Simple Stories: “Elementary” + “Smarty Pants” = A Good Match?

A sweet scrapper named Wendy e-mailed this question to me recently:

I was wondering if you think I could combine SS Smarty Pants with SS Elementary in the same album. I already have Elementary, but have had my eye on Smarty Pants since it was released. Are the colors close enough, or are they way off in real life? I read your Blog so I know you are an expert on SS. THANKS!

I thought I would share the answer publicly just in case someday a scrapper is Googling and has the same question, LOL!

Here are images of both lines from the SIMPLE STORIES blog:

You can see why it would be hard to tell if they go together well, huh? So I took a photo today of both lines . . . I just HAPPENED to have a bit (cough cough I’M NOT A SUPPLY HOARDER! coughcough) of each line on hand :)

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The primary colors are basically the same shades in both lines. The main difference is that “Elementary” is pretty grungy with a brown/cream tone throughout whereas “Smarty Pants” is cleaner and has white backgrounds.

That said, I don’t see why you couldn’t mix the 2 lines together. Some people are picky about only using cream with cream and white with white, but that’s not something that bothers me. I think these would be a nice mix, actually. They kind of balance each other out.

Wendy, I hope that was helpful! Readers, what do you think – would you mix these 2 lines together? Please leave a Comment below! Diverse opinions welcomed and I will NOT point and laugh, I promise ;)

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Simple Stories: Full Reveal of Winter 2014 Lines Coming Soon!

Here is a teaser, my dear friends . . .

UH-MAY-ZING! Am I right?

So many cool and innovative products that you’re going to love. I’ve seen the entire catalog of new goodies and I think you’re going to be very, very happy scrappers!

Make sure to watch the SIMPLE STORIES blog or sign up for their blog updates so you don’t miss the exciting reveal . . . Monday, 01-06-14.

Well, rats.

How am I supposed to sleep nowwww????

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Project Life: Review of NEW 6×8 Project Life Albums, Kits, and Pages at Michaels

As I posted HERE, some Michaels stores are now carrying several Becky Higgins’ new Project Life products – already! According to HER BLOG, these albums are being introduced at CHA-Anaheim next week . . . but they’re already showing up at some Mike’s! Sounds good to me :)

And I can’t find mention on her site of the 6×8 agenda, calendar, and recipe kits nor any new Core Kits by Maggie Holmes and Dear Lizzy {which I’m now hearing may the HSN “exclusive” core kits?}. So I don’t know if these items are Michaels exclusives or what? I’ve asked for clarification on the message boards from scrappers who’ve seen these displays in person but no one seems to know. Hmmmm . . .

And as it goes . . . none of these new Project Life goodies have arrived at MY Micheales and I won’t be surprised if they never do. Remember when MOST Mike’s got the 12×12 WRMK albums, like, ages ago??? My Mike’s got them about 1 month ago. Finally.

That’s one reason I get so much of my PROJECT LIFE stuff on Amazon.com. They may not have 40% off coupons but they do put things on sale fairly often and with PRIME, I get them in the mail sometimes sooner than I could’ve even run to Michaels (1-2 days, yippee! A girl needs her instant gratification, ya know?)

So, given that I have little hope of seeing these in person before I turn 82 (hey! I know I sound old and curmudgeonly but I’m nowhere close, I promise you) . . . I asked my message board friend Jen (aka Redscountrygirljen) if I could share the review SHE posted. I’m so thrilled she said yes! Below is JEN’s review and the wonderful photos she provided:

So, with our Blizzard approaching what was DH, my toddler and I to do today? Go to Michaels a half hour away, of course!

And what to my wondering eyes did appear?

New BH Project Life! And with it 40% off (like others have said, it’s not marked on sale) I got a 6×8 leather binder, the planner kit, planner theme set, and a pack of Design 2 and a pack of Design 3 page protectors.

Above: The leather album. It’s fairly nice quality, not as nice as WRMK. There is a noticeable seam on the inside where you can tell the leather inside was glued down. The album also has a slight smell, but it isn’t obnoxious. Long story short, I will probably by at least a few more of these. I like them better than her larger paper binders and I like them better than even the Sn@p chipboard albums. I have yet to see a Sn@p leather album so I can’t provide a comparison to that.

Above: Menards Teddy Bear aside, this is the inside of the album and also a peek at the Weekly Planner inserts. They are reg. priced 14.99 but I got it on sale for 8.99. I was a sucker for the planner because I love the tabbed monthly inserts.

Above: The back of a month page and the front of another. So colorful! I can also see myself using the journaling prompts on the back of the dividers.

Above: Samples of the weekly planner pages. I don’t see myself using these each and every week. The main reason being that after putting in all the pages of the kit, there isn’t a lot of room for clear page divided pages. I will certainly use some throughout, but unless I want to have two 6×8 albums for 2014, I will just keep some for another project (or for 2015? eek!)

Above: Page protectors! I got style 2 (2-3×4, 1-4×6) and style 3 (2-4×6). Style 1 is 4-3×4. The most important thing I’ll throw out here is that the first thing I did when I got home was try my Sn@p pages – they fit perfectly in these albums too! This means other Sn@p products will work too like their own dividers and page protectors.

Above: For only 2.99, I also got the accompanying planner cards. They’re nice and colorful and will look really nice. I’ll be adding some of the Honey cards in as well I think :)

So, that is my review of the new Michaels-exclusive BH Project Life merchandise! I went for the recipe album, but I was disappointed in the colors. I made my mom a recipe book using some pages from Simple Stories Handmade Holiday and I think we can add to it using the new SS Homespun Collection. They also had new 12×12 BH Project Life albums and two new larger kits – Maggie Holmes was one of them and Dear Lizzy was the other.

