Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Wow! I've been gone for a while. Where does the time go?! I can't believe it's been several months since my last post. I hope you're still out there. Maybe one of my resolutions for next year will be to keep up with my blog. There will be some changes coming so stay tuned.

Anyway, I mailed out my Christmas cards this week. This year I decided to seek inspiration from other bloggers and artists to keep things fairly simple. Thanks to Christmas With the Cricut, the Pink Stamper and My Creative Classroom for these card inspirations. I had fun playing with my Cricut to create them.

I also embossed all the cards but that was hard to capture in the photos. And the envelopes were made by cutting out some cricut snowflakes and laying them on top of the envelope then spraying with Glimmer Mists. Quick and cute.

The other thing I wanted to mention is Simple Stories by MemoryWorks. Remember Project 365? Well that was a bit much for me to keep up with. I am about 3 months behind! So I will not be doing it again.

Now, that won't happen with Simple Stories because you decide what stories to tell and it's quick and easy. I also noticed from the sneak peaks that there's a bit more embellishments so you can still satisfy that need to be creative. I'm excited to see this product line launch. And you can watch their cool video teaser here.

And if you haven't done so visit their website to purchase the latest and greatest scrapbooking products from Fancy Pants, Pink Paislee, MME, Creative Imaginations and many more. Just remember to enter my consultant ID (see side bar) when you register on their site.

Well, I hope everyone has a great holiday season and I'll catch you in 2010!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hi there! MemoryWorks and Cuttlebug Folders

Wow! Another month is over and we're half way through 2009 already. The last week of June has left us in shock over Michael Jackson's death (RIP). Who would've thought that someone that worked so hard to stay "forever" young would die like this? Such a shame.

Well, I've been trying to catch up with my Project 365. I'm about 2 1/2 months behind now. I hope I can catch up. Here's a picture of that mess.

I also have an announcement to make. I've decided to become a MemoryWorks Consultant. I hope to make new scrap buddies and use this to cover my scrap-shopping addiction. Memory Works carries some of the top lines in scrapbooking such as Fancy Pants Designs, Pink Paislee, Cosmo Cricket, BoBunny, Crate Paper and Sassafras Lass. As a MemoryWorks Consultant I get a discount on the latest supplies which always helps and I signed up for a consultant website. Visit me at for more information.

MemoryWorks also has a fantastic monthly kit with great project ideas for only $29.00 a month. The July kit is called "Destinations" and is all about travel. It includes paper by Little Yellow Bicycle and embellishments by Maya Road, Making Memories & Jenni Bowlin to name a few. Check it out on my consultant page and let me know if you would like to see the project ideas and I will email you a copy.

On to Cuttlebug. Did you know that Cuttlebug will be releasing a bunch of new embossing folders at July's CHA? Well, the ladies at the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog are previewing all the new folders this month. They are also showcasing their projects created with these new folders. And they have a fun new contest to participate in this month. I just recently discovered this blog and am loving all the great ideas. Here's their promo ad:

Well, keep in touch. I love to read your comments. My counter shows almost 1,000 hits on this page, which is pretty good considering the fact that I don't promote it much. I might just have to have another RAK. hmmmm....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Check out this cool Scrap RAK!

This is a quick post to let you know about this awesome giveaway on Bev's blog. Lots of Prima flowers, velvet brads, glitter, and the cutest crocheted flowers! Hurry, and make sure you enter now. She will be drawing a winner tomorrow June 5th!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Random Thoughts, Scrap Projects and Oprah's Skype

I can't believe May is almost over already! This year is going by so fast. Oh no -- my birthday is just around the corner - again! So what do I have to show for myself this year? Not much.

I feel like I've been suspended in mid air. Not having a job and not having something to do everyday really begins to drag you down. It's too bad I don't have children to keep me busy. And I've tried to keep myself entertained by actually getting some scrapbooking done, going to crops, hanging out with friends and creating and maintaining this blog, but I still feel empty and melancholy sometimes. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what step to take next. And it's a battle to keep yourself from becoming depressed. But anyway, this post was not meant to be a killjoy so on to my next topic.

I wanted to share a few pages I made.

This first one was made with a Pink Paislee set I've had for a while now. At first, I didn't have a clue what to use the owl page for and then I came across these pictures. Also, a good way to use some of these old "typewriter" letters I've been holding on to. I love to mix old products with new. This is why I hold on to stuff because I know eventually I'll use it.
This next one I combined an old transparency set by MME with "newer" Fancy Pants embellishments (chipboards and pins) and Queen & Co felt border.
This one was also a combination of a newer 3Birds paper kit and tags with older embellishments. Greg's name was created with an old set of cheap foam stamps. I also used a Page Map for the design inspiration. This is not a great picture of the page.

