Saturday, July 27, 2013

During my Vacation Break...

It seems that I can only scrap purposefully for a limited time and then I have to take a break to play with my supplies.  But first, I must straighten up my area.  This includes not only putting things away, but going through most everything.  Sometimes I reorganize a few things, but the most beneficial of this act is that I find the things I don't think about.  For instance, I had forgotten that I have sooo much of that Echo Park that I couldn't live without nine months ago (remember when I was in the Dark Days and all I wanted was a pack of EP This & That??). Also, I can't believe it's been 8 months since I fell in love with 5th and Frolic! I still love the October Afternoon I'm hoarding and plan to use it on my brother's and my childhood albums.  And what about the basket of embellishments?  Sticker sheets, foam shapes, doilies, frames, pockets - so many things that I just pass over in lieu of my new supplies.  And so it is that, for a little while at least, I plan to try to integrate a few of those things into my scrapping.

Playing with my supplies after a major project also takes the form of mindless pages without intention. Finding a photo I love and using it to showcase new supplies or use old supplies.  These pages actually make me feel rather guilty.  Shimelle stesses telling the stories so much, that making layouts just for the sake of playing with my supplies feels rather... wrong.  But oh well, sometimes my favorite pages are the ones I did just to dribble my new mist or to 'fussy-cut' flowers or to stamp something.  Besides, if I have to have purpose with each page, I'm gonna have to stop drooling over those Glitter Girl layouts.

And so it was that after finishing up the photos I had on-hand of our vacation, it was time I started scrapping with no direction - using muted colors, old photos, anything different.  Here are a few of those layouts:

This of course is My Minds Eye with a little help from Fancy Pants and a Walmart Doily.  And that's the deal with this layout - to my great surprise, the doilies on that Fancy Pants are the exact pattern of the doily I got in a pack from WalMart - EXACT.  Of course, the other deal with this page is that I took a lot of those ideas Glitter Girl was using in her wedding album and put them to use.  I like it.

Oooh, Aaah... I still have Maggie Holmes in stock.  Oh and new Heidi Swapp Color Shines! My HS inventory now is made up of: Gold, Tinsel, Chartreuse (hmmm), Mint Green, Teal, Primrose, and Sweet Cherry.  We need to talk about this later.

This is one of the benefits of remembering what you have - mixing and matching.  I like the CP Maggie Holmes paired with the MME Find Your Wings.  

Now to talk about those HS Color Shines.  I've had my Gold for about 5+ months, and now it seems to not want to come together properly even when I shake it really well.  Is anyone else having this problem?  Is there some secret, or an expiration date or is it just me as usual?  Also, just a reminder - in my opinion, I could have stayed away from Chartreuse... it's lovely in the bottle, but on my pages it just looks like a dirty gold (but I must admit it was perfect for my peacock layout - but that's the only perfect one so far).  Also, when I splatter or drip, the Cherry and Primrose look so similar - same with the Teal and Mint - but when I look at these photos, they are so obviously different colors. What's up with that?  Maybe I just need to use the photographs in a book and throw the layouts away (NOT!!) But anyway, when I spray them as intended, they are very different indeed. Oh, and so you know, the Tinsel is the perfect color for all that gray that's in the new lines. All in all, I love them all (and GiGi said they look beautiful on the shelf - bonus!)!!!  And now all the colors are available at Michaels!! Woo hoo!

Okay, that's all for today.  My monthly kits coming in soon so I'm trembling with excitement.  I hope every is as scrappy as me!

Stay Safe and Scrap On!

“When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time."― Lady Gaga

Friday, July 26, 2013


Oh my, I finally got to get on my computer and check a few things out. Awesomeness everywhere!  One thing I found was this list from Furry Pig.  We used to pass these around at work and I've always enjoyed them so I was excited to do this one - until I saw the answers.  Still.... it's enlightening.  Why don't you copy and paste it to your blog and just replace the answers with one.single.word. ? It's a great way for people to know you a little better.