All of it was on sale! I got the 6×8 binder, the planner kit, the planner card mini set, a pack of Design 2 and a pack of Design 3 protectors for 28.00 :) My M’s had some of the patterned 6×8 albums left, one leather bright pink one, two of the turquoise, and a black leather album in. Since I just bought a black leather 8×8 WRMK album and a red 12×12 BH leather album, I thought the turquoise would be nice. :) I’m actually pleased with the quality of the album and after taking out even 10 of the divider pages, I have more room. I think I’m going to keep most of the planner pages, add two clear plastic pages for each month for a total of 24 and see what happens :)

Just an update – October Afternoon’s Flash pages are not compatible with either the BH 6×8 or Snap binders. Neither are SC Handbooks pages.

Here are two pictures showing BH’s stuff in a Snap binder. As you can see, when closed, nothing pokes over the edge. Perfect fit!

Wasn’t that an awesome review!?!? Thanks so much for letting me share it, Jen! I owe ya’, girl!

Jen is working on her own blog and when she has it up, I’ll link to it so you can follow her :)

I’m so excited about these new products!! I hope I get to see them in person soon {translation: BUY them, LOL!}. I’m thinking about doing a smaller format, Project-Life style album this year. Instead of doing a daily photo like I did in 2013, I want to have a place to keep everyday one-off photos and quick journaling, without the commitment of “photo a day” and filling the 12×12 pocket page protectors like I did last year. This PL 6×8 album with the Agenda and/or Planner sets are big contenders.

Have these shown up at your Michaels yet? What do you think?

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Scrapbook Stores: Archiver’s Scrapbooking Chain to Close by MId-February 2014

I guess we saw the writing on the wall, even if we HOPED and HOPED it wasn’t going to happen! {I talked about Archiver’s danger signs HERE and HERE}.

As I said in the Chapter 11 post, I was really hoping they would pull it out and save their remaining stores . . . but as they announced today via THIS E-MAIL, they are closing after 14 years in business :(

I think the e-mail does a good job of explaining the timelines and process, so I won’t rehash that all here. You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions HERE and they say more information will be forthcoming via e-mail next week.

Some wondered if the online store, Archiver’s Annex, would stay open but the e-mail says it will close also.

As I’ve said many times before, I’ve never even been to Archiver’s. I live in California and here is where their stores are:

But it was always on my Scrapbooking Bucket List to visit an Archiver’s in person . . . either that they would put one within reach of me, or that I would travel to a state with a store. Alas, it’s not to be! Those of you who got to shop an Archiver’s, consider yourselves lucky. And if there was one close by and you shopped there all the time, well . . . I hate you.

Just kidding. I get angry when I’m jealous :P

And I’m hangry right now. I’m dieting and have only had soup today. Hungry + angry = HANGRY. Sorry. I shouldn’t take out my jealousy and hangry-ness on you. Forgive me?

And I try to laugh and be sarcastic when I’m sad. I’m sad Archiver’s is closing. I’m sad for the scrap-shoppers, the company owners, and most of all for the employees. In all the talk about Archiver’s on the message boards, I hear over and over how NICE and HELPFUL the employees are. I hope they find new jobs soon that they love just as much <3.

What are your thoughts about Archiver’s closing?

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Scrapbook Novels: ALL the Books I Read in 2013

Please forgive me for being NSBR here (non-scrapbook related) as I try to remember all the books I read this year and put them in 1 place. I was keeping track in Project Life but, errrr . . . let’s just say that fell through. I’ve got some saved to my Pinterest books board but didn’t start that until late in the year. I have some on my Kindle account and some that I posted on the Two Peas weekly reading thread. But I’m scattered, baby!

{Yeah, I know there’s Goodreads but I hardly ever get over there and find the site to be a bit of a rabbit hole}.

I’ll put a brief review, a link to the book in case you’re interested, and will come back and add books as I remember them :) I’ll put the scrapbook novels first so, if you don’t care about regular novels, you can at least see the good stuff before you leave me :) And if you hang out ’til the end of this very long entry, there’s a special book I want to tell you about.

Gilt Trip (A Scrapbooking Mystery) by Laura Childs
It’s a scrapbooking novel so of course I’ve already talked about it! Check it out HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Cropped to Death (Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) and Designed to Death (A Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery) by Christina Freeburn
Yep, wrote about these already, too! You can find the entries HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Scrappy Cupcake Angels by Kristah Price
You guessed it! Wrote about it HERE :)

Friendship Bread: A Novel by Darien Gee
This is kinda’ scrapbook-related in that it’s the prequel to The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. I read “Avalon” first, not knowing that it was the same characters from “Friendship Bread” but with a lot more of a scrapbooking spin. So if you’re going to read “Avalon”, read “Friendship Bread” first. The characters are great and it’s a sweet story.

Italian for Beginners by Kristin Harmel
Do you have those “comfort” books and movies that, no matter how down or tired you feel, they can make you feel better so you read/watch them over and over again? That’s “Italian for Beginners” and “Roman Holiday” for me. Which are intertwined, interestingly <3

The Boy Next Door aka “The Guy Next Door” by Meggin Cabot (who became Meg Cabot, of The Princess Diaries fame)
This is from 2009. I think I’ve read it 3 times now. I’m a sucker for a book written in e-mails and texts (see Coco Pinchard and Holly’s Inbox below, hee hee).

Holly’s Inbox: Scandal in the City by Holly Denham
Another re-read. Holly is fun. That’s it, plain and simple.

Ciao, Bella: A Novel About Searching for Beauty and Finding Love by Ryan Phillips
I started reading because of the Italian title but turns out . . . it had NOTHING to do with Italy, LOL. Sweet, slightly religious story of a woman trying to find her purpose in life along with the right person to share it with.

The Not So Secret Emails Of Coco Pinchard: A Funny, Feel-Good Romantic Comedy by Robert Bryndza
Kooky, silly, British rom-com. Not believable but that’s okay.

