Etsy

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

That’s One Awesome Etsy :)

Hey, just wanted to give a shout out to my friend, Jodi. She has a FAB Etsy shoppe where she sells cards and mini-albums. Please go take a look and see all the cute and charming things she has to offer.

19 DESIGNS

Some of my favorites are all the Halloween cards ~ there’s still time to get some! She also has birthday cards, congrats, and lots more. I hope you’ll check out her Etsy shoppe and see what you can find :)

Have a great week!

Scrapbook Organization and Scrap Randoms

HERE is a link to a great article about organizing your scrapbook supplies in ways that are eye-pleasing.

HERE is why you should watermark all photos and layouts you post online….unless you WANT to be the Christmas family in a foreign country, LOL!

I {heart} Cathy Z’s sense of HUMOR

Great article on RUBBER vs. ACRYLIC. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about stamps. Sheesh. You people.

Cool SONG by The Frames, another lovely discovery made while watching So You Think You Can Dance, my favorite show at the moment. HERE is a video of Karla and Jonathan’s performance. OMG. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Touching. The premise is two strangers who meet, have instant attraction, but cannot be together. Check it. You WILL be touched…

ETA 6/20/09: Thanks to Meaghan who left a comment letting me know there’s another version of this song and HERE it is. I’m now officially a HUGE fan of Glen Hansard and The Frames, his Irish band. I’m spending way too much time watching various of their videos on YouTube. Anyway, I gather that Glen, the lead singer of The Frames, wrote “Falling Slowly” with Marketa Irglova and it’s also part of the movie they starred in called “Once.” Hope I have that straight….Enjoy :)

Are You Disloyal to the LSS If You Shop Big Box or Discount?

There is an older post on my blog where I told you about some cool items that were new to Michaels. Here is a comment I recently received on that entry:

—————–
A few posts ago you lamented the possible closing of your LSS. Yet it’s posts like this — and all your “look at the mass deals at big box stores and HSN” and “buy from me @ Scrapworks so I can break even” posts — that are helping put the independent LSSs out of business.

I’m not saying that nobody’s entitled to a bargain. But you can’t have it both ways.
——————

When she said, “A few posts ago you lamented the possible closing of your LSS,” she was referring to THIS post. Her reference to HSN is HERE (well, one of my many, LOL) and “. . . buy from me @ Scrapworks so I can break even,” is referring to, I guess, THIS post about my affiliation with MEMORY WORKS, because I don’t recall ever asking you to buy from me so I can break even (?).

Anyway, I was not surprised or insulted by her comment, as its one that I expected to hear, I guess. But, as I e-mailed to the poster of the comment, I think it brings up a very interesting point. I mean, the state of this industry – the scrapbooking industry – does cause quite a dilemma for those of us who would like to support it and keep it alive. For real. How do we reconcile the endless message board posts and blog entries about the great deals to be found at big box stores, et al? How do we explain our online orders to “peachy cheap” sites and the like? How do we defend our copious use of 40% and 50% off coupons at stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and the like? (The commenter didn’t even call me out on that one….but my conscience forced me to confess it, yeah).

Well, here is my story, and I’m stickin’ to it….

{I’m going to repeat things I’ve said again and again on this blog, so you lovely Regular Readers, please forgive me the repetition. But here goes…}

I live in a rural area. A few years ago, there were 7…count ‘em, SEVEN…local scrapbook stores within one hour of me. There were 2 LSSs in the town next to me (15 minutes away), 3 stores that were 30 minutes away, and 2 more that were a good one-hour drive. To many, you wouldn’t even call 5 of those stores an “LSS”…how “local” is it, if you have to drive for 30 minutes to one hour to get there? But I considered them my local stores. I choose to live in the boondocks, so I understand shopping here is not at a premium and though someone in LA might have crazy access to the stores of their choice, I don’t. Just the way it is.

But here’s the point: When there were 7 LSSs within driving distance of me, I shopped ‘em, baby! That was back when I worked my high-powered job and made excellent money. Scrapbooking was new to me and I had some serious product collection to do, ya know what I mean? I didn’t limit my spending to LSS’s either….I shopped at Scrapbook Expo twice a year (which is made up of manufacturers, and of scrapbook stores from far and wide). I shopped at CKU. When I traveled for business, I found LSSs in the towns I went to and I shopped them Bad Boys, too. Looking back, it was an unhealthy obsession but my point….my point again was? Oh, that’s right! That no one has been a better Supporter of the LSS than me! Seriously.

To go back even further, I discovered scrapbooking in 2001 by attending a CREATIVE MEMORIES party (yeah, fess up, so did you!). I took one trip to MICHAELS way back then, didn’t really care for what I saw, and stayed away for years. I mean, I might go for the basics like adhesive and such but, for the most part, the LSS owned my heart. They had the helpful people, the latest products that I saw in CREATING KEEPSAKES magazine, and I didn’t know from a discount…I happily paid full retail price. Well, until I filled up my “frequent flyer” card at the LSS and got some free product. Shizzle, I was so happy each time, you wooda’ thought I won the freakin’ lottery!

