Sunday, January 31, 2010

Many Thanks

I hoped to post yesterday but I was at our All-Day Crop (which was great by the way!) until late into the evening and we were in a hall that had no wireless network.

I just wanted to thank all 37 ladies who applied for our design team! I was amazed by the talent and it was so hard narrowing the field down to a manageable size team - I really wish I could include everyone! 

Anyway, today I am in the process of contacting everyone and I will introduce the team later this week.

Thanks again ladies - you are all wonderful!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Last Chance and Sneak Peeks

I am running around today getting ready for our All-Day Crop tomorrow. I am so excited to share lots of journaling tips, cute new products and scrappy fun with a bunch of wonderful ladies for 12 whole hours! Bliss! (Hey...if you are in the Calgary area and want to join us, we still can squeeze a few more in - click here for all the deets and email me @ noreen@sharingmemoriesscrapbooking.com right away if you can make it!)

I just wanted to post a quick reminder that today is the LAST DAY to submit your application for our first ever design team! Thanks to all of you who have already applied - I am blown away by the talent and creativity that you are all sharing with me! I have a feeling it will be so hard to make the final decision! Team mebers will be notified on Sunday or Monday and the team will be announced by mid-week. I can't wait!

And, I promised all the ladies at tomorrow's crop the first look at the new Valentine products, but just cause I love you, here's a little sneek:



Hope you like what you see...check back next week for full descriptions and more pics!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Products!

I am excited that several new products are (finally) up in the shop! I had hoped to get them up in the first week or so of the new year, but at least they are up before the end of the first MONTH!

Our first-ever line of calendars feature the popular bracket shape and are perpetual - they can be used during any year! And what's great is that we created them in our signature color combos so they coordinate with other SMS products! These would work well in a chronological Family Highlights album, a Baby's First Year book, Pregnancy journal or any layout or project that you want to record the date. Each Pak includes 12 monthly calendars, each sized at 3.25 x 3.25 square.

[caption id="attachment_1084" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Warm Perpetual Calendars"][/caption]

To coordinate even further, our new line of journaling spots also come in our four color lines and feature the same bracket shape as the new calendars. At 3.25 x 3.25 inches square, these would be great on any layout and give you lots of space to record stories, quotes and details. Although they are square you could cut out the bracket shape , or even cut it in half for a completely different look. Another fun idea would be to stack up a bunch, punch holes and bind them with jump rings or colorful ribbons to create a cute mini-album. (Oh, I have so many ideas, but never enough time to do it all! This is why I need a design team to execute some super cute samples for you ooh and ahh over! Hopefully next month we will have loads of fresh new ideas and projects for you! So please consider applying and sharing YOUR talent - you have until January 29th to do so! Click here to see all the application details.)


[caption id="attachment_1085" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Cool Artisan Journaling Spots"][/caption]
Last but not least, our latest Page Pak celebrates winter in all it's glory! Gorgeous shades of blues, purples, grays and silver along with a variety of snowflakes make this pak frosty, cool and delicious! Each Pak contains:


  • 3 pieces 12 x 12 patterned cardstock (Scrapbook Sally)
  • 1 piece 12 x 12 solid cardstock (Scrapbook Sally)
  • 1 piece 12 x 12 vellum paper imprinted with silver winter themed captions (Scrapbook Sally) 
  • 2 Journaling spots (SMS)
  • 1 Tag (SMS)
  • 5 glimmer and silver snowflake die cuts (SMS)
  • 6 coordinating brads (Scrapbook Sally and Making Memories)
  • 12" length of shimmer ribbon

[caption id="attachment_1083" align="aligncenter" width="199" caption="Let it Snow Page Pak"][/caption]
There are limited quantities of this great kit and at only $5.00 they are going to fly off the shelves!

We have an All-Day Crop happening this coming Saturday and I am working like mad to make sure I have some sneeks of the new Valentine products by then. I promised the gals who are attending the workshop they could have the first look, but I will post pics and info right after the crop is done! (Hey...if you are in the Calgary area, consider joining us to scrap the day away! You'll find all the info here!)

Also, I have been meaning to get another organization post up, but just haven't had the time to write it with all the product and crop preparation I've been doing. Perhaps I should make it an ongoing series of articles instead of trying to cram it all into January? (Who says you have to get it all done in January anyway?) And if there is a particular type of organization challenge you have that you want some help with, leave a comment below or contact me at noreen@sharingmemoriesscrapbooking.com

Enjoy the new products...you can see all products in the categories listed in our left hand sidebar! Happy shopping!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Organizing Paper - Part Deux

Hi there! If you arrived here from my guest post on SimplyFrugal.ca, welcome! If you're a regular here, welcome back and don't forget to drop by SimplyFrugal  to check out my article about frugal scrapbooking!

