and clean presentation with lots of personality. Besides, there’s nothing to say you can’t take their basics and distress, cut, tear, scallop, ink, punch, sew or whatever it!! Make it your own. For me, as you read in THIS POST, I sometimes gravitate towards this simple, clean style. It’s the one style that, when I look back at my old albums, does NOT ever look dated or trendy or “so yesterday.” So I embrace this style as ONE PART of my scrapbooking. Besides, you can just use the albums and maybe the journaling cards, then use all your own stuff to fill the 12×12 or 4×6 slots. I think I would do a combination of the two if I use this system.

~ Compared to a similar system by Creative Memories called PICFOLIO, I like this one much better. I’ve always been tempted by the CM system but have never bought it because I can’t deal with the fact that you can’t customize the number of pages, i.e. you can’t add or take away pages, because they are bound into the album. With the Pebbles system, you can certainly have as many pages as you like.

The only things that concern me about using this system:

~ The price. Although I do occasionally pay $30 for an album, it’s rare. I use 2 per year minimum on our family album, then special theme albums in addition to that. I hope that Michaels or another store with a 40% discount coupon carries these albums so I can slowly buy them.

~ The D-ring…is it sturdy? The main complaint I hear about D-ring albums is that the rings start to separate and gap over time, which makes it a major PITA to turn your pages. From the photo, I have to say those rings don’t look overly sturdy, do they? BUT…I have a lot of Pebbles Inc items like their RIBBON IRON, chalks, etc. and the quality is always very good, so I’m optimistic about their album quality.

pi iron

Heck, if Super Scrap Idol ALI EDWARDS is using DIVIDED PAGES, I figure I can give it a go…

What do you think of the new Share & Tell Binder System by Pebbles, Inc.? Will you be purchasing it?

A Most Excellent Week

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As I was just saying over on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD (where according to JUNE, I apparently spend too much time, LOL), I’m having a wonderful week.

First, the MB Posting Challenge I’m hosting on the AMR board is going very well. We’re giving away 12 RAK prizes (by random drawing) if you post at least 10 new topics and 30 responses by 3/31/08. The girls there are SO generous and have donated all the RAKs as a way to encourage our shy-er members – well, everyone really – to post more and keep the board hopping. It’s going very well and the board has definitely picked up.

Secondly, Karen/Karooch over at SCRAPS OF MIND asked me to write a guest posting for her blog. The topic is…you’ll be SO shocked…Scrapbook Organization. I believe the article will be published next Tuesday. I was really honored to be asked because, when I started this blog about a year ago, Karen was one of the first scrap blogs I found on WordPress. Her blog has been so successful and multi-faceted, that she’s moved it to it’s own website, acquired advertising, and really hit the big time with it. Karen also answered a ton of blog-type questions I had at the beginning, and did so with the patience of a saint. So, she shall forever be a mentor to me… If you haven’t read her blog, you’re missing out. Get over there now or I’ll kick your butt. Mmmm-hmmmm, you KNOW I will!

Thirdly, my good friend Nicole at HUMOR ME blog has passed on one of her Excellent Blog awards to me! For details, see HER POST. I’m honored to be included with the other bloggers she chose, especially Martha at SCRUMPTIOUS blog. Nicole is such a wonderful writer, btw. Hilariously funny and really seems to appreciate the absurdities in life. I mean, really, what else can you do but laugh?? So, now for my acceptance speech:

“I would like to thank the Academy, the Foreign Press Association, my momma, and most of all Jesus Christ without whom this would not have been possible. Oh, and my co-stars, Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck, Troy Aikman, George Clooney, and especially John Cusack who really gave his “all” to our partially nude love scene {if you know what I mean, wink wink}. I think this award means that you like me, you really like me! Thank you!!”

So, now my job is pass this Excellent Blogger award on to other bloggers. I’m going to have to think about that one and get back to you. I know, you’d think after all the nice things I just said about Karen at Scraps of Mind, I would automatically give it to her, right? But, dang, I just wrote an article for her, what more does that woman want from me??

