Black Friday and other updates

Happy Thanksgiving! I know this greeting is coming a few days late and it's been more than a few days since I updated the blog. We spent the holidays visiting with Adam's family in Memphis. I managed to drag my father-in-law out on Thanksgiving night for the 5-9 sale at Michael's. The big news from my shopping trips was there wasn't much exciting to be had in the crafting world IMO. Some of you may have jumped on the chance to buy a Cricut for $70-90 depending on where you bought, or took the big plunge with the Cricut Expression for $279 at Michael's. The cartridges were an even better deal. I saw several ads as low as $30 per cartridge. I'm still holding out on the Cricut, but it may be in my relatively near future.

I made some time to stop at Eclectica Scrapbooking as well as the local Archiver's while away. Of course Eclectica didnot disappoint. Owner, Rhonna, and manager, Brandy, were very informative and accommodating. I got my first look at the MME LifeStories kraft designs and unique journaling cards. There were quite a few Bo Bunny lines including super-cute Love Bandit. I spent most of my time perusing their ATC goodies. I picked up this cool set of cards from Leisure Arts.

I also picked up these October Afternoon Wild Cards from the Farm Fresh line.

They have a great selection of stamps. I couldn't resist these ATC ones by Catslife Press.

These are the "Fancy" collection. I bought the 2 on the top row.

In addition to shopping, used their work area for a few hours to create this layout.

Details about the layout are included in my weekly post for TES.

Check back for more projects from my week in Memphis. I've got an all-Sassafras Lass Amplify layout to share and a bunch of new ATCs. Thanks for reading.

Where are the layouts?

I noticed yesterday while showing my blog to a friend that I haven't posted any layouts recently. It's not that I haven't been making them, it's this blasted publishing stuff! Print publications like Scrapbook Trends require never before seen layouts for their magazine. I am probably making 7-10 layouts per month, but most of them I don't share with my adoring public (you lovely readers) for a few weeks or in some cases longer. Occasionally I'll even use a layout for the Sunday Sketch post over at The Everyday Scrapper, but I won't post it on my personal blog. I know, these logistics give me a headache too. All that being said, here is a long overdue layout.

This layout features papers from Sassafras Lass' Me Likey line. The pictures are from a recent visit to our see family in Chattanooga. Shane had a wonderful time especially playing with Cousins Katie and David.

I shared a sneak peek of this layout about a week ago. It's for a monthly challenge on My Mind's Eye's blog. It is based on a sketch by Anam Stubbington, who is a member of the MME DT.

You can get more details about this layout on Sunday over at TES.

These aren't 12x12 layouts, but they are mini versions for the Little Monster book I've been creating.

These pages are so much fun. I just love playing with the Monstrosity Mini Deck from Sassafras Lass.

I promise new more new projects next week. Thanks for reading.

Halloween ATCs

My ATC work has been helped along by a friend at work. Linda Adams is an accomplished stamper who has had her worked featured in various publications, and participated in numerous ATC swaps. She encouraged me to try a technique where you start with an 8x8 or 6x6 piece of cardstock and build a series of ATC cards on a single page. I tried it out this weekend and put together these.

I used a variety of supplies to construct these cards. The components of each card are slightly different. The background papers are from Basic Grey Eerie, the red cardstock from 7 Gypsies Gypsy Market 8x8 stack, and My Mind's Eye Spooky Word paper. The stickers are Cosmo Cricket (Halloween theme), Doodlebug (glitter borders), American Crafts (Halloween Words), Crafty Secrets (vintage images). The card on the bottom right is based on a mini bingo card from Jenni Bowlin's Halloween set. It's my favorite, but I think I'm biased.

First Publication

Check out my post over on the 2 Peas Pub message board for details about my first two publications. They are both online magazines. I'm thrilled for the recognition.

Improved Pics for new Basic Grey lines

Basic Grey finally posted the new Origins and Sugar Rush lines on their site late last night. Here are some closeups of my favorite papers and embellishments.

Origins Papers

Origins Pieces

Origins Bloomers

Sugar Rush Papers

Sugar Rush Writers Block

Sugar Rush Woolies

There are simply too many goodies to put on my Holiday Wish List! I know what I'll be saving for!

My oh my! New Basic Grey Winter Releases

Kelly Goree announced 2 new lines from Basic Grey on her blog just this morning.

Rather than duplicating all of the product info here, which there is tons of because they are rolling out 10 new product types, go here to read the details.

I really like Basic Grey, and I've been following them closely in 2009. I thought the June Bug line released during the summer was fantastic, and I recently purchased Lim Rickey and Lemonade collection packs. I've been collecting papers and embellishments from late 2008/early 2009 releases Urban Prairie, Offbeat, Sugared, and Ambrosia. I also have collection packs from vintage lines Mellow, Periphery, and Two Scoops. So you can understand how deeply disappointed I was to see the 4 fall 2009 releases. Many have heard me bemoan the wretched patterns and repetitive colors of Indian Summer and the bizarre and unartistic work of Eerie. I thought Nook and Pantry was the best of the worst but was not motivated to buy a single sheet of paper or embellishment. Perhaps when it's discounted 50% I'll pick some up for good measure. Eskimo Kisses seems to be the best of the bunch. I've looked at the patterns and there are a few that could be used for non-Christmas scrapping.

That all being said, my first reaction to Origins and Sugar Rush is a big sigh of relief! Thank goodness the fall line was a fluke. I love the color combinations in Origins and while Sugar Rush has plenty of pink to go around, it should be scrappable with most pictures and themes.

The embellishments, especially the Pieces, look fantastic. Buying all these items for a particular line will really break the bank!