Apart from the Crowd by Anna McPartlin
A nice story set in Ireland of two people struggling through life while falling in love, as friends first. You root for them the whole way.

Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
I loved her novel The Dive From Clausen’s Pier but the main character in Songs was SO whiny, it was hard to get through. I kept waiting for some revelation or A-ha! moment where she finally bucks up, but it never really came. Disappointing.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Another re-read for me. If you’ve lost a loved one, I think it resonates more . . . makes you think about what’s on the other side and what your beliefs are about Heaven.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I re-read this lovely book in preparation for the sequel coming out this year, Fly Away . . . and then I never read “Fly Away.” Dork.

{Not able to grab a cover image; leave it to Zuckerberg to be the difficult one!}
The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal by Ben Mezrich
I was late to the game on this one. I realize it was only one side of the story but if even 1/4 of it’s true, he’s not a very nice person :(

Carry the Oneby Carol Anshaw
One of those “one moment can change everything” books. Some very flawed but lovable characters.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Loved this book! A story that spanned time and location and kept me reading to figure out how all the stories fit together.

The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spetzi
True story of a serial killer in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I love everything Italy but their justice system is cray-cray. Great read and it stuck with me for a long time.

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox
Speaking of the cray-cray Italian justice system, I’ve felt from very early on that this poor girl was being railroaded. This is the first time she’s been heard from directly and she explained a lot of the false accusations and assumptions about her. She’s a bit of an “odd duck” but not a killer, no way.

Beachcombers by Nancy Thayer
Beachy + fluffy + sisters = nice escapism.

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I started this book on a car trip and let’s just say, when we arrived and I had to stop reading, I was bummed :( I finished it in 2 days. I met and married my husband within months so I could really relate to how deeply they loved in such a short time. And the relationship that developed with her mother-in-law was lovely <3

The Sea Glass Sisters: Prelude to The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
As a former 9-1-1 dispatcher, I could relate to the main character and her guilt over a call gone wrong. Even when it’s not your fault, you feel tremendous guilt. I’m also a beach lover so I enjoyed hearing about the storm, beach life, etc.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’m glad I read this before too much of the hype was out there. Everyone talked about being disappointed in the ending but I don’t now how ELSE is could’ve ended. Looking forward to the movie version, due out in 2014!

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
I remember telling my librarian that this book was frustrating me because there were all these disparate stories that seemingly had nothing to do with each other. But rest assured, they’re all tied nicely with a bow by the end. And while I thought there was a point I “had it all figured out,” I was wrong. Which is cool. I *want* to be surprised by books.

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
Not my usual kind of book but so glad I read it. It made me want to live on a lighthouse island, for one thing, LOL! Very well written and gives you a lot to think about – the meaning of and what constitutes “family” and also how dangerous secrets are.

The Marriage Pact by MJ Pullen
Cute and fluffy read about guy/girl friends who pledge to marry each other if they’re not married to others by the time they turn 30. The main character has a long affair with a married man which I hate reading about but she does come to see all the reasons it was so very wrong.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Very touching, sad, and hopeful at the same time. I fell in love with the 2 main characters, flaws and all. One of the best books I’ve ever read.

The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison
WOW. Very interesting book. I’m just glad I don’t know people like this in real life! They both drove me crazy in different ways.

The final book is a special one and I’ve read it twice since November:

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott
Yes, it’s a book about prayer and spirituality. But I think unless you’re really offended by those topics, you would enjoy it. Anne is SUCH a gifted writer. She puts big concepts like prayer, gratitude, amazement, and pleading for help into such real, everyday, meaningful terms that you can relate exactly to what she means. I came away – both times I read it – laughing, appreciating life more, feeling sadness for people’s suffering but peace at the same time. I think it’s an especially good read for SCRAPBOOKERS because we’re already the types who want to savor our “moments” and realize how quickly time passes, how blessed we are even in our struggles, and are looking for meaning in how we live our lives.

So PLEASE read this book! It’s quick but powerful. I think you’ll love it like I did.

Okay! So that’s what I read in 2013. Phew! With all the research, copy/pasting, and writing, this post took me several hours to write, LOL. I know there are more books and will add them as I remember. I also read maybe 15 non-fiction books that I won’t bore you with – about dieting, health, blogging, working at home, that kind of thing.

I didn’t realize how MUCH I had read until I now see the books all in one place {28 and counting}. Pretty cool :)

Did you tally your books for the year somewhere? We’d love to see your list! Or did you have any favorites or books you hated? Whether scrapbook-related books or not, we’d enjoy hearing about YOUR reading in comments. Feel free to leave a link to your blog post, Goodreads, Pinterest, etc. if you like.

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Scrapbooking Products: New Project Life & Valentine’s Day Stuff at Michaels

China Doll/Tran posted this on the Two Peas message board:

Went to Ms today and found some new goodies! Maggie Holmes and Dear Lizzy full kit, those mini albums, 3 – kits that goes with (journal, agenda, recipe), page protectors and some of those small card kits.

She was kind enough to take photos, not just one trip but two! Some of them are on her blog above but I also wanted to share them here in a larger size . . . gotta’ see the detail, right!?!?! LOL

I’m a bit confused as to what exactly is being sold at Michaels. She mentions MH and DL full kits (referring to the 2 Core Kit boxes on the bottom, I assume?). I knew there were new MH and DL (and Amy Tan) *mini* kits coming out but not Core Kits. Besides, this would be rather early as Becky says RIGHT HERE that they’ll be introduced at CHA in mid-January.

Although I also see the BRAND NEW Project Life 6×8 albums and pages Becky showed on her blog HERE and those are supposed to be intro’d at CHA as well. So the Core Kits must be new ones I missed hearing about? Hmmm . . .

I also think I spy a bunch of Project Life Themed Cards. I think I’ve already grabbed all of those that I want, but I’m still excited to see them at Michaels as mine hasn’t carried those yet.

