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!

Cricut Design Studio Software

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The big news for “little” Cricut owners is this: Cricut Design Studio has come out. This is an older announcement, copied from the Cricut Chirp December 2007 NEWSLETTER (Volume 80, December 3, 2007):

“Christmas Cheer

Every week I have something to be thrilled about. This is one of the reasons why I’m grinning today. Remember that little USB port on the back of your Cricut? Remember how we kept telling you there were plans to make the Cricut machine compatible with a computer and take advantage of its strengths. Remember, how we informed you, the details of how, when, and what this would be weren’t known quite yet but we would inform you when that time comes. You waited patiently for further information…well patients has a reward! The time has come! The Cricut Design Studio is here!

“Cricut DesignStudio software, is an exciting new way to connect your original Cricut or Cricut Expression machine to your computer! Using an on-screen cutting mat, this program allows you to explore, design, and cut the complete Cricut Cartridge Library. What You See Is What You Cut! With a user-friendly interface and the ability to save your innovative creations, you’ll discover that the Cricut DesignStudio is a must-have addition to your Cricut cutting system!”

Check out the links to our new releases in the announcements below. You’ll be grinning too.
Happy Cricuting,

Lonna Joy Smoot- Editor, Cricut CHIRP!”

Okay, I thought it was just for the little Cricut like I have…

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But according to the above article, it’s also for the Cricut Expression…

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Here is an article from the Cricut Chirp NEWSLETTER I received today that tells more about it:

“CARTRIDGE EXPLORATION -

This week I finally get to write about the new Cricut Design Studio software that came out last week. I love this software and am so happy to finally be able to share this great new program with all of you. You will definitely want to add this to your Christmas list because this program will be something that you will use with your Cricut cartridges for the rest of your life.

Have you ever wished that you could create your own word and hook all the letters together? Well this new program lets you weld words, letters, and images together. Just think of the fun things you can write and be able to connect them to make your own titles or sidebars for a scrapbook page. Other fun possibilities that you can do with your letters, words, and images are: shearing (make the image go diagonal), Compressing (expand or shrink the image), Kerning (move the letters or words closer together, you use this when you are welding letters together), Stretching, Flipping, and Rotating. Now you have a lot of different ways to create your own project or scrapbook page. There are two ways to weld letters into words. One way is by using the feature called “kerning”; when you use this feature all the letters must be in the same box. When using the kerning feature, start with the farthest right letter and move the letter closer to the letter on its left. You must make sure that you click on each line of each letter; you will see the letter turn into little dots then you know that you can click on the kerning arrows to move the letters. You would follow this process with all the letters making sure that all the letters are overlapping a little and the welding box is checked. The second way to weld letters into a word is by placing each letter in its own box. This way you will need to make sure that each box has the welding box checked and then you will use the top little circle on each box to move the letters to overlap each other. With this way of welding you can turn the letters on different angles to give your word a more creative look.

I decided to experiment with a saying to place on my wall. I can use the vinyl to place directly on the wall or use a frame, either way the experiment turned out really cute (see pic). In my experiment I used the cartridge Alphalicious and typed in the phrase “Family makes a House a Home”. With this software you can use letters from different font cartridges or images; you can mix them all up on the screen mat. I used the kerning for the words to move them together and the word “Home” I welded the letters after placing them in their own box. If receive your own cut file, just click here!

cricut ds wall words

This program will work with both Cricuts and all the cartridges in the Cricut family just make sure that you own the cartridges that you are using in your project or you will have to run out and buy the cartridge you need. You must own the cartridges to get your project to cut what you have created on the screen mat, even though this great software will let you play around and design with all the wonderful cartridges. This is a great way to preview all the cartridges and help you decide which ones to purchase next. Have fun welding words and creating phrases and check out next week as I continue to give tips on the new software and explore one of the new cartridges.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,
Crafty Kimber”

HERE is where they’re talking about it over on the Cricut Message Board. HERE is where the CKMB gals have discussed it recently. From what I hear, the free trial is not compatible with Macs, so I will wait here patiently to be able to check it out. Will you buy the Cricut Design Studio Software?

Chatterbox: Gettin’ Back on the Scrap Map

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Just read some exciting news about Chatterbox and you can too ~ HERE ~

I’ve always loved this brand of scrapbooking supplies for their timeless look, subtle colors, and overall classiness. I used to frequent an LSS on my lunch hour that had a nice selection of Chatterbox (the LSS has since closed, of course). But it would always make my day every time CB had introduced a new “room.” I would slowly buy all that goodness, piece by piece. Then of course, there was the ‘situation’ with CB and Melody and it made me so sad. I discovered MELODY’S BLOG, and often lurk over there, reading her insights and enjoying her spirit. She is on my Top 10 List of inspirational women, with the likes of Oprah and Hilary Clinton (okay, I’m kidding about the Hilary Clinton part, but Oprah’s really on the list!).

Anyway, it sounds like Melody will still be involved and I’m SO happy to hear that. Here is a link to the Melody Ross Designer Paper ~ soooo cute! I wish the ‘new’ Chatterbox all the best and look forward to seeing what they come out with! If you feel the same, give the CHATTERBLOG some love so they know we all support them :)

Basic Grey Magnetic Mat: I Have a {Crush} on You!