And my last subject: Oprah is addicted to Skype.

Have you noticed how crazy Oprah has gotten over Skype? I think Oprah needs to take her own challenge and give up Skype for 7 days.

Skype is an awesome new way to communicate via video over the internet, but I think Oprah is abusing it. I mean, is it just me or does it seem like her show is losing the Oprah personal touch? Why are most of her guests on a video screen now? Isn't one of the pleasures of being a guest on the Oprah show actually getting to meet Oprah?

So, this poses the question: Is Oprah becoming untouchable or is she just trying to save money on airfare and accommodations? I don't think "little miss billionaire" needs to be hoarding her money during these times. In fact, she would actually be helping out the travel industry which is also hurting.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to say that Oprah should be out there throwing her money away. But if every billionaire and millionaire cut back drastically, wouldn't that also be hurting the economy some more? The Johnson & Johnson heir was on her show the other day talking about how the uber rich are cutting back because it's the "chic" thing to do. But isn't that selfish of them? I mean most people are cutting back out of necessity not because it's the "chic" thing to do. How annoying.

But I digress... Oprah needs to step back in time a little and try to remember what made people love her. It's okay to use Skype every once in a while but I believe she needs to get back to a more personal show.

A couple of weeks ago she stated that she had her feet on the ground. Sorry Oprah, but you've been floating on cloud 9 for quite a while now. I think that if it wasn't for the help of your producers & staff giving you some great topics for your show, I don't think I'd be much of a fan anymore.

Well that's my rant for this week. Tune in next week....or whenever I have something else to share.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Changes in the Scrap Industy

Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day.

I've been meaning to write about more changes in the scrap industry for a few days now. So let's catch up.

Well, it's official, Memory Makers magazine will stop publishing after their Sept/Oct 2009 issue. You can get more info here. It's just more sad news in the state of the scrap magazines. I believe this was one of the very first scrap magazines along with Creating Keepsakes. When I received my last issue of Memory Makers in January and noticed it was just a stapled "booklet" I decided not renew my subscription, just in case. Guess I was right.

Also Scrapbook Trends will be publishing their magazine digitally. You can subsribe for their online versions for $4.99 a month. This is not a bad idea but I still like the portability of the physical magazine.

So, how many scrap magazines are left now? I now have only 2 subscriptions, Scrapbooks Etc and Creating Keepsakes. At one point, I believe I was getting 6 scrap mags a month. Wow! What a difference a year makes.

So, how does this trend change how scrapbookers will get their ideas and information on new products? How will manufacturers promote their product lines and get their ideas out? How can we follow our favorite designers without having to sit for hours on the web reading blogs? Will new designers be discovered? Will we seek out the information or just follow what trends occur in our inner circle of scrap buddies? How do you get your information? Do you search the web or do you count on the magazines?

On that note, Lisa Bearnson is taking a leave of absence from QVC. Thursday was her last show. This makes me very sad, because I've been watching her on QVC for the 11 years she was on and I recorded a lot of her shows for the ideas. She introduced me to the proper scrapbooking techniques and got me hooked on this fun, creative hobby. Neither QVC nor Lisa elaborated on whether they will continue the Creating Keepsakes hour with another guest.

I can understand why Lisa is ready to retire from the live tv spots, but can't she pass the torch to someone else to continue it?

While browsing the web to see if I could get more information on this, I encountered some message boards with some nasty comments about Lisa Bearnson, QVC and HSN. Why do people have to be so judgmental, critical and just plain mean? People, cut them some slack. Remember, Lisa and some of the other guests are not broadcasting majors. They are just regular people like you and me, presenting their products.

Even though I sometimes get annoyed with some of the guests or hosts, I don't go around spewing mean things about them and bashing their products. Just because it won't work for me doesn't mean it might not work for someone else. Let's behave like adults should and keep it to ourselves. I can only imagine what kind of an example these people are setting for their children. Are these the parents of the children that bully other children to death (this is in reference to Oprah's show last week about victims of bullies)?

Well, I hope the scrap industry continues to grow and offer us new and exciting things. I love this hobby and don't intend to quit anytime in the near future.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Checking in - Warning long post.

