Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am started to do swaps again…

After an almost two year hiatus (yikes that’s long), I am starting to do swaps again.   Yes, I know, I do not net any money off of them, but sometimes you just have to go back to square one.   The Postal service was costing me a pretty penny in the past but I found a solution to the problem.   Do fewer swaps, that way I can keep in practice, but not being nickeled and dimed to death with shipping.
At one time, I was doing 2 or 3 swaps at a time, from page kits to making things I did not know how to make at the time, and learning them on the fly.   I did not know about You Tube, Hulu, U-stream, or any of those sites you can learn how to do crafts and other things like how bad Abby Lee Miller screams at her dancers and their moms?  (Yes, I watch Dance Moms on Lifetime, and was never screamed at by my dance teachers)
Anyway, I lost track of my subject.   When I made my first page kit (oh so many moons ago), the host volunteered to remake the kits for me, and she sent my kit back to show me how to make them when she sent out the others.   Of course, she asked first.   When I altered my first paint can, the person I sent it to thought a 3 year old child made it.    I cried when I read the criticism, and vowed to never do another altered paint can again.  So I had good swaps and bad swaps.
So my first swap after being in hiatus was really simple.   It was an altered CD for a small group of three (me and two other ladies).  I think God sent me this group, and it was perfect for me, and I thank Him for it, because I did not want to mess it up with sending six CDs, and someone has a complaint about it.
 This is the first page:  (sorry for the smallest of the picture)

Side 1's Ingredients:

1 bling heart
1 strip of brown cardstock
cork piece (I have handwritten the word "love" on it.
Scrap pieces of patterned paper (I used some from DCWV's Natural stack and a sheet I bought from Michael's)
cream cardstock.
Copy paper (only to use as a "primer" to cover the writing and the hole of the CD
Brown ink for edging

Side 2's Ingredients:

Recollection's bling Brown and white
patterned Paper from "The Paper Company", and paper I bought at Joanne's and Archiver's.
white cardstock.
Black ink for edging.
Copy paper for covering the hole and the recorded part of the CD

Some tips if you want to get started with a swap group:

  • Do not join at the last minute.   The way I pace myself is I read the email or the website first (it is easy to do if you are one of the many Yahoo or Goggle groups available.   In fact I do two reads:  The first read is when I sound like I am interested.  I take down all the information, and check my calendar.  This is important!  The reason why I said checking the calendar first during this first read of the swap information, is if you have a lot of stuff to do outside of the time you know to complete the project (swap), you are not going to have the time to think about what you are sending to your partner or group, gather your supplies, and actually work on your project.   This should take no more than 5 mins of your time.  Do not fret over it.  There have been many times where I wanted to do a swap, but could not.   This is also the best time to check your finances.
  • Make a copy of the instructions.   Do so in case you are without a computer.   If you have a secondary device, like a tablet (not everyone is blessed with an Ipad), place it there as well, and have a hard copy of the instructions.   Sometimes I have to read and re-read the instructions.  If you are in more than one, get yourself a binder for the hard copies.  You may want to do the project again someday.
  • Once you have read the first time, made a copy (if you are going to join), read a second time.  Get all the facts straight, such as specs, rules, deadline and so forth (the other reason why you need a calendar), contact the person in charge and ask questions.   No question is dumb.  Last thing a host wants to hear is “I did not know” from a swapper.
  • Please, please, please, get the project in on time.  There are some groups who are a little lose on the due date, more often than not, there are some groups who report to a central group list called a naughty or flaker’s list.   This is how a flaker’s list works:  Say you signed up to send out 12 cards, due on April 12, 2012 to Jane Doe of the xyz Card maker’s group on Yahoo groups.  You got all the stuff together, you are right on schedule with your project, and close to the due date, your great aunt Martha dies, the funeral is in Iowa, and you live in California.   The swap itself has to go to Canada, and only 6 are done.  Well you are too upset to finish, so you decide that since xyz is a relaxed group, it could not hurt if you are late by a week.  Think again.   Xyz Card Maker’s group does, and you did not finish the card swap on time and by the time you send the cards out, they are two weeks late, and they have reported you to the flakers group.   The problem is if you join ABC Scrapper’s group, they do swap, and they check the flakers group for your name, you may not be able to get into the group.  If you had notify the host of the Xyz Card maker’s group that you had an emergency (yes, funerals count as an emergency), that host may have let you off, and either assign someone to take your place, or allow you some time to finish and send your project.  Everyone knows that life gets in the way sometimes, but some groups are not understanding if you do not let them know of the situation.  This lead to:
  • Keep in constant communication with the host:   Send little post like: “I understand everything that is written here”, “I am having a problem”, or “I am almost finished”.   This will avoid the above situation.  If it is a swap where you have a partner, do the same thing.  Also with a partner swap, find out what things they like and what they do not like.  You do not want to send something with blue and birds on it, if she likes pink and cats, unless it is a themed swap.
  • Thank the host.  Send a personal note along with the swap if it is a group one, or a personal note to your partner. Some people like to send a little extra to their partner. This is totally optional, and it depends on your budget.