I see the Basic Grey product design and marketing teams taking a feather from the caps of Sassafras Lass with the "Bloomers" a "stitched and buttoned" embellishment.

These "Writer's Blocks" are reminiscent of Jillibean's sprouts

I apologize for the poor photo quality. This was how they were posted on Kelly's site. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about these releases in the weeks to come. In the meantime, the news is a great way to start the weekend! Thanks for reading.

My Christmas List

Ok - I don't really celebrate Christmas, but that doesn't mean I can't make a wish list too! In case you're wondering what to get me, here's just a few scrappy-suggestions.

1) A nice basic SLR camera
2) Somerset Apprentice Vol. 1
3) Tonic 12" Small Base Paper Cutter
4) Attend a workshop with a big-name designer or attend a workshop with Christine Middlecamp
5) Any of these awesome late 2009 releases.
Bo Bunny Love Bandit

Prima Bloomin' Retro

My Mind's Eye Life Stories and journaling cards

October Afternoon Farm Fresh and Report Card

Tim Holtz acrylic stamp sets by Stampers Anonymous
Anything from 7 Gypsies

That should give all of you some options!

A new scrap space

Last Friday marked the beginning of the creation of my very own scrap space. It won't be private. It won't have a door. I'll share the room with dog and baby. But the first big item is installed. My very own Ikea Expedit.

This bookcase seems to be the preferred choice for organization by scrapbookers. We've placed it in our living room. I'll use about 1/2 of the sections, and the other half will be filled with family photos/memorabilia and Shane's toys. This is the beginning of the slow transformation of this room into a usable space instead of the single unused room in our house. Adam is waiting for me to select a desk or table for my crafting. We have some similarly colored bookcases already, so they will most likely stay. My guess is the remainder of the open space will be filled with small children's toys for many years to come.

Weekly Shopping Update

Those darn Michael's 50% off coupons. I collected 6 of them last week, plus the one from the Sunday ad. Of course I am compelled to use all of them, but I made a rule to not buy anything less than $10. The beauty is they can be used at Joann's or Michael's. Here's what I bought:

The brand new Basic Grey 2010 Calendar Kit designed by Kelly Goree. Original price is $20.

Snap 'n Stack 3 section portable storage perfect for bringing embellishments to a crop. Original price $10. I've also been using the individual trays to hold the sets of embellishments and scraps I gather to work on a specific project.

Life is a journey Tim Holtz clear acrylic stamps. Original price $15. I can't find them online which makes me think they are a M's exclusive.

Some other big-ticket items one could use these coupons for:
Border or shape punches
Sakura, American Crafts or Marvy art pen sets
Paper packs with an original price of $20 or more

While I was shopping, I couldn't resist picking up some good deals too. Michael's is clearancing out the remainder of products from Making Memories Vintage Findings and Autumn Splendor lines. They also have Martha Stewart Halloween punches on clearance. Regular Martha Stewart products including the new Christmas line are 30% off this week.

Hobby Lobby didn't have much on sale. I was relieved to see my store had restocked BG Lemonade and Porcelain paper packs after being bought out a few weeks ago during the 50% off promo. I came across an olio rub-on book from the BG Sultry line is the clearance bin. It was $2.50 a $4 discount.

I didn't anything really interesting at Joann in the scrapbooking supplies this week. I did see the home decor items for fall/Halloween are on big clearance. Iris and Sterlite storage are 40% off. Die Cuts with a View paper stacks are buy one get one. $10 each is a good price, but I wouldn't commit to 2 sets of 50+ 12x12 papers. There are typically only a few gems amongst the so-so in them.

My most recent trip to Archiver's was last Friday evening. It was not a fruitful visit. I managed to lose the 6 coupons I received in the mail the week before. I got kicked out of the workroom because Scrap Mania was going on and apparently you can't use their space if you haven't paid up. In my brief look around, I didn't see anything new and of interest.

Thanks for reading.

Sneak Peeks

My scrap desk is yet again cluttered with projects. Take a look.

You've got a sneak peek of my latest Cosmo Cricket layout using The Boyfriend papers. This one is going to be displayed at EMI. You may also see a Halloween layout. Here's a sneak.

The layering shown here is continued across the layout. I must say it turned out great. I created this layout to enter in the November challenge going on over at the MME blog.

Carrying on with the Halloween theme, here is my latest ATC creation.

I would love to get involved with a local or online ATC swap. If you know of any please, comment or send me a message.

Thanks for reading.

Vintage, Vintage, Vintage

There is a specialty stamping and paper store in Roswell, GA called Impressive Ideas. I found these fabulous papers from Graphic45 there on Friday.



I also picked up these very cool vintage Halloween stickers by Crafty Secrets.

Earlier this year, Michael's was the first to carry Making Memories Vintage Findings line. When I stopped by my store yesterday, these ephemera kits were on clearance and a fantastic buy. $.75 for mini kits, $1.75 for medium kits, and $.99 for stickers and other items. Here are some I picked up.

Tropical (left) Birthday (right)

Nature (left) Memories (right)

School (left) Bienvenue (right)

So you're wondering what the heck I'm doing with all this stuff! Here is my first ATC (artist trading card).

For those who aren't familiar with ATCs, the size is 2.5" x 3.5" The cards are made as one-of-a-kind pieces, and can be done in any media: fabric, stitching, textile arts, paper, rubber stamps, colored pencil, paint, ink, calligraphy, beadwork, digital art, mixed media, collage, etc.

I'm really having fun with these vintage papers and embellishments. Creating ATCs is an entirely different type of art and challenge. I can't wait to share more of my projects with you. Thanks for reading.