So off I went to Mike’s today with my 50% off coupon in search of this Motherlode of PL Goodness. Do you think I found any?

Of COURSE not!

Supposedly, they’re on an end cap in the scrapbooking section. For once, I did have some time to stroll around the whole store but couldn’t find them anywhere, not even a bare end cap possibly waiting for them.

Color me sad :(

Oh well, I hope they show up at my Mike’s eventually or that I can find an excuse . . . ahem, that I can check the “good” Mike’s some time soon because I “need” to go to Costco ;)

What I did find at Michaels was an island full of Valentine’s Day stuff. It’s not usually a holiday I buy many scrap supplies for but there were some REALLY cute things!

Disclaimer: Very busy store + everyone watching me = rushed blurry photos. Sorry!

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See those cute enamel heart stickers ^^^^ in the top middle of the photo? Got me summa’ them. Hearts are a staple – any time of year.

On the “Valentine Island” there was also some new MAMBI stuff that looked geared toward card making but I can see it for scrapbooking too!

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I also got the MAMBI Sticks arrows and the Soft Spoken Hi, Hello stickers. Sooooo cute!

And just in time for all those New Years resolutions to get organized, all of Mike’s storage is 50% off – this is just one of many aisles of organizational goodness.

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I do need more Iris 12×12 containers but didn’t get any today. With my 50% off coupon, I got the 3 sticker sets for less than $8. What a nice pick-me-up indulgence after the madness of Christmas and doing so much cooking, cleaning, and “stuff” for others. That and a Starbucks vanilla skinny latte’ and I feel *almost* redeemed. Hope you’ve been able to give yourself a little reward, too :)

Please report any new Project Life sightings at YOUR Michaels! And if you can clear up my confusion about what Core Kits those are Photo #5 above, I’d really appreciate it!

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Online Scrapbook Classes: “Move More Eat Well Jumpstart” by Cathy Zielske and Big Picture Classes

Hey scrappers! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas time and are enjoying your holiday break, if you get one.

We’ve had family visiting, a glorious day at the beach, meals at home and out, camping (brrrrr!), and are now home enjoying some immediate family time before everyone goes back to work and school. I got a lot of reading done on the trip and am now catching up on work, chores, and laundry.

No, I still haven’t had time to play with my new SILHOUETTE CAMEO, dangit! But soon, I hope!

I’ve been trying to watch what I eat throughout the holidays and, even while indulging a bit here and there (I mean, lasagna and Chinese food . . . what am I, made of iron??) – I’ve managed to lose 11 pounds in December. With the new year coming and wanting to stay motivated, I’ve been contemplating taking “Move More Eat Well Jumpstart” with Cathy Zielske through Big Picture Classes.

You can see a class synopsis, the price, and schedule at the link above ^^^.

There’s also a cool video by Cathy Z. where she tells more about the class and you can see some examples of the printable cards you’ll get. You can also see the pretty little album she uses that goes perfectly with all the cards.

{HINT: It’s THIS ONE but in Kiwi green, LOL!

I love to take online scrapbooking classes but I haven’t taken one through BPC before. I’ve heard good things about them, although some consider their classes a little pricey in general. To me, the price for this one seems reasonable . . . about $1/day. I figure I’ll be saving more than that just in food spending, bwahaha!

I love the idea of using the Project Life mini album because they’re easy to handle so I feel like I’d look through it a lot. Instead of this being a 1-month weight loss/health motivation, I figure I’ll reference back to it throughout the year. Who knows? If it goes well and I love the process, I can keep it going through 2014 and keep adding new PL mini albums. {I notice that they come in lots of cute colors which are on sale often – including now – and you get an extra 10% off at checkout}. Once I get the gist of what’s on all those cards, I can make my own to keep it going – or adapt some Project Life cards I already have.

I’m still thinking about this class. It’s being discussed on the message boards and all the reviews from past attendees have been positive. It starts in 2 days (on 01-01-14) so I need to make up my mind and SOON!

Have you taken “Move More, Eat Well” with Cathy Z in the past – or are you thinking about taking it now? Would love to hear your thoughts in Comments below!

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Online Scrapbook Classes: Grab Some “True Scrap 5″ a la Carte Classes Before the Price Goes Up!

One last reminder that “True Scrap 5″ is for sale now as separate classes. You can find all the details in a blog entry HERE or go straight to the TS5 website HERE where you can see all of the class descriptions.

If you get them by Christmas 12-25-13, they are only $9.99. After that, the price increases to $12.95.

I didn’t get around to posting reviews this time but my 2 favorite classes were:

“Pick a Card, Any Card” by Layle Koncar

She showed lots of ways – other than just pocket page scrapbooking – to use all those 3×4 and 4×6 cards we’ve collected. Layle works for “Simple Stories” so she knows what she’s talkin’ ’bout. Plus, she’s fun and funny. I really enjoyed her class, the first I’ve taken from her.

“Design Your Story with Bits and Pieces” by Noell Hyman

She showed a great technique for using all those little bits and pieces we collect and making them look great on your layouts. I will definitely be using this technique again and again.

If you love Layle’s class or just pocket page scrapbooking in general {it’s about 90% of the scrapping I do these days}, make sure to check out “True Scrap Pocket Pages” coming 01-25-14! Save $50 if you sign up by 12-31-13. I will SO be there ;)

Merry Christmas Eve, my scrappy friends!

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Scrapbooking Products: A Scrappy Angel Sent Me a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas!!

I KNOW!

I can’t believe it either. Blink, blink.

Like, for realies?!?!?

Yep.