I hope you enjoyed what I made for my partners in my first swap in two years CD swap, as well as the tips.   If you have any questions, place it in the comments below.   Take care of yourself and be sure to check out my other two blogs, Tricia's Baskets and My Blessed Life.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My review: Scrapbook Expos. Tips on navigating them.

Once a year, Columbus, Ohio is the host of a scrapbook expo.  The Memories Scrapbooking Expo showcases local area venders who carry Scrapbooking supplies. Think of it as one great big shopping mall for crafters.   I have been going for years when it started out at Veteran’s Memorial Downtown.   It more out about 2-3 years ago to the Ohio State Fairgrounds.   It is a two day event, and in addition to buying supplies there, you can actually work on projects.   During the years I worked at Archiver’s, I always wanted to work the expo, but according to my manager, I was much needed at the store, and I was disappointed.

So this year’s showcase had 52 venders, and one of the problems I had with the building is they do not give venders enough room to allow customers to move around.   Just to be on the safe side, I had my mother tag along with me.   The one thing they need to allow is the movement of customers from booth to booth, and without the space of the booth.

So, what did I buy?

I bought within my budget, which was $100 cash.   If I went over, I had my business debit card to pick up the slack, or my mother.  The first booth, I bought some state 3-d stickers by Jet-setters (not the name of the vender).  Nebraska is perfect for the pictures I took in 2007 when we (me, my parents, and oldest nephew (then age 11) went to visit a family friend and his wife.   California stickers for the pictures I took on the second half of the trip (same year).   We went to the beaches, Disneyland, San Diego, Hollywood, Beverley Hills, and my childhood home in San Bernardino.  To name a few. Last some Florida stickers for my parents cruise last month.   Next, we went over to the Stamper’s anonymous booth, and I got my first set of Tim Holtz textured fade folder, made by Sizzix.   If you are familiar with the Cuddlebug folders, it is the same thing, and you can use these with the Cuddlebug. (Even though Sizzix highly recommends you use them with the Big Shot and any of their machines.   The only thing I was not pleased with this vender, is they had catalogs out in the open of the booth, and then he tells people you have to spend $50 to get the books.  It should have been on a sign somewhere.  
After I made the purchase, we walked around a little more, and along the way were booths with the beginner or busy person in mind.  This vender, whose name I really did not pay attention to, had page kits and pages already put together.   I looked but did not purchase, because I am trying to have something like that as one of my products, but it is nice to see someone else doing it.   I wish I had time to ask her questions about her success in this line of scrapbooking, but I was leaving in a few moments and she was busy with customers.   The next booth had scrapbooking supplies that I normally buy at Archiver’s, so I did a hit and miss with that vender.