Peace out, catch U on the flip side…

e blogger

A Peek Into A Designer’s Process

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I adore THIS POST from Christine Middlecamp’s blog. She shows an amazing layout she created, then gives pics and a description of her “process” for choosing her papers and embellishments. It’s a great read and very inspiring. I read things like that and say, “THAT’S why she’s the famous scrapbook designer and I’m not.” LOL I mean, I don’t even remotely think that way. She is a true talent. In a more recent post of hers, she talks about considering the idea of traveling and teaching. I left her comment in full support, and suggesting she come to California. What a treat it would be to take a class from her, don’t you think?

Ordered Ur Fiskars Scallop Border Punch?

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Peep this, and you’ll see why it’s THE hot item in scrapbooking. Fiskars debuted a new punch at CHA and it will make this type of eyelet or scalloped border.

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Hel-LOW! No more paying $1/sheet for Bazzill just cuz it has that pretty little edge. I’ll just buy regular Bazzill and make my own…so there!

It’s taken a while for Fiskars to get them shipped out to vendors but, according to Stacey at http://www.allmomentsremembered.com, she’s shipping them out this Friday. Yahoo! I’m so anxious to get mine. Anyway, here is what Stacey said:

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I have total confirmation they are almost here! I went and tracked them! YIPPPPEEEEEE!!! But I also wanted to tell you I was able to get a bunch extra before my vendor sold out again. So tell everyone you know that I have them in stock to ship by Friday!!!!I have like 15 extra coming in this order and then another 40 on order if I need them!!!
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So if you haven’t ordered yours yet, AMR is a great place to do so. This is gonna’ be a sellout, folks…

AMR Online Crop: Monochromatic Challenge

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Here was the challenge from Joscie:
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My challenge is pretty simple:
I find that using a monochromatic color scheme can have a strong impact, so I challenge you to create a layout, card or project in a monochromatic color scheme. You may choose any color in all its values (tints and shades) plus white, black or kraft.

here is the layout i created in shades of brown…. it’s called those eyes.

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“THOSE EYES” layout by Joscie Cutchens
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I’ve always wanted to do a single-color layout but probably wouldn’t have done it without this challenge. Here’s mine:

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Materials: Bazzill cardstock; thickers-type letters from Dollar Tree/Miss Elizabeth; unknown ribbon; everything else from Heidi Grace kit I got at Tuesday Morning ($25 retail for $10).

I never do 2-photo layouts either, but these were 2 random photos I had taken in our front yard last summer & now they are scrapped!

AMR Online Crop: Acrylic Paint Challenge

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This challenge was hosted by one of the MB’s favorite members, Sandy/tx-nana-scraps (who many of you know from CKMB and she’s also a big part of AMR):
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1) Hopefully you have used two different colors of acrylic paint on your cardstock, but what ever you have will be fine. [She let us know to do this ahead of time].

2) You will need to use at least three (3) pictures.

3) Use three (3) embellies of your choice.

4) Journaling: use four (4) journaling strips.

This is an option, not necessary, but it might be something to try if you haven’t done it before: write on at least one of your pictures using a pen or computer. The writing must be visible, not hidden. You can put a date, event, person’s name, a cute saying, etc. If you do this option, your name will go in the hat two times.

Post your LO to this thread by noon (eastern) tomorrow. I will randomly pick a winner and post the name on a new post titled “4pm challenge winner.”

This is my LO and I had fun making it, and I hope you do too. This is my DS in 1970. I used my MM Tag Maker to make one of my embellies, and I put a piece of the pp inside.