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It’s been awhile…not since last May with the Cropadile…since I’ve fallen so madly in love with a new scrapbooking tool. But after first playing with my new Basic Grey Magnetic Mat a couple weeks ago, my heart is still going pitter-patter ever time I relive the experience. Maybe it’s that I’m still in that “I-just-met-you-and-you-can-do-no-wrong” stage with my BG baby, but I hope to stay perpetually infatuated. I know that many of you have the Basic Grey Magnetic Mat on your Christmas list, so here is my review:

This thing RAWKS! Here is a picture:

thankful layout

The retail cost is $24.99 and the mat is 15”x15”. The premise is this: The mat itself has a sheet of metal in between the black self-healing layers. Then the ruler and the little “tacks” are magnetized. So you use them to hold things in place while you cut with a craft knife, say, a curvy flourish or some letters. Or you use the tacks to hold down your pages in progress, which has two benefits: One, you can move things around while you’re deciding how to place your photos, journaling, and embellishments. Two, the magnets hold everything down and let you walk away from your project without worrying about all the pieces blowing away, falling on the floor, being tipped by a toddler, or batted by a cat. I even carried a partially done layout to a crop in my bag and it arrived completely intact. Those little babies are strong. For another $5.50 retail, you can get 10 additional magnetic tacks (the mat comes with 8). It hasn’t happened to me yet, but I’ve heard on the message boards that the silver paint on some people’s tacks begins to peel off. What a pain, but I heard you can paint them with clear nail polish to stop or prevent that from happening. I also heard that the customer service has been good with getting BG to replace them, yet who wants more tacks that are just going to peel. Someone else suggested getting little magnets elsewhere like the Container Store or wherever, so that’s an option (see why I love MB’s?? everyone is so helpful with sharing problems and solutions!).

I got my BG mat, of course, through Memory Works. When we first started carrying them, I wanted one but hesitated to buy a BG mat because I wasn’t sure if I should spend that much money on something I wasn’t sure I would use or like. I mean, for $25 I could get a lot of PP, ya’ know? Also, I didn’t exactly have $25 laying around so… But as time went by, I kept hearing people raving about their BG mats so, when I made a little money from a crop I held, I decided to buy it. Well, then they were out of stock for the longest time (How does that saying go? “She who hesitates is lost…”). FINALLY! They were in stock again and I ordered that baby right away. Actually, I ordered 4 because I had another crop coming up by then ~ 2 to sell, and 2 for me. Yes, TWO for me. I had also heard that if you get one, you may as well get two especially if you do mostly 2-page layouts (which I do). The thinking is that if you have 1 BG mat and get everything laid out, aren’t you going to want another one right next to it? See, scrappers are very logical girls J Well, I sold one of the remaining mats as soon as my mom saw it and I showed her how it works. She scraps 8.5 x 11, so one mat for her is fine I think. Then she used hers at the crop and I demo’d it for everyone, and sold a few more. Also sold FIVE of them at my Holiday Open House. It’s crazy…if you see this tool in action, you will want one!

In preparation for the Open House, I needed to put together a double layout called “Thankful” by My Minds Eye. Here is a photo of the finished product:

thankful

Anyway, perfect opportunity to try my BG mat, although I didn’t anticipate using it much because there weren’t any fancy craft knife cuts and the layout didn’t look very complicated. But was I wrong! I only broke out one mat for this project (can I confess…that was because my desk was so overtaken with ‘stuff’ that there was only room for one mat??). Anyway, I used the heck out of the BG mat. I made all the cuts to the papers on my Cutterpede according to the measurements on the Class Kit instructions. I cut out the exact phrases I would use on the layout, from the die cut sheets and the rub-on sheets. Then I placed everything for one layout arranged on the mat, using the magnets to hold everything down. I don’t know about you, but when I’m scraplifting a layout or putting together something from a class, I’m so nervous to tack anything down. I’ve had to do a LOT of unsticking in the past when I thought I had put this or that element where it should go, only to find when I got to the last step….urrrghh! No room left or something didn’t line up where it should. Well, here I was doubly nervous because this was a class project that others would be copying from, not a layout I could just shove in my album and hope no one noticed ‘my lil boo boos.’ It had to look just like the picture, y’know? So I was really loving those magnets in a big way. It was so cool to lay out the elements, tack them, notice something wasn’t going to fit later, and be able to easily move things around til it was perfect.

The other thing I loved was the ruler. First of all, BG was very smart to make it longer than 12” long. It’s a full 18” long, which allows plenty of room on either end of the ruler hanging off past the edge of your layout. I had the background paper down on the mat with the ruler either horizontally or vertically across the paper. Making sure both the paper and the ruler were lined up with the markings on the mat, I was able to easily make sure my photo mats and other elements were perfectly straight. Now, this is something I’ve needed help with for a while. In a way, I’m a perfectionist with straight lines and really prefer the look when everything is straight (if it’s meant to be so). But I hate trying to make it that way, with my old 12” long plastic ruler and the Creative Memories 10”x12” cutting mat I had been using (yes, I was long overdue for a larger mat). Anyway, I really enjoyed being able to easily have straight lines…I think, for me, that is one of the most addicting things about the BG Magnetic Mat.