1. Where is your cell/mobile phone? desk
2. Your hair? thick
3. Your mother? aging
4. Your father? sick
5. Your favourite food? shrimp
6. Your dream last night? none
7. Your favourite drink? coke
8. Your dream/goal? lottery
9. What room are you in? scrappy
10. Your hobby? scrapbooking
11. Your fear? dark
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Tampa
13.Where were you last night? Home
14. Something that you aren’t? social
15. Muffins? pie
16. Wish list item? silhouette
17. Where did you grow up? Michigan
18. Last thing you did? dvd
19. What are you wearing? t-shirt
20. Your TV? pretty
21. Your pet? Duchess
22. Friends? internet
23. Your life? okay
24. Your mood? tired
25. Missing someone? mom
26. Vehicle? suzuki
27. Something you’re not wearing? make-up
28. Your favourite store? michaels
29. Your favourite colour? cadet
30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? tampa
32. Your best friend? mom
33. One place that you go to over and over? TomThumb
34. One person who emails you regularly? noone
35. Favourite place to eat? Fridays

Okay now on to some scrappiness.  I did a few more vacation layouts and then took a break from these for a bit.  Here are the few moments I've done:

 Yes, you've seen these last photos before.  These are the 5x7s from that package and this layout will be placed in the 'Family' album.

I've totally switched gears in the last several layouts I've done.  I've gone to softer papers or older photos.  I will post those tomorrow when I get them cropped down.  Just wanted to drop a line tonight.

Stay safe and Scrap On!

“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Evolution of Scrapping Insanity....

Let me start by saying that the little 'area' of Navarre, Florida is totally built on swamp land.  At one time all of this was a swamp and was drained or filled or whatever in order to make neighborhoods. So it comes as no surprise that when we received about 6-8 inches of rain on July 2-4, our lawns definitely flooded.  Since that time, it has rained literally  What does this mean? Well, for one thing, the ground is still soggy with water standing everywhere.  Second, when the sun is out and we get our 90 degree weather, the humidity rising from the ground brings the temperature up to about 108.  Then, because mowing is impossible, the grass is 6-36 inches high causing the bugs to be atrocious.  Finally, it is starting to smell like a swamp around here during the day.  At any rate, it was raining all day again on Thursday.

Chapter 1
So as I was just sitting there watching The Hobbit (for the 110th, 111th, 112th.... time), I decided it would be a good day to do the journaling page for my vacation pics.  This one differs from the 'Trip Notes' because its actually journaling about what we experienced during our vacation as opposed to our road time.  When I started the layout, I had pulled out my embellishments of wood & flair, created a pinwheel, and attached all.  Then it started... I put something else on, and then something else, and then more until I had spent the entire day adding stuff to the layout.  There must be 100 embellishment items on this one page (I really haven't any desire to actually count them).  It literally looks like someone threw up scrapbooking supplies.  Now that I'm finished, my mind still gets scrambled when I put the layout in front of me and I can't get my thoughts together to actually do the writing!

I'll photograph it again when I actually get the writing done, but just wanted to show you how insane I can get on a rainy day when JC's on Xbox and I can't watch Netflix. (NOTE:  The first actual embellishment attached to the layout - the pinwheel - is no longer on the page. Hmmmm....) But you know what is my absolutely favorite thing on the entire page? This...

I put one of these little stickers on the Two Kids One Monkey layout and in both cases it has absolutely transformed the page.  Who knew?  And why did I put so much more on the page when this little flower I added at the beginning was so very perfect?  Well, who knows... I just went totally insane.  But I have to admit, it was really very fun!

Chapter 2
So to bring my mind back into reality and to calm my nerves from all that excitement, I scraplifted Cynthia on Friday.  Not only did I grab the simplicity of the layout, but I even used my Doodlebug letters that have sat untouched for so long.  I simply love it but I'm not sure where I'm going to put it.

See.. I took these photos outside; and, while I was photographing the layouts, the humidity started to do it's thing.  By the time I got to this one, the adhesive on the pink paper was coming up!

Chapter 3
These are the two I did on Wednesday.  They seemed to have gone pretty quickly - especially the Meerkats.  The upside is I actually did laundry that day and a few things around the house.  Plus I did GiGi's hair color.  So it was a busy day and the layouts didn't get finished in time for photos.  Good thing these things don't rot before I get around to photographing them.

