Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crafty Neighbor Now Has an Online Calendar!

Whew! Check out our new online calendar that we created just in time for the holidays!  And guess what?!  We just added a whole new crop of classes, too! See all the Crafty Neighbor classes, crops, and retreats at one glance!  You can even follow the links on the calendar to sign up online!  It's all here:

Do our economy a favor this year -- Buy American!  What's more American that shopping locally for your Christmas gifts?!  Give them something handmade!  We have a great selection of one-of-a-kind and made-to-order gifts. Check out for more info.

Or better yet, come take one of our classes and MAKE your OWN gifts this year!  We have a wide variety of classes for every skill level:  Perpetual calendars, stationery, decorative tins, holiday decor, and much more!  See our website for a full listing of all classes.

We have a whole list of classes we are offering, but we can only upload them so fast.  If you see something you like, but it's not available online yet, please send us an email!  And check back frequently!  More classes will be added in the next few days!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still think you're saving money at Michael's?

I can't count how many times a scrapbooker has told me they don't like to shop at the local scrapbook stores because it's too expensive.  The commonly held belief is that it's better to buy at Michaels or Hobby Lobby with a coupon whenever possible.  Are you one of those people who won't buy without a coupon?  Well guess what, you may not be getting the great deal that you think you are.

In an article on the website for the Attorney General for the state of New York, the A.G. summarizes a $1.8M settlement between Michael's stores and the state of New York for falsely claiming huge discounts while customers were actually paying full retail price.  The state alleges that the retail craft giant used deceptive trade practices daily for over two years, fooling customers into buying items they thought they were getting at a discount.

While the article only mentions the issue of Michael's custom framing, it is easy to imagine that a company that would stoop this low on a daily basis would also use some of those same practices to deceive customers in other ways.  Which then begs the question, are you really getting a discount?

I have always been a supporter of local craft stores and have made it a point to promote my local scrapbooking stores at every opportunity.  Local stores are not just selling you a product, they are selling you their services, their knowledge, and their expertise.   I firmly believe that you get what you pay for, and while you may be getting a discount by shopping at the big chain stores, when you shop locally, you are investing not only in the product you are purchasing, but also the people who sell it and the community you live in.  

So next time you need to buy craft supplies, think twice about where you spend your money.  It may be costing you more than you think.

To read more about the Michaels settlement, visit:

To learn more about supporting local stores in your community, visit:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Whew! It's HOT out there!  I know summer is the time to be doing stuff outdoors, but if you're like me, it is just too darned hot to be outside in 100° heat.  Air conditioning was invented for a reason! This weather is the PERFECT weather for sitting inside under some air conditioning and doing some good scrapbooking and crafting and that means crops and classes!  

Here's a peek at the Crafty Neighbor calendar.  You can see we have a few events coming up!  We hope you'll join us for one or two (or more)!  All classes and crops are at our Carrollton location unless otherwise noted.  Please RSVP or pay online to reserve your spot!

Crafty Neighbor Studios
Cindy Murray's house
2006 Stefani Place
Carrollton, Texas


 Wednesday, 8/10/11, 2pm - 4pm:   Stamping Basics; Learn about the different kinds of inks and stamps; $15

 Wednesday, 8/10/11, 7pm - 9pm:   Stamping Basics; Learn about the different kinds of inks and stamps; $15

 Thursday, 8/11/11, Noon - ???:   Weekday Crop Party; Bring your supplies and crop for the day; $5

 Saturday, 8/13/11, All Day:   Scrappin' Goodtime Workshops; Christen and I will be in Corsicana and the fabulous Scrappin' Goodtime Store and Retreat.  Join us Friday evening for some cropping and classes on Saturday.  Stay all night at the retreat and take classes all day!  See the Scrappin' Goodtime website for a list of available classes; price varies.

 Friday, 8/27/11; 7pm:  6-Pack and Pizza Combo; Join us for an evening of pizza and three 2-page layouts (6-pack).  See website for details; $40

 Saturday, 10/9/11 - 10/16/11:   4th Annual Scrapbooking Cruise;  Space is still available at the current market rate.  Join us for 7-days aboard the Carnival Conquest including Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel.  Classes, demos, prizes, and lots of fun!; Call for pricing -- very, very low rates!

                                 Learn to Scrapbook!                            

