I walked past the table today and my own layout caught my eye. It’s one I’m doing for the infamous travel album. It made me think to myself, “Wow, I really like my style”. Do you ever have those moments? For me, they are few and far between. I spend much more time criticizing myself because my pages don’t look as good as the pages shown in magazines or that people post online. I know we all have our own style and there are reasons behind our style. Here is mine – let’s ‘break it down’!
1. Lots of photos per page – Nope, won’t see any single photo layouts in my albums. I don’t scrapbook to be artistic or to showcase my graphic designer skills. I scrap to get my pictures in albums where we can look at them. I take a lot of pictures, always have. I’ve gotten better about selecting which one’s to file vs. include in layouts. But there has been many a time when I was looking through an album and thought, “Hey, where’s that picture of…?”. I remember it, I feel it was part of the story, and I want others to see it so why is it stored separately in a box? I don’t want any more of those regretful moments. Honestly, how often do you gather around to look through the photos that are stored? Me, never. But I constantly look through my albums. I always have one placed on the coffee table for easy browsing. So mostly I store doubles or photos that are very similar to others. Other than that, it goes in my scrapbook.
2. Good journaling – I love to write (duh!) so journaling has never been a hardship for me, like I know it can be for some. I have more of a problem keeping it simple and not writing down TOO much. As for handwritten vs. computer journaling, I try to handwrite unless it’s extensive journaling that won’t fit…because my handwriting is on the larger side. I look at my scrapbooks as a journal, and I want to remember the details. I always make sure to include the date, place & people details because those are the most important. I also include my initials and the date I scrapped it really small in the bottom right corner of the page. I don’t scrap chronologically, so it helps me to see how I’ve progressed (or not, in some cases!).
3. Nice photos without much editing – I’m not that great with computers. I don’t know how to use PhotoShop (yet). I don’t have time to sit and individually edit each photo. I’d rather spend that time scrapping. I take both digital and 35mm photos but everything is developed at my local Longs Drugs. I can’t tell you what an excellent job they do. The colors are rich and the photos are clear and sharp. The digital ones, I might play with a little on the kiosk-thingee when I download them, but mostly I just order 1 or 2 of each, a CD, and pick ‘em up when they’re done. With a coupon, their prices are pretty good and I’ve never found that photo quality anywhere else. Yes, I’m very picky. I don’t like photos with that “digital” look. And I don’t believe in editing other than red-eye or cropping. For me, my scrapbook captures my real life with all it’s imperfections. I don’t want to show off my digi-family, our digi-dog, and the digi-4th of July parade. Gimme real life anytime. (My stepdad is an amazing photographer who does graphic artist level stuff to his photos in PhotoShop. We got into quite the debate at Christmas!)
4. 12×12 layouts - I have done several mini-albums for theme stuff, but my everyday albums are 12×12 postbound. I started scrapbooking with Creative Memories (who didn’t?), so I have several strap hinge albums. But when I discovered how easily you can move pages around with post-bound, I was hooked. I also love the variety in album choices because they are the most popular type of album and most companies have some version of a 12×12 postbound. I have to go 12×12 because of all the photos (see #3). I have a friend who scraps 8.5×11 and I can’t even comprehend that. I keep trying to convert her to 12×12, pointing out all the advantages, but she won’t budge.
5. Pretty simple style – Not Becky Higgins simple, or Cathy Z. simple, but simpler than most I see. Here is my typical page: Base of Bazzill cardstock or subtle patterned paper; embellished a bit with more PP, or store bought embellishments (I don’t ever make my own like some talented ladies do); title with rub-ons, letter stickers, paint stamps or computer generated; a mixture of cropped and uncropped photos, with the focal photo(s) matted with cardstock; journaling either hidden or showing; and maybe some ribbon as a border or little bits stapled here and there. That’s it. I know about embossing, UTEE, quilling, layered stamping, etc. but you won’t see it my pages. I admire those that will spend that kind of time on a layout, but I’m not a patient girl. Let’s get some layouts done – chop, chop!
