Friday, December 15, 2006

A Hidden Gem

Don't you just love when you find a new way to use something? I bought this picture organizer from Tuesday Morning. It was a good price and I liked the color.

Guess what else? It turns it is the perfect size for my Xyron Design Runner. I just removed the Velcro dividers and I placed the entire machine in the case. It fits perfectly. I actually put one of the dividers back in the case vertically, to create a little pouch for my disks.

So if you have a design runner you should definitely consider this as an option for a case. I know at AC Moore they sell a similar case under the Stow and Go name. They are 50% off this week.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Talking Dirty

I am so tired of organizing my scraproom. It has been this ongoing neverending battle to conquer my paper. I have spent every night for the past two weeks, cleaning...and there is no end in sight. Just when I think I have everything put away I find something else. This is a clear indication that I have too much stuff.

My husband asked me why I keep buying organizational products when I am such a slob. Normally, I would be very upset by that comment, but I cannot dispute the truth. I am not a neat person. Nevertheless, I need to make an attempt to get my stuff in order. I am tired of searching multiple rooms just to find some adhesive.

Speaking of organizational products I just ordered this from Joann's. I thought it would work nicely on the tension rod I have suspended in my craft room. I already have the clear pouches from HSN hanging up there and I thought the drawers would work well. I like having everything at my fingertips.

Here are some truly awful before pictures of my room. It is looking better than this now, but this will give you a reference of what I am working with.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I bought a Cricut

I bought a Cricut after months of shunning the little beige bug. I broke down in the wake of holiday sales. I probably didn't get the best deal in town (179 at AC Moore with a free Cricut bag) but I am satisfied. I was planning to hold out for a Wishblade, but I want to wait until I upgrade my computer later next year before I get one.

The die cutting station in my scraproom is getting crowded with my sizzix, zipemate, big shot, quickutz, Xyron PCS and now my Cricut. Good thing my DH doesn't know these machines all basically do the same things. I would never be able to live it down after I went on and on about all his unnecessary tools.

I plugged my PCS and my Cricut in side by side, just to see if I really did own two "apples". Short Answer: NO. The PCS is out of box easy to use (and its pink!). No set up needed, just punch in your shape book and go. The Cricut had some minor assembly required. It took me a good 15 minutes to figure out how to get the blade attached to the machine. In my defense, it was late and I was a bit tired when I was setting it up.

With the PCS, you just click on the picture of what you want to cut to select it. You don't even really need to understand English to work it. There is a little more thought involved with operating the Cricut. You have to type in your word, select your special features (ie shadows, charms, outlines etc) set the size, etc... Generally there is just more button pushing required with the Cricut. To break it mom could use the PCS with no effort, the Cricut would require her to think a bit more than she may like.

The PCS shape books are inexpensive. I think I have about 10 or so and none of them broke the bank to acquire. Many of them I got for 1/2 price. I just spent 150 bucks for 3 Cricut cartridges on Ebay. Ouch! But the Cricut cartridges are still cheaper than purchasing alphabets for my Sizzix or quickutz.

I should just stop now, because I cannot truly compare the Cricut to the PCS, they are such different machines. Definitely they are apples and oranges. The PCS has such cute shapes and a larger variety of them available. The Cricut is a little powerhouse for fonts - the size range it cuts, its speed....really great for cutting letters. Honestly, I couldn't choose one over the other. (Well maybe I would choose my PCS because its pink!) I feel they are both useful in my crafting. As is my sizzix/bigshot/zipemate - those machines are without compare in their ability to cut all sorts of media. If only I could get a good deal on a sizzix or a big shot alphabet, I would be in die cut heaven. And not to shortchange my quickutz. I love the tiny letters I can cut with it, granted I do use my sizzix/zipemate/big shot to cut them. The smaller letters are great for cards and mini albums. The Cricut and the PCS are not able to cut that small at this point.

In closing, my cluttered die cutting station is filled with useful tools that frankly, I don't want to give up. They all perform different functions and really cannont be compared to each other. Except for my sizzix, zipemate, and big shot - those three have some serious overlapping features, but I will save that for another entry.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mini Shopping Spree

So my Lisa B Mega Chipboard kit came today. The UPS man dropped it off just as I was leaving for work. I will have to crack it open when I get home and take some pictures. I am so glad the shipping was so fast. Maybe I still have time to order her holiday card kit and have it arrive before Dec.

I have been on a semi shopping spree this past week. HSN had free shipping on their craft items earlier this week and of course I took advantage of it. I went to the site looking for storage items, but once I saw the free shipping, I was like a kid in a candy shop.