Do you know anyone who is interested in learning to scrapbook?  Tell them about our Beginner Basics class!  For just $15, they can learn all the basics of scrapbooking and complete a two-page layout.  We can also provide one-on-one tutoring and instruction upon request.  Let us know if you are interested and we will arrange a Beginner class or private session to suit your needs!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Copics, Classes, Corsicana, and Cruises!

Well, here I go again…getting behind on my blog. The truly sad thing about it is the reason I’m behind on my blog is also the reason I need to make sure I do blog – all the exciting events and goings-on at Crafty Neighbor! So in an effort to keep this short and sweet, here’s a little recap of all the Crafty Neighbor news for the past week or two:

Crafty Neighbor at Scrappin’ Goodtime

You’ve probably heard us talking about it, but in case you haven’t, here’s the deal: the Crafty Neighbors have made an arrangement with Scrappin’ Goodtime in Corsicana to provide a series of classes and workshops to her store and retreat clients. Stephanie and I just returned from our first weekend there and we had a GREAT time meeting a fabulous group of ladies from Tyler, Texas and another from Friendswood.

In case you are interested, the classes are open to retreat participants and store customers. You can reserve a spot in a class by paying a $15 deposit. All of the classes are served a la carte, so you can pick and choose which classes fit your needs and your budget. We will provide the supplies and show you how to do the project while you work at your own pace. Do one project, do two, or do them all – the classes are all priced individually, so you can take as many as you like. What’s even better is that the same classes will be offered every weekend, so you don’t have to be disappointed that you missed a class you really wanted to take just because you have to go visit grandma on that weekend. Our Crafty Neighbor instructors will be there on alternating weekends, so check with us in advance to find out if your favorite instructor will be there. Don’t want to drive back and forth just to take a class? Give owner, Susie Ellis, a call at the store to find out if she has space at her retreat. It’s a really great place to stay and she is running a grand opening special of 4 days/3 nights for a low, low $100.

If you want to see what projects we are teaching, please check out our full class list at:

More Copic Marker Classes with Frank Vento

For all you Copic lovers, Frank has most graciously agreed to return to Crafty Neighbor studios to finish out our series of Copic marker classes. Frank has also agreed to contribute half of the proceeds to our Ta-Ta Sisterhood walk team raising money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day in November. The class dates and times are as follows:

• Copic 2: Skin and Hair -- Tuesday, July 19 – 7pm to 9pm

• Copic 3: Airbrushing with Copic Markers – Tuesday, August 2 – 7pm to 9pm

You can register for these and other classes on our website. But hurray, reserve your class now – space is limited!

Even More New Classes!

Due to the popularity of our Beginner Basics classes, we have decided to add more sessions for July! This class will show you everything you need to know to get you started in scrapbooking. Have a friend who wants to learn, but aren’t sure how to get her started? Bring her to our class! If you are one of the ladies who were in the May class that was cut short by the storms, you are welcome to join us in this class for free, but please RSVP to make sure we have enough supplies for everyone! The first session of this class is:

• Sunday, July 17, 2011 from 2:00pm – 4:00 pm, $15

We have also had multiple requests for a few “beyond basics” classes for scrapbookers who want a little more instruction or who want to learn about a specific technique. So in August we will begin a series of classes to help you take your scrapbooks just one step further. Each class will focus on a specific technique or product, and you will complete a series of technique tags that you can keep as a handy reference. Our first Technique Tag class will be “Stampin’ Basics” on Wednesday, August 3rd. This class will be in two sessions:

• Daytime: 2:00pm – 4:00pm

• Evening: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

You can register for these and other classes on our website at:

Cruise with Crafty Neighbor!

We hope you’re not tired of hearing about our upcoming scrapbooking cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, because we sure are getting excited about it! We still have a few Ocean View cabins left at the incredibly low price of $ 711.43. This all-inclusive 7-day cruise is a great way to spend some time with friends, family, or your paper and adhesives! Don’t want to scrapbook? Don’t worry, we won’t tell! Just come on and take advantage of this special group rate – you can do your own thing and enjoy all the amenities the Carnival Conquest has to offer!

We are currently working on the designs for our classes. We have signed two new instructors to our group this year: Angel Hawks and Stephanie McIntosh. They are both ultra-talented ladies, and the projects they are bringing you are FA-BU-LOUS! We just know you are going to want to take all of them! But remember, in order to keep our cruise prices as low as possible, all of our classes are priced individually and can take as many or as few as you like. So watch for class registration to open very soon, and sign up quick before they’re all filled!