So if the Basic Grey Magnetic Mat is on your Christmas list, I hope you’ve been “nice” this year, and Santa puts one under your tree. If you already have one, give us YOUR review in Comments or link us to your blog!

Scrapbook Secret Santa @ CKMB

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ss loot      

Well, I missed out on it last year because I joined the CK Message Board right before Christmas.  So this year I made sure to say “sign me up!” at the first mention of a Secret Santa gift exchange.  These are the goodies I got.

American Crafts ELEMENTS metal tags

Almond Roca!

Making Memories Boho Round chipboard alpha

K&Co K-Ology Addison 6×6 paper pad

Bazzill Creative Cafe 12×12 multipack cardstock (red, pink, orange, green, blue)

Patterned paper (unk. co.) w/kraft background (5 sheets)

KI Memories Pop Culture paper (6 sheets)

Quick Quotes Instant Journaling rub ons about Family

Studio G/Mikes stamps, Christmas series (7 sets)

and a Mount St. Helen’s postcard from “Lisa.  The return address was WA state.  So, I posted on the CKMB a big fat “THANK YOU” and calling my Secret Santa out of hiding. 

 ETA 12/13/07:  Yippee, I know who my Secret Santa is!  She left me a Comment here (thank goodness, because I missed her post on CKMB).  I pasted it here:

Hi Erika!
I left you a message on the MB, but I’m not sure if you saw it, so I thought I’d post here as well. I am your SS and I’m glad you like your goodies! I was a bit worried.
I’m really enjoying your blog. That is how I found out about the new BG line (which I now love) and the Pop Culture line is perfect for my daughter. I like reading your reviews too. I’ve been wondering about the MM Magnetic Mat system as well. That is on my Christmas list.
Anyway, enjoy your stash!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Lisa 

THANK YOU LISA!!!  What a generous gift.  I {heart} every single thing.  I can’t even get those Mike’s stamps around here, and my LSS doesn’t have Pop Culture yet so you are DA BOMB.  And YOU RAWK!  As a mommy who doesn’t get much under the tree, you can’t imagine how much this gift made my Christmas :)  I was good all year, I promise…

PS:  As you know, I’ve been having “issues” with my blog formatting.  I’m now trying to edit it from my work computer…let’s see if this holds…pretty please, pretty please, pretty please….

Scrapbook Haters

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Note:  Again, I apologize for the lame formatting of this post.  Still trying to figure out my technical difficulties…thanks for understanding, and reading anyway…  

You know how I was saying in my LAST POST that I check out my blog stats to see who’s linkin’ over here?  Well, didn’t I find an interesting one tonight??  I don’t know what the fark this message board is, but they sure have a big hatred for we scrapbookers.  Here is the LINK that linked to me… Of course, the original topic was HOF-gate and THIS ARTICLE from KSL.com:  

“Online war of words erupts between scrapbookers
December 7, 2007Paul Nelson, KSL Newsradio

There is a bitter and hurtful war of words going on over the Internet among a certain group of people. You may be shocked to hear who it is. You walk into the scrapbooking store Treasured Memories in Salt Lake City and the atmosphere is pretty calm. Owner Michael Mellen said, “All of my customers are just happy. They’re coming in to preserve their memories. “Mellen says scrapbooking is about the joy of memories and sharing wonderful times, and all that. He says part of the fun is the diverse artistic expression each person has. “I’ve got stuff in my store that I think is as ugly as sin, but people buy it, and there will be something I think is awesome and they’ll pass it right by [saying], ‘Oh, that’s stupid,’” he said. That why he’s surprised at some of the hate-filled comments scrapbookers are throwing at each other online. “That anybody would care enough to go attack somebody else’s designs, or whatever, is just stupid. These people should have better things to do, like spend money in my store,” he said. For example, the Web site scrapsmack.blogspot.com has entries questioning the parental skills of a woman named Heidi Swapp. They also call a woman named Jeanette Herdman the b-word. One of the most bitter chat threads is over a woman named Kristina Contes, who was stripped of her Hall of Fame honor. She’s called things like, well, I’m not comfortable even telling you which letter it starts with. Rusty Pickle Sales and Marketing Representative Nanette Hanks said, “People in the industry get, I think, to where they want it and they want it now, and they get mean and ugly, and it’s kind of a turn-off. “Hanks says these people represent an extremely small portion of scrapbookers. Still, she says there’s no reason to call a woman stripped of Hall of Fame honors a name that would make a sailor blush. “I don’t know. Maybe the people complaining about it and calling her bad names should maybe spend some more time making cuter pages. They might be there, too,” she said. Some bloggers compare the stripping of the honor to the Barry Bonds steroid scandal. Other people say there’s a growing rift between regular scrapbookers and digital scrapbookers. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see a rumble.” [End of article]

And here is just a sampling of their fine comments about us on from the forum at FARK.com.

As a husband of a scrabooker, I can say with certainty that they are a vicious bunch.