I ordered 2 sets of Colobox fluid chalk ink (w/stylus). I think one of my new life goals is to own all the colors of this stuff. I love the soft touch it lends to my stamping projects.

I also bought some Cloud 9 Designs 4x4 pattern paper stacks for my Xyron PCS.

And I did get something I actually needed as well. I bought these plastic pocket organizers to hang on my scraproom wall. I need to have my supplies in plain sight or I will never use them. I hope this helps.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Apparently I have an obsessive personality.

I collect toys (mainly Barbie) and they are all over the house. I have a collection that would make most kids squeal with glee.

I love a tv show (namely Dawson's Creek) so I watch the DVDs constantly, and I even watch the reruns on The N and TBS.

I love paper, so as you may guess, my stash of paper crafting supplies is out of control. I must have been a packrat in another life, because I can collect things like no other. But what about using them? Hmm...not so much.

But that is me. I can accept that I like to see things pile up and surround me until I am trapped by my clutter. Truly I am okay with that. However, I am not okay with my compulsion to keep adding to the clutter by buying things I don't need. Do I really need every die cutter on the market? Do I need inkpads in every color, eventhough I usually only use black, brown and blue? Should I buy 3 packs of brads just because they are on clearance?

So last night, I was casually strolling the 2peas boards, when I spy an interesting post. Apparently Lisa B has branched into selling more than just album kits on her website. So I follow the link intrigued by the post that claimed she had a huge chipboard set for a great price. Guess what? She does. Guess what else? I ordered it. Do I need a huge stack of chipboard when I rarely scrapbook anymore? Nope. Could I resist the urge to buy it anyway? Absolutely not. I will let you know how it is once it arrives.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Scraproom Chaos Continues

I am the worst blogger ever. We all know this. But I am just going to continue on as if I never missed an update.

My scraproom is worse than ever. It is true. I now have no armoire, so the only organized portion of my room is now piled on my desk. So I need an organizational system fast. I am torn between 3 things...a scrapalong, scrapbooking cube system or a scraprack. They all have pros and cons.

The Scraplong is the neat trashy cany looking upright tote that has drawers built in.


It is on wheels. I love to be able to move my stash from room to room.

It has drawers. I can organize my embellishments in the drawers and then put coordinating paper in the bottom. I can get a few of these and line them up against the wall.


The drawers are not that big. I have loads of stuff, I am not sure if it all can be adequately housed in the thing, even if I did buy 3 of them.

It is an ugly color. I usually don't care about such things. But this would function as more than just a tote. I need it to be a little be visually appealing.

My stash would be concealed. I am a firm believer in out of sight, out of mind. Will I ever use the items housed in the scrapalong since I won't be able to see them?

Those scrapbooking cubes. Various companies make these white wooden cubes (some with drawers, or doors) to organize your craft area.


They are white. I have a weakness for white furniture. I guess it is a throwback to my childhood.

They are available at my local craft store so I can use my 40% off coupon.

They have all sorts of configurations...paper dividers, drawers, doors...I can create my organizational utopia.


They are white. All the furniture in my craft room is brown. Now I am not into decorating at all, but I still think this may not be the best design choice.

Depending on the brand some of the cubes cost as much as $50 dollars. That seems a bit pricey to me. One trip to Ikea could probably yield me a shelving solution at a fraction of the price.

They are dense. My room has a huge bulky desk, built in wooden shelving, and possibly two banquet tables. It is very crowded in there. Do I want more wood furnishings added to the mix?

The ScrapRack - a desktop file system that uses a series of binder spindles and pocket protectors to store items at your fingertips. Read about it here.


Everything is at my fingertips. I just flip to a section and voila...there are my brads or my stickers.

Takes up less space than a cabinet or cube.


I have to organize it all. I am lazy, but this task just seems insurmountable when I consider the size of my stash.

It is expensive. A complete system is $450! How can I justify spending that much on plastic and binder spindles. I can find furniture for cheaper.

I know they have a means to make this portable, but really the amount of items I have make me reluctant to disassemble bits of it to carry to a crop.