I have not eaten so me and mom grabbed a bite at the only two carts at the expo.  I did not feel like eating tacos, so it was off to the next one.  I wish I had grabbed a taco.   First off, the woman acted like she could not wait until she left for the evening, then she threw together a deli sandwich the way I do it at home if I was in a hurry.   The meat was very cold the bread (which was white bread) was even colder.   My sandwich had cheese on it, and the woman forgot to put some on mommy’s.  The sandwich was roast beef was dry, even after I put mayo on it.   Let’s just say that the lunch was not worth the $8.00 she charged.

Back to looking

Next place was Jillibean.   I like this line, because she names her seasonal line usually after soup, and I love soup.  I bought 4 piece of Easter paper from the “Southern Chicken Dumpling Soup” line. As well as some labels and a pack of Wood Flags (made of real wood).   Next stop was a place where a guy was selling Washi Tape.   Washi tape is to me paper tape that was all the rage in Japan, and made it here to the United States and the rest of the world for decorating purposes.   It is often transparent, comes in bright and cheery colors.   Many companies from the vender I am talking about, to Tim Holtz to K and Co (Makers of the Smash book).  On his website, the vender sells the Washi Tape for about $3.00 a roll.  At the expo, he was charging $4.00.   What gives?  Unless you have a great big bill to pay for when you get home, please do not over charge your customers.   I just walked away, and I will get Washi tape either on his website, or purchase elsewhere.  My last place I visited before going home was a vender selling Cricut cartridges.   Here is another tip:  Get them on Ebay, unless there is a sell going on at Mikes, Hobby Lobby, or Joanne’s.  You are better off.  I had to have the cart, “New Testament”.  Why?  Because I could not wait for it to go on sale at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Or Joanne’s.  I need to work on some Easter cards, ASAP.   It is “Stop the Presses” time.  Mom wants Easter cards to send out, Other than that, New Testament would have to wait.

My overall feelings…

I love shopping for scrapbooking stuff.  I cannot get too much right now because of budget constraints.   Other than that, I like to stock up on supplies.   I would have enjoyed it more if I did not have only two hours to get everything (mommy had to check on the nephew’s homework and call his teacher before 3pm, plus we had church revival that night).   If you are the type of person who loves going to expos like this, have fun, and would on projects at the same time, this is for you.   I am disappointed that there were a lack of local (Columbus area) scrapbooking stores who participated this year, but then we had 4 LSS ( local scrapbook store (s) ) closed for good between last year’s expo and this year.   Unless I am willing to order online, deal with Mike’s or Joanne’s, or drive to either Easton Town center, Grove City, or Powell, Ohio, there are no more LSS for me to go to,  My mom, who is not a scrapbooker enjoyed herself, and we ran into one of the members of the church we belong to.


Here are the tips I find useful:

  • Plan ahead and know your budget.  Ever if you have paid all your bills, and gone grocery shopping for the month or have money like “The Donald”, still have a budget.
  • Check to see what you have, and what can wait until you do go to a “brick and mortar”, and get you basics there.  Sometimes these venders have sales, and maybe not.
  • Pack a lunch.  Yes most of these places have food, but they are usually higher in price, and not good for you.
  •  Go with someone.  A friend or a family member can help with you budget.
  • Get items that you cannot find at the LSS.
  • Do not stress and have fun.  Have plenty of money, and have a backup system in case the fund run out.   

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Writing is hard work...

I have been seriously writing for about over 6 months and I am now finding out that writing is hard work.  It is not the hardest work of all time, but it is up there.   Why do I believe that writing is hard work.   It is simple.

First of all, you have to consider your niche.   I learned about niches when I was earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.  In case you are not familiar with the word, niche, think of it as as your expertise, something you are good at talking about, AND want to talk about.   Mine is Scrapbooking, paper crafting in general, traveling ( although finances have hindered me a little bit), dance, music, and interior decorating from a novice point of view (this includes organizing).   I also like marketing, parenting, learning about my computer and other technologies, fashion, and writing, but I categorize myself in those areas as always learning about them.