Unreal…Will never understand interest in this.

I guess it’s constructive when they’re not being DEstructive.

For some reason, I picture a bunch of overwieght middle-aged white women sitting in a circle passing around scrapbooks saying ‘ooh Denise’s page looks like shiat! Yeah, and Denise is a ho too! She’s a ho who makes shiatty scrapbooks!’

I work with a doc who’s a scrapbooker…she spends all day working on these things. What happened to a plain old photo album?

The company I work for is a major scrapbook supplier. I can tell you that scrapbookers can be some of the most rude, biatchy, vicious women on the planet. I have never been treated more rudely than the customers of my company.

It is a hobby and they treat their work like it’s going to be hung in the Smithsonian.

If you can avoid the hobby and women that do it, please do so.

I know that not all of them are like that, but the stereotype of fat, rude women exists for a reason. I will not go to scrapbooking conventions simply because of the customer “size” factor.

I’ve come to the conclusion that scrapbooking is a plot to keep women from actually having an impact on society or the economy (aside from scrapbooking supply sales). If you have that much time on your hands, ladies, go get a farking job or take classes or even engage in a more useful craft!

Another link someone posted over there was this old You Tube of Kristina Contes. It’s not relevant to anything, except that I finally learned the correct way to say her last name.
   

So, here we go again, first they slam us in the WSJ article about Martha Stewart scrapbook products, and now this…the above article and all the nasty comments. It made me wonder about other groups of crafters and hobbyists: Are there such slams being written about quilters, golfers, cross-stitchers? And if not, why not? What is it about scrapbooking and scrapbookers that gets everyone else’s panties in such a wad?

After the WSJ article, initially my feelings were hurt and I took it very personally ~ because my love for this hobby and the people who do it is deep and undying. But then I stopped to ‘consider the source,’ as mom always used to say, and realized that it ISN’T personal. It’s more about misperceptions and jealousy and those with nothing better to do than judge those they don’t know anything about. I mean, if I was trolling the Farking internet and came upon an article about a scandal in the fly fishing world, I might read it with interest but I certainly wouldn’t feel I had any authority to comment on it or the people involved or the fly fishers out there in the world. So, while reading the negative comments this time was entertaining and informative, I’m not going to take it personally anymore. ’They know not of what they speak.’

What do you think of the article and the comments? Do you take offense? Got any scathing comebacks you’d like to post? Have at it…

Kristina Contes: A Polarizing Figure in the Scrapbook Industry

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I think Blog Stats are very compelling reading, and they’re something I look at every day.  I’m so interested to see how people find my blog, which search terms they used, what other blogs they linked over from, and which of my posts are getting clicked on. It won’t surprise you when I say that the more controversial the figure or topic, the more traffic it gets.  This would include Martha Stewart, for instance, whom I wrote about HERE , HEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE and HERE.  The most hits I’ve had in one day EVER {559} were when Martha Products Coming to Michaels and Martha Calls Scrapbookers Trailer Trash (well, I paraphrase…) were the topics we were all talking about.  But the Martha talk has died down, although the MS posts do still get a steady stream of traffic.  Another old standby on my blog is anything having to do with Scrapbook Organization.  Again, not surprising, right?  We’ve all been scrapping long enough that we’ve accumulated LSS-sized stashes and we need to know how to organize it all. 

But since I started blogging in January 2007, the controversy to beat all controversies has been the Kristina Contes / CK Hall of Fame 2007 scandal.  Back when I was writing about it (see HEREHEREHERE, and HERE)…even then, I talk about how obsessed I was with it all.  I literally couldn’t fall asleep easily for a couple of nights just running the situation through my head, trying to decide how I felt about things, and how I was going to write about it.  We had some good comments about it, and I’ve done an update on the situation when decisions about HOF were made by CK and other fallout (see HEREHEREHEREHERE, and HERE).  The feeling I was getting from the message boards at the time (I frequent CKMB and 2PEAS) was that, within a month or so, everyone was kind of tired of the issue and the majority wanted to move on.  So I did… 

Never forget:  I’m here for YOU.  I got yo’ back.  We on the same page, girlfriend! 

So imagine my surprise as each day goes by and 2 months later “Kristina Contes” and “CK HOF Scandal” and “Kristina Contes blog” are still the most popular search terms for incoming traffic to my blog.  And that the posts about KC and HOF are at the top of the Most Popular Posts list.  Here are the Top 10 posts of the last 30 days:   

Post Title & Number of Views

 

  1. Kristina Contes Speaks (Maybe She Shouldn’t Have?) :  767
  2. Scrapbooking Organization: Mission Accomplished:  364
  3. Are You Making Christmas Cards This Year?:  324
  4. Grungeboard by Tim Holtz:  307
  5. Martha Stewart’s Craft Room…It’s A Good Thing:  295 
  6. CK Hall of Fame 2007 & The Drama That Ensued:  218 
  7. Acrylic Albums: I’m Skird:  160
  8. Wicked Cool Scrapbook Website:  158
  9. Michaels: Ban Lifted on Coupons for Martha Stewart:  149
  10.  Video Tour of a Very Organized Scrapbook Room:  138

Keep in mind, those are the Top 10 out of 203 total posts.  Yesterday (12-6-07), the entry KRISTINA CONTES SPEAKS (MAYBE SHE SHOULDN’T HAVE?) got 100 hits!  Out of 394 total hits for the day, and two months after the post was written.  I haven’t been to her blog recently, but I decided to click on over to KRISTINA CONTES BLOG to see what’s the haps with her these days.  And here is the message I was so rudely greeted with:

“This blog is open to invited readers only

http://soundsofscience.blogspot.com/

If you are a reader of this blog, tell us who you are! Sign in using your Account.”