It takes up lots of table space. I wouldn't be bringing in any new furniture but I would need to use my long banquet table to hold my scraprack. That definitely limits my design choices for the room

It is all plasticy and bulky. Do I want to look at a big wad of page protectors all day?
I definitely had the most cons with the ScrapRack, but that is the one I think may work the best. The Scrapalong seems like a viable option as well. I wish I could find one in person and really measure the drawer space. Those cubes...hmm...they have a good deal on them at Oriental Trading. But all the space they require. I would hate to think about transporting them when we move. Decisions, decisions.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Nomadic Scrapper

My scraproom is officially now a series of boxes. I have paper will travel. I am a scrapbooking nomad as I shove those boxes from room to room in order to scrap. This cannot go on. I need access to my supplies - easy access. I should give my DH a rude surprise while he is away. I should set up shop in our bedroom. I will just push his action figure collection and dvds aside and make myself a scrap nook. (Evil laughter in my mind). If he can bowflex in my scraproom then I can scrap in his haven - our bedroom. Ok seriously not going to happen - the last thing I need is him commenting about my "crapbooking" supplies taking over the room, but a girl can dream.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Worst blogger ever

Someone pointed out that I am very lax about updating my blog. And she is so right. It is really so surprising because I usually have so much to say - especially in writing. So my vow for the summer is to keep this baby moving. I will let my scrappy ideas and thoughts roll.

If someone knows how to update blogs via email - please clue me in. That would make it so much easier to blog while at work.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taking the challenge to scrap

I am a collector. I collect toys, Barbies, fonts, purses, and scrapbooking supplies. If I see a sale on paper I am there. Sometimes I buy things I don't even need just because the price seems so right. Now I am really paying. I am in the process of packing up my supplies to move to a new area of the house. I have so much crap. When will I ever use all these things. I have a sticker organizer filled to the brim with stickers - and I hate stickers! I rarely use them. Embellishemts are spilling out of the shoeboxes I bought to organize them. I have never opened packs of everything. Oh and the tools...where do I begin? Does one person need 5 die cutters? Make that 6, I just ordered a Big Shot.

I have a plan. I am going to scrap. Eventhough I have very few pictures, eventhough I am supposed to be packing. I am going to stop and scrap. Why? Because I need to justify the aching back I am going to have after I move all this paper paraphenalia out of the room. Justification comes in the form of completed pages. So I have been doing challenges. Scraplift challenges on 2peas, and I started a few new challenges on our board. And I already have some fruits for my labors.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lost in Space

So I am losing my scraproom to a bowflex. OK my room is a disaster area anyway, I can deal. I actually hated scrapping in there. It is in the back of the house away from it all (AKA the television) But here is the problem. Where do I put all my supplies now? The scrapper's armoire is out of the question, because I am way to cheap pay for it. So what now?

I have been surveying the house looking for a corner to create a scrap haven. So far no luck. Every corner is occupied. Then someone on 2 peas posts this Martha Stewart kitchen collection and I think it is the answer to all my problems. But where do I put it???

We have a finished garage that was made into a room. At one point it was actually used, but now it is just a storage room. Wedding gifts, Barbies, and action figures as far as the eye can see. Seriously it looks like a store warehouse in there. Rashida volunteered to come for a week and help me organize it and turn it into a mega crop room. I wonder if the attic will collapse if I cram all the stuff up there? Maybe I can just create a corner for myself in there for now and organize the rest slowly. Maybe Joe and his bowflex should be relocated to the garage and I could just keep my scrap room. Decisions...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

National Scrapbooking Day

Well I had big plans...BIG ONES. I was going to scrap 12 plus hours. I was going to finish my christmas mini albums and my two wedding albums, make mother's day cards, and work on projects for the site. All this while also participating in some cybercrops and watching QVC.

Shall we say the best laid plans?? I did manage to watch QVC. I was very good too. I only bought one thing - the Karen Foster Fold n Go. What can I say? I am a bag lady. I am the proud owner of 3 rolling totes, 2 Crop n Style shoulder bags, a AMM Tote-Ally, 3 Generations rubber stamp bags, and a stuff bucket. I am still not organized - but I definitely COULD be.

So I didn't do much scrapbooking at all. But I did get up and go to AC Moore at 9am to pick up the last Xyron PCS they had in the store (the manager held it for me). Joe gave me the choice of that or a Cricut for my birthday and I went with the Xyron. I like pink, I like that it is light, and I think the fonts are so much cuter. Besides you can't beat the price - 30 bucks for a font set!!

I spent most of the evening playing with my new toy. I was a bit scared, after reading all the bad reviews online, but mine worked really well. I cut cardstock, thin paper, and even some velvet paper. So far so good.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Speed of Life

Is it just me or did April fly by? It seems like just yesterday I was updating the site for April. Now I have to do it again for May. I swear a week only takes 3 days for me now. When I was a child time would creep by. I was scared I would be a kid forever, now I am mortified that at that thought that my youth is quickly fleeting.

They say 30 is the new 20, but some days I feel ancient. I wonder if anyone has discovered a way to slow down time. I don't mean to stop and smell the roses. I mean to actually put 36 hours in a day. Now that would be progress! I could stay up later. Get more accomplished. Actually have the time (and energy) to work on my writing, plan for the site, enjoy the forum, oh and I would scrapbook too. It is not like I have many demands on me, so seriously where does the time go?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Fifteen Hundred Dollars!!!