Chapter 4
This layout was done Tuesday evening.  It sat for days while it rained and I couldn't take any photos. Then it happened!!! I woke up in the middle of the night... I had forgotten to put the tickets on the layout!  So off I went to the scrap desk to pull up one of the photos and work in that Pebbles pocket with the tickets stuffed in.

Chapter 5

This is the one that I did today... only spent about a few hours on it - but then I was talking to mom on the phone through most of that time.

Chapter 6

I was also very happy that you commented on the last post.  Susan, I can't believe you gave away your Cuttlebug and embossing folders... but then I remember you got a Cameo for Christmas (I don't know anything about those except the awesome cutting, so the embossing surprises me!)... still I don't think I could ever do without the ease of throwing my 'bug on the desk and doing a quick emboss for a card or scallop cut for a layout that I decided I needed at the last moment.  Furrypig, it doesn't take long to start a mighty stash in this craft and I still buy many older things at discount (think Sassafras, American Crafts papers and Thickers no longer stocked anywhere else) so am constantly restocking my old and using my new.  Cynthia... washi, wood veneers, flair and pearls/enamel dots/metal dots don't seem to be going anywhere so I really don't think that's a trend (except that SC discontinues things like 'potty people', etc. which is ridiculous since they could always be used on layouts for kids, travel, etc. and wood is still so very popular. I really hate that discontinuing thing just because it's not the very latest (a year is not so very old to do staple items) - so I do tend to buy several when I buy any - like 4 packs of stars - so that I have them a while after everyone else thinks they're so passe)). Think sequins... I put them on layouts 8 years ago and I'm putting them on layouts today.  And yes, the internet has definitely changed the way I scrap (Note:   I had subscriptions to CK and Scrapbooks Etc for 10 years straight and still scrapped like crap!).  If you guys do blog post about the things you hold onto, techniques you adored and miss or any other 'Remember When' subjects, please post a link in the comments so that we can all go there.

While we're on the subject, what's everyone's fave new paper picks?? Do you ever buy paper because you think "oh, that will go so well with this crap I've had in my stash forever!"?  Even though my monthly purchase is still 10 days away, I thumbed through the latest and greatest in a few online stores last night.  Oh my, I didn't find anything brand new that caught my eye - except the I {heart} Summer and What a Wonderful Day that I've been using lately.  It was very disappointing, so I'm hoping someone has some tips... sometimes it just takes seeing it with a new viewpoint in mind - like the MME Collectible that I wasn't overwhelmed with until Susan started raving, then I checked it out again, found several lines of the one collection and loved it.  At this rate, I'll be buying more MME Skys the Limit and Kate & Co (because I love it!) and maybe more of the Fancy Pants WAWD to pair with Lucky Charm on layouts of anything other than Tampa layouts. 

Well, I'm almost done with my trip layouts - both physically and mentally! Gonna have to find a new adventure to scrap about!  But I absolutely must catch up on Shimelle soon - it's actually been weeks since I really paid any attention to her (think she's missing me?!! LOL!).  I'm sure that she's been doing some awesomeness lately that I need to be inspired by.  Luckily, yesterday I had a chance to roam around the web (if you read here, please comment even just a "HI" so that I can follow your name to your blog and check you out). You guys have been doing some great stuff  and I've really enjoyed checking out all your blogs - I've been inspired by your craftiness and I've been jealous over what you do and where you live!  If I found the button (couldn't quite figure it out on a few) then I subscribed.  Also, I put Google Chrome in as my new internet engine (in lieu of Internet Explorer) and set up my home page - really going to miss iGoogle, but I suppose this may work as well - and I have the app on my phone.  Anyway, now it will be so much easier to read my blog list... and that makes me happy!!!

Stay safe and Scrap On!

and that's all she wrote.

"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star." - Nietzsche

Friday, July 12, 2013

Remember When...

I don't know how long you've been scrapbooking, but I suppose in today's terms I've been scrapping quite awhile.  I'm not talking about those scrapbooks about Watergate or camp.  I'm talking about this modern version of colored paper with photos and stickers or diecuts.  When I started, I gathered up colored cardstock and diecuts; my patterned papers and stickers came in an 8.5"x11" book.  I had a trimmer, circle cutter, Pooh & flower punches, corner rounder, deco-scissors, markers, and a few odd little stamps to include an alphabet with little dots on the ends of each letter.  And though each page was definitely different, they were very much the same as well: putting as many photos as possible on a sheet of colored cardstock, in an orderly fashion with cardstock matting and then doing a little this or that to dress it up.