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“UNCLE JIM” layout by Sandy (just realized I don’t know her last name, LOL!)
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I’ve used acrylic paint before but mainly for stamping, so that’s why I wanted to try this one. The night before, I painted a piece of dove gray cardstock with cranberry paint and silver glaze (Sandy said “anything goes” as far as the type of paint, even watercolor). As you can see, when it dried the paper curled up…now that was fun to scrap on! But I think it will flatten after some time in my album if I lay it flat for a week or so. Anyway, here’s my attempt:

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I ended up missing the contest deadline. I finished the last 2 challenges after dark and wanted to wait to take pictures of them til daylight. I went to bed around 2am, got up at “8:30″ so I could post them by 9am my time (the deadline was 12pm EST). Then realized midstream that I’d forgotten about Daylight Savings lastnight!!! Oh well, the fun part for me was trying to meet the challenges and I’m so glad I did it! Thanks for reading, if you’re still here :)

AMR Online Crop: Warm Up Challenge

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As I’ve been blabbing about for days, I’m participating in the AMR Online Crop this weekend. Well, here is the first challenge and it’s from Anne Marie, the Message Board Hostess:
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Let’s Get Started! Warm Up Exercise
To kick off our first hour, I like to do a “warm-up” exercise to get your creative juices going (no drawing for this one) … so to celebrate our awesome Design Team and welcome our two newest DT members Jenn and Debbie, I invite you to scraplift a layout from any Design Team member and post it here!

For your convenience, here are links to their Flickr Galleries!

Debbie (wyscrapper) http://www.flickr.com/photos/22929679@N08/
Heather http://www.flickr.com/photos/9095123@N08/
Jenn E. (nygirl) http://www.flickr.com/photos/22847178@N03/
Linda http://www.flickr.com/photos/14190425@N04/
Tracy (jadadog) http://www.flickr.com/photos/23096528@N07/

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I chose to scraplift a layout from one of the new DT members announced today, Jenn! Here is here inspiring layout:

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“GIVE THANKS” layout by Jenn Emch

And here is my try at it. I ended up copying her colors pretty closely (unintentionally!) because the papers from the Red, Cream and Black set from Autumn Leaves matched my photos so well. And I love to use kraft cardstock as a background.

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Materials: Bazzill cardstock; Red, Cream and Black PP and twill from Autumn Leaves; acrylic alpha from KI Memories; Martha Stewart journaling spot; Prima flower; Provo Craft flower brad.

That was fun! Now I’m at the computer doing my journaling for the next challenge. Come over to AMR and participate if you want. For every challenge, those who post their layouts by noon PST tomorrow have names drawn from a hat for a RAK…you never know, you could win! And Stacey gives the bestest RAK’s around. Hope to see you there…

Reminder: Online Crop Tomorrow at AMR

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Just a reminder that tomorrow is the big online crop at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED. For all the 4-1-1, please go read THIS POST. I believe there will be a special forum but it’s not up yet so no link. Just go to their main site, click on Message Board and you’ll find it. Hope to see you there! Okay, gotta’ go, I have online crop homework. Sandy/Tx-nana-scraps said her challenge involves using 2 colors of paint on cardstock and both colors need to show behind the pictures. Off I go to paint. Damn, I’m happy it’s Friday! What a week. Enjoy your weekend and hope it’s scrappy. Peace out…

A New Line To Love: Rasberry

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Well, first I have to give a shout out to SCRAP SCENE, as they yet again pointed me towards something cool…luv that place! Today they posted a TEASE about this company, who I believe is fairly new to America but well-known to Australian scrapbookers (any Aussies out there who can verify??).

Anyhow, I’m just lovin’ what I’m seein’. As much as I like the distressed, shabby chic look that has become the norm in scrapbook products these days, it’s nice to see something fresh and new. When I first started scrapping about 5 years ago, I gravitated right towards SEI who at the time was doing all those lines that started with “S”: Sporty, Savvy, etc. I still look back at those layouts and love them because they don’t look dated, just classic. Do you remember those SEI lines? All the clean lines, color blocking and bright-but-not-blaring colors? I think that’s what Rasberry reminds me of. Just cute, cute, cute! Here’s a taste, and I’m sorry, these are the biggest pics I could find (their website is a tad aggravating, but I’ll cut them a break, they’re new):

Rasberry “Classic”

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Rasberry “Squashed”

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Rasberry “Soda”

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Rasberry “Princess”

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Rasberry “Sweet”

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Rasberry decorated chipboard

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Rasberry “Scraps” letters

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THIS is Rasberry’s website, and their BLOG, and their GALLERY. I’d love to post pics from their gallery to entice you to their products even more, but it’s all in a slide show thingey that won’t let me copy them over here (grrrr….). But go lookie over there. I promise you’ll like it! The little blond boy with the spiked hair is worth the price of admission!