A dear online scrapbooking friend saw me mention in a blog post that I would *LOVE* to own a Cameo. She had one still sitting in the box never used and felt led to send it to me to enjoy. OMG, boy will I! I knew it could be insulting to refuse it but I had to think about that, because this is a BEYOND generous gift! I don’t have the ability to pay for it or return a favor of that magnitude, kwim? Gosh, how do you even begin to repay that kind of gift?? But she made me feel at ease about accepting the Cameo with some special words <3

To my Scrappy Christmas Angel out there, THANK YOU!!!! Your generosity is mind-blowing. As a mom who doesn't generally receive many presents, I can't tell you how touched I am. Truly. Thank you.

So now it's time to learn about these amazing little machines! I started a Pinterest board HERE to gather ideas, fonts, and Silhouette cut files. Today, I re-watched some old HSN Scrapbooking shows on the DVR with Lisa Bearnson showing how to use the Cameo. I’m sure they only scratched the surface but I have a bit of an idea how it works now.

Next I’ll be looking for some online tutorials and breaking my new baby out of the box! I hope there are free tutorials online but if not, I’ll look around for a paid class or two. I heard today that Michaels has Silhouette download cards on sale. I can’t remember what the deal was and now can’t find the posts about it, waaahh! Will try to get by Mike’s as soon as I can.

I know that a lot of us have been wanting a Silhouette Cameo or Portrait for Christmas and there have been lots of deals this holiday season. I see that Amazon has the Silhouette Cameo Starter Kit Bundle right now for $230 with FREE one-day shipping (Cameo alone retails for $300 so that seems like a screaming’ deal).

You can get the smaller Silhouette Portrait for $120 (retails for $200) and FREE shipping and there are bundles for that, too. Silhouette on Amazon offers just the Portrait or Cameo, or bundles for each, depending on what you want to receive with it.

I’m confused about whether you could get them in time for Christmas (says something about requiring special handling) but if not, I’m sure it would be there in plenty of time to enjoy it during the holidays . . . or if you’re too busy right now, it can be your best pal in the new year :) Seems like a great way to spend your Christmas money. I can already tell you really get your money out of these machines – SO many things they can do.

I’m still working through the holidays not to mention having houseguests, cooking, cleaning, etc. so I haven’t had time to play with my Cameo . . . YET!!! But I’m going to get it set up soon and make sure I know how to use it, then I’ll be taking it to the annual 4-day scrapbooking retreat I do with friends. It’s coming soon in January and I can’t wait!! My new toy will be getting quite the workout, I can assure you :)

I’m so very, very grateful to have received a Cameo. I will make you proud, Scrappy Christmas Angel!

Do you have a Portrait or Cameo? How did you learn how to use it? If you don’t have one, is it on your Wish List for Scrap Santa?

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New Project Life Core Kits: “Strawberry” and “Azure”

You can find them both on Becky Higgins’ website HERE. Go take a look and come back to tell me what you think, please!

Card design references showing the entire kits are not up yet, of course, so it’s hard to judge based on a small peek but . . .

“Strawberry” I really like! The bright HONEY*-like colors with the special touch of navy blue added in are very appealing. The designs seem fun and versatile.

“Azure” has a very cool name, LOL. I’m usually not as big a fan of those kits with cream backgrounds but other than that, I like it a lot. Seems like it could be a good alternative for school layouts that aren’t so . . . school-ish, kwim? Especially the album with the alphabet graphic.

I look forward to seeing more of these 2 new Project Life lines – “Strawberry” and “Azure” – revealed as time goes by. What are your first thoughts?

*The Project Life Core Kit – Honey Edition
is only $21 on Amazon right now instead of regular price of $30 if you’ve been thinking about getting it /enabling over.

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CHA Mega Show 2014: Check Out All the Sneak Peeks!

^^^ Up there in the header bar, I’ve posted a page with updated links. There you will find other bloggers who post sneak peeks for all the new lines coming out at CHA-Winter 2014 . . . erm, now they call it CHA Mega Show 2014, LOL!

Whatever you call it, it happens in a mere 3 weeks so it’s time to get jacked again!!! The show takes place in Anaheim, CA from January 10-14,2014 and the excitement is building.

So please check out my links to the CHA Mega Show 2014 Sneak Peeks! I’m so grateful that these ladies gather them all in one place for us to see.

I’ve looked through what’s been posted so far and here are some early thoughts:

Surprised I don’t love Maggie Holmes’ “Style Board” . . .

I’m diggin’ most of Studio Calico “Wanderlust”. Of course, I love the heart paper ‘cuz I have a thing for hearts. Is it just me, or does the map paper in the upper right corner . . .

. . . remind you of this map art I have on my Pinterest “Ombre and Watercolor” board!

SC “Wanderlust” has some great Project-Lifey stuff, too:

I’m lovin’ (ha ha) all the heart stuff in Dear Lizzy “Daydreamer”, like the paper in the middle:

Oh look, Lizzy has a map paper, too! Guess I’m quite the trend-predictor, LOL!

Of the other offerings, nothing is putting the cream in my Twinkie. Yet. You know how it is, you see these products used by all the amazing designers and they grow on you. So start saving, girlies!!

Do you see anything so far that you NEED to own?

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Scrapbooking Blogs: Want to Win a $50 Shopping Spree!?!?

What are you, cray-cray? Of course you do! Go check out “The Smith Girls’ Spot” by Melissa Smith, a sweet friend to this blog. Melissa often leaves kind comments here and I really appreciate it. See the “Top Commenters” section down in the right column? Melissa is usually in first place :)

Well, poor girl … through a computer glitch, she recently lost all the followers she had built up from years of blogging (since 2008!). So she’s trying to build her followers back up and re-connect with all the online scrap buds she “lost”.

To make it a sweet deal for you too, if you follow her blog and leave a comment, you have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to her favorite online store, A Cherry On Top. Deadline to enter is this Friday, 12-20-13. Then in a week or so, she’ll do ANOTHER giveaway of a $50 ACOT gift certificate. Hollah back girl!