2001-2004 saw me going to my LSS and choose individual diecuts out of bins.  Each A, L, bear, stork, barbeque grill (still have) was chosen and paid for separately (the LSS owner cut these in the back room).  But the good news was we were picking up stride.  I bought loads of themed paper during this time - everything from heritage to military to gardening.  Letter stickers started becoming abundant.  And my grandchildren were in full-swing with a Xyron sticker maker for use on their own layouts and laminating machine to make bookmarks. Those orderly photos in orderly fashion with cardstock matting started looking a little more decorative with occasional themed background papers & stickers or bright colored flowers.

About 7-8 years ago, all my scrapbooking was double-page layouts.  My favorite technique was to print on vellum and then attach that to my layout with eyelets and ribbon.  My mom's favorite technique in any of the scrapbooks I've ever made for her comes from that time as well:  torn mulberry paper. Of course, I loved tearing any paper. I started using fabric and quotes. Glitter raised it's head and I have a few small messes on layouts where I just didn't quite know what to do with it.  But also there were other great things to play with... Glossy Accents and translucent 'gems' to make our own epoxy-stickers; Ranger products for 'antiquing (still using same 'Vintage Photo' ink-pad for edging)'; fibers & chalk & frames & chipboard.  It was exciting and new.  Everyday something new to play with. And still lots of orderly photos in orderly fashion with cardstock matting telling stories.

Five to six years ago, I got my Cuttlebug.  Those pages have paisleys, asterisks, swirls and my own personally-made diecut letters made from glitter paper (because you couldn't stick anything on top of it).  And shaped cardstock backgrounds.  And some DCWV foiled paper pads.  Everything is still a two-page layout.  And even with all of this... I became a little bored as well as overwhelmed.  I'm still placing as many photos as can tell the story on a page, in a semi-orderly fashion, on a 2-page layout; but I've given up matting.  The problem - how to make it unique as it seemed everyone was doing everything and nothing was left for me to 'create'!?!

So now here I am, about 14 years from when I started.  I have a bushel and a peck of patterned paper that I use all the time.  I have a scrap basket that holds more than my entire inventory of product then.    I have boxes and boxes of themed embellishments.  I have punches for borders and scalloped circles and butterflies and all other manner of things.  I have baskets and baskets and baskets and a large binder of stickers.  I have buckets and buckets of diecuts. I have bins and bins and bins and bins of stamps.  I have gobs of ribbon; and jars of buttons, flowers, tape and even a nice little stash of wood.  I no longer depend on the photos to tell the story, I no longer try to use more than 1-3 photos on a layout, I rarely ever make a two-page layout and I have gone back to matting but not on cardstock.  And over the past year, I have gotten back to loving scrapbooking more than I can ever remember loving it before.

And I also have about 35 lbs of colored cardstock... and no idea what to do with it. 

It's strange that scrapbooking has taken such a dramatic road.  That instead of adding to our supplies, we've surplanted them.  While we use black, white and kraft cardstock (we would never have used kraft cardstock 14 years ago, yck!) because every page needs a foundation and most of us don't use patterned paper for that foundation on every layout, our use of colored cardstock lays untouched.  We still must attach things to layouts, but when's the last time you picked up your eyelets?  We loved mulberry paper... didn't we?  When's the last time you tore some paper?  What is your Glossy Accents doing besides gluing things down?  Have you used a shaped cardstock or themed it up lately?  Do you remember that you can still stamp with VersaInk and color it with chalk?  Did you keep all those items?  Or did you ditch them when the trend ended?  

I kept everything... obviously.  I like to think I'm not an on-trend scrapper; but that's obviously not the case.  While I don't believe I need every new thing and that I'm perfectly happy scrapping with things that are 'so last season', the fact that all my layouts for the past year or so have been on patterned paper or black, white or kraft cardstock indicates that the trend has definitely crept in on me. I'm definitely not saying there's anything wrong with being trendy! Of course, we like the latest and greatest... that's why my love of wood veneer and washi tape sits only a few feet away from my mulberry paper.  That's why manufacturers stay in business.  That's what makes scrapping fun!!! 