For more information about our cruise, visit our website at:

Take photos, and don't forget to journal!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Where's the Fonts?

How many of you remember the old Wendy’s commercial “Where’s the Beef?” where the little old lady goes to the burger joint and winds up with a big fluffy bun and not much else? Some days, that’s the way I feel about my Cricut – there’s just no substance to it any more…no meat. It promised to be the next big thing in die cutting letters for titles in my scrapbooks, and I happily gobbled up whatever fonts I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, the answer to all my title problems has instead become a cartoonish collection of silly images and shapes that may look cute, but really aren’t very useful at all.

Don’t get me wrong…I love my Cricut. I own 32 cartridges of some of the cutest fonts, images, shapes, and graphic designs I could ever imagine. I use my Expression all the time and am slowly developing a gentle friendship with my Gypsy handheld. I cut out all kinds of cute shapes and letters for my scrapbooks, cards, posters, even a stencil for a Boy Scout cook box. But let’s face it -- it’s just not the title and letter cutting machine that it was made out to be.

For those of you unfamiliar with the history, the Cricut was first introduced in May of 2006 as an answer to Xyron’s Personal Die Cutting System and the Wishblade. It was marketed primarily to scrapbookers and crafters for cutting lettering and fonts for titles, posters, and journaling. Its main selling point was that it was several hundred dollars cheaper than the Xyron’s Wishblade and it did not require a computer for use. It also boasted a catalog of font and shape cartridges that promised infinite flexibility through adjustable sizing and optional features on each cartridge -- all for about the same price (or less) as a traditional die-cut font set such as the QuicKutz, Sizzix, and Accucut fonts that were popular at the time. The Cricut Personal Electronic Cutter was a smash hit and was soon followed by the Cricut Expression machine, which offered even more flexibility and options, as well as the ability to cut paper in sizes up to 12” x 24.

I got my Expression in 2008 as a birthday gift from my husband, and I immediately spent every bit of extra money I had, including several gift cards, to buy fonts for it. My favorites were the original Plantin Schoolbook, Storybook, Opposites Attract, and (eventually) the Hannah Montana font. What all these cartridges had in common was that they were all font-based cartridges, often with multiple options for different styles of lettering, and while all of them have at least some shapes on them, the images and shapes were not the purpose or main focus of the cartridge. These cartridges are still my go-to cartridges when I need a nice font quick. They represent a nice variety of styles that fit just about any occasion. But still I want more.

Of the 32 cartridges I own, about half of them contain a font of some sort. The others were either gifts (most of them) or were purchased for use on a specific project (Handy Man, 50 States, Destinations, Stand and Salute) and whenever I see that Provo Craft has released new cartridges, the first thing I look for is more fonts. At the time of writing, Provo Craft has released 283 cartridges, which averages to more than 55 new cartridges a year for the past five years. Sadly, other than a few Walmart-exclusive “Lite” cartridges, there has not been a single font cartridge released in almost two years.

So what happened? Why has Provo Craft abandoned the font lovers in favor of sickeningly sweet cuteness in the form of smiling watermelon images, cuddly critters, household objects, and holiday shapes? Why are we now reduced to going back to our traditional die cutting systems for new fonts, or worse yet, investing in a new system altogether? Is it time to revisit the Wishblade or the Silhouette? Many scrapbookers have turned to Craft Edge, the makers of Sure Cuts a Lot, for the answer.

Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL) is a software program that enables Cricut users to use any TrueType font, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file, or even your own drawing without requiring an additional cartridge purchase[i]. I haven’t used SCAL, but I’m definitely intrigued. I’ve been a collector of fonts since the late ‘80’s, and have used them extensively in my scrapbooks. Until now, the greatest drawback has been that I could only print those fonts. But if I could cut them out of paper, cardstock, or any number of other materials, well, then I would be a very happy camper!

The mere fact that this product exists demonstrates the obvious demand by Cricut users for more flexibility, and especially for fonts. Unfortunately, in response to the rise in sales of the SCAL software, Provo Craft did a really dumb and (at least to me) classless thing. Rather than accept the gauntlet that has been thrown, rising to the challenge and meeting the demands of their users by introduce more fonts and more flexibility, or better yet, by adding TrueType functionality to their existing (and popular) Design Studio software and Gypsy handheld devices, they decided to sue Craft Edge. Filing suit in January 2011, Provo Craft seeks to end distribution of the SCAL software based on alleged violations of their copyright[ii].