The other thing that makes it a sweet deal for you is this: She is one talented scrapper. Check out her latest project:


**BY MELISSA SMITH

Here is one of my favorite layouts she’s done recently:


**BY MELISSA SMITH

Given my scrap shopping addiction . . . ahem, FONDNESS . . . I of course entered the contest myself. And will enter again next week. And you should, too, right? Because you are even smarter than me . . . or is it “I”? Whut-EVER! Please go visit Melissa, give her a follow, and then keep your fingers and toes crossed you’re the winner! Well, okay, you can uncross things while you’re scrapbooking but the rest of the time, I have to insist they remain crossed. We are talented women. I’m sure we can figure out ways to cook, do laundry, work, and grocery shop with our digits and foot-fingers crossed ;)

Yay Melissa! Hope you gets lots of new and old followers!

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Scrapbooking Novel: Interview with Laura Childs, author of “Gilt Trip”

As I posted HERE, Laura Childs has a new book out called Gilt Trip (A Scrapbooking Mystery).

I had a contest to win a free copy of the new book. To enter, I asked you to post a question you’d have for the author and, boy, did you guys come through! So many great questions. {The book winner was posted HERE}. I submitted them all to Ms. Childs but honestly expected her to choose just a portion of them to answer. Well, she’s one generous lady because she answered them all!

And here you go: An interview *BY YOU* of Ms. Laura Childs, author of many scrapbooking and other novels:

Q: Do you try all the different projects that your main character does, or does someone tell you about them?

A: I try most of the projects, particularly ones that are a little complicated, just to make sure they’re doable. On some of the simpler projects that get repeated and repurposed – such as memory boxes, pillow boxes, cards, etc. – I already know they’re easy to do so there’s not much experimentation on my part.

Q: Had no idea there were scrapbooking novels out there. I’d love to know how you thought about starting a series of books involving scrapbookers.

A: After my first Tea Shop Mysteries were successful, I decided I wanted to write a crafting series, too. This was about ten years ago and scrapbooking was suddenly the hottest thing going. I talked to scrappers, worked on a few pages myself, and did lots of research. Boom – I discovered that I loved the craft and saw that there was a huge number of scrappers who might enjoy the books. The rest is history.

Q: I love your scrapbook series as I’ve read a few so far. I would like to know what you like to scrap about?

A: I mostly scrap about travel and dogs. I’m lucky that my husband is a professor of Chinese and Japanese art history, so we travel to Asia quite frequently. And the dogs (Chinese Shar-Pei) are an endless source of cuteness!

Q: Since you are a writer, is there a lot of journaling in your scrapbooks – or do you just let the photos tell the story?

A: I’m right in the middle. I’m a big believer in fun captions. Yes, a photo tells a story, but you can always use a kicker to punch things up!

Q: Have you ever lived in New Orleans? And how do you determine what scrapbook project the ladies will work on in the book?

A: I’ve never lived in New Orleans, but I’ve visited many times and have friends who’ve taken my husband and I to the float dens, parades, and Rex Ball. As far as determining what project my ladies will work on, sometimes that depends on timing (if it’s Mardi Gras it must be masks!). Usually I try to include projects that I think are new and exciting or very eye-catching.

Q: How did you get started writing mysteries around scrapbooking? And what’s your favorite type of scrapbooking – digital, hybrid, all-paper? Do you go to crops?

A: Like I mentioned earlier, scrapbooking just caught my eye when the whole phenomena started to explode. And I am clearly an all-paper scrapper. I love collages and mixed media in particular. I don’t go to many crops anymore – between writing three different series there’s just not much time.

Q: Do you have to research details of crimes or is it something that comes naturally for you?

A: You know, a lot of my crimes are really based on ripped-from-the-headlines stories. And I think the most interesting crimes are the ones that are slightly upscale and timely – like art thefts, jewel heists, real estate scams, stock market ponzi schemes. Well, you get the idea!

Q: I have only read two of your books, but love them. Something comfortable about reading about our favorite hobby. I would love to know if you have time to scrap and if there is a certain type of page you enjoy creating.

A: I don’t have a lot of time to scrap anymore between the three different mystery series. But when I do scrap, I like to do very artsy, almost contemporary looking pages. Either lots of white space with unusual typography or photos that have been in some way enhanced or embellished (think wild streaks of paint or aging with tea).

Q: I love the books series and am awaiting the 11th book! Will Carmela’s BFA Ava Gruiex ever find a steady beau?

A: I really don’t know. I try to keep all my plots a little loosey-goosey when I write, so the story can sort of unfold in a fun, exciting way. Sometimes I’m typing along and a character will just pop in without prior notice, or the story will take a wild twist. That the fun of writing! So I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with Ava.

Q: I love Laura Childs and have been reading her books since the first one came out. She always writes about new and interesting techniques. I would love to know what her “can’t do without” scrapbooking item is?

A: Hmm, that would have to be my set of acrylic paints. There’s nothing like painting your own page background or doctoring up a photo to make a scrapbook page memorable.

Q: I’d love to know if Laura gets time to scrapbook since this book series took off.

A: Not too much time, unfortunately. But lately I’ve been stealing time away from my writing to work on altered books. So much fun!

Q: Gilt Trip sounds like a great read! I would like to know if Laura considers cooking another creative outlet?

A: Absolutely, I do! In fact my two other series, the Tea Shop Mysteries and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries, are culinary mysteries with plenty of recipes!

Q: I would like to know how Laura finds the time to scrap, research, and write such wonderful stories? What is her secret to finding this balance in her life?

A: Oh my, the fact of the matter is I haven’t found balance in my life. I’m always under the gun, always trying to write another few pages or edit a manuscript or rush off to a book signing. I write 6 days a week and wake up at night with ideas that I’m compelled to write down. I wish I could figure out a better balance, but then I’d have to give up one of my three series. And they’re dear to me, like children – awful to let one go!