So there!

So maybe it’s just me getting that message ‘cuz I’m on her shit list for not praising her in Comments about how totally cool she still is or how she ROCKS! or how she shouldn’t let those lame shut-in jealous scrapbookers get her down.  But, obviously, I’m not going to “invite myself” to her blog.  I mean, unless something else really juicy happens and I need to log on so I can get the 4-1-1 for you (possible blog-crash worthy headlines:  “Former CK HOF Takes Hostages on New York Subway” or “Kristina Contes:  I’m as Famous as God”; you know, something like that…).

 ETA 12/10/07:  Okay, NOW they’re talkin’ about this on 2Peas.  About how her blog is now Invite Only, whether the HOF was a big deal or not, did she bring it on herself, and should we just leave her alone already???  Here’s the LINK

Do you recognize anything in the title of this post?  Yep, it’s one way Kristina describes herself.  So, do you still Kare about Kristina?  Why do you think I’m still getting so many hits on this topic?  What are your polarizing (or normal) thoughts on the matter?

 

Scrapbook Shopping on Craigslist.com

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candy jars

Aren’t these candy jars cool?!?  I’m so excited.  Every year around this time, with the new year approaching, I get into Organizer Bunny mode.  Well, I found these glass candy jars on Craigslist a few weeks ago and scored them…for $10 under the asking price.  The seller was a local candy shop who had just piled up too many jars in their stockroom.  Coupla’ e-mail exchanges, quick trip to the ATM, then the candy store, and these babies are mine!Okay, there are still two ‘Best Parts’!  1.  I got MANY of these jars ~ 8 of the large ones w/6 lids and 10 of the small ones w/4 lids.  Yeah, lots and lots of jars.  2.  They were listed for $50 and I got them all for $40. They are really heavy, good quality and very clean.  Actually, I was kind of disappointed they didn’t smell a bit like chocolate or Twizzlers or something :( So anyway, my mind is swimming with ideas for how to use them.Here are some things I’m considering:1. Chipboard storage2. Mike’s stamp storage3. “Halfway Houses” for things before I put them away, like photos, smaller embellishments, etc.And that’s just the scrapbooking ideas ~ here are more:1. Making gifts by using rub ons to decorate them2. Using them in the kitchen for flour, sugar, etc.3. Vacation money jarThe best things about them is they are big and they are see through. I know from experience that when I can see things, I use them more. Ever since I put all my ribbons in jars, I reach for them all the time. Besides, it looks so pretty and colorful to have all your goodies displayed in glass jars.

Now, it would have been the perfect marriage but it was not to be ~ at the same time I found these jars, I also found a bunch of the Target and Store in Style scrapbooking storage cubes for sale on Craigslist. Again, buncha e-mails and a trip to the ATM but I was never able to meet up with the owner and pick them up. She lives about 50 miles from me and I headed down there one day, but there was a mix up (supposedly) and she wasn’t home. I e-mailed a couple more times trying to set something up but she wasn’t being very helpful. I mean, if you’re going to sell over $100 worth of cubes, wouldn’t you be willing to fit the person into your schedule or perhaps meet them in a town halfway between you and the buyer? Well, she wasn’t and I didn’t want to stalk the poor girl, so I gave up.

The price was fabulous and I can’t tell you how much I wanted those darn cubes. I have only part of my desired “wall of cubes” and these would have finished it off so nicely. In my head, I could just picture all my pretty-pretty glass jars filled with scrappy goodness atop my wall of cubes. So, I still search Craigslist all the time for that next crafty bargain.When something I think I really, really want doesn’t work out, I believe it didn’t work out for a reason. So I will patiently wait for what was meant to be…perhaps a free Expedit shelf will fall out of the sky, or maybe even someone nice from MY town will sell all their cubes! You never know…

Now some questions for you:  Do you Craiglist?  Buy or sell?  And what would YOU do with these candy jars?  Can’t wait to hear from you! 

Scrapbook Blogger in Search of a Theme

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Okay, I love Christmas as much as the next person.  And that green and red blog theme I had going on was kick ass.  But, sadly, it had to go.  The formatting was too wonky and hard to read in some instances.  It was a good learning experience ~ I learned that 3-column blog formats don’t work for me.  (If I were smart enough or had time enough to fit my pictures to the space allowed on the blog, it would’ve been fine.  But me:  Not smart, no time).  So back to Boring-ville with the plain blog format.  I had the old format called “Blix” for almost a year, so it’s time for a different boring blog format.  After previewing my blog in the bazillion choices offered by WordPress, I’ve chosen this one called “Shocking Blue and Green.”  Cool name at least.  Blue and green are my favorite colors so I think we have a winna’!