I hope when others see my scrapbooks and my style, they see me reflected there. I’m a practical, smart, attractive, traditional, talkative, passionate, loving wife and mom. I hope those attributes also describe my pages (well, except a page can’t be a wife and mom…). Anyhow, it was a good moment to see that layout and be pleased with it. I hope you have moments like that too. I completely love Donna Downey’s motto: “Perfect just the way you create”. Now, go create something!
It’s a sad, sad day in scrapbook land. ANOTHER local scrapbook store (LSS) near me is closing it’s doors :( This is sure becoming a trend around here. Last year at this time, there were 7 stores within a 100 mile radius of me. Now there are 2. I’m not talking about Michaels, Joanns, and Hobby Lobby-type big chain stores. I mean good ol’ mom and pop, independently owned stores. Is this happening in your area too?
I love LSS’s. Here are the top 10 reasons:
1. Aaahhh…the smell of fresh scrapbook product when you walk in the door. For me, it’s like being a book lover and walking into Barnes and Noble. Or being a mechanic and walking into the shop. It’s the smell that represents what I love to do and it makes me feel like I am home.
2. The friendly “Hello! Let me know if you need help finding anything!” and a smile. Much nicer than sitting at home, yelling at your computer while you try to navigate a scrapstore website, “Just tell me where the Basic Grey Wholy Cow rub-ons are!!!”.
3. Hosted crops where you don’t have to plan anything, don’t have to prepare any food, don’t have to try and gather all your friends at the same place and time, you just have to show up and pay a little somethin’-somethin’. Bonus: You meet other scrappers from your area who you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Double bonus: Discount on all supplies bought while cropping.
4. The latest and greatest items are there. All the owners go to CHA, Memory Trends, etc. and bring back the new goodies. And since they are as Scrapbook Obsessed as you are, they can’t wait to show you everything. When you experience their giddy joy, you feel you are not alone in the world.
5. They have some of the nicest public restrooms I’ve ever been in. As someone who frequently shops with kiddos, we almost always need to take a tinkle while at the scrapbook store. Don’t you think they have the cutest facilities? They’ve got that woman’s touch, like handpainted walls, toilet paper rolls in a Longaberger basket, and nice-smelling hand lotion. My favorite ever LSS bathroom had quotes and hints about scrapbooking plastered all over the walls. It was nice to have reading material.
6. They have scrapook classes, often taught by someone you know. I have learned some of the coolest things at LSS classes. And, again – snacks, drinks, and shopping discounts.
7. Running in to scrap-friends is always cool. “Hey, what are you buying?”. “Omigod! Did you see the new Karen Foster on aisle 3?!?” “Get out! I was looking for that! How are the kids?” “They’re great. Tyson’s at t-ball so thought I’d sneak over for some retail therapy. How are yours?” “Wonderful. Well, tell Dave and the kids I said hi”. “Same to Bob and little Bobby”. “Bye!” “Bye!”
8. You gotta’ see the stuff in person. I don’t care how wonderful the website price is or how many choices the webstore has, I like to see my product ‘for real’. I need to hold it, see the true color of it, feel how thick the cardstock is or try out the color of the ink on the scratch pad. I want to carry an actual basket on my actual arm as a wander lazily through a store, not virtually place items in a virtual shopping cart. I like to listen while I shop to the country music on the store speakers, the little boy with his mom in the next aisle asking, “Can I please have some baseball stickers?”, and to the owner telling a newbie how to get started. I love to see all the beautiful Bazzill colors all in a row on a paper rack.
9. It gives me hope that someday I could own a scrapbook store. I always thought that I would work my butt off for however many years, build up my IRA and make sure I would have a comfortable retirement, then open my own business where I could share my passion for this craft. But that dream is dying…
10. They have a plethora of scrapbook magazines. I’ve already mentioned how much I love these, right? For the longest time, LSS’s were the only place I could find Scrapbook Trends magazine. I like not having to wade through all the other magazines on the newstand to find the one’s I really want. It’s one-stop shopping for those babies!
So, now you see why I’m so depressed. I’m clearly not a fan of online shopping (ironic considering my new consultant gig will involve selling products online?). When I look at my top 10 list, it seems to be about community for me. I will miss my dear friends, the LSS’s. I hope they can make a comeback someday. Until then, I will travel further to visit the few that are left. And I will make do with Michael’s.