What I am saying is... what kind of scrapper are you?  Are you a trendy scrapper who weeds out the old stuff when new stuff comes along?  Or do you still have those items of yesteryear... those things that we couldn't have done without?  Did you hang on to all of the things from a season, year or 5 years ago or just a certain something that you just hoped you'd find a use for later?  And most importantly, what on earth do you plan to do with your colored cardstock!?!

Today, I don't only want to know what kind of scrapper you are, but what was your favorite (or least favorite) trends along your scrapping journey.  And a little something different... a challenge:  make a little something out of your older supplies.  Whether the oldest you have is last season or 10 years ago, use it on a layout or even a card.  Be brave.  Post your photo (will it let you do that?) or a link with your comments.  I can't wait to see what we dream up!

Stay Safe and Scrap On!!

and that's all she wrote.

P.S.  This was supposed to be posted to the blog before my vacation photos were started, but somehow was left in 'draft' mode.  I still really do want to know what you think of colored cardstock, etc.

"When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on Earth. So what the hell, leap!"
- Peter McWilliams

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dreaming... Again.

Anyone who 'knows me' (translate to 'been reading this blog awhile'), knows that I dream about scrapbooking.  It is not uncommon when I'm working on a lot of layouts - classes, vacation, whatever - to post them and then nights later make changes.  Literally, I wake up in the middle of the night and go to my desk, pull out the layout that's on my mind and either make changes right then and there or pull out whatever I want to add/change and lay it out for the next day.  This has happened more than once lately; for instance these changes have been made over the past few days:


As you may have noticed, sometimes the changes are bigger, sometimes just tiny.  You see, usually I do these blog posts just before going to bed.  So, when I upload the new photos, I go through the entire Picasa album.  I suppose it's looking at these images so close to falling asleep that causes me to dream about the things that just feel off to me.  (Note: I do the actually falling asleep watching television but never dream about movies, etc. - I'm so weird!).
 I only finished two layouts today, one that was photographed during the daylight.  But on the upside, I did get a load of laundry finished, swept the floors and cleaned the bedroom & bathroom - yea for me! First time I've actually done any real housework (kitchen doesn't count) since I starting scrapping the vacation pix!


I'm going to mention something that I have relearned about myself during this scrapaganza... I really love colored cardstock.  You know when you take a Shimelle class how that is always one of the exercises - go back and look at your old layouts and find something you really like about them to try again.  It's been a real problem for me during the classes.  However, when going back through my layouts on Picasa, it became very clear.  As evidenced by the change in the 'FAVE FOLIAGE' layout above, I really think it makes a dramatic difference in my layouts that I absolutely love.  Don't get me wrong, I still love those neutrals: kraft, white, black, gray; however, using colored cardstock, I suppose, has the same affect that using a patterned paper!  So this need I had to start to whittle down my stash has turned into a change in scrap concept for me as well.  I still love the variety of backgrounds in my albums that include patterned papers and neutrals, but I am so very pleased to rediscover my love of colored cardstock as well... whether 'on-trend' or not! 
Also, while there is no doubt that I prefer to scrap 4x6 photos, I have learned - through necessity - that scrapping a ton of smaller photos on a layout can be challenging and fun!  You see, my album is already almost full (and we were only gone one week!) ! And yes, there are some 'extraneous' layouts - like 'Two Kids One Monkey' but even those remind me of the fact that each day found new adventures and that many more lay undiscovered.  So, when I go back to finish the St Augustine album (which I have enough pictures from ONE day to do an entire album!), I will use the technique of putting as much on a layout as I feel I can get by with - sometimes one photo, sometimes eight. 
Okay, goodnight.  I hope everyone is having a good time and  being as creative as they possibly can.  Stay safe and scrap on!
And that's all she wrote.
"There's room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you're trying to be like somebody else, then there is isn't." - Tori Amos

Monday, July 8, 2013

More Vacation Layouts...