Oh Em Gee, wasn’t that a fun read!?!?! I just love her. What a neat lady. I’m so happy she continues to write about scrapbooking for all of us to enjoy. It makes me feel like we scrapbookers are important and not forgotten, kwim?

I have to admit, I haven’t read “GILT TRIP” yet {and I feel so “gilt-y”, bwahahaha} because I’ve been busy reading business e-books and websites {I’m starting a new venture as a Virtual Assistant / Blog Helper!}. But reading this interview has made me grab my copy of the novel and commence to reading! I’ll give my review when I’m done :)

Would love to hear what you think of “Gilt Trip” as well – please leave your review in Comments below!

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Scrapbooking Storage Products: The “Bag in Bag” Revisited

As I posted HERE and HERE, I got this amazing little “Bag in Bag” on Amazon to use in my scrapbooking.

You can get one HERE. It comes in multiple colors other than the blue I chose. I realized I never posted a review as promised so here goes:

When the bag is empty, it lies flat for easy storage. This is on top of a Project Life 12×12 page protector box if that helps you gauge the size.

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Here is mine with just one idea of how to fill it – I put the 3 cups I keep all my scrapbooking pens and tools in, in the center section, then used the pockets for various things like sticker packs, eraser, etc.

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I took this bag to a weekend scrapbook retreat. I packed a bunch of Project Life stuff in there and it was great. At home, all my little PL gew-gaws like wood veneers, enamel dots, washi tape, corner rounder, etc. are in a tray on my desk. It was great having this bag with so many pockets to pack it all up and take it with me. I also kept my iPhone in the front mesh pocket while I scrapped and it was nice being able to see the screen in case “home” called or texted. I also used a pocket for my Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers :)

On a scrapbooking message board, a bunch of ladies ended up buying these great bags – several each in some cases – for themselves and also for inexpensive but very useful Christmas gifts, crop prizes, etc. One of the members wrote this clever Dr. Seuss-like poem to include with the bag when it’s given as a gift. I asked if I could share it on my blog and she said yes! Check this out:

What is this thing?
What makes it so great?
Why it’s a bag in bag
It’s really first rate!

Not just for ladies
It’s also for guys,
to keep your stuff tidy
and hold your supplies.

With so many pockets
and places to store,
they come in quite handy
you’ll want more!

Great for the kids
to travel with toys
and a few snacks, too
for the girls and boys.

Use one in the car,
throw one in your purse
and for the executive man
throw one in his murse!

Hold your keys and your phone
your credit card, too,
throw in a camera
for your trip to the zoo.

The bag in bag
is a wonderful size
to hold so much stuff
and keep organized!

So here it is
without further ado
this fabulous bag
Merry Christmas to you!

–copyright Kaleidoscope 2014

I told her I’d put her name on it so no one could run off with the credit, LOL!

Isn’t that the most awesome thing! Now I wish I’d followed up on my plan to get a bunch of these for Christmas gifts myself. I would definitely print the poem out on cute paper and include it with the gifts. {You are welcome to use it and do the same!}

Again, you can find the Bag in Bags HERE on Amazon. Still plenty of time to get them before Christmas or before starting Project Life in the new year.

Eventually I want to get a few more of these bags. I’m thinking one for a purse organizer, one for my travel toiletries, and another for my scraproom – inks and stamps. What would you use these bags for – any clever ideas?

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Scrapbook Wish List: “I’m About To Snap” Print

Dear Scrapbook Santa,

I’m sorry to write AGAIN … BUT! Lookie what I found on STOREFRONT DEALS … so cute!

It would be fun to frame for my scrap room or to incorporate into my scrapbooking somehow – what do you think?

It’s only $5.99 via Storefront Deals for 1 more day. Beyond that, you can get it through the “Pretty Girl Designs” ETSY SHOP for $8.00. Don’t forget to pick ‘my’ hair color!

Hint: One of my favorite sayings is, “Dumbs are NOT blond!”

Love,
~Scrapbook Obsession

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Online Scrapbook Classes: “True Scrap 5″ Classes Now Available for Individual Purchase .. and ON SALE

I mentioned HERE that “True Scrap 5″ classes would become available to purchase individually on 12-09-13. Well, that date is here so it’ s time to party!

You can get them from HERE.

Regularly priced at $12.95, these classes are marked down to $9.99 just through Christmas, 12-25-13. Sounds like the perfect “Merry Christmas to MEEEEEEE!!” present if I ever heard of one, don’t you think?

Each class includes:
-Project video
-Hour-long “like you were there” video (including Q&A and chat)
-Supply list
-Project photos and/or handout if available

If you would like more information before deciding on some True Scrap 5 classes, check out my prior blog entries HERE, HERE, and HERE. Or if you go up to the Search bar and type in True Scrap, you’ll find all the entries I’ve done on the various True Scrap events including class reviews.

I know many of us get too busy to scrap during the holidays or we have to put our stuff away to make room for the tree and gifts. That’s when I especially love to get scrapbook classes – no muss, no fuss, but you stay in touch with your favorite hobby. And that can be better than a glass of wine to help you relax and de-stress :)

Hope you’re able to stuff your stocking with some fun classes!

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Scrapbook Deals and Steals: Silhouette Cameo Bundle and Canon Selphy Photo Printer GREAT SALE

With holiday shopping in full swing, it’s fun to see all the great deals being offered for scrapbookers! I noticed 2 on Amazon today and thought I’d share. They’re having Cyber Monday Deals Week and the star of the first page is this Silhouette Cameo Starter Kit Bundle for $194.99 with FREE shipping.

I don’t have one of these beauties {yet} and don’t really follow the prices but it says that the retail on this would be $344.95 so that’s a savings of $150 = wow!

You can also get the Canon SELPHY CP900 White Wireless Color Photo Printer for only $67.99 with FREE shipping. This printer retails for $99.99 so that’s another amazing deal.