Hopefully the previous post helped you get rid of some of the paper that was cluttering up the precious storage space you have for your scrapbooking and paper crafting supplies (PS - I'd love to hear what you ended up doing with it!) Now that you have SOME order to your paper, it's time to finish up sorting, organizing and storing it. In this post I want to share with you  a system that works for me and also give you some ideas that other scrappers use. Then, I'll give you your "task" for today. And remember I said we would try to only spend 15 - 20 minutes on each of our little tasks!

Before you jump in, take a minute to think about how you use paper in your scrapping process.
  • Do you like to use papers that coordinate/are part of the same line or mix it up by using a wide variety? 
  • Do you take the time to search for a solid paper that is exactly the same color as the flower in the patterned paper you are using or are you OK with "close enough"? 
  • When you think of a specific paper you remember buying, do you remember the colors in it or the manufacturer's name/brand?
  • Do you have scraps that you keep for other projects or only use full size sheets. 
  • Also, think about any past efforts at organizing -  what worked? What didn't?

The answers to these questions will give you clues into how you can organize your paper to really work for you. If you think in terms of colors, by all means sort and store your paper that way. If you work in collections, containerize all pieces of the collection together in one spot so you'll be able to put together a layout easily. If you tend to remember the names of paper manufacturer's or their styles, then organize the paper that way. Or, if you are like me, you may use an assortment of these and other paper storage solutions.

Here's what works for me:

I sort and store my solid cardstock by colors. I keep neutrals (brown, beige, cream, kraft, black, gray and white) together in one vertical paper holder by Cropper Hopper. Warm colors (red, orange, yellow, pink) go in another holder and Cool colors (blue, aqua, green, purple) find their home in a third. This was I can easily locate a piece of background paper or a perfect match to a color in a patterned paper I am using. I use this system for my 12 x 12 paper as well as my 8.5 x 11 paper, which I store in inexpensive cardboard magazine files. All solid cardstock is kept together on a low shelf in the cupboard right behind my scrap desk.

My frugal nature prohibits me from throwing anything out, so I hang on to every little scrap of paper that might be useful again (but usually anything smaller than 2 inch square gets tossed in the recycle bin.) I organize these paper scraps of all sizes by color. I have two three-drawer 12 x 12 Sterilite units stacked on top of each other underneath my scrapbook table. The 6 color categories I adopted here are Neutrals, Blues, Greens, Red, Pinks/Purples and Yellow/Oranges. Solid and patterned scraps are assigned to drawers by their MOST OBVIOUS COLOR, even if there is more than one color present. I find I go to my scrap drawers more often now that I have organized them this way as it is so easy to find a small piece of paper in a color that would work on the layout I am doing.

As far as patterned paper goes, I most often remember individual pieces according to the names of the manufacturer, so it makes sense for me to organize it this way. In my scrap space I have one of the IKEA Expedit bookshelves as an additional work and storage surface. I keep four inexpensive storage boxes in the lower shelves that work great for storing 12 x 12 paper. I first identified and sorted my paper by manufacturer and then placed each small pile of paper in 12 x 12 polypropelene craft keepers. I labeled the top of each craft keeper with the name of the manufacturer and stacked them upright in one of the boxes so that when I pull the box out from the shelf I can see at a glance the keeper I need. I did them same for coordinating collections or groups of products I am using for a particular project and I labeled these with the project name (ie: "Sam's Baby Album" or "Project 365"). My Brother P-Touch Labeller is perfect for these types of jobs!

(I do also have a small selection of patterned paper that I cannot identify the manufacturer. I keep these in smaller Cropper Hopper vertical units along with my solid cardstock. BUT...since I reorganized this way last summer, I find I am not really using this paper, so I think it's next to be purged!)

I think that covers my paper organization. For the most part this system really works for me and when I have a few minutes to scrapbook I can usually find the papers I want to use very quickly. That's what great about organizing and storing supplies according to your own needs - NOT just because someone says it's the "right" or "best" way to do things. Think about the way you work and seek solutions based on that.  To inspire you a bit more, here are some ideas that might work for you. Click on the links below each picture to get more information.

[caption id="attachment_1058" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image from scrapbooksetc.com"][/caption]

Use a Locker Bin to store paper in hanging folders

[caption id="attachment_1059" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image from scrapbooksetc.com"][/caption]

Use a file box to store scraps

[caption id="attachment_1060" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Image from scrapbooksetc.com"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1061" align="alignright" width="200" caption="Image from scrapbooksetc.com"][/caption]

If you have a closet in your scrap space, try hanging up your papers in plastic bags or stacking paper holders in a hanging sweater shelf.

[caption id="attachment_1062" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Image from cropperhopper.com"][/caption]

Use a rolling cart that you can move to wherever you are scrapping.