PS: It’s official! I signed on to Memory Works yesterday and am eagerly awaiting my new consultant kit. I already have one party booked with a friend. I will guilt my mother into being a good customer. Life is good. Thanks for all the Comments of encouragement and advice.
The plan was to go to a friends’ superbowl party today. But one of our kiddos is sick and we didn’t want to spread laryngitis germs amongst the other kids at the party. So we stayed home and watched the game. Well, DH and kids did while I scrapbooked at the dining room table. It was perfect – I could hear the game (not that I care about football, I just wanted to know when the funny commercials were on). I made 7-layer dip and drank 3 of my Amstel Lights, which DH says is NOT beer, tho’ I like to think it is. Then it was becoming difficult to cut a straight line or put photos in order, so I switched to ice water. I only got 8 pages of my travel album done but progress is progress, right? A friend called from the party to see where we were and I told her the situation. There was all this noise in the background – talking and cheering – and I’m thinking, “Man, wish we could’ve gone to the party”. And she says to me, “I wish I were at home scrapbooking”. Ah, the grass is always greener at the other end zone, isn’t it?
On a non-Super Bowl note, may I say how much I enjoy doing my little blog? The best part is reading the comments that are posted. Not only is blogging new to me, but even reading blogs is new to me. See, it’s like this…I quit my job and started spending all day on the computer looking for another one. For the first time in forever, I actually had a little time to check all this out. I am a private person when it comes to details about my family, where I live, etc. But it’s great that I can type my thoughts out and that’s okay with you. Scrapbooking is so universal and the nicest people do it. This blog just reaffirms that, because all the comments have been so nice and so helpful. I even noticed that one of you put MY blog on YOUR blog. Is that super cool or what? Thank you from the bottom of my ever-loving scrapbookin’ heart.
Ooh, one last thing! I have a job interview in a couple weeks that will conveniently take me right by the Youngplay Memories store in Tracy, CA (http://www.youngplaymemories.com). I’ve been drooling over their website for months. The store is freakin’ 20,000 square feet. AND they have a latte shop. It will be like I died and went to Heaven. I’m pretty broke, so I won’t be able to buy much but I will enjoy just walking around, drooling, and petting the merchandise. I’m sure people like me pet the merchandise all the time, so I don’t think I will get kicked out.
It only took me weeks but I’ve finally made a decision about this scrapbook consultant thing. I’m going to sign up with Memory-Works (I think). As fate would have it, I learned about Memory-Works from a comment on my blog (thanks Leslie!). I have been checking out their website and rolling everything around in my mind (as Sharon Stone says, “It’s a dangerous place like a dark alley. You wouldn’t want to go in there alone”). I had it narrowed down to Memory-Works and Creative Memories pretty quickly. They both have so many pros and a few cons each, that it was REALLY hard to decide. So I called my sis-in-law who’s been a CM consultant for 4 years in another town. She gave me a lot of good information that you can’t find out by looking at their website. After looking into each company, here are the ups and downs of each (sorry, my mom always told me to make a comparison list when I couldn’t decide something :)
Creative Memories positives: Excellent quality, long-lasting products. I ADORE the Power Sort Boxes and could use my 30% off consultant discount to stack them in my house, floor to ceiling. The “Empowering Women” magazine made me feel so…empowered. Lots of support and direction from the home office and fellow consultants, including some Yahoo CM Consultant groups (no Yahoo group for MW?). Incentives to sell, sell, sell! (all well and good if you sell, make you feel like an idiot if you don’t).
Creative Memories negatives: High minimums: When you sign up, you must sell right off the bat and there are incentives to reach the higher goal in 30,60 and 90 days. From there, your 3 months starts and you have to sell $500 retail within 3 months. Once you reach $500, the 3 months starts again. Exclusivity: If you’re a CM consultant, you cannot be a consultant for any other scrapbook-related company. Not my style: They have come a long way but the papers, stickers, journaling boxes, etc. are not really my style. I’m the kind of gal who wears her thoughts all over her face and cannot tell a lie. I like the more trendy stuff. I do love their organizational items, tools, software and albums but is that enough to make me a good rep for them?