You can get it for the same price in black if that’s your preference.

I know from experience that these prices won’t last long. In fact, it says the Silhouette bundle special is good for today only. I’m not sure about the Selphy but in the past, once people start ordering them, the price went up. That’s how Amazon rolls, my friends …

So happy shopping if either of those are on your Scrappy Christmas List!! Would love to hear if you snag one of them! Or {ahem} both ;)

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Memory Works: Simple Stories “Daily Grind” in Stock

If you hadn’t already heard, MEMORY WORKS is closing effective 12-31-13. I wrote about the sad saga HERE. So this month is my last hurrah, so to speak :(

I wanted to let you know that “Daily Grind”, the newest line from SIMPLE STORIES is in stock and you can see it all HERE.

I already have some Daily Grind in hand myself. Wanna’ see? I got a sampling of the loose papers, Elements papers, and the Simple Elements chevron papers. I’m showing you the front and back sides of the papers. I also got the bingo card paper, Sn@p Cards, and Sn@p Cuts.

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How about some “Daily Grind” inspiration from the Simple Stories DT?


**BY TONYA**


**BY MELISSA STINSON**


**BY EMILY LANHAM**


**BY VICKI BOUTIN**

If I’ve convinced you of its pure beauty and necessity in your life, I’d really appreciate one last order from ya’ :) Just check it out HERE, then e-mail me with your order: scrapbook obsession(at)gmail(dot)com.

I’ll send you a Paypal invoice right away and once that’s cleared, Memory Works will ship “Daily Grind” {or any other scrappy goodness that falls into your cart} straight to you from the home office in Utah within 1-2 business days.

Hope to hear from you!

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Archivers Asks for Holiday Customer Support – What Do You Think?

ARCHIVER’S scrapbooking chain sent out this e-mail recently. I’m not on their mailing list so I copied it from a posting online; I apologize for the lovely ‘chopped up’ quality :)






I’m on the West Coast and have never been to an Archiver’s, altough shopping there is on my Scrapbook Bucket List :) I’m rarely even in an LSS anymore – all of mine closed years ago – so the thought of being in a scrapbooking warehouse of sorts is pretty exciting! Alas, I’ll have to cross 2 large states to reach the closest one!

Archiver’s Locations:

But when added to their BANKRUPTCY NEWS from the recent past {where the irony of them shafting some of those small manufacturers they now propose to support has been mentioned} and now this e-mail, it’s starting to feel like another thing I’ll have to remove from the Bucket List as impossible {like seeing The Oprah Show in person, boo hoo}. In other words, I have to wonder: Will Archiver’s even be around by the time I can travel to one?

The message boards are blazing with reaction to the above Archiver’s e-mail. Here’s the gist of some of the comments, both good and bad:

– Archiver’s is clearly NOT a small business and trying to cast themselves as part of Small Business Saturday was tacky and unwarranted. While they ARE a small chain {33 stores} in comparison to big boxes MICHAELS {1000+ stores} and HOBBY LOBBY {800+ stores}, they do not meet the definition of a small business {25 locations or less; they missed it by 7}. Personally, I don’t read that they think they ARE a small biz, just that their continued existence helps to keep ‘small biz’ scrapbooking vendors alive. And that they are similar in many ways to a small business in that their home office and individual store staffs are relatively small. I was surprised to hear that only 30 home office employees run a chain of 33 stores; I had pictured a much bigger ‘corporate headquarters’ type of set-up.

– Archiver’s in the past seemed to be practicing “Goal: World Scrapbooking Domination”, putting stores in close proximity to local scrapbook stores {LSS’s}, which many feel was a targeted and successful attempt to shut the smaller stores down. So isn’t it ironic that they now would like to cast themselves as a ‘small business’ or small business supporter?

– Archiver’s has made other business mistakes – like employees who seem to lack scrapbooking knowledge or interest, installing Memory Labs in their stores which don’t seem overly popular, must’ve been hugely expensive, and take up lots of store space that used to hold product, etc. So to send this e-mail that seems to imply that it’s the customers’ faults that Archiver’s is struggling is like a slap in the face.

– Scrappers who do have Archiver’s stores nearby enjoy shopping there, feel they offer something special, and they try to support them with their dollars. Shoppers realize that if we as customers don’t show our support, i.e., spend our scrappy dollars there, we simply won’t have them as a choice eventually. And no one wants that :(

– The e-mail from Archiver’s didn’t bother some scrapbookers at all. They either found it harmless, just the truth being spoken, a necessary cry for help, etc.

Please remember, I stated these are not MY opinions per se, just a compilation of things I’ve seen expressed on the message boards.

Again, as someone who’s never shopped at Archiver’s, I can’t comment on their business practices, their employees, etc. But I can say that if I DID have an Archiver’s within driving distance, I would be there as much as possible. I do have other loyalties to keep with my scrapbooking dollar {as a MEMORY WORKS consultant since 2007, a lot of my dollars have gone there obviously … but they are closing effective 12-31-13} and other places I like to buy basics {Michaels, etc.}.

But I personally wouldn’t take offense to the Archiver’s e-mail. It would’ve opened my eyes to the dire straits they appear to be in, and would’ve renewed my interest in and commitment to shopping there. Hoping it wouldn’t be too little, too late for “us” to save them …

Are you an Archiver’s customer? What has been your experience with Archiver’s? Did the e-mail bother you or no? Do you think Archivers is on its way to closing down?

Even if you don’t have an Archivers close enough to shop at, I’d love to hear your opinions on this issue. Like THIS post I wrote a while back, scrapbooking stores, manufacturers, and customer support is an issue that’s going to keep coming up as more stores continue to fight to stay in business in these tough times … or give up when it’s no longer possible.

Do we as scrapbookers “owe” anything to these retailers? And if we don’t monetarily support them, are you okay if they close?

Please leave your Comments below!

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