Well, I've been out of my blogging routine for a while and it's not because I don't want to post; believe me. See, I have an old computer injury that acts up every once in a while and I have to give myself a computer break. These last few weeks I only got on the computer to search for work and necessities only. So, I had to neglect my blog for a little while.

Not to be a downer or anything but, I want to begin by showing a card I made for my neighbors and friends who horribly lost their little dog, Muffin on Friday. I tried to not make it dark and sad, but bright and cheery, like Muffin.

Out of the goodness of her heart, my neighbor picked up a lost boxer a couple of weeks ago and tried to find its owner. This boxer was well trained and seemed to have a sweet disposition. Well, last Friday evening, when she stepped out to pick up her son at football practice, the boxer killed her little terrier, Muffin.

Unfortunately, I heard the whole thing from my backyard and called Greg to come down and look over the fence. He saw the dog had Muffin and it was too late. Needless to say my neighbors are devasted and heartbroken as Muffin had been with them 13 years.

I tell this story to make you aware of what can happen if you bring a stray into your home. If you have other pets or small children, it might be best to take the stray directly to animal control or a shelter. It's better to be safe than sorry.

On a lighter note, Spring has definitely arrived in Texas. The flowers in our yard are loving all the rain and sunshine. Here are a few pics to brighten your day.

The red flowers closer to the windows attract hummingbirds and bumblebees! I've never seen a bumblebee up close until just the other day and I never realized they were so big and furry. I couldn't get a clear picture of it though.

This picture of the rose did not come out so clear so I played with the colors and stuff and thought I could turn in into a note card in the future. We'll see.

Greg has a very green thumb and can grow anything (literally!). This rose vine was a stick in the ground last fall and this spring its blooming like crazy. I however do not have any color thumb. I'm not a plant's friend.

I haven't really worked on any current scrapbooking layouts. I created this one with Inspired Blueprints sketch #13 & 14. I used my Cricut for the title and subtitle (Graphically speaking). I layerd several cuts to give them some dimension and inked the edges. I tried to keep the embellies to a minimum in order to keep the layout simple and quick.

Speaking of the Cricut...the Everything Cricut Blog is now called Imagine That. They now offer free blogger backgrounds and still have the best information on the Cricut and its accessories. Check it out if you haven't already done so.
Right now, I have to catch up with Project 365 and I've been digging into my stash to work with old kits I have laying around. Does anyone still remember the Lisa Bearnson's Favorite Albums library kit sold on QVC? Well, I only ever completed the About Me album except for a few journaling pages and I think I need to work on the other three. I put the family one together without the pictures just to get started. Does anyone else have old kits they haven't worked on and aren't willing to give up? I have lots. I think I will try to sell some on Ebay.

I think that's enough of my rambling. Have a good rest of the week.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Campaign for Real Scrapping

Have you ever spent hours on a page and then feel like you didn't accomplish much because you still have another 100 photos to scrap?

I definitely know that feeling.

Well, today I came across this blog post by Kim Guymon and she suggested we start a Campaign for Real Scrapping, like Dove's Campaing for Real Beauty.

Here are the her steps for this campaign:

1. Focus on the photos
2. Add the stories and not just the names - limit the use of third-party quotes.
3. Crop conservatively - Grandma's house in the background may be precious someday
4. Use themed products - match photos to products
5. Keep the page simple - don't overwhelm the photos with embellishments
6. Use imperfect photos if that's all you have. Not every photo will be stunning.
7. Reject time-consuming embellishment techniques
8. Worry LESS about acid and MORE about history.
9. Spend less time doctoring photos and more time scrapping
10. Find your passion again!

These steps are pretty universal and I will post them up in my scrap room to remember them when I sit down to scrap.

And, here's what I need to work on and am adding to the list:

11. Use more than one photo on each layout.
12. Use what you have on hand. (Have to cut back on shopping!)
13. Spend only 10 minutes deciding what to use on your page. Select 4 papers and 3 embellies per layout.
14. Plan to finish a page in less than 2 hours. Use a timer to keep track.
15. Relax and go with the flow.

I hope this helps you think about your cropping process. If you come up with another step please let me know. I'm open to any suggestions that simplify the process. I also need organization help, but that's a post for anther day.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Layouts to share

A day late and a dollar short. I promised I'd have new pics up yesterday but alas that was not to be. But I have new pics to share today so don't fret. But before I do I just want to thank Amanda for being so honest about my boo boo with the RAK winner. Yes, I goofed. Mindy is the actual winner of my little RAK. Congratulations Mindy!

And now for some new layouts!