Memory-Works positives: Trendy stuff!: They have all my favorite brands of paper, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments. I’m talkin’ Basic Grey, KI Memories, Chatterbox, and Autumn Leaves. No minimum: Well, there is one but it’s $75 retail per year so, like, no minimum. Prices are listed on the website for customers (I’ve always hated that you never know the prices of CM!). They have sales. They have a monthly club kit. They are cheaper to join and who has extra money? Not me!
Memory-Works negatives: They’re not a one-stop shop like Creative Memories. But I think I can find a way to offer every basic my customers will need. And I wish they had direct ship like CM – the consultant just gets an e-mail stating someone made an order & how much – kewl.
These are just some of the issues I’m considering. As much as I respect the company, I think CM is just too big a commitment at this time in my life. I live in a rural area and it’s hard to get people to come “all the way out to my house”. The thought of HAVING to lug all my stuff to home parties every month (gotta’ meet that minimum!) pains me. I’m also not crazy about the shipping costs. My SIL says it costs her $18 for each shipment, no matter the size/weight (unless it’s for some God-awful huge order). So, like she said, if a neighbor pops by and places a $50 order, the consultant gets $15 (aka 30%) and it costs her $18 to ship it. I guess you can make the customer pay shipping but I’ve heard from other consultants that people will cancel or reduce their order when they hear they have to pay shipping – they can just go to Sue CM Consultant down the street who has it in stock – so that most just pay shipping themselves. It seems the way to be a successful CM consultant is this: when the deadline is coming and you haven’t met your minimum, buy stuff to have it in stock and pray it’s the stuff people will buy. Have an understanding DH who won’t mind you taking over 2 closets to store your merch. Keep your stuff packed up and your evenings clear – you gotta’ party or class to give! Unfortunately, this situation does not match my life. With Memory-Works, there is less income potential but less stress. And I could use less stress. I have until Feb. 7 to get a great deal on becoming a Memory-Works consultant. Will let you know when I take the plunge! Can’t wait to get started…
Are you as addicted to scrapbooking magazines as I am? I actually had to cut down on my subscriptions recently because it was getting ridiculous. I still subscribe to Creating Keepsakes, Memory Makers, and Simple Scrapbooks. I keep saying I’m not going to, but I pay cold hard cash at Barnes and Noble or Michaels (lovin’ that 40% off coupon) for Scrapbooks, Etc. and a couple of the British/Australian mags. I did finally give up on one SB magazine which shall remain nameless – because it was lame. I also quit buying every single idea book that hits the shelves. I still buy them, just more selectively (anything Becky Higgins or Autumn Leaves is a must have). Luckily, I’ve gotten many idea books for “free” at scrapbooking events. For example, I got a bunch at CKU and for the low price of a $2,000 CK scrapbooking cruise, I got free copies of idea books from Lisa Bearnson, Ali Edwards, and Becky Higgins. The coolest thing was I got my December 2006 issue of CK during the cruise, which was in October. See how obsessed I am with this? It’s sick really.
My mom – also a scrapbooker – canceled all her SB magazine subscriptions about a year ago. She said she was tired of all the ads, and I’m like, “The ads are the best part!”. Okay, actually I like the articles the best but ads are second. I like them even better than page ideas, which I know makes me very unpopular in the wider scrapbooking community (isn’t just about everyone but me trying to get their pages published??). Memory Makers recently underwent a revamping which, according to all the Letters to the Editor they have published in subsequent issues, was not well received. I mean, ladies across the country, nay across the world, are canceling their subscriptions in mass protest. I can’t figure out why they are publishing these negative letters – that shows some huevos. Personally, I like all of the changes except the new Memory Makers logo on the front cover. When the first new copy arrived in the mail, my first thought was, “What kinda’ cheesy free magazine is someone sending me now?”. The font they used looks 1960′s, and I don’t mean that in a retro-cool, hip way. I mean that in a bogus, dated, cheesy kind of way. What I do like are the addition of more articles at the expense of page ideas. I think I’ve been reading SB magazines and looking at idea books long enough now that I no longer need such a plethora of page ideas. I have enough of those to last me until I’m 94 (that’s the age I plan to live til, by the way). I would rather read articles, look at ads for new products, see other people’s scrap spaces and organizational ideas, etc.
