Monday, February 4, 2013

What Happened???

So, my question is: what happened to all the LSS's?  I mean really, some people just woke up one day and said, "I quit; from now on all the photos never get printed."  I just don't see how so many people can be so obsessed and then just stop. Because I’ve been scrapping for so long (over 13 years), when the LSS’s started shutting down around me I believed it was because scrapbooking may have been a very long-lived ‘fad’. But how can that be? Scrapbooking is a way of life for me. Everyday there are new events, new photos, new stories to be told... and a scrapbooking is so much better than keeping a plain old diary.    And through taking the classes at Pretty Paper.True Stories., I have found out that there are new scrappers all the time; that as younger women start to travel, get married, and/or have children they want to tell their stories in a pleasing manner. More and more women scrapbook. Even my GiGi took Scrapbooking as an extracurricular at her middle school with 30-40 more girls her age (and let’s face it, young girls LOVE to shop – for anything!). Yes, we may have started budgeting ourselves during the recession, but we are still here and we are still buying supplies. Heck, I bet there are over 1,000,000 blogs about scrapbooking!

 I know that a lot of people went digital; but I'm so sure that many many more continued to want to lay eyes on, lay hands on, and enjoy the aroma of pretty paper.  Honestly, while I love 2Ps inventory, I hate the fact that I can’t see and feel the paper to know if I really want it or if it’s going to arrive and go to the back of the stack (happened this week).  Also, the inventory is so huge, that I can’t browse the entire ‘shop’ to see new and unexpected things that may be older (not from current CHA) that I didn’t know even existed.  Besides, the other day I spent $XXX.00 on an order from 2Ps.  Two days after ordering - before it even arrived - there were items in my cart that I had forgotten but really need.  But the order doesn’t add up to $50.00 without sale items, so there’s shipping – enough shipping cost that I could actually buy a paper pad or stamps or a sheet of brads or Thickers.  This is the thing that makes me absolutely insane… that my shipping cost could actually afford me more supplies that I didn’t pick up because of money restraints.

As a woman in my 50’s, I’m a hybrid shopper.  I like to shop online; but moreover, I am inherently a hands-on shopper… a browser shopper.  Trust me, I spend way more at Hobby Lobby on crappy stuff than I do online for the good stuff because when I have things in my hand, I just can't live without them; when I shop online, I put it in my basket and out of my basket with abandon because there’s very few things that I just see and absolutely need.   Photos from CHA were lovely and so many of the new things look promising, but really because it wasn’t ‘live’ I wasn’t overwhelmed with that feeling of YES PLEASE!. 
I did notice that my LSS – before it closed – was a tad overpriced.  Smart thing for those owners to have done was to have accessed the online stores and go 10 cents under that price (because we all know that everyone makes a profit).  In that way, they could have stayed competitive; especially if they offered crops, classes, etc.  Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a group of women from this area take the Pretty Paper Party class all at the same time and meet up at that local LSS to work on their Prompts together?! Those are the things that almost all the online shopping sites offer:  a forum for scrappers to gather & gab; and, classes & freebies to check out a little something new.  (And honestly, sometimes you can forget your online when there are several people involved and conversations popping). 
Which leads to the big reason these online shops strive where the real-deals failed… women are pretty darned monogamous and usually loyal to a fault.  It really has to be Gold Lame Color Shine or Wood Veneer Stars for us to wander to another store to shop.  So if our online gathering spot is offering to sell us something to boot, well you know we’re going to hop on it because all of our online scrapping friends do; and, well, we appreciate them giving us a gathering spot so we’re just going to pay them back a little.  To boot, our scrapping heroes are affiliated.  That’s how I finally broke down and started ordering from 2Ps, a link in my scrapping hero’s blog; and honestly, it was so that she could get a little profit for giving me so much scrappiness… first order=$51 so I could get free shipping.
So, I just don’t understand these closings.  Of course, I live in Bumfuque, Egypt, and now have to drive 50+ miles to see if the LSS listed online still has it’s doors open; but I have read over and over again about LSS’s in very populace areas closing up shop.   And it’s so sad to we who love to feel and smell the paper.  Neither Michaels nor Hobby Lobby, the only two places I can visit, carry beautiful new paper lines… so the smell has worn off all their mediocre old paper.  What I wouldn’t give to live next door to an Archivers in February!