Next, what do you want to talk about?  What do you want people to know about that has already been said?  All of your content cannot be about the weather, unless your studied it for sometime, and you have discovered some mysterious cloud never seen before. Here is a hint:  you can give your opinion.   Give presence to what has been said before, and why you think it is important to say it again.   For example, suppose I want to talk about the important of learning how to play an instrument, instead of relying on the keyboard or guitar's on-board computer system.   There are 14 other articles just like the one I am writing on.   With Google getting really nasty about SEO keyword placement (another term that needs to be talked about later, and I am learning about it).   The article has to be placed so that Goggle does not throw it out, AND your article also needs lands on the first page of the site.

Who is your audience?   You do need to generate enough traffic to have a person come back for more of your wisdom.  Naturally, you would not talk about baseball on a motorcycle enthusiast's blog site.   You will either a) have them running to the hills, driving the traffic on the site to a screeching halt,  Or b) you may have a riot in the comments section.   So if the blog is about motorcycles, you can still talk about baseball.  Just make sure the subject is on something like "Motorcycle friendly Ballparks."

There are many different styles of writing, and each one has their pros and cons, but that is another subject for a different day.   Just remember, know your niche, know what you want to talk about, and consider your audience.   This is just a start, and this philosophy has carried me from the time I was in at least the 8th grade until now.  I have not always applied that concept but it works.

The next post will be on a few scrapbook pages.  Until then, God bless you, and be sure to check out my other two blogs:  Tricia's Baskets and My Blessed Life.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

For K. Andrew....

....And anyone who is reading this post.   Since I have this business, I have been trying to "expose" myself to get notice.   I am willing to do anything.  Well almost anything. This also means being part of a design team.   A scrapbook design team are a group of people that the owner or a blog, website, or business uses in order to get exposure for their products.   So far, I have applied for only 6, and I am currently on one.   That design team is the Card a day blog.  The Card a day Blog is not your typical design team where you are given certain products, and everyone makes something out of those same supplies.  Instead, we take a theme (like invitations), and everyone does their interpretation of that theme.   Each theme runs a week, and a person takes a day to display their card.   It has to be a card.  I am having fun with it.
K. Andrew Design Stamps is the next design team I am applying for.   I am pushing the envelope because today is the last day I can get this application in.   I need to submit 3 recent design I have done, and I have not done much lately, so are my three items:

My first one is a card I just finished.   I am making my mother some more cards, and I am happy to do it. (especially when I just watched in horror my mother standing in Walgreen's picking out 2 birthday cards a few hours ago).   Nothing's wrong with that task, except she can get the cards for free.   Why spend $5 on a machine made card. (sorry Walgreen's and American Greetings).  Anyway, here are two cards:

1 brown blank card (4.25' x 5 1/2")
1 Kraft cardstock (3" x 5")
1 8 1/2" x 11"sheet of pattern paper cut to 1/8" smaller then the front of the carda
3 red gems (Hero Arts)
Digi Stamp-Teacup
White Gel Pen.
Gold organza ribbon, 1/4"
Copic markers (RV21-Light Pink and RV23-Pure Pink)


1 Pink card blank (A2 Size-same as the first card)
1 patterned paper mat ( cut 1/8" smaller then the front of the card)
Digi stamp-Teapot
Sentiment-Thinking of You
White gel Pen
Gold Organza ribbon 1/4'
Chalk Pencils

Project #2-Tree

I made this tree in a stamp club I belong to.   I made it in January.   All it takes is the following:

Old sheet music (the older the better-somewhere all my piano teachers are cringing, because their belief is you never waste nor tear up good sheet music)

A stand from Michael's or Joanne's (they cost about a $1.25 each-on clearance)
an 1/8" hole punch

Square templates (1", 6", 9", 12", and 14") (note:  if you have something like a punch or a an electronic cutting machine like a Cricut, this would be perfect, then you can cut out as many as needed, except old sheet music is very fragile)


Cut out or tear some squares.  you will need about 24 in different sizes.   Punch out a hole in the center.   Cut out some ribbon.  Start with the biggest squares first and work you way to the smallest squares.  You are going to tie the ribbon to the stand at different stops alone the way.  Top with an ornament.