The controversial move has outraged many avid SCAL fans and Cricut users, and has been perceived as unjust, juvenile, bordering on the equivalent of siblings in the back seat of the car yelling, “He’s looking at me!” That Provo Craft would take this stance is quite a slap in the face to the thousands of Cricut users who have been begging Provo Craft for these options for years. It is obvious that Provo Craft is not interested in what its customers want or need, and that they are little more than a big bully on the playground insisting that everyone play the game their way.

Provo Craft needs to change their attitude if they expect me to keep buying their products. Start listening to customers. Stop beating up the little guys. Let the customers choose the way they want to play. Put some real meat in your products, not just silly fluff and big buns. That reminds me of another burger slogan, one that Provo Craft should adopt -- Burger King’s “Have it Your Way” campaign. Imagine being able to turn on your Cricut machine and cut out any letter, any shape, in any style or size that you could imagine. Now THAT would be something I could sink my teeth into!



Sunday, June 12, 2011

More Classes and Events

Copic Marker Class

Have you ever wanted to learn about Copic Markers? Do you want to take your stamping skills one step further? Want to learn something new AND contribute to a great cause? Then join us Wednesday, May 25th at 7:00 pm for a beginner Copic Marker class taught by Frank Vento! Registration is just $30 and Crafty Neighbor will donate $15 for each registration to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk Team "Ta-Ta Sisterhood".
Registration is open until 11pm, Monday, June 13th. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!

Beginner Scrapbooking

Are you interested in learning the basics of scrapbooking? We are considering scheduling a few more beginner classes this summer. If you are interested in taking this basic scrapbooking class, please email us! Here’s what we cover:

This workshop covers archival preservation of memorabilia, photos, and documents, tools and supplies, as well as beginning scrapbooking and creative presentation techniques. In this class, you will complete 1-2 layouts to get you started. We'll also show you some simple steps to keeping all your stuff organized.

Crop Party!

Join us for a fun all-day crop at the Crafty Neighbor Studios! Meet fellow scrapbookers, catch up on your projects, and find out what Crafty Neighbor is all about! Light refreshments will be provided and we are close to many delivery and take-out food sources. The cost is just $5, and space is limited, so you MUST pre-register for this event.

4th Annual Scrapbooking Cruise

We still have a few cabins left on our 4th Annual Scrapbookiing Cruise. Join us October 9-16 as we sail from Galveston to the ports of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. Prices start at less than $100 per day! See our website for more details!

Cruise Payments DUE

Remember that your June cruise payment is due this month. Contact Cindy or Pam for details.

For more information about these and other events, please visit our website at

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quick updates and reminders

Here I go, forgetting to post on time again!  Actually, I didn't really forget, I just have not had time to post much of anything this week.  My son is graduating high school in just 7 days and this whole semester of school has kept me hopping!  So I'm going to keep this short, but sweet and tell you that we have just a couple of changes to our class schedule to announce.

First, our Beginner Basics class got interrupted by some inclement weather and our newbie scrapbooker moms had to rush home to take care of their families.  So we've actually rescheduled it for this coming Tuesday, May 31st, at 7:00 pm.  If you've ever been curious about scrapbooking or any other paper and glue-type crafts, please feel free to join us!  The class fee is just $15 and covers all your supplies.  You will learn all about the basic tools used in scrapbooking as well as information about archiving and preserving your memorabilia.

Another class which has been recently rescheduled is our Copic Marker Class with Frank Vento.  Frank is a FABULOUS instructor and his Copic Marker certification makes him an expert in these nifty little alcohol ink-based markers.  This class will teach you the basics of Copic markers and costs just $30 -- half of which is being donated to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk team "Ta-Ta Sisterhood".  So join us on June 15th if you want to learn to use the markers that Manga artists use or if you just want to kick your stamping techniques up a notch.

Registration for both classes is open at

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekly Update May 20, 2011

Okay, I've made some resolutions with the blog....  I'm always "meaning to" do more posts, but I've never been a "regular" blogger.  I post when I think about it, or when I "get a chance".  I really want to do better, so I decided to set myself a regular schedule, and maybe that will help me keep up with it a little better.  So the goal is to post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Monday and Wednesdays will be my regular blog posts with ideas, discussions, and whatever pops into my zany little head.  Fridays will be my "Weekly Update" where I post about whatever is coming up for Crafty Neighbor, including class schedules, crops, retreats, sales, and whatnot.  And since I resolved to do this sometime last week, that means I was supposed to have posted an Update on Friday, but I didn't, so here it is, two days late.  But hey, at least I did it, right?