OK I just looked up those scrapbookers armoire things. HMMM 1500 dollars! They seem so small at that price. The creating station seems nice and very furniture like. But the pull out table part seems really small. This one has larger table space, but the color is really ugly. And how do you get to all the stuff with that table like that? Do you have to get up and walk around it?

The scrapbox looks awesome. But there still doesn't seem like a lot of room to sit and work. But I guess I am a sucker for velcro and plastic...and black. Anything that comes in black makes me happy. Some have said that it is not worth 1600 dollars though.

I need a fairy godmother to come and whip one up for me. Or a skilled carpenter that works for peanut butter sandwiches.

To Scrap or To Clean? That is the question.

I rearranged my scraproom over a month ago and things are worse now than they were before. I cannot find a thing. I know I need to stop take a day and just clean it all up, but if I do that then I won't have time to scrap. I have such little scrapping time as it is. I offered my sister 20 dollars to help me clean it, and surprisingly she said yes. She must have seen the desperation in my eyes, since she usually would have requested a much higher amount.

Now I may have to move out of my scraproom temporarily. My grandmother sold her house and may have to stay with us, until her new senior housing is ready. This seems like the perfect opportunity to organize. I have been seriously thinking about investing in one of the scrapper's closets or armoire thingies. I wonder if a whole room of stuff would fit. I just think that a smaller controlled space would force me to get organized. And I could have it in the family room or the kitchen - where the action is - perhaps that will motivate me to scrap more often.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Price of Passion

I am childfree so the demands on my time are not so obvious. My job is very low-key so I don't feel worn out or tired at the end of my day. My husband and I work opposite shifts so we rarely see each other for longer than a few hours per day. So then why do I feel like I am being pulled from so many directions?

I think this may be the price of passion. When I get involved in a project, I immerse myself in it completely. It consumes my life, sometimes to the detriment of other obligations. I just have this overwhelming need to work work work until a project is done. I don't want to stop and take a break, I don't want to save some for later - I want it done - NOW.

I am beginning to think this may not be the best policy. My little brother will be 19 this week and I have not even considered what to get him for a gift. I have had the same Netflix dvd sitting on my shelf for almost two months, untouched, because I have no time to watch TV. My brother and sister want to go to NYC on Friday and I am cringing inside because I feel like I have no time to goof off in the city. My husband has grown his hair out. When did this happen?

The scary part is that I know I need to slow down. I know how terribly fleeting life is. I will never get back all this time I chose to focus on my passions. But even when I snap out of my frenetic pace for a bit, my mind is still racing, still thinking about all that needs to be done. How do you stop your mind?

I am getting no answers from writing all this. Maybe because I know that I should be doing something else. My mind is still racing. I hope when this next set of deadlines ends I will be able to stop and savor the moments. Who am I kidding? I thrive at this pace. Would I still be me if I slowed down?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Back from CKU - it's Design Team time!

It seems like I have been gone forever. My Cathy Z album track was awesome. Cathy has such a wonderful personality and spirit. It was really fun being in a class with her. My tablemates for that class were really cool too. Big shout-outs to my girls at the table in the back corner! I hope you all finished your albums.

There was a scrapbooking group from Chicago at CKU together. They had such cute matching pink and brown sweatsuits. Scrap on Sistahs! It makes me long for a club I can join in my area. I want to wear matching shirts too. :) Maybe we all can have matching shirts at Diversity Designs. Granted, we are all spread out across the country, but at least I would know someone somewhere matched me.

Speaking of Diversity Designs...the design team call is officially over. Finally, we can get to the good part - selecting our team. We have received so many amazing submissions it is going to be so hard for us to narrow it down. We are actually contemplating expanding the team a bit, to accommodate more talented artists.

It is so good to be back! I had a great time in Chicago, but I am oh so tired. I can't wait until the weekend so I can relax and renew.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Cramming for CKU

I feel like I am back in college cramming for finals. I have officially reached the 11th hour. I am leaving for CKU tomorrow and I just started the homework for the album track!! I know I am a procrastinator, but even I am appalled at myself. I guess I just couldn't get motivated to journal. Every time I tried to get started I became sidetracked. I don't want to force anything, because then the album will ring false. I am now completely overwhelmed as I stare at a blank word document.