As I listed all my products on the last post, I will forgo it this time.  Still raining and windy here, so the photos are exceptionally bad - but as they needed put away, I decided they needed posting:

I'm still watching some great movies on TCM, Netflix, Hulu and anywhere else I can set my eyes on them, but tonight my recommendation is not a movie but some YouTube for your entertainment.  You see, as hard as I try, I am not the creative or intelligent person in my family; that would be my brother.  He not only paints, carpenters, and anything else he puts his mind too, he's also a very talented musician - he literally can play any instrument he picks up.  He's also an amazing computer/video guy. So, if you love a good ballad or need a good laugh, I am recommending this video for starters (then take a listen to The Ballad of Charlotte Hyde and Hands of Loar on his channel).  These videos are not only produced by my brother, but he plays all roles in those that require a male (with his wife in female roles); as well as writes the songs, plays all instrumentation and mixes it in his little studio room (his 8x8 room is much more productive and creative than mine!!!).  I hope you enjoy it - if so give it a 'like'; if not, don't hold it against me as next time I promise to go more mainstream.

Well, hope everyone is well and creative - stay safe and scrap on!

And that's all she wrote.

"It is better to create than to be learned, creating is the true essence of life." - Barthold Georg Niebuhr

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Retraction.... and More.

So it always seems to be that if you start bitching about something, it will spit in your eye.  Thus, I received my shipment from BlueMoon Scrapbooking on Tuesday, July 3rd at about 3:00.  Soooo Excited!!! All that Simple Stories I heart Summer!!!  That puts BlueMoon back in my top three... well okay, so there was only a top 2 a few days ago but I have to say that BlueMoon seem like really nice people - I love those videos they do on the products!  And 7 days beats 10 by a mile, even 2Peas has taken a week once or twice.  And often BlueMoon has product that's sold out everywhere else.  So, with two orders on the books, I'm diggin' em.

I have finished a few layouts - I'm really into quantity right now! I missed scrapping so much that I just want to do and do!  I've saving my product list to the end as I'm basically running in kit mode with a little help from all of my stash! I love it!  I'll forewarn you, the weather here is atrocious so I tried to grab these photos between downpours and wind gusts... hope you don't mind too badly as the main point is just that I've been doing stuff!




  • Cardstock:  Colorbok; Coredinations; Die Cuts With a View; The Paper Studio/Hobby Lobby
  • Patterned Paper:  Fancy Pants Design - What a Wonderful Day; My Minds Eye - The Sky's the Limit; Simple Stories - I heart Summer & Oh Snap!
  • Letter Stickers:   American Crafts; Echo Park; Fancy Pants; October Afternoon; Simple Stories
  • Die Cuts/Journaling Blocks:  American Crafts; Echo Park; October Afternoon; Simple Stories; Studio Calico Mistables
  • Stickers:  American Crafts; Crate Paper; Echo Park; Fancy Pants; October Afternoon; Simple Stories
  • Flair:  A Flair for Buttons; American Crafts; Basic Grey; Recollections/Michaels; Simple Stories
  • Wood:  Freckled Fawn; Recollections/Michaels; Studio Calico
  • Tape:  Bella Blvd; Love My Tapes; Recollections/Michaels
  • Mists:  Heidi Swapp; October Afternoon
  • Stamps:  American Crafts; My Minds Eye
  • Ink:  Colorbox; Ranger; Tsukineko
  • Enamel Dots:  My Minds Eye; Teresa Collins
  • Brads:  Simple Stories
  • Transparencies:  Simple Stories
  • Sequins:  Michaels
  • Pens:  Sharpie
Since I have about 30+ lbs of colored cardstock, I decided that it would be included on each of my vacation layouts... and I've been doing pretty well except for the King Tut's Tomb.  "Tomb" was my first layout with my new Simple Stories and I just totally forgot the cardstock!  Oh well!!!  And of course there's a camera on each layout... obviously it's a great place to use all that camera medium (wood, mistables, stickers, diecuts, stamps, tape, brads, flair, etc.) and so happy to have a chance to use some balloons (yes, I have a small hot-air balloon stamp collection, can't help myself!).  The only thing I'm seriously worried about is my wood supply - I'm quick running out of arrows, word bubbles, etc. and was really hoping to have some of those 'potty people' to add to layout of the kids.  But I just can't wait for SSS to decide they want to actually do their job (okay, can't talk about that anymore - frustration turning into genuine fury!). 