GASC  Comes to Arlington!

Great American Scrapbook Convention is right around the corner!  Do you have your tickets yet?  GASC tickets will be $12 at the door, but you can buy yours in advance for just $10!  Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to see all the new merchandise, learn new techniques, and shop, shop, shop ‘til you drop.  But hurry, Monday, May 23rd is the last day to get your tickets at this low price!  Just go to to order online, or send us an email to pay by cash, check, or money order!

Already have your ticket?  Come see us while you’re there!  Our Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk team will be helping out Googly Eyes and Craft Supplies by running their make-and-take table!  Stop by and see us!  We’d love to show you the cute project Googly Eyes has planned, and your donation will help us fight breast cancer!

Great American Scrapbook Convention will be at the Arlington Convention Center Thursday, June 2 through Saturday, June 4th.

Up-Coming Classes

Registration is still open for two classes this week:  Copic Markers with Frank Vento and Beginner Basics with Cindy and Stephanie.  We hope you’ll join us for one of these great classes!  You can read more about them and our other great classes on our website at:

Due to the nature of these classes, late registration and drop-ins cannot be accommodated.  Please register no later than Monday, May 23rd at 10pm.  Thanks!

4th Annual Scrapbooking Cruise

There is still time to sign up for our fabulous 7-Night Caribbean Cruise.  Departing from Galveston, Texas, visit the ports of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico.  Spend 3 full days at sea enjoying your favorite hobby – scrapbooking – or simply enjoy one of the hundreds of activities and amenities on this fabulous ship.  This vacation is all-inclusive* and starts at less than $100 per day.  You do not have to be a scrapbooker to take advantage of this great low rate!

But hurry, this offer won’t last long!  These reduced rates are only guaranteed until we fill our quantity of reserved cabins.  After that, prices will reflect the current market rate.

If you have any questions about these events or Crafty Neighbor in general, please visit our website at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Daydream Believer

Man, oh man, I had some weird dreams last night!  The family and I dined at one of our favorite Mexican food restaurants, and I wound up with some serious indigestion that set my brain off on a path that could rival Alice’s “Wonder Land”.  I don’t remember a thing about it, but if it’s anything like most of the other weird dreams I’ve ever had, I’m sure it was rife with some mundane task that I tried repeatedly to complete but never quite managed to accomplish because I was constantly being interrupted, distracted, or otherwise side-tracked by some other weird aspect of the dream.

Have you ever dreamed about scrapbooking?  I do all the time.  Sometimes I will wake up from a sound sleep with what I think is the “perfect” solution for a scrapbooking page or a card.  If I’m lucky, I might even manage to remember it long enough to sit down with scissors and paper.  The results aren’t always as spectacular as my dreams might suggest, and I sometimes have to put a lot of effort into them to make them into anything worth completing at all, but sometimes my sleeping brain gives me a surprising idea that is so good it’s worthy of posting here, like the Dandelion page.

Diamond-fold lacing made with "Hot Off the Press" stencil #7312; flower stem by Deluxe Cuts

I created this page many years ago after a vivid dream in which I used an ordinary hole-punch to create the parts to make a paper-pieced dandelion.  I thought the idea was brilliant, so I spent hours that morning working on the flower and as I worked on it, I remembered the essay my daughter had written as a school assignment many years earlier.  The flower turned out to be the perfect embellishment, since I had no photos, and it wound up being one of my favorite layouts for a long time.

Whether you dream about scrapbooking in your sleep, or imagine perfect layouts while driving your car, harness that creative energy into something useful.  Dreaming and daydreams are the power of our imagination exploring the limits of possibility, and the more we imagine, the more our creativity grows.  Daydreams come when you are most relaxed and your mind is open and free to explore the possibilities.  Have you ever had a great idea in the shower?  My husband has a creative friend at work who keeps a waterproof recorder in his shower so he can take down all the awesome advertising slogans that pop into his head while he’s taking his bath.  

Make use of your grand ideas by keeping a sketchbook, notepad, or other recording device handy.  I keep notepads everywhere…in my purse, on my desk, in the car, next to my bed…I even have one in my scrapbook tool tote.  That way, if inspiration strikes me, I can at least jot down some ideas, make a sketch, or even write out an entire blog.  Oh, and by the way, the inspiration for this little post came to me as I was just waking up this morning.