I have decided to let myself off the hook. I love myself too much to get so stressed about what is supposed to be a fun weekend. I have decided to just do as much as I can, and not worry about the things I can't finish. Now that I am relaxed, I am actually getting more done. Amazing.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My Musical Map

I am a really big music fan. My tastes are all over the place. I have been thinking about diversity 24/7 these days. I am a profile in diversity. Not for the obvious reasons - my gender, my culture, my race, my hubby - but because my tastes in all things wander the globe. Especially my music. I just stared at my CD collection this morning (yep I am old school. I even still have cassettes, that I refuse to get rid of) and I noticed how eclectic it was. I have 80's hair band Poison next to 90's Euro-popsters Ace of Base, next to The Best of 2 Live Crew, next to a big band compilation.

The changes of my life can be mapped out in this collection of audio recordings. I went through phases where I loved all things metal, then I wanted to become a club kid so I have a nice range of dance mixes, then I wanted to be "deep" because I was about to go to college so I have alternative stuff. Of course, there are the albums I own because some boy I had a crush on was really in to the group, so in my attempts to garner his attention I bought something I really didn't like. Or the albums I had to have because everyone had them too. Peer pressure can be the most cruel when you are forced to spend money on Kokomo by the Beach Boys.

My list of the Top 10 Artists that are Profiles in Diversity (in no particular order)

Black Eyed Peas - They are all over the place musically. Are they conscious rappers or fun loving pranksters? Then with the addition of Fergie...I am still not sure where to categorize them.

Prince he just may be the human personification of diversity.

Linkin Park - Rock and Rap merge in this multicultural band. Faint is one of my all time favorites.

Aretha Franklin
- the woman sang opera on the Grammys when Pavarotti was ill.

Madonna - she is like a chameleon. I love how she created herself and morphed with the times. Did anyone ever expect Madonna to make a CD like Ray of Light?

Speaking of morphing with the times... LL Cool J. What other rapper has remained this successful throughout the years. I think he may have 3 generations of fans.

Santana - Do I need to explain?

Rod Stewart
- Rock, pop, disco, now standards. I am HUGE fan.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - They rap, they rock...I can play them when I want to be mellow or when I want to dance. Very cool.

Ice-T - Isn't it ironic that a rapper who had a rock band (Body Count) that openly criticized the police, plays a cop on SVU? I smirk every time I watch him on that show.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The inability to color within the lines

I attempted to do a challenge posed on the forum today. Basically it was do a layout with a picture on a tag. Simple right? I guess not for me. No matter how much I plan I can never do things according to set guidelines. I truly had intended to use a tag, but somehow the page took on a life of its own. It is the same problem when I try to scraplift. I have never been successfully able to take a page I loved and adapt it for my own album. I guess my mind is too rebellious to follow a set pattern.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Finding my inspiration in a pop song

I just finished a pre-Cku Chicago circle journal with the theme "Where do you find your inspiration?" Of course I answered that I don't really have any inspiration, I just stare at the page until something comes to me. And that is true. Lately, though I have been starting to notice the world around me and how it could translate into my art.

I have not found many instances of visual inspiration that could help my layouts but I have found things that inspire my journaling. Take song lyrics for instance. I was listening to the words of Natasha Bedingfield's song "Unwritten". Talk about inspiring. That whole song could fill up a layout. But there was one line that struck me:

"I break tradition, sometimes my tries, are outside the lines
We've been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way"

That is so me! This is about so much more than scrapbooking. This is like an inspiration for life. Are we really living if we don't dare to fail? Are we really scrapping if we don't dare to use our prettiest papers?

Yep, I am back to paper again. I have this real fear about using my favorite papers in my stash. What if I make a mistake and it is ruined? Sure I could go buy more, but that is not the point. Logic is clearly not working for me on this issue. I am going to take Natasha's advice and feel free to use some of that Basic Grey I have been collecting instead of cropping. My hands are shaking, but I am determined. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

2006 HOF - the Oscars of the scrapbooking world?

There is such a frenzy of enthusiasm over at 2peas. The 2006 CK Hall of Famers have been revealed. It is so exciting, and I didn't even enter. Congrats to all.

These types of contests are such a great way to celebrate the work of talented artists. It really got me thinking there should be more "awards" like the HOF or Memory Makers Masters. In the film industry there are countless awards given that lead up to the Academy Awards. Films are given many opportunities to shine and be seen. And that is what awards are really about EXPOSURE. Artists in all mediums appreciate that.

The cogs in my brain are turning... I will have to revisit this one day.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Here I am: The Beginning

I can't believe I started a blog. I have been resistant to it for so long. One would think an opinionated, passionate person like myself would be the first person to join the blog train. But really I didn't want the stress. I just knew that if I had a blog where I ranted and raved at will, I would be forever on my soapbox. Too much grandstanding can be tiring.