Rasberry has lots of cute boy papers, embellies, and page ideas in the gallery so those of you always complaining “there’s not enough boy scrapbooking stuff,” there ya go! On their website, Sheena (the owner?) says, “I had a desperate need for paper with cars, trucks, trains and that’s how Rasberry began.” Gotta’ love a girl that takes the bull by the horns!

HERE is a link to their catalog for Winter CHA 2008. Be patient, it might take a while to load but it’s worth it! You really have to see the entire line; I have a very small part of it here. And with the bigger pictures.

Their blog says, “For our customers in the USA,…we are currently fulfilling orders out of Australia” so I really, really hope some American stores stock them. If they don’t, we’ll have to give them a big wet RASBERRY!

What do you think? Is Rasberry catching your eye at all?

Blog Toot!

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OH…
MY…
GAW!!!

I…
cannaw…
belief…
it !!!!!!

My little ol’ blog rolled over 100 stinkin’ thousand hits today!!! That’s 100,000 times someone has been nice enough to click over here and read a bit of sumthin’ sumthin’. I’m so stoked. That makes me feel really, really happy.

Mwuah! Mwuah! I love you guys & please keep reading!

Here’s me having fun in PhotoBooth trying to blow you guys some kisses. Yeah, I’m a dork…

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Online Crop at All Moments Remembered

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Please save the date: Next Saturday, March 8 and here are the times:

2pm-Midnight (Eastern)
1 pm-11pm (Central)
12pm-10 pm (Mountain)
11 am-9 pm (Pacific)

The awesome message board at ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED is hosting another online crop and I’m inviting you! Please come on over and play with us, whether you are already a member over there or not. You do need to be approved to join the MB by the owner Stacey, so you could do that sometime this week. If you think you might, leave a comment below so I can let Stacey know I sent ya’ and which MB name you’ll use. She gets a lot of spammers so it helps if she knows beforehand. Also, when you sign up you can tell her Erika/journeyfan sent you.

Okay, what is an online crop, you ask? It’s a pre-set time when a bunch of people are on the message board at the same time. There is usually a separate forum set up; if not, just go to the Scrapbook forum. Usually, board moderators and/or just everyday users host challenges for which there may or may not be a prize, also known as a RAK (comes from Random Act of Kindness). If the challenge needs any specific items you might not have on hand, the moderator usually lets you know so you can have it ready when the crop starts. Examples of challenges: “Do a layout that’s all black and white including the photo” or “Make a card that includes use of an acrylic stamp, Basic Grey paper, and scraps from your stash” or “Create a 12×12 layout about a loved one who has passed on, using a song quote.” You get the idea! Once the online crop starts, you’ll have a set amount of time to post your challenges, either in the message board gallery or directly into a post on the message board.

Now, specific to the AMR online crop next Saturday (here is the LINK to the thread about it), Anne Marie will be the official hostess and she will post the Warm-Up Challenge at 2pm EST (11am PST). Then each hour on the hour, a message boarder will post another challenge. These challenges were arranged ahead of time between Anne Marie and anyone on the message board who offered to help. Another reason to make sure you’re an AMR MB member ahead of time: There are already some “heads up, you will need this item” type of posts for the challenges. These are the ones posted so far:

* 2 colors Acrylic paints (any brand; will be used together on a lo)
* Brush (those 1″ foam brushes are great, but ANY brush will do)
* Plain or Kraft gift bag (any size)
* 1-2 black/white photos of yourself
* Clothing tag (gee, guess you’re all going to have to go out and buy a new outfit, LOL! — no, this can be cut off any existing garment)

Ladies are also posting questions they have about the crop, and kind of chiming in if they hope to “be there.” You know, in a virtual kind of way…

Here is what Anne Marie says about the Challenges Schedule: Non-competitive hourly challenges will be posted with RAKS for participating! A break has been scheduled during the crop … AND you can come in at ANY TIME during the crop and play ANY challenge! You will also have until NOON SUNDAY to post your submissions in the challenge threads. Winners in each challenge will be drawn at random.