The Crafty Neighbor

Save It Quick Or You'll Be Sick!

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know the kind I’m talking about … one of those days when you’ve spent hours working on a project and suddenly your computer crashes and you lose all your work?  Apparently, a bit of regularly scheduled maintenance resulted in one of those days for Blogger, causing data corruption, intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and a host of other errors.  I think everything is up and running now, but I’m sure the chaos was frustrating for everyone involved.

It reminds me of the time many, many years ago when my audio engineer husband stayed up working all night on a soundtrack for a high school musical.  He’d been working for more than 8 hours straight on one piece of music when the computer suddenly froze and he lost every bit of work he’d done.  After that, he was often known to say, “Save it quick, or you’ll be sick.”  Apparently, my daughter never learned that lesson, because years later, she stayed up all night working on a very important report for school.  She was so relieved to finish it up, but instead of saving it first, she went straight to print.  Unfortunately, she accidentally hit the power button on her computer instead. 

I can’t count the number of times I have worked for hours on a blog and hit “Post” only to have the computer freeze, crash, or tell me I was no longer logged in.  My daughter reminds me every week to type it up in my word processor first and then copy and paste it into Blogger.  More recently, my son’s cell phone died and he lost all the phone numbers he had stored in it.  When I asked him if he had backed them up in his address book on his computer, of course his reply was “no”. 

Fortunately, for my son, all of the numbers he had stored in his phone were pretty recent ones from people he sees pretty much every day, so he was back in business within a couple of days.  Websites and blogs are not always so easy to find.  Have you ever stumbled upon a great website but failed to bookmark it and then was never able to find it again.?  I certainly hope that at least a few of the people who’ve stumbled across my little craft blog like it enough to want to come back.  If you’re one of them, I hope you’ll take my husband’s advice -- don’t let some random mishap spoil all our crafty fun!  Keep track of this scrappy little blog by clicking the “Follow” link on the left.  I’ve moved it up to the top of the sidebar for your convenience. 

Come to think of it, life works pretty much in the same way.  Birthdays, Christmases and vacations go by in the blink of an eye and then they’re gone forever.  That’s one of the reasons why we scrapbook – to preserve the memories that are important to us before we forget them.  So save it quick, or you’ll be sick, and don’t forget to journal!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Great American Scrapbook Convention

Don't forget!  Crafty Neighbor is an authorized seller of tickets for the

June 2-4, 2011

Buy your tickets from us!

Visit our website at

for more details

Sunday, May 8, 2011

National Scrapbook Day

I hope everyone had a great National Scrapbook Day.  Did you get to scrapbook?  As you probably know, the Crafty Neighbors had originally planned to host a big 14-hour crop for National Scrapbook Day, but wound up canceling because we didn’t have enough people signed up.  We really couldn’t imagine a National Scrapbook Day without scrapbooking, so we decided to go to a retreat in Waxahachie, but that, too, was foiled--this time, by a last minute scheduling conflict.  So after a long day of doing just about everything else, it was almost 10:00 pm before we actually got to sit down and crop, and even then, it wasn’t my own scrapbooks that I got to work on, it was samples for a class we have coming up. 

It really brings home a blog I wrote a few years ago about finding the time to crop.  These days, it seems like I never do.  I was recently lamenting this sad fact to a local scrapbook storeowner, to which she replied, “That’s what happens when you go into the scrapbooking business.”  She’s right.  It makes me think back on what we were thinking when Stephanie and I first started Crafty Neighbor.  We thought we were doing something that would allow us to crop more.  Boy were we wrong!

I’ve always been a big fan of crop parties and gathering together with friends to do the crafts we love.  In the early days of my scrapbooking adventure, Stephanie and I made a regular routine of going to weekday crops at our local stores and scrapbooking together on weekends whenever we could.  Sometimes we were joined by my daughter, Christen, or by other friends.  And after I moved to my new home with a dedicated “crop room”, we enjoyed hosting crop parties and gatherings with our crafty friends. 

It was through these gatherings that I really learned to scrapbook.  It’s where I learned to be less hung up on perfection and to just enjoy the process of crafting.  I never took a beginner scrapbooking class; I just started right in, and I learned just about everything I knew from watching others or by trial and error.  New techniques were learned by necessity, and I never would have learned anything at all if it weren’t for all my friends, all the LSS employees, and all my fellow croppers at all those weekend crops.