[caption id="attachment_1070" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Image from orientaltrading.com"][/caption]
Build the perfect storage center for paper (and other items) using customizable cubes. (PS...similar cubes are available at Michaels...use your 40% or 50% off coupons!!!)



[caption id="attachment_1064" align="aligncenter" width="136" caption="Image from mediashelving.com"][/caption]

If you can splurge a bit, consider purchasing a standing wire rack like scrapbooking stores use. They can be expensive but may be worth it, especially if you have a dedicated scrap space that you will be using long term.

[caption id="attachment_1071" align="aligncenter" width="250" caption="Image from creativememories.com"][/caption]

If you don't have a dedicated scrap space or if you mainly scrap at crops or with friends, think portable! An  accordian style paper file or a deluxe wheeled cart that you can outfit for paper storage (shown above) would work well to store and transport your paper.

If you are so inclined, have a quick read of how the fabulous Stacy Julian organizes her papers and other supplies by color. Her system was definitely the inspiration for my own.

And from an organizational point of view, check out Aby Garvey's tips for scrapbook storage, which addresses different aspects of sorting and storing and offers a variety of solutions.

Lastly, if you can ever see this book

[caption id="attachment_1069" align="aligncenter" width="240" caption="Image from Amazon.com"][/caption]

grab it and run to the nearest cashier! You will be so happy you did! Sadly it is out of print, but The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker was written by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvey and is the quintessential guide to organizing your scrap space! It offers hundreds of valuable tips and oodles of to-die-for pictures!

OK...we've spent more time talking about paper organizing than doing it! So, if you are inspired, here's your task for today. Try to do each task quickly and don't think too much about the next step while you are working, and try not to spend more than 15 - 20 minutes sorting and organizing. (Containerizing might take you a little extra time!)
  1. Gather all the piles of paper you purged during our last task. Once you have decided which type of paper organization system you think will work for you, sort your papers according to those groupings. (ie: solid colors 12 x 12, solid colors 8.5 x 11, scraps by color, patterned paper by color or manufacturer, groupings by collection or manufacturer, product collections for specific projects etc.)
  2. Look at the space you have available to store your papers. Decide which type of storage solution  might work best - upright/vertical, hanging in a box, on shelves etc. See if you can repurpose some storage items that you already have or decide what items you might need to purchase. Remember that containerizing comes LAST in the organizational process, but is one of the most important. 
  3. Place paper in containers, label if necessary and store!

If you can't containerize and store right away ( ie: if you need to go and purchase storage items first), keep each pile/category of paper separate from each other and put a sticky note on top to easily identify it. You might think you will remember what category each pile is, but chances are you'll forget! And make sure to set a due-date to ensure you finish up the task at hand!

After you have your system in place, test it out by sitting down and making a layout. Are things handy? Does it work for you? If not, you may have to make a few tweaks here and there, but the majority of the grunt work has already been done, so any alterations shouldn't take too much time.

Whew! That was a lot of info and a lot of work! How do you feel? I would love to know if this was helpful to you, what results you had and any additional tips you have. Please share your advice and experiences and leave a comment!

Good luck with that pesky but oh-so-pretty paper!

Next up: Organizing your embellishments!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Get Your Scrap Space Organized

Have you put away your Christmas tree and decorations yet? I love putting up holiday decorations but I always feel a little lighter when they are taken down and put away for another year. While I am doing this I feel ready to tackle all sorts of other aspects of home organization. And right now, my scrapbook area needs a lot of help! The projects I was working on before Christmas got shoved into cupboards just to get them out of the way. Scraps and paper need to find their home. Punches, tools and stamps ended up in a big bin waiting to be sorted. But now it's time and I'm ready! How about you? Could you use a little push to clear some scrap-supply clutter?

Here's the plan - during the month of January I'll be posting ideas and tips to help both you and I get our scrap spaces organized. We can do it together! And because we'd rather use our time to actually scrapbook than organize, let's keep it manageable - say 15 or 20 minutes per session, OK?

To get you in the mood for this, spend a few minutes checking out these inspiring links to great scrap rooms. Then come back here for the first task to get you started!

Celebrity Scrap Rooms

Storage solutions and dream scrap spaces at Scrapbooks ETC.

Scrap Rooms featured on Scrapbook.com

See something you like? I know I did! OK, well, let's get started on creating our own dream scrapbooking space!

Here's our first task: Purge Your Paper. Most scrappers and paper crafters have inordinate amounts of paper - in all colors, patterns and textures. To make it worse, we have multiple sizes of paper - 12 x 12, 8.5 x 11, smaller squares and lots of scraps. When I got serious about organizing my scrap supplies, the paper was the hardest part. Let's go through and purge the papers that you aren't going to use (don't worry, we'll purge first and then sort and store it all later!)