Project #3-Layout-Baby Antics

This last project I am submitting is I did in this month.   The people in the pictures in the pictures are my sister-in law, holding my youngest nephew who was 5 months at the time of the photo.  The other two are my middle nephew and my niece who were 2 and 3 at the time.
the wording says:

"Ok, I want to know who pinched me?" Was it you, Nine'na? I know I am a year younger than you.  Was it you, Deonte?   I know I am the youngest boy,and I am cuter.  Was it you, Mama?   I know I am cuter than my brother, Mike, who is in the kitchen.   Everyone else is in the kitchen, except the one behind the camera, otherwise known as Aunty Patti, and she is busy.  Ok, I am not leaving until we settle this.  After all, I am only 5 months old.


1 sheet (12 x 12) of rust cardstock
1 sheet ( 12 x 12) of paper pizazz-Asian Brushwork (cut down to 8 1/2 x 11)
1 sheet (8 1/2 x 11 of cream cardstock)
1sheet (12 x 12) of Creative Imaginations-Cream scroll)

 Well, this is end of my projects, and I hope you all enjoyed this post.  Until next time, have a blessed day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How Did I get into the Cricut Machine….

I love answering questions for people.  I do not care if it is something that people just want to know or if I just volunteer my answer, I love to just give my opinion to a question.

So I was on Facebook and one of the ladies I follow (like) is My Cricut Craft Room Blog.   She asked a question, how did you get into the Cricut?  First off, before I answer this question, I wanted to let you know about a couple of things:  I was looking for something to talk about, and I am trying to change up my blogs a bit.   For those of you who are new to scrapbooking, the Cricut is an electronic cutting machine.  There are several types of machines, and I have 3 of these types:  Expression, Expression 2, and the Imagine.   I do have a document on this blog on the different types of Cricut machines listed except the last one made (the Cricut Mini), so I may repost it, including the mini on the sheet.

Anyway, back to the question.   I got started with the Cricut machines back in 2006.   Back then, there was only the original machine, which cut out shapes and the alphabet on a 6 x 9 sheet of paper (half of a 12 x12 piece).   I was working at Archiver's at the time, and I was asked to demo the machine for 2 minutes while another co-worker took a break.   That was love at first demo.  When Archiver’s stopped selling them the first time around I snatch up the last one, but I did not play with it much for a while.  Fast forward 6 months later.   I had a swap I needed to do, and I had to make 60 tags.   Ok, what the heck was I thinking, and the swap was due.   Finally I said to myself, “you have that thing, the Cricut you begged for a Christmas present, so use the darn thing.”  I was able to finish my tags, and have been going nonstop since then.   I got the Expression in 2007, the E2 and the Imagine machines in 2011.   I then sold the Original after the E2 came from HSN.

So that is how I got started with this obsession called a Cricut machine.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Paper review: Graphic 45-All that Jazz

This is a short comment review on Graphic 45 scrapbook paper.   I am trying to find what it takes to be a wholesaler. Why?  Well because i am trying to pump some money into my business.   I have been watching some You tube videos lately, and a lot of people are starting to get into scrapbook kits.  I love kits, but I can never find what I am looking for,  I want kits that feed the creative mind, and some (not all) of these kits have one or two kinds of paper, a little bit of embellishments, and not a whole lot of creativity.  If you want it to be completely yours, you have to add more stuff, which means going back to the store, and finding something that may not match.   I rather have leftovers to make something matching (a card, mini book...etc)

So today starts the day for something I think will be kits to make and sell.  I have seen it on the YT channels  Paper Phenomenon, follow the paper trail, and others.   even if it is a few, it would help.   I am researching for about a month, and testing with a few kits in April and May, then I will see as I go along.   My hope is that I do not rush into this.  If this is not too much work for me, I will continue.

so as I was researching for my first kit supplies, I ran upon this piece:
All That Jazz

I instantly thought 4x4 mini book and it is perfect for it.   The Graphic 45 All that Jazz paper can instantly be cut apart and decorated with embellishments.   In the next few days I will see.  To be honest, any of the Curtin Call paper would work beautifully with it.   I will see.