National Scrapbook Day crops have always held a special place in my heart.  The first one I ever attended was based on a “Survivor” theme.  Participants competed in scrapbooking versions of the popular TV show’s immunity challenges, winning prizes and hoping to take home the grand prize – a basket full of scrapbook goodies and a fabulous retreat for two.  Stephanie and I had a great time.  I don’t know if it was the marathon 60-hours of non-stop cropping, the prizes, the games, or the great people I met that year, but we’ve been trying to recapture the magic of that event ever since.

I won’t lie to you.  I would love it if all my scrapbooking efforts translated into a little extra money once in a while.  I mean, who doesn’t need a little padding in their wallet?  But that wasn’t really my primary reason for becoming involved in this business.  It was the people.  It was the knowledge I’ve gained through scrapbooking with others.  It was the friends, life-long ones, that I’ve met and who have become important pieces in the puzzle of my life.  Stephanie and I wanted to create the kind of crop that we wanted to go to, and we did it with the hope that we could help sustain the scrapbooking industry and keep a little piece of it alive for ourselves.  By hosting crops, we gave ourselves a place to crop.  Or so we thought.

Sadly, our big dreams of having our own scrapbook company didn’t turn us into rich millionaires with tons of spare time on our hands.  In fact, we probably have less time to crop now than we’ve ever had, and now that I’m selling travel with Pam and we are both very busy trying to promote our October scrapbooking cruise, there just isn’t much time for scrapbooking any more.

So this year, for the first time ever, I didn’t participate in an organized crop.  Instead, I stayed home and worked on a few projects for my upcoming classes.  But today…that’s another story.  Today was Mother’s Day, a day when I should be able to do whatever I want, right?  So what better use of my time today than on scrapbooking?  And you know what else?  I’ve decided that no matter how busy I get or how stressed out I might be, I need to be sure and make more time to scrapbook just for fun.  By continuing to do the thing I love, and by continuing to buy supplies and take classes, I can help ensure that local stores continue to carry scrapbooking products and that small scrapbook stores stay open.  We should all remember that it’s not just the albums and the pictures and the pretty paper that brings us all together – it’s the people.  We don’t have to wait until National Scrapbook Day to celebrate!  Make every day a scrapbooking holiday!  Call up some family or a friend and ask them to come crop!  You won’t regret it!  Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cancellation Notice!

We're Sorry!

The Crafty Neighbor National Scrapbook Day Event has been cancelled!

This event has been cancelled due to a lack of interest.  But don't worry, we'll have another crop sometime in the near future.  In the mean time, if you are looking for something to do or somewhere to crop for NSD (or any time), please check out the National Scrapbook Day events at one of the many local stores around DFW.  If you need help finding a store near you, please check out this article on our blog at:

Some of the Crafty Neighbors will be at the Scrappin' Goodtime NSD retreat in Corsicana.  They still have a few spots left for day croppers ($25) and one bedroom in the retreat.  Visit:
Scrappin' Goodtime

for details.

Friday, April 29, 2011

New Classes Added to Our Calendar!

It's time once again for a Beginner Scrapbooking class!  This workshop is open to anyone who has an interest in scrapbooking, genealogy, or preserving memorabilia.  We will cover archival preservation of memorabilia, photos, and documents, creative presentation techniques, tools and supplies, as well as beginning scrapbooking techniques.  In this class, you will complete one 2-page layout in either a "boy" or "girl" theme plus a simple handmade card. 

Choose one of two dates available!

Thursday, May 12 from 2:00 - 4:00 PM, or Tuesday, May 24  from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Crafty Neighbor Studios (Murray House) in Carrollton.

Workshop cost:  $15.00 (includes all paper and materials)  This is a GREAT get a beginner class PLUS one 2-page layout and a card.  A typical layout class at a local scrapbook store will cost $20-25!

We will provide:  Light refreshments, paper, tools and supplies, experts and professional scrapbookers to answer all your questions and guide you through the scrapbooking process.

You will need to bring:  scissors, your favorite adhesive (optional), and any photos* you wish to add to your layouts (optional).

Experienced scrapbookers are welcome!  Come learn, share your knowledge, or just to make the layouts!

Spread the word!  Don't need the class but have a friend who might be interested?  Please pass it on!  Everyone is welcome. 

Register online at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Classes!

Have you ever wanted to learn about Copic Markers?