 I am slowly making other changes too, like adding lots of new CKMB’er blogs to my blog roll.  I’m also removing the word ‘blog’ after everyone’s name (i.e. changing CKMB AliDavis blog to just CKMB AliDavis).  Saves room, looks neater, and duh, we all know it’s a blog, right?   I’m going to try using Tags to see how those work and maybe make some better Categories.  I appreciate your patience while I try these new things.  Is the text too small to read comfortably, or is that just because I’m on a laptop?  If there’s anything you can’t read or don’t like with this format, please leave me a comment and maybe it’s something I can fix.  Well, me or WordPress tech support.  Speaking of them dudes, I need to get their help on this paragraph formatting thing.  I must have clicked ‘the place you’re never supposed to click’ when I was messing around on my blog, because I can NOT get it to save any of my spacing.  Everything’s just all run together like the butter and syrup on top of my Eggo…mmmm…..Eggo….

“New” Organizational Tools by MM

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Perhaps just in time to be #1 (and #2 and #3) on your Christmas list, here are some new organizational items from Making Memories.MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP CAROUSEL:  

mm carousel

I have yet to see it in person, but word is that it’s showing up at Michael’s stores around the country as we speak. Therefore, I assumed it was “NEW!”. However, when I found THIS PRESS RELEASE about the Carousel on the MAKING MEMORIES WEBSITE, I noticed a press release date of July 20, 2007. Jeez, sometimes I’m really behind the power curve, aren’t I? Anyhow, assuming it’s not such “old news” that you might still be interested, here are the deets:

“The Desktop Carousel is a hexagonal shaped, multi-level storage unit that offers top-loading cubbies as well as slide-out drawers in a 12″ x 14″ footprint. Each upper compartment is accented with a metal label holder for easy product identification, while the lower drawers are outfitted with curved handles and magnetic closures.”

It retails for $39.99 so grab that next Mike’s 40% or 50% coupon and get this baby for roughly $20 to $24. I found one art supply website selling it for friggin’ $55.95. WTF?!?!

Per the press release, “In addition to working as a desk organizer, the Carousel can double as a makeup organizer, school supply caddy, and even kitchen accessory…(It) is constructed from sturdy MDF, and currently is available in a white glossy finish. The company also has released coordinated Desktop Storage units (MSRP: $19.99), constructed from chipboard, to hold 12″ x 12″ papers, as well as sticker sheets and other embellishments.”

And ~~TAH DAH!~~ Here are the aforementioned Desktop Storage Units:

MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP ORGANIZER

dt org mm

“Your workspace will always be dressed for success, thanks to our desktop organizer. Neatly store 12″ x 12″ paper and tools while stowing away stickers, embellishments and more in convenient removable drawers with label holders. Get organized!Ideal storage for 12″ x 12″ paper, embellishments and more. Made of sturdy paper-covered chipboard”

MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP ORGANIZER – EMBELLISHMENT BOX

mm emb box

While you’re over at the Making Memories website oogling all their cool stuff ~ like the FABulous Noteworthy paper that WILL be mine (oh yes, it will be mine…)…

mm noteworthy

and the Shimmer Brads….mm shimmer brads

…make sure and check out their very scrumptious MAKING MEMORIES BLOG, where there is tons of MM news, yummy recipes, and wonderful page ideas.

Okay, enough sounding like a Making Memories commercial because, NO, they don’t sponsor this blog like they should, so I’m going to tell you what I really think about their products.#1: The Carousel is awesome looking but I won’t be getting it. First of all, I bought a similar one from Target several months ago. It was cheaper but not nearly as cute. It’s a square shape, white, with drawers and metal label holders. Secondly, the footprint on the MM Carousel is huge, so I probably wouldn’t get it even if I didn’t already have one. What I find is that carousels just don’t work great with my set up because the only space for it is kind of at the back of my desk. Then it bangs into things every time I rotate it, including the window blinds, my Leaning Tower of Memorabilia-to-File, and my Diet Coke. I recommend a carousel if you have a project table where it could sit in the middle of the table. Also, I ‘travel scrap’ a lot and it’s not like I can take this heavy wooden thing with me to a crop or event. So I end up putting less-used items in there like flowers, smaller punches, etc.

What has been the better item for my needs is the Tote-ally Cool Totes I got at Costco recently, which even come with a rotating metal stand that fits in a pocket of the tote when you’re not using it.  I wrote about them HERE.

 
#2: The Desktop Organizer and Embellishment Box. If you’re going to order it online, just please note that the material they are made of is “sturdy, paper-covered chipboard.” My experience with that material on a heavily used item is not good. The item scratches easily, the drawers stick, and the paper starts to come up at the corners.  They’ve had an older version of the MM Embellishment Box sitting dusty on a shelf at my Mike’s for, what, a couple of years? It’s tan with a black lid, and the price is decent for the box and all the embellishments inside, but the thing is totally scratched up. That’s the same reason I never give in to all the adorable “cloth covered” or “linen covered” storage boxes at Tuesday Morning. They are so cute, but oh-so-scratchable. Anyway, the MM website says it’s “new and improved,” so maybe they brought down the scratchability quotient.