Now, for non-competitive types like me (who aren’t very confident in their work “winning” anything), this is the cat’s meow. All I have to do is participate in one or two or all of the challenges ~ as many as I want or have time for ~ and I have as good a chance at winning as the next girl. And knowing Stacey’s generosity, the prizes will be most excellent. Sweet….

I’ve never participated in an online crop before, although I’ve come in after the fact and read through all the posts. (AMR, for example, plans to hold online crops once per month and CKMB has held several in the last year). They seem to generate all kinds of fun projects and, most importantly, COMPLETED LAYOUTS! So far, my Saturday is open and I really hope to participate in my first-ever online crop. Even if I only get to one or two of the challenges, I’ll feel I’ve accomplished something. On the day of the crop, THIS is where you will go!

So, c’mon, will you join us?? Have you participated in an online crop before and what was your experience like?

Ribbon Organizer by simply renee

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I saw this over on my AMR friend KELLI’s BLOG. It’s yet another way to organize your ribbon. There are so many things on the market now, I think we must be a world of ribbon-holics.

CLIP IT UP! RIBBON ORGANIZER BY SIMPLY RENEE

ciu ribbon

Here are some things I like about this system:
~ Ribbon shelf is hung on the wall so it’s off your workspace yet easily accessible.
~ No dowel needed, you just pop your ribbon rolls in and out & there’s even a sliding spool holder so they don’t fall over.
~ It looks very durable and I love the two scissor slots, one on each end. That’s a pretty cool use of what would be wasted space.

The rumor according to THIS POST on 2Peas is that this ribbon holder won’t be shipping until May. But like one poster said, that gives us time to decide if we really need it!

However, like Kelli, I thought ‘too bad it costs so much.’ I found THIS SITE taking pre-orders for $55 (regular price $66) and that seems to be the average that it sells for. So those of you who are inventive like Kelli, come up with your own like she did!

kellis ribbon holder

Isn’t that cool?!? Check out THIS POST for more info. She used pantry door racks from the hardware store, then incorporated the “clip it up” idea for her unspooled ribbon. The clips are badge holders from Michaels. WTG Kelli!

And while I’m poaching from Kelli’s blog, thought I would share this awesome project with you. It’s way to ambitious for me, but you talented card makers and papercrafters will dig it.

KELLI’s CARD PURSE

k card purse

She gives a wonderful tutorial HERE, and another example of a card purse HERE. Here’s an AMR MB thread about Kelli’s card purses. Such a talented lady! Go say hi and give her some blog love for sharing so many awesome projects, will ya?

Making Memories Embellishment Shelf

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I’ve had my MM Embellishment Shelf for about…well, let’s just say I got it with a 50% off coupon from Michaels so it must’ve been since a recent holiday. I finally got it hung ~ all by myself and I even used a level ~ DH would be so proud! Here it is in progress. I’m still working on it, while I organize my entire scrap space. I love to see all my little pretties lined up, so cheerful and colorful. Stickles make me smile :)

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Since I took this picture the other day, I decided to add one of the ribbon spool dowels. Yikes, I had put both of them in my bin for Scrapbook Garage Sale and was going to get rid of them. But I had all that cute Target ribbon in the bright Spring/Summer colors so it has been installed. I’ll post a pic when I’m all done too.