Do you want to take your stamping skills one step further?

Want to learn something new AND contribute to a great cause?

Then join us

Wednesday, May 25th 
7:00 pm
for a
Beginner Copic Marker Class taught by Frank Vento!  

Registration is just $30 and Crafty Neighbor will donate $15 for each registration to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk Team "Ta-Ta Sisterhood". 

Registration is still open for our National Scrapbook Day Retreat and our 7-Night Exotic Caribbean Cruise.  Scrapbook aboard the Carnival Conquest and visit the islands of Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel.  Don't miss this incredible price!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yes, registration is still open!

Just jotting down a quick reminder that registration is still open for our National Scrapbook Day Crop and for the 7-Night Caribbean Cruise in October.  If you are interested in learning more about the cruise or the crop, please visit our website at:

And now, so that this post isn't entirely advertising and self-promotion, here are some recent cards and some holiday magnets I made, as well as a few paint cans I did for our 3-Day Walk Team fundraising.

A couple of my cans:

These are some magnets I made for a customer for her magnetic calendar.  I thought they turned out pretty cute!  Creating something that conveys a message in such a small space can be a real challenge!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

4th Annual Scrapbooking Cruise - 7-Nights in the Caribbean!

Join us for 7 glorious nights in the Caribbean aboard the Carnival Conquest, departing out of Galveston, Texas on Sunday, October 9, 2011.  Ports of call include Montego Bay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel, Mexico.  Registration is now open; prices start at under $100 per person per day!

Go to for details!

And don't forget about our 14-hour Crop 'til You Drop on May 7th, celebrating National Scrapbook Day!

Register yourself and a friend by April 7th and receive a $10 rebate on the day of the event!
Go to for details!

Monday, April 4, 2011

111 Photo Prints for $1.11!

Yep, that's right! Snapfish is 11 years old and they're celebrating with a great deal!  111 prints for $1.11!

Order Prints

Friday, April 1, 2011

News, News and More News!

As you know, we’ve spent the last two weeks in recovery from our marathon Pam’s Pals crop. What you probably don't know is that we made a few announcements at the event and we're excited to share them with you here!


Yep, you see that right! Crafty Neighbor Travel! Pam and I have recently signed a contract with Dugan's Travel to start our very own travel business! So what does this mean for you? It means great deals on all your travel, of course, but most importantly, it means that we can bring you more retreats and more cruises at better prices without the hassle of dealing with a middleman or outside travel agent! So check us out the next time you are looking to book some travel, and stay tuned for some new cruises and retreats in the very near future!

Want to add your Pam’s Pals experience to your scrapbook?

Check out our custom-made Pam’s Pals 12 x12 scrapbook paper. Available for a limited time, these gorgeous papers are perfect for preserving your Pam’s Pals memories! Our first 2-page set in this new series is available for just $3 a pair.

Show your Pam’s Pal support to the world!

We are currently taking orders for Pam's Pals t-shirts.

The cost is $14.50 each and they are available in most sizes.

To order t-shirts or our custom Pam's Pals paper, just send us an email to

And now for something really exciting……drum roll please…… 

Registration is now open for our
2011 National Scrapbook Day crop! 

Join us May 7th for a 14-hour Retro Throw-Back Crop ‘til You Drop! 

For more information, go to

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crop for a Cause

Here is the official flyer for the Richland Rebels community crop.  The deadline has passed, but they assure me they are still taking reservations!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cropping for a Cause

It's always fun to do something you love and turn it to a good cause.  Just this past weekend, we had an all-day crop to benefit the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and our walk team, Ta-Ta Sisterhood.  Another scrapbooker found my email and sent me this information about another all-day, crop-for-a-cause opportunity:

Crop til you Drop Fundraiser
When:  Saturday, March 26, 2011
            10 AM – 9 PM
Where: North Ridge Middle School (Cafeteria)
          7332 Douglas Lane
          North Richland Hills
Cost: $25.00 per person for ½ day (until 5:00 PM)
          Includes lunch, snacks, drinks
      $30.00 per person for full day
          Includes lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks
Each person will have their own table to use for the day.  We will have Make-and-Takes, raffles, vendor tables, etc.

RSVP and payment made by Sunday, March 20, 2011
Contact:  Amy Ashkinazy 817 846-5922   or
         Angela Maine 817 992-5634

We will accept cash or credit card.

I don't know anything else about this event, but it sounds like fun!