All that said, I like the looks of both items. I like how the Organizer holds 12×12 stuff and could sit back on my desk out of the way…Hey, a girl’s gotta’ have her creative space! It would be a perfect place to store my new stuff AFTER I sneak it past DH into my scrap area (oops, did I say that in my “out loud” voice?), but BEFORE I find time to put it away in it’s proper place in my properly organized scrapbook area, which is always 100% clean and organized just like Martha Stewart’s.  

I would still pass on the embellie box, only because I love the system I already have for storing all that tiny stuff. I have these and each little snaplock compartment is filled to the brim. Must…not…buy….more…brads…til…4,000 I have…are used!

CRAFT MATES EZY SNAPPIN’ ORGANIZERS

the little girl…

<img src=”http://www.craftmates.com/images/products/90363.jpg&#8221; alt=”ezy snappin petite” />

and the big momma
ezy snappin org

When I’m berating myself for having too many embellies, I remind myself that my mom has this…

ezy locking caddy

Mom can always make me feel better. Here is the link to the CKMB THREAD on the Carousel if you want to see what others are saying.  If I find a thread on 2PEAS, I will add it later. 

So, what do YOU think of these Making Memories storage products?? Do tell us in Comments.  

PS:  At least on my screen, the formatting is still all screwy with photo captions next to the photo instead of above them.  And none of the line breaks or spacing I entered are showing.  Which is SO annoying to me as an English major because it looks like one big run on sentence to me!  Is my computer broken, or do you see what I see? 

Random Thoughts on a Scrapless Friday Night…

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NOTE:  Sorry my formatting is all askew (hey, who ask-ew?).  I don’t know wha’ happa’??  I’ve tried everything to fix it, even changing back to my old blog display format but nothing has worked.  I’ve never had it do that with images before and, even though I’m typing it with paragraph breaks, they disappear when I publish it.  Wordpress tech support is closed for the weekend, but I will try Karen/Karooch over at Scraps of Mind.  She’s the blog diva and very smart with this computer contraption.  Maybe she can help… 

~ The Wonderful Weekend (!) is here again, and again I don’t see any scrapping happening. Work, work and more work. But Santa tells me “Thank you very much for working so hard because all those presents don’t grow on trees!” 

~ Had a Holiday Open House (scrapbooking) Thursday night. It went very well and I had a blast. Will tell you more about it later, lovies…

~ I {Heart} Rascal Flatts!! They are SUCH a favorite of mine. I think they are, like, Number 1.5 on my list (with Journey being Number 1 of course). I got RF’s latest CD the day it came out last September and I’m wearing it out. Also saw them in concert this summer and they rocked the HAY-ELL out of the Hizzy! I hear they were on Oprah today – thank googily gosh I Tivo that chick every day…can’t wait to watch it. I’m listenin’ to some Country radio whilst I type and they just played RF’s “Winner at a Losing Game”. I adore that song. It really shows off Gary’s wonderful voice.

Here are some of the lyrics: “Have you ever had to love someone that just don’t feel the same? Tryin’ to make somebody care for you, the way I do, Is like trying to catch the rain. And if love is really forever, I’m a winner at a losing game. I know that baby you’re tryin’ to find me somewhere inside of you, But you know you can’t lie, girl you can’t hide the truth. Oh no, sometimes two hearts just can’t dance to the same beat, So I’ll pack up my things and I’ll take what remains of me.”

Ooh! Now they’re playing Jason Aldean. He opened for Rascal Flatts this summer and, can I say, what a hottie! My BSF (Best Scrapping Friend) is convinced she’s his girlfriend (her husband humors her…). But she’s right, he’s hellza cute. “Yeah, Momma…” cuz Baby we ain’t never comin’ back…

~ Since Black Friday (when I bought the stuff), I have SWORN to myself that I would get my Secret Santa gift sent off to my mystery friend on the CKMB. Hmmm, perhaps I will actually accomplish it this weekend. We won’t even TALK about the stamps I’ve had on my desk for LATRICE and LIZ for months. God, I’m such a loser sometimes… (aka Best of Intentions, Worst at Follow Through…) 

~ Three items on my Christmas list:  

The Expedit shelf from Ikea (can you say “tons of scrappy storage??”) 

expedit 

The awesome iPhone

iphone

and the Epson PictureMate Snap PM 240 Photo Printer

epson PM240

I think DH is getting me the iPhone – sweeeeet…Will just keep the other items in mind for tax return time in February or my birthday in the spring (wink, wink)…  

~ For a future blog entry, I have started writing a review of my new fave product, the Basic Grey Magnetic Mat. Stay tuned & talk to ya’ soon! 