Monday, March 5, 2012

About Organizing pictures


I am up in the wee hours of the morning.   I have several projects that will keep me busy, busy for the next several days.   first off, I need to complete my mom's cards (will show them when I am finished).   My parent's just returned from a cruise, so I need to work on their cruise trip book.  It is a small scrapbook with a challenge for me:  24 pages-6 x9 format.  I am not saying that I cannot do it.  I have actually worked with less room then that.   When I get the pictures off of my SD card, I need to get the cruise pictures off of my dad's camera.  It is not like he needs help doing it.  I just want to know what pictures I am working with for this little book, and possibly make a hand crafted one in addition to the first one.   Things like this need a plan, and this is the reason why I call this organizing pictures.

You do not have to make a big deal out of organizing.   Back when I was little, and my parents took dozen of pictures, the task was not bad, but it was time consuming.   Between taking the pictures, going to the photo store to get them developed, waiting a week or so to get them back, and finally having them stored in these flimsy envelops, that was enough to bare.  Now with the age of digital, 33mm film is almost a thing of the past.   Now you can develop pictures from a computer, store them on a hard drive, and print them out at home.  If no computer is available there is a store nearby to print them out quickly.   No negatives to worry about (I think I saw my last negative in 1995)  What to do with pictures?

You have three filing choices when dealing with printed pictures.   File them by subject, Chronological, or using the number system.  I will tell you that using the number system is out.  too time consuming.  You have to develop a system and then put the subject under that number.   The best way is subject/chronological .    So your system would look like this :

As you can see, I put what the subject is all about, followed by the year it was taken.   If I find any pictures with anything that has to do with that house being the focal point of the photo, it goes in that envelope, and it has to be from that year.  Now for that extra touch:  do you see the "2" in the left-hand corner of the envelope.  only put it there if you have more than one copy of the photo.  Purging Tip:  The "2" also means that you can give it away to family members who care.  If you are a scrapbooker, it means that you might want to crop it up for layouts.  Another tip about this type of filing, The envelope in the photo is archival safe, which means that the photos can stay in the envelope without it decaying.   It takes about 10 years before it starts doing that.  

There are other ways of organizing your printed photos.  I am just showing you how I do it.  I bought mine at Archiver's, and I love how they mimic those old envelops, and still keep them safe.  If you took them with the 33mm film, negatives can easily store in the front for easy access.  For the other photos, I just store on a CD, or my 2TB hard drive, unless it is the current year, then it is on my regular drive until December of that year, then I archive them on the external drive.  

Well that is it for now.  Have a wonderfully blessed day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baby Shower invite

Baby invite

This card was created with my youngest nephew in mind.  Leon will be 2 in August, so before he was born, we were not sure exactly what he was going to be.  The baby shower was in July 2010, so in case he ended up being a she, the green was still appropriate, but we knew that he was going to be a bouncing baby boy.   Today, Leon (named actually Sidney Leon Logan III after his Great-Great Grandfather, his Grandfather, and his father) is a healthy, happy toddler with the whole world ahead of him.   


1 1/2 sheet of blue cardstock-folded in half.
Half a sheet of green cardstock-originally 4 x4
1 sheet of patterned blue paper 4 x 4
1 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of skin color cardstock (I used tan)
1 12x12 sheet of bling cardstock
Cricut cartridge Everyday Paperdolls.
Cricut Machine.

I made this with my favorite, but if you have a different machine (manual or electronic) with a crawling baby, you can use it.  I cut the baby die cut at 3”. 

I hope you would visit Card a Day Blog, and enter in the challenge.  Until then, I will see you next time.   Have good weekend.