In fact, this is what I’d like to see at least one of the popular scrapbook magazines do: get real. By that I mean have a magazine full of real scrapbookers (nothing against scrap-celebs, but let’s share the wealth), and the real issues we’re facing, the real questions we have, the real things we all talk about in our blogs and on the message boards. Okay, here’s a for instance. One issue I would love to read an article on would answer the question “What effect will our scrapbooking have on our kids when they are grown?”. This generation of children are the first ones who will have grown up having every move they make, every event, every embarrassing moment, every private detail photographed, displayed, and discussed. I think there will mostly be positive results from this, but I also believe there are some negative aspects to it. I would LOVE to read an article about that someday. Here are some other article ideas I have: Speak with several experienced direct-sellers of scrapbooking supplies (CM, CTMH, etc.) and compare/contrast their experiences. Talk about the retail explosion of scrapbooking in 2005, and why it downturned in 2006. Instead of just mixing in a few articles and page samples of digital scrapping, talk about why people choose to digi-scrap or not digi-scrap (at crops, I hear vehement discussion against digi-scrapping!). How about scrapbook obsession (ummm…) and whether we are becoming clinically addicted to it, how to keep it all in perspective. I don’t know, I just think the articles are so cookie-cutter and often just rehashing the same old stuff. I know why they do it, I just wish they didn’t.
All that being said, I still love my scrapbooking magazines. On the CK message board, everyone was checking in from all over the country regarding whether they had received their “Top 10″ issue yet. I have never SO wanted to live in Michigan because that bee-otch got her issue like 8 days before me! I’m happy to report that I received my Top 10 today, along with my new Memory Makers. Guess I will have to give my new Oprah & Bob diet book (http://www.thebestlife.com) a rest tonight, so I can catch up on my scrap-reading :)
The weekend has come and gone, and the pile that will someday beget my travel/cruise albums is still spread across the dining room table. But I did manage to work on my scrapbook space a bit. Stashed under my desk, I came across a super deal I found a while back at that store, Tuesday Morning. Are those everywhere in the U.S. or just here? Anyhoo, I found the coolest thing there! It was a pack of KI Memories stuff for $30, but the value was well over $100…um, that’s why I bought 2 of the 3 packs they had (didn’t want to be greedy – we scrapbookers are all about sharing, yeah?). Each pack had 80 sheets of paper (usually $ .60-1.00 per sheet), 3 sheets of rub-on alphabets, 2 packs of Icicles, 3 sheets of cardstock stickers, AND an 8×8 or 12×12 album! The one with the smaller album came with 2 extra sheets of rub-ons. My gawd…how would any scrapper in her right mind pass that one up? The albums retail for $20/$28, and each of the embellishments go for $3.99. I almost felt guilty at the checkout. I just wanted to scream at the lady, “Don’t you know what you’ve GOT here?!?” She OB-viously wasn’t a scrapbooker because she didn’t even bat an eyelash at the purchase I was making. I mean, I haven’t even told you yet about the Lil Davis foam alphabet stamps (3 sets) for $3 each – retail value $8. Suckas!
So I sorted and put away 160 sheets of paper this weekend. Also, I’m researching the idea of becoming a Creative Memories consultant. I have resisted the idea in the past, both because of my fear of not being able to meet the required minimum sales per quarter and because some of their supplies were not my taste. I got started scrapbooking in 2001 because of a CM party, for gosh sakes. (And for that, I owe them a huge debt of gratitude…ohmigod, in my head, as I was typing that, I said, “gret of datitude”. What a dork). I’ve always loved their albums – they are such high quality and I like that you can get a consistent look on your bookshelf with them. (Um, that was important to me Back in the Day, but now that I see deals like the aforementioned ‘practically free’ KI Memories albums, it’s a little hard to justify the expense of sticking to only CM albums). I still use the cutting mat, circle/oval cutting systems, corner rounder, etc. from my first purchase. And the CM Power Sort photo organizer boxes have saved my life. But have you checked them out lately? They have been coming out with some cool new stuff, including a digital photo organizer, hardbound digital scrapbooks, and more fashion-forward paper and stickers. So, I’ve been looking around online for CM info, joined a couple Yahoo groups, and then, lo and behold, what do I find at Staples while shopping for Epson printer cartridges?? A magazine that caught my eye called, “Empowering Women”, which happens to be all about Creative Memories. Almost all the articles are profiles of women who’ve been successful with the company. It furthered my interest, to say the least. Next I’m going to talk to a few friends and my sister-in-law who are CM consultants and see what their recommendations are. I’m stilll concerned about meeting my minimums…don’t know if I’m enough of a ‘salesperson’ to make a success of this. And my complete fear of failure prevents me from taking on anything I’m not 100% sure I can succeed at – ha!