Anyway, this was the first year in as many years as I can remember, that I did not watch the Superbowl.  Instead I cut smallish squares of paper, inked them, glued them, thought about it, did it over again.   But here’s what you’ve been missing out on in Pretty Paper Party:
At some point in the forum someone said something about saving branding strips. Well, when I set up my new desk the other day, I moved my trimmer and found all these branding strips underneath. Instead of tossing them, I threw them in the box with my border strips. So when I opened that box to do a layout using strips, I thought "Well, look at all that pretty paper I've used." I mean really, what do you think of when you see branding strips but pretty paper.  And what better way of talking about pretty paper than with branding strips?  So here is the page that will go into my Book of Me because this is such an important aspect of my life.
That stack is 5th & Frolic by American Crafts as well as the Thickers, pearls are from Paper Studio and Recollections, punches are Marvy Uchida & Martha Stewart, and that's my new Spellbinders Lacy Circles Nestabilities Die you see on that there embellishment (gonna see a lot of that coming up soon).  And then there's that ancient piece of vellum that I've had for 5-10 years - just like clothes, everything comes back around I guess.
More 5th & Frolic and Neapolitan papers & letters, more Thickers, some Love My Tapes, new camera stamps by Amy Tangerine to add to my Dear Lizzy camera (all from AC) stamped using Colorbox Chalk Ink, a little Studio Calico stamp and Mistable cameras using Tsukineko Chalk Inks, My Minds Eye Sweetest Thing words & phrases, same old punches and my new Die!

Oh how I love October Afternoon and Sassafras and Cosmo Cricket!, that little frames by Heidi Swapp, and lovely wood veneer circle things by Studio Calico, some AC Thickers & OA Mini-Markets, and a bunch of Doodlebug twines on all those assorted buttons.
I am loving American Crafts Neapolitan and 5th & Frolic.  It looks pretty good with those old AC papers and that Echo Park too.  Of course I used AC Remarks & Thickers letters and some AC stickers.  Popped on a Heidi Swapp frame & rub-on; plus I threw in some Studio G (Hampton Art) brads & gems.  Used those same old punches by EKS & MS and grabbed some flowers by Paper Studio & assorted buttons.  Called that one DONE.

Love this paper by Amy Butler for K&Co. (may be my all time favorite).  I just added some diecuts from OA, EP, AC and Pebbles and that Studio Calico Mistables Camera.  Those little rosettes are set off with Paper Studio brads.  And yes, you see AC Thicker and OA Mini-Markets of course.

October Afternoon, American Crafts, Echo Park all contributed paper.  Stickers  by AC and OA and tapes by OA, Bazzill & Freckled Fawn with that EKS punch & Spellbinders Die. Throw on some Studio G (Hampton Art) buttons and call it a day!

Well that about does it... I'm almost caught up in my Pretty Paper Party but not quite.  When this is finished, I'm going back to Scrapbook Remix.  Boy oh Boy, am I ever loving these classes.  Talk about motivating.  I don't know if it's the Prompts (which are super duper awesome) or the great company in the forums, but I have done 21 layouts in 3 weeks.  That's a layout a day!!!  I mean, that may not seem like a lot to some people; but I have been car shopping for a week, down in my back for almost as long and I move like a snail & take frequent breaks because of the MS.  TWENTY ONE!!! and still at it!!! WOOHOO!!!!  (I probably didn't even have to write that WooHoo, you probably heard it wherever you are).  Well, if I can do it - you can do it.  Go create something wonderful... I know you can!  And if you're looking for some motivation, join a class.  Shimelle offers wonderful ones like the two I've taken (several will be going back through Remix around the 18th) that include PDF Prompts w/Sketches, Videos and Forum; but the great part is that you have unlimited access to all the current materials as well as any future materials that are added.  Or you can just check out some of her freebies like 4x6 Love or Write It Down... I mean really, what an awesome opportunity to get inspired.  But whatever it takes, creating is good for the soul.


"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity." - Bo Bennett


  1. OK, first off it's such fun to "hear" your excitement!! And your pages are beyond AWESOME. Seriously. I love LOVE the border strip idea! I usually cut them up and stick them in my daily journal, but using them as background paper is friggin ingenious.

    I totally agree with all you said about the LSS's. We had one close here and I wasn't surprised. The store was in the middle of no where and she didn't really understand what her customers wanted. But it was still sad to see it go. I'm with you--I love SEEING and SMELLING the paper before I buy it. ;-)

  2. The closest LSS is across the state line in KANSAS (eewwwww!). The problem with going over there is that it takes 35 minutes to get there, the highway is always crowded (they are all independently wealthy over there don't you know LOL!) and I don't want to shop in KANSAS! I have been in that store before and several years ago they had lots of new stuff but plenty of really old ugly crap from Imaginesce. UGLY!!! So luckily I have an Archivers 10 minutes away and I love this store. I am telling you I practically have a "scrapgazim" every time I walk in there! I have to limit myself and bite my tongue so I don't moan out loud! Love that place.