Fast forward to 2007 and…welcome to my world…my income has shrunk considerably and 6 of the 7 LSSs in my area have closed. Now, to digress for a minute…sure the economy played a part in these store closures, and that is reflected in the mass amount of LSS closures nationwide. But to be fair, I would blame at least 5 of the 7 LSS closures on things OTHER THAN the failing economy/industry. MY dream was to open an LSS so, believe you me, I was paying close attention, I was running the numbers, and I was privy to “insider information” on several of these stores. The last thing I wanted was for these stores to fail. It truly. broke. my heart. I WANTED them to succeed. I rah rah’d them every chance I got. I took out of town visitors there. I had them sponsor my crops. I was a hugely loyal customer. I did not criticize them to anyone (in my out loud voice). I just shopped and supported and cropped. So you can imagine my sadness when, one by one, these local scrapbook stores closed their doors.

Okay, so after the closure of 6 of “my” 7 stores, where did that leave me to shop? You guessed it…Walmart. Target. Michaels. Eventually, Tuesday Morning opened 30 minutes from me where, quite by accident while looking for pillowcases one day, I discovered they carried scrapbooking supplies. And, lucky them, they are close to Costco where I shop once a month. Walmart has the basics. I have probably spent $20 on scrapbook supplies there in the past year. Target has slowly rotating stock, discounted prices that have slowly morphed thisclose to retail prices, and the occasional clearance endcap worth shopping. That leaves Michaels and Tuesday Morning, where I do utilize my coupons (for the few items they’re still allowed on, LOL) and I take advantage of the occasional good deal. My point is that (and there IS a point here, somewhere, I swear!), for those of us in less populated areas with no LSS within 30 minutes, do we have much of a choice? Am I not to shop at all, except for the few times per year I can justify driving 45 minutes to a town I have no other business in? My answer, the one I’m completely comfortable with, would be no.

I’m sure there will be those who disagree, and that’s groovy. What is America if not a place where we can agree to disagree, right? But I think I’m doing more of a service toward keeping the scrapbooking industry alive – even if I can’t personally support LSSs the way that I used to – by shopping at the likes of Michaels and Tuesday Morning, than if I did not shop for scrapbooking supplies at all. Let’s face it…in this horrible economy, scrapbook spending of any kind is a luxury. If I can, in my small bloggy way, entice people to spend ANY money on ANY scrapbooking materials, well then, I call myself a winner, damn it! I blog about items and deals at Michaels because that is my mainline to supplies (yeah, that drug reference was intentional). If I had LSSs to publicize, I would. Damn straight. Before the blog redesign (and you loyal readers will vouch for this), I had about a bazillion links to ALL MOMENTS REMEMBERED, my favorite online store, all over my blog. I linked to STACEY and her store every chance I got. Well, now even the AMR online store has fallen victim to these times and, although Stacey still sells supplies online through her ETSY store, there is no longer an AMR online store to link to. {Happy side note: Stacey opened a brick-and-mortar AMR in her town in Oregon and, at last report, it was doing great!}

Bottom line, what I’m trying to say in my as always verbose way is this: I’m doing the best I can. I shop my 45-minutes-away-LSS as often as I can. I shop at Michaels to the point where they yell “Norm!” when I walk in the door. If I see something I like at Tuesday Morning or Costco, I shop and I share. I sell Memory Works so I can make a little mo’ money to…guess what?…spend on scrapbook supplies. I don’t mind if people question my motives or my method, because I know I’m just doing my thang.

And I know that I do it out of the love I have for this craft and my true, heartfelt desire to play a part in keeping it on life support through these crushing times. I hope in my own small way, I inspire and support you in doing the same. Of course, support your LSS! But don’t feel badly if you show your financial support in other ways, too.

Shop on, Sistas!

PS: I would dearly love to hear your thoughts on this issue, but please, keep it nice. No harshing on the nice lady who left the comment that generated this post, or I will edit/delete posts as necessary. If you would like to harsh on me, that’s fine….

Is the Recession GOOD for Scrapbooking?

Check out THIS article called, “For Craft Sales, Recession is a Help” from the New York Times. It talks about how, despite the horrible economy and slumping sales in other retail areas, that spending at craft stores, Etsy, and the like has actually gone up. I was so happy to read this because I thought I was crazy to think the same thing; every time I go into Michaels in the past couple months, it’s packed! I always leave there shaking my head, saying, “So much for the recession.” Now, this article explains it. Their theory is that, 1. With less to spend, people are making Christmas gifts this year that are more cost effective, 2., People enjoy the stress release of making handmade things, and appreciate receiving them over “big box” items as well, and 3. That we are starting to prefer good old ‘Made in the USA’ products after all the recent problems with items imported from China. Needless to say, I loved this article! It’s all about some of my favorite things: crafts/scrapbooking, supporting American small and large business owners, and the value of handcrafted items.

HERE is a link to the discussion on 2peas….

What are your thoughts on the article?