Set aside some time to gather all (yes, I said ALL!) your papers in one spot - a big table, a bed or even on the floor. You'll also need two boxes or containers - one for recycling and one to put papers that you just don't like or want anymore. 

Start by first sorting by size...make piles of all your 12 x 12, 8.5 x 11, scraps and so on. Don't worry about colors, etc, just quickly sort by size.

As you are sorting, toss any small scraps into the recycling box - my general rule of thumb is that anything smaller than a 2" x 2" square is probably recyclable!

Any larger or whole pieces that you just don't like or don't think you can use will be put into the other box. This paper is still useful - just not to you! Here are some ideas what to do with it:
  • Donate it to a children's group (think church, pre/playschool, daycare or a Boy Scout or Girl Guide unit)
  • Have a swap with your girlfriends
  • Search out a charity or facility in your area that is in need of supplies - a hospital, care centre or support group (my local children's hospital has a scrap therapy program that is always looking for supplies)
  • If you have a blog, host a free giveaway or two (or several!)
  • Make cards to send to sick kids (check out Jennifer McGuire's Cards for Kids Campaign)
  • Use it to wrap presents
  • Shred it for bag stuffing
  • Give it to your kids to punch, cut, paste and draw with
  • If all else fails, it always can be recycled!

But the caveat here is to make sure you have a plan for it...DO NOT keep the boxes in your scrap space! Carry them out the recycling bin or put it them your car to drop off at your donation point in the next day or two. That way you know the paper you no longer will use is out of your scrap room for good!

This has probably taken you about 15 - 20 minutes (or maybe a little more if had a TONNE of paper!) so you may want to stop here for today. If you are really on a roll, then take the time to sort each pile of paper into similar colors. You'll be ahead of the game for our next task!

I'll post our 2nd task in a few days. Make sure you subscribe to this blog so you don't miss out (see that little box at the bottom of this post? Just hover over it with your mouse and then enter your email address so you'll always know when new content has been added to our blog)!

Now go sort that paper and let me know how it goes!

Next up: Organizing Your Paper - Part Deux!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Design Team Search!

Sharing Memories Scrapbooking is looking for fresh talent to help share our passion for scrapbooking, card making and all things related to memory keeping!

Sharing Memories Scrapbooking is a small, independent scrapbooking company located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Our purpose is to provide inspiration and education to scrapbookers and paper crafters of all levels through our website and local live events. We feature how-to articles and tutorials, page plans, and lots of ideas. We also produce a small line of products including page and project kits and handmade embellishments.

In the past six months we have been growing and reaching more and more crafters. In order to keep offering fresh ideas and new inspiration, we are now looking for our first design team. We are looking for scrapbookers who represent a variety of styles, card makers, altered projects artists, sketch artists and those interested in writing articles and tutorials. Here are the details:

Design team members do not need to be exclusive - you may certainly be a member of another design team.

Design team members would be asked to commit to a six-month term with an option to extend the term if it is mutually agreeable. Design team members would start their first term on February 1, 2010.

Each design team member would be responsible for one assignment per month and would have approximately one month's notice to complete it. Additional special projects may be assigned if mutually agreeable.

At times design team members will be provided with Sharing Memories Scrapbooking products to use in their designs.

Design team members personal blogs will be linked to and showcased on Sharing Memories Scrapbooking website. We would ask that the Sharing Memories Scrapbooking website would be posted on Design Teams personal blogs in return.

Due to product shipping costs, we are sorry to have to limit our search to applicants from Canada and the United States only. Hopefully this will change in future.

If you are interested in applying, please send the following information to noreen@sharingmemoriesscrapbooking.com:

  1. A brief bio of yourself, including contact information such as email address, phone number and regular mailing address.

  2. Please indicate what type of design team responsibilities you would be interested in applying for (choose all that apply): Scrapbook Pages (traditional, digital and hybrid), Card Designs, Page Plan Sketch Artist, Altered Projects, Writer (articles, tutorials, reviews)

  3. Please send two examples of your work in any of the above areas as JPG images or PDF documents. Links to online galleries and blogs/websites are also helpful in us getting to know your work.


Our Design Team search will run from January 1st 2010 until January 29th 2010, so you have three weeks to get your application together! Successful applicants will be notified by January 31st and will be introduced on the website at the beginning of February.

We encourage everyone who is interested to apply! You do not need to have been published or have been on any other Design Teams - we just want to see your fresh and inspirational ideas! Get your application in today! We look forward to seeing what YOU have got to share! Good luck!

If you have any questions about the application process or requirements, please do not hesitate to contact us at noreen@sharingmemoriesscrapbooking.com!