bg mat

Check Out the Latest Scene at Scrapscene

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This is a very cool site with all kinds of scrapbook news and projects. I’ve been on their list to get daily e-mails for awhile now and love the news sitting in my inbox every day. Just quick tidbits of the latest and greatest, with links to click on when you’re so inclined. They also have a long list of scrap celeb blogs, so if you’re looking for Becky’s or Lisa’s or Elsie’s, you’ll find it there.  The blog writer, Angie, just had a little girl! So happy ~ they seem like a sweet family over there. Anyway, I highly recommend you check out SCRAPSCENE.  Go ahead, just get on their daily feed like I did, so you can read the news every day :)

A Scrapbook for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

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I watch Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition with my kids sometimes.  It’s such a great show, which helps families that have suffered a tragedy or hard times by building them a new house.  The new home always perfectly meets their needs, whether it be handicapped access for someone wheelchair bound, a second kitchen for a home catering business, or a special home filtration system for a child with autoimmune problems.  At the end of the show, ABC presents the family with special mementos like framed photos or shadowboxes, a book written especially for a specific child, or even a scrapbook.  I’ve always wondered:  Where do those scrapbooks come from?  Who makes them?  Do they happen to have scrapbookers on the crew, or do they hire someone?  Well, I found this blog and it answered my questions because…the Scrappy Sisters got to create a scrapbook (and some other things) for Extreme Home Makeover!  There are two blog entries and both have slide shows; you can check them out HERE and HERE.  The slide shows are wonderful because they show so many pictures of the entire journey (Sorry, I had to turn off the music that played – a beautiful song called Soldier’s Heart but it’s sung by R. Kelly and he’s a – well, I won’t say the exact term – but “not nice to kids”…or a little “too nice”, if you know what I mean!  Okay, editorial comments over…). The journaling on the first entry is nice and long, telling all the details of how it happened. Fun reading! Please check out this amazing story and great accomplishment by some of our own, the Scrappy Sisters!

A Funny Way to Spend Thanksgiving…

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We’re supposed to be camping for the long weekend with DH’s extended family & my mom/stepdad.  We were supposed to leave early this morning.  However, DH got called to work last night and is still there, so I thought I would head to the computer and check something off my very super extremely long To Do List:  Order some Prism cardstock Prismatics packs to fill two customer orders.  See, Prismatics is what Memory Works carries and it’s awesome cardstock.  You get a trio of colors (light/medium/dark), 12 sheets for $6.50.   Here is a sample of a Prismatics pack and the link to our CARDSTOCK PAGE:

    prismatics 

Well, thinking I was all cool and stuff, I purchased the Prism swatch book from Memory Works as a selling tool and took it to my last crop without really looking at it first.  Well, I just flipped through it long enough to admire all the gorgeous colors (don’t pretty colors just make you happy?!?).  Anyway, it WAS a hit and there were 2 ladies who each had a list of Prismatics Packs they wanted.  Turns out…Memory Works doesn’t carry the complete line (duh), and I could only fill about half of each order.  I told the ladies that, because I had basically advertised the cardstock, that I would find a way to fill their order.  I figured I would come home, pop online, order the packs at the best price I could find, hopefully not pay too much in shipping, and maybe at least break even if not lose a little bit o’money.  Even if I lost a little some money, I would hopefully gain my customers’ respect and confidence, learn my lesson about the swatchbook, and move on.  

So, after spending HOURS online, here is my conclusion:  Prismatics are hard to find!!  Cheese and Rice!  To purchase from Prism wholesale, you not only have to have a business license, etc. but you have to be a brick and mortar store.  There are sites that sell it by single color packs of 50.  There are sites that sell it by the sheet.  There are sites that have most of the packs I need listed on their site, but when you click it into your shopping cart, it says Unavailable.  There are many sites showing the colors I need Out of Stock.  There are sites with every color EXCEPT the ones I need.  There are overseas sites that don’t ship to the US or, if they do, the shipping is super high.  Next, I went on the Memory Works message board with my plight, and asked the other consultants what they do in this situation and if anyone had a good source for Prismatics.  Long story short:  Uhhhh, no.  Finally, I asked my lovely friend Stacey over at http://www.AllMomentsRemembered.com if she could help me out, since she is so connected in wholesale scrap world now (wink, wink).  Such a doll, she looked into it right away and, alas, could only do the 50 sheet/single color deal.  

So I thanked her for trying anyway, and that leads me to today.  I’m here on Thanksgiving morning, waiting to hear from DH to see if maybe we can leave here by noon today.  And searching once again for the elusive Prismatics packs and….same luck as last time.  Grrrr….  I feel so bad about letting my customers down.  I shouldn’t have made a commitment before I looked into it.  So, after the holiday, I’ll try one more time and, if not successful, I will confess my mistake to the lovely ladies and hope they forgive me.  

PS: On a lighter note, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I am so grateful that I started this blog. It has given me an outlet to release all my crazy, scrapbook-obsessive thoughts so I can sleep at night. Now, I only occasionally dream of cardstock and patterned paper and sketches ~ no more scrap nightmares where all my friends leave for the retreat without me or running around Big Lots, not able to find any of the scrap bargains mentioned on CKMB! (Now, that really would be a dream because I don’t even have a Big Lots). Anyway, it has been wonderful to share and exchange ideas with you, to finally feel that I’m not alone, and to have all your positive feedback. I am blessed and thankful…

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