First, are some of my Project 365 layouts. I am running very behind (about a month)because this project is so involved. It's really not that simple at all. I tend to take 10 pictures of every subject so I have to sort through these (1-2 hours), keep notes of pics, order prints (2-3 hours) and then sort the prints (another hour), then add them to the book and journal (another 2 hours). So, you can see where this becomes a bit cumbersome after a while. If you have a quicker way of doing this please let me know!

As you can see, I'm not done with this layout.

Ok, next come a couple of pages I did with the Inspired Blueprints sketches.

The papers and glitter chipboard embellishment are 3 birds. Felt embellies are Fancy Pants. The journaling tag is Pink Paislee and unknown: Chipboard letters, rhinestone brads and ribbon (maybe American Crafts?).

Next layout:

Again, the patterned paper is 3 birds. Cardstock and vellum - unknown. Used my Cricut (Graphically Speaking) to cut the title several times and stacked for 3D effect. Flower embellies are stacked Martha punches, Cricut Cuts and 3 birds die cuts and scalloped glitter chipboard frame. Rub ons are 7 gypsies.

I hope these spark your creativity. These pages were very easy to put together. I'm more of a "Simple" scrapper when it comes down to it. I prefer to get pages done than to spend too much time on a page and get further behind.

Have a good evening. Xena says Bye-Bye!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thanks for the encouraging comments!

Thanks Jen, Mindy and Amanda for your very kind and encouraging comments! It's nice to know someone is out there. Amanda you were the first to mention that you would love my RAK so I would love to get it to you. Please email me your information and I will post that RAK asap! And I'll add a couple of extra goodies just for fun.

I tried to visit your blogs but they are private. I love reading blogs and meeting new people so send me an invite and I'll definitely stop by.

I've been working on a couple of projects this weekend and now I just need to photograph them. Stay tuned tomorrow or Wednesday when I post these. They are both based on Inspired Blueprints sketches. And I'll have Project 365 layouts to share also.

QVC is having scrapbooking shows tomorrow and Wednesday. I'm really excited to see Brenda Pinnick because I love her stuff.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wow! Happy St. Patty's Day

Well, I tried to offer a freebie but I guess no one is interested. So sad :(

So, my blog is not very popular but I know there are some readers out there. I thought this blogging thing would introduce me to some cool and interesting people but it seems no one wants to reach out to me. So, is the work involved in maintaining a blog worth it? Maybe I'll have to post some naked pics so I can get some attention -- at least I know that will become a fascinating and hilarious viral email.

Here are some great reasons to check out my blog: My blog doesn't have advertising. I'm doing this for fun, not to pawn anything on you or push affiliate websites so I can make some cash on your clicks. I'm not promoting anything I created or selling.
And I when I visit blogs I comment and create links to it so someone else can find it. The same courtesy would be appreciated.

Anyway, just send me a shout out and let me know if you are out there and are still interested in checking out my projects, ideas and thoughts. I just want to meet people from around the world and share ideas.

So, if anyone is interested in the RAK just let me know. The first person to ask, shall receive.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Finally, my first RAK!

Well, I finally put together my first giveaway and It's perfect for spring pages. This set was compiled from some of my excess supply since I mostly purchase supplies in bulk. There are DCWV spring rub ons, KI chipboard, 3 Birds chipboard alphabet, DCWV diecuts, DCWV vellum sayings stack, Colorbok shaped paper sets a Maya Road floral shaped chipboard album and fun chipboard shapes I got from QVC.

All you need to do is leave me a comment with your name and where you're writing from (a link to your blog would also be nice) and I will have a random drawing on Tuesday, March 17th. Yes, St. Patty's Day. This could just be your lucky day. And, we could all use a little free stuff during these tough times.

Finally, I leave you with a project I worked on this week. This was quite therapeutic for me as I created it and still when I look at it. My journaling reflects on how my life changed so quickly after losing my job and just as I was turning 38. It helped me realize that even through tough times there is always a light and a song in our hearts and things will be better tomorrow.

I used Fancy Pants pattern papers and bird diecut, 3birds felt embellishments and chipboard "slide" , Colorbok transparency, Autumn Leaves stamp, rhinestones and black acrylic paint.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HOF Grateful Page Kit & Magazines Going Extinct?

Hello, first off I want to post a picture of the Grateful Page Kit by Denise Pauly that was missing from the CK Hall of Fame Kit instructions purchased through QVC. I was able to get an emailed picture from CK and thought I'd share it with those who need it. Hope this helps.