I hope everyone has had a great Independence Day!  We used to always celebrate birthdays at this time of year (my bro yesterday, my uncle today) but that doesn't happen anymore.  The kids have become old enough to have social lives just at the time that mine no longer exists - hate that!  With mom and dad still in Tampa, it's just another rainy day to get on with some scrapping here - and that's not so very bad!  But it does make it rather difficult to scrap the day later.

Anyway, long may she waive!  Stay safe and scrap on!

And that's all she wrote!

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Well here I sit still waiting for my main package of pretty papers.  I did decide on the line(s) I would use:  I heart Summer by Simple Stories (not exactly white based or navy inclusive but I like it) and What a Wonderful Day by Fancy Pants (whiter with navy - delicious) with some MME Sky's the Limit and AC DL Lucky Charm (of course) mixed in.  So what's the deal, you may well ask... well I'm gonna go on a small tangent right here and now!

As discussed before, it is my unwaiverable opinion that customer service is of upmost importance in any retail endeavor.  In the new (and improved???) scrapworld, almost the only way to get brand spanking new product (unless you live close to that scrap sexfest Archivers) is by mailorder.  Since one cannot judge customer service by the one-on-one personable interactions, one must find an alternative - and since it is a mail-order business, it only makes sense to me that a company's CS be judged by their shipping.  In other words, shipping costs & discounts, time from order placement to being shipped, availability of package tracking, and time from warehouse to my scraproom (or driveway because I always meet the mailman if I'm expecting a package!).  This month I was quite fortunate(?) to be able to put this CS theory to work in a most practical way with orders being placed at three main scrap stores:  BlueMoon Scrapbooking, Simon Says Stamp, A Cherry on Top (and believe it or not only slightly went over my kit budget). 

I am not going to name names here, but I am going to disclose circumstances.  At approximately 12:15 am on Wednesday, June 26th I placed two orders (Order A = 6 items, Order B = 18 items) and then Order C (20 items) at 12:05 am on June 28th.  Let me start by saying here is the status of the three orders: 
  • Order A = NOT SHIPPED AS OF TONIGHT per the website (7 days and counting)... $5.99 flatrate shipping ($75> = free shipping) via USPS.
  • Order B = Shipped Wednesday June 26th via FedEx; expected delivery Friday July 5th (10 days) ($50> = free shipping)
  • Order C = Shipped Friday June 28th via USPS, delivered Monday at 2:00 pm...Shipping $11 ($100> free)
Okay, I admit that $11.00 is pretty high for shipping... my policy is to never pay more than $10 (of which I begrudge every cent!) and honestly, I didn't as I got a 15% discount on items and shipping.  But the sheer fact that I received my items within 3 days - well, hmmmm.

I ship with FedEx (at the cheapest rate possible) and it never takes more than 5 days for my shipment to get anywhere (and only 3 in-state).  Thus the entire 10-day FedEx episode has me more than a little peeved.  I would think that it would be worthwhile for this company to look into using the good ole post office if their service is better than what FedEx is offering... and I will definitely be making this suggestion if and when my stuff ever arrives.

As far as the fact that it has been 7 days and my 6 packages of wood veneer - 2 pkgs each of two designs and 1 pkg each of two designs, pretty simple huh?!! - haven't even been shipped can be in no way justified.  To say that I am more than frustrated is an understatement.   And just to be clear, there have been no notifications of backorder; and, in fact, just to make sure tonight I placed the exact order in a new cart going all the way to the point of hitting buy before wiping out the cart.

Even if the shipping information on Orders A & B are incorrect on the webpage and I receive both shipments tomorrow, it will take serious consideration before orders will ever be placed with these companies again.  I know that many people may say that you can't control the mail service...  Ah, I know this all too well from many experiences working with a utility company!!! But at the same time, I also know that it is the ultimate responsibility of any business - and especially a retail organization - to ensure the timely delivery of their product.  After all, it is the only real means to determine customer service - because as Momma used to say, first impressions are the lasting impressions and timely receipt of product is the first impression of a mail-order customer (quality doesn't count as that is entirely in manufacturers' hands). 