Right now, I’m working on an album (multiple albums?) of the European cruise I took in October with my mom and a good friend. Guess what kind of cruise it was?? Yep, a scrapbooking cruise that I learned about in Creating Keepsakes magazine (and that’s a whole story in itself…I’ll tell ya’ sometime, k?). In 12 days, we hit 7 cities: Savona, Italy – Barcelona, Spain – Palma de Mallorca, Spain – Tunis, Tunisia (okay, that’s in Africa not Europe) – La Valletta, Malta – Palermo, Sicily – and Rome, Italy. Lisa Bearnson, the founding editor of Creating Keepsakes, was on board too. She and some other great instructors gave awesome classes each day while we were at sea, then went on tours with us at each city. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which is why I took so many ding-dang photos. I mean, when is little ol’ me going to get back to Italy again? I’m embarrassed to say how many photos. My husband will kill me when he finds out how many. Okay, between the one’s I took with my digital, with my point and shoot, and the one’s I copied from my friend Kim, I have about…….(drumroll)…….900 photos. And most of them are so good, they have to be scrapped. Don’t ask me how I’ll ever accomplish this, but I’m going to try. I have 22 pages done so far, with 92 photos (along with some memorabilia) scrapped. So let’s do the math here: at an average 4 photos per page and roughly 800 photos remaining….let’s see…that’s um….only 400 pages to go! I was PLANNING on getting this all into 2 albums – one for the cruise, and 1 for the 3 days we spent in Rome. I think I need a new plan. What do you think?
When I do theme albums, I like to keep at least some continuity in the colors, etc. So I’m using all Basic Grey papers (because they are distress-y and Old World looking, like much of what we saw on the trip); coordinating Bazzill cardstock (because it is the best of all cardstock and my Europe album deserves only the best. Plus the Bazzill colors look great with Basic Grey papers); and computerized journaling in a Lisa Bearnson font (I have so much to say and so little space. I want to always remember every detail of this trip so I’m writing down just about EV-erything we saw and did). I’m inking the edges of each photo and journaling block. It saves me from taking the time to mat almost 900 photos and the distress-y look of the inking looks good with the distress-y look of the papers. I’m using my new and much beloved Cricut machine to cut the titles. So far, I really like how it’s coming along. I wish I had more time to add accents, etc. to the pages but, you know, I’d like to get this thing completed before I forget the details of the trip! “The Project” is currently spread across 75% of my dining room table…I’m absolutely sure my husband is 100% thrilled…because my scrapping area is a bit disorganized at the moment with not much clear desktop to work on. Also, I figure if it’s taking up valuable dining space, I will be more motivated to get it done in a timely fashion. I’m 100% sure my husband is motivated for me to get it done in a timely fashion. Have you ever taken up the dining table for an extended period to get a scrapbooking project done? How’d that work out for you? Well, wish me luck…
I’m so excited! My very own scrapbook blog! How cool is that? I figured since I’m thinking about scrapbooking 24/7 anyway, I might as well write about it. I love to scrapbook. I love to shop for supplies. I loves me some scrapbooking magazines and idea books. I spend too much time on the internet reading scrapbook message boards and blogs. I have a scrapbook area in constant need of organizing – which I love to work on. I TiVo all the scrapbook-related shows on television. A lot of my relatives and good friends scrapbook, which I love, love, love! Jeez, is there anything about scrapbooking I DON’T like??? Nope. Can’t think of anything.