I actually turned off the computer FOR AN ENTIRE DAY yesterday. Yeah, I know, I didn’t think I could do it either. But it was amazing how much stuff I got done when I wasn’t saying to myself, “Oh, just one more post on AMR MB….Wait, I want to check my blog stats…Darnit, I need to e-mail so-and-so about whatevah-whatevah…Shoot, one more look at CKMB won’t kill me… And before I know it, the entire morning is gone and I still have tons to do, nevermind not getting to those “extra” things that would be nice to get done.

Here is my list of accomplishments from yesterday:

1. Moved all of my scrapbooks to the empty shelf in the living room that has been available for about a month. I wanted them out of my scrap area so people will actually look at them once in a while, LOL.

2. Moved layouts around and got things in chronological order. Put some “homeless” layouts into scrapbooks…you know, the ones you complete then keep in a stack somewhere? I had nowhere near the job of ALI EDWARDS, but it still took some good ol’, sit down on the floor and spread it all out kinda’ time…

3. Lots of housework ~ yuck! But a good feeling of accomplishment…

4. Continued my scrap space organizing. It’s a never ending project, I swear. But I can see my two beautiful Basic Grey Magnetic Mats! So I can actually get some scrapping done now.

5. Found some childhood pics of my hubby, noticed how much one of our children resembles him, and left him a little love note with the pictures for him to see before he left for work this morning.

Believe it or not, I got even more done but you’re probably dozing off by now, so I’ll stop. I’m sad I missed a whole day of message board and blog haps, and I didn’t blog, but feel really good that I got so much done around here. Maybe I’ll have more Turn Off the Computer Mondays!

Have you ever been forced to stay away from the computer for a day, just to get something done?

Photos of My Shopping Haul

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In THIS POST the other day, I told you about my 3 scrap-shop-stops @ Michaels, a craft store, and my LSS. Here are pics of my haul…

PATTERNED PAPERS:
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On the far left is the MAMBI kit, merely called “Family” from Michaels. It has cool primary colored papers and lots of rub-ons and Soft Spokens related to family togetherness. But what sold me were the three lines of orange, green and blue blingees AND the chipboard sheet with large circles, which I’ve been needing to complete a layout from EASY PATTERNS for ages. Anyway, all their kits were 40% off, whoo hoo. Come to think of it, I should have gotten more (uh, dork!).

Next is 2 sheets of Chatterbox called “Sweetheart Roses,” one side with a modern flower design, the other solid pink. Then I think my fave PP of the day, 2 sheets of “Affection” by Prima. One side is deep color stripes, the other deep red roses. I love the roses so much, I think I’ll use both sheets as roses and just forget the stripes! But isn’t that always the challenge of double-sided paper? You love both sides, like two children you’ve given birth to, how do you CHOOSE!?! Next are a couple of sheets of “Pastel” Doodlebug (polka dots & flowers), then a random stripey one, then 2 more older sheets of “Obviously Orange” Doodlebug with a bright summer theme. And lastly, on the far right, 2 sheets from “Jack+Abby” by Love, Elsie. That ledger style on the last sheet caught my eye, then I found the brown circles paper to go with it. On the very bottom of the pic are 3 sheets of very Spring-y papers from Bo Bunny Press called “Lil Princess.” The photo doesn’t do them justice because the colors are really WOW, very cheery and bright. All 3 are double-sided with pink, yellow and green on the back sides and thick like cardstock.

Now for the BAZZILL:
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Is something seriously wrong with me that I get such overwhelming JOY looking at all that Bazzill cardstock?? On the top row are the sheets with either linen or grasscloth texture; ooh, such purdy colors. The bottom row is Bling and then a couple scallop designs. Proud to say I only paid full price for 2 sheets from all that PP and cardstock. Wicked cool.

Okay, well, it’s been decided. I’m not going admit I have a problem, because if I do, that would be the first step in my recovery. And I don’t wanna recover…so there! I ENJOY being addicted to paper. I EMBRACE my obsession with texture and color and design. I’m NOT embarrassed to admit that I love the smell of paper and the weight of it in my hands when it’s all stacked nicely, corners matching up perfectly. So, are ya’ with me??

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