Anyway, the state of the economy is hurting another industry I love. Magazines are disappearing from newstands and that includes a lot of the scrapbooking and craft publications. I came across this interesting article yesterday and it really hit home.

Ever since I could remember, I've loved magazines. There was even a time in my life where I wanted to work for one. I love the glossy pages, the designs, the portability and the beautiful pictures that come along with magazines. I've always loved to read books but there was something about magazines that made me want to read them more often.

Now, I find out that CK Media is in real trouble. So, I'm worried whether Creating Keepsakes will disappear along with Simple Scrapbooks.

Creating Keepsakes was the pioneer of scrapbooking magazines and we still count on them for the latest and greatest in scrapbooking trends. What will the industry look like if they are no longer around?

Will we have to depend on the internet for all of our information? If so, we won't know what's really on trend because the internet is full of scrapbooking blogs and sites that have their own personal style. Manufacturers will be playing the guessing game when they create new products. LSS's and larger craft stores won't know what the scrapper really wants.

I guess we'll have to hope and pray some can survive these harsh economic times. I would sure hate to see the magazine industry disappear.

I don't have anything scrappy to post this time, haven't really been in a crafty mood lately. Maybe next time.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hello....Are you still there?

I know I've been a terrible blogger lately but I hope you are still hanging on with me. This isn't the only site I neglect. My Myspace page hasn't been updated in months and my new Facebook account will be lucky if I visit once a week. You see, I think this is too much to keep up with. Why are we so hung up on the latest and next best thing and why do we need so many avenues in which to communicate? Really. We have several email accounts, a home phone, cell phones with text messaging, myspace, facebook, blogs, dating sites and even twitter! Geez! Does anyone have a life beyond the cyber world? Just saying...

Anyway, now that I'm off my soapbox, I'm here to share what I've been working on the last few weeks. When I'm not seeking employment and taking care of life in general, I am creating.

I hope you enjoy these.

First up is my Month of Gratitude album. This was a Simple Scrapbooks project where you can download the journaling cards from their website. I did it for December and this is how I chose to decorate it. Rubons are from 3birds, American Crafts and the Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby). Other embellies are from 3 Birds. Here are the highlights:

My second project is an acrylic album. I just love the Fancy Pants Valentine papers and cards and Elle's Studio Valentine birdie labels. The acrylic embellies are American Crafts and the felt embellies are 3Birds, rubons, stickers and chipboard are 3Birds, and other misc paper, silver hearts and ribbon. I put together the flower embellishments with several punches and embellies.

Also, wanted to share a couple of fun pictures of the punchies I've been collecting from my scraps. I can't believe how much I have already. I love all the colors.

I am also working on Project 365 but have fallen behind since I haven't ordered any more picture prints in a while. This is something I will be doing this weekend for sure and I will post some of those pages soon too.

Friday, January 30, 2009

CHA, Yudu and Eyebrow Threading

Wow! Have you been checking out the bloggers that had the priviledge of going to CHA this week? Looks like there's a lot of new scrapbooking goodies to devour. One of my favorite bloggers has been Craft Critique . Not only do they have great pictures, but they also have cool videos of the goings on (check out the Paris Hilton videos at CHA!). Also, check out Scrapbook Update for more awesome photos and reviews then link to ScrapNancy's Flickr site to see even more CHA photos.

I have a terrible addiction to collecting scrapbooking supplies with high hopes of actually using all of them. Anyway, my favorite findings on some of these blogs are the Provocraft Yudu screen printing machine. I saw this on HSN yesterday and it looked like loads of fun. Check out Provocraft's page for videos on this baby.

I was also impressed with Heidi Swapp's Invisibles and all the Maya Road goodies. Not to mention the trusted lines such as Cosmo Cricket, K&Co, Prima, Fancy Pants, Basic Grey, Tim Holz, etc, etc.

So, on to another subject. Have you heard of eyebrow threading? It's a hair removal technique done with thread. Looks like this:

(Photo courtesy of Eyebrow Threading It was not completely painless; you can feel a little pinching as the hairs are removed, but it's not as painful as waxing. And the lady that did it for me was quick. It probably took 3 minutes tops. The only downside I found was my eyebrow area was a little swollen and red for a while afterwards. I just put some aloe vera gel on it and it was back to normal in a couple of hours. I am pleased with the results and will do it again. Here's my results.

Give it a try sometime. A friend of a friend did it for me but I've seen threading kiosks at the mall offering the service. The service is very affordable too around $10-$15.

Well, that's all I have for today. Have a great weekend!