While I know for certain that many companies receive a delivery notification (2Peas), I am not sure how that relates to in-house tracking.  Maybe it's time to give up all this automation and go back to paper invoices that aren't filed until a delivery receipt is stapled to it... the old days when we picked up an invoice off our desk and said, "Why isn't there a shipping receipt on this invoice?" and then a couple days later, "Why is this still on my desk... where is the delivery receipt?".  Somedays not only do I miss my good old-fashioned Local Scrap Store, but I absolutely hate mail-order in general.  Especially as I have 100 photos to scrap and no paper to put them on.

That is not entirely true... I do have one Fancy Pants Collection Kit, a few sheets of MME and a little bitty bit of Lucky Charm.  But I just couldn't wait anymore to start scrapping - I was totally forgetting how! - so here are a few pages I just had to do over the weekend.  Please remember that I am constantly working on more than one scrapbook and that many of the photos will be scrapped more than once to provide for each of those albums... so if you see the same photos next week in an entirely different layout, it doesn't necessarily mean I ripped up the layouts you're seeing today - but then again, it just might!

Patterned Paper: Amy Tangerine for AC, October Afternoon; Thickers: AT for AC; Stamps: AT for AC, MME; Wood: AT for AC, Studio Calico; Mist: Heidi Swapp, October Afternoon; Ink: Colorbox

Cardstock: Hobby Lobby; Patterned Paper, Thickers, & Felt:  American Crafts; Bag & Journal Card: Websters Pages; Sticker: October Afternoon; Flair: American Craft, A Flair for Buttons; Wood: Freckled Fawn, Studio Calico; Punch: Martha Stewart
Cardstock: Coredinations, Hobby Lobby; Patterned Paper, Thickers & Journaling Card: American Crafts; Tape: Bella Blvd; Flair: Karen Foster, A Flair for Buttons; Stickers: October Afternoon; Enamel Dots: My Minds Eye; Mistable: Studio Calico; Mist: October Afternoon

Cardstock: Hobby Lobby; Patterned Paper: American Crafts, Basic Grey; Journaling Spot & Thickers: American Crafts; Letter Stickers: October Afternoon; Tags: Canvas Corp; Wood: Studio Calico; Flair: American Crafts, Karen Foster; Other: Twine & Tape

Cardstock: Die Cuts with a View; Patterned Paper: American Crafts, My Minds Eye; Letter Stickers: American Crafts, October Afternoon; Stickers: October Afternoon; Stamp, Glitter & DieCut: American Crafts; Ink: Tsukiniko; Wood: Freckled Fawn, Studio Calico; Enamel Dots: Teresa Collins; Tape & Frame: Recollections for Micheals; Twine: My Minds Eye; Mists & RubOn: Heidi Swapp; Sequins: Michaels
I know I've said it before, but I can't believe that I scrapped strictly double-page layouts for over 10 years.  Now it is an absolute struggle to produce one - I just sit there staring at paper thinking "What now?!".  And now I've got several to do for my trip album.  Just know in advance that each and every one will be a sweatfest and will definitely be finished due to utterly giving up! 

Other notes about these layouts:  1.  The gold 'flamingos' letters are my first try at DIY thickers.  So happy I had them on hand and love the way they turned out - of course I never have a problem with fairydust all over the room!  2.  The flamingos layout totally got cut off on the left side, but it matches the right page of the layout - just much to late to redo photos.  3.  Don't love the 'cool down' layout so it will probably be redone and then done again for the family album.  4.  I'll be cutting down the star tape on the 'home' layout in the morning because here I notice how too long it is. 5. Happy Happy to use the stamps on the 'George & Logan' layout as I'm trying to train myself to use them more.

So sorry about the photos being more crooked than usual! I've broken my glasses - fell asleep with them on! - and spent all my glasses money on extraneous scrappy stuff.  So for the next couple of weeks, they will be what they will be.

I hope everyone is happy and crafty.  Scrap On!

And that's all she wrote...

P.S.  For what it's worth, there are a few things that I know regarding the Big 3 shipping methods:  FedEx is cheaper than UPS (surprised me!) and the United States Postal Service is faster than either of the other two (probably because they work 7 days a week versus the 5 days of the other companies).   Just something to think about when you're looking into shipping for yourself or by companies you do business with.

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."- Arthur Koestler