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!